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Jamie Charlan's page

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You need not hit with every iterative to outpace a disruption shot if you're built for attacking. Few worry about getting their 6th+ attacks to hit, and anyways a real attacker is probably looking at about +40 or higher with deadly aim or power attack online.

Non-blasting powers that get augmented are in many cases just keeping up with (and effectively being, given their cost) higher level spells. Granted a full caster may find themselves leaving an old control spell behind at higher levels (a one-time early morning affair for a wizard, but requiring a bit more care when building up your sorcerer), but there's also a wider available variety of spells to choose at each level.

Energy blasting being something that can change types is an advantage, but as you said, blasting is the least efficient way to cast or use powers. Makes the advantage rather minor. Researching new spells costs gold but gold is a rather minor cost for class abilities.

The system, yes, is 'better'. This cuts both ways; broken spells are far more powerful, and broken-at-the-other-end-of-the-spectrum spells are far worse. A well optimized full caster will easily trump any manifester, but if you're looking for decent balance, you'd have gone with the manifester in the first place.

That's a different path.
Pretty sure that line is just insurance in case some path ever comes with three or more.

Not trusting the others can be a good reason not to show your entire hand, but it's worth repeating: you're giving cause to not be trusted (and people often do pick up on the fact that you're hiding something, if not what it is) in turn, and so should be prepared for sudden "escalation" in the long run. It isn't necessarily right or wrong, just a natural consequence.

I like to encourage, when reasonable/possible, a party that actually trusts eachother a little.

Too late to just edit but I'd like to put up a few numbers regarding total "casting" energy.

A Wizard 20 gets a total of 180 spell levels, before accounting for high stats, spell-triggers and so on. Firing off four of each level costs the 20th level psion 324 of 343 points, leaving just enough for one more shot of a 9th level power perhaps. This assumes the psion never augments powers beyond their base form, however, so that Energy Ray is dealing 1d6 when your magic missiles are doing 5d4+1 for the same 'cost'.

A Sorcerer 20 gets a total of 270 spells per day. Firing 6/6/6/6/6/6/6/6/6 would be 486 PPs, which is more than you'd have at 36 Int (imagine what that would do for the wizard, or sorc if Charisma).

Sorcerers also know more spells: 34 + 9 bloodline spells versus a Psion's 36, as well as a greater default number (9 vs 2) of cantrips.

Psionic characters have even less total energy and known abilities than full casters, in exchange for near-total control over how that energy is getting spent. A good tradeoff, though the lack of autoscaling stings deeply in comparison.

They're good stuff!

The AC is just 36. You'll miss anyways on a 1 so a 'certain hit' is actually +34. Total 35 (rolling a 1) would miss anyways after all.
Conservatively it's easy to get up there: 20 BAB, +6 stat bonus, +4 magic weapon, +2 weapon training and gloves of dueling. Sure you'll have some penalties from power attack or rapid-shot-and-friends but your actual to-hit bonuses will be higher than this anyways. Don't forget that your extra attacks (from haste, rapid shot, first TWF, etc) are all at your highest BAB. That full attack is not costing you expenditure of a 4th level power to do either, so it does have its advantages even if a few beams can hit as hard more easily.

There's probably a feat or optional that lets you retrain some spells, which is why I'm not being adamant about "never swap spells" for sorcerers, but generally speaking neither they nor psionic classes are going to be changing out their powers with any regularity.

Psions do have "more" fuel to burn, but at the same time much less: augmentation is not free. While magic auto-scales with level for duration, damage and so on, psionics do not. If you're firing off a 10d6 fireball, you're expending a level 3 slot. If you're firing off a 10d6 energy ball (it started at 7d6 because it's a 4th level, not 3rd, power) you're using power in between a 4th (9d6) and 5th (11d6) power.

For Metapsi, increasing cost by 2PP is in fact pretty much exactly "+1 spell level slot", as 2(Lv)-1 is the price formula. Expending focus is an affair of action economy, actions being on of the most precious things a character, monster or NPC has at their disposition. You do get to save a little (6PP is not +4 spell levels) in exchange on the more expensive stuff though. A Wizard firing off all his spells per day, slot by slot level by level, vs a Psion attempting to act the same way would EITHER be much more powerful or last substantially longer; depending upon whether the psion is augmenting his powers to match the level-scaling output of his magical caster friend.

Now certainly they've got their advantages. +5 as a swift is certainly something you can get a lot more use out of, and there's plenty of powers that are, dare I say, just plain better written or balanced. Just as there's bad spells out there there's bad psionic powers, but there's plenty of good stuff on either side, and they're not always the same.

What's this about autohypnosis counting as a "take 15" on any skill? Feat I haven't seen? Because the only listed uses are: Ignore Caltrop Wound, Memorize bit of information, Resist Dying (this part is awesome though as it allows substituting an easy skill check for stabilization), tolerate poison damage, resist fear or "avoid taking 1 damage from acting when disabled". Certainly a great skill to train and use, I concur, but that other ability you speak of????

Regarding attack math it depends on what you are and how optimized you've become. Most bonus attacks above and beyond your iteratives are (with the occasional -2 penalty that really won't harm you if you've built up right) based on your FIRST attack, so at higher levels it's more "your first four attacks are almost guaranteed to hit, your fifth has a decent chance, 6th and 7th are luck or require heavy buffs".

DR is similarly no real limit at higher levels; any typed DR is getting bypassed by materials/alignment/element/whatever or overwhelmed by +X bonuses, and your damage bonuses, particularly in melee (though archers are no slouches in the least) mean that who gets the kill out of the party's damage dealers is mostly a matter of who rolled highest for init; that target probably won't live to see a second volley.

Ranged Touch is a special beast, but only gunslingers really get to abuse it to its limits. Disrupting Strikes is a comfy second, but the real issue behind it is that many "difficulties" are nothing but "and this guy's wearing plate cuz he's their boss", which is specifically exactly the kind of 'toughening up' that ranged touch attacks will never even notice. Tends to cause certain adventure paths to fall right apart, but then so do so, so many other abilities or *spells*.

For powers, they're about as hardwired with chosen powers as sorcerers tend to be. This goes hand in hand with the manifester level limit to PP Expenditure to really put the screws on a character's potentials, keeping them nice and balanced for the most part. Friendly warning: you'll often find the PP limit rule flatly ignored in complaints against psi classes, but it's a fundamental part of the system. A little math on any given 'examples' if they give some will usually show that right quick. A wizard would be (even more) quite broken if spells scaled automatically as they levelled and metamagics didn't up the level slot now wouldn't they?

You may wish to point out that abusing Disrupting Strikes is the only viable offensive use of Disrupt Pattern at such levels. We're talking 10+ here, as it's a 4th level cryptic power.

Already of short range, past level 5 the single shot can be overtaken by normal attacks with ease, proving outright pathetic compared to anyone with 3+ attacks later on (which is particularly problematic once your alternative is 4, 5, 6 or more shots or strikes of whatever weapon you may have).

The disrupt pattern ability does have some nice debilitations and special effects, which are it's main appeal. If you're not burning PPs on Disrupting Strikes by the time you have 4th level powers, you shouldn't have focused on it in the first place. Minimum damage means 'dice are 1s' by the way. Even at full power, 4*10d6+INT (at 20th) is no gamebreaker, and probably won't match the archer.

Unravel Pattern is a Supreme Insight, and only available at level 20, where 150HP or that DC are absolutely nothing. 20+INT FORT makes it unlikey any monster is capable of failing it, and even most PCs will easily shrug off this 1/day ability half the time... if and when their HP has fallen low enough!

Our table rarely keeps such details hidden from the group unless they plan on the inevitable occurring. Too high a chance of 'doppelganger SOP' occurring.

Well, from a more theoretical and less focused-fire standpoint, if a party is to trust each-other with <gear/lives/magicitems/lovedones/equipment/multiverse/weapons/souls/trea sure> as they so often are forced to do, being unwilling to share such basic information is a pretty big faux-pas, so you should at least do so with the same understanding as you have playing a CE assassin in a party with two paladins.

They get none as baseline.
Feats or power options allow them to get some (for example certain first level powers automatically grant a talent, as per wherever that bloody table is) but they don't get to pick a handful a-la-cantrips by default.

Worth doing maybe one exchange though, as there's some fairly handy ones. Trick Shot, Conceal Thoughts, Detect Psi and Far Hand are probably the best picks there, with Trick Shot getting particular mention given what it allows you to pull off.

"This trick shot has no influence on attack or damage rolls, although the effect itself may allow an attack to occur." is the big wording here. It can let you make attacks, maybe even normal ones, out of some otherwise impossible shot conditions.

Well no. You have to remember that this game (despite certain... assertions by even developers at one time or another) leaves reality behind even at low levels, quickly going into "action-movie-logic" and later clear into "screw this, jedi don't have enough special effects, can we make them like, breathe fire or something too?"

+1 BAB is a fully proficient, properly trained soldier. Probably has a +1 from stats as well. It looks pathetic and incompetent because soon you'll be fighting people right out of bad wire-fu movies and the kinds of giant monsters usually shown shrugging off missiles with ease, but fact is, +2~3 total to-hit is actually a proper professional combatant. Before we factor in the mess that is the armor mechanics, anyways.

That's actually one of the reasons why proficiencies need to be more specific. As things are now, that 18 year old level 1 fighter SOMEHOW has spent, in addition to the years of specific practice required to learn the sling and longbow (and the extra years on the longbow required to be using it for something other than massed volley fire) has learned, to a professional level of skill, how to use about eighty other weapons. Sure, he's inexplicably incapable of figuring out how a repeating crossbow works, but the intricacies of ten different polearms and twenty kinds of sword? No problem!

It's no wonder he doesn't have the skill-points to learn to tie his shoelaces.

Messing with a PC's history is a minefield. You gotta know where to put your feet before you lose one.

If your player's the kind to have eight pages of backstory, he deserves every niggling little detail you can twist. I mean seriously, if that guy's still level one, he shouldn't read like he just finished three campaigns! Too bad that's exactly the type that'll take "issue" with what you feel like doing eh?

Some things are almost universally accepted, perhaps even appreciated. If the player never bothered saying what his character's parents do for a living, and you decide upon a visit home that they're the local smithy or own a thousand bushels of delicious lambs, there's probably no complaint. Probably cheers by the rest of the group as they start poking their partymember for a friendly discount or one of his three sisters.

Some stuff is just plain bad. Suddenly deciding a character is some sort of nobility or royalty's a common one (some of us do entertain young relatives by letting them run a game on occasion after all but those cases of the barbarian, druid, paladin AND the beardy old wizard also being a princess too can specifically be excused) but is not necessarily appreciated in the least by the guy who wrote some regular run of the mill militia-turned-adventurer. Nor will finding out his wife and kids he was sending all those silver pieces (not the gold or gems though...) back to were secretly liches all along. I mean, really? Liches?

At least try to keep it to things that won't level-drain a Lv1 to death on contact!

It'll cost you an exotic proficiency, but short of NOT taking a crossbow it's your best option: The Minotaur Double Crossbow [*note: not the regular double, that thing's crap. Minotaur double. It's far as I know even PFS legal and better in EVERY way].

If nothing else, the Mino-Double will drastically increase your damage, as well as offering very mild mitigation of your damage versus monks trying to pick your shots out of the air (half's better than nothing). It's still no full attack with a bow, but you're no longer wondering why keeping up with the pacifist cleric's familiar DPR is so damn hard these days.

Depending on what's allowed in your campaign, an excellent option for vital-striking is the DSP Marksman with Sniper class style. They gain a dice increase on the base damage at mid levels, which then gets further multiplied by vital-strike. Good, versatile class overall as well. Turns the above options into serious contenders if all combined, bringing you right up into "and then he killed the dragon in one round" land like all the other big boys of the damage game.

Marksmen are Full-BAB Ranged combat experts that can provide a lot of interesting defensive and utility options to a party with their powers.

Aegis are the splasher par-excellence for anything non-caster. Few classes will fit themselves so perfectly in support of a different set of power and abilities, which is rather fitting given their main mechanics.

The old AE 'warlock' can make for fairly sick blasting damagewise, but otherwise that's about it: it is an outright incomplete class with dead levels and holes all over its rules and even ability descriptions. Oh also it allows for infinite summons and the such since that wasn't all that well thought out.

Rather, I'm annoyed at the double-standard of balance.
There's wildly differing "amounts of realism" that get applied.

Even something like "Weapons that are easier to get are also weaker than weapons that are harder to get" is demonstratively false. Plenty of "Exotic" weapons are no better, sometimes worse, than Martials. Repeaters are even actually worse in-game than a regular crossbow, having identical stats but being saddled with a significantly longer reload once a single feat has been expended towards their use.

Some weapons just get "more fantasy" applied to them when it suits them, and some weapons get "balance" against the strong parts of their realism, while also retaining their drawbacks "in favor of realism".

I'm all for having a balanced game, as well as having a certain level of realism vs "fun/balance".

The problem is that there's not so much a "line" as there is an irrevocably tangled mess of last year's xmas tree lights. Plug it in and you realize that are burnt out, some are brilliantly illuminating the holidays, and the cat's choking on the rest.

Kazaan wrote:
Another thing to consider is that a single person wielding a crossbow isn't really all that dangerous compared to an archer; it's volume that makes it so good. A single trained archer is more dangerous than a single trained crossbowman, but you can train and equip more crossbowmen than archers in a given period of time.

Volume was also by far the primary threat of arrows. A bow was somewhat less of a threat to one armored man at point blank than a loaded crossbow, but a rain of arrows coming down upon your forces from three hundred yards away was an entirely different story.

The problem in d20 (the problem's existed far longer than pathfinder) is that the weapon's simplicity, rather than being one of its greatest advantages, instead becomes a mechanic by which it must automatically suck dire-donkey-****. "Simple" then gets screamed out as the excuse for everything. Repeaters are exotic because the weapon is simple (somehow). The damage is unrealistically low because realistic penetration and damage would be unbalanced. Firing speed is low because it's simple, so it has to be less good otherwise that's unabalanced. Needing more practice, effort and specialized training to match maybe 2/3 of a bow is okay because it takes time to learn all those 'feats' in reality.

Now we're just waiting for someone to post a little modern composite self-bow getting shot through paper plates at about a shot a second as "evidence" that a 300lb six foot war bow will do the same despite physics at three hundred yards through an iron golem, thus "proving conclusively" that a world with flying fireball-lobbers, machineguns and giant automatons can't possibly be more technologically or magically able to compensate for something like reload times or mechanical strengths of over about 80 pounds of draw than it is right now with antiquity-grade wooden stocks with shortbows strung across them.

There's a serious bloody disconnect there that's annoyed me for years about the system. A Crossbow's "simplicity" should be taking the 'slot' of a weapon ability, just like "reach" or "performance", nothing more, nothing less. You'd think a realistic 10-bolt magazine would at least have been available!

While nothing will change the fact that you could be doing the same thing for a bow that's just plain better, you can lower the cost.
Making it a triggered item with 50, or even 25 charges, will cut the cost drastically, as does a CL1 installation.

Sure it'll run out, but for a few hundred GP it's STILL worth it: Adamantine, Acid and flaming bolts are all MUNDANE ammo!

Well, "divine nature" and psionics aren't necessarily all that different. Gods use their own energies to power their abilities/attacks/miracles/whatever, so in many ways a psi paladin could be someone learning to emulate them. To do what they do, and perhaps one day on the same scale.

Sure, deities are often psychovores dependent on the accumulated worship of hundreds of thousands (it's like whales and plankton), but that's a matter of diet; they don't generally manipulate said energy directly in the way a wizard does that around him. If there's no worshippers CURRENTLY emitting mass amounts of power, it doesn't prevent the god from performing higher effects, though he's probably hoping for exactly such a snack right after!

Such a view also fits the idea of sages gaining their powers through enlightenment. A psi paladin equivalent, done as an enlightening follower of (something like) the Mahabharata could be similar in many ways, yet still quite interesting!

Aegis should always look towards getting Student of the Astral Suit.
It's the primary reason for the class' value as a multiclassing multitool.

Murlynd (as in "of the spoon") had a pair of "wands" that were totally not revolvers, and just happened to make a loud bang and fired "small but deadly missiles" when used.

Go on, let it all out. You'll feel much better!

Wonder if there's a way to make wands snap 'staff of power' style.
That would be PERFECT as horrifyingly expensive crossbow ammunition....

Balancewise, Advanced Firearms are less of an issue than Early Firearms. They DO keep their touch-AC targeting at much longer ranges, but there's much less, uh, "rate of fire" exploitation that's possible with metal cartridge weapons than anything using paper alchemicals. Even better: Without some serious dedication to the weapon's use, a character using firearms is going to start having trouble keeping up with others... Though scary for anyone whose idea of "challenges" or "making a fight interesting" is going "THIS orc is in PLATE! See?", the truth is... The guns? They actually kinda suck!

Golarion has countries so advanced that the state of many weapons *cough*CROSSBOWS*cough*POLEARMTRAINING*cough* leaves a lot to be desired. You wonder why some things are stone-age stats, and ONLY available in exactly that fashion, while other things are available as both early and modern, or even assume modern manufacturing techniques while pretending to be a long stick of wood/bone/sinew. There's also blatant disregard for the ability of certain glues to even function in wet climates but let's not get into that.

Basically, just accept guns, let yourself realize that meh, whatever, it's not so bad, and that they're not as broken as what that ranger with the longbow's doing anyways, and nowhere near as problematic as Mr.Divinations the Conjurer over there. He's been giggling while alternating between that spell section and your pile of GM Notes for a reason, by the way. You should probably hide away any of the porn you slipped in there. Just sayin. Might have to "hand the pile over" and let him make adjustments in a minute and all that. Totally Legit.

Remember back when fighters ended up with the best saves? I'd say "Those were the days" but damn was that system ever clunky

redcelt32 wrote:
Psionics definitely falls into the category #2. I know of several GMs that are not fans of psionics(myself included), and all of them are very old school, so we remember the 1st ed version that made a mockery of otherwise epic campaigns.

To be fair, even greater a balance break than the badly written powers, was that effectively 1st edition psi was the original Gestalting.

By 2nd edition, they'd been whittled down, and had basically become to clerics and mages what a thief is to a weaponmaster-fighter. They were the versatile, handy guy full of subtle, often hard to detect abilities that were handy, but at high levels actually really bloody weak. YES, EVEN DISINTEGRATE (enjoy your high energy cost, oft-50%-failure-rate, 5% chance of it affecting you instead, and then after all of the above, the ever-improving save vs death magic roll of your target to avoid it). Fluffwise, outside of Dying Earth, points or exhaustion are closer to how characters/etc do it in books/films/etc than "I know THREE fireballs today. Not four, Not two. And I don't have a dispel, sorry guys, just try taking the door off its hinges or something", and so that part of the psi system has always better fit. It's really the ability names that get to people most...

Like ANY class however, you're correct in saying that the GM should get to actually read the bloody thing and its rules before accepting a character. The same goes for everything right down to "Fighter, thief and wizard" though. It's only natural! The big problem psionics has had since 2e has been that most GM's read the book cover to cover (front cover, flip it around, back cover, done) and toss it out as overpowered (it's okay, he's read it cover-and-cover, so he understood what he was reading) because they'd heard of what it was like in 1st edition. Which is rather bad 30 years and several complete editions down the line!

Pretty much everything's available on the PFSRD at least, so you can at least get the info you need there to prepare for whatever books the player might bring you. There's several important limitations/factors to the psionics system, which anyone here will likely be happy to explain. Or the DSP forums which even has a big sticky Overpowered-FAQ.

Other than the fact that all those powers have different names from the spells they're almost always a copy (or close analogue/alternative) of/to, It's pretty much just a matter of "instead of spell slots the character has a stack of points you can easily keep track of like you do HP, can spend no more than his Manifester Level *total* per manifestation, and there's this thing called Focus which prevents him from stacking six metamagic feats on at a time, or possibly even just one round-to-round because it needs to be 'reloaded'". That's pretty much psionics in a nutshell; if you understand things like spell durations, saving throws, damage and buffs/debuffs, uh, you already should with this game anyways, well none of that was any different.

Or I, at least, since I've been an annoyed-at-the-bannings fan of psionics since second edition. Plus I've been playing an Aegis gunner for a while and having absolute bloody blast. Best Class Ever.

That's some serious necromancy there.
The thread I mean. There are years worth of new and terrible feats though, so perhaps reopening of the discussion is in order.

Well first, gotta warn you that your fear is completely, utterly, absolutely and precisely founded. But I know your pains, for I also have had to deal with this ancient-greece level of crossbow technology in a world of double-barreled shotguns and giant clockwork mechs. Also the fact that the "give this to our crappier troops; we'd put it on peasants but it isn't THAT cheap to produce" weapon of greater simplicity is.. an exotic. With performance worse than the basic model down in 'simple'. Despite all the... GAH. Why won't they just add some new crossbows that don't bloody suck to a new book's equipment section for once? It's been done with other weapons!

... er anyways... You've got how many feats to work with here? 2? 3? 4?

Point Blank Shot is of course a prime requisite here, so that's one... Precise Shot is a good idea, given the penalties you're killing off; you ain't exactly working off touch attacks. That's two. Rapid Shot is your third, because you'd be reloading after just as many shots either way, you just have a higher chance of targets being DEAD faster with Rapid Shot.

And then, you're going to fix your ammunition issue in a way that (and you're not gonna believe this), doesn't even need a feat.

No seriously.

There's two options depending on whether you get a chance to "spend some gold" or not in any way.

1) a second repeater. better than a full round action eh?
2) IF you can weasel this by instead... Have, "50 shot trigger" being perfectly acceptable if money's tight... (it'll easily last you the entire combat and maybe a second one if there's an ambush 20s later or something) install the cheapest form of Abundant Ammunition you can find on a container. What container?

Loading a new case of 5 bolts is a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity

Oh look it's a separate little container, separate from the weapon, that you'd need to preload in order to reload!

Rapid Reload specifically changes the actions involved. It does not just go "you lower one step".

Metal Cartridges are also an action change, Move to recover full capacity. Rapid Reload would just change the move action to a move action in the best of cases. Then, since you can't use those paper alchemical cartridges either which DO lower things a step, as you're using metal cartridges instead, you're "fresh out of luck". Or rather, don't get rapid reload if you'll be using an advanced, save yourself a feat, and enjoy a rather decent reloading capacity/speed anyways.

At 3+ arms, you're now using Multiweapon Fighting, so gun or no gun you'll start having a whole lot of attacks either way.

They "Lay down walls of lead" the same way archers lay down walls of iron. In both cases we're looking at one or more shots per second on a consistent basis. Press down the trigger and the autolongbow autoadjusts to your strength, autoloads as a nonaction that does not autoprovoke attacks of opportunity and autofires with the accuracy of a trained autosniper that spent the last ten seconds autoaiming and autoadjusting for conditions. Then it auto-recovers faster than the wood can autofinish the followthrough.

The butthurt comes from the thought(by players AND certain developers, as stated above) that nothing should come close to the autolongbow, ESPECIALLY not guns/crossbows. Because guns/crossbows are unrealistic unlike longbows, everyone knows you cannot fire a gun/crossbow quickly in a fantasy game even if powered by magic and held by someone with (literally) superhuman agility and finesse / guns/crossbows are realistic unlike longbows, everyone knows a realistic weapon does not belong in a simulationist game with swords and bows and plains and carts and roads.

Then the DM allows the gunslinger to sidegrade with a machinegun, drastically lowering his peak damage output per target(they're incompatible with several of the more powerful damage boosters) but allowing every burst of the abundant-ammunition-enchanted-magazine to attack everything in a line (finally making that AoE shape useful by sheer volume of fire for once) with touch-AC, allowing excellent lane clearing, and the guy whose been summoning unicorns and undead armies finally snaps as though you'd brutalized every figurine he's ever loved(inthatotherway) in front of him.

Did I mention gunslingers should totally go for an actual machinegun?

Just to point out: TWF Double-pistols is taking it a little far. Until my table ever poked around the forums though we were under the impression that you can do this ONCE a round, with normal firing for the rest. Also we weren't using the weapon cord trick since that seemed a bit ridiculous. All of a sudden, touch AC was its only saving grace in a party with a you-know-what-wielding ranger.

Even advanced firearms can be perfectly fine for your campaign. They can't actually fire as fast as there's NO way to lower that reload time to a free action. They touch-AC in five increments, yes, but the resulting total damage output still won't match what the "old" guns can pull off at higher levels.

In many ways you're better off letting him have a shotgun or a madsen than you are letting him pull off the usual double-x gun tricks. The damage'll be more predictable, still won't match up to the damn bow, and it won't take as long per turn!

taldanrebel2187 wrote:
Title says it all. I'm running a campaign and planning on banning Synthesist Summoners, Psionics and ACG play test classes. One player is claiming "psionics is part of lore"

Uh... Why are you banning Psionics and ACG, instead of banning core? Psi's a big deal in Vudra (which was clever of Paizo, given that despite the "sci fi" claim people often make, a lot of the powers come more from the Mahabharata and such) and those DSP classes are about as balanced as you can get in Pathfinder. Goblin alchemists are a pretty standard idea to have around, why not half-orcs or 'the only good tree's a mast' elf pirates, there's no reason to be saying no to cavaliers (although you may want to remind them about the sorta-boats issue), Synthesist Summoners can break stuff sure, but even they aren't up to CRB standards of campaign annihilation, they can just do lots of damage in a fight (big whoop).

You really going to take issue with some Beta-version Warblade, a Cryptic/Aegis and an Alchemist in the party while giving a free pass to the cleric and telling the would-be-useful-martial player that NO, he gets to be a rogue or a fighter instead? Maybe he should make sure his Vita's charged, in case there's non-combat requiring skills, abilities or dice rolls so he can't just talk his way out with words in the adventure too.

Rather than telling them you want, say, a quick story on how they got around to the inner sea?

Guess not everyone likes balance and/or awesome.

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A bigger problem is that the crossbow's simplicity of use was one of its big advantages. It wasn't simple because it sucked. It was simple because the improved method of firing off the bolt as opposed to curving an arrow around a bow meant you were going into sharpshooting lessons when the archer was still learning to put a volley in "roughly the right tree most of the time". Doesn't help that even the average wizard could just use a trait/talent/racial to just use the bloody bow too anyways. It takes actively choosing to never be good at any kind of combat whatsoever for the bow not to be better by level 2, AND dumping your strength into deep enough single digit integers that later magical equipment won't turn a bow into a better option later either.

Sure, crossbows fire slowly. They're also supposed to laugh through armor and punch deeply into cinderblocks. A truly realistic crossbow (because what's more realistic than dragons, lightsaber-spewing spider mechs and wizards rewriting reality anytime they feel like jerking it) would be ignoring natural/armor AC in the first increments and dumping about thrice as many dice of base damage on the bugger you just shot.

A crossbow realistic within the 'realism' of the setting of Golarion? The term we're looking for is "mass driver".

Can fix various ways, so here's one more:
Crossbows get two factors to them:
Loading Mechanism
Strength Factor

Crossbows are built to specific strength bonuses. Said strength bonus applies to damage in the first 5 increments, as well as to hit in the first two.

A crossbow of strength bonus one higher than the wielder's increases reloading time by two steps. Two or more is impossible to reload, but can be fired.

Loading Mechanism is one of four:
Repeating: Simple, base die d6 No-Action until empty[10 shots], Full to swap magazines.

Lever[Light]: Simple weapon, Move action to reload [free with Rapid Reload]. Base die d8. Allows strength factor +2 over your own, without penalty.

Stirrup: Full action to reload [Move with rapid]. Base die 2d6. Allows strength factor +4 over your own without penalty. Martial weapon

Cranequin [for steel-prod arbalests or the such]: A bloody winch. Base die 2d10. Allows strength factor +6 over your own without penalty. 3 full actions to reload [1 full with rapid reload]. Martial weapon

This does make FINDING a crossbow in a dungeon an iffy affair as to whether or not you can use it [For example a strength 18 fighter could use a +4 strength bonus repeater, +6 lever, or +10 winched arbalest, but a strength 12 character hoping to use a +4 bonus crossbow with a goat's-foot lever is taking a full action [move with rapid reload] to reload the bloody thing.

Adaptive would give the type, adjusted to your strength, but would do nothing for what kind of reload actions it requires; if it's got a winch it's got a winch.

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Vancian, despite the amount of use it's gotten, was very setting specific.
It was also insanely powerful, which was why the mages had so few per day. A "Prismatic Spray" for example, was pretty much a cone of guaranteed annihilation. Not a questionably random amount of damage of various types to a cone, but "everything caught in this is utterly screwed". Things lasted for a scene, not a few rounds, too.

It was quite unfortunate that this was what ended up becoming the basis of so many TTRPGs.

Ideally flavor and mechanics would go happily hand in hand.

Unfortunately, this rarely is the case, so you're gonna have to improvise.

lordzack wrote:
The knight killer crossbow might help a bit.

Yeeaeaaah, that's basically a heavy crossbow. The problem being what stats they gave said crossbow.

Well there's only one good crossbow in pathfinder, and that's the Minotaur Double. Not normal double, the minotaur one. That'll give you a few levels on the level of firearms.

But eventually you're going to have to wonder why anyone's having troubles with not-a-wizard if all the town guards are running around with mythic+improved vital strike.

Orphans are a notorious tax-sink for a good kingdom, and one of the prime recruits for pick-pockets and future assassins. To eliminate orphans is to perform a great service to the kindgom's greater good in the long run. Yet most would say that wasn't very nice.

Well it's no different here. To force a helm of opposite alignment on someone is to annihilate their very being. That's not very nice. You were not content to only end their corporeal existence and send them to whatever afterlife, nay, you decided that for whatever it is you consider good, every shred of their personality, free-will, ideology and way of looking at the world had to be torn out from under them, replaced by what you consider acceptable.

"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated". Sound familiar to anyone?

You did not just kill that criminal, you took away his past, future, afterlife and legacies. If one were switching them from good to evil, there would be no question in anybody's mind that the one doing this was an irredeemable affront to all goodness and freedom. There is no redemption, only replacement by a twisted mockery of what used to be a person.

The only people that deserve this do so because it's a fate far worse than death. Any who use it on these monsters had best use another on themselves right after though, because they stared into the abyss, fingered the hole they were staring at it through, and got utterly smashed on the sweet megalomaniacal syrup of self-righteousness.

Repairing a magic item requires material components equal to half the cost to create the item, and requires half the time.

For a 180k weapon, even normal repairs are going to be over 10% of your expected wealth at level 20.

If your weapon's got a +4 bonus, you'll need epic level crafters to get the damn thing fixed were it destroyed.

If you're allowed it, try Aegis. It's a good dippable, I'd say all the way up to 6th [well, 5th but 6th comes with a +1 to all saves]. Gives you access to psi feats, if you get it to third and take the 'student' feat for it you'll keep getting customization points for 4 more levels worth of multiclassing, which can let you boost your weapons even more.

Even just two levels in it would allow you bigger guns through Powerful Build, shores up your will save, gives DR2/-, a spare customization point to use on stuff like darkvision or whatever [you can swap it around in downtime] and can repair any mundane stuff [your gun'll eventually be enchanted though] for but a standard action, at will, including the broken condition [2HP/action, recover broken by going over half health] which can turn out to have far more profit and utility potential than one may think at first!

Gilarius wrote:

I will assume a dex of 18 for both. You can get higher but that applies to both characters. I am also ignoring magic weapons and point blank shot for the same reason.

At 5th level you get:

BAB of 5 + dex bonus of 4 = to hit of 9. Rapid shot allows a 2nd attack, both at +7. Deadly Aim drops accuracy again for a damage boost, yielding 2 attacks each at +5.

So the archer gets +5, +5 doing 1d8+4 with each shot. And a decent chance of missing.
The gunslinger also has +5, +5 but doing 1d12+8 with each shot and with a decent chance of hitting with both

First, you're not adding the strength bonus on the bow, and it's disingenuous to ignore magic weapons when a base pistol's the price of a +1 magic weapon. Even back at level 5 you're easily looking at a +3 or +4 to damage from strength alone if the player went in there knowing he'd be using a bow for combat.

Second, the gunslinger had to spend a feat on rapid reload, and unless he's got alchemical cartridges, he can't actually make use of rapid shot just yet. If we're using alchemical cartridges for the gun there's no reason the archer can't be throwing in flaming arrows or the like either. Later on the archer may hit on a 2-3 with his bow in the first few shots, but a gunslinger will still foul up his gun on those numbers from a misfire.

Thirdly, if you redo these for SIXTH level, the archer's now using manyshot, and will be, assuming no other changes whatsoever, firing three times at highest BAB before firing his iterative shot.

This combined with the firearm's cost itself remains a significant investment. Wand Charges are "pocket change" as well, but if you're firing them every round it all adds up.

Inquisitor Bane will make any weapon nasty.

I will, however, agree that the Trench Fighter is probably a better user of modern firearms than a gunslinger (who should be sticking to early firearms for faster firing).

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MagusJanus wrote:

I have a question for those who have actually played with gunslingers and are posting on this thread about the problems...

If guns were changed to target normal AC instead of touch AC, making them effectively like every other weapon in the game, would their power level become balanced enough to use?

I apologize if this has been addressed earlier; it probably has, but I don't remember it coming up in the discussion. If it has, please direct me there.

They'd actually need to be buffed in that case. Bows have the least feat investment for, in most circumstances, the most power. Guns have the best accuracy and can come close in damage, but a significantly higher feat, ability and gold investment. Crossbows can require even more, but lack the options you have with guns to recover stat-to-damage and other such improvement potential.

Without the touch-AC it's a slower loading crossbow, although you'll at least have the option of a class to get some of that all back.

Threeshades wrote:
As i said they will be more expensive than other weapons. And they wonb't get touch AC shenanigans, except maybe against very few and far between foes. I am actively trying to make them no more valuable than other weapons, even though they are so advanced.

Do keep in mind the price difference though. As long as you're paying standard price, an advanced firearm, standard and mundane approaches a +2 weapon's cost before you even factor in ammunition.

So do make them worth bothering with. Without the Touch-AC component even using class abilities on them they'll be a worse crossbow, even more expensive, with near-"wand charges" ammo cost.

The "Overpowered" argument is crock.
Guns are, despite everything, one of the worst weapons in the game.

First, understand that anyone using a gun effectively in pathfinder has NOT ONLY put in the usual slew of weapon feats, training and magical bonuses, but ALSO given up class abilities to gain things like a grit pool or a free reload once a round. You can't look at guns as just a weapon, because half of their power comes from class abilities. Anyone with nothing BUT the exotic proficiency is going to look pretty good against big knights really early on, and then toss the thing aside in favor of a shortbow-or-better, begging you to let him retrain that feat, by like level 7.

This is what it takes to become middle-of-the-road ranged DPR with guns. Ain't gonna beat any BAB20 class that just picked a composite longbow off the floor and decided 'manyshot' sounds like a neat enough feat to have.

Second, it took a ... very broad... reading of the rules to allow the whole 'weapon cord and two doublebarrel pistols' deal, which was the only thing that could beat a standard longbow despite significantly more investment. Now that that's been dealt with, the gun only looks powerful because of the double-standard-backed-by-inexplicable-hatred-and-erroneous-facts hate-on our devs here have for crossbows and repeaters.

Just so you know all the 'broken' gun builds involve an inordinate amount of specific-feat/ability choices on EARLY firearms. Not modern, Early. You don't need to worry about a gunslinger being allowed a machinegun. You need to worry about a gunslinger using a double-pistol.
No really. One's going to be dealing very medium damage in a line, the other's taking out most of an elder dragon in one volley. You WANT a gunslinger to decide machineguns are awesome, because that caps his damage significantly and brings his to-hit [the damage won't even be half-of] more in line with normal archery.

The other issue, the one that really gets GM's worrying, is that it targets, at very short ranges, Touch AC.

Very often a GM makes a "boss" type character, some big bad, by adding 2-3 AC and some hitpoints to the guy. Not cover, not extra traps or a buddy with a pavise... just some full plate and an extra three hit dice.

This is a challenge [assuming the 'mooks' were actually something the party archer can miss half the time, so NOT most monster entries in the game] to the party, but the gunslinger can't even notice the difference. It's like making a bigger dumber fighter that'll be a real challenge for the barbarian........ and forgetting that the party includes a wizard, cleric, druid, bard or other casters.

So guns are "overpowered" because of a combination of factors:
-Ranged weapons not-a-bow are such crap that second place looks utterly overpowered [yet first doesn't]
-Bad encounter design gets eaten right up by those that ignore the aspect being upgraded, and for gunners that's AC
-Everyone 'knows' it's overpowered because they know because they read/heard it from other people at the FLGS, on message boards, facebook or forums who know because they read/heard it from other people at the FLGS, on message boards, facebook or forums who know because they read/heard it from other people at the FLGS, on message boards, facebook or forums who know be..........

Kinda like psionics!

It's not particularly thick, and certainly not made for bashing people with.

One thing's for sure, that thing deserves to snap.

Banning entire books is... unwise. That's the politically correct term right?

If you really MUST, though, ban the Core.
No, seriously. It's not said all that often here, but ban the core book.

Core is where the most unbalanced, broken classes, spells and feats are. All the stuff about caster supremacy, Manyshot, and so on and so forth? It's all core. Use the APG, UC, UM, Mythic... But no Wizard, no Cleric, no Druid, no Fighter[at the other end of the uh, spectrum]... No poor fool gets stuck being the rogue.

If you didn't want to bother reading all those new other books, you probably didn't read the CRB enough to see what's really in there either. Don't want to have to think and calculate? Ban core stuff without your explicit per-case-basis permission for racials and feats, and trust the players to handle themselves using the other stuff. If you want full casting types, what's left plus, say, the DSP Psionics books will do you very well.

Ain't gonna see THAT anytime soon as a PFS regulation eh?

Well, if you can, then forget full action reload, you pull that thing by hand as well.

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That's not true at all. Choices can be a matter of taste, damage type, combat style, situational effectiveness, and so on. "EXACTLY THIS EXCEPT CRAP" doesn't actually need to be there for things to be worth it.

For example, a weapon could have disarm bonuses instead of trip, reach or not reach [given in this game reach has its own drawbacks], x3 vs 19-20/x2. Slashing vs Piercing, even light vs heavy are all there as options, although TWF vs 2h power-attacking is also a bad choice right now.

The weapon tables don't really offer much in terms of choice compared to the size of said tables precisely BECAUSE several combat styles are no good and a vast amount of weapons in the list are in and of themselves no good as well.

"Martial Proficiency" is default to numerous classes, bows [at least short ones, which quickly outpace heavy crossbows at moderate strength scores] are available to all but certain full casters, and even all this assumes you specifically chose a race and class that had no such ability and is likely BAB 10 at 20th. Half-Trained Warrior NPCs can use bows no problem. Any wizard with the right racial traits OR certain character traits can use a bow, if for some reason they wanted to. OR you can use certain magical items to skip the requirement as well.

It's worth half a feat at most, and instead gets tossed around as the reason something should, nay, MUST apparently be half the capacity of the other at the best.

If that were truly the case most exotic weapons would actually be worth it, rather than worse versions of a martial weapon.

Requiring greater training did not automatically mean it was a better weapon, either anyways. The simplicity of use of crossbows [and later firearms] was, in and of itself, a large development. Kind of like if people one day realized they didn't really need to juggle three hamster wheels to open their garage door when they could just grab and push it up.

Besides, "But it's fantasy", especially given the setting, automatically brings up "so why aren't there automatic mechanical crossbows then?", not that a 5 round magazine is realistic either - those things had very bad range but also at least ten shots.

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That shows either a lack of knowledge of the mechanics, or blatant favoritism by design.

The Heavy Crossbow is equal to a Composite Longbow with 12 strength.
12. Not 18. Not 30. 12.

1d10 is a one point difference with 1d8.

Sure, we could say that's for game balance, but then is it really balance to let the bow hit harder AND fire faster AND do both of these with less feat and training requirements?

We certainly can't be saying anything about "because realism" when bows don't require years of training to even use half-assedly on indirect massed volley-fire and a 400lb draw composite longbow not only exists [and in temperate climates at that] can fire giant-felling shots at 300 yards as quickly as those tiny no-draw things in the constantly linked-to youtube videos can put holes in cardboard at 15 feet.

In fact the crossbow should have smaller range increments than bows as well - the shorter, stockier bolts didn't fly as far as well.

Peter Stewart wrote:
Even a cursory examination of a high level martial character shows they possess abilities that go well beyond what is realistically possible by any stretch of the imagination. To borrow from another post I made...

I'm not saying they succeeded properly in any way, just that that is the 'intent' whenever there's a not-full-caster screwjob in the rules.

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What I don't understand is how in a world with things that can lift a thousand times their weight [without being ants], flying dragons, giant mechanoids and MAGIC AND ACTUAL GODS, what is "realistic" is still based on real life as opposed to something more consistent with the world they're in.

You'd think fighters with unnatural abilities matching what they fight, crossbows with a higher tech level than "basic early greek models, and even then let's not be TOO realistic as those draw weights might actually hurt something you aim it at, unlike the water balloons we want these to be beneath in power" and, oh, I dunno, the modern guns being easier to reload than the ancient 'jam that powder in, buddy' ones would exist within this setting.

How is "realistic" on Golarion ANYTHING related to earth instead of Monster Hunter or the such? How is only "You CAST magic, specifically CAST spells" the only thing that gets to go above and beyond real life?

Even with twin revolvers sounds like the 'slinger player went and did his best on the build [or read and found out double pistolero was as good as it gets for guns] and the others didn't think too hard about what they want to do.

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