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PRD - "Water Breathing spell:Target living creatures touched
Duration 2 hours/level; see text
text: The transmuted creatures can breathe water freely. Divide the duration evenly among all the creatures you touch..."
I think water breathing can be cast on as many creatures you can touch...
My advice would be to start at first or second level, and make the adventures REALLY easy. A great start would be something like the first issue of the Rise of the Runelords AP. The initial combat is against goblins who are more interested in looting and burning then fighting the PCs, the the actual goal of the combat is protect the town and the townspeople, rather then specifically slay and loot. This gives the players lots of options, and gives a good feel for the open ended nature of the game. Speaking of open ended, be sure to encourage out-of-the-box thinking rather then mechanical play. For example, if a player wants to push a wagon into a group of goblins, don't require a profession teamster check or anything, just a DC 10 strength check or something easy.
Finally, I would just keep an eye out for situations that are intended to challenge experienced players to get out of their comfort zone. For example, sometimes they throw very difficult boss encounters, or encounters that require more then just attacking with weapons (like a swarm). While this is great for players looking for a challenge, it is not appropriate for first time players.
One last hint: The enemies (no matter what they are) are slavers. They are not looking to kill the PCs, but take them alive and sell them for gold. This allows you to pull punches and even allows for rescues, rather then rolling up new PCs.
There is no "likely" about it. We have real history to look at, and can go by what really happened in real life. Einstein's contribution to the battlefield was getting the atomic bomb developed. I think the power of that speaks for itself.
You'll notice I never said otherwise. That is why I propose altering casters current power levels to be inline with their APL.
James Langley wrote:
That is why I used the qualifier "almost". Nothing is stopping you from giving your fighters higher Int that your wizards except being one of those hated optimizers. (joke)
The mage does not have all modes of play. They can take the form of a dragon, but with 1/2 BAB, they are going to suck in melee combat, and there are not enough buffs to make up for it. Generally, turning into a dragon makes the mage much weaker in most ways not stronger. Most of the transmutation spells are powerful because of their options, not their raw power.
But really, why turn yourself into the BMX Bandit, when you are already the Angel Summoner.
The intelligence stat absolutely has an impact on how a PC, and much more so an NPC will be played. (I say more for the NPC because a player is generally going to play a specific way regardless of if they have a 10 Int or a 24 Int, while a GM should make an effort to play differently). Wisdom is also important. Charisma is generally only important if it is a social encounter. Ideally a good villain will not lack any of these stats.
The reason I propose several methods to tone down casters is because they hit above their APL. Martial characters generally do fairly well for their APL in combat encounters, although they generally struggle in other types of encounters. I propose giving them more tools for out of combat utility, without drastically altering their combat abilities. This would put them where their APL indicates. How they function as single monster encounters is an afterthought in my opinion.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Oops! Stupid illiteracy!My point was that if you design a PC class so that it is an equal member of the PC party (-it contributes an average of 20-25% of whatever is needed for a given encounter) then differences in how it functions as a single monster encounter are not going to matter in the grand scheme of the CR system and game as a whole.
Designing a PC class to function as a solo monster encounter is in my opinion bad game design.
A Wizard is almost always going to be a tougher encounter then a Fighter, because the Wizard is almost always a much more intelligent character, and should be played as such. There is nothing broken or wrong with that, it is just the nature of the ability score and class system. Smart foes being more challenging is not a flaw of the system.
A solo Bard or Cavalier is going to be a weaker encounter because the classes have features that are designed to work with teammates (inspire courage and tactician), but that isn't a problem, it is good design for a PC class.
If you want to see how martials and casters currently fit into the CR system, take a look at the Ancient Red Dragon. It is a CR 20 creature with the base attack of a 26th level fighter, and the casting of a 15th level sorcerer.
Like Jeraa said, the +0 or +7 is what they add to their D20 roll vs AC. The damage is strange, but it is essentially 1 point of damage with each successful attack. (It is listed that way in case they get some kind of bonus that boosts up their strength, but you can ignore that for now, and just say 1 damage.)
"P.S: Color Spray seems incredibly powerful for a CR 1/3 ability."
Not many of the rules are absolute, but that doesn't mean they are not the rules.
In the game there are active checks and passive checks. Passive checks, such as sense motive and some perception checks, happen automatically, usually as a reaction to something. Active checks require the PC to do something, usually requiring an action of some kind.
Again, speaking is a free action. You can't take actions until it is your turn. Therefor no speaking until it is your turn. Those are the rules. There may be exceptions, but the rules are the rules.
Some flying maneuvers (such as are listed in the fly skill) require dexterity. However, flying without doing a special maneuver does not require a fly skill check, and thus does not require any dexterity.
So... it is purely mental, until it gets a little difficult when it becomes dex based, then it goes back to being purely mental?
In this case there's a rule that says you can talk, even when it's not your turn. There's no rule that specifically says you can't talk while flat-footed, so the general rule stands that you can.
You can't take a free action (speaking) before you have had a chance to act.
Maybe what you are missing in Kirth's statement is that in Pathfinder, a single-class level X character with PC wealth is supposed to be CR X. As long as a CR X wizard is a more challenging opponent than a CR X fighter, the CR system is broken, no matter where they are in comparison to the bestiary monsters.
How a level X Fighter compares to a level X Wizard as a single monster encounter is borderline irreverent. How a single creature alone faces a party of adventures only matters for monsters. It doesn't happen in real play. Same with PvP. You could have a fairly major imbalance, and it would have almost no effect on the CR system, and less on the game as a whole.
What matters is how a PC class functions as part of a 4-5 person party of diverse class types, adventuring, and facing a diverse set of challenges. This is what defines the play experience, and this is what class balance and power should be designed around.
As it currently stands, a well built mid-to-high level wizard can function well above his APL (average party level). This isn't good for the CR system. If we make it so fighters can do the same thing, we now have two problems for the CR system. If you make each class function according to its APL (by toning down casters a little) then there are no problems with the CR system. Balance may not be perfect, but there is parity between the PC classes.
Given the amount of magic available to most monsters, I think casters get closer to being accurately representative of their CR in the latter 1/2 of the game. Look at some of the higher level challenges, like a CR 14 crag linnorm. Even though it doesn't have actual spellcasting, it has a breath weapon, constant freedom of movement and true seeing, poison, four good melee attacks plus grab and constrict abilities, 100 foot fly speed and a 60 foot swim speed, and a death curse. Would you say a 15th level Fighter or a 15th level Wizard would be closest to the challenge that creature provides?
It's funny, the default answer of wizard takes a big hit due to the true seeing. Since the wizard has no mirror image, no displacement, and nothing but a 20ish AC, I'm going to call it a draw. Without true seeing, obviously it would be the wizard.
...Lots of stuff...
One thing I would point out is that the game is expected to be played at a fairly low level of optimization. Look at the Adventure Paths, with the exception of a few boss fights in each set, they are generally fairly easy. If you look at the Iconics, they are not what most people would consider powerful characters. The game isn't intended to require just the right feats or items, it is supposed to be for flawed characters. This isn't inherently a bad thing. It becomes a bad thing when some of the players/classes stumble into the high powered options without a global understanding of the system. For example, if one player wants to make Zoro the dashing rapier wielding fighter, and the other wants to make Conan, the greatsword power attacking barbarian, they are not going to be remotely equal in a fight.
I'm in favor of a system that caters to unoptimized characters, but I feel that should be more hard coded into the system, rather then requiring a fairly elaborate, yet completely unspoken code of conduct. As it is, it is far to easy to stumble into over powered options, well before you have the experience to deal with the consequences.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
I would say that putting martials up where casters are now would be throwing out the CR system. Bringing casters down would put everyone back into the CR system.
EDIT: Talking about higher level play, not low to mid level.
Silver Surfer wrote:
1) The general terribleness of channeling
I always thought channeling was pretty sweet. Area healing or area damage to undead... Great! It is a very elegant solution to the weirdness of turn undead, and the know problem of players hating to have to use spells for healing.
Silver Surfer wrote:
2) The general boredom/blandness/underpowered nature of cleric class abilities
Clerics get nine levels of spells, extra domain spells often off arcane lists, and AMAZING things like touch of luck, dimension step, aura of destruction, etc. Oh yeah, and 3/4 BAB, medium armor, access to almost any weapon through race/deity, etc. What is bland boring or underpowered again?
Silver Surfer wrote:
3) Paizo reluctance to do a decent cleric archetype! ;)
Since clerics are easily one of the most powerful and customizeable classes in the game, archetypes are generally going to be a step down, rather then a step up. But I'm not up on all the archtype options these days, so I'll take your word for it.
Driving a car for 8 hours straight is tiring, and you do nothing physical, not even walking...
I think this is kind of symbolic of the argument going on here.
Driving requires constant carefully controlled physical input, agility, reflexes,
Now, the fly spell, or most other forms of flight in Pathfinder don't have technological mechanical controls like a car. The carpet of flying uses voice commands that are magically interpreted and followed by the item. The fly spell has no voice commands or mechanical input and relies on the fine muscle control of the user to determine what you can accomplish. The better your Dex, and practice, the more skilled you are at flying.
I have never used a segway scooter, but I imagine the fly spell has similar handling characteristics. Basically you lean in the direction you want to go, and compensate for gravity, momentum, and air resistance. How exactly do you do this? Magically of course, because it is a magic spell.
Until then "Using a fly spell requires only as much concentration as walking".
"Using a fly spell requires only as much concentration as walking, so the subject can attack or cast spells normally. "
Fly is a Dex based skill, regardless of magical or natural source.Dex based activities require physical input to participate in.
PRD - "Fly(Dex; Armor Check Penalty)
You are skilled at flying, through either the use of wings or magic, and can perform daring or complex maneuvers while airborne. Note that this skill does not give you the ability to fly."
Not talking about encumbrance at all. Let's say a 20th level barbarian with a 40 str in celestial plate, and nothing else... Weight is a total non-issue. Why am I slower and have problems doing complex manuvers because of my armor?
So it is purely mental until they need dex for the "finesseries of flight", then Dex gets involved?
PRD -"Fly(Dex; Armor Check Penalty)"
Demilich - dex - 17
EDIT: Also there are a few ways to paralyses undead, and a demilich can use a fly spell just fine.
Specifically, the Demilich has a dex score other then zero.
How about a regular old skeleton? One with an Int score of "-". Can they fly?
Flight is a dex based skill, so it is physical. Not only that, but AC check penalty applies so it is strongly inferred that it requires a fair amount of movement, as opposed to wiggling a pinkey finger or something. As the fly spell specifically calls out that medium and heavy armor users move slower, this is further proof that flying is physical movement.
But really, fly is a dex based skill. There is really nothing more to discuss unless anyone can point to something in the spell text that specifically says it is no longer a dex based skill.
PRD- "Using a fly spell requires only as much concentration as walking, so the subject can attack or cast spells normally. "
I think more reading of the PRD would help in this discussion.
I'm of the opinion that a paralyzed creature that is under the effects of a fly spell can still fly around (since a paralyzed creature "can take purely mental actions" and "using a fly spell requires only as much concentration as walking").
The problem is "only as much concentration" tells you how much concentration is required to use the spell. For example, a good example of something that requires only as much concentration as walking... WALKING! Just because something requires X amount of one thing, does not mean it doesn't also require X amount of another thing.
When you are flying, you are using a dex based (physical) skill. If you are incapable of any physical activity beyond life support, you can't use physical skills of any kind. It doesn't matter if you have to make checks or not, you just can't use the skill at all.
This is common sense, no FAQ required.
Dragon Magazine issue 66 The article starts on page 12 of the magazine (page 14 of the PDF).
I couldn't believe they didn't choose ranger for Cutter, but then I remembered elves couldn't be rangers in AD&D. I was also surprised that they choose dwarves to represent the trolls, but when I thought about it, the Elf Quest elves are probably closer to halflings then classic high elves, so medium creatures for the dwarfs also makes sense.
EDIT: Wow! Classic monsters, spells, specialization, and a thieves cant dictionary... That is an amazing issue of Dragon.
Poughkeepsie (home of WaRP Graphics) is just a little north of where I live.
The graphic novels were one of my favorite things when I was a kid. Later in life, I started coloring comics professionally, and always looked through the ElfQuest books for inspiration, even though the hand painted color Wendy did was beyond my skills. The closest I got to working for them was coloring stuff that had been penciled and inked by a guy who drew some of the later (~early 90's) ElfQuest. Not working on ElfQuest directly (or at least trying) is one of my biggest regrets as a colorist.
Has anyone from Paizo ever contacted the Pini's about some sort of collaboration?
Also, do you remember when the Elfquest characters were stated up for AD&D in the olde Dragon magazine?
What is the name of the cow who licked the first Jotun (Yimmir?)out of the ice block in Norse creation? I think there is some kind of joke related to this for the sacred cow thread...
Sorry if there are several errors in my question.
EDIT: Also, I just found this:
Please explain you position more fully, because I feel like you're conflating the concepts 'injury' and 'damage amount' in a confusing fashion, or I have -completely- missed the point.
Please take the "what are hit points" discussion to another thread. Reading debates about abstractions makes my eyes bleed.
I started with AD&D, so sacred cows are more things like the six core races, the basic classes, some of the classic spells (FIREBALL! - Where is Benign Fascist these days?) some of the classic treasure, etc. But even among these, none are really that sacred. I really don't care that magic-users are now wizards, bards are not a prestige class, and assassins are no longer a core class, yet barbarians are.
I don't want to bring 4th Edition into this, but when I looked at the 4e players handbook, and saw some dragon race, assimar, and categories like "striker", it felt like something totally different then AD&D.
I'm more concerned that the game has the sim-fantasy world aspect where you feel like you could stat up whole functioning towns full of NPCs, rather then feeling like a construction kit for an MMORPG.
EDIT: I do feel like unlimited ability scores, (and the option to start with a 20, causes many imbalances in the game. I think the game would function much better if your abilities went up, but you still had to pay a point buy type system. For example, at first level, you get 20pts to spend. Every four levels, you get 2 more pts to spend. I'm also not a huge fan of the "Christmas Tree Effect", but I do like having something to spend gold on. Perhaps just having less gold, and reducing the power of some of the numeric boosting items.
Hmmm, I was only a player, so I don't really know what it says in the mod, but I would start with a look at the characters, and see what they are good at. If I recall, most of the challenges were pretty mundane, and magic was frowned upon - this worked out poorly for our group which was a casting cleric (me) a undead sorcerer, and a fighter with no skills (not that anyone in the party was that skilled). Try to see what your group does well, and make them use their skills and spells in funky ways. Since the group is around 10th level or so, feel free to have some "impossible" challenges - cut down a tree with a herring type stuff. But again, make sure the solution is attainable multiple ways, not just with a teleportation spell only.
I think I was on the wrong side of the screen to really offer much more, but better informed opinions can be found here.
PS I forgot how much I really missed that campaign. Our group fell apart shortly after that part of the adventure. Someday, I'll reach the other side of the world...
I would say the first step is to try to put the dice and numbers in the background. Try and focus on the players making decisions, not checks.
I found one of the best ways to engage the players was to create drama and conflict they have a good reason to be involved in.* Also, if there are things like a horse race, and none of the players have a rank in ride, switch it out for something completely different. Gladiatorial fight to the death against an evil outsider or something. Figure out what the players are specialized in, and allow them to use those skills. Try to present a problem that needs solving, rather then a specific thing that needs to be done.
Is this Jade Reagent? My character had trouble in that situation because he was a cleric of Desna (freedom, liberation), and the Lord guy being a slaver really made me dislike everything about him. Engage the players/PCs, but beware of putting them in situations where they feel forced to have their PC play along, despite their characters beliefs.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
But you're not allowed to act, thus no free actions. The "...even when it isn't your turn" part of speaking just means that you can speak outside your turn, not that you can speak when you are paralyzed, stunned or otherwise unable to act.
I find it often takes a hard start to get the session started. Sometimes announcing "roll initiative"* (for an APL-1 mook encounter) works really well to get everyone focused at the table. Sometimes a combat encounter isn't appropriate, but you can get the same effect by having the PCs roll some perception checks, sense motive, will saves or other passive checks (save the rolls for later in the session, this can cut down on meta gaming).
Another helpful tip is to start each session with a quick recap of the last session or two. This is especially useful if it has been a month or two, or there is some kind of cliffhanger in progress.
If possible, allow PCs to start the session after a rest, and with full HP, spells, etc.
In my group, planning was a huge time sink. It resulted in endless debates about what might happen, and how to deal with every possible contingency. What I found to be very helpful was to allow a little planning, then start the adventuring. Once the players have an idea about what is going on and what they are up against, allow them a short break to make a quick plan and get on the same page, then go back on the rounds/minutes clock. This was especially helpful if they had a task that that was restricted by in-game limitations such as everyone needing to be flying, but having to rely on 5 minute duration potions. Also be aware that some types of difficult encounters, such as dragons or vampires, really require the PCs to go in prepared. These can be great fun if they are the exception, but very boring if too frequent or if planning becomes dysfunctional or argumentative.
* Somewhere there is a blog post about starting the game that way. It isn't my original idea.
Sorry if this has become like a broken record, but I get some of the wizard threads mixed up. Here are my ideas for smoothing out the classes...
CRB, Combat wrote:
Speaking is a free action that you can do even when it is not your turn. Acting means "taking an action". You can't "take an action" before you "have a chance to act".
Therefore, no speaking or other actions, until it is your turn.