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I know there's been a few things that have given rise to doubt, but I'm surprised how widespread the belief seems to be that Paizo's writers are incapable of writing a clear and consistent mechanic, as shown in this thread.
The world as per the spells and capabilities of characters/npcs does not match the world as typically presented by world builders. Any issues are generally glossed over with half-hearted justifications.
Regarding the Talented classes, how would you categorize them, if not calling them full classes? I agree that they are a redo of the core classes, but they are at least at the level of an alternate class. Note that a bunch of Super Genius Games credited classes are now Rogue Genius Games classes.
Also, here are a few more:
Aquanaut - Alluria Publishing
One thing I've always wondered about, is what is the the checklist designers go through when sitting down and doing the initial prototyping and concept level design, prior to putting actual mechanics down. I always figured it would be something like the following, but I am beginning to suspect that they might be following another procedure.
Caedwyr's imagined design procedure wrote:
I believe Ashiel has made the case in the past that if you are going to restrict a new player to a more martial class, you are better off using the Ranger instead of the Fighter. The Ranger starts off as a functional martial with some direction as to what type of fighting they will want to do, adds some class features the player can customize in that direction, while still not ruining the ability to contribute if they make poor choices. It has a decent skill list and a fair number of skill points to spend on them, with some class-based support to their skills. Later on, it adds a lower powered companion and fairly simple, thematic spells, to provide an introduction to those parts of the game. After playing a Ranger, the new player has been slowly introduced to a wide range of the different areas of the game, but not all at once. They are also easier to build a functioning character with low levels of system mastery than something like a Fighter.
So, if there are two rules and one rule creates something that fits the CR guidelines, while the other produces nonsensical results, choose the second? That seems like blindly following the wrong set of rules because you saw someone else doing it rather than using a bit of common sense.
If you want your game to be accessible to new players, then where confusing wordings/interactions of different portions of the rules or other such issues arise, you need to address these issues. If you are not interested in expanding your playerbase or making the game accessible to non-grognards, then you can just keep on keeping on.
I imagine because some players are interested in making the game more accessible to newer players.
What I tried to raise upthread, is that while common sense and experience with the game is great for all the long-time GMs, GMs and players new to the game do not have all the experience or calibration of common sense that allows them to identify what is disruptive and what is not disruptive. If you want your game to be accessible to new players... you might want to clean up landmines such as Simulacrum.
Chengar Qordath wrote:
The problem with leaving all sorts of things in the game because they can be "rule zero'd" away is that it makes it much harder for a new group or new GMs to pick up the game and not hit all of the various landmines of broken or unbalanced rules. This is fine if you aren't planning on adding any new players to the game... but not so great if you are trying to make your game more accessible.
It is a martial ability more powerful than what is available to the class in the Core Rulebook. Under the balance paradigm as outlined by the Paizo design team in other threads, this means that the ability to rage cycle at earlier levels is something that should be removed or severely toned down to achieve the same end.
My guess, is many players come up with a character concept and how that character engages in combat. What they forget, is that they will not always be able to dictate the terms of the engagement and that their opponents will also want to control the terms of the fight.
The common sense part of gear selection, is recognizing that combat will not always go according to plan and to make sure you have equipment to help cover these scenarios. In this situation, asking yourself "what if the enemies try to stay out of reach or attack from a hard to reach/unreachable location?" leads to the fairly obvious response "I better find a way to hit them back even when I can't walk up to them".
I recently made a post related to this issues as it relates to the Skill System. One of issues with the Skill system is most uses are firmly in the mundane level range, which generally the 1-6 and maybe a few in the heroic range (6-10 or so). The skill system starts to fall behind with what is possible outside of these levels and this means that characters that depend on skills for non-combat participation in the game start to become marginalized.
So, looking at the skills situation and how it doesn't manage to keep up with the magical capabilities at higher levels I was wondering if any thought had been put to the following.
Have specific skill rank requirements for certain tasks, and keep these requirements separate from the DC's.
For example, using the heal skill, you might have Raise Dead as per the Raise Dead spell, but requiring 5,000 gp in exotic medical supplies per attempt, as a possible thing doable with the skill provided you have at least 12 skill ranks. The DC for this task can be whatever the designer wants, but they need to have at least 12 skill ranks to attempt it. You can fiddle with the number of skill ranks required, but you'd generally need to decide when you want the different more powerful skill uses to come on line and design around that.
Under this system, you can keep the skill system relevant at the higher levels, while preventing people from pumping their skill checks and being able to perform deeds at levels divergent from their intended target level.
Nah, for me the larger concern I have with the future of the game is not this one instance of a nerf/buff to an ability, but the comprehension and competency of the people designing the game mechanics and system behind the particular instance. The errata of Crane Wing broke or made very ambiguous a follow-up feat in the same feat chain. This speaks to me of either poor QA/QC on the mechanics side of things, or poor QA/QC on the wording and review of the errata and it's knock-on effects. This isn't the only time this has happened in the last year either.
The second concern, is when Crane Wing is compared to other similar capabilities and their effectiveness in a normal game. If they were to have limited Crane Wing to a # of times per day, or made some other modifications that toned it down, but didn't render it useless in a significant number of instances it might be used, then I would have been reassured. That they instead pretty much removed it as a useful option while not touching other abilities like Snake Style, Mirror Image, and other methods of preventing a character from being struck, speaks to me of this being a knee-jerk or tunnel-vision limited reaction rather than a thorough review of the design space and concept behind the feat.
To conclude, the way this was handled and the stated reasoning behind the changes causes me to doubt the competency of the design team, which makes me, and probably others more hesitant to purchase additional rules/mechanics material from Paizo.
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
When you are issuing an errata for a feat that is changing how it functions, would it not be an appropriate time to add such a line?
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Don't feats that let you break the rules (not an addition or expansion) have a
Normal: This is how the rules normally work.
Well, the important thing to remember is that people who push the caster vs. martial disparity are people with agendas. It's also important to remember that magic is supposed to be better and balance is done under this paradigm. Keeping these facts in mind, the only surprising thing is that an overpowered option for monks has lasted as long as it has. I feel that the nerfing to the point of uselessness and the breaking of Crane Riposte is the correct course of action and should not be a surprise to any forumgoers.
Where can I find this Deathseeker class you speak of?
It's a prestige class you can find here Deathseeker
The ability is only available at level 17 at the earliest, so it's a capstone "you win the game" type ability. This isn't something that's going to wreck campaigns, but instead pull a partial victory out of the flames of failure.
Level 1 Commoner wrote:
Do you really ask that? Would you allow a "Screw-your-campaign"-at-will-button in a game of yours?
Last Resort (Su) wrote:
At 10th level, when the deathseeker witnesses an event that will undoubtly plunge an otherwise neutral or good aligned world towards evil, the deathseeker may activate this ability. If the Gamemaster agrees that there is no other way to prevent this catastrophe, the immediate 3 square mile radius, including the deathseeker and all beings and objects in this area, is transported to an inescapable demiplane where they remain for no less than 1,000 years. Nothing is immune to this effect, not even artifacts. As this is a potentially campaign-ending power, the Gamemaster may adjudicate when this power may be used, or if it can be used at all. The Gamemaster may optionally increase or decrease the area of effect as needed. The Gamemaster may provide some means of escape for any good or neutral aligned non-kval who become trapped on the resulting demiplane at his discretion.
I've bolded the sections that allow Gamemaster control to prevent it from ruining the campaign. From what is written, this can really only be used when the only other option is failure. Otherwise the Gamemaster can say "no, there are other options available so I am not allowing the power to work". It's a narrative power, for those situations when the party has failed to defeat the evil they are fighting, so they seal it away for a thousand years. This can allow an entirely new campaign to deal with the consequences of this action, rather than being left with a ruined campaign world due to the failure of the PCs.
There was a modified version of the Wish Economy discussed during the alpha phase of Pathfinder. Lots of interesting discussion. Some of it, as you've pointed out is less relevant due to the changes to Wish, but some of the other issues with regards to the capability of players to acquire wealth beyond that expected by their level still exist. Kirthfinder has a method of dealing with this, but it's an issue for how the adventure world and the types of adventures that can occur.
Your link is broken.
Seem to be the ones you were referring to.
Yes, Sleep Hex is a world changing ability. It is however, one of many world changing abilities, that while it may be appropriate for an encounter, have vast world-changing effects outside of single encounters. Look at Antagonize (Intimidate) for another example. Mikaze did a great in-character demonstration of what Antagonize does to the game world.
Mending, Purify Food/Drink, Detect Poison, Read Magic, and similar also have world changing effects, that may not be obvious at first, but have the potential to transform the game world and attitudes/expectations of its inhabitants to something that many players may not recognize.
A few ideas for this class, borrowed from The Investigator class:
Crime Scene Analysis (Ex): The investigator can
The investigator must study the site of a deed
Like a Knowledge skill used to gain information
An investigator may only make a single Sense
In Your Head (Ex): When the investigator
Contemplative Trance (Ex): The investigator can, once per day, spend a 1d6 x 10
Lethal Blow (Ex): The investigator’s
Studied Attacks (Ex): An investigator may use
Something that confuses me about the rogue, is why they didn't just decide to publish stronger Talents and Advanced Talents. The basic class structure seems to be pretty good, it's just the abilities aren't all that great. The Barbarian saw a nice upgrade in the APG from the new rage powers, and the rogue has a similar structure there already that makes it easy to add new powers to the class.
Isn't that something that should be checked with statistical models and not with annecdotal tests? Otherwise, you become more susceptible to streaky results.
It'd be cool if they decided to create a multiclass archetype system that allows players to blend different classes with the right multiclass archetype.
So, if Paizo is interested in multi-class hybrids, have they considered the Multi-class Archetypes.
It seems to me that this system would allow for pretty much all the multiclass combos offered in this playtest so far, and also be much easier to expand upon in the future. This would allow Paizo to add more hybrids in the future with less effort and also not obsolete the existing multi-class system. Plus, everyone loves archetypes. Seems like a win-win. You can even take the existing class hybrids and adapt them to multi-class archetypes with minimal work.
It strikes me that if there are problems with the multiclassing system, it would be better to fix those problems instead of continually creating work-arounds and band-aids. If your new system adds something to the game beyond a work-around, then great. But otherwise, you'd be better off in the long run fixing the problems that cause the work-arounds.
World of Xoth I may have been mistaken on. It looks like the semi-campaign guide is for Sword and Sorcery not PFRPG. http://endzeitgeist.com/ezg-reviews-spider-gods-bride-tales-sword-sorcery/
Shadowlands has a conversion guide http://endzeitgeist.com/ezg-reviews-shadowlands-conversion-guide/ and a free module http://endzeitgeist.com/ezg-reviews-shadowlands-carthicas-pride/
So, I went and did the obvious and looked at Endzeitgeist's website under "Campaign Settings". Here are the ones that have been missed so far in this thread:
You could go the route of Catholics and have lots of saints to deal with the aspects of the portfolios. Or the Hindu method of having multiple deities which are actually just aspects of a single deity.
What in particular are you looking for guidance? Interaction between the pantheons? Ways of allowing clerics without giving them too many domains. Relations between worshipers of different pantheons?
Wow, those are some really glowing rules. It looks like Legendary Games has put out a superior alternative/supplement for both the kingdom rules and the mass combat rules from Ultimate Campaign. I hope when others, such as Paizo use these rules in the future, they make use of the updates from Legendary Games.
I believe it is a reference to the Monk of Four Winds Archetype:
Immortality (Su): At 20th level, a monk of the four winds no longer ages. He remains in his current age category forever. Even if the monk comes to a violent end, he spontaneously reincarnates (as the spell) 24 hours later in a place of his choosing within 20 miles of the place he died. The monk must have visited the place in which he returns back to life at least once. This ability replaces perfect self.
Yeah, that was the point I was trying to get at. I was interested in hearing more from Jess, since her earlier post just gave an outline of the the idea and didn't get into specifics.