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No, it is not. And Ashiel's back story was quite well-done. But in my experience, most tiefling players choose the race for exactly that archetype.
There are always exceptions, of course. Even some very pleasant surprises! But in general, when somebody draws-up a tiefling, inside I roll my eyes a bit and wait to see what variation of Wolverine knock-off this one's gonna be. (In fairness, I suppose this is more of an issue with a character type. Unfortunately, tieflings are just the race I most closely associate with it due to prior experience.)
Captain Wacky wrote:
I don't generally have them in my games. Not because I think they're OP but because of flavor. I'll post a full explination if you like, but it's not pretty.
OK, seriously, I am intrigued. I have my own problems with tiefling flavor - frankly, I get tired of the constant need for more 'grimdark' options and story lines. Truth be told, I think I am still a little sore over 4th Ed. pushing gnomes to the side to make room for them as indicative of the things that bother me about modern fantasy. Too often, any amount of whimsy or joy is pushed aside for brooding, dystopian antiheroes.
As for OP? I wouldn't say so. Aasimars perhaps a bit, but the issue with tieflings is not mechanical.
Simon Legrande wrote:
Fair enough, it would be unfair to get the thread locked over a political debate. I'll save whatever I have to say in response to that link for a more appropriate forum.
However, if you don't want to argue politics, don't use an unrelated post to make a political point. I could find all sorts of excuses to use this thread to make jabs at the Tea Party or conservative Christians, but it would be really disingenuous of me to expect nobody to take exception to it.
Back to the OP:
Simon Legrande wrote:
I suspect many adventurers run across this: So what if you did all the work, we split the loot evenly.
Yeah, that doesn't really work, considering that Occupy's complaint is not that we should split all wealth evenly - it's that people got obscenely rich by not providing anything of value and added insult to injury by having our tax dollars given to them when their corrupt system inevitably imploded in on itself.
Not really player-specific, but here's one for when you waste half a session on shopping.
Alchemist: Probably the best of all the non-core classes. It fills a niche that had been hitherto unfulfilled.
Antipaladin: It's obviously meant to be an NPC class.
Cavalier: This is a class that gets a bad rap. There is really no better class for mounted combat. Sure, a fighter has the feats, but A)good luck getting it from level one and B)then you have to be a fighter.
Gunslinger: Hate guns in my fantasy, but mechanically? Eh. . . I guess it's fine.
Inquisitor: Divine Bard with some of its own tricks. What's not to love?
Magus: Say what you will, this is what the gish was meant to be. (Cheese builds aside) We actually started a campaign just before Advanced Player's Guide came out, and our gish converted his character to a Magus and enjoyed it WAAAYYY more.
Ninja: Like the mechanics, hate the fluff. Very irritating that like everything else, they made the Eastern counterpart way better because, you know, Japan or whatever.
Oracle: Love the fluff, hate the mechanics. The Elven archetype is stupidly powerful.
Samurai: Only had a fleeting experience with this one. The Resolve ability seems cool, I guess.
Summoner: HATE. HATE. HAAAATTTEEE! The mechanics don't fit the rest of the game, and I don't think Paizo even knows how these guys are supposed to fit into the world. Too easily broken. The only class I've ever banned (I even allow hated gunslingers) and I don't regret doing so for a moment.
Witch: If Magus is how they should have done the Gish from the beginning, this is how they should have done the Mystic Theurge.
From reading the ACG, there are only a few I read enough to actually comment on:
Investigator: Awesome. Makes skill-based rogues useless.
Slayer: Fixes all of the combat problems with the rogue.
Brawler: Suffers the same problem as the Monk - it should really have full BAB. You really cannot tell me somebody looked at this class and said, "Gee, that's just too powerful."
Skald: Bardbarian was always a popular multiclass - this just seemed to make sense.
Male, 28-years-old, mostly heterosexual. Married with no children.
I mostly, though not exclusively, play 'attractive' characters because I prefer high-CHA classes like Bards and Sorcerers. For the sake of brevity, I'm going to shorten this list to simply the five most recent:
(As an aside, I almost exclusively play male characters. Every time I have tried to play a female character, it just does not seem to work. I don't know if that's a limitation of my table or a failure on my part as a role-player, but all of my attempts at female characters have had the rest of the party treating her as male.)
The 1st is a 3.5 LG Gnome Cleric whose name escapes me at the moment. As the campaign was almost entirely a dungeon crawl, we never explored the characters' romantic life in depth, but I'd always pictured him as a virgin. Had we ever had the chance to explore further, I think this is the character most likely to be exclusively homosexual - but that's hindsight. At the time, who knows? I may have given him a wife and children.
Hirskin Bloodaxe - CN Human Male Druid/Barbarian. Definitely my least conventionally attractive character - he was a 7 CHA ritualistic cannibal who found bathing unhealthy. His tribe had an attitude toward sexuality that would make labels like heterosexual or homosexual confounding. You might say 'bisexual', but even that would be barely scratching the surface of how sexual rites of passage and religious ceremony shaped their culture.
Sirinsin Oahran - TN Half-Elven Druid. (Yeah, I like Druids.) He was a young, attractive lad who was a bit short on brute strength. This was another attempt at a female character that was treated as male for so long I simply regard him as male because every one else in the game did. (When our surly Casanova-wannabe Ranger bought everybody a night in the brothel, our GM even rolled to see if s/he got a woman pregnant!) At that point my heterosexual female druid became a heterosexual male.
Fayrre Dorian - CE Human (now Undead) Fey-blooded Sorcerer. The most conventionally attractive, the best analogue I could compare him to would probably be the vampire Lestat from Anne Rice's novels. He would be interpreted as bisexual, but ultimately he was a predator through and through. The gender or even species of his quarry didn't really mater - the only thing that aroused him was the opportunity to destroy some major part of another sapient being.
Nuk Nuk - CN Goblin Alchemist. A Goblin who was trying very hard to pass for human with very little success. Technically heterosexual, but in his zeal to pass for human he had a strict humans-only rule and he was terrible at delineating genders. (Also species - he more than once confused a Catfolk for human.) This is the character I had the most opportunity to explore his sexuality, although in a strictly zany PG sort of way.
Spanky the Leprechaun wrote:
WHOA! Hold up!
Okay, I never said anything about people being legitimately abused. That's a completely unfair characterization.
The OP made a point about men attacking a feminist blogger because she pointed out some of the more odious sexism that - while prevalent in all media - is particularly egregious in the video game market, since the target demographic is typically considered to be adolescent boys and young men.
Rather than addressing that, several posters completely ignored the very real issues about our treatment of women and instead said men are the ones who are REALLY discriminated against. They were insisting that there is a widespread institutional discrimination against men and that this discrimination against women was actually no big deal. That by taking steps to address this disparity between men and women we were actually guilty of REVERSE sexism.
That is entitlement speaking, and factually wrong besides. I stand by that.
After that, the conversation turned toward abused men. I've never said that a man who has been abused is just an entitled whiner. Again, though, another posted what a ridiculous argument this is. Feminists are not the people claiming men cannot be abused - it's typically a patriarchal attitude that insists a man never appear weak, in particular in his relationship with a woman, that creates an atmosphere that prevents these men from coming forward and treats them less seriously when they do.
I was going to write a grandiose response to the posts that came after my initial irritation with entitled men crying reverse sexism whenever their privilege is threatened, but LazarX summed up everything I was going to say better than I could have.
You could fill several books - and in fact, people have - proving that fact. But there will always be those who will try to ignore very real problems by claiming to be the -actual- victims, and nobody is going to change anyone else's mind on a message board.
I actually was not referring to the Arcane Duelist. Sorry, I was going to clarify this but the thread had moved on and I didn't think anyone would even respond to me. What I meant was you don't have to blow an EXTRA feat on it. If a Bard wants AS, he can just take it at 1st level.
This was wrong, I realized, since Minor Magic is a Rogue Talent. But Minor Magic is still one of the crappiest options in that group and you're forced into wasting one of them to qualify for a feat that the Bard took with no unnecessary investment.
Simon Legrande wrote:
Bards get it first level and don't have to blow a feat on it.
2. A dervish dancer bard's performance only affects the bard. Yes it will make the bard better in combat but then there is no benefit to the rest of the party.
Still a better benefit than Sneak Attack, to which the same argument can be applied.
3. Why does the bard automatically have higher CHA than a rogue? Why is this a fact that isn't up for debate?
It's not that the Bard necessarily has higher CHA. It's that the Bard gets so much more out of it. The Rogue gets a skill boost - and admittedly, a boost to his most important skill, UMD. The Bard, meanwhile, by boosting his CHA not only gets more performance rounds but also raises his spell DCs and Spells-per-Day.
4. Somebody else already mentioned Shadow Strike.
You have to sacrifice a feat slot for something you should be able to do in the first place. This is a serious mark against the rogue.
EDIT: Damn! I started this at B&N and came home and missed all the responses. I got Ninja'd on all of this.
Sorry, I should have been more cautious with my tense. But yes, it would be correct to say ongoing discrimination.
pres man wrote:
The white guy sporting the power mullet, living in the trailer park, somehow missed this year's invitation to the Illuminati dinner. Maybe he'll get it next year.
Actually, what is interesting about your choice of analogy is how perfectly it summarizes who actually holds white men back - rich white men.
Not in a Secret Cabal "Illuminati" conspiracy sort of way, but it is true that rich oligarchs have rigged the system to stagnate economic mobility and keep the lower classes - well, lower. And a big part of that is making sure that poor white men blame poor black men, immigrants, and the influx of women into areas traditionally reserved for men for their lack of economic opportunity. Pretty much anyone NOT responsible for falling wages and shrinking opportunities.
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Not denying the badness of the things you describe, but what has any of that to do with 'reverse discrimination'?
Simply that it's a false equivalency. People saying Reverse Discrimination is a problem are WAAAAAYYYY off base. They have no bearing that there's an ENORMOUS difference between those who have been the dominant group for centuries and benefited from systems meant to elevate them and their fellows at the expense of out-groups.
So yes, there is a huge difference between things like Affirmative Action for people of color or Affirmative Action for white people. In the first instance, it is meant to correct years of a dominant hierarchy wherein whites enjoyed the sole privilege of higher education and people of color were segregated into school systems that lacked funding, attention, or proper staff. In the second instance, it is meant to reaffirm that privileged status for people who have always had it.
Take any example you like - Women's Only Leadership Conferences, for instance - and the same principle applies.
Now I am not saying any of those are perfect solutions. There are plenty of women and people of color who don't care for either, I'm sure, and if you're so inclined you can ask them why not. But to say that the problem with these systems is that they somehow make it harder for white men is depressingly wrong.
I think the Bard is just the most often brought up because it is so similar, but just so superior, to the rogue that it's an easy comparison. They're 3/4 BAB lightly-armored skill monkeys with a motif based around out thinking rather than overpowering opponents. But when it comes down to it, whatever aspect of that character you want to focus on, the bard does it better.
I want a whole mess of skills! Bard gets more.
I want to be sneaky! Bard has Stealth and a whole slew of Illusion spells to buff herself.
I want to be a master spy, a silver-tongued beguiler unmatched in disguise and intrigue! Bard has better CHA, better skills, spells to enhance herself (like she needs it) and I mean come on, seriously, we all know Bards are hands-down the best Party Face characters. Glibness, Disguise Self, Charm Person all make the rogue obsolete before we even do a Skill-for-Skill comparison.
I want to be a lightly-armored skirmisher! Bard might eclipse the rogue only slightly here, but she'll have cooler weapon proficiency (Especially for Finesse - the whip rocks) and performance is hands-down a better bonus than Sneak Attack. It's not situational, it actually boosts accuracy, and it improves the whole party.
I want to be an expert in disarming traps! A) Why would you want to focus on the lamest part of dungeon crawling? and B) Archaeologist Bard will take that focus and still keep pace in the skills department.
Snorri Nosebiter wrote:
OK, take this from a fellow white man: You have no idea what you're talking about. 'Reverse' isms don't exist. Not institutionally. Are there black people who think white people are inferior? Yes. Are there women who think men are obsolete and we'd all be better off if the 'Y' chromosome disappeared? Yes. Are there people who think we should outright ban Christianity? Yes.
Do those people have any real power? No.
The people who do have power are the politicians who are claiming that 'real' rape shuts down abortion and, besides, she was "asking for it". It is the pastors of megachurches who say that gays being allowed to marry is an affront to THEIR rights. It is the criminal justice system that says it's okay to shoot unarmed black teenagers but unacceptable for an abused woman to fire a warning shot to scare off her attacker.
Blacks are more likely to be arrested for the same offenses, sentenced to harsher punishments when convicted. 1 in 5 women will suffer some form of sexual assault in her lifetime, and enormous wage gaps still exist on both fronts. More acts of terrorism have been committed by white Christian men than any other group since our nation's founding and yet we have never profiled them as terrorists nor spawned movements forbidding them from building their places of worship. Gay teens commit suicide at 4 to 6 times the rate of straight counterparts, and I won't even get into the homeless and murder rates for transgendered men and women.
When white heterosexual males complain that somehow society is being unfair to them, it is not only wrong. It's stupidly offensive and belittling to all of the REAL discrimination that is still rampant in our society.
I'm probably going to get flack for this, but I feel like the classic route would be to give him a werewolf vibe. Maybe like a pouncing Armored Hulk Barbarian kinda dealio with tooth and claw to supplement his axe.
Ooh, armored hulk is one I was unaware of. It seems to have everything I need - including removing some of the more unnecessary Barbarian abilities and providing the flavor I want. Now the only question is how to shore up that Will save . . .
What sources can I use? Am I working with NPC Heroic array as my gut tells me I should, or should I be using the same stat generation method that his antithesis used? What kind of gear can I have? Should/can gear be an integral part of this character? What kind of alignment is this guy gonna have? Are we looking at a LE vs CE, a LG vs CE, CN vs LE, such things may change his entire demeanor and thus build. Do you have a preference on race? Is the other one actually a Vampire? That tips the scale significantly.
Sorry, I should've been a bit more specific.
The array I wasn't too worried about. I typically do a straight 25-point buy with PC-level WBL - but the concept stays the same with slightly higher numbers either way. His alignment is LE (perhaps NE). As for race, the one thing I would really like is for him to be a mortal of some variety. (So no demons, undead, etc.)
So I have a homebrew campaign with two BBEG's, each one leading a side in a brutal civil war that has essentially served as a cover for a personal vendetta against one another. The PC's will essentially be given a chance to choose sides so they can eliminate one more easily or take the high road and have a much more uphill battle in returning peace to the land.
The first was easy. He was a repurposed PC I'd been fond of and wanted to take further - a vampiric Enchanter Wizard. An affably evil Decadent Noble, hands-off sort. He got where he was through bribery and trickery, and true to the nature of an Enchanter, prefers not to get his hands dirty - using lackeys and minions to do his bidding.
As a counterpart to that, I drafted the other BBEG as a hands-on heavily-armored former general wielding a vicious axe. He's huge, menacing, and a tactical genius. I had initially drafted this character as a fighter, but then it hit me that if I have two BBEG's facing against one another, there's a serious power discrepancy when facing a martial against a caster - in particular, one who specializes in attacking his weakest save.
So the typical tactically-minded martial suspects would be out - Fighter, Cavalier, and of course Paladin is eliminated on alignment grounds. I'm looking at a 12th level build for a heavily-armored martial with decent skill points and some sort of protection against mind-control. I'm not necessarily married to the idea of a full-BAB class, but he definitely has to be able to go toe-to-toe in melee combat.
So, good posters of the boards, any suggestions?
pres man wrote:
The craziest thing about Kucinich is that he is naively optimistic about our politics and how much 'We the People' can affect change. But he is also way ahead of his time (he warned us about the dangers of privatization before Enron - actually a big factor in why he didn't win reelection that year - and supported gay marriage at a time when speaking for equality was political suicide) and, having met him, I can tell you he is infectiously pleasant. Kucinich perfectly demonstrates the difference, for me at least, between looks and charisma.
Being chiseled, tall, and having a deep timbered voice makes things easier. But there are things that will always matter more than all of that combined. Hell - look at Prince.
I don't have much to add to the topic that hasn't been said already. All I can say is that every time a woman points out the sexism that is a major problem in our society, the MRA guys dismiss it and whine about how bad men have it. It's as inevitable as a white person crying from the halls of privilege about reverse racism. It's embarrassing.
Accommodate your players.
So, when I had a game where all of my players rolled up fighters, I created a combat-heavy campaign that centered on the characters being part of the same mercenary company.
When I had a Fey-blooded sorcerer who wanted to cause some chaos, my DM took some breaks from the epic slay-the-dragon plot to facilitate role-play. (Without taking too long, of course. There was also a Pirate building a smuggling ring.)
While this is technically true it is utterly disingenuous.
Most people who are new to wizards will probably write up a blaster. Sure, it's not the most powerful way to play a wizard, but it's effective nonetheless. You'll certainly eventually get to be the most powerful DPS class in the game - sure, you'll never hit the single target numbers like a well-built barbarian or smiting Paladin, but no one else can clear a mob like the guy with Maximized Fireball.
But to make a terrible wizard you would have to actively make nonsensical choices. Sure, if you only prepare Crafter's Curse and Transfer Tattoo every day you'll be less useful than a Rogue. But guess what? You can always rebuild that wizard with new spells, scrolls, etc. The Rogue is stuck with his crappy abilities for his entire adventuring career.
By the way, do you have any evidence that societies do better BECAUSE they have more open attitudes about sex? I'd really like to see it, but all I get when I search for related statistics is things like "more single parent families" and "decreasing population because of low birth rates". I didn't know either of those were good for nations...
Across the board, the Netherlands has lower rates of STI's, abortion, and teen pregnancy. The Dutch are known for having incredibly liberal attitudes towards sexuality - abortion is accessible and federally funded, prostitution is legal and treated like any other profession - in fact, in general, the concept of treating sex as shameful or taboo is rather foreign. Teenagers are expected to have sex and teenage partners sleeping over is no cause for alarm.
Not coincidentally, The Netherlands also has a lower divorce rate.
In fact, if you look at the best countries to live in ranked by Life Expectancy, GDP per capita, lack of corruption, general life satisfaction among citizenry, etc. - the list is consistently populated by countries who inherited enlightenment ideals and have liberal attitudes toward sex. Australia, Denmark, the aforementioned Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Canada, et al.
To be clear, it was YOU who made an assertion when you indicated in your post a lament that we, as a society, are having issues because we do not hold to Biblical sexual ideals.
Nowadays, fornication is a fairly common thing, and marriage is almost like a used tissue thrown into the trash (Very sad generation we live in). Today's society doesn't much pressure on "staying true" and "stay pure"
While it's true that one cannot say any one thing is responsible for the welfare of a country, the facts bear out that having a repressive attitude toward sexuality is unnecessary for a vibrant and happy society. Enforcing mores meant to establish very strict rules, control women's sexuality and demonize homosexuality serve no beneficial purpose.
(As a semi-related aside, the notion of "purity" is probably the most perverse sentiment I can personally imagine. I find it disgusting that we are still raising young women with the notion that they can be reduced to what happens with their vagina. As if having sex somehow creates a stain on her soul that trumps everything else about who she is as a person. How unbearably genitally obsessed and misogynistic.)
But ultimately to the original point, real world religions can push mysterious ways or 'higher reasons' all the want - especially in Pathfinder rules, evil is evil is evil. I, of course, am of the opinion that there's really no excuse for the more disgusting tenets of religion when we can easily find contemporary philosophers and writers espousing far more ethically sound ideas. But while we can debate shifting real world definitions of good, in Golarion there is an objective good and an objective evil. If you're performing human sacrifice or murdering fornicators in Pathfinder, the religion is evil. You can't really claim 'mysterious ways' when the gods plainly interact with mortals.
Here is the thing - a lot of us complaining about the rogue actually love the concept. I don't harp on the rogue because I hate the class, but because I would love to see it work. (FWIW, I think the Slayer class might fix these issues, unfortunately evil sounding name aside.)
And 'just don't play one' does not solve the problem. This is a cooperative game and if a class cannot meaningfully contribute it not only causes problems for the player but the party and DM as well. My biggest problems with rogues honestly has been as a DM having all of the fun sapped out of encounters due to the power disparity.
A) This guy has no idea how to play good, and he likes 'good' for the mechanical benefits. After all, in most games or adventure paths "Protection from Evil" will be far more useful.
B) He has had some really douchey DM's (or is one himself) that make no-win situations a part of every campaign. Basically, "Kill this innocent child or else the village will burn to the ground killing everybody. Nope, there are no other choices. One or the other." Yeah, to play in that kind of game you'd better have a handy supply of atonement spells available.
I made one - count 'em, one - DMPC in my lifetime. An eleven-year-old sister to one of the main party members named Tish who was blessed/cursed with magical powers. (A Lore Oracle with the haunted curse.)
Essentially she would sacrifice for cure spells to the exclusion of all else and never fought in combat because . . . well, she was an eleven year old girl. If the PCs were absolutely stuck, the 'spirits' would share a revelation to drop hints about where they should go next.
The only right way to make a DMPC is to make them an aspect of the story and not THE story. Her entire arc was wrapped up into the sister PC.
Since I got my righteous indignation out of the way (and nice to see I wasn't the only person flabbergasted), I suppose it is only polite to respond to the actual subject of the post.
For seduction, it depends. If it is part of an ongoing plot, it is usually role-played out without too many rolls. In fact, when it comes to story advancement, we try to lay low on the mechanics and let things develop naturally. It has not happened often, but I did once have a very amusing exchange between a Hobgoblin warlord and an incredibly oblivious (7 WIS) Sorcerer PC that played a major role in the final battle.
For throwaway down time or random bar maid/hunk I usually have the character roll a single Diplomacy/Bluff check based on the type of seduction they're playing at.
"I couldn't help but notice you from across the room, and I just knew I had to talk to you." - Diplomacy
"My (REDACTED) is the size of a Pit Fiend and can grant twice as many wishes." - Bluff
Ross Byers wrote:
I love that solution. I think that will probably be a houserule in my next game.
So two things I have noticed about this thread:
1. Ross Byers seems particularly interested in it, both speaking about rules he has personally shunned for his games and defending the unpopular dev decisions that he supports.
2. One of the most common complaints I see is about the Sorcerer/Wizard power disparity. The Sorcerer's big advantage appears to be nonexistent, and for that nonexistent advantage s/he sacrifices a full level of spellcasting. Yet I have not seen Ross respond to this, nor can I recall ever seeing any of the devs address it.
Would I be getting my hopes up to think that means we might see a possible fix come Pathfinder v2.0, should there ever be a 2.0? The Pally got some much needed love transitioning from 3.5 to PF - maybe it's the Sorcerer's turn.
This - I just, wow, what?
I mean, REALLY? I know we all want to be respectful of others' beliefs, but is nobody else shocked or disgusted that somebody would make the argument that a good society could approve of killing "fornicators"?
Disproportionate retribution against people who disobey societal norms is textbook lawful evil - I think there is a tacit admission to that in the fact you were so quick to warn posters against trying to put alignments to real world religions. That anybody could hold MURDER as a morally justifiable or even righteous punishment is mind-boggingly unethical. (Worse so if one says any premarital sex is tantamount to adultery.)
Posts like this remind me why religion is definitely best left to the realm of fantasy.
And for the record, societies with more open attitudes about sex and sexuality do fare better. Comparisons between places with progressive attitudes towards sexuality and premarital sex - Sweden, Denmark, etc. - and places with regressive attitudes - the Middle-East, the conservative parts of the US - strongly favor the fornicators.
Skullford - Forgive me, I'm nub wrote:
Again I was talking about real life. Look at Democrats and Republicans they certainly think of the other side as evil, some would go so far as to say controlled by the devil.
Dude, not even close.
I'm sorry, I know this isn't a political forum (although there already seems to be a fight over taxation) and it's a tad off topic, but this false equivalency always bothers me.
You have one party - ONE - that's claiming the other is evil. The Dems would probably classify the other side as fractured, wrongheaded, out-of-touch, what-have-you. But it takes only the kind of ignorance that can be fostered by the religious right to see a disagreement in policy as making the other side "EEEEVVILLLL". I mean you gave it away when you said 'controlled by the devil'; there's only members of one party I ever hear accusing the other of being in the devil's employ, and it's definitely not the party that inherited Jefferson's Enlightenment ideals.
Gnomes. Gnomes! GNOOOOOOMES! Can't get enough of the buggers. Had a gnome wizard that remains my favorite, a gnome alchemist that was also my favorite, and I've got a gnome cavalier lined up that I'm pretty sure is going to be my favorite.
Ironically, despite my real life atheism, I love playing religious characters. Earnestly religious characters, for good or ill. I try very hard not to stray into caricature.
Extreme alignments. Be a force for righteousness and good - this doesn't mean you can't be flawed, but the intentions should always be pure. Or go all out and be deliciously, wickedly evil. Spare me your glass-is-half-empty, crapsack, everything is shades of gray, morally dubious bullsh--er--shins. Let the GM make the world dark and twisted and be the shining beacon of hope. (Or alternatively be the wrench that upturns his perfect little utopia.) But morally gray characters just strike me as kind of flat in the sort of epic fantasy that the Pathfinder system works best for. OF course, part of this might be an extreme aversion to how many 'grizzled antihero who is only in it for the coin' characters I've shared a table with.
Characters with lots of skills. Bards, Wizards, Alchemists, etc. I've tried to roll up a couple of characters with low skills but I always get frustrated sooner than later.
Kazmüd Khazmüd wrote:
My friend did something very similar in his homebrew campaign.
I actually take a "Less is More" approach for my gods. I reduced my pantheon down to 4 elemental gods who each represent both things good and evil. So the fire god is the god of freedom and glory, as well as destruction and vengeance. She is both the wife and often times enemy of the earth god, whose portfolio includes community and tyranny. The water goddess is healing as well as death. The air god is a bit dfferent as its portfolio is not any real good or evil domains, but heavily bent toward chaos and trickery. The closest thing to an outright evil god is the entity--not even actually a god--that represents the antithesis of creation - The Void. (No prizes for guessing its portfolio.)
Honestly, gods of evil intent always struck me as silly. Sure there will always be people who worship the devil, figuratively speaking in this case. Most often to get a rise out of other people. But there would never be enough to form a full fledged cult, let alone major world religion. Besides, having followers of a religion whose members you can almost immediately assume to be evil has a lot of unfortunate implications.
Most terrible things in history were usually visited upon members of the same or similar religions, who read the same books and had wildly different interpretations. I prefer having morally complex gods whose followers can ultimately reveal for themselves what aspect they have individually chosen to focus on.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
I could definitely see a high HP having boss fight being more like Aragorn fighting Lurtz in LotR. Not always, but some of the more Barbarian-esque warriors could definitely be impaled, gored, etc. and keep going by sheer strength of will until they were healed.
Jason S wrote:
That. Also, I tell my players ahead of time what to expect. I'm very forthright about whether they will want to tackle every encounter they're going to come across or not.
I am surprised so many people said "vampires". I think I've played about three or four APs, all of which featured vampires. Maybe I've just had a strange choice of games, but vampires seem almost played out. (Didn't help that my friends' two homebrew settings both had vampire big bads.)
Undead in general are just too overdone. I think every high level game I've been in has gone Undead-Demons-Undead-Devils-Undead-Demons, rinse and repeat.
Also dragons. I think dragons should be rare. That should be the ultimate showdown - at the very least, it should be near the end. If dragons show up more than one time in your campaign (not counting a recurring big bad/NPC) I think you're doing it wrong.
I know this has been said over and over, but I'd like to see more evil outsiders used besides Tanar'ri and devils. I think a Thanatotic Titan would be an interesting switch from the usual Balor/Pit Fiend. Daemons are ultracreepy and have such an interesting backstory with the oinodaemon. Qlippoth have friggin' Rovagug for gods' sake! (I won't even mention Demodands. I know they're related to titans, but they're stupid and I refuse to acknowledge them. Except for that initial acknowledgement to point out my refusal to acknowledge them.)
Also aberrations. They show up all the time as random encounters in dungeons, but I've yet to see a story built around them. Even the Cthulhu mythos stuff seemed to use more undead than anything.
Sadly, I don't think I've ever thought to play an old woman PC. Played female a couple of times - although I usually got so sick of correcting people I typically gave up the ghost about three sessions in.
However, one of the major NPC's in my current homebrew campaign is an elderly dwarven woman; The Anointed Speaker for the Nine Dwarven Holds. (Lv. 5 Aristocrat/Lv. 8 Cleric - Evangelist archetype) I based her loosely on Olenna Tyrell . . . by which I mean I loved the character so much I entirely ripped her off. And then made her a dwarf.
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Whaaaaat? That bit about the Bard has to be a joke, right? Bards way out-DPR Rogues, in particular when you consider that a Bard will be buffing the rest of the party, too.
Yes and no. I'll grant it often goes too far, but it ranges quite a bit from mocking things that are truly terrible ala Mystery Science Theater 3000 to affectionate parody. (WTF D&D?! actually has quite a bit I enjoy as a gamer.)
But really, that's just the most succinct wrap up I could find for all of the just really truly awful, terrible, what-on-earth-were-you-thinking content in the Exalted source book. Say what you will about SA, I would be hard pressed to disagree with this particular assessment.
Detect Magic wrote:
It should say something, however, that you not only had to houserule the rogue to make it viable, but then STILL had to ban a class that continued to make it obsolete.
Seems like a simpler fix is just to reskin the Ninja/Vivisectionist/whatever as a rogue and ban the utterly useless Rogue-as-written altogether.
Detect Magic wrote:
I'd much more likely ban the rogue.
Having been DMing for a party the past few weeks that consists of a Wizard, Sorcerer, Sword-n-Board Fighter, and a Rogue; I can tell you it sucks a lot of the fun out of it for me. If I don't want the rogue to sit there to the side and watch the grown-ups play, I have to do a lot of adjustments. The casters will always have something to do, of course, and even the fighter will always hit things real hard and keep on trucking. But my choices essentially always boil down to either kill the rogue, not challenge the rest of the party, or specifically play counterintuitively. They could be a party of 3 and I can honestly say it would make no difference if she were there.
Even when it comes to roleplay, the Sorcerer can outshine her with his pumped up Bluff and Diplomacy and insane CHA score. At least an alchemist could be brewing healing potions or providing buffs.
Now, I understand if she had optimized we'd be looking at a different story - a bit. But that's the thing: NONE of these characters are optimized. The Sorcerer is all blasts all the time, the Transmuter Wizard's spelllist is mostly a flavor vehicle (He wanted the most 'traditionally' magical of schools, which pretty much boiled down to transmutation or conjuration, and he took the weaker option because he loved the polymorph ideas), and the fighter's not even two-handed or power attacking. Even though nobody is optimized, the Rogue is probably the closest to optimized of the group (High DEX, small size two-weapon fighting - generally agreed upon as the best-of-the-worst rogue build) and she still drags them down.
The problem is that other classes do EVERY SINGLE THING the rogue does, but better. It would be one thing if the Rogue were a Bard-style jack of all trades that's good at everything but not excelling in anything, but the problem is it sucks at everything. I could choose almost any other class in this game and make a build that will surpass the Rogue in all of its designated roles, or far exceed it in one designated role and perform comparably in its others. Leaving behind the theorycrafting, I've never been in a game where encounters did not have to be tailored to make the rogue useful. I've seen a 12th level rogue outshined by a 4th level Fighter cohort. When you're of less use to the party than 1/3rd level NPC, the class is demonstrably broken.
DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Besides, I thought Exalted had become the new sex-in-the-poorest-taste-possible whipping boy with their book of rape ghosts. (Not safe for work or your faith in humanity.)
Really, I understand the urge for a competent sex rule book. But in the end, trying to break something as complex as sexuality down into a series of mechanics is a fool's errand. BoEF was the most interesting when breaking down the different interplay and views of sexuality among races; the mechanics/spells were pretty lame.
pres man wrote:
To point out the other obvious, there is a huge difference between wearing the uniform of an opposing army and sharing his race. Furthermore, there's been no concerted effort (in most settings) by an army of goblins to make a push on a major human settlement. For the bulk of the world, the only things they'll know about goblins come from their limited experience with the small bands in their area.
Always Chaotic Evil races are not only distasteful, they make no damn sense whatsoever. I'll give the evil outsiders a pass, in particular demons for being A) powerful outsiders and B) existing on the infinite planes of the abyss. However, any species - particularly one as physically weak as goblins - would not survive in a analogous earth ecology.
Pardon me, but isn't one of the BIGGEST complaints about fighters that for the supposed all-around killer, they're pretty dependent on using their favored weapon? One good sunder or disarm, and they're pretty much on the same level as a Barbarian minus his rage.
I don't think anybody questions the monk's survivability. That's why it will ALWAYS outpace the rogue. But awesome defenses are nothing compared to having a great offense. You'll survive but be of no use to the party.
Flurry is not the same as TWF - most TWFs are full BAB classes, and the only for whom it is worth going TWF over anything else (Rogues) are the only class that are already worse than the vanilla monk.
Monks can be okay mid levels, but really to make that they HAVE to suck at low levels. And they WILL suck at high levels. Suffering through bad levels to make a mid-level monster is one thing. Suffering through bad low levels to make an OKAY mid-level build is definitely not worth it.
And I think most people see the value of some of the monk archetypes - Zen Archer, Tetori, Qinggong, etc. - but looking at the vanilla monk? So not worth it.
I don't think people are getting the rules here. So limiting it to what I believe the OP was talking about, we have:
(Man, there aren't a lot of these guys, are there?)
So, from my personal experience, and based on absolutely no scientific evidence or mathematical breakdown but only my own anecdotal knowledge, here's how I would rank them:
Paladin - Everybody likes to point out how "Smite Evil" is limited, but I've never seen a Paladin come across as completely useless. (Save one sword and board Pally who went light armor and wielded a buckler/rapier combo.) And let's face it, almost everything you're going to fight in this game once you get past the animals is going to be evil. All of the big bads for sure. If you want to make a decent evil outsider campaign, you'd better ban Paladins or else your Glabrezu is going to suddenly become much less impressive.
Barbarian - Best offense, decent defense, and actually some of the most useful class skills in the game. I once had a Barbarian wreck - I mean wreck - a low magic game I was running. Didn't even have god stats. Just a decent INT and good STR and CON. The only reason I would rank the Paladin above the Barbarian is because healing yourself as a swift action can make you damn near invincible and the Pally has a way to overcome DR the Barbarian doesn't.
Ranger - This will somewhat depend on how kind your GM is. If they're pretty forward about a good FE choice and favored terrain (or if s/he lets you take Boon Companion for your wolf), this can easily compete with or even surpass a Barbarian. Either way, you'll make the fighter cry.
Zen Archer - Almost tied with the Ranger. I know this is technically a monk archetype, but it and the core monk are so far apart they may as well be different classes. I played an Oread Zen Archer that easily kept pace with the archer ranger and even had some tricks he didn't. A solid choice if you want a switch hitter, considering it gets point blank master earlier than any other class. The bonus feats rock, Ki is actually useful, it's a solid archer with all good saves.
Gunslinger - For taste purposes, I'd rank this the lowest tier. But getting past my hatred of guns in high fantasy, it's pretty solid. Hitting touch AC is pretty sweet. And it solves the one major issue with an Archer fighter (making an incredibly SAD class somewhat MAD) Can turn dragons into a joke.
Cavalier - In its role, it can be absolutely devastating. But it's simply too easy to shut down. A shot-on-the-run mounted archer basically gets pounce for free; but I guarantee after one or two combats your GM will suddenly find lots of excuses why you can't bring that mount with you - even if you're small. Decent skill points, and few cool class abilities that bolster your allies. Kind of a stronger Paladin until Level 5, then a much weaker Paladin Level 5 and after.
Fighter - What's to say? Always consistent, but rarely impressive. It would be hard to justify taking it over a Ranger or Barbarian. I always bump them up to 4+int skill points in my games to make it at least close to fair. Really, it's great for a dip to fill out feat trees and not much else.
Monk - No surprises that this would be so low. Last game we played our GM had to give the monk double WBL to make her a threat. (She needed Holy Cold Iron Brass Knuckles to do what the Paladin was doing for free and even with that still almost never hit, anyway.) The alignment restrictions and weak BAB make it hardly even worth a dip, except for perhaps a couple of archetypes. What saves it from being at the bottom is its awesome defenses, which brings us to...
Rogue - Bad, bad, bad. All of the offensive problems of a monk, with none of the defensive capabilities. You may as wade into battle with a character named "Sir Diesalot" who wears a giant target on his back. There's NO GOOD REASON to ever play a rogue. Even getting beyond that, most other classes mimic its abilities better than it does - and that's before we even take spells into account.
Vivisectionists are better all-around and still get to use SA and poison.
Bards in practice get 2 more skill points per level due to versatile performance. (Plus bardic knowledge!)
Rangers are better at stealth.
Inquisitors get more out of teamwork feats and flanking.
WHY WHY WHY does this class still exist?!