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Wishcraft caster

Cyrad's page

RPG Superstar 2014 Star Voter, 2015 Star Voter. Pathfinder Society Member. 2,358 posts (2,543 including aliases). 8 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 1 alias.


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I think the oracle is better designed than the cleric. The cleric simply has way too much going for them whereas the oracle has some real drawbacks, such as having a spell list not that great for spontaneous casting.


Kind of boring actually. You basically got the agile race, the strong race, and the humans. Not much to them.


I think there's some in a book called Gamemastering.

I always like to have the party know each other by owning a business together.


The cleric is one of the most powerful classes in the game, but also one of the most boring as well. It's not a good to model your class off of the cleric.


It sounds like you don't understand how the math of the game works.


You're comparing the oracle with the shaman? That's not fair. The shaman basically has most of the oracle, cleric, and witch's strengths with almost none of their weaknesses. It's a bloated, powerful class.

I really don't like your suggestion, either. It just throws more power towards the oracle in a lazily designed way. 6+Int should be reserved for skill-focused classes. 9-level spellcasters typically receive lack of skills as a drawback for the power of casting 9th level spells.


Not a good idea to screw with the internal math of the game without carefully figuring out how it will affect things.

Also, your example isn't accurate. No body gets to 20th level by hanging out in a library all their life. Unless they're a 1000 years old. In that case, they probably could take on a twenty-something-year-old fighter. I'm not reeally understanding your logic here.


Something like that could be cool, but he wouldn't have too much ki as a ninja, but I guess he doesn't need a lot anyway. Maybe I could give them amateur swashbuckler and say he can spend ki instead of panache.

A dip in swashbuckler might not be necessary. All characters get Weapon Finesse for free and katanas are finessable weapons in my campaign.


The bladebound magus says the following

Quote:
Languages and Skills: A black blade starts with Common as a language. As the black blade increases in Intelligence, it manifests knowledge of languages and arcane lore. Upon reaching an Intelligence of 12, it gains a bonus language of the GM’s choice, and gains 1 rank in Knowledge (arcana). Each time the sword gains a bonus to Intelligence, it gains another language and another rank in Knowledge (arcana).

As written, that should mean a blackblade with a 16 Intelligence should have 5 ranks and 5 extra languages. However, that doesn't seem what the designer intended. It seems like they intended the blackblade to receive a bonus language and skill rank whenever their Intelligence modifier increases, similar to a normal character.


The usefulness can be something simple, too. It could be someone that will buy their loot or help them find specific magic items on the market. Maybe it's the general store owner that gets them a sweet deal. This is why you should never just hand wave these kind of interactions.

Chengar Qordath wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
Make them useful. Make them have quirky personalities that make roleplaying with them fun. Then if something happens to them, suddenly the party loses a useful, fun NPC.
Yeah, I think usefulness is really the best way to do it. I know most of the random NPCs my part got really attached to were things like the level 1 farmer who tagged along with them one mission and got a lucky crit. I should mention that the farmer was swinging a scythe, and rolled max damage. The entire party instantly fell in love with "Farmer Joe" and insisted that he get an equal share of the XP and loot for the rest of the encounter.

Awesome. My party has a mimic as an ally. Mimics in my campaign are lovecraftian horrors that disguise themselves as everyday objects. The party saved a mimic with a posh British accent named Mr. Charles (he uses this name since some men have gone mad trying to pronounce his real one) from a house full of animated objects. After helping them track down an enemy, the mimic stayed with the party since. He's now first mate of the gunslinger's galleon.


Make them useful. Make them have quirky personalities that make roleplaying with them fun. Then if something happens to them, suddenly the party loses a useful, fun NPC.


bump?


Myrryr wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
Honestly, the tarrasque should be the least of your worries. He's the son of the god of destruction that was sealed away inside of Golarion by the gods to stop him from eating the Material Plane. If the tarrasque wakes up, then daddy's soon to follow.
Eh, Azathoth, Yogg-Sothoth and Nyarlathotep are scarier than Rovagug. Rovagug is understandable, the Outer Gods specifically are incomprehensible.

Yes, but Rovagug is focused. He wants to destroy everything. The Outer Gods and their minions simply don't care. Most of the Outer Gods are isolated within their own madness to do much harm. This makes Rovagug much more dangerous. Also, note that the most powerful and intelligent gods in the known multiverse couldn't kill him.


I'm allowing the bladebound magus in my campaign to use the soulswitch spell on her blackblade. The blackblade has the soul of a deceased samurai/ninja-type character named Adam that served an eldritch spirit of darkness and shadow. When the magus casts soulswitch, Adam will possess her body and can use his own abilities while having her ability scores. Now, I must stat him. The question is...what class? I'm leaning towards unchained rogue with some magic talents. Maybe you have a better idea?

Magus: 13rd level, Dex-based, uses a katana (houseruled as a finesse weapon)

Adam: 10th level?, Dex-based, uses a katana, 16 Int, 12 Wis, 12 Cha


Honestly, the tarrasque should be the least of your worries. He's the son of the god of destruction that was sealed away inside of Golarion by the gods to stop him from eating the Material Plane. If the tarrasque wakes up, then daddy's soon to follow.


Myrryr wrote:

I heal myself, manage to fail the concentration check and the AoO from it

...

Then it crits me AGAIN and bleeds me again. This time I again fail the conc, but it misses the AoO and I heal. Then it crits me and I finally die.

Weren't you casting defensively? How would you provoke an attack of opportunity? Failing your concentration check when casting defensively doesn't provoke an attack of opportunity. It's why you cast defensively in the first place


Bladebound Magus

Getting a sentient sword that grows with power is already wicked cool. However, I turned the magus's blackblade in into an epic plot that spanned over three years of my campaign. In my campaign, the magus's blackblade is a servant of a mysterious otherworldy entity called the Yatagarasu. Having been slain in life, the blackblade now thrusts his responsibilities to the magus and do the Yatagarasu's bidding. Over the course of the campaign, Yatagarasu occasionally communicates through the magus or through shadowy ravens with jade eyes, having the party do errands for her. At first the magus and the party resented the Yatagarasu, but now they consider her a valuable ally. The gunslinger now wants to decorate his ship in motifs like the blackblade and the magus crafted a pair of shadowy wings of flying. At this very moment, the party is on a quest to obtain dangerous artifacts on request by the Yatagarasu in effort to resurrect her into the Material Plane. All the while, my players are crossing their fingers that the Yatagarasu will not turn out to be evil and betray them.


The warpriest's fervor makes my inquisitor cry.


Ciaran Barnes wrote:
Did the GM think the events would play out differently, or did he expect you to all die?

The former. He never considered we would break the demon seed to sacrifice ourselves. Apparently, the demoness was low on hit points (something we didn't know), so he figured we would just grab the seed and kill her. We didn't know that and the pactbinder did not want to chance it. No one else was in position to stop the demon. The druid died because she took Constitution damage for grabbing the seed with her mouth while wildshaped and went into the battle with only 6 Constitution due to a poison trap earlier in the dungeon. The demon seed's explosive nature was well established earlier in the campaign (we destroyed an earlier demon seed by stabbing it with a holy sword while inside a bag of holding instead of purifying it as the GM expected). It was just one massive derp moment.

The GM felt absolutely awful. One player still feels bitter for him trying to save the rogue. The GM let the rogue get away with many jerkish things throughout the campaign. The campaign ultimately ended with everyone dying because the GM played favorites.


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I'm not crazy about Rivani's lore. The most compelling characterization occurs by showing a character's actions, decisions, and reactions. We don't see much of that here aside from showing she likes books and her psychic power level is over nine thousand. She doesn't have any reaction from the most compelling part of her lore -- when her psychic powers let her see the sins and betrayals of the rishis. The lore doesn't even say how Rivani felt when passing the test. Was she happy? Was she sad to see the corruption in the men she trusted? How does she feel about her powers? Does looking into the mind and hearts of men make her uncomfortable? Excited? Does she enjoy it? I don't know anything about this character's personality other than being a book worm. Throwing all the names of planets, cities, and stuff doesn't add any depth to the character, either.

Compare to Amiri's lore, which shows the actions and reactions of the iconic barbarian. Everything she does demonstrates her personality and strength. The lore shows how she felt and why. It even provides surprising character depth. Even though Amiri felt murdering her kin for trying to kill her was justified, she still believed it was the wrong thing to do. I learned a lot about Amiri from her lore and feel sympathetic towards her.

I know very little about Rivani because her lore focuses on things happening to her rather than her decisions and actions. Action defines character.


Here's hoping there's an analog to create demiplane where you can create dream worlds or have/access personal demiplanes inside a person's mind like Psychonauts.


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In my campaign, most of the most cruel drow got wiped out. Most of the surviving drow's cruelty is aimed at elves and see them as traitors that abandoned the world in its most dire time of need.

In addition, beholders don't exist in my Golarion because their in-fighting eventually led to one individual, living in a dungeon full of dragons, to hire powerful wizards of the coast of his domain to cast a wish spell that eradicated the name of his race from the history of all lands but his own.


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Echo Vining wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:

I'm going to risk being pummeled.

I wish her costume had a bit more "fanservice"

Why? I think Rivani's pretty hot. I want my characters to wear that outfit.
Characters? I would totally wear that outfit.

Sadly, I don't have the figure for that outfit.


I played an anthorpomorphic cerberus with four arms. I could have made a great fighter, but I became a multiweapon fighting magus.


I'd honestly just rule that Arcane Strike is available for those with spell-like abilities when that feat has nothing to do with spellcasting.


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Lord Fyre wrote:

I'm going to risk being pummeled.

I wish her costume had a bit more "fanservice"

Why? I think Rivani's pretty hot. I want my characters to wear that outfit.


Azih wrote:

The rules for firearms explicitly say that the game is balanced for Early Firearms rules and Advanced Firearms rules are optional and overpowered.

One of my favourite characters is a gunslinger and I'm always a bit disappointed by suggested rules changes that just turn guns into a skin for crossbows.

Guns have unique advantages and unique disadvantages. They're great flavor and are a pretty distinct form of archer. Diversity is good right?

Advanced Firearms getting rid of the unique disadvantages is obviously not good for the standard balance of the things.

In any case alchemists target touch AC all the time and nobody complains about them.

Just my scattered stream of thoughts on the issue.

Diversity is good. Broken game mechanics are not. In my house rules, I did try to keep firearms as having a good niche as high-powered, short-range weapons. I also introduced many different types of guns since I'm tired of the game having only a very small amount of viable ranged weapons.

Alchemists are much different. Bombs have a much shorter range than most firearms, have limited uses per day, don't have x4 critical modifier and are easily countered with monsters resistant to fire or other energy types (highly common). Alchemists also don't have a full BAB and can't do iterative attacks until 8th level.


A GM accidentally killed us all through divine intervention by a good-aligned deity who was trying to help us.

Early in the campaign, a part of a demoness's power got infused into our rogue. In what would be our final adventure, the demoness kidnapped the rogue in effort to extract the power and become a demigoddess to take over the land. After besting a dungeon filled with monsters and traps, we finally arrived at the grand chamber where the demoness was performing a ritual with the rogue tied to an altar. Using Knowledge (arcana), I figured out that the rogue's death would botch the ritual and cast a cloudkill on the altar to force the demoness to save his life or lose her only chance of gaining godhood. The party hated the rogue anyway, so I had no issue putting his life at risk in this gambit. After a fierce battle, my plan worked. The demoness stopped the ritual to throw the rogue out of the cloudkill. The rogue was likely going to die, but we had the battle under control, stopped the demon's plan, and saved the land.

The GM then had the goddess Sarenrae communicate through the pactbinder's sword and heal the rogue's CON damage. In doing so, the goddess extracted the demon's power into the form of a highly explosive crystal of solidified evil called the Demon Seed, which was precisely what the demoness wanted. The demoness made a move for the Demon Seed. Our druid died trying to snatch it away. Our pactbinder had to make the decision: destroy the demon seed, which will kill us all, or risk the demoness taking the seed on her next turn and become a demigoddess.

The resulting explosion obliterated everyone in the chamber, collapsed the dungeon, and ushered a massive spire of light that you could see from space. Thanks to a clone scroll, I was the only survivor. Inheriting the pactbinder's castle, I spent the rest of my days alone, shell shocked at the loss of my comrades who lived on through legends as heroes who saved the world.

And that's the story of how a GM accidentally caused a TPK by having a goddess save the life of a party member that no one liked.


Rynjin wrote:
Advanced Firearms are only the problem if you have no idea what the problem is. Everything problematic about Advanced Firearms is problematic with Early Firearms too...but Advanced ones are less annoying to use.

Early firearms are annoying in order help compensate for the touch attacks. Taking away nearly all of the drawbacks is a really big deal, especially the ability to touch attack beyond 1st increment. When you let a broken mechanic go unhobbled, obviously you're going to have more problems with them.


A shame the Overwhelming Beauty trait doesn't work on humans when the kitsune assumes human form.


A GM accidentally killed us all through divine intervention by a good-aligned deity who was trying to help us.


Rynjin wrote:

It's like

You literally quoted some of the bits of my post

Ignored the content

And then proceeded to agree with me aggressively on everything but the exact words used

Why

I said all this ages ago. Whhhhhhhhhhhhhhhy!?!

Headdesk


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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
Also, I took away touch attacks from firearms so I could take away misfires, a stupid fumble mechanic that made it frustrating for one of my players.
I do share your dislike of fumble mechanics, so, yes, we're definitely seeing eye to eye there. I just don't see touch attacks as being unbalancing in play. If you do, again, we're playing differently (or, slightly more hyperbolically, "not the same game"). Which is OK.

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.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
You can quantify fun. Not numerically, not precisely, but you can do it.
The problem with "fun" is that what's fun for Person A is often horribly unfun for Person B, and vice versa. And there is no "most people" to most of it. The fanbase is split pretty evenly on gunslingers, fudging dice by the DM, furries, and a whole host of other "It's more fun!" "No! Takes away all the fun!" issues.

As I explained earlier, an game designer can learn how a design influences the fun factor for most people through experience and skill.

If some content causes some players to have fun at the expense of others, a game designer has to weigh on the ratio between fun and antifun. Game designer Tom Cadwell talked about this in detail when describing character design for League of Legends. This ratio should be high for Pathfinder because it's a cooperative team game, not a competitive game. So if a designer creates a class/feat that makes the game significantly less fun for others, that's a big problem.

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
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's fine if you're playing story hour with your friends -- but doing that is FREE. Most people, if they're going to shell out $30-$50 for a rulebook, sort of do expect both. Much like, if you buy a car for actual use (as opposed to being a fixer-up project), it's nice if it looks cool and is fun to drive -- but most people sort of want it to actually run, too, and not spend more time in the shop than it does on the road.

That analogy makes absolutely no sense in this context.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Wouldn't it be cool if a 2nd level fighter dealt 2d6 damage with a short sword? And a 10th level fighter did 10d6? And if they got 2 new bonus feats every level? If that's preposterous, then so are the casters.

Would they have less hit points? Only be able to swing their sword once per combat? I agree that the double standard between fighters and wizards is stupid, but the issue is more complicated than you frequently claim.

Heck, it would be kind of cool for a martial class to get a limited use nuke or a maybe the ability to increase the damage dice of their weapon for a period of time. Hm...

Cyrad scribbles stuff in his notes.


Rynjin wrote:
I'm not sure you and I have the same concept of "balance".

No, no we don't. That's the motivation behind most of my arguments here. The community fetishizes class balance so much that they fail to understand that game balance (and game design) consists of far more than ensuring classes have similar power level. The community does so because it's one of the few aspects of game design that gamers tend to understand. So they mentally latch onto that concept and proclaim it's the most important aspect of game design and the only aspect of game balance.

Rynjin wrote:
Asymmetrical design does not constitute an imbalance.

Determining symmetry (or asymmetry) is an aspect of game balance, so much that it's even listed in the Wikipedia article on the subject.

Rynjin wrote:
Pathfinder favors offense over defense, yes. This is not an imbalance, this is a core part of the design. The game's default assumptions are that a good offense will trump an equally good defense (for a given value of "equal". Equal effort at making them optimized, anyway).

No, that's game balance. This entails balancing strategies. Often a game designer wants to encourage strategies over ones that make the game less fun. This is an example of balancing the game by imbalancing the effectiveness of options.

Rynjin wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
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.
ALL of this is game balance. Every piece of that (besides the bit I OOC'd) contributes to the balance of the class against both other classes and the game as a whole.

While many of those things have relation to game balance, balance is not the main motivation of those considerations. The major motivation is making sure the class plays well in terms of delivering an experience. Adjusting the power levels is only one aspect of this.

Rynjin wrote:
That's what this whole Linear Warriors vs Quadratic Wizards thing is ABOUT.

Actually, Linear Warriors vs Quadratic relates to power curves. Having classes with different power curves can make an interesting game. It's one of the reasons I like gish classes -- they have an interesting power curve in relation to martials and full casters. It's not a bad thing if some classes have more power than others at different character levels. The problem arises when the power disparity becomes out of line to make classes feel unfun compared to others. So Linear Warriors Quadratic Wizards is not bad in of itself. It's just implemented poorly in 3rd Edition.

Rynjin wrote:
Spellcasters in general have more offensive (damage, battlefield control, save or suck), defensive (miss chance, DR, mirror images, flight, etc.), utility (do I need to spell this one out?) than martial classes do which are generally offense (damage and maneuvers), defense (AC and maybe DR), utility (skills).

Full casters are overpowered. I never argued to the contrary.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
In essence, the firearms rules took a broken mechanic designed to help wizards bypass high ACs and gave it to a ranged fighting class
If you're actually upset that they took something from the already-omnipotent wizard and gave it to a lowly martial class (under more limited circumstances, to boot), then you and I are definitely not playing the same game.

Nah, I just don't share your binary game design sense.

I don't believe in the notion that any buff to the fighter, regardless of design quality, makes a better game. As Fergie pointed out, this obviously made the game miserable for the OP and many others. Also, I took away touch attacks from firearms so I could take away misfires, a stupid fumble mechanic that made it frustrating for one of my players. I thought that you would appreciate that effort, but apparently taking my comment out of context to make a slight against me over "fighter versus wizard" seemed more relevant to your interests.


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Rynjin wrote:
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.

Rynjin wrote:
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.

Rynjin wrote:
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.

Rynjin wrote:
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.

Rynjin wrote:
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.

Rynjin wrote:
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.


Bandw2 wrote:
everything doesn't need to be equal sure, but does that mean we shouldn't try? is Rynjin's point i've more or less gathered.

I never said we shouldn't try. It's still important, but not as important as the community fetishizes. And they fetishize only one aspect of balance (making classes/options have equal merit) rather than others.


Rynjin wrote:

Rynjin, I'm honestly not sure how to respond to you anymore. Everytime you offer a rebuttal to one of my arguments, you come around to make the same argument back at me, because...

Rynjin wrote:
Not everything needs to be perfectly equal, but everything needs to have some significant advantage over another thing, and be balanced to the game as a whole.

...is largely my point. And the point of SKR's article that you slammed.

Admittedly, a thought behind my comment lies with my belief that the community puts too much focus on balance, as if it's the most important thing in designing content. This occurs despite the fact that balance (and game design) is much more complicated than making sure options have equal merit. I attribute this tendency to the lack of game design knowledge as a whole -- weighing the power levels of classes/options is one of the few game design values that most gamers understand. Yes, making sure classes have roughly the same power in terms of statistics and incomparables is important. However, one should not place "balancing" above all else. On this homebrew forum, when someone comes to me with homebrew content, they ask if it's balanced. They do not ask if it's fun, which is a far more important question. They see balancing as a goal, not a means as it should be.


Claxon wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

Since we're here in the Homebrew forum, I would consider discussing with the player tweaking Firearms.

Firearms are an odd duck...they're basically useless in the hands of a non-Gunslinger (basically being crossbows with really expensive ammo, which are really expensive themselves, and sometimes blow up...and crossbows suck already), but fairly devastating in the hands of one. Though, really, no moreso than a bow. There are quite a few bow builds out there that make a Gunslinger weep at the damage they can put out. It's more a psychological thing since Gunslingers work on the inverse of normal AC rules: AC gets LOWER for them as they level, not higher.

Consider changing firearms like this:

-They no longer attack Touch AC.
-They no longer have a Misfire chance.
-Replace the bit in Gun Training about Misfire with something else appropriate (a bonus to attack rolls like Weapon Training, perhaps)
-Implement the "Guns Everywhere" rules in regards to your Gunslinger (everything costs 10% of the listed price).

This puts them roughly on par with crossbows as-is, barring his Gun Training, which is the real clincher. If you have a problem there, you'd have an issue with any archer.

I personally would also add the following to guns and crossbows alike:

-They reload as a Free action. Just like bows do. They have no significant advantage over bows, so why do they need a Feat just to catch up?

This should sound like a fair trade-off to him. He gets an extra Feat, basically, but can no longer attack Touch AC (not really an issue given he's a Full BaB character, and his 4000 gold gun doesn't have a chance of blowing up when he rolls a 1.

I was going to come here and suggest basically everything Rynjin just did. So yeah...do what he said.

Yeah, this is basically what my houserules do in a nutshell, except I kept the reloading times and made Dex-to-damage a feature of the weapon instead of a gunslinger-only ability.


Minos Judge wrote:
I mostly play PFS so my answers will be slightly biased. I have rarely run out of spells or bombs. Usually the fights last only a couple of rounds and it is very hard to use up all of your resources.

Yeah, I rarely run out of resources in PFS games, too. They're usually fairly short. But even so, the limited resource discourages you from constantly using them every round.

Minos Judge wrote:
A misfire does not break the gun. It takes 2 misfires to break a weapon. If you use the quick-clear grit action it is cleared as a Standard or a Move action if you spend the grit point.

Broken =/= destroyed. The gun breaks if it misfires. It becomes destroyed if it misfires while broken. If you can't use quick clear on the same round you full-attack and have to reload the gun again afterward. So if you misfire, you basically lose one or two turns. And since (as you said) most encounters last 2-4 rounds, that's nearly the whole fight.

Minos Judge wrote:
It also should appeal to all the people who want to apply "real world" to the game. I consider it an approach to handle the fouling of the weapon from poor black-powder, not a mechanic forced into the game.

The "realism" argument is somewhat of a fallacy because

1) PF is a fantasy game. Most players don't play it for realism.
2) Many things aren't realistic in Pathfinder. Bugs can breathe. Dragons can fly despite being ridiculously heavy. People can survive falling 100 feet. The game doesn't bother with these "real" facts because it's not fun. Misfires are not fun. So why should misfires be in the game?
3) The firearm rules aren't realistic anyway. The rules assume that a reconnaissance period flintlock pistol has significantly more penetrating power than a deadly arrow shot by an expert archer. And that tough hide offers no protection from musket balls. In reality, penetrating power was not an advantage flintlock firearms had over bows.
4) Bows, crossbows, and slings don't break on a natural 1. Why should firearms? Those weapons are harder to use than firearms and have more complicated physics and moving parts.

Minos Judge wrote:
The sense I get from talking to people is that it is the full BAB with touch attack that causes some problems. Why not place it at 1/2 BAB? This would still be a minimum change vrs. re-working a lot of the class. I used that feature to take other feats then the standard Point Blank and precise shot. This allows me to be more variable then standard range characters. If you modify that then it is just an archer with more expensive arrows and shorter range.

Touch attacks are the core problem. They're the broken mechanic. Additionally, it makes sense for the gunslinger to be a full BAB martial. It doesn't make sense for a flintlock gun to completely negate all forms of armor. I'm not convinced that a musket ball has significantly more penetrating power than a bodkin point arrowhead shot by Legolas.

Honestly, the only reason I did not scrap Ultimate Combat's firearm rules entirely was because there exists many archetypes and content that rely on them. I wanted my houserules to still be compatible.


Grandmaster Han is a retired veteran artiforged, a person augmented with magical devices grafted to his body. He used to be a family man until he lost his daughter to illness. When not experimenting with his augmentations and prosthetic limbs, he enjoys reading or going to the local tavern, sharing his war stories. Due to the ranger's animal companion, Han now wants to adopt a cat. Cats aren't native to his homeland, so he finds them rather adorable and fascinating.

Kitsune witch Luos has a hobby of crafting plushies from hide, beans, and cotton. She has created one in likeness for each party member. She recently learned how to animate them for fun, which she uses to play with her cat familiar, Elle. After learning how to use her shapeshifting to assume an aquatic form, she also taken up recreational swimming.


I sent my players to the city of a homebrew race that reveres constructs, giving them the same respect as though they were living creatures. The party got framed for the murder of their high priest, revealing a massive plot involving the corruption of the city's grandfather-like patriarch that lived for hundreds of years inside the monolithic building at the center of the city. The party's investigations reveal that an imposter staged the murder and commissioned a staff capable of changing the alignment of constructs and intelligent items. Believing the patriarch in peril, the party stormed the central building, bested the traps, and defeated the imposter to discover that the patriarch is a gigantic intelligent item. The party freed the patriarch from his curse and destroyed the staff that caused it.


Minos Judge wrote:
Cyrad wrote:

It was a mistake to give him a rifle, but both the general (and OP's) problem with them extends to their broken touch attack mechanic.

I honestly just recommend discussing it with the player. The reason I implemented my houserules in the first place was because my player got really sick of misfires. He felt like it made his character too binary -- either he's a god or he's useless. So, I analyzed the problem, came up with a solution, and presented it as a deal. I take away touch attacks and in exchange, I make misfires mostly a non-factor and buff the gunslinger in other ways. He never regretted it.

There are multiple problems that I see arising. One problem is how do you address the Touch Attack abilities of other classes? The Alchemist has touch attack bombs/splash weapons, also rays for wizards and sorcerers.

How do you handle the deeds? Did you just replace the non-relevant ones or did you just ignore them?

I would also have to ask how it is mechanically different from a mis-fire to just missing?

My house rules only change touch attacks for firearms. However, my analysis of them did lead me to change an ability of one of my homebrew classes so it uses a normal ranged attack.

Touch attacks aren't as problematic for full spellcasters because they were specifically designed for them. As I explain in more detail in my blog article, touch attacks were designed so wizards could hit armored targets with spells at higher levels. They're a band-aid for a flaw in the base attack bonus system. The limited use of spells and alchemist bombs keep those touch attacks in check. Difficulty in doing iterative attacks is also a major balancing factor. However, Ultimate Combat firearms give a mechanic designed for 1/2 BAB classes to a full BAB martial incentivized to min-max Dexterity.

My house rules do replace a few deeds and rework others. For example, quick clear got replaced with an ability that works like the swashbuckler's derring-do. Dead shot grants Vital Strike.

Misfires are critical failure mechanics driven into the game. If a misfire happens, the gun breaks. A gunslinger has to waste a move action and a grit point to undo it. If it happens on a full-attack, then you're just screwed for two rounds. It's an unfun game mechanic meant as a clutch to balance the broken firearm touch attacks.


Sure, let me know how that works out!


Yeah, then maybe more martial fights with plenty of mage support carving out terrain. I also had a lot of success using gish classes like magi since they can fight and cast spells that are strong but not as strong as a full caster.

Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Yeah - looks like a pretty offensive specced group. (Gotta say - I'm guessing the gunslinger is kinda mediocre sans touch attacks. Did they get a damage boost or some such?) The one defensive class (monk) went the offensive route.

Yes, I made a whole set of house rules to compensate. Being able to TWF with firearms has proven quite powerful. The gunslinger is still the best damage dealer in the party.

Petty Alchemy wrote:
Is it a recurring issue, or poor rolling? Monk (and Oracle if using that Divine Grace feat) should have stellar saves, Gunslinger and Magus do pretty well too.

It's a recurring issue, but poor rolling does contribute to it. The monk was the one that got hit with disintegrate. The spellcaster hit her high touch AC, rolled a natural 20 on bypassing her spell resistance, and the monk failed the Fortitude save. She would have been greased by it if I remembered that disintegrate obliterates a target that drops below 0 (I thought it merely destroys their body if it kills them).

Another issue is perception. I try to hint whenever the party messes with a very deadly foe. But with their high damage sometimes wrecking foes before they can pose a threat, the players don't know whether or not a foe is strong or is blowing hot air.


Minos Judge wrote:

I hate to repeat what others have said; however changing a lot of what the guns do does not make sense. You will be instituting house rules to cover for something that is OPed. You will also still be changing his character in a substantial way that will impede how he is played. This may impact the players continued involvement with that class. Especially if he feels that you are making changes to the game that are directed at him.

You would be better served to just admit that it was a mistake to allow advanced firearms. That 1 change will reduce the amount of damage he does without changing most of the abilities.

I play a Musket Master Gunslinger and will admit that the misfire chance of 20% (10% musket + 10% alchemical cartridge) has stopped most of my attacks. I do not have any feat that reduces the misfire chance as of yet.

This will also means he misses more. High BAB vrs low Touch AC: he will still miss when he misfires.

It was a mistake to give him a rifle, but both the general (and OP's) problem with them extends to their broken touch attack mechanic.

I honestly just recommend discussing it with the player. The reason I implemented my houserules in the first place was because my player got really sick of misfires. He felt like it made his character too binary -- either he's a god or he's useless. So, I analyzed the problem, came up with a solution, and presented it as a deal. I take away touch attacks and in exchange, I make misfires mostly a non-factor and buff the gunslinger in other ways. He never regretted it.


The party consists of (in the order of power):

1) TWF gunslinger (with firearm touch attacks houseruled out of the game)
2) Magus that uses Dexterity and has wings of flying
3) Monk that uses Strength and offensive ki powers via qinggong archetype
4) Oracle that uses Strength and provides a mixed bag of healing and utility and summoning

They also have a witch NPC that acts as a little bit of support. Not really given any combat-ender power.


I agree with Ciaran Barnes. Don't change the mechanics of channel energy. If you want to make it weaker, then make it have a slower progression.

I haven't gone through the devotions -- there's a ridiculous amount of them and I find the document very annoying to read. However, the class seems okay but very bland flavorwise. It's basically a cleric that casts spells like an arcanist and has a bag of talents. That's it.

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