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Cayden Cailean

Darkholme's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Society Member. 1,104 posts (1,604 including aliases). 2 reviews. 2 lists. 1 wishlist. 8 aliases.


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@wraithstrike: Then if I run a game with mostly NPCs with class levels, does that make things much more difficult than if I were using monsters, or does the lower cash value on NPCs put them about on par with monsters?

And if I use some NPCs that are built as per Player Characters, how much of a power discrepancy would there be between them and the NPCs built using NPC rules or monsters? How much would their CR likely be off by?

(I am aware that the PCs shouldn't be able to loot more than WBL per level and I would have to compensate for that or the PC power will get out of hand.)


Well SKR, while Pathfinder is an improvement over 3.5, I do believe the system could be significantly better if some things were changed. Some of the other versions of the system (trailblazer, 4e, and 5e) have some things that would be a significant improvement over the current rules.

1. 4e's monster and encounter design system is significantly easier on a GM.
2. Trailblazer and 5e both introduce multiclass spell progressions as well as standardized BAB, wherein all attacks happen at the same BAB, which speeds up combat nicely.
3. 5e lets people move around more, fixing the tediousness that is stand and full attack.

And the Angry DM has a blog about Boss Monster design that makes bosses more entertaining.

I'm sure 3.SKR will address things you don't like about the d20 system's current iteration, and hopefully it will address the things I don't like about it as well.



I want to see what are some reasonable PC builds, and what are some heavily optimized PC builds, so that they can be compared to the baselines in the bestiary. I'm interested in seeing just how closely creature CRs and player levels match up.


No responses? I am quite curious about how the monster guidelines match up to player character.


edross wrote:
Darkholme, I pretty much +1 your entire list. However rather than rules for quick-generating minions, I'd prefer a full array of pre-generated monsters for every level. One of the things that bugs me about pathfinder is how often they present tools for the GM to build his own version of something that almost ever GM wants, instead of just building it for him. Town stats and townsfolk for example.

They only have so much space for Monsters and NPCs. I get that. But if the structure for NPCs and Monsters was an easily scaled condensed statblock, they could give us the monsters at 1, 5, 10, 15, and 20, and we could quickly scale up or down from those with minimal effort. We could add in new abilities/attacks and know what hit chances and damages are okay, etc.

@ Sean K Reynolds: That sounds quite interesting. If it's easily compatible, and addresses many of my primary concerns I listed above, it just might supplant a bunch of my pathfinder stuff. Ideally it would be mostly compatible with pathfinder classes and races and whatnot, so that if a player wants to play a tengu witch (to choose some uncommon choices) and you dont have the witch or tengu, they can use the PF version with a small amount of work. I dont know the details of your project though, or just how far it will go from Pathfinder, but I will definitely check it out.


Ross Byers wrote:
I keep a list of things that I would change, given the chance.

That is a pretty good list.

Cyrad wrote:

Have you heard of Sean K. Reynolds's Project Pentagon? It's going to get kickstarted in September.

As for me, I'll have to post when I can access my "Radfinder" list. I'm currently playtesting fixes to firearms I developed.

Personally I just disallow gunslingers and use the firearms from a 3pp 3.5 product I have. IMO it's too much of a mess. Were I to try to fix PF firearms and the Gunslinger, about the only thing that would be left is a fighter variant that uses (completely different) firearms, and has a grit pool which let you do things (likely not the same things, mind you). Typically people just use the guns in another class, and I don't make them exotic, so if the ranger gets a rifle, he can use it instead of his bow.

Project Pentagon sounds interesting. I will be much more interested in it if it's designed to be compatible with the pathfinder APs and bestiaries than if it's a standalone thing, but I will likely still check it out.


Hmm. Some of these are good points; I've been of the opinion that Pathfinder could use a facelift for a couple of years. Most of the things I take issue with are things that (IMO) should have been done at the outset, though a few are things that have been introduced gradually as well, particularly the glut of trap options.

Pathfinder unchained may give some good new options that deal with some of these problems. However, unless the changes become the default, that only really helps the people who are playing in the games *I* run. When I go to a table running pathfinder, if I want to see the rules fixes as a player rather than playing without them, what are my options? Nag the GM? Advertise a "looking for group that uses rules fixes presented in PF Unchained?"

My experience has been that other GMs typically don't use the "alternate rules". Most of them don't have any houserules to speak of either, let alone ones that are supposed to address problems with the system.

As a result, yeah, I'd like to see the default rules get updated. Maybe then I could play in someone else's game as a non-caster and not find the experience frustrating, and as mentioned, I would love to not have to sort through a pile of crippling bear traps to find a screwdriver when I am building a character.

Where playtests are concerned:
Sorry, it was Ultimate Combat I was referring to, not the APG.
UC: The parts that were "not part of the playtest" were the problem. Firearms don't make sense (you can dodge but armor doesn't help you), are mechanically terrible weapons, and cost a fortune (in addition to taking feats to use). As a result, the gunslinger is designed in this terrible way where rather than having interesting class features that could theoretically work with other weapons, they have class features to buff guns to the point of usability. I still think its a mess. Gunslingers are banned at my table, and it has nothing to do with a dislike of firearms. I include firearms, I just don't include Paizo's firearms.
ARG: They had us playtest the Race building section. We pointed out where things were priced poorly, and explained why (basically, things were inconsistent, you could get things for 1 point that could also be built for 4 or 6 points using other included options. We asked for them to make things priced consistently and rationally in relation to eachother) When the book was released, the system was almost identical to that of the playtest, and all of the problems that were pointed out were still present.

Maybe some of the other playtests went differently. My experience was the feeling that the playtests were theoretically to find and fix design problems, but in practice completely ignored the design problems that were found. It felt like the playtests are not taken seriously, and I wish that was not the case.


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I saw a recent locked thread (didn't end up participating) and the premise made me decide to make this thread:

I don't want an Edition War here, nor a Flame War. I'm hoping for a constructive discussion.

Personally I would love to see a new Pathfinder, but only if it were done well. First off, I would want the new edition of pathfinder to be like the new edition of most RPGs, not like D&D. For instance, if I pick up a setting designed for RuneQuest 4th ed, and try to run it in RQ6, It will still work fine without me having to redesign monsters or encounters or anything. It should still be obviously the same game, just revised.

The way I see it, the various adventure paths and stuff they've published thus far is all stuff people are going to want to continue to use (and APs are the biggest sell of PF, from my understanding - which makes sense as all of the ones I have read have been excellent), so it should be built to still support their existing stuff, even if the existing stuff doesn't perfectly match an updated design paradigm.

Here are some of the big things I wish were different:
WBL/XMas Tree: If the game's balance is reliant on this, make it crystal clear that a DM monkeying with it will mess things up, or come up with an alternative that makes players just as good as WBL/Magic Items without expecting the DM to do anything, and then if the DM does give out magic items, make them not stack with the player character's innate things, and instead provide alternate effects. I would suggest building it into character advancement, though perhaps more frequently than at level up. You could have innate bonuses for a low magic setting, and you could allow people to take other effects like flaming in a higher magic setting.
Stand Still or Suck: Standing still to full attack is not fun. Just give people the ability to combine a full move with a full attack, interspersed however people want, or the equivalent. For your mobile type classes, make them actually fight better on turns they move than on turns they stay still. For non-mobile classes, make them fight better when they stay still, but to the severity it is now.
Too Hard to Combat Maneuver: These things make combat less tedious. If martials could all intersperse the CMBs in with their attacks, and CMBs only provoked an AoO on a failure, and martials were able to be passable on a CMB without specializing in it, combat would be less repetitive, and that would make it more interesting and fun.
Trap Options: Paizo has printed lots of these. Any time I have a friend looking to get into the game, I have to point them at the character creation guides, so that they don't accidentally shoot themselves in the foot, and not be able to keep up with the other (NOT optimized) player characters. When I go to build a character not using one of the guides, I have to skim through many options that would be shooting myself in the foot to find the usable options, and as a result it takes me much longer to build a character. I wish the Paizo people took the time to either cut these entirely, or upgrade them so they weren't so terrible, rather than printing them. Often it makes me feel particularly bad to see them, because I think: "I'm never going to get a chance to see this idea implemented in a way that's actually usable now that this has seen print."
Monster/NPC Design: This is the thing that WotC did best for 4e. Their encounter/monster design system saved the GM a great deal of time. The roles may not have been perfectly implemented, and I'm not at all suggesting locking PCs into roles, but for monsters/NPCs, they were a great idea. Building monsters for Pathfinder, and particularly building NPCs for Pathfinder, takes much too long. I read an article on multi-stage boss-monster design for 4e, doing something similar for Pathfinder would make boss fights more fun as well; and while Minions are not for everyone, they would be a nice option to have for those who want them.
Illogical Rules: I believe I remember a thread where someone showed that it is easier in PF to get out of a pin than a grapple, and that doesn't make much sense. Bullets are slow enough that they can be dodged, but armor doesn't help you (if anything that's the opposite of how that should work). Alchemist bombs and extracts stop working when you stop touching them if a teammate wants to use them, but don't stop working when you stop touching them to throw them at an enemy. I wish things that make this little sense that are this obvious would be changed before being published.
Playtests:I used to be heavily invested in these, and I remember participating as much as possible in the APG playtest and again in the ARG playtest. The first time I was very disappointed, the second time I was so disappointed that I gave up on the process entirely. I felt we were all trying hard to find the problems so they could be fixed, but when the books came out, most of the major problems that people pointed out had been left in. I wish these were handled differently, as in the past it has seemed like the playtests are not taken very seriously by the devs.
Misc:I would also like to see spellcasting synergize with multiclassing, such as Trailblazer and now 5e seem to do, and I would like to see a better BAB progression (Again I will reference Trailblazer, they had some really good ideas). Finally, I'd like to see the base versions of the weaker classes see an increase in power to at least where the mid-high powered classes base versions are.

At this point, my home games all have many houserules that significantly change the game, many of which are designed to address common problems with the system that come up again and again. I would like to see many of these things fixed in an updated Core Rules.

So that's me. If they were to make a replacement Pathfinder Core (and update the design philosophy of the game in new books), what would you wish to have done differently?


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I would very much like to see a codified "this is a universal rule for how to adapt spells that are from a different list."

Ideally it would be something as simple as a universal: When you learn a new spell, you may take a spell from another spell list. It counts as one spell-level higher.



@Eltacolibre: I think I will in fact be basing them on those guidelines, though I will probably try to codify something a bit more specific.

@Bardarok: That is a good idea as well.



If I am building a character, and I keep up with the numbers in the bestiary, how would I measure up to other player characters?

Let's say, for the sake of discussion; An optimized Summoner, an Unoptimized Summoner, a Run of the Mill Archery Ranger, an unoptimized bard, and an Unoptimized Monk.

I imagine I would be behind the two summoners, but beyone that I have no idea.

Has anyone already run the numbers for these things?


If you want to drop the XMas tree effect and WBL without breaking everything, I would recommend you do something like this Which I came up with based on Kelso's Alternative to Magic Items system, but expanded a bit.

Though to be honest, if I were to want to run this game, I would just grab Shadowrun. If you just use your own setting rather than the shadowrun setting, it does basically everything you're wanting right out of the box.



I've played in lots of games like you describe, in the past. It's only been the last couple years we started really tracking WBL and giving people free access to magic gear, after reading some posts Sean K Reynolds made about WBL.

Having tried it both ways, giving people access to the magic items they want and the money it takes to get them according to the guidelines in the book does a great deal to shore up some of the gap between tier 3 and 4 types and tier 1 and 2 types. Or, putting it another way, Ignoring the WBL and Item Assumptions the system makes significantly increases the gap between top tier classes like the druid and oracle and sorcerer and wizard and lower tier classes like the fighter and rogue and monk.

But as a GM Myself, I understand that keeping up with WBL and giving them access to a magic mart is a pain. You have to put up with them spending a session shopping rather than doing anything interesting, it detracts from how engrossed everyone is in the plot, and it takes real effort to keep track of where everyone is at for WBL, because the players aren't directly tracking it on their character sheets in a way thats easy to glance at and evaluate.

That's why I'm a fan of Kelso's idea, and why I tweaked/expanded on it a bit Here. It keeps the game balance almost the same as using WBL, except now my job as GM is easier. Players dont start unevenly lagging behind in their ability to handle encounters, and now it's just part of levelup. Once they hit level 3 and I've given them 6K Gold, they've got all the basic equipment they will need for the rest of the campaign. And I can freely Sunder o Steal the player's equipment without them getting very upset that I'm crippling them long term. Worst case scenario, they can get their gear fixed or replaced for cheap next time they go to town, and they're not permanently set back by ~20k gold for the rest of the campaign or anything like that.

Next time I go to run Pathfinder, I'll be expanding the section I put together further, probably with an actual list of effects you can get with CAPs and how much they cost.


silvermage wrote:
It's Rise of the Runelords, not a homebrew. I guess I wasn't very clear on that. But yeah, ultimately I think you're right. He has the right to do whatever he wants...we just have to deal with it for, forever. Especially me since he's my BF. He's the only person we know who can GM in the same schedule as everyone else, and also hates being a PC. We're already talking about doing Skulls an Shackles after RotR. //deep sigh.

I would not be too pleased with this GM. I am often the GM in our games (used to be all the time), and over the years I have come to the conclusion that I get very upset with a GM who adds houserules in secret or after the fact. I am sorry your situation is more complicated since he is your Boyfriend.

Either they should be public and up front, and you can build your character knowing they are there, or they need to be made known before the session. If the GM is houseruling something about a class spell or ability, it needs to be before the character is built, or he needs to allow the player to respec/build a whole new character at the same power level.

The most common offender of this is removing the WBL balance or changing magic item accessibility for instance. If that's something you want to do (it's a bad idea IMO) fine, but I need to know that before I build a character, because I want to know in advance that you'll be nerfing fighters, rogues, barbarians, etc, when I am choosing what class to play (so I know that at your table I only play Tier 1 spellcasters, because I won't have any fun playing anything Tier 3 or lower and constantly getting screwed over by the lack of equipment).

I've had this kind of complaint with a few GM's I gamed with in the past. IMO yes he can change the rules of the game; But you should be allowed to know the rules of the game in advance.

I should say, I don't necessarily disagree with your GM making resurrections be more costly; I've run games where that spell didn't exist before. However, as others have mentioned, Pathfinder is supposed to be fun, and these kinds of unpleasant surprises seriously get in the way of that. Hopefully he's willing to be more open and communicative about the houserules he wants to run with in advance, so this sort of thing doesn't happen with you in the future. I imagine you're not the only one frustrated by this.

I do remember being a new GM though, figuring out what works and what doesn't can take a bit, particularly if your first experience gaming is as the GM. My first players abandoned their quest as heroes to run a crime syndicate they started using funds they made from drug trafficking and rigging the D&D equivalent of dog-fights.


This is a question-thread, more than anything else.

It's been a while since I looked, and I've been out of the pathfinder scene for about a year (trying other games, doing less GMing, and gaming less regularly than I used to).

Are there any digital tools to automate the creation/advancement of a monster, or NPC?

How about ways to speed up combat?

Part 2 of my question is somewhat houserules or 3rd party publisher-y.
Has anyone done anything with more condensed NPC statblocks, or a tool for quickly building an NP from nothing at a given CR, to fill a certain role, without having to go through the process of building a character?

I've been pondering a new PFRPG campaign, but I would like to cut down on the prep-time, and make combat run faster, if I can.


Hmm. LordofMuck.

Someone else made another post that warranted most ofthis text, so you might come across it elsewhere, but hopefully this is helpful to you.

I would seriously recommend against messing with or removing access to WBL and the ability to spend it on whatever item you want.

This isn't because I feel entitled to crazy awesome gear, or because I dislike settings with lower magic item availability or low magic settings. I really like Conan, for instance.

Unfortunately, Pathfinder doesn't handle it well when you mess with WBL and item accessibility. Mundane Classes get screwed even more, widening the gap between them and the classes that don't rely on much equipment. Yes, you're also hurting wizards, but all of the other spellcasters do pretty well without gear, and Druids and Summoners are even more awesome, since they largely rely on pets who usually don't have any gear anyways, and the pets' stats from gear are baked-into the pet itself.

If you ARE going to remove WBL as a major thing, I would strongly suggest replacing them with something so as to maintain the game balance that exists, such as some variant of Kelso's Alternative System to Replace Magic Items. I've tried it, it worked out alright.

If I were to go into a game not knowing WBL was being discarded and a DM sprung it on me I would be very upset with the DM, as I would feel he secretly house-ruled away the game balance of many classes, particularly the weaker classes, making them much worse. If I knew about it in advance, The only classes I would build would be Druids, Summoners, or perhaps another full spellcaster that is not wizard. WBL is a big deal in the game balance of this RPG, and throwing it or the magic mart by the wayside does bad things to the system.

In my last campaign, I didnt want to deal with so many magic items, so I used a variant of Kelso's system, as I mentioned: I expanded it to include basically any magic effect you could get via WBL that increased character power (but explicitly not utility items), and it worked out quite well. They had no more trouble keeping up with CRs, and it no longer mattered how much money I gave them. You'll want to give them the same WBL up to about level 3 or so though, since that money mostly gets spent on non-magical gear; after which you can drop it off to whatever you want, or give them enough money to buy a ship or a castle, and there's a good chance they'll actually get a ship or a castle.

Here's the variant I used with my players in my last campaign, which went well. I gave them WBL up to level 3, and 75% WBL in CAPs, after which point they always got 75%WBL in CAPs, but had no guarantees for money. The reason I went with 75% is I remember reading somewhere that that's about how much WBL focused on character power it takes a fighter to keep up with CRs. I awarded it every session (I dont give exp from encounters, either, I do it like shadowrun) but you could just give it on levelup, or give half the increase when they get half way to levelup or something like that.

I should note that I *DID* give out magic items, but they didn't stack with CAPs, it was an either or. If you have a flaming sword, you need have a sufficiently high magic bonus to make use of its flaming property (+2), in which case you can trade a +1 for flaming, since they're the same price, and similar type.

It could be fleshed out even further, but this worked well when I tried it.


I realize that you may not actually care about the side-effects, but I would seriously recommend against messing with or removing access to WBL and the ability to spend it on whatever item you want.

This isn't because I feel entitled to crazy awesome gear, or because I dislike settings with lower magic item availability or low magic settings. I really like Conan, for instance.

Unfortunately, Pathfinder doesn't handle it well when you mess with WBL and item accessibility. Mundane Classes get screwed even more, widening the gap between them and the classes that don't rely on much equipment. Yes, you're also hurting wizards, but all of the other spellcasters do pretty well without gear, and Druids and Summoners are even more awesome, since they largely rely on pets who usually don't have any gear anyways, and the pets' stats from gear are baked-into the pet itself.

If you ARE going to remove WBL as a major thing, I would strongly suggest replacing them with something so as to maintain the game balance that exists, such as some variant of Kelso's Alternative System to Replace Magic Items.

If I were to go into a game not knowing this and a DM sprung it on me I would be very upset with the DM, as I would feel he secretly house-ruled away the game balance of many classes, particularly the weaker classes, making them much worse. If I knew about it in advance, The only classes I would build would be Druids, Summoners, or perhaps another full spellcaster that is not wizard. WBL is a big deal in the game balance of this RPG, and throwing it or the magic mart by the wayside does bad things to the system.


So, some of you know me, I spend more time on the Paizo boards than anywhere else on the internet, but I don't post as often as some others do.

Anyways, I had an idea for something that could be helpful in my own games, and I thought I would try to gauge interest in making such a thing for others as well.

I wanted an option comparable to D&D's Dungeon tiles in terms of how it looks, but something that's less time consuming to set up. My basic premise was Dungeon Geomorphs for use in tactical combat. So I made a few, at 300 DPI. Since my current game is in the style of Kingmaker, the examples are hex tiles, and they're forest tiles.

So I thought I would come and ask some of my favorite gamers what their opinions on the idea were.

If you could swing by my new Blog and drop me some comments/answer the poll with a couple clicks, it would be a huge help.

Here's the Blog Post.


The Beard wrote:

Well, I can go ahead and tell you that there are ways to completely negate the penalty for rough terrain. In fact, you ever heard of featherstep slippers? That's an inexpensive item that allows you to literally just ignore rough terrain, and it is possible to set up a mount to wear those. Wheeling charge will also allow the cavalier to make charging attacks at formerly impossible angles, so if you really want to shut down his damage, you'll probably need flying enemies; terrain and obstacles won't cut it anymore.

However, I will also say something else: Don't punish him because he built his character well. That is in no way deserving of you go out of your way to render him ineffective any more than you'd do it to the other party members. Simply provide groups of enemies, or if not fair sized groups, then a handful of reasonably powerful enemies should suffice. Try not to look at it as "balanced" DPR; that line of thinking is why people that enjoy optimized characters get ostracized so much already.

If the other characters weren't also supposed to be "Optimized" for combat and yet are unable to keep up it wouldnt be a concern. The rest of the group consists of an a tactician fighter (as optimized as he could manage with spears of various types (I allow weapon focus with groups, not just individual weapons), an optimized archer ranger, a fairly optimized bard, and a non-optimized blaster/utility sorcerer. (Yes, they have no healer, and no rogue). If it was just the blaster/utility sorcerer who wasn't keeping up in damage I wouldn't be concerned, but the Cavalier is doing more than double the damage of the other two combat characters.

If this was a campaign where I could just say "well, he only gets it when he is outside and able to ride his horse, and they spend half their time in a dungeon" then it would not be a concern at all. Thats not the case in this campaign.

The player has actually apologized to me that he built a character that wrecks face so much, and asked me if I needed to reign him in a bit, or if anything else needed to be done.

Anyways. Seeing what sorts of numbers are pretty reasonable for a damage-based fighter at this level show me how much above the curve he is, and I will have to mitigate it somehow. Perhaps some non-hp based encounters, or some archers on a cliff/in trees, or some flying opponents. The ranged encounters will help the Ranger feel pretty awesome, which will be good. For the non-HP encounters, maybe some monsters, that (if not killed with energy damage) split into more monsters, ala Slimes?


The reason the cavalier is doing so much is the triple damage on a charge, and due to the kind of campaign we're in, he can charge very very often. Rideby attack makes it so he's typically far enough away after the charge that the lowered AC isn't such a big deal to him.

Once he hits 6th, he'll do damage equivalent to a ranger wielding two longswords with the first TWF feat, if said ranger took no penalties to hit for any of that.

It's the "triple damage, no penalties" that puts him so far ahead of the curve.

I'm going to see how much I can curb that due to circumstances, without it seeming overly contrived. I've talked to the player and he realizes he does much more damage than normal for his level though. If that doesn't work, he's understanding if I nerf the ability (by giving it a cooldown) to put him around what an optimized fighter of his level could do, and gradually removing the cooldown so he keeps up with an optimized fighter as he levels up.

It's basically Improved Vital Strike plus, at level 4, which can be combined with powerattack and charge freely, so long as he's on a horse.


There are some good pointers here for making his "situational" ability be more situational.


theshoveller wrote:
It's not often you see someone worried about the power of the Cavalier. It warms my heart.

It's the nature of the campaign that makes the Cavalier so beefy. Lots of wilderness exploration, very little dungeon crawling.

Dabbler wrote:
Cavelier damage is situational to him riding, and he will not always be riding. Let him enjoy his time in the sun.

Because of the type of campaign though, he'll be riding & able to charge most of the time (and almost all of the time if he ever gets a flying mount).

Dabbler wrote:
If you want to get an idea of the DPR, take his stats and work them as a fighter (with favourite weapon like a falcata or falchion), barbarian (raging), paladin (smiting), or ranger (archery, fighting favoured enemy). Doesn't look so bad now, does it?

Actually, his DPR is almost triple what the fighter would get.

DPR Olympics wrote:

The damage formula is h(d+s)+tchd.

h = Chance to hit, expressed as a percentage
d = Damage per hit. Average damage is assumed.
s = Precision damage per hit (or other damage that isn't multiplied on a crit). Average damage is again assumed.
t = Chance to roll a critical threat, expressed as a percentage.
c = Critical hit bonus damage. x2 = 1, x3 = 2, x4 = 3.

Based on an enemy AC of 19.

Cavalier LV4 with a Lance in 2 hands and Spirited Charge and PA

+11 to hit. 34.5 damage 20/x3 crit = 23.805 DPR (No PA)
+10 to hit. 43.5 damage 20/x3 crit = 27.5175 DPR (PA at -1)
+9 to hit. 52.5 damage 20/x3 crit = 30.1875 DPR (PA at -2)

vs Cheapy's LV4 Fighter
+9 to hit. 21 damage 19-20/x2 = 12.6 DPR (PA at -2)


Wow. that would be a very challenging fight. I like it.


mswbear wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
mswbear wrote:
It takes me about 20 minutes to make a character and about 40 to design one from 1 to 10ish. I don't consider that long to be honest. Maybe I'm in the minority
Having solid system mastery helps a ton when it comes to speeding up character design, since a lot of the time eaten up in character creation goes to looking through all the sourcebooks and going over your options. If you already know what most of your options are and which ones fit your character concept and mechanical needs, creation goes a lot faster. A new player can easily spend hours going over the lists of feats, skills, and class abilities, trying to decide what to pick.
This is extremely fair to say.... I guess it has been such a long time since I was a new player that how long it used to take me kind of slipped my mind when I originally commented.

I've been playing since 3.0, so I'm not *new* to the system by any stretch, and when I see a crappy option I can tell almost immediately, but there are still a ton of options when I go to build NPCs, from a ton of different sources. And since they're NPCs, and I might actually TAKE some of those sub-par options for them, they usually take me longer to build than PC Characters.



Sounds intriguing.

Immediately made me think "She's implemented Final Fantasy Tactics' CT System into Pathfinder, but without "Speed Scores" to give players additional turns if they're outright faster."


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At a glance this doesn't seem problematic.

Though I will note I think it might be easier to make it a magus archetype with channel energy and a couple other healing spells added to the list.

Possibly base it on the 3.X Warmage or Duskblade (the 3.X versions of the Magus.


Claxon wrote:

You're house rule essentially gives pounce to everyone. That's a huge change to the game.

Monster with several natural attacks will benefit greatly from this as they will pretty much always be able to full attack. At the same time your characters will do they same. Be aware that melee characters can throw up huge damage numbers when they're getting full attacks every round. You will probably need to increase the CR of enemies/buff them in order to provide a challenge and avoid using enemies with a single big attack.

Yeah, it means everyone is getting their ideal number of attacks every round.

I was thinking of only giving you half-move if you wanted all your attacks, and full move if you only took half of them. I ended up saying we'd try out full move + full attack when other people said they were using that rule and hadn't had any major issues with it.

It hasn't proven to be a problem yet, but I will make adjustments if it becomes one.


Whisperknives wrote:
1. Offense will always beat defense in D&D/Pathfinder.

Yep. That's true.

Whisperknives wrote:

2. Know your power levels of your characters: certain classes or builds are just plain not as powerful or useful as some others. Make sure that everyone gets a little spotlight once an arc.

Ex. My group that I play with is always full of well made and well built characters who will have very few weaknesses. We had two very well made archers and a blaster specialist sorcerer, the last character was a healing and tanking based Paladin. With the Paladin's very poor skills, crappy offense outside of a smiting situation and generally the team almost never getting hurt die to good tactics and powerful builds 90% of the time the Paladin sat around bored.

That was until the giant hoard of undead showed up, then the Paladin got a moment to shine throwing around damaging channel positive energy abilities and offensive and defensive lay on hands.

Share the spotlight.

This one is always solid advice for GMing.

Whisperknives wrote:

3. Be brutally honest.

As I said, not every build is useful, let people know what they are getting into.

Ex. If you have a well made Healing Oracle, a Fighter who is both a monster on offense and defense, a skillful and well rounded Ranger, and versatile Wizard with good feat selection, you might want to inform the guy who wants to play a low charisma, strength based, Gnome, Bard with a dagger that he might want to rethink a few things.

I do this one. I also advice against the Paladin character in the CN Mercenary party, and Rogues and Monks in pretty much every game (unless I'm really confident that the player knows what he's doing when he builds a character).

Whisperknives wrote:

4. The most important thing of all though, plan a good story ahead of time.

Get your plot set and monster or NPC cheat sheets ready ahead of time, nobody likes sitting around while you look up a spell or a monster ability. Think your plot out like a TV show, each game is an episode, and each story arc is a season. Progress plot with cliff hangers and reveals in mind

This definitely makes a difference.

Werebat wrote:
GM's Guide to Creating Challenging Encounters

That looks fantastic! I will have to examine it more thoroughly.

Werebat wrote:
Be aware that a small horde of relatively low-CR monsters will end up being terrain more than anything else, as they won't actually be able to hit most of the PCs.

Yeah, in some cases it might be better to use Jason Bulmahn's minion rules instead of low CR NPCs, or use said minion rules to figure out what to do for to-hit bonuses and whatnot.

Whisperknives wrote:

Your house rules are rather unbalanced.

Battlefield positioning and tactics are less important when everyone can just move around the battlefield and full attack or throwing combat maneuvers around like candy because if built correctly they will only fail on a 1.

Its possible I went too far in the other direction. I've always felt the baseline rules penalize mobility and variety too much, and I have always disliked it. As for the combat maneuvers, I like combat maneuvers, but they come up so rarely. The goal was to make it so making a combat maneuver is a viable alternative to attacking, and not just for combat maneuver specialists, but for everyone. Ideally, there's a bit of movement from most characters every round, and someone attempts a combat maneuver every combat (in a party with no combat maneuver specialists). I thought the mobility would help clear up martial-caster disparity a bit at the higher levels, and I had hoped more combat maneuvers would help martials out with options a bit more as well. I don't really want the scenario where they only fail on a 1, but I also don't want the scenario where "you only trip a guy if your character's schtick is tripping people."


Sarcasmancer wrote:

Hm. This is purely blue-skying but:

1) You take the average HP for a monster of CR = level
2) You assume a combat should last four rounds, so divide by four
3) You assume that there are four PCs contributing, so divide by four again; that would be your baseline
4) You figure out your PC's average damage per round, taking into account number of attacks, miss chance, average damage, etc. (against a monster of CR = level, using average monster AC from the same table)
5) A frontline fighter should probably be able to do up to 2 times the baseline with a standard attack?

This isn't airtight but maybe gives you a framework to start from. Feel free to amend my assumptions if you think they're unrealistic.

Not a bad place to start.

That doesn't factor in miss chance, or damage reduction; but yeah, that looks like where to start. I was just hoping someone had already done the heavy lifting for me. :P


Even if you know what you're doing, if you're GMing, and need to make a couple NPCs per session, it takes a long while (longer than I'd like).


I think it's not usually done that way for reasons of simplicity.

It would be a lot more to keep track of if done that way.

If you'd like it done that way, I would probably suggest you break rounds up into passes, much like in shadowrun.


I just started a campaign last weekend, it's been quite a while since I've DMed a game (at least a year and a half) and I'm feeling rusty.

Can I get some tips/pointers on some good combat tactics to run?
Possibly some tips/pointers for good/challenging encounters?

There are only a few REALLY noteworthy houserules we're using, which might influence tactics strategies:

1. You can go your move speed with a full attack.
2. You only provoke AoOs on Combat Maneuvers if they fail.
3. AoOs are less deadly (Unarmed Strike or Combat Maneuvers only - and these things don't provoke when done as a AoO, no full-blown AoO weapon attacks), BUT everyone and their mother has Combat Reflexes.

Can other GMs give some examples of any notably fun/challenging encounters/tactics you've run in your games?

Also interested in cool/fun environments/maps for a combat.



Rynjin wrote:
Is it fun for him?

- Yes

Rynjin wrote:
Is it fun for the rest of the party?

- So Far, no complaints. It's only been one session.

Rynjin wrote:
Is it fun for you?

- It's been making combat on my side rather boring, as the enemies don't seem to pose much of a challenge most of the time. When they were attacked by Basilisks while sleeping (the chevalier cavalier was on watch and got petrified) that was a fun way to mix it up; I'm not saying he can't be in the fight, just that the scenarios where he does what seems to be crazy high damage make those fights too trivial.

Suggestions on ways/scenarios where I can throw him into a fight that he can't charge every round (but might be able to charge once or twice) could be good.

Obv, he can't charge in dense forest, he can't charge flying opponents, and he can't charge people who have sturdy cover to shoot at him from behind. What other options do I have where he's not charging every round?

Rynjin wrote:

If the party is like "Hey man it's really fun watching you annihilate people but I'd like a piece of something now and then", it might be more fun to go with MORE enemies, rather than more powerful ones.

After all, he can only *SPLAT* one guy a round so instead of tossing one CR 5-6 enemy a fight at them, start tossing 4 or 5 CR 4 guys or 7 or 8 CR 2-3 people.

Fun for the whole family.

Good general advice anyway. Single monster fights are pretty much designed to be pushovers unless the CR gap is ludicrous.

Yeah, they haven't been taking on many single enemy fights.

9 mounted bandits (CR 4 minion rule human bandits and a CR 6 warrior from NPC Codex, that I put on a horse)
2 CR 4 minion groups and a CR 6.
This one was a cakewalk.

2 CR 5 Basilisks, while they were sleeping.
Kindof easy, except for the cavalier who was helpless for the fight.

4 CR3 Shadows
He had an easy time of them due to Rideby/Charge, the other players struggled with it, and found it a tricky fight due to all the strength damage.

4 Drow Minions (CR 4 for the group)
Super cakewalk, but this one wasn't supposed to be that tough.

In addition to the story-based fights, I'm making use of random encounter tables for their overland travel. They also encountered (but did not fight) 3 Dryads (Social), a Nymph (Social * The Cavalier and Bard aren't humanoid, so they were immune to the blindness effect), two Forest Giants (The giants were busy off in the distance, PCs did not engage), and an adult Green Dragon (it didn't notice them).

It mostly went well, but any fight the cavalier could spirited rideby charge he really splatted the enemies, and they either weren't much of a challenge, or simply weren't a challenge to *him*.

DM_Blake wrote:
By the way, it's incredibly funny when a cavalier's horse gets subject to a Fear effect, and pretty much every casting class gets Cause Fear at level 1, so maybe those enemies have a priest or shaman or sorcerer with them and the minute he sees that cavalier laying waste to his meat shields, that caster is gonna make the cavalier's horse go the other way for a while.

Ooh. I hadn't considered that as a tactic. I like it.

DM_Blake wrote:
Don't forget, you're already at the level where its easier to kill the horse than the rider, and enemies will only be too happy to take his horse out from under him. Side benefit - killing the horse means he might have to go several encounters fighting without a mount, at least until he can find another war-trained mount to replace it. Not a nice thing to do all the time, but once in a while, just to keep him grounded (pun intended).

His mount is an animal companion, not just a plain horse. But its true that it's an easier target than he is. I don't want to break that one out regularly, but I might do that once or twice. I imagine he will go to the trouble of having it resurrected if/when that happens. We'll see.


What it says in the title.

List something/some things that take too long and are therefore tedious/annoying. Feel free to discuss previous examples if the thread as well, but make sure we know which thing you're talking about - if you have suggestions to make the thing less annoying, I'm sure we'd love to hear it.

1. Building Characters: Requires lots of cross-referencing, lots of the options are crap, and herolab costs a fortune and still doesn't have everything (I don't know anyone who uses it; it would cost me hundreds of dollars or hundreds of hours of my own work before I would consider it a good solution to building characters).

I (as someone who prefers to GM using humanoid opponents) find this particularly frustrating/tedious. I do make use of the NPC Codex and a few other collections of NPCs though, and they really help.

2. Designing Monsters: I feel like the rules are too fuzzy, and as a result, after I've built the monster I start looking for comparison points to existing monsters and adjusting things up or down. It's just annoyingly slow.

3. Designing Interesting Fights. From terrain, to which monsters/NPCs to use, to what tactics the enemies should use, to what loot to give out, I find this takes a really long time as GM Prep.

4. Looking up rules (if you're not using d20PFSRD (Better Layout) or Archives of Nethys (Covers More Pathfinder Stuff).

What have you guys got?


Oh. Sure. I can step up my tactics, now that I've seen the ability in use.

But if I can see what kind of DPR spine is *reasonable* for pathfinder characters, I can see just how often I should try using tactics to deny him his bonus, and how often I should just let him revel in totally messing up people's faces with a lance and a horse.


I'm running a kingdom building game, the players are level 4, one of them is a high strength cavalier who us enjoyoing the crap out of spirited charge and a lance and rideby attack.

However, he can basically one-shot any CR appropriate thing I've thrown at him thus far.

I find myself curious though:
What is a reasonable/fair/balanced average DPR at each level for a player character?

Is it the same as for monsters? Can I gauge player character power using the monster guidelines?

Has anyone run any stats they can point me to that calculate the "Spine" of player stats?


Hmm. I imagine you're giving up more than you're gaining, unless that eidolon blob familiar is much more powerful than I think that will make it.


No no, thats fine.

That would be tricky though. hmm.

I'm not quite certain how to handle this. =/

I'm leaning toward just using the cooldowns.


I was thinking that you would get whatever number of points would result in you being able to build the pre-existing animal companions, perhaps with some options so you could take the Eidolon building rules and use them to build Animals, Magical Beasts, and Dragons as well as outsiders.

The idea should be that you get something the same power as the actual animal companions, but instead of choosing from a big list, you can build whatever you can afford to build.


Thelemic_Noun wrote:
Darkholme wrote:
Yes, that's true. You'd have to come up with a formula for the general case, and then look at individual spells and see what they need for cooldown.
Recharge magic already did that here, though it's not fully balanced.

That handles all of the spells in the D&D 3.5 PHB. I was referring to covering all the other spells that people have from other sources, and all of the pathfinder exclusives.

Probably the easiest way to do it would be to assign cooldowns as things come up, and do it gradually.


Yes, that's true. You'd have to come up with a formula for the general case, and then look at individual spells and see what they need for cooldown.


Did you see the recharge magic variant that was linked, and then relinked by me? Each spell would/could have a cooldown time. If a spell probably shouldn't be usable very often, that cooldown time could be like 12 hours.


So, here are some of the options I'm seeing, if one wanted to get rid of X/Day.

I'm going to refer to people with X/day abilities as wizards, for simplicity. However, I actually mean wizards, sorcerers, druids, barbarians, paladins, etc.

1. Recharge Magic: This is fairly elegant in that wizards are powered down if you have less encounters per day, they're powered up if you have more encounters per day, and "out of combat" spells will have more of a cooldown than in-combat spells. The downside, is if you want to play a spellcaster who uses lots of wall of stone to control a battlefield, now you can't.
It would need some tweaking, and you'd have to figure out how to handle the cooldown times for other abilities, but I think it could be quite good. Likely the cooldown times would scale based on the ability's old progression and the assumed number of encounters and duration of encounters. So if you have an ability that is 8/day, based on 4 fights per day and 4 rounds of combat per fight (16 rounds total) you have an ability you can use 50% of the time, IE 1 round cooldown.
Da'ath has one he's using for SLA progression, which I think has potential.
2. Spell Points: This is still based around X/Day, but you have the points to decide what you use them for. It's granting increased flexibility. This could have potential as a universal pool for stuff. I think you'd want to figure out how to do a good job with it for multiclassing, and move basically all limited use abilities into this system, as well as provide 1/4 the points, and some means of recharging them. You may want to combine it with the cooldowns for some out of combat abilities you don't want people to spam in non-time sensitive parts of the game.
3. Drawbacks, such as potentially taking nonlethal damage, or ability damage that goes away or some such, which you would make a check to avoid based on your level and the power of the thing you're attempting, so you can still cast meteor storm several times in one combat, but you'll still really want to weigh your options to decide if its worth it.
4. An Activation roll, which means you're risking failure each time you cast it. I'm not necessarily convinced this is a bad idea. If you have 4 6th level spells per day, your first casting should have a 100% chance of success,the second a 75% chance of success, the third a 50% chance of success, and the fourth a 25% chance of success. However, if you were to get rest, you'd be back up to 100%. It becomes tricky if you have less than 4/day. If something is 1/day, do you want to risk 25% success rate to cast it? In that case, maybe the first use should still be 100%, but it takes a full day to recover, or something. Combining an activation roll with the recharge. You'd be recharging your success rate, rather than the spell in its entirety.

Hmmm. Perhaps by combining these things, or using some combination of them, it would be better.


HaraldKlak wrote:

I am not entirely sold on the idea.

Firstly, I haven't really encountered a problem with novaing due to X/day abilities, unless you count spells as such.

Spells are the most obvious example of X/Day abilities.

HaraldKlak wrote:
Imo, X/day abilities work, because they require the players to balance the ressource consumption. While there might be more or fewer encounters than four per day, not knowing if they'll need the juice around the next corner, tend to make PCs hold back on their ressources.

That is, assuming on most days, there are 4 fights. If, on average, there are only 2 or 3 fights due to a slightly less combat heavy game, or if there are more than 4 routinely because of players playstyles (say if 5 or 6 fights a day becomes common) then the the balance of classes with X/day is completely thrown out of whack.

HaraldKlak wrote:

Having abilities reset after a short rest is more problematic, as I see it. Suddenly it doesn't become a choice of using them or not, but rather just using it once or twice in each encounter.

As a GM, I find it rather easy to make a set up, where the players can't take a 15 minute adventuring day, as the world around them isn't static just because they choose to wait a day or two. It requires me to put an whole other level of stress on the adventure, if I am going to make it a hard choice to take a short rest.

This is how I have managed this in the past. But that means you *have* to run that intense of a game. The GM may want to run something less combat heavy, and in that case, those X/Day powers are suddenly much better. I find myself about to run a different style of campaign, wherein I intend for about 1/3 of the game to be kingdom building, and the players may not have 4 encounters a day on average.

HaraldKlak wrote:

As an alternative, if you are concerned with X/day abilities going nova, you should consider putting a time limit on their use, like monsters' breath weapon. Whether 1d4 round, 1 minute or 1 hour, it derives the PCs the option to spam certain powers. You could keep the daily limit to avoid abuse in some instances.

But it is a huge amount of work, determining for each ability how often it is reasonable to use.

Hmm. That is an interesting idea, as well.

HaraldKlak wrote:
As for the activation roll, I can only see it work for certain abilities. Less powerful abilities is going to be a non-option in the game, if the is an actual risk of wasting your action trying to activate them.

Perhaps. People make attack rolls all the time even though there is a chance of a wasted action.

HaraldKlak wrote:

I think it would be better to add a chance of a negative consequence of using said abilities. In some games, I've had use of magic be strainful to the caster. In the hard version, a spellcraft check was needed to avoid a con penalty when casting spells. In a milder version, said check gave non-lethal damage.

The point here, was more to do with limiting magic and make it a grittier business, but something similar might be used to limit the use of X/day abilities.

That could work as well. You'd want it to get more difficult the more spells they cast, and the more powerful spells they cast, but you'd want them to also get better at it the more levels they have, the result being a 20th level wizard could spam 1st level spells with nearly no consequence, but would only be able to cast a couple 9th level spells.

9toes wrote:

Have you ever played Iron Kingdoms? They have this arcane pool thing and each spell costs a certain amount of arcane points to activate. With a lot of thinking you could turn spells from X/day into arcane points to activate, and then change how much damage things do. Like yea you can cast a fireball, but depending on how strong you want that fireball depends on how many points your willing to spend. And your allowed so many arcane points per turn. So whatever your casting stat is plus your caster level could determine your arcane points per turn and so on. Its a bit different but it works good in Iron kingdoms. I say arcane but you can use it for divine casters too. The problem with that is every round a wizard will just lob a crap ton of weak fireballs all over the place, or a druid will just stand back and chain lightning everything to death. Which is really what they end up doing anyways if they arent changing into some freakishly strong animal.

Personally i think the X/day is more balanced for gameplay, while an arcane pool is better off movie-like where sorcerers spend hours blasting each other with magic.

There's something like this available already, in the form spell points.

Coyote_Ragtime wrote:
If it were up to me, Sorcerers would use a mana pool, Faith characters would use an activation roll, and Wizards would do everything using limited resources. Those just make more sense to me as far as roleplay goes, but then again I have no idea about the complex algebra that goes into designing this stuff.

That would certainly give them all a unique flavor, but it would not solve the balance annoyance I'm looking to get rid of.

Shiney wrote:

Again, this is something that's largely determined by roleplay versus rollplay, I'm big on the side of roleplay here. I am always, and likely always will be an advocate of the 3.5 rule Recharge Magic

I wouldn't be above a similar system being implemented towards other x/days, within reason. It does change up the balance a bit, but by applying this uniformly, it ends up becoming a great way to make sense with your character, and worry a little less about daily resource management, and more about your in-combat resource management.


"So you can call fire from nothing, and push lightning out through your nose, but you can't put together the levitation spell you already did twice today?"

"*Sigh* Yes, that's correct."



I was unaware of this mechanic. It's interesting, and may work well in the future.

Da'ath wrote:
I've been experimenting with the following recharge time for abilities that were previously x/day. It has made things a bit interesting, thus far.

Ah. I see that's for SLAs. That could work for them, though that seems to be assuming you have the same number of times per day, no?

Like, if an ability is 7/day at third level, how would that convert to your cooldowns?


There are certainly way more bad feats than good feats, unfortunately. They really make you swim through the garbage feats to find the good ones.

That said, while I dont mind the idea of getting feats through a means other than a fixed progression, and allowing characters to take something else instead of a feat, I don't think the idea of "spending" XP on a feat and delaying levelup is a good idea. It can result in wildly varying party levels.

I make use of Character Advancement Points, which is a houserule wherein the characters get a number of points to spend on magical enhancements that make their character more powerful, but they still use money to buy utility magic. The number of CAPs they get is based on 75% WBL rounded to the nearest 1000 gp. WBL is now the WBL minus the CAPs. I give them a bit of extra money at the beginning for mundane gear. The point is players will get less upset if some of their gear gets stolen or sundered, and it'll also be less of a big deal if they come into a ton of money. They can't sell the fortress you gave them to buy more combat effectiveness.

Anyways. I'd be more inclined to allow them to spend CAPs on feats, with a limit on how many feats they can have in total (maybe 75% of Character Level, giving them up to 150% of the feats they'd normally have), but I would have feats get exponentially more expensive, and I would roll the entire feat attainment system into CAPs based on those prices, so they could opt for less feats, or taking feats early and taking enhancements later, or what have you.

I haven't figured out the details of how I would want to do it, but its in my future plans.


How would it be a power increase to stop players from spamming noncombat abilities?

It seems pretty straightforward to me:

If you're wanting to transform them into per encounter powers:
x/day = (x/4)/encounter.
If x/encounter is fractional (which it will be most of the time) you need to determine how to handle that.

Alternately, use those rules for a mana pool, and take the total mana pool points/day it gives you, and divide it by four for encounters.

Personally, I would prefer to see the resources done away with, and instead have something similar to shadowrun or buffy rpg spellcasting.

The tricky/important thing is to try to maintain the same balance, while excising the assumption you want to be free of.


Icyshadow wrote:
Darkholme wrote:

I dont care for the paladin, myself.

I find the roleplaying limitations they have has caused more problems in my game than good.

Paladins have resulted in more player character murder than a rogue stealing from the party.
1. Paladin objects to something one of the (very likely neutral) characters has done.
2. Characters argue. Most of the party backs the non-paladin, or worst case, 50/50 split.
3. This happens a few more times.
4. Paladin player either can't justify continued association with the party, or can't justify allowing the actions of one of the characters to continue.
5. Character leaves, Total party dissolution, or fight to the death.
6. Goodbye ongoing plot.

I'd be more inclined to allow the Genius Templar than the Paladin.

Yeah, and those problems aren't going away any time soon.

Works out okay if you simply don't allow paladins.

Depending on the group, sitting down and talking with them about making a cohesive group before the game starts also helps.


Has anyone toyed with this?

Basic Premise
Anything that's X/Day (Spells or otherwise) gets altered to a different mechanic. Perhaps things recover with a short rest. Perhaps you have to make an activation roll, which gets more difficult the more often you do it, but again, recovers with a short rest.

X/day abilities are balanced around the assumption of (the equivalent of) 4 CR appropriate fights per day. Each fight typically lasts 4-5 rounds, IIRC. So X/Day combat abilities are balanced around the idea of "I can do this X/16 to X/20 of the time."

Reasons to Change It
1. If changed, the Players cannot Nova their abilities. This is good most of the time (not all players have the ability to nova). And being able to do so can make the guys who can't have less fun.
2. X/day abilities tend to be more powerful than at will abilities due to their limited use. If those characters aren't getting pushed to do the equivalent of 4 fights per day, those characters are significantly more powerful.
3. This frees you up to have less, or more combat encounters, as you (the GM/Players) want, without buggering the character balance.


I dont care for the paladin, myself.

I find the roleplaying limitations they have has caused more problems in my game than good.

Paladins have resulted in more player character murder than a rogue stealing from the party.
1. Paladin objects to something one of the (very likely neutral) characters has done.
2. Characters argue. Most of the party backs the non-paladin, or worst case, 50/50 split.
3. This happens a few more times.
4. Paladin player either can't justify continued association with the party, or can't justify allowing the actions of one of the characters to continue.
5. Character leaves, Total party dissolution, or fight to the death.
6. Goodbye ongoing plot.

I'd be more inclined to allow the Genius Templar than the Paladin.


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MrSin wrote:
Ideally, the GM is balancing it. Or at least that's the go to response I know.

But balancing it how?

It's not like WBL, or Encounters/Day, where there's some kind of guidelines to follow (those are still not a great idea). Just what proportion of the enemies you face are supposed to be of a type they took Favored Enemy in, and what proportion are supposed to be of what alignment?

The game would definitely run much smoother if you didn't have to worry about "how much gold have I given them? how much did they waste on consumeables, that I'm now supposed to give them the cash to replace? how much did they lose from selling things? how am I going to make sure there are 3-5 fights each day before they get a chance to rest so that the people with X/day abilities (like spells) can't blow them all in one fight? how many of the fights have to be against evil enemies? how many have to be one of the ranger's favored enemies?"

In my home games I've done away with WBL, and instead they get CAPs with their exp, which they spend on stuff that makes them more effective, and their money is for basic gear and utility items (and thus it's fine if they get way more, or way less, at any given point). I haven't figured out a solution to X/day abilities beyond "make sure they fight the equivalent of 4 CR appropriate fights each day, if there's only going to be one fight, it should be against 4-5 monsters of their CR.", and I haven't gotten around to houseruling alignment. I hadn't really considered favored enemy. I think I'll just offer some alternate ability players can take instead that won't be so swingy.

The game balance would be much easier to manage as a GM if they hadn't baked in all these crazy assumptions the GM needs to maintain, or if Paizo had changed those assumptions.

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