Hm, I think I posted the question in a way that shows my bias by calling it "fluff". My intention was something like "Do you need crunch for something that can probably just be fluffed?" but it clearly shows which way I'm leaning.
Another example would be something like taking ranks in Profession (Soldier) on your fighter, because that's what he does (besides adventuring).
For an example, you've got a Paladin that you want to say is a good singer.
Do you think:
You can come up with your own examples or tell anecdotes of what characteristics/backstory/fluff you feel comfortable handwaving and what you want to have hard rules and a certificate for.
Now granted the OP missed a perfect opportunity to turn this into a adventure. Heck perhaps she even did it on purpose! She is a frigging Witch! What a cool start for a reoccurring villain!
+1 I love it when my feats turn my gold into coal then become recurring villains.
One time I took Improved Sunder and the DM decided that the master that taught it to my fighter did so by breaking his magic sword.
Edit for back on topic: Yeah I don't think anyone is saying the player's reaction was a good one but it's definitely an understandable one. It's up to you guys to forgive each other or not, we on the forums can only talk about the in-game situation.
That's beside the point, which is that it's not clear if the cohort is the PC's character #2 or his NPC.
But if it were the point (and I'm tempted to bite) and you're afraid of metagaming, you could easily have a conditional statement: "After this item is done, it's going to be tested first by magic, then worn as a test by me/the witch/volunteer. If no problem is found then, I'm wearing it constantly."
Same for traps. "I have a serious suspicion of this door being trapped. Even if I can't find any traps I know that might be more indicative of a personal failure than a safety of opening the door. I'm standing back even if I don't find anything."
Same for appraise (though personally I wouldn't even roll it if my character is bad at it. Some DMs love to have this skill come up maybe twice in a campaign and punish people for not taking it by making them price it at 10% value and sell it easily for nothing, rather than accidentally price it at 200% value and being turned away/bargained with). "I don't know anything about fine art, but this picture looks valuable. I'm going to take it to a trusted expert before I try to sell it, but I may as well try to ballpark it (or not)."
I agree that you didn't do anything wrong, but you could've done it far better, or at least friendlier.
For one thing, it seems to me a strange split that he had enough control over his cohort to pick her spells, but not enough to roll her crafting checks.
The fact that he didn't finish picking the Witch's spells before asking for her to craft this item sends a pretty clear message: He has little interest in the details of casters/crafting. If you're going to roll dice for his cohort, you probably should've built picked its spells as well.
He basically put out a job on Craiglist "Wanted: Witch who doesn't mind getting her hands dirty. Required skills: Crafting magic items, especially belts of physical perfection."
My preferred ways of handling Leadership is allowing the player to pick an NPC they've met, or make an outline of the sort of character they want, rather than having them build PC #2. It sounds like you kinda share the same thoughts.
And even though that stuff didn't happen, the witch probably could've thought "Man, my pirate boss is giving me a ton of money for this project that I KNOW will flop. I should tell him to hold onto his money so I can research the proper spells first, or things might get unpleasant in our professional relationship."
All signs point to your DM not wanting you to optimize. If that's not the case, I'd suggest a divine caster of your choice.
Summoned monsters are always as effective no matter the point buy, so be a Druid or a Cleric with Sacred Summons if you want to make the best of the setting. With Augmented Summoning, these critters will have higher stats than the party.
1a) Most feats are either effective and bland (See weapon spec) or ineffective. Sure, maneuvers are cool...if you're constantly facing humanoids. If you're fighting monsters, you're not going to be able to deal with their size, str, and higher HD. Plus size limitations stop you from even attempting some manuevers, as do other factors (natural weapons/armor can't be disarmed or sundered).
1b) How many truly cool feats are there? Dazing Assault is pretty cool, and so is Crane Wing. They can accomplish things you'd otherwise expect of magic. Go ahead and name any others as badass as these.
1c) Feats aren't even that special. Everyone gets them, the Fighter just gets twice as many. It's less feats than casters get spells, and weapon-users need the feats much more than casters do I never feel as I have too few feats as a caster. It's usually spent on Extra ____ if possible, maybe some spell focus, improved init. But you're pretty much set. The Fighter is compensated with his weapon/armor training, which is effective, but also boring. Weapon Training wouldn't be half as good without Gloves of Dueling in existence either, and that's gonna set you back 15k.
2) As has been mentioned, melee combat is not especially rich. There's 8 schools of magic (not counting universal) which all perform quite differently from each other, but a swordsman is the same as an axeman or a hammerman.
3) If I wanted to cast spells I wouldn't make a martial and max out ranks in UMD and sink tons of money into it. I'd make a caster. They should be able to stand alone and do cool things. But it's this dang attachment to realism that some people have that keeps these classes grounded. Partially why I'm excited for Rule of Cool's Legend system.
Ethereal Gears wrote:
I do like a challenge when it comes to character creation.
You like a challenge in character creation so you're asking us to do it for you?
Well, you'll want inquisitons that actually give you somewhat spammable abilities to use for mystic combat, such as Torture. Besides that, Anger seems handy for raging.
Actually it seems that despite SGG's recommendations, actual domains are better than inquisitions for this archetype since it gets to use them as part of mystic combat. Darkness is good for blind-fight and giving an enemy 20% miss, Animal will give you a companion helper, Law (Inevitable) will allow you to toss out Commands, Plant (Growth) for Enlarge Self as swift, Trickery is great for making a clone as part of your full attack.
Those domains are where I would start.
Trap Feats: Worse than actual in-game traps, these feats do nothing 99% of the time (and when they do something it is insignificant) or they actively make the character worse. Some designers will claim that these are necessary to reward System Mastery, which is similar to a Rogue's Trapfinding only in real-life.
Anyone want to do a more complete definition of System Mastery?
99%: 100% unless it is beneficial for the player, in which case the Dice Gods will make it certain failure.
Core Races: A coalition of species that maintains military might enough to kill all oothers while maintaining high enough population counts to cover the planet in their writhing young.
Goblins: A race of small greenskins that makes constant attempts to prove they deserve to be a Core Race because they are the best at sex and have a casual propensity towards violence and cruelty. Stopping their attempts to be considered a Core Race is often the first test of Adventurers.
OOC Jokes/References: This is what players engage in between combats, neglecting any and all potential for roleplay. A DM is to be grateful if this banter does not include Monty Python.
Spell Component Pouch: In a game that tracks an archer's arrows down to the very last one, the spell component pouch is a 5gp 2lb wonder that contains every possible spell component and spell focus in the game, and never needs to be refilled. However if you try to use anything in the pouch for something besides casting, such as tossing some of the licorice shavings you use for Haste into the dinner pot, the DM will look at you like you are insane
Haste: Widely regarded as a very well designed spell, Haste tricks your foolish companions into charging headlong into battle, while doubling the speed at which you may execute a tactical retreat.
Unfair (2): Any DM decision I did not ask him to make.
Dexterity: The ability score most often mistaken for the best one in the game because it does everything. If you sink enough feats into it, it will apply to your AC, reflex save, initiative, to hit and damage, as well as some nice skills. Unfortunately at no point does it allow you to bend reality as Wisdom, Intelligence, and Charisma do.
Diplomacy: The skill, not to be confused with Longsword Diplomacy or Fireball Diplomacy. If played by RAW this skill is actually magic that works in anti-magic zones that allows you to charm anyone into being Friendly with you, except for the rest of the party who will hate you for making combat, and thus loot and experience, disappear from the game.
I have no idea what the actual bolding conventions are!
Pretty much this. I like leveling, though not too frequently. I also like adhoc leveling so I never noticed 4e leveling too fast or anything. It pretty much depends on the DM anyway.
The first time I played 4e, we did level ups every session to test out more of the system. It was fun in its own way, though I wouldn't do it normally.
Prerequisites: Con 15, aasimar.
Benefit: Whenever you are adjacent to a good outsider that takes bleed or blood drain damage, you gain 1 temporary hit point as you bathe in the celestial being's gore. Furthermore, as a full-round action, you can feast on the fallen body of a good outsider that has been dead no longer than 24 hours. When you do, you regain 1 temporary hit point per Hit Die the outsider possessed at a rate of 1 hit point per minute. Temporary hit points gained from this feat last 1d4 hours.
I wonder who wrote that one.
I apologize to all people that expected a different type of rise. I was considering titling this thread "How to troll the forums with a single post" or something like that, but decided against it (as often the case is these topics are made by innocents who don't know what they're starting).
This topic is mostly for fun and also for the slim hope that people will be able to recognize troll topics and take necessary precautions.
And how did I possibly miss GM Tyranny/Player Entitlement. Those are always big.
As others have said, this dilemma feels particularly contrived, engineered at great personal expense by a genre-savvy villain.
What reason would the Paladin even have to trust this villain at all? Unless the party can rally the proper magic to avert falling into the pit and saving the boy, it's pretty much resign yourself to dying.
I think Helic's scenario is a pretty good one, though I would modify it. He pushes the hostage into Hell, and the party has the option of following to protect, or attempting to engage the BBEG. I'd also let them actually rescue the kid if they pursue him into Hell and manage to protect him.
Not only to allow them a well deserved win, but also because it makes sense from the villain's POV. If they do a rescue and it turns out to be a simulacrum, they'll never pay attention to any "hostage" the villain has. It would be so much easier to just take another hostage later.
By which I mean the actual application of the Superstition rage power in an adventuring party. There are a lot of relatively short duration buff spells a friendly arcanist might provide a barbarian, including Enlarge Person and Haste, that would be cast in combat. Other spells that might be cast as well after the nature of the enemy is discerned, such Resist Energy, or heals after some damage gets done.
So would you take superstition in the classic party (meleer, arcanist, divine caster, skill monkey)? Do you hold back on raging until you're good to go on buffs? Or do you just flat out reject them/save vs. them?
Though Maneuver Masters still have trouble fighting monsters as they get bigger and omg super strong.
Monks can do well against mostly humanoids and casters, but unless you know that's the campaign you're going into, you'll be hitting a rock wall with maneuvers on monstrous opponents.
One should not introduce new players to the game with a pure buffbot. They're dull in combat and with a charisma penalty he's not going to have the skills to make up for it out of combat.
Oh nooo, a -1 penalty to social skills relative to most other characters, or -2 relative to races with a charisma bonus. What a truuuuly insurmountable challenge!
Being a Bard without a max'd Charisma is easy, as others have said you can just use spells that don't rely on saves. He's still an excellent buffer, and he's tough enough to stand on the front lines.
I disagree that buffing is boring, though YMMV. I consider healing boring, but when I cast Haste and see 3 extra attacks per round doing damage, that's basically my damage. I can take some joy from that.
I agree with either Arcane Duelist arch, or vanilla bard.
Death knell is such a short term gain that I seriously the code commands you to. Just because you can doesn't mean you should. Gotta differentiate between the disposable lackeys, and the experts.
this is going to end in tears
I love these little moments of calm before the crying starts.
Well, Improved Init is effectively +8 to Dex for initiative purposes, so unless you have Cha as a secondary score it's going to be better.
I meant that non-dex meleers don't have to go first because being flat-footed isn't so bad, they'll get to full attack instead of charging, and they won't be in the way of their blaster's blasty spells (that usually mean reflex saves).
I think being fantastically ugly like some posts suggest is still a high charisma, because people notice and pay attention to you. Plenty of magnetic people have been ugly.
I'm gonna echo the other camps
Low Cha is being socially invisible from shyness/apathy, or being a jerk, whether you're aware of it or not.
This is a standard bear trap, only the misfortune of a victim doesn't end when the jaws clamp around the triggering appendage. The pressure plate also activates the magical component, casting SNA IV to call a Grizzly Bear that prioritizes the victim of the trap.
So it seems to me that this trap has a base DC of CR 1, and the highest level spell on it is lvl4, which adds +4 to the CR for a total of 5. Is this appropriate? It seems a little weird that a trap that's as easy to defeat as a CR 1 trap should count at full value.