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Diffan's page

1,093 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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I've found the 3.5 tiers system pretty useful l, especially for players who are new or don't know much and intend on playing for a long-haul campaign. No one wants to have a character start to fall behind and not contribute to the party's goals just because the rules have penalized them.


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I'd say GWF applied to weapon only, not Smite but Smite does get doubled on Critical Hits.


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I'd allow it because the limitations of Polymorphed are pretty clearly spelled out. It's not that you can't cast spells due to Polymorph, it's because the forms you change into don't have the requirements. Remove the restrictions on casting spells (Verbal, Somatic, Focus, etc) and you now can. I'd allow it, but mainly because it requires a secondary element (Sorcery Points) to perform and is thus, limited in scope.


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I think the only thing that I'd probably want to transport from Pathfinder/3.5 into 5e is Item crafting, including mundane AND magical items. The 5e Action Economy is great, allows for a lot more versatility for weapon-based classes unlike PF's Full-Attack/Standard Attack and the minimalist approach to things like the Bonus Action and Concentration help to limit spell abuse.


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We started a Planeswalker campaign last night for 5e and it was a lot of fun. Now at first glance that sounds like a crazy, overpowered campaign from the get go but it really wasn't. The homebrew Planeswalker class is quite clever and utilizes a different spellcasting system that is unique AND has a Magic: the Gathering feel.
That being said some of the elements that are in the Planeswalker class can still be applied to other classes in 5e.

First point is to figure out which classes don't need spellcasting so they don't need to be bothered with. The Barbarian, Fighter (Champion and Battle Master), Monk (Open Palm), and Rogue (thief) aren't spellcasters at all, so we wouldn't have to worry about Colors or spells for them to have access to. That leaves a good portion of the rest.

Colors: In the Planeswalker class, each Color has their own spell list and Cantrips. The trick is to figure out which class gets access to what color and spells. There's quite a bit of overlap between many of the spells, so some classes are going to lose a bit of identity when you look at what spells they'll have access to. The way I'd do it is:

Bard - White and Blue
Cleric - White, Black, or Red
Druid - Green or Black
Fighter (Eldritch Knight) - Blue or White
Monk (Shadow) - Black / (elemental) - Red or Blue
Paladin (vengeance) - Red / (devotion) - White / (ancient) - Green
Ranger - Green or White
Rogue (Assassin) - Black / (Arcane Trickster) - Blue
Sorcerer - Any one color
Warlock - Black or Red
Wizard - Any one color

Now the color only really determines your spell list and Cantrips if you have access to any.

Mana/Gathering: The Planeswalker class has a distinctive spell casting system that's both intriguing AND fun but there are significant limitations. First is the Planeswalker (or in this case, spellcasting's class) ability to Gather mana to them. Each turn, after the First Round, using a bonus action they can Gather 1 point of mana to them. This is cumulative per round and occurs for 1 minute. This mana can be stored OR be used to cast spells at a 1 mana = 1 spell level ratio. Meaning in turn 2 of Gathering you can cast a 1st level spell. Turn 3 you can cast a 2nd level spell OR a 1st level spell and etc. The balance point is that normally you won't be able to cast more than 1 spell a turn anyways barring unique class features. Additionally on each turn you're previous mana is replaced if you use it, sort of like "Tapping" and your "Untap" step. So in 3 rounds I'll have 3 mana to use however I see fit. When 1 minute is up, your spell pool is depleted and you have to take a short or long rest to cover the Gathering feature.

Spellcasting/Spells Prepared: Here's the fun part. At each level you have a specific die called a Spell Pool die. It starts off at a d6 and progressively gets larger the higher level you are. This means you can prepare a number of spells equal to the die (in this case, 6 at 1st level). You can prepared the same spell more than once or 6 different spells of your choosing. The benefit of preparing the same spell more than once is that it increases the odds you'll "draw it". IN other words, the spells prepared are gained randomly! Assign each spell a number from 1-6 and that remains the order until a short or extended rest.

On the first round of Gathering you roll a # of d6's equal to your spellcasting stat (Int for Blue; Cha for Red and Black; Wis for White and Green). For example my 3rd level Blue Wizard has prepared 1. Charm Person (1st) 2. Command (1st) 3. Ice Knife (1st) 4. Invisibility (2nd) 5. Blur (2nd) 6. Hold Person (2nd). Now I could've prepared multiple Blurs OR 6 Blurs but that would be kinda silly. Now on my initial turn I start to Gather. This opens up my mana pool with 0 points and I roll a number of d6's equal to my Intelligence modifier (say she has an Intelligence 17, so +3). I would then roll 3d6. I get a 2, 5, and 5. This means that for the turn I have Command, and two Blurs ready to go. On my next turn, I use another Bonus Action to gather mana (this time adding 1 point to my mana pool) and I can CAST Command; however the spell is lost to me until I roll another 2. Each turn after the 1st round I roll just 1d6 to "draw" a new spell.

So, to help illustrate how this works i'll do a quick example of a few turns using my Blue Planeswalker: Kaden Rath.

Kaden has an Intelligence of 17 and can cast up to 2nd level spells Blue spells. The Save DC and spell attacks are exactly the same as D&D. He knows 3 Cantrips from the Blue List (Mage Hand, Ray of Frost, Minor Illusion). Additionally, he's prepared the following List:
1. Charm Person
2. Command
3. Ice Knife
4. Invisibility
5. Blur
6. Hold Person

On my first turn of combat, I could begin gathering mana as a bonus action, at which point I roll my spell dice of 3d6. Remember it's 3d6 because I have an Intelligence modifier of 3. If the results are 3, 5, and 6, then when I have enough mana to pay for them, I will be able to cast Ice Knife (1 mana), Blur (2 mana), or Hold Person (2 mana). This numbers represent my Hand.

At the start of my next turn, I would roll another d6 and add the result to my Hand (let's say the result is another 3); I could then use a bonus action to Gather (meaning increase the capacity of my Mana pool to 1 and gain 1 mana (though I do not have to). I could then immediately use my action to expend that 1 mana and cast the spell Ice Knife.

On my next turn, I would roll another d6 to add to my Hand (let's say the result is a 4); If I then use a bonus action to add to my mana pool I could then cast Blur or Hold Person with the 2 mana I have OR cast Ice Knife and keep that mana in reserve for the following round or maybe a spell with an Immediate Action.

The draw back is that 1) you don't have the spells you want right away and at your finger tips. A 6th level spell takes a bit of time to obtain. But the bright side is that your spellcasting isn't really limited by spell levels or slots per day. You could cast many more high level spells in a single encounter than some Wizard could cast all day, but you have to make it 5 or 6 rounds to do it in.


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MeanMutton wrote:
Diffan wrote:
If Full-Attack wasn't a thing the game would be better off. It's significantly impairs weapon-based classes the most and is one of the key reasons there's even a C/MD in the game.

I disagree. The biggest reasons that there's disparity between martial and caster is:

1) The ability to, even at low levels, target saving throws instead of hit points and armor class with fight-ending spells. Toss in a bit of knowledge to find the weakest save and you can reliably shut down combats quickly.

2) Ridiculous utility spells. Invisibility, flight, enhanced senses, polymorphing, crowd control, etc., are all simple with magic and basically non-existent for martials.

I don't disagree with any of these. These are also problems that relate to C/MD. They're bigger factors than the full-attack, sure, but that doesn't mean that a full-attack vs. standard attack isn't a problem either. Especially in lower-level games where by 6th level wizard's spells are becoming more prevalent per encounter and now the Warrior's efficiency is starting to decline.

Like I said, it's one of the reasons, not THE reason or even the biggest reason.

MeanMutton wrote:


3) Breaking action economy with Quicken Spells and summoning.

Personally, I"m OK with Quicken Spells in PF and 3.5 because you're getting a 1st level spell at 5th level and while low-level utility spells are nice, I personally don't think they're worth a 5th level spell slot. As for Summoning, I really hate the rapid-casting of those spells, which is supposed to be a big factor in their balance. Remove that and all of a sudden the board is flooded with tons of creatures, all getting their own attacks and what-not.

Regardless, I think we can agree that the full-action attack is more of a hindrance to melee-based characters than anyone else and they're more penalized because of it instead of allowing them their full attacks per round.


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Kolokotroni wrote:

The concept of maneuvers (even if you don't love the specific implementation) from paths of war/tome of battle is the answer here. You wouldn't even need to remove full attacks from the equation, you just need to add a viable alternative.

Maneuvers have all the right elements: They are standard actions, they offer a variety of effects and impacts besides simply MOAR DAMAGW, choosing one is not a huge investment of character resources (akin to a sorcerer picking a spell known) and they are usable resources so they can be balanced again other finite resource abilities in the game.

I honestly don't think I could play and enjoy Pathfinder WITHOUT the Path of War supplement. Sort of like how I really don't enjoy martials without the Tome of Battle of v3.5. It's really THAT good of a book!


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personally I don't believe in 1-action alignment changes unless it's extreme or drastic. A lawful good Paladin who, for an unknown reason, decides that today is they day he randomly burns down an orphanage or slaughters everyone in his path gets the alignment-change. But 1 action of threatening people for their own good in an attempt to stop a bigger problem isn't worthy of an alignment change.


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If Full-Attack wasn't a thing the game would be better off. It's significantly impairs weapon-based classes the most and is one of the key reasons there's even a C/MD in the game.


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We don't always see eye-to-eye but this was a VERY impressive list Aelryinth.

Aelryinth wrote:

Varying xp advance tables. Weak classes tended to advance faster.

Everyone advances the same in level, but not the same in power now.

This one made me think, you could introduce Pathfinder's own slow/normal/fast XP progression based on classes. Full-Casters (wizards, summoners, clerics, druids, etc.) would progress Slowly, Half-Casters (Bards, Paladins, Rangers, Magus, etc.) would progress normally, and non-Casters (Barbarians, Fighters, Monks, and Rogues) would advance on the fast pace. This might level the playing field a bit. But it would wreak havoc on the CR system because it would be harder to judge how difficult an encounter would be if you had a Level 8 Fighter, Level 8 Rogue, level 5 Cleric and Wizard.

I dunno, thoughts?


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Aelryinth wrote:

This feat is already known, and it already existed in 3.5 under Improved Buckler Defense. Every build designer alive realized it spelled the end of Sword and Board, and so nobody EVER used it, it was considered a broken feat as it was published. The exchange of AC for damage was real and sensible, and IBD totally destroyed it.

This feat does the exact same thing.

So, in other words: "Fighters can't have nice things."

Got it.


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This is one of those things that's sort of been a "wishful thinking" on most players of both D&D and Magic: The Gathering. Though the problem usually entails attempting to emulate Mana and the different areas (swamps, mountains, islands, etc.) into the magic system of D&D and the two don't really mesh well in that regard.

But once you read some of the M:tG books it's really not that hard if you pretty much ignore the differences in magic systems. Most of the books don't really touch upon it, only in that the "casters" and characters of the books just feel and draw from their environments to cast their magic. If they're not close to their source, their magic is a bit more limited. Can this be used in a D&D/M:tG crossover? Sure. Does it have to be though? No, not really.

When Ravnica came out, I really wanted to use that as a D&D setting. The factions, the differences of races and their role in the society, and the possibilities were pretty awesome. I thought 4e's system lent it self to be better used with that setting as compared to 3.5 or Pathfinder. The 4e Power Sources, the plethora of classes and playable Races (Minotaurs, Shades / Shadar-Kai, Tree-like beings, and Vampires) are all integrated into the setting on some level. What I did was take each of the 10 guilds and split up the classes into those specific guilds along with a key-race that was emblematic of that guild. For example Minotuars are Red/White often enough with Ravnica, thus their race were of the Boros Guild. Vampires (the class) and Vyrloka (the race) were Black/Blue, making them apart of the Dimir Guild. Eladrin were Simic while Elves were Selesnya and so on.

It actually was a LOT of fun and I even used monsters and spells from M:tG as creatures, spells, and items in our 4e game. Good times!


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RE: Rocket-tag

In my experiences most 3.5/PF games become rocket tag in later stages anyways. But for some reason casters still get SoD or SoS spells that are single and multi-target that takes 6 seconds but Fighters can't have the same capabilities. To me, if a Wizard or spellcaster (considering NPCS and monsters use the same spells as PCs) can shut down or instantly kill a target with a standard action, the fighter should be awarded the same opportunity via attacks.


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Air0r wrote:
More seriously, issues like this is kinda why I like Path of War. Want more out of your martial than full attack (or buff, THEN full attack)? There is your answer.

Yep. I really couldn't see myself playing Pathfinder without the Path of War supplement like I really can't see myself playing v3.5 without access to the Tome of Battle. I like my non-casters to have nice things.


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Full-Attack Action is one of the biggest systemic problems almost every weapon-based character has to deal with.


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Nox Aeterna wrote:

Yes i understand the point , but that isnt the real issue with caster/martial disparity , even casters cant be the best at everything they can do.

It's not about being the Best though, it's about being competent. A Wizard who picks mostly Evocation-based spells and feats to augment that can still cast spells that aren't evocation and be good with them too. They still have a good chance of succeeding or doing their intended job/effect.

A Fighter, OTOH, wants to do a combat maneuver but has a significant chance at failure unless they specialize. They can use a weapon to slightly make it better but then you'll have fighters carrying around a giant golf-bag of weapons over their shoulder OR until they find a bag of holding. Either way they can't just perform a maneuver and expect a decent level of competency.

Maybe PF 2.0 should make spellcasters require equipment for specific school of magic to use well? That would be interesting! For summoning you'd need a body part or bone of the animal you want to summon as a focus. You'd need a wand for evocation spells and a mirror for scrying spells. But of course the magic will be pretty strong and sooner or later the focus will become destroyed so you'll have to keep a nice hefty stock in case that happens.

Nox Aeterna wrote:


They too need to select a path , they too wont have every feat for every school and every spell... nope.

But the feats they do choose don't limit or hinder spells chosen from a different school. A Wizard who specializes in Enchantments (and doesn't prohibit evocation) still gets DC 10 + spell level + ability modifier to evocation spells and still does the same amount of die of damage to the same amount of radius as any other non-evocation specialized wizard.

A Fighter, who takes Power Attack and Weapon Focus and Furious Focus will do a significantly worse job at tripping an opponent only because they didn't specialize in Tripping. Do you see the difference here?

Nox Aeterna wrote:


The issues lies directly on the fact spells are "cheap" compared to what martials get and eventually they simple can do a hell lot more , like in the teleport example.

Well there's FAR more issues than that, unfortunately. Spells are also often open ended to allow a good deal of versatility outside their intended scope. For example, using Unseen Servant to drag a 20-lb rock down a hallway to spring any traps or using scorching ray to melt ice and other frozen items or catch stuff on fire.

Nox Aeterna wrote:
But that is the way the game was made to work, one can change that so that casters need to be more selective on their choices? Ofc you can , but that means cutting the entire party utility down , since the wizard that wanted to summon things for sure wont give up on what he wanted to do to become a buffer/heal... bot for martials.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

Nox Aeterna wrote:
They will also lose the option to bypass tons of different kinds of issues since hey , now it isn't just about casting fly and going over the wall , nope now the caster (actually the whole party ) needs to invest points in climb.

Again, why is that wrong or a bad thing? Maybe the fighter can utilize his strength and climb parts of the wall to help up the other people? Maybe the rogue can find a way through the labyrinth of tunnels that run through the ice wall if there is any. Maybe physical obstacles can be more of a deterrent to the adventure, forcing a different line of thinking other than: "Lets fix the problem with magic."

Nox Aeterna wrote:
The idea of changing casters so they become to closer to how martials do in-combat affect them directly outside combat, if they need to select a path the whole game changes , the solutions to issues changes...

That's actually a pretty good deal IMO. If you choose to be a super-awesome warmage with powerful offensive capabilities then maybe you shouldn't be able to buff the party, fly over mountains, cast invisibility to scout ahead (better than the Rogue who's invested 10 ranks in Stealth), or cast X, Y, or Z spells outside the purview of Awesome Warmage.


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HWalsh wrote:
swoosh wrote:


Oh sure, house rules, third party and gentlemen's agreements are all well and good.

The better question is to ask WHY there's such a radical difference in design philosophy and expectations It's not just a matter of class design (which is obviously going to be unique for different types of characters) but a fundamental difference in expectations and character archetypes.

To provide differing playstyles and differing flavor to the world setting.

In my opinion, at least, it makes magic feel magical. It justifies the supernatural mechanically. Magic allows those who use it to go beyond what is normally thought to be possible.

It's simply how these games work.

Except that there are very few limitations to what these abilities do and the game (both 3.X and PF) have pretty much removed most of what made them "balanced" compared to non-spellcasters. And the balance that was inherently there have ways via character options to reduce or outright remove them.

•Don't I need to keep track of my spell Components? Nope there's Eschew Materials feat for that AND many (I'd say most) DMs don't bother with that level of minutia.

• Isn't casting time a problem? Nope, everyone can cast on their turn as their initiative comes up.

• What if someone is in my face about to blast you with their sword if I start casting? Easy! Just use a 5-ft step AND/OR cast defensively! PLUS there are ways of making casting defensively more effective which means by a certain level, casting defensively isn't even worth rolling for.

• But all these cosmic powers are limited by my spell slots? Naw, we gave spellcasters x/day in-class abilities that are used for things that magic doesn't neccessairly need to be used for. And you have at-will Cantrips for non-combat aspects. Being forced to not fight, or use mundane weapons you're not very good with OR forcing the entire group to rest when you're fresh out of spells is a mostly thing of the past.

• Happy Overloarding!!!

Then the flip side...

• Can I attack a guy multiple times OR with each weapon I'm wielding if I move more than 10-feet? Nope. That's preposterous!

• Can I attack a guy with my shield? Sure, but you'll need a Feat.....and it's not very effective. You'd need additional class features AND some more feats to make it worth your while. And it's just some additional damage, nothing really else to have happen here...

• But I get many attacks as I get better right? Sure! But each attack depreciates by 5, so when you finally get 4 full attacks, you're basically crit-fishing the last two anyways.

• But I get these feats, that are supposed to all be pretty awesome! Yep, so does everyone else. You get MORE than most, so that's a plus but most of the good ones are hidden behind Ability scores you have almost zero use for OR they're the 3rd, 4th, or 5th in down the line to even attempt to use. AND by the time you can most of them aren't worth the paper they're written on.

• OK but I'll get LOADS of magical Items to help! You sure do, and so does every other player and they usually spend them on making their spellcasting beter or more available during the adventuring day.

• So I don't get fancy spells or ways to make the world bend to my will but I CAN intimidate better than anyone and I can do stuff Strong and Fast people can do, probably even better! Yeah, that's pretty much what wands and other magical trinkets and baubles Wizards and Spellcasters spend their gold on, so that they don't have to worry about keep picking up other people's slack.

•.......can I impose status effects like Blind, Daze, Deafen, Paralysis, or Unconsciousness? Yes but you need magic or special elixers/poisons. No. Yes but you need feats. No. Yes but you take a substantial penalty when you try unless you have magic or a feat.

• I wanna play a spellcaster!!!


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BackHandOfFate wrote:

Paladins are a classic reminder that you should roleplay a character as if the character wasn't just a fantasy version of you. People don't want to be challenged to take the high road anymore because it's too difficult for them to reconcile their own 'my way' attitudes with the ideals a Paladin is supposed to represent.

The solution? Remove the lawful good alignment and code requirement from the Paladin and just let anyone play it any way they want to. Can they do it? Sure! It's your game, after all. Does it take away from the flavor and challenge of the class? It absolutely does! It's damned difficult to play the straight man in real life. It should be equally challenging in a fantasy game. That's what's so fun about it.

So....you find it difficult in real life NOT to lie, cheat, steal, poison others, or help those who possibly require assistance??

That really says a lot.

Aelryinth wrote:


Paizo has already provided a bevy of alternative classes for people who want to play a divine warrior of different alignments be they druids, clerics, warpriests, etc. All of these classes are awesome. So, why all this fuss over the Paladin? Because people want that sweet sweet full BAB? lol Please..

Yea thats why

[/sarcasm]


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Aelryinth wrote:

Your pretentiousness aside, tectorman, what you just asked is "what are the mechanical justifications for an alignment restriction?"

Which is basically trying to argue away alignment because you can't put a number on it.

Except that the restrictions were placed on it specifically due to numerical IMBALANCE it created mechanically. For the most part that mechanical imbalance is now gone. The "rarity" of making Paladins is gone. So yeah, give a numerical justification for the alignment restrictions other than nostalgia and lore.

Aelryinth wrote:

To your demand for BLANK, I've got a few counter demands.

What are the mechanical benefits for me being unable to lie?

Relatively small

Aelryinth wrote:
What are the mechanical benefits for me being unable to cheat and steal?

Heavily depends on whether or not you have the skills to achieve such. Just because you can (like anyone can *try*) doesn't mean you will based solely upon your skill set and chance of success. But I'm sure your non-Paladin characters, wearing full-plate ALWAYS try pick pocketing....

Aelryinth wrote:
Of not being able to use poison?

Same as above. Only in the most rarest of occasions are players going to even attempt to use poison without the Poison Use feature.

Aelryinth wrote:

Of not being able to make a bad moral decision and just shrug it off?

Of being pious? Humble? Charitable? Friendly? Generous? Merciful? Tolerant? Faithful? Honorable? Courageous?
Noble in the truest sense?
To uphold the letter and spirit of the law?
To be a paragon of virtue?

ALL of this is just pure fluff and role-play. What about those non-Paladins who do this? What numerical benefit to they get from acting this way??

Aelryinth wrote:

Break down the modifiers from the rules for me, since you seem to want to boil it all down to numbers.

And then let me say that the answer to your question is that you qualify to be a paladin if you want to be.

That's the benefit.

Being able to lie and use poison are rather "blah", mechanically speaking, in the overall scheme of the game. Talk about pretentious...

Aelryinth wrote:
It's not about mechanics. It's about reality and expectations.

Aaaaaaand this is where you lose me. Reality? C'mon, man.

Aelryinth wrote:


It's about the classic trope of being rewarded for goodness, be it a holy saint, a pious knight, an enlightened monk, or a pony with the power of friendship. It's the trope that in a magical world, not being an amoral bastard has benefits all its own.

And somehow Paladins of other alignments take this iconic notion away? How? Explain why, if Paladins were open to other alignment it restrictions YOU from playing this paragon of virtue? Tell me how this somehow hurts your ability to do you own thing? Because someone, somewhere is playing the game differently? This has SOOO MUCH wrongbadfun attached to it, it's sort of scary...

Aelryinth wrote:
The paladin makes that trope a fact of life. To a lesser degree, the monk does for self-discipline and an ascetic lifestyle.

Yea, the monk discipline is moronic on it's face. You know what takes serious discipline? Studying magic. Therefore and under that logic ALL Wizards should have to be Lawful too. Except there not. You can have CG, CN, CE wizards who still somehow hold onto "reality" and discipline long enough to grasp cosmic magical energies to bend to their will.

Basically Discipline =/= Lawful and it never has.

Aelryinth wrote:


If you go back to the original classes, whine all you like about paladins were better then fighters, but do you remember they had to tithe away half their earnings, and could only one ten magic items at a time? And that monks could own even less?

Sure, if DMs forced this upon you. And those mechanics are now gone. I wonder why, hhmmmm....

Aelryinth wrote:
All those restrictions are there to emulate the fact that acting as a proper paladin was hard, and furthermore that failing lost all your cool stuff from being a paragon of virtue, back to being like everyone else.

See DM Safety valve with Catch-22 scenarios.....

Aelryinth wrote:
But hey, you no longer had to give away half your loot, could own a golf bag of gear, could lie cheat and steal if you liked, do whatever. You just couldn't be a paladin.

If it's for the greater good, Paladins of Freedom could. And you can do the same thing in 4e and 5e.

Aelryinth wrote:


If all a paladin was, was about the numbers, nobody would care. Pretty every other class is just about numbers.
The paladin is your reward for playing a true blue traditional hero, of the toughest kind to play.

Bwhahahahah, reward? Yeah like we said back in the day you were rewarded for being lucky for rolling good stats. Nowadays, however, none of that applies. Try again?

Aelryinth wrote:
And if you're going to say the paladin is just about the mechanics and anyone can play one...then you don't understand what it represents, at all.

No, we do it just doesn't match up with your nostalgia-tinted glasses.

Aelryinth wrote:


And the &^/#&%=#%_# reason women had lower str scores was to reflect reality.

Wow.....um I'm pretty sure you do NOT want to travel down this road..

Aelryinth wrote:
Women have less upper body strength on average and at maximum then men do. Do your mothers and sisters go screaming at nature for the reality of that? No. The game reflected what is real, and it was the only ability score impacted, much against the prejudice of medieval eras where women were considered inferior in all respects.

*sigh* and I'm sure you heavily use this in your games, right? Because reality is something EVERY D&D game must adhere to...[/sarcasm]

Aelryinth wrote:
Women could still wear gauntlets and girdles and be as strong as the men who wore the same things, so eventual equality at the upper end was built right into the system, and it had no impact whatsoever at the average level! Forgive gygax for modelling actual reality rather then video game reality when he set the stat ranges in!

I really don't have to forgive him for anything. Do you seriously wonder WHY these rules don't exist today? Yea, modeling reality is something D&D has been SUPER amazing at!!

That's sarcasm BTW....


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HWalsh wrote:
Diffan wrote:
To those who just say "No, LG-Only." Your voice is noted but I don't understand the need to keep repeating it? Isn't the Core Rulebooks, "extraordinarily famed" James Jacobs word, and tradition enough to for you to keep on keepin'-on? Why not let us "dissenters" enjoy the theorizing and house-rules we're obviously creating?

There are a number of reasons why we "keep on" and basically it is to provide a counter-point.

Its the same reason you dissenters keep posting about the things you post about.

Its the same reason we had to have a thread about all of the caster martial threads. Its the same reason that you say yes every time we say no.

Also there is a very legitimate reason for us to keep on defending what we see as the proper way to do things.

That legitimate reason is to make it clear to the Powers-that-Be™ that there is a counter-point. When the dissenters run unopposed this creates a false perception that this is a universally agreed on thing. This happens all the time.

Here is a perfect example:

In early editions of AD&D it was ruled that non-human PCs had class limits based on races that were explained in the lore of the game world. This added flavor to the game world. It added a stark contrast.

Also early on non-humans could Multiclass, humans could not, but humans could dual class whereas non-humans could not. Again, this created specific mechanics that were woven into the lore.

This created lore flavor.

Then, because there were a lot of dissenters, who complained about those limits and because the traditionalists didn't really rise up, this got nixed. Flavor lost because people wanted mechanical homogenization.

So... We have to oppose. If we don't, we risk losing what we care about.

Yeah I don't buy ANY of that. Do you wanna know why Paladins in 5e (and 4e) aren't restricted to a specific alignment? Because polls and surveys were released and the majority concensus was to remove them (at least as they were in pre-4e days). To me, that's democracy at its finest. And, as it stands, you don't have to agree or even comply! How's that for ya, everyone can get what they want? But here's the thing and it's a topic that was rehashed hundreds of times, people want their preferences validated in the big book. To me, if a DM wants to ban/restrict classes then be an actal DM and DO that. Todays DMs are far stronger in their convictions than older DMs mainly because they don't hide behind rules for their preferences.


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The original poster, Phasics, wanted to know if it could exist and, if so, how? OR can another class fall in line with the TN-Keep the Balance brigade? The question is vague because it lacks context. Is this for a Pathfinder setting? If so, is the DM ok with the idea?

Generally speaking you can make a TN Paladin adhering to Balance strictly via mechanics, if HWalsh's underperformed versionis any indication. Alternatively you can roll up a Warpriest that fits the bill as well. I guess you could even use the cleric as a chassis too. The paladin, however, is probably the easiest of the three to play and has some interesting role-playing aspect that should be considered for the role.

To those who just say "No, LG-Only." Your voice is noted but I don't understand the need to keep repeating it? Isn't the Core Rulebooks, "extraordinarily famed" James Jacobs word, and tradition enough to for you to keep on keepin'-on? Why not let us "dissenters" enjoy the theorizing and house-rules we're obviously creating?


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graystone wrote:
hiiamtom wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Diffan wrote:


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
There has never been any core material for non-good Paladins. Some in supplementary rules or third party publications like the Jacobs article, but not as core rules.
I'm not sure why that has any relevance to the existence of other alignments...
Because third party and auxiliary material designated as "optional" rules do not have the same level of authority as core rules.

Since you dug this conversation back up, you are wrong about no non-LG core paladins. 5e has no alignment restrictions to paladins, and an Oath of Vengeance works for evil or good easily - just like an Order or Ancients works well for neutral.

Then the "anti-paladin" or fallen paladin is called an Oathbreaker and has separate class features.

And 4e has unaligned paladins so it looks like 4E and 5E are fine with non-good paladins.

Shhh....don't you know those fly in the face officially with the LG-Only agenda???

Also, the idea of one source having more "authority" over another is ridiculous. The only authority ANY option has is when the DM deems it so. Period


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Diffan wrote:
HWalsh I sincerely hope these special snowflake Paladins you enjoy also have to be human, AND they have ability score requirements too otherwise it IS just another class. Years of multiple D&D editions have said there are PALADINS of other alignments and using them or being told to call them something else is a pretty disrespectful thing to say
Up through 3.5, Paladins of other than Lawful Good were not part of core rules but optional extras, or magazine articles such as the Jacobs article mentioned before, but all but disowned by it's author.

I'm going to be frank, I don't really care what Jacobs has to say on the subject. His opinion literally means nothing to me on this subject, no offense intended. Not only that but I wholly reject this moronic idea of "core". Saying it's not core has zero value when it comes to character options. To me, ALL character options are on the table to be used or banned, core doesn't get some special pass in this regard.

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:


4th Edition and WOW D20 broadened it from "Must be Lawful Good" to "Any Good required, but both were very different classes as all of the 4th edition classes were from their 3.X namesakes. From what I've seen of 5th, it retained the "Must Be Good" qualifier.

4e Paladins have no restrictions on Alignment other than it has to match their paton deity, which they must choose. That's it. Further there's no Instant Fall clause either.

As for their "namesakes" let's just say that I 100% disagree with that notion.

In 5e it depends on their Oath selection and the particulars are embedded with that aspect. There's also the Oath-breaker Paladin and the "green" Paladin which isnt necessarily good.

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
There has never been any core material for non-good Paladins. Some in supplementary rules or third party publications like the Jacobs article, but not as core rules.

I'm not sure why that has any relevance to the fact that there are Paladins of other alignments?


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HWalsh wrote:
Diffan wrote:


Mechanically speaking, not even close...

Mechanically speaking, they very much are.

Paladins are BALANCED around those weaknesses.

You take those weaknesses away and Paladins are getting something for literally nothing,

Unfortunately they're not, especially with how other classes are built and how well they work. A well-built Fighter, with all their feat options, can work exceptionally well compared to a Paladin. Again, a Paladin isn't straight up better mechanically speaking than other classes of similar caliber (full bab, weapon-based classes) which render further punitive elements unnecessary


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HWalsh wrote:
Diffan wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:

I'll also kindly point out that James Jacobs doesn't use off-alignment paladins, and turned in that article basically because he had a job to do. He didn't like writing it and doesn't treat it seriously.

"Everything a paladin can do, with none of the alignment restrictions' is right up there with "Our archer can shoot 3 arrows a round at first level!"

Pure cheese.

I don't think you know what cheese is, but it certainly isn't linked to the Paladin class, not even Pathfinders better version.

Paladins aren't cheesy.

Paladins without the restrictions of Paladins are pure cheese.

Mechanically speaking, not even close...


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Aelryinth wrote:

I'll also kindly point out that James Jacobs doesn't use off-alignment paladins, and turned in that article basically because he had a job to do. He didn't like writing it and doesn't treat it seriously.

"Everything a paladin can do, with none of the alignment restrictions' is right up there with "Our archer can shoot 3 arrows a round at first level!"

Pure cheese.

I don't think you know what cheese is, but it certainly isn't linked to the Paladin class, not even Pathfinders better version.


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ermak_umk3 wrote:
Don't forget Unearthed Arcana also had variant Paladins for 3.0 :)

It was updated to 3.5 and there are 3 variants. Further there were specific paladin types written for Dragon (issue #106 Plethora of Paladins) and then there is the Antipaladin which is a Paladin in all their mechanics too. Then there's 4th and 5th editions where alignment isn't required either.

The notion of ONLY LG Paladins is a dying one.


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I just don't get this crusade to force the actual Paladin class as this one specific LG-Only thing when multiple editions have already clearly labeled it as possibly being many other alignment things. The ideals of a Paladin have changed, shifted, and are different that they were 20 years ago. Paladins have come from different alignments AND ARE STILL CALLED PALADINS despite people labeling them differently.

Yes, at one point a Paladin HAD to be Lawful Good. Then that changed. Then came variants (AD&D 1st & 2nd ed.) Then came different versions that still used the class-name Paladin (v3.5 Paladin of Freedom, Paladin of Tyranny, Paladin of Slaughter. Then OFF came Alignment restrictions (D&D 4th and 5th edition). The ideal belief of LG-only is LONG gone because it no longer serves an actual purpose, at least as it originally had long ago. A Paladin is no longer a Fighter "Plus", thus the need for a alignment restriction no longer has any significance other than to make certain people happy when they pit them in Catch-22 scenarios with every intent to make them fall in mind.

But whatever, people can and do whatever they want in their own games. However the class isn't Mr(s). Snowflake any longer.


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spectrevk wrote:

Daggers doing only 1d4 is probably the first example that comes to mind. Someone holding a knife to your throat is hardly something to worry about; even if they get a coup de grace, you're likely to survive as a moderately tough character.

Meanwhile, in real life, having your throat slit is a serious problem, no matter how big you are...

Oh man SOOO much this ^^^

This is where I'd just consider the narrative to be better than the game-mechanics. If a character makes the necessary checks to grab someone and hold a dagger to their throat, chances are I'm not factoring in HP at all at this stage, I don't care if said target has 450 HP, a dagger plunged into your neck will most certainly take you out of the fight (and I fully discount that one guy in the Kingdom of Heaven movie who still fought a few seconds with a bolt sticking through his neck[/i]).


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Pretty much all of them. Falling, combat, skills, feats, levels, experience, the weapons ALL are very poor representations of anything like reality. And honestly, thank goodness. D&D is very terrible at real-world simulation and attempt at emulating it just results in poor mechanics. D&D is not, nor has it EVER been, Real World + Magic.


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So.....a song that continues the edition war? What intrigues me more is that people still fire salvos now 3 years after the fact. Here's a better song

Let it go...


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I once asked a DM if I could play a Paladin of Freedom in 3.5 (UA) that was about chaos and freedom and he said no. So, I built a Fighter/Cleric and in-character called myself a Paladin. I even followed the Paladin of Freedom Code.


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CWheezy wrote:
Quote:
The problem comes with people being unable to reconcile that the classes are not now, nor are they intended to be, balanced 1:1. Most RPGs aren't balanced 1:1. In fact the only one I have ever seen was not popular enough to last for 1/4 of the time that one that is REALLY unbalanced did

Has never ever been true ever.

NEVER EVER HAS BEEN TRUE

Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over people who are against making the game more fair say this

zero people ever have asked for this. Actually zero.

Fair does not mean 1:1 exactly balanced. if you want an asymmetric game, it is impossible to have 1:1 balance. Pathfinder and most tabletop players want heavily asymmetric games. Fair means like, 1.2 : .8 or 1.3:.7

Pretty much this. Also, contrary to popular belief 4e was far from balanced in actual gameplay


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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.


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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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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).


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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.

Spoiler:

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.


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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.


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Combat

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 because....game. 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


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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.


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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.


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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.


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Quote:
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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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.


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Reading Sacred Geometry makes me want to kick puppies.....


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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.

Thoughts?

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