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5,130 posts (5,131 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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The core monk was good at one thing: not getting puppeted while also not laboring under the paladin code of conduct. Barbarians are okay, but are vulnerable in the surprise round and don't have enough decent rage powers other than superstitious to be interesting. Against a GM that aggressively uses charms and compulsions and doesn't cater to paladins the core monk is the martial: doing a little less damage is worth it to not be doing your damage to your wizard friend.

The APG came along and zen archer and the monk became the best archer. The barbarian became worth playing, but still has that surprise round vulnerability that monks lack. Antipaladins provide an alternative to the paladin, but are even less playable at most tables.

UM brought quiggong powers which let you ditch the anti-feature of spell resistance. None of the non-paladin martials gained anything to encroach on his turf.

UC brought style feats, the maneuver master, the tetori, the sohei, and the flowing monk. Now the monk does a bunch of things well. The monk is the best mounted combatant, the best at maneuvers, and can be pretty good at being monkish as well. And they still don't get puppeted while other non-paladin martials still do.

The ACG gave us more style feats and brought out the competition for the future unmonk. And that is a good name for it because it's not going to be filling the monk's niche.

The unmonk doesn't laugh at save or puppets. He doesn't fight like a sohei. He doesn't grapple like a tetori. And most damning of all he doesn't out-fight the brawler. He doesn't really out-save a brawler either. Any stat spread the unmonk can live with the brawler can do better with. The unmonk hits slightly better but the brawler has options and is leagues ahead at combat maneuvers. The unmonk may need wisdom more, but he doesn't need strength, dex, and con less.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
Correction: The game ultimately fails to work on the adventuring day concept.

Sure. But that's how the game works.

Atarlost wrote:
Classes need to be designed for the game writers are making, not some ivory tower four encounter per day garbage that never happens except by accident.
This is the game we have. If you run games where the players fight 1 monster a day then you're going to exacerbate martial/caster disparity, rocket tag and PCs curbstomping everything they see (with the only alternative being TPKs). Also I have never seen anyone describe the four encounter per day as being the height of game design, or even desirable.

It's not desirable. Its stupid, but it's what 3.5/PF is designed around. A CR appropriate encounter is by definition supposed to use 1/4 of a party's resources.

The inability of the game to work properly with shorter or longer adventuring days is a product of a stupid obsession with per diem abilities.

It didn't have to be this way. The Recharge Magic variant rule for 3.5 is OGL. There was no need to stay with the broken per diem paradigm.


I used to. And then the ACG happened and it both passed the point where the options were manageable and the point where Paizo had stuff worth publishing.

Not that the Ultimate books were great, but UC had good monk stuff at least.


John Lynch 106 wrote:


The game ultimately works on the adventuring day concept where players manage their resources according to this daily timespan. HP, Spells and all those class features you cite (minus the ones that replenish throughout the day) all work off this time scale. D&D 3rd edition (and Pathfinder has inherited it) removed the concept of HP as a daily resource thanks to wands of cure light wounds. But the rest have remained a daily resource and not all groups use wands of CLW. Whilever spells allow casters to be bursty, martials need a way to burst as well.

Correction: The game ultimately fails to work on the adventuring day concept.

because the game is designed around the encounter. A day can be anything from Kingmaker's one slightly over CR encounter to a sixteen hour slog through a massive dungeon with dozens of encounters, which will go on high alert and combine into an impossible APLx6 encounter if you leave for a day and come back.

All the classes can be alike, but if they don't match the standards for monster and adventure design they're all designed wrong.

Classes need to be designed for the game writers are making, not some ivory tower four encounter per day garbage that never happens except by accident.

And, yes, that includes the casters.


Why has this somehow become the crossbow thread anyhow?

Crossbows don't need to be buffed. Who uses crossbows? Wizards. Sorcerers. Occasionally Clerics. People who don't have martial proficiencies. In short, Casters.

Crossbows may be weaker than they should be, but there's no reason to destroy their character as slow loading weapons to buff martials because martials don't use them anyways.


shroudb wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:


Yes, a crossbow should have a strength rating. It is perfectly likely that you'll have a team with one crossbow person cocking and reloading the weapon, and one person with skill shooting it. That's the reason they don't put Str ratings on crossbows...they don't want 18 dex snipers benefiting from 18 Str quiverbearers swapping weapons.

==Aelryinth

just to point out that i would have no problem whatsoever with an adventuring group, carrying 18str crossbows, which the barbarian reloads out of battle so that they can fire a single opening barrage in a confrontation.

it seems both like a good strategy and realistic.

don't forget that the opposition, especially in an ambush scenario, could make use of the same tactics.

Crossbows shouldn't have strength ratings because anyone can reload a strength 18 or even a strength 24 crossbow. Almost all crossbows use some sort of mechanical advantage. This is especially true if they're going to be loaded out of combat where time isn't an issue and slow mechanisms can be used.

You could have a static value rather than larger dice, but that makes them useless with vital strike and makes the notation for magic crossbows more confusing. Bows arguably need the confusion. Crossbows don't. They just need to be several die steps deadlier.


The thing about crossbows is that they're not terribly efficient. Since the string doesn't travel very far it has little time or distance over which to accelerate the projectile. More force is stored in the bow, but it's not transferred to the bolt. The rule of thumb I remember is that a longbow imparts as much energy to its arrow as a crossbow with about three times the draw weight. That's why longbows can penetrate unhardened plate without crossbows going through it like tissue paper even though crossbows have much higher draw weights.

A 240 pound crossbow hits about as hard as an 80 pound bow. The heaviest reasonably portable crossbows hit about as hard as the heaviest draw longbows. That would be 1d8+5 or -- since weapons usually have base dice and to make vital strike a decent substitute for ridiculous rapid fire that certainly isn't seen from heavy crossbows -- 2d8. Light crossbows might weigh in at 2d6 or 3d4. Possibly even a die step up from that (3d6 and 2d8) to compensate for not getting to add deadly aim multiple times when vital striking.


Felyndiira wrote:
ZZTRaider wrote:
I do regularly see people suggesting sorcerer over wizard for new players. In some ways, it makes sense. Spontaneous casting is a lot simpler to understand than prepared casting. But those players are also the most at risk of failing because they lack the system knowledge necessary to select a good set of sorcerer spells.

I don't know if this is necessarily a problem. A lot of veteran gamers will readily be willing to help beginners with spell selection, and even blasts like fireball (that beginners are likely to take) aren't exactly useless - it doesn't need to be as good as Solid Fog for the sorcerer to at least contribute.

Wizards, on the other hand, can be frustrating. Especially if you're trying to leave slots open and don't know what spells to best handle certain instances.

*

Nonetheless, I think they are okay with a progression bump. Bump all of their bloodline spells by two levels, too. Do something similar for Oracles as well (bump both progression and mystery spells by 1).

Arcanists can stay with the delayed progression.

That's a start, but I also believe that no spells known table should ever have a 1 in it.

Actually, it's most of the solution. I think oracles would still be unable to fill a cleric's shoes without getting the remove and restore spells for free, but it would bring sorcerers to where they match wizards so the spell list can be nerfed without rendering them useless


My inclination is to work from both ends. The divinations, teleports, summons, and minion spells that need to be reined in with unwritten rules go away. Fighters shouldn't need to match those because wizards shouldn't have them either.

I'm a fan of technology and skill for martials. In a sense I'd make fighter the new wizard. The wizard re-preps his spells every day even in the wilderness or a dungeon. The fighter has what he prepares in town for the campaign. If you need one fireball you ask the wizard. If you need a dozen fireballs the fighter unpacks a case of alchemical bombs.

Something like a gunslinger/alchemist cross but with the alchemist type stuff using weight and expense limits the way the gunslinger's ammunition does.

I don't think there's really a need for SoD breaking stuff like Cu Chalain. No one needs to cut through a mountain. Cut through a wall maybe, but you don't need silver age Superman super cutting to do that if you can build an only mildly unrealistic bomb, and you can actually use dragons as an excuse if you use them as your saltpeter source.


"Okay, to recap last session you were captured by the dragon tyrant Drano. You all wake up in a cell. Bob couldn't make it today so his {sorcerer|fighter} is in a Geonosys arena type dealy with Drano's kobold jester on a smooth 30' pillar with a crossbow."

Now, is the response going to be "With no armor or stat boosters wouldn't the 1d6 bolts add up and kill him before we can rescue him?" or "But his character knows dominate monster, fly, dimension door, and form of the dragon III off the top of my head, and can breath a 60' line of electricity three times a day, surely he'd get out of that situation on his own."


Gohaken wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
Gohaken wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
I don't think there's any room for any martial except maybe paladin.

.

I beg to differ.

Can swap out a Bard for a dwarven Sensei Drunken Master Qinggong Monk w/ fast drinker, deep drinker, and that whole line of stuff.

Basically unlimited Ki; starting at 12th level, he gives all of his allies w/in 30' True strike every round (like all your summons Mr. Sacred Summoner), or he can use Restoration w/ zero real cost on all allies w/in 30' all day long, or have every summon, allied villager and follower use a CL 12+ Scorching Ray at the same time...

At level 19 he pulls the same stunt with Dragon Breath. Even if that's just 10 to 15 minor summons you flood the field with... 10 to 15 x 20d6 is a crap-ton of damage.

He can Shadowwalk the entire party all day long, and/or Dimension Door them all (as a move action) all day long.

Ever wanted to see what happens when your Cleric/Druid/Arcane types summon in 5 or 6 Fiendish Dire Crocodiles, and a gaggle of Rocs (or Vrocks?), and then your Sensei Monk gives them -ALL- Battlemind Link in a single round?? Cause you can.

Monks, who knew.
.

ALTERNATIVE: Go Sensei, Monk of the Four Winds Qinggong. Now you can spend a bunch of Ki to Slow Time for everyone... give all your meat shields 3 standard actions on their turn. Like the dozen Elder Earth Elementals all the casters just summoned, Bullrushing 3 times each in 1 round...

...it'd be kind of like watching old Football games where John Riggins just keeps running down the field while 3 Miami dolphins are hanging off of him like squirrels on a tree. OR the "Refrigerator" Perry mowing through the whoever was stupid enough to be in front of him... in triple time.

If you have the same BAB as a cleric and everything the class does involves a SLA you aren't proposing a martial.

.

Lol, a straw man argument, irrelevant.

Also very literally factually untrue --monk, Sensei and Drunkemaster and Qinggong (and four winds) all have Ex, Su AND SLAs.

Monks are martial, Unchained or not, and have access to SLAs. Rogues have access to SLAs, Slayer(Stygian) as well, even damn Winding Path Renegade brawler can steal some Monkishness.

Bloodrager is wierdly a caster but also very strong martial, what a lucky guy!

A straw man is a claim that the adversary holds a position other than what he actually holds. Know your fallacies.

Martials are characters that fight as their primary contribution to combat. A bloodrager, paladin, or ranger fights as his primary contribution to combat even though he has spells. He cannot cast spells as his primary contribution to combat because he's really bad at casting spells. He's a martial.

Your monk is lousy at fighting himself and spends his time using SLAs on other people. His sole purpose in the party is to use magic. He's a caster. He's a caster built like a monster using SLAs rather than a PC caster built with spell slots and spell lists, but he's still a caster. Having monk written on your sheet no more makes you a martial than having dwarf written on your character sheet makes you Scottish.


Shrink Item Shenanigans (CR 4)

Spoiler:
A level 5 transmuter with shrink item can maintain 100 cubic feet of lava in 10 "cloth" swatches at the expense of two of his third level slots. His third slot is for flight. He flies overhead and unshrinks all of his lava over the party as they travel through a forest.


Arachnofiend wrote:
Haha, so much for Dazing Fireball.

As long as you only fight enemies with prehensile tails or the vestigial limb alchemist discovery.


Stack o' Doom! (CR 13?)

Spoiler:

a sohei monk, a barbarian, and a druid; all 10th level. The barbarian must be smaller than the monk and the monk must be large or smaller.

The barbarian has as his rage powers superstitious, ferocious mount, witch hunter, greater ferocious mount, lesser beast totem, beast totem, and greater beast totem. Two of his feats are extra rage power. Ferocious mount causes his mount to benefit from his rage and greater ferocious mount causes it to benefit from static rage powers. The barbarian rides the monk. Since he probably has no reach he is built as an archer and admittedly doesn't add much besides greater ferocious mount rules abuse.

The monk uses monastic mount to give his mount 20 temporary hitpoints and the benefit of the following monk abilities: AC bonus, evasion, high jump, improved evasion, and ki strike. He also passes along the benefits of rage because the greater ferocious mount passes along ferocious mount and itself. The monk has weapon training in the spear group and can flurry with a lance. One of the monk's feats is mounted skirmisher and another is lunge. The monk rides the druid.

The druid turns into a quetzalcoatlus. Two of his feats is multiattack and flyby attack. He pre-buffs with

They pounce. The lance bonus only applies once, but it's still a pounce-flurry with boosted strength. The druid hits with one primary and two secondary attacks and has pounce from the barbarian. Probably someone dies. Against dangerous melee threats they instead use flyby attack. The druid gets one attack and the monk a flurry at 15'.

The ability to ride a rider is dubious, but you're the GM and your players are unlikely to coordinate character design to duplicate the feat.

Barbazu Bard (CR 11 with two minions or CR 12 with six)

Spoiler:

This 8th level bearded devil bard uses scrying to track the party member with the worst will save then greater teleports in with a bunch of stock bearded devils when least expected. The bard will start performing and cast haste and then try to steal possessions or hair from other party members for future scrying while his minions do as much damage as they can. He flees with greater teleport if in danger but he'll be back with a fresh load of minions. The goal here is to murder the party in their sleep if possible and to at least prevent any arcane casters from preparing spells.


Gohaken wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
I don't think there's any room for any martial except maybe paladin.

.

I beg to differ.

Can swap out a Bard for a dwarven Sensei Drunken Master Qinggong Monk w/ fast drinker, deep drinker, and that whole line of stuff.

Basically unlimited Ki; starting at 12th level, he gives all of his allies w/in 30' True strike every round (like all your summons Mr. Sacred Summoner), or he can use Restoration w/ zero real cost on all allies w/in 30' all day long, or have every summon, allied villager and follower use a CL 12+ Scorching Ray at the same time...

At level 19 he pulls the same stunt with Dragon Breath. Even if that's just 10 to 15 minor summons you flood the field with... 10 to 15 x 20d6 is a crap-ton of damage.

He can Shadowwalk the entire party all day long, and/or Dimension Door them all (as a move action) all day long.

Ever wanted to see what happens when your Cleric/Druid/Arcane types summon in 5 or 6 Fiendish Dire Crocodiles, and a gaggle of Rocs (or Vrocks?), and then your Sensei Monk gives them -ALL- Battlemind Link in a single round?? Cause you can.

Monks, who knew.
.

ALTERNATIVE: Go Sensei, Monk of the Four Winds Qinggong. Now you can spend a bunch of Ki to Slow Time for everyone... give all your meat shields 3 standard actions on their turn. Like the dozen Elder Earth Elementals all the casters just summoned, Bullrushing 3 times each in 1 round...

...it'd be kind of like watching old Football games where John Riggins just keeps running down the field while 3 Miami dolphins are hanging off of him like squirrels on a tree. OR the "Refrigerator" Perry mowing through the whoever was stupid enough to be in front of him... in triple time.

If you have the same BAB as a cleric and everything the class does involves a SLA you aren't proposing a martial.


Davor wrote:
I would let them die, but my character wouldn't. :P

You're rolling a new character. Role one that would.


1) Yes. Prepared full casters are flat out better than spontaneous casters. Delayed spell access sucks. Having just one spell known also sucks. Oracles have free cure or inflict spells and get their bonus spells earlier, but are on a list that's built around the assumption that a cleric knows all spells. The comparison between eg. normal and eldritch scion magus is closer because the spells come at the same schedule and the bard spells known table doesn't have 1s in it, but for full casters the "WotC resents having to put sorcerers in their game" tax is too steep.

Sorcerers are still worthwhile casters and arcanists may be slightly ahead of wizards except on odd levels between 2 and 18 where they're substantially behind. I'm very much not a fan of oracles, mainly because of the way the cleric list is constructed: Oracles may be powerful, but it's almost impossible for an oracle to do a cleric's job.

2) There are no offensive caster buffs to speak of. If they lack items they can get some benefit from the Animal's Stat line, but lacking stat items on a caster is unusual. And that's it. There are no spells that directly increase your CL or save DCs or anything. There's one bard spell that applies free metamagic, but the only good one is extend and it's only good for stretching hour/level spells into all day spells. You can slap heroism or haste on the cleric to good effect, but only when she's acting like a martial.


I don't think there's any room for any martial except maybe paladin. Gishes and alchemy classes may start pulling ahead of martials as early as level 3 when they can get a +1 BAB feat. By level 6 being a caster is better than not being one. Even only going to level 12 that's between half and three quarters of the game where martials are dragging the average down.

Paladin has a unique capability to raise dead either for free or without negative levels (that can only be cleared one per day).

No other martial has a unique contribution. Not even the barbarian, whose best rage powers can be given to everyone by the skald. They have to stop casting, but the gishes other than the magus don't cast while fighting. Bardic performance may count as an ability that requires concentration so a party of four probably doesn't want both, but if you're thinking about a barbarian it's probably wise to think about a skald instead for a super party.


Avoron wrote:

Create Mr. Pitt:

Just out of curiosity, what makes you put wizard above arcanist for buffing purposes? Arcanist, for the most part, is about as strong mechanically, and I find that it's often frustrating as a wizard to prepare buffing spells and not get enough time before a combat to use them, or to not have enough prepared when buffing is really important.
And School Savant gives arcanists a lot of the perks of being a wizard, although Brown-Fur Transmuter is an excellent alternative for focusing on polymorph.
Maybe if you want to dump Charisma, I guess. Or maybe it's worth it to qualify for Annihilation Spectacles.
What's your reasoning?

I'm not Mr. Pitt, but I'm going to take a wild guess and say that half of all levels between 3 and 18 the wizard has higher level spells than the arcanist and that pearls of power are half the price of runestones and if you're casting multiple instances of a spell you either have time to mess around with them in between or need the communal or mass version. It tends to be clear which buffs you're likely to need to learn or prepare mass/communal versions of from looking at the spell list so you're not likely to wind up with the wrong variant prepared. They say "target: single touched" and provide some benefit useful to multiple party members.


You're just going to have to suck it up and dump charisma where the sun doesn't shine. It has no mechanical impact at all. It's not even going to salvage your social skills when you've already dumped int on a 2+int skill per level class.


To the degree that strength and dex are different there isn't much strength should cover. Both are mostly fast-twitch musculature.

Accuracy with a bow is definitely strength. Unless it's a kiddie bow that doesn't do any damage. Holding a war bow at full draw to aim is not dexterity. Dexterity has very little influence comparatively.

Accuracy with any weapon intended to strike weak points in armor should use dex to both attack and damage exclusively. That's most swords and polearms.

On the other hand brute force weapons (other than crossbows and firearms because strength has nothing to do with their use) should use strength for accuracy even if they're ranged because they don't get around armor by hitting vulnerabilities but by applying more force. That includes slings.

Brute force strength invariant weapons like crossbows and firearms shouldn't add either stat to attack rolls, but crossbows should probably have a flat bonus that substitutes for strength.

Or you could just do the sane thing and merge the two stats while shoving endurance stuff like swim and carrying capacity to con and fine manipulation stuff like disable device to wis or int. That's better for martial/caster balance anyways.


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The thing about pirates is that they aren't generally in a position to be bigoted. You can justify almost anything that doesn't have alignment restrictions. And as GM in some cases you can get away with suspending those alignment restrictions.

Martial Artist Sensei Monk//Wizard: Some pirates want to get rich. Some pirates want to live a life of drunken debauchery. Some pirates are just misanthropes. Some pirates are bibliophiles who know that merchant captains -- as generally literate people who have little access to other diversions for long periods of time -- tend to have pretty good libraries. Probably best used as a captain.

Samurai (ronin order)//Rogue: Often a ronin has to resort to increasingly dishonorable means to survive, but it's not really dishonorable if nobody knows and gaijin don't really count.

Urban Barbarian//Swashbuckler: He didn't mean to kill that gnome in that duel. The little twerp just kept taunting him. Unfortunately the local authorities were unenlightened enough to consider gnome murder a crime and a life on the run eventually ended up with drugged wine and impressment. It's an improvement.


Joey Cote wrote:
Its pretty hard to write a rule that leaves "no room for misinterpretation" especially when some players, and even some GMs, are looking for any grammatical wiggle room in order to try to break some abilities/actions. At least without every skill/feat/action not having four paragraphs of restrictive text.

It's not easy, but there are lots of people out there trained to do so. They're called computer programmers.


It might be edifying to look at Tales of Maj Eyal.

It has martial abilities that, in Pathfinder terms, would translate to things like:

Once per encounter, for ~level/3 turns you cannot die and your health cannot drop below 1. Or maybe level/6 since ToME fights tend to be longer than Pathfinder fights.

Once per encounter when reduced below half your max HP get fast healing equal to to your level for 8 turns.

Stunning fist with weapons using your strength to set the DC.

As a standard action enter a stance for a round per level that gives you a miss chance against *everything*. Yes, even space filling area attacks.

Once per encounter true strike for all your attacks for the round as a swift action.

Move as a free action after dropping an enemy.

Perform combat maneuvers with ranged weapons.

Shoot down a projectile for an AoO. (most spells in ToME are projectiles)

Vault over an enemy at the start of a straight line move action.

Automatically gain AC when surrounded.

Every turn have about a 20% chance of removing a detrimental effect (not a new save, just flat out remove it) scaling upwards at higher levels.

Their (non-supernatural) monk equivalent has things like:

Render an enemy incapable of taking any actions other than movement and basic attacks with an unarmed strike.

Jump-charge-whirlwind attack combo.

Kick someone so hard they're effected as greater dispel magic.

The monk equivalent is slightly wuxia, but for all that some of the abilities are crazy powerful (like not dieing) none of them are blatantly supernatural if you accept that HP are a wonky abstraction that don't always (and indeed don't usually) actually translate into wounds.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Wrath wrote:
So four players at 20 points puts it 2 CR higher than intended.

CR isn't linear. If you raise the CR every member of a group by the same amount the whole group raises by that amount, not that amount multiplied by the size of the group.

4 CR 11 stone golems are CR 15. Applying the advanced template to all 4 making them CR 12 only raises the group CR to 16.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
That's not what I got out of your explanation of the design principles. You said that the fighter was designed to minimize the number of moving parts, not to be weak.
Very few people are trying to argue fighters are weak. Most are arguing that fighters are boring.

I don't know where you're getting that idea, but it's not this forum.

Apart from the universally available and non-stackable intimidate skill, Fighters can only attack against two defenses: AC and CMD. There are ways to apply riders against fort, but only after hitting AC. AC and CMD are strongly correlated. This is fighters being weak.

Fighters are more vulnerable than any 6 level or higher caster against the most dangerous spells in the game. This is fighters being weak.

Fighters lack the combat mobility of a barbarian, druid, or any class that learns bladed dash. This is fighters being weak.

Fighters have less and less versatile damage boosting than slayers or even investigators, who also have it at will. This in spite of those classes having lots of other class features where fighters don't. This is fighters being weak.

Fighters are less skilled than barbarians. Or any other non-caster. Taking their terrible class skills list into account they are the least skilled class in the game apart from maybe sorcerer. This is fighters being weak.

Even if all fighters are allowed to have is more numbers they still need more numbers. Those numbers aren't necessarily attack and damage, though they don't exactly compare favorably with the slayer or investigator, but all of their other numbers are pretty dismal.


Larkspire wrote:

I like the idea of giving martials ways to attack saves directly. There are lots of ways to fluff it too...you could even get will save type effects with fear and demoralization based abilities.

The castle or stronghold was just an example. Obviously you would want some choices so you could determine your characters niche. there should be some attention given to non-combat considerations.
It's not simple...or easy, but there is design space left to add out of combat abilities to purely martial characters. It could be implemented any number of ways. Social templates...Class based social traits that can be expanded upon in supplements etc..whatever.
Fighter is kind of antiquated as a class....I mean, everyone fights. It's not like there's Spellcaster: The class.

The issue with demoralize using will saves is that the scaling between skills and saves don't match. I think the game would be better if they did so that skills could substitute for saves, but that's a big and far reaching change to make.

It's really hard to give the fighter narrative power without making him a skill monkey because that's where narrative power comes from for non-casters.

Monk's an even harder challenge because at least a lot of narratively potent skills like diplomacy, intimidate, and knowledge:nobility/history/local can be thematically fit onto a fighter. Making friends and influencing people and a monastic upbringing do not go hand in hand.


Narrative power is tricky and tends to come with an entire train of baggage.

What would Valeros even do with a stronghold? In what campaign would an army of low level mooks be useful that doesn't already use the kingdom rules?

Even back in the first edition days Sturm and Caramon never got strongholds. Raistlin didn't get a tower and apprentice until he left the party and became a villainous NPC.

What I think is both needed and possible are ways to attack other defenses and debuff.

I'd suggest a complete revamp of alchemical items. Save DC is 10+1/2 crafter's raw skill+users dex mod. The damage should scale with the crafter's base skill as well, though I'm not certain how fast. Crafting price adjustments are the same as for firearm ammunition. Maybe the wizard crafts them, but he's lousy at using them because they tend to have ranged touch attacks that are actually difficult for him and his dex may not be great. And they'd be useful enough that the party would probably want more than one person crafting them. That offers useful attacks against reflex and fortitude. Attacks against will would still be the domain of casters, but it's a good start and expands mechanical options without crossing any realism lines.


Idle Champion wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
We know that at least some of the Mordor orcs have class levels because they aren't of uniform skill and experience: the officers are stronger and more experienced. There are at least three gradations. We know the Isengard orcs aren't common orcs. The best fit is bugbears or advanced hobgoblins. Bugbear is a better fit since the CR matches a level 3 orc and they seem to be equal to the Mordor orc officer in the run through Rohan.

The film has Boromir fight just Uruk-Hai - in the novel when they find his body they find the three gradations of orc - none of them resemble the orc or half-orc of Golarion.

Moria goblins - small, weak, light sensitive. Statwise, close to kobolds, but their light-sensitivity is very severe - closer to Sunlight Powerlessness.

Black-orcs of Mordor - lighter and weaker than humans, but medium-sized, strong enough to be individually dangerous, though light sensitive.

Uruk-hai - not the hulking brutes of the film, shorter than human, though at least as heavy. Statwise, most like a hobgoblin (Tolkien called them hobgoblins in early printing, though changed that to Uruk-Hai when he realised that the hobgoblin of folklore is smaller and kindlier than a goblin; the OD&D hobgoblin is based off the Uruk-Hai) Uruk-hai aren't meant to be threatening because they're stronger than humans - they're threatening because they're physically equal, as all other orcs are abject wretches.

Named orcs, like Shagrat or Ugluk, would have class levels and elite arrays, evidenced by their ability to dominate other orcs in battle, and Ugluk's claim of killing Boromir (Lurtz is film-only, even if he is cool), but nothing so special as advanced template or even the full-blooded orc's strength.

Only if you never read the books.

Hill orcs are larger than dwarves. They're definitely not goblins. Goblin is just a racial slur for orcs. These are your warrior 1 orcs or hobgoblins at the bottom. The hobgolbin stat array may be a better fit.

Mordor orcs are better fed and better trained. They're fighter 1 at the bottom. Their officers are higher level. That's your named orcs. Going from standard array NPC class to elite array PC class is +1 CR so we're talking CR 1.

Mordor officers must continually prove their superiority to their troops. That requires higher level. They're level 2 fighters and CR 2. Possibly there's another layer of officers and Shagrat and Ugluk are fighter 3, but it's not strictly necessary.

Uruk Hai are more effective in combat than Mordor orcs. They're younger and so should not have more class levels, but are trained as the hill orcs aren't and therefore fighters rather than warriors. That means either using plain bugbears or templating a hobgoblin with 1 fighter level.

If you're using the excuse that the hobgoblin is based on the Uruk Hai as an excuse to declare them CR 1/2 nothings you have to also argue that the balron being a balrog rip off requires Gandalf to be capable of soloing one. You can't claim that Gygax interpretation of orcs is perfect while his interpretation of balrogs massively overestimates the original.


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Things a fighter can do in combat:
Attack HP via attack vs full AC
Debuff via CMB vs CMD
Debuff via intimidate vs HD
Debuff via bluff vs sense motive
Debuff via fort save after also making an attack vs full AC

Things a wizard can do in combat:
Attack HP via attack vs touch AC
Debuff via attack vs touch AC
Debuff via fort save
Debuff via will save
Debuff with no save at all
Attack HP via reflex save
Attack HP via reflex save and still do half damage on a miss
Debuff via reflex save
Debuff and attack HP at the same time via relfex save and still do half damage on a miss
Kill via fortitude save
Puppet via will save
Debuff via intelligence + CL vs CMD
Buff all sorts of things
Make terrain impassable
Make terrain stop being impassable
Remove himself and his allies from combat
Debuff via intimidate vs HD

Nothing else should really need to be said.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
I think Sam and Frodo should start out as Experts at the least—Frodo in particular. They clearly have skills beyond a Commoner's range (Sam with elf lore, for instance). I'd say Pippin gets a level or two in bard later on, since most of his time (right up until a fight with a troll) is spent socially.

All the adventuring hobbits except Samwise start out as aristocrats. Bilbo is a country squire. Frodo's his heir. Merry and Pippin are the honest to primogeniture heirs of the Master of Buckland and the Thane respectively.

We know Gandalf, whatever he is, casts as an 11th level or higher druid. Fire Seeds is ripped straight from the pages of The Hobbit. In PF the best fit is a high level hunter who starts the game with his pet long dead. Shadowfax is probably his long delayed replacement pet.

We know Beorn is a druid.

We know that at least some of the Mordor orcs have class levels because they aren't of uniform skill and experience: the officers are stronger and more experienced. There are at least three gradations. We know the Isengard orcs aren't common orcs. The best fit is bugbears or advanced hobgoblins. Bugbear is a better fit since the CR matches a level 3 orc and they seem to be equal to the Mordor orc officer in the run through Rohan.

We know that some variant HP is used because Bard of Laketown drops a great red wyrm (by age and by size category) with one arrow and that he is still very high level because even with a very conservative wounds/vigor system and him bypassing vigor entirely it takes a lot of vital strike and deadly aim stacking to get even a +5 bane arrow to kill an unwounded colossal dragon in one hit. He may need mythic vital strike.

We know the Mouth is some sort of caster, though we have no details whatsoever.

We know that every single spell that references another plane other than the shadow plane does not exist. That includes all teleportation spells, which require access to the ethereal plane. This almost entirely guts the conjuration school. For the most part spells that obviously aren't ever used and would be if they existed match up well to spells that rely on the D&D planar cosmology to function. There are some transmutations that are conspicuous by their absence, but the place could be rife with abjurations and enchantments and we'd never know and it is rife with necromancy.


Boomerang Nebula wrote:

1) I don't understand why you think there is a problem. In the spirit of the opening post I proposed a mechanism for limiting the power of casters. You seem to be arguing that achieving what I set out to do is a problem.

2) Our group usually plays adventure paths and my experience is that channel positive energy is generally quite effective, but not so effective that clerics never cast healing spells.

1) There are good and bad methods of limiting casters. Increasing uncertainty across the board is a bad method. If a reaction has a failure rate you may as well not have it. Uncertainty is the enemy. Uncertainty makes it harder for the GM to make challenging encounters that aren't TPKs and makes the players more risk averse to the detriment of following the story. The right way to nerf casters is to leave the reactions intact because they are as likely or in some cases more likely to benefit the martials than the casters and nerf the offensive spells. Adjusting saving throws is a good solution. Removing broken stuff from the spell list is another good solution. Changing the way save DCs are calculated so that powerful classes of spell like save or puppet and save or die have lower DCs than weak classes of spell like save or take modest damage is a good solution. Anything that prevents the casters from supporting the martials is a stealth nerf to the martials.

2) So you're admitting that even channel focused clerics still need to cast healing spells. Most tables don't have channel focused clerics. Battle clerics can't afford the charisma for selective channel at sane point buys and lots of people won't play other builds, either because they don't like summoning or wish they were playing a fighter but someone needs to heal. Then there are oracles of any mystery other than life who don't channel at all. Some misguided (and soon to be permanently blind or deaf) parties try to get away with druids who also do not channel at all.


shroudb wrote:


it's not only wizards:

we now have 3 classes that are martial divine casters
i think it's time for clerics to lose their good fort, and their 3/4 bab to fall to 1/2

similary, we now have 2 nature based martial casters
time for druid to only keep his will save, and have his bab down to 1/2

i dont get why paizo decided it was good idea to give casters more hp but leave martials as it is.
either raise fighter/barbarian/ranger/paladin HD or lower the casters, including clerics and druids, to 1d4

con enchantment shouldn't be in the belt. it hurts martials too much that they need to spend 1.5x for it. Con is equally useful for all classes, so the cost to buy it shouldn't be affected if your primary is str/dex or if your primary is int/wis/cha

con contribution is too much for HP.
rolling 1d6+x and rolling 1d10+x isn't that much if x is +7-8.
maybe drop extra hp to +1hp/hd for every +2 con modifier, OR scale the con modifier based on the hd dice.

bring the squishy back to the squishies!

As long as healing is nontrivial, any nerf to clerics is a nerf to martials. Most groups have no one who wants to play a healer. If cleric doesn't have a full class worth of features people want to play on top of healing nobody plays cleric and the fighter gets loaded with negative levels and stat drain and nobody removes them or he contracts mummy rot and nobody is playing a class with remove disease or he just takes a few too many crits in one battle and no one has heal or breath of life to keep his HP from running out.

Druid could get split into a caster and a wildshaper, but cleric is pretty near inviolable as long as damage and status effects carry over between encounters.


39. End him Rightly: As True Strike, but the somatic and material components are to unscrew your pommel and throw it at your enemy. This takes 2d4 rounds and causes your sword to fall apart because swords have pommels for an important structural reason. This spell can obviously not be used with any weapon other than a sword, but also does not work with Japanese swords because they have riveted tangs rather than pommels.


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161: A plain brown armoire that has been enchanted as +5 armor of invulnerability.


Boomerang Nebula wrote:

1) If you want to make it predictable roll the d12 first and then decide what spell to cast.

2) Channel positive energy is meant for in combat healing.

1) That doesn't fix the problem. In any urgent situation there's a minimum adequate spell on anyone's list of spells known or prepared. Anything below that isn't going to work. If you need to get the party out of a disaster there is no spell under level 4. If someone has taken serious damage heal is the only thing that keeps pace with damage. If someone drops it's Breath of Life now or nothing.

2) You're kidding, right? 1d6 per 2 levels is spitting in the wind. And you heal your enemies because pure casters aren't practical under your system and battle clerics can't afford charisma, especially when they can't afford to gamble on buffs unless they're absolutely critical. Even divine favor isn't safe to use since it raises your failure chance for the next battle.


Boomerang Nebula wrote:

Magic is fickle and impossible to truly understand, if it was reliable it would be a science.

Every time a spell is cast the player rolls a d12 to see if the magic is with them this time. The result is the highest level spell they can cast at that moment (before metamagic effects are taken into account). In other words if they rolled a "4" and were trying to cast a 5th level spell like: Flamestrike then the spell would fizzle, however a quickened Magic Missile would work just fine. Every time the roll is successful subtract one from the next roll. Every time the roll results in failure add two to the next roll.

No feat, power, spell, item or ability of any kind can add a bonus to the roll. The penalty/bonus resets back to zero every full moon (or other magically significant event).

Clever, but there are two problems. First, magic as science is quite popular and is implicit in the wizard fluff. Second, it makes being a fighter more dangerous.

Alice (fighter): That crit took off two thirds off my HP.
Bob (cleric): Okay. Garak the Cleric moves over to Fighty McFightington and cast Heal.
Eve (GM): Roll for maximum level.
Bob: 1d12=4.
...
Eve: The orc barbarian hits McFightington again for 2d4+16 damage.
Alice: I'll just go roll up yet another character.


These bravery based solutions won't work for anyone who plays with archetypes.


A lot of the magic nerfs are addressing the wrong problem.

Way back a guy named Gary took Vance's Dying Earth as his primary inspiration for wizards. That's an extremely wizard-centric setting. And it's a setting for wizards that adventure solo. Wizards were very powerful because they came from a very high powered setting.

Actually playing a wizard kind of sucked, though. You got one spell and you would lose the spell if someone threw a pebble at you. Then you'd die because you also had almost no hitpoints. Then you'd start a new level 1 wizard while everyone else accumulated experience and eventually reached level 2.

Later editions introduced quality of life improvements that allowed wizards to be fun to play. Removing those QoL improvements is not the solution. The wizard will still be broken when he gets to high level, which is now inevitable if the campaign doesn't collapse because it's now standard for replacement characters to come in at the same level as their compatriots.

Unless designing a new system from scratch you also need to consider what spells the fighter needs. If you take away Fly that's a fighter nerf. The wizard doesn't need it because he has ranged spells to use against flying opponents. This usually comes up when people talk about nerfing clerics since half of their core list exists to patch up the fighter. You can remove the need for those spells, but only by moving the abilities around or gutting the monster list.


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There's Paizo's Bestiary Box. You might have to get more than one for multi-summoning but all normally available summons are in the first bestiary box.


@Renegadeshepherd:

All of that is totally irrelevant to the OP because he's planning a reach cleric and there are no decent finesse reach weapons. Only the whip, which doesn't do real damage and can't make AoOs without substantial feat expenditure and isn't practical for TWF even after paying the tax because it's not a light weapon.


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Bandw2 wrote:
Grey_Mage wrote:

Unfortunately, the end result is this would force specialization more, and casters would dump more stats to boost INT even more (Poor Pallys, their casting would suffer the most as a MAD class and they certainly don't have the skill points to invest in Spellcraft). On a positive note, the Empyreal Sorcerors ranks would swell.

the idea is casters are too versatile, you don't need any meaningful cost to pick up a third level fireball even if you didn't have a single evocation spell until then, now they have to wonder if they should pick up fireball since they didn't pick evocation as one of their maxed skills.

Paladin's and 1/2 casters mostly have their spell's limited magic boosted as new spell levels have a much higher CL, and most are buffs so they might not need to boost them, it's a character choice

Divine Casters are still using an INT skill to figure out if they can cast at full power.

yep makes them a bit more mad, which is good

These are both very wrong. Casters are not too versatile. Martials aren't versatile enough. Nobody should be sitting out scenes. The problem with casters is that they have access to effects that shouldn't exist at all, not that they have access to a variety of effects. Niche protection means that at a table of five three are playing Angry Birds in every noncombat scene. Unless you're from Roxio that's a bad thing.

Divine casters are already very MAD. Cleric power is an illusion. They're a party tax. The "powerful" things they do are things most players find boring chores so anything that makes their sideline in bashing heads or summoning weaker or their party slot tax role more expensive will make them unplayable while filling the nigh-mandatory healer role. Any cleric nerf is really a martial nerf in disguise because martials need clerics. If people can't enjoy playing clerics that competently fill another role while handling their healing role at minimal cost it will be martials that will suffer stat drain and curses and negative levels and die pointless stupid deaths to disease because no one wants to play a cleric.


Selective channel isn't on the table. It only allows excluded targets equal to cha mod. That means that it's not really useful with less than 14 cha and 16 or 18 is safer. That's just not on for a build that needs strength to hit with a polearm, dex for combat reflexes, con for not dieing, and wisdom to cast spells.

Healing from channel can never keep up with damage for the player under discussion because his desired build cannot afford enough charisma to channel in combat. It doesn't matter how low the incoming damage is, he's not going to keep up with it with channel because he's not going to be able to channel in combat without healing his enemies.

He's looking at 12 charisma max, which isn't even enough to qualify for the feat much less make it actually useful.


The game is more likely to become unplayable for lack of 335 DPR machines than their presence. Individual turns tend to take longer at higher levels. You don't want fights to also require more of them because player damage isn't keeping pace with monster HP. Remember that high level monsters often have inflated con scores because of the size modifiers as well as more hit dice than their CR. That level 20 fighter would be expected to trivially handle two ancient red dragons with 25 d12 hit dice and 27 con each in a party.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Atarlost wrote:

If you really want the TSR feel you should make the save DCs static, but use full caster level and increase all blasts and heals by at least two die steps and remove caster level caps.

Classically save DCs are static, but fireball does 1d6 per level with no limit to monsters that don't add their con mod to their hit dice.

Just to be clear, I didn't invent the Limited Magic rule, it comes from Pathfinder Unchained.

Being a Paizo optional rule doesn't make it not a bad rule and if your goal is magic more like AD&D you should come up with a house rule that's actually designed with that goal in mind rather than grab a Paizo optional rule that doesn't do what you want.


Mark Hoover wrote:
But I've run into folks over the years who take any feedback to their style, tactics or builds as a pointed finger no matter HOW I phrase it. I have a thick skin, but when the follow up is spiteful, about how this person WON'T adopt any suggested change just on principle... that's how this thread came up.

That's part of the problem. You have a thick skin. That makes it hard to judge what someone with a thinner skin will react to.

Lots of people have a character they want to play even if it's not optimal. Or possibly a stable of a few characters they want to play that they can choose between based on party composition. If someone can't see their character using a ranged weapon that's strange, but as long as they aren't playing a backstabber or complete waste of space that you can't see your character putting up with that's kind of their prerogative. They might be in the wrong group, but low OP RP focused play is legitimate and if you're friends outside of gaming you might choose to put up with the mismatch.


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If you really want the TSR feel you should make the save DCs static, but use full caster level and increase all blasts and heals by at least two die steps and remove caster level caps.

Classically save DCs are static, but fireball does 1d6 per level with no limit to monsters that don't add their con mod to their hit dice.


You won't channel in combat. 12 charisma isn't enough for selective channel and you want your feats for other things.

3 channels per day saves a bit in wands, but not much. If you make everyone chip in for wands (and refuse to heal anyone who won't) the savings aren't large. You still have 1 channel per day.

This costs 6 buy points, more than going down a buy level. You're already a MAD class and it's optimal do hard dump both int and cha, just like a monk would. Strength might not be the best place for all your stat points, but a reach cleric needs dex, con, and wis as well and any of them is better than charisma. If you want to front line you need to take care of the boring numbers before pursuing gimmicks.

If you forget reach, take heavy armor proficiency, and dump dex you can think about channeling


Chengar Qordath wrote:
I think this is one of those cases where delivery matters a lot. I mean, there's a big difference between giving advice in a polite and friendly manner versus going: "God, why are you so stupid? Everyone knows that X is way better!" Granted, the problem might be that Mark is saying the former, while the people he's talking to are hearing the latter.

The fact that he's frustrated enough to turn around and complain about it on the forums lead me to suspect his delivery is probably more like the latter than he thinks. Bad feelings tend to leak through when communicating in person or through speech.


Rub-Eta wrote:
All in all, it doesn't really do anything except adding 2 skill ranks to clerics and sorceres. You can't make an easy fix on spells, you need to rewrite them or remove some of them.

I'm not sure why removing some spells wouldn't be an easy fix. It may not be outsourceable since every GM will have a different opinion of what spells need go to, but any GM can set a book limit for spells to get the list small enough to go over himself. If the CRB list alone is too big for a GM to go over he probably shouldn't be GMing.

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