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Roseblood Sprite

Mort the Cleverly Named's page

1,206 posts. 3 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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And "conserving resources" is not the same as a castle on an invasion plan that has more than two levels worth of encounters and will likely take days to clear unless you are tricked out enough to (without rest, two levels down) beat the boss and three captains who are stated to (through mechanisms I am not clear on) join him in the final battle.

It straight said this would be a "virtually unwinnable encounter" or the like and you should discourage PCs from fighting the leader without taking them out, but I couldn't find any mechanisms it set up to do that. I can certainly make up those mechanisms, just like making up how the castle reacts to getting to a populated area or the piles of corpses left by PCs hitting and running over a few days, but because I can fix it doesn't mean the adventure is particularly useful to start, and as I said from the start seems more like a "set piece" than a proper "adventure" meant to be played. I'm not particularly interested in paying money for an adventure I would, in the course of entirely reasonable and likely actions by players or enemies, end up having to mostly write myself.

I was hoping there was something specific I had missed, but otherwise I don't think this is an adventure I'll bother picking up.


Revan wrote:
If the PCs goal is to rain a destructive storm of debris down on the land blow, than sure, they could set off the bomb. Heroism for herois's sake, however, is likely to be concerned about collateral damage.

You can entirely naturally run into this thing literally minutes into the adventure, which starts in the middle of the Mindspin mountains. "Oh, it is automatically always over populated areas" is not a particularly satisfying answer. Also, by the time the castle actually is over populated areas things will change drastically inside because of the whole "invading" thing, and again the castle's (as far as I could find, and would still hope I missed information about) static nature makes it seem not so much an "adventure" as a "set piece."

Quote:
As for how the post find the time to rest... Well, that's their problem isn't it? If Golarion's latest batch of superheroes actually have to think about how they're fighting the bad guys, that strikes me as a good thing.

It is an adventure designed to be run and played. You could also have the storm giants attack in book one and say "welp, that is their problem," but it would be a terrible adventure. Similarly, writing an entirely static castle without regards to how an adventure will actually work in it makes for a less useful product.


Got a chance to read this at the store, and I'm a bit confused on downtime and motivation.

The adventure didn't seem to address taking a nap. It starts right after Adventure 5 with no time to even recover abilities, then sticks you in a heavily populated castle that is moving and surrounded by an energy field, making it extremely difficult to get in and out (especially for players who don't have an encyclopedic knowledge of every high-level trump and countertrump spell). Ignore the lack of shopping trips for three levels, it doesn't seem plausible you could even rest without the extremely high level opposition finding your mage's magnificent mansion door, or at the very least noticing the piles of corpses and going on alert, drastically changing their actions (which the adventure didn't address, as far as I could find).

Then there is the motivation. There is a giant bomb already set up to solve the PC's problems and achieve their goals, unless they decide their brand new goal from this adventure of "own a cloud castle" is totally more important. After an entire path that seems to push for heroism primarily for heroism's own sake I don't see that as likely. The adventure only seems to address this in relation to the bomb accidentally going off after the final encounter, not intentionally setting it off to cripple their enemies, which I think is a huge missed opportunity and important thing to at least mention.

Overall, I really hope I am missing something on these issues. Otherwise it seems like the adventure will generally end with playing 25% of the adventure as a surgical strike on the engines followed by having to write entirely new material for the aftermath, and ignoring the other 75%. I think that other 75% is still good in isolation, mind you, and would like to run it, but just don't see how that is going to work with the aforementioned issues. It seems more like the adventure is an elaborate set piece that will require the GM to create the actual adventure from it.


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I'm just going to say: I have no idea what to write here.

I don't know what concepts are already accepted. I don't know what is absolutely anathema. I don't know what is on the bubble and deserving of extra commentary to push it over. So really anything I write is quite likely to be a waste of breath. Other than Mark there really hasn't been a lot of commentary on this playtest, and I think that is tragic.

This is a confusing class concept, based on "have a secret identity" without giving reasons you specifically want a secret identity. I don't know if it is intentionally supposed to be an ultra-specific concept for specifically designed campaigns, the developers think of it in a different way, or they think the specializations are legitimately good enough to stand on their own and the secret identity is just flavor.

So basically, while others have gone the distance with massive commentary on numerous aspects, I just don't see what we are supposed to do. It feels like yelling off a cliff, hoping random words will happen to find appropriate ears. I enjoy Pathfinder and playtests, but without better feedback I've lost the will to participate on these forums.


The trouble with the Relic Channeler is that it kills one of the few things the Medium has going for it: versatility over days. I don't care if I get 2 spells/level from Archmage or 3 skills from Trickster, the big advantage of the normal Medium is that Tuesday I can cure disease and Thursday I can remove curse without losing slots on circumstantial stuff like that, or do Disguise instead of Craft (turnips) one day for the same reason. Removing that is a huge hit. Not to mention the cost if you ever lose your relics, tons of time and easily more than WBL at many levels (turns out the "replace a familiar" mechanic isn't a great choice when you've got 6 of them).

I strongly suspect "Favored Location" is going to be ignored on a level unseen since Demihuman Level Limits. Some might do it outright while others will creatively interpret the rules so can channel the legend of "Steve the Archmage, who happened to sit on that rock over there" but it will happen. It is just unplayable otherwise in most campaigns that leaves a city or location chock full of "appropriate legends." As far as I can tell the Spirit Dancer already ignores it without saying so, because there is no way you can do a seance in a place that works for all six spirits.


I've been thinking along similar lines for the base class. It is like in the Avengers, when Captain America accuses Tony Stark of being nothing without his armor and he responds he'd still be a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist. Bruce Wayne isn't some random dude, he is spectacularly wealthy, has access to Wayne Enterprises technology, and has powerful connections worldwide. If the social identity is going to be a meaningful part of the class it needs stuff it can actually do, and slight social boosts in a tiny area aren't enough.

I like the idea of entirely jettisoning the dual identity and just making the social aspect another menu of options, but I fear it might be a step too far. The thing is, I'm not sure I agree on how defining their ability set is without it. Some of the things are certainly new, but very few would not be appropriate as feats, talents, or an archetype. Plus, it would be a really major change. This leaves the dual identity thing the "hook" by default, and something that might have to be maintained even if it doesn't inherently matter to many (or most) games.

My thoughts were to make "Social Specializations" like a Bloodline (that is, set abilities to not give too many choices) that have adventuring utility as well as downtime utility. So if you choose "Merchant" you get bonuses to appraise, negotiations, and identifying items that work in your Vigilante form as well, and you get discounts and greater access to items during downtime (which, like Batman, is probably mostly off-screen). The "hook" would be being very good at spreading word about yourself, so even without actually doing anything merchant-y you could get the social bonuses in very short time and in a large area, perhaps even immediately at high level. So while anyone can get an invitation by being a known Noble in the area or Bluffing well the Vigilante concentrates on integrating and utilizing all the skills and advantages of their day job, and is good at spreading their renown quickly to get all the social advantage out of it while still fitting into the adventuring life. It should go without saying, of course, that they can also do the Vigilante stuff in either form (this is a world of magic after all, being a powerful caster or warrior is not unusual for a noble or merchant).

Obviously, it is all armchair design. Although then again, I'm pretty sure they do deskchair design over at Paizo, so I wouldn't knock it. If nothing else speculating and such will be fun while this playtest slowly but surely finishes burning out.


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The thing is, someone murdering Varisians at night to save our pure Chelish blood would also be a fine Vigilante given what we have. So would a follower of Norgorber, or similar "cultist" sort. They aren't a class with particular ability at fighting for law and order, nor good or evil, they are a class that lets you be a subtlety different, often weaker version of another class + Secret Identity. That makes Secret Identity what differentiates them as a class.

The problem is that mostly it just gives you the identity, not stuff to do with it. Bruce Wayne isn't useful to Batman just because, Batman is often written as a weirdo that could go Punisher really easily. Bruce Wayne is useful because he comes with awesome abilities like "Billionaire," "Wayne Enterprises Resources," "Well Connected," and "Family Name" that Batman can't really have (given his actions are illegal, and would get them taken away). Don Diego, Sir Percy, Norman Osborne... a lot of "secret identity" characters have the same reasoning.

So, I'd argue the Vigilante needs to be someone with two forms, both of which have useful abilities and a strong reason to keep them separate. I honestly don't know how to accomplish this, but I also don't know how the class will fully gel (mechanically or thematically, in play or in theory) without it. A fundamental rewrite of the concept into a protector/destroyer thing could make an interesting class, certainly an easier one to write and integrate into a game, but is pretty far from what we are working with and likely beyond the scope of possible changes at this point.


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The essential problem is that having a social identity with few specific abilities beyond a very mild social boost is mostly useful if your nocturnal activities would make it impossible for you to go buy a sandwich without being jumped by the cops (or the Bloods), or at least keep you out of polite society. So in Council of Thieves it could conceivably matter, but wouldn't make much sense in Kingmaker. You are the government there, you would only need to hide your activities if you were kidnapping people for blood sacrifices or something.

Likewise Legacy of Fire has a couple of adventures around a community, but not in a way that having a secret identity would matter all. Everyone likes you there, you aren't doing anything illegal, so there isn't much point. Even Curse of the Crimson Throne won't really matter, by the time a secret identity would be a boon you are headed out. I can think of maybe one point in Mummy's Mask you would want this, Jade Regent could get a bit of use towards the end as well, but it is pretty minimal spotlight time for the abilities for a full campaign.

Basically, the issue is that "urban," "sedentary," and "intrigue" aren't enough to make the base Vigilante abilities meaningful. That takes a very specific form and order of conflict, and other than Council of Thieves and maybe the upcoming Hell's Rebels I just don't see that featuring heavily in APs.

In theory one could make a specific character where they needed the special abilities to protect friends and family (in Curse of the Crimson Throne this would be very important), or get real creative with your Baker Street Irregulars (subject to however your GM makes that work), but even expanding to that... I honestly don't see a lot of utility for these adventures beyond what one could bring with another class, and thus would have difficulty making it "really shine." I think beyond the mentioned games that is going to take specifically designed campaigns and/or all-vigilante groups (or post-playtest additions, of course).


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Mostly because once we're already changing it, it becomes distracting noise in the playtest (whereas the first collection of times was very useful in convincing people of the point). It's precisely like if you dealt enough damage to defeat a foe but then you directed your next arrow at the dead enemy, instead of at the live one nearby. If you did not believe Jason from the interview, though, that he's already convinced to change it, then it would be worth it to continue.

Well of course people do that when the opponent doesn't fall down!

If you want people to stop mentioning it, make a big ol' sticky saying "Issues we are already addressing" with a description of how you perceive the comments. There are lots of issues, and not all of them are addressed in the interview (nor is everyone seeing it).

That is why it would be important to put, in an obvious place, an explanation in the developers own words of what has happened and what they are thinking of doing. This will allow people to continue commenting only if they have something different from the already mentioned points to add. In the ACG playtest, for example, Stephen was great at this sort of thing.


I agree, it is poorly written. Other weapons like the Flying Blade and Meteor Hammer work in similar ways but are not classified as Ranged Weapons. It even calls out the Meteor Hammer and uses the word "reach" in the description, but is not a normal reach weapon.

There are also extra issues. Like most ranged weapons it does not say whether it is light, one handed, or two handed for purposes of two-weapon fighting. It says one can "quickly retrieve the weapon with a tug," but lists no action. Perhaps free, perhaps swift like a weapon cord (at the time of writing), but it really isn't specified and table variation is likely to occur.

It isn't alone in that section of Ultimate Combat, either. Many weapons have unique rules (double-chained kama, double walking stick katana, and Kyoketsu shoge come to mind) but are not written in such a way to make them explicitly clear. These issues were brought up when the book was released but did not make the errata, so I would not hold out substantial hope of additional clarification.

Also, to anyone claiming "common sense" fixes all I would point out in this very thread people have applied different mind caulk to the rules to claim it can only attack 20' away or 10' away. So it is obviously not as obvious as you might think.


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James Jacobs wrote:
The "philosophical" element is that I've always felt prestige classes should be, well, prestigious.

For many prestige classes, prestige can and should be a part. However, I would argue that for the most part Eldritch Knight and Mystic Theurge just create analogues of old 2e multiclasses, Fighter/Mage and Mage/Cleric. I don't feel that "Eldritch Knight" has a sudden moment of increased prestige when they enter the class, they just continue what they were doing but level their abilities at a different rate. So the question, then, is pretty much just one of mechanics, which people are arguing (and I agree) are better this way.

I'll agree that using an SLA to get in is weird. It is a mechanic a new player will never be aware of on their own. It is narratively weird, since even if one argues the race is "inherently magical" and thus should enter faster being even "more magical" with a higher level SLA might prevent you from doing so. Similarly, as Gregory Connolly said, it encourages forced choices even with no thematic or mechanical link beyond this obscure ruling.

Ideally then, I would hope the FAQ gets changed while the actual requirements on the classes get lowered. This would fix the weirdness while preserving the mechanical change. I know Paizo prefers not to do this to books. However, changing the prerequisites of core prestige classes is not unprecedented, as in the case of removing the "Elf or Half-Elf" prerequisite from the Arcane Archer (as a certain someone advocated). Even if we have to wait until the 7th printing, it is a change that would seem to satisfy all parties.


Pretty much the same. The dread dinosaur overgod known only as "Jayjay" keeps it that way for mysterious purposes related to the "Aypees." Nobody dares have too much metaplot for fear of ending up stricken from the universe like the Paladins of Asmodeus.


Okay, that makes WAY more sense. That BaB didn't really mesh with the rest of the abilities, and without it it is a bit more reasonable. Still really strong, easily up there with Magaambyan Arcanist, but at least it isn't a better eldritch knight than the Eldritch Knight on top of that.


That class cannot be correct. Trivial entry, full BaB, full casting, good saves, a channel pool you can convert into a pile of useful spells, adding those spells to your list so your Wizard casts heal with a 5th level slot, and buckets of other abilities...

If that entry on d20pfsrd isn't in error, I think this thing is desperately in need to errata.


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One other thing that deserves to be said about AC is how it relates to natural weapons vs iteratives. It tends to stay more relevant when fighting other PC-type opponents. Sure, they might have a 85% chance of hitting with their first attack, but that means the next one is only 60%, 35%, maybe a 10% at the end. Against this, AC has a good chance of mitigating a hit or two. Which, given how much damage grows relative to hitpoints, can determine the winner of this round of rocket tag.

Against "monsters," on the other hand, it can be much closer to "useless." If their first weapon has an 85% of hitting so does their second, third, and so on. If you are lucky some are secondary, but in that case Multiattack is almost assumed and they are only at -10%. Plus, "brute" monsters tend to combine massive strength with piles of HD (and thus BaB), which can mean even a moderately pushed AC is only contributing a few percent to the miss chance (if that).

So basically, it is "useless" in the same way that Combat Maneuvers are "useless." Against other player-type characters things actually scale fairly reasonably. However, when you crack open the bestiary, things can change dramatically.


People have brought these up before, it is just that I don't believe there is a consensus they are overpowered. As the FAQ says "prestige classes are usually a sub-optimal character choice (especially for spellcasters)." While this isn't universally true (Magambyan Arcanist, Hellknight Signifier, etc), so far the early access hasn't brought us any crazy options.

Arcane Trickster is a very tough class to play. Sneak Attack and Spells with generally fall behind +3 CL, and far behind a Crossblooded Sorcerer dip. You get some fun abilities on the side, but without favored class, 1/2 BaB, and only 4 skill points, it isn't a powerup on straight caster. If anything, even with early entry you are substantially weaker. I haven't seen many people making use of this, nor any crazy builds.

Eldritch Knights, though not mentioned, are also generally not recommended. Martial 1/Caster 6 is a tough character to play, and especially unattractive when one considers the option of Magus. I'd really only recommend it for a longer campaign, and you still won't be an overpowering character. Getting in earlier does not alter overall power that much, but it does make the ramp up. I've seen a ton of these popping up, and all so far have been "cool" but by no means "overpowered."

Mystic Theurge is the only one I'm iffy about. Versatility is a big chunk of caster power. However, spells also exponentially increase in power with level, which might balance it out. I'd like to hear from people on this one.

On the FAQ itself, I don't think it is a good one. It encourages and rewards dumpster diving for very specific options that don't particularly relate to the classes except in weird game math, and I can't imagine anyone picking up the book and arriving at this conclusion themself. It is also something designers themselves are likely to be unaware of (see the Inner Sea Gods thread) and as such it is possible we may see a crazy overpowered option spring from it in the future. As of right now, though, it isn't the end of the world either way, and leaving it open has created tons of interesting, balanced gishy options that I'm really enjoying.


It is directly below the linked FAQ:

Quote:

For example, the Dimensional Agility feat (Ultimate Combat) has "ability to use the abundant step class feature or cast dimension door" as a prerequisite; a barghest has dimension door as a spell-like ability, so the barghest meets the "able to cast dimension door prerequisite for that feat.

Edit 7/12/13: The design team is aware that the above answer means that certain races can gain access to some spellcaster prestige classes earlier than the default minimum (character level 6). Given that prestige classes are usually a sub-optimal character choice (especially for spellcasters), the design team is allowing this FAQ ruling for prestige classes. If there is in-play evidence that this ruling is creating characters that are too powerful, the design team may revisit whether or not to allow spell-like abilities to count for prestige class requirements.

Personally, I've actually found it to be pretty great. Dumpster diving for the correct spell levels is annoying, and I agree it is a VERY weird interpretation, but it has made Eldritch Knight a much more viable option (as well as Mystic Theurge, though that might be a bit TOO attractive). I'm made some neat, balanced characters with it that otherwise just wouldn't have worked.

Haven't seen the new class yet, but from what I'm hearing it won't be a game breaker there either, even if it was an unintended option.


Yep, it kind of sucks. Combine it with Blood of Heroes and a quickened divine favor if you can, to make the best of the round. While it is resource intensive the buff really doesn't last very long, and you have to make the best of it you can.


I would say it does. "Combat actions" is an undefined term, and treating it as anything which takes an action to activate would also exclude Inspire Courage. The only reason weapon focus and other feats don't work is because feats are directly called out as not working. I would argue, from the faq, that anything else is fair game.


In the Core Rulebook FAQ, under a question about rays, it calls out spiritual weapon as a weapon-like spell that is affected by anything that affects weapons. The example is inspire courage, which gives a bonus to the wielder rather than a weapon itself. Therefore, if a spiritual weapon gets the bonus from that, it should get other bonuses that apply to the caster, including judgment.

So I would say yes.


Look, what are you really looking for here? The downtime rules are nonsense. The closer you look at them the less sense they make. Even if they actually worked out you are doing a bunch of work for a system where nothing costs more than a few thousand gold, and thus doesn't matter after the lowest levels anyway.

Complaining about it is like complaining that, during a chase, casting fly helps you use Diplomacy on an Ogre. Yes, it doesn't make any sense. But that is how the subsystem works, and it is one's own fault for thinking they it provide anything more sane than that.


I actually think the main comparisons should be the Inquisitor (Animal Domain) on whose mechanical skeleton it was built, as well as the Ranger and Druid it is supposed to be a hybrid of. In comparison to these, pretty much whatever you want to do it falls behind as levels go up, in many ways just being strictly worse.

The one thing I will say for it is that, at low levels, it works out. Low levels are when Animal Companions are at their strongest, and Animal Focus and Hunter Tactics are big boons. However, as you gain levels enhancement and competence bonuses are more available, the Animal Companion falls behind, and you notice the problems with turning a 9 level spell list into 6 without any unique or early access spells.

If by "spectrum tropes" you mean "tier system," I'd give them a high tier 4. The are "capable of doing many things to a reasonable degree of competence without truly shining" from their casting, 4 skills, and other odds and ends like circumstantial Animal Aspect buffs and Hunter Tactics tricks. I can't say they "shine" compared to another class trying to accomplish the same goal and theme, but being worse than other options doesn't mean they are unable to meaningfully contribute.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
This isn't precisely true. The currently available version is nerfed hard, but based on the response from the people making it in the discussion thread it sounds like the final version of Studied Combat is actually gonna wind up a pretty cool ability and, frankly, quite possibly better than Sneak Attack in many ways.

This is true. However, from posts like this or this, weakening the Investigator because it was too good compared to the Rogue was always the intent of the changes. So it is still a good point in relation to motivation and perception.

It also appears to have remained the intent. As far as I can tell the reason Studied Combat might end up with the final version (which I agree is better than the original Sneak Attack) is because they don't think that it would be. If they do/did, it will likely be re-weakened because of the Rogue, which would again be the problem of the Rogue being a millstone dragging down other classes.

EDIT: I should add something on topic. Rogues have access to Scout, which opens up many shenanigans.


Strong characters still have advantages in weapon choice (Falcata FTW), 1.5 x STR to damage for a two-handed weapon, lower feat requirements (no need for Weapon Finesse and Unnamed-Dex-to-Damage-Feat), and polymorph-based buffing (becoming smaller than small to get DEX kills your reach, and the only other option is elementals, which aren't ideal forms). So additional Dex-to-damage options won't totally destroy it (especially when you consider we already have Dervish Dance and Agile weapons).

Ideally, the sacred cow of Constitution should be slain and Strength or "Body" encompass hitpoints and Fortitude as well, but that is probably a step too far for even a new edition.


These scenarios are actually explained by the spells in their descriptions, because the ability to use tactics like this is just too nasty.

1) Invisibility states "For purposes of this spell, an attack includes any spell targeting a foe or whose area or effect includes a foe." The charm spells target the foes of the Lamia, and thus would break invisibility.

2) Also no. "Asking the creature to do some obviously harmful act automatically negates the effect of the spell." Taking an average of 70 points of damage would, in my opinion, count as "obviously harmful."

3) Invisibility explicitly deactivates Mirror Image. "If you are invisible or the attacker is blind, the spell has no effect." Mirror Image is strong on its own, though, to the point people will close their eyes (rendering themselves blind, and thus immune) to avoid it. I hope your melee characters have Blind Fight or good to-hit, or a friendly caster with dispel magic ready.


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Additional castings stack. By my calculations the Wizard would just need to cast it 96,686,489,000 times to create the Earth, which he could do in a mere 66,223,623 years or so. Or instantly, if he could fine some way to cheese Augmented Mythic Time Stop and cast it and Permanency from items.

Did I mention this would require immortality?


Archaeik wrote:
So it is 100% clear what the RAI is for these feats.

While that certainly is good evidence, text/table disagreement is not unheard of, and flavor text often disagrees with mechanics. Toppling Spell requires the force (not sonic) descriptor, Judgment Surge doesn't require you to be able to use Judgement twice, and so on. It is entirely possible that whoever wrote the table was mistaken about how the feat and just worked off the name, or that it was decided to expand the use of the feats later and the table/flavor was not updated.

So RAI is not 100% clear. Like, 90%-95%, tops. I'm still going to hold my 5%-10% hope that whoever wrote or edited them decided intentionally to drop both the unarmed and "deal damage" requirements of Stunning Fist. At the very least this might get them a second look so they can work with Ki Focus or something.


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I really wish the buttons for "Answered in FAQ" and "No Response Necessary" linked to posts explaining what they meant by that. As far as I can tell there isn't a FAQ or Errata on this. Maybe a developer clicked the wrong button, maybe they mistook this for talking about Perfect Strike, maybe it is filed under something other than APG (or UC, UM, UCamp, or ACG, which I also checked), or maybe I just didn't find it for some reason.

If there isn't a FAQ or a response and you still want something more definitive than the RAW (which is that you can) a new thread will have to be started. My understanding is that after something is answered it is out of the queue, so this topic isn't going to get another look without that.


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Fun!

First, this all assumes the Wizard has used his favored tricks for infinite money and immortality, as this will be expensive and time consuming.

1) Greate Create Demiplane and Permanency for the plane. Polymorph Any Object can turn sacks of hair and whatnot into life. For the full Adam, one must cast Fabricate on some dust to turn it into a statue, then cast Stone to Flesh on the statue "a life force or magical energy" available. I don't know what that is, but as part of the spell mechanics it should be allowable. Follow it up by knocking Adam out with Forgetful Slumber, coup de grace, take a rib and "Polymorph Any Object" it into Eve, then bring Adam back with a Wish.

2) When creating the sky with Greater Create Demiplane include sealed but permanent gates to the elemental plane of water. When ready, remove the covers on the gates to "open the windows of heaven." Control Weather can be added for ambiance.

3.1) Polymorph Any Object or Mirage Arcana cast repeatedly for the river of blood, if using an illusion use a bunch of AoEs to kill all the fish.

3.2) Kidnap and dominate a bunch of 5th level casters, make them invisible, then have them all cast Rain of Frogs and concentrate on it all day. For the traditional traditional Midrashic version where it is "Plague of Frog," bring a Froghemoth along (or be a Conjurer 20 and use Summon Froghemoth) and cast all the swarms into its mouth.

3.3-9) Summon Swarm, Summon Swarm, Plague Storm, Plague Storm, Control Weather, Summon Swarm, Darkness (or a preset trick with the demiplane's lighting choice).

3.10) A bunch of summoned or charmed invisible creatures, walking around shanking first born sons. Detect Relations will help in finding them.

4) Constructs, dominated people with a pile of magic items, or actual Angels and Planar Binding.

So a bit more work than Jesus the 9th Level Cleric, but theoretically doable. Although alternatively:

1-4) Modify Memory, Dominate Person to make someone write it all down.


I know it is unlikely to actually result in one, but I'd just like to add my voice to those that would love a Slow XP path. The lower levels are the ones in which investigation and mystery adventures thrive, and I feel AP are excellent at those (when they have the opportunity). I'd love for a path to fit an extra one or two of those in before advancing spells cancels it all out.


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
None of the designers think that. I think this is sarcasm.

I think the more important question is whether you think it is "Perhaps the best 1st-level spell in the game," as Ultimate Magic suggests. If so, I think you are playing in an entirely different paradigm than those that use Sleep or Color Spray.

And, likewise, a different paradigm than some or many of those that oppose the change to Crane Style.


Not entirely as you asked, but I just want to say I think this is much better. It doesn't really matter if it is a re-roll or an automatic miss or even +4 AC or whatever, what really matters is that it works on something that would otherwise hit you.

Paizo seems obsessed with options that you need to declare before a roll, or before the result is revealed, which I think is universally garbage. They limit them by round and even by day, then make you randomly or semi-randomly guess if it is good enough to burn your ability. These abilities aren't powerful to start with, and I don't think adding the chance to accidentally waste them is the slightest bit useful.

So, I think you option is good enough. Not as good as the original (which I considered less imbalanced than a huge pile of spells), but neither was unbalanced. Lots of such options have been provided in the other threads for what to do, though I think I'll just stick with the original. Whether Paizo backpedals like on "Monks must use two weapons" or "Maguses can't use haste," or sticks with the Crane tree being as bad as most other martial options, the advantage is we can go to our preferred house rules when the official ones are ridiculous.


Wing/Riposte and Parry/Riposte don't work together anymore. The Duelist abilities require a full attack, while Wing/Riposte require total defense. Using the Fighting Defensively aspects is passable, but you would be paying far too many feats for too little bonus in my opinion.

If you want to use a Style feat, I would recommend Snake. Parry causes the attacks to miss, which would trigger Snake Fang. Plus the Style allows you to count unarmed strikes as piercing, which means they work with the Duelist's Precise Strike. You might want to use a MoMS dip to get free IUS and skip Sidewind, though.

If you really want to use Crane, I would recommend going Swordlord instead of Free-Hand and taking the style only (no Wing/Riposte). Swordlords have a 7th level ability that reduces penalties for Fighting Defensively by 2 and increases AC by the same, meaning you can get a total of +6 Dodge at no attack cost. No penalty means no benefit from Riposte except the riposte, and with the new errata I just can't see bothering with that or even Wing.


Honestly, I wouldn't even consider it an issue if you went all the way and let them just have multiple totems.

Thematically, anything can be made to fit. Someone takes Celestial and Beast? Sounds like their totem is Agathions. Fiend and Chaos? That is just a Demon Totem. A flavor can be made to fit, and in fact opening up totems likewise opens up ways to express specific flavors.

Mechanically there are a couple of nice combinations (Lesser Fiend + Beast for a Natural Attack build, for example), but none that really break the game. The totems tend to do wildly different things, so stacking them is no more advantageous than stacking other, unrelated powers. There may have been some intention at some point of making Totems stronger than other powers and using exclusivity as a balancing mechanism, but if so I frankly can't discern it from the strength of the available totems.

So basically my vote is to go nuts. There is no reason to keep restrictions if they only reason for them is their very existence, and if one is breaking through that by allowing totem switching one might as well go all the one and just toss the rule out the window.


"Dumbest combat ever" is a bit of a stretch, given that "single caster against party" encounters in small rooms aren't exactly rare in published adventures (Paizo, Wizards, and otherwise). I wouldn't even call this a particularly egregious example, as it at least attempted to give him an advantage through the centrifuge. It isn't strong enough, and the room too small, but it was at least an effort.

Even his tactics as written are passable given the situation. At least it is better than the solo opponents whose default tactics are to cast buffs for the first five rounds of combat or drink multiple potions while stuck in a 10x10 room.

So, dumbest combat ever? Not even close. I mean, there are solo melee Wizards out there. An example of a type of encounter I wish was avoided? Absolutely.


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Something I noticed was, because all discussion about each class was limited to a its single thread, it was at times difficult for less popular topics to rise above the noise. Without sub threads or anything it was at times hard to keep track of discussions or see if someone responded to a comment without going through pages and pages of text about the "hot" topics of each class. There were many times I'd see an interesting comment that hadn't been brought up before, but see it get little traction. I would think having more than one thread would have made it easier for these other topics to get more examination.

Obviously this case was a bit unique with ten classes to deal with, and I can understand wanting to keep discussion from exploding into a thousand threads mixed around the playtest forum. It is just that after spending a lot of time on forums with subthreads/comment chains/whatever you call it all the voices contained in single threads felt like a cacophony to me, and made it a bit more difficult to participate in that aspect of things.


Under "Ability Score Penalties," it says:

Quote:
Some spells and abilities cause you to take an ability penalty for a limited amount of time. While in effect, these penalties function just like ability damage
And "Ability Damage" says:
Quote:
This damage does not actually reduce an ability, but it does apply a penalty to the skills and statistics that are based on that ability.

So since a penalty is treated like damage, and damage does not "actually reduce an ability," I would say you still meet the prerequisite. This post by SKR would support this, I think. If only permanent bonuses apply for feat prerequisites, in the absence of a specific rule to contrary I would say that likewise only permanent penalties should make you lose a prerequisite.

Obviously people could differ on whether or not this is logical, independent of the rules.

EDIT: In relation to the FAQ, I agree it muddies the waters, but do not think it changes the prerequisites thing. Applying to "all the same stats and rolls" is not the same as actually reducing the score in relation to prerequisites, as meeting them is neither a stat nor a roll. It might also get weird in relation to meeting prerequisites through temporary bonuses, which seems to be something they have wanted to avoid.


Quote:
We are going to take a good hard look at... some of the bloodline spells

I really hope this means expelling the totally save dependent spells from the bloodline lists. I agree that the Bloodrager doesn't need better offensive spellcasting, and the extra CL at least lets the damage spells that populate their list work a bit better. There are a couple of very save dependent spells on the list, but they can be safely ignored.

However, getting the spells on the bloodlines hurts much more, as you can't avoid them. Most lists have at least one totally save dependent spell, like fear or suggestion, where the low level and (likely) low Charisma lead to a DC that is unlikely to work on even significantly lower level targets. Even worse are the HD dependent ones like Abyssal's cause fear (6HD limit, gained at 7th) or Fey's deep slumber (10HD limit, gained at 13th), which combine the save problem with already being HD limited out when they are gained.

Fey is probably the worst with 3/4 spells, but most classes have at least one. While having an option or two on the base spell list for someone who wants to take them wouldn't hurt, I think it would be preferable for the bloodline spell lists to stick to the buffs, utility, and damage spells the class is most suited for.


I would assume no. The only point of comparison we have is the Monk, which explicitly states it does not count for feat prerequisites.


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Really? I felt it was the opposite of front loaded when playing one. Sure they get a lot of abilities, but they don't do much early on. Compared to an Alchemist they don't have Bombs/Sneak Attack or Mutagen to boost combat ability early on, and compared to the Rogue no Sneak Attack. With the Inspiration Pool being fairly small, having few free uses before talents come online, attack/save costing double, and few extracts combat ability for the first 2-3 levels was close to minimum for a 3/4 class.

A +1 attack/damage from Studied Combat at 2 wouldn't totally change that, but then it also wouldn't increase power too much either. I'd rather see Trapfinding and Poison Lore (which I still think is problematic, though that has gotten buried in the deluge of Studied Combat posts) moved up and get the minor combat boost and iconic ability early on. Those are more of an issue for dipping anyway, as they give new capabilities alongside/instead of a scaling bonus.


Going to agree with everyone else. Style feats are conceptually fun and a nice mechanic for adding mutually exclusive options.

There would be a slight issue with a dip into Master of Many Styles being really strong for fencing or two-handed fighting or whatever, but that is trivially bandaged over.


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I've been thinking a lot about Poison Lore, and am starting to think it is a system limiting ability.

What I mean by this is... how did one identify poisons before? I can't find any particular rules, except for those associated with detect poison. Looking at old APs I noticed a few skills used to identify the after effects (Craft(Alchemy), Heal, and Knowledge (Nature)), but no events of identifying current poisons. If it had come up though, Knowledge (Arcana) and Knowledge (Nature) would likely have been skills I called for (alongside Craft (Alchemy) and Heal).

However, now that identifying poison is an explicit Investigator ability, it would seem to block any other class from using the skills to do it. Similarly, in the rare circumstance that a poison needed to be neutralized and "pouring it out" wasn't an option, Craft (Alchemy) would have been what I called for before Poison Lore existed.

So, by creating this ability, one limits something that would likely have just been a skill check. If one still allows the skills to identify poisons then the ability has no value. If one doesn't no party without an Investigator can identify or neutralize poisons without spells, limiting what they would otherwise would make sense to do with their skills.

My recommendation would be making the ability a bonus, rather than a new capability. For example by giving a +1/2 level bonus on the checks and allowing them to identify and neutralize poisons extra quickly. It still fits the idea of Poison Lore, but would not in any way limit every other class in the process.


I don't think them being better archers than Fighters or Rangers is even on the horizon at this point. Compared to Fighters or Rangers they don't have any bonus feats (archery is feat intensive), no bonuses on attack/damage, their 3/4 BaB slows meeting feat prerequisites, and their major feature is having a companion which apparently does still provide cover (and will until you get IPS at 15, 1/4 of the entire game progression after a Ranger).

It doesn't terribly matter to me if the Hunter makes a good archer or not, but becoming too powerful in that regard just doesn't seem like something we need to be worried about at this point.


I also noted the presence of inappropriate spells, especially save-or-die types, at high level. Fey is probably the worst, with deep slumber at level 13 (it only works on 10HD of creatures along with a couple other save-or-suffer kind of spells. The Bloodrager is unlikely to have extremely high Charisma, so combined with the extremely low spell level I can't see the DCs being high enough to make these spells generally useful.

A couple of the bloodlines also still compare poorly to each other. For example, Celestial and Infernal are very close. However, Celestial's bonus damage is always active from level 1, whereas the Infernal damage (which hits slightly more targets, but is the most common resistance type) has to be activated as a swift (interfering with Arcane Strike) and likely wouldn't stack with flaming (unlike the Celestial's, whose damage explicitly stacks with holy). At level 8, Celestials gets wings, while the Infernal just gets flaming on a charge (still doesn't stack, still often resisted, the Celestial still gets it free on all attacks). He has to wait all the way until 16 for the exact same wings, where the Celestial gets a nice reroll ability. Spells and feats do not make up the difference, though I would argue Celestial has the better set here too. While obviously not everything needs to be the same, I think there is a distinct power gab between the two archetypes.

I have similar sentiments towards Arcane and Fey, though they are less closely related.


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I think Stonelord is actually a really good example of the minefield that is racial archetypes. Yes, it makes it easier to have Dwarven Paladins, which is awesome. However, the class also perfectly fits Oreads (both mechanically and thematically), but they are arbitrarily barred from it. Svirneblin would like the stat changes and idea of it too, and any Paladin of an Earth diety would appreciate the theme.

Restricting it to dwarves adds nothing, it just took away the option from other races. After the game has specifically been altered to allow other races to be "Dwarven" Defenders and non-elves to take up Arcane Archery, I see absolutely no reason to regress by making racial archetypes (at least those that do not rely on specific racial mechanics) a thing.


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Honestly, I hope not. The vast majority of the ARG racial archetypes fit perfectly well with any race. Making them "racial" just restricted the choice for characters from other races, even if those races are as (if not more) thematic than the associated race.

There are 10 classes in the ACG, all of which need support in terms of feats/spells/etc. There have also been references to material for the existing classes, to allow them to interact with the new ACG mechanics. Given this, there will be a limited amount of space for archetypes. Given that limited space, I would hope they would spend it dealing with concepts that can be applied to as large a group as possible rather than arbitrarily restricting them to a single race.


-One thing to change: Warpriest BaB. I want my not-a-paladin, darn it!

-One thing not to change: Personalizing the Bloodrager spell list, if it isn't being done for other classes. My thinking at the time was that it already worked passably, giving a few minor buffs and utility spells to a class that was pretty good even without it. Compared to the Hunter or Warpriest, I felt it needed a unique list the least.

-Favorite Class: Investigator. With the Archaeologist and Inquisitor, I now have a not-Rogue for each mental stat!

-Least Favorite Class: I went with Hunter. It was tough deciding between it and the Warpriest though, as both have little to distinguish them mechanically or thematically. The Hunter only won because I was more excited for it, and I wanted to hurt it like it hurt me *sob*.


I think RAuer2 expressed my own thoughts pretty much perfectly.

The current PDT version is not very strong, and the strength vs. resource intensiveness does not scale well. Compared to just Inspire Courage it does not seem particularly good for a normal party, especially (but before even) considering all the things a Bard can do with a standard action.

As I've said before, my thematic guideline is The Harpists scene from Kung Fu Hustle. They were great against single opponents, passable against groups, and were utterly destroyed once someone got up to them. One would assume they were higher level than their opponents, so I am fine with the eventual version being flat worse than an equivalent character who went archery (I can post my calculations if anyone cares, but according to my tests even a max-CHA Caster Bard with moderate Dex would be better served with a Shortbow against individual foes).

I'm fine with it being worse than archery, I just don't want it to be too much worse. The idea of musicians throwing music at enemies is incredibly cool. If the music does damage that isn't relevant in comparison to the rest of the party, it is not cool. I don't care if I'm 10%, 20%, even 30% worse than an archer with identical skills, I want my super optimized character to be able to be able to be passable in compraison the Harpists in an AP/PFS scenario because, even if it requires to-the-hilt optimization, it is awesome. The current PDT version is very weak for groups and extraordinarily weak for single targets, without even addressing the level 3 ability. I think, and hope, that something awesome and balanced can be made out of the theoretical idea of the Sound Striker.

There are many ways to make the ability meaningful, integral part of a character. I do not feel that the PDT version is one of these, being a very weak AoE and a meaningless single strike. The Sound Striker already loses enhancement bonus, Inspire Courage, and likely Arcane Strike (depending on errata) on their Weird Words, they aren't inherently an overpowered ability. With the current versions, I don't see much reason to use Weird Words instead of a Bow (even, mathematically, for a Caster Bard). Wordstrike lets me destroy (no attack, no range, no save, increasingly inevitable damage) holy symbols, component pouches, and other non-weapon/armor/shield magic items at my leisure, which is inherently unbalanced until we get to the GM/Player arms race of "everyone has 30 holy symbols!" I have no idea how it could be errated to be meaningful in comparison to Inspire Competence, and strongly feel it would be a good sacrifice for making Weird Words an iconic and meaningful ability.


Interesting. Are the archetypes going to be in the next playtest, or am I reading too far into the formatting?

Also, thank you very much for the mini transcript!

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