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Talgoren

Quintessentially Me's page

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When two nations collide, more than just pure military power (or in the case of Pathfinder and similar RPGs, military and magical power) determines the outcome.

You're right... if a nation has a land that is inhospitable to invaders, has sufficient military might to slow them down, and has notably superior magical power, then if they act in a coordinated fashion they are very likely to win.

Making matters worse is that the Land of the Linnorm Kings (LotLK) is just a group of smaller kingdoms, each with their own leaders, military units, internal problems, interests, and so on. Their culture focuses on individual accomplishment and not necessarily toward unity except as a matter of pride to belong to the Ulfen people.

So you're putting together an idea for a disparate group of leaders of separate kingdoms who don't see eye to eye and have their own problems to deal with, to come together in order to drive a superior force from lands that were forcibly taken in only a month's time ages ago, a superior force that has just had its supernatural immortal ruler returned (i.e. Reign of Winter has happened in your world).

You'll need to come up with a couple of things. First you will need to find a reason for the Linnorm Kings to work together. The land they will reclaim will be sizeable but who will get it? Why is it valuable? Pride? Consider a confluence of events that make taking Irrisen back, and more particularly taking it back within a specific timeframe, important. Possibly The Great Linnorm will appear in Irrisen and whomever defeats this legendary fey dragon will be proclaimed High Linnorm King. Perhaps an artifact weapon of some kind has turned up and Baba Yaga is either prevented from finding or obtaining it or has no interest in it, but will resist anyone else's claim on it. The point being that the Linnorm Kings have gone this long without trying to unite the Ulfenfolk and take back Irrisen, so what has changed to make them willing to work together to do it now?

Second you will need to find a reason to reduce Irrisen's efficacy. Historically Irrisen has been well enough organized that Baba Yaga has been able to maintain control over a lineage of powerful spellcasters and a huge population of monsters. They've not shown any indication that Irrisen is in any way weakening, events in Reign of Winter notwithstanding. Perhaps The Great Linnorm draws power from nearby magical sources, essentially weakening spellcasting or at least limiting, say, divination and/or teleportation magics cast in the region. Or perhaps the artifact grade weapon has a similar suppressive effect. This would stymie one or two key magic-driven advantages of Irrisen forces, namely intelligence and mobility.

To reduce the potency of the monster based army, you could either have a similar aura as the magic suppression but this instead increases hostility and rage. The skalds of the Ulfen could bend this to enhance the rage of their warriors while the monsters might go over the edge and start fighting amongst themselves. Or perhaps some over-achieving orc leader from the Hold of Belkzen has found passages below the Kodar Mountains directly to Irrisen and is recruiting her monsters away, promising wealth and riches (or fresh meat) for any who join them in fighting the defenders of Lastwall, an area which is less demanding physically than Irrisen and defenders who might be considered easier prey (at least when being pitched by a particularly glib orc diplomat).

Note that thus far I've only mentioned things which would have happened completely outside the efforts of the Linnorm Kings. They would simply be trying to take advantage of an opportunity. Extra points if you drum up a scenario where one or more of the Linnorm Kings have actually acted to cause one or more of these events, especially if it was a slow play and *particularly* if you can weave in the effects of Reign of Winter to reflect that this person or group of people were working behind the scenes for years and it was almost ruined due to RoW and now they are finally getting to bring it to conclusion.

I'm not sure where you plan to take this, to have Irrisen fall and the LotLK grow back to its original size or to have Irrisen hold off the invasion, or somewhere in between. Also consider what other groups in the region might due in all of this. Would there be interest from Belkzen if humans were invading a stronghold of monsters and winning? Would the Mammoth Kings be concerned that Ulfen warriors are now essentially just next door and have assumed control over a large portion of land? How will the Linnorm Kings hold their new (old) winnings? Will they consider inviting settlers from other regions? Other races? Might they strike peace with a group or species who is typically considered "evil" but is willing to stick to the laws of the Linnorm Kings in exchange for ruthlessly driving out the other monsters?

Just food for thought. Good luck. It sounds interesting and I hope your group enjoys exploring the possibilities. :)


Nerfherder wrote:

"Once thrown, a bead of force functions LIKE a resilient sphere spell (Reflex DC 16 negates)" emphasis mine. Again it doesn't specifically state that it functions as the spell, albeit I will concede that there may have been some editing problems, but without a FAQ update I cannot confirm this. However I still cannot get around the fact that RAI seems to indicate that the Spell Resilient Sphere reads more as a defensive spell and the item Bead of Force reads as an offensive item (it does damage, it is thrown like a ranged weapon) I can't feel that the encapsulating effect of the item is not meant for capturing enemies and therefore it wouldn't makes sense that the item would allow means for egress and the like.

The player in question used and offensive item to simulate the spell as written. The item specifically states nothing can get into or out of the sphere. Unfortunately in a rules heavy game like PF words are very important and that is how I make DM adjudications, based on wording interpretation. Was I being unfair?

I don't think "unfair" is the right term. Unfair suggests an inequality or inconsistency in application of the rules. You are stating not only your logic for having applied your ruling but also the philosophy that is underlying your logic. The only way it would be unfair would be if you didn't apply the same methodology to your other rulings.

What I think you're wondering is whether your ruling was reasonable or, if you're looking for a stronger endorsement, correct.

Reasonable? There is enough ambiguity that were I playing at your table I wouldn't be upset about it. I disagree with your interpretation but that's moot.

Correct? I can't say that I think you are correct. I think that given the history of Pathfinder, how it stems from 3.5, how often inconsistencies have been found in the CRB due to text not being consistently handled when brought in from 3.5, and the fact that the team took the time to modify the spell but did not remove the "like" language from the bead, all leads me to believe that the bead is truly intended to function like the spell and that the language difference is unintended. Morever I personally place far more importance on that "like" statement. If something is supposed to function "like" something else, except as noted it should function just like that something else. Neither the bead nor the spell have text that says that teleports or summons are necessarily restricted. Force effects do not extend to the astral. The rules do not, in my opinion, support your stance.


@Douglas: I love your additions here but I did want to point out regarding your second point that you can't really bury the magic jar anywhere because the initial jump from the jar to your first target will require line of effect, even though the initial casting does not:

Magic Jar,PRD wrote:


By casting magic jar, you place your soul in a gem or large crystal (known as the magic jar), leaving your body lifeless. Then you can attempt to take control of a nearby body, forcing its soul into the magic jar. You may move back to the jar (thereby returning the trapped soul to its body) and attempt to possess another body. The spell ends when you send your soul back to your own body, leaving the receptacle empty. To cast the spell, the magic jar must be within spell range and you must know where it is, though you do not need line of sight or line of effect to it. When you transfer your soul upon casting, your body is, as near as anyone can tell, dead.

While in the magic jar, you can sense and attack any life force within 10 feet per caster level (and on the same plane of existence). You do need line of effect from the jar to the creatures. You cannot determine the exact creature types or positions of these creatures. In a group of life forces, you can sense a difference of 4 or more HD between one creature and another and can determine whether a life force is powered by positive or negative energy. (Undead creatures are powered by negative energy. Only sentient undead creatures have, or are, souls.)

So any hop between creatures is probably fine within the range of the spell. Any hop back to your body is also presumably okay as those portions of the spell do not indicate requiring line of sight/effect. Any hop back to the jar is also presumably okay.

But any hop from the jar to a target will require line of effect from the jar to the target.

One idea might be to have a circular room (fighting arena) that is no bigger than the max range of the spell. On the ceiling, in the center of the room, have a simple set of crystal lights (quartz crystals with 'Continual Flame' or somesuch) embedded there along with a handful of other otherwise non-descript items. Have the jar, in the form of yet another crystal, also embedded here. Let it pierc through the stone ceiling into an upper room where the BBEG body is located. The jar is now within line of effect of anyone in the room, the BBEG body is hidden and safe. He could have a minion with a Hat of Disguise set up to look like him. Possibly several. Maybe they are Blinking Hats of Disguise (totally made up) which are set up to send the disguise randomly to one minion each round. He can hop around to his heart's content and the party won't really know which is which.

To keep it from being a complete cluster-kitten you can either motivate the BBEG to come down and take care of matters himself i.e. the PCs represent a credible threat to his plans of left unchecked after beating his minions. Or perhaps he just escapes to get them another day. Dunno.


Redelia wrote:
When I talk about wanting a caster cleric, I'm talking about trading away a lot more than any of the above. I'm talking about a cleric who loses all spellcasting abilities for a week if they knowingly touch any weapon. They have stricter AC boosting restrictions than the ecclesitheurge, because they can't use any AC boosting items other than one that comes for free with the class. And then they need to have the ability to always have something to do, since they can't use weapons at all. I would probably boost their spells per level very slightly. They would get three full domains (not 1 and 2/2 like the ecclesitheurge). Also, they would either get a unique cantrip that did damage (and damage that scales up by level so it's always relevant even at high level) or else get a damaging domain power with unlimited uses per day, so they could always 'attack.'

The always available scaling damage cantrip you're talking about is similar to Kineticist base blasts or the Warlock Vigilante's Mystic Bolt. Granted those classes make such a feature a center piece to one degree or another allowing shaping and riders to be attached, but the idea is similar.

The problem is, such a feature *is* typically used as a foundation because it *is* always available and scales with level, never becoming "useless" as such. In the case of what you're describing, such a cleric would either not be able to contribute much to offense (barring archetype variations that expand this feature) or the base class would need it to be fleshed out at which point you'd now have a full caster with an always available damage ability that scales with level.


Milo v3 wrote:
scadgrad wrote:
I see so many people griping about how this build or that build ruins their game. In almost every instance, they're using 20 or 25 point buys. I'm sure I'm not alone in in stating that the 15-point buy (upon which the original D&D 3.X engine was built around) approach and maybe disallowing things that make action economy unfair to the other players in the group (we're looking at you Summoner and Leadership feat) produces a game that is reasonably balanced and very fun for everyone. No game with this much complexity could ever be perfectly balanced.
In my experience point buys below 20 make things harder for the weaker classes, since they tend to be more MAD.

Agreed. With a 15 point buy, your Wizard is still going to pump INT; they may just skip DEX or any of the other attributes in order to keep INT high. And they will probably do just fine.

Your Fighter on the other hand is going to have to decide how much STR to give up to keep his CON competitive. Your Monk is going to choose a different class.

Low point buys don't tend to help with the imbalance because the true monsters in terms of unbalanced high power are SAD full casters.


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I always get confused on threads like this. The original premise had to do with whether Pathfinder is unbalanced with regard to classes, an implicit question about the tier system in general the C/MD specifically. It seemed to get pretty solidly derailed into a question about whether GM's spoil player agency and the game overall when they fudge rolls. Now it's shifted closer to the original premise but is dealing with specific mechanics that technically apply to all characters and is now a comparison to power levels in prior editions.

It's confusing because everyone seems to have been more or less okay with the topic shifts.

That said, I have gained a better appreciate for the "don't fudge rolls; be an open GM" camp. I have a confession; I'm a roll-fudger and to make matters worse I'm not inclined to even let the players know. I have tried to gauge player reaction and adjust encounters on the fly without telling them. I wanted to increase the tension and make the "story" more "interesting". I now realize I was making it more interesting for me, not necessarily for them. To be fair, I recall they enjoyed finally defeating encounters that ended up being ramped up on the fly, but I suspect they would have enjoyed simply steam rolling it just as much and it would have been clear they achieved it on their own, likely making it all the sweeter. Assuming I ever GM a game again, I'll be taking that into account. Thanks for that.

Trying to swing things back to the original premise:

I'll reiterate, Pathfinder is not balanced, specifically the classes in Pathfinder are not balanced against one another. It never was balanced. It is an iteration of an already unbalanced game, D&D 3.5, and was purposefully crafted with a degree of backwards compatibility.

Moreover, the imbalance is extreme and covers all of the meaningful aspects of the game. Given that the game is a RPG with crunch, it attempts to gate all meaningful interactions with the world behind success/fail checks. Access to magic provides an effective means of rendering many success/fail checks moot. There is a direct correlation (causative in my opinion) between a class's access to magic and their relative power level.

Finally, I believe this imbalance should not be the default level of power balance. I believe that any player approaching the game with little to no prior knowledge of what to expect, would expect that whichever route they went, their choices would all provide similarly potent options, enabling them to handle any encounters they would meet with, on average, similar likelihood of success and with similar capability to contribute as anyone else. I believe that the grittier, more grounded approach, with Fighters/Rogues/Monks having much lower ceilings, is something that should have been an alternate rule or path, with clear forewarning that doing this will cause the sort of inequity found in the current game.


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I have observed it, including within myself. I've played characters that under other circumstances would be perfectly acceptable and which matched my "vision" of that character pretty much spot on... until I realized I had had a "vision" of, for example Daredevil, while everyone else was having a "vision" of Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, and Doctor Strange. Meaning I was feeling badly outclassed and very much like a fifth wheel.

I felt bummed because I didn't feel like I was contributing meaningfully. Even when I did something "cool" and that seemed to be of some significance in combat, maybe getting a lucky set of iterative attack rolls with subsequently lucky high damage rolls, putting the BBEG within a few hit points of death, the next guy would come along and dish out a large amount of damage and end the fight. Was I setting them up for that? Sure, but given how much damage they put out my contribution was probably not needed anyway.


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Shadowlords wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Shadowlords wrote:
then have everyone play the same class. Boom, Balanced.
Are you even reading what is being said to you?
I am listening, thank you for understanding the joke. This was a stab at the comment saying that every class should have the same strengths and weaknesses and not being better or worse at different citations.

As Jiggy inferred, I don't think anyone made the claim you're saying was made, that "every class should have the same strengths and weaknesses". In fact, what I have seen argued is that classes need variation but need to be able to contribute equally, a somewhat different affair.

Naturally the point of Pathfinder, being a game, is for everyone to be able to have fun and get something out of the experience. Paizo's responsibility in all of this would be to give out a set of tools which, in the default use case, will provide a reasonable group of players (lumping the GM in as a player here) a good chance at everyone having an equally good time.

The problem is that unlike most other games the players all have different abilities to affect the outcome. In poker everyone is equally affected by random selection of cards. In many board games all players begin with equivalent starting states and adhere to the same rules. Few games match a TTRPG for the ability of each player to begin with relatively distinct starting points. That doesn't, however, change the purpose of the game itself, for everyone to have fun.

I would argue, then, that a reasonable person approaching a TTRPG like Pathfinder, upon hearing that the premise is you get to create a character who will be the hero (or villain) you wish them to be and will adventure alongside other players doing the same, would expect that no matter what path I take, whether Fighter or Wizard, Rogue or Cleric, I will have a roughly equivalent chance to be "heroic" and save the day.

And here's the critical part of that argument: that the expectation of equal ability to affect outcome should hold generally across "most" tables and assuming either the "default" rules or the most "common" or most "likely" rules. I would include PFS in this case.

And that is where the failure to deliver lies. At your particular table, your GM may be taking a proactive approach to this by making sure to custom tailor the adventure to the PCs. But that means the players (again, lumping in the GM here) are having to bring in gaming meta-knowledge about Pathfinder to plan out how to run the adventure. An entire group of first time players with a first time GM are almost absolutely going to run into problems because the GM is likely going to pull in encounters which some of the players simply cannot contribute meaningfully to defeating. And this pattern will hold, growing worse over time in fact, if the GM attempts to spread encounter makeup evenly across the available encounters.

"But no GM should do that," you claim. "The GM is given Rule 0 to prevent this in the first place."

No. Or rather, yes, but. Rule 0 does exist but it's supposed to allow you to be able to either tailor things to your group's liking (e.g. we don't like to track ammunition so we handwave that) or to make on the spot rulings for ambiguous corner cases (e.g. any FAQ candidate before being answered by Paizo) or to make larger scale changes but then only based on experienced observation (e.g. we're moving to Kirthcraft rules everyone).

What Rule 0 should not *have to* be used for is to make up for deficiencies in delivering what a reasonable and otherwise unsuspecting potential Pathfinder player/GM would tend to expect in a game with as much documentation as this game has.

Put another way, just because you want to play Gandalf and I want to play Rache of the Renshai warriors, doesn't mean that my ability as a *player* to contribute meaningfully to the group's success should end at the point of my sword while you are able to deal with every threat in one way or another.

"But Rule 0 would allow you to do that, there's no need to change the rules. Why stick your anime/wuxia crap into my LotR saga?" you ask.

I, and others, contend that the *default* ought to be "distinct but still equally capable of contributing" and that the low-magic/low-impact world that Fighters and Rogues (and to a lesser extent CoreMonks and others) are currently relegated to by default should have been the optional path or something that Rule 0 would enable. The only leverage that argument has is that Paizo *did* choose to make the low-magic/low-impact aspects of Fighters/Rogues/CMonks and other bads the default.


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thejeff wrote:

The average AP takes less than a year and gets you up to 15 or 16. Why aren't all the humans up to that level at least? They've had plenty of time.

Because the vast majority of people, human, elven or any other race, aren't PCs. The vast majority of people go up levels very slowly and plateau somewhere well below 10. Age and time have very little to do with it.

More particularly, the vast majority of beings capable of adventuring don't go on to be successful adventurers, having defeated a runelord or settling an entire nation's difficulties. It's those kinds of accomplishments that allow for the meteoric rise in power that most PC's enjoy. Those who pursue things at a more leisurely pace presumably progress much more slowly and carefully.

Also, handwaving...


Ranishe wrote:


2) The fighter is actually the worst off of anyone without his favored weapon. 3 examples: Slayer, Paladin, Magus. Each of these can augment whatever weapon their holding with their special ability (studied target, divine bond, arcana) to get the same benefit they always do. The fighter actually loses his benefit wielding anything...

Good point. Maybe the default for martials (and really any class other than Fighter) should be that their special abilities only work with their declared preferred weapon (not group). Fighters get all of their standard bonuses for favored weapon and such to all weapons (not just groups). Period. They can literally pick up any weapon and be a match for anyone in another class who has spent all their time working with a single weapon.

Not that that changes a ton but at least it makes the crunch match the fluff (master of weapons).


At the moment it seems like your Prime Minion (The Dark Archon), named because it seems to be the most obvious choice for the Big Bad Evil Guy's (BBEG) main henchman, is primarily focused on using direct action, specifically brute force and fear, to achieve its aims. There is some mystery in that the party doesn't yet know the full details (nor do we and nor, possibly, do you if you are winging all of this) of who the BBEG is or who in fact the Prime Minion is, but that's not going to last.

But brute force and intimidation are not the way to exploit Power Hungry. That said, you have two paths you can take and they are not mutually exclusive, so you can do both. One path focuses on mechanics while the other focuses on roleplay.

As @M1k31 and @Kahel pointed out, the core mechanic of Power Hungry is a -2 to Will saves against charm and compulsion effects where the enemy promises wealth or power. At present you have the following noteworthy sources of power or wealth at play in the campaign. Note this is just based on what you wrote; if you have more you can lean on them too:
- Abadar, god of, among other things, wealth, appears to have personally sent a Trumpet Archon to send the party on a quest, seemingly directly as a result of or as part of raising Calundan from the dead
- The Kardosian Codex is arguably an artifact level item that even if not directly used could be bartered for considerably power or wealth
- As a whole, the Gluttonous Tome itself is immensely powerful though insidious given how it takes the possessor over; that said it's an artifact and intelligent... lots of power
- The Dark Archon itself; it would have to change up its approach a little, offering a trade perhaps, to compel Calundan toward an act based on an offer of compensation or something
- The Dark Archon's master, the BBEG; Presumably such an entity has power or wealth it could offer of significance
So if the character plays it purely mechanically, there is sufficient power at play that a charm or compulsion effect could be tied into offering a sliver of power or wealth in exchange for accommodating the intended purpose of said charm/compulsion effect and thus triggering the Will save.

The other approach is dependent on how much roleplay your group gets into. As a LG character, the character might balk at feeling tempted by purely selfish offers of power or wealth. Instead, you would need to align the offer with the most treasured desires of the character. Some examples follow; keep in mind all of this would be in the context of a charm or compulsion effect targeting the Will save. If Calundan has, for example, sworn to protect some orphanage, perhaps there is some ritual that can be offered to provide protection, health, and/or general providence. Perhaps the BBEG promises to relinquish his hold over the Dark Archon, releasing it from whatever control is in place, and allowing it eternal rest, in exchange for Calundan's personal sacrifice e.g. laying down arms or giving up.

Bear in mind the overall goal is to have fun, so try to avoid strong arm tactics if you can. Still, some players pick up a weakness with the hope that it won't be exposed or that they can shore it up. The expectation only gets worse as time goes by and it goes unnoticed. If you target this flaw for this character, make sure you are fair about doing so for any other characters and to an equal measure. Ideally you do so in a common point in the campaign, targeting each party member's weaknesses. Thematically this matches narrative efforts in print and film where a team or group faces a collective moment of weakness. Heroes overcome. Flawed heroes muddle through. Everyone is transformed. Hopefully the players enjoy what they discover about their characters in the process.


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Cuup wrote:
I remember reading something about an entire civilization based on keeping the Tarrasque incapacitated. This included continual mutilation of the regenerating corpse, which doubled as a food source for the civilization.

The Tarrasque being a herald of a god of chaos, evil, destruction, and the like, I can't imagine it being a good source of nutrition. On the contrary, I can imagine such a civilization starting with the best of intentions but ending up something out of a Lovecraft nightmare. The unknowing army of Rovagug.


Being made of, at least in part, magical energy, how do they interact with an antimagic field?


Entryhazard wrote:
What about scrolls

Interesting question. Taking the 'Scribe Scroll' feat (or receiving it as a class feat as a wizard) indicates you've researched how to pull together magic energy, mix in appropriate components, and imprint that energy onto a scroll. Those with the appropriate skills or spells can later provide the final trigger to release the imprinted energy, unleashing the spell effect and diffusing the energy from the scroll.

That said, although I have some idea of how I like the fluff to work for this it's actually never come up as an issue we needed to explore in game. It's mostly just been a thought exercise to improve consistency of the game world in my mind. So it's possible (likely?) you or someone else is going to come up with something that blows a hole in my construct. :)


GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:

Q, how do you compare the bard to this?

I kinda like how you describe it, though I wouldn't add the genetic componant, instead just treating it like a talent, much as some folks just have a good feel for music while others must carefully train.

UnArcaneElection mirrored my thinking on the bard though you raise a good point about the genetic aspect. Is it obvious I've never played a bard nor has anyone ever played one in my campaigns? :)

So to adjust my stance a bit, drop the genetic aspect. I would agree it becomes more of a talent issue. Some folks have a knack for finding localized maxima of magic energy nearby and are able to tap into that directly rather than needing to weave it together beforehand. In essence a prepared caster collects magic energy at the time of preparation using a specific recipe, whereas a spontaneous caster delays that collection until the moment of casting and have a knack for how to collect it.

This makes more sense when you consider those who dip into a spontaneous caster class. It turns out they had that knack all along and it only developed at that time to the point they could begin casting spells of the appropriate spell list, etc.


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Here's my fluff on arcane casting:

A spell effect is generated by a combination of V(erbal), S(omatic), and M(aterial) components as we all know but there is also a mental component, which when disrupted is where we get our concentration check. In order to cast any spell, at bare minimum you have to have this mental component met. I fluff this as magic being a fundamental force, like gravity, electromagnetism, weak and strong force. Our consciousness is the link between this magic force and how it is formed into an effect in the physical world. The mental or concentration component of a spell, then, is actually how our consciousness is able to form the magic force into a specific effect. The formula for any given effect, therefore, is a combination of the standard V,S, and M components in conjunction with this additional mental component. Think of it like the Patronus spell in the Harry Potter books. You have to grab onto a particularly happy emotion to fuel the spell. No happy thought, no spell. This in addition to the words, with proper inflection, the swing of the wand, etc.

Knowing the VSM portion isn't sufficient. If Fred Fighter picks up Willy Wizard's spellbook and opens to the first page where the Light cantrip is located, in my universe he would see notes in Willy's handwriting outlining the rules of the spell. The VSM portion would be pretty much identical from spellbook to spellbook and Fred could, if he understood the language Willy used, absolutely mimic this part. But Fred has no training for the mental component and a significant portion of Willy's notes would be how to obtain said state of mind for that specific spell in a way that is quite specific to Willy. Again, going back to the Patronus spell, thinking of Harry's parents wouldn't help Ron. Ron needs his own method of achieving that happy place.

The wizard has no inborn magic fuel flowing through his veins, so he studies. He uses first principles and scientific method to extrapolate how to achieve a specific effect. If creating a new spell, he documents his research in his spellbook. If copying from another spellbook, he adjusts the spell's mental component notes to work for him. The chance of failure is a result of being unable to translate that mental aspect to a state of mind the wizard knows how to achieve. Preparing a spell involves studying the spellbook and then pre-casting everything but the final trigger which involves the combination of VSM plus that mental component. Combining those four parts completes the circuit, releasing the magical energy in the desired manner. Metamagic effects would need to be incorporated at the time of preparation because the wizard lacks an innate feel for how to adjust the spell on the fly and so must incorporate the adjustment during that preparation time. A mortal consciousness is only able to contain so many such untriggered magic effects simultaneously, a limit that gradually rises as the wizard gains experience, explaining the increase in spell slots over time.

The sorcerer has inborn magic fuel, and operates intuitively. He has an intrinsic ability to "feel" the flow of magic because genetically he has some sort of additional capability that has permanently and subtly altered his consciousness. By feeling their way through this flow of magic they can instinctively determine how to produce certain spell effects. A sorcerer mentally sniffs around, sensing how to produce new spell effects all the time. But their interest focuses in only so many directions until they finally manage to learn how to produce a few new spell effects. This represents their gaining new spells when they level. In some cases the sorcerer has neglected to refresh in their mind how to create a particular spell effect, instead focusing on a spell effect they hadn't been capable of previously, explaining spell swaps on certain levels. Moreover, where the wizard must prepare the spell, going through part of the incantation during preparation in order to begin engaging the magic flow, keeping it pent up until release, the sorcerer has a tap directly into the magic force. But this tap can only allow so much throughput in any given period of time before rest is required to allow further access. Over time, as the sorcerer becomes more in tune with their consciousness, they also grow the ability to invoke more magic energy in a given day, explaining the sorcerer's spells per day going up. When casting a spell, the sorcerer need only complete the final trigger bits and can even forego the M(aterial) components for most spells, relying not on a prepared spell that had already captured the necessary magical energy and left it waiting to be completed but instead on their innate magical tap to fuel the spell. Metamagic feats represent the sorcerer learning a new trick they know how to apply to their spells when cast, like adding an additional effect when singing. Because the triggering is the only part of the spell the sorcerer need enact, metamagic can be incorporated on the fly.

Whence, then, 'Read Magic'? Read Magic gives a temporary ability to gain an intuitive insight into how magic is invoked. It enables the caster, when contemplating magic and reviewing instructions on how to cast a spell, to bridge the gap between the instructions as written, including the mental component, and the spell effect to be produced, and allows the caster to at least attempt to determine how to achieve the correct state of mind for a given spell. For a wizard it is virtually a requirement in order to research or copy new spells. For a sorcerer it provides temporary access to spells already written that they might not already know how to cast, but won't help them learn the spell permanently.

That's how I relate the two casters. Obviously arcanists combine the two aspects. Hope this helps.​


In TV shows, the spy and the rest of the team do not ordinarily know what the other is up to and part of the suspense is whether things are going according to plan or whether you're about to have a heap of trouble dumped on you.

In a tabletop RPG, to reach the same level of tension and immersion you wind up needing to physically split the group. Yes, the TV show has cuts between the two scenes, but when the GM has to leave the room to go do her thing with the vigilante, the entire rest of the party is stuck waiting about.

With a non-UI party, you might run into that it would be cutting against the grain... the GM would be putting it in to shake things up. With a vigilante, the key aspect of the class emphasizes this entire other identity built around social skills, to the extent that it seems the baseline combat mode is notable reduced in efficacy. Including this class in an adventure practically cries out to force an increased level of social gameplay. This is fine, but it means even larger portions of the game where the rest of the group really can't contribute.

Put another way, every single class, including archetypes, can contribute in combat. Even rogues and monks. Other systems like kingdom building can be used pretty equally regardless of class or build. The vigilante's biggest aspect, Dual Identity, only becomes noteworthy if sufficient emphasis is placed on purely social, non-combat activity, a type of gameplay which many other classes cannot contribute meaningfully to. Certainly not without major sacrifices to their combat ability (i.e. feat and skill selections). The concern then is that inclusion of vigilantes implies either a vastly increased number of social encounters that will likely exclude most of the party or a vigilante character that is mostly engaged in non-social settings and therefore could have been replaced with a far more effective class/build selection while keeping the same concept and backstory.


Cubic Prism wrote:
No reason not to combine all of them together. Give the players the toolbox to make the super hero type character they want. There is no point I can see to divide the Vigilante up into 2-4+ "specializations". If the point of the class is the dual personality thing, make that shine. As it stands now, the "specializations" are what's shining. One class, open up the talents. Make dual personality awesome.

Looking at what they did to "unchain" the summoner, by removing a 'builder' type of system for eidolons in exchange for preconfigured eidolon concepts, I would hazard a guess they've seen too many instances where the a-la-carte style leads to players being able to hyperoptimize and actually ends up killing player options.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

In a PbP, things are a bit easier -- unless you are playing over live chat, for playing superintelligence, you CAN take the time to use Google and/or its competitors to look up stuff (DON'T use this to look ahead in the campaign, if it is a published one). Likewise, for playing supercharisma, you can take the time to compose a good speech. For superwisdom, just play up high willpower and depend upon the GM to let your character notice stuff that other people would be unlikely to pick up.

For playing low mental stats: Just think: What would Homer Simpson do?

If the puzzle is difficult enough or rare enough, all the time in the world spent with Google will not help me solve it.

Either:

- the puzzle itself really is difficult enough to challenge your (far more intelligent) character, in which case it is absolutely too hard for the player no matter what resources you give them
- or the puzzle is solvable by the player, in which case it is no longer a character challenge

As for charisma, the same issue exists. If I don't have the skill, you could give me all the time in the world and I won't be able to put together a compelling speech or argument.

The thing is, if you want to include puzzles to challenge your players (NOT the characters) then if that makes the game better for your group, more power to you. But I personally dislike such challenges because I'm not there to simulate myself, I'm there to simulate my character.

If you ask me to solve a puzzle while I'm playing my low-Int barbarian, vs. someone next to me who is, let's say, not as capable mentally, but is playing a high-Int wizard, and the result is that whichever character solves the puzzle receives a bonus of some kind, that would be no different than pointing to the floor and dictating that the first person to pound out 100 push-ups due to a Str test (instead of an Int test) is earning a bonus for their character. It does not accurately reflect the likelihood that my character would succeed in that test.

And yes, it is possible that I roll a 20 on my Int test with my barbarian while my less intellectual friend rolls a 1 for his high Int wizard, and now my barbarian has solved a puzzle the wizard missed on. You know what? I'm okay with that because I know that in the end if we run into enough of these the outcome will match expectation. With the players participating that isn't likely to be the case.


Zagyg wrote:

Back to incinerate: In the light to these 2 examples, I think the supernatural ability should contain precise information about the gear of the ash-turned creatures. If disintegrate has the info, incinerate should have too.

So my question is still unresolved: where in the rules is it written that a supernatural ability that destroys a creature leaves her equipment unaffected ?

I think instead of asking "where in the rules does it say..." you should be asking these two questions:

- Does it say in the rules... ?
- If it doesn't say in the rules, what rules cover...?

The point others are making is that the answer to your recapitulated question (and my first question) is "The rules do not say". Which means you need to ask the second question. The bits that have been quoted above are everyone's offering in response to that question, and it implies that in this case, since it is not stated how Su abilities in general affect equipment when they destroy the carrying creature, you must use fallback rules. And the answer then follows, "Su abilities do not implicitly nor automatically destroy carried items when the carrying creature is destroyed".


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It would have been nice if the teamwork feats offered a baseline personal buff and then an augmented buff when teammates had either the same teamwork feat OR the singular version.

For example:

====
Shake It Off (Teamwork)

You gain a +1 bonus to one saving throw (Reflex, Fortitude, Will) chosen at the time the feat is selected. This feat may be taken multiple times, but does not stack with itself for the same saving throw.

Whenever you are adjacent to one or more allies with any feat that grants a bonus to the same saving throw, you and those allies gain an additional +1 to the selected saving throw per adjacent ally (max of +4). This bonus does not stack with itself for the same saving throw.
====

So if you choose "Shake It Off [Will]" you gain a lesser Iron Will. You could also choose to take Iron Will, with which your Shake It Off bonus would stack, giving you a solo +3 to Will saves for the investment of 2 feats.

If you stand next to Fred the Fighter and Bob the Barbarian, things might change. Fred has Iron Will while Bob has Shake It Off [Will].

Because Fred has a feat that gives a bonus to Will saves, as does Bob, you, Fred, and Bob would all gain an additional +3 bonus to your Will saves.

"But wait!" you say, "Bob also has Shake It Off [Will]! Wouldn't I get another +3?"

Nope. Shake It Off [Will] can't stack with itself, so you would only get one or the other, not both.

This would allow you to get at least *something* for your feat investment even in circumstances where no one else works with you, and gives you the ability to buff your teammates without them having to alter their characters. In fact, with a Fighter's number of feats, this would allow them to be passive group buffers, though I suppose that is somewhat stepping on the Inquisitor's toes.


Joe M. wrote:

@Snowblind, Weirdo — I'm more optimistic about the Unchained Monk receiving ongoing support than it seems either of you are, and I'm also pretty confident that it'll get the tricks it needs to play high-opt games for folks who are looking for that, if nothing else than just as a matter of time. More options means more flexibility means more opportunities for high-optimizing players to run their tricks. But that's just a guess about the future, and I suppose time will tell.

@Wraithstrike — Ughbash is referring to the Falchion Fred I put together in my <Reference: Basic Fighter Builds> thread that I used for comparison here, rather than the "original" Falchion Fred (I don't even know where he first came up, honestly—that was before my time on the boards). I checked the numbers at 2, 5, 8, 11 (evenly spaced across PFS play).

@Tels — It seems to me that a *lot* of people have been saying the Unchained Monk is a weak class. But any way about it, it just doesn't seem right to call it a "side grade" compared to the Core Monk. <Check my numbers upthread!>

The Unchained Monk *might* represent a "side grade" if we're comparing [relatively optimized Core Monk drawing on supplemental material and archetypes] to [basic, Core-only Unchained Monk], but that's not an apples-to-apples comparison and it doesn't license a judgment that *the class itself* is somehow a "side grade" (it's plain, I think, that the Unchained Monk is a clear upgrade in comparison to the Core Monk, just comparing the classes themselves). Now, you *might* be able to get to the "side grade" conclusion if you couple that sort of apples-to-oranges comparison with an expectation like Snowblind's that the Unchained Monk will not receive future support and that this is the best that it will ever get. But that seems unlikely to me, and even if it works out that way I'd still...

I have to agree with Snowblind here. Granted, we don't know for a fact that there won't be any supplementary material supporting the UCMonk but Pathfinder Unchained does seem to have more of a feel akin to things like Words of Power as opposed to APG/ACG/UC/UM and so on. Consider, too, that in stipulating that the UCMonk, among all of the unchained classes, was explicitly denied access to all present archetypes, any new material would either need to add an equal number of new options for all classes or focus more exclusively on UCMonk options. In either case in order for the UCMonk to start "catching up" in terms of the number of additional options that all the other classes can access, the amount of relative focus would now need to be imbalanced in favor of the UCMonk, which seems highly unlikely.

Furthermore, I respectfully disagree with your assertion that would should compare UCMonk as it stands now only to Core, non-expanded options. The fact is the CRBMonk exists now along with numerous archetypes which have managed to address, to one degree or another, the deficiencies of the original CRBMonk. Likewise, all of the other classes exist now, including UCBarbarian, UCRogue and UCSummoner, and all still have the archetypes and optional features available to them which UCMonk currently lacks. Put differently, if I start playing a new character today, and must make the determination of which class to choose, I will be comparing all classes as they are now to UCMonk as it is now, not to UCMonk as it might be in the future.


LoreKeeper wrote:

@Mark Seifter: there's a different issue that I would like to see corrected that relates to the monk. The Stunning Fist feat benefit states:

Core, page 135 wrote:
"A defender who fails this saving throw is stunned for 1 round (until just before your next turn)."

The part in parenthesis is, to my knowledge, supposed to be a reminder for the normal duration of "1 round". However, I've seen it stated by various people (including James Jacob) that read the parenthesis literally to mean that in a successful Stunning Fist as part of an Attack of Opportunity, the effect still wears off at the start of your next turn - rather than at the start of the creature's turn who's initiative was active at the time.

If I were to rewrite the bit you quoted, it would go:

Quote:


A defender who fails this saving throw is stunned for 1 round (until just before the current actor's next turn).

For an AoO, that means the start of the defender's next turn. For something that occurs on the monk's turn, it means the start of the monk's next turn. Either way, the monk gets the benefit of a full round of stun.


I think the other thing that crops up is whether context matters.

Dominating the fighter and telling him to go get as drunk as possible right now should effectively remove him from the combat as he first starts guzzling any liquor he may currently have and then goes off on a bar crawl.

What would have a player up in arms is whether he would do that mid-combat.

In other words, should context matter? Are commands to be interpreted in a vacuum or should the situation matter? Are implications supposed to matter? Because that same fighter who loves to get drunk may only feel willing to do so when he and his compatriots are back home from a hard fought dungeon crawl, pouches full of plundered gold. He may feel a very strong loyalty and would never leave them hanging mid combat.

So would the command in this case, given mid combat, warrant that second save?

Edit: To clarify, the command is not "leave your party and stop helping them in combat" but "go get drunk right now". But contextually the command given implies the situation the fighter would ordinarily never consider.


The first major implication I imagine would be assigning XP values to encounters, as the current guidelines assume equal progression for all classes. Take the rogue/wizard distinction you mention at 2:1 ratio. At a certain point the rogue is 10th level and the wizard 5th level for an APL of 7. In turn an APL+1 encounter will result in either enemies that are almost too trivial for the rogue to overcome (because you used a lot of mooks, let's say) but are on part for the wizard, or will result in an appropriate encounter for the rogue (because you went with fewer tougher opponents) but who are much harder to affect for the wizard due to inappropriately high saving throws and resistances.

While the APL system is intended to overcome that sort of disparity, the expectation is not that levels will diverge over time but rather that they would tend to converge. Of course old school didn't have such guidelines but likewise balancing points like weapon damage figures, saving throw values, etc. were tuned based on that level progression.

The more I think about it, the more it seems like there a number of systems in the game that would start to be affected by that kind of separation such that I think you'd end up with something far removed from PF as we have it now.


Arthur C. Clarke wrote:
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

While it may not adhere to Fallout canon, you could conceivably tack on "miraculous" heal spells via advanced rediscovered tech like nanites to rebuild flesh, sinew and bone. Perhaps a healer type could involve some sort of neural insert that allows them to receive feedback from their nanite swarm, not consume them during treatment, and much more rapidly perform in combat healing. Maybe use of this prevents use of other more powerful combat gear.

I'm just spitballing but if I was going to make a non-magical setting with roughly PF rules and still wanted healing, I would look into this avenue.


CRB indicates unarmed strike is always considered a light weapon. IUS doesn't appear to change that. Impact only works on non-light weapons, so I would rule that it would not apply for that reason.

If it did, I would further rule it doesn't stack with Strong Jaw as it appears to be a similar enchantment type, even though one affects manufactured and one affects natural weapons.


Note that without a ki pool, the Cloistered Monk would have no access to ki strike and thus no UAS compatible method to innately bypass various types of DR without using an AoMF.


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@Liam Warner: The simplest answer is "theoretically yes, but it depends entirely on your assumptions". What you are seeing from those saying the magus learns differently than wizards is an assumption that how the magus learns and casts their magics means they are fundamentally incapable of reaching 9th level spells. If you change that assumption such that learning and casting arcane spells isn't different between arcane caster classes, then your suggestion would be correct that over a long enough span of time a magus could potentially achieve 9th level spellcasting.

So what it boils down to is that it would work exactly as the person setting the scenario would want it to work.

That said, the justification for saying that a magus learns differently would be that that is the most reasonable explanation for why within Pathfinder rules a magus is not capable of achieving higher level spellcasting than they can, no matter how long lived the magus is.

Take physics as an example. Someone steeped in newtonian physics, taught only such theories their entire professional career, will not be able to successfully solve physics problems describing sub-atomic relationships. They will simply lack the proper formulae. Now a particle physicist will likely have sufficient newtonian theory knowledge to solve problems at the gross physical level but will also know formulae for the sub-atomic problems as well. Can the newtonian physicist learn the new principles and start tackling the higher order problems? Of course, but then they are really going outside their first specialty.

And that would basically be like the magus multi-classing into wizard, though the 20 level cap in PF terms suggests a hard limit on such learning that probably wouldn't exist in real life terms.


RJGrady wrote:
I'm just going to put this out there, if you don't like the core monk, several 3pp have already published fixed monks. I'd rather we not focus on negativity and waste the devs time, and focus on making the brawler something a lot of people will want to play.

Keep in mind the two main reasons folks want monks fixed by Paizo in core:

1 - PFS
2 - GMs that do not like to bring in 3PP

Fixing monk issues in core means making use of the fixes in the vast majority of games without skipping PFS play or having to jump through hoops to convince your group to bring in non-core material.

That said, yes, this is the Brawler discussion. Let's talk brawling.


For what it's worth, if you absolutely want the players to "fight" a deity with a chance to "win", I would recommend that you combine both the story approach with mechanics.

For example, take Aroden. Seems dead right? But what if in fact he is somewhere else, on some other plane of existence, went there on purpose, stays there against his will. Trapped now. Suppose his divine essence is somehow being siphoned off to power something, something he initially agreed with but agrees with no longer.

Further suppose that this is taking place within some region on this plane that has protections etched by god-like beings themselves, the likes of which mere mortals could not possibly hope to duplicate, but which are part of the draining. But like ants marching into a fortress, the mortals are beneath notice and may enter this area and encounter a weakened Aroden.

All of this is fluff, hand waving stuff that the players cannot duplicate nor try to circumvent except in a way you very carefully devise.

Now within this region, they can fight an aspect of Aroden, badly weakened but still a massively difficult encounter. You could make it a simple tank and spank or build it up almost like he's built a demi plane with them fighting through multiple encounters, etc.

Finally they get to the final fight and win. But what did they win? Maybe by defeating the aspect they are hastening the draining, in essence they are pushing the divine process along ever so slightly further, speeding up the process. Did they really kill him? No, but perhaps they could say they eliminated his chance to escape by tipping the scales just that little bit. Or maybe they were defeating the part of him that was considering staying in place, still believing it was "the right thing to do". In which case his resolve is strengthened and in time he stands a better chance of escaping.

In the immediate sense, when the players step back onto Golarion nothing will have changed. Aroden is still missing in action, deemed dead. But story wise yes events have changed dramatically. And they would have no doubt had truck with other deities and come directly under the spotlight as a result. It's a compromise and allows a great deal of latitude in giving them a shot at a deity while still retaining that deity's status as being far above mere mortals.


redliska wrote:
The brawler and monk when flurrying should have close to the same chance to hit if they both focus on attack. The bonus that brawling armor property will give the brawler and possibly greater weapon focus give the brawler a slight lead in static attack bonus. But the monk can get an extra attack by spending a ki point. I wouldn't mind seeing a comparison across some levels to see what's more valuable an extra attack or +3 to hit. I am to lazy to do it myself.

It seems somehow inappropriate to compare the brawler armor property (an always on bonus) to an ability which burns an extremely limited resource which is shared among several other abilities which may drain it as well.


Thanks for the feedback everyone. I appreciate the clarification. :)


Well, certainly in light of the cost discrepancy it is how I am planning to do it, but I was trying to see what if anything I overlooked. :)


One of my players has a Cloak of Resistance +1 and wishes to upgrade that to a Cloak of Resistance +2.

The crafting cost of +1 is 500gp and of +2 is 2000gp. The difference is 1500gp.

But the item is slotted (shoulders) which, as far as I can tell incurs an additional 50% cost, making the upgrade cost now 2250gp, more than the cost of just crafting a +2 outright.

Is this correct? I'm looking at the section of the rules in CRB, page 553, 'Adding New Abilities' that reads:

CRB, Adding New Abilities wrote:
If the item is one that occupies a specific place on a character’s body, the cost of adding any additional ability to that item increases by 50%. For example, if a character adds the power to confer invisibility to her ring of protection +2, the cost of adding this ability is the same as for creating a ring of invisibility multiplied by 1.5.


master_marshmallow wrote:
Anguish wrote:

Not the least factor is that if Paizo uses DSP Psionics, that's a significant number of books NOT sold by Paizo compared to if they write their own Psychic Magic system. Imagine if all the Mythic content Paizo got to make was the Wrath of the Righteous AP and someone else made Mythic Adventures and the other tie-in products. Not as compelling a business decision.

Paizo has a history of doing products that synergize heavily. I honestly think that's the killer factor that precludes them ever adopting DSP Psionics. That there are no psionic advocates at Paizao doesn't help but the idea that it's a worse business plan is probably fatal.

Which is too bad. I'd totally like to see what Nick Logue and Richard Pett would do with an adventure in a setting that includes mind thrust.

I don't necessarily agree. Sure, to an extent it is more beneficial to have their own Psionics system, but it would not all be lost when it comes down to not having products.

A psionic Bestiary, new APs, and even a splatbook that spliced already existing classes with psionic archetypes, there's plenty of product they could sell if they adopted the pre existing system and moved forward from there.

Actually I think it may be worse than master_marshmallow represents. If they accepted DSP psionics as "canon" and started building off of that, they become beholden to a 3PP's source material to define things that form a foundation for Paizo products.

If for some reason DPS were to alter the Psion to increase the total number of powers known such that Paizo no longer felt the class was balanced, and having already created splat books based on the Psion as is, it could invalidate their work and they would have no recourse. Right now Paizo has a clear line of control running from the CRB through all bonus source material (i.e. books providing new races/classes/archetypes/spells/etc) and out to any AP or additional content. DSP psionics books would disrupt that if Paizo were to base something on them.


As written, you are correct in noting that the golems are immune to spells that allow spell resistance, so most of your buffs for example would be wasted on them.

That said, in my campaign I would rule that it would be possible to alter the construction of a golem at creation time such that it lacks that spell immunity, allowing for the obvious new weakness but also allowing you to buff it.

Another option would be, again at creation time, to construct it with certain spell abilities built in, perhaps triggerable a number of times per day similar to wondrous items. So if you wanted your golem to be able to gain Haste effects, you would need to incorporate the Haste spell into the construction of the golem, with pricing appropriate to a x/day item of Haste. I would avoid allowing buffing it to be a permanent effect in most cases.

As a GM of course you can handle it however you like. Perhaps by adding a device which allows the controller of a golem to be able to cast self only buffs on their golem similar to how familiars work. But I would either make that a macguffin, possibly an artifact, with appropriate lore reasons as to why it is a one shot thing, or be aware that the group may wish to make use of it too.

As a player it will come down to adjudication by your GM.


And I think the RAI for the spell description is intended to show that the spell is affecting the targeted weapon wielder, not one of their weapons. The idea being that they can switch to a different carried weapon and still make use of the spell's conferred abilities. Otherwise it would have targeted one of the weapons carried meaning a weapon swap would no longer confer the benefit.


Logically I would look at whether the target of the trip has the ability to hover with their flight. If so, I would recommend that a successful trip attempt allows them to attempt a REF save if they wish to attempt to resort to a hover, avoiding the trip.

Otherwise I assume that standing still they do not have the means to just launch off the ground and will end up tripping just like anyone else.


May sound odd, but take a look at the movie 'Solomon Kane'. He self-classified as being among the worst humanity had to offer. In the early scenes it seems as though an other worldly entity had come to claim him for Hell. When confronted with the clarity of the depth of his evil and the certainty of his final judgment, and I think to an extent the depth of true evil, he has a change of heart.

He fought, escaped, and spent quite a bit of time in an abbey of some kind, forfeiting all he owned, living on the generosity of the church. This consumes a potentially significant block of time and would represent, along with his giving up all worldly possessions etc a form of atonement. After this the movie really kicks in and he then discovers he must not just stop doing evil but begin doing good.

Whatever else you may think of it it's not a bad narrative describing the equivalent of an anti-paladin's 'ascent', as it were.

The problem is that you would need to make it still fun for the player. Yeah, who likes playing a depowered paladin/anti-paladin? Then there's the question of how the rest of the party looks. Did they all have epiphanies at the same time?

Anyway, I would try to do something where yes there is a one time penance (divestiture of all ill gotten gains), stripping of all anti-paladin abilities (naturally) and an atonement/geas to perform a significant feat to return to the order. That quest (one time adventure) would be performed as a depowered paladin. After that, you get your powers back but get one or more negative levels for a time. Additionally perhaps the equivalent of an Arcane Spell Failure but applied to all divine abilities (spells, channeling, etc), representing the wavering faith and self doubt involved.

Yes, there would still be some nasty moments where everything fails at once, but at least you're still in the game and not entirely shut out.


The Law/Chaos isn't always (and I would argue for PF's sake, is generally not) tied to following the established order of things vs. overturning everything.

In other words, in my view a Lawful person is just as likely to have an untidy house and constantly be trying new things as anyone else. But they put commitment to an order outside themselves above being ruled by individual dictate when it comes to major life choices. The Chaotic person believes individual needs should outweigh the views of others because the individual has to determine their own destiny and not have it doled out to them by others. Again, primarily in context if major life choices.

So the Lawful scientist may very well be trying new and novel approaches to things in order to further science, things no one else has considered, but they will make sure to adhere to the dictates of what is legally allowed. To put it in real world terms, a Lawful stem cell researcher, while possibly on the cutting edge of what the world sees as acceptable, and while working within a field that is heavily laden with legal landmines, would still seek out novel approaches and would just try to shift to a country more amenable to their world view so as to stay within the boundaries of law. The Lawful Evil subtype might be willing to find such a place that also allows less scrupulous methods of procuring raw samples.

The Chaotic scientist might be stodgy and reactionary but on a larger scale see themselves as defending everyone's right to be so. They may see trends toward novelty in research as an attack, as an attempt to enforce that change on EVERYONE regardless of that researcher's personal desires. They may not like new modes of thought and may dislike anyone's attempt to foist it off on them.

Anyhow... my two coppers.


Thanks for the positive feedback. I promise, I do not carry a pitchfork nor do I sit on anyone's shoulder. ;)

@TheFacilitiesGuy - To turn a paladin all the way into an anti-paladin, you have a LONG road ahead of you, because you essentially have to finagle the paladin into believing they DESERVE to be an anti-paladin.

Take the self-righteous paladin discussed earlier. If you go down the road with them as planned, you may be able to get them to start a purge within the church. The most likely result will be that at the end they will have fallen, lost their paladin status and become what amounts to a fighter. There is a small chance, if things go right for you and you can twist their emotions, that they will go all the way toward CE and become an anti-paladin. For that, you'll have to twist their shame and self-loathing into a hatred for everything they stood for, a hatred for those who blame them. Pride is their weakness and you might be able to get them convinced they are absolutely in the right and how dare the church and the forces of good condemn them!

You've picked a difficult task if that is your goal. Good luck! :)


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Oh... and for those that may seem like the truly righteous, before you give up hope, make sure they aren't just self-righteous. Pride is the key there. Those that are propped up on the prongs of adulation among the faithful will be quick to note the failures of their brethren. For them you just want to show that you are aware of your own failings, striving to do better, absolutely humble and looking to them for inspiration. Heap praise on them, but subtly. Stoke whatever embers burn in their chest that yearn for the praise of others.

Then once you've got things nicely warmed up, use it. Find some hidden evil, suggest it to them. If they take the bait they will do your work for you. Extra bonus points if you point them at one or both of your patsies because then you'll seem to be doing the church's will AND you will be in good with someone with esteem within the church.

But when it's time to go all out, point them at their brethren, especially anyone whom you've managed to turn already. They'll do the rest and the whole assembly will fall to pieces.


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Other things...

- Try to find a patsy. In case it looks like your team will be caught, or perhaps even as a preemptive measure, include a patsy in your group, someone who you will peg as "the" betrayer. At an appropriate time or possibly as needed, let this sacrificial goat be revealed as having been working to destroy the church all along, using your group as patsies. This may involve...

- Being willing to take a hit. This becomes far more believable if you are clearly hurt by this person. It becomes less likely that you were working with them from the start if for example he offed one of you. This may mean ...

- You may need a second patsy. This person would be the actual first sacrificial goat whom you feed to the patsy first mentioned. The set up would be to let the aforementioned patsy believe this patsy is going to give everyone up and must be silenced. Meanwhile you will have revealed your suspicions to the appropriate authorities. Through a simple misunderstanding they would have been guarding you when all along, poor patsy #2 was the real target.

- Take out a BBEG. Not just your rival clan turned zombies. Do some research and find someone whom this church wants brought to justice. You could use your rival gang zombies as an introduction so that you wind up on the church's radar. Make a show of "aw shucks, just doing the greater good" so they remember you. Then ruthlessly hunt down one of their prime targets. Big points if you bring them to justice instead of offing them yourselves. Then you can play with your patsies.

Once you are in, since you are looking to turn them, keep in mind the key to tempting a religious person off the path... find what, if anything, they hold at least as dearly if not more dearly than their faith, then set their faith in opposition to that. Someone has a less than honorable sibling that is in dire need of help? Make that situation a little worse, whisper some soothing words about how the faithful's god will be okay with it, then nudge them off to help their sibling. They can justify it to themselves long enough to make the path a little easier with the next nudge. And so on.

The truly righteous will never budge. For the rest, remember that you aren't making them fall, you aren't even convincing them what they are doing is right. You're just helping them tell themselves that what they want is actually within reach if they just compromise, and then smoothing that compromise over. Blur things. Keep things gray, never black and white.


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Strictly speaking you can get that ki point back by taking the Extra Ki feat.

Some of the variants we've explored also involve requiring the monk to save vs. beneficial spells in the same way the superstitious barbarian does.

But then as a counter-counterbalance to that, the Wholeness of Body ki ability was adjusted to be a swift action and to heal twice monk level rather than only monk level, as well as adding a new ki ability that mimics restoration but can only be used on the monk at 10th level and beyond.

Other things involved limiting or eliminating use of potions and such too. All in the name of self perfection and not relying on magic items any longer.

Again, mechanically I think it ultimately weakens the character, but it is an interesting concept and the key is the ability to absorb enchantments but not need the item any longer, allowing you the fluff.


We haven't finished working things out but I would expect to treat it much like an item in that regard. So if you introduce a Longsword +1 into an anti-magic field its enchantment is suppressed for the duration it exists in the field. Once removed it returns to normal.

As for dispel magic I would think it would also work similarly, suppressing a particular effect for 1d4 rounds if the caster succeeds vs DC 11 + CL of the original effect (or maybe vs 11 + monk level).

The intent is that fluff-wise the monk is less reliant upon magic items, trying to avoid using them but simulating the effects through manipulation of his ki pool. Thus the new source of the enhancement becomes a semi-permanent binding of a ki point rather than through some external means. However in order to empower that binding, the monk essentially has to unravel the original enchantment, fluffed as examining the way the threads of nature have been manipulated to the given effect.

To be honest, it's more flavorful than mechanical and is probably a net loss of power, but it fits my particular character concept. If I were going to set something up for general use I would do something different. That said, while it's similar in nature, I don't think it fits the typical flow of a vow.

With regard to your vow (of New Iron), what are the practical limitations? From an equipment perspective there isn't much that monks use that is metal. It would tend to make them go unarmed but that is a pretty common tactic anyway. How would it affect things like amulets and rings and the like? Or is it mostly just weapons? And what does the monk gain? Is there crunch behind it? Narratively it's an interesting concept.


Vows strike me as essentially "archetypes lite", with each essentially providing a single common boost (more ki points) but varying drawbacks.

From a fluff perspective, I like vows too. I think adding a vow, especially a custom vow that fits your back story and that you can work with your GM to create, provides a very neat form of customization for your character.

That said, I pretty much despise the vows as written from a mechanical perspective. While I get that not every decision is intended to be made with a view toward overall increasing the character's effectiveness and that sometimes a reduction in power is okay provided it fits a concept, the amount of downside compared to the amount of upside on an already relatively weak class makes the Paizo provided vows useless to me.

Edit: I forgot to add, I'm working on a tweak with my GM at the moment which won't be written as a vow but mechanically could be so described. It involves what I'm terming "Ki Binding" which allows the monk to bind a ki point, which mechanically involves reducing your ki pool by 1, in order to effectively "absorb" an enchantment from an item. Doing so ties up the chakra point, i.e. item slot, that the item occupied normally, renders the item non-magical, but confers its benefits to the monk. The monk can release the binding at any time, adding the ki point back to his pool, but losing the absorbed enchantment. Releasing the binding does not re-enchant the item. There are also limits on what can be bound (e.g. no artifacts, no slotless items, no charged or single use items).

Anyway, mechanically it means you can't have items sundered, stolen, dispelled, etc since it's basically become part of you. While you do this though your ki pool is reduced plus you lose resale value of the item nor do you have the option of hanging onto an item in case your equipment loadout changes later to make said item more useful again.

I would be interested in feedback but in any case, yeah, that's one idea.


Justin Rocket wrote:
Quintessentially Me wrote:


Snippage wrote:
... stuff removed for brevity ...

This suggests to me that any further discussion on this point is moot because the two "sides" are approaching this from orthogonal positions.

In one camp are those who believe that provided at least some positives are to be had with the person in the group as opposed to without, then that concept works. That is, an extra attacker beating on the enemy is better than not having them there, even if they won't contribute much, they contribute something.

In the other camp are those who believe that in order to be considered worth using, a concept should be able to answer 'Yes' to the question of 'Do you offer something to the group that cannot be obtained in greater quantities elsewhere?'

Put another way, you have an equation:

Party + Character = Total Effectiveness
or
P + C = T

If C is not very big and other values (C1, C2, C3...) are bigger, then T would be bigger with those other values. Camp 1 says that doesn't matter because simply put, C is positive and T is larger with than without. Camp 2 says it does matter as why would you not just use C1 or C2 in order to increase

We may be able to reach a bridge on the following point

Being able to attack is not the same as being able to hit or the same as being able to do damage. A first level wizard character contributes effectively nothing to a 20th level party. The same can be said for a familiar.

I'm not sure what your goal is with that. Clearly no one is arguing about mismatched levels on members of the party. Mention of commoners within a party were to highlight that sometimes a contributor doesn't contribute enough, a position held by camp 2.

I don't think anyone defines "contribute" to mean "I gave it my best". I think most think "contribute" means "I positively affected the outcome in a meaningful way". The difference between camp 1 and camp 2 is in the definition of "meaningful".


Justin Rocket wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Justin Rocket wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Mechanics are just easier to measure because they have less variables such as what the GM would let you do.
A lack of interest or concern in rollplaying does not mean a lack of interest or concern in mechanics. The question of how the monk contributes to the party has to consider mechanics, but it doesn't have to consider how the monk compares to other classes. How it compares to other classes is an issue of number optimization (ie rollplaying), whether and to what extent it contributes is not.
And again I point to my example of the commoner. The commoner can contribute, doesn't mean you should play a commoner.
Assuming you aren't rollplaying, you should play whatever you want to play. If you want to play a commoner, then you should play a commoner.

This suggests to me that any further discussion on this point is moot because the two "sides" are approaching this from orthogonal positions.

In one camp are those who believe that provided at least some positives are to be had with the person in the group as opposed to without, then that concept works. That is, an extra attacker beating on the enemy is better than not having them there, even if they won't contribute much, they contribute something.

In the other camp are those who believe that in order to be considered worth using, a concept should be able to answer 'Yes' to the question of 'Do you offer something to the group that cannot be obtained in greater quantities elsewhere?'

Put another way, you have an equation:

Party + Character = Total Effectiveness
or
P + C = T

If C is not very big and other values (C1, C2, C3...) are bigger, then T would be bigger with those other values. Camp 1 says that doesn't matter because simply put, C is positive and T is larger with than without. Camp 2 says it does matter as why would you not just use C1 or C2 in order to increase T further.

There is no answer to this with a build discussion.


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With regard to making a deal with a devil, it seems there is more than a little merit there:

CRB Paladin Section says wrote:
Associates: While she may adventure with good or neutral allies, a paladin avoids working with evil characters or with anyone who consistently offends her moral code. Under exceptional circumstances, a paladin can ally with evil associates, but only to defeat what she believes to be a greater evil. A paladin should seek an atonement spell periodically during such an unusual alliance, and should end the alliance immediately should she feel it is doing more harm than good. A paladin may accept only henchmen, followers, or cohorts who are lawful good.

So it seems to me that this is a VERY exceptional case. If you can strike a bargain with a devil, eliminating a rival while you are around or something, maybe you can get them to banish you.

Frankly, the "how" is not so important. A GM shouldn't put you in a position like this unless they are willing to work the story a bit to make sure that you have options. So in essence you would be proposing potential adventure hooks.

Furthermore, it should be clear that either you are going to have to keep going it alone or somehow bring your friends into play. Perhaps you have to accept a geas from the devil in exchange for a banishment, doing something in its service in Golarion.

Heck, I'm over here taking notes for my own group. I like the possibilities here. :)

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