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Cayden Cailean

Darkholme's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Society Member. 1,087 posts (1,587 including aliases). 2 reviews. 2 lists. 1 wishlist. 8 aliases.


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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."


2 people marked this as a favorite.

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.


Hmm. I hadn't considered that it might be supposed to work all of the time.

I've often had games where the PCs run into many many neutral aligned opponents, and the paladins cannot smite them.

I'm thinking some manner of Favored Enemy might work out okay as a replacement. Perhaps come up with a custom FE list for the Pally.

But you have a point, looking at the adventure paths, they seem to be able to smite about 85+% of the intended opponents.


Cubic Prism wrote:
I don't see a problem with smite working on all creatures given that if they start abusing their powers, eventually they would cease to be Paladins. It frees them up some.

He's saying he doesn't want it to be an ability that they're able to use in every fight, against everyone who is a valid opponent.


Ah. I see what you mean. I misread that.

Well, you could just limit the entirety of smite to specific creature types.

Alternately, you could just drop Smite.

A quick search turned up these options for 3.5. Some of them might give you some ideas.
Eternal Order Substitution Levels (CV, p 39):
1st level: Corpsestrike (ignore undead creature's DR), Undead Knowledge, replaces smite evil

Half-Orc Paladin Substitution Levels (RD, p 160): d12 HD, switch Diplomacy for Intimidate
1st level: Righteous Fury (bonus damage, increases by level, has duration), lose smite evil

Holy Judge Substitution Levels (CV, p 44): add Knowledge (the planes)
1st level: Favored Enemy (devils), replaces smite evil

Here is what Archetypes on d20pfsrd have for swapping out smite. You could just choose one of them and make it a permanent swap, or you could allow the player to choose.

Oath of Loyalty (Loyal Oath)


Tranquil Guardian (Touch of Serenity)

So, there are alternatives to smite, and some are not alignment dependent.

1. Smite works on Devils, Demons, Daemons, and Undead.
2. Righteous Fury: Not sure. Dont have the source.
3. Favored Enemy: This is just less good. Especially if its only one type of creature. Maybe if it's straight up "As per Ranger" it would be okay (may still be a bit too weak, not sure), complete with adding more types as the paladin gains levels. Perhaps a more limited list than the ranger gets. Also, Perhaps allow them to progress the bonuses on more than one type as it scales, giving them say: +2 vs Demons, Devils, Daemons.
4. Loyal Oath: Give Defensive buffs to a buddy, and get a free attack when someone tries to hit him.
5. Stonestrike: 1 Round/Level/Day of Combat Buffs that will help you bypass natural armor and hit harder.
6. Touch of Serenity: Enemy has to make will saves to attack/cast spells.


But it only works on "all types of outsiders, dragons, and undead".

Are they going to be fighting many non-evil outsiders, dragons, or undead?

You could rule that creatures can still have alignment subtypes, even though they wouldn't have actual alignments. But that would be a nerf, in that you'd only be able to use it on creatures that say [Evil] in the description.


So in my upcoming game this weekend, with a new party, nobody has healing as a thing. We have a Chevalier Cavalier, a Tactician Fighter, a Sorcerer, a Beastmaster Ranger, and a Bard who will have buffs, but isn't taking cure spells.

I was thinking I would like things to be a little easier for them than if they have to just keep buying wands of cure light wounds.

Here's what I have in mind. Tell me what you think, and maybe give me some advice on how to price it (in case the party ever ends up trying to sell it).

I was thinking of pricing it at ~1500 - ~3000 when full. I know it's on the low side, but I want them to not have to rely on a ton of disposable cure light wounds wands.

The idea is that it will give them a bit of out of combat healing, a bit of in-combat healing, and the wizard can use occasional leftover wizard spells per day to charge it if they have time.

If I ever give them downtime, they will be able to leave with 50 Charges at no further cost to them.

Holy Symbol of Healing Energy.
Counts as a Holy Symbol
The item has to be wielded in your hand to use its effects.
Comes on a chain for handy portability (doesn’t take up your neck slot)
Channel Energy (As the Cleric Class Feature, for Healing Only) 2d6
Max of 50 Charges.
Can be Activated 3/day as a Standard Action.
Can be Activated 5/day as a Full Round Action.
The Holy Symbol of Healing Energy can be Recharged.
Adding More Charges:
Adding a Charge to the item takes 5 minutes of effort, and consumes something from the person adding the charges. The following things will add a charge to the item.
- Two Uses of Cure Light Wounds.
- One Use of Cure Moderate Wounds.
- Any combination of other spells per day with the combined spell levels totaling 4.
- Channel Positive Energy. Every 2d6 of healing gives one charge.


I'd look at this:


I think this handles it pretty nicely.

He has other parts to the series too.


If you're the GM, I would suggest making the ruling that alchemist levels are caster levels, as their infusions copy spells, and have levels, etc.


Hmm. Yeah. "This is a private group. To join you must be a registered site member and request group membership."

I don't see myself getting a monthly adventure a week subscription, given that I don't see myself getting the $10/month of use out of it in the near future.

I'm not looking for modules for my current campaign right now. Maybe down the road, but not in the next month.

I'd also be more inclined to shell out $10/month if we met and gamed once a week instead of once a month.


Awesome! I'll go check it out.


Count Coltello wrote:
Darkholme wrote:
BTW: Crypt Spawn were typically created by the 7th level cleric (Bane) spell "Undeath after Death", which was basically "Contingency (Death): Reanimate as Undead."
Awesome thank you would you happen to know how to find said crypt spawn with out the book or whatever is needed

The Crypt Spawn were a 3e template.

Undeath After Death Here's the spell that made it, as a sort of guideline. I'm going to assume you're not going to be playing in Faerun, or using 3e Cleric domains for that matter, but this gives you some idea where to place the spell in spell level, if you include it.

You can find a copy of the template Here, it seems to match up with the version I have in my book. As mentioned though, it's for 3.x.

For a pathfinder version, I'd drop the HD Changes, and drop the level adjust. The Undead type isn't as good as it used to be. They'll be a little bit stronger than a base creature due to the natural armor, as they will likely opt out of an amulet of natural armor, and will spend the money on other things instead.

Other Intelligent undead you might find interesting are the Curst and Revenant which are stronger than a Crypt Spawn, and have a few more abilities. You *MIGHT* have an undead society with a bunch of Curst (you'd need to come up with a less expensive way to make them) but a society of Revenants wouldn't work out so well.

And again, you'd have to change them from 3.x undead to Pathfinder undead.


BTW: Crypt Spawn were typically created by the 7th level cleric (Bane) spell "Undeath after Death", which was basically "Contingency (Death): Reanimate as Undead."


Awesome, guys. :)


Honestly, it's the whole "Build Whatever You Want" nature of it. It's made the summoner my favorite class since it came out.

As a result, I just see tons of potential in it, and I keep thinking of other ways it could be used.

I thought of the animal companions and familiars because they're similar in concept to the eidolon (as baked-in cohorts) but completely different in execution. Using eidolon build rules could allow for animal companions or familiars that are on par with the existing options, but that haven't been designed yet. You want a dragon companion for some kind of dragon druid thing, or a dragon cavalier? build it. You a demon hound for an evil ranger? Go nuts.
Archetypes that give you more points and allow you to build companions stronger than the one that normally come with the class would also be doable, but not necessarily the only option.

Ideally, the animal companion/familiar options wouldn't be summoned, but would be permanent, as well. It would just give you the means to include unusual familiars/companions.

I'm also interested in the idea of a non-caster with an Eidolon / build your own companion of sorts.

The post about playing an Eidolon, well, that was my thoughts for a "Play your own monster" type thing.

But when I say Eidolon, I don't really care for or care about the trappings of being an outsider and whatnot. Ideally, I could build an eidolon of other creature types, so as to make dragons, and magical beasts and whatnot. The important part is: "Point Buy build your own cohort", "point buy build your own monster character class" or what have you.

I wouldn't mind seeing some manner of breath of fire thing, either, wherein you are playing as one of a variety of classes (with a fairly minor archetype) that allows you to completely turn into your custom beast. You'd lose access to all of your class abilities when transformed, have a completely different set of abilities and skills, and would take on the eidolon's abilities instead, though you'd either keep your HP or the damage would carry over. Depending on how it's done it could be of equivalent power (hence not keeping your other abilities).

So my Fighter could turn into some manner of dragon (Or Ogre-Mage, or spell-casting demon or angel, and then turn back later.

Perhaps an alternate approach to lycanthropy.

As mentioned in the thread about playing an eidolon, the mutationist has potential. Several custom built forms for a shapechanger class seems really cool.


Mark Hoover wrote:

In 3.5 Libris Mortis there was a skeletal undead that could gain levels called a Necropolitan. It was like a cheap version of lichdom without all the cool magic powers. There was also a template for binding magic spells into undead called a Spellstitched undead. I've used both to great effect in urban settings.

But you're looking for something more.

Magic of Faerun had a low powered template called the Crypt Spawn which I quite liked as a good way to allow undead PCs. It granted the undead type, a scaling natural armor bonus, +4 intimidate, and +2 turn resistance. It was LA+1. It was a pretty good and not gamebreaking option for the "Undead PC".


Lets pretend you could make a familiar using the eidolon rules. Or for that matter, an animal companion.

Any ideas on what hurdles might come up, or how many EPs you should assign to keep it on par with familiars or on par with animal companions?

Lets throw improved familiars in the mix as well, for good measure.


I was thinking it would be good as a sortof catch-all "build whatever monster you want, and progress as a monster" type thing.

Allow them to use it to design monstrous PCs of whatever they can imagine, and progress as such.

Add in some more evolution options later and it could become a point-buy "build your own class" type thing, which could also be cool.

But the idea in this case was to allow someone to "Be" an eidolon, without them Being (or having) a summoner to go with them.

Good Catch on the Unfettered Eidolon. I forgot that existed. That should be useful to help gauge the number of points such a character should have.


Laukai wrote:


Your post has nothing to do with this topic.

Please advertise somewhere else and let people collaborate and create new content that is FREE for everyone...

Hmm. I found his post to be helpful. I came across this thread looking for shapechanger PC options, and he presented one. It's not free, but that doesn't mean it's not worth checking out.

This seems like exactly the sort of place this sort of mention/shameless plug would be helpful. I'm going to look into it now, in fact, and may end up buying it.

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