|Paizo Pathfinder® Paizo Games|
|About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ|
Frankly, if introducing a player who's new to RPGs (or even just new to the level-based swords/magic sub-genre), I'd just skip Pathfinder and get into 5E. Waaaay easier to learn. In fact, I'd only teach someone Pathfinder if they struck me as a hardcore nerd who just loves having lots of variables to manipulate and knobs to turn to get their character juuuuust right. For just about any other type of gamer (newbie, prefers less math, likes reusing traditional character tropes repeatedly, etc) I would instead recommend 5E.
When I started playing Pathfinder everything I needed was just one book
That one book still exists. Any players/GMs for whom the CRB would have been "enough" when it first came out, the CRB is still "enough" now. The fact that other books exist has no more bearing on whether or not the CRB is sufficient than does the fact that other RPGs exist.
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Mundane heroes exist in fantasy stories all the time. That's the line I've been trying to draw this whole time.
Yeah, I already talked about that in my really long post earlier. I also talked about why it's different in a game. And presumably, the context of this thread is more about games than non-game stories. So if it's true you've just been misunderstood, you have only yourself to blame for trying to talk about how mundane heroes can exist in fiction media without specifying that you've diverged from the topic of gameplay that everyone else was talking about.
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
If the tone of the game is billed as one where "badass dude with a sword" can do all that crazy s%##, sure, that's fine.
Well, it's billed as a game where picking the fighter class is a method of creating a fantasy hero who can be part of a fantasy story, which presumably means something different than being one of the background muggles who makes the wizards look more fantastic by comparison.
This advertisement becomes false if magic is the only way to be fantastic.
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
...for failing to make use of such a valid point in favor of such s+@!ty ones as, "If a wizard can throw fireballs, anything goes." That is just a terrible argument that can be very easily torn apart.
It's also one that people aren't making. The only mention of "if a wizard can throw fireballs, then anything goes" has been from those who wish to tear it down. What has been said is things like "if a wizard can do X, then a fighter can do Y". Taking whatever specific things a person thinks is okay for a fighter to do and changing it to "anything goes" is a dishonest way of pretending their argument is more absurd than it is, precisely because "anything goes" is (as you note) easier to tear down than "fantasy heroes can do X".
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Keep your fantasy consistent.
I believe that's what people are trying to get you to do.
In one breath you say that magic is the reason mages get to defy reality, and in the next you say that it's fine that there are some nonmagical methods of fighters defying reality.
You're contradicting yourself. Either magic is required in order to exceed reality, or it isn't. If it is, then to keep any kind of credibility you need to let go of the "huge falls and stuff" that nonmagically defy reality. If it's not, then you need to let go of your "it's okay because magic" explanation for mages' ability to regard reality differently than fighters.
Pick one and commit.
Ultimately, having a "fantasy" setting just means there are things in the setting that go beyond reality. In a sense, the setting has two types of things in it: the mundane (that which is comparable to reality) and the fantastic (that which exceeds reality).
Now, different fantasy settings (which, remember, means "settings in which some things go beyond reality") will have different ways of determining how someone (or something) is allowed to exceed reality, to make the jump from being mundane to being fantastic.
In some settings, the necessary element to move from the mundane to the fantastic is simply magic. The Harry Potter universe is a perfect example: the fantasy setting is literally "reality plus magic". If you're a spellcaster (or magical creature), you're part of the fantasy story. If you're nonmagical, you're part of the mundane background; you're what the reader/viewer compares the magic to in order to see how much more fantastic it is than you are.
In other settings, a person could exceed reality and move from the category of "mundane" to the category of "fantastic" by any number of means: magic, training, enlightenment, divine parentage, and so forth. This type of setting is where you see people like Pecos Bill, who could lasso a tornado just by virtue of being a badass. Thus, his badassery was able to elevate him from "mundane" (realistic) to "fantastic" (beyond reality).
Both types of settings are fine. They tell different types of stories, and neither can really fill in for the other.
But there's an extra complication when you're talking about a game.
See, in a book or film or TV show, you can mix fantastic characters with mundane characters as you please, because you can carefully sculpt the action to have the result you want. In Avatar: the Last Airbender, the setting is of the first kind I described (only magic gets to exceed reality and be "fantastic"). However, the core group of protagonists includes both fantastic and mundane characters—there's even an episode about one of the mundane characters dealing with that gap. But since it's non-game fiction, the authors were able to create circumstances where the mundane characters could contribute meaningfully to the story through
But in a fantasy game, that's a LOT harder to pull off. Even if you carefully sculpt situations where the muggle can help save Hogwarts, it will often feel hollow and contrived. Typically, it's no fun to have one player playing a fantasy hero and another player playing a mundane, non-fantastic character in the same game.
The ideal, then, is for every player character to be able to be "fantastic", to exceed reality. It doesn't matter which kind of setting you're using or what the requirement is for moving from mundane to fantastic; it just matters that each player has equal access to it. If exceeding reality requires a gift from the gods, then every player character should receive that gift. If exceeding reality requires being taught by a fantastic mentor, then every player character should have such a mentor. If exceeding reality requires access to magic, then every player character should have access to magic.
So again, it doesn't matter whether or not magic is the only way to go beyond reality and into fantasy. All that matters is that every player character gets to go there. The setting's definition of fantasy must be something within every player's reach.
And that's where the problem comes in: people who want a setting where X is required to exceed reality, but where not every player gets to have X. In the case of discussing Pathfinder, X is usually magic: people say that they want their fantasy to be defined as requiring magic in order to be fantastic (which is fine) but then fail to realize that some game options lack the very thing they defined as necessary for fantasy and are therefore by definition not fantasic!
The end result is this: if you want a setting where only magic can exceed reality, then fighters are not fantasy heroes, and you're just fooling yourself to say they are. If you want nonmagical characters to be capable of fantasy, then you have to allow nonmagical things to "go fantastic," to exceed reality. You've got to pick your direction and commit; trying to claim one setting while enforcing the mechanics of the other is why we keep having these arguments.
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
That's not the case, though.
A dragon's flight is represented as nonmagical, but isn't actually doable by real-world physics with their wingspan and body size.
Kind of the same deal with giant bugs: represented as nonmagical, but not possible in reality.
Same goes for having 200HP, diving headfirst off a 500ft cliff into an antimagic zone, and getting up and walking away.
The list goes on and on and on. So no, the position is NOT "real-world physics apply until magic changes things". It truly is, as was said before, "real-world physics can only be ignored in certain places but not others, based entirely on what I'm used to/comfortable with".
*ponders**considers previous posts*
*ponders some more*
Oh! I think I see the issue! This whole time, you've been using the film version of the term "cheesy" (meaning comically overdone, goofy, corny, etc), while the premise of the thread is the RPG version of cheese (being a consistently derogatory term to a manner of gameplay that is in some way objectionable, with varying benchmarks for qualification). That would certainly explain a lot. Yeah. Wow. Totally changes how I understand your previous posts. Cripes.
But since axes don't remind him of a type of entertainment he doesn't care for, they get a pass.
It's not about "I don't like it when characters can do X" (such as use improbably large weapons).
It's about "This particular mental image reminds me of something I don't like" (such as a certain type of large weapon setup reminding someone of anime).
It only looks inconsistent when using incorrect labels: label it as "I don't like using improbably large/heavy weapons/styles" and you get inconsistencies like swords being regarded differently than axes. Label it instead as "I don't like things that remind me of other things I don't like", and you see that a giant sword could remind a person of anime while an unlikely axe-wielding style isn't a prominent trope of any particular thing (other than D&D), so there's no conflict/contradiction.
Self-awareness: it benefits everyone. :)
I know this is settled, but I'm curious about the line of thinking that led to this ruling.
I'm not Mark, but I seem to recall there having been a post from Jason Bulmahn back in the day, stating that the whole point of Vital Strike was to be a sort of "consolation prize" for when you already weren't going to be able to full-attack, like when you were staggered or in a surprise round or if you needed your move action for something.
I'd hazard a guess that the cleanest way to enact that was to tie it to the Attack action. How would you write it in order to meet its goal while also allowing it to work with things like Spring Attack? I don't know of a way that isn't super-wordy. :/
captain yesterday wrote:
You should play Fluxx; not because you won't have to re-learn the rules each time, but because everyone else WILL, so you won't be the odd one out. ;)
Two answers, in my opinion:
1) For some, it's a matter of their (often unconscious) definition of "fantasy". To them, even if they don't realize it, a fantasy setting means "reality + magic". (Consider the Harry Potter universe, for example, where magic is literally the definition of the separation between the mundane and the fantastic.) For this group, crying "cheese" doesn't mean that it harms gameplay, it means that it breaks their aesthetic mold by doing something nonmagically that can't be done in reality (like wielding massive weapons in one hand).
2) For those who do mean "cheese" as an assessment of gameplay mechanics/balance, the source of your observation is the simple fact that most people are TERRIBLE at game design/development, and don't realize it. Think about it: wouldn't it make sense that the proportion of game-players who have valid opinions about game design would be similar to the proportion of computer-users who have valid opinions about programming methodology, or to the proportion of car-drivers who have valid opinions about mechanical engineering? In any given field, there's a (proportionally) small number of people who have done enough of the homework to have any idea what they're talking about, and then there's the 99%. So whenever somebody claims that something is (or isn't) cheese/OP/broken/etc, there's a pretty small chance that the speaker's assessment has any validity whatsoever. And yet, they declare their belief with all the conviction as if they were reciting the fundamentals of whatever field they ARE proficient in.
What is wrong with these people
They have a stronger grasp of the game's mechanics—and those mechanics' impact on the gameplay experience—than you do? Probably something along those lines.
But really, that's not the important part. The important part is that I'd rather share a table with people who have differing ideas than to share a table with people who respond to differing ideas by assuming there must be something wrong with those people.
I didn't have a proper understanding of scope/scale/level.
I originally planned for the PCs to basically be "tough civilians" who get caught up into bigger stuff and "have greatness thrust upon them", so I started them at 2nd level.
The big, overarching plot was something that would, eventually, require extremely high-level magic (possibly deific intervention) to resolve.
It did not occur to me at first that this meant I was trying to run a campaign that would span 16+ levels. :/
Additionally, an element of the campaign which I originally pictured myself relying on as an "action backbone" (retrieving fragments of an artifact) turns out to take waaaay more time than I accounted for.
Putting it all together, it means I'd written myself into a spot where levels 3 through probably 17ish would just be iteration after iteration of "find the next chunk of artifact" and trying to make each one feel different than the previous "find the next chunk of artifact".
I may someday reboot the campaign, narrowing the gap by raising the starting level and/or changing the nature of the goal to allow a lower-level resolution. But the campaign already in progress seemed, to me, unsalvageable.
You are indeed missing something.
You seem to be under the impression that Sense Motive says it tells you if someone is an impostor.
It does not say that.
It says that you can get the feeling that something is wrong. It then lists an example of something that could trigger that feeling that something is wrong. It never says (or even implies) that you'll know whether it was that thing or a different thing that triggered your feeling that something was wrong.
So if you're talking to an impostor, a DC 20 check will give you the feeling that something's wrong. This will not reveal whether the thing that's wrong is that this is an impostor, or that she's hoping you don't ask where she's going right now, or that he's got the last pastry behind his back, or what.
You just know something's wrong, so maybe you investigate further.
All characters, the BBEG included, were 9th level.
My apologies if this has already been covered, but... you planned a CR8 encounter for a CR9 party, which is literally the definition of "easy", and expected it to be dramatic? What?
...Then he remembers that he's got the biggest, nicest house in town (full casting with an infinite "spellbook", domain powers, and enough BAB/proficiencies/buffs to out-fight a fighter if he wants) and decides that his car doesn't really matter because he's still the guy that everybody else wants to be.
"Mechanic X reminds me of real-world concept Y, therefore mechanic X can ONLY be used as an implementation of real-world concept Y."
That's pretty much the line of thinking you're embodying, Sandslice. You don't need to explain it; the people in this thread are quite familiar with it already because the rejection of that line of thinking is the whole premise of the thread.
Fake Healer wrote:
I'm with you on the level cap thing. As for options, though, complaining of a lack of options doesn't have to mean you've exhausted them all, just that there are concepts you want to play that aren't supported.
For instance, I'm a fan of caster/martial hybrid types of characters. When I went to make a character for 5E, that was the first thing I started looking at how to do. I wanted an intelligent fighter who was reasonably competent as a melee combatant and dabbled in magic to give him utility options and some variation in combat.
I looked at the fighter's Eldrtich Knight "kit", but saw that not only did I not get any cantrips and have extremely limited spells per day (much like Pathfinder's ranger progression), but nearly all my spells would have to be evocations or abjurations. Not what I was going for.
I looked at the bard, and the Valor College got a little bit of fighter-ish-ness, so it might work... but then there's all this CHA-oriented stuff, and apparently bards got upgraded to full-caster status, so really it'd be more like a musical wizard who dabbled in fighting. Kind of the mirror of what I was going for.
The ranger's and paladin's martial-to-magic ratio actually looked close to perfect... but then I'm either a holy warrior or a nature guy, instead of an arcane warrior.
I looked at the possibility of multiclassing fighter/wizard, but then realized that damn near everything is tied to class level, right down to the 4th-level stat boost. Combined with the fact that multiclass spellcasting progression would only be advancing on wizard levels, this means that if I want spell progression similar to a ranger, I'm gonna have like half or more of my levels be wizard. That means my first stat boost is probably at 7th or so, and I don't get my second attack until... 10th? Maybe even later?
I eventually had to just abandon the concept altogether, because the system just doesn't support it.
So when someone says "There's not enough options," it doesn't necessarily mean they anticipate playing through every option in a couple of years. It could just mean they thought, "Cool, I wanna play a... oh. Nevermind."
Actual game play, less so - I felt that the number flattening went way too far in the other direction from Pathfinder.
That was the first negative thing I noticed, as well. I'm not sure I'd put it as strongly as you did (could be the module; 15 is a high DC in 5E, so that sounds like it could be a contributor to your bad experience), but I know the phenomenon you're describing, and I agree.
To put it another way, my first character (before he died) was
But the actual mechanical difference? If I made 20 checks of each skill, I'd only succeed on 2 more Stealth checks than Acrobatics checks.
That doesn't feel like I'm actually proficient in stealth. That feels like a slight knack for it.
Heck, I'm not even saying I want MORE POWER!!!!; I'd happily get that gap through applying a -2 nonproficiency penalty to... basically everything, just so there could be a more tangible difference between something I'm an expert in and something I'm just trying out for the first time.
To look at it from yet another angle, imagine that a 20th-level fighter is training alongside a 1st-level fighter. They're each attacking a target dummy 20 times.
In a series of 20 attacks, the 20th-level fighter only hits his target 4 more times than the 1st-level fighter. What the crap.
So yeah, they definitely "flattened the numbers" (good term; I'm totally stealing it) quite a bit, and I think I'd agree it was perhaps too much. This is one of the things I mentioned in (I think) my first post in this thread about 5E not being perfect and there being trade-offs between it and Pathfinder. It did a lot of things right, but this kind of grates on me.
My wife, who is much more of a "casual" gamer than I am, cites this as a major critique of Pathfinder. She feels like whenever she wants to do something cool or "fun" or creative, the GM says, "Well, the first part will need a move action with an Acrobatics check for X and another for Y, and then you'll need a standard action to do a CMB check to try Z, which will provoke..."
Just to do one thing.
She's basically given up and resigned herself to asking me what pre-defined options she has available to her at any given moment, because anything she comes up with on her own gets dissected and arranged into a series of 3-6 checks/rolls, only one of which needs to go low to make the whole thing fail, and probably leave her with a sword in her face.
I haven't seen the DMG, but if it encourages single-check activities, I'd call that a plus. :)
One thing I'm not a fan of in D&D is the Paladin class. Maybe I haven't seen them in action enough yet, but losing the alignment restriction bothers me. That's not the only thing that bothers me about the class, but I can't really put my finger on what it is. :/
I've been playing alongside one recently. Have any questions? It's definitely felt (from my secondhand perspective, at least) like a divine warrior. I haven't looked too closely at the mechanics, but I bet they left it open to also serve the same role for other alignments than LG (sort of filling the paladin/warpriest/inquisitor/battlecleric role all in one class instead of bloating into a bunch of very similar ones).
Other things that IUS doesn't say you can do and still use IUS:Wear armor
Use combat maneuvers
Be shaken, dazzled, sickened, or fatigued
You say that you look at the rules logically. Logically, if "IUS doesn't say you can benefit from it while doing X, so you can't" is true, then it's true for any value of X. If it's not true for every value of X, then your statement isn't true and must be amended or discarded.
@OP, I'm all too familiar with the particular phenomenon you're describing.
A classic example is whether rogues can Sneak Attack undead: the Sneak Attack class feature doesn't differentiate between creature types, and there's no rules elsewhere (like in undead traits) providing an exception, therefore undead are affected by Sneak Attack just like anything else would be. But some people got used to earlier versions of D&D prohibiting SA vs undead, and don't see any rules explicitly stating "Sneak Attack even works on undead", so they think it still doesn't.
I also recall the discussion leading up to the FAQ about TWF, iterative attacks, and multiple weapons. Plenty of people were saying "Show me in the rules where it says you DON'T take TWF penalties when you make an iterative attack (or even an AoO) with a different weapon than your primary attack."
I've also seen "Show me where it says you can Spellstrike with a two-handed weapon," and plenty else.
However, your example about touch spells and movement is not necessarily an example of this particular error.
Lists of options can be a tricky thing. Sometimes they're exhaustive ("You can do X, Y and Z and nothing else"), while other times they're merely examples ("You can do X, Y and Z and so forth"). Unfortunately, there are plenty of lists in the Pathfinder rules that don't clearly dictate which type they are ("You can do X, Y and Z").
Now, you say that the listing of options X, Y and Z in the touch spell rules means you have no other options at all besides the ones listed. But it could also simply be pointing out that those options are available. (After all, there are a lot of people who think the touch must be performed at the same time as the casting, until they're shown that rule—perhaps that list of options is just trying to demonstrate total flexibility.) How did you arrive at your conclusion of which type of list it is?
If you're going to do the above without making any changes to the rules, then you're going to shatter my sense of immersion.
By the rules (from the Gamemastery Guide), I can walk into a random weapons shop in a metropolis and expect them to be able to pull any "minor magic item" off the shelf upon demand. According to Ultimate Equipment, minor weapons can include up to a +2 weapon (or +1 with a +1 ability).
So you're going to tell me that, without changing any rules, you're going to convince my character that the +1 sword he found is more special than the +1 keen sword he can walk into a shop and buy in a matter of minutes? And it took a "legendary wizard" to make it?
If you want my character to believe, in-universe, that the +1 sword is special, you're going to have to change the rules that say he can walk into Wal-Mart and buy something better off the shelf.
If it's capable of being wrong, it isn't actually an opinion.
"The rogue is strong enough for me" is an opinion, as it is completely dependent on the speaker's personal tastes. Can't be "wrong", because it's not objective.*
"The rogue is as strong as other 3/4 BAB classes" is NOT an opinion, because it's a reference to static, defined data. As such, it is either right or wrong, and given access to enough information we can determine which of those it is. It has no basis in personal preference, only in printed and/or calculable fact. It is not an opinion.
If you think people's opinions can be wrong, then you need to stop believing people who claim that their wrong statement is an opinion. ;)
*I suppose if you wanted to be really pedantic, you could say that the statement is capable of being wrong, as a person may lack the self-awareness to realize that (for instance) his successes were the result of lucky rolls or generous houserules or whatever and not the result of the actual rogue class. However, the actual notion of the rogue being strong enough for a given person is entirely subjective and outside the scope of factual correctness/incorrectness.
Remembering that damage from the AoO is applied as a penalty to the CMB check, "will provoke an AoO" and "can't do it at all" become pretty close to the same thing in most situations.
You can't make magic items special until Pathfinder's second XP track stops calling itself magic items.
So either you rip the entire WBL/gear element out of the game (downsizing encounters to compensate), or you dress that particular aspect of character progression as something other than gear (such as a literal second XP track, or fixed level-based bonuses, etc).
But one way or another, you make magic items stop being a baked-in element of character advancement. That's your best shot at making room for rare, special, flavorful magic items in your game.
I like the idea of a smart fighter so much I went and published some archetypes and feats that I designed specifically to reward high-INT martials, yet I still dislike Combat expertise for many of the reasons mentioned.
Not every instance of people disagreeing with you can just be handwaved away with a declaration of "Bah, it's just those silly stat-dumping munchkins again, there's no real issue here!" So if you want to keep any kind of credibility, you might want to take the time to thoughtfully consider others' points of view instead of just assuming any problem you don't share doesn't really count.
I agree that people should check their biases and verify their information/conclusions.
So, hypothetically, let's say that Bob Bob Bob (hereafter abbreviated as "BBB") decided to go ahead and do that. Suppose that he went and "did the homework", and discovered that (for example) condescending or insulting "rogue-is-weak" posts were, as an objective fact, vastly outnumbered by polite/respectful "rogue-is-weak" posts.
Suppose that, having discovered this to be a fact, he now encounters someone asserting the opposite.
What is he allowed to say now? Is he allowed to question whether that person is "lying, exaggerating, or see an entire different messageboard"? Or if not that, then is BBB at least allowed to instead insist that the other person perform the same fact-checking that BBB did?
Does there ever come a point where a person has done enough fact-checking that they can assert that forum behavior is X and call into question the validity of claims to the contrary?
Well, an opinion can't be wrong, but people can be wrong about whether or not the thing they just said is actually an opinion or not.
People mix up this identification a LOT.