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Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Indeed. My games involve being good as a difficult road, with commensurate benefits.
Problem is... the Pathfinder Society campaign makes being good unsatisfying and un-beneficial. And then there's the problem of needing the whole party to be willing to go down that road with you.
You're right, Koujow. I recall, actually, very early on, having the same visions of Indiana Jones. Funnily enough, one of Paizo's freelancers, who was active all the way back in 2008, told me that the PFS are more like Dr. Belloq than Indiana Jones.
And it's true. It got a bit old after awhile, largely because I found it pretty silly to see, over and over, absolutely zero negative repercussions for the Society's shady ways. In Golarion, just as in the real world, crime does pay when you or your bosses have enough money and influence to make the consequences disappear.
Anyways, I reacted by having my character take her growing resentment of the PFS and act on it. It was pretty fun, but I agree with the observation that the other players were perfectly happy to follow the criminal railroad (my Eyes of the Ten group was a notable exception. Wow, that was great). It's amazing to see what lengths players will go to justify that Prestige Point.
It's kinda weird (and misleading) how Paladins are OK and Evil characters aren't, isn't it?
It's a start. What would be nice is to have a set of reference points for these sorts of stats, so players can, with a quick glance, see where their PCs are falling behind. Such a table would be great in a guide to 8-9 and 10-11.
Also useful would be a second set of reference points, this one showing stats beyond which a PC starts to trivialize content.
The space between, perhaps it could be called the Fun Zone?
I would hope that my tablemates enjoyed having me around while I was moving up the levels with my unoptimized socially-focused PC.
Just when did this idea of "playing suboptimal PCs is a troll behavior" start propagating, anyways?
Also, I would suggest adding "embrace teamwork" and "think outside the box" as tips for 8-9 and 10-11 play.
Trying to tumble round something like a purple worm is a virtual death sentence for most rogues.
Well, all I know is that I managed fine back in 2010, so I should be able to manage fine this time around. It's not like the Season 0-3 scenarios got powercrept as well!
Also there are ways around the high-CMD problem. Purple worms, for example, don't have Combat Reflexes, so there is no Acrobatics check needed if I delay until after another character takes the AO. They also have a low Will save, making them susceptible to Glitterdust. There are ways to deal with the issue beyond Acrobatics vs CMD. In the Core environment, teamwork might actually become a thing!
I am tired of the rotating editions. I am happy to address the problems and challenges of the game as it exists...
I see. So what you're saying is that the Core rulebook is becoming an obsolete product, but that's okay, because we can rely on the veterans who own everything to support the game, and because new players are perfectly capable of purchasing everything required to have a "fixed" game? And they'll just magically figure out which rules materials are included in this "fixed" game and which aren't?
There are traps in PFS?
hehe, j/k. That 7-Str Rogue did encounter a single trap in her career.
Point being, no need to be a hater. It's PFS. Any one of the other players can easily build a hyper-efficient killing machine which can solo the module by itself. Heck, the Easy Mode players should be grateful to have a tablemate who isn't a threat to their combat dominance.
I'd even go so far as to say that intentionally-underoptimized characters are a gift to the Easy Mode players at the table. So why the hate?
-Matt can totally see himself doing a 9-Int Wizard as a part of a weird melee build that eventually goes to 11 Int to constantly cycle Heightened Awareness with Pearls of Power.
If he doesn't know about the DC of your locks, he won't perceive them as a challenge. Why tell him OOC about your locks or their DCs?
Perhaps you could instill positive behaviors by presenting challenges that you want him to overcome. Just point him in the right direction OOC, and don't tell him about the paths you don't want him to go down. You can turn this around by harnessing his desire to overcome challenges.
The Paizo board is very good at telling you how terrible your character is and how you should just make a new character, and much less good at drawing from actual experience to give solid advice.
Having taken a Rogue/Monk all the way to 20th in PFS, I can say that the Rogue/Monk combination has quite a bit of synergy. I'd suggest:
-The Human Rogue favored class bonus.
It looks like your character is in a good position to have high Acrobatics, high enough to tumble into a Gang Up flank, then go for a maneuver, followed up by sneak attacks. Later, you can look at a feint chain like Feinting Flurry/Improved Feint/Greater Feint, or if you want to really get ambitious, a Medusa's Wrath setup tree.
To add to your GW2 analogy, Sammy, the wand of cure light wounds is to PFS as the active dodge is to GW2. Free out-of-combat healing makes uber-damage characters much more survivable. The Pathfinder Challenge Rating system is reliant on resource management, and the wands take away the need to manage resources.
I wonder what would happen if wands of cure light wounds had to be purchased with gold?
As always, if you really, really, actually want to challenge yourself, try playing with sub-optimal characters.
It would be nice to see someone else take the minimum-required-combat-ability challenge and make it all the way to the top.
Thanks for that link as well, Dudemeister. I had only heard of "Gamergate" in passing before that. It looks like what's going on here is that, well, the human race has this thing now called the Internet, and our connected society, we're having growing pains.
That being said, death threats are not OK. I have a feeling that our collective privileges, like anonymity, will be going away in time, because a few trolls are going to ruin things for everyone, and there's really nothing we can do about it.
I wonder... is this Internet social problem a uniquely American thing?
Captain K. wrote:
PCs have an incredible amount of money. Or at least they should have.
This is a major assumption that you are making here. The thing is... PCs, by and large, don't have very much money. They have magic items.
Just as I can't lug my television down to the grocery store and buy some yoghurt, PCs aren't really able to take their magic girdles and vestments down to the town square and buy some lettuce. Conversely, the idea that magic items are freely bought and sold is ludicrous. How much effort would it take for the owner of an apparatus of kwalish to find someone willing to pay him 90,000 gold pieces in coin? How difficult would it be for a player character to find the exact apparatus he is looking for in the exact color he finds pleasing, just sitting on a shelf to be sold?
That would be like trying to go to 7-Eleven to purchase a fighter jet. "I'll take that F-14 over there on Aisle 2, in periwinkle blue please. And a Slurpee."
It's just impractical to assume that magic items are the equivalent to cash.
Also, PCs tend to not have any actual incomes that perpetuate beyond whatever they take off of cold, dead corpses, barring certain infinite-wealth spell schemes. PCs have to do actual work for their items which are not actually money.
"But Mr. Strophic! What about the wealth-by-level table?"
All that table does is create an artificial method of showing the DM how many magic items the game expects him or her to hand out to the party. All the magic item gold-piece values do is create an artificial method of saying that a belt of incredible dexterity +2 is equivalent to four pearls of power I when taking up space in a character's magic item loadout. The only reason gold pieces are referenced is because the developers haven't found another way to codify magic item limits.
What this means is that PCs are actually as wealthy as the coins in their pockets, of which, in the case of your witch, there aren't many. Once the assumption of magic items being equivalent to cash is dispelled, your average player character, turns out, is not wealthy at all.
I started looking at feat chains which are pretty long by pulling up the Advanced Player's Guide. The list got very long very quickly, so while commentary would take a long time, I'll submit a list of long feat chains for discussion...
-Two-Weapon Fighting/Improved Shield Bash/Shield Slam/Shield Master/Bashing Finish
-Combat Reflexes/Bodyguard/In Harm's Way
-Power Attack/Improved Overrun/Charge Through
-Step Up/Following Step/Step Up and Strike
-Dodge/Mobility/Sidestep/Improved Sidestep: Dang, that's a long chain.
-Combat Expertise/Gang Up/Team Up
-Combat Expertise/Second Chance/Improved Second Chance
-Scorpion Style/Gorgon's Fist/Medusa's Wrath/Cockatrice Strike
-Dodge/Mobility/Combat Reflexes/Combat Patrol
-Point Blank Shot/Rapid Shot/Rapid Reload/Crossbow Mastery
-Power Attack/Furious Focus/Dreadful Carnage
-Blind-Fight/Improved Blind-Fight/Greater Blind-Fight
-Improved Unarmed Strike/Combat Expertise/Improved Trip/Ki Throw/Power Attack/Improved Bull Rush/Improved Ki Throw - The longest feat chain in the game?
-Nimble Moves/Acrobatic Steps/Light Step
-Shield Focus/Missile Shield/Disruptive/Spellbreaker/Ray Shield
-Mounted Combat/Shield Focus/Mounted Shield
-Dodge/Mobility/Shot on the Run/Parting Shot
-Combat Reflexes/Disruptive/Spellbreaker/Teleport Tactician
-Mounted Combat/Trick Riding/Mounted Skirmisher
Then I made it to Ultimate Combat...
-Quick maneuver feats
-Maneuver strike feats
-All the style feats
-Improved Unarmed Strike/Adder Strike/Improved Two-Weapon Fighting/Pinpoint Poisoner
-Two-Weapon Fighting/Improved Two-Weapon Fighting/Break Guard
-Point-Blank Shot/Charging Hurler/Improved Charging Hurler
-Power Attack/Cleave/Cleaving Finish/Great Cleave/Improved Cleaving Finish
-Dodge/Weapon Focus/Close-Quarters Thrower
-Diehard/Deathless Initiate/Deathless Master/Deathless Zealot
-Combat Expertise/Improved Feint/Deceptive Exchange
-Vital Strike/Devastating Strike/Improved Devastating Strike
-Dimensional Agility/Dimensional Assault/Dimensional Dervish/Dimensional Maneuvers/Dimensional Savant
-Combat Expertise/Improved Feint/Disengaging Flourish/Dodge/Mobility/Disengaging Shot
-Combat Expertise/Improved Trip/Drag Down
-Dodge/Weapon Focus/Close-Quarters Thrower/False Opening (or the other way)
-Combat Expertise/Improved Trip/Felling Escape
-Combat Expertise/Improved Trip/Power Attack/Felling Smash
-Final Embrace/Final Embrace Horror/Final Embrace Master
-Weapon Focus/Dazzling Display/Gory Finish
-Haunted Gnome/Haunted Gnome Assault/Haunted Gnome Shroud
-Weapon Focus/Weapon Specialization/Critical Focus/Impaling Critical/Improved Impaling Critical
-Combat Expertise/Two-Weapon Fighting/Improved Two-Weapon Fighting/Improved Two-Weapon Feint
-Weapon Focus/Dazzling Display/Intimidating Bane
-Improved Unarmed Strike/Stunning Fist/Jawbreaker/Improved Grapple/Bonebreaker/Greater Grapple/Neckbreaker - That's seven! A tie with Improved Ki Throw!
-Blind-Fight/Combat Expertise/Moonlight Stalker/Moonlight Stalker Feint/Improved Feint/Moonlight Stalker Master
-Exotic Weapon Proficiency (net)/Net Adept/Two-Weapon Fighting/Net and Trident/Net Maneuvering/Net Trickery
-Improved Unarmed Strike/Nightmare Fist/Nightmare Weaver/Stunning Fist/Nightmare Stalker
-Dodge/Mobility/Combat Expertise/Improved Feint/Passing Trick
-Weapon Focus/Dazzling Display/Performing Combatant/Master Combat Performer
-Improved Unarmed Strike/Improved Grapple/Greater Grapple/Pinning Knockout
-Improved Unarmed Strike/Improved Grapple/Greater Grapple/Pinning Rend
-Power Attack/Improved Bull Rush/Raging Throw
-Improved Unarmed Strike/Improved Grapple/Greater Grapple/Rapid Grappler
-Power Attack/Improved Bull Rush/Rebuffing Reduction
-Rending Fury/Improved Rending Fury/Greater Rending Fury
-Weapon Focus/Point-Blank Shot/Rapid Shot/Snap Shot/Improved Snap Shot/Greater Snap Shot
-Improved Unarmed Strike/Combat Expertise/Improved Trip/Ki Throw/Power Attack/Improved Bull Rush/Spinning Throw - Another seven-feat chain directed at monks. Very similar to Improved Ki Throw as well.
-Improved Grapple/Stunning Fist/Stunning Pin
-Weapon Focus/Two-Weapon Fighting/Point-Blank Shot/Rapid Shot/Snap Shot/Sword and Pistol
-Weapon Focus/Two-Weapon Fighting/Twin Thunders/Twin Thunders Flurry/Twin Thunders Master
-Combat Expertise/Two-Weapon Fighting/Two-Weapon Feint
-Improved Unarmed Strike/Combat Reflexes/Vicious Stomp
-Exotic Weapon Proficiency (whip)/Weapon Focus (whip)/Whip Mastery/Improved Whip Mastery/Greater Whip Mastery
-Weapon Focus/Dazzling Display/(Dramatic or Hero's or Savage) Display
-Point-Blank Shot/Precise Shot/(teamwork feat)/Enfilading Fire
-Combat Reflexes/Improved Critical/Seize the Moment
Pathfinder seems to be stuck between the simulationist design philosophy and the, well, fantasy design philosophy, which is not unexpected for a system using 15-year-old rules.
It appears that we have an Old Way of, for example, longbows being Just Better than shuriken, in competition with a New Way of a style-first, any-concept-flies fantasy approach, where a shuriken-user is just as viable as a longbow-wielder.
In other words... let's hope that 2nd Ed does away with backwards compatibility, so it can jettison the Old Ways which hold the system back.
I'd like to see a new edition largely because I'd like to have something Pathfinder-related to buy again. The system has gotten so bloated and powercrept that new options are a detriment to the play experience, and the APs haven't been compatible with with the power level of the game since around Ultimate Magic or so.
It would also be nice to see a departure from certain outdated mechanics, like Challenge Rating's single-monster combat assumption and the four combats/day assumption. It would also be nice to see a well-functioning and well-supported higher-level game. But now I digress; we each have a laundry list of desired changes.
I miss the old way. I wish PFS would have at least kept the old style in place in Seasons 0-4. I've only had bad experiences with Secondary Success Conditions, and I really enjoyed having a task all to myself every session, and how I could challenge myself to complete the task in a cool and clever way.