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Half-Orc

Davor's page

1,918 posts. Pathfinder Society character for Manijin.


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Scarab Sages

WormysQueue wrote:

Though there's still something I'm wondering about: After all these years of 3.0/3.5/PF, I dunno how many discussions about C/MD and as many tries to make fun of those people who don't buy the arguments, there's still noone out there trying to solve this assumed problem and having any form of relevant success with it. I'm guessing that's because of one sentence in this bingo stylesheet actually being true:

Fine, it exists, but it doesn't matter. At least not enough, that so many customers leave the system for that reason that Paizo would be forced to do something about it.

I hear 5e is doing pretty well with their greatly-diminished caster/martial disparity.

But, basically, I don't really care about it either. As long as people are having fun at my table, that's fine. I don't care if I DM for a party consisting entirely of martial characters, or if I played in one.

People can have fun despite the C/MD. We all admitted this a while ago.

Scarab Sages

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GM 1990 wrote:
baja1000 wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
baja1000 wrote:
My big things with the C/MD thing is really at the end of the day, what matters is luck. Sure, casters have the better tool box, but in the end it all comes down to luck. Thats what this game is, the luck of the dice. Who got the drop on whom from skill checks? The dice really decide that. If it was an even fight, full prep time, intiative can really make the difference. What if the caster keeps rolling low for SR? What if the caster gets grappled before he can act? What if the caster gets invisibility and fly off from quicken in one turn from going first? In the end, luck trumps all. I've seen powerful caster players wreck in one encounter, and then in the next they find themselves in 3-land (the d20 rolls only 3's for like, 5 rolls) and suddenly the useless fighter from the last fight is being begged to rescue him. One pen and paper, and even in practice, the gap in power is there, but the d20 is the ultimate equalizer, no matter how much prep time is given.

Casters don't rely on dice nearly as much as martials though. A lot of the best spells don't allow a save or still have a pretty debilitating effect even if you do save, and a wizard is going to win initiative even if he rolls a 1 and the fighter rolls a 20.

And then you have stuff like the dual-cursed oracle where if they decide they don't like a roll they can change it.

This I need to know. How does a wizard get a +24 initiative that the fighter can't acquire?

I seem to remember 300 or so posts ago it was something to do with persistent metamagic rod contingent spell X. Could be wrong though...I took a couple hundred post break from the debate.

The contentious debate seems to stem from some players and GMs who play the exact same game having lots of fun and not seeing the differences in class abilities as game breaking or fun breaking vs those who do or who would like Paizo (or any company) to publish rules that have game mechanics to ensure no...

Actually, experience with the C/MD has changed my mind a great deal. I am, for the first time, playing a dedicated caster (cleric), and I don't think I can ever go back to playing anything with less than 6th level casting. The utility I bring to the group is just TOO good, and too fun. I remember my fighter, my paladin, my rogue, and now that I've gone full caster I understand the disparity.

That's not to say those characters weren't fun. I enjoyed them and had fun playing them. But man, being able to overcome obstacles in such cool, dramatic, cinematic ways is just too much for me to ever go back.

Scarab Sages

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The Sword wrote:

This debate will spiral on for eternity between those that look comparatively between classes and those that look contextually at the way the DM runs the game.

These two viewpoints are completely cross purposes. Mechanics and storytelling. Those interested in the mechanics aren't looking for a storytelling solution. Those that don't care about the mechanics aren't interested in further mechanics.

Presumably there is a happy medium somewhere but I highly doubt we'll find it on a CMD thread. This thread should be re-named, dispelling the myths over a mechanical caster martial disparity. Then Alex Trebek wouldn't be talk across the rest of the discussion.

Alex, there is really no point getting wound up. Start a new thread to talk about how you balance casters through group dynamics and storytelling.

It's like Stormwind, but with a twist!

How is my druid turning into a bird/mouse/w/e less story-oriented than waiting days for the fighter to get a job as a guard/climb a wall unarmored?

My cleric waits to cast Animate Object until pivotal fights or cool story elements because I like storytelling with my spells.

Scarab Sages

I like playing my characters against type. Some of my favorites:

Martial Battlefield Controller: Lore Warden fighter with the trip line and dirty trick line. If you CAN'T trip it, you can probably blind it, and with a reach weapon and combat reflexes you get enough attacks to stay pretty darn effective at defending your allies and begin the anvil to set them up, too.

Divine Shield: Cleric with TONS of armor and buffs. I currently am specialized at channeling to harm undead, but against non-undead I have plenty of buffs, and I purposefully put myself on the front lines. Why? Because I've gone out of my way to have the highest AC in the group. I support my allies by tricking enemies into "going after the healer" while I use full-defense. Usually I can get enemies to waste a round or 2 of actions before they move on, at which point I can continue supporting my allies or throwing out debuffs or Spiritual Weapons.

There are a few others, but I haven't seen the characters get high level yet. We'll see how they turn out.

Scarab Sages

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You don't need luck to cast fly.

Or wild shape.

Or teleport.

Or... etc.

The druid doesn't need to be better than the fighter: he needs to be a solid combatant, and more versatile. He is both of those things, and so the group does not need a fighter.

If the fighter needs a wizard to be good, then he isn't good. The wizard is good. You can get spell-storing on a druid. You can get good AC on a druid. You can get good reach on a druid. All while having access to great, game-altering spells, so the fact that the druid isn't AS good as the fighter doesn't matter.

I'll say it again. The druid can fly. Can the fighter? No, not by wasting someone else's spell slot. Can he fly? That's the C/MD. If your answer is "Well, you should play as a team!" then yes, I will agree. I should play as a team. That's why when the fight gets rough my cleric Plane-Shifts the party to heaven to take a break. That's why climbing any solid surface is made easy by my druid casting Climbing Beanstalk. That's why the gorge is crossed effortlessly by my Oracle casting Rainbow Bridge (or whatever that revelation is called. It's awesome XD).

THAT IS THE C/MD.

Now, do I discourage my tables from playing fighters? Of course not. I played a Combat-Maneuver specialized Lore Warden Fighter with a wide breadth of Knowledge skills and group combat support. He pulled his weight quite well in combat.

But he couldn't fly.

Scarab Sages

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Um... a vivisectionist/beastmorph alchemist is a FANTASTIC character. At 10th level, he can fly, has access to pounce, and likely several natural attacks with his mutagen. This, combined with the fact that he can turn himself invisible AND give himself other, long-lasting offensive buffs means that the vivisectionist is actually kind of a better rogue than the base rogue. An argument could be made for the Unchained Rogue closing the gap a bit, but Stoneskin & Heroism seal the bloody deal. The ability to pounce and get lots of easy sneak attacks is just icing on the cake.

I LOVE the companion archetypes. While the Promethean Alchemist is probably the weakest of the bunch, it's a simple-to-track companion that gets its own, unique construct scaling, becomes medium sized, has simple weapon proficiency, and otherwise acts like an upgraded version of an animal companion with humanoid proportions (i.e., lots of magical item slots). If you ever wanted to play two characters at once, this is how you'd do it. The companion is a bit squishy, but it works.

Construct Rider is AWESOME. I love mounted characters, and the ability to throw a lance on your Alchemist and charge on a construct steed is just AWESOME. Plus, since you can give it extracts, you can give your mount the ability to fly, etc. Plus, it solves the problem of what to do when you get into melee, as you can give your mount a bomb-damage-based breath weapon (which looks freaking COOL). Overall, I think it's really solid, and I could totally see myself making a mounted alchemical charger.

But Homunculist? Man, this archetype takes the cake. You know why? You can add HD to your Homunculus. You don't even NEED gear once you've got your construct buddy with full Familiar bonuses AND bonus HD. Combine that with the unique ability to get 1-point evolutions for your Homunculus, and you're chucking bombs while your beastly buddy is wailing away on your foes. It's FANTASTIC.

Scarab Sages

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hiiamtom wrote:

Floating Disk must be in contact with the caster to move.

Quote:
The disk floats approximately 3 feet above the ground at all times and remains level. It floats along horizontally within spell range and will accompany you at a rate of no more than your normal speed each round.
As a druid player, I would eat a AoO happily to land a full attack with grab attack. Suddenly the fighter's weapon is useless. If I couldn't afford the hit I would cast a spell like Ash Storm or Stone Call.

Um... no. Where does it say that? It says you can move it about within the range of the spell (25+5/level). If it HAS to move with the caster, why wouldn't the range be 5'? Still, using this spell to give the fighter pounce is a neat idea, albeit doesn't really do much about the whole C/MD thing, as Lemmy mentioned.

Scarab Sages

Alex Trebek's Stunt Double wrote:
Bigger Club wrote:

Natural Spell

Wild speech
Armor Scroll down to barding.

AC: 10(base)+6(dragonhide breatplate)+0(dex normal dex is 12)+4(natural armor)+2(favored class bonus to NA)
So 22 AC before any magical items or spells.
In comparison fighter requires full plate, heavy shield and 12 dex to equal that.

Anyway, 2 feat taxes just to cast your smaller selection of druid spells but not actually use spell storing weapons. Don't have humanoid hand to drink a potion. Can't throw weapons.

What do you recommend is the Druid feat line-up?

Also, this is Large, where is the size penalty to AC? And size penalty to hit as well.

Fighter probably isn't going to go for full-plate but Breastplate + Armoured Kilt as an option, which importantly allows (Thanks to Armour Training) a DexMod of +5, plus a buckler we're at AC23. A fighter has both Armour slot and Buckler to put abilities and enhancements into, Druid has only the Barding, so there's going to be something of a difference in where magical AC boosts go but all else equal. You also cannot have anything like Living Steel armour, obviously. It's inherently metal.

And until we get to Level 8 Druid is going to be a problem on intense dungeon crawls, you can chain Keep Watch scrolls to keep everyone else active but you're going to be done after 12 hours in the danger zone. Even if you can keep them awake and alert they can't be in fighting fit state till they have had rest equivalent and meditated.

This is what I keep finding, Druid is only so great only if you write off the first quarter to first third of the game. And it's obvious to me that it's critical that Druid STAYS in wildshape on adventures except for the small 1 hour meditation window due to how painfully slow Barding is to put on. You can Wildshape into as a standard action...

My druid can fly as early as level 4.

#C/MD

My druid can cast Climbing Beanstalk (one of my favorite spells in the game!) to totally invalidate the need for climbing for the entire group.

#C/MD

My druid can heal allies for free, and use wands of cure light wounds without Use Magic Device.

#C/MD

My druid never has to run out of water in the desert.

#C/MD

My druid never has to worry about harsh climates.

#C/MD

My druid can swim without requiring swim checks, in any gear in most situations.

#C/MD

Most of what I just mentioned is easily available at 1st level.

#C/MD

The druid doesn't have to be better than the fighter in combat. He doesn't even need to be the fighter's EQUAL in combat. All he has to do is be good enough, and between a combat druid's personal prowess (which is exceptional) and the added prowess of an animal companion (which is decent), he's MORE than good enough for most encounters. Also, he has a full spell list.

This is the heart of the C/MD, as you keep being told. It ISN'T ABOUT COMBAT. It's never been about combat. Everyone knows that martials are good at combat. It's about the fact that my first level druid can last without water indefinitely. It's about the fact that I don't even need a decent climb skill to invalidate a challenge before the group. It's about the fact that I have TONS of options for doing things most martials have no hope of accomplishing, all because I have magic.

The C/MD isn't about someone having more fun than someone else. I have fun playing martial characters, and I have fun playing spellcasters. It's about the VAST power that a resource like spellcasting grants for non-combat challenges, and how much the martial equivalent (skills) pale in comparison.

Scarab Sages

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The thing I like about archetypes is that they allow you to play your character the exact way you want from level 1, and that's an important thing. Heck, the new Eldritch Scoundrel for Rogue is pretty much the best thing since sliced bread because it says "I can be an Arcane Trickster at 1st level, no strings attached".

If I were to combine the philosophies of Archetypes/Prestige Classes, I'd probably do some sort of staggered class progression: Say, for example, the base classes only go up to level 10. Then, from levels 11-20, you take your levels in any prestige classes for which you qualify, with requirements being more roleplay-oriented than mechanically oriented. Example: The Eldritch Knight is not just a class. It's an order of martial arcanists devoted to X, Y, & Z (depending on your campaign world). Progress through the ranks of the EKs requires tests of both magical and martial prowess, and in addition to continuing spellcasting for existing casters, it provides NON-spellcasters a small spell list (think bard/magus level spellcasting, but you only get 10 levels of it).

Of course, then I'd have to redesign the entire philosophy of high-level pathfinder, but I think it'd much rather see a system like this than "Prerequisites: Diehard, Toughness".

Scarab Sages

We need more info regarding party composition. Are they other guys built for combat? How do they contribute to the group? Do you have any ranged guys? What were your defensive measures taken aside from staying at reach as best you could?

Scarab Sages

Chengar Qordath wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Alex Trebek's Stunt Double wrote:

This is another crazy anecdote where what little there is doesn't add up and I have no idea what you or the monk are omitting.

I mean at level 12 a monk gets an inherent AC bonus of +3.

Totally unbelievable story, until you remember details that bring some sense to this.

You not liking it doesn't change the fact that we ran it as if he had 10AC and I didn't kill him. Nitpick all you like, you can't deny that simple fact.
I'm sure he can. At this point I expect he could find a way to post a 20 page long rambling diatribe about how the sky is not blue.

Actually, the sky isn't blue. :P Sometimes we think it is, though. /runs off squealing in delight

Scarab Sages

Matthew Downie wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
But if that's the case, nothing keeps your druid from tumbling down the cliff face. C/MD is about options. The druid can tumble or fly, as she sees fit -- the ranger has no choice in the matter.
The player of the druid can't (in this scenario) have fun narrowly surviving the fall, because in order to do that he'd have to inflict the danger on himself intentionally, which would require him to role-play doing something stupid for no reason. Disparity is about options; options that make things too easy aren't always fun.

My cleric totally saves his abilities and does dramatic, cool "martial" things because I like being dramatic. Also, he's a cleric of Khepri, and believes that doing hard work without magic is part of his faith, so if he can get by without it, he does so. It makes the game pretty darn fun. :P

I mean, if I REALLY had to I'd just do it the magical way, so I'm not disagreeing with the premise, just the execution.

Scarab Sages

Zilvar2k11 wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
The disparity exists objectively. The fact that casters can fly, turn invisible, travel the planes, cure HP damage, foretell the future and summon fantastical minions is not subjective; it's objective fact, written right there on the page in black and white. The fact that martials can't do those things is similarly objective, not subjective. The disparity exists.

That's like saying it's objectively true that a low level/high level disparity exists. It's an objective truth, but by itself it isn't a useful one.

It is true that the more spells you have available to you, the more options you have, and that range of options is generally greater and more effective than the range of options provided by non-spell options (class abilities/feats).

The latter is, as I see it, the source of these discussions. Casters get to have more fun. It's also the source of the counters (like the funny story I posted), because sometimes you can go loooong stretches where the roles are reversed and someone else gets to have more fun.

Ideally, the asymmetric balance between classes, roles, abilities, spells would be tailored so that the level of fun you have isn't generally tied to the number of spells you get to cast per day or per encounter, and we're not there AT ALL, but in the end I still see this as a very subjective subject because you won't ever be able to escape that every discussion, at its core, is going to come back to fun.

IMO, of course. :)

So, a lot of people don't know this yet, but 5th edition D&D actually did a relatively simple thing to work on the caster/martial disparity. it's a feat tax, but it's still there: the Ritual Caster feat. You get a ritual book, in which you can record spells with the Ritual descriptor. Once per day, you can cast a ritual spell in the book, regardless of your level, so long as you have the actual spell in your book.

This alone is a huge boon, because at the end of the day, it doesn't matter how many spells the spellcasters get. They could get 1 spell per spell level, and they'd be ANNOYING to play, but the ability to teleport is still the ability to teleport, the ability to fly is still flying, and the ability to go to heaven and have a party is still something a martial character can never HOPE to achieve, no matter how many spell slots the caster has.

Scarab Sages

Milo v3 wrote:
Davor wrote:

THE CASTER/MARTIAL DISPARITY ISN'T ABOUT COMBAT. It's myth #1, guys! You keep bringing up examples of "well, the group needs more encounters" or "My character owns combat, and he isn't a caster", but that's not what it's about, lol!

Just read Jiggy's post. ^

And yes, as he said, this isn't about one group of players have more fun than the others. It has to do with the narrative/problem-solving power of spellcasters relative to mundane martial characters.

I assume the more encounters is to burn out all the spell slots.

Right, but that doesn't change the fact that the wizard can fly, and the cleric can plane shift, etc. It just requires them to do more of it, and when they run out, they need a backup plan.

Scarab Sages

Yes. Do it.

Scarab Sages

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THE CASTER/MARTIAL DISPARITY ISN'T ABOUT COMBAT. It's myth #1, guys! You keep bringing up examples of "well, the group needs more encounters" or "My character owns combat, and he isn't a caster", but that's not what it's about, lol!

Just read Jiggy's post. ^

And yes, as he said, this isn't about one group of players have more fun than the others. It has to do with the narrative/problem-solving power of spellcasters relative to mundane martial characters.

Scarab Sages

So, if you want to do things like "Fix those charmed by undead/demons", you may want to get better spellcasting. Being good at both combat and spellcasting is difficult, especially if you want the unarmed route, but there might be a way to do it by going STRAIGHT ORACLE.

Okay, hear me out on this one. It's a tad feat intensive, but it might just work.

So, you go life oracle. Just raw Life Oracle. You've got healing, but you're goal is to be good against undead and demons, right? So, you take the Alignment Channel feat to use channel positive energy against evil outsiders. But that's a later feat. The first few things you'll need are Extra Revelation and Improved Unarmed Strike.

Now, you COULD wait until you pick up a Monk's Robe at a later level, and it's what I would do, but if you want to punch people from level 1, this is the way to do it. So, there are 3 revelations that are an absolute MUST for you: Channel, Life Link, and Energy Body. Energy body REALLY isn't that great, but did you notice a little caveat when it's used against undead creatures?

Energy Body wrote:
...Any undead creature striking you with its body or a handheld weapon deals normal damage, but at the same time the attacker takes 1d6 points of positive energy damage + 1 point per oracle level. Creatures wielding melee weapons with reach are not subject to this damage if they attack you. If you grapple or attack an undead creature using unarmed strikes or natural weapons, you may deal this damage in place of the normal damage for the attack.

Emphasis mine.

So, when you attack undead while energy body is active, not only do you have a positive energy version of flame shield, but your unarmed strikes deal 1d6+level damage! That's actually pretty respectable, and if you get spells that make you better at combat (Righteous Might, etc.), I think you'll find that your combat ability will be pretty substantial (against your chosen enemies). It turns Energy Body a little into a round/level version of a weak Smite Evil.

Now, you may not need Alignment Channel until 5th level, and the same goes for Energy Body via Extra Revelation, so depending on what you go with as your early fights, you need to consider your gear. I don't recommend the unarmored route, as much as it may fit your character concept. You get Medium Armor and Shield Proficiency, and I recommend that you use them. Your character probably makes sense with high Strength, and I recommend that you use it. A reasonable Dexterity score could work with the setup as well. I don't know how you're generating stats, but prioritizing Str=Cha>Dex>Con>Wis=Int would probably work in your favor.

An amulet of mighty fists is important, but you have access to enchantments that most users don't typically go for. Grayflame is something from which you can get a lot of mileage, giving you that Enhancement bonus to attacks AND counting them as good & silver for overcoming damage reduction (and the +1d6 extra damage is nice as well). Once you get extra attacks, it's probably a better way of dealing damage to your enemies than just channeling when there are few enemies around.

Remember, though that all of this is secondary next to your spellcasting. Spells like Protection from Evil (and Magic Circle Against Evil) will keep you guys safe from charms/compulsions, something vitally important against demons/undead. You give as many allies as needed your Life Link, and you can even use Energy Body to heal yourself while life-linked with allies, so in a single turn you could heal allies, yourself, and strike undead creatures for pretty reasonable damage (all with silvery, golden fists of righteous fury). Around 7th level, if you have your monk robe, you're looking at ~2d6+9 damage against undead per unarmed strike, which is pretty nice. It's not a ton, but you also have really solid defenses, likely a Magic Circle Against Evil up, and the ability to pulse heal your allies as needed. If you manage to get REALLY crazy stats, you could get Brawling Elven Chainmail eventually, which, combined with a decent dexterity, would keep your AC pretty high while also giving you that sweet +2 attack/damage with unarmed strikes.

Against normal enemies, you have lots of powerful spells/buffs, and your unarmed strike damage is small, but you're still defensive enough to hit the front lines without worrying too much. I will admit, there is a bit of question as to how some of the enchantments work with the damage component of Energy Body (I could see it reasonably argued either way), but there you go.

Scarab Sages

Kahel Stormbender wrote:

My take on the issue is as follows:

The problem is real, but depending on GM and group may not be as big an issue as some claim. For others, it's a huge problematic issue.

The basis of the C/MD issue is in the capabilities of martial characters vs casters. At low levels a caster is extremely weak. They can only cast a small handful of times per day, their spell selection is limited, they have low hit points, crap damage dealing capabilities, and low armor class,

Conversely at low levels martial types tend to have good hit points (still low, but not painfully so), good to great Armor Class, reliable capabilities that can be used all day long, and potentially devastating attack capabilities.

It's as the party levels that problems develop. Martial characters gain Armor Class slowly and at high cost. There's also a hard limit to what the martial can achieve AC wise. Once the fighter has a +5 tower shield, +5 mithral full plate, +5 ring of protection, and +5 amulet of natural armor there's not much more they can do to increase their AC. Meanwhile badguys get increasingly higher to-hit until it gets to the point where your maximized AC is effectively tissue paper.

Casters however can pick up defensive spells fairly early on which can negate the need for high AC. They can stack miss chance, to-hit penelties, and other effects to negate the need for high AC. Oh, and still acquire a decent AC rating. All it takes is a bit of crafting and a few hours a day memorizing spells.

Damage wise, martials can be at even more of a disadvantage. While a level 1 barbarian if built right and equipped right can potentially deal upwards of 40 damage in a single round, the damage dealing capabilities of a martial never really increase that much. Power attack for an eventual +5 (or +7.5) damage, a +5 weapon, improved critical, and vital strike feats will improve your damage capability.

Your scythe wielding fighter's damage is never going to increase too dramatically though. At level 1 your 18 Str power attacking...

Okay, let me stop you right there. You DO realize that a dedicated martial character can put out upwards of 100 damage around level 10 if they're built for it, right? Your wizard throwing out maximized fireballs? That's a 6th level spell slot. 8th if it's empowered. My archer is doing that every round WAY before you get that. You get, what, a couple of those as well, right? If you REALLY wanted to deal a ton of damage, you'd cast Dimension Door on the martial guy. And haste. There's a reason why those spells are so darn good.

Martials have never been bad at damage, and they almost always outshine casters at doing raw damage (though a few hybrids, like the druid and summoner, get to just be great at everything). But it really doesn't matter, because the C/MD isn't about damage anyways.

Scarab Sages

Ask the Arcanist what his speciality is. If he specializes in debuffs/crowd control, consider building a character based around buffing. If he specializes in buffing and defenses, consider building a character themed around crowd control. If he specializes in damage, then you probable need to shore up both group enhancement and enemy disabling.

Any of those circumstances scream bard to me. The gorumite will appreciate the attack/damage buffs that stack with his, you can grab a reach weapon and you can lay some smack-down from behind him, or you can consider the old whip-it-&-trip-it bard build to get him bonus attacks while knocking enemies prone.

Alternatively, a Lore Warden fighter would help as well, focusing on combat maneuvers and disabling foes. There's the web-popular Eldritch Guardian dirty-trick specialist that combines combat teamwork feats with his Mauler familiar to get all sorts of crazy shenanigans on your foes.

Alternatively, if you felt like you needed a bit more of a divine buffer than the Warpriest, you could consider an Evangelist cleric for some crowd control and superior buffing. It's basically THE go-to build for party support, with the reach version getting a special shout-out.

If you need someone to deal damage at range, consider a Kineticist. Yeah, yeah, their ranged damage isn't SUPERB, but you can pack a LOT of utility into your wild talents, and being able to act as a scout/occult skill monkey for your group could be pretty darn useful considering that you can put out average damage at range.

Scarab Sages

Milo v3 wrote:

Bestiary 1 Shadow demons, just because of the mayhem that can be caused through possession.

Bestiary 2 Kolyarut are one of my favourites, going through the mortal world finding liars and oathbreakers and bringing them to Non-Good justice can be rather cool especially with all their at-will tricks. Really gets you thinking about how useful some spells are when a monster can use them an infinite amount of times.

Bestiary 3 Boogeymen can be brilliant, especially if you have them in the game way before it's level appropriate, giving people terrifying hallucinations while invisible, following events of the players because they are the first interesting things he's seen in a while and he's very bored.

Bestiary 4 Incutilis, cephalopod that poisons and controls a helpless creatures body would be cool enough, but these guys are more intelligent than most humans and have telepathy as well. Now from the art, my first thought was "okay these guys can crawl onto a boat, and take them over/murder the sailors in their sleep", but then I realized their puppet abilities work on "any helpless small or medium creature". Psychic cephalopod's who take over the bodies of sharks, dolphins, giant crabs and giant seagulls... etc. These guys have a lot of options available, so you get a lot of variety when using them against your players.

See, when I found out about the Incutilis, I immediately saw dark comedic value. My group encountered a bunch of Grindylows, one of which had found a "special hat" that made him super smart. Turns out the grindys were too dumb to realize what had actually happened, compounded by the fact that the manipulating a creature's body that you've just climbed into should be jarring. Between the broken speech and constantly slapping himself in the face with his own tentacles, the group has grown to... "like" this disturbing little guy.

I also really like the Seugathi. Magic missile wands, aura of confusion, and controlling confused creatures? It's a surefire way to scare the party. :P

Scarab Sages

So, some of these "old fogey" posts are getting a tad presumptuous. You may not realize this, but most of us talking about proper tactical use and optimal combat actions also DM. In fact, I DM WAY more than I play, and I learned early on that the CR system... well, it doesn't work very well. It's good for ballpark stuff, but I also play with optimizers, and an APL+2 CR encounter is what I regularly throw at them. APL+5 if I'm feeling crazy and want to push them to the limits of what they can do.

Guess how many times healing has been REQUIRED in an encounter? Not once. I don't even do the 1 big, bad guy thing either (well, only rarely, and when I do he's very carefully made), preferring to stack up different, synergistic monsters. I don't pull punches. My players know simple combat tactics: range/reach is a valuable weapon, focus fire your targets down 1-by-1 to minimize enemy actions, and balance offense and defense so that you can remove foes efficiently while also ensuring that you can withstand their blows. They are devoted to every single fight, and use all of their resources to stay in prime fighting condition against whatever I throw at them, and they realize the delicate edge on which a battle can swing... but they're prepared for it.

You can argue all you want about needing a healer, but at the end of the day, the game is NOT functionally built around requiring a dedicated healing person for any given group. It is a luxury when done well, but not a requirement.

Scarab Sages

Zilvar2k11 wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
If you're trivializing everything because of Paladin smite the last floor might be the absolute worst time for your GM to ramp up the difficulty... you start to fight less "evil stuff that took over the spire" and more "neutral stuff that built the thing in the first place". You will be very short on Smite targets towards the end of the adventure.

Smite is one of his pet peeves (a big one, of course, but not the only). Specifically that smite bypasses all forms of DR on the target creature.

I won't say it was completely unintentional, but I didn't plan for an evil-caster-chasing-beat-down-machine paladin when I built him. It just so happens that many of our fights have gone 'the caster does something horrid, make a save.' 'I pass, move adjacent, mark him as my smite target, and hit for some significant portion of BBEG's hit points'. BBEG tries to take a 5' step to cast safely and, whoops, paladin's still there! Tries to cast defensively and fails because 15+2x level is not an easy check for spells at the caster's top level.

So, DM ends up feeling like 'wow, this fight that was supposed to be an awesome test of their capability was complete crap because zilvar just wtfpwned the bad guy'.

The point of all this is that CM/D is often a subjective subject. In this specific instance, I wouldn't be able to bribe my GM into believing in the concept of CM/D because recent experience tells him that (his NPC) casters don't ever get to do interesting things, because zilvar's paladin is a meaniepantsdouchebag and carries badwrongfun around in a big bag o' SMITE.

:)

Just point him to myth #1. The C/MD isn't subjective, at least it isn't totally subjective. Player skill can influence table experience with it, but on a fundamental level it exists. I believe that's another one of the myths mentioned in the OP.

Scarab Sages

Haladir wrote:

All I can say is that I have not personally experienced any particular caster/martial disparity in all my years of 3.5 OGL or PFRPG gaming. This is true on either side of the GM screen.

In fact, it's been my experience that martials tend to dominate combat.

Caveat: My players and I prefer low-to-mid-level play, with our "sweet spot" at level 5-9. I've never played in or run a PFRPG game beyond level 12.

My conclusion is that if there is indeed a martial/caster disparity, it probably only happens at high-level play.

Again, I'm basing this solely on my own anecdotal experience of the past dozen years. Your experiences may vary based on play style and level of system mastery.

Um...

Jiggy wrote:

Myth #1: The Caster-Martial Disparity is primarily a combat issue.

This myth is usually not stated like this, but rather couched in some sort of imperative aimed at the person complaining. Something like, "Just tell your casters to stop optimizing so heavily for combat" or "Remember that the game is about more than just combat". Generally, it's a statement that if the other person and/or their group/GM would just put less emphasis on combat, then the C/MD would more or less disappear. This, in turn, indicates that the speaker believes the C/MD is a combat-oriented complaint.

It is certainly true that the C/MD includes combat; however, this is only perhaps 20-30% of what the C/MD is actually talking about. The primary complaints actually center around out-of-combat situations and how the characters are able to interact with the setting and narrative.

For example, where a martial has to make multiple saving throws per day against extreme weather, a simple 1st-level spell completely bypasses that obstacle for 24 hours. A wizard with the 2nd-level spell invisibility active is better at Stealth (even with no ranks) than a rogue with several ranks and a high DEX. The complaint is that for any given non-combat task, the magical solution is typically faster and more likely to succeed than the nonmagical solution (if a nonmagical solution even exists at all), and at a relatively trivial cost compared to what's being accomplished.

Combat is practically an afterthought.

Jiggy wrote:
Myth #6: The Caster-Martial Disparity assumes a "Schrodinger's Wizard" who somehow manages to always have just the right spell prepped for any given situation...Second, for the spells that truly are situational enough that guessing which ones to prepare could be a real limiting factor, that potential limit is sidestepped by the scroll economy. Lots and lots of situational spells (like invisibility, remove blindness, lesser restoration, see invisibility, etc) are of relatively low level (usually about 1-3). This makes them relatively affordable as scrolls, which can be carried around until needed, without having to make the kinds of tough decisions referenced earlier. On top of that, casters typically have less need of magical weapons or armor, opening up a huge chunk of their budgets for the collection of these situational scrolls. Even in campaigns with relatively low access to the necessary markets for purchasing these scrolls, any spellcaster can take the Scribe Scroll feat and make their own. (Wizards even start with Scribe Scroll for free!)
Jiggy wrote:

Myth #7: The Caster-Martial Disparity only exists in theory; in actual gameplay, it doesn't really happen.

Closely related to Myth #6, this myth gets tossed around a lot. Unfortunately, it's difficult to discuss because the people who say it tend not to give much to go on. Often, they just sort of declare it and expect that to settle the matter. It's also difficult because it usually comes alongside other myths.

For instance, someone might start by declaring that C/MD is just the work of theorycrafters and isn't present in actual gameplay. Then someone tells a story of a caster ending a fight in the surprise round, and the original speaker then invokes Myths #1 and/or #4 ("the game is more than combat"/"stop trying to compete with your friends"). Then someone else offers another story, and the speaker dismisses that one too by invoking another myth. Then another story, and another myth-based dismissal. This repeats over and over. The speaker might hear six different stories and dismiss each with a different myth. If he were to look at the big picture, he would see that he just encountered six different stories from six different people who encountered something he thought wasn't real.

Scarab Sages

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Derek Dalton wrote:

Why are you referencing 4th edition on a Pathfinder board in a Pathfinder argument? Because it talked about CRs and adventurers more then Pazio has. Pazio in the Core Rule book glossed over how to do an adventure 4th ed spent a full chapter on it.

My point is CRs encounters are supposed to be base line to party level and one higher. Depending on the power level a DM should increase that by one or two more. Now it also stated an adventure should also have CRs equal or lower to the party.

Yeah, but now you're quoting the rules for a different game to try and argue your point about this game. That's like me saying "Well, World of Warcraft requires dedicated healers in the Trinity, and that game did that really well, so I expect that to apply to Pathfinder as well." It just doesn't.

Scarab Sages

Derek Dalton wrote:

No one assumes bad tactics, bad players who make mistakes maybe. Consumables another issues, like how many? Use Magic Device three classes get it as a trained skill Bards, Rogues and Sorcerer. DC20 to use. Right there that's the Sorcerer's action to use. He could have used a spell to drop a monster. That's also a skill point used every level and he gets two plus int. Rogue would be better off taking it with a high Chr. Our party doesn't load up on consumables merely keeping spoils of war. Money spent on consumables is money not used to purchase magic weapons, armor, cloaks and other more useful permanent items. Items that make a fighter tougher stronger.

Again sounds like your DM tells you everything or worse you read the module ahead of time to know what is going to happen. You sound like you tell the players what to do or else rather then let them figure out how to work as a team. Money never seems to be an issue with you. Another issue is sometimes you are in a dungeon for the long haul sounds like the DM has an escape hatch for you whenever you want.

1) At low levels, a +1 magic weapon costs 2000, plus the cost of the base weapon. Assuming the party all pitch in (and they should), a wand of Cure Light Wounds runs you 200-ish gold (it's actually a little less). That's for a fully charged one. You could buy one for less (a half-charged one will probably suffice for most of your early level healing), and at low levels even a half-charged wand should see you through quite a few levels. By 4th level, expected WBL is 6000 gold. Are you REALLY telling me that that extra 200 gold is such a huge expense that you can't handle it? Remember, also, that you are intended to get a little MORE than the listed WBL (roughly 10% more) to spend SPECIFICALLY on consumables! That's 600 gold for consumables alone by that level! In addition to whatever situational stuff, like scrolls, etc., your group could all pitch in and not have the wand impact their expected progression AT ALL, for less than the price of 1 Cure Moderate Wounds potion per party member.

So it isn't expensive. It's NEVER expensive.

2) If the sorcerer can use a spell to just drop the monster, then you don't need to heal. Problem solved.

3) No, I plan ahead. I'm currently playing Mummy's Mask, and guess what? There are mummies. There are also ghouls, ghasts, shadows, and all sorts of nastiness. So you know what I did? I grabbed a reach weapon (to take down more enemies and keep them out of melee with trips), had a backup ranged weapon to tackle flying foes/foes I couldn't trust to get into melee, and bought a couple of potions of Remove Fear because I needed a way to counteract mummies. The first time we faced them we had a hard time, but the group mostly stayed at range and dropped them with spells/disabled them with blinds. We learned from experience and planned so that we could be more effective against them in the future (I mean, it's in the AP name...).

4) No, our DM doesn't have an escape hatch for us. We have a plan. If we get in too deep, or an encounter goes south, we run. We know the way out, after all. Drop some difficult terrain, or just run, and we're good. If they chase us out, we get to lead them to favorable terrain. Or, at higher levels (7+) our spellcasters usually have a means of escape ready to go (though I'm currently the only spellcaster in the group, but hey, Plane Shift works :P).

Scarab Sages

voska66 wrote:

The only real cm/d I see in the games I run and play in is that casters get to different things at high level than they did it at low level. The others tend to be the same at high level as the were at low level only you are dealing with dishing out more damage against high hit points and with a high attack bonus and higher AC. Skills are much the same but become irrelevant at some point in the high levels except for opposed tests. So if you struggle to acrobatics into position at level 2 you struggle at level 18 as well.

None of this breaks the game but if find it more fun to play casters even if they are only a bit of caster like a ranger. Fighters are fun at the low level but I get bored of them at the high levels. I have friends who love playing a fighter from high to low level though as they don't want options to think about, they just want beat on monsters like legendary heroes (think Hercules). Me I like having interesting tool kit to solve puzzles at high level. I find with Pathfinder there are enough class and options to give me what I want and enough classes and options to give my friends what they want. So cm/d mostly doesn't show in the games we play.

Actually, you just said that the C/MD DOES show up in the games you play. Your group just accepts it and doesn't let it bother them, which is totally cool.

Scarab Sages

Derek Dalton wrote:

I've been a lot of people saying a healer is unwanted and useless. I have said at high levels a healer is more about buffing and healing. Low level to around seventh they are absolutely needed.

Take this into account. First where is the item replacing the healer. Second what is it. Let's say a potion in a backpack. That's two actions a fighter is using to find and drink the potion. Now he's drinking the potion, attack of opportunity. If he needed healing now he's in real trouble. That's an action he isn't appending beating that monster. That goes for anyone else.
Now he's paralyzed. No healer no one bothered to bring a Remove Paralysis scroll, wand or potion. You didn't expect a Ghoul to be there. A smart ghoul and some are will move to the next target and will keep doing that until dead or the party is.
My point is you talk about tactics but you keep admitting to me one glaring problem. You can spend all your time to drop the monster fast which is what every party tries to do. Someone in combat may need to heal that's his action. Most likely it's the martial types in the middle of combat. Only a stupid monster isn't going to take advantage of that. While the fighter is trying to heal himself he is a target and not doing his job. A Cleric or an Oracle or god forbid a Bard who are not the heavy hand melee guys can step in and heal the fighter so he can kick out the damage.
Sure you can spend money on wands, potions and scrolls. Most of my characters make their own to supplement their own power. Scribe Scroll, Brew Potion and Craft Wands all add to the versatility of the healer. Spends half the amount of gold and then can select spells to help buff the party or damage foes while the use the wands and scrolls. Something about tactics it's nice when a plan works but monster especially the smarter ones and played that way will work to screw up all your tactics or use some of his own.
Again I have built healers to be medics and then learn to buff them to aid the party when they are not needed. Our...

The fact that you refer to the bard as not being a heavy melee guy suggests to me you've never actually built/played a bard, or at least never seen one played that wasn't some limp-wristed buff-baby (/bard-flex). I can make a bard that, for most of the game, fights almost as well as the un-buffed fighter (who WILL be buffed because my Bard is there) in melee and not only survive, but thrive there.

The fighter doesn't drink a potion in the front lines. That's dumb (what's his Int/Wis?). He takes the withdraw action to get into a better position, and fires his ranged weapon from his more advantageous position while his allies hold off the ghouls, because they're versatile and expected that such a thing could happen. Look, the fighter doesn't need healing unless things go south for his party, and he has time to get himself together and drink that stupid potion if he needs to, relatively safely.

Or my cleric could just nuke the ghoul from orbit, because that's what I do... or the barbarian could, or my motha-!@#$in' BARD COULD. Because we're awesome, and we don't sit around going "Oh no! Fights McGee is in danger! Why did no one think to bring healer!" We save him, we don't make him feel better about his bad decisions.

Scarab Sages

Derek Dalton wrote:

It seems everyone missed the part where I said he was first level. I had Mage armor and shield memorized except both last only a rather short time at first and second level. Now a first level wizard non specialist has one spell a day. Add an Int of twenty that's now three spells a day. I had the ability to cast Magic Missile several times a day so I had shield memorized twice.

He is now around tenth before we stopped and mythic tier three. He is tanked up most of the time. He has several magic items all enhancing his abilities as a Wizard. At tenth and higher everyone's character should be rather tough and survive a hit or two making the healer start to become secondary making him more of a buffer and looking for ways to improve his combat effectiveness.
I've been hearing people say a healer is completely worthless and they all sound rather high level wasting an ass load of gold to not have a healer ever in their party. My question is have they ever played low level without being loaded with potions and scrolls and wands. I have that's when a medic is needed the most.

To answer your question: Yes, I have. No, it's not very expensive AT ALL. In fact, most of my experience is with low-level characters. By the time you hit 2nd level, you can usually afford a fully charged wand of Cure Light Wounds, easily so if the party all pitch in for it (it's only about 200-ish gold per character, depending on the number of players). That's not that much, and that's a TON of survivability. Heck, at that level 1 charge is actually almost useful in combat. You could even spring for a half-charged wand at a reasonable price and come out ahead on it. At later levels, you just use it to top off, and if you have an Arcane spellcaster then a Wand of Infernal Healing is even better if you have the time for it.

Dedicated healers just aren't necessary in this game. They're nice to have, assuming they're actually helping to end encounters instead of simply prolonging them, but there is NO reason to build someone that is a dedicated healer when so many classes can heal via secondary means so easily. You build someone that can Support your allies (via buffs to end combat faster/more safely), kill enemies (to support by preventing damage, because dead enemies have 0 DPR), or disable enemies (because penalties to attacks/damage reduce damage taken by allies). This things that proactively prevent damage are easier, and more resource efficient, than healing, so while having someone that can heal is nice, it just isn't necessary in a system where stopping your enemy is so much easier and more efficient. Again, you don't need a dedicated healer: You need people that can end combat safely. Heals can be useful sometimes, but there are other ways to stay safe that are USUALLY more effective. Yes, having access to healing spells is nice, and there are definitely times when they are useful. But there are also times when teleporting an ally out of melee is useful, or stunning an enemy is useful, or throwing up a wall to cut of the stream of enemies is useful. Healing is nice when it's necessary, but if it isn't a vast majority of the time, it isn't worth fussing over.

Scarab Sages

Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:


A +2 haramaki costs 4,000-ish gold pieces which goes up to about 5K with the kilt and masterwork qualities -- and that gives you exactly what mage armor gives you for the cost of a first-level wand or what bracers give you for 16,000 gp.

The kilt doesn't add any AC to the haramaki as the bonuses don't stack.

But yes - the bracers are bad for wizards. They're pretty much mid-high level monk only.

Read the description of an Armored Kilt, not just the bonuses listed.

Scarab Sages

As a side note: Mages don't wear armor? A +2 haramaki with an armored kilt is only a HAIR more expensive than a set of Bracers of Armor, costs FAR less to get up to +5 quality (the equivalent of Bracers 7), and you even get to pair it with a mithril light shield (which you can enchant as well). Until you start using those swift actions regularly, Arcane Armor Training is actually a pretty good idea, which ups you to a Mithril Chain Shirt (up to a +9 armor bonus), and maybe even a Mithral Heavy shield if you choose that route instead. I don't know how people play an unarmored mage. XD

Scarab Sages

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Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:
Davor wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Corvino wrote:
Dedicated HP-only-healers doesn't make sense in Pathfinder.

The one exception I feel is the Life Mystery Oracle who is also a Paladin, since you can heal the entire rest of the party at once with your HP wia the Life Link revelation, and then lay hands on yourself as a swift action leaving you able to do whatever you want to do with your standard and move action. Healing as a strategy really needs action economy tricks like that to really be viable or interesting. Plus (esp. with the hospitaler archetype) you have copious channeling for post-combat healing.

If I'm going to play a healer, I'd prefer to to be one who can still attack most rounds. If my entire round is devoted to casting a spell, I'd really rather it be a spell that does something that wouldn't be just as useful to do after the fight is over in most cases. So if I'm in a campaign or with a party that for whatever reason *needs* a healer for some reason, I'm going Oracle [size of party-1]/Paladin [the rest].

After all if you're going to play something weak or narrow, optimize it until it's no longer at least one of those two things.

Yes. Everyone agrees that Oradins are legit.

Yes, people who want to play dedicated healers can totally do that. I have no objections, and I don't think anyone ever has, really.

Yes, like most options, healing has situational value in combat.

No, people shouldn't be forced to play a character they don't want to play because of some archaic devotion to tank/healer/DPS tropes that aren't necessary anymore.

Yes Oradin is a Viable build to heal with.

Yes a person CAN play a healer...but is wasting precious action economy most rounds by playing a dedicated healer. Doing little to nothing while waiting to heal someone....this is the issue most the community has. The Do nothing but Heal type of PC/Player.

Yes sometimes a Heal or Cure is Exactly what is needed...but when it is not...then what? You...

Except that RPGs are about playing the kind of character you want to play. If someone shows up at my table playing a physically-dumped super-healer and expects to do only that, that's fine with me. Yes, it isn't OPTIMAL, but this isn't about what's optimal. This is about what your players want to play, and handling encounters accordingly.

Either way, healing is never a REQUIREMENT for any group. Once you force someone to be a healer, you're robbing them of gaming agency, and that's uncool. Simultaneously bashing someone for playing a dedicated healer that they WANT to play is equally uncool.

Also, as a side-note, challenging combat doesn't mean characters lose tons of health. It means it CHALLENGES them. I've had encounters where the difficulty was the terrain, and fighting over it became a serious issue. IF we hadn't solved that issue, we would have eventually gotten killed. Challenge w/o healing. Healing in that encounter would have prolonged the inevitable without providing any real solutions.

Scarab Sages

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Corvino wrote:
Dedicated HP-only-healers doesn't make sense in Pathfinder.

The one exception I feel is the Life Mystery Oracle who is also a Paladin, since you can heal the entire rest of the party at once with your HP wia the Life Link revelation, and then lay hands on yourself as a swift action leaving you able to do whatever you want to do with your standard and move action. Healing as a strategy really needs action economy tricks like that to really be viable or interesting. Plus (esp. with the hospitaler archetype) you have copious channeling for post-combat healing.

If I'm going to play a healer, I'd prefer to to be one who can still attack most rounds. If my entire round is devoted to casting a spell, I'd really rather it be a spell that does something that wouldn't be just as useful to do after the fight is over in most cases. So if I'm in a campaign or with a party that for whatever reason *needs* a healer for some reason, I'm going Oracle [size of party-1]/Paladin [the rest].

After all if you're going to play something weak or narrow, optimize it until it's no longer at least one of those two things.

Yes. Everyone agrees that Oradins are legit.

Yes, people who want to play dedicated healers can totally do that. I have no objections, and I don't think anyone ever has, really.

Yes, like most options, healing has situational value in combat.

No, people shouldn't be forced to play a character they don't want to play because of some archaic devotion to tank/healer/DPS tropes that aren't necessary anymore.

Scarab Sages

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Oh, we're using Mythic rules now? I wasn't aware we were CHEATING. :P

Scarab Sages

Derek Dalton wrote:

I have played Clerics all my gaming life. Oracles became a new favorite after reading them. Now regarding sound tactile knowledge and such. The perfect plan is useless in the heat of battle any soldier will tell you that. In Wrath of The Rightous where I played a Wizard we kept getting jumped by monsters from every direction. My Wizard having the lowest AC needed healing after every battle and often in battle. D6 hit points don't go a long way when a longsword does a D8. It wasn't as if I ran into melee I did everything I could not to get attacked, it didn't help for half our battles.

Now I have played two Oracles to 20th level a Flame Oracle of Asmodeus and a Life Oracle without a deity. I liked my Flame Oracle because he had more offensive abilities then the Life Oracle and we were evil which was fun. The Life Oracle I had one complaint which was lack of an offensive punch. Almost all my spells were designed to heal restore or buff the party. Shield of Faith was the only spell I picked for myself. Blessing of Fervor was our first spell before every combat followed by Bless.
Higher levels was where my Oracle was not needed as a healer as often. Low to mid levels you need a healer because magic depending on the campaign may not be available. I keep reading about potions and wands doing the healing. I think that's a mistake. One both cost money and are gone once used. Wands unless you have a class that can cast healing spells require Use Magic Device and a high Charisma. Two that's money not used for more permanent items. Armor, shields, weapons, Etc, etc. Again assuming magic is even available.
We never reffered to my healers as Healbot except once and that was Star Wars because I was a droid.

Having good tactical knowledge isn't about having the perfect plan. It's about knowing what to do when given a situation, and having backup plans when that doesn't work. You mentioned that your Wizard had the lowest AC in the group: Why? Did you have Mage Armor up? Did you have a shield? Decent Dexterity? These are all part of the tactical aspect of building your character, and only a few elements of it. I'm currently playing a cleric who, despite being spell/channel focused (for damage: it's an undead-heavy campaign), has the highest AC in the party by a WIDE margin, and frequently jumps into the front line to draw hits away from his allies as his form of support.

In addition, character WBL is designed around having expendable currency: money specifically for consumable items (like Wands). A wand of Cure Light Wounds is an extra ~225 HP in healing for 750 gold. At low levels, it's easily worth the cost, and at high levels it's a drop in the bucket of what is expected to be used for your consumable wealth.

Scarab Sages

Oh, this thread. /memories

Scarab Sages

Ascalaphus wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I'll just repost what I wrote in the guides thread. I wanted to delete the post (so others didn't continue the derail) but couldn't figure out how. Hopefully a mod will clean that up. Anyway.

I personally view "the party is doomed without a dedicated healbot" to be a sign of poor game design, poor scenario design, or poor GMing. No player should ever feel obligated to play a specific kind of thing "because the party needs one" since "I am playing this character, instead of the character I want because the rest of the players wanted me to" is a good way to create intraparty strife, which results in everybody having a worse time. The point of the game, after all, is to have fun.

A party consisting of a Barbarian, a Swashbuckler, a Monk, and a Rogue should be able to go on adventures and have fun. They probably won't be able to face down as tough challenges as the party consisting of a Wizard, a Druid, an Oracle, and a Bard but that doesn't mean that the former party is a pack of useless fools wasting precious oxygen on Golarion (or wherever). The GM just needs to tweak the scope of the campaign and the difficulty of the antagonists in order to make sure the party is challenged appropriately (sometimes that means shifting up, sometimes down.)

I disagree with this sentiment. You wouldn't expect a party to fare very well in a fight-heavy scenario where nobody wanted to play the "mandatory role" of striker/tank to stand between monsters and squishies.

If you're going to be facing challenging monsters, they'll probably manage to hurt you a couple of times while you're fighting them. If you can consistently stop monsters from hurting you, are they really challenging?

The amount and type of hurt also changes as you level up. At low levels, you can often remedy it with some quick wand charges, but at higher levels, enemies do so much damage that a wand just doesn't go fast enough, and also wears out very fast. In addition, enemies inflict many different conditions....

There is no striker/tank role. If your group is comprised primarily of ranged/"squishy" characters, you need to plan accordingly, and it's your fault if you die because you didn't have the tactical understanding of how to play with what you've been given.

A typical group in combat usually "needs" a hammer, arm, and anvil, with many of those roles being interchangeable depending on your class. Heck, I had a trip/dirty trick reach fighter that, for a vast majority of encounters, completely eliminated the need for healing because he could so efficiently keep the enemy locked down. If I had chosen to do so, he could probably have done it at range as an archer.

You don't need a tank, you don't need a healer, heck, you probably don't even need a dedicated DPR guy. You need sound tactical knowledge and an understanding of what your group needs. We went a REALLY long time without anyone as a healer AT ALL with the above character.

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If your group needs a medic, tell them to stop being a bunch of scrubs and L2P.

I'm sick of my groups whining when the cleric/oracle wins fights instead of healing them because they lost a few hit points.

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Okay, apparently I need to justify my choice. The simple druid template gives this Fey T-Rex access to Anti-life shell, but his reach is greater than it's radius, giving him almost total melee immunity; stoneskin; strongjaw for the damage bonus; geniekind for as-needed movement, plus, you know, all they Fey Animal stuff, including access to the Fly spell, Summon Nature's Ally VIII, Polymorph...

Sure, he doesn't deal as much damage per hit unbuffed, but... he also has access to 6TH LEVEL SPELLCASTING, plus the Fey Animal bonus spells. I think that pretty much speaks for itself.

Scarab Sages

Fey Animal + Simple Druid Template.

You're welcome. :P

Scarab Sages

It isn't SUPER optimal, but the Shaman gets a feat that lets it treat his level as his BAB for using Spiritual Weapon. Summon a small horde of ghostly blades?

Like I said, it isn't GREAT, but it IS something only they can do.

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I have to say, I've always agreed with Jiggy's post, but I always played martials because I never thought it was a big deal.

I'm playing a cleric for the first time, and just recently got access to my Construct domain ability and 5th level spells.

I understand now. I don't think I can ever play anything with less than 6th level casting again.

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Xethik wrote:
LoneKnave wrote:

Okay, so lets get an actual strategy in here that's at least somewhat exclusive to eldritch scoundrel:

1.)Grab pressure points ninja talent
2.)Get telekinesis or sonic thrust
3.)Fire 15 sneak attacking missiles, each lowering STR or DEX by one
4.)Reduce enemies into piles of immobile flesh.

Spells that cause multiple simultaneous attacks do not allow for Sneak Attack multiple times.

FAQ

He's right. It's pretty much the silliest of Paizo's rulings imo, and one I fought well before they made it.

Scarab Sages

You're overreacting OP. Unless you've seen his build in action and found it overly powerful, there's no need to preemptively nerf it. You're counting on too many variables, such as 1) Being in melee often enough to crit regularly, 2)Confirming those critical threats, and 3) The target actually surviving the damage dealt. Yes, it's nonlethal, but if your player is REALLY confirming critical hits as often as you fear, then it's likely your targets will simply be knocked UNCONSCIOUS rather than worry about dealing with being frightened. At best, it gives him some utility while he ISN'T owning someone directly.

Also, there's no reason to change the subdual thing. If he has the required abilities that allow him to deal subdual damage without penalty, then he deals subdual damage without penalty. Same goes for the merciful weapon enchantment. It's all a big fantasy world with magic. No reason to be obtuse about it.

Scarab Sages

Serisan wrote:
Davor wrote:
Alex Mack wrote:
Serisan wrote:

Are you afraid that you'll see a table with 6 of this build? I'd be afraid as a GM. :-p

TBF, I think most everybody sees this build option as soon as they read the archetype. Now the trick will be if it gets sanctioned for PFS.

But is this build better than Rogue 1/Wizard 3/Arcane Trickster X?

The 9 level casting easily surpasses casting from Eldritch Scoundrel despite the missed level.

And I'm not sure if the improved marital capacities of the eldritch Scoundrel will actually be utilized by an AT build as it's so super fluffy...

This ^

I keep people saying: "Oh, it's the perfect lead into Arcane Trickster because..." and then listing reason that doesn't make it better than Rogue/Wizard because that combo gets 9th level spellcasting. All you're doing is making a worse version of something that already exists.

Start espousing the merits of the archetype itself. With unchained, you get easier access to debilitating injury (with touch/ranged touch spells), you get access to long-duration illusion magic, skill unlocks combined with magical boosts you can give yourself, plus, as mentioned above, stacking with certain other rogue archetypes as needed. It's like an Arcane Trickster that works from level 1, and is less spell dependent, whereas the Trickster is a spellcaster with rogue-ish tricks.

The archetype opens up a trait slot (since Magical Knack would be a common selection otherwise), provides Debilitating Injury, and opens up Rogue Talents, along with providing a smoother entry overall by streamlining BAB and spellcasting. I agree that you end up with superior spellcasting starting at level 6 (though it levels off at 7 temporarily) using Rogue 1/Wiz 3/AT X, but there's a degree of suffering on the way up as you have fewer spell slots on the way up.

In the PFS environment, roughly half of your character life is improved by going Eldritch Scoundrel 4/AT X and you end up with a more...

Right... except you're not really more martially capable. At 4th level, you are +1 BAB ahead of the Wizard/Rogue. Sure, you've got Debilitating Injury, which is a GREAT debuff you get to automatically apply, but you weaken your combat ability compared to continuing straight through rogue by not getting Debilitating improvements, and suffering from reduced accuracy. You get a few tricks, but you lose out a lot from the combat side. The wiz/rogue, on the other hand, never cared about that. He's a spellcaster that gets bonus skills and sneak attack dice. By going into Arcane Trickster, you're just weakening the one thing that makes the Eldritch Scoundrel unique: the blend of martial skill & supplemental magic. By going into trickster, all you get is a worse version of what already makes you great, and different.

Scarab Sages

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Okay, weird talk here: Maybe the Neutral "paladin"'s smitey power shouldn't even be directly damage-dealing? Maybe it should be defensive, or some sort of inconvenient debuff. After all, we're not talking about another crusader. Their goal doesn't have to be "kill the enemy". Perhaps it should just be "survive", or "get this person out of the way".

/points at my previous post

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
mourge40k wrote:

Finally got to see a plethora of in-combat healing myself in one of my home games. Granted, it was not the normal situation most people experience, but it happened nonetheless. Long story short, I'm in book 6 of Carrion Crown, which has more undead than you can shake a stick at. And there's a Life Spirit Guide Oracle who's taken a life wandering spirit for this particular spot. As it turns out, between the Dervish Dancer bard, the Barbarin, and the Witch setting him up, he gets to clear most of the encounters without a problem. A typical round for them goes like this:

1). Witch uses Misfortune on the things that have been identified to not be undead.

2). Barbarian and Bard charge misfortuned enemy and tear it to shreds thanks to teamwork feats, eating a few attacks of opportunity if necessary.

3). Oracle Channels and swift-casts a mass cure spell. Barbarian and Bard come out with more than their max hitpoints, and most of the undead have been heal-nuked.

4). The few enemies left generally either retreat or desperately try to kill these a#+!~%!s, with very little success.

The major success from this, however, comes from the fact that the Life Oracle is healing his side while hurting the other side at the same time. Add in how good of a healer the Life Oracle is, and it comes out very well on my party's end.

You do know that channel energy can't heal/harm at the same time, right? You choose when you channel. The mass cure would work this way, but not the channel.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Alex Mack wrote:
Serisan wrote:

Are you afraid that you'll see a table with 6 of this build? I'd be afraid as a GM. :-p

TBF, I think most everybody sees this build option as soon as they read the archetype. Now the trick will be if it gets sanctioned for PFS.

But is this build better than Rogue 1/Wizard 3/Arcane Trickster X?

The 9 level casting easily surpasses casting from Eldritch Scoundrel despite the missed level.

And I'm not sure if the improved marital capacities of the eldritch Scoundrel will actually be utilized by an AT build as it's so super fluffy...

This ^

I keep people saying: "Oh, it's the perfect lead into Arcane Trickster because..." and then listing reason that doesn't make it better than Rogue/Wizard because that combo gets 9th level spellcasting. All you're doing is making a worse version of something that already exists.

Start espousing the merits of the archetype itself. With unchained, you get easier access to debilitating injury (with touch/ranged touch spells), you get access to long-duration illusion magic, skill unlocks combined with magical boosts you can give yourself, plus, as mentioned above, stacking with certain other rogue archetypes as needed. It's like an Arcane Trickster that works from level 1, and is less spell dependent, whereas the Trickster is a spellcaster with rogue-ish tricks.

Scarab Sages

... I think this may be the only character I ever play again. If the archetype is what everyone says, it may be perfect for me.

Scarab Sages

Thinking Philosophically, I imagine the "Gray Jedi" idea being like a true-neutral knight: the idea of finding internal balance between passion and serenity. The true neutral knight would likely have a lot in common with Irori, and would likely identify with Nethys as well, as Nethys represents the duality that drives the cosmos, and Irori represents the desire for self-perfection. Irori, however, is too focused on codes, creeds, and laws, and is too limiting regarding personal allowances, and Nethys more represents a firm split between the ideas of this "Gray Knight" rather than a harmonious fusion of the two.

A gray knight would likely have his own personal motivations that likely aren't concerned with good, chaos, law, or evil, but rather with balancing himself. He allows himself to act passionately, but must also learn to temper passion with patience. He has friends and allies, but the greater concerns of the world aren't of concern to him: like the Aeons, he watches and observes, guiding fate with his own hand when the cosmos demands it (similarly to the way a Pharasman Inquisitor might deal death as fate decrees).

This order of true neutral knights could have a very secretive quality to them, and they would likely stockpile knowledge gleaned from the observant nature of their order. A knight of this devotion may even be split between arcane and divine spellcasting, with perhaps a caveat that he cannot cast aligned spells (as they push him away from self-discipline). Perhaps one thing that could make them a unique force in the world would be the ability to "drain" alignment somehow? Think Anti-Magic field, but only in regards to alignment-based effects, and the special abilities of alignment-based classes (so good/evil aligned spells, and the abilities of Paladins/Anti-Paladins simply don't work) as his version of "smiting". Perhaps this state also grants him benefits as well (what if he gained benefits based on alignments negated? A lot of paperwork, but a cool idea).

The class shouldn't have a creed or oath required, though. It would be too lawful. Instead, there are tenets by which the knights strive to live, and the only grounds for "falling" is changing alignment from true neutral. When these knights go questing, it is to test themselves, and see if they can truly maintain balance when faced with the trials of the world.

Scarab Sages

Play a Thundercaller. Stay at range, throw down a couple of AoE stuns, and then drop the buffs.

/cue dubstep

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