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Spell Sovereign

DΗ's page

490 posts. Alias of Darkholme.


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Cheliax

After reading a bunch of articles (and thinking back on campaigns), I think I would put them in tiers like this (feel free to provide any counter-arguments to improve it).

This is my thinking about non-archetyped classes at this point.

Tier 1: Wizard, Half-Elven Oracle, Half-Elven Sorcerer, Druid(2?)
Tier 2: Cleric, Oracle, Sorcerer, Summoner(1?), Witch(1?)
Tier 3: Alchemist, Bard, Inquisitor, Magus, Paladin, Ranger
Tier 4: Fighter, Barbarian, Cavalier (5?)
Tier 5: Rogue
Tier 6: Aristocrat, Commoner, Expert, Monk, Warrior

I've never played with Psionics, so I can't comment on where those classes fit.

I could maybe see switching druid to 2, and summoner/witch to 1.

Other people seem to rate the Cavalier low, but I'm not quite sure why. It seems to be in the same ballpark as the Fighter and Barbarian. My only experience with one was a Houndmaster, which I would have ranked at a high 3 (Teamwork Feats + Two Wolf Companions (dogs) + Leadership (Advanced Worg Fighter)).

I hope to hear additional comments from others with their opinions on how they would rank the classes and why, and if anyone has any constructive criticism or input for the tiers I just put up, I'm interested in hearing them.

Cheliax

I think a playtest that shows the results might help. Numerical analysis could help too; particularly if you include comparisons to the other meleers.

But Put me in the camp that says the Rogue and the Monk need to be fixed. Theyre both broken. The Monk and the Rogue are both terrible. At least there are some good ways to replace the Rogue using variants on Bard and Ranger, so we can just pretend that the Rogue never existed. The Unarmed Fighter makes a good brawler, but not a good martial artist; so that doesn't work.

Either the Rogue and Monk need to be rewritten (or archetypes made for them that just add things instead of taking away things as well), or archetypes for decent classes need to be made to replace them. The Rogue has the second one down pretty well. The Monk, not so much. We need like, a Combat Manoeuvre Specialist Fighter, an unarmored fighter, and they'd need to be compatible with the unarmed fighter so you could take all three together. Come up with similar archetypes for Ranger.

Maybe make a Generalist Fighter as well, for more skillpoints. Having mathed it out, you just have them give up a bonus feat for +2 skill points per level and it works out pretty well (if you want to see how that works, go check out the ARG Playtest, "What's a feat worth", I dont intend to explain it here.)

Cheliax

Nezthalak wrote:
I do wish there was some option for the unarmed monk to be as effective as his weapon bearing brethren. the glove and boot slot are weak items (non-essential might be a better term) for the monk anyhow, and I think there could easily by some items added in the upcoming UE book that provide benefits to punches/kicks.

We all wish there were options to bring the monk closer in overall usefulness to the fighter, ranger, barbarian, paladin, or bard.

But they're pretty careful to make sure that doesn't happen, to prevent "power creep" even if the power creep would serve to make a flavorful but crap class be as good as the other skill and melee classes.

In short, it doesn't matter if the power creep is *Needed*, they avoid it anyways.

Cheliax

Maybe Hate is too strong of a word.

Paizo doesn't want Monks or Rogues to be as good as any of the other classes, so they arent allowed to have things that make them suck less.

When making new Monk and Rogue abilities, they try to err on the side of crappier than the base. That may not be a big deal when youre designing stuff for the Druid or the Summoner. But for the Monk and Rogue you're making the crappiest classes even more crappy; albeit with a variety of ways for you to be crappy.

Cheliax

I saw my name and decided to check this thread out.

Don't like the thread title, but useful thread.

Cheliax

James Jacobs wrote:
The rules for using rope to tie someone up are part of the grapple rules on page 200. The Escape Artist check to get out of being tied up is equal to the tier's CMB + 20. I don't miss Use Rope.

The whole time we've been playing pathfinder we made a faulty assumption here and thought it had gotten rolled into survival (makes sense if you think boyscouts and knot tying, lol).

I'm not sure we'd gain much by not using the error as a houserule. I think people could use another purpose for survival.

How do you feel about use rope as a function of survival? any reasons you can think of why its a bad houserule?

Cheliax

So I'm in a Pathfinder: Greenskins campaign, wherein the GM disallowed the standard races, and has us playing as Goblins, Hobgoblins, Bugbears, and Orcs (with a couple grippli as well).

Our hobgoblin wizard (yes you heard correctly) had, in 5 levels, never taken a point of damage.

Right now we've been helping some desert-goblins and djinn drive a chelish army out of their desert.

Last session, the hobgoblin wizard set off a trip, and took 2 or 3 damage (at level 10). He uses a wish. Not to heal himself, but to change history so that he got out of the way and never took the damage to begin with.

Its hilarious.

Do you guys have anything silly/stupid that a player has wished for in your games?

Cheliax

@Absolut: IANJJ but I think ditching the items and giving the spells for free may have other unintended effects.

In a normal game, that wizard with the mountain of wands/staves is going to have to worry about:
A) Carrying Capacity, and
B) Temporary over Permanent Power.

He just spent 30k on Staves and Wands?

When those are used up, he's out 30k, and the party members who did not spend their money on consumeables will have 30k better gear than him *FOR THE REST OF THE CAMPAIGN*.

I've never seen a party willing to give one guy a bigger share of loot to make up for him buying a ton of consumeables.

I've played in games where you can cast your lower level spells at will (Ghosts of Albion), but you typically have a much smaller number of high powered spells you can use - and magic tends to be much closer in power to melee.

Cheliax

wraithstrike wrote:

People were a lot weaker and smaller by comparison back then. I don't see them drawing that bow at 80 lbs consistently. Even in the past 30-50 years people have changed a lot.

You have guys close to 300 lbs running 4.5 or faster 40's. Even in the 70's most people that fast were under 220 lbs. The physical gifts are not even close, and even training only gets you so far.
In short it is not common, even among trained people.

Other than the past 30 years (growth hormones in people who eat alot of beef) that "being smaller and weaker" has been mostly been attributed to malnourishment during growth from what I've heard.

If the huns weren't malnourished, I can see them bring quite strong and healthy.

And in the past 30 years, not everyone has been getting large amounts of the artificial growth hormones. Some are raised vegetarian, or don't eat alot of meat, or were raised on venison instead of cow/pork/chicken.

Cheliax

http://www.isegoria.net/2010/10/hun-archery/

This guy can fire 6 rounds in 10 seconds while riding a horse (and hits all the targets). He's a regular human being, so he can't be above level 5.

So its all in technique and training, which you can learn.

Was interesting to see such a rate of fire in a bow.

Cheliax

Will we see the mythical return of the medium save? "5/12(my levels of medium save)+1"

:P

Cheliax

James Jacobs wrote:
Justin Franklin wrote:
How many PMs would it take to find out what the HCs that will be announced at PaizoCon are? ;)
The REAL question is "How many PMs asking about unannounced products will it take before James blocks you from sending him PMs?"

O_O when did pms get added to the paizo site?

Cheliax

Kullen wrote:
DΗ wrote:
It would certainly be good enough to copy the magic in the 1e-3e based forgotten realms novels.
Ugh -- Forgotten Realms (shudder). Just when I had succeeded in forgetting them, too!

*shrug* Personally, I like all the novels I've read in the FR that dont have Drizzt Do'Urden in them.

And FR is still my favorite campaign setting.

Cheliax

houstonderek wrote:
I'm kind of a "roots" player. I have a lot of familiarity with more than a few of the '80s rpg systems he steals from. If you look closely enough, there's a lot of Bond 007, Hero System, Rolemaster and AD&D (1e) integrated into the Pf/3x framework.

out of that list I've played Rolemaster and AD&D 1e. Rolemaster is kindof neat. Pretty lethal.

houstonderek wrote:

I see a lot of people sling the term "Vancian magic" (because, you know, Gygax stole it nearly whole cloth for OD&D/1e), but I doubt 1% have ever actually READ a Jack Vance novel.

People dis the iconic D&D magic system with little to no understanding of why it's even in the game in the first place (not saying you do, DH, but I've run across it quite a bit in my thirty three years of gaming), and, frankly, I ignore most of them. Big reason why 4e will never be a game I play.

I'm aware of who Jack Vance is, and I've read exerpts from a couple of his novels, but I have not gone and actually picked up a Vance novel and read it.

I get why its in the system, but I don't feel its necessary. Additionally, if one went with TOZ's suggestion, and say, took the levels off of the slots, I think you'd still be able to copy the vance novels pretty reliably. It would certainly be good enough to copy the magic in the 1e-3e based forgotten realms novels.

And the system I mentioned would likely also be good enough to copy the FR novels magic. They mention spells, but they almost never make references to spells being forgotten in the style of Vance.

houstonderek wrote:
D&D = Vancian magic, and I don;t care if I'm playing 1e, PF, KF or whatever, I want to play D&D. If I wanted to use Shadowrun's system, I'd play Shadowrun (and do, it's my second favorite system). If I want to play D&D, I play 1e or Kirthfinder, for the most part. I'm even in the process of converting my 27 year old 1e campaign to Kirthfinder, because I dig it.

I dont think D&D needs to have vancian magic. I just think it needs to be able to emulate my D&D branded novels. (which 4e ceases to be able to do).

houstonderek wrote:
I'm old school. I am proud of it.

Whatever works for you. :)

Cheliax

Kirth Gersen wrote:
DΗ wrote:
I would like my solution or TOZ's.
Of course you would -- and you can have it; all you need to do is implement it! I've tried to be clear that I am not willing to do so for my own home game, however (at least not without a unanimous request from the players).

Heh. I'm not making requests as to how you should change your own ruleset. If I want changes, I will just make them myself. I was simply commenting on the alternate magic systems mentioned and saying which ones I liked more.

That and pointing out that replacing the magic system doesn't require rebalancing everything else, just balancing the new magic system.

Cheliax

The Egg of Coot wrote:
here's where we get into everyone's pet preference. And there's nothing at all wrong with any of the options listed here, except that I've been working for 2 years under the assumption of 1e/2e/3e/PF Vancian casters as the fixed paradigm, and balancing around that. Drastically altering that one constant now would mean, more or less, bulldozong what I've done and starting over -- and that's a project I'll leave to someone else, thanks.

I strongly disagree, and here's why.

Many of the things you (and everyone else) has built, does not rely on the Vancian system. If those things are at the power level you want them to be, then introducing a different magic system doesn't require changing anything other than the magic system. Instead of balancing against the old magic system, you'll balance your new magic system against all the other stuff that you already consider to be balanced.

You've already calibrated everything else to where you want it. Now you just need to calibrate the new variable to fit in with the pieces that are already there.

If one were to "Stick with Vancian" while doing an overhaul, I wouldn't mind seeing TOZ's system, with new spells coming in, and maybe even making all spells scale with level, all the way up. In that sense, "Spell Level" would only determine the minimum level required to learn the spell. I would consider that to be an improvement, and it still retains the flavor of 'fire and forget'.

I'm not a big fan of the Mana Pool system, but its functional.

And as for *MY* preference: No hard limits on Spells/Day. Spellcasters would make a spellcasting roll with a difficulty determined by spell level. Failure means the spell is not cast, and perhaps even that it backfires. Success means the spell works as intended. Casting powerful spells gives you penalties to future spellcasting rolls when done in succession. Penalties can be removed with an action point or rest.

I would like my solution or TOZ's. As mentioned, none of these systems has to invalidate anything other than vancian casting. All of them, however, require calibrating of the numbers to put them within acceptable balance ranges of the rest of the system, which you are not changing.

Cheliax

Wow! Lightweights! There's no way I have a 24 constitution, and it takes me more than 15 shots before I start to get sick. Closer to 20.
I'm also not a big guy. 5'4", 150 lbs.

Cheliax

I would also say that blasting spells could stand to be ramped up quite a bit.

My estimations put a bonus of 50% to 100% spell damage as being quite balance, in comparison to melee and ranged attackers, and would bring the utility of a blasting spell up closer to the utility of a summon, but without all the bookkeeping.

Cheliax

Ashiel wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
How is grit disassociated with what it does? The whole idea is "cool s*!&", and that's what it does.
I think the idea is that just about any of the 'point' systems is at least partially disassociative.
Except psionics. It only seems to add to the verisimilitude with a mana-esque system in place. Far less verisimilitude breaking that sorcerers and wizards and their magic-bullet casting. :P

In terms of verisimilitude:

Vancian<Mana Pool<Fatigue.

I dont magic cost gets any better than its handled in the game Ghosts of Albion.

But a Mana Pool does provide more verisimilitude than Vancian Casting.

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Arbane the Terrible wrote:

So.

Hit points.

[/flamebait]

Hit points = supernatural toughness. Otherwise you cant justify how healing works.

But after so many arguments about problems with Hitpoints and AC, I've given up on arguing for those lost causes.

But in an ideal world, we'd have hitpoints that make sense (likely tied to size/constitution), a dodge/parry/block score of some kind replacing AC, and Armor as damage reduction.

The work involved to make that happen is immense.

Fixing the problems with individual classes? Much easier.

Cheliax

The two biggest offenders for this (to me) are the Alchemist abilities, and barbarian rage. Barbarian rage being an ability I thought was terribly designed in 3.0.

I'm also not a big fan of the grit mechanics from when I read them, but I dont like how any of the firearm stuff works in Pathfinder (guns, or gunslingers) so I haven't read them through in detail since the end of the playtest. (I did briefly skim them on d20pfsrd, and I still wasn't impressed).

The disconnected limits on the alchemist are enough to make my head hurt. I believe I houseruled them last time I allowed someone to use the class.

The alchemist ended up passing his bombs to the other characters occasionally, and they would throw them as well. I think I changed it to only work for a few rounds after mixing them. (but it doesn't matter who is wielding it).

Plus. If the bomb(and other things alchemists make) stop working the instant they leave the alchemist's possession, then they stop working when the alchemist throws them, before they hit the target. Just saying. lol.

Cheliax

@Kirth

Do you guys have a website?

Perhaps a link to the most recent version of Kirthfinder?

I just wanna make sure I'm grabbing an up-to-date copy.

Cheliax

leo1925 wrote:
Complete Arcane(splat book) page 140 wrote:


Mastering a Foreign Spellbook
Instead of laboriously copying each spell of interest from a spellbook into his own, a wizard might instead madke a dedicated effort to master the spell book's particular ciphers and notations.........Mastering a spellbook requires a successful Spellcraft check(DC 25+ the level of the highest level spell in the book) and takes one week plus one day per spell contained withing. If the wizard succeeds, he can use the foreign spellbook as his own, requiring no further Spellcraft checks to preare or copy spells from it...
This rule can't exist in PF becuase iirc complete arcane isn't published under the OGL.

IIRC A new rule could easily be made to fill the same purpose. They cant copy the formatting, but so long as a different name and text are used, theres nothing preventing it.

Its hardly a unique idea, copyright only affects the expression of the idea anyways, and because it's not unique, I'm pretty sure you could develop something separate without violating the OGL.

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jak the Looney Alchemist wrote:

I don't care. I'm not trying for an official answer. Any dm worth his salt will make a ruling and move on since it really is a very small factor. I was pointing out that the answer was not so clear cut and really needs elaboration, hence I stated that I was not trying to convince anyone. For some reason I feel compelled to challenge bold declarative statements that lack logical rational even if it is functionally meaningless to me.

Yes I do need a hobby. I know. I'll buy skyrim soon I promise.

Skyrim is awesome. But really, make sure to get it for PC. It's way better.

And grab the mods you like from skyrimnexus. There are some mods to the interface that drastically improve the gameplay on PC, and there's ThuumMic, which is awesome.

Finally, if you dont like plot-protected NPCs, there's two mods which in conjunction make it so all characters can be attacked and killed.

Cheliax

Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:
What KINDS of equipment? Magic items? New weapons? New mundane equipment? Vehicles? Will there be a new class, class archetypes, spells, feats, or other things that relate closely to equipment but are not themselves equipment? Will there be new rules regarding equipment? Will there be advanced technology and/or rules relating to advanced technology?

ultimate equipment...

new class...

Inspector Gadget?

Batman?

Cheliax

James Jacobs wrote:
DΗ wrote:

Have you tried out the Trailblazer style iterative system? (2 attacks at -2, with gradually lessening penalties)

What do you think of the Trailblazer style unified spell progressions via a BaseMagicBonus that replaces caster level?

I've not tried out Trailblazer yet. That's a very interesting take, though—not having to recalculate different rolls for different attacks is huge. But still... minimizing the number of attacks themselves is a great way to speed up high level combat.

And I've long championed for something akin to a Base Magic Bonus. Just as a fighter who multiclasses into wizard still progresses (although more slowly) in his BAB... a wizard who multiclasses into a fighter should still enhance his caster level.

For the iterative attacks, from what I understand, in all cases except when you only hit on a 20 or only miss on a 1, the damage per round is very close (slight increase).

At level 20, the fighter still only has 2 attacks, but both have no penalties.

Alot of Math went into it. it's a spectacular 3pp book. It's important to keep in mind that it was written as a revision for 3.5, and came out before pathfinder. They updated the layout after pathfinder came out, but the complex math they used to determine things all comes from 3.x, and their class design is a revision of 3.x, not a revision of pathfinder.

As for BMB, Exactly. The way they accomplished that is there is a single spells/day table, and your BMB ties into it. Some classes give more spells, ala sorcerer, and they just grant bonus slots to make up the difference. The net result is almost the same number of slots, and a wizard 5, witch 5, cleric 5, druid 5, would have approx the same number of slots as a wizard 20, and is still getting 9th level spells.

I'm not a fan of having every caster know all spells like a cleric or druid (thats something they do) but I think the rest of their magic system is quite elegant.

Cheliax

James Jacobs wrote:
nightflier wrote:
1) What are your thoughts on iterative attacks at higher levels? Is there any point to them, with such a large penalties?
1) The "large penalties" don't impact as much as you might think... unless you engineer every single high-level combat to be a super tough one. Which is not a good idea. Players need opportunities to feel high level. In any event, I'm not a fan of iterative attacks, since the extra die rolls and the changing modifiers are one of the primary things that makes higher level combat slow down. Eventaully, I'd like to houserule the Vital Strike feat chain into being something that EVERYONE gets for free, and rather than allow extra attacks just give people extra damage.

I've been giving everyone Vital Strike and Combat Expertise for free for a long time, (Vital Strike Feats being earned when you meet the prereqs.) I've also tried out making combat maneuvers only provoke if you miss. All together they result in more dynamic melee combat.

Have you tried out the Trailblazer style iterative system? (2 attacks at -2, with gradually lessening penalties)

What do you think of the Trailblazer style unified spell progressions via a BaseMagicBonus that replaces caster level?

James Jacobs wrote:
Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:
What's the strength check DC to break a katana in half over one's knee?
DC 234,240. Also your leg automatically gets chopped off, and you die, and so do your cohorts and your allies.

I think she was referring to Pathfinder, not Rolemaster. :D

Cheliax

Frustrated wrote:
Mergy wrote:
If you don't run more the spellcasters will pull even more ahead of the melee. How many do you typically have per day?
Anywhere from 0 to 6, it's entirely dependant on what wont break suspension of disbelief in whatever situation the party is in. During overland travel its less than once per day. In a dungeon usually 2 or 3. In the middle of a base that belongs to intelligent Humanoids they are attacked until the defence breaks or the party flees which could be anywhere from 3 large to 7 smaller encounters worth.

You can have a single in-game day span more than one session, if you want more to happen outside combat in the game, dont skip as much time. Run very action-packed games.

Alternately, if you want to adjust the game for 1-2 encounters per day - as mentioned, the game is built assuming 4-5. Any time you see an x/day (from SLAs, to spells, to class features) cut the total number in half. You're having half the danger, and if you give them the standard amount of resources, you're basically making them twice as strong.

Alternately, buff the enemies. artificially inflate their saves, to cut the success rates of the spells in half, while leaving pretty much everything else the same. So if the spells succeed on a 10+, make them require a 15. If they succeed on a 15, make them require a 17.

If youre running only 1-2 encounters most of the time, you essentially are giving them twice the resources they should have. To counter that, make those resources go half as far, by increasing saves, and maybe hps (if the mages use hp spells).

Youre designing the encounters, and if necessary, you can pad the monsters numbers. Thats probably the easiest approach.

On days when youre using the normal number of encounters, dont pad the saves. That way its transparent to the players.

Cheliax

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

Sounds like you are ignoring the trifecta of caster lockdown moves.

Range: Color spray has a 15' range (diamond Spray is only 20') so either be 40' outside it to start the fight and get into melee as quick as possible. He can't reach you with the spell until you charge, He tries to cast, it provokes and you pound him to paste with your greatsword/axe. OR just fill him full of arrows at 40 ft (outside of his range to move + cast). They will have a horrible AC and next to no Hit Points so it shouldn't take more then a round.

Senses: Neither of these characters can cast on anything they can't see and neither has darkvision. Hit em with a greater darkness/silence stone trick and charge em, they are useless inside of it and when they try to run AoO's all around.

Encounters per day: Casters rule the 15 minute workday so don't do that. Hit em with 4 encounters a day (Wandering Monster charts where created for a reason) and watch them start panicking since they have crap for spells per day.

Stop playing by their rules and make them play by yours.

I endorse this heartily. Additionally, send a wizard at them with monk minions. Cast silence on the monks before pummeling the mages.

These are all methods to keep the mages in check.

But the biggest one: "Make sure they face at least 3 encounters per day."

Mages are quite broken if they dont have to manage their resources. Not so much if they do.

And maybe you can think of some ways to make the Cavalier, Ranger, and Rogue more cool? Allow them to make some character changes to be more effective? Point them in the direction of some optimization threads?

Make the Rogue into a Ninja. Give the cavalier an archetype that trades the horse away (Houndmaster from last year's RPG superstar is my favorite) if youre not in a wilderness campaign. As for the Ranger: I'm not sure what the problem is, Rangers are generally pretty good.

Cheliax

Mordo wrote:
On the fluff side, I think it's fair that most player character are humans as it is the predominant race across Golarion and many other know fantasy universe. It was ackward in 1e and 2e that most adventurers were non-humans while humans was much more numerous than any other playable raceso. The changes brought to humans in 3e and further more in Pathfinder help reestablish a proper representation of the playable races as adventurers. Nothing prevents anybody from playing an all non-human party, as such thing do occurs, but it's just less frequent.

I'm not all that fond of the humanocentrism, fluff-wise. If I'm running a setting, I tend to try to set it up so that the major races in the setting have comparable populations, and the big differences are regional.

Cheliax

James Jacobs wrote:
I'm not scared of my players. And I've not yet been scared by a GM.
Calder Rooney wrote:

When as a GM have you most scared your players?

Conversely, when as a player have you been most scared by a GM?

I once had a player get red in the face and almost take a swing at me (pulled his fist back and everything) because when they attacked a little girl wizard who wasn't really hurting anybody (but was playing tricks on people and being a nuisance) she kept trying to disable them without really harming them, and when that failed and she got seriously injured, she pulled an Abra, and teleported miles away, and they neither got the opportunity to kill her or take her stuff.

And I didnt feel bad that they got no treasure, because they were trying to murder a 10 year old girl.

It was a very awkward session, and I had to seriously consider telling him to get out of my game.

Cheliax

James Jacobs wrote:

To a certain extent, we already do books with prebuilt NPCs: Adventures. Each one has several NPCs that a GM can use as he needs—often, when I'm running an adventure for which I'm ad-libbing a lot or for which I expect the PCs to get distracted by NPCs I've not built, I'll keep a couple of level-appropriate adventures handy so I can just grab one up and use an NPC stat block out of that book as I need.

That said, an NPC bestiary type book is a great idea, and one we've been contemplating doing for a few years. Stay tuned!

You sir.

You shall have my $45-$60 for that full-sized, 375ish paged hardcover NPC Book.

All you have to do is release the book.

You will also have my support for NPCeastiary 2 and 3.

~DH

Cheliax

Cheapy wrote:
Xexyz wrote:
Before the APG and alternate class bonuses gnomes and halfings were arguably better sorcerers and likely better oracles as well. Now however with the ability to learn an additional spell with your favored class bonus being a human is heads and tails superior to the other two.
Do any GMs even allow such broken abilities?

I have yet to be in a game with a GM who disallows any apg favored class bonuses.

So yeah, you bet that gets used.

Cheliax

Any chance of a big book of prebuilt NPCs? or several more little books?

I know there are some npcs in the GMG, and I remember a softcover that had some potential enemies statted out with lots of fluff, but:

There's currently no "Orcs of Varying CRs through class levels", Gnolls of Varying CRs through class levels, etc. to fill out the ranks in more humanoid focused campaigns.

As a part 2: Yes I realize there could potentially be alot of these, given the number of Races that exist for PF.

I would definitely buy them for the mountain of work they'd save me.

Cheliax

master arminas wrote:
I am a hero. I don't need someone to shore up my weaknesses and share the glory. My PARTY already does that. I never liked the idea of gaining followers and having to care and provide for them (the little free-loading weaklings!).

See, this doesn't quite make sense to me. I see the cohort as a Party member, but unlike the other player's characters, I am 100% certain of the cohort's loyalty. - The only character I can be 100% certain does not have ulterior motives, and the only character who mechanically *Can't* betray me. That sort of loyalty has a value, not just the mechanical use of the cohort.

Additionally, if you took a monstrous cohort, you don't need to go in on gear.

Finally, one of my favorite character archetypes doesn't usually get much support, and I think I'm currently using the only way you can do it in pathfinder: The Packmaster/Kennelmaster.

A character who generally cares more for beasts than other people, and, say: "Leads a pack of Wolves" or dogs. Its basically a concept that needs at least 3 cohorts.

Your main character directs and fights alongside the beasts.

master arminas wrote:

Besides, in ALL of the games that I have ever participated since 3rd edition was introduced, the DM has been the one who made your cohorts and your followers--I have NEVER seen a player custom build their cohorts in the manner that so many people on these boards suggest is happening in day-to-day games.

No sir. Leadership is not something I would spend a precious feat slot on.

In this case I'd say it depends on if the GM makes an NPC that fits the role youre attempting to fill by taking leadership. In my case, a CR 7 wolf creature. I'd have been perfectly happy with a GM built equivalent, or an advanced monster, or maybe even a winter wolf, if the GM had required it.

However if the next session he showed up with a gnome basketweaver, I'd get myself a new GM, because this GM's goal is clearly to mess with his players.

Cheliax

Cheapy wrote:
Argh. Useless title.
Cheapy wrote:

It's a matter of principle, and that doesn't work on smartphones. I'd much rather there not be a ton of threads where you have no clue what it's about from the title. What does this thread gain from not saying "Why wouldn't anyone take Leadership if they could?" The only thing I can think of is that it piques interest and gets people in, which is one of those sleazy marketing tricks.

<3 DH but I really dislike this trend that's been popping up lately. Maybe it's confirmation bias.

Heh. criticism accepted.

It was very much a "read the intro post before deciding whether you should comment" sort of title.

However, its worth noting that you do get faster responses this way.

I'll consider your complaint, but I may do it again, due to the speed of responses.

Bryan Stiltz wrote:
re: "leadership granting 'instant Cohort, no RP needed'": In both cases the relevant Cohort already existed as either an NPC or as the "purchased in an RP scene and with character gold mount". It was never a free "here's a new addition to the party, his name is steve, he's loyal to me."

True, its not a summoning spell.

But what if youre starting at level 8? Then you take it before you make your character.

Cheliax

Mikaze wrote:

I've really enjoyed Leadership as RP fuel more than anything else. Secondary appreciation for it is definitely filling in "role" gaps, like divine healing.

One other thought, cohorts actually increase the chances of players getting to use Teamwork Feats, for those so inclined.

Teamwork Feats! I have them, my cohort has them, and my 2 animal companions have them!

wraithstrike wrote:
It would show that the choice was pure optimization. Number two it cost money to keep them equipped, and they can be taken out just like a PC can. After so many deaths you will probably start taking hits to your leadership score making them weaker, and weaker until they are useless.

Or costing you money as you pay to resurrect fallen comrades.

wraithstrike wrote:
Some GM's also build and/or run the NPC for you.
Ravingdork wrote:
I told my players that Leadership was fine with me, but since the cohorts are NPCs, and NPCs fall under the purview of the GM, I would be making them and playing them. They could give me a general idea of what they were looking for in a cohort (such as a fighter bodyguard, flying mount, crafting wizard, etc.), but otherwise things were left up to me.

I'm okay with that, if thats what the GM wants. In our game, the GM wanted me to build it myself because he couldnt be bothered. He runs him out of combat, but wants me to do the combat. Works for me. And it keeps things interesting.

Ravingdork wrote:
Also, cohorts are like a character's loved ones: They are little more than a tool used by the GM to manipulate your character. Real adventurers are orphaned loners for a reason.

Hmm. My current character treats his Giant Worg Fighter cohort the way most people treat the rest of their parties.And he treats the rest of hte party slightly worse than that.

The worg demanded his own share of the treasure (GM made him do it) and I track his inventory separately.
Its another adventurer in the party, which I control in combat.

Squeatus wrote:

Maybe have every NPC above level 6 use the Leadership feat so they all have fully optimized cohorts that compliment them perfectly or insane awakened mounts with sorcerer levels of the custom "Haste Debuff" bloodline with a Cure power to boot.

Then base all encounters only on the CR of the NPC's and award zero experience for their cohorts since they're "obviously built into the difficulty of the NPC who had to expend a feat. For instance, this one gave up +4 on init for a spell monkey, and this one has ten less hit points for his haste/entanglebot with UMD and a backpack full of healing wands."

Some of the more evil NPC's could be "roleplayed" as just having gained their leadership feat, greasing up their loyal companions in a combustible material, equipping them only with a necklace of fireballs and convincing them to voluntarily drop their saves (for his fireball or other fire-based spell) when they get into melee range because "it'll increase your DPR by a lot and I can just wand you to full after we beat the heroes."

lmao. I dont think I've ever seen the bottom behavior, even in the players.

As for the rest, that's a decent way to cut down on the XP you give out, considering that the NPC doesnt take a share of XP (he really should).

We dont use combat XP though. This gm is a "Okay everybody levels today" GM, and I give out xp/session in a very shadowrun style. I have a checklist, and you get XP based on what in the checklist you managed. At higher levels, the checklist provides bigger rewards to compensate.

Zarzulan wrote:
For me, as a player it's just more work. In our current high-level (lvls 19-20) campaign, the GM pretty much forced a lot of us to have a cohort. For instance, my high-level cleric has a lower-level acolyte to "mentor" for the good of the church. However this means that our 7-player group has about 13 characters in it. Combat really drags with all the extra turns. Also it means that I have to pick spells for two characters rather than one, and with the crappy "Vancian" spell-slot system that's a lot of work which I really don't want to have to do.

Having a cohort forced on you when you dont want one would be annoying. Sorry to hear it. Particularly a Cohort you dont want.

Zarzulan wrote:
Also it makes the party unwieldy. With a dozen people it's a small army. You can't stealth into anywhere. You can't slip into town unobtrusively. You need a big inn to house everyone for the night, etc.

Well, I'm a Halforc with 3 wolves. 1 of which is a worg, and one of which is just giant. They all have stealth, as do I. They dont have alot of skillpoints, so its not maxed out, but they have it. I think we could slip into town just as unobtrusively as any other adventuring party.

As for Inns, it hasn't come up yet, but yeah, I'd either get a big room, or I'd sleep outside at the edge of town.

Cheliax

Bruunwald wrote:

Firstly, you don't "get" an additional character. The cohorts are NPCs, which means the GM should be playing them. Otherwise, it's a serious gimp on the other players. Which brings us to one good reason why people don't take it. In general, players don't like too many NPCs around, because they get turns, too, and that means the GM is getting most of the action.

Finally, the rules for GMing allow for cohorts without extra feats and class abilities, just as they have since the very first edition of the game. Your GM should probably be handling the extras from top to bottom, which is why I have never liked the Leadership feat, either as a DM/GM or as a player.

It doesn't matter to me whether the unwaveringly loyal NPC gets controlled by myself or the GM.

And yes, the GM could stat them out I suppose, but I've never seen a GM who would bother to do that. Not to mention, the player taking the feat and you intentionally making a useless character is just being an antagonistic GM. And if you're not going to make the new cohort crappy just to spite the player, I don't see what difference it makes if the player builds it themselves.

I guess I see it as a shift in game-style thats inherent to the system.

Level 5 brings in flight. Level 7 basically lets the players control small squads.

Sure you might play the NPC out of combat, but youre not going to want to bother to play them in combat - at least when I GM I dont want to - so realistically, in combat the player controls them. Just like their familiars and animal companions.

Cheliax

TriOmegaZero wrote:
I don't want to do the work. And it IS work.

Hmm. I suppose its more bookkeeping. I dont think tracking two melee characters is any more bookkeeping than playing a wizard though.

I can see two casters maybe not being worth the effort if you hate the bookkeeping.

LovesTha wrote:
Because it doesn't fit their character concept?

Hmm. I suppose there is that. I mean, some people will take things like "Skill Focus: Craft (Trapmaking)" because it fits their concept, even though it'll probably never be particularly useful.

I have a hard time thinking of a character concept where a cohort doesn't fit, but being in a party with the other players does fit.

I'm sure there are corner cases I haven't thought of though.

Kryptik wrote:
Extra actions really bog down the combat, plus you have to spread your wealth pretty thin in order to protect your cohorts. Of course, you can get around that, but those are two big reasons I can think of off the top of my head.

Hmm. The gear thing is less of an issue with monstrous cohorts, but I see your point. Usually I take some kind of beast, and give it masterwork barding of some kind, and if I can spare the cash I give it a single magic item.

I suppose extra actions can slow down combat, but if you're decisive or you run your 2-4 man "squad" as a single unit, it only takes you as long as it takes to roll the dice and count the damage.

ShadowcatX wrote:
Mechanically leadership is the most powerful feat to take. But some people take feats (and even entire classes) not just because they're the most powerful mechanically. If you apply the reasoning you're presenting here (take leadership because its the most powerful) to everything in the game, you're going to have a bunch of wizards and witches running around with a few divine casters and that's it.

Its not *Just* that its the most powerful feat that I was thinking of though. I have a hard time thinking of any adventuring party friendly character who would not also make sense with some manner of cohort or bestial mount.

Having a cohort and/or starting your own tribe/city is also just kindof awesome.

Unless I'm in a game where it's banned, I don't think I'd ever *Not* take leadership. - And the Cohort can be different every time!

Plus: There's a use for teamwork feats. The odds of the rest of the group building to make use of teamwork feats is low, but I can build the cohort to take them.

Cheliax

Why would anyone *NOT* Take leadership, if they are allowed?

I dont think I've built a character that didnt go for leadership at level 7 since Pathfinder has come out (and with 3.5 I was always GMing).

I mean, you get a character two levels lower than yourself in addition to your primary character. How cool is that? Additionally, most GMs allow you to take a monstrous pet or some such.

I've seen it used for many characters to get a powerful or flying mount.

Or a caster to buff yourself. Or some way to shore up your weaknesses.

In my current case, I went with a sort of packmaster concept. I'm a half-orc Houndmaster Cavalier, and the Gm allowed me to take a giant Worg as my cohort (though power-wise, I'm sure there were better options than a Worg advanced to CR 7). Being a cavalier, and having the wolves, I grabbed a couple teamwork feats and gave them to all 4 characters, so my "pack" works well together.

Why would you take a regular feat at level 7, assuming you have a choice? I can't see any good reasons for it as a GM or a Player.

I'd think it would work like this for party composition, honestly.

1 1 1 1
2 2 2 2
3 3 3 3
4 4 4 4
5 5 5 5
6 6 6 6
7 5 7 5 7 5 7 5

I suppose at high levels the cohorts fall behind for those with lower charismas.

Still seems pretty cool to me.

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.

http://paizo.com/people/dH/

This Guy.

He angers me. Just sittin there. not posting, not favoriting things, not making a profile. Taking up my name.

As for me: "DΗ" That's not an H. I believe I used a Russian N. Though it may have been some kind of greek letter.

It annoys me that the one with an H was unavailable, by some guy who isnt using it.

Cheliax

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Worth noting that I also give everyone Combat Expertise for free, and a few others.

I've also tried combat maneuvers that only provoke on a miss, and giving all characters the vital strike feats as soon as they qualify.

They encourage people to do cool tricks and such, without them having to dump tons of feats and become one-trick ponies.

Cheliax

Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:
Seafarer's Handbook and Seas of Blood are good. Stormwrack is expensive and I've heard bad things about it, so I'd rather snap up a copy of Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved or Heroes of Horror.

I haven't had many problems with Stormwrack. Also I picked it up at my FLGS for $12, because well, it was $12 and I was about to start a seafaring campaign. lol. Heroes of Horror is pretty good, and I use it as well. Arcana Evolved had some good ideas, but I dont know If I'd ever use it as my main rulebook. Medium Save Progressions are a cool idea though. One I implemented a a houserule before I learned Monte cook thought of the same thing.

Finn K wrote:
Stormwrack's pretty good, IMO-- but it's 3.5, not PF... so you'd have to do adaptions anyway.

The Legends and Lairs stuff was mostly 3.0 - so it required even more adaptations.

Cheliax

@Kelsey: I mentioned it just because it might work a bit more uniformly, being only a single book.

I haven't read the other two though; this is actually the first I've heard of them...

Oh, it's Legends & Lairs. City Works was quite good, though definitely dated.

Cheliax

FYI: What you're trying to do is a class ability.

As a GM: I don't think it should need to be a class ability, and I give it to everyone for free, but as RAW, it's a class ability.

Cheliax

Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:
James, could you please answer whether I can or should be able to do this? It seems reasonable to me, but the RAW is silent.

That's a Duelist Class Feature.

In my games I just give that feature to everyone for free, because I want my players to try cool stunts.

But that's a houserule.

Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:

Have you ever played in a primarily seafaring campaign?

Would you?

Will Paizo ever release workable rules for this outside of the coming AP, or should I just use a Seafarer's Handbook/Seas of Blood mashup for my seafaring rules?

Why are the Ultimate Combat vehicle DCs so prohibitively high?

Again not JJ, but Do you have stormwrack? that's my goto seafaring book I use when running a pirates & pathfinders game.

Cheliax

James Jacobs wrote:


1) Make it a prestige class.

2) Cut it from the game entirely. Replace it with an entirely new class called something like a "Templar" or a "Crusader" that perhaps had similar powers (a divine-casting martial character who gains abilities based on his alignment or deity), but I would NOT call it a paladin. Because, as far as the game is concerned, such a class is not a paladin.

I like both off these approaches, and as for published materials, I thought "Genius Guide to the Templar" was quite good.

Cheliax

James Jacobs wrote:


Snoutsnuffers.

AKA: I'm not sure, if "wolffolk" isn't an option. And it shouldn't be, since that's a terrible name.

(Not JJ But...)

Catfolk isn't specific, it's general. Otherwise it would be tigerfolk, leopardfolk, lionfolk, etc.

So why not dogfolk? Then if someone wants to make a character from another breed of dog instead of a wolf, they have the option.

Image by Brett Booth

Or youknow, Snoutsnuffers. that's pretty awesome.

Cheliax

Some good suggestions. I'd say add them to the evergrowing list.

With all the stuff in this thread, the melee guys would be much more competitive with spellcasters.

Cheliax

Sertaki wrote:
ah thx, didn't knew that site, always using d20pfsrd.com

Generally the same content. d20pfsrd has prettier presentation, but PRD is generally more up to date.

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