Ciaran Barnes wrote:
By all accounts it would be a much different beast. To have the same coverage that the tower shield must provide, you would have to make it crazy thin, and even then I doubt you could make it anywhere as serviceable as a normal one, let alone easier to wield than wooden counterpart. Especially when you consider that the hardness/hp of a tower shield is suggestive that it's around 2 inches thick. You have to cover the same amount of space, so the only way you can go is thinner, and you'd have to make it MUCH thinner to even reach the normal weight of a tower shield, like less than half an inch in thickness.
Then you'd have to actually get it to be light enough to make it not merely "as bad" but to make it easier to wield, which means you'd be approaching paper thin really quick since based on the rules for mithral you're aiming not at meeting the weight but cutting the weight in half. We're talking a paper-thin shield at this point which would be bizarre to wield.
If it's worth anything, one of wotc's 3.5 splat books has a metal tower shield.
Mercurial weapons make more sense, which is not saying much. :P
EDIT: Meanwhile it wouldn't actually do anything for the -2 penalty to hit for wielding a tower shield, which I imagine is not related to its check penalty to weight but the size of it getting in your way as well since you can only effectively attack from a few angles making it harder to hit your opponent. >_>
Speaker for the Dead wrote:
Most mithral armors are one category lighter than normal for purposes of movement and other limitations. It doesn't talk about shields so it's not RAW but it makes sense to me that you'd be able to use a tower shield as a shield one size smaller.
You can't make mithral tower shields. They are specifically called out as being made of wood. Mithral says you can't use it for wood items.
Further, a mithral tower shield would be grossly heavy despite being made of mithral and obscenely expensive as a result. Based on the weight of material, a tower shield made of iron would weigh roughly 10 times that of a wooden tower shield.
Which means that it would weigh about 450 lbs. A mithral tower shield, weighing half as much, would weigh about 225 lbs. Roughly five times as much as a wooden tower shield. Not only would it be heavier and harder to use than its wooden counterpart (more or less making it inferior to the wooden counterpart as instead of getting more mobility you'd be flushing it down the toilet) but it would also be disgustingly expensive.
Since you can't make tower shields out of mithral normally, we'd have to ignore the +1,000 gp shield modification cost (because it's illegal) and instead look at what it would actually cost to forge one out of material. At 500 gp / lb. it would cost about 112,500 gp.
So the reason people don't have tower shields made out of mithral is because it would be one of the greatest examples of engineering stupidity that could be found throughout the entirety of the world.
Jacob Saltband wrote:
Depends on who you ask. Some people think it's bad form. However, some people also think allowing the PCs to die is bad form. Or allowing anything embarrassing to happen to the players (such as getting turned to stone, or into a rabbit) to be bad form. Some people also think having traps without a dedicated trapfinder is bad form.
However, if you're like me you might see all of the above in the same encounter. Sometimes I seriously don't know why my players always come back begging for more. (>.>)"
Yet another reason for me to switch back to 3.x, period.
Heh, I'm not that far gone. PF has its quirks but I do enjoy the majority of the mechanical changes better. I like the PF core and most of the PF spells, and I like the CMD system (though I'm tweaking it for more dynamic combats and to make size matter more like it did in 3.x, but removing size restrictions from the combat maneuvers, and tweaking grappling a bit).
There's a few things I keep importing back from 3.5 (such as now regeneration, and also the zombie/skeleton natural armor adjustments). I won't pretend to like all of the splat material, but I'm a big proponent of playing a d20 medley with a PF core.
Matt Thomason wrote:
People act like sarcasm is somehow negative, but I find it a beautiful tool in the arsenal of communication. :D
Because martials need something else to piss in their cornflakes like not even being able to pick their own ******* movement and then attacking without someone whipping out a ruler and going "gotcha".
I'd give it three weeks before someone complains about experienced players metagaming by cutting their movements a little shorter to avoid the dreaded 31ft. movement, and how the GM is changing the dungeon map to print off distracting black and white stripes at random distances from each other to discourage "meta-gaming", because the character wouldn't know how many feet he was walking in the thick of combat.
But somebody would get used to that. Fortunately we have blindfolds.
Which is all highly irrelevant because people have been dealing with limited resources forever. Including martials. I've been playing through Reign of Winter on Fridays and I've never once ran out of resources on my psion (but then I'm also picking my shots and supporting the party with stuff like grease).
Of course, neither has our bard.
What has slowed us down or kept us from progressing further? Hit points are a thing. The martials tend to take a lot of HP damage. Fortunately we have some healers in the party and my psion helps to take some of the pain off the martials by sharing their damage, but at the end of the day it's usually the resource known as HP.
But then the resource thing has always been irrelevant. Our party's soul knife isn't going to turn to the bard, the psion, and the barbarian and go, "Oh well you guys are fatiguing out. I'm not, so you guys sit right here while I go take on the monsters by myself".
**** no. He's going to be like, "Gee, I really do like having backup, spellcasting support, and bardic music buffs, or at the very least some other bodies to draw attacks for me".
The issue is not about resources. It's about options. It's the classes that are not well rounded and who have few meaningful options that get left in the dust.
I guess it's a race to see how fast they abandon trying to get any loot they can out while under manned before just fleeing.
That's cool and all, but in my games I tend to have a general idea as to how many badguys there actually are. If there's 30 guys, and 15 of them are assumed on patrol, and you go in and wipe out 7 of those guys before retreating, then those reinforcements have to come from somewhere, so next time fewer are on patrol, or just aren't on patrol at all (especially if you killed some guys on patrol before).
Peter Stewart wrote:
I will say, in their defense, that I think one reason developers tend to be more cautious with feat chains, martial classes, and archtypes is that they tend to more frequently present direct mechanical problems for games than a single spell - and those problems are not as easily fixed. If Bob's sorcerer keeps using telekinetic charge and it is causing problems in your game it is pretty easy to talk to Bob and ask him to swap it out for another spell. If Fred's fighter has built around a single tactic or mechanic you can tremendously undercut him by removing it.
But it's a self-defeating thing. If the feats weren't buried in such massive feat chains and grossly underwhelming, there would be no more issue with the group asking that Bob the Fighter drop that one feat from his arsenal of scaling feats that granted him different options.
But you can't ****ing do that, because you remove one feat that actually is good and you've destroyed them. Or you have to go re-write every feat that required it as a prerequisite.
I don't think casters in PF are a problem. At least not from what I've seen thus far. Again, three out of the four core martials (Barbarian, Ranger and Paladin) function very well at all levels, both in and outside of combat.
But why is this? Because they have options. Whether you like it or not, a lot of those options come from their ability to cast a smattering of spells. It really matters because the designers of the game seem to think that you can't do anything worthwhile unless it's with magic. Or because they have in-class resources (such as lay on hands) or special benefits that really matter (like divine grace, superstition, and uncanny dodge).
Just look at the multitude of feats that require huge feat chains to do things that are very underwhelming for the investment. Look at feats that people consider so good like Power Attack (requires 1 feat, scales with your level) versus Break Guard which requires Dex 15+, Int 13+, Combat Expertise, Improved Disarm, and Two-Weapon Fighting. What does it do? IF you disarm someone, you can make an off-hand attack as a swift action against that person. You can't even use this tactic against an enormous number of enemies in the game, it's not very complicated, and it's fairly underwhelming (because the attack can still miss and then it's likely not dealing a lot of damage unless you also have goo-gobs of Strength or invested in Power Attack and ate some penalties to your Disarm and Attack rolls).
Any 4th level ranger can use some combination of any of the following abilities each day:
Alarm: Wards an area for 2 hours/level.
Animal Messenger: Sends a Tiny animal to a specific place.
Calm Animals: Calms 2d4 + level HD of animals.
Charm Animal: Makes one animal your friend.
Delay Poison: Stops poison from harming subject for 1 hour/level.
Detect Animals or Plants: Detects kinds of animals or plants.
Detect Poison: Detects poison in one creature or object.
Detect Snares and Pits: Reveals natural or primitive traps.
Endure Elements: Exist comfortably in hot or cold regions.
Entangle: Plants entangle everyone in 40-ft. radius.
Hide from Animals: Animals can't perceive one subject/level.
Jump: Subject gets bonus on Acrobatics checks.
Longstrider: Your base speed increases by 10 ft.
Magic Fang: One natural weapon of subject creature gets +1 on attack and damage rolls.
Pass without Trace: One subject/level leaves no tracks.
Read Magic: Read scrolls and spellbooks.
Resist Energy: Ignores 10 (or more) points of damage/attack from specified energy type.
Speak with Animals: You can communicate with animals.
Summon Nature's Ally I: Summons creature to fight for you.
Ant Haul: Triples carrying capacity of a creature.
Aspect of the Falcon: Gives bonuses on Perception and ranged attacks.
Call Animal: Makes an animal come to you.
Cloak of Shade: Reduces effects of intense sun exposure and environmental heat.
Dancing Lantern: Animates a lantern that follows you.
Detect Aberration: Detect presence of aberrations.
Feather Step: Subject ignores adverse movement effects in difficult terrain.
Glide: No fall damage, move 60 ft./round while falling.
Gravity Bow: Arrows do damage as though one size category bigger.
Hunter's Howl: Treat enemies as favored for 1 round/level.
Keen Senses: Subject gains +2 Perception, low-light vision.
Lead Blades: Melee weapons damage as if one size bigger.
Negate Aroma: Subject cannot be tracked by scent.
Residual Tracking: Tell creature's appearance by footprint.
Tireless Pursuit: Ignore fatigue while hustling.
Anticipate Peril: Target gains a bonus on one initiative check.
Diagnose Disease: Detect and identify diseases.
Horn of Pursuit: Create three notes heard miles away.
Know the Enemy: Gain +10 on a monster Knowledge check.
Summon Minor Ally: Summon 1d3 Tiny animals.
Wartrain Mount: Animal gains combat training.
Abundant Ammunition: Replaces nonmagical ammunition every round.
Air Bubble: Creates a small pocket of air around your head or an object.
Bowstaff: A shortbow may double as a club, or a longbow as a quarterstaff.
Compel Hostility: Compels opponents to attack you instead of your allies.
Deadeye's Lore: Gain a +4 bonus on Survival and move full speed while tracking.
Liberating Command: Target makes an Escape Artist check as an immediate action and gains a bonus on it.
Longshot: Grants a +10-foot bonus to the range increment for any ranged weapon fired.
Returning Weapon: Grants a weapon the returning special weapon quality.
Sun Metal: Weapon touched bursts into flames.
A cheap magic trinket (pearl of power I) that the ranger can craft his or herself can let them use more of these each day. And he or she can swap these around each day. That's a measure of versatility that is highly useful and prized. Further, wands, scrolls, and so forth of these items are cheaper than potions and don't require UMD checks to function.
The answer is not nerfing spellcasters. 9/11 of the core classes work well together. 3 of them do not (Fighter, Rogue, and Monk) and those three are at least playable with a lot of system mastery.
EDIT: I wasn't thinking and I listed 2/3 martials but it's actually 3/4 working martials from core (I don't know how I forgot the Barbarian, that oiled up muscle god of war).
I've no issue with you worshiping a pantheon. Frankly I don't even think domain restriction is important because you can literally just throw domains together as desired when making a deity. I see no balance concerns, play the character you want, I'd say.
I'd rather not honestly. Trying to split everything into different schools doesn't do much other than screw over parties who cannot afford to have a specialist in even two schools because not everyone wants to play a spellcaster.
Oops, no dispel magic for you man. I'm not an abjurer. I'd really love to enlarge you fighter, but I'm a diviner so **** you. Haste was so Pathfinder guys, I'm a conjurer.
In spite of the thread title, I'm probably the biggest optimizer in my group besides my GM. We're playing through Reign of Winter and it uses a lot of stuff from the Bestiary II. Stuff I've never even heard of or bothered to read about. We play online on Fridays. I've not looked up a single enemy even when I could literally do it real time between turns using the d20pfsrd.com or the online PRD. It's been amusing.
Meanwhile there's a couple of the other players (especially one) who does it constantly. Most of them aren't what you'd call optimizers, but they have fun so all is well. The GM has asked 'em to not look up monsters during encounters a few times though.
Nathanael Love wrote:
I won't pretend there's not a lot of crap in the expanded material. I do think Pathfinder the core game is pretty solid. I make no apologies for the piles of expanded content. Rather I'd merely recommend exceptionally good content, like Dreamscarred Press' psionics rules.
I agree, but I actually appreciate those changes because I like more dynamic encounters. I feel like Pathfinder did a wonderful job lowering the ceiling and raising the floor. I'm someone who prefers resistance over immunities. I like that one spell doesn't invalidate an entire school of magic for example (now if we could just get death ward to not completely immunize you to all negative energy effects).
I like Pathfinder because the top end got lower, but options got wider. To me that makes for a much better game.
I think Bigdaddjug may be referring to the fact rangers get more love concerning things that help them Stealth. For example...See this? This is an answer that actually answers the question. Thank you.
You're very welcome TarkXT. ^_^
Miss chances mess up everyone. It just messes up rogues more than others. And yes while it's easy to screw a rogue not many are going to do it specifically because of them. And doesn't the heartseeker weapon enhancement negate concealment on most foes? That's a thought.
Concealment is a good defense against everyone. It's just that if my Ranger is facing a foe with concealment, he just has to deal with the miss chance. All his damage doesn't suddenly vanish even on a successful hit. :P
The heartseeking thing might work, but I kind of have this pet peeve against a class that must have a particular item to be functional. Paladins don't need a holy avenger for example, though they might want one because it's really good for their class.
And when you get into needing specific weapon enhancements you're effectively giving up other enhancements to get those enhancements, and you have to either beg, buy, borrow, craft, discover, or steal them. I've lamented the woes of specializing in a certain type of weapon above all others when discussing fighters. Specializing in a certain type of weapon enhancement seems even worse in my mind. :P
As for feral combat training I pointed it out because it allowed me to apply the aforementioned buffs like align weapon to my claws.
Oh I see. That makes sense. Good deal.
Ultimately though I would not look at it like a cahrge build. That's jsut a method of continuing to dole out the pain. In a flank we can mix in unarmed strikes with claw attacks to get more sneak attacks in with a similiar attack bonus and damage to some twf builds. Same can be done to blinded opponents or while invisible. I think the trick right now is making this build function more consistently at lower levels before getting to this point.
Aren't you only getting 2 attacks per round though? To a maximum of 3 attacks? It keeps seeming - in my head - like a martial that's using a BAB of +15/+15 instead of +20/+15/+10/+5. >_>
I guess I'm just a worry-wart. :P
I do think fleshing out how the build would function through multiple levels would be a good idea. You might be able to use the retraining rules to give you a hand in that department.
That sounds highly amusing. :P
I highly doubt any caster person is arguing against certain spells being nerfed (Looking at you Simulacrum.)
Heh, this seems like a decent time to dig up an old thing. I've acknowledged many times the sheer power of simulacrum on the forums a few times, but when my good forum-friend Wraithstrike said he wouldn't mind a better (more balanced) version I presented this:
The thing is, the vast majority of spellcasting was already universally nerfed from 3.5 to Pathfinder.
Lately I've been very happy with the balance of Pathfinder.
Alchemist, Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Magus, Paladin, Ranger, Wizard, Sorcerer. All work well together.
Psionics adds Psions, Psychic Warriors, Soul Knives, Vitalists, and Wilders are all solid. It's my understanding that most of the other psionic classes by DSP are also pretty solid but I don't have a lot of experience with them.
We are talking about vastly different things. I'm speaking of a player who refuses to be engaging in anything but numbers.
Okay, sorry for the misunderstanding. Though I'd say those aren't mutually exclusive either. Trying to equate mechanical availability with roleplaying just seems silly to me. Like it rubs me wrong on a fundamental level. Who cares where the option came from if it's a good option (and by good I also mean balanced)?
I've met - and I'm not singing their praises - examples of players who fail both mechanically and narratively. The two aren't related. That being said I would posit that if you're interested in this game at all, you are likely interested in at least one of the two major towers of the game (one being the mechanical side, one being the narrative side).
If you have someone who is playing who is interested in the mechanics but not so much the narrative, they're probably going to be really good at the mechanics.
Likewise, if you have someone who is interested in the narrative but not so much the mechanics, they're probably going to be really good at the narrative.
These seemingly related but actually unrelated things lead to negative stereotypes, when they are not related at all, because you can also have people who enjoy both aspects of the game, or you could have people who grasp neither aspect of the game. However, the latter is far more rare because if both aspects are outside of your interest you are probably going to be playing something different.
Apples to car tires. These things are entirely unrelated. You can use the absolute worst mechanics in the world and it doesn't magically produce a better backstory.
The opposite is also untrue. Being mechanically strong does nothing to hinder you making a character that is deep an engaging. I frequently get the feeling that many of the boardmembers here believe me to be not only an optimizer but a "dirty powergamer".
Yet when I post about my characters, their motivations, their histories? I get a lot of favorites on those posts. I have an online game on Fridays and I suggested we make a separate skype group-chat for general roleplay when we're not actively playing the game. My group even suggested I write stories about my character during a stretch of downtime we had in Whitethrone recently.
(( For those who care, those can be found here (Pt. 1) and here (Pt.2). The first is definitely not safe for work, mature audiences, etc, etc. It was initially spurred by one of the other players who said he was shipping my PC and her psicrystal, and I jokingly said I'd write him a slashfic about them, and he thought that was a great idea so there you have it. I managed to sneak actual character detailing into it though, but don't tell anyone. The second involves a scene that might be rather difficult to read due to what could only be described as torture. In either case I've promised to continue the stories for the entertainment of my Friday group. ))
Even on my blog I generally emphasize a narrative focus alongside the mechanical parts. Dark though parts may be, my recent posts concerning encounter design and the following posts provide motivations, character quirks, and an emphasis on the narrative and the ability to draw your players in.
But hey, according to Gorbacz I only see numbers.
To which I would respond that the encounter was either set up to be that way from the start. It's not great secret that just picking a monster a few CRs above the party's is not going to do much.
An axe/pick/scythe critical should probably end up destroying the badguy. That's kind of the point of the big x3-4 multipliers. You want the crits to be big and end that dude when they come.
But when you make an encounter of singular enemies you're really just asking for them to be mowed over unless something special is going on (such as a well prepared spellcaster who spends time and effort to redirect enemy momentum).
Sounds like the problem is with the encounter. It's exceedingly difficult to create a character that is capable of soloing encounters on the first turn unless there is something grossly wrong with the encounters.
That's your old problem there, Ash. All you see is stats.
That's like telling a physicist that his problem is he sees math. Nothing about goblins actually fits the Golarion-based fluff. In fact, them being stupid isn't even mentioned in the bestiary.
When you have creatures wielding shortbows, with warrior levels, wearing and using armor, with high Stealth scores, and nothing suggesting that they should be dumb, I'm going to look at them and see armed dudes that are going to ambush somebody. Especially when they're no dumber than dwarfs by all accounts.
I see much more than stats. I just won't see what facts tell me is false.
If we assume that Goblins are intellectually capable of something as advanced and attention-heavy as taking 10 on any check apart from eating and picking your nose, and I'm not sure about the last one.
Taking 10 doesn't take anything special. Also, while Golarion goblins are made out to be rather handicapped little jokes their statistics don't really back that up.
When we look at goblins we see this.
These guys are dangerous and worth every experience point when compared to their rivals like orcs.
This is one of the reasons goblins scare the pants off of me at low levels. The generic goblin warriors with no ranks in Stealth at all have +10 to Stealth and shortbows. Taking 10 on their Stealth checks means they can pepper you from 60 ft (+1 / 10 ft.) means you'd need to hit a DC 26-27 Perception DC to notice them ambushing you before you're ready to get shot at without penalties. And if they all focus fire on you, those little 1d4 shortbows actually hurt at low.
I have to admit these stealth-centric builds are really terrible to behold. It's really, really hard to stop them when they aren't relying on tricks like invisibility. Give 'em cover or concealment and watch them murder stuff like the predator.
Hellcat Stealth is just gross, and goblin is essentially the perfect race for this on top of it all (+4 size, +4 racial, +2 dex modifier; though much respect for the fact you don't have to be a goblin to make it work).
Adding an elixir of hiding against particularly difficult foes is probably a great idea.
The biggest pain about this build is how difficult it is to stop. Given the ability to remain very mobile you basically need glitterdust or faerie fire specifically, readied to shoot, when the stealth-guy makes an appearance for offense (assuming the stealth-guy doesn't snipe you and milk range incremental bonuses on top of it).
While I think the Stealthing thing could be done better by a Bard or perhaps even a Ranger, the sneak attack helps to take fairly solid pot-shots at enemies with relative impunity. It would be pretty solid for pestering spellcasters with as well.
My only concern is what happens when the trick is foiled (and it can be foiled, it's just really difficult to do since things like see invisibility, true seeing, and so forth do bubkis to stop it).
I'm just not really into one-trick ponies in general. And when that one trick isn't really very good and it leaves them ailing in lots of other areas it concerns me.
To keep it on topic, take a look at a level 10 Tetori, Brutal Pugilist, etc. While they will be undoubtedly better grapplers with more tricks, their skill selection and out-of-combat versatility goes down. The grappler I built above can disable traps well, has good UMD, a good score in pretty much all the social skills, can stealth well, etc.
I'm confused as to how it goes down exactly. The only thing that the rogue levels are bringing is trapfinding which is okay at best. Nothing else that it has actually does much for out of combat utility. Could you elaborate?
But, I will bite on one item, Freedom of Movement. It's a 4th level spell. It has a verbal requirement. Odds are, most things casting it aren't going to have the most awesome CMDs. Now, a level 9 tetori monk can essentially negate that spell. Or...so can any other grappler who takes Chokehold. You can't cast if you can't breathe or speak.
Freedom of movement lasts longer than an hour at the earliest point it becomes available and has a range of touch. Freedom of movement is like heroism. You usually cast it prior to needing it, and it's got a very high priority in combat because of how integral it is to high level combat.
My PCs and my NPCs want to cast freedom of movement on everybody. Everyone wants this buff because being CC'd sucks. Being handled with an errant black tentacles or hold monster sucks eggs. Likewise, getting wrapped up in tentacles, suplexed by Zangieff, trapped in a rolling ball of water, or anchored to the ground or stuck to the walls.
I find the "you can't cast if you can't speak" thing pretty questionable since it basically assumes that this long-duration buff is going to be something that is A) only going to be used on people weak vs grappling, and B) won't be cast ahead of time or activated through a magic item effect.
Regardless, if I've made an enemy who has already taken a constrict grapple burn a standard action cast simply to run away from me, then I've already kinda won at that level of play. That enemy now spent their entire turn getting away from me. In any case, their action economy at what are now nearing rocket-tag levels has been irritatingly impacted.
Why is high level play rocket tag? If anything it's anti-rocket tag. You have the resources and the capabilities to shrug huge amounts of punishment. The martial sorts could survive dropping a volcano on them, and the squishies can literally die multiple times during the same encounter before they stop fighting.
PCs have layers and layers of defenses (unless they're just dirt-stupid and have focused entirely on offense). PCs are going to be sporting AC and Saves in the stratosphere, with concealment effects, immunities, resistances, and likely have a fair chance to simply ignore critical hits and sneak attacks.
Killing a PC with stuff at high levels is something that is not done lightly. Meanwhile while NPCs are usually much weaker than the PCs (and have less wealth) they often outnumber the PCs in big ways and can have plenty of backup and tactical opportunities.
Does the enemy get away from the rest of my party that turn? Did I surprise-round them and get near them to begin the combat with my 40 ft move, stealth, invisibilty, etc? If so, did they even get the freedom of movement off?
Not really. In one of my games you'd have likely ran up and tried to grapple, only to discover that the creature wasn't even able to be grappled to begin with and then proceeded to nom on your face. At which point you either need your mage friend to waste his actions trying to dispel the incredibly common and long duration buff or try to get you out of there so you don't die due to low AC and poor combat ability outside of your one-trick-pony's realm of moderate expertise.
Specific examples are specific, but the bottom line is that I built a pretty good grappler who is also pretty darn good at a number of other things. I'd be more than happy to look at another level 10 grapple build that is more well-rounded if you want to build one, or also I'd be more than happy to hyper-focus my own build on pure offense with some swashbuckler/scout shennanigans.
Which is why I don't consider specific examples to counter stuff, I think about builds in terms of how well they would do in my own games. The NPCs and encounters in my games follow the XP budgets set out in the core rules, and they are pretty varied. I'm used to dealing with high level play and the like. Singular tricks don't impress me because it takes more than "I can do this one thing really well" to be successful in a game where it's mundane for you to be surrounded 3 to one by high level fiends teleporting around and dropping doomsday spells and full-attacking you with their 6 arms + tail or throwing you around like a rag-doll with telekinesis.
I think about the adventure path I'm playing in on Fridays, where our party recently encountered a young (medium sized) white dragon with a few class levels who literally shredded one of our 6th level d8 HD PCs into tiny bits in one round. In one full attack the PC went from A-OK to "omg, I've taken 80 damage with 40-ish max HP".
It was just a little dragon. >.>
But hey, I sincerely appreciate the feedback and discussion, Ashiel.
That makes two of us. I'm really interested in understanding the tactical considerations of this build. I'm not seeing in my head why it would work or how it toots the horn of the rogue at all (rather than merely showing again how everything else does what the rogue tries to do except better), hence why I was asking.
I think the biggest issue I see with the constrict thing is that, to my knowledge you cannot qualify for feats with things that are considered temporary. Ergo, to my knowledge a druid cannot take Multiattack unless the druid has the 3+ natural attacks, even if the druid could wild shape into a bear for 3+ natural attacks. Nor could the druid take Improved Natural Attack (Claw) unless the druid actually has a claw attack.
I don't see this being legal RAW unless it's also legal for druids to take those feats because they can gain those attacks during their wild shape. Though if it's legal for druids too then no complaints here.
As to the AC thing, swapping Dex for Agile maneuvers and Weapon Finesse (so you can actually land a hit with your style counters) would definitely help out in the AC department, though the penalty for fighting defensively hurts and you can't fight defensively while maintaining a grapple. Now using a total defense up until you reach your foe could be useful, though you can't make AoOs when you're taking a total defense so that could be problematic unless your opponent walks into your trap and you can successfully grapple them.
Though grappling's actually pretty difficult. Aside from the fact freedom of movement came on scene 3+ levels ago, most of the brutish sorts that are going to be meleeing with you are going to have really high CMDs. For example, let's look at a few monsters.
Clay Golems have a pretty decent chance of just ignoring the grapple and pounding face (or pounding face while you're grappling it, probably after hasting itself).
Bebiliths are another example of a creature that might want to engage you in melee. It's CMD is likewise quite high, and its full attack routine is pretty terrible to behold.
If instead we assume something like a CR 8 gnoll warrior, we're looking at about 25 base CMD plus Strength plus Dexterity plus any feats, which could easily land it in the 30s.
That being said, I'm actually really impressed that you got a grapple modifier that high as a rogue, though I'm left wanting as it seems like a one trick pony that is easily swept aside. Though you might have been better off going full barbarian. You'd have more rounds of rage and your grapple checks would be much stronger (since you can get your full BAB + Str + class level to your CMB), and you could have a lot more survivability and more options when your entire build falls down around you (such as when freedom of movement happens).
Fake Healer wrote:
After level 12 the whole game starts falling apart really so fixing one class will lead to "now lets fix the fighter....next up monk....after that bard....then we can look at...". IMO if the rogue is fine until 12th then he is fine. I don't blame the classes when the game is the fault.
Why would you need to fix the bard? Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Paladin, Ranger, Sorcerer, and Wizard all work well right through high levels.
Fighter, Monk, Rogue are almost universally considered the underdogs. Most people agree that monk and rogue are broken through all levels of play.
I actually did fix the monk because I want my players to have a good time throughout all the levels. Because I've actually ran games that went into the 20s. The game isn't bad at those levels. If anything it's a ton of fun and challenging, exciting, and full of action as long as you learned all you should have through the low levels.
Hmmm, the belt thing is kind of odd. Probably legal given the precedent for ability score enhancing items to qualify for feats (though I'm not sure that the constrict ability gained from the item counts as a bonus), though I was under the impression that a druid can't take things like Multi-attack since they don't actually have natural attacks, merely can get them through temporary effects.
I'm not sure how to respond to this. There is a lot of material for Pathfinder and I don't claim to be an infallible resource when it comes to every minute detail. I'm legitimately curious as to how you qualified for Final Embrace. I'm also legitimately curious as to why you have those oils with no weapons to use them on (non of them AFAIK work with unarmed strikes / natural weapons). Is the AC intentional? Is it a byproduct of the build's goals?
I wouldn't have asked if I didn't want your answer.
EDIT: Ninja'd by an edit. :P
Could you elaborate on some stuff for me?
I think Bigdaddjug may be referring to the fact rangers get more love concerning things that help them Stealth. For example, rogues may pick a single terrain and hide in plain sight like a ranger. Meanwhile the ranger does it in every favored terrain. Rangers also have in-class access to things like hide from animals, negate aroma, pass without trace, risidual tracking, acute senses, chameleon stride, etc. Several of which can negate common foils vs Stealth (such as scent).
Likewise woodland stride makes using Stealth much easier since most natural locations of cover / concealment probably also count as difficult terrain (IE bushes, brambles, thickets, etc) or are in difficult terrain (trying to stealth through an overgrown marsh is a pain in the butt).
Compounded with the fact all rangers can take item creation feats and make their own elixirs of hiding, rangers are pretty amazing at stealth. Better than rogues IMHO. Rogues get...fast Stealth.
I'm a little confused. I was looking over your sheet and I'm not seeing how you get multiple attacks at the end of your charge, since you don't have pounce. I see that you could take Claw pounce at 14th level, but by that time it's exceedingly underwhelming. The best you're able to do if you go by Paizo's interpretation of speed weapons is 3 claw attacks or a little over 100 points of damage if all three claw attacks hit and you don't have to worry about DR.
That seems a little late to become viable. You also need to burn a feat for Shadow Strike or else your entire build is worthless against anything with a brain, because concealment effects prevent you from sneak attacking the foe, which means anything from 10 gp smokesticks and obscuring mist to cloud spells to blur and displacement and blink through invisibility / greater invisibility and so forth.
Your entire character can be invalidated by a 150 gp potion and only gets his/her first nice trick at a level when 150 gp is a drop in the ocean. That concerns me, and I'd like to see what your plans to meet this are before I show my tabletop players your build.
Meanwhile, I'm not sure what you mean about feral combat training. It only allows your natural weapons to be treated as unarmed strikes for the purposes of feats and buffs and such. I'm kind of failing to see how you plan to use that to pierce damage reductions unless you're going to take between 7-16 levels of monk along with your rogue levels. :\
Can you help me understand? :P
I'll admit, I giggled a little when you posted Madam Eva, I recall when you first shared that encounter. :P
It's a fun one and I thought that it was worth using as an example of expendable minions getting buffed. Perhaps ironically I'm less certain about the CR of that encounter than I am of the CR for Au'hare in the previous one. It's much easier to decide the appropriate CR at those levels with some practice.
Madam Eva/Elsa however? That one's trickier. In virtually all cases it threatens to be grossly extreme. If you gauge it by their individual CR, they're listed as 100 XP / cat. That's a sick joke really. Even kobolds with no real gear (sticks & stones, CR 1/6) would be scarier any day of the week.
Meanwhile, if I consider them gear as is customary for creatures with a set gold value included in the possession of an NPC (not unlike a wand of summon monster I) then things get even weirder. At 3 coppers a piece, madam Elsa could purchase about 13,000 of said cats with a nonheroic NPC's wealth. 3 HP or not, 13,000 would be a sick joke.
This is one of those rare instances where I myself feel like some serious GM judgment has to be used. I opted for a mix, counting them up to CR 1 and then judging the rest of it based on how much I felt the encounter stacked up with a quartet of kobolds or a trio of orc warriors.
Alignment DR screws everyone who doesn't straight up ignore it but can usually be handled by some appropriate buffs.. That being said material DR is still a concern.
Well the reason I asked is because I generally find most natural attack builds suffer heavily vs DR because it's difficult to reasonably penetrate aligned or material DRs. Weapons can easily be tweaked with an oil of bless weapon or align weapon or with some cheap materials (silver / cold iron weapons are cheapsauce).
However, getting past DR with natural weapons is difficult and rarely super effective except in some cases such as eidolons and druids. Even then you have to make use of the X enhancement bypasses Y DRs regardless of material or alignment (something I've never cared much for since I think if you're not going to actually use DR then it's a waste of space).
The only other thing that concerned me about your build (which again, I really do like) is that the sneak attack damage is only applied once after you've moved (I was reading the skirmisher class), so the damage that's getting done is actually really low at about 46 damage on a charge / movement + attack.
If these questions could be met adequately, I'd be pretty impressed actually. It's a cute idea. I feel it says more about the race rather than the class since it's really the race that is enabling anything to happen.
This is amusing, but what's your strategy vs damage reduction? Not poking fun, legitimately curious. Seems like DR 10/alignment or material would cut into your offense pretty heavily.
That being said, the scout archetype is amusing used like this. :)
The mini-encounter with Madam Elsa and her cats got a revision. The encounter is now pegged at CR 1 (400 XP) down from CR 3 (800 XP). This was because I recently found an actual price for cats (on the d20pfsrd.com, sourced from the Adventurer's Armory), valuing a cat at 3 copper pieces.
Because of this I just ate a gold piece from Madam Eva's 1st level NPC wealth which can buy her up to 33 house cats, and reset the encounter to involve her plus 20 cats (rather than 8). IMHO, this makes for a more interesting and amusing encounter. This also makes the cats more expendable since you're likely going to lose a few per turn due to attacks of opportunity and such (the cats have no natural reach which means they can't flank and can't threaten enemies effectively to prevent them from moving around, which means the cats must move into an enemy square just to begin attacking).
Also listed a morale for the kitties, so everyone knows that the cats aren't expected to fight to the death. Instead they spook and run as soon as you deal 1 damage to them. All in all, a cute and curious little encounter.
A decent build for rogues involves going Strength prime, dipping a level of Barbarian or Ranger for better proficiencies and class features, then focusing entirely on pole arms and reach weapons. Don't think about dual-wielding and take Catch Off Guard so you can smack people with your reach weapon in close-combat if they back you into a corner.
The result of going strength prime and never trying to dual-wield or the like means your to-hit bonuses will be decent enough to keep up with most of the other martials, and your 1.5 strength on damage rolls will keep you at least somewhat relevant while you're not sneak attacking. The extra reach can meanwhile provide more flanking opportunities more easily and more frequently. The extra armor proficiencies mean you don't have to have a suicidal armor class as using a breastplate is a decent option (and later a mithral breastplate or even celestial plate).
The only problems with this route is 1: You can do everything that you will do better as other core classes such as Ranger or Bard. 2: You're not going to look or feel like a rogue.
Ched Greyfell wrote:
Yes, sneak attack is the rogue's main source of damage. However, the damage being predicated on flanking and flat-footedness is what balances out the damage. Because it's a LOT of damage. If a rogue got that all the time, every time, it would be insane. It requires him to strategize, optimize feats, think, and work with his teammates. The rogue in Pathfinder is far & above what it was in previous editions of the game. Any problems stem from player-imposed roles or conceptions/misconceptions. The game isn't the rules. The game is a player-driven story, the rules are just a facilitator. I love rogues. They are great. Don't need "fixing". They already were fixed when they carried over from 3.5 to now.
Sneak attack is actually not a "LOT of damage". On average it's only about +3.5 damage per die. Martials deal more consistent damage when they're full-attacking in melee than rogues do just because their BAB and Power Attack scales better and can benefit from critical hits (no multiplying your sneak damage, but power attack gets multiplied).
About the only way for a rogue to consistently out-damage a martial with power attack is if the rogue is pushing strength as hard as they can. Otherwise their damage while flanking compares to a martial's and is pathetic when they aren't flanking.
Meanwhile, unlike rogues, martials cannot be completely invalidated with a few cheap trinkets. Rogues are taxed a feat from a splatbook or else they cannot sneak attack anything with concealment (which means smokesticks, blur, displacement, cloak of displacement lesser or major, darkness, deeper darkness, invisibility, greater invisibility, fog effects, obscuring mist, cloud spells, etc, etc, etc) all stop sneak attack from functioning. Even then, total concealment crushes you.
Then there's fortification armor, which the basic lesser version gives a 25% avoidance of sneak attacks and critical hits.
Then there's the fact elementals, oozes, and incorporeal foes are generally going to laugh at your damage no matter how hard you try.
Then there's the fact that being in melee is a very bad place to be, but that's where you need to be if you're going to do consistent damage with sneak attack (worse yet, you also need a friend to be consistently flanking with you). Rogues tend to have poor AC for characters who are going to engage in melee frequently, but their ranged attacking opportunities tend to be pretty bad unless they're invisible and within 30 ft.
This also adds to their multi-ability dependency. Rogues are built like spellcasters with no spells. They have a 3/4 BAB which means they have to make up their to-hit deficiencies with extra high stats. They have only light armor proficiency out of the gate, so they have to make up their AC deficiencies with extra high Dexterity. They have a d8 HD, so they have to make up for their lack of HP and Fortitude on the front lines with extra Constitution. Wisdom is a must since it applies to their poor Will saves. About the only stats they don't need in spades is Intelligence and Wisdom.
Finally, using strategy, optimizing, thinking, and working with one's team are most definitely not features of the rogue. You can do the same with any class, including the NPC classes like adept and warrior. In fact, when you use strategy and teamwork with other classes it tends to have a much bigger impact.
One of the issues a rogue has is that the rogue becomes a drain on the team. Either some one else must stop whatever they are doing and try to flank with the rogue or the rogue is worthless in combat. Unfortunately, the rogue is already taking up valuable party-real estate that could have been sporting a more useful class like Bard or Ranger. A class that could actually hold their own should no other party member be able to effectively come to their aid at that moment.
As an example, if we have a party consisting of bard, cleric, wizard, paladin, the paladin, cleric, and bard can each hold the line against a group of enemies effectively. If needed the Paladin, Bard, and Cleric can deal with multiple directions and issues at once (such as if the party is surrounded or needs to guard its flank). A rogue on the other hand is a waste of oxygen if the party cannot provide him or her with a flanking partner. At which point the party would have been better off with a trio of PCs and cohort that wasn't a rogue.
Really? Drow? Now I can't show that blog post to one of my GMs. Dude loves throwing us up against Drow and I'd rather not five him more help :P
Heh, oops, sorry! I figured the first was orcs and goblins, the next was evil outsiders, the third dark elves. Maybe the forth will include some undead (always a good one when looking for a solo BBEG) or giants or something. ^.^"
In 3.5, all offensive abilities with a DC were listed under special attacks. Paizo's statblocks are not rules so much as they are organizing the special abilities of creatures in ways that they are easy to see and account for during play.
Bobson has the right of it. If it's not spellcasting but allows a save DC, Ability Focus should be all accounts apply.
Wraithstrike is also right that there is nothing preventing PCs from picking up feats from the Bestiary beyond house rules or merely the feats' prerequisites.
Jacob Saltband wrote:
That's just the thing. You might not be. There's only a +1, +2, or +3 to the SCORE from aging. So you could easily have increased slightly in Intelligence without even noticing any real difference. If you're middle age then you got a +1 to your Int. Unless it got you to the next tier in modifiers, you wouldn't notice it at all.
For example, 12 Int -> 13 Int is no change in ability.
The best class for anti-undead that I know of is a cleric-necromancer build revolving around animate dead. Push Strength prime, Constitution secondary, Wisdom around 13 base (plus magic items as desired). Use options like animate dead + command undead to fight the undead, or drop Command Undead and be a spontaneous positive energy channeling Neutral cleric with the same tactic, except now you have the ability to heal / spontaneously smash some undead with cure spells.
The reason for animate dead is because it's exceptionally good at fighting undead. This was a tactic that has always done very well against undead in my experiences. The worst weapons of the undead (ability damage/drain, level drain, diseases, etc) do not work on undead, so using mindless undead such as bloody skeletons and/or fast zombies to do the lion's share of your melee fighting will help you out a ton.
Meanwhile, clerics get access to death ward at 7th level and can use it before then with scrolls or partially charged wands. This can be invaluable when fighting undead as it completely neuters things like shadows, the entire necromancy offensive arsenal, and reduces the hurt received from things like wights and vampires from their level drain.
Later on still (or again via spell-trigger/completion) you can make any weapon you wield a disrupting weapon with a DC equal to your saving throw DC (which will in general be much stronger than the DC 14 on an actual disrupting weapon) allowing you or your party to mow down minor undead rapidly.