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Contract Devil

Sebastian Hirsch's page

Goblin Squad Member. RPG Superstar 2015 Star Voter. Pathfinder Society Member. 1,290 posts (1,640 including aliases). 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 1 alias.


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Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

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Requirement: Creator must be a halfling pirat, missing his left eye in wrestling contest with a bling gnome half dragon paladin ....

Well not this one, but some requirements seem quite specific

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Called shots

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

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Some kind of playtest framework could be useful, like:

Level 7:

Budget for permanent protective items: X gold
Budget for weapons/shields: X gold
Budget for expendable magic items: X Gold
Budget free allocate: X Gold

This way you could a limit the amount of money players can spend (to account for the usual expenses characters have while leveling. Maybe limit it to straight classed characters, if you feel that this gives a clearer picture. Personally quite a number of the occult classes seem to scream for a 1 level dip, to get the heaviest armor.

Since playtests are an attempt at escalation (ok guys show us the worst game breaking things you can come up with ^^ ) letting people play something like this could be very informative. Of course giving GM the option not to allow such a playtest pregen should always be the norm, after all even with the current playtest system, what is actually in the PDF, and how the class is supposed to play are two different things. (Just look at the kineticist and the clarifications in the thread).

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

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Grey_Mage wrote:

The evil doers on Golarion are actually pretty stupid. After all, apparently all you need to do is put a NO TRESPASSING sign up. No Paladin can invade your lair no matter what you are doing unless he gets an invitation.

Not that I believe this, but I'm just following the arguments of some people in this thread to their logical conclusion.

You didn't just prove, that all (stupid) Paladins are vampires .... right ?^^

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Consider using this spell:

Reduce Animal wrote:


Reduce Animal
School transmutation; Level druid 2, ranger 3

CASTING
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S

EFFECT
Range touch
Target one willing animal of Small, Medium, Large, or Huge size
Duration 1 hour/level (D)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

Table: Tiny and Large Weapon Damage

Medium Weapon Damage Tiny Weapon Damage Large Weapon Damage
1d2 — 1d3
1d3 1 1d4
1d4 1d2 1d6
1d6 1d3 1d8
1d8 1d4 2d6
1d10 1d6 2d8
1d12 1d8 3d6
2d4 1d4 2d6
2d6 1d8 3d6
2d8 1d10 3d8
2d10 2d6 4d8
DESCRIPTION
This spell functions like reduce person, except that it affects a single willing animal. Reduce the damage dealt by the animal's natural attacks as appropriate for its new size (see Table: Tiny and Large Weapon Damage to adjust damage for size).

This should allow you to bring your animal into most dungeons, and the animal archive has:

Narrow Frame wrote:

Narrow Frame
Your excellent coordination allows you to maneuver better in close quarters.

Prerequisites: Escape Artist 1 rank, animal or magical beast.

Benefit: You do not take penalties on your attack rolls or to your AC for squeezing through a narrow space that is at least half as wide as your normal space, though each move into or through a narrow space still counts as if it were 2 squares.

Normal: You take a –4 penalty on attack rolls and a –4 penalty to AC while squeezing.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I like the class, even if the summer roots are plain as day. It might be a tad on the weak side, but it certainly shows potential.

Some more touch spells like Frostbite would be welcome, to make the most of the deliver touch spells feature.

The Phantoms DR seems quite good at level 1, but it doesn't seem to scale at all, which is kinda disappointing.

Regarding weapons, I assume, that the Phantom can take Martial Weapon Proficiency, but can they use weapons?

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Professor Herp wrote:
LazarX wrote:
zanbato13 wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:
It's a bigger question than just this spell, of course. If I am trying to cast a spell with an expensive material component, and that spell takes, say, 10 minutes to cast, and I'm interrupted during the first round of casting, can I try again with the same material components?
Nope, with the interruption of casting, the components created by blood money disappear so you've lost the spell you've tried to cast, the components you've conjured to cast it, and you're left with the strength damage you've already taken.
Actually, that's still under debate.
When does ANYTHING on this board ever leave debate?
The immeasurably small amount of time between the moment a question gets FAQ'd and the moment the new debate about the FAQ begins.

I think this is actually a negative amount of time, since we are already quite skilled at discussing potential FAQs/Errata.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This character seems to be a striker, pretty high damage, great mobility and very limited personal abilities.

My only worry, is that most classes can benefit from something like versatile weapon and align weapon even if they can't cast it themselves.
This might provide trouble when a character comes to face something like an Inevitable with DR/chaotic and regeneration/chaotic. And they lack surefire way to deal with incorporeal enemies, since they lack force effects and ghost bane weapons aren't an option.

Other than that, I like the class.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Would it be possible to revise the language of the burn abiltiy, so it works with the mythic recuperation ability? As written a mythic paladin would regain her spells and smites, but burn is not recoverable since requires actual rest.
This quirk would make make Kineticists a much worse choice for mythic adventures.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am in the "wonderful" situation of not having characters above level 2, so the use of iconics is going to be a semi permanent feature for the foreseeable future. So I don't really have a horse in this race just jet, but for my 2 cents, is this really a problem?

Playing a pregen when you group makeup would otherwise be disastrous for the adventure, or when your character has some personality quirks that spell doom for the scenario.

If the adventure has a reputation for being deadly, it seems reasonable to not want to play their own characters, but it could be seen as a dick move. Of course there are gradients, when you come to a table with your beloved PC, and learn that you sit with a bunch of newbies with pregens.. chances are that your character would have to do the heavy lifting and the chances of failure are higher. I really can't blame the player there.

However the situation mentioned by the OP is different, it that case, it seems like some players are unwilling to take risks, thus increasing the risk for the other players with "real" characters. And of course, in many cases this will result in the players with non-pregens expending more personal resources on behalf of the party.
That seems to be a dick move, but I don't think we want society rules to restrict players in this area.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

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Take a long hard look at the level 7 stat adjustments of a large cat animal companion and compare them to a dire tiger, that is pretty much what you get.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I like to read scenarios after I have played them, and it is pretty nice to know that sometimes GMs manage to make copper look like gold ^^

Of course I have purchased adventures that I haven't run yet, that is just one of the realities or our situation.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well I don't think it is that unusual for a level 4 or 7 character to own a partially charged wand, after all this is true for nearly every PFS character since wands of cure light wounds seem to be mandatory.

Level 1 with wands are a little bit more unusual, but the pregens are usually only played for one mission, thus their expendables likely won't be used up. This is a nice change from previous pregens, since this allows them to contribute without burdening other players for stuff^^.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

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I would welcome this change, it is not relevant to my characters, but since there doesn't seem to be a reason not to allow it ...

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

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David Bowles wrote:
You know, that makes me think. Maybe we should dual societies. Maybe we should have an Aspis Society as well and the convention events could be pvp.

PVP is a very very bad idea, table variantion alone would ruin it.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Andreas Forster wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

Doesn't this vow impose an unfair burden on the other players?

After all, a monk with this vow is unable to own a wand of CLW, a potion of remove disease and .... well plenty of other things.

Considering Painlords suggestions, you pretty much have nothing in that list.
And this leaves the other players at the table 2 options, use their resources on the monk, or don't do so and risk a character death or worse a TPK.

Wands of Cure light Wounds are no party healers, they're backup items.

If there's a healer in the party, that character has renewable resources with which to heal injured characters. If there isn't, then healing will consume non-renewable resources.
Also, owning a Wand of Cure light Wounds is not mandatory. Everybody who buys such a wand, however, should know that his wand may have to be used as backup healing.
Also, that monk will fulfill a role as well. Many will have a few Qigong Monk abilities to make use of all their Ki points. Also, monks can be good damage dealers and/or good tanks.

If that monk just does nothing productive which might lead to increased cost in resources or even a TPK, then yes, there's an unfair burden. But it's not the vow that causes the unfair burden, it's the way the monk is played.
Such a player should just be talked to. Maybe he/she simply doesn't know they're making bad tactical choices. But always remember to be polite in such a matter, in most cases there's some kind of concept idea behind that character and what appears to be bad tactics to one person in fact fits the character idea perfectly.

In short, I'm tired of the general assumption that everybody has to bring a Wand of CLW to create a "fair" game.

A Wand of CLW is only the very first object I decided to mention, that the monk can't have. It only gets worse from there. I won't list everything the monk can't readily provide for himself, and items that would allow him to deal with temporary/permanent conditions, but he also can't invest in some of the staple items (the big 6), so among other things dealing with DR might be a problem.

But ok, if the player has wants his character to shoot himself in the foot, first thing in the morning, so be it.

Your argument about healers doesn't really work IMO, sure if the party has a character with somewhat dedicated healing resources (eg. Channel Energy), great, but I think assuming anything else is might be stretching it.
A Warpriest will quite likely plan to use his fervor to buff/heal himself, the same is true for a paladin capable of converting his lay on hands into smites and of course cleric spells.

Of course we should always cooperate, but when a player decides to play a concept, that is extremely reliant on the cooperation and resources of other party members, things get muddy.

If a play someone capable of healing, and now have to heal the stupid barbarian, that charged enraged (-4 AC) into the ranks of the enemy without wearing armor, cause it didn't fit his concept.

I know that playing stupid, and playing a substandard concept aren't the same thing, but with the above example, the barbarian could have bought a better healing wand for the cleric, or a wand of mage armor to help with his AC.

A monk with vow of poverty, does not have this option. Pretty much all he can do is "beg" his fellow party members for buffs (mage armor) and healing, since he is not capable of providing it.

This concept can work in a home game with a permanent group, but since you PFS often consists of pretty random groups...

It may sound insulting, but if someone drops his sick dog on my doorstep, I will make sure it gets medical attention, but I won't thank him for it.

Obviously once you sit at the table with a new player, things aren't nearly as critical, but I still think that taking the vow is a bad trade, the quigong archetype helps just a bit.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Look I don't have the time right now, but I have answered this question quite a number of times already, just searching in my posts should find you answer.

Sorry if this sounds rude, but the answer to that particular question is usually quite long. And remember 5 players are substantially more powerful than 4.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

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Doesn't this vow impose an unfair burden on the other players?

After all, a monk with this vow is unable to own a wand of CLW, a potion of remove disease and .... well plenty of other things.

Considering Painlords suggestions, you pretty much have nothing in that list.
And this leaves the other players at the table 2 options, use their resources on the monk, or don't do so and risk a character death or worse a TPK.

Can you when this leads to a TPK, and the monk just says "Oh well I have plenty of PP to spare..." while the other characters are just plain dead?

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Vic Wertz wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

I supported the recent legendary gamess mythic kickstarter, and the plan seems to be to send out the pdfs to us, then gather the feedback to fix every typo and only then send it to the printer.

I appreciate, that this might cause some trouble with retail, but would this be an option you would be willing to experiment with?

Crowdsourcing development and editing come with their own problems. Yes, you will probably catch and fix more mistakes, but the in-house effort spent to find each issue will be significantly higher. Let me give you a small-scale example:

Whenever we prepare to reprint a book, we have somebody—usually Jason—scan the FAQ queue and go through the main discussion threads for that product looking for things that need to be fixed. This is a process that might take a few days. Then, he and his team work on solving those problems if they haven't already been solved. During this process, they will also be investigating problem reports that are actually false positives; for example, somebody might have complained that a number in a stat block is wrong, but when we redo the math, we often find that we were right in the first place. This might take another few days. At the end of it, we have a list of changes that then go through editing, layout, and proofing, meaning more people spending more days. And the end result of that work gets summed up in an errata doc that's usually less than a page or two. In short, many man-hours of effort that result in maybe a dozen little changes.

Now image that we do that as an open call. Our days would turn into weeks, and maybe our errata doc would grow from a dozen items to two dozen, with each of the additional items very likely being far less noticeable than the previous dozen. It's the law of diminishing returns.

And crowdsourcing still won't catch everything. We're in our 6th printing of the Core Rulebook now, and in each printing, we've made corrections in response to our community identifying...

Yes it may not be perfect, but a concentrated proofreading of fresh eyes might be able to catch quite a bit. Problems where an ability is not clearly written (example:Hunter pet skirmisher tricks), where an ability was changed and the changes to the monsters were't updated (Mythic Adventures), or when an item is printed without a saving throw (ACG Cape of Feinting).

These are the sort of errors a most people will be able to find, of course there are others, who take the time to correct things on the level of an editor (the Mythic Adventures errata threat has a good example of this). I think this would be a nice way to prevent some of the negative feelings resulting from some of the recent releases.

Obviously this would not catch everything, some combinations (Mythic x your level of system proficiency) are quite difficult to spot.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Wiggz wrote:
Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:

I don't need much (if any) assistance as a DM other than Paizo to stop releasing combinations like this. I've been DMing over 30 years. Of course I don't need much assistance. It's a rare event that someone introduces an idea as a DM that I have not already thought of.

My problem is not my DMing skill. I'm about as good as they come at challenging players. That's why I can run a high-powered mythic campaign and have any hope of challenging my players without killing them. Because that's also the goal...not to kill them and make it fun, while challenging them. But when stuff like this gets put in the game, Paizo makes that very hard to do for the reasons I have already explained.

I disagreed quite vociferously with the introduction of the Mythic ruleset - I disagreed that it was needed to tell this particular story and I disagreed with the presumption that 'more rules = better rules', but predictably my objections went largely unheard, drowned out by the chorus of 'MOAR!', so I simply chose to exercise my privilege as GM to not use the rules. We just recently finished a completely Mythic-free run of Wrath of the Righteous and it was one of the best campaigns we've ever had, second only to a very memorable Skull n' Shackles AP.

I find that its almost always better to decide ahead of time what it is you want in your games, rather than to give your players free reign from the outset to do as they like and then spend all your time trying to stop them from doing what they like after the fact. That puts you in danger of becoming adversarial with them which can be a terrible position when the entire goal is cooperative story-telling.

Just my two cents.

I think that the mythic rulesset has the distinct potential for less rules, if used correctly.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

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Ok to make this short and sweet, would I like Paizo to fix some combinations I personally think are broken, yes.

Will it happen, no.

Do I think Gunslingers with perma stun, a magus taking down a dragon with a critical calcific touch, ranger archers with APG spells...... will be changed any time soon? No.

Just cause two rules create a very powerful combo doesn't mean that Paizo has to see everything. And frankly some of the mythic feats are pretty much garbage.

Just look at mythic power attack and mythic furious focus.

I think it bears repeating, you have to decide between buffing the monsters or nerfing the players, the end result might be the same.
Just saying.

And I still don't see why dazing spell is apparently so good.

The fact that the party is very effective, is nothing new and I am still arguing, that their power equals about 2 parties, not 1 1/2.

I'll try to go into more detail tomorrow, but at this point most suggestions will be how to handle the players given the information you provided. If you give different, or more loot, or allow for more crafting time (ENFORCE THE LIMITS FROM ULTIMATE CAMPAIGN AT ALL TIMES^^) things will change.

In this case the player seems to have found a nice combo (oh and remember you can still sunder the armor, or the gauntlet. "Attacking him is rather vague). But yeah, plenty of ways around that, and killing the rest of the party first, should make things easier.
If that is your mindset, but to be honest, if the players come to the table with some hyper competitive build, this seems like a declaration of war.

IIRC Come and Get me is based on Robiliars Gamit, some beast from the dark ages (3.5), is apparently some important fighter from Greyhawk with a metal horse.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

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A: The more complex this system become, the more likely things like this are going to be. It is going to happen.

B: You can still say no to come and get me.

C: This tactic goes online at level 12, plenty of time to kill the character, and if it doesn't work there are plenty of options.

DR: If the enemy DR is significant enough, even all those attacks will not sting that much.

Confusion and mind control, ranged attacks of all kinds, mirrors of opposition, fire shield and similar effects, swarms that immune to weapon damage and plenty of other effects.

HOWEVER, just like dealing with archers this can feel quite unfair for the player, instead of every enemy suddenly having wind wall or fickle winds active .. other things happen.

One of the problems here is, that the downsides (suffering more damage) are almost entirely eaten by that insane trait. But since you go for superpowerfull you might as well leave them in there.

From your second post, I assume that you don't really want help, cause I know how this tango is played:

GM"My player is overpowered"
US"So just do not allow the overpowered option/combination"
GM"But ... ... ... reasons."
US"So just use the following things"
GM"But that isn't fun for the player, he will feel unfairly victimized"
US"Well yeah, if I you make yourself almost immune to getting hit on the head, people will start kicking you in the stomach."

But yeah, a witch or a magus with the evil eye and retribution hexes should ruin the barbarians day, there are other spells and effects.

So yeah to reiterate my first suggestion, kill it with fire.

And a question, how is that character supposed to heal ?

Other than the oracle, but that healing will feel like a drop in the bucket.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

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I would describe it like this:

Mythic rules are an optional subsystem that exists in addition to the traditional level structure. Mythic characters can access a wide array of powers, that allow them have in and out of combat options, that aren't available to non-mythic characters.

It is intended to allow players to replicate the epic feats of characters of legendary status. Examples of mythic abilities are: a fighter that can grab and defelect a ray with his bare hand, a rogue getting the ability to become invisible at will, a spellcaster gaining the ability to cast any spell on their spell list without having to prepare or know them.

Mythic rules can be used for a variety of things, some GMs might chose to reward their players with mythic tiers rather than class levels. This can result in more powerful characters, without access to certain high level abilities. That can be very useful.

They can also be used to improve monsters, and create memorable challenging encounters.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

2 people marked this as a favorite.

If you want a quick fix, I would suggest a combination of advanced simple template and the templates on page 224 of Mythic Adventures, particularly Invincible and Agile. Arcane and Divine can be a good choice, if you want then to have some sort of evasive ability (blink, mirror immage, fly, teleport...)

And remember that you can always just increase the mythic rank to give it another mythic ability (fortification is often quite good).

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Liz Courts wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Might I suggest rolled up Pfannkuchen filled with jam or Nutela?
Just give me a spoon. That Nutella will get taken care of.

Can't we have to conserve resources this years nut harvest might be pretty bad (about 70% of the nuts in Nutella come from Turkey and their harvest is projected to be terrible this year.

He have to make it last.... also you can put Nutella and Bananas on top ^^ Maybe even some (white) chocolate shavings^^

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Scribbling Rambler wrote:

Mark's post on negative conditioning has implications well beyond the FAQ.

For example, when I see a particular community member who posts negative comments on every single AP, it is much harder to recognize any valid criticsms they may have. So my eyes tend to slide past their posts.

And that is for me as a casual observer - imagine what it must be like for somebody who is directly involved in the creation of the product.

Valid criticism is important, and the folks at Paizo are very good at taking it and responding when appropriate. However, when it becomes apparent that a poster will never be pleased, there's not much point in changing things to please them.

Well I think, there are legitimate ways to see this situation:

-Some people just need a place to vent, their frustrations with the adventure paths as written. The causes for those problems will likely stay the same, frankly I doubt that even a small fraction of players plays adventure paths exactly with as written or following the assumptions: 15 pts. point buy, 4 players, suggested wealth per level.... and the more you group diverges from these assumptions....
I could go on but you get the idea.

-They have legitimate complaints, no AP is perfect and mistakes do happen. Personally I have a couple of problems with Kingmaker, the kingdom building system, was as written in the AP, pretty broken (magic items...) and the subplot that gets resolved with the 6th adventure, is not very well foreshadowed. But those are the risks of trying something new. I have not played Skulls and Shackles, but it looked pretty solid to me.

James Jacobs wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

Is there any chance of paizo taking a good look at MA and finding a way to make it more compatible with the Adventure Path? Not asking for anything extensive, just something reasonably short for us to point out to GMs asking if the AP is playable. Call it a mod if you will.

I know that Paizo is incredibly busy, but this could seriously reduce the level of complaints.

Not without sacrificing the quality we're hoping to give for our current projects. Which would be self-defeating and cause more problems than it would (in theory) solve.

I think Pathfinder Unchained might solve some of the problems/offer alternatives for perceived problems, that are multiplied by a number of mythic abilities.

Alternatively I am quite willing to purchase Mythic Rechained.

Jessica Price wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Thehigher cause wrote:
TheJayde wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:

There is absolutely no one better to judge the acceptable level of quality than the consumer.

I dont know if that's true.

The consumer as a whole is a broad term. The bigger the consumer base, the more base the product must be to appeal to the broadest group of people. Appealing to consumers on a broad level tends to make things dumbed down and uninteresting.

The Consumer is ultimately a big o' ball of bi-polarity. Too many people want one thing. I think its best if the product is simmply based on the image of what the devs think it should be, and that the community hopefully agrees enough to keep the company afloat.

How can that not be true??
Because the Customer is NOT Always Right.
Not saying it's the case in this particular instance, but: because what vocal posters say they want/say they're buying/say about how they're playing and what data shows the majority of customers actually do/what they buy/how they play are often radically different.

Voting with my wallet, seems like a nice idea, but it is rather hard to do. I still like Mythic Adventures, I like they way they decided to to it (mythic tiers as a separate system to levels), and as a fan of the old ELH stuff, this is still better.

I bought MA twice, as well as mythic origins (completely different power level aside from one thing, but a nice product) as well as the adventure path. My problem is, that I also buy quite a lot of other things, I am still quite lukewarm about the recent adventure path, but I don't expect too run it.. ever. It is just somethinge nice to read, and steal ideas from.

Are reviews an answer ?

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

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James Jacobs wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Skeld wrote:

Lesson learned.

-Skeld

Did they? We'll see.

Iron Gods's new rules were written by the same guy who's developing Iron Gods.

Hell's Rebels and Giantslayer aren't linked to ANY new rules in any significant way.

Make of that what you will.

Great change, I haven't sunk my teeth into the the technology guide yet, but the AP looks promising (since there is no way in hell, that I can ever GM this for my "traditional" players, the fact that I am still subscribed should be a good sign).

Is there any chance of paizo taking a good look at MA and finding a way to make it more compatible with the Adventure Path? Not asking for anything extensive, just something reasonably short for us to point out to GMs asking if the AP is playable. Call it a mod if you will.

I know that Paizo is incredibly busy, but this could seriously reduce the level of complaints.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ssalarn wrote:

Actually, the biggest problem with Mythic Adventures was that Paizo listened too closely to their fans. Most of the big issues with the system can be traced to changes that players wanted during the playtest, including the comparative value of mythic tiers, the strength and implementation of some of the more troublesome abilities, etc.

I think that if you think Paizo isn't listening to its players, you aren't paying attention.

Yeah, sorry, but I have to call BS on that one, and while adding tiers to an existing character is one issue, eg. adding a single tier to a level 17 character, caster or otherwise, can be a massive boost in power, a fighter getting mythic power attack, fleet charge and mythic vital strike (exchanging a path abilitiy for an extra feat) is a massive boost. Adding a tier to a level 1 character has a far weaker effect.

But when it comes to the playtest, one of the things that wasn't properly tested was adventure design, and the effects mythic abilities have on certain assumptions.

And plenty of people have spoken out against abilities like mythic power attack, channel power and mythic spellcasting. The number of things a mythic channel power meteor swarm can't kill is rather low.
This feedback was pretty much ignored.
It does not help that the AP has plenty of encounters that would be trivial for players (APL-2 or just APL) even without mythic abilities.

No, too much listening really wasn't the problem, you can blame the assumption that APs are intended for non- optimized players, but a fighter taking power attack and mythic power attack is pretty much a baseline assumption.
Those abilities should not all have been in the same pool of choices.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

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Zhangar wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

Yeah, his default tactics are awful, but the AP writer isn't out to kill the party. You, as the GM, are free to take a different approach =P

Edit: I'll second what Ssarlan says right above me. Low levels are easy to design encounters for, because low level characters are pretty consistently gooberish. High level characters have widely ranging levels of power and specialties, and a trivial encounter for one set of characters could be a near or actual TPK for another set.

Though I do think Paizo lowballed the median numbers of higher CR creatures, which becomes much more evident as you approach and go past CR 20.

Aside: I'd say that Carrion Crown is actually consistently mean all through the AP, but high level PCs are just better able to deal with it than lower level PCs, and so it becomes much less noticable. The ever-expanding toolbox of a high-level party means that they're a lot less likely to be missing the tool for an unexpected job.

Ssalarn wrote:
Zhangar wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

Yeah, his default tactics are awful, but the AP writer isn't out to kill the party. You, as the GM, are free to take a different approach =P

Yeah, if you actually play that guy to the hilt and ignore the stupendously poor suggested tactics, the party needs some serious luck, strategy, and one or two miracles to win the encounter. That really has the potential to be one of the most difficult encounters in the entire AP, despite the party's relative strength at that point. It's only the BBEG's mysterious aneurism that leads to inexplicably poorly thought out actions that make it easy on the default setting.

Yeah the setup is crazypants, which makes it soo much worse, since that particular NPCs is currently highly vulnerable. Charging into combat against a group, that just defeated some of his greatest minions (and taking the time to kill the remaining ones first).

Players should not kill that particular NPC in one round by being lucky. If you read the other stuff in that encounter, it is pretty clear that the writer assumes that the PCs will choose to retreat.

But what will happen at this part of their adventuring carrer, is that he will get lacerated by bane arrows.

You might argue that this is the same hubris, that lead to him getting that fancy tatoo (still trying to be vague, but to lazy for a spoiler ^^), but one would assume he learned from that.

A real fight against this guy is supposed to be a pretty handcraftet affair with enemies chosen by the boss, to counter the PCs. Yeah still pretty unhappy with that encounter, especially since the most logical tactic includes abusing mythic time stop.

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captain yesterday wrote:
so if you were adding on to monsters in kingmaker why pile on to wrath? You already know the RAW dont work for you so why are you stirring the pot?

My guess is, that when it comes to this AP the difference between a group that does try to avoid the good options and pretty much everyone else is ridiculous.

If you slap a couple of mythic tiers on the iconics even they will be able to succeed to an almost comical degree.

Even Kingmaker hat fighs as written that seriously challenged my group - turns out mind controll is even better when you group is optimized but doesn't bother with protection from evil.

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DrDeth wrote:

Quality isn't slipping (from what I have actually played with), but the response time on the FAQ and other errata is getting unacceptable.

And that's from *ME*, who is usually called one of those "most staunch Paizo fanboys".

I agree, we really need some clarifications on ACG, and frankly MY could use some strategic nerfs to make it more compatible with WotR.

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nosig wrote:

so, where do you draw the line on tactics like this?

if 5 of the 6 players have Darkvision, is it ok for the Tiefling to drop a darkness when the monsters DON'T have Darkvision?

just a couple weeks ago, I was running a game where the PCs are ambushed by a bunch of halflings (no darkvision). It happened outside, during daylight hours... The party is 2 Dwarvs, a tiefling, an aasimar, a Sylph, and a human (I think)... so the tiefling dropped a darkness.

Dim light - so no sneak dice ("all halflings are rogues right?"), and the human has a 20% miss chance... so - is this enough for it to be PvP?

How about if it had been night and he would have blinded the human (and the bad guys)?

What if only 4 of 6 the PCs had darkvision? 3 of 6? where does it get to be an issue?

It gets to be an issue once not everybody in the group is ok with the tactic. If the players without darkvision don't mind that they will have problem, there is a meeting of the minds, and thus no conflict.

These problems can be solved just by talking to the others players.

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Mike Bramnik wrote:

...Hell, if someone like that comes and wants to play, and is brave enough to tell us what they're dealing with, I'll buy them a few .pdfs. If your reaction to someone like this coming to PFS is "well, they shouldn't play anything non-core until they can afford to", you're obviously in a secure enough of a place that you can pay it forward a little, can't you?

/rant

From where I am sitting there are two sides to the issue:

-Players who do have the money, but are unwilling to support the hobby. If someone comes to a game with expensive desinger clothing, and drinks two cans of a brand energy drink, and eats snack to excess, chances are that he deserves a bit of a stern talk (particularly if he often has to borrow books from other players on the table).
The pdf of a CRB cost less than 3 packs of MTG cards, and frankly even 50-60 $ are an insignificant amount of money when it comes to that particular game and many others.
Now I don't mind if a player like this, is unwilling to spend money right away, but there comes a point where it becomes unreasonable.

-Players with financial struggles. They exist, frankly I never noticed it before, but I like to think that we are a charitable bunch. I don't mind sharing dice or books if someone has a really hard time.
To paraphrase Yahtzee in his Sim City review: "Poor people, why would they want to play a god game?"

Especially when your real life is hard, it is nice to find a way to escape that situation, if only for a little bit.
We are in the very fortunate situation, that hour hobby doesn't require much more than a pen, a bit of paper, and when it comes down to it 3 dice (d20, d12 and d8 those can simulate all the others). Of course these days we have all those wonderful ways to make it better, but I think we should not forget to leverage this strength of the medium.

---

Now when it comes to both groups, I think it is worth mentioning the idea or piracy that I subscribe to:
The first Idea is that piracy is a service problem, about ten years ago you couldn't get legal pdfs, so they were pirated by those who wanted them, no two ways about it. Now pathfinder, makes the CRB and those rules heavy books UC, UM... very affordable, and offers the material online, for free. I think we are golden on that front.

The other idea is to not see the pirat as an enemy, but as a potential customer. Sure plenty of young and or poor people won't be able to purchase your products right now, but they might be able to purchase product in the future.
I suspect, this is one reason, why the CRB sales are reportedly still rising, and it is worth mentioning that many gamers tend to go for the premium option, if it is offered (sure I could always use the SRD, but that leather bound CRB looks amazing).

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4 players, but starting with the second one some of them can have a fancy tea party, while 1 or two fight.

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Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:


To many single target BBEG's where a slumber hex just ends it.

Seconded.... a million trillion times.

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Since I have posted this times and times again in the Wotr area, so to keep this short:

- Either mythic characters are fine, or mythic monsters are fine, they do not work in combination, characters are just to good.

- Mythic rules break the encounters per day structure

- Mythic magic items seem fine (with the possible exception of mythic bane)

A 2-3 PDF "errata" could fix it.

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Fromper wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:
In that particular scenario, the creature in question does not actually have the Robot Subtype, so it's not actually going against the rules to use Know Arcana.

I understand the reason for the ruling, but it still doesn't make much sense. It means knowledge (arcana) is the proper skill for that particular technology based... err... "situation". It might work according to the rules, but it's so counter-intuitive that most people won't even think of it.

DM Beckett wrote:
But it doesn't help against the first encounter just trying to get into the museum which is pretty brutal.

At the higher sub-tier, my group pretty much just assumed they were constructs, so adamantine would work. And we had some other things that would do enough damage to get past DR/hardness the hard way. At the lower sub-tier, most groups won't have any adamantine, and only a small percentage of groups are likely to have the other weakness for those enemies. I can see how that would be really rough.

On our local group's signup web site, we've got this scheduled to run in a few weeks, and I've already posted comments warning people that they should avoid the lower sub-tier. Nobody seems to be taking me seriously, though. It looks like we'll have at least one table at each sub-tier. I'm going to insist on GMing the higher sub-tier, because I don't want to be there for the lower one.

Yeah I played the subtier, it was a bucket of fun. My Kyra rolled superb when it came to melee attack rolls, but even max damage didn’t have an effect. Fortunately we had a fighter with an adamantine waraxe.

And lacking the required Knowledge, the adventure ended, with Kyra almost getting eaten by “some weird silver swarm thing”. Only from conversation with other groups, that played the adventure on a higher level, did we learn about the alternate options… and frankly the group had no way to access that very specific spell. Oh and another group at the same event, didn’t get through the first encounter for “hard” reasons.

The GM did his best, but the adventure didn’t leave a great impression (the fighter wasn’t happy about the interaction between deflect arrows and lasers) .

I can understand why you would prefer to avoid GMing the subtier.

Incidentally, I the next purchase with my hunter will be 8-10 durable adamantine arrows, so that particular problem is won’t come back to bite me (yeah they might be a bit cheesy but 10 arrows is nothing for a hunter, and I would prefer to avoid cheesing with abundant ammunition).
The really sad thing is, that a durable adamantine arrow, used as an improvised melee weapon, might be the optimal purchase for characters attempting this module.

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KestlerGunner wrote:

Can't we just use magic to disintegrate this bugbear (like we do for every problem)?

SONIC WAYFINDER
Aura faint transmutation; CL 6th
Slot none; Price 500 gp; Weight 1 lb.
DESCRIPTION
This silver Wayfinder has a steel button, that, when pressed, causes a buzzing green sonic field to emit from the other end of the device. This beam can scan technological material and impart a psychic understanding of the scanned target into the wielder's mind. When the wielder stands adjacent to the target and uses the Sonic Wayfinder on any technological device, including creatures, they are treated as having the Technologist feat for the purpose of skill checks.
CONSTRUCTION
Requirements Fabricate, Craft Wondrous Item, ; Cost 250 gp

I take issue with that item. It is way too cheap, and the colour seems kinda wrong (blue just seems right). And it understanding stuff, doesn’t seem to fit, how about:

“You can make substitute the bluff skill, when interacting with technology. If you do not have Technologist feat, you suffer a -10 penalty on the roll. Does not work on wood or food.” ^^

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hxcmike wrote:
any reason why Sanguine Wildblooded got the banhammer all of a sudden? I have a friend who will be affected by this and I know she's going to be bummed out.

The dhampir and aasimar blood consumption options have been banned too.

Your friend might have to switch to potions of infernal healing, still kinda evil (and might very well look like blood, after all that is the material component) but PFS legal.

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magnuskn wrote:

It's only one part of why I want a new edition. Aside from the "too many plates spinning" problem Pathfinder is beginning to have, there is the additional factor of a new edition having a chance to tighten up many of the core design problems this edition of Pathfinder was supposed to fix already, but did not.

High-level gaming remains as daunting as ever (and was one of the things the developers told us they were trying to fix back during the alpha and beta period), magic item creation rules and the whole christmas tree effect are problematic and have actually gotten worse (IMO) with this edition. Some classes need fixes to get viable again (Pathfinder Unchained may take care of that problem, except for the poor Fighter).

Y'know, the stuff the we've been griping about forever on the boards. We know that they won't really fix those things in this edition, since that would mean heavily rewriting the CRB and other splatbooks. So that is another factor why I am not dreading a new edition as much as others do. Hell, some of my players are asking me if we don't want to play something else which does not have all those glaring problems which happen every time we get into the second 50% of an adventure path.

A lot of problems have been there since the beta, and are largely connected with the intention to stay compatible with 3.5. Personally I am not a big fan of some of the old mechanics (like sneak attack - the precise strike ability of the swashbuckler is far better), and pathfinder unchained may just be the way to fix some of these.

And of course a new edition should require quite an extensive playtest (and frankly after mythic adventures, I think the process needs some changes).

Realistically I don't see it happen for quite a long time, as long enough players buy the current edition ( and I know from years of experience that some players just buy every new product, even if they don’t have the time to actually use/read most of it).

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Crystal Frasier wrote:
Rhatahema wrote:
Robert Jordan wrote:
Yeah it took me reading the comments to understand she was a trans character. It just seemed her parents were living in denial in having another daughter and just shunted her into "son" territory to try and not deal with the issue until she finally hit maturity and they couldn't avoid it anymore. I approve of the character, just did not get that it was a trans character until it was talked about in the comments.

I had the same read. The first paragraph is written so that you need to identify gender primarily as a psychological identification rather than a physical one in order for it to read as the author intended. My opinions about that are neither here nor there, but I imagine the ambiguity of it may have been intentional.

Rules question: How does she handle the -2 penalty on disguise checks to be "Disguised as different gender"? Can I powergame my character's gender identity to optimize disguise? (mostly joking here, though it might come up at some tables)

Mulibrous Tincture

** spoiler omitted **...

Excellent fluff and crunch what a treat. I am very happy about the new iconics and this one absolutely breaks the mold^^, very well done.

Incidentally this might be the first character transgendered character players will come into contact with (well if they read the Paizo blog). And while I really liked Anevia in Wotr, unless the pcs are really interested in the NPCs,(I dropped some hints but..) Anevia and Irabeth are just a normal lesbian couple . One of my temporary players made a stupid remark, but some people are just stupid.

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Can a paladin worship an evil deity, yes, but since this breaks his code of conduit he will lose all class abilities except proficiencies.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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 Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.
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.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.
magnuskn wrote:

After reading this again, I come to the conclusion that I cannot add that much to it. It's really that comprehensive. :)

Oh, there is one thing: As I did for the finale of my Carrion Crown campaign, maybe other GM's can crib a bit from MMO design and introduce non-standard encounter mechanics which are necessary to kill a boss enemy. I.e. that enemy is only susceptible to X type of damage in his sanctum and even then only takes Y amount of damage per round. Or have the boss have multiple forms, which are unlocked when he takes a certain amount of damage or other types of conditions are met.

Of course that would mean rewriting extensively, which many of GM's who run AP's would like to avoid in the first place. ^^

Yeah, I may add a little bit more later, but I fear, that this talk about the published adventures will bleed over in the general area of GM advice.

Adding nonstandard tactics on the fly is a GM skill I am trying to hone myself. I got the idea from the complete Kobold guide to game design (A book I can, and have suggested to everybody My review ), trying to say Yes (rather than No) when my players want to attempt something outside the options outlined in the adventure. It doesn’t always work, but my players tend to find it quite rewarding.

Scripted boss battles like the ones world of warcraft uses, can be rewarding and entertaining, but the players will need some ways to learn these mechanics (knowledge skills seem like the way to go).

For example here is a version of the fight against the Storm King:

As written in the adventure, but when the players come outside to confront him, they seem him killing one of this subordinates (a demon that is covered in glowing runes)by touching him his bare hands (looks like lightning grasp) seconds later, he explodes in a shower of spark and guts (as detonate reflex DC 25, 20d8 electricity damage).
Damage from this ability doesn’t just heal him, but gives him temporary hit points equal to the damage dealt.

Throughout the fight whenever his hit points fall below 50% he calls for new minions and becomes protected by a powerful mythic sanctuary effect (DC 30). 2d6 CR 10-15 demons (marked with the same glowing runes) fly up from the nearby rift and try to come close enough to the Storm King to detonate them.

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

MMO design these days likes to play with stacks and debuffs and you could use the same tactic here:

Enemies hit by the Storm Kings melee attacks and electricity based spells must succeed at a fortitude save (DC 27) or receive a static charge. Creatures with 1-5 static charges, suffer a -2 penalty on all saving throws against lightning effects, creatures with more than 5 charges receive double damage from electricity.
Static charges remain for up to 1 minute, or until the target fail against a saving throw against an electricity based attack. Receiving further charges resets the duration.

And of course something to discourage attacks from extreme range:

The Storm King is surrounded by a permanent cloak of winds, as a full round action he can strengthen this effect so the penalty on ranged attack rolls doubles and the creatures up to large size have to succeed at at fortitude save (DC 25) to touch or attack him in melee.
This increased effect lasts for 3 rounds.

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

There is certainly room for combats like these, but even in this case I would give him 50% fortification and a lot more hit points (but remove the vorpal blade).

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

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Messing with a perfectly good adventure - my campaign and other calamities (Spoiler)

Spoilers are pretty much impossible to avoid

I apologize for the length.

Disclaimer:
Every group is different, and while the access to material and GM style vary greatly, this post assumes the use most paizo created pathfinder resources. However I will try to use core material for my examples.

And while I have made changes to loot distribution and random encounters, this post is based on the core assumptions.

Hello everyone,

this topic has been on my mind for quite some time, and while posters like the esteemed magnuskn and various others have highlighted the problems with high level play and adventure paths, I want to talk about WotR.

While this AP does share some of its problems with other adventure paths, it introduces new or worsens existing problems.

Enemy variety:

While it is not unusual or indeed negative, for a campaign to have a theme, it tends to lower the enemy variety significantly. While I am not a huge fan of the favoured enemy mechanic, whether it is used on a class or feat base (ranger/demon hunter feats) or come in the form of magic items (bane weapons, arrows of slaying) I recognize its potential. After all if a player is properly prepared, he/she should get rewarded for it.
It shouldn’t surprise my fellow GMs, that it can be hard to hit that sweet spot, where a player can make use of all his class features, so it doesn’t seem to be a wasted investment, but on the same time it should not be the answer to absolutely everything. Class abilities like sneak attack, smite evil and channel energy are good examples for this.

Since the vast majority of enemies in this adventure path are evil, a paladin with smite evil (or similar ability) will find ample opportunities and a holy should be a good investment.

After reading the entire AP, I can say, that they actually tried to increase the enemy variety, particularly in the earlier adventures, but most of the significant threats are still mostly evil outsiders.

Of course this also means that DR is far less useful, it isn’t really unlikely that pcs are prepared to faces the hordes of the abyss, after all that is what this AP is about. This along with other abilities tends to devalue material based DR.

When it comes to the area of spellcasting, the limited enemy variety, makes a number of spells very good. The demon hunters handbook recently introduced protection from outsiders, which is frankly amazing. While outside of the Abyss demons are quite vulnerable to dismissal, holy word and similar effects.

A lot of the “important” and challenging enemies will be mythic creatures and most of them will also be demons. A +2 mythic bane evil outsider bane weapon will be a investment, that is very hard to beat, and it can overcome DR/Epic.
Of course magic armor has similar options, the defiant armor enhancement(like bane but +2 to AC) and the champion enhancement (+2 sacred bonus to ac against targets of smite evil) are more than effective here.

The issues mentioned above affect every AP ( excluding mythic bane), but Mythic Adventures gives the PCs other shiny toys.

Arcane Strike (Mythic) is quite potent in every mythic campaign, but in this case it should allow the player to ignore DR completely and add a significant attack bonus.

Beyond Mortality, while removing alignment and allowing combinations like paladin/assassin, the ability to ignore unholy/anarchic weapons (possible encounter at the end of book 5) , defensive abilities like unholy aura (fight in book 6 among others) , offensive spells like unholy blight and blasphemy, class abilities like smite good and various other creature abilities that only penalize creatures of the opposing alignment.
It is a very very good offensive and defensive ability, that seems far more useful in this AP than any other (Cot might be a close second).

Ignoring DR, resistances, immunities and SR: Various powers and abilities allow players to ignore DR and resistances either on a limited basis, or permanently.
Those are some of the greatest defensive abilities demons (and frankly most high level threats) have, and frankly even if you can’t just ignore them the damage output of mythic characters is so high, that 10, 15 or even 30 points of DR or resistances provide a significant obstacle.
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Enemies are not prepared

One of the disadvantages of published adventures is, that either due to limited word count (and/or the authors sanity) it is impossible to provide answers for every possible scenario or player tactic.

Demons have a very broad set of abilities, but some or all of them can be countered by prepared players. This is a good thing.

However since mythic spellcasters can access their entire spell list quite easily, the players can still benefit from good preparation, without actually preparing (preparing the right spells, buying the right magic item) and can respond to challenges with the perfect answer.

Using mythic spellcasting, players can access very efficient long term buffs (mythic mage armor, mythic heroism, mythic magic vestment) and devastating combat spells.

Other mythic choices allow characters to increase their strengths or reduce their weaknesses, but few allow devastating combinations like class mimic.

What I am saying, is that the various slight power increases tend to combine and multiply, this is hardly limited to mythic play, but the players have a lot more options.
The enemies, quite often don’t have the same advantages.

Most of the time, the mythic rules tend to enhance existing abilities, or give similar thematic powers, there aren’t usually a lot of ways to adapt the enemies.

It is reasonable to expect GMs to adapt the NPC tactics to the realities of battle, but that rarely gives them more options.

Fortunately Mythic Adventures provides us with a number of additional templates, to solve these problems. While this puts more strain on the GM, I think it could be a worthwhile idea to provide the GM with some options like: “At the start of the encounter, the Storm King can get the benefit two of the following templates : agile, arcane, invincible ;alternatively, instead of a template the Storm King, is subject to a mythic contingency, that releases an intensified detonate that deals 15d8 electricity damage”

Abilities like limited wish, give the GM a way to adapt the opponents on the fly, and while giving everyone limited wish seems unrealistic, something like “the creature can cast up two 3 ranger spells per day, usually the following spells” could be an option. Again, I love templates, but it can add more work for the GM, but since many GMs will “have” to do this anyway, suggestions are appreciated.

TLDR:Players have access to a diverse number of options, enemies don’t.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Player damage output

Players can deal a lot of damage, and their ability to deal damage soon outstrips their ability to survive it.

This poses two distinct problems:

-Enemies tend to die very very quickly, and that tends to be a bit anticlimactic, remember that a round takes 6 seconds.
Damage reduction and resistances don’t seem to be very effective at reducing incoming damage/ increasing effective health, miss chances ( mirror image, blur, displacement), concealment (various spells and effects) and cover seem much more effective, but were used quite rarely in the AP.
Enemies could use more hitpoints (about 200 % or 300 % more) and/or DR/-, miss chances and concealment. Mythic adventures includes a the mythic ability fortification (50 % chance to ignore a critical hit or sneak attack) and while it is used only on a select few opponents, I think it is one of the few effective defensive abilities available (block attacks from the invincible template is also quite interesting) .

I think, that as far as mythic play is concerned, Table 6-8 Monster Statistics by CR does not provide the monsters with enough hit points. A melee character with mythic power attack can deal substantially more damage, especially if she is crit based.

Possible solutions include the ability to redirect attacks, like the excellent

Deadly Dodge wrote:


Deadly Dodge (Ex)
As a swift action, you can expend one use of mythic power to gain a +4 dodge bonus to your AC until the start of your next turn. During this time, whenever a creature misses on a melee attack against you, it provokes an attack of opportunity from you. You can choose to either take this attack of opportunity or force that creature to reroll the attack and change the target to a creature of your choice that is adjacent to you and within the attacker's reach. This reroll uses the same modifiers as the initial attack roll.

or the

Mirroring Belt wrote:

Mirroring Belt

Price 36,000 gp; Slot belt; CL 6th; Weight 2 lbs.; Aura moderate illusion
DESCRIPTION
This broad belt is constructed of steel plates polished to a gleaming finish. The belt grants its wearer a +2 enhancement bonus to Dexterity.
Treat this as a temporary ability bonus for the first 24 hours the belt is worn.
Three times per day, the wearer can use mirror image to bring forth illusory duplicates that persist for 6 minutes or until destroyed. These function as normal images from that spell, except any ranged attack (including ranged touch spells) that strikes and destroys an image rebounds onto the attacker, using the attacker's original result to determine whether the attack hits.
If the wearer expends one use of mythic power to activate the belt, the mirror images replenish when the wearer is hit.
This functions as above, except each time an attack hits the wearer instead of an image, the belt creates a new image, up to the spell's limit of eight images. Unlike mirror image, the effect doesn't end when the images are gone. If there are no more images, the belt continues to create new images for the effect's full duration.

but those two can quite easily kill player characters.

Increasing the number of enemies and increasing the hit points of important enemies should provide the players with a suitable challenge and satisfying experience.

- Players can kill other players

The ability to redirect, attacks is quite rare, but confused or dominated players can pose a serious danger to their own group, and while there are quite a number of ways to increase AC, increasing your hit points is surprisingly ineffective.
This usually affects melee characters or if you are really unlucky archers, but spellcasters are far from save. With access to mythic spells, and abilities like channel power, spell turning can be instant death for the caster.

Mythic Adventures includes abilities, that allow a healer to heal a dead creature back to life and I suspect that this is one of the reasons for the inclusion ofdeathless, particularly in the mythic version.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Players don’t run out of class abilities

Once recuperation becomes available, it is quite unlikely that players will run out of limited class abilities (spells, rage, bardic music, arcane pool) this makes attrition tactics - a long string of attacks/challenges - far less effective, and I would argue that encounters have to be challenging enough to force the players to spend mythic points.

Mythic power quickly becomes the most valuable resource, since it can be used for recuperation, spellcasting (including giving access to spellcasting via mortal herald), extra actions, activating mythic feats….

While there are some ways to refill your mythic power ambrosia is quite cheap in the grand scale of things.

This fact puts quite a bit of strain on the adventure design, since encounters/challenges, have to be so frequent/challenging that the group has to expend suitable resources, but not so frequent that the PCs get overpowered.

For my 2 cents, if the players are smart and use buffs efficiently, encounters will be over quicker and they won’t be forced to spend mythic power in combat to reverse/prevent negative effects.

As written the AP gives the players quite a bit of freedom, and while the a time limit is heavily implied (even in part 5, that is plenty of time) the PCs should have the ability to retreat after a short number of encounters.
However adventure design can only do so much here, outside of trapping the players in a teleportation proof labyrinth, players have a number of ways to evade or postpone challenges.

Maybe this is more of a feature than a bug, but it requires quite challenging encounters, you won’t be able to impress the players with lots of encounters.

TLDR Mythic adventure design is even harder than regular adventure design, and while some of the encounters and challenges might be a bit easy, it is a good first try.

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Enemies only react in a limited fashion

Obviously the players won’t become publish enemy number one at the start of the first adventure, but considering their actions on the first and second adventures, they should be a known threat to the demon army.

Since the demons are a pretty chaotic lot, it seems reasonable (and the adventure depends on this fact) that they won’t make a coordinated attempt to kill or corrupt the player characters.
What worries me, is that the monsters don’t seem to be willing or able to scout and change their tactics based on observed facts.

Again this might be due to the limited word count, but I feel that GMs should modify the enemies to respond to the players, if news reaches them, that they favor various tactics.
And of course sometimes the enemies act just plain stupid (Baphomet), some of these enemies are very intelligent, and I think their tactics should reflect that.
If a creature has wings and ranged offensive capabilities, there is little reason for it to fly too close to the party of greatsword wielding paladins.

To reiterate my previous point, giving the enemies some options (various templates chosen by the GM, limited wish, simple arcane/divine spellcasting) should allow them to adapt. And another crucial point, GMs should be willing to incorporate material from all sources that the players have access to. Paizo tends to use spells from the core rulebook, and in some cases adding spells from other sources (like APG spells for a ranger NPC) can make them far more effective.

Of course at this point the GM has to find a good sweet spot, between rewarding the players from being good at the game (some GMs forget that fact) and providing a sufficient and rewarding challenge.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Conclusion

With current rules let’s say CRG, APG, UM and MA, characters with the ability to spend resources (everyone other than fighter and rogue) have a distinct advantage.

The mythic rules allow characters the break rules in small ways (like feats but with greater effect), and while this gives characters unprecedented freedom to build their characters, it makes it very tough to write adventures.
GMs have to be willing to adapt, the adventure to their group.

Mythic characters are usually very good at overcoming straightforward combat encounters, so adding a number of nonstandard challenges and customized encounters should provide an acceptable challenge.

Always remember, that the assumption for adventure paths are based on 15 pts. point buy, 4 characters, purchase limit based on city size, wealth per level guidelines (including the suggested values for weapons, armors and one shot items), proper use of knowledge skills to determine enemy weaknesses…..

Pretty much everyone, doesn’t rigidly enforce each and every rule in Pathfinder, so you should always feel confident to make any changes, that you think, make the experience better for your group.

It is highly unlikely that James Jacobs, will come to your home game and shout at you for doing it wrong (highly unlikely, yeah never underestimate a bloody T-Rex)

I hope that once they have a moment, the designers will take a second look at the mythic rules to make some of the abilities a bit more reasonable (like

titans bane:
itan's Bane (Ex)
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.
.

Surprisingly effective for small rogues or ninjas.

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