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Well, you're right about players being big stinky cheaterfaces, but you have to remember that your job, first and foremost as a GM, is to make sure the game is fun. If the players are having fun, and you're having fun, then all is good.
We all want to be the cool GM, but when a player comes up and insists that Spellstrike hits touch AC, or that their 200+ damage character at level 10 is totally reasonable, you have to put your foot down for the group.
Two-hander is definitely the way to go. I've played a Greatsword-wielding scout, and the amount of damage you can put out in a single hit is just ROCKING. I never got high enough for it, but I was eventually planning on grabbing the Vital Strike line when I could, because MOAR D6'S.
Sure, later on your damage isn't AS impressive, but if you can manage to move/charge into a flank, you're basically guaranteed your hit, even with Power Attack, especially once you get the Menacing enchantment on your weapon. You might not do as much damage as the dedicated combat characters in your group, but rogues never have. However, in situations where Full Attacks are difficult to set up, you'll be able to toss out consistently high damage.
I have had SO many players dis Bards and Cavaliers.
One of the reasons I want to actually get to play is to prove these people wrong. Bards and Cavaliers are AWESOME, so long as you play to their strengths: for bards, that's buffing your buddies while being awesome at everything, and for Cavalier's, it's being awesome frontliners/buffers who also happen to have some mounted abilities.
Both of these are solid party faces/combatants that have abilities which scale off of the primary face stat: Charisma.
That's all good and well, guys, but comparing literal interpretation of the Paladin Code to Judaic Law is really, REALLY wrong on multiple levels, mostly because the Paladin code is designed with a different goal in mind:
The Paladin code exists not as a path to righteousness, salvation, or atonement, but rather as a strict set of rules which reward the paladin with supernatural, awesome power. This isn't some form of making the Paladin a better person (though, to be fair, following the code would set some of the habits of good people), it's a trade of sacrificing certain behaviors and practices and receiving power for your sacrifice. The Paladin code isn't a moral code, it's a code signifying when he does and does not receive his power, and the cost for it.
You'd never guess from my posts, but that's exactly why I think that Paladins make terrible paladins. Their power, that is their ability to defend the righteous and absolve the wicked, is dependent entirely upon their adherence to an incredibly strict code that, if broken, causes them to lose so much of their ability to be a paladin that they're useless.
That's why Fighters and Rogues (and Martial Artist monks)are the best paladins. 100% effective, 100% of the time, and if they make a mistake or slip up they don't get crippled.
I realize it was a hypothetical. I just find hypotheticals to be silly things. :P
Really, what matters is whether or not tranquilizers are considered "poison". The game makes no differentiation between various substances which can harm the body, either by making one unconscious, draining attributes, or causing various status afflictions (i.e., sickened), so it's difficult to say. In the real world, something like an anaesthetic would be different from a venom or toxin, and whether or not something like that would be considered a poison in Pathfinder is kind of strange. It would likely end up being ruled as working like a poison, but that gets into weirdness where the rules don't reflect reality very well in regards to lumping things together.
Paladin Code of Conduct wrote:
Additionally, a paladin's code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth)...
Seems pretty cut and dry to me.
Well, it's not really good to be a dick to people, so a Paladin couldn't do that either. I'm not really sure how you got that from what I said. >_>
A paladin doesn't lie. If he does, he's not a paladin. Does that mean that sometimes things become unnecessarily difficult around him? Absolutely. Does this mean that he's going to encounter situations that end up going worse than expected because of him? Yup.
Nobody ever said that being good was easy. Just that it was right.
But why did he hunt them down? If they were prey, why didn't he eat them? What about them made them prey, if he slept beneath the ocean for seemingly millions of years? Their radioactive nature? We know he was around in the 50s, and was apparently alive and kicking, and he was probably around before that.
I'm not arguing with what the movie SAYS happens, but they don't back it up well enough.
As a huge Godzilla fan, this movie was bad. It was so... so bad. I mean, yeah, Godzilla was awesome, but he was barely onscreen, had no motivation, and he gets touted as the savior of humanity when, for all ANYONE knew, he was another monster that just wrecked the place.
The parts with Godzilla in them were awesome, but they kept getting cut over and OVER again to cut back to a bunch of bland people we didn't care about. The first 30 minutes of the movie were great, and the first reveal of Godzilla is fantastic, but the rest is so boring that the "payout" at the end does little more than whet your appetite. This movie is one giant tease that leaves you feeling unfulfilled.
I already tried explaining it that way. Got ignored... twice. Hopefully you're more apparent than I was :P
Spell Combat wrote:
As a full-round action, he can make all of his attacks with his melee weapon at a –2
Melee Weapon is singular, implying that the ability only works when using a single weapon. Also, you can only two weapon fight with a full attack. Two weapon fighting isn't an "effect". It's an option. As this is a special action that exists outside of full attacking, there are no rules to say that you CAN use two weapon fighting with the ability.
All those go for Flurry of Blows as well.
Without builds, we can't really see the whole picture. There could be some serious errors in adding bonuses for all we know, and they should only be doing about half as much damage. No way to tell unless we see the math behind it.
That having been said, at that level I'm not surprised at that damage for the most part.
Also, you heard it here, guys. Fighters = broken.
Alright, I had a rules issue with a player this evening concerning Spellstrike. He said that he, and several past DM's, had ruled that the attack roll made with the magus Spellstrike class feature was made against Touch AC, whereas I ruled that it was a normal weapon attack.
I'm pretty sure I've got it right and that he (and his past DM's) were crazy, but I wanted to double check and make sure that the attack roll is treated as a normal attack roll and not a touch attack.
It's a neat idea, but the problem is that Mystic Theurge just doesn't go above level 10. We can INFER what it might be like when we go above it by looking at the class entry as listed, but as it stands the class ends at 10th level. The ability says that her level is added to the other class' level to determine which features she gains, but the Mystic Theurge doesn't gain any features after 10th level.
The thing to understand about Arcane Trickster is that you're a spellcaster. You get sneak attack progression, true, but with your low BAB and the full spellcasting progression the Prestige Class gains, don't trick yourself into thinking you're a combat-oriented class.
You can do some pretty nifty things by combining touch spells with your sneak attack, and that's fine and all, but you are, first and foremost, a wizard class that has some skills and nifty tricks with which to use them. Make sure you take the usual variety of spells wizards take, and trust that the few blasty spells you DO prep are used to their fullest by capitalizing on sneak attack as much as possible.
Buffs are great, and summons make great flanking partners for you AND your allies. Aid Other from a horde of weak summoned creatures can ensure that your attacks/spells hit, as well as those of your allies. Feats won't matter much, but you definitely wanna get a mithril buckler to enchant pretty soon, as it doesn't have arcane spell failure.
A real paladin doesn't play a paladin. He's someone who fights for what's right, and knows that the only way to ensure the right course of action is to follow what is good, knowing that, while peoples' opinions on what constitutes the best implementation of good may change, goodness itself exists regardless of that litigation.
And a paladin can't do that.
I have a standing house rule that if you describe your actions well enough, or come up with a REALLY cool idea for how you do something, you're probably going to succeed, if not at least get a huge bonus. Every once in a while I'll handwave something, but only if it's obviously going to take more than a minute to look up the actual rule, and even then I tell my group exactly why I'm handwaving it.
Actually, the Aligned class feature mentions a class she belonged to before becoming an Evangelist, so it COULD work with prestige classes. It also seems to increase spell progression with every level if you choose a class with spellcasting for Evangelist, which has interesting implications for arcane spellcasters and classes like Arcane Trickster.
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Wait, how do kobolds not make sense as inquisitors? Kobolds make amazing inquisitors, flavor-wise. They're self-righteous, enjoy having positions of authority over larger people, paranoid, smooth-talking...I mean, if Earth was Oerth, we'd call it the flippin' Reptilian Inquisition.
I meant going into Dragon Disciple from the Inquisitor class. Of COURSE kobolds make great inquisitors! XD
Actually, the alignment system does take note of intention. I just does so systematically. Casting an evil spell is evil, and fighting angel-enslaving conjurers is good. The net result is that you've basically acted in a neutral fashion, i.e., committing an evil act for the sake of a good one. That still, however causes you to fall as a paladin, because you've willingly committed an evil act. It sucks, but that's what it's like being a Paladin: You don't get to take the easy way out.
From the PFSRD:
Characters using spells with the evil descriptor should consider themselves to be committing minor acts of evil...
Changing Alignment wrote:
Characters also risk having their alignment changed if they continually act in accordance with an alignment other than the one they chose. For many characters, this matters little, but in the case of characters bound to a specific alignment for rules-related purposes, an alignment change might mean having to reimagine their entire character.
If you find yourself consistently performing evil acts, that's going to affect your alignment. Summoning a devil to save children from a burning building with its resistance to fire would be an evil act, followed by a good act. A character who routinely performed actions like this would probably be considered neutral, which is where most people fall anyways.
why 17 strength? So you can bump it up to 18 at level 4? Not worth it, imo.
Everything else is fine, but drop that strength to a starting score of 16 and give yourself some constitution, and bump THAT up to 14 at level 4. You'll likely get WAY more mileage out of it than a meager bonus to attack/damage rolls, which you'll just use inspire courage for anyways.
I wonder why people are getting up in arms about this. You've still got a really tanky character that does "okay" damage. It's not a feat I was familiar with, but I'd let it fly. You need pounce to use it consistently, or increased reach via a spell, and even IF you're taking 0 attack penalties, you still have to split your damage stats for two-weapon fighting (unless you're a ranger), and you're fighting with SHIELDS, some of the worst damage dealing weapons a melee guy can use. Low dice for their size and a truly awful crit range (20/x2) mean that you might be hitting quite often, but probably not for very much. But hey, at least your AC is good! >_>
I'm also pretty sure you'd be better off going with a Kukri/Heavy Shield or Scimitar/Light Shield combo and going for Bashing Finish. Bonus attacks on every crit is NICE.
Yeah... You're fine. If they're whining, they need to learn to play the game. System mastery is part of the overall experience, and if they DON'T like having someone super awesome with them... well, what kind of adventurer DOESN'T LIKE HAVING A SUPER AWESOME PLAYER WITH THEM???
I had a paladin in my last game crit-smite an evil outsider into the ground with a single hit, and nobody cried about it. They thought it was AWESOME. These guys need to understand that when you do something awesome, it's awesome, and you're not cheating, just being awesome. Nothing wrong with that.
The difficult part is what to do with your players running a published campaign that want to sidetrack. If everyone is okay with sidetracking, then slow the experience gain of the group down. Have it take longer. If they're okay with this, then problem solved.
If they aren't, and one person is attempting to go off on his own, I say let him. You can have a solo adventure with him where he earns his own experience, and when he gets back together with the group that has been doing their stuff and getting experience, he can QQ about it then. Playing in-character or not, he KNOWS he's being disruptive to the group (he reminds me a bit of Tidus from FFX, btw), as well as being disruptive to the DMs, and that's not cool. If he wants to go off and roleplay something, let him, but don't reward him for punishing the group by giving him an actual, physical reward for it.
Fey and Arcane bloodlines are probably what you're looking for.
Alternatively, you could do something a little... stranger. Use the Race Creation guide to create a Faerie Dragon "race". Get as close as you can without any of the bloodline stuff, including flight. Then, give him the draconic bloodline. Replace his first ability with the Fey bloodline ability, and have him grow old enough to fly, resist sleep, and all those cool things dragons get to do naturally as he levels to simulate his draconic nature. Sub out the spell list for the Fey one, and boom! Faerie Dragon bloodline.
It's nice that you feel that way, but the ability says "all damage rolls". You COULD take it out of context by negating the "all" to make it fit, but as written Smite Evil applies to ALL damage rolls, and damage rolls from a spell are still damage rolls.
It's every damage roll, so yup, every time you roll for damage, including damage caused by DoT effects. That's how I'd rule it, anyways.
The only exception, I think, would be damage for catching on fire and bleed damage, as that damage isn't a part of the damage the Paladin deals, it's a secondary effect with a (typically) fixed amount of damage rolled by the creature. But that's a little iffy, so /shrug.
The thing is, this kind of thing is the ONLY way that sneak attack becomes strong. I've never liked the whole volley/sneak attack rule because all it does is nerf something that didn't really need nerfing. In order to gain the benefit you have to spend a HUGE amount of money on a wand of scorching ray CL11, or you have to multiclass into Arcane Trickster. There are a few other combo's that could pull off something like this, but they're very few, and have such low BAB that they make the Wizard look like a capable combatant, to the point that touch spells are basically the ONLY way you're going to hit ANYTHING. Just look at the average damage of a full barrage of Scorching Ray alongside Sneak Attack damage at 12th level (the earliest you could get it via Arcane Trickster):
12d6 scorching ray +15d6 sneak attack. Seems like a lot, right? But...
Ignoring the work that goes into the setup of this combo (You basically need Greater Invisibility against foes with no way to detect you that can be sneak attacked and aren't resistant to or immune to fire damage), you average 94.5 damage, IF all of the rays hit, and you have a limited number of times per day that you can use this setup. Compared to what a martial can do on average all day, it's not THAT impressive.
Yeah, I have serious issue with that FAQ. As written, a spellcasting rogue was one of the best ways to consistently pump out decent damage. Making 3 sneaky touch-attacks in a round was a pretty darn good standard action, even if it didn't match the full attacks of optimized melee. It meant that grabbing the spell-like ability traits was actually kind of a good idea. Heck, it meant that Arcane Trickster was actually a REALLY cool, effective, and versatile prestige class that provided bonuses that amplified both its base classes.
I'd never use this FAQ anyways, so :P
There are some balance reasons that certain archetypes are tied to specific races, though. You'll notice that elves in particular get some pretty awesome archetypes for combat classes, but elves are also typically a weaker choice for those classes, so it balances out a bit.
Elves also get one of the best Oracle archetypes EVER, but they are usually a rather poor choice for Oracle.
Really, despite this, it's kind of a case-by-case basis. Sometimes a racial archetype should just be open to the public, and sometimes you have to consider the balance inherent in the race and archetype combination. Really, it just requires a bit of discretion.
It also sounds to me like part of the problem is moral relativism, and that the idea that morality might be fixed inhibits character creation with the system.
I would argue that morality isn't relative, and in that way the alignment system very closely mimics reality, even if it is typically flawed to a massive extreme in practice.
I'll just chime in and say that I actually like the alignment system, but I do think that the idea of alignment-based classes is a little bit screwy though. I'd prefer that, rather than have alignment-restricted classes, we had archetypes or bonuses for existing classes which rewarded them above and beyond normal classes for adhering to specific alignments. Make the Paladin a universal archetype that rewards the player with specific benefits for adhering to the Paladin Code. Same goes for some of the other Alignment-restricted guys, and I think we'd hear a little less QQ about it.