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Angvar Thestlecrit

Kolokotroni's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. 8,268 posts (8,296 including aliases). 18 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Lord Mhoram wrote:
Cardz5000 wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
The kineticist screams for a monk archetype if you ask me. Heck, I want a full on hybrid class to be honet.
I've already been working on a character for a gestalt game.
So have I. :D

Will his hair change color when he takes burn? :P A gestalt kinetist/monk may be the character i have always wanted to play in my heart of hearts... Now i want to go back and watch a certain anime that was on saturday mornings when i was younger...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Matthias wrote:

I would highly recommend against making it something as bland as a basic blast of force. Yes there should be clearer rules on the limits of the blast, but something as easy as a handful of pebbles would allow you to use the character just fine. Free action drop a stone, standard fling it at an opponent. From the blast:

The
object must weight 5 lbs. per kineticist level you possess
or less. (Bolded mine)

Wow, I totally blanked on that when I read it, thought that was a period ended the sentance >.< . And I read it multiple times. Thanks.

That said, again the kineticist having things in his possession isnt a solution unless he can somehow retrieve them as part of making the blast attack. Otherwise again, there is going to be arguments. Drop stone, throw stone, great. What about next round, or the next? What if you are surprised. Does the kineticist need to spend actions every encounter to pull out a bunch of stones from his bag in order to be able to use his basic function?

The intent here is obviously that there will always be SOMETHING lying around. But unless the rules actually state something along those lines (think of the line in the rules for a spell component pouch about not needing to track the contents for an example on official handwaves), there will be problems. The rules need to state explicitly that something is always available, or the kineticist needs to be given the means to make sure there is always something available.

Quote:


This also allows for clever play such as kinetically smashing items like alchemists fire against a foe for bonus effects like splash damage or lighting your foe on fire.

Seems to me, the rules imply the alchemist fire thing shouldnt work. It says that no matter the object the damage is that of your blast, not the item. So if throwing grenade like weapons is supposed to work (and that would be awesome, and a great concept for the aether kineticist), there needs to be some kind of clarification.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The kineticist screams for a monk archetype if you ask me. Heck, I want a full on hybrid class to be honet.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

The Telekinetic Blast ability really bothers me, I can see a lot of table argument over this one. The main problem is that you have to throw an unattended object (so small stones and fingernail clippings will do the trick) and I see no end arguments from players when it comes to the subject of using alchemists fires, jars full of bees, flasks/barrels of oil....

The language is pretty clear that weapons and similar object aren't supposed to work, but since it doesn't seem to matter what size the object has... can't we simply remove it?

This ability could be nice to kick away the enemies weapon after it has been disarmed, but I would rather avoid the arguments.

Theres actually a bigger problem then the one you see.

Quote:


Telekinetic Blast (Sp): You throw whatever unattended object
happens to be nearby at a single foe as a ranged attack. The
object must weight 5 lbs
. per kineticist level you possess
or less. If you hit, the target and the thrown object each
suffer an amount of bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing
damage equal to 1d6+1 + your Constitution modifier. This
damage increases by 1d6+1 for every 2 kineticist levels you
possess beyond 1st. Spell resistance does not apply. Even
if a telekineticist uses this power on a magic weapon or
other unusual object, the attack does not use any of the
magic weapon’s bonuses or effects and simply deals the
telekineticist’s blast damage.

I dont know if thats supposed to be at most, or at least. But it definately presents a large problem as written. The whole idea that there has to be unattended objects available in the first place is going to be a problem. I can think of tons of situations where there are no small objects around. There is also no definition of 'nearby'. How far is nearby? 10ft? 30ft? 100ft? 1000 ft?

This ability will cause arguments for just about every aspect of it.
I would strongly recommend making the basic blast just a blast of force or something more straight forward.

Maybe make an archetype or something that specializes in throwing 'things' that accounts for all the weird cases (like throwing things that would have obvious effects if they hit things ALA alkemist fire). But making it the base blast of the Aether element is a bad idea.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tamago wrote:
Lloyd Jackson wrote:
Te'Shen wrote:
Lloyd Jackson wrote:
. . . Only ongoing series in the very exclusive club of books that get read aloud during road-trips.
Haha. I have a buddy who really likes the audio book versions. Several are voiced by James Marsters (a.k.a. Spike, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). He (my buddy) says Marsters makes a very good job of it.
Hmm. I haven't tried listening to audiobooks before, but if it's James, I might have to try it. Thanks.

James totally nails the narration! I listen to all the Dresden books, in no small part because he does such a good job.

He's done all of them except book #13 (Ghost Story). It was very disappointing that he wasn't able to read it (I think due to a scheduling conflict). I ended up getting that one in dead-tree form, because I couldn't get over the difference in narration. :-(

Yea, for me at this point, James' interpretations ARE the voices of those characters for me. When I read the books (though usually if i revisit them I listen now) I hear his voice in my head.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Thelemic_Noun wrote:

Well, this thread went south fast.

But back on point...

Since the corrective measures for gender dysphoria in Golarion (2,250 gp one-use wondrous item) permit "passing" with 100% success (including biological functions such as reproduction), a great deal of the issues facing the real-world transgender community don't exist in Pathfinder.

Many don't, but many still do.

You still have to deal with all the relationship issues with anyone who knew you before transitioning, including and especially family. 2,250 gp isn't exactly cheap for most, so you'll likely have to live at least some of your life without it, unless your parents will cover it when you're a child.

The item also raises new issues, like transforming someone against their will.

While the rules dont represent it, there really isnt a reason a genders swap spell that isnt a curse cant exist. Its just hasnt really come up to the point where it shows up in the spell lists. In any world where this is an issue, it would really just be a casting of a single 3rd or 4th level spell, not necessarily a magic item. And though that still wouldnt be cheap, it isnt impossible even for normal people, and especially not on an adventurer's budget.

Certainly possible, but still not on the casual expense list for most people's budgets - especially if they have to travel for it. Meaning they'll likely have to live a decent part of their lives before transition and spend a good deal of effort planning for and arranging it. And if you're not leaving home forever to do it, everyone will know.

Even adventurers will have to spend at least a few levels before affording it - or affording it without spending all their WBL that's supposed to be keeping them alive. And becoming an adventurer to be able to afford the change is itself a major life choice driven by your transgender condition.

I am not saying that it wont be a part of who they are, I am just wondering what such a change would actually mean. If a transgender person could literally wave a magic wand and be the sex that matches their gender in every way, what would that do for the person? Would they do it? How does that impact their identity? How would that impact cultural norms around it?

Would there be any differences culturally to the acceptance of a boy who wants to be a girl or vice versa if there was literally a way to make them that other sex? Not just look a certain way, but actually be that other sex. Would people be more comfortable with it? Less? Especially in a world loaded down with literally miraculous magic like a pathfinder world, it seems like there should be some kind of impact.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
Thelemic_Noun wrote:

Well, this thread went south fast.

But back on point...

Since the corrective measures for gender dysphoria in Golarion (2,250 gp one-use wondrous item) permit "passing" with 100% success (including biological functions such as reproduction), a great deal of the issues facing the real-world transgender community don't exist in Pathfinder.

Many don't, but many still do.

You still have to deal with all the relationship issues with anyone who knew you before transitioning, including and especially family. 2,250 gp isn't exactly cheap for most, so you'll likely have to live at least some of your life without it, unless your parents will cover it when you're a child.

The item also raises new issues, like transforming someone against their will.

While the rules dont represent it, there really isnt a reason a genders swap spell that isnt a curse cant exist. Its just hasnt really come up to the point where it shows up in the spell lists. In any world where this is an issue, it would really just be a casting of a single 3rd or 4th level spell, not necessarily a magic item. And though that still wouldnt be cheap, it isnt impossible even for normal people, and especially not on an adventurer's budget.


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Trogdar wrote:
So, in essence, because two handed fighters don't have feats like improved initiative and lightning reflexes... The two weapon fighter should not do as much damage?

Because they dont have feats that non-strength characters cannot make use of correct. If the two weapon (dextrous) fighter has feats that match the 2handed (strength) fighter's advantages, then the reverse must be true. And those cant be feats the two weapon fighter can also take.

Basically unless there are feats that add strength to all the stuff that dex adds, dex based builds shouldnt do as much damage with the investment of feats. Period.


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That Crazy Alchemist wrote:

Wow...I have no idea. It comes out and states that you are considered trained in those skills, then in the very next sentence tells you that you already need to be trained in them.

So this feat lets you, for the purposes of skills involving technology, be considered trained as long as you are already trained...Thanks Obama!

This is a thematic thing. Remember the technology guide is a setting product. In golarion, very few people know how to work with tech effectively. If your world is different you can ditch the feat entirely. It is meant to represent investment in learning about the stuff. It isnt meant to be balanced.

By normal rules, if you dont have this feat or something like it (Iron gods has some traits that offer a limited version of it) then if you are making knowledge checks, craft checks, or disable device checks against technology, throw your skill ranks out the window, and you can only do untrained uses of the skill.

If you take the feat, you no longer have this limitation, and your skills function normally with regards to tech.


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Trogdar wrote:
Twf is down a tonne of feats for that defensive advantage. I would think the feat investment makes it reason able.

Except its not, because the 2handed fighter doesnt have feats available to his style of combat that offer the same benefits. Just because one style requires an investment, does not offset its advanges. That investment is precisely there because of the advantage being dextrous over being strong supplies. Theres no feat a strong guy can take to add his strength to acrobatics, stealth, disable devices, ride and fly checks. Theres no feat to allow the strong guy to add his strength to his reflex save, or to his ac. Theres no special feat that adds to a 2handed fighter's ac that is exclusive to 2handed fighting.

If there was, then yes, the two styles should do the same damage. Since there isnt, even with the feat investment, there has to be an end game advantage (after all feats have been taken) for 2handed fighting. The only thing it is good for is doing damage, so it SHOULD have the advantage there, since it cannot gain the advantages of other styles of combat.


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Master of Shadows wrote:

Honestly, if the goal of a character's build is to deal damage, then I see no reason why a nimble 2 weapon fighter shouldn't deal exactly the same damage as a 2 handed fighter of the same level. Both characters if optimized should be able to achieve the same damage with approximately the same defensive capability despite each using completely different methods to achieve those goals.

Except in theory, the two hande fighter has other advantages over the 2 weapon fighter. Namely a higher dexterity, which can translate to a number of positives that the two handed build doesn't match. Namely, better saves, better stats in a useful set of skills. The non-stabing options that two weapon fighting and a higher dex can provide (higher defenses, extra effects added due to additional attacks made).

So if you want the two weapon fighter to be equal to the task of a two handed fighter in dealing out death, you have to prodive the 2hander with the added features the two weapon gets.

Quote:

Whether or not pathfinder can achieve that degree of balance is another matter entirely.

IMHO a nimble warrior should be able to defeat the same foes, but over a slightly longer span of time since typically he can rely on better defensive capability.

Isnt this already the case? If you eliminate the higher cost of 2 magic weapons (which I do in my game) then they can do just this with the right options.


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Roger Corbera wrote:
Drake Brimstone wrote:
Because they only contain no GP value components they are generally considered unlimited.
Unlimited? But AFAIK it's a not-magical item.

Basically the non-costly listed material components are meant purely for flavor purposes. The game doesnt want you to have to keep an excel spreadsheet in order to keep track of all the different components you want. So the assumption is, there are enough of each item in there to keep the wizard going until he can find more in his travels. The whole point is you dont have to track it so long as the wizard has his component pouch on him. If that is too much of a stretch for you I'd simply eliminate non-costly material components as a house rule and move on. There really is no value in adding the tracking of dozens of pointless resources.

Personally I am inclined to give every arcane caster eschew materials and call it done, but thats just me.


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Brox RedGloves wrote:

I really do not believe you are qualified to decide that men are not qualified to assist in adding diversity. In fact, that smacks of sexism, and that is offensive.

There is no sexism in my comment. Just plain fact. I am a man. If I join a group of other men and we all share the male gender identity, then by definition, I have not added to the gender diversity of that group of people. Thats what diversity means, and in the context of the OP we are talking about Gender Diversity. Now obviously, if paizo hired someone biologically male who doesnt identify as male, that would add gender diversity, but that isnt what I meant, and I dont think thats how you took my meaning.

Can different men offer diversity of experience, culture, heritage to a group? Of course. But if as the OP was we are talking gender diversity, then adding someone the same gender as the others in the group, doesnt diversify gender.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Anguish wrote:

I have no reason to believe that a small business whose CEO is a} demonstrably progressive and b} a woman is in any way gender-biased against women. Quite the opposite.

With deepest respect to Christina who has put out a fair amount of excellent product, I'm going to have to decline the premise being presented. Paizo should continue to hire the candidates that they evaluate as being the most qualified of those who apply for positions.

I can wrap my head around discussions of beefcake/cheesecake quotients, NPC love-interest demographics, and gender-stereotypes within published fiction, but the idea that a company Lisa owns isn't hiring the right people isn't one I can get.

I don't think anyone believes there is gender bias in the hiring practices. That isnt the point. The state of the gaming world, and the industry itself requires specific action to become more inclusive. As I mentioned, it isnt about hiring someone less qualified. It is about valuing the idea of diversity itself and deliberately seeking it out.


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So effectively HD of the animal companion -2


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Baring a faq i would calculate an animal companion's CR the same as one of the npc classes with its hd in place of levels. An animal companion is capable, not not as much as a full class, so the character's CR seems off to me.


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SteelDraco wrote:

I wonder how their applicant numbers breaks down in terms of qualified men vs qualified women. I'm not a big fan of the idea that a woman should be hired preferentially over an equally-qualified male in order to fill a perceived need for diversity.

That's a pretty touchy topic.

The problem ofcourse is this is circular. Due to the indursty's male dominated past, the vast majority of developers now adult years are the boys and young men who grew up playing the game in the 70s-90s. A young woman looking to join the industry see's all men sitting at the con panel, or in staff pictures, and see's mostly male perspective material in the game, and is less likely to get into the industry. People like Christina, and ofcourse Lisa are an exception, but there are still extra hurdles in front of women in the industry. Even if there is no overt bias, it is still a problem that needs specific action to correct in a reasonable amount of time.

Its not about people being hired preferentially, its about literally correcting a problem in the industry. A male developer is not qualified to assist in adding diversity to the perspectives and talent present in the dev staff. We already have male dominated staff.

I would be happy to see women on the rpg team, the wider range of perspectives the better. In the creative fields, especially one like rpgs where you are literally pretending to be something you arent, having people with different life experience will give us a better product.

Edit:
You know I just thought of an intersting idea that would drastically benefit from having both male and female designers. A guide to playing a gender swapped character. IE a male player playing a female character or the reverse. Some people do it well, some do not, and it would be cool to see in a product similar to the strategy guide.


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I have to say, I too was surprised by this, totally missed it when it first came out. I really like this archetype, and the gunslinger scientist character in my iron gods game may be interested in a rebuild. I will have to show this to him.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If there is only ONE player interested in firearms, the treasure works out quite well. I have two gunslingers in my party, so I'll be altering the treasure to suit them. But then in just about every adventure if two players are focused on the same kind of weapon, if you dont alter treasure, someone is going to be upset.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ghostwind7 wrote:
I can certainly see the virute of having 2 DM PCs to round out the group. But I also want to keep as much of the focus as possible on my two buddies (largely so I don't spend a huge chunk of the game session RPing with myself while the PCs look for a chance to interject). I may just have to bite the bullet and invite another player, which is a shame. I was really looking forward to the RP possibilities of these 2 orcish brothers making it to epic level.

Action economy is a really big issue in the game. Simply being a higher level then the adventure expects doesnt even this out, it actually makes it worse (it just makes things more uneven at both ends).

However, there is a fix for this if people are willing to re-gigger their characters a bit.

I have run pathfinder adveture paths and modules for 2 person parties without major issues and without dmpcs. I did this by doing a couple things.

First, I had the players be 'Gestalt' characters. This basically means they get the class abilities of 2 classes, and take the higher of each 'side' of their build for hp, saves, skills and bab. This allows them to cover more of the 'bases' without running multiple individual characters. Details of how this works can be found in the 3.5 srd under the unearthed arcana rules.

Second, encourage, or even enforce action economy boosting class choices. Here, I would have the inquisitor take druid or hunter as it's second class, and have the rogue take summoner. This way the druid or hunters animal companion, and the summoners eidolon even out to 4 characters. Normally lots of pets can be a problem, but in a 2 person party, they are a great solution. The inquisitor/druid will have plenty of divine casting, and the rogue/summoner should have enough arcane tricks to handle most of the issues you will face in the ap.

And ofcourse you dont have to worry about losing focus on the 2 brothers roleplay wise since neither the animal companion, nor the eidolon really need much roleplaying. They are automatic sidekicks, and by their very rules, followers that can be more or less handwaived in roleplay situations, or even left outside when dealing with social situations.

As mentioned druid and summoner are the best choices to gestalt here, but there are a few other choices. Magus with its ability to cast and fight is a slight action economy boost, particularly when he has time to buff, same thing with the warpriest from the advanced class guide, and to a lesser extent the paladin since it can swift action heal itself. An inquisitor paladin, and a rogue/warpriest could work, but not as well as mixing in druid and summoner because of the action economy the pets grant.

I also allow a slightly more generous point buy or other stat generation method when doing this due to the split in focus gestalt characters can cause.

If you do these things you dont have to invite another player, you wont have to make significant alterations to the ap, you can run the characters at the level the AP recommends, and you can continue to focus on the two brothers and their adventures instead of having to add focus for other characters.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
The Genie wrote:

Drow have racial feats that grant all the drow noble abilitiez including the better sr.

Most races do not have similar racial feats.

And the taking of feats also cripple the class builds.

You are right. But, the fact remains, that in order to even out the difference between the drow noble and every other playable race, you would have to give everyone else:

4 bonus feats
3 +2 bonuses to add to stats.

Thats how much over everyone else the drow noble is. Thats alot, and its why most people wouldn't even consider allowing it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
The Genie wrote:

Then how are they playable i mean should all races have a level adjust except humans even thought i think that bonus feat should be delayed a level or two.

Most of the races, while not perfectly equal have a rough equivalence. Particularly in the stat line area, but also in their additional abilities. The normal drow for instance, I think mechanically falls into the scale of the other pc races maybe a bit on the high side because of it's spell resistance. Other then thematic issues, I dont mind the drow as a pc race.

The drow noble has a rather high spell resistance, and effectively rediculous stats. +4dex, +2 int, +2 cha, +2 wisdom and -2 con. Thats basically a +6 over every other race and includes a +4 to a often cricial stat that isnt matched by any other race besides the relatively weak goblins. That is waaaay too high. While not all character concepts will take full advantage of all of that, its benefits are quite significant. It is simply too good to stand along side the other races without modification.

Thats why people howl. It doesnt fit power scale wise with everyone else, where as most of the other pcish races are roughly equivalent.


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The Genie wrote:

Title pretty much sums up my question. Why do people freak out when you mention Drow Noble.

People mention in a lot of threads their Spell-Like Abilities, but you can gain them through feats. Their Stat adjust is not all that powerful unless you got dang lucky on a roll or are using an insanely high Point Buy.

And to be honest I have both played as a Drow Noble (Gunslinger Pistolero/Mysterious Stranger before Errata) and while I did very good damage I didn't OP the game and make everyone else useless. And I have played DM to a Drow Noble Ranger and a Drow Noble Rogue in the same game. They where a little difficult to adjust to at first but quickly fell into line. (Pretty new at the DM thing when this happened)

Humans get a free bonus feat, which they can take to start lines of feats far earlier then the rest of the party. If one argument that is common is true, Feats are a precious resource. You can spend class level feats to gain racial aspects via race feats, and magical items boost ability scores but being able to throw on that second or third feat at level 1 seems pretty darn powerful. So why does no one say Humans are OP?

I feel like quoting Joker from The Dark Knight movie but I would butcher the lines, but he mentions it pretty well about if things go according to plan no one freaks out, but the moment you throw a little chaos in, a little thing that was not expected or known people freak out. I feel this applies to this. We all know Humans, they are common and we have all played or seen them played so they don't freak us out. But Drows for a long time where a monster race pure and simple, now we have the CR 1/3 (Same as humans btw) Drow and even then I hear people complaining about how powerful they are. Now throw in their CR 1 Big Brother the Noble Drow and all heck breaks loose.

So why is that?
Why do people freak if they see a person sit down and show their Drow Noble Swashbuckler or Fighter or Bard, Etc character sheet?

I dont know about freak out, but a drow noble is certainly more powerful then any of the core races. And while a certain character may not take advantage of those abilities, others can. So as a standard rule, unless you some how adjust for it (give other races bonuses to match) playing a drow noble along side normal races isnt a good idea.

On the other hand, I have run a game with a drow noble player, specifically skull and shackles. But other pcs got significant bonuses to account for all the extra stuff the noble gets (it revolves around a set of house rules I reducing the amount of magic items in the game).

Basically the drow noble gets more stuff. And yes, other characters can eventually get the same stuff, but the a race like the noble provides a significant advantage if used to its full potential.

So I dont freak out, but I will take specific action to accomodate such a character, and I also have to know WHY the character is involved in the campaign. It will certainly require extra work for both me and the player, many dont want to do that extra work, and so, they simply dont allow it.


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lorenlord wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
I generally dont use xp anymore, characters level at story appropriate times. Instead I use a version of hero points. I award a hero point for stand out roleplaying, writing a background, illustrating or otherwise obtaining a portrait of your character and for writing an in character journal entry recapping a session.
Nice, Kolo. I like the idea of rewarding for backstory and journals, never thought of that before honestly. i just usually take the backstory-writing as a given, but that's a great idea to get people who may be less inclined to Roleplay involved in the RP'ing. Cool.

I particularly like the journals. In particular, because it allows those wall flowers who may either not be comfortable or not be good at roleplaying to get in on the action. Anyone can write a journal entry. And it helps to keep both them and the party immersed in the story. It also is a great recap at the start of the next session. I used to offer a point for someone to simply recap the previous session, but this way theres more flavor, more character, and it is generally more complete since they actually sit down and write it ahead of time instead of coming up with it on the spot.


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I generally dont use xp anymore, characters level at story appropriate times. Instead I use a version of hero points. I award a hero point for stand out roleplaying, writing a background, illustrating or otherwise obtaining a portrait of your character and for writing an in character journal entry recapping a session.


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Give him his army back. Allow it to perform 'tasks' on a daily basis that aid the fighter in various ways. From gathering intelligence, to simply providing a presense that gives him a bonus on specific skill checks (both diplomacy and intimidate would benefit significantly if the guy had an army backing him up). Possibly even provide 'advisers' that either aid, or simply give him a different skill bonus to specific skills.


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Kthulhu wrote:
I liked the nerf that 5e gave Knock. Wanna get thru a locked door? It works fine. Wanna get thru a locked door with some modicum of discretion/stealth? Knock is NOT the answer.

5E seems to have done a lot of good things. First and foremost, cantrips appear to be far more meaningful, and thus allowing room for the reduction in power of the 'impact' spells as well as reduced spell slots. That is certainly one way to go about addressing the problem.

So alot less 'mr fix it' over the course of the adventure, but no 'i plink with my useless crossbow'.


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Raltus wrote:

@Kolokotroni & Orfamay Quest

Both very fair points. What if we just remove spells from all spell lists (cleric/druid) that give abilities that other classes get naturally?

Doesn't trivialize the Rogue/Fighter/Monk/Barb

Yes I know spells like rage help a fighter out but that is the barbs stick and lets try to keep it that way.

For me at least, niche protection isnt a good solution. Mostly because the game is designed around a party of 4 players, it shouldnt have to be around four specific classes. I like that you can have a party without any specific class and still function as needed. The point shouldnt be that you NEED a fighter or a rogue, it should be that the fighter and rogue are cool enough on their own merits to be worth playing at least some of the time. Besides, given the proliferation of classes, niche protection is basically impossible. We have many rogish classes, many fighterish classes, trying to somehow protect the niche of any one of those classes in that kind of environment is impossible.

I also dont think just taking out the specific spells is a good solution either. In the end it is the very nature of spells that is the problem in my mind. Unless you basically remove every single potent spell the probem isnt resolved. Either magic, or not magic, or both need a fundamental redesign to fix this.

Quote:

To many games are blurring the lines of the classes. Many online games just make it so that you don't have to have all the classes present to get the buffs. Lets not make it that way in PF.

I basically completely disagree with this. I LIKE that aspect of the game. I like that you can run a party with say, an alchemist, a magus, a bard and an inquisitor, and get by pretty much normally. I like flexible classes. I like those blured lines. The issue is that the classes all need to blur the lines equally.

Quote:

If we try to keep each class having a certain point in the game where they shine then people will want to play them.

The problem isnt that classes dont have their own moment to shine, its how much and how effectively they shine. Rogues and fighters can still shine. Its just that barbarians, paladins, rangers, etc often do it better, with a wider variety of means to go about being awesome.

Quote:

I know magic is supposed to be the binding force (no SW pun intended) but if we let those wizards have all the fun than we are taking away from other fun classes. If you just playing for mathematics and want the best possible outcome all the time and don't care about RPing a character then be my guest and have the casters snap their fingers and conjure up whatever it is you need.

Personally I want to change what magic is in the game. I think the fire and forget, can do anything every time nature of magic is a problem. The thing is though, changing that has to start from the ground up. The whole point of the wizard, and to a degree the cleric is that they should have access to this vast toolbox. You cant just take the toolbox away and replace it with a hammer and a wrench and call it done. You need to change the classes with it. Idealy I would elimitate all the 9 level casters except the druid(I feel the druid gets enough other 'stuff' to where even hard nerfing spells leaves a playable interesting class in its wake), and replace 'spells' as they stand with a much more simplified list of abilities that are more akin to feats and class abilities in their flexibility and applications.

Its actually a major personal project I am currently working on based around the concept of 'riven magic' from the rogue genius games class the riven mage. Basically 'riven spells' are simple effects that can have more or less energy (called flux) pumped into them for greater or lesser effects. So theres a spell called 'blast' and based on your level, you can pump a certain amount of flux into a blast spell for a bigger or smaller blast. They are swift actions to 'cast' and they are supernatural abilities (no attacks of opportunity or spell resistance) but they are dramatically reduced in power, and scope. So for instance you cant fly, but you can 'flit' or effectively fly a short distance once. All the spells are at most rounds per point of flux (which is capped essentially at 1+1/2level) spent.

Basically this means that spells in this system cant be all a character does most of the time. He needs skills, or combat abilities, or something else to give them something to work with. The 6 level casters (and the druid) are pretty much a perfect framework for that. So I am creating archetypes for each of them to replace their spells with riven magic.

Quote:


This could also be r/t class bloat and the fighter just being a frame work for adding stuff to make a new class instead of retro fitting them.

I personally really like what many people call class bloat. My prefered way to add options to the game is new classes. They are easiest to manage as a dm, they are often the most balanced way of adding options, they are self contained, they are easiest to explain to new players or to players unfamiliar with them, and they require the least amount of work to incorporate into your game. Heres 5 pages, read those, your done.

No need to go through 100 pages of feats, archetypes or alternate features/talents to find what fits. You also know right away if something works for your concept. Sure you can make a swashbuckler with a mix of fighter/rogue/feats and other options. But the swashbuckler class is far simpler to create, manage and absorb. There is also the least room for unforseen interactions with other rooms. Classes are for the most part self contained. A new swashbuckler class feature only affects the swashbuckler. Much less of hte 'find the perfect combination across 20 books' mentality. And it still allows for an extremely wide variety of concepts if you find enough classes.

So when I add to my game, my favorite way to add, is to find a base class that fits the concept I am looking for and add that.


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James Langley wrote:
Liranys wrote:
Not even on your weekends? (Saturday and Sunday, As I remember you saying you were off Sat - Monday)

During my weekend, the rest of my group is unavailable. And Spokane (nearest large city) is kind of hard to get into/out of without a car to do gaming with my other friends.

If I could get away with just dragging myself around the office, I would. But I work in a warehouse. And my wife hates it when I get home late lol

One thing I have come to realize is you need to create a group who's schedules line up in some fashion.

My group hit a similar issue as we came out of college and started finding 'real life' really limits your hours. There are friends I gamed with in highschool/college that I dont anymore, not because they arent around or we arent friends anymore, but simply that our schedules cant line up easily. If your friends cant comit to say one saturday evening game or maybe sunday afternoon a month scheduled in advance, then you need to find a different group of people to game with. Its pretty much that simple. You have your work/life schedule, you need to find people to put into your life that can match up with that.

And yes it takes much longer to get through an ap or long campaign going once a month, but its still better then no gaming, and you can either adapt the style of campaign to something shorter (like using the new module line that is sort of like 2 adventure path books in one) or just go with it. My friend has a campaign that has been running now for 2.5 years, and its certainly been fun and going strong even though we only play it once a month.


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Raltus wrote:

What happens when you never let the wizard have access to other Wizards spell books or anything but basic scrolls and such. I know they get any spell they want when they level and that can be an issue, or enforcing the copying rules and such. When it takes the wizard a week to decipher a 7th spell from another spell book of 7th level spells (each 7 pages) they are eating up valuable in game and table time. Hold them to their own rules of limitation.

Also if the wizard is clogging up their spells per day with things spells that other classes have natural abilities for they are just trying to show off or won't have other spells prepared.

Sure they can break narrative, if you let them. If you just hold them to their class abilities and don't give them the down time to do all of this you limit them without having to dumb them down.

I don't have the rules in front of me for copying a spell from another persons spell book. I think it is 1 hr per page, so anything over a 4th level spell will eat into their sleep time, their prep time and their day light hours.

Just my two coppers.

Yes, you can agressively limit wizards, the problem ofcourse, is A that is antagonistic and creates an adversarial relationship between player and dm, B there are other tier 1 classes that have no such limitations (druid, and cleric come to mind), and C, downtime is a rational part of the adventuring system. If you dont allow downtime, your party is going to go 1-20 in like 2 months. That isnt rational story telling. Not even proffesional soldiers fight every single day during wars. Rational people need downtime to recover, and to lead lives. And the assumption of said downtime is built into most adventure paths.

Heck, the whole downtime system introduced in ultimate campaign is basically there so everyone who isnt a wizard has something to do in that assumed time when a wizard is crafting, researching etc.

Saying I can remove base assumptions of the game and of the vast majority of long term story telling (downtime) in order to limit the basic function of a specific class isnt the answer to the magic problem, because it creates other problems. It limits the kind of story you can tell (anything without a constant ticking clock of doom), it hurts other characters (no retraining, no gathering resources, no developing npc-pc relationships), it creates an irrationally fast pace of level advancement (neophyte to master wizard in 2 months of in world time), and its going to make the wizard's player actively try to oppose the dms actions in order to get the downtime he needs to do his thing. Once that player vs dm mentality seeps into a game, it is extremely disruptive and often destructive.


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So effectively 5 'good' players are not playing with you because they dont get along with your girlfriend? I feel like we are jumping over an obvious problem here...


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Malwing wrote:
Christopher Dudley wrote:
Are they your friends? Do you want to keep gaming with them? Do you want it to be Pathfinder?

Sometimes they're my friends but for the most part these are people that answer to recruitment calls for pathfinder.

Since I've started playing pathfinder I've had a rotating door of players. The only constant is my girlfriend who is pretty terrible at the game but until level 6 or 8 it isn't that bad. I always have to help her make a sheet each level but if it's on her sheet she can do it, I just have to explain it and print out what it does.

What about sticking to something like E6? Where you never enter into the high complexity of upper level characters?


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Malwing wrote:


I feel like the only thing I haven't tried was making my own guide to pathfinder in general, but I'm terrified that the amount of work it would take to draw the graphics, write it out and compose it in pdf form would not be worth it because nobody, and I mean nobody, reads any of my handouts and I don't expect this to change.

Are you aware of the strategy guide that is upcoming? Its purpose is to sort of walk people through some of the basics of pathfinder instead of that incomprehensible tome that is the core book. It might help, and is certainly easier then creating the same thing yourself.


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Insain Dragoon wrote:

Paizo publishes a lot of material that's so broken it should never be seen in games. In both directions as we have stuff that's so weak it shouldn't be an option and stuff that's so strong it shouldn't be an option.

This wouldn't be a large problem if we didn't have players that abuse the broken options to create characters that destroy community storytelling.

It would also be less of a problem if certain fundamental concepts were not vastly superior in their ability to influence that community story telling, to the point where one group requires you to change the kind of story you tell and the other doesnt.


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Insain Dragoon wrote:
CWheezy wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:


I don't agree with all of Paizo's decisions towards balance, but they ARE making the effort.

Hmmm, from what I have noticed the opposite is true. Do you have examples to back up this claim?

Even from the core rulebook from 3.5 to pathfinder, wizards were buffed. I have not seen any nerfs to them in subsequent books, in fact they are just getting significantly more powerful as time goes on

The Shaman from ACG is probably the closest thing to a balanced full caster Paizo has published.

The Monk has been moved from one of the worst classes to able to fulfill several niches.

They did not nerf the Slayer or Investigator even though Rogue was a parent.

Though the inclusion of the Arcanist is troubling.

Its not really troubling, its sort of par for the course.

Core rules have the druid and wizard, advanced players guide had the summoner, the advanced class guide has the arcanist.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:
IMHO everyone having their moment to shine has more to do with the GM than the game rules.
I disagree. The more the rules support everyone getting their moment, the less I have to work on it as a GM, leaving me more time and energy to work on things the system cannot help me with, like personalities and plots.

Agreed, the point is not that we can somehow remove the gms from the equation but making his job easier. The more even the various player's contributions are to overcoming the various challenges involved in the game, the easier it is to give everyone their moment to shine.

If I have an adventuring team consisting of superman, green lantern, wonderwoman and Aragorn, I have to do alot of work to make sure the relatively human guy with a sword is involved and has a moment to shine. If we change out aragorn for batman, who has billions of dollars, a brilliant mind that plans for every contingecny, and an endless supply of tech toys built straight into the fact that he is batman, then that normalish human can now participate in my adventure on a comparable level as the others. He many not punch as hard as superman, or wonderwoman, or have as flexible a tool as green lanterns ring, but he has the whole 'because he's batman' thing going, in addition to bat-anti-thing spray he might need in that belt of his.


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voska66 wrote:

I think you need to define Balance. My definition of Balance is can I balance an encounter to appropriately challenging by CR to APL for all combinations of classes. In this way Balance is very important.

So if a APL +1 encounter is trivial for one party but meat grinder for another then there is balance issue. This of course assumed standard build with default stats following the WBL guideline. For the most part I find Pathfinder very balance if you keep these 3 variables with in the guidelines. The only balance issue I find following this is rogues at high level.

Basically as GM I see balance issue when I'm having to rework things to help the party or single character out in game. For the rogue I find a problem but it's fairly easy to fix, I slip the rogue more wealth at high levels. Picking pockets in my games is very lucrative and that wealth is class feature not WBL in my games. So they don't have to share it with the party but they can. That's a balance issue though that I've fixed with little house ruling some creative GMing. For every other class the rule as written work. Sure fighter might get bit dull in the end but it's still balanced and works on CR appropriate encounters.

The idea that CR can be a tell all scale is fundamentally flawed in a game as robust as pathfinder. If it was simply a matter of everyone standing there and bashing eachother with sharp metal, sure we can even out the math and make it a certain amount of difficult, but thats not how this game works for more then half the classes.

Different classes/concepts/combinations of options are good at different things, and even if we had that 'balance' where each class/concept/combination of options could contribute equally, they wouldnt all contribute in the same way. A 2handed barbarian, synthesist summoner, paladin, combat focused druid, will dish out alot of direct damage in an encounter, with some control options on the part of the summoner and the druid. But in order to adequately challenge these folks, you will likely need big tough monsters that can take and dish out lots of damage.

A party of a sword and board defence minded fighter, a life oracle, a conjuration wizard, and a buff focused bard, while potentially quite capable, wont dish out anywhere near as much damage as the first party. The way in which they take on encounters will be differently. While the first party needs monsters with a butt ton of hit points to survive the pounding they are going to take, the second party needs flexible opponents with the ability to get around the hurdles and defences the party will put in place to protect themselves as they take on the foe.

To somehow even all that out to a universal number is literally not possible. Party composition will always matter as long as different concepts differ in ability in different areas. A druid with a big cat companion, and a life oracle are both divine casters, but their potential contributions to a conflict are wildly different.

While a useful tool, the cr system in pathfinder (in any form that even vaguely resembles it's current state) will never be an end all be all. It just cant. Even concepts that are roughly balanced in the general sense will skew different ways depending on the type and proficiency of an opponent.

Lets take for instance, a 2handed paladin, and a 2handed barbarian. Both are quite capable of filling the big beat stick role in a party, and doing so well, with a set of tools to help them do their job. But the barbarian is more or less unaffected by the nature of the opponent, where as the paladin generally gets to roflstomp enemies on team evil (undead, outsiders and dragons) and will struggle against neutral enemies.

Granted I'd love it if at least we could look at the focus of each class/concept/combination of options and say, that fits into a certain category and judge CR that way. And honestly, baring a few outliers that is becoming more and more possible I think.

I think the best 'balance' in this sense comes out of the non-summoner 3/4 bab 6 level casting classes. I think each of those are actually pretty close to eachother (again baring the summoner). Any combination of 4 of the inquisitor, magus, bard, alchemist, warpriest, skald, investigator, and hunter will probably about even against the cr scale.

Actually that might be an interesting experiment. A series of all 6 level caster parties in various combinations, compared against eachother. Might work.


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the secret fire wrote:

I think you are on the right track, Kolo. If I still believed in straight point buy systems, I'd probably put a ceiling/floor on the starting stats, as well. My only gripe is that setting 25 point buy within the bounds of basically 10 and 15 (though a secondary stat could be higher with no racial bonus) is going to lead to a lot of similar stat layouts.

I guess the most mechanically efficient way to build a human in this system would be something like:

15 (17), 14, 14, 14, 13, 10

...or something along those lines.

Now, I wouldn't use exactly this layout for every character, but I could see using something quite similar to this in a lot of cases in your system, even for SAD classes. I like your idea and agree with your motivations, but it leads (in my imagination, at least) to more incentive for sameness than I like.

Actually in my experience it allows for more diversity. For instance, one thing you are assuming is that the highest someone will buy is 15. In this system you are not particularly penalyzed for say playing a dwarf wizard, or even a race that has a penalty to a key stat like a dwarf sorceror. With this system you can know you are starting on the same playing field as anyone else even if you are playing something outside the norm. Because in this setup you can actually buy yourself up to the maximum allowed bonus, even if you have a penalty to that score (getting to a 16, which at least to start is the same as the maximum 17).

Also, assuming you get more people playing mad concepts, which you do in this system, you are just as likely to see something like 15(17), 16, 14, 13, 10, 10. It will depend on what serves the character. In addition, thing's i have seen are things like the charismatic wizard. Why? Because he couldnt just dump everything into int, so he decided to play a charming personable wizard. Something basically unheard of in the normal point buys.


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One item I almost always drop fairly early in a campaign (usually one for every 2 players in the party) is the healing belt from 3.5 magic item compendium. Its renewable healing anyone can use, and yes, its probably under priced, and its probably too capable, the truthfully anything that makes the cleric not have to be the bandaid is a good thing. Let the other party members use THEIR actions to deal with the problem, so the cleric can on occassion get to do something cool.


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Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:


My full rules for starting stats are 25point buy, no scores over 17 after racial modifiers, no scores under 10 before racial modifiers. It has worked quite well for me and my table.
17 seems a bit harsh. 18 seems like it would work too - and wouldn't outright screw over a few character concepts. (Ex: Drunken Masters basically require Swift Drinker, which requires a Con of 18 to take. Your ruling would be forcing them to delay said feat for two levels.)
Its definately not a 1st level requirement for the concept, that is absurd. How many monks can actually afford an 18 con at 1st level? Again, if you take the standard point buy of 15 points, theres no way that monk has an 18 con and is still functional as, you know, a monk (needing wisdom, dex, and strength to go with that con score)

You can get an 18 con with a 15 point buy as a dwarf monk so long as you're willing to dump cha and drop str down to 9. (get an agile AOMF ASAP)

They do better with a higher point buy - but that's true of all MAD classes.

My point is it hurts quite a bit (remember, 15 point buy is the base assumption of the game), a monk with a 9st is basically completely ineffective in combat until he gets that very specfic magic item that is worth at least 4,000gp, and isnt in the rpg line, so again, isnt a given that it will be available even if the campaign allows you to get a hold of magic items that specific. Which basically means he isnt going to sort that for at least a few levels. At which point he could also raise his con, if its important to his concept and take the feat.

Whats more hampering for a monk? Not doing any damage until he can get an agile amulet of mighty fists, or waiting probably less time time before being able to take a feat to drink alchohol as a swift action, and in the mean time he has better overall stats, for his mad character? Remember the point here is to keep things about as strong as they are at 15points without penalyzing mad characters as much as a lowish point buy does. I would argue that until the level that a monk is able to get an amulet of mighty fists he benefits far more in my system even spending a standard action on his alchohol, then he would with a poor strength, and also likely a lower wisdom, and a less crummy int and charisma.

Your example for my idea 'screwing over' a few concepts is a very specific build for a very specific concept that only works with a specific race, and only works in a campaign that specifically allows a magic item property (agile) that isnt in the core line of books, and allows characters to get a hold of specific magic items, rather then, either making them rare, or making them random/story relevant. Thats a hyper specific example.

I'd honestly take that loss over the benefits gained from reigning the numbers in while still allowing for well rounded characters anyday.


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Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:


My full rules for starting stats are 25point buy, no scores over 17 after racial modifiers, no scores under 10 before racial modifiers. It has worked quite well for me and my table.
17 seems a bit harsh. 18 seems like it would work too - and wouldn't outright screw over a few character concepts. (Ex: Drunken Masters basically require Swift Drinker, which requires a Con of 18 to take. Your ruling would be forcing them to delay said feat for two levels.)

Its definately not a 1st level requirement for the concept, that is absurd. How many monks can actually afford an 18 con at 1st level? Again, if you take the standard point buy of 15 points, theres no way that monk has an 18 con and is still functional as, you know, a monk (needing wisdom, dex, and strength to go with that con score)


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Saigo Takamori wrote:

Well, 25 pts build help a lot more the MAD class than the SAD class. Even with a 15 pts build, the wizard will probably max his INT since he don't need the reste, while the Fighter or the Monk will have bad time dealing with it.

I found that 25 pts build is, in fact, far more balanced than the standard 15 pts build.

Hence my suggestion, go higher point buy, just cap the starting scores at 17. The intent behind a 15point buy is for people to have something near the elite erray (which has a max of 15 before racial modifiers). The fact that some people will play oafish idiot weaklings in order to max out specific scores doesnt really change the assumption of the game. So simply not allowing it is generally a good idea. I happen to be a propenent of supporting mad concepts without making it easier for the sad guys.

My full rules for starting stats are 25point buy, no scores over 17 after racial modifiers, no scores under 10 before racial modifiers. It has worked quite well for me and my table.


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ElterAgo wrote:

Another thought to add on the power creep new stuff overpowered discussions.

A friend of mine finally got fed up with how over powered all the new stuff was because he was needing to go to APL+3 to even start to challenge the party. So he started the new campaign as CRB only. What happened? They still stomped all over his APL encounters. We looked at it together some with examples of what had happened. Turns out, the players have just gotten better at building characters and using effective tactics.

Don’t get me wrong, some of the newer spells, feats, and classes are a bit better than much of what is in the CRB for some things. But none of them are better at all of it than everything in the CRB. If you see what I mean.

The other change is that he has been allowing the good ideas, clever approaches, excellent role playing, and things like that to have larger and larger circumstance bonuses to non-combat situations. He also doesn’t (or at least rarely) set the non-combat DC’s out of reach of the group. The result has been that, all of the players are now optimizing totally for combat. Since all their social and investigative skills are low, he sets the DC’s pretty low. Since he gives them big bonuses for non-build stuff, they still succeed.

I am certainly not saying the way he is playing is wrong. They are having fun and he will probably not be changing his style of play.
What I’m saying is that, he is confusing causation with correlation. Every so often the group would add more books allowed. Over the same general period he started having more problems creating challenging encounters. Correlation. They both happened at the same time. But the books did not cause his problems.

100% this.

Particularly if you accept the advanced players guide as part of your base assumption for pathfinder (which in my mind is when pathfinder really became its own complete game) Each book has been roughly balanced with each previous book in the sence that if you could somehow assign a 'power rating' to each option in it, the mean, max, min, and standard deviations would all roughly line up.

Every book has had some powerful options, a few options that were probably too powerful, a bunch of just bellow average options and bunch of weak options. There are MORE powerful options in the game, sure, because there are more options. But the only difference is more character concepts can be more powerful.

The game has not become more difficult to handle then a core rulebook party of a conjurer wizard, a druid with a big cat companion, a bard and a paladin. If optimized that party combination can easily trounce most adventure paths as written.


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wraithstrike wrote:
Squirrel_Dude wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Not all groups are equal. The game assumes average players with 15 point buy. Once you get optimizers, 20 point buy or higher, non standard parties, and so on then it is on the GM to adjust.

Random comment.

If true, Paizo assuming a 15 point buy in monster design is dumb for a couple of reasons. The first being that the average results from 4d6 drop lowest are higher than a 15 point buy, so monsters aren't even designed to handle the traditional char. gen method. Though, to be fair, a 15 point buy allows more min maxing than dice-rolling Char. Gen does.

The other being that, if 15 point buy is supposed to be the "low power" option for character generation, monsters shouldn't be designed around it. To use a very crude visual:

High Power
"Standard" Power <----- Monsters should be designed around this paradigm.
Low Power

From the PRD

Quote:


Low Fantasy 10
Standard Fantasy 15
High Fantasy 20
Epic Fantasy 25
15 is the standard. Low fantasy is 10.

This is the thing most people completely miss. Pathfinder is designed around a 15 point buy, which is lower then the 'common' stat generation methods that have been prevalent in 3.x.

Basically the game is expecting characters to have something close to the elite array, meaning their primary stat will start somewhere between 15 and 17. Even when using higher point buys you should be enforcing a limit in this order. Players shouldnt be starting the game with 20's in primary stats if you dont want to adjust as a dm. It throws off the basic math of the game. Simply caping starting ability scores at 17 has made my life as a gm much easier. It's actually meant i can offer higher point buys (25) without hurting giving a free pass to single ability score characters. So even if you like more generous stat generation methods, just enforce that upper starting limit (after racial modifiers) and you are just fine.


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Squirrel_Dude wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:

But this isn't an actual balance issue. This is a player knowledge issue. A core rules only party made up of an optimized druid, wizard, bard and paladin isn't really less work to prep for then 99% of what can be put together using the entirety of the rules today. This goes down to like 99.9% if you include the APG in your base assumption.

Just because your players weren't using it to its fullest at the start of the game and they are now doesn't mean power creep is going on. It just means your players are...

There are more, better options for fighters and straight martial characters than there were in Core only games. This has increased the base power level of the game, increasing the overall balance level. Are the top levels changed? Obviously not. Gate, Teleport, Scry, etc. were all in the CRB. However, the base level/tank monsters in the bestiary have not changed. They thus require more work to be effective than when there were fewer books published.

I am not talking about just teleport and scry. I am talking about a combat focused druid with a big cat companion wearing barding. Show me a fighter that is better at taking down a tanky monster then that.

Some classes have better options available, but none of those options are better then the ones that existed within the first year of the game for the same kind of task. Just because more character concepts can achieve them doesnt mean there is a balance problem. Thats actually a balance improvement.

So again, I'd state that when taken as a whole, the game's balance hasnt changed since the release of the Advance Players Guide. Specific options are better then other specific options at specific things sure. But the overall potential of what is available to a 4 person party is roughly the same. Players are just making different choices then they did in the first few months the game existed.


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Slacker2010 wrote:

Thanks for the comments, but im looking for specific advice on the Summoner, not the Eidolon. Im not going with the Spirit Summoner or Master Summoner. Rosc is the only one that gave some specific feat advice. Thank you Rosc.

Im trying to determine if my feats should be based around being a melee or being a caster, and what will I be doing with the Summoner. I believe the trip based Eidolon will really enhance all the other melees in the group without stealing any spotlight. I have built him to help the others shine. STill what is Mr Summoner doing after casting haste? What feats are good? Playstyle?

@rosc: THanks for the tips, not sure im going to go with the Spell focus and summon feats cause if played correctly the summon feats wont come into play. THey are a good back up. I would have to go through the summoners spell list to see if its worth getting spells focus. Any other good caster feats you can think of?

I think I am still not entirely sure what you are trying to accomplish and why you want to do it with the summoner.

Apparently, you dont want to have a powerhouse eidolon since you already have several meleers in the party, and you dont want to use the summon monster ability. So what is it about the summoner that you want? The spell list?

In an attempt to actually get at what you want, I have a question, are you permitted 3rd party material? Because there is a different class I'd recommend that combines the magus and summoner spell list, with a pet that can (if you choose the right one) not be a melee monster, that isnt focused on summoning things and can wear light armor and be a descent secondary combatant. Its called the dracomancer by rogue genius games. Its a 6 level caster, it has access to both the summoner and magus list (lots of battlefield control in there) and you get a pet dragon, and in the list there are lots that arent melee powerhouses (some are even tiny sized at low levels). Often they can be used mostly for their breath weapon(some of which can have battlefield control effects), while the focus of the character remains on what the dracomancer does.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:


You dont even have to go to these kinds of extremes. You dont even need to go outside the fantasy genre.

Agreed,... but....

Quote:
Example, a mid level rogue-ish character has a network of spies that tell him everything of note going on in the city/region/whatever. Theres two guys like that in game of thrones, no magic required. Then theres guys who have a significant army at their beck and call, ...
That works in some kinds of fantasy stories, but it creates narrative difficulties for the more traditional quest-based stories, where it's basically just me-and-my-sword, or if the director has a huge casting budget, me-and-my-sword-AND-my-horse. ("And my bow!" "And my axe!") Think of Conan the Cimmerian, who not only often doesn't have armies, he often doesn't even have trousers....

You know what creates even more narrative issues? Magic. Obviously not every option works for every kind of campaign, but that doesnt mean it shouldnt. Besides, I am pretty sure those quest based stories also didnt have a walking miracle or a dude with mastery over time and space.

How many of conans stories would have been 30 pages long if he had a high level pathfinder wizard along for the ride?

Quote:

What you described is how first edition AD&D was balanced, in a long-ago time called the 70s. It obviously didn't work well, which is why the market moved in a different direction. Today that kind of ability is a single feat (called Leadership), and it's often/usually banned [ironically because it's "overpowered," but also because it's hard to adjudicate].

It didnt work well because dms complained it interfered with their story choices but no one mentioned how much the wizard screwed with their story choices. I dont know what it is, but dms really get riled up with non-magic takes away a bit of power from them. And that feat could easily be made less difficult to adjudicate if any effort at all was put into what having these followers actual means.

Create rules around what leadership can actually due at a given level/leadership score and its not a problem. And sure its overpowered compared to weapon focus, but it shouldn't even be a friggan feat, it should just be part of the mundane classes.

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And, yes, it's definitely realistic.

My point, however, is that "realism" per se isn't necessarily a good thing, and things can be unrealistic without being "magical." And there's a lot of unrealistic Muggle stuff that would let a fighter be Chuck Norris without having him be a wuxia film.

Thats certainly true. It would just require a break of the current mold where 'mundane' things dont require resources. Give the fighter badass points that he can use to chucknorris people and you now have a foundation to build on.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Orfamay Quest wrote:
ElCrabofAnger wrote:


But unless you're playing a wuxia campaign, or something with very blurry lines between martial arts and magic, martials are always going to feel second rate before too long. That's because, in a world as posited by many fantasy RPGs, they are. Pathfinder operates under the assumption that you'll have a certain amount of gear at a given level. What type of gear? Magical. So hey, the martials can't even do their basic jobs without help from the people who paid attention in class.

Except why should "realism" have to apply only to martial characters?

There are lots of cinematic examples where there's no magic at all, but where the heroes get to do awesome stuff because they're heroes and that's what the adventure demands. This can be as mundane as the sixguns that shoot seven or eight shots or the car that manages to drive from Jersey City to the Brooklyn Bridge in thirty seconds, through the slightly more noticeable doctor who can diagnose diseases over the phone and the hacker who can break into the bank's computer in thirty seconds using only a touch-tone phone, up to Indiana Jones hiding in a lead-lined refrigerator to avoid being killed in a nuclear test.

None of those are in any way magical. They're just cool, and they make for a better story.

A magus can charge through a gauntlet of mooks, disabling every one of them, without them getting a chance to react. (It's a spell, Bladed Dash, Greater.) But Chuck Norris can do the same thing any time the director wants him to, and he's not a spell-casters.

You dont even have to go to these kinds of extremes. You dont even need to go outside the fantasy genre. Example, a mid level rogue-ish character has a network of spies that tell him everything of note going on in the city/region/whatever. Theres two guys like that in game of thrones, no magic required. Then theres guys who have a significant army at their beck and call, enhancing their presense in social situations, and representing a significant bit of power they can wield in a fight. Thats like 1/2 the prominent charactes from game of thrones. Again, no magic required, and completely realistic.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Squirrel_Dude wrote:

I'll try to respond to what both you and Ssalarn have said about this in one post for time constraint reasons. While I agree that the top power mechanics and bottom tier mechanics haven't changed (wizards rule, rogues drool), the knowledge of players about the game has. Lower tier characters have more powerful options available to them, and better feats than what was available in the Core Rulebook. Unfortunately, the monsters in the bestiary haven't been afforded that same option, so I feel obligated to try and update them when possible.

Even if more people are just playing tier 3 or 4 characters (more magi, psychic warriors, or stalkers), it still changes the game's dynamic significantly because you now have 4 characters you should expect will have some way to contribute in a fight or defeat an encounter. More to the point, I have 4 characters who are harder to shut down. Of course I'm happy about this. I would rather have players who can contribute during a session and aren't trying to find something to do because their character's can't do anything. Nonetheless, this increases the preparation I need to do as a GM because I now have more relevant abilities to try and anticipate when designing a series of encounters.

Of course, wizards and clerics can already break tons of encounters, but when there are fewer characters able to contribute or solve a situation for themselves, the cleric and wizard have to expend more of their own resources to cover for them.

But this isnt an actual balance issue. This is a player knowledge issue. A core rules only party made up of an optimized druid, wizard, bard and paladin isnt really less work to prep for then 99% of what can be put together using the entirety of the rules today. This goes down to like 99.9% if you include the APG in your base assumption.

Just because your players werent using it to its fullest at the start of the game and they are now doesnt mean power creep is going on. It just means your players are learning the things that work and that they like. But the game itself is balanced exactly where it was at the start of its existence.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Chemlak wrote:
Cerberus Seven wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
So I just listened to a recording of a gencon panel where some of the devs talked about the fatigue system of unchained. I really like what I'm hearing and I hope its as good as it sounds. In theory it could make feats a more flexible resource, maybe not akin to spells, but much more flexible. I'd really like to see that.
Can you elaborate? I haven't been putting my ear to the ground but Unchained is what I'm looking forward to most from Paizo next year.
The basics of it is that martials gain a "stamina pool" that is used to fuel awesome abilities, like flexible combat feats (think brawler). I can't remember the exact description, but essentially it favours martial characters over spellcasters (so even if a spellcaster has the pool, it is focussed on combat ability). I can't wait to see how it works.

From what I heard, basically its an addon. Everyone can get stamina, which is based off constitution I believe. And there will be specific effects that you can use your stamina to create based on specific feats, of which the majority will be combat feats. The example they gave was if you have power attack, you would be able to REALLY power attack. I certainly hope that applies to other things, like say combat maneuver feats, and some of the other less 'do damagy' combat feats. But there is alot of potential there. Since there wont be a playtest of unchained (the playtest will be of the new psychic magic classes from occult adventures), we will just have to wait and see.

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