IMHO, the race options as currently written have sufficient power/skill diversity. I think the race options are clearly significant enough for a min/maxer to scale rate or declare any race optimal for a set build or even class. Some race abilities are taken for granted when they are actually quite nice and very differentiating. Darkvision, for example.
Additionally, i think the expanded race options as developed are robust and offer a variety of effectual tweaking. Even some of the race feats are pretty solid. I for one think some of them, like Steel Soul, are really strong.
Ultimately, this is a roleplaying game so if you want your race to have meaningful impact the onus is on the player and the DM to make the race selection feel significant.
A good twist should leave the characters feeling blindsided! If the twist has no real clues given to them before the event takes place, the players may feel like it was cheap if they're especially critical, but typically I've found players fond of intrigue. I agree it does work when there are especially vague clues that could not have ultimately determined the twist but portent some danger in the way.
With foreshadowing, it's more a literary device than a clue. Let's say a main characters brother is about to betray him. A night before some tavern wench could be complaining about how her brother in-law stole her inheritance and that you can't trust anyone - not even family. You should be prepping the player to encounter the common theme in an uncanny way, but it's not an outright clue.
I'd say use a bit of both, an indeterminable clue and good thematic foreshadowing, if this is to be a true twist with the intention of blindsiding the players. And I will say that's ok if you setup a twist with no means of avoidance.
As for your sandbox NPC - I would say chunk the %'s altogether and determine if the story would be better driven with the mysterious stranger there are not. %'s are nice when you're drawing adventures for others to be used, or if you're trying trying to determine which PC's ultimately find and interact with this NPC, but you should value your planning time enough such that if you draft a sidequest you're not bound by random numbers which determine it's inclusion. The final test of a sidequest's inclusion should be the opinion of the players upon finding its hook.
How I plan - I usually use two notebooks. One book I keep in my brainstorming sessions, metaplot notes, important events, etc, and I use the other notebook (graph book) to design dungeons, encounters, etc. The best thing you can do as a DM relating to planning is just take good notes during the session to ensure you're creating a plot that follows the players intentions. If they're not clear - just ask them at the end of the session: what is your character's motivation, what's his sense of adventure, what's he yearning for, what does he plan to do with his time, etc.
So now we are going on intent of the rules and not the rules themselves, where as before that was not applicable? I am sorry, please be consistent. Please show me in the text where it says swallow whole, as initiated by grab (for instance), removes the grapple requirement of a standard action each round to maintain the grapple.
If losing the grapple condition now, by intent of the rules as you stated, somehow releases us of the requirement to maintain the grapple let us apply 'intent of the rules' logic to grab in similar fashion which with the -20 CMB check also grants the similar scenario of the grappler not gaining the grappled condition. We can reasonably conclude it makes sense for a colossal kraken to hold more than one person in its tentacles each round without this nonsensical notion that every 6 seconds he mystically is compelled to drop all but one of his victims.
It is not conducting a normal grapple. It is using the 'grab and hold' option of the Grab special attack. The mechanic of the grab and hold option of the Grab special attack is to make a single check at -20 to make and maintain the grapple, and not gain the grappled condition. The 'grab and hold' option is not a normal grapple, they are two different options that are available to creatures that use the grab special attack. It states the one check required is to both make and maintain a grapple
Because the -20 CMB check is an optional roll to both make and maintain the grapple. One roll, triggered by the grab ability.
"if it chooses to do the latter (hold), it takes a -20 penalty to its CMB check (singular, one check) to make and maintain the grapple"
A (singular) check to make AND maintain the grapple.
If the creature so chooses, it may make a normal grapple check on a grab that imposes normal grapple rules, such as the normal rule to take a standard action each round to maintain.
Yes, I am saying that if it succeeded in holding a creature it starts and maintains the grapple and deals constict damage as well.
We are not discussing normal grapple checks, we are discussing the grab special ability which, if successful on its single optional -20 check to start and maintain the grapple, deals only constrict damage after the initial hit that triggered grab. It has the option to make a grapple check in future rounds to deal normal attack damage and constrict if it has it. Otherwise, hold deals no damage, the creature grabbed is grappled, and the grabbing creature is not grappled.
No, not saying that. I am saying if the creature makes it's -20 CMB check option, it starts the grapple, that grapple is considered maintained for future rounds, and it deals constrict damage only (as the rule states). In future rounds, the grapple is considered maintained because the creature chose to hold it. It can full attack and the creature it grabbed, if it didn't escape, is still grappled and will only take constrict damage unless it uses its standard to deal damage to the grappled creature.
Ok, just want to chime in with our groups interpretation. We have argued this exhaustively.
The 'hold' attempt described, per the rules, both makes and maintains the grapple. The creature 'takes a -20 penalty on its CMB check to make and maintain a grapple'. In other words, if a creature opts to Hold you, it gets a Hold check as a free action at -20 and if it makes that check 1) it makes the grapple, 2) it maintains the grapple, 3) it does not gain the grappled condition.
Further proof: please note the phrase 'on it's CMD check' is singular, thus implying that with only one Hold attempt it is obtaining all three benefits: starts grapple, maintains grapple, no grapple condition.
In future rounds, it does no damage unless it has constrict or it makes a grapple check to deal damage.
yeah... my question is why was this item created?
For your surly dwarvern companion that likes to go out using the armor as evening-wear, get tanked, and bust some heads for good fun.
Or you want mimic any number of Final Fantasy-esque fist-fighters that don't match the Monk archetype (Snow, for ex)
Seems like a perfectly reasonable piece of quirky armor to me...
Not sure I really understand the problem here... Fighters fight - that's what they do. If you specialize a Fighter to fight in a particular style, he can push out the DPR because that's what they're built for... Unarmed attacks are just a feature of the overall Monk class which is not necessarily built to be a pure melee combatant like a Fighter. You don't even have to fight unarmed - it's just an option.
I'm not saying that Monks are at the power-level they need to be, but they certainly shouldn't be on par melee combat-wise with a Fighter that specializes in melee combat regardless of his chosen style.
Just my opinion.
Not sure i caught it if you mentioned it, but this is a style decision that is adopted by the gaming group and typically implemented by the GM. If you are a party member, keep it in character and roleplay your human emotions. If you are the GM, and this campaign has been going for some time, it may be too late to change the paradigm now.
If you want to try a more realistic game, use wound points rules (I think they're in APG), limit casting classes to one per two character levels, severly limit magic item availability, cap chars and most npcs to 13th level at campaign conclusion, and plan on giving your PCs an encounter about once out of every five or so that they need to run from (hint: give good context clues that it is too much for the PCs)
You can do it with the Pathfinder rules, just know that when PCs get fly, restoration/regeneration, raise dead/ressurrection, amazing cures, teleportation, bags of holding/portable holes, etc... yeah they pretty well are super and almost immortal. In fact, at level 20 there are several immortality options in the rules.
IMHO, a chaotic diety purposefully ignores or condemns laws or strict rules, in this case particularly if it furthers the good (which in fantasy alignments, killing evil does). I say 3, although i do like the idea of having the character later come upon a good goblin family or a holy orphanage devoted to reforming goblin children.
It's really up to you, but i would think most CG dieties ok with this, or at least not being anyway offended by it. The species is evil, so encouraging their destruction favors their alignment, and i would suggest a chaotic diety wold have no qualms over the method.
If all your players really want to be optimal and shine in combat the best thing to do is allow the suboptimal chars to adjust their builds with your guidance or help from the optimal players. When everyone is eqully munchkiny then just boost the challenges appropriately.
Btw, did you point buy? If this is a rolled stat inequality problem then you may have to do some stat adjusting
Iif i was going to suggest banning one archery feat or ability it would be clustered shots. Maybe not even ban, but double BAB requirement.
DR is a staple of pathfinder 'Boss fights'. Clustered shots is too powerful too early, and there are more than a few threads that back this up. It is arguable more powerful than penetrating stike which is a 12th lvl fighter feat only. On top of that, it just doesn't make any sense (not that this game doesn't already make us suspend disbelief...). Why again does pinning a single 1/2 inch hole in an iron golem somehow overcome his substantial armor and devestate his entire structure? What is so special about that second arrow that it allows it to harm a demon prince normally only vulnerable to holy power? It's just nonsensicle. If clustering shots is such a potent skill then why does it only have an enhanced affect against creatures with DR? As if something only vulnerable to magic is now mystically vulnerable to nonmagic wood because he got shot in the same place twice. This feat is just bad, and i have no idea how it got through beta.
To be honest, i have been DMing an Archer for a few months now and let me tell you it is a PITA. I have 6 players that all want to solid in combat, but unless i specifically design each encounter to somehow tactically counter the archer he will brilliantly outshine them all by not moving and just rolling a ton of dice doing more damage than the rest of the team regardless of their tactics, coordination and bravado.
Here is the thing about Archer's: basically every disadvantage they have can eventually be countered by feats or gear. You just need to know where in the progression they are becase there are so many feats required they can't have them all.
I have yet to use fickle winds, i don't like the idea of a no save spell that takes a combatant off the field. Here are some options:
Step Up, Missile Shield, Sunder, Deflect Arrows, Trip or anything that sends the archer prone, DR works nice until clustered shots, large monstersmap and/or reach works nice until they ignore AoO - Combat Reflexes (yes, it is one AoO per arrow), Grapple (monsters at even CR's tend to have amazing capacity to grapple), Darkness spells (until improved precise shot), Higher AC's (archers tend to have more atks at slightly lower bonus, but cannot charge/flank). Lastly, quivers hold 20 arrows so after 20 shots they need to reload as at least a move action until they get a magic quiver.
Here is my Archer/Melee philosophy: in early rounds melee has it hard to full attack and archers get it easy. As monsters close in, melee should have it easy to get full attacks and the archer has a hard time. In most combats, archer is priority one not for metagame reasons, but he's usually the far and away biggest threat
Holy stats batman!
If you are letting your players roll stats, then you cannot use monsters/npc's with the standard array - you have to compensate to make the adventure challenging. That's a pain, which is why point buy and avg hp's is so nice. It's not that it helps prevent cheating (it does that too) but it creates a baseline playing field.
If you want to let them keep the stats i think you can handle it, just up the APL and adjust encounters appropriately (i did say it was a pain...). Do NOT give them more xp per encounter b/c the monster cr's are higher: remember, ultimately xp should be given based on the challenge level. If the fights are easy, give them appropriate easy xp for their level. If they are mopping the floor with each encounter, their xp gain should be very low. Rule of thumb: a challenging encounter is where at least one PC is brought close to death and/or the party spends approx 20% of their total resources (per day abilities).
And lastly, most encounters should be with critters at least smart enough to recognize the biggest threat - it is not beyond reason that they will always utilize all their focus to bring down the big threat.
Don't show my GM!!! j/k - never noticed that, thanks! Still a pretty nice spell.
You should be taking Manyshot ASAP b/c it's awesome. You should also include Clustered Shots in your build b/c anything you come across with damage reduction is going to severely limit your DPR.
Why are you taking Mobility? If it's for Shot on the Run I would skip it - you want feats that give you more attacks, not limit you to one. SotR is only half-decent for ranged rogue types. If you're taking Mobility to safe-guard against opponents flanking or rushing in, you're probably better off just putting some skill points in Acrobatics which should be fine enough for you because it's a Monk skill.
Also - why Shortbow not Longbow? Is there a technology limitation in the campaign or is this a decision to intentionally remain suboptimal? I don't understand any advantage you'll obtain going this route.
If you really want to exploit traps to the party's detriment, use them before or during encounters. Make sure, if you really want them to feel the effects, that you're including multiple traps, haunts and encounters between rests. And if you're particularly cruel, drop a nasty trap on them immediately AFTER a harrowing combat before they have a chance to recouperate.
There's nothing wrong with a trap/haunt going off with no effect if the party respects the possible consequences.
Here's a good one from Ultimate Magic:
Cold Ice Strike
At this level for a battle cleric quicken spells is really the way to go. If you've invested into martial abilities you want to use them and buff at the same time.
Completely disagree that 8 is "Thog". There's no way - if 8 is Thog what is 6 or 7? 8 is like those stupid people you knew in High School that got passed along even though they couldn't write a decent sentance. They were still capable of communicating verbally like human beings, although typically through slang or at least improper grammer.
Also, if "Thog"'s an 8 INT, in this scenario he must have an abysmal Int AND Cha. Int shows a lack of understanding in things like logic/math, reading, but you can have an 8 INT and a high Charisma and come across smooth - even silver-tongued.
Speaking of a Summoner with an "inappropriate relationship" - one member of our group has a female gnome summoner (you might describe as "child-like" in appearance) with a full adult male (medium height) sidhe "boyfriend" eidolon that she summons. It's very ... inappropriate.
Just want to chime in with this question because it has been bugging me: where, specifically in the rules (and not the unwritten or implied ones) does it ever state that you cannot weild a two handed weapon with armor spikes. To me, the description seems to suggest you can.
Hey guys, looking for some critique/assist on a build I am conceptualizing. It's a gladiator-themed Oracle. Here's the rough sketch through 8th level:
Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Flying Sword
First 8 levels in Oracle to get 3 revelations, +6 bab, 4th level spells. Battle mystery seems to be the go-to for weapon master (1st), war sight (3rd), combat healer (6th). And definitely going withering affliction just to be as grotesque as possible >:)
Current stat array (20 point buy)
For skills, i want him to focus 1 point/level on Intimidate, and then dabble in others (heal, ride, out of class perform for flavor, etc). Don't need knowledges/spellcraft as we have a bard and an arcane caster, so i am ok with being arcana ignorant.
Where to go from here? Is it worth dipping into fighter? What spells would be awesome to know for the build? My next idea on feat is Lunge, but is there a better option?
I like the idea of using AoO's for attacks which preserves action economy for debuffs and spells. I like demoralizes -2 saves as well - I would love some dazzling display, hold person, coup de grace action :)
I think S&B works nice for a Paladin w/TWF because having the extra attack really synergizes with Smite Evil. Try this: Heavy Spiked Shield paired with a light weapon like a gladius, hand axe, short sword or sun blade. That way you're fighting at only -2. Look to get Bashing on your shield as soon as you get access to +2 armors so your shield is 2d6 and becomes your main weapon. With Vital Stike that's 4d6 as a standard, giving you freedom to move to intercept or spend a 5' and a move to sheath your blade and lay on hands as a swift (don't forget you can do this after you attack). And when you smite, you have 3+ attacks at 6th all getting +cha to hit and nice damage boosts per hit.
It can get feat intense b/c there really are alot of solid shield feats, so this works really well on a human.