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5,257 posts (5,258 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Ravingdork wrote:
Well I guess the game developers were wrong then.

Or the game developers knew what they were doing and didn't want sunder to be that powerful against bows.

This isn't some complicated mechanic or related to the magic/mundane double standard. Should every yahoo with a dagger completely f%@& over any archer in just one attack? No. If bows were 0 hardness archers would be unplayable because anyone who got next to an archer even briefly would destroy their ability to fight. If sunder was going to be in the game at all every single weapon needed enough hardness to stop normal enemies from achieving guaranteed one hit sunders until magic items started appearing.

Bows having the hardness from the table is the price of letting you have any sunder rules at all.

If you want to keep the feel of magic items being rare you should use some sort of automatic bonus system for the standard expected stuff.

Since you're caster built you really don't want to multiclass.

For forms Deinonychus is generally the standard medium, though if you still need to be medium at level 8 the leopard hits harder on a pounce. At level 6 I'd look at Dire Hyena for reach and trip.

Your best bet given your stats and archetype is to prepare SNA-II in every 2nd level slot. A small earth elemental (or water elemental against aquatic foes) will be about as much of a melee threat as you can expect to be for now even without feat support. As a caster druid spell focus conjuration isn't bad to have anyways.

You can use Frostbite from first level slots to increase your melee threat for a bit using the held charge rules, but it's not particularly strong until you get your caster level (and hence uses per casting) a bit higher and you might be better off with other spells for now.

Canonically it's something like

Amulet of Natural Armor
Magic Armor (and shield if appropriate) or Bracers of Armor
Ring of Protection
Cloak of Resistance
Belt or Headband of primary stat
Magic Weapon or Amulet of Mighty Fists/Fang

Some classes want both a belt and headband (eg. con and int for the witch or str and wis for the druids)
Some classes won't want a weapon (eg. the witch)
Some classes can't use an ANA because they need an AMF (eg. the druids if they wildshape)

The save, DC, attack bonus, and AC curves for monsters just assume players are at WBL and spending most of their gold on these items or equivalents (eg. Barkskin can substitute for an AMF if you cast it for every battle).

Lem "The Bard" wrote:
No one mentioned magus? Really? The quintessential gish? Get a race with a CON bonus like gnome, and zap away!

The game isn't starting at level 12 or whenever magi finally get heavy armor casting and the stat array has 10 dexterity.

What about an empiricist investigator with a fighter dip? That lets you leverage that int usefully and strength based two handed weapon melee works just fine for them. One level of Fighter gets you all the proficiencies you need to make up for that dexterity and then it's all investigator.

The hit dice are a little smaller than a fighter, but false life will fix that right up. Really, the only weaknesses of the investigator as a combat class are the delay on studied combat and the poor proficiencies and unlike other int classes they don't have to deal with spell failure if they get heavy armor proficiency.

I think the trip property at some got errata'd from doing bupkis to giving some actual bonus to trip attempts. If not than any reach polearm would do.

Countless Eyes flat out negates flanking entirely, is potionable, on one of the common lists, and has a long duration. If you can get any consumables you should be able to get it.

Freedom of Movement is not on the wizard list. If they have it they have to get it from items. It's not potionable, though, so unless they cheat with one charge wands they either need to shell out for a lot of it or get enough UMD to manage a scroll. That's DC 24, which isn't going to be automatic at level 10 without skill mastery. Rings are an option, but they're even more expensive than full wands. Whatever they do to get FoM other than partial wand cheese it's going to cost them significantly.

Are you with your party before you go through the teleporter? Because getting a True Seeing of your own will give you thirteen minutes of not being sneak attacked by greater invisible rogues. Couple that with Countless Eyes (even a potion or a friend reading a scroll will have 5 hours duration) and the rogues just don't matter because they aren't going to get sneak attack without taking an action to feint.

Get a cheap Guisarme unless your hammer takes three arms to wield. The rogues' CMD will probably be poor and a trip AoO on one will let your belt of chains focus on the other and the AoO won't matter unless the rogues have longspears. It'll also prevent the wizard from 5' stepping out of your threatened area.

The rogues can probably be rendered irrelevant with preparation so you can just focus on the wizard until he drops.

When they become an antipaladin.

I vow to uphold a specific set of evil ethical precepts.

Congratulations, you're now Lawful Evil. You can't be an antipaladin anymore.

And this is why antipaladin is a stupid class.

DM_Blake wrote:
Claxon wrote:
That is fair, although if I had played with you I would have actually asked the player not to do that.

For me, I'm not a fan of GM decisions that are unreasonable. I include abject devotion to game mechanics that don't make sense.

I would not have wanted this conversation:

Player: I sunder the bowstring.
Me: It has hardness 5 and HP 5.
Player: What? Rope is much thicker and has hardness 0 and 2 HP.
Me: Yeah, but THIS string is attached to a wooden bow.
Player: I am not sundering the wooden part, I'm sundering the string part.
Me: You can't.
Player: Why not?
Me: Because game mechanics.
Player: But it doesn't make sense. I can see the string, can't I?
Me: Yep.
Player: I can reach the string, can't I?
Me: Yep.
Player: So I cut the string.
Me: No problem. Hardness 5, HP 5.
Player: I'm not sundering the wooden part!
Me: It's attached. That makes it all one thing.
Player: So If I tie a rope to a steel grappling hook, does that mean the entire rope now has hardness 10, HP 30 because it's attached to the steel?
Me: Well, no, because there is no "Rope with Grappnel" on the Object Hardness table, so we just use the separate parts.
Player: Why not use separate parts for the bow and bowstring?
Me: Because "projectile weapon" is on the chart. I have to use it. It's the law.
Player: So, cutting a bowstring is EXACTLY as hard as hacking a heavy crossbow in half?
Me: Yep, exactly.
Player: And bowstrings are at least 5x harder to cut than ordinary rope?
Me: Yes. At least.
Player: So, can I use a club to cut the bowstring?
Me: Actually, yes. Since it is attached to the wooden bow, it can be broken exactly like the wooden bow, so a club will snap a bowstring like a twig, even though the same club cannot cut rope (which is 5x easier to cut).
Player: You know that none of this makes sense, right?
Me: I'm a GM. RAW is RAW. My hands are tied; I cannot disobey the RAW. I AM THE RAW!

Actually, I don't even see it as a house rule. It's just applying core rules in a...

The correct conversation is

Player: I sunder the bowstring.
GM: It has hardness 5 and HP 5.
Player: What? Rope is much thicker and has hardness 0 and 2 HP.
GM: Yeah, but THIS string is attached to a wooden bow.
Player: I am not sundering the wooden part, I'm sundering the string part.
GM: You can't.
Player: Why not?
GM: Because game balance.
Player: What?
GM: Weapons have the stats they do for a reason. In this case so that archers that aren't on horeseback or flying or surrounded by hundreds of friends aren't completely screwed. Further argument will be considered an attempt at PvP by proxy against mister Ranger and you will be asked to leave the table.

Because it's not just RAW. It's RAI as proven by the later introduction of feats for safely using archery in melee.

The vast majority of taste is smell.

RainyDayNinja wrote:
Fromper wrote:
Again, fly checks are nearly irrelevant. The fighter in heavy armor and no ranks in fly can easily spiral upwards at an angle of 45 degrees without any sharp turns, and never need to make a fly check. Done!
Spiral upward with a fly speed of 20? Hope you brought a Snickers...

The ascend rate is editorial error. It's from 3.5 OGL where there is no fly skill. It's just repeating the good maneuverability column from the table here. The actual Pathfinder ascent rate without checks is defined by the diagonal movement rules: It's 25' for someone wearing medium or heavy armor without mitigation. It's 40' for fighters in medium armor from level 3 up and 40' for dwarves in any armor or under any load or anyone in light armor.

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One pound of air is a approximately 13 cubic feet. That should be enough to drive a vampire away and is certainly nonliving material.

How is there one fighter? One (non-human) barbarian I could maybe see, but there are scores of fighters because fighters have a minimum of two feats. There may be one archer fighter, but a melee fighter only needs one feat for power attack and the other can go to anything from skill focus profession sailor to improved sunder and be a perfectly fine fighter as long as his stats are within acceptable margins.

Now, yes, if you're not human and you're first level some classes are "all the same" but at second they start getting to pick rage powers or combat styles. The game is broken at first level because in a misguided attempt to curtail dipping Paizo delayed key features for most non-casters to second level. That's not a fault of the character building system but of the developer being paranoid that players might possibly be having fun in the wrong way.

It's not easy to shoot down fliers. Even those effected only lose 10' of altitude after a DC 10 fly check. That's not significant unless they're flying at treetop level, and depending on how dense the trees are may not even be significant then.

Balance is when the GM can be a deist instead of a theist. This is essentially the social contract Kirth mentioned, but the hobby would be better off if it were actually codified.

The GM needs to play by the same rules as the players or the exercise isn't a game. The GM just has more pieces. The only decisions the GM should make after constructing a part of the world are how the NPCs behave, and they should be limited by the same rules as the players. They don't need any more power than that and unless the rules are so bad they require constant kludging to keep the rogue from being bored out of her skull more power than that is actually detrimental because exercising it means the world no longer makes sense on its own terms.

There are some additional limits about encounter design that need to exist for a system with character progression mechanics to be balanced, but they're harder to discuss because the details essentially function as a difficulty setting. Calling these "just guidelines" and pretending they don't matter is bad for everyone but the grognards who learned to eyeball difficulty before the guidelines were invented. Just because the proper difficulty level for different groups is different doesn't make it acceptable for the difficulty metrics to be nonfunctional.

wraithstrike wrote:

I am a "pick up a bow" person, but I would never say it makes the fight easy. I will say that even doing 5 to 6 points of damage instead of the 30+ per hit that you are used to will help end the encounter a lot faster than doing nothing.

I am not saying you specifically do this, but I have seen games where players were like "I don't have a ranged weapon, and doing (insert low number) won't matter so I just won't do anything".

If you're doing 5 to 6 and there's an actual archer doing 30+ then you may as well not trouble yourself because no, you don't matter. He's dropping everything in two or three rounds and you don't even do a third of enemy HP when you crit.

If you're doing 5 to 6 when you should be doing 30+ and no one is doing better it's time to roll up a new character because you're going to get wiped unless the flight is just a decoration on a monster that has to close to melee to actually deal damage. If you survive against a foe that can actually exploit its flight it'll be because the wizard or cleric landed a save or lose that makes your damage completely irrelevant.

Weak fliers in the bestiary are no excuse. Fly comes in potions. Take the NPC codex CR 4 fighter. Take away the questionably useful potions and downgrade her melee weapon to non-masterwork and she can afford a potion of fly and some change. She's about 8% down from bestiary par HP for CR 4, has the AC of a "standard" CR 7, the attack of a CR 5, and damage about halfway between the high levels for CR 4 and 5. And she's completely immune to melee opponents and short range spells in an outdoor fight. She has enough touch AC to stand a reasonable chance of living through a 4th level sorcerer's entire load of scorching rays. A level 4 party without real archers is probably going to take losses at a level where death is still permanent. This is literally just taking the first proper archer fighter in the NPC codex and shuffling the gear to fit a potion of fly.

Against something like a harpy you don't use a bow. If you fail your save you don't use any weapon at all. If you make it you just ready actions because it has no ranged attacks. If they lack flyby they're in range to full attack next round. If they have it they take a readied action and then an AoO on the way out in exchange for one standard action attack of their own.

The only time "get a bow" is better than sticking to melee is when the unspeakably broken synergy between ranged combat or spellcasting and flight is in play. At that point nonspecialized ranged attacks are like a screen door on an airlock. Unless you're something like a paladin with a big damage booster you can apply to anything.

Here's one reason the magus shouldn't use the wizard list:
Calcific Touch. Multi-touch that does no save ability damage. Damage multiplies on crits and nowhere does it say that only applies to HP damage. This is an example of a wizard touch spell from a book published before UM that is very much not designed with 15-20 crit ranges in mind.

Increasing the damage by 25% and giving the spell to a class with armored casting leaves it too powerful for a fourth level spell even on the 6 level schedule. I'd worry about it as 5th level through spell blending, but everyone knows that Paizo throws any notion of balance out the window at 12th level.

Early access is most obvious on the warpriest. They don't have it and they get to fix energy drain when spectres are CR=APL-3 rather than CR=APL like for clerics. Mummies are CR=APL-2 when they get remove curse and remove disease instead of CR=APL. Shadows are CR=APL-1 when they get the ability to fix ability damage rather than CR=APL like for clerics. Gosh, it's almost like the bestiary was designed to match the cleric spell list or visa versa and anyone behind schedule isn't going to be able to handle the party's problems. Well that kind of makes the class completely useless as anything but yet another redundant nova only martial doesn't it?

Not having new spell lists is worse. Most new classes don't work with old spell lists because they have their own themes or some classes that are fine for a wizard would be broken on a magus or because a class with 4 or 6 level casting needs early entry on some things.

Now not having new spells added to old lists, that would be just ducky. It would keep the list all in one place, though it would refer to the spells themselves in older books, and it would mean no more automatic caster power creep.

The most important healing isn't HP. It's conditions and stat damage/drain and negative levels.

For that there's no substitute for a cleric. You can keep slots open and get any spell you need in minutes. Healing is split among too many spells for any spontaneous caster and only the cleric and oracle have all of them on list. The one level access delay doesn't help the oracle either.

Almost anyone can restore HP with wands. Breath of Life and Heal are useful, and lacking them or having later access like a druid is a strike against, but every class with that problem has already flunked on non-HP healing. The extra HP a life oracle can provide isn't worth the delayed spell access and limited spells known for the really indispensable thing a healer should provide.

You should be able to handle most enemies with nothing but ranged DPR and battlefield control magic and for those battles the melee line just gets in the way. Some sort of melee backup is important because you can't always pincushion everyone before they reach you, but when your opponents are half dead and have to stand in the area of black tentacles or on the sloped edge of an extradimensional pit to hit you backup is adequate.

A good skulk helps actually. They don't need to really leave the party, just be short bowshot away or in sight of the party whichever is closer and peeking around corners so they can pull enemies or tell the wizard he needs to summon something to do the same. Ranger with longstrider up is probably best.

CampinCarl9127 wrote:

1) You can never have too many melee. You can have too few melee. Party comp looks pretty solid to me.

You can never have too many switch hitters maybe, but more than two dedicated melee in those standard 10' wide dungeon corridors gets awkward.

Imbicatus wrote:
Can you switch to Arcane Duelist instead of prankster? All of a pranksters tricks are mind-effecting, and won't work on any of the undead you'll be facing. Arcane Duelist gets nice bonus feats for melee, and You can also eventually upgrade to heavier armor, which will help with your low dex and use of a two-handed weapon.

This. Even intelligent undead are for some unfathomable reason completely immune to anything mind effecting so the character concept wouldn't have worked even if you'd had that paladin to back.

I'd suggest Chelish Diva over Arcane Duelist, though, if the fluff is acceptable. You have to pay for arcane strike, but you get the armor upgrades a lot earlier. None of the other arcane duelist bonus feats are that useful. CD also doesn't give up versatile performance. AD keeps dirge of doom, though, which for some reason isn't mind effecting and will help the witch and wizard land save or lose spells later on.

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You don't need to provide melee.

The flying blade is almost fully effective in melee. He just loses the targeted throw and perfect throw deeds. This archetype is a fully effective switch hitter almost out of the box. He'll need piranha strike and to not dump con and he's a melee character. Maybe not an optimized melee character, but he's not an optimized ranged character either.

The archery ranger is using a bow unless something is seriously wrong with him. He therefore has at least a non-negative strength modifier. Make him keep a melee weapon of some sort on his person until he gets Point Blank Master and he can defend himself fine. He can be threatening with a bow as well as not taking AoOs for firing as early as level 7. From then on he does everything a melee character does. All he asks is that someone dispel wind wall and fickle winds.

The inquisitor might possibly be using a crossbow. Probably not, though, because crossbows are bad. If he's using a bow he'll be fine with a morningstar or whatever his deity favors and the usual inquisitor self-buffing.

The daring champion cavalier is a straight up melee guy.

You already have at least two melee competent characters and one that will become melee competent after the early game. Your original plan of a card caster staff magus is fine. It'll do well enough in melee to not be a liability and won't give enemies cover. Your party would actually be better off if the cavalier was luring instead to eliminate that issue completely.

JohnHawkins wrote:

A better question is why do you think Kobolds are inherently more dangerous than Goblins, Elves, Halflings, Orcs , Humans or any other race with class levels.

All of them (and many other creatures) have incredibly varied tactics and if using clever tactics are much more dangerous than if not. However this cannot be built into CR , as a GM decide what the situation and tactics do to make the creatures more dangerous, if it does raise the CR or use less creatures.

Well, orcs have an intelligence penalty.

It's the ratfolk and elves that you really have to watch out for.

Aelryinth wrote:

Bravery bonus t/day:

Bravery t/day,

Never mention Bravery. Anything that keys off of bravery breaks the archetype concept. Most of them replace bravery. You pretend you're keeping other classes from getting the fighter's stuff, but all you're really doing is preventing the fighter from using the only fighter exclusive stuff he actually has now.

Qaianna wrote:

I've even seen 'longsword' refer to ... well, greatswords, effectively. Just kind'a long ones. (And my first D&D cleric run had an issue when I thought a 'morningstar' was the thingy with the chain and a spiky ball at the end, which is how I use it in normal everyday conversation.)

Of course, someone wrote this little gem on Wikipedia's article, 'Classification of Swords'

Wikipedia wrote:
The English language terminology used in the classification of swords is imprecise, and has varied widely over time. Historical terms without a universal consensus of definition (such as "broadsword", "long sword", "short-sword", "bastard sword", "great sword", "full-bladed sword", "side-sword", "dual-bladed sword" and "two-handed sword") were used to label weapons of similar appearance but of different historical periods and fabrication technology, often by describing their size or shape relative to other unrelated weapons, without regard to their intended use and fighting style. In modern times, many of these terms have been given specific, often arbitrary meanings that are unrelated to any of their historical meanings.
So ... yeah, we're hosed. Keep it internally consistent and we're about as well off as we can get.

But we're not talking about all periods. We're talking about one period: the period in which articulated plate armor and rapiers exist. That means we should be using the terminology of that period, which is happily one of the better documented periods. Specifically, it's the period the historical European treatises are mostly from. We should be using the terminology of that period, which is somewhat consistent. Short swords are mostly for cavalry. Long swords or large swords (depending on language) are big one or two handed weapons. A few two hand only weapons are still in use but on the way out. Bastard swords are shorter than Long swords. Rapiers are narrow one handed weapons about the length of a long sword. Sabers are starting to be a thing over in Eastern Europe, but haven't really moved west. There are ten thousand weird and wonderful polearms half of which are called Guisarmes.

There's nothing wrong with multiple archers in a party. I'd rather be an archer in a party of other archers provided all have a short range backup than in a party with a bunch of short range melee guys that will give enemies cover from me.

Pounce will help a lot. I'd suggest Urban Barbarian//Investigator.

Urban Barbarian removes the restrictions on what skills you can use in rage and lets you rage to dex if that's your attack and damage stat. Investigator gets you reflex and will saves, extracts, and unlimited uses of studied combat.

Most importantly, you get pounce. You really want to have pounce. Also dragon style. With so many feats free you can take improved unarmed strike at 3rd and dragon style at 5th easily.

You could get pounce through primalist bloodrager or skald, but only two levels later than barbarian and bloodrager can't escape the skill restrictions. Neither has a rage to dexterity option either. You could also use UnBarbarian and get pounce at level 10, but again can't escape the action restriction.

If your GM will let an urban barbarian use studied target and drink extracts while raging that's going to be your best option. Otherwise you need to settle for something like Skald//Slayer. Skalds have no action restrictions while using raging song, but they need to spend an action starting their raging song.

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Duiker wrote:
My least favorite Pathfinder subsystem is the Rules Forum.

It is pretty bad. Post editing is locked after an annoyingly short time and it provides the moderators no options other than moving threads, retitling threads, or deleting all the posts that reference any part of a post that might be a very long and detailed post with one offensive bit. Oh, and the way it cuts of quotes. The way it cuts of quotes is horrible. I've been on more modern forums in the nineties.

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There are three horribly mismatched mechanics at work here.

Natural attacks and iteratives.

Iteratives are necessary to increase the maximum meaningful gap between attack and AC. Since attack scales and AC doesn't this is really bloody important.

Natural attacks are balanced around not having iteratives. This is really, really stupid and WotC should be ashamed of themselves for being totally incompetent at game design. They could recognize that the attack AC gap mattered enough to put in iteratives, but couldn't be arsed to apply them to most monsters for some unfathomable reason. The basic attack/AC math doesn't work for monsters that don't have power attack. In Pathfinder power attack is fixed so it doesn't work for them either.

Standard attacks remove iteratives. This is stupid again. Especially when lance charges let you get the damage back without an accuracy penalty. Same problem that power attack used to be a possible kludge if everyone was good at math but now isn't.

Attacks without iteratives need to go. That means natural attacks need to be a lot weaker, probably losing something like 1/2 strength (so secondaries add none) and one or two die steps. Or d20 needs to be abandoned. Switching to a d30 while keeping the level cap at 20 might work adequately. They're not as readily available in large quantities, though. Weapon attacks are already balanced around having iteratives even though they often don't get them. HP goes up a lot faster than damage without them while individual rounds also tend to take longer at higher levels so that if anything combats should be getting shorter in rounds as you level up to keep them from taking too long in real world time at the table.

Rynjin wrote:
Some monsters make sense as one-offs like Banshees and Dracoliches, but most don't.

Dracoliches should just be dragon liches. Banshees should be monsters rather than templates, but they also shouldn't be undead. They should be fey. Any undead that isn't formerly a creature should be moved to another creature type and any undead that is a former creature benefits from being a template rather than a monster so it can reflect differences even creatures of the same species can have in life.

Caster levels can be mitigated with a trait or ioun stone. Casting levels are absolutely irreplaceable. Apart from including a caster level boost they give more and better spell slots.

Often it's not high level abilities you lose out on. It's low level abilities improving. Missing or even just delaying an increase in Inspire Courage hurts the whole party and while you're still rationing performance rounds failing to increase your duration also hurts. Similarly, unless you only do single encounter days getting more uses of smite, challenge, or bane is kind of important. If you have any sort of limited pool multiclassing before you have enough of it to get through the day is a significant cost, and it's common GM advice to force longer adventuring days to prevent casters from running away with the game. Bad advice in my opinion, but common.

Multiclassing substantially out of a pet class into anything but another pet class that stacks or a pet prestige class (AFAIK just mammoth rider and maybe one or two summoner specific PrCs) is basically losing that class feature entirely barring a feat that requires a frequently archetyped cavalier feature.

Sensible people do not use alignment restrictions for anything but divine casters.

Jackie Chan has made a career of playing chaotic monks, including the basis for the drunken monk which isn't compatible with the martial artist.

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mittean wrote:

One of the things that ends up making rogues not work as well in the game is the depictions of sneaky, dexterity based characters in cinema. They do all the roguish things, but absolutely annihilate in combat, which is really what your warrior types should be doing.

Great examples -
- Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible. Super sneaky, crafty little skill-monkey, yet hardcore combatant.
- Jason Bourne in the Bourne series. As well, a sneaky assassin, yet a terror against groups of combatants.
- Legolas in the Tolkien universe. He's an archer, yet tears around the battlefield offing more orcs and enemies than the entire Gondor army, while back-flipping off the three giant Oliphants he just killed. With one arrow.
- The Assassin's Creed series. Probably the biggest thing that has hurt the Rogue class's identity is this series. You are the very definition of sneaky, small hidden weapon dexterity based combatant, yet again they tear through hundreds of people like toilet paper.

A rogue is really much more like the Thief games. Hidden. One kill at a time. Tricks. Shadows. Not dealing with a problem directly. Admittedly (and I'd even argue against this myself) Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series is a Rogue as well. He tends to want to sneak. He does silent take downs. He's climbing over everything. Yes, he can handle himself in a fight, but if you listen to his dialogue, it's never "I'm gonna get you!" like a warrior, or "Die!". It's "Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap!" and other things making the audience feel like he's stretching himself to his limit to survive. And he's all about LUCK. Very roguish. Oh,and no armor. Although I get it's the wrong genre for that.

The d20 systems, inadvertently, and the way most people DM and game, have made the focus on high octane (as it were) combat. A sneaky rogue is boring to a lot of people, so they want a rogue that can handle it's own, which, as can't terribly well. Because it shouldn't, as written.

I think a big reason why sneaky tends to fail in tabletop is most DM's don't know how to tell a story with sneaky in it, and have tension. It's easy to say "you jump of the wall, killing two guys by stabbing your swords in their back as you slam them into the ground." Interesting. "You spend seven hours riding on the undercarriage of the wagon, being jostled and bumped, freezing the whole way just to sneak into the city, because you're a wanted person. Now roll to see if you get caught. Nope. You're safe." BORING.

The problem is that you can't play a traditional rogue in a party with anyone else. If your rogue needs to spend seven hours riding on the undercarriage of the wagon to get into the city the wizard, cleric, and barbarian will walk through the gates and replace a bard to replace you because you're more trouble than you're worth.

If you sneak ahead someone sees you and you get to solo an encounter designed for the entire party. Maybe not the first time or the second, but perception is an opposed roll with 38 points of spread instead of 19 like a DC and enemies frequently come in groups and have animals with scent or tremmorsense or guard-devils with true seeing. It'll happen sooner or later and the rogue goes squish.

If you want to skulk around doing single take downs you'll find that even if you can (you can't outside death attack in this game or its immediate precursors unless you're a caster) by the time you've carefully snuck up upon a couple the rest of the party has mopped up fifty because stealth is slow compared to combat.

Playing a stealth only rogue is like playing a merfolk. Unless everyone else is playing undines or druids you aren't going to get far into anything that requires swimming and you're a serious liability in the much more common land adventuring.

Eventually almost every rogue winds up needing to fight either because the dice frown on him or because the narrative requires it. That's why Sherlock Holmes is an expert pugilist and James Bond an expert gunman. Even Bilbo goes one on many against intelligent spiders bigger than he is. And, yes, all those others you mentioned. Except Legolas. Legolas has never been a rogue. He doesn't sneak. He doesn't pick locks. He's an expert archer not a dilettante. He doesn't backstab or sneak attack. He knows wilderness survival. Conan the Cimmerian is more a rogue than Legolas is.

The unpleasant truth is that you can't properly play Garret in a party with Corwin of Amber, Conan of Cimmerania, and Moses. You can play Ezio Auditore in that company. If only the game supported it.

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Aaron Whitley wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Snowblind wrote:
I think that it's fair to say that at best the visibility of spells was debatable. The rules say that you get a spellcraft check so long as you can see the spell being cast. Not "the components of the spell". The spell.

The problem I, and many others, had with this interpretation was that there was never any spell prior to the completion of its casting.

How do you observe a spell that does not yet exist? What you describe is about as logical as trying to observe a cake by staring at a cow and chicken on a wheat farm.

I think a better analogy would be walking into a kitchen and seeing the ingredients on the counter and the oven on.

If you walk into the kitchen and see milk, eggs, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pans on the counter and the oven is on you can't figure out that something is about to be baked?

If you walk in and the oven is on, the ingredients aren't on the counter but there is a bowl full of batter you can't figure out that baking is about to happen?

That would be a spell with components. What Paizo wants us to swallow now is that you can walk into a kitchen and see no ingredients, batter, or active oven and automagically know that the owner of the kitchen is out back grilling salmon, ie. a spell without perceptible components.

Once he walks back in with a grilled salmon and asks you to set the table it's too late to stop him from cooking a meal. Since you saw no components you could not identify the spell or even that there was a spell being cast at all and therefore couldn't counter it.

The Crusader wrote:
What color is the line that divided the black&whites from the greys?

The same place as the line between integers and real numbers.

Auxmaulous wrote:
Scaling back spell function and power is very unpopular around here when presented as a fix, unfortunately that is probably the biggest change (and the mutable DC system) that need to be changed. Once you touch that or try to - out come the torches.

There's a reason for this and it's not just caster privilege. If you take away the caster's abilities you have to give them to someone else because the default game assumes their presence. Most of them make no sense on martials and that's okay. Arcane casters aren't allowed to be healers (apart from the witch who should have been divine since she draws her power from a patron) and that's okay too.

Lack of access to the DC system on martials is a problem, but it's a solvable problem without letting martials punch people so hard their curse breaks or cut through reality with a letter opener. Moving combat maneuvers to the saving throw system would be an easy start.

But to resolve the narrative power issue rather than just the mechanical balance issue I've come to think the only options are to rip up the game assumptions and all 3.5 or PF settings that rely on them or to just ban martials.

Just banning martials is looking awfully tempting since actually redressing the narrative imbalance means not using Pathfinder at all anymore since you can't use the rules, can't use the classes, can't use the APs, and can't even really use the setting splats. There's a reason Kirth has decided not to promote his "houserules" actively here anymore: They have less in common with Pathfinder than Pathfinder has in common with D&D.

Orthos wrote:

"Manxome" is defined as "Possibly 'fearsome'; A portmanteau of "manly" and "buxom", the latter relating to men for most of its history; or relating to Manx people."

Or possibly Manx sheep, which is clearly the coolest caprid ever and possibly the coolest bovid.

Clearly the manxome foe template should give a gore attack dealing double the normal damage for a creature of its size.

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Skylancer4 wrote:
Because you ran it incorrectly for so long, as it never dawned upon you that you were wrong until they stated it?
There is no 'wrong' way to run the game. Only different ways.

But there are wrong ways to write the rules, and forcing visible magic sparkles on a setting agnostic system or into a kitchen sink setting kills essentially every intrigue plot that uses magic.

That's not okay. Skylancer can run his table however he wants, but the published rules need to support more rather than fewer possibilities. That's the responsibility you take on when you say "3.5 thrives" and push your kitchen sink setting.

He's a divine caster. If you're the GM you're playing his god, just like you're playing every other NPC in Golarion that ever becomes relevant.

Branding random people is contrary to its purpose and should get him some sort of slap on the wrist unless he follows the god of juvenile pranks. I'd suggest that next time he tries to cast brand on an improper target he gets cursed.

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Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:
hiiamtom wrote:

Yeah... I'm not sure why y'all would think magic has no outward appearance when all media I can think of has magic have some outward appearance. It takes a spellcraft roll with no special vision like detect magic to identify a spell.

Even if it is subtle, pupil-less eyes or a magical rune appearing or just a visual distortion like a mirage all would be subtle magical effects. If you have Spellsong, then the feat specifically overwrites the general rule of outward appearance - just like Tricky Spell or combining Still and Silent.

Hiding a spell requires roleplay and guile, and magic is strong enough without saying casting Charm Person isn't an obvious casting.

Except how come only bards can hide their spell? Are you suggesting only bards can suppress the sparkles? and they can only do it while performing? If you interpret spell song as they are hiding the COMPONENTS within their performance (as in hiding the words in a song or message and the somatic components within regular movements involves[i.e. sweeping arm movements for a speech, moving your bow of your violin, dramatic movememnts for acting, ect]) then Spellsong makes sense (especially since Bards cannot take Silence spell).

Also remember, they said it is an obvious effect that even a lay person can tell is magical. Which means something like sparkles, Avatar:the last airbender kung fu movements, glowies, floating runes, ect. Things you cannot confuse for glare in your glasses or a mirage. The fact they call out their artwork further shows they are thinking along these lines...

Also, most media tends to have the obvious signs of spell casting (outside stuff like fireballs) as the WORDS and the movements to cast (Swish then flick). Of the other ones, a lot of time it has visual effects so that the audience knows SOMETHING is happening. It is put in to enhance drama.

But bards prove they weren't thinking that way when they made the art. Bards need a special spell hiding mechanism because they and only they have verbal components on all their spells and cannot use silent spell metamagic. Everyone else can hide non-somatic spells with one metamagic or nonverbal spells with another. Those metamagics are overpriced, but they exist for a reason. Or at least they used to exist for a reason. RIP silent and still metamagics.

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Most teamwork feats aren't even worth a feat. PFSRD isn't working for me right now so let's just look at the APG.

Allied Spellcaster: Like spell penetration, but only if your party has a redundant spellcaster and they're standing next to each other. Anyone coordinated enough to take a teamwork feat would never have redundant casters for the same offensive spells known or prepared in a normal sized party.

Coordinated Defense: Not strictly inferior to a CRB feat, but for non-martials defensive combat training is equal by level 5 against equal sized foes. And, of course, DCT doesn't require adjacency. Very specialized feat even for an inquisitor.

Coordinated Maneuvers: Same bonus as an improved/greater maneuver feat. How often do you build one character for multiple maneuvers? Even fighters can't really afford to ride that train.

Duck and Cover: Sounds like a reasonable way to mitigate the drawbacks of adjacency at first, but then you get to this nice little clause: "If you take your ally's result you are knocked prone (or staggered on your next turn if you are already prone or cannot be knocked prone)." That debuff. Wow. I'd seriously consider a spell that did half as much damage as a standard blast but knocked prone or briefly staggered its targets.

Lookout: This is one good feat out of five so far. A pity about the adjacency, though. You can't use this unless you're bunched up unnaturally. If it worked to fifteen or twenty feat it would be an actual good feat, not just a good feat compared to all the trash feats Paizo has published.

Outflank: Flanking is a trap. If you're flanking against more than one opponent someone's rear is hanging out in the breeze. Consequently most flanking is done with summons, who don't have this feat. Also, doesn't play nicely with other teamwork feats, which require adjacency. See the next entry.

Paired Opportunists: The other good teamwork feat. Too bad it's a feat you really need to build around. Nothing wrong with that normally and the build is worth the feats, but it does make it harder to get two people in the same party who want to sink that many feats into the same build. Also a pity there aren't very many good ways to generate AoOs on demand.

Precise Strike: Let's take the thing that rogues are terrible for relying on and spend a feat on a limited version of the same! Let's not. Precision damage is bad. Lots of stuff is immune, it doesn't crit, and you have to be flanking so it's not even as good as 1d6 sneak attack.

Shield Wall: Okay. For light shields or bucklers it's a conditional shield focus, which is equivalent to dodge. For heavy shields it's better, but who uses heavy shields? Oh, right. Dual weapon sword and board builds that plan on getting shield mastery. Who doesn't have any free feats? Dual weapon builds. Offensive sword and board is the single most feat intensive build in the game, capable of sucking up every feat a fighter has and then some in just core. Using a shield just for defense completely ruins your ability to deal damage. Bards and clerics might make that trade off, but they can't use heavy shields because they need to be able to pass their weapon to their shield hand to perform somatic components.

Shielded Caster: Unless your friend has a shield it's conditional combat casting. If this weren't a teamwork feat the shield benefit would make it a possible choice, but it is a teamwork feat so your friend with the shield is completely wasting his feat unless he's also a caster. Since he's a caster it's a light shield. But if he's proficient in shields he's a gish class of some sort so he's probably fine with full attacking instead of casting a spell if someone stands next to him so it's back to only benefiting one of the two people who spent a feat on it.

Swap Places: How often does this really come up? If you set up your march order reasonably this is only useful for flipping your whole party, which requires four people to have this feat just to swap the primary melee guy in the van with the secondary melee guy in the rear. Or the cleric could spend the feat on being a better melee guy. When's the last time you were attacked in the rear in 5' wide tunnels that you weren't also attacked from the front at the same time?

Note the problem with Shielded Caster only being useful to one of the people who takes it while being a dubious sidegrade of another feat that already exists? That's a recurring problem. There's an improved precise shot clone in another book that requires a non-archer to take point blank shot as well as the teamwork feat itself.

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Milo v3 wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Does anyone else find it highly suspicious that this FAQ wasn't released until Heroes of the Streets (with its Cunning Caster feat) and Occult Adventures (with all of the psychic, componentless spells) casters became a thing?
Some people just see malice when they want to I suppose.

I suppose it's a matter of perspective whether incompetence is an adequate explanation. It's certainly not a good ruling. Just another in a long line of feats that instead of providing new capability take something that everyone could do last year and restricting it heavily.

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There's an entire rogue archetype (in the literary sense) about pretending to cast magic when not casting magic as well.

Sparkles really aren't acceptable for a setting agnostic game or kitchen sink setting. Too many plots and character concepts rely on either hiding casting or pretending to cast. The whole arcane trickster and all related archetypes can just be tossed in the trash now along with charlatans. No longer is it possible to bluff someone into believing you've removed their curse or disease (that you probably bluffed them into believing they had in the first place) because no sparkles.

Never enforce the cover rules as written. They're every bit as bad as running the reach rules as written before Paizo finally re-adopted the 3.5 diagonal reach exception. Center to center LoS works better or center to edge. Also, scale cover the same way as size. Covering 3/4 of a medium target reduces the effective size to small, which is a +1 AC, not +4. Cover blocking less than half of the target should be ignored for any target between tiny and huge.

Rate of fire for a warbow in skilled hands is not once per six seconds. Disallowing rapidshot and manyshot on composite longbows may make sense, but it isn't good for balance in the larger sense. Composite longbow manyshot arrow spam builds are the only martials that in some circumstances compete with casters. Try buffing crossbows and getting rid of the move/attack restriction instead.

gustavo iglesias wrote:

Problem with real world fencing techniwues is that swordmasters didn't fight vs t-rexes and dragons.

Grapple rules should make sense with in the game World. The problem is that currently it's not the case, as currently owlbears release their preys to full attack, and they shouldn't in game lore

Adventurers mostly don't fight t-rexes or dragons either. They fight goblinoids and humanoid bandits and humanoid shaped demons and humanoid barbarians with intelligent swords and human wizards and giants (while under the influence of enlarge person). Once you move away from animals and vermin it's mostly bipeds with two arms that can be the same size category after the application of a first level spell if they aren't already. You usually get one or two dragons in an adventuring career and a abberations monsters and a few animals at low level and the rest are upright bipeds with two arms except for the odd marilith.

All the other bestiary I demons and devils have two arms and except the lemure which hardly counts as a devil have two legs.

And that's as it should be because Pathfinder is hopelessly terrible at handling non-humanoids or anything not in the small, medium, or large size category.

Actually, this could be considered reasonable.

The PaO modifier is +9 if the wizard is either medium or a kobold (+5 for being animals, +2 for same size or class, and +2 for the dragon having the same or lower intelligence than the wizard) PaO has no material component and is on the wizard list so wish can certainly duplicate it. However if you're reasonable wish, when not used with premeditation rather than to pull "any spell" out of thin air in an emergency, should be able to do more or there would be no point is using a ninth level slot and a great deal of money to do what an 8th level slot can do for free. By this standard, wish should reasonably be able to produce FotD I as an instant (non-dispellable) effect.

DM_Blake wrote:
But the truth of it, while somewhat toned down from the drama of this post, is still real: making grappling more deadly at its basic, least-common-denominator level, will simply turn it from one combat option to THE BEST combat option, and optimized grapplers WILL rule the battlefield. PCs will die. Encounters will be unbalanced when grappling is used.

The problem there is the high end, not the low. Grapplers should rule the battlefield because everyone grapples. There are throws and grapples in longsword manuals. There's grappling in poleaxe and halberd manuals. There's grappling in Asian martial arts. There isn't floor-work, but that's not what PF grappling represents anyways. If it did it would also use the prone condition.

Grappling was probably part of basic martial training as a way for kids to learn to fight without as much risk of concussions as hitting each other with sticks straight away. It pretty clearly was in Greece and Rome.

Tying someone in knots in six seconds is the problem, not being able to do a wrist hold to keep someone from using their sword while you knock them in the head with your pommel or use a poleaxe shaft to hold them down while you pull out your misericorde stab them in the arm pit because they're wearing armor everywhere else.

darth_borehd wrote:

For campaign worlds where magic is real but rare, hidden, and known only to a handful, what tips do you have for limiting spellcasting in game?

I was thinking of making the "spells per day" a "spells per week" restriction instead.

Any other ideas for low-magic flavor?

None of this says casters are weak. If magic is rare, hidden, and known only to a handful it could be because magic is so powerful no one dares teach very many students.

What hidden and known only to a handful actually means is that there will be no magic items or as near to none as makes no difference. You need to offset that with an inherent bonus system or choose another game system.

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