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Fergie's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 2,236 posts (2,264 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 4 aliases.


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Kirth Gersen wrote:
How can the same person keep both ferrets and rats? Ferrets were domesticated specifically to kill rats!

The ferrets were at various points over the last 30 years or so. My first ferret was Silas, who I adopted on Feb 15, 1988 or 89. Little Bear, Shadow, Hudson, Charlie, and Ivan arrived over the years. Ivan passed around 2008.

The rats were a new thing for me. I didn't anticipate adopting them, it just sort of happened, but I'm really glad it did.

Thanks for the good vibes GM_Beernog! I'm kind of running on them at this point after Brin slipped her outfit last night, then slipped the wrap we tried, then slipped the new outfit I made as well. ugh. Why Brin, why!?! Basically, I have to just hope she heals without a cover, as I just don't know what else to do at this point. Yet another vet visit tomorrow, and I'm just trying to get through the next 20 hours.

GM_Beernorg wrote:
Having owned many ferrets, the simple truth is, nothing can hold a ferret.

He he he! Ferrets are the BEST! I've had about half a dozen ferrets over the years, and I didn't think anything could be more difficult to wrangle. My ferrets never tolerated collars, leashes, or sock sweaters. Basically, they would just struggle non-stop until they were free. I guess I never really needed to restrict the ferrets. I recall taking one of my ferrets down to Maryland for adrenal surgery, and having no issues with recovery. She never chewed the stitches or anything. Rats have all the same issues as ferrets, combined with a deep need to chew the hell out of everything. Like ferrets, they have very loose skin, and rats are able to stretch out like a ferret, but also turn themselves into a sphere. Almost impossible to keep anything on them.

I tried a cone (the vet made from an x-ray print), but it lasted less then half an hour, and she could not feed herself properly while wearing it. (Rats use their hands much more so then ferrets) I have tried several different kinds of wraps, with inconsistent results. The sweater has been the best so far, but she opened up the second one, and after a trip to the vet today, we are on the third attempt at a body cover... really, REALLY needing this to work! After the initial surgery, there were two more times being stitched up, and several more vets visits related to this... Despite it all, she has just been so sweet, it is really breaking my heart. Keep your paws crossed everyone!

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Well, she got into her stitches again.

On the plus side, she got the cutest little outfit after getting patched up.
Warning: Probably the most heartbreaking/warming rat photo ever!

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TarkXT wrote:
So if you get to use that spell what did you get? Well you traded your standard and likely your move to grant your ally his turns back.

I think your missing perhaps the most important part of casting Remove Paralysis, and also healing. Casting either spell alters the odds that a player is going to have to sit around waiting for his PC to get raised after getting CdG'd by a ghoul or clawed to death. You can play the odds, and sometimes the fight will end before combat healing is needed, other times, players are going to wait for their characters to be raised from the dead. It might not be "optimal", but a heal spell or two is generally worth it, so that everyone can stay in the game. YMMV.

Also, pretty much nobody, anywhere, ever, wants to play a "Healbot", or ____bot of any kind. A character that can only heal, and isn't useful for other things is just a silly strawman. No one is talking about healing all the time. Thankfully, Pathfinder allows a character to spend a fraction of their characters resources, equipment, and actions, on healing, yet they can still be an excellent "Healer". Just about any positive energy cleric can be a good healer with basic tactics. If you invest in healing just a little, it can negate the full damage dealing actions actions of an APL+1 or APL+2 foe fairly easily.

The Darkest Dungeon Offical site wrote:

REMINDER: Launch Discount Ends on Tuesday February 2nd! Tell your friends!

Finally, we wanted to remind everyone that on Tuesday, Darkest Dungeon’s price will be returning to its planned price of $24.99 now that we’re out of Early Access. During our release day, we had an issue with the Steam store that prevented us from increasing our full release price to $24.99 with the 2 week launch sale price of $19.99. As a quick solution we just set the full price to $19.99 to ensure people were buying the game at the discounted price. On Tuesday, the price will go up to $24.99 where it will remain until the next sale. So if you want to grab it at the Early Access Price/Discounted Price, do so before Tuesday!

So this is probably the last chance to get the game for under $20, at least for a while.

I highly recommend it if you like turn-based games with a Lovecraft feel. Great art, audio and music, etc. The Random Number Generator (RNG) nature of the game, combined with character death being permanent can be incredible cruel, but I think that is part of the sadistic appeal, and gives it an old school feel.

I've got 200+ weeks of game time in, so I think I can give somewhat useful advice if anyone is having trouble. There are a few ways that this game breaks from the default assumptions of most video games.

Anzyr wrote:
Edit: Oh wow... thats some major necromancy. Disregard this post, if you want to talk about this Goth Guru start a new thread.

If you would like to discuss myths related to the Caster Martial Disparity, I would recommend using Jiggy's thread as a starting point, rather then starting yet another new thread: Dispelling the Myths: Caster-Martial Disparity

I think this is still a fine place to discuss other myths related to Pathfinder, but I would rather keep the C/M Disparity stuff in Jiggy's excellent thread.

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GreyWolfLord wrote:
Well, beyond me, there are several that I know that seemingly have visited these forums and never want to deal with PF again due to this idea given to them from these forums...but hey...

I have seen a lot of dubious stuff about playing Pathfinder on the messageboards over the years. So much so, that I even started a thread to debunk or at least address many of the issues that crop up over and over.

I don't really have a solution for fixing perceptions of negativity on the internet. There are always going to be people who read that apples are sometimes better, or more efficient, or whatever, and then run around saying NEVER use oranges, they are unplayable garbage, your PC is going to die, it's badwrongfun, and you are a bad person for thinking otherwise. Extreme pronouncements are always going to be more flashy then insightful subtlety. I think that is the nature of public discourse, peoples opinions are not going to always be of equal value, and it is up to each person to seek out quality information over bluster, and draw their own conclusions.

I would encourage everyone who fees strongly about a topic that continuously pops up, to make a guide, or list, or article, or whatever. This encourages positive, productive discussions, rather then the bickering back and forth that many topics seem to always devolve into.

I suspect people are missing the main benefit of Dominate when they view it as an infiltration spell for advanced social environments. Yeah, it does have value in dominating a mook, and using him to make the party rogue wonder why he bothered investing in skills. The caster marches this thrall around while monitoring it's senses, and can gather info, give orders, or just outright kill whatever they come across, for over a week! That is not why Dominate Person is so good.

The major disruptive power of Dominate is transforming an adversarial encounter against a named NPC, into the personal hand-puppet of one PC. These named NPCs are often more powerful in many ways then a comparable party member. The effect this has on APL and PC/PC parity can be VERY substantial. When you compare the power that Mr. PC Fighter brings to the table vs. the power of Dr. PC Wizard and his loyal troll barbarian thrall... well, it's not even close. One would be a CR 10 encounter, the other is a CR ~15 encounter.

Trying to balance the game when any humanoid encounter could disappear into a APL boost of +1 to +3 is very difficult. Having a thrall party member that could suddenly violently turn against the party is also difficult to balance in a way that does not break the verisimilitude of the game. Given the vast number of powerful humanoids that appear in just about every adventure path, this spell can radically alter the party power level in most story arcs.

Given the days/level duration, lack of any HD/CR limit, and lack of total thralls, there is very little to limit abuse. There are also a surprising number of mundane and magical ways a creative player can hook, and keep his new pet. Given these reasons, and half a dozen other potential problems this spell is one of the most broken in the game.

EDIT: And that is just based on PC's using it against monsters. When you really think about what a vampire, succubus, or aboleth would do with a dominated PC, you really would be better off starting a new character then getting your naked and cored-out PC back.

EDIT 2: And before you say Protection from alignment, yeah, that can be used, but it isn't on everyone's spell list (see: bards & druids), and you can't always get the alignment to match up. Protection from alignment, dispel magic, etc. are not adequate fixes for all the problems dominate creates.

S 14 +2 race
D 14
C 14
I 13
W 12
C 10

Ability scores are really not that different then a "normal" fighter.
You get the traits that make sense motive and diplomacy class skills and give you a +1. Full ranks in both, plus +4 and +6 bonuses from feats means:
+3 class, +1 trait, +10 ranks, +1 ability, +4 feat = +19 sense motive
+3 class, +1 trait, +10 ranks, +6 feat = +20 diplomacy

So you invest 3/20 ability point buy points.
2/12 feats
2/2 traits (or 3/11 feats if you count traits as 1/2 feat)
2/3 skill points

I would like to try playing this character as a diplomatic officer type. Perhaps a John Wayne type.

The Sword wrote:
Fergie wrote:
Berinor wrote:

Violent resistance pretty much always makes things worse before it sometimes makes them better.
Without getting political, I would point out that resistance is almost never successful without violence, the threat of violence, or severe economic consequences. While the success of movements if often attributed to the non-violent aspects, the truth is that those in power don't care about protest and resistance unless they are forced to.


Martin Luther King?
Apartheid Africa?

There is a world of difference between violence uprising and economic pressure.

I can't really get into those without this getting really political. I would just point out that all of those movements also had violent counter-parts (also, WWII aftermath for the brits). Violence, property destruction, riots, protests, boycotts, etc. are all very closely related, especially because those in power rarely tolerate resistance of any kind without resorting to forms of violence themselves.

I just watched this the other night, and thought it was entertaining and very relevant to this topic.

Berinor wrote:

Violent resistance pretty much always makes things worse before it sometimes makes them better.

Without getting political, I would point out that resistance is almost never successful without violence, the threat of violence, or severe economic consequences. While the success of movements if often attributed to the non-violent aspects, the truth is that those in power don't care about protest and resistance unless they are forced to. Often these things can be ugly because those in power, especially governments, usually have an edge, if not a monopoly on violence.

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Ashiel wrote:

But it's a good example of how someone can be a good character while doing both wrong and poorly thought out things, and how a character can find opposition with other good characters (most of my good characters would probably end up trying to convince the thief to stop and acting against them if diplomacy failed, also while promoting goodness).

I would say that Robin Hood would very much be Chaotic Good, with the emphasis on the chaos part. Lawful good characters and some neutral good, would disagree, but stealing from the evil rich and giving to the poor is VERY Chaotic Good.

Resistance to tyranny is always painted as doing more harm then good, until the tyrants lose power, then the resistance is lauded as heroes, freedom fighters, etc.

If you look at most nations, they often start with deeds that were considered serious crimes by the former power. Their actions are often even considered awful by the newly created regime, when they are repeated later on.

Also, the idea that taxes and such are based on shrewd economic planning and not greed ignores well... reality. Monarchs and their modern equivalents don't live in preposterous decadence because it is good for there subjects/citizens/workers.

I think this sums up the philosophy of most governments and businesses these days.

Ashiel wrote:

It's just basic cause and effect. If the lord isn't making enough in taxes, taxes would get raised further. Further raising taxes would hurt the populace more. It's not complex.

Except that the lord can never make enough in taxes, so you are just cutting into the lords riches, and the populace is going to get the same bare minimal crap they have always gotten.

"How much is enough, Gordon Sheriff of Nottingham? When does it all end, huh? How many yachts can you water-ski behind? How much is enough, huh?"

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A couple of points about the healing in combat debate that seem to get missed frequently.

1) There is no "Healer" class in Pathfinder. Even a healing domain cleric (probably the closest thing to a "Healer") doesn't have to memorize a single healing spell, yet can convert all but their domain spells (1/spell level) to healing, plus they still have several channel energies (assuming they are positive energy).

2) Most divine magic, and especially cleric spells are heavily weighted toward defense and/or buffing. Generally there are only one or two spells per level that are effective offense, and these are often limited to a specific creature type such as humanoid, or aligned outsider. If you don't encounter that creature type, the spell is totally useless. Many of the other spells are enchantment, language dependent, alignment dependent, etc. Almost all allow a save, SR, and often require a successful touch attack. If any of these fail, chances are you had zero effect that round. The direct damage spells a cleric gets are usually weaker then a comparative arcane spell of the same level.

3) Unless you invest in it, a cleric is generally a mediocre melee combatant, and piss poor archer. If you want to participate in melee combat, it requires adequate ability scores, and feats/domains that provide proficiency with better weapons/armor. It also requires more investment in magical arms and armor. All of these sacrifice casting power for fighting power. Even with all of those things, it generally requires 2-3 spells in order to EQUAL a fighter of the same level, and the really good ones are rounds/level, and generally don't do anything for ranged attacks, if not actually making them worse.

These points are important to remember because the idea behind the healing-in-combat-is-a-waste argument is that there are better actions that you could be taking, that will end the encounter faster then keeping the injured character in the fight.

On the first round, the reality is that the cleric will cast hold person, or blindness, or flame strike, assuming that they are targeting a humanoid, creature with a weak fortitude save, or flammable creature respectively. Or they will cast Divine Favor, Righteous Might, or whatever if they are a melee cleric. Or my personal favorite tactic of summoning a monster.

On the second or third round, is usually when healing will start to be useful/needed, and it is then that the question "what is the best action I can take?" really gets asked. If the cleric just cast divine favor and righteous might, he better start kicking ass. However, if the cleric is not built for melee, the best option is often keeping the other party members in the fight. This sometimes means casting a freedom of movement, resist energy, or status removal spell, but often it means swapping a spell out for a cure spell. Usually by that point in the combat, that is the most optimal action.

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Old Guy GM wrote:
This made me think: Is it possible that we who started in the 'way back' had to use our imaginations more BECAUSE there was such a lack of material out there? I'm really asking here - no sarcasm intended. The people in these discussions who tend to think like Terquem and myself all tend to be older. Is that a factor of how we had to adapt and make our own games/worlds/campaigns? Do we have TOO many rules now? So many that we can't think for ourselves? Pre-computer, there was no such thing as RAW and RAI. None. Never. Everything was 'RAI' because you had to adapt.

I don't think it is about imagination, RAI, RAW, or quantity of rules, but rather the fundamental value placed on rules, as opposed to the role of the GM. In AD&D the GM was not the referee, but rather the god of the game. Players did not have access to the rules, and rules often sucked to begin with. It was about the GM, not the rules. Good GM= good game, bad GM= bad game. (Note: While many look back fondly at this era, the number of people who had bad experiences and stopped playing paints a less rosy picture.)

Now the players know the rules, and the GM is the referee of the rules. In this situation, the rules play a more prominent role then they once did. It now requires everyone at the table to fix a bad rule, not just the GM. Thankfully, the rules are much better then they once were, however, there are still some problems that appear in many games.

The Most Important Rule wrote:

The rules presented are here to help you breathe life into your characters and the world they explore. While they are designed to make your game easy and exciting, you might find that some of them do not suit the style of play that your gaming group enjoys. Remember that these rules are yours. You can change them to fit your needs. Most Game Masters have a number of "house rules" that they use in their games. The Game Master and players should always discuss any rules changes to make sure that everyone understands how the game will be played. Although the Game Master is the final arbiter of the rules, the Pathfinder RPG is a shared experience, and all of the players should contribute their thoughts when the rules are in doubt.

Note how different this is from the old "Rule Zero". Players and GM agree in advance about any rule changes, then play by the rules. No AD&D game ever worked like that.

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Terquem wrote:

I've been a DM since 1976 (yeah here comes the old guy rebuttal that is also beat to death). I have run literally dozens of games, both one shot and campaigns (one of my campaigns lasted 5 years from level 1 to level 13, when the player characters retired)
Never, ever, in any of my games did I have a player complain that a spell caster (of another player character) was dominating the encounters or was more powerful than the other player characters

Hey, that's great! However, you should consider that not everyone has 40 years of GM experience to fall back on. I have been GM'ing since the 1980's, and it was really a different game back then. If a player wanted to do something, he need to consult a "sage" or the GM. The players had access to less than half the rules, and entire aspects of the game that players now control happened behind the screen, or in the GMs head. The rules were bizarre and full of crap, so a GM had to wing many aspects, and there was lots of great guidance about how that was supposed to function in the DMG. The only outside help a GM could get would be talking to other GM's or writing a letter to Dragon magazine "Ask the Sage".

I never played 3.0, but 3.5 was a VERY different game then AD&D. The "Sage" was gone, and the players handbook was thicker then the DMG. Players had skills with clearly defined outcomes, and control of magic item creation. Combat happened on a grid with clearly defined movement rules. There were rules for what a characters could do, and those rules were now on the other side of the screen.

Pathfinder combined the Players Handbook and DMG into a single book, and players now had access to all the rules in the game. There was also virtually no information about the design philosophy in the rules. Rules questions can now go through the forums and hundreds of questions have been answered in the FAQ.

The point being that your gaming style developed in a very different time, with a very different game. It has apparently served you well, but not everyone has the same background. I think what many people are asking for is a game that can be played by fairly new players, playing by-the-rules, without these common problems coming up.

DrDeth wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
DrDeth wrote:

Did some posts get removed, or are these posts a response to another thread or something?

GM_Beernorg wrote:

A once you are able to drink liquids, there is always the grampa's cure, a good scotch whiskey (taken in moderation, especially if pain killers are involved) but many people swear by the old stand by :)

Just a quick reminder that if you are on antibiotics (common after dental surgery) you are not supposed to have alcohol. Although if you are very careful, painkiller+ alcohol= Trip to Slumberland Obviously, don't even think of doing this if you are driving, and always be VERY careful mixing anything. If you are in doubt, don't do it.

Sissyl - Glad you had a good dental experience! I love it when something like that goes well.

Hey everyone, it's TarkXT!

Darkest Dungeon Stuff:

I checked out your darkest dungeon posts. Very entertaining!

EDIT: Heh heh. I didn't realize it was like 10 months old.

I had just started playing the game again since the abomination was released.

Anzyr wrote:
And even then, you could just fix the damn leak.

Are you saying that every combat can be quickly ended with a single spell, or a couple whacks for the clerics flail?

EDIT: If a cleric is essentially mitigating an opponents actions, leaving the rest of the party free to beat the hell out of the opponent, that seems like a very effective tactic.

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I'm sorry, I should have been more clear.

I bolded the text indicating what the numbers on the chart mean.

Because PCs have armor and concelment and mirror images, and stuff, many attacks will miss. Therefor, the chart does not represent how much damage a PC will be taking, but rather how much they COULD take except for all those pesky defenses. If you compare the monster "high attack" number to a theoretical 10th level AC, you will find that the damage taken by a PC is well within the range of healing to mitigate in a tactically effective way.

Bob Bob Bob wrote:
So, what math are you looking at?

"Average Damage: This is the average amount of damage dealt by a creature of this CR if all of its attacks are successful. "

50 Incoming damage per round should be unusual at that level, as most monsters would not hit with all attacks.

Even if all attacks are getting through, you are preventing the whipping boy from going down on round three. If you are healing for 29/round he should keep getting beat for like 5 rounds or more. Again assuming that all the monsters attacks hit every round, and that there is no healing domain, maximize, etc. If you do have something like that, you can keep the character alive for 9-10 rounds, instead of 3.

In almost any actual game situation, many of the monsters attacks will miss, or there will be enough DR, temp HP, concealment, etc, that healing can be very effective. Alternatively, there are many ways to boost healing, and use spells like shield other, channel energy, etc.

Healing works.
Do it when healing is needed.

-More on those same numbers here-

Here is a great thread on the subject of healing in combat, with some amazing special guests.

Healing in combat is often necessary, and it works just fine. You don't want to "always" heal in combat, but healing in combat is normal and often a very effective tactic.

People are all hung up on the idea that combats should be finished in the surprise round, and then you will have all the time you need to drain a wand of cure light wounds while time stands still. This is a nice theoretical ideal, but, if Pathfinder worked that way, it would be pretty boring. The reality of the game is that combats are always different, and success in the long run goes to the person who can handle the unexpected, not the one-trick-pony. The idea that you can have such strong offenses that you won't need to heal is something I have never seen in decades of gaming.

Healing in combat works fine if you look at the math. You will need sound tactics, and decent defenses, but those are generally required for any strategy.If you want to be "good" at healing, all you need is a positive energy cleric, or equivalent. It is fairly rare that you will get into a situation where you can't keep PCs upright. If you want to be "great" at healing, you will need the healing domain, or equivalent. With this setup you can basically keep up with incoming damage as long as you need to. The Heal spell is a nice jump in healing power, but is not needed until around 15th level, or in extreme situations.

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I have had lots of unusual pets as a kid, although not exactly exotic. When I was little, we found a racoon baby on a neighbors driveway, that had attracted the attention of the local pack of dogs that would roam the neighborhood. (This was back in the 80's in suburbia, and dogs and kids would just roam around). We bottle fed the racoon, and named him Bandit (not real original). Eventually, after a year or so he rejoined the wild, and ended up having a family that lived in the neighbors garage.

Right now I have three great rats. The first was abandoned on the door step of my friends workplace, and thankfully, he just scooped up this random rat and adopted her. We got her a few weeks later, and named her Brynhild. She was bitey and vicious, but calmed down slowly, and would just hang out in the back of the cage. Almost exactly a year after adopting her, she suddenly started coming out of the cage and building nests. She became athletic, social, and really seemed content. Unfortunately, she developed large tumors, that we wanted to have removed before she got too old for surgery. Last Friday, we took Brynhild to the vet to have the tumors removed. The surgery went very well, but overnight she chewed open her stitches. The next morning, she was stitched up again. Two days later, she reopened it. My vet sent me in to a specialist, who did some special stuff to sew her up in a way that she is less likely to chew open, and put her on a medicine that is used to prevent self-mutilation. Despite three operations in less then a week, she has been a total sweetheart, and did not bite anyone, despite pain, uncomfortable body wraps and all kinds of misery. Only a day or two after the third operation, she seems back to normal. Things are looking really good, and I'm sure she won't need anymore operations. I feel really lucky to have gotten to know her, and I'm continually amazed by how smart, social, and resilient rats are!

Well, when it comes to dental stuff, I've had ... just about every procedure I can think of. Bridge, crowns, root canals, inlays, and many, many extractions. I once had a legendary local dentist tell me that my Native-American name would be "deep roots" and most of my extractions as an adult are the break-the-tooth-up, add more painkillers because it is taking 45 minutes, followed by stitches, long recovery, etc.
A couple of years ago, I broke my jaw fairly severely, but did not know. That resulted in the jaw first getting stuck open, then the doctors at the ER taking turns trying to pop my "dislocated" broken jaw back into place. Finally I got some morphine, and after some stuff I was "awake" for but don't remember I woke up the next day with my top and bottom jaws connected by a piece of wire. A week later, I had a titanium plate put in my jaw, a few teeth removed and "arch bars". Oh, dear god, arch bars. Once the morphine from the operation wore off, it felt like someone had packed my mouth with bottle caps and whacked me in the face as hard as they could with the flat of a shovel. Then it was about seven more weeks of nothing but liquids.

As others have recommended, avoid foods that have lots of tiny bits, or are hard. No rice, seeds, nuts, etc. I would also avoid foods that require a lot of chewing for a few days. No meat, carrots, crusty bread, and even beware of things like corn chips that can have sharp edges. Go for mashed potatoes, blended soups, mac and cheese (not baked), bananas and that type of thing. Nothing too hot, too cold, and no straws.

The highlight of my wired days was having ice cream in my coffee everyday. Also, get your hands on a blender, (vitamix if you need to drink stuff) and start making shakes. This is a great excuse to make peanut butter (creamy, NOT chunky!), banana, chocolate ice cream shakes, and not feel guilty at all. Oh yeah, and throw in one of those meal replacement, ensure, type drinks while you are at it, but just be warned that some of them are mostly corn syrup, and probably do more harm then good. You can also make amazing fruit blender drinks, with coconut milk, banana, pineapple, peeled apple, etc. If you can juice, do that- it is 100 times better for you then some processed goo.

Finally, you just had an operation, so TAKE IT EASY. Rest, don't talk much, eat high calorie, but not junk food. Drink a LOT of water! Take vitamin pills. Soft massage around the area will help blood flow, and speed healing. After a few days of rest, make sure to do some no impact exercise to get your heart rate up, this will also speed healing, and is probably more important for mental health then physical health.

If anyone has any questions about any of this stuff, please feel free to post here, or PM me.

Feel better!

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Shroud wrote:
I have never seen this martial / caster disparity in any game I have ever participated in.

Hey, that's great. Unfortunately, many cooperative role players (including GMs)have experienced the problem.

This might help everyone understand why some games are affected, while others are not:

Why the Caster Martial Disparity might not appear in your games.

As Pathfinder is a highly complex game, and varies widely from table to table, there's almost an infinite number of reasons it might appear or not. Here are some of the most common reasons it might not affect your games:

  • Most of your play happens under 10th level.
  • Players don't choose to play pure martial, or pure caster characters.
  • Caster players don't optimize, and/or martial players optimize heavily.
  • There is a spoken or unspoken agreement not to use some options and spells.
  • The GM is highly skilled in pacing, presenting a campaign setting, presenting challenges, and giving rewards that even out or minimize the disparity.
  • The GM alters dice rolls, and/or encounters so that everyone has fairly equal amounts of success.
  • The group views combat and/or other rules heavy parts of the game as something to get resolved as quickly as possible, in order to move on to more roleplay and storytelling elements.
  • House rules.

"Mr. Horton was allegedly arrested when the MLK Breakfast organizers called the police to force him to stop passing out the flyer. The police charged Mr. Horton with assault and battery on a police officer.

It really did not matter whether Mr. Horton touched a police officer – once a police officer slams you to the ground, there is an automatic charge of assault and battery."

Hmmm, in NYC getting slammed on the ground is their definition of Courtesy Professionalism and Respect. If they go through the paperwork, it is usually Resisting Arrest, and/or Obstruction of Government Administration, although if they knock you off a bicycle, I think that is assaulting an officer...

Note: The targets do need to understand your language. Also, the spell being Verbal only can be a handy thing. I would say this is a great spell in an urban setting where you can affect lots of creatures (friendly/hostile) without blowing up houses or starting fires, or harming civilians. Also useful when the fighter fails his will save...

ryic, I agree that people are interpreting the spells somewhat differently, but I think these discussions are largely missing the larger picture. Casters don't have to break, bend, or even go near questionable rules to have incredible power and versatility. Casters are not less powerful because they exist in an ongoing campaign world, they ARE powerful because of their options in a campaign context!

In these threads and others, people come up with some bizarre corner cases and exploits that I think are clearly outside of the intended use of the spells. But these are just a distraction from the many powerful and obvious uses of the spells as intended. I don't have to magic jar a demon, whale with arms, or anything else that might be a problem. In fact, magic jar is probably better used for infiltration and sowing dissent in the enemy then getting a cool flesh battle suit. A cool suit doesn't help you cast spells better anyway, so magic jar is not one of the more powerful spells a caster can use.

In these threads I see a lot of odd attempts to create problems for casters that just don't make sense in the rules or campaign context. Casting an illusion spell is an Evil act? The local peasants will go after you with pitchforks for attacking things while flying? You can't buy some gems for a spell component because the local government knows you are going to cast a 1th level spell with it? And I'm going to just pre-emptively call BS on everyone who comes up with silly "not in the creatures 'nature", arguments once we start discussion Dominate Person. Conversely, there are some spells that have clear language that there could be negative consequences such as planar binding. Other spells such as animate dead, ARE Evil acts, and walking into town with a horde of undead will not be welcome in most civilized lands.

There are some devastatingly powerful, campaign warping spells out there, and there are odd ways to increase and odd ways to decrease all types of magic. Let's not be fooled into thinking everything is OK if you just follow the rules, OR that something is broken because of some bizarre pun-punesq shenanigans. If there are spells that require heavy GM intervention to moderate, it should be written into the spell, not left of GMs to discover after a player uses the spell to it's fullest.

The Sword wrote:
How do people rule it works with protection v Alignment. Do you treat it as direct mental control?

Yes, command, suggestion, etc. are direct control.

"Second, the subject immediately receives another saving throw (if one was allowed to begin with) against any spells or effects that possess or exercise mental control over the creature (including enchantment [charm] effects and enchantment [compulsion] effects, such as charm person, command, and dominate person. This saving throw is made with a +2 morale bonus, using the same DC as the original effect. If successful, such effects are suppressed for the duration of this spell. The effects resume when the duration of this spell expires. While under the effects of this spell, the target is immune to any new attempts to possess or exercise mental control over the target. "

I would say that command was rather broken in 3.5, and was basically fixed by the 5 possible commands being clarified in Pathfinder.

Greater command is a pretty limited spell (for 5th level) and due to it's short duration, not really capable for affecting the campaign much. If you compare it to suggestion, mass (an overpowered spell) you can see that while they seem similar, suggestions can be MUCH worse, and it lasts hours/level!

I would say command, mass is pretty close to showing what enchantment spells should look like.

dragonhunterq wrote:

yes, it works the same as giving any other creature class levels..

note in step 2 that sorceror spellcasting stacks.

And yet, since dragons are "combat role", sorcerer levels only add half a CR/level (until they outnumber original CR). That is interesting...

-Here is a thread about a similar topic-

Secret Wizard wrote:
Wear the armor class that matches your DEX.

Great advice Secret Wizard!

Just a quick note about that last point. The Fighters Armor Training ability allows you to get more dex bonus then the armor normally would. The speed bonus is nice as well! Also, mithril, and celestial armor often acts as lighter armor in some ways, but perhaps not others.

Don't forget nagas and marilith demons! And gynosphinx, and harpies, and limia and the dozen or so other creatures that have female tops and monstrous bottoms.

I guess women were pretty scary to people...

Ssalarn wrote:

This runs into the problem of not working well with multiclassing, or requiring you to create formulae for determining what a character's average hit die are, which really seems unnecessarily complex. I liked the idea of using a percentage of total hit points a bit more than this, primarily because it's roughly the same difficulty of math, but with fewer steps involved.

Nah, you just go by the class/race that you have the most dice in, bumped up in the case of equal numbers.

For example, if you have a barbarian 6/druid 5/wizard 6 you get the d12. No math required.

[]-Here is a thread about a similar topic-[/url]

Just a note that "low magic" has a variety of meanings, and often varies tremendously depending on who you ask.

I would start with a reduction on Wealth By Level aka magic items. You could keep everyone's WBL a level down, or even cut it by half.
Alter or eliminate item crafting. I recommend making items cost to make equal to the market price.
Limit starting stats to something like 15 or 16 after racial adjustment. This will make it a lot tougher for caster characters to disrupt the game.
Be very aware that some monsters absolutely require magical means to defeat. For example, even a shadow can devastate a group with only mundane abilities and equipment.

Well melee character is a pretty broad category... Could you be a little more specific about what you are looking for?

As really general advice, I would say that if you want to be a melee character, you need to survive in melee.
Step 1 is a good armor class.
Step 2 is good defenses in general. Most melee classes have good fortitude saves, but you will need to make effort to have a good will save.
Step 3 is that you must be a threat, which generally means being able to deal damage yourself.

What classes are you considering?
Is this for PFS, a home game, or online play? (If you know what other characters you will be adventuring with, that helps a lot. Spell casters can do their own thing, martials generally require more teamwork.
What books and/or 3rd party products will you be using?


~Snicker~ A friend of mine has a tattoo of a "reverse mermaid" - upper body of a fish, lower body of a woman. I have no idea why, probably lost a bet or something...

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My advice is to go straight ranger. Rogues are fun, but they are heavily dependent on positioning for their offense and defenses to work well. If you mess up, your going to take a beating, and/or not be able to deal a beating. This is also true for most characters who fight with two weapons (including monks), but especially rogues.

Rangers give you a little of everything (offense, defense, skills, and even spells. They are a great character to get used to the rules. You can make some mistakes and still be very effective.

Core rule book and some dice are all you need as a player, but it would be good to chip in towards a combat grid and maybe some minis if you are going to be playing a physical game (as opposed to playing online). If you budget is tight, you can make a grid yourself, and use a bag of army men or other cheap toys as minis. Also, chip in towards whatever adventures you will be going through. I highly recommend the Adventure Paths, as well as the Paizo modules. Just note that they usually have a theme, so find one that appeals to everyone in the group.

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How about making cure spells restore HP based on recipients HD, rather then 1d8? For example, cure moderate wounds heals 2d12+Caster Level(CL) on the barbarian, and 2d6+CL on the wizard.

Optionally, you could replace the CL bonus with the recipients Con bonus, however, this would reward using consumables later in the game and make the cure mass spells usually less powerful. Probably better to skip that idea.

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My group lays down two ~2'x3' one-inch-grid papers on a table, then lays a sheet of plexiglass over that. We use dry erase markers to indicate most terrain and draw dungeons as well. Ongoing area spells, elevations of flying creatures, etc can be marked as well. Spilled drinks, pizza grease, etc. stays off the papers. In addition to the dry erase stuff, we also keep a small box full of various styrofoam blocks, scale railroad trees, fish tank decorations, etc. Nothing fancy (most of it is from the trash or garage sales), but it really helps make the grid less abstract, and makes line of sight, cover, etc. easy. The GM can quickly scribble a stream, a few ditches and berms, areas of dense brush, and then just randomly drop a few trees and block of stryafoam (collapsed house) and the game does not have to wait. Complex dungeons can be drawn in advance, covered from view, then revealed as the players explore (just be careful not to slide the covering material, as that can erase the map).

We also have a rule that if a square contains more then two types of terrain (water and land for example) the player can decide what it will count as. This allows the GM to do a rough job of drawing the map, and it doesn't look like an old 8bit computer graphic. It lets everyone worry about the action, not the grid.

In my own games I limit entangle to areas with plants that really could impede movement if they got grabby. "Tall grass", bushes, vines, trees, etc. I allow it to work in 3D, so 40 feet into the trees, and as far down as the roots go (generally about 10 feet). I don't allow it to work on manicured grass, most mushrooms, the trunks of really big trees, moss, etc. I think this keeps it balanced as a first level spell, but still lets the druid shine out in the woods. If the players were doing a desert adventure or all woodlands adventure, I might make the spell a little more or less effective. In my games, spike growth and spike stones are much more debilitating to the game it terms of locking down non-flying opponents and grinding the game to a halt, while everyone oppressively counts squares on the grid.

Having used solid fog extensively in 3.5 (it really was solid back then) I don't find obscuring mist bad because it does not affect movement, and as with most mist/fog spells, it often affects the caster and opponents equally (Obscuring mist is slightly better for the caster because it is the only fog type spell that the caster can actually dismiss). Also, it's stationary, and one of the few ways to get real concealment for protection from ranged attacks or bet a retreat (two things that I feel balance the game at lower all levels). When it comes to shutting down groups of enemies, I find darkness combined with darkvision an absolutely devastating tactic against enemies without darkvision.

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What should a simulacrum spell do?

Simulacrum basically costs:
7th level scroll 2275gp
7500gp gem dust for 13HD
wizards lab 250 gp
12 hours.

So, basically 10,000 gp worth of benefit. This is about equal to a bronze griffon or ebony fly figurine of wondrous power, a headband or belt that increases 2 ability scores by +2, or gloves of storing.

Given the permanence, the loyalty, and the whole body double thing, I would say that simulacrums should probably not be able to cast spells, use spell like, supernatural, and probably even EX abilities, make magic items, or do any other highly complex tasks.

Really, this whole thing seems a lot closer to a type of construct you could make (6 HD Humonunculus are also ~10,000gp), not a spell that is cast. If it is going to stay a spell, it should be fairly cheep, and last hours/level or something.

EDIT: If you spend a day casting the spell and it lasts till the end of time, it should be an item like a golem manual, not a spell.

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GM 1990 wrote:
Some people don't have in game examples, but also won't accept that 1000's of tables have used these spells - (all from CRB, the result of a pretty extensive playtest of the OGL) without ruining everyone's enjoyment or experiencing the "possible". Or will claim that what ever method those tables used wasn't valid.

"1000's of tables never had a problem, so it's fine", type statements are a sore subject for many people who participate in discussions about game balance and rules questions. Those kinds of statements are problematic for several reasons.

- Many thousands of people had fun playing AD&D, yet the game was absolutely full of bizarre and awful rules, and had horrible balance issues. Just because people had fun with something, doesn't mean it couldn't be better.
- If you look over the alpha and beta playtest, you will find that many things that people had fun with, but others found troublesome did get changed, and those changes are a big part of the reason people spent money on new books for the same OGL. There were many other things that stayed the same despite calls for change.
- Often, troublesome rules are avoided, altered, or just never come up in most games. Rather then needing to alter or ignore rules, it would be better if they worked well, and did not cause game problems. This also applies to the often stated, "It's not broken, because you can houserule it." People don't buy a Core Rule Book so they can house rule everything that is a problem. If house ruling was all that was needed to fix 3.5, Pathfinder would never have existed in the first place.

Don't get me wrong, I don't expect everyone to play the way I do, or enjoy the same type of game. I also don't expect (nor would I want) a game that prioritized being "unbreakable" over enjoyable. With that said, if you are going to go through the trouble of using rules, instead of just free form storytelling, those rules should encourage fun and balance. A player should be able to pick a spell, feat, class ability, or whatever, and not have to worry about it disrupting the game if it is used in a way his character logically would.

A great example of flying changing the game occurred when I was GMing the Carrion Crown AP. Without getting into spoilers, the characters essentially assault a wizards tower, or more accurately a series of elevated buildings connected by narrow walkways. Normally, characters would have to progress through each building and cross all the walkways as they ascended to the final encounter at the highest point...

Naturally, the players didn't want to deal with slippery elevated walkways and just skipped to the top. Once they had defeated the boss, the rest of the encounters could be done at their leisure. While it did not ruin the game, it did disrupt my attempt to create a narrative of the players fighting their way through mooks with tension building and the flavor and setting being established as they build towards the epic final encounter.

There were two other problems. The first being all of the awkwardness of doing 3-D movement on a flat grid, and dealing with various rules issues - for example, does the fighters armor training allow him to fly as 60' in heavy armor? The bigger problem, one that is not unique to flight, is that it really put the adventuring on a stopwatch, to accomplish what they needed, before the spells wore off. Not only did this require forming a detailed plan with contingencies, it also caused the round-by-round play to feel very mechanical and gamey, rather then immersive. Unfortunately, spells like flight (and a few others) are so effective, that for some sessions, play devolved into attempting to plan for all possible outcomes, then rushing through adventuring, in order to maximize the benefits. It was often very difficult to establish a sense of foreboding and horror (the themes of the AP) when players are worrying about elevation and diagonal climb speeds, etc.

Note, flight came from a travel cleric using fly, and wizard using elemental body on himself, and fly spell on others.

Easy! 10 point buy, no stats above 15 after racial adj.
Half WBL- Low fantasy.

I would also probably adopt many of the PFS rules, or at least limit crafting and classes a little.

PS Max HP is generally not a good solution, because it makes dealing HP damage less effective, while not affecting a casters ability to save or suck enemies. You probably want to add to saves, SR, and touch AC or something as well.

Once again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Slick Rick!

Best Rapper of all time!

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"I don't really have a day job, sir."

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