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Enlarge really helps, but remember that you get a -2 Dex modifier while it's up. This makes 14 Dex insufficient for AoO builds. I had 16 on my AoO monster to start and I'm pushing it up as I level.
As much as I like Arcane bloodline for Bloodrager, Aberrant is better for AoO builds because it provides an additional 5' of natural reach while raging. This applies differently than the Reach quality on a weapon, so you absolutely need to have something that threatens adjacent to fill the gap. I recommend Improved Unarmed Strike, which you can get at level 1 via the Blood Conduit archetype.
My current build is Brawler 1/Bloodrager 3 and I refer to him as The Ender of Encounters.
It's not so much abusive as problematic. Bear in mind that I didn't think early entry was a bad thing. A grandfather ruling like the one proposed does, however, create a situation where a player could reasonably have a grandfathered character that does early entry into MT any time between now and the end of the campaign. Thus, if the player couldn't progress the character until next year for some reason (maybe they're out of scenarios to play or have some personal issues to address), you could find someone doing early entry into MT well after the established cut-off.
Again, not particularly abusive, but bear in mind that for a ruling to be enforced, someone actually needs to enforce it. It's this reason that pushes me towards offering free rebuilds instead of grandfathering characters that don't already have levels in MT.
Akari Sayuri "Tiger Lily" wrote:
As I mentioned above, I have concerns about enforcement. When auditing a Tiefling or Aasimar, you can simply look at the date on their chronicles. Does a chronicle exist prior to the cutoff? If so, 99% likely that it's ok.
So far, yours is the most simple-to-parse suggestion I've seen for grandfathering, but you start having to question intent of the player at that point, too. Just because I have a wizard with 4 xp prior to the cutoff means I can still early entry into MT? What if I just wanted a decent will save, so I didn't drop WIS?
I think free retraining causes the least auditing concerns, which is the area I'm most concerned about. Players frequently feel singled out when they get audited, even when they pass the audit. If the ruling ends up putting onerous auditing requirements into place to enforce the ruling, it creates a divisive play environment. Everyone wants to assume that players play legally and just get on with the game. I think that's how things would have continued had this ruling not been changed. Situations with grandfathering like this put the community in an awkward spot and I honestly don't know that there was any harm in the prior ruling anyway. What I do know is that this FAQ change has definitely harmed some members of our community and, if we want to actually enforce it, that impacts the attitudes of a lot of players and GMs.
My incredibly dumb Bloodrager intends to mention how he killed Tancred's brother any time I run across Tancred.
Another option for the OP is to use the slot to prepare a lower-level domain spell. You get Confusion at 4th for both of those domains, but it's not a bad spell to have 2 castings prepped.
The Fox wrote:
It's likely related to scrub theory. "It's against the spirit of the rules." When people were doing speed runs for the explicit purpose of grandfathering Tieflings/Aasimars, you can certainly call it an exploit, but I don't think cheating is the proper term. Exploits occur within the construct of the rules, whereas cheating is willful violation of the rules.
In tabletop games, it's frequently conflated with the Stormwind Fallacy.
Like graypark, I don't have a horse in this race, though I preferred the old early entry ruling. Honestly, I would have liked to see it more universally applied (i.e. removing skill rank requirements in some fashion) so that the prestige classes would see more play.
That said, any change in ruling like this is going to cause both confusion and cheating. On the cheating side, you'll find some unethical players who backdate chronicles, but you'll also find players who play primarily in home games and didn't hear about the FAQ change and played as though it didn't happen. There are all sorts of things that happen here and it becomes a question of enforcement. If a Mystic Theurge sits at my table, do I suddenly need to audit that character thoroughly? If I don't, am I abetting an environment of cheating? If I do, am I harassing a player? How does this impact the community in the region?
I honestly think that most players will ethically and competently handle the change, which is why we're seeing such a backlash on this FAQ change. I also think that campaign management was right to have a firm ruling in place before the FAQ was published. That said, I think that denying rebuilds to affected characters encourages cheating.
havoc xiii wrote:
Specifically, "the ability just appeared one day."
I like to think that the greatest challenge I face is minimizing minutia and maximizing the party's actions as they impact the story. I run for some very experienced players who are good with rules, but I make an effort of not having to reference anything during play, even in PFS. Time spent on my tablet is time not spent interacting with my players. Part of this is preparation in general. I printed off spell cards for an enemy wizard for the last session so the rules would be immediately in front of me when I needed them. This meant better resource tracking and less tablet time to make the encounter keep rolling.
Same scenario had interesting floor mechanics involving levers. Rather than bogging down the game by shifting everything, I left areas that the party wasn't near alone until they went there and made the NPCs react in non-combat, non-interference ways to what they were doing. This let them continue to explore, think things were happening beyond their control, and yet not actually be impacting the players with any mechanical effects. Sometimes the story is its own effect, after all.
When playing under other GMs, I value these things, as well. The other thing is controlling table talk (something I'm historically bad at), which can distract and detract from the game itself.
If an enemy uses an aoo to grapple it uses Grab (Ex) and Grab doesn't provoke. Normal Grapple is a standard action or did I missed something?
You're right that grapples cannot be initiated via AoOs without some special stuff going on since they are a standard action and not an attack action. Trips, however, will certainly do it.
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
The next time the rogue goes unconscious in combat, strip him of his gear, stabilize him, and leave him behind. You've done nothing that he hasn't done to you in this case.
If you absolutely need to, picking up Improved Trip and Combat Reflexes will allow you to Martial Flex into Ki Throw, which will let you put the rogue into some bad positions on the context of "helping him flank." You just happen to leave him prone and adjacent to monsters at the same time. If you need a fast way into Imp Trip, the easy option here is one level of Blood Conduit Bloodrager, which can pick it up as a bonus feat with no prereqs. You also get rage to help with your grapples in a pinch.
If you take the Black-Blooded archetype, you don't get to choose a curse. You have Black-Blood, which is the curse.
You can be crazy in character, have dreams, etc. without having a mechanical thing tied to it.
I would probably take Black-Blooded and ignore the Planar and Stargazer archetypes. The archetypes don't really contribute much to flavor and they certainly detract from playability. Stargazer is, I think, being discounted on the mid to high level spells (losing Black Tentacles is no fun!), but it does get Glitterdust, which is an encounter ender in a 2nd level slot.
Ki Throw is of critical importance. It is less restricted than the Reposition maneuver and piggybacks off of Trip, which is highly effective for debuffing many opponents. Of critical importance, Ki Throw lets you throw people off cliffs or into other hazards that Reposition does not allow and also is not dependent on particularly high CMB results to move them. You merely have to succeed at the Trip attempt to move them anywhere that you threaten with unarmed attacks.
The Dragon wrote:
I see you have missed the FAQ of Rages, which reversed the early entry via SLA FAQ from a while back. You can't use the racial SLA to qualify for EK.
Human Eldritch Guardian with a monkey familiar (Mauler archetype)
1: Point Blank Shot
Just build the archer like normal from there. Give the monkey a +1 adaptive longbow as soon as you can afford it. Congrats! Your monkey adds to your already impressive DPR. Just make sure to drop a quiver for him so he can fire medium-sized arrows instead of watching them shrink when he enlarges himself every combat. Make sure you fit in Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization at some point so he gets the static damage bonuses, as well.
Sure, you lose 2 feats. You gained 2 additional shots per round at level 4, though, and 4 at level 6 (the monkey has your BAB).
Player: "I'd like to use Leadership to get a mount."GM: "Wait, not as an item factory? Not as a second combatant with nearly as much gear and ability as a player? I'm listening..."
Then you ask for a unicorn or something and advance it with class levels. When Ultimate Combat came out, I heard that a lot of players were picking up levels of Master of Many Styles monk to give their mounts the Crane Style defenses.
Simple fact here is that a mount doesn't significantly impact combat like a cohort cleric.
Actually, according to the FAQ regarding spells from other class lists, Arcane Enlightenment works because it is derived from a class feature rather than a feat, spell, etc. Selecting an archetype that grants a class feature counts as having that class feature from your own class.
Advanced Player's Guide - Core Classes chapter wrote:
In the case of the Spirit Guide archetype, your ability to select a wandering spirit hex is a class feature and thus allows you to gain spells known on your spell list temporarily.
Would it be possible/feasible to allow site logins using PFS player numbers? My wife is an extremely occasional player and it took me 30+ minutes to figure out which email was associated with her Society account. Finding her player number was easy, but there's no easily-located reverse look-up function.
Andrew Christian wrote:
I think the poster was asking about purchasing said scroll at cost during the scenario to add to the spell list. That said, I would assume the answer is no.
I'm concerned that this might encourage some players to go spellbook hunting in their scenario choices (much like boon hunting, which we know is strongly discouraged). Personally, I don't like this decision and would prefer that scrolls remain scrolls and spells that aren't in the CRB aren't on your spell list, regardless of what the other sources say, but I'm glad that the vast majority of players that I play with won't abuse this ruling.
X or Y are the better ones to start out on from Gen 6. The games are not at all like Monster Hunter, IMO.
Think of it as extreme tag-team wrestling, RPG-style. You have up to 6 pokemon at a time in your party, only 1 fighting at a time (barring special fights). The matches primarily break down by types (Rock type critters are good against Flying, but are bad against Water, etc.), but also have individual differences. Some pokemon might be better at longer strategies, while others are good at offense of a specific kind (physical or special).
I've played through X at least 7 or 8 times with various self-imposed challenges, which was largely because X was so well-designed that I could do it without hating myself.
Ran the same scenario with Ezren, Seoni, Lini, and a dwarf cleric for Core Campaign. They played it backwards and Ezren killed both of the major encounters with Hand of the Apprentice. They then mopped up the remainder of the encounters.
Ezren was being played by a 12 year old. It was his first game of Pathfinder.
Grulk was 30' out the window and the cane was the only way to get him before he was out of range. Skizzertz was running out of the tower, being chased by Ezren and Seoni (also played by a 12 year old), when Ezren thwapped him. I was as amazed as the cleric, who had played the module before, that the boys insisted on going up the stairs to Grulk as the first encounter.
A couple additional thoughts as Andrew covered this quite nicely:
-Is this outside force predictable or unpredictable? There's a significant difference between "I'm a doctor/plumber/etc. that's on-call" and "I have a commitment at the same time every week." As such, how you handle it varies significantly.
-Is the nature of these outside forces such that it's effectively a time limit or a deadline? If the latter, is it possible to have a table start earlier to accommodate them?
N N 959 wrote:
Intrinsically, the balance debate has to go to some sort of value discussion. There are no characters with precisely 2 options to choose from, but we acknowledge implicitly that, barring very specific circumstances, you're not going to be using Bull Rush maneuvers as a Wizard. You've opted to create a straw man by assuming that A, B, C, and D are discrete choices when I specifically meant them as variables.
But let's go back and expose why we can't talk about "balance" in the way you want to. How many time a scenario does a Rogue have to be able to sneak attack before we says sneak attack is meaningful or meaningless?
There are a lot of variables here. Are we talking mechanically unable (oozes, for instance), party composition issues (no other threatening melee), scenario restriction issues (YOU'RE ALWAYS SURPRISED LOL!)? Moreover, to what are you comparing Sneak Attack? What is the alternative action? You can't make a determination of value without a comparison.
How many times does a Barbarian need to get value from his extra two skill points per level before we say it's meaningful? A +1 ring of protection only protects you from 1 hit in 20. Is that meaningful?
Ring of Protection can be solved with math. There are no value decisions to be made here that aren't done with math. Also, I can assure you that a discrete 5% is not the actual value of a Ring of Protection. As for skill points, what are you comparing it to? Again, you cannot make a determination of value without a comparison.
Your attempt to change this from an empirical evaluation to a value based evaluation underscores that we have no language or system for doing that. We have on way to assign value to different class abilities, and neither do the devs. What is the value of having low-light vision? Impossible to know or determine.
Per the Advanced Race Guide::
Low-Light Vision (1 RP): Prerequisites: None; Benefit: Members of this race can see twice as far as a race with normal vision in conditions of dim light.
Asking whether the classes are balanced is asking the wrong question. We don't know, we can't know. Do they seem fair? Do they serve a purpose in any given party? Do players enjoy the mechanics involved? Does X class obviate the usefulness of Y class in all cases? Those are meaningful questions in class design. "Balance" is a red herring.
Balance is a term used to describe the sum total responses to the questions you've asked (plus a few others, typically). If a class (let's use Rogues) seems fair and appears to serve a purpose, but has frustrating mechanics and is obviated in the majority of circumstances by another class (let's say Wizard), then the Rogue is not balanced against the Wizard. If you repeat the matching process and compare it to all other classes, you can determine the composite relative balance of the class.
N N 959 wrote:
If the class only contained X and Y, that would be true. The reality, though, is that Y continues to be overshadowed by A, B, C, D...etc. In the specific example, 2d6+8 is effectively a zero performance option for a level 8 character. If the damage increase started at level 1, you could convincingly argue that it has gotten more powerful for a limited subset of levels where resources A, B, C, D, etc. are less plentiful or not available. I can almost guarantee that caps out around 4th level. Thus, we can question whether it is meaningfully impactful.
Or you take 2 rounds to deliver the cure via the Familiar method described above. Depending on the out-of-combat needs, this could be fine or terrible.
Straight core classes or core classes with archetypes?
One local player has George the Kitsune Mystic Theurge, who has 1 level of Exploiter Wizard, 1 level of Blood Arcanist, 1 level of Cleric, and enchantment DCs in the 20s. Is that really the fault of the CRB? Not really. It's bandaids on top of bandaids on top of mechanical additions, FAQs, and errata.
That's just how things sort of go. Too many moving pieces.
I'm not going to dive into edition wars here, but there are mechanically modern RPGs in fantasy settings that do not follow that logic and are doing quite well. Not only that, but they're doing very well.
Second, your specific complaints about the wizard. You already hit the nail on the head. Wizards are supposed to be the ultimate arcane "technologists" in the world so anytime some other class develops some new approach to arcane magic some group of wizards tries it out as well.
What you have just told me is that your in-world justification trumps the lazy design of the Exploiter Wizard. First, I don't accept that logic. Second, the real problem with that archetype is that it arguably does the Arcanist's schtick better than the Arcanist because of the odd-level spell access. Frankly, if a group of wizards learned Exploits, they should be Arcanists.____________________________________________________________________
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Several points, the name you give to a class and the attached class features - are not the same thing.
This gets blurred substantially when old classes start poaching every new mechanic as soon as they come out.
And when people complain about bad CRB design, they talk about things like favored enemy ( this calls feature might be relevant in an archetype or for a set campaign), but as written it is either too good or irrelevant.
100% agreement here, but in an expanded form, this applies to entire classes. The more bandaids are applied in the form of archetypes, the more likely that the class is doing things that a different class should be doing instead. That's why, for instance, we have archetypes like the Crusader, which is then roughly supplanted by the War Priest.
Or the Monk class that gets burdened with class features of questionable validity. Just take a look at the archetypes that allow players to change the class a fair bit (sohei allows the use of light armor and removes the tiresome necessity for mage armor; the quigong archetype would be added whole cloth to the CRB class description).
The existing Monk is on my chop list in favor of whatever the Unchained version is or the Brawler.
And lets be frank, even if the classes got a little update in the CRB, things like Fighers and their paltry number of skill points - and thus lack of out of combat options - is a pretty old complaint.
With the existence of the Slayer, I think that the Fighter has more than a few problems to fix. The PF Fighter was a great improvement over 3.5, but it was relatively uninspired. The archetypes didn't do much to fix that.
Agreed. It's not a matter of the originals being bad, but they're so focused on backwards compatibility that they didn't take advantage of the developers' creativity as much as later material. Once the developers established themselves and brought on additional talent (Mark is awesome, for example), they moved to more reactive and creative mechanics. That has, unfortunately, left some development holes in the rear view mirror.
Absolutely fair, but a revision release like Unchained is important to adequately address the issues of dated material as they relate to the play meta.
Michael Eshleman wrote:
Insofar as the CRB classes are modified versions of the 3.5 classes, which weren't that far removed from the 3.0 equivalents, that puts these classes at 12-15 years in age. Sans archetypes, these classes generally fail to meet the expectations of most players, which is a reflection of the game's evolving meta.
I think the CRB classes are great in Core, with the assumptions that are made in Core content. I don't think they fit, make, or break the mold of the current meta, though, and that's the basis of my complaint. If the game is a reflection of the people who play it, particularly in organized play, then the CRB classes have worn out their welcome. The content is not designed around them.
I think there's a fair debate to be had about this topic and I'm sure that Mike, John, and co. have hashed it out at some point. I think the existence of the Core Campaign is clear evidence for this - not just a back to basics campaign, but a conservative one, as well. Honestly, I think that is great. It's an admission that there are varied playstyles and a desire to accommodate that within the structure of organized play. I've even got a Core character because I don't think it would hack it in the standard campaign. There are things you can do there that you can't effectively do in a more open meta.
What I think you're going to find, though, is that the willingness of the contributors and developers to break and remake the mold over the years is going to bear out on the way that Core plays out, which is a direct reflection of the outmoded design concepts utilized in the CRB classes. As it relates to the ACG classes and the original topic, I found them to be bold re-imaginings. Again, I think that's great. It's good for the game to shake out the cobwebs from time to time.
My second post expanded on this, but the short version is this:
1. The CRB classes are extremely old and significant advances have been made in "RPG technology" (SKR's term, which I think is a good descriptor) that have shown that...
2. The CRB classes are very patchy, requiring additional bandaids with each release that steal features from new classes to stay relevant.
When we look at the Arcanist, the first and most relevant complaint was that their ENTIRE CORE CLASS MECHANIC was lifted by the Exploiter Wizard archetype. Yes, they cast differently, but what distinguishes the Arcanist from the Wizard or Sorceror was the inclusion of the Arcane Exploits. Think about that from a design perspective and ask yourself honestly what that means. It's one of two things:
Either (A) the Wizard is intended to be the premier Arcane caster, bar none, and Sorcerors/Arcanists are always meant to be second fiddle, even with the Arcanist being introduced in the same book or (B) the Wizard class has significant problems remaining relevant as a stand-alone class whenever new mechanics enter the field.
(A) is a design choice to specifically make obsolete all further designs in the same field (sacred cow problem). (B) is a terminal mechanical issue. Neither is healthy for the game. (A) is more likely.
I'm not saying that the CRB classes are badwrongfun. What I'm saying here is that they've run their course. It's actually better for the game to move on to different ideas. Yes, the Cleric and Druid are great basic classes, the Barbarian does its role well, etc. There's a reason, though, that a number of classes are being completely rewritten with Pathfinder Unchained. I think that the admission of the problem was kind of an understatement, though.
The ACG offers a relatively fresh start with classes that are more balanced to the current meta of the system.
Party: "Can you see if there's evidence of Evil around here?"You: "Not that kind of paladin."
Michael Eshleman wrote:
Would you mind expanding on that? I'm curious as to your rationale.
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
12 years old, going on 30 for some. It wouldn't be so painful if there wasn't a paper-over archetype to keep the CRB classes relevant in every book, especially the wizard. I'm still not sure why the wizard gets everyone's toys, but it seems to be more and more blatant with every release. If Occult Adventures comes out and there's a wizard archetype that gives them psychic magic in place of arcane or gives them an iconic ability from one of the new classes, then my fears will be confirmed again.
I understand the appeal of the Core campaign in this light: it strips away all of the stuff that's built up around the "old school" and allows for relatively simple play and GM experiences. I'm all for simple play and GM experiences, but I have no such attachment to the "old school" part. This is why I want the old classes gone and replaced with something more modern and current to "RPG technology." The ACG classes just scratched a particular itch for me in that regard.
If Paizo would do a revamped version of the CRB that did this, I would be surprisingly happy.