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Angvar Thestlecrit

Kolokotroni's page

7,588 posts (7,616 including aliases). 17 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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It seems like you are approaching the summoner the way one should 'deliberately not optimizing it'. Your problem is the lycanthropy, which when you can control it is stupid powerful for just about any character thats not like a wizard. A master summoner is already really good, even if you dont optimize, so I'd say if you want to keep the character, and you want to keep the flavor, and the role of front liner, retrain(and i mean just get your gm to approve changing your class levels) the character from summoner to the wolf shifter (just change it to tiger instead of wolf) from wayfinder #5 (available for free download). Its basically a barbarian rethemed and altered slightly to make rage the shifting into wolf form.

Ditch lycanthropy and take that as your class instead of summoner. Then you have a solid frontliner, you keep the events that have happened to the character in tact, and it wont be overpowered compared to everyone else. Obviously this is a complete rebuild of the character but your dm should be willing if its causing problems. You can even say the feral influence of the lycanthropy is preventing your use of your magic or something to explain the sudden lack of summoning.

Obviously the easiest solution is to npc the cleric or have someone else run the cleric.

If that isnt an option, then i'd consider putting significant healing resources in the possesion of the first group of enemies they encounter (wands, potions, maybe a 3.5 healing belt). That way they'll hopefully have what they need to get through that session until the clerics player turns up (hopefully) for the next one.

arrgghh wrote:
Thanks, now I have to make a decision and build a character heh heh. I want something that will be good in the front line but don't want to get bored with it. That is a problem I have sometimes.

I have that problem too. Its one reason I really like fighter mage types. You get the variety that comes with magic, but still be the big tough guy. Summoners are great for that. In fact a regular summoner (not a synthesist) is better for that, and also has alot less rules ambiguity and room for munchkinism and errors.

I'd honestly go that way if I were you. Then you can have your big beefy pet, but still mix up your spells and other actions with the summoner himself to keep from getting bored.

arrgghh wrote:
Well thanks for all the information. My first character was the melee bard so would rather not do that again immediately. I might take a look at the thunder and fang. Still looking at synthesist though, good ac and lots of hit points with plenty of attacks.

You dont really need alot of advise to make a good synthesist. Its an extremely easy thing to make powerful.

Step 1: Good mental stats, dont worry so much about physical stats that arent CON.
Step 2: Choose the obviously combab effective evolutions. As many natural attacks as you are allowed for your level. Strength boosts, natural weapon damage boosts, AC boosts, when you qualify get the large evolution and more strength boosts. There you have it, a powerful melee synthesist.

In terms of spells get spells you can use to buff yourself, and a few control spells (pits are fun to shove people into with your big beeft monster self and to keep your enemies from being able to surround you). As well as the rejuvenate eidolon spells (the only way to recover hp for your eidolon since healing spells dont work on a synthesist normally due to the temporary evolution situation).

mwcarter4120 wrote:
Thank you for all of the feed back! One question I have is, if I buy the beginner box can I do much with it learning wise on my own before I try to get others to play it. Or should we all try to hash it out together? What all can I do within the box by myself to learn.

I believe there is actually a mini solo adventure you can run to get a little used to it. You also ofcourse can read the dm and players guide and familiarize yourself with it. As well as read through the little adventure they have prepared in there so you can run it for your group when you get them together.

I play Kobolds. I like them alot. Though in one game I play in we are currently going through a Kobold death maybe a little less right now. I've played a kobold. A kobold riven mage pirate. I feel like you have alot of freedom to be quirky and crazy when you play kobolds.

Zeromage wrote:
anthonydido wrote:

If you haven't already, you shuold make sure your group knows how you intend to run your game before making drastic changes to the way spells work. I know if I was midway through an adventure and my GM started changing how spells worked without saying they would do such earlier I would be pretty ticked off.

You obviously have a very specific style of game that you prefer to run and that's fine. Just make sure the players are for it or at least understand why these changes are being made.

Yeah, I definitely am going to warn them beforehand, as I also think it would be unfair to drop that in the middle of a 2 year long campaign.

I just wonder if you are aware just how many 'solution in a spell' spells there are as you get to mid/high levels? Its not just teleport. The game essentially becomes a different game at a certain level. Contact other plane, dominate person, Passwall, overland flight, Legends lore, true seeing, geas, contingency, scrying, wish, miracle, discern location, locate person, locate object, prying eyes, and many other spells, have similar 'fix the problem with a spell' effects.

It honestly sounds to me like you'd be happier running an E6 or E8 game(where leveling stops at 6th or 8th level). Which is ok but you need to understand that trying to just pull out the spells and abilities that cause such issues from higher level play is like trying to stop a leaky dam with your thumb, there will be other leaks, and you'll run out of thumbs, or you will spend alot of time and effort plugging leaks, leaving people wondering why you have a dam made of mostly thumbs in the first place.

In terms of rules it would be bluff vs sense motive.

But the issue is, that asking for the checks during character interaction will tip your hand and make everyone suspicious. If you randomly ask for a sense motive check, people will wonder why, and if its while they are interacting with druid 1 (which would make sense) it would give away more then it should.

I would ask all the players to give you prerolled perception and sense motive checks at the start of the session. Say 10 of them. You can say, its for situations like this one where you need to have a chance to notice something, but if you miss it you shouldnt have anything given away. Then have druid one give you a bunch of secret bluff checks (away from the table so no one else knows). Then when a character interacts with Druid 1 every so often compare a bluff check to a sense motive check, if the druid succeeds, tick them off, and use the next checks for the next time. If the player beats the druid's bluff, give them some detail. 'You notice some redness in druid 1's eyes.' 'Druid 1 isnt walking quite as tall as he used to' stuff like that. Then see how it plays out.

Well the begginer box is sort of a unique product. Its purpose is to get new players like yourself into the game as quickly as possible. Theoretically you can grab the box, grab a couple friends and be playing inside of 15 minutes of opening it. I'd recommend though that you buy the box, and look over the rulebooks a little bit first. You dont have to but it will help. It will also help you explain it to people you want to join you.

The biggest part of tabletop gaming is you need other people. It is social activity, so in theory you want people you enjoy spending time with. If you think any of your friends and family might be interested, I'd invite them to play a game with you. See how it goes, if any of them are still interested then now you have some players. You can also ask the store you are buying this stuff from to post a notice that you are interested in starting a group, or use things like meetup and other social media to find people. It really never has been easier to get a group together.

I think the biggest problem is people think the story has to start at the table. If the campaign will be around persuing pirates as mentioned, have them be part of an military or government organization.

Its perfectly acceptable to say, 'You are all officers in the Kingdomia Royal Navy, go make your characters with that in mind'. Then they can decide why they are there, someone is just a ships cook, but happens to be good with a blade, someone is a midshipman who desperately wants to becaptain one day, someone is a noblemans son who is trying to make a name for himself, whatever. But if you dont want 'you meet up randomly but somehow get together to adventure' then actually make a reason for them to be together. Shared backstory is how you do this. The most basic shared backstory is to be part of an organization.

I would echo the value of a druid in kingmaker. All those situational spells that only apply to nature, animals and such come up very frequently. That and the druid is among the best in the game for filling in for missing party members.

Can you be a bit more specific with what you want out of a rogue mage? Depending on your desires i'd go some kind of bard or alchemist before I did an arcane trickster. Multiclassing in pathfinder is almost never worth it.

So what exactly do you want to be able to do as a rogue mage? WHat kind of spells do you want? How combat capable do you want to be? Stuff like that will help a lot in offering you suggestions.

Lifat wrote:

What exactly is it that you lose? As far as I can see the only thing from the half-dragon that you lose is the +6 constitution.

Hit Dice: A skeleton drops any HD gained from class levels and changes racial HD to d8s. Creatures without racial HD are treated as if they have 1 racial HD. If the creature has more than 20 Hit Dice, it can't be made into a skeleton by the animate dead spell. A skeleton uses its Cha modifier (instead of its Con modifier) to determine bonus hit points.

Saves: Base save bonuses are Fort +1/3 HD, Ref +1/3 HD, and Will +1/2 HD + 2.

Defensive Abilities: A skeleton loses the base creature's defensive abilities and gains DR 5/bludgeoning and immunity to cold. It also gains all of the standard immunities and traits possessed by undead creatures.

Speed: A winged skeleton can't use its wings to fly. If the base creature flew magically, so can the skeleton. All other movement types are retained.

Attacks: A skeleton retains all the natural weapons, manufactured weapon attacks, and weapon proficiencies of the base creature, except for attacks that can't work without flesh. A creature with hands gains one claw attack per hand; the skeleton can strike with each of its claw attacks at its full attack bonus. A claw attack deals damage depending on the skeleton's size (see Natural Attacks). If the base creature already had claw attacks with its hands, use the skeleton claw damage only if it's better.


Armor Class: Natural armor is based on the zombie's size:

You lose/reduce the +4 nat armor bonus unless your half dragon is at least huge sized.


Hit Dice: Drop HD gained from class levels (minimum of 1) and change racial HD to d8s. Zombies gain a number of additional HD as noted on the following table.
Lose any class levels

Zombies use their Charisma modifiers to determine bonus hit points (instead of Constitution).

Con modifier pointless


Saves: Base save bonuses are Fort +1/3 HD, Ref +1/3 HD, and Will +1/2 HD + 2.

Defensive Abilities: Zombies lose their defensive abilities and gain all of the qualities and immunities granted by the undead type. Zombies gain DR 5/slashing.

Lose immunity to sleep, paralysis, and energy of the same type as its breath weapon.


Speed: Winged zombies can still fly, but maneuverability drops to clumsy. If the base creature flew magically, so can the zombie. Retain all other movement types.

weakened flight


Attacks: A zombie retains all the natural weapons, manufactured weapon attacks, and weapon proficiencies of the base creature. It also gains a slam attack that deals damage based on the zombie's size, but as if it were one size category larger than its actual size (see Natural Attacks).

Special Attacks: A zombie retains none of the base creature's special attacks.

Lose breath weapon


Special Qualities: A zombie loses most special qualities of the base creature. It retains any extraordinary special qualities that improve its melee or ranged attacks. A zombie gains the following special quality.

Lose lowlight vision and darkvision

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GrundyThunderfist wrote:

I have an encounter plotted out where the PCs happen upon a courtyard in a monastery where three holy men have been gruesomely crucifies on large wooden "X's". The man in the center was burned, and all that remains is the charred skeleton in blackened, loose-fitting armor.

In my head, as the other two corpses (zombies) pull themselves free to attack the PCs, the skeleton bursts into flames and leaps into the Frey. I was curious if the burning skeleton template can be added to skeletal champion.



On an unrelated side note: Do templates applied to living creatures like Half-Dragon and Half-Fiend still apply to their unread counterparts? Could a Half-Dragon or Half-Fiend Orc be raised as a Zombie Lord?

Technically yes but you lose a fair amount of abilities. What you would do is create the half dragon or half feind and then apply the zombie template to it.

For the most part I like the new classes added by paizo. I think the summoner needs restrictions on evolutions, and I am concerned about the upcoming arcanist. Aside from that I think that each class offers the option to play a kind of character not previously available from a mechanical standpoint.

Obviously every concept can technically be covered by some combination of the 4 basic classes, but I think new base classes offer some of the best ways to fill out new concepts. They are designed from the ground up to fill that concept, as opposed to trying to round peg square hole things. You could make a reasonable approximation of an inqusitor by mixing cleric and rogue or maybe cleric and ranger, but it wouldnt function as well as the inquisitor does. Base classes allow designers to explicately lay such concepts out to us, without having to mix and match disperate options in order to make the character work. I want a skilled divine hunter, i can just open the apg and pull out the inquisitor.

It also let paizo break from some of the shackles of 3.x design. I think the APG especially represents what paizo wanted to do with classes. THey are all interesting to play, get lots of abilities, and are reasonably well balanced toward the middle (with the exception of the much maligned summoner).

I dont believe in doing the same with archetypes, as for me archetypes represent a very restricted design space. You have to make one for one trades of abilities and keep them balanced, strongly limiting what you can do. Archetpyes are for minor tweaks. Adding a few specialities, but not conceptual changes. Base classes allow for ground up design to acheive a goal. As we have seen, there are at least a few concepts that paizo tried, and (in their opinion) failed to make work with archetypes. Namely the Swashbuckler and the Skald. Come august they'll be base classes, and I believe my game at least will be the better for it.

Snoring Rock wrote:

@Kolkoroni, I agree with you for the most part. I think free cantrips and channeling are power creep though. But the cleric needed fixing and Jason had to keep it backward compatible. All in all, you are right. I really dig your take on magic items. I want to use the name idea and how you make it a part of the character. Very cool ideas. I am feeling better about this possible return to PF.

What I miss from Paizo, since going to C&C, that you do not get from TLG is the sheer size of the peanut gallery of ideas and the excellent customer service. And well, the really cool buttons at GenCon.

I guess we will disagree about what represents power creep. Both channeling and cantrips are relatively minor abilities designed to aleviate the 15 minute work day. In the grand scheme of things channel isnt a more powerful resource then heal spells, it just means the cleric can use his spells for actual magic instead of being a walking bandaid (a good choice in my view). And I always felt it was a bit silly that a powerful wizard can be literally out of magic for the day. Other then a few silly situations like the create water cleric fountain, or constant spamming detect magic, cantrips dont represent any real power, just the ability to keep doing SOMETHING magical all day long.

I do completely agree that some of paizo's best assets is its community, their ideas, and paizos customer service. I pretty much decided to start runing adventure paths because of the forums dedicated to each one. Its like having a 1000 gms backing me up with ideas, solutions to potential problems, walkthroughs, bonus material, handouts and everything else i can think of.

First off, in case you arent aware, most of the genius guides have moved from Super Genius Games to Rogue Genius Games. Owen Stephens the primary author of most of the Genius Guides has created his own company. He is really good about responding to questions, even on older products, so I'd normally recommend asking such questions in the product thread.

Katydid wrote:

Thanks for the reply, Purple Duck Games! My DM raised the point that the text referred to the summon as "the" breeze or "the" wind, and not "a" wind - which was a point that I wanted to research before continuing further discussion.

For example, Summon Monster always refers to its summons as "a/an," implying no particular significance to any one summon. Conversely, the suggestion was that since Biting Wind referred to its summon as "the," this summon was unique and would replace any previously summoned iteration.

I think this is more semantics then rules. I dont think the breeze created is unique.

"This spell creates an animate wind of freezing
cold air
that moves and attacks a single target as
directed by the caster."


I mean, from a mechanical standpoint it seems to make sense. A level 2 sorcerer could summon 6+ winds and direct them to eventually attack the same target at 1d6 per attack against touch, with a will save against shaken on a hit - which seems broken until you factor in action economy. Multiple standard actions to cast and to redirect each wind to attack new targets, compounded with an attack roll per attack, means it's highly unlikely the time-limited winds will be doing something insane like 8d6+ damage/turn to any single target.

He COULD summon 6 winds, but that would leave him with no resources for other encounters. Keep in mind you would need separate actions to redirect each individual wind. It is also weaker in many ways then a summon spell

Here is a post from owen about the relative power of biting winds:

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Tom Baumbach wrote:
Is the biting wind spell too good? I've had two separate playtest groups offer concern about that spell specifically. It flew under my radar at first, but those with the concerns made valid points: as far as combat goes, it's at least comparable to (quite possibly better than) summon monster II. Thoughts?
Tom Baumbach wrote:

I wonder if anyone who has used this or the authors would like to comment:

Is the biting wind spell too good?

There are a number of factors that weaken biting wind II compared to any summoned monster.

First, it deals nonlethal damage (incorrectly called subdual damage since this was an early product of ours). That means any foe that has nay healing ability can heal the damage done by biting wind and other damage at the same time (since healing from spells *or abilities* heals both real and nonlethal damage for each point healed). Use the spell gains any group with a healer or a creature with fast healing or regeneration, and the damage evaporates quickly.

Second, it doesn't threaten. One of the common uses for summoned monsters is to grant allied rogues sneak attacks, and this can't do that.

Third, all it does is attack. What I mean is, you can't direct it to grab a fallen ally and pull them to safety, it doesn't take attacks of opportunity, can't be used to block passages or force foes to make Acrobatics checks, and so on. The utility is simply much lower than being able to have a pony haul logs out of the way, a dolphin carry you safely to the surface, a wolf physically block and entrance, and so on. At least in groups I playtest with, summoned monsters are the swiss-army knife of spell, and they get huge utility out of them.

Now all that said, biting winds is a great 1st level spell. In playtest, players took it more than half the time if they had it available. But as a 2nd level spell, it was almost never selected. Maybe dealing 1d6 nonlethal a round, even with a chance of applying penalties, just doesn't stack up to web, blindness/deafness, spectral hand, or scorching ray (especially at higher caster levels).

Exact spell balance is sadly more an art than a science, and play style can impact that a lot. If a group decided this was a 2nd level spell for their group I wouldn't say they were playing "wrong," just that it didn't match the results of my playtesting.


From the position of a player, I didn't want to raise the issue without credible sources to support that opinion. So, I've been looking for much more qualified (or maybe even official!) input, like what you've given, over my own word. But I do recognize the possibility that my DM was right as well. :p

I dont think he's correct, but I dont think its a huge issue if he sticks to that. In my mind as a sorceror I wouldnt WANT to cast this multiple times a in a single encounter, as that would be a significant expandature of reasources at low levels, and a relatively poor use of my actions at mid to high levels. I've also posted a link to this thread in the product thread, so hopefully Owen will chime in himself with an 'official' response.

Hey owen, first off oooh shadow magic, me want. Second I wanted to direct your attention to a question posted in a different section on the forums for this product here

Snoring Rock wrote:
Yes, you got it. I want all classes, wizards, clerics, druids, etc. I just got tired of magic items on every street corner. That came with 3.x not PF. Though in order to fix a few things, there was some power creep that PF added. The modules (3.x) just had a lot of them built in. I had players with one magic item, then finding a new one and then switching them out. Sure you will have that, but not that often. I want a campaign that has this flavor I give it, but within the bounds I set.

I'd say there was less power creep in the conversion from 3.5 to pathfinder as there was a push of everyone towards the middle. Druids wild shape was reduced in power, some key wizard and cleric spells were powered down. Fighters, barbarians, bards, and sorcerors all got fairly siginificant boosts. This pushed the core classes towards the middle for the most part (the rogue and the monk got minor boosts but most feel they were left out somewhat). Most of the new pathfinder classes fit somewhere between the fighter and the druid in terms of power, so there isnt alot of power creep. The one exception commonly accepted is the summoner, who if you dont deliberately NOT optimize comes out hyper optimized with little to no effort. (think the most badass druid codzilla from 3.5, thats what you get with the summoner if you just take the seemingly obvious choices for the summoner because you get to pick each and every option). So leaving out the summoner there is actually very little power creep in pathfinder.

As for magic items, I totally agree. There isnt a way for them to feel special if they are a store bought commodity. Hence why i went through the effort of creating my house rules to replace most of them. In my game 2 players (the fighter and war priest both 4th level) recently got magic weapons. A keen (no +x just keen) rapier, for the freehand fighter, and a viscious bastard sword(again no +x) for the War Priest. These weapons are named, they have a history. And they will stay with the player through their career. The incremental +x they would normally be trading these weapons from comes from my heroic distinctions. My hope is that the weapons, and other magic items the party has gotten (everyone now has one magic item) will become a part of the character, the way sting was for frodo, or Glamdring for gandalf.

Tinalles wrote:

Part of the problem is that I don't know Jan well enough to figure out how many of the choices involved in the character creation were hers. If she really wants to play a druid/rogue, I'm fine with that. It's her PC. She should have agency in it. If that means playing a difficult PC her first time out, so be it.

But I'm worried that she got overwhelmed with choices and just accepted whatever Tom suggested. The PC sounds weirdly like his current character: a female elf Rogue 4/Wizard 3 going for Arcane Trickster, with a low CON score and a weird weapon that deals little damage (hand crossbow).

Jan has agreed to do a 1-on-1 session in which I will simply give her some self-contained challenges designed to let her try her character's abilities. I'm hoping that with a little more time to talk with her I'll get a better sense for what she wants in her PC. Also hopefully an actual scenario will give her more insight into how a character works in-game.

Start over. Say 'Hey jan, I know you made that character with tom, but generally its a good idea to go over things with the GM first in such matters. Lets talk out what kind of character you want to play, and how to make that happen with classes/options and how to integrate your character into the story'. Then do those things. If that means throwing out the rogue druid so be it. But dont let a mistake by one of your players compound into future problems. Its perfectly find not to be sure how much the character is jans desire and how much is Toms suggestions. Ask her. Walk her through it as if you were going from scratch.

Kip Edwards wrote:
StDrake wrote:

Sounds like the GM did screw up a little and throw you on the deep waters instead of REALLY giving you a tutorial trip.

There's a number of things you could do, some of which I'd recommend:
-ask someone to tell you a bit about the most common world and setting pathfinder finds its use in (generally - to introduce you to the world of Golarion)
-find a group where you could start out from level 1 and discover the game along with how your character discovers the adventure
-discover the wonderful sources that are pathfinders wiki, wikia and well..d20pfsrd (that's when you're ready to immerse yourself knee-deep in mechanial options)

and yes the power level in pathfinder is a little higher than 3.0, but 3.5 is quite near.

Thanks, I felt I had a good handle on it, just frustrated that I do feel thrown in the deep end and as far as the location confusion...I blame the GM for not giving me more information. I feel like he keeps thinking I know pathfinder... I know 3.5 D&D if we were in Greyhawk I would be able to come up with names of places. All that aside, my normal gaming group is dedicated to 3.5 D&D. I am venturing into pathfinder on my own accord. I'm used to not having much in the way of magical items and characters being a lot less powerful (example none of my characters ever have higher then an 18 on a ability score pathfinder halforc has a 26 strength.)

Well the power thing and magic item thing is a play style. 3.5 also had loads of magic items, and the potential for very high stats (I remember in my first 3.5 game, I had a 26 charisma on my sorceror by around 12th level). The whole wealth by level thing was present in 3.5. Go ahead and look at that table in the gm guide. It lists a rather large number for the amount of wealth in magic items a 9th level character should have.

Thats difference has nothing to do with the game itself, and if you were playing it with your group, I imagine the feel would be the same.

If you want to venture off by yourself, you might look into pathfinder society organized play Its not my personal preference, but at least you can get a consistent experience and be able to start from the begining (1st level) without being thrown in the deep end.

So first off, in some cases the numbers are in fact higher. Specifically the fighter's numbers are higher. They got a bit of a power boost in pathfinder. But most dont think it was an unwelcome change. In essense it seems to me this dm doesnt know how to run an intro game. 9th level premade characters is not a good way to introduce the game.

My advice is simple. As someone who is familiar with 3rd edition but new to pathfinder start with something simpler. Get crypt of the everflame. Its a 1st level module designed to introduce 3rd edition players to pathfinder.

Snoring Rock wrote:


I am what you would call old school. I have been playing D&D since 1978. My campaigns are mostly low to medium magic. I do not like having magic stores and places in town for buying magic items and I do not like the crafting skills in 3.x or Pathfinder. It makes magic way too accessible; almost no longer a rare thing.

Has anyone here run similar games with Pathfinder and is there an easier way to come up with NPC’s that are balanced and level appropriate without many hours of work? The NPC Guide, is it worth the price? Will it fill in the gaps? Can you run a low magic game with Pathfinder?

I've run low magic games with pathfinder. In fact I've created an extensive set of house rules around it.

Based on your post I assume by low magic you mean low magic items. Not a lack of casters in the party. Not having casters in the party is a whole different issue that will have to be addressed otherwise (and in my opinion with far greater difficulty)

First a bit of background. Pathfinder is not designed for magic to be a rare thing. At least not in the case of the pcs and the things they fight. Magic and magic items are rampant. A significant amount of magic items, and access to magic is a core part of the game and built into the math. You can remove it, but you have to adjust.

I do that with These House rules. Basically I give the players extra bonuses and abilities as they level, instead of giving them magic items. Crafting magic items isnt permitted by normal means (besides scrolls potions and wands) and magic items cannot be bought or sold normally. I've played through fairly length games with it. It works rather well. Players will get one or two, maybe 3 magic items over their whole career. And they will be tailored to the story and the character. You might have Ignus the flaming sword, and that is your signature item as a fighter.

As I said this still depends on having casters in the party. Magical healing/condition removal, and the utility of arcane and divine casting is still more or less necessary to most adventures. But I have also played in games using my system where there were no full casters IE no wizards, clerics, sorcerors or druids, but there were paladins, inquistors, magi, alchemists and bards.

For npcs. First of all I should point out you dont HAVE to buy the npc guide. Its available in the prd. Paizo's pretty awesome about that. There is also the npc database.

No creation time required (though you might need to tweek them a bit for whatever your needs are). For my system (where the npcs wont be carrying all the normal magic items) dont change any of their numbers, (if they have a ring of protection, leave their ac as is) but dont include the magic items listed as loot found when the npcs is defeated, except for plot relavent items, and consumables (potions, scrolls, wands).

Unless there is an in character reason for a change (which should provide the justification for multiclassing), I prefer to choose a class that encompases my whole character from level 1. I wouldnt go barbarian 3, wizard 1. I'd play a blood rager.

nekoyami wrote:


What would you suggest for my concept? N why is it the rogue/ninja isn't good? Oo?

Multiclassing in general is difficult to pull off in pathfinder. Multiclassing with the rogue is espcially problematic. Mostly becasue the rogue doesnt know what it wants to be, and suffers because of it. Is it the sneaky assisnt? The skills theif? The dashing swashbuckling warrior? Indian Jones? It tries to be all, ends up being none.

The ninja is a little better in so much as it's ki power are pretty sweet, but it suffers from much the same division of focus that the rogue has.

If you want a mundane sneaky, killy, warrior, try the slayer from the advandced class guide playtest. It does this very well.

For your concept, if you want a sneaky, skilled divine killer, take the inquisitor class.

I am not sure spell casting as it exists is a good way to represent the monk. I imagine ki powers being far more basic, and limited abilities. I think part of hte problem is the monk to me is a genre, not a class. And the bigest problem with the current class is it tries to do everything and ends up doing very little.

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I think kickstarter brings new pressures and problems to the industry as much as it brings new opportunities. there is no question that there are more products in gaming in general then there would have been without kickstarter. That much is plain. Smaller companies can make products they couldnt otherwise, and riskier products that might not have been made also have a chance at the light of day.

But I also think it provides unique psycholigical stresses on both the creators and the customers.

The creators get to wake up every morning knowing 'I have their money, I need to make the product'. That is a heavy weight. Its pretty close to a small business loan, except you dont have a bank to deal with. A rational and oraganized entity. You have a whole bunch of individuals. Some are calm, informed and rational, some are overly demanding, some dont have a clue, and some are down right crazy.

Crowdfunding almost flips the dynamic of creator and customer to creator and employer. No matter what I have to say about any boss i've ever worked for, none of them hold a candle to the insanity that is the gaming community. Imagine the emotion, venom, mental energy and sheer volume of opinion that went into say the armor spikes debate coming out of your bosses mouth. Every time I think about how cool it would be to kickstart a super successful game idea...I think about that, and go to work...

Then there is the stress on the customer. Some people go into it with the mentality that seems appropriate to the concept. I am funding a project, not going to a store. I understand that this isnt like preording a game, it hasnt been made yet. That means risk, time, and a whole lot of waiting. This is a really new kind of dynamic for any consumer market. There is a psychological need to see a return on money spent, and gamers have a tendancy to impulse buy.

That applies to kickstarters as well. The waiting that happens afterward is a very unique mental stress on people who may not have lots of resources, may be weighing opportunity costs on things that are actually available to play/use right now, may have spouses, parents, significant others who are not thrilled about their gaming spending and wonder why they spent money on something that doesnt exist. And then there is the internet. Where people who like or hate a thing can swarm around eachother like hornets and bees stirring up all sorts of crazy.

I dont know what is going on of course with this specific project. But the more I think about it, the more I see what could very well be a set of stresses and situations that both creater and customer are not used to dealing with. I want someone with some special initials at the end of their name who knows stuff I dont to do a study on this stuff. I'd read it.

PerdantTheSavant wrote:

So, I am starting a pathfinder game with some people, I have only played any type of tabletop rpg once. I am going to be the GM and the four people playing don't have experience with tabletop rpgs at all.

I was looking for advice on how to get things rolling in the first meeting.

I also wanted to know some things it might be nice to have.
I already have these things ordered, or am going to be getting them soon.

-Core Rulebook
-New GM guide
-Rise of the Runelords adventure
-White board (instead of mat)
-dice(I would like to know which kind of dice I need, I have a lot of d6, and I know d8, d4, d20, d12, but any others?)

Any advice would be appreciated.


I would hold off on all of those things (except the white board and dice) and get the begginer box

This product is designed for precisley your situation. It will walk everyone (including you) throug How to play an rpg. The truth is the core rulebook is not very good at teaching people how to play the game. Thats why the begginer box exists. It comes with everything you need to get started, including some pawns (carboard miniatures) and dice. It also lays out the steps and process, and ideas of playing such a game much more clearly, and in a more pleasing way. Start with that.

You'll want a couple extra sets of dice though so feel free to pick up more. In general I find its best if everyone has the following at the table:

2d10 (or 1d10 and a percentage die)
1d4 (or more for casters)

I usually have 2-3 sets like this with me in case im rolling multiple attacks or something (gms will have to do that fairly often) so yea, you can never have too many dice.

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Karl Hammarhand wrote:

It is harder to learn and play a game with more rules than fewer. More rules may make certain situations less dependent on sound judgement but you still have to follow the rule.

Agreed. I think my own ideas werent clear enough. I am talking not about the learning process, or the amount of time it takes to learn the game, but how the game behaves when everything is running smoothly. Everyone is comfortable with the ruleset, and little or no rules looking up is necesary. Obviously for some, a heavy ruleset will always be an issue, either because of preference, or a simple inability to become familiar with a large amount of rules. For them, light games with lots of dm discretion are a necessity.

It is for those willing and able to absorb a large ruleset that i make my comparison.

Again this is purely opinion and based on my experience and intuitions, but I think the kind of gm that can make fair, quick, and consistent rulings at the table is a talent, not a learned behavior. I think most people can eventually learn a ruleset. But the ability to improvise, and to separate ones self from the work they have done on the game and be fair/consistent in their rulings is something most people will have a static amount of capability in.


You set up a false dichotomy. A game does not have to be 'highly codified' or 'often dependent on dm rulings'. A game can be highly codified and often dependent on dm rulings or lightly codified and require almost no refereeing at all.

Pathfinder is highly codified. The rules are continually being added to. Nothing is going to change that. Does that make Pathfinder easy to learn or play? Fewer rules means more people can learn and play. And will do so. If I drop a thousand plus pages of rules on someone how many will simply say, 'no'? Now if I drop three or four pages of rules on someone how many will say 'no'?

I would argue that no one needs to know every page of rules of pathfinder. And that is generally what I tell people that I teach the game. Basically you need to know the rules for the options you are using and the combat and skills section of the rulebook. That is closer to 30-40 pages then it is a thousand.

And again I dont mean to say highly codified is EASY, i mean to say that assuming everyone gets on board and learns the rules (a big if I know) more people will have the talent as a person to run/play smoothly in a highly codified game.


How many people can learn the rules to 'tag'? Everyone above four years old. How many can learn all the rules of baseball? A bright ten year old can learn enough to play, a bright twelve year old can learn what an infield fly rule is. All the rules? It takes less than 150 pages to print out the rules to baseball and many, many people find baseball too complicated to follow. Nearly 600 pages for the core rule book alone? How many people are going to find it too complicated?

Well my two favorite sports are football (both kinds). And actually they are sort of perfect analogies for this.

American football, has very detailed rules, with instant replay, a whole mess of refs, and an ever changing rulebook to promote 'fairness'. Soccer/futbol is a game where the rules are largely dependant on the judgement of a single person, the Ref. Both present problems with their games. But I find that there are FAR fewer (per game) refereeing controversies in american football then there are in Soccer. And the talent level (again my opinion) required to be a soccer ref is much higher then an american football ref.

American football is far more satisfying to my need for fairness. Its rare (again % per game) that I genuinely feel upset about the refs impact on the game. In soccer it happens almost every game.

I actually like to play soccer more if we are talking about pickup games and such, but I am far more likely to be angry about refing if I am watching or playing in a highly competative game.


However back to the original question. Many people don't like allowing GM agency or fear it for some reason and that appears to be much of the objection to 'the essence of AD&D'. Many are afraid that more GM agency means less player agency (it doesn't).

GM agency vs player agency does come up to alot of it. But while I'd agree that more gm Agency doesnt guarantee less player agency, it makes it alot more likely. In essence agency means control over the situation. It is pretty close to a zero sum game. If dms have more control over the situation, players have less. Some dms are more benevolent about it then others. But that doesnt mean players have control, it just means the dms are permissive.


Many here simply do not want to play the way the game used to be played or have it mixed in with unpleasant social memories of one kind or another. Some are very pleased with themselves that they have achieved 'system mastery' of somewhere north of a thousand pages of rules if you include supplements, etc. and feel any simplification a threat to that.

I really believe there is no 'the way the game used to be played'. Part of that is even when I played Adnd we had rotating dms, so there wasnt 'the dm' who was all powerful and smote as he wished. It was always shared duty. There were rules lawyers the day after the first book game out in the 70's. There were monty haul kick in the door and look the mosnter groups. There were wargamers who picked up dnd and treated it like a minis game. The only difference is we are now all able to directly talk to eachother.

In my group in junior high, when we played ADnD, we used the rules, if we couldnt find a rule, we made one up, but it wasnt a ruling, it was a rule we wrote down for future use. We also poured through whatever books, dungeon magazine or whatever else we could find for new rules to use. I honestly think the idea that there is a single 'essence' of the way the game 'used to be' is complete nonsense. Other then perhaps poorly written. But I think most people are happy that the editing standards of the industry have increased dramatically.

And in terms of it being a threat, its not a threat to system mastery. People who have a high level of system mastery will have it regardless of the system. There were people who min maxed in ADnD. The thing that is threatened is options. Many people like having lots of choices, and to them, a reduction of said choices will take something away from the game. Powergamers will always powergame, they did in every edition of dnd. But those who like exploring new and interesting options wont be able to do that if we go back to fighter, elf, dwarf, theif, magic user.


I can understand that. There are many things I enjoy doing well and if they were easier more people could do those same things well.

That's okay not everyone is going to want to play with the essence of AD&D and some of those people are going to do anything they can to dismiss the idea, deny there ever was such a thing, downplay the difference between the essence of ad&d and Pathfinder or denigrate those who want to find that difference (that's not a reference to you Kolo I've wandered further than I intended again).

Some of us can agree on what the essence of ad&d was. Those that do and want to add it pathfinder ought to be given the chance.

Again I dont think there was a single essence of adnd. And while I'd say certainly you should be able to play the game you want. You should really stop and consider whether what you want is compatable with the game you are trying to add it to. Pathfinder is not adnd. Some might call it an evolution, some might call it a degredation, I think theres alot of nostalgia built in there (honestly, when I think back to some of the nonsense I played through in my younger days I KNOW, no matter how epic the memory, I wouldnt want to do that stuff knowing what I know now). So while I'd certainly say you should be able to play the game you want. If the only way to do that is to deny people from playing what the game is (assuming they want to), then you need to look elsewhere.

If choping out rules, and options makes the game more the way you want it and that works for your group, go for it. I will still look forward to each new book, 3pp, or other supplement for something that will inspire my next character, and the stories he/she will participate in. In pathfinder at least.

RDM42 wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
Jaelithe wrote:
You could also say that the DM can simply make a judgment call, freeing the player from taking the chandelier feat. It's a matter of whether you prefer rules-heavy (as you clearly do) or rules-light, and slant your argument to subtly or not-so-subtly favor one over the other.

I also have played a number of games with both the kind of dm I trust implicately and who gets excited when the players do awesome or crazy things, and the kind of dm that is easily frustrated and can get resentful over such things and make it harder to trust his judgement calls. I think the first kind of dm thrives in a system that requires alot of judgement calls, and the second kind functions better in a highly codified system.

Just saying that I have seen both sorts as players too. There are layers who don't like there to not be an explicit rule for everything and who resent you making it up on the fly.

That is also certainly true, there have been rules laywers since the dawn of dnd. And 40 years of experiences with dms(some not all) not making consistent or fair on the fly rulings has not eased this issue. Some players are better suited to such things then others. The same thing applies. Its easier for a larger portion of people to play a game that is highly codified then a game that is often dependant on dm rulings.

Myself I like a game to be one or the other. Either it is designed to be abstract and take in narrative elements from both player and dm, or for the game to be highly codified. I dont like it when there are very specific rules for some situations and not for others. I like to know ahead of time what I can and cannot do, rather then playing mother may i with the dm at the table. That sort of thing is as frustrating as it is a time waster.

agreed, sometimes a group isnt a good fit. It is after all a very big commitment to play through an AP. If you arent having fun, you shouldnt continue. Talk again to your husband. I have to assume he will understand your position. Youve given it a fair chance (a few months should be enough to know for sure how you feel about the game). If you tell him what you have told us, and he still cant accept you leaving the game, more is wrong then just playstyle.

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Jaelithe wrote:
You could also say that the DM can simply make a judgment call, freeing the player from taking the chandelier feat. It's a matter of whether you prefer rules-heavy (as you clearly do) or rules-light, and slant your argument to subtly or not-so-subtly favor one over the other.

I certainly agree that a dm could make the call, but I dont think it is as simple as you make it out to be. The d20 system at least gives a very poor framework for such calls. Something more abstract and story telling based, like fate, or fantasy flights edge of the empire system lend themselves more to this. You have a game structured on taking basic mechanical elements and turning them into narrative elements. The binary nature of d20 to me at least makes such things very difficult.

I also have played a number of games with both the kind of dm I trust implicately and who gets excited when the players do awesome or crazy things, and the kind of dm that is easily frustrated and can get resentful over such things and make it harder to trust his judgement calls. I think the first kind of dm thrives in a system that requires alot of judgement calls, and the second kind functions better in a highly codified system.

theoretically you could use the race builder from the ARG to make a playable race that approximates a pixie but doesnt give it everything.

Something like:

Type: Fey (2RP)
Lowlight vision (comes with fey type)
Size small(0RP)
Slow Speed (-1RP)
+2 Dex +2 Char -2 Strength (standard 0 RP)
Advanced Dexterity (additional +2 Dex for a total of +4) (4RP)
Flight (40ft, avergate maneuverability (6RP)

Comes to 11 RP, and is at least a passable start for a pixie.

thejeff wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:

Basically what I am talking about is this.

Player: I want to swing on the chandalier to get across the ballroom without fighting the guards and attack the evil lord directly.
DM: Ok roll a d20, if its high enough (awhat high enough means will change based on how much the dm doesnt want you to do this) you succeed, otherwise you fall prone amongst the guards.

DM: Oh well you have the chandaleer swinger feat, so go ahead and roll a dc X acrobatics check.

I am not saying one is better then the other. But in the first situation it is up to the dm to figure out what is fair, in the second, the rules cover the situation entirely. Obviously, the player needs to have taken that feat/ability/ whatever, and its more 'stuff' to remember, but there are no snap judgment calls on mechanics. Something I find relatively few dms can do fairly and consistently.

Again I do believe both methods have benefits and drawbacks, but there is a reason to codify everything that makes things while not strictly easier, (remembering rules can be difficult) require less 'dm skill'.

Of course, what really happens is no one takes the "Chandelier swinger" feat, because it's so situational as to be useless, so a perfectly good genre trope never gets used.

Or, dropping the feat requirement, no Acrobatics DC is listed for "Swing on Chandelier", so the GM says essentially the same thing he did in AD&D. It's based on Acrobatics, but he sets the DC just as arbitrarily.
Exactly the same kind of snap judgement rules call. Just phrased differently.

That was a fairly extreme example, and was more meant to illustrate my point more then provide a concrete example. And like I said it has flaws. It means you actually have to use these rules, or else end up back at the same place. The difference is the play CAN take the chandaleer swinger feat (or some other ability that encompasses acrobatic movement) and thus relieve the need for the dm to make a moment to moment judgement call.

thejeff wrote:

You know, I read through this and agreed with mots of it as I went and was almost persuaded for a bit. Then I let it settle for a little while and realized that it seemed to be treating the wrong problem.

I agree that a lot of GMs have trouble rolling with unexpected player creativity (or unexpected player stupidity), but I find that far more often than not it's not a rules issue. It's the party grabbing a red herring and chasing off in a direction you didn't expect, figuring out an important plot element long before they should have, angering (or befriending) a crucial NPC, anything else that derails what you expected for the evening. Or as you said, the ever dreaded quick defeat.
Almost every time I've seen it, more rules wouldn't help, because the things that really throw most GMs aren't the clever burn the beams with acid ideas, but the narrative derails. Those are the ones where you need to rewrite the whole evenings adventure (and probably the following ones, but you've got time for that) on the spur of the moment without letting them know what they've done.

So I came back to my original stance: You're going to need a GM who can do that anyway. He's going to have to learn. And he'll make mistakes along the way. But having more rules doesn't change that.

I agree that narratively a gm will have to learn to adapt. But what I mean is in terms of fair adjudication of things not directly covered by rules. In Adnd the dm had to do ALOT of rulings at the table because most things were either not covered, or covered by rules so obscure/unclear that they were pretty much not usable. Some dms can do this fairly, many others cannot.

Basically what I am talking about is this.
Player: I want to swing on the chandalier to get across the ballroom without fighting the guards and attack the evil lord directly.
DM: Ok roll a d20, if its high enough (awhat high enough means will change based on how much the dm doesnt want you to do this) you succeed, otherwise you fall prone amongst the guards.

DM: Oh well you have the chandaleer swinger feat, so go ahead and roll a dc X acrobatics check.

I am not saying one is better then the other. But in the first situation it is up to the dm to figure out what is fair, in the second, the rules cover the situation entirely. Obviously, the player needs to have taken that feat/ability/ whatever, and its more 'stuff' to remember, but there are no snap judgment calls on mechanics. Something I find relatively few dms can do fairly and consistently.

Again I do believe both methods have benefits and drawbacks, but there is a reason to codify everything that makes things while not strictly easier, (remembering rules can be difficult) require less 'dm skill'.

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Czael wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:

As a new gm i'd strongly advocate against allowing an overly high stat array. The game functions best when primary stats are between 15 and 17 (after racial modifiers). This is the target you want, you can do this through a 15 point buy (where going over 17 really hurts) or you can do it by simply enforcing a hard cap. For instnace in my game, we do 25 point buy but no stat over 17 after racial mods. That lets people have well rounded characters if they want, but doesnt throw off the game's math.

I strongly disagree.

I apologize, but seeing "throw off the games math" and "the game functions best" made me angry. It struck me as conceited, like you have the best notion for how the Pathfinder is run. Again, sorry.

Paizo's flagship product, the adventure paths are balanced around a 15 point buy. Multiple staff members have mentioned this on numbers occasions. I am sorry if that makes you angry. 15 point buy is the baseline. Where is the conceit in saying that?

15 points buy makes it very costly to exceed a 17, even with a racial bonus. Prominent npcs are built primarily using the elite array, in which the highest stat is a 15 prior to racial mods. This isnt me declaring the math is such, this is the rulebooks and adventure paths saying it is so.


For a new DM, I feel you shouldn't limit the players, let them make what they like using RAW. If you start the game with some nerfed/hombrew limited stat option you won't get to see what players can do and may gain a warped sense of what is overpowered. I'm not saying 30 point buy or anything, just don't go out of your way to cripple players. Once you get a better idea of the people you're playing with, then you can make appropriate changes. Ask your players to be forgiving initially and for the most part they will. I know there will be moments of frustration on both sides but that will fade as you gain experience. Every group is different and what they enjoy will be different. There's no set way to do it.

How exacltly is a 25 point buy going out of my way to limit players? It allows allows multiability score dependant concepts to function effectively, while limiting the advantage of single ability score classes and concepts. Ofcourse there is no set way to do it, but I am offering my recommendation. Thats what advice means. I didnt say you MUST do this. I said this works for me, I recommend it.

And I completely disagree that new dms shouldnt limit players. If anything the opposite is true. You should be more permissive as you gain experience, but start fairly restrictive, because a new gm does not have the experience to fall back on to manage a game that is on a higher power level.


What you need to worry about is keeping the players entertained and how you do that varies depending on your group. Players will constantly do things a DM would never consider and being able to flow with that will help a ton. Try not to have a set story, have an outline and possibilities where certain things can happen multiple ways so you aren't wasting effort coming up with things the players will never encounter.

See how you offered advice here? I dont think anyone reading this believes you think the only way to run a game is to not have a set story... but simply your recommendation. There are other options, such as I dont know, using an adventure path.

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tony gent wrote:

Having just skimmed over this thread I've seen a lot of people who don't trust there DM's to play fair and think that they will abuse there position of power .

And if this is so why the F@@% are they the DM if they can't be trusted to run an honest game don't let them run
I think that's what you had in AD&D you trusted the DM to run an honest game

Because dms are human. They have expectations, they have egos, they can be annoyed, they can be disappointed, they can get overly caught up in what they have created. Baring people who have had the magical luck to play with the same perfect dms (and they do exist) their entire career, most gamers have experienced bad DMs. The fact is that many of the traits that would drive someone to take on the responsibility and work of a dm are the kind of traits that lead to the problems I mentioned.

In my experience, there are very few gms that can be entirely fair with their adjudication of situations not covered by rules. Whether its allowing the players to have influence over events in the story including downright interupting it with unexpected actions or somekind of insight, or the ever dreaded quick defeat of a lovingly crafted npc due to some act of luck or guile on the part of the pcs.

I also have found relatively few that are able to 'roll with the punches' of player creativity. In particularly when it conflicts with the dms goals or expectations. I have not run a single rpg session that I have not been simply flabberghasted at the choice a player has made. They just do something I was completely unprepared for. Not because I am a bad gm, stupid or not creative, but because it is the thoughts and ideas of 4-6 people against what I could think up to plan for. And I dont think the way they do.

When I am completely blindsided by a player idea, having rules to fall back on, allows me to deal with the situation fairly. Even if I dont have a precise rule for whats going on, I have a really good foundation to work with in pathfinder. When I dmed Adnd I have to make it up most of the time. I at least am not capable of making consistent and fair rulings on how ideas and actions I am completely unprepared for should work out on my own. And I think there are relatively few dms out there that can do it either.

I think there are precious few people who can keep their ego, their love of their own story, their ability to get irritated or spiteful, completely out of their task as gming. They arent bad people, or even bad gmas, just human. Often these same people are your friends. In many groups they are the only ones willing to dm regularly. And it only takes one or two bad calls by the dm to create discord among your players. They wont remember the 50 times you made fair, fun, consistent rulings. The bad ones will stick out. After a few, people will get upset. Upset players means upset dms which means a game that isnt as fun.

The simple fact is a rules heavy system allows more people to be effective and fair dms then a rules light system does. It would be ideal if every dm could be the kind of perfect dm that faces none of the challenges I have mentioned. But since we dont have dming school, and most of us taught ourselves, or learned from our friends who taught themselves, they will always be rare. Wonderful, but rare.

yes, my next character is (baring it not fitting the game type) going to be such a character. And the answer lies in the alchemical archer archetype from the genius guide to Archer Archetypes

It can be added to any class in exchange for a specific suite of abilities from each class. It gives you the ability to create extraordinary ammunition (any type including arrows).

1. Bola - trip or disarm
2. Grapple - think batmans grapling gun. Can also be used to grapple targets
3. Caltrop - i think you understand what this does
4. Injector - put poison or a potion in a flying needle
5. Alchemical ammunition - this one is the most important. The DC's for the saves here scale with your level and ability scores (either dex or int depending on if you have a certain feat), and it lists a handful of alchemical weapons and items that can be added to a piece of ammunition, though it only has what was around when it was released (the core book) but leaves room for more to be added at dms discretion. If your dm is ok adding more from the alchemical section of Ultimate Equipmant, you have your green arrow/batman type character.

It also gives you the ability to craft this ammunition faster then normal, which will be a needed if you are going to keep up a steady supply.


The yuxia will essentially give the fighter a ki pool and a few ki based talentes every other level. They arent game breaking, but they offer options to make the character feel sort of like a kung fu movie character without being a monk. I think in terms of spiritual power ki is a very good example thematically.

The warlord is a retread by dreamscared press of the book of nine swords. If you are familiar with it, I think you'd agree that bonding with a spiritual entity would be a great explanation for alot of those sorts of abilities in a martial character. Maybe not all of them, but certainly many.

honestly i would ADD something to the fighter class. They could USE some additional abilities. In particular I'd do one of 2 things, one add the Yuxia archetype (without replacing anything) to the fighter from rogue genius' martial archetypes (available on d20pfsrd). Or use the dreamscared press' warlord in place of the fighter

Edit: I'd also give rogues a similar treatment

The problem with the synthesist and to a lesser but significant extent are two fold. One the rules are messy. Turns out, trying to make a class whose primary focus is a wildly adaptable variety of abilities summoned in the form of a potentially lovecraftian outsider is difficult to put into clear and consise rules.

Its a bunch of exceptions that never should have been made. Its a bunch of 'well in this one case this is how it works' rules. And while it sort of accomplishes its goals, a new class creating a whole bunch of rules exceptions is going to be a problem. And things that are clear everywhere else get mirky. For instance the idea that the synthesist and eidolon are targeted as a single entity. In a home game, you can logic out the results of that reasonably well without issue. But pfs needs to be raw. GM interpretation (much to my chagrin) is not an option. And even if you faq it on current situations, there might be something released further downt the line that clashes with the synthesist's exceptions again. The stat replacement instead of enhancement is a big issue, but its only part of the mirky nature of the synthesist eidolon suit intermingling.

Dont get me wrong I LOVE the concept. I just think it probably wasnt executed as well as it could have been. Its like power rangers meets gundam. The problem being this class is trying to be all things to all people. It needed more focus.

Which brings me to my second problem. The eidolon and summoner in general is TOO flexible. Even druids get SOME of their stuff picked for them. Animal companions of scent, or sprint, or something that isnt directly combat related. The druid has wild empathy and trackless step. The eidolon need not pick any of that stuff. He can put ALL of his 'power' into whatever he wishes to do well (usually being a big badass monster that kicks butt). The eidolon and summoner are PAINFULLY easy to optimize. A druid would required considerable effort to match it in terms of squeezing every bit of power out of every ability. It might not even be possible without delving into things not allowed in pfs.

Both these issues tie into an issue with organized play in general. At my table if someone wants to play a summoner, they can. But they have to deliberately NOT optimize it. Taking some non power options(like skilled) for the eidolon equaling to at least a quarter (rounded up) of their evolution points. If my player shows up with a rediculously powerful character with any class, I can say no, try again. Same with mirky rules, I can sort it out at my table. A PFS gm literally cant do that. They dont have control of their table, and neither to the other players. Its just whats in the rules. The synthesist doesnt work in that context.

Both the druid and cleric have enough checks and balances on them that they do.

you can pick up the pdf for a few bucks here on paizo, I happen to really like it. And I really think it sits solidly in the space you are looking for. Int based, has almost all the knowledge skills, simple supernatural abilities from a short list. And eventually with some of the 'paths' you can do things like use scrolls and wands as if you were a full casting class, as you learn to make use of the work of the 'true masters' of magic, even if you havent mastered it yourself. You are also far more limited in what you can do, but have greater flexibility in enacting those few things and more longevity (potentially) then a normal caster as it uses a kind of spell points instead of the fire and forget spell slots.

You might want to take a look at the 3rd party product the riven mage by rogue genius games. Its int based, and its sort of a caster, but it doesnt use the normal magic system. It has very simple supernatural abilities called 'riven spells' that do basic things like move faster or throw a blast of force at someone, but no where near the complexity or veratility of normal magic.

As a new gm i'd strongly advocate against allowing an overly high stat array. The game functions best when primary stats are between 15 and 17 (after racial modifiers). This is the target you want, you can do this through a 15 point buy (where going over 17 really hurts) or you can do it by simply enforcing a hard cap. For instnace in my game, we do 25 point buy but no stat over 17 after racial mods. That lets people have well rounded characters if they want, but doesnt throw off the game's math.

I did something like this when I was a kid. We just sort of made things up, its ok, but it doesnt realy work for a system like dnd. On the other hand there are systems where its meant to work that are alot heavier on the story telling and a lot lighter on the rules. There just isnt a way to interact with a rules system as complciated as pathfinder without some notes on how your character works within them.

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Mark Hoover wrote:

Player: I want to build my character this way. That will include shooting for a magic greatsword.

GM: Ok, I've got some choices here. I can:

1. give the player what he wants (player entitlement)

2. give the player what I want - not fun for the player but I'm happy

3. play a session involving shopping - can be quite boring for everyone

4. make the player craft it/have it crafted (player entitlement)

5. create a balanced subsystem or employ one already made to add bonuses without material needs - too many rules

There are pros and cons to all of these. We as GMs choose the least evil from the list that works for us. Personally I just give the players what they want. They build based on wanting to see a certain combo come to fruition. I feel my job as GM is to help them achieve that.

Now this doesn't mean they don't work for it. They don't just say "gimmie a belt of strength!" and I bow and scrape and one falls from the sky. No, instead I know ahead of time that they'll need the item. Then they fight a monster; a truly frightening monster made all the more frightening by the fact that its wearing/wielding/usurping the power of the item the PC wants. Or maybe there's a legend that partially encapsulates the item they want.

Whatever, TL/DR. Bottom line, for me it's more about working WITH my players instead of against them. If that includes items alongside powers and experiences they want, I provide them in a fun way.

Other then the player entitlement comment, I agree with you. The game assumes a certain amount of wealth in magic items. This isnt because the wealth is important, its because the power those items represent If you do not give the players items that are useful to their characters they dont actually have that wealth. They have things that add to their encumberance. Its not helping them overcome their challenges. If you give a fighter who has weapon focus/weapon spec great sword, as well as weapon training in heavy and light blades a magic whip, the characters' ability is essentially unchanged. If he uses the whip he wont be as effective, if he doesnt use it, he wont have the magical item.

So in the rules as written (with the assumed wealth, and using the existing CR system for enemies), the players need to be given items that work for their characters. How specific those items need to be is obviously open for debate. But random is almost always bad(in my opinion). Because random leaves something neccessary for the game to function appropriately up to chance.

Personally I've done away with the whole damned thing. I use option 5, i've written a set of magic items replacement rules so the bulk of magic items are more or less unnecesary, and the constant switching in and out of items is definately uneccesary. My players will get a couple magic items I choose over the course of their careers and thats it. But I have given them the bonuses they NEED elsewhere in a form they are able to choose from so the items can come where its appropriate and flavorful for the story, and not from a magic mart or a 'loot drop'

kronovan wrote:

Well this was my thought around it, with my leaning to those with an "any terrain" description as not ever being in favored terrain. Mark brings up an important point though, does that terrain actually give a beneficial/competitive edge in any encounter?

No explicately, unless the monster has some ability that does so.


I guess that raises a further question: is there any implied rule that a monster in it's home environ/terrain gets any type of bonuses, similar to the ranger's favored terrain?



There's obviously some givens to that such any enounter set in water terrain where the PCs will be up against monsters with a swim speed. Or PC's climbing a cliff in mountainous terrain where they're up against monsters with a climb or fly speed. If it's implied that the GM should be automatically applying certain bonuses to monsters in their favored/home terrain, then I'm cool with that. I just haven't come across any text or rule stating that.

No there isnt any such rule. What the Core book is talking about when they say if the terrain favors the monsster is exactly what you are thinking. If you are in a flooded dungeon and the monster has a swim speed and the pcs do not, obviously the encounter will be more difficult then if they were on land. That increases the CR. If then encounter takes place on serries of narrow platforms the players have to jump to and from, and the monsters can fly (or otherwise effortlessly get from one platform to the next) the CR goes up. This is the only kind of situation where the CR is affected by the terrain.

Yout realize that in order to both be large and have reach thats 2 traits in the race builder for 7 and 1 points. Halflings and humans are worth 9 points. So for all but one or two of your racial points you get:

10ft reach, +2 strength -2 dex, +1 CMD, -1 AC -1 to hit and can use large weapons. And then maybe like lowlight vision or something.

And in addition to that you get all the hassles other posters have mentioned that come along with not fiting in a medium sized world. So whats the issue?

Well first of all, its fairly human to forget the details of what happened 4-6 weeks ago. I think there are two course of action that could help.

1. Try shorter adventures. Maybe an AP is simply too long for their attention span. It isnt for everyone. Maybe one of the new longer modules, or some of the linked modules would be a better idea?

2. Reward the things you want. I play with a sort of hero point system (I call them destiny points). Players who send out an in character journal entry after each session get an extra point. Characters who can recap the previous sessions events at the next one get a point. Players who organize the treasure/loot list into an excell sheet to speed up distribution via email get a point.

3. Consider pearing down your group. One thing I've noticed is that of my friends, some get really into the game, and some enjoy it but wont over enthuse. If you have a similar group, consider limiting it to just those you know will get involved. You dont even have to be confrontational about it. For your next game, send an email requesting those interested in playing to send you character ideas/input/background back via email. Make that your standard for who joins the game. You might have a smaller group, but it will be with the people that really want to play.

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In general I dont believe in dm fudging. Particulary not on saves. If you have a problem with save or suck spells taking down important enemies, deal with that option at character creation. Its fine to say to a player, hey the slumber hex can make encounters really anticlimactic, and mess with the work that I do. Could you maybe go a different direction with your character? I've done that before. And not just for casters, there are other things that can be an issue. If they are address them by allowing the player to change what is causing an issue.

It is simply not ok to invalidate a player choice because it inconveniences your story. Period. If you want to do that, have story time, dont be a dm. Or play a diceless game. But dont negate a player's choice without telling him its an issue. I played in a game once where the dm didnt like failing saves. When I realized what was going on I talked to him, and we worked out a new character for me. I'd FAR AND AWAY prefer to change my character, then have my actions in the big important encounter be meaningless. Because thats what you do when you fudge a save. You remove any meaning from what that character is doing that round. If you do it for most of what they do, you are whether you want to admit it or not, eliminating the importance of that character. Thats not ok and its bad dming.

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