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I've always seen the rogue class as a team-playing gangsta who's good in strange situations... And most campaigns have lots of team-based combat and strange situations.
I also kinda feel like the problem with the rogue is other people. If you have a strong trip em and strip em type of warrior (or better, another rogue) to be your second, you will trounce things as a rogue. But... If your warrior/tweener/whatever as second are optimized and self-contained, kiss your viability at many combats goodbye.
The strong tendency in games I've seen is this: rogues can make non-aggressive builds (particularly fighter builds) seem powerful because of their synergy. And when paired with the attack and damage powerhouses, they don't shine much... In combat anyway.
Considering a post further up... I would like to see a mechanic that lets rogues "pilfer" minor loot items without the party's knowledge viable as a trick. That, to me, is roguish in every sense.
I'm pretty sure Monte Cook fixed this potential problem with his Oathsworn class in Arcana Evolved.
That monk-like class gets iterative attacks each +4 base attack rather than +6 - which works nicely math and level-wise and helps to keep rules simple and short.
My two cents as a fix: just give the monk a 1/1 base attack so they can finally be a "warrior class," and if it is the intent of the rules, give them the TWF feats at appropriate levels (i.e. ignore Hasbro's ruling traditions when they don't add anything nice - probably its own thread).
I have no doubts that Paizo will make a great fix though. If their game wasn't so well received and thus beloved by players nobody would be so argumentative about it.
1 - cleric
Its funny that we haven't seen many rogues at the table. Only one that I can think of in the last year. Although...
I played a ninja recently and found it to be a bit underwhelming in most situations, though the class's ability to simply not be around to get attacked was pretty boss. I traded him out for a wizard at level 4.
Wizard is probably my favorite way to play but in four or five campaigns we've had a plethora of clerics, even two at a time in a pair of games with none really dominating in combat or otherwise.
Power attack and combat expertise have been prerequisites for as long as 3.0 for basically the same stuff... all for very little reason - except to restrain characters who DON'T have bonus feats from getting the goodies fighters can get by taking the chains.
In a weird, round about way, the feat prerequisites made being a high level fighter more worthwhile because you just couldn't afford to get whirlwind attack as a ranger until level 6 or so for humans in 3.x ed. Or at least, I think that was the idea...
If you don't like (like I don't like it) then house-rule it until it becomes obvious to everyone that these taxes often suck some of the fun out of the game, which is unfortunate. As it is, prerequisites like that make fighters (and other classes) a bit less "special" to play.
At my table combat expertise and power attack are special combat maneuvers useable as written in the feat's text. The only prerequisite for them is that a character has a +1 base attack bonus, sort of like drawing a weapon as part of a move.
I've also thrown around the idea that bonus fighter feats should transcend all prerequisites except for base attack bonus or level (which I feel are understandable prerequisites), like ranger/monk bonus feats...
My two cents are this:
Monks are really nice in niche campaigns/adventures.
Low magic actually makes monks a bit shinier, especially with APG/UC in play.
Likewise, fighters/barbarians/cavaliers aren't now nor have they ever been particularly pleasant to play in an urban setting, monks typically are for lots of reasons.
Monks are also generally quite good in the role usually assumed by the rogue - with traits and such - monks are quite good at disarming traps and have the saves to back them up against high level magical traps, and as skirmishers they are better than rogues at positioning and therefor damage/disabling.
I wouldn't let them take over the front-line warrior/tank role though. They have too many abilities that point in other directions, as has been noted.
One of the biggest detriments of playing a monk in pre-made adventures is that the kind of specialized equipment they require to be optimal isn't typically prominent. I'm fairly certain there aren't any robes of the monk in Rise of the Runelords, for example.
Yazoo Sue, or as I like to call it, smoked beef brisket in a glass!
And of the germans?
Julius Echter Hefe-Weissbier Dunkel. Bavarian Purity indeed....
Would anyone happen to know where a possessed demon mask might get his mits on some Blonde Bombshell Beer?
Off to google I go...
Its kinda funny. My group started rolling for stats using the 'roll four drop the lowest' method.
We had uber stats for many campaigns - campaigns that felt like games about superheroes. We used to compare where our 18s were at character creation, scoffing at those who could only manage a few lousy 16s and 17s...
Then we went to point buy at 25 and progressively (as we got older... and older) we finally settled on 15 point buy, which seems to be about right for challenging a more experienced group of players.
Maybe by the time we're in our forties we'll be using 10 points...
Haste is the new Fireball...
Low Dex? No problem.
There is a real, visceral thrill to chucking a handful of dice on the table and watching rooms-full of jobbers without name tags fall by the dozen.
Plus, AOE is the DM's friend. It softens up player characters en mass and punishes front-liners all while being ubiquitous... Even the least experienced DM can look at a spell list see FIREBALL and know for certain what the evil cultist is going to do on his turn next round.
I see casters chucking fireballs every time I play the game.
My unholy warhammer wielding cleric of Pholtus (google it) just died at level 5 in a Pathfinderized Return to The Temple of Elemental Evil campaign...
Quick channeling + extra channeling took care of any woes involved in healing. He usually just strode into melee, but he made good use of one of the law subdomain's command power.
I too had an elvish archer cleric in 3.0 - I believe it was in a Vault of Larin Karr game. The boo-coos of damages were nice, the on-demand party buffs were nicer.
Let it have minecraft graphics with maximum potential for storytelling/player options-on-top-of-player-options-to-the-point-of-ridiculousness.
If those graphics are too difficult to maintain and still have the latter, I'd be happy with a top-down 2d interface.
The alternative (IMO, of course) would be blockbuster graphics and fun-for-ten-minutes gameplay - which has been done to death...
Do minis slow the game down?
Yes and no in my games.
Yes, in games in which there are many things a player has to consider before moving plus the course of action said player decides to take. But this doesn't apply to ranged combat, spell casters and the like much. I find that attacks of opportunity rules are what really slow down combat. Axe those and it even runs a might too fast. Those darn teamwork feats tend to slow down combat too, because players need to be in proximity/flanking/what have you and they deliberate for a bit on how best to move.
In other games, d20 modern in particular, we don't use minis at all and it seems to speed the pace of the game - but its a bit easier to decide what your character is going to do in a setting that is familiar.
The Magus also has the option of taking an arcana from the UC that turns an entire round of melee attacks into touch attacks.
With the intensified shocking grasp, a quickened spell and a debuff stored in a spell storing weapon along with three or four melee attacks (all hitting touch AC) and the magus could effectively hand the high AC PC his innards in a round or less.
Level 5 ninja baddies with firearms are really mean:
Two words: Magic Jar.
To whichever one of you Paizo mad scientists it was that came up with the sensei archetype:
Thank you. Thank you very much.
I'm playing a level 4 qingong ki mystic sensei monk and loving it. It may be the most fun I've had playing a d20 game in years.
He has something meaningful to do (and sometimes more than just one thing) every single round regardless of where he is or where the bad guys are.
Anyone else this in love with an archetype or archetypes? Even if they aren't "optimal"?
It seems that, as a whole, we've gotten over the idea that the cleric is the healbot. When will we get over the idea that a bard must buff the party?
I'm a big fan of more warriorish bards.
I jumped for joy at the arcane duelist, dervish and archaeologist specifically, though really even the core bard is a great warrior on her own. Spells and move and swift action self-buffing is icing on the cake. They are potentially the best at mixing melee and ranged combat, the best warrior-controllers bar-none, and they cap out with songs that make things heads explode from sheer awesomeness.
None of that screams "5th wheel party buffer to me"
The bard's best buffs buff the bard best.
Great ideas gents. I never thought to look in a library!
My home town library was kind of a joke and even playing the game was inconceivable down here in the bible belt when I first picked up the hobby.
LazarX - in a completely selfish and unrelated conversation - are you really tossing the old 1st ed. books? I can foot the postage if you'd like to *ahem* donate them to a good cause.
LazarX said, "Bribing with Food might help though."
Maybe, but that would require removing the wife-enforced padlock from the fridge.
I agree with the sentiment, but these guys are definitely grognards (really, I am too). I've perceived a bit of a stigma against playing the edition in question and I'd say that that stigma is what I'm expecting to deal with.
ciretose, unfortunately I haven't had an account at wotc for a long time. At least, I think...
Think my account name and such would still be active over there? After 10+ years?
Aubrey the Malformed, I wouldn't mind, but my players might. I'm the DM and really this line of questions is aimed at arming myself when speaking to a potentially unwilling gaming group. I'd like to show up at the table with some idea of why we should play it (aside from the novelty of something new) instead of sticking to the standby.
Thanks for the replies, by the way.
I have played every iteration of D&D since 2nd and now play Pathfinder (quite fondly, I might add). I have been gifted a few 4e books and I leafed through them, but not extensively.
(I have the PHB 1, Forgotten Realms and one more I can't remember at the moment.)
Perhaps age is an obstacle here. I just don't find the books all that interesting and I'm not sure I see any changes that were all that needful but I'm reserving my opinion here until I can talk to someone who's played the game.
Is there something I'm missing?
I'd hate to waste gifted books.
The RAW makes me raw, especially in side-cases like this in which the RAW flies in the face of both player fun and logic.
You would be entirely correct to run the sensei this way.
But having said that, I'd rule it is a 'yes' to all of the above, if only because the severe limitation of the sensei's rounds per day of use makes the ability's use really spare and probably balanced therefore.
It also stands to reason that if the ability's function is "identical to bardic performance," that feats, other abilities, prestige classes, etc. should treat it as "identical" as well even if it isn't explicitly stated.
I say all this because, honestly, the guy who plays a sensei probably wants all this to be the case and would find it more fun to play the character if he could modify those abilities as if it were so. Plus, I'll not hold my breath waiting for any kind of official rules clarifications concerning the UC.
Wow. I've just read this entire thread to satisfy my curiosity and perhaps to support what I believe to be the best-ruled paladin in any roleplaying game I've played and I've learned two things:
1. Some people don't like the way other people DM.
2. Posts about paladins are never actually about paladins.
Now where are all the cavalier posts?
I ran a solo campaign for a friend that went from level 1 to level 13.
He played a (3.5) dwarf ranger and used a waraxe-shield combination. To this day, he says it was his most enjoyable DnD experience.
The plus side of solo campaigns is that a character can be really, really fleshed out as they level. The focus on one person can really capture subtle changes in attitude, alignment, etc. that are tough to eke out in larger games.
Oh! And combat moves much, much faster and more fluidly.
The downside (as I saw it) was that I absolutely had to intermittently toss in a few NPCs to assist him or for him to lead and direct.
If I were you, I'd give the player a sidekick early on, preferably one with NPCish stats (that is, low) and even a level or two behind the player. Keeping the NPC alive and directing them in and out of combat sort of makes it into a more tactical game for the player and maintains the semblance of 'soloing' while also not derailing the campaign's longevity.
But! Don't just dole out healers! Giving a warrior a skill-user also makes things a bit on the easy side sometimes. And I remember having to auto-confirm a few things that would have been impossible for the player to get through without dedicated mages too.
There were quite a few NPC allies that weren't his friends, but toward the end of that campaign the player had a group of perhaps half a dozen loyal followers, all of them a few levels lower than him and with very specific foci.
You kind of have to think more cinematically with just one player, too. Let them do things that skill checks don't always cover.
Is the OP's question more about a "build" or more about how the pally should be role played?
If its about the build, I've seen a billion and three sword-n-board paladins, and probably for good reason. They don't have the bonus feats to build a proper two-weapon fighter. Archery will take a while (probably level 3-5) to cover all the bases. Sword and board requires maybe three feats to be really productive, but I would probably go with a two handed weapon. Pally's are machines when it comes to tanking, but AC isn't as important as HP and lay on hands for them.
As for roleplaying, pally's need lots of decisions to make in a given campaign that could affect their alignment in order for them to be interesting characters. A hack-n-slash game isn't going to be as fun because it is usually assumed that everything being hacked and slashed is evil or chaotic. So, yes, the GM and the adventure itself (if modular) matter a great deal.
Just two more pacentas:
I've been playing D&D since 2nd edition and picked up Pathfinder after wrapping up a really, really long Arcana Evolved based Ptolus game that included perhaps dozens of sessions in which an initiative roll was never rolled and a highly combat-intensive Star Wars game (which isn't usually all that combat-intensive).
A flexible game master with willing players can do whatever they want within the Pathfinder ruleset and have fun doing so. Leveling up is really a very subjective thing in the context of social-skills, etc. and, given in-game time, players who want to craft/kingdom build/what have you can do so.
That said, combat will run smoother in Pathfinder than a lot of other systems. Those rules are there for whenever your characters need them.
Shep the Sharing Shinobi
(I'm kinda new. I don't know how to hide text blocks! Teach me, oh might masters of the messageboards!)
Str 10, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 22, Cha 10 (probable items factored in)
He uses bardic performance like a level 6 bard. (12 rounds/day)
He can share any class ability that draws on ki with any other character using mystic wisdom.
He used qingong monk to drop high jump and pick up barkskin (cost 1 ki) and wholeness of body for gaseous form.
Rogue talents: ki pool (adds his wisdom as bonus to ki pool), vanishing trick, shadow clone.
His equipment consists of stat-boosting items, monk robes, a sword of subtlety and a sacks-full of poison-tipped shurikens.
As a move action he uses inspire courage for +2 to hit and damage for everybody or inspire competence for skill-users for up to 12 rounds/day.
As a standard action, for 1 ki point, Shep grants an ally or himself 1d4 shadow clones or barkskin (+3 natural armor, 70 mins.) or gaseous form (14 min. duration).
His attack plan basically consists of using those poisoned shuriken (+12/+7) or getting flanks and using dim mak to hit foes with stunning fist (DC 23, stun or fatigue) as touch attacks and striking with his sword of subtlety (w/ sa, +16/+9) He does this while either using vanishing trick himself or on a more dedicated striker.
In times of need, he can burn 3 ki to use vanishing trick on up to 3 people in a full round.
As he levels, he'll likely take one more level of rogue for the ninja trick sudden disguise and SA on a charge, and replace every monk class ability he can with a buff from the qingong list of abilities.
So here's my question:
"The magus can use the athame as if he were fighting with two weapons, or can use that hand to cast spells as part of the spell combat class ability (but not both in the same round)."
I'm not sure this is the intent, but it seems like this basically gives you the TWF feat?
Does "...use the athame as if he were fighting with two weapons" mean that the character IS NOT fighting with two weapons but is still treated as such (i.e. gets an offhand attack at -2)?
Or is the intent: "now go take TWF so you can use your'e class ability ya sorry sob."
Ashiel, that is a very good idea. In-combat healing could definitely use the boost, but wouldn't fast healing or regen basically turn that non-lethal damage converting into straight up DR?
(I really don't know. I can never remember the rules for fast healing/regen... Trolls are infrequent in my games...)
Continuing with the UC optional rule: I wonder if attaching the called shot rule to this would make it any better for finesse characters? Yes, it would V.A.T.S. it up. But taking those penalties to hit wouldn't be nearly as bad for the 15 base attack classes with AC=DR rules in place and they'd still have to do at least a point of damage to inflict penalties.
I guess the aim of that would be firmly cementing a character's place in combat.
The finesse guys, firearm users, etc. would be combat managers/debuffers while the big ol barbarian with his mighty cleaving nail-board and the pally with smite would be for powering through DR...
Wow. I just remembered smite blew through DR.... That make this optional rule a bit too good for those guys. That red dragon would have a defense of about 5 and zero DR versus the pally.
Finally! Posters posting about the original post FTW!
Maybe adding one's base reflex save bonus to defense would be a good start for class-based defense bonuses - IF you wanted them.
But I think 1/5th level plus armor enhancement bonus is quite enough.
The AC=DR rules kind of assume characters and monsters will be getting hit more often. It essentially takes that whole HP=AC concept to the next logical step.
People who have gobs of HP and DR are more survivable with this rule (which, I would argue, is already the case with the standard rules). It also makes shields (and feats that give shield bonuses), spells that offer AC and natural armor, and class abilities with either DR or natural armor as class abilities much better. It also makes the druid's wildshape much better at all levels.
I think this is kind of the point.
Maybe we should post example characters to compare?
Responding to the OP concerning the topic of the thread:
What's this about armor=dr rules lowering AC to the point of ridiculousness?
An average tenth level fighter with a (+2 weapon, +2 weapon training, greater weapon focus, 20 Strength) has about +21 or so to hit, meaning he could hit a CR 18 very old red dragon on a roll of 15 or better, never mind the CR 10 shield archon with his pitiful 28 AC, which is the highest of all CR 10s I could find.
Buff the fighter even a little and his attack rolls are way better than they need to be already in order to hit even the toughest bad guys.
So yes, AC=DR means damage is more important for weapon users, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, just different, and by no means impossible.
Now, getting more agile characters to figure out how to pump up their damage is a bigger issue, but one also easily fixed via feats like clustered shots, hammer the gap, the vital strike line, etc.
With the new rules you still get your armor's enhancement bonus plus 1/5th your level to Defense. A fighter in +3 full plate and a +2 heavy shield at level 10 should get +2 defense from his level, +3 from his armor enhancement, +5 defense from his shield and have DR 11/adamantine to boot. His defense could easily be in the mid to upper 20's and maybe still higher.
This makes the maximum AC loss for a heavy armored PC 8 or so for full plate. The agile characters only lose a tiny portion of their AC.
Granted, a very old red dragon has a about a 9 Defense before buffing, but he also has about 50 DR/adamantine or about 60/epic with stoneskin cast. But this kind of sounds like what a dragon of those proportions should be able to shrug off IMO. That shield archon would only have about 10 DR/evil and 13 DR/adamantine btw and a defense of 15.
Yeah. It really is impossible to just stick a value on a given spell.
Even in simpler systems saga edition any ability that has qualitative uses or rule-bending power throws math out the window. There are just too many potentially awesome uses of the grease spell to assign a number value to it.
DPR is a good enough gauge for most purposes as long as you keep in mind that magic is supposed to throw monkey wrenches into the gears of the universe, especially in the hands of PCs with excess time to think up crazy uses for it.
So, I'm not saying I disagree, but in order to provide an argument...
To say that the 'game rules' are or should be entirely exclusive from the 'RP-level' sort of ignores the inherent roleplaying background on which the game is made.
What I mean is, its a fantasy game. That its a fantasy game creates the need for fantasy-based rules like magic and the paladin class and feats like eldritch heritage, improved familiar, etc. - not all of which need to be or should be mechanically superior choices.
Likewise, a player who makes a druid character can play that character however he feels, except in ways that deny the implied mythos, at which point the character is no longer playing 'the game' correctly.
Similarly, one could play a fighter character from a tribal background who gets really angry in combat, runs around charging foes in medium armor and smashing things with a big weapon, but she's not a barbarian as per the rules. This kind of character may be more mechanically optimized, but in order to role play her barbarian, the player has to work (as if role playing were work) harder to pull it off because she isn't using the available mechanics to her advantage.
Its like this: as a citizen of a nation, the only real interactions one has with government are when one pays taxes or is put in jail for committing a crime or when one uses public space via roads, sidewalks, utilities and so on. Role play elements collide with mechanical rules at the points at which role play material must in order to maintain the facade of role playing choice, but collision is imminent, regardless of player choice.
Paizo, by allowing players to take RP-heavier, mechanics-lighter choices, is essentially just segregating players who want to utilize those 'collisions' whether it offers such players mechanically superior choices or not, from those players that want to have mechanically superior characters at the cost of having to role play more to make up for what isn't on their character sheet.
These less mechanically optimal choices just make it easier for one to play nuanced characters without having to make up details.
Correction: There should be parentheses around the spell level and caster level figures.
So haste here would be (3*6)^3 and (3*20)^3 respectively.
I might add that those numbers come out to be kind of an average of potential points added over a few rounds, which might help compensate for the lack of duration figures.
I think the discrepancy here can be attributed to the 'worth' of each spell.
Haste is a good example of a spell that is worth way more than its level implies. It gives every character an extra attack (which, according to your calculations, at level 20 this improves the fighter's full attack by nearly 50%, but it affects the entire group, including the caster). In fact, in a typical level 20 group (mage, divine caster, warrior, striker), Ashiel's haste spell just added 1000 points to the party's output with one spell, so haste, at least at level 20, is worth 1000 or so points. I wouldn't even begin to fathom the possible point association that something like wish or time stop might have.
If you are going to try and figure out a spell's worth mathematically, it might be better to increase the point-value of each level exponentially rather than additively.
Maybe a third level spell should be something like 3 (for spell level) multiplied by caster level, to some qualitatively-based power, with the qualitative power reflecting the maximum points obtainable in a given round by the spell's use, with 1st power for damage spells (like fireball), 2nd for single person buff/de-buff (like heroism or curse), 3rd power for full-party buff/de-buff (haste, black tentacles) and 4th power for the truly hard to figure, extraneous, or esoteric stuff (think wish).
(Using this, haste at level 6 would be something like 3*6^3=324 points, while at level 20 it would be something like 3*20^3=3,600 points)
But I'd say this is an exercise in futility because spells (like haste) are qualitative abilities rather than quantitative (like attacks). Spells that don't just do damage actually bend the rules of the game. Attacks just contribute in a somewhat evenly scaled damage-to-defense ratio. Spells are also so qualitatively different that comparing them, even at the same level, is an arbitrary apples-to-oranges job.
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