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you're asking them to lock down every gray area. I don't think we've made a wall that big since the great wall of china.
It wouldn't be that hard. Just make a stickied thread 'PFS Gray Area Rulings'. People post their questions and one of the campaign leadership or someone vetted as knowledgable makes rulings. If he/she has a change of heart later or an official errata comes down later, they update the sticky as necessary.
Yes, you're going to end up with unhappy people and people that have to rebuild now illegal characters but that's always been the case and neither group are cause for maintaining the status quo.
The best is when you're stuck at a table with these characters after spending hundreds of dollars to attend a convention.
Having to deal with the NPC having a negative attitude after being intimidated is actually part of the rules.
Sure but doesn't it make just as much sense that someone would have a negative attitude after being charmed by the wizard or fascinate/suggested by the bard? Why are DMs so quick to punish the fighter's intimidate but the casters get a free pass?
That's nice, but how do you propose to fix this imbalance ? By allowing mundane maneuvers to be so supernatural that they works without caring about anything even a bit realistic ? But in that case, if a character can entangle without reason "just because", isn't it "magical" ?
That's easy. DMs can just stop applying fiat where it's not appropriate and creating unnecessary rules/restrictions. The rogue using dirty trick to entangle the stone golem isn't creating some kind of imbalance. He still needs to spend an action and roll high enough. Why are his mechanics sometimes subject to a player creativity check? If the DM really has a hard time with the 'realism' he can just as easily chip in.
Rogue: I dirty trick to entangle the golem by pulling down its pants! *rolls dice*
DM: Sorry, golems don't have pants so your dirty trick fails.
Rogue: I dirty trick to entangle the golem by pulling down its pants! *rolls dice*
DM: Well golems don't have pants but that roll hits its CMD so you manage to trip it up on a chunk of its shoulder the barbarian knocked off with his last power attack. It's entangled.
Just because martial /stuff/ is non-magical doesn't mean they should be saddled with additional mechanical restrictions. The game's rules handle that well enough already.
Crushing despair "just" work, *if* the target fails a Will save and isn't somehow immune to mind-effects. Same difference, really.
Not at all. The fighter's intimidate check requires the target not be immune to mind-effects and he must succeed on a roll (the inverse of the target failing a save).
In response the DM might:
* Rule the target cannot be intimidated because he's bigger than the fighter, higher level, have more goons, have nicer hair, or anything else.
* Rule that the fighter is a bully and hit him with an alignment infraction.
* Rule that the target is upset and vengeful and come down with the full force of the law.
This is all stuff that casters rarely have to deal with me.
They both required the target to be not be immune to mind affecting and make a check or fail a save but the martial character's efforts come with a lots of extra baggage.
I rest my case.
Dirty trick doesn't have any text requiring setup or additizonal actions. It already has a detailed list of its limitations and counters. Why does glitterdust automatically work? What if the target happens to be blinking when the spell goes off? What if it's acclimated to brightly colored lights in its eyes?
Some DMs love it to create extra rules for martials. Casters rarely suffer the same treatment. From my experience that's a big part of the martials vs casters dilemma.
I'm convinced that a lot of the casters vs martials problems is on the DM's end. For some reason there's an expectation out there that things should just be harder for martials.
If the fighter wants to intimidate someone you've got a 50/50 shot of getting push back or straight up fiated. If the wizard using crushing despair it just works, no questions asked.
If the rogue tries a dirty trick to blind or entangle it has to make sense to the DM. If the bard casts glitterdust it just works.
I've seen quite a few DM's nail martial character with fiat denials or penalties because 'it doesn't make sense' but casters never face that kind of scrutiny.
I am not singling him out. Things happen to all players from time to time. If they fight some spiders, one can get poisoned and lose some con temporarily. A 3rd level wizard might use charm and blindness spells to make things easier for his minions to fight the PCs. Various undead like wights and shadows do energy drains and strength damage. These are all threats that a 4th level party should reasonably be able to take on (those are all CR 3).
Very few DMs are so petty as to actually single a player/character out but seriously take objective notes on what's happening session to session. Maybe you're singling him out indirectly via your encounter design. It's true that frontliners suffer the most abuse in general combat but if that abuse means the frontliner is consistently sitting out maybe it's time to changes things up. Use some monsters/encounters that effectively pick on the back line for a bit.
Take a page from MMO encounter design. Most modern MMOs include mechanics that put all of the players in peril because it isn't fun to be the one guy/girl that's in a life or death struggle all the time. Effectively spread the love and your unhappy player is likely to be a lot less unhappy.
I'll play devil's advocate.
Does this come up often? It sounds like you might be singling him out a bit unfairly. Even if it's not intentional, it might be worth taking careful notes on how often his character gets crippled compared to the rest of the party. His attitude and response might be inappropriate but there might be merits to his complaints.
Thanks for the reply!
This is a good start. 4e had a similar stance at lower levels but by higher levels dice mattered much less. Assuming damage dice remain relevant this sounds like a fair trade. Dex-based characters do less overall damage in melee and strength-based characters had less range in ranged combat.
Going a little deeper, STR-based characters have a slight advantage in being able to (typically) use heavier armor, resulting in slightly higher AC than what DEX characters can achieve. Additionally, they're generally able to either use a two-handed weapon for higher damage or add a shield for +2 AC, while DEX PCs are stuck with one-handed weapons and often aren't proficient with shields. But on the other hand, DEX-based PCs will have higher initiative and better saves (more on that later).
This sounds like the same stance 3.5/PF has. I was hoping for something better than “strong characters wear more armor”. If dex is allowed to compete with strength is melee I’d like to see strength be able to compete with dex when it comes to AC. So strength’s only advantage is 1) Wearing heavier armor and 2) Doing more damage in melee by using two-handed weapons? What if you’re a strength-based character that uses one-handed weapons but not a shield? Are you just inherently worse? On top of that dex-based characters get better initiative and saves? Ouch.
Again, this sounds like more of the same. Dex-based saves are prevalent but strength-based saves are not. =/
How well does 5e work to balance attributes, specifically strength vs dexterity?
I know characters are able to somewhat freely use dex for damage with certain weapons. Are there options that make strength more valuable? I've heard certain attacks 'target' stats as a defense but how often does strength come up as a defense?
I was looking to give 5e a shot in the near future but I'm not looking for a repeat of 3.5/Pathfinder. I'd like something different.
Mark Hoover wrote:
You're not a wuss GM, you've just got a different style of GMing from what this player's accustomed to or wants. Some players (myself for example), love playing with a GM that's willing to roll with what they is cool instead of sticking to predefined definitions of effectiveness. Stick to your guns. If the new guy can't adapt you can revisit the topic.
I love how these threads always end up with the claims that Overpowered X isn't overpowered because PFS/modules/Adventure Paths are just undertuned. 'Overpoweredness' is relative and, in the case of Paizo content, this character is overpowered.
Mechanics chicanery aside, I suggest you work this guy to find some kind of happy medium. Buffing encounters to challenge an individual character always ends in tragedy.
The crowd here is pretty professional -- when they aren't screaming at each other. But in general the people I see on the board, whether I disagree with their assessment or not, really do know what they are talking about when it comes to Pathfinder.
'Knowing your stuff' is not the only qualifier for being a professional.
Not to mention hiring people takes money and eats into profits. Why do that when people are eager and willing to look over the material and help?
Editors cost money and eat into profits too but Paizo still pays them because they improve the final product.
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
I know you guys tend to value your crowd-sourced playtesting but have you considered hiring professionals? That seems like an easy way to weed out the armchair analysis that seems to be so popular.
This is something that DMs have to use their best judgement with. The 13 sorcerers thing is a good example of a time when it'd be best to break initiative up a bit. Most of the time it's fine.
If your players are really upset you could always just roll a pile of dice and just have them all delay to the lowest result.
Fun Fact: Druids have been able to that since 3.0.
Animal Companions wrote:
This is one of those class features that doesn't really do anything.