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I can definitely sympathize with OP. I've been playing and running Pathfinder for years, and feat selection is still definitely overwhelming for me.
In fact, it has gotten more overwhelming instead of less as time goes on and new books with new feats are released.
Not sure I can add anything to the already excellent advice given, just wanted to chime in and say that yeah, the huge number of feats out there without a whole lot of organization is definitely hard to slog through. :)
Slightly off topic, but it's interesting coming to this thread after having spent a lot of time running Exalted and dealing with the problems in that system and getting into debates on the Exalted forums.
See, I was just recently reading about the caster/martial disparity that exists in Exalted. Namely, how dedicated spellcasters are vastly weaker than martially-inclined characters.
This is because characters that focus exclusively on spells (which in Exalted are very expensive to buy, and do one specific thing very well) have a much narrower range of options than people who spend that XP on Charms ("normal" class features, which are cheaper to buy and have a wider range of applications).
At the very least I feel like this proves that this is a problem that can be "solved", for those who view it as a problem.
Whether it can be solved without radically changing Pathfinder to basically no longer be the same system (Exalted could not possibly be more different, mechanically, from Pathfinder) is up in the air.
My shot-in-the-dark at addressing it was to ban 9th circle casters and give all characters a lot more maneuverability in combat; this makes martials much more competitive in a fight, but doesn't really help their narrative power a whole lot.
Something that has been bugging me since reading book two, but especially in book three when Octavio wants the party to look into the missing Mayor: shouldn't he be able to use his locate creature ability to prove that she is still in the city? One would think he would have known all along that Barzillai was lying because of that...?
158. It rubs the lotion on its skin, or else it gets the hose again.
159. In order to play a half-orc your backstory must include two happily married, loving parents who are alive and well.
139. The number '139' is a powerful occult symbol signifying both the repetition of patterns and the violation of them.
Bob Bob Bob wrote:
presumably you can take a tree branch and fashion it into a club with a Craft check and 0 time (since it costs nothing to craft, it takes no time to craft).
One of my favorite ways of pointing out the crazy not-thought-out unplayable brokenness that is the Craft skill is that, by a strict reading of RAW, any character who can take 10 the Craft check can touch a tree and instantly turn it into a pile of clubs. :)
More on topic, there are lots of examples in the APs of giants using things like logs as clubs and not taking improvised penalties.
With the 0 cost, I would say that any reasonably stout piece of wood could function as a club without being improvised.
I've made some heavy-handed changes to casters as well, I just didn't bother mentioning them because they were irrelevant to the topic at hand.
It did occur to me that a response like your was probably the first one I was going to get, though...
I haven't particularly had problems with caster/martial disparity after my tweaks (the most sweeping being completely eliminating 9th-level casters).
Honestly, I've made so many major house rules (I also got rid of all of the "big 6" magic items in favor of level-based enhancement bonuses) that the game I play is barely Pathfinder any more. :)
When I finally got tired of how broken archery is at high levels, I was simultaneously dealing with a ninja vampire PC who could full attack in melee for 300+ damage most of the time.
I decided the easiest way to fix both things is to simply eliminate full attacks entirely, which is what I have done in every campaign since.
The basics of it are that everyone gets the appropriate Vital Strike feats for free in place of gaining iteratives, and that Two-Weapon Fighting and Rapid Shot each let you take two attacks as a standard action (with no Vital Strike).
Since nearly everyone is now getting their full damage output every round, archery is no longer about being able to do consistent damage. Instead, it is about being able to stay out of melee range in exchange for on average lower damage.
Also, crossbows are useful! :)
My Golarion started as the normal Golarion... and then my players got their hands on it... xD Not to mention we have a rule that the events of any campaign myself or my friend run are always canon for any future campaign we run.
I'm not even sure where to start.
At the end of Kingmaker, my PCs used their wealth to start an industrial revolution, making firearms and to a lesser extent airships commonplace.
At the end of Shattered Star, my PCs decided to ally with First King Xin and rebuild Thassilon as the utopia it always should have been.
Also, the source of mortal magic in Nethys' realm was destroyed by one of my PCs (to be fair, it was starting to show signs of sentience and evilness). As a result, magic was severely weakened and 9th circle casters no longer exist.
My PCs failed Serpent's Skull hardcore, resulting in a serpentfolk empire arising.
Said empire was then swiftly crushed by New Thassilon and has since become a protectorate of the Free Kingdoms (a loose alliance of kingdoms formed by Kingmaker PCs' kingdom).
Irrisen is now ruled by Queen Anastasia (who, by coincidence, is a former PC) and has shifted to a Chaotic Good kingdom; Sarkoris has been rebuilt and considers Nocticula (now a CN Goddess) their patron; Ustalav is shaking off its long darkness after Gallowspire was nearly destroyed and the Whispering Tyrant's hold on the place greatly loosened.
New Thassilon and the Free Kingdoms are both allying with as many different countries as possible, and are both now strong enough that everyone is picking sides and a Cold War is brewing. With PCs on both sides. Often multiple PCs of the same player on different sides. xD
Currently running Iron Gods and the outcome of that will determine where Numeria falls in this whole conflict... Cheliax is currently allied with New Thassilon by virtue of both being very lawful kingdoms, but the events of Hell's Rebels and Hell's Vengeance will likely shake that up.
It's a lot to keep track of, some days. :)
I tend to approach rules questions from a game balance perspective. I also have no qualms throwing out any rule that doesn't make sense to me. Lastly, I consider "realism" a dirty word when it comes to game design.
So while I can't say anything about strict RAW or what's "realistic", here is my take on the debate:
Can an adamantine pickaxe be used to tunnel through a stone wall with enough effort? Clearly yes.
Is there a huge mechanical difference between a pickaxe and a dagger? Well, a dagger is cheaper, but not by much (certainly not compared to the 3000 you spend on adamantine in the first place), and is a simple weapon instead of a martial weapon. However, for this purpose simple/martial doesn't matter - if you aren't proficient you just take a penalty on attack rolls, and attack rolls don't matter against walls. So someone who is only proficient with simple weapons is still going to be able to use an adamantine pickaxe to tunnel through a wall just as easily as someone proficient with the pickaxe.
Mechanically speaking, then, being able to use an adamantine dagger to tunnel through a wall is not meaningfully more powerful than being able to use an adamantine pickaxe to do the same. So if you allow the one, there's no reason not to allow the other - at least from a game balance perspective.
Is tunneling through walls in the first place "broken"? Well, it can certainly be difficult to balance encounters around. But then the same is true of dimension door, earth glide, passwall, etc. For that matter, any party that wants to make dungeons trivial can just grab a Lyre of Building, which is easily capable of collapsing the entirety of the average dungeon in a matter of hours.
So yeah, I'd allow it.
Creating a really obvious item that's been done dozens of times before... and then adding one boring completely unrelated ability to it... does not a superstar make.
Luckily, the other item is pretty cool, if hampered by have a really low save DC. But I guess magic items are supposed to have crappy DCs anyway, so WAD...
Haha! An ale mug item that does not reference Cayden Cailean, dwarves, OR frat parties! And in fact has very different imagery and mechanics that any ale mug item I've seen before. You get an automatic upvote just for that.
Of course, your opponent has no price, cost, aura, slot, weight, requirements, formatting, or paragraph breaks...
Item A, you could have been fully described in two sentences. Instead, your designer decided to spend three paragraphs describing in eye-gouging details the functioning of mechanics I already know. If your item causes the panicked condition (random example), you do not need to tell me that people affected by the item flee in terror and cower if cornered and drop everything they are carrying. That is what the panicked condition does.
Item B... You almost exactly duplicate an item that already exists... you are an extremely obvious item that does exactly the things anyone designing that item would make it do... and you are a SAK.
Meh, item B has better formatting.
Plot item! And... not even a subtle plot item... like... item has no use except in relation to plot, because it offers no mechanical benefits at all... >.>
And up against it... oh. Oh wow. I wish this item were matched up against a better item, so that I felt like the upvote were more meaningful. Congratulations, Mystery Designer, my next skald is going to be a swordsman...
Unless that is being too narrow in the definition of "descriptor". Paizo uses the same words to mean different things a lot of times.
Lots of monsters have abilities that contain the phrase "This is a mind-affecting fear effect" but are not spells. It seems to me that is an effect with a fear descriptor and would shut down psychics.
Which probably means that Intimidate works too...?
Haha, eating your way through a door. That is a really clever use of the spell.
Yeah, it works on anything that isn't magical (or has "exceptional qualities", which is GM fiat territory, but probably no eating adamantine, at least).
If you are worried about balance, it would be entirely reasonable to put a limit on how many pounds of food someone can eat without incapacitating themselves. :)
I ran a game via MapTool once, and the PC with low-light vision saved the party's bacon several times, since with a sunrod he could spot monsters 120' feet out. Meanwhile, the PC with darkvision kept missing concealment rolls due to dim light.
Other than that, I've never really seen low-light vision come into play much.
A) StFrancisss, you win this thread.
B) My interpretation of the jumping rules in this situation (this argument did come up at a table) is this: The DC to cross the pit is 10. HOWEVER, you need to spend 15 feet of movement doing so. If you don't have the extra five feet of (non-jumping) movement to legally move into the next square after your jump, then you fall.
Yes, this is unrealistic.
I see the assumption that all negative conditions should be easily removable at the level you are expected to suffer them as a flaw.
While I don't want to ruin people's fun by taking them out of participation entirely, I also feel that Pathfinder has a lack of lasting consequences compared to other systems I have played.
Adam Daigle wrote:
I'd greatly love to read a campaign journal from a GM that ran both concurrently, every other week switching off, and then pitted each group against themselves at the end.
I will try to keep a journal then, because that is almost exactly what I am going to do. :)
A friend and I will actually be running both at the same time - he will run Hell's Vengeance one day of the week, I will run Hell's Rebels another day.
I am so, so excited about this AP. I was going to skip Hell's Rebels. Now, instead, myself and a friend are going to wait until both APs are out and then run both at the same time, possibly with largely the same players in each (except he will be playing in one and I will be playing in the other, of course).
I am quite interested to see how Hell's Vengeance compares to Way of the Wicked, which I consider not just the best evil AP ever but straight up one of the best APs of all time period.
But this is Paizo we are talking about. It will of course be great. :)
EDIT: And for people who think a fun evil AP isn't possible, seriously, check out Way of the Wicked. I didn't think it was possible either, but that AP completely sold me. I ran the entire thing and it was the most fun my players and I have had with any AP except Kingmaker.
So I have said a couple times now that I was much more excited about Hell's Rebels when I thought it was an evil campaign. I was all ready to skip it entirely since traditional good vs evil APs aren't really my thing.
Drat it, Paizo, shut up and take my money! :p A good campaign that ties into an evil campaign immediately following it is just too cool. T_T
For what it is worth, my gaming group has decided to ban full casters from the setting entirely. There was an in-setting event to explain why (My Golarion really doesn't look like the normal Golarion anymore, I might have to do a "setting writeup" for it at some point), but wizards, clerics, druids, etc. simply don't exist anymore. Or those that do are effectively NPC classes - a cleric now gets partial caster progression but no new class features to make up for it, for example.
So far it has significantly improved our high level play experience.
Making it require 10 feet of movement makes it completely useless, since that means you are trading out weapon training, an ability that gives extra accuracy and damage to all attacks, for an ability that only gives accuracy and damage to single attacks.
Katana and wakizashi proficiency are not worth the loss of heavy armor and shields for the typical fighter - I would say the skills make up for that.
Initiative bonus is typically superior to bravery, but not by much. And bravery is a weak class feature on a weak class. You are not going to be breaking any games with an ability that takes until level 10 to equal the strength of a single feat.
I would say Bob Bob Bob is right - the only real balance issue is that it should give up all of weapon training.
Sure. We'll even assume that you are NOT controlling the mount as a free action.
Mounts in Combat wrote:
So, I am mounted on a non-combat trained horse. I successfully make a DC 20 Ride check as a move action to control my mount. I then direct my mount to take a double move. I then make a DC 20 Ride check to fast dismount as a free action. Finally, I take my standard action (the one I can perform "after the move action" as the rules explicitly say) to move up to my speed.
Now, I will be the first to say that this is completely silly from a physics perspective and shouldn't work. But RAW, I think it does.