After all, witches have spells too, but it doesn't seems they prefer to use those instead of hexes. There must be something here, or not?
There is something there. The spell, when cast, is gone for the day. The hex can be used again, although it must be used on a different target. Witches also do not get a 'free spell of any level per day' item like a wizard's focus, nor can they get an extra spell slot of each level via becoming a specialist. So while they have hexes, they have fewer spells to back them up. Additionally, a witch may also have a few spells prepped as healing magic, further limiting the offensive options they have.
*the following is a personal experience anecdote, and your games may vary from the ones I have either played a witch, or seen one played*
When I play a witch, I tend to keep the spells in reserve for things that the hexes cannot affect, or for spells that might not always be useful, but are devastating when the situation arrives. Most other people I know play the class the same way.
They *ARE* just people. But the people that designed and built my car have a better understanding of how it works than I do.
The one thing I think people on the messageboards have over the Devs is that they probably don't game with people who deliberately arttempt to break the system in order to 'win' over the rest of the party. Most of them are where they are for love of the game more than anything else, and that *might* insulate them from the worst elements of the hobby.
I'm personally not a fan of the more supernatural based fighter (wuxia, myths, anime, etc), preferring more my fighter that uses magic equipment and his skills at fighting. Still, I'd be okay with options for those that like their fighters more supernatural than I do. More options for different playstyles is better.
One of the great things about the 3.5 Book of Nine Swords is that a few of the styles were very much non-magical in nature. Iron Heart and Diamond Mind both had a feel of them being incredible training rather than wall-running and balancing on the flimsiest of tree-limbs.
Of course, it also had the magical type stuff in tere as well, for those who would want it.
opinions are shaped by campaigns and campaign circumstances.
Case in point: The barbarian. Some people think that a barbarian is a hard class to keep alive, since going down while raging means death. others think that thought is idiocy, since the character would be dead anyways. It all depends on the game. In a game where the GM is rather free with CDGs on downed players vs. a game where the enemies only care about active threats the mentality of the same mechanic differs.
Alignment DR isn't going to be a major problem for any summoner unless it is /lawful or /chaotic. They can always swap the eidolon for a SLA summon, and most of those have either the fiendish or the celestial template.
I know some GM's who feel that if they are not knocking people unconcious that they are failing as GM's. The most extreme thinks that all PC's must have single digit HP (or less) after every, single combat (he just had a mass player revolt). It isn't a failure to figure basic math, it's thinking in terms of how the games they play are run.
Peter Stewart wrote:
As has always been, and will always be, the case, the power of a given class depends entirely upon the GM in question and the player in question.
As a thought exercise, I wonder if anyone has tried to figure out which classes are the hardest to mess up via takng poor options?
Adjudicated on a case by case basis. The last time I had a character kill a fellow party member was when I could no longer justify NOT killing the character. In the end it turned out I only killed him because I won initiative over the rest of the group, and got there before they could do the same.
At the absolute top I put the Scrollmaster Wizard archetype. Getting full ability when casting from a scroll enables this character to probably come closer the 'Shroedinger's Wizard' in practice than anyone else.
I'd certainly put the human Sage Bloodline Sorcerer as the higherst rated version of this class. 2 extra spells per spell level, plus a few additional from the bloodline, plus swapping out Cha based casting for Int based enable this version to start moving in on skill use as well.
The 'paragon surge' exploit for a half-elf oracle is likely the most powerful (or at least versatile) version of this class.
The previous 3 versions may very well be a full tier above the standard version of thier class.
And on a side note.......
I guarantee that an eidolon winks out in an antimagic field
Just make sure this trick gets pulled in a confined space, or the summoner will just bring forth some flying archers in response. It's not like the enemy is going to have any magic to stop the volleys.
It really depends on the players and GM involved (and possibly the characters they are playing). I was playing a tiefling gun-mage, and to me it seemed as if the first 21 days (5 or 6 sessions) involved a drag of skill checks cherry-picked to work off the character's lowest stats, often combined with skills she didn't have. I seriously considered finding 'personal issues' that would keep my from the game until that part was done.
The level of play is huge for theorycrafting as far as I am concerned. In my group's homebrew campaign, lvl 13 in the endgame. So a decent 'late power' class really needs to be that good from lvl 7 on, not lvl 13 (which may only have a few sessions). In an AP, the highest level I have seen was 17 (the very end of Kingmaker) and the early ones seem to end 13-15 (Crimson Throne, Council of Thieves). A build which doesn't get rolling until book 6 of an AP is going to be a failure in my eyes, because I won't get to enjoy it.
Lord Snow wrote:
The rest of the base classes are a little harder to classify. I can't see why ninja is not a archetype or prestige class, and cavalier barely had a reason to exist in the first place, making me really confused about the Samurai, given that it's basically a cavalier. Summoner had a potential to be really good but I think Paizo massed up the mechanics on this one (James Jacobs said numerous times that if he had the chance he would have changed the eidlon mechanic to be more similar to the druid's animal companion, with a basic template and types of outsiders changing that basic template - instead of choosing "cat, small" you chose "celestial, winged", for example).
I think that if the summoner used a number of fixed templates like the druid animal companion fewer people would hate it. Even experts at the game often seem to mess up the eidolon as it currently works. The fact that my group doesn't allow them is more of a combination of group size (making someone who breaks action economy a drag) and the fact that the players most likely to summon something are those with the least system mastery (constantly getting things wrong and never having stats in advance).
I understand the cavalier a little bit more. The fighter is not capable of making an educated warrior due to only having 2 skill points a level and the limited skill list. However, other than the teamwork feats, the cavalier intorduces no new machanics. The mount is from the druid, challenge is a weaker version of the paladin smite, banner is a weaker version of bard performance, and so on. Since samurai are supposed to be educated (and can be loosely called 'japan's knights) they became an alternate class of cavalier rather than anything else.
I don't understand how the cavalier is a non divine paladin. Does he smite? Does he have auras? Is he effective mountless? White Raven adepts are martial leaders. A cavalier is a guy with a horse and banner. So why is he always compared to the paladin?
Smite and Challenge are two similar abilities, as are the fact that each gets a mount. When many pople think of the paladin, they think of someone in heavy armor astride a majestic steed. The cavalier is basically someone in heavy armor astride a majestic steed.
Are they effective mountless? Depends on how much the cavalier invests in mounted combat. (I prefer enough for spirited charge and no more)
I think a swashbuckler could work just fine as an alternate class for either the Ranger, Cavalier, or Gunslinger.
You need a method of boosting AC to keep pace with other melee characters, and of boosting damage enough to not be ignored by the things you are fighting.
The class skills will need to be altered to fit the theme, and a few things will have to be added to capture the feel of the genre.
For ranger you change the combat style to fit the combat styles. Single weapon, weapon and buckler, two-weapon, weapon and cloak, and firearms (swashbuckling to me is part of the early age of firearms, so this style should be included).
Spells get exchanged for an expanded form of the 'combat tricks' from the skirmisher ranger archetype in the APG. Or, access to a list of rogue talents instead.
Favored enemy is exchanged for a smaller bonus to hit, damage, and armor class. The bonus should be smaller because it will be 'always on' rather than situational, and also covers defenses.
Alternatively, one of the previous two items could be exchanged for some of the duelist abilities.
Favored terrian would be exchanged for abilities that allow the swashbuckler to use terrain to his advantage (purposely vague to allow them to be used in places other than ships and castle dining halls).
That's just a few thought off the top of my head before I head into work.
I won't do a gunslinger version, as I feel that Ultimate Options: Grit and Gunslinger from the guys at Super Genius Games present something superior in the Fusilier than what I can come up with in the limited time I have.
I might toss some rough ideas out for a cavalier version after I finish work.
By the logic of the bolded part all classes should focus on ranged combat.
Choice of deity and domain influence this class heavily. An inquisitor of Gorum or Sarenrae is likely to favor melee.
Tell that to the people who try to make legendary weapons :D
Legendaries look cooler, but have the same damage and stats as lvl 80 exotic weapons. Beyond giving you a badge and title (hey, look! A prize at the end of the rope!) they don't seem to do anything different.
Read the Samurai class and th Cavalier class side by side and you'll see that all the Samurai happens to be is a dressed up Cavalier. It's not a class, it's an archetype that changes a little more than usual.
I play Guild Wars 2 myself, after having played both EverQuest and Word of Warcraft for a while (as well as the now defunct City of Heroes), and I will never, ever, play one of the 'Great Gear Chase' style games ever again. While gears is nice in GW2, not having the most up to date things isn't crippling, it just makes you slightly less effective at worst and merely less cool-looking at best.
Kirth Gerson wrote:
Now pretend we both want to play an obvious choice: a knight-troubador, sort of hybrid paladin/bard. I could multiclass the two and end up with what could quite possibly the most inept adventurer who ever lived, because even with Cha synergy, I'm diluting already-weak casting from both classes, and I'm also slowing my progression of meaningful class features (paladin mercies and smites, bardic inspiration) to a trickle that can't come close to keeping up with the scaling challenges I'm facing. For your part, maybe you look through all the splatbooks to date and find... nothing. You can't do it at all, because Paizo hasn't seen fit to publish a suitable base or prestige class for that yet. The best you can do is play an inquisitor and call it "close enough." We both lose, in this example.
Effective multiclassing along those lines went the way of the dodo once the game left 2nd edition and became 3rd, much less 3.5 and Pathfinder.
Currently there is no mechanic that allows players to make a hybrid between any two classes they choose that doesn't fall into one of 3 categories.
3: wait several levels to get into a prestige class.
Perhaps there is a 3PP that would like to take this challenge on?
If your police department manages to legally cover itself and state 'we can't protect you' the WBC people tend to leave pretty quick. They made a visit to my hometown (we had a gay Republican mayor at the time) and the police daprtments laid down the facts for them.
5000+ spectators for the Battle of Plattsburgh event.
Alchohol is present.
Pulling in the entire city police department, the county sheriff's department, and the local state troopers would still leave a 100 to 1 ratio of angry, drunken people to pistol-armed cops, most of whom do not have riot gear available.
Summary: If the WBC touched off a riot, there were not enough police to protect them.
End Result: WBC visit cut short. And there was much rejoicing. hooray
Lazurin Arborlon wrote:
Just curious, of the objectors there seems to be a great many that don't like a class because it doesn't fit their desired setting of Arthurian Fantasy. There is a lot of gunslingers and alchemists are too modern, or ninja are to Asian in bent. My question is why the vitriol against these options existing?
Well, a few years back it seemed like the ninja-fanboys were everywhere. It's ninja, so it is worth 3 to 5 of the best of anything else, and other such nonsense. Too much exposure to that turns many people off of anything that even resembles asian stuff.
Other people just don't like something (myself, there will NEVER be an antipaladin at my table, I can't wrap my head around devotion to a rigid code to chaos in any form) and nothing can convince them otherwise.
Vod Canockers wrote:
Barbarians and raging berserkers are common in fantasy fiction. The big difference is that raging berserkers usually can't control when they go berserk and often attack both friend and foe. That is not what is portrayed by the game mechanics.
Not always. Regnak, the Earl of Bronze never attacked any allies while baersark.
In addition, an ability that transforms a character into a near-unstoppable engine of death that turns on his party is probably an incredibly stupid idea for a game based on teamwork, so it got toned down. Both in how powerful it was (the uncontrollable beserker tended to hit like a seige engine once he got wound up) and in the uncontrollable aspect.
Kahn, you might want to seperate labor unions from government unions. The first are kind of important, even if they have thier own downside. The latter seem to be run by people who demand raises when the income of the taxpayers is going down. Or like in my hometown, have managed to turn recycling into something nobody wants to be a part of.
Devil's Advocate wrote:
Well, the witch is a hybrid between the arcane/divine caster, even with how they get access to spells. That explains why they can do some of the divine things wizards cannot. When the wizard is based on having vague and mysterious patrons they might be able to cast divine spells too.
The better access to the 'remove' line is due to the witch being able to cause most of those conditions in the first place. While it puts the witch on par with the druid under normal circumstances (a druid knows all his spells, while a witch must allocate precious 'spells known' for them) it does allow for a focused witch (with a healing patron and/or the hedge witch archetype) to do better. They still can't compete with a cleric, and especially not a healing domain cleric or life oracle in this regard.
I'm not seeing the 'things divine spells should not do' on the inquisitor list when I take a quick look at it. Most of the spells seem to be basic, or personal boosts, with some from the paladin list thrown in. Which all makes sense, considering that the inquisitor pretty much an inverse-bard when you consider it. Divine spells instead of arcane, boosts for personal use instead of the party, and focused on seeing through deceptions rather than causing them.
Assuming, you might want to look into the SGG guide to the talented fighter, which probably comes closest to what you want.
For everyone else, you can't make a skilled, light armored character with a base that gives the lowest amount of skill points per level out of them all and has abilities that are married to wearing armor.
I would use one of the 4 classes as the 'frame' of the swashbuckler and work out from there. (in much the same way that the bard is the frame for the magus and inquisitor)
Monk (specifically the weapon master archetype), with the wis-based ablities retooled for either charisma or intelligence.
Ranger, with the hunter's bond, spells, and favored enemy stuff replaced with more appropriate things.
Cavalier, again with something in exchange for the mount. Challenge seems like a very good fit for what the swashbuckler would do.
Gunslinger, because grit fueling swashbuckler feats looks like a near-perfect fit. Also, the most well-known swashbuckler examples come from the age of guns. (for those not into PFS, the SGG guide to grit and gunslingers has something along these lines, and could provide inspiration of nothing else)
Personally I like them all, although the summoner is discouraged at the table (due to large group size).
The cavalier is a heavily armored warrior type that actually has some skills AND a mount that isn't craypaper. In some ways similar to a paladin but without the baggage. Paladins are one of my favorite classes but it shouldn't be the only way to play an effective mounted knight.
The oracle only angers me in how it looks like the sorcerer built right. Multiple options to choose from for powers instead of a fixed progression, bonus spells granted when the level to cast them has been reached, and fewer ways for the prep caster version to take your stuff.
I love the witch, but then hybrid caster types are among my favorite classes to play.
The magus was a needed option, IMO. Prestige classes should not be stealth fixes to enable a player to actually manage a well established fantasy trope (I'm looking at you, eldritch knight).
The others are classes I like, but really wasn't feeling a need for. Still, they are all different enough that I don't feel them to be redundant. I certainly don't have any desire to return to the grognard days of 4 classes only, especially in a group with up to 8 people around the table.
Conflicting with the expanded universe material is something I see as a benefit, not a hindrance. Are there any Jedi from the post Return of the Jedi period that don't spend time in thrall to the dark side for at least some point of thier lives? Besides the ones that die shortly after being introduced, I mean?
True. I almost expect anything particularly effective will get hit with a banhammer based on how the DR is pretty heavy and the special materials needed to bypass it are impossible to find.
The OP could try an inquisitor. One of the judgements basically bypasses certain types of DR. Don't forget to keep an align weapon spell handy.
Technically, the bloodlines could come from anywhere the GM is willing to allow.
They could have been born on holy ground during a major religious festival (which could lead to any of the extraplanar bloodlines or anything that might be associated with the deity in question).
They could have been kept alive by mysterious and powerful magics during childhood, which mark them to this day.
They could have survived a vampire attack.
Perhaps they were shot by an arrow of ice and the head could never be fully removed. The frozen shard in thier heart changed them somehow....
(or Babylon 5's Vorlons vs. Shadows situation, where it was easy at first to fall into the 'Law = Good' and 'Chaos = Evil' trope, but increasingly became clear that the 'good' Vorlons were anything but...).
That mistake was made easier by having one of the best of the Vorlons as the only one anyone on the show interacted with. You find out later how different he was than the rest.
I'm going to have to pick both 2 and 3, since I want a 2.5 as my choice. Healing should not be a primary focus, but it shouldn't be looked at as a last resort either. Option 2 leads to dead characters when an unexpected area spell hits the party during combat, and option 3 leads to players who often feel like they have to play sidekick more often than they should.
But then, I am considering the concept of a hyper-specialized healer as a character solely so I can get it over with and get back to taking offensive actions during combat, so take my opinion for what it may or may not be worth.
I'm seriously thinking that one of my next characters will either be a half-elf merciful healer archetype or an aasimar life oracle. The theory is that by taking the favored class bonus to increase the channeling (and spells)effectiveness means I will be using less spells to cover it when needed. Not sure how it will work out, but it seems worth a try.
When I run I have gone with a 20 point buy, then roll a d6 and count down the list of ability scores. Roll 1d3 and add it there, unless it is your highest stat or has a negative modifier, in which case you only add one.
I like the basic part of the point buy system alot but do miss some of the odd combinations that have happened from rolling, like a wizard with a decent Str score.
My biggest problem with CEO compensation is the 'Golden Parachute.' If I cause masive problems at my job I get fired, and I lose any unused vacation time, plus if the problem I cause is large enough, I might face other prblems. I certainly don't get to be paid a huge sum of cash in order to go away.
Sounds like the pay structure is 'Heads I win, Tails you lose'.
Baltzar Callinova wrote:
Same way with tabletop gaming... If I am stuck as a fighter in a 3 person party because nobody else was willing to be the fighter, but I really wanted to be a sea witch... I'm not having any fun... that's going to make the game as a whole suffer a lot more than if I was a sea witch along side a wizard and a cleric.
Two points to this.
First, if you have a less experienced GM who doesn't adapt as well to unbalanced parties, you can end up with 'start over because you all died due to the holes in the group', which also isn't very much fun.
Second, I'm thankful that the group I am in is mostly made up of people who change character types often, so that type I didn't get to try out in one game is very likely to be an option for the next.
I'm also thankful for the fact that there is more than one way to fill any of the basic roles in a party than 'One Class Only', which, coupled with the group I play in, often means I can find something that combines my initial concept with a needed role. It might not be a 100% fit to what I orginally envisioned, but it should be fun to play anyways.
So to answer the questions in order....
Is it against the spirit of the game to plan out your party before you play?
No. The most famous example is when someone wants to play an evil character and someone else wants to play a paladin. Some groups handle this well, but my experience has been that most do not. You could also end up with the 'all magic must die' barbarian in a party full of mages, or something else equally likely to end badly.
Is it metagaming to go in with the "ideal" party, with all skills covered and none of them being redundant?
Not for an AP or other pre-packaged adventure, where having the holes covered (even in an enviornment where such is unlikely) is assumed. A good, experienced GM can overcome this, but everyone has to start somewhere, and even old hats may have a blind spot or two that comes up again and again. For example, I avoid playing characters who are screwed in melee in one GM's games, because he often succumbs to lazy encounter plotting and just assigns everybody a melee opponent, no matter where the squishy was standing. Other than that, he is one of the best GM's I have ever seen.
Should players play what they want and care little for a balanced party or is the balanced party an essential element of the game?
My own opinion is that neither of these outlooks should be absolute. Everybody should be able to play something they enjoy, and the group should be able to be balanced at the same time. A player might have to shift a little from time to time, and the party may be a little more lopsided (at least in the larger groups I play in), but there is a middle ground between the party of all enchanters showing up in an undead campaign and the group where each person has been assigned a class based on some idealized, optimal makeup.
Stefan Hill wrote:
I'm sort of ok with this system. Rogues get for free what others haev to invest time (feats) in. Actually thinking a little more about it, I'm really happy with this idea. Well done WotC.
I'm OK with that approach. I'm not OK with 'every class can be subbed except for one' which was the old 3.0 approach. The wizard can be replaced with the sorcerer, the cleric with the druid, the fighter can be replaced with the paladin or barbarian, but only the rogue was made so that nobody else could do his job. Glad that approach isn't being taken again.
Curse of the Crimson Throne and Kingmaker are both excellent. Although after a while the GM just dropped the kingdom rules to concentrate on the party.
Carrion Crown seems disjointed, it came across to me as a 'who's who' of the classic horror monsters held together by a overly drawn out chase sequence that takes you through each of the stories. The MacGuffin gets taken in the first book, and you don't catch up to it until the end of the fourth.
Our GM dropped the pirate AP after the second book. To him, it seemed as if the party was going to spend too much time becoming pirates rather than being pirates. And very few of us had any fun during the first book, which seemed to be themed as 'powerless pirate-slaves' with 'fun' activities all revolving around checks made on your dump-stat.
My group's hatred of Second Darkness revolved more around a bad GM than anything with the AP. The fight outcomes were all pre-ordained, no matter what tactics or how well the dice were rolling during any particular fight. The HP of the baddies never ran out until the GM felt he had done enough damage to the party.