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Melissa Litwin's page

Goblin Squad Member. FullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 457 posts (462 including aliases). 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 8 Pathfinder Society characters.


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RJGrady wrote:
I don't have a problem with the save situation. Reflex is good. I don't think Fortitude is not the issue for front line fighters people think it is, unless you fight a lot of monks, I guess. I'm not sure why thematically a swashbuckler would have a good Fortitude save.

Poisons and diseases. If you're melee, you get hit with poisons and diseases on a regular basis, and you really don't want to fail those saves sometimes.

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Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
Matthew Trent wrote:

I don't understand why the word of a player is insufficient proof of ownership.

We have to trust that the PCs aren't cheating with weighted dice, intentional bad math, and a variety of other methods. Why not simply require that all source material be owned to be used and allow the PRD to be accessed to clarify rules when the book isn't physically present?

Trust me. All methods of verification can be circumvented if that is the intent.

Quite honestly for me, it's not so much that I don't trust the players word. But that the rule currently is that they are to bring the source material for their characters things. Be that items, or class abilities, the onus is on the player to provide the source material should the GM have a question. The rules also require ownership of the book in order to use certain items and abilities. While I don't want to be the cop at the table, signing up as a GM somewhat puts me in that position. Making sure that the players (and myself for that matter) adhere to the rules and have the source documentation.

As a GM I am not a robot, I don't know every single item, every single class ability for every single class. If you do, good for you; but I don't and I don't have time to sit down and memorize all the books so that I do.

Therefore I rely on the player to know the rules for his character and if I'm not understanding the summation that the player is giving me at the table, be able to provide the actual rule so that I am able to read and understand it quickly and move on.

The bottom line is that PFS is Paizo's world, and just like in the real world we have rules and guidelines to live by to play in their world.

That's the thing. As GM, your job is not table cop. It's to run the game. Not knowing some obscure rule, feat, spell, or item and asking someone to have a copy of it is one thing- that's perfectly reasonable. However, it is not your job to make sure everyone owns every resource they use; if it was, you'd ask to see copies of the CRB every game, and the APG and/or UM every time someone said "I'm an oracle" or "I'm a magus", and I bet you don't.

I've GM'ed at cons a lot. Less so in PFS, but a lot in the RPGA during Living Greyhawk. I didn't even kick people I (and everyone else at my table) was entirely convinced were cheating off my tables. I rolled with it as best I could to make the experience fun for everyone else, because that was my job.

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Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:

So what then do I do as the GM when the player has the photocopy of the rules, but has forgotten his photocopy of the cover of the book? Do I assume that because he has the photocopy of the rules that it's all ok?

Or if he has the photocopy of the book cover, but has forgotten the photocopy of the rules...

There are tons of grey areas when we start playing with the rules like this... It's easier, in my opinion, to just state that if you want to use the *shiny* you need to have the book or the pdf. No grey area, no question about what the requirement is.

Easier, sure. Better for PFS and Paizo? Not necessarily. It would be easier if we didn't have PFS at all, but it's clearly beneficial to both the players and the company, so even though it creates a mass of complications it's still done.

Most people have character folders. Asking them to have printouts of the relevant rules and proof of purchase (along the lines of what others are suggesting) isn't asking that much. We ask people to keep track of a lot of paperwork already, so adding one more thing isn't that big a deal. I think that's a pretty good compromise, actually, and would definitely support such a move.

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Lamontius wrote:

melissa, can you give us an idea of how many resources your current PFS character(s) use, in terms of the number of books?

Generally 4-5 books. Almost every character uses something from the APG and either Ultimate Combat or Ultimate Magic, if not both. Equipment from Ultimate Equipment. Most of my characters also use some of the alternate racial traits from the ARG. And now with Ultimate Campaign and the inclusion of traits from that, I wouldn't be shocked if some characters used a trait from that book too.

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2 people marked this as a favorite.

I like buying books. The physical copies are great for flipping back and forth in, bookmarking, etc.

I do not like buying my books twice. I buy some serieses of book on my Kindle and some in physical form for that reason. I have almost no overlap for a reason, and the overlap that is there is accidental.

Thus, I do not buy PDF copies of my gaming books. I've spent well over $300 on Paizo hardcover books, and it is money well spent. I'd rather not re-buy the books I already own, though.

I'm also a very small person. Short, thin, not very strong. I simply cannot easily bring 50+ lbs. of books to a con with me and carry them around, especially a giant convention like GenCon. And since we've already established I don't buy things twice (see above), what options do I have?

1) Build characters from all the resources I already own and hope the GM won't ask to see sources. They usually don't.

2) Build much constrained characters only from the CRB, which is much less fun. I'd probably stop playing PFS altogether if I had to do that.

3) Find a friend who owns the PDFs and print out from that. Or torrent them. Both illegal and, clearly, stealing.

4) Only play home games.

Adding another option "5) Use the PRD resources" is a perfectly reasonable option. Many people using the PRD do buy books; that's why it's out there on the Internet. Furthermore, one of the purposes of cons is to bring in new people. If someone new wants to play an oracle and I don't have the APG on me, I'm not going to tell them nay. That's the opposite of being welcoming and encouraging to new players.

Also, leave off the insults, please. *Looks at Jiggy*. There are plenty of reasons to not allow the PRD. While I think the ones for allowing use of the PRD are stronger, and thus conclude the PRD should be allowed, I acknowledge the valid arguments on all sides. Adults use those arguments, not random insults about maturity that only derail threads and say nothing of any value. Haven't you ever heard the saying "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all"?


The point I have is that all these solutions work well for different groups. But for each of them, there is a lot of work a GM has to do- customization of loot, side quests, addition of loot, changing loot, etc. I agree that those are part of what a GM does, but the APs don't make that clear. Many GMs run them as written, because it is easier and because that's how they think it ought to be done, and there simply isn't enough treasure or varied enough treasure in them. In my opinion, this is a serious problem. Gold/XP ratio matters to character power. Having appropriate gear to face appropriate challenges matters. Letting GMs of the APs know that they have to do some work to customize and add loot to make it all work matters.

@TinyCoffeeGolem- that's one solution, but it's not a good one. It doesn't work in 1) an outer/non-connected planes, 2) a silence, 3) a dimensional locked area, or 4) an area within a teleport trap. Further, it assumes you a) have a wizard in the party and b) that wizard has a feat to spare. I prefer to make no assumptions about party composition when discussing a solution to this problem.


darkwarriorkarg wrote:
Melissa Litwin wrote:
Feats are a limited resource, and a PC who is full of crafting feats is much less effective than s/he could otherwise be. Crafting is a major increase in potential power, so it does make some sense, but still
Not to quibble, but but how could this be both?

If the PC only crafts for him/herself, the crafted items will increase that PC's power level enough past the ideal gold/XP ratio to overcome the feat tax. If, however, a PC has a ton of feats and crafts for a while party, they are still weaker than the other members of the party. The party as a whole is stronger, of course, but the crafting PC is less likely to survive the fight, contribute meaningfully to the fight, or have fun during the fight. A DM will up the power level of fights to provide a challenge to the party as a whole, which leaves the crafting PC in an awkward spot.

"Did you see that? I did something awesome!" is much more fun than "Well the monster missed due to my awesome armor-crafting skills, and you hit him with your awesome sword that-I-made, and ..."


I like crafting too, honestly. It's an investment by the PCs, even if only a feat, and it lets people tailor their magic items quite nicely.

Unfortunately, crafting takes a ton of time if you don't houserule it. At best, you can do 2,000gp per day on an item, which assumes fast crafting for 8 hours a day with no interruptions. A single 50,000gp item takes almost a month to make. In a fast-paced game, or one up against a time limit, there just isn't time to craft the things a high-level party needs/wants.

There are other crafting feats that make crafting faster, but to my mind crafting shouldn't interfere too much with the effectiveness of a character. Feats are a limited resource, and a PC who is full of crafting feats is much less effective than s/he could otherwise be. Crafting is a major increase in potential power, so it does make some sense, but still ... Besides, it still doesn't answer the problem of not being able to access gear in a timely manner if the whole game takes place in a month's time.


Haladir wrote:
While my party makes occasional forays to a big city like Magnimar, they spend a lot of time in the wilderness. Even in a big city, finding specific magic items takes time, as I don't like having a lot of Merlin's Magic Mart franchises located in every town. Generally, if a PC wants to buy an item, they have to find a crafter and place a special order, as no crafter wizard just churns out stuff (other than, perhaps, common CL1 potions, like cure light wounds).

I'm ok with that for specific magic items, or rare big-ticket items. But if the cap on a city is 120,000gp, and a PC is looking for a 40,000gp ring that's in the CRB, I think they can find it. It might take them some time and asking around, but someone has one for sale. That's just me, of course, and YMMV, but I figure a city that big has a flourishing trade in magical items. Many expensive antique shops make few sales in a week, but the ones they do are so big it's worth their time to have a store.

What I'm talking about is in CC or KM, we are on a time crunch. In CC, there is no option for commissioning an item and getting it delivered in a month. It's either available or it's not, period. And that either has to be made perfectly clear at the beginning of the campaign to both the players and GM, or it ought to change. Having appropriate magic items is an important part of the game- part of your CR is your expected AC, damage, hit bonus, spells/day, spell DC, etc. It's a cold numerical way of looking at the game, I suppose, but it's also one valid way to do so.

In other words, if the PCs aren't going to be able to buy things, don't give out all the treasure in the form of "15 amulets of natural armor +1". That's not useful. Some of that is fine, of course, but give out the big, expensive, useful items as well. A rod of quicken, lesser, a pearl of power 5, +5 light fortification mithral full plate, a bunch of cloaks of resistance of appropriate level (level x3 for the bonus is the standard. A 12th level PC with a cloak +2 is taking a risk). Big items that are useful.

Also, you should (in my opinion of course) always be able to upgrade your weapons and armor appropriately. CC is so fast, the 15th level front-liner who wishes to be hard to kill may wind up with +2 full plate. That's ridiculously underpowered. There has to be some mechanism to have this not happen.


Nah, I'd be fine with it. That's what happens at high level play. It's what, 10,000gp to get better? Annoying, but not anger-inducing. I'd be pretty peeved if this happened before 13th level, honestly, though you shouldn't anyways because it's a 9th level spell.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think the OP has a very valid point. Stolen Lands is very rape-y. You can be an evil person without have fuxxored sexuality or masochistic proclivities. It's not that sexual assault exists in Golarion that's the problem, because I agree a world without it would be unrealistic (sadly). It's the fact that every female NPC, major or minor, has a sexual abuse component to her story as either victim or perpetrator or both, which is not something done for the males. While that's actually mildly realistic too (1 in 4 is an awful lot of women), we do play RPGs to get away from reality, not have it smack us in the face. Rape is the ultimate expression of contempt for women, so in a gender-neutral universe there should actually be a lot less of it than there is in real life.

As for the artwork and allies- you do realize that men will still buy and play the games if the women wear real clothes in the artwork, right? Some of the most beautiful and sensual artwork I've ever seen in a gaming book comes from L5R, where the women wear full kimonos, real armor, and generally realistic clothing. Having a male ally along the lines of Shalelu might not play into a romance quite as well, depending on the gender and sexuality makeup of the group, but a 'band of brothers' vibe would play nicely with a lot of hetero men.


I've noticed a trend in all the Adventure Paths I've played, which is that low-level and very high-level PCs simply cannot buy items easily. I've played Kingmaker, am in the final book of Carrion Crown, am in the middle of Jade Regent, and am running Skull and Shackles.

Basically, there is something in each early module and late module that makes buying very difficult. This is a problem- gold is basically a second XP track and tied firmly to PC power. A 3rd level PC with 2nd level gear is simply not as powerful as they are "supposed to be" and the module assumes they are. The majority of the PC deaths I've seen happen at 4th-8th level; that's because magic gear becomes much more important at those levels but it's still before teleport comes into play.

Yes, GMs can and should tweak treasure to match the PCs' needs better (a scimitar fighter might find a scimitar instead of the written longsword, for example). But that is effort, and sometimes basic items are simply unavailable for long stretches. Stat items, cloaks of resistance, metamagic rods, magical weapons ... all critical to PC success, and sometimes very hard to come by.

This is also a problem at the high levels (14+). In both Kingmaker and Carrion Crown, something prevents the party from buying gear with the gold they get. At this moment, our newly 15th level party is 50,000gp to 100,000gp behind per PC on suggested gear levels for 15th level PCs, and that's after we've crafted a fair bit and saved giant piles of cash doing so. We're struggling because of it.

Kingmaker:
You have to go to a demi-plane and do stuff. It is technically possible, though highly discouraged, to leave the demi-plane and go shopping and then come back.

Carrion Crown:
You're in the middle of a bunch of teleport traps and quite far from any city. It's apparently too far even for a spell like mass phantom steed to get you there and back in a day.

So please Paizo, when you write APs, think about how the PCs can buy gear. Make sure that in each adventure, there is at least one easy way to get to Ye Olde Magick Shoppe and buy necessary items. Levels 9-13 work out because teleport fixes that problem, and I understand wanting to take tactical teleports away from the PCs at high levels, but make sure to provide a way to power up gear.


Gilfalas wrote:
danielc wrote:
Now that is just plain mean. I like it.

Thank you but I think TimD was even better.

TimD wrote:
A teleport trap can drop someone to the inside of a teleportion circle and from there teleport them to the surface of a nice unoccupied asteroid, though.

And in theory since the teleport effects are instantaneous, they could never realise what happened.

And make sure that asteroid is in close orbit to the main stellar body in your world. Does resist fire/fire immunity stop radiation damage...?

Or vacuum damage? It'd be rough to breathe on the surface of an airless asteroid.

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I am enjoying the harder difficulty, but there is something that's really bugging me. A truly difficult encounter should still be within CR limitations for a party, but I've noticed a few encounters being way outside the guidelines.

Count CRs correctly! A humanoid with 10 PC class levels is CR 9. If they have a terrain advantage, it adds to the CR. In one Season 4 mod whose name I shall not mention, the Tier 5-6 encounter is a 10th level caster in a room that is quite advantageous to him. I counted it as CR 11, which is APL+5 to a full level 6 party, higher if some of the players are level 5. Even if the room is only +1 instead of +2, it's still APL+4 for a non-optimized party that is likely running low on resources (final fight after a lot of other fights the same day). The Tier 8-9 caster is 14th level and has the same terrain advantages.

This fight isn't fun because it is, quite honestly, higher level than the party is supposed to face. TPKs and deaths because of poor tactics, poor decisions, or hot DM dice are one thing, but deaths due to "should not face this encounter" are something else entirely because in PFS, running away is not always a good or even viable option.

I bring up this mod specifically, but it's a theme I've been noticing in Season 4 mods in general. Harder is good, but stretching CR rules until they break is not good.


Peet wrote:

OK, here's something that I'd like clarified; I can't find it in the rules and the answer is significant for a starting character:

Do you get the favoured class bonus at first level?

My instinct is to say yes, since in my mind first level should be like any other level, but the rules refer to "gaining a level," which doesnt seem to happen until second level. So do you get your favoured class bonus at first level?

Second question:

If a sorcerer gets a bloodline spell but already knows the spell, does he gain a new spell known slot? Or is the bloodline spell wasted? I am thinking of making a sorcerer with the Draconic bloodline, and it seems like every first level sorcerer or wizard should have Mage Armor, but I would get it for free at 3rd level so I want to know if I should hold off on that.

Thanks in advance,
Peet

1) Yes, you do get it. You gain your first level when you create a character just like gaining any other level, though there are a few special rules some people use like max HP at first level.

2) The bloodline spell is wasted if you already know it. It's honestly not a big deal to hold off on mage armor for a few levels because it lasts hours per level, so it's pretty short duration at levels 1 and 2. Still a useful spell, of course, but not super necessary quite that early if there's other spells you'd prefer or if it's coming up as a bloodline spell.


Sounds like they're learning though! I really don't have room to talk: one of the most effective parties I've ever played in was archer ranger, rogue, evoker wizard, and druid shapeshifter. This was back in 3.5, so all of us were multi-classed like crazy and the druid only had 9 caster levels when he was level 15. You will note the distinct lack of anything resembling healing ...

We pretty much only had one mode, which was full-on aggression. It worked out surprisingly well most of the time.

And to be honest, channeling by a hospitaler is pretty effective healing. Potions are single-use emergency buttons, while channeling is a renewable resource. Additionally, drinking a potion is a standard action that provokes- not always a great plan in the middle of combat. Sometimes the right move actually is to swing away and hope the bad guys fall down first.

As for the ranged weapons- if they're not specialized in it, they won't want to use them. I have a fighter who's melee specialized, and while she has a bow and a few javelins, if there's any way at all I can get to melee I'll do that instead. I hit better, do more damage, and get to do "what makes me special" instead of doing something I'm not as good at and do crappy damage with. 20% chance to hit with a bow or 10% chance to pull off a leap attack? I'll definitely try the leap attack, because I'll probably fail either but the success of a melee attack is much more meaningful than the success of a ranged attack.

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Mike Lindner wrote:
Buy it at the correct price.

Alright, will do. Thank you for the response.

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2 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the FAQ.

I just played a module. On the record sheet is a Ring of Protection +1, but the listed cost is only 1,000gp instead of the 2,000gp that it should be. Can I buy this ring for only 1,000gp or should I wave it off as an obvious error and buy the ring for 2,000gp?

An official response would be appreciated, or someone pointing me toward official guidelines/rules.

Module name:
You Only Die Twice


Bristor is correct on the feats aspect. Adopted lets you take a trait of the "racial" type, not a racial trait like the extra feat that humans get. This is what it means by racial trait.

As for the magus build itself, I'd say you need to swap your Dex and your Int. High Int is good for a magus, but your Dex is your AC, your hit bonus, your damage, your Initiative, and your Reflex save. Bump it as high as you can.

You'll want to go for celestial armor as soon as you can. It's 22,400gp so it's not cheap, but it's pretty much the highest possibly AC you can get as a Dex-based character.

Celestial Armor: This bright silver or gold +3 chainmail is so fine and light that it can be worn under normal clothing without betraying its presence. It has a maximum Dexterity bonus of +8, an armor check penalty of –2, and an arcane spell failure chance of 15%. It is considered light armor and allows the wearer to use fly on command (as the spell) once per day.


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Spoiler:
He's a high-level cleric in a prepared room, correct? Put him in an unhallow that has a silence tied into it. That way he can cast all the spells he wants, but non-worshippers of Tiamat are in a silence.

It won't cut down on pre-buffing, but it can definitely cut down on in-combat spellcasting

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@Kinevon: I still hand out the little slips of paper! I just RP a tiny bit how the PC gets the note into their hands in the game, instead of completely breaking immersion by just tossing papers at players and giving their characters no way to know how they got the mission.

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Dave the Barbarian wrote:

If a player was down and out already, I would not attack them. Bad form and no real reason to do so. If they get caught in an area of attack spell, then that is just bad luck. A bad guy only attacks a threat.

On the other hand, when I am running the monsters I choose who the attacks are going to and then roll them all as attacks first and then then resolve damage. In some cases the second of the four attacks killed the PC, but how would the monster know this as it is attacking with four arms? Combat should be quick and a mortally wounded PC isn't going to drop in a millisecond and give the bad dude an opportunity to hit a new target. I have the PC's tell me who they are attacking first and then roll. Not first roll, hit, 12 damage, "Is he dead?" no, second attack, hit, dead, third attack to fighter behind him. Seems too unrealistic to me.

PC's would seldom croak if I pulled the second and third attack after the first one left them at -1. My two cents.

While I agree on the unrealistic nature of this playstyle, it's fully supported by the rules. You choose where each attack goes as you make the attack, not when you start the full-round attack action. So by RAW, a monster can easily pull attacks after a PC drops to negative hit points because you attack, resolve the attack (damage and everything else), then make the next attack.

Whether you choose to do so is, of course, entirely up to you. I'm not advocating one way or the other because things like this are always situational.

I will say that when I play a character with many attacks, I'll roll them all at once to save time even if I think a monster will drop before that. I'll just shift my remaining attacks to another monster after the first one drops; same dice rolls, just different target. If a GM doesn't like that, I'll start rolling them one at a time, but it does make things take much longer.

EDIT: Bah, I forgot this thread was a bajillion pages and responded to something early on. That'll teach me to ignore all 200+ responses and just write something!

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nosig wrote:

I have done some of the following...

Qadirian - "Abu's used camel dealer, free test ride!" - message on the camel.

Andoran - Military messanger marches up and salutes, "Message for you SIR! Please sign here!"

Cheliax - Large scroll carried by a small imp.

Osirian - Cat with a "Magic Mouth" spell on it

Talden - overdone spy sign/countersign. Picture Get Smart, with the PC as agent 86.

I do similar things as nosig.

Andoran - almost identical. Military messenger who salutes, speaks with SIR/MA'AM a lot, and officiously hands off a message.

Shadow Lodge - note slipped under the door. Sometimes a note "mysteriously" arrives in someone's pocket if they went shopping or wandered around the lodge for a bit.

Lantern Lodge - see Shadow Lodge.

Grand Lodge - a lodge servant hands off a note in the course of cleaning a room or doing other servantly chores. It's not secret, it's just discreet.

You guys get the idea. It's just a short, in-faction handoff of the note. It doesn't take much time and it ensures everyone gets their mission in a way that's fun and in-character.


AdamMeyers wrote:

I have never seen a single person use these skills in Pathfinder. I'm not arguing they're useless-far from it. I love playing rogues and I love the potential these skills have. There's a lot of fun to be had by a rogue using Appraise to determine what to steal, and Sleight of Hand to steal it. However, the fear of once again leaving the rest of the party bored and sitting around while the rogue goes on his thieving run is what probably stops the Pathfinder skill-users I've played with from pursuing this path.

I just want to know: do people use these skills in your games? Do they use them like the above situation, or are there other ways you've used them or seen the used? I love skills, and I love these two skills, but sometimes I think players and GMs alike need brainstorming sessions to learn how to implement certain options, like little-used skills, in their games.

This is a lot of a GM thing and it depends on how you do loot. I know some GMs will force PCs to appraise the art objects and gems they find, and if they Appraise them wrongly they sell for less than actual value. I don't like that method, but it works for some groups. Sometimes the PCs have limited time to loot, so an Appraise check can identify the most valuable things for a snatch-and-run situation.

A few missions where those skills come in handy but are not essential is good. Get the papers from General-the-Traitor gives you options: beat him up, steal them from his person, steal them from his room, etc. Obviously that's one roll, makes the person feel special and useful, and then the main mission (stop BadGuy from doing evil plans) continues.

A general "stealing spree" I would run out of game. Either before or after a session, sit down with the PC and run through what they see, who they see, and what they want to do about it. Consequences for being caught can be fun when the rest of the party starts the game with "you see the guards hauling off your friend ..."


kinevon wrote:
Melissa Litwin wrote:
DR/-. DR/adamantine. DR/silver and good. Heck, DR/alignment at all. Clustered Shots is the most ridiculous archer feat in existence and a requirement as soon as possible.

DR/- -> Sure, but fairly rare, after all.

DR/Adamantine -> If you have someone with knowledge skills, and either adamantine arrows, or adamantine blanched arrows, no problem. Also overcome by the time your wqeapon is +4, IIRC.

DR/Alignment -> Bless Weapon from your friendly Paladin or UMD user with a wand... Also overcome by a +5 weapon enhancement.

I will agree that it is ridiculous. What a ridiculous waste of a feat slot!

You get Clustered Shots at 6th level. You don't get a +4 weapon much before 12th. Adamantine arrows are expensive, and blanched arrows take time and also use up a consumable though a cheaper one than arrows.

A +5 weapon will be extremely rare before level 15. Oils take up a round, which is one round the bad guys get to have their way with you. I would never assume my party is going to buff me- if they do, great, but a paladin against an evil foe is probably going to smite/move/hit instead of wasting time whacking the archer with a spell the archer shouldn't need.

Action economy! The party wins by maximizing its action economy. As a contributing party member, make yourself as self-sufficient as possible so that you can spend actions hurting bad guys (hurt = crowd control, hit point damage, or otherwise interfering with their plans of hurting you), not frantically buffing yourselves.


DR/-. DR/adamantine. DR/silver and good. Heck, DR/alignment at all. Clustered Shots is the most ridiculous archer feat in existence and a requirement as soon as possible.


Eh, it's ok. If you can fit it in, it's worth picking up whenever, probably in the level 7 to 9 area. But I wouldn't pick it over other, more useful combat feats like Weapon Spec, Greater Weapon Focus, Clustered Shots, Improved Precise Shot, Improved Critical, or a good number of other archery feats.

@StreamOfTheSky: Weapon Focus is good because it's part of a cumulative addition of +5% chances to hit. The first plus is never that good, but the last one is superb! So you get all the +5% chances you can, and soon you're talking +35% chance to hit or more, and then that's really significant! Also remember that it's +5% chance to hit on each attack, so it's actually worth much more than just +5%. This doesn't invalidate PBM as a decent feat choice. It does say that Weapon Focus is a much more essential feat choice than PBM and given the choice, go with Weapon Focus every time.


thejeff wrote:
Melissa Litwin wrote:


And for the people just above me, armor bonus means "all armor bonus from the piece of armor including enhancement bonuses and other magical bonuses like light fortification on that piece of armor". Same with shield bonus. A +5 fire resist death ward blinding tower shield worn by someone who is polymorphed provides 0 shield bonus to AC, 0 fire resist, no death ward, and no blinding special ability. If it was wild, it would provide a +9 shield bonus to AC, 0 fire resist, no death ward, and no blinding special ability.

So in the polymorph rule section Armor bonus means "all armor bonus from the piece of armor including enhancement bonuses and other magical bonuses like light fortification on that piece of armor", but in the Wild property section "armor bonus (and any enhancement bonus)", just means the armor and enhancement bonuses?

You wonder why people are confused. The phrase "armor bonus" means completely different things at different times.

Do you have a source for your interpretation, or is it just an interpretation?

Aaugh, I"m just being all sorts of confusing today. Polymorph makes all armor items stop working altogether (among other things that stop working), which means everything on the armor. Wild makes the armor bonus (bonuses to AC, but not special abilities) come back, but not the other stuff.


Vendle wrote:
Melissa, I'm pretty sure your post has a contradiction: you said that armor bonuses include magical qualities like light fortification, but then disallows the other magical qualities.

Sorry to be confusing. I meant that armor can include both enhancement bonuses and other special things, all of which stop working when a creature is polymorphed. I was defining "armor bonuses", all of which stop working.

Wild armor would make the armor bonuses (base and enhancement) active, but not the special abilities like light fort.


Ravingdork wrote:

Traditionally, when under a polymorph effect as a non-humanoid, your armor is melded into you and becomes nonfunctional. You do not suffer penalties from it and you do not gain any bonuses. It essentially ceases to exist.

Wild armor says that, when wild shaped, the armor still melds into you, but you maintain the bonuses.

Does this mean my druid could get a +5 wild stone coat, then wild shape for hours and hours, gaining a +13 bonus to AC (on top of what my form gives me) while not suffering ANY non-proficiency penalties (or other penalties such as armor check penalty, reduced speed, or max Dex) for its use while in said form?

This strikes me as kind of cheesy and kind of awesome, but there doesn't seem to be anything implying it works any other way. If this is really how it was meant to work, it suddenly makes sense why it is so expensive.

Remember that you are not wearing the armor either. You merely retain the armor bonus to AC. You therefore count as unarmored. That means you can take a monk level and while wild-shaped gain the benefits of flurry, Wisdom bonus to AC, and other monk benefits that require you to be unarmored.

And for the people just above me, armor bonus means "all armor bonus from the piece of armor including enhancement bonuses and other magical bonuses like light fortification on that piece of armor". Same with shield bonus. A +5 fire resist death ward blinding tower shield worn by someone who is polymorphed provides 0 shield bonus to AC, 0 fire resist, no death ward, and no blinding special ability. If it was wild, it would provide a +9 shield bonus to AC, 0 fire resist, no death ward, and no blinding special ability.

*

Don Walker wrote:

I believe if a Pathfinder comes to the point of withholding assistance to a fellow Pathfinder, it would be because the actions of that fellow Pathfinder were deemed reprehensible enough as to consider that fellow Pathfinder no longer worthy of Pathfinder membership.

We are not talking withholding assistance just because one feels like it. Snorter gave specific reasons to withhold aid. It's not evil to protect others from evil by not saving the life of an evildoer. The first Pathfinder did not cause harm to the fellow Pathfinder. They, in all likely-hood, got themselves into the mess they are in. It is also likely they were not in the process of saving the life of the first Pathfinder. More likely they caused the problem, or through lack of cooperation got into dire straights. I certainly wouldn't consider that PvP.

I don't consider it PvP either, but I do consider it jerk-hood of the first degree. You like to steal things and I'm a super lawful paladin of Abadar? Fine, we definitely don't get along. But you are bleeding because you stabbed the giant construct so it turned on you instead of someone else in the party? I don't care how much the paladin dislikes the rogue, letting them bleed out is uncalled for. It's definitely against Pathfinder ethics.

*

Stormfriend wrote:
Snorter wrote:

I can support a lawful/good/principled character, who adopts an attitude of 'I won't harm you, but I'm not under any obligation to protect you, either.'.

How far is too far?

Leaving an enemy to die would be neutral, but leaving a fellow pathfinder to bleed out and taking no steps to help him would be evil. More to the point, it would be a direct contravention of the requirement to cooperate with each other. You don't have to use an expensive potoion on them, nor place yourself in unreasonable danger; and if it makes no sense tactically to use a healing spell whilst under attack then so be it, death happens, but to simply walk away from a fellow pathfinder without making any attempt to provide assistance would result in the evil ban-hammer coming down at my table.

I agree wholeheartedly with this. Remember that first and foremost, all PCs are Pathfinders. They know they'll have to work with people they disagree with, they know that people have different goals and desires and ethical frameworks, and they know that they'll be expected to support their fellow Pathfinders in whatever mission the Society sends them to do. Leaving someone to bleed out who is a fellow Pathfinder is unconscionable and against everything the Society stands for (assuming the mission won't fail because you saved someone, anyways. Sacrificing an agent to succeed is acceptable unless you're Shadow Lodge, but meaningless death definitely isn't).

As to the original question- I've only walked away from a table before the beginning of a module, when I know one of the other players or the DM cheats. It's only happened once or twice. I usually put up with bad players and DMs once the mod has started and I honestly don't know what would cause me to get up and walk away.


Pretty sure #1 is correct. The wording is confusing, but it makes no sense that a critical hit would not only not do extra damage but would do no damage at all.


Many of the items in Ultimate Equipment are underpriced. I think I'm going to have to do a review and selectively ban or alter prices on a lot of them: for now my rule on UE is "run it by me first".


Swarm suit to prevent them from messing with you from the APG.

Ultimate Equipment has the Swarmbane Clasp. It's 3,000gp and says that weapons can hurt swarms normally, even if the swarm would usually be immune to weapon damage. Additionally, you auto-succeed on distraction saves. It's your neck slot, so you'd have to give up any amulet of natural armor, but if you see swarms a lot it could be really useful.

Gust of wind works. Air-school wizards can pull up a whirlwind with a pretty high Strength check to break through, which prevents swarms from, well, swarming you while you deal with them.

Of course wizards, sorcerers, alchemists, and high-level clerics all have good AoE spells to deal with swarms. A few flame strikes and the swarms are all very dead. Fire shield should work too, seeing as it effects every creature that attacks the caster.

Flaming weapons wouldn't help, sadly. The elemental damage isn't area damage, so it's as ineffective as any weapon damage would be. You killed 1 spider and it's not only cut in half, it's crispy! Now kill the other 10,000 spiders ...


Lauraliane wrote:

I currently play an Aasimar (Musetouched) Rogue. And I noticed I could get some nice wings using the Angelic Blood and Angel Wings feats.

But I am wondering what would be the real advantage of this? Especially in Combat.

I am thinking not many, besides the fact that it looks cool.

It would be fantastic! It gives many opportunities for flanks (diagonal in three dimensions, for example). The movement allows you to skip over any pressure-plate traps, water, chasms, cliffs, etc. Mobility in general is one of the most underlooked aspects of Pathfinder (and other D&D variants), but getting more and better movement modes is always a good choice.

Also, the prerequisite feat is pretty good. As a rogue, you are vulnerable (melee + low hit points and only decent AC), so you are likely to go unconscious at least sometimes. Bonuses on stabilize checks and against evil spells (unholy blight is mean) are solid. Not to mention that Angelic Flesh is a really good feat that you can also get from taking Angelic Blood.


We started with a druid and a witch (both half-healers). The fighter multi-classed bard, so now there were 1.5 healers. When the druid died, that player came back with a waves oracle, so now they have two healers.

Oh, and Sandara Quinn did some clandestine healing for them too, when they were on the ship(s).


xenophone wrote:
I just started Kingmaker, and I'm playing a human ranger, with archery fighting style. I'm probably going to still be doing a fair bit of melee with my greatsword, so I'm doing a lot of the things suggested for a "switch hitter" build as detailed in Treantmonks guide. Our party makeup is a little weird, and I'm shouldering most of the front line load. We've got a cleric, two arcane casters, and a rogue. Considering all the spell casting we have, and that spellcasting doesn't really feel right with my character concept, I'm considering taking the Skirmisher archetype and forgoing spells. Does anyone have much experience with this?

I've been a Trapper Ranger (also gives up spells), in Kingmaker also ironically enough. I didn't really miss them much. There are a few high level spells that would have come in handy a few times, but overall it can be well worth it to give up spells. Skirmisher is a solid archetype, so I don't think you'll miss the spells at all.


Magus could work. It doesn't have a lot of cleric spells, but it has solid melee, spells, and a familiar if you pick up the arcana for it. Maguses can also have a lot of rogue skills with the proper traits. Spellstrike is like TWF, right?

Urban ranger is probably your best bet though. Trapfinding, solid TWF, divine spells, and an animal companion.


1) I usually go 20 point buy, but ban buy-downs. The min-maxing of getting 4 extra points from a 7 stat unbalances the game and makes the PCs too powerful.

2) I use Medium XP. Sometimes I have level break-points based on quests and where we are in the game: when I run APs, I don't track XP at all just use the suggested levels. This is partly because APs were written for 4 players and I always have 6. Making sure I rebalance encounters and add enough extra treasure is tricky enough.

3) All Paizo-produced products are assumed to be allowed unless I specifically state otherwise. A few things that have received the banhammer in our home games: Clustered Shots feat, summoners, base tieflings (darkness annoys the other players too much, so players have to swap it out for something else)


My PCs named their ship Devilfish, in tribute to the tengu druid who died to one.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

What Grick said. He is correct in all his answers.


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I sympathize, but I think your GM is doing it right for the most part. Custom items all need a GM stamp of approval because it is so easy to accidentally create a totally broken item, not to mention doing so on purpose.

I do think GMs should let players mix and match magic items that already exist, using the existing crafting rules (1.5x the cheaper item). So if a player wants an amulet of mighty fists and natural armor, I see no problems with allowing that. But it sounds like that's not what you want to do.


wraithstrike wrote:
That is not a build Melissa. There are ways to get more damage out of a barbarian than that. I am assuming that if you ran DPR numbers that you do have a build available.

I don't do formal DPR numbers, instead relying on forum people for that. I look at the differences between classes and what they can/cannot do, so I wind up with something similar (though more complex with more variables) than what I posted. For example, I took no rage powers, non-fighter-only feats, or magic items into consideration in the above post. It's definitely more amorphous than DPR because it's very difficult to quantify the power of pounce against a Combat Reflexes/Trip/Disarm build, but I find it tends to conform to actual gameplay conditions better.

My political scientist training is showing in this, I'm afraid ...


wraithstrike wrote:
Melissa Litwin wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
Melissa Litwin wrote:
Well, something to keep in mind is fighters do it better. So sure, they don't have a whole lot other than "I hit things with a pointy stick", but they hit people better and do more damage with that pointy stick than anyone else can ever dream of. They do this while having a medium-to-high AC, good CMD, and a lot of hit points. Pointy sticks are also an inexhaustible resource.

The only problem here is that this is actually a myth.

A Raging Barbarian is outdoing a Fighter on damage. His AC is lower but his DR makes up for that. Also, 2 more skills per level.
A Smiting Paladin WAY outdoes a Fighter on damage. He has the same skills, but has a generally better AC (and WAY better saves) to boot.
A Ranger fighting a Favored Enemy is outdoing the Fighter too, and has a ton of extra skills and useful tricks he can do in and out of combat.

You could argue that the Fighter outperforms the Paladin/Ranger when they're not using their abilities, but a Ranger can cast a spell and turn anything into his Favored Enemy, and a GM that doesn't let his Paladin player Smite Evil is being a pretty mean GM.

The problem that needs to be addressed is that, yes, a Fighter *can* be useful in non-combat areas, but he has to sacrifice his points in Str and put them in another ability (Int or Cha, generally) in order to pull it off.
Meanwhile, the other Combat Classes have interesting "out of combat" options offered to them that are built right into the class.

I've seen (and done) some of the theory-crafting of numbers. You are incorrect. Fighters do higher damage than paladins, rangers, and barbarians on a consistent basis even when those classes are fighting their favored enemies/smite targets/raging. Additionally, rangers and paladins have secondary stats as well: rangers have Wisdom and paladins have Charisma. That doesn't count as a "stat sacrifice" for them, so it shouldn't for fighters either.

Further, fighters still have

...

At 13th level:

Barbarian rage: +3 to hit, +4-5 to damage when raging (if two-handing which most barbarians do)
Paladin smite: +3-5 to hit, +13 damage but only 5/day and only evil enemies
Ranger favored enemy: +6 to hit, +6 to damage on best favored enemy
Fighter: +4 to hit, +7 to damage from Weapon Spec, Improved Weapon Spec, Improved Weapon Focus, and fighter training +3

All else being equal, the fighter just beats the barbarian. S/he hits better than a smiting paladin but does less damage, although most paladins start at a lower hit bonus than most fighters due to needing more stats. Smite is also a very powerful yet limited special ability that the paladin should never assume s/he is going to get (sometimes yes, always no). The fighter outdamages the ranger and hits almost as well against the ranger's most favored enemy.


Lemmy wrote:

Well, although Fighter do usually put more damage and have a higher AC, it's usually not by much. At least, not by enough of a margin that if justifies a class that can only do that.

I Fighters had 4 skill points per level, they would not step on anyone's toes and would have much more things to do. (even freaking Druids get 4 skill ranks per level!)

They also lack some kind of non-fighting skill. I've never been to the military, but I'm guessing most soldiers are trained to do more than shoot well.

While having a single trick may be viable (if the trick is good enough!), it's also boring. The reason I no longer play fighter is not because they are "weak", but because they have absolutely nothing unique to them, and have little to do other than say "I Full attack" or "I move up to him and attack". and 10 extra feats don't help much with that, they usually only make him hit harder.

So I guess being one-trick pony is overdoing it when you either a) suck at basically everything else, or b) your trick is so repetitive it becomes boring.

I do agree on this wholeheartedly. My temporary solution is that my fighters are usually expert climbers, solid swimmers, and have 1 rank in things like Knowledge (engineering) and Survival. Enough to roll, enough to do simple things, but not enough to be considered expert. I also have a grab-bag of useful tools: shovel, hammer, crowbar, etc. I find that gives me enough to do in out-of-combat situations.


Neo2151 wrote:
Melissa Litwin wrote:
Well, something to keep in mind is fighters do it better. So sure, they don't have a whole lot other than "I hit things with a pointy stick", but they hit people better and do more damage with that pointy stick than anyone else can ever dream of. They do this while having a medium-to-high AC, good CMD, and a lot of hit points. Pointy sticks are also an inexhaustible resource.

The only problem here is that this is actually a myth.

A Raging Barbarian is outdoing a Fighter on damage. His AC is lower but his DR makes up for that. Also, 2 more skills per level.
A Smiting Paladin WAY outdoes a Fighter on damage. He has the same skills, but has a generally better AC (and WAY better saves) to boot.
A Ranger fighting a Favored Enemy is outdoing the Fighter too, and has a ton of extra skills and useful tricks he can do in and out of combat.

You could argue that the Fighter outperforms the Paladin/Ranger when they're not using their abilities, but a Ranger can cast a spell and turn anything into his Favored Enemy, and a GM that doesn't let his Paladin player Smite Evil is being a pretty mean GM.

The problem that needs to be addressed is that, yes, a Fighter *can* be useful in non-combat areas, but he has to sacrifice his points in Str and put them in another ability (Int or Cha, generally) in order to pull it off.
Meanwhile, the other Combat Classes have interesting "out of combat" options offered to them that are built right into the class.

I've seen (and done) some of the theory-crafting of numbers. You are incorrect. Fighters do higher damage than paladins, rangers, and barbarians on a consistent basis even when those classes are fighting their favored enemies/smite targets/raging. Additionally, rangers and paladins have secondary stats as well: rangers have Wisdom and paladins have Charisma. That doesn't count as a "stat sacrifice" for them, so it shouldn't for fighters either.

Further, fighters still have all those other feats to play with. They can, as I mentioned before, be creative with their feats or make themselves better combat monkeys. Either way, having almost twice as many feats as any other class is a significant benefit that must be considered.


Alas, Akodo Imaru is no more. The tengu druid died trying to rescue his shipmates.

The Death:
When the PCs saw the devilfish, they had no idea what it was. No knowledges for them! So it made the water go inky-black and everyone retreated to think what to do next. As they'd only explored half the cave complex, they went around the other way and came back around ... to the devilfish!

They actually tried to negotiate with it, offering it food (dead grindylows) if it would let them past. Sadly, it was not interested in this offer nor was it intimidated by their puny-yet-tasty selves. Akodo moved forward with his katana held high but was struck by a large tentacle, dragged into the maw of the beast, and chomped in half.

Introducing the New Character:
I had three people strung up and get dropped down into the water in the final fight. After the remaining party members defeated the Queen and the Whale, they found out they had rescued the only surviving crewmember of the Infernus, who had been captured and tortured by the grindylows for days but incidentally protected from the ghouls and mosquito swarms. He was dropped with Sandara Quinn and Jack Scrimshaw mostly because the Queen was getting bored with him.

The player built a battle oracle replacement.


Well, something to keep in mind is fighters do it better. So sure, they don't have a whole lot other than "I hit things with a pointy stick", but they hit people better and do more damage with that pointy stick than anyone else can ever dream of. They do this while having a medium-to-high AC, good CMD, and a lot of hit points. Pointy sticks are also an inexhaustible resource.

Additionally, all the feats fighters get mean they can do other things. Be Cosmopolitan! Have a sorcerer bloodline! Take racial feats. Overcome DR better. Crit better. Be a combat maneuver monkey- Combat Expertise leads into some really fun tricks with disarm and trip. Take fighter-exclusive feats: Step Up + Disruptive is a dirty combination only fighters can really get. Feats are a fighter's "special", so use them.

The only complaint I have about fighters, and it is a very minor one, is that I wish they had 4 + Int skills. It would be nice to be able to get all the physical skills easily. Then again, I think all classes except Int-based ones should have a minimum of 4 + Int, but that's not a part of this discussion.

*

Will Johnson wrote:
Marcus Mayes wrote:
To address your spoiler: One of the characters at your table was a monk (martial artist)/inquisitor using exploit weakness almost every round for the +2 to attack and ignoring DR and hardness. At a minimum 13 points of damage per hit, it made it seem much easier. That is an atypical build and physical attacks being able to ignore both DR and hardness is not likely to appear at most tables.
** spoiler omitted **

Sadly, when I played the guy with your spoilered item ran away! There's a reason I called the terrain +2 CR ...

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