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Caedwyr's page

2,535 posts (2,537 including aliases). 5 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 1 alias.


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The Relluk entry on d20pfsrd.com produced one of my favourite fan responses. Quoted below:

Quote:

So we have a new race of steam-powered living constructs who look like stone tiki golems with Popeye arms and glowing crystals instead of heads, and operate out of a volcanic island which contains the crumbling ruins of the civilization which built them?

And they use a new mechanic for simulating armor that provides intriguing, useful bonuses that can encourage players to try out little-used kinds of armor by making them more effective?

And they're from the same people who created elf-ettins, living skeleton men, racist Cthulhu-slug-people, time-displaced Neanderthals who specialize in beating armored soldiers to death with beer steins and sharpened sticks, sentient bipedal caterpillars who evolve like Pokemon, and extradimensional anthrophile oozes that look like the Autons?

As a lifelong D&D enthusiast and fan of Silver Age comics, this is unimaginably beautiful. I feel like I'm gazing at documents from some strange parallel reality where all the writers for DC and Marvel decided to go work for Gary Gygax after the Bronze Age got going. Heck, half of this is occupying the same gloriously insane mental headspace as the sheet phantom.

I'm going to have to track down hard copies of all these books: Alluria Publishing has clearly proven themselves as the most perfect possible company to provide material for my homebrew campaign setting.


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Impressive review. Thanks as always Endzeitgeist.


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The thing I really miss from 3.5 is the Lightning Warrior class. It was a good wizard-like option for those players that don't want to have a familiar.


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@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.


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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

Social
Combat
Logistics/Travel
Investigation/Exploration

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.


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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).


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Talented Fighter?


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My issue with Reactionary is the following

The Dictionary wrote:


re·ac·tion·ar·y
rēˈakSHəˌnerē/

adjective: reactionary

1. (of a person or a set of views) opposing political or social liberalization or reform.
synonyms: right-wing, conservative, rightist, ultraconservative, traditionalist, conventional, old-fashioned, unprogressive; informal redneck
"a reactionary policy"
antonyms: progressive

noun: reactionary; plural noun: reactionaries

1. a reactionary person.
synonyms: right-winger, conservative, rightist;

None of these meanings have anything to do with a person with fast reflexes.


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Fighters are spellcasters?


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Yeah, I don't think it's a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but with the terminology being used for a powerful and popular (everyone likes the Blue Mage) ability of the arcanist, I'm guessing the question of enemy/ally and the consequences of how that is ruled on other parts of the game is going to come up more often in the next little while, and as such it's worthwhile considering what those implications might be.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Here's a question, would an arcanist with Suffering Knowledge be able to take advantage of the ability if they were hit by an ally who was charmed by an enemy (but not known to the characters) who cast a spell on the arcanist? Why, or why not and is the answer to that question consistent with how enemies are determined elsewhere in the rules?


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Isn't there a build using Noble Scion that allows the player to have an arbitrarily large number of cohorts?


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Celanian wrote:
I'm not sure that the 50 pound weight limit for teleport should include a monster's normal gear. Look at some other Outsiders such as Star Archon. They wear large full plate and large heavy steel shield which is well above 50 pounds. I don't think the intent was that they couldn't teleport in their standard gear.

I think it is more likely that the designers forgot about that limitation when designing the creature and it's item loadout.


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While the summoner already has a lot of a "build your own class" nature to it, the mechanics have all sorts of exceptions from the normal way the rules work in other areas of the game. I'd be interested to see what you can create when working on the Talented system version of the class, and if you could make it mesh better with the general mechanics.

Similarly, I'd be interested to see what you have planned for the Paladin. I could see you potentially creating a holy knight that would cover the paladin, anti-paladin and other alignment based holy knight types all under the one umbrella. My first impression is that you could link certain powers to the codes of conduct, which would allow you to recreate the core classes using the talented system, but expand the class offerings somewhat and make them less linear in nature.


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I love the artwork. It is very reminiscent of that classic bit of comic books artwork Spiderwoman in space!


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So, what you are saying is that germ warfare might be fairly effective against the abyss and hell.


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The issue I think you probably ran into, and I've run into as well when doing some homebrew, is how various different parts of the rules interact with each other, often in contradictory ways. In this case, I'd suggest that whole chunks of the system would need to get rewritten in order for things to work clearly. After that work is done, it'd be much easier to write new mechanics. A good example of this is the simplifications and reorganization done for the Beginners Box set.

The flip side of this situation, is: Should you write a new mechanic if writing it to do what you want requires lots of qualifiers and a large amount of text? Or is that an area you should shy away from because of the complexity, confusion and difficulty in writing a clean mechanic that won't conflict with other mechanics and cause problems for the readers.

I just wanted to point out that cleaning up the entire rulebook is more likely to shorten the text rather than lengthen the text as Dr.Deth was suggesting. If you rewrite everything in isolation, then of course you'd have a massive and confusing tome, but I don't know why you'd want to take that approach.


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Tirisfal wrote:
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
As such, we have all sorts of ships in the world, and work to remain consistent when we've said one place that a given ship is a frigate that it's always a frigate.
Paizo has been willing to retcon material before. Don't be afraid to do so when, as here, the idea that frigates (as we know them) exist on Golarion is nonsense.
Old people flinging balls of fire from their fingertips at flying, ice breathing lizards is also nonsense, but we get along with that just fine ;)

The thing is, the suspension of disbelief breaks down when people in the game world do not behave socially or intellectually the way people in the real world behave. For example, why build a style of ship designed to maximize the offensive power and defsnsive power of cannons (or even particular types of cannons) if those cannons or another form of offense does not fill the same role? Why would people waste their time constructing a type of ship that costs a bunch extra and makes a bunch of other design concessions to a feature that is not included?

The "nonsense" as you call it, is not the inclusion of the old people flinging balls of fire or ice breathing flying lizards, it's how the people of the world react or fail to react in a sensical way to these inclusions in the game world.


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As a follow-up, I am really really enjoying reading this. The organization is much better than the previous version and the simplification of many mechanics makes it much easier to play. The skill system is something that really can be ported directly into pretty much any Pathfinder game for a general overall upgrade in both useability and balance.


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houstonderek wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Does no one but me actually use Microsoft Office? I hadn't realized I was missing the boat.

You have to pay for it nowadays, I think. So, a lot of people are just running Libre Office and Open Office, since they're free and do everything Windows Office does. Libre just doesn't play well on non-Linux machines, I think because Microsoft REALLY hates the Linux programs (I run Ubuntu on a seven year old laptop and my machine is faster than any new laptop running Windows 8), since they're faster, more stable and are FREE.

Edit: Kirth, the reason you've used Office in three jobs is because most companies just get Windows because they know just about everyone has used it at one time or another and it saves money in training. Most computer people don't use Windows or run a partitioned hard drive with a Windows shell so they can use sites with Silverlight and whatever soundcloud/Spotify uses for DRM.

The other issue, is unless you can find a copy of Office 2007 or 2010 you are stuck with Office 365 which you can only rent from Microsoft, not purchase. That drives a lot of people towards programs like Open Office and Libre Office.


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DrDeth wrote:
MrSin wrote:

[

DrDeth wrote:
not a nasty scalpel wielding animal torturer.
Good thing the vivisectionist doesn't actually require you to torture animals or wield scalpels or be a nasty person. Too bad people think it does...

Yeah, that flavor text put in there for the roleplayers does get in the way sometimes, doesn't it?

"Unlike a chirurgeon, a vivisectionist's goals are not related to healing, but rather to experimentation and knowledge that most people would consider evil."

Of course, one can ignore flavor text. Or not.

Confirming that Butters from the Dresden Files books is one of the most evil, eviliest evildoers that ever did evil.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Marthkus wrote:
Alexandros Satorum wrote:
It is a good time to ask for that high skilled vanilla fihter who can out DPR any barbarian, is not behind in HP and whose saving thorws are high enough,. Perhaps 20 PB, level 10, standard WBL, two traits.

Optimized barbar?

Not possible.

Although not even a ranger competes in those areas and the paladin would lose out too.

He comes with a +10 skill bonus to hair stylist.


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One of the nice things about Pathfinder 3pp is the Endzeitgeist.com resource. Hundreds of high quality critical reviews by a reviewer that uses the entire review scale. The reviews are in depth and explain the what and why behind the conclusion and score. It makes it much much easier to sort the wheat from the chaff and lets the consumer know exactly what they are getting. There's lots of great stuff out there and it has never been easier to find all the best of the best. I'd suggest that it's actually easier to figure out what are the best 3pp products than it is to find out what are the best Paizo products as there are no reviewers who consistently provide the same breadth and quality of reviews for the Paizo products.


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Remember folks; "the load" is a role in the party that can be played.


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For me, bloat is the publishing of non-options. Basically stuff that you will never want to take because the opportunity cost of taking it is too high and you wouldn't even want to take the material if you were hyper specializing in one area.


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Play experiences are used to determine the framework for your model.
Math is used to analyze the play experiences via the model.
Play experiences are then compared against the model to see if the model can be used to explain the play experiences.

If you want to check if the mathematical underpinnings of a system have issues, it is probably best to use math and theorycrafting. There can be lots of problems in how this is applied, most having to do with the design of the model and the assumptions used to construct it.

If you want to determine the impact on the flow and nature of gameplay, game experiences are what is important. There can be lots of problems in how this is applied, most having to do with assumptions made and biases in the participants.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Most items are not politically active and do not make any objections to political change. My take on this is you'd need some sort of intelligent magic item, though the backstory would need to take into account why the particular magic item has strong opinions one way or another against rapid/radical social changes.


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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.


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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.


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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
Greater Familiar - Skirmisher Publishing
Angler - Alluria Publishing
Kahuna - Alluria Publishing
Mariner - Alluria Publishing
Siren - Alluria Publishing
Angakkuq - Alluria Publishing
Front Grounder - Dias Ex Machnia
Heavy Grounder - Dias Ex Machina
Marshal - Dias Ex Machina
Mechanic - Dias Ex Machina
Operator - Dias Ex Machina
Medic - Dias Ex Machina
Stalker - Dias Ex Machina
Gunslinger - Dias Ex Machina
Sniper - Dias Ex Machina
Vanguard - Dias Ex Machina
Gunslinger - Alvena Publishing
Death Knight - Rogue Genius Games
Luckbringer - Rite Publishing
Mushakemono - Rite Publishing
Bone-Breaker - Rite Publishing
Hishoken - Rite Publishing


1 person marked this as a favorite.

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:
  • Step 1. Identify niche/concept you want a class to cover.
  • Step 2. Ask yourself if this niche is sufficiently broad to warrant a new class, does it cover something players might want to play, and can the existing system and style of game promoted by the rules leave it as a viable niche.
  • Step 3. Review other classes/existing material to see if this is a niche that has already been covered, and if so, does it add anything to the game to add another option.
  • Step 4. Identify what range of activities you want the class to be doing in combat situations. Make sure you cover the different level ranges and the assumptions/style of game changes that occur over the different level ranges. Do you want the class to always be doing the same type of things, or do you want the class to shift focus as they go up in level?
  • Step 5. Identify what range of activities you want the class to be doing in a social situation. Make sure you cover the different level ranges and the assumptions/style of game changes that occur over the level ranges...
  • Step 6. Identify what other non-combat activities you want the class to be doing over the different level ranges.
  • Step 7. Review combat, social, and other non-combat areas to make sure you have provided ways for players of the class to contribute to suitable degrees in each area at all levels. Some areas may have more than others, but you want to be sure to have at least some way to participate in this different areas of the game or else the phone games come out and players start to tune out.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

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.


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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.


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This looks like an incredible hidden gem. Thanks for the review Endzeitgeist. This one took me completely by surprise.


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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.


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LazarX wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Grimmy wrote:
I think I will implement both Kirth and Diego's fixes. They look good.
Not bad, but I'd still prefer an official fix.
Why do you need one so badly? We hardly ever had "official fixes" back in the day, and we managed to get by quite nicely, in fact judging from this board, better than today.

I imagine because some players are interested in making the game more accessible to newer players.


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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.


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Chengar Qordath wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
LazarX wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Sure. But this is often touted as why Pathfinder is broken. Altho I doubt if it sees much IRL table-top use, fixing it will help out the community.
The "community" needs to learn that it can help itself.

It can. No reasonable GM will allow it.

That doesn't change the fact that, by RAW, it is a possible outcome.

If it requires houseruling to fix, obviously it was broken.

Why not push for an official fix, eh? It won't hurt your game one way or another, and will help the game as a whole. Why gripe about it except to hear the sound of your own typing?

If we asked Paizo for an "official fix" for every possible spell, archetype, game effect that could possibly break a game, then we'd be asking for a FAQ the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica. There have been breakable things in the game since First Edition. However it was Third Edition with it's emphasis on "builds" and builder tools to serve it which opened up the floodgates. to the kind of nonsese we see here. The answer is not to try to build an incomprehensible list of fixes for excesses, it's for GM's to develop the common sense and discipline to simply say "NO!" to obvious crack monkey moves.

On the other hand, defaulting too much to Rule Zero ends up hurting the robustness of the Pathfinder ruleset. At some point, you end up with so much in the way of house rules and DM Fiat that the base rules aren't much more than a very loose set of guidelines. A bit of table variation is fine, but if every single game needs twenty pages of house rules plus lots of fiat rulings/bans during actual play...

Not to mention that the more time the GM needs to spend being the rules referee, the less time there is for actually playing the game, building the world, etc.

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.


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They can if they take the feat.


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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.


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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".


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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.


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Jiggy wrote:
Cerberus Seven wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
3. Folks should recognize that there are some feats we expect to be common and should be pegged at the top of the power curve (or close to it). We expect to see a lot of people with Power Attack. Thats why its in the core rulebook. That is not to say other feats cannot be as good (or close to it), but if we are always putting out Feats (and other mechanics) that trump existing ones, we end up with power creep. Its a delicate balancing act, and not one that we always get right. Every rule builds on those that have come before and as time goes on, it becomes more and more difficult to foresee all the ramifications. Thats not meant to be an excuse, I just wanted to give folks an idea of what we have to deal with on a daily basis. Concerning this feat, we came to agree that it was pushing a bit to high above the base line. We pulled it back. We are looking to see if we went too far. Its clear to us that many of you think we have. We will take that into consideration going forward.
To quote Gandalf, "Hope is kindled!"
But no one will remember this the next time they feel like saying the design team doesn't listen, just like the don't remember the last time, or the time before that. :/

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.


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This thread will be an excellent one to necro a year from now.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:

Don't feats that let you break the rules (not an addition or expansion) have a

Quote:
Normal: This is how the rules normally work.
Line?

Frequently, but not nearly always. Its rather unevenly applied, which has always bothered me to be honest, but that is a subject for another day.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

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?


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
2. The Crane Riposte feat still works just fine. It ALLOWS you to take an AoO in that specific circumstance (even though you normally could not). It could perhaps use a callout specifically to that effect, but the wording is pretty plain.
Not one person who isn't you has said in any of the threads on this errata that I've read that they thought Crane Riposte still worked. If the wording is plain it's plainly not saying what you intended.

Feats allow you to do things that you could not otherwise do based on the rules all the time. That is the entire point of them. Like I said, it could probably have used a parenthetical stating "(even though you could not normally do so)", but I think the wording is still plain enough.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

Don't feats that let you break the rules (not an addition or expansion) have a

Quote:
Normal: This is how the rules normally work.

Line?

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