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1,826 posts. 9 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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What if manxsome foes aren't particularly powerful, but are actually just vulnerable to vorpal weapons.

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I feed on my players' group interaction, curiosity, and speculation for variety and momentum far too much to drive my game. I have tried many times to do 1:1 games with my wife, and I just get bored... perhaps that has as much to do with her playing a druid every single time, but I'd like to pretend I'm not tied down by her decisions, stagnant as getting to know Bear-Lover #358 might be...

Goth Guru wrote:
Opuk0 wrote:

I've been on the receiving end of a 3-20 rule kill, from a sahuagin mook, ignoring both blur and mirror image

T'was not fun.

Was the monk using eco location? If you can see, you cannot ignore mirror image.

Worse: it was a mOOk not a mONk, so it probably didn't even have a solid stance or a centered frame of mind when it made the strike.

I have a huge list of house rules, but I've borrowed a lot from this forum. Some of the ones I have used that are fairly plain and common are:

1) No fumbling on melee attacks. It was a long time before I realized fumbling (losing all remaining attacks, accidentally hurting yourself or throwing your weapon, etc) were actually the house rules that my first DM had imposed. Huge debuff to martials, especially if you're TWF. I guess technically this one isn't a house rule.

2) Weapon finesse and power attack are free feats. Power attack only adds +2 damage, regardless of weapon type.

3) Material components, carry weight, and other minutiae are rarely kept track of. Casters usually pay a component "tax" when they visit town, and carry weight is only really considered when we run into issues with absurd amounts of treasure or trying to haul friendly corpses to the temple without a horse.

4) Spears (the two-handed non-reach weapons) and bastard swords can be used one handed as martial weapons at a -1 penalty to hit.

Lastoutkast wrote:
This question came up at my table.I know it's ridiculous but it's good for a laugh. How would you all rule this ?

Depends on the size of the elemental, the length of the descent, and the target.

An 8th level druid can take the form of a medium earth elemental. You mention a peregrine falcon, but there are no special rules that I can find for them that make them a particular option (crunch-wise; obviously they're a great choice for dive-bombing). For argument's sake, say they could use something similar to the sprint ability the cheetah has when making a dive.

So taking multiple turns to change shape, climb high enough to make the dive, descending, and changing shape again (I'd rule it a minimum of two full rounds, but more realistically three or four, and I'd make my player use action points)... The thing is, the druid is going to take a lot of damage, too... this is literally a suicide attack.

I'd give them 5d8 damage to everything in a 15' square, with a reflex save for half damage equal to their highest spell DC. The druid would take half of this damage, but with no save.

However, at the level that the druid can wildshape into an elemental, I feel like there are more effective ways to do damage, so maybe handwaving the damage to the druid wouldn't be a bad way to handle it. Just make sure that they understand it doesn't extend to other instances of plummeting great distances.

I think you should step out of your number-crunching comfort zone and use that wealth in a way that will shock your GM in a manner similar to how he shocked you.

Use it for intangibles. Role-play it away to nobles and commoners in smaller chunks to different ends, and build loyalty through commerce; invest it in such a way that you might never see a return on it in terms of coin, but in improving the world at large.

If you are concerned that you will be faced with insurmountable odds, then maybe the answer is not to empower yourself and your party, but to prepare everyone.

Just a thought.

EDIT: I would think it obvious, but just in case, I'd do some very careful planning and bookkeeping with this option. Politics are fluid.

Exactly what Tiny Coffee Golem said above. Use wolves (and wolf-pack hunting tactics) with eidolon evolutions, describe them as zerg, and voila, Zerglings.

When you have players using fire to kill them over and over and they begin to mutate for resistance to fire, make their AC drop a little. When players stop using fire so much, make them evolve DR, but lower their HP a bit. If the players adapt to that by committing more resources to single, high-damage hits, then increase their HP but lose the fire resistance.

And only tell your players that what their doing is effective or not. Slowly. You shouldn't have to change mutations too frequently, so you can plan a few of them ahead of time.

I don't think there is a dislike of the idea so much as there is a wariness-vibe from a lot of people who are aware of how strong egos can be and how fragile gaming groups can be. I'm sure that everyone who is into table top RPGs has given this a thought at some point. But don't be shaken by other people's experiences. Learn what they have to offer from them and try something that you think will work. If it does, that's awesome, but if it doesn't, then you can contribute your experiences in the next thread that comes along like this. ;)

There are a lot of good ideas here, but really, what it all boils down to is a willingness from you and your group to agree on a lot of things that can (and likely will be) contested. There's no "correct" way except the one that facilitates your game and fun.

Not to rain on the parade (because this is a pretty awesome thread) but in all seriousness, I toss Rule Zero into the ring when silliness comes into effect. It simply doesn't happen. But if I were to entertain it...

Does it make sense for an intelligent, inexplicably evil housecat to murder its owner? Okay, why not. Cats don't do much anyway, but since this one's intelligent, I'm sure it has something that resembles a motive (maybe he saw the bottom of his food dish more than once this week).

A random, un-templated housecat killing a level 1 commoner? No. Not via damage, at any rate. Infected scratch? If it's good enough for Dothraki warlords, sure! But that's also assuming the commoner fails to do anything about the wound and/or infection, whether by ignorance or lack of means.

Sometimes "abusing" silly things like this brings out some really awesome ideas though. I think there is some genuine merit in using domesticated cats en masse as a disease vector, especially if there is a druid PC. Could be very interesting.

Melkiador wrote:
Foghammer wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Definitely full attack while moving your full speed in the round, breaking up both movement and attacks as you see fit.

I've always wondered why this wasn't how things worked to begin with, but I never outright questioned it because "it's a game."

I'm glad I saw this thread. I may give this a whirl next time I get to DM.

It seems letting ranged attackers do this could be really over powered.

With all of my other house rules in effect, I don't think it will really hurt melee DPR. Ranged weapons require a lot of feats to be used to full effectiveness, and I give power attack to all characters for free.

There are a few considerations here, the primary concern being that unless metal in your setting is a heavily-regulated commodity with a strict government, metal will be very plentiful.

Another consideration is whether allomancy is very prevalent. If it is, then your answer to the previous question should be influenced by this. The more prevalent allomancy is, the more work will be done to keep metal supply regulated.

I had another one but I forgot.

As for implementation, I would make an Allomancy (steel) skill for "pushing," Allomancy (iron) for "pulling," and so on... This can allow for a range of target DCs for slow burning or "flaring." Any DCs I would provide would be arbitrary, but if you want to use skills as a stand in, I would recommend working them out for how you want them used. (Obviously, easier DCs will make for more frequent usage.)

Using metals as what will basically amount to spell components, refilling them on a regular basis might be a solution? This really depends on the setting.

Hope that my thinking was of some use to you! Good luck and happy gaming!

I tried a similar thing with my friends.

It did not go well. Lots of arguing over what real-life skill translated to what in-game bonus. Good thing we were all pretty close to begin with.

I would start with a point-buy and tell the players to approximate an idealized version of themselves. Class choices will break the conversion the most, and I have no suggestion for how to handle it except to say "just deal with whatever they pick," regardless of their personality.

The problem we had came from the fact that everyone has a different opinion on what it means to be "trained in" or "familiar with" or "good at" something, so I might limit all of the skill bonuses to +1s and maybe an extra feat if everyone can balance them out.

Who is the Hero in "The Avengers"...?

Iron Man, because he pushed the missile into the portal?

Black Widow/Captain America, because s/he stayed near the civilians to defend them?

Thor, because he distracted Loki and disarmed him of the staff?

Hulk, because he smashed more of the alien skywhales?

(Not Hawkeye. That dummy ran out of arrows.)

Was it Nick Fury, because he called them all in?

Or was it Coulson because he died [NOT!] to bring them all together?

Insisting on being "the" hero *IS* kind of douchey when you think about all of the others' efforts.

1) Flavor (so pretty much this whole book).
2) Kineticist. Always wanted Avatar-style bending, and the playtest looked amazing. The other classes look pretty awesome too, but I'm hung up on this one for now.
3) New rules: chakras, dreamscapes, hypnotism -- bring it on!
5) Artwork.

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Is hellfire a product of evil-outsiders, or a product of the good-outsiders designed for punishing evil?

If evil-outsiders are immune to [hell]fire, then why is it threatening at all?

This confuses me because of the fallen angel turned devil trope. If an angel is cast down, isn't that supposed to be a punishment?

Why are they not in eternal pain instead of running around with agendas and such?

I've looked around for other answers to this line of questions, but I'm afraid the burden falls to you, O Great Dinosaur King, as not even page two of Google holds what I seek therefore I must assume it does not exist, yet.

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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Definitely full attack while moving your full speed in the round, breaking up both movement and attacks as you see fit.

I've always wondered why this wasn't how things worked to begin with, but I never outright questioned it because "it's a game."

I'm glad I saw this thread. I may give this a whirl next time I get to DM.

tzizimine wrote:

Japanese swordsmiths took so long historically speaking because they had to spend far more time working the metal to purify and strengthen it. Japanese iron is low-quality stuff with lots of impurities.

A skilled smith with a moderate setup (tools, a forge, a friend to work the bellows) and a purchased steel billet would not take that additional time to work on the sword. Realistically, a smith dedicated to the creation of a non-masterwork sword could crank one out in a week. Masterwork swords are a little more complicated in that it really depends on how much of a perfectionist and how much detail the artist is putting into the thing (especially since the rules generalize the quality by an arbitrary gp value).

But it's a game mechanic, not intended to simulate real life to the letter so all is moot.

EDIT: And I imagine adamantine is extremely hard to work with in the first place, even the "easily worked" kind. ;D

I'm not sure about the monk only having one stock use for ki points at 3rd level, and it is only usable when taking a full attack action to flurry. This leaves the ki pool feeling way boring at first. Also it seems like the majority of the ki powers require the monk to be high level -- I guess the quiggong powers fill in more space here, but at first blush it seems like all of the really interesting stuff is level 10+.

The monk LOOKS a lot better, and the new options are an improvement, but I think there might have been some erring on the side of caution with the power curve. The body is more aerodynamic, and the engine is newer, but I feel like the horsepower is going to be overall the same. Time will tell.

The rogue looks amazing and I can't wait to see it in action. Debilitating Injury is so elegant in its design that I literally can't unfixate on how awesome it is to critique the rest of the class. The Dex to damage is neither here nor there for me.

The VMC rules are underwhelming to me, but it is interesting that they thought about how it would interact with regular multiclassing. I expect some surprise builds from this section, though.

I'm going to get a hardcopy of this at the FLGS (SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES!) because for practical purposes you just can't beat the actual product, and I will prefer using it for testing out some of the monster building stuff. Can't be bothered to try it with the digital copy, too much scrolling and loading and whatnot.

How about a book like this but less crunch and more fluff? Wouldn't have to be a hardcover, but something that supplies ideas for re-skinning monster stat blocks, re-skinning class mechanics, environment design and atmosphere, etc. That would be awesome for players and DMs who want to spice things up without adding new rules.

This thread helped me make the decision to finally create a race with flight for my players to use. I have one who has begged for it in the past, but my other players insisted that it's OP. I have always been rather permissive, but since the players felt that way I was inclined not to fool with it (that and playing in three dimensions was daunting without specialized equipment).

Now, having played games like Numenera without a grid and minis and Mobile Frame Zero where movement is measured with a Lego-brick ruler, I'm not so daunted, and the trade-offs presented here give me the tool kit for making this balanced, I think.

Thanks, OP.

Jiggy wrote:

Bro... I don't think your need for the level of specificity you want is really conducive to the thread. Also, since the GMG was not written or printed alongside the CRB, I fail to see why those rules hold so much weight against the vagueness of the core system. It's cool that you want to help, but being so high strung about it just makes things unnecessarily tense. Goozfrabah.

OP: I personally believe that the solution to this problem is unique to each group. Some groups may prefer the videogame style "random treasure" > sell "trash" loot > upgrade gear model, while other people want treasure to be hand-picked by the DM every time and carefully selected to match each player (yikes).

Personally, I make up my own unique magic items and throw gold values out the window. A good resource is the spell section of the book; a sword hilt with a command word for activating a permanent flame blade spell (maybe cast with metamagic to make it a different energy type) is fun, interesting for a little while, and at 1d8+X damage it isn't going to break your game balance. How you run your game as far as the challenges you present to your players is going to dictate the utility of magic items.

If you find that your players heavily prefer very generalized items (cloak of resistance, ring of protection, etc) then I would recommend throwing in some very specialized challenges for them to help them reconsider more interesting items that don't appear to have the variety of uses they prize so highly. Don't be overt, and don't make it so difficult that they can't figure out how to deal with those challenges, but make them think twice about selling that fur-lined armor that grants resistance only to cold attacks by unleashing a sudden and unseasonal winter storm brought on by a maniac arctic druid. That sort of thing.

If you prefer the constraints of tables with ranges and die rolls, that's cool too, but my personal advice would be against that route unless you want to occasionally roll random loot (which I use the Ultimate Equipment tables for, and I usually do this as a kind of "lottery" when my PCs find a huge stash of loot with a number of magic items in it). Note that rolling random loot, which is supported by the game's rules and follows loosely along the lines of a certain price range, can still throw curve balls to your WBL if the d% rolls fall just right.

kestral287 wrote:
But if you want to shoot twenty-five missiles at a time, then the answer to "how do we balance this" is "make them wait about five more levels".

But you're only seeing balance as a matter of levels and CRs. There's a lot more to the system than that, and because there are more factors, the DM has the ability to allow things outside of the rules.

The DM can alter the action economy, increase the monetary cost, include the possibility of incurring a negative status effect, all sorts of things OTHER than just telling a player to suck it up and wait five levels.

As an advocate of rule zero, I often have to assert that Pathfinder (and games like it), outside of organized play, is meant to be a cooperative endeavor where the DM and players both contribute to a narrative. Balance is an illusion and blah blah gaming philosophy blah blah...

kestral287 wrote:

... Right, so I don't think you're understanding what I'm asking.

How many missiles does he want to fire?

"3-5 wands" doesn't tell us much, because that can mean a huge selection between three and twenty-five missiles per volley.

So! How many missiles (not spells, the actual missiles) does your player want to fire with each shot?

Everything regarding balance depends on the answer to that question. Without it we're spitting into the breeze.

I think you are actually missing the point of the question: the number of missiles doesn't matter in the concept. The concept is to activate a number of wands instead of just one. I don't think numbers are exactly relevant, just something that the DM can use as a benchmark for trade-offs to make it balanced and justifiable without trivializing the game.

Firing off three CL 9 wands of magic missile at one time (via the Rod of Many Wands) will get you 15 missiles at 1d4+1 each, but will consume a total of 9 wand charges (three from each wand). Each of these wands will cost 3375 gp. You would get about 16 uses out of the Rod of Many Wands with three of these CL 9 wands loaded in it (because 50/3 is 16.67). Each use would thus cost roughly 600gp, not factoring the cost of the Rod since it is a permanent item and the wands are like ammo or fuel.

Whether or not that option is fair in the eyes of the OP, I can't say.

Personally, I think it's the easiest, because it already exists. To scale it back a bit more could be as simple as increasing the number of charges drained.

I always find it funny that when people want to try to do something to gain an advantage, there is a mindset of either "this will break the game, don't do it," or "you can do it, but it's going to be so not worth your while that you won't want to do it anyway." I'm just making a general observation there. Obviously if every GM caved to every player's every whim then everything would be pointless and the system would have no meaning. But there are ways to reward player creativity without making it break the game.

Yes, to fire 3-4 wands at once you'd have to break action economy, but you can patch that buy making the trade-off something different. Two people have already pointed out the Rod of Many Wands from 3.5. That costs money, on top of expending a max of 9 wand charges for casting 3 spells at once (which equates to money).

You could also make it so that you can fire off three wands at once, but doing so pulls an abnormal amount of the caster's essence and they are staggered for one round after, or impose a condition that can be cured by using an action. The benefit is having a huge damage spike, but leaving you vulnerable. Creativity should be met with creativity.

OP, I would recommend making the changes yourself if you want to do this. I personally altered several races for my own campaign setting, adding to some and removing a few things from others for flavor. I even have regional "subspecies" based on the lifestyles and environments. But *I* made those changes and they are what they are. I don't have four players coming to me wanting to okay four sets of changes and keeping track of it. You will be better in the long run if you make the changes you want to see.

Overall, I think there is a lot of overemphasis on the numeric values of a race and far less importance placed on the cultural values of that race.

My group borrows a concept from 3.5's Eberron called action points, but we do them quite differently.

I give my players 3 action points per gaming session. They are worth 1d6 added to any d20 roll, among a few other potential uses (like stabilizing at negative HP or adding a small bonus to spell DCs). I also tell them that the riskier and more awesome the narrative is when they use these points, the more lenient I am with the outcome. They get a bonus 1d6 on the effort, and if they use it for something that helps make the game fun, then I generally let it happen.

I have tried this without action points, but the idea of having a finite resource that is limited, but not too precious (like hero points) seems to have increased the risk taking. I am considering changing the 1d6 to a flat +4, but we haven't played in months.

I don't know how you feel about it, but technically, if an animal is able to leap great distances, then their bodies have to be strong enough to withstand the forces that exerts on them.

If they can attain any given height on their own power, then they can withstand the landing as well. Been working on my own Dragoon class (as it seems 9.9*10^n+1 people have done and are doing). That was one of the main issues I had with it. I just did away with the fall damage and mitigation. What good does it do to jump anyway when flight is so easily attained mid-game and you can't bull rush people off cliffs (because you have to end movement in a safe, empty square)?

EDIT: I also borrowed heavily from the ninja. I actually built a ninja that used a lance and asked the DM to make a couple of houserules to make the dragoon concept work, and that's where I started building from.

Good luck with your class design!

Saldiven wrote:
Paul Migaj wrote:
Saldiven wrote:
Paul Migaj wrote:

For the next game:
Going to try combat with grid-less maps. Same scale, with round templates, and no more talk of corners of squares and diagonals. It should be more elegant and immersive.
Out of curiosity, will you use a tape measure or ruler for movement, then templates or something to determine if you're in threat range, etc?

For movement: Eyeball it when it doesn't matter, tape measure for when it does.

For threat: For when it's not obvious visually, I plan on using a transparent plastic ruler to check the distance between the bases of figures. (Less than 1", less than 2", etc.)

Speaking as a veteran table top wargamer of some 20-odd years, you'll find that eyeballing will be insufficient in a vast majority of occasions. Players will (intentionally or not) make poor eyeball movements all the time that end up affecting the game. I would suggest, based on my experience of playing such games (Warhammer 40K, WHFB, Mordheim, Infinity, Dark Age, WM/H, Bolt Action, etc.) that you do your best to keep measuring consistent to avoid contention amongst players.

Another game I have played using [insert your favorite plastic brick building system here] has an unmarked playing field and many players use a set up like the one in this thread on one of the forums pertaining to said game. It could prove immensely useful.

Raisse wrote:

The primary reason I would want to take this feat as a player is for the ludicrous ability to play up a crazy wizard that does math problems in the middle of battle (during other players' turns) and then shouts that I've solved the formula on my turn and cast a magicked up spell.

Honestly, the key to making this feat playable is an agreement between player and GM not to abuse it, and working on dice rolling/math before your turn comes up.


I would just tell the player that wants to use this feat (that looks freaking awesome) that if s/he abuses it, becomes a crutch for the other players, or begins to trivialize encounters regularly, that I will impose a drawback on the feat's use. Large Int/Wis/Cha damage or something, no save.

If you set that kind of stuff up prior to including the feat, you shouldn't have a problem.

RumpinRufus wrote:

Casting spells as an AoO is a bad idea for a lot of reasons, IMO.

Firstly is the wizard taking Combat Reflexes, and then declaring in combat that he suddenly considers the party to be his enemies. As they move past him, he now gets to cast 5 spells/round.

Second is that it weirdly incentivizes casters to keep Long Arm active, so they can cast a spell at anyone who tries to melee them.

Additionally, usually someone can only move 120 feet per round maximum, but then if people provoke from them they can now move faster, like 150 feet (or 180 if they have Combat Reflexes and two people provoke)? It just doesn't make a lot of sense.

I think combat maneuvers like Grapple make sense as AoOs. Other types of actions, not so much, both for balance and for verisimilitude. If you think it's fun, then go for it, but expect a lot of wonky results, especially if people are actively trying to game it.

Obviously some discretion would have to be used. Perhaps a simple expansion of options rather than the over simplified "standard or move" might be more elegant. True casting several spells a round with combat reflexes might get crazy, and movement might need to be a little more restricted, but I think that's just a matter of being more precise (and thus less CONCISE) in wording.

That said, casting a quickened spell would certainly seem to hold within the framework of this houserule's logic. Still mulling it over.

EDIT: I'm thinking that where this may liven up low-level play, it will multiply problems at higher levels. That's just a thought, and I'm not sure how that would help with refining the houserule.

Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:

0th level spells may be case 3+casting mod times per day each. This came about because of player abuse.

Prestidigitation has been split into several new spells. This came about because of the same player's abuse.

I would be curious to know how the player "abused" those cantrips/orisons, if it's something other than finding obnoxious and inappropriate times to use them (like continually turning people's hair different colors for no reason).

An interesting concept. This seems like it might inject some chess-like strategy into combat. At first blush this sounds like a fun thing to try, even if it produces some problems later on.

I am withholding further commentary for now, because I have classes going on and a short break, but I'm keeping an eye on this.


Magus for the four-armed melee combat...
Oracle for an alien mystic...

It is super-strange to me that there is so much love for the gunslinger in here. I have scarcely been around for several months, but the atmosphere here has really changed. O_O;

Marroar Gellantara wrote:

Human level 10, 22 dex, 10 ranks, stealthy, skill focus, and skill mastery

7 dex + 10 ranks + 3 class + 10 feats = +30

Take 10 + Hellcat stealth means you can always take a 30.

Your math is off. A 22 Dex will get you a +6 modifier.

I wouldn't expect it much more difficult to attain a somewhat similar number (+/-5) with Perception, and without the -10 imposed by the feat. So... meh.

Step 1: Grab a two-handed weapon.
Step 2: Take power attack.
Step 3: ?????????
Step 4: Profit... ;)

Seriously, though, the pain of Samurai Jack's cancellation is probably right up there with Firefly. Not quite that high, but up there.

I think the Forest Shadow *will* be a popular mini. "Used by many?" Ehhh... not when you make them rare.

Anyway, I'm still looking forward to a kasatha mini. :D No rush, no pressure. I'll probably never get to play one anyway.

Mikaze, I feel for you.

On the one hand, from a world building and moralistic standpoint, I agree with you. Having an entire race of creatures who are "supposed to be evil" even if there are token exceptions removes entire spectrums of character options as far as fluff goes. Your race choice, at some point, will become your personality; there will be no separating the two. Which by the way, seems to be the reason some of the Paizo staffers have a dislike of dwarves. Despite having no artificial limitations on their alignment, there appears to be only one kind of dwarf that people play: the Scotch-Irish drunkard with a zest for battle and showmanship, perhaps with a Napoleon complex (oversimplification for illustrative purposes).

On the other hand, the system itself is built around objective alignment, so naturally the world the company builds for it is going to be black or white about these sorts of things. :/ That's just how it is.

Personally, I'd like to see you write your own setting. Weren't you the one who came up with the demi-goddess (Empyreal Lord/Lady?) that pretended to be a bad guy to lead people to heroic destinies? I fricken' loved that.

Matrix Dragon wrote:
Foghammer wrote:
Pupsocket wrote:
Foghammer wrote:

Dodging Panache is strange. The [not!]5-foot step plus bonus to AC make it great for setting up flanking because you keep your actual 5-foot step, but as written, it seems like you HAVE to move to get the AC bonus. If you're flanking already, this seems like not such a great tactical option.
It's great for breaking full attacks.

That is actually a pretty awesome use I hadn't considered, but I am looking at it from the standpoint of someone who [sadly] rarely plays beyond 8th level. Full attacks don't come up too often in our games, but that is an excellent point.

How does that interact with the Step Up feat line, I wonder. It's NOT a 5-foot step, so it wouldn't let them follow, right?

The problem is that the person doing the full attack can simply choose to use a 5-foot step to follow the swashbuckler and then continue the full attack. Step Up isn't necessary.

Well, I guess in order to get it to work, the swashbuckler has to set things up so that the enemy always has to use a 5-foot step in order to even start the full attack. So I guess a smart player could do some fun things here.

Ah... derp. That's true. You would have to get your swashbuckler in, attack, and then when possible, use your normal 5-ft step to back off, then the enemy 5-foots back into melee range, attacks, and then you dodge away out of reach. That's not really a "rinse-repeat" tactic, but it could be useful if you can think to set it up.

Pupsocket wrote:
Foghammer wrote:

Dodging Panache is strange. The [not!]5-foot step plus bonus to AC make it great for setting up flanking because you keep your actual 5-foot step, but as written, it seems like you HAVE to move to get the AC bonus. If you're flanking already, this seems like not such a great tactical option.
It's great for breaking full attacks.

That is actually a pretty awesome use I hadn't considered, but I am looking at it from the standpoint of someone who [sadly] rarely plays beyond 8th level. Full attacks don't come up too often in our games, but that is an excellent point.

How does that interact with the Step Up feat line, I wonder. It's NOT a 5-foot step, so it wouldn't let them follow, right?

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Foghammer wrote:
And the whole thing about just switching it back to Sneak Attack instead of trying to make Studied Combat work just came across as "I'm so close to done I don't care." Rude, in other words.

It was not being rude. It was being honest. I have a list of options. Right now I am looking at data and finding the best way to get the investigator where he needs to be.

Right now I am absorbing and considering positions and data. My answers will absolutely be "this is how it is" and "this is how I think it should be" until I get all the information that I need to make a definitive choice.

I emphasized a key part of my post. I'm quite sure you didn't intend to be rude. I wasn't trying to either. I was voicing what I feel is a legitimate concern about the approach being taken.

I wasn't clear and I apologize. My problem really lies with the fact that while you have given perfectly acceptable answers, they are offered without explanation. Some might call it a sense of entitlement, but I don't feel like Paizo OWES me anything, I just expect that when someone HAS an answer, they back it up with a reason other than just "because that's what I think." I would expect that of anyone posting feedback.

You posted three options you were looking at for revisions while people commented back and forth over the particulars, but never gave reasoning for why those were the only options.

I am sorry if my opinion on Paizo's design transparency comes across as hostile. I'm not trying to make trouble, it just seems like a very simple thing to do and the degree of backlash here is highly discouraging.

EDIT: And things I put in "" are not intended to be direct quotes; they just reflecting my perceptions.

Improvements made to the Swashbuckler from Round 1, according to Foghammer:

  • Weapon Finesse at level 1, counts as feat.
  • Parry and Riposte are slightly improved, enough that I'm okay with it.
  • Charmed Life > Bravery (but not enough).

    Overall, the class is better, but having put one together at level 1 and gone through some hypothetical scenarios, it lacks a certain potency that is hard to quantify, even the subsequent few levels. Damage notwithstanding (because I feel like that is beating a dead horse), I feel like there are a lot of abilities coming out that allow character to add a d6 to certain rolls using a pool. That's okay here or there, but it's come to the point that I've recognized it as a trend. Am I off-the-mark there? Perception is reality, right?

    Derring-do just is kind of meh to me. My group carried action points over from 3.5 though, so that colors my perception a lot.

    Dodging Panache is strange. The [not!]5-foot step plus bonus to AC make it great for setting up flanking because you keep your actual 5-foot step, but as written, it seems like you HAVE to move to get the AC bonus. If you're flanking already, this seems like not such a great tactical option.

    The size penalty on the parry ALMOST makes sense; bigger, heavier weapons are harder to deflect. Okay, I can get the logic. But I'm in the camp of keeping martial characters in roughly the same league as casters AND the cult of the rule of cool, so penalties like this become cumbersome and serve only to steal away potential badassery from the class.

    Precise Strike is great except that it precludes the off-hand pistol or main-gauche, which is off-putting. Initiative isn't bad. Kip-up and Menacing Swordplay are meh, but I don't care because the other two deeds at 3rd level are what make it.

    One thing I often see is people trying to make a particular class fill a niche that it ALMOST covers, but can't quite do so because of design choices. People want to make a character with magical "powered armor," they go synthesist summoner. People want to make an Avatar style martial artist, they do MoMS monk and maybe multiclass sorcerer or wizard. I feel like the swashbuckler could, in the long run, cover a wide range of roles, except that it feels to me like everyone thinks it needs to be shoehorned into one iconic image (like the Inigo Montoya, the Sinbad, the Count of Monte Cristo, or the Musketeer; just my perceptions). That, to me, is poor design philosophy.

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    I'm really concerned about the fact that people in the thread have pointed out VERY specific reasons why Studied Strike is flavorful but bad and yet despite these VERY specific arguments, Stephen seems to only counter with "this is how it is" or "this is how I think it should be" kind of comments. And the whole thing about just switching it back to Sneak Attack instead of trying to make Studied Combat work just came across as "I'm so close to done I don't care." Rude, in other words.

    It's great that the devs are getting so involved in the forum aspect, but I will never understand the [apparent] need to guard their thought processes or insights.

    Studied Combat is a fantastic idea. (Is there an echo in here?) Limiting it to once per 24 hours makes absolutely zero sense, for any reason I can think of. First of all, it's not a magical ability, so you can't fluff that away as "the investigator is out of magical studying ability." Studying a target once, damaging it, and then reassessing them after the fact to see what would be the next most preferable target is completely reasonable. Secondly, the bonus damage added by Studied Strike will never amount to anything significant if you can only use it ONCE PER ENEMY. Great, you can probably wipe out mooks faster, if you take the time to study them.

    Honestly, truly, I respect the design team, but sometimes their stubbornness on leaving things a certain way in spite of overwhelming amounts of creative discussion 'just because' is really hard to swallow.

    Googleshng wrote:
    Superior Feint is still worthless unless you're partnered up with a rogue/ninja and want to waste your whole turn setting them up... but even then, you're already setting them up with flanking. I suppose lowering their touch AC might also help certain party members, but I can't see it being a bigger help than you just attacking.

    Good point, and that in addition to the point I made, this does really cheapen feinting as an option.

    Also, it just occurred to me how metagamey feinting is. Obviously you're not going to waste precious action economy on an enemy that the player knows out of character isn't going to be affected by it? It shouldn't be metagamey, but I feel like it is. I guess a reasonable DM would work out a way for the player to know if it was a tactic his character would consider (and the *character* should know when to at least consider using a particular skill he has).

    Pretty much all of Googleshng's post is spot on. It verbalized my complex feelings about the class much more eloquently than I did with my abstract remarks above and gave me other things to consider as well.

    Feinting may be great for rogues to get that coveted "easy-to-hit" and subject to sneak attack target, but lots of folks around here (who play much higher level campaigns than me, I have to admit) say that the higher you go, the bigger the foes are. Larger targets almost always have smaller Dex scores.

    I'm not in the party with the Dex-to-Damage folks, but it would be nice for Dex-based character builds to have something going for them late game other than high touch ACs and decent initiative mods. The Swashbuckler does have some of the most interesting combat mechanics in the game so far, but it still feels like it's going to fall short. It looks much better now, but still needs polish. I'm rolling one up for testing, but I'm not sure if or when it will happen with finals going on.

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    Is there a projected price point for the PDF?

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    Also would like to see the whole Dervish Dance issue surrounding Swashbuckler (and seemingly every dex-based melee character that will ever exist) addressed. Gettin' real tired of the concept that only rapiers and scimitars are fit to be used without being AM MUSCLEHEAD (no offense to AM BARBARIAN and his kin).

    mdt wrote:

    Yeah, Kasatha get four attacks at level 1, and can't hit with any of them except the primary, maybe. If they take MWF, they are maybe able to hit, if they keep the off-hand weapons light (rapier and 3 daggers).

    Iteratives at 6 work just like TWF always does, it add's one primary attack at -5. That's it.

    MWF counts as TWF, so you can take ITWF if you have MWF. It adds one off-hand attack. Not 3.

    So really all the Kasatha get are 2 additional off-hand attacks at first level when multiweapon fighting. Where it get's wonky is theoertically they could weild two two-handed weapons and TWF. Except there are no rules for that as far as what the penalty is.


    mdt and BlackBloodTroll (I think) are the two most on target here.

    I find it odd that, considering the amount of discussion about how two-handed fighting is in every way superior to dual-wielding damage output, that anyone would really bat an eyelash at this. There also seems to be a large group of people who believe that Sneak Attack is not a good class ability (drawing from the playtest forums) so I also find it odd that Sneak Attack is used as a point of contention. Rogue is generally considered a very underpowered class, so would the addition of two attacks per round drag it out of the pit so to speak?

    I think there is a lot of knee jerk "OMG WTF" reactions to Multiweapon Fighting.

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    It was a long time after my group and myself moved away from home and started playing on our own that we realized this. Years; in fact, just in the past several months.

    Get this: Our first DM had it so that a Nat 1 on an attack roll was a fumble and required a DC 15 Reflex save or you threw your weapon (random direction, a number of squares equal to some unknown function), which not only ended your turn, but more often than not got the attacker and his allies seriously injured...

    ...uphill in the snow both ways and whatnot...

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    I'm so deep in Abraham Spalding's corner I... That sounds awkward. I'll stop there.

    "Blasting" casters are not popular builds and it's a niche that no class seems to be designed for. Bloodrager could be that caster, even with only 4 spell levels. Since they do not gain Spell Combat and probably won't do well with metamagic feats (getting only 4 spell levels, Quickened Spell will probably never help them), they have to choose each round between attacking or spell casting. Leave the option for buffs (you pick your own spells known, after all), but make options for stacking blast damage on spells like burning hands or lightning bolt while bloodraging.

    How can anyone argue against this concept with the SITH analogy? It's PERFECT.

    I really hope the devs notice the very convincing arguments Spalding has made.

    DeathQuaker wrote:
    The berserk rage has also been described as a trance you put yourself into to give yourself power, so maybe that could inspire some concepts, even if we tend to think of as trances as a calm thing.

    Professor X seems to agree; he says that "...true focus lies somewhere between rage and serenity."

    And who wants to argue with Professor X?

    Off the wall idea: Ranger and Druid are both too nature-y and well-rounded to try and combine. The Ranger is heavily front-loaded with abilities, and the Druid is capable of so much (wildshaping for melee, 9th level spells, a respectable skill set and number of class skills) that the two of them just don't mesh well. They are complementary, of course, but trying to hybridize them isn't going to give you anything new or even just unique.

    And there seems to be a consensus that the Ranger isn't visible in the Hunter at all.

    So how about trying to combine the druid with something else entirely? Inquisitor seems to be a popular one. Magus might be good.

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    Seeker of skybreak wrote:
    Honestly though the more I think about it the Ranger is the hunter and this class feels forced. Like they wanted a "magus" for the divine nature types. This class needs a new name and direction all together to fill a theme neither the druid or ranger already does. My 2 copper


    Brainstorming (or Keyboard Diarrhea):
    What if this class was like a hybrid of the magus/arcane archer but with druid/ranger spells, an animal companion (full or ranger advancement [/shrug]), and limited wildshape? I would call it something other than Hunter at that point...

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    Partly On-Topic(?): I have never understood the point of limiting finesse to what it is currently limited to. Obviously rapiers are more agile than an arming sword or a bastard sword, but I think just about any weapon can benefit as much from fine-tuned application of force over sheer brute strength if a warrior makes it a point to master such a style of fighting. I would argue that it's easier to list weapons that couldn't be used with finesse than to try and pin down 'appropriate' weapons.

    Also, I like this class, but it does feel a little off. This thread has given me a lot of things to reconsider.

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