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Rogeif Yharloc

Lemmy's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 5,746 posts (6,840 including aliases). 1 review. 1 list. No wishlists. 9 aliases.

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So, the ACG came and brought us the long waited Dex-to-Damage and Cha-to-Will options... Unfortunately, they are quite underwhelming, to say the least.

Dex to damage requires 3 feats, doesn't work with light weapons (or rapiers) and for some reason is restricted to a single weapon (which means that TWF with a rapier and daggers requires anything between 6 to 9 feats).

Greater Weapon Finesse:
Greater Weapon Finesse: You use speed and precision instead of raw power to damage your opponents.
Prerequisite: BAB +1; Dex 13; Weapon Finesse
Benefit:You can add your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier to all attack and damage rolls made with weapons affected by Weapon Finesse. This damage is not increased by any condition or effect that would allow you to add 1.5 times your Strength bonus to damage (such as wielding your weapon 2-handed) but it is still reduced for off-hand attacks. You cannot use this ability while donning a shield of any kind.
Special: Characters with the Panache class feature can use this ability while donning a buckler.

There! It requires 2 feats and doesn't let characters use shields, stopping their AC from going too high. This, added to the feat cost and lower damage, gives a significant advantage to Str-based builds.

"Lemmy, you insane bird brain! That applies to ALL weapons! Isn't that overpowered!"

I really don't see how. Letting the feat apply to all (finesse) weapons simply prevents situations like this:

Guy-Playing-a-Swashbuckler: So, what do I find in the assassin's body?
GM: You find 2000gp, a mithral chain shirt and a +3 adamantine dagger.
Guy-Playing-a-Swashbuckler: Cool! I can sell that dagger to upgrade my +1 punching dagger!
GM: Why... Why don't you just take his dagger?
Guy-Playing-a-Swashbuckler: Because my feats only apply to punching daggers. Not normal daggers.

Limiting it to a single type of weapons is a pointless restriction. The feat applying to multiple weapons doesn't increase the character's power, just his build versatility.

...And my brain is at least 20% bigger than that of a bird, thank you very much.

"But Dex-to-Damage is TOO POWERFUL! No matter what!"

Look... It costs 2 feats (the scarcest resource in the game) and you still won't deal as much damage as the guy with a greatsword who invested zero feats.

BUT if you still think it's too good, just add the following line to the feat's benefit: "...If you have a negative Str modifier, that penalty still applies to your melee damage rolls."

Or, use one of the following alternate feats:

Insightful Strike:

Insightful Strike:You use your combat insight and precision instead of raw power to damage your opponents.
Prerequisite: BAB +1 or Rogue level 1; Weapon Finesse; Dex 15
Benefit:You can add your Intelligence modifier instead of your Strength modifier to all attack and damage rolls made with weapons affected by Weapon Finesse. This damage is not increased by any condition or effect that would allow you to add 1.5 times your Strength bonus to damage (such as wielding your weapon 2-handed), nor is it reduced for off-hand attacks.

Or this one:

Celestial Fist:
Celestial Fist:
Through insight and discipline, you learned to harm your opponents by attacking them with precise strikes and superior martial techniques rather than brute strength.
Prerequisites: BAB +1 or Monk level 1; Improved Unarmed Strike or ability to cast divine spells; Weapon Finesse; Wis 15.
Benefit: When attacking with unarmed strikes, natural attacks or monk weapons, you can apply your Wisdom modifier to damage rolls instead of your Strength modifier. This bonus is not increased by any condition or ability that would allow you to add 1.5x your Strength modifier to damage rolls (such as wielding a weapon 2-handed or using the Dragon Style feat), nor is it reduced for off-hand attacks.
Special: If you're capable of casting divine spells, you can also use this ability when attacking with your deity's favored weapon.

- - - - - -

"Whatever... What's your problem with Cha-to-Will? There are like, 3 or 4 different ways to do it in the ACG!"

Exactly! 3 or 4 different ways. All of them needlessly complicated and/or situational (or way too powerful, in the case of Divine Protection). They use different types of bonus and/or apply to only against specific effects for some reason.

My suggestion? Remove all of those feats and class features!

No more Divine Protection! No more Steadfast Personality! No more Charmed Life! Here is an universal feat that is simple, effective and balanced!

(Revised) Steadfast Personality:
Steadfast Personality: You use your force of personality to shield your will.
Prerequisite: Cha 13
Benefit: You add your Charisma modifier instead of your Wisdom modifier to Will save.

"But... This will make Wisdom a dump stat!"

Yeah, but unlike pretty much every other character in the game, you can't dump Cha. And you're one feat behind. And now you don't have 3~4 different ways to stack Cha on your will save. And your GM doesn't have to remember if it's a mind-affecting effect or not, you simply add the bonus anyway.

"Hah! You are forgetting about Paladins! They'll still be able to add double their Cha modifier to will saves!"

I didn't forget about them. It's just not a big deal... Paladins have great will save and gain immunity to many effects that require will saves (fear, charm and compulsion). What they don't have are feats. Paladins (And Anti-Paladins) are very feat-starved, so it doesn't really bother me if they want to spend one of their very precious feats just to get a bonus they don't even need.

But if that really bothers you... Just add the following line to the feat:
Special: You can already add your Charisma modifier to Will saves, you instead replace your Wis bonus with half your Cha modifier (rounded down)

"And what about Swashbucklers? Their saves suck! Without Charmed Life, they are doomed!"

You're right. Fortunately, this problem has a very easy solution: Give them this feat as a bonus feat at 6th level... And maybe a +1 luck bonus to Will saves every time they would get an additional use of Charmed Life.

Now Swashbucklers have acceptable saves and can actually use their class features without fear of dying because they spent their immediate action and are therefore incapable of using Charmed Life.

- - - - - -

So, this is my take on Dex-to-Damage and Cha-to-Will feats/class features.

IMHO, they are simpler and better balanced than the options introduced in the ACG, which, unfortunately, pretty much guarantee we'll never see anything like them in the future.

So I'll just leave an additional suggestion for devs and homebrewers:

In the future, try to keep things simple. There is no point in creating 4 different options that do the same thing in slightly different ways and/or making options needlessly complicated and/or restrictive. You cannot and should not balance an option by making it more annoying to use.

Anyway, hope you guys and gals like these ideas, and thanks for reading.


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master_marshmallow wrote:
I have few issues with such characters because I don't feel out of combat requires skills to be able to play the game per say.

Impossible? No, of course not... But if your character has no skills and no spells, what does she do out of combat? Most martial characters have little to nothing else to rely on.

Admittedly, you might compensate to varying degrees through roleplaying, but that's basically the GM giving you "imaginary skill points" to reward the player, which is not a bad thing (nor is it related to class, so it's still unfair and unbalanced), but why not have it written down in official rules if that's going to be the case anyway?

master_marshmallow wrote:
The fighter specifically has his niches he can fill, and if you want a fighter that can do those things, the Lore Warden and Tactician grant extra skills, and the Lore Warden crossed with Martial Master essentially fixes the fighter, albeit at the cost of armor.

You shouldn't need an specific archetype to do basic stuff. And no matter what skill role you want your character to play, he'll need at least 4 skill points to be good at it. 2 skill points will, at best, make you mediocre at a single skill role.

IMHO, every class other than Int-based full casters (i.e.: Arcanist, Witch and Wizard) should have at very least 4 skill points per level, and every spell-less class should have at least 6.

I mean... How difficult is it to learn to use heavy armor that it leaves no time for the Fighter to learn other stuff? How come a Druid has time to cast spells, turn into animals, and find an animal companion and still have more time to learn twice as many skills than Fighters, who are completely devoted to mastering non-magical abilities?

master_marshmallow wrote:

Personally, I think a more real problem with the game has to do with internal balance. MAD classes and SAD classes often are defined by being either martial oriented or magic oriented, and I feel the game could seriously benefit if Unchained presented an alternate ability generating system that granted a way to have better physical scores than mental scores without breaking game balance.

If it was possible for fighters to get the same physical stats you see normally (usually 18 14 14) and still be able to invest into a mental stat (like a 14 INT) we would see a lot less complaints about their lack of skills me thinks.

MADness and SADness do have influence over a character's versatility, but that's not all... Fighters are reasonably SAD, actually... They need Str as their main attribute, and Dex and Con, which everyone needs anyways. However, they do need a decent Wis score to compensate for that awful will save, since even taking a trait and a feat will not suffice at mid/high levels, so Int is pretty low at the list of priorities.

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master_marshmallow wrote:
Nicos wrote:
In the Brawler thread some people asked for that calss to only have 2+int skills per level because fighter have that numbe of skill points. You do not really need 10 playtest game sesions to note that was a terrible idea.

This is a big issue with me, sure I like having more skill points, but what does the brawler really need them for? It's not like his class abilities require it like with the ranger or rogue (and ergo slayer).

I just don't understand this whole "evarY1 neEdz alL da SkilLZ" notion that has come over the forums lately.

Without skills, spell-less classes can barely contribute out of combat. This is why skill points are important, because they give some versatility to the classes that need it the most.

This is a big issue, and one of the main reasons Fighters are considered underpowered (and boring) by many players, because unless they can stand still and hit stuff, they have nothing significant to do.

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Ravingdork wrote:
Why is the Swashbuckler a mess? (Sincere question as I've not looked too closely at it yet.)

IMHO, the biggest reason is that it completely fails at living up to its class description. They're supposed to be an "fast and agile combatants" who "dart in and out of combat".

However, they are no more agile or mobile than any other martial class in the game. They are just another flavor of "stand still or suck". Their class features all depend on swift action, including Charmed Life, which not only spends a immediate action, but also has limited uses per day and doesn't really compensate for having both bad Fort and bad Will, despite many playtesters mentioning time and time again that this is a huge problem for any frontliner.

To add insult to injury, their 6th, 10th, 14th and 18th levels are extremely boring, as all they get is an additional use of Charmed Life, making them basically dead levels.

All in all... Swashbucklers are decent BSFs, but they are awful swashbucklers. IMHO, they are one of the biggest disappointments in all of Pathfinder.

It doesn't help that Paizo managed to screw up a simple Dex-to-Damage feat as well...

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Dark Immortal wrote:
You don't know my motivations or the GM's (...)

I don't have to. I'm not talking about you or your GM.

I'm criticizing a behavior that I disapprove.

I really don't see the point in "allowing" an option if the GM is going to strongly punish the player for actually taking that option.

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Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
This rule is just a poor attempt at "realism" that effectively invalidates whole character concepts because of what is just a cosmetic choice.
I don't ban it because realism. I borrowed enough from my favorite anime that realism isn't a thing. I ban it because I'm highly uncomfortable with it.

I assume you meant you ban young characters.

And that's okay. But if a GM doesn't want his players to play child characters, then he should just say it. There is no need to go "Oh, you can play one... But you have to suffer these heavy penalties that make your character completely useless..."

(Ironically, this all this rule does is make young character more likely to die.)

IMHO, using this rule instead of simply saying young characters are not allowed is as douchey as a GM who doesn't want to a player to play a female character and then goes on and says "Oh, you can play one, but women are not as physically strong as men, so you suffer a -4 to Str and Con".

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LazarX wrote:
Pendagast wrote:

IRL the Viet Cong fielded children not old enough, by american standards to watch violence in a movie theatre.

Same thing happens in Afghanistan Daily.

Children in combat or dangerous places?
I bring you the tales of Oliver Twist.

And we condemned them all for it. On the other hand, if we were fighting an enemy that outnumbered and outgunned us on our home turf, what would we resort to?

We also generally condemn being evil and doing evil stuff. But there's no penalty for being a Chaotic Evil mass murdering Anti-Paladin.

This rule is just a poor attempt at "realism" that effectively invalidates whole character concepts because of what is just a cosmetic choice.

Hell! IIRC, Harry Potter was even mentioned as one of the examples of character concepts that could achieved through the Arcanist class!

EDIT: My mistake! It's in the blog post for the Ultimate Campaign book. So you can play Harry Potter... But you can't be a Wizard. That's just great...

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No. If the GM doesn't want a child character in his campaign, he should just say it straight to the player. No need for passive-aggressive b!~&@$!@.

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Pendagast wrote:

have you tired it?

taking a swash and blocking the door?
holding off the hordes?

No. he sides steps 5 feet to get out of the way… he bounces around all over the place, he has astoundingly bad AC if flatfooted.

Why doesn't the swash do it? because he doesn't do it.

Uhh... What?

The Swashbuckler is not forced to 5ft.-step away or bounce around (in fact, it's pretty bad at the mobility department... Like every other martial class).

And how is a Fighter more party cohesive than... Well... Anything?

Swashbucklers can have pretty high damage and AC... They just fail to live up to their class concept. The only significant advantage that Fighters have over them is their Fort save, which is generally far more important than Reflex.

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Male Oni-Spawn Tiefling Bruiser 6 - Wounds 0 HP 54[66]; AC 22[23] (tch 20[18]; ff 19[20]); CMD 31[31] (+2 vs Grapple); DR 3/-; Fort +8 [+10], Ref +9; Will +9 [+11]; Darkvision, Scent, Perception +12; Sense Motive +17; Initiative +5 0

"Of course..." laughs Korak. "What self-respecting mage would pass up the chance to create an architectural abomination...?

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Better question is... Why play a Swashbuckler when you can play a Daring Champion Cavalier?

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To make it even simpler... Dip all your levels in Slayer. ;)

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I think it could work... I've been tempted to GM games like that, but I dislike banning stuff.

BTW, Oracles are full casters as well... They are probably the least broken full casters in the game, but they are still very powerful.

Summoners have nearly as many broken shenanigans as Sorcerers, and are even easier to optimize. If you're banning 9-level casters because of balance, you should probably ban Summoners too.

Another possible idea is removing the 7th, 8th and 9th level spells from full casters but letting them use those slots for meta-magic feats. Should be pretty strong, but not nearly as powerful as actually having access to high-level spells.

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It's a very versatile and fun class. It's full of unique stuff and can contribute in pretty much every situation, although they usually don't outshine specialists at their main job.

Inquisitors also have the great advantage of being allow all sorts of different builds. From 2-handed beatstick to hunter to skill monkey to party face.

In my honest opinion, it's the best designed class in the whole game. It's useful, versatile, unique, fun and very well balanced.

People only think Inquisitors are overpowered when they compare it to Rogues or Fighters... But pretty much everything is overpowered compared to those two. :P

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I think they mean the handedness... I dunno... Paizo's FAQ about schroddinger hands made everything needlessly confusing...

Personally, I allow the player to chose any melee weapon that is not a 2-handed weapon. Scimitar is, mechanically speaking, the most effective choice anyway, so I'll not punish players for trying something different.

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Jiggy wrote:
Corrik wrote:
Lemmy said otherwise, I even specifically mentioned that in my post.
I may have misunderstood him (or you), then.

To make things clear... What I said (or at least, what I meant) is this:

The game already provides bonuses and penalties for your attribute modifiers. I do not punish players for not role playing, I just apply the bonuses and penalties provided by the rules. Some players are not comfortable role playing for one reason or another, so I don't force them to do it and don't hurt their characters for not doing it.

I do, however, occasionally reward good role play with bonuses to skill checks and similar rolls. Notice that by "good role play", I do not mean "player is good at talking to people", I mean "do something in an interesting and/or creative way", like providing a really good argument in a discussion with an NPC (you don't have to be outspoken to use logic), coming up with a creative way to check for traps or poison, finding an unexpected solution to a problem, etc.

It's not related to the character's Cha score (or any other attribute ), it's related to the player's creativity.

I enjoy role playing in my table, as do my players (and again, I mean, player creativity and initiative), so I try to encourage them to do it, but I do not force it on them.

IMHO, if you have to break the rules, do it in a way that benefits the players and makes them have more fun. I might be too permissive a GM, but my 3 general GMing guidelines are:

1- Always say "yes", unless you really have to say "no".
2- If you have to improvise a ruling, do it however is more beneficial to players. Better give them a small boost than cheat against them.
3- Don't whine. Adapt.

EDIT: Oh, one more thing: Role playing is not the same as "using social skills". You can be a mute Fighter with Cha 7 and still role play far better than the Bard with Cha 20. Role play is acting your characters ideas, personality, actions, beliefs, quirks, etc in a credible, consistent and, hopefully, entertaining way.

Hell! As long as you and the rest of the table are having fun, you don't even have to be credible or consistent! ^^

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Lamontius wrote:

Lemmy, I think the OP meant more along the lines that you can play a high-CHA character yet potentially be penalized as a player by your GM if you're not well-spoken or are shy, quiet or (insert personality quirk here).

Whereas yeah, no one is going to bat an eye if you have noodle arms but play a character with STR 20.

Yeah, I realize that... I kinda went on a tangent because I believe both problems are connected to each other.

IME, the GMs who will penalize a player for playing a character with high Cha despite the player himself being an introvert are the same GMs who will often make a character auto-fail any social challenge because she has low Cha.

I consider both of these situations to be unfair GMing and poor role play.

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I defend the idea that mechanical choices should have mechanical consequences and role playing choices should have role playing consequences.

Attributes are a mechanical construct, and therefore, have mechanical consequences. They do not interfere on role play aspect of the game... However, they do dictate your capabilities, so it doesn't matter how well or poorly you role play a character with Cha 7, she will still take that -2 to all Bluff, Diplomacy and Intimidate checks.

Just like a character doesn't automatically trip and fall every 5 min just because she has low Dex, a character with low Cha doesn't auto fail Cha-based checks, instead, she just takes the appropriate penalty.

On occasion, I do reward good role play with mechanical advantages, though. e.g.: If a players makes an actual speech instead of simply saying "I roll Diplomacy" I'll often give that player a +2 or +4 (maybe even a higher bonus) to that check.

I don't penalize players for not role playing, though. I know some people are not capable/interested/willing to role play and there is nothing wrong with that. They can just say "I use Diplomacy" and be done with it if they want. I find that to be a rather dull way to play, but to each their own.

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LazarX wrote:

The boards were full of people demanding a spontaneous casting magus archetype. The devs listened, and gave them what they wanted. It's not like they took away the original class, and the wagonful of archetypes that already existed for it.

Some folks need to get their heads around the idea that player books are written for players who might not neccessarily be looking for the same thing they re.

Like Slashing grace, people are not complaining that it was done, but that it was poorly done.

The designers are not doing us a favor, they're trying to sell a product. Players have the right to find the final product unsatisfactory.

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There is no point in this discussion anymore. No matter what video or document anyone posts, Sadurian will again ignore evidence and say "it's not viable in real combat", despite the fact that not only the combat style exists, it's also been used in real combat.

Sadurian won't concede because he doesn't want to, not because of lack of evidence.

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Sadurian wrote:
There is a difference between a real fighting style and a fighting style that is a realistic fighting proposition. Boxing is a realistic fighting style but no army would expect its warriors to go out onto the battlefield armed only with a pair of boxing gloves.

True, fighting unarmed against people who have weapons is generally a bad idea... Luckily, a dual shield warrior also has shields. Which can be used as effective weapons. If there is a real combat style based on dual-shield, that's because that fighting style is effective to some degree. I doubt many real-life warriors chose their combat style based on what looks cool.

Lemmy wrote:
The game as written is not supposed to be mirroring reality, but the mythology of medieval fantasy.

Ah, that's why they have chainsaws, shotguns, androids, spaceships and dinosaurs.

And who is to say that your idea of medieval fantasy is any more valid than that of anyone else?

Sadurian wrote:
No, you're sidestepping the point. The disruptive character concept is one that the rest of the group do not agree with. If I ask whether a disruptive character concept would be accepted at your table, it is not an answer to say, 'yes, as long as it isn't disruptive'.

I'm not. You implied that someone playing a dual-shield warrior would be disruptive. I'm saying that's a moot point, because being disruptive has nothing to do with any particular character concept. The player can be just as selfish when playing a sword and board fighter or elf ranger.

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Sadurian wrote:
[And there's, like, literally, like, my point that an obscure modern martial art does not, like, make a style a realistic fighting proposition, literally like.

A real combat style is not realistic?

Sadurian wrote:
In real life, a steel sword is generally more effective than a wooden one.

IRL, there are no dragons. And if there were, they wouldn't be able to fly. In real life, a rogue doesn't have a 5% chance of surviving a nuclear blast at ground zero completely unscathed.

What's possible IRL is no limitation to what's possible in a world where literally anything a GM imagines can happen.

Sadurian wrote:
I guess that would also apply to your table should a player design a six-shooter-armed outlaw for a Lord of the Rings Game, a nerdy computer programmer for a bronze-age game or a fey swashbuckler for a game of gritty post-apocalypse survival?

If the rest of the group is okay with that... Yes. It also applies.

Sadurian wrote:
Yes, the game is there for fun. However, it is not exclusively for any single player to have fun at the expense of the game, being the rest of the players and the GM. Players who want to be special snowflakes and demand to play characters that the rest of the group object to are not entitled to get their own way. Not at our table, anyhow.

Being a selfish and/or disruptive player is not tied to any preference. I've seen selfish players playing "traditional" tolkien-esque characters more often than I've one of them playing "unorthodox" characters.

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Alexander Augunas wrote:
Lemmy wrote:

Yes. It's been suggested multiple times. They don't do it because it would theoretically make characters of other races step on Humans' toes.

Obviously, this ignores the simple fact that Humans can take the feat as well and still be 1 feat and 1 skill point ahead of everyone else.

I don't have the quote, but Jason flat-out stated that they haven't made a skill point version of Toughness because one extra skill point per level felt too weak to the design team.

You are free to disagree if you prefer.

Mine is from an old SKR post, IIRC.

And, really... "Too weak"? That's their excuse?! When has that ever stopped them before?

What the hell?! These are the same people that published "Canny Tumble", "Sure Grasp" and "Water Skinned"!

We have gods know how many feats that are so useless that they might as well never have been published, as I doubt any player takes any of them... But getting an extra skill point, a useful, balanced and simple benefit, is too weak for them to publish? Seriously... What the hell?!

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anlashok wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
A dead caster is no threat at all.
You're clearly not familiar with clone and contingent resurrections then.

But in that case, they are not really dead!

Liches, OTOH...

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Dual-wielded shields just sounds like a really cool visual for a "protector" PC.

It works even in 8-bit!

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TheJayde wrote:
This ability you're speaking on could make Dexterity strictly better than Strength with only one feat.

2 feats. And it still wouldn't deal as much damage. Nor would it help with carrying capacity or common Str checks, such as breaking doors.

It'd be a fair trade off.

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The only reason Combat Expertise is used as a prerequisite is because it's named "Combat Expertise".

If it had a more fitting name ("Defensive Stance" or whatever), it wouldn't plague so many feats.

BTW, isn't it fun how Dr. Stephen Hawking certainly qualifies for Combat Expertise, but Anderson Silva probably doesn't?

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So... I've been discussing a some possible house rules with a few friends of mine. The basic idea is to reduce overall damage output to avoid rocket tag, replacing it with increased mobility and in-combat versatility. A secondary goal was to make full attacks faster to resolve.

There is nothing concrete right now, but here are some of our basic ideas:

Possible Ideas:
- Armor grants AC and DR (DR 1/Adamantine, 2/Adamantine or 4/Adamantine, for light, medium and heavy armor, respectively). This DR stacks with DR gained from other sources.
- Reduce the number of attacks per turn. No iterative attacks are gained at BAB +11+, instead, characters get a few perks, like the ability to reroll attacks that are deflected or miss due to concealment.
- Reduce the damage from critical hits (Maybe make it work like Vital Strike?)
- Hard limit on how many attacks per full attack can be directed at a single enemy (not counting AoO), so that natural weapons don't have too much of an advantage. (e.g.: max of 6 attacks per full attack to a any single target). Additional attacks could still be used to attack a different targets.

To compensate for that, characters would get a few perks:

- Ability to move half their speed and full attack, eventually upgrading to the ability to move their full speed before full attacking
- Combat Maneuvers do not provoke AoO, so that martial characters have more options in combat.
- Unarmed Strikes no longer provoke attacks of opportunity, but they still do not threaten, unless the character has the Improved Unarmed Strike feat.
- Skills allow for more extraordinary deeds, get a Climb/Swim speed if you have 5 ranks in Climb/Swim. The DC for moving without provoking would be equal to [10 + the opponent's BAB + Str + Dex] (no size bonus), etc.
- Get an second Swift Action at BAB +16, but can't use it for casting spells (nor for using the same ability twice in the same turn. maybe?)

Some feats become general combat options:

Power Attack: Any character with Str 13 and BAB +1 can use Power Attack. There is no feat requirement. However, Power Attack cannot be used in conjunction with Weapon Finesse.
Combat Expertise: All characters can use Combat Expertise. Feats with Combat Expertise and Int 13 as prerequisite instead require only Dex 13.
Bullseye Shot: Removed. All characters can take a moment to steady their aim or simply better position themselves. They can use a move action to get a bonus equal to half their BAB to the next attack roll they make before the start of their next turn. This bonus does not apply to touch attacks.

Now, some combat maneuvers can be quite abusive at low levels (disarm and trip, mostly), so to compensate for that, there are a few changes to their effects:

Prone: The penalty to AC and attack rolls is reduced to -2. Character can stand up as swift action and provoke an AoO, or do it as a move action and not provoke.
Disarmed: Not a condition, but the gist is basically the same as falling prone. When a character drops an object, she can grab it weapon as a move action and provoke an AoO or do it as standard action and not provoke (assuming she can reach the object, of course). If the character has BAB +11, she can do it as a swift action and provoke an AoO or do it as a move action and not provoke.

Admittedly, this makes Blasting and SoD spells relatively more powerful. To address that, SoD spells are mostly nerfed or outright removed. Blasting is more complicated, since it's usually not all that powerful anyway... I'd ban Dazing Spell, but I already do that anyway... :P

Now, these are just initial ideas, they are not finished and not all of them (or any one in particular) would necessarily apply.

What do you guys and gals think? Would you enjoy a game where your martials have lower damage output but a greater variety of options in combat?

Yes? No? Why? And if yes, how would you do it? Share your thoughts!

The idea here is to discuss the pros and cons of such a game, not any mechanic or house rule in particular, and if it you would find it more or less enjoyable than a normal game.

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TarkXT wrote:

Overall? Books great.

A lot of the disappointment comes from high expectations. All the classes function just fine, redundant or not. We can argue until we're blue about how X is better than X but at the end of the day they do their job at the table and that's what matters.

I disagree. The book is pretty bad, if just for its awful editing alone.

I'm not sure if Swashbucklers do their job, either.

I suppose they kinda do it in the sense that they can stand still and full attack like any other class in the game (unless they have to make a saving throw, then they are screwed), but they fail to do the job of being a martial class with real mobility.

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Da'ath wrote:
I agree, in spirit, with some of the rest of your post, Lemmy - I often find myself in agreement with your opinions.

What a coincidence! I too often find myself in agreement with my opinions. ^^

Da'ath wrote:
However, I didn't ask my players regarding firearms, for example. While a somewhat democratic table is expected and necessary for group cohesion and not being a wank in general, the reverse is also true - players need to ask and not expect that anything under the sun will be ADDED to a setting.

I like Gunslingers... But I do agree that firearm rules are atrocious. One of the most poorly written rules in Pathfinder, in fact. I don't really think it's overpowered, I even GMed for an optimized dual-wielding Pistolero a while ago, but I do think it adds a lot of work to the GM for encounter design (but at least they don't have the ability to completely derail the campaign and bypass whole challenges like casters).

Still... That's just a matter of preference. I'm not against banning stuff (although I really do my best to avoid it at all costs!), but talking to your players is really essential, IMO.

e.g.: You don't like Gunslingers or Androids, but maybe someone really wants to use Gunsligers and another guy really likes Android... You can always talk to each other... Maybe the Gunslinger uses crossbows (There is even an archetype for that, now. It actually baffles me that it took that long for Paizo to publish it). The Android can be a intelligent golem or something.

When there is no compromise (which really never happened to me, but it's not impossible), check who is more passionate about it. Do you really care that much if there are Gunslingers? Or does the player like the class more than it bothers you?

Keep in mind that I'm not saying you should always allow whatever it is that you players are asking. Just talk to them beforehand. Maybe I'm just lucky to have good players, I don't know, but at least IME, players are most often willing to compromise and reach a reasonable agreement, especially when they know the GM is willing to do the same. :)

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Wow... Someone is actually claiming to be offended by another person criticizing a flawed product.

The levels of blind brand loyalty are reaching brainwash levels here...

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
And then there are the other posts with almost equally unpleasant language and accusations of incompetence or other insults, those are even more common.

While I never threw any personal insult against any member of the Paizo staff, I'll admit that I have often being a bit too vocal about my displeasure with Paizo's design policy. This year has been way too frustrating for me to contain my words.

But in my defense, seeing the erratas kicking martials in the teeth all the time, while caster/martial disparity grows more and more with each book, it's really difficult for me not to doubt Paizo's ability and/or interest in making Pathfinder a more balanced game. Especially when they continuously refuse to acknowledge the problems with game balance.

By now, I'm convinced that they either don't care or are just not very good at it.

For as long as the devs claim that Exploiter Wizard is fine, but a general Dex to damage feat is "too good even for Mythic", I can't help but question their competence at balancing game mechanics.

Am I being harsh? Yes, I am. But I'm not lying or exaggerating.

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Step Up is a serious threat to archers and gunslinger... But just a minor inconvenience to casters. It's a bit too situational for my tastes.

Step Up and Strike is better, but it requires 3 feats... And Following Step isn't much of an upgrade over Step Up.

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Well... To avoid anecdotal evidence, let's see what math tell us...

Rogues have:

- The lowest accuracy of any non-full caster in the game. In fact theya re the only class that has no means of buffing their to hit.
- Low/mediocre AC and CMD.
- The worst saves in the game.

And in exchange for all of that, they gain:

- 2 extra points over a Bard ('til 6th level, that is).
- Trapfinding (which is nice to have, but far from impressive).
- A situational damage boost that is okay, but not good enough to be any class' one and only offensive tool.

Rogues are not particularly good generalists, either... Bards are far better at... Well, basically everything.

Rogues get a bunch of secondary abilities and try to pretend they are good enough to be a main class feature.

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chaoseffect wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
chaoseffect wrote:
Nah, the shirt would just be temporarily removed, not burned. You just can't really give an authentic primal scream with a shirt on.
What if the shirt is made of the skin of your enemies and/or you dramatically rip it off as you scream?
Though I'm ashamed to admit it, I don't know if I would have the strength to actually tear my shirt in half to facilitate the required drama for such a scene. You are right though, ripping off a shirt made from an enemy skin would be the best way to go about this... would it be cheating if I cut the shirt strategically in advance to make it easier?

You're seeing it in reverse... It's not about having the necessary strength to facilitate your drama. It's about having enough drama to fuel your strength!

(Besides, in this case, your enemy are book pages, so they should be pretty easy to tear apart).

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chaoseffect wrote:
Nah, the shirt would just be temporarily removed, not burned. You just can't really give an authentic primal scream with a shirt on.

What if the shirt is made of the skin of your enemies and/or you dramatically rip it off as you scream?

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Thormind wrote:
Conclusion: This class should have been given 3/4 BAB like the rogue

No. One useless class is more than enough. There is no point in downgrading everyone to Rogue's level of ineffectiveness.

If the Rogue serves as an excuse to nerf perfectly balanced classes, then the Rogue is at fault and should be ignored.

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Zalman wrote:
Your idea that the class name doesn't make the character is spot-on. My issue is with the reverse: the mechanic does not make the character, regardless of what name the class is. Alas, Pathfinder is all about the mechanic, which is exactly why it no longer "makes sense" to play a "fighter" or a "rogue". It's also why, in my experience, players come up with way cooler characters when mechanics follow story, instead of the other way around.

That's not exactly true. Despite what many grognards claim, IME, most players will often "I want to roleplay character concept X? How can I best do it?" and then pick their mechanics accordingly.

Mechanics are just a tool for them to fulfill their idea of the concept they want. Because of this, they'll often use the best mechanics available... Just like anyone with a modicum of common sense will always use the best tool for the job.

That doesn't mean they are favoring mechanics over concept, just that they want to best represent the concept they have in mind.

And, BTW... When you say you don't believe for an instant that all the "silly" builds are created for concept rather than pure "video-game-like number-crunching", that is being condescending. You're claiming the builds you personally define as silly as always product of "roll playing" and minmanxing with no regard to character concept, and you also insinuate vidego-game players have no creativity.

That's just as dismissive as saying that everyone who likes Tolkien-inspired characters and settings are angry grognards with no creativity that can't role play anything that isn't stamped on the class' description.

Imagine, if you will, that Fighters and Rogues had their class name and description switched around. They are exactly the same, but they got the fluff text of each other.

That would be restrictive to those who claim class is anything other than a mechanical construct... But it wouldn't hurt the role playing of anyone who chooses to ignore the "official" fluff text in favor of creating their own flavor.

In this aspect, those who see classes as nothing but mechanics are actually better at role playing than those that limit them to what's written on the book.

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Zalman wrote:
Sure, different fantasy for different folks. Still, I'm not buying for an instant that all the silly builds are created for "fantasy story concept" rather than pure video-game-like number-crunching. If you're very very lucky, a character concept will be retroactively fitted onto the mechanic, but either way the game suffers horribly in my experience from such "characters".

I think you're being unfairly condescending. Playing a half-demon tengu zen archer is not any more (or less) story-driven than playing an elf wizard or dwarf fighter.

Zalman wrote:
Without that focus on mechanics-as-class, the "older melee classes" becoming obsolete would never be an issue, because creating a really cool warrior wouldn't be dependent on first having a really cool published warrior-mechanic. Rather, the character concept -- as conceived in the mind of the player -- would force a mechanic to be created, within the context of the character being, simply, a "fighter". Interestingly, this is how the...

If those classes become obsolete, that's because their mechanics are bad, not because players don't role play. I'd never play a Fighter or Rogue, but that doesn't stop me from role playing a armored warrior or backstabbing scoundrel, nor does it hamper my ability to do so.

As it's been mentioned multiple times now, having "Fighter" written on your character sheet doesn't mean you're any better or worse at roleplaying an armored warrior. It just means you have Fighter written on your character sheet.

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Zalman wrote:
Even the whole concept of "RAW vs RAI" is antithetical to RPGs as they were originally designed and conceived.

I disagree. For me, in order to serve its purpose, the game needs clear and balanced rules. That gives the GM more time to spend creating a world and telling a story with his friend instead of worrying about poorly written and/or game disrupting rules.

Zalman wrote:
Every time someone chooses to play a half-Tengu/half-Octopus Teifling-born Alchemist/Ninja/ZenArcher/Pugilist specializing in thrown voodoo dolls, mechanics are driving character concept, and fantasy suffers, in my opinion. I would personally be completely turned off by a "fantasy" story that included a cast of "characters" as zoo-like as those in most Pathfinder games I've seen. For me, that's the relevant test.

Not really... Maybe someone likes the fluff of a half-Tengu/half-Octopus Teifling-born Alchemist/Ninja/ZenArcher/Pugilist. No one will like every option in the game... But that doesn't mean that more exotic options are any less valid than the "classical" ones. In fact, a creature that bizarre is closer to the definition of "fantasy" than a slightly-different-from-humans race.

Some people will only enjoy are "Tolkien-ish" setting, while others enjoy Golarion-styled kitchen sink. Personally, I despise Tolkien elves. I think they are a bland, boring race of holier-than-thou mary sues.

Besides, choosing a class for its mechanics doesn't mean the player will put any less effort in his/her role play. I've adapted characters to mechanics before, because I thought those mechanics were fun, and then developed said character just as much as I would've done to any other.

There is no "standard" fantasy. Just different tastes.

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blahpers wrote:
That's a matter of philosophy. There's a nice big section above the rogue class description that has no mechanics in it at all. There's also all of the context the rogue carries from previous editions. These things matter as much as a player believes that they matter, and I happen to think that they matter a lot. If I'm making a rogue, I won't make a "slayer" even if it is mechanically superior because the class description and moniker do not fit the sort of character I'm making.

So... What you're saying is that players can't/shouldn't roleplay their characters as anything other than what' dictated by the class description?

That's... absurdly limiting and very unimaginative, to say the least. Such notion goes against the greatest strength of tabletop RPGs: freedom of choice and limitless possibilities of character development.

If fluff is all that a class has going for it, then that class is a failure and the game is better off forgetting it exists. Luckily, my imagination is not so lacking that I allow my characters to be restricted by the "official" fluff of their classes.

Zalman wrote:
If classes are nothing but their mechanics, then we have little more than a video game without the benefits of video. That's certainly another way to play as well, but not one I enjoy myself.

Keep in mind that there is a huge difference between "classes are just a collection of mechanics" and "characters are just a collection of mechanics"

We all enjoy flavorful characters and worlds. What some of us don't like is having flavor being dictated by game mechanics.

Mechanics should allow and enhance flavor, not limit it.

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Tels wrote:

People complain about not being able to play a highly mobile swashbuckler, and I pointed out that playing such a character is bad for the party as a whole because it leaves the rest of the people vulnerable. If your main melee character is off running around doing swashbuckler stuff, while the other three aren't, it means those other three are left vulnerable.

So you end up with the classes that can't be mobile (if the Swashy were theoretically a mobile fighter), being forced to attempt to do so in order to appease the Swashbuckler.

The problem is that there is no choice. Instead of making a tactical decision ("Should I move forward or hold my ground?"), the Swashbuckler is forced to ignore the class' flavor and stand still all the time, otherwise he loses too much of his effectiveness.

And casters are very mobile classes. They all have the potential to move and cast two spells in the same round. Some of them can even teleport and cast two spells in the same round. They can also fly, turn invisible, summon monsters, cast defensive spells, etc.

The only ones that can't move are martials... Including Swashbucklers. It'd be a much better game if the SB could assess the situation and then decide if he should move or not, but as it is, the class is stuck with "stand-still-or-suck" syndrome even when there is no reason for him to block anyone's path. In fact, even when standing still, martials are not very good at blocking anyone's path. At best, they can make an AoO, but other than that, any enemy can move around the martial and go after whoever he wants to engage in melee.

So, instead of having a mobile class that can move through the battlefield or choose to stand still when the situation calls for it, we got a "mobile" class with no mobility at all.

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I, for one, will never again play a non-caster class, unless the game is really heavy on house rules. And even then, I'd think twice before doing so.

I'd rather not to be kicked in the teeth every time a new FAQ or errata is released.

That's how little faith I have in Paizo's ability and willingness to make Pathfinder a more balanced game.

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Well... I'll just ban the Primalist archetype and be done with it anyway... Want rage Powers? Go play a Barbarian.

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AbsolutGrndZer0 wrote:
Jack Assery wrote:
About one page per class, making up 1-2 archetypes and some option for others (rage powers only for barbarian, with only one good power with a level 6 and rp prerequisite). There is a couple options people think are good, like the mutagen fighter or exploit wizard, but it was mostly ineffectual.
So then the majority of the book is still the new classes? :( Sounds like I might just have to get the archetypes off of d20pfsrd or Nethys then... which is sad, I want to support Paizo when I can, but I just can't justify buying an entire book that I am going to more than likely completely ignore 90% of it.

I'm with you on that... So far I bought pretty much every hardcover from Paizo, but the ACG simply isn't worth my money.

If I could, I'd just buy the parts that involve Bloodrager, Slayer, Investigator and that Cavalier archetype that makes him a functional Swashbuckler.

I saddens me that Paizo decided to release a subpar product just so they can sell it at GenCon. The ACG is so rushed that even its freaking cover got an editing mistake!

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To be fair... SR is awful for player characters. It'll hurt you more often than it'll help you.

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