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Atarlost's page

5,203 posts (5,204 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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blackbloodtroll wrote:
You can play APs for PFS credit.

If you're doing that you're not a PFS only player anymore. PFS runs individual single session adventures. Once you're running an AP you're out of the repeatable french fry pick up group organized play paradigm and don't need to use organized play rules. Your AP characters can't transfer over to PFS anyways because PFS stops at the same level as the shorter APs. Even if you're still playing at the game shop that's a closed group, which is what people mean by home game. Just like we call it table top roleplaying even when using map software over the Internet.

Obviously someone who plays both PFS and home games will tend to buy stuff for both PFS and home games, but they also wouldn't leave the hobby if PFS stopped since they're playing home games. They would probably stop buying new rules line books they could use the SRD for home games, but they'll probably do that at some point anyways. Surely you've noticed the trend towards rules fatigue lately? And that's among people interested enough in rules to talk about them on the Internet.

PFS only players have no reason to have an AP subscription. They don't play APs. That line sells almost exclusively to home gamers who have groups they hope to run them for. PFS only players would mostly consume the rules line hardcovers, which have much lower profit margins.

I'd suggest allowing at will casting at increased casting time (for non-immediate spells) and allowing checks to reduce casting time. For the sake of argument let's say there are 3 basic speed steps: swift, standard, and full round with additional steps adding more full rounds to the casting time. Double the casting time in steps of every spell. Swift action spells are step 1 and become step 2 (standard). Standard are step 2 and become step 4 (two round). Full round are step 3 and become step 6 (four round).

A concentration check against spell level+5x reduces the casting time by x steps to a minimum of 1 step. Or maybe 6x. Or maybe the minimum should be the original casting time unless you have quicken spell. Or whatever. You can cast a spell at the new normal speed if you're confident in your allies or you can rush a spell and eat an extra failure chance.

Blasts would need to be rebalanced, but they already need to be rebalanced. Either they do far too little damage or they're modified with dazing spell and are completely broken save or dies while doing a bit of minor damage on the side.

Aelryinth wrote:
Practicing spells is a time suck.

Only for wizards, maguses, arcanists, and maybe witches. Divine or spontaneous casters just get given magic by a god or develop it spontaneously from their unnatural ancestry. And witches are more like divine casters than other arcane prepared casters in fluff.

fictionfan wrote:
In the pathfinder setting when you kill evil people they go to an evil afterlife empowering that evil afterlife in it's war against the god afterlife. So my character will not kill. Not because evil stuff deserves to live, but because he does not what to empower the evil afterlife. (He still feels free to kill stuff that does not have a soul)

Um. People die. The timing of a hundred years isn't a big deal on the scale in question. Leaving them alive longer does give them more time to perpetuate their world view, though. You could make a case for not killing hermit liches, but other than that you're not helping by not killing.

If dead evil people benefited the cause of evil more than living evil people the evil gods, being evil, would just kill all evil people.

There really isn't room for more than a couple adventuring sophont species in a reasonable world. Advanced tool user is a very exclusive ecological niche and any adventuring species must be competing for the niche in overlapping biomes or they couldn't adventure. Merfolk don't really conflict with humans (until the combined population gets large enough to destroy fisheries), but they also can't quest with them because one can't walk on land and the other can't breathe underwater. If you have an underdark you can have an underdark species, but if they could survive on the surface they'd conflict with the surface dwellers and without the empathy that occasionally exists between fellow humans of different cultures cue genocidal war. Say hello to homo neanderthalis when you get to the boneyard. Maybe if your underdark race can only eat underdark crops and your surface race can only eat surface crops. That gets you to three races, two of which can adventure together if they track two kinds of rations.

You can have really local races. The swamp men who live only in the swamp and can't leave it for more than a few hours can exist. Until some human gets it into their head that their swamp could become valuable farmland with the addition of some dikes. The deep desert is inhospitable enough that a desert race could hide there and not compete with humanity. Same for the high tundra. On the other side of the water line, temperate and arctic oceans could two merfolk species. Three actually if you're doing a full globe since the antarctic merfolk wouldn't be in contact with the arctic merfolk. But you only get local species in environments the dominant species can't live in and only species with broad environmental tolerances can be adventurers.

I have a kludge for feat chains to suggest.

At every even level every character gets a feat for which they qualify which has improved or greater in the name and does not improve their own casting. Fighters two such feats every even level and one every odd level.

Archery is not and never has been above the curve. Melee is below it.

The monster HP progression assumes the players will full attack every round. It also assumes everyone is two handing their weapon and pumping strength. The monster attack curve assumes everyone is pumping dex and using a shield. Monsters are gaining more than one hit die of at least size 8 every single CR. Only fey get d6s and they rise in HD even faster per CR. Even dragons with their d12s gain hit dice faster than they rise in CR. Monsters also have better stats at higher levels. Boss types just tend to have ad hoc stat boosts in proportion to their CR and even dumb animals get larger with the ensuing absurd con bonuses as CR goes up. Two handed power attack adds 3 points per 4 levels. Deadly aim, though, only adds 2 points per 4 levels. That 33% lower benefit compared to power attack and the split stat investment of ranged characters are what rapid shot and many shot need to make up for. Favored enemy only adds another 2 points per 4 levels and isn't always relevant. Usually until level 11 it's only relevant against mooks and 1 or 2 low level bosses.

A level 1-3 two handed melee ranger can expect to have 17 strength (elite array highest stat with +2 racial) for +4 damage. A level 1 archery ranger can expect only 14 (second highest elite array stat with the highest and the racial in dexterity) for +2 damage. The melee ranger gets 3 damage from power attack wile the archery ranger gets only 2. That's 2d6+7 damage for melee, 1d8+4 for ranged. The archer can take rapid shot to get to 2d8+8 for a +3 advantage, but he pays -2 to hit. That's not a very good exchange rate. The melee ranger takes something useful like iron will with the feat he saves.

A level 4-5 two handed melee ranger now has 18 strength. He gets +6 damage from strength and power attack now gives +6 damage. His archer brother still has 14 strength but deadly aim gives +4. They both have +1 weapons and +2 stat belts pushing melee up to 20 strength while the archer had to take a dex belt. That's 2d6+15 for melee, 2d8+14 for ranged. Only 1 damage for a 2 attack drop doesn't look good.

At level 6 iteratives appear.Probably +2 weapons as well. Melee adds +con to his belt and archery +str. That's 4d6+30 for melee and 3d8+27 for ranged. Things don't look good for the archer, but at least he can finally hit without carefully lining up firing lanes. They had to be orthogonal to the grid too because cover is calculated in the stupid naive way that approximates everything as square. The diamond approximation (measure from the center points of each side) works much better if you're house ruling. Still, mister archer is doing less damage at a similar average attack bonus.

At level 7 manyshot is available. It could have been around at level 6, but then improved precise shot can't be taken until level 11. Ranged goes up to 4d8+36. Manyshot hitting with the first attack offsets the -2 more or less. Archers look good at this level. The melee has an extra feat, but since it's a bonus feat not offset by not having to take deadly aim with a normal feat it's probably furious focus. If first attacks are likely to miss that's a big help, but they usually don't.

At level 8-10 power attack goes to +9 and deadly aim to +6. Weapons go to +3. Melee gets 19 base strength which isn't useful yet. Melee does 4d6+38. Archery does 4d8+44. Also good archery levels.

At level 11 there's another iterative. Melee gets to 6d6+57. Archery goes to 5d8+55. Any time the third iterative is hitting melee pulls back up to around the same level.

At level 12-15 melee hits 20 base strength and both upgrade their belts and weapons to +4. Power attack hits +12 and deadly aim +8. Melee guy does 6d6+78. Archery guy does 5d8+75.

At level 16 another iterative arrives. If it hits it means a lot more to the melee guy. Power attack gains another point of damage per hit over deadly aim. More magical gear is acquired and the melee guy gets 2 points of damage from putting strength over a multiple of 4 while the archer guy doesn't get strength and a half and only adds 1 point from strength. Melee guy continues to slightly make up ground. but I'm not bothering with the numbers because most games end here and in just one level wish appears and brings inherent stat bonuses and everything goes crazy.

Favored enemy boosts archers more at low levels, but does make later iteratives hit more which offsets that at higher levels. Bows have a lousy crit rate and manyshot doesn't crit, which favors melee who can sacrifice dice for crit rate with a nodachi or even invest one of the feats they don't spend on archery on exotic weapon proficiency falcata and two hand that. The ranged guy only exerts battlefield control at high levels and the melee guy can better take a hit. Neither is going to be avoiding them since monsters generally have natural attacks and it takes both a shield and a dex focus to keep pace with non-iterative attack bonuses.

Manyshot might be an issue at level 6 or 7. Rapid shot is absolutely necessary, though, and manyshot is needed to keep up by level 11. Archery is mostly nonfunctional without improved precise shot if your GM uses cover rules RAW so non-rangers still suck through the above par damage range unless they're in an all-ranged party or you and all melee characters take the friendly fire betrayal feat, which also requires the melee characters to take precise shot and point blank shot as useless tax feats.

CraziFuzzy wrote:
Nicos wrote:
CraziFuzzy wrote:
Snowblind wrote:
Your thinking optimization again, instead of just taking the feats you want your character to have. If i want to play a strength rogue, I'm not going to be taking weapon finesse, and I'm not going to bother taking two-weapon fighting feats either. That might make a lesser combatant in your eyes, but it doesn't make a lesser character. Maybe I want to take Medium Armor Proficiency, wear Chainmail, and sneak attack with a greatsword.
What you want to say is clear, I just want to point out that in fact your choices, more or less, are optimizing that rogue.
But it does show that the concept of 'mandatory feats' is not a real thing. There are a million ways to build a pathfinder character, and every single one of them is the right way to build it.

No, it shows that both of you are arguing the wrong thing in this example.

You could play a strength rogue, but rogue is not a concept people play. Street rat is a concept people play. Pumping strength or con is antithetical to this character because street rat implies malnourished growing up. Gay Blade is a concept people play. Pickpocket is a concept people play. Underfoot halfling is a concept people play. All of these require dex>>str and not being a full caster. Running dex>>str and using a weapon, including fists, requires weapon finesse. That you can put together a brute thug rogue and not use weapon finesse doesn't make it not a mandatory feat for every character for whom it is relevant.

Chemlak wrote:
Read aloud plus differentiated mechanical info wrote:
There is a fourth spider hiding near the ceiling (DC 25 perception check). The disable device DC for the lock on the chest is 22.

I think this is backwards. The close quote terminating the read aloud text isn't impossible to miss. If you write this bit as

mechanical text following RAT wrote:
Perception Check (DC 25) There is a fourth spider hiding near the ceiling.

it's harder to reveal the fourth spider sans perception check by mistake.

The order isn't as important for other stuff, but information checks like knowledge, perception, appraise, and spellcraft should announce the check first, then give the DC, then the information so that if the GM misses the division between RAT and GM text he only lets slip that the players can make some sort of check for more information, which is probably something the GM should tell most players anyways.

Part of it is that everyone intuitively knows the cover rules are bogus. They work okay for medium creatures, a large creature can get cover while still leaving three times as much exposed area as a medium creature with no cover would have, but still have a cover penalty greater than the size AC penalty difference between large and medium.

Actually, a multi-tile creature can receive cover from an attack from an object not within reach of the attacker if attacked by someone with a reach weapon from a diagonal direction. The cover rules are just that bad.

Once a group starts arguing indefensible edge cases it's only a matter of time until they start flat out ignoring them. And then martials don't suck at least as long as they use a composite longbow and that's probably an improvement.

Cuup wrote:
Rennaivx wrote:
Cuup wrote:
DM Sothal wrote:
You are saying you want Paizo to make a supplement with 'background feats' like they did in Unchained for Background skills?
Right? It'd be wickedly difficult to define what defines a "background feat", but it's tempting...

It'd be daunting for sure, given factors like feat chains, character builds, etc, it would certainly be hard to figure out what feats would be "harmless" to be made available as "background feats", plus there's the sheer number of feats...

If anyone took the time to put a list together, they'd be alright in my book :D

It'd be a lot easier to figure out which feats shouldn't be feats. It's very similar to the mandatory feats list, but probably doesn't include arcane strike and does include strike back. The effect in freeing up feats is the same.

Snowblind wrote:
I believe that in the GMing book for 3rd edition it was stated that a CR=APL encounter should expend 20% of a party's resources. Therefore the party shouldn't normally face more than 4 encounters per day, because the 5th will exhaust all their resources and a TPK is on the cards(at least, that's the theory). Pathfinder continues the same setup as 3rd edition, so I think that it's fair to say that the game is designed with daily resource expenditure in mind. It might not do this well, but it's there.

This might be true if a day never had more than 4 encounters. We all know they usually either have significantly more than 4 at a "dungeon" location or 1 or 2 for overland travel.

If they were actually building for attrition they would use some sort of per day aggregate CR not per encounter CR and they would limit dungeons and other chained encounters to that challenge level.

Cyrad wrote:

At-will abilities are valuable due to how the game works.

Because if you strip the game down to the underlying mechanics, PF/D&D is a game of attrition as defined by Joris Dormans and Ernest Adams in their book Game Mechanics: Advanced Game Design. The game works by having a GM gradually wear down a party's resources until they reach the climax of the adventure or adventure segment.

No it's not. The game is designed around single encounters. An encounter has a CR. An encounter string does not.

The people designing classes never got the memo, but the game hasn't been designed for attrition since someone invented the notion of level appropriateness for encounters.

I believe there are too many mental stats for the number of things mental stats do.

In the beginning there was Int, which governed magic. Then undead got out of hand and the cleric was invented and instead of using Int it used Wis. Charisma did nothing except maybe govern access to the paladin until the introduction of the bard. It was just a waste of a roll. Just like Int was a waste of a roll unless you were a wizard and Wis was a waste of a roll unless you were a cleric or druid.

Then skills happened, but skills alone aren't enough. We have two non-casting things for mental stats to do: number of skill points and will saves. Somehow each mental stat needs to be about as good as strength, dex, or con.

Strength is carrying capacity and, sorry Ashiel, but it's really freaking important. It has a threshold rather than ever point mattering, but a medium or heavy load counts as medium or heavy armor for skills and abilities that are restricted by armor. (CRB 169 second column). No arcane caster other than the skald can dump strength unless starting at high enough level to have a handy haversack. It also still governs touch attacks unless you blow a feat on weapon finesse. And it impacts CMD.

Dex gives initiative, AC, touch AC, CMD, reflex saves, and ranged touch attacks. For wizards its contribution to AC is uncapped. Dex is kind of a big deal.

Con is HP and fortitude save. Nobody dumps con and for good reason.

For someone who doesn't cast off them what are the mental stats? Number of skill points and will saves. Will saves are important, but how does that compare to stats that give saves and give other stuff as well? If we condense down to one mental stat it does about as much for a fighter as any physical stat does for a wizard. If we go to two mental stats and split casting so that slots are always off int and DCs are always off charwisdoma whether you're a wizard, cleric, or bard to avoid making a single mental stat too powerful on casters that's also reasonable, though only charwisdoma is vaguely par because saves are so important and I'd consider adding int to initiative.

I've suggested a couple things before.

1) couple saves to magic. Completely mundane classes always have all good saves. Full arcane casters always have no good saves. Other classes fall in between. Possibly something like controlled SR (may choose not to resist) for any character who has no spells or supernatural or spell-like abilities.

2) decouple spell level from saves. Instead of saves being spell level +stat they're 10+CL/2+stat+N where N is a modifier based on how nasty the spell is (SoP>SoL>SoS>decent blast>crappy blast) if it also has to make a touch or ranged touch attack, and possibly how hard it is to fix.(Hold person may get you CDGed, but it'll end before the next encounter; deafness is forever until you get to a 5th level cleric, 6th level oracle who happens to know the right spell, someone who can cast heal, or someone who can cast limited wish.)

Insain Dragoon wrote:
Maybe something like throwing a javelin so hard you can crash a Dragon into the earth? Or grabbing an enemy mook and forcing them to be the target of a spell?

Those sound reasonable, the latter depending on how spell targeting is supposed to work.

Flight is way too easy in Pathfinder. Fliers, even or perhaps especially those using spells, should be subject to scaling lawndart checks for any damage and lose a lot more than 5' on a failure. I'd say at least what they'd fall in 6 seconds.

Altitude is way too fine grained in any case. It's hard to represent altitude on a tabletop, but the fewer levels you need to be able to represent the less horrible it is. Battletech gets by with just 3 to reach orbit IIRC but Pathfinder doesn't need to go that far.

This in turn means that range increments need to be in terms of altitude levels with variable penalties per increment rather than fixed penalties per increment with variable increments. Which means you don't have to calculate distance twice when a longbowman fights a crossbowman so can probably be considered a beneficial side effect.

That's not directly a martial thing, though. Flight should just be that throughly nerfed in all its incarnations because flight presents UI problems as bad as the memetic grapple rules and while anything in the Dungeons and Dragons lineage is obligated to handle flight it's bad to make a choice that uses a clunky rule subsystem also generally powerful.

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LazarX wrote:
DominusMegadeus wrote:

+Wisdom is the optimal ability score adjustment for Wisdom based casting classes (Druid, Hunter, Ranger, Cleric of nature god).

Elves do not get +Wisdom.

Therefore, Elves do not have optimal ability score adjustments for nature-themed characters.

1. If the Druid is a melee wildshaper, mega wisdom is not called for.

If the druid is a melee wildshaper he needs strength and to not have a con penalty. You're not making a very good case for elves here.

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Tiers aren't actually relevant to the question Ashiel asked.

Tier has nothing to do with power except at the "cannot do anything effectively" rungs. Tier describes only versatility.

Surely you wouldn't claim that a wizard front lines better than a fighter just because the wizard is a "tier 1" class, why does tier then make the cleric better at that specific role? Arguably the cleric isn't even tier 1. The cleric list is more specialized than the wizard list and combat competence doesn't make up for that gap.

It's important in balancing classes to distinguish between privileges and obligations.

Fireball, improved trip, and righteous might are privileges.

Lesser restoration, Planar travel, trap spotter, and teleport are obligations. If someone can't do them there are standard challenges the party just can't handle.

Classes shouldn't pay for obligations. They already pay for them by having to play a cleric or rogue or whatever. They also shouldn't ever be unique (a problem that still exists with the clerical condition removers not playing nicely with spontaneous spells known limits or all being on any non-cleric list). But everyone doesn't need to be able to cast cleric condition removal spells as long as someone can. They should be on all the divine lists and free to oracles like (or in place of) the cures, but they don't need to be on the arcane lists and given to fighters and rogues as SLAs. Giving them to classes for whom they don't make sense is bad. Just like trapfinding really shouldn't be going to the shaman there's stuff that bloody well belongs in the exclusive domain of magic and shouldn't go to the fighter.

Wizards have a lot of privileges, but several of their most powerful spells are obligations. Taking those away without changing the game so that they're no longer expected is bad. If you get rid of planar travel you have to get rid of the planar cosmology. If you get rid of long range teleport you need to either get rid of settlement limits or entirely remove the magic item economy. And so forth.

What we should be looking at is the wizard without any obligations. No teleport, no planar travel, arguably no planar binding (it's how you get everyone inherent bonuses starting early), no wish (it's how you max out everyone's inherent bonuses in the late game), no camping spells (everyone but the fighter, rogue, slayer, and maybe some ki-less monk archetypes needs to camp), and maybe even no fly (unless protection from arrows, wind-wall, and related spells are removed so that archers can fight dragons).

Similarly we should be looking at the cleric with no cures, no condition removers, no raise dead, no channel, and again no planar travel.

The obvious non-caster example is trapfinding and trap spotter. They're valued so incredibly highly in the official rogue balance, but the more important they are the more they're a ball and chain rather than a bonus. Because you have trapfinder you can't play the character you actually want to play.

Clerics are in the same boat. The battle cleric and reach cleric builds are good enough some people play them willingly now, but it wouldn't take much nerfing for people to have to be guilted into playing the healer again. Wizards are farther from being a problem, but if you count their obligations as if they're privileges those obligations are big enough to make them a chore to play. Or certain gross builds incapable of filling their obligations since most of the obligations are not universal school spells.

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
In an urban game the 10th level ability with leadership basically reads "I am the GM now."
In every game in any setting, the higher-level spell descriptions say the same thing.

You could maybe interpret wish that way if you were an exceedingly generous GM, but even greater create demiplane doesn't let a wizard bar enemies from a section of the material plane where people already live. Maybe he could make a refugee camp, but most games end before level 17 anyways. From what I've heard the average game does hit 10th. Spells let the wizard alter his own situation, but they do very little to effect the world. He can avoid problems for himself and 1 medium sized target touched per level, but he can't actually make them go away. When the problem is a desert the difference may be academic but when the problem is a rampaging spawn of Rovagug avoiding the problem is a loss condition. The Tarrasque cannot murder or destroy property in your rogue's city without his permission.

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
You may be immune to divination, but you run around with a wizard and a cleric who aren't.
A wizard who gets mind blank.

Ah, the 6th level rogue is meant to run around with a 15th level wizard. That would make him even more pointless.

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
They're serviceable out of combat even when overshadowed.
We clearly disagree on this point.

A second diplomacy check is a second chance to avoid a low roll if you have a level appropriate modifier to be relevant even if someone else has higher, as long as it's not so high their low rolls beat your high rolls. Same for intimidate. Bluff takes a bit of cleverness for a low rolling sorcerer to not sour things for the rogue, but it is possible to come up with a con where seeing through one part of the con doesn't prevent another part from working. The difference between being able to play the game even when not MVP and being the guy who fetches water and cleans up after the mascot is no small thing. If 70% of the time the sorcerer nails the diplomacy check and 15% of the time he flubs it but you pick up the slack you're still in the game. The barbarian and ranger aren't. Probably neither is the cleric or druid.

All social magic except glibness has serious weaknesses: It can be detected by sense motive, it's obvious when it wears off, and it has to be cast at the target. The skills are just better except against hostile people who won't give you time to talk, i.e. combat. And the one noncombat situation that can take as much time as combat is conversation.

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Biztak wrote:
yeah a wizard can break the game post lvl 10 but he'd never reach that lvl without the big bad fighter watching his back

Divine full casters are fully adequate in the martial role in addition to being, you know, full casters.

Druids can by level 8 turn into huge elementals with a 15' base and 15' reach. Fighters go begging to the wizard for enlarge person which takes as long to cast as a summon that would make the fighter redundant. Without it he's occupying one tile and making AoOs that actually hurt at 10' or 5' but not both because gauntlets are crummy weapons and aren't in the same weapon training group as any polearm.

Clerics and Oracles have standard action Righteous Might. Or they can standard action summon stuff that matches their god's alignment.

Shamans don't appear to have good very self buffs so maybe they can't fill the martial role, but they can't fill the healer role properly either so they're in fifth wheel territory anyways.

I'm not seeing any reason to take this rogue into a dungeon. In an urban game the 10th level ability with leadership basically reads "I am the GM now." Unless the prime antagonist is doing nothing illegal at all they can't do anything on the rogue's "turf" ever without the GM begging the rogue's player for permission first. The adventure's over. I like restricting GMs in favor of player agency as much as the next guy but that's so beyond going to far that two years of calculus aren't sufficient to describe it.

When that ability doesn't apply or leadership is banned as every sane GM should, everything else is pitiful except rogue's luck, which isn't enough to salvage the rogue chassis.

You're making the Core Monk mistake. Little minor abilities that aren't significant in any situation and are usually rendered useless by being in a party don't bring any value to a class.

You may be immune to charms and compulsions, but the martial has a bad will save. The 10th level ability makes you explicitly a criminal, which means you can't be in the same party as a paladin unless he's comically obtuse.

You may be immune to divination, but you run around with a wizard and a cleric who aren't.

You may be immune to grappled and staggered but you're a d8 light armored class that has to not only go into melee but on the far side of an enemy from your allies to do any damage and you aren't immune to dead.

Okay, bypass spells is nice. But it's not worth playing a rogue for 15 levels when the average game is abandoned around 10, organized play goes to 12, and even if you're lucky and get to play to the end most published adventures still stop at 16. A capstone can't redeem a bad class.

There's a reason rogue fixes aim at combat: that's where the rogue fails. They're serviceable out of combat even when overshadowed. It's combat where they

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
As Pathfinder currently stands I don't think there's any validity in a non-casting skill class unless you count alchemy as not being casting. The stealth/perception rules just don't work if you aren't at least concealed by blur, social skills will always be the domain of charisma casters or int casters who can shift the stat they use, and knowledge will always be the domain of int casters and people with bardic knowledge.

I always thought the skill-superseding spells and the skill system itself should have been designed with reference to each other. For example, imagine if Stealth said this:

** spoiler omitted **
The invisibility spell would then be rewritten as follows: ** spoiler omitted **

Likewise, what is currently the spider climb spell would become a function of Climb. What is currently the charm person spell would become a function of Diplomacy. What is currently the freedom of movement spell would become a function of Escape Artist. Locate creature...

Then invisibility doesn't do what it says on the tin. Also, the level 11 invisibility via stealth is horribly broken. 11 stealth not even letting the players make a perception check to see an enemy is b@%%!+!~. Unless a perception threshold negates it, but that'd just be sloppy. Thirdly, making it class skill dependent makes it bad for party dynamics because if one party member lacks it as a class skill the group can't use stealth no matter how many points they invest. Mechanics that mandate solo play while the rest of the group twiddles their thumbs are bad.

That's not to say that audibility shouldn't be just as important as visibility, but the fix starts with rolling back the hide/move silently and spot/listen mergers, not making the mechanics even more disassociated.

Kirth Gersen wrote:


I don't think focusing on combat alone is the way to go. Certainly the status effects in Unchained are fairly weak and could stand to be beefed up a bit -- but that said, it's the other stuff I worry about. The fact that skill unlocks still lack the breath, number, and power of spells that simply supersede skills altogether -- that's one aspect that, for me, screams for correction. If I play a rogue, I want to be BETTER at climbing walls and remaining hidden than the sorcerer, not trying to play catch-up with him/her. Aside from that, some unique abilities that reinforce his role in the game would be nice; I posted some (slightly) over-the-top suggestions HERE

As Pathfinder currently stands I don't think there's any validity in a non-casting skill class unless you count alchemy as not being casting. The stealth/perception rules just don't work if you aren't at least concealed by blur, social skills will always be the domain of charisma casters or int casters who can shift the stat they use, and knowledge will always be the domain of int casters and people with bardic knowledge.

Even in the middle level most people play at the rogue is a problem. A high op rogue can play with a standard op sorcerer, but the people most likely to be attracted to the rogue aren't generally the high op people playing down.

There are also the fundamental problems of the rogue:
1) It justifies and is justified by the terrible trap mechanics.
2) Its legacy as an euphemism for thief promotes disruptive roleplaying. The character concepts it explicitly supports that other classes don't explicitly support are better off only available to the GM as antagonists.

kyrt-ryder wrote:

That angle would result in a MASSIVE amount of lost time Atarlost.

Now maybe you want that to spread out the duration of the day. This would certainly produce that result.

Cast four spells last encounter? You're pausing for an hour to recover them and had better hope the enemy isn't sending in reinforcements.

You should reread the spell preparation rules if you're making people take 15 minutes per slot to prepare multiple spells. It's 1 hour for all of your slots, proportionately less time for fewer slots, and a 15 minute minimum.

4 slots isn't very many. A 5th level non-universalist wizard with a slots/level table of nothing but zeros would have that many assuming he had 13 int. Reasonably there should be at least one slot of the highest level he can cast so that expected spells are available on schedule. Add school slots and 17-18 starting int and the wizard will recover from most encounters in fifteen minutes. If the fighter and rogue can't keep wandering monsters away for that long they don't have enough nice things yet.

4 spells is quite a few spells for one encounter, though. Most encounters are expected to take one or two spells. There are only 5 slots in the top two levels for clerics and specialist wizards at odd levels unless their casting stats are high enough to give bonus slots out of an expected 4-5 at CR=APL encounter day. Add 4-5 of the third level down which might be relevant and you aren't casting 4 spells per encounter unless it's one where low level spells like resist energy shine.

You might have to hole up for twenty minutes. It's far better to hope reinforcements haven't arrived in twenty minutes than to teleport out when spells get low and hope reinforcements haven't arrived the next morning.

Just a Guess wrote:
the secret fire wrote:
It's an interesting idea, but I'm not sure it's really what is needed to address the imbalances in the system, as unconscious enemies may as well be dead in most cases, and are often more useful than corpses because they can be woken up and pumped for information.
My thought was that getting rid of spells per day and vancian casting and replacing it with casting dealing nonlethal damage as a limiter to how many spells can be cast. By that each spell costs something so mages have an incentive to now use spells on things that skills can achieve, too. On the other hand a mage can still cast as long as he is not unconscious, no matter how many spells he's already cast. For that to work you'd first assign every spell level a certain numbers nonlethal damage dealt.

You don't have to get rid of vancian casting to get rid of spells per day. Just get rid of the 8 hour limit and the notion of expended spell slots. Any cast spells become empty slots and given 15 minutes another spell can be prepared in it. Then you can cut the number of slots to what is reasonable for one encounter. The versatility may wind up greater, but the peak power drops and an encounter's danger stops being dependent on the length of the "dungeon" it's placed in.

If the people being healed aren't paying for the wand the most optimal thing is to worship Abadar so refusing to heal the freeloaders is in character and in accordance with your god's mandates. His domain selection isn't as good as eg. Desna's but he still has travel which puts him above almost every god(ess) that doesn't.

Oh, no dragons either since they cast as sorcerers.

This is definitely not D&D anymore.

kyrt-ryder wrote:

There's also no reason that spell slots are in and of themselves illogical.

A pain in the butt in some ways? Certainly, but it's got its own flair and style to it.

I for one am all for mana systems as an option, I just don't see the point in 'putting spell slots out to pasture.'

They could be logical, but they aren't. To be logical they would have to follow a natural progression, which they can't do if there are bonus slots. There's the valence analogy, which requires their progression to be dictated by geometry and invariant. You could get away with some other sequence, but it would always be invariant. Whatever restricts the caster to a mix of slots must be a natural law and the same for universalist wizard, specialist wizard, sorcerer, and bard (the bard is slower, but when he gets to fourth level slots he should have the same slot configuration as a wizard who just got fourth level slots).

It's not possible to justify spell slots while bonus slots and different progression patterns exist apart from optionally a divine-arcane divide. If you force everything into the same mathematical progression you can make it plausible, but it doesn't play nicely with the balance paradigm since it introduces an unstated requirement that no more than usually two or three encounters a day are difficult enough to need top level slots while easy encounters are provided in the correct proportion to justify having lower level slots. Mana or even better at will/cooldown mechanics are more flexible for the adventure designer as well as the player.

Not all that different. Summoning is too slow for an emergency except as a standard action SLA, but most divine classes can invalidate martial characters without summoning a thing. You might see fewer wizard witch sorcerer cleric parties and more wizard cleric druid shaman parties, but it's divine favor/power and wildshape that really invalidate martials. No non-eidolon summon has the accuracy, damage, or durability of a competently built martial, divine caster, or gish at the level it can be cast anyways.

kyrt-ryder wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
MrConradTheDuck wrote:

A) What people THINK fighters are supposed to be doing and

B) What spell casters can do to invalidate and more importantly
C) Why do martials require a place in game if they're not really allowed to be important

EDIT: D) What can a martial do that no other class type can do. Clearly anyone does damage, what else?

A) keep the enemies from getting to the vulnerable members of the party.

B) Replace a martial with a divine caster or bard or summoner.
C) The customer base wants martials.
D) Function over a very long day, though a very long day must be predominantly very easy encounters to work. For those "murder your way through the kobold metropolis a few at a time" days a martial does the job most efficiently. In this case not counting rogues as martials. Days like that don't come up much. Investigators can steal this niche since they have an at will ability that puts them at martial accuracy and damage levels, though their melee defenses are weaker than some martials.

A) so their role is to be an expendable meatshield?

B) or a Magus or a Skald or a Sorcerer or an Arcanist or a Wizard or a Witch [with an appropriate attribute and feat and spell and archetype selection]
C) Maybe I'm an exception to the majority of the customer base, but I certainly don't want 'martials' as Pathfinder has presented them thus far. I want badasses that are actually worth their party slot who make monsters and mages quiver in fear of an adversary every bit their equal [in its own unique way.]


A) Their role is to be a reusable meat shield.
B) Even the most combatitive half BAB caster isn't going to cut it in melee against proper threats, the skald antisynergizes with casters, and the magus isn't very good at anything but nova damage. I'd rather have a paladin or well optimized monk watching my back.
C) As Pathfinder has presented them, no, but even you want them fixed rather than removed even if you want them to lose more mundanity than many.

I don't believe it's possible to make mages quake in fear of fighters without moving too far from 3.5 to keep the player base. There is a tanking role to be had in an otherwise caster-centric game, though. ZoC tanking doesn't get much attention since it's usually a wargame mechanic, but it works and isn't nonsensical like aggro tanking.

MrConradTheDuck wrote:

A) What people THINK fighters are supposed to be doing and

B) What spell casters can do to invalidate and more importantly
C) Why do martials require a place in game if they're not really allowed to be important

EDIT: D) What can a martial do that no other class type can do. Clearly anyone does damage, what else?

A) keep the enemies from getting to the vulnerable members of the party.

B) Replace a martial with a divine caster or bard or summoner.
C) The customer base wants martials.
D) Function over a very long day, though a very long day must be predominantly very easy encounters to work. For those "murder your way through the kobold metropolis a few at a time" days a martial does the job most efficiently. In this case not counting rogues as martials. Days like that don't come up much. Investigators can steal this niche since they have an at will ability that puts them at martial accuracy and damage levels, though their melee defenses are weaker than some martials.

I favor prepared casting. Wizard school dropout is a rogue trope. Dragon's grandson isn't.

I'd give them all abjurations, illusions, transmutations, and universalist spells at the lowest level they appear on any arcane spell list and tack on grease, stumble-gap, and the darkness evocations.

I'd maybe take away the unchained rogue additions except skill unlocks and changed rogue talents.

Condition removal is delayed. A warpriest gets Restoration 3 levels later than a cleric. Stat and Life drainers will be uncounterable for longer. With a cleric they're usually counterable at CR=APL but not anymore.

Boss NPCs are usually full casters. An evil warpriest just isn't as scary as a villainous cleric, nor does a magus hold a candle to a wizard as a BBEG. Wizard and Cleric and Sorcerer cover the best arch-villain tropes and the 6 level casters don't.

Most of the high end item crafters are gone, taking the magic item economy with them. The 6 level casters are all semi-martial and not going to sit around at home and craft. If it's not on the Adept list it's not going to get crafted.

No Teleport no shopping trips. If you roll for item availability your PCs will stop being able to get what they need when it costs more than 16,000 gp. That won't buy a +3 weapon. Past that there are only 4d4 medium and 3d4 major magic items even in a metropolis. Without teleportation that is either not available to 6 level casters or only much later in the game than +3 weapons are expected intercontinental shopping trips are not practical. And no hiring an NPC to craft something custom because all the casters that could be sedentary have been removed from the setting.

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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Natan Linggod 327 wrote:
Spell slots. It's one thing that I think should have been put out to pasture years ago and replaced with something more logical.
Yes, like casting spells.

There is no justification for slots by level that doesn't fall apart in the face of variable bonus slots.

There's no reason you can't use a mana system with spell preparation if your setting really needs it.

Mathmuse wrote:
However, in some favors of campaign, converting wealth into effectiveness is part of the challenge, and a magic mart ruins the challenge. The GM has to run a careful balance and remember that if wealth cannot be easily converted into effectiveness, then wealth is not a good measure of effectiveness.

Such campaigns do not work in Pathfinder because wealth effectiveness isn't extra, it's the baseline. You might be able to compensate for lacking magic weapons and stat boosters if you optimize the hell out of your character and have the usually overlapped buff spells available, but AC scaling for non-monks comes almost exclusively from magic, as does almost half of the scaling for weak saves.

yet more paradox:
It would work better for a found object. A prospector finds a piece of amber with a well preserved and pretty dragonfly in it and sells it for $100 and so forth.

The reality is that Sam says that the painter owes $8 in sales tax from selling the painting the first time and $7.20 in sales tax for selling it the second time so his total loss is $5.20 if his original sale price just covered the materials.

There's also the shopping problem: even metropoli don't reliably carry the equipment martials need. They have to rely on a caster with long range or interplanar mobility spells or a caster with item crafting feats to get their equipment.

The problem with making the caster do less is that the caster is expected to have certain abilities.

If your cleric has spheres and doesn't take healing your fighter dies.

If your wizard doesn't get teleport at 5th level you can't shop properly. Even a metropolis doesn't consistently carry the gear you need RAW. You need to teleport all over the world and check the randomly available stuff in all the metropoli or the fighter can't get his expected numbers.

You can't feed the hungry by nerfing farmers.

As long as the base setting assumptions include stuff like magic items, planar travel, flying enemies, stat drainers, and so forth nerfing caster versatility breaks things.

DM_Blake wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Degoon Squad wrote:
If engaged no you cannot get a free pivot.
So I can spend an action to prevent the rogue from stabbing me in the back for the rest of the combat?

If it's an action to pivot, does that mean a rogue behind me (without flanking) can full attack and get sneak attack on every attack because I can't see him for his entire full attack?

"Ow! That really hurt. Damn, I wish I could turn around and see who did that... Ow! It hurt again! I really wish I could turn around and... Ow! Again! I'm dyin' here! That one was really deep. I wish I could... Ow! Not again! Who keeps doing this??? I wish... Ow! Gurgle..."

That's like being paralyzed for 6 seconds.

And it's still less dangerous than a well built cavalier.

Avaricious wrote:

A Cleric would be a strong choice, because in your two-member system, you have to be the healer... or the holder of wands. I would recommend Druid for the singular flavor, and the animal companion is a welcome additional "member" to have on the field to keep you from getting swamped (Cleric spell list is nice, but casting unmolested still as a tier 9 is even better), plus the eventual Wildshape would give you an additional option. The Monk is pretty low-maintenance and a good companion, though I hope they would have a ranged option just in case the problem cannot be solved by melee.

If I was DMing this, I would highly advise being able to take Leadership at 7 to allow your pair to fairly challenge regular encounters.

Without traits, the DM may need to factor in your lack of Rogue abilities in the group, so hopefully they convert the traps into Haunts or something your Divine caster can handle.

Option three... Oracle? It can focus better than a Cleric but remains a primary healer if your willing to cope with a "disability" early on.

A Monk and an Oracle embarking on a Mystery/Journey. Maybe to the West...

P.S. The advice above about Summoner is something to be considered. Done right, its like having a pet Fighter (one that doesn't argue about being a meat shield) while still having Tier 6 Arcane and early access to some of the best spells in the game ahead of a Wizard. A Level 7 Summoner with a single mythic path ability of Crusader from Champion (Dual Path assuming you go Archmage) would effectively have an Eidelon, and two Level 5 Companions. Between your four and the Monk's one, you conceivably match a regular 4-member party.

Druids are missing key condition removal spells, lack breath of life, and are late to heal. Oracles have poor fortitude saves. You really don't want your only healer to have a poor fortitude save when he has to double as a front liner due to the small party size. Also, scrolls are not a good solution to the spells known bottleneck: several condition removers have caster level checks. You have to use pages of spell knowledge and they're a less common item.

Daily abilities. Encounters are balanced on a per encounter basis while most player abilities are balanced on a per day basis.

The 4-5 encounters per day assumption doesn't work. A typical dungeon that cannot be split into multiple days without teleport cheese has far more encounters than "should" be in a day while overland travel has far fewer.

Bit_Squid wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
That all points to cleric, either an old style battle cleric or a reach build.
Thanks for the response. All good things to consider. Going with cleric, what domains/subdomains would you consider? Being in a two person party, I'll have to be more than just pure support. I'm thinking that will likely affect this choice. Perhaps something that augments summons or at least includes summons as domain spells?

The travel domain is probably the best. Liberation and Luck are very good (Desna). I think liberation is probably the better of the two for a two person party. If you expect to be mostly fighting evil the good domain (Caiden or Desna) is pretty good. The Caves subdomain (Abadar) provides some lower level battlefield control.

Druids lack key clerical spells. Having Heal late, reincarnate instead of raise dead/resurrection, and not having restoration or all the remove X spells could hurt.

Wizard, obviously, doesn't have the removes or restores either, except curse.

Witch can get everything with the healing patron so would be an option, but you have another problem: only one front liner. You don't want a 1:1 front to back ratio unless your party is significantly oversized.

Oracle can do the job with pages of spell knowledge, but the weak fortitude save is a serious liability on the front line when you don't have another healer.

There aren't actually any necessary arcane spells. Clerics have teleportation substitutes and invisibility purge can substitute for see invisible in a pinch.

That all points to cleric, either an old style battle cleric or a reach build.

In a normal sized party I'd say healing patron witch. They get all the necessities and a bit of everything and three non-casters is adequate protection for a single squishy unless they're all rogues and melee incompetent archers. Of cleric and wizard I'd still choose cleric. Wizard spells, while they are stronger and tend to have more narrative power are ultimately luxuries. Restoration, the Remove X line, Raise Dead, Breath of Life, and Heal are necessities if they come up.

A spontaneous magus or some sort of paladin or antipaladin is best unless there's some way to move panache to another stat. You need the saves and if your primary goal is to be a swashbuckler you need to not be adding a need for another mental stat so you can have a large enough panache pool to actually be a swashbuckler.

Nargemn wrote:
"Being a healer" only really means you're the one with the wand of cure light wounds. There are numerous places you can find builds for battle clerics that can help to illuminate you on how the class works and can be really fun. It's even less of a problem if you go Paladin, as again, you can just use the wand, and be even more up-front and powerful.

This is wrong. If that were all being a healer was the bard/rogue could do it.

Being a healer means bringing the remove and restore lines.

Paladins can almost manage if they take the right mercies and use scrolls for restoration and the wizard handles curses, but they miss blindness until a very high level.

That's what clerics are for and nothing else except the healing patron witch can do the job.

Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:
I've seen archers balk at going underwater...

Everyone balks at going underwater. Most melee weapons don't work, most popular spells don't work right, and almost all characters can't breathe without magic.

And there is no communal or mass version of water breathing so the spontaneous casters can't afford to know it and the prepared casters can't afford to have enough castings prepared for the whole party unless the underwater encounter is telegraphed a day in advance.

Sneak attack is badly tactically distorting and a fighter with it would do too much damage with a way to get it reliably. Skills and rogue talents wouldn't be amiss, though.

Sadly, only cleric and healing patron witch have all the condition removers on the expected schedule with no spells known limit. Well, unless one of the occult classes has them; I haven't looked at them.

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