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Cayden Cailean

Darkholme's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Society Member. 1,342 posts (1,842 including aliases). 2 reviews. 2 lists. 1 wishlist. 14 aliases.


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My guess is that it's arcane, but with much being so naturey I wasn't 100% sure.

For instance, looking at the dryad, on the one hand, the SLAs are CHA based (Arcane) but on the other hand most of the SLAs come from the druid & ranger lists(Divine), but a couple come from arcanist sorcerer wizard (Arcane again).

I would imagine they are all divine or all arcane, but I was wondering which one it was.

My guess is arcane.


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wraithstrike wrote:

Actually the problem is that people can't accept nonmagical people doing extraordinary things. They limit bar is set much lower in people's minds.

See how much people "love" Tome of Battle. -_-

My objections to Tome of Battle revolve around my dislike of "Encounter Powers" and "X/Arbitrary Time Period" for anything I can't easily explain with "Yep, that's just how magic works in this setting".

I can't make much sense (in-character) as to why a barbarian/swashbuckler can no longer rage, but isn't too tired to keep using Grit points. I would be much happier if everything was moved to a single pool of "stuff you have limited access to" because then it could at least be "when you're too tired/you've used up your mana/ki/chakra"; or even better, keep making some kind of Save vs Fatigue rolls when you do stuff, and the DCs go up if you haven't had a breather/have done too many things without rest. Failed roll means you start taking gradually increasing fatigue penalties.

Obviously that isn't going to happen. But my point is that ToB took the part of the game I had the most problems with, and made that the mechanical premise of an entire book. That, for me, is the bulk of why I did not like ToB. It's also one of the major reasons I did not enjoy playing 4e (not the only reason, but definitely top 3).

Did it make the Fighters able to keep up with the Mages better, mechanically? Yes.
Did it go far enough that my suspension of disbelief wouldn't suspend far enough for me to enjoy it? Also Yes.


I just DL'ed the logo off the compatibility page. Borderless AI logo file. That's what I was looking for. Looks much nicer. :)


Thanks Liz, yeah that's what I was referring to. I just saw the bit of texture they added to the banner, and I was wondering if that was cool, or if it pushed the boundaries of what you the license described. Because if it's okay to keep the shapes and colors, but add a tiny bit of texture to the banner, I can make the cover look a bit nicer.

@Marc, when I say "Blend into the cover" I'm referring to having it look like it belongs on the book, rather than looking like some kind of sticker or an MS Paint copy paste job, or something.

Example Midgard Campaign Setting blends in like it's supposed to be there, while the logo on This PDF stands out like an ugly sticker. Also, it has a screwed up Aspect Ratio on the logo. I imagine it was by accident, but it's definitely an alteration of the proportions.


Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:

I don't know if I can let this go.

I'm considering a replacement.

Will post back here if anything comes of it, be ready to re-submit whatever you had up there.

Hmm. I am interested in seeing what if anything you come up with, Mythic Evil Lincoln.

Dot for Interest.


Dot for Interest.


So, out of curiosity: Are we allowed to add textures to blend it in with the cover/make it look better a little bit?

I thought the answer was a clear no, but then I came across this.


I agree Redward. I'm not saying this combo SHOULD stack (from an intent/balance perspective). I'm saying that I'm pretty sure, RAW, it currently does.

I also agree with you that if they change the general rule, rather than providing errata specific to this case, that opens a whole mess of consequences they'll also have to figure out.


@Marcus; none of that is very specific though.

What if steve and mike both build archery rangers, and I want to be able to accurately and meaningfully compare them?

I'm not sure what sort of industry you'e referring to, but it sounds like you're describing an industry where they can't take their measurements by running statistics. For instance, for car safety, they often crash many cars (crash test dummies) to collect data regarding the car's safety.


Anzyr wrote:
How would you choose a benchmark though? That's really the issue here. Is the benchmark Bob? Or is it Joe? And why is that benchmark meaningful? I mean I can see comparing different players classes, but that seems like a lot of work for little value to me.

The benchmark would be neither Bob nor Joe. The benchmark would be one that is designed to be able to take on 1/4 of four CR appropriate encounters, and by the last one, have the 50/50 chance of survival. The benchmark doesn't represent a specific character build, it would be a benchmark to compare all character builds against. The benchmark would be designed to meet specific odds of success and probabilities, based on the estimated CR guidelines in the books. In the case of the wizard, it would be a weak wizard. In the case of a rogue, it would likely be a highly optimized rogue.

This gives you a point of comparison to see how above or below the power curve you are.

Additionally, if there's a big disparity between players (an obvious one would be an optimized wizard and a poorly built rogue, but for less obvious ones would be where it would be helpful) this could help you see it before game so the guy lagging behind could be helped out to atch up a bit to the other players.


But; showing where Bob and Joe are on the power curve was the point from the beginning.

I've got no real interest in a broad generalization about how classes work in general. The tier system/niche system covers that well enough that I can guess, even if I don't have hard numbers to work with.

I'm interested in being able to say: "Okay. Bob built a Wizard. How does this compare in performance to our wizard(s) built specifically to match the game's power curve (the CR benchmark wizard)? How does it compare in performance to Joe's Wizard? How about if we look a bit further, and compare Bob's Wizard to Steve's Sorcerer, or Bill's Arcanist, or Mike's Master Summoner?"

That's useful in lots of ways; particularly if the measuring process is automated (you would have to be able to automate it for it to be useful, IMO). Have all of your party punch in their numbers into a computer program or spreadsheet, and be able to see any likely character power disparities, be able to see how much your party is above or below the power curve for all of the monsters (and therefore how much to adjust your encounters by, if you would want to), and be able to easily compare your party against any given set of encounters, and see their approximate odds of survival, how much of their daily/limited resources they'll have to expend to handle the encounters, and how long it will take for them to do so.

You could look at your party and say "I know they're highly optimized; so just how hard would they find this 3.5 module that's 2 levels above them?"

If you wanted to see how specific classes compared, I guess you could compare the most tricked out wizard you can build to the benchmark wizard, and you could have someone build some average competence wizards of the common types that crop up (evoker, conjurer, god-wizard) to see how they compare to the benchmark wizard. You could then keep those numbers, and run similar tests for other classes. Comparing those numbers, you could measure the raw power each class is capable of when well optimized, as well as the average power level of the class.

But again, that's much less helpful (IMO) than being able to compare various specific characters.

I wouldn't mind being able to punch in some numbers and see "would the party do better if our 6th player ran another fighter, or another bard", etc; and just how much better?


Just coming back to this thread. Are we now not comparing Bob's Wizard Build to Joe's Sorcerer Build? I thought that was precisely the point. To be able to compare specific character builds to evaluate their effectiveness, and have a bunch of pre-calulated metrics which they can be compared against, like "If your threat removal focused character can remove a CR appropriate threat on his own in 2 rounds, you're keeping up with the power curve". So you can see what areas you're ahead/behind the curve, and by how much.

Oh well.

I will, I guess, sit back and watch the random dungeon simulation and see if anything interesting comes from it.


That's not a bad suggestion, Gambit.

I just made This Thread at GitP, so that anyone there who wants to run with this can.

I mention this in case anyone here is interested in following the thread there.


The Tier System is great as a way to gauge your expectations of a class before building a character.

It's not helpful at all at examining in detail, the capabilities of a specific character.

If someone could come up with a way to use the tier system to tell me precisely how long it will take a particular character to overcome a CR appropriate foe without help, or precisely how much benefit the party is getting from me casting wall of stone (or the like) to limit the number of monsters the party has to face simultaneously or precisely how much more effective I am making my allies when I cast buff spell Y such that I could mathematically decide if we get more benefit in a particular instance from the buff or from me making an attack roll, then the tier list would cover the premise of this thread. All while taking into consideration that I can expect to go through 3-5 encounters in a day, and therefore if I blow everything I have in the first fight, I'm going to struggle through the other 2-4.

Given that the tier list is just a generalized class-based list on what you can expect when building a generic build of a given class, I don't see that happening.

This is a thread about acquiring specific and helpful information about specific character builds. That's why all of the people who clearly have not been paying attention and have been suggesting general sortof kindof wishy washy nonspecific class generalizations have not answered the question of the thread.

That Niche Ranking system, however, could prove useful if ideas are taken from them. The Niche Ranking system gives a good idea of what things need to be measured,and the number of good scores on the individual Niches would show you exactly how versatile/one-trick-pony a particular build is.


*squints at Nephril with a great deal of suspicion*

That sounds... Dubious at best.




I disagree. I think it's entirely reasonable to want a race system to be able to build races balanced with the ones in pathfinder core, as well enable you to make other races at various points of balance, such as design races on par with the Drow Nobles.

Obviously I as the GM will have to decide on the power level, because stock humans are not on the same power level as Drow Nobles, but if I ever decide that I want to run a game of more powerful, exotic races, that should also be possible.

I think Paizo had the right idea on allowing higher-budget races;but I think they missed the mark on how they presented the various options and what they priced many of them as in relation to eachother.



Really? Questions about changes in the profanity policy and you post here with THAT username? You do realize this could have negative repercussions for you, yes?


lemeres wrote:
We are just looking at making a murder machine with the highest consistent DPR over an entire battle. Any turn you aren't murdering is a turn where the wizard is taking care of things with Save or Die spells.

Hmm. "Looking at making a murder machine with the highest consistent CR appopriate kill count over an entire adventuring day (4 battles)".

A SoS focused caster (or even a blaster) could meet these criteria quite well, so long as they could do so for four fights per day.

But really, it's more about having a means of measuring how good any given character is at being a murder machine, based on these criteria.

Could you also come up with ways to precisely measure a character's capability to do other things? Absolutely.

This was mostly me taking a few gripes Wrath had with the assumption that DPR being the best way to measure martials, and tossing out some ideas for alternate ways to measure martial efficacy which might come closer to modeling at-table effectiveness, to see if anyone else could get something awesome out of it.

Anywho; I wish you luck Wrath. I gave a few ideas to try to get the ball rolling. I have some other things I am working on, and I cannot make this project a priority right now. I will check on this thread periodically to see what if anything other people do with it.



That player sounds like a nightmare.

I explicitly have a rule regarding summons that you are not allowed to reference the rulebook on your turn.

You should know what your abilities do.If you don't know what they do off the top of your head (accurately), and don't have them printed out next to your character sheet/on a cue card or something, you don't have them. This was the reason my previous girlfriend was no longer allowed to play druids. She was as bad at her spells/summons as what you described.

Likewise for prepared spells. Also, if you're not leveled up when you arrive for game, we're not waiting for you. If you drag the party down because of your bad behavior (not showing up to game with your character finished/ready is rude and inconsiderate to everyone), well, my players have voted to kick someone before.

But yeah, bad gaming is worse than no gaming.


Hmm. Just in case you hadn't considered it, I would expect a full caster class that doesn't actually use its spells would be quite weak. Those spells tend to be the bulk of the power of a full caster, particularly the arcane ones.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

So, over in another thread, Chris Lambertz, pointed out that the Community Guidelines have recently changed, and Ashiel raised some questions about a section that was a bit odd/confusing.

Since the question didn't get addressed in the original thread (and wasn't related to that thread itself), and I am curious to hear a bit more on this particular question/point, I thought I would re-post the question here, in the hopes that it will be addressed.

Chris Lambertz wrote:
Removed some posts and responses from over the weekend. Guys, we know that tempers and emotions can run high, especially in discussions concerning rules and mechanics. Please remember that the person you're talking to is still an actual person on the other side of the screen. It may have been missed, but we have revised our Community Guidelines recently, and I invite you to read them over if you haven't yet. In situations like this, it's probably best to remove yourself from the situation, get away from the keyboard and take a breather, and send us an email ( if you think a thread requires moderator attention.
Ashiel wrote:

I was reading the new guidelines and I found something that doesn't make sense. Under the section for profanity / vulagar speech, it says:

Trying to get around our profanity filter or purposefully obscuring profanity/vulgar phrases is not acceptable.

This is exactly what your profanity filter already does. Why does obscuring vulgar language violate the rules? Isn't that something that would be, y'know, preferred?

I'm not sure I understand how the Paizo language filter isn't breaking your own guidelines like this. Take for example a post I made (intended to be jovial) involving a genie and screwing up your wishes. If the phrase was:

"Genie, you're going to grant me a wish and this time you are not going to explicative description it up! >:(" (I think this just actually violated the guideline actually)

Then there's the shorthand for explicative which is to casually censor to the post but keep the gist of it for people who know what you're talking about, which reads like this:

"Genie, you're going to grant me a wish and this time you are not going to **** it up! >:(" violates the rules because it's obscuring speech that could be offensive.

Meanwhile, if not wholly censored, the Paizo language filter would make the same come out to look something like:

"Genie, you're going to grant me a wish and this time you are not going to f@&^ it up! >:(" which is also breaking the rules by obscuring the speech that could be offensive (though it also hints at what the word was to begin with because it only partially censors the word).

Is this a typo in the community guidelines or did you guys mean to automate breaking your own rules?

Other than that, I think the new guidelines are good.


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Shub-Niggurath's cousin Al wrote:
If you're okay with 3.5, the Book of Vile Darkness has some good stuff for liches, what with the vile spells and evil magic items and whatnot.

I have that.

BoVD has a couple of interesting pages on the nature of evil, some evil sample gods, an article with advice on creating a villain - followed by examples, rules on possession

(Paizo has rules on Possession as well in Council of Thieves: Infernal Syndrome), though I think I would favor the possession rules in Fiendish Codex 1: Hordes of the Abyss (Great book by the way. Never had a chance to pick up a hard copy of FCII though

, magical sacrifice, additional curses and diseases, evil plot hooks, torture devices & execution equipment, drugs, a big table of poisons, some general monster feats, as well as some feats based on evil stuff, Some prestige classes (some of which would work fine in Pathfinder, like the disciple/thrall PRCs might work out okay - some of the others would be lacking when compared to PF stuff - but you never know, some of it is great fluff and you might want to take the time to find/do a conversion of it, too), a collection of spells (some of which are pretty cool - which you might want to include in a PF Game (and consider which PF classes you should consider adding them to)), some neat magic items, a nice section on the hells, the abyss, and the rulers of both, and a small monster section [spoiler]The demons/devils mostly have pathfinder versions, but the Kython seem to basically be D&D Tyranids/Zerg/Aliens, so you may have a use for those. Then there are a couple of evil templates, Following the monsters is a section on dealing with evil PCs, and ways to make it work, and whatnot.

BoVD is not a very good book for the player, but it's excellent for GMs. I would definitely recommend it over Libris Mortis; but it is also definitely less undead-focused (also covering demons and devils. However, personally, I'm more of a demons&devils GM, which is why I have so many more books on the subject than on undead. I would also highly recommend Green Ronin's Book of Fiends (which is almost entirely a demon/daemon/devil monster manual).

In short;

BoVD - Cool Evil Stuff for your bad guys, info on demons and devils.
Heroes of Horror - an excellent book for stuff to run darker games.
Book of Fiends - Demon/Daemon/Devil bestiary.
Hordes of the Abyss - a guide to Demons and the Abyss.
Tyrants of the Nine Hells - a guide to Devils and the Hells.
Lords of Chaos - Paizo Demon Guide (short, but has some interesting stuff)
Princes of Darkness - Paizo Devil Guide (short, but interesting)
Horsemen of the Apocalypse - Paizo Daemon Guide (very different from D&D Daemons.)
Demon Hunter's Handbook - Paizo Demon Hunter option book.
Council of Thieves AP - Cool Devil-Themed AP set in Cheliax, featuring some interesting devil characters.
Cheliax - Empire of Devils - Cool Setting book about diabolists with a little bit more devil information.
Manual of the Planes - A Comprehensive Planar Guide
Planar Handbook - Expansion for Manual of the Planes.

Demons (Tanar'ri), Devils (Baatezu), Daemons (Yugoloths), Daemons (Not Yugoloths), are fantastic; and you should look for ways to work them into your games. ;P

Also fun fact, a good chunk of Book of Fiends was written by Erik Mona (Paizo), Hordes of the Abyss by James Jacobs (Paizo).



I'm not sure what you mean, RDM42. I'm not suggesting discounting anything at all. I'm simply saying that not all things will be able to be evaluated using a single formula, even if that formula is complex. You might be able to use a couple of formulae and have them both spit out numbers in such a way that you could compare them to get an idea of effectiveness for builds that approach effectiveness in very different ways, but a formula that tracks the effectiveness of a character specifically for removing threats from the battlefield and tracking how quickly they can do so is not going to cover the effectiveness of a character who is effective without doing that.

That doesn't change the fact that removing threats is one of the more common approaches to being effective, or that focusing on removing threats is one good strategy for effectively contributing.

Also, for all the people who are suggesting various tier systems and alternate tier systems, those will not be helpful for evaluating a particular character build to see exactly how well it will hold up in level appropriate threats/challenges.


RDM42 wrote:
Darkholme wrote:
What if something is worth significantly more than a feat, or significantly less than a trait (These things exist on races. Significantly less than a trait exists on some core races, and significantly more exists on some monstrous races.)
Examples, perhaps?


Significantly less than a feat: Dwarf Greed.
Significantly more than a feat: Drow Noble Attribute Modifiers.


Unless this weirdness that we have some significant evidence is incorrect, is actually what Paizo intended, even though that's learly not what was printed - anywhere.

It's happened before. Remember the flurry of blows errata/"clarification" fiasco?


What if something is worth significantly more than a feat, or significantly less than a trait (These things exist on races. Significantly less than a trait exists on some core races, and significantly more exists on some monstrous races.)


Sure they would. But they would under perform less than if we were just using DPR.

We've actually already covered that. Force Multipliers (Buffs/Debuffs/Battlefield Control) Is not measured by the proposed formula described above; other formulae would need to be derived for them, and then we would have to have a way to convert the value of such a thing such that the numbers could be meaningfully compared.


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So far the numbers requested have all actually been ones from Here .

The Energy Resist stats you requested are there as well.


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Since you have said you're new at this and theefore weren't around during the 3.5 days:

For which 3.5 Books I've found most useful in Pathfinder:

Setting Books (Forgotten Realms) - their monsters are good, and most have no Pathfinder Equivalents, they have interesting prestige classes (most will be underwhelming in pathfinder, but not all of them) and races. And that's assuming you're not making use of the excellent setting info, which is all quite good. Waterdeep has been a great book for running campaigns. The Campaign Setting, Player's Guide, Races of Faerun, Magic of Faerun, Underdark, and Drow of the Underdark have all been excellent and highly used as well (I invested in a second copy of the campaign setting as my first one was starting to wear out).

Adventures - these work quite well in Pathfinder. Ideally you just grab your monsters from the pathfinder bestiaries, as most of them have been done at this point. NPCs can require some converting, or they end up on the weak side. The earlier ones (or any made by Paizo) are quite good. Some of the later ones were a bit 4e for my tastes.

IMO the best 3.5 book for use with Pathfinder is Cityscape; but I tend to prefer running Urban adventures. Stormwrack(seafaring), Frostfall(artic adventues), and Sandstorm (desert adventures), Heroes of Horror, Heroes of Battle (war campaigns), and Dungeonscape (dungeon campaigns) were were also alright; I've gotten lots of good use out of stormwrack and cityscape in Pathfinder.

Manual of the Planes and Planar handbook have all sorts of excellent planar goodies, and some cool templates and monsters, as well as some interesting races and spells and magic gear.

Players tend to like Spell Compendium and Magic Item Compendium, and the Complete Series (Complete Champion, Complete Divine, Complete Arcane, and Complete Mage in particular - but some of the options in there can be quite powerful when combined together).

Book of Challenges is a good collection of traps and whatnot for your dungeons. That's always nice.


For monsters specifically (im sure others will have more suggestions here, but)? Monster Manual 3.5 has a bunch of iconic monsters that didn't come over to pathfinder (Beholder, Illithid, Umber Hulk, Displacer Beast, Githyanki/Githzerai, Slaad, and Ogre Mage (Not-Oni) ) are the main attractions there.

Lords of Madness doesn't have a Pathfinder equivalent. Fiend Folio has a good collection of monsters, most of which I dont think are in Pathfinder (at a glance I see dark ones, formians, huecuva, jackalweres, kelpie, selkie, and spriggan which seem to be the only ones with pathfinder versions).

Looking at undead specifically, the ones I mentioned are the main ones I've enjoyed using (Curst (Monsters of Faerun/Lost Empires of Faerun), Cryptspawn (Magic of Faerun), Dracolich (Draconomicon), and Baelnorn (Monsters of Faerun) in particular), and none of them are in Libris Mortis.

You could have some fun in an undead campaign by mixing in some non-necromancy skeletons (created with animate object) as constructs instead of undead, if you want to keep your players on their toes. Also, Pseudo-Undead(never got an official 3.5 writeup, but were around before that) can be fun. I like when the cleric panics because turn undead isn't doing anything, because they're actually fighting a bunch of negative-energy-mutated humans.

On undead in pathfinder. The reason they have d12s in 3.5 is because they dont have any stats adding to their hp, so if doign a full conversion take that into consideration, rather than just making all your PF undead get extra HP.

And for quick conversions to pathfinder I would probably suggest just calculating CMB/CMD and then counting the CR as if 1 lower (above level 2 or 3), and maybe 2 lower above level 10 or so, just based on personal experience. Maybe some other people could weigh in on this one.


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Hmm. 3.5 stuff isn't particularly hard to convert to Pathfinder. Basically just calculate CMB/CMD and you can run them. You will find that 3.5 monsters are easier to beat, and 3.5 classes are underwhelming.

FYI, I would advise against a hard copy of libris mortis. Only about 1/4 the book is monsters/templates. The other half consists of 20 pages of fluff, 8 pages of feats, 10 pages of 3.5 undead monster classes (I would advise against trying to use these in PF), 17 pages of prestige classes (again, advise against in most cases, or at least make clear to your players they are likely less powerful and a bit less fun), 13 pages of spells, 6 pages of equipment, the 51 pages of monsters, and then 54 pages of suggestions for undead-themed games.

Of the monsters in the book, I'd probably consider using about 10 of them; I think I listed most of the good ones up-thread.

The advice section is pretty good.

I'd advise heading over to DriveThru, and picking up the PDF for $15.

That way you can copy paste the monster entries you want into MS word, rearrange everything into the pathfinder format you're used to, and convert everything (either quick or thorough), copy the illustration from the book (or grab it of google), and get the ones you like printed out and put them in a binder.

Also, FYI, Level Adjustments and XP costs on spells were not very good ideas, and that's why they're not in Pathfinder (don't try to bring them back).


Mortuum wrote:

I think the biggest problem I have seen in race creators is they don't account for context. Balance is inherently different in a point buy system because players tend to pick things that work well together. They're not going to take racial proficiency with falchions AND greatswords, for example. They're also not as likely to take natural weapons on their strength-penalty race. Everything has to be costed assuming it's useful, which means you can only afford useful things, which means the races you build look nothing like the ones in the book.

Some kind of context-based price modifier would be great.

Hmm, I was thinking of limiting the number of points that can be spent on things that will work together somehow or something like that, but maybe some kind of context-sensitive multiplier could also work.


@voideternal: I don't think said lower-level cohort is all that likely to die in the first round. That said, I wouldn't be all that surprised if they missed far more often due to lower BAB and lower weapon enhancements, and got hit more often due to lower armor enhancements. Maybe not so much in the average difficulty fights, but any time you come up against tough opponents, for sure. They're already going to be above your CR, which means they will be harder to hit, and their saves will be higher. Meanwhile, your cohort is missing them more often/ his save DCs are more often not good enough to get through and hit the enemy. As a result, his contributions are greatly diminished.

And if he's up in front (like a barbarian) that lower AC and lower hit point pool is definitely going to increase his odds of dying. Likely not the first round; but still.


Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Darkholme wrote:
And Tiers might give you a general sense of what to expect from your class before you start building, but having some sort of useful way to measure the effectiveness of a particular character build at specific levels will make it much easier to know IF you are effective, and exactly HOW EFFECTIVE you are.

Tier list also focus heavily on late game play. Hence why full casters dominate the top tiers.

Meanwhile take level 10. 3/4 casters have 4th level spells while full casters have 5th level spells. Not a huge casting gap, especially when stacked against mountains of class features.

At 20 it's comparing 6th level spells and 9th level spells. That's a much bigger difference.

Also true.


If that's cool, great; if you don't the chance that I might benefit from you helping me crunch numbers to reveal game system patterns and ease measurements and comparisons of creatures, we can work separately.


And Tiers might give you a general sense of what to expect from your class before you start building, but having some sort of useful way to measure the effectiveness of a particular character build at specific levels will make it much easier to know IF you are effective, and exactly HOW EFFECTIVE you are.


Hmm. okay.

While taking this approach can be useful as the GM tailoring encounters to their PCs, it's not useful to the players, as they don't know what specific encounters the GM is going to throw at them and therefore can't analyze their effectiveness for those specific encounters.

That means they need to plan for the general case, rather than for specific encounters.


Matthew Downie wrote:
My current game is once every two weeks for about five hours. And there are seven PCs if everyone turns up. Probably a good example of a game where Leadership should be banned.

In such a scenario I might even ban cohorts.

But seriously man, you should try to game more often, or longer, or both. Your life will be much better for it. :D

Two different 10 hour games a week are what I've grown accustomed to; one as GM and one as the player. I haven't had that in a year, but believe me, getting it again is definitely a goal.


voideternal wrote:
The cohort was a human Alchemist. Just vanilla Alchemist. Two levels lower than the PCs, as per Leadership rules. But man, did the cohort contribute in battle. Cohort was Alchemist, so could buff himself to competency (Very good AC and saves, comparable to other PCs), and since his attack-method was bombs (read: touch attacks), he would reliably do meaningful damage every encounter. He would hit when other PCs would miss. Once he got Fast Bombs, he would really dish out damage every round. He stopped contributing only when he ran out of bombs, and that was usually after a few encounters meant for the PCs were destroyed by the cohort.

Alchemist with touch attacks was the reason why.

Touch AC doesn't scale. There are occasional outliers that have high touch ACs (the highest I've seen is 26), but basically, if you use touch attacks and can reliably hit a touch AC of 13, you can reliably hit the vast majority of monsters all the way up to CR 25.

Attacking touch AC is a good way to make you numbers relatively unimportant. Once you can reliably hit that AC of 13, you're good for the rest of the game, then it's just a matter of increasing your damage output.



Well, the simplest approach is to take your abilities, and consider how well they work if you need to handle 4 CR appropriate fights in a day (and how long those take). As in, if you can only do something 3/day, and you use it all in the first fight, you now need to track what your performance would be like in the other three fights, without that ability.



My experience gaming is either that we game 1/week for 8-10 hours, or we game 1/month, in a 3 day period (with most players running a game and playing in several), for 40 hours.

I'm going to go ahead and assume a marathon weekend 1/month is not something most people manage. :P

Of course, in our current gaming group we play several different games (it's been on a small hiatus) and at the moment none of those games are pathfinder. We had 2 pathfinder games, but one got dropped for Mutants and Masterminds 3, and one got dropped for Edge of the Empire. Then there's a Rolemaster Game, a Shadowrun 5 Game, and a Pokemon Tabletop United Game. We use Magic the Gathering to fill any holes in the gaming weekend.


I have been very careful not to put up any of the stuff I intend to try to publish.

I have no plans on putting that stuff up here, I'm just saying that if we all crunch these numbers *together* I do plan on using those numbers to inform my game design ideas on my 3pp stuff I'm working on (and that me wanting to do some 3pp things is the reason I wanted to crunch these numbers and have a better understanding of how the game (and opponents) are put together to begin with).


boring7 wrote:
ElementalXX wrote:

Personally i only allow NPC classes and listed monsters with racial hit dice for leadership. I has worked really well

The potential is silly, from crafting to getting a summoner with a summoner cohort... how silly would that be?

Are unlisted monsters ALL that bad? Or do you just not want to run the risk of missing some totally broken combo/critter?

/idly curious

My experience has been that when I allow unlisted monsters, (without the arbitrary level increases that Leadership usually takes), aside from if they have something crazy broken like wish, AND give them the same WBL I'd give a humanoid, they tend to be around the same power level as a PC of that same level (or less). I used to be concerned that they would be too powerful, but these days, I tend to be more on the lookout for them not having enough X/day abilities to have a meaningful number of choices for several fights/day than I am concerned that they will be too powerful.

That said, if you allow access to high DPR monstrous races at lower levels, sometimes they outshine the PCs when given appropriate gear. For instance, a minotaur with a greatsword can be pretty impressive, particularly at low levels.

I also frequently have allowed monsters to be played as PCs, and in many cases that hasn't been a problem either. Of course, in that case, you can't simply allow the Minotaur with several HD to be played along a group of 1st level adventurers and expect it to work out well. That might take some clever GM houseruling.

But to allow a CR 8 monster as a level 8 cohort? More often than not it runs fine (read: about the same as an NPC with the same number of levels and WBL) right out of the box.


sure, solving encounters is good, but most of the time you solve encounters by removing all of the creatures from combat.


Darkholme wrote:
The NPC is a party member right? not just an animal companion? I count it as another character when I make encounters...
voideternal wrote:
Are you modifying your encounters after a PC takes Leadership by adding creatures? If so, it sounds like you're balancing Leadership by having enemies also take Leadership (indirectly, not necessarily through a feat). If everyone needs to take the same option to stay on par with the power level, I think there are issues with game design around said option. I think that's a 'big deal' as per the thread title.

I am adding creatures, though as I've also determined/realized/stated in this thread; the way I run Leadership (houserules I've used so long I forgot it was houserules) makes it notably more powerful than RAW (and is much closer to straight up adding an additional player to the group) - (and I actually intend to make it *CLOSER* to just adding an additional player to the group, rather than farther from it). If I were running it RAW, I might not need to modify said encounters, because as some others have pointed out, RAW, it's really hard to have said NPC actually keep up enough in level such that they can be much help any time you actually need it.

voideternal wrote:
I think a single feat choice should not force the GM to alter their encounters. I've had players with Leadership in my games. That one feat forced me to alter my encounters.


In a home game, it's absolutely smart enough to figure that out. In PFS, I imagine not.


For the record, the points in Shadowrun are used for much more than attributes; and I think that better race = crappy point buy is not a good idea.


Ah. Personally I'm not a fan of charts. I like being able to see patterns visually, if I'm looking at more than a single number.

But this is now starting to sound like a rather complex piece of analysis software, rather than a couple of formulas or a tool to apply them for you. lol.

Of course, you can plot the data from a chart just as easily as you can plot data that is generated, and you could save that data into charts or databases.


Actually, looking at that spreadsheet, I believe it (or a past incarnation of it) was my starting point (and I haven't diverged that far from it); I just had no idea where I found it.

The reason the numbers would be the same is that I haven't added more "bestiary" entries yet. I've been using those same entries to calculate statistics on things he wasn't calculating, and gradually filling in more detailed attack info so it can calculate more useful attack stats.

I've also been (slowly) going through those bestiary entries, and changing all of the single cells about attacks into several cells about attacks so I can see the number of attacks, averaged attack bonus, and averaged damage. Time consuming though.

And I have some other projects on the go also vying for my time, so this bestiary analysis has actually taken a bit of a back seat to some of those other projects.

If you guys want to help me with data entry and whatnot though, I wouldn't say no. Full disclaimer though, that I've been running these numbers not for PC capability measurement, but because I want to make use of the results in some 3PP Products I am chipping away at with the intent of becoming a 3PP for Pathfinder stuff with some of my ideas. However, I acknowledge that these calculations could be useful for the things that have been coming up in this thread as well.


Captain K. wrote:

If you are doing this formula, you might have to accept that some classes are simply not going to fit for the reasons above.

Take two very good classes as examples, the Bard and the Witch. Most experienced players know these are excellent classes for both fun and power. However, the Bard is at best in a mostly support, force multiplier role. The Witch is even worse, the very best builds don't even use DPR at all, and they can't do it in one round anyway.

Actually, the Witch does do DPR, but only after Evil Eye and Magic Jar on the enemy ogre

Yes. Not all classes can be measured in "number of actions to shut down a CR appropriate opponent". That is true. This could not easily measure buff builds, debuff builds, healing builds, or battlefield control builds.

Hark wrote:
You could certainly put together a complex set of probabilities to determine the general combat effectiveness of a character. The problem is that for general applicability you would end up producing several very large charts as your results. These charts would then need to be processed in a much more subjective manner to determine overall combat effectiveness.

Charts? I think you could put together a complex set of probabilities that would allow you to spit out 1-5 numbers that would tell you your odds of taking down CR appropriate foes in each number of actions/rounds/whatever.

Hark wrote:
The basic attack equation would have you put enter number of attacks/round, attack bonus for each attack, damage range, and probabilities of each possible damage output. It could then spit out a chart listing average number of rounds expected to disable the target by damage based on AC and HP.

You wouldn't necessarily have to input the probabilities of each damage output. You could have the formula calculate from your damage formulas, the probability of dealing "X damage or more in Y rounds", where X is the average number of HP for that CR.

Hark wrote:
The chart becomes significantly more complex if you want probability of number of rounds to disable the target or include other defensive variables like Damage Reduction.


Hark wrote:
The whole process can be reversed to determine how long a player can survive against a creature.

It sure could, and you could average the statistics of CR appropriate monsters to generate "the average monster" of that CR to compare it to.

Hark wrote:
This process is actually significantly easier if the values you are working with are all known, like a specific player vs a specific enemy, but then we aren't talking generalities any more.

Sure, but using the average of the monster's statistics helps you know what the generality of it is.

Hark wrote:
Oddly enough the process is significantly easier for a controller in that you are just comparing save dc vs saving throw producing a far simpler chart.

Save or suck is much easier. either it works, or it doesn't.

Hark wrote:
Now it is worth noting that it would not be hard to write a computer program that could calculate all of this out for you. The trick is sorting through all of the data it will spit out at you. This whole process is very doable, but it takes people willing to put in the effort to sort out the info and put it all together in an intelligible manner.

It would not be all that complex a program once you've figured out what kinds of formulae you would need, I agree.


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Wrath wrote:

What Darkholme was providing in the previous thread was a fairly comprehensive list of the HP as well as ACs. These will be useful for comparisons of people's effectiveness outside of the concept of DPR.

In the same vein, a list of the save values for opponents and the save DCs for enemy spell casters will also be useful. This means control based casters can get a good idea of how effective some of their spells can be.

I have those!

Average HP By CR:
1 - 12.3
2 - 19.4
3 - 29.9
4 - 40.1
5 - 55.3
6 - 67.7
7 - 81.9
8 - 97.8
9 - 114.7
10 - 126.5
11 - 144.8
12 - 159.1
13 - 178.8
14 - 193.8
15 - 223.3
16 - 251.1
17 - 285.9
18 - 311.2
19 - 328.2
20 - 364.5
21 - 411.8
22 - 425.5
23 - 422.0
24 - 521.0
25 - 549.5

Max HP By CR:
1 - 19
2 - 34
3 - 55
4 - 52
5 - 68
6 - 85
7 - 105
8 - 126
9 - 153
10 - 171
11 - 175
12 - 200
13 - 212
14 - 237
15 - 283
16 - 310
17 - 324
18 - 362
19 - 387
20 - 391
21 - 420
22 - 471
23 - 481
24 - 526
25 - 574

Average AC by CR. :
1 - 14.1
2 - 15.1
3 - 15.8
4 - 17.0
5 - 17.9
6 - 19.0
7 - 19.7
8 - 20.9
9 - 22.7
10 - 23.9
11 - 24.8
12 - 26.7
13 - 27.0
14 - 29.2
15 - 30.3
16 - 31.6
17 - 34.2
18 - 35.1
19 - 36.2
20 - 37.0
21 - 37.4
22 - 40.5
23 - 42.0
24 - 42.0
25 - 41.0

Max AC By CR.:
1 - 18
2 - 22
3 - 25
4 - 20
5 - 21
6 - 26
7 - 23
8 - 26
9 - 25
10 - 28
11 - 30
12 - 31
13 - 32
14 - 34
15 - 37
16 - 39
17 - 46
18 - 41
19 - 41
20 - 42
21 - 38
22 - 45
23 - 44
24 - 42
25 - 42

Average Flat-Footed AC By CR:
1 - 12.5
2 - 13.1
3 - 13.7
4 - 14.8
5 - 15.7
6 - 16.4
7 - 16.6
8 - 18.2
9 - 19.3
10 - 20.9
11 - 21.6
12 - 24.2
13 - 24.7
14 - 26.4
15 - 26.1
16 - 28.2
17 - 31.0
18 - 32.9
19 - 32.9
20 - 32.7
21 - 34.8
22 - 39.0
23 - 38.0
24 - 36.0
25 - 34.5

Max Flat-Footed AC By CR:
1 - 17
2 - 20
3 - 24
4 - 19
5 - 20
6 - 22
7 - 22
8 - 22
9 - 23
10 - 27
11 - 29
12 - 30
13 - 31
14 - 34
15 - 37
16 - 39
17 - 40
18 - 41
19 - 41
20 - 42
21 - 38
22 - 45
23 - 42
24 - 40
25 - 37

Average Touch AC By CR:
1 - 12.2
2 - 12.6
3 - 12.2
4 - 12.2
5 - 11.8
6 - 12.2
7 - 12.7
8 - 11.9
9 - 12.2
10 - 12.5
11 - 11.8
12 - 11.5
13 - 11.0
14 - 11.5
15 - 14.3
16 - 10.9
17 - 10.4
18 - 9.0
19 - 8.6
20 - 12.9
21 - 3.6
22 - 4.8
23 - 12.5
24 - 8.0
25 - 13.5

Max Touch AC By CR:
1 - 18
2 - 16
3 - 19
4 - 18
5 - 20
6 - 26
7 - 23
8 - 21
9 - 24
10 - 25
11 - 25
12 - 21
13 - 26
14 - 21
15 - 35
16 - 21
17 - 20
18 - 21
19 - 17
20 - 25
21 - 12
22 - 9
23 - 14
24 - 12
25 - 22

Average Fortitude Save By CR:
1 - 3.3
2 - 4.0
3 - 5.2
4 - 5.8
5 - 7.5
6 - 7.9
7 - 8.8
8 - 10.0
9 - 11.6
10 - 11.0
11 - 12.4
12 - 13.1
13 - 13.9
14 - 15.2
15 - 16.1
16 - 17.5
17 - 20.3
18 - 20.3
19 - 20.0
20 - 23.0
21 - 24.0
22 - 24.0
23 - 26.0
24 - 29.0
25 - 32.5

Max Fortitude Save AC By CR:
1 - 7
2 - 8
3 - 10
4 - 10
5 - 11
6 - 13
7 - 14
8 - 15
9 - 16
10 - 18
11 - 16
12 - 17
13 - 18
14 - 22
15 - 20
16 - 23
17 - 25
18 - 25
19 - 23
20 - 29
21 - 26
22 - 26
23 - 27
24 - 30
25 - 34

Average Reflex Save By CR:
1 - 3.2
2 - 4.2
3 - 4.6
4 - 5.4
5 - 6.1
6 - 6.7
7 - 8.0
8 - 7.6
9 - 9.9
10 - 9.8
11 - 10.4
12 - 10.0
13 - 10.1
14 - 11.9
15 - 13.9
16 - 12.8
17 - 13.9
18 - 14.2
19 - 15.0
20 - 16.2
21 - 16.4
22 - 16.5
23 - 17.0
24 - 18.5
25 - 22.5

Max Reflex Save AC By CR:
1 - 8
2 - 9
3 - 11
4 - 9
5 - 13
6 - 12
7 - 18
8 - 12
9 - 18
10 - 17
11 - 21
12 - 19
13 - 19
14 - 18
15 - 23
16 - 18
17 - 22
18 - 30
19 - 21
20 - 23
21 - 26
22 - 23
23 - 20
24 - 25
25 - 23

Average Will Save By CR:
1 - 1.5
2 - 2.5
3 - 3.1
4 - 3.8
5 - 4.4
6 - 5.2
7 - 6.8
8 - 7.7
9 - 7.9
10 - 9.5
11 - 9.2
12 - 10.9
13 - 12.4
14 - 13.9
15 - 15.0
16 - 15.4
17 - 17.4
18 - 17.9
19 - 17.6
20 - 22.1
21 - 21.4
22 - 20.8
23 - 23.5
24 - 20.5
25 - 19.5

Max Will Save AC By CR:
1 - 5
2 - 8
3 - 8
4 - 8
5 - 10
6 - 11
7 - 16
8 - 14
9 - 15
10 - 16
11 - 15
12 - 17
13 - 18
14 - 21
15 - 25
16 - 20
17 - 22
18 - 23
19 - 23
20 - 28
21 - 24
22 - 24
23 - 24
24 - 23
25 - 27

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