In literature where distances are covered at the speed of plot the units of measure are irrelevant. This makes it easy to use whatever units the author wants.
When you want people from different cultures to visualize a distance however, you need a common unit. Even here in the US we have some idea of what a kilometer is.
The metric system may not be the most stylistic means of expressing measurements in a fantasy setting, but it beyond a doubt quite practical.
If the feat conflicts with your house rule, why not alter the feat?
Without the feat you can ready an action, but if you take the feat you instead get to make an Attack of Opportunity.
Seriously, if a feat grants the ability to do something you already allow via house rule, just tweak the feat so that it lets you do it even better/easier. Anyone can do x, but with this feat you get to do x+.
Reebo Kesh wrote:
Fair enough. So a ninja with 2 weapon fighting and 2 poisoned weapons can deal up to 2 doses per round? But the same ninja with multiple attacks due to high BAB and 1 poisoned weapon could not?
Both correct because when the attack delivers the poison the dose is consumed.
Reebo Kesh wrote:
What about a spider affected by haste or a one with a high BAB and multiple bite attacks?
If a creatures has multiple attacks with Poison (Ex), each delivers poison each hit, unless it states limited uses per day.
I don't recall any occurance of ability that would deliver more than one dose of inhaled posion at once. Have you found any?
Now that you mention it, I think my example of inhaled poison is rather poor. A better example would be a single trap with multiple gas jets each delivering one dose with a single save for the entire trap. More poison gas is stronger. I don't think it would normally be possible for a character to actually deliver multiple doses of inhaled poison at one time.
The alchemist class has a discovery called Concentrate Poison that allows 2 doses of poison to be combined into a single dose.
I disagree with your interpretation.
I read it as one attack deals one dose of poison. Inhaled or ingested poisons can deal multiple doses at once. Like a gas jet shooting 3 doses worth of inhaled poison for longer duration and higher save, or applying multiple doses of an ingested poison to someone's drink. Touch or injury poisons can only deal one dose per hit, but multiple hits can stack.
The two bolded sections of the original post do not contradict each other. The poisons stack, but inhaled or ingested poisons can deliver multiple doses simultaneously, whereas injury or contact poisons can only deliver one dose at a time (per hit).
I'd like to second this. Having alignment as nothing more than a creature subtype removes all the player side issues, but requires the least amount of changes. Spells and items that reference alignment will pretty much just be highly situational but can stay unchanged as flavor. The biggest mechanical change this causes is the Paladin, Detect Evil becomes very situational as does Smite Evil, Detect can stay as is for flavor, but you may want to tweak Smite Evil to make it less situational. Paladin and Cleric auras can stay as is representing a connection to the source of their power.
Robert Brambley wrote:
What is a "greycon"? I keep seeing this term used.
Granted I haven't touched an MMO in years, but Greycon was an opponent too far below your level to be a challenge/credible threat. This was generally indicated with the color grey. .
Scott Betts wrote:
Star Wars: The Old Republic does this, but only with class quests (at least, as far as my beta experience informs me). You can still re-run the game's major instances (called flashpoints) as much as you want, and those instances are where you'll find the good loot.
I've only watched video of people playing SWTOR. It's one of the things I feel they really did right. It locks in the story for the character, yet they still have a persistent world to interact with as much as they want. I don't mind respawning mooks, but named mobs that are supposed to be unique should only be encountered (read as killed) by a given character once.
Actually, getting back to Davor's desire to re-fight some bosses, since resurrection is an in world possibility, perhaps have a quest that would remove the character flag for having defeated a given instanced boss so you could fight them again. Trigger them being brought back and set up a re-match as the story justification. That could work and enhance believability.
You roll another character and play through again, the character is flagged, not the account. The idea however is that there is no unique reward that is exclusive to any one character in the instance, everyone gets an equal experience and instance specific item (and possibly some random trash loot). You wouldn't be getting anything different if you do it again with the same character and there would be no rare drop that only one character gets. Again, there is a reason I call it a compromise. I do admit that there can be a certain appeal in revisiting a favorite boss battle (I'm seeing this only applied to named mobs) with a favorite character.
The goal is to give every player a chance to experience the encounter regardless of having made their account in the fist week or the fifth year, yet making that encounter a unique event in that character's story. For that character, the named boss they killed is dead and no longer exists, yet if the player creates a new character, that boss is still out there waiting to be encountered. The world is persistent, yet the characters alter it (at least from their point of view).
I have to say I agree with both sides and prefer the compromise of instanced encounters. Your character can kill the Stag Lord once. This sets a flag on that character and they will no longer be able to enter that instance for the Stag Lord. To do this however, drops would have to be guaranteed to every party member (the quasi-unique "I beat the Stag Lord" t-shirt which is unique only in that can only get one by beating the Stag Lord).
Scott Betts wrote:
Atlantica Online is probably the biggest example that is current. A google search for turn based mmo brings up a few others including some with CCG style combat systems (which may not be relevant the the current discussion).
More reactive mobs.
I can't stand that the orc on the other side of the road will just stand there and watch while I slaughter his cousin Bob because I'm just outside his aggro range.
Yes, this means safely pulling will pretty much be a thing of the past. And before everyone chimes in about this killing soloing, I'm someone who generally soloed in MMOs. It just means treating every Line of Sight aggro mob as a single encounter (unless you can do crowd control). It means you're not soloing those 5 level 7 orcs at 7th level, and maybe just barely at 12th.
A Man In Black wrote:
You're trying to read too much into it.
What KitNyx is describing is a basic thumbs up thumbs down rating system weighted by the rating of the person who is doing the rating (if that isn't too confusing). To be more clear, A and B give you a thumbs up - A's rating is higher than B's so A's thumbs up is worth more.
And yes, such a system can and will be gamed. In fact there will be people who game the system just to see how far they can abuse it.
No, physics kills people. Both weapons and wielders are merely enablers.
More smaller dice brings up the minimum. That's why 2d6 gets preference over 1d12. Of course that makes me wonder if 6 + 3d4 wouldn't be even more popular. (4d3 would probably be even more popular, but I see the lack of off the shelf d3s holding it back)
I for one am not a fan of negative starting ability modifiers. YMMV
Nothing worse the making up a character alone and rolling god like stats that no one would believe when you bring the character to the gaming table.
This is why I am a firm believer of having stat rolls witnessed by the GM and/or other members of the gaming group. In situations where this is not viable (like convention play) I can definitely understand the preference for point buy to avoid accusations of cheating.
But if you get this awesome idea for character and want to build it see how it works out you have point buy, no one can question you on that.
I also agree that it works well for evaluating theoretical builds.
Even if I don't like it for actual play doesn't mean that I don't appreciate it's utility for certain situations.
Now there's an idea I can get behind. Not sure how you generate stats with it, but who cares.
As to your rolling method:
I lean toward a fixed/random/assigned method myself.
Start out with a 6 in each stat, then 6d6 in order (swap one pair of rolls), then 6d6 assigning one to each stat as you like.
True it gives less player control than other methods, but I come from a 3d6 in order background, so I appreciate the fun that can be had building to the roll more than others and consider this method a good compromise.
So how would a pint buy method work?
Get a stat point for every pint you buy the GM?
I for one love stat rolling. Won't do point buy.
I don't care about equal stats or consistent power level, and prefer the variation. I find that the fixed point pool tends toward a handful of optimum arrays.
As for the re-roll abuse, that's just what it is - abuse. I don't believe in re-rolling till you get stats you like. I do however believe in a pre-agreed minimum for stats that is used as a re-roll threshold (minimum total modifier of x and no stat below n) and using a rolling method that minimizes the likelyhood of falling below that threshold.
That's not to say I don't like point buy in any form. In other systems I have no problem with it. The difference is that the stat range is usually smaller, stats only give positive modifiers, there are few if any minimum stat requirements, and there is usually a way to vary your stat point pool.
I enjoy creating a character around the dice rolls. My character is going to be at the mercy of the dice anyway, so I don't mind them determining my stats. If I want control, I wouldn't be playing a game but writing a story.
Poison Apple Games wrote:
I can add in an intelligent zombie archetype for the Lich (Perhaps attempts to create mindless undead occasionally malfunction and create something intelligent?). The Skeleton archetype is for a skeletal Lich, but a second skeleton archetype that's more like this intelligent zombie could exist.
I think I misunderstood what you were going for on this. I do however like the intelligent zombie lich concept, so my suggestion stands and it shouldn't be much harder to implement than the skeletal variant.
Poison Apple Games wrote:
As you can see, I'm using archetypes for monster templates heavily. It's FAR easier than creating 20 level templates for a whole army of creatures, and it what will make this project not too massive to complete.
I'm a big supporter of not re-inventing the wheel.
I think you've got a good idea of how to handle the various casting classes.
Your approach seems pretty solid. I'm looking forward to seeing how the details fill out.
McWOD leveled the field between humans and the monstrous races with the Awakened class. I presume you are planning a template for Human PCs to keep them viable. (Possibly the Champion you mentioned or some variant of it.)
Poison Apple Games wrote:
Like the idea?
Very Much so.
Poison Apple Games wrote:
For the magic system, expand the McWOD spells, do not try to reverse engineer the core spells to fit the McWOD mechanics. McWOD magic works because it doesn't try to recreate D&D/Pathfinder magic.
I like the idea of powerful monster races as templates. It would probably be best to start with the most powerful as a high end reference and then build up the rest so they are balanced, especially if they all span the entire level range.
Alternately, you could have each template top out at different levels where the racial abilities would be level appropriate. This is probably the biggest design choice you would need to make.
Poison Apple Games wrote:
This is overall a very ambitious project. What specific goals you set and how you go about achieving them will be the difference between this becoming easier than expected or crushingly frustrating.
You missed zombie. Shocking since zombies are currently the popular culture monster of choice.
Poison Apple Games wrote:
Change some of the Pathfinder classes so that this thing is technology level neutral, requiring very little tweaking to go from medieval times to the modern day or something in between.
This should just be a matter of adding skills, class skills, and weapon and armor proficiencies.
Since McWOD is a unified single class magic system, what are your thoughts on dealing with the multiple casting classes in Pathfinder? If I were to offer a suggestion, it would be for certain classes to have an affinity for certain types of spells, for example clerics would be better at healing magics and bards at mind affecting magics.
This is a very abstract combat system if I am reading it correctly. While my personal preference lies somewhere between this and RAW (leaning to the more tactical detail side), this does look pretty solid and I wouldn't be against using it.
How does it interact with the range/range increments of spells and weapons?
What about cover and concealment, which RAW are determined by the cursed grid?
Need to add:
Gives the acting combatant the Close condition and removes the Far condition. It also gives them the Adjacent RCC relative to a target of his or her choice. The acting combatant gains a +2 bonus on the attack roll and takes a –2 penalty to his or her AC until the start of their next turn.
-A charging character gets a +2 bonus on combat maneuver attack rolls made to bull rush an opponent.
-Even if you have extra attacks, such as from having a high enough base attack bonus or from using multiple weapons, you only get to make one attack during a charge.
That's exactly what I'm talking about. Discounting needs to be consistent and clearly defined.
And I went with sidebar as a consideration to page count. It really should have a page all to itself.
Go ahead. Nothing is stopping you.
And that is just fine.
The important thing is that the discounts used in the ARG must provide a consistent guideline for reference.
Currently, they do not.
I would also strongly recommend a line (preferably in a side bar so it stands out) stating:
All custom built races are subject to GM approval, and the GM retains the right to disallow any custom built race, even if it strictly adheres to the guidelines presented.
I think it is a general concesus that all the core races if priced accurately would not equal the same RP total.
The only way to make them equal out is to cheat. And by cheat, I mean allow certain races to buy certain abilities at a reduced cost.
The Gnome does this.
Gnome Magic grants 4 Spell Like abilities (3 level 0 spells and 1 level 1) and a +1 DC bonus to Illusion Spells. All for 1RP.
Meanwhile Spell Like Ability grants only 1 spell 1/day at a cost of 1RP per level of the spell (with 0 level spells costing 1RP) and can only be taken a maximum of 3 times. That means the Gnome's spell like abilities should cost 1RP each, and they should be limited to 3, not 4.
Svirfneblin Magic is worse, as 3 the 1/day spell like abilities are are a level 1 and 2 level 2 spells, plus a constant level 3 spell. All for 2RP. That's 5RP for the 1/day spell like abilities alone.
Honestly, I'm OK with this kind of cheat in general. It demonstrates a type of racial affinity. It provides an example of how races with a particular affinity (represented as a type or subtype prerequisite) can buy abilities at a reduced cost. Granted, any such ability should also be available to any race at a non-discounted cost.
However, I do have a problem with how deep the discount is in the cases I referenced as well as how inconsistent it is. This I feel is an even bigger issue than the forced leveling of core races at 10.
I can live with fudged costs to keep the core races appearing somewhat equal (balanced), but the component pricing and discounts used to achieve that illusion need to be consistent.
Getting core races all at 10 required cheating.
Suggestions to Developers:
Honestly, I can see the argument that having a limited list of bonus languages and getting common automatically is standard, that an unlimited list of any language as bonus languages might be worth 1 point, and that not getting common (in worlds that have a "common language" automatically is a penalty worth -1.
I'm not sure I agree with how it is set up as a required trait.
I feel it should be default Racial and Common (if available) and a fixed limited list of bonus languages. Then have it so you could option to spend 1 point to pick any language as a bonus or gain 1 point (-1 cost) for not getting common automatically (but it must take up one of the bonus language list slots).
Having a language barrier when communicating with other characters, possibly including you fellow PCs is a real penalty. It should be worth getting back a point.
The choosing bonus languages from any language instead of limited list is in my eyes questionable in being worth a point since this limitation is so easily overlooked or handwaved in actual play. Having it as an option would mean that it can still be handwaved at GM/group discretion. Additionally, very rarely have I seen someone not knowing a particular additional language be an issue in play. Everything is usually in common or one of the more prevalent (commonly chosen) languages.
Most likely actual reason - bigger numbers sound more impressive.
Logical analysis however does back up these histories to some degree.
The point about long lived races especially contributes to this. Let's say we start with a village of 50 families. If this long lived race has a glacially slow birth rate, then obviously it would take a very long time for the population levels to get high enough for expansion to a city. Additionally, if birth rate were closer to human, you run into the problem of a city where something along the lines of 1 out of every 50 people you (being a native) encounter is either your brother/sister, nephew/niece (likely with some greats thrown in), or cousin. That kind of thing would cross into creepy real quick.
Long lived races also hold the potential for records to span multiple shorter lived civilizations, so a more complete long term historical record is possible.
As far as stagnated technological development, look at isolated cultures and their lack of technology. It's not surprising that a culture can be centuries behind in technology, especially if maintaining the status quo is culturally enforced and there is little outside pressure to change (like encountering cultures with more advanced technology).
I will debunk one theory however. It makes no logical sense that the ruins of many previous civilizations would accumulate one on top of another in a small area and have them be preserved. The needs/curiosity of the newer civilizations would in all likelyhood result in the older ruins being stripped bare in a recurring cycle. And let's not forget each civilization's adventurers.
Personally, I have rarely seen casters casting defensively. Usually it is 5 foot step, then cast.
The real problem is that casting is standard action which means the only way to disrupt it is with an interrupt action (AoO, Readied Action, or some type of Immediate Action). This came about when casting times from pre-3.0 were replaced with almost all spells being standard actions.
I favor a solution that is a bit more work, but actually addresses the problem. Unless a spell does direct HP damage it's casting time is 1 round. This gives every opposing character an action they can use to try to disrupt the spell. The 5 foot step away now only helps for direct damage spells, but save or suck/die are making concentration checks, possibly against full round attacks.
Since HP went up in 3.0 and spell damage didn't, spells that do HP damage need the boost of all being a standard action.
Edit: I suppose you could do away with casting defensively all together, since all it does is allow a concentration check to avoid AoO. The reality however is that casting defensively in practice is used primarily against opponents with reach, and 5 foot step against opponents without reach. Mostly you just penalize casters against opponents with reach.
There is one thing you may want to consider however before making this change. The among hardest hit are going to be healing spells to keep front liners from dieing.
Abraham spalding wrote:
I've never understood why more people didn't scribe scrolls of spells at the end of the day when they play a wizard.
Because you are looking at 2 hours worth of work per day. Which will get you a maximum of 1 spell scribed to a scroll.
Relevant PRD References:
If they are using a lot of scrolls, this won't keep up. If they barely use scrolls at all, it's more bother than it's worth.
Now if they aren't scribing scrolls when they have down time, that I have no answer for.
Humorous side note: Not only does Power Word Blind take up 7 pages in your spell book for a single word, but also takes 3 days to scribe a scroll with that single word.
If the GM doesn't want a race to be playable, they need to state it clearly and stick to it (unless the player can sell a really cool story and be able to back it up in roleplay, in which case exceptions can be considered).
If the GM says no to a race than that should be the end of it. If the player insists on playing that race anyway, then I have no sympathy for them.
This does bring up a new problem - with perception. The rules talk about how cover/concealment interact with attacks and using the stealth skill, but not with perception checks.
There is only a +5 modifier for through a door, and +10/foot thickness modifier for through a wall.
What is the DC to notice you on the other side of a 1 foot thick wall from 20 feet away? 17?
Notice visible creature....0
(I counted the lack of line of sight as terrible circumstances)
A door would drop the DC by 5.
No line of sight, no line of effect, yet you can notice someone in a completely sealed box with 1 foot thick walls.
There are too many artifacts from Spot and Listen being separate skills. What is needed is a unified DC with a modifier for cover/concealment, and a flat penalty for impaired senses (blinded or deafened) along the lines of the favorable, unfavorable, and terrible conditions modifiers.
No, I am not under the impression that vision is the only thing that you are concealing with stealth. I am under the impression that location is the only thing you are concealing with stealth. By RAW, line of sight/line of effect rules are used for applying cover and concealment. Cover and concealment are conditional prerequisites for stealth.
Fixed DC, not an opposed check. Picking the lock would make the same amount of noise.-----
You cannot just stand next to someone undetected under the rules unless you are actually invisible (which means you have your own concealment). If you are standing next to someone without any other form of concealment you cannot use stealth (except with a successful bluff check).
As for picking their pocket:
PRD-Sleight of Hand wrote:
Stelath means you must take that -20 if you don't want the target to detect you being near him when you make the attempt. Stealth does not replace sleight of hand for the check for him detecting you picking his pocket.
You standing next to him is one check (stealth). You picking his pocket is a separate check (sleight of hand).-----
You want to concentrate on a spell and concentrate on being stealthy at the same time?
As for the potion thing, you have cover/concealment (which you need for stealth). You either potion this round and stealth to a new location next round, or you stealth to a new location (with total cover/concealment and perhaps further away) this round and use the potion next.
Perhaps I'm still misreading the blog entry, but am I really one of comparatively few people who is bothered far, far more by the fact that the proposed changes do not seem to allow drinking potions, concentrating on existing spells (e.g. illusions), picking locks, or picking pockets without losing the stealth condition than by whatever label is used to describe it?
I initially shared your problem with the new stealth rules. But then I looked at it again and realized that if you have cover or concealment, they don't have line of sight to you, so you don't need a stealth check. Additionally, most standard actions should break stealth with a couple of possible edge case exceptions. Still, let's look at how what you mention is already covered.
Most potions you would be drinking while stealthed should last long enough that you would drink them before you stared.
Concentrating on a spell means you broke stealth to cast it in the first place. While the DC to notice a visible creature is 0, it requires line of sight. If they can't see you (no line of sight), no stealth is needed. (see Cover and Concealment)
Picking pockets is already covered by making a sleight of hand check as a move action with a -20 penalty.
Picking a lock - are you trying to pick the lock without anyone noticing you standing next to it? If not, I would say you want a slight of hand check to conceal the lock picks. (Or a bluff check to convince anyone who asks what you are doing that you are too drunk to realize this isn't your house you're trying to open the door to, or how to get your own door open even if it were your house)
Finarin Panjoro wrote:
I don't like the idea of magical invisibility granting a straight up bonus to stealth. Because Hide and Move Silently have been combined this really doesn't make sense anymore. After all the invisible target is no harder to hear than they were before.
Perception does not equal seeing or hearing. It is noticing. It's not about the sensory input, but how well you process it. We need to move away from the old paradigm of spot and listen. The problem is that we are hanging on to checks based on individual senses. Sure they are more realistic, but they (potentially) bog down game play.
What you are heading toward is a very granular check that provokes more checks until the target makes all of them or fails 1 and is located. You will get bogged down into "check if I can hear him", "check if I can see him", "check if I can smell him".
Embrace the abstraction!
If anything, I would go in the direction of failing a perception check by 5 or less gives you a +2 bonus (circumstance/alertness) on your next check against the same target.
Otherwise you risk going down the path of triggering a re-roll if you would have succeeded without a specific modifier.
Dennis Baker wrote:
There are currently no bonuses to perception built into the system for things like tremorsense, all around vision, superior hearing... I'm ok with the idea that you could use stealth to bypass them but what is the DC?
This is a problem. All of these are treated separately, an artifact of having separate spot and listen skills. All these "enhanced senses" need to add modifiers to perception.
Yes, I am calling for more abstraction instead of less.
The alternative is one set of checks for sight, one set for hearing, one set for smell, one set for echo-location, one set for tremorsense. It ridiculously bogs down the game and nerfs stealth since more checks results in more possible chances to fail one.
Perception has to not be about "seeing" or "hearing", but about noticing. How many times have you looked right at the object you are trying to find on the table right in front of you and not noticed it? Heard someone talking to you but missed what they were saying? That is perception.
Any fix to stealth has to fix perception as well since the two are interconnected by being opposed checks.
As for the blog proposal, it fixes the problem where moving from concealment broke stealth.
Having action types (free, move, standard, etc.) determine whether or not you can use stealth "feels" off to me, but after looking over the actions in combat table in the Combat section, I can live with it.
I have to agree with those opposed to stealth applying the invisible condition. See Invisibility, Invisibility Purge, and True Seeing all state that they allow one to see someone with the invisible condition thereby negating it. They should not interact directly with stealth at all, only with non-mundane effects. Either the spells need to be changed to exclude stealth, or a new condition needs to be created (even if it is nearly identical to invisible). I will however state that these spells should negate the bonus to stealth checks from invisibility.
Overall, I think I like it. At least the version I am reading today. It could use some further refinement, but it seems mostly clear and playable.
One formatting note, for clarity, please break the "Check:" section into multiple paragraphs. Too much detail is blurred together in a wall of words. Something more like this:
Reformatted Blog Post:
Reformatted Blog post wrote:
I think this blog post has been updated since I read it yesterday (or maybe it's just my perception rolls). It seems much clearer now.
That "swinginess" is part of what makes a game different from a story. It's the ultimate expression of random chance. I for one embrace the game and let go of dramatic control. I save that for writing where I don't have to clash with those pesky random dice.
That being said, I feel it is possible that crits may be just a tad bit too good when they multiply a large fixed bonus.
This would get rid of that multiplied fixed bonus. It does however have a what I see as a slight catch. It favors spell casters since spells are almost all damage dice (the number of which increase with level, unlike weapons) and rarely have a fixed bonus. Instead of multiplying a large fixed bonus, you end up multiplying a large (and increasing) number of dice.
I have to agree that traps are an area of the game that needs serious work.
Hit point inflation in 3.x-> combined with more sources of healing has resulted in traps the deal hp damage being depreciated. The only traps that are any real threat deal ability damage (like by poison), or status effects.
The suggestion of multiple traps in one square allows you to stack damage, which could make traps more relevant. As for how to handle this, I would say one perception check per square with the DC being the highest + 2 for each additional trap, which gives you a way of determining how many of the traps you find if you choose not to simply make it all or nothing. As for disarming, the same formula can be used for the DC in the case of all or nothing, or alternately you could do each trap separately using the individual DC +2 per additional trap for each. You know, I think I may add this to my house rules. The only problem with this comes from this section:
Multiple Traps: If a trap is really two or more connected traps that affect approximately the same area, determine the CR of each one separately.
Which heavily affects crafting. This may or may not have been intentional, since the rest of the section on multiple traps is all about awarding XP.
As for DCs, you do not have to use the ones in the sample traps listed. In fact, if you read the trap creation rules, you can pretty much arbitrarily set the DC. The only thing the rules about traps has with regard to DC is how it relates to CR.
The pricing is ridiculous, and this coupled with the flawed crafting rules makes using them as a PC impossible. It seems like they written purely to be used as set pieces in dungeon construction. On consideration, I beleive it is possible this crazy pricing/crafting time was done deliberately to keep PCs from setting up traps and baiting opponents into them.
I really like condensing feat chains when X/Improved, etc. just give you more of the same thing since it makes sense to turn it into a scaling bonus. Chains should never in any way obsolete the original feat. (Power Attack gets it right, TWF, not so much)
Feat chains do however have a place to me, especially when each feat grants thematically related but different bonuses. Things like Double Slice, Two Weapon Rend or Two Weapon Defense are fine as is since they add different benefits instead of scaling up existing ones, and don't need to be rolled into scaling feats.
As for implementation of scaling, the first question to ask is "What does the feat give you?"
Combat Bonus - Should scale to BAB
(note: Class Level should only be used if it affects only a single class, and only if there is no other scaling class ability to reference off of. Character Level (or hit dice) should never* be used.)
As for how often, the next question is "How many steps in the chain?"
Take the number of steps in the chain and divide the range of levels the chain covers to determine when it should scale.
Of course you could save yourself some math and use the prerequisites for the feat chain as a guideline like Revan said, since they usually were calculated in this manner.
In order to give you the best possible suggestions as to specifics, some clarification of which of the following approaches best suits your situation and goals would be extremely helpful.
Archetypes are substitutive, they replace class abilities.
Does the existing system handle option abilities like Hunter's Bond, Arcane Bond, etc.?
If so, then that could be used as a model for incorporating archetype abilities in a substitutive manner, however this would involve incorporating them into (re-writing) the code for the existing classes. From my understanding, this is not a palatable option.
Similarly I take it that implementing them as alternate classes (adding in new copies of the classes with archetypes built in) is also not a palatable option.
Both feats and PrCs are additive, they are in addition to class abilities.
Going either of these routes means getting the Archetype abilities in addition to the class abilities they normally replace. Is this and acceptable option?
Abilities that replace single class abilities could easily be added in as feats, although they may be more powerful than many feats. On the plus side however, they could have the class ability they replace as a prerequisite to keep them at the same level.
Prestige classes could work, however they run into the problem of trying to condense the archetype abilities into a narrower range of levels which isn't too bad for low level abilities that are delayed, but could be overpowering for higher level abilities that would become available sooner. Additionally, since PrC levels are taken instead of normal class levels, you would be delaying/giving up normal class features unless they were incorporated into the PrC which would result in them being better than staying with the class and a great deal of duplication of abilities.
Additionally, are you looking to implement all archetypes, or are there specific archetype options that you are looking to implement? Some are more easily added by certain approaches than others.
I'm not using any templates. I am merely going by the Size Changes table in the Monster Advancement Rules. Which, except for the Natural Armor, lines up exactly with the base Str, Dex, and Con from the Size table in the Monster Creation Rules.
As for the small PC races not having -4 Str, two things. First, PC races have always been an exception. Second, from a bit of looking most creatures that are smaller than medium don't follow the monster creation guidelines for size, (pixies, pseudodragons, and stirges actually match up with the base Str for their size, everything else was significantly higher).
The weapon size isn't the problem.
The problem is the attribute modifiers from the monster advancement rules. These are the used when creatures of unusual size are built.
Increasing the size of a creature from medium to large grants +8 Str, -2 Dex, +4 Con, and +2 Natural Armor.
That means in addition to the modifiers you mentioned AC goes up an additional +1, to hit and damage both go up +4, CMB goes up +4, CMD goes up +3, and hit points go up +2 per hit die.
Going from large to huge adds another +8 Str, -2 Dex, +4 Con, and +3 Natural Armor on top of what you got from going from medium to large.
This is why the Beast Shape, Form of Dragon, and Elemental Body lines of spells give fixed bonuses. Those size change modifiers are brutal.
Also, as others have stated, you are trying to interact in a medium sized world. If you are larger, everything is too small. If you are smaller, everything is too big. Medium size creatures is the standard around which everything is measured.
I may have misunderstood your previous comment and as a result worded that response poorly.
You are quite correct that working entirely within the framework of published materials is just as much world development as rewriting the rules to fit your vision of the world.
Some fit the world to the game, others fit the game to the world. I lean toward the latter.
World development is not everyone's thing. I happen to particularly enjoy it.
Highly exaggerated. Knives, axes, spears, and bows would most likely still have been developed as well as armor.
Still, you are correct that the development of any technology would be heavily influenced by magic.
Hence my amusement that fantasy settings, especially those in RPGs, are modeled as "historical period + magic".
But let's not forget the other side of the equation. Spellcasters didn't start calling down meteors, hurling balls of fire and ice, and summoning extraplanar creatures out of the gate. Magic had to be developed, spell casting had to be learned. Even innate ability required some development to be able to make effective use of it.
It's quite possible for muzzle loading firearms to exist along side magic if they were developed before the magics that would make them less practical. Phalanxes could have been a military practice for decades or centuries before Area of Effect spells were developed.
I postulated an alternate development of firearms than historically took place in our reality based on some things that could be done with magic. It is an exercise in "what if the world didn't develop according to history as we know it". I believe some refer to it as thinking outside of the box.
Additionally, just because magic makes a technological development impractical, that does not mean someone won't come up with a further development to overcome that obstacle. For firearms that could well mean that muzzle loaders were rare curiosities and firearms wouldn't be considered practical until metallic cartridges come on the scene.
Personally I like the idea of a galleon firing a broadside of rockets instead of cannon.
<Angry Nerd Voice> But rockets are sci-fi and have no place in fantasy. </Angry Nerd Voice>
Well rockets date back to at least 13th Century China.
The matchlock replaced bows because it required less training to use, reloaded faster than a crossbow, and it's ammunition was smaller so you could easily transport more of it.
As for the development of firearms in a world where spellcasters can throw fire or water at great distances, I doubt muzzle loading weapons would have ever caught on. When you have the ability to so easily ruin your enemy's ammunition, why would they use a weapon vulnerable to such an attack?
In our history, the wheel lock was developed to counter the moisture sensitivity and accidental ignition issues of the matchlock. The flintlock was developed to counter the complexity of the wheel lock.
In a magical world, it is more than likely that the first "practical" firearms would be much more advanced than those first fielded in reality. They would not rely on exposed powder of fuses. More than likely the development would go more like this:
Rockets => Percussion based ignition => Cartridge firearms
Cannon (when eventually developed) would fire cartridge rounds and would be relatively small guns with rockets being used instead for siege weapons.
Percussion based ignition would be a priority to overcome magically induced ignition failure/premature ignition.
Personal firearms would be developed by someone thinking of mounting a small rocket launcher on a crossbow stock.
Cartridge firearms/cannon would only be developed if they could be more efficient than rocket guns.
I am often amused by how little thought is given to how the availability of magic would affect technological development.
Muzzle loading firearms/cannon would realistically only be developed and practical in areas where magic did not function. However as soon as you go into an area with magic, they become highly impractical.
This could actually work. You increase your knowledge of general societies and humanoids by adding details of specific regions. That actually makes some sense.
I would still like to see it renamed, but this gives a reason that you could still use it to get details about a specific area.
It's much better than having a separate skill for each region since leaving that region makes the skill less useful than Craft (Origami) and Profession (Seat Filler), which could at least be used to make a few coins anywhere.
I like the changes, but I still do not like the swift action casting time.
The root of the problem is that the developers are looking at a damage dealing cold spell and have locked themselves into a set level for it. The problem is that the level they locked into was 1 higher than the weak for it's level cone of cold, an extremely similar spell (and it looks like they initially copy/pasted it as a starting point).
Having it be exactly the same but a swift action at one level higher is too good. Make it a standard action, and it's even weaker for it's level than cone of cold. So they cut the area to keep it as swift action to try and fix the balance.
I'm guessing the level lock in is due to the damage cap and/or a need to fill a specific slot in a class list.
I'm understanding the "why they did it", but I just can't agree with the decision to keep it a swift action. Too bad since dropping the level 3 or 4 and making it a standard action (with the change to 30 ft. line) would have been a better overall outcome in my opinion.
Actually crafting the sword is the labor intensive part, so it should take longer.
Crafting is a progress check, Magic Item Creation is a single pass/fail check. The Magic Item Creation check could be made a progress check, but since the penalties for failing the check are steeper (complete waste of time and material/cursed item), I would recommend against adding more rolls and therefore more chances for failure.
That's not saying the crafting rules aren't a wonky (they are).
Also, don't forget that while an 8k magic item may take only 8 days, a 200k magic item takes 200 days (that's about 7 months). You are comparing the high end of the mundane scale to the lower end of the magic scale.
If you really want Magic Item Creation to take longer, instead of basing the time on 1000gp you could base it on 500gp (twice as long), or 250gp (four times as long).
It's true that AC/to hit is worth more than a couple points of damage.
It would be more accurate to say that +1 damage is equal to DR 1/-.
Therefore a more accurate exchange would be -1 to hit increases DR 2/-.
Not as simple or elegant as - to hit + to AC.
I still like Laurefindel's concept, but I too need to reconsider the implementation. (and whether or not having Combat Expertise increase DR instead of AC is worth the added complexity)
The reason James keeps getting called out is because he responds to more of these type of questions than Jason does.
For most, it's less about what the designer intended, but more about getting a ruling from an official representative of the company.
The fact that the ruling may contradict what the designer intended is irrelevant to most as long as the ruling comes from an official representative of the company.
Hell, back in 3.5 The Sage made a ruling that directly contradicted a forum post by Richard Baker who designed the Warlock class.
People want an official ruling. The designer's intent is the ideal, but they will take anything by someone who can be cited as an official source for the ruling.
For me personally, I believe it is up to the GM to make the final call. Primary consideration should be given to designer's intent if available, then rulings by other staff members, but the GM has ultimate say. (Please note that I am not involved in organized play, in which there are official rulings that should trump GM discretion.)
In fact, since I brought up organized play, let's take spend another moment on that. In organized play, designer intent is trumped by official ruling. Anyone involved in organized play will be accustomed to such official rulings and often look for them to be applied to home games as well.
Ideally, RAW==RAI with no loopholes or unintended broken combos. In reality, we muddle through as best we can.