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Part of the problem is that it's based on the gunslinger chassis, which only seems strong because firearms are strong. Gun beats rapier.
Well yes, normally, but not in pathfinder.
There's currently very little actual new tech items in Arcforge; and it's gonna be a while.
Well there's the harpoon launcher and rocket glove, but it was mostly in the middle of working out the mech system (most of those archetypes are psionic, but road warrior isn't, AND is compatible with myrmidon).
Numerous psi archetypes with mechs though, which can be of decent use.
A caster already does plenty on his own if he plays it even remotely un-dumb. Not even smart, just, not mentally impaired.
Even something as simple as Widened Bless (that's 100ft around you) can make a cumulative 5% on a massive chunk of one's forces. They hit a little better, thus kill a little faster, thus inflict more damage AND suffer fewer losses against the enemy. Pair it up with Prayer once you get into the melee and the effect in regards to armies can be incredible.
Fireballs may not seem like much, but to a phalanx of 'warriors' it could easily mean a dozen or more dead. In one instant, immediately followed by assault, that can break a line.
Likewise, even cruddy low level summons can tarpit enemy forces, and the stronger stuff can easily be equivalent (or at later levels far, far superior) to increasingly large military units too.
The caster simply becomes an RTS player brutalizing the battlefield left and right, usually avoiding being "in" the action but rather dictating it all.
At very low optimization levels, where people are playing a CRB Rogue and Fighter and the Cleric is purely blasting and never chose a deity, the Kineticist keeps up fine. Problem is that's a disturbingly low ceiling, devoid of someone even going "hey, that "rapid shot" thing seems pretty neat!" It seems the balancing point for the whole thing was somewhere around -2CR, which isn't even baseline for the system, but somehow apparently baseline for PFS or most APs. Yet most tables I've talked to or played at are usually hovering around +1 for "normal encounters", to account for the fact that the guy with power-attack and a massive two-hander doesn't waste his first turn picking up a pair of sticks and trying to TWF the remainder of the fight.
There's some very good talents, and there's a lot of bad or worthless ones. Things that would be totally fine if burn was a temporary measure, or a risk system such as the Gambler's. But it isn't, so they aren't. Some elements are flat out better, stronger AND more versatile than others. There's NO excuse for Wood, especially when standing next to it is Earth.
Even the damage - touted as a main component of the class - falls utterly apart against all but the most actively minimized builds. Many infusions aren't great, or disable the potential to do anything by throwing in some very easy saves, because dealing a quarter of your blast damage IF they stay in the area is somehow devastating.
Of course... all this is only aimed at the main Occult form of the Kineticist (including those archetypes... something went horribly horribly wrong writing the overwhelming soul and kinetic chirurgeon)
There's some very solid support (and elements!) for them over in the 3pp materials, from Light to Gamblers, that can really make a decent character.
One thing that can help is having normal morale checks applied at a wider scale in an open battle.
Simply put, it's not *only* those a group is immediately facing that start 'leaking courage' when they start seeing entire squads annihilated in moments.
In fact, in a direct reverse of what you'd expect "only the PCs" to have to do, enemy officers/heroes/etc that take notice are going to be burning resources or risking exhaustion in hopes of intercepting as fast as they can, because every round where that armored freak and his buddies are left alone brings the entire flank closer to collapse.
Or, ya know, if the party's mid-level Path of War initiators, then you can probably just put the entire battlefield on one ridiculously large map and watch them get all hot and bothered.
Noqual is outright useless since it's a resistance bonus. By the time you can afford anything made of it, well you wouldn't BE there to afford anything made of it if you didn't already have a better bonus to start with.
James Risner wrote:
Either you are trying to be funny or you don't know the item creation rules.
Try understanding the numbers you're looking at before you get all personal.Eyes of the Eagle are a +5 competence bonus, not +3, and are permanent bonuses, not a temporary buff that's action-activated for one minute once per day.
The Pale Green Cracked Ioun Stone can be applied to attack bonuses or saving throws, *and* has a doubled price due to its slotless factor: Bracers of Falcon's Aim are not slotless, as they go on the wrists. Which are a slot. The Pale Green Cracked Ioun Stone is also an 'always on' bonus, and is not limited to being action-activated for one minute once per day.
Deliquescent (not Delinquent) gloves offer not only an ability equivalent to a +1 enhancement bonus - something that a mere +1 to attack does *not*, as it does not also increase damage - but it is also 'universal', granting this ability to multiple attack forms, compared to the strict restrictions on weapons in Bracers of Falcon's Aim (two subcategories vs any held weapon, natural attack or unarmed). ADDITIONALLY it also has a second function, which as you recall adds to the price of an item. It offers protection from slime counter-damage as well as preventing their splitting ability.
These effects are, of course, permanently active from the item being equipped, as opposed to being action-activated for one minute once per day.
At most one could argue the critical-booster effect of falcon's aim is what requires a repricing. However, even if such a cost adjustment were made, there is no question whatsoever that it would then be reduced significantly in cost, by sheer virtue of being action-activated as opposed to continuous, and limited to a single charge, once per day.
Most of the changes being complained about aren't even errata anyways.
Since it usually takes affecting spellcasters for people to get the point:
Fireball: Change Range to Personal, Area to 20ft Line. Change every instance of the word 'fire' to 'warming', and "creates almost no pressure" to "generates tornado-force winds momentarily in the area of effect". Remove the final paragraph.
Would that be considered errata? It goes in the errata document obviously it's just errata right? It retroactively was always meant to be like this therefore this is really just fixing some spelling errors in the UI tooltip.
The changes to some of the items in this "Errata" are massive. These are not the same items they were at all, and not just because a bit of punctuation changed what you helped your uncle Jack with.
Why wouldn't you allow it for a Railgun or XASER?
But *some* heavies are clearly precision weapons too.
Just to note: Bracers of Falcon's Aim *are* now erroneously priced.
By becoming a 1/day for 1 minute charge item on-command, the new cost should now be (1*1*1800*2)/5 Giving us 720gp for 1/day.
Gonna need errata for the errata!
The gaming table is a great way to keep younger children occupied. Surrounded by 'family' that's talking and laughing, and all those shiny toy things rolling around... They're rarely so well behaved!
One dangerous line I can see in startoss style is that you get the bonus with the chosen weapon from the fighter thrown weapon group (is kinetic blast in there?), and with thrown weapons you WIELD in one hand.
And you're never considered to be wielding a kinetic blast.
They're firearm-category weapons.
*Edit: actually you probably should stay away from the entire Heavy category as a whole permanently unless you've got some heavy 3pp access OR you're a wizard with construct-making feats and spells.
It's not even fortunate anymore, and anyone that *finds* one will probably not get one with the second use still functional.
More of an Uplifting Primer of the Swindled Guardsman now.
Basically it's exactly as if you were a soulknife 4 levels higher than you are for the blade's level.
If you're 7, and character level total at least 11, then when you want to know what your soul-weapon is actually like, you look at the row for Soulknife 11.
That's why it's absolutely critical; if your weapon can't mostly keep up with the rest of the party (don't forget the focus crystal!) then you basically had no reason to be one, and could simply have gotten a real weapon instead with a bunch of other class abilities (from being anything else)!
Yes, unless your soulknife has gifted blade progression (one way or the other): in which case, say you have 14 wisdom, you would also get 2(Soulknife 5)+3(manifester 3 Wisdom 14). Your total pool would thus be 15pp/day, though it could be much more with that power-reserve bladeskill.
Comparatively, a level 11 gifted blade alone, even with still just 14 wis instead of a 16, would have 23pp, while a level 11 Aegis would have 24 BEFORE his Int bonus!
You'd have to go for a hybrid form like Hackmaster did.
HOWEVER, that system has a way of getting around that, so that one in full plate +1 is not literally immune to goblins: exploding damage dice and armor damage when it happens.
Outside of that; guns in pathfinder are pretty crappy, but because so many "harder encounters" are simply higher AC, they often laugh at difficulty increases. Regardless, to make it even usable requires building heavily towards it, and 2/3 as much "effort" on a longbow can leave it in the dust.
Technically it would mean you flip over the other ship (we don't have nearly enough rules covering making or fixing vehicles in the first place to really work with this though).
This is... not very useful off-world, but at least it's probably handling the ship extremely roughly.
Derek Dalton wrote:
I do not think the class is underpowered at all. I've read complaints about what it can do at higher levels then a Druid yet they seem to miss something. Druid's cast spells meaning they are limited to how often they can use them. Kineticist often can use it's abilities at will. Feather Fall and Fly at will. How is that not awesome. The other abilities are just as awesome.
Fighters have it rough, so they aren't a great comaprison, but anyways:
The "at will" thing was what originally scared the crap out of people when 3.5 introduced the Warlock. However, as it turned out, reality is never quite so kind.
The "how often you can per day" of full casters ever since 3rd edition tends to prove itself an illusory limit, when compared to the "at will" of other classes. Not only are the spells powerful and long-lasting, but their limits quickly overtake the number of encounters, puzzles and fights one can reasonably expect to happen between rests.
Sure, that fighter can swing his sword all day, and that kineticist can blast all day... But on average, you'll have 3-4 encounters, the combat ones will last around 3-4 rounds, and a good number of the 'buff' spells you'd only get to do once a day are going to last you through at least two of those encounters because they're in hours. HP and ability damage -the limited resource of those poor guys eating it in the frontline- are also a consideration; parties will stop to sleep, and in fact there's even spells to help make sure nothing will prevent this full recovery of spells.
Just like eldritch blast turned out to mean "about 12 times a day, 15 on a bad one", and at-will flight turned out to mean "I get to keep up with 'overland'". One has to be careful as a result, for it becomes easy to undertune an ability, making it of little to no value, simply due to the illusion of "all day".
They *ARE* Shield users now.
You are being deliberate with attempts misdirection and appeals.
What's your angle, really? What characters, specifically, are about to be affected by this feat, and *why* is it pissing you off so?
4 rounds is on the long end of the average encounter in Pathfinder. You have your dancer up for the whole fight. I thought you said a few k is nothing at level 12-13? It's just a +2, and doesn't even eat a pair of feats.
I do not care if shields are already weak. I do not care if you could have taken Dodge. I don't care if you can, or can't apply shield bonus vs rays, etc.
and that is where you went wrong. There are plenty of abilities, items and effects in Pathfinder that are, for lack of a better term, "underpowered". A common fix we used to see in 4e was exactly this: tax "fixes" such as that one feat that grows to +2 and +3 attack after it was realized offense wasn't keeping up with basic levelling and the 3 "+1" feats were too exorbitant a cost.
Shields are no good, this helps them be of use sometimes when the shield gets to apply and instead of putting it to use people get a conniption.
Not like it'll help when the bear-druid casts Flamestrike(something he coincidentally gets to do for just one feat!), and you could've had fortification on your armor already; don't pretend it was impossible without a shield; I can't remember the last time I saw a two-hander user that didn't have it "despite no shield"
That Shield AC can be obtained from things like dancing shields already without a feat. The feat only lets you not lose the gear bonus from a piece of equipment; it in and of itself is NOT providing +7AC.
Besides, one of those AC is from Shield Focus. You could've grabbed Dodge and have a +1 that's negated less often, isn't conditional on what you've got in hand, as well as applies to your Touch AC.
Shields do little to nothing against touch attacks or save-based "not attacks" unless you've got 3rd party materials. Not without large feat-chains such as the ray-deflecting one.
A feat with multiple requirements that doesn't even *give* something, just lets you not lose what little you get from having the weakest type of shield?
If it weren't for shields being something you can stick an enhancement bonus on, this would be outright worthless. And I say this from the view of someone who uses 3pp, because without things such as Defensive Expertise or Iron Tortoise, shields are just plain bad.
Too Powerful? This? Gods, it's like Crane Wing all over again. Someone needs a good smack behind the head.
[edit: regarding "feats shouldn't do much", do those same people balking at keeping a buckler think Sacred Geometry and Natural Spell are totally A-OK? I'd not be surprised]
It would either completely obsolete ranged weapons as, you know, a form of ranged attack, OR be a massive nerf to the spells, depending on how it's done. Additionally, it's generally not needed in most games.
If a spell has 25ft + 5ft/2lv, then a level 4 caster already has 35ft range, which is enough to cover most engagements so long as you don't attempt to stay safely away and snipe... at least not till higher levels.
If a spell has 100ft + 10ft/lv, It's already comparable to the first increment of longbows and other ranged weapons, and will quickly equate their second, and eventually third and fourth increments as well. If using map combat, you'll rarely even get to fully use the second increment of any long-ranged weapon
A "long range" spell has perfect accuracy out to an absolute minimum of what, 440ft? that's "out of range" for the majority of throwing weapon users, pistoleers with a Distance weapon, and more in the vicinity of siege weapons showing accuracy problems by the time you actually know/cast spells with 'Long Range'.
If that fireball had ten long range increments, you can forget about fielding armies made of sword and spear users.
The main issue with the slot/size system is that # of attacks under pathfinder mechanics is inherently several times more important than the size of a single attack, unless one increases the size by several steps. Bows are top of the line for static damage increases AND # of attacks, which is why even rocket launchers can't even come close in a round despite all of those dice. They're used for comparison purposes, but one is fully viable for combat at 2/3~3/4 of a longbow's DPR.
And yes, compared to other combat styles they require less feats. Not that they have less; they do have more as you pointed out. But they're already ahead of the pack, and the 'more' just lets them get even better.
If all slots are only usable once a round, then what you need to compare to are two things:
1) Regular number of attacks at various levels
Comparison 1: Level 4 pilots; the footman doesn't buy an extra slot but takes rapid-shot instead
Mech 1 uses 3 slots on obtaining a Huge weapon. We'll say Mosin-Nagants. He'll get bigger ones.
Powerful-Build pilot 2 foots it using his Large one. He'll try to get more attacks.
Mech 3 uses 3 slots on obtaining 3 mediums. It will get more.
Mech 1 deals 3d8+4(DeadlyAim)+1(Point-Blank) once. Average damage 18.5
Level 10 pilots; Deadly Aim is now +6, each mech now has +2 slots, and haste is usable.
Mech 1 deals 6d8+7 once. Average damage 34. Vital Strike can net him 61 instead
As you can see from a very basic setup (if we complicate things it's worse for the lower # of attacks), as-is, natural BAB and very-standard-combat-aides (haste,etc) outpace the mech slot system, primarily because even a large mech is caught between catching up to the infantry in base per-hit damage, and catching up to the infantry in number of attacks. A direct exchange of one size for one weapon vs one additional attack can thus be seen as exceedingly disadvantageous, especially in the wake of certain "effective size" upgrades as Augmented Weapon, "Lead Bow", or Armory of the Conqueror.
So here's two suggestions, but note that under each of these I'm counting "fire/use" limitations as 'activations' rather than "only one bullet comes out". That is to say, if your use of the weapon is an "attack everyone adjacent" maneuver, then that is what it does. Games I've been playing it even allow maneuvers with "Slow-Firing" weapons, which has really given them and strikes new life.
1) Easier and straightforward: Weapon Generators. Instead of directly upping a weapon's size for more slots, you can spend a slot to up the max size capacity of two of your other slots by one (starting at medium as usual), to a maximum of +1 over the mech's size (agile's already firing mediums for free right now, mind)
This means very little for an agile mech, but will allow a Gargantuan Quadruped with 6 slots to actually be a threat: spend 3 slots and you can use 2 to mount actual gargantuan cannons, with a slot left over. It's not perfect, but it helps compensate if you want to go 'big'
2) The "melee arms" become a "Primary Weapon" slot. Probably worth 2 when you're calculating how many slots to remove elsewhere or whatever. The primary slot can handle a weapon of whatever would be appropriate to the mech's size ('course it might risk going offline if your mech's astral suit is dispelled, or the safeties engage for a non-half-giant pilot not to get pasted by the shock when it fires, or whatever). It acts as a primary natural weapon, but due to the slot system cannot benefit from Feat or BAB iterative attacks; only bonus attacks such as Semi-Automatic or Haste.
Any other attacks you wanna alpha strike are, of course, limited to expending your secondary slots.
Introducing "Mech 5" and "Mech 6", the creatively named new examples! Mech 5 is a weapon-generator type, who happily gets more slots because she wants to impress the mammoth tank in english class. Hey man, whatever floats her antigrav. Mech 6 has a primary weapon system, and so has a bit of a hybrid taste when it comes to his attacks; somewhere in between a pilot on foot and the other mechs for what to grab.
Mech 5 is a level 10 Quadruped, caring nothing for haste and rapid, but with an unhealthy fetish for mech enhancement feats. a size-up early and 2 enhancements give a total of 6 weapon slots, transformed into 3 Madsens (again?) and 3 generator modules.
Mech 5 is a bit of a one-trick pony dealing 3d8+7 3 times for a decent-ish 61.5 average damage out of the box. It could instead use 4 large weapons for an average of 64. It is VERY weapon-upgrade friendly
Mech 6 is a large biped with a primary weapon system. Mech 6 has a large madsen, and 2 medium madsens, which because primary weapon systems knocked down the available slottage, includes 2 from enhancements or feats.
Mech 6 fires twice for 2d8+7 (16)each, and then wice for 1d10+7 (12.5) with its auxiliaries. This totals only 57, but don't be fooled; Type 6 is the most compatible with special effects such as effective weapon size (which is often single-weapon) and the only slot that uses haste and semi-auto modes!
Regarding Agile Mechs: A comparative example of what they offer compared to, say, a biped, is below. It's not that they're unviable...
Note on flight: Level 5 allows Fly spell (60ft, Good), Aegis Flight (2cpt = Base Speed, Good = 40ft Good in 'skin' form). 20ft average becoming 30ft good at 10th is not a bad ability, but is very slow as a flight speed, especially when you can do 50ft instead on the ground with the same mech. Even a level 20 flyer just offers 50ft/perfect, which ain't all that fast and the perfect not really all that useful - mostly because the penalties in the most extreme winds *stop*, and are instead replaced by "you can't fly here now".
Agile Mech, Medium Pilot, at level 11
Biped Mech, Medium Pilot, at level 11
Okay. I'll admit that saying 'trap option' was going a little strong there. But there IS a bit of disparity there due to redundancy (characters will get flight) that would be easily remedied if the mech's speed can simply stack with existing flight, in which case it doesn't even need to offer as many maneuvering upgrades as it already does.
Unless you *cannot* get better flight elsewhere, the difference is that the biped gets equal dex and better stealth if ranged, better strength if melee, higher AC, higher HP, two affinities instead of one, an additional weapon slot, stronger natural weapons, will at this level have exactly the same difficulty hovering wherever it got its flight(none), and gets a shield bonus. Only the land movement is guaranteed to be better in the Agile, as even a monk could get a little extra out of that + there.
In this case the fixes can be quite easy: You'll be adding another boon to bipeds in the form of the 'melee arms' or primary slot or whatever, and that's equal to an enhancement, right? which means room for a boon on the agile and quads as well.
Size aside (I'd like to be able to see small quads as much as large agiles) you can probably give a second standard slot to the agile, and... what WOULD be good for the quads? They're in a decent enough place once 'siege' becomes 'heavy', so it's more a matter of where their strengths might best shore up.
Well, hope some of that is of use or at least readable.
Bipedal mechs will be getting melee arms for free as part of their base chassis.
They already get a shield function which is pretty nice to have. Will the Agile and Quadruped get a function of their own to keep things equal? If so, like what?
Natural Attacks: So, strength to damage to cannons? They ARE natural.
Problem: Does this mean that a person in a mech using weapon slots not only does not get to benefit from the mech's size, but also only gets one attack per different weapon no matter what?
I would like to point out that a regular human is ALSO normally limited to a roughly Medium (likely counting as large) composite (it's never not) longbow, which will vastly outstrip most mechs in firepower, short *possibly* of some quadrupeds who used several enhancements - in addition to their natural progression bonus - on additional weapon slots. You need 7 different weapons just to match the average BAB16 volley of archer. This does not require special class abilities by the archer, just a very normal assignment of standard combat-enhancing feats - less than many other combat sytles in fact.
What will be the primary and secondary type weapon attacks?
the agile mechs will generally be a lower damage higher mobility option
Right now, agile mechs are restricted to small characters only (BOOOO), and offer less HP, less armor, lower damage, fewer weapon slots, and being able to use it without being a halfling means your stat bonus is lower than other mechs (having required a size-up and an enhancement already, with a minimum level of 7). Given the minimum level for flight, it is highly unlikely the 'hover' ability is much of a boon (you cannot autofail skills on a 1, and your bonus may very well reach the DC15 requirement by level 5-7).
The speed bonus increases land speed but their flight appears set to extremely slow values, making it of very little worth; you need to give yourself a higher flight-speed to put it to use in the first place, and if you do that, why would you use the agile mech instead of simply using flight with any of the others?
Is a complete review and rework of the 'agile' form currently in the works? It is at the moment a decisively 'trap option', due to requiring several enhancements to be functional or keep up with others, while the other mech formats can get what it offers at much lower cost while gaining far more overall.
As I've also mentioned before, I'm certainly open to discussing size increases including something like an additional slot, but I'm not currently convinced that that's necessary.
I'd say yes, BUT in that case it may be appropriate for the "melee arms" upgrade to require slots for a size-up as well. Perhaps the arms as a concession to melee this is 1 slot for two sizes, though (so melee arms let you get a medium weapon, 1 slot lets you have large or huge, 2 slots for gargantuan and colossal weapons, 3 slots for Colossal II/III, and so on for all those city-mechs.
Insain Dragoon wrote:
If we go by that, Barbatos has the "hands" to use a melee weapon, Two mortars or FOUR autocannons (one or two per arm respectively) and a 300mm that eventually became backpack-mounted.
If this is a good example, then are we to understand that significantly smaller weapons will be grouped per slot (such as having 2 large machineguns instead of 1 hotchkiss)?
Because while it's a lot of individual weapons, there's NO way a melee bipedal suit like that (2 slots start) spent 3 enhancements on weapon slots AND a pair of melee arms while still having room for the armor, mobility and and life support enhancements.
Will 1 weapon slot be 1 medium weapon if you're a medium mech? What about a Gargantuan, or Colossal? Surely a Colossal mech can mount a Colossal weapon without needing 4-5 levelling enhancements - or perhaps more importantly, surely it would not be at its limits with five pintle-mounted machineguns found near some trap-doors for crew in its massive, massive frame.
Because that would be ridiculous.
I'm actually gonna disagree the other way, here, with some earlier posts. The entire Tech Guide is unfortunately a terrible thing to compare with, because it's the most overpriced stuff in the game. The cost of a single shot of a laser pistol is measured in *hundreds* of arrows ... and the arrows hit harder. Actual effectiveness versus equivalent costs is needed.
Your current blaster version:
1d4 nonlethal is uh... let's call it low. Not only low, though. At the level you can afford this weapon it's beginning to be something that doesn't work against enemies on occasion, and increasingly often as time goes on
2 charges for 2d4 force damage is bad. It may not be *halved* like energy damage against objects, but it's low.Have to reload often too, screwing your damage output further.
If you really need the damage to be specifically force, spend 3000 on an item that will fire off 2 magic missiles, at will, all day every day. You can use the other 46900 to buy yourself a real weapon that does far more the rest of the time. This mode is both highly expensive and somewhat feeble.
5 charges - I'm not sure anything can fail the fort save required by the time you could afford doing this. It's not bad in regards to having it handy for things other than critters, though.
10 Charges - If I wanted to do 10d6 fire damage, I wouldn't use fire for it because everything and its mother is immune, and I wouldn't pay 50.1 grand for one shot of it either.
People are too quickly blinded by "but it hits touch AC". This is no more worth 50k than a laser rifle is worth 20k. Not when an adaptive longbow given to a guy with strength 12 will get higher DPR starting at a small fraction of the price despite all that accuracy.
Regarding Firearm APs; it should probably be as their touch calculation; 1st increment for ancients, all increments for crossbows, 5 increments for 'advanced', and all for high-tech. (actually I suggest 9/10/12 for pistol/rifle/cannon beam weapons, but with a -1 per two rangebands due to dispersion)
As for charges, the difficulty lies in the purposefully, maliciously intentionally skewed balance in the technological guide and iron gods adventure books.
So, to put it bluntly, you can either make 5pp for 2d6 (or worse, plenty of things require multiple charges to fire once) which is a horrible deal, OR you've got an Armory-of-Conqueror weapon backed by Elemental Focus so it's not completely worthless against all things in existence by level 10 and you seriously could never even hope to afford a full reload at such an insane cost...
OR, you can use the classes and/or abilities (such as the psi-core) in psitech to make technological equipment viable and usable.
Because getting a single fight of attacks should *not* cost 6000 arrows when the arrows would've hurt way more!
tldr; make spare capacitors a thing
Repeaters are a trap option, plain and simple, designed and placed where they are to punish people for daring to want to use them.
Most crossbows are, actually. The original d20 system developers hated them with a passion, but unfortunately paizo continued to defend the tradition.
Thus you get a weapon that is slow to reload "because realism", but not given the power it should have if using such loading mechanisms "because balance" and "because mechanical", even though technically crossbows were composite (AND rated for specific strengths) before bows ever were (and longbows were never made composite back then).
They can have some utility, but one of the main thing they're touted and hyped as having is kinda broken.
In the same way as the clock on my wall is broken (I'll get around to that battery one day). Or a bunch of the lights on an Xmas tree are broken. Or the way this mechanical pencil is broken.
That is to say; the Kineticist needs bigger batteries, a new pack of LEDs, a new little clicker spring, but it would be cheaper to just get a new and better one.
I'd settle for actually being able to blast at range with reasonable effectiveness however. The Gambler archetype helps a little, but not enough.
Unless they amend the 'clarification' to state you can in fact purchase ammo at the crafting price rather than its listed price, it locks out gunslinger types as well.
As is it more or less tells us that it's backtracked the old ruling in favor of "With this feat, you can purchase ammunition at the listed price. Normal: you cannot"
I've shown the wording to 4 other people already in case it was just me misunderstanding, but they've all had the same reaction.
One even asked if it was purposefully designed to make dead-shot an attractive option preferable to just grabbing clustered shots. I hadn't even remembered dead-shot.
It says listed price rather than crafting price, which leaves us with the table prices are listed in, given it explicitly starts by explaining you are not allowed to craft them (such as an alchemist would alchemical items with his class ability). Can you even upgrade your starter anymore, if you're not allowed to craft with it?
Hell of a tax-feat gating even if you're right, though: Need EWP and Gunsmith just to be allowed to have a weapon that's priced like a magic item.
Gunsmithing isn't clarified, it's completely rewritten and nerfed into the ground "oh you're ALLOWED to buy firearms and the like with this". Whoever decided 11gp PER shot for a weapon that hits half as hard as a longbow despite requiring more feats (TWO more now, it seems) AND a set of dedicated class abilities just to even be usable, should be fired. There's no balance there.
It may have been the case for AR already, but rather than fix the problem, this comes off as the pathetic tantrum of someone who had their "brilliant" plan of making a fight hard by giving the bad guy full plate ruined and decided the problem couldn't have been the genius design of the encounter. Real weird that never happens to people getting dropped by color spray or whatnot though.
There's really a drought of rationality when it comes to PFS rulings. The Synthesist is banned, but not the regular summoner (and for a long time neither was the Master archetype). "It can block one attack per round for like 4 feats so that's broken because too many characters were ill-designed" crane wing, guns...
Well at least Sacred Geometry stays banned. For now.
Another big problem is the way - as Ssalarn suggested an alternative to - that the classes are all advertised and described as though they were equal.
"Be this Rogue" it basically tells new players. "You'll be the super sneaky guy that can do all sorts of useful things!"
And then a book over is this guy, the "ninja" that's better at rogue in every way. And both of them later discover that they're not the stealthiest thing around, the party spellcaster is. And they're not the best at traps and stuff, there's other people that are at least as good if not better before magic, and THEN they go and cast one of those spells they have like 30 of to work with that day.
"Be this Monk! You will be strong and cool and able to do all sorts of stuff and no one's better than you at unarmed combat!" ... Except, you know, everyone else that does unarmed combat better than they do, like certain fighter and barbarian archetypes, or a well built druid...
If everything was roughly as capable in terms of doing its own job as well as affecting the flow of the story, the minor details would be mostly inconsequential and left to matters such as just the roleplaying or build/skills of the player.
But as long as you've got classes that can barely - if at all - do what they're advertised as being masters of even with high optimization, saddled up alongside classes that can bend over and ravage any situation (and the plot) with little to no effort or understanding, like the campaign were some helpless village-girl caught by a horde of viking dragons who're done with the "burning" part of work, "balance" is going to remain an important bloody issue to deal with.
The sizes are a bit odd.
The Biped is probably the strongest choice, having as many weapon slots as the Quadruped/Tracked, a small dex bonus, while still offering decent health and pretty much as much toughness.
The Flyer offers small races flight at level 1. If you do not want characters to be flying at level 1, there's unfortunately several races that offer this. Meanwhile doing it through the mech would require one waits till level 7 and pay an additional quality: the purchasable flight is not worth it at all: cheaper/easier to get elsewhere with faster and higher maneuverability; mechs simply do not get enough enhancements to make purchasing flight feasible.
Additionally, the smaller size and high dex bonus make ranged attacks a questionable idea; far better to have a halfling flyer taking full advantage of an insane dexterity for agile or other dex-to-damage melee weapons.
For example, the best use of the Flyer model would be that monofilament blade, which is no longer fragile as soon as it's made masterwork or enchanted. Hard to call it fragile when anyone using it will never see that rule in play!
I like the rules (I'd say keep it 'natural armor'), but the 'themes' of some of the archetypes so far make me wonder if there's any direction or theme to this at all. The Cryptic archetype doesn't even get a mech?!?, the PsyWarrior archetype is incompatible with the initiator pathwalker (so goodbye G-Gundam), and I'm not really sure what the eclipse is supposed to be doing actually.
But perhaps we can brainstorm some stuff here?
it makes sense for a medium character in a medium mech to be able to fly if he could before, but a medium flying character facilitating flight in a huge or larger mech... Little weird.
Right now, anyone level 5+ can get their hands on flight with ease, and can make the quadruped fly. If they want to do this through a mech, it's level 7 (by wasting an enhancement) or 11 for the flyer size-up.
It might be best to just make the mechs one step larger to begin with. It'll help compensate the high dex bonus, and, I mean, isn't this supposed to be giant robots in the first place?
So... An extremely limited version of Sift(vegetation-heavy-areas only) and Mage Hands (gardening only), costing a utility slot?
Speaking of, Sift is just a normal perception roll at -5, I'm not sure how that's even worth a cantrip. More like a drawback trait you'd take to apply to your cantrips...
The bard (who plays to the stereotype for fun) usually just uses his magic to make sure their husbands think it's theirs. Problem solved. Except that one time the guy was immune to enchantment effects, but then we just raised our ol'bard afterwards and just skipped town. Problem solved... ish.
The oracle had to switch to downtime for a few months, because even if she'd used magic to reduce the nausea, encumbrance and mobility issues, that's part of the spell stock several times a day (except encumbrance, we had those anthaul shoulder things) and basically one solid hit or failed save away from a "Falcon Punch". I can assure you a fetus has rather s%*+ty saving throws.
When both the oracle (again) and psywar had to take maternity leave, the party just got some extra crafting downtime done.
After children are born things get much easier. Thanks to the various forms of dimensional storage and the like, one can easily ensure their child has superior education and experience, or at the very least remains much safer from "character hometown/family destroyed syndrome" than most children their age.
They also grow up into complete and utter murderhobos from their entire common-sense and nurturing being at the hands of frickin adventurers, but that's a minor glitch.
Insain Dragoon wrote:
Few things get harder as you level than #1, unfortunately. Kinda makes you wish for an assault-cannon now don't it?
Regarding Capstones: Perhaps the biggest issue is that they're level 20.
If capstones were at 15th, then putting one at the 10th level of a PRC would make complete sense...
You really shouldn't use those videos as an example for... anything that doesn't have to do with short self-bows being used against soft targets at short ranges. The guy's quick but the bows we're talking about here CANNOT fire that quickly; their size and draw means they need much more time between shots.
That aside, bows are already more than powerful enough, and there's honestly no reason "composites" (most variants of which have serious issues in non-arid climates) should get a strength bonus when crossbows do not. It's the same action, one just had the ingenious idea to lock the thing with a stock and trigger system instead of holding it.
It is, of course, quite ridiculous that crossbows don't have assigned strength ratings, and dumber still that someone with 22 strength can't just hand-draw the balsa peashooter that passes for a "heavy" under d20 system rules, when he can get off 7 arrows of a strength 22 longbow in less than 6 seconds (after all he does have time for swift and frees)
Over the course of a day, the caster's resources gradually deplete in a way such that their strength in each successive encounter is less.
Past level 1-2, that statement requires there to be so many encounters that most parties would be dead thrice over without the caster's encounter-changing spells. Well above and beyond the regular 3-5 one can expect in a given day. In practice, it simply isn't true.
People initially believed the 3.5 Warlock to be a gamebreaker for similar reasons: It brought infinite casting to the table. Turns out infinite was but a quality-of-life bookkeeping schtick, and infinite wasn't really, as you were putting them to bed about as often as you did everybody else.
In terms of martials, well, Full Attack, Charge and Combat Maneuvers are all what the grand majority of one's feats go straight into, with even what should be basic proficiency split into three or four feats (such as altering how you hold a reach weapon, vital "tax-season" strike, and any combat maneuver). In all but certain specific discipline cases of the initiator classes, the primary resource is HP; a resource actually used and depleted at a rather high rate without a caster to prevent loss and replenish it between encounters. This HP goes down and goes down fast in combat when the other side gets their turn; and the other side DOES get their turn, except when a caster has decided they will not.
Now, certainly, a well built initiator ('swordians' as you call them, but given they're wielding weapons not being talking weapons I really can't agree with calling them that) can in fact - given a few minutes of rest in between - go pretty much all day until sheer exhaustion finally takes him, but their ability to keep swinging all day - as handy as that can be - does rather pale in comparison to the literal campaign-rewriting capabilities of a similar level full caster.
"You can keep fighting all day" vs "you can alter the course of history and solve entire encounters, puzzles, quests or dilemmas a few times a day" just happens to actually become true on the former side with a well built initiator class, as it really isn't with a mere martial that lacks those disciplines.
Plus you gotta admit that any god that limits how many smitings his paladins can make in a day, no matter how much smiting or terrible enemies of that very god the paladin might need to smite that day, is a bloody cheapskate!
Makes sense.Although no matter the results, that is some serious Capital E evil acts there. The kind of good act you expect an Antipaladin to do; all part of a greater plan to completely and utterly screw someone well beyond all hope.
So, at step 2 (you have 2 twice, there's 5 steps you listed!) you kill them, and the rest is making sure. But do you really need to alter their alignment? If you can get them to use 'true sacrifice' with enough brainwashing, does that really need that? Or are you just making sure they suffer while they're dead for good measure?