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Hm, perhaps. Yes, you can choose your power source, which determines your quirk. Though I haven't considered letting you choose a quirk in itself, but I think it might be best combined with the power source. Still, I think you're onto something here. It might encourage players to say...choose a weakness to fire over a weakness to acid. The latter will happen less frequently, but also mean you have less chance to restore points.
I really like these ideas! Especially Overclock. It would be really cool if the passive abilities could scale with points, but it would be difficult to adjust the numbers to a reasonable level. For example, getting a potential +3 or +4 natural armor bonus at first level would be ridiculous. I couldn't make it some calculation either because that would make the book keeping annoying.
Jeez, so much hate for Shadows. My very first PFS game (1-2 level adventure) had a shadow that brought the entire game to a standstill, crit a boon-invested PC, and nearly caused half the party to walk away from the table. I knew they were annoying, but I didn't think there was such a consensus on it.
I never understand why ability damage can crit, and it especially makes little sense why an incorporeal can critically strike with a non-physical attack.
I completely disagree that all resources should be replenishable throughout the day.
There exists no attrition if PCs never run out of resources or can restore them without having to camp. It doesn't feel like you're adventuring if your resources replenish after every encounter. There's no tension. No variety. Without attrition, every fight feels the same. With attrition, each fight can have a drastically different feel depending on how well rested the party feels. Attrition also creates a good interest curve where an adventuring day gets harder the longer it gets. In addition, it enables all the tropes associated with adventuring, like finding a good place to camp and making sure you don't get ambushed at night.
If this isn't your cup of tea, that's fine! I totally agree with MrSin that some players may not like having their characters "on a timer." I fully support everyone playing the game in a way they prefer. However, I completely disagree with the notion that all of Pathfinder should change into something it is not to reflect the preferences of a particular subset of players, especially when those players have the option of easily house ruling the game to their tastes (just as it was intended) or simply playing a different game if they so strongly oppose Pathfinder's style of play.
In addition, your arguments for changing the game don't hold water. How does auto-restoration of all resources make for an associated mechanic when it opposes the core tropes of adventuring and the common sense notion that characters tire the longer the day goes? I don't see how creating a variety of daily power curves promote an adversarial group dynamic. Finally, APs that don't give a party the ability to rest is the fault of the AP, not the game itself. APs by their very nature tend to railroad players to progress at the story's pace rather than their own.
That being said, I've seen a lot of really good arguments against resource pools, which is why I brought up this thread. Book keeping. Analysis paralysis. Putting complicated mechanics on class-types associated with simplicity. Putting characters on a timer.
This is a major thing I've been debating. I'd like to have an interesting replenishing mechanic based on power source, but best idea I can think of is defeating a certain type of foe. Here's my brainstorming list:
1) Defeat or critically hit a certain type of foe with an integrated weapon. For example, an unlife power source gains surges on defeat of an undead.
Using a character's health as a resource is interesting though done before with the Bloatmage. Hitpoints by itself would not work because it would become a simple matter of replenishing through healing. Also, the character becomes less likely to save themselves when wounded, which would encourage the player to play extra safe and passively. This might not be what you want. Having the PC's maximum hitpoints or an ability score as the resource might do the job better.
Mike Franke wrote:
For your first point, it may depend on the class's dependencies. Grit works well because a gunslinger only needs Dexterity and Wisdom. But I see your point. This shed some light on my Autoforge class and made me realize that a low resource pool will make melee builds very MAD.
For many players, figuring out the best use of their resources is very fun and an integral part of the game. But I see your point here -- a low resource pool makes the class much less forgiving.
For your final point, I have a question. What if the replenishment occurred as a result of encounters? The gunslinger, for example, gains grit for killing creatures with firearms. However, he isn't always gaurenteed to get a kill in a fight, so wasting all his grit is a bad idea.
Green Smashomancer wrote:
Good questions. Let's think about what kind of experience this can generate.
With "More Points = More Power," a PC's first expenditures will be their strongest. A PC that spends quickly will nova early and then wear out later. A PC that spends slowly will conserve their points and save them for crucial moments. I think this will make a PC stronger in short days and weaker in long days. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as some players like saving their best moves or starting off with a bang. Still, this might be best on a class that has sustained capabilities, like a martial or gish class.
With "Less Points = More Power," a PC's last expenditures will be their strongest. A PC that spends quickly will have a lot of action that reaches a quick climax. A PC that spends slowly will be weak early but gradually ramp up. This sounds suitable for a class that tries to convey a feeling of escalating power and desperation. I think this one has the better interest curve and would probably suit a mage very well.
I think both would generate interesting curves of power and allow different classes to shine at different times of a day.
In particular, I think "More Points = More Power" might be interesting if translated into a spell/ability system. What if you could cast all your spells at-will, but each casting made all further spells weaker?
I think there's many interesting ways to do resource pools that haven't been done yet. What would you think of a class where its abilities scaled with the amount of points remaining in its pool? Like the more energy it has, the more powerful its abilities. Or the less it has, the stronger it becomes.
Why would they have a Wisdom penalty? Just make them have -2 STrength, +2 Charisma, +2 Dexterity.
Also kokiri never left the forest because it was a belief that they would die, all in all wisdom represents experience and common sense. Experience they have covered due to immortality, common sense... leave the forest and we die... let's not leave... it just seems to me that they should have wisdom. Also I was trying to avoid giving them the halfling modifiers.
That's not really wisdom. In fact, quite opposite as 1) isolating yourself from the rest of the world severely limits your experience, and 2) blindly believing that they die if they leave the forest shows they're naive.
A bonded fairy is the kind of thing you can base an entire race around. It's a big deal in Ocarina of Time, both in story and as a game mechanic. I would have the spell-like abilities actually come from the fairy rather than the Kokiri. Perhaps each one can do faerie fire and have one other like ability and Knowledge bonus depending on the type of fairy chosen at first level
Also remember that the fairy prevented Kokiri from turning into undead monsters in the Dark Woods. The fairy could bestow the Kokiri with some kind of negative energy or undead protection.
I find it odd that they have a Wisdom bonus when all Kokiri never leave their forest. Dexterity seems more appropriate.
You got a point, Excalibur. Less points with replenishment is riskier to design, but makes for a more interesting class to play.
The class (called "autoforge" but needs a better name) essentially lets the PC turn themselves into a half-construct. The theme is that they're building themselves into the ultimate warrior. They begin play with a weapon integrated to their body and a power source. At 2nd level and beyond, they get to choose from a list of new modifications to add to their body, similar to rogue talents or magus arcana.
The power source grants them a resource pool of surges to spend on the strong or supernatural abilities modifications grant. The player chooses from one of five or six power sources that determine the flavor of the character's modifications. At first level, a power source grants the following abilities:
Power Source types include:
I'll make a separate thread for this class when I finish a first draft. Right now, I'm trying to figure out the power sources since this ties heavily to many aspects of the class.
Cyrad pulls out his 'patched' Pathfinder document affectionatedly called "Radfinder."
More concrete rules on how long term activities work.
Actual examples of how to run skill checks rather than just a table with DCs.
I personally run Diplomacy/Intimidate very differently. Players have to roleplay it out. I judge mostly on the content of what they say rather than how they say it, so not to punish players for being bad actors. I only call for Diplomacy/Intimidate rolls if the NPC is on the fence about the matter. In most circumstances, the players ask for Diplomacy rolls. I let them do so, but it merely has an influence on the result rather than the decider, which is what the skill was made for in the first place.
I hate to necro, but I got a related question.
For my full BAB martial class with a resource, I'm not sure whether the class should have a number of points equal to 1/2 level plus an ability score modifier, or just the ability score modifier. The former case makes it easier to balance the abilities the class uses the points on (many such abilities are point per spell level). However, with less points I can introduce a way to replenish points through some kind of game mechanic and make its abilities strong.
What do you think?
I considered houseruling that you can two-weapon fight as a standard action. It gives TWF fighters an interesting niche over their superior two-handed cousins. In addition, if the returning property was fixed, thrown weapons would have an appealing mobility advantage over sit-still-and-shoot archers. I'm also sure revolver gunslingers would love to run around stylishly going guns akimbo.
Okay, realistically speaking, smacking someone with a bag of glass would not always result in blinding them permanently. Unless the person is completely defenseless, you had the ability to carefully stab their eyes, or you got a lucky hit, they likely took the instinctive reaction to protect their face from your attack.
In game terms, I'd say you would only permanently blind someone if the attack scored a critical hit (or treated as such for a combat maneuver). Otherwise, if the person is helpless, you can perform a coup de grace except choosing to blind them permanently rather than kill them.
I have three approaches to magitech:
1) Magitech with primitive aesthetics
Just because you have magitech in your campaign does not mean it has to be steampunky.
2) Magitech is ancient, mysterious technology
One of the important keys to taking this approach is language. Never describe something using our modern understanding or tropes. Don't describe it as a ray gun. Describe it as a complicated device consisting of brass tubes that emits a ray of fire.
This approach lends very well to Pathfinder lore since Golerion is currently in the dark ages and civilizations prior to Earthfall had advanced technology, like flying cities and machines that could control the weather.
3) Magitech originates from an isolated source
It would be interesting if the game was more like most MOBAs where the power curve of fighters and wizards are reversed. Fighters are weak early game, but stronger late game. Mages are strong early game, but don't do much damage late game. The goal of a late-game mage should be to buff the fighters and set up their team for victory as a support.
Both rules, common sense, and general consensus of the community tell me that wielding a weapon differs from merely holding it. Despite some members of the community arguing the exact definition of "wielding," it's very clear by the rules that there's a difference between wielding and holding -- many content like Dervish Dance and the Guarding Blade property make that distinction. So you can wield the spiked gauntlet as long as you're not wielding the object that hand holds and vice versa. But you cannot wield both.
Robert A Matthews wrote:
Beat me to it! Common sense tells me you generally cannot wield two weapons with the same hand unless it's a one-handed double weapon or it involves a very special case. The former case is unheard of in Pathfinder while the latter case is best left to GM fiat on a case by case basis.
I actually don't want them to rule on this. It's one of those common sense things that answering it may end up creating more problems than it solves, like the mounted combat FAQ. A GM can simply rule when a character is wielding a weapon as situations may vary. Common sense should tell you that you're wielding a weapon if you're capable of making attacks with it.
To keep it simple, you could say that only special abilities (flaming, holy, ghost touch, etc.) count as magical enhancements and they count as enhancement bonuses for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction rather than the enhancement bonuses themselves.
Honestly, the biggest issue with money is that your players will be getting much more powerful equipment earlier. Despite the fact you're trying to make a low magic campaign, you'd make a high powered campaign if you lower the cost of enhancement bonuses.
One way of adding varying levels of mundanity to weapons is to introduce weapon degradion. I proposed a system in resposne to a blog post awhile back:
If I designed a degradation system for a d20 system, I'd try to model it like firearm misfires from Pathfinder. A weapon's quality determines its botch range. For example, a quality of 3 means your weapon attacks automatically miss on a natural roll of 3 or lower. Armor can follow a similar scheme, using the opponent's roll. A botch (or near critical hit for armor) increases the quality. Weapons/armor break on quality 6 or higher and become destroyed on 10 or higher.
This has an interesting interaction with PCs depending on their level. Low level PCs will likely not care about using a poor quality weapon because a natural 9 or lower will usually miss anyway. Additionally, the expense of mundane weaponry has significance with low level characters. Since low quality weapons are cheap and break often, it creates a scenario where a low level characters will throw away weapons frequently because the cost between fixing a broken sword and buying a used one will be insignificant. High level characters, on the other hand, will need high quality weapons. Higher attack bonuses and the ability to make multiple attacks per round makes having a high quality weapon vital. They also have enough funds to make investing in a single weapon viable.
One of my players has a habit of jumping and mounting onto any Huge or larger creature he's fighting. I ruled that doing so is considered grappling except the target creature only gains the entangled condition. If the creature has four legs or is larger than Huge, then the target only suffers the entangled condition with respect to the grappler.
Basically, anything you want. It's the one thing I like most about the summoner -- it's a class that encourages you to make a story about your main class feature.
Maybe your eidolon is an imaginary friend that turned out to be real.
Maybe your imagination gave birth to the eidolon -- it's a physical representation of your fears and darkest desires.
Maybe the eidolon is your greatest invention that you end up spending a lifetime figuring out how you created it in a night of bitter drunkeness.
Maybe your eidolon is an ancestor from a distance past.
Maybe your eidolon is yourself from the future.
Maybe your eidolon is the spirit of a loved one tied to an item you own.
Maybe your eidolon is the spirit of a haunted deck of cards that lets you materialize the cards into monsters.
Maybe your eidolon is actually your wife! A magical genie you had to marry because you drew The Marriage from the harrow deck of many things.
Maybe you are the eidolon. Your corporeal body is merely a puppet you control.
I already explained three times that the wizard isn't "forgetting" his spells when he uses them.
That aside, I agree that having to use multiple slots on the same spell is kind of annoying. However, your suggestion removes the greatest (and one of the only) advantages spontaenous casters have over prepared casters. As Kirth pointed out, the wizard is already the best spellcaster in the game by a large margin. Compared to the sorcerer, the wizard has more spell slots, the ability to learn more spells, better class features, better class skills, a better casting modifier, and school powers are usually better than most bloodlines.
I would love to see more options with the bonded item. I would love to have my spellbook as my bonded item, enchant it as a bag of holding, and have an extra dimensional space on page 42.
I would also like rogues and monks to get full BAB progression. I have the belief that 3/4 BAB should be left to gish classes like the cleric, magus, and inquisitor. Paizo overvalued the strengths of the rogue and monk when determining when determining their BAB -- being able to cast spells is a large boon. Making the monk a full BAB also simplifies the math on the monk's attacks.
I think full attacks should be simplified a bit more, in general. New players I encounter still find it unintuitive. To solve the mobility problem, I'd love to see classes like the rogue and monk gain full attack mobility options, like getting a pseudo-pounce or the ability to get multiple 5-foot steps. This would not only make combat more dynamic, but also give a niche in classes largely considered underwhelming.
Has this thread been derailed so much that it degraded into a petty WBL argument?
Kirth Gersen wrote:
You really hit the nail on the head. This mentality and ivory tower design was inherited from 3.5e. I'm tired of lazily made feats that serve no purpose other than pad out books and serve as flavor. A good feat can be both mechanically beneficial and have awesome flavor (see Deadly Dealer). I'm glad Pathfinder has traits to provide the fluff to not muddy up feats.
And I agree we're not asking Pathfinder to be "4th Editioned." 4th Edition divorced his mechanics from its fluff rather than marry the fluff to the mechanics. When narrative was tied to mechanics, it was done rather lazily.
There's few rules on time travel mainly because it gives headaches to both GMs and players alike. Also, to model time travel mechanically would require some very game breaking stuff. After all, the three major time alteration spells -- haste, slow, and time stop -- are among the best in the game.
Also, there's many ways time travel can work in fiction. I've seen iterations where each moment of time is essentially its own plane. I've seen a setting where dinosaurs rule the past abandoned by creatures living in the present. The Strange by Monte Cook is basically D&D Doctor Who using Numenera's rule set. I've seen some settings imply that the First World and the Shadow Plane are actually the past and future of the Material Plane, which is why they look similar. There's tons of ways to do time travel. It's better a GM decides how time travel works than have Paizo give a concrete explanation. I suppose they could make a campaign setting book that proposes many possible systems.
Also, they already made a book on the planes. They do touch a bit on the time plane.
Numenera breaks down distance into three categories: immediate (10ft/3m), short (11-50ft/3-15m), and long (51-100/15-30m). Any distance greater is measured precisely. If you take an action, you can move up to an immediate distance. If you don't take an action, you can move up to a short distance. I think you can also move a long distance, but take penalties for it.
My system works similarly. Distance is measured in reach, close (25ft), short (50ft), and long (100ft). How far you can move depends on your actions.
You can easily do the same with Pathfinder since spells are already measured in Touch, Close, Medium, and Long range.
I never said 4th Edition failed. I said Wizards of the Coast shot themselves in a foot. They splintered their game's community and created a strong competitor because they removed Vancian spellcasting and other iconic systems that people liked. I said this statement in the context that vancian/prepared casting shouldn't be removed for the sake of a minority of people that don't prefer it.
My point is, why bother to have both prepared and spontaneous casters if you essentially give prepared casters the ability to cast spontaneously?
Yeah, this really annoys me. Though, I do think it works for a spellcaster like the magus as it allows them to still have damage spells without having to waste all their spell slots.
Thanks for twisting my words into something completely different so you can make a smug rebuttal!
Totally agreed. If people don't like prepared casting, that's fine. But I roll my eyes every time I see someone say "THEY SHOULD GET RID OF VANCIAN OR PREPARED SPELLCASTING." That would be like if I said they should stop making crunchy peanut butter because I like it smooth. It's ridiculous. A little variety is a beautiful thing.
In fact, part of the reason we have Pathfinder is because Wizards nixed vancian spellcasting entirely. Wizards shot themselves in the foot. Why would Paizo ever do the same? Especially when there's plenty of high quality alternate spell systems available from 3rd party providers?
Every time I look at this thread, I see more people complaining about prepared casting, usually over misconceptions on how the flavor works. You're not "forgetting" the spell after you use it. Instead, all preparations have been expended. A wizard cannot cast the spell again for the same reason you can't fire a muzzle-loaded gun after you just made a shot. It doesn't matter how many bullets you have. Unless you have another gun with the same type of bullet ready to fire, you still have to put more gunpowder in and prime the gun if you want to fire another shot.
As for Perception, I think it should be an innate statistic that all creatures have, like Initiative. This would also help fix many problems related to it, like Stealth and the trap system.
It's a really weak feat. Your average unarmed strike damage increases by 0.5 and you add +1 situational damage. If the feat was a little underpowered, that's fine, but this has a feat tax. Also, cestus already deal 1d4 damage. Even then, there's no reason for a cestus wielder to take this as the entire point of the cestus is to enable a character to do unarmed strikes without having to waste a feat on Improved Unarmed Strike.
Hm, alright! From your feedback, a resource pool sounds appropriate for my class. Now to figure out what it scales off of. Constitution makes sense, but that doesn't sound right for a martial class since they value that stat anyway. Since my class gives a flavor option for their power source, perhaps I can make the flavor option determine the statistic the resource pool scales off of.
I do like the idea of replenishing points. I liked the idea of passive abilities that required having at least one point.
I must admit that Mythic Power is my favorite implementation of a resource pool. It's an ability that you use X per day, but your other abilities use it as a resource pool. It's not the mechanics I like, but rather the language. You're not spending "mythic points," you're spending "uses of mythic power."
I also really like the discoveries, rogue talents, rage powers, etc features, and wish more classes got something similar. Like fighters.
I totally agree. It's one of the reasons I love the magus class. What's also nice is that often these classes have tiered talents (or talents based on level in the case of the magus). Not only can the class get more powerful talents to match the power level of full casters, but also it incentivizes single-classing. There's a big problem with martials like the fighter and gunslinger where after a certain level, there's little reason to stay with the class. They get their best abilities at around level 5. The rest of class levels simply add minor bonuses to it.
The gunslinger, in particular, baffles me because Pathfinder encourages specializing in a single weapon. So getting gun training in a second weapon is no big deal. It makes archetypes like Pistolero and Musket Master no-brainers because you'll use only one firearm for at least 8 levels anyway. Worse is that it hurts character concepts. I have a player who pictured his character being an arms master that carries an arsenal on his person and shuffles between weapons to suit the needs of a situation. However, he's stuck mostly just using his pistol because the Dexterity bonus only applies to it and not his musket.
I feel my point was missed here. The race feels very schizophrenic and unfocused. Komodo have many powerful traits with each one representing only a very small aspect of their physiology and culture. Worse is that the choices feel a bit off at the intent and come off as munchkiny.
They get a bonus to conjuration because it seemed like the one that best fit the shaman idea. Simple as that.
But only a very small minority of komodos were/are shamans. To give all komodos this bonus implies all komodos are innately magical. Worse is that only spellcasting komodos benefit from this. Well, okay, you gave them spell-like abilities, but that doesn't make much sense to me. Races get spell-like abilities when they have innately magical heritages. Gnomes and kitsune get SLA because they descend from fey creatures. Note that elves commune with nature and are as close to fey as one can get without actually being a fey and even they don't get any spell-like abilities in the core rules.
I think the shamanism might be better modeled through an alternate trait, a favored class bonus, or perhaps a Spellcraft or Knowledge (arcana) bonus
They have a swim speed because their tail efficiently propels them through the water. They are amphibious because they can breathe underwater. They are technically amphibians, but of a variety which closely resembles reptiles. Much like the ones that went extinct when reptiles first showed up. They are hatched in the water, and though they grow out of the water, they retain the ability to breathe underwater.
A swim speed implies the creature's body is fully adapt at swimming. It takes much more than a strong tail to swim effectively. This strikes me as more suitable as a Swim bonus than a swim speed, especially considering they live out of water for most of their lives.
But you know what would be kind of cool? What if you added an alternate trait where young komodos have a swim speed instead of a climb speed? And when they grow up, they get the climb speed and the swim speed changes to a Swim bonus as a normal komodo. I've never seen a race that had different traits depending on its age.
They have a climb speed because trees are freaking everywhere, including wetlands. Lots of reptiles (and amphibians) are natural climbers, and being humanoid with opposable thumbs doesn't hurt. Where they spend most of their time doesn't matter, it's biological. City dwellers wouldn't lose their climbing claws any more than a caged bird loses its wings.
Well, a species of bird that lived through many generations without flying would probably not be good at flying anymore. Instead, consider this: What if they modeled their cities like a forest? What if they used trees for their dwellings or made dwellings that resembled trees (tall and cylindrical)? This would justify their climb speed and make visiting a komodo city very interesting for a party since the only way to get from building to building is climbing at uncomfortable heights.
I know that tribal komodos lived in hollowed out trees, but it looked like this isn't the case with city komodos since that would require VERY large trees.
I went with intelligence over wisdom as a subversion of tired tribal society tropes. Rather than making them one with the land, noble savages, etc. I figured, I'd take a different route. They are survivors in a harsh world. Wisdom is nice, but cunning is better for actually staying alive. They are tribal in structure, but are not defined solely by being a generic tribal society. It is a society that is shaped by the unending struggle against nature and the dangers of the wilds. It is this struggle which has kept them from advancing, but also forced them be tough and clever.
This still doesn't make much sense to me. Learning how to best nature through generations strikes me as a Wisdom thing.
No bonuses to survival because I can only give them so many things, and as I see it, survival is less about living among a tribe, and more about surviving on your own. Some of them will obviously put it to good use, but its not something all of them will need, any more than your typical human villagers. If I was throwing everything and the kitchen sink at them, I would have given it to them, but there's a limit, and it just didn't make the cut.
But the entire point of komodo's background involves a survivalist race that evolved into a modern society that thrives on harsh environments. This is one massive aspect of the race and it's not being modeled! Survival skill is much more than just surviving by yourself. All of the applications of the skill benefit more than yourself, even the one for surviving severe weather.
Perception on the other hand is critical. They live in an environment where staying alert is often a matter of life and death. They must learn from an early age to constantly remain aware of their surroundings and avoid getting caught off guard, because they are never truly safe. They suffer the penalty to wisdom (poor senses would fit here) and what they get is a class skill, not a flat bonus. It represents being trained and experienced, not being gifted with acute senses.
Okay, now this makes sense to me. I suppose ultimately, it's still a +2 bonus considering they take a penalty to Wisdom.