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Contract Devil

Sebastian Hirsch's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 815 posts (1,165 including aliases). 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
captain yesterday wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:

another thing to consider, how many levels are you willing to give up for it?

Council of Thieves tops out at 13th level and to this day they still get crap for it, a lot of people won't be happy their characters only get up to 12-13th level after a long ass campaign, if you do that too much you will lose your customer base

Fallacy argueing 101.

You can give XP for roleplaying scenarios just as well as for combat scenarios.

go check the message boards for Dragon's Demand in the modules line, they got tons of grief for handing out those in huge chunks, i like story awards as much as the next guy, just presenting a counter argument:)

A real shame that one, but maybe if they allow fighting as an alternative to RP... well I own the module, maybe this one needs a review.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Your setup for the fight could work, but without a look at the current abilties of your players it is kinda hard to say.

Have you already changed the spell selection of the blackfire adepts? As written their spell selection is rather weak.

Tactical acumen could be a very fitting buff for Xanthir Vang, since he could summon dozens of weak creatures to provide enhanced flanking bonuses to his minions.

If you have access to the old Dungeon magazines with the Age of Worms adventure path, there could be plenty of ideas, but I would personally cover the room with black tentacle spells (and cover them in Illusions).

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My suggestion would be to wait until the whole adventure path is out. Take the time to read them from cover to cover, and only then try a serious pitch to your group.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well I think this should be enough to kill the ranger, and destroy the body.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well count me “lucky” that my players usually don’t bother trying to keep enemies alive, and while I am quite happy, that I won’t have to deal with torture… it does limit my options.

Actually, IIRC (didn’t use the adventure yet) but Reign of Winter had some nice encounters, where the players could use alternative tactics (convincing NPCs to change sides) instead of fighting and killing everything.
It is not required for every enemy, but it is nice now and then.

It really depends on the scenario, it seems harder to implement something like this in a scenario like Wotr 2, but in a scenario with various factions this could be valid option.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:


And as for combat length, the way to solve the ratio of combat to RP seems to me to be the removal of "trash" encounters. Trash is to mean the term as used in MMO's, i.e. lesser monsters between boss monsters. I am not against a pulse pounding combat encounter which takes an entire evening. I am against all the mook monsters whose encounters eat tons time to resolve but do not have a chance of stopping the party.
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And, hell, there are other recurring AP's story foibles that need to be cleaned up after years and years of new adventure paths. Like, introduce your main villain before the last module (or even the last fight)! Have him interact in non-dangerous ways with the party during the AP, so that the last encounter is not literally a "And who the hell are you?" first meeting.
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Four skills for social stuff, IMO. Diplomacy, Bluff, Intimidate, Sense Motive. Although Intimidate is wonky, since using it in most settings has actually almost always negative effects on your social success.
I see what you mean about those additional subsystems, since every first stab by Paizo at them have been pretty bad (kingdom building, caravan rules, relationship rules, mythic rules). But I'd rather see them try and fail somewhat then see them just put out the same kind of combat overdosed AP's for years and years.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Given a lack of surveys on the topic and, so far, an unwillingness by Paizo to put out those surveys (which they did for the ACG playtest, so it isn't as if they can't do so), we'll probably never know. I think the very contrary about the topic.
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I agree with everything Magnuskn said, especially the points quoted above (regarding those easy encounters, that is one of my greatest complaints) .

I think it would be a nice idea to add some RP or non-combat options to the APs. I appreciate, that this is rather hard, and page count can be very constrictive.
My players usually complain, when I don’t change the adventures, they want their ideas to matter and the desipse fight after fight after fight….. I really blame throwaway encounters.

I think resource management is a major issue here, with spell slots, ability uses per day (from items or other sources) the system seems to need a number of encounters per day.
My group has come to prefer fewer (very ) hard encounters, or evade encounters altogether,

Those options are pretty hard to describe with exhaustive detail, but sometimes adding them can help to keep things fresh.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ishpumalibu wrote:
If 3.5 is available there was a magic property called morphing, or morphic, something like that, that let you change the weapon to any weapon you wanted at will. I'm not sure if pathfinder has anything like that.

It is under intelligent items, which kinda fits for a soul reaper weapon anmyways.

Regarding Hisagi Shuuhei, I think that he could use some sneak attack, maybe dip a bit into Slayer. Monk you allow him to keep his armor class up.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well that was a nice read (and kinda depressing) :), finally up to date on your group. Mine hasn’t played in months and we currently try Splittermond (which has its own problems).

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well I think upgradeable works as written, you can add direct enhancement bonus or other abilities to the item. Really not that troublesome. There are, plenty of ways, to add the bane enhancement on your weapon. That is usually the best buff you can get.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Please cancel my comics and player companion subscriptions.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am very happy about the existance of this kickstarter^^

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Victor Zajic wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

Your character does not need to be born in Mendev, so you could circumvent this problem.

If this doesn’t work for you, just assume that your tiefling features are very minor.

However you should be warned, that being a tiefling will be very hard in this AP.

And yet somehow my Asmodean Tiefling managed to get promoted to general of the army of paladins you get in book 2. By the queen on Mendev.

The paladins aren't terribly happy about having to do what I say.

Yes and I assume there could be a number of scenes in the adventure, where confused crusaders or commoners could mistake your character for an enemy. I would prefer not to discuss this further, since it is heavily dependant on the GM and an even greater SPOILER than you post... in threat where a player seemed to ask a question ...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
General Spoon wrote:
we fought shamara off which is how irabeth did, but our gm said we think she might be an enemy we see again many times so what should we do we almost died the first time we were attacked by her?

Level up, gain more mythic tiers and kill her.

dungeonmaster heathy wrote:

I think it's pretty cool. Demons should be horrifying. He capitalized on the character change admirably.

Everybody's freaked out by this, and that just means he did his job right.
Enjoy the wonder that is emotional involvement maybe?.....

There is a difference between freaked out, and everybody just hating it.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:


As for WotR, one of my players just chatted with me yesterday about how his damage output will reach about 1000 damage per round and how the other PC's will be near that or not far behind. The toughest opponent in the AP has 742 HP.

Still working on my "thing" about that one, I should be able to post a work in progress later. I kinda lost my motivation after several pages of pointing out the flaws....^^

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Alleran wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
...since no Paizo published adventure would ever, ever, ever, ever include a forced “mindrape”, and forced impregnation to a player character.
There's the Drakainia monster in B4. Unless it never shows up in a published adventure, of course, but that seems limiting.

Thank you for mentioning that one. But no, while the monster plays with the concept of pregnancy (seriously the

gestation aura:
A drakainia's aura pulses with developing life. All poisons or diseases active within her 30-foot aura have an onset of 1 round and a frequency of 1/minute. Impregnated creatures within her aura gestate in 2d4 rounds. Any creature born within her aura gains a mutation as if it were the drakainia's spawn, though if the creature's parent was not impregnated by the drakainia, the creature born is an infant of the kind its biological parents would produce, and doesn't count toward the CR limit the drakainia can spawn per day.

aura is pretty disgusting, considering that it would affect a female NPCs or player character that was pregnant for days, ….), it can “impregnate” even a male or asexual character, and lays its eggs through the mouth. It is less pregnancy, then infestation.

That and you are unlikely to feel “happy” or “protective” about the baby, it takes rounds to gestate, and can be removed with Remove disease… just like other larval infestations.

Maybe I watched too many videos about feminism (especially in the context if comic books) but the plot device “magical (usually time accelerated) pregnancy” is just plain terrible.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Aldarionn wrote:

I've actually posited that an agent of Nocticula may work in the campaign.

**CAUTION - HEAVY SPOILERS - PLAYERS AVOID THIS**
** spoiler omitted **...

While possible, your idea requires the bending of certain guidelines, and the fact that a player would have to be willing to play a character of that specific demon lord.

Sorry, but considering the AP, I just think this is a still a rather bad idea.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Your character does not need to be born in Mendev, so you could circumvent this problem.
If this doesn’t work for you, just assume that your tiefling features are very minor.

However you should be warned, that being a tiefling will be very hard in this AP.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

After my extensive research on twilight (not reading the books, not seeing the movies -> but seeing that terrible twilight spoof movie) I can safely comment about this.

The shadow demon being a follower of a demon lord (SPOILER) to the adventure (?), does not make sense to me. But I can’t go into detail without massive spoilers, so assume that the GM is changing things - quite a certainty, since no Paizo published adventure would ever, ever, ever, ever include a forced “mindrape”, and forced impregnation to a player character.

That is a pretty big no no, even if the character was a former player character. And while I already killed two former player characters in my group, since the players no longer attend the games ….. it was a pretty big deus ex machina (getting killed by a 20/10 npc.. in the second adventure) some areas should out of the game.

I can’t argue, that the twilight inclusion is or isn’t terrible, but the group could always kill the baby and/or the former player, thus “euthanize” this part of the plot. If that isn’t an option, just just something like calcific touch, flesh to stone or another spell, to stop this plot indefinitely.

If the group is unwilling to deal with the situation, just call church of Iomedae and wait for the appearance of the inquisition (like the cable company, their arrival is always quite surprising).

Now if you excuse me, I have to rewatch one of my favourite Hellsing (the anime) videos, and while it doesn’t contain spoilers of any kind (well except that fictional anime nazis seem like like war, a lot^^) I like to watch it before I GM, it tends to bring me into the right mindset for this AP. You know the one with all those evil bastards, demons, torture….. (Did I mention that I am German?).

the Majors Speech.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I agree, and have been planning the same change. Since my "associated" player is a barbarian, this fits perfectly (and gives him a chance to change if he wants to)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tels wrote:

Ravingdork's characters aren't exactly the best representation of that claim as Ravingdork himself spends lots of times on these forums and is a very rules savvy person in general. Ha also does pull from multiple and many resources. When he comes across something that is good, he will include them into a character if he can or possibly build a character with the spell, feat, or ability in mind.

For example, he made a recent change to Riva Sarjenka when someone pointed out the use of the Planned Spontaneity feat.

He also built a Bumi Mei Fong based off the posts of Cao Phen.

When he was first posting characters, I pointed out he could use the magical treatment rules to make Helegur's Ice Fortress even tougher than it already was. Later on, he discovered an even better version of beefing it up in Ultimate Campaign.

My point is, even though Ravingdork is very rules savvy, even he still gets advice, or ideas, or learns about combos from the forums.

Yeah you have a point there, the point I am trying to advocate is that the adventures as written or still already to easy for a group without that level of online support.

And of course guides on the internet make everything worse^^

Still I really like his characters, but I have a very soft spot for classy powergaming^^

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, the adventure as written, really doesn't support that concept at all.
There is canon about LE asmodean demon hunters, and evil those characters will have trouble...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
grandpoobah wrote:

@ Sebastion:

Dispel Magic goes against the highest caster level spells first.
Greater Dispel Magic goes against the highest level spell first, and only one per 4 caster levels (as noted above) - so typically 3-4 spells.
Mythic Dispel magic gets two spells (instead of 1)

It's not clear how "ties" are broken. If I have five caster level 10, third level spells, I imagine it is random which one is dispelled, but in the case of Dispel Magic, I could see it hitting the highest level spells (of the same highest caster level) first. YMMV

This is why I like the "name your targets" option. Remember, that even if a badguy has no spellcraft, and no arcane sight, he can still say "targeted dispel magic: mage armor" for the same reason a Fighter with no knowledge Planes might swing a cold iron sword at a demon. It's reasonably likely to work. Now if the target doesn't actually have mage armor active, the dispel is completely wasted, but that seems like a fair trade.

When I ran a simulation of Baphomet, he had greater arcane sight up - and used his quickened greater dispels to wipe the fire resistance off the party so the exploding balors could hurt them (as well as armor class buffs so the Balors could hit the PCs a few times before they died).

A Mage's Disjunction wipes everything, so that's another option. However, many gaming groups hate this spell as written. I have house-ruled the spell into what amounts to a Superior Dispel Magic, building on what greater dispel does.

The name your targets option is pretty damn powerful, but maybe that is exactly what is needed here, after all if a significant subsection of your enemies can use (greater) dispel magic, players might decide, not to use every buff available, since they might have to save the spell slots to rebuff later.

Thank you for reminding me about another nice weapon in my GM arsenal^^

It still think that you could make a good cases, that greater dispel magic works like dispel magic, but I am not even totally sure which option is better:

-using low spell level high caster level spell, could result in the paradox situation, that a lower CL dispel magic is actually better, since it has a lower chance to successfully dispel the dummy spells, and then dispel the good ones.
-using high spell with a lower CL level dummy spells cost more resources, but without targeting individual spells, it it might be easier to catch a greater dispel magic with the dummy spells.

thejeff wrote:
Hmmm. That's weird. I expected them both to work the same way, using caster level, but
pfsrd-Greater Dispel Magic wrote:
Targeted Dispel: This functions as a targeted dispel magic , but it can dispel one spell for every four caster levels you possess, starting with the highest level spells and proceeding to lower level spells.

I wonder if that was just sloppy wording and the intent was caster level? FAQ worthy?

I assume it still uses the same mechanic ("functions like dispel magic"), so you roll one check (per spell you can dispel?) and test that against CL+11 until something dispels?

Isn't if funny to discover sooo many "new and interesting facts" about basic spells ^^

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tangent101 wrote:
Actually, Lochar, the first D&D product I owned was Basic. (I bet that's still lying around somewhere. No idea where, however.)
grandpoobah wrote:
Chainmail for the win!
Lochar wrote:

*grudgingly hands over rocking chair*

Shouldn't you have been put into a home by now then? :D

You all know perfectly well, that it doesn't count how old you are or how old your books are.

Only the multitude of scars from various edition wars count ^^ That and the total pages of messageboard threads about LG/Paladins count....so I assume that Mikaze has ultimate grognard status on these boards.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Joshua Goudreau wrote:

I'm probably going to sound REALLY old here, but I played 2E 20 years ago and the optimization and broken character myself and others built was kind of absurd. I could crank out some pretty disturbing combat focused characters once I pulled in the different handbooks and setting specific books while a friend could do the same with casters. So the optimization was still there.

As was stated above a few times, sharing those optimizations without the internet as prevalent was not as easy as it is today. However, the big difference here is the complexity of characters. Pathfinder characters have a ton of options between class abilities, racial abilities, feats, and all the alternates and so on. PF characters are considerably more complex than 3.x characters because each one has more options to pile on.

And this is where I feel the power level of high-end characters comes from. Compare a level 15 fighter in Pathfinder to a level 15 fighter in 3.5 and the number of feats alone shows a significant rise in power. So, designing adventures for low-level, and to a certain extent mid-level, characters does not require a major departure from D&D philosophy, however, high-level characters have left the predecessors behind and so the philosophy of design is different.

All of this, I feel, boils down to the simple fact that characters in PF, especially once Mythic Adventures is added on, are different beasts entirely than they were in other games.

Well to be fair, fighters in 3.5 were pretty much s+%#, when compared to clerics and pretty much everything else. In Pathfinder fighters are much better.

And while I do agree, that the internet makes it far far easier for “normal” players to get the expert advice and builds, the aren’t really that necessary.

Take a look at Ravingdork’s Crazy Character Emporium, while he makes use of a variety of Pathfinder sources, most of his characters are very good at what they do, without having to access that many sources.

A CRB Fighter with a two handed weapon, is a force to be reckoned with, and that is without much powergaming, obviously with access to all the material he gets better, but it is not essential. But he is quite likely still far weaker than a 3.5 cleric straight from the PHB.

The problems many high level adventures tend to have, is based on the fact some some high level options are simply very powerful.

So yeah the power level might have risen a bit, but in that cases the adventures could have adapted years ago (if they had that intention or even that capability).

TLDR: Pathfinder gets quite hard for the GM and adventure designers, but the problems still come from some pretty basic concepts. ^^

Also, I am now 29 and have almost 20 years of experience with RPGs myself, so yeah .... you might beat me on years, but I should beat you on hairs lost (ripped out homer simpson style, after years of froustration with a certain german RPG) :P

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
grandpoobah wrote:
dispelling

That option is actually quite problematic, since most enemies do not have arcane sight, or sight

knowledge or spellcraft skills to recognize specific spells. Of course since a great number of enemies in this AP have telepathy its is entirely reasonable for characters to anticipate the buffs.

The option seems balanced, in exchange for the chance to dispel a specific spell per 4 CL, you give up the chance to dispel any of the other 20 million spells on the target (quite a trade when you fight against a target with plenty of permanent spells).

This actually works pretty well for my DM style, a player that takes the time, actions, and spells per day to study his enemy should benefit from a more effective dispel magic.

And one more thing, does greater dispel magic refer to caster level or spell level (dispel magic calls it caster level ), you last paragraph seems to argue that is it spell level.

And btw there is a mythic dispel magic, but no greater mythic dispel magic - however the product [url=http://paizo.com/products/btpy91ry?Mythic-Magic-Core-SpellsMythic magic:Core spells[/url] rectifies that situation (really have to write more reviews, but it deserves the 5 Stars).

Crikey,

)

It is soooo weird :P , to hear the words dude and crikey from a fellow german, I guess the message boards have utterly ruined us ^^

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Not so in PF:
Dispel Magic wrote:
You make one dispel check and compare that to the spell with highest caster level. If successful, that spell ends. If not, compare the same result to the spell with the next highest caster level. Repeat this process until you have dispelled one spell affecting the target, or you have failed to dispel every spell.

Greater Dispel can do 1 spell for every 4 levels.

Note that it's one roll for Dispel Magic. If you roll a 1, you're probably not dispelling anything.
It's not clear to me if the multiple rolls from Greater use a single roll to dispel multiple spells or if you get 1 roll/4 levels. Probably the first.

Crikey, that's one huge change everybody in my two groups seems to have missed since PF came out. oO

Sorry, Sebastian, I was quite off-base here. This will change the metagame quite a bit later on for my group. That's one change I am definitely in favor of. :)

And I was juuuuuust about to quote it to you ^^ No problem, it happens to the best of us, I completly missed/had forgotte the mind blankchanges until recently.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:
Err, no. If you target your Greater Dispel Magic, it goes through every spell the targeted person has on him, so no matter how you cast your spell, the player dispelling you gets to roll if it is dispelled. Which is why groups which routinely do this (that's mine included, I fear) are so annoying, the targeted opponent will statistically lose a bit less than half his buffs, if he is higher level than the party. That's a lot of defense gone and a lot of on-the-spot recalculating for me to do.

What I meant, is that while greater dispel magic can dispel several spells, it tries to dispel the spells with the greatest caster level first, so your party ranger can try to protect his aspect of the falcon,gravity bow,heroism and protection from outsiders, by getting the party wizard (with a slightly higher CL) to cast things like communal resist energy, communal protection from evil, mage armor (the mythic version might be worth it for the +6 armor bonus and the fortification) and other cheap spells on him.

When he gets targeted by a greater dispel magic, the caster first has to try to dispel the spells with the higher CL, so he might use up all his dispel attempts on unimportant spells.

Arguably you could even bestow curse a player to get the same effect (“I curse you take a +4 penalty against the spells of good creatures” or something like that) but that is stretching it.

The recalculation can be a pain, and while I am thinking about it, spell turning should be quite nasty, since you automatically succed on dispel checks against your own spells.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:

Actually no attacks in this fight were against touch AC, both Staunton and Kiranda were using regular attack... and hitting quite well, to boot!

As for Staunton getting captured alive... he's mythic and with scorpions rebuild has a CON of 24, so he'd only die at -48 HP. Unless they keep him unconcious and under watch the whole time, he'll probably suicide by biting off his own tongue and drowning on his own blood, though.

If I may ask, how did you spend his mythic power? I was planning to make extensive use of amazing initative, to let him use his touch of corruption.

If course in that giant encounter, it wasn’t really necessary use everything, I assume that the succubus alone made this encounter pretty dangerous, a dominated player can be quite deadly.

And of course I plan to make Staunton a plague carrier, every plague he can inflict with his touch of corruption, since he is immune, he should have no problem “sharing”.^^

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:

Damn, Sebastian, stop writing posts that I wanted to write, only that you do it better. :p

I'd add one point to your list of powerful player options, which is:

Debuffing: This takes either the form of casting Dispel Magic/Greater Dispel Magic on enemy spellcasters or using spells which hinder the opponents action economy, like Stinking Cloud, Terrible Remorse, Slow and so on. Both are extremely effective tactics, since they both play to the advantage groups enjoy in their action economy against opponents (since Paizo insists on throwing single opponent boss encounters at us).

With buff dispelling, this makes enemy spellcasters, which are traditionally some of the better type of opponents, much less of a threat. Since they are limited in their action economy by (very often) being pitted alone against four (or more) characters, they can't effectively re-cast those buffs once they have been dispelled and you can count on about 2 casters with access to Dispel/Greater Dispel being in your group, so their action economy isn't hurt that badly in comparison. Even if those two casters did have to spend their actions to dispel the defensive buffs of that enemy wizard, now the martial characters don't have to deal with his Mirror Image, Fly and Displacement spells.

Spells which hinder the enemies action economy are also something which trivialize many of Paizo's written encounters. The core options often have some sort of drawback (i.e. Stinking Cloud and Black Tentacles close off an area to the melee portion of the player characters, too), but a lot of the newer options don't suffer from this problem and also have a second component which activates after the affected members of the opponents make their saves, i.e. Wandering Star Motes jumps to the next enemy, Terrible Remorse still staggers on a successful save for one round.

Here I want to call out the AP writers a bit, because many of them don't use those action-denial spells and rather go for horrible tactic blocks and spell selections for...

Well if you like huge walls of text, you will love the my posts about my WotR game ^^

But seriously, after reading Treantmonk's Guide to Pathfinder Wizards: Being a God several times, I should not have forgotten debuffing.

And you are absolutely right on all counts, spellcasting enemies will have to do quite a lot of casting before the encounter, to be a serious threat in the encounter.

When it comes to the dreaded single enemy encounter, well 4th Edition tried to fix this, and I hated the idea^^

So, I guess I am making a new thread, something like “How to fix single enemy encounters with the mythic rules”, since this will cover a lot of the WotR boss encounters, it will be in this part of the forum. I won’t add it here, since that topic will require a lot of examples and details, that stuff should be easy to discover for other GMs.

It will take me some time to set it up properly, but it should be a worthwhile topic.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
CWheezy wrote:
I would like to point out that greater dispel magic works top down, so having a bunch of low level buffs doesn't really affect it

Of course they can be clever about it, just cast all your good spells 1 CL lower than the dummy spells. Since Dispel magic goes for the highest caster level first - I assume that the same is true for the "greater" version (I could be wrong here).

As the order of the stick characters have pointed out, someone should have consulted a thesaurus at some point. The word level is used when it comes to class level, character level, dungeon level, spell level, caster level...
Thanks to paizo at least when it is in the context of a class is usually class level.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:

Session of March 18th 2014:

Well, now, this was intense.

Much of the parties survival depended on some very, very lucky rolls, like the ranger acing her Acrobatics check just on the target number of...

That encounter was quite something, and I am not really surprised that your players almost died.

Capturing Staunton seems really surprising, personally since I am apparently evil, I plan to stage the fight in a room that is prepared to collapse.

How many of the dangerous attacks against your group targeted touch AC, I would suspect, that will saves and touch AC are significantly worse. Or course Staunton can smite evil, and yeah his AC isn’t all that impressive.

I really have to continue my thread, my players just fought chimera.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
NobodysHome wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Porridge wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:

It's the nodachi that's the culprit. The only 2H weapon with an 18-20 crit range, so you promptly go 15-20 as soon as you can and it's just uber-devastating.

(Isn't the falchion also a 2H weapon with an 18-20 crit range?)
But it got on average 0,5 less damage per hit! ^^

OK. That made me smile. Thanks!

It is entirely reasonable, for a martial character not wanting to touch those d4, it took me years to find ones that weren’t evil. ^^

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I see where you are coming from, but I have to admit that my experience with AD&D is rather limited (I played DSA a german RPG back then), just read a lot of Forgotten Realms material a couple of years ago (and even then I found a lot of unbalanced stuff).

Discoverability is an important part when it comes to this, but even then if you were willing to do this kind of thing it was certainly possible - of course, I tend to take these things too seriously - you could make photocopies of the spells, feats, and prestige classes that you find interesting.

And of course, knowing the “best” options for all those classes is unrealistic, but knowing the class that you decided to play and make that a very good character, that is still quite reasonable.

Searching for every little trait, feat, spell, class feature and magic items to make you “thing” as good as it can be might seem unreasonable, but making a character that is considerably above standard, not that hard.

I remember quite fondly when I bought my first 3.0 splatbook Tome and Blood IIRC, I loved it, but there wasn’t that much content, that I would have considered worth taking.

Reaching the best is a moving target, with plenty of cover and several mirror images. Unless you set your target as “highest possible AC” or something similar, “the best” hard to nail down.

Maybe it is personal experience, but I always liked toying with the rules and creating characters, things like these do come easy for me.

I can agree with you, that current technological advances make it far quicker and easier for players to create a complicated character, and print it with all relevant rules (Oh hero lab, how I love you^^)

However, a couple of years back, it was quite easy to use all the Pathfinder material, since there wasn’t all that much of it. Now these days every splatbook has a couple of spells, and it would be a nightmare to collect them all (151 are plenty :P).

The example with the new player seem realistic, but I honestly think that no new player could understand most of the guides without a firm grasp of the rules, you might be able to create a level 1 character, but playing him is a different matter.

Of course reading guides can make a group more effective, but I suspect, that this effect would start sooner or later, once players get more experienced.

And since quite a number of the players on this board, were present during the Pathfinder RPG beta test, subsequent APs (using only Pathfinder RPG rules) were destroyed as expected ^^

So yeah it got easier, but I think even without the internet a certain subset of players would always find the adventures to easy.

I played several weeks of the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, I… was still shocked from the ending, and not yet willing to let the game go, after all I had planned several playthroughs.
The multiplayer modus is functional, but the booster type unlock system gets old pretty fast, and at least back then, more mission modes were sorely needed.

Tels wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Well, as someone who just now is really getting into ME3 MP again and is working on unlocking new classes (and still trying after all this time for the Harrier and Black Widow, sigh...), I read/watch guides more to get a grip on what some of those abilities even do. ^^
I used the ME3 Wiki to figure out what the abilities did, but even the Wiki has advice on how to use some of the abilities and what to combo them with. But I've used the Guides before to explore different variations of the characters I like. For instance, I never thought of using a Shotgun on an Infiltrator until I read one of the guides advocating using it.

It is good, but they would have needed a crowbar to separate me from my pistol and sniper rifle.^^

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think it is reasonable to assume that Baphoment plans/expects some way, to make this a worthy endeavor.
And of course, Deskari isn't the only evil power that benefits from the existance of the worldwound.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
thejeff wrote:

Remember, a well built Core Wizard/Sorcerer is still basically as powerful as anything out there, except maybe a non-Core Wizard/Sorcerer. It's not that non-Core content is inherently more powerful than Core content, it's that more options allow more combinations and more stacking and thus more optimization.

The last four questions are more useful, but the answer of course is "It depends". DPR is more useful a gauge than attack bonus, for example.

Great suggestions, it is worth mentioning, that the NPCs got a little bit better since the days of the 3.5 adventures. The versions in the NPC Guide are quite reasonable.

Tangent101 wrote:
Oh, small note about the difference between a 15- and 20-point build. Someone pointed it out to me that a 20-point build is the equivalence to two free Feats minimum - for instance, Iron Will and Persuasive. That said, I honestly don't think it's that big a deal, and there is two things to remember: not all groups are filled with experienced players who are able to outmaneuver GMs, and merely adding +1 to every stat of a monster is the equivalence to a 25-point build. (I did the math for a 15/14/13/12/10/8 build for +1, +2, +3, and +4 for every stat. It gave me a good baseline for rebuilding encounters without the Advanced Template so their stats are essentially the same level as the players.) (That being 25 pts., 37 pts., 52 pts., and 78 pts.)

Very interesting, but it doesn’t really apply to my players, they would be decidedly unhappy with a charisma score under 10^^.

Matt Thomason wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:


And while the GM doesn’t have an easy job, having a GM is one of the greatest advantages and resources this hobby has.

So very much this. It's why I prefer this hobby to computer games - which are fun too, but will never (or at least, not for the forseeable future) be adaptive to the point they can change on the fly when I do something they weren't programmed to respond to.

RPG:
I announce I'm going to dive off the balcony, catch onto the dragon's head, and plunge my sword into its head. The GM frantically tries to apply some existing rules, fudges around with them a bit, and tells me to roll some die or other.

Computer Game:
I run towards the edge of the balcony, and hit an invisible wall while the dragon proceeds to toast the village in a cut-scene.

I agree, but games have other advantages. They can give me (alone) a challenge, that I can beat and that usually involves me outthinking the challenge (loved doing the Starcraft 2 and Starcraft 2 Heart of the Swarm campaigns on the hardest difficulty).

The really big advantage we have, is that our brains tend to fill the empty spaces quite well. If the GM tells me “You see a 10 by 10 room with a treasure chest, and an orc guarding it”. Thats pretty much all you need to know, in a computer game you would have to specify all kinds of details.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tangent101 wrote:

You'd be surprised at how many players only use or own the Core Rulebook. Don't forget, each rulebook costs money. Even if they're available online through the PRDs, a lot of people don't bother. Why should they, the Core Rulebook has everything they need.

My Skype game? Three players built their characters with the Core Rulebook. They branched into other rulebooks for Feats and the like because I would offer suggested Feats that I saw on Hero Labs. (Mind you, I own all of the official rulebooks. I'm a nerd, what can I say?) The last player actually went on the PRD and found a Sorceress archetype she liked (Imperious), and went with Ninja for her Cohort after we joked about her having a ninjamaid. :) (Admittedly I built the Ninja cohort and sent it to her, but I did that as a joke. She liked it and went with it.)

My "Skyrim" (RoW) game? Well, that one is trickier, because the game started out as a 2nd/3rd edition D&D Hybrid that I converted over to Pathfinder when we recruited a third player (I didn't want to have two confused new players, and seeing there were no 3.5 rulebooks to be found anywhere I went Pathfinder and fell in love with a superior system). So we essentially started out with JUST the Core Rulebook, from which all of the characters are built.

So of two gaming groups (six players in all) and two campaigns (two of the players are in both campaigns), one player built a character using rules not from the Core Rulebook. (I don't count the GMPCs as I built those myself and had access to multiple books. And had fun with them.)

How many other groups are like that? Probably a goodly number. After all, people want to have fun. Learning lots of rules is only fun for the geekiest of us. ;)

I have to admit, that I have spoiled myself and my players with hero lab. I create and plan all their characters with them, so I am always partly to blame, I tend to be “good at Pathfinder “ ^^ But if the player has a concept, he gets what he wants. My paladin player wanted to be the group tank and leader, so he is a sacred shield paladin / guardian/marshal^^

And I consider myself quite the prime geek^^

Silver Crusade

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Matt Thomason wrote:
I find the easiest way to deal with balance issues in APs is to go the no-XP route, and also to ignore the recommended level-up points. Just level up the party when they start to struggle, and suddenly the entire AP becomes a near-perfectly-balanced challenge no matter how good or bad the party is.

Yes quite a number of the GMs don’t use XP these days, in my Kingmaker campaign I intentionally kept them 1 or 2 levels below the suggestions, it didn’t really stop them (Kingmaker 4-5 was quite easy for my group with the exception of one combat against a daemon), but almost resulted in a TPK when I dominated the archer.

James Jacobs wrote:


-Matt
Isn't the simple answer to that "Look at the iconics"? Yes. That's a much more elegant way to put it, in fact.

I actually really like the iconics in the NPC guide, but I would love to see the iconics from the other books.

And again, even the inconic get a serious power boost out of the rules from mythic adventures. Maybe if I find the motivation I will stat my version of some of them, as some sort of benchmark for other GMs.

James Jacobs wrote:


Since the warnings we would need to give each GM would vary every time... that's not really an option, I'm afraid. What you're asking for is a different product entirely—a "Guide to Running Published Adventures" or something like that. Which would be a cool product, I think... but it's not really one that fits well into our line of books at this time. And one that I doubt would be as quick to offer advice as everyone sharing their experiences here on these boards already does.

To a certain extent the entire Core...

While these boards are a superb resource (particularly because of the friendly and constructive atmosphere and various paizo customers and employees ready to help new players/GMs), a reasonably short product (not hidden within the pages of the Complete Koblods Guide to Game Design or the Pathinder GMG ) could have a pretty large effect, for some reason a printed product carries quite a bit of weight for some GMs. But it would be hard to find a book to delay, so yeah, unlikely. But maybe a short article on the Paizo blog would be nice, at least if would give us something comprehensive to link to new GMs^^

Mattastrophic wrote:
thejeff wrote:
How would you want them to describe the expected level of optimization?

To start, from above:

-How can I know whether my character is too far outside of that guideline?
-Which classes are included in that guideline?
-Which classes are too far outside of it?
-Does the baseline assume crafting magic items?
-What about wealth expectations?
-Which feats, spells, magic items, archetypes, etc. fall within Paizo's baseline?

-How can I look at my players' sheets and know whether their characters are too far outside? What are the warning signs?
-How can I know whether my own PC is too far outside without having to replicate an iconic?

To add:

-How high of an attack bonus will cause problems?
-At what point does a characters' save DCs become problematic?
-If crafting is expected, how much of a character's wealth is expected to be devoted to crafting?
-If my play group has more than four players in it, what can I do as a GM?

The less we know about the answers to these sorts of questions going in, the more headaches we have later when we go in with the wrong expectations.

-Matt

MY opinions:

You can created devastating combinations with pretty much anything.

Once a character is disruptive to your game, or outshines all other characters all the time you might have to do something.

All classes should be possible, but it is well within your rights as a GM to ban classes, and archetypes, that will be disruptive to your game (or things you can’t deal with). Examples some GMs ban are summoners (the class and other classes that summon a lot) since they can eat up a lot of time.

The suggested wealth per level guidelines are in the core rulebook, and please not the percentages that players are supposed to have in each area e.g. a player is not supposed to invest 90 % of his wealth into his weapon.
Ultimate campaign has excellent guidelines when it comes to crafting magic items, and how it should interact with wealth per level.

To give you some guidelines:

-Usually a character that can do other things than fighting (cleric, rogue) should have to roll a 14 or higher on his attack roll to hit an enemy of his CR, it is reasonable for fighters and barbarians (and similar characters) to hit on a 8-10. Buffs tend to push those numbers, but you should be a bit worried when players hit an an attack roll of 5 or below (or only miss on a natural one).
These numbers exclude the use of power attack, combat expertise and other feats.

If your group has more than 4 players, consider increasing the number of enemies first, and the power secondary. The CR system is anything but an exact science, and depending on your group composition, a 5th or 6th character can increase their power by up to 25 -75 %. in rare optimized cases even more.
But consider that increasing enemy damage might not be the optimal solution, as this tends to reduce players to a red mist.

Also learn to cheat, it is well within your purview to change a roll or two to normalize a streak or crits/misses.

Mattastrophic wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
But neither do we want to create an impression that you have to "Pay to Play" our games. If we explicitly said "We assume your players use ALL the options for ALL of our products in order to survive our adventures," that's basically the same as saying "We require all of your players to buy every book we publish." That type of stance would not work well for us.

It is not unreasonable to assume that a play group has access to the material that is given away for free on this very site. By maintaining the PRD, Paizo is able to set it as the expectation. There is no need for Paizo to confine itself to the Core Rulebook.

Also... it's worth noting that Pathfinder Society can, and arguably should, mirror the APs when it comes to expectations. Why is it that Pathfinder Society expects six-person tables with 20-point characters, while the APs continue to only expect four-person groups with 15-point characters? Shouldn't these two sets of expectations have converged?

The reason I bring this up is because both of my AP groups so far have used the 20-point option... because that is what were taught by PFS and what we grew comfortable with within PFS. We did not know what we were getting ourselves into. My Jade Regent GM has elected to toss out every single stat block in Books 4-6 and build his own from scratch, and we are having a great time. However, would the AP not have been a more useful product if he did not have to make that choice? What is a GM to do if he does not have the time to make such extensive adjustments, or crawl through the forums for suggestions which may or may not even work and are incredibly difficult to compile into a useable form?

-Matt

Sorry, but while I find it admirable that Paizo products are essentially open source (d20pfsrd makes my life sooo much easier, even with hero lab and pdfs), it is unreasonable for a GM/player to have the time to familiarize himself with all the available rules.

And access on the gaming table is really not guaranteed, it is fine for the adventure to feature nonstandard enemies and spells (the GM can prepare that ahead of time) but using a monster from bestiary 3 is not the same as a complex inquisitor with feats and spells from 7 different books.
You as the GM can use all those sources, but they have to consider, that a lot of players still prefer to use the physical books.
And you kinda have to consider new players/GMs, the CRB is a heavy book and if the APs required knowledge of all those books…. well our hobby is already far less accessible than World of Warcraft - which frankly offers a very good beginners experience.

It is quite possible the find 6 players to do something together for 4-6 hours, finding the same number of people willing and capable to find the time in their schedules to play an AP for months at a time….. not that easy ^^
And I think 4 players might very well be the average.

If your read the boards, you will find that GMs have to change stat blocks all the time, it is pretty hard to avoid, and frankly some GMs like it. Now I would love to have the statblocks preloaded into hero lab, but that is another topic.
And even if he has to remake the NPCs the stat blocks and tactics are still usefull.

20 pts point buy aren’t the problem, I would argue that it could reduce stat dumping.

Mattastrophic wrote:
Matt Thomason wrote:
Getting into the realms of "It's out there, lets just assume everyone is using it" could set a bad precedent.

On the other hand, it's worth noting that Pathfinder Society, the "gateway to the APs," assumes that every GM has access to the material that is given away on the PRD.

-Matt

Yes, but Pathfinder Society adventures are only offered as pdf, and rather short, so the amount of research isn’t that big.

And of course society play does ban quite a number of options.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Matt Thomason wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:


Good advise, but I have to add that some countries tend to tax after a certain ammount.
When it comes to Germany, I have to pay taxes once the cost of the entire order is higher than about 70-80 $. What is really unfortunate, is that you have to pay taxes on shipping cost.

If have no idea, how it works in other countries, but I tend to avoid large order these days (supporting paizo would be fine, but I think the 10 $ discount on orders above 100 isn't really helping).

In the UK we're lucky in that books are tax-exempt, but if there's anything else (dice, maps) in that package we run into issues once it goes over about $25.

Now, supposedly it should only be "if the non-book items come to over $25", but USPS do a fantastic job of screwing up Paizo's perfect customs declaration form by adding an additional one of their own that frequently bears little relation to the actual contents if there's a mix of item types. Hence why once a month there's a post from me in this forum asking to separate out my subscription order into two packages :)

Or the lovely people responsible for opening my packages get it wrong and I have to pay the full tax rate on a couple of adventures and comics (19 % instead of 7%, thus increasing the amount over the threshold under which they do not charge me).

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

I just moved my entire RPG collection into a new bookshelf (Expedit from Ikea if anyone seeks a nice one) and while looking through a stack of adventures, I noticed that the premade characters (at the end of the older adventures) are sometimes quite unoptimized.

Is that the baseline ?

I wouldn't say it's necessarily the baseline... but it's certainly close.

..

The "baseline" is, more or less, a 15 point character built with as many core options as possible, with a goal of being good at the core strength of the class while having variety and breadth and not deliberately hyper-specializing in any one area. But even that is assigning more of a process to it.

Put another way... we at Paizo are more invested in presenting tools for you to use in your game, be they monsters or character building options or settings or adventures or whatever. One area we're specifically NOT all that interested in going into is the area of building characters for you. We'll do it, as we have for pre-generated characters in adventures or PFS before... but it's not a core goal.

Oh I don’t expect Paizo to create characters for the players, even if I enjoy a well crafted NPC. I just mentioned them, since I have seen players make less than optimal choices and wondered how much bad decisions the adventures expect.

But when it comes to the creating new and fun options part, I always hope that new options are properly balanced. And while it is unreasonable even for Paizo to anticipate every combination (of course playtest are an option here) it sometimes feels a bit disappointing to allow an option (as a GM) and learn only later how powerful it is.

I would not have given

Titans Bane wrote:
You can move through the space of any creature two or more size categories larger than you without provoking attacks of opportunity, and you can share such a creature's space. When sharing a larger opponent's space, you gain cover against all melee and ranged attacks made by the creature, and it is considered flat-footed for the purposes of any melee or ranged attacks you make against it.

a second glance, but as one poster on this board pointed out to me, a halfing (core race) rogue (core class) can use this to reliably sneak attack large sized enemies.

With a reduce person, such a character can sneak attack pretty much everything.

Now as a rather experienced GM I can counter this reasonably well, but if I were a novice GM, afraid to change to much ….

We all appreciate and understand, that things like this happen, but we do want to point out where the game is unbalanced - to make it better.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:

Sadly, any international package over 4 pounds can only go International Priority, and the Bestiary Box weighs more than 4.6 pounds, which means it's actually more than 5 pounds when it's packaged to ship.

Odds are good, though, that it's going to be in a Flat Rate Box at that point, though, which would mean that as long as any other stuff you order will fit in the same box, it doesn't cost any more to ship. (Eventually, though, it will go to a larger Flat Rate Box that costs more, or to a weight-based box.)

Good advise, but I have to add that some countries tend to tax after a certain ammount.

When it comes to Germany, I have to pay taxes once the cost of the entire order is higher than about 70-80 $. What is really unfortunate, is that you have to pay taxes on shipping cost.

If have no idea, how it works in other countries, but I tend to avoid large order these days (supporting paizo would be fine, but I think the 10 $ discount on orders above 100 isn't really helping).

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Please cancel my campaign setting subscription, I will eventuall get the pdf, but international shipping for packages with hardcovers is unfortunately prohibitively expensive. (And in Gemany I usually have to pay taxes on the product AND the shipping cost)

I appolize for the inconvenience.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
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@everyone talking about point buy.

The problem isn’t really based on the stats, it is based on other factors, low stats just make certain builds very very hard - to the point where you have to take those dump stats.

(And to be honest my group uses 20 pts point buy, no stats below 10, and pretty much all enemies gain the advanced or another +1 or +2 templates to compensate, or I just increase the hp)

While it is true that the mythic stat increases can be more powerful for certain abilities like divine grace, they are frankly necessary. Otherwise, a mythic which would have no way to increase the DC of their hexes, or any mythic character would be quite limited in their options to increase their health (HP, fort save..).

I finally found what I forgot in my initial post:

Enemies lack protection against certain tactics

This may overlap a bit with my previous posts, but I feel it is worth mentioning. Certain tactics are extremely useful at most or all levels of the game, and enemies are often utterly unable to respond. A clever GM can and should allow enemies to counter all or some of these tactics, since published adventures can anticipate only so much.

So here are some rather effective tactics:

Ranged Combat:
Usually archery, since thrown weapons and crossbows have some distinct disadvantages. Archers have the distinct advantage, that they do not have to be close to the enemy to make a full attack, and since rapid shot and manyshot (which stack :( ) are very good choices, full attacks are much more devastating.
It requires a number of feats, and archers have to try to get some sort of bonus damage (bane, smite evil, favored enemy..) but they are incredibly effective combatants. That is core rulebook only, once you allow access to all paizo published feats, they can pretty much ignore DR (clustered shots) or shot in melee without getting an attack of opportunity.

They are good, and most enemies have no defense against their attacks and powers that punish melee attacks like unholy aura have no effect on them. While there are some effects, that can help against those enemies, giving every enemy a protective spell against ranged attacks tends to get old really fast.

Surprisingly this is one of the areas, where WotR is actually better than any previous AP. With abilities like fleet charge, melee characters have it easier than ever to get full attacks, and with the insane mythic power attack (especially considering mythic furious focus) their damage output quickly reduces enemies to mince.

I admit, that some of the more effective ways to stop or weaken ranged combatants involve areas of concealment (fog, darkness), strong wind, very good cover or very limited spaces - and that is very constraining to adventure design.

To reiterate another point, AC is not a sufficient defense against those characters, miss chance, concealment and combats with against a greater number of enemies can sufficient.

Scry and Die:

The tactic is old, but pretty hard to beat as a GM, the players just use magic to locate the creature, then use a teleportation effect to surprise it and kill it before it can react.

There are ways to discourage this tactic, but most of them are magical (like permanent teleportation cages) and thus not available to certain enemies.

I guess this is one of those tactics, where players only stop one it has proved disastrous one to many times.

Buff, Buff then Buff some more:

This “tactic” is a hard one, I think that players should be rewarded for appropriate preparations, like casting protection from cold before engaging a white dragon. Casting spells that are pretty much like class abilities (mage armor for the wizard, magic fang for the druid) seems reasonable too.

The problem arises, when you consider that buffs tend to represent a nonlinear increase in power, in other words, when it comes to buffs 1+1 does not result in 2.

Some mythic examples: mythic heroism gives +4 to attack rolls, saves and other things, for 10 minutes per level, that spell can last for hours (extend spell) and thus would be available for several encounters every day.

Add to that a +4 courageous weapon and that bonus rises to +6.

Now let’s add haste (or augment the heroism) and/or magic weapon or maybe bull strength and the bonus to attack rolls can easily reach +10 or higher - of course depending on the level of the group.
With this level of support (and we are only talking about 2-3 buffs) character usually have little trouble to hit the AC of their enemies. And even with a low ( i.e. your GM hates you 10 pts. point buy) you will have little trouble to deal with most enemies.

I do appreciate, that WotR features a lot of enemies with greater dispel magic, but nothing prevents players from buffing the group with lots of low level spells to soak up dispelling.

Enemies could use Antimagic field, but that spell makes it very easy to create a TPK, and might not even be effective (depending on the non-magical defensive abilities of the user).
Instead enemies could use the tactic themselves, I am a huge fan of spells like tactical acumen and ablative barrier.

Sufficiently buffed, even lower level enemies have a reasonable chance to hit and deal a little damage (just rolling to see if you roll nat 20s is a bit unrewarding IMO).

Invisible Sneak:

Invisibility is a good spell, it can be very useful for scouting, or on the party healer so she can heal in combat while protected. greater invisibility however is a beast, cast on a rogue, ninja, slayer… pretty much everyone with a precision based ability like sneak attack and it will destroy the vast majority of encounters between level 9-14, after that quite a number of enemies gain some ability to detect them.

It is worth mentioning that a lot of classes can access this spell by level 7, and only a select few enemies can cope with that.

I could be wrong, but I don’t think that this AP is any more effective against this tactic than any other, arguably less, since players can become invisible with a mythic power.

Carry:

If you don’t know what a “carry” is, it is a term from MOBA games like league of legends. It refers to a character that starts weak, but with enough magic items, buffs and enough levels she becomes extremely effective.

For example, I am sure, that I am not the only GM who had players, who were tempted by the impressive theoretical damage of a rogue/ninja fighting with two weapons. Of course this often results, in fewer damage, since the rogue is already cursed with a less than stellar attack bonus.

Of course once you add good group tactics, that seemingly bad choice can become very effective, without necessarily requiring the other characters to make sacrifices.

Battle against a large demon:
- The witch uses her evil eye hex on the enemy, to lower his saves against her own effects and to help the group.
- The cleric cast blessing of fervor on the group to help the group
- The magus casts slow on the enemy and moves to set up a flanking opportunity for the rogue.

Best case scenario, the rogue now has a much higher chance to hit, can deal sneak attack damage and has more attacks than a rogue with 1h weapon and shield or a two handed weapon.

This is a case where a “weaker” choice can be leveraged to be very powerful, this is another argument against single enemy fights, they are more vulnerable to debuffs, flanking and other tactics.

Of course adventure design, can make use of these tactics, but it usually takes up more space in the adventure. I encourage GMs to toy with the stat blocks and and tactics, so that they are on par, or even better than the player tactics (learning a useful tactic from a previous encounter can be quite entertaining - watch literally any anime, they do this all the time).

For examples, you could add a couple of low level casters to the Storm King fight, to hit him and the group with electricity based attacks.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------

Of course some powers and tactics are just not very fair for anybody, and I would actually suggest a gentlemans agreement with your players not to use them.
Expecting a published adventure to prevent them seems unreasonable, just like giving every enemy see invisible, fortification, spell like glitterdust ….

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------

And to repeat myself: Most or all of the problems are rooted deeply in the CRB, expecting additional rules like Mythic Adventures, spat book like UM and UC, or adventures to fix them seems unreasonable.
At this point in the game, Paizo can add new material but a lot of the problems with pathfinder will not be touched until we get a new edition. Until that day comes we will just have to houserule and adapt, and even with another edition, unless we solve the problem with limited word count completely (maybe by using some kind of ebook format) some GMs will always have to make changes for their players.

And while the GM doesn’t have an easy job, having a GM is one of the greatest advantages and resources this hobby has.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:

Let's see, an AP for experienced players should probably

a.) not have so damned many single opponent encounters.
b.) have less trash mobs (in MMO terms) which only eat up playtime but cannot meaningfully harm the PC's.
c.) generally assume that the current CR system doesn't work at all after around level 13.

Also, future AP's are in their vast majority not going to be mythic, so your point here is kinda wasted, Skeld.

I have to agree wholeheartedly, especially considering b. inexperienced players might be tricked to invest resources into trash groups, but they learn very quickly. So they are only a waste of time, and occasionally allow the PCs to feel very powerful (but I prefer a challenging encounter that consists of a lot of enemies).

James Jacobs wrote:
Alleran wrote:
B0sh1 wrote:
My hope, and this is wishful thinking, is that an AP will be presented either with advanced players in mind either with the core design or at least a presentation of alternate tactics/rebuild suggestions.
I just asked James Jacobs a question along the lines of the first in his Q&A thread, and the answer would seem to indicate that no, there won't be an AP for "advanced" players.

Mostly because we prefer to aim for a midline for our products so that they're equally usable by as many folks as possible. Skewing too far from that midline risks that.

I still maintain that players looking for a challenge should build their characters using 10 point buy, minimum starting ability of 10 though! ;-)

I just moved my entire RPG collection into a new bookshelf (Expedit from Ikea if anyone seeks a nice one) and while looking through a stack of adventures, I noticed that the premade characters (at the end of the older adventures) are sometimes quite unoptimized.

Is that the baseline ?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tels wrote:
magnuskn wrote:

- I don't think Paizo, or anyone really, could have foreseen how video games like World of Warcraft or League of Legends have changed the gamer markets. Both games are extremely rampant, and both games have tons of build guides or advice guides or 'how to play' guides etc. All of the people that play either of the two, and a TTRPG like Pathfinder, are going to be adopting many things from the video game, into their table top game, like builds, party roles etc.

- The power of the Internet is also not taken into account very well, but this is something many people have been struggling with across all forms of business or social networks. I highly doubt the levels of optimization we see today, were possible 20 years ago, and a large part of that is the internet and the ability to share advice, information and other things back and forth. Post a character idea, and you get it critiqued by dozens of posters who can spot weaknesses, or strengths, and give advice on how to do things better.

With the change in mentality in how the game is played, combine with the abundance of information and advice possible through the internet in the form of guides and forums, I can't help but think that the 'assumed standard' level of...

Sorry, but I have to call B.S. on that one, just about any player, that is willing to read through all the available material can and eventually will chose a powerful option.

And regarding the Internet, years and years ago when D&D 3.0/3.5 were still the "new" system, there were already plenty of forums and websites where players could compare notes and share builds.

The WotC character optimisation board was a particularly deviant nest of unapologetic power gamers and rule lawyer, and I enjoyed my time there greatly.

It really depends on your players, how much time they want to invest in the mechanics of the game, and how creative they are with their choices. The Internet and WoW have nothing to do with this, and while it was not unusual, that a wow player had to google a quest every bloddy 10 minutes, obscure design was hardly a feature.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
NobodysHome wrote:
William Sinclair wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:


As soon as I see the word "Naginata" I wince and know that this is a group I would never get along with. It's a cheese weapon. Every optimized melee build uses one. I judge entire parties based on whether their fighters and barbarians are wielding naginatas.
I don't really see anything special about the Naginata. It hardly the only x4 crit weapon. Okay, so it has reach. Big deal. I'm curious what horrible experinces people are having with this particular weapon. Is there some class/feat that makes special use of it?

Clarified earlier: It's the nodachi that's the culprit. The only 2H weapon with an 18-20 crit range, so you promptly go 15-20 as soon as you can and it's just uber-devastating. Most weapons balance crit range vs. damage -- scimitars and rapiers are 18-20, but are only 1-handed, 1d6 weapons. A 2-handed 1d10 weapon with an 18-20 crit range massively increases DPR from fighting classes, so virtually every optimization guide I've seen uses the nodachi as the melee weapon of choice.

When everyone uses a nodachi, you know something's funny about it...

High crit range weapons are the way to go for every class, with mythic even for rogues, since they can take precision critial.

Regarding the nodaichi, while it is good and looks nice, you could always save a feat and take the falchion a two handed weapon that deals 2d4 damage with a crit chance of 18-20/x2.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

No, you got them all, even if I think that Baphomets involvement is not common knowlege for level 1 characters.

Actually I took the inside of the front covers (from the pdf), removed the descriptions and gave them them as a npc list to my players, so they could add notes to the npcs (and the face pictures are incredible. It has worked out very well so far (my players are notorious for not remembering NPCs), and I will do the same for new characters and eventually the bad guys.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
jahvul wrote:

It is pretty disheartening to see the creative director basically stick his fingers in his ears and say "lalala it's the gms fault not ours" every high level adventure 12+ needs massive tinkering to not completely fall apart from my experience. this is from someone who has been running D20 system since it came out, you have to try hard to NOT break the system.

It could SOMETIMES be a case of inexperienced or bad DM's but not acknowledging the glut of terrible problems high level play has and addressing them in the adventure design (make the battles harder) seems to give off a "I don't give a crap people will buy this stuff regardless" kind of attitude.

"There are no problems everything is going according to plan"

*SIGH*

I love the adventure paths (greatest rpg idea ever) but there is big room for improvement in the back halves of these paths, not even seeing a problem is really disheartening.

Well, it is ususally easy to make combats a bit more challenging. And you have to realize, the problem with high level play, come most of the time from the core rulebook.

Back when they made the Pathfinder RPG, they could not change that much, and frankly, even at this point in time they can't just errata/change the core rules to the extend, that would be required to "fix" the insanity that is high level play.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sissyl wrote:
Actually, in all probability not true. Beyond Morality doesn't help you count as any alignment you might need to have to be able to use certain magic items, feats, or the like, that only goes for what comes of effects or spells. You could not count the bonuses from Sacred summons at all, for example. Certainly, a previously good cleric could summon fiends, but no creatures summoned would require a Std action casting time, because only creatures with alignment subtypes that exactly match the cleric's alignment get that effect. The way I read it, anyway.

Most of the magic items only penalize users of the opposite alignment, so a character could dual wield a +1 holy axiomatic sword and a +1 unholy anarchic dagger.

It might very well prevent you from taking feats that require you to be a certain alignment, since the ability only mentions access to classes.

Beyond Mortality is certainly very good (even if James Jacobs doesn’t like it, since it removes alignment entirely) but the low templar prestige class has access to a similar ability.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
magnuskn wrote:


But when the next edition of Pathfinder comes around (I say this with the usual caveats of "if" and "when"), there needs to be some discussion and action about how high-level can be made more manageable and less rocket tag-y. Although that discussion already happened in the playtest of this edition of the game, not that much was actually done about it. It would be nice if we could find a way to make monsters last longer and be more of a credible threat to high-level parties.

I'll better stop now before I get carried away and start ranting about magic item crafting and encounter design. ^^

That's absolutely true, but it takes a back seat to the more important "How much can we get away with changing the rules that everyone's already comfortable with?" question. When we first did Pathfinder, the answer to that question was "Very little." Today, with more than a decade of customer loyalty and trust built up in Paizo, we've got a lot more leverage to make riskier and bolder decisions, and if/when at some point in the future we DO decide to do a 2nd edition, we'll have, in theory, even more leverage.

How much more? Who knows?

Well, I hope to be part of that discussion as much as is possible from the outside. We'll see "how much more" if/when it happens. At the very least I hope to make some substantial points of discussion on the questions of "why do we do things this particular way?", in regards to high-level play, SoD and "Save or Suck" spells (and those new "save and still suck" variety ones), magic item dependency and crafting magic items.

Anyway, back to the scheduled program about mythic gameplay. :p

Tangent101 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
magnuskn wrote:


But when the next edition of Pathfinder comes around (I say this with the usual caveats of "if" and "when"), there needs to be some discussion and action about how high-level can be made more manageable and less rocket tag-y. Although that discussion already happened in the playtest of this edition of the game, not that much was actually done about it. It would be nice if we could find a way to make monsters last longer and be more of a credible threat to high-level parties.

I'll better stop now before I get carried away and start ranting about magic item crafting and encounter design. ^^

That's absolutely true, but it takes a back seat to the more important "How much can we get away with changing the rules that everyone's already comfortable with?" question. When we first did Pathfinder, the answer to that question was "Very little." Today, with more than a decade of customer loyalty and trust built up in Paizo, we've got a lot more leverage to make riskier and bolder decisions, and if/when at some point in the future we DO decide to do a 2nd edition, we'll have, in theory, even more leverage.

How much more? Who knows?

It depends on how far from the original Pathfinder v.2 goes.

Let's put it this way. D&D 4rd ed. failed because the rumors were out that classes were being seriously altered to the point we'd no longer see the core classes we were so familiar with... and some races as well. So many people said "I'm not leaving 3rd edition..." and Pathfinder pulled out v.3.75 that helped deal with some significant issues while retaining the core elements of what made AD&D great.

When D&D 3.0 came out, it was not a significant deviation from 2nd edition AD&D. You still had the core classes and the core races. Instead, we had elements condensed that were needlessly complex, such as saving throws, attacks per round, and so forth.

So Pathfinder 2.0 would need to retain the elements that players truly enjoy. Core classes would be...

I am expecting, more of the good design I have seen from Paizo in the last years and while mythic adventures has some problems (most of them came from other sources, and you can't expect MA to "fix" the game)after hoping to get another ELH, Paizo has done something far better.

The abiltiy to use powers that feel epic, at any level, show an understanding of game design, that I miss in other RPGs.

That said, if in a couple of years, Paizo decides to take this grand venture, I would love to be part of the playtest (and fight tooth and claw for what I think makes the game better :P )

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tangent101 wrote:

I first got into Paizo's APs because I didn't want to create a campaign from scratch. Runelords was premade and all in one book, so it was easy for me to use. Hero Labs allowed me to modify it further and have fun with it.

My suspicion is that with programs like Hero Labs, GMs are much more likely to modify the campaigns to suit their needs. The AP is a foundation from which we can build on. So yes, we use the APs to save time. But modifying something that is already built is not that difficult, especially as computers become integrated into roleplaying record keeping. It was one thing a decade ago when computers might be used for character sheet generation, but wasn't integrated into the game itself. Nowadays more and more GMs are using computers to run many aspects of the game.

Think of it as a GM-controlled computer game. We can use online map programs and spreadsheet programs to keep all the data functioning smoothly. But the GM is the one still doing the storytelling and the players are interacting with one another. In many ways it's the best of both worlds - the creativity of tabletop and the versatility of computer games.

These days it would require an intervention to keep me away from my hero lab, my pdfs and d20pfsrd.com.

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