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Lord Soth

Beckett's page

RPG Superstar 6 Season Star Voter. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 4,825 posts (19,413 including aliases). 46 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 28 Pathfinder Society characters. 6 aliases.


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Shadow Lodge ****

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I had also sent you a pm a few days back with some links to a few games that are still open if you are interested. The little envelope near your name in the top right.

One thing to keep in mind with many of the games on the Flaxseed thread is that many of the GMs there do roll offs for seats, (vs first come first serve). I only bring it up because it can be a bit surprising to new players.

Other good places to check for games are the Online Play Recruitment forums, (look for key words PFS, PbP or Skype, etc. . . but avoid ones that say Closed), or you can check out Myth Weavers or the PFS Online Collective.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Guys and Gals, Specials are supposed to be special.

There is also a pretty big difference between a DM playing in a game they have already run, or using Replays, and both playing and running in a game simultaneously, especially when there is a set time frame.

Don't get me wrong, I'm having to drop out of a game, too, but I was honestly kind of leery with both playing and running to begin with, and it really is kind of cheating to double dip for the Special's Chronicle sheet. Personally, I'm happy that we even have an opportunity to have access to a Special.

I mean, it's possible that it was a decision handed down from above, or that the last Game Day was just a trial run. If I remember correctly, they where also hurting for 4 and 5 Star DMs last time, which could have been a factor for that one.

It's not the end of the world, and we where asked up front not to get into any RP for the Special's tables, so it really shouldn't be too difficult to sort it all out and have fun, and for every to still get a chance to enjoy the Special(s).

Shadow Lodge ****

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Here are some of the notes I've gotten so far.

Bestiary 2: Serpentfolk wrote:


To the serpentfolk, the pursuit of knowledge and magic is the highest goal. Their legends speak of how humanity rose to power only through the theft of serpent magic, a legend that may form the basis of the hatred toward humanity most serpentfolk harbor. They view themselves as the undisputed masters of magic, be it arcane or divine. Yet despite this, the majority of serpentfolk today are degenerates who have devolved to the point of primeval savagery and have lost much of their magical legacy— more civilized serpentfolk generally regard these degenerates with shame and disdain. Serpentfolk are 6 feet tall and weigh 120 pounds. Degenerates are only 5 feet tall but weigh 200 pounds. All serpentfolk are quite long-lived, and generally live to the age of 500.

Serpentfolk culture reigned in Sekamina in the Darklands as well as much of the surface world prior to humanity before the Age of Dreams. It's unknown for sure how long they ruled, but the best idea placed it between thousands and tens of thousands of years, with the Aspis Consortium insinuating they have some of the Serpentfolk's records from before Earthfall. The Serpentfolk developed the spoken language of Aklo, something still common and in use in the modern world, and pervasive in the Darklands. (Aklo itself is foreign tongue, coming from some other realm outside of Golarion, and in those places, spoken by rare and exotic creatures and in unexpected places, indicating the Serpentfolk's true empire might have extended much, much further than believed.)

Their empire seemed to come to an end with an Ice Age corresponding to the rise of Azlanti citadels, odd in that the Serpentfolk had the ability to alter the landscape with some ease. Ancient Serpentfolk lore insists that humans stole the knowledge of magic from the Serpentfolk, using it for the first time against their Aboleth masters, resulting in them calling a meteor down to purge humanity in Earthfell. Some records indicate that many Serpentfolk cultural centers where simply abandoned at this time. There is a strong insinuation that the Serpentfolk had some foreknowledge of the coming of Earthfall and also knew something was wrong with the alignment of the stars, and had begun to purposefully retreat, seeking to survive until the time was right.

Little is known about the war that followed, but the Serpentfolk committed more and more resources to it while simultaneously fading away themselves, ending with humanity's victory and the decapitation of the Serpentfolk deity, Ydersius. This did not kill the god, but rather weakened his priests and threw the Serpentfolk into chaos that would end it.

With their deity silent, their empire in chaos, and Azlanti on the rise, the remaining Serpentfolk vanished into the Darklands, hiding in magical vaults deep beneath Golarion that magic can not pierce. They entered a magical hibernation, where they have been asleep until fairly recently, waiting for a time to rise and retake the world, (and other worlds?) to rebuild their empire.

Serpentfolk come in two castes, the "Purecaster" (noble) and the "Degenerate", (aapoph, or "Chaos made Flesh"). This is not a bloodline, as Two Purecaster parents can hatch Degenerate offspring, and vice versa. Purecaster Serpentfolk are taller, smarter, elegant, more capable of higher learning, and have brighter and colored scales, while Degenerates tend to be shorter, tougher, brutish, and mutated, sometimes have extra (or less) limbs or other such qualities. Purecaster's are also what remains of the true Serpentfolk race, with Degenerates having begun to loose much of their innate magical abilities, devolving into brutal barbaric slave creatures. Both have telepathy, are completely immune to poison, but also both have very light weight bone structures, abnormally high control of their bodies, extraordinarily keen senses, and the ability to see in the dark. Serpentfolk legends and art suggest a third caste, standing above even the Purecast, whose Serpentfolk blood is mixed with that of the immortals, and whose talents are as beyond the Purecaster's as the Purecaster's are above Degenerates. (Advanced Serpentfolk)

Serpenfolk give birth to up to a dozen children at a time, though Purecaster's are much more rare. A typical gestation period is a decade, and most Serpentfolk do not have more than one or two litters in their lifetime. They do not reach adulthood until around 50 years, but, because the Serpentfolk do not love their kin, only coming together to breed, and otherwise viewing even their children or mate as a rival. Serpentfolk are cold, detatched, ruthless, isolated, and megalomaniacal. When they do communicate amongst themselves, it is done in silence, utilizing telepathy. They are, however, highly sensual creatures, and get great joy from having cult's of devoted slaves pamper them.

Serpentfolk generally eat alone, though they also seem to get a proverse pleasure in breaking this taboo amongst themselves in rare communal feasts hosted by a powerful priest or mage. Degenerate Serpentfolk are too bestial to care, but in both cases, anyone without telepathy is seen as food.

Among the Serpentfolk, worship of Ydersius takes many, often contradictory forms, with portrayals ranging from a brutal embodiment of death and destruction to charming, calculating, and deceptive. Ydersius is their singular deity, but also the progenitor of their race and reign. He was the catalyst that both created the Serpentfolk, but also elevated them from barbaric base creatures to the educated master's of magic they became. At the same time, Ydersius is savage, often striking out unprovoked. He does not speak to his faithful, even with telepathy, but rather sends them incomplete and incomprehensible dreams, which could be incompatible with what another follower is instructed to do. It's unclear if Serpentfolk Society was a Magocracy, a Theocracy, or perhaps both.

Serpentfolk cities and ruins are extraordinarily elaborate, and the use of spirals, snake heads, and circular deigns is very common in both art and architecture. Ziggurats are also common, and typically stone is used in construct, with every surface covered in spirals or snake pictograms. Serpentfolk had access to massive and odd machines beyond modern scholars ability to understand, use, or comprehend. Many cities where found with massive (10-15ft discs) of combined mithral and glass, which are believed to have been used to enhance telepathy to allow cities to communicate.

The Drowning Stones:
In the northern reaches of the Mwangi Expanse lie the mysterious ruins of Drowning Stones. Once a city of stone ziggurats and elegant towers, the sinking of the region into bitter, rank jungle swamplands seems to have been one reason for its abandonment by its original settlers—the sudden appearance of bands of skum in the waters being another. The city itself lies half drowned in brackish waters thick with algae and ooze, but the central fortress remains relatively dry on a low, upthrust section of bedrock. Drowning Stones is ruled by one of the only known surface settlements of skum—their presence alone seems to indicate that a major entrance to the Darklands is nearby, either in the unexplored dungeons below the ruins, or perhaps even via a flooded entrance under the swamp.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Yes, include it in the Guide, as that's the obvious place for it. That's also what I was saying about the Cleric's and Unarmed Strike Feat. It makes no sense to me that one part of the rule is in one place, and that a pretty obvious additional "clarification" should be in another, when it seems much easier and wise to simply alter the original PFS specific rule in the first place so it applies to all Deities with Unarmed Strike for Character Creation.

Work smarter, not harder.

Shadow Lodge ****

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The spell doesn't really seem all that special, and as others have said it really seems to be another good reason to disallow Familiars from using Wands, which I'd support, (since that seems pretty clearly where the issue is).

Shadow Lodge ****

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grandpoobah wrote:

Just to clarify:


All GMs receive the following rewards based on the
number of GM stars that they have earned.
• A bonus number of free rerolls (see Rerolls on page 36)
equal to the number of GM stars earned.

this is not a typo? I'm a four-star GM and I get four re-rolls per scenario? Guess I can give away my character folio now.

It also looks as though no one is limited to one reroll anymore.

New Guide wrote:

REROLLS

As a way of rewarding players who show their support for the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign by purchasing and using items featuring campaign insignia, faction logos, or Pathfinder branding, a player utilizing any of the items on paizo.com/pathfindersociety/rerolls can reroll one d20 roll during the course of that scenario. Recognize that this reroll must happen before the original result is determined and the player must use the reroll result, even if the result is lower. Game Masters are also invited to wear Pathfinder Society Organized Play shirts, but gain no additional benefits other than supporting Pathfinder.

vs

7.0 Guide wrote:

Free Rerolls

As a way of rewarding players who show their support for the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign by purchasing. . .
. . . If a player is using a physical copy (not a PDF, printout, or photocopy) of the Pathfinder RPG Player Character Folio, he receives a free reroll. No player may receive more than one free reroll per session.
Additionally, when a player uses a free reroll, she may present her Pathfinder Society membership card and receive an additional +1 for every GM star she has earned, for a maximum of a +5.

Shadow Lodge

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I've got a few Clerics in PFS, one of them 16th level, and I've never had to cure or remove level drain, blindness, or deafness, and the very few times I have removed stat damage, poison or disease, it's been on NPCs and with the Heal Skill (with Vest of Surgery).

If I had to, Scrolls are cheap, and I've been carrying around a stack of unused ones for a long time.

The person who needs their um, um fixed can also do a few things on that account, too. Like play smarter and wiser or invest in potions for themselves.

Cleric ISN'T the class that can fix others WHILE BEING ABLE TO DO FUN THINGS. It's either/or, with the exception of maybe Quickened Remove ____ spells, though many of them have longer Casting Times.

Typically I view my 1 job as to try to talk the group out of fights, and if it's required, to strike hard and fast, ending the fight in the fastest and safest way possible. Drawing out the pain and bloodshed by trying to patch up little boo-boos like level drain on the spot is just cruel and vindictive.

Rub dirt on it, drink water, and wipe the tears away.

Or as Cap said, "If you die, . . . walk it off".

Shadow Lodge ****

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I'm honestly just waiting for more information, as well as to see where I can best be used. I could care less about GenCon.

James McTeague wrote:

I wanted to take a moment to talk about 7-98 and 7-99. I noticed that some people had already started creating games for them. I thank you for your enthusiasm, but I please ask that you don't have any games starting right at the beginning. I would like the special focus to be on 7-00 at the start, and I'm hesisitant to start scheduling 7-98 and 7-99 until we see how they run at Gencon. There have been plenty of people emailing me as per the instructions, and I've been saving that. Once Gencon is done and I finish converting 7-00 for PbP, you will hear more about the other specials!

Keep being awesome!

Just curious, especially for the Game Day events, I like to open the Discussion thread up early, both to gather all of the players and characters, have a chance to casually look over characters, and introduce everyone. No actual game play, though I do try to open the Game Play thread for "dotting only".

Is that what you are referring to, or is that an issue?

I'm being more hypothetical here, as I'm waiting to even register a game yet.

Shadow Lodge

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Harleequin wrote:

You are right, it is a strange one. When I did my 'Fighter Unchained' thread it was very clear what areas needed work. But with 'Cleric Unchained' the opinions are wider and more varied.

Its is clear though that something needs changing in a big way.

Paizo seem to be trying the rather ineffective 'stick a plaster on it' approach with the cleric, the classic example being channeling.
Instead of recognising its general crapness, they are trying to correct it with a stream of mostly poor channel feats. This being doubly unfortunate as it fails to take into account how feat starved the base cleric class is!

So many aspects of the clerics role have gone - even healing can now be effectively done by several other classes.

I've never been a fan of Channel Energy. I liked Turn/Rebuke Undead, (and a little off topic, also the Turn/Rebuke Fire Element for the Fire Domain as well) better, but as a theme and in the effectiveness and cool factor of the Class. To me, Channel Energy, even Channel Negative Energy, is just boring.

The two biggest issues I have with the mechanic is that 1.) it offers a Save, which is just stupid. But, more pertinent to this discussion is the fact that the class is a very Feat starved class, (regardless of if it actually "blows up reality" at all, much less with Feats), it's still a Feat starved class and one that is much less interesting because of it. However, unlike practically everything else in the game, using Feats to boost Channeling does very little to actually help Channeling. Most Feats <for Channeling> do not work with each other, instead allowing you to do something extremely circumstantial instead of doing anything else. That's very bad design. But, in addition to that, most of them are either worded very oddly or just not that interesting. For example, if I take Alignment Channel Evil on a Good Cleric, wouldn't it make more sense that I can Heal Good Outsiders and Harm Evil Outsiders rather than being able to Heal or Harm Evil Outsiders? Similarly, if I'm a Fire Cleric and I take Elemental Channel Water, wouldn't it make sense that I could Heal Fire Elementals and Harm Water Elementals?

Harleequin wrote:
We will have to agree to disagree on the battle cleric thing - I have seen several others post in threads that nowadays the worst build for a cleric is battle!

It's less about how good or bad a build it is as much as how boring or fun the build is to play. I don't agree that the battle Cleric, even with the Warpriest, Druid, Mendev Priest/Crusader Archetype, Paladin, Battle Oracle, or battle Oracle is the worst build, but I'd be hard pressed to find an argument that it's the least fun, even just for Cleric builds. I guess it also really depends on what you mean by Battle Cleric, or even what you are comparing it too. As I mentioned, the Herald Caller Cleric makes a pretty effective Battle Cleric, and probably does so better than everything else it was really intended for, because it grants free Feats for things you where already going to be doing anyway and synergizes so well as is.

Harleequin wrote:

The Oracle is completely wrong for the D6 role thematically. The robed holy man is a devout worshipper who sacrifices their life in the worship and teachings of their one god. Oracles dont need to do anything to gain their powers....no preaching, no holy symbology, no places of worship, no religous ceremony or texts, not even praying!!!!

The complete antithesis of what the D6 holy man represents in all cultural references.... and there are many, many people who would like to see a D6 divine class. In fact the D6 divine class is very widely 3PP'd and homebrewed... probably more so...

The Core Cleric doesn't either, nor do the Paladin, Druid, etc. . ., both in Core and in Golarion. In most cultural and literary references, the idea that a single god, or even a god at all granting the champion their divine power is not very supported. It tends to instead come from universal, non-sentient forces (like the Force, the Light, the Heavens, the Cosmos, etc. . .), a group of gods, or even one' self. In fact, I'd say that the vast majority of Priest Cleric-like references are actually the individual attaining some sort of self-awareness or extraordinary understanding rather than a Patron Deity granting them powers. That is, it's faith or individual spiritual expertise, not a daily gift from an outside source.

However, something you may not be realizing is that the Oracle, while they are not required to have a single Patron deity, mechanically speaking, can just as easily as, if not more so than any Cleric.

Paizo has basically taken the stance that:
Clerics must have a Patron Deity
Oracles can do anything they want, have one or not, doesn't matter at all.

So, the point I was trying to get across is that both in flavor and mechanics, the Oracle actually makes for a much better D6, no armor, crap weapon Divine Caster. Oracles don't go to military chaplain to learn to use a favored weapon, and really have no reason at all to even learn to use any armor (just like a Sorcerer). But, they do have class features designed to augment their magic around a theme.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


How about instead of 'real' kittens they were kittens on a chronicle that you could have for your character? Or puppies, or snakes, or whatever have you?

ie 'vanity' pets you can get from GMing 'non-chron-credits'. Does two things... buys into the whole Poke-thingie AND drags in all the completists!

I can't stop GMing yet, I don't have the Limited Edition Comptosaur!

That is *not* intended as an insult, honest, was trying to come up with a witty name for special vanity pets and attempted homage to one of the leads...

This, while it wouldn't help solve any issues I have mentioned, (and basically anything but a cat or kitten), would actually be a pretty cool DM reward Id be interested in. Even if it does nothing mechanically, Id like for some of my characters who can not otherwise to get a pet or psuedo familiar.

One of my Clerics would love a Lantern Archon pet, even if it was literally just a little floating bubble of light with no stats.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Drogon wrote:

DM Beckett, I'm pretty sure you've been part of those discussions over the years, so I'm pretty sure you would have been exposed to my (and others') arguments. Perhaps my memory is faulty, but seeing as I know you to be one of the replay proponents (albeit one of the less strident ones, and one who actually comes up with good alternatives from time to time) I'm pretty certain we've shared space in those threads before. Hopefully rknop's and Pirate Rob's posts have a more lasting impact on your memory than my own.

Seeing as all the links and statements have been made by others I see no reason to add my own to this, beyond saying that I still haven't changed my opinion much in the last six plus years. I hope I'm a bit more politic than I used to be, and I think I've proven that even I can alter my stance on occasion. But as I said a few posts above I believe that not too much more "bend" will result in a break. I don't want to see that.

It's not that I have forgotten the ideas as much as I just disagree with them and have a different experience with past games.

Personally, I've never had any issues with you being less political/rude or anything of the sort. (I'd actually hold you as a very reasonable and enjoyable guy, particularly after some of the PM's we discussed this and other opinions we disagreed upon.) Rather, I believe you believe strongly in your experiences, (which might be more than mine), and we both agree that our ultimate goal is to make PFS better overall.

My main motivation is that in expanding replay options somewhat would solve a lot of issues that I know my groups tend to face. The two big attempts to help out in those areas (GM Star Replay and Core Campaign Play), in my experience have not helped much, if at all. Core Campaign would have just split some of my groups, creating another divide that would have killed us, while after all these years, only two players in my offline games, myself being one of them, ever got access to the GM Star Replay. Originally, I was under the impression it reset yearly, having never caught that that was changed early on, so I used one up pretty fast rather than conserving it like I would have otherwise, which means I also couldn't have later passed it on to someone else which I might have done instead to help the group be able to all play a few more games together, legally.

Because we tend to have new faces show up for a few months periodically around deployments, it gets very hard to continue to find things that everyone can play, and the more this happen, the less options there are. I just got back yesterday from my own deployment, and having gotten 4 stars, have a few new things open up, but it's probably not going to last long. Now, granted, my case, where we have roughly 5-10 players for a weekly game or two probably isn't common, nor is the player turn over.

But, that's also a big part of my point. Not everyone has the same circumstances that others do, and I don't think it's right to try to base the entirety of PFSOP on what is probably not the norm to try to prevent something that may not even be an issue.

PFS does offer a lot more options for play than I ever remember Living Greyhawk or Living Force offering, even in a shorter time frame. I could be wrong, but it seems to be that they tended to offer something like 1 game a month or every other month, and did not allow things like Modules or APs. I also seem to remember it being a lot more difficult to get involved or be an official DM, (it's been a while, but I'm pretty sure there was a test required and you also had to be observed by a small group of other official GMs, had to do an application, etc. . .)

So, while I'm actually a huge proponent of learning from the mistakes of the past and being cautious in making decisions, I really do not believe that, in this case, things are similar enough to worry about it as much as people seem to. Even my very limited experience with 4E and now 5E organized play just does not seem to be that similar outside of on the surface.

Shadow Lodge

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Really, the only two things I'd really like to see is a (NOT OCCULT) Heal skill Skill Unlock that allows for more mundane means of healing and use, but one that a Cleric or Druid could use just as well as anyone else, without needing a feat or new rules.

Secondly, I'd like to see a lot more ways to utilize healing while also doing other things. Or to do other things and also offer a little bit of healing (Removing/Curing/Neutralizing).

Shadow Lodge

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An idea I had a long time ago that might go along way to fix a lot of the above is to simply overhaul the Domains a little.

The three parts I had in mind where to:
1.) Attach a single skill to each Domain which is then treated as if at max ranks for all purposes. Many of the Domains themselves are pretty easy matches, and for the most part, this could easily be done to also include SubDomains the same way, with only a few SubDomains also altering the skill associated. An additional side effect is that this would also allow for each Domain to have a built in "constant" ability instead of those annoying #/Day or Rounds per day abilities they seem to like. This would help to bypass the 2+Int Skill Points as well, but in a somewhat restricted way, and if Two Domains grant the same skill, the player could automatically choose something like Know Religion instead for one of those Domains.

2.) Domain spells are automatically added to the Cleric Spell list. And honestly, I'm not sure why this was not done originally, except that maybe there was so much conflicting ideas when it came time for the PF CRB to come out after Alpha & Beta? Possible remove the +1 spell per spell level Domain Spell.

3.) Similar to the automatic Skill Point, maybe add in a small pool of Bonus Feats that the Cleric (and only Cleric) can pick at certain levels. For example, lets say that at 5th, 10, 15th, and 20th they get a Bonus Feat, similar to the Wizard, but they have to choose from a pool based on their Domains. Each Domain might have 2 Feat options available, even if one of them is Skill Focus. In looking at the class a little more, and as part of the aim here is to get rid of some of those dang dead levels, it might be better to grant these Bonus Feats at 5th, 9th, 12th, and 16th level instead of 5th and every 5 thereafter. This has the added bonus of also broadening the Domain Powers as well if you consider the Bonus Feat a Domain Power, as most are at 1st and either 6th or 8th level, it now adds in a little extra right around the middle of those Domain Power Levels.

    Air Domain: Acrobatics
    Feat: Agile Maneuvers or Wind Stance

    Animal Domain: Handle Animal
    Feat: Mounted Combat or Toughness

    Artifice Domain: Craft (any one)
    Feat: Item Creation Feat

    Chaos Domain: Acrobatics
    Feat: Alignment Channel or Strike Back

    Charm Domain: Bluff
    Feat: Blind-Fight or Catch Off-Guard

    Community Domain: Diplomacy
    Feat: Extra Channel or Stand Still*

    Darkness Domain: Stealth
    Feat: Blind-Fight or Dodge

    Death Domain: Know Religion
    Feat: Command Undead or Deceitful

    Destruction Domain: Intimidate
    Feat: Channel Smite or Improved Unarmed Strike

    Earth Domain: Climb
    Feat: Diehard or Great Fortitude

    Evil Domain: Bluff
    Feat: Alignment Channel Good/Evil or Strike Back

    Fire Domain: Acrobatics
    Feat: Disruptive* or Eschew Materials

    Glory Domain: Intimidate
    Feat: Improved Shield Bash or Iron Will

    Good Domain: Diplomacy
    Feat: Alignment Channel or Improved Unarmed Strike

    Healing Domain: Heal
    Feat: Combat Casting or Improved Unarmed Strike

    Knowledge Domain: Know Arcana
    Feat: Combat Expertise or Improved Counterspell

    Law Domain: Know History
    Feat: Alignment Channel Chaos/Law or Quick Draw

    Liberation Domain: Escape Artist
    Feat: Defensive Combat Training or Fleet

    Luck Domain: Appraise
    Feat: Silent Spell or Still Spell

    Magic Domain: Spellcraft
    Feat: Arcane Strike (with Divine Spells rather than Arcane) or Weapon Focus Tough Spell/Ray

    Nobility Domain: Know Nobility
    Feat: Mounted Combat or Iron Will

    Plant Domain: Know Nature
    Feat: Improved Grapple ** or Toughness

    Protection Domain: Sense Motive
    Feat: Armor Proficiency or Eschew Materials

    Repose Domain: Heal?
    Feat: Channel Smite or Endurance

    Rune Domain: Linguistics
    Feat: Alertness or Spell Focus (Abjuration)

    Strength Domain: Climb
    Feat: Cleave** or Endurance

    Sun Domain: Know Planes or Survival ?
    Feat: Turn Undead or Wind Stance**

    Travel Domain: Survival
    Feat: Endurance or Skill Focus: Know Geography/Local

    Trickery Domain: Escape Artist
    Feat: Blind-Fight or Step Up

    War Domain: Know Engineering
    Feat: Intimidating Prowess or Weapon Specialization***

    Water Domain: Swim
    Feat: Elemental Channel (Water/Earth/Fire) or Point-Blank Shot

    Weather Domain: Survival
    Feat: Alignment Channel (Air/Earth/Fire) or Improved Trip**

    * = May ignore Class Level prereqs, instead treating their Cleric level as the appropriate Class. Must meet all other prereqs.

    ** = May ignore prereqs

    *** = With Deity's Favored Weapon only

Shadow Lodge ****

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Really the only two VC's I have every had an issue with are Aram Zey and Sheila Heidmarch. Aram Zey could be seen as eccentric, except that when characters surpass him, he continues to have the same attitude. While he isn't terrible, he is a pretty toxic leader and it's not hard to see why he is rather off-putting to people out of character as well as annoying in character.

Sheila is a bit different. Right up front it was indicated that she was only a noble and a pathfinder due to her marriage, and has fairly routinely displayed incompetence and the need to put herself and political career far above pathfinders needs and concerns. As other have mentioned, the fact that she has had at least three completely different stats and representations in Pathfinder doesn't help, though I'm specifically speaking of only what I've encountered of her in Pathfinder Society play. I also sort of suspect that her husband can't stand to be around her, (he is almost never there either), which again, just doesn't speak well for the character to me. She really comes off as "Yah, I'm not even really trying here. That would mean I have to actually work and leave the air condition, and that's what you re for.". In her case specifically, being in the military and having seen "leaders" like this, it might a bit of personal bias, but for me, I am honestly not sure if there is a way this NPC could ever be "redeemed". The damage has been done, more than once.

Drandle Dreng I've actually always liked. I've honestly never heard anyone "bad mouth" him in or out of game except as a joke, and it mostly is about his timing, but at the same time he did seem like the kind of guy that knows a lot more than he appears to, but wants to have others build their confidence and earn their glory rather than being incompetent, selfish, or a jerk to compensate.

As for fixing the problem, or shifting it, my honest suggestion would probably be to introduce new characters and start highlighting some of the "problem" people less. Not completely, as different folks have different problems with different NPCs. But, instead of trying to stealth errata them, which is already doomed to fail, (or will lead players to suspect something else is going on), instead start bringing in NPCs that are less toxic and off-putting and encourage the sort of respect you want from players and characters.

On the other hand, is it really even a bad thing that players/characters get to tell off bad VC's? As a game that is all about escaping reality and stepping into someone else's shoes to do things many people can't do in real life with minimal consequences, sometimes returning shots fired is a pretty fun rp encounter that makes a scenario memorable. Particularly when those VC's are not actually your boss or hold any actual authority over you.

It's not an uncommon troupe in action movies to have the hero cop tell their superior to F' off, and then go do what they where just ask/told to do anyway.

Another suggestion for the cultural shift might be to start removing (downplaying???) the idea that VC's are in charge or the boss, and start presenting them as individuals that open doors or grant opportunity. This is actually something I've always found odd, as none of the material on the Pathfinder Society I've seen actually claims that there are military-like ranks of authority within the pathfinder Society, but PFS play seems to have assumed so for some reason. VC is more of a job description than a title of nobility.

I've seen this beginning to show up more in the last few months (year?), where the briefing seem more of a request then a demand, and it's very clearly been a good thing.

The entire blunder with Grandmaster Torch and the Shadow Lodge is probably the one thing standing in your way for this, and again, it's sort of too late to change that. People that have been playing for a few seasons (and hell, honestly since Hestram and season 1) kind of know just how despicable and nasty the Pathfinder Society organization really is and what it will do to those it can't control, but also that organized play can and will use the heel-toe method of storytelling.

Silver Crusade

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HP: 138/138 , Init +3, AC: 23, T: 12, FF: 21, CMD: 29, F: +17, R: +11, W: +17 <+2 vs Evil, Evasion, no Food/ Water, Native Outsider, Imune to Fog/Mist/Smoke and Evil Possesion or Mind-Control> Fly 30', Swim 30", Move 30', Perception +10 <Darkvision 60ft>, NG Male Aasimar Cleric 15, Sunflare: +15/+10/+5, 1d6+18+1d6 Acid (15/x2) S, 5,274-18

I believe I've finished up everything here to get ready to come back home, so now, hopefully, it's just a waiting game and I should be able to post more often. The last few weeks have been non-stop crazy work days.

Survival Untrained: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9

Earlier

"Gather around friends of the Open Road. We have prepared a feast for you as we discuss your missions. As always, watch each other's backs and be prepared for anything."

"As some of you may know, some months ago, the Aspis Consortium attacked the Pathfinder Society at it's heart, killing and harming many, and unleashing wanton destruction. I'm certain all of you knew someone, trained with someone, or even went on a mission or tree with those that where not so fortunate after the attack at the Grand Convocation. Now might be your first, hopefully of many, times to get a little payback. Many Pathfinders and allies died to bring us this information. . ." Diplomacy: 1d20 + 35 ⇒ (19) + 35 = 54

"Not all know this, but we are not at open war with the Aspis Consortium, but rather a splinter cell of fanatics and maniacs within it, similar to the Spider and her FALSE Shadow Lodge. Many within the Aspis Consortium are not even aware of them, these fiends that call themselves the Korholm Agenda."

"And now we take the fight to them!" Diplomacy: 1d20 + 35 ⇒ (1) + 35 = 36

"I look around and I see four teams; the mighty Axe-Fixers, the Kernaug Group, and the Scroll-Seekers. By friends, we have three missions, and four groups, and the time is now. We need your help. All of us, acting as one large team have a chance to achieve something great. We know that one of their leaders, if not their leader is hiding in and around Nidal. And that's where we are heading."

"The Kernaug Group, stand tall! We are sending you to Wirholt’s Rictus, a plantation house that holds a secret laboratory and other secrets beneath. Wirholt's Rictus has already been hit by a small alliance of Aspis and Pathfinder Agents not long ago, but we have reason to believe that they didn't tell us the whole story and that there is still more below. Your primary duty is to stay alive, but we need you to go down and find out everything you can. Take notes, keep your minds fresh, and do your best. We do know that the plantation workers seemed to be completely unaware of the facility below, and our spies monitored the Aspis Consortium attempting to hide removing certain strange relics before burning the place to the ground. We believe they meant to cover something up. What you find there, well, it might be the key we need." Diplomacy: 1d20 + 35 ⇒ (2) + 35 = 37

"Mighty Axe-Fixers and Scroll-Seekers, stand tall! We are sending you to Uskwood. It's a smaller sight than Wirholt's Rictus, but it yet to be explored at all. Meaning that whatever defenses the Korholm Agenda are employing there are still completely operational. We do, however, have the element of surprise, and we are sending in two teams. Your primary job is to stay alive. Scroll-Seekers, we need you there to find out all you can. Take what you can, find what is able to be found, and report back. Axe-Fixers, you are there to open a path and guard your fellow team. This is not a diplomatic mission . . ." Diplomacy: 1d20 + 35 ⇒ (13) + 35 = 48

"We shall be heading to Wingless Rock, where we believe Professor Kramolag is hiding in a cave. She is our, all of our primary target, though we do not believe she is still cowering in either Uskwood or Wirholt's Rictus. If you encounter her, learn what you can, but do not attempt to attack. You are too important."

"All three of these missions will be happening simultaneously, and no one outside of this room can know what I've just told you until afterwards. For now, I want each of you to finish your meal. Enjoy it. Talk amongst yourselves while you do on what I've just told you. If you have any questions, now if the time. After we eat, we have some additional gifts to help you in your missions, and then we head into the brink. . ."

.
.
.

Silver Crusade members:
A simple note reads:
Fellow harbingers of the light,
I would call on your aid for an additional task while we venture into the belly of night's dragon. Nidal is a land of bitter tears and unending agony for many, and yet, the light and warmth of our healing hands can not but reach out to help all those in need. But not all that are in need know it. Or are willing to take your hand while they are yet drowning in dark waters all around them.

If, in your travels, you meet any who might be shown a better path out of their own darkness, I ask you to bring them into the sacred light.

And finally, another favor, this one to strike against the darkness so that others might know there is still hope, even in Nidal. You have seen my mark. I bear it with pride upon my brow. In your travels below the earth, I would have you carve that mark into the very stone. You shall know the place, for it is written upon your souls. One day, one of ours will come by it, and it will grant them the strength to succeed.
Ignatious

Silver Crusade

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HP: 138/138 , Init +3, AC: 23, T: 12, FF: 21, CMD: 29, F: +17, R: +11, W: +17 <+2 vs Evil, Evasion, no Food/ Water, Native Outsider, Imune to Fog/Mist/Smoke and Evil Possesion or Mind-Control> Fly 30', Swim 30", Move 30', Perception +10 <Darkvision 60ft>, NG Male Aasimar Cleric 15, Sunflare: +15/+10/+5, 1d6+18+1d6 Acid (15/x2) S, 5,274-18

No worries. And your welcome, and thank you for helping keep your players sane.

Shadow Lodge

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Zahariel wrote:

While I do understand where you're coming from, I've come to realize that a big part of the success of Pathfinder stemmed from the kitchen sink approach at launch.

Think about it, when Starfinder comes out, we'll only have one AP and no modules to flesh out the setting. Now consider that if you sit ten gamers at a table to play a sci-fi game, chances are that you'll get at least five different ideas of what a sci-fi game is. Maybe a lot of gaming groups won't be interested in the flavor of sci-fi that the first AP will offer.

Actually, I'd argue the evidence is the opposite, and the success of PF was that it was pretty generic, unexplored and not codified towards the reader/player/dm, and open to interpritation. That, to me is the settings golden age, and the more material that comes out, the more cool ideas about otherwise unclear topics, locations, orders, faiths, etc become wrong or false.

As PF/Golarion became more and more set in stone, it had really became more and more just like Forgotten Realms, though I would argue that at least FR's kitchen sink makes more logistical/geographical sense. Hopefully Starfinder can avoid that on both accounts, leaving plenty of room for exploration, interpretation, and also not having Disney cartoon princess lands boarding each other. The only real setting I've seen it done well is Ravenloft, where there is a reason most of the areas while physically connected, are not really open, allowing for a bronze age domain right next to a did main with modern technology, but they can't or will not just invade and destroy, (and not just because setting/writer fiat protects).

Shadow Lodge

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My initial feelings about the Warpriest are pretty online with my 2 years later view. Its playable, but not ideal. Its fa too dependant on Swift Actions, which is, or should be cool, but in play is really more annoying than anything. Fervor is really the one stand out ability, but without a way to increase it, and because it is a pool for multiple abilities rather than just Swift Casting, its something that looks a lot better on paper than it generally is in play.

Taking a look at how Battle Clerics/Oracles, Inquisitors, and the Magus play probably would have done a lot of good, as each tends to do the Warpriests job better overall except a few things, or rather except at a few levels, but also tend to have many more options besides just combat. The Battle Cleric "comes online" a tad later, but has a lot more staying power, wider range of play, better ability to fill more roles, (while being pretty close to on par in combat). Similarly with the Inquisitor, who is just built to work with itself so well, and do its combat job well AND everything else, too. I think Magus is the big one, mainly because, I think too many people compare it too incorrectly. The Magus did it right, allowing offense, buff, or whatever while the Warpriest is all about buffs, and specifically self only buffs. The two are really nothing alike, and the Warpriest just doesn't fill the "divine Magus" niche.

Sacred Weapon is good, but in play I tend to feel like Im doing it wrong by using a weapon that a "priest of war" would use. Instead it rewards the use of non-Warpriesty weapons, which just feels wrong. I really get the impression that there where a lot of hands in the pot for its class design, and everyone wanted to get their little baby or concept in, but didn't realize how it all worked in unison.

DESPITE both its parents being 2+Int, Int dumping classes, it really hurts here, as there are even more skills needed to do the classes basic job, and just no way to really handle that, which combined with the Classes overall lower spellcasting and fewer utility spells, tends to leave the class even worse off than the Fighter in non-combat situations.

Changing one or two things as the baseline for the class would have gone a long, long way here.
1.) Making it a straight up Full BaB class would make Fervor feel more like a boon than a pool for too many things. Some people seem to think its too good, but I just don't see it.
2.) Make Sacred Weapon Damage an either/or option, so weapons like the Greatsword get some benefit instead of increased damage dice, while the dagger is still viable. (It wasnt before???)
3.) Rather than having Fervor be a pool for swift casting, channel energy, and self healing, just have Swift casting ability be an unlimited, once per combat ability and reduce the book keeping significantly.
4.) Blessing are probably the most unevenly balanced mechanic I've seen, with some being basically must have (Good), while others are just junk, (usually unless you have a specific build such as Air working only on Ranged weapons, but the main deities with ranged Favored weapons don't have access to the Air Blessing).
5.) Pick one theme or goal for the baseline class and stick to it. Weapon specialist, Paladin of any Alignment, battle priest, divine magus, etc. . .

All that being said, its not a bad class, and there are some good ideas in there. Most of the time I'd probably go battle Cleric, Paladin, or Inquisitor, but not always. It stands out at level 2 and again at around 12-15+, and does offer some possibilities that are harder to pull off otherwise.

Shadow Lodge

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Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Owen (or anyone else): Is there any chance this one particular player companion be bumped up to 64 pg/double-sized-ish? I don't think it'd be that difficult to find enough content to fill it, and I'd still be interested in grabbing it at the higher price bump.

I can quickly and easily saw no, but not because we don't think there's enough content for such a book. I could easily do 32 pages on each of these races.

Sadly,we have tons of evidence that a 32-page book on grippli won't sell well.

Honestly, I saw the list of races, and Grippli and Ratfolk where the only two that I actually wanted. I have absolutely no interest in either Kitsune or Catfolk, (though if there where a "dogfolk" race. . .)but am neutral on Tengu, Nagaji, and Vanara.

I'm considering not getting this one simply because it seems unavoidable that there will be nearly enough material (even if there are universal options), to make it worth it (for what I would want).

Shadow Lodge

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|| ANIMATIONS || Bloodcove || Hell's Rebels || In Wrath's Shadow ||
Tsuki Kurohige wrote:

I'm still really confused by some of the stuff post on here. Like it could say 5-9 but it's actually levels 3-7 or something. Not a clue, I want to sign up for something myself but im just so lost with most of it v.v Fortunately my brothers signed me up for the games I'm currently in, but I wanna be able to do it myself too. Level 1 Swashbuckler, not played him before.

So, each Scenario has a Level Range. That is the level all characters must fit in, in order to play that scenario. Period. If you are too high or too low level, you can not play with that character, but you might be able to play a Pregen and apply credit to your character. (There are special rules for Pregens, and it's a bit complicated)

Outside of the Level Range, there are also SubTiers, which are (usually two) smaller level ranges meant to balance that scenario's challenges around an overall party average level.

So, if a Scenario has a Level Range of 1st - 5th, any character that is 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th Level can play in that Scenario. However, within the 1-5 Range, there are two SubTiers, 1st - 2nd, and also 4th - 5th. The 4-5 Subtier will probably add in a few extra enemies, raise the DC's a few points, and/or swap out enemies for something a little stronger. Each Scenario comes with two versions, if you will, including monsters for both the higher and lower level, while the story remains mostly the same, (possibly accounting for a little that higher level characters might be able to do, such as Teleport).

The basic idea is that once everyone has picked their characters, you add all their levels together, then divide that number by the number of players, finding the average, and then use that average (or APL for Average Party Level), to see which SubTier they best fit into.

So, if we have a 5 person party, with four level 1 character and one level 3 character, they are all allowed to play in a 1-5 level range, because they are all level 1 or higher, but lower than level 6. From there, we get the APL, (1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 3 = 7) then (7 / 5 = 1.4) 1.4, regardless of which way it's rounded still fits into the (1-2) Subtier, which means that they would be playing the lower level version of that Scenario.

Shadow Lodge

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Sissyl wrote:
Well, the comic version of Civil War was an awful travesty. It was what got me to stop reading Marvel comics. Let us just be glad they chose something entirely different.

???

Purely a matter of opinion, but I thought Civil War was an amazing series.

Shadow Lodge

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wraithstrike wrote:
I see the problem with him trying to find loopholes and abuse the rules to be the issue.

The problem is that there is a fine line between "finding loopholes" and "rules abuse" and being experienced with the rules interactions and enjoying using the rules and different books to build things just right.

I've seen different DM's ban things "because they are cheese" that I'd consider perfectly fine. I myself have banned Improved Initiative and things like the Reactionary Trait because just about everyone at the table went straight for them. Not because I thought they where too strong as much as because I wanted to avoid a game where most of the combats where binary initiative orders/rocket tag.

I just mean that the implication of how bad or problematic a player is due to how much they find loopholes is very subjective. It could just as easily be an implication that they like heavier, more complex games while the others want lighter, more simple games.

Shadow Lodge

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In a lot of ways you have already sort of answered yourself. Different people enjoy different things from the game. It's not wrong that he enjoys playing a more by the rules game than a DM Fiat one. Neither one is more intrinsic to telling a good story or better fun.

A lot of times that players/DMs min/max, it's because they enjoy the challenge of working within the rules to test themselves or because it helps tem to learn and experiment. From their perspective when GM's let anything go, throw out rules on a whim, or things like that, it ruins the game just like using cheat codes. It takes out the challenge and experimenting. The only reason I really mention all this is maybe seeing things from their perspective might help you (and others) to find some middle ground, or maybe by understanding what may be their goal or motivation in playing, might see things from their side a bit.

Now, as for suggestions and ideas, the biggest things I can think of would be to try to incorporate Role Playing with Combats, or threats. Most likely it isn't just straight up combat that one player likes as danger and challenge. Things like Chase Scenes, traps, and tactical set-ups are probably just as fun than just combat.

There could be a set up where an important NPC is locked up in a magic prison that requires certain steps to get out, and the NPC isn't really sure they want out, (needing a little convincing). But, while that's going on, there is a small horde trying to break in through the one door leading into the room, needing someone to defend it and the others who are trying to deal with the NPC.

You could also try something like 4E Skill Challenges, where rather than each player rolling for a single task, the entire group rolls multiple times over the course of a short time period working towards an overall goal. So, for example lets say they are piloting a ship that is suddenly ambushed, you could have one player focusing on piloting the ship, one or two fighting off pirates trying to board, and another casting spells to buff and fix the ship, and each round someone needs to dedicate their action to one of these important tasks). Or, for Skill Challenges, you can instead have everyone roll against a set DC, then describe, round by round how they are trying to contribute towards the overall goal of fighting off an ambush. The group, as a whole might need to attain a total of 10 successes, but it's less important what exactly they do as long as they can explain why their action is contributing in some way. There are two benefits to doing something like this. Firstly, if you want to, it is a "Rule Set", and while it's not really a Pathfinder Rule, it's something that that one player might find challenging and interesting to try out. And secondly, you do not have to tell that player that their Attack and Damage Rolls do not matter so much, but let them think that their combat actions are really combat actions rather than just part of the skill challenge. Let them do tactical movements, roll crits, and the like and enjoy it while everyone else finds their own way to contribute, because in the end, it really is just all the players contributing to a single pool of successes, and less important about ho exactly they do so, as long as it's reasonable overall.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Its been done before. Butterfly Sting was changed to a Desna only Feat. The problem with Dex to Damage Feats/Abilities is, (I believe), is that folks at Paizo have different ideas on its overall power level. Some think its way too strong, and in general I agree, while others see it as strong, but needed.

Going all the way back to PF 3.5 days, when they allowed Dervish Dance to be a limited/restricted version. The impression I get from Fencing/Slashing Grace is that someone was trying to push them through despite the other Paizo staff being against it, and the various nerfs are ways to correct them getting in print anyway. Being that it came from the ACG, (and Adv Class Origins), which was filled with similar problems all around, to me suggests that they slipped through unintended.

Shadow Lodge

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Well, first off, that's a pretty dick move. That's on par wit the Cleric spamming Bestow Curse (permanent) or Mark of Justice on you while you sleep. If I do this every night for a week, odds are he's going to fail at least once. If I target Wisdom first, then hit him with the -4 to all saves, within 2 weeks he is assured to be hit by every single version of Bestow Curse, and then I'll write on him while he's asleep, Mark of Justice has no save, so no more even holding a weapon or casting a spell for this guy. Ever. . . ."

Secondly, it's pretty stupid. They will get a DC 15 Will Save to negate the Alignment Shift, and that's if they don't recognize the helm for what it is.

Either of those things happening, (with one being pretty likely and the other more 50/50) is probably going to result in your Magus being killed, the entire party turning against them, and I wouldn't say it's unlikely that you, the player are just banned from the group outright.

Shadow Lodge

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I really do not see much need for the Cardinal Archetype, who seems to give up far too much for so little.

The Roaming Exorcist from Undead Slayers Handbook gets 4+Int, (very arguably what the Standard Cleric SHOULD get anyway), and also has the Unseen Revealed and Curse Seeker abilities that could fit very easily into an "Intrigue" style game, with Dispossession and Curse Eater possibly coming up rarely as well.

As for the Cardinal, getting the ability to loose Spontaneous Cure Spells and 6+Int Skills just really doesn't seem to balance out against loosing BaB, medium armor, shields, and a Domain. Something that would have been pretty thematic, but also giving the Archetype that little extra oomph I think it needs could have been to add in the Vigilante's Celebrity Perks and/or Loyal Aid Social Talents. Kind of makes sense that a ranking political figure of a faith would get minor discounts and have the ability to call in a favor.

Ross Byers wrote:

You can't have everything

The 9-level casters generally don't have a lot of class features to play with. They have spellcasting, some type of customization suite (schools, patrons, bloodlines, domains), and a chassis (BAB, skill points, HD, saves).

The arcane casters are hardest: generally its easier to make a new school or bloodline than swap pieces of a wizard or sorcerer - they can't even really trade off bits of their chassis - already having minimum BAB, skill points, and HD.

This means that most cleric archetypes have a very small list of things to trade off - one or both domains, BAB, HD, maybe Channel Energy. One can't get upset with a downgrade to 1/2 BAB to get some other shinies - there just isn't much else to trade.

When it comes to the Cleric, both as a class and then also looking at it's options/archetypes, is to consider just how much the assumptions of the game have changed since the Core Book, or even since 3.5 had come out. Other inclusions that really fight hard to share space with the Cleric as well have really challenged the idea that the Cleric "has everything", such as the Shaman, Oracle, Warpriest, or Inquisitor. It's been a while since the Cleric had even had a single class feature that no one else couldn't grab, and in many cases, other classes can even do it better/easier.

And while it is technically true that the Cleric is a 9th level caster, in truth it's actually closer to a 6th level caster. Before 3E, the Cleric was a 7th Level caster, and all 3E/d20 did was stretch those spell levels out to make it's casting progression more compatible with the Wizards (getting 9 levels of spells over 17 levels of play). 3E even made an effort to spread out more of the Cleric's spell list amongst other classes as well, and Pathfinder has kind of continued that trend as well, particularly along the lines of healing/buffing/warding.

The end result is that the Cleric is kind of caught in this weird halfway point between a "full caster" and a secondary "martial" class. But, with a few exceptions, it's very difficult to build too adequately into either of those two basic styles, both because of lack of options, (like for instance Archetypes that basically every other class gets plenty of) and because inborn prereqs just do not really support it.

Even as a 9th level caster, Clerics just do not benefit overly much from the vast majority of Metamagic Feats, simply because their spell list is so small and so limited in potential. Even compared to other 6th and 9th level casters, their overall spell list is pretty small over all. It's for this reason that many Clerics, regardless of their deity, build, background, etc. . . will likely have very similar spells chosen on any given day. Often, metamagic just isn't worth it because unlike with most other casters, Cleric spells tend not to scale too well. Both because of the lack of too much variety overall and partially as a side effect of stretching out the class for an extra 3 spell levels (including Orisons).

In my opinion, Cleric was right there with the Rogue in most needing an Unchained update, (I personally didn't think the original version of the Rogue was bad), but probably more so simply because of the way it's been painted into a corner for design space and overlap with so many other classes.

Similarly, there just are not as many, or as useful and/or interesting gear to help boost Cleric Spellcasting, high or low level. Obviously, with exceptions, as with everything. A lot of the gear that Clerics go for (outside of the most universal things everyone does) is sort of second hand for the class, intended for other classes, but partially usable for the Cleric.

As a backup or secondary martial character, it's also very nastily restricted from far too many options, with no real way of overcoming those issues like other classes do. By this I'm talking about those essentially must have Feats, such as Power Attack or most of the Feat Chains for any particular "style". Not being able to take the first one, or the "bread and butter" one until at least 3rd level is a pretty significant hurdle for such a barebones class. For the most part, as it always is, Ranged combat is sort of the exception in that it's generally not too difficult to make choices in game to mitigate your own weaknesses, (picking an enemy that isn't threatened by an ally to avoid the penalty for firing into melee at early levels).

As a spellcaster, a Cleric can temporarily help mitigate this, but realistically this is only true in perhaps 1 to 2 combats per day, so it's feasibility is really dependent on individual groups normal playstyles.

Ross Byers" wrote:


Giving up somethingnothing

Sean K Reynolds touched on this when giving advice for designing archetypes:

Sean wrote:


4) Limiting an existing class ability to one already-available choice isn't cool, nor is it a limitation.
A rogue archetype that says "you have to take this rogue talent at level 4" isn't cool.
A fighter archetype that says "you have to take this weapon category at level 5" isn't cool.
And, assuming that choice is especially appropriate for that character, it's not really a limitation because the character would probably want that thing anyway. A character with a dagger-fighter archetype wants to take "light blades" for weapon training, so forcing him to do it isn't a limitation to the character at all, and you shouldn't treat it like it's a penalty or weakness to justify making another new class ability better (as in, "oh, the daggermaster has to take "light blades," so to compensate for that limitation I'll give the archetype this other cool thing...").

Now, something I did want to take a look at is an Archetype I've generally heard to be pretty notably balanced, liked, and well received, but in many ways does very close to the exact opposite of what had been pointed to for good design.

The Dawnflower Dervish Bard Archetype from Inner Sea Magic page 34. First off, I did want to point out, if it wasn't clear, that this example does not contradict any of the above specifically, but it is very, very close to doing so for nearly all of them, particularly the idea of taking away options the character probably wouldn't have wanted too much anyway in order to give them ones that they would probably have picked anyway.

It focuses on Perform Dance, for example, handing out the pretty amazing Dervish Dance Feat (and proficiency) 2 levels earlier than it could have otherwise been gotten in exchange for Bardic Knowledge and Loremaster abilities that they probably wouldn't care about, and dropping a type of Bardic Performance (Dirge of Doom) that notes it would need more than Perform Dance for (audible and visual component) for a free Quickened Spell on all self healings.

Shadow Lodge

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|| ANIMATIONS || Bloodcove || Hell's Rebels || In Wrath's Shadow ||

Sorry, internet has been spotty from updates. The scenario does note that players (vs characters) can try to discover the puzzle, and as it turns out there is indeed a Free Trade Square district in the city.

Will update game when I'm able.

Shadow Lodge ****

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I'm curious where this idea about "must be main hand" is coming from?

If a TWF with a longsword and a dagger decides to more he and single attack, they could declair their dagger hand as their "main" hand attack that round. It does not automatically day fault to be the longsword or right hand or larger weapon (category).

It doesn't even really need to be a hand at all, such as armor spikes.

Silver Crusade

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HP: 9/10 || AC: 17 (15), T: 13 (11), FF 14 (13), CMD: 15 (16) || F: +3, R: +3 (+2), W: +4 || Growth Power 5/5 || Init +7, Perception: +2, Sense Motive: +6 || LG Male Shoanti Human Cleric of Eristal 1 || Longspear +3, 1d8+3 (2d6+4) 20/x3, CMB +2 (+4)

Actually, I had a little free time and just decided to do a Google Slides version Walkthrough.

HERE is the link.

Please let me know if I could be more clear anywhere, or something is missing, or there are any issues. I believe that the newer version of PDF24 (I still have the original version I liked better), is slightly different, for example, but it should be fairly compatible and similar.

Shadow Lodge

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|| ANIMATIONS || Bloodcove || Hell's Rebels || In Wrath's Shadow ||

CryxAvril just murderfaced the Half-Orc. The Lance alone almost dropped her, but all of the follow ups left her beyond Neg Con DEAD. Feel free, Oyzar, to describe it if you wish.

Shadow Lodge

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|| ANIMATIONS || Bloodcove || Hell's Rebels || In Wrath's Shadow ||

As the Half-Orc woman and her pet disappear into the warehouse, Bartholomäus gets to his stashed gear and begins to strap it back on and grab what e needs, then circles around the pathway to meet the rest of the group out front.

Just as you all come together and begin to explain what just happened, the door to the warehouse burst open, followed by the warrior woman's armored foot. She and the hyena both flood into the street, escaping the smoke and heat. Just as she comes out into the cool air, her hateful eyes lock onto yours, and she lets out a guttural growl before calling for the others guards to come to her aid.

Behind you, you can hear another door being unlocked from the inside, and it slides open, revealing a single guard at the ready, but surprised to see you so close.

INIT ROLLS:

Avril & Cryxial: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
Bartholomäus : 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
Caith: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (3) + 0 = 3
Maldrek: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9 <Always act in Surprise>
Roderick: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (9) + 9 = 18
Thoril: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
=====================================
Half-Orc: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
Hyena: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 = 20
Guard 1: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
Guard 2: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15

Bursting loose of it's tethers, and rushes at Barth, leaping up to bite the large Mawg in the shoulder (it was going for the neck), and then as Barth pushes it off, it attempts to go again for the leg tail, hoping to pull him off balance, but failing to get a good hold this time.

Random Target: Mal = 1, Avril = 2, Barth =3: 1d3 ⇒ 3

Charge Attack vs FF AC 16: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19 <HIT>
Damage: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
Plus Trip vs CMD 20: 1d20 ⇒ 13 <fail>

ROUND 1

Hyenna (charged)
========================
Roderick () & Thoril ()
========================
Half-Orc () & Guard 1 ()
========================
Avril (), Cryxial (), Maldrek (), Barth (-5), & Caith ()

Shadow Lodge

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
. This is not true. James Jacobs (in one of the links I did earlier) explicitly says as much. And that actually makes sense.

That's interesting, because I was going off of what J.J. mentioned on the subject as well, namely that in his opinion Witches would not be well received.

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I wouldn't say that a non-priest Wizard/Sorcerer would be in any more trouble than anyone who wore armor or touched iron being mistaken for a follower of Gorum.

Shadow Lodge

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I understand what you are saying, I just disagree with your conclusion. Yes, some can tell the difference between Divine and Arcane magic, but that's not that relevant, as not all Divine Magic is received from being beholden to a god. As I said, Oracles, Paladins, and Druids do not receive their abilities by being beholden to a god. Of the three, only Oracles need to even have a link to one at all, and that could very literally have been something that affected their parents before they where even born and was passed onto them. I'd also say that Rahadoum is the most likely place that Divine Casters/priests would be hiding their spellcasting, or connection to a deity, as well.

Witches fall into a place that is, from the Rahadoumi point of view, no different than a priest.

APG wrote:
Some gain power through study, some through devotion, others through blood, but the witch gains power from her communion with the unknown. Generally feared and misunderstood, the witch draws her magic from a pact made with an otherworldly power. Communing with that source, using her familiar as a conduit, the witch gains not only a host of spells, but a number of strange abilities known as hexes. As a witch grows in power, she might learn about the source of her magic, but some remain blissfully unaware. Some are even afraid of that source, fearful of what it might be or where its true purposes lie.

It's also worth reiterating that it's not explicitly Divine Magic that is banned, but rather religion, faith, and being linked to a deity, or allowing a deity to gain influence in the nation. That's the disconnect I was speaking about earlier. Divine Magic is similar to, but not the same thing as religion and gods. A faithful <Wizard> priest of Nethys with no Divine Casting is still risking execution or exile in Rahadoum, for the exact same reason a Cleric would.

Although the Witch casts Arcane Spells, they are still violating that First Law of Man, because there is no real criteria of what a god is, (vs a powerful outsider), and there are also plenty of religions that do not venerate a deity, or a single deity that are likewise banned. So, for instance, there is no practical difference between a Cleric that worships Sarenrae <a goddess> vs a Cleric that worships Ragathiel <a powerful Outsider Entity, but NOT a god> vs The Old Ones <again, who are NOT gods>, vs an Oracle of The Whispering Way <a religious philosophy>. All of these are banned in Rahadoum.

ISWG wrote:
Since then, Rahadoum has charted a resolutely secular path. No one denies the existence or power of the gods, but their aegis comes at too high a price for the people of Rahadoum. The lack of religion has brought the region the peace it so desperately desired, though it has also brought its own costs. Plague has ravaged Azir and Botosani three times in the past 500 years, and the prospect of famine hovers over the fragile land like a shroud. A century ago, Manaket was among the lushest ports of the Inner Sea. Today, it is choked by encroaching desert sands, and its famous gardens are a memory of the distant past. While few dare speak it aloud, nervous whispers abound that the gods have finally decided to punish the people of Rahadoum for their insolence. Still, the Rahadoumi resolutely hold to their ancient laws and avoid any contact with religion.

Finally, once again, the entire point of Rahadoum is a mixture of "reaping what they have sown" and hypocritical fanaticism. They place the blame so easily on their scapegoat of religion (as a whole) and are blind to the fact that they have dug themselves into an even deeper hole in the process. They have murdered, humiliated, enslaved, and/or exiled all of the priests that could help them out, but would rather see their own people, families, and friends suffer or die because of the "cost". But, they had and continue to make that choice and the downside is that they lack methods of gaining enough food, allies, or methods to fight plague, disease, and the like.

Simply saying a Witch can do all that instead both defeats the point and the theme of the nation/setting, the exact same way that allowing an Oracle or a Druid to operate fine would. Neither of them are beholden to a god, <or would loose their powers if they swapped faiths or had no patron god>, and it isn't Divine Magic that is banned.

Shadow Lodge

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It is within the context of the discussion. In the same way that Witches are not "beholden", neither are Oracles, Paladins, Rangers, Druids, etc, and they too are all banned, albeit because there is a disconnect between rules (divine magic) and setting (faith/religion/worship).

Shadow Lodge

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I'd say witches probably have it worst of all, hitting both the worst suspicions if the "enlightened" people, but also because just like any priest, they are beholden to an outside, non-mortal entity.

No one is going to know (or care) about the differences between a "patron" and a Patron Deity, if there really even are any in a setting sense. A Witch would basically be no different than a religious Wizard, but probably viewed much more like how the rest of the world sees a cultist to a foul entity.

From the mechanics/story side, it kind of defeats the point of the nation to allow Witches to skirt the edicts as well, as one of the cooler aspects is how terrible Rahadoum has it because they have turned their backs on and blame religion, and having to deal with it.

Shadow Lodge

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|| ANIMATIONS || Bloodcove || Hell's Rebels || In Wrath's Shadow ||
Avril Axiel wrote:
Avril can charge him from her current position as long as noone else steps in between right? Or does the corner prevent it?

You can charge, but I'm going to say you can not Ready a Combat Action outside of combat. As long as you have a reach weapon and no one else steps in the way you are good.

Caith Skullcrusher wrote:
I'll admit I'm a bit influenced by the picture..in case he isn't wielding a crossbow I'd like to change to a preposition and move him north to me, so that the rest of the party can get easier access to him

Indeed, the guards, (at least the common ones), are walking around with a loaded crossbow, though you can also easily see they do have a scimitar at their belt as well.

CMB (DC 24): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18

The guard does his best to try to wiggle away from the dwarf that seemed to come out of nowhere, but has little luck.

ROUND 1
Caith (Grappling)
=============================
Guard 4 (Grappled)
=============================
Roderick () & Thoril ()
=============================
Hyena () & Orc Woman () [ooc](will be moving towards the doorway)
=============================
Maldrek ()
=============================
Guard 3 ()
=============================
Avril (), Cryxial (), Bartholomäus (), & Caith ()

Shadow Lodge

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|| ANIMATIONS || Bloodcove || Hell's Rebels || In Wrath's Shadow ||

Sorry everyone. I'm mostly done with all the RL issues here, but for the last week and a half or so, I have not been able to get on to Paizo boards at all, (I'm assuming its the sale that's been going on). Both the Forums and the My Campaigns where just blank, and I couldn't load any threads (or even see them). It looks like it's finally fixed, so I wanted to make sure I got on here and posted at least this. I've not been able to post in any game for a while now, and I'm trying right now to go back and catch back up on things. Sorry. There was really nothing I could do that I know of. Hopefully within the next hour or so I should have a new post up and the game going.

Shadow Lodge

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|| ANIMATIONS || Bloodcove || Hell's Rebels || In Wrath's Shadow ||

OUTSIDE
Bartholomaus manages to sneak by just in time, just as he makes it up the dock and onto the ship, the large Half-Orc woman rounds the corner with her pet. The hyena stops for a moment to sniff the air, but then cocks a leg up and begins relieving itself. Able to duck down behind the railing and crawl over to the rudders, all that left to do is cause a little damage. And make it back out of here of course.

Crouching down and climbing out behind the ship to get at the rudders, he gets to work filing away at some of the small components, unscrewing a few bits here, damaging a piece there, all the while keeping an eye out for the patrols roaming the area.

INSIDE
Avrixial, Caith, Maldrek, Roderick, and Thoril, manage to crack one of the warehouse windows open as they spot a pair of guards doing rounds inside. Keeping as silent as they can, they, one by one begin to slide on inside. So far so goo, they get inside without being noticed, YET, but Roderick also spots a pair of locations the would do the most damage before the building's magical flame controls can be of too much assistance. Making certain to unlock the door from the inside, now it's time to make it happen.

Inside the warehouse, the rest of the Pathfinders make ready for battle, as Roderick hurls his first bomb into the closer pile of crates and goods. There is a loud explosion, and the pile of crates quickly begins to burn. Almost instantly, the building's magical wards begin to kick in, and a few spots in the ceiling begin to conjure small amounts of water from nothingness, which as soon as gravity takes hold, simply fall onto the ground and crates beneath them. It's clear, that this simple orison would normally be effective at putting out fire here, if the are where not so packed with good, but as it is, it is not going to be that effective.

As soon as the bomb lands, the guards within are alerted. They begin to rush around, unsure of what just happened, and call out loudly "Alert! We have a fire in the warehouse." The guard on the southern side of the warehouse begins to open the back door, not wanting to be caught in here without a way to escape, and again repeats the call. The other one inside the warehouse begins to head towards the north, and as he gets closer, spots Roderick and "Avrixial". "Thieves!"

INIT ROLLS:

Avril & Cryxial: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
Bartholomäus: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
Caith: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (18) + 0 = 18
Maldrek: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11 <Always act in Surprise>
Roderick: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (7) + 9 = 16
Thoril: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15
=====================================
Guard 1*: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17 (different building)
Guard 2*: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23 (different building)
Guard 3: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
Guard 4: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
Orc Guard: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
Hyena: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14

ROUND 1
Caith ()
=============================
Guard 4 ()
=============================
Roderick () & Thoril ()
=============================
Hyena () & Orc Woman ()
=============================
Maldrek ()
=============================
Guard 3 ()
=============================
Avril (), Cryxial (), Bartholomäus (), & Caith ()
=============================

Bolded individuals are up.

Shadow Lodge

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|| ANIMATIONS || Bloodcove || Hell's Rebels || In Wrath's Shadow ||

Hey everyone. I apologize for disappearing. I've had something pretty major happen and I'm trying really hard to deal with it and protect another soldier. I can't really go into much details, but it's pretty important. I've been dealing with that a lot recently and just have not had the time to get online much. I want to apologize to everyone, and I hope I can get back here soon.

Shadow Lodge

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Sorry, to clarify, they have not rebelled in the streets to overthrow the current government. Sections have broken away or been removed. However, its worth noting that many of the ones you mentioned rebelled against Cheliax rather than Taldor directly.

Galt - Cheliax at rise of House Thrune

Andoran & Cheliax - broke away after Qadira began invading, Cheliax abandon post and convinced what would become Andoran to follow offering protection to the outlying wilderness lands. Andoran then broke from the rest of Cheliax with the civil war and House Thrune.

Isger - Cheliax took Isger by force in the Even-Tongued Conquest as a means to show strength, but has not been able to free itself from oppression as many others have from Cheliax.

Molthune & Nirmathas - both broke with Cheliax from Taldor, only to be treated extremely poor by the nobility of Cheliax leading to a brutal civil war after the rise of House Thrune causing one nation to splint into two.

Last wall - When Cheliax broke away, Lastwall stuck to their sworn duty rather than take political sides.

Shadow Lodge

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Silver Surfer wrote:

I'm sorry we must be playing different games.....

This debate is purely based around the protective benefits in terms of survival.....not in the infinite number of variables and tangents surrounding it.

Maybe, but it looks like you are also not taking into account some of the more obvious things that strengthen the Wis to AC Cleric as well, to show it as weaker. Mage Armor is a long lasting buff and really only costs you either 750 (Wand) or 1,000 (Pearl of Power).

If we assume a +2 Dex, +3 Wis, Wis to AC Cleric, that's a pretty comfortable 19 AC at level 1, (NOT 12th). No other buffs used. Sure, the Armored Cleric is going to (possibly) have a higher AC, but they are also taking other penalties to compensate for that and that absolutely does matter.

Silver Surfer wrote:
- I didnt say that armoured cleric wouldnt self buff did I? What I did say he would be far less likely to need AC and HP buffs since he will be less likely to be hit. The maths dont lie.

Why do you say that? At best they are absolutely equal in their need/desire to buff for combat, but at worst the Wis to AC Cleric is going to already be prepared regardless of circumstances, (such as waking up or being in situations where the can't reasonably wear armor).

Silver Surfer wrote:


- Like I said a cleric with WIS-AC will still only have a max base AC20 AT 12th level. Without serious investments he gets chopped to pieces.

Sure, and if a Armored Cleric doesn't bother investing either, their AC is going to also be low. Keep in mind that Clerics need a Light Shield or Buckler to cast if they wield a weapon, and a fair comparison to a Wis to AC Cleric that doesn't invest in AC is a Chain Shirt and Light Shield, (utilizing the same stats as above).

Armored AC: AC 17, T 12, FF 15
Wis AC: AC 15, T 15, FF 13(assuming Wis to AC works exactly like the Monk's)

+1 Armor AC: AC 19, T 12, FF 17
Wis Mage Armor AC: AC 19, T 15, FF 17

No Armor/Shield AC: AC 12, T 12, FF 10
Wis AC: AC 15, T 15, FF 13

I guess the math really does show. :P Thing is, you keeps saying things like "over the life of the character", but then keep giving really iffy, one-sided examples as a single glimpse.

Silver Surfer wrote:
- Yes WIS-AC cleric can use magic vestment but armoured cleric can use it twice.... armour AND shield....3 times if your GM is lenient!

I'm not sure what you are getting at here. Sure, a Cleric could cast this once on armor and once on shield, but thy are using up resources to do so. They don't just get it for free, and honestly, Armor/Shield is pretty cheap over all. Not sure what you mean by 3 times?

Silver Surfer wrote:
- Yes the WIS-AC cleric can pump DEX but thats if he chooses to do so. And even if full tank you can still get +1 from DEX and in med this is +3. With a MAD class like the cleric, ability points can be put in all manner of places for all manner of reasons for all manner of builds.... this does not change anything.

Like I pointed out, but will make more clear below, you don't have to pump Dex, but not doing so is intentionally not playing to the strength of the new class and purposefully handicapping yourself. This isn't a good way to compare the two in a meaningful way.

Silver Surfer wrote:
- This debate is centred around a new D6 class, that is inherently more "caster". A class with full 9th level casting but also additional enhancements to their spellcasting ability vs the old D8 cleric. With this in mind having it so that it was still easily possible to have all this AND full armour in my view made it unbalanced. There is also the RP/thematic aspect of the 'Holy Man'. If you disagree.... brilliant.

But wait, if it's intended to be a squish, stay back class that doesn't worry about carrying armor and shield, why wouldn't it keep Str and Con fairly low (comparatively) and pump more into Dex, Wis, and Cha, the areas it's going to benefit most from. That's a lot less MAD then the basic d8 Cleric, right, so they can easily afford it, (comparatively). I'm not disagreeing with your view or desire for a "Holy Man", which is purely a matter of opinion. Just the idea that Wis to AC is significantly weaker than Light and Medium Armor, or is somehow a weakness. Not trying to be a jerk, but most of the reasons you present, (outside of those that are pretty specific to your personal gaming experience), just don't hold up.

Shadow Lodge

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Entryhazard wrote:
I don't get the obsession towards making it d6 1/2 BAB, the cleric can be a dedicated caster even with d8 3/4

I really don't either. Its a deal breaker to me, as the Cleric/Divine Cases job is to be closer closer to the action than the Arcane casters. There are also plenty of ways to basically do it on your own if that's what you want, like just dumping physical abilities a bit.

Alternatively, why not play a "divine" Wizard.

Divine spells generally just are not buff enough to make the class a real full caster.

Shadow Lodge

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666bender wrote:

How can a battle Oracle be better than a battle cleric for example.

Oracle has the lowest saves in the game, no main stat for any of the saves, low fort and ref.
Cleric Can wear same armor with 1 feat, use decent weapons and have superior spell list.
The domain vs revelations even out.

Show me a medium better level of Oracle vs cleric plsease.

Spontaneous vs memorize even out. Both have up and down sided

Most of the Cleric's options, regardless of build, are focused on making others better at things. Most Domains are a Standard Action to use that lasts 1 round.

Another huge benefit that the Oracle has over the Sorcerer (in the Cleric/Wizard vs Sorcerer/Oracle sense) is that Cleric and Divine spells are very limited and there just are not that many good ones. So while it's true that the Cleric is a better generalist, it's also not. You do not build a Cleric to be a generalist, for one. They jut do not have the Feats needed for that to work. They get 2 Domains and each of them offers a whopping 2 powers and maybe 3 spells that are not on their Spell list. But, they can only cast them at most 1/day, regardless.

Oracles have enough built in options that they can actually afford to be a generalist by giving up some (not all) of their specialty, but the real trick is that because there are not really that many good choices of spells to go with, it's not nearly as difficult to do as it is with the Sorcerer vs Wizard.

Another huge benefit to the Oracle is that they are a very SAD class, where the Cleric (to do it's job fully) is the most MAD class in the game. So while the Oracle might have the "worst" saves in the game, they do not have to split between Wis & Cha for class features, and can afford to bump Con and Dex higher than the Cleric, actually evening out those saves a lot.

The Cleric does have three realistic strengths. It's a pretty simple class for new players. If an Oracle picks a poor spell option, while it will not be detrimental, the Cleric does have the option to "retrain" a lot faster. And on those rare occasions where a specific spell is needed, it's just as likely that the Cleric doesn't have it prepped as the Oracle doesn't know it, and neither have the scroll/wand, but the Cleric can get it tomorrow if the patient doesn't die by then.

The Oracle has, in my opinion a much better realistic strength in that on those rare occasions, you are probably going to need that spell more than once. So while it's just as likely that neither of them would have it, (Oracle doesn't know it, Cleric didn't prep it), if the Oracle does know it, they can cast it as much as needed and not just once like the Cleric most likely has it prepped. However, since wands and scrolls are pretty readily available, the restriction on Oracles needed to pick and choose spells is much less a weakness than it seems, and much less than it is for the Sorcerer vs Wizard. There just are not that many "must have" divine spells.

Shadow Lodge ****

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I tend to run games much more than play these days, and a lot of that is through Play by Post, so some of the aspects of playing through that medium skew my perspective. So much of this is also going to be for both. For example, a well organized and easy flowing scenario is much more important to me as a GM, but it's also going to show a lot more if I'm playing too, and the GM, (through no fault of their own) is having trouble understanding what's going on or answering basic questions, because the scenario doesn't think to include it.

From a GM's perspective, what makes a PFS scenario good?
* An interesting story that the players have a chance to learn and experience through play. Far too many scenarios are written with much of the explanation and history for DM's only.

* When a scenario is organized well. I shouldn't have to search (on page 19) what happens if the players answer no to something in the first encounter, and then go to page 12 for what happens instead.

* Riddles and puzzles that can both challenge the player an the character.

* Avoiding as much extra snowflake rules (or new books like Occult Adventures rules or the Technology Guide) as possible. If a story can not be told without relying on thee things as mandatory, it's probably not a good enough story, and adding these things does not help, it hurts.

* Scenarios that explore new places.

* Scenarios that make Factions matter. The single biggest selling point I had for PFS was the old Factions. When they where removed as extra side missions and being meaningful, the game lost something. This ties in a lot with the next point. . .

* When scenarios offer options and choices. Not binary ones, or ones that are just the illusion of choice. (Does the party side with person A or person B), but actual meaningful choices where either (or any) option has interesting rewards, penalties, and repercussions.

* Avoiding Sandbox style play. (specifically for online play)

* I'm not a fan of when Scenarios try to even the playing field with Social Skills (mainly), allowing things like a Craft Skill for players that do not have Diplomacy/Intimidate. Would you allow a Wizard to use Int + Caster Level for attack rolls on the chance that a party doesn't have a "tank"? No, then why reward groups/players for not being prepared for a social encounter? There is no difference.

* Avoiding highly social or roleplaying based scenarios. It bogs down play, and tends to make other players tune out and loose interest. Not just "I want to kill stuff" players/characters, but people in general. (specifically for online play)

* When the writer actually gives answers to "if the players ask this. . " that are actually pertinent and something an actual player might ask.

* Small and medium sized maps. A single large one is okay, when I have to draw it out or post it up and it's to the point that you have to zoom in 2 or 3 times (or more) just to see your figure, it's bad, and it can become impossible for some online players (using phones or tablets) to even utilize the map. Avoid!

From a player's perspective, what makes a PFS scenario good?
* I love how a lot of the earlier scenarios had a much more epic feel to play, and sometimes utilized unique rules. (A trap/lock that could be beaten by Intimidate or Channel Energy, a unique freezing curse, etc. . .)

* I enjoy puzzles and riddles. I find them rewarding. The exception being when the only possible way to answer or figure it out is based on something else within the scenario. (A coded note, but no matter what languages you speak or how great your Linguistics, it can only be deciphered with a special Code Key found later).

* I enjoy world exploration and introduction. Going to new locations, or uncommon ones like Ustalav. I'd rather this so much more than any overarching plot, mostly because so far, none of the major plots have been that interesting or engaging. I'm also now tending to find that a lot of those earlier overarching plots just do not hold up.

* When choices and actions matter.

* When I have a chance to find out what's actually going on, what led up to the current situation, etc. . . (even if I fail, the writers foresight into actually incorporating these things as a possibly is great when it happens).

* Scenarios that allow players to shine. Sometimes it's awesome to unleash a fireball that kills all enemies on the spot, or for the warrior to be able to use Cleave, etc. . . Scenarios where it goes out of the way to make classes or options fail or not be usable, (usually as a gimmick), just lead to frustration and feeling railroaded.

* Scenarios that utilize multiple decently powerful BBEG-type foes rather than one big one (and possibly a few minor ones).

* Scenarios that offer a variety of different encounters, challenges, and play-style options.

* Scenarios that anticipate and allow Diplomacy to avoid combat as an option, even if it's difficult.

* A cool Chronicle Sheet, with cool things for a lot of people, and some RP elements. If it's just XP/GP/PP, or more so if 90% of the rewards are there for basically one Class or Faction, it's disappointing.

For the most part, the best and most memorable scenarios in my opinion account for a great combination of much of these.

The Night Marches of Kalkamedes - Offered fun and interesting NPCs, both friendly and not, offered a lot of different challenge types, but also heavily tied them into a single, stand alone adventure that built upon itself. Had an amazing Chronicle Sheet. Had an epic feel, both in the sense of we accomplished something, but also that we where actually a part of something that mattered. Also utilized unique rules, but was not an attempt to shoehorn in a new subsystem book. In my opinion, this is the absolute single best scenario out there. Period.

The God's Market Gamble - An amazing BBEG build up with multiple interesting encounters. An investigation scenario done right (and there are so few of them done well, in my opinion). It also had a strong sense of the party's involvement mattering and some interesting was to learn what was really going on the whole time.

There are also a few Scenarios I outright hate and would avoid at all costs.

Rivalry's End - absolute worst scenario I've ever run/seen. The entire point of this scenario was for the writer to piss of fans that disagreed with them on a Faction or NPC, and it was abundantly clear that the writer ignored everything else involved to push this one through as the worst railroad I've ever seen, outright removing options and forcing events that the characters watch but can not change. It's primary takeaway is that players and DM's walk away actually feeling bad for playing it and disappointed that they where literally not even allowed to do obvious things that make perfect sense to alter what happens.

Scars of the Third Crusade - Too many subsystems, too little variation in encounters, and too many "DM Gottcha's" written into it. One of my main problems though is that it's specifically written to make certain characters NOT Shine just so it can present the very heavily railroaded, whole-filled plot as "meaningful". It was, in some ways, a nice attempt at certain things, but all in all just didn't play well, tended to leave players sitting there twiddling their thumbs, and ended with a less than climactic or memorable battle. I also felt that it really had a lot of challenges that where impossible to fail. No matter what, certain things just happen, just at different times.

Silver Crusade

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HP: 138/138 , Init +3, AC: 23, T: 12, FF: 21, CMD: 29, F: +17, R: +11, W: +17 <+2 vs Evil, Evasion, no Food/ Water, Native Outsider, Imune to Fog/Mist/Smoke and Evil Possesion or Mind-Control> Fly 30', Swim 30", Move 30', Perception +10 <Darkvision 60ft>, NG Male Aasimar Cleric 15, Sunflare: +15/+10/+5, 1d6+18+1d6 Acid (15/x2) S, 5,274-18

"You where the Chosen one. It was said you would destroy the DeSithverate, not join them. Adril, you where my brother!"

Shadow Lodge

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|| ANIMATIONS || Bloodcove || Hell's Rebels || In Wrath's Shadow ||

Just means things will be interesting. For me, I mean. You are all going to die.

Shadow Lodge

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No, Krensky, you are incorrect. If nothing besides the movies/show was considered Canon, why was it such a big deal that Disney announced it would no longer be on 25Apr2014.

HERE

Shadow Lodge ****

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
At that level of rules lawyering shennanigans its not clarity they're looking for.

See, the thing is, based on the actual material, those that disagree with you see YOUR view as the one that jumping through all sorts of rules lawyering hoops and pulling shenanigans to push their own agenda.

There was already at least 1 massive thread about this subject, and while I appreciate you having made up your mind on what anyone that reads the same things you do and has a different view or ruling on what it says, some people would actually just like to not have table variation on this or similar things.

So, again, can we please stop trying to skew things with personal points of view and agenda and let it be decided upon based on it's own merits.

Shadow Lodge

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phantom1592 wrote:
Also, those crystals that they use to make them... I heard they were really hard to find. Either naturally scarce or the Empire hid/destroyed them to prevent jedi from making new ones. So it's REALLY impractical to outfit entire armies with them.

They are very hard to find, but even harder to actually use correctly. Part of becoming a Jedi Knight was the construction of the Lightsaber. It was partially in creating a personal weapon, but the test itself was displaying enough mastery of the different types of the Force (Alter, Control, and Sense), needed to actually correctly create a working Lightsaber.

Another aspect to consider is that a Lightsaber is essentially a bomb, and even relatively minor damage to the components within the hilt would be enough to cause it to explode and kill everyone within a few yards. Part of the Force Mastery required to actually use one in combat is focusing on the Lightsaber itself not being damaged and blowing up.

The original concept was that they where simply lazar swords, but that was changed quickly to make them a partially mystical weapon and not a mundane one. So while one doesn't need to be a Jedi/Sith, they do need to have Force Sensitivity to use one as anything but a lethal taser. Well, until The Force Awakens botched that for us.

The other major aspect of using a Lightsaber is that it's a defensive weapon, not an offensive one. Simply using it like a sword is like using a loaded bazooka as a club.

Instead, with the Force, a user can block, deflect, and redirect blaster bolts, absorb energy, focus the force through the blade, and use the lightsaber as both a melee and ranged weapon/shield.

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