Core sets the lower AND upper bound of what the rules do. It is set up to be the bookends of the system. Nothing goes above core in terms of power. You might have some options collectively that are above normal for core, but they never exceed core. How do I know this? Wizards getting wish guaranteed at level 17 is core. The same wizard has a WBL to cast wish over a dozen times according to core. The same wizard can be an elf and get +6 to beat SR in core with only two feats. You can get over 100ft move speeds in core. The luck blade and ring of 3 wishes are core. All the tomes and manuals are core. Gate, powerword kill, immortality, getting ability scores in the 40-50 range, outright immunity to fear/disease/poison, bypassing ALL DR (including epic) of a creature, binding high HD outsiders, hundreds of damage per round... all core.
No other book Paizo has released has singularly had such a plethora of potentially game-breaking abilities. Rather, they simply recombine the above and reflavor them with different mechanics that do similar things. But, they never go above.
As far as DPR goes, they don't outpace a dedicated fighter or barbarian and their HP is roughly equivalent to that of a barbarian. That's the net effect of the synthesist. The casting is very limited. They do get SOME gems earlyish but nothing game breaking. Being capped at level 6 spells, it's also hard to get high save DCs so they make mediocre blasters or battlefield control.
Really, honestly, they look cool and seem OP because they're esoteric to the vast majority of players and that stigma makes people resistant to actually looking at the class for what it is. But, they're not bad. They're no more complex than playing a rogue that has several tricks. There is built in balance.
If you're playing a "broken" build then you likely built it wrong. You can't take assumptions with the evolutions. You have to actually read them as they have little tweaks here and there to keep them balanced so you can't just read titles and apply normal monster rules to them.
It's up to the GM.
Paragon surge removes one of the key limitations it is to be a limited caster: a limited spell selection. You gain a lot of castings per day as, say, a sorcerer. It is almost nothing to cast that a couple times a day and have more versatility than a wizard. Granted, you don't get wizard schools which really help certain builds shine, but that's how it plays out. With witches you gain any hex you want. The only requirement with it is that you have to be a half-elf given its targeting specification.
Rynjin, you can't use paragon surge's feats as prereqs to other feats. I don't know what Improved thing you're looking at getting but I think that's what you were trying to do.
A full HD being being able to do what it does is fine. Expecting a being half that creature's HD to do everything the full HD thing can do is ridiculous. Again, it's put upon the GM to determine exactly what they do. I don't see a fair, balanced GM letting the wish thing slide. If you're playing in a purely "for fun," whimsical game, let anything fly, sure. In any setting, it's up the GM what you get.
Those DCs have nothing to do with how good the simulation is. It only lets you detect it's not "it." Besides:
It appears to be the same as the original, but it has only half of the real creature's levels or HD (and the appropriate hit points, feats, skill ranks, and special abilities for a creature of that level or HD).
Wishes for a 10 HD creature are arguable. Crazy but arguable. For a 5 HD creature, wish's are insane. So, I'll grant you, the check doesn't tie to how well you do. My mistake. However, if you let essentially a level 5 wizard (a class that can guaranteed get wish at level 17) have wish in your games, then you deserve what that brings. It is still incumbent upon the GM to determine what a 5 HD efreeti gets versus a 10 HD one.
The thing with simulacrum is that it is inherently tied to the GM to determine how well you matched the target creature to determine what abilities you get. There are no set DCs. Also, the spell only imparts skill ranks and not specific knowledge. To say it does is putting things into the spell that aren't there.
Also, I wouldn't say every "game-breaker" is due to a liberal GM. I've got a level 6 kensai/bladebound magus and wizard multiclass that I can only hit with 20s with CR appropriate fights and he can hit CR appropriate enemies with like an 8 on his rolls and he does very high damage. I follow RAW pretty strictly. Granted, this includes doubling WBL for epic campaigns, which it is at a 20 point-buy.
A full caster can quite usually buff themselves to ridiculous levels. Letting them have 10-foot reach is just unnecessary. Some rules are there purely for balance. For example, a summoner's aspect ability lets you spend eidolon evolution points but aspect explicitly stops you from using it to take the ability increase evolution. This is purely to stop summoners from increasing their charisma score.
In that case it's already there. No where about alignment does it say that alignment is prescriptive of all members of the race.
Alignment, Size, and Type: While a monster's size and type remain constant (unless changed by the application of templates or other unusual modifiers), alignment is far more fluid. The alignments listed for each monster in this book represent the norm for those monsters—they can vary as you require them to in order to serve the needs of your campaign. Only in the case of relatively unintelligent monsters (creatures with an Intelligence of 2 or lower are almost never anything other than neutral) and planar monsters (outsiders with alignments other than those listed are unusual and typically outcasts from their kind) is the listed alignment relatively unchangeable.
It doesn't say it can't happen. Just because most of the members of that race are something it doesn't mean all are.
I think the real insinuation of the books and Golarion material implies that each inhabited world is as diverse (more or less) as Golarion and that each plane is as diverse as the material.
What we see in the bestiaries is just a sampling of the most prominent members. This goes back to the commonly attributed Gygax comment of DMs not needing rules. GMs are free to do what they want and make the universe appear as diverse as they want.
Stepping back to a broader topic I do think a common problem is people trying to make character builds that only work when other characters and specific actions happen in a certain order. It gives a feel like the group is a puzzle complete with clearly cut jigsaw lines rather than individuals who came together as a group complete with some overlapping competencies and all.
I think this should generally stop. Playing brothers where one is the tracker and the other is the bowman? Fine. Being a general expectation at a lot of tables? No.
Many rods have modes that double as weapons. I'd say they work fine until you activate such a mode. At that point, the hair simply lacks ability to wield it and it drops.
Philosophically, I think the rules have a hard time know exactly what they are. I've seen dev commentary to the effect that we should extrapolate in one area but only stick to explicit listings in another. So, it's hard to tell. If something is clearly written to be open with a broad topic and barely scratches the surface of possibilities, I try to use what's written as markers for my sandbox and I try to stick within that sandbox. Other rules that are more constrained I try to stick with the explicit wording.
Many creatures gain CMD bonuses versus types of maneuvers. It does, though, show how the system math looks kind of weak at really high levels.
Rules are not about what's prohibited, but what's allowed. Wand use is not called upon as allowed in the prehensile hair ability, so by RAW it's not happening.
Yes, they are. Wands are not listed under weapons in any book. They have no moving parts. There's nothing to manipulate. They're an object that's held. PH is written to allow that.
Depends on your game. Some expect you to be a complete Phycho Zealot, others are fine with you being a bro, and others judge you from deity to deity. Personally I'm fine with clerics being bros rather than prudes.
Clerics of Calistria are FAR from prudes. Cleric in general does not mean prude. It's not about being a complete zealot. Read my post. Do what you do within the ethos of your god AND through the lense of your societal experience. It all matters, dude!
Personally, I don't play any of my characters as bros. Then again, I've never played in a group who came to the table roleplaying they previously knew each other.
Bah. You misunderstand. Roleplay. You don't dictate how others play. You don't hesitate to let your faith show, though. If your god has a strong opinion on something from source material let it out there. If they don't, keep quiet or play your character. Roleplay should never be bad. Clerics are zealots though. Gods don't give everyone power who asks for it. They're the proven faithful. That takes a good bit of drinking the kool-aid. If you want divine power without the devotion play an oracle. That's their niche.
Honestly OP? Sounds like you typecast yourself in the "healbot" role. Play a cleric for what they are: the eyes, hands, and voice of the divine. Gods don't f%~@ around. Neither do their servants when it comes to getting things done. You speak with absolute authority, act with absolute certainty, and judge absolutely all within the ethos of your god as reflected through your character's societal experience. Do that and you will be playing a cleric.
I'm thinking about using him in one of those rare cosmological alignments where he moves from world to world just swiping through population centers spreading madness as quickly as possible before the alignment changes and he gets pulled back to his prison. No combat to be had. Just Cthulu rushing through cities making people insane and moving straight away to the next city or another planet entirely.
There are a set number and type of magic items for each city based on its size. Then, you have the base limit. Any magic item up to that base limit has the 75% availability. The only items in the city available for purchase above that base limit are those set items. When, how, or even if, those set items get reset is up to the GM.
Raith Shadar wrote:
Making the hit point pools separate removes all the headache of trying to track hit points when the Synthesist is inside and outside the Eidolon. It eliminates any strange attempts at figuring when to apply your own con modifier and when to apply the suit modifier to your own hit points. As well as how a Con belt affects the temporary hit points of the eidolon and the real hit points of the summoner. Pool is separate and size spells and magical enhancement items only apply once to the Summoner's real hit points. Confusion over at least where hit points are concerned.
Whenever I play a bimodal character (lycanthropes being another type), I track stats separately. This way, in mid-combat, I can instantly know, at a glance, what is what. This includes HP. It just makes life so much easier.
If you lose a CON belt, or upgrade it, whatever, all you need worry about is adjusting the difference in modifiers. The math is very simple. If you go from a +1 mod to a +2, you get number of HD more HP in each pool. If it goes down, or away, you do the same, just with subtraction instead.
Are there any situations you've had where this wasn't easy? Perhaps, I can show you some ways to help as I've played a lot of bimodal characters.
Raith Shadar wrote:
You are not making sense and don't seem to grasp why I made the rule change I did. It had nothing to with the power of the Synthesist. It's a rule to streamline and simplify mechanics as well as discourage stat manipulation that doesn't make sense.
I do grasp it. Perfectly. You're trying to simply HP tracking by keeping the pools separate based on each creature's CON. What you are ignoring is that you change one of the main reasons a synthesist character would not dump their CON. You may keep the pools separate, but the character still gains a huge pool of temp HP. It doesn't really fix anything since the summoner can still funnel HP when the suit takes damage. The summoner can still be healed normally. The summoner can still use the rejuvenate eidolon spells to directly restore that temp HP. Both pools still grow as the character levels.
Also, you start to fudge the rules where the synthesist is a single creature. If you track things separately, then you open your design to rules debates about what thing is which creature. This can greatly confuse other rules such as targeting and what effects affect what. The unfortunate thing is that a player who would do so isn't even being argumentative. Being able to anticipate common rules so you know how to play a character is vital.
Furthermore, if the eidolon goes away, the summoner's HP remains unchanged. It makes investing in keeping the eidolon around less of a worry. If your own HP can go way down, potentially leading to an instant death, when it goes away, you need to find ways to either keep it summoned, or to find ways to cope when it goes away. This should be a good thing as it presents players a choice and they can feel good when that choice has meaning when it matters. In this case, that means combat. Also, if you invest in CON to prevent instant death, you have less points to spend into mental abilities which is a common gripe about the archetype. Another would be dumping strength, which I'd argue is stupid to do, since you still need to carry things when the suit isn't summoned. But, that's not this part of the discussion.
I don't see what's confusing about switching out an ability score for HP. Do you not use the various undead templates that switch many things from CON to CHA? Several class abilities and feats do ability score switching as well. Do you house rule them? Even if all you have issue with is the double dipping of a single ability score, realize there are several abilities that let you do this with skills and the like as well. So, to remain consistent, do you apply similar changes to those? If you don't, this makes for a very confusing edge case in your games since it has no consistent basis.
As far as making sense goes, I am. If I am not to you, explain why I'm not making sense. I've explained myself several times and have again in the paragraphs above. Just saying "you don't make sense" and skipping the thread is cheap. If you can't explain how, I argue I am, regardless of what you say, making sense. What's confusing to you? Why a RAW synthesist would keep a high CON? I've explained why several times. The threat of instant death is reason enough to not dump it drastically. It's not new to the rules. Barbarians face that threat constantly. Do you house rule that or fudge the rules so that threat can never actualize? Do you simply not have players that play barbarians? How do you deal with that situation when it comes up? Furthermore, any temporary bonus (which the synthesist's usage of the eidolon's CON is as it's NOT permanent in any way) has the potential to cause situations like this when they expire. Do you not track durations accurately or fudge how those work in your player's favor?
I'm honestly curious as there are flaws in your underlying reasons that create inconsistencies in play. If they haven't, I'd wager someone just hasn't been keen on noticing.
Keep in mind you brought a house rule into a rules forum thread. Awesome. You shouldn't expect it to simply pass in the category without challenge.
I'm making perfect sense. Lots of things affect summoned creatures in various ways. The summoner can subvert some of these, like protection from spells and attacking said protected creatures, but not all. Increasing a monsters spell DCs is super easy as the GM. Given each increase is a difference of about ~5% chance to succeed, you don't need to add a whole lot to make something more difficult to resist. If you have an intelligent enemy, he should retreat and come back more prepared. If you have a singular, consistent BBEG, he should start making plans well in advance of encountering the party. Bad guys do not exist in a vacuum, or, at least, they shouldn't exist in a vacuum.
The design idea is fine since it's a fragile and exploitable one.
Facilitating fun as a GM should include introducing challenge. Face-rolling every encounter with no threat is NOT fun. You shouldn't negate a player's choice. However, it's perfectly legitimate to make them do a little work to justify it. There is no reward without struggle.
It's not written specifically to dump any stat. You're grasping for straws on that one. All half dozen or so synth builds I've done had a minimum of 16 con base. They still had good-to-high mental scores with point-by stat generation. At no time was that con wasted points. I don't know what kind of super easy campaigns you play but mine often include night-time ambushes and the like at various times when they fit with the story. They play out like a breathing world, not the static, isolated battles you seem to be framing your view with.
You're evaluating the synthesist with all its perks and none of its weaknesses. That needs to stop if you want to have an objective discourse about it. It's riddled with exploitable mechanics that are every bit as fair as any other class'.
If you dump con, you're doing it wrong. As I said, if you have low con, take a large (but okay because you have tons of HP) amount of damage, then lose your eidolon due to banishment et al., you instantly die just like a barbarian can coming off a rage.
If you're a player and tank CON, you're hedging your bets on having a softball GM.
If you're a GM and don't play enemies intelligently who may now what summoners do and how to deal with them, you're letting your players literally get away with murder.
The eidolon suit being on can not be an assumed constant. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if people who hate synth's are also people who hate sundering items or don't utilize the collateral damage rules against worn item damage when you roll 1 on a save. Gear is not a constant. The synth suit is just a powerful piece of gear, but it is one that is easily dealt with around the same time they really start to shine. That is balance.
Balance is not self limitation. Balance is ecosystem that evens out given all factors. The eidolon can easily be dealt with as a GM. So easy, it's ridiculous, almost to the point that it should be discouraged. Synths are almost the epitome of the glass cannon. In a high level fight, you can easily hit one with a high level fireball, dismiss the suit, and the character is dead even if they saved. Done. UNLESS! You DO NOT dump con.
If you keep a solid con, you can retreat, get the suit back, and get back in the game. This is rounds out of combat if your build relies on the suit (as most synth builds do). This is what you want when you talk about balance. The player feels challenged, believes it's manageable (because it is), and keeps up an exciting experience.
The game far from requires you to dump con as a class requirement. Please, stick to facts.
It's not difficult on a sleeping enemy. If you're focused on using cackle to prolong your effects then they need to be in place first anyway. There may be multiple enemies in a fight, as there often are. It's valid.
The long and short of it is that there aren't many options. Scar is one on a very short list outside of investing in feats to increase your move speed, quickened spells to, for example, dimension door around and still have actions left (high level), and so on. There are no convenient or easy solutions. Choosing what you do with your actions is a core mechanic of the game. You can't always do everything you want.
Raith Shadar wrote:
I would jump at the opportunity to play with this rewrite. It takes away one of the largest vulnerabilities to the archetype. If you dump con, take damage as the synth, get your eidolon banished, there is no more instant death. That is huge.
The intent is clearly dealing with a natural attack if you take the synthesist/eidolon write-up as a whole. It's what thematically makes sense with the class and archetype.
If you want to really mince out the wording, it applies to an attack, not a limb. A longsword is not an attack. It is a weapon used to make an attack. So, you can't say reach (left arm) as left arm is not an attack. You can't say reach (longsword) since that's not an attack. You can, though, say reach (claw) since claw is a natural attack. You can't say reach (melee) since the reach evolution only applies to one attack and melee is a classification of several attacks.
It's not broken. It's actually put together okay but it does require a depth of rules knowledge and an attention to ability wordings that the other classes don't need.
For the other classes you need to really pay attention to few things from level 1 to 20 not counting spells, just class abilities. Synthesists require you to pay close attention to potentially a dozen or so things at all times during play and almost as soon as level 9, when you get a full dozen EPs.
It simply caters to a different play style. It's definitely not for everyone. I would say this potentially makes it a good candidate for removal altogether because it is fundamentally different. But, I don't think it's broken.