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Jozan

DeadDMWalking's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 1,306 posts. 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character.


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Andoran

I do have all of those competitions archived. That's the same Fixxxer and I'm the same deadDMwalking. If you're interested in those, please start a thread over there. I see everything in time. I'd be happy to do some research and see what I can pull for you. I may not have it on my harddrive and may have to go digging for a CD somewhere.

Andoran

Hey all.

The dndarchive is having a competition to create a spellcasting or psionic NPC using the 3.5 ruleset. There are prizes being offered.

Check out the details
here.

The prize is listed as an amazon.com gift certificate. As a judge for the competition, I wanted to make it a Paizo gift certificate, but that doesn't work officially yet. Since I've been a frequent customer of Paizo, I know how accomodating the customer service is, so if you'd prefer your prize in Paizo credit, I'm sure that they can help make it happen.

We hope to see you there.

Andoran

Just the other day I learned that my Paizo mail was going in to my junk mail folder automatically. I added you to my safe sender's list, but I have not seen the e-mail. Any chance of getting it re-sent?

Andoran

Some definitions I use:
object
express or raise an objection or protest or criticism or express dissent; be averse to or express disapproval of;

Now, maybe the OP meant what he said, maybe he didn't. And you're free to disagree with me. But the game is about having fun. What constitutes fun is up for debate. It sounds to me like the OP wouldn't have come on the boards if there wasn't an issue here. Either his group thinks he's wrong and he wants approval, or he thinks he might have been wrong and wants confirmation. I mean, I suppose the whole point could have been:

See this interesting thing that happened in my game.

But I don't think that a critical analysis of his posts indicates that is what he (or she) is saying. So, he can ignore my advice, but in all sincerity, I offer it to everyone. If you're having a 'problem' with players who 'object' to something, ask yourself if you lose anything by giving them something they won't 'object' to. If you don't lose anything, why are you refusing? It would be better for everyone to accede to your player's wishes. That's not always possible, but if it is, be a good DM and give them what they want.

Andoran

The OP stated:

David Fryer wrote:


Some of my players have complained that this is an evil act and that I should not have good dragons and kobolds as a result. So I ask you, is this evil or not?
...
Actually, the cannibalism itself does not make them particularly uncomfortable. One of my players attempted to interrogate some goblins in Burnt Offerings by munching on the remains of one of the goblins that had been killed. The only thing the object to is the idea that someone could be good or neutral aligned and still engage in such behavior.
...
Of course if you had read the whole discussion you would have known that the cannibalism itself was not the issue, it was the fact that an otherwise good individual could engage in it as part of their society. I even stated that fact in the OP. So, who exactly is being antagonistic here?

So, the players 'object' to the idea that someone can be good or neutral and eat people of the same race. Got it. And why do they 'object'? I guess while the OP didn't state his players were 'uncomfortable', I don't understand why they would object unless they were bothered in some way.

It sounds to me like the players think that cannibalism should be an evil act. They aren't comfortable with good characters eating members of their own race. Am I wrong?

If the players are uncomfortable, or 'object' or whatever, and the thing they have an 'objection' to isn't important to the story or the game, change it. It doesn't matter whether it should be good, or should be evil.

My players might 'object' to every princess they meet having warts and bad teeth. Is it important to me as the DM to portray princesses with any kind of historical accuracy? Not really. If it makes the game more fun for a PC to rescue beautiful princesses, I should accomodate him.

If there is no reason that I need good aligned kobolds, I should make them evil (even if they're otherwise alright people) if that makes for a more fun game. That's my job as DM.

Now, if I have a really good reason not to, or I think that when I offer a big reveal they'll enjoy it more - that's a different story.

Andoran

Zombieneighbours wrote:


if a groups behaviour is in every other way the perfect example of your sense of morality, but their funeral rites involve cannibalism as a mark of respect and a way of granting access to the afterlife for those who have fallen. Are they evil? Personally, i feel they are probable less evil than your average 'lawful good' party of goblin killers. You want real moral ambiguity, just look at what most adventures do when faced with 'evil' humanoids.

There are two things here. One is real world morality. The other is D&D alignment.

Cannibalism could be good in the real world, but not be good in D&D land. Killing people without provocation (especially if they're from a different culture) is bad in the real world (a hate crime, no less), but in D&D land you can be Lawful Good and do just that.

Now, D&D alignment is simplistic at best and stupid at worst, but that's the way the game is played. If you want to deal with moral amibiguities and challenging player assumptions, that's your perogative. But if I were the DM, I'd be real careful about that. The most important responsibility of the DM is to ensure that the game is fun for everyone. If my personal agenda is not something my players enjoy, I need to check it before I get to the table or find a different group.

The OP states that players were uncomfortable (though I'm just a bit confused as to the reason at this point), but unless there is a real good reason for that involving making the game more fun, that's not a good thing.

Andoran

I am, myself, Catholic.

I was unable to discover any credible source banning cannibalism or connecting it to a sin. I did find a reference in Time magazine it it being acceptable in some circumstances:

Time wrote:


From the viewpoint of Christian ethics, though, it was not certain that the men on the mountainside had sinned by eating the flesh of their dead companions. By and large, Roman Catholic moral theologians agreed that the act was justified under the circumstances. A few perhaps extravagantly, even likened the situation to the central act of the Eucharist, where the faithful consume the body and blood of Christ under the species of bread and wine.

Preaching at a thanksgiving Mass in Montevideo for the survivors and their families, a Roman Catholic priest, Father Eduardo RodrĂ­guez said: "What happens to them will depend on us now, and on the love and understanding that we are capable of giving them." As a Chilean paper asked rhetorically in the headline of one story about the incident: WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE?

That does not mean to say that the Catholic church approves of cannibalism. Just as the Catholic church does not believe in war, there are exceptions to rules. Some liken the Catholic stance against using stem cells for research to be similar to a prohibition against cannibalism.

But per my previous point, that has little to do with the way the players feel about the situation.

Andoran

David Fryer wrote:
Okay, so here is the situation. In my campaign kobolds engage in ritual cannibalism. They don't kill other kobolds just to eat them nut if a kobold warrior dies in a particularly heroic way, the other warriors eat a small part of his body to transfer the heroism to themsleves. It is a trait they inherited from dragons, who also engage in ritual cannibalism when the ruler of the united dragon tribes dies, the new leader eats the body of the old as a sign that power has switched hands. Some of my players have complained that this is an evil act and that I should not have good dragons and kobolds as a result. So I ask you, is this evil or not?

Does it matter whether it is an evil act or not? The point is that you have a game element that is making your players uncomfortable. That's a problem.

Sure, you, as the DM, can do whatever you like, but the point of the game is to have fun. If you're even having this conversation at the table, things are not going as well as one would hope.

What do you hope to achieve by having good cannibals? This isn't like having respectable gay NPCs and disapproving of homophobia at the table. At least, I wouldn't think it is. You're not trying to promote cannibalism in the world at large, are you?

If your players don't feel comfortable with it, change it. It doesn't matter if it is EVIL or NOT EVIL - it's about trying to make the game fun for everyone involved. You can just as easily have the kobolds or the dragon 'ritually eat' the heroes equipment or a piece of his hoard. Hopefully you achieve the story purpose of cannibalism, without all the other baggage that goes with it (and may actually be making the game go in a direction contrary to your original story purpose).

Andoran

For me personally, while I feel pressure to curtail my discretionary spending in what amount to difficult economic times, there was more to it.

I supported Paizo because they're a good company, and I believed that they would make the kind of games I like. Pathfinder was a huge undertaking, and I don't think they have the resources to run the open playtest effectively. I feel that good suggestions have gone ignored (not listened to and rejected, which I could accept, but simply ignored). Others have been heard but dismissed without explanation. Trying to communicate the desires in the open forums are a mess. I'm glad that report fuctions now exist, but so many of the posters are yelling and not sharing a dialogue. I don't care for it.

At this point, I don't expect that Pathfinder will address the major problems with 3.5 and improve what can be improved. I see most of the changes as 'change for the sake of change'. As long as I believe that Paizo is making the game I want to play, I will buy all of their products, as I used to do. At this point, I do not believe that they are doing so, so I will withhold my money in order to 'vote with my wallet'. If I am in a minority, I will accept that and move on. If I am part of a majority or at least a significant enough 'slice' of the customer base, I expect Paizo will accomodate me and I will become a customer again. I didn't want to send the wrong message by supporting them when I felt they were making severe missteps.

Andoran

Crusader of Logic wrote:
You talking about the Magic Weapon? It lasts 1 hour. More, with higher CL. Unless you surprise them they have a round to Magic Weapon up 50 arrows, spread them around, and fire.

It seems you've made another factual error. Magic weapon has a duration of 1 minute a level, while Greater Magic weapon has a duration of 1 hour/level.

In a single fight it could still be done as you say, but because of the short duration, it is not a very effective tactic. But I get the distinct impression that it doesn't matter to you when you are wrong or someone else is right. Because, of course, if you are wrong it seems that you think everyone should do it that way anyway.

Andoran

Crusader of Logic wrote:
Again, wrong. Rephrase your post in the form of a non wall of nothing text if you want more in depth replies.

Crusader,

I find your posts on these boards mostly annoying. For someone whose name indicates you support logic, you commit a lot of logical fallacies. It still appears you cannot distinguish between an opinion based upon facts and a fact. Let me try to make an example:

90% of survey respondents say chocolate is delicious. It is a fact that chocolate is delicious.

That is not a fact. That is an opinion. It is an opinion that is widely shared and widely held. But we wouldn't expect someone to say 'chocolate is delicious, but I hate the taste'. They might say 'chocolate is disgusting'.

So, since I know that you're interested in keeping the level of discourse high, I humbly ask you to stop being so dismissive of other people, explain why you came to conclude your opinions are facts (share the basis of the education) and generally stop being a jerk.

Andoran

Crusader of Logic wrote:
You'll also save money by switching to Geico.

On this at least, we are in full agreement. I even understand exactly what you're trying to say.

Andoran

Vic Wertz wrote:
DeadDMWalking wrote:
Allowing a method for me to 'pay ahead' directly to you in some form would allow me to budget for the 'lean times'.

Offering gift certificates is on our to-do list, but it's not terribly high, and the interaction between subscriptions and gift certificates is probably going to be a bit tricky; it's possible that gift certificates won't be usable for subscriptions.

Have you considered putting that money into a prepaid credit card?

DeadDMWalking wrote:
I am really interested in Pathfinder. I feel 'disenfranchised'. Part of it is there are a lot of 'loud' posters, some with good ideas and many with bad ideas. I don't want to have to shout over them to be heard. I don't even care if my ideas get heard for the most part - but when something is changed I want to see the designers point of view. Well, there are a couple changes that I want to see made that haven't been considered (but I know those were heard). So, I'm a little worried when a 'good idea' isn't getting any playtesting. In this case I say 'good idea' to mean one that has seen extensive play testing in the home games of 10+ posters and been beneficial.

I'm assuming you're talking about the Pathfinder RPG playtest forums here. I'd like to make it clear that Jason and the rest of our crew are not simply listening to the loudest posters there. We certainly have some people who seem to think that if they "win" an argument there, changes will be made in their favor, but that's really, really not true. Similarly, if we see good ideas that nobody's talking about much, that doesn't mean they're necessarily going unnoticed by the staff. Hopefully this will become more clear to everyone as we start letting you know about changes that are being made.

Also, I hope that you'll at least be sticking around the other forums...

I do plan on sticking around and watching the design forums. I'm really looking for a reason to come back. But I want to be careful about my subscription dollars. I want to give them to you because I want you to be making the product I want to buy. I'm really worried that isn't the case.

The 'example issue' that took me from charter superscriber to no subscriptions was the number of skill points for fighters. There are a lot of people that have tried 4+Int in their home games and found it superior. This is particularly true in Pathfinder when most classes benefit from combined skills, but the fighter doesn't. Jason Buhlman (bless his soul) has so much to work on, but he said that he thinks that adding 2 skill points to the fighter is 'breaking backward compatability'. Now, I don't know about you, but with all the other changes, I don't think that is a major concern. Since that is one change that has seen extensive playtesting and is less radical than giving every class at least a d6 for HD, I really want to understand the 'why'. If I don't know the why, I'm going to have to assume it is because the idea hasn't received proper consideration. And if the ideas that are important to me aren't getting considered, how can the Pathfinder RPG be the game I want it to be?

I plan on keeping an eye on it. But when I am optimistic, I subscribe to everything. When I am not, I don't. I want to be optimistic. And if I am optimisitic in December, I'll subscribe to everything again and pick up everything I missed in the meantime.

Andoran

Cosmo wrote:
DeadDMWalking wrote:

I would like to cancel my Adventure Path subscription. AP #14 is supposed to have shipped. I want to cancel my subscription after 14. I do not want to receive 15 or later modules by subscription.

Thank you.

As much as we hate to see ya go... Your subscription has been canceled.

Thanks,
cos

I recently cancelled all my other subscriptions. There are two things that will get me back.

1) As I have said many times before, there are times when I have a lot of extra money (like May) and times that I do not (like September). Allowing a method for me to 'pay ahead' directly to you in some form would allow me to budget for the 'lean times'. This would also allow all my family and friends who want to buy me a gift to contribute to the 'Paizo gaming fund'. My cancellation of the AP subscription was due to the fact that I have $5000 in debt on my credit card, and while I have another $10,000 available credit, I don't like carrying a balance. So, until I get that paid off in January/February, I'm not going to be buying anything gaming related.

2) I am really interested in Pathfinder. I feel 'disenfranchised'. Part of it is there are a lot of 'loud' posters, some with good ideas and many with bad ideas. I don't want to have to shout over them to be heard. I don't even care if my ideas get heard for the most part - but when something is changed I want to see the designers point of view. Well, there are a couple changes that I want to see made that haven't been considered (but I know those were heard). So, I'm a little worried when a 'good idea' isn't getting any playtesting. In this case I say 'good idea' to mean one that has seen extensive play testing in the home games of 10+ posters and been beneficial.

Please keep that in mind.

Andoran

I would like to cancel my Adventure Path subscription. AP #14 is supposed to have shipped. I want to cancel my subscription after 14. I do not want to receive 15 or later modules by subscription.

Thank you.

Andoran

I would disagree with you, Crusader of Logic.

The fighter has been 'buffed'. He has more features now than he did in 3.5. On an absolute basis, he is more powerful.

Now, his feats may not be more powerful. Everyone else may have been buffed more. On a relative basis he may actually be weaker. But to say that he has not been 'buffed' is patently untrue.

Andoran

I think any attack is done in conjunction with the grapple. Thus, if you choose to use a light weapon, instead of rolling an attack roll you roll a grapple check (CMB check). If you succeed against the DC you hit with your chosen weapon.

By making it a standard action you can't grapple AND do other things. That's really where it becomes confusing. When you have 4 ititerative attacks... Can you pin them in the first round? Do they get their full BAB on each check while you take a -5 on each additional? If you're fighting with 'natural weapons' why do you get ititerative attacks, but a troll doesn't? Just one per natural attack...

It was a mess. So, yeah, it takes a standard action to do anything in the grapple, but you choose which of the effects you want from the list.

Andoran

Crusader of Logic wrote:

One question. How exactly does this Fighter bodyguard actually protect his charge? I don't even think they had AoOs back then so the guard has absolutely no way of stopping an attack.

Have you ever played 2nd edition?

If you have, you probably would know how it worked, and there would be no point in explaining it.

If you did not, the short answer is that monsters couldn't move past other creatures. At least, not usually.

The long answer - there were far fewer groups that used battle maps, and tracking movement was usually done in a more free-form manner. A DM would adjudicate movement using their own discretion. They would frequently say things like 'the only way to get to the princess is to charge up the stair. The stair is guarded by a minotaur. If you choose to run past the minotaur he will get a free attack on you.'

There were no rules for that. That's just how it was done. Likewise if you were fighting someone, you'd have to explain how your PC is moving to engage another foe in order to do that. If your explanation was good, the DM would let you do it. For example, you might say 'My character is going to hunker down behind his shield and begin side-stepping toward that pillar. As soon as I have the pillar between me and my opponent I'm going to turn and charge over to Bill so I can give him a potion'.

If you didn't play 2nd edition this would probably make you crazy, because there isn't a good reason to do that. There was nothing saying that you couldn't withdraw from combat, and there was nothing saying that someone would get an attack. The DM just did what he thought was reasonable. So, saying something like 'As soon as he begins casting a spell I'll run up and hit him' sounded pretty reasonable to a lot of DMs. And if they hit the spell automatically failed.

One of the strenghts of 3.x is that the rules are more fully defined, and the DM doesn't have to determine what's reasonable most of the time. A lot of people who played 2nd edition had a lot of trouble with some of the changes in 3.x. For example, when I converted a player long after the original release there was a situation involving 5' squares. The PC wanted several PCs to fit into that 5' square. The rules forbid it, though it was 'reasonable'. Obviously if four people stood back to back they would be able to occupy an area less than 5' on a side.

Andoran

Crusader of Logic wrote:
I feel no need to insult the entire forum population's intelligence, including my own by stating the blatantly obvious.

And you don't have to. But if you want people to listen to you, you will. You see, what you think is blatantly obvious may not be. Heck, some people may have never experienced a wizard that wasn't a blaster. Or they played with a psionic blaster and never saw anything more broken.

You can assert anything you want. You can even say it is a fact and not an opinion. But if you don't explain how you got there it doesn't seem like it is a fact, and it can remain a point of contention. As you so assidiously pointed out above, if you start with an incorrect premise you're unlikley to arrive at a correct conclusion. If a reader disagrees with your premise they will dismiss your conclusion out of hand. On the other hand, if you explain why you began with that premise, they might agree with you.

Crusader of Logic wrote:


Anyone with eyes can see how and why blasters are horrifically weak. They are a horrific baseline because they are even worse at dealing damage than melees of the non charger or tripper varieties, who are in and of themselves woefully inadequate. If A is not high enough, and B is lower than A, clearly B is not high enough by a larger margin. Very basic logic there. Nerfing controllers just means the melee guys are no longer playing clean up for effectively dead enemies and therefore lose the full attack contest in 2 rounds. In other words, die violently. This is not a fix. This is another kick to the Fighter while he is down. Ain't no opinion about it buddy. If you want the effectiveness of something raised you do not pick a lower baseline than it already has. You pick a higher baseline.

This is why the Pathfinder Fighter is actually nerfed compared to 3.5. Somehow they got the idea the way to improve something is to adjust it to a lower baseline... alternately, they rolled a natural 1 with critical fumble house rules, and that's why it came out all wrong. Either way. I don't know, and am not sure if I want to know why you think that is 'the right track'.

You see, this is where I'm lost. What lower baseline are they using? I didn't even know that they were comparing the fighter to anything other than the fighter. Are you talking about certain feats not working the way they did in 3.5? The feats haven't been discussed yet, so it could still change. But if we're just saying that Power Attack is the only thing that the fighter had that was any good at all and that's gone, I would agree that is a problem. But the availability of feats could still be addressed.

If you meant that the fighter's strength (access to feats) is eroded because now everyone has more feats, that may also be true. Having 21 feats as a fighter in Pathfinder isn't that much more of an increase than having 18 in 3.5 - especially if there is nothing good to get with those three extra feats.

In any case I'm not trying to derail the conversation. I was hoping to point out that your contributions may be ignored as a result of the presentation. While you could argue that would be a loss for the rest of the boards, it would also mean you won't have the game that you want. If I were you, that would make me sad.

Andoran

Crusader of Logic wrote:
Oh and if you're comparing them to blasting casters you're doing it wrong. The baseline being horribly off target leads to any assumptions stemming from it being similarly inaccurate.

You see, I think it is statements like this that are causing people to respond to you and not your argument. There's a book that I recently read that I'd like to recommend to you. It is called 'Crucial Conversations: How to say what you really mean when the stakes are high'

One of the points it makes is that we often take numerous pieces of evidence and composite them into a whole. For example, your wife might find a receipt for a hotel, $400 in unexplained credit card purchases in lingerie and smudged lipstick on your shirt collar and assume you're having an affair. Is she right? Probably. But when she confronts her husband and says 'You're having an affair!', where do you think that conversation is going to go? What if he wasn't?

Now, if she explained how she got to that conclusion, maybe we'd find out what was happening. This is partly based on a real example. It could be that the restaurant they ate at last month was owned by the hotel and the receipt shows the hotel name rather than the restaurant name. The gifts might be for their upcoming anniversary and he hadn't given them to her yet. And finally the lipstick might be dorito smudge that he accidentally got there while fixing his collar after lunch.

In any case, you say that a blaster is a bad baseline. I generally agree with you. But your declaration means nothing since you haven't provided any evidence to substantiate it. And sometimes just because the baseline is off you might end up landing on target (maybe by going the wrong direction). And why is a blaster the wrong baseline rather than a controller? Why not nerf controllers? Those are opinions and not 'irrefutable'.

In any case, I'd like the fighter to get some love. But honestly, I think that the Pathfinder fighter is mostly a step in the right direction. If we can only get the 4+ skill points a level, I'll be happy. They may not be perfect, but I think we could develop a line of 'fighter feats' that take out some of the trouble spots a little down the road. I don't think trying to make fighters and casters 'equal' is the right approach. I think it is better to figure out what a fighter ought to be able to do and then make the class around that. Maybe it does involve increasing the power level, but at least the reason is not 'class balance' but instead 'class function'. If we do a good job of having 'roles' than each class should be relatively equal when we figure out what they should do and how they can do that.

Andoran

We're playing a Crimson Throne Campaign using the Beta rules.

This is about how my level 2 wizard totally made the rest of the party useless.

The following contains spoilers from the first book.

Spoiler:

There's a place called All The World's Meat. There were five bad guys there. Four of them were 'mooks' and one was supposed to be relatively tough. Presumably nobody had more than 2 HD.

The party tried to break into the building from the roof, and it turned out that the small area above the main shop happened to have all of the bad guys. In the first round my wizard knocked two of the bad guys out with a sleep spell. Nobody else hit anybody. In the 2nd round the barbarian (who was down a lot of hit points) took out two more people with a sleep spell (using my bonded item to re-cast). Nobody else did anything useful (failed to hit, only moved, etc).

In the third round the barbarian was running away so he did not die. I succeeded in charming the 'leader' of the bad guys. Since I had to bring him in 'alive' I managed to convince him to come with me peaceably (as an enchanter I have a bonus to Diplomacy). The other PCs contributed nothing to the party other than hauling in the other four bad guys.

So even at 1st level there are times that the wizard kicks ass. In this case it probably helped that the bad guys couldn't get to me as easily (I was still on the roof - they would have had to go through the window). But, yeah, it was totally my fight.

Andoran

tricky bob wrote:
Daniel Johnson 14 wrote:

For my new players, I am forced to look them in the face and tell them that they really need to know two books (PHB and PF), and exactly what to pay attention to from which source and what to ignore. But still even at best I am forced to direct them to the SRD, where it will tell them why something doesn't work they way they want it but through no fault of their own but just because the book they made their character off of was incomplete.

To clarify, you have an issue with the fact that you, well we, are getting a chance to shape the end product. That our ideas are being listened to....???

Yes, new player's need to look at 2 books, but the end result, after all the play-testing is done, will be all the better because of this process.

So in short, you have a problem with the fact that it's not finish yet!

That's one take. I don't really get the feeling that new ideas are being listened to very well. I guess that's why I'm so sad about Pathfinder. From the beginning it seems like there were a few ideas that were entirely from Paizo (consolidated skill list, combat feats, etc) that they were trying REALLY HARD to hammer into the new game, even when they were not good ideas. Some they've had to change because of how problematic they were (combat feats) but I didn't really feel like they wanted to.

There are also a lot of other really good ideas out there that have a strong basis on actual playtest. Not the wild stuff, either. The minor changes that make the game better. The things like minimum of 4 skill points for every class... Those things are considered 'bad for backward compatability', but at the same time we're changing the barbarian from rages per day to a number of rounds (so they could rage for a moment or a long, long, long time at their discretion) and throwing in how many new powers and abilities?

I'm sad because I think that Paizo is being a little inconsistent in what they're willing to try in this playtest. And maybe it is because they have a narrow window to finish everything in (their print deadlines are hell) and trying lots of 'new things' just means that the 'big things' won't get tested - but how many big changes should there be? The little changes are where I'm lost. Changing Concentration to be Spellcraft is a 'small change' - but it really ruins things for me. It means that my character (the wizard) never loses a spell, but the cleric and the sorcerer in the party virtually never succeed at casting defensively (that's what a +5 ability score at 1st level gets you).

I guess what I really want is someone at Paizo to help us with the 'why' of a change. I can tell you when something doesn't work in my game after actual playtesting, but it doesn't seem to get any more consideration than when I mention why something won't work in my game based on my understanding of how that rule works... I guess I don't feel that Paizo has been very inclusive... Maybe it is too big a project for one man to handle all the different voices. I can see that.

But the reason Pathfinder is being released is that a whole lot of people thought that 3.5 needs improvement. I'm one of them. But I have so much experience with 3.5 that improving it is easy. Switching to Pathfinder and having to houserule the heck out of it to make it playable is too much work.

I really thought I would be more excited about Pathfinder. I mean, I was. I went to GenCon for the first time because of the Beta release. The Pathfinder scenarios and the Paizo talks were the only events that I attended (well, there was one when I didn't have any Paizo things available). And I guess the only reason that I'm still hanging around and checking out the boards every day is that I want to be excited again. I want to believe that Pathfinder is where it's at.

So I guess I havea request. Can't we have a 'Designer's Explanation' board where people can say 'Let's talk about this rule... This is what I see. This is what happens in game. What was the goal of the designers? Is it achieving it's goal'. Not a place to talk about proposed house rules or problems with the existing rules - just a place to understand the reasoning behind the changes. Because frankly, most of the changes either have little interest to me, or annoy the heck out of me. Even the changes I like (the way skill points are allocated for example) are ruined by things I don't (consolidated skills, no increase in skill points for the classes that didn't benefit from consolidation).

Here's to hoping.

Andoran

Mage Slayer is the worst designed feat I have ever seen. What's really sad is that it came out in the Miniatures Handbook (I don't have it) and they tried to 'fix it' before it came out in one of the Complete Books.

The Mage Slayer feat makes it so a caster automatically fails a Defensive Casting check, which means they automatically lose the spell. They changed it so the caster KNOWS that if they attempt to cast defensively that they'll fail, so that they won't.

The feat could be fixed by saying 'Benefit: You receive an Attack of Opportunity against anyone that casts a spell in an area you threaten, even if they succeed at casting defensively. This counts towards your normal limit of Attacks of Opportunity in one round.'

But I was going to say, the Spellcraft=Casting Defensively is being used in our current game (Curse of the Crimson Throne). I'm a wizard, and we also have a cleric and a sorcerer. I am the only one that is routinely able to cast defensively. Up to 3rd level, the sorcerer and cleric failed all but one time, while I have never failed.

Tying the ability to a prime casting ability is 'broken'. I wouldn't complain too much, but I won't always play a wizard. It is a bad idea.

Andoran

I wonder about the CMB of the archer.

Generally, grappling only works against opponents who are much weaker than you.

If they have a CMB 5 or lower, you will succeed about 50% of the time, and they will not be able to perform a CMB against you.

Do you realize how many monsters have a CMB 5 or more higher than the PCs at the appropriate level?

I'd like to see level three PCs having a chance to grapple an ogre. It may not be smart, but it should be possible. Now it is not.

Andoran

ruemere wrote:
...

Too much text...

I was going to say that I really like the ideas you presented. I'm particularly keen on the idea of allowing an attack to combine another effect. Being able to 'bull rush' with a damage dealing attack, or 'trip' with a damage dealing attack, etc, would be a really cool ability.

I love it.

Andoran

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Rage Powers: As a barbarian gains experience, she learns to harness her rage in new ways. Starting at 2nd level, a barbarian gains one rage power. She gains an additional rage power for every two levels of barbarian attained after 2nd level. A barbarian can use her rage powers only while raging, and some of these powers are always active. Unless otherwise noted, a barbarian cannot select an individual power more than once. A barbarian can use the same power more than once during an individual rage. Unless otherwise noted, these abilities are swift actions that must be performed on the barbarian’s turn.

I'm a little confused by this. I think it is good that powers can be used more than once during a rage - for example, in a grapple being able to bite more than once is probably a good thing.

But the way it is described, I almost wonder if you meant to say 'cannot'.

I guess since only one could be used each round (swift action) that might be what you meant - you could use the same power every round but then you couldn't choose to use a different one as well. Could you clarify that point?

Also, I'd really like to see the hit points as temporary hit points. If we want the character dying at the end of the rage they can take Die Hard and get the effect as a character choice, not a class feature. It will also help remove a tax on the cleric in terms of additional healing.

Andoran

It happens in 3.5 all the time. The wizard decides to cast a spell, takes a quick look at the description, and then has to look at a totally different spell in a totally different section of the book.

It happened to me in a Pathfinder Beta playtest last night. The spell was Minor Image. After looking up Minor Image I had to look up Silent Image. And of course I had to remember that there was a difference in duration that needed to be confirmed more than once.

If possible, a spell description that says 'see other spell' should reference a spell on the same page. To put spells of similar theme together, you could start calling the spells 'Image, Minor' and 'Image, Silent'.

This would follow the pattern set with 'lesser', 'greater', etc.

Flipping back and forth in the book and referring to multiple spells is a slowdown that I'd like to see eliminated.

Andoran

Dennis da Ogre wrote:
DeadDMWalking wrote:
Melayl wrote:
As for having all powers cost 1 point per round, how would you balance that? For example, how would you balance Low-light Vision, or even Animal Fury against Mighty Swing or Powerful Blow or Surprise Accuracy if they all cost 1 point?
I would suggest having each rage power cost one point, but have a different duration based on the level of the power. Thus low-light vision would cost 1 point and last until the end of rage. Mighty Swing would cost 1 point per use. I would not limit the number per round, so if you need to activate low-light vision and use a mighty swing in the first round, that would be fine, but you'd be burning through rage points (or rounds of rage) more quickly.
I don't like the idea of adding new powers to the game where you have to track duration. Either make them always on, for the duration of the rage, or instant. No more duration tracking please.

In the system I'm suggesting, there is no tracking of durations. You have only three possibilities:

1) You spend a rage point and the ability lasts until you stop raging.
2) You spend a rage point and the ability lasts until the beginning of your next turn (1 round)
3) You spend a rage point and the ability works for an instant only (like first attack in a full attack action).

The point cost is the same, but the relative utility differs. But there is no need to track rounds of duration. If you start low-light vision with rage, it lasts until you come out of rage. If that's 20 rounds or 2 rounds there is no tracking of duration - only whether you're in rage or not.

Andoran

Arakhor wrote:
As respectfully as possible, I believe that over half of the boards believe that fighters at least need 4+ skill points per level.

Really? Silence on an issue can hardly be construed as acceptance.

Since those asking for 4 skill points and those asking for 2 skill points cannot claim to speak for the silent majority, I refuse to make that claim. However, by definition we cannot know which side the silent majority is on without getting their voice involved. If the silent majority favors 2 skill points, if it is changed in a Beta download, the designers will hear. If they try to change it back to 2 and the silent majority liked it, they'll hear that as well.

I'm hoping for some shake-ups and some rethinking the 'problems' in 3.5. I don't want them to think after 1 year that they should have gone further.

Andoran

Melayl wrote:
As for having all powers cost 1 point per round, how would you balance that? For example, how would you balance Low-light Vision, or even Animal Fury against Mighty Swing or Powerful Blow or Surprise Accuracy if they all cost 1 point?

I would suggest having each rage power cost one point, but have a different duration based on the level of the power. Thus low-light vision would cost 1 point and last until the end of rage. Mighty Swing would cost 1 point per use. I would not limit the number per round, so if you need to activate low-light vision and use a mighty swing in the first round, that would be fine, but you'd be burning through rage points (or rounds of rage) more quickly.

Andoran

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

I am getting a little concerned about the tone of some of the posts in this thread. Lets keep it civil everybody. I am more than happy to discuss fighter design choices and options, but I want to keep the class simple. This more than likely means that Feats the way to give some balance to the class and I have a host of ideas on how to do this, but it will not be discussed until the Feats chapter.

If you cannot discuss this in a polite and civil manner, I suggest you take some time to remember that we are all working toward the same goal here.

Thanks

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

As respectfully as possible, I believe that over half of the boards believe that fighters at least need 4+ skill points per level. I think that a large number believe that all classes should have at least 4+.

Since your goal is to make a game that everyone here wants to play, and my goal is to help you make that game that I want to play, I really want to ask you specifically to give this a try in a Beta update. It really makes the game better.

You say it can be houseruled in. I agree. But the Beta Stage is not where we should be talking about what we're going to houserule. If 55% or more of the audience will be using the same houserule, unless it has some undesireable side effect, it probalby ought to get some testing. If it is better (and I believe it is) it will show in playtest. If it is tried and turns out not to be better, people like me will have had no reason to complain.

This wouldn't be an issue for me if it weren't such a popular choice. But in large part my disillusionment with Pathfinder is the sense that such a pragmatic change is not even meriting the serious consideration I think it deserves. Compared to all the other changes that have been discussed (like rogue abilities) I can't believe that this is getting the 'backward compatability hammer'. Respectfully, that is crazy.

*Takes deep breath*

You certainly don't owe anyone here an explanation or a test. But since we do have the same goal in mind, I would really suggest trying to explain why you consider this idea so 'unlikely'.

Andoran

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hi there All,

As for fighters and their skill points. I think that their list of class skills is certainly up to debate, but the number of points they receive is probably pretty set.
Thoughts

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

I think it is time to put 4+ Int skills in as a minimum in the next Beta update, and give it some playtest time. If it's good, it should be apparent after the whole tribe gives it a try. And if it's not, it should be apparent after everyone gives it an honest try.

Snarky

Spoiler:

This would also have the side benefit of allowing me to believe that the final product still has a chance of being 'better' than 3.5 considering the number of changes that I dislike.

Andoran

Arakhor wrote:
The fighter is a generic fighting class and always has been. Attempting to make the fighter what it isn't, is in my opinion, redundant.

I don't think redudndant means what you think it means. A redundant feature is one that does something that another feature already does. For example, giving a class a +4 enhancement bonus to Strength and giving that same class a +6 enhancement bonus to strength renders the +4 'redundant'. It doesn't do anything, unless the +6 is 'eliminated' for some reason.

The fighter should be a generic fighting class. And any generic fighter has a little time that they use to develop and hone the skills they think are important (whether outside of combat or inside combat). To argue that a fighter spends every available moment on 'combat training' is beyond ridiculous. The rogue gains combat ability even though he has a large number of skills. Why isn't he spending all his time learning about how to maximize that damage (sneak attack)? Why does the ranger get 6 skill points when he has the same HD as the fighter and the same BAB?

Andoran

The reason it was changed (and I support the change) was that the x4 caused a major headache for creating characters above 1st level. It wasn't enough to know that a character was a bard 3/fighter 6/ranger 9 - in order to caculate the skill points correctly you needed to know which class was taken first.

This wasn't as often a problem for a player as it was for the DM and for anyone trying to 'edit' a submission - if the skill points didn't seem to match up, it gets pretty tricky to figure out what 'correct' looks like.

Andoran

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Of the following choices, which one do you prefer and why? Which one seems the simplest to use as a player? As a GM? Which one seems to over the most flexibility? Which one seems the most fun?

Option 1: The current system.
Keep rage points and powers working pretty much as they currently work. Adjust some of the rage powers for balance and add a few to round out the system. Add some simple guidelines in the NPC section for GMs to use Barbarian characters quickly and easily.

Option 2: Modified Rage Powers.
Keep rage points, but only use them to track rounds of rage. Modify the number of rage points to equal 4+Con bonus at 1st level, +2 per barbarian level after 1st (do not add Con bonus for later levels). Ditch the increased cost for higher level rages. All rage powers can now be used once per rage and no more than one per round. Some rage powers get level limits that say when they can be chosen. Others get slight adjustments to work in the new system.

Option 2a: Suboption of 2
As option 2, but rage powers can be used as often as you like while rage, but no more than one per round. Some powers would need a bit more modification to make them work with this, more open system.

Option 3: Rages Per Day
Go back to the old system of rages per day, but increase the number of them that you get. Some rage powers can be used once per rage while others are always on (this might be a possibility for all of the options) so long as you are raging. A few rage powers might actually use up one of your rages per day, but these would be higher level.

You will notice that changing the rage powers into feats is not really...

Regarding Option 3 - I don't like that it lacks flexibility. I like the idea of a character raging to open a door, but not 'wasting' 7 more rounds of rage that were totally unnecessary. I'm against this option.

I like a combination of 1/2/2a. Let me explain:

First of all, I believe that rage/greater rage/mighty rage should cost the same in terms of points. I think as a baseline, any 'rage' should cost 1 point per round. If people prefer to think of it as 'total rounds of rage per day', that's fine as well.

All rage abilities should either have a cost of 1 to activate for a round, or a cost of 1 to activate for the duration of rage. Essentially there are only two 'types' of rage powers - most of the attack powers would cost 1 pt/round and most of the 'sensory powers' would cost 1 point to benefit from the entire rage.

Since the point cost of each ability is set at 1, as rage becomes more powerful, the rage ability becomes less beneficial, unless it increases in power as well.

So, for example, at 1st level you might choose 'low-light vision' as a rage power. That would fall into the 'pay 1 point and gain the benefit for the duration of the rage. When that character gains Greater Rage it might provide 'dark vision' at no additional cost, and at Mighty Rage might provide 'blind sense' or even 'blind sight' at no additional cost.

If the costs are generally fixed, there is little math to do. To maintain backwards compatability the number of rage points provided can be similar to the number of rounds a character in 3.5 could rage. Thus special powers do reduce the amount of time you could spend in rage, but usually their benefit is better than that 1 extra round of rage (especially since I have yet to see a barbarian use up 6 or more rages per day).

Andoran

Asturysk wrote:
I am not making the argument that it would not be beneficial to player characters, I am certain that it would make many players happy... It's about setting a benchmark that GM's can also easily implement with as little conversion, arguments, and difficulties as possible.

If it makes the players happy, and it does not significantly increase the power level in the game, why should a DM not choose the 4 per level? Why should that not be the benchmark?

If 4 is superior and everyone enjoys the game more, why would a DM argue it down to 2 if the rules say 4?

@Aubrey -
I think we'll have to agree to disagree. I think that a Fighter should be a viable character from 1st to 20th level. I think it can and should be used as a 'multi-class' class as well, since sometimes a concept is better suited to a combination of two or more different base classes. But the fighter as written lacks the flexibility to cover several broad 'fighter archetypes' due to a severe lack of skills. Pretty much any 'multi-classing' starts causing problems. First of all, a Fighter concept pretty much needs a good BAB. Multi-classing into a 3/4 BAB class pretty much means you're not a fighter compared to a 'straight fighter'. All the full BAB classes that have more skills (Barbarian, Ranger) come with a lot of 'extra junk' that doesn't fit the concept. Having a base class that has the flexibility to cover the broad archetypes that fit into the category 'fighter' is important to me.

Since in playtest it was found to be surprisingly good, I don't understand your opposition. I understand you think it is unnecessary, and I understand that you think that multi-classing should be used to make fighters viable, but I still don't understand why you wouldn't want someone to be a fighter for 20 levels and be able to do something outside of combat. But I guess I don't have to understand it to continue to disagree with it.

Andoran

For those that argue that increasing the number of skill points for the fighter would not work well, I suggest trying it.

I know a lot of people have given the reasons why they support 4+. I know I have. I know I care very deeply. For me personally, this was of such importance that I do not plan to adapt to Pathfinder at the current time. The main reason is that I have tried it. It was far more beneficial than I expected. It makes the game better for everyone.

I cannot stand the thought of a new game system that does not correct this travesty. I am convinced that if anyone gives it a genuine shot, they will love it as a DM and their fighter players will love it as well. They will not be 'better than the other classes'. The rogue, ranger, and wizard will all have more useful skills more often - but the fighter won't feel like they're completely useless all the time.

It is hard to argue against play experience with opinion only.

Andoran

Asturysk wrote:

Play a Human with a minimum 14 Int.

With fewer listed skills in Pathfinder, there's no reason other than the "I Wanna Haz Everythingz" attitude to clamor for more skill points per level. This isn't about optimizing, it's about sacrificing a bit here or there. If having more skill points to spread around is conceptually important to you, then drop a few skill points from your maxed-out skills elsewhere, or raise your Intelligence a couple of points and live with a slightly lower Prime Attribute. Maybe consider playing a human instead of whatever other demi-race you might normally play; there's a reason they are considered in fluff to be the most ascendant and expanding race in most fantasy settings.

Most of the players I hear this "not enough skill points" complaint from are those who don't want to give up on their "gotta be the best" plan for character builds. That's my two cents.

You're ascribing motives which are untrue. I find that to be offensive. If you have tried 4+Int skill points in a campaign you will find that they are not 'Everythingz'. As a system they don't work well with 'power gamers'. For 'roleplayers' they offer something. What's wrong with wanting to play a character that doesn't suck?

Seriously? Look at the fighter. People think that he's supposed to be great in combat and suck at everything else, and he isn't even that good in combat. Not really better than a ranger (and now he doesn't even have more hit points).

If everyone has the minimum 4 skills per level, you shouldn't have a player 'being the best'.

You're free to believe what you choose to believe, but I do not want 4 skill points to be 'all that'. I want it so I can build a well-rounded character that has crunch that supports the fluff, and interesting options outside of combat. That should not require 'gimping' the character by ignoring 'primary ability'. The average fighter should not have an Int of 14. The average fighter should probably be good at least 4 things. The average human fighter should be better than the 'average fighter' and probably have at least 5 skills. Then, if skills are really that important, than a high intelligence would make sense. But seriously, why does the Ranger have more skill points than the Fighter?

Andoran

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Plus, in the beta, the fighter also gets Knowledge (Dungeoneering) and Knowledge (Engineering), which covers off some of DeadDM's comments too. On the quantum of skill points, well, I'm not really convinced it is a problem but likewise, games differ between players and DMs.

As was pointed out above, I was saying that the fighter doesn't have enough skill points to have enough ranks to matter in most of those skills. A highly intelligent fighter who passes up the hit point bonus for favored class and is a human comes close. But the 'average fighter' should have a fairly broad range of skills.

And even if we look at other cultures besides the medieval knight, we come to the same conclusion. The 'fighters' in any historical period, the warriors with the most knowledge of warfare, have a lot of abilities that are used outside of combat. More skill points are more important than more class skills.

Andoran

If the extra feat is a 'regional feat', which is what I am supporting, it is not going to cause problems with qualifying for PrCs earlier than anticipated. The ones that exist now are not used in feat chains.

So, yes to regional feats, no to +1 feat for no good reason.

As for PrCs, if the only requirement is the number of feats, that is simply bad design. Skill ranks and BAB or spell of a particular level make good requirements since no character can exceed a particular pace (level +3 for skills, BAB = level for BAB, or spell level = character level x2-1).

If number of feats is the only requirement, you could try a rogue/fighter using the Unearthed Arcana variant (trade sneak for bonus feats). That would be 5 feats by 4th level...

Andoran

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:

The notion that extra skill points gives them something to do outside combat is also a red herring, in my view - from a game perspective, rolling a few extra dice for skill checks is a bit "meh" - it takes a few seconds, and it rarely has much drama and rarely does anything much vital hinge on it, unlike combat. The out-of-combat stuff generally involves discussions between characters and players, roleplaying and so on. I understand that skills mediate to some extent how a character interacts with their environment, but they have no impact on what players actually do, which is sit around discussing what to do next. Nothing prevents a fighter player contributing to that, even if someone else ends up rolling the dice. So he might get to roll a few extra dice? I don't discount that there might be some sense of achievement or drama, but the difference would be marginal in my view.

Different games, different players. I disagree with your observations. They are not true in our game (and have not been for the last several). We do use 4 skill points now, but we did not always. There were several times where the fighter character tried to contribute outside of combat before learning that it was not a good idea. The most eloquent and well-spoken player cannot play a fighter with a good diplomacy skill - and if he does, that would be all he does. The fighter then can't handle 'out of combat encounters' like a precipice that needs to be crossed. Since it seems the fighter character has a list of class skills that are impacted by Armor Check, there is often little point in putting ranks in 'classic skills' like Climb and Swim. The number of ranks may just offset the skill check penalty.

I like Fighter (and other classes) to have a role outside of combat, since the games I enjoy most have a lot of time that is spent that way. And not just 'discussing what to do next'. Trying to avoid a particular fight and solve the problem 'diplomatically' can be fun for everyone, but isn't if one person cannot contribute anything meaningfully.

I also like to approach it from the persepctive of what seems right? Forgetting about the 'rules' for a moment, let's look at a medieval knight. What could they do? Considering that they couldn't even read, normally?

They would usually have the ability to ride well, they would be able to hunt (Survival) and use falcons and hunting dogs (Handle Animal). They would be involved in furthering their family interests, so you would expect they would have knowledge (nobility and royalty). They are in charge of planning attacks against entrenched positions, so might have knowledge (engineering). Those would be the 'archetypal skills' one would think. Fighters cannot even get those. It is likely that most fighters have the archetypal skills and a few that are not as common among their cohort - like heal, or perception, or stealth, depending on what else they like to do and how they hunt, etc. So more skill points are also a requirement for simulationism.

Andoran

Asgetrion wrote:
My point is that bonuses are already pretty hard to track in 3E/PF, and the examples provided do not seem too hard on top of that. I *do* agree with you that Rage should automatically "upgrade" to Mighty Rage... it's a bit silly that they're separate abilities with different point costs.

I am not advocating getting rid of rage points.

There are others who are. I don't care much about them one way or another, to be honest. They're a mechanic and have some definite advantages over 'per day' uses.

My specific issue is the point cost for rage/greater rage/mighty rage. In 3.5 when a character gains Greater Rage, every round that they could have raged that day is not a Greater Rage. They do not rage any less time now that they 'rage harder'. For that reason, the point cost for rage should be fixed - and every version of rage would have the same cost.

In Pathfinder Beta if I have 100 rage points, I could 'Rage' for 100 rounds, or I could 'Greater Rage' for 50 rounds. I think that the character should be able to 'Greater Rage' for 100 rounds. I don't think that is too game breaking. It is just smart design. So, by making any version of rage cost 1 pt/round, you effectively eliminate 'rage' when 'greater rage' becomes available.

Most fights use the same modifiers every round. There are only a small number of effects that actually vary from round to round. If our group has had time to buff, I know that my Bull's Strength, Greater Magic Weapon, Bardic Music and Rage will apply to every attack in combat. Flanking or sneak attack might not. So, I figure my bonus with all the enhancements I expect, and only rarely do I have to adjust (Targeted Dispel Magic, for instance). Allowing a character to move from +8 Str to +4 Str to +6 Str involves more complicated math - particularly with 2 handed weapons.

If the normal Str bonus is +5 (1.5x) is +7. At +4 Str the bonus becomes +7 (+10 2-handed). At +6 it becomes +8 (+12 2-handed)and at +8 it becomes +9 (+13 2-handed). The effective increase to damage is either 3 or 4 - that's the math I want to avoid. Take out the multiplication and it wouldn't be as big a worry. Take out the variable strength and it wouldnt' be so big a problem. I don't really care which one changes, but one of them should. Since x1.5 Str was used in 3.5 and variable Rage bonus was not, from the perspective of Backward Compatability, ending 'variable rage' seems the better choice.

Andoran

Our group is currently playing Curse of the Crimson Throne with 4+Int as the minimum for all classes. This did not change any other class (druid, monk, rouge, etc) - the only increase is for the two skill classes. After trying it, I would not play any other way.

Jason indicates that adding more skill points to the class is easy to 'houserule'. For a group that uses published adventures but wants to get more mileage than just combat, a few extra skill points are almost sure to round out a character. Having a 'combat encounter' that has ranks in perform and a MW flute is suddenly a little more interesting. Why does this character play the flute? What type of melodies do they play? Where did they learn? Suddenly the DM has a whole new avenue for expanding the adventure that he or she would never have thought to create on their own. Those extra skill points enhance the encounters included in published materials. The benefit is not that the DM could add those extra skill points in - it is that the work was already done. To be sure, I feel quite strongly about this issue.

Regarding further skill consolidation, I oppose it. However, my opinion may be discounted since I'm not currently planning on switching to Pathfinder, largely due to concerns that I have over skills. I'd like to see more skill points for some classes and some skills broken up again. The only skill combinations that I think provide any real benefit to the game are Open Lock + Disable Device, Spot + Listen, and Hide + Move Silently. The reduce redundant rolls of the dice or eliminate a 'duplicated' feature.

The fighter, alone among the 2+skill classes, deserves additonal class skills in addition to the 4+skills per level. They should be exactly as the 'Golarion Academy Trained Fighter' without surrendering a bonus feat.

Andoran

While I thank the gallery for their comments, this was an intensely personal decision, and I ask that you respect it.

This is in no way a hostage situation. I have not indicated that if they grant fighters 4 skill points per level that I will change my mind. Only that when Pathfinder is released I will make an evaluation of the quality of the product and make my personal decision accordingly.

I was a little rushed when posting my request to cancel my subscriptions, but this is not the first time that I was going to do so. I wrote a multi-page post a couple of weeks ago explaining why I was cancelling the subscriptions that I have. I felt that Paizo deserves an explanation, and in this case, it is certainly the issue of the 'straw that broke the camel's back'.

Since the money I spend is my money, I do not feel any obligation to spend it with Paizo, unless the value of product I receive exceeds the value of the money to me. I have recently seen dramatically increased expenses owing in part to the beginning of the academic year and my child beginning day care. The extra $650 we're spending on day care has to come from somewhere. Since Paizo products are an elective expense, I ought to cancel my subsciption from simple pragmatism. However, that alone was not enough to inform my decision.

I do not need any Paizo products. I am not currently running a campaign, but am instead a player. The game that I'm involved in has just begun, and will likely take several months to conclude. After the end of this campaign I have several other APs that I can run. I have not run any of the prior APs from start to finish, and have the Shackled City, Age of Worms, Savage Tide and will soon have Second Darkness to choose from. I also have yet to run a single Pathfinder Module (and I have them all). I also have 60+ issues of Dungeon to draw on for additional adventure material. I have another shelf full of Necromancer game modules that I have yet to even read, and several more campaign setting/adventure books, including the World's Largest City, the World's Largest Dungeon, and Ptolus. Hopefully it is apparent that I have no current need for additional game materials, and will not for some time yet to come.

When I choose to buy Paizo products that I know I do not need, the reason has more to do with my future selfish needs. If I don't buy the products I don't need now, Paizo may not exist for me to purchase the products I may need in the future. Since Paizo has excellent quality and product values I believe that helping them to remain in business is in my best interest. They could not exist as a company if all of their customers chose to wait to buy the product until they had used everything else that Paizo produced. Thus purchasing from Paizo was not even a matter of want but of convenience - having a company that produces the kinds of material I *MIGHT* want or need was the valuable commodity that I considered worth the expenditure of my money, despite increased costs and fears of a deteriorating economy.

Paizo will be switching to Pathfinder in August of 2009. If I were going to be playing Pathfinder in 2009 it would certainly be worthwhile to support Paizo until that time arrives. However, I do not believe that I will be supporting Pathfinder. There are numerous 'problems' I have with the Beta (and have had with the Alpha). The reason I delayed my decision to cancel last time is that most of my concerns could still be addressed. After the Beta was released I was extremely disappointed at the small number of changes from the Alpha 3. I was afraid that if so little changed between Alpha 3 and Beta, there would not be much difference between Beta and Final Version. Since that isn't NECESSARILY true, I decided to wait a bit longer.

To be clear, I really do enjoy 3.5. It is an incredibly flexible system, and I'm extremely familiar with it and am easily able to modify it to accomplish my aims as a DM. Since I can play 3.5 or a houseruled version and have fun, the only incentive to switch to Pathfinder is if the game system is BETTER than 3.5. In my mind, that is no small feat. That means that every considered change should improve the game. So far, I find that is not the case.

A comprehensive list of all the things I don't like about the Beta would be more trouble than it is worth, since many of those may change. The 'sticking points' or 'must haves' that Paizo has changed are much more limited.

1) All classes should have a minimum of 4 skill points per level.
2) Concentration should be a skill.
3) Search should not be included in Perception.
4) Skills like Decipher Script (linguistics) should not include a free extra language every time you put a rank in it.
5) Save or Die should be an interesting option, but there should be a chance for a PC to survive on a failed save.
6) Hit points a barbarian loses during a rage should not be subtracted from their full normal total.
7) A barbarian should not be able to switch from Mighty Rage to Rage to Greater Rage with a corresponding change in their ability modifiers.
8) Two equal characters attempting a combat maneuever on each other should have about a 50% chance of success.

That's it.

There are a few other things I'd like to see. I think that Tumble was a great skill and that Acrobatics is overpowered, but I could live with it. I think that 3.5 Power Attack was better than Pathfinder Power Attack, but I could live with it. As you can see half of my concerns are related to skills. I think that is the one area in 3.5 that pretty much sucks. I think that Pathfinder does some things better with regard to skills, but every change should be an improvement. I'm not willing to switch to a system that does 25% of the things better, 50% of them the same and 25% worse.

I don't expect that Paizo will bend over to accomodate me. They have a lot of other customers, and it is quite obvious from reading the boards that pretty much every customer has a different opinion about how the game should be designed. But I also don't expect any of those customers to support Paizo when they know they're getting a product that they know that they don't want. Now, I have ideas on how to achieve each of those 8 points that I consider critical to my switching to Pathfinder, but for most of them my 'desired solution' isn't the only one. I'm also not trying to influence any one else's decision. Paizo requests that cancellations be done on their public forum, so for that reason providing an explanation is certainly a good idea, but it is also time consuming, so depends entirely upon how much leisure time I have to provide it.

If I'm wrong and the final product that Paizo releases hits those points, I'll probably resubscribe to all of their products. If they don't, well, I don't need a new edition of the game, I have plenty of material. If Paizo incorporates all of those points into their Beta 2 or Beta 3, I might consider changing my mind earlier, but that is because my hope for getting the product I want would be restored. I'm going to be completely selfish about this. I'll spend my money on a product that I want, not one that I don't.

I hope nobody here feels that my personal decision is anything other than that (it's not 'taking my ball and going home') and it should not be considered as an attack or disapproval of the people who enjoy the form Pathfinder is in right now. Just like 4th edition is not right for me, Pathfinder does not seem to be right for me. I had hoped it would be.

I no longer have that hope, but I will continue watching lest I be surprised.

Andoran

Please cancel all subscriptions except the Adventure Path for me.

This includes:
Pathfinder Modules
Pathfinder Chronicles
Pathfinder Companion
Planet Stories

This is primarily due to the fact that in discussion of the Beta Rules Jason has said that the number of skill points for fighters is fixed at 2. Skills are my primary concern with the move to Pathfinder RPG, and I was hoping to see all classes get at least 4. I was tempted to cancel at several times earlier, but I opted to wait until it was more definite.

After Pathfinder RPG is released I will evaluate it and may consider resubscribing.

Andoran

Asgetrion wrote:


Try playing a character with two or more spellcasting classes, and trying to keep track of your spell durations, available slots, spell DCs (assuming your ability scores are not identical and you've taken Feats to bump them) -- now *THAT* I call a bookkeeping nightmare. Rage Points feel like a breeze compared to playing, say, a PC who has levels in Paladin, Cleric and Favored Soul.

If one class combination is difficult, but others are more difficult, that is not a reason not to consider making the first class less difficult. Particularly considering that other classes will be discussed in short order.

Asgetrion wrote:


As for bonuses, I've found out that if you use a lot of 'buffs' in your group, it is just as hard to calculate bonuses to a fighter or a rogue than a barbarian ("Uh, so I charged, which gives me +2, and then I used Power Attack for -3, and I get +2 from flanking... and then there's the bonus from Bless and Bull's Strength to give me another +3... now, wait, I just noticed that all my attacks during the previous round would have inflicted two more points of damage... hey, is the 'Chant' bonus still on? How about the bard's Inspiration?" etcetera).

I've found that I rarely have to do much recalculation round by round. Effects like bull's strength tend to last through the entire fight. It is only when things change rather dramatically that I have to spend much time applying new modifiers (such as when I go from normal to inside an anti-magic field). The problem for me is mostly going from +4 Str to +6 Str to +8 Str between rounds. I certainly might not do it for my character, but if rage costs fewer points than mighty rage, there might be times where it would be beneficial. I'd rather eliminate the benefit (by making mighty rage the same cost) which also is more like 3.5. In 3.5 a barbarian with mighty rage cannot 'rage'. They only 'mighty rage'. If the cost per round were the same, there would be no reason not to always choose a +8 bonus instead of a +4 bonus.

Andoran

We have not had our barbarian attempt to exploit roused anger to generate large numbers of 'new' temporary hit points. In my prior post, I referred to removing a power. That power is the one that I think could stand to be removed. Even without a temp hit point exploit, that one power basically negates the 'tactical disadvantage' of rage.

In any case, we use them as normal temporary hit points. Thus, when a barbarian rages, he gains +2 hit points per level (increasing as he gets more powerful rage abilities). These hit points are lost first. Thus, a 2nd level barbarian with base hit points of 24 has 28 hit points when raging. If the barbarian takes 4 points of damage (dropping to 24 hit points) he has not taken any 'real' damage. When he drops out of rage, he has full hit points.

If this barbarian takes 6 points of damage before dropping out of rage, he will only be 2 hit points from his full normal total (22) when he drops out of rage.

The advantage to this is two-fold. First of all, the barbarian never needs to worry about dying when he comes out of rage. If he likes the 'concept' of figthing beyond his normal ability, he can take die hard and achieve the same effect. Our group considers that a major benefit.

The second benefit is that the barbarian is not requiring quite the same level of healing. Barbarians are known for their low ACs, and this does nothing to change that. In basically every fight our barbarian burns through his rage hit points (and normally quite a few additional ones). At 2nd level it took 2 CLW and 2 Turn Undead attempts to get him to full. If anyone else took a 'medium' amount of damage, the cleric had no spells, even with the increased healing in Pathfinder.

If you run just about any combination of four party members, you're likely to find that the barbarian requires about 60% (or more) of the party's total healing. Ideally, that number would be closer to 25%, though that isn't entirely practical since some classes (wizards, etc) have fewer total hit points and are less likely to be hit in combat. We found that amount of healing to be a problem. We're playing Curse of the Crimson Throne with a cleric, a wizard, a sorcerer, and a barbarian. I'm not claiming we have anything like a standard party, but I'd like the rules to support most combinations of parties. In our particular case, to remain viable we needed to do something to reduce the amount of healing the barbarian required. Now, in our particular case, the difference was fairly small, but it is a noticeable difference. After trying it, I don't think we would consider going back.

Andoran

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Hmm, I had considered changing the rage HP to temporary HP just to keep things a bit simple, but I am not 100% sold on the idea just yet.

In the case of our group, the barbarians 4 extra hit points per rage aren't a lot. That is to say, he always goes through them. Even with a +8 Con at 20th level and Mighty Rage we're talking about 80 hit points - at that level we're talking one or two hits (or less) so it remains something nice to have but it isn't game breaking. What's nice is that it means the cleric has a little more healing for the rest of the party. I invite you to compare the healing output of a cleric against the hit point total of a barbarian. At 20th level those 80 hit points (x4 encounters per day) = 320 hit points in total healing that isn't used. Using Augment healing and Cure Critical Wounds (4d8+28) we're talking about the equivalent of 6 or 7 4th level spells being used for 'fun' stuff.

The only real concern should be a barbarian using their temp hit points and then immediately going back into a rage. I'd seriously consider removing that power. I'd also consider making the fatigue last 1 minute per round of rage. That is certainly sufficient to make sure the rage can be used only once effectively in an encounter. Since the cost of greater and mighty rage would be reduced, it also effectively increases the number of 'special' attacks the barbarian can make, making them even more fun to play.

Jason Bulmahn wrote:


As for the complexity in attack rolls, that is the nature of the beast in some regards. Not every feat can be an "always" on proposition. In most cases, I see players right down the most damaging choice, the most accurate choice, and one somewhere in the middle. That said, YMMV.

My concern isn't trying to figure out what the attack bonus for a raging barbarian is when we apply bull's strength, or enlarge, or both. When I play a barbarian in 3.5 I have two sets of attacks I keep track of - without rage and with rage. If I'm feeling really special, I'll also write down my attack routines with fatigue (since it can happen). I also would do these routines with common power attack numbers (partly addressed in Beta).

Now, in Pathfinder Beta, I have these several attack routines, but I have to do them three times (rage, greater rage, mighty rage). The goal is always to reduce the number of modifiers I have to apply to my attack roll to a minimal number - hopefully focusing on just situational modifiers like flanking. Calculating the change to a two-handed weapon (1.5x Str) is not so easy on the fly. I'm good with math, but to keep the game moving, I need to write these down.

There are a couple ways to solve this problem. One is to say that the barbarian can't change from one version of rage to another during the rage. I'm not too keen on that, since if you were burning 2 rage points per round to maintain greater rage and have 1 rage point left, it would be nice if you could use it in rage before dropping out.

The other solution is to make rage, greater rage and mighty rage all cost 1 rage point per round. This also more closely follows 3.5. In 3.5 at 20th level you don't have 1 mighty rage/day, 2 greater rages/day and 3 rages/day - you have 6 mighty rages per day... All of the greater rages are 'transformed' when you reach 20th level. If the system can be more backward compatible and still keep rage points, why wouldn't we make that change?

Andoran

I will point out that Lesser Restoration has a casting time of 3 rounds, so it is not a spell to be casting during combat. Heal, however, does cure ability damage (not drain) so could be used in combat.

Andoran

KnightErrantJR wrote:

So you want it to be just as easy, if not easier, to disarm, bull rush, trip, or grapple a foe as it is to just bash them with a weapon?

I don't know who this is directed at, but no.

I want these special attacks to remain viable tactics against other opponents, even when those opponents are bigger than you are.

In 3.5 with a really good roll you could disarm a giant who you were fighting. In order to succeed you needed to roll really well and the giant needed to roll really poorly. If there were really giants, you might think that if you stabbed one in the hand, it might release its weapon (a small chance of success).

In Pathfinder, the giant likely has a CMB at least 5 higher than the character attempting the disarm. Thise means it is only on a natural 20 that it can be a success. I don't like that a 'small chance of success' has been replaced by 'virtually no chance of success'.

Worse, two equal opponents can only succeed against each other 25% of the time. If two character are both trying to start a grapple with each other, each must succeed roll a 15 (since their CMBs are equal it doesn't matter if it is +1 or +20 - they just need a 15 to succeed). I'd like the base chance for a character fighting his 'identical twin' to be 50%.

Instead of a CMB of 5 higher rendering success nigh impossible, it would require a CMB of 10 higher. This still means that it will frequently be near impossible to affect level appropriate opponents. My biggest concern remains the monk (3/4 BAB). However, I don't want to specificially talk about any one character class. I think the general mechanic can and should be revised on the idea of two equal opponents having a 50% chance to affect each other.

Personally, I'd prefer to see it as opposed rolls. But failing that, 10+CMB as the DC achieves the same effect.

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