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Echo Vining wrote:
Sadly, I don't have the figure for that outfit.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Touch attacks are a broken game mechanic. There is a difference between broken and overpowered/underpowered, though they can overlap. A broken mechanic either doesn't work as intended or screws with the game on a fundamental level. An overpowered/underpowered mechanic simply has too much power or too little power.
Touch attacks are a broken mechanic. As I explain in more detail in this article, the math behind them falls apart because the average touch AC decreases with CR instead of increase like normal AC. This makes them almost guaranteed hits. And firearms put iterative touch attacks on a class that already excels at hitting high armored targets.
Plus, touch attacks are a punch in the face for an armored fighter.
The thing abut fun is that fun is subjective. You cannot quantify fun.
So your argument is that, due to the subjectivity and inability to quantify fun, a designer should focus on balancing a class's power level rather than most other aspects? This argument makes me cringe for so many reasons.
1) You can quantify fun. Not numerically, not precisely, but you can do it. Just as you can quantify aesthetics. What viewers find aesthetically pleasing is subjective, but any visual designer can tell you the aesthetic merits of any given image or other visual medium. He can tell you why people will find some images more pleasing than others just as I can explain why a player will likely find game content more fun than others.
2) An experienced game designer understands principles, techniques, and values that can contribute to fun gameplay. They learn, through experience, what most people find fun or not fun. They know what designs will facilitate their player's fun. Making gameplay options equally attractive for players is only one way of achieving this.
You can, to a better extent, quantify balance. Not perfectly, but you can do it.
Yes, you can imprecisely measure the power of a class's incomparables (game content whose power cannot be measured numerically). That's very important to do. But a game designer should prioritize ensuring they're cool and interesting to use. Though not straight forward, there exists several ways to quantify that quality.
Ideally, we want to create content that's both fun and balanced. However, it's more practical to focus on making the content enjoyable. That means merely ensuring there isn't an egregious power disparity as opposed to agonizing over the precise power between things. Such precision isn't as important as it is in competitive games.
Fun will naturally follow from something that fits together well. Sure, you come up with an initial idea and abilities that sound cool...but any 5 year old can do that. That's not design.
I agree on the importance of good execution of ideas. However, your first sentence is not true. A well balanced, fine tuned game/content will not necessarily lead to a fun experience. This is why iteration is a cornerstone of the design process.
Making sure something is balanced is a BIG part of good design.
This illustrates my biggest problem with many of your (and some of Kirth Gersen's) arguments. You strike me as always thinking in black and white. Game design is more complicated than that. Ensuring the equality of power level among classes constitutes only ONE aspect of designing classes.
It's not even the only type of balance! Jesse Schell dedicated an entire chapter of his book explaining that. In fact, sometimes good game design involves making certain things not balanced. For example, Pathfinder favors offense over defense because the designers want combat to flow faster and not stagnate into turtling. Using spells/gameplay to prevent damage is more optimal than healing it because the game designers wanted to encourage winning fights through preparation and smart decisions rather than winning fights by outsustaining enemies. Balance constitutes more than making everything equal. It involves ensuring game elements exist harmoniously to create the experience you (as a designer) want to convey to the player. Adjusting the power level of classes is only one aspect of this.
I will reiterate: I am not making the argument that balancing the power level of classes isn't important. I'm arguing it's only one of the many important things to consider when designing classes and TTRPGs. In many circumstances, it's not even most important, despite how much the community fetishizes it.
If it's too weak, who gives a s+!+ how good the concept is?
The concept and interesting game mechanics make you care about the class in the first place. Yes, we want to make sure a class's power level isn't out of line. However, a great concept can keep a player engaged with a weaker class whereas a player will likely bore of a strong yet bland class quickly.
The swashbuckler and cleric are great examples of this. The swashbuckler is probably the weakest class in the Advanced Class Guide, and yet it's quite popular. I've seen significantly more swashbucklers in PFS than any other class from that book. On the contrary, many consider the cleric one of the strongest yet one of the most boring classes to play. Much of its power is allocated in places that make the class more viable, but not as fun.
Again, making sure the overall power level of a class equates to others does not alone constitute good game design or balance.
If you have a different opinion, share it, but give me something specific besides "fun". What do you think is the biggest part of actually designing a class?
Creating and implementing a concrete concept that translates into meaningful game mechanics that facilitate gameplay. In other words, make a class that gives the player interesting things to do. Even if they might not be as powerful as other classes.
There's many considerations to take when trying to accomplish your design goals with a class. How many offensive, defensive, or utility abilities should they have? Do the mechanics convey the experience or flavor I want in this class? Does the class give the player enough things to do during combat? How flexible do I want possible build paths? All of these are important considerations. Some of them more important than just whether or not the class is strong or weak as a whole.
I reworked firearms in my campaign because touch attacks are a broken game mechanic. I removed misfires and touch attacks from them, made Dex-to-damage an innate feature, and rewrote that overpowered Musket Master archetype. They still do a ton of damage, but now firearm attacks are no longer guaranteed hits.
I'm not saying that, but I've seen this sort of thing here very often and I wanted a good explanation of how people see it working out.
I don't think Linear Fighters Quadratic Wizards is necessarily a bad thing. Having classes with different power curves makes the game more interesting. As former Paizo designer Sean K Reynolds said in an article, precise class balance is neither possible nor totally necessary. D&D/PF is a cooperative team game for creating stories through gameplay. It's fine if some classes are more powerful than others as long as they're all fun to play.
It's the design of D&D prior to 4th edition where fighters start off strong and wizards start off weak. As they level up, the wizard starts to greatly outshine the fighter. This was intentional because previous editions usually assumed that every new character starts at level 1. Now, it's an unpopular concept, especially since the designer of 3rd Edition greatly buffed wizards and had a major double standard spells versus martial abilities.
I know a PFS GM who had a player with a min-maxed barbarian who tried to meta his way in combat against a mage.
Player: I sunder his spell component pouch.
GM: Nevermind the fact you don't know whether this guy is a wizard. How do you know what a spell component pouch is? You have an Intelligence of 5! Do you at least have a rank in Knowledge (arcana)?
Player: No, but everybody knows wizards carry spell component pouches. I sunder it!
GM: The guy is carrying like three pouches on his person. You'd have no idea which one is his spell component pouch, assuming he's carrying one at all. You do a ton of damage. You could just stab the guy...
Player: I sunder his spell component pouch! *Rolls it*
GM: Fine. *Rolls a 1d3.* You slice open one of his pouches and his lunch pops out.
Player: F*** you! *Grabs all of his stuff and leaves the table*
I completely agree with Alexander Augunas. I feel Dual Identity is being undervalued.
I can even see it working really well in PFS scenarios. Most PFS scenarios take place in one location or have you sent from Absalom to another town with plenty of downtime before talking to the next major NPC. You would have plenty of time to gain renown and make use of your social.
I'm not entirely sure how feats "constrain" player options. Are players at your table complaining? Sorry for the skepticism, but I always seem to find GMs who try to fix problems that don't really exist or only exist because they had an unusual vivid experience. My players absolutely hate the problems with the feat system, but they'd riot if I tried to run a game without feats.
If you want a featless game, try D&D 5th Edition. In that game, feats are an optional rule.
When casting a touch spell with "cure" in the title and a casting time of 1 standard action, a good divine spellcaster can manifest the spell's power into a shining arrow and fire it from this longbow. On a successful ranged touch attack, a creature struck by this arrow takes no damage but becomes subject to the spell's effects. If the spell can target multiple creatures, the wielder may instead cast the spell as a full-round action. When doing so, she performs a number of ranged touch attacks equal to the number of attacks she can perform during a full-attack or the number of targets allowed by the spell (whichever is lower). Each creature hit becomes subject to the spell. A creature does not benefit from multiple arrows unless the spell can target a creature multiple times.
I'm a game designer. Design goals are vital to creating quality work. Otherwise, you're creating solutions looking for a problem.
I honestly just want the core rulebook rewritten. Little to no actually changes necessary. We need an updated rulebook that doesn't use poorly written 12-year text modified by a poor chap who had to put an entire company on his shoulders.
If you want a whole new game that fixes the core problems with 3.5e, then follow Five Moons RPG designed by Sean K Reynolds.
Quite an interesting idea. Most of it seems quite appropriate. However, I think Toon Damage Resistance is way too powerful. While appropriate, it basically makes them invincible because nonlethal damage goes away if the character receives any healing. Magical weapons and acid damage don't occur frequently enough. I honestly think it would be better to have this be a once per day ability to convert all damage from an attack to nonlethal.
I honestly think domains are the most interesting class feature they have. I just wish they were more interesting and let you better customize your cleric based on your god. I once had an idea where they worked more like oracle mysteries where you can select domain powers from a combined pool from the two domains you choose at 1st level and the cleric can spontaneously cast domain spells.
I was going to suggest this. You could do some really creative things with flesh to stone. I have an NPC in my campaign that's a mobster always surrounded by a harem of medusa whose gaze has no effect on him. He deals in illegal artwork, but also acts as a loan shark that uses a person's petrified loved one as collateral. Each time they're late on a payment, his men chip a piece off. However, he will make sure they're restored to healthy condition if the debt gets paid off. For particularly faithful debtors, he might hire a sculptor to remove a blemish or make the collateral look younger.
The codes in ISG are rather well written. So well written that a friend of mine, who used to hate paladins, wanted to play a paladin after reading some of the paladin codes. Heck, they even inspired him to create his own goddess for his campaign. Even the paladin code of Imoedae, the most stereotypical paladin god, has several tenets that dispel the Lawful Stupid, including being loyal to your companions. If you act like a righteous jerk to your companions or threaten to leave the party because you disagree with them on a moral argument, then you're breaking Imoedae's paladin code.
The campaign ended when our pactbinder stabbed a highly explosive artifact made of solidified evil in order to stop the Big Bad from obtaining it in the next round of combat and becoming a demigoddess. The explosion completely obliterated everyone in the battle, collapsed the dungeon, and ushered a massive spire of light that you could see from space. Thanks to a scroll of clone I found prior in the campaign, I was the only survivor. I inherited a castle and spent the rest of my days searching for a way to bring back my comrades while telling people of their fate. All nations of the land declared us venerated heroes to live on in legends for centuries to come.
Single attack: with multiple attack AND damage rolls. That is kind of the point. If sneak attack does not apply to each roll, does power attack? You mention furious focus, but as an initial premise you have no problem with power attack adding to each roll? Even though its one attack? Maybe it should just be weapon damage rolled each time, so its a single scaling vital strike. After all, what is normal damage anyways.
Power Attack specifically says it modifies attack and damage rolls. It does not operate on a per-attack basis. As a result, Power Attack works with Pummeling Style.
As I mentioned earlier, it's good to think of Pummeling Style as a weird critical hit. If an effect gets multiplied on a critical hit, it likely gets added on each successful attack roll in a Pummeling Style attack.
Alrighty! Sorry if I sounded a bit rough there. No hard feelings against you.
I quit playing 4th Edition because I felt like I had little to no agency in how my character develops beyond 1st level. Skills are set in stone and level up automatically. The power system gave an illusion of choice -- while it allowed me to pick from three or four powers every other level, each power relied on a specific build you had to choose at character creation. Unless you got insanely good ability scores that let you have two secondary ability scores, there was little reason to pick a power that wasn't specifically designed for your build path.
I feared the same problem would appear in 5th Edition, and it seems like that appears to be the case. Your skills are set in stone. The most adjacency you have during level ups is the "path" your class allows at 3rd level. Yeah, there's feats if your DM allows them, but the feats don't scale or give you different options at different levels. A 20th level fighter draws from the same feat pool as does a 4th level fighter. The game seems deliberately built around low level play (even the developers said so).
For those who had the pleasure of playing a 5th Edition game, are my concerns actually present in the game? Having a character adapt in response to their adventure experiences has massive appeal to me. A character that follows a set path and doesn't change with respect to their experiences strikes me as really boring.
It's difficult to use the druid as a benchmark since it's one of the strongest classes in the game. This was even more true in 3rd edition. Still, I think it would suffice to simply give them the druid's weapon and armor proficiencies in exchange for 9-level spellcasting and increase the spell level of all hunter spells by 1 or 2 so this revised hunter isn't getting them faster than a normal hunter.
Taking permanent ability score loss to choose is not appealing at all when the spell is already pretty punishing as is. Taking extra negative levels might be reasonable, but permanently losing your ability scores is ridiculously harsh.
Order of Chaos wrote:
Race, age and gender are just a state of YOUR BODY, they have very little to do with the fact who you are, unless you choose to be obsessed with them (because of an irrational fear of being the opposite gender, different age or different race).
That's not entirely true. If you're a native outsider, your race is a part of your soul. It's one criticism of the reincarnate spell because, technically, a native outsider should always reincarnate as a native outsider related to the same plane. An archon aasimar should always reincarnate as an archon aasimar or an angel aasimar because their soul draws its heritage from Heaven. Getting a new body doesn't change that.
Also, reincarnating as an old man makes even less sense than reincarnating as a young adult. We're not time lords.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
So, flipping it around, as a player do you tolerate DM cheating? The most common example is, of course, rolls getting fudged so that the party always "just barely" wins every major fight. And, yes, it's controversial, but I maintain that the DM is not by definition "immune" to accusations of cheating. Sorry, but as DM, I don't do it. And as a player, I always ask the DM not to do it, especially in a sandbox-style game. I don't like being railroaded, and, similarly, I want my PC to die if I get in over my head. I know that houstonderek shares that view when he's playing -- it's one of the things that convinced us we'd be a good pairing for a long-term game.
I don't mind as long as the GM makes the game more fun. After all, that's his job. Obviously, if the GM does it too much or does it when it's not appropriate, then it's not fun anymore.
I had a GM accidentally cause a TPK when he had a god come out of no where and save a PC that should have died.
The thing that bothers me the most about reincarnate is when you worship the patron deity of your race. It makes little sense that a dwarven devout worhshiper of Torag reincarnates as an orc or an elf, especially when the game deliberately points out that a deity can influence a resurrection. And no, don't use the "why would a deity allow a reincarnation and give up the chance to gain a soul" argument. With some exceptions, Pathfinder deities don't really work that way and using that logic doesn't make any sense.
3.) Reincarnate already works on people who die of old age as written, actually. It is the only resurrection style spell that does so.
Yeah, that's intentional. It gives the reincarnate spell an interesting niche among resurrection magic. Pathfinder's campaign setting takes advantage of this, too. The River Kingdom Tymon has a ruler that made a deal with powerful druids to reincarnate him forever. At the end of each life, he stages a tournament where he passes the mantle to his next incarnation.
1) First off, you need to decide whether or not this is a game you want to run. You can't force the players to play your way. If you don't want to GM for a game where the PCs want to take over a town, then politely tell your players you don't want to GM for them anymore. Gather another group with players that fit your style.
2) If you decide to continue running the game, then adapt it to fit what appeals to the players. The players obviously want to play a game where the party is a bunch of ruffians wanting to take over a town and loot a dungeon. They're having fun doing this--don't ruin it for them! Instead, play along with it. Introduce a rival organization. Create a turf war. Have consequences that escalate the game and make it more exciting. This could make for a really awesome campaign.
In short, if the players are ignoring/killing critical NPCs and adventure hooks, that's a sign the players aren't interested in what you have planned. Either find another group of players that are interested or change your plans to align with your players's interests.
Levels 5 to 12 are usually the "sweet spot" of the game. You're heroic enough to face greater threats than goblins and bandits, but not powerful enough to render most adventuring tropes and skill checks completely trivial. This is so true that one of Pathfinder's designers is actually making his own RPG such that you spend 60% of the game in that sweet spot instead of only 40%.
These aren't the choices I'd personally make as a designer. I typically try to aim for changes that make a "meh" class more fun rather than simply better. In this case, you add a bunch of mostly passive defensive abilities against spells and such. Passive abilities are usually not all that fun. Still, I think the changes are pretty decent. It turns the fighter into a juggernaut.
However, I really dislike allowing two-weapon fighting as standard action. While I agree TWF deserves some love, I think getting an extra attack against the same target on a standard action is too much. When thinking about ways to help two-weapon fighting, I usually like the idea of Two-Weapon Fighting granting a standard action special attack that's not simply two-weapon fighting as a standard action. One version of Two-Weapon Fighting I homebrewed worked like this:
"While wielding two weapons, you can make a dual strike special attack as a standard action. When using dual strike, you make a single attack with your primary weapon at your full base attack bonus and add the damage dice of your off-hand weapon to the damage roll. The off-hand weapon's magical special abilities (such as flaming) apply to this attack. Special abilities already posssesed by the primary weapon do not stack."
I want to play a drunken brewmaster that's an alchemist who dips 1 level for rage, and I'm trying to decide whether to dip into core barbarian, unchained barbarian, or bloodrager. But I noticed that unchained barbarian rage applies a +2 bonus to thrown weapon damage rolls. Would this work on alchemist bombs?
Volume of class features DOES equate to power...
Ignored? We gave many rebutals to your explanations. What kind of feedback are you looking for? Criticism involves pointing out flaws. so you can make a decision to improve it. I'm not throwing out insults. I explained the reasoning behind my criticism and what could be done to improve the class.
Also how does this fix make them just do more damage? I guess they get one more thanks to weapon training. Those are the kinds of statements that I ignore because you either didn't read it or didn't appreciate the work I did put into it.
You explicitly said earlier in this thread that you intended this fix to make the fighter "the best at fighting" with increases in offense and defense. You decided to accomplish this by giving them more bonus feat access through martial flexibility and combat styles.
Also, you're talking to a guy who draws pictures for his homebrew material and spent months working on his class design. I do appreciate the work that goes behind designing classes. If I didn't care about your work or the topic at hand, I never would have responded to this thread in the first place.
I'm a protestant Christian and I see the logic behind putting deities in your campaign even if you do not believe in the existence in real deities. Some of the greatest stories come from religious texts and mythology, and Pathfinder deities are really interesting characters.
Besides, it might make players uncomfortable if their GM has an atheist agenda just as if I made a setting where the Christian God was the only true God.
Gear Dependent: Though an artiforged can be raised or resurrected normally, when his body becomes lost or destroyed, he loses access to all artiforged class features except for artiforging and proficiencies in armor, shields, and weapons.[...]
Thank you! I still want to call that section "Ex-Artiforged" because that's pretty standard for any class where a circumstance could remove class features or make it impossible to take further levels, such as the barbarian. It also makes sense because you're not physically an artiforged anymore without the augmentations, even though you have all of the experience and know-how to use them and put them back.
Another thing I noticed is that there is no mentioning of replacing integrated weapons/armor (only in the case they are destroyed). If I find a better weapon, can I take it as my integrated weapon and sell the one I'm currently using? Can I screw the fighter's sword into my forearm, enhance it and give it back to him?
That's a good question. So good that I reworked integrated weapon this morning to answer all those questions, clarify thrown melee weapons (you can now eject them hookshot-style!), and give specifics about having an integrated ranged weapon that fires thrown weapons as ammo.
I still need to work out integrated armor today.
The artiforged is a martial class centered around literally forging yourself into the perfect warrior. I designed it as “setting neutral” with a class feature that determines the flavor of your bodily enhancements. Fitting your artiforged to a setting is simply a matter of choosing the right power source. You could be a steam knight, a clockwork soldier, a guy with a bunch of magical devices installed in his body, a warrioress augmenting herself with symbiotic plants or perhaps a man who Frankensteins himself with undead limbs.
The artiforged is a full BAB martial with no spellcasting. He gains no bonus feat progression, but is a feature rich class. Some class features include the following.
I intend to publish this class in a book that will include many more upgrades, power sources, archetypes, NPCs of all CRs, and an Eldritch Heritage-like feat. I’d like some thoughts and feedback before I finalize a draft for an upcoming playtest.
Special thanks to Ciaran Barnes, Goddity, Goth Guru and others for their feedback during the development of this class. They were a big help during the months I spent working on this.
This has been discussed to death.
I make Weapon Finesse free for all characters and my players can take the Deadly Agility feat from Path of War. I already made plenty of arguments explaining why Deadly Agility is a balanced and well designed approach to Dex-to-damage.
Don't need a more complicated solution than that.
Honestly, separating alignments from philosophy and belief is a good thing for most tables. The last thing I need is another alignment argument.
I'm not sure about that. Pretty much every major alignment argument I've seen came down to a problem with the player or GM, not the alignment system itself. In fact, the worst alignment argument I experienced came result from a guy who argued for abolishing alignments from all games. Other than that, I've had nothing but positive experiences with alignments. And I absolutely love the Planescape setting.
But don't get me wrong. I do really like your idea. I came from liking the idea that law and chaos energy shape reality. Chaos warps reality whereas law keeps reality stable. (And I'm glad your list isn't merely energy damage types. It made me cringe to see 5th Edition use 4th Edition's Pokemon-style damage types).
I don't get the hate for Precise Shot, either. It's powerful and makes sense. While good, it's also not always an obvious choice. Precise Shot isn't worth it for switch-hitters, who should be engaging in melee when allies do.
The penalty makes sense and it's not a big deal for rays because touch attacks are more-or-less guaranteed to hit the target at mid to higher levels. The only thing I never liked about it was that allies STILL provide soft cover, and I think the penalty should be an AC bonus for the target, not an attack roll penalty. GMs, even ones in PFS, frequently forget that allies provide soft cover anyway.
I'm sorry but you're just flat wrong.
Kestral understood my point.I agree with Aelryinth. I previously never argued that fast healing to all PCs would make combats easier (though instant stabilizing does make them less lethal). I argued it would reduce the tension of most encounters and change the way players approach using their class abilities.
You also seem to make the faulty assumption that every combat should be lethal. That's not true. Any GM worth his salt varies his encounters, such as ones merely made to wear down the party. It's much harder to do that and vary the encounters when the party can recover for free after every fight.
But you just illustrated the GM would have to make encounters harder if fast healing had any effect on the resource consumption per encounter. Let me break it down.
1) Fast healing impacts the resource consumption of each encounter, even if a little. That should be obvious, even if the impact merely reduces the consumption of a CR = APL encounter from 25% to 20% as you postulated.
2) You argue that if the above point is true, then a GM only needs to add another encounter each day. (Padding the day out with another encounter is actually a big deal, but that's beside my point)
3) If the above points are true and the GM wants to keep the same number of encounters per day, then the GM must increase the CR of one or more of his encounters. With your example, the GM would need to increase CR of one encounter by +2 or two encounters by +1.
Therefore, fast healing would require the GM to make encounters harder if it had any effect on resource consumption (which it does). You just illustrated that with your example.
Maybe one could say a +1 or +2 to one or two encounters as no big deal. I can concede that point. A GM granting all PCs fast healing would be prepared for that. But to say that a GM wouldn't have to make encounters harder at all to keep the resource consumption the same? That's a fallacy.
That example has so many flaws for various reasons. It also neither supports your claim nor does it disprove mine.
1) It views the game in isolation within a single, specific type of encounter and makes the gross assumption that a party has infinite amount of healing wands and/or the ability to exchange money for healing items at any given time. This and other ridiculous assumptions undermines the counterargument by postulating a spherical cow.
2) The example fails to look at emergent player behavior, which I consider much more important and relevant to the discussion than simply how much money the party loses each encounter.
3) Even excusing the above two points, the math provided proves against your argument. Losing up to 10% of your income is not insignificant. Even players with 12th level characters would wince at losing 250 to 750 gp on each encounter--mine certainly do, even when I'm generous on treasure.
And no. Pathfinder is a game of attrition, at least as the game design pattern described by Joris Dormans. Each encounter beats up the party's abilities, health, and items they had to buy/prepare ahead of time. If they play smart, they can get to the climax with enough resources necessary to win and save the day. Otherwise, someone might die or worse.
Even if I agree with you, you cannot deny that it's much harder to beat up the PCs if they can recover from any injury completely for free by sucking their thumb for 5 or 10 minutes. I don't want to play, run, or design for a game like that.
The whole point of a switch-hit build is that you shoot at enemies until they're close enough to engage with melee. Precise Shot isn't useful because if an ally engages in melee combat, you should engage with them--not stand there and shoot. If you're close enough to benefit from Point-Blank Shot, then you should be close enough to charge at the enemy. As a switch hitter, you're still primarily a melee fighter. You simply put a few of your eggs in the "ranged basket" so you're still a big threat when the enemy isn't close enough to engage with your primary weapon.
Power Attack, Deadly Aim, and Quick Draw should be your big priorities. Invest your feats into your melee weapon first.