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Atarlost's page

5,842 posts (5,843 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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stormcrow27 wrote:
HyperMissingno wrote:
I like how stormcrow completely ignored me saying that the kitsune sorcerer had a good roleplaying hook.
But creating a character just to destroy the system or be the super alpha creates a situation in which the GM has to constantly compete with said super player, and it leaves the rest of the group in the dust, especially if they have less rules knowledge or ability to manipulate the system. That's why I call those type of characters a tired build. The other part of my statement was for additional typical builds as per the request of the OP.

Arcane full casters can break games on accident. Sorcerer (fey unless there's an actual kitsune bloodline released that I haven't seen because kitsune fill approximately the same mythological role as the fey in English myth) is the obvious class for a kitsune since they have a bonus to magic and a charisma bonus and fits the myth. Put your high stat in charisma and pick the obvious spells to take advantage of the kitsune's bonus to enchantments and bam the game is broken. No deep exploits or system mastery, just a race, the obvious CRB class for it, and the obvious CRB spells. It naturally leads you into some of the most gamebreaking magic around.

It's the one myth the game can do justice to since the kitsune of myth is typified by progress through levels tails that represent increased experience and power and unlike the Campbellian hero his or her myth arc isn't entirely about being the center of the story.

Tetori Monk is probably the way to do this since it's already the default for grapply monks.

If you can gestalt and it doesn't cost you something like a slower XP track, I'd go Lore Warden Fighter or Druid. Druid will get you size bonuses and slightly earlier grab but polymorph may clash with your character concept. Lore Warden will get you very large CMB bonuses and weapon training.

I don't think there are any templates that would help much.

You don't really have to do anything but be a pure classed Tetori Monk, though.

HeHateMe wrote:
Those are good arguments, Atarlost. How about a bomber alchemist, do they perform any better in a healing role?

Strictly speaking only a cleric, healing patron witch, or samsaran druid or shaman can match the cleric schedule. Alchemists and Warpriests are less behind than the Spiritualist (or at many levels the Oracle) because they're prepared, but they're still cumulatively a level behind for every level past first and don't ever get the 7th level spells.

Everyone else is missing at least one remove. If you can split the load between two characters an oracle can fill the holes in a Shaman, Druid, or non-healing patron Witch at a delay or a paladin can fill the main hole in a shaman at a one level delay or a non-healing patron witch or druid can pair with a shaman to get everything on schedule.

If Witch doesn't interest you and Shaman with whatever race gets delayed access cleric list access doesn't interest you (and if neither Cleric nor Witch interest you I don't expect Shaman to have much attraction) the least inadequate option is something with alchemy. Chirurgeons are slightly better than other alchemists, but normal alchemists or investigators are still better than anything spontaneous. Warpriests are similarly capable, but if Warpriest interests you Cleric should because they don't open any character concepts not just as well served by Cleric. Except abusing sacred weapon on s!$%ty throwing weapons I guess. There's also Life Oracle I suppose. The bonus spells let it not do worse than a 6 level prepared caster at more levels, but there is nothing more healbotty than a life oracle.

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HeHateMe wrote:

So, I may be stuck with the "healer" role in our next campaign, and just like alot of people on this thread, I hate Clerics and am not a huge fan of divine full casters in general. I was actually considering playing a melee Spiritualist (either the base class or the Ectoplasmatist archetype) as a non-traditional choice for the healer role.

Assuming I select the Cure/Restoration/Remove X spells for my character, and assuming I have a wand of CLW, do people think that a Spiritualist would have healing enough for a group of 4 PCs?

They're 6 level spontaneous casters. They're going to be extremely late getting them all.

At 3rd level a cleric has lesser restoration and remove paralysis. You'd get lesser restoration at 4th and never get remove paralysis.

At 5th level a cleric has remove disease, remove curse, and remove blindness/deafness. You'd get two of those at 7th and the third at 8th.

At 7th level a cleric has neutralize poison and restoration. You get them at 10th.

At 9th level a cleric gets break enchantment, raise dead, and breath of life. You get two of them at 13th and the other at 14th.

At 11th level a cleric gets heal. You never do.

At 13th level a cleric gets resurrection and greater restoration. You never do.

Even at that you're better than an oracle at some levels because their spells known table is even worse, but it's not going to cover the remove/restore stuff in a timely fashion.

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There are two related groups I don't like.

1) Characters who don't want to be in the party

2) Characters who a reasonable party wouldn't want to have around if they didn't have PC stamped on their forehead

The first group is mostly the lone wolves. Even if they're mechanically productive it just doesn't make sense. This also covers late added characters with built in friction like an elf hating dwarf in a party that already contains an elf or visa versa.

The second group covers annoying roleplay (eg. kender syndrome), characters that don't pull their weight, and characters that really shouldn't be adventuring at all like children, deaf/mutes, people who can't see more than thirty feet, cripples, and noncombatants.

In case you can't tell I'm really not a fan of the oracle class.

Johnnycat93 wrote:
1) The revised action economy is poorly conceived

I think the real problem may be with natural attacks being poorly conceived. They reduce the range of relevant armor values by lacking iteratives and tend to make balancing trickier by being not quite comparable to weapon and unarmed attacks.

Daw wrote:

I think the biggest problem with the perfect fighter and perfect statesman is that it doesn't really exist, even in mythic and semi-mythic history.

Arthur beat Lancelot because he wielded a sword that literally guaranteed victory.
He was only a great statesman because he had Merlin advising him, once Merlin was taken out of the picture, Camelot fragmented.

Daimyos were strategists, not fighters. Since their culture stressed absolute obedience to authority, personal combat skills were irrelevant to maintaining their position. Yes, even samurai were expected to be culturally sophisticated, but honestly, this game is a poor choice for emulating cultural sophistication.

Even in fantasy the perfect at everything characters are that way due to powerful and supernatural reasons.

Try looking at a list of Roman Emperors instead. Lots of them started from nothing and the first steps from private soldier to fighting officer to command officer are secured by being very good at fighting.

Maxinimus Thrax rose from a common soldier to a major generalship through military merit and from there seized the Purple. While not one of the great emperors he's not one of the ones who never celebrated their first anniversary either.

Aurelian did the same and was arguably one of the great emperors.

Diocletian's military history is obscure, but he's believed to have been of ignoble birth and rising in the army through military prowess is pretty much the only way he could have gotten to the first post he held of which reliable record remains. He is one of Rome's great emperors by any account.

Justin I went from swineherd to general of the palace guard on pure merit and then emperor on bribery. He's not accounted a great statesman, but one can't be bad at politics and reach that level.

A more modern example is Andrew Jackson, who won an alarming number of lethal duels, lead victorious military campaigns against the indians and English, and was politician enough to secure election as president.

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Bandw2 wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

I think Atarlost is referring specifically to the usage of weapons in this instance. It's like Musashi Miyamoto said in his famous Book of Five Rings:

"You should not have a favorite weapon. To become overfamiliar with one weapon is as much a fault as not knowing it sufficiently well...It is bad for have likes and dislikes."

not to dampen the parade but this is why we have a party of various differently skilled people, each usually up to taking out different types of opponents and challenges.

That's a reasonable objection to having a full BAB 9 level wizard list caster. It's not a reasonable objection to being able to use both a spear and a sword effectively.

RDM42 wrote:
Even in a point buy system there is absolutely no need for a negative int. You don't abslutely need an eighteen in your prime stat to have a competent charachter.

Depending on your table and how they define competence you kind of do. Going from 16 to 18 strength is a 14% damage increase for a greatsword user below level 4 without magic weapons even ignoring the accuracy which's value depends on relative attack bonus and AC. It's a 10-11% boost from level 4 to 7 with a +1 or +2 weapon, which is still quite substantial.

And paladins can't dump charisma and can't really dump wisdom either if they're aiming for a face build unless there's some way to move sense motive to charisma that applies to non-bards.

I'm agreed with Daw. There's a shortsword in official Paizo art. It's the thing in Valeros's left hand. There is no way that is a piercing only weapon.

I think the shortsword stats may have originally been meant to represent the smallsword, but those are too long to be comfortable off-hand weapons. And even as anachronistic as the Pathfinder weapons list is they're also still out of period, being a couple centuries after everything else including the early firearms.

Cwethan wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
Cwethan wrote:
I think one of the big problems with a character like that is that if they were as good at fighting as the person who totally specialized in it, or as good at skills as the person who totally specialized in them, they'd be totally overpowered!
No they wouldn't. They still only have two hands to wield their weapons with.
Eh? If someone puts all their resources into being the best at fighting shouldn't they be better at fighting than someone who is good at a variety of situations?

No, because there is very little benefit available. Most of being good at fighting transfers between weapons. Archery is different and flails behave a bit oddly, but most melee weapons are glorified sticks. The important things are things like strength, agility, situational awareness, and being able to predict what your opponent is going to do. That last is improved by being familiar with more different weapons. All the advanced stuff is like that. Knowing how to use your weapon is the beginner stuff covered by proficiency.

Cwethan wrote:
I think one of the big problems with a character like that is that if they were as good at fighting as the person who totally specialized in it, or as good at skills as the person who totally specialized in them, they'd be totally overpowered!

No they wouldn't. They still only have two hands to wield their weapons with.

Real people didn't usually specialize and the character building mechanics should reflect this and encourage realistic builds. They don't.

Rub-Eta wrote:
What I meant was: I think that Mark is smarter than to bend over, just because some people want a specific (problematic) design. Yelling won't change that.

No, the specific problematic design is the one that was published. Unhealable scaling burn exacerbates the daily resource problem and the damage math is wrong because he balanced it to trivial fights rather than significant fights. Damage falls off too fast against significant enemies because the first derivative of damage with respect to AC is too low when using high damage low accuracy. This is a problem well known from the rogue. The touch blasts are simply way below par. These problems compound themselves making the kineticist weak late in the day to a greater degree than other casters and weak against bosses that usually are encountered late in the day.

An infatuation with novelty over both balance and providing the concepts the community asks for is a chronic problem with Paizo's non-core classes.

Most of what the community has asked for is extremely conservative. Something that plays more or less like a warlock is not a problematic design. It's a tested design space that was never unbalanced. It just needs the math done right and the design to actually play like a warlock.

Ozborn Tealeaf wrote:

I never thought about stats feats and the important information.

Stats Str 13,Dex 20,Con 16,Int 12,Wis 17,Cha 14.

Feats Defensive Combat Training,Deft hands,Improved Grapple,Trip and Unarmed Strike,Mobility,Skill Focus Acrobatics and Weapon Finesse. Bap +5,CMB+7,CMD+26

He is just core but that can change. As for archetypes I'm open for anything too make him more enjoyable. I'm worried that his size is detrimental to his performance. sex joke not implied. any ideas you guys have is really appreciated thx Oz

Yes, his size is detrimental to his performance. To deal damage you really need to be strength based. To perform combat maneuvers effectively against anything with mostly racial HD you really need to be huge, a lore warden fighter, or have access to quickened perfect strike, spell combat, or strength surge, but being large after enlarge person will serve for a while.

As a gestalt build you have one big problem: you have a weak will save. It's so easy to cover saves in gestalt that it's usually considered bad form to not at least have strong fortitude and will saves.

There's no good way to get the combination of qualifying for pummeling style, qualifying for master chymist, avoiding a poor will save, and having full BAB.

Investigator has extracts and can get mutagen and fills your save holes, but can't get either infuse or feral mutagen. The mutation warrior fighter gets mutagen and can get infuse or feral mutagen, but lacks extracts. Put them together and you can get into master chymist with full BAB and all good saves. You then want something that has a good will save on the other track, possibly more investigator, though that will waste the chymist progressing extracts. You don't have any form of flurry, though, and therefore can't pummel.

You can use avenger vigilante across from alchemist, but you don't have any form of flurry and can't qualify for pummeling style.

You can use brawler with investigator, but investigator can't get infuse mutagen or feral mutagen and therefore can't get into master chymist on its own. This is probably the closest strong willed build to the theme you want, but doesn't really hulk out.

You can use monk with alchemist, but you miss out on full BAB and can't get pummeling charge until level 11 because pummeling style has a BAB prerequisite and your bonus feats aren't general enough to help.

Simply having social skills as skills and charisma as a stat encourages every player who doesn't have the highest modified skill in the party to keep their mouth shut. It's a fundamental flaw in the notion of linking skills to levels.

To allow everyone to participate in social scenes you have to either deliberately break up the social skills in a way that encourages splitting them among different people, get rid of the notion of social skills entirely and freeform RP conversation, or progress skills by use rather than on level up.

That second doesn't work if the real world players have different levels of real world social skills.

The one problem with bards and evangelist clerics from the OP's standpoint is that they aren't welcome in every party because they don't stack.

You might look at the Holy Tactician Paladin. Even if Weal's Champion is another competence bonus and thus useless in any party where a bard would be redundant, Battlefield Presence is like Tactician without the finite duration or limited uses per day and as a spellcaster the Holy Tactician can distribute the caster teamwork feats as well for the caster heavy parties they'd be useful in.

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HyperMissingno wrote:
If you want more variety in the class yell at the devs.

We tried. They weren't listening.

Riuken wrote:
SheepishEidolon wrote:
Both systems look interesting, hmm. Did you guys actually try building the existing classes using your own systems?

Yes. The points values point out a fraction of the class imbalance that I believe currently exists.

SheepishEidolon wrote:
@Riuken: Phew, full sneak attack progression for a single point is quite a budget choice. Especially when combined with full BAB.
This was discussed in the thread I linked. It basically came down to "I think it's worth more than 1 point, but less than 2, and I don't really feel like it fits well enough to add to another package. For now it sits at 1 point to encourage use, and if that use shows it to be undervalued I'd increase it to 2 points. If 2 points makes it unused I'll have to find another option."

You could have the cost or magnitude of the ability conditional on attack. You'd have to give accuracy boosters BAB equivalent value based on their magnitude, uptime, conditionality, and action cost, but any damage booster should have variable pricing.

Artifix wrote:

Ok I just have to say, why are Kobolds so bad? Maybe early on they arn't to good, but Dragon Paragon is awesome.

Also though they never seemed good for standard fights imo. They do have great archetypes for traps. So laying traps and running around, or flying just seems like it would be fun.

It's really not. Twice per day 4d6 breath at level 11* is pretty pathetic. 20' fly is nifty, but not worth that many feats and being a kobold for 10 levels first. Not that anything in that tree does anything to fix a kobold's problems.

* I can't think of any way to get an unrestricted feat at level 10 so anything with a level 10 prerequisite that isn't a combat feat or on something like the wizard bonus feat list has to wait a level.

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The most tired build is a barbarian that has just come out of rage.

A split 15/10 physical/mental point buy has a lot of the advantages of arbitrary stats while also putting some brakes on munchkinry.

Not being able to cross-dump limits one sided builds (ie. the stupid, boorish fool and the frail, clumsy weakling). The 10 in mental makes a 18 pre-racial casting stat impossible unless you allow points to be thrown away. You can't actually get more one sided than {17 10 7} or {17 8 8}.

Allowing the split to go either way doesn't cap single stat casters at 17, but still forces characters to be at least somewhat rounded. Forcing the split to favor physical is an anti-pure-caster measure and if you don't think that's helpful it doesn't changed the forced roundedness

There's still an anti-charisma bias for most classes, though, as there will be in any system where there are limited resources and the player has some choice in their allocation.

A 15/15 split is also possible, but higher powered. I believe that due to the removal of mental->physical and physical->mental dumping 15/10 is equivalent in power to a 20 point buy, which is the recommended standard. I'm not sure what's best for 15 point equivalent, probably a choice between 15/5, 10/10, and if you consider the 17 mental limit undesirable 5/10.

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Studied Target or Studied Combat. Because they're based on consuming action economy rather than consuming an arbitrarily limited pool that can only be replenished by sleeping for the night that exists solely to @#$% up the pacing of dungeon crawls by forcing the party to leave and regroup every few rooms.

Least favorite is every single ability that has a fixed per diem pool. @#$% the per diem paradigm. It's a pox upon the game system and completely at odds with the genre conventions.

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If you assume a general population generated by 3d6 in order the fraction of normal people who have 7 charisma is equal to the fraction of people who can potentially learn to throw sand in someone's face without walking into a blow in the attempt.

bugleyman wrote:

I personally dislike the term "adventurer," because I don't like the idea of so many people running around doing this that they need a name.

Imagine if the Rebel Alliance had just hired "a party of adventurers" to blow up the death start, or if Gandalf had simply posted a want-ad for "some adventurers" in order to take the ring to Mordor.

No, but that's pretty much how Gandalf sold Bilbo to Thorin's company. It's also pretty much Han and Chewie's gig between episodes IV and V.

19. Rocks fall. You don't die... Yet.

It could be a meteorite carrying an alien horror or it could be an apparently normal cave in or ceiling collapse trapping you somewhere in preparation for something else. A lot of traditional horror monsters are either averse to sunlight or bound to a location and being (or believing yourself) unable to leave would enhance the threat. If the players are properly paranoid you might be able to deliver horror without ever presenting the monster.

Mechanically, I think small PCs were a mistake. No PC or creature using PC rules (ie. anything without racial HD or that is expected to use weapons) should be smaller than the grid size. The grid size is too big to represent humans in close order formation already.

Weirdo wrote:
I know the scimitar is very popular for the magus but I wouldn't make that a baseline assumption. Fighter//Magus would work very well with a whip, for example, since the fighter easily qualifies for Whip Mastery and Improved Whip Mastery and both Trained Grace and Focus Weapon would be useful. Also, Strength Magi are a thing, and they'll get great use out of Armour Specialization and Armoured Juggernaut - usable with mithral full plate at level 7.

Scimitar is still the only reasonable weapon choice for a strength magus because unlike the rapier it can be two handed when not spell combating. There is no reason to use a rapier except at first level when waiting for dervish dance on a dex magus. Wazikashi, katana, and estoc are probably not worth the exotic proficiencies. Whip is not such a good choice because you can't threaten AoOs until level 5 and the crit range is as bad as it can be. Whip is also a four feat tax (three if you're a Kensai, but then armor training isn't relevant).

Armored Juggernaut is DR 1 until level 11 because anything that counts as medium armor for spellcasting counts as medium armor for all purposes except proficiency or is actual medium armor.

Weirdo wrote:
The magus also wants swift/immediate actions for many arcana such as Arcane Accuracy, Arcane Edge, Spell Shield, or Hasted Assault, as well as Quickened spells at high levels. You can certainly find combat styles you can use as a magus but the open-ended bonus combat feats would be more useful.

Those aren't efficient uses of arcane pool points unless you can't hit without Arcane Accuracy. Gestalted with slayer you don't need it. The others are just bad.

Weirdo wrote:

Martial Flexibility is a pretty big deal, but once you ignore flurry and brawler weapons you don't have that many features left. Let's compare, by level 20:

Brawler: +2 skills, good ref save, martial flexibility, AC bonus +4, Maneuver training, Knockout, Improved Awesome Blow

Fighter: 4 extra feats, Bravery +5, 3 Advanced Armour Training & Mastery (move at full speed with +4 AC and DR 7/- in medium armour, or with +5 AC and DR 8/- in heavy; +1 advanced training option), Weapon Training +5 attack and damage (+7 with gloves of dueling) + 3 Advanced Weapon Training, Weapon Mastery.

Advanced Armour Training & Mastery beat the brawler's AC bonus, and 2/3 Advanced Weapon Training options will as you pointed out patch the skills and ref save. So are martial flexibility, maneuver training, knockout, and improved awesome blow worth 4 feats, +7 attack and damage, the third advanced weapon training, and weapon mastery? At the very least I don't think it's clearly in favour of the brawler.

You're double counting feats. Advanced weapon/armor training don't come online in a useful timeframe without spending them. You're also ignoring that Martial Flexibility gives you those feats back flexibly. Counting stuff up at level 20 is only useful if the game starts at level 20. A magus cannot benefit from armor training until level 7 because his constraint isn't movement, it's spellcasting. That's why dex magi predominate. Most builds never see high level either because they die or the campaign stalls out or was never intended to be that long in the first place so it doesn't make sense to build for high level in ways that sabotage low level play. Assuming access to gloves of dueling is also not safe. It's widely considered undercosted before AWT and many GMs are probably going to soft or hard ban it now that the weapon training bonus can be doubled or used for other things.

That armor specialization is better than the brawler's AC bonus at levels 7, 11, 17, 18, and 20. You're probably only going to see two of those levels. We're not in the realm of large gaps, especially considering that the brawler is getting touch AC while the fighter is getting flat footed AC. I think touch AC is probably more valuable. Interestingly, the Brawler's Martial Training lets it be treated as a monk for items that function differently for monks and specifically calls out the monk's robe. A monk's robe gives a non-monk the AC of a 5th level monk but "If the wearer has levels in monk, her AC and unarmed damage is treated as a monk of five levels higher," which would appear to mean the brawler gets the monk's AC and fist progression while wearing one even though that sounds crazy. If that weren't what was meant I can't see it being called out. That makes a brawler a better match for kensai which seems to be a popular magus archetype for some reason.

Versatile Training does not make up for the brawler or slayer's skill points, much less the Avenger's. You need two weapon training choices to get more than one category. It will be heavy blades, light blades, or maybe flails. There are no reasonable magus choices outside those categories. Not one of those gives two skills a reasonable fighter//magus would actually choose to invest in. The one that's worthwhile in both blade categories is diplomacy, which it is not acceptable for a party to be without for four levels. Adaptable Training evens things up if you want to max one of the options, but most aren't things that usually get maxed and it only evens things up. Between those and making up the reflex save you've lost three of your lifetime feat advantage of four. That last bonus feat is at level 20. And it doesn't count Martial Flexibility. And it's still taking until level 6 to make up what the brawler or slayer brought at level 1. The avenger is in the long run 1 feat and 2 useful skill points up if he takes toughness.

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Greylurker wrote:
Paizo also sells pathfinder by subscription so Game Store sales not nessacerily the best measurement. After store markup My group generally finds it cheaper to get directly from Paizo, plus there is the benefit of the free PDF. All I need to bring is my tablet and leave the books at home

The issue is CRBs which (usually) represent new players. You don't get your CRB by subscription. I suspect most aren't bought online at all. It doesn't matter what any other book is doing, if you've stopped moving the basic entry level player book you've stopped growing and started dieing.

If the trend isn't local it's a sign that it's time to wind down Pathfinder and start work on Pathfinder 2. Maybe too late since I'd expect it to be worked on relatively slowly alongside the usual PF1 content, most of which can't be PF2 proofs of concept like ToB was for 4e. I guess Starfinder might be able to be done as an intermediate system with new rules for shared mechanics where PF1's rules need changing, but that depends on how many shared mechanics there are.

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Jessica Price wrote:
claudekennilol wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
John Lance wrote:
Which is pretty much word for word from the Eidolon description. Again, in my humble opinion, this shows the kind of cut-and-paste writing that was used to build the phantom part of the Spiritualist class.
That's how technical writing works. Something looking like it was cut and pasted from somewhere else = language that is precise and consistent. When people are picking apart every clause to determine how a rule works, it's important that things that work the same way be stated in the same way so that readers don't assume variance where there is none.
From everything I've seen though, Paizo doesn't want to "write technically" because then it would be like a text book (have you ever seen the Magic the Gathering compiled rules? (or whatever it's called, I haven't played that in too long)). I would love if there was a stronger consistency in the use keywords and a defined structure on how "rules sentences" are written for exactly the reasons you state, but I haven't seen that coming from Paizo..
You're incorrect in your assumption about what we want--we certainly want flavor text to be... flavorful, but rules text's #1 priority is precision. There's an effort to make sure rules language is consistent, but we also put out enough material that things sometimes slip. We have a style guide dictating whether it's bonuses "on" or "to" things, etc. but whenever we do new things, it can take a bit to codify the language.

I remember just the opposite being said regarding inconsistent wording and undefined terminology in the CRB by someone who was at the time a Paizo employee. If the change in philosophy is across the company not just in your project it's a good thing, but the older rulebooks don't live up to it.

Texas Snyper wrote:
bwee wrote:
Eh, but then I'd be a normal fireball blaster... if I wanted that, I'd do the Crossblood Orc/Draconic + Admixture Wizard thing that everyone does
With the new bloodline mutations, straight sorc is actually better because you can get more dice than normally able to.

It's also a better spell list. Psychic doesn't appear to have very much offense that isn't a mind affecting will save. Being able to choose any save to target or no save at all is a big part of what makes casters better than martials. A full caster who can't is kind of pitiful.

No somatic components is a good reason for the psychic bloodline.

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Another chargen thread? I guess it's time to repeat myself. There's a link to the original post in context at the bottom of each spoiler. The threads linked also have a lot of discussion on the topic that occurred during the six freaking years between the death and reanimation of this thread.

why you should ignore the grognards and refuse to every have anything to do with 3d6:
The problem with archaic rolled stats are twofold.

First, unless you only roll one stat array someone gets the "fun" of playing bad stats while someone else gets good stats. Stat array envy is not fun.

Second, where do you put your crappy stats? You can't put them in strength. It's hard enough to equip someone with average strength. A 9 might be viable for a full arcanist, but below that you're in serious encumbrance trouble. This was written pre-ACG and I used arcanist as a term for full arcane casters. You can't put a bad roll in dex, you need it for AC or touch attacks. You can't put a bad roll in con, you'll have no HP. You can't put a bad roll in any of the mental stats without roleplaying ramifications. There's a reason PF doesn't allow dumps below 7 and 3.x didn't allow dumps below 8 and it's not just to limit the prevalence of adventurer's autism. Stats as low as are common with 3d6 are more likely to engender old fashioned player-PC disconnect than good roleplaying.

4d4+2 or 6d3 are maybe viable. They would cut off the low end and reduce variance so you get average characters instead of a bunch of village idiots and a Raistlin clone. 2d6+6 gives the 3.5 stat buy minimums but is higher variance.context

Why in order rolling is bad:

...most people have a set of concepts they'd like to play that does not encompass all stat arrays.

Some people like playing wizards. There's only one stat for that. Sometimes they want a change to a fighter derivative because they want a more relaxed game. All of those want basically the same array. This was written when there were not good dex to damage options

Sometimes you're playing an undead heavy game and your cleric just died and if you don't replace it with another cleric* it's fate worse than death time.

* Oracles casters cannot handle high variety condition removal and witches cannot channel positive energy to deal with incorporeal undead and haunts.

on roll in order, rolling, rolling one array for everyone, using the elite array, low point buy, high point buy, and someones poorly thought out brainstorm of randomly reordering point buy:
This is really bad for anyone who has a concept in mind or preference or aversion to certain kinds of classes. All random stat generation is, but anything that randomizes order is worse.

Let's look at some examples. One with a specific generally reasonable build in mind, one aiming for a MAD class, and two aiming for more general character types.

Alice wants to play a mad bomber alchemist because it sounds fun. She wants int and dex and doesn't dare dump wisdom. Bob wants to play a monk. He needs medium good stats in a bunch of places but no stand outs. Charlie likes wizards, but will settle for sorcerer. He wants one stat and while he prefers it to be int he can have it in any mental stat thanks to the wildblood archetype. Deborah likes melee. She has a lot of options, but none of them are single stat.

Roll In Order: Alice is almost certainly fumbling for plan B for lack of one of her desired stats. Bob might potentially get adequate stats for a marginal monk because they're independent variables, but probably not. Charlie has a decent chance of getting a high stat in one of the mentals, but if he doesn't he's out of luck. Deborah is pretty flexible, but some stat arrays can still stymie her.

Roll And Arrange: Alice needs a two good stat array with at least one non-dump. Reasonably possible, but not certain. Bob needs a four medium stat array. Less likely but still possible and better than with RII. Charlie needs one good stat. He's about as well off as Bob. Deborah needs to have one good and one medium stat. She's probably going to find something.

Single Random Array: Unless it's a stellar array one of Bob and Charlie will be dissatisfied.

Elite Array: Bob is out, he needed two dumps at 15 point buy. Everyone else can manage.

Point Buy: Everybody's able to make their character, though Bob will have problems at low point buy.

Proposed Point Buy With Partial Randomization: Alice and Charlie are gambling on where their high stats land . Bob might be able to manage if the point buy is high enough to slap 13s in everything. Deborah is going to probably have to risk two low stats to get enough good stats to be confident of getting a decent spread and if they both wind up in strength and dex or one winds up in constitution she's going to be miserable.

TL;DR Only with high point buy can everyone play what they want. Second best is low point buy which leaves monks and similarly MAD concept builds out in the cold.

why a single array isn't satisfactory unless it's absurdly high:
Alice wants to play a monk. She needs 4 stats roughly equal with a bias towards whichever she hits with and has two she couldn't care less about.

Bob wants to play a barbarian. He needs a big strength and pretty good con with dex and wisdom secondary.

Clarice wants to play a wizard. The only stat that really matters is int, though she wouldn't mind having okay stats for dex and con and a wisdom below 6 or con below 10 would start to get worrisome.

Doug wants to play Errol Flynn. He needs lots of dex and everything else at least mediocre. He could dump dex, but you can't be a dashing swashbuckler with dumped dex.

Everyone has arrays that are unsuitable for their characters while not actually being low. Straight 13s would suck for anyone while being an 18 point buy. 17 17 7 7 7 7 is a 10 point buy that Clarice can live with, but nobody else.

The only way an array can be good for Alice, Bob, and Clarice and Doug is if it's something absurd like 16 14 14 14 14 10 10: a 30 point buy.

Point Buy is not going to support Doug unless everyone else is broken. He's just chosen an iconic yet terribly supported character concept. Low point buys hurt Alice the worst and Clarice the least. High point buys increase GM stress unless he'd homebrewing from scratch anyways.

I can see a couple of possible solutions:
Split point buy as mentioned above, except the players don't get to choose which stat group gets the 15 and which the 10. 15 is always physical and 10 mental because physical characters need all physical stats* while mental characters usually need only one mental stat and can dump the others if not with impunity at least without great difficulty. It's actually impossible to get an 18 at 10 point buy across 3 stats,** which helps keep casters under control.

Choice of arrays. You can probably come up with a high array for Alice and Doug that Bob and Clarice wouldn't want and a low array with a strong primary stat and maybe a couple 13 or 14 secondaries and three 10 or less low stats that will serve Bob and Clarice but wouldn't do for Alice and Doug.

*Some can leave dex at 10, but dumping it is hazardous, nobody can dump con, and only monks using agile weapons or amulets can dump strength if encumbrance is enforced.

** 18 7 7 is 9 and 18 8 7 is 11. If you require exactly 10 point buy the best high stat is 17, which prevents multiple dumping.

Order of the Staff Cavalier might be a better martial side. Pairing with a medium caster like bard so you can use allied spellcaster might be worthwhile. Spell Aid is pretty good. You aid another his AC and he also gets +2-5 to his next concentration or caster level check and if you challenge someone they take -1-5 to saving throws against spells and SLAs for one round each time you damage them.

592. The Convenient Tome of Plot

This book provides an untyped +20 bonus to any one knowledge check that advances the plot of the game.

pH unbalanced wrote:

I mostly agree, but you're missing the point. You absolutely have to carry your weight. But you never want to be the most effective combatant on your side. Intelligent enemies target the most effective combatant first. The safest position to be in is to be about the fourth most powerful character on a six person team.

This isn't a Pathfinder rule; it's a general RPG rule, and it's more important in deadlier systems. It also assumes that the *only* thing you care about is the survival of your individual character.

It's really not because if everyone follows this policy the party is stuck in a race to the bottom to avoid being above average. By deliberately trying to not do your part and let other people lose their characters you're encouraging them to also not do their part and by playing a less effective character than you could be you're increasing the likelihood of TPK.

You're in a variation of iterated prisoner's dilemma following a betray always strategy.

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pH unbalanced wrote:
One of my early RPG revelations was this: the thing that was most likely to cause your character to die was being in combat. And the thing that makes your character most likely to be in combat...was being good at combat. No matter how good you are, eventually the dice will turn against you.

Like many early revelations this is in fact wrong. If you aren't a hiding in the back being useless you will be in combat every time there's a combat. If you don't carry your weight you're dragging the group down. Dragging your group down causes TPKs. If you're carrying more than your weight in combat you're in every combat, but so are the characters carrying just their own weight and any that aren't carrying their weight who are at least trying.

If combat can be avoided it's by being good at stealth or having a good face, neither of which is at odds with being good at combat.

The better a group is at combat the fewer rounds they spend in each combat and the fewer chances they have to get unlucky. A group good at combat is almost always composed of individual characters who are good at combat, though there are some interlocking builds where some or all members completely fall apart if separated.

Weirdo wrote:

Fighter//Magus isn't perfect, but neither are the other combinations you're suggesting.

I think you underestimate Advanced Weapon and Advanced Armour Training - and you can take them as early as levels 5 and 3 if you're in a rush and want to spend feats on it. Fighter has gotten a lot better in the last year, and it's much more flexible in its combat style than other classes.

In addition to the fact that the Brawler doesn't support weapons that are good for the magus, Flurry and Spell Combat do not work together. Slayer/Ranger Combat Styles don't have a lot of good options for einhanders. Both Brawler and Slayer also rely more on swift actions than the Fighter, which is inconvenient as the Magus is already very heavy on swift actions.

Magus//Slayer doesn't have a real swift action problem. You just don't use arcane pool to enhance your weapon because with full BAB and studied target you don't need to and you have better uses for your pool. And the buffing round is where they'd collide. You can use Spell Recall after combat to get back anything you couldn't replace immediately because you had to change targets. You might consider menacing style and if you ever make attacks without spell combat (which includes any round after the first if you use multi-touch spells) two handed isn't a bad choice either.

Brawler doesn't have any penalties to using a non-close weapon. You don't get your damage die increase, but you wouldn't get anything anyways until level 8 and it doesn't become large enough to be nominally worth a martial weapon until level 12 (except the Katar, which is exotic and would have to be compared to a Magus with an Estoc which it won't surpass by more than 0.5 damage until level 16). You're missing a feature, but it's a feature that exists to prop up a weapon group that is terrible otherwise. Martial Flexibility can use up swift actions, but having shcroedinger's feat plan is a big deal.

Avenger you didn't find a flaw with.

As to advanced training, I can't see anything really worthwhile given that you're going to be using a scimitar one handed. Much is made of versatile training and adaptable training, but you'd have more skill points with any other class. Similarly, armed bravery is a patch for a flaw the magus gestalt takes care of and fighter's reflexes is a patch for a flaw any of the alternatives wouldn't have. Most of the armor training options care about armor category and magus takes a while to cast in heavier armor. Considering that the other options also have class features the advanced training options aren't standing out. If you were using a second class that made some of the shortfalls of the basic fighter chassis moot it would look better, but Magus doesn't do that.

SheepishEidolon wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
My wife's gnome titan mauler does just fine.

Titan Mauler is probably more effective for Small races than for Medium ones. While weapon base damage is increased less, good Medium sized weapons are way easier to get than good Large ones.

This assumes there is nobody in the party who doesn't create magical weapons efficiently.

Or that you aren't having to custom commission stuff anyways. If Bob wants a keen spell storing scimitar, Alice needs two returning agile starknives, and Douglas needs a dragonhide breastplate and barding for a miniature allosaurus they're not getting them from the random loot/merchandise table so it doesn't really make much difference if Eve needs a large bastard sword or a medium.

Shore wrote:
I'm a personal lover of Magus/Fighter. D10 HD, full BAB, Good will save and access to awesome spells, plus as many feats as you want.

Fighter's a bit weak and doesn't fill all the magus's holes.

Slayer is one feat short for the first 10 levels if you can find a ranger combat style you like and want a feat available as a rogue talent and has more skills and your third saving throw.

Brawler has somewhat fewer feats, but can get some of them flexibly as needed and also gets you your third saving throw. Also more skills. No accuracy booster, though, and I don't think there are any wide crit close weapons.

Avenger Vigilante is just one feat shy of a fighter if you use your vigilante talents on feats and if you want weapon finesse, weapon focus, power attack, improved shield bash, improved unarmed strike, blind fight, quick draw, diehard, vital strike or any improved maneuver feat there's a general or avenger talent that is strictly superior. You also get your third good save and more skills, but vigilante doesn't get you the d10 hit die or an accuracy boost beyond full BAB.

Reflex may be the least important save, but it is a hole in your defenses. Advanced Weapon Training and Advanced Armor Training are nice, but come very late and aren't generally as good as having real class features.

Nohwear wrote:
I wonder if his problem is that the combat system is not cinematic enough for him. What sort of video games does he like?

The comparison made was to Final Fantasy. That's very much not cinematic. At least the classic ones aren't.

Othniel Laurentius wrote:
Yeah, but Sniper gives up trap finding and trap sense, which is an important part of playing a rogue in the first place. I'm not sure you can get the alternating level sneak attack like that, looks pretty cheesy to me. I'd expect a DM to say "no, you just get the faster progression".

Trap Sense isn't important unless you don't find the traps and you can pick up trapfinding on the other side with the seeker sorcerer archetype.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
So, Halflings do get a -1 Size Mod on Combat Maneuvers, but they get a +1 on Attack Rolls, and the Grapple Combat Maneuver is an Attack Roll.

They don't cancel, you just apply the maneuver bonus or penalty. If you have any Paizo publication for Pathfinder with non-medium statblocks you can break down the CMB/CDM for yourself. Large and larger creatures get the size bonus to maneuvers and not the size penalty to attack rolls on maneuvers. Small and smaller creatures get the size penalty to maneuvers and not the size bonus to attack rolls on maneuvers.

Lynxden wrote:
Chris Ballard wrote:
Hard to go wrong with a SAD Arcane/Divine caster

Easy to go wrong. She only has one standard action so she can't benefit from both sides at the same time and she only has one good save.

Full casters want durability. Generally synthesist summoner if legal or paladin on charisma casters, monk (unchained generally since full casters all have will)with wisdom casters, and an int to AC magus with non-psychic int casters. Psychics can go with an armored martial instead if they want.

Lynxden wrote:
I've always loved the Fighter//Rogue combo. Gives the character a quintessential "Action Hero" vibe.

You have two classes that are iffy in their realms of "competence" and are missing one of the important saves. Not great. Slayer does almost everything this combo does and leaves a track available for something else. Investigator is a nice pseudo-caster with a strong will save that shouldn't ruin the "action hero" vibe or bard or inquisitor if a real caster is acceptable.

Athaleon wrote:
If you're set on gestalting Zen Archer with a full BAB class, you'd be much better off with a plain Fighter, Slayer, or Ranger. The best choices (in no particular order) would be Inquisitor, Cleric, Warpriest, or Empyreal Bloodline Sorcerer (Arcane Archer optional).

Shaman, Spiritualist, and possibly druid are also good simply because they're wisdom casters.

TriOmegaZero wrote:
What? The cleric's job isn't to heal.

A cleric's job is to be able to have any level appropriate condition removal spell available tomorrow morning at the latest because no one else can. Except a healing patron witch.

Unless you know your GM eschews condition inflicting monsters and spells someone has to do it and only the cleric and that one witch patron can have the remove/restore available when the iconic monsters that inflict the condition come into CR.

You could have two clerics in a party and one of them wouldn't have to heal, but that's not exactly a common situation.

TriOmegaZero wrote:

Extracts take one minute to prepare. Alchemists, for the most part, get all of the spells that remove conditions. Companion is diseased? One minute, remove disease. Hit with a curse? One minute, remove curse.

Curing HP can be done with wands. Having removal spells takes 15 minutes for actual spellcasters or scrolls with low caster levels. An alchemist can use their full caster level against the DC of the disease or curse.

Chirugeon gets free infusions for cures and Breath of Life. I'd already be taking the infusion discovery to hand out remove X extracts, so that ability is nearly useless for me.

Yes, an alchemist or warpriest can do a cleric's job if he's 50% higher level than the cleric.

That's not satisfactory.

The restrictions are not necessary for balance. Even without them a cavalier is not one of the top martials.

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Coffee Demon wrote:
But it also means players look to their character sheet for responses to challenges, moreso than their imaginations. (Or at least more often than in 1st/2nd Ed, to maintain that comparison.)

Nothing breaks a game as quickly as players exploiting the fact that they between them usually have about four times as much brainpower as the DM and can come up with crazy ideas faster than he can explain why they're too crazy to work.

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Buri Reborn wrote:
Coffee Demon wrote:
My only disagreement is with your assumption that a "quest for power" doesn't exist. It does in my games and I'd like to think in many others. You wouldn't know it by fading on these forums though.
It doesn't from a Paizo perspective. I can't recall a single mechanic or guidance in their APs, hardcovers, campaign setting books or player companion books that even hint at restricting options when you level up, caster or otherwise. It's certainly never been a part of any APs which is where the rubber meets the road in terms of both crunch and setting.

It doesn't exist because it's a horrible idea. The game stops being about the reason everyone is adventuring together and becomes different players being forced to fight over the spotlight to drag everyone on their personal quest of power.

"Right, we need to ditch the plot again. Lini needs to hunt down and murder a higher level druid again or she can't level up."

"Then can we go do some gratuitous fetch quest for the temple of Sarenrae so Kyra can cast ninth level spells?"

"Amiri needs to do some pointless spirit quest to get fatigue immunity so she can rage cycle. I guess that's a solo session?"

"Merisel once again has no interesting class features."

"Makes up for that huge thieves guild takeover at 10th level to get access to advanced rogue talents I suppose."

There's nothing wrong with your player's druid.

He's level 4. Wildshape doesn't start to get really good until level 6 when large forms and pounce are available. At level 4 it's entirely reasonable to want to retain the ability to cast spells and wield a masterwork scimitar, scythe, or spear, or with Shillelegh a club or quarterstaff.

Pets and summons just aren't fun for some people. It would probably be better to archetype for spontaneous domain casting, but it's not necessary if he has a domain that isn't weather or air.

If at level 5 he doesn't take natural spell then you have a complaint.

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