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That's a good call. Could work for both Alchemist or Investigator.
Mysterious Stranger wrote:
Another option would be to use Clarke’s third law. It states that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. Just reskin the spells to a more scientific explanation. Wizards could create small devices that create the effect instead of casting spell. For the most part the device or at least most of the components are expended when the device is activated. Divine magic will be tougher, but could be done by calling on the energy from other dimensions. The alignment restrictions could be that without the proper mindset (Alignment) you are not able to understand the dimension.
I can appreciate reskinning whatever you want to be whatever you want, but I really wanted to present a world with a very different sort of magic. Making yourself more monstrous or donning a headband that increases mental acuity is feasible, but summoning creatures from planar rifts or wagging your finger to sling fireballs should be off-limits.
Without boring everyone with plot details to a game they're not playing in, too much magic ability would kind of subvert the whole premise.
Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:
I didn't intend on banning magic items, but I was looking at an ECL5 with standard WBL. I figured that wouldn't be getting into the truly ridiculous equipment. After reading some of these posts, I might ditch the Alchemist and Investigator.
Rather than ruling what classes will or will not be allowed based on what they have access to, why not simply ban spells, supernatural abilities, and spell-like abilities? If a class grants one of those abilities, the player can't use it. Then leave it up to the player if it's a worthwhile option.
Seems like that might require too much legwork on their part.
But I am reconsidering the alchemist allowance. It would be a fairly large power disparity.
I guess I could say Barbarian with none of the supernatural rage powers, and vet anything they want to use for final approval.
Mr. Hyde barbarian could be interesting.
They changed that in the 5th season in "The Time of the Angels" and "The Flesh and the Stone". Truthfully, it was when I realized I really wasn't going to enjoy Moffat's run - the angels were creepy when we didn't see them move.
When we did, they were just crappy CGI.
I'm honestly shocked how much praise this episode of Who received. It's the exact same Dalek episode from Season 1! It uses even almost the exact same "WHAM!" line:
I know people wanted a 'darker' Doctor, but really not a fan of how easily this - and the Smith incarnation - are always straddling the line of 'murderous psychopath'. I don't know, maybe that is closer to the incarnation from the 70s, but we have enough of those types on television now. Do we really need another show with an insufferable genius who really doesn't care for people and only shows interest in them as 'mysteries' to be solved?
First of all, an Antipaladin of Callistria sounds TERRIFYING and quite possibly EXTREMELY ATTRACTIVE.
I think a Calistrian Antipaladin is actually the least terrifying and most . . . well, honorable. Here's her code:
Seems like if you just mind your own business, Calistrian antipaladins aren't the worst sort. I could even see them working in a party. What boggled my mind, though, was that Calistria got an antipaladin write up but Gorum didn't. GORUM! I mean, come on! (Also why I am not a huge fan of "one step away" - it just doesn't make sense a lot of the time.)
Also, I second the vote for Arshae. Arshae is way more up this guy's ally.
I'm going to be running a one-shot very soon, and thought to mix it up a little I'd do a Steampunk-esque setting with the only "magic" in the world being alchemy. (Magic items would be a mix of slchemical reaction and sci-fi technology.)
That being the case, I need to restrict to specifically mundane classes - so that means, even though Barbarian isn't technically a spellcaster, it's still out on grounds of having mystical powers.
I think I have a pretty thorough list here, but wanted some help filling in the gaps. Here's what I've got:
Are there any archetypes or alternates I've missed that replace the core build's spellcasting/other mystic abilities with more mundane things?
OK, I've tried avoiding this thread for a while, but this is so endemic of everything wrong with this debate and society in general I can't let it go.
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
It's not a No True Scotsman. If his family had immigrated from a Latin American country and had a background there, then I would have no problem saying he's Latino. At some point there's a difference between NTS and just ignoring facts.
The Dutch colonized Africa, too. Most South Africans speak a version of the dialect they inherited. Do I get to say I'm black now? If you answer "no" to that, well, then I suppose you're submitting to No True Scotsman. I could easily be mistaken for a really, really, really, really light skinned black guy, so obviously I've faced discrimination.
Remember, if you point out the absurdity of that, you're engaging in a logical fallacy!
If I insisted that Larry Correia wasn't Latino because he doesn't act stereotypically Latino enough, or doesn't trace his lineage far back enough, you would have a case on your hands. But that is not the case at all.
Nobody was insisting he, personally, is rich. There was some conversation about gaming typically being a middle upper-class hobby, which is predominately white. But being a poor white person is not nearly the same as being a poor PoC. Just like being a poor man is not the same as being a poor woman. Or being a poor straight person is not the same as being a poor gay person. Wealth is its own distinction with its own set of inherent privileges, but poverty is not the great equalizer everybody likes to treat it as.
If that's what we were saying, most of us would be calling ourselves racist. I didn't agree with a lot of what A.A. George wrote. But there is a HUGE difference between disagreeing with an article, and being utterly dismissive and calling the author a racist.
Which is what happened. The first people to start throwing around the "R" word were people who wanted to dig at "SJW" types so they blatantly called A.A. George a racist. And then we were racist for pointing out that Larry Correia is actually Western European, so even if you say "OK, that's Latino", it's still really disingenuous to describe himself as a person of color.
If you want to break this down into a way oversimplified version of events, it's a lot more like:
"I definitely agree with Larry. That tor.com was full of it."
People on this side of the divide have been very careful about calling those on the board on the other side racist. mechaPoet even apologized for straddling too close to that line. But pointing out problematic attitudes or acknowledging that white privilege exists is not the same as saying white people are racist. The same way most men aren't chauvinists or most heterosexuals (well, sadly, that still depends on geography a bit) are not homophobic - it's just that those who are privileged by a system tend not to notice it. We live within a very narrow experience and don't bother to look at it through the lens of somebody who hasn't had that experience.
Saying, "Your attitude is contributing to a problem," is not the same as, "You're a racist." But nobody likes to hear they're part of the problem, so it's far easier to dismiss anybody who points it out as a bunch of wild-eyed slacktivists who are just looking to slap labels on people.
That was, er, kind of my point.
I was going to respond to Alex Martin, but thejeff pretty much summed it up for me. I really, really don't care how light skinned he is. My point is that he's entirely of Western European descent - he's Caucasian. He wouldn't have even bothered saying he was Latino if he hadn't seen that the DOL technically counts Portugese. (A fact he conveniently leaves out when claiming to be a PoC.)
You can claim to be anything you want to be, but it's stupid to take every one of those claims seriously. I had a German (as in Germanic descent) Math teacher in 10th grade that liked to say he was black - just really, really deep down - because humanity ALL hails from Africa. Is it racist to point out that no, really, he actually isn't black?
Sorry, but I don't see right-wing a-holes at the border with their guns turned on refugee children because they have a problem with the Portugese. Take issue with me not being 'open-minded' enough or treating it like a big gotcha racist moment if you want, but Correia really isn't Latino. Using it to gain some sort of credibility is disingenuous, and that's being generous.
And, as illustrated here, this is the conversation going nowhere. I don't know why I decided to throw in, even though it went exactly as expected. On this issue, people just don't seem to budge. I don't think I've seen a side give on this issue.
The sad thing is I still remember when I used to come to these boards to talk about . . . some game. Packfreer, I think? It's been so long.
That, itself, is making assumptions. I didn't take it that way, neither did thejeff or mechapoet, and even the people who are actually participating in this thread area small sample of all people on the Paizo messageboards, let alone the general population.
We are all responsible. Businesses reflect their consumer base - not perfectly, but predictably. No, in the grand scheme of things they do not have the power to change that dynamic everywhere. But something cold be done to change it here.
OK, this is a bit of a tangent, but that attitude irks me. Going beyond GenCon, just overall, this irks the hell out of me. For one thing, it assumes white America cares about what is happening to minorities. (One look at the overwhelming disparity in response to the shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson illuminates nicely that, on the whole, they really don't.) Your advice actually is great in the context of an actual dialogue between two parties in a disagreement. But that's not the context we're speaking of.
But the really bothersome part is that it's ultimately saying that the onus is on those people who have historically been oppressed. (Again, not just black people but women, LGBTQ people, immigrants, Muslims, Native Americans, and so on.) After years and years and years, how could people who have had no wrong done to them and - even if they'd not personally contributed, silently benefited from the system that perpetuated it - have the unmitigated gall to say, "Now I'll listen, but only if you watch your tone"?!
These are difficult things to hear, and I understand the resistance. But it's our responsibility to get over that. Just like the "privilege" you used - Growing up poor, my first response to white privilege was, "That's a load of crap! I haven't had ANYTHING easy!" Of course, when I actually read what was actually meant by white privilege and how it applied, it's indisputably true. Sorry if the language isn't dressed up enough not to offend, but we're not talking about a term that says all white people think this way or act that way. Just a term that means being born white in America comes with certain unfair advantages, which it does.
EDIT: Whoops, kind of got ninja'd on that one. Took WAYYY to much time getting the quote brackets right.
I love when people accusing me of racism are being racist themselves. A fine touch of irony don't cha think?
There would be, if anybody actually called you racist.
To be absolutely sure of this, I went back through this whole post. The only person to ever outright be called racist was people saying the tor.com writer was racist. To be fair, thejeff did a couple of pages ago point out some of your arguments echoed right-wingers in the US, but nobody called you racist. Again, going back through, the only time I actually SAW the charge of racist leveled against someone, it was the tor.com writer.
I'm not talking about whether people like it or not. I'm saying that the only time the issue of whether something in either article was racist was directed toward the tor.com writer.
I don't really agree with either article - like I said. But Correia's article is dismissive and hostile, and he's made quite a few posts that definitely trot the line of casual racism/sexism/homophobia. But the only time racism actually came up (until now) was when somebody accused the tor.com writer of saying something he found racist toward white people.
Maybe next time actually READ the post you're responding to.
I'm going to suggest that if he didn't discover he was Latino until probably 2009, it's probably not a real major part of his life experience. The cynical part of me suggests he might just be using it as a dig at liberals who might challenge him.
Ding, ding, ding.
Of course, he didn't discover he was Latino, anyway. I know that's your point, but I REALLY want this clarified, because this really cuts to the core of why this guy, and his article, are really terrible. He's as white as he ever was - but now he gets to use an obvious error by the DOL to glibly steal that term with no regard for how people who actually ARE Latino are treated.
And from what I've been reading, that seems about the level this guy is on. Reading over a few more of his articles it seems like he takes every suggestion that sci-fi writers and fans consider other races, genders, or sexualities as evil thought police insisting we're not allowed to write about straight, white males any more.
Convenient how he used that opportunity to mock it, but then uses it in this article, without so much as an allusion to the irregularity, to lend credence to his point. It just makes an already rubbish article that much worse.
And my God, how people are eager to defend him and attack the tor.com writer. The fact alone that so much more scrutiny has been heaped upon the minority person - and that they have so far been the only one to face any allegations of actual racism in this thread - is so very, very telling. Sad, but very telling.
Adam B. 135 wrote:
Actually, I based it off to how he responded to earlier posts specifically talking about minorities. The grammatical syntax he used indicated being separate from the subject being spoken of in previous replies. It's based on context clues, not stereotyping based on his political outlook.
But I love how many people were eager to agree with your assumption.
Also, I don't get pride in anything but your own accomplishments. Why should anyone be proud of something they had no influence over?
The reason you don't "get it" is because you are not a member of a group that has historically been discriminated against or told that part of you makes you inferior to the dominant group.
That pride is not the word as you would use it. Pride is refusing to accept a cultural attitude that your race is something to be ashamed of, or that you should change aspects of yourself to appease those in power.
Adam B. 135 wrote:
I don't find it offensive at all.
Too often (usually) well-meaning white people say, "I don't see race" as confirmation that they're not at all racist. But it is a rather ignorant thing to say for precisely the reasons he's pointing out. What he's saying is that it is used as a way to be able to ignore other cultures and experiences because, to you, there is no difference.
There's a reason Stephen Colbert mocks the "I don't see race" line in his conservative-pundit guise. It is a dismissive thing to say. (And too often used to justify ignoring very real racial disparities in hiring, education, and our criminal justice system.) To respect a person is to respect the whole person - that includes understanding how their experience differs from yours due to not being a member of the dominant culture. The statistics do not lie - being black in America is very different from being white. (Also being gay, Latino/a, a woman, or non-Christian, but one thing at a time.)
He, uh, never claimed it was factual. And, much as I'm actually a strong advocate of working to destroy subconscious and cultural prejudices (which are a serious problem), a lot of people who go on about them come come across precisely like that, especially when they talk about it on the internet. So...it's a caricature, but not necessarily a completely inaccurate one.
The factual claim was in response to Hama's post. Hama did call it a factual, well reasoned argument - which I did not find the response to be at all.
Also, I don't accept the 'caricature as not entirely inaccurate' argument. A personal anecdote: My greatest shame is that in my late teens and early twenties I was one of those MRA guys. I technically believed in equality for women, but I saw every argument as the work of feminazis trying to undermine men at every turn. Women should have rights, but if we weren't careful, these castrating man-haters would make all penetrative sex classified as 'Rape'.
The turnaround came when somebody finally asked me if I had ever, personally, encountered a feminist who was actually like that. When I had to really think of it --- no, no I hadn't. Not on the internet. Not in real life.
No, the only feminists like that I ever "encountered" were straw feminists and precisely that type of made-up caricature everybody just knew existed. Even the actual woman that were often singled out as being the perfect example of how those women REALLY exist- Hillary Clinton, Gloria Steinem, Andrea Dworkin - came across very different when you read them in context and not as clips cherry picked to sound terrible. Those marauding misandrists I'd been told about existed only in the heads of my fellow men's activists.
Worst of all, because that was how we saw the opposition, the things we said truly were vile. You can justify so much when you just know the other side is ten times worse. And once I was out, I saw it in so many other groups that had picked sides in the so-called culture "war" - because all is fair in love and war, after all.
So I ask you - How often have you actually encountered these kind of "SJWs", and how often has that encounter been second hand through people complaining about them? I'm betting if you really stop to think about it, most of that awareness we have of those sort of people is through news stories that thrive on drumming up controversy (Don't get me started on the infamous "Some are saying..." 'news' pieces) and people like Larry Correia that want to make a point.
I do not accept that any caricature is accurate, because I have had it demonstrated to me firsthand how blinding and dangerous that sort of thinking is. If there is a group or individual this guy thinks is wrong, he needs to argue with that group/individual. His issue is with the tor.com writer's assessment of GenCon and gaming - so that is the argument that should be had.
Also, this thread's title is misleading . . . it's true he DID say that, but it was a minor point in an article with a very different main thesis.
So obviously your take is clearly unbiased and not all weighted to side with the person whose opinions coincide with your preconceived notions.
I especially love his comparison of being a Republican to the suffering of ethnic minorities. That's totally accurate and factually sound, and not at all ridiculous hyperbole that ignores very real societal issues in favor of being judged upon a political philosophy with well defined values that many people disagree with and you can choose not to make the focal point of a conversation.
But my absolute favorite part of his 'factual' account is when he had a made-up conversation with a fictional Social Justice Warrior caricature whose words he got to cherry pick.... gee, who left all of this straw laying around?
If someone had an interest in turning a critical eye to these pieces, they would see that both have their issues. But nope, it confirms a convenient outlook that doesn't require you to have to consider people different from you, so obviously it's a complete blowout!
Sorry those "Social Justice Warriors" bother you. How dare those jerks ruin your good time by trying to make things better for minorities or women? Dastardly!
The sad thing is the Hunter would actually be a great class . . . if the Druid didn't exist. And technically the fact that it's mechanically weaker is a good thing for balance's sake. It's not like it's terrible - I'd still rank it a solid Tier 3 alongside Paladins and Bards.
But the problem is the Druid DOES exist, so I struggle to find a reason you'd choose a Hunter instead.
I'm going to add to the chorus to say you might encourage him to become a paladin of Shelyn. She seems way more in line for what he wants to play.
Of course, the problem also is that this is RotRL, and it treats 'lust' as being something "sinful", so . . .
Fair warning, this is going to get rather maudlin.
Lately, it seems like there has been an uptick in threads blasting Paizo for the editorial decisions they've made. I won't be too specific here, but let's just say there have been complaints levied about the insulting lack of eye candy, or Paizo menacingly pushing the so-called 'gay agenda'. And to the credit of the posters here - and the human race - most of the community has rushed to Paizo's defense.
But I'm tired of waiting an reacting to negativity. Too often those of us who are impressed by the decisions a company makes are content to say 'Oh, that's nice' to ourselves and move on, while the bitter and angry minority tries to drown out the rest to sound bigger than they are.
So, apropos of no (specific) complaint:
Thank you, Paizo, for making a dedicated effort to include LGBTQ individuals - who have made up a large part of the human experience, but who have been relegated to obscurity bordering on invisibility.
Thank you for writing well-rounded female characters that are not relegated to damsels in distress and trophies to be won. For not treating female sexuality as something sinful or shameful, or as something that exists for men and male players.
Thank you for presenting humanity as a wide range of ethnicity and body types, and creating a human 'culture' that is as varied as our experiences in the real world. We are not uniform as a species - our art should reflect that.
Thank you for being accessible to your consumers. Far more often than not it feels as though companies are an unknown entity, rather than actual organization made of up of living people. Many companies, especially the larger ones, are content to allow third party intermediaries handle any direct public interaction and remain hidden behind official press releases.
Does Paizo achieve these things 100% of the time? No. Nobody does. But they are perhaps the most consistently thoughtful of any major tabletop or fantasy publisher on the market today. That they strive to reach a goal that is ultimately impossible, while managing to get a little closer at every opportunity, is something most of us appreciate - even if we do not say it often enough.
I started playing Pathfinder because I love role-playing and I love fantasy. It could have been any fantasy TTRPG, but with nearly every decision that Paizo makes in its materials and as a company in general, I feel more confident about that decision. There are very few companies I will gladly give my hard earned money to without a bit of ethical trepidation, and Paizo is chief among them. Thank you for being that, especially in an industry that desperately NEEDS a company like that.
After seeing so many people choose it, I have to ask: Am I the only person who feels like the "Original" Core 4 is probably the worst lineup you could choose?
Fighter - Super, super weak.
I'm surprised so many people want to keep them.
Just to make my actual list:
Gnomes, Gnomes, Gnomes, Gnomes, Gnomes, Gnomes, and Gnomes.
What, I can't do that? Fine I'll play by the rules.
Dwarves - Dwarves are sort of on here as the least-bad of "Races I Don't Care For". (The worst I can say? Every dwarf I've ever encountered was played exactly the same. Left a bad taste in my mouth.) Most of the extra races are elemental or planar - which, as many others have said, should really be an applied template. The remaining ones are 90% anthro and I HATE anthro.
Elves - I've always enjoyed elves, and they offer so much mechanically that it's not hard to justify keeping them.
Gnomes - I love Gnomes. They're different from any other race and get some boons that are flavorful without being gamebreaking. 3.5 Gnomes? Meh. Pathfinder Gnomes? Friggin' awesome.
Goblins - Replaces halflings as the other small race. I always feel like Halflings and Gnomes are too similar, and I just don't care for halflings - they have the same problem as the Summoner for me: They never seem to fit ANYWHERE in the provided world. Apparently they're there to remind us this is based on Tolkien. Goblins are fun, over the top, and make way better halflings than halflings.
Hobgoblins - Replaces half-orcs. I despise "half"-anything races. The only reason I've ever seen anybody take one is for the weapon proficiencies or broken alternative FCBs. Also half-orcs encourage way too much "Rape as Backstory", another thing that sticks in my craw. I prefer hobgoblins as the outsider, semi-monstrous go-to race.
Humans - To provide a baseline. We are human, having humans gives us a reference point to understand how the other races relate to us. They need a nerf, but that's a different topic. (I felt like a Bonus feat and extra skill point were good enough boons - did they really need the floating +2???)
Kobolds - Replaces half-elves. With a stat boost, preferably. Really play up the difference between kobolds and goblins here - possibly giving them a CHA or INT boon to reflect their draconic heritage and intricate knowledge of engineering. Also rounds out the list a little more to have 3 small races vs 3 medium races vs 1 in between (Dwarves are sorta smallish-medium).
I very nearly did - in fact, I think the only full caster to make it on my list was the Sorcerer. But ultimately that was because casters are just too big a part of the game to me, and Sorcerers are slightly more balanced than a Wizard imho. But truthfully, I might consider replacing Sorcerer with Hunter for balance - without the broken Druids or Summoners around to steal their thunder, the Hunter is a pretty solid class.
Hippos. Hippos are one of the most misunderstood animals out there - they're seen as fat, goofy beasts, but in reality, hippos are dangerous predators that even crocodiles avoid. There's something kind of cool about that.
2) What is your favorite color and why (give two or three sentences only) ?
Blue. I don't know why - makes my eyes pop, I guess?
3) Imagine yourself sitting alone in a completely white room with no windows, describe this room in two or three sentences.
It's square, with a desk in the middle. I imagine any sound echoes loudly.
4) Imagine a waterfall, describe it in two or three sentences.
It's tropical, surrounded by lush plants and fauna. It empties in a clear blue basin, and the air smells fresh around it.
Ditto. This may have just rescued Drow from the Scrappy Heap for me.
Personally, I HATE Drow, no matter what the setting or campaign. The whole "good light elves are turned into dark skinned evil variants for having stained souls" just makes me feel icky. It's just too close to the 'Curse of Ham' justification slavers used to use for their treatment of blacks.
I know that wasn't the intention when the race was made, I know that wasn't the intention Paizo had when they made their own lore. But it still rubs me the wrong way.
There was a pretty in-depth discussion of it here.
From what I could tell the classes usually labeled tier 3 were like Paladin, Bard, Alchemist, Inquisitor, Warpriest, Magus, Hunter, Barbarian. Pretty much anything with 6 levels of spellcasting made it here (aside from the Summoner which was Tier 2 or possibly Tier 1 depending on who you asked.)
Alternatively, "suicide" isn't really anything covered in the book. Mental states aren't listed as any kind of penalty or anything, so who's to say that casting major image on someone night after night and making good Diplomacy or Bluff or Intimidate checks isn't enough to eventually convince them?
That's where I was going to go with it. Have the serial killer torment their victims with fairly low level illusion spells - maybe throw in some enchantment like "Crushing Despair", and then at the end of it, they come in like an Angel of Light and offer their victim a 'solution.'
Actually, that could be a great set up to introduce them as a big bad, too. They can start taunting the PCs. Casting "Nightmare". Stuff like that. Oooh, this could be so much fun.
Sara Marie wrote:
I understand the necessity of doing so, but man it sucks to see your post disappear after you spent twenty minutes writing it. Especially when it's a criticism of the thing that got the post chain erased!
C'est la vis.
Thing is, it's going to be hard to get through this without mention of religion. The anti-RPG hysteria was in large part caused by religious sentiment. There were people, so-called "doctors", who tried to crouch it in medical terms (much like a lot of wannabes do with video games now) but the vast majority of hatred came from the same Satanic Panic corners that unfortunately gripped a lot of the 80's.
Landon Winkler wrote:
I'm not surprised. Bards are a love or hate it class, with far more lovers than haters. (Not in my group, though. Ugh . . . just try suggesting a Bard is a better option than a Rogue and watch the sparks fly.) So you may see plenty of bard hate, but they're outnumbered 2:1.
Now I am somewhat surprised by how high Fighter got on the list, considering even most people I know that like the Fighter prefer Barbarians and Rangers.
As a semi-aside, this list has inspired me to try out a game with limited classes. Keeping it in the Tier 3 camp make a balanced party without having one player crush it or another run around like a useless git due to poor planning.
After rereading this I'm reconsidering some of my options.
I'd still keep Alchemist, Barbarian, Bard, Magus, Paladin, and Sorcerer.
But after taking another look at Brawler, I think I'd rather have it than Monk - even if it were an archetyped Monk. Warpriest I'm still ambivalent about, but I think the Inquisitor would ultimately be a better option. Clerics are simply too broken.
I was tempted to replace the Paladin/Cavalier with the Slayer as the skillful foil to the Barbarian - especially since I love the new class - but ultimately with medium armor proficiency, only 2 more skills per level and the fact that their class skills overlap, the Barbarian and the Slayer can both be used to build very similar adventurers.
So for whoever was keeping score, subtract 1 Warpriest and 1 Monk, and add 1 Brawler and 1 Inquisitor. So my new list:
Unique/Difficult-to-Impossible to Recreate:
Alchemist (Potion brewing bombardier. Try building that with a wizard before the alchemist inspired archetypes came about.)
Protestantism: I don't get humor.
I notice you didn't take issue with the description of any other religious tradition. Interesting. If you're so interested in whether somebody is getting the wrong idea, why not correct ALL of it?
Because religious folk don't give a crap about people who don't belong to their club.
Doesn't that sort of defeat the purpose of the whole exercise?
Alchemist is just too weak.
I'm very curious about this, particularly since your preferred list includes both the rogue and fighter. Why would you call the alchemist weak? I've heard a lot of complaints about flavor, but I don't think I've ever heard an alchemist called weak, so I'm wondering what strikes you as weak about it?
Valeros the Fighter - forehead, face, ears, neck, elbows, and upper forearms, fingers
I know this is neither here nor there, but speaking as a straight male, Valeros looks so much cooler mythic than in the original artwork. CRB Valeros is very meh - compare him to Seelah: both are covered, but Seelah's pose and expression tell a story. The look in her eyes says this is a woman who's resolute and determined. Valeros' expression says this is a man who just passed gas and is leaving the table before anyone thinks to blame him.
Mythic Valeros, on the other hand, looks like someone prepared to fight. He's daring you to attack.
Showing skin is not always sexual - I think that's important to remember. Of course, that might just be my privilege as a man that I can say so without the associated baggage of what message it may be portraying about my gender.
I was going to say something in response to Sitri's post, but Abraham spalding beat me to it and said it way better than I could've, so . . . *slow clap*
Technically, all qualitative value is in the 'eye of the beholder', but few people are going to argue that Twilight is a better work than Shakespeare. (Those who do are either idiots or being deliberately contrary.)
However, there are certain factors that can be considered when trying to determine value as closely to objectively as is possible when dealing with what is necessarily subjective. Since nearly all original work is derivative of work that came before it, how derivative is it? In the narrative sense, what options does this particular choice sensibly provide? Of course you can make anything into anything, but it would be jarring to the point of disruptive, for instance, if aliens with sci-fi technology arrived in the next book of A Song of Ice and Fire.
As to #2, you cannot entirely separate race from personality. Not in this sort of fantasy role-playing game. The personality is part of the race. Tieflings not only commit the sin of being redundant, but they're redundant even within the provided material - half-orcs already fulfill the hated halfbreed with a dark and troublesome origin niche. There was hardly a need for another.
Obviously, Tieflings vs Gnomes is not as serious a discrepancy as Twilight vs Shakespeare. But to me it reflects the same marketing urge that feels the need to repackage everything with the more brightly colored elements removed and replaced by drab grays to make it 'adult'. But Gnomes get all of the hate because somehow dark and grimy is synonymous with better in this new paradigm, even if what replaces it is yawningly trite.
I agree 100% about Half-Orcs, but I really think +2 INT makes way more sense for halflings. They're supposedly quick witted underfoot types, whereas Gnomes are larger-than-life First World immigrants. That screams CHA to me and gives Gnomes a fair monopoly on spontaneous caster builds.
But I'm assuming we have to keep the races as is, so if I had choose, I'd remove both "HALF" races and replace them with Goblin and Hobgoblin. There would be a more even balance of Small vs Medium races in the games, and no more uncomfortable discussions about how exactly half-orcs come about.
It always hits my ear wrong how many people say they would remove gnomes. That was my LEAST favorite thing about 4th Edition (and that's saying something). They removed one of the best, most interesting races in the game and replaced it with one of the least interesting (Ooooh, I'm another race for dark and brooding loners. Way fun for a cooperative game, guys. /sarcasm) and somehow made Tieflings even more dull by giving them a vague, yet incredibly trite, justification for their commonness.
For 8 -
Alchemist - It's too unique of a niche to adequately do with another class. You cannot make anything else do an approximation of what the alchemist does, so it stays out of necessity. Don't get me wrong, I DO like them and I don't want this to sound like I'm damning with faint praise. But I knocked a lot of stuff off the list because the other classes cover what they do and provide some additional goodies. The alchemist is just too much its own beast. (The same could be said of Summoners, but @#$% Summoners.)
Barbarian - Drops the alignment restriction and becomes the core 'fighter' class. As this is going to be the only non spellcasting class on this list, it is better balanced with the higher hit die and useful rage powers.
Bard - Fills the 'thief' role of the "Big 4", but does it so much better than the iconic rogue. Also fills buffer/debuffer role. And - full disclosure - I'm just in love with bards. I would never want a TTRPG without them.
Magus - Proper 'Gish' class. If you want a more fighty, less skilled 3/4 Arcane caster. Basically fulfills the nova/blaster type.
Monk - Either the Sensei, Tetori, or Zen Archer archetype. I'm leaning toward the Tetori since there's already a class that favors buffs and a couple others that can be suitable archers. By having a Tetori you make a suitable maneuver focused class. (Does still eventually become obsolete, but not for quite a while.)
Paladin - The foil to the Barbarian. Trades out the maneuverability and consistent damage output for situationally huge bonuses in addition to healing and restorative capability. Also provides the best route to mounted combat.
(Alternatively, the Cavalier. Not as great as the Paladin, in my opinion, but a lot of that same fluff with fewer table arguments.)
Sorcerer - Probably the most balanced of the full caster classes. Less bookkeeping and game breaking potential than the wizard. Essentially powerful without being OP and the limited spell list means you have to be a bit choosier with the spells chosen.
Warpriest - I was divided between the Cleric or the Inquisitor, so I'm going to say Warpriest. The mechanics are just better and more interesting than a Cleric, and being a 3/4 BAB class with 6th level spells is more intuitive and makes a lot more sense for Pathfinder. Fulfills pretty much the same role as the Cleric.
Degoon Squad wrote:
1. The tiers are meant to compare apples to apples. A moderately skilled (in the gaming sense) player who plays a Wizard will be far more powerful than one who plays a rogue. An extremely skilled player with a fighter can make it sufficient - an extremely skilled player with a wizard can break your campaign.
2. That's profoundly ridiculous. It's simply not built into the game that anyone could challenge that sort of power disparity - no matter the IQs of the respective players, provided the wizard is at least capable of reading and understanding what his different spells do.
Oh, there's more (spoilered for the thread's sake):
The worst part is that the attitude infected most GM's I know. Since he was one of the first to GM, and the other major GM agreed with the rogue assessment, and most GM's I know learned from them, it had just become an accepted fact.
The one time this particular GM and I really got into an argument (as a player, as when I GM, I'm typically very Go-With-the-Flow) was over the TWF - by 10th level our Halfling rogue in our party had already spent most of combat useless due to the sheer number of constructs and elementals we were fighting. He asked for some help between sessions to maximize how he could actually contribute when we got to humanoid enemies so I mentioned TWF with a high crit range weapon is usually considered a solid rogue build. So yeah, it was pretty cliche, but he had a dual something-or-other - maybe wakizashis? - rogue. But then when it was supposed to actually work, the GM decreed even when you're flanking, ONLY the first attack gets the sneak attack.
It's like seriously, if he missed the first 5d6 opportunity from flanking then he was doing 1d4+2 damage. AT LEVEL 10. And the GM was still insisting rogues are overpowered. It wasn't even my character, but at that point it was like . . . well, kinda like this.
Not me personally, but one GM had a whole mess of houserules crippling rogues (SA only worked on the first attack of a flank, even if you were TWF for instance) because one of his first games a player one-shotted his boss with a rogue.
Of course, that had a LOT more to do with the stupidly overpowered weapon he allowed the player to have. (I don't remember exactly what it was, but it was the equivalent of a +5 weapon for a single-digit leveled character. Somehow I don't think the 2d6 additional sneak attack was the problem.)