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Shadowdweller's page

FullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 589 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character.


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K177Y C47 wrote:
Ecclesitheurge and the Cloistered Cleric greatly disagree with you...

The cloistered cleric being the archtype that is even LESS focused on spellcasting than the normal cleric. And the Ecclesitheurge retaining medium BAB, two good saves, and D8 hit dice over the wizard...representing LESS of a focus on spellcasting. Was what I wrote somehow unclear?

The cleric was supposed to be the divinely gifted priest who could provide miracles (i.e. MAGIC). The fact that Clerics are FULL CASTERS should tell you that. The cleric IS THE DIVINE EQUIVALENT TO THE WIZARD.

WRONG. Gygax explicitly described clerics as warrior-priests in earlier editions of D&D, citing the Knights Templar as an inspiration; and the class has retained this focus up through Pathfinder. Second edition D&D books even pointed out the existence of non-adventuring spellcasting (or miracle-working) priests who did not have skill with arms and weaponry.

In case you are still having problems with this conceptually, the cleric retains: Medium armor and simple weapon proficiency, two good saves, superior hit dice, medium base attack bonus progression, and the ability to cast spells without problem in heavy armor over full arcane casters (traits which have become incorporated into divine magic as a whole). These are elements that represent less focus on study and spellcasting. Or one could alternately point out that full arcane casters typically get the worst hit dice, base attack bonus, etc to represent their spellcasting focus.


Combat Cleric (pretty much taking the fighter's job)

Heal/Buff bot (which the spell list will pretty much look exactly like the combat cleric because he is essentially a combat cleric casting his spells on...

And...this just suggests to me that you are in need of some more play experience.

Waaah, the poor cleric. It's almost as if the devs of present and previous versions wanted the cleric spell list to be thematically different from other casters....

There ARE still more than enough cleric spells for different (clerical)characters to use completely different spells and still be equivalently effective. The cleric was never SUPPOSED to be the spellcasting equivalent of the wizard/magic-user. The whole POINT of the wizard type class is a character who has devoted their entire existence to studying spellcraft - at the expense of other areas of expertise.

K177Y C47 wrote:
Shadowdweller wrote:
The cleric and the cleric spell list is very nearly the last thing in the game that needs any buffing whatsoever.

Except that if you look at the cleric's spell list, 90% of it consists of:

Cure/Inflict Spells
Cure X condition spells
res spells
Protection from X spells
Buff melee combat spells

outside of that... the only other option they get are a handful of mediocre blasts and the SM monster line...

Yeah, those are some useless categories. Of course, you forgot debuffs like Blindness/Deafness or Bestow curse. Information gathering spells like Augury, Divination, Speak with Dead and the like. All of the undead raising spells. Death spells (which admittedly have been reduced to direct damage in PF). Alignment-based spells like Align Weapon, Dispel Alignment, etc. Those poor, poor, limited clerics.

The cleric and the cleric spell list is very nearly the last thing in the game that needs any buffing whatsoever.

K177Y C47 wrote:
Honestly I find it funny that the summoner is better at SNA than the druid..... (First worlder gets an expanded summons list that includes stuff like Unicorns)

What, you mean that the class that is DEDICATED to summoning is better at it than the druid? For shame, Paizo, for shame.

I recently was able to purchase the new PHB, on account of my local comic store having some sort of affiliation with D&D organized play that allows a slightly earlier release. The new system is a vast improvement over 4e and has a lot of very positive aspects - it contains all sorts of little details that I find awesome. For example - rock gnomes have the racial ability to create little mechanical gizmos. Druids get a cantrip to make little puffs of wind, or make flowers bloom and buds sprout.

The game seems much more balanced than Pathfinder, and probably more simple...but I doubt it will ever replace Pathfinder at my table. The system still feels like it has kid gloves on - albeit thankfully to a much lesser extent than 4e before it. Casters must maintain concentration on wall spells, most summons, etc. Most save or suck spells allow a new save every round.'s actually this mentality that constitutes my major beef with the system. I'd much rather have dangerous, fiddly systems where PCs live powerfully, suffer horrible setbacks, gain and toy with tremendous powers, and die frequently in flashy, entertaining ways. I'd like martial characters to have more comparative narrative power with magic-wielders...but not at the expense of bowdlerizing the latter. Being permanently blinded, or turned to stone is entertaining for me.

The tactical situation is kinda....weird. There are only attacks of opportunity for LEAVING threatened areas entirely. Spells and ranged weapons do NOT provoke - although many spells require concentration between rounds and thus allow interruption (concentration doesn't interfere with casting other spells UNLESS those other spells ALSO require concentration). And ranged weapons suffer a huge malus if someone is adjacent to you. Only a very few class types can attempt most combat maneuvers, aside from grappling. Will have to gain more play experience I guess.

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.

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Many, many ways:
1) Insult intelligent enemies in a language they understand.
2) Wave a holy symbol in front of intelligent undead
3) Make yourself seem like a prime target:
- Use a Hat of Disguise or glamered armor to appear unarmored and squishy.
- Wear a spell component pouch and/or holy symbol
- Pretend to walk with a limp
4) Smear meat juice on your armor and/or affix raw and possibly slightly rotten steaks to your shield, etc. (Barbecue sauce optional).
5) Use the Disguise skill to fake wounds

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?

Fromper wrote:
Munchkins win, because they're munchkins. Look out for the Lollipop Guild guys. They're the worst.

Munchkins are constitutionally incapable of handling witches.

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Halflings win. By virtue of comparative sanity.

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.

FanaticRat wrote:
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.

Squirrel_Dude wrote:
Deadalready wrote:
Personally in my game I rule that anyone can spot something suspicious (a trap) using perception, disarming it is another problem though.
Including magical traps, I assume. I assume that magical traps are included because they're the only exception to the games already existing rule that anyone can find a nonmagical trap, assuming they roll high enough.

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.

wraithstrike wrote:
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.

Dexion1619 wrote:
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.

Zidelius wrote:

Yup! When we insisted it's justified he compared it to a police officer shooting a sleeping homeless man. Nice, right? After sessions he dares us to attack his proclaimed "invincible" npc's, because if we wipe he'll "respawn" us at the church, like some FF game.

When I in character expressed a general dislike for gnolls, he labelled my character racist, saying that in his world gnolls are accepted and equal. Despite 3 previous encounters of hostile bandit gnolls. He claims he was 'tired' and those don't count.

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:
1) Once had a GM years ago who developed this whole elaborate story for his adventure. All well and good...but after literally sitting through a full hour and a half of exposition during the first session without having any opportunity for any character to act....yeah, I'd had enough.

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.

Jokem wrote:
Dolanar wrote:
do you really want the low level 2-h fighter baddie to down a Potion of Shield, getting his huge Armor AC & a Shield bonus without actually using a Shield?

You mean like with an animated sheild?

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.

To illustrate:
Stamina: Represents physical energy and fatigue, powering limited-use abilities for martial characters. (Possibly including the ability to concentrate to some degree). May be restored by (several hours worth) of bath, massage, or possibly carousing. Some combat feats might be aimed at tiring the opponent, causing a victim to lose stamina.

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.

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gnomersy wrote:
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.

gnomersy wrote:
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.

gnomersy wrote:

Also I'd add:

5) Crafty Combatant - Gain either Improved Feint or Improved Dirty Trick feat, you may treat your Rogue levels as your BAB for qualifying for further feats enhancing this maneuver and may ignore any other(non BAB) prerequisites for selecting said feats.

6) Sharpened Eyesight - Gain Darkvision - 60ft

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 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.

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wraithstrike wrote:

I also thought about adding a talent that would allow you to sneak attack even without a flanker assuming you(general statement) did not want to go with making feint a swift action for a rogue, which would be a talent if you did not want to make it into a rogue ability.

PS: Moving them to medium armor might also be a good idea. With the increased damage they become more likely to be targeted unless you have another idea to boost their AC.

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 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.

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Cap. Darling wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Touch AC was never the problem with Gunslingers, it was all the other BS. Weapon cords have been nerfed by the way.
I dont know if it is a "problem" but i think every body that have sisuens with Gunslingers and feel they are overpowered would name that as one of the major things.

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.

Anzyr wrote:
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.

Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
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.

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Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
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.

Charlie Bell wrote:
Good, not too good. About par for course for 1st level spells.

Demonstrably false. As has been shown in this very thread.

MurphysParadox wrote:

But he's a love marriage specialist!

And by 'lead to' do you mean make someone post spam? It isn't a human, it is a computer program (a bot) that floods the boards with ads. They aren't successful in this format, though they can screw with search engine results.

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.

Does anyone have any possible insight into what sort of motivation might lead to this sort of thing? Other than schadenfreude? Have always been a little curious...

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.

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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.

Anzyr wrote:
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.

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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?

The GM.

There are any number of ways to describe magic items:
"The rusted blade nevertheless seems to hold a surprising sharp edge."
"You detect the distinct pull of a spirit or deity's hand upon the weapon. It seems to be of moderate strength."
"The runes upon the mace seem to indicate a powerful curse that draws out the blood of victims it is wielded against."
"An echo of rage seems to permeate the length of this weapon. This would likely increase the strength of the bearer's attacks fairly significantly."
"After considerable examination, you are able to determine that the blur around the blade is actually a temporal distortion field. The runes on the hilt seem to indicate that the weapon was wrought with the ability to warp reality to a minor extent to better suit the desires of the wielder."

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:
1) Versatile performance which gives them effectively the same number of skill points as the rogue, albeit with a couple having a more favorable stat bonus.
2) A reasonably powerful arcane spell list, which makes many skills and utility abilities otherwise obsolete.
3) Bardic knowledge can ALSO make a significant difference depending on campaign circumstances.
4) Bardic music abilities can improve some skills.

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.

One major component of druid imbalance: GMs who let players direct 2-intelligence animal companions and summons with pinpoint accuracy.

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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.

Ravingdork wrote:

Never had a chance to develop a tactic really. The party Vanaran monk climbed the enemy ship's mast to get a better view of the combat when he encountered her along the yardarm. She 5-foot stepped in and attacked. The monk deflected with crane wing, countered with crane riposte, tripped her with Improved Trip, kicked her twice more with Greater Trip and Vicious Stomp. Since she had only made one attack, she used her move action to stand up which got her punched in the face. On the monk's turn, he bull rushed her off the yardarm, causing her to fall 60 feet, landing on the deck prone. He used his move action to swing down after her, landing deftly next to her.

Seeing that most of her crew had been swept away by the other PCs, she took the total defense action and successfully stood up on her turn, taking only one minor hit from one the PCs. The monk tripped her again on his turn and the entire party got AoOs against her from Greater Trip, then the monk got another from Vicious Stomp.

It was horrible what they did to her after that.

So...the problem here, other than nasty....story and/or logic requirements (eewww) 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).

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