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Jamie Charlan's page

467 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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The cloud's a better option. Less reflex saves, half damage twice if they enter the cloud AND end their turn there.

There's also of course the issue of your 1d6 weapon being (Sp)...

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Work on... like, some kind of kineticist upgrade book?

Keeping on that 'car' analogy, this errata's reactions are basically people getting the car back from the shop and going "WHERE THE F*** ARE MY WHEELS", getting told "woah there. they did good work, and you should be grateful they changed the oil like that"

Which leads a lot of people to immediately think "F*** OFF ASSHO*E, I WANT MY F***ING WHEELS BACK", causing others still to start thinking "why are they so damn rude to the mechanics"... And then there's the lot that still see the axles and are thinking "But aren't THOSE the wheels right there?"

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Kip Shades wrote:

Actually, one thing that I've been wondering: With all of the advice for nerfs and buffs for the playtest versions being ignored (and Paizo seemingly doing the opposite in many cases, providing nerfs where buffs are needed and vice versa), why hasn't anyone taken matters into their own hands and put together alternate versions of these classes (at least the ACG and OA stuff) based on the feedback given in the playtests?

Honestly, it could be rather interesting to see how it would turn out. Perhaps an alternate Kineticist based on the playtest feedback? (Hell, if I did such a thing, I'd probably rub it in Paizo's face that I can do their job better than they can.)

People do, but, additional materials or homebrews are just alternatives to the main rule-set. They're certainly handy, but they in no way repair the problem for the main game.

If your car breaks down, you can rent or buy another car, which is fine, but doing so does not magically mean the one that broke down is suddnely completely functional again. Not without fraud, that is.

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Additional communication is certainly good... But I think the core issue has proven to be words going in one ear and out the other unimpeded when communication was being done in the first place.

One big advantage of playtests is the ability to throw a piece of meat into a forum, and freely collect the results from hundreds of rabid data-eating beasts mangling their way through every little orifice of the mechanics being tested.

Often, not only are the problems singled out, but all the work showing how this was proven accompanies it, as do various fixes and suggestions. All that's left is to pick your favorite out of the reasonable ones and that's it, you're done!

But if, instead of using all that data, you ignore it like the average beancounter two floors up wants us to do with OSHA, you end up with nothing fixed. nothing repaired.

All that time, all that work, all that arguing and math and brainstorming... all of it just burned off in the wind.....

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Hear Hear.
If things weren't broken, or at least seen as erroneous or undesirable, they wouldn't get houseruled in the first place.

A rule, imbalance or other factor *CANNOT* be said to be fine just because one can house-rule it. The very act of house-ruling it means the rule (or rule set) has been rejected in favor of something else. You are no longer playing by the same rules.

If you replace all the pieces with colored discs and have them capture and move all in the same way, you're no longer playing chess.

Joe Hex wrote:
Could you please make your points without all the hyperbole?

That's surprising given the tone is already filled with half-truths or worse...

Cadvin wrote:
Good because nobody did =P
Psyrus wrote:

. The kineticist has a POWER advantage over every other "slots-per-day" casting class...

Even an NPC warrior with a masterwork composite longbow (*snipped the maths just to save space: do note they result in higher DPR without burn*)
The warrior doesn't gain any extra protection,
the warrior has a limited supply of ammo,
the warrior cannot use his bow to jump 30 ft vertically on a whim...
It was literally called borderline-overpowered by stating it's better than a Warrior (somehow this being a BAD thing, somehow you shouldn't be better than the "generic NPC class that's less fighter than a fighter") and doesn't run out of ammo, AND is more powerful than
every other "slots-per-day" casting class

. That's not even sad anymore. That was just disingenuous.

Now apparently in order to let the thread die we're supposed to go talk about that class elsewhere...

*btw, running out of ammo doesn't happen anymore, usually well before level 10 at that.

Good is subjective; some people are content, but a good rule of thumb in my experience is half a monster's HP for CR=Lv, if your main job in combat is to dish it out.

For example, If you can't pump out at least 65 per round (preferably more to account for defenses) at level 10, and your role in combat is "
I hit thing", you're not doing your job, and people are getting hurt because you're slow.

The Kineticist is very, very much a "primary attacker". Not-a-Blaster it ain't. Its main class abilities are "shoot thing I don't like".

"Not-Vancians can't have nice things", probably.

I mean just look at the "Elemental Annihilator". Devastating Infusion is incompatible with overflow damage bonuses, can never grow, can't even be increased through composites, and despite the arcwhetype's name, can only be used with physical blasts -not energy blasts. Even its capstone is pathetic DPR.

That's not omission or accidental. The entire class and its archetypes are riddled with specific little bits of wording that had to be carefully inserted in, and it hobbles it.

Consider as well the Psychic: A completely vancian full-caster. Nothing of the old psionics, even, just another blip in the big blob of secondary-ability-variants of that one spellcasting style.

What, like foci or weapon-effect adders for things like your force darts or Hand Cannons?

Although we could use nice Built-In reasons to do something other than bind the latter to armory of conquerer*!

*Storm Gauntlets cost too much given half their effect overlaps or is inferior to "just bind the wrist slot to the cannons" at anything less than 5 essence committed, but you have to twin-veil (and can thus twin-bind) either way since even this half-assed stacking requires them both in the wrist slot!

Edit: Also Psitech sounds like it should result in Aegis Vehicles somehow (a not-more-horses "mount" archetype?). Maybe that version of the 'ranged attack' upgrade wouldn't be a cruddy tertiary offhand!

It can't not be.

As I understand it from that thread, it did in fact mean *any* un-re-rolled 1. Saves, Skills, anything.

I personally dislike(severe understatement) the fact that the damage you take grows as you level. It's as though you're getting worse and worse at what you do, counterbalanced only by the 'natural' (for things in pathfinder) increase in resilience you get as you level.

Quintin Belmont wrote:
Personally, me, and a large amount of my associates, would've loved to have seen the uncut Kineticist that Mak had originally designed before it got gutted by JAcobs and Buhlman to make room for the Mary Sue Psychic.

Surely it must be somewhere!

What if it... accidentally found its way into the homebrews section or the such?

"Limited spells per day" is excessively disingenuous. That limit has not been a real limit since 3.0 came out. By the time a party above level 2-3 runs out of spells, everything that isn't a full caster would have run out of HP (you know, the *OTHER* big per-day limitation) and "x/day" abilities twice over, were they not being carried by high-end Save-or-Lose spells and massive, massive buffs.

Spellcasters just seem limited when you use them for what their spells-per-day were (inexplicably) balanced around: Pure damage blasting. Which is the worst - bar-none - thing to be doing with your spells in almost every situation: They're not even the best at it*. Most of the time, one or two spellcasts is going to completely tip the scales, and that's if it's not solved utterly.

Consider what happens when Sleep or Color Spray get used against most things at first or second level. You COULD have fired off a few magic missiles, but if the whole gang of goblins is down for the count on turn 1, needing only some coup-de-grace (or roll'em off the cliff)?

This is why after the initial panic and "HOLY F*** THIS IS INSANE AND OP" of the old 3.5 Warlock, it (after a few months) was relegated to "meh, it's not very good" and put on the backburner: "Unlimited" turned out to be a false advantage, because you still had a party, you still had HP, and rest was still being completely decided by the biggest contributors, who need to recover their spells lest you find out you're really not all that capable.

*protip: if you hear someone complaining a psion is overpowered in comparison to, say, a Cleric, that someone is either repeating what they've heard from other people who are repeating what they've heard from other people, OR they've compared nothing but blasting output, without any care or consideration towards all the other (far more effective) ways the Full Caster has of either ending, solving or bypassing an encounter or situation.

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Let's... not speak of 3.0's. At all.

3.5 fixed a lot, and gave the system you more or less see also in the DSP stuff here. The classes were weaker than core stuff, but were much more solid.

Here, you have points per day, Focus, and a hardcoded limit: NO MORE POINTS PER MANIFESTATION THAN YOUR MANIFESTER LEVEL, PERIOD. Even things that let you go above your level do so by raising your manifester level temporarily.

Power Points: You use those to fire off regular powers like you would spells, except they don't auto-scale with level. Powers cost 1, +2 per level above 1st.

Do note they don't auto-scale: Just because you're level 10 doesn't mean your energy ball deals 10d6 now. It still deals the 5d6 it started with unless you pay extra points to augment it. Metapsionics not only cost points (so brushing up towards that hard limit), but also use your focus, which is a full round action to recover (or move with a certain feat you really oughta get) and while up it powers several feats and effects, so focus is pretty important and can't just be spent whenever. It also means that until you can get a second focus (specific feat chains, and never a third) you can never do something like twinned-quickened casting. A wizard is NOT you.

Focus: If you have a power pool, you generate focus. Focus powers most psionic feats, and can be expended for extra stuff. But then its gone. If you have an 'active element', such as a kineticist, your active element is picked whenever you gain focus. Psionic Shot is a focus example: you get +1 damage while focused with ranged attacks, but can expend it to instead deal +2d6 on that shot.

So there's a lot of dynamic use of your power pool; while very limited in ways that prevent even the Psion (2nd tier, most powerful psi class outright) from EVER even being able to pretend you compare favorably to a sorcerer, oracle, or the true Prepared Casters, but within your limits, you can adapt to the situation almost on the fly, and modify your powers quite a bit to suit your needs.

Although you always, always have to pay for it.

So yeah, in comparison, the Psychic in OA is uh... Well there's a reason many of us go "just another vancian full caster"

To be fair, I doubt anyone doesn't know about that. The psychic in particular felt like a kneejerk "it absolutely can't be anything like psionics in order to be psionics" reaction to folks wanting psionics yet adamantly refusing to touch any 3PP.

This will probably ensure it does in fact sell well, but it's strange as all **** that this even had to be done that way.

Quintin Belmont wrote:
hopefully this can aid in dragging the poor...

I'd say it's more a low 5 than 6: It can do its job passably at the cost of an entire build, but will be - as a result - rather bad at most other things that could need doing.

Although the Soul archetype probably drags it back down, and if it didn't have infusion specialization it would definitely be a 6.

Nevertheless, T5 is NOT where anything should land, especially as a result of base design. That's a good fix; lets one spread out a little more without becoming crap at output.

Shadow_Charlatan wrote:
Jamie Charlan wrote:
A feat that only does something when you croak is NOT a good feat unless you've more bonus feats than a fighter and don't *need* as many as they do.
Might be a good feat if you have this.. Mythic ability-Immortal..

That's a tier 9 mythic ability though. If you're dying to things that won't outright negate the ability (coup de grace or critical from any mythic or anyone with a weapon that can bypass epic) there's something seriously wrong with your character build.

Still though, the question remains. Why ONLY fire? At higher levels energy tends to fall afoul of resistance, and you do have to deal with spell resistance here (actually, it appears you still have to deal with spell resistance even on a purely physical blast?), so the energy types that aren't able to go down the blue-flame upgrade line (which is all of them that aren't fire) are going to fall short, as you yourself have explained.

The question is *WHY*? I mean, it's an obvious problem or at least omission, as it's not like the other elements get similar treatment. They just... fall behind, as even fire has several physical combos. Why make purposefully inferior options of something that should probably be just a flavor (favored element) issue?

A feat that only does something when you croak is NOT a good feat unless you've more bonus feats than a fighter and don't *need* as many as they do.

Upon re-reading you're correct on burn. Infusion specialization does apply there, so at least you don't kill yourself to do this.

The rest though, is as I said. The output is still quite sad given the forced-picks on infusions and the loss of utilities. The loss of any damage boost on composites in particular (and energy incompatibility) is really strange (note the infusion's wording)

Elemental Annihilator...

So, you lose all utility infusions in exchange for being able to do a full attack every OTHER turn with a no-longer-growing blast (that's not gaining as quickly as, say, any magic weapon) unless you're willing to take your level in unhealable, unpreventable subdual to power it (since it's +1 burn).

I... how is this a good idea? Blasting is ALL the entire class is with that archetype, and you're still murdering yourself to do less than a normal archer? At shorter ranges?

edit: also, uh, I can't help but notice that the "Elemental Annihilator"'s devastating infusion doesn't work with most ... you know... ELEMENTS. Physical blasts only.

Well, not counting the ratio of adventurers currently flipped genders by cursed items, they're probably a very very tiny fractional percentage, and they're backed by magic for purposes of actually switching over to whatever they wanted.

Wouldn't the actual problematic issue be that there's so many in the various adventure books? It's rather patronizing, like being displayed in a freak-show. Most people who've switched genders would rather be done with it, not harp on the matter their whole life. When there's too much focus on it, it's like it's that character's whole personality - and if it's the character's whole personality and identity, they've far, far greater problems than not having the genitals they'd rather have.

If you use a minotaur double crossbow, your maximized (ideally mythic but let's not be too optimistic here) vital strikes with boosted damage shots can actually approach a longbowman's full attack sequence, which is actually rather spectacular for a weapon that isn't the longbow, although you're building heavily just to keep up.

Make sure the weapon's built of deep crystal. It's cheap, resilient, and bonus damage is bonus damage. Collision enhancement is static damage, and therefore multiplied on crits.

Consider Psycrystal scouts and Deep Focus (get your 2nd focus this way even with a crystal). Since you're not using an x4 firearm, I won't recommend Adaptive Warrior at all. If you were, well, there's a reason you want to get that thing to 6th level when using guns.

If you don't mind multiclassing a little, 4-6 levels of Aegis will compensate your sniper losses with up to two size upgrades for your weapon, which means more base damage. That it just HAPPENS to also allow full flight (and/or burrowing available at moment's notice with reconfiguration: hard to get more hidden in the ground or the side of a cliff than by bloody burrowing), underwater breathing, extended protection versus fatigue/exhaustion/hunger/environmental issues, Evasion in skin form, a speed boost and a free Shield hardpoint + Reloading hand, as well as the legendary moneymaker: Astral Repair.

Huge Crossbow and Shield. Because the guy sniping from 500 feet in the air should actually be a threat!

Won't work unless it's specifically now a weapon you can use with the 'attack action' (in which case problem solved without VS, as you can multi-attack).

A "standard action" is its own thing and doesn't let you VS.

Brotter24 wrote:
Given that the simple kinetic blast can do 10d6 by 19th level, plus whatever bonus it gets by its type, and composites do 20d6 I would say it stays a viable attacker. In addition to that you can use kinetic blade as has been pointed out to gain multiple melee attacks, possibly TWF as well if it can be doubled. Kinetic blade uses the full damage of the kinetic blast on each hit, so in the instance of just using simple blast you're doing up to 10d6 plus whatever in damage and up to 20d6 plus whatever for the composites. What about the class made it seem to be weak?

So blade yes, Blast no if it's still a standard action for just one. You'd be better off using a weapon instead of something you actually spent 19 levels on.

You'd need quadruple the output to make it a reasonable resource user too.

I'm having great difficulty seeing how a standard action could even pretend to have even as many digits - let alone keep up - as a full attack.

Just HOW MUCH was the kinetic improved over the old playtest, and is it actually sustainable (like any attack past level 1-2 is thanks to either insanely cheap ammunition or very soon infinite amounts through magic)?

Because that first version of the kinetic we were showed was on its way to stealing the crossbow's crown as "weakest weapon in the game", with "oh and you kill yourself to boot" as a special tier-6 class bonus.

Are people here being sarcastic, or is it actually a viable attacker now?

You'd think designing this stuff would be simpler for those making it.
You have an at-will ability? It needs to be balanced against weapons, which also never run out (yay, even the ranged ones that are not high-tech, for abundant ammunition and endless quivers and returning weapons be a thing one gets quite early). If *class abilities* simply cannot match up to a different character that - with equal or less of his build dedicated to doing this - just pulls out a weapon and starts wasting enemies, the class ability IS WORTHLESS.

Infinite is not a problem. Something you dedicate your build and resources to MUST outperform things that used up none of these.

Just because it's not using a vancian per-day slot doesn't mean it automatically has to suck.

The dread is about as close as it gets. No real shadow-manipulation though.

Devilkiller wrote:

Keeping single barreled guns relevant is just one of the reasons to nerf double barreled guns a bit. In case it wasn't clear, my proposal to limit the "double shot" to a standard action is separate from my proposal to slow down reloading but offer a full attack alternative which works more like Mythic Vital Strike or Pummeling Style (which are actually two pretty powerful options IMO)

The standard action for double shots is the sort of thing I could imagine Paizo actually coming out with in a FAQ even though it apparently wasn't the original RAI. Giving Gunslingers an effective full attack alternative in place of the ineffective current version of Dead Shot is pretty much just me daydreaming since that would be a pretty significant change.

Just don't forget that by making it a standard action, specifically, you'd lose VS compatibility. So you don't wanna be installing that nerf without being damn sure the rest of the revamping gets done (protip: they'll gladly do the nerf part, but the other bit would never get implemented) as otherwise it's just another nail in the coffin for firearm builds.

(holy thread necromancy!)

Evasion should never be explained as being in any way shape or form natural once it gets to those levels. It's doing a disservice to whatever equips it, and reinforces the unfortunately-common "Either A WIZARD DID IT or you need to limit it to reality" misconception.

Quite obviously in order for a high level rogue (not exactly high up on the list of "supernaturally powerful entities" in Pathfinder - at least not mechanically) to evade this stuff, which by raw he/she CAN, there's at least some simple phase-out or desynch-drive effect at work. No reactions are used/expended, no actions lost, no time wasted, no change in coordinates or vectors.

So come up with something for the character - anything, but don't just ignore it until you run into the "could he, would he, in a fridge? would he, could he from a bridge?" problem. Perhaps this will mean a small handful of situations where it works but by RAW would not, and a few where it doesn't work by by RAW should have, but it will be 'their' ability.

As for nukes use that log function achan_hiarusa did, but in a few stages, all of which deal full damage to objects.

The Flash deals quarter that damage as fire, quarter as untyped or divine or something (it's not all fire, as it's pretty much the entire spectrum for a moment). No save, cover% = avoidance% of the damage though.

The 'fireball' is fire damage (and its range/radius improves at a somewhat faster rate than the actual explosion) with reflex half IF you have half or better cover. Cheap cover could be worse than none, however, as that cheap copper door may melt upon your hands.

The Hydrodynamic Front itself is Bludgeoning damage, reflex half, but anything destroyed by it continues in that direction for some distances as deadly shrapnel/debris, like cars in a good hurricane might do.

Finally there's the fallout, and you add that radiation damage to your sheet, keeping up to 10% of accumulated radiation damage (IF you can heal away the rest with magic,etc that is) marked on your character. Fort Saves to avoid radiation sickness and/or the beginnings of horrific magical cancer every time the current(don't forget the accumulated base) goes higher than your base save (ie; you'd have to roll Fort due to a chance of failue).

Of course, we should probably look into the long-term effects of running around with a XASER they fire a dozen times a day for a few years, but it might be best to not go too far here.

I should probably rephrase myself a little better. It was early, I kneejerked a little.

It's not so much an issue of the double-barrels versus other firearms as firearms vs not-firearms. Just like the Minotaur Double Crossbow is the only double crossbow your dentist every should approve, a lot of the single-barrel guns have... issues in keeping up with other ranged attackers.

I think that without far deeper houseruling than "just let those models there work once a turn", it's just too much effort to approach the capabilities of 'the better ranged option' and be able to keep up. Something like a Marksman(Sniper) with trench gunner 3 and a deep-crystal weapon is about as good as a non-mythic VS is gonna get, for example, and even that takes a double-barrel VS to keep up with "I bought a bow." Doubles as a standard would pretty much wreck that type of build.

Though I agree single-barreled guns need far more help than doubles to be relevant.

Devilkiller wrote:
The double shot issue seems like it would be easy to fix with a ruling that firing both barrels of a double barreled gun requires a standard action

Actually, as that would basically make the doubles utterly f***ing worthless by mid levels, it's a terrible idea.

The best balancing act I've seen (and one we'd actually assumed was actually the rule from the beginning at my table) was that, like Manyshot (yes yes, I know "no one except Composite Longbow, lord and savior, you shall field no other ranged before Composite Longbow" blah blah blah) the double-fire's just once per attack cycle, after which the regular BAB kicks in since obviously you'd be getting way more shots per turn out WITH A BLOODY SEMI-AUTOMATIC if you were able to act THAT quickly without wasting time on packing new cartridges down the front of the barrel between every shot.
*edit: it's also worth pointing out that if used this way, ALLOW the double-shot to work with vital strike, otherwise 'sniper' builds can't come close to keeping up. VS, particularly non-mythic-supported VS, really IS in quite the roughed-up spot.

Based on the retracted free action FAQ it seemed like Paizo wanted to limit firearm reloads pretty severely and prevent Gunslingers from finding ways to sneak in more attacks than their BAB would otherwise allow.

Nah, it was a blatant attack on everything not-bow judging from the exact method of backpedalling that was applied when that debacle happened.

Somebody noticed that not-double-double-ancient builds could in some cases reach half, sometimes even three quarters of "so you picked up a composite bow, rapid, manyshot and dead-aim", outputs despite 'only' requiring specific classes, class abilities and several more feats dedicated to it due to not-a-bow. They went ballistic and the unacceptable sudden imbalance and backed it by a game designer - well known for having 20+ superhuman agility/grace/reflexes* - getting tangled up with some string bits like a cat. Not anyone's finest moment there.

*I'm certainly in no way saying anyone else here may be that dextrous. But those gunslinger characters ARE. We're not.

Let's reiterate though that the firearm rules are needlessly bad BOTH WAYS! Touch AC certainly throws the usual "see he's more difficult because he wears full plate instead of leather like the other orcs" tactic into the bin, which utterly ruins some GMs (and some written adventure encounters), but other than Touch-AC, firearms are ALSO a worse weapon than crossbows.

Yes. Crossbows. In Pathfinder. Worse. Think about that for a second. When not using Touch-AC, they're a crappier crossbow with base prices in the "magic item" range before you even toss in a +1. Unless you're dual-wielding ancient (NOT ADVANCED OR TECH) double-barreled pistols with 24 dex, some weapon cords and probably three hands, your DPR will never match the almighty god of "manyshot". More feat or class-ability-intensive too.

Realism, that's a little harder to swallow if it's ever given for anyone running anywhere on Golarion. You know, the world with the crashed spaceships, the lasers (speaking of, those are actually decently balanced for a techslinger as long as you can avoid being starved of charges), the big angry robots, the reality-rapist "full caster" classes, the dragons, and the guy with an adamantine longbow using magical superthreads to let a four foot tall eighty pound woman loose four-hundred-pound draw-weights with pinpoint accuracy three hundred yards away at a rate of more than one shot per second, and the Planes of Elemental Anything BECAUSE PLANES.

Don't get me wrong; I certainly back going "hold on here, we're waaaay backwards in this campaign. No composites, no guns yet either" if that's the campaign, but it's worth pointing out that very often, the banning choices are far more in line with delusional psychosis, PFS, or the dreaded "I heard from a friend of a friend of a web forum". Kinda like how people ban Path of War and Psionics because they're oh-so-unbalanced and gamebreaking compared to a badly built non-paragon blaster sorcerer of a few levels less than they.

After all, broken happens at both ends: Would a well-built gunslinger make your hand-crossbow-rogue feel pretty worthless in comparative ranged output? Absolutely. Would anything else? Pretty much everything!


A gunslinger without evasion (and flight and multiple vision modes and a shield-hardpoint + grapple/item/climbing hand and weapons one size larger than they are that count as an additional size above that and a psicrystal scout drone and free all-day-every-day astral repair and Stalwart and energy resistance) is no gunslinger at all!

Xethik wrote:

the stats are tricky, and it should probably be replaced by the Double Crossbow.

Nah, that's the part where I have to disagree. The core book double crossbow is a mess of worthlessness. A "trap option" in every sense, which I have great difficulty believing was anything but deliberate design. It requires more training and feats than a simple weapon, performs far worse, and completely breaks down the moment additional attacks are available for other options even though multiple attacks are the primary method of growth for martial damage dealers. It is also very expensive.

Some look at the handful of exotic weapons that are particularly powerful and say "They have to be better because they require additional feats and training to use effectively". They look at the repeating crossbows and say "Well crossbows are a simple weapon so they must not be as good", get reminded that these are exotics, and "oh well not all weapons are created equal lol".

Fact is, game systems require consistency. The standard Double only works to hamper and hold-back a character, and no amount of "but you can still choose it for roleplay reasons" makes how badly it screws the character okay. The Minotaur Double may not be ideal, but it works within the system and its use can grow along a character.

That it does. The non-Minotaur version should be trashed/ignored/derided/mocked and permanently replaced.

Basic version being minotaur sized would in fact be large already. Fine if you're large or if you've got Powerful Build, but otherwise you will require a smaller version.

There was a minotaur book (very small/short) that had the crossbow. I do not recall if prices were listed, but given the abberant feat requirements and cost of the basic double, "same price" is already more than enough

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Gunslingers are not balanced.
Of course, unbalanced does not always mean "overpowered"...

Only a handful of your levelling resources and equipment make you a powerful, dedicated archer.

An entire build of class and feat choices makes you a louder, generally inferior at-best, less versatile/capable character who "deals damage at range" - and unless reducing your capabilities even further by using advanced firearms, barely 1/4 the range of a bow's first range increment. Firearms are also saddled with starting prices in the "magic weapon" range.

If just bypassing regular armor bonuses in point-blank range completely breaks a GM's encounters, there's something seriously wrong with the GM's ability to create encounters. Unfortunately that says a lot about how easily some adventure path encounters can be shattered by a firearm.

I never said otherwise. However, +3 set of Crystal Spaulders for example comes in at 50,400gp, which is just barely below the total cost of a Mithral Medium +7 (such as a breastplate). Still has some room for "customization" of its own, and more importantly actual armor can offer some significant savings thanks to different pricing/value;Skin Form, certain customizations are quite expensive to equip, but not too bad in armor bonuses, and vice-versa.

Yeah I mentioned those explicitly.
Nevertheless, if even with a +3 hilt you'd be looking at a +8 weapon by level 20, you're really not grabbing enough soul-X to be worth it.

Crystal Spaulders are one of the rare trap options in DSP books. Except perhaps in the specific case of playing a Juggernaut archetype, It'll always be more points and less armor than if you simply enchanted some mithral medium armor (mithral: No proficiency? No ACP? No problem!) and expended your Cpts elsewhere. Gets fairly expensive, too, cashwise...

Inversely, the crystal hilts,etc combined with Fighter's Blade allow things like the metaforge to shine where before giving up more than 2-3 levels of soulblade was about as bad as giving up a bunch of full-caster levels when playing one!

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Easy examples:

Low Magic:
Star Wars IV. That's low magic. It's not no magic, but two nebulously vaguely 'magical' characters do just one or two little tricks, and most people are willing to disbelieve it to their faces even.

Medium Magic:
Something like the setting for 7th Sea, or Middle Earth. Magic is a thing, it's known, but practitioners are extremely rare and just having a big clairvoyance eye in the sky or cursed rings of suggestion is the stuff of epics, legends and world-shaking events. I don't think even Conan fits down here, given what's actually on that world....

High Magic:
The average 'fantasy' when people think fantasy. Fairies and Wizards and Slimes riding Knights and whatnot.

Insanely High Magic:
Where many games and TTRPGs end up. Realistic fantasies where people dislike the thought of 'unrealistic' things like guns and functional crossbows, capable martials, non-vancian-magic and space travel being brought in and ruining their realistic land of talking lightning bolts, crashed starships full of laser-spewing robot scorpions whose AIs are driven mad by ambient magic-distorted subspace communication systems, dragons and planehopping.

Well, that last one is more of a joke or to point out how ridiculous some of the 'realism' arguments that occasionally show up for this game can be, but nevertheless Golarion IS somewhere betweeen "Dynasty Warriors", "G-Gundam" and "Marvel Universe" for magic.

Level 3 Metaforge is usually where you want to stop. 4-6 levels of Aegis (to taste) and Student of the Astral Suit, Fighter's Blade, wear skin form with actual magical armor, and the rest of your levels in (usually gifted blade) soulknife. The metaforge abilities are kinda 'meh' beyond 3rd, as you get more abilities/mileage out of splitting levels between the two classes than you do using the hybrid PRC.

Effectively what you need to avoid is a situation where you cannot achieve +9 or +10 enhancement total with your mindblade/bolt/whatever by 20th when a crystal hilt/bow/whatever is added in. Not having a good handful of blade/bolt skills is also a drag.

Not because campaigns usually get so high, but because if your progression wouldn't get you there in the long run, it means you're behind the entire time, and neither Aegis nor Soulknife offers accuracy bonuses or training. If everyone's running around with +2 speed or keens, and you're still stuck with a non-special +1, AND you're paying for that +1 with class abilities, you've basically pigeonholed into playing catch-up. At that point why aren't you using even a fellow player's leftovers or a weapon of your own?

The occult book's quite Vancian. Also doesn't help that like most things of "has vancian vs has not vancian" results in the usual balance of those two things. We're expecting what, "tier 5 at best if all the rumored changes go through" out of the kineticist for example? Experience tells us that what we saw in the playtest will be more or less what we get from the book, though there'll be a few extra spells available.

It was a good move on Paizo's part not to use the term psionics though; that word's been dragged through the mud (quite unfairly after 1st edition, where the issue was more the fact that it was the first ever Gestalt class) that the book's sales would be nowhere near as high from just the choice of name.

Sorry, when I said advanced I was actually talking about the tech ones. Though that works too.

Just so you know, the advanced weapons are easier on game balance than the ancient ones. Yes, the reason is once again them doubles and the ancient firearms ability to have free action reloading.

But they DO make for some pretty damn cool 'slinger options though, especially if refluffed to magitech or something.

Techslinger's in that numerian tech guide. I do wonder if clustered shots might help there, as several of the guns, while quite decent, there, are energy based, which could be a problem much more often than DR.

As for Aegis, yeah, it's one of DSP's psionic classes. One of the best damn martials in flavor, power and balance, but unfortunately not "pathfinder society" legal. Probably the first time I've heard someone say they allow everything but haven't had the psi classes in play! Seriously though. Excellent class. Very solid low tier 3 and a multiclassing wonder.

Also of note for multiclassing, though not PFS, is the Aegis, which grants some simply spectacular combinations and utilities for a wannabe gunner. From Evasion (and its Fort/Will equivalent, Stalwart) to flight, active-camo, burrowing, vision modes, extra arms and of course holding a bigger gun and making it even bigger. Hard to say no to a 'reloading' item/climb/grapple hand, a shield hardpoint and weapons two sizes larger than you'd normally have had!

Will you be covering the Techslinger and its little wonders? Well, not that they're as dangerous as double-pistols but hey they're fun.

Reducing almost any attack to a standard action guts the user's damage so badly it's generally a permanent toss to the trash bin for that option.

At our table we simply say "one double-shot per gun per round" and that keeps things nice and tidy. One of your attacks in a full attack can be both barrels, that's it. That said, it does drag the 'slinger down to well below what an equally dedicated archer could do.

The best way to keep a gunslinger balanced is the Techslinger. Let him jump onto shiny laser rifles and ice-beams, and you won't have to worry about his output anywhere near as much as someone who really has little choice other than "dual double-pistols". It'll be 'good enough' with less effort (as in "feats") letting the character spread out a little more, and you can refluff'em as magitech at worst.

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nighttree wrote:
As far as replicating the 3.5 Warlock, which seems to be the goal of many...does the Keneticist miss the mark grossly ???

It lacks the versatility, the power, the "at will" factor for the majority of its abilities... It's kind of an elemental warlock thematically, but if the final version is remotely similar in power AND/OR scope to the playtest version, it's gonna be the "NPC Classes" version.

You know, right in between Expert and Commoner.

Actually given what intimidation rolls ARE, it might be best to apply a ... 'growth factor' instead. Barring some very specific effects one should generally not remove player agency: The moment things become a cinematic, you've stopped running a game and started telling them your story.

If the intimidation succeeds its roll, you give an updated description/analysis of the character doing so. Make something already existing about that character sound a little more menacing. Sure it may not be a mechanical change, but it can be far more valuable as the right words/descriptions can cause people to completely change their tactics or planned actions.

"Upon closer inspection those muscles look quite a bit more solid than you thought"

"You think you might have caught a strange crackling sound just now, maybe some spell effect's aura-masking is starting to come undone from activating it"

"That's a pretty bright-looking fireball coming your way, oh uh, gimme a reflex save."

"That blade's dripping with something. As it swings close you feel a bit of burning on your skin, maybe from those droplets. Those damn things that impaled bill outright, did either of you ever keep a vial of that stuff?"

Give it to them as a "clue". Changing their behavior; that's the entire point of that roll ain't it?

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