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Seoni

Ashiel's page

RPG Superstar 8 Season Star Voter. 11,297 posts (11,300 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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CampinCarl9127 wrote:
Or to really be a dick to the city don't even siege it. Just go ethereal or w/e, go underneath the city, use a number of earthquake/stone shape/transmute rock to mud spells and completely destroy the infrastructure of the earth beneath the city. Then walk away and watch the entire city sink into the ground, killing most of the population in the process. And you don't even have to show your face.

I was going to suggest something pretty much identical to this. The only real difference is I was going to also suggest dire badgers. :P


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
I absolutely believe in playing for flavor. That being the case, when a new player wants to play, I ask them what they want to play as, and proceed to hear a description. I then help them to build a character who actually does what they describe, rather than being hamstrung by trying to make the character say 'Fighter' on their sheet.

Pretty much this.

Quote:

I'm a nice, friendly, happy guy. Look at my post history, ask anybody. So's N. Jolly in almost everything I've ever seen him post.

I also optimize, and so, kinda inevitably, being told I'm playing the game wrong pissed me off quite a bit, actually. I imagine it did him, too. Being insulted tends to result in that, even for otherwise happy and friendly people.

Not sure about my posting history, but I know that my biggest peeves tend to stem from people bein' like "rules bad, roleplay good!" tends to get on my nerves. That and people not reading posts when they're insistent on arguing them (seriously, there ought to be a rule or something).


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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

Well...this was a Pathfinder character. Back when Pathfinder was still shiny.

EDIT: Also, weapon specialization sucks for a lot of reasons, even if I was buried into it for her favored weapon. Looking back on it, it never made her more enjoyable to play, it was just required to try to justify the existence of the fighter next to other martials (and failed to do so).
Exactly. Seeking to optimize always results in no satisfaction. Believe me, it took me years to find out. It's an arms race you'll never win unless you play an RPG that is no longer supported - Paizo still puts out books monthly, so there will always be better options than those that came before.

Not sure what you're saying "exactly" for. This was literally a tale of woe, about how I came up with a character concept that I liked and still like, and how the Fighter mechanics failed me.

Quote:
Start playing for flavor, and you'll feel the warmth of the sun on your cheeks again.

I think you're barking up the wrong tree. You don't know me, my games, or my characters. Likewise, I had to introduce three new people to RPGs within the last month, same sessions, etc. Literally every single one of them has been chomping at the bit to play again.

Quote:
Unchained does a great job to add options and systems that enriches the game experience. It has allowed a player in my campaign, for instance, to skyrocket his 'plain fighter' into the stratosphere in terms of roleplay. He's level 3 and has two non-combat feats (that adds skill options and traits) and he's loving it so far. The background skills option does an amazing job for fighters (although I'm starting to look at Sleight of Hand in a stern manner here...) He knows his saves will suck compared to a paladin, and I've given him advice so that he's not thrown to the wolves and unprepared in that regard, so that he doesn't spend the first 10 rounds of each fight being paralyzed, running in fear or dominated, but I'm not about to tell him to not play a fighter or to absolutely take feats to improve his will save. One can recognize flaws and not necessarily make a build to compensate: it's also about realizing that a couple potions of this or that should be kept on hand instead of piling huge stashes of gold forever so that you can have your 50K sword ASAP. It's about going with the flow. Man.

It's amazing that you can make my points for me and yet be completely and utterly unaware that you're doing so.


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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
This is a game. It's meant to be fun. An element of risk is part of the fun. Your hand holding of players would detract from the fun. Help provided when asked is fine. Dictating what a player should play to "win" the game is a complete waste of time as the GM can up or lower the dimmer switch to increase/lower difficulty as he wants.

It's like you've got an industrial scarecrow factory. :o

Quote:
A GM should never be a slave to a pre-written script, with the players acting as his jailors holding the proverbial gun to his head so that he does not step out of line and so that he keeps running the show as written. That's a perverse scheme that reeks of players reading the adventure ahead of time to test the GM. The reek usually comes from players that never volunteer as GMs and show up completely prepared to "win" every single encounter of the module!! oh!! what heroes! oh! what geniuses!! they have all the right feats and made all the right choices! down to the last potion of reduce person they needed to fit into that HOLE!!! wow! they're awesome!

It's amazing you said so much and yet none of it was relevant. Cheating aside (because changing statistics of things round to round is cheating), nothing about what I've said (or anyone else I've seen) even resembles what you're babbling about.

And it's not doing any favors to suggest that fighters are great because the GM can cheat and reduce the difficulty level of the game on the fly to accommodate the suckage.


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cablop wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
cablop wrote:
For people who wants to spend TOO few time making a character before deciding if the're going to love the game, a fighter is the right choice. 5 minutes and you are on the road to adventure.

Fighter vs Ranger character creation

1. Generate ability scores.
2. Assign ability scores.
3. Assign skill points (2 vs 6).
4. Pick a general Feat from a large list of feats.
R. Write down class features.
F. Pick a combat Feat from a large list of feats.

The ranger is faster to generate because there's less time spent sifting through crap.

Except that we can skip 3, 4 and the last ones. I'd tell the player, ok, let's play, then decide the feats n skills later, once you understand how they work. You cannot do it with a fixed ability of a class.

Yeah you can. Seriously, if you're just going to ignore skill points and feats and class features, there is literally no difference between the two at 1st level.

This isn't even an argument for the Fighter.


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Well...this was a Pathfinder character. Back when Pathfinder was still shiny.
EDIT: Also, weapon specialization sucks for a lot of reasons, even if I was buried into it for her favored weapon. Looking back on it, it never made her more enjoyable to play, it was just required to try to justify the existence of the fighter next to other martials (and failed to do so).


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Scythia wrote:

Amusingly, my first 3.0 character was a fighter. Even in that first game, I talked the DM into letting me make changes because the class as written didn't reflect what I was looking for.

I had fun with the character, a daughter of a swordsmith determined to become a samurai, but the game only lasted three sessions (with time and leveling skips between sessions). I can agree that the only thing the character taught me was the basics, and feat system. Although that wasn't as complicated then.

I wasn't new to gaming at all though, having run AD&D for years.

I once had a character that I loved that was a Fighter. A nomadic elf from the desert who dual-wielded short blades on chains (refluffed 3.5 kusari-gama), who was searching the world for her daughter who had been abducted by her daughter's human father, and she was adventuring to both search herself and also to fund an information network to help her find her daughter.

She was awesome, cool, blah-blah. Yet in retrospect, I was often working against my class to make her cool rather than with it, and I would have been much better off representing everything about her with a Ranger instead.


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Given that part of the big appeal of the underdark is in fact dealing with the vast darkness, I think acting like players are being spoilsports for playing races that don't easily see in those settings is pretty pedantic. Especially since a number of underdark denizens actually have superior darkvision (such as drow with their 120 ft. darkvision), which means if you don't use light you're probably going to be destroyed even harder.


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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
A newbie should play whatever he wants to play. Idiots who hover around new gamers trying to tell them how stupid they are for taking this or that feat is what drives new players away.

What lovely hyperbole. Did you make that scarecrow yourself? It's quite dashing.

Let me try!

Idiots who throw new players to the proverbial wolves while letting them learn to swim without a lifeguard are what drive away new players.

Did I do it right? :B


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cablop wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Not once in any of these situations would a Fighter be a better choice for teaching a new player how to play the game.
Just one scenario. The player wants to play NOW. I have a newbie like that, she choosed a complex class and then she never finished to build it. So her PC is lacking things, but she always wants to play NOW and never wanted to get the extras.

Gonna note that pretty much every basic game released for D&D/Pathfinder has pregenerated characters. Typically when I'm introducing people to D&D/Pathfinder, I discuss things not in esoteric terms like classes, feats, etc; but instead in concepts and narrative archetypes; then I help them make a character that will do those things, explaining a few key abilities as we go.

Pregens often serve this purpose as well.

Once they've learned the basics, they can try building their own characters once they know what they're building. However, it takes less time to make a Ranger than a Fighter, since you pick 1 feat and the rest is built in. Unless you spend a long time figuring out where your skill points are going.

Quote:
For people who wants to spend TOO few time making a character before deciding if the're going to love the game, a fighter is the right choice. 5 minutes and you are on the road to adventure.

Fighter vs Ranger character creation

1. Generate ability scores.
2. Assign ability scores.
3. Assign skill points (2 vs 6).
4. Pick a general Feat from a large list of feats.
R. Write down class features.
F. Pick a combat Feat from a large list of feats.

The ranger is faster to generate because there's less time spent sifting through crap.


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Speaking of classes, let me give a preview of how the class system works. It's been kind of held behind the curtain for a bit, though I think I can give an explanation without dropping actual mechanics into the thread (I was advised by a friend to avoid posting any actual game material on the forums due to potential legal ramifications).

Basically, classes aren't tied to your progressions anymore. It's a weird thing for veterans of d20 to wrap their heads around at first (it took my buddy Jay a bit for it to truly sink in, then he got excited about it while making his character). Instead, classes are kind of like archetypes or sets of class features and they aren't directly connected to your stats.

At each level, a character chooses how they are going to advance (this includes your 1st level which is essentially your advancement from a level 0 commoner to a heroic character). You options for advancement are along a martial path, hybrid path, or magic path, which determine how your Hp, BAB, Skills, Magic Power, and Proficiencies improve for that level.

So a person who goes 20/20 martial path will have "perfect" martial oriented stats (lots of HP, perfect BAB, lots of skills, crappy magic power, lots of proficiencies). Someone who goes 20/20 magic would be the opposite (crappy HP, crappy BAB, crappy skills, full-casting), and hybrids would be a lot like Bards.

You can mix and match as desired (Jay's "chapel librarian" bard for example was a mixture of Martial/Hybrid).

Now, you also get a class more or less for free starting out. Your class determines what sort of special abilities you have and what sort of special abilities you have access to. Unlike in regular d20, you do not have a "class level", you either are a class or you aren't, and you can be multiple classes (a bit more on the multiclassing system below).

For example, becoming a druid gets you the basic druid class feature (Wildshaping + Access to Magic), while becoming a Barbarian gives you Rage, becoming a Ranger gives you an animal companion, becoming a rogue gives you Cunning Strike, becoming a Bard gets you bard performances, etc, etc.

Now, you get a number of talents that you can invest (kind of like feats). You can spend a talent to unlock further aspects of a class (such as unlocking rage powers for a barbarian) OR you can spend a talent to unlock a new class. Unlocking a new class gets you the basic class feature of the new class and allows you to spend further talents into unlocking features from your new class as well.

For example, Druids don't automatically get animal companions in D20 Legends. Instead their shtick is centered around Wildshaping and other druid-y things (such as nature magic). Rangers get animal companions strait out of the gate, but if you wanted to make a Pathfinder-style druid, you'd simply pick up both classes and how much you invest into either of those will represent what you are overall.

Because of this, Jay's character was mostly bard with a splash of champion (cleric/paladin replacement) who was mostly about martial skills with a bit of casting. Really, the potential options are near limitless.

It largely invalidates the need for archetypes, prestige classes, or anything of that nature. Instead, you simply mix different classes to create things like Slayers or Arcane Tricksters. Even greater is the potential to fill nearly any niche, since adding additional talent options to classes (similar to how you can add rage powers or rogue talents in Pathfinder) is more practical than adding entirely new (and often conflicting) classes or archetypes.

It even offers up the potential to create specialized hybrid character options through the use of talents that require talents from multiple classes (such as creating a talent that required a character to have both Rage and Divine Power, which are features of two different classes). The potential is great. :D


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master_marshmallow wrote:
I'm not saying it should be what they're stuck with, but a one shot where you run a fighter to learn the basics is great.

There is literally no reason to use a Fighter though. If you're doing a 1-shot to learn the basics, rangers are still better. At low levels, Rangers are Fighter+, and at high levels they're Fighter^.

What are you going to teach a player with a Fighter in a introductory 1-shot that you aren't going to be able to teach them (probably better) with a Ranger? I mean, if I wanted to run a "tutorial" game, I'd probably include...

1. A small combat scene or two (perhaps one melee, one ranged).
2. A chance to learn about Perception vs Stealth.
3. A few skill challenges here (such as a situation where the PC can either try to talk their way across a bridge, swim under the bridge, sneak across the bridge, bluff across the bridge, climb across the bridge, etc).
4. A scene to learn about things like cover/concealment.
5. A scene to learn about basic magic items (like potions and wands).
6. A scene to learn about buying and selling items.

Several of these scenes could be combined in the tutorial adventure. For example, an encounter with some goblin archers would be a great place to learn about things like cover, concealment, crouching, etc.

Not once in any of these situations would a Fighter be a better choice for teaching a new player how to play the game.


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Icehawk wrote:

Cross thread posting!

That seems neat. Hopefully we can use Awesome Blow even though we aren't massive. That always struck me as weird, I can at high levels benchpress a car but I can't punch a commoner an inch backwards because I'm not big enough. But I've always enjoyed combo moves like that.

Well, after I get about 4th level magic worked out (as in 0-4th level spells), I'm going to return to working on the classes in earnest (at the moment only a few exist in any playable format), and I'll also be working on monsters (because there's still some things to determine as to how monsters will be built, but I'm hoping to make monster building a bit easier and more akin to PC building, both to aid GMs in rapidly building monsters and also to make incorporating odd creatures into campaign settings as PC-choices more practical).

The deal with the iron giant was I wanted to create a couple of monster abilities that made the encounter a bit more dynamic than "I big, I hit big too". Having the giant golem literally toss PCs around like ragdolls and then bum-rush them sprang to mind as something cool and thematic (I'll admit I probably was inspired by the Sentinel from X-Men children of the Atom and subsequent Marvel vs Capcom games).

Kind of a precursor to things I'd like to make a little more common throughout the game if possible.

As to combo-based abilities, we might be seeing some in different places, both for monsters and PCs. Not something that will be for (or forced) onto every character, but there's at least one martial oriented class that's intended to generate and expend resources while fighting (possibly allowing them to perform combos), and my friend Raital is super anxious for me to create some spells and abilities that are intended to be used as combos (such as a spell that causes someone on fire to detonate in an AoE or something).

To a lesser extent but still qualifying as a sort of "combo", rogues in the system currently have an option to cause creatures to begin bleeding, and then have another option that allows them to hunt creatures based on that bleeding (so the rogue is still going to merc you if you're invisible) and have higher crit-chances against foes already bleeding out.

Mind you, it's an option, not all rogues would have it (in fact, neither of the party's rogues took that route, as they were more interested in pushing their non-crit damage harder at these levels).

After I hammer out the 1st-4th level spells, I feel that the next "big hurdle" is going to be the monster rules. Mostly because I want to bring a bit of order to the house and write some rules for handling things like SLA access or special abilities like regeneration (which in turn would finally allow you to build lesser and greater versions of monsters more easily, and it would also squelch the #1 issue people have with simulacrum w/ monsters).


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Tacticslion wrote:

I just cooked a steak. You interested?

(You've got to get to central Florida within the next three days, though, or it'll no longer be edible. I also highly recommend within the next three hours...)

;)

That will be difficult! Though I've been to Florida at least twice in my life, my granddad's birthday is today so we're eating...steak (I think) grilled on the...grill. :D


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Yeah I was thinking the exact same thing. If anything the PCs should wake up to find their gear elsewhere on the ship, with the finer pieces being used by badguys.
Exactly. I mean...what kind of businessman throws away something valuable?

Especially when the gear is likely worth more than the people wearing it. :|


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Arbane the Terrible wrote:
This highlights one of PF (and D&D's) big problems - characters are excessively gear-centric. A fighter's likely to be specialized in one type of weapon (and needs armor), a wizard with no spellbook (or component pouch!) is a Commoner with a good Will-save, even a cleric needs a holy symbol.

In no attempt to diminish your very correct point, I'd like to note this is why I tend to take Eschew Materials and Spell Mastery on my wizards. Picking a set of general spells that are decent can go a long way towards keeping you from being the flat tire, and you can periodically retrain Spell Mastery to update your mastered spells.

It's also worthwhile to note that simply preparing a lot of low-level spells in higher level slots (a thing you can do) is still quite effective with mages do to free scaling. If you've got metamagic feats, all the better.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

Wait, hold on a moment here...

Spoiler:
They throw all the PCs items overboard? Are they stupid? Why would you do that? Even in 1E, magical gear is rare and valuable as hell. Probably more so than the PCs are as slaves. Throwing it overboard is like saying:

"Oh, we've captured these people to sell as slaves, let's throw their vast quantities of money overboard."

Railroading (which is awful, and shouldn't be done like this) aside, this plot makes no in-world sense either. Unless there's key information I'm missing here.

Yeah I was thinking the exact same thing. If anything the PCs should wake up to find their gear elsewhere on the ship, with the finer pieces being used by badguys.


Icehawk wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Icehawk wrote:
*Grabbyhands playtest* ;3;

I promise I'm working on it diligently. :P

** spoiler omitted **...

I want to reply so much to this but I don't wanna hijack the thread :p. Funnily enough I'm mostly interested in what the giant did though. Hope that's an option cus that sounds awesome cus I wanna play hackey sack with a goblin.

But should probably put this up in somewhere else.

Well we could always continue it in the A.A.A. thread thread. As to what the iron giant did, it was using a very early version of some conceptual combo-abilities based off a slightly revised version of Awesome Blow; wherein after making a big strike your character also makes a special attack to chuck your victim (potentially as a ranged attack), and another ability that allowed it to charge as an immediate action right after tossing something. I was using the giant to experiment with how quickly such actions could be resolved and the test came back in the good (it was actually really fast :D).


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Icehawk wrote:
*Grabbyhands playtest* ;3;

I promise I'm working on it diligently. :P

Stuff:
I've sat here at my PC for the past several hours working on the core magic chapter (specifically, the "universal" rules of magic, with things like spellcasting, psionics, chakra magic, and stuff like that being "traditions" with their own little chapters that detail their unique rules, which is intended to both link all the traditions together and cut down on repeating text for how to do things like make Concentration checks or stack things) and hope to start on 1st-4th level spells soon (at the moment, our pre-alpha playtest was using normal PF spells with only slight tweaks, but a lot of spells are getting revised in big ways.

I've detailed the purpose and meanings behind common descriptors rather than just lumping them together, removed a few (such as Healing), added a few (such as positive, negative, life, and water), explain old and new interactions between effects (such as how you need an equal or higher level [Life] spell to raise someone slain with a [Death] effect).

I've likewise adjusted the language for aiming abilities and effects for hex-grids (as the game is intended to be played on a Hex grid instead of 5ft. squares, as this has provided the smoothest gameplay out of options we've tried. Seriously, hex grids are amazing for playing D&D to the point I'm like "wtf weren't we funding this!?" XD).

It's a lot of work but I'm excited about it, more and more as it gets closer and closer to alpha-playtest ready. Given the way martial and magical skill interacts with each other, combined with the new system for leveling and building characters, a lot of unique character types jump to the realm of valid.

For example, my buddy Jay was playing a "Bard-thing". Specifically, the character he build was an 8th level character who had a +6 BAB, 2nd level spells, a pool of divine power (which let his character do things like channel energy, lay on hands, and smite), and bardic performances. He had specialized much more heavily into his bard-side than his champion side (bard and champion were his two classes) and had the ability to chain multiple performances together which was his main shtick.

For spells, he chose things like flame blade and produce flame (because you more or less build your own spell list) as well as some utility spells. Caster level doesn't work the same way it does in 3.x/Pathfinder so even though his character could only cast 2nd level spells, she (the character) was casting them at full power (so produce flame gave her 1 attack / level). Further, her +6 BAB gave her an extra +2d6 damage on all attacks, so since she had attack-roll related spells she was able to apply it to those too. The result is she was chucking 3d6+5 fire-bolts at people and swinging her 1d8+2d6+mods flame blade around in melee and wrecking faces.

One of her feats allowed her to drop a performance and let it linger for a few rounds, so she would combine several performances into a single performance (which costs 3 rounds/round to keep up) and then drop it on the following rounds and let it linger. By combining so many performances, she was shouting magical "advice" (she's a sort of clerical librarian) at her friends which were giving them +10 tempHP/round, +2 AC, +2 Defenses (saves), +2 hit/damage, +2 effective levels (basically for level based variables you count as +2 levels higher, so you punch through things like magic resistance easier), etc.

She and the party's assassin refined lady of class tore into a group of goblins and a couple of ogre champions. A huge amount of their success was due to her performances since they were allowing the rogue to land lots more attacks (and damn could that rogue push some damage on each one-handed weapon attack), then when one of the ogre champions (an ogre with some class levels) jumped into melee with her she declared him her smite target and started dueling with her flame blade (and 1d8+2d6+mods+bardic music+smite damage on a touch attack was doing pretty well).

Later, those two met up with the rest of the party in the middle of the camp they were assaulting, just in time for a big mechanized golem-thing to trudge its way up from underground and begin fighting with them. The sucker had hardness, and a pair of abilities that allowed it to hit enemies and send them flying and then combo a rush into it. So the bard and the refined lady are going to fight with it, and my brother's rogue (with pistols) runs over to join the fray. The big iron giant slams Mandy's character (the refined lady) into Jay's character and then swift-action charges into her for another bone-crunching hit. However, this allowed my brother's rogue to recognize that his ass-end was no open and he had another rogue in melee with him.

Now...in this game, that is really bad. Recognizing the opportunity to tag-team with his fellow rogue, he ran into combat with the giant while drawing his combat knife (took him a double move to reach them in melee from his original position but it was sooo worth it). You see, rogues double their bonuses in cases with Pathfinder rogues would get to do sneak attack damage; so our bloodied refined lady came back up swinging and boy did she swing. The iron giant's AC was pretty low for its otherwise robust body and she proceeded to scrap it into a pile of nuts and bolts.

Because normally she's swinging at 1d3 (she uses very small, super concealable weaponry) plus her Dex modifier plus 2d6 from her BAB plus 3d6 from her rogue class (because she had specialized in her bonus damage), but since she was flanking him, she now got +6d6 damage from her rogue class. His low-AC, her 5 attacks/round (3 base, 1 off-hand, 1 haste), and her bonus damage...well let's just say his hardness did not save him.


Ryan Freire wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

All of those answers seem like pretty plausible reasons that "eagle bombing" would be a poor idea in an RPG-version of LotR.

Giant eagles have poor AC and no cover vs ranged attacks while flying.

Giant eagles have poor will saves and are thus weak vs the Ego of the magic ring.

Giant eagles may be confronted with bigger, badder, flying foes such as ringwraiths mounted on wyverns or something.

We could probably come up with more if we put our GM-caps on. :P

Eagles are like "one does not simply fly into mordor"

Haha, nice. XD


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cablop wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Rashagar wrote:
My favourite experience of teaching the game to someone was when the new level 4 ranger player took the spell Commune with Birds for that day and proceeded to act like a badass Disney princess. :-D
This wins at life. Seriously, best thing I've read all day. (^-^)
Then you missed this post. xD

Yeah that's pretty epic too. :D


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Rashagar wrote:
My favourite experience of teaching the game to someone was when the new level 4 ranger player took the spell Commune with Birds for that day and proceeded to act like a badass Disney princess. :-D

This wins at life. Seriously, best thing I've read all day. (^-^)


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Boomerang Nebula wrote:
voideternal wrote:
Snowblind wrote:
voideternal wrote:
How about situations where you don't start at level 1? Maybe the new player is filling in a spot where an experienced older player left for real life reasons.

"Hey new player, you need to pick ten feats to go with your character. Start...now."

Yeah, still not seeing it. The new player still needs their hand held and basically can't make any decisions on their own because they lack the system mastery required. Feats are kind of horrible that way.

So hold their hand. For a Fighter, all the GM needs to do is hold their hand in character creation. For Rangers and Paladins, this hand-holding will also happen mid-game during instances such as daily spell selection.
Fighters are simpler to play, but they are also boring. I think I would prefer blaster style sorcerer as my recommendation for a newbie if for some reason the ranger wasn't a good idea (like the party already had two rangers).

Y'know, I helped my brother's girlfriend build a sorcerer for a pre-alpha playtest of the d20 core I've been working on and y'know, she was having a blast playing that sorceress. She pretty much just flew around on a large red dragon (which she had due to leadership) and nuked the crap out of stuff while they ran screaming.

The rest of the players were also highly amused. We had two rogues in the group (one a steampunk mercenary who used guns, grenades, and bayonets; the other a refined assassin lady who happened to be quite skilled with a parasol, hairpins, a metal fan, and sewing scissors); a Paladin/Bard thingy (who fought with flame blade and produce flame while smiting and buffing); a barbarian who did barbarian things (like eating huge amounts of punishment); and then when my brother's buddy arrived late they threw together another Rogue for him. So our current tabletop consists of:

1 blaster sorceress + her brother dragon.
3 rogues (1 close ranged specialist, one ranged specialist, one 'tweener).
1 bard/priest-thingy (has a +6 BAB, 2nd level spells, wrecks face and prevents enemies from wrecking faces).
1 barbarian (who actually needs to get raised after a trio of critical hits).

Disclaimer: Nothing about this post should be construed as being representative of Pathfinder classes. You have been warned. @_@


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voideternal wrote:
Snowblind wrote:
voideternal wrote:
How about situations where you don't start at level 1? Maybe the new player is filling in a spot where an experienced older player left for real life reasons.

"Hey new player, you need to pick ten feats to go with your character. Start...now."

Yeah, still not seeing it. The new player still needs their hand held and basically can't make any decisions on their own because they lack the system mastery required. Feats are kind of horrible that way.

So hold their hand. For a Fighter, all the GM needs to do is hold their hand in character creation. For Rangers and Paladins, this hand-holding will also happen mid-game during instances such as daily spell selection.

Unless you intend to just ignore a player during the game (which would be horrible), you're going to be holding a newbie's hand either way. However it's a lot better to show them a thing and let them do it and then learn a new thing later than just give them one thing to learn.

That's not being nice or easy on them, it's literally shorting them on the experience. And again, there's nothing worthwhile that the Fighter is going to be doing that the Ranger wouldn't.

And if you build the Ranger for them as you would need to build the Fighter for them, the Ranger is going to be better overall and more likely to survive long enough for the player to learn how to play (due to better saves, ability to craft their own gear, a versatile skill set, an expendable tag-team buddy or mount, etc).

That would be like keeping a child in kindergarten rather than progressing to the next tier of lessons because they're a newbie. The only way you stop being a newbie is to actually learn to play the game.


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voideternal wrote:
How about situations where you don't start at level 1? Maybe the new player is filling in a spot where an experienced older player left for real life reasons.

As Insain Dragoon remarked, the power disparity between functionality is even worse at those levels. Especially if they want to build their own character.

If you're building them at higher levels, Ranger is a better choice because they're more robust than Fighters and still allow them to experience more of the game and have things to do outside of hitting things in combat. There is literally nothing outside of combat that a Fighter has over Ranger, and Rangers of 3rd+ level can sleep in armor without becoming fatigued.

Returning to the notion of teaching new players about the game, an 8th level Ranger (the highest level range I'd be comfortably teaching people to play the game with) has a couple of 1st and 2nd level spells and doesn't have to worry about learning them (just pick a couple each day) and the spells are good for getting your feet wet in that regard.

The Ranger with an animal companion has a mount that won't die in a stiff breeze, and even if the Ranger largely ignores the animal and just uses it as a glorified packmule to carry loot on instead of using it in combat the Ranger is still roughly as good as a Fighter in melee (remember, by 8th level, Fighters only have a +1 to hit and damage from Weapon Training) and has more to contribute to the party.


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voideternal wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
voideternal wrote:
hiiamtom wrote:
I gotta be honest, players that don't know the rules at level 4-5 are actively working to not learn the rules. That's the entirety of one adventure path book; and time-wise it is months of playing the game. Heck, a new player slows things down enough to make that even longer than normal.

As regards to my posts, I'm not making any assumptions about the new player. They might be an elementary schooler, college student, 80 years old...

I'm also not making any assumptions about how often a session happens. If the group meets once a month, then there's a whole month's worth of time where the new player forgets the rules that they learned.
Even if you meet only once a month, you still have to amass 60 encounters worth of experience points to reach 4th level. So either the sessions are longer with more action in them or you'll never need to worry about reaching 4th level anyway since playing for around 3-6 hours / month means you'll probably die of old age or the campaign will fall apart far sooner than 4th level will come around.
The above logic only holds if you're assuming a normal experience progression (as opposed to fast progression), and also assumes that the experience comes through combat. Some campaigns give vast amounts of non-combat experience, and other campaigns don't use an experience-based progression at all.

Fast XP track isn't much different (it's about 15+ encounters worth of XP / level), and I said "worth of experience", indicating that the players have been doing something that is worth amassing experience points (dealing with traps, achieving plot objectives, adventuring in hazardous areas) in which case being anything other than a Fighter is not only more helpful it's infinitely less boring since most any other class will have more that they can contribute to the game when they're not actively in combat.

Which means that the Ranger would have more opportunities to learn about the rest of the game due to their improved skill points, and deal with traps and hazards more easily (better saves), and be more likely to contribute in noncombat situations (such as being able to use things like delay poison, tracking, scouting, etc).

As for campaigns that don't use XP at all (which is not a Pathfinder thing), they tend to award levels at certain milestones that feel like the party should gain a level. If the GM is "awarding" levels too frequently to learn abilities on what is easily the most newb-friendly class, that's the GM's fault and is in no way a point for the Fighter because if they couldn't learn "attack rolls" in 4 levels as a Ranger they didn't learn it as a Fighter either.

Seriously, there is no right situation where the Fighter would be a better choice for a newbie. It's one of the worst classes you could introduce anyone to the game with (possibly THE worst).


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voideternal wrote:
hiiamtom wrote:
I gotta be honest, players that don't know the rules at level 4-5 are actively working to not learn the rules. That's the entirety of one adventure path book; and time-wise it is months of playing the game. Heck, a new player slows things down enough to make that even longer than normal.

As regards to my posts, I'm not making any assumptions about the new player. They might be an elementary schooler, college student, 80 years old...

I'm also not making any assumptions about how often a session happens. If the group meets once a month, then there's a whole month's worth of time where the new player forgets the rules that they learned.

Even if you meet only once a month, you still have to amass 60 encounters worth of experience points to reach 4th level. So either the sessions are longer with more action in them or you'll never need to worry about reaching 4th level anyway since playing for around 3-6 hours / month means you'll probably die of old age or the campaign will fall apart far sooner than 4th level will come around.


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All of those answers seem like pretty plausible reasons that "eagle bombing" would be a poor idea in an RPG-version of LotR.

Giant eagles have poor AC and no cover vs ranged attacks while flying.

Giant eagles have poor will saves and are thus weak vs the Ego of the magic ring.

Giant eagles may be confronted with bigger, badder, flying foes such as ringwraiths mounted on wyverns or something.

We could probably come up with more if we put our GM-caps on. :P


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This thread has taught me that I'm a bad, bad person, and nobody should play with me. :3


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voideternal wrote:
Passive, fluctuating bonuses like Favored Terrain and Favored Enemy are complex because they do not always apply. For a slow new player to add / remove the bonuses correctly every time, somebody will have to constantly remind the new player to do so. On the flipside, Weapon Training tends to always apply, and thus is much simpler for the new player.

Weapon Training doesn't even come online until 5th level. A crappy way for people to learn. Passive benefits like favored enemy or terrain are easiest to learn at 1st-3rd level because they're the only real abilities you get like that at the time. So you've got 3 levels to learn about how those abilities work. And if you don't remember them, you're still a Fighter with more skills and better saves.

Quote:
All activated bonuses such as Smite Evil, Hunter's Bond (buff), and spells are complex because they cause a choice paralysis at every action.

By the time you get hunter's bond, you should have a fair grasp on what you're doing since you've been learning your abilities in 3 level increments and should have mastered most of your core features by then.

Likewise, the entirety of the game revolves around choices for when to use abilities. The entire point is to teach newbies how to make choices without becoming overwhelmed, not prevent them from making choices at all (which teaches nothing). Thus having abilities like Smite Evil or a smidgeon of little Ranger spells starting at 4th level is GOOD for the player, not bad.

Quote:
For new players who are quick learners, this is no problem, but for slower players, someone will have to back-seat drive them every time their turn comes up.

Except for Rangers, the "backseat driving" would consist of "That guy's undead so your favored enemy works on him" or "That big thing would probably be a good smite target".

Because for all else, you've got the same mechanics as the Fighter (HIT STUFF, MOAR!) except you're just better at adventuring.

And since the "choices" stuff are limited to either 1 choice (Y/N) from 1st-3rd levels, and then "few choices" at 4th level, you've got about 60 encounters worth of experience points to amass before you'll be making any major decisions. And none of those decisions is going to actively cripple your character like making a bad decision with a Fighter will.

Quote:
On the flipside, for fighters, their complexity only happens at every level-up. Backseat-driving a new player's level-up choices disrupts the flow of the game less, because it happens less often.

I disagree. We're talking about learning how to play the game here. Fighters require a high degree of system mastery to function compared to their peers and allow for little experimentation. Rangers, however, are easier to learn with, can allow a player to dabble in a variety of what the game has to offer in baby steps, and are good forever.

Quote:
Also, I don't agree with the premise that by level 4, every new player will know what they are doing. And for slow learners, an animal companion is a whole floodgate of new rules, and even prepared spellcasting causes choice paralysis at the day-level.

If by level 4 you don't know how to roll attack rolls, something is horribly wrong. Such an individual couldn't have passed Kindergarten if they haven't learned how to perform the only offensive action available to them over 60 encounters worth of adventuring.

The animal companion rules are actually not very complicated. You pick an animal, apply stats on the chart, pick a feat, and go. It does, however, allow the ranger to also explore the mounted combat rules or running minions which allows them to learn yet more about the game (including preparing them for playing summoning characters); while unlike a druid it doesn't drop 2 characters worth of stuff on them at 1st level (it gives them 3 levels to learn how to do the basic stuff like moving, attacking, and using skills).

Quote:
Edit: For the record, I don't think Fighters are always a better choice for new players. I think Fighters are a better choice for some players.

For all of these reasons and more, Fighters are among the WORST classes that you can give to newbies to teach them how to play the game.

Better classes would be Ranger, Paladin, Barbarian, Cleric, and Bard.
EDIT: With bard being the most complex and easily ruined of the aforementioned classes. However, literally every one of these classes is simple, starts at low levels strong (allowing them to excel at the basics of moving and beating stuff with sticks) and doesn't require mastery of spellcasting (but Cleric and Bard can introduce you to spellcasting without it needing to be your primary focus).


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voideternal wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
voideternal wrote:
People are different. To, per thread title, never give a new player a fighter, and give them paladin/ranger instead, will not always lead to the best possible outcome. My proposal to how to choose a beginner class to a player is, first and foremost, thinking about your new player. The new player in question is probably not a stranger. The new player is probably a friend or relative of the GM, and the GM should be able to make an educated guess on how much time and effort the player will spend on learning the game. Even assuming the player is a total stranger, Pathfinder is a table top RPG. The GM is talking to the new player for a whole session. Either way, the GM should be able to weigh the benefits / drawbacks of recommending a Fighter versus a Paladin / Ranger for this particular new player.
If the GM is seriously trying to convince the new player that it's even a toss-up between Ranger and Fighter, the GM is already deceiving the player. Rangers can fill all the roles Fighters can, typically better, and has more options at higher levels.
The point I'm trying to argue isn't the power balance between Ranger/Paladin and Fighter. It's the complexity. If the player is frustrated at the lack of power of the Fighter, I would think an understanding GM would let the player rebuild a Ranger or Paladin. But for a new player, I can imagine them being frustrated by the mass of rules than the power balance.

But that's just the point. There's not a mass of rules.

Ranger begins with the following compared to the Fighter.
+2 Reflex (no complexity)
+4 additional skill points (this actually makes it easier to pick skills because you'll spend less time agonizing over what you want).
+1 Favored Enemy
Track (+1/2 level to Survival)
Wild Empathy

So...2 extra abilities (Track & Wild Empathy), one of which is entirely passive.

And 2nd level
+1 Reflex
+4 skill points
(they get a bonus feat chosen from a pre-organized selection of good feats)
* Fighters get Bravery +1 (a near useless passive save booster)

And 3rd level
+4 skill points
They get Endurance as a bonus feat.
They get a Favored Terrain.
* Fighter gets armor training which doesn't do much of anything unless their ability scores are just right.

At 4th level
+1 Reflex
+4 skill points.
Hunter's Bond
1st level spells
* Fighter gets a bonus feat.

Not exactly the overwhelming pile of options described. The extra benefits they get are mostly passive (saves/skill points), the extra skill points allow them to do more stuff during play and learn about the game more, they get a few decent bonus feats given to them, and at 4th level after they've spent roughly 60 equal-CR encounters worth of adventuring learning how to roll a d20, they can have an animal companion and a teeny-tiny bit of spellcasting.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
And tension, by extension, is what gives me a reason to do something other than just fly Eagle Express into Mordor and drop the damn hobbits in.

Well, that and the fact eagle express would get derailed by a bunch of towers with archers on them.


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voideternal wrote:
People are different. To, per thread title, never give a new player a fighter, and give them paladin/ranger instead, will not always lead to the best possible outcome. My proposal to how to choose a beginner class to a player is, first and foremost, thinking about your new player. The new player in question is probably not a stranger. The new player is probably a friend or relative of the GM, and the GM should be able to make an educated guess on how much time and effort the player will spend on learning the game. Even assuming the player is a total stranger, Pathfinder is a table top RPG. The GM is talking to the new player for a whole session. Either way, the GM should be able to weigh the benefits / drawbacks of recommending a Fighter versus a Paladin / Ranger for this particular new player.

If the GM is seriously trying to convince the new player that it's even a toss-up between Ranger and Fighter, the GM is already deceiving the player. Rangers can fill all the roles Fighters can, typically better, and has more options at higher levels.


GM 1990 wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Scavion wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Scavion wrote:
Which means Fighters don't teach you anything in particular...Y'know since all classes have those statistics. Tark meant that Fighters don't grow mechanically which means you learn as you put it "ac hp skills and saves" and nothing more. They simply have modifiers that go up. Without archetypes that is all that will happen from 1-20.
So.... exactly what someone who's never played an RPG before needs to learn how to do and have proficiency in before they start messing around with conditional modifiers, spell components, and the like?

Which is the equivalent of keeping someone in kindergarten when they shouldnt be.

Considering the # of encounters it takes to level up which is around twenty or more or less depending on the experience track you play on.

I should hope someone can understand the basic combat statistics in twenty encounters. Otherwise I would suggest a simpler game.

Unless the new players in question are 5 or 6 year olds. But I find most new players tend to be 10 and up.

My brother played his first D&D game (3.x) at the age of 4. It didn't take him long to understand attack rolls.

FOUR.

Ninja'd. my 4 and 6 year old want to play, but I know attention span wouldn't hold. I let them roll some monster attacks/damages during my campaign, and when I'm playing my druid in the 12yr old's first campaign as a GM, the 4 year old gets to roll attack/trips for my wolf as long as he stay's close by.

Its one of the really cool things about RPGs hitting their 2d or nearly 3rd generation now...gaming with your kids. :_)

Yep. Actually with your grandkids is totally a thing at this point. D&D's been a thing since 1974, so if you were an adult then, your children may have been playing it by the time they were breeding age in the 80s, 90s, or early 20s, and you may already be playing games with your 3rd generation.


Scavion wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Scavion wrote:
Which means Fighters don't teach you anything in particular...Y'know since all classes have those statistics. Tark meant that Fighters don't grow mechanically which means you learn as you put it "ac hp skills and saves" and nothing more. They simply have modifiers that go up. Without archetypes that is all that will happen from 1-20.
So.... exactly what someone who's never played an RPG before needs to learn how to do and have proficiency in before they start messing around with conditional modifiers, spell components, and the like?

Which is the equivalent of keeping someone in kindergarten when they shouldnt be.

Considering the # of encounters it takes to level up which is around twenty or more or less depending on the experience track you play on.

I should hope someone can understand the basic combat statistics in twenty encounters. Otherwise I would suggest a simpler game.

Unless the new players in question are 5 or 6 year olds. But I find most new players tend to be 10 and up.

My brother played his first D&D game (3.x) at the age of 4. It didn't take him long to understand attack rolls.

FOUR.


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Aelryinth wrote:

Regardless of how often I don't agree with Ashiel, his full write up on why to use a ranger as the intro martial is one of the best things he has posted.

Due to the many deficencies of the fighter (and, ugh, playing the iconic?!?), I concur on ranger. Paladin might be okay if they do not mind being 'true blue', but I would still leave it for a second character.

===Aelryinth

Thanks Ael, I <3 you too. :3

And yeah, the iconic Fighter hurts my feelings. I was going to run a game on the fly for some newbies at a local game shop once and when I printed out the Pathfinder iconics I threw Valeros in the trash. I just couldn't do that to someone.


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Actually, Fighters do serve a good teaching role in Pathfinder.

Teaching people that low saving throws and utter lack of options is bad and will leave you twiddling your thumbs in the area of an entangle spell more often than not; crushed by energy damage; destroyed by invisible foes; learning to roleplay someone's thrall; and how to be a character that is entirely reliant upon equipment to do anything (which is super necessary the next time you want to play a commoner).


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Cavall wrote:
Fighters teach the basics of the game in respects of hp saves ac skill while not complicating them with extra rules. They do more than teach what a fighter does they teach the system.

No, it doesn't teach the system anymore than any other class teaches the system. The only thing that Fighters teach players is how to roll a d20.

Paladins and Rangers get people's feet wet with that, plus things like spell-like and supernatural abilities, spells, animal companions, a more diverse skillset (in the case of the Ranger), and do so while being easier on newbies because both classes have better saving throws than the fighter and are harder to screw up.

Quote:
As for the feats argument, firstly that falls flat because many players will help a new player out. Or the GM. And secondly it allows a lot of choices so they can learn me about what they like in feats for other characters they make. They get a lot of choices so they get a lot of experience.

Except feats don't exist in a vacuum. You might select a menagerie of different feats but each having no synergy with each other, none of them seem particularly good, which can lead to false evaluations. Likewise, if you take mostly crap feats and an average feat, your average feat may end up on the "must have" list for future characters because it's the only one that contributed to your success at all.

And once you've made your choice, you're essentially stuck with it. The idea that Fighters can easily retrain their feat selects is a myth. At the very least you're stuck until you can retrain (if retraining is even on the table).

Meanwhile, Paladins and Rangers give players practice making choices every day from 4th level and beyond, getting to choose between a variety of different abilities (spells) each day, further allowing them to learn the system. Likewise with these classes, they can learn how magic items like wands and scrolls work, and they can create their own magic items which allows the player to learn how item creation works.

All of the above is also neatly packaged into "learning blocks" where the player begins the game as a badass martial on better footing than the Fighter, then at 4th level gets to branch out and begin learning more about the system after they've done nothing but make d20 checks for 3 levels. The Fighter has the joy of making nothing but d20 checks for another 17 levels. Meanwhile, Paladins and Rangers will explore the basics of every major system, including swift and immediate actions.


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Jiggy wrote:
The most important thing the Paizo forums have taught me about optimization is that most of the community doesn't actually know what that word means.

Amen. XD


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HyperMissingno wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
HyperMissingno wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:

I'd list move 20 as a bit bigger issue for small fighters than the 2-3 damage per hit they lose for small size and str penalty.

Why does nobody remember that halflings have a trait to boost it back to 30?
Exactly how specific do we have to get then? Its like wondering why int penalty races don't have options to make them better wizards.
It's more of a pet peeve of mind with every guide I've read redmarking halfings for their speed when they have a freaking trait that speeds them up.

Honestly, small characters are the ideal go-to for mounted martials because there's essentially nowhere that the party is going to go that your mount doesn't go either, and believe me, halflings, goblins, and gnomes are awesome mounted.

Mounted combat is really, really strong in this game. A halfling with a bow riding on a riding dog or other mount is usually sporting a 40+ movement speed while making highly accurate full-attacks, and if they want to, they can burst stuff with a lance.


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Fergie wrote:
So when the Flintstones theme sang about having a "...gay old time", they just meant happy? So Barney and Fred were... just friends? I don't know if the show makes more sense now or less.

Don't worry, we can pretend. :3

Much fanfiction fuel there. A tale of romance and rocks.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
It feels like we're reaching a closing point on this conversation. I sure hope so. It's really hard to discuss this stuff without using any of the actual words. ;P

Yeah that's true. I don't really have anything else to add at the moment so I'm gonna go find something to snack on. Cheers and toodles. :)


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Bob Bob Bob wrote:
Optimizing for general adventuring is super useful and helps make well-rounded characters. This is actually what people are probably referring to when they say optimization, the really ridiculous builds that sacrifice everything are generally called "theoretical optimization" because it's understood that they're, well, not practical.

Be my valentine! :D


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Matthew Downie wrote:
Optimization means the best possible build for a specified criteria. You can optimize for melee damage output, or resilience, or flexibility, or something else.

Dead characters don't do damage.

EDIT: What Aratrok said. :)

Overspeccing almost always has diminishing returns.


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Rosita the Riveter wrote:

I think most GMs have certain options given in the Pathfinder books they just don't like to have players go up against. Personally, I don't use save or die effects as GM. I outright ban Raise Dead, Resurrection, Reincarnate, and anything of an equivalent effect under the metaphysical rules of the setting (Which state that dragging a soul back from beyond the veil of death will get you a badly damaged husk at best). Since you can't get back a lost character, I don't throw around things guaranteed to kill a PC on a failed save. I very rarely use traps, because I don't like them. I don't like giant spiders, so I don't use those. Don't think I've ever used a plant creature that wasn't a treant. I've never used a mimick or doppelganger.

What's in the rulebooks that you guys just choose not to have players encounter?

This...this question stumps me.

There are many creatures and stuff I haven't used. I can't think of anything that I simply wouldn't use.

Cripes, this is gonna take a while. >:\


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Tormsskull wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Damage doesn't equate to success.
No, but often times it does equate to fun. Casting a SOS or SoD spell that takes down an enemy can be very effective. But there's still something incredibly satisfying about scooping up as many d6s as you can in your hands and letting those little guys cascade all over the table.

I can accept that. :)

It just continually amuses (and frustrates) me that people seem to equate "MOAR DAKKA" with optimization. Most of the time when I end up with players using these "optimized" builds, they get dismantled really quickly. Because they're not optimized in the slightest.

Kind of like how Fighters actually suck at fighting.


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Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Somewhere in between winning at D&D and TPK, a good time may be had by all.

My definition of winning is surviving the adventure and accomplishing the goal.

What's your definition of winning?

There isn't one. It's a joke.

"INFINITY DAMAGE! I WIN AT D&D!"

Lots of damage is widely considered one of the worst ways to build a character by optimizers.

Damage doesn't equate to success.

You might as well be holding a sign saying "I don't understand optimization".


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The big thing is they're supernatural abilities so that also means you can use them without components, they ignore SR, can't be blocked by effects like spell turning, can't be dispelled, etc. Pretty much anything short of actually shutting your bard up or landing them in an antimagic field isn't going to stop it.

If someone pops resist energy, that's okay, you're still a bard. Just **** them up old school style. EDIT: (Because a lot of people don't realize it but Bards are ****ing baller at beating people down. Especially at mid/high levels where they can frequently outpace martial characters in a lot of situations thanks to smart uses of their spells).


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I mean I doubt "muggle" is a term born of respect in the wizarding community.


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Davor wrote:
Unless you're building a Thundercaller. Then you pump that Cha. like there's no tomorrow.

*looks up Thundercaller*

Hax. lol

I still probably wouldn't push Charisma that much (preferring to take Extra Performance and perhaps Ability Focus instead) but that's definitely a better reason to have higher Charisma than most bards have. Too bad the DC on Thundercall doesn't increase with your HD like it probably should. If it did, then I'd see it as being worth pushing Charisma really hard (as is, it's gonna fall out of effectiveness either way).

EDIT: Unless it only means the same type of saving throw and not that it also counts as a 2nd level spell for the saving throw, and thus has a DC of 10 + 1/2 level + Cha mod like most bardic performances.

If it means that (it's poorly worded), then yeah you could push Charisma really hard just to spam save vs stunning all over the place. o_o

EDIT: As an aside, I doubt I'd ever play a normal bard again. These thundercallers replace abilities I couldn't care less about with supernatural versions of spells that you can spam 'till the cows come home.

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