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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.
For the issues with the Rules forum, it would be nice to see some sort of mechanism for curation of rules questions and their answers. Like maybe an upvote/downvote system to promote the posts which answer the question. Sort of like Stack Overflow.
As it is right now, the Rules Forum is the place where good questions go to die, as well as clog up the search function for future users with rules questions. I wonder how many hours the Pathfinder community has wasted wading through so many useless and misleading posts in the Rules forum.
It's also entirely possible that the spread of the church of Sarenrae actually is a Qadiran plot to conquer Taldor without going against the wishes of central leadership. It's possible that Taldor had very good reasons to institute the ban.
Anyways, we really could use a new Taldor book. Hopefully, this interesting piece of shades-of-grey canon will be either reinstituted or replaced with some other really interesting shades-of-grey aspect of the country.
-Matt really enjoyed helping out the cultists while planning how to sell them out while playing in that PFS scenario.
Lessons of Chaldira is fine now though, it was nerfed to allowing you a reroll before the failure/success is revealed, which is far less powerful.
Okay, that's good news, thanks for that.
Alchemical allocation basically lets an Alch4 get the extract benefits of being an Alch7. And if the Alchemist can find a higher-CL potion on a Chronicle (ex: Ruby Phoenix Tournament), it really gets out of control. Also, there have been some items printed since Allocation which make it really spin out of control even more.
I'll have to think about the Pageant of the Peacock masterpiece. My off-the-top-of-my-head reaction tells me that Bards need a bone considering what's allowed in PFS these days. Either way, Pageant is definitely not the highest-priority option to remove. It would be silly to remove Pageant but keep Slumber Hex, for example.
Speaking of flying-pouncing monstrosities, I can make a few contributions to this list off the top of my head...
It's my experience that chases are great when the GM goes for the abstract, highly-descriptive approach instead of the concrete "these are 30' foot spaces, here are the very-specific obstacles with very-specific ways to get past them" approach.
The players need to be on board, too, as they need to be willing to play along and be abstract and descriptive instead of bludgeoning every obstacle with numbers alone.
But if for some reason you go for higher optimization (without even going for broken things) the rogues fall behing the other roguish characters, do we agree on this?
I won't disagree with that. I took the DPR challenge with Raquel, and she fell short of an Archaeologist10's DPR. However, the Archaeologist busted out a bunch of daily resources. At the same time, though, I never sat at a PFS table with a roguish character that outdid my Rogues.
So, if the daily resource use doesn't come up, the Archaeologist will win out. If the daily resources are an issue, Raquel is looking a lot better.
This right here is, IMO, one of the fundamental problems of Pathfinder. So much of the game is balanced around daily resources, yet there are no built-in mechanisms to enforce that restriction.
The Rogue and the Fighter have zero built-in per-day abilities. The board really dislikes the Rogue and the Fighter. I do not believe that this is a coincidence.
So, in short, after 2,500+ posts the answer is NO, we CANNOT make the rogue "work" ... There will always be a class that can fill the rogue's role more effectively.
The existence of a more powerful option does not invalidate the less powerful option. You're basically saying that bicycles can't get you a mile down the road simply because cars exist.
Chengar Qordath wrote:
The problem being, of course, that applying a similar level of system mastery to non-rogues produces characters who can shatter published content.
I agree with you, Chengar. It's not very difficult to produce characters who blow through published material. The APs are designed for a party of four 15-point characters with very few non-Core options, meaning that adding in all the powercreep which has occurred since will smash things. The Rogue, I'll say, started off behind a bunch of other classes, and hasn't gotten the same powercreep boost that other classes have received.
That being said... Can we make the Rogue work in published content? Absolutely. The Rogue just doesn't turn published content into Easy Mode like several other classes (with their powercreep) do.
So, if you and all of your group enjoy Easy Mode, I can understand avoiding the Rogue. There's plenty of material out there for you and your group to build whatever Smashy McSmashersons you want. But if you or any of your group don't enjoy Easy Mode, the Rogue is a pretty good idea.
-Matt doesn't enjoy Easy Mode.
Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that the canon speaking of the current state of the Empire is in a place where the primary elements are all in the mind of the reader. Josh Frost spent quite a lot of his word count on Cassomir rather than on developing the Empire itself. Consider that this thread speaks more about Princess Eutropia than the canon's two sentences ever did.
The answer to the original poster's question is whatever you want it to be. We would need a new and well-done setting book to have any more to work with.
Yeah, that article has me curious and excited for what's coming this fall. I wonder what sorts of fresh ideas the three global admins are bringing to the table, and how both PFS and this Moonsea campaign can learn from each other as well as provide a good experience for a greater variety of players as a result of there being more content out there.
Rogues aren't actually a very good face because they don't get much to go into their face skills other than skill ranks and in class.
And that's kind of my point... skill ranks, the class skill bump, a decent attribute, and maybe some magic items... that's all you need. And once you can hit all your DCs, just like when you're spanking every combat you run into... any further improvement is unimportant.
It's not about achieving the highest modifier after expending a whole bunch of traits and daily spells. It's about being able to hit your DCs. I'd even say that the characters who can do that with the least resource expenditures are the "best" face characters.
Assuming that figure is correct, I'd say that the real question here is:
Why are so few games at Tier 7-11? Why are so many players dropping out of the campaign before they play Tier 7-11?
Even if the campaign were to add fifty Tier 1-5s a year, that would not address the issue of player retention that the Tier 7-11 figure is indicative of.
There's also the option of working things from the other end. If your players crave action and danger, kindly inform them that bringing Easy Mode PCs will deny them and their tablemates of the desired experience. PFS won't let you adjust the scenario to the PCs, but you can adjust the PCs to the scenario.
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Rogues get an at-will Dex-to-damage option in Flight Stunt; while clearly not a Level 2 talent, flight isn't exactly hard to pull off at higher levels.
Note that Rogues cannot actually take ranks in the Fly skill. On top of that, the flight stunt requires a Fly check against CMD, as a swift action, while charging from the air. That's not exactly at-will. But apparently it's so powerful that the extra damage needs to be precision damage.
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Swim Stunt is great if you're playing an unterwater game, or better yet, if you're GMing a game where the PCs are forced to go underwater. It's situational, sure, but it's situationally deadly.
Do you know how many rounds, and thus how many dice of sneak damage, would have to be sacrificed for this talent to have any actual effect at all?
A 14-Con enemy can hold its breath for 28 rounds. We're looking at at least 20 rounds the rogue would have to strip away, by sacrificing 20d6 of sneak attack. Keep in mind that the Rogue can only make the attempt (which fails on a missed attack, might I add) once per round. And this stunt doesn't actually kill the target, it just forces the target to start making Constitution checks. Sneak attack damage, that does work to kill the target. Simple mathematics tell us that using this stunt actually makes the target live longer than it would if the Rogue rolled his d6s.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Sneak attack was nice in 3.5, when you could give a halfling rogue a ring of blinking and a sackful of acid flasks. In PF, it's not so good.
Though blink may not work so well for achieving ranged sneak attacks, tiny hut still does.