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Yeah, I will grant that some classes feel a bit more placed on the law/chaos side of the scale. Wizards can be any alignment, but when entering the class requires many long years of dedicated study it would make sense that it trends towards lawfulness, while the classic rogue is a sneakster who fights dirty and doesn't obey any laws that get in his way.
Really, the good/evil axis is the one I find more problematic for putting any class other than Paladin and Antipaladin on.
Yeah, any class without an alignment restriction would default to True Neutral as its "natural" alignment. But then, I tend to think of True Neutral as the most common alignment for people anyway. They don't want things to be in a state of total anarchy or rigid order, and while they're not going to be jerks for no reason they also look out for themselves and generally don't make major sacrifices to help strangers.
Wanting to play some character that doesn't exists in the rule system might suck. It might lead you to not want to roleplay (or play at all), but it still doesn't have anything to do with actually roleplaying. It's character creation. It's an entirely different part of the game. Building a character, even a character with an elaborate backstory and all sorts of cool reasons for having all his mechanics choices, isn't roleplaying. Roleplaying happens when you actually play that character in the game.
While you're technically accurate about the difference between roleplay and character creation, I think you're overlooking the fact that most people lay the foundations of their future roleplaying during the character creation. After all, personality, skills, backstory, and motivation are all going to be major driving factors in how a character is roleplayed. I've always started the the internal process of roleplaying before I actually sit down at the table for the first session.
To toss out a random arbitrary example, when the table's not sure how a certain rule works, a modern GM is a lot more likely to check the books, while an Old School one would just make an on-the-spot ruling that seems reasonable to them.
In my experience, that's the biggest source of conflict between the two styles. The one time I played with an old school GM, there were quite a few bits of table drama over things like:
Old-School GM: Your rapier has no effect on the skeleton
I'll note at this point that the Old School GM I played with probably wasn't a very good example of the type. We got slapped with a lot of rulings based on things like his very shaky understanding of real-world physics, biology, folklore, etc.
Yeah, I don't see anything in reasoning for the Gunslinger being evil that wouldn't apply to any other martial character. I mean, what's the difference between a gunslinger who trains to be really good with a gun versus a fighter training to be a master swordsman, or a ranger who's really good with his bow?
Well, I'd say, based on my experience and discussions here, that old school gaming had an incredibly broad range in lethality and roleplaying and nearly everything else. Partly because of the lack of an internet, so people and groups developed off in their own directions.
Yeah. Old School D&D was all about table variation, since it put a much heavier emphasis on the DM as the creator of rules and rulings, versus modern gaming where GMs are usually closer to arbiters of the rules in the book.
Exactly this. It's fine if the guy who really specialized in climbing faces challenges like "Go up this two hundred foot sheer cliff with almost no handholds and nowhere to rest before you reach the top in order to find the secret entrance to the Big Bad's lair." That's an epic challenge that makes his skill investment feel useful to the party.
What's not fine is "Now that your climb bonus is +15 instead of +5, all those walls that used to be DC 20 are now DC 30." It would be sort of like playing Rise of Runelords, except instead of moving up from fighting goblins to taking and giants and ancient immortal wizards you just kept of fighting goblins with gradually increasing stats for the whole AP.
Chess Pwn wrote:
I hate it, because why invest in skills if the DC is 15+highest? If we all sit at 0 for all the skills things would be just as hard as if we had all 20's. And thus why play a skills class? Might as well play the 7 int fighter and just smack the things.
Yeah, when the DC is always "Roll 15 or better on the dice" you might as well not bother having character sheets at all. What your character's skills or abilities are doesn't matter, after all.
Not to mention alignment detection doesn't work on most low-level entities anyway. If you're high-enough level to have an alignment aura, you're also high-enough level to have access to alignment-obscuring tricks.
But yeah, I would love to hear an explanation for how the level 1 Warrior town guards can force a level 9+ Wizard to remove spells from his spellbook. And even if that worked, there's still divine casters, sorcerers, etc.
I've run into both of these in the past, both as a GM and as a player. Sometimes that personality quirk you thought would be fun wound up being annoying, or the character build that looked solid on paper fell apart in actual gameplay.
Mark Seifter wrote:
Yeah, confronting the GM (or anyone at the table, really) about bad behavior is always a bit of a coin toss. It could lead to the GM realizing they've been acting in a way that causing problems they didn't intend, but it could just as easily turn ugly. Not everyone responds well to constructive criticism.
In my personal experience, most GMs/players with entrenched bad behavior don't react well to being called out about it. I do recall one GM-from-hell who went on a fifteen minute screaming rant that ended with a tableflip after we politely told him that we weren't having much fun with a 4-hour session of his uber-NPC slowly wearing us down while being fiat-immune to anything we tried.
Milo v3 wrote:
Yeah, the usual rule is that one act shouldn't cause an alignment change unless it's a really extreme act. From what's been said, it sounds like attaining lich-dom involves things like ritual murder and sacrifice. Which would mean it's arguably not a single act (Since it's multiple killings/sacrifices) and a pretty extremely evil act.
It is rather fitting, since I've always said that Star Trek is actually full of wizards who just use technobabble as the verbal component of their spells.
Yeah, obviously we can't have deluded paladins who are really Evil, but believe they're the good guys. Fortunately, Pathfinder already accounts for that by requiring paladins to be lawful good.
There's more than one way for Paladin to fall, after all. Willfully committing an evil act would require a Paladin who knows what he's doing is wrong, but choosing to do so anyway. Meanwhile, a Paladin who's blind to their own failings gets it when they do something drastic enough to merit an alignment shift.
Most tabletop RPGs do work off the assumption that you need a decent-sized group to cover all the skills you might need, since it encourage teamwork and all that.
From a realism PoV, it is pretty rare for someone to have a whole bunch of specialized skills. How often do you see a brain surgeon who's also a rocket scientist, professional football player, a cardinal in the catholic church, a master assassin, and a pop star?
Since Paladins fall with even a single evil act, you are saying that this situation still doesn't count as an Evil act right? Merely impatient/stupid?
Yeah, he's still not willfully committing an evil act. For me, the key component to a Paladin's fall is for him to say "I knew it was wrong, but I did it anyway."
At the same time, there's been no indication that they ever plan to actually correct the disparity, and the PDT continues handing down more martial nerfs while leaving casters untouched or buffing them.
Admittedly, I have also seen members of the PDT advance the line that the martial/caster disparity does exist, and is intentional because magic should be better than mundane. The end result is the same either way: the PDT is highly unlikely to ever address the problem.
Considering the blog post is two-and-a-half years old, and I'm 95% sure there's been a printing since then...
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Yeah, while I love the flexibility of pure point buy systems, they do tend to have no shortage of balance issues.
As a general rule, the more options you give the players during character creation, the harder it is to keep all those options balanced with one another. By definition, freeform character creation is gonna have a lot more options than a class system.
Yeah, much as I'm not a fan of how the MoMS rework turned out, I can see what they wanted to do. MoMS was a great dip but a terrible archetype to stick with for more than two levels.
The problem is that, as happens too often with PF, dip-phobia resulted in mangling the class's ability to work at low and mid levels. MoMS is now another archetype that doesn't really "come online" until pretty late into the game.
Personally, I would say that willingly committing an evil act requires knowing, at least on some level, that it's evil. It's not about what the consequences of the act are, it's about the paladin making a decision to do something that he knows is wrong rather than choosing to follow the Paladin's code.
It seems unlikely Paizo will address it so long as their official party line remains "The martial-caster disparity is a myth propagated by people with an agenda."
I wonder what one has to do to get an invitation to this vast evil conspiracy?
Well, coming from semiprofessional game design I learned: A game is all about fun. If authenticity adds to fun, great, build it in. If it doesn't, let it out. Encounters with CR far from APL are clearly the latter case, in my opinion.
Exactly this. One of the worst gaming sessions I ever had to put up with came from a GM who put so much effort into making the game "authentic" that it became horrendously boring. Maybe it was realistic that we couldn't do anything to stop the shapeshifting druid who spent hours slowly stalking and wearing down our party, but spending an entire game session with "nope, your natural 20 on perception still doesn't see him. You can do nothing but wait for the next attack that you won't see coming, and will be powerless to respond to" was not fun at all.
Exactly this. The Paladin makes a reasonable judgement call with the information available to him. Not being omniscient is not grounds for falling.
Yeah, this. Mistakes happen. The Paladin code doesn't require perfection.
Yeah, my general policy for character creation is to nail down what I want to play as far as personality/combat style/etc, then figure out the best way to do that within the game mechanics. I might make some suboptimal choices creativity, like my one crazy peasant rebel who dual wielded a hammer and sickle, but I saw no reason not to make him the best hammer-and-sickle wielder I could manage.
Yeah, honestly the main reason I'd like to see a second edition (or "Revised Core Rulebook" or whatever) is to see all those troublesome rulings like "metaphorical hands" or the mess that is the Mounted Combat rules dealt with properly. Given that every FaQratta on the subject just makes the rules even more confusing.
Yeah, one of the few things I did like about 4th edition was that their core rulebook explicitly divided the game up into level tiers to let people know that a level 5 party was going to have radically different capabilities compared to a level 15 one.
What I've heard. Of course, the problem was that most of my gaming buddies didn't stick around for the later PHBs. It's hard to fix a bad first impression.
For me at least, the biggest issue with 4th edition was the powers system applying to all classes. It certainly hurt my first impression of the game when I cracked open the 4e CRB. Each class was one page of interesting new mechanics, then 20 pages of powers that all kind of blended together into an indistinguishable mass of words after a while. It made building characters very dull and tedious, and I never really got excited the way I would get while making a 3.5 or Pathfinder character.
Yeah, major changes can go over well, but that's always a risky endeavor. Plus, as others have mentioned, a lot of Paizo's customer base is especially change-averse. After all, a lot of their original marketing was "Do you hate how D&D has changed? Buy our product, it's 95% exactly the same as it used to be, so nothing will change!"
Very disappointed. I feel like I was punished because others abused the dip potential.
Honestly, I do kind of wish Pathfinder would just make a rule against dipping (like bringing back the 3.5 multiclassing penalties). Right now so many classes are held back from getting core features for several levels because the devs don't want any dip-friendly classes.
New editions are always a trick thing to implement. Their will always be a certain segment of the fanbase that will be unhappy. No matter how little or too much is changed. at the same time a company should make sure that the current edition is still profitable. It's hard to find both a balance of offering new material and not alienating fans. While PF did it the first time around I can't see it happening again IMO.
Yeah, there's no way everyone'll be happy with a new edition, because different folks would want different things out of it. If (as seems to be their current line of thought) Pathfinder 2e is mostly just balance tweaks and rules cleanup expect people to be annoyed that they're "not making enough changes to justify a new edition" or "Want us to pay $50 for the new errata to the CRB." Not to mention a new edition that largely stays the course and maintains the status quo won't please anyone who wants significant changes to the current edition: martial/caster disparity might be reduced, but it's unlikely to vanish without major changes.
And of course, as Wizards found out with 4E any massive changes can quickly alienate your fanbase.
2. Generally speaking, this is a cooperative game. That being so, class balance frankly isn't that important.
I think it's a big problem in a cooperative game if one of the members of the team does everything, while the other guy contributes little to the group. Pathfinder makes it far too easy to end up with Angel Summoner and the BMX Bandit as your team.
Clerics get nine levels of spells, extra domain spells often off arcane lists, and AMAZING things like touch of luck, dimension step, aura of destruction, etc. Oh yeah, and 3/4 BAB, medium armor, access to almost any weapon through race/deity, etc. What is bland boring or underpowered again?
It wouldn't hurt my feelings if domains had a bit more in the way of fleshing out. Just enough to put them on par with, say, sorcerer bloodlines. IIRC the devs wanted to do something like that as well, but ran into pagespace issues. I do think it would be fun if domains were a bit more character-defining.
Not that I would call the current cleric underpowered. I'd probably compensate for the stronger domains by narrowing their spell list a bit so that your domain would have a much stronger thematic influence. You can still make a cleric who's a self-buffing combat juggernaut, but he'd need something like the Strength or War domains, while something like a Fire domain cleric becomes a solid blaster.
I read through this entire thread to make sure none of the archetypes I designed were listed here. Thankfully I see that no one hates my archetypes. YAY!
I think most of the archetypes here aren't ones people hate so much as they're ones where something went wrong in the design/editing phase.
Honestly, I'd just merge fighting defensively and Combat Expertise. There's no reason to have two different "Trade out accuracy for AC" mechanics.
Agreed. As levels go up, the game evolves and changes a great deal. The problem is that a lot of people (both players and GMs) have a hard time keeping up with just how much it changes. My first time or two GMing I got tripped up by things like the party teleporting halfway across the planet and skipping several sessions worth of plot points that assumed they'd be staying where they were.
It's arguably a feature.
If so, it's still a feature that bugs me a little. High learning curves/system mastery gaps tend to make it a lot harder for players of varying skill levels to have fun in the same game.
Note that I said harder, not impossible. Optimized players can tone things down and/or give advice to help out the new players, after all. And there are plenty of gamers who won't get bothered that Jim's PC is more effective then theirs, or that Bob's PC doesn't contribute very much to the party beyond the pleasure of his company.
That's actually a good point. It's not so much the game that breaks as it is that game gets to the point where a lot of traditional fantasy plots break down. Epic overland journeys are replaced by teleportation spells, planar travel, etc. Of course, that does lead to some issues as far as the old martial/caster problem. If you build a campaign that fully accounts for what 9th level spells can do, the guy whose options are limited to "I like swords" might end up being left behind.
Also, I would say that the fact that there is such a high learning curve involved in High level play is an issue. I've also managed to play and enjoy high level games, but I definitely saw some problems too. Though I will concede that a lot of those issues might not have been system ones so much as player ones. The system mastery gap gets a lot more noticeable at level 15 than it is at level 5.