How many fighter levels does your build use? I recognize that it's excellent at what it does, maximize DR and AOO.
I understand your concern, and since I'm considering a three-power investment myself, I'll look at a few parts individually.
I don't mean to be too rough on PFS, but it caps out at level 12, and usually takes place from level 1-8. Pounce starting at level 10 just won't be a factor very often.
The Rest of the Time
Deane Beman, your build looks very similar to what I'm working on. Our only differences are the three abilities I highlighted below. I'm not sure I want to commit to Come and Get Me as a strategy.
I'm considering Improved Sunder, Reckless Abandon, Eater of Magic, Internal Fortitude (with a flawed ioun stone for rage cycling), and Raging Brutality as other candidates.
I'd love some feedback on this build. In particular, what to use those three slots for. I worry that Come and Get Me makes easy fights easier, and hard fights harder.
Level 1: Power Attack, Raging Vitality
Diego Rossi wrote:
First I loled, then I loled more. Thanks for the best thing I've seen all day.
I'm joining a campaign, and I'd like to find a fitting miniature for my new character. I prefer prepainted (plastic) but I'm willing to paint a metal mini if I need to. He is human, Mwangi, barbarian with a greatsword or polearm. I'd love any suggestions you can offer.
All custom magic items and effects are explicitly under the control of the GM. Obviously no GM would approve that item.
I'm quite happy with Pathfinder. It's my favorite version of D&D yet, and I've played every version of D&D, plus a handful of clones.
Ways you can tell I like Pathfinder:
Arbane the Terrible wrote:
Ice Tomb (Su): A storm of ice and freezing wind envelops the target, which takes 3d8 points of cold damage (Fortitude half). If the target fails its save, it is paralyzed and unconscious but does not need to eat or breathe while the ice lasts. The ice has 20 hit points; destroying the ice frees the creature, which is staggered for 1d4 rounds after being released. Whether or not the target’s saving throw is successful, it cannot be the target of this hex again for 1 day. Source: Ultimate Magic
Undead creature type includes "Immunity to any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless)." I don't see anything in Ice Tomb that says it works on inanimate objects, so it seems like undead might be immune.
Like many things, random encounters can be used for good or ill.
Thanks for saving me having to write that out, it's almost exactly what I would say. I'll add two items to your list though.
7. The commitment and availability to hold a game together for the required period of time. It's easy to replace a player who drops out, but a dropout GM usually means ending the campaign.
8. Commonality of style with the players. A certain GM might be ideal for one group, but terrible for another.
Look, it's a dangerous world for player characters, and they rarely know where to go. That's why GMPCs are necessary, like my Doomfam. He's just there to help the PCs; even though he's a 25th level fighter/cleric/wizard/rogue, he doesn't dominate the game. He's just there to back the PCs up, give them directions, solve puzzles and kill the BBEG. Last session was great; the PCs were paralyzed, so they got to hear some of Doomfam's backstory (not all of it-that's being self published on Amazon this fall- look for "Doomfam the Destructor") before he killed Asmodeus. It was such an awesome victory that the PCs got to hold some of Doomfam's artifacts. Anyway, I could talk a lot more about Doomfam, but I have to write the upcoming adventure where the PCs help Doomfam save Thor, who gives Doomfam Mjolnier to use as a backup weapon. Ta!
Sadly close to the truth in some cases.
How receptive are you to the GMPC if he is low powered and doesn't contribute to many ideas or directions - just role play and combat help (though he gets a share of the loot and xp).
I've been playing RPGs for more than 20 years, in a wide variety of game systems, with a wide variety of GMs. Many times I've seen a DMPC, and while I've never once seen it make a game better, I've frequently seen it flaw, wound, or even kill a game.
Mystically Inclined wrote:
A great post
I agree with you completely.
I'd like to add that it's not just new gamers who feel the way you do. Many gamers have different preferences, and here's one useful theories about those differences in preference, GNS Theory. It sounds like you are more of a narrativist than the posts you disagree with.
It sounds like some of your players aren't ready for your, "world I've created over the years, gallons of backstory and a pantheon which I've slightly altered to equate to the Golarion gods etc." I suggest giving them something simpler for a while. They may be ready for more later, after they've gotten used to the game and had a chance to play around a bit.
I'm not saying a DM isn't allowed to say "No", I'm just against that being a DM's first reaction instead of "Alright, I would rather you not, but please explain why you want to play/do that and I will either consider it or we can try and think of a compromise that works for both of us." And it seems very few of the DMs who post about "player entitlement" are willing to do that. (emphasis added)
First, I think you're getting a lot of sampling bias by reading a forum. By the time any GM logs on and asks a group of nearly anonymous strangers for advice on how to handle a situation, most of them have tried discussion, negotiation, compromise, and whatever other means they have. I've played with dozens of groups over more than 20 years, and I've never seen a GM turn down a character without a reason - usually a very good reason.
Second, the GM will usually receive the benefit of the doubt in these scenarios for three reasons:
A personal note:
My pet peeve in RPGs is japanophiles.
I've studied Eastern philosophies and religion, tutored Japanese students, had Japanese roommates, and dated Japanese women - I don't harbor any ill will toward Japanese people. Also, in general, I'm extremely flexible about what I will play and GM. (I've accepted roles in LARPs that are so extreme that no one else would take them, and controversial enough that I won't post them here for fear of starting arguments.)
However, I have no interest in introducing Japanese themes and culture into a euro-centric fantasy game. I don't want a samurai or ninja sharing the battlefield with knights. I don't want people bowing, reciting koans, or speaking in fake Japanese accents. I simply find Japanese characters to be annoying and disruptive, and I don't have any fun GMing for them.
When I run Pathfinder, I tell players they can't play ninja or samurai characters. (They may use the rules for either and re-skinning them to fit the setting. I don't have anything against the game mechanics Paizo wrote for either class.) Does that make me a tyrant? I don't think so, but you may disagree.
Broken Zenith wrote:
Well, I certainly agree with your statement that my party has "a lack of trapfinders and debuffers." I don't think debuffing is a good use of actions on in most cases (there are exceptions) and I don't think trapfinding is worth going out of the way for.
I feel like I should add some explanation for my choices.Cleric & Wizard - I choose vancian rather than spontaneous casters because their access to a wider variety of spells makes them more powerful in the long run. Also, depending on how my GM handles WBL and item availability, I would consider item creation feats for one or both casters.
No Trapfinder - Given reason to believe my GM or campaign would cause the party to encounter an unusually high number of traps, I'd make adjustments to accommodate. However, in my fairly extensive experience with D&D/PF, I've found that traps play a decreasing and fairly small role in most games. Traps are infrequent, rarely deadly, often avoidable, can be dealt with by other means, and having a character who specializes in dealing with traps provides only a partial defense.
Paladin & Ranger - Both can cure, which is primarily important for emergency situations. Both can function at range or in melee. And, most important, both can dish out tremendous amounts of damage when needed.
Fifth member - If I were to add a fifth member to the group, it would be another character focused on DPR. Likely I'd go with a barbarian.
Strategy - The basic strategy of this group would be to end fights as quickly as possible through dealing massive amounts of damage.
I don't agree with all of your roles, so my party will look a little different along those lines.
Tank - Everyone should have defenses, more so for those who willingly enter melee.
Healer - The party should have the ability to heal itself, but I don't consider "healer" to be anyone's primary job.
DPS - Everyone should contribute to damage.
CC - Control comes in many forms, and everyone should contribute.
And Secondary Roles:
One build, without a particular setting or campaign in mind, would look like this:
People like to ape iconic fantasy characters of every kind. Some of those have such weapons.
There's my answer, I think. People want to mimic iconic characters I'm unfamiliar with. I've never played Final Fantasy, didn't know who Cloud was until I looked him up, watch little anime (and even that isn't fantasy anime), and rarely read comic books (never fantasy comics). So, I'm simply out of the loop on big-weapon role models.
Now I only wonder when the trend started.
Jeff Wilder wrote:
To address the real question buried in your sarcasm, I'm not appalled that people want unrealistic things in their Pathfinder games, but the OP clearly marked the thread as being about real-world physics. My answer to his inquiry, "I have always wondered why "knock back" has never been in the rules. . ." is that the "knock back" he describes is primarily a product of Hollywood.
I added the personal note that I don't see Hollywood knock back as an element that needs to be added to Pathfinder. There are, however, other unrealistic elements that I'm happy Pathfinder has included, such as the three you mention, elves, magic, and dragons, as well as many others.
Fortunately for those who want knock back in Pathfinder, trip, tripping strike, bull rush, bull rush strike, and awesome blow all exist.
I've allowed it as a GM, even suggested it to players on occasion, and have no problem with it at all. Since the rules are straight out of the book, the characters don't cause power/balance problems. And, so long as the swap is withing my groups tolerance for believability (I wouldn't allow "ogre with stats of a goblin" for example) there's no harm done to the flavor of the game either.
I do the same thing for weapons occasionally as well, like a pirate who wields a "scimitar" by the rules, but describes it as a "cutlass".
Currently on the front page of the rules forum there are three conversations about wielding oversize weapons, and that's not unusual. There seem to be a significant number of players with a strong desire to swing enormous weapons.
Why do so many people want oversize weapons so badly?
There are lots of other recurring questions along the lines of "How can I make this work?" or "I wish this worked better." For most of them, even if I don't happen to want the same thing, I understand the motivation. (e.g. sword and shield fighters, direct damage casters, heal/buff pacifists, agility based combatants, throwing experts, etc.) The oversize weapon chasers, however, I don't understand.
Weapons of the gods?
I've done it a number of times, but apparently I do it differently than most people.
1) Choose a theme for the party. They're the main characters, and if they have something in common, all of their adventures will seem more natural than if they're randomly thrown together:
2) Design a first mission for the party. Again, this is to make their motivations for grouping together feel real and therefore make all of their later adventures more organic. In the three cases above, I might choose:
3) Stop! Call for characters. At this point I stop writing. Write up a document that includes all of the above, plus anything else I'm already committed to about the campaign. This includes house rules, campaign setting if I know it already, character building info (starting attributes, equipment, etc.), and anything else the players will need to know in order to make characters. Also, as part of character creation I ask players to include motivations, goals, desires, fears, etc.
4) Write plot. Now that I have a group of main characters, I can begin writing antagonists, allies, missions, adventures, and whatever else I will need to make a good campaign. Now, it will be a campaign that truly features the players characters, using their histories, personal goals, etc.
DM Tadpole wrote:
It’s also worth noting that your average citizen or soldier of Vigil would not consider joining Dierik’s caravan a worthy act. The general populace’s focus is firmly on defending their borders from the orc threat. Joining a caravan seems like shirking your responsibilities. Joining a caravan that is heading into the Hold of Belkzen, and will likely trade with the orcs, verges on the treasonous.
Ah, an interesting twist!
For Tibal, who's particularly concerned with trying to build a good reputation for himself, it would be painful to look traitorous to his family or neighbors. But, there must be a great story behind a hero like Dierik turning from his knightly occupation to a life of trade, one that Tibal will certainly try to discover. Also, while Tibal is not the great warrior he wishes to be, knowing that his talents lie along a more social course, perhaps he can contribute more by spying on the enemy than by fighting openly.
(None of this would change how people perceive Tibal's actions, just internal motivations. Reasons why Tibal would be willing to sully his family's name by making such a journey.)
I believe in a very direct approach. I told the players for my current Skull & Shackles campaign that I wanted, "Tier two characters, if measured on a three-tier system," and assured them that I would scale challenges appropriately.
They gave me exactly what I asked for. The less expert players did so by building the best they could within concept, and the more experienced players used it as an opportunity to play weaker concepts that they would typically avoid.
I've taught dozens of new players, including adults and kids. Here's how I manage first time gamers.
Core Book Only - Yes, there area classes, feats, spells, etc. out of other books which are great, even for new players, but the ability to find every rule you need to play in a single book cannot be overstated. It's comforting to know all the answers are in there somewhere, they're dealing with a single index, and everything is fairly well organized. Whether they buy or borrow a copy, it's also the only book their likely to have with them at the gaming table.
Guided Character Creation - I never expect a newbie to make a character on their own. There's just too much material that's incomprehensible until you've actually played the game.
Guide to Simple Options - While guiding character creation, I push for easy to use options, especially passive ones. Take a monk for example, Dodge is a great beginner feat because it just gets figured into your character sheet as a number, while Improved Grapple is a poor beginner feat because it opens up an extra ruleset.
Put Everything in Writing - As much as possible, I load their character sheet with everything they'll need during play. I'll print out spells, write down weapon attack routines, etc.
DM Tadpole wrote:
@ BlueluckBack in 3.5 days Knowledge (local) was tied to a specific region, which made sense to me, although it’s of less utility playwise. I’d ask you to specify a region (based on wherever your character grew up). But as suggested, I’d let PCs make knowledge (local) checks in other areas provided they’ve spent some significant time there.
I would definitely choose Lastwall, of course.
Yes, the rules do say how to determine starting equipment. I was speaking of ongoing equipment, and should have said so more specifically. 3,450 gp (starting equipment for an elite 5th level NPC) isn't going to go very far.
DM Tadpole wrote:
Tibal’s a great character who could fit well into the campaign. Mechanically speaking, Tibal can have another trait – perhaps the Lost Kin feat homebrewed above would be suitable considering Tibal’s history. Presumably Knowledge (local) would be Lastwall?
I intentionally left one trait open in case a campaign trait would be appropriate. Lost Kin is perfect for Tibal.
Knowledge (local) is odd, in that it never tells you to choose a location. I assume a character from Lastwall would know the most about that region, and would learn a bit about other areas by studying them. For an academic, that might mean reading up on the subject, but for a bard like Tibal, it would mean traveling there and talking to the people.
1) No where in the feat itself does it limit the cohort to the Elite array or how the ability scores are customized. This would mean you are using the creating NPC section to make it - or have some self imposed limitations on doing such a thing. This is also something that Buri has mentioned as well. As a game master, I use Rule 0 to improve enjoyment of the players.
In the rules for leadership, the cohort is explicitly an NPC. Therefore, it uses the rules for building NPCs. (I assumed the elite rather than standard array because it was more charitable to your argument, and more common in my experience.) It is certainly a GM’s prerogative to give higher scores if they wish, but it would be a house-rule to do so.
2) Per cohort level you can not first attract (recruit) a cohort more than two levels below you. Per the last paragraph concerning the cohort level in the core book and SRD - your cohort is limited to being a single level behind you after they join you. The two level limit does not infringe at any time after they've joined - one level lower is the accurate number once they've adventured with you. The difference, between 1 and 2 levels can be very drastic. . . .Though you are outright wrong on the -2 level.
I’m sorry, but you should read it again. Here’s the relevant quotation. “If a cohort gains enough XP to bring it to a level one lower than your level, the cohort does not gain the new level—its new XP total is 1 less than the amount needed to attain the next level.”
3)No where in the feat does it say that the gear is from the PC's budget. This is merely commonly accepted reasoning that may be a stigma to the leadership feat. As with anything, I would personally expect hand me downs from PCs to the cohort or those odd items no one else can use to best effect. Lesser gear? Sure I'll give you that.
The text doesn’t give a source for funding cohorts, because there is no special source to fund a cohort. A cohort who is traveling around with the PCs must somehow be equipped, and with no other source of funding, its PC (or the whole party) is the only source.
I was going to respond to more of your comments, but I'll wait until you read the rules again. It's not worth discussing how to change the rules until we can agree on what they say in the first place.
As a non-casting archer, you're probably hurt more by darkness than any other kind of character. What level is your character?
I have two suggestions that work independently of level and class. First, print or write the spell descriptions for Darkness and Deeper Darkness and bring them to game with you. Both spells have limits: starting light level, radius of effect, duration, etc. People frequently forget parts of that and play the spells more powerful than they really are.
Second, sometimes you just have to back up and wait. That won't always be an option, of course, but sometimes a tactical retreat is the best decision. Especially when the enemy has a limited number of 3rd level spells per day.