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Chengar Qordath's page

1,248 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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MrSin wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
Monstrous Mount was never intended to replace the existing methods of using a magical beast in mounted combat, flying or not. It is simply another set of options for a cavalier who wants to have the same mount from 1st level, even if he can't fly on the beast until such abilities are appropriate for a character of his level.
Then it fails in in that goal, as you cannot take Monstrous Mount as a feat until fifth level due to prerequisites.
Yarr, probably better ways to handle it too. Something crazy like a scaling feat that gives bonuses at a particular level or animal companion that gains power or growth at fourth or 7th.

Have to agree on this point; scaling the feat over time seems like a much better solution for making sure it doesn't allow for flight too early than setting up arbitrary pre-requisites and somewhat excessive feat taxing. The fact that flying mounts cap out at half speed is especially annoying, given that other flying companion options don't have that limitation.

Really, if the feat had been akin to Beast Rider I don't think there would be any complaints. Instead, it's charging two feats with higher prerequisites for a weaker effect than Beast Rider.

Cheapy wrote:

I don't know. Once you get your head in the rules, I've found it is actually pretty easy to figure out the intent. There are a few guidelines you need to follow, and having done actual design helps a lot since it gets you in the mindset. There've only been a few cases I can remember where I wasn't able to figure out with pretty good certainty the intent.

I do despise the bastardization of RAI to mean "Rules as IWantThem" though. I'll gladly say what the intent is, even if I disagree with it.

I do think there are a lot of RAW vs RAI issues where the developer intent is fairly clear (Like the aforementioned "dead people can still take actions" issue). My main point of wariness is, that outside of dev statements, everyone's RAI tends to be heavily influenced by their own opinions. Even if that opinion is informed by lots of GMing and/or design experience and makes the game feel a lot smoother and more enjoyable, there's still going to be a personal and subjective element to it.

Cheapy wrote:
Claxon wrote:

When it doubt Common Sense and Rules as Intended are far more important than following the letter of the rule (RAW).

The only people who follow super RAW against common sense and clear intended function are those who wish to exploit a loophole or for some reason specifically disallow certain combinations (though the reason for wanting to disallow things could be numerous).

Personally, the rules as intended are more important than anything else to me.

Exactly this. The words on paper have but one purpose: to convey the author's intent. The words aren't the professional game designer. The professional game designer is, and it's their intent that matters.

The problem being that, barring official statements/errata/FAQ, it's rather hard to know what the designers intended the rules to be, other than looking at what they wrote down (and most people class errata/FAQ as part of the RAW). Otherwise, it's less RAI and more "Rules The Way I Personally Think They Ought To Be." (RTWIPTTOTB?) Not helped by the fact that reasonable people can disagree about where the dividing line is between exploiting loopholes in the rules and working cleverly within the rules, or what the clear intended function function of a given rule is.

The more you deviate from what's written down, the harder it is to maintain a consistent and transparent rules set (Harder, not impossible; you can always keep a list of house-rules and such). Now, obviously this doesn't mean that stuff like the fact that rulebook doesn't say being dead prevents your character from taking actions is legit (unless you're in an undead campaign), but I generally expect that if I have a rulebook for a game, the rules in said book apply.

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James Risner wrote:
Mojorat wrote:
Emmit Svenson wrote:
A titan mauler using a large falchion ... large, large steel shield
You cannot wield a latge falchion or wear a large shield.


Chengar Qordath wrote:
The -6 to hit ... makes of those styles rather unappealing
Not everyone play characters that are mechanically optimized. Some people play for flavor.

Which would be why I stated it was just my personal preference (Though you strategically mined out that part of my post).

shadowkras wrote:

Titan Mauler is intended to dual-wield greatswords or similar weapons.

Which is pretty scary by itself.

YogoZuno wrote:
Or, alternatively, wield greatsword and towershield...this was what my son was planning on doing with his.

The -6 to hit from dual-wielding greatswords, or the -4 to hit that comes with jotungrip + tower shield. makes of those styles rather unappealing, as far as I'm concerned. Damage only matters if you can land a hit.

seebs wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Because Pathfinder is not 3.5, and one block of rules text does not exist in a vacuum. If the "yes-sayers" have an argument, "but 3.5" is not it.

We're not talking about "a vacuum". Where is a change in wording that is relevant in any way to how you interpret the unchanged text? There's lots of cases where there's a real difference that clearly indicates an intentional change, but here, we have large amounts of apparently-relevant text, all of which is unchanged since 3.5.

If the words originally meant that, then they should still mean that, and if the designers want to change the rules, they should change them. By changing the words used to write them, rather than by keeping words which unambiguously and definitively mean something else.

Have to agree with the general sentiment here. It's not unreasonable to assume that rules text that is the exact same as it was in 3.5 works the way it did in 3.5. Granted, Paizo has gone against this idea before (like in the infamous "unwritten rules" FAQ), but in the absence of any other information it's a valid source.

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Jonathon Vining wrote:
My approach is for gender equality to be the norm. This, among other things, makes the game desirable to play at all for female players. I'm okay with sexist cultures or characters, but I like that to be as a contrast to the usual "discrimination is bad, mmmkay?" vibe. Same basic answers for racism, homophobia, similar topics. With the exception that some races (in the D&D sense) or cultures (countries, whatever) might not get along as a generalisation. See dwarves and orcs in Golarion.

Have to agree with this general sentiment. I don't want real-world issues like sexism, racism, and homophobia intruding on my fun game time. That's not to say you can't include them in a game and have fun with them, but I'd be wary of giving those sorts of issues focus unless you're sure everyone at the table is cool with it.

The Demonslayer archetype is in an odd place for me. I think the main issue is that it doesn't do much for the class; You don't give up a whole lot by taking the archetype, but you also don't get much for it. It's unimpressive, as far as archetypes go. Not bad, just ... meh.

Dune Drifter looks nice, but unless the version of PFSRD is wrong, it seems to have suffered from a big rules oversight; normal cavalier challenge only gives a bonus to melee attacks, and nothing in the archetype changes that. Given that other archetype abilities clearly indicate you should be shooting what you challenge, I'm inclined to think it's an oversight. I'm also just a tad put out by the flavor of it, mostly because I would've preferred a Gun-Cavalier to be more like a reiter or cuirassier to fit Renaissance setting, rather than dipping into Western tropes for the archetype.

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Perhaps, Chengar, but consider two situations:

The enemy general has you surrounded. You are unarmed, alone, and stripped naked. You attempt to intimidate him.


You are dueling the enemy general in single combat. You attempt to intimidate him.

One of these situations is clearly meant to be the default—the assumption being that things are at least somewhat even. The less even things get, the harder Intimidating should be.

A higher DC/penalty when the situation seems especially stacked against the intimidator seems reasonable enough to me. I'd probably also tweak circumstance modifiers depending on how exactly the action was described. I could see a quiet and confident death-glare still being fairly intimidating, while screaming threats would seem a lot less impressive.

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
The thing is that your character presents no plausible threat to his target and should find it more challenging to scare them.

I'd figure making yourself look like a plausible threat is a core part of the intimidate skill to begin with.

Jaelithe wrote:
I think it's been shown here that alignment in the hands of capable DM and intelligent players can be an invaluable tool, and a tremendous liability when employed as a bludgeon by the short-sighted and close-minded.

Pretty much. I think the only real question is whether its potential for good outweighs its potential for misuse, which is probably going to be a matter of opinion and personal experience. Personally, I've found more times when alignment felt like a problem or was used badly than I have times when the alignment system added something uniquely valuable. Other people's experience may vary.

Are wrote:
Winfred wrote:
Do you think that by interpreting the rules in this way you encourage tieflings and such to the exclusion of other races?

No, based on evidence from 3.5 I wouldn't think this encourages those races to the exclusion of others. We didn't use LA for the aasimar and tiefling, since they seemed about on par with the core races (only slightly stronger, if that, but not worth a whole point of LA), and despite that I think there were only 2 characters played with those races in the 5-6 campaigns I was a part of with that group (either as player or as DM).

I think Paizo's SLAs-qualifying-for-PrCs ruling will do more to encourage those races than granting martial weapon proficiencies for free.. Of course, both of those together could be too much :)

Have to agree on this point. Free Martial Weapon proficiency isn't that big of a deal, because just about any class that's actually going to be a primary weapon wielder either already has it, or at least has expanded weapon access options. A wizard doesn't really get a big power boost from having access to martial weapons; he's going to be casting spells anyway.

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Time for my personal opinion.

I've played enough alignment-less game systems to think it doesn't really have much of an effect on the overall gameplay. People who want to play disruptive jerk characters will do so regardless of alignment. GMs who want to be overly restrictive and controlling will do so regardless, they'll just use different tools for it. At the same time, the fact that I've played and enjoyed many games that don't have any alignment system inclines me to think that it's not a strictly necessary part of roleplaying games or that taking it away results in chaos and anarchy.

Personally, I think alignment is useful for a quick moral/ethical sum-up of a character, but probably shouldn't have too many mechanical effects. In my experience, the more mechanics there are attached the alignment, the easier it is for it to become a straitjacket, and the more otherwise good GMs feel like they need to be the Alignment Police. One of the more depressing GM experiences I had was having a Paladin player who'd obviously suffered under a straitjacket GM at some point, because he was constantly telling himself he couldn't do perfectly reasonable things (like not fall for the obvious trap the bad guy was setting up) without falling and losing his power.

Dasrak wrote:
eakratz wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
Azten wrote:

It's been ruled that the Outside races(Aasimar, Undine, etc) do not get the proficiencies others do.
Can you link to that ruling? I was not aware of any such FAQ or errata.
Here is James Jacob's response. It is listed as "no response required" as far as needing a FAQ.
I'm very uncomfortable with rulings like these. Just a lone forum post from 2010 with no entry in the FAQ? How on earth is anyone who doesn't crawl the forums supposed to know about these? To be clear, I wholeheartedly agree with the ruling (it's what I'd go with at my table if it came up) but I take issue with important rulings such as these being presented in such a fragmented and obscure fashion. How many other important rulings from individual forum posts do I not know about?

Not to mention that James Jacobs has repeatedly said he's not a rules guy, and his answers are just how he would run things in his home games. And the recent dev-team statement that anything other than official FAQs and Erratas should not be taken as an official answer to a rules question.

James Risner wrote:
(the fear that some forum posts might be off the cuff is why the "not official until FAQ" was given)

That was only part of the reason for the ruling, there's also the accessibility issue. Official errata and FAQ posted where everyone can find them at a moment's notice. "SKR sent an e-mail to a guy making third-party software that got mentioned in a forum post" is the kind of thing that's only accessible to people who regularly hang out on the forums and check every thread.

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Mike Franke wrote:
For me if you know the RAI there is no need to even worry about the RAW.

The problem, of course, being that barring developer statements it's hard to be sure what exactly the RAI is, and even then it's not very accessible unless it's in an official errata/FAQ (at which point it becomes RAW anyway). When it comes to resolving a rules question, most groups would go with what's written in the book over "No guys, I totally read on the forums that one of the devs says it works like this."

Granted, a lot of how rules issues work depends on the group dynamics; some groups are pretty casual and don't mind just making stuff up on the fly as long as it keeps the game fun, and some groups stick to the RAW like holy writ. I've played with both types of groups, and had fun with both.

Ilja wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:

While not allowing the use or magic weapon or greater magic weapon on a Amulet of Mighty Fist would be RAW compliant, it would be a way to weaken monks that I find not agreeable.
Seeing how greater magic fang work maybe it is the right interpretation, but still it is problematic.
I wish there was a difference between AoMF with an enhancement to unarmed attacks and an enhancement to natural attacks.
Sure, that sounds reasonable. We use house rules for monks to make them more viable and less item-dependant, so it's not really a needed ruling in our games, and helps keep the shapeshifters and others in check.

Yeah, it's a perfectly reasonable house rule to say that that GMW can be used on an amulet of mighty fists, it remains a house rule. Personally, I prefer allowing hand wraps/pre-errate brass knuckles to give the monk a better option for improving their unarmed strikes with magic.

Have to agree that bringing back Cure Minor Wounds would really just mean putting an end to CLW wand healing in post-battle downtime. I don't know if it would be unbalanced, so much as it is that it would be a major change to the dynamics of the game since full healing between encounters would be assumed whenever there's breathing room between fights.

As for bringing the spell back without it being a game-changer, the simplest way I can think of is to give it a bit of a recharge time. Once a day per person is a bit too much, but something like only being able to cast it on one person every ten minutes allows for a little bit of constant healing without making it a free-for-all.

Lastoth wrote:
I abuse this enchant rather frequently by getting a courageous AOMF (which is dirt cheap with no enhancement bonus) and a flawed Pale Green Prism ioun stone for all day heroism. In late levels you can have the party buffer drop a 16th level greater magic weapon on your amulet each day to get a +3 bonus.

I'm not sure if that combo is RAW-legal, since Greater Magic Weapon has to be used on a weapon, which the amulet technically isn't. Plus, one could argue that the the bonus granted by Greater Magic Weapon isn't the same as the one a weapon gets for being a +X weapon.

When it comes to the Ring of Invisibility, I think the most likely explanation for it's price is that, like most of the items imported from 3.5, the Paizo devs just didn't see any compelling reason to change the price from what it was in the previous edition.

At the end of the day, there's going to be a strong subjective element to how much any given magic item/enchantment is worth and what exact game balance should be. Really, aside from the part of the game that's covered by math, it's pretty much all opinion.

YogoZuno wrote:
It doesn't need to - if it's made of metal, the druid can't wear it. The real problem is the definition of what armours are constructed from is often not well-specified. Kikko is explicitly made from metal, so prohibited to Druid's. Do-Maru isn't as clear.

For what it's worth, Wikipedia says that Do-Maru armor could be leather or metal.

Have to agree that there are a few armors that would benefit from having more clarity on which materials apply to them, since there are a few that either have unclear materials (like Do-Maru) or multiple materials that could be argued as applicable (studded leather, armored coat).

Ishpumalibu wrote:
Materials can make a difference too if only one is metal then druids can use the other that isn't.

That's actually a good point; Kikko is made of metal, while the Do-Maru is an unspecified type of lamellar. That does have an impact for things like druid restrictions and special materials.

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Haha. Of course I agree with anything any Dev says, ever.

It is just so obvious.

Anyone who would ever see it any other way, is an idiot, or liar.

I am sorry if you disagree with me.

I can't help being better than you.


Precisely. Everyone knows the devs are perfect gods of perfectness, and have never needed to issue a clarification on anything ever. Let alone actually make a mistake. The mere idea that they might muddle the wording of an ability so that the original intent is lost is nothing less than heresy. What do you think they are, mere fallible mortals?

Kudaku wrote:

Challenge and Orders are nice features. I really like the roleplaying potential of orders.

I'm not crazy about the mount since many campaigns take place in areas where you'll be hardpressed to bring a large animal, so you're either leaving your mount outside or you're forced into playing a small race. I particularly vividly remember a PFS scenario literally starting with "you climb down a ladder". I also find the mounted combat rules in Pathfinder confusing, though maybe that's just me.

I strongly dislike teamwork feats, mainly since I feel like they were made a big feature in the inquisitor and the cavalier and then dumped by the wayside - there seems to be about 4 viable TW feats. Better options in the ACG or elsewhere might turn me around on this.

4 skill ranks is decent, but then you realize that the class has a number of skill taxes (Handle Animal, Ride) to go along with that so it's not quite as good as I was originally hoping for.

I must admit that I haven't spent particularly long looking into the Cavalier archetypes though, hopefully some of this is remedied there.

I have to agree that the cavalier being tied so heavily into mounted combat can be a problem for the class. Scenarios where mounted combat isn't an option crop up a lot, and the mounted combat rules themselves have been a bit of a mess lately. More and better options for an unmounted cavalier would help the class' popularity quite a bit.

Arachnofiend wrote:
EntrerisShadow wrote:
Mikaze wrote:

<- Is this really the face of a dystopian antihero?


No, it is not. And Ashiel's back story was quite well-done. But in my experience, most tiefling players choose the race for exactly that archetype.

There are always exceptions, of course. Even some very pleasant surprises! But in general, when somebody draws-up a tiefling, inside I roll my eyes a bit and wait to see what variation of Wolverine knock-off this one's gonna be. (In fairness, I suppose this is more of an issue with a character type. Unfortunately, tieflings are just the race I most closely associate with it due to prior experience.)

Meh, if the Tiefling didn't exist then those people would just roll half-elves.

Or Half-Orcs. Or just do any of the usual character tropes someone hits for the classic brooding dark loner type ("*Insert Monster Here* killed my family" and such). Really, people who are fond that character type are going to to try and play it no matter what race options they have.

When it comes to viability of pacifism in Pathfinder, a lot depends on the definition the player is using. As a general rule, the more extreme the pacifism, the harder it is to make it work.

To give some context, I would say a character who had a rule about never personally inflicting lethal damage against living beings qualifies as a pacifist while still being perfectly viable in combat. Nonlethal damage is a thing, and a spell caster will have plenty of combat options like buffing, debuffing, and battlefield control that will still allow him to make useful contributions. The "living beings" qualifier also means things like undead and constructs that are immune to nonlethal damage can be engaged without any qualms.

However, if the character takes pacifism to the point of being unwilling to support the party in combat because that would be enabling violence, then I have a hard time seeing how that could work. Unless the party is doing a zero-combat campaign, the player and character would have to spend long stretches of gametime not really doing anything.

Domestichauscat wrote:
I would go with the two weapon fighting route, or at least consider it. Crossbows do suck when compared to bows, but you can dual wield them and you can't dual wield bows. It's like the only thing they've got IMO that keeps them on par with bows. Course you're a feat starved class, so you may want to shy away from two weapon fighting.

Yeah, covering TWF and the ranged feats is going to be very hard for the rogue to pull off. Not to mention that the rogue has a bit of a hitting problem, so taking rapid shot, TWF, and deadly aim penalties might be a bit too much.

FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:

Since when did the rules forum become the place for arguing whether something is over powered or not? Shouldn't this kind of conversation be on the general board?

Or are we arguing the RAW based on whether it's overpowered or not, which is a fairly weak argument. There's a lot of really, really good options for various classes, should we argue whether or not they need to be changed too?

Indeed. What the rules say has absolutely nothing to do with what we think is balanced, especially since everyone has their own opinion on what is or isn't balanced. "I don't think this is balanced, ergo it can't be rules-legal" is a very weak argument, especially when the devs have said more than once that Pathfinder is not meant to have 100% perfect balance.

It's hard to say what the developers intended for the item until there's been some feedback from them. Courageous can be very powerful, but it's not like magic items that are powerful with the right combination of buffs, feats, and class features are unprecedented in Pathfinder. If you think Courageous takes it a bit too far, then houserule it in your games and/or ask the dev team to change it.

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I think there is a fair point to be made that, if we're debating balance instead of the rules, then Courageous only applying to fear effects makes it very unimpressive as a weapon property. It pretty much turns the courageous property into something people just skip over while looking for the good stuff.

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fretgod99 wrote:
Thymus Vulgaris wrote:

I think a lot of people here have looked at the RAW and though this can't be right because it is too powerful when combined with a certain other weapon enchantment that only works with a certain class. So they made up their own RAI and want the rest of us to accept that as actual RAW rather than just a houserule.

Whether the PDT will change that if/when they get to this topic's FAQ I can't say. But until they do, no matter how insanely handy it is for a barbarian with a +x courageous furious weapon, the RAW clearly states "any morale bonus the wielder gains from any other source" without any limiting modifiers.

You can hold to the explicit language argument and be perfectly fine. But you can't pretend that people are making up their own RAI when there is a good reason to believe that this "made up" RAI is actually the Development Team's RAI. Definitive? No, of course not. There hasn't been a FAQ or Errata yet. But acting like they're making this up out of thin air is more than a bit dismissive.

There's certainly room to say that the Dev team intended Courageous to work differently—at the very least I'd be surprised if they realized just how strong the buffed barbarian with a Furious Courageous sword could be. That said, I think Thymus is right that some people are starting with the conclusion that Courageous is overpowered, and then bending over backwards to find a way to twist the RAW to fit that. "This is unbalanced, ergo it cannot be rules-legal."

The thing is, the rules-as-written make absolutely no judgments on balance. One can argue RAI for an unbalanced ability or make a case that the RAW needs to be changed/errataed, but the rules are what they are. When it comes to debating the rules, we have to deal with the Rules As Written, not Rules As They Ought to Be. The latter is where house rules come in (and for the record, a group has every right to house-rule Courageous to be less powerful).

Anzyr wrote:
Outside of Core, Monk has gotten some decent archetypes to help fix a weak base in Core.

Yeah, the only real problem I see with the monk is that some of it's best archetypes tend to involve moving away from the traditional monk setup. Zen Archer and Sohei are two of the strongest monk archetypes, but an archer and an armor-wearing weapon-user are both pretty big departures from the classic image of the monk as the shirtless face-puncher.

The big issue with the "shadowy cartel of merchants stops all teleporting" is that historically cartels have a terrible track record of actually sticking to any arrangement that keeps down individual profits for the good of the whole group. Especially since those sorts of groups naturally appeal to greedy types to begin with, and greedy people are not very good at resisting the temptation to make money by breaking the rules.

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Ssalarn wrote:
I'll take good saves over a couple of points of AC any day

Agreed on that point. 95% of the time AC only protects you from HP damage. Losing HP is bad, but it doesn't really change your combat effectiveness; a Barbarian with 10 HP its just as hard and has just as many options as one at 100 HP. A failed save is a lot more likely to cause immediate problems that instantly negate your combat effectiveness (domination, paralysis, blindness, being battlefield controlled into irrelevancy, etc).

Deadmanwalking wrote:
And ragelancepounce got errataed out of existence as a broken strategy already, or had you missed that?

The recent re-errata of how mounted charges work brought it back.

Lincoln Hills wrote:

While the logistical reasons that various transportation methods exist can be a fascinating topic for some, I don't think either of you is going to convince the other if you haven't already.

Given the economically-driven motivations I've noted so far, I'm surprised that one reason I haven't heard yet in the circle-networks-would-not-exist camp is that wizards get to charge for each use of teleport individually, over and over - so only a wizard driven by non-economic reasons would ever set up a permanent, "free" service instead.

Merchant: I'll give you a million gold pieces to set up a permanent gate!
Wizard: And destroy the monopoly that I and my guild-brothers have held over your heads for centuries? I think not.

That only works so long as all the wizards involved can afford to play the long-term profit game. Given the kinds of things high-level casters need to deal with, it's entirely possible that one could be in a situation where they're willing to sacrifice long-term profits to deal with an immediate problem. Especially if more than money is on the table as payment.

Also, the problem with the idea that all the high-level casters would try to keep a highly restrictive monopoly on teleportation magic is that all the high-level wizards aren't a hive-mind. Even if all the high-level casters came to some sort of agreement, odds are that eventually one of them will either have a personal interest that compels him to break the agreement, or one of them will get greedy and/or think he can break the rules without getting caught. There's a reason real-life cartels have always proven unsustainable in the long term.

BigDTBone wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:

Since it didn't get changed from 3.5, the designers obviously disagree.

While I agree in this case that haste is fine as published, this line of logic is dubious at best and in some cases a complete fallacy.

To be fair, haste is one of D&D's most iconic spells. It's nowhere near as obscure as stuff like Simulacrum and Planar Binding wish factories. I'd like to think it's a bit obvious for the dev team to overlook.

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In my experience, the closest thing I've seen the dreaded "magic mart" is people handwaving the RP side of shopping to save game time. While I do recall a few very fun experiences where the GM and players really got into the experience, I can definitely also recall a couple times where looking for gear dragged on to the point of "Are we playing Pathfinder or Shopfinder?"

I guess it's all about playstyles, in the end. Personally, I would prefer having a system where things like AC, saves, and stat boosts were rolled into the character progression instead of having assumed items/WBL as part of CR. That would be a pretty big change to the system, though.

N. Jolly wrote:

I actually wonder what the real meaning of 'earning' an item is here. It keeps being brought up, but it's never defined. It's not like the Magic Shop adventure party is playing in a punch clock world where they slay goblins from 9-5, and then eventually cash in for a Holy Avenger.

So much of this seems more like "As GM I determine what the party gets, so they have to make sure I'm happy."

Indeed. A lot of the talk about "Players have to earn it" tends to come across as: "Whenever I GM, all of my players must stroke my ego for 5 minutes per +1 on the item they're asking for."

TheSideKick wrote:
another boon to creating your character ahead of time is that you know exactly what your character can do. you know how much they can hit for, what spell combos you will have access to, and which class features are best before you even hit the table. that allows for combats to flow smoother, because there is less "ok i add this bonus and that bonus, was it +20 to hit? i think so, wait!! no its only a 19 because blah blah blah..." you can still do this when leveling each time, but mid game it becomes a pain and takes even LONGER to have these values preplanned, on top of character creation time.

That is very true. I recall being incredibly frustrated with one 3.5 game where one of the players ground combat to a halt every single time it was his turn, because he couldn't figure out what his archer's to-hit and damage were. No matter how much the other people at the table tried to help, the guy just couldn't figure it out.

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I think another part of the reason optimized martials get more notice is that the things they do (Namely, tons of damage) are a lot more obvious. The top-tier casters usually avoid doing raw HP damage (Though exceptions exist) in favor of more indirect effects like summoning, battlefield control, and buffing/debuffing. To a lot of people, "I kept five enemies from being able to attack this round" is less impressive than "I did 50 damage with my big sword."

Rynjin wrote:
GM Lamplighter wrote:

Plans are there for when your adventuring career doesn't have life-defining moments in it. I recently had an archer PC have his life saved by a colleague's animal companion, and the colleague (and the rest of the party) didn't make it out. Sole survivor, saved by a goat. That was too good to turn down... next level was in beastbonded witch so I could have the goat as a familiar. We'll see what happens next...

That's a mite condescending. Just because people don't take classes willy nilly based on stuff that happens doesn't mean they're characters don't have "life changing events".

You could just have easily just kept the goat around as your companion instead of taking a level in a class to have him as a familiar.

Have to agree on that point. It's not like the character couldn't just adopt the goat without having any kind of supernatural connection to it.

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turnip_head wrote:
When designing the encounter, I thought to myself, "Should I come up with a consequence of falling or reaching in? ...Who would be so foolish." And immediately moved on =/ That'll teach me to assume.

First rule of GMing, never rule out a possible PC action solely on the basis of it being a monumentally bad idea.

Damian Magecraft wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:

Thank you for that, Mark. As you said, there's no wrong way to play the game.

I am curious to see how frontliners can keep up in AC at higher levels without magic items. It's notable that of the classic "Big Six" magic items fully half of them are AC boosters, (Amulet of Natural Armor, Ring of Protection, Magic Armor). Stat-boosting items can also fill that role, if it's adding to a stat that goes to AC.

As it stands, the only way I can see to get viable AC against an Adult Black Dragon (Which is at +21 to hit) is by focusing on some combination of defensive fighting/combat expertise that would tank the character's offensive ability. If pre-errate Crane Wing was part of the mix, that would help a lot.

Thinking about it, you could do it, but it would pretty much require you to have not one but at least two casting slaves. All of those things could be replaced by a cleric / wizard / druid casting shield of faith, magic vestment, greater magic weapon, and barkskin on the character. Then toss some a few animal affinity spells onto them and it's like having magic items...for a little while.

Unfortunately this has the negative side effect of not encouraging teamwork but instead forces you to have X class on your team to avoid missing out on normal stuff. It shows why full casters rule the school in low-magic worlds (because they have magic and others don't). You suddenly couldn't consider playing any non-casting martial unless you have a party of primary casters or at the very least a buff-slave from Leadership.

It can be done with out relying on magic at all.

Critical and tactical thinking are key to the success of such a party however. You cannot allow the "numbers" to decide the out come before making the attempt.
As the story from my statistics instructor illustrates... Numbers do not tell the full story.

Can we get anything beyond a constant refrain of "tactics" and "numbers don't matter?"

ShadowcatX wrote:
Second, Chengar is correct for the most part. On his point #3 however, it is worth noting that the templates do not give the creatures a language any longer so you're still having difficulties communicating with them.

Gah, forgot that changed in the 3.5->Pathfinder changeover.

That derp aside, Angels, Devils, and Demons do make a pretty big chunk of the SM list (and are often the best options for their spell level).

As I recall, there are three factors that push Summon Monster of Summon Nature's Ally.

1) Special Abilities: The Summon Monster list has lots of outsiders with unique special abilities and spellcasting/spell-like abilities. The SNA list, by contrast, is mostly limited to animals who can't really do much other than smack things with melee attacks. The only options that have options beyond basic melee are elementals, which are on the SM anyway. Don't get me wrong, putting animals in melee with the bad guys is very useful, but it's only one option. Summon Monster can do that just fine, plus more.

2) Templates: There are a pretty good number of animals on the Summon Monster list, and they all have a major advantage over their counterparts on the SNA list; animals summoned with SM gain the Celestial or Fiendish Template. Those templates will add DR, energy resistance, SR, and a 1/day smite, which is a very nice set of bonuses.

3) Communication/intelligence: Unless you have some ability to communicate with animals, it's going to be rather difficult to give instructions to summoned animals, and even with it animal intelligence is going to be a limiting factor on what they can understand. With Summon Monster, a few points in linguistics will let you talk to most of your summons, many of which have the intelligence to understand much more complex instructions.

Damian Magecraft wrote:
Malwing wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
Not to mention problems like AC capping out at the low twenties (barring hyper-focused builds like a fighter who uses a tower shield while fighting defensively with combat expertise) in a magic-less campaign starts to become a real problem. Considering that according the bestiary the high attack on a CR 10 monster is +18, having your AC cap out at 20 is bad.

Sorry to backtrack to this but AC capping out at the low twenties? Since when? The last two 10th level characters I had have around 33 AC after a round of buffs. My current lvl 5 dude has about 23-26 with plans to go higher at lvl 7. And I'm a player that likes to rely less on magical gear even when it's around. Do people really not care about AC? Do I build my characters weird?

To be fair other party members are around 20 AC but I thought that's because they are full casters and a barbarian.

I'm not exactly trying to challenge the statement I just feel like I missed something. By the time lvl 10 rolls around I don't feel safe with less than 30 AC.

its an offshoot comment centered around my level 10 no magic party.

Thanks for clearing that up.

Needless to say, when magic's in the mix I get ACs well above the low twenties. I was rather fond of my ridiculously tough Aegis/Soulknife/Metaforge in a campaign where we tried out DSP's psionics rules.

Also, see if your GM will allow you to sacrifice five peasants in order to add the fiendish template to your goat. Blood for the Blood Goat!

I also support Glutton's suggestion of lazer goat.

RDM42 wrote:
Most classes that have significant overlap in abilities aren't hard to justify. A fighter going into paladin or the other way around? They have a large core of similar skills.

Multi-classing into Paladin (and to a lesser extent, Druid) is actually one of the areas where I could see some issues from an RP perspective, on account of the code on conduct. I'm not inclined to be overly restrictive on that kind of thing, but if the character hasn't been acting remotely Paladin-like up to this point in the game, I'd want some explanation for this sudden change in outlook.

Thank you for that, Mark. As you said, there's no wrong way to play the game.

I am curious to see how frontliners can keep up in AC at higher levels without magic items. It's notable that of the classic "Big Six" magic items fully half of them are AC boosters, (Amulet of Natural Armor, Ring of Protection, Magic Armor). Stat-boosting items can also fill that role, if it's adding to a stat that goes to AC.

As it stands, the only way I can see to get viable AC against an Adult Black Dragon (Which is at +21 to hit) is by focusing on some combination of defensive fighting/combat expertise that would tank the character's offensive ability. If pre-errate Crane Wing was part of the mix, that would help a lot.

Damian Magecraft wrote:

every time I see people arguing the "numbers" I am reminded of a story my Statistics 101 Professor told on the first day of class.

Three statisticians went deer hunting during bow season.
While trudging through the forest they stumbled across the granddaddy of all trophies. The Fabled Thirty point Buck.
The first steadies his nerves, nocks an arrow, raises his bow, draws and lets his arrow fly. It misses ten feet to the left.
The second shakes his head, gives the first a knowing look, takes aim at the buck and takes his shot. He misses ten feet to the right.
The third statistician starts excitedly jumping up and down and exclaims "We got him! We got him!"

The moral being numbers do not always tell the truth.

Cute story, but utterly irrelevant as anything other than a cheap attempt at misdirection. Numbers do tell the truth when you're dealing with math problems, and Pathfinder combat includes a ton of math. How do you hit things? Math. How do you do damage? Math. What do buff and debuff spells do? Change the math. Even most of your tactical options are about math, like flanking in order to get better math.

By all means, explain how someone with 17 AC is not hit on anything other than natural 1 by a monster with +18 to-hit.

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