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Cayden Cailean

Darkholme's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Society Member. 1,361 posts (1,861 including aliases). 2 reviews. 2 lists. 1 wishlist. 14 aliases.

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Dark Archive

I just got into an argument with someone who is making the claim that he can as a Paladin; just target people with Smite Evil; and immediately know if they are evil, getting around nondetection effects and the like, because he in-character "Knows His AC Went Up."

Does this actually work?

Dark Archive

I'm looking to assemble a list of the best homebrew classes people have put together for Pathfinder. Just looking for classes here, not archetypes.


This Warlock Reimagining looks pretty good.

Since I cannot edit the opening post, I will keep a running list as good stuff is posted,


Dark Archive

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?

Dark Archive

I remember someone showing me an item that allows you to prepare additional spell-levels of spell-slots; but can't for the life of me remember what it was called.

Does anyone know which item I'm referring to? (Disclaimer: I think it was a pathfinder item, but it may have been a 3.5 item).

Dark Archive

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.

Dark Archive

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.

Dark Archive

So, in the thread Which Foes Are Not Stupid Enough to Attack the Casters First, Wrath stated that he doesn't have much respect for the idea that the DPR Formula is a good measure of character power, for a variety of reasons (How often are you managing to full-attack, DPR beyond the opponent's HP isn't helping you unless its enough to kill it in less actions, you may have more/reliable access to sneak attack, etc)

After some discussion, we/I came up with some ideas of other metrics that could prove more useful.

Average Number of Rounds to defeat a CR Appropriate Opponent: DPR/Average CR HP (this one is pretty easy).

These are the ones I'm starting this thread about

% to remove CR Appropriate Opponent in
1 Attack
1 Full-Attack
2 Full-Attacks
3 Full-Attacks
4 Full-Attacks
5 Full-Attacks

I'm sure I could figure out what formula I would need to calculate those things EVENTUALLY, but I didn't do so well in statistics and probability, and I acknowledge that advanced math is not my area of expertise.

So I thought I would ask here if anyone could help come up with formulas (or a spreadsheet, if the formula is really complex) to determine these things.

If you have any ideas on other useful statistics, or ways to make any of these formulas be more accurate, that would be much appreciated. :)


Dark Archive

So, over in Monstrous Mount (Feat) I asked why you would take the Monstrous Mount feat rather than just using Leadership to ride a Griffon that's actually a Griffon, rather than some sort of Pseudo-Griffon thing, that looks like a griffon and has some griffon abilities, but isn't even a magical beast.

Some people seemed really offended at the idea of using leadership at all, because of the fact that it's so good. But It's good for everyone; so I have a hard time seeing what the problem is (except in very large groups, where having so many combatants would make things run very slow).

So I thought I would start a general discussion topic about it.

What's the big deal?

The way I see it, around level 7, the PCs get to build/recruit a bunch of supporting characters to round out the cast, so to speak, and cover any obvious weaknesses the party has, and I as GM, just take into account that the party now consists of 4 level 7 characters and 4 level 5 characters when I determine the difficulty of the encounters to throw at them.

I've not had it break my campaigns, or anything like that, it's not like they're getting unlimited wishes or any such shenanigans, they've just recruited a few more PCs. So now I get to throw scarier crap at them. Maybe they get to take on a dragon at a lower level. Maybe a small group of enemies is now a large group. Maybe I raise the levels of some badass NPCs, to make them extra scary, because now the players won't all just die.

As a player: Do my builds basically always include leadership? Sure. Cohorts are fun. I get to have a sidekick, or kickass mount/pet. Everyone else can take one too; and I can't even fathom why they wouldn't want to (to repeat myself, cohorts are fun, and cool, and round out party flaws, and make the party more awesome).

So why does leadership seem to be so upsetting to some people?

Dark Archive

So; Ultimate Campaign Downtime Spell Research Rules (and the ones in the GM's Guide).

Part of their purpose is that I can research spells from other lists, correct? If I want my Cleric to know Blood Money, or my Wizard to Know Resurrection, for whatever reason, this system should cover it, yes? Just add it to the list in the same spell level and move on?

Why does it not seem like people use the spell research rules (Downtime variant or default) for their character build if they want an off-list spell, and instead you see all sorts of other methods instead, such as rings of spell knowledge?

Also, are there any interesting things regarding the spell research rules that are not immediately obvious which I may not know?

Dark Archive

So; I've been pondering the effects of being a large creature, and I have one bit I'm still curious about (mostly because I saw someone mention it as an advantage, and I thought it would be a disadvantage).

(Assuming none of the other benefits or drawbacks of large size)
What are the pros and cons of taking up 4 squares?
+ You threaten an additional 4 squares.
- You can be attacked by an additional 4 squares.
- You have trouble with regular doors and 50% of hallways, and have to squeeze in all of those scenarios.
+ You're able to block off a double door.

This to me sounds much more negative than positive.

Am I missing something?

Dark Archive

So, I have been toying with the idea of taking a stab at making a Pathfinder 3pp for the past couple weeks (and working away at it a bit), and I went to mock up a cover.

I Couldn't find a copy of the logo in any sort of non-ugly resolution. (One that isn't so blurry)

Is there one readily available already?

I've started mocking one up in Photoshop, Basically tracing over the existing one using the fonts and stuff; but I don't know what font the subheader is.

Here's what it currently looks like.

If I could figure out what font was used in the subheader I can finish this myself, but I would also happily accept a link to a vector image or Ultra HD Png.

Dark Archive

If I were to grab a campaign setting book (or series of books) (I don't care what system it's for, it could be rules-less, even) to run a middle earth game, what are my best options?
Decipher LotR?
One of the various "Complete Guides to Tolkien" (if so which one).

Same question, Young Kingdoms/Elric
I actually can't find a proper setting book on this one.

The Witcher
Is there one available?
If not, "World of The Witcher" which is an upcoming setting guide related to the videogames, may be the way I need to go.

Amazon has a Complete guide to The World's Most Savage Barbarian
There's also Return to the Road of Kings
Any other suggestions from the other Conan RPGs or just guides for the various books/comics?

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.


I recently went to build a bunch of races (like, 15+) using the ARG Rules, and realized that the ARG would not cut it for my purposes; (it's too limiting, and doesn't have anything equivalentto a number of the options I went looking for for the races I was trying to build - not to mention that it has some systemic problems and badly balanced options.)

That said, I'm familiar with a wide variety of race creation system options in Pathfinder.

Race Creation Cookbook
VoodooMike's System
Golden's System
Advanced Race Guide
Immortals Handbook: Challenging Challenge Ratings
Grim Tales: Creature Creation

I have some issues with all of them; but most of them have some merits as well. Since I am not currently satisfied with them, I am putting something custom together; and I thought it would be good if I could hear people's thoughts on the various systems, good & bad. (So I can take that into consideration, and so I am less likely to include something bad or cut out something good).

Race Creation Cookbook
I only mention in case someone else brings it up. It's based on a bunch of faulty premises. I bought it a long while back, and I would not use it. I would say that it's not good.

I haven't used this all that much; but others seem to like it.

This seems to be someone else expanding on VoodooMike's work. I've used this a bit. Some weird inconsistencies and bits of (what I consider to be faulty logic) that I don't like; but again, it seems fairly popular in some crowds.

Advanced Race Guide
I would probably say this is the best of the ones I've commented on so far. There are some issues of bad pricing, and the scale is too small (some of the things offered for 1 point are not worth anywhere near 1 point, and there are some circumstances where I can pay a higher point cost for a crappy version of another benefit I can get for less points.

Immortals Handbook Challenging Challenge Ratings
The Product this was in was more material for Epic post-20 play. I'm not a huge fan of post-20 play; But this section was made freely available a long time ago (posted to ENWorld by the author) and it's excellent.

I like this. It was originally designed for 3.5, so some of the things it covers are no longer useful - such as using its values to calculate quikly CR, or build classes - it could be updated to do so, but that would require a great deal of work. However, the abilities it spells out are still well priced in relation to eachother; and it can be used to build races. The number of points available for race building would have to be determined by building the Core Book Races with it and seeing how many points they take - it includes the 3.5 PHB Races, so you would just have to add in the changes. I will likely look to this for point costs a lot, as the guys involved did some serious statistical and numerical analyses on the system and how it works, in addition to a bunch of playtesting to make sure they got the numbers right.

Grim Tales Creature Creation
This is by the guys who made Trailblazer. They almost universally do very high quality work, and a great deal of calculation and studying and analyzing goes into their work. If their work involved statistical analysis of Pathfinder instead of 3.5, Trailblazer would probably be the Core Rulebook I use for my games. Some have claimed to me that the numerical analysis (or Spine of the Game, as Bad Axe calls it) is the same between 3.5 and Pathfinder. Between anecdotal evidene I've heard elsewhere, and a combination of stats I've seen people run and have run myself, I know that to be false. However, they have some Fantastic ideas in there.

If I recall correctly this was an expanded/updated Challenging Challenge Ratings. I used to have it; but I can't find my PDF, and DTRPG no longer has it. :/

So: What do you guys think of the various existing tools? I am interested in hearing, anything from bits that seem priced perfectly, to bad premises with bad conclusions, to things that are clearly over or under priced (provide your reasoning please).

Dark Archive

Looking for any settings that people think are really good for Pathfinder, besides Golarion. I'm looking either for stuff that is designed for Pathfinder, or stuff that is Rules Agnostic, which I can use with any system, (but would still makes sense if run with Pathfinder).

I picked up Obsidian Twilight and it wasn't quite my cup of tea. It had some good stuff in it that I may use elsewhere though. NeoExodus looks interesting.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

If it comes in hard copy, or has a large amount of content, that's a bonus.

Dark Archive

It's been a while since I was into the pathfinder scene, and while its fairly easy to keep up with the Paizo products (particularly if focused on hardcovers) it can be harder to keep up with the 3pp.

So, for people who have been keeping up with things; What are the best 3pp available for character options?

But I am interested in hearing about the better 3pp Player Options. I remember being largely disappointed with my first foray into 3pp character options (C7's Tome of Secrets).

That being said; what are the "best options" (most worth buying, most fun, most interesting ideas, most well balanced) that are out there?

Particularly Classes and Archetypes, though if something really stands out in terms of feats and spells and whatnot, feel free to mention that as well.

I've heard good things about Path of War, and Psionics Unleashed by Dreamscarred Press.

What else is really good?

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

What the title says. Looking for ideas for what tweaks would make PFRPG more closely emulate the feel from old JRPGs, such as Tales of Phantasia, Breath of Fire 3/4, Secret of Mana, Seiken Densetsu 3, Legend of Mana, Final Fantasy 4,5,6,(and maybe Tactics).

I'm not looking to perfectly emulate any one of these games, but to just draw inspiration from them to give a pathfinder campaign a different feel.

And I'm looking for any suggestions people might have to make Pathfinder do that better. This can be alterations to the options available, the GM content, or the ruleset. I'm particularly interested in hearing any ruleset tweaks people think would help.

Off the top of my head I've got:
- Change out the list of available races for ones that would be more at home in a JRPG - Animal People; Elves; Fey/Magic Race; Humans.
- Make use of less archetypal western fantasy RPG monsters, and use some homebrew JRPG style monsters instead.
- Special effects are likely not from weapons, but innate to the character, whereas weapons just do better damage.
- No such thing as horses. People ride weird fictional animals instead.
- Airships and Smallish Mecha may be a thing.
- Some custom JRPG style spells or class abilities.

Since the Paizo boards don't allow you to edit posts, I'm going to link to a google doc now, which I might edit if I see anything good to add to it or if I flesh it out later on my own:
JRPG Pathfinder Document

Dark Archive

So, I started a thread yesterday Blue Dragon: Desert Thirst Damage? where I asked about the effects Desert Thirst would have on creatures, if any.

The conclusion was that it has no effect on creatures.

One (or more) of three reasons were given, depending on who you ask:
1. It doesn't explicitly mention creatures, so it doesn't affect creatures, even if the rules text WAS phased in a way that part of a creature would be a valid target. The argument was that if the rules don't explicitly tell you something can happen, it can't. (I disagree with both the premise, and the results of the application of the premise to this particular situation, but to each their own).
2. It calls out unattended liquids, liquid based magic items, and liquid based items in a creature's possession as the types of valid target (and doesn't call out attended liquids that are not items), therefore bodily fluids are not a valid target, and neither is a pool that someone is swimming in.
3. Skin(and armor, etc) would break line of effect, thus making bodily fluids not a valid target:

Magic Rules wrote:
A burst spell affects whatever it catches in its area, including creatures that you can't see. It can't affect creatures with total cover from its point of origin (in other words, its effects don't extend around corners). The default shape for a burst effect is a sphere, but some burst spells are specifically described as cone-shaped. a burst's area defines how far from the point of origin the spell's effect extends.

So, there's a statement that it can't effect creatures with total cover from the point of origin, and another that says its effects don't extend around corners. I'm going to take those two statements and use them to infer that it also doesn't affect objects with full cover from the Point of Origin.

Now, in this case, it's obvious that it's supposed to affect potions in glass containers since they're explicitly called out, however, the glass should be giving the potion full cover, so why exactly would it effect potions?

1. Does glass not block line of effect?
2. Is line of effect only blocked if the obstruction is a certain thickness? If so, what thickness is that?
3. If line of effect somehow not relevant if you are pressed up against the obstruction?
4. What if the potions are stored in your backpack? Are they still a valid target? How about a box in a backpack?
5. How about a chest?
6. How about a chest built into a wall?
7. What if the potions are unattended?
8. Unattended behind a sheet of parchment, or inside a glass Jug.

In short:
For the purpose of Line of Effect, what is the important distinction, and where is the line drawn between "Behind a Stone Wall" and "Inside a Glass Vial"?

I'm interested in hearing any points or arguments anyone has for these questions.

Dark Archive

Desert Thirst (Su) wrote:
A blue dragon can cast create water at will (CL equals its HD). Alternatively, it can destroy an equal amount of liquid in a 10-foot burst. Unattended liquids are instantly reduced to sand. Liquid-based magic items (such as potions) and items in a creature's possession must succeed on a Will save or be destroyed. The save DC is Charisma-based.

So, say a Blue Dragon uses his 10 foot burst against a wildshaped druid attacking him. What is the effect on the druid?

Nothing in there says it doesn't effect creatures; however it doesn't spell out the mechanical effect that happens to creatures, but it reads as a save or die effect for most creatures. RAW, I am reading that a creature has a Will or all of the fluids in his body are destroyed. Is that correct?

Am I missing an errata or something, or is that actually how that works? Because Save or die effects aren't usually AoEs, and they usually don't also force saves or destroy a ton of the character's magic items as well.

Dark Archive

I made a thread about this a while back (here).

Here were my original targets:
> Capable of Unarmed &/or Improvised (Jackie Chan Style) Combat.
> Can Fight.
> Mobile? (Would be Nice)
> Option of being good at Combat Maneuvers? (Would be Nice)
> Some sort of mystical abilities? (SU, SLA, Spells) (Would be Nice).

I am interested in hearing about any optimized (ideally tier 3) options people have to approach this. I'm not necessarily against going all or mostly Monk, but I don't consider it to be important to the goal.

Here are the options that I know of:
Warpriest (Sacred Fist)
Unarmed Strike Magus
Enlightened Paladin
Fighter (Brawler), maybe (Cad, for Maneuver Focus)

Did I miss any other avenues?

Which ones are mechanically good?

Dark Archive

4 people marked this as a favorite.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dark Archive

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

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

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

Has anyone already run the numbers for these things?

Dark Archive

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

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

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

How about ways to speed up combat?

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

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

Dark Archive

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.

Dark Archive

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.


Dark Archive

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?

Dark Archive

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?

Dark Archive

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.

Dark Archive

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.

Dark Archive

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.

Dark Archive

So here's my idea.

Say a player wanted to play as a character created using the Eidolon rules, or something similar.

Sort of a "Build your own Character" with a heavy slant towards building monsters.

How many points would you need to give him to build with, and what sorts of things would you need to change to make it work?

Dark Archive

I'm considering two possible houserules, and wanted some feedback on what could be a problem if they are introduced.

1. Caster Levels from multiple sources stack, but you can't gain more than one caster level from a given character level.

Purpose: Make multiclass casters a bit less painful. A Sorcerer 10 Oracle 10 with this houserule still has caster level 20, though he's only got lower level spells in either list.

2. Spell Save DCs are calculated at 10+1/2 Caster Level+Ability Score.

Purpose: Make low level spells less of a waste of paper, and make them something that people might occasionally cast sometime.


I haven't tested either of these, and haven't given them any in-depth analysis, this is just something I thought of while unable to sleep for the past hour.

Dark Archive

So I've been thinking about making Melee Combatants more mobile;

Has anyone tried allowing a melee character to move their speed as part of a full attack?

So a character could move and attack, or attack and move, or attack move attack move attack move attack?

Would it be so gamebreaking to allow them to do so? I think they could use the boost, and I can't see how it would cause any problems, assuming you allowed the same for monsters.

It would give the melee types a bit of a boost to keep up with casters at high levels, and I'd think it would make combat more interesting, but I can't think of a downside.

Can anyone else see a problem here?

Dark Archive

So, say I have a summoned monster with DR X/Good; and then I have a character ability that gives my summoned creatures DR Y/Adamantine.

I read something that makes me think I've been misunderstanding how DR Worked, so here I am asking.

Does that mean the summoned creature has DRX/Good, and once its been bypassed the remaining damage has DRY/Adamantine (Like I thought) or does it mean the creature has DRX+Y/Good or Adamantine (Like I've just been told) or DRX+Y/Good & Adamantine or the much crappier DR XorY/Good or Adamantine or DR XorY/Good & Adamantine?

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.

So we started a thread about Feats that Shouldn't Be.

One of the users in the thread, "The Boz" Posted a number of feat revisions up there, and wasn't getting any feedback about them, so I'm starting this thread to discuss his ideas, and for people to comment, suggest, or propose changes of their own.

Here is his document.

Feats that Shouldn't Be could either be rewritten into better feats, or removed and added as core mechanics anyone can do, or what have you.

Let's have it! :)

Dark Archive

So a Synthesist's fused eidolon has to be at least the same size as him.

What happens if the character is a large creature or bigger (say an ogre, minotaur, or a giant)? The eidolon rules don't let you take large size at Synthesist 1.

Are creatures larger than medium unable to synthesist?

Dark Archive

So I'm building a Cleric/Synthesist character, and I'm wondering whether I should just grab Synthesist 1 for a couple small spells, and a neat set of power armor, or if it's worthwhile multiclassing further.

Both classes are casters, yes, but the spells I'll be taking either way are mostly support abilities.

I'm thinking of making a character who is magicky & priesty, but excels in Melee Combat, particularly against undead &/or evil outsiders.

3.x stuff is allowed, and I'm considering some feats/alternate class features from there, including Spirited Charge and Swapping out Channel Energy for Smite Evil + Aura of Courage as Paladin.

Dark Archive

So, A friend of mine will be starting up game in a few weeks, and from what I understand, the scope will be a 1-12 campaign or so.

He's said he'll be running us through modules, one of which will be the 3.5 Expedition to Castle Ravenloft. He's also said he intends to have us start Expedition to Castle Ravenloft before we're the suggested level on the back, and that we should go nuts and use whatever sources we want; he's giving us free reign.

That said, I'm looking for suggestions on character builds. Here are the things I'd like to accomplish:
1. Effective Build, that starts being effective early. I don't want to need to be super careful until level 8, that's too far off.
2. Options. I don't want to be locked into Stand and Full Attack. I want other options, and I want those other options to not be a total waste of time.

As mentioned, he's fine with any source (that includes 3.5 stuff, if someone has a really good suggestion that happens to be from 3.5). Presumably that includes 3pp stuff as well. If the build is too ridiculous he may change his mind, but I want to be a highly awesome guy.

While I'm looking for suggestions, I do have a few ideas that could be fun:
Synthesist -> I played one of these before, and it was fun turning into what was basicallly an Ogre-Mage, but I'm not sure how they play at the lower levels. If effective, I wouldn't mind a Breath of Fire type character. If there was a sort of combatty synthesist that could be neat, not sure if there are any archetypes that allow for that sort of thing though.
Archer -> Some kind of archer build could be very fun, particularly a mobile one, but maybe one with spells would work well too.
Some kind of Summon Monster fiend, who dumps conjured allies all over the field could be fun.

I'm willing to go to some degrees of broken here, as well, but I don't want to be a one trick pony, only useful if some weird exploit works.

Any pointers?

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Because I like these gripey lists (they fill me with ideas for houserules for my games);

What are some feats that shouldn't be?

I'm looking for feats that should be baked in mechanics that are just available by default, feats that suck, feats that are a crappy taxed milestone in order to get to another feat (terrible feat prereqs), that sort of thing.

I'll start this off with:

Weapon Finesse: This should seriously just be a property on the weapons it applies to, period.
Antagonize: This feat strips away something characters should just be able to do.
Weapon Proficiency: My god are these things terrible feats. I could *MAYBE* see spending one skillpoint for proficiency in a new weapon. But a feat? Totally unreasonable for a feat to give you a single weapon proficiency. If you want to use a weapon you can't, your best bet is basically always to dip into another class. I don't think I know anyone who takes weapon feats. yuck.

Dark Archive

SO: Hypothetically, I want to build a Monk.

I don't care which classes are used to accomplish this. But lets say I want my character to be able to do the following:

> Capable of Unarmed &/or Improvised (Jackie Chan Style) Combat.
> Can Fight.
> Mobile.
> Option of being good at Combat Maneuvers
> Some sort of mystical ability (SU, SLA, Spells)

I have a few ideas, but I'm curious: What are my options?

Dark Archive

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- Balance: Guns and their ammo are far overpriced, considering how you can't full attack with them.
- Nonsense: Bullets ignore armor, but you can dodge them (touch AC)
- Balance: Gunslinger takes a bunch of terrible equipment, and piles on a ton of class abilities to make them the only way to use the equipment and not suck (free ammo, free gun, ability to use the guns more frequently, etc).
- Flavor: I don't really want cowboys in my d20 Fantasy.
- Flavor: These gun mechanics make it difficult for me to have decent flintlock wielding pirates (which I do like) as the guns are terrible and overpriced for anyone but a gunslinger, and gunslinger is not appropriate for most pirate concepts, which would fire the pistol/blunderbuss/musket, drop it/sheathe it, and then fight with a sword for the rest of the fight.
- Flavor: Guns are much too expensive for me to do the pirate gunslinger thing; Frequently quickdraw a loaded pistol, fire off a shot, and then switch to my sword for an attack or 3 and then do it again with a different pistol, for 5 rounds.

Dark Archive

So, I'm contemplating starting up a Pathfinder Campaign, which would make heavy use of the Kingdom Subsystem, and the Downtime Subsystem.

I may try to merge the two in some ways, to allow the players to found and build up large organizations, such as the pathfinder society, the harpers, the cult of the dragon, the red mantis assassins, etc. I would argue those groups are closer to the playing field of a kingdom, but without all the centralized land, and cities and settlements and whatnot.

Significantly different than "I run a bakery with 25 employees."

Since I'm looking into a new subsystem, I'm doing that thing I do.
Anyways, where I'm going with this is:

What are the problems with the Ultimate Campaign rules?

I'm looking for things that don't make sense, things that are under-priced/over-powered, things that are over-priced/under-powered, and any other complaints people have about the rules.
While I want things that are problematic from reading the rules, I particularly want to know what to look out for when I go to actually run it.

Bonus points for Critiquing Ultimate Rulership as well.

Dark Archive

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I've been toying with this idea in my head since the day before yesterday.

- Randomly generated NPC personalities, motivations, and descriptions.
- Randomly generated monster encounters.
- Randomly generated world map, with hexes.
- Randomly generated building layouts & dungeons.
- Randomly generated side-quests.
- Randomly generated loot.
- Randomly generated towns and shops.

Perhaps Even
- Randomly generated main campaign plot.
- Randomly generated setting pantheons, with fully fleshed out gods.
- Randomly generated factions.
- Randomly generated kingdoms.

Has anyone tried running a game like this? How did it work out?

Dark Archive

I know some games have a full combat system for arguments.
I know some people are vehemently against abstracted social combat systems, as they feel they remove the roleplaying from an rpg.

However, I know from personal experience that I'm not a huge fan of how Diplomacy, Bluff, and Intimidate work in Pathfinder. They don't work particularly well, Diplomacy is practically flawless permanent mind control, and I don't like it.

That said, has anyone tried out an alternate system instead of the standard diplomacy/intimidate/bluff skill rules in a pathfinder game? What was it, and how did it work out?

Dark Archive

So. I'm wanting to run a game focused on factions within a kingdom or between a couple kingdoms.

I've ferreted out a number of things that *might* be options, but I need help in determining which one will work best for my purposes. I'm not familiar with the contents of all of them.

I would like it if guilds merged the gap between kingdoms and individuals, and could interact with both. I see myself making use of the mass combat rules as best I can as well.

Here are the potential options I see for running organizations:
1. PHB2 - Seems un-thorough, and largely seems to be a suggestion of just "make some stuff up for your organization". I suppose it works okay if the players don't want to build the organization and have it increase in power and influence, and make that a large focus of the game. If it's just a source of plot hooks, this is fine. Not great for my purposes, and nothing to cover organization/organization conflict (violence, economics, or politics) or organization/kingdom conflict (violence, economics, or politics).
2. AEG Guilds
3. Bastion Press Guildcraft
4. RuneQuest Guilds, Factions, and Cults, adapted to work with Pathfinder Mechanics.
5. Ultimate Campaign + Ultimate Rulership.

I'm not that familiar with Ultimate Campaign, and I just picked it up the other day. How would it handle statting out/running/being a member of guilds/factions? Are the rules flexible enough to account for that? A country is basically a very large faction tied to geography, right?

Could I stat out small thieves guilds, the pathfinder society, skyrim's "companions", the harpers, a town's city watch, a town's nobility, a town's merchants, all as kingdoms, in order to have a bunch of factions competing in a city?

What sorts of adjustments would need to be made to make that work, if any?

I know Ultimate Campaign has rules for some things to do with organizations under downtime. does it handle the sorts of conflict I'm thinking of? at a brief lookthrough that didn't seem to be the case, so I thought I would inquire if anyone else has any pointers or suggestions on what my best option is.

Dark Archive

I'm wondering if anyone has statted out the kingdoms of golarion (either published or not) using the kingdom rules in kingmaker, in ultimate campaign, or ultimate campaign+rulership.

I would like to see stats for Cheliax, and Andoran, etc. In theory, if players raise a competing kingdom, they could end up warring them, or trying to manipulate them, so stats for the golarion nations would be helpful/cool.

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