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Atarlost's page

5,381 posts (5,382 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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I've tried a new player as a ranger. It didn't go ideally. Three levels are not long enough for someone completely new to become accustomed enough to the rules that adding a second character is a good idea. Depending on group size pets may flat out never be a good idea for anyone.

Paizo has refused to publish genuinely newbie friendly classes, but gestalting warrior, expert, and adept together is probably a workable stopgap. The spell list is very small but has a little of everything, there are no situational bonuses, and the skills are adequate to actually do things. I'd skip the familiar, though.

Has it ever occurred to anyone here that maybe their players are optimizing because their fantasy doesn't involve the protagonist dieing ignominiously to some inconsequential mook?

There's all this implicit "the players must be in danger" crap, but there are no save states and people aren't going to replay from the start if they wipe unless they do so very early. If the GM "wins" he really loses unless he's just doing one shots or ad libbing the whole campaign because his planned campaign is now good for nothing but kindling. Even Gygax was reportedly only a killer DM at conventions.

There's a disgusting amount of elitism in gaming, but most people playing computer games are not after a soul crushing challenge. The tabletop community has no reason to be different and playing tabletop is operating without a net.

Hunter/Monk (Sohei)
Normally companions fall behind in gestalt, but Monastic Mount stacks. Don't forget Pack Flanking and Mounted Skirmisher.

Cons - fake BAB impairs feat prerequisites and not a full caster

Investigator/Barbarian (urban, invulnerable rager)
Controlled Rage doesn't have the restrictions on skill use and extracts are not spells. Beast Totem provides AC and pounce. And, of course, there's DR.

Cons - not a full caster

Investigator/Fighter (Lore Warden)
Skill Monkey II A Mockery of Rogues

Start with 6+int skill points. Add 2 skill points in int skills. Now max 4 skills for free with Advanced Weapon Training and reinvest previously spent points for free. Oh, and there's inspiration. And, of course, alchemy.

Cons - defenses aren't great, though he could take Studied Defense and rely on full BAB and weapon training for accuracy.

Rashagar wrote:
Atarlost wrote:

RP should never be used to balance mechanics. It essentially forces the GM to be a dick to one player if the RP restriction is to have any balancing force.

Particularly since cleric is already the class someone is practically forced to play. A druid/shaman and oracle working together can pick up the slack, but oracle is already a terrible class for in character group dynamics. "Why is this guy in the group?" always needs an in character answer and almost all curses trigger normal instincts to keep invalids off of the front lines. An oracle entering at high level can offset that with competence, but in a game starting at 1st level there's almost no way that it's not better from both compassionate and self interested motives to send the cursed oracle to work in the temple and recruit someone who can consistently speak common, can hear, has two working legs, can see more than 30', doesn't appear to be falling apart, and isn't haunted by mischievous at best spirits, etc.

Maybe this is a table variance, or possibly a cultural difference, but I've very little idea what you're on about here. Do you consider a druid not being able to wear metal armour to be fine but oracle curses like only speaking a certain language in combat or having a slightly slower move speed to be terrible? Or are you also against the metal restriction on druids? I really don't follow. I also don't really agree with the "cleric being a class that someone is practically forced to play" part. I just don't have the same experiences as you. And I've never had a GM forced to be a dick either, it's always a choice they make haha!

A druid wears leather. An oracle is a cripple or a deaf mute or has severe cataracts or has some other pitiable weakness. We do not send cripples into battle. The two drawbacks are nothing alike. Cripples and deaf mutes and people with severe cataracts should not be sent into harms way. Occasionally people who are already high level have remained active, but a level 1 party is not going to get the adventuring equivalent of Horatio Nelson. And Nelson wouldn't have been permitted to continue serving in anything but a command or administrative role.

It's not the mechanics that make oracles completely unsuitable for adventuring. It's the RP. The druid, like the bard or rogue, doesn't wear certain armor. The oracle is disabled and just like disabled people aren't welcome in the military unless they already have a proven track record doing something their disability doesn't prevent, disabled people are not welcome in adventuring parties where everyone is making decisions in character.

Only the cleric provides all condition removal spells without a cripplingly low spells known limit or an access delay. The druid and shaman supply some, but at least one is only on the cleric/oracle list. If no one plays a cleric someone has to play an oracle and someone else a druid or shaman. Since people who actually care about roleplaying can't have oracles in low level parties without some extreme railroading forcing everyone to adventure together, someone must play a cleric.

And the GM isn't forced to be a dick over codes of conduct, but if he isn't a dick the code of conduct isn't doing anything to balance the class. A non-dickish GM will ignore everything on the druid code except the armor restriction. And, lo and behold, druids are overpowered. They wouldn't be overpowered if the GM were a dick and made them fall on any stupid excuse, but then the GM would have to be a dick. The same thing happens with paladins, but since they're martials they merely suck less than they otherwise would have.

You're proposing balancing clerics like druids. Any GM who isn't willing to be a dick will find them just as overpowered. Any GM who is willing to be a dick to his players is forced to single out whoever runs the cleric (or druid or paladin) to be a dick to them because they have codes of conduct.

RP should never be used to balance mechanics. It essentially forces the GM to be a dick to one player if the RP restriction is to have any balancing force.

Particularly since cleric is already the class someone is practically forced to play. A druid/shaman and oracle working together can pick up the slack, but oracle is already a terrible class for in character group dynamics. "Why is this guy in the group?" always needs an in character answer and almost all curses trigger normal instincts to keep invalids off of the front lines. An oracle entering at high level can offset that with competence, but in a game starting at 1st level there's almost no way that it's not better from both compassionate and self interested motives to send the cursed oracle to work in the temple and recruit someone who can consistently speak common, can hear, has two working legs, can see more than 30', doesn't appear to be falling apart, and isn't haunted by mischievous at best spirits, etc.

Derek Dalton wrote:
Not old school in fact started using it in Pathfinder door is a Mimic usually advanced. They hit back hard.

The barbarian will take the hit a lot better than the rogue who sets it off by jabbing it with a lock pick.

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Insain Dragoon wrote:
So say I use move earth to create a five foot hole in a cave, then get a wizard to create an illusary wall over the hole, then I cast rope trick inside the hole, would that be against the rules?

It cannot be hidden by any means. Any means. Any. Distance? Nope. Rope trick ropes are visible at infinite distance. Obstructions? Nope. Rope trick ropes are visible through an infinitely thick lead wall. Nothing stops the visibility of the rope trick rope.

Now go forth and invent a rope trick semaphore language.

Ffordesoon wrote:

I dunno. That sounds like exactly the kind of player-punishing AD&D-style limitation on casters I was attempting to get away from with my ideas. What's the player getting out of it?

(Yes, I realize you could ask the same thing of the Doomsday Clock. That's one of the flaws in the idea I'm hoping to correct.)

I don't think that's a flaw that can be corrected. Irreversible character death is pretty much the harshest player punishment the game rules can inflict.

Brace not only doesn't stop movement, it's suicide except against an enemy that can do nothing except charge.

Now, maybe you can keep the druid with no spells left at bay if you houserule brace to stop movement. If the druid's not alone your spear line is dead. They're throwing away their standard actions for nothing while the cleric or alchemist pulls out his light crossbow, the wizard or sorcerer or magus or arcanist kills you by inches with cantrips, the bard pulls a shortbow, the other druid gets out his sling, or really anything because the moment you do anything with your standard action you get wrecked.

You can't win a fight using brace any more than you can win a fight using the full defense action.

I would suggest that in the online SRD era, session zero is not such a great idea unless everyone has their own laptop or tablet. Working from the books is terrible in comparison so if there are fewer computers than players they become a bottleneck.

If someone needs help making a character session zero may be a necessary evil, but if everyone knows what they're doing having them all in one place to make characters isn't much of a help.

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The real issue isn't maximized fireball. That's a joke. The martial does 100 damage per turn. The caster casts Flesh to Stone or Magic Jar or Dominate Person or Feeblemind or Hold Monster or Baleful Polymorph or Persistent Phantasmal Killer and makes HP completely irrelevant. Or if you like fireballs your choice of metamagic is dazing. Technically someone has to go through the HP, but the enemy isn't taking actions for three turns so there's plenty of time. Or if the caster is a cleric it's plane shift. At least that only has one save targeting option. That happens to be a weak save for every martial except paladin and the real monk.

Martials have um there's stunning fist? Yeah.

Oracles work as weaker, overspecialized, but more durable sorcerers with the right mystery. They aren't a good substitute for a cleric in any role the cleric is fit for. Their poor fortitude makes them vulnerable to a lot of touch range effects other front liners will resist, which also makes them risky healers. They can't standard action summon because they don't have an alignment aura, not that it'd be an efficient use of spells known even if they could.

You want a sorcerer with no arcane spell failure, one size larger hit dice, twice as many skill points, more than one spell known for your highest level slots, and you want to have a focus that happens to match one of the spell list for one of the published mysteries? Oracle is everything you ever wanted in a class.

Ffordesoon wrote:

I've looked at a bunch of these caster/martial disparity threads over the past couple of weeks, and I keep finding it odd that nobody mentions something that seems to me self-evident - why does no one talk about buffs to saves?

I mean, as someone who plays a lot of martials, I find that the vast majority of the gear I can buy buffs my AC. You know, the stat that casters do not give a crippled crab's crutch about? If my weaksauce Will save can't meet the DC, and it usually can't, I become that caster's buttmonkey until they decide otherwise. Never mind eating AoOs - if I'm a melee martial, I'm built to withstand those, and if I'm a ranged martial, I should never be in a threatened square to begin with. But if I've got a low Will save, my 100 AC means diddly-squat.

Meanwhile, guess who's got a killer Will save? Bocephus Bootylicious III, the wizard who's softer than Swiss Miss pudding. This is made worse by the fact that old Bocephus, should he manage to fail his save, is still a more efficient party-slaughtering machine than yours truly. A reasonably well-optimized PC can stand up to a few whacks from my greatsword, but Bocephus can shoot a couple of fireballs out his ass and inflict a TPK. Or he can just cast dominate person on another martial PC and watch us eviscerate the rest of the party, at which point the original caster can dump us both in a pit of acid while casually perusing his copy of Seven Habits Of Highly Effective Supreme Overlords.

I'm pretty sure I've suggested making saves inversely proportional to magic more than once. That would be all good saves for non-casters, no good saves at all for full arcane casters, and everyone else in between.

Bob Bob Bob wrote:
URogue was an upgrade, USummoner was a downgrade, UMonk and UBarbarian were sidegrades.

The Unmonk may be a sidegrade to Monk, but it's a downgrade from Brawler. And it's far closer to Brawler than to the real Monk.

Elementals can take humanoid form and speak. Fire elementals probably cannot wear spell component pouches, but the others should be able to. Earth certainly is entirely solid and should have no trouble using a spell component pouch.

Majuba wrote:
Actually, Pathfinder has exactly the same 'catchup' mechanism as 3.5 - it's just inverted into the exponential xp chart, instead of granting a bonus to lower level characters (who, outside of vary unusual circumstances, would never *100%* catch up in 3.5 either). Pathfinder's method is simply smoother, simpler, and out of sight.

No it doesn't. You never catch up on XP in Pathfinder. It becomes proportionately smaller relative to the size of a level, but it never goes away. In 3.5 the gap does go away completely. Because 3.5 is designed for XP drain and XP costs. PF is designed for everyone to start at the same level and fight the same challenges and XP never goes down. There are some fiddly bits in the D&D 3.5 tables that don't match the theoretical formulas Pathfinder's table is based on that allow players to truly catch up, but the folk at Paizo didn't play mixed level parties so never realized they were important.

If you're 2 books into Skull and Shackles your party should be level 7. If you're level 5 you're 2000 XP behind on the medium XP track it uses. At this rate you'll "catch up" for the last third of level 10. That will be somewhere in book 4. I've heard and I think it comes from Paizo's statistics that the average gaming group abandons campaigns near level 10.

Your party is not the type to spend money raising you. They've deliberately screwed you over multiple times already so this won't be your last character if you stay with them. The XP penalty accrued at each death the way your GM is operating will only increase.

I favor cleric for everything but a pure caster based around mystery spells. The oracle has two gaping weaknesses for the healer and battle cleric roles.

First, they're prepared casters on a list designed around spontaneous casting. They'll never get all the remove and restore spells in a timely fashion even if you offset the delayed spell access spontaneous casters get. It may be possible to leverage HP healing if you like that kind of role for some reason, but remove and restore are the components of the healer role that can't be replaced with a bundle of 1st level wands.

Second, they have a poor fortitude save. You can go into combat without a good fortitude save, but only if you have someone available to clear you of touch range fort save nastiness. As a healer or battle cleric that would be your job. Recall that heal and breath of life and all the non-mass cures are all touch spells. So are half the removes and delay and neutralize poison. If you have to heal or condition remove someone (except of fear or paralysis) you're a 5' step away from whatever hurt them or inflicted the condition. That's not a good time to have a poor fortitude save.

There is no amount of flash that can overcome the poor fundamentals of spontaneous casting from a poorly suited list and a weak fortitude save for a front line role.

Honor systems are most prominent and universal in societies that lack codified laws. Like those that produce prohibited alignment: lawful barbarians.

DM_Blake wrote:
vorpaljesus wrote:
In the case of that patient, the analog to a Pathfinder illusion spell would be, the guy believes he is Charles Lindbergh and therefore actually BECOMES Charles Lindbergh. Because magic.
Nope, that guy was not Lindbergh and did not become him.

Shadow conjuration does work like that. Except that becoming Charles Lindbergh would be transmutation and/or necromancy and there isn't a shadow variant of either.

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Arachnofiend wrote:
If this was the real world, everyone would be using a polearm and a shield. Fantasy has the leeway to have a lot more variety than what a real world soldier would use. I don't see people saying Rogues should be discouraged from using daggers.

Clearly all non-polearm weapons must be figments of my imagination. Along with the Roman Empire. And two handed polearms.

And rogues shouldn't want to use daggers. Daggers are for eating with or providing the coup de grace. No one should want to use a dagger against a non-helpless target unless they have no other choice. That's why rogues have shortsword and rapier proficiency.

Arachnofiend wrote:
Is it too much to ask for a class that practically begs you to use unarmed strikes to actually be better with them than manufactured weapons?

Yes. Unarmed combat systems in the real world developed either as teaching forms for armed combat or as last resorts.

The Kama, Siangham, Nunchaku, and probably Sai were all weaponized in oriental martial arts that started with unarmed training (ie. monks in Pathfinder terms) because hitting someone with an agricultural implement or pointy stick is always better than punching them, no matter how puny seeming the agricultural implement or how trained the combatant.

GreenDragon1133 wrote:
Changing Channel from CHA is a non-starter for any serious consideration by the powers that be. Any class that is entirely based on one stat is broken. And Clerics are also called 'Priests' - as in religious leaders. They should have Charisma.

Clerics are and have always been semi-martial. That's why they have medium BAB and spells to augment their melee combat and few offensive spells that aren't alignment or type restricted. Their key stats are strength, dexterity, constitution, and wisdom. They can wear armor so their dex and wis needs are a little lower than a monk, but they're still quite MAD even without channel energy.

lemeres wrote:
Overall, it is enough of a wash that I would say allow it if the player wants to use the monk, but don't remove the core monk if the player wants to use different builds. Basically, I question if it was necessary. I practically view it as a specific archetype on its own.

I don't question if it was necessary. I'm absolutely certain it wasn't. It's very close to being a strict downgrade from Brawler, which fills exactly the same thematic role.

I would strongly discourage anyone from using it, just like I would strongly discourage anyone from playing an original rogue.

Twitchy Boom Boom wrote:

I am also looking for some superstitions... (A gob in the same campaign) but I'm weird. I like books. I like cooperation. I earnestly believe that reason will work with other goblins.* Do you have any superstitions that might work with me?

Hmm aka Twitchy
(She who rhymes and bombs from on high)

* Clearly, this is my biggest superstition.

Words steal little pieces of your soul. Since Pharasma can't judge a soul that isn't complete, if you read things you keep getting reincarnated until everything you've read has been destroyed.

lemeres wrote:
If you just wanted martials versus martials, then that is fine. You can do a tactical system with that. But if you want much past that, then you can't escape the fact that the system is tied deeply with items. Just removing them and not replacing the effect will not work out too well.

Even martials versus martials is a stretch. 100% of AC scaling after level 3 at most comes from magic items for most classes. Only about 25%-33% of attack roll scaling comes from magic items. Once you're in top end mundane armor you stagnate while BAB and class based accuracy boosters like weapon training and rage keep going up.

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I would tend to worry about anyone not playing a racist. Have you read the Pathfinder bestiary?

Although related to the elves, the drow are a vile and evil cousin at best. Sometimes called dark elves, these cunning creatures prowl the caves and tunnels of the world below, ruling vast subterranean cities through fear and might. Worshiping demons and enslaving most races they encounter, the drow are among the underworld's most feared and hated denizens.
Thought by some to be invaders from another dimension or planet, the sinister intellect devourers are certainly one of the world's cruelest races. Incapable of experiencing emotions or wallowing in the sins of physical pleasure on their own, intellect devourers are forced to steal bodies in order to indulge their gluttony, lust, and cruelty.
Ogre games are violent and cruel, and victims they use for entertainment are lucky if they die the first day. Ogres' cruel senses of humor are the only way their crude minds show any spark of creativity, and the tools and methods of torture ogres devise are always nightmarish.

And these are examples that don't have the evil subtype.

Truly, Golarion is a world of love and tolerance.

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It's important to remember that the cleric is the way it is because much of the game is designed around the assumption that every party has certain cleric spells. The d8 augmented 3/4 BAB full caster is the necessary bribe to get people to play a healer. It's a cut back from WotC's version with persistent divine metamagic and nightsticks, but there's very little left to cut. Going to d6 1/2 BAB leaves nothing but a healbot or a very poor imitation of a wizard. Going to 6 level casting renders it no longer capable of filling the role the bestiary assumes someone is filling.

All that stuff that's there for the benefit of the game designers to compensate for extraneous anti-player mechanics like ability drain and negative levels, no matter how powerful it may appear, is a negative not a positive. If you play a cleric the game assumptions take away a large chunk of your spell selection to compensate for some jerk twenty years ago who wanted spectres to drain experience instead of just do HP damage. A class exactly like the cleric but without the mandatory spells is more attractive to some people. That's why so many people want to cripple the spell list. They want their chaotic neutral cleric of the god of sharp objects to be selfish rather than the party medic.

The game needs the cleric to have that spell list and while it would be better served if everyone had all of the expected spells while they're mostly cleric exclusive the rest of the cleric class needs to be a bribe to get someone in every group to play a cleric so nobody has to remove Gygax's stupid sacred cow sadistic garbage from the bestiary.

So what does the cleric really have that's his own rather than a patch for poorly thought out gimmick monsters or the undesirability or creating new characters every time the GM rolls well? Medium BAB, some spells that compensate for medium BAB, some below par blasts, wall of stone, wall of blades, the summon monster line, and some weak enchantments. When the developers of 3e decided that 9 level divine casting was only worth as much as 6 level arcane casting they weren't suffering under a delusion.

As for noncombatant priests, we call those adepts. They're an NPC class for a reason.

A level 9 caster with minions and prepared positions against level 5 PCs is ridiculous. If your evil cleric had pulled his thumb out of his ass and actually fought instead of wasting his time healing it would have been a TPK. The degree to which you're obviously pulling your punches completely negates your example.

The smart party refuses to get involved in that sort of fight. Throw a fog cloud, back out the door, and start doing property damage. Force the enemy to either walk into your ridiculously stacked ambush or send his minions out to get picked off without support. so you can take him at a less stupidly overpowered APL+3. Or leave and let someone level appropriate deal with him.

Let us start with a party of 4 that does not include a dedicated healer.

At a first approximation, removing one of those 4 for a healer reduces their offense by 25%, increasing the length of a victorious battle by 33%. As a consequence of the increased duration every fight consumes 33% more non-HP resources. This is bad if your GM or level prevents 15 minute workdays. Unless the healer can extend the party's survival by at least 33% he's actually making the party weaker.

But most parties include one anvil who contributes little damage. There are now three characters contributing to shortening the fight and one controlling the flow of the fight. Now losing a hammer or arm for a healer reduces offense by 33% and increases the duration of a fight and thus the non-HP resource expenditure by 50%. If the healer can't extend the party's survival by at least 50% he's actually making the party weaker.

Sun Tzu is even more right in Pathfinder than in reality because in Pathfinder your barbarian can't just get more rage rounds off the supply wagon while in reality you can beef up your logistics to move more food and more arrows or bullets or artillery shells and more reinforcements. In reality lower intensity conflicts consume resources more slowly. In Pathfinder they consume more because a round of rage is a round of rage. It doesn't cost less because your cleric is a healbot instead of an angry Gorumite.

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Aelryinth wrote:


Point One: Your view of HP is somewhat at odds with the game. HP ARE a resource. HP are the main spendable resources of martials.
Spells + HP are the resource of casters.

In other words, a martial's adventuring day is done when his HP are low. A caster's adventuring day is done when his spells AND his HP are low.

A caster's adventuring day is done when his spells OR his HP are low. A caster with no spells, unless he's a ranger, paladin, or bloodrager, may as well go home. A caster with low HP desperately needs to go home.

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Rhedyn wrote:
You fall into the lava and auto-die. I know you have more than enough HP to swim in lava, but I couldn't do that so your fighter can't!"

Yes, your fighter should automatically die if he falls into lava. To be fair, the wizard flying 20' above the lava should also auto-die because convection, b$+%+es.

If your lava rules don't make all but the most adversarial DMs decide that no one should ever want to go anywhere near lava they aren't realistic.

Jaçinto wrote:
Flyby attack is just spring attack but for flying.

No, it isn't. Spring attack negates movement based AoOs, but only allows a single attack that isn't compatible with vital strike. Flyby attack does not negate movement based AoOs, but permits any standard action. That can be an attack with vital strike or an intimidate check or casting a spell or SLA or taking the full defense action. RAW, you can even start or complete a full round action (other than those exclude on CRB p186). The only thing you can't do with flyby attack is downgrade your standard action to a second move action.

I heartily second the rec for Masterwork Tools. It's actually free and not in the way most free apps are "free" and basically the official SRD as of a year or two ago except that it organizes monsters better and NPCs worse so if you use it and can only get one hardcover I'd get the NPC codex.

NPC codex is just the best book Paizo has ever put together. You may or may not like the tactile experience of a real physical book, but the NPC codex actually takes full advantage of print over PDF with margin coloring marks so you can actually find things. When they do a second edition they should do that with every rule book. They already print decorative color backgrounds all the way to the edge on every page of every book anyways so the printing cost shouldn't be any different and it would make things so much easier to use.

Removing the battle cleric spells relegates all clerics without a few select domains that get those spells to uselessness. No more battle clerics of Erastil or Torag or Sarenrae or Abadar or Asmodeus or Norgober. Removing air walk means no long range travel. Every full caster has a long range travel spell at that level for a reason. The game economy, such as it is, breaks down without them.

The number of spells that can be removed that anyone will even notice is so small that it's far from worth the trouble of making a new list and revising it every time any publisher whose products you allow at your table publishes anything that has spells. The list would have to be grossly off base to be worth that sort of headache.

Saldiven wrote:

1. What percentage of travel time by PCs is in civilized areas? Maybe 50%, depending on the campaign? In RotRL, for example, the vast majority of travel is through very unsettled lands; the only particularly settled area is the vicinity of Magnimar (even the settled area around Sandpoint is only a few miles in radius). Sure, a high level random encounter of an aggressive, monstrous type is unlikely in a more civilized area, but is much more likely in an unsettled area, which is where a significant amount of PC travel takes place. Additionally, if you plan in Golarion, very little of the world is actually highly civilized. Just look at the populations of the cities, the saturation of the settlements, and the distance between those settlements, and you will see that the VAST majority of Golarion is completely unsettled wilderness.

2. Not all random encounters are things that are aggressive and monstrous. Many can be opportunities for role playing, transfer of knowledge and information to the players, chances for plot advancement, and/or start points for optional side quests. It is perfectly appropriate for this type of encounter to occur in a civilized area.

Ergo: Random encounters are appropriate and pretty much anywhere, as long as the specific encounter is appropriately tailored to the location. Obviously, you wouldn't have a wandering encounter of a White Dragon outside the capital of Osirion. However, it's perfectly likely that you might run into a haughty, arrogant noble traveling with a large retinue of highly skilled bodyguards who demand the PCs yield the rode to his procession. An appropriate such encounter vastly improves the realism of the setting compared to the PCs never running into anything. The latter version is more like an MMO than it is a TTRPG.

1) An encounter of a high level monster is unlikely everywhere except its lair. To move 4 medium or smaller creatures (and it looks like even diminutive familiars count as their own creature) a wizard must be level 12. CR 12 monsters are too near the top of the food chain to use on random encounter tables: If you're in the hunting grounds of a young adult green dragon there is no encounter table. Everything else interesting has been driven off or eaten. Environments on the prime material that will support multiple CR 12 or higher monsters or monster packs are vanishingly rare.

2) Random encounters are not suitable for roleplaying. Just the fact of rolling for an encounter is a sign to the players that nothing that will result is important. It's the second surest metagame flag of boringness you can raise superseded only by having the a person they encounter being a mindless undead. If it were important you would have had the encounter happen nonrandomly. Besides, if you have traveling merchant on your rural encounter table your players will have already talked to them by the time they hit level 12 and the wizard can teleport without leaving people behind. If you want to buy or sell stuff you go to town on market day and all the merchants in the area are right there in town being nonrandom encounters. Or at least random encounters that cannot be bypassed by teleportation because the players are wandering around a market looking at every single stall to see what's on sale or who might be willing to buy the fifteen bolts of green linen they liberated from bandits. This is how adventurers have to do things for the first nine levels before the wizard can go intercontinental shopping while leaving one guy behind. All denying them teleport does is force them to talk to the same people over and over again and prevent them from going to major trade hubs where they can talk to new and different people and buy the gear the game's fundamental math assumes they will have.

It's very important to keep the spell list as it is with full access. Many iconic monsters are designed around the assumption that every party has a cleric that can cast any spell on that list given advanced notice. Domains can add more spells to that list, but the core list needs to stay.

I'd suggest making domains the gatekeepers for an even level selectable ability: you choose two domains and then every eg. two levels you pick a domain power from one or the other.

I'd imagine a table looking something like:
1: domains, first domain ability, channel energy
2: second domain ability
3: spontaneous cures
4: third domain ability
5: prepare domain spells in standard slots
6: fourth domain ability
7: minimum spell preparation reduced to 1 minute
8: fifth domain ability
10: sixth domain ability
12: seventh domain ability
14: eighth domain ability
16: ninth domain ability
18: tenth domain ability
20: capstone: maybe gain outsider type?

Firebug wrote:

So lets say I have a very similar spell to Flame Blade called Gozreh's Trident from Inner Sea Gods.

** spoiler omitted **** spoiler omitted **
Those in the camp of "Flame Blade threatens on 18-20" would also be arguing that "Gozreh's Trident has the brace property and can be thrown with a range increment of 10 ft and Swashbucklers can use their Swashbuckler Finesse and Deeds (like Precise Strike) with the Trident"?

Absolutely. Since proficiency is explicitly given there is no other meaning available for "wield as a trident."

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Rhedyn wrote:
You can tell when someone is debating more from needing to be right than discussion when they cite English as their justification for an unpopular opinion.

Which is what everyone claiming that "appropriate for their HD" does not refer to the rules for HD progression is doing. Rules text can always supply its own definitons. The folks at Paizo are really bad about doing so implicitly, but definitions given within the corpus of rules always supersede outside definitions. Anzyr is absolutely correct that the definition for level appropriateness is given implicitly in the advancement rules and nowhere else. That implicit definition is still in the rules and the definition is absolutely clear even if the application to the word appropriate is left implicit because Paizo are terrible at rules.

Anzyr said English, but context is a thing in every real human language and most machine languages. The Pathfinder rules are not written in an obsessively functional computer language or in Assembler and readers must account for context. If they're honest with themselves and have sufficient reading comprehension they'll come to the same reading in any language the Pathfinder rules have been faithfully translated into. They may not like that conclusion and think that the people at Paizo couldn't possibly mean what they wrote or are otherwise incompetent at either designing or writing rules, but they wrote what they wrote.

Slithery D wrote:
Atarlost wrote:

Caster level boosters are of little concern. +1 CL is equivalent to wizards and clerics getting level 5 spells at level 9 instead of level 10. +2 CL is equivalent to spell focus.

This is a really confused paragraph. How is +1CL equivalent to earlier spell access? How is a +2 CL equivalent to a +1 DC on a single school of magic from spell focus? (Sometimes I'd rather than one, other times the other, but they aren't equivalent.)

If spell DCs are 10 + 1/2 CL + casting stat then the highest DC for a character between level 1 and 18 who has +1 CL will be the same as the highest DC for a non-arcanist prepared full caster under the old system because of the way rounding works. Spontaneous full casters get access to new spell levels with higher DCs such that their highest DC is 10 + 1/2 casting class level + casting stat until they fail to get 10th level spells at level 20 except at level 1 where they have first level spells with a DC 11 + casting stat while they should not have that DC until level 2. Non-arcanist prepared full casters get every level of spell except 1st a level earlier they have a +1 DC every odd level.

+2 CL halved is a full +1 DC which is what spell focus gives. Since the only way I can think of to get more than +1 CL over your HD given that bonuses from the same source (ie. Orange Prism Ioun Stones) don't stack is from a feat that only applies to one spell a slight buff to that feat comparable to but far narrower than another feat that directly increases DC does not appear to be an unacceptable buff to that feat. It's a good feat, but even if CL boosts save DC it's no Power Attack, Deadly Aim, or Craft Wondrous Item. Maybe not even a Scribe Scroll or Craft Wand.

KestrelZ wrote:

The Pathfinder version of Rope Trick.

It was fantastically useful in D&D 3.5 - in Pathfinder it was nerfed so hard that it actually contradicts itself.
You cannot remove the rope by any method, yet has a weight limit before the rope snaps off. So which statement is true? You can't hide the rope by any means. Does this include casting it in a rope warehouse that has thousands of dangling ropes?

Are you claiming you can't find a use for a spell that produces a beacon visible and identifiable at any distance, through any obstruction, and even across planar boundaries?

Remember Dancing Lights? Develop a system for encoding messages by coiling, waving, or recoloring with prestidigitation, a rope and you have unlimited range, unblockable semaphore. As a second level spell. It's easily the most powerful long range communications spell and tied with the terrible Animal Messenger for lowest level (not counting ranger early access since they still actually get the spell later).

RAW I have to agree with Anzyr. Appropriate is defined by the advancement rules. Racial abilities are always kept unless there is special advancement, as with dragons.

That every potentially vague distinction must be defined in terms of other less ambiguous rules is a pretty fundamental precept of good game design. If you don't do this you don't have rules, you just have an argument generator.

Personally, I'd just as soon see the spell axed. I think low level wish access is important to smooth the stat gain progression, but Planar Ally/Binding efreeti is at a more appropriate level with more appropriate limits and more appropriate costs.

Caster level boosters are of little concern. +1 CL is equivalent to wizards and clerics getting level 5 spells at level 9 instead of level 10. +2 CL is equivalent to spell focus. How many ways are there to get CL above your total class level?

There's the orange prism for +1. Presumably multiple orange prisms don't stack. There's spell specialization, which becomes like spell focus for a single spell instead of an entire school.

Any others? Because those don't constitute a good reason to not use caster level as equivalent to hit dice. Arnakalar mentions prayer beads, but pfsrd says those have absolutely nothing to do with caster level. Perhaps he's confusing them with a 3.5 item that does not exist in Pathfinder?

Matthew Downie wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
The flight rules need a lot less granularity. Something like running altitude in 50' or 100' increments.
So, if I want to fly over the owlbear, jabbing him with my reach weapon, in a thirty foot high cavern, what would your ruling be?

Are you kidding? The Eiffel tower's base arch is more than a factor of ten higher than that and flying under it is considered a major feat of daredevilry. A wizard is not that much smaller than a small biplane. Nothing bigger than tiny should even think of flying under a 30' ceiling and with an uneven ceiling nothing bigger than tiny should actually do so except as a means to commit suicide.

Stuff like bats and imps can be defined as out of reach or in reach and nothing with nonzero reach should be able to fly at all.

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Diego Rossi wrote:
You don't apply your strength modifier,

Sure you do. You apply it to the attack roll. Because a scimitar is not a finessable weapon and Flame Blade behaves like a scimitar.

If you have Dervish Dance you substitute your dexterity mod for your strength mod.

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Lawrence DuBois wrote:
In my mind at least (see above for why this may not be fully accurate), this is best illustrated by magic missile.

My example would be Ill Omen. No save. Not stopped by the shield spell or brooch of shielding. Does something potentially more powerful than damage that scales beyond merely keeping pace with HP like Magic Missile.

Magic Missile improves slightly in that it becomes more useful as "counterspelling that actually works" but Ill Omen forces rerolls. One plus one per five levels to no maximum. One reroll can be negated for a move action if the victim successfully IDs the spell and has a free hand, but if the witch Ill Omens you, or even someone with a wand, the cleric may have Plane Shifted you before you get an action. It doesn't just keep pace like resist energy or give a bonus that doesn't need to scale to be meaningful like longstrider. It gets used in better combos at higher level and is more powerful on its own.

All first level spells are very much not created equal. Neither are the second. Scorching Ray and Acid Arrow sort of keep pace. Mirror Image gets better. Flaming Sphere gets worse. Hideous Laughter mostly stops working. Daze Monster completely stops working almost immediately.

1/2 level + some stat is the standard for all non-spell DCs.

Varying DC by spell level makes offensive spells with saves decline rapidly in utility while other spells remain steady or become more useful.

Varying DC by spell level makes ranger or paladin spells that offer a save completely useless.

Varying DC by spell level makes it an impractical complication to vary DC with a spell's actual power. A successfully cast 5th level Dominate Person swings a battle a lot more than a 9th level Imprisonment.

If action paralysis is a problem maybe you should have never published the summon monster, summon nature's ally, shadow conjuration, shadow evocation, or wish spell lines. Having more useful low level spell slots is nothing compared to having wide open spells available.

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Davor wrote:
LoneKnave wrote:
So, would you also allow to use stuff like weapon focus:scimitar, dervish dance, or a magus spellstrike through it (assume the magus got it on his spell list somehow)?
Well Dervish Dance wouldn't work, because you don't add your Strength mod to the damage roll, and thus have nothing for which to sub your Dex mod.

Dervish Dance would allow you to treat it as a finesse weapon and use dex for your attack roll, though.

ekibus wrote:
The thing that kills the evangelist to me is that you lose the ability to sack a spell to get a heal.

From another point of view that's its saving grace. By not having the option you cannot be guilted into burning your spells enabling badly designed or played martials.

If a normal positive channeling cleric prepares Divine Power they face constant pressure to sacrifice their fun to be the healbot by turning it into cure critical. An evangelist only has to say no once.

It's not like spontaneous spell conversion lets clerics cast anything good. All of the actual important spells still need to be prepared or have open slots left for them.

Either way you have to prepare heal and breath of life and prepare or leave slots open for the removes and restores. All spontaneous cures gets you are spells that are hardly worth their slot.

Fergie wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
The fundamental problem with invisibility is that someone thought it would be a good idea to merge hearing and vision in a game where invisibility magic exists.

Listen/perception can only tell you what square the creature is in, it doesn't do much more then that, and never did.

I think the best thing would be to add the chalk/flour bag item to the game, and include specific rules for it automatically allowing you to tell what square someone is in. You could also include some kind of "pixie dust satchel" or whatever that is a non-magic glitterdust type effect.

This is a sight based game world. Blindness, darkness, and invisibility are amazingly powerful.

If listen allows you to pinpoint the square a creature is in then all invisibility gives in combat is miss chance subject to an action restriction (or not if you use a fourth level spell). That makes invisibility early access displacement with a major action restriction and greater invisibility just displacement with some extra out of combat applications from a higher level slot.

If displacement doesn't make your broken spell list neither would invisibility if the +20 to stealth properly failed to apply to sound based perception checks.

Announce suddenly mid-session that Rovagug was released and devoured the world because everyone was too busy farting around to uncover his cultists plans.

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