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The reason why GM fiat is often ignored in debates is because it's unpredictable.
One GM will be okay with RAW as it.
That's why RAW is often hailed. It's an even level that everybody starts at, but may not choose to learn. Often, a person learns only some of the game, and then just fiats everything else. Or my personal least favorite, they "ban" things when they can't seem to understand why the players are "winning".
RAW is not better, it's just a starting point for people. I have my own house rules, but I want RAW as much as possible simply for the sake of not having to write down every little thing in my own rules, whether for balance or for "realism" (which I scoff at). I could make my own game, but I rather just use the existing rules, right/wrong, good/bad. I don't want to spend my valuable time on changing an imperfect system that is good enough for most things. I rather spend it playing.
PFS is not RAW, but by implying that, many people, including myself, take offense to that.
PFS is a set of rules based on PF that is setup for play so that players and GMs are all on the same level to begin with. It's to introduce everybody to Golarion, to have a single place where players can meet and share with like-minded people.
It's not a religion that people follow slavishly, not understanding the concept of adjudication and insisting on "the rules says this, so you're doing it wrong".
Pounce (Ex) When a creature with this special attack makes a charge, it can make a full attack (including rake attacks if the creature also has the rake ability).
The funny thing is I recalled that, but going off of rake, I changed my stance.
2nd round (assume target did not break grapple):
I'm sure after about 5 versions, we got it this time! Grab ability still has a ton of weirdness about it that I broke down earlier.
Evil Lincoln wrote:
I've said this over and over again with my friends and possibly on these boards as well, but here it goes again:
D&D (and therefore PF) has a terrible game engine. If it wasn't for the name and the feel and the familiarity, I would not play the game.
I applaud 4e trying to change things, but the flip side is that I am too lazy to learn a new engine. And as it turns out, lots of people agreed and stuck with d20 and 3.5.
Truth. A magus is a touch spell delivery platform, so there's 2 good ways to deliver it.
1 - use a whip. Weapon damage isn't a big deal since all of your real damage is coming from the spells anyways. Reach allows you to bypass a lot of concentration checks.
2 - use a critical fishing weapon like a scimitar. This method drastically ups the damage, at the cost of concentration and ability to actually use Spell Combat due to not able to reach opponents as easily. Using Spell Combat every round should be a goal for the magus since that means the most action economy. The magus will end up having to perform a lot more standard action touch spell attacks, with Spellstrike usually.
I've seen them both at work, and it seems like route 1 is better just because able to hit everything within reach and using all of your actions every round is really feasible.
Season 3 has more challenging scenarios in general at all levels, so the writers and designers are learning.
Balanced for 4 players was the largest issue, and Paizo has addressed that. Now we'll see if the public will think it's too hard. I'm really worried that the team will just use more single boss type of monsters that's even higher CR. That's the wrong way to do it, because after all of these years in the d20 system, they should know that action economy is huge, and the side with action economy has an advantage.
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Back in 08, when I played Heroclix and promised I would make top 8 at Wizard World Philly (I was a really really good player at that time), I got a chance to talk to the designer of the game at the time Seth Johnson. I told him flat to his face after months of bashing on him internet that I thought his designs were TERRIBLE. He was kind of dumbfounded that I actually said that to his face. His stuff was hit and miss, but I felt he needed to hear from words from a high-level player, and not just faceless masses. I loved the game, I wanted the game to be better. I felt a responsibility (as well as my own selfish interests) that the game wasn't going down a path that I felt hurt the game.
Another example is how the Mark Moreland and Mike Brock are adjusting things in PFS. Like more focused faction missions, more challenging encounters, more attention to parts of the rules were PF and PFS breaks down. They've done a good job of noting the complaints and requests and addressing them.
Sometimes people can't deliver points eloquently. Nobody wants to get bashed by the endless world of the Internet, but sometimes it needs to be said. If after a while errors are made repeatedly (and to a hilarious level to the monk balance issues), then it's not a coincidence, but a pattern.
I really got sick of everybody's house rules. I hate house rules, not because I don't like idea of re-balancing things, but I don't trust the rule created to address the problem. I basically decided if I ever ran games again, I would use a very very very tiny list of rules. I would basically go RAW, with a few bannings for here or there (like Leadership feat). As a player, I hate going into a new game and having to learn house rules and then hoping the players are all normal and not crazy, etc. Ease of entry if really friendly overall as it is basically all the PF products. Most players don't want to create something crazy or over the top. They want to play the gruff dwarf cleric, the tall and graceful elven ranger, the raging and boisterous human barbarian, the friendly halfling bard.
With PFS, I email the GM, I show up, I play for 4-5 hours. If I like the people, I come back. I can attend other sessions to make sure my judgement is right. I can make friends within PFS so we can setup a home game (which I have done). I can make new friends with my similar way of thinking (optimizing is good, RP is good, use both, no or few house rules). I use PFS for an easier way to figuring out if I want to game with these people. I still use it that way even though I have made good friends through PFS, and even though I am a Venture-Lieutenant.
As people get older and have lives outside of gaming, maybe people find the 4-5 hour window much easier to do than 8+ hours (my preference). People have kids, family, school, and just things in their lives. Finding time to do all of those things and fit in games can be difficult. They can jump in with their level 2 barbarian, play with people, and then not play again for months but not be left behind like in a home game. Most experienced PFS players have multiple characters in multiple level ranges. I have 6 myself.
Another fun thing about PFS is I can travel to conventions and play. I can meet players there and find out how they play. Whether they are good or not, what style of PR, what kind of character builds, share new combos that I didn't try myself. Theorycraft is fine, but actual testing needs to be done as well. PFS isn't difficult, which actually makes testing more effective as that's more likely the standard that games are in, instead of the extremeness with other games.
There's a lot of good and bad with PFS. But that's not any different from everybody's own home game. People are simply used to their own games, that's all.
Once again, this is about PFS. PATHFINDER SOCIETY ORGANIZED PLAY. There are rules on what GMs can do and cannot. We're supposed to run the tactics as listed in their stat blocks. We're supposed to use the NPCs as listed. Almost all of these suggestions are not possible. Remember, PFS is designed so that everybody can enjoy the game. Most people do not optimize to this degree. This player did, and PFS cannot really handle that level of power if a player chose to exercise it. PFS is ideal for busy people who can get in a 4-5 hour session every few weeks, and it can handle 3-6 players, so missing people are not an issue.
Lots of the level 7 to 11 scenarios are not super difficult. With a good party, most PFS scenarios are not that hard. Sarkorian Prophecy started with difficult encounters, but it ends on a whimper. Wrath of the Accursed is pretty good, and the last fight is difficult, but not overwhelming. Mike Brock and Mark Moreland has announced that in season 4, the scenarios will be balanced for 6 player tables instead of the current 4 player tables. This is a big reason for ease. Most tables are 6, even though 3 is the limit, and 4 is where scenarios are written for. This is the same for APs and modules. Everything Paizo writes appears to be balanced for 4 players.
I recently played the Harrowing. That was challenging module (sanctioned for PFS play). There were at least 4 encounters where my PFS friends and I, with our optimized party had lots of problems and could have TPKed. It's an excellent module, and I would suggest everybody play it.
However, as for this player. THERE IS NOTHING THAT CAN BE DONE IN GAME. If he can overcome an encounter by himself, so be it. GMs should instead tell him outside of the game that they do not want to game with him. If there are multiple GMs all feeling the same way, then man up and tell him and ask him to stop doing what he is doing. If he does not, people will not play with him.
And I said this back on page 1.
Everybody, this is a PFS character. The GM can do NOTHING about it if the character is correctly built. We are not allowed to deviate from what is written.
This is why although I enjoy PFS, I don't find PFS very challenging at all. The scenarios are written so people who have bad characters can play and enjoy themselves. I build good optimized characters and the good players in my area for PFS do that as well. We rarely have problems with encounters. When we do, it's usually because of bad rolls (like surprised, and then losing initiative, or NPCs roll crits, etc). Sometimes it's because the encounter is actually very difficult, but this is just not the norm.
This player needs to understand that people are starting to refuse to play with him, and PFS rules cannot help him with that. In fact, PFS has "Don't be a jerk" as a rule, so a GM could use that against him.
What's really sad is that all spell casting classes have armor now. Check Ultimate Combat. Check light armor. Check silk robe. No armor check penalty or arcane failure chance.
But a monk can't use it. Because it's armor. And they can't wear armor.
Wizards and sorcerers can wear armor and a monk cannot.
It's telling that Mark Moreland and Mike Brock, the PFS organized play people are allowing REBUILDS because of this clarification.
Clearly that wouldn't be the case if they thought FoB = TWF was intended from day 1.
Unless people believe they would cave into public outcry that easily. Believe me, they don't.
Improved Unarmed Strike should just make Unarmed Strike into d6 damage for all classes, and the character has the option of doing non-lethal or lethal damage. At each step that monks gain more dice, they should just automatically receive unnamed bonuses to Unarmed Strike instead of getting more dice. So +1 to attack and damage at level 4, and again at level 8, and etc. If a monk wants to use weapons, just allow this bonus to be moved to the weapon as a free action or non-action. The weapon is still a mundane item, and does not detect as magic.
It's clean, it's effective, and it actually makes monks better since static modifiers are better than more dice. The monk still doesn't detect as magic unless the are wearing other magic items.
It's already too late for people wanting to spend real money to gain a benefit in the game. Paizo shirts are a clear violator of this. A free reroll per session is pretty damn good, at the low low cost of $25 + shipping.
Or buying a Tales book and using that to gain a boon.
Or simply buying a PDF or book with that most people don't have for an item, feat, or trait.
I'm not as worried about realism since there's plenty of things that are not realistic.
I just think there should be a 2nd option in ranged. As it is, composite bows are by far the strongest option with almost no way for crossbows to get close. It's a combination of factors that make crossbows not even up to par. Other melee weapons have various options that are useful. Crossbows don't really have that option.
Various pole-arms do different things, like trip, disarm, dismount a rider, brace, reach, etc. And there are options even in the simple weapons category. Other melee weapons are just different focuses. Greataxe is focused on huge damage on a crit. Scimitar is focused on getting more crits. Lots of the 1H weapons are a mix of damage types, crit range, crit multiplier, damage dice, and misc attribute, usually associated with a CM.
But ranged doesn't really have those options. For truly long range, it's bows vs. crossbows. Even guns don't operate as well for truly long range. For short ranges, action economy is the major issue for damage output or usability. Bows exceeds crossbows. The 2nd issue is lack of static damage bonuses from attributes like STR bows.
I think as long as crossbows have a DEX bonus to damage, they'll be useful and scale enough for people to go with them. Or if that's too strong, give crossbows a DEX rating like composite bows have STR rating.
If you care about the iconic image so much, you should allow wizards to wield swords and fight better than fighters, remove the ability to cast spells completely, and only let them use magic items, and of course, allow elves to stand on snow and slide down stairs with a shield while shooting arrows with accuracy.
Make your own iconic image, don't allow others to dictate yours.
I have a witch at level 13, and he has 27 INT.
I have no idea how you can't have it unless you are not allowed to buy items.
Dawnflower Dervish bard archetype from Inner Sea Magic.
It's basically the Dervish Dancer archetype from Ultimat Combat except the Battle Dance bonus is DOUBLED and gets Dervish Dance feat in exchange for Bardic Knowledge, and the character gets less Battle Dance types.
Because of this the 3 attributes you'd need are only DEX, CON, and CHA. Everything else can stay 10.
So you can go something like:
0) it's PFS legal.
James Jacobs wrote:
Sell that book James! SELL THAT BOOK!
Brian Bachman wrote:
My favorites are Paizo + balanced in combinations stating that Paizo is really good at balancing (hint hint, they are mediocre to bad at it).
Or the ever popular "if you want balanced, go play 4E".
You're kidding about the samurai right? It's clearly better except fighting against a mounted cavalier. Better challenge, recharging challenges, resolve is amazing, not mount dependent. It's basically the playtest version with some changes I assume (haven't read it fully).
It's definitely better than cavalier.
And I definitely ninja is better than rogue.
I was hoping each would be different, but they are different AND better.
Vital Strike is good for fighters at level 6 because he can take it using a fighter bonus feat. This is important as once Vital Strike sucks (around level 10-12+), he can use the fighter class option to swap it out.
For other classes, it is not nearly as useful as the feat gets weaker and weaker as your character levels. More feats need to scale. Power Attack does. Arcane Strike does.
As for Vital Strike + Spring Attack...
Errata for Spring Attack is "as a full round action", which is why Vital Strike does not work anymore. It USED to work, and James Jacobs says he allows it in his campaign. But according to the errataed RAW, Vital Strike + Spring Attack does not work together.
Do you realize that makes no sense?
A min-maxer will find what's better, and use that instead of this.
A non-min-maxer will try to make a jack of all trades, and then discover he cannot do what he wants to do because he has 13 DEX, 13 INT, and other stats that take away from CON and STR. That player will find out that trying to trip, bull rush, grapple, dirty tricks, and other combat maneuvers are ineffective, and then start MIN-MAXing because he wants to be able to do what he wants.
It is reasonable for a player to expect his fighter to be able to do fighting related actions correctly and well. It is unreasonable for a player to discover his 15 fighter is unable to perform a trip maneuver against a level 8 fighter without provoking AoOs because the action is too extraordinary to do so without even further specialized training (another words, feats). It's even worse if my example was a wizard with his dagger.
Clerics should only be able to cast level 7 spells. That's how it was back in 2E, and g#%%#$mit, I don't care what anybody thinks of that because I am right all the time and cannot be wrong and I know exactly how to balance this game because other people can't do it so I have do it because they suck and these forums suck and suck and suck and suck and suck.
It's great to make no sense and blame others. I wish I can do it in every thread.
I wrote this about a month ago. My basic idea is that they have 2 "songs", bladesong, and spellsong. So all the abilities are based on those two concepts (pure fluff).
EDIT: It seems the formatting didn't quite make it. As for balance, in the end it's a bit powerful, but nothing too broken outright. But add in 3.5 stuff, and who knows? Also, after writing the class, I discovered Item Familiars in 3.5 Unearthed Arcana, which is pretty much what I wanted to do, so using those rules might be better. I tried to make the fun and cool abilities sooner than 3.5 since that version sucked, and it was a pain to wait for all the fun stuff.
The table won't edit, so hopefully it's readable
Bladesinger prestige class for Pathfinder engine.
Hit Dice: d10
Weapon and Armor Proficicency: Bladesingers gain no proficiency with any weapon. They gain proficency in light armor.
Spells per day: At every even-numbered level gained in the bladesinger class (2, 4, 6, 8, 10), the character gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in an arcane casting class she belonged to before adding the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained, except for an increased effective level of spellcasting. If a character had more than one arcane spellcasting class before becoming a bladesinger, she must decide to which class she adds the new level for purposes of determining spells per day.
Bladesinger Oath: A bladesinger must dedicate herself to one specific weapon. This weapon must one that she can apply the Weapon Finesse feat to. The bladesinger forms a magical bond with the chosen weapon that creates the basis where all bladesinging abilities develop from. Once formed, the bladesinger cannot carry or wield other weapons. In addition, she always know where the general direction of the blade is, or if the blade has been destroyed. If the bladesinger does not possess her blade for more than a week, she loses all class abilities except for spell progression and is unable to gain bladesinger levels (although she can still gain XP). If lost, she must recover the blade. If destroyed, the bladesinger immediately loses XP to put her in the middle of the previous level. Forming a bond with the blade takes a week and costs 1000 gp per level of the bladesinger in cost and materials and must occur in a quiet secluded area in nature.
Bladesong Style (Ex): A bladesinger has learned the first steps of bladesong. When wielding the chosen weapon (and nothing else in the other hand), a bladesinger gains a dodge bonus to her AC. If the bladesinger wears medium or heavy armor, she loses all benefits of the bladesong style. This bonus increases by 1 at level 3, 5, and 7.
Spellsong Style (Ex): A bladesinger has discovered the first steps of spellsong. Once per day, a bladersinger of 2nd level or higher may quicken a single spell of up to 2nd level, as if she had used the Quicken Spell feat, but without any adjustment to the spell's effective level or casting time. A bladesinger may only use this ability when she can use Bladesong Style. Additional uses per day at level 4 and 6.
Dance of Steel (Ex): A bladesinger has found the balance between bladesong and spellsong. A bladesinger of level 4 or higher ignores arcane spell failure chances when wearing light armor.
Dance of Song (Ex): A bladesinger has greater understanding of how song and steel meld together. A bladesinger of level 6 or higher can take 10 when making a Concenration check to cast defensively. When a bladesinger must roll a Concentration check to maintain a spell after suffering damage, she can add her bladesinger level to the Concentration check as a competence bonus.
Greater Bladesong Style (Ex): A bladesinger of level 7 or higher has greater understanding of bladesong. She gains a +6 bonus on all checks made to resist being disarmed. She cannot be flanked except by rogues 6 levels higher than the bladesinger level. When using Combat Expertise, she can take a penalty upto her base attack bonus instead of the max of 5.
Great Spellsong Style (Ex): A bladesinger of level 8 or higher has a greater understanding of spellsong. Once per day, a bladersinger of 8nd level or higher may quicken a single spell of up to 4th level, as if she had used the Quicken Spell feat, but without any adjustment to the spell's effective level or casting time. A bladesinger may only use this ability when she can use Bladesong Style.
Dance of the Master Bladesinger (Ex): A bladesinger has mastered the dual arts of bladesong and spellsong. She is able to wield her blade and weave her spell with unnatural grace, skill, and speed. When performing a full attack action, the bladesinger can perform 1 additional attack using her highest base attack bonus. All attacks performed this way suffers a -2 penalty that lasts until the next round. In addition, the bladesinger can cast a spell as an immediate action between the attacks of the full attack action. The bladesinger must make a Concenration check DC 25 or lose the spell.
Table: The Bladesinger
Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special Spells/Day