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Diffan's page

971 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Honestly, when I want d20 but without all the glamour of elves, dwarves, and Orcs I play Modern d20 with a lot of v3.5 thrown in. Having "fantasy" elements like Elves and Dwarves can still be there but change up ALL their common tropes that we've grown accustomed to. Mannerisms, appearance, what their culture is like goes a long way to making them less "De-Tolkein-ized". Elves who are all bald and love machines, Dwarves that have a love for all things wild, Orgrish (blend of Orcs/Ogres) who are some of the most pious and devout beings on the planet, demon-worshipping halflings, lawful good - to a flaw - Vampiric covens who seek world peace, and a small % of the human population nearly wiped out almost 200 years ago due to self-destruction and human-on-human warfare.

The setting could still be Earth, maybe 2120, but not much has been developed technology-wise since the fragments of two worlds collided with each other. Guns and ammo for small arms is still pretty easy to come by but the more pricey the gun the less chances of finding ammo are. Same goes for military-grade weapons (sans Black Market). Taking jobs plundering old ruins of the Human-dominated world has a LOT of opportunities there: from cannibalistic barbarians to fey-inspired fragments of the Fantasy world reaching into Earth, to even Cthulhu-esque references.

The cool thing here is that ALL the maps you could EVER want to use are just on Google-maps. Need ruins for a defensible island? Well you should check out Alcatraz! What about foiling the plot of an evil scientist that wants to use a still-standing monument as a beacon to bring in their Overlord masters? Well you better find a way to Seattle's Space needle to stop him! But before you do that, a group of elves uncovered an old missile silo that still holds the remains of a live nuclear warhead in the heart of Deutchland. You'll need to race to Berlin and stop them in time before they accidentally set it off! Or did someone pay them to do this??

Of course you can also scrap the whole d20 Modern vibe and go with a "Guns don't work anymore" and you're stuck with steam-powered movement and cold-hard steel to protect you.

Amaunator is another "face" of Lathander, and when the Spellplague hit he showed a different side to better deal with all the new threats the church would face AND end the feud within the church. Now that the plague is over, he changed again but clerics and believers of Amaunator still worship that particular side of him.

"Does Balance Actually Matter?"

To me, it does but that highly depends on what you mean by balance. For me, balance is simply maintaining class nichés without stepping on other classes toes and remaining relevant throughout all 20 levels of play. In d20 (3.5/PF) games balance tends to taper off around 8th-9th level as spellcasters pull ahead with loads of spell-slots and magic gear like wands, scrolls, and staves. Wizards, for example, don't prep Knock spells because they've either purchased or created a wand of Knock. This would make a Rogues decision to put ranks in Disable Device almost worthless besides traps, then add in the spell Find Traps....enough said.

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Lots of things actually...

• Using Hit Die for healing. Basically spend one of your HD to regain 1dX + Con modifier hit points. Regain 1/2 your HD on a long rest (6 to 8 hrs).

• Scale cantrip damage/effects and base it off character level instead of class level. Thus a elf wizard 1/ fighter 8 would do can trip damage of a 9th level wizard.

• Legendary Monster rules. Basically giving big monsters multiple options per turn instead of full-attack OR cast spell. Also lair rules help too.

• Weapon groups. Really, focusing on ONE weapon via a Feat sucks and should've died in a fire a long time ago. For example, Weapon Focus (heavy blade) vs. great sword.

• Move-attack-move without annoying feat chains.

• OoA can immobilize target instead of doing damage (not 5e, but a good feat in 3e which should've also been standard)

• Concentration when multiple spells are in effect. No need to have flying, invisible, stoneskin wizards pew-pewing people with death rays, enervation, and scorching rays.

It would be a whole heck of a lot easier to incorporate elements of 5e into 3.5/PF than rewrite 5e.

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My Self wrote:
What classes from 3.5 were overpowered and broken, and are still broken?

The big three are: Cleric, Druid, and Wizard. Still broken? All 3. They tried to tame some of the stuff down with the Druid and there's no Divine Metamagic in Pathfinder (that I'm aware of) but still, full armor and d8 HD and 9th level spells and two good saves and the spell list make both the Cleric and Druid FAR FAR better than most Martials*.

My Self wrote:
What broken classes have been appropriately nerfed?

Well the Druid has been toned down slightly but their companion is still good and they still get Natural Spell. Clerics are still amazing and good but they can't convert their turns into meta-magic effects, so there's a significant nerf. Wizards, honestly, weren't hit at all with Pathfinder but instead build up more with x/day combat effects and at-will Cantrips.

My Self wrote:
What classes from 3.5 were terrible?

Oh boy. Well if we're talking "Base Classes"...lets see:

• Everything from Complete Warrior
• Everything from Complete Adventurer
• Warmage and Wujen from Complete Arcane
• Favored Soul (honestly, why not just play a cleric?), Shugenja from Complete Divine
• Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, and Rogue from the PHB. Barbarian comes close but there's Rage/Pounce that helps it out.
• Dragon Shaman and Knight from PHB2
• Most classes from Dragon mag.

I have never used the Psionics stuff (lack of interest from the party) so I can't comment there. We also didn't use too many supplemental stuff like Incarnum so I can't comment there. Tome of Battle was good, considering what it replaced and I had a friend who liked the Dragon Fire Adept, which is a Dragon-themed Warlock.

Which ones of those have been fixed?

Fixed? Well nothing that doesn't use spells won't compare at later levels to full spellcasters. Period. But if you mean Fixed as-in "I can play this class until at least 10th level and still remain relevant" then I'd say the Monk (unchained version), Paladin, Ranger, and Rogue (unchained version) received some much needed help. Fighter still only good for dips though. To my knowledge they didn't really do a good job converting and up-grading anything else. Their Swashbuckler isn't very good and I haven't seen a Shugejna or Favored Soul stylized class yet.

Which ones are still terrible?

Non-spellcasting classes and even low spellcasting classes still won't hold a candle to anything that's casting 9th level spell with a bit of optimization. So all of them compared to that specific example. I wouldn't play a Pathfinder Swashbuckler or Unchained Rogue/Monk/Barbarian for example.

Which classes received buffs or nerf that they didn't need?

From my perspective, the Wizard received too much in terms of keeping most of his spell-list intact AND giving them spell-like abilities AND at-will cantrips PLUS bonus feats on top.

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Basically it comes down to communication between the DM and the Player. I've had DMs be very lenient when it comes to the Paladin code, relying far more on what a Paladin would know in any questionable situation vs. what the Player knows. And I've had DMs just arbitrarily have Paladins fall because they didn't conform to what the DM felt/thought was within the Lawful Good code OR just to see what the Paladin does in catch-22s they were put in.

We're obsessed because it's really the ONLY class that has this particularly severe clause in it. And, frankly, not one that holds much merit when it comes to the abilities the class has access to. Lets see: Maxed out at 4th level spells, minor self-heals, some combat-effective features which cater to a very specific type, and immunity to diseases (natural or otherwise). Out of the entire list of stuff they get, really only the bonus from Charisma to all Saves and the Immunity to Diseases are the real keepers here. Everything else is just outshone by pretty much most Fighter/Cleric builds.

And that's generally the problem I have with these severe restrictions. You can have a far better, mechanically speaking, character using Cleric and Fighter multiclass AND retain the idea of a holy knight without bending your will to some code that is far too prone to being tampered with from so many different sources. I love the Paladin in 4e and 5e, but I'll not be roped into falling for the traps again and just play a strictly better Ftr/Clr or Warlord (PoW from Dreamscarred Press).

I like the idea though some additional info, like prerequisites and features, could be explained a bit better.

I'm pretty sure the unchained Rogue is easily seen as a must-have upgrade.

From the list, I'm going with Paladin (any alignment though). Second is tied with Cleric and Rogue.

Overall, basically any class from the Path of War supplement

Voted for 4th, followed closely by 3.PF and 5e.

Rhedyn wrote:
Norgrim Malgus wrote:
After close to 1500 posts, has anyone come up with some workable solutions to factor into their games? I have seen a great deal of brainstorming over this and I'm curious as to whether some of you have gotten together and hammered anything out.

Using Unchained revised action economy and automatic bonus progression has made martials far more palatable in our most recent games.

It doesn't close the gap but I don't feel like a masochist when playing a twf rogue.

End result is people actually playing martials again.

For all the disparity I see with this system, I'm not sure I agree that playing a TWF rogue is masochistic. I have a UC-Rogue 7/ Stalker 3/ Shadow Dancer 1 that completely obliterates most enemies in 1 turn. With each short sword attack dealing 1d6+15 and setting myself up with full-attacks and Sneak Attack/Deadly Strike (+5d6) I actually think I deal too much and should focus my resources into other areas

Such as....?

Couple of suggestions to reduce the disparity:

• Disallow a '5 step in a round where a spell is being cast, even swift spells.

• Reduce spell durations to end of next turn or 5 min (spells with rounds duration are now end of next turn, spells with minutes duration end at the end of the encounter or 5 min). If a spell originally has 10 or more min/level then a spellcaster can spend 10 min/spell level to cast as a ritual (spending 25 gp per spell level to revert it to the normal duration).,

• require concentration checks for each spell kept in effect, increasing DC based on the # of spells and their level. So keep the base DC 10, increase the DC by 1 per level 9 of each spell + 1 for each level spell after the first.

• decrease casting times to accommodate the rapid spell durations.

• remove/modify Gate and Wish. Make both spells require a week to cast and negatively effect the caster.

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Arbane the Terrible wrote:

memorax wrote:
It's not to say it's not good advice. It is but once again your trying to unsuccessfully mask the flaws of a class. The Fighter needs more than I swing and I hit. Thier capestone ability is boring imo. Bravery is a joke imo.

At 20th level, it's STILL less useful than the class feature a Paladin got at level 3. :(

Diffan: I like the abilities your modiFighter gets, but it still doesn't fix the basic problem: while the fighter's hitting things with a stick really well, the wizard is flying, predicting the future, controlling minds, and summoning demons.

Right, a Fighter probably won't (or shouldn't?) have those sorts of capabilities because they're not a spellcaster. But where a wizard can summon a Demon the fighter can jump onto the demon and decapitate it with ease of they can drop its HP over half in a round or two.

I don't think the disparity will ever be bridged without significant overhaul of the magic system OR giving the Fighter near superhuman/spell-like abilities. Unfortunately that sort of kills the flavor of the Fighter IMO.

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memorax wrote:

Again if one class can play just fine without a specific build, magic items, specific feats such as a Wizard. Then tell me that their nothing wrong with the Fighter except needing to take a specific build, magic items, specific feats. Is highlighting the strength of wizards while doing the same for the flaws of the Fighter class. It's not a positive selling point imo. The no disparity side of the argument either or ignore or don't want to accept that imo.

It's not to say it's not good advice. It is but once again your trying to unsuccessfully mask the flaws of a class. The Fighter needs more than I swing and I hit. Thier capestone ability is boring imo. Bravery is a joke imo. Armor and weapon training while useful just don't scream interesting to me.

The "unchained Fighter" I created does a WHOLE bunch of fun stuff without resorting to things like Path of War (which, honestly, I think is one of the best supplements for Pathfinder out there). The class I created (with the help of some online research) allows the Fighter to remain competitive without relying heavily on magical items to keep up.


Healthy: When the fighter receives any sort of healing, add the Fighter’s level to the hit points healed.

Larger Than Life (Ex): Starting at 1st level, when making Strength-based checks (not attacks) or any other roll where size matters such as when initiating a combat maneuver, you may treat the Fighter as if he were the indicated size (see chart).

Bonus Feats: At the indicated levels, Fighters get an assortment of bonus feats. Some of these are combat-focused. The fighter gains any Combat feat even if he does not meet the ability prerequisites of that feat. These feats may be changed as a standard action. As these feats can change, they do not act as prerequisites for Prestige Classes and other character feats. When the Fighter reaches 6th level, he gains Any feat. These function like Combat feat except that the fighter gains any possible feat even if he doesn’t meet the ability prerequisites of that feat. These feats may also be changed as a standard action.

Deflect Damage (Ex): If an adjacent ally or the Fighter is injured in combat, the Fighter may make an opposed attack check (adding and shield bonus and enhancement bonus to his attack). If successful, the opponent’s attack does minimum damage (treat any die rolls as 1’s) and any additional effects do not apply.

Tricky (Ex): When a Fighter uses a combat maneuver, such as Disarm, he may do so as a swift action that does not provoke Attacks of Opportunity. If the maneuver fails, the Fighter receives no penalties and triggers no retaliation.

Sentinel (Ex): The Fighter gains innate enhancement bonuses to armor he wears and shield’s he wields, becoming an even more formidable warrior. These bonuses do not stack with existing magical item [enhancement] bonuses.

Enhanced Warfare (Ex): By tapping into his inner strength, his attacks lend more might than your average warrior. These enhancement bonuses apply to attack and damage rolls but do not stack with any existing magical item [enhancement] bonuses.

Warrior’s Path: The path of the Fighter lies in specific styles and approaches to combat. Some adopt a varied path, taking feats and weapons that accommodate a multitude of situations. Some like to become more focused, putting added emphasis on a specific path. Below select a path that best describes the style you most commonly apply. You can change your style with 1 week of physical training.

Dervish: Warriors choosing dual-attack style like the versatility that comes with wielding two weapons, often using a matched pair or two separate ones for utility.
• Double Slice: You gain the double slice feat as a bonus feat so long as you meet the prerequisites. If you already have double slice you may choose another combat feat you already meet the prerequisites for.
• Whirling Blades: Your ambidexterity and aptitude for the dual-style allows you unparalleled precision. From now on you may wield any combination of light or one-handed weapons in each hand and reduce the penalties for fighting with two-weapons by 1.

Great-Weapon: Warriors choosing the great, two-handed weapons emphasize power and might over defense and ranged attacks.
• Focused Frenzy: You gain the focused frenzy feat as a bonus feat so long as you meet the prerequisites. If you already possess focused frenzy you may choose another combat feat you already meet the prerequisites for.
• Reaping Strike: Whenever you miss with a melee attack while using a two-handed weapon, you still deal damage equal to your Strength modifier so long as you can reach the target. Your weapon’s enhancement bonus to damage does not apply nor to any added effects due to making a successful attack.

Shield Warden: Warrior’s choosing the shield know that the best offense is a good defense and can use their shield as both.
• Shield Bash: You gain the shield bash feat as a bonus feat. If you already possess shield bash you may choose another combat feat you already meet the prerequisites for.
• Shield Attack: You add your innate enhancement bonus from shields to attack and damage rolls when you initiate a shield bash or fight with it using Two-Weapon Fighting.

Surging Resistance: You gain an almost supernatural defense against magic, as it persists in being one of your biggest threats. At 5th level you gain the ability to roll 2d20 when making a saving throw and take the better of the two rolls. This can be done once per encounter (or every 10 minutes outside of combat). You gain an additional use per encounter at 11th level, and a 3rd usage at 17th level.

Wade In (Ex): Starting at 6th level, the Fighter may make a Full Attack as a Standard Action so long as he is able to make at least one attack in a round.

Hustle (Ex): If the Fighter moves as a full round action, he ignores all movement penalties due to armor and shield.

Weapon Mastery (Ex): Any feat which applies to any single weapon now applies to all weapons.

Dominate Weapon (Ex): When picking up any magical weapon, the Fighter is considered to meet all the prerequisites for wielding that magical weapon.

Death Stroke (Ex): The Fighter has nearly reached the pinnacle of his training, giving him supreme advantages in the field of war and combat. They know just the right way to twist a sword or adjust a shot to make the very best of a critical moment. From now on, when you succeed on a critical hit the creature must make Fort save or die (DC = 10 + damage done). The creature must be at least under half their full Hit points for this to take place. Like other death effects creatures without discernable anatomies’, most undead, and constructs are immune to this feature. Specific undead creatures, like Vampires, can be slain but the critical hit must come a source that is consistent with the manner in which these creatures can be slain.

Werecorpse wrote:

Off topic

Diffan wrote:
There's also lots of free stuff for 4th including downloadable pre-gen characters, classes, adventures, and simply buying 1 month of DDI gets you the ENTIRE system of rules, classes, races, monsters, feats, powers/spells, and adventures. You could download all the Dungeon adventures and the Scales of War AP for 1 lump price.

Is this right? I have never used DDI or 4e but I would be interested in downloading the online dungeons and adventures to read them and possibly mine them.

So, assuming I'm a noob at this stuff what would I do and what would I be able to get ?

By subscribing to DDI you get access to the Character Generator, DDI Compendium, and the DM toolbox which is basically the monster creation program. You also have total access to every Dungeon and Dragon mag from June 08 to Jan 13 (or 14, can't remember). Just make sure to take yourself off after 1-month.

You know, I'll throw in for 4th Edition. Despite the negative feedback the game plays exceptionally easy and is quick to learn. There's also lots of free stuff for 4th including downloadable pre-gen characters, classes, adventures, and simply buying 1 month of DDI gets you the ENTIRE system of rules, classes, races, monsters, feats, powers/spells, and adventures. You could download all the Dungeon adventures and the Scales of War AP for 1 lump price.

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the secret fire wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Diffan wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:

'Easy' being two feats, skill investment, and whatever Hurtful is.

As opposed to just having that be something all martial character do.

That's pretty much the crux of the situation, a Fighter/Martial character needs to delve into system mastery to do something that, frankly, should be fine with the system already. Has anyone tried just eliminating Full-Attack action altogether? Seems like an easy thing to do and one of the "fixes" I did for our E6 games. Works great IMO.

This is actually crippling to the game balance.

You are aware that any martial who gets a full attack off with any amount of decent optimization at ant level above 10 will, I don't mean might, but will, obliterate any opponent of even relative CR?

Nyet. Non. No.

It is not, at all, crippling to game balance. I know because I've been allowing characters (to include monsters) to mix attack and move actions however they choose for years (ie. move, attack, move, attack, move...and so on, up to their full movement and full iterative attacks).

As a DM, you do need to adjust your CRs upwards a bit to account for the greater effectiveness of the martial classes, but it cripples nothing, and it adds tactical options that weren't there before. When adjusting the CR upwards, it's important not to simply pick bigger boss monsters with even MOAR AWESOME SLAs!, but rather to add more depth to encounters, with additional lieutenants (not mooks, but not bosses), environmental hazards, maybe adding mobility to the mooks, etc.

It does take some experimentation and experience as a DM to "unchain" martials in this way, but the game is still perfectly playable (and, in fact, more fun) once one gets the balance worked out.

This runs similar to my experiences with E6 and removing the stipulation of move or full-attack. Warriors and monsters with multiple attacks are more credible threats but it doesn't really mess with "balance".

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TriOmegaZero wrote:

'Easy' being two feats, skill investment, and whatever Hurtful is.

As opposed to just having that be something all martial character do.

That's pretty much the crux of the situation, a Fighter/Martial character needs to delve into system mastery to do something that, frankly, should be fine with the system already. Has anyone tried just eliminating Full-Attack action altogether? Seems like an easy thing to do and one of the "fixes" I did for our E6 games. Works great IMO.

The problem I see is that a lot of players hand-wave things like lifestyle expenses and dislike the SIMS aspect of the game. Why does my character want retainers or a Keep? Most likely he's not going to be there long enough to do much and if he is, what does he do when he's there. "Today my character is going to lavish away in his keep, eat 3 meals, use the privy at least twice, talk to some of the peasantry, and call it a day...." That sounds like a rousing time of D&D....

In PF, it's hard because there's no Amanuensis spell (0-level cantrip, Spell Compendium). How we pulled them off in v3.5 is...

Step 1: Be a wizard of at least 7th level.

Step 2: Learn the Explosive Rune and Amanuensis spells

Step 3: Get the Quicken Spell feat

Step 4: Cast Explosive Runes on a piece of parchment over and over for as many castings as one deems necessary.

Step 5: Prepare Amanuensis as a 4th level Quickened Spell.

Step 6: Throw the balled up piece of parchment (or case Launch Item) into a square with the BBEG and then cast Amanuensis on the parchment. This ignites the runes at once, causing 6d6 damage per casting of force damage (no save).

Step 7: Repeat.

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Degoon Squad wrote:
If engaged no you cannot get a free pivot.
So I can spend an action to prevent the rogue from stabbing me in the back for the rest of the combat?

Ugh, as if the Rogue didn't already have a hard enough time in combat...

UnArcaneElection wrote:
My Self wrote:
Diffan wrote:
I too hate the word Antipaladin, seems dumb. I just call them ALL paladins and remove the alignment aspect altogether. Paladin is synonymous with a warrior of faith or a cause and not specifically just a righteous one.
Antipaladins are aptly named. Why? Because they create an annihilation reaction when they come into contact with a Paladin.

Well, I had been meaning to ask about that. So this means that a Dragon should not eat both a Paladin and an Antipaladin, because they will annihilate in the Dragon's stomach.


I too hate the word Antipaladin, seems dumb. I just call them ALL paladins and remove the alignment aspect altogether. Paladin is synonymous with a warrior of faith or a cause and not specifically just a righteous one.

Crimeo wrote:
Diffan wrote:


I hate the full-attack action. With a blinding hot passion. I find it unfathomable that a highly trained warrior that can survive dragon fire, liches spells, takes on giants and trolls, and can be an overall awesome warrior cannot move and swing his weapon 2, 3, 4 times. Completely ridiculous.

Simply roleplay at your table that one attack is 2 or 3 swings. A full attack with "3 attacks" = 6-9 full flourishy combo

Its not just the narrative, its because it significantly reduces weapon-based characters usefulness.

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I hate the full-attack action. With a blinding hot passion. I find it unfathomable that a highly trained warrior that can survive dragon fire, liches spells, takes on giants and trolls, and can be an overall awesome warrior cannot move and swing his weapon 2, 3, 4 times. Completely ridiculous.

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tony gent wrote:

Hi all just wondering what you think the name old school gaming means to you ?

Is it just a reference to how long someone's been gaming or do you think it describes a style of play.
Your thoughts please

I feel "Old School" is all in how you approach a game, adhering to specific tenants and ideals instead of a particular system. For a more in-depth analysis...

• Char-gen:
- Stats rolled in order
- Limited number of options, usually fitting a Tolkien-esque style campaign.
- Tight reign on options like spells, feats, and other character-based choices.

• Resource Management:
- Making resource replenishment more difficult, costly to the group/campaign to take.
- Using existing resources in uncommon/out of the box ways.

• Obtaining Features:
- Getting new spells, maneuvers, options, etc. takes in-game time, research, and planning. Ex. A Fighter doesn't automatically gain/learn a new combat feat just He needs to learn from a warrior. A wizard doesn't automatically get new spells willy nilly, they need to research for them.
- Higher HP, saves, attack bonus, AC upgrades need to be applies during downtime in a safe area, not in the middle of a monster a infested dungeon.

• Healing/Hit Points
- Restrict healing on a daily basis
- Make afflictions more difficult to remove. 
- Slower hit point recovery

• Adventuring/Exploration:
- No "standardization" on encounters
- No guarantee that encounters will be level appropriate or can be overcome through combat.
- Bigger emphasis on hex-crawling than planned or plotted games.

• Scope/Goals
- Rulings not rules, adjudication is far more important than a rules-lawyer.
- Game isn't designed to be "beaten" but rather experienced. You don't play to level up, leveling up is a by-product of your play. 

These are some of the things that always jump out at me when I discussions on old school. Luckily every version of D&D can do this so its not tied to a specific version. At least, the way I see it

Take a page from 4e and have it so that the use of 2 swift actions eats up your move action.

Barring that, I don't know of any Pathfinder feat that allows smite as a free action.

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This is one particular reason why I've come to love E6 (E7 PF) as a whole game. 4th level Spells seems to be the start where magic takes a far stronger sense in the game but Martials (in this instance, any class with a full-BAB is considered so) still do significantly well because they're the only ones that have 2 attacks compared to the spellcasters.

Bard-Sader wrote:
If I am the GM I would talk this out with my players before the campaign s to set expectations.

That's a good idea. When I joined a 3.5 game a LONG time ago the DM was very up-front on how staunch he was in adhering to alignments, especially the Paladin and it's Code. Wanting to play a similar-style character, I decided to go Fighter/Cleric so I didn't get hit with all sorts of similar catch-22 situations. Worked out well considering the Cleric/Fighter combination is just straight-up better than the Paladin mechanics wise (well, in v3.5 anyways).

DM_Blake wrote:

You'll note that Jiggy said "something" not "a bunch of things" and I replied "single feat" and "one feat".

Your example of completely changing 10 character levels including choosing new classes for all 10 levels is not exactly "one feat" and doesn't address the point you wanted to address.

I appreciate that a 6-year old campaign that was only hold for nearly 6 years of that time should be refreshed. I even said I allow that kind of thing without even requiring retraining - this definitely qualifies as "we thought was good but turns out to be bad (6 years later with about 3,417 new books full of bloat)".

Incidentally, did your character actually USE the retraining rules to replace all those class levels and probably a bunch of feats and/or skills too? One at a time, taking lots of time and money and requiring you to find at least an 11th level trainer to teach you this stuff? Or did you just retcon him to his new features?

If you were my player, I wouldn't bankrupt you with retraining all that while sidelining the rest of the group for a few months waiting for you to retrain; I'd just go for the retcon.

Fair enough. I'm coming from the angle that because feats are highly prized, choosing one and realizing that it doesn't mesh well or work as well as one thought sort of saddles your character a bit. A Fighter who took Toughness at 1st level, for example, only sees a very marginal gain as they advance so that would be one feat that had some early potential that significantly depreciated over a character's career. Swapping that out, later one, for something that allows them to qualify for a better feat at a later level should be encouraged.

By the by, no my character didn't use the retraining rules to reshape the character. Since we all were basically exchanging a whole new system for another, our DM figured that a re-write was the best solution. And when you look at it my Rogue/Swashbuckler/Swordmage turned Rogue/Stalker pretty much did all the stuff the previous one did except maybe buckle a few less swashes? I never really understood the Swashbuckler (3.x OR PF) flavor in anything outside of a pirate/sea setting, I just grabbed the class because it had a full BAB and added Intelligence to damage rolls. With the Stalker and the Unchained Rogue I get amazing stance (Battle Dragon Stance) and still retain Dex to damage rolls, which is nice.

Yeah, gaining more HP is definitely a nice perk.

DM_Blake wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
If a player came to me saying there was something about their character they didn't like (maybe a choice didn't pan out as they expected), I'd work out a solution and not even bother with "retraining"; I'd just wave my GM wand and say "Poof! The game is fun for you again!"

But I have to ask Jiggy, and a few others who replied in similar fashion, is the "fun" of this game so fragile that a single feat is hte difference between fun and not fun?

Is there anybody that looks at a character they built over a period of months or maybe years, with which they've had fun adventures, fun role-play, and generally enjoyed gaming, but yet they say "Well, that one feat here is making this game no fun for me"?

Is our enjoyment of this game teetering on such a razor's edge?

In my experience, it depends. For example we have an ongoing Pathfinder game that started when Burnt Offerings came out. It was 3.5. I made my Rogue from a 3.5 standpoint. Since then LOADS have changed and going back to that particular campaign (now on The Hook Mt. Massacre) we've converted fully to PF rules. I went from a 3.5 Rogue 6/ Swashbuckler 3/ Swordsage 1 to a Rogue 7/ Stalker 3 and the difference are pretty significant and I'm having more fun with the Stalker and his disciplines than I was with the Swordsage. Not to mention my character is better as an Unchained Rogue than the 3.5 version.

DM_Blake wrote:

Disclaimer: I allow retraining. It's awesome. It's a perfect way to see your character learn and grow over time. I dislike the break from reality, though: if a doctor retrains to become a lawyer, it doesn't cause him to FORGET how to be a doctor, but Pathfinder retaining means you literally forget something you used to know (and sometimes you literally change who your ancestors are, which seems even worse).

Despite the break from reality, I allow it in most cases with two caveats:
1. If you want to retrain because you took an option that we thought was good but it turns out to be bad, I just let you do swap it out on the spot - no trainers, no fees, no time. Nobody should get stuck with a bad game rule. But first, I offer to let you keep it and house-rule that option to work better than the official rule.
2. If you want to retrain because you took a temporary option to get an temporary advantage at low level, knowing full well that the option would be replaced later with something else that would have sucked at low level but is good at higher level, I feel this is a metagamey exploit and frown heavily upon it. If I know a player is planning such a "build" in advance, I disallow it up front, but if he...

The problem is this game is FULL of such stuff. Why can't the character stay good over the course of 20,levels compared to just a few? I mean look at most spellcasters, the lot of them can replace old spells with new and better ones as they level so why penalize other characters further?

All Paladins in 3.x/PF should be retrofitted with Phylactery of Faithfulness. Problem solved...

Rynjin wrote:
Diffan wrote:
Bard-Sader wrote:
That's not how detect evil works...

Standard Action to cast.

Detects the presence of evil in a 60-ft. cone. The level of evil is determined by how long the paladin remains concentrating on the spell.

Round 1- the Presence of evil.

At this junction, the level and class of the creature would play into effect (Paladin) and her alignment along with it. BOTH would be NOT Evil. You're putting FAR FAR too much emphasis on their sub-type.

No, he isn't. That's a specific quality of the subtype. The succubus pings as Evil, and is a valid Smite target regardless of her alignment.

Due to the oversight that Paladins don't have Detect Good, he wouldn't be able to see that her Aura of Good would likely trump the subtype's aura strength.

Also, for paladins it's a Move to use Detect Evil, and he gets all 3 rounds of info on a single target.

SO what you're saying is no matter what a creature does, they cannot change alignment sub-type ever? Then why are we even talking about redemption when it's actually impossible? If you're sub-type is ALWAYS going to be Chaotic, Evil then by that standard you cannot EVER act against you're nature.

Either sub-type alignment is being played up far too much OR you've just noticed a serious flaw in the game design. Or, most likely, a combination of both.

Bard-Sader wrote:
There is zero hate here as this is a theoretical situation, and not a real current game situation.

I hope my post didn't come off as "Hate" or anything like that. I feel alignment of the creature and it's association with a divine class (especially a Paladin) far out ranks that of the creature's sub-type.

Bard-Sader wrote:
That's not how detect evil works...

Standard Action to cast.

Detects the presence of evil in a 60-ft. cone. The level of evil is determined by how long the paladin remains concentrating on the spell.

Round 1- the Presence of evil.

At this junction, the level and class of the creature would play into effect (Paladin) and her alignment along with it. BOTH would be NOT Evil. You're putting FAR FAR too much emphasis on their sub-type.

He doesn't fall. Period.

Fighter fixes:
• Gain proficiency with ALL non-racial exotic weapons @ 1st level
• Gain bonuses to CMB/CMD as creatures of bigger sizes.
• Use combat maneuvers as a swift action without penalty or repercussions if the attack fails, even without having the specific feat.
• Swap bonus Combat Feats as a Full-Round action plus ignore Ability score requirements for such feats.
• Can move AND make all attacks so long as you can make one attack
• 2 good saves
• 4 + Skills
• Inherent Spell Resistance that increases with level.

That's a start...

Zardnaar wrote:

FOr me Pathfinder kept the seat warm due to a certain edition WoTC released a few years ago. I was an early adopter of 3.0 more or less as soon as I could get my hands on the books in 2000.

By 2012 3.x was not looking that appealing and after 10 years of supporting Paizo I more or less stopped getting stuff. After trying out 2E agian after a 10 year hiatus (2002-2012) I found I enjoyed certain things from AD&D the main appeal of 3.x over 2E at the time was things like ascending ACs, no level limits or racial restrictions.

Now I will quite happily play OD&D,BECMI, 1E,2E, 3.0/3.5/PF or 5E and I own all 7 editions of D&D, Pathfinder, Castles and Crusades, ACKs, DCC, Basic Fantasy and a few other clones I forget the name of.

Suffice to say I have my preferences but very few sacred cows as such. I prefer no racial restrictions of level limits but if I am playing AD&D 1E or 2E I can live with them.

So after 6 years of Pathfinder being around and perhaps up to 15 years of 3.x games I was wondering what peoples opinion here is on sacred cows? How many of the following things do you regard as essential to your enjoyment of Pathfinder in particular or 3.x gaming in general.

1. Disparity of 6 points between a good and bad save.

2. Sacking spell DCs with the level of the spell and then adding the spellcaster modifier to the DC (when you require XYZ amount of ability score to cast the spell in the 1st place).

3. Being able to easily buy magical items.

4. Wands of Cure Ligth Wounds and similar wands existing enabling very cheap healing.

5. Multiple attacks decreasing in accuracy eg. +16/+11/+6/+1

6. The natural spell feat existing.

7. Disparity of +/- 6 skill points between the classes eg 2 for fighters, 8 for rogues.

8. Auto scaling buff spells you can stack together eg divine power, divine favor, righteous might etc.

9. Feats existing full stop. Would you play a 3.x/d20 game with no feats?

10. Ability scores scaling up as you level and uncapped limits on ability scores.

Aside from Feats, there's nothing on this list I'd consider "sacred" and quite a few I'd list as negative contributors to the system overall. The reliance on magical gear, healing being tied almost exclusively to magic, penalizing iterative attacks, auto-stacking of buff spells to nearly outshine non-spellcasting classes, and poor saves for classes who really need them are all (IMO) design flaws better left in the dust and really don't contribute anything positive to the game overall.

Milo v3 wrote:
Zhangar wrote:
The 4E combat system of at-will/encounter/daily IS modeled off of Tome of Battle.
Which is rather weird since ToB doesn't have at-will, per encounter, or per day abilities.

Exactly. What the ToB did was allow non-spell casters (namely the Warblade, which didn't have access to Disciplines that used Supernatural effects) to have unique features similar to spells on an encounter-basis. That's about it.

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Zhangar wrote:
I'll just note that 4E was basically Tome of Battle as the entire combat system, and enough of the player base outright rejected it to make Pathfinder possible. =P

That's such a misleading comment that I don't know where to begin.

Path of War is awesome.

That is all.

on Unchained Classes: I just converted my Rogue to the Unchained version and after playing him for a session last night, was a significant difference in playability. I like that they get Weapon Finesse for free AND that their Dex adds to damage for specific weapons. It frees up two feats right there and makes them better overall.

On Caster / Martial disparity: After playing last night with a Shadow-based Wizard and a Summoner (unchained version) I've come to the conclusion that if they have absolutely zero idea what they're doing, they're going to stink. The Summoner player really didn't know what feats to grab, what magical items to use, or to use his Eidilon for any specific purposes. The wizard was better but mostly because he was using spells that made everyone else better like giving everyone Darkvision for 10 hours and Haste during combat (which was really nice for my Rogue).

When classes like these are put into the hands of experienced, well-knowledgeable players they have the potential to steal the spotlight but I feel, after this experience, that my Rogue/Stalker will still be a viable ally to the group well into mid-levels due to the DPR just being crazy at 200 per round.

Also, I'd like to point out that the DM should have a very prominent role in tailoring the adventures (either homemade or an adventure path) so that it allows for everyone to shine. If the Wizard or other spellcaster is making it difficult for others to do their thing, the DM needs to step up the game and alter the situation.

Wrath wrote:

Diffan, Paladins are considered martials. As are rangers and barbarians. I think you're mixing your fighter hate with martials in general.

Fighters do that through feats, and blow out daily use options. Pallys are great but effectiveness varies on opponent and length of adventuring day.

Just like casters in fact.

Full BAB =/= Martial. Martial is, in most cases, classes that don't rely on magic or supernatural abilities as class features or staple points in their design. I'd make the exception of the Rogue and minor/major magic talent because that's an added buff that supplements their mostly martial abilities.

As for Fighter "hate"...really? The Fighter is one of my favorite classes that started with AD&D 2e, 4e, and 5e. 3e and, by that extension, Pathfinder I felt really hampered the class (and the Bab system in general). I want the Fighter to succeed! I want the fighter to be distinguished from other classes but instead we got a tier 5 class that has one or two gimmicks and that's about it. THIS does an amazing job of summarizing the deficiency within the class and potential ways to make it better.

HWalsh wrote:
Tormsskull wrote:
Snowblind wrote:
b)Only giving system fixes to the fighter to boost them up, so the fighter is kinda half ok and all the other martials are still stuck with the same crappy full attack routine, meaning literally nothing has improved with the system from the players' point of view unless someone writes "Fighter" on their sheet

I see a lot of people complaining about the "full attack routine," or saying martials can only "full attack, full attack, full attack."

What are you expecting for martials? Are you looking for martials to be the same as casters? "I use Zen Blade Strike. Okay, I move ten feet then use Fortress of Steel and redirect any attacks at the nearest enemy. Okay, then I use Flurry of Throwing Axes?"

Same. As a "martial" I don't see this problem.

Heck, one of my more effective low-mid Paladin attack cycles is:

(The round after declaring Smite, then activating holy on my sword via weapon bond.)

"I rush at my opponent!"
"I attack it with power attack!" (roll total: 32)
"I deal 35 damage!"
"Free action! I will intimidate it to demoralize with Hurtful!"
In character: "You cannot hope to win foul creature! No creature of darkness can stand against me!" (roll total: 27) ((success))
"I'm going to use Cornugon Smash to strike it again now that it is demoralized!" (roll total 28)
"I deal 40 damage!"

(Most enemies in these levels really can't handle eating 75+ damage in one attack.)

Then, if it doesn't run away, or if it is really tough... On the next round...

"I use a swift action to cast Litany of Righteousness!"
"I full attack with Power Attack!"
In character: "By the power of Iomedae you shall be cast back into the pit from whence you came!"
"Attack 1: (roll total 29)"
"I deal 68 damage! Target needs to save or be dazed."
"Attack 2: (roll 28)"
"I deal 72 damage! Target needs to save or be dazed."

(9 out of 10 times whatever I'd be fighting would be very dead by this point considering that is over 215 damage just from me.)

Lol, you don't see a problem for the Martial because you're not really playing one. In your examples you've just illustrated how good a paladin can be with supernatural attacks and spells. A martial is supposed to do that how again??

System fixes would include the removal of descending attacks overall, giving the wizard (and other full-arcane class) 1 weapon base attack over 20 levels, cleric/druid 2 weapon base attacks over 20 levels, barbarian, paladin, ranger 3 weapon-based attacks over 20 levels, and the Fighter 4 attacks over 20 levels. Remove full-round attacks altogether and allow fighters to use Combat Maneuvers as swift actions (WITHOUT elaborate feat chains) and no penalties to pull off stunts. Maybe give them automatic buffs to their CMB/CMD too. Also more skill points per level wouldn't hurt.

Then they (fighter specifically), can use all weapons including non-racial exotic weapons, apply feats like weapon focus to any weapon wielded, and ignore armor penalties / speed restrictions when wearing any armor. PF does some of this, but not far enough IMO.

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Zardnaar wrote:

I thought the core of 3.x is quite good its the added bits (colasses and spells) that is the main problem. Houserule the core d20 mechanics into AD&D and you will have a lot less problems than 3.x. Level 18 wizard might be god mode,but good luck getting there and no CoDzilla.

I've felt the CORE system mechanics were so terribly bad for weapon-based users that it pushes the game towards playing spellcasters. Look at the diminishing attack progression. Look at the Full-Attack Action. Look at ALL the examples where you have to have a feat or take extreme penalties or get attacks with AoO. It's exclusionary-design means that if you don't have X to perform Y, then you're going to pay for it significantly OR it'll be very difficult to perform. To me, that's poor design.

Further the Fighter, in particular, really has nothing distinctive about it. It's focus on [Fighter] Feats in v3.5 and [Combat] Feats in Pathfinder still give it nothing concrete that says THIS is a Fighter. Not more attacks like in 5e, not distinctive abilities and powers like in 4e and not even weapon specialization like they had in AD&D 2e (if I remember correctly?). To distinguish the strength of the Fighter in d20 (3e/PF) they needed to give him ways around the systemic issues that applies to everyone using a weapon like ignores the Full-Attack + move restriction, makes a full 5th attack at their full BAB, increase ALL BAB by +1 or +2 at specific levels, automatic proficiency with all non-racial Exotic Weapons, bonus to saves against ALL magic / SLA's.

Looking at these, I'd actually want to play a Fighter besides for the usual 1 or 2 level dip.

Do you like this game (Pathfinder)?

Yes and No.

Yes because it's practically free and it's close enough to v3.5 that the majority of my System Mastery has remained in tact. Further, their Adventure Paths are pretty good and I have a Rogue 7/ Stalker 3 that is just fun as HELL to play.

No because the model it's based from, 3e/v3.5, sucks at it's core concept. Its system is actively punitive to anyone wielding a weapon, pushes for specific builds to be "the best", has traps ALL over the place that requires system-mastery to dodge, and is in general a mess due to the extreme amount of material to draw from. Not only that but it practically says "play spellcasters past X-level to be relevant" and it's HIGHLY dependent on magical items to even come close to making it "fair". The vast disparity all over makes it a game I can play in small doses at low- to mid-levels. When my Rogue hits 12th to 14th level in a group with a Wizard and Summoner, I can play second fiddle to the Wizard's extreme ease to create/use magical items that make me irrelevant OR the Summoner's Eidolon which will be able to make more attacks at equal or higher value, heal others, self-heal, teleport, grow in size, gain DR, by-pass DR, gain breath weapons, fly, etc.

It's a matter of time before my Rogue retires to a nice spot to grow old before I create a Cleric or Druid that will be able to complement the team for the remainder of the Rise of the Runelord's AP.

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