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Ashiel's page

9,071 posts (9,074 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.

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

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@ Nathanael

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

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

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

Oh and...

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AndIMustMask wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Tacticslion wrote:

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

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

Responded in other thread. :)

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

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

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

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

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Tacticslion wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

I lol'd so hard. :P

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Responding to from here.

LazarX wrote:
That's considerably balanced by the fact that psions are the ultimate stealth armored caster. They have no components to their spells, can cast in armor if willing to make the feat investment, and aren't stopped by silence.

Truth be told, I have actually very rarely seen silence actually matter since the spell allows a Will save to negate its affecting a creature and is only possessed by bards and clerics in core, who are both more MAD than most other casters (bards and clerics both have far less incentive to have a really high key casting stat than most arcanists).

I find silence more frequently used as a utility spell than a combat spell for that very reason. Preventing noise and stuff. Even when you make silencing traps or areas, magic item effects with silence (such as traps/magic rooms) only have a DC 14 (unless you're using heighten which is prohibitively expensive to do regularly (especially if, like me, you actually try to keep the resources of antagonists to a reasonable level as opposed to pretending non-PCs have access to infinite funding from the plane of money).

Most of my psionicists don't really wear armor either. I did have one that did once (didn't even take the proficiency feats for it) because she was diguising herself as a warrior (literally playing against the mage vs warrior trope). She carried a pole-arm for looks (which she likewise lacked proficiency in). It was funny, but made her really weaker than she needed to be (lots of check penalties and it effectively barred her from using any powers that required attack rolls, as even a touch attack is useless when you're adding the check penalties from heavy armor and/or a shield to your roll).

In general, I prefer inertial armor which is where a lot of my power points go. See, like Ssalarn points out, a lot of energy is invested into surviving. That means stuff like inertial armor, force screen, specified energy adaptation, concealing amorpha, and stuff like that. Stuff that is pretty critical for squishy d6 HD classes and costs a lot of PP to keep relevant.

Even still, I usually end up investing in armors anyway because of staple magic effects. Of course, I'm not complaining about it because I do the same with my wizards. Never leave home without your mithral buckler and heavy fortitifaction wizard armors, you know. ;)

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Nathanael Love wrote:

The Psion can nova for 24 rounds a day-- we already went over this, how many times have you gotten through more than 24 rounds of combat in a single day in game?

Particularly when novaing ends combats quicker.

1. As a wizard I can "nova" OUT OF COMBAT to win IN COMBAT (say hello to my simulacrum solars, if you kill me I resurrect from my clone, these are the magic items I made in my timeless demiplane, and did I mention that I have permanent arcane sight up so I know whether or not I want to auto-dispel everything with disjunction or if I just want to drop a quickened dispel magic with my lesser rod and strip you of your highest level buff).

2. A wizard can nova for 24 rounds of combat...with most of it in a single round. I demonstrated this waaaay back in the day (I actually used an NPC-wealth sorcerer to show how freaking terrifying an arcane caster going nova is, and it also involved plenty of 3rd-6th level spells including stinking cloud).

Time stop (averages 3 rounds)->spam 6th-7th level spells->Time stop->spam 6th-7th level spells->spam 6th-7th level spells->Time stop->spam...

You can get 6-20 (average 12) rounds worth of actions on your turn at 17th level, dropping spells like black tentacles, cloudkill, stinking cloud, delayed blast fireballs, summoning spells, wall spells, etc. When the "dust settles" all of a sudden your enemies find themselves making tons of saving throws, being unable to move, and surrounded by enemies.


The Psion can nova for 24 rounds a day-- we already went over this, how many times have you gotten through more than 24 rounds of combat in a single day in game?

Particularly when novaing ends combats quicker.

Combats in my game seem to average about 10 rounds per combat. If I run multiple combats in a given adventure, it's trivial to exceed 24 rounds / day.

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Ashiel wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
Heroism isn't a big group buff. It affects one target and its a +2. That's virtually meaningless when fighting creatures with 40 AC.

This is why you're so hard to talk to. You don't understand how this game works at all. A +2 bonus is just as meaningful at level 100 as it is at level 1 because it's +10% on the RNG (d20). The way math scales in this game, every +1 to hit is offset by a +1 to AC.

Heroism is a staple buff as soon as it comes online because it's freaking amazing. Greater heroism even moreso, but it's balanced by the fact it's got a muuuuch shorter duration.

I'll put it another, simpler way, so that there is no confusion.

If you have a 50% chance to hit the orc at 1st level, +2 more makes it 60%. If you have a 50% chance to hit the pit fiend at 17th level, +2 more makes it 60%.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, heroism isn't a "group buff" but it lasts a long time and uses low-level spell slots, which means it's very efficient to cast on everyone in the party early on (similar to greater magic weapon).

Being able to get the same or better results for progressively less and less of your overall resources is an edge that core casters have been dangling over the heads of psionicists for years.

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Nathanael Love wrote:
Heroism isn't a big group buff. It affects one target and its a +2. That's virtually meaningless when fighting creatures with 40 AC.

This is why you're so hard to talk to. You don't understand how this game works at all. A +2 bonus is just as meaningful at level 100 as it is at level 1 because it's +10% on the RNG (d20). The way math scales in this game, every +1 to hit is offset by a +1 to AC.

Heroism is a staple buff as soon as it comes online because it's freaking amazing. Greater heroism even moreso, but it's balanced by the fact it's got a muuuuch shorter duration.

I'll put it another, simpler way, so that there is no confusion.

If you have a 50% chance to hit the orc at 1st level, +2 more makes it 60%. If you have a 50% chance to hit the pit fiend at 17th level, +2 more makes it 60%.

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Nathanael Love wrote:

Its a simple question-- is a system like this in which an Arcane caster can trade in all his low level spells for high level spells balanced?

Everything else you went into there is an excuse for what is at its hear a broken system.

This would probably be true if it were a direct conversion, insofar as 9 1st level spells = 1 9th level spell, but that's not how it works. In truth, every effective +1 level costs 2 additional PP, and psionics doesn't benefit from the "free scaling" of core casting.

In core, at 1st level your wizard's magic missile deals 1d4+1 damage and accounts for a 1st level spell slot. At 9th level it deals 5d4+5 with the same 1st level spell slot, which is now a far lower overall resource expenditure. Just because you leveled up, it has grown to 500% its normal power.

Psionics? Not so much. A 1st level power costs 1 PP. But it never gets any better unless you spend more on it. Every power level above it costs 2 points more, which means to equate a 1st level power to a 9th level power, you would need to expend 17 1st level powers worth of power points. That's a pretty cruddy conversion rate.

Likewise, without free scaling, you are forced to use powers at a higher "level" to keep things relevant. That wizard can toss around 5d6-10d6 fireballs with the same 3rd level spells slots. The psion has to spend 5 PP (3rd level) for 5d6, 7 PP (4th level) for 7d6, 9 PP (5th level) for 9d6, and so on.

Then there's also the fact that pound for pound, psionic powers are weaker or require more than spells of similar power. A lot of iconic spell-like effects such as charms, summoning, and so forth require you to either be of a particular psionic specialization or you have to expend feats to learn them. This would be comparable to a wizard having to pick a particular school of magic and then having to spend a feat any time he wanted to pick up a really nice spell from a different school of magic (IE - if you want animate dead but you're not a Necromancer wizard, you gotta burn a feat and you can't learn it until you could cast a spell 1 level higher than it to boot).

When there is a spell-to-power analog, such as with the charm line of spells vs the empathic connection power, the spells tend to get freebies. For example, charm monster is a 3rd level spell that lasts 1 day/level and affects any living creature. Meanwhile a psionic character has to spend 5 PP to charm any living creature for 1 hour / level, or spend 5 PP to charm a humanoid for 1 day/level. If they want to charm any living creature for 1 day / level, they have to spend 9 PP which is the equivalent of a 5th level power to emulate what the Wizard does with a 3rd level spell for free.

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In a fairly recent campaign that's currently on hiatus, I had a Neutral with good tendencies character who worshipped Urgathoa. The character was a fledgling vampire from ancient Ustalav who was "killed" during the crusades against Tar Baphon and left impaled on a pike. After the pike eventually wasted away, she woke up in a new age.

She is a faux-noblewoman who dislikes how far Ustalav has sunk, and has interest in discovering more about the world after such a long slumber. Her homages to Urgathoa include lavish feasts and/or indulging in things that make you happy. As an example, after happening upon a massacred hamlet, she insisted on feasting to honor the dead.

She really dislikes Pharasma and believes people should be able to make their own decisions. She is mildly racist/classist in that she basically has a noble/commoner view of vampires/non-vampires, but it gets demonstrated in a sense of chivalry insofar as she considers certain activities beneath her and found it offensive when she found a dhampir being mournful of their heritage. She insisted that if the dhampir must judge value from her heritage to find value in it, not without it.

She insisted that the dhampir embrace her desire to feed and to do it "the right way", and would secretly take the dhampir out to feed when her moral guardians who were appalled by her "affliction" weren't paying attention; insisting on teaching her how to be a "lady".

Religion and such is a funny thing. How you approach almost anything will ultimately determine the true morality of it. In D&D, morality is simple and sweet. If you're not hurting, oppressing, or killing people, you're not doing evil. Given how broad Urgathoa's themes are, it's very easy to have neutral or even good followers for her.

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Third Mind reminds me that I haven't seen many GMs who make hostile animals run away when people are using fire, or make animals less likely to attack someone holding a weapon, etc.

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Wrath wrote:

Even better, it's remained civil.


What wonders we can accomplish when nobody is trolling anyone. :P

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K177Y C47 wrote:
Scavion wrote:
K177Y C47 wrote:
Well the problem lies in that, despite the fact that combat takes places in turns, it is all actually going on at rouchly the same 6 second time span. So, lets say the fighter wins initiative (he rolled a 20 or something) and he does the "closes his eyes and attacks" thing. Despite the fact that everything is kind of happening in roughly the same time span, he some how had his eyes closed, full attacked, and had his eyes open fast enough to still react to everything around him. The fact that he is suffering no penalties at all for effectively being blind for most of that 6 second time span is kind of weird.

Poor Fighters man. All that martial training and they're not even quick enough to open and close their eyes after swinging their sword.

I find the whole "Roughly the same 6 seconds" abstraction to be idiotic. If the caster is technically casting a spell in the same 6 seconds in the round where I just hit him, shouldn't that disrupt his spell? Since combat is just an abstraction and we're all acting at the same time and using up the same 6 seconds of which he spent casting a spell and I spent hitting him.

Even a gamist point of view where everyone pointedly acts one after another is better than that.

But see, this then creates the feeling that combat is looking like a final fanasty game, everyone just kinda standing aroudn until it is there turn... and that just does not feel right xD

That's why we have readied and immediate actions.

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Bob_Loblaw wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Again, this is just tactics 101. Ever play Warcraft III?

This isn't Warcraft. It's PPathfinder. In Pathfinder each creature has a desire to live. They will act like living beings rather than tactical simulations.

As someone who has actually studied and trained combat troops on tactics and strategies I can assure you that there is not a single best move option. Each situation is different.

If you only see Pathfinder as a tactical simulator then you could be missing out on some of the best parts of the game. I prefer to have a wide variety of situations to deal with. This is especially true with combat.

Hey Bob, long time no see. ^_^

This isn't Warcraft. It's PPathfinder. In Pathfinder each creature has a desire to live. They will act like living beings rather than tactical simulations.

Which is why you attack the threat in whatever situation it is. In most situations that is going to be the wizard/medusa/rakshasa/whatever. The reason is because those are the threats that are going to weigh heavily on your entire group, risk putting you down quickly, or are going to function as power multipliers for the rest of the group.

The threat in this case could be a bard. Do you stand there duking it out toe to toe with the martial, or do you take the AoO and go for the bard that's buffing the heck out of him/her?

In Warcraft, do you stand and duke it out with the melee, or do you go after the healers (who are competent in WoW) and ranged sabatours / damagers? Thing is, martials are good at killing if you give them the full-attack, but a single AoO isn't nearly so bad.

Nicos still never said how dumb someone has to be before he thinks it'd be in character to take an AoO from some undead beastie to strike at a nearby medusa, because some people just want to dodge the real issue.

The real issue being, yes, it's perfectly natural to "geek the mage". If I had to choose what was the real threat on a battlefield: the guy with the sword, or the guy who flings poo-turned-napalm, I'm going after the napalm guy. Will that always be an option? No. If it is an option, however, it's probably a smart decision.

A single AoO or even AoO->move+1 hit will never be as dangerous as the standard action (or even non-action) of a specialized threat (IE - a spellcaster's ability to change combat dramatically, or a medusa's gaze, etc). The system just isn't built around single powerful attacks, so AoOs get weeny fast, and the people who are going to be rushing past other martials to gnab the wizard or medusa in the back are going to be front-liners themselves, which means lots of AC and HP, to two main deterrants to AoOs (seriously, AC is not that difficult to get up).

If you only see Pathfinder as a tactical simulator then you could be missing out on some of the best parts of the game. I prefer to have a wide variety of situations to deal with. This is especially true with combat.

1. Talking about a tactical aspect of a tactical game does not equate with seeing the game as a whole as a tactical simulator, anymore so than learning good tactics in a classic final fantasy game turns those games into Chess.

2. Combat is very varied in d20, especially with Pathfinder. The sheer quantity of enemies and such that you have to potentially deal with, combined with the near infinite combinations, combined with the infinite different terrains and/or environments that you could have to deal with, finally collecting with the random number generation of the dice and turn to turn decisions means no combat will ever be exactly the same. However, it is indeed possible to make informed decisions, and again, I maintain that if you have to choose between "risk an AoO try to murder the medusa/mage/multiplier/AoE-bomber and become a lawn ornament/get turned into a toad/watch their monster grow/get devastated with AoE damage and/or chip damage" then that better be some really big fuzzy monster to make you think twice about that (the other alternative is get the heck out of dodge, or find some other way to ignore the fuzzy monster while striking at the real threat).

I'm rather partial to ranged weapons for these sorts of things of course.

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Nicos wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Ok, so the caster is using heavy tactics like the horribly broken dazing metamagic. I do wonder how much smart does a random monster have to be to eat that Dazing assault AoO.

Slow, Black Tentacles, Cloudkill, Haste (making the meatshields into better meatshields), Sirroco (getting knocked on your ass while getting railed), normal fireball (oh look, most meatshields have bad Reflex saves) so you take damage while taking damage ('cause the brutes are going to be attacking you anyway, so why not let the artillery blast you too while we're at it), Summon Monster X, etc.

Standard spellcaster tactics, not sure how they justify getting crushed in the proccess of targeting the caster. Few conditiosn are strongert than "dead".

Mostly because I just don't believe you when you act like an AoO is going to be the end of the world. Unless your foe is so woefully beneath you, or you're at the 1st level rocket-tag stage then most enemies are going to have way too many HPs.

Why? Because as it has been pointed out hundreds if not thousands of times before, a warrior is strongest at 1st level when a SINGLE HIT has a good chance of instant-killing any foe that you face. However, SINGLE HIT gets weak...FAST.

Your average monster increases their HP by 4.5 per HD that they gain, not even counting Constitution modifiers (which are usually pretty good). Your damage will never increase that fast. Ever.

1st level: your greatsword deals 2d6+6 damage, your enemy has 4.5 Hp.
2nd level: your greatsword deals 2d6+6 damage, your enemy has 9 Hp.
3rd level: your greatsword deals 2d6+6 damage, your enemy has 13.5 HP
4th level: your greatsword deals 2d6+9 damage, your enemy has 18 HP.
5th level: your greatsword deals 2d6+9 damage, your enemy has 22.5 HP.
6th level: your greatsword deals 2d6+10 damage, your enemy has 27 HP.
7th level: your greatsword deals 2d6+10 damage, your enemy has 31.5 HP.

Let's tack a +3 Con modifier onto them (your Str mod-1). Suddenly we're looking at...

1st level: your greatsword deals 2d6+6 damage, your enemy has 7.5 Hp.
2nd level: your greatsword deals 2d6+6 damage, your enemy has 15 Hp.
3rd level: your greatsword deals 2d6+6 damage, your enemy has 22.5 HP
4th level: your greatsword deals 2d6+9 damage, your enemy has 30 HP.
5th level: your greatsword deals 2d6+9 damage, your enemy has 37.5 HP.
6th level: your greatsword deals 2d6+10 damage, your enemy has 45 HP.
7th level: your greatsword deals 2d6+10 damage, your enemy has 52.5 HP.

Every level means that your AoO damage on a successful hit is a smaller and smaller % of their overall health.

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I'm just wondering how stupid I, as a person, need to be before I can say "Hey, guys, I'm going to go past the *insert meat shield* and put that *insert dangerous caster thingy* on the defensive; cover me!"

I mean, the meatshield is going to be attacking me anyway, right? So do I want him to be attacking me while I'm sitting nice and pretty waiting for my first and second course of dazing fireball or do I want to try to at least try to survive?

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Squiggit wrote:
Not the best example though, zerglings are ultimately mindless and designed to be fodder. A bandit or orc or goblin or kobold or animal is going to be much more self preservation oriented than that.

They were shown in SCII to not be mindless.

Nicos wrote:
When youa re the general that do not risk his life. For the one that will die targeting the spellcaster it is not smart movement.

You're missing the point. The point is about eliminating a threat. Real soldiers do it all the time. All it takes is the following:

"We either risk it and take that *insert thing that will certainly kill you* out, or we don't and we will certainly die,"

Replace *thing that will certainly kill you* with "artillery tank", "wizard", or "medusa" or whatever you want.

Here's a question. How incredibly stupid do you have to be before you decide taking some AoOs from some undead are worth it to plant an axe in a medusa that's on the back-lines but within petrifying range of you and your party? If that medusa would be party-enemy #1 for you, then you better freaking believe it works both ways.

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Well there's nothing in flame blade to suggest that it deals less damage if cast by a smaller creature, so I see nothing to suggest that it deals more when cast by a larger creature.

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Ascalaphus wrote:

This strategy sounds like the monsters don't actually care if they survive, just as long as Team Monster gets to kill some PCs. They'll gladly charge through the gauntlet of AoO-ing martials just on the off chance they survive to reach the wizard at the rear. Most of them die in the process.

Meanwhile, the GM piously claims that the monsters are just doing what's smart. That's not true though; they're doing what's good for the boss of the monsters (who has more sacrificial minions available), not what's good for the individual monsters.

It's about as dumb as breaking through infantry to kill the artillery in the back. A tactic that is actually not dumb at all if you can handle it. If you're not artillery, then surviving the punch-through is probably something you're more capable of doing.

I mean, it's not really any different than playing Starcraft and sending zerglings PAST some space marines to murder an artillery tank. Sure they'll take a hit, but it's a hell of a lot better than watching ALL of your troops turn to mush.

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LazarX wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
I've been GMing d20 since 2000. Nova-ing is something that has existed pre-3E and pre-psionics. It's basically when someone decides "Okay, all gloves are off, I don't care what comes later, it's all or nothing". Mages do it just fine, if not better, especially because of free-scaling, metamagic rods, and ease of applying metamagic to multiple spells.
I've been GMing since the 80's Psionics have been THE Nova masters thanks to feats like OverChannel.

If you claim to have been GMing the d20 system since the 80s, you're a liar, so what's your point? :P

Overchannel deals 1d8 damage to you for a +1 caster level, at 8th level it deals 3d8 for a +2 caster level, and at 15th level it deals 5d8 damage for a +3 caster level. So you get to eat between 5-40 damage (average 22.5) if you want +3 to your caster level and the option to spend more PP to try to augment. It also does not stack with a wilder's wild surge class feature. It's a valid tactic, but what are the major advantages of doing so?

Well if you're trying to deal damage, you could get up to +3d6 damage, +1 to your saving throw DC, and +3 to your spell resistance. For some powers you might get +1 to the number of targets you could affect, or you might get another +1 bonus to your AC or something, etc. If you're doing psionic summoning, you can get a single monster that's in the next weight class.

Even at 15th+ level, around 22.5 damage inflicted to yourself is nothing to sneeze at. Especially when a psion's base-HP at 15th level is only 55 Hp (max 6 at 1st level, +3.5 * 14). Even with a +8 Constitution, you're blowing roughly 1/8th of your HP whenever you decide to overchannel.

Especially since pound for pound, psionic powers are weaker than core spells and you have to augment them to catch up to what spells do normally (and even then you probably won't).

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MMCJawa wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Squirrel_Dude wrote:
I have to admit, if it's just more vancian casting, I'm going to have a hard time getting excited for it.

Well, what do you mean by "Vancian"? Spontaneous spellcasters arent Vancian. Nor are the Hex of Witches, nor cantrips, nor Wordcasters, nor Ki powers. Plenty of non-Vancian now.

The Warlock was non-Vancian also, as was BoNS, and to a large extent 4th edition (well, except for Daily abilities).

I doubt if all six new classes will use the true Vancian system (mostly) by Wizards .

If what you want is a points system, that's different than saying "non-Vancian".

I really hate spell points or any power point system. Every one I have seen is subject to abuse, especially Nova-ing. Nova-ing spellcasters and "one encounter day" are a major part of what some find as a "caster/martial disparity".

I dont get why everyone thinks that Psionics Must be Power points, rather than some other system.

if it's power points you want, then why do say you want Psionics? Psionics are a particular form of supernatural ability coming from mental force. You can have Psionics without PP, and PP without Psionics. 4th Ed had Psionics without PP (altho there was a sorta pt system involved).

If you talk about Psionics in relation to DnD, at least if you talk about it post 3rd edition, people will automatically assume you mean a power point system. Even Paizo recognizes that, hence psychic magic and not Psionics

As for powerpoints, I don't actually think it is overpowered in comparison to more traditional spellcasting, at least as implemented by DSP. Numerous threads on that subject on this site There are restrictions on how you use your power points, and Nova-ing si something easy to address in play.

Personally looking forward to seeing Occult Adventures, and glad it's going in a different design direction than 3.5 Psionics. We already have the latter in Dreamscarred Press, and I want to see something new.

I think it's funny that the dev team in the video talks about psionics and nova'ing.

I've been GMing d20 since 2000. Nova-ing is something that has existed pre-3E and pre-psionics. It's basically when someone decides "Okay, all gloves are off, I don't care what comes later, it's all or nothing". Mages do it just fine, if not better, especially because of free-scaling, metamagic rods, and ease of applying metamagic to multiple spells.

A wizard in Pathfinder can nova like a beast. Especially if you have an arcane bonded object (shoulder familiar w/UMD works too but differently). With the way free-scaling works, most spells are competent up to two weight-classes above them, and lesser wizard resources get more powerful.

A 7th level wizard that spends 5 rounds of combat throwing out black tentacles, solid fog, fear, and then popping arcane bond for another 4th level or lower spell of their choice, and then throwing a 3rd level spell that is free-scaling to 7d6 AoE, or a stinking cloud or something, is just as much nova as anything psionics can push out, and this wizard isn't even trying. >_>

Or how the dev team doesn't like a system of magic that requires you to learn a new ruleset.


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Ross Byers wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
What god you worship has no direct control over either of those things.

You're reversing cause and effect. If you are altruistic, respect the dignity of others, and protect innocent life, you should have no interest in worshipping an Evil deity.

A paladin living in Westcrown or Egorian might attend services at the Asmodean church. He might even consider Asmodeus a 'lesser evil' than other Evil gods like Urgathoa or Rovagug, since he can at least have an interest in Law. But that doesn't mean he thinks Asmodeus is worth venerating, or that the Church of Asmodeus is spreading a proper way to live.

But people do so all the time. There are a lot of people who are spiritual, and religious, but ignore the aspects of their religion that they don't like or don't agree with (usually for good reasons). For better or worse, that's how religion works. On the downside it creates splinter-sects and conflict between the faithful, on the upside, it discourages stagnation and leads to new ideas and hopefully a better society.

Changing the world starts at home.

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DominusMegadeus wrote:
Because evil-god paladins is the stupidest idea I've ever heard in my life, and I can't believe this topic is still going.

Take your time and use your words. :P

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This is of interest to me because it sounds like the sort of thing that I, or someone I know, might be interested in exploring in the future; and because this has far-reaching implications for all characters not just Paladins.

As I mentioned before, religion is something I take into account for most of my characters, even when religion isn't something that is connected to their class features (such as with the aforementioned witch-y character who would implore Gyronna to look upon the badguys, or stay her gaze from those she wished unharmed; and she was raised to be devoted to Gyronna by her aunt who was a very spiteful witch; but the character herself embraced Gyronna in the most positive ways possible, and clung to her as a patron of the fallen and punishment for transgressions).

It's nonsensically limiting in a multitude of ways, and quite immersion breaking. Especially with the line of reasoning used by JJ earlier in the thread where the more devoted you are to a deity the more lawful you are, and the more devoted to only certain aspects of that deity makes you chaotic; as that pretty much ruins gods for everyone, just to try to crush odd corner cases like Paladins who happen to empathize with *insert evil deity* or consider them their god.

And what exactly does that entail, exactly? Who is it hurting? It has no mechanical repercussions. Most classes, including Paladins, don't get any special features for having particular gods. What are you losing with the ability to have a Paladin who favors Calistria who is heavily vested in the punishing wrongdoers aspects of Paladinhood and happens to be promiscuous in addition to being a great Paladin? What are you losing to have a Paladin who favors Asmodeus for his allowing mortals free will, or sealing away the greatest of evils, or for being a pinnacle of societal organization and the consistency and security that it brings?

Having the occasional oddball doesn't bring the world crashing down, but it does give character options to explore in what would be an otherwise dull and regurgitated set of themes.

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Nocte ex Mortis wrote:

Full adherence to a Chaotic God would imply that you're also living up to whatever part of their credo makes them Chaotic. I'm uh, not really seeing an issue here. This is a literary attempt to make a mountain out of a molehill. Paladins cannot follow Evil or Chaotic gods, without shortly becoming former Paladins.

Clerics are... significantly less restricted, in that they can be any alignment that's within one step of their deity or ideal.

Edit: Honestly, this has never not been the case since the beginning of 3E, with the noted exception of Sune Firehair being able to have Paladins in the Forgotten Realms setting. Which, as many people pointed out back then, was dumb.

Ah, but the thing is, according to JJ, their full adherence would be lawful, even if they were being chaotic; which would make any sort of chaotic character impossible as according to JJ it's not even a little lawful/chaotic, but enough to bring about full-blown alignment shift.

I mean, a Paladin who mostly worshipped an evil deity might be being a bit chaotic for being faithful and following the portions of the religion he most identified with, but would be full blown mega-lawful for being a Paladin and following their code above all else and such.

If it's enough that it outweighs the Paladin's own codes, then it's enough to outweigh everyone else's habits, which means that it's enough to force all devout chaotics to become devout neutrals at the very least.

This isn't just about Paladins at this point.

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James Jacobs wrote:
No... it means you can't have chaotic paladins, or paladin followers of chaotic creatures. My comments are about paladins only.

Nobody said anything about chaotic paladins, except for you. You're the only person who's insisted that the Paladin would have to be chaotic. A statement that frankly makes no sense based on the line of reasoning that you presented. The line of reasoning that worshiping a deity makes you more that deities' alignment, and that "ignoring half of the church's teachings" is a "chaotic act" (which the alignment rules do not support).

The thing is, taken it its logical conclusion, that means that anyone, clerics included, who are devoted to to their deities are thus becoming lawful; which means there would be no chaotic-devotees. If you thoroughly embrace a chaotic good god, then you are, by your assertion going to become lawful good because not embracing every aspect of your deity is chaotic, thus embracing them fully would be lawful.

A non-paladin doesn't factor into my comments at all.

Except that it does, because what is true for one is true for all in this case, because we are talking about alignment. You have made a declaration that less than full devotion to a god is chaotic, and that has far-reaching consequences. Because this actually is about more than Paladins, but the question has the most bearing upon Paladins because of the fact Paladins are alignment-taxed, and the question is answered for Clerics who are sometimes alignment/deity-taxed.

OBVIOUSLY you can have worshipers of chaotic deities. We do it all the time. They are not and can not be paladins though... which is what this thread's supposed to be asking about.

But you haven't explained why, and your only explanation was because not being fully devoted to every aspect of the deity was chaotic, which means the reverse is true too. If you have loyal clerics of a chaotic good god, they will lose their powers for eventually bending and ending up Lawful. The more invested in their god, the more lawful, by your own line of reasoning.

A line of reasoning that does not work.

Feel free to rule thigns differently in home games, of course... but posting and asking them here in a context of "what's right" comes with an implied "What's right for the rules as written/what's right for Golarion."

The rules as written are pretty clear. It's not evil unless you are hurting, oppressing, or killing someone. Likewise, we can see that your argument is bunk because it leads to an absurdity (the lack of chaotic-aligned worshipers).

Please don't use my words talking about why you can't have a Paladin worshiping an evil deity as anything other than paladins not worshiping evil deities, in other words. ;-)

The thing is, you haven't explained why. You just said no. That's dumb. Not saying that you are dumb, but I'm certainly saying that's a dumb argument. You need to be able to reason things and explain them with reasonable evidence and such.

The only line of reasoning that you've put forth is bunk, because it leads to absurdity and it is not supported at all with the alignment rules. In fact, the only thing that could even be considered a chaotic-part of non-full adherence to every aspect of your religious faith or god would be flexibility, but you're being inflexible in that you won't accept the darker aspects of the god over your own code of conduct; which by its nature is explicit inflexibility (whereas flexibility would be compromising between the two, but there is no compromise, it's code first, religion second).

You're going to need to do better.

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James Jacobs wrote:
But ignoring the evil aspects of his church is not following the teachings of his church, don't you see? Ignoring half of Asmodeus's teachings is a chaotic act. By remaining good aligned and trying to worship Asmodeus, you are behaving chaotically. You might still be able to call yourself a worshiper of Asmodeus in this case (and you would likely be consigning yourself to punishment in the afterlife, but that's a different story)... but you would NOT be acting in a lawful manner by doing so, and thus would drift away from lawful good toward neutral good or neutral. And when you did, you wouldn't be a paladin.

By this argument you cannot have chaotic followers of deities, because they either A) aren't actually following them, or B) are lawful. Likewise, you'd not be able to be a member of a church unless you 100% matched up with the deity in question.

Meanwhile, in Wrath of the Righteous pt 4, it mentions Nocticula is often worshiped by heretics who aren't into the whole evil stuff, but worship her more positive aspects such as being a patron of outcasts, artistry, and the glories of midnight; suggesting that they even come into conflict with the more mainstream believers; and they still get spells.

Not everyone is going to have the same outlook on faith, and some people are just strait up blind to certain aspects of it. Asmodeous for example is orderly, assisted in the binding of the god of destruction, and even after his vengeance for what he saw as his brother's betrayal, had sympathy and allowed mortals to remain with free will.

A Paladin could very easily cling to towards the positive aspects of Asmodean faith, such as the strength of order and the consistency that it provides, their activities in caring for orphans, or the fact that for an evil god he certain hands out more healing spells to his clerics than they normally have available. He's a bad guy, but not all of his faith revolves around hurting people.

It would be entirely possible, realistic even, for a Paladin to pray to Asmodeous (especially if he was raised to believe in his power) for more benign purposes and living his life as a servant of the order and security that Asmodeous provides, even if he doesn't get into the darker aspects of the deity.

Which, you know, is not an uncommon thing for religions. Without naming any names, I'm very certain that you can go out and find some people who are widely considered very faithful to their given faith, but do not do things like keep slaves, sacrifice animals, kill their brothers for following other gods, engage in rampant misogyny, etc.

Again, simply believing in the greatness of a deity, including someone like Asmodeous who while being a jerk does have some shining points on his track record, does not make one the same as that deity. Since a Paladin does not get their abilities from that deity, they don't even have to worry about maintaining perfect relations with their church, because their own moral compass comes first.

And again, if the Paladin is not hurting, oppressing, or killing, he's not doing evil and thus does not fall. Not following your faith's tenets that conflict with your own code does not suddenly make you chaotic-chaotic, it just means you have priorities and different values.

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There's also the fact that super high saves don't do anything but provide a 95% avoidance vs save or die effects, or offer you a chance to survive a debuff bomb attempt. You're still quite vulnerable to spells, especially those with save (partial), save (halves), save none, or save (partial) with stacking conditionals.

For example, a barbarian can do nothing against twin fear spells, magic missile, scorching ray, cloudkill, waves of fatigue, acid fog, various wall and shape spells, a surprising amount of conjuration, enervation, energy drain, most ray spells, etc.

It's far from an unbeatable defense. This idea that having good defenses is somehow gamebreakingly super is mind boggling to me. You can even still wreck a barbarian with save effects, but it requires teamwork (a debuff bomb), more easily than you can with even a Paladin.

Most spells that allow saving throws either still do something on a failed save, or was a spell that was so bad that save (negates) is the balancing factor (because it's all or nothing, but if it's all, it's big winnin').

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Haladir wrote:
Worshiping an evil god is a voluntary evil act.

Citation, please?

Evil is hurting, oppressing, or killing. Worship is not any of those things.

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I'm a bit confused. Paladins have just as good saves as Barbarians, except they're vs everything. Divine Grace + Bestow Grace = +20 to all saves by 20th level, easy. No special magic items, no specific race, no special feats, nothing. Just two in-class features used.

EDIT: And while I realize that Divine Grace requires Charisma and Supersitition doesn't require an ability score, that's like saying Superstitution would be way worse if it used the barbarians Strength modifier as a key component. It's not an ability tax when you already want to max that ability.

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lemeres wrote:
Would it be evil for bank security to shoot on sight any men coming in wearing ski masks and holding guns?

Yes, but it would also be smart. You are assuming they are a threat, and probably rightfully so, and murdering them before that threat is confirmed. Of course, this is also oddly specific.

The question is, is it evil to kill drow on sight? The answer is yes. Is it evil to X under these specific conditions? The answer is probably.


I mean, there are sometimes circumstances where danger can be extremely apparent due to the appearance of the other party.

I will admit though, giving them a warning and preparing to shoot them them if they don't surrender is generally better decorum.

And you would be right. Now you don't have to let your guard down, trust them, go with them, or tell them anything about you, where you're going, or anything to that degree; but finding out who they are, why they are, and what they're intending to do is probably better than murder on sight.

Because it is murder.

But it's not necessarily smart. Given drow in Golarion, it's probably the safest (but not the most "good") route to just kill them on sight. Most characters wouldn't be judged for it. They'd probably even be given bonus "tactical pros" for ambushing them or starting the fight first, as to avoid casualties on their side. It probably isn't going to shift someone's alignment from Good to Neutral if they're otherwise Good, just it's one of those things that aren't in perfect keeping with the Good alignment (but characters aren't expected to be completely consistent anyway).

The OP is wrong that there is any distinction between races in the actual alignment rules. There is no inborn racism in the rules, quite the opposite in fact. There is nothing that makes drow more monsters than elves, dwarfs, humans, or anything else capable of rational thought, beyond the way that they act. The reason they are generally evil is because they are subject to alignment just as much as anyone or anything else.

I also applaude Odraude for being smart enough to see how to nix the "Drizzt syndrome". Drow are a playable race in my campaign, including having two major factions of drow (one faction could even be seen as supporting the chaotic good drow ranger sorts) and the only way the number of Drizzt clones in my campaigns could be any lower would be if I could get negative values somehow (maybe a female lawful evil high elf that fights with a greataxe to uphold bigoted matriarchy in a society that she loves greatly; who travels with her pet dire wolf).

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I guess I am just complaining that hitting high Nat AC creatures is too hard (maybe they should have more HP instead) and that Combat Maneuvers get near impossible on Large and bigger creatures, and that I don't want to be a Magus/Paladin/Barbarian just to raise my AB a little more. Thanks for reading : )

Your welcome. However, I've a few suggestions.

1. Don't take this as some form of elitism, but instead realize that each type of enemy has certain strengths and weaknesses and you have to learn to accept that some tactics are going to be more or less effective at the current task. If your opponent has extreme physical AC, start chucking alchemist fires or something, or start debuffing them to take them apart, or debufff and buff as well.

If your enemy flies, draw a ranged weapon and keep pelting them since flying creatures rarely have cover. Don't complain that it's not fair that the foe flies when your main tactic is killing something with a sword.

In essence, AC is only one of several routes to kill something. Classes that revolve around piercing AC do so (most core martials), especially post-buffs. Fight your enemy on terms that are less favorable to them.

If your enemy is a turtle, punish him for it. Outmaneuver him, pick him apart from a distance. Use your terrain to your advantage (get the +1 bonus to hit for being higher than the dude who can't climb out of a 3ft. hole in the ground). Don't complain that he's a turtle.

2. If your GM gets his jollies by hitting PCs and is getting upset because a player specialized in defense, find a better GM. All that is going to lead to is an arms war between a bad GM and the party, or the party will learn that letting the NPCs hit them means weaker NPCs and push all their resources into offense; then the game becomes rocket-tag.

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bob_the_monster wrote:

Drow seem to be pretty much universally reviled in lore. Subject says it all. The way I am reading evil vs good in the alignment rules, it seems to only apply to humanoid creatures and to core races. As such, killing intelligent undead, monstrous humanoids (kobolds, drow, etc.) on sight is not inherently evil. But rather a matter of killing them before they kill you.

Let's keep the Paladin code of conduct out of the discussion, as Paladins are extremely rare in the setting in question (i.e. not a player class).

The alignment rules and D&D/PF morality makes no distinction based on race (and for good reason because that would be sick and ****ed up).

Yes, killing any sentient creature on sight is evil, just like killing any sentient thing is evil. However, you may be doing so for altruistic or protective reasons (which are good) which means a lot of people who do probably are acting more Neutral, and are pre-emptively attempting to protect themselves and others from the very likely dangerous threat.

The short version is yes, it is evil to kill something on sight, but not necessarily stupid. Even most good characters do evil things occasionally because evil is often very self-preserving.

Most of my characters wouldn't murder a drow on sight, but then most of my characters are likely to end up in some tough situations because their decisions do have consequences.

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Thelemic_Noun wrote:

So we all know that summoning and binding a demon and commanding it to eat a village is evil. In fact, there's probably a trope for that.

But even for nonevil creatures, it seems like there's an ethical issue here.

For summoning and binding nonevil creatures, the most expedient means is magic circle against good, which has the evil descriptor (though of course you could use the chaos or law circles as required, though this makes the process much more complicated an even more inconvenient for the Charisma-based classes that should theoretically excel at planar binding negotiations).

But all that aside, I have a hard time seeing a good creature ever using planar binding, especially to conjure good outsiders. Because conjuring an unwilling creature, and confining it until it accepts a bribe, is essentially incompatible with "concern for the dignity of sentient beings."

Now, if you summon an astral deva and tell it "this city is dying of plague. Please turn invisible and use your at-will remove disease ability to cure it without causing a panic, and if you identify any evil creatures, tell me their identities or give a description before you depart," he might do it for only a nominal fee, or even for free. But in that case, the only reason not to use planar ally instead is because of the wonky rules regarding the arcane/divine split.

While letting the party wizard use planar binding shouldn't make the paladin fall, it's easy to see a chaotic good player becoming a little bit squeamish. Especially if instead the situation is:

"Huge earth elemental, clear the trees and boulders from this radius and dig me a moat of yea size."
<rumble, rumble>
"No, I'm not paying you."
"Because you have the Charisma of a rock. Literally."

Well, there's a lot of options you have with planar binding to make it more effective. Sometimes being the good guy means not taking advantage of those options. For example, you don't actually have to use a magic circle spell as part of a binding, nor a dimensional anchor, or anything of the sort. You don't actually have to trap the outsider, you could just bring them to you for a moment to talk.

You could even forgo the Charisma check to impose your will over them, and just default to plain ol' Diplomacy (which is always a good skill for a binder anyway). For example, while a neutral or evil wizard might happily force or coerce an outsider into their bidding, the exceptionally good (as in the perfectly good that doesn't stumble a bit by using planar binding in the traditional fashion) might simply call up a Ghale Azata without any traps at all.

Wizard: "Oh fair Azata, I have called you here because we need your help. Could you please heal my friend?" *Diplomacy*
Azata: "Sure, why not. It costs me nothing to do so, and this whole thing has taken up no more of my time than if someone asked directions to the nearest bakery," *heal*
Wizard: "Thank you, friend!"
Azata: "No problem," *poofs back to the outer planes*

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Artemis Moonstar wrote:
I'm not a fan of monks losing Qi and going "Psion".

It's kind of a tomato - tomato thing. The PP represents their Ki/Qi/Chi/Prana/Energy/Wisdom-Mojo, and I just felt like keeping the basic ki mechanics of the PF monk (which largely served the exact same purpose only in a far more limited range of possible ways to play your monk) would just be wholly redundant as it would basically leave you with two different resource pools that both represented the ki that you had to do mystical things like take spears to the throat and laugh about it.

The best RPing advice I could ever impart to anyone, ever, is don't worry much about metagame names. It'll just muddy the waters.

If you prefer the mechanical pool that the core PF monk has, then that's a different thing entirely. But if it's just the names, remember that is metagaming and nothing that has any bearing to what's going on in the actual world. :P

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Rudy2 wrote:

I did this once, and it's a bad idea. Pathfinder cannot be made "realistic" without making it so convoluted as to be unplayable.

Next you're adding hex grids

Just tossing this out there, but the d20 system is freakin' baller with hex grids. I scarcely understand why it isn't the default. I've done some experimenting with hex grids and movement, spell placement, cone effects...pretty much everything is just better with a hex grid. There's no nonsense like every other diagonal square is 2, or anything like that.

Reach is easier. Movement is easier. I just...can't think of anything that is actually bad about using a hex grid. o_o

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LazarX wrote:
Are you kidding? with abundant healing around, the only thing that stops most psion players from over channeling is the worry of running out of psi points.

A very real possibility. I tend to play psions very conservatively. Overchannel does look really nice with tons of healing though (1d8, 3d8, 5d8 damage can hurt a lot at the levels they become available). I generally end most adventures at around 1/2 PP, as I'm generally more prone to manifesting low-PP effects each round.

One of the most amusing encounters in our Reign of Winter game was one where we were waging an epic battle against some giants. Now, apparently the book thought that we were going to need the help of a non-player-thing to deal with the threat, but we were droppin' 'em like they were hot because of our formation and carefully considered pokes.

For example, turns out giants have cruddy Reflex saves, and a few well placed ectoplasmic sheens (grease) were devastating to them, as being prone or having trouble holding onto your weapons round after round with a cruddy save is really hilarious to watch.

I think I spent maybe 5 PP that combat. :3

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Jeven wrote:
When someone you loves dies you don't then see them as just a corpse.

My mother passed away just recently. I was holding the IV bag while the paramedics worked their best to save her. I felt the very atmosphere of the room change when she died, and I knew when it was. At that point, her body was what was on our living room floor, not my mother. It no longer felt like my mother because my mother was no longer within it.

So I will attest with the utmost sincerity that when someone you loves dies you do not see them as a corpse. You may, however, see their corpse as a corpse, and recognize them for what still remains in another form.

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Very nice. (^o^)

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lemeres wrote:

Mostly going off of how a few of the arguments I was proud of were getting torn apart and this joke:

Rynjin wrote:
Did he give you the whole "You know why I'm right, this should be obvious to anyone with a moral compass, you morally bankrupt monster you" spiel?
I have little first hand knowledge of how the developers/former developers are in conversation/as GMs (are they that bad?). I mostly know them as the ones that make comments in the rule threads that banish silliness like "half orc raised catfolk barbarians with 4 claw attacks" who get dissed by the kind of people....with those catfolk barbarians.

Ah, I see. :o

Admittedly, I feel now that I was likely overly defensive (I think I have been making that a bad habit lately), and thus assumed you were just trolling. But that is again the danger of how we have limits on interpreting written statements, no? We end up painting more of ourselves onto it than the writer in our eyes.

Indeed. It can be hard to tell online sometimes. No harm done. For the record, I'm not much for trolling, though I am much for a good argument. To me, a good argument is a mutual search for truth, where two individuals are not fighting one another but engaging in a series of reason-based points and counterpoints in a search for the truest of answers.

I realize this view, or ideal, is not shared by many a messageboard enthusiast, however. :\

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JoeJ wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
JoeJ wrote:
IMO, a paladin should face black and white moral situations. The right answer might be very hard to discover, but once discovered there shouldn't be any doubt that it is the right answer. The class doesn't really work very well with shades of gray. To me, paladins are the four-color superheroes of the fantasy genre and I would feel like I wasn't being fair to the player if I didn't give them the chance to act that way.
It's sad that there's even a base class that makes a GM feel like they have to dumb the game down for it to be enjoyable. -_-

?? What do you mean? Playing within the rules of the genre isn't dumbing down anything.

I was referring to these sentences.

"IMO, a paladin should face black and white moral situations."
"The class doesn't really work very well with shades of gray."

I find it saddening to think that a class requires a GM to paint everything in black and white strokes, and yes I do see that as dumbing things down, because real adults, and real heroes, don't always have the luxury of a certain right or a certain wrong answer.

Further, it might be fine in one genre, but I also feel like core classes (if not any class) should be able to comfortably fit into many different genres without problems, especially if dealing with a campaign setting like Golarion which is generally as genre inclusive as possible.

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JoeJ wrote:
DominusMegadeus wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
lemeres wrote:
JoeJ wrote:
lemeres wrote:
Well, the right answer there is obvious, since making deals with fiends is historically a bad idea.

In my world, there will never be a situation where the morally correct thing to do is follow the advice of a fiend.

...unless.... they give you perfectly legitimate advice based on the idea that you will never follow it, since they are so untrustworthy.


This is exactly the sort of thing the devils (and occasional demon) actually would do in my games if they are corruption focused (which most devils in my games are). Because they usually will indeed help you, but it might come at some sort of price, even if that price has no apparent value.

You catch more flies with honey, after all.

I think the problem with that approach in this context is that a Paladin has the absolute moral right to smite evil outsider (along with dragons and undead). It's one of those coveted black and white moral choices.

Do you think any paladin is going to give a fiend five seconds to speak when they realize, for once in their life, they have express permission from the creators of the world to smite something without falling?

Only if they know that it's an evil outsider. This kind of deception usually works much better if the fiend is disguised as something more benevolent. A priest of the paladin's god, for example.

Succubi are pretty good at that. I've had campaigns where succubi have attempted to screw with Paladins for their own amusement, and sometimes get upset and in a huff when the Paladin doesn't falter from their attempts at upsetting him. In rare cases, the succubus may even appear before the Paladin and demand he explain himself because she wants to know why continues being a good guy when she's been shoveling loads of **** all in his face from behind the scenes.

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DominusMegadeus wrote:

I think the problem with that approach in this context is that a Paladin has the absolute moral right to smite evil outsider (along with dragons and undead). It's one of those coveted black and white moral choices.

Do you think any paladin is going to give a fiend five seconds to speak when they realize, for once in their life, they have express permission from the creators of the world to smite something without falling?

I would. Most of my Paladins aren't generally interested in starting fights (but they're usually damn good at finishing them). If anything, evil or not, wasn't being hostile I'm not going to immediately murder it on the spot. Two wrongs do not make a right.

(This would, however, be a point where I would be highly likely to drink my elixir of +10 to a skill (sense motive) to support my already maxed ranks in Sense Motive. >_>)

Fiends are sentient creatures too, and hurting, oppressing, and killing them without justification is just as evil as doing the same to an an elf. Since I don't believe in racist genocide, I'm generally willing to stay my blade long enough to hear them out. If you cannot trust a Paladin to at least hear you out, who could you trust?

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Blazej wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
If a GM told me my Paladin fell for using said scroll on said child, I'd walk out and never associate with him or her again. Not because of the game ruling, but because I would want to stay far, far away from that human being.
What if told your Paladin fell for lying if telling the truth meant a family of innocents dying? (Lets say for this example this is like Speed, but the bus explodes if the paladin doesn't tell at least 50 lies per hour.)

I'd lie my ass off (putting my power before the needs of others would kind of kill the whole point). I'd lose my powers, but if I did otherwise I wouldn't deserve them anyway.

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
I guess Neutral is the new good.
Personally, I'd argue that not using the scroll is a greater Evil act than using it could ever be. And that's defensible, per the rules. So not necessarily.

Agreed 150% actually. That's what blew my mind about it. Here you have a magical doohicky that some poor kid died for, against his will even, but at least his soul could know that it saved someone else's life. I, personally, would be comforted by the idea that if I was going to be murdered, that it would at least have a silver lining like saving the life of some kid with leukemia.

If a GM told me my Paladin fell for using said scroll on said child, I'd walk out and never associate with him or her again. Not because of the game ruling, but because I would want to stay far, far away from that human being.

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I guess Neutral is the new good.

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Scavion wrote:
Isn't there a passage in Wrath of the Righteous that says the spells with an alignment descriptor are an X act?

I don't know. I don't remember a Wrath of the Righteous chapter in the Core Rulebook.

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Aratrok wrote:
People at Paizo have claimed that casting protection from evil or summoning celestial badgers a bunch of times will make you go to heaven (JJ treats casting an aligned spell as an act of that alignment)-

That's really not how that works. Not all Good or Evil acts are equal. Casting Protection From Evil is a Good act on par with being nice to your waiter and leaving a big tip. If being nice to all your waiters and tipping well, and nothing else, is enough to get you into were probably a pretty decent person to start with.

Aratrok wrote:

without any rules citations, I'd add.

I'm not inclined to call those official rules. :P

Eh, I'd argue that anything the majority of the Paizo staff say is how things work is how they work officially, since they're the ones that decide what the official rules are.

Where is the chapter that describes how much good or how much evil casting a spell is? I cannot find it, because...IT DOES NOT EXIST.

What does exist is the alignment rules which throw all this nonsensical trash out on its ear, and puts a boot to the hindside of stupid arguments over things like this.

Again, it's like this: If you are HURTING, OPPRESSING, or KILLING it's evil. If you are not doing those things you are not doing evil. Doesn't matter what you're using to do it either. Either you do evil, or you don't. There is no section of the manual that states that casting spells with [x] subtype is always equivalent to x actions. All it does is affect how they interact with other spells and mechanical effects such as dispel good and detect law.

Quotes or it didn't happen. And I don't mean quotes from devs not following the rules, or quotes from devs saying that it is better to let a child with cancer die than to heal them with a scroll that was made with an [Evil] spell (to which the very example of such a thing was to such an extent evil unto itself that I was nearly sick with disgust at the very notion).

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