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I'm not underestimating my stats.
I agree my stats make a huge difference for those kinds of spells. However, generally I would avoid trying to stuff those kinds of spells into items, and use items for utility spells and buff spells, where the DCs and CLs don't really matter.
Ah. I missed that you can recharge staves without it costing you more gold. That would make a bit of a difference.
I knew about the CL and casting ability, but when I ran the numbers, it was still much cheaper to buy wands of anything that wands could do, except in the two cases I mentioned in my first post.
What feats apply to using a staff that are worth mentioning? Can you metamagic staff charges? Can I wield a metamagic rod in one hand and a staff in the other?
So far as I can tell, staves are only worth picking up if you want a consumable L1 spell at CL6+, or a L2 spell at CL17+, and that's using a staff like its a wand.
Is there a point in Pathfinder where Staves justify the cost?
I know that people used to really like staves back in 3.5, but back then they had 50 charges rather than 10, and they cost 15/16 the price (a bit cheaper).
I also know that wands only go up to 4th. Is it really worth putting the higher level spells in a staff?
Diego Rossi wrote:
I forgot about those. You are correct; they made significant changes to both of those kinds of spells (in addition to changing XP requirements into gold requirements).
But if you take a 3.5 Blasting spell, or summoning spell, and put it in pathfinder they work largely the same (other than the fact that summon monster in 3.5 had an ever expanding list of potential summons, and pathfinder has fixed lists (and suggests introducing alternate versions of the spell if they have different options). But for instance, summon undead should work fine in Pathfinder.
Most feats *should* transfer over as well (obviously if there is a pathfinder version, just use that version).
And for magic items, yeah, pathfinder made all physical boosters into belts, and all mental boosters into headbands, but that's not a massive change, and for magic items that don't have a pathfinder equivalent it works alright without any real changes.
Aside from the polymorph and SoD changes though, the differences are small enough that they haven't ever made a big difference in games where I have allowed them, from games where I only allowed Paizo stuff.
Okay. Thanks Liz.
That's about what I was expecting, and what I initially thought. I was just not sure when I saw a couple on DTRPG where they had changed the colors of the bottom bar, and people seemed to be okay with that (they were/are still up and unchanged)); and when I asked about it, I took your response to the linked color change to mean that you guys did not consider the bottom bar to be part of the logo. (Which I thought I would try to clarify, since the bottom bar was included in the package with the logo).
Which made me wonder if I had the potential for more options on incorporating the logo into a cover than I initially thought I did.
After hearing your most recent response, I will assume the people who are doing the neat looking things with the logo but that appear to be pushing/breaking the boundaries of the license, are bending/breaking the license, rather than thinking I must have just misunderstood it.
What about extensions like magical market place? Is there a reason not to use them in a home game?
Technically it's Golarion-themed, but it is by Paizo for Pathfinder, so there's no reason not to allow it in a home game, and most of the stuff in it would be allowed in Pathfinder Society as well.
To be honest, There's no real reason to disallow the stuff in the 3.5 Paizo stuff either. If a player wants one of those prestige classes, they'll work fine, even if they are slightly less powerful than some of the newer stuff.
Feats, Magic Items, and Spells though? Those should basically work fine as is. The only 3.5 stuff that isn't entirely Pathfinder compatible are Classes and Monsters; and both are perfectly usable in Pathfinder, they just tend to have a bit less Oomph than the Pathfinder edition stuff.
However, that being said, different gaming groups have different (largely arbitrary) rules as to what sources are allowed. I've played in games where only the hardcover books were allowed, games where any Pathfinder/Paizo products were allowed, games where any Paizo Product was allowed (including stuff from curse of the crimson throne, second darkness, and the like), and games where Any Paizo Product + Some combination of D&D 3.5 Products were allowed. All of them worked out fine unless a player brought something to the GM that was a really broken exploit, and those have cropped up in every one of those sets "allowable sources".
In Pathfinder Society, of course, it has its own list of allowed sources, and it bans many things in even the hardover Pathfinder books.
The main allowable source collections I've seen have been:
Much of the Pathfinder 3rd Party stuff is also great, however, and I think you'e doing yourselves a disservice if you ban them.
My own ruling is
So far (since Pathfinder came out) its worked out very well. The players get to use whatever sources they like, they get to play the kinds of characters they want to play, and I very rarely run into huge power disparities. When I do, it's usually been from the hardcover Paizo books anyways, so banning other sources would not have helped.
Nothing is going to fall apart if you allow almost every source, but you should know what abilities your players' characters have when you plan your game, and you should be comfortable with telling your players no if they took some combination that goes infinite or the like. It helps to skim through their abilities and make a quick note of any unusual abilities that are likely to come up, so that your plot doesn't collapse when they do.
As things come up that you feel are harming your game, be prepared to discuss with your players (between game sessions ideally) how/why you aren't comfortable with it, and try to work with them to rebuild their character without it.
However, if you disallow something, or change a rule, make sure you keep a record of it (preferably online somewhere your players can read it). Your players should be able to easily know what the rules are. Nobody wants to hear an option they have planned around is suddenly not available or does not work as described in the book.
If you can get your players to give you their planned 20-level progression in addition to their current level (In My Experience many players plan their characters all the way up long before they see the table anyways), then you can see if there's anything there you object to well before it comes up.
And having them post their character stats on Google Docs in some format you're okay with also means people can't lose their character sheet and that both you and the player have access to the character at all times.
I'd suggest that a character sheet template (I base mine on the bestiary monster blocks, but I know some of my players have preferred ones with sections based on the actual character sheet), copy it for each player, and share it with them/give them editing privileges. It makes them easy to find, and you can track the changes.
Liz Courts wrote:
The long wrap-around banner is not part of the logo.
Just to make sure I understand you correctly that the banner is not part of the logo; does that mean that the logo could be included like this, and that would be fine? Example Image. This seems almost the same as what Legendary did, but I went with blue instead of purple to make the change more obvious.
I'm not saying I intend to go with that (I don't think I would want to), but as an example.
What if there was no banner at all? Like This
To be clear, I'm not trying to push boundaries to be allowed special privileges or anything, I just want to know exactly where those boundaries are, since it seems some of the currently available products which I thought were breaking those boundaries are actually okay, so I would ather clarify in advance than do something I'm not supposed to.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I will, I guess, sit back and watch the random dungeon simulation and see if anything interesting comes from it.
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.
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.
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.
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 (email@example.com) if you think a thread requires moderator attention.
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
Spoiler: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).
(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 - Cool Evil Stuff for your bad guys, info on demons and devils.
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.
SureSignificantly less than a feat: Dwarf Greed.
Significantly more than a feat: Drow Noble Attribute Modifiers.
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.
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.
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).
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:
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.
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.
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.