|Paizo Pathfinder® Paizo Games|
|About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ|
That would be a line left over from D&D 3.5. Sadly the use of Ghost Sound makes Silent Image LESS effective. Since merely listening to the cantrip now allows a (very low) save to recognize falseness whereas the image itself must be interacted with before a save is allowed.
Many, many ways:
Tools are just the tip of the iceberg with these spells. Need a wall with an arrow slit? Minor creation (overturned wooden table with a slot in it). Need a full on CANNON in the middle of the dungeon? Major creation. A vatful of lava? Expensive (vegetable/mineral) poison?
The poison is not part of a creature when it is inside something else. If one is going to take the insane hyperliteralist perspective that all former bits of a summoned creature disappear with the summon - then one has to come to grips with the fact that the poison isn't even an 'object'. It's a condition (/affliction). Conditions don't automagically disappear when the creature that inflicted them goes away.
Shurikens weren't really meant to cause serious injury, iirc, but were good at distraction and delivering poison... Neither of which they do here.
No, shuriken deliver poison just fine. Although poison is, unfortunately, not very cost effective.
Incorrect. Anyone can find a magical trap with a perception check. Only characters with Trapfinding can disarm a magical trap with the Disable Device skill.
I think it is one use item. I will get back to you on that.
The item is Dweomer's Essence. It's single-use and PFS legal, but I've yet to see it ever available in a home game.
Considering that a CR +2 monster with SR will generally force a 20-30% spell failure chance against a spell (Unless the caster has Spell Penetration or Greater Spell Penetration, which require feat investments) I'm going to call shenanigans on this statement.
A CR+2 monster will generally force something more like a 60% spell failure chance without feat/resource investment.
I would say that divine casters probably DO exert slightly greater influence on party dynamics than other classes on average. Not -quite- so much because of the healing thing as that divine casters are a little more likely to have a particular set of ethos that they...encourage... upon the rest of the group. For example - a paladin demanding that other party members refrain from torture. The same is true for clerics/oracles to a lesser extent as well.
Part of that whole "socialization" thing is finding a balance between personal needs and the needs of others. In gaming, everyone has slightly differing concepts of appropriate behavior, what's fun, what's disturbing, what's funny. One needs to find some rough consensus on these issues....or at least what constitutes a tolerable range.
Things DO start to get a bit insane once a witch gets ahold of quickened Ill Omen. The saveless version of the misfortune hex. One has to balance this against the possibility of another caster using two save-or-die/suck spells with Quicken Spell or a Quicken metamagic rod... but the witch kinda comes out ahead here though because slumber scales.
THAT one I think is more of a problem with Ill Omen.
The one question I have for you, sir, is this: Why in the furthest flaming hells have you continued to put up with this behavior for 10+ sessions? Is it really that problematic to find or organize a different group in your locale? These issues don't just disappear...
Anyway, my two cents worth of horror stories:
2) Somewhat more recently, I got...most of the way....through a single session with a GM who kept introducing all sorts of epic-level magic, items, and creatures. It got to the point where basically all character abilities were essentially meaningless because they would be made irrelevant by artifact-quality magic. This wouldn't have been so horrific by itself. But the GM had no concept of what constituted an appropriate challenge....the PCs would face circumstances where they had no hope of succeeding at skill challenges or saving throws because the guy had arbitrarily set the DCs so high. On top of this, the GM had a poor understanding of basic game mechanics and kept inventing increasingly strained excuses for why standard abilities would not work. The party kept meeting deific NPCs who would constantly bully the PCs around. The point where I physically walked out was when it became apparent that the GM couldn't even keep track of his NPCs....forgetting their names, confusing which was which...
I think the slumber hex IS fun, from both a GM, witch-player, and non-witch-player perspective. I would prefer to see hexes as spell-like abilities and thus subject to disruption, attacks of opportunity, spell resistance, and other standard anti-mage tactics, however.
You mean like a vastly more expensive magic item that is not available anywhere near level 1 presuming even marginal adherence to WBL, which provides a lower shield bonus (without tower shield penalties), and which does not apply to incorporeal attacks unless vastly greater sums of money are spent on it?
I actually quite like the concept of resource pools and/or limited use abilities for the sake of balancing them. I think unreasonable developer fear of non-limited abilities contributes rather significantly to the inferiority of feats and rogue talents. Despite the average number of combat rounds in a day being typically rather limited. However, the implementation of such abilities in pathfinder really could stand to be standardized and simplified. Aside from reduced book-keeping that would also potentially pave the way to make such limited resources somewhat more unique and allow for items and abilities to affect said resource pools without said items and abilities being unreasonably specific.
Preparation: Represents specialized tools, planning, props, ingredients, poisons, and the time/effort/concentration required to prepare and maintain these items. Used to power limited-use rogue type abilities. A rogue would be given a certain pool of preparation points daily; they might be artificially restored by purchase from black market sources in cities. Could provide the rationale for offering rogue talent that allow particular traps or poisons usable a certain number of times per day.
Reagents: Magical ingredients used to power limited-use alchemist or mage-type character abilities. A character is given a pool each day; may be restored by harvested magical bits from monsters or gathered by spending several hours searching for herbs in an appropriate location. Spoiled by certain environment factors (extreme heat?), certain monster attacks, items like a vial of insect pests, etc?
Ki: As presently implemented. Possibly restored artificially by meditating in particularly spiritual locations, use of certain rare incense, making pilgrimages to certain shrines.
1) Is pretty overpowered +5 dodge bonus to AC for 1 feat equivalent?
Yeah, I'm inclined to agree with you in retrospect. Was just a brainstorm :) I kinda don't think rogues have terrible AC, given that the majority tend to be Dex-focused. (Or at least the fantasy stereotype tends to be). If they lag behind inquisitor AC it's prolly because of magic buffs, judgements, and/or shields. I also sorta don't think they SHOULD be matching or exceeding dedicated martials. That said, a bonus of a point or two seems reasonably thematic to me - dodging around blows. I don't know, the scaling of everything is off.
4) Ugh just no. Still bad. Making it a 1/day ability blows and is absolutely not worth a feat imo. Make...
Scaling of course is the tricky part. I kinda think that by the time you get to +stat times per day you're reaching the point of "not reasonably going to run out" which I don't think is great for this ability, given the existence of Tumble, Mobility and the like. Eh.
Both of those seem pretty good to me, though I might be tempted to label the darkvision one as *gasp* supernatural. I've long thought that darkvision disproportionately affects rogues given the concealment and sneak attack thing (which I'd like to see disappear WITHOUT the need for a feat...at least by a certain rogue level). From a conceptual standpoint, I don't even have problems with giving generally non-magical classes some quasi-magical abilities. Who is to say a fighter, rogue or whatever WOULDN'T normally try to make use of a few magical tricks if such things existed, worked, and were generally within the realm of their expertise? Alternately, giving them the ability to crudely locate obstacles and creatures (and sneak attack the latter!) within a certain relatively short radius rather than full on accurate darkvision would be reasonably thematic and potentially worthwhile as a possible extraordinary alternative. In addition to maintaining a certain market for dimly lit rooms, concealed candles (or Thieves' lanterns a la Name of the Wind / Wise Man's fear) and the like.
I don't know. I guess I've got mixed feeling on the AC thing. The base armors all have remarkably similar total bonuses, presuming max Dex. And I don't think rogues SHOULD be surpassing dedicated martial classes as far as armor goes.
Actually I do. The fact of the matter is, the non-magic limitations are NOT what is keeping rogue talent power level down. Developer imagination and balance misconceptions are. Some combat-focused rogue talents I think might be a good idea:
1) Duck and Weave: Rogues learn particular facility at dodging blows when stealth and deceit fails. Gains +1 dodge bonus to AC +1 for every five rogue levels or so. (Which should stack with the Dodge feat, etc, because dodge bonus)
2) "Sucker Punch": The rogue learns to be adept at causing debilitating pain when they get the jump on their enemies. Living opponents who are not otherwise immune to pain effects suffer the sickened condition (no save) for 1 round after a successful sneak attack.
3) Streetfighter's tricks: X times per day, a rogue may attempt a Dirty Trick combat maneuver upon an enemy within 10 feet as a swift action (without provoking attacks of opportunity). The character uses their Rogue levels in place of their attack bonus (adding any attack bonus gained from other classes or racial HD normally) and may use their dexterity or intelligence bonus in place of strength. This might ease the difficulty of getting sneak attack up a bit. Or at least be another option/alternative to feint, etc.
4) Slip away: As a move action, the rogue may move up to their base speed without provoking attacks of opportunity (without requiring any sort of acrobatics or other check). Usable once per day plus one more time for every six rogue levels.
YMMV, of course.
The entire point and theme of the rogue's combat abilities...from their very roots...is that they deal situational damage. Hitting the enemy when they're down and/or unprepared. Make sneak attack or backstab less situational and you no longer have a rogue as far as I'm concerned.
It could stand to be rescaled and maybe made easier for a lone rogue to accomplish...but still, the major issue with the rogue class is that their OTHER abilities are just way too situational and not balanced with those of other classes. For example - one rogue talent allows the rogue to roll twice on a Bluff check and take the better roll...a couple times per day. Whereas a cleric domain ability allows one to do the same on ANY skill 3+wis times per day at 1st level. Another rogue talent allows the rogue to breathe a whopping 2 rounds longer before making suffocation checks...whereas a ninja talent in the same book DOUBLES the number of rounds the ninja can take before making such checks.
Cap. Darling wrote:
I tend to think double-barreled firearms are a much more significant problem. Although, yeah, the first two bestiaries were not all balanced or scaled for touch AC. (Which is not to say that the latter two ARE...I'm just less sure of them).
Rogues already have a number of abilities that allow them to accomplish this at least in a limited capacity. For example - minor/major magic talents (e.g. chill touch spell-like ability), firearm proficiency talent, etc. This does NOT begin to address the scaling issues with sneak attack as compared to martial damage, the absurd situationalism of rogue talents, the inability of rogue abilities to keep up with magic, and/or the lack of reasonable niche protection.
Another way to go rather than 'environmental activism' might be to seek out, watch, and persecute faiths or concepts that pose an existential threat to the natural workings of the world. Namely undeath , aberrations, infiltration of Dark Tapestry monstrosities, etc. Pathfinderwiki, for example, mentions that Gozreh frequently opposes Urgathoa, Nethys, and Rovagug.
The Disable Device skill actually -does- mention traps that can't be merely disabled. Spike stones, for example.
Also: I suppose I should admit that as GM, I ALSO make use simple "throw-away" traps in addition more complicated puzzly types. Sometimes mostly for thematic reasons. (kobold lair WITHOUT traps? Wtf?) While, yes, they are generally bland and uninteresting they also take considerably less game time than many other types of challenge. And vastly less than a monster encounter. Which is a point seldom brought up.
I don't want to get off topic, but doesn't allowing everyone to use their abilities to counteract a trap really make the guy who has trapfinding as a class feature even less needed? Cause it seems to me like it would. Kind of along the lines of a guy with high diplomacy not being able to persuade a NPC, while a no diplomacy guy can RP to persaude them. Doesn't this approach invalidate player build choices to some extent? And make the "trapfinding classes" even less needed?
Not really, no. Reducing a challenge from a puzzle to a single die roll doesn't really make a player feel powerful or validated either....unless perhaps it's some obscure skill or player choice. Keep traps as puzzle-based, where Disable Device and the like are valuable tools to get past things but not the only nor entirety of the solution.
Example: Hallway with the bodies of some suitably powerful and impressive monsters on the ground. Perception check might yield a clue to the mechanism...say holes in the wall. A Heal check might be able to determine that the monsters were poisoned. Disable device can bypass...IF the players can find a way to reach the gearbox concealed in the ceiling (which shouldn't be TOO hard) and keep the disabler steady for half a minute. More interesting than say "You get hit by a spear trap, take 6 damage" IMHO anyway.
I tend toward the -opinion- that most deities are powerful enough to change their shape, and thus likely to appear as the race that most suits their purposes and tastes. As in, Gozreh or whoever might appear as whatever race He believes the worshipper / petitioner / bystander most empathizes, fears, or whatevers with.
As an aside: Note that the titans are generally depicted as being dark-skinned, making it highly likely that some of the elder gods are/were as well.
Don't get me wrong, I understand the basic concept as an idea, but nothing anyone has proposed feels at all right to me. I won't say "realistic" or "right" or "logical" as this is fantasy. Decades long neoteny for elves feels absurd and breaks verisimilitude. For me.
Well unfortunately for you it's also a longstanding fantasy trope. This is akin to saying "fireball spells and zombies break verisimilitude for me because thermodynamics." Fortunately, you have, I imagine, the capacity to create whatever world you wish when you GM.
And this just doesn't work for me. I'm happy it works for you, but I can't see an elf unable to look after themself at thirty years. I know we have plenty of folk in the real world who that can be said about, but an elf? Too busy learning secret elf-lore, astrology, lineage songs etc but failing to learn anything useful/life skills? And the elf-culture coddles them and keeps them safe for decades? Fair enough. But it doesn't work for me.
"I just can't see a human being unable to even walk after an entire year, let alone hunt or make a nest." The real world is full of organisms that develop neurologically at drastically different rates, my friend.
No, there's not actually logic issues with long-lived races. The books don't spell out the details (allowing the details to vary between campaign settings)...and obviously childhoods between the individual player races would be expected to be different. But that does not necessarily lead to logic problems.
Maturity and intelligence are both multifaceted characteristics. Neither can be simply boiled down to a single numerical quantity. (Even PFS and D&D before it had different mental characteristics - wisdom, intelligence, charisma). In games I run, I tend to treat elven children as sharing many characteristics with the autistic. They're not -stupid- per se. Or at least, they can fully understand complex concepts and have excellent memories. But they tend to fixate on things, can't filter out extraneous information, do not have the same sort of impulse control that might be expected of adults of other species, and just generally do not assign the same sorts of priorities to things that other people might.
An elven child of 30 hasn't learned any less than a human of the same age. They've just been busy learning -different- things. And probably not including basic self-sufficiency skills.
I'm aware that it's not human :) It nevertheless was presumably designed by a human with some particular purpose in mind. Advertising? One wouldn't think that particular method was ever effective... Although the search engine result thing might be something.
Above and beyond the tactical issues, the sad truth is that in the majority of cases healing can't even keep pace with a single round's average damage. Making healing literally worse than doing much of anything else. Mind you, I'm not necessarily sure that's a bad thing. It encourages foes to try and disengage/hide while they use multiple items or spells to heal up.
The only real reason is that damage has progressively gotten larger while healing has for the past part (barring certain domain abilities, etc) stayed the same. It's kind of a shame, really. It would be nice if the larger healing potions (or potions at all for that matter) actually were somewhat viable.
The way I see it a Chaotic Neutral character hates conformity, traditions, restrictive laws, authoritarian styles of governance. Note that this does not necessarily mean acts like a jerk to their friends or adventuring companions. A CN character will generally try to assert their independence from society in general. They will try to do things OUTSIDE the law where reasonably convenient due to disdain, distrust, or because they simply can't be bothered. Placed in a position of authority a CN character will try to keep their hands off as much as possible because they tend to believe that society functions best that way. Chaotic Neutral tends to correlate with counterculture, anarchism, and dislike of such practices as slavery, mind control magics, hierarchies, or imprisonment.
CN does NOT mean that a character is undisciplined, that they have no moral code (although it does presume that they are not prone to excessive altruistic urges toward individuals who are not their close friends/loved ones as that would make them CG), does not mean that they are inherently inconsistent or lazy.
Persistent Metamagic Rods? Please, I get my Persistent Color Sprays for free off my Magical Lineage and Metamagic Master/Wayang Spellhunter traits.
The existence of a combination of abilities involving an obscure splat book that does the same thing does not make the former any more balanced.
I've got zero problem with awesome display. I've seen it quite a bit in play and the comparatively few spells it applies to have not proven hugely more dangerous than all the other save-or-die/suck spells available to casters.
Persistent Metamagic Rods (and -possibly- Quickened Ill Omen spells) however, are abominations that should die horrible, horrible deaths.
Who describes the weapon? When the wizard identifies the weapon, who tells them what they detect? Who gets to decide precisely how magic items function in their game world? Whose responsibility is it therefore for injecting flavor?
There are any number of ways to describe magic items:
Contrary to popular delusion, the bard never really eclipses the bard. The rogue is -usually- able to outdamage the bard (or at least to inflict more damage than the bard can personally). HOWEVER, the bard outperforms the rogue in a skill/utility context while full BAB classes consistently outdamage the rogue.
There are several components to the bards' superiority with skills/utility:
Altogether, the bard really wipes the floor with the rogue class utility-wise to a depressing degree. Particularly considering the rogue's historical role as the origin of lockpicking, sneaking, climbing inaccessible places and the like.
The existence of those options do NOT make the barbarian unbalanced. However, yes, it is sad that there are not viable alternatives. I am vehemently opposed to the implementation of pounce amongst PC abilities. Not because it is overpowered for a martial character - no, it isn't. However, it IS so strong that it should never have been granted to only a single martial class and it should never have been made one of several exclusive options for that class. That is, sadly, just poor class design.
...and it should never in a million years have been given as an eidolon option...but that's only one of numerous idiocies that contribute to make up the abomination that is Summoner.
EDIT: I suppose that actually fits the definition of unbalanced to a T. My bad. Just not overpowered.
I'd certainly -consider- showing a PC the date of their death (whether the appropriate powers of fate believe that's a good idea or not). The main problem with doing so is that enforcing it probably entails a heavy-handed bit of Deus Ex Machina on the GM's part. Which a GM should be -VERY-, -VERY- careful about using. To make sure said fate happens as a GM one could use emissaries of fate such as Aeons, Mothmen, Inevitables, Norns, or the like. Either to help or hinder the PC should they die too quickly or do not die at the appointed time. Preferably allowing the PC some chance of avoiding the unpleasant, at least with good tactics.
So...the problem here, other than nasty....story and/or logic requirements (eewww)...is that a Fighter BBEG really serves a different role than a Fighter would in a PC party. I'm not intending to specifically accuse you, RD, of not knowing how to build a fighter BBEG btw. It is, nonetheless, a fairly common problem I've found. (Even amongst PFS writers, sadly enough). In a PC party, the fighter is usually a tank. They stand in front of the more vulnerable characters and beat things. A BBEG fighter on the other hand is actually a glass cannon. The PCs will normally have many tricks that will just shut down a fighter - will save spells, even a simple grease on their weapon.
The trick to making an effective Fighter BBEG in my opinion is to be sneaky. Hide amongst the minions and make someone else look like the real threat. Fight in locations where the BBEG cannot effectively be targeted at range - such as a smoke(stick)-filled room or behind a twist in the corridor. Have a support minion hide behind a tapestry in the throne room and concentrate on maintaining the illusion of a imposing figure on the throne while the BBEG tries to blend in with guard-minions. Use potions of invisibility, glamered armor, hats of disguise, or simply the Disguise skill. Find ways to ambush the vulnerable PCs from the rear - behind the party tanks.
The concept of action types that take so little time that they can be used effectively in response to longer actions is not remotely "metagamey". Much in any real-world melee combat - such as parrying, dodging REQUIRES split-second reactions to longer events (e.g. an opponents strike).
You guys all know that guns predate plate armor, right?
If most fiends hate everyone and every thing, why precisely should they single out the daemons?
Even if Lamashtu is much stronger than the daemons are collectively, that doesn't necessarily mean that she has the forces to win a multi-front war. Does one imagine Lamashtu's own myriad personal enemies would kindly refrain from attacking her if she were to devote her resources to eradicating the daemons?
SOME illusions are mind-affecting spells but not all. Figments and glamers are NOT. Spells that are mind-affecting are clearly labeled as such. Since Mirror Image is not mind affecting, it is unaffected by the ability.
I would definitely consider evil eye. While yet another mind-affecting ability, it imposes a decent penalty without save. 9 is a very good level for witches - you get 5th level spell slots, which allow for powerhouses such as Dominate Person and Teleport. As well as Quickened Ill Omen. Pick up Quicken Spell if you don't have it already. Or a metamagic rod.
So the recent Crane Style revision underscores a very serious balance issue that has been bothering me for a good long while: The relative value of feats.
Feats and feat-like abilities (such as rogue talents) comprise major features of a couple classes. As compared with magical abilities, such as spells and spell slots, feats are:
In short, feats represent a GREATER character investment than spells. Not spellcasting altogether perhaps, but greater than individual spells and spell slots. So WHY ON EARTH are feats so much less powerful? What is considered so unbalancing about a feat that protects a character from one melee attack per round when the user takes a particular type of action whereas a spell that literally makes an enemy your slave for hours if not days is NOT so?
EDIT: Apologies for some delays and editing. Still trying to work out my thoughts here.