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Quite. However, if you are seeking a quick and simple reference for combat by the rules, then I would point you to SORD for Pathfinder.
Combat encompasses three of four pages, and takes some getting used to. But, if you print off a couple sturdy copies to have at hand, it would become second nature.
I would also like to express gratitude for these write-ups. It gives a good "on the ground" point of view of how the AP can run, and how it can be tweaked.
My group is slowly making it's way through Rise of the Rune Lords. I have been on the fence about running this as our next AP experience, and this journal has helped me envision it. I have the last four books in this AP, and waffle about tracking down and paying for the last two...and then, the BIG BOOK is announced.
Now I feel it is somewhat inevitable that I will run this campaign after the hardback comes out.
Ooh. I like this as well. I would probably reserve the afflictions for Raise Dead, although there may be more supernatural afflictions for Resurrection. True Resurrection could be above all this...or not.
Lincoln Hills wrote:
I think this really has something. I wouldn't have the negative levels last so long; even one lost every day would be a significant thing. It reminds me of how some spells used to cost the caster years off their life. I think this is a great way to bring the feel of that back.
Imagine if the local abbot has to take on several negative levels to raise a hero. And better still, it encourages the image of a room full of holy monks chanting and praying their support in the ritual, each one taking a negative level to aid their leader.
They wouldn't be too quick to do this for any shmoe that shows some coin...unless that's what their god is about.
But what if casting the spell even gave one negative level to the caster, or the 2 normally laid on the subject were instead on the caster. That would not only support the RP of stingy clergy, but it would mean a lot more for the party cleric to cast it. I think most groups would simply stay in town until all are recovered, but at least they would have the pause of down time brought about by a bad fight. It doesn't sound like much, but it means a lot compared to the status quo, where after about 10th or 11th level, it's just a matter of getting 10 minutes to rub together, and Bob is back at it.
Valkyn Highwind wrote:
Just noticed that the first of my two posts above, is a reply to the wrong post. Sorry, page jump screwed something up. I was replying to this post by Default:
"I think its best to compress the range of numbers you're dealing with-especially since Pathfinder assumes there is no Epic Level Handbook to work with.
Assuming a Doomguard is roughly equivalent to a Balor or Pit Fiend, CR 16 lets them be a significant threat to sylvanas (which they were, based on Warcraft 3, yes?) even if accompanied by a retinue of powerful undead.
Meanwhile a CR 25 puts Arthas at the lower edge of the demon princes, which sounds about right."
I agree! One thing I hate is the disposable nature of lower level gear. And, the effort expended on acquiring or crafting "basic" bonus gear is a waste of story and brain power. It also, IMO, encourages the creep of those numbers, and the pursuit of even bigger! numbers.
Edit: probably best combined with not only a curtailment of funds by level, but increased difficulty in crafting lower level magic gear. Otherwise, there would be an explosion of utilitarian gear that, while cool, would at times seem like they are getting their cake and eating it too...
Valkyn Highwind wrote:
Yes. Another thing that's hard to shake, and in fact a major factor in my not launching a WoW campaign as of yet, is the collective mental imagery from the games. 9 foot tall, 800 pound Tauren, not to mention 6 foot 5, 285 pound human males...
I try to use the humans as a baseline, imagining a more conventional average height and build, and then imagining a proportional down-sizing of many other critters and peoples. The video games are "larger than life", but even if you love totally unfightable, Smaug size great wyrms, I doubt most people want all their bartenders looking like Arnie in the 80's...
This too, is the disappointment for me with the Warcraft movie. The world is transformed into a living breathing place that where one can actually visualize being in a real Stormwind (if you have not watched the flyover of Stormwind video...it's inspiring for this sort of gaming). However...the orcs are 9 foot, 600 pound ogres. Really?!?...sigh
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
It is sometimes hard to fight what we know things are like in WoW, but my goal is to take the world as a template and inspiration to make something to play in.
I think most of us can agree that planning all the neat bits to take place from 16th to 20th level and beyond means you aren't going to experience most of it.
I come to PF by way of long campaigns in AD&D and then Epic 3.0. When I first thought of Warcraft/WoW in PF, my mind raced to WoW level divided by three for a super epic game. However, more recent experiences, combined with the fact that my group has not touched epic levels for about 6 years, have led me to embrace the 20 level spread as sort of "epic-lite". The upper levels are trouble enough, and although the Mythic rules have their flaws and detractors, one could build them into a 20 level WoW game that gets pretty darn "epic".
Reading this thread, I was just thinking that one could sort of identify some key "break-point" levels in WoW NPCs and quests, and at those levels, advancement would involve Mythic ranks. Infusing the 20 level spread with a Mythic spark, by the time someone might face the Lich King, it would be pretty mythic. And you could go beyond that, to experience the full gamut of WoW stories.
But keep in mind, World of Warcraft is built to maintain interest of it's subscribers over a very different feeling of advancement than Pathfinder. I think of some of the lowest level people and stuff encountered in WoW, and how it sometimes feels like it should be closer to mid-level. And as the world keeps expanding the level cap to keep people playing, how some of the highest level things really feel like they should be no more than 12th to 15th.
In this day and age of bounded accuracy and E/P6 gaming styles, I feel the World of Warcraft is a good excuse to utilize the full 20 levels in Pathfinder.
Marik Whiterose wrote:
Regarding the "Elite array" for Ability Scores. In the chapter on creating NPCs in the Core Rulebook, it describes the arrays as "Basic" and "Heroic". The "Heroic" array is the same as the old "Elite" in 3.5; 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, and 15.
In the Bestiary introduction under Ability Scores, it reverts to the old nomenclature of "Standard" and "Elite", but inexplicably gums up the elite scores (8, 10, 11, 12, 14, and 15). Despite my book being a sixth printing, I believe this to be a misprint.
In either case, the max is 15.
Ana L'ayley wrote:
I rather think he statted them from descriptions in lore. Plus common sense, which no one ever attributed to the MMO with a straight face.
Remco Sommeling wrote:
Nice. Pretty well thought out. I have been considering adopting the Star Wars Saga Edition saves, but with the 1/2 level base as you've done. Classes get a Class bonus to various save categories. So, for instance, I'd give Fighters +2 Fort, and +1 Ref. Rogues probably +1 Fort, and +2 Ref. Clerics would have only +1 to Fort and +2 to Will, etc. These Class bonuses overlap, but do not stack.
The thing that is missing is Prestige Class boosts to saves, in PF we pretty much don't use them anymore with the myriad archetypes and class powers all the way to 20. In Saga, it is expected that you'll Prestige. In that system, the PrC gave larger Class bonuses to saves, again not stacking but overlapping. This buffed out your saves a bit at high level.
I do like your bonus choice progression. If you took Ciaran's concern to heart, you could institute a Saga type base set, and allow choices at later levels. Or boost all saves every so many levels. Just thoughts.
EDIT: Just occurred to me, the smoothest way to address that concern, would be to simply start your bonus choice progression at 1st level instead.
It's a little non-specific for some. I always read it as simply shorthand for what you changed it to. To be considered a full member of a gang, or a warrior in some cultures, you have to kill someone.
What about something even simpler? A Wizard, for example, chooses one school in which he has full caster level progression. At 5th level and every 4 levels (9, 13, 17), he chooses another school in which he then has level -4 CL. And so on, kind of like Weapon Training.
Or, even simpler, choose one (or two) school(s) at full CL, and all other schools are at half CL.
Unfortunately, I think you are right about this last bit.
The game presents 29!! classes for you to choose from, but if you don't have one of these two in the group, you are kinda screwed.
IMO, that is a problem with the system.
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
So, the craft rules in Unchained work pretty well.....for a 20th level PC wealth, dedicated smith, with a 16th level Alchemist assistant, and an army of 19th level Bards singing his praises as he works...???
No, the rules are still useless.
Hmm just thought about it that will of the forsaken and risen from the graves wouldn't stack due to being the same kind of bonuses, But well maybe a +4 bonus would be too high to be quite honest. Overall, looking good.
Racial bonuses do stack, according to Pathfinder_OGC:
The important aspect of bonus types is that two bonuses of the same type don't generally stack. With the exception of dodge bonuses, most circumstance bonuses, and racial bonuses, only the better bonus of a given type works. Bonuses without a type always stack, unless they are from the same source.
Be careful with your words because "D20" is a game system, but d20 is also the name for any RPG that uses a twenty-sided die. They're not necessarily the same. Neither Pathfinder nor D&D 3.5e belongs to the D20 System.
D20 is not a stand alone game system, it is the unified underlying framework of several game systems. Chief among these is most definitely 3.0 and 3.5 D&D, as this was where "the designers" codified d20. Plus there's the D20 System logo on the cover. The reason Pathfinder is not a "d20 System" product is because it requires WotC's permission to fly that flag.
All in all, I think that while the position of the article is certainly not the same as the designers of d20, it is practical enough to account for most, if not all, needs. The only example I think that fails that position is the scholarly priest archetype, that needs to cast high level spells without being a combat powerhouse, which is covered (considerably less elegantly) in the follow-up article.
Don't get me wrong, if you agree with that article, and it brings value to your GMing, then more power to you. I'm just tired of the claims of the absolute fact that "normal" stops at 5th level.
The article you cite is a good exercise, and an interesting perspective. It is also an opinion whose supporting evidence is based almost entirely on hit points, and how many average 1st level Orcsiz Aragorn can kill. (EDIT: This is a deliberate exaggeration. I find much of the number crunching "evidence" in his article skewed in supporting a predetermined outcome.)
"The game designer" behind 3rd Edition did NO such thing.
3rd Edition DMG, page 36 under NPC classes, "The fact that each NPC class has differing levels provides the DM with a means to measure NPCs against each other. A typical blacksmith might only be a 3rd-level commoner, but the world's greatest blacksmith is probably a 20th -level expert. The 20-level blacksmith is a capable person with great skill, but she can't fight as well as a fighter equal to her level (or even one much lower in level), nor can she cast spells or do the other things that characters with PC classes can do."
Now it goes on to say that most NPCs don't rise to more than 3rd level, and I am not suggesting that 20th-level experts are common...or rare...or even make sense. But the classes were provided as tools for GM's to make the NPCs they want and need.
Also, the 3.x DMGs have demographics tables, missing in PF, that generate "naturally occurring" commoners of up to 20th-level. In fact, the average "highest level commoner" in a thorp, is 7th! In a metropolis, the average "highest level commoner" is 20th (higher than 20 is reduced to 20).
Sounds pretty good. I kinda like the 7th level in one or both classes angle, though spontaneous casters is a concern. On the other hand, they get more spell slots and a 'bloodline' spell known...
The thing is, lots of classes have frustrating thresholds that don't fall right along 7th/8th level. I generally find 8th or even 10th level to make great top end level points. 8th keeps it easy.
Goth Guru wrote:
It's a matter of nomenclature. These words have specific meanings. Armor, Shield, Natural armor, Deflection, Luck, and a few others. These are 'bonus types' with particular definitions, some stack, some don't. In all cases, except dodge bonuses, only the largest of the same 'bonus type' would count. See Combining Magic Effects, page 208 of CRB. Also, Common Terms, page 11 CRB.
Goth Guru wrote:
Don't worry TOZ...I don't think anyone knows what he is talking about.
Goth Guru wrote:
He don't believe he meant it as an insult. Your posts have been hard to follow, beginning with blurting out something about modifying the "limit" of deflection bonus of 10 instead of 8...which does not correlate to any rule I know. Thus my question.
We are just trying to have a conversation.
Goth Guru wrote:
Where does this "max deflection of 10" come from?
Yup. (clinks mug)
True, but as I mentioned, if you utilize sub-domains you can cover just about everything. Darkness Domain - Moon Sub-Domain.
I forgot about the advice in the GMG. The +2 to everything I suggested is just the real simple template, and you can apply it on the fly. It works.
But, yeah. The Game Mastery Guide is good.
Keep forgetting to say: Don't worry that a lot of these details are spread throughout all the books. d20pfsrd.com is your friend. It's all there, with a search engine.
The exact same can be said of Magic in general. I don't prefer Vancian, but it works, and it's built into the system. Adding Psionics with points has never been equitable as an add-on. Now, if you do the same kind of pool for other magic, then that's cool.
Point is there is a Paizo Pathfinder 'magic of the mind' book coming out, and it'd be easy to use that.
Agreeing to disagree is fine with me.
The Realms has Psionics because D&D had Psionics. It's always been a funny fit. And now, Paizo to the rescue! With Occult Adventures, Pathfinder gets magic of the mind. It nicely fits where Psionics used to, and it fits even better with magic.
Don't forget Oracles of Wave and Oracles of Wind....
But, yeah. Sorry, I'm so used to Pathfinderization, I take things for granted. Not very good for advising.
One of the key differences between D&D 3.5 and PF is that in PF you stay with your class more. It is not only beneficial to stick with a class as long as possible, but it actually decreases power (usually) to go Prestige. There are still some Prestige classes, and some are even worthwhile, but by and large there is a reason to finish a class progression.
When I think about converting something like FR, I don't mean take the Purple Dragon Knight and convert it to PF. (Btw, PF did away with all 5 level Prestige classes, as they are sort of like system condoned dipping, and they wanted to discourage that.) Instead, I look at what the class (or critter, or NPC, or whatever) does, and try to imagine it and reskin or build it in Pathfinder.
Some adaptation is necessary with Domains; many FR domains were added in Pathfinder, but are a little different, and there are still a few FR domains missing. Though between all the PF books and the subdomain rules in Advanced Player's Guide, you have almost all of them.
The smoothest way to do it is to convert over to PF, it has lots of support, and is not that far from 3.5. Regarding running modules; converting main NPC's is probably worth your time, but you can run everything as is by just treating 3.5 CRs as one or two lower in PF. Or, just give all the critters +2 to everything, and adjust as needed.
I recently sat down to make notes on what I would need to adapt and write house rules for, to adapt FR to PF. All I came up with was the aforementioned Domain issue.
FR is great, and Pathfinder is good too. Good luck and good gaming.
All true, although "magical storytime" is a very condescending term. That reasoned argument was not present in your previous statements. That is what I take issue with.
I do like the rules to be as clear as possible, however I also feel the advent of very detailed rules in D&D 3rd thru PF tends to trap GM's and takes away some of their ability to run a successful and fun game.
Oh, and I almost forgot...I wouldn't want you to take any of this post as an apology or retraction. Your rudeness does not make your argument stronger. It just makes you rude.
Atarlost, your comments about "unclear rules" seem to be directed at Pathfinder. So when you compare "unclear rules" to "magical storytime", you are saying that playing Pathfinder is akin to playing "magical storytime". If that's not a straw man, I don't know what is.
Attacking someone's reading comprehension because they call you out for ridiculous and inflammatory statements is pretty childish.
Gars DarkLover wrote:
My Fighter wants more hit points...for when AC fails....can he have D12 Hit Dice?
Yeah totally. I was more referring to the time to change between personas. I think that is a bad design for fantasy adventure gaming. But, you could just stay "in character", however you would lose your special (and strange) bonuses that only apply in "social" persona.
The thing is, I kinda like the rest of the class, particularly the Specializations. I could see the dual persona thing being a talent, or an archetype. I don't mind supporting that approach for those that want or need it. I'd just like to have a straight forward version of what this class can do for my non-superhero fantasy gaming.
just started reading the playtest stuff, yeah, I think the vigilante got you beat. :/
It is uncanny how close in mechanical skeleton the Vigilante is to the Scion. However, the dual identity ruins it as a useful class in almost any situation. It seems designed completely around a solo game for someone who desperately wants to be a superhero. It does work for villains who do their villainy on the sly. It doesn't (currently) fill the niche of the Scion presented here.
These prime differences are the kinds of things that have seen the axe in prior playtests. It is conceivable that Paizo may refine the Vigilante into your Scion....oops. This is what happens to me; I conceive or create something for a game, and the publisher creates a very similar thing....except never...quite...right.
Silver Surfer wrote:
I wouldn't use the Complete..anything Handbook as an example of how to do things. Every implementation of the Specialty Priest idea, other than the Druid, was a complete let down. Every setting book and supplement TSR printed got it wrong. They started right off with breaking down what percentage of a particular faith were Specialty Priests and how many were....Clerics. Huh? I thought the "specialty priests" of Tempus were THE priests of Tempus...
The description of the idea in the 2nd Ed. PH is where you want to look. In it, they highlight the standard Cleric and the Druid as examples of the rule.
The Druid varies pretty heavily from the Cleric, and communicates a ton of flavor difference as well. That is what I am talking about.
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
But, the game rules have to serve thousands of individual campaigns, many of which are not in Golarion, and even in those that are, details vary by GM and game group.
The game rules need to be generic-ish. With fluff and flavor suggesting style and helping GM's and players imagine their own vision.
One of my pet peeves is a totally new game rules set with detailed setting specific material integral to that rules set. For instance, Dragon AGE. GREAT rules, smeared with setting. Had to wait 6 years to get the upcoming Fantasy AGE version.
That's interesting, I hadn't noticed the Tier/CR ratio. I haven't yet, but plan to run a Mythic campaign. I remember when the playtest came out, they were saying the Mythic "levels" were going to be equivalent to a normal level. Not a lot changed power wise from then, so maybe that's why it seems OPed.
Anyone know more about this aspect?
Regarding the direct subject of this thread: the houserules seem simple and straight forward. I think they would achieve a "mythic" or rather "epic" feeling game, as long as all the major bad guys are knock-down, drag-out fights.
Verification: You say +1 to two attributes every 4 levels instead of 1? Can I put both +1s into the same stat, effectively granting +2 to that stat? Or would I have to put them into different stats, say Strength and Intelligence?
This would be the reason it is every 4 and not every 2. In Star Wars Saga Edition, you get 2 every 4 levels and they can't be in the same stat. If you get it every 2 levels, and don't want it to stack up to +10 in one stat, you have to add clunky restrictions like "not the same stat twice" and such. You could say max +5 per stat, but SAD characters would get there by 10th level, and that's a bit aggressive.
If it were me, I would boil the Cleric spell list down to it's essentials. Spells that every "Priest" (of any god) could be expected to have. Then, use Domains as the base, treating them more as Oracle Mysteries; lists of optional abilities to choose, long with accompanying spells. Basically, expanded Domains rather than cutting up the entire Cleric spell list.
I would seize upon 'Channeling' divine energy. Creating a Channeling or Divine pool...(Favor?). You could have a list of Blessings, some of which would be powered by the Favor pool....
I don't understand the point of Name Levels.
So back in 1st Edition D&D, if you went by the book, everyone had to train to raise a level. You had to seek out a trainer who was higher level than you, you had to pay exorbitant amounts of money, and spend many weeks training. Every. Level.
Then when you got to "name" level, you could train yourself. Yay.
Then, in D&D (not AD&D), name level was a time to make a choice amongst several paths, much like prestige classes. A fighter could become a Paladin, Knight, or Champion, depending on ones alignment.
Clerics founded temples and got followers, etc.
I believe that is where the nostalgia comes from. It said, in the game rules, that you were an accomplished badass. Personally, I loved it when my 1st Edition Ranger became a Ranger Knight, and then a Ranger Lord. When I first read that class many years before at age 11, I was transfixed by those titles. Later, after I found my game group, levelled up and became a Ranger Lord, I thought "hell yeah".
I don't think it is something that is good to codify in the class rules. But...it was fun.
So, basically your "arguments" for keeping all those things the same is...'there are already rules for that'? We know what the rules are, we're discussing how the change them.
(1) Charisma for Strength does make sense. This is kind of the opposite direction for how Shadowrun calculates your Astral attributes: Intellect = Dex, Will = Bod, and Charisma = Str.
(2) "Mindless creatures" and "Intelligence"...these are all game mechanical terms that only mean what they mean in the game. The term Intelligent itself is often reserved for so called sentient species. The very fact that there is debate about whether insects "think", kinda leaves the game mechanics open for...debate.
The problem with "mindless" creatures is that it is a fallacy. We are all "programmed", and most of our actions are not very "mindful". The degree to which we can operate within our programming is pretty much what the game ability Intelligence is measuring. It's recall accuracy, and mental control; it is not creativity. That Google engine you mentioned has a pretty good Knowledge bonus, and instant recall. One could certainly argue that the skill ranks do the work there, but what about the machines and their operating software? Where does one draw the line of "Intelligence".
Ironically, multiple d20 science fiction games give starships and other powerful computers Int scores to reflect their processing power. Why not Iron Golems?
(3) Well, once you stop classifying Intelligence by sentience, and equate it to learning, recall, and problem solving, you have to scale the smarter animals a little higher. Admittedly, the "dumbest" humans would perhaps have a higher score than 3 on this scale, and there may not really be room in the d20 design for this to be done.
(4) That pretty well fits the game definition. I believe that, like several things in d20 rules, the non-ability scores are products (victims) of the application of logic that has unintended results. Within the definition of Constitution and it's function for most creatures, equating a machine or animated corpse to a Con of -- makes perfect sense. Especially the "unaffected by things that require a Fort save...unless it also affects objects"...(and then it has it's drawers down.) But, Con's basic and most widely derived function is how "tough" a creature is, both for Fortitude and Hit Points. It worked pretty well for most things in 2000, but we fast forward to PF and now you can crit most undead and all constructs, now some undead get Charisma bonus to Hit Points. It makes more sense to give them immunities and resistances consistent with their physiology, and leave the "Constitution" alone.
Finally, I concede that this is all subjective, and that compromise may be needed. So, in place of simply doing away with the logic of non-abilities, we could give certain creatures "stand-in" abilities to reflect their natures. For instance, creatures of animal intelligence could have a "cunning" or "instinct" ability higher than Int that they use for functions of Int like skill points. (No, they aren't learning languages and basket weaving. If you've ever statted a bad ass big cat and found their "cat skills" lacking, you know they need more points.) Also, things with no Con score could be assigned "toughness" to base Hit Points and Fort saves off of.
Sorry for wall o text.
I would establish the level parameters of the WoW universe first. Say 20th level with Mythic. Then scale each thing, boss, NPC appropriately within the Lore, largely disregarding their levels in the MMO.
Ragnaros should indeed be a fairly powerful end-gamey threat, but you could skew him to the lower end of end-game, as he was one of the first to appear. That's a bit meta, but forgivable and nostalgic.
Incidentally, if you plan on using Mythic, I think it appropriate to start giving the PCs Mythic levels fairly early, as a reflection of the epicness they have within the Lore. And of course, the Mythic rules are a great way to show the bossness of signature bosses in WoW.