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I appreciate the design team's attempts at mitigating power creep.
However, I consider it pretty bad form to have this cycle of creating content that misses the mark and then totally gut it with little attempt to compromise or balance it appropriately. I understand the reasons behind this, but it does leave customers feeling frustrated to have the content they paid for get changed for the worse. I feel erratas should be used to fix mistakes and content that simply doesn't work. Instead, it's used as a way to nerf content that's too powerful in PFS.
In some cases, the errata creates even more problems and confusion than the content as originally printed. Slashing Grace is a great example of this. The errata made the feat even more awkward and broke several items and archetypes for the class that the feat was intended for.
You have to remember that potions are basically spells in a bottle. So being able to drink two different potions at once is like being able to cast two different spells at once, which is very powerful. You would have to make this item very expensive as a result.
Your design goal doesn't make much sense to me. If the problem is that casters aren't casting buffs on combatants, wouldn't you want a solution that encourages it rather than discourage it?
Also, remember that most of the action economy of getting buffs exist for very good reasons. It rewards preparedness and punishes lack of it since you have to spend a turn to drink a potion if you came to the fight unprepared. However, it also puts a limit on how much you can buff yourself before a fight. Each round spent buffing is one round of duration lost for any existing buff.
I think the idea is pretty cool: trading divine bond to gain angelic aspect. But there's some serious flaws here.
At 5th level, this ability is severely underpowered. At this level, Divine Bond grants the power of a 3rd level spell. Lesser Angelic is a 2nd level spell. I suggest having this ability also give wings with a fly speed of 30 feet. This makes the ability more in line with 3rd level spells and makes it competitive with the other options.
Secondly, I'd totally remove all of the annoying and complicated bits about the spirit disappearing if the paladin falls down or the spirit taking the paladin's soul away. Just say that if the paladin is knocked unconscious, the effect ends. Doesn't need to be more complicated than that.
Assigning a point value to every feat is such a daunting task that ultimately yields little benefit because it's difficult to judge the power of a feat on such a fine level. Especially a fine level where a whole feat equates to 8 points. This was one of the flaws with the race creation rules in ARG. You aren't going to have a more balanced system this way.
A better approach would be to have tiers for feats. For example, a character can choose one feat or two "minor feats" By making the values more discrete, it's much easier to figure out whether a feat is too powerful or too weak. With your system, it's much more challenging to figure out the power difference between a 4-point feat or a 5-point feat.
I can't place my order. Every time I do, it sends me back to choose a payment method, despite the fact I already have a valid one selected and the site doesn't say anything's wrong with my payment method. Sometimes, it doesn't even do anything.
Checkout has always been really buggy. It's ticking me off so much that I've bought stuff from other stores as a result.
"Can someone please trip my fighter so he falls on his bed? He had way too much to drink, and now he can't lie down or let go of his mug."
I'm pointing out that the effects on par with stinking cloud are 3rd level spells. The effects that are slightly more powerful are 4th level spells and the effects slightly weaker are 2nd level spells. Hence, stinking cloud -- the most commonly used ability that inflicts the nauseated condition -- is balanced compared to other effects. Sure, stinking cloud takes you out of the fight, but it also protects you. The other comparable spells not only cripple your action economy, but also put you at serious danger. Even if the action economy debuff isn't as strong as nauseated, they usually
As for cacophonous call, what's my analysis? It's a second level Save or Suck spell. Only targets one creature. Ear-piercing scream is a level lower, deals damage, and dazes (though for one round). Hideous laughter is way more crippling (disabling actions AND knocking you prone) and can be gained by the bard one level lower. However, hideous laughter allows a save every round. Blindness/deafness can be obtained at the same level as cacophonous. Though it doesn't cripple the action economy as hard, it has a permanent duration and more vertasility. Cacophonous call is slightly stronger than spells of a lower level, has trade-offs when compared with comparable spells at the same level, and isn't as strong as spells on a level higher. Plus, the spell only appears on the bard list and won't be obtained until 8th level. As a result, my analysis points that cacophonous call is fairly balanced.
Conditions serve the abilities, not the other way around. Nerfing nauseated just nerfs those otherwise balanced abilities just because you believe nauseated is too powerful in a vaccum. That's my main problem with your argument to nerf nauseated. You mainly look at the condition by itself.
All of the effects that cause nauseated are comparable to the power level of similar abilities at their level. If you nerf the nauseated condition, all you do is encourage the use of those other abilities, some of which are more crippling.
For example, you can get access to deep slumber and slow at the same level as stinking cloud. You can get confusion, fear, and black tentacles at a level higher. Web and glitterdust a level lower. There's mass disables at every level and nauseated is one of the lesser of the effects. So you don't really accomplish anything by nerfing nauseated.
I agree that the restriction of combat maneuvers is a contributing factor to many martials feeling like they lack tactical options.
But consider this perspective to that notion. If we focus on just buffing the fighter's damage, defenses, and giving them extra ways to bypass enemy defenses, that results in making damage always the best solution to different situations. Buffing a fighter's ability to run up and stab something does not give them incentives to do something other than running up and stabbing something.
Game design is pretty flippin' hard and even very experienced GMs can totally suck at it. A lot of the common things I see with homebrew material are:
B) Classes that either read like an archetype with only one or two notable features or read like character specific builds than a foundation for creating character concepts. For example, a generic archer class that gets a bunch of free archery feats or a class that has only one or two notable abilities or a class that has nothing but the best abilities poached from multiple classes into a single overpowered mess.
C) Bloated overcomplicated mechanics with heavily flawed math that obviously wasn't playtested at all. Or mechanics that try to reinvent the wheel well established rules, but made more complicated and awkward.
D) New feats or mechanics that try to fix things that don't need fixing, or rework things without actually making the game more fun and interesting.
But I'm not suggesting Paizo material is without flaws. No, no, no. With Paizo material, we get issues like:
B) Material that has to be utterly gutted in errata because it was rushed and not tested.
C) Material made deliberately underpowered for the sake of organized play.
D) Mechanics or solutions to problems in the game made way more complicated than they should be for relatively simple concepts.
E) Schizophrenia with design directions.
F) "Safe" design decisions most of the time. And when there's bold decisions, it's usually inelegantly or without polish.
Game design is hard, yo.
Feats generally should serve the class features, not the other way around. The amount of work needed to change all the class features to have an extra line of text allowing the feat, you're better off making a new feat.
Edit: Nevermind. This thread got necro'd by Deanmail to spam advertisements for his product via his dummy account.
119. The bean erupts into a massive structure made of vegetable matter that gradually grows into the shape of a Colossal hand giving a obscene gesture towards the direction of the last individual that wronged the planter.
120. The bean grows into a lanky plant with a single piece of fruit. The fruit is delicious and seems to have no effect initially. However, a creature that eats the fruit polymorphs into an appropriately shaped tree while they sleep. The creature returns to normal when they awake, leaving no evidence of their transformation except for regaining all of their hit points if they received a full 8 hours of rest.
Welcome to the forums and to Pathfinder! I'm happy to see a new player feeling ambitious enough to create content for this game. I want to warn you that my critiques can be harsh. However, I do not mean to discourage you. After all, I became an alternate for RPG Superstar when I never played a game of Pathfinder!
1) BAB and HD are linked together. This is "hardcoded" into the game. Any creature type or class with a full BAB has a d10, a 3/4 BAB has d8, and a 1/2 BAB has a d6. There's a lot of good (though complicated) game design reasons why the game works like this.
2) Because of the above point, you have to use other methods to make a class more "squishy." This usually involves armor proficiencies and stat dependencies. Ranged characters are already typically squishy simply because they rely on maxing two ability scores for fighting, have a high Dex that incentivizes wearing light armor,
3) Getting proficiency in all two-handed ranged weapons feels too broad. Technically, there's no such thing as a "two-handed ranged weapon" and many ranged weapons that require two hands to wield can also be wielded one-handed with a penalty. It might be better to list specific types of weapons.
4) This sniping class does not have any ability that uses the sniping rules.
5) Giving them a Stealth bonus makes sense but adding Wisdom modifier to it is way too much.
6) Signature Weapon Mod is my favorite part of the class. However, many of the abilities are way too powerful (like the +2 damage) or unnecessary (like armor piercing because there's already an ability that boosts your attack rolls). It's also very vague how a sniper assigns his "signature weapon."
7) What's the Ambush skill?
8) Why do Sniper Bonus Feats require feats that involve only bows and crossbows? Especially since you gave them proficiency in tons of ranged weapons and the name of some abilities imply you wanted this class to work with firearms.
9) The class gets an unusual amount of defensive abilities, like evasion at 2nd level and the ability to create smoke clouds. I thought this class was supposed to be "squishy?" Shouldn't they have to rely on Stealth to protect themselves? They're a sniper -- force them to snipe to keep safe!
10) Critical Snipe should just give you Improved Critical. A class ability should not change a weapon's criticals unless the ability requires you to wield a very specific type of weapon.
11) Many of the ability DCs are not calculated correctly. The DC for an ability is usually 10 + 1/2 level + ability score modifier. When writing the DCs down, use the full term for the ability score modifier, not an abbreviation. For example, "dc 10+Wis" could be misinterpreted as "10 + Wisdom score."
12) The Shock and Awe line of abilities is pretty cool, but there's numerous issues with it. The biggest one is that it fails the bag of rats test, a common problem with abilities that trigger on an enemy's death/taking damage. You can basically snipe a bunch of very weak creatures like a dogs and then cause massive hysteria. You can pretty much auto-win every fight by having your party carry around bags of bunnies or kittens. Also, at this point in the game, the sniper will be highest damage-dealing character in the party. Does he really need an at-will AoE crowd control effect? It might be better and cooler to give him a once per day death attack that shakens nearby enemies.
13) The class overall feels very narrow and niche. This feels more like a character concept than an actual class. It might be better as an archetype to the rogue or slayer.
14) I want to end my critique by making something very clear: designing classes is hard. Really hard. So hard that even professional game designers can screw it up. That's why Pathfinder has many ways to build and design concepts without having to use a whole new class. Archetypes and alternate classes are a good example of this.
Those are reasons not to play the class?
I struggle with the class because it's utterly annoying to build a character with. Many of its game mechanics are needlessly complicated. Wild talents are poorly organized. There's multiple types of talents with game mechanics that interact with some types but not others. There's annoying bookkeeping in managing burn and keeping track of how much all your infusions cost since you have to utilize multiple abilities for reducing burn costs.
It's no wonder it took me hours to create a high level kinectist as an NPC.
These are some awesome suggestions. Especially by DominusMegadeus. I'm trying to embrace the fun big stakes stuff in high level play.
In my campaign, each of Razmir's Visions has a title and runs some aspect of his nation or represents an advising council of some subject. The three most feared Visions are the Vision of War (commander-in-chief of Razmir's military), the Vision of Arcana (Razmir's head mage), and the Vision of Faith (the head of Razmir's church). These three are Razmir's closest advisers. So far, the party has only indirectly interacted with the Vision of Arcana, who fought them using dominated followers, simulacrums, or constructs as a proxy.
The party that killed the goddess consisted of six people. I haven't totally figured out all of their classes, but I decided they should have a cleric and a monk at the very least. They might have a wizard and/or maybe a psychic class like a mesmerist. The monk was the one that dealt the killing blow on the goddess. Still-living members of the party are probably around 16th-17th level by now.
One of the six currently has their soul trapped inside of a soul gem. This is actually how the party found out about Razmir's secret -- this man has Razmir's face. During the battle that resulted in the goddess's death, the goddess disintegrated one of the evil adventurers and trapped his soul into a gem. The evil party wasn't aware of the second component of this spell and assumed the goddess had utterly destroyed their companion. The PCs saw a vision of the events that led up to the goddess's death and were rather shocked to see that "Razmir" not only did not kill the goddess but also did not survive the fight. After the goddess was reborn, she took the soul gem and interrogated the contained spirit, who never heard of Razmir and seemed completely oblivious that his face serves as the symbol of an religion and nation.
At the moment, the PCs doesn't feel any pressing desire to go on the offensive. The goddess is patient and prefers to build up her avatar's power and conduct investigation of the party that killed her before making her move. While she has godly powers, she's considerably weaker than she was prior to her death. This works in Razmir's advantage as he has time to plan.
Red Mantis assassins might not be a good idea. Not only are they extremely costly, but also if they catch wind of Razmir's ruse, they could just as easily turn on him.
Throughout my 3-year campaign, Razmiri faithful have proven their mantle as villains. Now almost 15th level, my players have recently completed a long adventure to procure a dangerous artifact before Razmiran does and used the artifact to resurrect a (potentially evil) dead god, who revealed a rather scandalous secret about Razmir. The question is, what would Razmir's next move be?
After several adventures where the party thwarted evil plans of Razmir's faithful and even stopped a Razmiri invasion of Sevenarches, the god tasked the party with uniting three pieces of a dangerous artifact (Gluttonous Tome) in order to resurrect her. Razmir became aware of this and sent armies and assassins to beat them to the punch, but the party ultimately succeeded.
When the god was resurrected in a weakened child form, she revealed information that suggests Razmir may not actually exist and that he may just be a false figurehead created by a party of adventuring conmen that have now grown old and powerful -- the real people who killed the demigod in the first place.
The god that Razmir supposedly killed is now resurrected. The party now believes they know some of Razmir's darkest secrets. The gluttonous tome used to resurrect her is now locked up in Andoran's capital. Attempts to kill the party with military force and demonize the party politically have failed. The resurrected god is now biding her time to allow her weakened avatar to gain strength before enacting her revenge. Razmir is aware of all of this.
Now, I need to figure out what exactly would he do.
I always liked how Pharasma was retconned in Inner Sea Gods as having an unorthodox sect of worshippers that dress like clowns in order to explain the creative liberties Carolina Eade took when illustrating clergy of the gothic goddess of life and death.
Ethereal Gears wrote:
Sometimes I feel like, if fighters really are meant to be the "combat feat guys", they should gain combat feats in exactly the same manner as wizards gain spells, possibly even including the ability to buy "combat manuals" (akin to scrolls) from which to learn new ones, preparing different combat feats every day via drilling and training and gaining two free combat feats every level. Possibly tone the number of feats (in comparison to spells) down a little to account for the fact that feats don't come neatly packaged into "levels".
Aye, I made that suggestion ages ago from an observation by Sean K. Reynolds on the subjec. He remarked that a big disparity between the wizard and fighter stems from a wizard player being able to essentially rebuild his character on a daily basis whereas the fighter is shoehorned into a single build and is punished for vertasility. It led to SKR designing the brawler's martial flexibility and making feats work like spells in his Five Moons RPG.
I took the observation to heart and currently have a class baking in the oven that can create "combat styles" out of combat feats. For example, they can have a combat style with Power Attack+Cleave and a combat style with Point Blank Shot + Precise Aim.
A simple houserule could allow any class with bonus combat feats to retrain their last bonus feat X times per day, similar to how the Inquisitor can retrain his last teamwork bonus feat.
Boomerang Nebula wrote:
It's usually unwise in game design to make something way better in something they're already really good at. There's already strong incentive to play a fighter as a dip class. It makes no sense to increase that incentive.
There's feats in Weapon Master's Handbook that you cast spells from magic items depending on its school of magic. For example, there's one feat that let's you dimension door if you have a magic item with the conjuration school. The prerequisites for these feats rely on your base Fortitude save and some modest amount of ranks in Use Magic Device. So pretty ideal for a fighter or other martial.
To me, explaining Aroden's death is like explaining the Lady of Pain. It's a mystery that's best left unexplained to leave players wondering and leave the GM to figure out themselves if they desire. And it's a mystery whose answer is largely inconsequential. It doesn't matter how Aroden died. What's important is the impact his death had on the world as a whole that makes the setting ripe for adventure.
Steve Geddes wrote:
I think it was a shrewd decision, leaving the GM to figure it out themselves. Though, the impact of Aroden's death is more important to adventures than Aroden himself.
I decided as a GM that the reason Aroden died is because the Starstone's effects are temporary. He lost his divinity and either died or got trapped somewhere without his divine powers to get him out. This explains why Pharasma won't say anything (would devastate multiple religions and societies) and why the Starstone Doctrine was wrong (the prophecy foretelling of Aroden's return as a mortal was misinterpreted as his return to the Material Plane). It also fills a plot hole as to why the Aboleth, a race of super intelligent creatures, would punish humanity by delivering a rock that turns people into gods.
After resurrecting a dead god of my creation that Razmir supposedly killed as one of his steps to divinity, the party believes that Razmir doesn't actually exist and that he is merely a false figurehead created by a party of high level adventurers that conquered the Arch-Duchy of Melcat 50 years ago. The party found a gem containing the soul of one of the adventurers' fallen comrades, who bares a striking resemblance to Razmir. Having been trapped in the gem for decades, the man is completely oblivious that an entire religion and nation was built using his image.
Undeath screws you up psychologically and spiritually.
Nevermind the fact your brain might be literally rotting inside your skull. Undeath degrades your psyche and your connection with the living. The game, especially in the Golarion setting, firmly establish that undeath is an unhealthy state for your soul. In classic literature and modern fiction, undeath is seen as a curse or an unpleasant state that only a monster would revel in. Even benevolent undead (like Jacob Marley from Christmas Carol) find it absolutely miserable. As a result, I find no fault in having the game consider creating undead an evil act and that undeath gradually corrupts your mind and soul into a creature of a hate and malice.
And don't argue that the rules should be setting neutral and that these concepts should not exist as a result. Any tabletop RPG makes basic assumptions about the game setting in order to better facilitate the game mechanics. Even GURPS makes assumptions about what setting you're playing in.
In my view, the biggest immediate issue with martials versus spellcasters stems from the disparity of versatility. Prepared spellcasters essentially have the ability to rebuild their character on a daily basis whereas feats and martial class features tend to force martials to lock-in their build choices, leading to crippling overspecialization. Wizards are encouraged and rewarded for utilizing their versatility whereas fighters are encouraged to overspecialize and get punished for versatility. My view on this came from an interview with Sean K. Reynolds about the subject and how this observation inspired him to design the brawler's Martial Flexibility class feature and design feats in his RPG to work like spell preparation.
This problem causes martials to feel boring, inept, and unfun compared to spellcasters because they rarely have the capability to prepare for different types of challenges. Unlike many problems with fighter/wizard disparity, this is something that can be fixed in the game simply by designing new content and classes that allow martials to vary their builds. Perhaps a houserule that characters can swap out the last bonus combat feat they gained X times per day similar to how Inquisitors can do so with teamwork feats?
I'm actually working on two martial classes that enable and encourage the player to branch out in their build paths.
You might want to take a look at my firearm rework. It removes touch attacks and misfires, but adds Dex-to-damage for firearms. It also reworks the gunslinger and a couple of archetypes. I wrote this because misfires are stupid and unfun, and full-rounding touch attacks is mechanically broken.
Dex-to-damage felt like a better approach to modeling penetration because:
Using advanced firearms with my houserules might accomplish what you're looking for.
Sounds fine, but the big question is why haven't you slain yourself? The Lady of Graves would prefer you die than linger as an undead. You would need to justify that you only intend to stay an undead until you can secure a resurrection.
If you roleplay your affliction correctly, you should gradually shift to evil, especially since you started as true neutral. As the affliction starts to erode your psyche and make you feel disconnected to the living. So this might become a race against time.
The summoner is basically a one-man party, which makes them fairly unfun to have at the table.
The eidolon and the summons are more powerful than cohorts and followers simply because they're immortal. Leadership at least has a significant consequence if your cohort or any follower dies. Not a big deal for a summoner, who can spam summon spells while he waits for his eidolon to respawn.
Of course, yeah, Leadership is so often banned that most people don't consider it an option.
Usually when I see a GM complain about PCs being too strong, the problem lies with the GM, not the players.
- The GM allows the players to play high-powered characters for an adventure path -- well known by the community for being exceptionally easy for optimized PCs -- without any adjustments to the adventure and then complains the party steamrolls everything.
Yes, PF has flaws and problem players do happen. However, I have the perspective that Pathfinder takes more skill to GM for.
Cyrad, So make the CMB for these abilities use ranks in acrobatics and let them use dexterity instead of strength? It just seems underwhelming if you do that. It would be annoyingly challenging to trip things, which this class is fairly reliant on. I feel that if I play it in the way, the class will continue to be sucky. Do you think that playing that way would make for a good, but balanced class?
First off, using Acrobatics ranks + Dexterity is still a great because it essentially turns a 3/4 BAB class into a full BAB class for combat maneuvers. In addition, it lets you play a Dexterity character that (unlike most Dex characters) doesn't suck at combat maneuvers.
Secondly, I do not consider it a good idea to base any content off of the core rogue. The core rogue is a poorly designed class that needed rebuilt from the ground up. And it got an official rework, so I'm baffled why the archetype aims to "fix" the core rogue in addition to fulfilling the Acrobat concept. I think you're better off making the archetype for the unchained rogue, which has more for you to work with.
Finally, if an archetype/class/whatever needs absurd numbers in order to be fun, then one might want to rethink their design strategy.
I like the idea of a light kineticist but there's no such thing as "light damage." I consider it pretty bad form to invent new types of energy damage for a variety of reasons. It's one thing that really ticked me off in 4th Edition and 5th Edition, which added a bunch of new types of damage that made it feel very video gamey.
I have a soft spot for caster/martial hybrids, and Pathfinder has so many options for that type of character. By comparison, 5E is somewhat lacking in that regard, particularly on the arcane side.
I agree. It's my favorite type of class in PF. They let you contribute in all aspects of the game, make for flavorful combos, and the loss of full BAB and spellcasting is usually compensated with fun class features. They also usually end up as the most balanced classes in the game.
And lack of hybrids is one of the many reasons I don't play 5E! :P
Game design issues are too complicated to adequately sum up, but if I had to give my 2-coppers...
Every class doesn't need to be as good as every other class at every single build.
Also keep in mind that (unlike the slayer) the rogue has a 3/4 BAB and is shoehorned into being a melee fighter. To claim that there's absolutely no reason to play the slayer is absolutely ridiculous.
Honestly, I think the biggest problem with the antipaladin is that it's just a chaotic evil paladin, which is kind of boring and devalues paladins a bit. I'd prefer a class that's more like a Darth Vader-ish knight of tyranny, likely Lawful Evil. LE is the evil alignment that's the least likely to backstab the party and therefore be a better candidate for play.