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Caedwyr's page

2,521 posts (2,523 including aliases). 5 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 1 alias.


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The mental track shows some interesting design space for lesser mental penalties.


James Jacobs wrote:
Caedwyr 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 problem is that there really wasn't a lot of good solid playtesting feedback for high tier, high level characters for us to work with. At least, as far as I saw. The high level Wrath of the Righteous adventures used the best feedback and material we had... but in large I felt increasingly like I was flying into the dark. There were SO many options available, and to a certain extent I kind of felt like the design team and the playtesters alike really focused more on character building than they did on actually building adventures or how to build long-term campaigns for Mythic. Which is sort of par for the course, it feels like... the higher level things get, the more they need playtesting, but the less folks seem interested in playtesting them.

In a way, Wrath of the Righteous IS the high-level mythic playtest. It's a shame that it's also the final product, I guess.

If I did this again, I'd be in a better place to develop a more well-balanced and well-made AP... but I'm not eager to do it again anytime soon. Which is too bad for me, since the type of story I wanted to tell with Wrath (facing off against demigods/etc.) is one particularly like (it's...

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.


JoeJ wrote:
andreww wrote:
JoeJ wrote:

Back on topic then, how would you compare martial vs. magical characters when the scenario isn't a video-game-like boss fight but an entire extended campaign where it may take years of planning, gathering resources, and developing intelligence before the group has even a prayer of taking on the enemy leader himself?

It's not who does what in the last battle that matters so much, but how much of a part each PC has had in the campaign to get to that point.

Sure but then this comparison still favours magical characters over martial ones. Clerics and Druids gain access to useful spells like Speak with Dead, Commune, Commune with Nature or even stuff like Speak with Animals/Plants/Stone. Arcane casters bring the whole panoply of enchantment, divination and conjuration magic to bear.

Martial characters are limited mostly to what they can achieve either through mundane skill use or what they can go by convincing the GM something should just work and there is your problem. Magical characters also get to convince the GM of stuff that should just work without needing a roll and often get far more skill points than martial characters. They can also circumvent all sorts of skill checks through the use of spells.

If you are in for the long haul political, espionage, intrigue style scenario then the last thing you want is a character who, on level up, gains +1 to hit things with a pointy thing and 2 skill points.

So what fighters need, probably, is not godlike strength and endurance feats (the previously mentioned destroying a mountain or diving into lava) but more ability to diversify.

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:
Tangent101 wrote:

Here's one solution that has been bandied about: Limit the number of buffs on a character to his or her charisma modifier, with a minimum of one. I think there were conditions on that (like allowing bardic song in addition) but really, you could just limit it to Charisma modifier for everything.

It would have a huge impact on the game. And stop having Charisma as a dump stat!

This is an excellent solution. It's more or less the same system I suggested for Pathfinder in the early days, but it ended up going onto the cutting room floor for various reasons. But the idea of limiting the number of enhancements a creature can have not only adds an interest tactical resource management element to the game, but limits the problem of power creep as constantly new spells and whatevers are invented. And linking it to Charisma is a great idea too!

And that said, thank you SO MUCH everyone for all the feedback on this topic! Building this AP was a really tough stunt, and while I would have loved to have waited a year to do it so that we could have had another year's worth of what would essentially amount to playtesting of mythic rules (and not just the character building element, but things like mythic monsters and adventure design and more)... but that's not the way things work, alas.

If we ever do another mythic adventure, I feel confident that a lot of the problems folks have had with this one can be addressed by adventure design without errata to Mythic... but that WILL result in a very very very different feeling adventure. As folks have said... Mythic plays and feels a lot more like the superhero genre than the fantasy genre, and building adventures to do stories with superhero construction themes and motifs might well be the best bet.

Anyway. Keep the feedback coming!

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.


Quote:
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.


JoeJ wrote:
Zhayne wrote:
JoeJ wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
JoeJ wrote:
The designed "balance" between martial and magical classes, going all the way back to the beginning, was for casters to be less powerful than martials during the first half of the campaign, and more powerful during the second half.

Honestly this is one of the few things that's been wrong with d&d nearly across the board is this one basic premise. When it takes weeks or even months for your character to start really doing the kinda fantasy stuff you want to do there's a problem.

Alternatively, just when your friend's character really starts taking off yours starts falling along the way side is an idiotic thing to say the least.

This game is to be played for fun. These characters are meant to be fun to play. The game should not be balanced around "well his character will be fun at this point in the game and yours will be fun at this point."

The anticipation of great power is itself part of the fun. Obviously, not everybody agrees with this philosophy, but it is nevertheless fundamental to the design of the game. I doubt that there's any way to get rid of it and still have something that is recognizable as a version of D&D.

Of course you can. Just make it so all classes have approximately equal power level all the way up, not Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards, Geometric Clerics. Claiming that something is balanced by being imbalanced one way, then the other, is positively stupid.

Okay. How do you do that and still have a game that feels like D&D?

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.


Could the web designers also add buttons for Bro?, Hail Hydra!, and So Raven!? I feel that the addition of these reaction buttons would greatly help the communications on this forum. ;)


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.


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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.


Ross Byers wrote:
137ben wrote:
Sounds like Paizo has another opportunity to profit by copy/pasting others' work.
What?

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.


What, no dot clipping?


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.


thejeff wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:

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.

I suspect it's often not so much a matter of "haven't thought through completely" as of having incompatible goals. If you extrapolate the likely consequences of a D&D style magic system, you don't get anything like a traditional fantasy world, yet that's a design goal: something resembling the historical world we recognize plus magic.

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:

Sanderson's First Law of Magic
Sanderson's Second Law of Magic
Sanderson's Third Law of Magic


Dazing Wall of Fire is pretty good on the other hand.


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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).


Detect Magic wrote:

I haven't played a psionic character yet, but I love the power point system.

I really wish Dreamscarred Press would do a conversion of the core and base classes (cleric, sorcerer, wizard, et cetera) from vancian spells per day to power points. A complete update of the CRB spells, as well as those in the Advanced Player's Guide, would be the absolute best product I could hope for.

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.


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Talented Fighter?


Neat preview.

Was the brawler given a way to meaningfully interact with the non-combat portions of the game over their whole range of levels? This was one of the issues raised during the playtest and I never saw any responses indicating the developer's thoughts on the matter.


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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.


Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:
137ben wrote:

Deep Magic expands on WoP considerably...

a big part of the 'expansion' is rewriting the original WoP system just because the editing in UM is so bad. The Deep Magic rewrite/expansion is actually really well done.
Not nearly enough though. The main problems with WOP was the lack of words and the amount of words with severely limited target words.

Does Deep Magic fix the spell duration/timing issue and the problems with making every long duration buff type effect instantaneous (so they behave like Awaken)?


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Fighters are spellcasters?


Artanthos wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:

*puts on tin foil hat*

What if this nerf and the crane-wing nerf were done for simular reasons. Like paragon surge was encroching on the arcanist like how crane-wing was encroching on the swashbuckler and that's why the nerfs came out. To make the new classes more attractive.

*removes hat*

I thought the reason why Crane Wing went into the crapper was because PFS GMs don't know how to, are too lazy to, or simply can't adjust encounters based on party dynamics?
Not permitted to adjust encounters. PFS scenarios must be run as-is.

And for some reason, lots of PFS encounters feature single enemies with a low number of attacks.


Alleran wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:
Isn't Sarenae the archetypical arrogant, Lawful Stupid Paladin God based on her portrayal in WotR?
That was Iomedae.

Ah, thanks for the correction.


Which authors are going to be writing material for this book?


Isn't Sarenae the archetypical arrogant, Lawful Stupid Paladin God based on her portrayal in WotR?


Snively wrote:

so in an alternate thread I asked how an Arcanist would work with Words of Power.

My idea is, since you study as a wizard to cast as a sorcerer, you'd study the effect and meta WORDS to fill the "spells known" as if a sorcerer, to spontaneously cast a WORDSPELL with your slots per day.

Thoughts?

Funnily, enough, one of the best versions of Words of Power I've run across is in the meta-magic feat system of Kirthfinder. (See here for the discussion thread. Rules are available upon request).


Something I realized recently, is that the metamagic system introduced in Kirthfinder could be reworked for a Words of Power type spellcasting system fairly easily. Rather than getting a normal spell progression, the Words of Power caster would gain the cantrips, daily spell slots, and be able to learn a certain number of metamagic feats at each level (similar to rage powers or rogue talents). The Kirthfinder system already allows this, but one could also easily port the entire system back into the normal PFRPG, call it a slightly different type of caster/form of casting class and it would run seamlessly.


Vitalist


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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.


Torbyne wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:
Blackpowder Witch wrote:
What's the general opinion of Gunslingers these days? I know a few fantasy purists still rage at the notion of Firearms in their pristine medieval mancrushes.
I would argue that with it's almost exclusive focus on combat, the Gunslinger is an incomplete class. A more well rounded class would have features that allow it to contribute in a wide range of non-combat and combat situations at all levels.
But the Gunslinger has more out of combat options than a fighter, at least they can handle things like locks and things that are bleeding to death.

Agreed, but those are pretty paltry non-combat options and I'd still argue it makes them an incomplete class. Not as poorly off as the Fighter, but still not completely baked.


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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?


Starglim wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:
And of course, if the caster can choose to designate someone an enemy and someone an ally whenever they cast the spell, then "enemy and ally" basically become interchangeable with "target".
I didn't actually edit in response to this, but would urge caution: targeting is a more specific requirement. A caster, for example, can consider an invisible rogue to be his ally, even if he doesn't know where the rogue is or whether the rogue is affected.

Agreed. However, if the words enemy and ally are interchangeable with "individual" (for a more neutral word), it means that one can benefit from a spell or ability that is intended to affect enemies, and has been balanced around that design paradigm, but which can have larger benefits if it can be triggered much more easily.


Blackpowder Witch wrote:
What's the general opinion of Gunslingers these days? I know a few fantasy purists still rage at the notion of Firearms in their pristine medieval mancrushes.

I would argue that with it's almost exclusive focus on combat, the Gunslinger is an incomplete class. A more well rounded class would have features that allow it to contribute in a wide range of non-combat and combat situations at all levels.


And of course, if the caster can choose to designate someone an enemy and someone an ally whenever they cast the spell, then "enemy and ally" basically become interchangeable with "target".


With some of the discussion in this thread regarding the quick study exploit, don't Arcanists already get Paragon Surge making the whole thing kind of moot?


Greater Arcane Sight + Bless/bane = enemy/ally/neutral detector. Greater Arcane Sight lets the user see who has what spell effects active. Bless affects the caster and all allies within a 50 feet burst. Bane is the same, except it only affects enemies. Using the three spells will let you know if someone is an ally (affected by bless), an enemy (affected by bane) or neutral (affected by neither).

Depending on how bane and bless work with respect to creatures under a compulsion or domination spell, it might also let you determine who is under such an effect.


JoelF847 wrote:

I still want to know why suffering knowledge only works on spells cast by enemies.

Ross' question about SLAs is another good one for this exploit.

Well, ensuring that party members maintain a "frenemy-like" or antagonistic relationship will provide lots of fertile ground for roleplaying. =p

(It'd be nice if designers could try to avoid given spells intelligence and the capability to determine who is an enemy and who isn't. Otherwise, you can turn them into detection spells, or the word enemy/ally can cause additional confusion as to who is affected by a spell unless the designer is extra careful.)


Also, if a arcanist is hit by a spell, so that they temporarily know and have it memorized, can they then scribe it on a scroll or write it down in their spellbook in order to be able to permanently learn it?


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


Rogue Glory and the Genius Guide to the Talented Rogue do a pretty good job of making the rogue a viable and contributing member of the party with a wide range of viable builds.


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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.


No,some classes should be much better than others to let the pro players win at the game consistently. There should also be lots of traps of cool sounding concepts that are there to trick newer players and low talent scrubs into playing them to help distinguish the system mastery quality and skill of the players.


Gorbacz wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
s (aside from someone please telling me what CAGM is, you can't assume that everybody knows every acronym).
LOL

TROLOLOL, or more of a *Point and Laugh* LOL?


Does the character shown in the picture get a Profession synergy bonus to her AC?


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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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