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Ciaran Barnes wrote:
This is a player problem, not a paladin problem. A sociopath pretending to be lawful good isn't actually following the paladins' code of conduct. Strip him of his powers. Not quite sure how he got them in the first place.
Or work with him! Ask him if he'd like to be an anti-paladin who is convinced that he is still and paladin and that every murder he commits is right and just. And then over time he realizes that his granted powers are coming from a darker place than he could have ever known in his previous life.
I came to this thread thinking that you were looking for Matlab or C code for optimizing DPR.
Backs away slowly, closes door behind himself.
I'll admit to spending many a bored Saturday morning drinking coffee and working out what's possible under the rules, occasionally writing a bit of code but more often doing the probability calculations by hand. However, when I game I make it a point not to optimize beyond what it is reasonable for the table I'm at.
Let's help Paizo gauge interest in an edutainment extension to Pathfinder by suggesting Mathfinder titles! Algebraic!
1. Statistics Revisited
I contributed 1-3, Matt Thomason 4-7, David Higaki 8-11. This was from the now closed "How are people supposed to 'talk' to Paizo exactly?" thread.
Ross Byers wrote:
But it's all math that a grade schooler could do.
I hear about the supposed class tiers in great detail on the forums - what if the leveling the "high tier" classes required substantially more difficult math problems? Instead of threads with thousands of posts complaining about the hypothetical caster v. martial disparity you'd see threads asking for help in solving systems of linear first order differential equations so someone's wizard can get access to 8th level spells.
Also, it would open up entirely new avenues for books like Statistics Revisited, Inner Sea Mathematics, and Induction Proofs Unleashed.
To be fair we've made Question's question more important than everyone else's by spending so much time and effort responding to it. Personally, I thought you did the right thing by locking this thread during the weekend.
Also, let me know what you think of that Mathfinder idea - you guys are figuratively sitting on an edutainment gold mine.
If i were to sell you a maths textbook, and it has incomplete paragraphs and is missing math formulaes that should be in there, then wouldnt you be pretty annoyed? How would you, or others react in this situation? Likely take the book back for a refund or ask for clarification regarding the missing items.
Math textbooks have mistakes all the time. Most of the time it's small things (referring to a problem in text that was deleted in a later edition) but I've seen some pretty glaring omissions. For example, one undergraduate text on differential equations had mistakes in how it defined the linear independence of functions.
Also, math textbooks are written about topics that have been settled for decades, if not centuries, as part of a rigorously constructed, narrowly defined system of rules. If Paizo used the same care in crafting its rulesets what you'd be left with would be about as fun to play with as a math book.
Okay, I looove reading math text books but I realize that not everyone feels the same way. Certainly if Paizo thought that was the case they'd be publishing math textbooks written in a narrative style with awesome artwork and maps.
Actually - if any Paizo devs are reading this I have a great idea for an educational game called "Mathfinder". It would be similar to Pathfinder but you can only gain experience by solving progressively harder math problems.
@OP - Why not throw in some combat maneuvers to spice your life up in combat? A lot of your feats work well for any 2H weapon, so you could bring a guisarme or ranseur to start combat by tripping or disarming, knowing that you can drop the (non-mw, non-magical) polearm and recover it after combat, if need be.
You could also start doing non-lethal damage (-4 to attack unless you've got a weapon that can do non-lethal) to knock enemies out so they can be brought to justice later on.
James Jacobs wrote:
Anyway, this thread seems to have served its original purpose, so I'm stepping out for now.
Does this mean I should start a separate thread enumerating my complaints of a single class feature of the Ratfolk Gulch Gunner and how that mechanical choice has ruined Pathfinder for me forever?
I've played a samurai to good effect. Making straight-forward feat choices (2H katana, emphasis on crits) you can make an effective martial character with a lot of tactical flexibility. Trying to build a medium cavalier or samurai around charging is a trap, in my opinion, unless the game is set in terrain favorable to cavalry.
Did some google-fu and found that the Sanity Point system I liked was the one by Kobold Press
A Broken Mind: Sanity and Mental Disorders… for Pathfinder Roleplaying Game by Scott Gable. My impression is that it makes things more interesting without making them overly punishing.
I would suggest having an insanity type penalty - have a listen to the recent Private Sanctuary podcast on madness, they go over several different systems.
Basically, you might have a system where each PC has a set number of sanity points that are depleted as they experience traumatic events, like watching a fellow get dismembered or being raised from the dead, etc. Once these are depleted the PC acquires a randomly rolled insanity from the Game Mastery Guide. Rest and specific story events can help the players regain lost sanity points.
Has the effect of making things like death meaningful and also makes downtime important.
Find a way of thinking of Zon-Kuthon where he's a tragic hero and the good gods are a bunch of weak-willed liars.
For example, his transformation was a heroic sacrifice to keep Rovagug at bay but the other gods were afraid of his power and exiled him to the Plane of Shadow to cover up their cowardice. His clerics in Golarion are brave souls that are willing to face the darkness that is necessary to keep creation as we know it together, etc. etc.
All you need is a short stake with a spring-driven clapper affixed to it. That and the ability to change your stride to something slow and non-rhythmic, like the winds blowing across the desert sand.
The Fourth Horseman wrote:
Here is a link to the mechanics and tactics of a Samurai I recently played to good effect. While the character primarily fought with two-handed weapons he would strap on a shield for the rare situations where it was more important to occupy a space in a narrow corridor than to put out the higher damage afforded by two-handed fighting.
Some general ideas for the beginner:
1. Read and re-read the combat section of the rules. Know it inside and out and try to game out against which kinds of opponents you'd be willing to eat an attack of opportunity to do a combat maneuver (supposing you don't have the relevant feat).
2. The best way to keep enemies away from your squishier friends is to demand their attention by dishing out glorious harm by the barrel full on the battlefield.
3. Conserve resources by avoiding unnecessary combat by diplomacy, bribery, or trickery.
A few things in no particular order:
1. Good on you for not letting Asperger's keep you from GMing. This does, however, mean that you're gaming on hard mode and that your players will need to take this into account.
2. You are gaming with friends and you have existing relationships to maintain away from the table. While it raises the stakes it also means that you have more mechanisms to de-escalate the situation. Whatever else happens, prioritize the friendship over the game. You can always meet new people to game with (I was fortunate enough to meet a great group over Craigslist a few years back and we all became great friends even away from the table).
3. That your friend was upset about not being able to play a class that later showed up as an NPC is not entirely unreasonable. He did handle it poorly though and made the effort to apologize. You're not good at determining the sincerity of apologies so you're better off assuming that it was sincere until confronted with evidence to the contrary. You'll be a happier person for it.
4. Your choices were also understandable - you were trying to keep verisimilitude in your game by limiting some of the more outlandish race/class combinations to NPCs. Personally, I handle this differently and err on the side of letting players play what they want as long as it's not mechanically abusive.
5. On the bright side the player is invested in your game enough to feel strongly about it. While this will sometimes give rise to uncomfortable outbursts it also can allow for excellent gaming. The best game I ever played in had a huge ****storm over a PC charging fees for crafting. Words were said, we ended the session early, but once it was resolved we were better friends than we were before.
Next, I'd sit down with your friend over a beer and talk to him about the incident at the table. Whatever else happens, keep it calm. Ask your friend to keep his outbursts calm and constructive or to talk to you away from the table since it's a struggle for you to continue the game in the face of a lot of negativity.
Jayson MF Kip wrote:
I'd go completely two-handed with the lance and dismounted. Power attack + 1.5 x STR + Challenge will give you great baseline damage in and out of the saddle. For my samurai I usually kept a masterwork lance for charging and would switch to a keen katana once combat closed.
What could be more iconic than a giant frog-mounted Boggard cavalier? He's a commanding presence that rounds out the party nicely with mounted combat, water-bourne maneuverability, and impressive social skills. Plus, most players and GMs will find the iconic Boggard to be more likeable than Alain and substantially more likeable than Eric the Cavalier.
I played a samurai with witch in the party and witch protection was always priority number one. Our witch used Dimension Door, flight, and summons to good effect, minimizing how often I had to come to her rescue. IMO if you are separated from the party your focus should be on rejoining the party ASAP instead of trying to fight on your own.
When we played through RotRL with a party that ranged from 5-9 depending on the night and guest cameos from girlfriends, visiting friends, etc our GM simply allowed the party to lag considerably behind the suggested wealth-by-level (aka WBL).
What is the purpose of gold anyways? The way I think of it gold -> gear and gear is what bridges the gap between the PCs stats, class abilities, tactics, etc and the challenge that a given encounter offers. If you have more then four PCs or those PCs are exceptional in terms of rules mastery then they should be able to thrive in encounters with less added gear than a less skillful party.
It's not the way I play either but it seems a number of people on the boards get their fun doing exactly that.
Cairen Weiss wrote:
I would guess Ravingdork's player tore up his sheet before the group talked about it.
I guess that's his deal but I thought RD was being entirely reasonable in not implementing the errata. No reason this should affect any GM that doesn't want to implement the change unless he or she is running PFS.
I thought you said you weren't going to implement the errata in your game. What changed your mind?
Jason Buhlmahn has a post on this. Here's what he said:
Jason Buhlmahn wrote:
2. The Crane Riposte feat still works just fine. It ALLOWS you to take an AoO in that specific circumstance (even though you normally could not). It could perhaps use a callout specifically to that effect, but the wording is pretty plain.
It seems ambiguous to me whether an AoO could be taken if the +4 dodge bonus from Crane Wing (fighting defensively) causes the attack to miss or if the AoO from Crane Riposte can only be taken if one is using full defense. I would expect that the former is the case but I'm sure we'll get a clarification soon enough.
I think the feat needed to be changed and the proposed changes are good. I would like to see an official ruling on how Crane Riposte works with the errata'ed feat so that you can make an attack whether or not the +4 dodge bonus causes the attack to fail.
I would also be fine with Rogue Eidolon's
Quick fix to make it work with riposte and buff it a little (since much as the old one was hugely problematic, I agree this new one is pretty weak):
After an announced attack roll beats your AC but before damage is rolled (or if you roll damage at the same time, just don't announce it yet), you can choose to gain +4 AC. If this makes the attack miss, you can riposte.
I would still build a character around either one of these options nor would I complain if an NPC with these rules were used against me.
Thanks for the info. A bard is a great class and an especially good fit for this particularly AP (I'll avoid any spoilers here). Gnomes are always fun and there's no reason why you shouldn't play one.
I listened to an interview with Jason Buhlman and he does the same thing as you. James Jacobs, apparently, works more like your boyfriend (which is funny because Jason works more on the rules and James works more on the stories). When I'm preparing a new character I listen to a lot of music and find a song or two that speaks to me.
Examples (character's I've recently played/am playing)
Seven Nation Army (White Stripes) and How It Ends (Devotchka) -> Nobu Matsuhisa, human Samurai.
Kiss With a Fist (Florence + the Machine) and I Fought the Law (The Clash) -> Alexander Basilius, human Brawler.
I almost played a Summoner after I heard The Monster (Eminem featuring Rihanna).
Broken Zenith wrote:
1) Is each level of sneak attack worth an extra feat? No. It's a highly situational bonus that almost requires you to be in a dangerous position to use and I would rate the entire scaling sneak attack chain to be worth maybe 3 bonus feats at the most.
2) Is a point of BAB and 4 hit points worth 24 skill ranks? For a front line melee combatant yes, for a secondary melee character maybe. First, there is a law of diminishing returns for skill ranks. Second, it's a bit ridiculous to ignore other classes like the bard and ranger in this comparison.
3) Are the rogue's miscellaneous class features equal to the fighter's miscellaneous class features? Maybe? You're comparing apples to oranges and the idea of using feats as a metric is a bad one since all feats are not created equal. The fighter class features are boring but provide solid mechanical bonuses. The rogue class features are flashy and oftentimes situational.
Conclusion: Misses the point. The fighter and the rogue fill different roles in a party. Really this whole analysis is asking "Is a [skill-based character that can act as a skirmisher in combat] equivalent to a [frontline melee specialist that doesn't emphasize skills]?" Really you should be comparing the rogue to other classes that fill the same role in an adventuring party, like the bard.
Kazumetsa Raijin wrote:
It's two primarily that are doing it as needed. Originally 2 out of 4, then we got two cool new players giving us 6 total party members!(so exciting :3), but still the same 2 that are doing it.
Do you have to deal with these guys outside of the game (i.e., are the friends, coworkers, or classmates)? If not, either talk to the GM or bring it up to the entire table in a respectful fashion, whichever you're more comfortable doing.
If you do have to deal with these guys in your real life then you'll need to decide how much you care about this relative to the potential fallout. If you care enough to warrant action I'd suggest talking with them politely, in private.
Rogues are tricky in Rise. There are a lot of large opponents. This means you have a lot of chances to fail acrobatics checks to not provoke on movement. Mine got one shotted on a crit from an aoo on one such occasion. From full HP to dead dead at level 9.
Yep. We had a rogue that kept dying. Started off as a male halfling (Whisperfoot), got reincarnated as a female halfling (Ladyfoot), and reincarnated again as a dhampir (Dhampirfoot) before dying again and not coming back. I would consider rogue an "expert" class for this AP since it takes a lot of saavy and more than a little luck to not get stomped on.
The party I listed above was the most successful and long lasting of the different configurations of PCs we had since things were always changing due to old players moving, getting jobs, etc. and new players coming in.
Different versions and notes:
I joined the party midway through book 2, when we had a party that focused almost entirely on melee:
Dwarven inquisitor (melee)
Battles in tight areas were mostly governed by individual PCs jostling for space more than anything the enemies did. I played the samurai and used a lot of polearms since my build was still effective with a reach weapon and this helped me avoid the square competition.
The dwarven inquisitor's player moved to CA and tried skype-ing in for a while but dropped pretty soon. The cleric of Gorum wasn't particularly well-built - the player had spent lavishly on CHA for channeling and his combat stats suffered as a result. The druid started off strong but found trouble keeping her AC scaling up by around level 7 or 8.
Halfling witch (survived)
Here we went from having an almost entirely melee party to one with only a single melee specialist (Samurai) and another melee-er whose presence was getting increasingly tenuous (rogue). When there were plenty of other threats in the front-lines the rogue had fun as a skirmisher, flitting in and out using acrobatics for flanking sneak attacks. When it was just her and the samurai up front she got more attention than her staying power allowed for. The goblin paladin did damage in boatloads once the player figured out how all the rules for ranged and mounted combat fit together. The witch had really come into her own by lvl 8 or so with increasingly powerful spells and the oracle was an instant contributor with great buffing spells like Blessing of Fervor, Prayer, Bless along with some mystery specific debuffing (a better version of colorspray) and healing. The sorcerer might have been effective but the player was always distracted (but also a friend who brought snacks so we didn't make an issue of it).
When the players with the rogue and sorcerer left (too many campaigns, new job, respectively) we added another player who rolled spectacular stats and decided it was the perfect opportunity to build as a monk. He also decided to dip a level of cleric to get Enlarge Person a few times per day. And he built around Panther Style (if your movement provokes an AoO you can counter with your own AoO). The end result was a nigh-unkillable spectator to every battle. The samurai would often end encounters with single digit hp remaining, having protected the rest of the party and killed numerous enemies and the monk might be completely untouched, ignored, and having only done a couple dozen hp of damage himself.
It made for great roleplay (the samurai usually using his belt and an old plate to hold his entrails in until the oracle could heal him) but the monk's player didn't have a lot of fun in combat and would have preferred to rebuild his character.
A few questions for you first:
1) Are there any party role(s) that you enjoy playing more than others? Any roles your prefer to avoid?
2) How do the other players in your group tend to approach character building? Do they tend towards optimization? If so, do they tend to over-specialize (like you did with the sorcerer)?
3) How many players are in the group and have any of them staked out a niche for the new game yet?
I played the bulk* of the AP as a human samurai and had a blast. Also, I just finished reading through the anniversary edition as prep to GM it. I can say that it's a diverse adventure and the party that thrives is the one that covers as many different bases as possible mechanically and thinks critically about the challenges before it. Not every encounter needs to be fought through and the party that circumvents unnecessary combats through social skills and careful thought will have a lot more resources to bring to bear on the unavoidable combats.
I played from levels 5-13 before I moved out of state. The part was comprised of:
LG human samurai (order of the warrior) - Melee specialist (afoot or mounted), some ranged capability, social skills and knowledges (history, nobility).
By level 9 or 10 the oracle and witch were always airborne during combat and the three martial PCs would shred through enemies on the ground.
It's smart in the sense that ultimately Pathfinder is a game and games are supposed to be fun. Most players don't thrive on rules minutia like we tend to do on the forums. Probably they start off taking what feats seem pretty good and choose new feats depending on the situations that come up in game. Failing a lot of will saves? Take Iron Will. Still failing a lot of will saves? Get gear that boosts will saves and consider taking Im Iron Will. The beauty of the fighter being that you can take feats that serve well at low levels (e.g., Cleave) and swap them out later on for something more relevant.
Also, most people I know don't play as much at high levels. The calculations become onerous, combat bogs down, and the narrative becomes more about PCs as superheros rather than the guys that might get in a fistfight at the local pub. As for why they're not playing a simplified version of 2e - we end up playing what our friends play. The guy who's most excited about ruleset stuff is probably the GM and so the rest of the group ends up playing that system - he's already made the investment in terms of books and all that.
Swashbucklers, along with brawlers are also lacking in pretty much anything to do outside of killing people.
Well, there is battlefield control through combat maneuvers, where they are tremendously flexible due to Martial Maneuvers. Next, the ability to readily deal nonlethal damage without taking penalties to attack is quite handy in taking prisoners. Finally, they get a fair number of ranks per level compared to what they need to spend them on, so it's not hard to keep strong perception/sense motive skills and even some knowledges (local and history, I think).
K177Y C47 wrote:
I forgot the Cavalier and Samurai exist xD. I feel horrid xD
No worries. The cavalier fulfills a slightly different role and the samurai tends to be overlooked because a lot of people don't think to re-skin them to a western theme.
My experience is that the samurai falls between a fighter and paladin in a lot of respects. Specifically, I think of the fighter as the "all-day-all-night" guy (as long as he has HP) and the paladin as the character that can go nova using limited resources and has a strong moral code. The samurai's offensive nova isn't quite as bright as the paladin's but it is more widely applicable in some senses (i.e., against neutral foes), his defensive resources are fairly plentiful (namely resolve, x/day samurai abilities, and some DR/-), and he gets some fighter bonus feats and access to fighter-only feats.
edit: Also samurai have a moral code but the fall mechanic is nowhere near as punishing as that of the paladin.
edit 2: Finally, it should be noted that my samurai played side-by-side with a mounted ranged paladin, getting along quite well both in combat and in terms of RP (both were honorable warriors). The samurai class is very flexible in terms of melee strategies and I often switched between several methods of attack in a given combat. This allowed the paladin space to specialize 100% on archery, which he excelled at. The combined effect was quite potent - the paladin's ranged DPR would force enemies to close combat quickly and the samurai would cut down opponents before they could trouble the paladin.
You forgot Samurai. I played one from levels 5-13 in Rise of the Runelords who proved to be an absolute beast. Challenge mechanic for extra damage + boosts to saving throws + ability to turn an enemy's critical hit into a regular feat + full druid companion animal makes for a pretty strong martial class. Admittedly, the class has a much narrower focus (mounted melee specialist) but it's quite good in that role.
This is less of a problem with the release of the Animal Archive - feats like narrow frame help the mount with squeezing, etc. I agree that a character that builds around charging on a mount will likely be a disappoint since it's hard to line up charges in a dungeon.
I joined RotRL at level 5 as a samurai and didn't have problems navigating my horse around the larger dungeons you see after book 2. Our party was comprised of a human samurai (mounted melee emphasis), goblin paladin (mounted ranged), human monk, human oracle of the heavens, and halfling witch (elemental patron). Around level 9 the oracle and witch were regularly airborne in combat and the three martial characters were extremely speedy on the ground. My samurai would usually charge into combat with a masterwork lance and switch to a keen katana to finish off foes. The paladin stayed at range and did considerable damage to evil foes and could quickly make it over to heal the samurai if necessary. The monk focused on defense and panther style, running around hoping enemies would waste an AoO on him so he could hit him back (most of the time enemies would ignore him once they realized he wasn't really a threat). Sometimes he'd roll well on a grapple check. The oracle had a nice mix of buffing, battlefield control, direct damage, and healing. The witch favored blasty spells but also had some nice debuffs, good mobility/utility spells, and a touch of healing.
tl;dr - the following party worked well for the reasons I spelled out above.
human samurai (mounted melee)
If we were to do it again I'd replace the human monk with a human switch-hitting ranger with a mount he could ride into combat. Also, the good people of Sandpoint took a lot of convincing to allow a goblin hero into their midst so I'd have encouraged the player to build as a halfling (to be fair the ARG had just come out and we were all excited).
In a party that fights every monster they come across the paladin is an attractive choice. A party that avoids unnecessary conflict by treachery (lies, bribes, dissembling, trickery, misdirection, and general skullduggery) is better served by a fighter*.
And even better by a fighter claiming to be a paladin.
[rogue] "You really don't want to see what he's capable of when he gets righteous. I can tell he's starting to get righteous even now. Are you sure you don't want to take the bribe and call it a day before he gets within earshot?"
In defense of the fighter:
The virtues of the paladin are obvious - they are spelled out explicitly in her admittedly quite good class features. The strengths of the fighter are less obvious since the fighter is the ultimate tabula rasa, a martial class whose strength resides primarily in the feats he takes. Certainly one could take only feats that make him better at only one form of combat and in that case he'll barely outpace his paladin rivals except against evil outsiders, undead, and evil dragons (in which case the paladin will tear them a new demon/dead/dragon-hole). However, it is a waste of a fighter's career to spend it focused on a single style of combat. Instead a fighter should be very good at one mode of combat (say attacking with a two handed weapon), increasingly competent at several others (ranged combat, unarmed combat and grappling) and have a few other tricks in his bag that are more situational to the tactics of his party.