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If your Grasp is topping out at 5D6, you don't actually care about Shocking Grasp. If you do, you sink the minimal investment of Magical Lineage and Intensify Spell into it.
Which is also using resources. but even so at 5th level it's maybe 7-8d6 vs 5d6. So you could cast 4 8d6 spells per day, or 50 5d6 spells at the cost of 1875. I'd call that a fair trade
2000 gp is also... very wrong. Spell Level x Caster Level x 750. 1*5*750=3750. You can get it under 2000 if you're crafting it yourself, but at that point you're sinking a lot of investment into a trick that's not good for very long.
With the limited casting of a Magus, Crafting Wands is a very smart choice, and adding 5d6 to your weapon damage is useful right up until level 20.
Next, Wand Wielder doesn't have anything to do with Spellstrike; it's related only to Spell Combat. If your GM decides that using a wand = casting the spell, it can be Spellstriked whether you have Wand Wielder or not. If you GM decides that using a wand =/= casting a spell, Wand Wielder isn't doing a thing to grant Spellstrike.
Finally... there are a lot of things that the Magus needs more than this. 10.5 gp doesn't leave enough to blow 20% of it on an endurance trick. Base functionality comes first.
Well assuming the Magus' job is DPR, I'd saying adding 5d6 to every attack qualifies as "Base functionality".
Really? 2,000gp for 50 5d6 attacks that CAN be spell striked with the wand wielder Arcanna? And no the ones you cast can't be better since Shocking Grasp tops out at 5d6. And even if you can add metamagic to them to make them better, can you get 50 of them? You're looking at most probably 4.
At 5th level WBL says you should have 10.5k, I think you could afford 2k on a wand that would give you 50 shots of a spell, that is just as good as the one you can cast.
Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:
By that logic, Qinggong Monk can't be combined with anything, since it alters every monk ability. It has been ruled that as long as you don't change out what gets replaced you can do it. You could apply that to Crossblooded and Tattooed.
The actual fAQ simply says:
It's only for PFS, and there's no reason why they can't be combined. Rules As Written, they can be. Since there is no explanation, there's an argument to be made that Crossblooded and Tattooed can be combined in PFS also, since there really is nothing saying they can't.
The only glaring problem I see is that your WILL saves are going to be horrible. Even if you are able to use your CHA bonus a lot, that +2 (or even +4 with a headband) aren't going to be enough. You're not going to have a Cloak of Resistance because of your Cape of Feinting, so that's just going to make things a lot worse.
I've never played Skull and Shackles so I'm not sure how much WILL saves come up, but that is a glaring problem in my eyes.
I haven't given a lot of thought to it, but off the top of my head:
If a Rogue takes Weapon Finesse, they get DEX to damage as well for free.
If a Rogue isn't flanking give them a static precision damage equal to their level (this is what a swashbuckler gets). So if they're flanking they get, xd6 damage, if they aren't, they get their regular damage plus their level. All of it is precision so anything that stops that would stop both forms .
I think those might help, but again I haven't put a lot of thought into it so I'm not sure what the ramifications would be, or if even that would be enough.
1. What is the maximum number of players you would recommend? Considering that this is my first time as a GM, and the players would be new to Pathfinder?
4-6 is okay. I wouldn't go much lower than that either. Two few people also puts a lot of stress on the GM
2. At what level would you recommend I start the adventure? I feel that level 1 would be the easiest for me, but looking at the forums I get the feeling that most GM’s start their parties at level 3, to make it more fun for the players.
Start with level 1. If you look at a level 20 character that leveled from 1 to 20, and look at a level 20 character that was built at level 20, they will be vastly different.
3. With question 1 and 2 in mind, can you recommend me a free or published AP that would be suitable? Since this will be a short game (max 3 sessions, with the possibility of picking it up again later) I would prefer a free one, but realise that professional work comes with a price.
I would pick up Dragon's Demand. It's not free, but takes players from levels 1-6 (pretty sure it's 6) and is a REALLY good time.
4. Which tools would you recommend for the players to create their characters?
the only thing they really need is D20PFSRD. There are some free apps out there, and a cheap character creator that I used all through 3.5 days was The Only Sheet. It does Pathfinder now too.
5. What do you usually do to prepare as a GM?
Read the module and make sure you know the rules :) Really there's no short cuts here. Preparation is key. There are a lot of GM's that will say they wing it and are awesome, but in my 30+ years of playing RPG's the best GM who wings it, can't hold a candle to a good GM who's prepared.
6. Rogue was my favourite character in 3.5, but it gets a bunch of flack on the forums. Should I look into house rules to boost rogue, or is it viable in a core only team?
I hate saying this about any class, but Rogue's suck, and that's coming from a guy who knows monks are amazing. I say that so you don't think I'm just saying rogues are awful because that's what is hip and cool. They really are awful. Their damage is dependent on Sneak Attack, except there is no way to consistently get sneak attack. They don't get enough out of combat things to make up for their poor showing in combat.
Since Hunter only gets 6th level spells and is a spontaneous caster, WIS isn't all that important. I would do it like this
I would use my spell casting for buffing yourself and your pet. Elf is a nice choice with +2 to DEX and +2 to INT, it hurts your CON with a -2 but since you're going to be ranged and have a pet, it won't hurt that much. If you went Elf, I would switch the INT and CHA scores so after racial modifiers you'd end up with:
Add in the two points from leveling you could make your CON 14, or those 13's to 14's, our STR to 16, or your DEX 22.
In all fairness, I love Elves so I'm a little biased. Anything with a bonus to DEX would be fine. The only hits you want to try to avoid are nothing with a STR penalty.
For a Pet, I'd actually go with a Small Cat. Use the alternate advancement, which will keep them small but increase their DEX, give it Weapon Finesse and Agile Maneuvers (Agile Maneuvers may or may not be needed with weapon finesse to trip, depending on your GM) and make them a trip monster. If anyone closes with you they can trip them so you can back up and shoot your bow. If you add an amulet of mighty fists Agile to your pet, their damage can be pretty close to what the big boys do.
Your 5th level feat should absolutely be Preferred Spell: Fireball.
Actually, my real advice is either A) Convince your GM that when you were kicked out, you went to study with the Elves and they taught you to be a Spellbinder (Wizard Archetype). Personally I would drop Human all together and go Elf or maybe Half-Elf.
The beauty of Spellbinder is that you don't have to chose between a Blaster or Utility, you do both. You memorize Utility Spells, but all your bonded spells are blasting spells. Best of both worlds.
If you go Half-Elf when you dip Sorcerer (Crossblooded and Tattoo) you can take the extra zero level spell from the human FCB. You'll also have Skill Focus as a racial, so you take that as a Knowledge (any one you like) and you can pick up Eldritch Heritage: Arcane and get your Familiar back (Tattoo Sorcerer gets a Familiar, Eldritch Heritage levels it up to your character level).
A lot of people on the forums absolutely dread Spell Resistance. I've been playing Wizards for a lot of year, it I have rarely had the problems with it others seem to have had. I do usually play Elves, so I never really go past Spell Focus, and even that I take pretty late in game.
Abraham spalding wrote:
I very, very disagree with this. In my experience, unless you have two stats going to AC, your AC will never be high enough to get missed. That doesn't mean you should always tank your AC it's not to only get hit once instead of 3 times with iterative attacks, but you are going to get hit.
The same can be said for the bad guys. You'll always be able to hit them, so the attack penalty for two-weapon fighting is really a non-issue, what is the issue is that standard actions happen far more frequently that full attack actions.
I'm in a 15th level Rise of the Runelords game right now and our wizard is routinely shutting down encounters with spells like Dazing Spell Ball Lightning. Clearly your gameplay experience is different from mine, but I can assure you that spellcasters ending encounters with a single spell is not a myth. Please don't be so quick to dismiss other's gameplay experiences because they don't conform to your expectations.
How many times per day does he do this?
EDIT: And if Dazing monsters for 1 round shuts down an entire encounter, the Wizard isn't doing it alone.
This is the problem with just using math instead of actually playing. Looking at these numbers it looks okay, but in an actual game things won't be this pretty.
You see DEX guy spent less money on armor so he has more to get +STR items. So initially he has a 9 STR now has +4 belt, and that's how he qualified for Power Attack. It also gave him a 26 DEX to STR guy's 24 STR.
Now this is just an example of what I'm talking about but straight math like this isn't indicative of the power of a build.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Just because Dexterity can affect more subjects doesn't mean it's actually superior. You show me 10 gorillas, and I'll show you a single guy who has more capability than 10 gorillas. Let's give this a proper breakdown, shall we?
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The first thing to note is that unlike Dexterity, Strength gives an increase to carrying capacity, and this scales up when this character gets magic items that increase Strength.You could argue the same for the Dexterity character, but he won't get the added increase to attack and damage to his main stat like the Strength guy would, plus he would have to invest extra things into carrying capacity in comparison, if he wants to be able to carry more stuff/use his equipment properly.
Except that for 2000gp DEX guy buys a handy haversack and completely eliminates this advantage of STR.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Additionally, most Strength builds are Two-handed, making their damage multiplier for their main stat higher per attack, equivalent to that of Two-Weapon Fighting (pre-Two-Weapon Rend, that is, but that is negated with a certain Fighter archetype). This benefit not only applies to their Strength modifier, but to Power Attack as well, something which, unless the Dexterity build has access to Piranha Strike from some softcover book, requires a decent enough Strength score to take to keep up with the damage. The Dexterity build, even with (at-best) Two-Weapon Fighting, won't be as accurate in both hitting consistency and damage consistency, since they will have less to-hit and damage benefits.
No one is disputing that a power attacking, two-handeder will out damage a DEX build. They will, but not by much. A two-hander cannot survive with a 7 DEX like a DEX build can survive with a 7 STR. Heck take a look at the hummingbird o' death build, and it has a 4 STR and is darn scary. The accuracy doesn't take much of a hit because their attacking stat can be higher since there's no need for an AC stat.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The Dexterity character's ability to lock down foes with Combat Maneuvers also goes down the drain, as their CMB turns into poop unless they invest yet another feat on top of something that already takes 30% of their feats, and their ability to negate these problems, should they be incurred on themselves, remain unchanged at best, or increased so slightly that the downgrade in CMB isn't worth the pay-off.
Not quite. Since they have weapon finesse, they get to use their DEX for trips and disarms.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The factor that the Dexterity character can use his main stat to make attacks with ranged weapons are nice, but his damage rolls are still modified by Strength normally. So even if he can hit better with a ranged weapon, his damage, especially when faced with damage reduction, will be so low it'll be lucky to get through it by the mid-game unless he finds a way to apply Dexterity to damage rolls for ranged weapons as well.
So use a crossbow. STR build who gets +100 damage to his longbow does exactly zero damage every time he misses. DEX build with a crossbow at least gets 1-8 damage.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Initiative poses the most beneficial of going Dexterity as far as Offensive Capabilities are concerned, as going first can certainly turn the tides (and is basically a sign of victory or defeat when PCs reach Rocket Tag levels). But assuming both sides get Improved Initiative and the Reactionary trait (believe me, most optimized martials value Initiative pretty highly), the Dexterity build is looking at being only 4 points higher (at best) on a given Initiative roll. Though this disparity increases as Mr. Strength and Mr. Dexterity gain levels, starting off, Mr. Dexterity can quite easily roll equal to or lower than Mr. Strength, meaning his Initiative increase via his main stat isn't a very significant thing.
It's incredibly significant. Assume both took Improved Init and reactionary at first level. The DEX guy tanked his STR, as he can, so has a 20 DEX (after racials). STR guy has a 14 DEX...maybe, but more likely a 12. This also means that STR guy didn't take power attack at first level. That's 11 Init for DEX guy, 8 for STR guy. STR guy won't be increasing that much, DEX guy will increase it every chance he gets. That is a HUGE disparity.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
So far, it appears Strength guy is making out, right? So we know Offensively speaking, Dexterity lacks, which makes sense, because they're so much more defensively powered, right?
No, it really doesn't. He gets a slight advantage in damage.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Theoretically speaking, yes. But mechanically, it's not really worth the pay-out. When it comes to Armor Class, the factor that the Dexterity character has 20+ Dexterity (which is a +5 modifier) at the start strictly limits his choice of armor, due to one statistic: That's right, the Maximum Dexterity Bonus. So if Mr. Dexterity has a 20 Dexterity at level 1 (and yes, it's possible), if he takes an armor that has 4 or less MDB, he's actually losing AC in comparison to the guy who just buys the heaviest armor.
Wait, so you're saying that being able to buy cheaper armor and get the same AC benefit is somehow a disadvantage? Did you really think that one through?
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Even if you get your full Dexterity bonus on your armor, depending on what you buy, Mr. Dexterity won't be winning out until you get to the extremely late game, where he will have a Dexterity Modifier of 11+, with a 1 AC piece of armor. Until then, it's an equal arms race with a slight difference in AC types; Mr. Dexterity will be superior in Touch AC, but lower in Flat-Footed AC. Mr. Strength will be inferior in Touch AC, but higher in Flat-Footed AC. This makes a difference when facing spellcasters, incorporeals, rogues/slayers/ninjas, and several others that affect these respective ACs, but that's really all it boils down to.
Really? Well let's see at level 1 STR uses Scale Mail for a 17 AC (more likely 16 AC) while DEX can use Studded Leather at half the cost for +1 to AC (18). In a few levels DEX guy buys a mithral buckler and makes the disparity ridiculous.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Saving throws is perhaps the biggest increase in comparison, but it's not a major gamechanger unless you're facing spellcasters who throw nothing but blast spells, and is only really a slap in the face if Mr. Dexterity is a class (or has a certain magic ring) that has Evasion.
Reflex saves are used for all sorts of things. Most traps, terrain hazards. It's not just blasting spells. You can try to minimize it all you want, the fact is DEX adds to saves, STR doesn't.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
As far as Skills are concerned, Swim and Climb are only relevant in the early levels, where you don't have magic readily available to transcend obstacles, or in areas where magic is cut-off (and you are forced to rely on physical means). Otherwise, your magic items or party Wizard will negate the need for those skills. (It's still handy to dip some points in these in case those circumstances arise.)
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
But the skills that Dexterity affects aren't much better. Take the scaling skills involved, which are Acrobatics, Stealth, Escape Artist, Sleight of Hand(, and to a lesser extent, Disable Device). Most of the time, these skills, unless exceptionally invested in, do not provide much helpful utility, both in-combat and out-of-combat; Acrobatics and Escape Artist, two of the most combat-useful skills in the game, are a culprit of disproportioned statistic scaling. Even with a few more points in Dexterity in comparison to Mr. Strength, Mr. Dexterity will only have a slightly better chance of succeeding at these skills versus a combat-trained CR-equivalent enemy, something that isn't worth writing home about.
This is completely wrong. I mean completely. Unless your GM is making antagonists that far exceed your CR, 1 point per level plus your DEX will be very relevant all the way up to level 20. Don't believe me? Look through any AP at the highest levels and see what the monsters/bad guy's perception checks are.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Stealth and Sleight of Hand are useful for out-of-combat subjects, but the former becomes difficult when we subscribe to the prospect of everyone and their grandma has maximum Perception ranks, and the latter requires points to spend in order to even use, something which not all Mr. Dexteritys can afford to do.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Some skills require you put points in them to even use, and the Fly skill, probably one of the most useful skills for melee combatants in the game, requires a regular means of Flying in order to put points into it; this doesn't make it more advantageous for Mr. Dexterity when he probably has the same problems that Mr. Strength has, which is obtaining a means to regularly fly in the first place.
The difference is that when they both get a reliable means of flying, the DEX guy is already at +10, add the +4 for Average Flying and he needs a whole 1 on a D20 to do most things, without a single point invested. Meanwhile STR guy is at a +4...maybe meaning he'll fail to hover over 50% of the time.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Not only are skills, damage, etc. a problem for Mr. Dexterity,
Except that they're not.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
but also the means and access for which he gets his main stat to operate. Outside of the Slashing/Fencing Grace feats (which only realistically apply to 3 weapons, and count as yet another 10% of a given character's feat expenditures) and the Agile weapon property (which isn't even in a Hardcover product, costs enhancement bonuses, and only applies to Finnesseable Melee Weapons), his build availability is nowhere near as open as Mr. Strength, who could use any given Two-Handed Weapon, equip nearly any armor, and not have to worry about his weight limit or any of that mundane stuff.
Seriously? Show me a single build someone has actually used in a game that didn't use a specialized weapon. Everyone does it. EVERYONE. They have Weapon Focus, or use reach or high crit range, or something else. You had to reach pretty far for this one
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
So as you can clearly tell, Dexterity builds are fairly inoptimal, and barely viable currently. Even if they become more prevalent with splatbooks (and no, I'm not calling ACG a splatbook), it would at-best become a change of playstyle, since I highly doubt a given Dexterity build would outperform a given Strength build.
Yes, if you ignore or try to minimize all the advantages of the DEX build it would appear to be in-optimal. However, if you take an objective look at it, and realize what it really means, it's extremely effective.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
And remember kids, Dexterity to Attack and Damage ruins games, but Spellcasters and their Wish Sno-Cone machines and their 1-round encounter-ending spells are the most fun and balanced things ever!
I am so sick of people who don't play at high levels thinking they know what high level play is like. I know you're going to try to tell me I'm wrong that you do play high levels, but statements like this are very telling to those of us that really do play high level games.
You are correct you can't get 1.5 times your DEX but you still get your DEX (which is vastly superior to STR) and you can tank your STR making your DEX significantly higher. I'm not saying that it will be 1.5 times higher, but with the added benefits of DEX, it still closes the gap pretty well.
Magda Luckbender wrote:
Really? You can't imagine the old, physically weak, venerable master master kicking the crap out of the strong young student because the master uses precise strikes and knows how to move better?
Yeah so it takes you until 3rd level to completely dominate. Still not sure that's really balanced. Power Attack also requires a +1 BAB which means 3/4 BAB classes can't get it until 3rd level anyway.
Not only that, but use an Aldori Dueling Sword and add 2-handed Power Attack damage as well as DEX to damage.
Skills do matter regardless of skill points. Every skill there except Disable Device and Sleight of Hand is usable untrained. So assuming zero skill points, DEX wins by a LARGE margin.
Where are the feats that allow STR to AC and intuitive?
I said it when Dervish Dance was the only way: Being able to add DEX to Damage is EXTREMELY powerful. It's much more effective than STR builds for more reasons than just DPR.
I only skimmed, but someone came up with a really cool combination that I've started using:
Abraham spalding wrote:
You can leave your supply train in your home fortifications, teleport your army into the enemies fortifications, and teleport the supplies as needed. You'd only ever have to carry a days worth of supplies.
This would also solve the wizard who doesn't want the focus shifted if you can find a secluded-ish spot (maybe the sewers at first, until you can fortify better grounds). Letting the people wonder how you got in without directly pointing to the wizard who may be doing minor fireballs on the battle field just making her presence known away from the teleporting army.
EDIT: Whoops I skipped two pages, ah well.
Is running things out of the box bad DMing? Should he be expected to keep the party in check and work on tailoring combat? What is, in essence, good DMing on a more logistic level? What *should* a DM do to balance things?
I'm old, and D&D was never my primary system. I think it's important to tell you that before I answer your questions, because I have a very different attitude than the majority of these boards. My primary system has always been the Hero System. It is similar to GURPS if you're familiar with that system. It doesn't have levels you progress through, characters are made with points and you buy your skills and abilities. You don't have a pre-generated list of spells (well Hero System itself is generic, it can be used for any setting from Superheroes to Fantasy, from James Bond, to Supernatural), they give you generic "powers" that you use to create your spells. So you won't see "Lightning Bolt" but you'll see "Blast" that you can build into your Lightning Bolt. This type of system is RIPE with opportunities for abuse, and typically GM's are with you hand in hand when making characters. On these boards any GM that tells a player "no" to something that is rules legal, that GM will typically be labeled a "jerk", where I come from that was standard. GM's said no all the time and you just had to trust he was doing it in the best interest of the game. There seems to be a general lack of GM trust on these boards.
Again I tell you all of that so you know where I'm coming from versus the "typical" player. A GM should absolutely be involved in every aspect of character generation, and beyond.
2) Is 3.X more balanced? PF is undeniably more interesting IMO but I'm wondering which had better balance, and why?
There is no such thing as universal balance. What you are looking for is player balance. Are all the players roughly the same power level? When you look at things in those terms, both 3.X and Pathfinder are equal. Both can be abused.
3) Having never played rogue and only rarely used it for NPCs, what's so bad about it? Why is it often called "the worst class"?
I try to never say one class is broken or another is worst... I try not to, but Rogues suck. There is no reason to ever take the class. If you want to be a skill monkey, other classes do it better. Inquisitors get abilities that allow them to use their WIS for a bunch of non-wisdom skills. They get bonuses to skill checks, things like this that will really help a skill monkey. Other classes get similar things to make them more effective.
The rogue's damage comes from sneak attacks, while in theory this doesn't seem that bad, but in actual practice it ridiculously hard to do that consistently. A ranged rogue will only ever get 1 sneak attack per round.
4) What are the balance issues with Barb, Monk and Summoner?
It is my opinion that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the monk. Levels 1-5 are a little slow, and the monk will be wondering their place in the scheme of things when the barbarians are destroying monsters with one swing, but soon after that, the monk will notice that whenever something comes up they'll start saying, "oh the monk can handle that", or "send the monk he has the best survival rate".
The Devs have said Summoners are very powerful. I don't have a lot of experience with them, they are rare in PFS and in my home games GM's typically ban them.
Barbarians have a lot of great things they can do, but they have a very low AC, and something that can hit hard is going to be a problem for them. I don't find they unbalance things too much, except maybe at lower levels, but any 18+ STR character that uses a two handed weapon can be pretty brutal pre-level 5.
5) Should players always optimize? When shouldn't they and how far should they take it? All the way to min/max?
Players should play what they want, as long as the GM keeps them on the same level.
6) How should a DM balance if one player takes bad options and sucks and another takes the best and wrecks face? I suggested talking to them, helping optimize the weak one, tailor combat for/against them (not to "get wrecked" of face roll levels, which one idiot refuses to understand) and help tailor the situations they find themselves in to be helpful. I also suggested possible respecs.
There are other ways to balance things out. Maybe the player thought they were human the whole time, but come to find out they're actually an Assimar. Or maybe they discover an intelligent sword that only works for "Gimpy".
I would be careful with doing this though. There are few options that people would take that wold make them completely useless. Don't only use combat as a measuring stick. If "Gimpy" took a feat that allowed him to re-roll Diplomacy checks for example. Yes, he will suffer at combat, but his out of combat ability has improved. He's not really a "Gimpy" he's just strong in a different area.
Chengar Qordath wrote:
Except they don't. They just argue about what might or could be. I think if more people on these forums actually played the game, there'd be a lot less arguing. If they wanted to play the game, they could just say "Hey GM, how would you rule this?".
Well, they can also kill things without alerting the entire enemy base to their location with the loud explosion their weapon makes each time they use it, which is useful for every stealth-based character that has ever been rolled, but eh.
This is not a problem exclusive to gunslingers. Every non-stealth based character makes a lot of noise
Oh, also your @#$&awesome touch AC attacks will run into situations where you're not ahead of the others at all. Such as literally any time you encounter an incorporeal undead.
Yup in that exact, specific, unique, rarely occurring situation, gunslingers are only slightly better than archers since the gunslinger is all DEX and the archer is spread over DEX and STR.
Do you know why archers figure it out better? Gunslingers don't have to. Add your +4 to concealment, when the touch ac is 13 lower than regular ac, you still net a +9 over the archer.
And yes everyone carries a ranged weapon and it's usually a sling or crossbow, both with the same range increment as a gun.
Don't get me wrong. I am not saying "Guns are bad, archery is clearly better." I prefer archery, but I acknowledge that guns are a very powerful weapon in the right hands. However, you are wrong to say that a Gunslinger can do ANYTHING an Archer can do better, and that is the point on which our arguments have turned. You can consider it unimportant if you like, but a gunman will never be able to beat an archer in a contest of range, and you are kidding yourself if you think the GM who makes use of that information has not yet rolled the dice.
You see the problem with using range is that it leaves out everyone except the archer. How long do you think you're going to have players if only one of them can ever attack? That's why if it happens at all, it will be extremely rare. The ONLY thing an archer can do that a Gunslinger can't is fire at ranges that I've never see in my 30+ years of gaming. Ya got me on that one.
Seriously? Who give a s*** if a fighter can do 6 billion points of damage if he never hits? Talk about completely irrelevant. Heck I'd house rule that. Anyone can have +6 billion to damage as long as they take -50 on their to hit chance.
2. comparing zen archers as a class to gunslingers as a class is tough, they are both ranged but they are different in how they function. You asked what zen archers get in the way of bonuses to damage - they get more attacks, the ability to do their unarmed damage (which at level 17, as mentioned, is usually 2d10 because usually a level 17 zen arched is wearing a monk's robe - level 17 was used because at that point the gunslinger's class based bonus to damage has matured) and a boatload of feats including weapon specialization. Is the whole zen archer package as good as the whole gunslinger package? Sometimes it is better and sometimes it is worse, because they are so different in how they function, but a zen archer certainly has "bonus to damage at least comparable to that of the gunslinger", and that that comparison is that the zen archer has a bigger damage bonus. Whether or not this will result in more damage done in various scenarios is a different issue, and if you want to get into a side-to-side comparison of zen archers and gunslingers in different cases then we should compare whole builds instead of class features.
It's not "usually" because it takes resources to be able to do that, hence it is not consistent. Those resources will run out quickly if you use them for every attack.
You also seem to think I give a flying hang about the Zen Archer I don't, it was an example that I've only brought up once.
3. I have no idea what you mean by "consistent". I take it to mean in this context, the amount of damage which a level 11-20 character can be expected to put out in combat encounters which are CR appropriate, which occur with the frequency which adventurers usually handle combat...
If you can't do it every round of every combat, it won't be consistent. A ranger's favored enemy bonus isn't consistent damage. A Paladin's smite evil, isn't consistent damage, and a Zen Archer raising his arrows to 2d10 takes ki points, and isn't consistent damage. A gunslinger's DEX to damage IS consistent, every round no grit, no extra resources that will run out.
And to clear something else up, a paper alchemical cartridge is 12gp full price not 40gp and 6gp to make it yourself.
You're also completely missing my point and seem to want to argue quite vigorously about crap I couldn't care less about, so let me clarify:
I fully understand it's all just a mess of terminology (hand vs "hand"). I'm just curious to see, officially, how deep the hole they've dug because of it goes.
It's the devs that have dug the hole... well I guess it is, but only because the players forced them to. They like to completely ignore RAI and will argue about every single word and if something isn't specifically called out then it must be legal regardless of the fact that it's exactly the same thing as what is called out:It just says "beans" it doesn't say "baked beans" so baked beans are legal.
My point is, don't blame the devs for the mess, we've brought this crap on ourselves.
A zen archer gets to make 7 attacks at level 16 instead of the 5 a gunslinger does,
Right except a Zen Archer is only going to hit 3 times and a gunslinger is going to hit 5 times. Take a look at the CR 17 monsters that a Level 16 party will face:
Name, AC/Touch AC
Azata, Brijidine - 32/19
Bandersnatch - 33/13
Daemon, Phasmadaemon - 32/17
Demon, Marilith - 32/17
Giant, Rune - 30/6
Keketar - 32/14
Linnorm, Ice - 32/8
Lusca - 32/6
Thrasfyr - 32/9
Wendigo - 32/18
Someone tried to say it was +10 but that's obviously not true, at CR 17 the minimum is + 13 and the average it +18.67. Now granted I didn't include the CR 17 Dragons in this, but I'd be more than happy to go back and check if you think it'll help your case... I just did a quick look AC of the dragons is around 35-40 and touch ac is around 4-8, that's gonna hurt your case quite a bit.
gets the fighter only +2 damage from weapon specialization AND at level 17 can use the base damage for unarmed strikes - 2d10 usually.
Not usually, sometimes. You have a tendency to do that. You take something that a character can do once a day as proof they are more powerful than the gunslinger. Stop. It makes me think you don't know what the word consistent means. If you wanted to play this game, I could talk about how the Pistoleer can add 3d6 to every shot he fires... Usually, and always after level 11.
A fighter gets weapon training and fighter class restricted feats of weapon specialization & greater weapon specialization feats (with enough more feats to take them) and access to gloves of dueling for a total of +10 to damage on top of STR at level 17 (+9 level 13, +7 level 12) versus the the gunslinger's DEX to damage with maybe up to +3 from an archetype.
And again, you're ignoring the fact that a fighter won't hit as often, and will do consistently less damage, because a miss = zero damage.
Look at that list again. If we don't figure anything except his base attack bonus. If he has a 10 DEX and a standard gun, no magic at all, he hits that entire list 95% of the time with his first shot. His second shot hits 5 out of 12 of them and ALL the dragons 95% of the time. His 3rd shot, hits two of the list and all but 4 of the dragons with his 3rd shot. Do that math with the fighter. 10 DEX and no magic how many will he hit, and how many times? Well +3 from weapon training gives him a whopping +19 to hit. How many monsters on that list have an AC of 19 or lower? Well that'd be zero Bob.
the times when a ranger is unable to cast instant enemy or gravity bow or some other spell to increase damage are so few that a ranger consistently has some damage bonus or the other. the archadin is situational I'll grant you, but the point of this paragraph is to address the issue of DEX to damage being a big deal, it isn't because other classes get damage bonuses which are in line or even more powerful than DEX to damage.
A 16th level ranger can cast 2 third level spells per day. That's a whopping 2 Instant Enemy spells against a whopping 2 monsters. Gravity Bow does nothing with his to hit chance, and Pistoleers get to add 3d6 to everything else than can already do, which that alone is better than gravity bow.
But I do agree, DEX to damage is brutal, but not overly so. Combined with being able to use touch attacks, means gunslingers will do more consistent damage than any other class.
If your challenge was anything like what would happen in a real game, I'd consider it worthy. It's not. You see if the gunslinger can't hit it, neither can any of the melee characters in the party. That means the only one attacking is the archer. What GM is going to consistently create scenarios where only one play can attack? It doesn't happen.
Outside of that the acebolt can rival them with a crossbow, but still is not doing as much average damage as an archer.
This statement alone, does more to discredit you than anything I could possible say in response.
It costs 1,000 gold to make a bow do the right amount of damage every time before you start putting Enchants on it. That's pocket change. That spare feat? That's letting the bowman get all the good stuff before you can because you spent a feat on reloading and he didn't.
Yup except the Weapon Focus feat the archer needs to hit anything with more than one arrow, the gunslinger skips, and we're all back to even again.
And with Early Firearms, the most common ruleset, it makes Reloading a MOVE action rather than a free action like it does on advanced firearms, so unless you're playing an archetype that gets better reload times the bowman will be firing four or so arrows to your one or two bullets every turn at mid-game.
1. If you are playing a Gunslinger you are using an Archetype.2. Alchemical Cartridges, and Rapid Reload and you're at a free action at first level.
That adds up. Additionally, he can move around while continuing to harry his opponent with arrows while moving and reloading an early firearm are the same action. The only way around this is alchemical cartridges in Pistols (or muskets if you're a Musket Master), which cost roughly as much as 400 normal arrows would and are only getting free action reloads in the pistol/Musket Master Musket, which are a step up from MELEE WEAPONS in how far they hit Touch AC at. Rate of fire is going to be skewed by how frigging expensive ammo is comparatively.
And depending on how your GM reads the rules, that Adaptive may be considered an Enhancement that can't be added to the bow until after it's +1 so now it's a 3,000 gold piece item, but even so, how many alchemical cartridges can a gunslinger buy with 1000gp? Knowing that he'll be making them himself. Oh and I hope the archer bought blunt arrows AND pointy ones since bullets do both types in one.
And again, if they don't get touch attacks, that just makes them slightly more powerful than the next largest damage dealers in the game.
I also don't know what kinda lenient GM you're playing with, but it's not uncommon for flying enemies to have a serious height advantage on the party if they're fighting smart,nd enemy factions with crossbowmen will rarely engage you fairly and pass up the opportunity to perforate the PCs before you're even in range to charge. Only a fool goes out his door without a backup weapon for when that happens, but the Gunslinger is the only example of a RANGED character looking at something with a good flight speed and flyby attack, down at his firearm, and promptly declaring he is out of ideas.
Really? If your gunslinger is out of ideas when dealing with a Flying target, make sure he gets home safely, because he's pretty clueless. Why don't you ready a Targeted Shot and knock the flying monster out of the sky?
That dragon gunslinging "trivializes" by hitting its low Touch AC can pulverize a gunslinger who's not getting help from his friends because it can just Flyby Attack him until he dies without ever presenting a target.
And how exactly is that different than every other class. The only difference I see is that the Gunslinger has a chance to knock the thing out of the sky, archers don't.
Enemies like the Blue Dragon in particular can just strafe you with their long-range breath weapon without ever coming close enough that even a readied action shot will be in touch range.
Okay, but they still have a better to hit than a standard archer, can fire just as many shots, and do more damage.
Do NOT underestimate spacing when you're considering a ranged character. A lot of firearms have less ways to keep out of charging range than their bow counterparts, and sniping is a thing, even if it's not an enormously supported one. If you're in a naval battle, you're going to love being able to hit enemy pirates from 110 feet away without suffering any accuracy penalties while the gunslinger is waiting with the melee guys for the boarding party to get within 20-40 feet or so so they can join in the fight.
Do you know why that happens in Naval Battles? Because you have MILES to work with on the ocean. In a cave, there's considerably LESS room.
Except, as I just explained, the Gunslinger cannot fight at very long ranges,
Where fights NEVER happen.
fewer answers to clever flying creatures with the speed and ability to flyby attack in and out of your range,
Except actually has more options due to Targeting Shot.
requires specific build tactics or Advanced Firearms, a rarely-used set of rules, to be able to reload faster than a move action, and without that option you cannot Rapid Shot and never get access to Multishot, two key feats for the Archer to unleash hell on the enemy.
Uh except they only need alchemical cartridges readily available and easy to make at 1st level, and as far a "specific build" if you want to use a pistol you take pistoleer, if you want to use a musket, you take musket master, I'm really sure that qualifies as a "specific build", so stop trying to make it sound like some convoluted multi-class option that you have to be an expert to figure out.
Just so I'm clear: The "limited range" is a crock that no one who's actually played the game believes. Fights RARELY if ever are more than 80' away.
And even if limited range weren't a crock, it only knocks Gunslingers down to slightly better than archers since they have full BAB, and use DEX to hit and to Damage. And let's be honest, the only time it's not a crock is when fighting flying ranged attackers, and by the time that happens the Gunslinger can fly, spend grit to extend their range or 6 billion other options.
The "high cost" of ammunition is a crock because 600 GP gets you 100 Alchecmical Cartridges, and that is completely trivial.
So yes, gunslingers can do everything an archer can, except has more utility abilities, targets touch AC and gets DEX to damage.
Erm...a gunslinger is basically never going to have the range literally any archery build gets out of the box on its attacks, and unless you're playing with Advanced Firearms, which is unwise, it requires a lot more fiddling with the mechanics for them to get around the reloading problems while our friend the longbowman laughs at everyone that needs to spend FEATS to make more than one attack in a turn.
Right the longbowman has to spend Character points and money to do damage instead of a whopping 1 feat (rapid reload). I'd hardly call that balanced. And the talk of "range" is hogwash. Encounters don't start more than 80' out or the melees would never get a chance to act. So it's great to say an archer has a 110' range, an actual game is rarely outside of a Gunslinger's touch range, so that argument is moot.
So not to contradict the primary thrust of your your argument that they are a strong ranged build that doesn't play by the exact same rules others do, but saying a gunslinger is strictly better than an archer is just flat out wrong.
Let me say this again: Gunslingers can do everything an Archer can do AND gets to use Touch Attacks AND gets DEX to damage. So if you have two things that are exactly the same, then you add benefits to one of them, the one you add things too becomes better. I don't get how that's so complicated to understand.
Really? What does a Zen Archer get? What does a Fighter get (the exact same), a Ranger and a Paladin are situational and not consistent, hence my statement consistently higher.
A vanilla gunslinger gets DEX to damage at level 5 (MM&pistolero archetypes get DEX + 1 at level 9, DEX +2 at level 13 and DEX +3 at level 17) which compares to a vanilla fighter archer who using weapon training which gets STR to damage at level 1, STR + 1 at level 5, STR + 2 at level 9, STR +3 at level 13, STR +4 at level 17 can tack on gloves of dueling for an additional +2, weapons specialization at level 4 for another +2 and greater weapon specialization at level 12 for a another +2 - at level 17 the archtype gunslinger can add DEX +3 to damage while the vanilla fighter archer can STR + 10 to damage. And fighters are the baseline from which other martial classes improve - an archedin smiting with damage + STR + level is going to hit a lot harder than a gunslinger firing with damage + DEX. And archers can switch out the rapid reload feat needed by gunslingers for multi-shot which lets archers make more attacks than gunslingers and have access to arrow only spells and items which gunslingers lack.
Two problems here, a fighter with a +10 to hit and +100 to damage does exactly zero damage when he rolls a two against a monster with a 15 AC. Against the same monster the Gunslinger with the same to hit and 1/4 the damage, will do full damage because all he needs is a 2 to hit.
Being SAD and attacking touch AC can make the gunslinger powerful, but those factors are not so much built into the class as into the how the campaign works. The weaker the stats (PB or array or dice rolls) are the better the gunslinger is compared to other martials, with a 30 PB a fighter archer can have a high enough STR & DEX to keep with the gunslingers DEX to damage and DEX to hit while with a 15 PB the fighter is going to be a bit worse in both categories.
This is probably the most moronic thing I've heard in a long time. I don't care if it's 100 point buy, if I need 2 stats to be effective and you need 1 it doesn't really matter how many we have to spend because 1 beats 2 every time.
Targeting touch AC is a situational thing, assuming no advanced firearms (all bets are off if advanced firearms are used) a distance enchanted musket user can hit touch AC out to 16 squares and the common pistol wielder without distance enchant has to be within 4 squares to target touch AC - if enemies are stupid enough to stand 20' away from a gunslinger they deserve to eat mucho hot lead. When a gunslinger cannot target touch AC they really suffer for unlike, say, fighter archers they do not get a weapon training bonus to hit from their class and access to the fighter only feats to increase hit chance so they wind up hitting less often for less damage with fewer attacks.
There are SO many problems with this statement. Let me start with if monsters are over 16 squares away, the monsters aren't hitting anyone else either.
Second, if a Gunslinger doesn't get in his first ranged increment, he becomes only marginally better than an archer, since he is still full bab, has a better to hit chance since he's SAD and does the same damage as a fighter. Yeah, it's horrible when a gunslinger is only as good as an archer.
All of which proves my point that Gunslingers will consistently do more damage than any other class especially in the second half of the game (11-20).
Archers are a powerful class, gunslingers are everything archers are with touch attacks and DEX to damage. If you take a powerful build and make it more powerful, you're going to run into problems.
I will say, level 1-4 meh, slightly less powerful than an archer due to misfire and reloads. 5-10 more powerful than archers due to DEX to damage and the gap between AC and touch AC widens. Slightly mitigated by misfire chance.
11-20 Will do the most consistent damage out of every class in the game. They will get full attacks nearly every round, they will RARELY miss because the difference between touch AC and regular AC is huge (40 Regular AC vs 8 Touch AC at the higher CR's), and they've completely negated any misfire chance.
Stop trying to attack the example because you can't hit the logic behind it.
looking at 1 number in a vacuum tells you absolutely nothing. The GM has already stated a 32 AC is high to him in his game, regardless of the setting.In the OP's game at 12th level a 32 AC is high. To say the one person who isn't fitting in with the game parameters is the only one doing it right, is beyond presumptuous.
Rogar Stonebow wrote:
You're still not understanding me: You say a 32 AC isn't a big deal, what are you basing that off? How can you say it's "Not a big deal"? You have absolutely no idea if it's a big deal or not. All you can say is that in the games you play, this would be no big deal. You see if this were a Dark Sun campaign, a 32 AC at level 20 would be absolutely crazy high. Are they playing a Dark Sun campaign? Can you say for sure they're not?
Judging by your statements, you seem to think there are certain builds that you can look at and will be universally accepted as "over-powered". This is also not true.
You're making the assumption that everyone plays like you do. They don't. In the situation we have the GM and every player but one playing the exact same way. It's hard to justify telling all of them are wrong and the one person on their own page is right.
Rogar Stonebow wrote:
In addition to my previous post, if his character is not over powered but the the other players in the party are under combat powered, then work with the other players to reselect some of their abilities. If they don't want to do this, then you can continue the game as is. The issue isn't your friend, it's the other players.
I pretty much disagree with everything here. An "overpowered character" doesn't exist until you compare it to the other players. If you have a 78 Armor Class at level 5 it's not over powered if everyone else is in the 70's too. It's how it scales with everyone else. Everyone doing 60 points of damage per swing at first level is exactly the same as everyone doing 6 points of damage per swing at first level. In the former, the GM's monsters will have 600 hP in the latter it will be 60. In both cases 10 swings kills it. The problems come when you have one person that does 60 and the rest do 6.
You conclusion that the one person who is out of balance is the only right one seems ridiculous to me. You don't restructure a whole campaign because of one player's wants.
I'm going to vote on Swashbuckler too. Targeted Strike as your Signature Deed (it was meant to work with the swashie and you're the GM) and disarm him. You don't worry about his CMD, if you hit, he drops his weapon period. Then you Targeted Strike to knock him prone (-4 to his AC helps) and you could still add the debuffs of Corrugon Smash, hurtful Cruel weapon etc.
And how much is it going to suck with this big beefy hulking monster with a huge two-handed weapon gets taken out by an itty bitty girl with a toothpick? Yeah that'll do it.
This is very good advice.
The Gunslinger in general can cause some problems at higher levels. As CR's go up, regular AC's scale up also, Touch AC's, however, come down.
Scythia - I'm going to make some assumptions about the way your group plays based on what you've said. No offense is intended, and if I get anything wrong, by all means correct me.
To the OP: This is really where it's at. How does your group play, and what's important to you/them? It sounds like in Scythia's game, the story is the most important thing, and combats are just things that may happen during the story. Their group has taken out a lot of things that make combat more complicated so they don't get bogged down in it to get on with the story.
I don't play that way, and that would drive me nuts. I like the tactical side of Pathfinder, the problem-solving side of things. Don't get me wrong, I like a good story, but it's not the most important part of the game to me. One example of a scenario I love, is when the GM says "Okay, the bad guys are going to attack the town, how are you going to defend it with the resources you have?". That scenario could come from a story as simple as "the orcs want your land" or a totally complex convoluted epic story line, and I'm just as happy either way. I like resource management. I like having to decide am I going to go for mobility or damage? If I decide I want to move around the battle field better, say with Feather-Step Slippers, that means I have to sacrifice combat effectiveness but not talking Boots of Speed. Without maps, you lose that. Everyone essentially gets Feather-Step Slippers (Everyone please understand that the Feather-Step slippers/Boots of Speed, is just an example and not the entire basis of my argument. It's meant to represent what I'm talking about not be the sum of my entire point).
Let me clarify that I'm not saying one way is better than the other, they are just different ways of playing, and it's up to your group to decide which way is better for them.
Playing the game without a Map creates a very different environment. Rogues become infinitely more powerful (although infinity*0 is still 0) because all you have to do is tell the GM "I flank the guy" which is WAY easier than actually trying to get into position. People will never worry about feather step or difficult terrain. They won't need improved precise shot, because all they need to do is say "I five foot step for a clear shot"
Personally I HATE playing without maps for battles. There are certain classes that have abilities that are completely negated by not having them. For example the Swashbuckler can move his full move without taking a -10 penalty to his acrobatics, without a map, everyone can just say "I acrobatics around him" you'll always consider yourself moving less than half your movement.
There's a lot of rules that covering moving in combat and positioning rules, and people have to spend resources to make those things easier. Without maps for combat, you completely negate the need for those things.
But the real issue of Slumber vs Channel Daze is the entire encounter cannot act for 1 round, vs 1 bad guy is taken out. I mean what's a barbarian going to do? Well usually take out 1 bad guy per round-ish, so there's really no difference.
Then look at Sheet Lightning, it's 3rd level so when a Wizard fifth level he gets maybe 4 which is still about half of what the Cleric can get at first level. And realistically the Wizard will probably only get once because they'll have a familiar, Haste and Fireball.
Add to the fact that Sheet Lightning does 1 point of damage at, again, 5th level, vs. 1-3 damage at, again, first level, then figure in that Channeling goes against WILL saves which is notoriously the lowest saves for monsters (well except for undead, but since we're channeling negative energy that doesn't really matter much) and Sheet Lightning goes against Fortitude, notoriously the highest save, you see there's quite the disparity.
But beyond all the maths, having seen people play one, and seen GM's reactions, it annoys GM's, and that's what my warning is all about.