The only two things I have going to support my Michonne theory: The fact that there was mention (implied really) that Michonne lost a baby and you can see how much it damaged her when it's brought up (that's 1) the second is the fact that Michonne has configured significantly in importance into the lives of Rick and Carl...saving Judith and bringing her back to them would solidify the relationship between the three (that's my 2nd). I can't really mention Judith as a character per se in that triad, but more of a force or factor in the series. The second point is far more speculative, but from a character development pov, I see Michonne as being part of the Rick/Carl/Judith family group.
Also, in many ways Michonne on her own would be a little boring/back to do-anything-to-survive mode. Her trekking it out with a baby (and keeping that baby alive) would be nuts, with only her or Daryl really being the ones in the group with the chops and skill to pull that task off in the wilderness.
If you think about it, only Michonne or Daryl on zylphryx's list could pull off keeping her alive.
I would revise the list as such:
1) Rick and Carl
The daughter symmetry between the two leaders is a valid and solid point, from a story perspective though it only hits home if both of them were still alive after losing their kids. With the Governor gone, the symmetry loses some strength. I think the baby-Michonne connection is going to strengthened and develop Michonne’s character outside of her survivor role, and is going to cement her relationship with Rick and Carl when they meet back up.
Or...I could be wrong.
Best guess on the rats is that it's the little girl (Lizzy?) doing the feeding (as I said in my post on 10.15). Now I'm starting to think that she killed those two people in the prison, Carol found them dead and drug their bodies out and burned them to cover it up and took the blame to protect her. Hence her frustration in the one scene when she is taking it out on the water barrels - thinking on the fact that she may have put those murders in motion by all the harsh stuff she was teaching the kids about survival.
I thought it was a decent mid-season ender. There was plenty of implausible stuff in there, but Herschel’s smile before his end more than made up for it.
Any guesses on what happened to Judith? I don't think she died in the walker attack - I think Michonne was the one who found her and took her away (due to some foreshadowing events in previous episodes).
Anyway, those are my guesses.
I played 2nd ed well into 3rd ed. Picked up the 3rd ed books but never ran they game then I started running the game when 3.5 came out.
I was drawn in (from a DMs perspective) by all the modularity and changes that could be made to creatures. After running that game and then PF for the last 10 years I was very dissatisfied with the experience.
So over time I tried a series of small fixes, changes - you name it. Most were run through a playtest serving as a band aid at best.
I then re-examined the game and saw where the flaws were. And there are a ton, but imo it can be salvaged. Of course it goes beyond the scope of these forums and its a project I am near completing, but I felt there were some merits to d20 gaming over older editions if the issues could be worked out with some effort.
What I posted was a very rough outline to eliminating the big six, basically making PF run more like 2nd ed.
I have invested a TREMENDOUS amount of money into 3rd ed/PF, so the reason why I would pursue a fix is so that I could still use my more recent purchases (and those I get from Swan, FGG or LG) for my game revision. In many ways mid way through PF I felt took. As in hoodwinked. So yeah, I hate, despise and revile the design mentality which went into 3rd ed: CharOp/character building instead of adventure focus, magic mart, min/max and oversimplification of the rules/spells/items/skills/take 10/DC manipulation…too many to name.
See - an interesting thing occurred over the course of several years and it’s the reason why there are so many conflicts on these boards in the vein of old school vs. new school. Many of us old school gamers came along for the ride, and trusting in developer’s good faith we bought, and ran their creative content. And now we are dissatisfied. Some caught on early and never bought in, some bought in and bailed on the hobby or switched systems, while a few went along because while they may not like the system, they liked having a system that was alive, was receiving new content, etc. I'm part of the latter crowd, but the dissatisfaction has set in. And we now find ourselves on an island of discontent – basically stuck with a bunch of other posters and gamers who grew up on this and love the level of power and player entitlement that comes with it. So you get fights and disagreements.
What I did is I took the best parts of 2nd and 3rd (with a few things from 1st) and modified my game. The list I posted wasn't a challenge or insult - it is a practical outline for reducing numbers and the need for numbers in d20 gaming. Lower ACs mean you need less number boosts to hit, lower hp means you need less modifiers to damage and controlled DCs (by level threat ranges) means you don't really need Save boosters.
Again, wasn’t trying to insult anyone – just showing what it would take to run a low magic game under the current framework.
Here's a fix (which will be hated by most):
Eliminate the need for micro bonuses or special weapons.
1) Remove Con bonus to hp (everything, with the exception of high Con) , so most creatures hps will be reduced around 40%-60%.. Con of 15 gives you +1 hp level, 16 gives you +2, 17 gives you plus 3 for every Full BAB HD you have or gain otherwise +2, and 18 Con gives you +4 for every Full BAB HD you have or gain otherwise it gives you +2 when you gain a level. The latter rule does not apply to monsters.
2) Reduce natural ACs of creatures by 1/3 rounded up.
3) 1/2 all the racial stat bonus given at Char gen, max stat 18
4) Save DCs are still increased by casting stat, but stats are capped at 18 (+4) for most starting to middle level characters, so DCs for spells are controlled by level and are not taken out of range due to feats, temp or perm stat boosters or other spells.
5) Introduce an "Average Save" category, reserving bad saves for certain creature types and for Fort saves for casters. Most all PCs classes will sub the Average Save category out for their current "Bad Saves" (with the exception of casters).
6) Eliminate numerical booster feats with the exception of the most basic (weapon focus, weapon spec). Eliminate most feats. A feat that allows you change the enegry type of a prepared spell on the fly - sothing like that can stay. A feat that adds +4 to initiative - gone, +2 skill - gone, etc. Feats should be features of the character, not numerical bonus to X.
7) Eliminate feats that increase the DC of spells or SLAs. Eliminate metamagic feats that increase the damage of spells. Eliminate all metamagic items (metamagic rods). Eliminate magic items that increase saves or make them very rare and affect only one save category (level 12 character item, gives +1 to Fort saves)
8) Eliminate all spells that boost stats (and subsequently, all items). If you feel the need for stat boosters I would suggest only those that affect Str or Dex and they would have a fixed stat value - If under 16, raises it to 17 when worn, if score is already 17-19 gives +1, starting 20 or higher - nothing).
9) Eliminate increasing scores by increasing levels
10) Limit stackable buffs by reducing bonus category types.
11) Bring back potion miscibility table, potions and wands are not spells in items. They are a specific effect generated by said item, not a spell in a bottle or wand.
12) Eliminate crit damage, eliminate crit feats and eliminate TH bonus damage from Str.
13) Bunch of micro changes (too many to list here). Limited item creation, increased DC checks for casting while taking damage, no more Conjure spells getting around MR, etc, etc.
14) If you are PF player or DM and you head hasn’t exploded by this point I congratulate you! Proceed to posting disparaging comments about my lists of fixes and changes.
All that or just run 2nd ed, which seems to be a better system every day I run or read anything about 3rd ed./PF.
Since you said you were not going to help me and since I already sent an e-mail with my information but never received a response I assume sending another e-mail will make no difference. Just go ahead and keep my money. You can also keep the hardback. I doubt I would have received it anyway.
I sent an email to the support message option and didn't get a response either and then I saw people posting comments on RA4 and CD4 and was wondering what happened to me, but I didn’t panic/ragepost.
And then (just like Hollywood movie magic) I saw Skeeters updated contact post.
I promptly sent him an email last night listing my KS, pre-orders and additional orders I got through FGG games.
Keep in mind that they are a small company and to actually take their explanation of how they are doing things sincerely and that they are not running a shell game or a scam. Give it a try first without playing the victim game or posting melodrama.
I think if there was a new edition I would lobby to get rid of all six.
Item ability does not always need to equate bonuses to rolls.
A strength booster can boost strength by affecting DC checks to lift or break items as well as carrying ability, it doesn't need to add +X to hit and damage.
I would probably dump most of the +X anything and instead go for ability/usefullness to the character who is using the item or seeking it out instead of focusing on the math - that is how you bring an element of mystery back to the arcane. It becomes more about lore, ability - legend and myth than "this gives you +1 extra to hit and damage".
If I may make a suggestion - allowing the PDF/print versions of the Kingmaker or Jade Regent content (the $15/$25 option) up front vs. waiting to add them into the KS later on would be a direct boost to the money as most people would add in one or two of the options (I would do the kingmaker option, pdf and print).
I think holding these back as a "not available option" is hurting this KS. IMO of course.
I don't think these should be bonus goals but should be part of the main KS, since it plays to your strength (phenomenal content). Not asking for for fancy print hardcovers for these add-ons, just something in print. And the pdf bundles for each plug-in could be what's already sold on your site or Paizo (6 pdfs for each plug-in), just as a discounted bundle and optioned as one pdf.
The kingmaker PDFs total list at $43.94 USD, I would easily add 30-35 bucks to the KS just for some discounted pdfs (maybe indexed against each other). Plus it would be more of a draw (new pledges).
I would add even more for a print option, even a non-hardcover and incomplete (6 pdfs vs. what you have already put in for Carrion crown).
Just an idea.
Bill Webb wrote:
The Tunnels of Terror news is the best thing I have heard all day and today has been a very, very bad day.
I was on the edge about SoA (not due to quality or follow through, but my personal finances) but this bit of news has pushed me over.
Just offering my opinion on the issue - as a KS supporter/pre-orderer (?) for RA (+subs), Tsar and ToHC I would prefer to wait for a better thought-out product than something rushed through to meet a deadline.
Sometimes - and I think this applies to most creative endeavors - sometimes it's just better to wait.
Reminds me, I also need to throw some money at the Legendary Games Print book kickstarter.
TL;DR version- thanks for the update on ToT. I’m #205 in your KS for SoA.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Drejk is correct: Grendel is CR 19. His rank is listed just for the purpose of effects relating to rank or tier, but all of his abilities (mythic and otherwise) are already accounted for in his CR 19. Stripping away the abilities and modifiers he gets from his 7 mythic ranks would make his CR something less than 19.
Ah, ok - so that was the source of my confusion.
Ok - sounds good.
If all the mythic abilities are available online and this is calculated into its CR as a consideration then it isn't as much of an issue.
I don't think that there should be restrictions on any personal weapons (not explosives) that at one time or another were legal. Yes, that includes FA rifles & machine guns (which technically are not illegal, but regulated so heavily that they are almost impossible to own and only for the rich: around 20k a pop). Same goes for magazine restriction and weapon type restrictions - all of which are design to restrict weapon ownership, intimidate gun owners and serve as steps that infringe/impede our 2nd amendment rights.
- Not an NRA member
The primary function of the 2nd amendment isn't so that people can have weapons to hunt, or to defend their property. I believe that the function of the 2nd is so that a force can be raised to defend the country/state or to kill your own government. All other functions of the 2nd and gun ownership are secondary.
Comrade - it isn't hard or too expensive to build your own AR style weapon piecemeal. You can buy the upper and lower receiver as you can afford them and then put the thing together over time. It's actually a fun hobby, without even taking the weapon to the range.
Or if you want to go real cheap you can pick up a surplus Mosin-Nagant (8mm) for a couple of hundred. Good, cheap Russian/Commie weapon - not really for home defense (more for long range shooting) but they are plentiful and and is overall solid weapon.
IMO, anyone who cares about their rights (left or right on the poli spectrum) should be a gun owner. That also means not being an idiot, rager or revenge fueled moron. Owning a gun and securing it is like any other responsibility (raising a child,driving a car on public streets, etc), use with caution or if you are incapable of doing so then do not absorb the responsibility (i.e.- own a gun).
I don't think the US has a gun problem, I think the US has an infantile, revenge obsessed, macho BS problem. Also a problem on how we treat and commit people with mental problems.
I think the argument of not getting enough xp = be the same level as everyone else in the party as being an issue is really dependent on the DM in the group.
Coming from an older AD&D background it was really rare for any all of the PCs to be the same level at the same time and as the DM I adjusted for that fact when setting up challenges, as I would hope any DM would do. I don't know each group and how other DMs run things. If it's a game of fall behind means you're dead, then yeah penalizing xp for no-shows can be a fatal practice.
I do feel that individual xp is a reward for exceptional or stand out play. So maybe the Fighter in the group breaks to level 7 before everyone else - if he earned some extra xp to do so, and if the group is not all of a sudden encountering CR 7 creatures as the baseline (while they are all 6th level) then I don't see it as a problem. In effect what you really are doing is letting that player, who played exceptionally enough to get extra credits, advance and get some extra tricks/features early. If I feel that a pure xp award for one player would take him too far away from his group then I reward him with single use perks/hero factor points.
As I said in my earlier post - I think baseline xp should be given out, if not just due to math/game expectations concerning overall group progression. One guy getting his level up a few sessions before everyone else won't end the game unless the DM makes it so (by throwing higher level encounters and not using APL to determine encounter types).
Mixed level parties are also fun if the DM runs it as a mixed level party.
I personally feel that exceptional xp is a fun feature in gaming. What I do for my group is before we start the next session is that I assign xp. I do it at the beginning of the next session because by the time we knock off it's midnight or 1 in the morning and everyone is beat.
So I break out the normal encounter/set piece xp (base xp). Then I put out the question to the group "Ok, who gets bonus xp? What happened last time that stood out to any of you?"
Then they will pitch their reasons why x player should get something, 95% of the time they are asking on behalf of another players actions. It serves as a good recap for the last session. Sometimes I need to make a note to reserve some points for a character who is coming up with the right ideas/guessing at the menace but before we have the complete reveal. I give him something (xp) to know he's on the right track - just not enough to give the whole plot away.
TL;DR version - I give baseline xp based on what happened in the session. Exceptional players and actions of all types (heroics, bravery, ideas, workarounds, RP) will get bonus xp and may allow him to level up before everyone else or get some minor perk as a reward. I do not punish the other players for level disparity that may arise from this situation - as the DM I adapt things for fun and not punishment - that is my job after all.
And KC sort of ninja's me! That's what I get for writing out a TL;DR version!
Conservative DM here, and yes - I use merit based xp awards to the PCs -with the following breakdowns:
Someone can't show due to life reasons but we still play and his character is used as an NPC - he gets all the baseline xp based upon fights and encounters, but shares the same risk of death of all the active players. If he knows he will be missing the session in advance and we are still going play, he may write up a short directive for me and the other players to follow based on the circumstances. He is not played like a chump. Never had an incident where the player would come back after the session and complained about what his character did while he was out and generally the trust is there within the group for the other players and DM to run him “right”.
- They don't get exception XP (Idea/problem solving or RP xp)
That being said, when we were much younger and had a less stable group of gamers going in and out of sessions - the tolerance for who got what for being out was more of an issue. Most of the times it was the players who complained that they were taking the time and showing up, putting their characters lives in direct action and risk (vs. fading into the background or just "disappearing" for a session) and they brought their A game to the session (full involvement).
Back in those days points were NOT given, and in many cases some people were kicked from the group. As time passed I filtered out the riff-raff and made efforts to accommodate people who wanted to play but had conflicting schedules with the main group that were the source of much of their attendence problems.
On politics and DMing
My group is composed of: a hard right conservative (fiscal more so), a social conservative, left centrist and a liberal player.
Creative problem resolution and heroics generally yield the highest amounts of XP - and since this is based off of individual action and contribution I do not just give out flat session xp. There is an XP baseline (encounters, etc), and then there is additional personalized xp based on session contribution. I try to make myself situationally aware that if a player is doing some downtime stuff (research, background puzzle solving, using resources, etc) that is not sexy/exciting, but critical to the success of the group that they should get a healthy reward of xp as if it was a problem that was solved (re: decent reward).
There's a difference between customization for distinction and customization for performance (game play) and yet another aspect – customization for core outcome (DCs, Initiative, to-hit). Using your Acrobatics example we could go several routes.
1 - Feat modified raw number. Doesn't add in any degree of what you can do for the most part, just a numeric bonus to a binary roll.
2 - Use the given metric of improvement to be the better acrobat (skill points tied to level progression). You want to be better, get more skill points. In other words, level up/get better no need for a seperate bonus to reflect how good you are, just improve the entire character as a whole.
3 - Non-numeric based system of proficiency. That is, a system tied to tiers of skill knowledge: novice, trained, expert, teacher and master. These different degrees actually better represent skill function than a simple X number that can fluctuate and may not be tied to level but another valuation for progression. They can reflect the degree of success and what you can actually do with the skill as you get better. They still require a roll, but that roll is protected from stat/buff manipulation or temporary modification due to effect being tied to training.
Using the latter system you can affect the degree of success (using cats grace to get +2 on Acrobatics check) but you do not affect the level of output because that would be tied to level of proficiency (novice, trained, expert, teacher and master).
Under a pure numeric system customization, desire and intent are meaningless. If someone or something can get the +X numbers and it has a baseline of success (a few skill ranks) then by virtue of numbers it passes all levels of dedication, training and proficiency that you put into your character. This is the Codzilla effect on ALL LEVELS.
Using raw +X feat for minor things is one thing, using them for core game changes is another. This system does not weigh them the same. Being able to blacksmith is great for story, but it’s contending with feats that increase saves, determine initiative and the chance to make a target fail its save from one of your spells. Again, bad game design just by virtue of how these feats are classed and the whole +X mentality around the d20 system.
Sure you could come up with a feat (or other customization option) that allows a character to be better some how at acrobatics, maybe he can re-roll acrobatics checks x times per day, or the dcs are lower for him, but in the end things like that will be MORE complicated then that straight +x bonus.
I would much rather use a system that was more detailed/complicated but I wouldn’t tie it to most of the things you listed (re-roll, lower DCs, etc) since they are the same thing as adding +X for the most part. Instead I would go with a tighter, more managed output. Number rolled determines success, while proficiency determines outcome of that success. So when a highly dexterous demon does a little tuck and roll maneuver in combat (only "trained level" of Acrobatics on stat block, but +10 on Dex mod) the higher level creature is quickly outshined by your very nimble, lower level, lower Dexterity but more highly trained character.
Going +/-X for everything was an exercise in oversimplification that opened a huge door for effect manipulation and a greater focus on squeezing out every single integer to increase the chances of the binary success/fail roll which is the cornerstone of the game.
The same can extend to things like weapon focus, or the fighter's weapon training feature. These +x bonuses represent actual customization of character. If they didnt exist, you couldnt represent their exceptional ability in the game, only in name. The 'worlds greatest swordman' would have the same ability with a sword as every other character of his level.
But that isn’t the reality of the game and you know this. Every fighter that is on par with what he is "supposed" to be able to do at a given level is probably going to have all the same feats. So your weapon focus + chain feats does not make the fighter distinct from all the other fighters in the land who are at his level. That being said I am not against very minor (+1 to-hit at best, for the entire career: Levels 1-20 of the fighter) bonuses. But I would not put ANY game changing metrics (+DC, + to-hit) in the same pool as Skill Focus or Alertness. Those feats that change the success rate of core functionality should be heavily weighed and should have trade-offs (excellent with one weapon group/weapon, all other weapon groups suffer a -1).
Does this edge out some more flavorful and interesting options? Sometimes, and thats unfortunate, though I have found at least in my group, as we grow older, there is a lot less focus on the numbers and more on characters and story, but the numbers game is still there. I just dont know that you can achieve customization to represent a broad range of concepts without that numbers game.
Again, no issue with customization – the problem is the type of customization and the weighing of the choice options. Some choices become defaults, in which case they are not choices. The only way to manage this is to put in trade offs for the core choice types or make the decision for one type work against another core function (+1 to DCs in one school, -1 in DCs in all others).
So I don't have a problem with customization – I think you and I might just have different definitions of what the concept means for us in our respective games. You think it's +X to skill, I think it's being able to actually do something different or bettter or more detailed with said skill. Or in the case of quirkyness, having a character that has certian features at cost (e.g.- Light Sleeper: Increased perception checks to wake up when sleeping and hearing noise, but needs full 8 hours of rest every day) with some cool rp aspects.
But I do think they serve a purpose. I think without those variables, you dont have any real customization. If there wasnt a difference between the numbers for a paladin swinging a sword and a ranger shooting an arrow besides how you described it, I wouldnt be satisfied with the system. If there wasnt a difference between James Bond trying to charm the damsel in the tavern, and Joe #5 who is the same level, I'd be unsatisfied with the system.
Your paladin/ranger comparison reflects a failure in the system and has little to do with customization. See, the game makes the mechanical aspect of swinging a sword and shooting and arrow the same. Same effects, same roll mechanic, same damage. So you feel that adding more fiddly bits makes it more detailed? The core function is the same. If you want the swing/shoot to feel different you need to change the way they work from the ground up. How does a sword work vs. X armor? What are the effects of shooting a target with multiple arrows, indirect fire, aimed shots.
All the +X feats are sort of like band-aids to a game that uses a simple binary system at its core. +X/-X doesn’t reflect a complex game system – Hell no, it doesn't require much thought besides tracking values +/- and then making a binary check.
Pathfinder isn't complicated or even difficult; it just requires a tremendous amount of tracking which I feel is pointless and tacked on.
I too prefer more complex games: with to-hits reflected in degrees tied to the attack roll and damage being reflected by to-hit roll. Critical results and saves with detailed effects, equipment condition and damage during a fight (not from being targeted either), armor that doesn't serve as a binary success/fail mechanic which instead functions as DR, and skill systems tracked by proficiency of the user and not based on Y value with +X from any and all manipulation.
My point stands - if numbers are relative then what is the point of all the numbers? Addressing the issue of customization/distinction (as I just did), why are multiple layers of numbers and the persuit of aquiring those numbers a good thing for this game?
I don't agree with the fail forward concept.
To me the argument isn't storytelling or a numbers game exactly. To a degree the either/or approach doesn't really fit here (for me at least).
Going back to the op - I still feel that this (3rd ed/PF) is a numbers and optimization game, to some degree all rpgs are but this incarnation of the game (d20) more so than any versions prior. Let me explain:
My problem with this - and why I'm dumping PF and would not recommend it to any gamer interested in rpgs - is because the numbers have taken over the game, for me at least.
The problem with PF/3rd ed/d20 isn't that it prevents you from having a adventures (I use this instead of "storytelling" - this word should be stricken from RPG usage) while using the system. The problem is that the game forces you to focus on the game while trying to adventure - and to me, that’s design failure.
There is a sub-game that goes in most d20 based games that serves as a distraction to the gaming objective - which I assume is to adventure and play the game with your character, not play the rules. And it eats up a TREMENDOUS amount of real time and player/DM attention.
Part of the problem is the unnecessary numbers added into the game. Basically these are numbers that both the players and DMs need to account for, spend time pursuing/mastering or simply allocating resources for - to attain an objective. Look at most fights you may run in a PF based game. If they involve buffs (which most will) you will start to get where I am going with this.
If you are counting cards you know the value for the players here is +1. It doesn't really matter who the targets are or what the spells are...I mean it does - if you count the minutia or take into account SoDs (another problem). But in a very broad sense it does not.
So now we have a meta action economic system which is created so that players need to: Plan spells (traditional), use items (traditional, but was limited), create items (new/d20), buy items (mostly new/d20) all to keep up with in-game assumptions and number needs.
I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a dinosaur in these parts – so when I see layers and layers of superfluous numbers that detract (imo) from the game then I see a problem. For some it can be fun, but I see all of these values as +1/-1 bloat. I think these number changes, mutability/manipulation and all these extra trackers (over older editions) are put in just to give players something to do as a bit of a marketing gimmick. To be invested not in their character but the character creation and optimization process – as a sub system or distraction to the core game. It helps to sell products that address the same. And I am not faulting optimization here nor am I saying that you cannot Rp an optimized character. What I am saying is that this current focus and game design detract from a good gaming experience. These rules make their presence known vs. being transparent.
Of course all of this is my opinion on the matter. I don’t see this as a "both" answer to the problem presented by the OP, just a further explanation on why I think this is a numbers game.
If I were to rewrite this game I would not allow feats that give base numeric enhancers. I would have feats that would make the character distinctive and unique (eg - Light Sleeper, Fast Healer, etc) with small drawbacks. No raw +1 to DCs or +4 to initiative, at least not without some trade-offs. Otherwise you just created a "must have list" that punishes a lack of system mastery. If you want the ability to do specific maneuvers it should be a combat style of your class, not a feat that gives you a flat +X.
I don't expect this to be well-received or even acknowledged. For those in disagreement try looking at your game when you are running a big combat and ask yourself why are there so many variables in the game? What is their function to the gaming experience?
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
My question to the community is what kind of game does Pathfinder represent to you? Is it about a game of Numbers and Optimization or a game about Storyline(s) and Adventuring the depths of dungeons and hideouts?
Barring immediate kneejerk reactions to attack, posters here should actually make an attempt to respond using both a rational, fact based or personal experiences to formulate an answer.
As a disclaimer - we have had some fun playing PF, the numbers/bonuses/need X number in game needs have soured it and burdened the whole gaming process - but we still had fun with the system. We still RPd, still adventured - just less than we did with earlier systems.
IMO and from what I have seen moving from 1st/Basic/2nd/3.5/PF beta/PF -
These changes IMO were intentional. A move away from adventure focus to a shift in builds, "I need item Y to get bonus X" was based on the creators of 3rd ed and what was going on in the market when WotC acquired TSR (and a big part of it was MtG selling numbers). Those guys were not dumb, they knew what sold and they repackaged the game and system to focus more on players vs. gaming product (splats vs. DM campaign books, modules, etc).
The optimization aspect (which is huge - aka, building your character the bestest way) shifts most of the games attention to the individual PC (and charting their progression) in d20 gaming vs. moving the adventure/story along. This has been a shift that started to occur on a small scale some time during 2nd ed, but was hard coded in 3rd ed+. 2nd ed kits pale in comparison with hard number choices offered in 3rd ed - all controlled by players. It went from controlling a few things about your character to almost hyper-optimization and affecting each metric on the character sheet.
On top of all of the that the "+X" system makes the rest of it 99% numbers driven.
So if you have a dump stat of Cha 6, you can mitigate it simply by adding in more skill points to all of your interactive/interpersonal skill that actually matter - doesn't matter that at your core being you have the appeal of a rock - you just add more numbers - via skill points, magic items or spells. Rinse & repeat with the entire skills system + X modifier via spell or item and you get a soulless, numeric based (and mostly binary) system.
All that being said - I don't think any of this stops roleplaying and the idea of adventuring - but it sure as hell shifts the focus of the game from the act of adventuring/playing the game to the detail of the individual PC. It does change some background focus and drivers of the game - needing that gear, building that gear, needing an expected number, etc.
Even my players - almost all 30+ gamers - have felt it when we play PF. They HAVE to pay attention to number manipulation because that factors into survival. They like adventuring and heavy RP, but in our last campaign they had to devote a considerable amount of time to: Booster gear, +X related items and items or spells that would mechanically manipulate things to change results.
In my group when we play game systems with less manipulation - the focus of the game is not as much on manipulation (since each game has varying degrees) but on RP and playing the game.
In summation (for me) I would say PF (and most D20 games with +X manipulation) is a numbers game with a story in the background. I know some people here are going to be offended by this, or just flat out deny it (stormwind etc) - but that is the state of the game. As long as +X is controllable by players, the players will have varying degrees of trying to affect +X vs. actually playing. It's different with each group - and I don't fault the players from trying - they do want the best chances of success after all, nor do I fault the DMs who run it.
I do fault the system and developers who went the easy route (D20 +X) trying to re-launch a game system.
Not trolling, not trying to flame and not dumping on PF - just presenting my gaming experience with PF and d20 gaming over the last 13 years.
Dr.D, you have to stop doing this.
Some people who like low magic like it for it's immersion element - as in, easier to get into. Sort of the difference between liking say the Punisher and a Punisher related plot line vs. a plot line from the Fantasitc 4 and the Silver Surfer. Just different personal tastes and not "hurr, hurr, hurr..can't handle running D&D!!!1!!!!!".
For some DMs it isn't a question of being able to handle T-port (and several other game powers), but wanting to handle them thematically, and a slew of other game inconsistancies, logic and game breaking mechanics (by game I mean world, not the rules).
Not everyone who runs eX does it for the same reasons. Some people don't like the scale and tracking required for higher level 3rd ed games, while for others its a question of immersion (for me in PF this breaks at 1st level/default rules). Other players and DMs like the sweet spot levels and would like to perpetuate that experience with the same characters adventure after adventure. There are several different reaons that make eWhatever appealing to different groups and it isn't because the DM in question is a moron (as you imply).
IMO - For me, personally I don't think 3rd ed/PF eWhatever does the trick of managing any of these various issues and I am going back to 2nd ed - because I think it's a better game (after some upgrades) than anything d20 tries to be. All my opinion of course. If people want an e6 game here, or advice on running and playing one I am not going to threadcrap on them and make them feel guilty, I am going to try to help them.
That being said, if his DM is going down this road the OP (who should be very grateful that someone is picking up the slack) should be helpful and constructive or just bow out of the game if he has issues.
As far as actual advice - if you are going to play: it sounds like your DM is going down the hardcore/simulationist road. My advice to you is to plan all your actions carefully, don't assume anything and conserve your resources like crazy. Jettison the d20 mindset and think survival until you get a better feel for his DM style. He probably doesn't go for the "I win/right spell solution" (he may, I don't know him) but instead require that each of your victories utilize thinking and planning. A caster works in facing off against a vast army/hard marches if you put yourself in the mindset to deal with the challenges:
- Do you have a reliable and reusuable attack?
I don't know your DM you do - you should ask him some questions on what would be ok skills, spells, equipment and tactics-wise before playing to see how he feels. If you take the time to inquire about what he is going for and get on the same page you may find that while he may be against many d20 conventions and playstyle components, but he may be up for other tactics, ideas and use of skills, spells and equipment.
Don't dread it too much, you might actually have some fun.
Slight variation on Set's offering.
Nanite Bloodline (Android or Generated Lifeform):
– There are remnants of the powerful technology that was used to create you that still course through your blood. As time progresses you develop mastery of this latent energy and can use it to both create and destroy things around you while increasing the powers, ability and range of what your body can endure. When these microscopic machines are manifested as a beam or cloud, they glow a slight blue much like the circuitry-tattoos on an Android, and provide illumination equal to a torch if they are manifested for a round or longer.
Bonus Class Skill: Disable Device
Bonus Spells: Magic Missile (3rd), Make Whole (5th ), Haste (7th), StoneSkin (9th), Fabricate (11th), Disintegration (13th), Teleport Object (15th), Iron Body (17th), Shapechange (19th)
Bonus Feats: Deft Hands, Fleet, Improved Initiative, Great Fortitude, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Skill Focus (Disable Device), Toughness
Bloodline Arcana: All of your spells that you cast with from the Transmutation school are more potent and enhanced by your nanites. These spells are treated as if you have +1 Caster level for all variable factors (range, duration, targets).
Nanite Beam - Starting at 1st level, you can fire a beam that contains some of your nanites as a standard action, targeting any foe within 30 feet as a ranged touch attack. The nanite ray deals 1d6 points of Str damage + 1 for every two sorcerer levels you possess, this ability can also be used against inanimate objects to reduce their break DCs on a temporary basis (-1 to break DC per Str damage rolled). Multiple uses against items or targets do not stack and the effect lasts for 1 round per level of Sorcerer you posses. Targets get a fortitude save for 1/2 Str loss and the DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 your sorcerer level + your Charisma modifier. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier.
Nanite Defenses – Starting at 3rd level the Nanite Bloodline sorcerer gets resistance to Fire and Cold 5 and a + 2 resistance to confirm any critical hits directed at the them. At 9th level the Fire and Cold resistance goes up to 10, and the resistance to crit confirmation goes up to +4.
Nanite Swarm – At 9th level you can release a Nanite swarm from your body as a standard action that can have two uses; the first use creates a defensive/healing swarm around the Sorcerer’s body that both heals him 1d4+1 per sorcerer level, per round while granting him a +4 deflection bonus for the duration of the effect and a new saving throw for any detrimental affects that he is currently under. The second is an offensive use of the swarm creates a large destructive nanite cloud (20 ft radius) that can be used to target an object or creature. Everything in the radius of the swarm takes 1d6+1 per sorcerer level per round they are in the swarm and suffer a -4 to their AC for the duration of the effect and 3 rounds after the swarm effect ends. Those caught in the area of your swarm receive a Fort save for half damage, the DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 your sorcerer level + your Charisma modifier – the sorcerer is immune to the negative effects of his own nanite swarm. Each use of the swarm (defensive or offensive) lasts 3 rounds and the ability can be used once at 9th level, 2 times at 17th level and 3 times at level 20.Defensive use of this power is at personal range, while the offensive use of the swarm is at 60 feet.
Nanite Infused Body –At 15th level you gain DR 3/-
More Human than Human – At 20th level you are immune to mind affecting effects, paralysis, poison, stun effects, critical hits and to Fire and Cold damage. You also gain resistance to Acid and electricity 10
Just threw this together after reading Set's post. I'm not a class builder guy (as you will see from my write up), but I was going for an alt AI based type bloodline and put it together to reflect a super-human/artificial life sort of theme.
Zombie Ninja wrote:
Cavalier/Rogue - Archetype - Redeemed Horse Thief. Specializes in stealing horses, but rides them for goodness instead of evilness. Knows all sorts of horse tricks and ranch branding/heraldy.
Not to derail yet another player product thread (ah well..) but I would prefer a system over advice. It doesn't have to be exact, but something to quantify and measure various creature abilities so there are some guidelines when making new abilities.
Hell, I wouldn't even care if it didn't match up/break down against the current Bestiaries out there - if it just mostly aligned up with existing monsters and was around to serve as a DM tool when making or changing creatures. I don't want a rules lawyer guide of I told you so's - this isn't the standard player mentality of “which class sucks/dpr/you're doing it wrong”. I think most DMs would be pretty forgiving if everything in the final toolkit didn't align and they put in some caveats/disclaimers - I just want a system to mirror current creature design as close as possible.
Sorry for the derial, but someone has to fight for the monsters.
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Last but not least, the final chapter in this book will give you a peek inside the design process for classes and archetypes, giving you plenty of tips and guides to build your own! Since class design is more art than science, this won't be a system (like in the Advanced Race Guide), but rather a chapter giving you advice on how the process works.
I hope this is not the approach they take when they finally release my wholly fabricated: Advanced Monster Guide (AMG) - set to be released sometime in 2016/my imagination.
Um, no (again), TSR has them beat. They released considerably more books on NPCs, Monsters, Villans, Game Mastery style books and plenty of non-player focused campaign material (DM eyes only campaign material) then this company has.
I don't run Golarion and only the cards/flip maps are system neutral. I do count those as support material and they are valuable, but I would rather have game content support vs. miniatures support if I had to choose. I have plenty of 3rd party gaming aids for minis (Dwarven Forge, etc) so I would rather Paizo spend resources on game content vs. miniature/tabletop support. That is of course assuming that these resources are shared, which I do not believe they are.
You could apply the "only if the DM wants to run it" to any and every single product outside of the core. The last release you listed is primarily targeted at players. If they come out with a Mythic Bestiary/threat book or an Advanced Mythic Gamemastery guide then I would agree with you. But I go by target demo - in this case this book is primarily directed at the players and focuses primarily on PC enhancement.
Bestiary 1,2,3, NPC Codex, Gamemastery Guide, Ultimate campaign - all dm centric products.
Agree on all points but UC.UC was a toolset for player interaction and mini-games to facilitate downtime activity. I would say that UC was 90% player focused with a small set of rules and guides that were directly targeted at the DM. Most if not all the campaign rules are player dependent and focused – unlike rules/suggestions on handing Charm Person spell being abused to buy items in the marketplace (which is DM focused).
Again, disregard their Campaign line and focus on the rules - their products skew heavily towards players. New rules content – players, new options – players.
Its one thing to say they havent release the gm toolbox YOU want yet. But to say that paizo doesnt put out enough dm focosed material, is frankly not true.
No, it is true.I don't buy the APs because I don't think their quality/formula is up to snuff and I don't run Golarion. I would consider buying an individual AP for a monster or two and that's why I purchased the first 8 1/2 AP series - source material. APs are also extrememly limited (beyond first installment) and are not designed to run as stand alone adventures and are heavily tied with Golarion events. Wasn't enough to validate continuing my sub though.
Focusing on the rules/core material leaves: AGG, Bestiary 1, 2, 3, and 4 (not yet released), NPC codex.
And I am not arguing that they do not support DM in their campaign line - they do. Both players and DMs get support Golarion campaign play. If you are just looking at the core game and releases the product lines skew heavily towards players. (
Players: APG, UM, UC, UE, UCamp, ARG, MA, SA (unreleased), ACG (unreleased)
Ross Byers wrote:
I thought the 80's were about banishing the words 'devil', 'daemon', and 'demon' due to pressure from religious groups. Is caving to political pressure a political statement?
I think that was more about the games survival that a political statement. I don't know if you were around gaming back then Ross, but there was plenty of pressure on gamers due to the perceived offensive content. I think the change was just to take some heat (tied to a few crimes and suicides) off of TSRs back.
Really miss the 80's when game content wasn't about making political statements or "inclusion". Adventures where fun because they where written on good stories and wasn't out to step on people's toes. I was really disappointed with the new adventure path but negativity to the LBGT community is frowned upon here. Sorry but I think the focus should be on good adventures and great stories, not political statements and inclusion. If that puts me in the minority here so be it.
Your best bet it to just vote with your wallet and not buy the content.
I have my own issues with the overly PC nature of the material, but if you feel it's distracting you can omit or change it. If not, just don't buy it.
I am curious to see where all this goes as time progresses - who and what are considered good guys/good actions (re: liberalism = good, conservatism = bad). Will they have LGBT serial killers, rapist or BBEG depictions? Will LGBT issues or gender identity ever be portrayed in a negative light/tied to BBEG/acts of evil? Honestly, I don't know.
For the most part it does seems like Paizo is just trying to cater to part of their fan base while simultaneously expressing their own personal views via content. I personally don't think it's a good idea if the writer cannot maintain some level of impartiality when creating characters/plots/scenarios and then they start injecting modern worldviews and politics. If they can write content without injecting personal views, great - if not, then it just becomes a soapbox to present their worldview and I get enough of that every day already. I don't know if Paizo is at the soapbox level yet, though I do see it sliding in that direction as more content is released.
I also think some of the decisions this company makes with regard to content does alienate more right/conservative minded gamers, but I don't think that they really care about tbh. They can probably survive quite well without them or their dollars. Posting here is probably a bad idea and you can get you listed pretty quick (I'm on a few). Just be a bit pickier about what product you will or will not support via purchases.
TL;DR - Don't expect them to change things to cater to what you want, they are going to release what they want. Vote with your dollars.
Which is funny because T1: Village of Hommlet was specifically designed for new, level 1 characters and that module had: a small army of bandits, green slime, zombies, ghouls,a higher level evil cleric, higher level fighters, giant lizard, giant spiders and a slew of other encounters that were very hard but played by characters that were considerably lower powered than their 3rd/PF descendants.
And Mr. Mythic Evil POTUS – thank you for your vote of confidence. I know that you are one of the boards more reasonable advocates to an "alternative view" to the one-size-fits-all attitude that flies around here.
My "Gritty Adventures" comment wasn't meant as a derail – just was stating my personal position on that level of power before I turned around and posted a comment that was to address the ops issues with the book and to present ideas in support of Mythic Adventures.
I think the "every book is for DMs" argument is a bit disingenuous and a cop-out.Not attacking you Odraude - I don't think you are being disingenuous here in expressing your views, I just think you and many people like you who see a book like this or Ultimate Campaign as legitimate DM focused books and pitch it as such, while to me they are not. Not when I have already seen what DM focused books look like.
The argument of "it’s also a DM tool" can be applied to almost every item sold on this website – from minis, dice, flip-maps to pre-printed character sheets (which I use for some high end NPCs). The only books that are DM focus are the adventures, Bestiaries and the GMG. And if you are not running the APs/Golarion based campaign, then as a DM you a left with considerably less with regard to product releases/rules/new material that are targeted at you.
I agree that an Advanced Class book is useful to the DM if it has a class building resource in it. Otherwise it’s just another player focused book, and no - I don't see these as another DM resource. These are not DM exclusive releases, nor are they even focused on the DM as their target audience. If they had NPC only classes/powers also listed inside, then maybe I would consider it a split utility Player/DM book, but I know that isn't going to be the case.
Alternate/new class options books are primarily focused on players to provide them with new class options to cater to their needs/wants. Any use by the DM is incidental.
The various Bestiaries (with the exception of a few new PC races or animal companions) are DM focused releases. Ultimate Campaign was a collection of player subsystems and rules that were player targeted as hook mechanics from the last few years of AP releases. I guess a good rule distinction example on "is it player or DM focused" would be comparing something like the rules for Haunts (DM only) to rules for running a caravan (DM managed, but player focused).
I personally would like to see more books on creature creation (same breakdown as the Race Guide and maybe this upcoming release) with new templates involved, creating templates, creature powers/index, single encounter creatures, scoring creatures, etc. I have stopped running PF at this time (due to extreme burnout on the system) but as long as I buy the occasional product and may run a future game using these rules I will not stop pushing for a book like this to be published.
I would also like to see some campaign based books that do not offer subsystems or mini games for players in-game for the DM to manage. I am not asking for an advice book on how to run a game and deal with troublesome players, etc . I do think that a large component of the consumer base would appreciated a real resource on: low magic games, low fantasy games, low combat games, gritty or horror games (none of these are the same btw) and other alternates and how to mechanically adjust the game to accommodate these styles. Maybe even offer up a codified system to stop the game at certain level progressions (E6, 8, etc) and how to convert existing product to support such play styles. An alternate to item creation/WBL for these alternate campaigns would also be welcome, as would alternates to the already assumed default level of power for PF characters (alt systems for WBL, Big six, power progression or Xmass tree in PF).
And when I am setting up a new campaign - a brand new game if you will - the specific players are not the focus of the campaign. I know that might come as a shock to some posters here – but the "potential" campaign works around the rules and themes the DM is trying to convey, it has zip to do with specific players who have yet to play in the campaign. Are mass combat systems going to be needed in this game? Maybe? Are alternate wbl, expected magic levels and rules for adjusting and supporting the game accordingly needed? The answer to that is "no, go play another system because there are no rules to help you with what you need".
Anyway, barking up a wrong tree on this one and not trying to rain on what is an otherwise good announcement (as I said in my first post). Good luck with the ACG - I hope it has a class builder in it.
Professor Farnsworth, Scientist wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Besides, 1st level is always Rocket Tag. Any 1st level charcater can kill any other 1st level character, because the modifiers haven't started swamping the random number generation yet. When you're dealing with 60% this and 70% that, and fighting a dozen goblins, sooner or later one will kill you. All that proves is that low-level characters and monsters are squishy.
The Casters real power doesn't really hit stride till he gets a little higher in level where he can turn off encounters and do other things simultaneously, while the rest of the martials are still just hitting things (turning off encounters in their own way).
Works for me and it worked in older editions. Keep the caster in the back and keep him protected. Oh wow, found an employment opportunity for a defender or 2nd tier martials!
Subjective. If it makes it come out to less spell slot choices for the caster per day, but an overall better game experience for everyone else at the table I would consider it a success. If you are opposed to losing any entitlements for casters you will not find a fix for this game, something has to give.
DC should be scaled in relation to Caster vs. CR target save assumptions, not Caster + DC manipulation by stat vs CR target (with no assumptions). The latter is the current model and it just doesn't work. You get some huge swingy gaps where the saves are overly difficult or overly easy. This is a game - with levels - make the damn thing work closely like a game that is making a vague attempt at balancing power by level tiers.
You have options - if you are Necromancer you get to cast Necromancy related spells plus a few other spells, just like the long sword fighter gets to use a bunch of feats to use his long sword better. Oh, you wanted to also cast enchantment, evocation, transmutation, conjuration and abjuration with no drawbacks or limitations? Seriously, this is why people who are biased towards casters should not be in game design.
Spider climb already does that. Having a climb speed gives you a +8 racial and the ability to take 10 for instance. Or are you saying we should cap things unless you have a spell, screwing everyone over?
No, re-read. My Spider climb gives you the ability to climb on walls and ceilings, use your current skill score and that's it. So if a wizard tries to use his non-existent climb skill, he will probably fall while playing Peter Parker in the Dungeon of Dread. Since it grants an exception (climbing on walls and ceilings), that exception should be enough. Use your skill you already have with no bonuses- or better yet, cast it on someone who already has a rank or two in the skill - like the Rogue.FLASH: SPECIAL ABILITIES AND EXCEPTIONS THAT BREAK THE RULES OF PHYSICS SHOULD BE ENOUGH, THESE CHANGES SHOULD NOT BE RELFECTED IN +X TO SKILL/CHECK IN ADDITION TO THOSE CHANGES TO REALITY
So... They should have the power to create demiplanes, but be easily shot down by arrows, and fighters need the power to cut into the demiplane somehow?
So...They still have hit points like everyone else, suffer the effects of age and have an AC value like everyone else?Yes, they should be able to create demi-planes and they still should be able to be decapitated, one aspect is not exclusive to the other. Fighters need the ability to cut into Demi-planes (if they exist in a given game world) as much as shop owners should have a minor magic item to get around invisible/knock using thieves. If there is a "something" ability in the rules then their needs to be a counter "something" - all of which is lacking in this game (horribly and a terrible design). It's as if all the spells were written out by for fun, fun, fun effect with zero thought to class ability balance, world interactions, counters, consequences, etc, etc, etc.
And who said anything about being easily shot down by arrows? I said that the feats/ability of the classes should reflect their ability to interact in a magic world they are supposed to be living in, not medieval fantasy war world with no magic (most of current system for martials) as the default. So a mid-to-high level Ranger or Archer Fighter could make a ranged attack that would disrupt flight, you know - the ability that a comparable foe might have at a similar level? Not saying that a team of level 1 warrior archers should be able to take down an Arch-Mage who is flying overhead, but a 5th level Ranger (with a feat or class ability) should be able to ground a 5th level Wizard who is flying. WTH is so unbalanced about that?
Unless you are a caster protectionist nothing I am saying here is really taking away core caster power. They still can kill with a spell, alter realty, etc –they would just be taking a little haircut and would have to play better and smarter for all the power the classes afford to them.
Going back to the original question, you would have to nerf spell casters a lot to make them unplayable, but its important that they remain fun. Taking away from their x/day or limiting their selection will make them weaker, but they'll still have access to abilities like flight or creating demiplanes that martials won't so it won't do much for an actual balance fix. It may however make them less fun, which I think is why there is resistance. Nerf it while retaining fun, or even making it more fun and your a success.
There are ways of fixing casters without making too many changes:- No concentration checks if you take damage to save the spell. Concentration is only used for making checks while under effects/distracted/etc or for using SLAs while taking damage. For regular spells - you take damage = spell fails.
- No spell bonuses for high Int. Hight Int is already increasing DC of spells (which is broken enough), so it doesn't need to do triple duty (Skills, DC and bonus spells). Same goes for any casting stat - no bonus spells for high stat.
-Opposition schools are just that, you can't cast from them. Ever (via wand, device, etc). Same with Divine spells - Pick a major sphere (up to 9th level spells) and a few minor spheres (5th level max) for you spell selection choice. Every other sphere gets capped at 3rd level spells for general use.
-Skills need a fix in relation to spells: I would dump any bonus skill boosting spells. If a spell gives you the ability to climb walls - it does just that - at your normal wizard (re: crappy) climb skill score. Cast it on the Rogue, it works better...Same goes with Jump, etc. You can jump farther, higher - but your skill and ability to do so succesfully are unaffected by the spell.
-Skills need a fix in relation to spells (part II): If you keep spells that did mundane tricks (re: Knock), have them be target dependent in their effectiveness. So a wizard who casts it on an area affects a few locks - if he tries to disable them he does it at +5, if someone with Disable Device skill on their character skill list tries, their bonus is +10 higher than what everyone without gets (so +15). +X for using the spell on anyone who tries and +X+10 higher to those with the relevant class skill and ranks in the skill who try the same.
-Skills need a fix in relation to ability/points allocated. There should be muscle skills, coordination skills, interpersonal skills, and knowledge skills and technical skill pools.
-Feats: While I am very anti-wuxia/supernatural warrior, I see no reason why a mid to high level Fighter cannot get a chance to block a spell with his shield or deflect a breath weapon, or why a Barbarian cannot rage to destroy a Wall of Force, or a Ranger to make a marked dispelling shot to take down a flyer, etc.
Just to name a few.
No different than the metric Fighters control. To-hit. A fighter putting any effort at all into it will hit on a 2+ on his first 2-4 attacks.
No, it is different - by your own admission. Fighters need to-hit. And then they need to do damage. Caster just needs to cast (no roll) and the target has to hope to save. Fighters are subject to considerable number of die variables to pull off his trick - and he has less control. When he does enough damage he shuts off the encounter, the wizard has been playing this trick from 1st level with 1st level spells and it doesn't stop from there, it just gets worse.
The most efficient means of boosting to-hit is boosting strength, Which also sends damage through the stratosphere.
Not disagreeing with you on this, my question is why? Why does he need to do so much damage and to be optimized in full focus build to do so? What is the benefit of having everything do more damage, have more hit points? What is the game function for the numbers to go exponentially bigger?
Deal enough damage, you've just shut the encounter off, with no opportunity for your opponent to many any rolls.
And the caster does this better.There are no variables needed for damage (unless he's a blaster), it's a binary/yes no in effect. There are no de-buffs to casting, even most spell effects/de-buffs do not impair the actual ability to cast unless the spell does damage. They impair everything else though: to-hits, damage, AC, Saves. The only time they impair casting is when they shut down the character function entirely.
I stated 3rd+, that is 3.5, PF and any other clone variant that uses 3.5 as a core structure. While PF did nerf some specific spells they did not change the core philosophy of casting spells = superior to everything else. Casting spells = superior to skill use. None of these core 3.0 game designs were changed or altered in any of the subsequent game editions, be it 3.5 or PF.
Absurd, hit points go exponentially insane with high HD and Con for creatures at mid to high level.+2 to +4 in STR mod =/= +2 or +4 Con Mod X HD in bonus hp, on top of extra hit points from high hit die.
In Pathfinder an optimized fighter can generally do enough damage on a full attack to 1-round an equal CR encounter.
Depends on the creature - still don't see how inflated hit points make the game better.It's a metric that 1st tier martials need to be optimized to deal with to begin with (keeping up damage output), and 2nd tier martials (rogues) can just pound sand. Bad design.
Casters also have to follow a metric, a Binary Save metric where they control the target number. They get optimized in that dept. - they don't need to roll to hit, they just need to make sure the target doesn't make their save to shut off the encounter. And then they get to do other fun stuff. Bad design.
In 3rd ed +, all martials are trying to do is keep up – they need to be hyper-optimized to do this and just this. 2nd Tier martials are considered useless in combat and out of combat mid-level skill monkeys are not needed when spells can do more and better.
They only made all these changes to open up the numbers (vs. TSRs closed system) for higher level play, which they never properly supported. Even Paizo is dreading dealing with Epic play (hence Mythic). The numbers don't work.
So all of this was a side-effect of opening up Hit points/AC and increasing powers/Save DCs in an effort to market higher level play (which they never did successfully) and make casters more attractive (like they really needed to do that). Again, bad design.
To echo a few other posters - it's the spells, not the classes.
In older editions casters were powerful, but damn hard to play with plenty of risks and associated dangers –at low levels, very difficult to play, and at high levels they still were very vulnerable.
On top of that, the main currency that Fighters deal in – blood (hp), just got more and more inflated with no cap on Hp/HD, exploding con bonuses (more than base hit points) all making them less effective in their core task - and that's even if casters were entirely removed from the game!
Some bootstomping spells that stomp other class abilities should be changed or dropped all together and there should be a solid re-examining of the way spells are written and balanced. As much as many people hate on Gygax here at least he made spells and spell casting in 1st ed damn hard and risky.
I agree with Pan, wands in particular are priced way too low - stupid low.
Never had these problems in 1st or 2nd, even for high level casters planning out their "bestest" spell list for the day. They were always afraid that a comparable fighter could still kick his ass, and they could have. Not in 3rd+ editions.
Trying to recall exactly...
Unfortunately that book did not survive the 1st 700 Club Crusade against AD&D (early 80’s). I still have my original PHB, which has a small gouge on the back (right on the blurb) from a short sword attack (don't ask), but my MM and a few other original books were purged by my Aunt and Mother during that terrible time.
We played a mish-mash of AD&D and Basic. Got heavily into Basic/Expert with the 81 re-launch (1st Moldvay edition) in 81, after which I wore the DM hat for my group 95% of the time. Then there was Gamma World (which I love more than D&D), then 1st ed Chill in'84 (love more than D&D). Call of Cthulhu in '86 (GDW hardcover release). Then a slew if games throughout the late 80's and 90's.
I distinctly remember an armchair that was used as the DM spot over at my neighbors house in his den – I lost many a dice in that damn thing!
And dice were a commodity - you didn't buy them in small, clear plastic cases (we didn't), you just hoarded them from various boxed sets that provided them over the years.
Well, in defense of lore-vested posters here (I'm not one) they run with whatever the Devs put out. I have seen some fantastic concepts bandied around the Dark Tapestry, outer planes, planets and barely touched upon regions of Golarion.
I think the problem is that the numbers are more accessible to players, the game is very build focus and players out number DMs by a considerable ratio. But if the lore/fluff is thrown out their via product (even in small portions), it is worked on, re-worked on, expanded and reinterpreted by many creative posters here.
They just don't draw as much controversy or conflict due to the fact that their changes/mutations/interpretations are based in pure creativity.
Bringing up Dungeon Magazine - it would be interesting if Paizo did put out a quarterly magazine/book that had 5-6, mixed typed scenarios.
Some high-level addendums to the APs, maybe even some in-between AP installment scenarios, side material and inspired material. It would be a good way to flesh out Golarion and possible source some solid feedback on new potential AP material, sourced by freelancers, up and coming writers, in-house staff, etc.
Sort of like a testing ground for concepts and exposing groups to new regions (and writers). Could also be a way to run some wierd stuff without drawing too much as far as resources are concerned against the main product line. That way you could give people what they want, even if it's in smaller bites.
Evil Lincoln wrote:
@Earnest: Yes. Yes. You've given me the overwhelming urge to replace all of the spell text with the following: "Does what it says. No shenanigans." Say hello to the 200-page core rules!
Or just put the standard - "does what it says, in special situations the DM will adjudicate."
This would be a big surrender of power and trust back over to the DM which will make the player entitlement crowd jump. But the reality is - the DM already holds the power and should already hold a strong degree of trust. Even in a heavily ruled and structured game there is nothing holding the DM back from hitting the party with encounters (within CR) that just overwhelm the party, or to throw so many difficulties (at CR) and hurdles that the party could not succeed just on long string probability, even if the party minimized the use of all their resources to get through the gauntlet.
That trust needs to already be there. So I don't see a big issue of a spell/ability entry stating: this is how it works, why it works that way, and if you try anything weird with it the DM makes the final call.
I personally like descriptive entries on spells - not all the technical spells, but the hows and whys of how it’s supposed to work. That way when I as a DM, am hit with a corner case use of a spell or item I can extrapolate a result that is well within the spirit of the spell entry, if not covered by the detailed mechanics.
I'll cite another example of a failed area of over-description: familiars/animal companions. In PF we have every technical detail as to what a familiar does to aid its caster, but almost no to little detail on use, abuse, where it comes from, etc. To me this is a huge blind spot - are they throw away NPCs, are they sent by the gods or force of nature? What happens if they are wasted, abused or neglected?
So I don't think it's a question of the amount of material per se, I think it’s how the material is covered.
Paizo has not created a true DMG to address any of this stuff. I mean, knock Gygax all you want, but when he wrote the 1st DMG he tried to cover all the weird stuff and gray areas that he could see in the game. Where did magic come from, what happens after you cast a spell, how do spells work on different planes and environments and a DMs section listing many of the strange spells and issues not covered in their PHB entries. Paizo standard MO: write out the mechanics and leave the 100% of the gray stuff alone until there are a storm of FAQ request to deal with the annoying situation/spell/mechanic that was not explanined beyond the most basic mechanical function. This is bad game design theory imo.
The problem with getting rid of all spells that might eclipse a skill is that then parties that lack a character with that skill can't solve them.
Problems should never setup to be single source solution.There should be a myriad number of ways of dealing with "a problem", the problem is - for the last 20 or so years, hell even going back further - problems in modules are presented in a "win button" fashion.
If you put a cliff in the adventure, don't you want the party to get up it? So the barbarian scampers up with his good bonus and then what? Either he ties a rope to reduce the DC to something trivial or he can't for whatever reason, and then the guy with 8 Str and no ranks in climb is stuck and can't move on? What useful function does that serve? Are we punishing characters for their build choices?
When did not securing a rope and helping those with trouble climbing get thrown out of the game as a solution to a problem? Should casters be all things at all times, or even "potentially be"? I say no.
Again though, it's looking at how challenges are written in most modules. There should be obvious workarounds, magical ones and the long way. Each one viable: since the first two are probably trapped anyway. There should never be: "the players must do X" to "get around Y problem" when it comes to scenario design. Players are going to think up a bizarre work around anyway, but from a DM perspective I think it’s a good way to present each challenge with multiple solutions when those challenges are created.
As to punishing characters - no, I don't take that approach. I am merely rewarding the ranger or barbarian for his build choice and skill investment, he can pass those benefits onto his team if he likes. Every character should not be able to do every thing. That works for martials, but not the other way around.
Same argument for a locked door. I'll say right now that if I'm playing a caster in a party with someone that's keeping Disable Device maxed then I'm not even concerned with knock. Why would I waste money or spell slots on a magic effect that a party member can do better for free? (Knock is really a poor way to open locks in PF anyway).
While Knock is not as offensive, it is both faster and safer than standard DD on a lock. To me when the wizard uses Knock it's like a scene from a movie, where the master thief is getting out his toolkit to open the locked door, and the big burly star uses the shotgun to blow away the lock and says "step aside". Burly star (competent), master thief (comic relief). Knock is not as egregious as some other spells but it's pretty fast and safer than regular lock picking, which puts it in the toe stepping category though.
This is correct- the listing is for a 5th level fighter I used in an example with the expressed total of 5 levels = 5d10. Sort of like a compilation of all the abilities for those 5 levels.
So a fighter with CON 16(+3) at level 1 would have 1d10+3 hit points for that level, correct?
That same Fighter at 5th level would have 5d10+15 hp total, (gaining 1d10+3 per level he goes up) - which is equal to 5d10 hp + CON MOD (x5).
When I say CON MOD here - I am just listing a generic unexpressed value because I don't know what this specific fighters con mod is. Think of it like a formula where you need to plug in some variables. So in this case a generic 5th level Fighter has 5d10+CON mod (x5). If I know his CON MOD (Say CON 16 [+3])it would read 5d10+15.
So our same fighter at level 1 has 1d10+3 hp, or 1d10 + Con Mod (X1)
I am listing HD,HPs and CON and Skill points as accumulated totals for a character that is higher than level 1.
So a 5th level fighter with 16 CON (say you are making a higher level Bandit warlord to challenge your players) would have a total of 5d10+15 which is the same as 5d10 + CON MOD x5 - the times 5 is because he gets the con bonus at each level (and he has 5 levels).
Sorry about the confusion. You are looking at things from a CharGen level 1 perspective, and I threw in higher level (higher that 1) character creation formulas.
As a DM, you will often create characters that are higher than level 1, so you total up ALL the level values and if you roll for hit points you roll just once. Like the guy just "sprang" into existence as a 5th level fighter sent out as a challenge to your 2nd level PCs.
Just trying to show how all these values stack up.
Each time a character goes up a level, they get those new values of that are listed at that next level. Increased HD, sometimes increased saves, new class abilities, and so on. When making someone with character levels higher that 1 though (as a DM) you need to stack all those levels together and plug in all the variables and make your rolls, once.
It's almost like making a 1st level character - you pick all the feats, skills, roll hit points - but you are adding up more than 1 levels worth of values to make a higher level foe. You still only roll one time for hp once you have the total levels of your NPC picked out, your overall values are just going to be higher.
So lets say you wanted to create a higher level challenge for the players - back to our 5th level Fighter, 3rd level Rogue bad guy.
8th level npc example:
As a 5th level fighter he gets:
+5 BAB, +4 to Fort, +1 Reflex, +1 Will saves, 5d10 hp + CON MOD (x5), 3 bonus feats, Armor Training 1, Weapon Training 1 and Bravery +1. And 10 SP+ INT MOD (x5).
As a 3rd level Rogue:
+2 BAB, +1 to Fort, +3 Reflex, +1 Will saves, 3d8 hp + CON MOD(x3), And 24 SP + INT MOD (x3).
You then combine all these values because he is both a 5th level fighter and 3rd level rogue (on top of getting the generic 8th level abilities).
So our 8th level NPC looks like this:
Base Values (combined):
Generic Level 8 bonuses: 4 Feats,and two stat raises (one at 4th and one at 8th - I raised his STR and DEX 1 point each as he leveled up).
10SP (from fighter, 2 per level, -1 for low INT. Get 1 extra sp per level for being human)and another 8 per level of Rogue (Base 8 per level, -1 for low INT but gained 1 per level for race) for 24 more points = 34 Skill points in total.
Modified Values (stat mods) (combined) - without picking actual skills or feats:
3 Bonus Combat Fighter Feats, Armor Training 1, Weapon Training 1, Bravery +1, Sneak attack +2d6, trapfinding, Evasion and 1 rogue talent.
Generic Level 8 bonuses: 4 Feats,and two stat raises
That +7/+2 BAB is a total of his 5th level level Fighter BAB, and 3rd level Rogue BAB. If he is using a melee weapon modified by STR, that his total to hit would be +11/+6. If he was using a DEX weapon his to-hit values would look like +9/+4. That second to-hit value is used when getting his second attack in a round when using a full round action to attack.
I know this is overwhelming, but break it apart and I can explain any of this step by step.
I think what people need to understand is that this game and all the spells were designed very much in a campaign vacuum and that all the in-game abilities were meant for PCs in dungeon crawls. There was no thought put into castle security in a world where teleport exists - there still really isn't an easy long term defense for the tactic (Dimensional Lock is an 8th level spell that only covers a 20 rad area). What in-game mechanics or abilities exist to counter invisibility, knock, silence and wealth of magical tools that could be easily used to break into a shop? That's because when the game was designed it was not designed with these considerations -those spells were for a team hitting the Slave Pits of the Undercity, or exploring White Plume Mountain and not to create Joe the Diviner Spammable Urgent Care Clinic.
People often fall over themselves here (and other places) trying to explain the internal consistency of D&D/Pathfinder when none exists. Spammable water is far more disruptive than cure disease, since even the latter has use per day and semi-plausible level limits. So for spammable water orisons are their pre-written (as in core) magical non DM-fiat areas of the desert where this ability doesn't work? No, because zero thought was put into the game with regard to world consistency at it's inception, and this trend has only been ramped up with each subsequent edition (WoTC and Paizo being the worst offenders).
It's one of those stupid things in the game that we accept so we can play the game. You can try to fix it (Cure disease is not automatic, limit orison use per day) which would go down the houserules road or you can just accept it as a highly unique flaw (or feature) of D&D gaming.
If the spells only worked in the dungeon (and that's where all the action was) then these problems wouldn't exist. Once you take the game out of adventure mode and make a whole world then it needs to be addressed. The writers/devs need to figure out how all this power shapes the world. TSR failed at this (though less character types and less spell slots was a form of minor internal control), WoTC failed at this (what internal consistency?) and Paizo has also failed at this (WoTC approach cloned from the 3.5 rules turned up to 11).
Paizo should release "Pathfinder Ultimate Conversion Guide to the Worlds Oldest Role-Playing Game" hardcover. All the knowledge to convert over existing PF material to DDN.
That and then release their top 10 modules/AP entries in OCR/DDN format. Paizo's strength is not their rules (I hate 3.5), but their ability to make decent modules that don't function as set-piece experiments in product inter-connectivity (the last days of 3.5 when everything went "on the grid/battlemap encounters").
Or, just make sure that they keep up on their promises, not take on more than they can handle and make sure to not price their existing fan-base out of the market.
A better one - complete monster ability breakdown, scoring and system for building creatures based on CR. A expanded version of the Race builder in the Advanced Race Guide, just for monsters. A whole book dedicated to the subject.
Plus a template builder. As it stands none of this information exists for PF.
I would like something broader and better than 3rd eds Savage Species (which was just another players race guide) and better than Green Ronin's Advanced Bestiary - a book with actual guidelines on making monsters and monster templates. Long overdue.
I think a city builder book with tons of sample communities and map would be a pretty decent book.
NPC codex 2 is sort of a no-brainer in the next year or so, just by virtue of all the player splats and new core classes and archetypes (I would like to see some solid archetype statted NPCs, picking the top used ones as threat/support ones as needed by DMs)
I still think we need an Ultimate Monster/Threat book more than anything else (as a DM at least).
I mean c'mon, in the early days of PF Adventure Paths they were using templates from Green Ronin's Advanced Bestiary left and right. Less so since Paizo has released their own bestiary books over the years, but a solid monster/threat template resource guide and forensic monster/ability/template break down book is sorely needed on the DM side of the table.
To me the order of importance would be:
- Ultimate Monster (Monster/threat design, ability breakdown and build tool-kit, alternate monster progression, abilities based on role function, monster specific feats, non-template tweaking, etc, etc)
Ultimate Rogue/Skill rant:Rant aside, a good rogue talent and a detailed skill book would be great.
I would like to see an Ultimate Rogue or Ultimate Skill book, but I would actually like to see a huge expansion of skill detail and have this be CANON going forward (Stealth perception rules in painstaking detail) - as in, this book replaces the skill system in the core game. That may be something in line for PFRPG 2, but I think the skill system and the importance of skills and their function in mid to high level games needs to be addressed. The skill system should be as important and detailed as the spell system, since it's the power/backbone of a few classes - as it stands, skills are just not that important when the game progresses since many of their features can currently be replicated or replaced by spells. Personally I would like to see it reversed a bit, a good skill monkey should be able to synthesize some spell effects and not have his abilities all replaced by magic. That and not have them serve as a binary yes/no success marker that merely scales with the adventure level (All IMO of course, stop pulling your hair out as you read this).