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GM Rednal wrote:
Heaven and Hell both share an alignment axis. I think them teaming up is perfectly logical.
The skills system definitely isn't one for every group. I actually tried to have my players use the consolidated skills systems from Pathfinder Unchained and they HATED them. Like, "Let's stop the game I don't even want to play my character of two years using this system," hated them.
The Everyman Skills system is sort of like a compromise between the standard skills system and the ideas from Pathfinder Unchained; the newer skill systems make characters MUCH more versatile, but because of the way that the groups are stacked, my players felt incentified towards similar skill groups and penalized for investing in others. (Perception was the big one.) They wanted the flexibility of the standard skill system (where you can drop a few ranks into class skills and be okay in them) while also getting some of the broader applications of the newer ideas.
I'm glad that you didn't give the product a poor review just because that skill system wasn't useful to you. Sometimes not everything will be, especially when you're dealing with alternate rules systems. Thanks for the review! :D
I don't think so. That page is basically full, and I don't like the idea of making a trade only for the alternate class.
It'll still be a nice perk to have if you decide to bind a spirit with a vestigial companion you can ride, though!
If that's what it says, that's what it says! My brain isn't in the design space for Pact Magic right now; I just finished writing the 80-page Childhood Adventures product for my company, which is partially about taking those aging rules from the Grimoire of Lost Souls and making them even cooler and more in-depth.
General precautions taken by legitimate Authority (Or, why my Level 3 Kitsune Fey Bloodline Sorcerror isn't ruling the world)
The easiest explanation is, as Ultimate Intrigue puts it, "Diplomacy is not mind control." You could have the highest Diplomacy bonus in the world, but your check doesn't negate free will.
As for charm person, the spell specifically says that you can't make someone do something they wouldn't normally do. They treat you as a friend, but friendship doesn't mean blind loyalty.
As a Youth with an Old mind, your aging modifiers should be -2 Str, –2 Con, +2 Int, +0 Wis, +2 Cha.
My gut says no in regards to age swipe. I'd have to look at it in-depth and I don't have time right now.
I don't think that's ever something I'm going to codify. I would say that whatever groups include Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (religion), Disguise, Bluff, Spellcraft, and Use Magic Device are the most important ones.
Remember that the occultist isn't a super skill-heavy class. I would say dropping Perception is probably okay.
I *think* the official term we're using now is "ritualist" as the alternate name. I'm pretty sure the whole book still calls it the occultist, though.
Liz Courts wrote:
Liz Courts ponders the thought, feels her hairline receding and her hair graying, and quickly replies to the post.
2) The fact that your basically-telepathy element is called psychokinesis bothers the crap out of me, since psychokinesis and telekinesis are synonyms for mind-over-matter for all practical purposes, while mind reading/control is something different. However, I don't have a better suggestion, so this is just a minor nitpick.
They are similar in the real world, but it helps to remember that "psychokinesis" refers to influencing stuff with you mind while "telekinesis" specifically refers to moving stuff with your mind. Sometimes in game design it becomes necessary to split real-world synonyms from one another to make a better whole. For example, "fighter" and "warrior" mean different things in Pathfinder, and "warlock" and "witch" are not male/female counterparts from one another in the game.
3) Dream infusions: So many saving throws! Exhausting, Nauseating, Sickening, and Tiring all require Fortitude saves in addition to the Will save required by the normal blast, and Probing and Terrorizing seem to require two Will saves--one for the normal blast, and one for the infusion. And this is all on top of the normal attack roll! Would it be unbalanced to have these infusions all apply automatically if the target failed their Will save against the initial dream/mind/phantasmal/etc. blast?
A huge part of the balancing for dream blasts is the fact that their damage can be reduced by a Will save; all dream blasts either deal untyped damage or can deal whatever type of energy damage that the kineticist needs most in a given moment. If you removed that mechanic, dream would be mechanically superior to all other elements strictly from a blast / infusion standpoint.
That said, if I remember my design correctly (I'm not in front of my PDF at the moment), failing your damage save doesn't affect your infusions at all. Have your foe roll both saving throw against each effect at the same time.
4) Why is Nightmare Messenger such a high-level infusion? Is nightmare more useful than I think it is?
One nightmare is not powerful. Spamming nightmare at will is.
5) I really like Probing infusion, but it could use a little cleaning up. How long do the effects of the infusion last? For one round? Forever? And do you have to accept 1 burn to affect a number of targets equal to your Con, or do you have to accept 1 burn per target, to a maximum number equal to your Con?
Probing infusion uses the same language as the probing psychic amplification. The information is given to you instantly and its done. You accept 1 burn per target you want to probe.
8) Kinetic Marksman: It seems odd to me that this takes a different direction from Elemental Annihilator, and removes all infusions rather than utility powers. Can a Kinetic Marksman pick up infusions via Extra Wild Talent? And if so, can they use those infusions while firing them from their weapon? Also, how does metakinesis work when firing from a weapon, especially Quicken?
This is a heavy rules-based answer. I will look into this and give you a better answer later.
10) Metabolic Elementalist: I like this a lot, too. With the change you described above, are you planning on changing the burn cost of Expanded Apotheosis?
Its reworded a little bit differently, but for the most part you still need to accept burn to merge elements together.
I really enjoy watching you listen to advice and making changes when appropriate. I'm very pleased to have done business with you.
I try when I think its appropriate!
For instance, it would be a MUCH harder sell if Luthorne was trying to convince me that the scion of the elements prestige class's elemental flexibility ability needed love. The entire time I wrote that, I was was whimpering, "Please don't smite me, Mark Seifter!"
It was one of the hardest balancing acts I have ever done.
I *think* that's something I can try without making it too powerful, but the progression will have to be delayed.
And yes, the advantage to taking phrenic blast is that it isn't a mind-affecting effect, which means that it doesn't have to worry about any resistances or immunities to mind-affecting effects. This also includes things like outsiders with immunity, traits, special feats and class features, and more. Of which there are a TON of things.
Hayato Ken wrote:
When I right for Paizo, its not like I'm alone. Owen and a small number of editors and layout specialists help with the editing too.
Hayato Ken wrote:
The worst part is that I wrote hellfire blast first!
That'll be fixed too. Sorry that my proofreading for this one is a little shoddier than usual, folks. I wrote this write around the time I merged with RGG, and I was all over the place.
This won't happen again.
Unless Owen and I merge with someone else.
For the Elemental Expert's Expanded Element ability, it says, "At 5th and 7th levels, an elemental expert must choose to expand her understanding of her primary element." Shouldn't that be at 7th and 15th?
Yes, it should be 7th level and 15th level.
Another minor error, dream shaper is listed twice; I believe the 6th-level version is supposed to be dream shaper, greater. Though, I will say I find it mildly confusing to have things like mind scan, greater when the list of wild talents is separated only by commas; might I suggest either simply changing the various greaters in the list (though not the entry) as - for example - greater mind scan, or - again as an example - mind scan (greater)?
Yes, the 6th level one should be dream shaper (greater).
I will take your suggestion and edit the list to use parenthesis. I don't know how I missed that from Occult Adventures. (I chalk it up to the class's girth, I guess.)
For greater psychokinetic invisibility, it expands the list of things that psychokinetic invisibility lets you avoid automatic detection against, but does you still not receive the bonus to Stealth checks against such creatures? The phrasing makes me feel like you might receive it, but I'm not completely certain.
This is my update to the text; does this clear up your question?
You possess masterful skill at remaining unnoticed when using your psychokinetic powers. This acts as psychokinetic invisibility, except you also avoid automatic detection via all forms of blindsense, blindsight, and abilities that function like blindsense and blindsight (such as tremorsense or lifesense). By accepting 1 point of burn when you use greater psychokinetic invisibility, you can either extend the effect to include your allies, functioning like invisibility sphere, or you can continue to benefit from greater psychokinetic invisibility even after you attack for 1 round per kineticist level, functioning like greater invisibility.
Very minor, but basic psychokinesis doesn't appear on your list of wild talents for Dream, and the other basic -kinesis utility talents do appear on the lists for normal elements, so I feel like it ought to be there.
That'll be fixed.
Various niggles aside, Dream looks like a fun element to play with, and Spiritual Ascension is a very cool feat with a lot of flavor to it. Some fun archetypes as well, though I have to say I'm a bit disappointed that the Metabolic Elementalist's Elemental Apotheosis' ability doesn't function as Wild Shape when you spend burn, ie, an hour per level...and not spending burn seems fairly niche, since it only lasts for a single round, so you can only ever take a move action while in that form before going back to normal...and you lose a lot of utility talents for that ability.
After reviewing this, I still think that 1 hour/level is too long, but 1 minute/level is too short as well. I fiddled with the text and this is what I came up with:
Elemental Apotheosis (Su): At 6th level, a metabolic elementalist can accept 1 point of burn in order to gain the ability to transform into an elemental. Until the next time her burn is removed, she can transform into a Small elemental (as per elemental body I) for 1 round, plus 1 round per 3 kineticist levels she possesses (maximum 7 rounds). A metabolic elementalist can only assume the form of an elemental whose elemental subtype perfectly matches her primary element; an aerokineticist can transform into an air elemental, a geokineticist can transform into an earth elemental, a hydrokineticist can transform into a water elemental, a pyrokineticist can transform into a fire elemental, and a telekineticist can transform into an aether elemental. (As an aether elemental, use the statistics for an air elemental with good maneuverability and the telekinetic throw ability, as described in the aether elemental entry of Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 5). By accepting 1 additional point of burn when she uses this ability, she increases the duration of the transformation to 1 minute per kineticist level.
At 8th level, a metabolic kineticist can transform into a Medium elemental, as per elemental body II. At 10th level, she can transform into a Large elemental, as per elemental body III. At 12th level, she can transform into a Huge elemental, as per elemental body IV. This ability replaces the 6th-, 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-level utility wild talents.
Expanded Apotheosis (Su): Starting at 7th level, a metabolic elementalist can accept 1 additional point of burn whenever she uses her elemental apotheosis ability to transform into an elemental amalgam of her primary element and one other element that she has selected with the expanded element ability. While doing so, she gains the abilities of both kinds of elementals, as described by her elemental apotheosis ability. This ability alters expanded element.
I will take a look at these in the context of the product, but I'm not sure if I'm going to have time to update before PaizoCon.
Introducing a new product from Everyman Gaming, LLC! Everyman Options: Kineticists is here!
Master the elements using one of six new kineticist archetype, such as the elemental knight or the elemental expert. If the classic elements aren't tickling your fancy, why not become a psychokineticist and master the power of the Dimension of Dreams? Pryrokineticists and hydrokineticist can likewise learn to infuse their blasts with the essence of Heaven and Hell using new advanced composite blast options, and kineticists of the air, earth, fire, or water elements with a flair for spiritual power can enter the new Scion of the Elements prestige class, which allows them to tap into their past incarnations to master all four elements and achieve supreme elemental flexibility!
Hi everyone! If you have questions, let me know. :D
Some fun factoids:
I wrote a lot of stuff that I'm super proud of in this one. (Bloodline Mutations, for example, began as a pitch I made to Owen.)
Of all the things I wrote in this book, however, the thing I'm the most proud of is the introduction. Describing what makes arcane, divine, and psychic magic similar mechanically, yet fundamentally different, remains one of the biggest challenges that I've ever tackled, and thanks to Owen's polish, I loved the outcome.
I'd imagine that as long as they get whichever devilishly handsome freelancer who originally wrote them to keep writing them, they'll continue wherever there's a teensy bit of space. (With Grandmaster Stephens' approval, of course.)
1) Has there ever been an Adventure Path where all of the illustrated Iconics for that AP were women?
2) Would you consider doing an Adventure Path where none of the illustrated Iconics for that AP were nonhuman? Why?
3) Would you ever consider doing an Adventure Path where Yoon was one of the illustrated Iconics for that AP? Why?
Hayato Ken wrote:
Just double check for things like ascetic style please, we want that Society legal! :D
My absolute favorite thing to do at the Philly Lodge is brag about the stuff I write that people in the room are playing with. :-)
As a result, I try REALLY hard to present Owen with cool ideas that A) present meaningful options for characters and B) help to improve class and build gameplay for concepts that are either difficult or flat-out impossible to pull off. That won't change for as long as Paizo keeps hiring me.
BTW, since it's obvious that singular nation gazeteers are a really slow way to cover the world of Golarion (don't stop though!)), I should say I am interested in "cultural/regional group" products which cover a cohesive unit (even if the parts may be antagonistic etc), f.e. People of Shu, People of Obari, etc. Illuminating the history of how these nations/peoples/races developed (e.g. Lung Wa Empire) is interesting context for me, and adds another level of potentially intersecting identities and meanings... Stuff Paizo has done in that line has been...
If Paizo ever did a "Races of the Dragon Empires" Campaign Setting Guide, I REALLY hope I'd get to work with Mark and Amanda on that. I absolutely LOVE all of the Tian Xia races, largely in part because with the sole exception of the tengu, they borrow from real-world mythology.
And you're right; if you want to see something like that happen, the best thing you can do is to A) support Inner Sea Races and B) support "Blood of" Player Companions. I do not think it was a coincidence that Inner Sea Faiths, a book that almost perfectly mirrors the layout for Inner Sea Gods, came out roughly a year after that critically-acclaimed product was released.
If you want more information on races, vote with your wallet.
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
I don't think it's saying to much to acknowledge Alex is working on this book, but I also have some awesome staff writers producing material for it as well!
This is sort of a relief to have my involvement with this confirmed from the start; I was worried that I was going to be badgered with questions that I had to avoid at PaizoCon!
So obviously, I can't tell you anything about this book's content. Not yet, anyway. Maybe if I'm lucky, I'll get asked to write the product blog about Blood of the Beast. That would be SUCH a huge honor, but its far more likely that you'll have to wait until October to hear me say anything more about it.
Besides the 7 race issue per se, The premise of the book as "examination of their place in the world of Golarion" seems a bit strange, given several of them are supposedly associated with regions of Southern Garund for which we have practically no over-arching background material, so knowing the race-specific details feels "off" to me.
As mentioned, I can't say anything about the book's contents, but please believe me when I say that Owen is a genius, and he knows what you're afraid will happen to the races in this book. I do too; I was there in the trenches with you. Please know that every race is being covered by people who are interested in them. We can talk about what its like to be a vanara without talking about Casmaron, just like Blood of Angels is all about aasimars, but hardly mentions Tianjing.
Rather than the artificial "furry folk" theme, it seems like it would be more cohesive with Golarion to have a "Races of Tian Xia" product (incl. Hobgoblins, Samsarans) focusing there and more strongly developing Tian Xia lore and a "Races of Southern Garund" product (possibly incl. Human/Demihuman ethnicities/cultures?) more strongly focused there.
Listen, I'm there with you. The grouping is arbitrary. But is it any more arbitrary then grouping drow, wayangs, or fetchlings together in Blood of Shadows? Those are basically all "darkness and shadow themed races," and any setting justification you try to use works for two, but not the remaining one. For instance, wayangs and fetchlings are from the Shadow Plane. But not drow. Drow and fetchlings primarily live in the Darklands. But not Wayangs. As Owen said before, sometimes the obvious category is the only category that will give a topic enough appeal to make it happen. Kitsune have a wide audience. But kitsune + catfolk + ratfolk + nagaji? Much wider, and therefore more likely to be successful.
Here's something I don't share often enough: I'm not a furry. I don't associate with that fandom, and when I was asked to come aboard on this project, I told Owen flat-out that the "furry folk" theme, as you called it, worried me. I really don't need any more people in my local PFS lodge assuming anything else about me. Owen, however, quickly convinced me that this wasn't the case with Blood of the Beast, and I felt foolish for thinking that he was going for a "furry folk" theme with this product. After all, I had forgotten the Rule of Owen; first and foremost, Owen is a genius.
If you're part of the furry fandom, you will probably like this book. If you're not, but you're interested in even one of the races, you might still like this book. All I ask is that you give it a chance. Because if you don't, then Paizo-Freelancer-Cap off, 3PP-Publisher-Cap on it is highly unlikely that you'll see any of these races in any greater capacity then how you see them here. When you "vote with your wallet," your vote doesn't go against the layout or the flavor-to-crunch-ratio, it goes against the topic first and foremost. So if this topic even remotely interests you, please invest in it.
I promise that did everything I could as a freelancer to make your investment worth your time, and I have unshakable faith that everyone at Paizo, Inc will do the same.
And now, I skulk away back into the shadows of the internet until October! (Or until the next product I worked on goes live, which should be soooooooon....)
Technically speaking, we don't "need" Pathfinder Society as an entire social construct. Just like we really don't need faction cards. Or an overarching metaplot. But just because something isn't needed doesn't mean it shouldn't be added if it could make the game more enjoyable for people. Especially if said addition is completely optional. (I.e. no one makes you use faction cards or play stories in metaplot order, but those choices are there for people who want them.)
So the simple truth of the swashbuckler class (as well as the gunslinger class) is that roughly 2/3s of the deeds aren't worth the action economy cost of using them, and the nearly all of the deeds that are strong options either come online too late or require tons of feats (which the swashbuckler really doesn't have many of) in order to make useful. The only exception to those statements are opportune parry and riposte and precise strike, and precise strike makes it impossible to deal competitive damage by practically forbidding two weapon fighting with the class.
As someone who's played swashbuckler to 5th level, your best bet is to just not play the swashbuckler class. The unchained rogue can do just about everything the swashbuckler can do but better, and does it while dealing a massive amount of damage. The only place where the swashbuckler wins is in base attack bonus, and that's arguably not important for a character class that's built around catching foes flat-footed or otherwise surprised.
If you insist on being a swashbuckler, the class loses all luster beyond 5th level, when it gains swashbuckler weapon training. Improved Critical with every weapon in your arsenal is a powerful tool, but once you get that there isn't a compelling reasons to stay in the class (and you can arguably do the same thing earlier by taking one levels of swashbuckler and going all-in with the occultist class, since the transmutation focus power will eventually let you put keen on your weapon whenever you want it).
Currently, the best swashbuckler builds do swashbuckler 5 / anything else X. Fighter (weapon master) is a common choice because it gives you attack bonuses quickly and nets you early access into Advanced Weapon Training abilities, but unchained rogue is a compelling choice because it'll actually get you Dexterity to damage. (The swashbuckler can't do that without a feat, and the swashbuckler gets fewer feats over its levels than the warpriest or brawler, meaning that what you have is sacred.)
But in all honesty, I wouldn't recommend the swashbuckler class to anyone.
I'm of two minds about this.
On one hand, I know there's an audience for super hard games, and I think that said audience should get a bone (or a Bonekeep) thrown at them every now and then.
On the other hand, I can't see this idea working out well. At low levels, doing something "quick" like adding the advanced simple template to everything might help a little bit, but mathematically speaking, that template only boosts rolls. It doesn't do anything to prolong the fight, and that's where challenge comes in: monsters need staying power to be truly difficult. By Tier 7-11, the advanced simple template would just be a mere bump in the road; it works for making encounters harder, but not for introducing a true hard mode. Doing that is exceptionally difficult as well, because what constitutes a hard scenario is equal parts monster abilities and the abilities of the players.
In short, "hard mode encounters" are better left to home games, where fights can actually be custom-tailored to a group. It wouldn't be worth the page space that the devs would use.
That said, I'm all for designed hardmode scenarios, like more Bonekeep-type games.
James Jacobs wrote:
Side note, my friend Robyn actually made a Gom Gom for our former Venture-Lieutenant before he had to move. I got her to photo-document it and helped her write it into an article for Know Direction.
What do you think?
The more I hear about the concept of "Game Days," the more disappointed I become. I was hoping for a system that would encourage of my players to try out the mantle of GM, thereby allowing our store to grow in terms of the number of tables I can offer and the number of players I can attract. Instead, what we're getting frankly feels more like an effort to remove HQ from small-scale convention planning by transferring that power to Regional Venture-Coordinators, and it doesn't even do that very well.
The biggest problem that I forsee is the hard "10 per quarter" limit. I don't know what the PFS scene looks like out in Seattle, but judging by how the Regional Venture-Coordinators are spread out across the United States according to the contact info page (Great Lakes, Mid Atlantic, Midwest, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, and abroad), I can only assume that my home lodge in Philadelphia would fall into a hypothetical Northeast region. I honestly don't know; I've never heard of the position before and we're not listed on the page I linked. Assuming we are in a Northeast region, the Northeast includes all of the so-called "Northeast Megalopolis," which includes the cities of Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. By this measurement, the most densely populated region of the United States is allocated a meager 10 Game Days. 10 Game Days per quarter, a total of 40 a year, split between Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C., plus ALL of the other cities and territories in that region, which includes relatively large cities like Pittsburg and Albany.
I do not envy whomever is appointed to be our Regional Venture-Coordinator.
As written, this system seems poised to make it even more difficult for our region to host small-scale Pathfinder Society games for boon credit, not easier. Because now you're putting tons of stress on a single person to plan and allocate a year's worth of cons fairly and in a way that bolsters all members of a number of independent communities that spam five of the country's largest cities. Just how is someone going to politely tell a PFS Venue that's struggling to establish itself in Delaware that a store in Connecticut needs the support more?
Game Days should be allocated by Venture-Captain, not Regional-Coordinator, and they should be used to by the Venture-Captain to strengthen communities. Not to try and encourage someone living in Upstate New York to take an eight hour drive to DC for a one-day convention.
If there's anything in the Game Day program that I'm missing, please inform me. So far I'm feeling pretty pessimistic about the whole system because it seems utterly ineffective in my opinion.
For Luthorne, this is the updated wording on hybrid shape:
Hybrid Shape wrote:
Basically, a hybrid shape is its own special kind of animal shape, so wildheart doesn't give you your kingdom's abilities while you are using hybrid shape (you aren't in your true form anymore). Its associated with Intelligence and one ability score of your choice from the other animal that makes up the hybrid, but otherwise it should be clear that things like savage spirit and instincts work with a hybrid shape.
Interfacing wildheart was simply something I didn't have room for in this rewrite, but it is certainly a candidate for something I would do in a theoretical, "Everyman Options: Shapeshifter" product. Theoretically speaking, of course.
Also, I've fixed the bear ability to reference ferocity instead of Diehard, added missing abilities to daemon and demon passengers, and fixed the dark messiah's blessings of the planes ability. (In a previous version of the class, vessels got omens at every even level. The Messiah used to trade the 6th-level omen for its ability, but now there is no 6th-level omen. It should be 8th-level as a result."
I'm going to pass this along to Owen for an update after work today, so hopefully you guys should see it by the end of the week. If there's any other questions anyone has, let me know quickly so I can address them.
Shelly Hudson wrote:
I was a little disappointed about the upcoming GM Suli race boon. I know several people who worked very hard to gather the 4 elemental races to make a suli and now it will be a single boon. Thankfully I haven't played mine yet and will simply re purpose the individual elemental race boons and wait for my Suli (I GM a lot of smaller cons).
In 2013 when I first started PFS, I played my first game with a kitsune swashbuckler using a race boon that Ryan gifted to me. I had been on the fence about society play for some time up until that point (if you listen to the brief stint of Private Sanctuary podcasts where we co-hosted it together, you can hear some of our conversations about it). Giving me those boons (he gave me two to start) is what eventually got me to try the campaign.
Of course, one session after I started playing it was announced that kitsune, nagaji, and wayang would become always available!
People said to me for a while afterwards, "Wow, Alex. Tough break. You wasted a boon when you could have waited a month and done it for free." I never felt that way though, personally. I got my early access, even if it was just one session, and more importantly, I could make more characters without using up my remaining boon.
But hey, who knows? I've been told I'm weird.
Benjamin Falk wrote:
I really like John Comptons take in the Catfolk introduction, wish that effort had been made for some other races out there too. Some could profit heavily from it and it might be good to keep things a bit more Golarion Lore friendly.
It was a pretty great answer from John considering that my Venture Captain only asked it to mess with me on-air. :-P
John Compton wrote:
If you feel that Season 7 has invested a little too heavily in the Skill Focus feats, that's valuable feedback that I can take into consideration while working on Season 8. I think you'll also find that the rest of Season 7 has plenty of opportunities to punch villainy in the face—while also having some roleplaying moments to experience even more of Golarion's flavor.
I started playing an investigator this season, and I was worried that my character was going to be useless because investigators take a while to build up their combat effectiveness.
Season 7 has been delightful for the character as a result; I actually wouldn't play a scenario on him if it wasn't Season 7 or one of the famous, "Skill Focus" scenarios if I could help it. Count me in the group that's glad (and prefers) the variance. Only Twisted Circle and Infernal Inheritance 1 are a little extreme on the "talk'em down" end of things, in my opinion, but I give those two a bye because I've been scheduling them for newer players as "mittens-on" scenarios to get folks a little more comfortable with how Pathfinder plays.
Just because something is balanced for one class doesn't make it balanced for another class.
Vigilante talents are strong. REALLY strong. The weakest ones let you pick rogue talents / bonus combat feats. THE WEAKEST ONES. Most have benefits that are worth two or even three feats. Shadow's speed is worth FOUR feats.
Ninja tricks are not that powerful. They are worth a feat. Maybe. And they tend to interlock more, such as needing two tricks for invisibile blade, and that is even limited by a shared resource. Vigilante talents have NO shared resource, and few have daily limits.
In short, vigilante talents don't have an Extra Talent feat because if they did, the benefit of each talent would have to be severely lessened.
Additional Resources wrote:
Talents: The social and vigilante talents are legal for play except double time. The in vogue social talent doubles the gold earned when using Craft or Profession for a Day Job, and the celebrity discount talent cannot be combined with other effects to reduce an item’s cost below 85% normal.
Double Time is illegal.
Double Time is also a prerequisite for In Vogue.
I want to start by thanking you for taking a much better tone in the conversation, DM Beckett. I'd like to offer a few counterpoints for the sake of any PFS eyes who may (or may not) be watching.
DM Beckett wrote:
All of the archetypes that were super powerful are still listed as being banned on the document. Ultimate Magic still says that the broodmaster and synthesis summoner is banned, for instance. Advanced Race Guide still says that the shaitan binder is legal (which is where the disconnect my friend experienced came from). In building the unchained summoner, none of the existing options for the class were invalidated; the two classes have the same class features and names; most of what changed happened to the eidolon's ability progression (specifically the introduction of subtypes and the reduction of evolution points per level) and in the spell list composition of the summoner's spell list. The Pathfinder Design Team never intended to make the unchained summoner incompatible with any of the existing archetypes; although we have no direct comment from them, we can infer this to be true because the following line of text appears on page 8 in Pathfinder Unchained: "Finally, with the exception of the monk, these classes should work with any of the archetypes in previous books so long as the classes have the appropriate class features to replace."
The restrictions were placed on by the PFS Leadership, not the Pathfinder Design Team, and the point of the thread is to try and prove that changing the restrictions for the purpose of the shaitan binder archetype would not hurt Organized Play. It was not, "one of those options that destabilized Organized Play."
As for the undead lord, then we can add to the pile that the shaitan binder doesn't disrupt the flow of table play like the undead lord does. It doesn't create any scenarios where it forces the summoner into a position where it conflicts with the alignment identities of any other class currently in the game. Because the undead lord does that (and arguably creates the same problem as the broodmaster summoner in that it borks action economy for the class in question), it isn't a particularly good counter point.
In terms of "broken is a matter of opinion," there are plenty of ways to build every class so that it is broken. I've had entire, relatively tough scenarios die to a guy with the Spirited Charge feat. Hitting things for 90+ damage before rolling your weapon damage dice seems broken to me. But its still allowed in the interest of fun. Most of the issues with the original summoner can't be reintroduced "through the back door" of allowing this one archetype because those problems were inherent in the spell list, the evolution progression, and the number of evolution points per level, all of which cannot be adjusted back by any archetype. As I mentioned, the Additional Resources page still illegalizes all of the archetypes that were broken specifically by name, so this one change isn't going to build a case for those archetypes. Furthermore, most of the really crazy ones, the synthesis summoners, the broodmasters, the master summoners, they all have playtested experience on why those are bonkers and shouldn't be brought back. The only thing holding the shaitan binder back is the fear that allowing it will open the door to bring back those other, broken options, which simply isn't true.
I agree with you that flavor and power aren't the only reasons to keep something banned. In addressing your other notes too: 1) the shaitan binder is not a complex archetype. It makes minor alterations to the eidolon, 2) the shaitan binder was scarcely played, let alone abused, prior to Pathfinder Unchained, 3) playing "take backsies" with an archetype that was already legal and never made illegal to put it on a chronicle later is pretty lame, and 4) metagame issues basically goes back to overpowered-ness, which the archetype is not.
Sorry. There wasn't really anything else I could do for this one other than dissect the reasons you noted.
Yeah, I didn't do a good job writing this one initially. My apologizes. My point was that the language isn't very clear, because despite what Tempest Knight said I couldn't find any note that, "All blog posts that the PFS Team does are automatically legalized for PFS play," anywhere in the Guide. (If you know it, a page number would be appreciated. That tiny book packs in a crazy amount of rules content, and I find stuff in there that I didn't know about all the time.)
All of these lead to a Conclusion that is either wrong (worst case) or arguable based on opinion and preference (at best).
One of the dirty secrets of Game Design is that when you get right down to it, everything is an opinion. There is no mathematical way to determine if an option is broken or underpowered or not without actual trial experience. Game Design is more like Rocket Science and less like Math. All the numbers could be right for what you predict will happen, but when you actually go out and "do the thing," something happens that you never expected, and now you need to redo everything.
Jason Bulmahn has said the lore warden fighter archetype is overpowered because of the mathematical trades it makes. Mathematically and philosophy-wise, he's probably right. But no one would talk about removing an archetype like the lore warden from the game because in the grand context of things, the fighter is only as powerful as his feats, and the things that make the lore warden mathematically overpowered (the massive maneuver mastery bonus) tend to not be THAT overpowered in play because they more or less compensate for the fact that normally, combat maneuvers hardly ever go off at high levels.
To avoid rambling anymore than I already have, the point is that when you're making a case for anything Game Design wise, arguments are always going to be based upon opinion. What's overpowered in my game in my lodge might not be overpowered for you at your lodge, and vice versa. PFS needs to adopt as close of a middle line as it can, and my points are that if this archetype crosses into overpowered territory, it doesn't do it in a significant way. From a designer's perspective, it makes fair, sometimes poor, trades for what amount to character utility. I think this archetype would be fine in PFS play, and that's all I was trying to prove.
The thing is, the vigilante class is REALLY good at mirroring a Dexter-type character; someone who can put on social graces by day, but goes around murdering people by night.
In fact, the stalker is SO good at being Dexter, from the emphasize on fear and nonlethal damage, to special abilities based around catching people unaware, that to me, personally, the stalker specialization is less "Batman," and more "serial killer."
Bringing back to Golarion, ANY of the ghosts of Harrowstone could have been excellent examples of characters who were vigilantes in life.
David Neilson wrote:
Quite seriously, Archetypes do not feel as bad as prestige classes since you do not need to meet weird prerequisites for them. Prestige classes sometimes felt like you needed more planning, and weird warping of your character to fit.
I disagree about the weird warping, but they definitely do need more planning. That's sort of the aspect that makes them fun. Prestige classes are awesome when they feel like your character worked for the class and that hard work paid off. While I don't dislike well-made prestige classes that are based on organizations, such as the Lion Blade in this book, which I have high hopes for, I also think that the game has places for prestige classes like those in the Core Rulebook and the APG; not really tied to any place or organization, but instead tied to a really cool, possibly unique mechanic.
Prestige classes that say, "Hey, you need me to be good at X," are lame, which is what happened in 3.5. Prestige classes that say, "Hey, you want your character to accidentally transform into a Dr. Jeckel / Mr. Hyde split," or "Hey, you want to be really good at sneak attacking with spells, which doesn't have a good single-class character that can deliver the concept," are interesting.
But that's just my opinion, anyway.
John Compton wrote:
But if I give them away to friends, how am I supposed to covertly destroy my entire group of PCs with a harem of 20 vishkanya?