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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:
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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...
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.
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.
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):
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.
I have to be completely negative here, but I hope to come across as logical and objective and not just whiny.
"Hunters can adapt their tactics to many kinds of opponents and cherish their highly trained animal companions. As a team, the hunter and her companion can react to danger with incredible speed, making them excellent scouts, explorers, and saboteurs."
Emphasis mine. Sounds like they need more skill points.
Overall, I don't like it. I like the concept but to be blunt, I don't think this class executes anything it was set out to do. The ranger side loses BAB, HD, and skill points in addition to combat styles, while the druid side loses spellcasting, wild shape, and that beautiful Will save.
Animal aspect might make up for losing the good Will save. Teamwork feats don't make up for much either. Even the two of them together leave A LOT to be desired... like... I know Paizo has given their stance on having some sub-par options, but I hope that philosophy doesn't hold up in this particular case.
I would recommend drawing more from the Ranger and less from the Druid. things I would keep are the Ranger's BAB and skills and the Druid's 1st level animal companion. Spellcasting should be reduced. A Hunter sounds far less mystical than a Ranger.
Some people refuse to make active efforts to understand other people, Adamantine Dragon. It's not your fault. EDIT: Well, in the time it took me to write a reply, that part of the discussion went from uncivil to something else. :/
What is the rogue's intelligence score? Is the character capable of the introspection required to know that what he's doing is inherently evil*?
(*And not very smart, since he could have picked their brains for information or bargained with them for whatever they might know, maybe even offer them jobs as part of "reforming" them under the good party.)
If he has a lower Intelligence, then this act would probably fall towards a more "I'm just being pragmatic" approach, even if it's not "correct."
If he has a higher Intelligence, and his character would have thought it through more, then it was either an act of boredom (lack of respect for life) or paranoia. In either case, it isn't justified.
Of course, as others have stated, I wouldn't swing the alignment straight away. It might have been on the whim of the player, but ultimately you need to get the player to really consider the circumstances and explain themselves. If the answer is shallow, treat it accordingly. If the answer is deeper, then you probably will have something more to work with.
Stuff like this and the post about the extra-spacial "time out box" make my head hurt, but I love it. I would pay pretty good money for a set of abilities like this in template form (to add to NPCs/monsters).
I, too, feel that "mindless" is too extreme. By the same token that other material should never say things like "this material is unbreakable" or "this ability can never be suppressed" because it corners expansion. By saying that any creature with any degree of autonomy, method of locomotion, and biological needs is totally mindless is too severe. It's already been stated that there is a much wider range of consciousness than the game system accounts for. In most instances, I would treat creatures that are currently considered "mindless" to be either Int 0 or 1 and tack on a trait to either one that essentially states the kinds of functions it is capable of performing, and a caveat about Int 0 not being totally vegetated.
Zombie intelligence should be based on the animating force, and then to what degree that force affects the corpse. A disease-based zombie should have an Int score that decreases as it decomposes (minimum 0, with the aforementioned trait). A magically created zombie should have an Int score that increases as it ages (to a predetermined cap, probably 3 or so, also with the aforementioned trait).
This is actually begging to be picked up by a 3rd party publisher. Hope someone's taking notes.
And then you have to wait until somewhere around 5th to 7th level to start doing what your character concept is supposed to be all about. Different strokes for different folks; while I understand your position, I see the merit in both methods, and I prefer archetypes even though I lament certain options being limited (like archer fighters being the only archetype to get ranged combat maneuvers [sorry rangers]). It gives me better options at lower levels, which is where most of my games take place.
What we need are more archetypes that cover multiple classes like the Scroll Scholar. It would be harder to pull off, but I think that the reward for that work would be well worth it. It won't replace the prestige class, but it would definitely help alleviate the issue you pointed out.
Here's a wacky idea: why not have a set of non-base classes, non-prestige classes, non-archetypes -- maybe 5 or 10 levels each, depending on how many they need -- that have no requirements or affiliations. They are just highly specialized (but balanced, possibly with calculated weaknesses) around a type of weapon, a specific combat tactic, or what-have-you?
It's already been said, but I'm going to come out of semi-retirement to say it again: Any DM of mature outlook and sound mind will not outright ban 3pp for no reason. I have always told my players that 3pp will be judged on a case-by-case basis, and if anything was off-limits, there were reasons given for it before character creation started. Also, anything by Kobold Press/Open Design is fair game, because that is the highest quality of third-party player material I have had the pleasure of spending my money on. Anyone turns their nose up at that material has a hole in his head, I reckon.
Third-party material under Paizo's reign is infinitely better than it was with WotC's. Maybe I'm completely oblivious, but it seems to me that there is little to no 4e-support from 3pp, but a glut of 3pp working with Pathfinder rules. That's not edition warring, that's a personal observation. I have no hate for 4e, I just put all of my money into one game, and Pathfinder delivers what I want.
Also note that in 3.5 you only got a new feat every 3rd level, and half of a Fighter's levels were dead levels. There is so much more to Pathfinder than there was to 3.5. I loved 3.5, and that's why I latched on to Pathfinder as support for 3.5 crumbled away beneath my feet (woo, dramatic metaphor!). It not only offered me a way to stay with the rules I loved, but it made them better (obviously debatable with some of you, and I'm not interested in that discussion), and gave my characters even MORE options.
I don't know... I cannot see anything I sympathize with in the OP. I love Paizo, I love their business model, I love the work they do, and I love the way they handle the market. They are like the royal family of tabletop RPGs; they have class, dignity, and poise, and that's the vibe I get from reading any interaction 3pp publicly discuss having with them. Oh, and they allow a lot, and I mean A LOT of their content to be posted online FOR FREE. How many other games of this size and scale can you play for free? I'm sure there are others, but how many?
All magic weapons can be shut down by antimagic or dispel suppression; that's not a downside that should be included in the price estimation.
This is 99% correct in that magic item properties are shut down, but in this case, the weapon would literally cease to be a weapon at all in the case of anti-magic. THAT, I feel should be considered, even if lightly.
It says in the description: "New archetypes like the mad dog barbarian or carnivalist rogue to help classes that haven’t traditionally used animals work with their bestial allies, as well as tips on how every class can employ animals.". If a gunslinger doesn't have the ability to have an animal companion as well, then this constitutes as false advertising.
Actually it doesn't. There are plenty of ways to employ animals that do not require them to be class features. A gunslinger can buy and use a horse same as anyone else. That's "employing" an animal.
@Foghammer: I know you were interested in a tougher, magusesque witch - here's a link to the Genius Guide to the Hellion. My own similar concept is still being hammered out...
I'll have to check this out, especially if I get snowed/iced in tomorrow. Thanks! And keep that iron in the fire. :)
Fair enough. I was looking at half-lycans in a vacuum, outside of the discussion of dhampir and unintentionally ignoring half of the conversation.
Looking at it in more detail now, as I often do when I'm corrected, I am surprised that I never noticed that vampirism isn't a condition that applies a template, it just is a template applied under certain circumstances. Lycanthrope, on the other hand, is curable. It is interesting just how the vampire template works: create spawn raises the victim from the dead, then changes the creature type to undead (augmented)... so it kills them again, kind of. The interesting thing about this is that casting resurrection on a vampire seems as if it would restore the vampire, not the being it was before the template, because resurrection does not remove templates, and the template is added to living creatures, so it appears to be recursive. A resurrected vampire loses its undead status and comes back to life, but then immediately becomes an undead again as the template kicks in...
Am I missing something, or is that right?
I don't think half-lycanthropes can exist because lycanthrope is a curse, not a bloodline. How is it that NO ONE ELSE has said this yet? I'm always late on this sort of thing.
As for the people saying things that seems like they believe that vampires can't be PCs in a normal game: If you're the DM and you put an NPC vampire in the mix, then you're making it a possibility and you need to be ready to deal with it. I may be alone on this, but I think most people would rather have a character die a heroic death fighting that vampire than to be turned and then the DM ask for the character sheet. That would insult me. "You're not adult enough to handle this and I know it, so you can't play that character."
Same goes for lycanthrope. The character only becomes a mass murdering beast under certain circumstances. It's not Instant NPC-ville.
If you're assailing your players with these monsters and not allowing them to roleplay their character's journey through the afflictions they present, whether they embrace it or try to get rid of it... I don't know what that makes you, but it doesn't have any positive connotations in my book.
Not excited about the vampire stuff here but I do hope a lycanthrope players' guide is in the talks.
My biggest problem with wordcasting was that there's no way to replicate light which is a 0 level spell, even as a 1st or 2nd level wordspell.
I really want to play a wordcaster who adds illumination effects to all of his force spells (magic missile, shield, wall of force, etc), but that's just not going to happen. :(
An increased penalty over distance? You already take a penalty for every 10 feet away you are... IIRC it's a -1 per 10 feet. Nearsightedness could be that you take a -2 per 10 feet instead. I am nearsighted myself, and though I'm told my prescription lenses are pretty weak, I feel like my eyes are crap for noticing any details beyond 10 feet. And forget driving at night without my glasses.
That's how I would handle it.
This product sounds awesome... for people who like vampires (though I notice there's no mention of prismatic skin). Is there any hope that we may see something like this for lycanthropes? That's one topic that seems to get a lot of discussion but never any love.
Really, though! This sounds like a great book. I'm just hoping it signals something else on the horizon.
EDIT: On another note, I wanted to say how freaking cool that picture is with the wolf. No one in my group had any idea that vampires were associated with wolves before I told them.
It seems like the knowledge skill could even be broadened (instead of condensed as some of you are suggesting) and given its own sub-system apart from normal skills. I mean... to me knowledge isn't even a skill. Studying is a skill, applying what you know is a skill, but knowledge is different. Yes, I'm inclined to say that skills should be broken down and given a whole 'nother set of points or something to apply to them.
But on the other hand, the game could get much clunkier. Hard to tell; the implementation would have to be immaculate.
I am going to try this.
EDIT: I open notepad to do it and immediately stricken with dumb-ness. Gave me another idea though, somewhat related. I'm going to take all of the skills and give ways to use them as pseudo-knowledges. Maybe done before?
Honestly, I would say that my group probably shouldn't be playing together, but we're all we have and we make it work. The play styles are so different that it's impossible to fully satisfy more than one person, MAYBE two at a time, but again, we're all we have as far as this game goes.
There are times when the game comes to a grinding halt as we laugh ourselves blue in the face over something that happens, and those times are great. There are crowning moments of awesome, and there are times when everyone looks at a part of an adventure and says "WTF?!" and chucks it (like the vorpal thorn bush of NPC death in a certain Pathfinder AP).
Concessions are made and we try to ignore the damage to our own egos in the interest of keeping the game a group activity.
Players are entitled to have fun at a game. So is the GM. As a GM, I find I usually have the most fun when I can solicit interesting actions and reactions from the players and that is most likely to happen when I engage them with a game that interests them, instead of trying to get them to conform to the game I like.
As a DM and player both, I hate character death. Have I ever allowed a character to die? A few times. Most of the time I try to find a clever way around it; failing that, I shamelessly pull them back from death, deus ex and whatnot. I try to spend as much time making awesome things for my players' characters as they spend building them and fawning over them. In fact, my goal is make their characters seem even cooler than THEY imagined. It's just as gut wrenching for me then, when a PC gets offed in their moment of glory, or in the room just before the boss fight, or in some random throw away encounter that's only there to keep everyone's attention on the game.
I have three regulars in my group, and two of them are completely opposed on every aspect of the game, with the third being very vague and claiming he likes every aspect the best. One throws her dice out when her character gets hit too heavy too often (and is certain her character will die), while another thinks that handling her temperament with kid gloves robs the game of integrity (even though HE does it when he DMs). One likes role playing infinitely more than combat, and another only cares about leveling up and loot. I just roll with it and try to have as much fun as I can.
usually by the time the final cover and description go out the book is complete to a point where no real new additions can be made. Get in before that happens next time I guess.
Crap. I suppose you're right. It's almost Christmas now. For some reason, February just felt so far away. I guess part of me is still back in November or October...
Can someone maybe confirm or deny the inclusion of the noble pangolin (or an adequate substitute)? Can that be my Christmas present from Paizo? :D
For the love of all things good and holy, please include just TWO things for good ol' Foghammer and I will shut up about this book and be content with everything else in it.
And make at least the second one animal companion material.
Do this for me, and my soul (the only thing that I have not given to Paizo yet) is yours.
I don't really need to work with my DM. I am the primary DM in my group, but the secondary DM is very RAW centric and doesn't like a lot of homebrew, so it helps to convince him if I have more professional material to build off of.
But barring any existing products, I will work at creating such an option for druids in my games. Good thinking using the shaman transformations and Mooncaller.
Any other suggestions?