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Druids have an alternate option to the pet that's far better than what rangers get. None of the domains they generally get is spectacular, but they're more spells/day.
Monks have fine defenses and escape capability. The classic monk problem is that they're all defense no offense so they get ignored while their companions get butchered. That's not a problem here. As long as the PC survives the game continues.
Any alignment chart that reflects reality must be multi dimensional and possibly multiply connected.
There's group vs individual, but there are two mid-points: balance and apathy. There's altruism and selfishness, but there's also realism: the recognition that systems must expect people to behave selfishly even if the people designing and/or implementing them are altruists and that naive altruists interfering with such systems can break them producing undesirable outcomes like the tragedy of the commons. Then there's the consequentialist/deontologist/traditionalist issue (are good acts acts that result in good, acts performed for good reasons, or acts in accordance with what your predecessors considered good for reasons you don't know and don't care to explore?) Also universalist/tribalist (who do you consider people? your tribe or nation/ all humans/civilized humanoids /all humanoids/ anything with int>2 that isn't naturally evil/ any creature of your socioeconomic class regardless of species but not creatures of higher or lower status/ coreligionists/ anyone int>2 who doesn't worship Rovagug?)
Yes, or watermarked printouts of the relevant sections of the PDFs.
That reminds me. I hate oracle curses. They don't actually represent anyone.
Moses' "curse" was that he was a poor public speaker. Possibly he stuttered. There is no such curse, but it could be represented by dumping charisma: something you can't do on an oracle but can do on a cleric.
Joan of Arc had no "curse" except being the wrong gender and social class for her calling.
Tiresias had a curse. Win? Nope. There is no blindness curse.
The oracles at Delphi had no curses unless they were brought on by overexposure to the halucinogenic gases rising from the crack in the rocks the temple there was built on after they had started prophesying.
Paul might be a possible success as some scholars believe his "curse" was poor vision, but this occured late in life. During the segment of his ministry that would be considered to involve divine casting he didn't have a curse.
Odin gave up an eye for understanding. What book is the "no depth perception" curse in again? Nope. Odin inspired oracle is also not going to work.
I'm not thinking of any oracles that the oracle class actually represents.
Then there's the "why are you adventuring with someone who can barely see or can't hear?" problem for everyone else in the group.
Pets. I don't care if I could have a tiger better than a fighter. I don't want to muck about with the handle animal rules or worry about where my mount can go or whether I'm wasting my familiar. If I wanted to manage pets I'd play Pokémon.
Maybe a gnome cavalier if I'm assured that the GM thinks riding dogs can climb stairs.
I consider the primary draw of the fighter to be build versatility. Even if a vancian fighter would be strictly superior all fighters would then be alike.
What the fighter needs are better real defenses (eg. will saves, earlier DR, maybe fighter only feat access to SR and low grade energy resistance), better skills, and to not pay stupid feat taxes. I would like it best if unchained rebuilt the feat tree to get rid of stupid feat taxes but since I doubt that will happen I will once again advocate that every level or at least every odd level the fighter get a bonus feat with improved or greater in the name that he qualifies for and that he in some way mitigate stat prerequisites for combat feats.
That's like saying that Wall of Stone doesn't leave rubble behind if destroyed by mundane means just because it doesn't explicitly talk about difficult terrain.
Weather means something.
Iteratives perform an important function in increasing the meaningful AC range. You cannot safely remove them unless attack rolls become an opposed check to increase the range of variance. Damage also needs to be made to scale more directly with level in their absence.
This completely defeats the purpose of iterative attacks.
Iterative attacks exist to make AC less than 2 over your attack roll relevant. With this change armor does not matter at all to anyone past low levels.
Pure casters and 9th level casters aren't the same thing. Clerics and Druids can get by quite happily with 13 starting casting stats.
What I've noticed is that casters keep getting the wrong kind of power. They get summons and teleports and generally stuff designed to be powerful in the adventuring context instead of getting iconic large scale powers.
It's really easy to make a wizard mister scry and fry. It's really hard to make him an artillery substitute over a realistic length battle, much less a strategic asset that can produce the sort of wastelands high end mages in fiction often do.
It's the small scale stuff like dominate person/monster and teleport and planar binding that really messes up the game. Having a crater named after you isn't unless you destroyed important clues of gained a reputation for genocide and at that point the problem isn't with the availability of magic it's with player attitudes.
It's the same sort of issue with Widen Spell having the same modifier as Dazing Spell. The devs have always overvalued the things that make magic impressive and undervalued the things that make it overpowered.
You'd have to be two weapon fighting. Between the heavy feat load and the penalties you'd better be getting something like 18-20x4 crits out of it.
Adam Daigle wrote:
No. It means you want to die from an infection caused by a perforated intestine.
There is, however, a price to going first that not everyone wants to pay. If your standard marching order is an acceptable defensive formation then the melee paladin with no dex bonus to lose is probably not going to consider improved initiative worth a feat.
I started on a similar project a while ago and found that to make weapon choices interesting it was necessary to give them armor bypass and give armor a DR array. This allows the horseman's pick to be a different weapon from the rapier even though both are one handed piercing weapons: the pick does less damage but has high armor bypass while the rapier does more damage but has almost none.
I also wound up with multiple comparison AC to distinguish between complete and partial armors without dealing with hit locations. If the attack roll is between touch and full AC the hit is effected by armor DR and if it's above full AC it's a hit on an unarmored location and bypasses.
Without the armor penetration value weapon selection is essentially reduced to picking the weapon with the best crit range at the desired handedness and reach.
Without the armor complexity the armor types fall into a strict hierarchy and the only other consideration is if they're light or not.
AD&D had a table with each weapon having its own effectiveness against each type of armor too. People too lazy to use it can't have interesting weapon choices or anything remotely like realism.
I think I have another corner case.
A bard takes dragon disciple levels. Does he get dragon bloodline bonus spells added to his base class spell list as he gets appropriate slots because Blood of Dragons is a Dragon Disciple class feature or is he denied them because it gives him access to the draconic bloodline, which is a sorcerer class feature, or is he denied them because he has a bard list and a different class (namely dragon disciple) is adding the spells known?
An opposed attack/defense roll has the important benefit of doubling the variability, allowing a wider range of ACs to be significant without needing iteratives with descending attack bonuses. That cuts the total rolls needed for combat at high levels even though there are more per attack.
Inn general, we, as a society, do not like to make games of putting kids in harms way.
Pokemon. Legend of Zelda. Commander Keen. The Harry Potter tie in games. Knights of the Old Republic. The Walking Dead (one of whom is even railroaded to die horribly).
Paizo writing young character rules that make them far more likely to wind up dead than adult characters do. IIRC one of the Sandpoint quests in RotRL involves a kid that was eaten by a goblin. And then there are the goblin babies for the PCs to murder.
This is just the Paizo devs not knowing how to do game balance. (hint: you can't balance roleplaying penalties or opportunities against mechanics.)
It's also important from a gamist perspective to make all ranged weapons not alike.
Slow firing weapons need to be slow firing with huge damage dice that vital strike well instead of dropping reload times to cram them into the full attack paradigm. 2d6 is probably the minimum acceptable damage for a light crossbow or pistol with heavy crossbows and muskets around 3d6 and rifled muskets possibly all the way up at 4d6. Or possibly even 3d6, 4d6, and 5d6.
An alpha strike and drop weapon or a standard or swift (but not so much move) action reloading mobile skirmish weapon is interesting. A full attack weapon is just another crappy longbow substitute.
John Andre In my opinion you are well within your rights as the GM to limit the game to the core rule book. I'm sure as it has been said up thread, as the GM you get to set the parameters of the game. You are going to be doing the bulk of the work to run a game so you get to set the parameters. I guess it would be easy for me to say, if your players don't like it they can find another game.
The whole thread is about the GM complaining that the players who didn't like his parameters went out and found another game.
There is no rule against this. Consult the character weight and carrying capacity charts (conveniently opposite each other on pages 170 and 171) and keep in light load and RAW you should be okay.
There is also nothing preventing one character from riding another that is also mounted.
One of the rage powers Greater Ferocious Mount duplicates on the mount is Greater Ferocious Mount itself. A Sohei using monastic mount also causes any activated ki abilities to be duplicated on the mount and mount is itself an activated ki ability.
I therefore recommend, if possible, topping the mount stack with an awakened raven sohei monk riding a gnome barbarian and increasing sized synthesist summoners with a huge druid at the bottom.
Magus only gets x2 on the spell no matter what. They're also not two handing so they get less from power attack and they have an accuracy penalty and medium BAB so they may not be able to afford to power attack at all.
A cavalier or paladin adds 1/level on a challenge, 3+3/4 levels from power attack, and if he's a gnome 1/5 levels from arcane strike. That's ~16+7.8/level on a scythe crit for a gnome paladin or cavalier with arcane strike compared to ~4+7.8/level for a magus with arcane strike and (intensified) shocking grasp who can't afford to power attack. Thanks to the -2 for spell combat the cavalier has a higher attack bonus and the paladin's is even higher. If you manage to pass a crit for the paladin's first attack against an undead, evil outsider, or chromatic dragon that's another 4/level through the scythe. Once you've got some +str on your belt for either case the 1.5x strength for the gnome outsrips the 1x strength for a human magus. (When the human's at 22 the gnome's at 18 and both get 6 damage from strength.) If you have another way to get an arcane SLA (like aasimar or tiefling) there's no contest.
I'd also see if there's an iOS equivalent of the free Android app Masterwork Tools. It's much more searchable than a pdf and doesn't have megabytes of space wasted on non-content like pictures and the big ornate page borders Paizo pdfs have.
All that making it 6 sp/level 7 int does that making it 4 sp/level 10 int or 2 sp/level 14 int doesn't is deny it access to feats that shouldn't have ever had an int prerequisite in the first place.
There are so many bad design decisions in the summoner that it's rumored to be one of the unchained classes in spite of not being a 3.5 legacy class. Hopefully this is one of the ones they're planning on correcting.
If I were building a healer I wouldn't focus on HP at all. HP damage is both harder to die from and harder to reverse because it's not a simple binary.
I'd go for the 13 wisdom 7 cha battle cleric build and try to prepare two fights worth of spells and leave everything else open unless I knew I was going to be facing something like mummies.
And if people do drop from HP damage in combat it's usually not lame and anticlimactic like mummy rot.
The other problem with in combat healing that nobody's directly addressed is that it shifts the paradigm in a direction that does not favor the player.
The longer a fight is the more bardic performance rounds, rage rounds, and spells are eaten per combat. Healing makes fights take longer.
By building a battle cleric instead of a healer you deal damage. A really good battle cleric might add as much offensive power as a typical full martial by cheesing out her budget with hour/level spells that replace items novaing short term buffs with a quicken rod. A less extreme battle cleric still adds more than a rogue and almost as much as a bard if she takes credit for the bard's buffs on her since she'd be wasting them if she were a healer. She's probably reducing the average combat duration by 20-25% in a 4 person party by contributing offensively instead of just healing or plinking ineffectually with a crossbow because her stat and feat distribution is set for healing.
Miss battle cleric has fewer bonus spell slots, but her spells go farther because she spends most of her actions hitting things. By making fights shorter the wizard's spells go farther. The bard's performance rounds and spells go farther. The barbarian's rage goes farther. There may be fewer hitpoints with less healing, but there are fewer rounds spend being hit and out of combat healing is still cheap. The party manages more encounters per day or has a larger available resource buffer if something goes wrong. Even if having more healing would mitigate all the risks that come from having longer fights it would be a losing proposition because by not carrying your weight offensively you force your allies to expend more resources.
What makes psionics psionics is not that they're not spells. It's the whole power point system that SLAs do not have.
What limb does a zombie snake use for its slam attack?
I would avoid the deafness curse. It means your character lacks information everyone else at the table has and complicates communication. This will make roleplaying harder and if your GM enforces player character knowledge separation will eventually get you killed when you need to hear a shouted warning and can't.
There's a reason we don't let deaf people join the armed forces. The oracle class is a poor design in general, but if you take one of the lighter curses it's a lot less bad. Tongues is probably best. In PFS people mostly won't be able to understand you in combat, but you can understand them and they can tell you're shouting something.
I think Celestial, Auran, and Terran are the most recommended languages for communicating with summons so may be more likely to be understood, but a PFS veteran could probably give better advice.
If Vital Strike is a consolation prize it needs to not be a feat. If it's going to be a feat it should be about as strong as a 3rd level spell. Fighters don't have a limited resource, but they also don't get two feats per level for free with the option to buy more on the cheap.
By the spell standard Vital Strike should do 1d6 damage per point of BAB to a maximum of 10d6 if it comes at level 6. Improved Vital Strike should do 1d6 per BAB to a max of 15d6 as befits a 5th level spell, and greater vital strike should up the cap to 20d6.
Maybe as a sop to the claim that at will abilities must suck we can drop those to d4s. On the other hand those are the expected damage output for multitarget spells against reflex not a single target attack against full AC.
Cave Domain: tremorsense starting at level 6.
Desert Domain: self-only blur as Su and lesser planar ally, planar ally, and greater planar ally as SLAs (no component costs) for janni and genies.
Eagle Domain: First you get a familiar. Then you get fly and overland flight as domain spells. The disadvantage of the best offensive druid forms is that they don't have special movement modes. You no longer care. You were going to take a overgrown kitty cat over this?
Plains Domain: limited use pounce in any form. Because no swimming or flying forms can pounce. Also haste as a domain spell.
Vulture Domain: An untyped save bonus against disease, death spells, and death effects and the ability to roll twice when casting reincarnate so the cleric doesn't come back as a kobold and breath of life as a domain spell and death ward on the cleric schedule.
Then there are the storm and tempest archetypes which must choose domains and get to play concealment games.
Not worth it. Of those 15 skills more than half are very weak and none are particularly strong. You're giving up your top level abilities and a feat and taking a BAB penalty and basing things on your principal dump stat. For the alchemist and investigator you're moving skills from your primary stat to your principal dump stat.
I suppose if everyone else is running around with an int 7 cleric or fighter going for pageant with a dip might make sense, but unless you absolutely have to do everything outside of combat and don't have to do anything in combat it's not as good a deal as you think.
You need to review the multiclassing rules. Whenever a class ability refers to your level it means your level in that class. Everything a bard dip gives you quickly becomes obsolete since it doesn't scale. If you're an nth level alchemist your next alchemist level is always better than bard 1 and the disparity only grows as you have more alchemist levels under your belt. Bard gives a few quickly obsolete spells and performance that isn't worth the action to start it. It's garbage as a dip. Instead you could have more of your highest level extracts or more higher level class abilities.
You can apply dex to damage with dervish dance. You'll need a new scimitar every couple levels, though, as you get bigger air elemental forms and will probably wind up carrying more than one for different sized environments.
Moral philosophy is not difficult.
Apparently it is for you.
An animated corpse is no more the person or animal it once was than you are the chicken you ate for dinner last week. The matter may still be there, but the soul is gone.
An elemental is a thinking being. Giving it purpose by enslaving it is just as immoral as giving an African purpose by kidnapping him, shipping him across the Atlantic in a ship as crowded as a coffin, and working him to death in a sugar plantation.
The worst thing about evil undead is that they break all the rules.
Mindless undead are mindless and all mindless creatures must by definition be true neutral. But zombies are evil because screw you white necromancers.
Undead are powered by perfectly neutral negative energy and don't impinge upon the souls of the departed unless they're intelligent undead.
Golems, on the other hand, are powered by enslaved, lobotomized elementals. Elementals are sophonts. Golems are neutral in spite of the apalling evil inherent in their construction. Creating a golem is the vilest and most evil thing it is possible to do to a single victim.
The ethical mage should use safe, morally pure necromancy for his mindless automaton needs. They're actually soulless unlike the tortured, enslaved outsider souls that power golems.
If a low-ish level wizard is crossing the desert and his camel dies and he reanimates it he's evil. If he enslaves an intelligent, non-evil elemental spirit into a camel shaped golem -- destroying not only its free will but its mind -- to carry him across the desert he can be neutral or good.
I have serious reservations about the morality of the devs who chose to violate their own alignment rules regarding mindless creatures to punish morally neutral uses of necromancy for fluff reasons that contradict the other negative energy fluff but not to violate the alignment rules regarding mindless creatures for golems whose fluff is unambiguously evil.
Chris probably wrote:
This is correct behavior. Perception is a non-action reactive check (in this case to seeing what's behind the door). Knowledge checks are also non-actions, though telling the party the results of a knowledge check is a free action. There are usually multiple possible knowledge checks for important lore elements at different DCs. They are entitled to make these checks.
A great example is, in the last session, I had the characters run into a caravan that had been attacked the night before. A survivor (a new PC I was introducing) was burying his friends and called to the PC's for help. These two immediately go search the bodies and the caravan before the other characters get a chance to act.
If -- as the presence of a dead animating necromancer indicates -- you have an evil leaning party, their reaction may be more appropriate to the characters than the reaction you need them to have for the new PC to enter the party smoothly. You should ban CN, CE, and NE and require special permission for LN. If you've done that then you can remind players who treat NPCs as things that they're not acting in character.
2) Sorcerer (necromancer)/ alchemist whose turns take forever. He has so many options with spells and potions, and now he's got a familiar and skeletons and a riding dog. His turns are getting out of hand. What can I do to speed them up? (I also don't think he's keeping track of spells per day, but that's a separate issue)
Do not allow permanent pets except mounts. Mounts don't generally create decisions because they move with the rider.
3) The sorcerer player will not separate character and player knowledge. A new curse does con damage? Google says it's either this one or this one, here's how we cure it. A monster that is made of stone? It's probably this one and it had DR and about 60 hp.
This is at odds with point 1, which represents proper non-metagaming play. You probably can't fix both. If you deny them their rightful knowledge they'll have no choice but to metagame. If you're a stickler for having to make knowledge checks to get information they'll be even worse sticklers about getting to make them.
4) Rogue player gets upset if she doesn't get new loot after every session, or when something bad happens to her character. Specific example: she gets pissed at me when she fails her save against mummy rot, even though I let her know that moving around the mummy to get sneak attack damage would provide it an attack of opportunity.
Unless your sessions are very short the rogue is right about loot. There should be loot after most encounters. Keeping loot in line with the tables in the gamemastering section is extremely important in Pathfinder because a substantial amount of character ability comes from magic items.
Being pissed about mummy rot is entirely understandable. It should never have been in the game in the first place because it isn't fun. It's possibly less fun than getting hit with a death effect. Someone used to Gygax's sadistic s~+~ may think it's normal, but a new player is absolutely right to be pissed about anti-fun game mechanics. The emperor has no clothes and it's perfectly okay to be upset by streaking emperors.
I suggest not using permanent conditions other than death. If you're running the kind of dungeon crawl where everyone shows up with a whole binder full of spare pre-built characters and rips them out and chucks them as they die having different ways of saying "time to commit honorable seppuku and pull out your next sheet" may be interesting. Otherwise, just get rid of the disease rules, merge ability drain into ability damage, and make all other conditions except death 24 hour max duration. They add nothing to the game.
If you let the rogue play the CN alignment everything you've complained about from him is reasonable or remediable. You might wind up with irreconcilable differences, but if he can play a less sociopathic character when not working to the terrible CN writeup the only thing that should be a problem is him wanting the game to progress faster than the other players. The sorcerer player may be more of a problem. Going for a minion build the first time you play is a possible sign of wanting to break the game.
Jeffrey Fox wrote:
It's not. It's referred to as a melee weapon. So are hands, tentacles, and claws.
Where is the character from? Some cultures have a distinct cast to their aphorisms. Looking up common sayings and insults from a similar culture and mangling them is an option. If manually mangling string words together to substitute for unknown words.
(I against my brother.
(If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill the Buddha.)
(If you chase two rabbits you will lose them both.)