This is going to throw folks trying to rationalize the childhoods of the longer lived humanoid races for a loop. If a 55 year old elf is truly equivalent mentally and physically to an 8 year old human, that is a painfully slow childhood by non-elven standards. That raises the question of whether the proportionality should be maintained all the way down (in which case elves would spend their first decade or more in diapers, unable to walk or talk) or whether their is a major slowdown after an initial spurt (in which case elves would spend most of their first 55 years as the equivalent of 7 year old humsns).
A couple questions -- Is everyone in the party really depending on having somebody else face the monsters, or do their planned tactics involve everyone attacking from range? If the latter, do they have any ways to keep the monsters out of their faces?
If they have adequate answers to these questions, you may still have a playable party. You can certainly have some fun testing out whether they can make sucn an approach to combat work.
Also, saves in 4E do not scale the way attacks and defenses do. Domination is typically a short term effect, as it tends to be "save ends". In 4E, you have a basic 55% chance of making any save, and factors that debuff saves tend to work for only one save. So the typical worst case is as follows:
1) Wizard attacks and penetrates your defense. You are affected by his spell. He applies a massive de-buff to your next save.
2) At the end of your turn, you attempt to save against the spell. The odds are against you this time.
3) At the end of your next and following turns, you have the usual 55% chance of making the save.
That is one area where 4E actually improved on Pathfinder, since in Pathfinder saves and save DCs scale with level, so a save that is hard to make the first time remains hard on successive attempts (as is the case with the Hold Person spell).
But in any case, the auto-success/auto-fail chances do mean that in either game you always have some chance of succeeding and some chance of failing. You would have to dig deeper to analyze which is better for which side in any given situation.
Quantum Steve wrote:
Some non-harmless spells have mixed effects -- see "Enlarge Person" for such an example.
One person looks like a gunslinger in light armor, the other appears to be some sort of tank in heavy armor. Both are taking great care to conceal their appearances, so maybe they are something other than human? I certainly cannot guess which one is supposed to be the husband and which one the wife, or even whether they have a common origin.
I would probably build one character as a gunslinger and the other as a fighter, if you want to keep things as simple as possible. Be sure to set your ability scores in an appropriate manner, and most of your other choices can work themselves out as you gain levels.
The only scenario where I would encourage violence among PCs would be if they are not an adventuring party in the first place -- say, if they were the leaders of factions in a multi-sided war. In that case, killing one another off would basically be the whole point of the adventure.
Adam Daigle wrote:
Okay, you have 10 authors. Three of them wrote two dragons each (for a total of 6) and the rest (10-3=7) wrote one each. That only adds up to 13 dragons. I think you guys left something out here.
The Read Magic spell requires a focus. No monetary value is given for that focus, so it is covered by your spell component pouch. If you know the Read Magic spell, you can cast that spell as long as you do not lose your spell component pouch. As best as I can tell, the Eschew Materials feat covers everything that would be included in your spell component pouch, so as a sorcerer you are covered. The magic section in the PRD and in the Core Rulebook seems to lump cheap material components and cheap focus components together for such purposes.
One case where it is not rude to leave mid-combat: The D&D 4E Lair Assault, if your character is an early casualty and you did not car pool to the game with anyone. This is your second attempt, and you got much further the first time through. The other players can pass along anything new that they learn this time through, so why stick around at that point?
Another case: You have a night job, so the game is actually being held BEFORE you are supposed to go to work. You told the DM in advance that you had to leave at a certain time. A combat goes longer than expected, so it is still going on at the time you have to leave.
That has happened a few times with my gaming group. Not only did we have no problem with it, some of us were reminding the guy with the deadline that it was approaching. The DM dropped him and a couple of foes from the combat and the rest of us continued.
And we have done the reverse, when we knew a player would be very late and thus started without him. We were in the middle of a long combat that we knew would take the rest of the evening, so we had him roll initiative and show up at the edge of the battle map from the direction that the party came. I am pretty sure that the DM had a monster or two join the other side at that point.
But if you are leaving because of a problem with the DM, there are two questions to ask yourself:
1) Can this problem be fixed? If so, stick around. If not --
2) Do you have any connection with this group other than the game? If so, work out a way to exit gracefully. If not, leave at once (assuming that you did not car pool to the game with anybody).
Depending on your reading of the group, leaving mid-combat might work if you have connections with some of the players but not the DM. If the DM is a total jerk and the players are sticking around because they have not gotten to the point of deciding that it would be better to have no game than this game, a rude departure might be the catalyst that blows up his game. Only twice in 30+ years of playing have I run across a DM so toxic that this tactic would be appropriate.
A big problem with fudging dice rolls is that if you do it enough you skew the probabilities in a way that players will eventually notice. For example, why would I take an ability that reduces or eliminates critical hits against me if the DM is going to do that anyway? Or if he is intent on having me critted and thus fudges the rolls so that I use that ability up?
Hero Points are a much better alternative that lets you accomplish most of the things you could do by fudging dice rolls without actually fudging the rolls.
I played in a D&D 4E game where the DM used fumble rules similar to the DM of the player who started this thread. Since that game had no confirmation rolls for critical hits, there were none for fumbles either. Since in that game all classes make attack rolls, wizards and other controllers with area effect spells were virtually unplayable.
DMs who are bad at math can be a real pain to deal with when they set up absurd systems like this.
Anthony Adam wrote:
That doesn't work -- multiclassing is allowed only with distinct classes. Once you have taken first level in a class, you do not have the option of "starting over" in that class by taking a different archetype, specialty, domain, or other class variant.
The best suggestions I can offer for critical fumble rules that do not have perverse effects would be the following:
1) Fumbling 5% of the time is ridiculous. Make 1 an automatic miss (per the standard rules) with a chance of an actual fumble occurring on a second roll. Our group uses 1-5 on a 2nd d20 roll.
2) Vary the consequences of a fumble in some sort of systematic way. Most fumbles should be embarrassing, not lethal.
3) Only the last attack roll of a turn should run the risk of a fumble. If an attack prior to the last one would otherwise be a fumble, the attacker simply loses his remaining attacks with no other consequences. I wish my group used this one.
Nobody has yet explained to me why a DM would ban the Geisha Bard archetype.
Okay -- I'll give it a try. Maybe he wants to ensure that all of the player characters can pull their weight in combat and he perceives that archetype as being too weak to do that?
You cannot change an archetype at each level -- basically, you are stuck with whatever archetypes you picked at 1st level in a given class for all future levels of that class. So if you took your first level as a fighter with the Dragoon archetype, all future levels in the fighter class must also use that archetype.
The only flexibility you have is in regard to archetypes that have no effect at lower levels. Most DMs will let you pick an archetype at the earliest level where it could make a difference -- but you are then stuck with any archetypes you have selected for all future levels in that class.
You could also go for subtle changes whose effects feed into planned future evolutions. For example, you could take energy resistance with the intent to replace it with full immunity at the next level, or an increase to strength, constitution, damage die size, or natural armor whose effects would be subsumed by a later size increase. If strength, dexterity, or another ability score is about to improve to an even value, you can take a +2 to an ability score at the prior level to effectively give the eidolon that increase a level early.
Evolutions that grant combat maneuvers can come and go as the eidolon advances and evolves its fighting techniques. If you don't like seeing body parts appear and disappear with level gains, consider having the eidolon's arms alternate between claw and slam attacks as you maximum number of attacks increases. Adding and removing the natural armor evolution is another subtle change that could cancel out with other AC improvements as the eidolon gains levels.
Rebel Arch wrote:
I think part of the reason for that is that with point buy you can construct your character in advance, while with random rolling you must delay many important decisions until after you have rolled your stats -- and since presumably you are rolling stats in front of the DM at the beginning of a game session, you are in a hurry to get the character put together so that you can start playing. So, what you would call a "character" could be to other people a "rushed job" that the player may be wanting to clean up between the first and second game sessions. I have seen far more problems with characters hurriedly thrown together with random rolls than with any point buy system.
I think the best feature of point buy is that the DM does not need to watch a player put his character together -- he just has to do a quick review of the final outcome for rules and campaign legality. That is the main reason that every organized play group has eliminated random rolls for ability scores and hit points from their rules. Playing time is precious -- why waste it with witnessing unneeded dice rolls?
I see your point -- but then again, a master chymist with Grand Mutagen, Burly, and Nimble as well as the Brutal class feature would probably be able to outfight an alchemist with True Mutagen. But I am actually surprised that they didn't hand out True Mutagen as the capstone ability of that prestige class in place of the last advanced mutagen.
Fixed arrays are a good approach if your players tend to come up with extreme builds, and they certainly require less work on the part of the players. I could certainly work with any of the arrays that you offered above (although I would probably avoid your SAD class array because it has a lower point buy value than the other 2).
Of course, if you are trying to avoid having "cookie cutter" character, then by definition anyone who wants to build a 29 point character without using one of your arrays would have a character who is nothing like the others in your group. But if you think that otherwise all of your players would go for something like 18 16 16 10 7 7, then offering a limited choice of arrays makes sense.
Of course, if players in your game are routinely wanting to build characters with such extreme stats, you may want to analyze your game to see what you are doing to encourage such an approach. Maybe your game is more combat heavy and light on social interactions than you want to admit? If so, you should not be surprised when players who are familiar with your DMing style routinely dump charisma when buidling their characters.
Scott Betts wrote:
"I don't understand it, so I'll just ignore it," is one of the absolute worst guiding philosophies you can have.
If you have decided that something is not important enough for you to go to the trouble of learning more about it, ignoring it is the best option -- certainly better than denouncing it without knowing what you are talking about. For all but a relatively small minority of the human race, RPGs are not important enough for them to want to know more about them. It just so happens that that minority includes absolutely everybody on these message boards.
John Kretzer wrote:
Not necessarily -- I imagine that he pretty much says the same things over and over again, and there is no reason to list repetitions of the same nonsense.
Rebel Arch wrote:
There is a DM that has a youtube channel I watch. I disagree with what he says about dice rolling, but he sounds like an awesome DM and actually house rules a PB system where you roll 7d4 to see how many points you get. Now that I would be happy to go along with. How do the PBers feel about that?
It is rather pointless to do that. There is a random 21 point spread in the point buy value (guaranteed to displease anyone who favors point buy for eliminating that sort of randomness) that is then distributed according to point buy rules (guaranteed to displease fans of random rolls). It is literally the worst of borh worlds as an approach to generating stats.
1) You explicitly can take a feat more than once, but its effects do not stack unless the feat's text says that they do. That means that you are stuck with a useless feat -- at least until the end of this month, when Ultimate Campaign's retraining rules may provide a way out of this situation.
2) The bonus sneak attack damage is not entirely useless, so I would take that as your second option. Extra damage never hurts. But a cavalier bonus that is roughtly equivalent to the bard bonus looks like it would make sense.
In my game, combat maneuvers tend to be used primarily by monsters and by my eidolon, usually as a result of that maneuver being part of a damaging attack. It is very rare to see a character use a combat maneuver instead of a damaging attack.
No, it isn't. I would always roll dice under your concept, since at worst I could get a 25 point buy character (I am assuming that you meant the second option be to build a 25 point buy character -- otherwise my point would be even stronger.) But at least your system has the virtue of not distorting the dice rolls -- nothing gets rerolled.
The major problem with point buy is that it has plenty of checks on scores that are too low (as nearly every DM who has players roll stats has a formal or informal acceptable minimum standard for ability scores and lets a player reroll if the stats are too crappy) but none on stats that are too high -- in fact, the player being able to say "You saw me roll them" and the DM seeing no evidence of cheating makes it very difficult for the DM to tone the stats down. With certain substandard rolls or combinations of rolls eliminated, the average of the accepted rolls can become much higher than a statistical analysis of the initial dice rolls would suggest.
The whole point of random dice rolls for ability scores is to generate a random member of the population of potential adventurers -- but the major problem is that adventurers are not random members of the population. For example, it is assumed that the character in question lives long enough to grow up and learn the basics of a character class -- which could require extreme luck for somebody who got a constitution score of 3. Alternatively, a character with mediocre stats might decide that the best plan in life is to work on daddy's farm and stay far away from dangerous adventures -- which is a more rational choice than the frequent character suicides I have read about from players rolling below average stats. So even if the rolls represent the potential that a random member of a given race is born with, some selection pressure has already weeded out the worst stats in the time that it would take a character to grow up.
And the whole thing gets blown out of the water if a player can arrange stats as he wishes. Doesn't that defeat the whole purpose of playing with what fate gave you? Did any real person ever have a completely free choice as a child as to whether he would be in the top 2% of the population as either a scholar or a weightlifter? On the other hand, if a new player to a campaign is trying to oblige a party that says they need a cleric, should he be stuck with an average or even below average wisdom? If the only decent stat that the player rolled was strength, would the resulting character join a party that already has enough big dumb fighters?
As a DM who prefers point buy, I can tell you what I told a player who preferred rolling dice in my game -- "Yes, you can roll your stats or determine them any way you like. Just make sure that they add up to a 20 point buy when you are done." Another DM that I know worked with the same player by letting him roll his stats, worked out the equivalent point buy, and then had the rest of us build our characters to that point buy. But what would he have done if he had had two players who insisted on rolling their stats and taking whatever they got?
There really is not a lot of room for compromise on the method for generating ability scores. A DM who favors point buy has no reason to give on that issue, while a DM who favors random rolls would have a tough time working out a reasonable point buy equivalent to his system of rolling (I have yet to meet a DM who was successful at doing that). As a player, I would obviously listen to the choices that the DM offers and take the superior option (factoring in the considerations above that could distort the odds).
I just caught what I think is an error in the Haruspex archetype. According to this PDF file, an oracle with this archetype gains a grand hex at 11th level. Witches do not gain access to grand hexes until 18th level. Are you sure you did not mean to say major hex here?
One question that the Paizo folks need to answer for themselves is whether they plan to create any more base classes. It would be unfortunate if, for example, NPC Codex 2 came out a couple of months before a product that introduced yet another base class. If they have plans for any more base classes, that would be more than enough reason to hold off on NPC Codex 2.
That discussion of earning XPs for acquiring treasure does remind me of a house rule in that regard that I do recall using. There was an obvious contradiction between gaining XPs for treasure on the one hand and paying for training to gain levels, general upkeep, and other means that the DM was encouraged to use to separate a player character from his money.
What I did was drop most of the expenses as well as the giving of XP for acquiring treasure -- but since there was not much else to spend money on back then, I did allow the option of earning XPs for money given away (spent on training or other intangibles, but not used to buy useful items). It was a much more efficient way to support the trope of characters gaining large amounts of treasure and then spending it all, leaving them hungry to go adventuring again.
I just picked up Champions of Purity and am rather impressed by it.
For those of you playing characters who are neither good nor evil -- there is stuff you can use as well, for when you are in an altruistic mood. Not everything in this book requires you to be a full time good guy.
Wings do not require or replace limbs, which actually rules out the biped and quadruped base forms for creatures who have two wings, two legs, and no arms. You are basically stuck with either the serpentine or the aquatic base form, and even then you must wait until 5th level to give the eidolon working wings. Both forms have free evolutions that you might not want.
You would have to track down a 3rd party product to have a strictly "avian" base form that can fly from 1st level.
Robert Matthews 166 wrote:
The new tricks are the major headache for existing players. The Flank trick, for example, incorporates an ability that more generous DMs might otherwise have assumed to be covered by the Attack trick.
For PFS play, the magic item slot rules are less of a problem, since the new rules are actually less restrictive than the old ones. Although -- I do wonder whether my serpentine eidolon's magic items would be legal in PFS play. The serpentine form is rather limited in terms of magic item slots, but my eidolon has always had the Limbs (Arms) evolution precisely so it can do all the things that a humanoid with hands can do (including wear rings and bracers).
Anyway, we definitely do need some sort of document that sets down the assumptions built into those new resources so that players without them can avoid those "gotcha" situations.
One problem with radically changing character concept when a character dies is that the dead player character had a particular role in the party that the player still feels the need to fill, which greatly limits how different the new character can be from the old one. Also, they will have had some ideas for advancement of their old characters that they would dearly like to apply to the new characters, which again requires that they be not too different from what they played before.
However, if these guys have been playing for 20 to 30 years, they must have been in several distinct campaigns. The start of a new campaign is an excellent time to switch to a radically different type of character, and I am surprised that it doesn't occur to the players.
I would think that by now one of them would say at the start of a new campaign something along the lines of "Hey guys, I've played the cleric in all of the past three campaigns. I would really like to try something different, so don't count on me for healing this time around."
I suspect that the retraining rules in Ultimate Combat will be the section most invoked by people who have no use for most of that book. I say this without having seen those rules -- but I know from experience with other games how the ability to change past character choices could affect a game.
You have noticed that there are all these feats that have useless prerequisite feats? Now you will be able to wait until you pick up the second feat in the chain before you swap out another feat for that useless first feat.
On the other hand -- Let's say that you have the Mount class feature but no current mount. You pick up the Leadership feat and attract a cohort. Then you decide to acquire your mount. Do you actually get away with doing that with no consequences, since the level of your cohort is unaffected by your Leadership score after you recruit him?
One note about weapon speed -- back in the 1E and 2E eras, it was very common to ignore that rule. I do not recall ever playing in a game that used that rule.
Initiative was rolled on d6 in 1E and d10 in 2E. There were also surprise checks, rolled on the same dice but with no modifiers for ability scores.
For morale, look at the values of the most fanatically brave monsters in your Monster Manual or equivalent. If it maxes out at 12, then roll 2d6 for morale. If it maxes out at 20, roll 2d10. I do not recall ever seeing a percentile value used. Also, note that these values are for NPCs and for DM controlled monsters -- player characters can fight to the death if they want as long as they are not subjected to a supernatural fear effect.
Actually, the time you have is 10 years per level of the caster -- and the caster of a resurrection spell cannot be less than 13th level. So you literally have a lifetime to get this done.
Since this is for PFS play, I would just set as a goal having the character save up enough prestige points to have Resurrection cast on herself and then retire the character. Since PFS rules no longer apply to retired characters, you can assume that she gets Bertram resurrected in her "epilog" -- but at that point they are both unplayable ex-adventurers.
If you avoided the lesser versions of Evolution Surge, you probably don't need the greater version either -- apparently your eidolon is so well designed that you haven't seen the need to buff it further. So why start now?
In your situation, I would probably go with Overland Flight and Purified Calling (to get negative conditions removed from your eidolon in the time it takes to perform your summoning ritual).
I never said they were -- but it would still be a good idea for a dwarf/goblin hybrid to take that trait.
Let's say he grew up in a dwarven community. We make the character a goblin for his official race, and give him adopted to give him access to one dwarf race trait -- a small token of the fact that he was raised by dwarves and not by goblins.
Now we look over the alternate racial traits for a goblin (separate operation entirely). Looking over the list, Cave Crawler and Over-sized Ears look particularly appropriate -- they each replace a racial trait appropriate to goblins raised by other goblins with something that a goblin raised by dwarves might reasonably have picked up during his childhood.
That book should have in it somewhere a statement of what is open content and what is product identity. The mechanics of the Psychic class should be open content, but you will have to track that down yourself since I do not have the book handy.
Given the difference in the way skills work between 3E and Pathfinder, you could set a limit to the ranks you can gain in psychic skills equal to psychic level plus half level in other classes in order to keep the power level down to what the 3E version of those rules wold have provided.
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
This guy isn't poorly designed -- just poorly played. Note that I did not specify what his "neat abilities" were -- they could very well be something useful if he placed himself somewhere he could actually use them.
Epic Meepo came up with some archetypes for NPC classes, but rather than swap out their limited features, he enhanced them to PC class levels.
But there would be a few possibilities inherent in each class:
Commoner: As the minimual class, there is not much to swap here. Maybe changes to the class skill list?
Expert: Maybe trade out light armor proficiency for more skills?
Adept: Maybe change spellcasting stat or add a domain in place of the familiar?
Aristocrat: There should definiely be a non-combatant option that trades in armor and/or weapon proficiencies for skills and/or bonus feats.
Warrior: Perhaps trade in heavy armor for an exotic weapon proficiency?
One way an order of "hunters of the dead" could work would be for somebody in the order to cast a Divination spell to ask for the identity of the nearest creature who died but is now living or undead. The order then hunts down that person and repeats the process indefinitely.
For a normal game, I think I would delay having a person declared dead until it is no longer possible to revive them with the Raise Dead spell cast by the highest level NPC cleric available in the campaign. After that point, a person is legally dead, with no claim on his former possessions -- perhaps he might be treated as a legal offspring of himself, born at the moment he is resurrected or reincarnated.
I would point him to the Race Builder in the Advanced Race Guide. Tell him he has 10 race points (or perhaps less) to spend, must buy everything that both races share (so he must have darkvision 60' and -2 to charisma, for example), and all other points must be spent on abilities of one or the other of the two races (at least one from each).
The big problems with the race builder come when you don't constrain the player in any way -- then a player can make up a race from scratch that is custom designed for the class he wants to play. In this case, the player is constrained by his character's known ancestry.
A simpler approach would be to have the character take strongly after one race or the other and thus for game purposes be a member of that race. Then he can select the Adopted trait to be raised by the other race and pick and choose his alternate racial traits from his official race with his mixed origin in mind.
But in any case, if he wants a weird character like that, make him do the creative work and then you just check it for game balance.
Build a character with a bunch of neat abilities that work best when he is within 30 feet of the party, but give him a dexterity of 7. Then, whenever combat starts, have him hide at a distance from the party and attempt to snipe at the enemies with a crossbow.
But why will the party not get rid of this guy as soon as they see how useless he is? If you want this guy to stick around for a while, he needs to be just useful enough for the party to barely tolerate him.
Alignment Channel is a feat that few people would bother taking -- Selective Channel is far more useful.
But take the case of a good cleric who fights a lot of demons and devils. Since demons and devils are living creatures, the cleric cannot use his channeling ability to harm them without that feat. So, for most clerics the question is whether he fights enough evil outsiders to warrant the expenditure of a feat to harm them with channeled energy.
On the other hand, you have an evil cleric with numerous demons and devils as allies. This cleric cannot use his channeling ability to heal his allies without that feat.
What the Alignment Channel feat gives you is the option to either heal or harm outsiders of a particular alignment sub-type with chaneled energy as well as selectively affect them only. Depending on whether you channel positive or negative energy, you would already have the ability to either heal or harm them (but not both) as you can with other living creatures.
That was just an example -- and the presumption comes into play even today if nobody bothers to do the testing. It is obviously negated in the case where one member of a lesbian couple becomes pregnant without the involvement of a sperm donation -- you don't even need to do a genetic test to be sure that the mother's spouse is not the father. In any case, genetic testing is just as modern an idea as same sex marriage -- and our legal system has barely caught up with genetic testing.
But the basic argument against government recognition of same sex marriage boils down to why the government cares about marriage in the first place. If the government's goal is to encourage the natural parents of children to be legally bound to their children and each other, then one could rightly ask why they should encourage relationships that cannot promote that goal.
The procreation factor could be introduced as an argument against polygamy. If a woman has two husbands, there would be no way short of genetic testing to establish which one has paternal obligations towards her children. If a woman having two husbands is outlawed for this reason, then equality would demand that a man having two wives also be outlawed (even though parentage of any children born is completely clear in this case).
The reasoning behind laws against incest also becomes important. Is the issue genetic health (prevention of inbreeding) or social (a disapproval of the idea of a family relationship growing up becoming sexual)? The former would not apply to same sex couples, but the latter would.
When opponents of same sex marriage say that they are against "redefining" marriage, these are some of the issues that they have (or should have) in mind.