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Alexandros Satorum wrote:
As Aelyrinth points out, Barbarians have more HP when not raging (effectively Toughness for free). Barbarians have +10 ft. movement speed in light or medium armor (better than Fleet). Low level feats aren't that special (seriously, you've got 1-2 extra feats, but neither of those are going to be all that grand). The good high level feats anyone can take.
The catch is, the Barbarian is pretty much just Fighter+ at low levels (same AC, same saves, more HP, more skill points, more speed), plus he can rage for more hit, damage, saves, and a small HP boost on demand, which is better than what the Fighter gets even at 5th level (weapon focus + weapon specialization + weapon training just meets the +2/+3 damage that the Barbarian has had since 1st level).
2) pelease do not put hte paladin and hte ranger in the mix. We can talk about them if you like, but right now is about fighters and barbarians.
Actually the topic is Barbarians being unbalanced. You're comparing them to a Fighters to see if they are unbalanced, but Rangers and Paladins also make Fighters look bad, but not Barbarians. Everyone has the same AC as Fighters at low levels but more options. Paladins have the same AC + better saves, Rangers have the same AC + better saves, Barbarians have the same AC + maybe better saves + great offensive power.
Barbarians aren't unbalanced, but they're still my go-to mundane in core because Fighters just don't give anything worthwhile. All but a select few combat feats in core blow chunks or have lame prerequisites that make getting them unappealing. In core, combat feats I actually care about include mostly archery feats, power attack, deadly aim, blind-fight, lunge (sometimes), catch-off guard (for polearms, sometimes), Quick Draw (sometimes), and Step-Up. Most anything else is pretty frivolous or nice as a freebie feat if you can ignore prerequisites (for example, monks can get dodge / deflect arrows easily, and Two-Weapon Fighting isn't bad on a Strength Ranger who can ignore the goofy Dex prerequisites).
Mounted Combat feats are also pretty cool, but not for fighters. Paladins and Rangers sure (they actually get a mount that stays relevant and can be replaced in-class). I do enjoy me some mounted rangers. :o
By the way, if you do not have the -2 penalty to AC you do not have the bonus to saves either.
Heheh, that's the beauty of it. My saves are no worse than the Fighters without it and I still fight pretty much as good, while also having Uncanny Dodge + Improved Uncanny Dodge + more HP. So if I really just need to tank a brute with no magic, I can choose to not rage. If I need to deal lots of damage or fight a spellcaster (or supernatural creature) then I can rage.
Not having options is NOT better than having options.
3) You make good point. But I want to point out that delay the rage means you do not have the bonus to saves in that round.
Let's look at this some more. What was presented was as follows.
1. I use the first round for buffing and rage on the 2nd round. This means that I potion, move, and prepare for combat, then get buffed on top of it so that on my next turn I rage and I'm an oiled up god of war.
2. I simply delay, get buffed, take all my actions and rage in the turn. I lose no turn, I get buffed, and I'm a sexy oiled up god of war in the same round.
3. Worst case scenario, we're facing an enemy who I'm more afraid of failing saves against than I am of missing out on my buffs, so I rage as soon as I possibly can to get the +2-7 bonus on my saves. Which is a tactical decision. It's an option that I have. I have an option to play more defensively but the Fighter does not have that option.
The fighter has 1 option. Get buffed and hope you don't fail a save. The barbarian can react to what is currently going on and if he needs more defense vs baleful lawn ornament then he can get that. If he doesn't, he can wait less than a round and be no worse off than the fighter. Or he can wait a full round and no use up any rage time, especially since neither he nor the Fighter are going to do anything super-meaningful in melee in round 1 anyway since martials suck ass and can't move + full attack without some non-core trick.
Best Non-Core Trick For Martials: Just keep having your quickrunner shirt upgraded to have more charges. When dealing with a 1/day charged item, the cost increases by 100% for each additional charge (because cost is 1/5th the cost of a 5/day charged item). The best thing a non-pouncing martial can do (and hell, even a pouncing martial IMHO) is get as many charges on a quickrunner's shirt as you can get. It will allow you to actually move and contribute at high levels without goofy tricks.
PFS players are out of luck though.
Clearly the PBers didn't earn their 18 by rolling and risking that 8.
It always makes me laugh when people use the word earn in any situation that is entirely dependent upon skill-less gambling. It's like saying that being born a prince earned you the title because the vagina you popped out of happened to be a noblewoman's. :P
Pretty much everything that Wraithstrike said.
The cost in cure light wounds wands is way less than the cost of having to revive a PC 'cause you got hit with charm person or dominate person and proceeded to murder your party members (or they were forced to murder you since you're a mighty engine of destruction). The material component cost of raise dead plus restoration is 7,000 gp and requires 2 weeks of downtime to get the negative levels to go away (unless you spring an extra 3,000 gp for greater restoration to remove both negative levels at once) and that isn't even counting the spellcasting service fees if you're not able to cast the spells yourself.
Likewise, if you think a barbarian cannot be buffed because of superstition then you haven't seen a competent barbarian in play. It's not difficult at all to get your staple buffs ready to go. Especially if you know how to manage your actions and work as a team.
I also agree with you that Barbarians are bigger resource sinks in core. Especially compared to Paladin and Ranger who can generally fight with similar competency while adding to the party resource pool directly. However when it comes to the "mundane guy who beats stuff with a stick" I'd still take core barbarian over core Fighter because his overall package of defenses feels more useful overall to me.
I can do more with the barbarian (yay skill points), in more places (uncanny dodge and trap sense make you really cool in dungeons and against ambush tactics), and against more enemies (*insert 90% of all saving throw effects in the game*), and for that I'm going to take a bit more damage from full-attacks from enemies (if you're another bruiser I'm a ****ing barbarian, please, please play rock 'em sock 'ems with me, I'll even let you have the first hit).
Not to mention the counter-arguments to the randomness of rolling always seems to be some sort of goofy methods of rolling that reduce the randomness of it as much as possible, which generally results in characters who are like they would be with point buy, except with the potential to be wildly stronger or wildly weaker.
For example, 17s-18s in Point Buy are grossly expensive. I never go higher than 16 in a starting statistic and even then it's usually only one 16 in whatever is my primary statistic (usually Str for Barbarians, Clerics & Rangers, Charisma for Paladins, Intelligence for Wizards, Charisma for sorcerers, and depending on what kind of Druid I'm playing it might go into either Strength or Wisdom). I'm probably going to have a few stats between 7-9 to make up for the excellence in other areas.
The likelihood of me choosing to buy a 17-18 is virtually nil. If I did, I would have to accept heavy losses elsewhere. If on a wizard I wanted an 18 Int, 14 Con, and 14 Dex, I would have to eat a 7 in Str, Wis, and Cha (my carrying capacity is going to suck, my will saves and perception is going to suck, and my social skills and ability to influence with charm / planar binding is going to suck).
However with rolling? Pfft, fate's a fickle b#!%@. You could end up with 16s across the board. Or 12s. Or whatever. Once as a GM I was helping a player roll up a bard using the ol' 4d6 drop lowest (as was the standard in 3.x) and she ended up with FOUR 17s, and TWO 18s for her ability scores. We were all sitting around the table just dumbfounded. Her character was just randomly a pinnacle of human potential. Meanwhile our party's Barbarian had to eat a 3.
But oh, they say, we use a re-rolling method, they cry. You can re-roll if your stats suck! Well then what's the ****ing point? You're just pushing it harder towards the averages that point buy gives you anyway, except you're...
A. Creating some sort of disparity between the players.
If I roll 17, 14, 15, 12, 9, and 8, I'm going to milk that for all its worth because I just rolled the equivalent of 24 point buy on what is likely a method intended to give similar results to the standard 15 Point Buy. I'm going to rock those stats so hard.
But if I roll 13, 14, 12, 13, 5, and 9, I'm just going to re-roll and try again. Unless you don't allow re-rolls and thus force disparity between party members. Even still, if I get a character that is not what I want to play, I will just roll a different character.
I think it's more about style and pacing honestly. The mechanics facilitate a nice stable play, but everything else in the game is set in tone and flow by the GM and the players.
A few things that would make PF look a bit more like OD&D...
For example, my copy of OSRIC says the number of bandits encountered is 20d10 (average 110 bandits) plus 1 9th level fighter, 2 6th level fighters, 2 5th level fighters, 3 4th level fighters, 5 3rd level fighters. Each bandit has 2d4 gp. The fighters in the group have a 5% per level of having a magic armor, shield, sword, miscellaneous weapon, and potion (so 45%, 30%, 25%, 20%, and 15% for those fighters). Said magic items would be rolled randomly.
For magic armors and shields, there was a 50% chance it would be a +1. A 25% chance for it to be +2. A 5% chance to be +3. A 5% chance for it to be +4 or +5 (+4 65% / +5 35%). A 5% chance to be cursed. A 10% chance that it was a special specific armor.
Same with magic swords and miscellaneous weapons.
Potions you have to select yourself, but they were nice enough to include which classes use what potions. So since these are Fighters the kind of potions that they carry on things like...
Potion of Invulnerability (immune to normal attacks, attacks from nonmagical creatures, attacks from creatures with less than 4 HD, +2 to all saving throws, provides 2 points better AC, lasts 3d6+2 rounds).
Potion of Heroism (grants +3 levels for fighters 3rd level or less, +2 levels for 6th level or less, +1 level for 9th level or less, lasts for 10-40 minutes).
Potion of Super Heroism (grants +5 levels for 3rd level or less, +4 for 6th level or less, +3 for 9th level or less, and +2 levels for 12th or less, lasts 5d5 rounds).
Potion of Giant Strength (grants rock throwing ability and other benefits as shown below, lasts 10-40 minutes).
That said, I think I'll probably just stick to Pathfinder. :o
Damian Magecraft wrote:
Why? Don't your characters have personalities?
Alexandros Satorum wrote:
Thing is, I'd still take the barbarian any day of the week. Barbarians innately have more HP than Fighters, and get 2*level more HP when raging (3*level at 11th, and 4*level at 20th). The "oh but your barbarian might die" thing is a myth because if you lose enough HP to die from that, you already took more HP damage than your HP+Con score (which means you would have been dead anyway so the HP bought you an extra round or two to get healed up again).
Meanwhile, HP damage between fights is easy to fix. Even with superstitious active you can still be healed. Often on the cheap (a wand of cure light wounds is 750 gp in core and heals around 250 HP).
If you're soaking damage in combat you're doing your job. That shows that you're being attacked and your *insert other class* isn't. You're not doing your job if you are a lawn ornament. When you've got 130 HP, you can stand to take some damage. When that succubus casts dominate person you can not stand to fail that save.
The funny thing is, at very low levels the AC difference between Fighter and Barbarian is effectively non-existent (from 1st-6th level breastplate is still the best armor for anyone who wants 30 ft.+ movement speed), and at high levels AC matters less and less as other forms of defenses are kicking in (such as DR, miss %, immunities, etc). Until Fighter gets Weapon Specialization/Weapon Training, the Barbarian doesn't even have to be raging to match him in combat prowess.
At high levels it's not even a thing anymore. For example, using what is IMHO the scariest CR 20 bestiary monster the Pit Fiend as an example, both the Fighter and Barbarian will rock his socks in martial combat. His attack bonuses aren't great enough to get stellar hit % on either of them (both will have ACs of 46+, and probably displacement). However, when he starts yanking people's souls out with his trap the soul SLA, I'm going to be appreciating that my defenses consist of more than a bit more armor class.
a) There is another simple tactic that can take the barbarian out of the fight. Raw hit point damage. The barb you posted have not raging vitality and with superstitions he could just die without the heal form the party.
That's a fair concern. Let's have a look.In my example my Barbarian would have a 26 AC while raging. A Glabrezu is 3 CRs above our level. It has a 75% chance of hitting with its attacks vs the Barbarian and a 60% chance to hit your Fighter. So let's crunch the DPR a little bit...
Pincers DPR 24 (Barbarian) / 22.8 (Fighter)
The difference is essentially nill. If I really wanted, I could have replaced Step-Up with Extra Rage Power (Improved Damage Reduction) which would have tipped it in Barbarian favor, but I have +1 Hp/HD over the Fighter with an identical Constitution so I'm not super worried about it.
Meanwhile, during surprise rounds my Barbarian has a +6 dodge bonus to her AC because of Uncanny Dodge. When just wandering around she can be using a total defense as a standard action (stacks with the +3 vs traps with trap sense), which means if she is ambushed or attacked from surprise her AC is both full-power with an extra +30% evasion.
Also can't be flanked, that's pretty cool.
b) There are a lot of attacks that have rider effects. Attack + grapple, attack + poison, attack + disease, etc. The barbarian have better saves agaisnt some of them, but The fighter Better Ac could just mean the fighter not to make the save (if allowed).
Agreed here. But I just don't think the difference is meaningful enough honestly. "The occasional rider effect that most likely targets your strongest save or requires your enemy to be right where you want them, in your face" doesn't equal "Failing a save vs hold person / aura of fear / fear / dominate person / charm monster / suggestion / command / deep slumber / vampire dominate / insert random SLA here" on my list of priorities. This could just be a matter of what we see as the bigger threat. In my opinion there are far more threats to your ability to contribute to the game in the form of magical effects.
If I get a disease? Deal with it. If I get hit with magic jar then I'm out of the fight and my party has to deal with ME. >_>
Other Things I Noticed...
But if I put mine in HP then I have another +10 HP over the Fighter and 2 more skill points per level. If I put it into skills, I'm sitting at better HP and 5/skill points per level.
At 1st-10th Rage adds +2/+3 to hit and damage which is plenty for me to be happy with DPR (+20/+15 to hit, 1d8+14/19-20 with a longsword, or 1d8+21 with Power Attack). At 11th level it upgrades to +3/+4.
In general I just feel more well rounded.
And again, I place more value on saving throws, uncanny dodge, and similar effects. I find they make a more well-rounded martial character. I'd rather play a character that's not invalidated by a simple spell. I'm willing to give up a little AC in exchange for improved tactical capability and resiliency.
I also don't play 20 PB. I play standard 15. I don't have time to build a 10th level barbarian from scratch (some of my online players are chomping at the bit for me to run a side-thing for them) but here.
15 PB: Str 18, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 7, Wis 13, Cha 7; +1 Str 4th, +1 Str 8th
Magic Items (62,000 gp)
How do you, other PsychoPathfinders, do? What do you do after an encounter? Besids stripping every enemy to their bones for loot.
I'll have you know, as a long-standing proponent of the beautiful and useful arts of necromancy, I would never just leave bones lying around.
My psionic-witch generally says a prayer for the fallen and eats some of them. Sometimes she animates the remains if they would be useful.
Would love to hear what everyone have come up with! Feel free to tell a story about how you and your group handle the aftermath of a fight!
If we're in the wild I'm usually fine with letting nature take its course. Burning the bodies might be wasteful. I guess if you were concerned with someone raising or them coming back as an angry undead but honestly, circle of life.
In civilized places, there are usually undertakers that help out with that sort of thing. However I will regularly assist with any sort of damages that have been caused in a scuffle if at all possible, either in the form of currency or personal assistance.
'Kay. I've said enough in this thread. you've gone back to "Barbs are fine becuz Wizards" again. I'm not going to argue in circles.
How do you come to that conclusion? I haven't said anything about wizards, other than Barbarians can do something to fight them without casting spells. Rangers and Paladins also do stuff to fight them but they cast spells.
I want beast totem and superstitious nerfed, nothing more nothing less. I'm not asking for nerfs on anything else, just those two features, which in my opinion stretch things just a little too much considering that other classes get nothing comparable.
Suffice to say I don't want those nerfed. Those are good abilities which allow the non-magical barbarian a leg up in a world that frankly pisses in her cornflakes on a daily basis. She is the deaf guy in a world where hearing is king. She is the blind guy in a world with pitfalls everywhere. Yet she still holds her own.
Superstition is good, but it's not that good. Paladins still have better saving throws (this is doubly so when bestow grace comes online) and they have tons of awesome immunities and spells to boot. Both Paladins and Rangers have spells to supplement their already formidable martial expertise. Barbarians have nothing except their rage powers which are supposed to make up for everything.
And spells are everything. That's why Barbarian is magic-lite done right. Barbarian actually manages to compete and adapt to a world of magic. She manages to be a warrior who without casting spells, buffing herself up to heck and back, or otherwise being anymore than a heroic badass manages to go toe to toe with big bad monsters and not get completely invalidated by spellcasters. Even stuff like wall of stone and wall of force do not invalidate her because Strength Surge and Spell Sunder allow him to do heroic-normal things like break walls and shout "By Crom!" and break the wizard's spell.
And Pounce is not overpowered. If anything it's a throwback to how strong martials were in 3.0 when your boots of speed allowed you to move up to your speed and full-attack. The only difference is pounce is easier to foil.
Alexandros Satorum wrote:
I like Barbarians because they begin stronger than Fighters and have more options. Rage Powers give you things that you can do, and even many of the ones from core are very nice. Clear Mind for example allows you a rerolled will save each rage, which is very nice when rage-cycling comes online (has a lot of synergy with superstition). I like No Escape even more than Step-Up but the two work really well together. Strength Surge is always useful and makes Barbarians the kings of CMB and CMD (has a lot of synergy with Spell Sunder). Unexpected Strike allows AoOs even when they wouldn't normally provoke, again a nice power. Mighty-Swing allows you to auto-confirm a critical hit when you need to, which is mighty nice! Fearless Rage is also really awesome.
Splat material gives more options for padding defenses and giving more support vs magic. Barbarians are magic-light done right.
The idea of nerfing other classes to match the fighter is for lack of a more eloquent term obscenely stupid. Not only would that basically ruin the classes that do work, but it would create way more of a workload for whomever was doing it for virtually no gain.
In core, the following classes work very well. Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Paladin, Ranger, Sorcerer, and Wizard. All of these characters bring stuff to a group that is worthwhile, fun, entertaining, and well rounded. Those that are specialists are masters of their specialization (such as Barbarians and Paladins).
Out of those core classes, Fighter, Monk, and Rogue stand out as being severely lacking.
The Fighter, Monk, and Rogue are the odd-men out. If you were to assign each class to a player, it would disrupt more players to break the rest of classes down than it would be to build the other ones up. Not only would it create needlessly complicated revisions and extra work but it would be a great irritation to the rest of the characters who actually are very functional.
And they are functional. I have games where players play martial characters all the time. My current campaign had a Barbarian and a Paladin in it. The Barbarian player later switched to a revised version of the Rogue class for a change in theme, but when he was around he did very well next to the Paladin and other characters in the group.
GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
I think you failed your sense motive check, either that or Sissyl failed her bluff check.
Well Rapunzel and her hubby are in Frozen. Theoretically the ship is the one in the Little Mermaid. And I think there were a few other "in jokes". It's a Disney tradition. One of my favorites is in Aladdin when the Sultan is stacking the toy animals. If you look closely, one of the animals isn't an animal at all.
It's the beast. :)
Didn't watch it, but all the kids are obsessed with this movie atm. I'll probably have to watch it eventually now with the youngin' but I really don't like the CGI stuff that's done now.
I do miss the oldschool 'scratchy' Disney animation. My favorite Disney movie is probably Sleeping Beauty as well (even if it bombed at the Box Office, Maleficent forever!). But the animation is really good in Frozen. Really, really good. It's beautiful and feels right for the movie. I feel like a lot of it wouldn't have been as good with the oldschool methods and that's saying something 'cause I'm a big animation fan.
I won't spoil it for you, but yeah, Bambie. Jeez, Bambie. That movie was traumatizing for me as a child too. :P
I swear I can't wait to get this movie on DVD. I cried like a baby when I saw it. XD
I think the ninja-assassin simply got caught up in deletions. I was fairly certain he didn't actually say anything bad about anyone else. I don't even think he quoted anyone else. If so... I certainly apologize.
Well my pro-peace, pro-love posts got swept up too, so don't feel bad. :)
SKR doesn't even know how stuff works sometimes. Were you around when he tried to explain how unarmed strikes work, or how flurry of blows worked?
It was both sad and hilarious. He literally suggested that you needed to cast magic fang on each limb of a monk if you wanted to flurry with your unarmed strikes.
tony gent wrote:
I've always been of the belief that an encounter doesn't necessarily mean a combat encounter. There are plenty of times that I include hazards and even creatures in the game and they aren't intended to even be obstacles for the party to overcome, but some of these make for some of the more hilarious stories.
For example, once during a game the party was walking along a trail through the woods heading towards their adventuring destination. While the party was doing so, they saw an ettin off in the distance foraging and hunting for food (he had a javalin in one hand and a club in the other). The ettin was a pretty good distance away and either hadn't noticed the party or didn't care to try and rob/kill them, which was good because the party was first level.
Enter the monk player. He sees the ettin, recognizes that it's a monster and that they have seen it. In his mind, this means that it must be time to fight it and that it wouldn't even be here unless he had a good chance of defeating it. Chaaaaaaarge!
*SPLAT* The Ettin swats the little monk as it attacks him, crushing him in a single blow. He then picked up the monk, tossed his lifeless body into his bag, and decided his hunting trip was over and he would pick up some mushrooms on the way home.
The rest of the party sat there staring at the sight for a moment.
P1: "Um, should we go after it?"
Kirth Gersen wrote:
I'm here for the real experience. I don't want someone to hold my hand. I don't want someone to cheapen what I've accomplished. I want to win because we did well. Not because the magic hand in the sky is moving us through the motions.
When I'm GMing, the same is true. I'm rooting for you (the player) the whole time. I'm hoping you do well. I want the good guys to win. But I will ****ing kill you. :P
Don't get me wrong. I'm just saying there really isn't much difference between consumables and any other magic items. You have to be the same level of competency with magic to make potions and oils as it does wondrous items.
I don't see what's wrong with being able to find someone who works magic into swords or shields or carpets if it's fine to walk into town and buy a potion that will make you grow to 12 ft. tall or fly around or be able to walk through a fire without getting hurt.
Though I guess we could play Dungeons and Drug-Addicts. It's not like you can't replace most common item effects with potions by upping the effective caster level. I mean, for 1,000 gp you can get a +5 deflection bonus to your AC for quite a while. 5,000 gp can get you a CL 20 greater dispel magic for 20 hours.
Generally I like to drop unique items into the game myself. These are usually items that have x/day effects or simply do something beyond a static effect. Generally if an item is worth questing for, it's going to be stand out from generic magic items in a noticeable way.
Eidolons are treated as summoned creatures, except that they are not sent back to their home plane until reduced to a number of negative hit points equal to or greater than their Constitution score.
Summon Eidolon wrote:
If you cast this spell while your eidolon is already on your plane, this spell has no effect. This spell allows you to summon your eidolon even if it has been returned to its home plane due to damage.
Money is only as valuable as what you can buy with it.
Continuing on this thought process, let's look at treasure and wealth for a moment...
The vast majority of things that wealth can get you is pretty useless to a wanderlust filled adventurer, or even just an adventurer in general. Most things that you would presumably spend large amounts of money on aren't going to be things that you can carry around, and in most campaigns where adventure is a viable means of playing the game there are usually large amounts of unclaimed / ungoverned land that you can explore and claim during your adventuring if you want to, so even things like being awarded lands and titles are of little more than a perk or honorific.
This is especially true as levels rise. By 10th level, you typical party of adventures don't need no stinkin' gold pieces to do things like create fortresses, towers, or even entire settlements. A wizard with wall of stone and animate dead can walk out into the wilderness and start a town on demand, producing some 50 ft. long 2 inch thick stone slabs/walls on demand, or 25 ft. 4 inch, etc. Anything you can't just make with wall of stone you can supervise your untrained undead workforce (each mindless undead has a +0 Craft modifier, but Craft says you can supervise and direct them appropriately) which means that you can work out the details of any of the fancy stuff you want to add and they can do most of the legwork.
So what do you want gold and stuff for? For buying and crafting magic items. The same reason everyone else wants lots of gold for. In a world with magic, magic is the commodity. It's just a fact. It cannot be otherwise. Those with magic are going to be in demand and magic is going to be wanted by everyone. People without magic want magic and people with magic want more magic. Mundane stuff is cheap. You want a herd of cattle? 1,000 gp buys you a herd of 100 cows outright.
Thing is, gold is pretty useless for bribes and stuff too. People don't need lots and lots of gold if there are no magic items for sale. For the same reason the party doesn't care about gold, most everyone else isn't going to care about it that much either unless they need to pay large quantities of workers for mundane tasks. So maybe if you're in a politics heavy game where you bribe a local lord for...wait, what are we bribing him for again? He has nothing that we want. The classically standard reason for adventuring is to collect treasure. That treasure is worthless save for buying magic items. If we have to bribe the local king to tell us where the +4 sword is, we're doing it wrong.
I noticed how he ignored every point you made also Tacticslion. Maybe he can come back and address the points instead of quoting you out of context. A mature discussion can't be too much to ask for.
It's a rare treat. Everytime I approach any sort of argument by actually respecting the other person and their argument enough to take the time to discuss each point for point, it generally just results in my own frustration as it's rare that anyone up here actually wants to discuss these things for any reason other than to look at their own text ('cause I swear to god, my pet hatred is people not bothering to read what they're arguing).
That said, it does make the quality of others really stand out. When people like you or Tacticslion post, it's like a light in the dark. :P
What I don't understand is the comparison to a character without gear. I thought the argument was that they wouldn't have the exact gear?
Because that was what was presented and thus what I ran with. The conversation went like this...
Chengar Qordath wrote:
Damien Magecraft wrote:
So I was hoping that Damien Magecraft could explain to me what he meant if A) can't have staple magic items, and B) don't need the casters to make up the loss. Since NPCs are just as capable of tactics as PCs are, I'm really excited to see what he's going to respond with, because I want to be wrong on this one.
My biggest problem with the summoner is actually their spells. Not sure who it was that designed the summoner but I will merely say that I am very sorry for their mistakes. The 6 level casting means nothing since they get tons of high level spells discounted to those lower levels anyway, most of which don't allow/need saving throw DCs (bards for example suffer from lower save DCs on their early-access spells, but summon monster VIII in a 6th level form is just pure power increase). They have a 3/4 BAB and d8 HD, armor proficiencies, and great buffing power and can share HP with their eidolon (and at 14th level you can't kill the summoner with HP damage without killing the eidolon first).
They are supposedly summoning specialists but they get most of the best stuff from every arcane school save for evocation and necromancy (and they even get some of the best necromancy spells like magic jar), some of which come earlier than available to the real specialists of those schools and consistently at discounted levels (which makes them even better). They even get mega powerhouse spells like magic jar, simulacrum, greater invisibility, greater heroism, overland flight and spell turning (using spell turning on your eidolon is cute). Also simulacrum + magic jar makes you a scary fellow, especially when your HD/BAB is pretty solid too boot.
Seriously, summoners WRECK things. And they wreck them hard. A competent player can make a summoner without an eidolon look too strong, but the eidolon allows them to be a one-man party, especially when you toss their access to wands and scrolls, affinity for item creation, and spell shenanigans (being able to pork out spells like dazing black tentacles, dazing wall of fire, dazing fire shield, or maximized summoner monster IV with a lesser metamagic rod is nasty).
They get their skill points + their eidolon's skill points, which allows them an incredibly versatile skill pool to draw from. Eidolons also have a cheap 1-point evolution that grants a +8 racial bonus on a skill to boot, which makes it really easy to buff skills to high values (you can choose 4 class skills to be class skills, plus Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Knowledge (planes) (Int), Perception (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), and Stealth (Dex)). With lesser evolution surge you can grant the bonus to the skill you need on demand without ever actually needing to even devote a few points to your eidolon's real evolution points.
They come with a formidable and expendable minion. An eidolon pushing daisies is barely a blip on the radar compared to the troubles of a PC dying, and they have super cheap and mega-effective ways to just recycling them back into the fray. At low levels a wand of lesser rejuvenate eidolon is more efficient than a wand of cure light wounds. Your eidolon die? Screw it, cast summon eidolon and your eidolon returns in the same battle full-powered with a +4 to Str and Con from Augment Summoning to boot. It can even be quickened with a lesser rod which means that your eidolon can bite the big one, then on your turn it immediately returns to the fray at full power + buffs and you still have a standard and move action left to full-attack, buff, or throw out more spells.
With Transmogrify you can swap the entire focus of your eidolon depending on the needs of your current adventure, or Purified Calling allowing you to fully resurrect your slain eidolon with a minute between dangers.
Summoners can fight as well as bards can sans Inspire Courage (but hey you have either a vicious eidolon or an army of summoned monsters), which is to say pretty well. In addition to their 3/4 BAB, they have great buffs like haste, greater heroism, and a wide variety of transmutation spells that can push their combat ability higher and higher. They can actually surpass bards in combat at higher levels when magic jar and simulacrum comes online and they start using proxy-bodies with exceptional ability scores (solar bodies are pretty nice as they have a powerful DR, +19 natural armor, a difficult to bypass Regeneration, and Str 28, Dex 20, and Con 30, while also being humanoid and more than capable of wearing magic items and casting spells). For extra oomph, the Arcane Strike feat allows them to pump an extra +1-5 damage onto all their attacks.
None of this even relies on any special builds or races (but can be made better). It's not even hard. You pick a few staple spells, stock up on some random scrolls and/or wands, grab some item creation feats, and let the facerolling commence.
You'll notice I haven't actually mentioned how strong an eidolon can legally be. Mostly focusing entirely on what the summoner itself can do with spells and its chassis.
Honestly I really wouldn't mind the summoner if the spell list was shaved hard and it turned into a 9-level casting class with a d6 and 1/2 BAB.
Damian Magecraft wrote:
Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not trying to suggest that numbers are everything. That's actually one of the greatest reasons why spellcasters are powerful, and why at 20th+ level bigger numbers generally don't result in a bigger threat (which was especially true in 3.5 core, but is also present in Pathfinder core as well).
However, the numbers do matter and they matter a lot. That's the whole reason warriors wear armor instead of prancing around in speedos. Especially when it comes down to enemies who are capable of the same quality of tactics as you are, it's important to have defensive capabilities that mitigate incoming pain.
Perhaps it is because I GM more than I play, but I frequently see the level of brutality that NPCs are capable of inflicting on parties who ARE well geared and DO use good tactics, so there's a part of me that is highly suspicious when I hear about parties overcoming dragons while being severely under-geared, unless the dragon is being dumb. :o
I won't pretend to know what the situation was with your dragon. I must have missed the details if they were posted before, but I can try to show you what I see from my perspective and you can show me where my vision needs a bit more focus.
Adult Black Dragon (CR 11)
In a normal game the dragon should be wary of getting near a martial character because they can hurt the dragon in melee and might be able to take the dragon's full attacks, which means that the dragon is generally forced to weigh his options and attempt guerrilla tactics to wear down the heroes. In this case however the dragon is mostly rewarded for curbstomping the party with its full attacks.
Starting stats 16, 14, 14, 7, 13, 7. Racial +2 into Strength bringing him to an 18 (because he's going to need as much strength as possible since hitting and dealing damage is going to be really hard for him to do).
At 10th level the Fighter has a +10 BAB. If he began his career with an 18 Strength and invested both of his stat bumps into Strength he has a +5 Strength. If he's fighting with his most favorite weapon and has invested in the weapon specialization / greater focus feats, he gets a +4 to hit, bringhimg him to a total of +19 (40%)/+14 (15%) to hit, with each hit with his favorite melee weapon dealing around 1d8+9 damage or (13.5 average, or roughly 1/12th the dragon's HP). Actually it would be much worse since the dragon has DR 5/magic, which means that his damage per hit drops to 1d8+4 or 8.5, so really only about 1/19th the dragon's HP. Since his to-hit chances are so low, his actual DPR is...
1st Attack = DPR 3.68
Without magic items, his armor class with full plate is 20 (10 + 9 armor + 2 dex + 2 heavy shield) = AC 23. With a tower shield his AC becomes 24 (he gets +2 more shield AC but his max Dex drops to +1 and isn't affected by armor training), but a tower shield would give him a -2 penalty to all attacks while he was using it which would bring his to-hit chances down to 30% and 5% respectively. Since the dragon has an unbuffed +21 to hit with his bite (a 95% chance to hit the Fighter) and a +15 with his other 5 attacks (65% to hit) the dragon's DPR vs the Fighter on a full-attack would look something like this:
Bite = 16.9575
Since with a 14 Constitution the Fighter will have about 79 HP, the fighter is very likely to be dead on the 2nd round that the dragon manages to full-attack him.
Meanwhile the Fighter's Reflex save sans magic support is +5. +7 with Lightning Reflexes. Against the dragon's DC 22 breath weapon, the fighter takes an average of 35.7 damage (half damage + 70% more damage) whenever of the dragon uses its breath weapon. So the Fighter is actually fairly likely to be dead if he fails 2 saves versus the breath weapon.
So in this scenario our Fighter is essentially worthless. At a distance he gets torn apart. At close range he gets torn apart. He can't keep up with the dragon's movement speeds, and the dragon is just as capable of fighting tactically as he is. The Dragon has access to pretty much anything that the Fighter does since you insisted that the mages aren't required to be buff bots for the fighter and can probably leverage it even better.
Note that none of this assumes the Fighter failed his save vs Frightful Presence (with Iron Will and Bravery he has a 50% chance of avoiding the Shaken condition which gives him a -2 to all attacks and saves, further running his numbers into the ground).
How I imagine this playing out...
And this is against the badly build black dragon in the bestiary whose feats and spell selection are pretty terrible. Even just swapping a few of its cantrips or first level spells around would make it even more of a threat (replacing dancing lights with ghost sound for example, and alarm with something like shield or chill touch or expeditious retreat would make the encounter even more nightmarish for an ungeared party).
So please, explain to me how superior tactics overcomes this dragon in a way that doesn't result in the spellcasters doing all the work.
Actually the definition of "wand" is not the way we think of them in D&D-circles, at least not entirely. It really does frequently refer to a staff of some sort, with the key element being that it's used by some sort of magician. Find a deck of tarrot cards and look at all the cards in the wands suit. They're all staffs. Also from Dictionary.com...
Kain Darkwind wrote:
Geez, Ashiel, you keep talking like this and I'm going to have to reassess your position as someone I generally disagree with.
Oh my! The sky is falling! :P
Now that you mention it though, I get the feeling that we - board people - often unintentionally take small things people say and inflate them to the point we think of those things as defining traits of that person. Or take their comments in extreme ways. It's something I try very hard to avoid doing because I am interested in logic and truth and it's very easy to obtain a perception bias - so I rail against that hard.
Still, I get the feeling that people on the boards have some really out-there ideas about how my games work, and I bet I can even explain why. For example...
1. In several threads I make logic-system arguments against things like forced alignments for Undead.
Except I'm pretty sure a lot of people end up with the following ideas.
1. All undead in his campaign are good.
I'm pretty sure there's tons more. Hell, I'm pretty sure LazarX could write a small book about the horrors that he expects to find in my games.
The funny thing about it though is my games for the most part tend to be pretty mild. We play 15 point buy, don't use hero points (too crazy powerful, but we do use action points that don't give bonuses but let you spend them to take an extra action on your turn), and I tend to stick to humanoid NPCs plus stuff from the core bestiary (occasionally I'll branch out but honestly there's a lot of variation just within core stuff and it cuts down on my prep work). I tend to build NPCs to be people first, and build campaigns around my PCs.
I'd actually be really interested in knowing what sort of conceptions they have about me or their theory of my games for my own curiosity. If anyone wants to share I'd love them to (I'm thick skinned so it won't bother me if it's far from rose-tinted). It would be interesting to know how I and as a result my games are imagined on these boards.
To be fair I'm one of the more avid pro-player GMs out there and even I have my limits. There are some campaigns where I just don't want to deal with having certain types of PCs. Also taking your argument to the logical conclusion sends up red flags in my mind, as it would seem that as long as you don't tell me what I can have as a GM in my campaign it would be totally fine for you to play a Pit Fiend or a Gelatinous Cube. >_>
Keep in mind that in my campaign setting I have over 20 playable races (including changelings and drider). I also thought refluffing the races/classes for the egyptian-themed game mentioned earlier in the thread was a great idea. In my current campaign one of the PCs is a vampire (using a significantly revised template for vampires that I use for my NPCs) tiefling wilder, a human paladin, a human sorceress, a *can't say because most of the PCs don't know in game and they may read this thread* multiclassed character, a human wizard, and a menagerie of party-tag-along NPCs that includes a goblin sorcerer, a human telepath, a human warrior/psion, a human vampire adept, and an orc barbarian/gunslinger/warrior.
That said, there are some players out there who just want to get the GM's goat. One such player who said he wanted to join one of my tabletop campaigns was presented with the character creation rules for my game, and a list of all the immediately accepted races and such, and he didn't even look at them. He opened up the monster manual and basically just started asking to play random monsters. He finally decided that he wanted to play a 3PP lizardfolk - but not lizardfolk - race that he found that came with a lot of fluffy stuff from a campaign that had nothing to do with mine and cited that as the reason he wanted to play one of them instead of any of the campaign races that he never looked at. (O.o)
Though thinking about it, to a great degree I don't understand why. I understand wanting to play what you want to play, but I don't understand what someone is getting out of it if their character has no meaningful relationships, background, history, or even place in the world. Especially if they're not getting some sort of mechanical advantage out of it.
For example, either of the two following scenarios would rub me the wrong way...
Player: "I want to play a half-giant!"
Player: "I want to a noble drow priestess of Lolth from Menzoberanzan,"
But again, don't get me wrong. If you're specifically looking for a fish out of water experience then that might be A-OK. I once had a game where my brother played a soldier from the real world who through a planar anomaly was transported to the campaign world. His entire shtick was that he was not in Kansas anymore Toto. He had clothing, weapons, tools, and so forth that didn't fit in the world, and had never seen any magic before in his life. The entirety of his metaplot revolved around him not fitting in the world.
I think I'm rambling now... *wanders off*
For a similar example of why anchoring tons of fluff to mechanics is not a good thing, and why not is, let's look at magic for a moment.
Arcane Magic usually wants you to do the following...
Vocal means you must vocalize something to make the magic work.
With these rules you can create drastically different flavors and feels for your various spellcasters in your games. For example, all of the following are 100% legit in a standard Pathfinder game and with good reason.
Elf Wizard: Speaking in draconic and paints a glowing sigil of a flame in the air as he casts "Oh ancient spirits of fire and destruction, heed my call, lend me your breath of destruction!" and casts fireball.
Human Wizard: Recites a mystic incantation that sounds like gibberish and waves his hand in strange patterns "Veklo akto heto maro uto glayo combusto!" and casts fireball.
Dwarf Wizard: Chants a battle hymn as he forms the rune of fire with his hand "By the fires of the great forge of the Balin, the mountain came down, and through the fires of the mountain his foes burned to the ground!" and he casts fireball.
Goblin Wizard: Swings his arm manically as if panicking "BURN! BURN! BURN! G*%!%@NIT BUUUUUUUUUUUURN!" and casts fireball and roasts a few of his buddies too.
I know I sure don't. My campaign is ever evolving from a primordial ooze that was a few ideas and concepts that have slowly grown into a spreading fungus that seems to attract the unwary...
Honestly that fact has tickled me pink and made me so happy. However climbing the mountain of that 120,000 gp creation cost is the next hurdle, but one of these days Alice, one of these days... :P
N. Jolly wrote:
As a side note, using treasures that we find to craft magic items directly is something that I and some other members of our group do regularly. Crafting magic items requires X gp worth of materials but there are no explanations as to what those materials are or should be, so we generally take advantage of that for fun.
For example, if I find a circlet studded with rubies I might toss that into the proverbial mixing pot and magic up the circlet since it's now a part of the materials I'm crafting from. In our Reign of Winter game my psionic witch commonly makes magic items for the party and when doing so it usually involves breaking down, modifying, or building from stuff we found in the game. She's currently wearing a robe that she made out of quickrunner shirts that the party looted. She carries a cauldron that she gave the ability to create a brew that when drank changes your shape into something you envision for an hour (with enough inside for five doses). The cauldron was looted from an encounter in an earlier adventure and did something entirely different.
We find lots of gemstones? When you ask my witch to make you a +1 flaming weapon, expect to haft or blade to be studded with gems forming magical circuits. In other campaigns my high Int crafters often do things like cut gems or make the jewelry that will be the basis of their crafting (using the Craft skill to triple the value of raw trade goods before using them as components for my item creation).
Hell in some cases I've melted down coins to use as a material in crafting. Yeah, I melted down a pound of platinum to make that shiny new +1 bracer of armor for you. >_>
Sometimes it might even be potluck (which is fun as it can add to the sort of hedgewizard feel) where random stuff goes into the mix to be enhanced. When making a +3 cloak of resistance and we throw in the +1 sword we found, a bag of gems, a troll skull, and few magic scrolls, and a horse blanket, expect the product that comes out of that to be a rather spectacular and personalized +3 cloak of resistance...
@Rynjin: does the +5 to craft DC for "missing a prerequisite" also apply to Caster Level? I admit I am much more familiar with item crafting procedure in 3.5e than in Pathfinder. If a PF crafter can ignore minimum caster level by taking a +5 hit to the DC then yes, it seems like relatively low level crafters can make a lot more items. Doesn't feel right to me mind you.
For me it's a breath of fresh air. Clean. Pure. Verisimilitude producing air.
I freaking hated that in 3.x you had to meet X caster level to create a magic item because it forced way too much onto how I wanted to theme my worlds. Don't get me wrong, I hated pre-3E item creation infinitely more ("To scribe a magic spell scroll, you need the ink of a kraken" = wtf!? There would be no low-level scrolls ever you morons!).
But it basically meant that you had to have lots of high level spellcasters floating around just to justify items that weren't even very noteworthy. A +1 flaming weapon required a 10th level spellcaster to make, and that spellcaster had to know either flame blade, flame strike, or fireball which means adepts couldn't have made it either.
This reared its ugly head most visibly in the Eberron campaign setting where the narrative is designed around the idea that the highest level people in the campaign at the beginning of the game are around 10-12th level, and has an industry that has lots of elemental-binding magics to make things like airships and magic-trains. Except when you look in the books it's quite jarring because nobody can freaking make any of them. >_>
Then Paizo comes along and throws me a bone! Behold, item creation rules where your skill in creating items is the most important thing. Where I can have a campaign not flooded with demigod-powered NPCs to keep the game flowing well. Where it's entirely possible that you meet a skilled magical item artisan and it's a relatively normal woman with a talking raven that happens to be really good at working magic into items, even if she's not good at making things implode by snapping her fingers. :o
It also gives me something to have all the adepts in my worlds do. As an NPC class, I tend to have a spread of adepts similar to my spread of warriors and experts. You can find some in most settlements because I like magic in my settings. I want it to be a part of the world. I like that people know that magic is a thing instead of reacting like dark age peasants and freak out everytime a wizard utters a cantrip.
The vast majority of people in my campaigns are fairly low level, with high HD people standing out amongst them as quite formidable, but even those usually have more NPC levels than not so their CRs aren't individually very high.
Not in Pathfinder. You can't even find 1st level potions in a thorpe. Cantrip/Orisons sure, but not 1st level ones.
K177Y C47 wrote:
Well all healing spells were Necromancy until 3.0 when they changed healing spells it to Conjuration because __________.
Simon Legrande wrote:
Agreed. This is one of the reasons I'm not particularly fond of the Fighter's Weapon Training. >_>
Well the last two sound fine. The first two might be strangers in a strange land and would be a great excuse to display/talk about/explore things that would be common knowledge to anyone who lived in the region their whole lives. I'm currently running a periodic campaign on the side of my normal campaign for some other friends of mine that's set in a pseudo-egyptian place. They've been dealing with traveling through deserts, exploring ancient pyramids, getting the crap kicked out of them by angry jackal-faced mummies (mummy rot sucks by the way), and more.
The party in that campaign consists of a succubus-themed tiefling psion, a planetouched elementalist psion, and the squishiest goblin wizard I've ever seen (he's like 8th level with like 12 HP). So far it's been highly amusing with them learning about the places they're exploring. I'm kind of concerned for them though since there's an encounter I'm pretty sure they can do nothing against (I don't think they have any "SR: No" effects and that could be bad).
Speaking of Magic Item Availability...
More advanced items do exist in my campaigns, but you are generally going to have to either craft, quest for, or loot them. For example, you might be able to find a particularly awesome awesome suit of armor in a dragon's horde, or you might have to pry that +1 life-drinker out of a marilith's cold dead fingers. Alternatively you might take some downtime from your adventure and craft your own magic items (I encourage people to not only craft their own but to give them names and such, and I'll occasionally use said items in the narratives of later campaigns or PCs may develop reputations for creating wonderful items).