Attah meshalem be'shekelim? Shalom, yadid yisraeli!
Seriously though, you could probably just define the north face of the grid as the "river," and the south face the "cliff" or whatever. It actually recommends things of this sort in Kingmaker. If you want a proper map, it shouldn't be to hard to make it with copy/paste and a random map.
My problem I have with this is that "Longsword" and "Shortsword" already cover a great deal of different historical weapons, we are just used to lumping them all together into this generic category. Whether something is close enough to lump in has changed between books and editions, for example I believe 3.X considered a Katana a masterwork Bastard Sword while Pathfinder considers it a distinct weapon. There are also cases like the Aldori Dueling Sword, where a weapon is folded in unless you have the Exotic proficiency, in which case it receives a bonus.
In the end the line between what counts as a distinct enough weapon will probably always be fuzzy and gray, distinguished by individual philosophy of game design. That said, I think giving Monks the ability to gain proficiency in a group really would be great. While charging a feat for the use of a weapon that is only cosmetically different is a bit much, it would be evened out a bit by allowing it to cover a wider range.
Isn't the town building meant to be quite abstracted, though? I mean, at least in Kingmaker, the squares were 750 feet on a side. Presumably, there is something else in a given square besides a 562,500 square foot Stable. That houses would be mixed in also makes sense in that population was based on squares, not houses in a city. And while one needs customers, it seems like people are still going to need to walk to get to vital businesses (as everyone needs to go to the brothe... er... market, not just those adjacent).
Regardless, I'd be interested in the game mechanics reasons for this that you mentioned. While these are verisimilitude reasons for the grid, the only mechanical effect I found in the Kingmaker version was a bonus (in the form of more businesses per district/less need to spend BP on housing) for those that planned out the city ahead of time rather than just plopping things down.
They programmer made a common error. Adopted gives you access to a "Race Trait," not a "Racial Trait." "Race traits" are things like World Traveler, traits that a race can choose (like social, combat, or other traits). "Racial Traits" are things like Stonecunning and Bonus Feat, which are an entirely different category and not an option for Adopted.
I've heard of people having great success with notecards. Make cards for common spells or abilities, such as "Bless / +1 Attack / Morale" and place them in the middle of the table (or near the appropriate player) when cast. You can also place tokens or coins on them to track duration. When they are all in front of you the basic addition and subtraction really shouldn't be a problem.
You might also want to encourage players to calculate these things before they roll. It will give them something to do between turns, avoiding delays and hopefully preventing the scourge of "Smartphone distraction" that so plagues the world these days.
I think a bit more information would be useful. What are you trying to accomplish with your character? What is your backstory, and what abilities would you like to have? The archetypes you listed are very different, and "caster or martial" basically covers every class, so it is hard to be of help without additional information.
In very general terms, realize that the game tends to reward specialization. If you want to be a caster even a 1-2 level dip in another class should be carefully considered, as it is a dear price to pay for a what other classes could offer. If you want to be a martial combatant dips are less painful, but you should still think things through carefully so that you can get appropriate bonuses at appropriate levels so that your characters feels like what you want. In either case, when undertaking multiclassing, it is helpful to have a clear idea of your goals before starting, lest you end up with a character who just can't do much of anything well.
Uh... what? That reasoning makes no sense. Why would a Bard be more powerful by not boosting others?
Anyway, no, the archetype is not overpowered. It is actually rather crumby when compared to the very similar Dawnflower Dervish. At level 1 it is going to be strictly worse than a normal Bard, as the only difference with the Dance is that the Inspire Courage only works for the Bard, and you can't even make use of Scimitar proficiency to get Dervish Dance yet.
Seriously, either your GM wildly misinterpreted something or is plain nuts. Just play a regular Bard and use Dance for your performances. It will be basically the same at level 1, but you can help your friends too.
I see so that limits him to collective owned stuff, stuff no one in the party owns individually, stuff that is not the possession of others and yet not his possession either.
I would still say no. If the Monk considers himself part of the collective that owns the items, then he is breaking the rule of how many possessions he can have (as owning 1/4 of an item is still owning). If he does not consider himself part of the collective, then he is breaking the vow about borrowing (even though it belongs to several people).
Vow of Poverty is intended to keep you from having more than one valuable item, and is for this reason a crippling choice. You might persuade a GM that a forced reading allows you to make use of more items, but at that point the Vow has become meaningless, and you are basically getting something for nothing. Either way it is a badly designed option, and should probably be avoided.
As far as I know, an AoO does take place before the triggering action. So, when standing up from prone, the attack will take place while the enemy is still prone. This prevents "trip locking," but also means the prone person will still have the penalties for the condition during the AoO.
This is the interpretation stated by Jason Bulmahn here.
While I agree with some points, your condemnation of Mythic is a bit overdone.
Your primary complain seems to be with the Lesser Trials, which (given the current response) will likely see some change in the final product. You can influence this by going to the trouble of making playtesting reports that expose (or, perhaps, disprove) the numerous issues people have found with the rules. Paizo is open to comment, they just strongly prefer game reports to analysis.
On the Mythic Feats, I agree that many of them would be better as base feats. The Mythic skills feats would encourage normal, non-mythic people to take the +2/+2 feats in the first place. Mythic Weapon Finesse is a big jump from "no Dex to damage except Dervish Dance" to "dex to damage always," while Mythic Power Attack is a fairly minor boost. I found the mythic saves feats a bit odd, as they give you a substantial boost... when fighting non-mythic foes. Hopefully Wrath of the Righteous only puts the Mythic enemies as bosses, I guess. But again, if one wants to influence Paizo, one must post playtest reports to prove this.
I agree that many of the Lesser Trials encourage metagaming and forced behavior, while others are just luck or GM fiat. However, even if the final product does not reduce or eliminate their importance, it does not necessarily destroy the product. I plan to utterly ignore Lesser Trials (along with the number requirement of Greater Trials) and leave Mythic as a strictly GM-based system (rather than weird combo GM-chart thing). If you really have a problem but like idea of the rest of the book, I'd encourage you to do the same.
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Page 35, 2nd paragraph of the Greater Trials section. Not labeled the best Ill grant. Its another thing that will get polished up for the final.
Ah, thanks. I see it now. A smidge of polish will easily remove the "bag of rats" problem, in that it will help the inattentive GM (ahem, me) notice that you have already dealt with it. However, I think it just moves the issues into "GM Fiat" territory. If you get easier, "resource depleting" styles challenges you can ether easily accomplish Lesser Trials (perhaps by artificially elongating combat) or simply can't accomplish them at all. If you tend to have fewer more difficult challenges many Trials will be more difficult (if not impossible, such as maneuvers against Dragons or Elementals). Because of this "GM Fiat" aspect, I still have trouble accepting the necessity of Lesser Trials. Perhaps it would be better if they just regenerated Mythic Points, rather than being required for advancement, it would place Tier advancement firmly in the GM's hands rather than a roll/GM hybrid? Unless, of course, such a hybrid is the design goal.
As a separate recommendation, for the polish, it might also be useful to mention certain GP/CR requirements for some of the Trials. If only to give guidelines to GMs who aren't sure if a borderline underpowered intelligent item or somesuch should warrant a Lesser Trail point.
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Well, I don't believe it is the GMs duty to make your lesser trials impossible to accomplish. This is no different than if you have a ranger with a favored enemy of undead. If the GM never throws any undead at you, he is not playing to the core of his group.
I would actually say it is a rather major difference. A Ranger can gain a level fighting anything. A Mythic Character must, to accomplish their preselected mythic goals, fight certain opponents. Whether or not those opponents appear is entirely up to the GM. Unless, of course, the player chooses the trivially easy Lesser Trials, in which case they can pretty much skip this whole thing.
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
As for the easy ones, the GMs section gives guidelines on how to adjudicate these trials and having the PCs kill a bag of rats does not qualify for completing a lesser trial.
Are there specific lines that represent this view? I am having trouble finding them. Looking at the GM rules I see things related to how MT (Mythic Tier) and CR interact, but I can't find anything that says that you can't accomplish a mythic task against a hamster in a cage. It might not feel "mythic," but it certainly counts by the rules.
I know you want to see how players interact with this, but frankly, this is how my players will deal with it. "No CR requirement? Bag full of rats." "I can make a couple of cheap magic items? Might not be "mythic," but there is absolutely nothing saying this isn't how it works." If the point of Lesser Trials is to require the PCs to perform mythic-style acts, the current set do not accomplish that. You will need to add specific GP/CR/DC requirements for this to occur. If you are relying on the GM to demand they perform "mythic" actions beyond the stated rules, I don't see a point for the Lesser/Greater Trial distinction, and likewise a point for the Lesser Trials to exist at all.
Will it really be more useful feedback if I say "my players abused the heck out of this" rather than just informing that is what is going to happen beforehand? I'll wait until next week to comment if I have to, but but a bare reading shows a massive gap between what I expect from those with basic system mastery and those without.
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
As for how easy some are, my above comment plays into that. As a player, if you find that the only thing you want to do with these is find the easiest way to accomplish them, that is not very mythic by its nature. Creating a throw-away intelligent item is not very mythic. As feedback, I am interested in seeing how players use these rules. Do they go for the easy path, picking the trials that are simple to accomplish, or do they use them as an opportunity to accomplish something that truly adds to the legend of their hero.
In practice, how is this not a poll of how many players try to abuse the system, and how many choose randomly based on descriptions? Lesser Trials seem to be game based while Greater Trials are GM based, but in practice a great number of Lesser Trials are ALSO based on what the GM throws at you.
I do not want to be a jerk, but I simply have trouble understanding how running players through this system actually affects anything I said. Are abilities I said were based on GM fiat not based on GM fiat if I choose to let them occur? If players get lucky and accomplish the luck based trials, are they not luck based? If they pick the easy challenges that can be accomplished with a small investment of gold, a bag of rats, or taking 20, do they not count because my players had enough system mastery to figure this out?
I do plan to run my players through this system, and I really do want to take to heart the "good playtesting" guidelines that have been published. However, there are many things that are based on what the GM throws at the players, which is not something that can be playtested in any way beyond "what is the most popular way to play on these forums?" If I have the same criticisms next week, when my players have gone through the material, will they have more weight?
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
That said, I will be very interested to see some playtest feedback on this system, as it is one of the systems that was hardest for us to evaluate during the design phase.
I would ask, much like the other thread, how is this supposed to be playtested? A large portion of the Lesser Tiers are luck or GM fiat based. For example, of the universals, 3 are entirely GM based (Improbable Victory, Mythic Challenge, and Push On) The other two are utterly trivial (a moderate level caster can make a low level item for Perfect Craft, and Skill Supremacy can be accomplished by rolling 21 on a 1' jump check (which I can't find a reason you can't try until you succeed)).
These problems seem to extend throughout the Lesser Trials. There are things entirely based on fiat, others on luck, and others that are utterly trivial. I honestly don't know how to playtest "the GM let me fight a CR +5 creature without Mythic Rank" or "a fight lasted 4-8 rounds and I had one of each spell school prepared in my top two levels."
If you're going for Critical Chain, use a keen 18-20 weapon. 30% chance on each attack. Your math is also wrong on the normal crit.. it would be 1/8000 (1/20^3). 30% would be 216/8000 (6.20^3)... so literally 216x better chance.
For some reason I used a 25% chance instead of a 30% chance. Let us call it a brain fart. Anyway, the chance becomes 2.7%, which while nearly double what I said, is still very much in the region of "complete luck," which was the point I was making with it. A 216x times chance would be greater than one critical/hit, so I don't know what you are on about with that.
Spellcasters who want to advance Mythic tiers can use Quickened spells to help them out.
The impression I from the rules was that it was Spell Level, not Effective Spell Level. Either way, it does not matter terribly much. A caster would still need to burn nearly their entire top two spell levels worth of spells to attain the achievement, while there are many far easier options. And frankly, at the power level Mythic represents, I'd be rather shocked if a combat lasted even four rounds, let alone eight.
Don't focus on what your character will have trouble with to advance your mythic tier... Focus on what they are capable of and you'll be fine. They aren't SUPPOSED to be something you can easily pull off. Otherwise everybody would be mythic.
That is all well and good, but the next AP is supposed to be based on the players have mythic tiers. Which will, presumably, include a necessary number of Greater Trials to advance Mythic Level to the appropriate point. If some characters have a trivial time acquiring the necessary Lesser Trials while others need to have the party specifically lengthen otherwise won combats to achieve them, there is an issue. If the gateway is supposed to be Greater Trials, I don't see the point of Lesser Trials at all. Just let it be a GM Fiat, Magic Teaparty thing rather than trying to tie it to swingy, random roll-based achievements.
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Well, since the penalty was a eventual loss of most of your powers, I felt that the acquisition should not be all that difficult.. that said, I will be interested to see some playtest feedback on the issue.
I would honestly ask, how do you want this to be playtested? Before the playtest, I was going to run some combats with various level/tier characters for playtesting purposes. However, some of the flaws really requires an entire campaign per data point. I mean, the entire effect of dependency is going to be by GM fiat. Whether you choose spinach or dryad tears, the acquisition of this item will be entirely dependent the GM's personal decisions. Whether you can acquire dragon's blood or whether iron rations are an appropriate choice are a GM concern, and don't really seem like something that can be playtested in a universally useful manner.
Okay, I read all the playtesting guidelines and promised myself that I would abide by them. However, a couple of hours in and after only one read through, I feel compelled to comment on the Lesser Trials.
First, I get the idea. They are little achievements, like in video games, that add up to an eventual bonus. In theory, that is great. However, in practice, I don't see much of a point. The Greater Trials seem like the important bit, while the Lesser Trails are "did you purposefully finish a combat in a specific manner?" Worse, it seems that you can get more than enough Greater Trials completed, but additional ones will not count towards your Lesser Trials. So basically, Hercules would not advance his Mythic Tier from his twelve trials, but from curbstomping some lesser enemies in between.
Second, the specific Lesser Trials seems weighted towards luck or purposefully prolonging combat. For example, unless I am missing a Mythic way to increase threat range, Critical Chain has a 1.5% chance of occurring over any three given attacks (assuming automatic crits). School Display, on the other hand, requires an 8 round combat and likely Mythic Points (as spontaneous casters likely won't know enough spells, and prepared casters will not have enough slots to accomplish it otherwise, even in a nova).
I could go on with specific examples, as there are many within each Mythic Path, however I'd like to hear other opinions before I type that all out. What is the specific purpose of Lesser Trials? Should they be a given for those that attempt them, things that require extreme effort, or the result of luck? What is the expected advancement rate of Mythic characters, and do the Lesser Trials make that more or less difficult to attain?
2: Overcoming Mythic Weakness: Is it intentional that using Tier 8s Unstoppable ability that you can negate the "Insanity" Weakness by spending a Mythic point to remove the Confused Condition from your character?
Honestly, I don't think this will be a huge issue. Especially when you can already choose to choose Material Weakeness (Silver), School Aversion (Abjuration), or Dependency (Sandwich) as weaknesses.
3: Mythic Spamming. Right now with the right (wrong GM) and taking the "Endless Power" ability twice you could theoretically take one of the various attribute bump spells (such as cats grace) that matches up with either your Mythic Attribute or your targets mythic attribute.
From a quick read-through, Mythic seems crazy powerful as-is. Being able to cast a spell that will be cancelled out by a +4 Belt or Headband... don't foresee an issue.
Since the spell increases the Mythic Attribute by 4(+2 mythic uses), in theory you could cast it let target use his mythic powers two more times.
Not how stat bonuses work. They only increase a very specific subset of abilities before 24 hours have expired, rather than actually increasing the ability score in question. Mythic-Cycling in this way will not work.
6: Master Healer and a few other lesser trials seem pretty easy for a party to especially if they are evil to spam with commoners or low level victims.
I agree on this one. Many of the lesser trials seem horribly swingy and abusable. A great many can easily be accomplished by searching out the lowest level group of goblins or bar thugs one can find, while other would be borderline impossible in normal gameplay I mean, School Display requires using Mythic Points and 8 combat rounds. Is that really likely to happen outside of someone purposefully not killing an enemy to prolong combat?
If you want an AP that gets right to "the good stuff," I'd recommend Shattered Star. Your goal and purpose is very clear from the start, and from the first adventure you are picking up artifact-level items, fighting powerful foes, and exploring the decaying but still amazing remnants of Thassilon. It is very dungeon crawly, but when each of those dungeons feels like the final amazing discovery of a long campaign it works out.
I'm going to say that I have had enough Varisia for quite a while.
This isn't to say I dislike that part of the setting, or that the material that has been published hasn't been excellent. It is just that we already have a very, very clear view of what Varisia entails. Entire books on most of the major cities, numerous APs set there, lots of supplemental material on its people and culture. In short, I already have enough material to "get" Varisia, the country and its people.
I cannot say the same for large chunks of the rest of the setting. I'm not just talking about totally unexplored bits, like Casmaron or southern Garund. Most of the area around Lake Encarthan is unexplored, especially very unique places like Druma and Razmiran. Thuvia and Rahadoum haven't been dealt with much beyond "immortality elixirs" and "atheists" with some genies thrown in. Nex and Geb could easily warrant a 64 page book together, being some of the more unique, magically advanced societies of the Inner Sea. While every book on Varisia inherently reiterates material that has previously been published, books on these areas would have more space for entirely new material, enhancing the breadth of Golarion and the ideas it encompasses.
While Varisia may have been the core of the Pathfinder setting, I believe it has grown beyond that. The whole world is filled with incredibly interesting people, places, and ideas. Given the limit of how much material Paizo can publish in any given year, I would much rather see a "broadening" of the setting rather than a "deepening" of material on Varisia. While more Varisia books would not be bad, I would feel that they were missing the opportunity to explore new and interesting avenues rather than further enriching an already well developed setting.
I think the reason for the restrictions is because traits are not suppose to be feats. They are something to give characters with a particular background extra flavor. If you remove the restrictions from all traits then you are basically giving the character 2 extra feats. I remove the restrictions on a case by case basis.
First, traits are defined as being "half a feat," so the total benefit is only one feat, not two. Worse than that, really, since they can't be used to cover prerequisites for feat chains.
Second, the restrictions do not seem to solve the problem you state. Traits do indeed give characters with a particular background extra flavor. However, why can't my flavor be someone who is a "Child of the Temple" because of her "Sacred Touch?" If it would make sense for my character to be stealthy, why must she be from the Highlands? If I want an initiative bonus I can be a Reactionary or a Warrior of Old, not based on background but depending on what trait type I've already used. The restrictions do nothing to promote flavor, and do everything to impede legitimate, balanced, and flavorful choices.
I am personally a fan of a style I read about in which things like BAB and AC do not rise naturally with level.
This sounds a lot like the "bounded accuracy" of D&D Next. They dropped the concept because, as it turns out, it doesn't interact well with other systems in the game.
For example, a first level Fighter is probably going to have a +4 bonus from Armor. A 20th level Fighter will have +14 (+5 Full Plate)... and +5 Deflection... and +5 Natural... and, well, you get the idea. Even ditching other ways to get bonuses we are looking at a 10 point spread, which is just too much for this system to work. You'd have to totally rework the game, probably switch Armor to DR, and basically rebuild things from the ground up. Such a project would be quite major, and beyond even the changes a Pathfinder 2.0 would bring.
I just think that would be a lot of fun and cool roleplaying, and make characters a little more unique even though it would rarely have much of an in-game effect.
Would it, though? If these minor effects never actually come up in gameplay, have they really imparted any flavor at all? Like a teaspoon of paprika in a ten gallon vat of chili, a super weak, situational ability is rarely something that can be detected at the table. You know it is there, but nobody else will unless you tell them. And if you can't taste it, does the flavor really exist?
Also, randomly rolling for traits seems to sort of defeat the purpose. Traits let you customize a character and get mechanical effects for important aspects of their background. A random ability would have to be shoehorned into a character's backstory, and may not fit. While there is nothing wrong with games that let you roll for background elements (many fun RPGs do), limiting it to one tiny, tiny area seems a bit pointless.
But, obviously, that is just my take. If you find it fun it is fun. There is no wrong way to play Pathfinder.
Of course part of the motivation for taking traits is the bonuses, but that shouldn't be the only reason to take them. Characters with clear conceptualizations from level one (at least in my experience) are often characters that get roleplayed in a much more robust and complex way.
I think the issue is that there are an infinite number of character backgrounds, but a finite number of traits.
For example, I am making a Bard that worked as locksmith. So, I either have to worship Brigh or have a Vagabond Youth. If neither of those is appropriate for the background I imagined, I am out of luck. The bonus would make my character mechanically reflect his background, but a trait that perfectly reflects this simply hasn't been published. The same can be said for a great many things, where the mechanical benefit reflects the background perfectly, but the predetermined flavor does not.
Also, I just wanted to point out, that part of the greatness of this game is that you don't have to use any part of it that you don't want to. If you hate traits, cross them off of your "to use" list, and move on.
I think the problem the OP has is not necessarily that he does not like traits, but that they aren't meeting his hopes. Just because something doesn't work as well as one would hope is not necessarily a reason to jettison it completely, but rather advocate for a better implementation of the rule. While I would not have gone so far as to say I "despise" traits, I do think that knowing what people like and don't like about traits would be useful information to Paizo, and hopefully would influence their design decisions going forward.
I understand where you are coming from. I still love traits, but agree with some of the problems you have brought up.
Generic traits would be a big plus. As it is, some skills have many traits associated with them, while others have very few. Really, why the heck is Climb so unpopular? However, I doubt we will see this. Paizo generally treats traits as a way to imbue the ever ephemeral "flavor," and reducing them to dry mechanical bonuses with a "fill your own flavor in here" slot would be rather surprising for them.
It would be great for categories and restrictions to be lifted. First, get rid of the "one trait per category" thing. Some characters may have backgrounds that fit well with two traits in a single category, but are arbitrarily restricted from it. There seems to be little balance reason for this restriction, as every new book creates more "crossover" traits that let you snag bonuses with different trait types. Second, a line about regional, religious, or racial traits being acceptable for characters from that group "and those with similar experiences" would be great. Obviously GMs can already do this, but it would be a boon for those with strict GMs or PFS (does PFS use traits?).
I think the large number of mechanically weak traits is the largest issue, and the one most easily addressed. I applaud Paizo for trying new things with traits on occasion, but they could really use some standardization on quality. For example, I loved the new Shoanti and Varisian Tattoo traits from Varisia, Birthplace of Legends were great. They gave small but mechanically useful bonuses linked with proficiency in some nice "flavor" weapons. A character with these traits would "feel" very different, for example a Varisian Bard properly wielding a Bladed Scarf from level 1. Similarly, Regional Recluse and Regional Influence were great, combining a generic "+1 to skill" with other small bonuses to make them more interesting than the generic "+1 to skill" traits while still not making them massively more powerful.
However, many new traits are pretty awful. From Varisia, you have things like Savage Breaker, which are so situational that I don't feel like such a character would really play much differently. Knights of the Inner Sea was particularly bad, with many traits being boring. They tried new things with the Mount traits and Code traits, but both types combined small, situational bonuses with various restrictions that make me doubt I will ever find a reason to give them a second thought. Movement towards the unique and flavorful over the weak and situational would be a wonderful thing for traits, in my belief.
I do hope, with time, Paizo further refines their trait design. More unique abilities that make a character feel mechanically different or open new build options, less generic or incredibly restrictive/situational stuff. However, until that time, I will still enjoy the versatility that the current traits provide.\
EDIT: My goodness that was more than I intended to write. So...
Bardchemist would be very tough, especially the way you want to do it. The thing is, the Alchemist's ability to debuff enemies is heavily dependent on level to increase the bomb DC. With only a +2 Intelligence modifier and multiclassing, most enemies will simply shrug off your bomb's effects. Meanwhile, you are losing out on Bard levels that could also be used for buffing and debuffing, as well as increasing your Bardic Performance and other abilities.
Mixing in crafting just gets harder. My understanding is that Alchemist's can't naturally take crafting feats (other than Brew Potion) because they do not, technically, have a caster level. That leaves you with just your Bard levels, but the levels in Alchemist will be reducing that Caster Level, and by extension reducing the bonus you can place on certain items. Neither class has a bunch of bonus feats, so even if you don't mind the lower caster level the lack of feats may cause an issue.
May I ask, in terms of flavor, what you are looking for here? Are their particular Alchemist abilities that interest you, or is your Bard simply interesting in alchemy? If it is the latter, some ranks of Craft(Alchemy) and a bag full of bloodblock and tanglefoot bags may be a better choice.
If I were you, I'd suggest he make a Spell Dancer/Kensai.
Dancer/Kensai isn't an available option, as they both replace Medium and Heavy Armor Proficiency.
If I remember correctly, the Spell Dance is basically a mini-haste. Speed increase, AC boost, and you can cast a buff as a free action. If you're going more skirmisher/movement-based than straight-up damage, it's a nice option, one my players are very fond of.
"Mini-Haste" is excessively kind. It is +10 enhancement bonus to speed and +2 AC vs attacks of opportunity related to movement. The speed bonus is awful, as it does not stack with other, much larger bonuses like expeditious retreat or haste, and could be permanently replaced with something like boots of springing and striding. The AC boost is fairly small for something so situational. The buffs lasts only a single round, so generally you would be better off simply casting the buff properly, then bringing it back with Spell Recall for the point you would have used on the Spell Dance.
Matrix Dragon wrote:
In my opinion, the ability to use Dimension Door as a swift action at 9th level is very good. Make sure you get the feat that lets you use all your actions after using Dimension Door, and you can easily get a full spell combat attack on the first round of every combat.
You are thinking of Dimensional Agility. Unfortunately, you need a swift action to start the Spell Dance and another one to fire off Dimensional Agility, by which point you should really already be in position. You also have the options of a Quicken Metamagic Rod or Dimensional Dervish to get the swift action dimension door, but without giving up an extremely powerful class feature.
No, your player is right. Spelldancer is awful. Dance of Avoidance basically just makes up for the AC bonus lost from wearing light armor instead of medium or heavy. Arcane Movement is ridiculously situational, as casting a spell is just as likely to simply let you skip the situations allowed for by the ability (not to mention lasting for more than 1 round). Even if it does work, the chance of being in a situation to cast a spell, then succeed at a check because of a +1-+6 bonus, is really small. Spell Dance would be less horrible if you could use multiple abilities, but a even a single dimension door or short-term freedom of movement just doesn't cut it.
If your player wants the flavor, have them be a straight Magus (or possibly Kensai) and call it "Spelldancer." You could even homebrew an "Elven Spelldancer" trait to give them Acrobatics and/or Perform(Dance), if that was particularly important to them.
Unfortunately, the boots share their bonus type with boots of elvenkind and elixir of tumbling. Also, they require that one move through the space of the enemy, not just through their threatened area. So you have to take the +5 DC for that to function. Also, it is until the end of her turn, so you HAVE to be able to move entirely though an enemy's space with a single move action to get a benefit. That is 15' (so at best, getting through if you start standing next to a Large target) or 30' with a -10 (extremely unlikely to succeed, if not impossible). Obviously there are ways to buff speed (such as the ubiquitous haste), but that is adding another layer of investment or requirement to make it work.
Honestly, I think this is where I disagree with people: I think if you invest heavily in Acrobatics, you should be able to tumble through the enemy's space at full speed with a low chance of failure, getting maximal use out of these boots or Disorienting Maneuver. Others appear to feel that the maneuver is sufficiently useful that moderate to heavy investment should simply allow one to move through the threatened area with a moderate to good chance of success. While I still prefer my Bluff/Intimidate style houserule, I guess this is a different strokes for different folks situation.
Anything that can manipulate the item and speak should be fine. Wands only require that you 1) point the wand at the intended target, and 2) speak a command word. Being able to point the wand is going to end up being a GM call, but one probably shouldn't be too harsh about it. Paizo has published a bird that uses scrolls, so pulling this off should be no trouble for Ravens or Parrots, or a talking Monkey or Octopus.
EDIT: PFS is so weird. Imps can use items, but Mephits can't? Yet another example anti-Inner Sphere prejudice, if you ask me.
The big different between Fighter/Gunslinger bonus feats and Monk bonus feats are that you can ignore prerequisites. That is a pretty major advantage, and the reason that Monk feats are a restricted list rather than an entire category.
That said, houserule, it wouldn't be the end of the world if you allowed the Style feats as bonuses (but not non-style feats higher in the chains, as the MoMS gets). Given the most of the prerequisites for the style feats are things you will get close to having by accident, and bonus feats are better used for things with more difficult prerequisites, I wouldn't think it would cause major issues.
I'd go with Abadar. God of Merchants and Law, really hates pirates. Actually has an organization called "The Sea Dragons" just to hunt them. They are called "merciless," and being LN it can be argued Abadar's Paladins could be a bit less "Good" and a bit more "Lawful" when it comes to enemies. His Paladin Code even refers to Bandits (so, pirates), as a plague and that those that won't submit to justice "will come under the power of my sword." Yikes.
Really can't think of a more appropriate deity. Even if James Jacobs hadn't smote the Paladins of Asmodeus I'd still go with Abadar.
By 6th level you may be quite able to completely avoid AoOs by mooks without heavy investment (6 ranks, +3 class skill, +2 Dexterity = +11 before items or buffs). However, pointing and laughing at a skilled opponent more appropriate for your level will be harder, and you will find yourself back to those same swingy chances.
Looking at CMDs, I don't find this to be the case. Clicking through, it seems most CR3 enemies (pretty mooky at level 6, I'd say) have a CMD of 15+, making moving through their square (which is what Shallowsoul wanted) DC20. So against a mook with an unimpressive CMD you only have a 60% chance of it working. Against a CR = Level opponent, where the CMDs seem to be around 25, you drop down to a 10% chance. I would say it is more "swingy" against Mooks and very unlikely against CR=Level opponents. Heck, stand a mook next to the CR appropriate person for the +2 bonus and it becomes literally impossible.
Now, as I said, items and feats can provide a band aid to this. Grab Skill Focus, some boots of elvenkind, and a better dexterity and you are good to go. However, even with substantial investment, it eventually becomes difficult to impossible again. If that same character bought a +5 manual, +6 stat item and Boots of Elvenkind, took Skill Focus and Acrobatics, and put maximum ranks in Acrobatics and all his stat points in Dexterity, he would have a +48 bonus at level 20. CMD for CR20 looks like around 55, so 60 to tumble through, leaving us with a 40% chance to pull it off for a close to maximally invested character. Full speed is not possible, and against a boss or a one of the creatures on the high end of CMD it would be very difficult. And this does not include enemies who might have Deflection or other bonuses to CMD from items or buffs.
Now, we can disagree as to whether or not one should be able to tumble through the square of an equal level opponent if you have invested in that tactic, and if so what an appropriate chance of success would be. However, even leaving that aside, I favor the 10+BaB+Dex or 10+Acrobatics route. The thing is, the enemies that are the hardest to tumble past in the current system are not the quick and skilled sort, but big hulking monsters. Running through the square of a skilled Rogue without provoking an attack is quite easy, while running between the legs of a lumbering Giant is quite hard. From book, films, and other genre material, this feels to me like the opposite of what should be happening. Even if the target numbers stayed approximately the same, in an ideal world I'd see this flipped around (not that I can't already do it for my home games, of course).
if wrong in math please say so...if math is correct I could attack again using ki full attack bab...
Your math is a bit off.
First, Weapon Focus only increases attack, not damage. Second, the penalty for two-weapon fighting with the feat and light weapons (such as wakizashis) is -2 to each attack, not -2 on the main hand and -4 on the off. I'm also not sure what you mean by separating out your Sneak Attack and regular weapon damage. Anyway, your attack routine would be:
Main Hand Wakizashi +5 (1d6 damage), Off-hand Wakizashi +5 (1d6 damage).
If you are in a situation to sneak Attack, you would add +2d6 damage to each of those hits. If you used a ki point, you could make one more attack with a wakizashi (not both) at the same to-hit and damage. Honestly, that is a much better bet than using your ki to get Weapon Focus (and by extension +1 to attack) for two rounds. Forgotten Trick is okay, but at such low level 2 ki points is just too huge a cost.
So, what you're saying is, for a variety of reasons, they don't find it a significant enough problem to "fix". They are messing with stealth, so obviously at some point, they will do "fixes" that mess with things. Not there, yet anyway, for CMB / CMD. Judging by past threads, I think they are aware that some people have issues with various aspects of CMB / CMD. Me for instance.
I think the Stealth semi-playtest was a one time thing. According to James Jacobs there are no plans to officially implement it, and he personally considered the blog-playtest experiment to be a failure. Not getting CMB/CMD in the same way doesn't mean they don't think there are sufficient issues to deal with, but rather that they decided that form of playtesting did not work for them and decided not to repeat it.
So the suggestion of doing it via Homebrew (and talking about it) seems pertinent. In short, while I probably agree with you, I think pointing out Rule 0 to someoen (JrK) is useful.
I think I just took your tone wrong. I thought you meant "it is a not a problem because people can homebrew it" rather than you "they do not find it a sufficiently important problem, so you can homebrew it." My bad.
*edit* Apologies if I'm coming off as flipant / dismissive. 15 hours at work Friday, a nice new cold, cold medicine, and piles of papers to grade have that effect on me.
Ugh. I understand, and have threatened the life of more than one roommate because of grading related stress. All is understood.
Cold Napalm wrote:
Because in this case, the issue isn't the CMD...it's actually the monk. And the issue with the CMB vs CMD...once again, the issue isn't the CMD...it's the CMB. They should have honestly added dex to CMB as well as str. Not that it has anything to do with what SS is having a problem with.
To be fair, it isn't just the Monk that has this issue. Rogues probably have it even worse, given their lack of a speed bonus and greater reliance on flanking. As does any other character who wants to make use of Acrobatics for this purpose, such as a support Bard. While magic items and Skill Focus can provide a bandage for the problem, the issue of CMD advancing faster than Acrobatics. While I do not agree with JrK's negative statements, especially his assumption that the developers in any way care more about selling product that making a good game, that does not mean that an issue does not exist here. It is even something that is more fixable than some other issues, given that only a mechanics change in the target DC is needed, rather than changes in a wide range of abilities.
Because, apparently, most of their client base doesn't find it an issue. Or a significant enough issue to require a "fix". Rule 0 is the solution if you, as GM, think their is a problem.
I do not think it is apparent at all that the developers do not find this to be a problem, nor that their client base does not find it an issue. Rather, they I would say they are hesitant to make substantial changes to the system for fear of disturbing back compatibility and created issues with their previous published products. Asking for errata (even in an overly direct fashion like this thread) still serves the purpose of bringing attention to the issue to the developers, who may or may not act upon it (either in this edition or in Pathfinder v1.5).
Essentially any problem can be solved with the invocation of Rule 0, and saying that there is not a problem because one can invoke it does not hold water. Just because one can fix the issue oneself does not mean it does not exist, any more than a flaw in an engine design that can be fixed at home means the engine is fine. Likewise, it may not be worthwhile for the company to "rework their production line" and fix the issue, but that does not mean it is unimportant. While we can argue about the extent of the problem and the necessity of a fix, saying "Rule 0" doesn't really matter one way or the other.
Slight correction: CMB and CMD are new to Pathfinder. 3.X had different resolution mechanisms for different maneuvers. The Acrobatics thing is also new: it used to be against a set value, becoming a given pretty quickly.
But ya, for now, using the 10+BaB+Dex thing works much better. You can also offer the option of 10+Acrobatics modifier for those creatures trained in it, much like a feint can be opposed by either 10+BaB+Wis or 10+Sense Motive. The current system can be made to work, but only by investing heavily through feats and magic items.
You are also missing the fact that small creatures can only carry 3/4 of the listed amount. So the heavy load for a 16 Strength creature is only 172.5 pounds. A large amount, but not completely implausible.
Besides, this is what irks you? Not Darkvision? Not easily surviving 100' drops? Not spear fishing and wood chopping being impossible? Seems like a very specific thing to get worked up about, given how widespread rules/physics inconsistencies are.
Mechanically, there are a few things that pop out.
Disorienting Maneuver can get surprisingly difficult to pull off. In Pathfinder you have to roll Acrobatics vs CMD +5 to pull it off, and CMD advances faster than Acrobatics checks. Unless you are going to heavily invest in Acrobatics (Skill Focus, magic items, etc), it is going to start getting real hard to succeed at in a few levels.
INT isn't that important to Rogues. Pathfinder folded a bunch of the 3e skills together, so the number you need to be a successful Rogue is much smaller. INT will only be important if you want to be good at knowledge skills, which people generally leave to the Wizard. Of course, it is obviously vitally important if one of your goals is "roleplaying a smart character."
Of the other feats you are considering, I would say you don't really need any of them. Offensive Defense and Befuddling Strike will, hopefully, keep your AC passable as it is, so you won't need dodge. They also help your CMD, so Defensive Combat Training probably won't make a different. Two-Weapon Feint is fine, except that it is (bizarrely) not a prerequisites for Improved Two-Weapon Feint, so people usually just hold out for that one. Lowering your attack bonus with Combat Expertise will make hitting difficult, so I would skip it unless you are using it as a prerequisite (if you are, I would recommend taking Gang Up while you are at it). Combat Reflexes I'm not a big fan of for Rogues because the chances of getting multiple AoOs in a single round is low, the chance of them being Sneak Attacks is even lower, and the chance that the damage will matter (given a dexterity based character using a knife) is lower still.
Emmmm no. CR 10 creatures are packing from 21 to 24 AC and with a +14 to hit that leaves a 50% chance to hit AC of 24. Creatures around CR 10 have various levels of Fortitude saves anywhere from +7 to +11 so it varies.
50% to hit and a Fortitude save of +7 means you have a 30% chance of Stunning Fist working. Which is pretty much what Cold Napalm said.
No you can't know the outcome of a battle until it's over. You can guess but you aren't going to know. I could 7 times during a battle and hit each and every time or I could miss each and every time.
We can know how likely a given outcome is. In the same way a Monk could hit every single time a Fighter could get a critical every time or a Wizard could have everyone roll natural 1's on their saving throws. It is extraordinarily unlikely, but it could happen. If chances of success simply do not matter, might I recommend investing heavily in lottery tickets and roulette?
Picked up more feats and decided to go with Disorienting Maneuver to pick up that extra +2 to attack when I successfully tumble through an enemy's space followed by an extra bonus when I flank.
Have fun with that. CR10 enemies have a CMD around 30, often much higher (and rarely more than 1-3 points lower). +5 from moving through their space, and you looking at a DC35 check. Given your +15 to Acrobatics... I don't think you will be seeing that bonus terribly much. But hey, who am I to say. You could roll a 20 every time!
I actually had a PC who followed the same path. Even before Lady's Light came out she had decided to be an ex-Gray Maiden who went from LN to CN alignment after the destruction of the organization. Disgrace of leaders she had put her faith in and the destruction of an organization she was fanatically devoted to (to the point of getting permanent facial scars) fundamentally altered her outlook on life. She wasn't "whimsical," she just didn't care about anything anymore beyond her personal desires. She was still pragmatic, but simply didn't care about law, custom, or the desires of others.
Based on that, that many Gray Maidens would follow a similar path and become CN actually made a lot of sense to me.
Most classes are essentially useless every other round of combat. A rogue double moves to get into flanking position, a spellcaster's target beats the DC of a "save negates" spell, a fighter misses his attacks, etc.
Wow, that list took a dramatic turn after the second entry. I mean, it doesn't really have much to do with anything to begin with, but the Rogue is the only one that is evenly vaguely related to your point.
The Rogue does indeed have to burn an extra turn getting into Flanking position (or using some other ability to set up Sneak Attack). Of course, they will be able to full attack the round after that, and continue doing so until the creature is dead/escapes, but it is at least close to being a point.
But comparing that to beating a Spell DC or missing an attack is... bizarre. I mean, the Fighter has a much higher attack bonus for several reasons, so he is going to be hitting much more than the Monk. He also is going to be taking full attacks instead of jumping in and out with Spring Attack, meaning he gets more attacks overall and each hit is going to deal more damage. A spellcaster's target might beat a DC, but if it fails that creature may be so hampered as to be basically defeated, or it might be only one of several targets of an AoE. It really isn't comparable to a character who only gets to attack once a round, has a 50% chance of that attack connecting, and then if that attack connects can inflict a status effect (if the enemy fails a save, which is not necessarily particularly likely).
This really isn't par for the course. This is starting in the sand trap while everyone else gets to begin on the green.
I disagree. Said monk could be a valuable out of combat ally, and even in combat he can continually harass the enemy in useful ways such as springing in, tripping them up in front of the barbarian or disarming them of their super weapon, and springing out again; grappling spellcasters; etc.
See, that is the theory, but in practice it is much more difficult. Monks can't use bonus feats for the Greater versions of maneuvers, have to deal with the fact that CMD rises faster than CMB (especially against monstrous opponents), and their MADness will further reduce their bonus. "Harassing" the enemy is a nice idea, but as Pathfinder has no inherent "agro" mechanic, it makes more sense for an intelligent enemy to concentrate on the opponents who are actual threats, rather than the guy who is popping in and trying to poke it (and likely failing) every round.
I think it takes even more metagame thinking to assume an adventurer always has a choice. Does nobody play the Luke Skywalker or the Richard Cypher hero concept anymore? Such characters are practically dragged into adventure, whether they like it or not, whether they are ready for it or not.
I think this is an entirely unrelated issue. If someone wants to go into the adventure as such a character, that is totally fine. Start with a level of Commoner and beat people over the head with a frying pan? Cool, but be sure you know what you are getting into. Likewise, if nobody else in the party minded, it would be fine for someone to play an overpowered Hill Giant while everyone else was Commoners.
This isn't really relevant to the Monk. It is listed along with all the other PC classes, with no indication that it should be treated differently, as a "forced into adventure" character or really anyone who would be a less successful adventurer than a member of any other class. The source material for the Monk likewise does not fit this. While many Kung-Fu movies feature unlikely heroes, they are extremely adept at dealing with their situation. Being a sidekick who, at best, can set things up for the real hero to beat them down does not match the flavor many people want from the class, what iconic "Monk" type characters can do, and what one would expect from a Core player class.
Being an underdog hero is fine. Being someone forced into adventure is fine. But that is not all the Monk is, and it should not be forced (uniquely among PC classes) to bear the burden of these ideas by being inherently worse than everyone else. Likewise, skirmishing and maneuvers are fine, but without something to make consistently good at these, they really aren't a part of the conversation.
They are pretty different characters in terms of TWF.
A TWF Ranger relies on traditional sources of extra damage. Strength, Power Attack, and various static bonuses (Favored Enemy, Weapon Enhancement, Morale bonuses, etc). They benefit greatly from both bonuses to attack and bonuses to damage, and their lack of pre-reqs, Medium Armor Proficiency, and better Fortitude save and hitpoints make them a less MAD character.
The TWF Rogue cares much more about extra attack bonus and Sneak Attack. Their damage will be coming almost entirely from SA, as they will be Dexterity based (since they can't skip TWF prerequisites), they have a 3/4 BaB instead of Full + Favored Enemy, and don't have Favored Enemy or spells to buff up their damage otherwise. Feat requirements are a major issue, since there are so many vitally important ones (TWF, Weapon Finesse, Iron Will, etc) and they can't get them all as Rogue Talents. You may have to spend even more on ways to get Sneak Attack, just in case you can't flank at a given time.
In terms of combat effectiveness, the Ranger will be far better against Favored Enemies, in situations where Sneak Attack cannot be achieved, and when you don't have a massive amount of +attack. Rogues are better if you can be sure to always get Sneak Attack and have plenty of outside help for +attack. Of course, Vivisectionists are in many cases going to be even better than Rogues in those circumstances, but that wasn't a listed choice.
Well, the retaliatory strikes from Panther Style aren't technically "AoOs," but otherwise you are pretty much correct. Panther/Snake is a good combination for this reason.
Just remember that they will only be able to pull this once a round (as the second Snake attack requires an immediate action), and that intelligent opponents will likely realize quickly that attacking the Snake/Panther Monk that is running around is not a terribly good idea.
Inquisitor isn't a great class for multiclassing out of. Their abilities are very level dependent, and they already offer most of what one could want (casting, skills, and combat ability). Unless you are interested in acquiring a specific ability (say, trapfinding or martial weapon proficiency) you probably aren't going to get enough out of the deal to make it worth losing Inquisitor levels.
Is there a particular reason you are interested in multiclassing? Are there any abilities that you want that straight Inquisitor doesn't offer? Is there an aspect of your character concept that isn't served by the class? Knowing a bit more about who your character is and what she wants to achieve would help with the advice-giving, I think.