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Witch Doctor

John Lynch 106's page

FullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 300 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 11 Pathfinder Society characters.


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MurphysParadox wrote:
the Players don't know that their actions have no actual consequence in terms of the Beast's fate.

This robs the players of all agency they have and I would personally prefer to not play under a DM whose style was this.

The Promethean is very powerful against the expected APL. I instead had the beast appear at the end in a dramatic moment (my players won the trial) but from memory (it's been a few years now) I believe I ran a version of the Promethean that was toned down. Or I might have run the Promethean as written and let my players blast him to pieces. Either way the Beast didn't steal their thunder, but did appear at the appropriate time narratively.

So in my opinion I'd recommend not having the beast fight the PC's fight for them regardless of the trial's outcome. If you don't think the PC's can tackle the Promethean, scale him back.

My take on the beast was he'd found religion (after a Pharasmin priest came and had a word with him and left behind the Pharasman holy text) and so he was uncooperative the whole time (needing to be persuaded to provide the PCs with information) and was asking for his own death until the PC's stirred his heart and convinced him he wasn't some abomination. It was the easiest way I could think of to get the PC's to want to save him ;)

How is Pact Magic and the Occultist different to the upcoming Occult Adventures from Paizo? They appear to conceptually be sharing the same space (even going so far as to have the same name). Mechanically will they be extremely different?

I realize Pact Magic was first, but unfortunately I've learned of them at the same time. I'm hesitant to use Ultimate Psionics as it's extremely different to everything else in Pathfinder, but on the other hand if the Pact Magic Occultist is the same as the OA Occultist why bother with the Pact Magic one?

It very much feels like a damned if you do/damned if you don't scenario.

I like it and like that the breath weapon scales. Dragonian could be an alternate name to Dragonborn (or Dragonkin).

Anonymous Visitor wrote:
It's important to track DR and resistances. Players had to fight a wererat, and the lack of silver weapons turned it into a slugfest. Effectively raised the CR considerably.

Handing out non magical special material weapons would handle that without drastically overpowering the character against enemies who don't need that material to overcome DR. Silver sheen and similar consumables can also help. It might not cut down on the golf-bag effect but does help keep things low magic.

Anonymous Visitor wrote:
You need a spellcaster option. Maybe it's not as good for balance reasons, but a wizard with an adamantine dagger is just as useless as a wizard with a steel dagger.

As you point out giving them the weapon bonuses does no harm and you could easily give them 83,000gp worth of more magical items to help balance them out.

Anonymous Visitor wrote:
That AC bonus seems too good. At first level, it's fine, but +10 ac at level 10 will make them unstoppable, especially if their dex or con is going up, and everyone will pick one of those as their second stat.

I was worried about that, although it seems a flaw inherent to Pathfinder. +5 armour +5 amulet of natural armour and +5 ring of protection quickly adds up to +15 AC without using boosters to dex. Also your system seems to grant +23 to AC (adding all prowess and AC boosts 2nd ability score boosters). In mine you'll get +24. Is the main difference that you've loaded them onto higher levels rather than an even distribution?

Also a CR 10 creature gets an attack bonus that's +16/+12 higher than CR 1. Assuming core fighter in full plate their AC would have increased by +15. Other characters would only be at +11. It seems to be keeping pace rather than breaking the game. Would actual play reveal something different? Is there something I'm overlooking?

All of these bonuses would also technically stack with such spells as shield of faith, bull's strength/eagle's splendor. Would this be a concern? Or does the opportunity cost self regulate?

I started roleplaying in a Dark Sun inspired game and then began playing D&D with 4th ed and then Pathfinder. The magic items being baked into the game has been quite jarring for me and while 4th ed eventually lessened their necessity it's always been diifficult.

I finally got a game where no magic items were possible in 5th ed, which revealed I like my magic items, just not in the quantity that 4th ed and Pathfinder has them.

Here's my effort at introducing a houserule that mimics 4th Ed's "inherent bonuses":
Starting at level 2: +1 AC per level
+1 attack/saves at level 3,6,9,12,15,18
+1 to two ability scores at: 2,4,6,8,10,12,14,16,18,20 (replaces standard progression)
Weapon attacks count as magical at level 3.
Weapon attacks count as cold iron/silver at level 6.
Weapon Attacks count as adamantine at level 9 and when you full attack you get 1 extra attack at your highest BAB. This does not stack with haste or similar spells.
Weapon attacks overcome alignment based DR at level 12.

WBL at level 20 should be 390,000 gp with roughly a third of that spent on consumables (can be higher for pure casters).

My reasoning for these advancements uses this non-optimised but functional purchase of magic items for a fighter:

25,000 Armour
50,000 amulet
5,000 ioun stone of AC
54,000 second ability score booster (AC)
50,000 ring
25,000 cloak
12,000 boots
36,000 belt
137,000 manual
27,000 manual AC +1
50,000 weapon
30,000 +1 saves and attacks

Sub-total: 489,000gp

Actual items:
25,000 +1 enhancement weapon
11,000 +1 Armour enhancement
44,000 ring
8,000 extra dimensional storage
7,900 skill boosters
45,000 other
8,000 mundane gear
132,000 consumables

AC: +16
Saves: +7
Extra attack
Attack: +6
Ability score boosts: 16+5

This system is intended to bake into the advancement all of the necessary boosts, allowing around 7 magic items to be sprinkled into the game across 20 levels per PC. It favours non-casters over casters, but casters tend to grow significantly more powerful. More magic items can also be thrown in.

Does this seem to create a baseline advancement that would keep PCs on par with monsters? Obviously optimization opportunities will be greatly reduced, but as long as their kept on par that's the goal.

Scythia wrote:
If someone wanted to play a bloodrager as a frightened former farmer who was (they thought) possessed by a demon, would that be wrong? What part of the bloodrager class features requires them to be barbarian/tribal warriors?

Not at all. Some classes have more flavour though and the idea of removing them from the sorcerer, Druid or paladin seems counterintuitive. Playing monks as a cage fighter can certainly work, although I'd like to play in a world where the traditional monks also have a place so I can explore the mysticism of the monk if I wanted to.

Scythia wrote:
If someone hunts food for trade, I would call them a hunter no matter if they were a ranger, druid, hunter, gunslinger, rouge, barbarian, sorcerer, or magus.

What about Druids? Do they not belong to a secret fraternity where they speak a secret language? Do Paladins not swear to uphold much stricter codes than clerics? Do inquisitors not seek to root out corruption within the church by any means necessary? Are sorcerers not inborn with an innate ability to cast spells where wizards must spend time studying their craft? Are oracles not born, touched by the gods and fated to channel divine energy whether they want to or not?

You can certainly run Pathfinder as a classless system and excise all the flavour from the classes. And we've occasionally reflavoured the classes (cage fighting "monk", alcoholic college student "barbarian"). But doing so seems to be working against the system. Most of the time I'd rather embrace the flavour that's baked into the mechanics as that's one of the selling points of Pathfinder for me at least.

I'm working on adapting a homebrew world to Pathfinder and I'm finding ways to incorporate each of the classes in my campaign. Shamans are the priests of the barbarian tribes (who worship the beast lords instead of gods) skalds are their battle leaders while bloodragers (and sorcerers) are their arcane casters.

Arcanists on the other hand are what humans become if they want to be wizards. Elves invented wizardry and it takes 100 years to graduate from being an apprentice and reaching level 1. As such only the long lived races can become wizards while the shorter lived ones are forced to become arcanists (already having an innate arcane spark in them lets them cut down the training from 100 years to 15 years).

The other classes are largely options that sit aside the current classes. For example there's no significant difference in game between an investigator, rogue (nvestigator), or a bard (detective).

Has anyone else embraced the classes from the Advanced Class Guide and worked at integrating them?

Icyshadow wrote:
So wait, how many people here actually like magitek / blending magic and science together?

I love Final Fantasy VII which is what I think of as magitek. I also like Eberron. That said I'm going more back to roots with arcane magic (besides the PCs) being rarer and not necessarily well understood. This, however is after more than a couple of apocalypses ensuring there's plenty of ruins with magical and technological artifacts (technology and psionics were created in an ancient Age that predates elves discovering how to manipulate arcane magic). I'd say I've inadvertently created a world similar to Numeria (I haven't read the setting), especially as there's a group called the Esoteric Order of the Forbidden Mountain (taking the place of the Technik League) who hide their science around enough mystery and ritual as to make it seem magical.

So it's not what I think of as magitek but it does allow science and magic to coexist without science overwhelming the magic (at least to begin with. If the Esoteric Order of the Forbidden Mountain loses their monopoly on advanced technology it could have a drastic effect on the world).

My highlights of the Golarion setting thus far? DMing a game set on Akiton, having mi-go as the villains of an entire adventure and exploring the ruins of Shory city as a player (in this version the Shory city was filled with science gadgets).

MagusJanus wrote:

Technically, through nuclear power, we did achieve the alchemist dream of being able to transmute materials.

We just figured out it comes with a bit of a higher cost than the alchemists wanted and involves some very nasty byproducts.

This is what stops a lot of alchemists in my setting from inventing more advanced technology. They're too busy chasing after the lead to gold dream. Thing is though, they're so close!

Thanks for this thread. It's interesting, and at it's most basic form it seems rules legal (both RAI and RAW) and will help make combat a bit more dynamic. I'll be sure to alert my DMs to this rule along with the appropriate pages should they not be familiar with it.

Is this different from 3.5e? Because after playing Pathfinder since 2009 I've never seen someone make use of the 5ft step in this manner and it seems like something my group would have made excellent use of.

Human Fighter wrote:
I would really like input on how people read the 5 ft step rules in terms of a general explanation how they work, and you go based on how the actions dictate them, or if the 5 ft step rules are exactly how they say they work, please.

Having read the quoted sections:

On your turn you may take a 5-ft step either before an action, during an action (so for full attacks this would be after the first attack but before the last attack), or as the last thing you do on your turn.

If you ready an action you can 5-ft step as part of the readied action (either before the action or after the action). If you setup your readied condition to be when someone starts attacking you (not when they hit, but when they attack) then you may take the 5 ft step and if that would place you out of their reach then the attack misses.

An example of a valid readied action to avoid being hit: I ready to 5 ft step out of someone's reach and cast hold person on them when they attack me.

Human Fighter wrote:
So, immediate actions... can I take a 5ft step DURING THEM on other peoples turns?

That's a very grey area. Due to the continued use of "round" in the 5-ft step write up instead of "turn" then I would say yes. But IMO that's worthy of a FAQ and as a player I would completely understand if a DM ruled otherwise. I don't know if allowing 5 ft steps in immediate actions is RAI.

Human Fighter wrote:
If the entry for 5 foot step isn't a general explanation of what it's capable of, and is literally the rules, why can't I just 5 ft whenever I want? On my turn I believe I'll use some actions, or even after my turn because I figure I would have used actions that round. The rules say that I can before, during or after in the entire round. Seems if you have it, you can spend it?

Taking a 5 ft step in someones turn feels like it should be a readied action. You might be able to argue RAW it's not (maybe, given 5 ft steps are called out in the readied action section), but RAI it seems to be.

Human Fighter wrote:
Free action= no mention of it, but why not just speak whenever you want, and do a 5 ft step when it's not your turn?

Definitely doesn't seem RAI and isn't something I would allow and while RAW yes you could, I'd say you should definitely expect DM variance on this.

Human Fighter wrote:
Yes, and people aren't aware of a lot of these options within the rules, and get very upset with what you can come up with.

People generally get upset when they feel like you're trying to break the rules. Coming up with this without warning in the middle of a battle, mid-game and halfway through a campaign? That's going to upset people. Telling the DM that you're intending to use this rule that many people have seemingly overlooked, giving them the relevant page numbers and the opportunity to think about what ramifications it will have on the game before saying yay or nay? Most likely going to get a significantly less upset DM. They might say no, but it's less likely to be a knee jerk reaction.

Richard Moore wrote:

Noted on the blackscale/greenscale request.

As for a dragonborn analogue, what constitutes dragonborn to you mechanically? Is it just the breath weapon that you guys like?

That along with being connected to a type of dragon is what does it for me on a mechanical level. Flavour wise, having a warlike race connected with dragons brings in a lot of possibilities.

If I were to do a Dragonborn analogue for Pathfinder it would probably be something like:
Type: Humanoid (Reptilian)
Ability Scores: Standard (0): +2 Strength, +2 Charisma, -2 Wisdom
Size: Medium (0)
Speed: Normal (0)
Senses: Darkvision (2)
Energy Resistance (1)
Greed (1)
Skill Bonus (2): +2 intimidate
Breath Weapon + Powerful Breath + Extra Use (3): 2 times a day, reflex save for half damage
Lesser Spell Resistance (2)
Languages: Standard (0): Common and Draconic.

Thanks Rawhead UsagiTaicho.

How about in place of resilient:
Powerful Grip (3 RP): +2 to grapple checks and your considered large for when determining who you can target.

Total race cost: 8 RP

JoeJ wrote:

Are those damage estimates adjusted for hit probability?

No, but then again neither are the Pathfinder ones.

Someone mentioned the idea that 5th edition monsters deal less damage than Pathfinder monsters and so 5th edition can support less healing resources while Pathfinder doesn't work in that metric.

However at least up to CR 10 this appears to be completely wrong. Going off Surf Archer's 5th edition Math the target damage is 61. Going with the average of the high damage and low damage from Pathfinder's monster creation guidelines the "target" damage is 39 damage for a CR 10 monster while in 5th ed it's 61.

To me this suggests that Pathfinder's base system should be able to handle hit dice healing PCs. Now the question is: Can the AP's?

Rynjin wrote:

And I've seen people use the Lawful alignment to screw over the players ("I have my code and I will never break it! Yes, even if it means derailing the plot because my character is an inflexible tool and I like him that way.").

Dicks are dicks no matter what initials they write on their character sheets.

Good to know.

Rynjin wrote:
By a remark you make later you seem to be suggesting that Chaotic means you have no loyalty or obligation to anyone, which simply isn't true.

It's because I've often seen people use a chaotic alignment to screw over other players.

Rynjin wrote:

Likewise Evil characters can do good things for selfish reasons just fine.

You could have (and a few novelists have) a party entirely comprised of Evil characters, still doing a save the world plot.

Certainly. And as long as the players had put that thought into it I'd be happy to run an evil aligned party.

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I quite like the idea of giant kin PC races whether they're Half-Giants from Dark Sun or Goliaths from 4th ed. I've looked into Golarion lore and see that Ogres take the design space of half giants and aren't exactly appropriate for PCs and so I've chosen to go with Half-Ogres instead.


Ogres are infamous for their inbreeding and other vile activities. Half-ogres aren't as rare as these rumors would have people believe, but with deformities among ogres so common they can often be overlooked and considered to be a true ogre. However from time to time a half ogre may find itself among humans where it will struggle to fit into their society, often relegated to menial labour due to their size and appearance.

Type: Humanoid (human, giant) (0 RP)
+2 to any one ability score (0 RP)
Size: Medium (0 RP)
Speed: Normal (0 RP)
Vision: Low light vision (1 RP)
Natural Armor (1 RP): +1 natural armor
Mountaineer (1 RP): immune to altitude sickness and don't lose Dex to AC when climbing or crossing narrow ledges.
Stubborn (2 RP): +2 racial bonus against charm and compulsion effects and if failed may make a second check on their next turn.
Relentless (1 RP): +2 to bull rush and overrun checks.
Weapon Familiarity: proficient with greatclubs and ogre hooks. (1 RP)
Light sensivity (-2 RP): Dazzled when in bright light.
Languages: Linguist starting with common and giant (1 RP)

Alternate racial traits:
Bond to the land (2 RP): replaces mountaineer and natural armor
Cave Dweller (1 RP): replaces mountaineer
Urbanite (1 RP): replaces mountaineer
Bite (1 RP): Replaces weapon familiarity
Weak willed (0 RP): You lose light sensitivity but also lose stubborn.
Darkvision (2 RP): This replaces lowlight vision and relentless.

I based this on the ogre and Ogrekin entries. I decided to go with a medium size as ogres are rather small for giants.. I also decided on the flexible human bonus rather than +4 strength as that's what the other core half races get. I looked for ways to include the weaknesses from Ogrekin without forcing players to take them.

What do people think? Is this balanced against the core races? Does this feel like a half-ogre to you?

This thread isn't intended to discuss the merits of HP as an attrition resource. It's intended to ask: Do people find the APs as written break down if you remove wands of cure light wounds? If yes, would a limited healing resource like 5e's hit dice shore up the problems by removing wands of cure light wounds?

Thus far we've gotten a couple of posts saying "my group doesn't use wands and we have no problems", many people saying they just give their groups various different types of HP recovery methods and a couple saying that the game would breakdown IF you did it (although apparently based on theory then real life experience).

Traditionally I haven't used alignment. I'm not a fan of restricting myself and initially I thought you were meant to determine your alignment and then decide your character. Nowadays when acting as a player I send my personality and background to the DM and ask them to determine my alignment and whether the character is appropriate for the campaign. As a DM I would tell my players it won't be too much of an issue.

However after seeing issues crop up (half the party is evil, the other half lawful good. Players all turned up to be evil, DM thought he'd be running a heroic campaign) I got some advice from a local DM and have decided to adopt their method which is to have the players decide a party alignment that their characters must be within 1 step of.

Here's a write up on party alignment I'm putting together for my next campaign:

The most basic question to decide is what morals will be guiding the party. Will you be playing team-evil? Or will you be shining exemplars of all that is good and righteous?

As a group, decide what alignment for your group. Your characters will then need to be within one step of this group alignment (so if you were to choose a lawful good alignment for the group then everyone would need to play a LG, LN or NG character).

There is no reason that as a group you can’t decide to play an evil themed party. However keep in mind that the campaign assumes you’re a bunch of heroes looking to save a town from terrible evils, so it will be necessary for you to find motivation for your characters to do this even if they are evil. Committing atrocities that are likely to see the town rise up against will severely limit your ability to continue and engage in the campaign so it’s important that if you do play evil characters they are subtle and careful about it.

On the other hand if you decide to play chaotic characters then you’ll need to find reasons to work together with your fellow players and to also work towards saving the village.

Obviously neutral and good characters will have the easiest time in engaging in this campaign. However there is no reason that without a bit of creativity and effort as a group you couldn’t decide to play a more chaotic or evil party.

This uses alignment to facilitate the players talking about the type of characters they want to play as a group (to make sure they'll all be able to work together in an enjoyable way) and also give them a heads up as to how the campaign will engage them.

This is one part of a "party dynamic" chapter that also covers avoiding excessive conflict with other characters (e.g. no parties with zealous rahadoumites and in your face divine priests) and avoiding stepping on each other's niche (e.g. wizards can easily hog all the knowledge skills and easily surpass everyone's highest rolls if they try).

As for in actual play: if a priest (e.g. cleric, paladin, warpriest, etc) was to break their vows then they would find themselves facing repercussions. But I've never actually changed someone's alignment.

wraithstrike wrote:

I was saying [greatsword] is better for doing lethal damage is what I was saying.

PS: I like daggers.

Here's the thing though: weapons and armour that are in the game should have a time where they're actually useful. People wanting crossbows or daggers to be viable aren't saying they want them to be as good as a greatsword or longbow. On a fighter you wouldn't ordinarily use a dagger. But there should be situations/classes/builds where daggers are a viable option (funnily enough I think they might be with fighters due to an Ultimate Combat archetype).

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Avatar-1 wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
For those not familiar with 5e's healing, it works like this: At each level you gain a hit die associated with your class. After taking an hour rest you may spend any number of these hit die and regain the number of hit points that you roll. After an 8 hour rest you regain half your total hit die and all of your hit points.
Can you give an example of this? I don't understand it.

Bob the fighter 2/Rogue 1 has 26 hit points maximum. After 3 fights him and the rest of the party are down on hit points with him being at only 11. They take an hour long rest and now Bob can spend up to 3 hit dice (he has 2d10 from fighter and 1d8 from rogue). He spends a fighter hit die (1d10) and lucks out and rolls a 10. He now has 21 hit points. He'd like to be at full so he decides to spend his rogue hit die (1d8) but only rolls a 2 so now he's at 23 hit points. He decides not to spend his last remaining hit die and at a later point that day he can now take another hour long rest and spend his last remaining hit die. Once he does that he'll have to wait until tomorrow when he regains all of his hit die.

Mista Moore wrote:
No they cost 2 prestige and and will last through level 11 in PFS more often then not.

This is completely off-topic but it does reinforce that wands of CLW have certainly become ingrained in PFS if not the core rules themselves.

I'm surprised by the number of people who've always allowed it! although I have done the same myself when someone was genuinely not enjoying the character. For that purpose I have no reservations. On the retraining rule. Although have you found people deliberately take options they know they'll retrain at higher levels?

Jericho Graves wrote:

As far as I knew you had to retrain the feat into something else that could have been taken at that level? So you could swap Weapon Focus for Dodge if you were a level 2 fighter and took Weapon Focus at level 1?

If this is wrong, then apparently I misread some things.

Apparently not. If something has a BAB +4 pre-requisite then you can swap out a level 1 feat for it once you get BAB +4. I've been told the devs have confirmed this in a FAQ.

Uwotm8 wrote:
An introduction of characters that don't need to depend on minimums. All they need to do is account for a retraining cost in their gear purchase and they can essentially have all maxed out options for the given level.

Is this what you've found in your game? Has it improved your game? Or has it led to an arms race?

Recently I started a thread arguing that the retraining rules were overpowered as I consider some feats to be much better then other feats at low level but worse than those same feats at higher levels and consider that to be part of the balancing effect of these feats. Others had persuasive counter arguments and other arguments to highlight the benefits of the retraining rules.

I'm not looking for a rehash of those arguments but an instead interested in hearing people's actual play experiences in using these rules. Have you noticed an increase in the effectiveness/power of your players? Are your players optimised who are inclined to exploit these rules to increase their effectiveness in every possible way? Or have you found it's largely had story benefits which are much more the focus then a slight increase in power?

In Pathfinder I find that higher levels tend to break down for me in my ability to challenge the party without TPKing them. Higher levels for me at least are around level 10-12. I'm concerned these rules would speed up my player's ability to "break" the game (and I do realize this is a DM issue, although it seems built into Pathfinder, the level it occurs seems DM-dependent). I'm interested to see if these fears have actually played out in other people's games though.

I've played Pathfinder since it came out in 2009. In that entire time I've always played with wands of cure light wounds. Even after moving to the opposite side of the country I see people annoyed if you don't turn up to a PFS game with a wand on you(no matter if you have 0 XP). It seems like the idea of starting every fight at max HP is fairly firmly entrenched which is amusing as I know healing surges was a problem for many.

I've been playing 5e since it came out and I've seen people who are more than happy to start combats at less than full HP. I've also seen clerics be judicious in their use of spells so they have enough to heal the party.

For those not familiar with 5e's healing, it works like this: At each level you gain a hit die associated with your class. After taking an hour rest you may spend any number of these hit die and regain the number of hit points that you roll. After an 8 hour rest you regain half your total hit die and all of your hit points.

(I've accidentally houseruled this to be you get back all the hit die after an 8 hour rest).

I'm wondering what sort of effect introducing this to Pathfinder would have? I know contrary to my own experiences not everyone uses wands of CLW in their games, but have we reached a stage where the AP's largely assume you use them?

It seems like clerics/oracles would get bumped down a couple of pegs as they wouldn't be able to devote all of their spells to buffing. Although from experience most of them still could be. However surely days would inevitably become a bit shorter which makes full casters like the wizard tend to shine while fighters lag behind in effectiveness.

What do people think? Has anyone considered it?

In combat I haven't seen a witch roleplay it every single round. Each round only lasts 6 seconds so that's fair enough. Out of combat if someone wants to perpetually cackle I make them roleplay it (we are in real time after all). It's never lasted more than 5 minutes and they've never done it more than a couple of times.

Throwing 1 zombie at 4 or 5 PCs won't ever be a threat. I'd wait until they explore Harrowstone before beefing up the fights. Also make sure you fully understand the haunting rules thoroughly.

If I were you I'd let them go to Harrowstone. My PCs were quite anxious much the same as yours, but I let them do it. They took on a bunch of zombies out on the grounds and I don't remember if they retreated then, but they certainly did when they woke the poltergeist. Trick is to just make sure if they're going into a certain-TPK situation that you have a way of letting them retreat (if they choose to take it).

As for the combats being challenging, which ones have you run already?

rknop wrote:
PFS. I play PFS, and GM PFS

You have my condolences. Of course in PFS your forced to play with optimised Summoner's so the flaws of PFS are number able (I enjoy the occasional game of PFS but don't take it seriously).

rknop wrote:
But, the culture of our hobby is such that if there are sources that are seen as "canonical", as most of the Roleplaying line will be

I bought into that baloney with 4th ed. I also got that pressure in my last campaign (a game that inspired me to take a 1 year break). I now declare up front what sources are legal and make it clear this list will not be added to for the duration of that campaign. This is a non negotiable point and I doubt I'll have trouble filling the table.

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I don't know if it humanised them, but I had children and dog zombies attack my players. I had the leader of all the vampires in a particular city create a charity called the "Hospital for Unwed Mothers" which had spread across the country in a specific plot to threaten to kill all of the newborns (and pregnant woman) if the PCs killed him (there were standing orders to carry out the order after 12 hours unless they were contacted to say otherwise).

I had one NPC have his zombie wife locked up in the cellar and he was killing people to feed to her. I think that one humanised zombies the most, although it more highlighted the horror of them rather than dissuade the PCs from killing it.

kinevon wrote:
chbgraphicarts wrote:
Bronnwynn wrote:
kinevon wrote:

Just as a note about system mastery, and the benefit of a rule for retraining: The rules are in the Ultimate Campaign book,...
They're also on the PRD. That free document.
Also on d20PFSRD, which has even more than the PRD (albeit renamed to avoid copyright infringement), and without checking the copyrights or sources, is VERY easy to mix & match info without ever picking up any Pathfinder books.

GM willing, of course.

And, of course, if you run a legacy game, you could always use the retraining rules from the 3.5 PH2, instead. Which takes us pretty far afield.

My point was that, unless you were into system mastery already, you probably never even thought about retraining, so you wouldn't have bought the book for it, or found them on any of the rules source sites....

Unless the GM says "we're using the retraining rules if you want to" and the player then asks "what are the retraining rules?"

Adept_Woodwright wrote:

In response to items/wealth gained by with item creation feats that are later retrained, it is the GM's responsibility to moderate the wealth of a character to be in line with WBL expectations. Ultimate Campaign has this to offer...

Campaign Systems:Magic Item Creation wrote:
Some GMs might be tempted to reduce the amount or value of the treasure you acquire to offset this and keep your overall wealth in line with the Character Wealth by Level table. Unfortunately, that has the net result of negating the main benefit of crafting magic items—in effect negating your choice of a feat. However, game balance for the default campaign experience expects you and all other PCs to be close to the listed wealth values, so the GM shouldn't just let you craft double the normal amount of gear. As a guideline, allowing a crafting PC to exceed the Character Wealth by Level guidelines by about 25% is fair, or even up to 50% if the PC has multiple crafting feats.
While the character has the item creation feats, that character is welcome to have and benefit from the appropriate increase in WBL.

I have an alternate way of looking at it. Magic Item Shops (as used in LFR, PFS and LG) aren't meant to exist as per the Core Rulebook and GameMastery Guide. What we're instead meant to get is limited number of magical items available to players. Large towns are meant to have items up to 2,000gp available with some reliability (75% chance). This means you have a blacksmith who can enchant +1 weapons and +1 armour (with potentially some minor enhancements on the armour on top of that). That's it. Large Cities are meant to have 8,000gp items available fairly regularly (up to +2 weapons and armour). Only a metropolis is intended to get items up to 16,000gp. That's not even enough for a +3 weapon and is only enough for a +2 stat booster. There's no guidelines for settlements larger than a metropolis. For perspective in Golarion:

* Korvosa is considered a large city (So +2 weapons and armour only)
* Absalom and Katapesh are considered metropolises so you could get a +4 enhancement booster from either of those countries. But good luck trying to find a +6 booster or a +3 weapon (you have a Xd4 chance of stumbling across one).

IMO item creation feats present players who play under the actual rules of the Core Rulebook (rather than the PFS rules) a significant bonus in that they get to tailor make their own magic items (instead of being dependent on rolls of Xd4).

It's been an interesting discussion for me, although I'd be interested in hearing the perspective of people who have banned the retraining rule and those who have used the rule to find out what actual play experience has provided them. Would anyone object to a new thread being started to discuss that specific conversation (where we might get some people to reply that aren't interested in discussing the intent of the retraining rules)?

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rknop wrote:

Honestly, I'd like to see a slowdown of the Pathfinder RPG line. Put out a Bestiary and a Codex each year, and maybe another book (e.g. something like Unchained), but leave it at that. We've got enough rules already. Only put out something new if there's really a good idea about it. (E.g., "Ultimate Campaign" was my favorite release in the RPG line of recent books. "Mythic" had promise, but had issues. While I like some of the classes in the ACG, it starts to feel like overwhelming rules explosion, especially given Occult Adventures following so soon.)

I'd love to see Paizo focus on their core business of the Adventure Paths line, and expand the setting in the Campaign Setting and Player Companion lines.

I know that there's no hope of this happening, that Paizo is following the time-worn model of publishing rules at a breakneck pace until the game collapses under the weight of all of them and we start over the buying cycle with a new edition. But I can dream.

Is there a reason you need Paizo to stop publishing rules? Before I took a break from Pathfinder I'd decided to stop buying every single release. I didn't get the blood of series and other player books released after them. I stopped buying the hardbacks with the NPC Codex and didn't get either Ultimate Campaign nor Mythic Adventures. Now after my break I'm excited for next year's Occult Adventures and potentially Pathfinder Unchained and I'm looking at the hardcovers I missed.

There's no need to buy or use Paizo's books, so having them out there for those who want them seems harmless enough.

I'd expect a generic players book called something like "Ultimate Heroes" with at most 1 or 2 classes. Depending on how Pathfinder Unchained is received it could offer extended support for it.

I think we'll definitely get more monster codexes and Golarion specific hardcover (although I can't think of what).

JiCi wrote:

...does it look easier to produce a NPC or Monster Codex than a Bestiary?

Pick a PC race or monster, slap a class, rince and repeat. Monsters? you have to think of just about everything from the ground up.

So, for those who are asking for another Bestiary, looks to me that this will have to wait for a while longer, while a Codex can be whipped up in a relatively short time. Granted for a monster codex, you need extra archetypes, items and one monster per creature clan, but still...

Wasn't a good portion of Bestiary 3 and 4 simple reprinting monsters created for the APs? And lest anyone thinks I'm saying that's not hardworking, it is. Although it allows Paizo to split the development cost across 2 books and from a fan perspective it's good value for those who don't buy every single AP.

The main question is: Did you get value from either the NPC or monster codex? If no, then don't buy any further ones. For me the NPC codex is very little value for money so I didn't get it. The monster codex however looks like it could be good so I'm planning on getting it. That said I wouldn't expect either a Bestiary or codex for 2014. They've already got 3 hardcovers with Occult Adventures having a bestiary included in it.

Best spell for powerful parties: confusion and dominate. Paladins can make that difficult though.

My interpretation of Grimburrow was quite antagonistic. I created a lower ranking priest who was much younger and sympathetic to the players. I also had Grimburrow become more and more desperate as time went on as he was powerless to stop the town from being tormented (the players ultimately won Grimburrow over and helped give him back his pride).

I have strong concerns for your group and this AP. Carrion Crown is very much a "save the people from the monsters" campaign and your group seems more interested in playing the monsters. You need players to engage in the AP on a fundamental level or else it's going to fall off the rails and fast. Good luck with it!

Just checking that your using the latest errata for the paladins. First printing of the core Rulebook (if anyone has one that hasn't fallen apart) was nerfed very soon after it's initial release.

LazGrizzle wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
I'd be inclined to let you do it regardless of the retraining rules.

Agreed! It's unfair to say to a player "Oh well, you didn't spend months reading and absorbing the thousands of pages of nuanced rules for your character prior to creating it? TOUGH S+#%."

My humble opinion would be this:

Retraining will be allowed if:

1. If it can make sense in the narrative (ex: trading a WF for another WF when there is a Milita posted in the city would make sense...spend a week with a trainer) and doesn't contradict an event in the overall narrative

2. It does not fundamentally alter the character (like say dropping metamagic feats for weapon finesse or something to change your mage into a melee combatant)

3. It doesn't eliminate a pre-req for another feat you have, obviously.


4. The player enjoys the characters personality, but inept leveling is making the character a liability to the party as opposed to an asset.

I initially thought the retraining rules were originally intended for this exact situation. I was wrong though.

LazGrizzle wrote:

I am interested in this as well, as when I began at Lvl 1 as a Rogue, I had no idea the direction to take the character. Now that I am more familiar with Pathfinder in general, and specifically the Feat progressions, I would like to retrain a WEapon Focus: Unarmed into a Weapon Focus: Dagger in order to get Slashing Grace. THis will take my 10 Str/ 18 Dex char from worthless outside of Snk Attacks to very viable in combat. My GM is currently mulling it over.

With such an enormous set of rules and so many nuances to character building, I see no problem with retraining Feats to better fit the character you had in mind (but was too unfamiliar with all the rules to completely visualize)

I'd be inclined to let you do it regardless of the retraining rules.

necromental wrote:
Do you consider character created at any level higher than 1 a power creep? Since by your reasoning, I have feats at level (lets say 5) that are not useful at lvl 1 and I don't have any feats that are really useful at lvl 1 (like toughness and combat casting).

No. And it's an argument well made. Although either the GM is starting at higher level (and so is accepting that characters will be more powerful than those grown organically) or your character has died. If the latter I consider that payment enough (assuming you didn't suicide the character.

necromental wrote:
Also, this: "..although I don't have high system mastery." which is why you are trading off your Combat Casting and Furious Focus which I consider a very much yes feats even to middling high levels.

Really? I'm not sure for wizards, but sorcerers are quickly able to quickly outstrip the DCs for defensively casting. Furious focus (on a fighter) affects your attack that's most likely to hit. If your not able to confidently get that attack to land without furious focus then your iteratives have no chance.

Rynjin wrote:

Again, it's not an increase in power. The character would have been just as powerful had he made the same option at whatever level and stuck with it.

Relative to the game as a whole, his power is the same. He just chose a different option.

His specific character might be more powerful than the last iteration of that character, but that is NOT power creep. Options have not gotten more powerful even if a character has. By that logic leveling at all is "power creep". Your character got more powerful than he was last level, after all.

I understand your viewpoint but we'll have to agree to disagree.

shadowkras wrote:
given your reasoning, there is no way we can change your mind. So why are we having this discussion when you are unwilling to listen?
shadowkras wrote:
Yes, it causes a power creep

If you agree it's power creep then you don't need to refute anything. If you want to argue this doesn't massively overpower characters then that's an entirely different argument. If that's the point you were trying to make I apologize for misunderstanding your point.

Are there ways to use this rule that don't have an appreciable difference in your power level? Definitely. However those with high system mastery will be able to use it to incredible effect IMO. The cost doesn't scale (represents 1.2% of total wealth at level 6 and it goes lower the higher levels). The best example I can think of is my sorcerer example, although I don't have high system mastery.

As for your examples, a level 1 wand at level 1 has an enormous effect on a character's benefit. At a half charge (something I don't see GMs regularly make available) it represents 35% of your total wealth. This is significantly higher than 1.2% which is why Imdon't see them as comparable. A wand that I get at level 1 and pay for at level 6? I'd happily take that. I can't see many DMs offering it though.

shadowkras wrote:
If you are excluding ultimate campaign (for not being part of the CRB), then this discussion is pointless.

My point isn't "it's not in the CRB so therefore can't be used." My argument is "This represents a significant increase in power when compared to options presented in the CRB that have the same opportunity cost."

graystone wrote:
This seems clear as you dismissed items not in core on that basis and NOT on their power level.

Power creep can often happen incrementally. 1 option doesn't represent a significant increase in power so it's fine. Another option is compared to that and it's also deemed to not be a significant increase in power. And so it goes until 6 releases later you've got an item that when compared to the core Rulebook is a significant increase in power. This is where the "creep" part of power creep comes from and why I exclusively look at the core Rulebook when considering power creep.

shadowkras wrote:
[power creep] will likely happen with any book that adds new rules to the system.

I believe Inquisitor doesn't represent power creep as one example. But yes, this is also why I carefully look at new options Paizo releases. First blush of the advanced class guide seems to indicate they're not more powerful then the core classes which is a nice change. Paizo's optional subsystems (e.g. Piecemeal Armour) don't have as good of a track record unfortunately.

chaoseffect wrote:
How exactly is the core Fighter retraining rules a powerful class feature? Could you give a specific example?

At level 4 furious focus is twice as good as weapon focus. The reason they're balanced is for fighters at level 6 and higher weapon focus is better as furious focus only applies to the first attack. Getting to swap out furious focus for a different feat (especially one they don't qualify for at level 1) is a big boon.

An example on how this can be a big boon for a class other than fighter is sorcerers. At low levels where spells are limited and damage mitigation are rare a +4 bonus to cast spells defensively is worthy of a feat. At later levels when they can auto cast spells defensively without that +4 bonus the feat spent isn't worthwhile. Getting to retrain that feat into quicken spell is a giant bonus as it's effectively a free feat for the mere cost of 500gp if done at 10th level (0.8% of their total wealth). I'd gladly pay 500gp at level 10 to swap out combat casting (a great feat at low levels but of minimal use at higher levels) for quicken spell (a great feat at high levels but of minimal use at low levels). This is definitely not possible in the core Rulebook and represents a significant increase in power IMO.

graystone wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
graystone wrote:
You know the PRD is free and the link is right here on the site right?
I don't know if this is directed at me or what point this post is trying to make.
You where saying several items weren't in your book. I was directing you to where they are.

Wikipedia article explaining that power creep is: the gradual unbalancing of a game due to successive releases of new content..

Retraining rules came out in a later release to the core game.

My claim: Retraining provides a power increase above and beyond what was available in the initial release of the rules (which was the core Rulebook). I have provided my reasoning and examples.

There are three ways to refute my claim:
1) Prove this rule was in the initial release of the rules.
2) Prove that my reasoning is flawed and that this doesn't increase a character's power.
3) Prove that there are options that have the same opportunity cost as the retraining rule in the initial release of the rules.

Citing magical items that aren't in the initial release of the rules does not refute my claim of power creep using method 3.

graystone wrote:
You know the PRD is free and the link is right here on the site right?

I don't know if this is directed at me or what point this post is trying to make.

shadowkras wrote:
Cloak of human guise, armbands of the brawler, sleeves of many garments and ioun torch are not in my Core Rulebook.

If that is your condition, then you can ignore the retraining rules completely, because they are not in your core rulebook.

Do you realize what power creep is and how to check for it? If you want to argue this is not a powerful feature (as Rynjin has) then that contributes to the conversation. Saying "don't use anything not in the core Rulebook" after failing to refute my call of power creep doesn't actually engage in the conversation. A simple "I disagree" would have sufficed.

Rynjin wrote:
it is still not "power creep" which is a specific phrase referring to the options themselves growing more powerful in comparison to previous options.

For me deciding what feats to take have always been tempered by weighing up the usefulness of having a feature that helps now versus having it for the rest of the character's life. This ability was initially reserved for fighters at certain levels and is now available to everyone at a all times. Characters using this rule are more powerful then those who don't, because those who don't either have to give up power now to get it later or have it now and limit their power at later levels. The ability to not have to consider those aspects and instead optimise the character for every level at a negligible price is a direct increase to a character's power.

Rynjin wrote:
No, I don't. Especially not the part where he can trade out Feats, which is only slightly more useful than Bravery

Fair enough. If I considered this class feature to be nigh worthless then I'd probably not see it as power creep.

shadowkras wrote:
Fixed it, po = "peças de ouro" (gold pieces/gp in portuguese).

Thanks for that. As I said furious focus stacks with the masterwork bonus (giving you a non magical +2/+3 to hit bonus).

Boots of the cat replicates no class feature that I know of.

Can you please tell me what cleric spell phylactrey of faithfulness actually replicates? Because my one says it lets it's wearer know when an action it will take will change their alignment and I know of no spell in the core Rulebook that does that. Also I guess it's Of some use for a paladin I guess? Although most DMs warn a paladin in my experience.

Hand of the Mage is 900gp. So:
1) It is more expensive then the retraining rule.
2) A 0-level spell is not (IMO) comparable to a class feature that a fighter gets to use a total of 5 times across 20 levels.

Cloak of human guise, armbands of the brawler, sleeves of many garments and ioun torch are not in my Core Rulebook.

Masterwork weapons don't stack with enhancement bonuses. I'm not sure what "PO" meant. Is that platinum pieces or gp?

Find an item that gives you a +1/+2 bonus to hit for 600gp in the core Rulebook that stacks with enhancement bonuses. Find an item that let's you replicate a classes class feature (one so rare they get to use it 5 times only) for 300gp in the core Rulebook.

If you can't, do you see the fighter's class feature or stackable bonuses to hit as not powerful?

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