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Kurt_the_Demon's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 18 posts. 5 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist.


Dark Archive

Liz Courts wrote:
RuyanVe wrote:
What AP is she from?
Rise of the Runelords, "Burnt Offerings" specifically.

It would be nice if the product the miniature is from could be mentioned in the description.

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That was just one of *many* continuity errors in the book...

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It's a shame this is just an April Fools joke...I'd actually buy the item as my players are bugging me to run a Goblin centered campaign. Also a shame that they're not a "core race"...

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Eric Hinkle wrote:

I do like the description of Hayato; he sounds like the kind of character who'd appear in a Kurosawa film and be played by Toshiro Mifune.

And not to rain on anyone's parade, but can we see the write-ups for the iconic inquisitor, summoner, and witch sometime?

Agreed; I'd like to see what's already been published to be fleshed out a bit more before the writing team jumps to something else.

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Maybe I'm missing something, but I just don't see the need for this or the ninja characters in the game. I know the game needs to grow to survive, but there are lots of other areas and avenues that can and probably should be explored within the material already presented and hinted at.

If it were a separate item, I'd pass.

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The artwork is fantastic, but I really hope this isn't an indication of PF going more sci-fi. I don't mind basic tech in the game, but giant robots? That's not my cup of tea.

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Dr Rudy wrote:

I have a similar issue with my copy. I sent the following to CS the other day:


Just received my copy of the above and was bummed to see that the slug for pages 33-48 is inverted, the color registration marks are visible, and hence, that truncates the "top" of the page (which is at the bottom). Looked at the PDFs in my downloads, and they appear to be ok.

After that set of pages, things are ok again. I _think_ everything is there, but haven't done a 1:1 check with the PDF.

I received a reply last night from CS. They're going to add a new copy to my next order...which ships in late October.

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After waiting through all the delays I was happy to see that this finally arrived in hardcopy yesterday. That's where the joy ended...

As I began reading the book I got to page 32 and was then taken to a page in the 60s. A page or two later I was in the 50s. Then a section repeated itself.

Guess I'll be e-mail CS about this printing and binding failure.

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Brent Evanger wrote:
Callous Jack wrote:

Who wrote this?

I wrote the adventure, if that's what you mean (Brent Evanger).


I'm very impressed by the research that went into this and the world book. The world book wasn't what I expected, but I can use it. I will be buying future products in this series.

Well done!


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Callous Jack wrote:

Who wrote this?

And if anyone got it, what did you think?

I bought it when it was announced on the blog (both hard copy and PDF) and don't regret it at all. IMO, it's on par (playability and adventure wise) with most of the old "Village Of Hommlet", and that's a good thing.

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Simon Legrande wrote:

1. That depends on your definition of better attack bonus. Why is MH-4/OH+0 better than MH-2/OH-2? If you're willing to live with the MH-4/OH+0 attacks then why not take a medium weapon that does more damage and/or has a better crit rating? I wouldn't call that min/maxing, I'd call that playing a good fighter.

2. The shield may be heavier but it is fixed to your entire arm not swinging around in your hand. It's easier to bump into someone than it is to hit them with something you swing. Try holding a shield by the strap and swinging it at someone.

3. Damage output. The sample character does, a good fighter would not (see item 1). You just asked question 1 again.

If you're stuck on using a short sword (or other light weapon) for concept reasons, then you need to live with the penalties that incurs. Heck, I played a two-bladed sword wielding gnome fighter in one AP just for the craziness of it. IMO, your sample character is NOT a good representation of what someone playing a shield based fighter would do (at least I know it's not what I would do).

Anyway, that's all just my opinion so you may feel free to pick it apart.

I'm not going to pick it apart other than to say the character as presented was created for one reason; to illustrate the issue. It was the easiest way I had of showing with one character both sides of the coin. The weapons chosen (short sword and heavy spiked shield) were chosen because they do the same damage.

Regarding attacking with a shield, you have much less reach, it's much heavier, much bulkier, and you have even less ability to maneuver it to attack with than you do a 2 pound sword.

The bottom line for me is that the shield feats create a situation where there are no penalties for the shield and yet there are penalties for the sword and that there's no way (in the rules as published) for a sword (Or other melee weapon) to have parity in in attack bonuses.

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Magicdealer wrote:

Meh, there's no explanation that you find reasonable. I already cited one that I found reasonable in my previous post.

After all, everyone expects a two weapon wielder to make multiple attacks with their offhand.

However, no one expects the sword and boarder to beat them down with the board. I think having a feat to represent this makes sense, and that it wouldn't exist for the short sword wielder. Since the surprise factor here is all about the shield being used in a very uncommon way, again I see no reason as to why the mainhand weapon wouldn't still enjoy the penalties. No one's surprised at what a longsword can do, after all.

But rule 0 means that you can tweak until everything works just how you like.

You can remove the one feat, or add a comparable feat for two weapon fighting.

You could even adjust the original feat to affect the shield and the sword both, or add in ANOTHER feat to remove the main hand penalties.

If you feel it's inconstant, and you do, then by all means wield the righteous hammer of dm awesomeness to make it fit :D

If it's an issue of surprise, then it should be modeled as a temporary bonus either to hit or a temporary penalty to the target's AC; not carved in stone that when you use two weapon fighting with a sword your off hand is worse than when you use two weapon fighting with a shield.

You're right about Rule 0 and that's probably the way I'm going to go.

As for what happened in 3.0/3.5, I sat out that edition because to me, it wasn't the game I'd played for more than 20 years. Yes, Pathfinder is built on those rules, but it isn't claiming to be something it isn't, at least in my mind, and perception does influence interest.

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Magicdealer wrote:


Mechanically speaking, here are the major differences you're looking at.

In order to be superior with the shield for twf, you must spend four additional feats that would otherwise be used elsewhere.

TWF with a weapon and a shield requires you to choose whether to provide damage special abilities or shield special abilities when enchanting your off-hand weapon. You effectively lose the pure damage increase in trade for better armor class.

Really, that's kind of what happens to those other feats, which could be spent to increase damage, flexibility, or both.


Because of a four feat investment, which is a pretty significant investment into anything. Think of it as advanced training on how to exploit a weapon style that most people will not be knowledgeable on how to handle properly. There are plenty of ways to rationalize and conceptualize it. But, from a game mechanics point of view, the shield user spent more 4 feats on the shield side just to achieve that level of mastery. And then an additional three feats for the twf chain. Note that the shield chain required more of an investment :p

Fine, give me a feat that duplicates Shield Mastery for TWF. There's no reasonable explanation for giving the shield fighter a feat that when used penalizes the character's primary weapon and leaves the shield attack unaffected and with better attack bonuses.

If there was a "Two Weapon Mastery" that required all the Two Weapon feats, I'd be all for it.

As it stands, however, there's no consistency.

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FrinkiacVII wrote:

Not to nitpick, but I do not believe that your example shield guy above get's anything out of the Two-Weapon Defense Feat, at least not while actually wielding a shield. For one thing, the feat says you get the bonus while wielding a double weapon or two single weapons. A shield can be used to make attacks but it's not really a weapon in that sense. Second, even if you get the DM to officially declare a spiked shield as a "weapon", I'm pretty sure the +1 shield bonus you get to AC doesn't stack with the bonus you get from having an actual shield. The rule is, bonuses with the same name don't stack with each other, except for dodge bonuses.

Even without that feat, you still had to use up like 3-4 Feats on shield-based fighting alone, and most of them just got rid of the drawbacks of two-weapon fighting with a shield. A guy who decided to just two-hand a pair of short swords could take a lot of other stuff instead. Actually, I just now notice that you didn't include a full list of feats for the non-shield-bashing guys in your comparison. Plus, the straight sword and board guy could afford to put more points into Strength instead of Dex, wield a longsword, etc. Plus, getting a mere 1d6 damage out of your melee attacks is pretty terrible at level 11. A guy with a great sword and a high Strength is going to actually get some damage across against anything with Damage Reduction, and don't forget that Strength increases your roll to hit as well. Fewer attacks, true, but each one with a great sword does 2d6 + [(1.5)x(strength modifier)] damage, and he get's that on the ONE attack he makes when he has to move in the same round.

The character was an example character to illustrate the feats and nothing more.

The short swords were used to illustrate something of comparable damage to a 20 pound spiked shield. And besides, there are a lot of canonical references of characters using short swords at high level, so that argument is fairly weak.

Again, this was an exercise to demonstrate how I think things are broken, from both a logic and mechanics perspective; I know that you can min/max your character and have much more, but that wasn't my intention.

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I like the Pathfinder rules as well, and as you said, this is one of the things that really sticks out. I sat out the whole D20 D&D craze because to me, it wasn't D&D anymore as it was so radically changed from everything that came before.

Another rule I think is broken, and one I'm probably going to toss in the bin when I begin the campaign instead of the brief adventure I'm running, is the maximum Dex bonus for armor class. Looking at the guys from ARMA and other groups skilled in fighting in the armor of the bygone era, it doesn't make any sense other than to be an arbitrary and brute force use of the balance bat.

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FrinkiacVII wrote:

From the book:

"Shield Bash Attacks: You can bash an opponent with a
heavy shield, using it as an off-hand weapon. See “shield,
heavy” on Table 6–4 for the damage dealt by a shield bash.
Used this way, a heavy shield is a martial bludgeoning
weapon. For the purpose of penalties on attack rolls,
treat a heavy shield as a one-handed weapon. If you use
your shield as a weapon, you lose its AC bonus until your
next turn. An enhancement bonus on a shield does not
improve the effectiveness
of a shield bash made with it,
but the shield can be made into a magic weapon in its
own right."

Nowhere in the book does it let you use a shield as a main weapon, ONLY an off-hand weapon, and even then the heavy shield counts as a one-handed weapon, not a light weapon, so you get -6 to hit with the Shortsword and -10 with the shield, or -4 with both if you take Two-Weapon Fighting. Note that in this case, the Shortsword isn't doing you any good, and you might as well be using a Longsword instead.

If you look at the character I posted, it was 11th level and by that point had the Shield feats that completely absolved the character of any negative modifiers for the shield attack if the shield is used as a weapon.

I'm not a fan of "balance" solely for the sake of making things equal; that's not how life is, it's not how warfare is. Each of the historical weapons and armors on the lists evolved due to a defense or attack, not because the fighters of Lower Slobovia wanted to be in balance with their arch enemies in Upper Slobovia.

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I'm not sure whether this should be filed under Rules Questions or somewhere else, but as it deals with game mechanics, this seemed like the right place to post it.

I missed the entire d20, D&D 3.0/3.5 feeding frenzy and only recently returned to gaming. My experience has been from when the original little books were published until TSR had their meltdown in the 90s, so if this question was covered in detail before, just point me to the explanation.

By nature, I like the rules in the games I play to make sense and have consistent logic. I was re-reading the core rules PFRPG book and started working up characters who used both two weapons and a weapon and a shield and ran into an issue that defied sense and consistency.

The example character is below with everything statted out, but the questions are:

1. Why is it that a character using a weapon and a shield to attack his target has better attack bonuses than a character who is using two weapons to do the same thing?

2. A short sword is 2 lbs, a heavy steel spiked shield is 20 lbs. From a purely mechanics perspective, why does the shield, 10 times the weight of the sword, incur no penalties whatsoever in the attack and defense, yet the short sword has a -2?

3. From a mechanics perspective, where is the benefit of using two swords (defenses not withstanding)? The sample character does the same amount of damage (heavy spiked shield and short sword)? The shield attacks with no penalties and the sword is again at -2 (either sword and shield or two swords)?

For discussion, the sample character only has stats above 10 to enable him to gain the feats needed. If this were a ranger, even the Dex stat could be 10.

Male Human Fighter 11
TN Medium Humanoid (Human)
Init +4; Perception +0
Use this AC for #1 and 2: AC 17, touch 13, flat-footed 14 (+4 shield, +3 Dex)
Use this AC for #3: AC 14, touch 13, flat-footed 10 (+1 2 weapon defense, +3 Dex)
hp 60 (11d10)
Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +3
1. Short sword only, shield is used as protection
Spd 20 ft.
Melee Shortsword +11/+6/+1 (1d6) (2 lbs)
2. Short sword and heavy steel spiked shield
Spd 20 ft.
Melee Spiked Shield, Heavy Steel +11/+6/+1 (1d6) (20 lbs) and
Shortsword +7/+2/-3 (1d6) (2 lbs)
3. Two short swords
Spd 20 ft.
Melee Shortsword +9/+4/-1 (1d6) (2 lbs) and
Shortsword +9/+4/-1 (1d6) (2 lbs)
Str 10, Dex 19, Con 10, Int 11, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +11/+6/+1; CMB +11; CMD 25
Feats Critical Focus, Double Slice, Greater Shield Focus, Greater Two-weapon Fighting, Improved Shield Bash, Improved Two-weapon Fighting, Shield Focus, Shield Master, Shield Slam, Two-weapon Defense, Two-weapon Fighting, Two-weapon Rend
Skills Acrobatics +1, Climb -3, Escape Artist +1, Fly +1, Ride +1, Stealth +1, Swim -3
Languages Common
SQ Armor Training 3 (Ex), Bravery +3 (Ex)
Combat Gear Shortsword, Shortsword, Shield, Heavy Steel, Shield, Heavy Steel, Shield, Light Steel;
Armor Training 3 (Ex) Worn armor -3 check penalty, +3 max DEX.
Bravery +3 (Ex) +3 Will save vs. Fear
Critical Focus +4 to confirm critical hits.
Improved Shield Bash You still get your shield bonus while using Shield Bash.
Shield Focus +1 Shield AC
Shield Master No off-hand penalties for shield bashes, add a shield's enhancement bonus to attack rolls.
Shield Slam Shield Bash is also a Bull Rush.
Two-weapon Defense +1 to AC while wielding 2 weapons. +2 when doing so defensively.
Two-weapon Rend You deal an additional 1d10+(STR*1.5) if you hit with both of your weapons.
Created With Hero Lab® - try it for free at!

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Welcome aboard. Writing is a passion and one that should be followed. I did and I'm working on my third original book.

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