Some people play the game in different campaign settings. Some people even play in worlds of their own creation.
This. Some of us play in homebrew worlds that existed 15+ years before the advent of Golarion. We use Pathfinder simply because it is in our opinion the best available ruleset for the game we love. That's why I prefer new core rules and classes being as setting-neutral as possible.
Umbral Reaver wrote:
And this too. I've always been in favor of refluffing, as long as mechanics don't need to be reworked. In my campaign, ninjas are nightblades (inspired by the old Rolemaster class) and psionics are mystics (refluffed and renamed everything: classes, powers, disciplines, etc). The difficult part, as noted by Umbral Reaver, is making it stick. Gunslingers, however, are out.
My world is heavily inspired in four sources: swords and sorcery fiction, epic tolkienesque high fantasy, north-western European pre-christian mythology and the history of Dark Age Europe (gradually entering the Middle Ages). In consequence, gunslingers are a big no-no, and oriental (non-refluffed) classes and equipment are not allowed.
It's not a matter of racism, as it has been suggested. I'm as passionate about Japanese culture as I am about the Vikings, the Celts, the Anglo-Saxons, the Normans and the Native Americans. I've purchased most oriental gaming material that has been published (from L5R to RQ's Land of the Ninja to the old Rolemaster oriental companion). So no racism here, it's just that these classes do not fit in this world just as they don't fit in Beowulf or the Norse Eddas, not without heavy refluffing. As is, they would disrupt the ambience, feel and continuity that I've been trying to establish for the last 20 years. If someday I build a world based in Asian mythology (and I've been wanting too for a long time) it will be the other way around.
In short, I think that DM's approval should still mean something. I'm fairly lenient regarding players' options, and in the few occasions when I outright ban something, it's for good reasons. I still haven't met a player unwilling to listen to those reasons.
Warning: Wall of Text ahead!
I'm currently running and designing a hex-crawl sandbox campaign, so I can share some of my experiences in case you find them useful.
In your case, I would begin by deciding if I want a true sandbox or if I could design it as a sort of megadungeon. While not really sandboxes, megadungeons share some of their characteristics (multiple avenues for exploration, clearly differentiated areas or "levels", living breathing societies often rivaling each other, etc...). I could see an underdark sandbox designed as a sort of megadungeon.
If you want a true sandbox, there are several things you need to bear in mind.
Scope: You need to decide the size of the campaign area and plan accordingly. Too small and they will have it explored in no time (especially if there are many parties adventuring simultaneously, like in my campaign). Too large and you will end up doing a lot of prep work for areas they will probably never visit. Also, you need to decide which range of levels do you want your campaign to support (even if you nerf teleportation and other similar magic, distance tends to change its meaning at higher levels).
Mapping: While I personally find hex-crawling the best system for a sandbox, you have to consider what suits better your needs, especially since you're doing an entirely subterranean "wilderness". The scale of the mapping is very important too, since it sets the amount of detail you're aiming to. A single hex (or square, if you prefer) usually contains a single entry/location, representing the most interesting thing in those X square miles. By deciding the size of the hexes you are deciding how far apart those interesting locales are.
Danger Level: A truly old-school sandbox would throw CR out of the window and would include the possibility of encountering creatures/challenges of wildly different danger levels. Personally, I prefer a “gradual” approach. When I created the regions in my campaign, I gave them an average EL, representing the EL of the most common encounters. Then I populated those regions with encounters within a range of one or two levels above or below that, and I designed encounter tables with those numbers in mind. I also created some locations considered “danger pockets” in every region. The region EL would increase the farther you get from the base town/city, so the players will get the feeling of ever-increasing danger, and it would allow them to explore without blindly stumbling into an unavoidable TPK. Note that it could still happen in my campaign, but only with a freak combination of rolls...
Give them reasons to explore: You really want to avoid the “where do we go now” feel you mentioned in your post, and you don’t want to force/persuade/railroad the players in any way. So they need incentives. Seed the campaign with all sorts of rumors, knowledge skill tables, legends, lost artifacts, things going on in the background, etc etc. An old trick is the “wanted posts”. It may sound trite, but I’ve used it in my campaign to great effect to get them started at 1st level, give them some quick and easy goals. Once they step out of the tavern and set foot on the wide world, they will find plenty of reasons to explore on their own. The thing is to avoid them wandering aimlessly, boringly filling hexes without rhyme or reason.
Random Tables: Your best friends. They are often frowned upon by the current generation of gamers, but I find them invaluable when running a sandbox. For me, they fill the details that you are not prepping but that solve the "empty hex" syndrome. Random tables not only dictate monster encounters, they will also generate hex content (lairs, geographic features, etc) and, if you feel comfortable winging it, your players will never know if it's a random encounter or a fixed one.
Keep the world dynamic. Don't let the players suppose that everything they have cleared will remain cleared. This not only adds verisimilitude and realism, it also creates opportunities for further adventures, for the same PCs or other newer parties that may arrive to the campaign. Also, try to link hex entries to other hex entries so they form a kind of “tapestry”. I do this to create some sort of “plots” without having an over-arching plot a la adventure path. The PCs may find them or not, and may realize the connections or not, but if/when they do, oh the looks on their faces!!!
Do not restrict yourself to underground types of terrain. This is highly subjective, and perhaps it is not what you want in your Underdark, but an interesting idea imo is to add some “hollow earth/pellucidar” areas that feature some natural terrain that shouldn’t be there. Jungles filled with dinosaurs and lost civilizations, and the like could give some variety to the usual caverns and corridors and surprise your players.
Well, I think that’s it more or less... I don’t know if any of this will help you, but there we are. If you’re nothing like me, be prepared for insane amount of work, but it pays off in spades and could result in really amazing and memorable sessions! And the good thing about player-driven campaigns is that often you will be as surprised as they are! Have fun!
We don't use traits in this campaign (we have something similar called backgrounds that I had already concocted when I began working on it before traits were there).
Something outside the normal progression is definitely the way to go, mythic rules or otherwise.
After all, you don't want to have one PC lacking the bonus because there's no master that suits his style... or to actually have a perfectly suited master for every character.
You're quite right, that's a potential pitfall, and I'm also trying to figure out how to do it fairly. On the one hand, this is a sandbox, where "player agency" is of paramount importance. On the other hand, it is unfair to let only one character train with a master if the others are unable or unwilling to find one that suits them. So if the party decides to find a legendary swordsman so the fighter can train under his tutelage, the DM cannot and does not want to force/persuade/railroad them to do otherwise, but the rogue, the cleric and the wizard may find it unfair. What to do?
Maybe create fairly generic masters who could train the whole party? It takes away a lot of flavor but solves the root problem. The disparity between PC classes makes this hard to implement and quite implausible imo. Equally implausible would be to have one master especially tailored to each PC... I mean, I can devise backstories and in-world reasons for three or four of these so-called masters, but more than that and it becomes too cheesy. Dilemmas, dilemmas...
After reading the thread title, Joan of Arc immediately came to mind. Peasant girl, chosen by a deity to become a holy warrior and a charismatic heroine even against the deity's church. Didn't end well, though. Her story always screamed paladin to me. I would allow it in my game, and it could provide interesting RPing possibilities.
Edit: Ninja'ed by Bruunwald!
First of all, thank you people for your ideas and opinions!
clff rice wrote:
Well you could just prohibit advancing past a certain level in any given class. say lv 12 unless you find a legendary teacher in that class.
Thanks for your suggestion, but it does not work for me. Limiting PCs goes against my intentions. I hated level caps back in 2E, and do not plan on bringing them back in any way. The rewards for training with a legendary master should be cool and feel like... well, like a reward.
things I mostly agree on.
Agreed. Fluff-wise, Prestige Classes seem the perfect solution... mechanically, not so much. If for the pains of digging up the whereabouts of a legendary master of the martial arts, preparing an expedition to get there and after surviving the hazards of wilderness travel and passing the arduous tests of the cranky old warrior, I tell my players: "congrats, you now will be able to take levels in this awesome PrC that is mechanically inferior to the highest levels of your base class and will prevent you from ever acquiring your capstone abilities"... well, I'm with you there, this option seems good but in practice it doesn't work either.
I have never considered training to level up, for pretty much the reasons you exposed. We never used those rules in 2E, either. However, this campaign is, in some way, "old-schoolish" in feel (but not in rules), a hexcrawl where the characters write their own stories and have absolute freedom to explore in any direction they want. The world has to offer incentives for the PCs to explore and wander, and that's what these "legendary masters" are. Finding one and persuading him/her to teach you is no mean feat, and I want some benefit that the player can enjoy mechanically and at the same time comes with a cool story behind, not something that looks like a bonus but comes with attached limitations.
Yeah, I remember those druid duels of old! Cool concept, but really impractical in actual play imho... I doubt I implement something like this for several reasons, the main being that it doesn't fit with the main premise of this campaign. If I ever do something like that (in another kind of campaign), probably it would be a once-in-a-PC's-lifetime thing, but right now I don't see it happening. But you're right, handled properly it could be one of the coolest moments in a PC's career! I'm saving this one for the future...
David knott 242 wrote:
The bonus combat feat or the benefit of a slotless magic item are the kind of mechanics that resonate with my basic idea, something special that rewards the player in a unique way. If I take the feat route, I guess giving a bonus feat is probably a better idea than just saying "next time you gain a feat you'll be able to select the X feat". However, the Mythic Adventures idea may just be a bullseye. I didn't know much about it, but with the scarce info I had I was planning on using them to recreate the feel of the Silmarillion-like Dawn of Times of my campaign world. After your suggestion, though, I read more about them and man! those rules may be perfect as a training reward! This option seems very interesting to me and it fits neatly with the "legendary masters" concept. The bits about magic items that grow with the character is also of enormous interest to me, since I'm sure that the Pathfinder crew will implement it infinitely better than WotC and their Weapons of (Disappointing) Legacy. I guess Paizo just got one more playtester!
I'm currently DMing a sandbox campaign in my homebrew world, with a huge emphasis on exploration and wilderness adventure. (Insane amounts of work, BTW, but immensely rewarding in my experience). One of the concepts that I want to implement is the idea that the setting is the home of some legendary masters of the arcane or martial arts, living in the wilderlands as hermits, wanderers or reclusive loners (such as a mythical, reputedly immortal shaman; a legendary elven archer; a lone and eccentric wizard in his remote tower; an old heroic swordsman; etc) and that upon finding them, they might train the PCs, passing their secrets unto a new generation of heroes. I think it's a cool concept, one that might interest my players and give them additional incentives for exploring the vast wilderness. The part that keeps me struggling is the rewards to be gained from such training. With casters, this is not difficult (access to rare spells, etc), but martials require extra thought. Some of the ideas that are bouncing in my head:
1) Restrict the access to some of the feats in Ultimate Combat, Ultimate Magic, APG, etc, adding as a prerequisite "being trained by master whatever". If so, would you keep these rewards within the normal feat progression, or would you find acceptable to give the new feat as a special reward above and beyond the normal class-and-level feats? I'm partial to the former, but perhaps this is seen as unsatisfactory after a long quest to find the reclusive master.
2) Make the training an essential requisite for Prestige Classes. With the rejection of PrC in favor of archetypes (at least in my group and at the current levels), and the added amount of work that designing or adapting the classes would mean, this is not an ideal option, but flavor-wise it makes a lot of sense.
3) Award optional mechanics that are not usually allowed in the campaign (hero points, for example) to those trained by a legendary master.
4) Additional combat maneuvers such as those found in The Secrets of Martial Mastery by Rite Publishing. The problem I find in this is that I see those maneuvers as tricks and stunts that everyone should be able to try, most of all veteran warriors and rogues. Too pedestrian for a "legendary" master, in a way.
That's mostly all the options I'm considering right now, and not a single one fully convinces me. What do you think, fellow Paizonians? Ideas? Suggestions?
Yes, it does cost a feat, but if with that feat you gain a power that is inherently better than any other available option, I find it hard to really see it as a cost.
Anyway, you're probably right about it, and it's not such an issue in Pathfinder as it used to be. Wild Shape it's not what it used to be, that's for sure (and that's a good thing, IMHO: simple, straight-forward and easy to use). I'm waiting to have one of my druid PCs to be high enough level to playtest the new WS with Natural Spell.
As I said in previous posts, I have other concerns about it, such as the (powerful) ability to cast spell after spell in unassuming, nearly undetectable forms, or bomb away spells from high on (something that does not fit with my druid conceptions), or removing the need to be in human form, not to mention the somewhat disney-esque mental picture of an eagle waving its wings as if they were arms and squeaking magic words (it's rather odd, and most players I know find it rather funny and comic, no matter how much I try to describe the scene in frightening or menacing way.)
Ross Byers wrote:
Well, either there's something wrong with it or it should be a class feature.
Yes, that's right, but with Natural Spell, I personally would not like to see it added to the druid class features. I don't know, perhaps it's just a pet peeve of mine, but it does not fit my mental picture of what a druid is like. I really think it should be some element of decision-making: should I stay in my base form and cast spells? Or should I become a beast and enter the fray (or scout, spy, whatever)?
With Natural Spell as currently written, this becomes less of an issue. If the feat would require some cost or have some limit (personal spells only, or a slot one lever higher, etc), I would find it less disrupting.
As a frequent player of rangers and other wilderness-related classes, I have found that the survival rules, and specially the tracking rules, while good and simple to use, are somewhat... lacking.
The rules for tracking describe the difficulty of finding and following a track, but what happens to one of the most important and useful aspects of tracking, the reading of the tracks and the information-gathering aspect. This is an aspect very used in fantasy and non-fantasy fiction and movies, but the game does not allow it.
I would like to see something that add to the current rules, not changing them. I use some house-rules in my own campaign that let the tracker to extract additional information the higher he rolls above the base DC for following the tracks... If you barely make the roll, you can only follow the track, but you only know the basics (boot, paw, hoof, etc). The higher you roll above the DC, the more info you discover (exact type or number of creatures, pace, etc etc).
This helps the ranger more than everyone else, and it gives a real meaning to the tracking bonus they get, since with the static and somewhat low current Tracking DCs, it's not really needed once you get to mid level.
This rules would crown the ranger again as the king of trackers, and the bonus to tracking would be a much more meaningful addition.
I would also like the adding of more situational modifiers for the survival rules (for the winter season, for example, or expanded visibility and situational modifiers with the different modes of vision in mind, rules on making camps on the spot, etc...)
Natural Spell seems (and in the campaigns I have played and run, is) THE feat that druids always take at level 6. When a feat is so good that is almost required, there's something wrong with it.
Natural Spell has a lot of advantages that are not readily apparent on paper but they do como into play in actual gaming. The ability to take unassuming shapes and bomb from above is just one of them.
And more important (at least to me) is it goes against the very flavor of the druid and the wild shape. Changing into beast form has always been (and should still be) for movement, stealth, combat and other such functions, and if you need to use your spell magic, then you revert to humanoid form. It must be some things that the base form is better suited in, and spellcasting should be one of them. I believe that polymorphing into a beast all day long, still being able to cast spells thanks to natural spell, is one of the things that lead to the myth of "As a druid, I don't care if I have Str, Dex and Con 3" and the CoD point of view. The new Wild Shape and Beast Shape spells go a long way to solve this, and Natural Spell has been somewhat nerfed by it, but still.
If Natural Spell had some sort of cost, a slot one level higher, for example, at least it would imply some sort of choice, but as is, the feat is completely broken both in crunch and fluff, and is one of the extremely few feats I currently disallow it in the campaigns I run as a DM.
Given how recently widespread literacy has appeared anywhere, the idea of automatic literacy for any class in a "medieval fantasy" game is problematic at best. Given that, barbarians should be no more inclined toward illiteracy than anyone else.
True. Illiteracy was the norm in medieval Europe, and only the priesthood and some nobles (not all of them) could read and write. So, if we stick to the "ridiculousness" of barbarians not being illiterate, by the same reasons only clerics and wizards should begin literate (since there's no noble class per sé), and I don't think that's going to happen anywhere soon.
Have you ever read a Conan story? The ones by Howard, the original author?
Conan was anything but stupid. In fact, he was pretty sly and witty, in his own barbaric way. And charismatic to boot. The fact that he was not used to "civilized" customs does not mean he's stupid. In one of the early stories (but one of the last in Conan's timeline), The Phoenix in the Sword, as a king he is seen promoting the arts and culture... The arts!
And I think the Pathfinder Barbarian is ideal to model Conan-like characters. How many times does Conan "panterish twists" and "cat-like leaps", dodging enemies and darting past files of enemies to confront the sorcerer, even when he's caught in the "red mist"? That's exactly what Guarded Stance does.
Having playtested the class recently, I can say that my half-orc barbarian is much more versatile, interesting and fun to play than any previous version, and is much more Conan-like if you wish to build your PC after that fashion.
And about Illiteracy, I like 1st level Barbarians Illiterate too, but this is a very minor point, if at all, and it does not bother me at all.
In Spain too. For almost 30 years, we've been using "guerrero" (warrior) instead of "luchador" (fighter) as the translation of the class, since it sounds much more epic and iconic. But since I buy and use all of the books in english, I would be saddened to lose the good, old fighter even when warrior is indeed more appropiate.
Yes, but doing so he's risking a very probable pin in the next round (the monk would have a +5, so it's almost a "kill or be pinned" situation"). Perhaps it would make more sense to restrict it to a standard action, though, so full attacks could not be possible while grappled. Or even better, make it another option of what you can do with a succesfull grapple check (move, damage, pin or make a single attack with a light or one-handed weapon with the usual -2).
Does the penalty to Dexterity when grappling also apply if you have the agile maneuver feat, that allows you to use your dexterity modifier instead of the strength modifier?
The penalty to Dex while grappled does not have anything to do with you applying Dex instead of Str to your CMB, so it would apply equally.
Of course, it will be a pleasure... Be aware that this is just my interpretation of the rules, and while I think this is the way it works, others may have a different opinion!
Well, let's say a monk is facing a fighter. Seeing that he won't be able to defeat the heavily armored fighter in straight combat, he decides to resort to grapple.
Monk's Round #1: Monk attempts to grapple the fighter. He rolls his CMB vs. 15 + fighter's CMB. If the Monk has Improved Grapple, he doesn't provoke an AoO. If he doesn't have that feat, he provokes, and if hit by it, he adds the damage suffered to the grapple DC. Since the monk is trying to grapple with both hands free, he doesn't suffer a -4 penalty. If the grapple attempt succeed, he grabs the fighter, and now both have the grappled condition. They cannot move, and take a -4 to their Dexterity, and have a -2 to attack rolls and CMB checks except those made to grapple.
Fighter's Round #1: Now it's the fighter's turn. Both enemies are struggling. The fighter may choose to try to free himself of the monk's hold (if he don't free one of his hands, dropping his weapon, etc... he has a -4 penalty to that check). He could also use his Escape Artist skill if it's worthwile for him to do so. If he's succesful at breaking free, the grappling attempt is over. But since both of them are grappling, he could also try to make a grapple check to pin the monk before he acts again (or move him, or damage him). And he could choose to not even try and just attack the monk or anyone else within reach with his weapon, suffering the -2 penalty for being grappled.
Monk's Round #2: If the fighter is not free by now (and has not pinned the monk!), the monk must make a CMB check (with a +5 bonus) to maintain the grapple. If he's succesful, in addition to maintaining the hold he can choose to move dragging the fighter behind, harm the figher applying his unarmed damage or pin the fighter so he's unable to attack again.
Fighter's Round #2: If the fighter is pinned, he cannot move and is flat-footed, and takes a further -4 to his AC. He can only try to escape the pin (by making a grapple check or with Escape Artist) and purely verbal and mental actions.
And this would go on until the end of the combat. If the monk had companions near, they could use rope to tie the immobilized fighter, or the monk could do it by himself, but doing so would require a CMB check with a -10 penalty.
Well, that's it. I think this is the way it works, hope it has been of some help.
Also, can you "perform one of the following actions" in the same round you initiated the grapple? That's not really clear and needs clearification.
I don't think so. The way I read the rules, it seems that the initial grapple check is an attempt to grab your opponent (by one arm, or leg, or whatever), and if you manage to keep the hold on him until your next action, you can pin him, move him or harm him with a +5 to the grapple check(like in the classical arm-twisting hold, this will hurt your enemy, but won't completely immobilize him). If your enemy, in his next action, is unable or not willing to free himself (deciding to attack you instead, or whatever) , he's not even struggling with you, merely bashing or slashing, probably trying to kill you before your next turn. Of course, since you're both grappling now, he can even try to pin you before you pin him! (risky, since you will gain a +5 if he fail to do so).
That's the way it works for me, and it feels pretty logical and balanced. In game, it feels much more similar to those scenes in movies or books with Tarzan struggling with the crocodile or Conan struggling with some beast with huge fangs that draw ever closer to his face.
I like psionics and I also like rage points and rage powers... And no, they don't feel like the same thing to me.
Saying that every class features that uses a point-based mechanic feels like psionics is like saying that everything that uses a feat-based mechanic feels like "fightery". Rage points are an abstract concept, a unit of measure, and caring about if they're called points or rounds or whatever is not doing any good to the playtesting process.
Does every class with prepared spells feels like a wizard? No way...
Let's keep the class mechanics and the class flavour apart.
For psions, I also would do something similar to what it's been done for specialist wizards, but with the psionic disciplines instead. Keep the list of exclusive powers of each discipline, and add a list of benefits, psi-like abilities and powers for each one, taking the wizard specializations as a kind of "template".
Wilders still don't know, they are not that bad as they are, but they would need some upgrade to be on pair with the rest of the PF classes. And I agree, soulknives need full BAB!
I like the new system for spellcraft/knowledge arcana, it makes more sense from a logical point of view (I like the "theory/technique" disparity). I still think that Combat Casting should do more than give a +4 to cast defensively and while grappling, perhaps giving the option to cast defensively only if you have the feat... That would make a huge difference between combat-trained casters (clerics, druids, fighter/mages, etc.) and purely "librarian", "academic" or non-melee wizards and sorcerers.
Only problem I see is that could make the Combat Casting a much more powerful feat than before, and it would be probably seen as an "must-have" feat, something I don't like at all.
Another confusing grappling situation that came up in our first Pathfinder playtesting, in the first Savage Tide adventure.
A creature with improved grab bite my character, a half-orc barbarian, and since it hit, it rolled for grappling me, and succeeded. Now we both were grappling, and in my next action, I dropped my greataxe and tried to pin the beastie.
My DM and a fellow player said that was wrong, since I didn't start the grapple, and that all I could do was trying to break free.
I told them that was not the way it worked, and asked them to re-read the grappling section, but after that they were still in doubt. The DM let me try (and succeed, going into rage and expending two additional rage points for the Strength Surge power!).
I think I was right, after all it was a great risk for me, since had I failed, the beastie would have had a +5 bonus on his next grapple check, and probably it would have pinned me and dealt automatic damage too. I really think we did things as they are meant by the rules, but I would like to have some official confirmation to show them,and to know if I was wrong or right.
I think this must be an omission in the Spellcraft DC tables, if casting defensively is still in the game, or in the text for Combat Casting if it's out.
By the way, one of the basic rules for spellcasters in D&D has been "stay out of melee!" since day 1, so I have another idea:
What if casting defensively is only an option if you have the Combat Casting feat?
In this way, combat casting means literally Combat Casting even more, and it widen the gap between this feat and Skill Focus: Spellcraft. As it stands now, a difference of only +1 makes the latest feat a clearly better option.
What do you think?
Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
Fighting feats like this are about the only feats that don't get more powerful as one levels, with the exception of power attack feats. A caster get meta-magic feats that as they get access to better, higher level spells they can do more powerful things. While the mechanic is never spoken out loud to improved as they level, it already exists.
Agreed. Empower Spell (for example) is vastly more useful to a wizard/sorcerer when he's 12 level than when he's 6 level...
I'm with you. The most fun we've had with traps in my gaming group has always been when they required some action by the players, like some of the old-school traps in Mud Sorcerer's Tomb. When the players are frantically trying to stop that impending doom, and the relief that comes if they manage to do it, are priceless moments, the ones you keep talking about for a long a time. I'm all for seeing more traps being designed that way.
So far what I see with the Sorcerer bloodlines is a massive improvement, I'm seeing more emphasis on magic as it should be then melee combat. (Save for the draconic feats where I feel the emphasis is appropriate.)
I agree 100%... Gotta love the new sorcerer!
I do think however that giving the Arcane bloodline the Arcane bond with the arcane utility spells that line gets as free spells may overall considerably tip that bloodline in balance over the others. I'd like to see that ability replaced with something more in line and perahaps Arcane bond rolled into a feat that sorcerers can take.
This I do not fully share... I see those things you mention are some of the reasons for the arcane bloodline to be the default. Also, I do not see such imbalance in the bonus spells: if you want those spells, I do not see the difference between gaining them as bonus spells or selecting on your own. The spells, feats and powers of every bloodline seem designed to make each bloodline unique. The arcane bloodline makes for the most "wizardly" sorcerer, and thus it's appropiate to gain the arcane bond and the rest of its features. Giving arcane bond to every sorcerer would substract to the flavor of the arcane bloodline IMHO.
It could be that, even when Wisdom is perhaps better suited to halflings than charisma to some people (including me), perhaps it is too much of a bonus given that it would add to the +2 bonus to saves against fear, and the stacking +1 halfling luck save bonus...
I don't know if it is so, but perhaps Jason tried to find a suitable ability score appropiate for halflings that at the same time didn't bolster those racial features even more, and charisma was the chosen one.
Well, I'm currently DMing Age of Worms, having played the first two modules, and I'm planning on converting the campaign to Pathfinder rules... and while I can add new class abilities to all NPCs relatively fast, and condensing their skills is easy too, but adding more skills points to spend to every single major NPC in the campaign would be a much greater and time-consuming task, so I understand Jason's reasoning for keeping the skill ranks as they are. Also, with the condensing of skills I have been creating some characters and it's not as a big of an issue as it used to be.
In Alpha 2, I was in favor of changing halflings to +2 wis/druid favored class (and I still am, by the way), because to me giving them +2 to Intelligence makes them a race more intelligent than humans... I can see that in the case of elves, but I don't see it in halflings.
Then came Alpha 3 and changed the +2 Int/wizard favored class to +2 Cha/bard favored class, and even if it's not my ideal solution, it was a change for better.
All of this made me think about... This boards prove the sheer impossibility of pleasing everyone. We all like the game, and speaking for myself, I admire the brave effort and the great job the Paizo folks are doing, but since every one of us have his own ideas about how certain things should be, and his pet peeves about the game, it's truly impossible to fully please everyone.
Oops, I just entered in rant mode...
As the player of a half-elf ranger character made in 2E, ported to 3.0, 3.5 and now Pathfinder, I must say that now in Pathfinder my half-elf finally is himself again... The 3.0/3.5 version was close, but not quite there... The Pathfinder version gives him back everything he used to have, and then some!
So all I have to say is I like to have half-elves back... I think no one I know has made one in all the 3.x years, and now people is talking about rolling a half-elf this or half-orc that... and that's a nice change.
I really like the monk and what's been done to it, just a suggestion for the bonus feat for monks to add Vital Strike at 10th or 14th level to the list and improved Vital Strike at 14th or 18th level. Gives a nice extra option to the class.
Well, there's nothing that stop monks of selecting those feats when they meet the prerequisites, and indeed they are excellent for upgrading those flurry of blows that so many times are (imho) misjudged as "miss more often".
I agree with Jason and several other posters in their conception and views of the monk class, and I think that's the fun things about playing a monk...
At my first couple of readings, I found the Pathfinder monk looks great, and I really like the options and versatility given by the ki pool. Now we'll have to playtest it and see it in action!
I agree with StarMartyr365 100%...
I see psionics as the third type of magic... Perhaps it helps having played Rolemaster, where the types of magic were Essence (arcane), Channeling (divine) and Mentalism (yes, psionics). By the way, Rolemaster bards used Mentalism...
So having a special kind of magic that uses the energies within the caster instead of outside forces does not seems to me "sci-fi" or out of touch with the fantasy genre. A large part of the magics we read about in a lot of books are in fact more reminiscent of psionics, and if it's the fluff that takes back some people, there's nothing easier to change.
In short, I want psionics in Pathfinder, be they core or in its own handbook, and I don't feel the need to redesign the whole system.
I like this one, giving shield-users a baseline feat of their own, different from the more general two-weapon fighting.
Perhaps I would change the Dex prerequisite to 13, more affordable to average fighters than 15, and this would also be in line with the common conception of dual wielding being harder to pull off, a high dex character thing.
Correction, they are not good at fighting *any* monsters. (At least not starting around about 7th level, and certainly not by 10th). They can be counted on to be totally ignored and to make the Wizard a martini - shaken, not stirred - at the end of combat. The damage they dish out is totally irrelevant in a game where combat lasts an average around 1.5 turns at mid-high levels. They can annoy the DM by making him roll unnecessary dice so the player can feel useful because he has a 1/20 chance... some of the time... of using a combat maneuver against a monster with strictly superior stats. (Oh wait, 3.P fixed this - now the DM doesn't need to bother to roll, the fighter can just suck on his own. yay!)
This is just SO wrong...
Every time I hear something like that, I wonder how people play D&D, because certainly it's not the same way me and my pals have been playing for the last 20 years...
I have always pictured him as a ranger... I believe he's in the list of ranger's inspirations in the AD&D 2E PH...
Me too... Well, I'm still in doubt with #4. Giving rangers sneak attack feels to me like stealing the rogue's trademark ability.
Also, I'm not very moved by favored terrains, but if they make it to the Alpha 3, it's fine by me as long as they are an option and not a substitution for favored enemies.
I like some of the ideas I've seen on this thread:
- Weapon Training giving +1 hit /+2 damage (With the lower damage bonus from Power Attack, this would help a lot)
- More Combat Feats (specially more Fighter-Only feats, the kind of things that mark you immediately as a fighter when used in the middle of combat; the PH2 was a huge step in that direction)
- Armor Training improving Max Dex (I really like this one)
- 4 skills per level (this is a must)
- The option of holding iterative attacks for use as immediate actions (I like this and indeed would turn the fighter in the master of the battlefield, but I don't know if it would turn out to be balanced)
In addition, I think the Fighter should avoid abilities and features that grant temporary power boosts... the Fighter's focus should remain at being consistently and reliably good, as long his HP remains in the positives... Things like the Combat Focus feats, however, are great in giving an extra edge to fighters, but being usable in each and every combat.