Skeletal Technician

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JRutterbush wrote:
As for tone, in a high action/adventure story, heroes tossing a powerful weapon back and forth to take turns striking an enemy is fine. But some people prefer games with a more grim, serious tone, and that sort of thing doesn't really fit.

Honest question, what about letting someone borrow your weapon breaks grim or serious overtures?


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I'm scratching my head at why this is a problem that needs to be addressed at all.

Like seriously what's so wrong about this? There's a cost associated with doing it and it makes sense mechanically, narratively and actually gives the players who otherwise wouldn't be able to something they can do in the round.

It seems fine


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The first page of this thread really left me scratching my head. Too complicated? Bosses being deadlier is a bad thing?

Weird.


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I always thought the druid restrictions were the goofiest. You could have a benevolent druid or an honorable druid but a druid who's both benevolent AND honorable? A sin even greater than wearing metal armor.


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the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Filthy Lucre wrote:


Exactly - I don't even need to see truly "bounded" accuracy - finding cool treasures and specializing IS the fun of the game... but I also prefer to keep my PCs mortal.
E6 works perfectly fine without turning all 20 levels into E6. Or E10, or E12, or E15, or wherever the cutoff point is for your preferences.

So much this. Power levels are already handled by... levels. If your sweet spot is level 5 challenges, that's awesome!

Trying to force people who like level 15 challenges to play like their character's level 5 not so much.


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Hythlodeus wrote:


sooo much easier and not complicated at all /sarcasm

Not sure why the sarcasm tag is there. XP based on APL and CR is easy and not at all complicated.


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Well, for me the whole point of a new system is to be able to divest itself of the baggage of the old and make something better because of it.

So I'm going to be looking at areas where I think PF1 is weak: High level play in general, versatility and flexibility for non-casters, action economy (regarding attacks in particular), blasting, feat trees, very low level play, etc.

Then beyond that I just want to see how flexible core is. How far I can stretch each class, whether or not I can build a functional battle mage since there's no magus-equivalent in core, etc.


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WormysQueue wrote:

While I can understand that, I must say that I'd probably immediately lose interest in the game, if there was no mundane class to play anymore. I love to play in highly magical worlds with relatively down-to-earth characters (relatively because even the mundane classes can do some amazing things ingame that a normal human being wouldn't be able to do), and I can happily accept that magic is stronger than the sword. As a point of comparison, in a Pathfinder MArvel game, I'd want to play street level characters like those from the Netflix series, but I'd probably not play one of the Avengers' powerhouses. I do not care so much if someone else does that, but if I'm forced to do this, as I said I lose interest pretty soon.

It's also why I don't like partaking in games with more than a small amount of optimizing. Because in order to keep up with my fellow co-players (especially when that's expected), I have to build a character that I'm not interested in and I'd rather not do that.

Isn't that kind of the point of levels? If you don't like high level activities, stay away from high level play and this seems like a problem that sorts itself out.


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Unified or not unified. Bounded or not bounded, I think what I want to see out of a skill system:

  • A meaningful gap in efficacy between specialists and non-specialists. If you're good at something it should feel like it compared to someone who doesn't. 5e has issues sometimes where tight bounding often means good rolls trump investment and that never feels good.

  • NO meaningful gap in efficacy between two specialists. Starfinder has this problem where scaling in-class skill bonuses mean that certain classes shouldn't even bother with certain skills because another class will literally always do it better

  • Meaningful choice in how you specialize. Sort of ties into the previous point but also a general issue I've seen in 4e and 5e with skill proficiency. Two rogues shouldn't have extremely similar skill sets simply by nature of being rogues and likewise a Fighter shouldn't be barred from optimizing a skill just because they're a Fighter.

    Moveover, you need to actually be able to invest in the first place.

  • Specialists should feel good at what they do, but not make content irrelevant either. This is hard to do, but you want a specialist to feel good at their job and be able to tackle challenges regularly, but you don't want hyperspecialists to necessarily be unable to fail either, especially when opposed by other specialists.


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    The Sideromancer wrote:
    Why is this a problem that needs to be solved?

    The problem is that in order to combat dipping Paizo has nudged a lot of really important abilities back to level 3-4 which makes low level play really really really unfun for certain classes or archetypes.

    The biggest problem here imo isn't dipping, it's the stuff Paizo's already done to combat dipping and how it can negatively impact gameplay.

    What people seem to be missing here from the OP is that 'delay the cool feature until level 4' is already a big part of PF's class design. The OP's suggestion is just being able to get rid of that for your first class. There's nothing anti-dipping there at all.


    6 people marked this as a favorite.

    Poor balance and a lack of bounded accuracy aren't necessarily the same thing though. To-hit numbers can get screwy in 5e too, after all.

    Stone Dog wrote:

    It is a feature for big heroes to be able to endure the hardship of the elements, sure.

    It is a bug for big heroes to cease caring about hostile environments completely.

    Disagree completely. It's perfectly okay for powerful characters to eventually be able to trivialize lower end problems.

    In fact I find it more disruptive to my verisimilitude to have it the other way. Let low level challenges stay behind at low levels.


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    My favorite things about 5e:
    Scaling cantrips
    Extra attacks instead of full attacks
    Warlocks
    Full casting bards

    The way the system kneecaps character building though is a huge buzzkill and I hope PF2 stays as far away from any flavor of that as possible.


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    I think the opposite approach would have been better. Making every spell scale completely improves longevity for casters and de-emphasizes the need for ultra high powered late game spells.

    But I guess I'll try it out before I judge too harshly.


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    The Purity of Violence wrote:
    Well you could actually BUY the product, then you would have access to it. I mean if you actually own it, why do you care if its online, you can just check your own copy.

    I own a decent handful of pathfinder books, but when I want to reference something in the ACG I’m going to go to AoN before my actual copy. So not really.


    Probably comparable to Starfinder, perhaps a bit less given that PF is inherently a bit more generic.

    But since it's so easy to strip the setting out of Starfinder that shouldn't be a problem for PF2 either.


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    Nathanael Love wrote:


    What you're missing is that this sint like a new game you play at home being released.

    This isn't Super Mario Galaxy coming out and giving Mario players a new game while not affecting their previous Mario games.

    That's... actually exactly what's happening.

    Quote:

    This is turning off the servers.

    This is Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic coming out and the servers for Star Wars Galaxies being permanently shut down.

    When an MMO's servers are shut down it becomes impossible to play the game at all without resorting to underground methods like private servers that companies generally will try to shut down when they can.

    Do you honestly believe that Paizo is going to actively try to make it impossible to play Pathfinder once 2e goes live?

    I can't fathom how you think your second example is more accurate here.


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    nighttree wrote:


    Nope....they are expressing a reaction....and they are entitled to that reaction ;)

    Well yeah, and I'm entitled to react to that reaction. So that seems pretty tangential here.


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    In my opinion... the worst thing to come out of Unchained by far.

    It absolutely guts flavor and creativity in the name of balance yet doesn't actually do a very good job of achieving that.

    Eidolons are still incredibly overbearing if built properly and the class feature still suffers from having a couple overtly dominant builds and a large number of concepts that are poorly supported. In fact the restrictions and rules only exacerbated the latter problem.

    It feels like Unchained solved a few secondary problems, left some of the biggest issues in tact and lost a lot more for it and I'm just not convinced that's a good trade.


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    nighttree wrote:
    Squiggit wrote:
    Hythlodeus wrote:
    Thebazilly wrote:
    Paizo is a company that shows respect for their customers and fans
    Yeah, until yesterday I thought so too. Then they kicked me in the balls
    That is ludicrously melodramatic
    No....not really.....

    I'm skeptical of some of the proposed changes too. From what I've heard right now I'm not at all convinced I'll ever buy a PF 2e product. I really don't like 5e and I'm not going to invest in a game that throws customization and development out the window for a streamlined experience. It just doesn't interest me, although I will acknowledge that we actually have very little meat right now.

    But all of that aside equating this to a personal insult, physical assault or some sort of fundamental betrayal is absolutely absurd, and frankly reading this thread has left me deeply concerned about some of my fellow posters.

    So yes really.


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    Keith McVay wrote:

    One thing I will say is that 5E got it right in the amount of products it releases, which are minimal.

    Obviously it works for some people but I really have to disagree myself.

    When 5e first came out I thought the system was neat but eagerly waited for more content to be published before I really dug into it... and in four years they've released all of two major splat books.

    So I'm still waiting.

    Also worth noting that such a model is probably unsustainable for a company like Paizo who doesn't have something like MTG to fall back on.

    But I'll freely admit I'm on the other end of the spectrum here, to the point where I'm frustrated by how slow Starfinder's content cycle is too.


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    Hythlodeus wrote:
    Thebazilly wrote:
    Paizo is a company that shows respect for their customers and fans
    Yeah, until yesterday I thought so too. Then they kicked me in the balls

    That is ludicrously melodramatic


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    Casters aren’t weak in Starfinder though. Or 5e for that matter.

    Looks interesting overall. I hope they make sure not to gut customization in the name of accessibility like that wizards game, some of the phrasing used in the blog has me a little worried about that. For the moment I’m optimistic though. Could be neat.


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    Ryan Freire wrote:
    No, divine casters shouldn't get access to blasting spells that rival the efficiency of arcane caster damage. They definitely shouldn't get it at the same level as the arcane caster.

    ... Why not?


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    Kaouse wrote:
    Forcing pre-defined aspects does nothing but hurt the versatility of the class

    Disagree. Pre-defined aspects let you give the class power and options that you can't with a generic shapechanging spells that are intentionally limited. Custom abilities let you do things you could never get away with using more generic ones.

    The problem isn't conceptual, it's in the execution. Most of the aspects, and to a lesser extent the class as a whole, are just too conservatively put together.


    realistically the roll for initiative probably should have been when the barbarian barged into the room and got angry.


    While the idea has some appeal and would be an improvement in some aspects, I think just giving the Shifter full wildshape would make its identity issues even worse.

    Major Aspects are actually kind of a cool idea, as being hand crafted allows you to break the normal limitations and rules polymorph spells have to deal with.

    The trouble we have here is just that many of the options are way too conservatively designed. Wolverine shifters getting rage powers is really neat. Snake shifters not getting their poison until level 15 and only on AoOs is on the other hand ridiculous.

    Being worried about the implications and erring on the side of caution seems to be a really common theme with the Shifter unfortunately, but that doesn't make the core ideas necessarily bad.


    CBDunkerson wrote:
    In that case, I'm not seeing the problem. The Skald COULD be useful to the Bloodrager... but apparently the composition of the rest of the party makes them MORE useful there.

    You can say you don't think it's a problem but it seems a bit disingenuous to say you can't 'see' what the issue is. The asynergy between the two classes is kind of self evident, as is why people might be irked by that given their thematic overlap and just how damn niche the skald is already.


    Mark Seifter wrote:
    the fact that each individual spirit legend in the modern medium is balanced as a singleton that doesn't swap.

    That's the theory.

    In practice a number of the Medium's options (especially the castery spirits) feel sort of nerfed for the fact that you can be something else tomorrow in a way that other day to day options aren't.


    You definitely can make it work, I don't think anyone was arguing that.

    But that doesn't take away from the point that the two classes don't mesh very well in that their main damage boosting abilities are partially exclusive with each other, which is a shame and kind of uninuitive given their themes.


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    Crayon wrote:
    Too meta-gamey for my tastes. My own rule of thumb is to avoid using game terms when dealing with in-character knowledge.

    The actual term 'weak save' might be a bit gamey, but whether or not some monster is weak willed or not particularly hearty or whatever is definitely the kind of information an adventurer would be interested in.


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    The Spiritualist is like a Hunter with a necromantic reflavor and a pet that's less beatstick and more utilitarian. Pretty cool, reasonably effective in most situations. Solid middle of the road class.

    The Medium can be neat, but struggles a bit in its design. The class is versatile, but can only leverage that versatility on a day to day basis, which can often just make it feel sorta weak instead.

    In theory you can change every day to meet the needs of the adventure, but in practice between unpredictability and the rest of your party's roles you're often just gonna spend most of your time as a magical fighter and the other spirits are relegated to gimmicks and downtime.

    Luckily, Champion Medium is actually pretty fun and reasonably strong. So it's not the end of the world, just often not exactly what was advertised.


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    Cavall wrote:
    Repetition doesn't help.

    This whole thread is repetition. What did you expect?


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    Wheldrake wrote:
    You know, you don't need to have actual rules written in a Paizo rulebook to deal with things like common sense.

    How does common sense fit into a scenario where we're talking about magical spells?

    "You need to sleep regardless of magic" makes no more or less intrinsic sense than "You can use magic to get around the need to sleep". Because it's magic.


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    Yeah. The update helps clarify some of the readability issues the archetype had, but it still suffers pretty heavily from not being great.

    Low level gameplay in particular is still almost unmanageable when you get 1 un-incrementable hour of shapeshifting per day... which is the only time you can speak or hold objects.

    As it stands I think the archetype needs to either lose all of its restrictions (so speech and full item/equipment usage regardless of form) or it really needs some sort of wow factor to make putting up with is various issues worthwhile.

    I do like the ability to make iterative attacks with a natural weapon though. Though that class feature ends up highlighting another problem with natural attacks in that if you don't have a lot of them enhancing gets expensive since AOMF comes at a premium.


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    PossibleCabbage wrote:


    So does this mean that a merfolk oozemorph will have a base speed of 5 in ooze form whether or not they have the "strong tail" racial trait? Even though they're basically indistinguishable from an oozemorph of any other medium race in ooze form?

    Strong Tail changes your base speed which is what oozemorph references, so a strongtail oozemorph merfolk should have a land speed of 15 and no swim speed.


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    D on that list is something I felt like the shifter is really missing.

    From a "beginner class" standpoint, natural attack rules are kind of annoying at times and having a way to circumvent that would be cool.

    And from a balance standpoint those same quirks make natural attack builds incredibly unfriendly to poor optimization. Picking the wrong two hander for your fighter can cost you a couple points of damage per attack, which is annoying and lame but whatever.

    Picking the wrong option for natural attack routines can be a lot more devastating though and it sort of shows in the Shifter with how much of a combat gap there is between some forms.


    It is kinda funny that the Ooozemorph actually specializes in turning into humanoids and not... oozes.


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    Chess Pwn wrote:
    what? the majority of full bab classes added after core? looks like the shifter fits that trend ;)

    Well, half. Bloodrager, Slayer, UMonk and Avenger all do pretty well from that angle. Brawler too, though you could make an argument there since Flexibilty is kind of radically different and much less permanent.

    You do have a point though. By contrast even across the whole system the only 3/4th BAB class that doesn't have anything along that line is the core monk and even they can all grab Qiggong right outside of core. Plus Core Monk is kind of a pretend full bab class anyways.

    Sort of feels like 3/4 BAB is Paizo's sweet spot and where they feel the most comfortable and adventurous when it comes to class design.


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    The lack of character shaping choices (good term) is one that's bugged me too. It's too systemic to really fix though.

    I sort of wonder why Paizo went that route too, since having lists of powers/talents/abilities/spell to choose has pretty much been a staple of their class design. Ignoring core classes it's pretty much just the Cavalier, Gunslinger, Swashbuckler and now Shifter that don't... and all of those have issues.


    Jurassic Pratt wrote:
    Maybe an archetype that gets the magus's main shtick is purposely not as powerful as the magus because that'd be weird to do?

    Really? Seems like it'd be weirder not to. If the archetype fails to hold up in a direct comparison to the thing it's most similar to that sounds like a design and balance failure.


    Sir Belmont the Valiant wrote:


    How does this compare to the Barbarian archtype Titan Mauler? It seems to me that the Titan Mauler is only -2, but that disadvantage doesn't change?

    I'd say the Barb archetype is quite a bit better, if only because it doesn't give up nearly as much. Losing Weapon and Armor training is a really big deal, whereas fast movement, uncanny dodge and trap sense are much more ancillary features

    Chess Pwn wrote:


    the barb archetype gets a -6 when wielding oversized two handed weapons vs the fighter's 4.

    Well, the Barb archetype technically starts at -6, but you get your first point of reduction at level 3 too, so in practice you're starting at -5.


    Claxon wrote:


    See I think it's necessary that there are options, including sub-optimal options. So that there are tiers and room for meaningful choices

    Meaningful choices are good... but I don't see how you can argue there's a meaningful choice when one option is so significantly superior to its alternative.

    If you're not an Operative, you're not going to do anywhere near decent damage with small arms or operative weapons and there's little else to say about it.


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    Necrodemus wrote:


    This has led to every fight going like this.
    Mystic hides, and complains that as a healer, he can do nothing to keep the party in the fight.
    The solarian hides until he is fully attuned, then proceeds to run out and explode.
    The soldier takes pot shots from cover.
    And the ghost operative consistently kills everything in melee with trick attack, without getting too many scratches.

    So basically half your party is refusing to do anything, then complaining about their own choice not to do anything...

    And your conclusion is to blame the Operative?

    Can't you see why that's a little bit hard to follow?


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    baggageboy wrote:
    No questions asked, no role playing nothing, because there was no mechanical reason not to. Trick attack lost all of it's flavor because there was no reason to make any choices at all.

    So if one time he said "I roll bluff" instead of "I roll stealth" it'd magically be more flavorable or exciting for you?

    Because your player can just as easily not roleplay the former as the latter.

    Necrodemus wrote:
    So if we have no in game explanation as to how they do it, there is no reason not to always take the mechanically optimal path. Thus making the addition of multiple skill options redundant.

    So? You've said this several time, but you haven't articulated why it's a bad thing or why it somehow 'breaks' the game.

    You seem to essentially be arguing that options are a bad thing, which seems bizarre.

    Necrodemus wrote:
    But there are so many issues (trick attack being one of the major sinners) that causes way too much trouble and balancing issues at the table.

    Do you honestly believe that though? That someone not having to roleplay up an explanation for every time they use trick attack is actually one of the major issues with Starfinder?

    Because even if you got what you wanted and Stealth trick attack became essentially unusable for most Operatives... they could invest in a skill that you can't shut down instead and basically nothing would change with how they actually play out.

    I'm scratching my head to think what balance issue you think actually get solved here.


    Necrodemus wrote:

    That makes so much sense, and actually kinda proves my point.

    No it doesn’t. You keep saying things are “conundrums” or “break the reason of the game” but they aren’t and they don’t. The logic you’re applying doesn’t even follow. How does cloaking field have any bearing here? There’s nothing about hide in plain sight that somehow would logically invalidate trick attack. Likewise there’s nothing about a talent that lets you auto succeed on trick attack in a certain condition that somehow invalidates it either. The connections you're trying to draw aren’t there.

    Operative declares a trick attack. Makes a skill check. If successful apply extra damage and conditions as applicable. That’s really all there is to it.

    If you don’t like Operatives or Trick Attack and want to nerf them in your home games, you can argue that without having to invent reasons to do so.


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    Claxon wrote:
    No, I don't see any good argument for why they should even approach the amount of damage longarms can do.

    I guess we can just chalk that up to a difference of opinion then.

    But I think mandatory feats are terrible. Wasted book space is terrible and making it harder for people to play popular fictional archetypes is... also pretty terrible.

    I can't fathom why anyone would argue that those are good things for a game to have.


    Claxon wrote:

    I mean, that's what happens in Pathfinder as well.

    No one really uses simple weapons. Especially since an ioun stone can give you weapon proficiency.

    Not really. A number of them are useful to various degrees depending on build.

    More importantly there's the issue of the magnitude of that superiority. A glaive is unequivocably superior to the longspear, but only by 1 damage with static modifiers that are otherwise the same. Meaningful at level 1 but growing rapidly less important over time as static modifiers remain the same between them.


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    Claxon wrote:
    And I think that's okay.

    An entire category of weapon (and a special quality) is pretty much a complete no-go unless you're one specific class.

    I can't agree that's okay. It's frankly silly as all hell to design them this way.


    WatersLethe wrote:


    I mean, how do you argue it doesn't work from a RAW perspective? Does weapon familiarity not count as an effect?

    It's not something that effects both longbows and shortbows. It doesn't effect weapons at all. So why would it apply?


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    Wealth by level might not be the best statistic, but I think the wealth by encounter numbers are pretty telling too.

    A frag grenade III costs 2560 credits. A CR8 encounter is supposed to award about 5400 credits. So throwing a single grenade eats nearly half the money you'd earn back in that same level encounter. That's pretty brutal.

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