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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
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.
Arbane the Terrible wrote:
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.
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.
Great-Weapon: Warriors choosing the great, two-handed weapons emphasize power and might over defense and ranged attacks.
Shield Warden: Warrior’s choosing the shield know that the best offense is a good defense and can use their shield as both.
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.
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.
the secret fire wrote:
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".
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.
Its not just the narrative, its because it significantly reduces weapon-based characters usefulness.
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.
tony gent wrote:
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...
• Resource Management:
• Obtaining Features:
• Healing/Hit Points
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
That's a start...
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All 18's across the board?!! Wow, that's sorta crazy. No wonder they feel weak, since they're pretty much superheroes (stat-wise) early on. Well if they're feeling too weak, you could throw easier enemies at them but make their significance to the story higher. And throw lots at them that make combats that much more grand. I mean a 3d4 burning hands spell looks a lot better when it wipes out 5-7 goblins compared to 1 orc.
So with all the Martial / Caster discrepancy threads coming in I figured that I delve into probably is one of the most systemic problems facing Martials with v3.5 and Pathfinder. The two being a Full-Attack action and descending attack bonuses. Now this isn't just a problem for Martials as all classes are affected by this to some degree however I feel Martial classes are affected, by far, more than spellcasters since they are the ones that use that particular system the most.
The first problem is Full-Attack. One of the problems this creates is rooting a weapon-based user in place. It doesn't matter if they wield a sword or bow, they only ever benefit from one of their biggest class features when they're standing completely still or have only moved 5-ft. Now imagine if a spellcaster, to cast higher level spells (5th level +), was under the same limitation. I think the entire game would shift in a different way in the way it's played. This also creates a divide in melee-weapon choices, thus making reach weapons FAR more preferable to one-handed/light weapons IF you want to make sure enemies don't slip by you and conversely, weapons like the Spiked Chain become #1 overall.
I'm not entirely sure why the rule of Full-Attack is in place? I don't really understand what it's exactly trying to emulate within the narrative of the game world? Why can't a warrior move 30-ft. and swing a weapon in 6-seconds? Is the time constraint of a round that pivotal to maintain that ALL classes are reduced to move + 1 attack or don't move + ALL attacks? Why is it there?
The second problem are descending attack modifiers. As the AC is static, the modifier is static too and the die roll represents chance / luck / fate / etc. But then why make it further complicated by making iterative attacks worse? What exactly changed between attack #1 and #2 or #3 or #4? What is this specific rule attempting to simulate? I don't think it's endurance or fatigue because it's the same with the opposed hand (a hand that is often 'weaker' by comparison). Does the monster somehow react exceptionally fast after the first swing is created? Even if you take a more narrative view of multi-attacking (each attack isn't 1 swing but the whole round is a commotion of parries and thrusts) then descending attacks don't necessarily make much sense. In sword fighting it's often the 1st attack that is a decoy or ruse that will open up you opponent to secondary and iterative attacks. Except in D&D/PF-Land where the first attack is always swung hardest and all other attacks sort of become weaker and slower and less useful.
So what this boils down to is a Warrior/Martial character who has to stand-still (barring a 5-ft. step) to get his full benefit BUT even then that benefit is hampered as those last attacks become just hopefull-critial threats anyways.
Now imagine if both those rules were removed! Yep, what would happen if the Martial / Warrior didn't have to stand in a 5-ft. area to be a Weapons-Master? What would happen if ALL of their attacks were accurate (and deadly)?
Now one serious downside to removing these restrictions is that you have to remove them from everyone. That means creatuers like Dragons and Hydras and the like can make all their attacks, fly, and be destructive forces of nature in their own right. Well, honestly, I'm OK with that. Dragons are scary dangerous and walking into it's DEN to throw down should be a sure-fire way to get eaten. If a Hydra has come upon you in surprise, best to scatter and used Ranged options until it's close to death. It would change the way the game is played but I think that change is ultimately for the better.
I'm not entirely sure you need something home-brewed?
I'm not sure why they don't? I've used that, and its predecessor the Time of Battle, extensively and I've yet to encounter any sort of broken shenanigans that I often see with simple spellcasters. Its a fun supplement and a reason why I still occasionally play Pathfinder
This is pretty spot on from my experiences as well. In addition to all of that the system itself is pretty hard to weapon-based classes as well. Descending attack bonuses, full-round attacks being the two major hindrances.