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Any high level published adventure (3rd party or not) that successfully deals with the verstility of the high level caster?
Endzeitgeist had good things to say about the following high level adventures:
Rule of Law: Clash of Constructs - a 14-16 investigation adventure
Simon Legrande wrote:
In stories, good authors use foreshadowing and other hints to suggest what might happen or what limits might occur. In that framework, if Plane Shift doesn't work, then the players can recognize that something is strange and it becomes a plot point. If abilities randomly don't work and there has been no foreshadowing, then it is pretty much on a level of a deus ex machina or similar type of storytelling reveal which tend to be very unsatisfying and in a cooperative game setting, feels like the game master is cheating.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
The advantage of following option 3, is it makes the game easier for new players to pick up and easier to GM as well, since you don't have to worry as much about hitting all sorts of landmines that experienced players and GMs know to avoid.
James Jacobs wrote:
How does the paladin work with respect to pantheon worship, or other types of polytheistic worship?
You can also have a Paladin who views Asmodeus's job to be the tempter and jailer of those who are evil or who might do evil. Asmodeus isn't there to be a nice guy, but in the end he still wants the world to continue. Even with the bad parts of Asmodeus, an order of Paladins who worship him could still base their structure around the Lawful parts and basically play the good-cops who work towards a world that will not fall to the temptations of Asmodeus or be sent to him when they die. Asmodeus helps identify and draw the evil out so the Paladins can target them.
Sure, these are non-Golarion interpretations of the god and Paladins, but they seem consistent with how religions have been handled in the real world by worshippers (see Hinduism, Christianity, etc.) where aspects of a god or agents of a god are what would be considered evil in Pathfinder.
From Kirthfinder, here is one way to deal with the Explosive Runes issue, and other glyph type spells:
Most of the Adamant material has problems and the balance tends to be wonky. The Priest is an exception and is generally seen to be fairly well balanced. RGG/SGG and Dreamscarred material tends to be well balanced. Rite, Tricky Owlbear and Kobold Press are a bit closer to the Paizo level of balance, but also have a lot of cool stuff.
James Jacobs wrote:
This thread is in the rules section. I figured the OP was looking for some guidance as to how the situation could be handled from a rules perspective and not necessarily the Golarion setting.
That aside, the Paladins of Asmodeus might be exactly what the OP was looking for in a game set in Golarion. It may not be canon, but each player's game does not have to follow the canon setting and it might provide some inspiring material that would be useful for the OP's game, even if it does take place in Golarion.
Why care if Paizo later walked it back as not being canon for Golarion? It provided an in-game rationale for paladins of an evil god. Probably not the one I would have gone with, but one that works with the rules. If the OP is looking for a precedent as to how this can be handled, rules-wise, it is a good place to start.
I notice that Create Demiplane bases the amount of volume created on an equation that uses caster level. How high can we get the caster level of a level 20 character who can cast a version of the Create Demiplane spells?
I could see a paladin worshipping an evil god, while not falling. Basically, the Paladin would strive towards the Lawful Good interpretation of an evil deity's portfollio, while the god they worship is there to act as the jailkeeper/punisher for those who fail to live up to the ideals. This obviously wouldn't work for every evil deity, but you can totally set up a good cop/bad cop arrangement.
To use a real-world example, in some biblical writings/apocrypha Satan/Lucifer plays the role of the punisher and the one who tries to tempt those with evil tendencies.
The Relluk entry on d20pfsrd.com produced one of my favourite fan responses. Quoted below:
I'm saying that an intelligent adult made the unfortunate mistake of assuming that Pathfinder players and GMs would be able to extrapolate meaning from context.
So, an argument of authorial/editorial incompetence? Wouldn't it be simpler to just assume that the author wrote what they actually meant?
From the first edition Fiend Folio:
Guardian Familiars - cat guardians of treasure or sites that have nine lives and come back more powerful each time.
Hellcats - The familiars of devils. Yes, that's right, in this game you can descend into the Abyss and find a demon stroking a cat. It's immune to non-magical weapons and like real-world cats is immune to any form of mind-control. In exchange for its service, the hellcat demands one human victim sacrificed to it per week. Also, if it meets a more powerful LE critter, it'll totally abandon you and serve them instead.
Khargra - Fishlike creature that lives on the elemental plane of earth and burrows through the ground eating gems and high-grade ores. Likes refined metal too. Infestations can be spotted by the slag-droppings they leave behind.
So, what metamagics have effects you might want, but the increased caster level means that it is generally not worth the higher level spell slot required to use?
Also, Paragon Surge + Sacred Geometry seems like a fun combo.
One combo that also seems interesting is Umbral Spell + Shadow Grasp which turns every spell into a pseudo Black Tentacles spell.
Interjection Games wrote:
Yeah, Endzeitgeist gave it a glowing review. It's on my list of classes to check out.
Also, the Ethermancer was reviewed by Endzeitgeist as being the best iteration of the warlock in any d20 system.
Also, funny fact...Paladins and Rangers both get auto-confirm crits as class features. Paladins get it at 4th level. :P
Bless Weapon is pretty nice, though it is against evil foes only.
James Jacobs wrote:
Thanks for the response James. It was very informative. It sounds like for future playtests it is very important to stress test the system over the entire level range with a focus on probability of success, relative effectiveness of choices, etc. It's unfortunate the system didn't work out as well as you hoped for the Mythic ruleset.
Exactly. They are okayish at killing things, but it'd be nice if the class provided some ways of interacting with the other portions of the game and to not leave it all on the thespian skills of the player.
Possibly. You'd still pick up the immunities, protective aura, senses (including true sight), flight, DR, resistances, and access to the feats (not all, but some). You might also get the Slaying Arrow Su ability, since the effect is automatic, which suggests that it is not an activated ability.
Either way, it'd be great if we had some insight as to what you get from a Simulacrum. A template or more explicit guidelines would go a long way to reducing the confusing and abuseability of this spell.
Wouldn't you get the passive Su and Ex abilities? They count as always on, and as such would not need to be activated. To put it another way, can a troll turn-off their regeneration, or is it always on for them (unless they get burned by fire/acid, at which point it is suppressed for a time)?
James Jacobs wrote:
James, there's something I'm curious about and I was hoping you might be able to shed light upon. Since many of the issues that have arisen with this AP are related to Mythic and the numbers underlying the system, I was wondering if there was any attempt to mathematically model expected damage outputs, initiative values, and other fairly basic "be good at your combat niche" type character building options? Things like probability of success, expected damage amounts, etc are all calculatable values. I've found the bestiary monster CR guidelines (how much HP, damage, etc you should expect for a monster of a certain CR) extremely valuable and I was wondering why it appears something similar wasn't done when developing this system.
Thanks for your responses in this thread and I look forward to seeing what you come up with next.
The idea sounds interesting, although I've always been a fan of weapons that 'grow' with a character, so that, for instance, Amiri the Barbarian could 'unlock' hidden potential within her giant sword, even such oddities as it being revealed to have been made of a special material, but so covered with verdigris and grime that it wasn't obvious until after she got the money to have it alchemically cleaned off (mysteriously the same cost to upgrade to a weapon made of that special material... How odd!). Coin spent on buying a new magic weapon would instead be spent on unlocking ancient power within a current weapon, for instance, and so Amiri could 'discover' that her giant sword was actually the magical sword handed down by frost giant jarls over many centuries, and only needed some TLC (and exactly the amount of gold it would have cost to buy one with those abilities) to unlock the 'hidden potential' of her legacy blade.
This is pretty much the numen/item aquisition/upgrade system from Kirthfinder.
If you were to rebuild the proficiency system so that each weapon had different levels of proficiency that unlocked different abilities, you could make the Fighter's large number of weapon proficiencies more special, and even add extra tricks available for each weapon group based on their specialization.
Even if you didn't go with the revised weapon proficiency system, you could give the Fighter a pool of weapon tricks they gain access to at each levels of weapon training in weapons they are proficient with. The same could be done with Armor Training. That way, you could keep the niche of the fighter to be a weapon master, but actually allow them to do some impressive things with their weapons and armor at higher levels of weapon/armor training. It could be a great way to allow them some Charles Atlas Superpowers without having to completely rebuild the class.
I'd still want to see some powers that allow them to do things outside of battle. Without rebuilding the skill system so it extends beyond the E6 range for tasks you can expect to do with it, you would probably have most luck with adding some interesting things to the Bravery class feature, even if it was just automatically granting certain more social/exploration/investigation feats at different levels of the Bravery feature.
Kirthfinder is one approach. It's still pretty much Pathfinder/D&D, but designed so there are many more viable builds and that all classes can enjoy getting new and exciting abilities to interact with the game at all levels.
Exactly. Paizo typically does this for monsters and on rare occasions some other material as well. I personally feel they could stand to do so more often, with all the high quality 3pp out there, in order to avoid reinventing the wheel so often. It could be that 137ben intended a different meaning to the post, but that was my take.
@Set: Were you the one who proposed that different classes be able to get more out of weapon/armor enchants? I remember someone writing some in-character examples regarding a kid playing around with the parent's sword, the father showing the kid how he could light the sword on fire, and the mother (who was the owner of the sword and the higher level fighter) being able to wreath their entire body in flame and basically turn into a sword wielding fire elemental.
I've tried to find the post, but have had no luck to date.
Ross Byers wrote:
My reading of the quoted text was that a 3pp had produced something that was thematically/mechanically consistent with Paizo's design goals and that Paizo could benefit by either using or reviewing and being inspired by the material.
The third option of course, is to make some minor modifications to spells and capabilities that allows for both. The normal example for Castles and Dungeons is to make it so stone of a minimum thickness can block teleportation and scrying. There's a lot of little things that can be done to make the powers and capabilities you want present in a setting mesh a bit more with the setting as presented, but it requires thinking these things through and acting on them. Basically, you have to care about the internal consistency of your setting and not just shrug and say 'close enough'. It's more work, but the advantage is you start being able to use logic to figure out how a problem might be resolved rather than having to rely on deus ex machina, "a wizard did it", or the players to follow a gentleman's agreement to not totally wreck the setting with the capabilities they have been provided.
That could very well be the case. They want to create a traditional D&D fantasy world, but are stuck using a legacy system that doesn't mesh well with the world they want to create. One of the points made in Sanderson's articles, is the more complex your magic systems the harder to extrapolate and to create any sort of internal consistency.
The society-warping effects of magic is something that most designers don't think through completely, much like how many science fiction writers don't really comprehend how large planets are. Really solid world-building is actually a lot rarer than most think and it is really easy for a designer to have blind spots that result in their world's inhabitants not behaving like normal people would (from pretty much any time period) if they were dropped into or grew up in the fantasy world.
Kitchen sink style settings like Golarion tend to have even more blind spots than most fantasy settings, because the patchwork and self-contained nature of each portion of the setting that has minimal communication with other parts of the setting. With so many designers involved in writing the world, unless there is very strong shared setting oversight, you end up with even more discrepancies.
If you want a well-thought out setting that fully considers the implications of all the various changes that have been made to make it more fantastic, you are likely going to have to go with a setting designed by one person or a small team and which has strong oversight to make sure everything is consistent.
There's several really good blog entries by Brandon Sanderson (author of the Mistborn, Words of Radience, and several other series with very imaginative magic systems and strong worldbuilding) on this topic:
My request for all of the new classes in Pathfinder Unchained is that they all be able to contribute meaningfully in all areas of the game at all levels.
This would include
Obviously, some classes will be designed to be better in some areas than others, but it would be very nice to allow players to have a chance to participate (be the main person or be a helper) in overcoming challenges in all areas and not just be a load for their other party members to carry.
As I mentioned above, it is also important to make sure to extend the ability to participate across the entire level range and not just a narrow low-level range. Look for the challenges the players can be expected to encounter in each level range and then come up with thematically appropriate ways for each class to contribute to solving those problems. Otherwise, if you design the class first then every problem is going to end up looking like a nail and you may end up creating something that will result in the players sitting around waiting for a chance to contribute for whole swaths of the game.
Basically, the traditional classes are more rooted in older western mythologies, whereas psionics are more rooted in eastern mythologies, 19th century Europe and America, or have been co-opted by the magic system (clairvoyant and prophetic powers).
Detect Magic wrote:
It isn't Dreamscarred Press, but this seems to be exactly what you are asking for from Rogue Genius Games. It has great reviews and seems to be generally well received by all who have looked at the books.