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Hand of the Inheritor

Fergie's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 1,786 posts (1,808 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 4 aliases.


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Cevah wrote:
I have very rarely encountered a situation where immediate status removal was that important. However, YMMV.

Remove paralysis can prevent a PC from getting coup de graced if used right away. Frightened or panicked are fear conditions that are really important to get rid of right away, otherwise your ally will be out of range. Poison that does damage every round is also important to delay or neutralize ASAP. Most ability damage and lesser conditions like shaken can wait until after combat, especially since lesser restoration takes 3 rounds to cast.

Honestly, 20th level PC PVP stuff really means nothing to this argument.

Monsters usually don't have PC wealth.
Monsters usually aren't even humanoid so they likely don't have a Christmas Tree of items going.
Most games are played through levels lower then 20.
Spells like Displacement or mirror image make arguing over +1 here and there moot.

Cheapy wrote:
good stuff

But at first level, the fighter is almost guaranteed to one shot most opponents, but as time goes on, this becomes less and less true. Very interesting stuff to consider, but I'm still not convinced that you can extrapolate that the whole system favors offense because of these numbers alone.

Cheapy wrote:

The math of PF (well, 3.0) was formulated so that at higher levels, offensive capabilities outpace defensive capabilities. Or another way to say it is that the rate of increases for attack bonuses will outpace the rate of increase for AC, so you are more likely to hit at higher levels. The reason for this is to speed up combat some, and not create stalemates at high level where you are constantly missing.

If I recall correctly, this starts happening around level 11 or 13.

So yes, PF favors offense or defense.

But at those levels there are so many ways to avoid full attacks and regain HP does it really matter? Can you really say the system favors X because of those numbers?

Lamontius wrote:

enemies with 1 hp left are just as combat effective as enemies with full health

so yes

By that same logic, is a PC just as combat effective at 1hp?

wraithstrike wrote:
Actually the game rewards offense over defense. So if you want to be rewarded then you optimize more. more..."

If it is optimized PCs fighting unoptimized monsters, I would agree. However, if the GM also optimizes, and uses the same philosophy, does that push the game into something people would want to play?

I guess I'm thinking more about how PCs function and whether it is effective to invest in defense. For example, does it make sense to invest half your feats and equipment into defense, and the other half into offense, or should one invest 90% into offense?

this post got me thinking.

I would say, "optimization rewards offense over defense." Optimization creates a game where PCs are required to one-shot opponents to stay relevant. In this kind of game, initiative and offense is 100%, and defense is irreverent. The GM can easily optimize monsters for similar offensive capability, however, frequently killing characters through rocket-tag is generally considered not fun by players, and is typically very disruptive to a campaign. The default for Pathfinder is that the GM is supposed to lose almost every battle, and optimization requires that lose to be immediate.

Since PCs and monsters have access to most of the same stuff, Pathfinder rules balance offense and defense fairly well, however it is fairly easy to disrupt this balance (within the rules) and encounter design and pacing can have a huge effect. Sadly, even many published adventures feature many single monster encounters or other recipes for disruption.

probably irreverent note:
In historic military terms, a strong defense defeats a strong offense, as it is generally considered more difficult to take ground then defend it. See WWI

Cleric with scribe scroll.

If you pick healing domain, you can generally keep up with damage being dealt in almost all situations.

The best part is that you only need to spend about a third of your character toward healing, which leaves a lot open for blasting, de/buffing, summoning, etc. etc.

MeanMutton wrote:

You know - the more I think about it, the more I think we're getting this entire thing wrong and the entire thing is moot. Why are we assuming that dismounting puts you in a different square instead of temporarily sharing the same square with your mount? Seems like it should be the same square and then you could either 5' move out or use your move action to move out. If you didn't have a move action, you'd follow the "accidentally ending your movement in an illegal space" rule.

Am I missing a rule here?

I think this may be right. If we view it this way, is there any question at all how the rules work?

claudekennilol wrote:
I know it's not a move, but dimounting causes me to be in a different square so is it "movement"?

Hmmm. This is a tough one.

When it comes to a question of; can I do _______ and 5ft. step? I usually ask, are you still in the same square? In the case of dismounting, you are have gone from occupying 4 squares (with the mount), to a single square. I guess if you still occupy one of the squares with your mount, you could then 5ft. step, but if you dismount adjacent to your mount, you have moved, so no 5ft. step.

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TarkXT wrote:
Am I missing something here? Has anyone's experience really been hurt by a practical analysis of combat and a breakdown of how to build a successful group?

I think the problem is that people forget that guides like that are general advice for defeating combat encounters, or building the Most Powerful PC, not how to play the game correctly. Viewing these guides as anything more then opinion is a recipe for problems, especially when much of the advice is about winning combats, not enjoying the game. The guides themselves often contain some text or fine print about using the advice sparingly (or not in a real game), but it is often overwhelmed by the rest of the text.

Any time you use generalities, especially ones that are supposedly based on the "math" of the rules systems, to advise people how their PC best operates, you are on really shaky ground. When you are talking about assigning "roles" or "jobs" to PCs in a game where they are supposed to be personalities, you rub many people the wrong way. Getting told that your character is doing it wrong because he isn't "tanking", "striking", "hammering" or whatever turns people off to that playstyle and sometimes the game itself.

The problem with guides and optimization, arise when people fail to separate Theoretical Optimization from Practical Optimization. One is about stretching/breaking the rules system, the other is about enjoying the game.

_Ozy_ wrote:

If drugs aren't poisons, then can you coat your weapons without risking exposure? There is no equivalent 'poison use' for drugs.

Sounds like drugs are better poisons than poisons.

I take it from the drugs text that you either can't coat your weapons, or more likely that it follows the same rules for injury poisons (on a "1" you poison yourself.)

Like most rule systems that are added after the core rules and monster books are written, I think it require GM discretion to blend it into the game system in a logical way. I think it would be fair to say that poisons=drugs in terms of effects such as spells and immunities and such, or create spells such as delay drugs, neutralize drugs etc. Either way, it should be consistent and balanced by the GM, not the letter of rules that were written before "drugs" existed in the game system.

What's in the box? wrote:
Are Drugs Poison?

No. Drugs are drugs. Poisons are poisons, and diseases are diseases.

They all follow the "afflictions" game mechanic, but they are different things.

PRD: "An arcane spellcaster who augments his magical skills with combat to create a deadly combination of weapons and magic."
That technically doesn't happen until you get the prestige capstone ability as a 16th level character. Up to that point there is absolutely nothing about the class that focuses on combining magic and weapons.*

Oh, hold on, you already used your swift action to use arcane strike? You would need another swift action to use spell critical, then a third swift action to use arcane armor training...

I think perhaps EK is set up a little too broadly to satisfy what many people are looking for. I suspect people want a class that is about turning arcane abilities into attacking power, rather then maintaining full access to the wizard spell list. I think many people want a magus, or soulknife or whatever, rather then an old school fighter/magic-user.

*That does open the door for some options that let the EK focus on polymorphing, rather then weapons and armor, but I think that is a separate character concept, and not what people think of as a 'knight'.

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bookrat wrote:

I've been...

HOLY CRAP Bookrat! That is awesome!

Every once in a while, these forums amaze me and a post makes my day.

5, tempered by 10.

Martials seem to rule for levels 1-3, then for many levels the balance seems to work out fine. After 10th level, things steadily start to favor the full casters.

We have an agreement to not use a lot of save-or-suck/die and action denial builds on both side of the screen. That goes a long way towards keeping balance and preventing rocket tag.

Sorry Jiggy, but you are missing all kinds of little details like the EK starting with a 1 BAB, and weapon focus, so unbuffed, he is +2 ahead of the other two (who could bet weapon focus at level 3. They can each spend a round buffing to be -1/+1 from where the EK walks around unbuffed. He also has many more options of race, weapons, deity, etc.

Most of the levels the EK is down in BAB, he has options like mirror image, that put him in much better shape then the cleric, and access to the entire wizard spell list, which give him versatility that blows the bard out of the water.

But really this is all boiling down to +1 or +2 at mid levels. Not a big deal, especially since the EK is probably a transmuter, and can walk around with +2 to strength due to school ability. And since he made his own belts and headbands and other wondrous item crap (from his wiz bonus feat and rocken spellcraft), this stuff means very little. Seriously, who cares about +2 when the EK can get 5 attacks per round +4 to str and NA, pounce, 40' move, scent and grab? with ONE SPELL. And he can cast that spell 4 times a day!

Again, the EK is probably a little worse then battle bard or battle cleric, at least at a few levels, (As most agree it should be) but I just don't see why a point or two here or there really matters in unoptimized play. Most of this stuff boils down to the difference of a single feat, item, or 1st level spell, so it is REALLY INSIGNIFICANT!

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I think this is really "Stuff I hate about 3.5 D&D"

Most of the things you mention were worse back then, and have improved steadily throughout the versions.

Jiggy wrote:
Fergie wrote:
I would say that if your goal is to create a "magical swordsman" EK would not be your best option.

Which is part of the problem. When someone's looking through the CRB, trying to find a way to play their magical swordsman concept, the EK is there screaming "Pick me! Pick me!"

And then delivers the worst magical swordsman in the game.
This is bad.

I would also say, that if you like being a wizard, but would like to be a lot better at attacking things, a EK is pretty decent.

Wrong, and here's why:

And just to be clear, by "bad at attacking", I don't mean "not on par with full-BAB classes", I mean not even on par with 3/4 BAB classes. You know, the classes that are designed to be worse at attacking things than fighters? That's who the EK spends most of his career trailing behind.

I don't know. I came up with some numbers years ago, and they seem to put bards, clerics and EK's fairly equal.

I feel that battle clerics and bards are fully capable of pulling their own weight, and then some. Given that EK's are very close to these classes, (although perhaps the worst at fighting at some points) I think they are a viable character in normal play. It probably could use improvement, and is probably not for inexperienced players, but most fight/cast options require some system mastery.

I really don't care what classes are 'best' at something, especially when people start using optimized wizards as their base. Many people have made claims that the EK is garbage, or worthless, or whatever, but nothing has shown the class unable to function at its APL.

Coriat wrote:
And I'd need some quite formidable evidence before I ascribed that to lack of rules understanding on his part.

I would say that if your goal is to create a "magical swordsman" EK would not be your best option. I would also say, that if you like being a wizard, but would like to be a lot better at attacking things, a EK is pretty decent. Much less powerful then a straight wizard, but still a competent character.

PS If you want to struggle as an EK, I played one toward the tail end of 3.5 (core only) until about 15th level. THAT was painful!

graystone wrote:
Fergie wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
In what universe does True Strike replace Str investment, especially at low levels?
I never made that claim. I would invest in strength in any character who was going to melee. But I don't need an 18 or 20 strength to kick ass at low levels. If I swing a glaive, greatsword or whatever, and power attack, I'm going to do great for the first several levels of the game. If I do need more strength, I just cast bulls strength, and there is my 18 or 20. While the fighter tops out there, I have the option of casting true strike a couple of times (12.5 gp a scroll) so I can power attack the guy in full plate with cover, and I'm essentially guaranteed to hit.
So the EK can hit if it spends money and takes an extra round to hit? Good to know. That sounds totally better that having actual stats or abilities... :P

No. The EK can hit because it is EASY to hit most CR 1/4 - 4 monsters. Even if you are power attacking.

Honestly, if you think hitting things at low level is difficult, you need to spend some time checking the charts in the back of the Bestiary.

20 doesn't become the average AC until CR 7! With true strike I can essentially auto hit most CR 11 opponents, while power attacking, at level 3.

Rynjin wrote:
In what universe does True Strike replace Str investment, especially at low levels?

I never made that claim. I would invest in strength in any character who was going to melee. But I don't need an 18 or 20 strength to kick ass at low levels. If I swing a glaive, greatsword or whatever, and power attack, I'm going to do great for the first several levels of the game. If I do need more strength, I just cast bulls strength, and there is my 18 or 20. While the fighter tops out there, I have the option of casting true strike a couple of times (12.5 gp a scroll) so I can power attack the guy in full plate with cover, and I'm essentially guaranteed to hit.

EDIT: I don't need all those buffs to keep up. I keep up well enough with a two handed martial and power attack. Once I start casting mirror image I'm a much better tank then almost any martial in most situations. IF, and I say IF here, I need more power, I have the option to get it. Most of the time I do great without it. Once my martial skills do start to fall behind to the point where I might struggle, I laugh and laugh, because I'M A WIZARD. If it is too tough to fight, I just end the encounter with a save or suck spell. BECAUSE I'M mostly THE MOST POWERFUL CLASS IN THE GAME!

graystone wrote:
Fergie wrote:
Around 5th level I'm just one caster level behind, but still able to function perfectly well as a fighter, or caster.

Looking at a fighter 5 vs a fighter 1/wizard 4, I don't think the multiclass is able to 'function perfectly well' in fighting especially when you're looking at a power attacking situation.

Second, you are ignoring that you have to move stats around to make a fighter/wizard work. To have a strength high enough to get even close to keeping up with the normal fighter, you have to lose something. Dex, int, con, something and it's going to come back and kick you in the butt when you switch over to be a wizard. Lower dex and AC suffers for fighting. Lower Int and casting suffers, Con is bad for fighting all together, and You have to have strength to hit and damage especially with power attacking.

Fergie wrote:
being a F1/W5/EK1 is perfectly serviceable.
Being a warrior or adept is "perfectly serviceable" but why hobble yourself compared to a PC class?

If you want to compare a fighter in platemail swinging away to an EK with mirror image and perhaps a bulls strength, you will not find that much difference. THE PURE FIGHTER IS BETTER AT FIGHTING. The EK is fully able to contribute his share to the success of the party in a fight.

I'm not ignoring ability scores, I happily bypassing the need for them. I care less about Dex because I have mirror image and half a dozen other buffs that prevent damage. I care less about Con because I have false life, and ways to get temp HP. I care less about Strength because I have bulls strength, true strike, etc. etc. Walking around and in the first round of combat, I'm weaker then the fighter. With a round or two of buffing, I can do most things well better then him. I'm worse then the wizard as well, but I don't care because I don't need to be as good as a wizard, (even one a level or two behind) to hit above my APL.

Coriat wrote:
Fergie wrote:
people complaining that they can't build a decent character says more about their understanding then it says about the rules and game balance.
I'm not going to be so fast to ascribe lack of understanding to people like Jiggy, who said that he'd actually played, and struggled with the EK - there is a certain built up respect towards his understanding of the rules that informs my attitude here.

Please point me to where Jiggy said that an EK is not a functional character?

Rynjin wrote:

I don't think you understand how big a deal being 2 caster levels behind is.

Especially when for those first few levels (through 7th since without early entry you can't enter until 6th) you're 2 CL (an entire spell level, especially this specific spell level since 4th level spells are some of the best around) behind, but only 1 BaB ahead...which is still 1 behind a 3/4 BaB class, which already have low to hit without their special boosters, which you lack.

If I were writing a guide for optimizing the wizard, I would say that caster levels are king. No doubt. That is optimizing 101, and 102 as well.

But the thing is, as a EK, I start off the game great! I'm a martial with power attack and a two handed weapon! YEEE HAW! At second level, I still kick ass because I'm power attacking away and my will save is even improved! I probably still wear armor, but I have some wizard school SLAs that still function. What do you know, true strike even still functions in armor! So do wands! Pretty soon, I'm power attacking while mirror imaged, and I have a pile of scrolls for weird situations. I have a bonded item, or a familiar who boosts a save or some other cool effect. Around 5th level I'm just one caster level behind, but still able to function perfectly well as a fighter, or caster. I could even pick up point blank shot and another ranged feat or two. Level 7 or 8, yeah a little bit of a bummer to be 2 CL back, but I'm one tough wizard, and HOLY CRAP I have craft wondrous item (as a bonus feat!) and a whooping spellcraft! But wait, even if I don't craft, make an attack roll or fortitude save, I'M STILL ABLE TO BEAT APL+2 encounters fairly easily! I haven't been sucking or paying dues, I've been able to hit above my APL THE WHOLE TIME!

If being a wizard was hard or frustrating, you would have some great points, but it is just the opposite. If you can function well enough as a wizard 5 commoner 2, being a F1/W5/EK1 is perfectly serviceable. Is it better then a melee bard, or melee cleric? Probably not in many ways, but definitely better in some. That means it is an acceptable character build.

Rynjin wrote:

As-is here's how the EK works:

-For the first 7 levels or so, you suck all around at everything you're trying to do. You're a pretty s!~~ty combatant, and your spells suck too.

I'm not trying to pick on you personally Rynjin, but using your posts for quoting because they seem to get a lot of favorites, and you seem to sum up what many others are saying as well.

With all do respect, if you can't build a functional character because you are a wizard with higher BAB, more HP, improved saves, etc, but two caster levels behind, you should do more research before giving advice on how the game should work.

Prestige classes could probably use a little boost, specifically allowing earlier entry. I don't think there is really any disagreement about that. But in the context of the ruling on SLAs, people complaining that they can't build a decent character says more about their understanding then it says about the rules and game balance.

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Jiggy wrote:

The issue is not "this is weaker than a full-caster". The issue is "this is weaker than other options meant to fill similar roles". The eldritch knight is the weakest way to play a magical swordsman.

So what? The Bard is the weakest full casting class (meaning full caster level) but bards kick ass, and most people thoroughly enjoy playing them. Don't get me wrong Jiggy, I greatly respect your knowledge of the game, and agree with most of what you say on the subject. I just don't buy the argument that PrCs, specifically EK and MT can't be totally viable participants in the game as designed. If you say EK is worse then other "gish" options, I might not disagree, but to say that they can't carry their weight is ridiculous.

A wizard can practically solo many APL+2 encounters. I can add two levels of commoner, and still kick ass. Why all this crying about being denied early entry into these PrCs? Your being "forced" to take levels in THE MOST POWERFUL CLASS IN THE GAME!

PS Take that 6th level of wizard BEFORE that first level of EK.

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Tels wrote:

So now you have multiclass (weaker option) with Prestige classes (weaker option) meaning it's a double weakness.

You miss that EKs and MTs are significantly BETTER then if you had kept going with the multi-classes that allowed you to fulfill the entry requirements.

Yes, you are LESS powerful then a single class SAD full caster. Just like EVERY OTHER CLASS in the game. However less powerful does not equal "garbage" or unplayable.

Imbicatus wrote:
Define ability to participate at an adequate level in the game.

Contribute approx 25% of required effort to defeat an APL-1, APL 0, APL+1, and APL+2 encounters (or some other variation) before resting.

I believe MOST people who post frequently on these message boards could build a Fighter/Wizard, or Cleric/Wizard, or whatever who could fulfill that requirement. I think the few who could not could easily do it with access to the PRCs. It would be a little harder with the Rogue/Wizard, or Arcane Trickster, but not much.


Imbicatus wrote:
Yes you have TONS of spells as a MT. Do they have saves or allow SR? If so you might as well not learn them because they will not land. Your lowered progression and MAD stats mean that you are much less likely to have a DC or CL check that matters.

If it were true that you NEEDED a high DC or that beating SR was a huge struggle, you would have a good point. But the math of the game just does not back up your statements. Beating monsters weak saves is EASY even for lower level spells and beating (or avoiding) SR is also just not that hard. Really, things are not as difficult as you make them out to be.

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Imbicatus wrote:
Fergie wrote:
Why can't they handle encounters intended for their level?
Because they are effectively not equal to their level.

All of the same statements could be made about any multi-class character who has some martial and some magic, but they are all over the place and seem to work fine in the game. Why are PrCs sooooo much worse that people are saying that they are "garbage" and such?

Are people really unable to handle level appropriate encounters with PrC characters? Does having to do a couple levels of some casting class instead of picking a drow or whatever really ruin your ability to participate at an adequate level in the game?


BigDTBone wrote:

(5) you offer an idea that lets some stuff work together that didn't used to.

You complain to yourself and you let the frustration that is tied up... more...

PrCs work just fine, they are just not that among the "more powerful" options, but if that is REALLY important to you, just play a full caster. There are many to choose from. Your complaints seem to be about not being able to access what is openly known to be a lesser option (PrCs), based on the reversal of a temporary FAQ (SLAs), and the requirement to take a few levels of what are generally considered the most powerful classes in the game, instead of selecting specific races.

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Scavion wrote:
The real issue is that Prestige Classes are invalidated again.

Since the game is about having fun, the classes could only be invalid if you could not have fun. I would say that being a sidekick or obviously very inferior to the other PCs, would qualify as "not fun", but honestly the current versions of the PrCs are not even close to sidekick status. They might not be AS good as straight classes (its no secret they were never intended to be AS good) but they are seem capable of participating in CR appropriate challenges.

Perhaps you could explain why you can't have fun playing an EK, Trickster, or MT? Why can't they handle encounters intended for their level?

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Errant Mercenary wrote:

Edit: /EndRant

Just out of curiosity, do you think posts like yours help the designers make a better game and encourage them to interact with the community, or do you think they have the opposite effect?

Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
What are your acceptable breaks from reality?

Pretty much anything goes.

I get reality all the time, and usually it is meh. So when I game, I want the fantastic and the gritty, but not the tedium of normal life.

Thanks Louis and Sean, that was very entertaining and informative.

Damn it! I just spent five minutes looking for that meowing before remembering Sean's cat!!

This is very interesting stuff.

Jiggy wrote:
How often? (If you don't mind my asking.)

I'm guessing he is asking how often you have encounters that push the players to the brink. I have found that is only fun for something like 10%-20% of encounters. More then that, and it pushes the players to feel they need to optimize to survive. It also requires that the players take the only options that will get them out of extreme circumstances, which in a way limits player choice of how to play their characters. I recommend that most fights are fairly easy (APL+1) by the CR system, but can become high risk due to dice, party composition, player mistakes, etc.

LazarX wrote:
You're not going to score points with the IronHard Dice Nazi crowd. :)

I think this is something I need to address, as there are very different opinions.


-IronHard Dice Nazi crowd - Or "GM roles in the open crowd" function as I described in the original post.
-GM rolls in secret, and may or may not follow the dice. Requires the players to trust the GM will fudge, but not know when for fun to be maintained.
-GM dictates action in some opposed circumstances without dice rolls. Requires players to trust the GM will dictate the action for the benefit of the game (without the 'illusion' of dice rolls) for fun to be maintained.

deusvult wrote:
If a Pathfinder player has a great idea, it should work. It shouldn't be hostage to the outcome of a d20 roll.

Do you apply that to opposed roles such as in a combat situation? Or is it a more general statement about dictating the story? Perhaps an example might help?

LazarX wrote:

The defeat of my enemies... the lamentation of their women.

As to playing........

I was going to title this thread, "what is fun in life", but I worried everyone would answer with variations of the three things Conan listed. While crushing your enemy and seeing him driven before you is no doubt fun, after a while, hearing the lamentations of the women isn't as fun as it first sounds.

Marc Radle wrote:
Neither of the links appear to work ...

I thought that was just me breaking something when I clicked on it.

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In an attempt to write an optimization guide, I'm trying to learn more about how and why people enjoy the game. Please read over the following lists, and tell me if anything is missing, or if you agree or disagree.

IMPORTANT: This thread is for expressing opinions about what you enjoy. DO NOT POST TO TELL SOMEONE THAT THEY ARE HAVING BADWRONGFUN! You are welcome to express how you have fun or not but don't argue or even debate how someone else has fun!

As a player, I have fun:

  • Controlling the actions of my PC.
  • Customizing my PC with skills, feats, equipment, and other features.
  • Knowing that if I generally play well, and have a little luck, I will do well most of the time.
  • Having my characters decisions and actions affect the environment and story.
  • Getting experience and treasure that allows me to increase the power of my character.
  • Feeling that I can, and occasionally must, do my best to defeat encounters.
  • Knowing that my fellow PCs are supporting me, and that we act in each others best interests.
  • Knowing that my PC is on par with the rest of the party and that we affect the game in fairly equal amounts.
  • Not knowing exactly what to expect, and trying to be ready for anything.
  • Even if bad things happen to my character, or the dice go against me, I still have fun if I am engaged in the game.
  • Feeling that in most opposed circumstances, it is the dice that decide the outcome.*

GMs enjoy the game for different reasons then players.
As a GM I have fun:

  • Presenting a campaign world with locations, encounters, mythos, timeline and NPCs.
  • Presenting a wide variety of encounters that engage the players, and encourage them to have fun playing their characters.
  • Knowing I have general control of the storyline and timeline, with occasional (sometimes unexpected) exceptions.
  • Knowing that players will use wits, teamwork and creativity to solve encounters, and vary their tactics to fit the situation.
  • When everyone at the table participates in the game to the amount they are comfortable with.
  • When players are friendly, kind, and enjoy themselves.
  • While I decided if a roll is needed and add the modifiers, the dice decide the outcome.*

* GM, and even player "Cheating" (i.e. ignoring dice rolls) is a highly debatable topic. Like all issues, discuss it beforehand, and come to a consensus on how your group views it.

Note: I would like this thread to be about how you have fun, not things that ruin your fun. I would also like to keep this as general as possible, so that these ideas about fun can be applied broadly to many situations.

Again, this is a thread for people to express how they have fun. Don't tell another poster that they are doing it wrong.

What is so important about fun?:
I am starting this thread because I am working on a guide for optimizing the game for FUN! You can see it by clicking on my profile. It is a work in progress, so please keep this thread about fun for now.

There is Barkhad Abdi from the movie Captain Philips. There was a caricature of a black villain in Blackhawk Down, a whole movie about white people fighting black people. Speaking of white guys going to fight black people..., if we go all the way back to 1980, there is Dogs of War, starring Christopher Walken, and XM-18.

"Black cat is bad luck, bad guys wear black, must have been a white guy who started all that... "

EDIT: Oh yeah, and Clubber Lang and Apollo Creed from the Rockey series, but I can't remember when they were villains and when they were good guys...

So are wizards with 20 int, massive amounts of save-or-suck, and crafting feats to get to almost 200% WBL!

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I still reject the idea that core only prevents power gaming. Power gamers are going to powergame, whether it is the beginner box or everything ever printed. If you want to prevent power gaming, talk to your players.

I think power gaming makes expansion material much more needed because very few options are viable for a high powered game. I can get more usable options by dialing back the optimization and power then adding a bunch of books were only a handful of options are fit for X-treme play.

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The short answer is that the game is designed for fun, not optimization. Optimization bends/breaks the game. The GM can adapt to this, and run a sort of Pathfinder Hard Mode, but it requires a lot of work, and system mastery and produces a game that might not be fun for people to play. I recommend making your character versatile, not a specialist, and ask yourself if your character choices are going to result in fun for the other players and the GM.

Note: I started a rough draft about this topic you can find by clicking on my profile. So far it is just the introduction, but I think it addresses your questions.

kestral287 wrote:
Fergie wrote:
Seranov wrote:
Core-only PF is the worst kind of PF. It's a world where the Wizard, Cleric and Druid are the godkings of adventurerkind, and the Fighter, Monk and Rogue are so laughably useless that they'll be lucky to be kept around as pack mules.
Or you could just try not powergaming the hell out of your full casters, and you might find the game works a little better. YMMV
Given the OP's sentiment seems to be that adding more books leads to more powergaming and that core is more balanced, if "voluntarily don't play balls-out" is something necessary to balance core then I think the point is made already.

But I don't think core is more balanced then later books, it just has less options. The general complaint is that full casters hit well above the APL after the mid levels. Thankfully Paizo didn't just powercreep everyone up to the level of a god wizard, and make the CR system a joke. The additional books are based on the APL/CR system, and with a few exceptions (some summoner stuff, gunslinger stuff, slumber hex, dazing spell,etc.) it is balanced.

Once you accept that the game isn't balanced for optimized play, you then need to establish a power baseline. You can either use the CR system the game is designed around and bring the casters down a peg or you can throw it out and up the power of every other class. Since the expansion books do neither of these things, they aren't the cause or solution to power inbalance.

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Seranov wrote:
Core-only PF is the worst kind of PF. It's a world where the Wizard, Cleric and Druid are the godkings of adventurerkind, and the Fighter, Monk and Rogue are so laughably useless that they'll be lucky to be kept around as pack mules.

Or you could just try not powergaming the hell out of your full casters, and you might find the game works a little better. YMMV
Some good opinions in that thread.

Somewhere there is a thread where Evil Lincoln (I think) rated all the feats.

But yeah, how you make a character depends what you want to do.

I should warn you, "optimized" playing often means lots of anti-climatic "rocket tag" encounters, and enforces a fairly limited amount of options. And no matter what you do, if your GM just wants to one-up your character with his monsters and DMPC, he can just do that. Hopefully your GM is just learning to balance his encounters, (a fine art), and things will improve as time goes on.

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I would like to know what your personal games are like. What classes do you prefer? Do you like low magic or 3X WBL? Combat strategy simulator, or immersive story telling?

A flat featureless plain with one buff spell and a CR+ blah blah blah.

Basically any theorycraft setting, especially if PvP or arena combat is involved.

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