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I often think of the debacle with the masterwork backpack.
Going from memory, there was a case being made about wearing multiple masterwork backpacks to increase your effective strength score for the purposes of carrying capacity. On the one hand, sure you could "prove" that a character with enough masterwork backpacks could bench-press a mountain or whatever it was, by applying rules of formal logic to a hyper-literal reading of the rules. The thing is, is that the game you want to play? I guess for some people yes, but for others, the rules are more of a means to an end rather then a be-all and end-all.
Sure things are more codified now then the early days, but it's not as if the game is meant to work without a GM now. Pathfinder still has a strong connection to it's heritage from a lineage of games where the rules systems were always more like guidelines and possible resolution mechanisms for determining outcomes. As far as I can tell, no edition of D&D ever tried to codify things to the extent that the rules could hold up to the kind of scrutiny a legal document or a piece of computer programming code should.
Pathfinder isn't any different. Added consistency, sure, that's an improvement, it's progress, but... the spirit is still the same. The GM is still assumed to be there to adjudicate things, and the rules are there as an aid to support him/her in that role. It's still about rulings, not just rules.
That's a long tangent, but what I'm saying is... if you look at a masterwork backpack and start by accepting that this is just a well made pack that distributes weight efficiently and helps you carry a bit more inside, you won't ever go down the road of equipping your character with 50 MW backpacks and trying to bench press a mountain. That only happens if you look at it as "strength 1 higher than normal when calculating your carrying capacity".
You don't have to be a narrativist or simulationist to look at it that way. You can be a pure gamist, and still play nice and read the rules of the game you are playing in the spirit in which they were written. It has worked that way for a long time.
I always saw it less as a case of SKR making errors, and more as a case of him holding out for a different way of thinking about the rules then the attitude that is in vogue.
There's a disconnect between the way people like SKR expect the rules to be used and the way a segment of the player base expect them to perform.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
My favorite sort of game revolves around outmaneuvering the BBEG to try and tilt the odds -- if you charge right in, the chance of TPK is like 90%, but if you ruthlessly exploit every advantage, deny him resources, and keep him on the defensive at every turn, eventually you can tilt that to more like 80% in your favor.
Are any of the AP's written that way? Or is it something you have to add in as GM?
Yeah, this is part of what I was trying to say in my long post that got eaten.
Actually I would have gone with an even more direct approach. Skip the offer to help and just matter of factly say what you didn't like.
"Hey can we maybe split up the spotlight time better, intead of scouting I'm sitting here for 3 hours while they talk to the guards. And what's up with you narrating what my character does, I should get to decide what I want to do."
No one can say you are a douche for saying what you find fun or not.
That sounds pretty much like my table.
No handle animal check for a mounted charge, we see the mount as more of a mode of conveyance, although we do recognize that it counts as charging in the sense that it gets the AC penalty and the attack bonus if it does in fact attack.
This is very anecdotal though, because it's not the norm in my group for the mount to make it's attack routinely on mounted charges. I don't know what historical accuracy and simulationism would support but a horse that standardly bites opponents as it's rider bears down on them just doesn't seem to fit with the scenes that we have seen played out in our imaginations or on screen or in fiction.
I think we do roll handle animal when the mount attacks, but it's usually more like a full attack with hooves when the mounted character is surrounded by goblins, or something like that.
Anyway that's purely anecdotal.
Yeah I'm just making a guess. More of a guess about intent than a prediction too, I'm less sure what the verdict will be.
I see a trend of these FAQ requests pressing the designers towards more precision of language than was ever even a goal of the writing style used in the rules.
That's not necessarily a bad thing, as long as all parties involved are on the same page.
One big difference I've identified, is declaring actions in game mechanics terms versus descriptive terms.
As a kid I remember more "I want to swing from the rafters." "Ok, make a dexterity check." "
Now I see more "I make an acrobatics check to avoid the AoO." "Ok, you beat his CMD."
That's a bad example but if you've seen both you'll know what I mean I think.
Perception is an easier example.
"I roll perception." "OK there's a secret compartment in the bookshelf."
"I pull out some books from the bookshelf."
Hey guys, been following the thread.
It's gone in some different directions like whether ad&d was any good, whether anyone playing PF should go for that old-school vibe, whether it's possible to do so, which way is better, yadda-yadda.
That's all fine and interesting but is anyone else already past that?
I mean the thread title doesn't say "Should I recapture the essence of AD&D in Pathfinder?" or "Is it possible to recapture the essence of AD&D in Pathfinder?" or "Did AD&D suck?".
I've given this plenty of thought, you know what I mean? I played AD&D and I liked it. I'm playing PF now and I see that d20/3.x added some things I consider improvements. I know I don't want to switch to a retro-clone, but I want to get back a certain vibe, a certain feel.
Would anyone want to collaborate on a project to do that? Something that brings together a set of house-rules with a more formal declaration of the kinds of "gentlemen's agreements" and play-style approaches that lend themselves to that experience?
We could start by looking at the OSR and retro-clones and figuring out why we are still here playing pathfinder. Figure out what to keep and what to peel away.
Could be a fun community project.
... I've been in PFS groups where GMs completely forgot that Animal Companions have their own initiative...
That one is news to me too! I guess there are some house-rules you get so used to that you forget they are house-rules.
I always thought animal companions acted on your initiative.
The only thing handle animal would be used for is to direct the mount itself to attack. If you never direct the mount to attack, you would never have a reason to use the handle animal skill. Even if you do, the only other time you might need it is to direct the mount to stop attacking. Otherwise, everything else is handled with the ride check (if one even needs to be made: guide with the knees to use a two-handed melee weapon or a bow, to be able to attack yourself if you have directed your mount to attack, take damage, etc.). If you're going to charge a target, put your spurs in its side, guide with the reins, and charge. No ride check (or handle animal check) needed—assuming a combat trained mount, of course.
This sounds like what we do too.
Yeah there was some general protesting about "why is this horse the best member of the party" at low levels but that was actually more of a running joke and source of amusement.
The reaction illicited by the bite attack with the mounted charge was different though, those were more like "party foul" groans.
No one claimed it was illegal, or even cheesy, something about it just felt wrong as a routine occurrence.
We had one player who used to have his horse attack at the end of the charge but everyone would always groan and he eventually stopped.
Ok I was just curious because that seems like it would bog things down a bit too much for the tastes of my group but I'm running a PbP where I've been trying to stick mostly to RAW so everyone's on the same page.
So mounted combat focused characters generally get those skills up to auto-success levels so there isn't a headache inducing number of rolls involved, that makes sense.
So let me get this straight, every time you guys make a mounted charge you roll handle animal to make the horse charge (with the attack trick?), then you make a ride check to see if you can still make your own attacks?
That's a lot of rolls. In my games a mounted charge, charge while mounted, and attack from the back of a mount is all the same thing. Double move and make an attack at the end, +2 to hit, double damage with a lance. Works fine for us.
We use handle animal when we want the horse to actually bite or hoof stomp something.
Now that you mention it I kind of remember that.
Still, when you look at the answer in light of what was actually asked:
The question never mentions being mounted. Now the whole community may have been very familiar with the ragelancepounce combo and very aware that this question was meant to determine if that particular combo was legal, but I always thought it looked like SKR was answering the question in a vacuum exactly as it was put to him, without the context of the greater debate.
Maybe he did this innocently (question pops up in faq que, gets considered at face value) or maybe he was being a little sly. Who knows, but the answer only seems to make sense to me if it is addressing the question that was actually asked rather then the question we all knew was intended.
The question asks about a barbarian with pounce charging with a lance but it never mentions a mount at all. Do the iteratives get the multiplier? SKR's answer, to me, just read "no, of course not, lances only multiply if you're on a charging mount."
I realize he later went on to make remarks that explicitly stated a pc on a charging mount wasn't charging, but he didn't say so in this FAQ, if you look at it closely. The rest was just message board comments that he probably didn't consider the implications of carefully enough.
I don't blame anyone for arriving at their own conclusions about the implications of his remarks but I also don't really think the dev team is flip-flopping here so much as they are just clarifying how they have envisioned it to work all along.
Jeff Merola wrote:
Ok, yeah, that's what my long post that got eaten was about.
I don't have the willpower to type it all over right now, but the jist of it was that there never really was a ragelancepounce faq. That's just what we called that faq.
The wording of the faq question omitted any reference to a mount, so the now removed line that was interpreted as meaning that a pc on a charging mount doesn't count as charging probably actually never meant that.
Jeff Merola wrote:
I think I missed that one altogether somehow. Does anyone know a thread where it was quoted so I can read it just to fill in the history?
Ssalarn, you have been following this for a long time, do you know at what point they changed the wording of this faq?
Because I remember when it said this:
Totally, I'm not here saying it doesn't need to be addressed, or let's just bury our heads in the sand and it will go away. I get that this affects people's builds and particularly in organized play that can mean a huge investment of time, with no other place to get resolution but here. I'm not trying to stifle the discussion, what interests me is the possibility that there's a disconnect between the way the devs are thinking about the rules and writing them (and approaching faq's) versus the way a segment of the player base is reading and interpreting the rules and faq's.
In other words, let's all make sure we're not talking past each other.
FGG is making excellent choices about which NG mods to update/convert.
I have been wanting to run this one for a while. I'm the type that doesn't mind converting 3.5 stuff on the fly (more like basically just using as-is if I'm honest) but I tend to wait for the PF upgrades for another surprising reason that might seem minor to most folks.
Not to downplay the work of whoever does the crunch converting, because of course it's great to know the CR's are going to be right for PF and everything, but I have to say the subtle layout improvements in the PF updates of RA and Stoneheart Valley went an amazingly long way towards making me reach for them when I need something to run.
Oh, not to mention having a thoroughly bookmarked to use in conjunction with the hard copy, that makes all the difference in the world at the table.
Anyway, I'm glad this one is getting the update.
I keep seeing these references to "the way it worked up until now" (paraphrasing) as though that was so clear and explicit, but it never seemed that way to me.
What I remember is SKR stating that when your mount charges you do not charge, which seemed like a from-the-hip way to shut down ragelancepounce, then bazillions of posts followed saying ok if that's the case half of the mounted combat rules and associated feats don't work, and SKR just kinda backed away from the pandora's box his comment opened. Whatever "way it worked" between then and now has been independently drawn conclusions unless I missed something.
Holy crap am I reading this right? I have heard that in some countries massages end that way and it is considered completely non-sexual but somehow I guess I assumed the masseuse was always opposite sex.
Mark Hoover wrote:
OK, this ruling from SRM is in line with what I've been doing at home.
It was a tough call for me because I agree Vital Strike could use a boost but for me it would have to be across the board not just for mounted characters.
I always thought SKR opened a can of worms for mounted combat when he was just trying to stop ragelancepounce. Out of the frying pan into the fire.
I got a rash of mounted vital strike spirited charge builds at the table after SKR's comments but after careful deliberation I decided to keep ruling that when your mount charges you are also charging.
My fix for ragelancepounce is to not allow pounce with iteratives, only with natural attacks.
I think it fits the flavor of a pounce better.
I get stuck on names. I can't seem to get to that point where I'm comfortable looking at all class features and options as a toolkit to be re-skinned and re-fluffed any way you like. I think one blogger called it "associated mechanics." So I have absolutely nothing against an ability existing that lets you do that cool samurai move, but when I hear "pounce" I want it to be executed in a way that connects to the image that conjures of the big cat simultaneously striking with multiple natural attacks after leaping to close the distance. It's maybe a little OCD, and I know the game has sort of moved away from that, but not completely I don't think.