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Angvar Thestlecrit

Kolokotroni's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. 8,611 posts (8,639 including aliases). 17 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Firearms hit all sorts of issue in terms of how they were designed and how they were balanced. Unfortunately paizo decided to go a route that suited their campaign setting more then them being a good set of rules.

Basically paizo tried to drive a sports car, from the back seat, by alternately pulling and yanking on a series of levers. The end result, the car goes mostly in the desired direction, and mostly faster then most cars, but theres lots of room to go wrong, and the path it takes is a friggan mess.

First big problem: having the rules for firearms support the Golarian specific fact that they are rare and mostly don't leave alkenstar. So they are expensive as hell, and they need specific knowledge (read class abilities like quick clear and reloading feats/abilities) to operate effectively. Sure firearms are expensive to manufacture, but so were good swords in their day, and crossbows could malfunction and jam. It was foolish to make them different then every other weapon for campaign setting reasons. One lever pulled the sports car swerves wildly right.

Now you have outrageously expensive, prone to failure, slow to load weapons. What do you do? You have to give them something. So the insane solution was to make them not just go through armor, but be actual touch attacks. Neglecting the fact that huge amounts of monsters rely on natural armor almost exclusively. Another lever pulled, the sports car goes into a left skid, back tires burning up rubber.

On top of that now, we have a gunslinger. A class specifically designed to use these overly expensive unwieldy, but also game breaking weapons. So that class has in built exceptions to a lot of the rules nonsense that go around firearms. Because the class needs to be able to do its thing, which is shoot guns. But of course there is still the possibility for non gunslingers to use firearms. So somehow they have to figure out a way to make it work with both the limitations of the weapons bypassed (via classes/archetypes that are supposed to use them) but still be somewhat reasonable for a normal character to use them.
You have now thrown the sports car into an uncontrollable spin.

The sad thing is, paizo had a perfectly solid set of rules for firearms. They wrote them. In the pre-pathfinder version of their campaign setting. But they decided to go with the touch attack, slow to reload idea that literally does not fit mathematically into the rest of the game, make them overpriced and prone to failure, then create a class that bypasses those issues and hope it all evens out.

Most gunslingers will be average characters. If you don't optimize the crap out of it, it works well enough. Their damage isn't as high as a highly optimized archer most of the time. But in specific circumstances, they are either way too good (abnormally high AC but low touch ac enemies) or downright aweful (campaigns without the resources or time for the gunslinger to keep up his ammunition count, or improve his weapon over time).

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It seems to me you know what is wrong, and you have done everything everyone else could try to suggest to fix the problem. Some problems among people are actually not fixable. This group dynamic seems like its shutting you out. Its not the game, you cant fix it with the game, its the people.

Even if you learned all the lore in golarion, that isnt going to solve the problem. The GM wants the game on rails, and the lore guy wants to do all the talking, and the gm is enabling him for whatever reason.

This isnt a game problem, this is a people problem. And if you honestly think you have done everything you can to talk to them about it, and you give up on that, you really should stop playing. Everyone's time is precious, you shouldn't engage in a leisure activity that upsets you and that you dont find enjoyable. There are better things to do with your friends then play a bad pathfinder game.

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TPK wrote:
Morlaf wrote:
TPK wrote:

I think this is something a lot of games are missing to one extent or the other is the danger factor. There is nothing that makes the value of a character shine is seeing the loss of another PC. Don't be afraid of it. But, make sure your players are OK with a possible TPK.

dude... is your name actually "TPK" ???? hahahahahaha

no wonder you have that attitude - one I really admire, to be honest; thanks man....
Yeah, you wipe out a party of Werewolves in the opening scenes of a WOD game and no one lets you forget it. But, I say this because I really do like a gritty game. If at no time during a session do I have a true concern that my character might not make it then MEH... But, if PCs are dropping like flies and I am watching the dice like a hawk praying I don't get one shotted, and NOW we have a game.

There isnt really anything wrong with wanting that sort of environment for a game. Its just particularly difficult to do right without fudging stuff in pathfinder. I mean my aim for important encounters is always to make the players think they will lose, but for them to pull it out in the end, but its not easy to pull off with the all or nothing way the game operates.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The game itself doesn't really lend itself well to this kind of gameplay. Surviving implies facing outlandish threats and somehow getting away. But pathfinder and dnd before it have a problem with that. Generally By the time you realize a threat is too big to manage, someone is down, if not dead. There are no straight forward measures of power or threat.

In addition to that, things like keeping warm, feeding yourself, building a shelter are set up as die rolls and generally meant to be glossed over 90% of the time. A campaign based on that is sort of like a campaign with traps every 5 feet. Chances are it devolves into one person rolling a die, seeing the result and you either move on or everyone takes some damage and you move on.

Settings can't fix this. Its an issue with the fundamental nature of the game. You can make a hardmode campaign sure, but in terms of actual threats to survival, it becomes really tedious really fast, or you spend a lot of time building new characters or hunting for Resurrection materials.

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Unfortunately its very difficult to create an organic encounter the players should run from and then have them actually be able to run. Running away with the structure of pathfinder is exceedingly difficult. Unless you give them some kind of 'gut check' at the start of the encounter and tell them they should run, there really isnt a way to make it clear before one or more players are likely down for the count.

The game just isnt set up for that sort of thing. Things that are way out of your league kill you, quickly. If the encounter starts with them not simply knowing they should run, someone is very likely to die.

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Vanykrye wrote:

This thread is just about ready for Kindergarten.

My issue with all of the "remove iterative attacks" plans is that it removes versatility.

Have you looked at the unchained rules? They actually dont remove a lot of versatility.

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Vital strike doesn't really come close to what iterative attacks end up doing at higher levels. Your idea might work at lower levels, but at higher levels it would represent a massive drop in damage for martial characters.

It would also drastically shift the power in favor of natural weapons vs iterative attacks with manufactured weapons.

Thankfully paizo has offered a slightly better option in unchained, its much faster then rolling all those attacks, but keeps damage numbers pretty even.

replacing iterative attacks

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One especially important rule of thumb I have for all my players but especially minion happy players is I keep initiative order in the open, they know when their turn is coming up. When their turn comes they must (within a few seconds) say what they are doing in words and point.

iE: 'i cast fireball here *points* hi charge that orc and attack it'. Etc
However long it takes to resolve afterwards is fine, but the moment they start uming, looking in a book or doing something other then telling me what they and any creatures they control are dpi g and then doing it, they delay until they have decided.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
GM Rednal wrote:

Frankly, you can't assume any rules will ever be in use... XD Gonna be honest, though, I think you'd be gaining more than they would. Most people who are behind in XP could probably catch up with 1-2 weeks of downtime, which is a relatively small amount of gold if earning income, and only moderate progress on most crafting. And the difference is even less if downtime income is shared with the party, or items being crafted are for the party and/or non-crafting party members.

I think the relevant point is that there is a system in place to catch up if you're behind in XP, so it's not like officially-published options aren't available. I would... strongly encourage GMs who have an XP penalty to allow this, or some other method that works at their table, instead of making death a permanent loss.

IF you are allowing downtime rules AND providing sufficient downtime then that does change the equation. But at the same time, in general people add downtime rules for a reason. Whether its to allow players a chance to do something they want, or to build connection to the world by creating something in it (like an organization or business). The player whose character died would still be missing out on that.

Regardless of how you cut it, taking a level away from a player (which is precisely what you are doing, and nothing else) is going to deny them some portion of the game. You arent making them 'earn' their levels, they already did that. With the now dead character. And while some people may like the idea of clawing back after being killed, to drive home the feeling of loss for the character, this should only be done with unanimous consent of the group. A gm should (in my opinion) never impose this without the enthusiastic consent of his players, and only if he is going to give some opportunity for the player to make up the ground in a reasonable amount of time.

Because again, all you are doing is fostering competition among the players and GM. If there is even the slightest bit of resentment over this, players will start to see options to 'get ahead' and 'fall behind', and they will start seeing the GM as the obstacle to overcome rather then a companion in a cooperative story telling game. Unless you want to foster that kind of antagonism and competition, it is strictly a bad idea without unanimous agreement.

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In general I strongly discourage gms from penalizing players for what happens to characters. The player has earned their respective level, there isn't a reason to penalize them for something that already sicks (losing a character).

The only thing something like this accomplishes is creating antagonism between players and GM. You are encouraging power gaming, because if they don't optimize the most powerful character they can and get killed you are going to pointlessly punish them for the rest of the campaign (you will never 'catch ups in pathfinder. There just isn't reason to do this.

If you want players bot to needlessly suicide characters to play another, just don't let them do that. That is the only legitimate reason that ever existed for a level penalty, and that can be overcome by simply talking to your players.

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RDM42 wrote:

SO I just IMAGINED seeing the phrase 'realism and fantasy don't belong in the same concept' then?

A phrase which is somewhat manifestly untrue?

The fact that there are fantasy elements, at whatever level, does not mean reality just takes a swan dive off of the empire state building and is never heard from again. The fact that dragons exist impacts on the fact that dragons exist. Wizards existing means that wizards exist.

They don't mean every other aspect of realism suddenly disappears in a stiff breeze.

I think the issue is that what is 'real' changes. People and culture change with their circumstances. What is normal and accepted in a saloon in the wild west is different then what is normal and accepted in the middle ages, or ancient rome, or basically any place and any time.

"Realism" should not reflect actual modern reality, but instead the reality of the game world. Think about the world of like the Justice League Comics. That is a very different 'reality' then the real modern world.

And while dragon exists might not impact the daily lives of common folk, it also might. A friend of mine ran a campaign where one of the biggest kingdoms of civilized lands was lead by a Queen Gold Dragon. This fact drastically changed how dragons were perceived in the world. In that world, a metalic dragon showing up was akin to seeing a swat van, or maybe an army truck. It was a serious concern but in and of itself was more calming then alarming.

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Ultimately it depends on the campaign world. If druids and rangers and such are common, its not going to be as big an event as you think. Think of it this way, a little over a hundred years ago, (or now in some cases) in the United states it wasnt odd to walk into a bar/inn with a pistol on your hip, a knife on your belt, and a rifle slung over your shoulder. If you did the same thing in a bar in modern day London, people would freak the heck out.

Its all about perspective and what is 'normal'. The same way in the Old West it was normal to stroll into town and the local saloon armed to the teeth, it may or may not be normal to walk into a fantasy down trailing a bear, or a dragon, or anything else. Its all about what is normal.

You also have to consider that depending on the sense of authority or uniform, people will react differently. If you look like a respectable druid, or ranger or what have you (lets say holy symbols of the locally recognized nature diety and such), theres a reasonable chance they wont react even if its not super common to see that animal. The same way a cop riding a horse through central park with a gun on his hip is not the same as a regular person doing the same.

Not to mention, there is an assumption that the animal is trained and 'safe'. I am not about to go pet a german shepard on a lead from a cop, but I also dont react the same way to it that i would just a random german shepard walking down the street alone. Animal companions would be (if they are common) a known quantity, and are more controlled, better trainend, and probably smarter then their natural cousins. So it makes sense for people to be a lot less concerned about them then a 'wild' animal.

Personally, as a dm I dont try to deny my players their class features unless there is a good reason. Not to mention there is probably a guy armed and armored for war, a dude with a spellbook and spell component pouch way more dangerous then a bear, and a walking miracle of the gods in there with them. In that context, the bear is probably the least threatening thing in the equation.

Again this will obviously depend on the setting, but as a dm, you really need to ask yourself, if you arent going to confiscate the wizards spell component pouch, the alchemists literal walking bomb kit, or the fighters golf bag full of lethal magic weapons, why is the bear an issue for the town guard, or even a tavern owner?

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Mark Seifter wrote:
This doesn't seem particularly different than your example with the archer ranger, however. Sometimes you choose to use your customization to lay out the foundation of doing something differently. Incidentally, the archetype isn't really necessary unless you're interested in exceeding the rogue at face skills (and I had seen you mention face skills as an interest), but it's certainly true that aether element is the more roguey element, just like the archery combat style is a good ranged combat style for ranged.

The difference is that my example you start with the foundation and then alter it or add to it.

The kineticist HAS NO FOUNDATION. Before I make a choice on a ranger it is a d10 full bab, martial weapon profficient, 6 skill per level character with a pretty deep class skill list, who eventually gets 4 levels of spells.

What is the foundation of the kineticist? Someone who can throw fire, rocks, ice, etc at people. One of these things is not like the others. And when it comes to pathfinder base classes. The kineticist is the odd man out.

And the reason I feel so strongly about it is because I see the potential there. I love the concept. And honestly dont understand why Water doesnt just get kinetic healing as a base ability with the infusion bringing in lesser restoration effects. Or why aether doesn't get disable device and maybe some additional skill points/trap finding, heck i dont know why the entire class doesnt get 6 skills points. Or why an earth kineticist doesn't just get Devastating infusion instead of it being placed in a rather restrictive archetype.

Is there actually a reason to not have these there? Would the class somehow be wildly unbalanced if they came out of the box with the ability to directly contribute, and then allowed customization to either alter, remove or add to that?

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Mark Seifter wrote:
HyperMissingno wrote:
Rogue/Wizard/Cleric/Fighter isn't really a good party setup in Pathfinder though since wizards kind of make rogues obsolete. Really as long as you have an arcane full caster and a divine full caster you can put whatever else you want in the party and not have too much trouble.
I think that Telekineticist/Wizard/Cleric/Fighter is going to be in really good shape compared to Rogue/Wizard/Cleric/Fighter in most situations. The main time they wouldn't be is in a situation with a magical trap that they really want to make sure they disarm, rather than set off remotely while nobody is in range (I guess because it alerts someone you're there?). Since upthread social skills were mentioned for the roguey character, it could be an overwhelming soul tele with disable device from a trait; this would be worse at defense than going Con and using burn, but should be outperforming at social (especially with greater skilled kineticist, but also because you're bound to have more Cha than the rogue), scouting/sneaking (at-will invisibility), disabling or setting off traps from a safe distance (telekinetic finesse to do stuff at range) and the like. I wouldn't recommend it for every party (or even for every kineticist, since I tend to prefer classic to overwhelming soul unless I'm going big on Charisma), but I think it compares pretty favorably to a rogue if we're talking core four as roles, even with face included in rogue.

Leaving aside the fact the question of who figured out the trap was there in the first place, the fact that you have to take several specific customization (an archetype, and an infusion or two) is the entire problem. The things that you should be choosing to customize your character instead form the foundation of abilities you use to contribute to the party. Not to mention a simple locked door requires the telekinetic to compensate for a lack of a class skill bonus on disble device, telekinetic finesse or no.

Again, I am not saying that you cant make some cool characters with the kineticist. I am saying you do it in a way that doesn't fit with pathfinder on a fundamental level. And it's done with a progression that is uneven compared to literally every other class in the game. A pathfinder class shouldn't be reserved for large parties or campaigns that start at 5th or 6th level.

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HyperMissingno wrote:
Rogue/Wizard/Cleric/Fighter isn't really a good party setup in Pathfinder though since wizards kind of make rogues obsolete. Really as long as you have an arcane full caster and a divine full caster you can put whatever else you want in the party and not have too much trouble.

While in theory craft that is true. If you are playing at an actual table with an actual dm, who will say, not look kindly upon you spending 5 minutes a day adventuring, thats not completely true. Most adventures still call for someone to be skilled, with story relevant events requiring different skill checks to succeed. And while you can technically get away without having someone who can disable magical traps, I can think of tons of paizo adventures (as well as adventures from other sources) where it would have been a serious drain on resources if no one was able to manage it.

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Squiggit wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
You still need a skilled character, a divine caster, and an arcane caster in the party in addition to the kineticist to be able to face a typical adventure.

To be fair. Rogue/Wizard/Cleric/Fighter is like, the archetypal group and the kineticest probably is best suited for that latter role.

That said, I think the bigger issue isn't that you can't have a DPR role, but that Kineticists struggle a bit. They don't have the damage of a fighter or ranger or paladin or zen archer for most of the game and while they do have more utility than a fighter, it's arguable whether or not that utility is actually enough to even the odds.

Which I guess given it's sort of dilettante nature that the Kineticist works better as a fifth wheel class, providing SOME damage and SOME utility.

Only they aren't that great at that either, because an inquisitor or bard or skald can do similar things while bringing stronger utility and (at least in the latter two cases) being a really brutal force multiplier.

I guess then I partially agree with you, except that I think damage is a role and the bigger issue is that a kineticist's damage isn't always there.

Consistency is one of the main problems here. A level 1 pyrokinetic with burning infusion is doing more damage than a traditional archer at that level. A level sixteen void/void/aether has great defense and really solid at will damage and can nova with the best of them (maybe earth is better though given how often negative energy gets negated).

But the class has a lot of low points and struggles to keep up, mostly around the points full BAB classes get iteratives.

The more I think about it the more I have to say that there's really no reason the class should have its 3/4ths BAB... and composite specialization should really come online sooner.

And stuff should really scale. Given how limited a commodity wild talents are it's silly how some of them never get better despite the cost staying the same/increasing as you level up.

I guess that post turned pretty rambly.

I think we more then partially agree. If the kineticist had a full bab and d10 hit die, and the elemental defences were all comparable to eachother, it would probably be a satisfactory martial character with some interesting utility on the side. You could for instance drop the touch AC attacks entirely, give it full BAB and you would have attack bonuses comparable to most martial characters (ALL of whom can add scale able bonuses to their attack right around elemental overflow). But it has 3/4 bab and a d8 hit die. Along with limited defensive and weapon options.

Think of it this way. Which 3/4 bab classes dont have, a ton of class abilities, 6 skill points per level (or are int based, or both), and 6 levels of spells. The rogue, and the monk. Which 2 classes have had probably the most disparaging things said about them in the history of pathfinder before a certain book with a lack of chains was released?

The kineticist in terms of 'stuff' it gets is like a magicish core rogue or monk. And even those can at least be a rogue, or be a guy up front punching things.

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Mark Seifter wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
Tels wrote:
I see... Kolokotroni has made up his mind and refuses to consider any other option. I don't know if he has any actual experience playing the kineticist, but his posts seem to indicate not. For example, the kineticist has lots of freedom, feat wise, and only has a few feats even remotely considered 'mandatory'. Namely Weapon Finesse, Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot. Everything else is up in the air.

When you dont get bonus feats, a non-human character is looking at 7th level before he chooses a feat in your example.

I am more then willing to consider other options. I have a strong opinion, but not one built out of ignorance, but out of trying to play kineticists in a 4 person party in a campaign that starts at 1st level.

If you play a paizo adventure (or any traditional campaign), the only thing a kineticist can be is the front liner in a 4 person party, and as mentioned, you will have difficulty the first few levels getting that done beyond what any other pathfinder class faces. That is a problem. The natural flow of the class (focusing on ranged blasts with infusions added to them) cannot fit into a 4 person party unless the other 3 party members are flexible enough to do everything without them, and they are just adding some damage to the mix.

I'm just wondering (and this is not meant in any way as a negative; I remember following your posts and points in various threads before even working here when I was just another forum poster and respecting them Kolo): does that mean that in your conception, a zen archer monk (or gunslinger, or any ranged martial character really) would also be something that has no place in Pathfinder? I've typically found them to be highly effective teammates in 4 person groups, even while having less frontline switch-hitting capacity than a kineticist would, but if not, that's going to be useful data for me overall when thinking about ranged characters.

I don't take it as a negative. I am more then willing to explain my position.

There is absolutely a place for a zen archer. The thing is, you have to choose that. A monk, out of the box, can fill most of the basic criteria of the front liner. Its not perfect, but it can stand there and punch things, and mostly be ok up front. Is it perfectly optimized? No. But it can do it.

You have to CHOOSE the archetype zen archer to take it out of that role. The foundation of abilities is still there. A archery focused ranger still has full BAB, d10 hit dice, good weapon profficiencies, 6+int skills per level with a good skill list and some interesting spells. The foundation of contributing to the classic 4 is still there. You have just made the choice to trade some of it out for something else. You take the customizable portion of the character and make it something else in addition to that foundation. But that 'stuff' that makes it contribute at least on a basic level to the classic 4 is still there. Or you are trading something significant for it with an archetype or alternate class.

The kineticist doesn't have that foundation. What should be automatic, has to come from customization choices and even then, it can't get all the way. A rogue doesn't need to pick trapfinding or get its skill points using its rogue talents. An oracle doesn't need to take a specific revelation in order to be able to cure wounds or cast restoration. These things come automatically and then you can customize on top of that. The magus doesn't need to take a particular magus arcana in order to be able to wield swords.

It sounds silly right? But that is exactly what the kineticist has to do. His customization options are what allow the class to actually start to do something besides throw damage at things. This forces the class into a very narrow direction in terms of what it is able to do compared to basically every other character class in pathfinder.

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Faelyn wrote:

I think that part of the issue is seeing that every group has to follow the "Standard 4" party model. A well-built party does not necessarily need to follow that model. Can it make things a little more difficult by not having a "front-line", a dedicated healer, a skill/trap-monkey, or a caster? Yes, it is more difficult, but it is not impossible. I find unique parties to be much more exciting than following the "Standard 4"...

On the argument that a Kinetic Chirurgeon is pointless, I disagree. It simply takes a little investment into Use Magic Device (which is a class skill!) to be able to utilize scrolls for Lesser Restoration and Restoration. Everything else can be covered by the KC, including gaining the ability to use Breath of Life!

Obviously you can always 'make it work'. And many parties are flexible enough to cover for a 5th wheel character. That isnt the point though. The point is that no other class in pathfinder does this effectively automatically.

Every other pathfinder class can fufill the basic needs of one of the standard 4 right out of the box. The kineticist, doesnt do this. And it's a fundamental problem in its design.

I by no means think that every party needs to have the 4 covered explicately by one character. You can make a cleric that cant heal, or a wizard who cant identify magic and it could be a really fun campaign. My point is that every pathfinder class covers at least one of these basics naturally. And you have to CHOOSE for it not to. The kineticist must choose to cover a basic pathfinder role. And the only one it can actually cover is one that is partially counter intuitive.

And my original point was that the reason people chafe at the damage numbers, is because they feel when trying to put together a character that can contribute in a fashion other then ranged DPR they are very limited. It can happen, but it takes a lot of your choices, and ultimately doesn't do the things a first level character of every other class can do even at mid levels.

And when you are sitting there putting together a character and watching your choices be effectively automatic for months of real life play time (getting from first to say 7th or 8th level) the one thing you can actually do well (damage) you expect to be amazing. And it isn't.

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Squiggit wrote:
Pyrokineticists can do a whole bunch of damage, but dps is not a role in pathfinder.

I disagree with the second part. Murder, Control/Support and Skillmonkey are more or less the main things you need to do in Pathfinder. The best classes are the ones that can do more than one thing, but it's still clearly a core role. I mean there are eighteen or so classes just built around that concept.

I'm also not sure I'd call pyro the DPR discipline. At low levels burning infusion is pretty solid, but later in the game I'd rather have earth/earth/aether or void/void/aether for DPR. Though void struggles with resistances just as badly as fire.

Skill monkey absolutely is a role. But it is a non-int class with 4 skills per level and a rather poor class skill list. It isnt the skill monkey. And control/support in pathfinder stems from divine or arcane casters. You dont need battlefield control to overcome challenges, but it helps. You do need someone capable of dealing with arcane magic, which a kineticist cant to. And you need someone able to remove things like negative levels, ability damage/drain and negative conditions, which the kineticist also cant do. You still need a skilled character, a divine caster, and an arcane caster in the party in addition to the kineticist to be able to face a typical adventure.

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Tels wrote:
I see... Kolokotroni has made up his mind and refuses to consider any other option. I don't know if he has any actual experience playing the kineticist, but his posts seem to indicate not. For example, the kineticist has lots of freedom, feat wise, and only has a few feats even remotely considered 'mandatory'. Namely Weapon Finesse, Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot. Everything else is up in the air.

When you dont get bonus feats, a non-human character is looking at 7th level before he chooses a feat in your example.

I am more then willing to consider other options. I have a strong opinion, but not one built out of ignorance, but out of trying to play kineticists in a 4 person party in a campaign that starts at 1st level.

If you play a paizo adventure (or any traditional campaign), the only thing a kineticist can be is the front liner in a 4 person party, and as mentioned, you will have difficulty the first few levels getting that done beyond what any other pathfinder class faces. That is a problem. The natural flow of the class (focusing on ranged blasts with infusions added to them) cannot fit into a 4 person party unless the other 3 party members are flexible enough to do everything without them, and they are just adding some damage to the mix.

I would love to be wrong. Show me how you can take the fighter/cleric/rogue/wizard party and replace anything but the fighter with the kineticist and have a party that can manage the challenges a typical adventure path throws at it, particularly at early levels (6 and down).

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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

To me, the Kineticist actually fills a rogue role best. Between amazing movement options, good damage and circumstantially great damage, and a lot of great utility options a Kineticist can scout pretty well.

People look at the Kineticist as one clas though, when really it's closer to four. Telekinetics with the right trait selections are amazing at disabling traps, picking pockets, scouting and navigating hazards. Their damage is secondary to the incredible things an imaginative player can pull off. They can even add a little healing to the repetoire.

Hydrokinetics are closer to clerics or Paladins but specialising in battlefield control more than healing. In aquatic or boreal campaigns they have so many imaginative options that they compete with telekinetics for utility.

Pyrokinetics are similar to gunslingers but with a touch of monk since they can do sweet jumps. In ice based campaigns they dominate when it comes to damage, with free 1.5x damage on many of the bigger badder kinds of monsters.

Geokinetics are great at defense, and excellent at melee making for great Paladin style characters, and their damage is comparable/greater than a paladin except against Evil foes.

Phytokinetics are basically Druids with less shapeshifting, and fulfill a similar role.

Kaokinetics are pretty good scouts and stealth assassins, but need more options to really be viable.
** spoiler omitted **

Their decent damage floor means they can really expend feats, magic items and options on things outside hurting things in a way fighters, Rangers and Barbarian types can't. I wouldn't want the Kineticist to fulfill the front line role, I'd want them to fulfil the secondary damage/utility/scout role. So basically a monk.

What you describe is what the class SHOULD have been. But it isnt.

Telekineticist are not rogues, they should be, but they arent. They dont get disable device, and more importantly, they cant deal with magical traps. They only have 4 skills per level, and they dont have social skills. They cant fill the base requirement of 'rogue'.

Hydrokineticist are not clerics. They can (eventually) do some battlefield control, but not only does that take several levels to get moving, but it also costs them most if not all of their customization options. A cleric prepares a single battlefield control spell and has accomplished the same thing. The barrier to entry is extreme. They also cant fufill the criteria for healing, because HP healing is far less important then the removal of negative conditions. Its outright rediculous that there wasnt an infusion to improve on telekinetic healing to let it approach the restoration spell line. But its not there. Even the archetype Kinetic Chirurgeon cant fill the basic need, the equivalent of the restoration line of spells.

Pyrokineticists can do a whole bunch of damage, but dps is not a role in pathfinder.

Geokineticists are not great for defense at low levels. They are extremely limited at low levels. The difference between the effectiveness out of the gate of the elemental defenses (water being the one that is correct) is laugable. Eventually they can get there. But they basically need to the campaign to start at 6th level to be the front liner.

Phytokinetics aren't druids. Druids being divine spell casters can fufil the basic need of restoration spells. A party with a Phytokineticist in it still needs ANOTHER divine caster to function.

Kaokinetics - Again, murderer is not a pathfinder role. They dont fill the base requirements (skills and traps) of a party skill monkey. Any party with one in it, still needs another skill monkey to function.

This is the problem with the class, you have to take options to even approach being a functioning member of a party. No other class in the game does that. And for the most part, the kineticist fails to meet the basic requirements for one member of a 4 man party.

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Arutema wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
The other big problem that feeds from this is unless you are going melee, the kineticist doesn't have a place in a 4 person party. Literally every other class naturally fills the minimum elements of at least one of the classic fighter/wizard/cleric/rogue setup. The kineticist doesn't meet any of the minimum requirements along its natural flow (blasting). It cant cast detect magic, identify magic items, have good knowledges/spellcraft(be the magic guy). It doesn't have lots of skills, disable magical traps or be a face (rogue type). It cant cure (yes it can heal a little damage, but only an archetype can cure any negative conditions and the cost for that is fairly high, and it still can never do what lesser restoration can).
I find that between kinetic blade, a tendency to have a rather high Con score, and elemental defense, it handle the "fighter" role just fine. "Going melee" is not a big investment for a kineticist, and it "switch-hits" incredibly well if you've got the one talent and feat you need to melee when the need arises.

I believe if you read on I mention that the only role the kineticist can fill is blaster. However, it cannot do it immediately. Yes you have a good Con, but your AC is not good unless you choose water for your elemental defense. Until you have specialization kinetic blade requires 1 burn, meaning you cant move and attack in the same turn as you have to gather power. And unless you use an energy attack your attack bonus is way behind a real melee character. Remember, energy overflow brings it in line with a full BAB, but ALL full bab classes also get bonuses to attack and damage from their class. You need to take weapon finesse at first level, and you aren't exactly swimming in feats.

Practically the only way to be a reliable frontliner from level 1 is to take the archetype which basically trades the whole class' customization options away to be a good front liner.

So while they can be perfectly serviceable front liner eventually, it costs them substantially more then any other front line class.

Pathfinder has in general designed base classes to work from level 1. The kineticist just isn't a pathfinder class.

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In my home game, I have a couple things in place around magic items and wealth.

1. Something similar but distinct from the automatic bonus progression system (you choose from a list of 'big six' type bonuses as you level up. This is to cover the 'power' of magic items to the pure numbers of the characters.

2. Each character can choose a suite of extra abilities that expand as they level up that come in addition to their class. This is based on and includes the 'archetypes' (not paizo archetypes) from rogue genius games. This is to replace some of the flexibility that characters get from utility based magic items.

3. Non-consumable magic items (wands, scrolls, and potions) are not craftable by normal means. They are all priceless artifacts and extremely rare.

4. Each character will eventually find a handful of simple and interesting magic items over the course of their career that match the character or the story. They cant really be bought and sold as they are priceless (it would be like trying to buy a picasso painting in the real world, yes its possible, but there isnt exactly a picassomart to go pick things up on).

5. Character wealth is entirely a function of the story and the kind of game I am running. With the above rules, wealth has a very limited effect on mechanical power, so if a character wants to be fabulously wealthy, other then story implications, there isnt much of an issue. The impact of scrolls potions and wands, while not zero is not of the same order that permanent magic items that give numerical bonuses have.

Players can choose to be the rogue that takes everything that isnt nailed down, or the honorable fighter that would rather stay in a cheap in than loot his enemies corpses without any mechanical impact on their character.

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I dont think the issue with the kineticist it its damage. Or at least not directly.

The problem is the the contraction of 'ceiling' and 'floor' of the class leads to a lack of impactful customization. It costs a lot of the available choices to go along any path of customization (if you want to be the melee whip character you are spending most of your options to make it happen until around 7th level). Thats not a problem with each of the choices you make feels like it has a big impact, but because of the inherent controls on the power of the class, each choice feels lackluster. When only have a couple choices to make with a character (particularly at low levels) even one or two lack luster choices is a problem.

The other big problem that feeds from this is unless you are going melee, the kineticist doesn't have a place in a 4 person party. Literally every other class naturally fills the minimum elements of at least one of the classic fighter/wizard/cleric/rogue setup. The kineticist doesn't meet any of the minimum requirements along its natural flow (blasting). It cant cast detect magic, identify magic items, have good knowledges/spellcraft(be the magic guy). It doesn't have lots of skills, disable magical traps or be a face (rogue type). It cant cure (yes it can heal a little damage, but only an archetype can cure any negative conditions and the cost for that is fairly high, and it still can never do what lesser restoration can).

The only thing this natural blaster can do is take very specific options to eventually (not immediately mind you) become a competent front liner(with optimization). It's something I brought Up in the playtest, that I thought Mark Acknowledged that was never actually addressed. It seems like there was an attempt to address it with but it fails.

Any party with a kineticist in it, would function just fine without the kineticist (in terms of covering things that need to be done in an adventure).

The gut reaction people have for it's so so damage are because it feels like you are giving up everything a class can normally do for that blast. And usually if I give up being a functioning member of my party to do one particular thing, that thing is exceptionally effective. That just isnt the case here. And it stems from a relatively poor set of foundation abilities for the class.

Its really disappointing because I absolutely love the concept, and dont mind limitations on damage potential. But it still needs to be a functioning, contributing pathfinder class. And the kineticist isn't that. Pathfinder classes start with an automatic foundation of a functioning character that fills at least some of the basic neccessities of a classic party, and you can then customize it to your liking. Some of the archetypes sort of do that, but cost you a lot of the customization possibilities for the class.

The base kineticist starts as a shell of a pathfinder class and you might customize it eventually to be a functioning character if you choose a specific set of options. But it also is missing a lot that other classes get automatically. Consider all the 'stuff' other 3/4 bab classes get, and then look back at the kineticist. It just wasn't well designed.

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Its a 6th level spell...why exactly do you think 12th level characters should have to think carefully about traveling by horseback? Its not just another teleportation spell because it doesn't serve the same function, its far slower and requires actual travel (IE potentially getting lost as mentioned above).

That said, if you are uncomfortable with players bypassing your rich textured world, why on earth are they of a level to cast 6th level spells? 2 levels ago they were bringing people back from the dead, and high speed aerial travel is a problem?

It sounds to me like you would be better off playing some variation of an Ex game, since there are going to be more and more such spells appearing in both divine and arcane lists as you progress. The game is basically designed around the idea that as you progress, things that used to be a challenge are now bypassed with a spell. That is deliberately built into the game. To play a high level pathfinder game and fight against that is going to create headaches all over the place.

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Jiggy wrote:

@Adagna — If you're asking about the "why" of this behavior you've described, I have a theory on that.

It's my understanding that the earliest versions of D&D had no mechanics for social interactions whatsoever; that the mechanics of the game were (almost?) entirely centered around combat and magic. Everything else (persuading NPCs, checking for traps, even perceiving your surroundings) had no rules and was therefore left to free-form play-acting.

If you wanted to persuade the guard, you needed to demonstrate exactly how you did it by giving your exact words. Similarly, if you wanted to check for traps, you needed to describe exactly how you checked (such as pouring out water to see if it seeps through the cracks around a pressure plate), and so forth.

This created habits: you roll dice in combat and in regards to magic, and you act out everything else. (I suspect this is also the origin of the ridiculous notion that "roleplay" means "the parts where you talk to NPCs", but that's another topic.)

Now, with D&D and other RPGs not being very mainstream, the playerbase mostly grew through "grassroots": people get introduced to the game from their friends/acquaintances, and are taught how the game is played from those people who developed the habits of using dice in combat and speech everywhere else.

So you've got this D&D/Pathfinder playerbase where most of the population is either a veteran who's been segregating the speech and dice since the beginning or someone who was taught by such a veteran.

Then Pathfinder got popular.

Now there's a large and growing segment of the playerbase that's playing Pathfinder without already having habits about when to roll dice and when to go diceless. They just took the game at face value and tried to play it.

Then the two groups meet somehow (maybe at the table, maybe on the forums) and you get threads full of "ROLE vs ROLL" and all kinds of other bile.

I don't think its exclusively old vs new. I know lots of players and dms who have played the game for decades that are very 'roll'. I remember dms for the original red box that created tables to roll on for npc interactions and made adjustments based on circumstances and sometimes player stats.

I think its fairly natural to have differences in play style. Its part of why pathfinder and other editions before it never nailed down this behavior in rules. People like different levels of 'acting it out' in their role play. That's ok, but obviously it requires a consensus in a group. Or at least a willingness to go along.

Edit: I think a fair number of older players have a very skewed memory of how 'it used to be'. The game literally grew out of a wargame. There were plenty of original groups that played it almost entirely with dice. "I kick in the door, kill the monsters and loot the room" didn't become a trope because of the card game munchkin. There were lots of groups playing exactly that way from the beginning. Role vs Roll isn't exclusive the the current era of rpgs.

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I have played successful 1 on 1 campaigns, even using published material without significant re-work with the following parameters.

1. The Player only controlled a single gestalt character. Having the player run 2 characters dilutes one of the biggest benefits of a one on one campaign, lots of face time to develop the character and its relationships. Its far more immersive to have the player control a single character.

2. The DM controls a dmpc that is also a gestalt character. Here is the players primary ally, and hopefully close companion, if done right, 2 gestalt characters will be fine in most situations.

3. Higher stats/point buy with the understanding that that extra will be used to create more well rounded characters, not to make one or two ability scores highter.

4. Strongly encourage classes that mix the primary roles (fighter, rogue, cleric, wizard) and offer action economy benefits. The biggest problems in a small, or one on one game are the lack of ability to cover certain expected situations and the action economy. No matter how capable you are, you still only get one turn, one standard action, and in general 4-5 turns of slightly weaker characters is a far superior effect 1 or 2 turns from stronger characters (unless they are significantly stronger). Many classes both offer lots of versatility of character role and action economy benefits. Use them.

The hands down best of the bunch are the druid (with a potent animal companion), hunter and the summoner. The powerful pets of these classes help them even out the action economy (if each character has one, then you have 4 sets of actions each round). And each brings significant magic to the table as well as skills, extra abilities, and combat capacity.

Next are the classes that offer some action economy benefit and/or blend the classic roles. The bard, ranger, paladin, magus, warpriest, and inquisitor, investigator, witch and shaman fit this bill.

I would strongly recommend each of the 2 characters (the player character and dmpc) have at least one class from the top 2 categories, preferably both if possible. You want each of the two characters to cover as much ground as possible (including overlaps between them) because any time one of them is not available you lose 50% of your party's capability (instead of 20-25% as normal).

With these 4 items you can pretty much just run a normal campaign. A druid/inquisitor summoner/bard party for instance is basically ready for anything a typical 4 person party would be. I've actually gone through most of an adventure path with the above combination with basically no issues.

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Malwing wrote:

As far as Cleric filling it's niche for fighting holy man before Warpriest or Inquisitor, what about the Paladin? After an edition of that existing you'd expect him to be the fighting holy man instead of constantly handing the cleric a mace and have it try to do everything. It just turns the theme redundant.

The paladin is a very specific theme, not just the holy warrior, but the holy paragon of good and justice holy warrior. That doesn't work for not LG deities. It couldn't have replaced the cleric entirely (at least not as presented)

In addition, all the underlying influence from when the cleric was the only holy warrior (read: the beginning) is still there. The basics of what divine magic is good at hasn't really changed since ADnD. Combat, baring some changes to mechanics is fundamentally the same. Magic and actions are more or less the same. There are some tweaks in power and effects, but the core of it is the same. Adding the paladin as a core class doesn't automatically change the kinds of spells that appear in the divine spell list. If you don't change those, and don't make dramatic changes to how the cleric works, it doesn't matter that there are other divine warrior types about, the cleric still HAS to be a divine warrior type.

And remember pathfinder was mostly built on the idea that it will still look and feel like 3rd edition. You cant rewrite divine magic, or even completely re-write the cleric, an iconic class and make that happen.

Mind you I am not saying there aren't ways to make this happen, but the cleric specifically isn't going to change because all the things AROUND the cleric haven't changed, and wont change in something like pathfinder.

And honestly I haven't seen a 3rd party class or a homebrew that presented white mage type that looked like it was fun to play or at least comparable to a standard cleric in power and capability. I would be interested to see one. But short of revamping divine spells as a whole I don't see how it could be done.

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As DM_Blake said, I think good dms, encourage this sort of behavior and reward it, but don't punish failure to do so for the sake of roleplaying and immersion. And as he does, I welcome the same kind of descriptive behavior in other skill checks as well. Again there should be a reward for creative thinking, but not punishment for a lackluster performance.

We are roleplaying, one should try to roleplay, one of the most common ways that is done is npc interaction. So you want players to at least try and speak in character. That doesn't mean a shy understaded person cant play an outgoing charismatic character, just that it will be more of a challenge for them, and hopefully, would end up being more rewarding. We are after all here to pretend to be things we are not. Its always worth a try.

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Talk to your gm about being open with advantage/disadvantage dice. The game really flows narratively when people are actively thinking about both and they get assigned liberally in important checks. Talk to your gm about how you can (in a non disruptive way) suggest potential causes for advantage besides the stock standard ones and to have him add disadvantage also. It really bumps up the cinematic nature of the game and the tension.

The same goes for dark side/light side points. Neither the players nor the GM should be hording them, they should go back and forth over the course of a session a bunch of times. The game clearly intends them to be used on a regular basis to increase drama and tension on both sides. But again there has to be an understanding.

Don't be afraid to fail. Despair and failure (with a good gm) shouldn't be a block to the story but instead something that adds a challenging (and hopefully fun) twist to a situation.

Don't be afraid to think outside the box with triumph and despair, and even advantage and threat. The game gives examples of what can be done with it, but use those as examples for further creativity as well. Make sure you also describe the effects in the game instead of just saying "I give the wookie a boost die on his next attack", say "My blaster shot hits a power coupling that creates a flash in front of Rawaar, momentarily shielding him from view, making his next attack more effective".

Especiallys as you advance, you can easily see some pretty triumph/advantage heavy or (or despair/threat heavy) results. If you pull up 3 triumphs, don't just crit 3 times, suggest something aweseome and game changing, and obviously try to work with your gm about making sure these things are both awesome and acceptable to him/her.

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Malwing wrote:
The Dragon wrote:

Divine Casters would be dying a lot more at low levels. Anyone notice how little good stuff there's on the 1st level cleric spell list? Not being able to suit up in a heavy shield and scale mail, in order to go whack at things up close in melee would be a drag.

Also, you'd be putting the magus, bard, inquisitor, bloodrager etc. in an awkward spot.

Magi, Bards and Bloodragers are already in an awkward spot because they have exception language.

One thing that gets me is that whenever I bring up the weirdness of martial clerics, the subject of just being a healbot comes up. But even in the situation where your powerful casters are basically white mages in videogames they still are divine blasters, summoners and curse dispensers, and in the context of of clerics having domain spells they could have easily have been themed casters (if they got more than one domain spell per level). There's more than one way to slice a divine caster, I just find it weird that we have three to four classes occupying the 'fightin holy man' slot. Yeah we can say that they have different themes but really I'm having a hard time remembering a cleric or oracle that wasn't gussied up to be a pseudo martial.

If you want the cleric to be more 'casty' and less 'martial', you would have to rewrite basically the whole divine spell list.

The reason so many divine classes and characters are martial, is because the original divine class in dnd (the cleric) was designed that way. Most of their best spells are either single target or self only combat buffs. Their non combat buff offensive spells are far more limited then the arcane list. They have control, blasting, and debuff spells, but they are almost universally weaker then arcane spells of the same type at the same levels.

If you wanted to make the cleric or oracle into a 'white mage' as it's default you would literally need to rewrite most of the divine spell list. Not just adding new spells, but moving existing ones around, and possibly removing a number of them (or making them paladin/inquisitor/war priest only when they are combat focused).

Pathfinder, like the different editions of dnd before it follow that original model. Most of the core spells carry through in form and function from ADnD. Even new spells are compared against that form and function of those first spells (where the cleric was a face smashy divine warrior) so adding other functions to the cleric is challenging, since an already powerful, and flexible class would have to gain additional potential power and flexibility (to be a blaster, controller, or debuffer type on par with arcane casting).

In terms of armor, again this is mostly tradition. Not just because clerics traditionally wore armor, but because of the defensive capabilities of the traditional cleric spell list. Where as arcane casters have mage armor and shield at first level, its quite some time before an unarmored cleric could be reasonably safe AC wise on dex and magic alone (assuming reasonable stats). You would again need to re-evaluate how clerics protect themselves if you wanted to ditch the armor use for them and oracles.

The reason the game hasn't done it, even as some kind of option rather then the core class, is because the cleric is already really strong, and adding new capability to it would be straight up power creep over the existing version. Until we break almost completely from the original vision of how the game works, it will be very difficult to make a 'white mage' style cleric without it being either very lackluster (if you used the existing rules and spells but made the cleric non-martial) or way to powerful (adding spells and options to be more white magey while maintaining the tradition spells and abilities of the cleric).

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First off, whether written by paizo staff or not, single monster encounters are exclusively a bad idea. They are iconic, they are often dramatic in books and movies. In the game, they are a dumb choice. Period. Any steps you take to make a single enemy encounter work out would have been even more effective by simply having 2 slightly weaker monsters/enemies. You are working against the way the game functions (without significant house rules or alternate rules) by puting a single enemy in an important encounter. Just dont do it.

Dragons dont need to be alone. They can have minions, a mate, children, whatever. And not just throw away mooks. There should always be at least half the party's number in worthwhile dangerous enemies in any fight that is supposed to be a challenge. You can sprinkle in mooks too for flavor and set dressing, but against a party of 4 there should ALWAYS be at least 2 significantly threatening enemies in every meaningful encounter. If an ap has a single enemy encounter, change it. If you want to put a dragon in your homebrew game, give it a mate, some children or a bunch of potent kobold priests or something.

After you have done that, remind yourself that the game, and especially the AP is designed around a standard 15 point buy unoptimized party. What does that mean?

1. The base assumption is the party will consist of: A character who fights (fighter), a character who sort of fights and casts divine spells (cleric), a character who sort of fights and is skillfull (rogue) and an arcane spellcaster (wizard). If your party instead includes a druid, summoner, magus, and bard, you have alot more offensive power in that party then the base assumption. Adjust for situations like this.

2. The game doesnt expect heavy optimization. If your group scoures soucebooks for the 'best' options, particularly around combat, they will perform above the expected level. That isnt a bad thing per say, but it requires adjustments.

3. The game expects 4 character. I know it says 4-5 characters, but an extra character makes a huge difference in the party's capability. Use 4 as your baseline, and again if you deviate, adjust accordingly.

4. The game, particularly adventure paths assumes a 15 point buy. Higher then that can give substantial advantages to the player (especially at low levels), again if you deviate from this you are going to need to adjust published adventures and make note of it when assigning encounter crs for homebrew games.

Basically for each of the above factors you should up the assumed APL by one (or one per player in the case of 3) for each one you deviate from in the player's favor (or reduce it for a small party or deliberately unoptimized characters etc). But there is a caviote here. For everything but #2, you shouldnt adjust encounters by making individual enemies stronger, but by adding more enemies to the encounter, particularly when accounting for extra players.

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So, the biggest piece of advice I have for you is make sure you know and understand what your players can do. Make sure your players submit their characters to you for review. Aside from the possiblity of genuine or not so genuine errors on high level characters built from scratch, the crazy stuff they are capable of will necessitate specific encounter choices. Challenge rating wont be a useful tool here. You will have to customize everything you want to be meaningful.

Insist your players submit their characters in full to you at least a week before the game, and that they explain exactly how they plan to use various abilities, spells and gear. That should be a prerequisite for this kind of campaign. Once you have that we can give you more specific advice, but it is absolutely vital that you know what they can do before designing your adventure and it's encounters if you want there to be a descent level of challenge.

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The Koldemar in the Kobold Kings by rogue genius games are precisely this. I've used them a fair bit in my games and they line up pretty well with the core races.

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swoosh wrote:
How does the GM not know what class you're playing?

Seriously...I can understand not doing like a detailed audit...but not knowing the class? That seems rediculous.

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The inquisitor IS my favorite class. I like flexible characters, this is the biggest example of that in the game.

Each of those things the Op marks as 'so-so' is sort of true, except he doesnt realize that with all of those things together, they are really good.

Yes you only get one judgement per day, but it lasts the entire encounter, no matter how long it lasts. Bane is rounds per level true, but you can get extra bane, plus you dont need it constantly, leave it off on rounds you are moving into position or buffing, then use it on the rounds you go to town. Speaking of buffing, dont forget, when you are low on bane, and have used your judgement you still have divine spells. A bless or divine favor spell can go a long way at low levels when you dont have a lot of judgements.

Combine that with fun abilities around skills and a bunch of skill points, this is an excellent class. He isnt the best at any one thing, he's not supposed to be. But he can do alot of things well for a short time. Which is how flexible classes are supposed to work.

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I would say 95% of the time, a party made up of partial casters is just fine. In fact I'd say the 3/4 bab 6 level casters are some of the best classes paizo has created.

A magus, inquisitor, alchemist, bard party would be just fine in the vast majority of situations. At very high levels the party would suffer a bit from not having the walking miracles and demi gods walking around, but if you accounted for that in the challenges, you would overall have a better campaign.

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Doomed Hero wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
With point buy you receive a benefit for intentionally lowering an ability you don't need. There is a difference between lowering your Cha to 7 in order to max out your Int and putting a rolled 7 into Cha because that 7 has to go somewhere.

^ nailed it.

Point buy min-maxing is about selling things down in order to raise other things up.

When rolling, you don't have that option. You'll still put your lowest rolls in the least useful stat, but you can't actually make your other stats better by doing it.

Basically, with point-buy, you can min-max harder than you can with rolls.

This is why I use a point buy without a sell down. 25 points, no stat under 10 before racial modifiers, no stat over 17 after racial modifiers. Problem solved.

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Though I like the above mentioned Battle Scion, I have never seen a better take on a pathfinder arcane paladin then the Iron Mage

The concept was started very early in the days of pathfinder, and went through several iterations. I've seen a few played at the table, a very solid class in my opinion and a perfect fit for the 'arcane paladin' mold.

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LazarX wrote:

Having played Mythic, I have only one piece of advice for GM's.

If your players are system optimizers and crunch junkies, Do not under any circumstances, allow them mythic. You probably need it for your own uses, if you plan on giving them any challenges at high level.

You've been warned.

As one of my groups is closing in on the end of wrath of the righteous...yea this is pretty true. If your group likes to exploit powerful combos, its going to get rediculous. Our sorceror basically has 'spend a few mythic points to end encounter' most of the time. Its sort of insane.

As an aside, I have seen a lot of success of dms granting specific mythic abilities to characters as story rewards, choosing them carefully, and making them relavent to the character. It still represents cool and often powerful abilities. But without the capacity to specifically choose everything, its far more contained even with optimized characters.

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Your players who spend most moments of downtime during sessions discussing the mechanical choices they made or will make, are instead debating, in character, constitutional law of their kingdom before, during and after the session.

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The total value is likely higher, but it will have a certain disadvantage against the swashbuckler in particular. The clasic weapon for a swash is a rapier, which means alot more panache back on crits then the natural 20 of the enforcer. At least thats my expectation. It is one thing I have noticed about swashbucklers, the in flow of panache is a lot higher then the gunslinger, and now the Enforcer.

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I think you could pretty dark with combining healing magic and torture. Or even more significant healing like regeneration. You really could have a bird of prey eat someone's liver over and over again.

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KenderKin wrote:
I admit that a character created at level such and so is always going to be optimized much better than a character where each level choice was made along the way. The other issue is gear selection and crafting, PCs made for a higher level game using the appropriate wealth are way better equipped than PCs who went through the levels.

Both of these are a serious failure on the part of the dm. If they let people create new characters from scratch but NOT allow people to rework characters periodically (we have retraining rules now for crying outloud) if the player is disatisfied is asking for trouble. This just makes dropping characters for new ones more appealing and is bound to create strife in the group.

Also, if they are both under equiping characters (either intentionally or unintentionally) and/or dont let them in some fashion trade out less useful gear for more useful gear in some fashion AND they let new characters pick and choose precisely what they want by strict WBL they are being stupid. All they are doing is encouraging people to drop existing character for new ones, either by choice or death. That is bad gming 101 right there.

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There are a number of issues here, some have been mentioned, some havent.

The biggest one I think is that of storytelling. At 15+ you arent telling the same story as you were at 1st or even 10th levels. Yes its more complicated (a significant problem) and the diversity of options on both player and dm slow things down . Yes it takes a long time to get there and some games break up, or peter out before that. Yes balance problems between 'optimized choices' and 'sub-optimal' choices become dramatically more pronounced at high levels. But ultimately, those are all workable problems. You could have a story that starts at high levels. You could have a new dm pick up where an old dm left off and start a new story. You can make sure everyone puts together characters of similar power levels, and carefully learns all their abilities to keep the game moving. But you cant change the fact that you aren't playing lord of the rings anymore.

Not just in terms of 'power' as in the ability to end encounters. That can all be 'scaled' or use a 5E type 'bounded accuracy' thing. Very high level characters aren't fantasy characters anymore. At least not in the terms we are used to. They are DC's justice league. They are green lanter, superman, wonderwoman, the flash, batman. Characters so absurdly capable, that when they are teamed up you have to come up with truly contrived reasons they dont just fix whatever is wrong.

You can no longer tell many kinds of stories. You need a whole new story to crop up. How long does the lord of the rings take if the characters are high level pathfinder characters? 4 minutes? Forget using the eagles, Elrond had been to mount doom before. Greater teleport, drop ring, greater teleport. Man that was easy, who's up for some hobbit weed?

If Eddard stark was a 20th level Fighter, he would have literally laughed as the headmans axe failed to kill him after hitting him square in the neck. Not to mention arresting him would have been a fair bit more complicated given the difficulty in keeping high level characters prisoner, particularly if they have allies who are not prisoners. You have to have like some super high security death fortress to keep them contained...maybe.

It is hard to write and tell a good story with high level characters. You are strongly limited with the kinds of stories you can tell. The scale has to be grand, it has to be earth shaking, worldshaping and sort of crazy. Most dms and adventure writers alike really struggle with this. So, less games, which means less experience at high levels, which just exagerates all the other problems. But in the end, I think the most important issue, is it's impact on story.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Any meta rule (something that isnt an in world thing) that influences player behavior is bad. XP doesnt exist in world, but it does in players minds. In my opinion the game would be better without it entirely, but if you are going to use it, it has to be even. Otherwise it encourages negative behaviors (like anti social anti teamwork) and that literally never ends well.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If the group is using traits, I'd ask the gm to allow the trap finder trait, then you can play whatever class you want and still be the 'trap' guy, at least to a point. I am exceptionally opposed to forcing a player to play a specific class to cover a role, and since the gm is limiting things to core only (which makes it harder) I would ask for a reasonable accomodation to allow the party to have everything covered without forcing someone to play something they dont want to.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Owen KC Stephens wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
Oh, and in terms of providing useful feedback, where are your feelings on firearms at the moment.
I'd use Pathfinder firearm rules for now, though if you use AA firearms that should still provide useful info.

Hmmm, ok, I was leaning towards the AA firearms simply because I am not sure how to do modern weapons in the Pathfinder style, and I'd rather not throw houserules into the mix for something as basic as weapons. Things like misfire chance, and attacking touch AC might get a bit complicated when its the default choice of weapon for an Urban fantasy campaign. Does an M-4 really jam every 20 rounds? Does an AK? Should a pistol go through a dragons armor like a hot knife through butter? The ballistic armors from the Bullet point account for the problem with humanoids, but not creatures who have a significant portion of their AC come from natural armor.

I'll give it some thought, but any guidance would be appreciated, as what I come up with may skew any info away from usefulness.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

First draft of an npc to be used in a modern urban arcana style campaign I am working on.

LT. Jason Spelling, First Marine Supernatural Suppression:

Division CR 5
Human Devil Dog Enforcer 6 LN Medium humanoid (human)

Init +4; Perception +9

AC 19(22 vs balistic Weapons), touch 14, flat-footed 15(18 vs balistic weapons) (+5 armor, +4 Dex)
hp 52
Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +3;
Defensive Abilities: Tough It out

Speed 40 ft.

+8/+3 combat Knife (dagger) 1d4+2

+12/+7 Masterwork Assault Rifle 2d8+1 (x3)
Unload +12/+10 2d8+1(x3) (standard and move action)
+11/+6 Heavy Automatic Pistol 2d4+2 (19-20/x2)
Unload +11/+9 Heavy Automatic Pistol 2d4+2 (19-20/x2)

Special Attacks Deadeye, Focused Violence, Point Blank SHot, Mettle 2/day


During Combat Spelling attempts to keep his distance from his foes, using his mobility and tactical awareness to greate effect. He also takes advantage of his schooling in the supernatural to use the best available weapons against the bizare foes he and his unit must face.


Str 14, Dex 18, Con 13, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 10

Base Atk +6; CMB +8; CMD 22

Feats Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Weapon Focus Firearms, Skill Focus Survival

Skills Climb +10, Heal +9, Knowledge Arcana +12, Knowledge Dungeoneering +13, Knowledge Engineering +13, Knowledge Nature +12, Knowledge Religion +13 , Perception +9, Spellcraft +12, Stealth +12, Survival +11, Swim +10

Languages Common, Elven, Orc, Goblin

Traits: Child of the temple, Scholar of Ruins

SQ Suck it Up 3d6, Classical Education, Devil Dog Armor Training, Specialty Knowledge Engineering.
Deeds: Deadeye, Focused Violence, Suck it UP, Tough It Out

Combat Gear: Masterwork Ceramic Armor, Masterwork Assault Rifle, Heavy Automatic Pistol, Combat Knife(dagger), Headband of Intellect +2, Cloak of Resistance +1, Boots of Striding and Springing

After the Event, which heralded the re-emergence of the supernatural into the modern world, the US Marine Core (along with other branches of the armed forces) created a specialized unit to counter threats of to national security that came with it. Highly educated and well versed in the lore and research on these new creatures, they are well armed and well equiped, and willing to persue and destroy the things that go bump in the night.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Oh, and in terms of providing useful feedback, where are your feelings on firearms at the moment.

At the time of starting the AA classes, you had decided to deviate from the paizo firearm rules in favor of a different set presented in the enforcer. However when the technology guide was announced you mentioned you wanted to see sort of what that would be like for potential incorporation towards modern/future type products, and those function in sort of the same space as the firearms from ultimate combat, just more spacey.

So in terms of what firearms rules I might use to try this out, which would be most helpful in terms of feedback? The ones presented in the original enforcer, or some kind of amalgamation of the ones paizo has produced.

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