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Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras

Owen K. C. Stephens's page

Developer. Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Society Member. 4,484 posts (4,488 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Paizo Employee Developer

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Fourshadow wrote:
pixierose wrote:
The gloomchymist and dusk knight have interesting names. I am looking forward to finding out what class the dusk knight is. I am hoping it is a shadow/dark themed paladin character.
Pretty certain the gloom chymist will be an Alchemist archetype. I would guess the dusk knight to be a cavalier, myself.

Re: dusk knight - one of you is right.

Paizo Employee Developer

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Nutcase Entertainment wrote:
Fourshadow wrote:
And we are looking for a hardcover book in Player Companions?
It got way over your head isn't it? People want so many different things for this book that it would require an Hardcover to fit at least 30% of them. Player Companion being a mere 32 pages will make a lot of people complain.

May 2010, Adventurer's Armory is the most successful Player Companion ever.

September 2012. Ultimate Equipment.

I'm not saying making Legacy of Dragons the most successful PC ever would mean a hardback for dragons would follow... but we'd sure notice!

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kvantum wrote:
WotC released a book for 3.5 called Dragon Magic. Supposedly they called it that because the two highest selling categories of books for them were ones with either "Dragon" or "Magic" in the title.

The origin of the book's title had no impact on how seriously we undertook writing it. :)

Kvantum wrote:
Oh, would you look at that. One of the two main authors of that book is also developing this one. Gee.

Who'd have thunk? :)

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:

I would love a dragon themed hardcover.

I hope this sells well so we can more books along this line such as fey, giants, elementals, etc.

Feel free to buy three copies and encourage your friends to do the same!

Paizo Employee Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Fourshadow wrote:
ARGH! You keep thinking up stuff I want just so I won't cancel my PC Subscription, right?! You're targeting me!!!

Yep.

It was your turn.

Paizo Employee Developer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
I can't wait to see post from the people at Paizo for managing our expectations.

Hi!

...

We only have 32 pages, folks.

Paizo Employee Developer

Lass wrote:
I so love dragons!!! I wish this was somehow connected to the Dragonrider Class from SSG or Rite Publishings In the Company of Dragons but I'll still purchase this for all its scaley goodness.

As much as I love the Dragonrider (and I accept my admitted bias), I don't foresee us ever adding a 3pp character class in a Player Companion book.

Paizo Employee Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Odraude wrote:
So it mentions bloodlines of dragons up there. Could we expect a race of dragon people?

No.

Paizo Employee Developer

8 people marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:
Anyhoo, Legacy huh. Sounds like new line. I wonder if its like Blood of lines for ancient things or if its chronicling effects on world by super ancient beings xD

"Blood of" wouldn't be an accurate description of this book, because it's not about playing a dragon or half-dragon or presenting some new dragon PC race. It's more about how the influence of dragons may impact people, places, and things.

And yes, obviously, if we thought we had a good idea for another book that similarly looked at the influence some other group has on Golarion and its protagonists, we'd likely use a Legacy-style title.

For example, and confidentially, I pitched "Legacy of Otyughs" as a follow-up, but for some reason no one's gotten back to me about that idea yet...

Paizo Employee Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Secret Wizard wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
Can someone confirm this will have the first Samurai archetype in 4 years?

Holy tengu turds, I was b+#@#%+&ting when I said this, but suddenly not only there's an archetype confirmed but Hayato appears on the cover!

Owen, stop reading my journal.

Okay... if you really want me to...

(Begins to erase the outline with 7 things taken directly from the journal... )

Paizo Employee Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.

That would also fall into the category of ways to add armor to characters that don't normally have any use for it, which is not the focus of this book.

An Unarmed Tactics Toolbox (or something similar) is not impossible, however, someday.

Paizo Employee Developer

7 people marked this as a favorite.

It's a magus archetype. The ability to cast in armor is not the same as having mastered casting in armor, and it's a much shorter trip for a magus to become an armor master than a wizard.

This book is much more about taking characters who can use armor, and giving them new options and expertise, than it is about taking characters that don't use armor and giving them a way to be as good or better with it than characters who already have a baseline ability.

So there are archetypes for anti paladin, cavalier, fighter, magus, paladin, samurai, and war priest. There are also magic armors (light, medium, heavy, and shields, so no matter what armor you wear we have a new option for you), armor-related traits, armor tricks (again, for light, medium, and heavy armor), armor and shield fighting styles, and so on.

These books aren't that big, and as a result I prefer a fairly tight focus. We didn't put ways to use melee weapons as ranged weapons in Melee Tactics Toolbox or ways to use evil options with good-aligned characters in Champions of Corruption. Similarly, our focus on this was not ways to add armor to characters that don't normally have any use for it.

So if your character uses any physical armor, we have something that might be of interest.

If your character doesn't normally wear any armor, I recommend picking up a buckler. :)

Paizo Employee Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Arachnofiend wrote:
Jack of Dust wrote:
Looks like we may be finally getting another Samurai archetype. Should be pretty interesting.
Google says that yojimbo means "bodyguard";

Yep! Our yojimbo is in that vein.

"Yojimbo are highly trained bodyguards favored by the nobles and warlords of distant Minkai."

Paizo Employee Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Mythraine wrote:
Very excited about this one. I really hope there is a "build-your-own-armour" section like they had for weapons in the Weapon Master's Handbook.

I hope you won't be too disappointed that there is not. The need for such a thing was not nearly as great, since we already have UC's piecemeal armor rules, and the skeleton of a system I looked at never showed promise.

In the end, it didn't seem a good use of space.

Paizo Employee Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

COULD we have kept it to only 2-page spreads? Yes, of course. But some of the content would have been cut to fit everything neatly and to ensure every spread had its own introduction. And it would have taken so much longer there's a decent chance the next Player Companion would have had to be designed to include a good deal less innovative material, to ensure it could be developer, written, copyfit, and laid out in a compressed schedule.

Where topics more naturally fill 4-page or 6-page spreads, my preference is to use spreads of those lengths rather than artificially chop it into only 2-page chunks.

That said, I value everyone's feedback, so if other people feel strongly on this subject one way or the other, I'd love to hear about it.

Paizo Employee Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Thomas Seitz wrote:

*wonders if there will be an archetype for having a seugathi as an animal companion... *

;)

Sadly it got cut for space.

...
Those things are bigger than they look.

Paizo Employee Developer

You are very welcome!

Thanks for the kind words.

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'd expect it to be treated as mace in all mechanical regards.

Paizo Employee Developer

Correct on both counts.

Paizo Employee Developer

Barachiel Shina wrote:
One question I have is...why isn't this book going to be a March release? There's nothing for March concerning a Player Companion, why was this bumped up to April?

My understanding is that it's an issue of scheduling of resources beyond this line. Sometimes, something has to give. Way back when we first built this year's schedule, it was clear there would be a major issue managing everything we wanted to put out in Feb/Mar/Apr. When we try something like that and fail, book get pushed back, and that's not ideal for us, or customers, or anyone really. So it made more sense to decide up front to not have a March PC, so everyone (customers, retailers, and us alike) would know that and could plan accordingly.

Note that questions like that are above my paygrade, so this is my impression from inside the trenches, rather than some formal Paizo statement. A weekend musing to answer a reasonable question, when I don't have access to an official answer. I could be way off.

Paizo Employee Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.

As I noted earlier, I do not expected to put any unarmored material in the Armor Master's Handbook.

I expect to used all the space for armor mastery-related things.

I don't have a problem with unarmored character ideas, I rather like such characters, but this is not the 32-pages I feel make the best fit for those idea.

Paizo Employee Developer

Aelryinth wrote:

There's a feat you can take to get AWT 1/5 levels, AND you can swap out your later Weapon Trainings for AWT feats.

So, a standard fighter can pick up an AWT feat at levels 5,9, and 10 for PFS. The remainder feats are at 13, 15, 17, and 20.

That is, unless you are a Weapon Master Archetype, then you can just use your Fighter Bonus feats for AWT. I suggest the poster take that into account if he wants to dual-wield the same weapon, instead of sword and board. Including retraining, you could potentially end up with 11 AWT feats, and seven of them before 10th level.

I thought Spellcut was AWT, and there's no level 10 AWT feat here? Typo?

Note that in real terms, IRon Will is better then Armed Bravery for ALL CASES until either level 10 OR You get Gloves of Dueling. Waiting that long to pick up a will save buffer is going to hurt.

==Aelryinth

Spellcut is a Weapon Mastery feat, not an Advanced Weapon Training option. :)

Edit: Ninja'd by Imbicatus!

Paizo Employee Developer

It is crucial to remember that the utility of various abilities are about how much they can come up in actual play, not what they do to your optimized, preferred build. As a result, group playstyle makes a huge difference in how useful an ability is.

Fighters literally swapping out feats to respec to different weapons (with no option to respect weapon training with the same ease, and in some cases planning to change back after specific adventures), players ending up with a randomly selected magic weapon from treasure for at least part of an adventure, disarm, sunder, and the golf-bag of weapons to affect various foes (bypassing DR, shutting down regeneration, and so on) are all things that have an occurrence based on play style, and represent occasions where bonuses (at higher levels often pretty big bonuses) in weapons you *didn't* specialize in can have a significant influence on effectiveness.

While some play styles mean you'd never see any of those things happen, they all DO happen, sometimes quite frequently. And a lot of fighters carry things like silver war hammers, reach weapons, or morningstars to be able to swap weapons when facing werewolf assassins or advanced burning skeletons.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Technically, as a play tester for 3.0 and someone who wrote Dragon articles for it before it was released. I'm *16* years into 3.x design.

If I were to redesign the fighter form scratch, it'd likely look different. That's not going to happen in a Player Companion book, which isn't the place for a top-down redesign of the rules.

Advanced Weapon Mastery was a design space I thought had been underused, and I wrote a lot of guidelines to Alex about how to approach it, and when I developed his work I got it exactly where I wanted it. Alex did a great job writing to the outline, and I look forward to working with him in upcoming books.

Alex's representation of what the rules are designed the way they are isn't complete, and that's okay. These weren't created to fix every problem every fan of martial combatants has with their favorite design. It was presented to show ways that different groups of fighters, who are supposed to be our premiere weapon users, can specialize into weapon masters, while giving fighter characters fun new ways to play. I'm quite satisfied with how it accomplishes that. If you want tons of Advanced Weapon Training options added to power-up fighters until they reach a level you like you're welcome to do that in your own campaigns, but that's not what I had them designed to do. I'm happy to explore interesting design space in Player Companion books, but I'm never trying to *fix* a core class. That isn't what these books are supposed to do, and that isn't my role as their developer.

Also, please consider your tone when talking about the work Alex, or any freelancer, produces for us. If you make it unpleasant for someone to write game material for you, it'll be much harder for me to put together teams of good writers, and thus harder to oversee the creation of good books.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Aldizog wrote:
how do you calculate saves when using Spellcut? Using your BAB in place of your *total* save bonus, and add nothing else to the save? No ability score modifiers, resistance items, racial bonuses, feats, traits, or temporary boosts (e.g. Heroism)?

Correct.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Arcutiys wrote:
and doesn't do any of the above things?

Correct.

If, and only if, you have some condition that causes bright light to give you penalties, this negates those penalties.
That's it. Full stop. Just like it says, with no other interactions.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Basic chaokenesis does exactly what is says. It protects you from bright light.
Do you take penalties from bright light? If no, then it does nothing. If yes, it prevents you from taking those penalties.
That's it.

Paizo Employee Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Obbu wrote:
Weapon Material Mastery: Elysium Bronze does not specify a duration for the effect, only that after being targeted by the effect, you cannot target that creature again for 24 hrs.

While I cannot speak to any faq or errata, I can say the idea was that it's last 1d3 rounds, as with greenwood and living steel.

Obbu wrote:
(PS. great supplement, I'd have preferred some more Sword-and-board options, but this is a very tasty morsel indeed)

We do, of course, have Armor Master's Handbook coming up. :)

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Imbicatus wrote:
With the release of the Weapon Master's Handbook, I'm loathe to take any fighter archetype that loses weapon training. Advanced Weapon Training is just too good to give up.

You're welcome. :)

Paizo Employee Developer

Assuming your game it going to go beyond 4th, viking can make some very impressive fighters. Shield defense actually boosts your AC, unlike armor training, and rage (even with an effective barbarian level of fighter -4) combines nicely with a ton of feats.

Paizo Employee Developer

Mark Seifter wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

Mark is obviously correct that the rules don't allow you to take both. I would allow it in a home campaign, but you'd end up with 0 domains (having essentially taken two "-1 domain" archetypes).

I was actually also considering exactly that option for a home game ruling (and would likely allow two -1 domain archetypes in general), but in this case, since Asmodean Advocate also includes restrictions on what the second domain must be, I went for no. That said, losing the second domain is far more of a trade-off than losing the first domain.

Yeah, losing the second domain means no domain spells, which hits pretty hard. I thought that was, in this case, reasonable even given that in addition to giving up a domain, the advocate requires your other domain be trickery. That said, since we're firmly in the realm of house rules, there's no real reason to think we'll come up with the same answer. :)

Paizo Employee Developer

Mark is obviously correct that the rules don't allow you to take both. I would allow it in a home campaign, but you'd end up with 0 domains (having essentially taken two "-1 domain" archetypes).

Paizo Employee Developer

There's an answer for Phytokineticists early in the thread, Mark Seifter gave it. How we're going to make that answer easier to find and archive is an ongoing question, and I can't promise it'll be "soon," just that we're working on it.

Paizo Employee Developer

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GeneticDrift wrote:
Will this have mythic spells or spells that can be taken with mythic spell lore?

The focus of this book is on spell books and related things, so I doubt it.

Paizo Employee Developer

Dansome wrote:

Good job, guys! I hope for more of this kind of content.

Thanks for the feedback!

Paizo Employee Developer

The existence of Shadow Absalom is noted and informs many of our decisions, but we don't really offer new info on it. I'm a huge fan of SA, but this just turned out not to be the place to go into details.

Paizo Employee Developer

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A key design goal of advanced weapon training was to provide options for core fighters, and a strong part of their balance was the fact they can't be taken by a broad range of characters. The more different builds you allow to take something, the more carefully you have to check for every conceivable interaction of options. In this case, I intentionally decided to allow advanced weapon training push the envelope, which required it to keep a narrow scope.

Martial Focus allows characters to access Weapon Mastery Feats, because those are feats, rather than alternate class features. Advanced weapon training is closer to a set of specific fighter talents, and I'm comfortable keeping them tightly as fighter-options with just a *very* few exceptions. Even excluding archetypes that have given up weapon training was by design. I'd rather weapon training get much more flexible, but only for people who already have it, than create a whole new subsystem for everyone to become better combatants.

Otherwise to avoid power creep, advance weapon training would have to be less flexible.

Of course, play style has a major impact on how various rules systems actually impact games. I encourage people to do whatever makes sense for their home campaigns, but those choices often won't make sense for the baseline game as played by everyone else.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Crai wrote:
Blood of Shadows would be an ideal book to also provide some developer clarifications on RAW usage and adjudication of the 3 big "Shadow" spells in Pathfinder - Shadow Conjuration, Shadow Evocation and Shadow Enchantment (and all their lesser/greater variants).

It is [very rare for core rule clarifications to come from a Player Companion. I expect it'll remain rare. That's not what these books are for and, honestly, I think that's best.

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GM Aram Zey wrote:
christos gurd wrote:
so if i read this right, my monk could get a sharding aomf to cange their flurry to a ten foot range attack? i bet i could get creative with that.
Wait, wait, wait. Does this actually work?

Note that I'm not making a FAQ or errata statement, just talking about my interpretation.

An amulet of mighty fists can be augmented with weapon special abilities that affect melee weapons.

Sharding is a weapon property that affects melee properties.

So you can put sharding on an amulet of mighty fists.

This means you can make a special ranged attack in place of melee attack. By throwing a duplicate fist. That may look weird, but anyone who has played fighting video games can envision it, I'm sure.

It's worth noting that when you throw a greatsword, you're throwing an improvised weapon unless you have Throw Anything or a similar ability. The same is true of fists. A fist is not a thrown weapon, so when you throw one, it's an improvised weapon. We know this because the ability says "as if thrown by the wielder."

Of course, Throw Anything fixes a lot of that.

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There are a few PCs on next year's schedule where Divine Fighting Techniques might well make sense, so people's feedback on their popularity is quite useful.

Paizo Employee Developer

Calth wrote:
Just a note, "Weapon Master Weapon Training" is not actually "Fighter Weapon Training" as it does not meet the requirements of the archetype replacement FAQ. That's why the new companion had to add an explicit exception letting that archetype take and benefit from the advanced weapon training feat.

I DID think it would be a shame if Weapon Master wasn't a good option for a player excited by options in the Weapon Master's Handbook. :D

Paizo Employee Developer

Chess Pwn wrote:
I'm really happy with this book. I feel it's inspired a lot of thought into making some "off-meta" builds that are now more supported. Also I feel they gave a lot to help classes that get a lot of feats feel like they have good options to go into.

I'm really glad you enjoyed the book!

Paizo Employee Developer

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Lou Diamond wrote:
Owen, I was disappointed in the weapon masters handbook.

I'm obviously sorry you are disappointed. However, suggestions that change how core rules operate, such as changing Vital Strike so it works on a charge without any other player resource being spent on it, or giving every martial character weapon training as part of the base character classes, just aren;t going to happen in a Player Companion. These books are ways to contextualize the existing rules in Golarion-specific ways, and offer new campaign-specific options that work within the existing rule framework.

We're not going to overturn how the whole games work in a 32-page soft back.

There are, of course, options here that are more than a list of feats. Advanced weapon training specifically looked at a way to expand what kind of fighter builds a player can create without making the fighter give up feats. The divine fighting techniques offer different kinds of alternatives.The stamina and combat tricks boost feats characters already have.

But a straight redesign of martial classes that boosts their baseline power for no swap-out isn't something a Player Companion is ever going to do.

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nighttree wrote:
Just make sure the Caligni get some generious love Owen....and I'll be a happy camper :P

Sadly the order of then the books have to be outlined and approved vs when Bestiary 5 was actually out means we didn't do specific caligni support, though obviously there are lots of dark- and shadow-themed options they can access.

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This is my first "Blood of" book as a developer. I have my own view of what such books should cover, which is informed by but not beholden to previous books. Certainly, I think they should be player-focused, and believe this one will be.

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I authored them. They were going to be true, but turned out not to be, and I failed to revise them.
They may be true someday in the future, which is far from perfect, but all I can manage at the moment.

Paizo Employee Developer

Chess Pwn wrote:
I just got the Weapon master handbook, it's awesome, but the Rondelero Flexibility ability has me really confused. The Rondelero fighter archetype has a very similar ability, minus the keeping buckler AC, but I feel it's been "established" that the ability doesn't actually DO anything, since you can already alternate between weapons and not take 2WF penalties. BUT since the ability was printing again I am super curious if it's actually supposed to mean anything. Or does the fighter's really do nothing and the swashbuckler's really just saves you a feat to keep ac? Does anyone know more about this?

So, obviously when developing a Player Companion, I can't go back and adjust the wording of other books already in print. And of the thousands of people who will buy and use this book, not all of them are part of online discussions. So I want to make sucre it's clear to people who have already put the Rondelero fighter archetype into their games that this class can do the same thing. The fear is if we *don't* mention that, there will be people who see the absence as meaning the new archetype can't do it. And if some new FAQ or official rules change comes along (which I have no reason to think will happen, but like to be prepared for), the two Rondelero will continue to operate in the same way.

However the swashbuckler ability DOES do something, since it allows you to shield bash witch a buckler without losing the AC from the buckler, and that's a nice ability if not overwhelming. For one thing it means you can attack a foe hit with a full attack action, hit, roll damage, discover the foe has DR 10/bludgeoning, and swap to your buckler for your second attack without fear of weakening your defenses.

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Scott_UAT wrote:
I added them both but shouldn't those be listed as hybrids or alternates as they draw from existing class features primarily?

That's not really my call, it's not my list. :D

The RuneGuard clearly *isn't* an alternate ranger, despite using a lot of ranger numbers as shorthand. That's a simple way to present a class, but there's nothing about the base attack bonus, saves, skill points/level, starting age, or starting money that's uniquely ranger-ish. The skill and skill points/level are changed, anyway.

It's also pretty clearly not an alternate witch, since it's a martial class designed to fight with weapons. It does have hexes, which only shamans and witches (and hexcrafters, and hellions, and maybe other archetypes and or 3pp classes) get, but that's mostly because they're an underexplored concept. Lots of classes have spells, for example, which doesn't really make them hybrids or alternates of each other.

Given its not thematically at all a ranger, and is not going to play in any way like a spell caster (shaman/witch), I don't really think it's a hybrid of those either.

These are clearly abbreviated class descriptions, but the *intent* is certainly to provide new base classes that, at the game table, will produce a unique play experience despite being built on new ways to use existing rules.

Paizo Employee Developer

ObsessiveCompulsiveWolf wrote:

Beastshifter free from RGG's publisher.

You neglected this one Owen.

They're on a timer, and it hadn't posted yet when I made the earlier comment. :D

Thanks for catching it!!

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RuneGuard free from RGG's publisher.

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