You answered that perfectly for me. Also, with these rules chances, all extracts would cast the same as the spell version does for casting time. Sorry if that was unclear.
I don't think it's so clear that smashed = used. Even if it is, JJ did not say infusions you GIVE remain until used. He said infusions remain until used, and then said the obvious bit about not helping enemies. Even if smashing doesn't work, stealing still does. So, instead of smashing them, say the person hides them really well. Shoves them in a bag of holding and destroys the bag or the like, maybe (iirc, that means the extra dimensional space remains, but no one can reach it). It's still crazy.
As for a wizard, like I said... he at least can have countermeasures. Multiple spell book copies. Spell Mastery feat w/ spells to locate and teleport to the book. Wards and sigils to keep others from reading/using the book. He at least potentially has ways of saving himself if he is paranoid enough. And again...wizard is way more powerful a class than Alchemist. I don't think having such a huge glaring possibly irrevocable weakness as a "counter-balance" is good game design in general, but at least in the wizard's case, it's a concern for the strongest class in the game. Alchemists are fairly balanced, they don't need such dire threats to keep them in line.
Well, I've had a growing list of annoyances about how Alchemist's fluff meant gimping them on things or not including them on other stuff. Like...
- Can't make a concentration check to "drink defensively"
All of this bs for a few special "advantages" I don't care about, like using personal spells on other people (shame the alchemist list is so limited and poor you can hardly even use that, and when you can use it well, people flip out and want to ban it [see touch injection + skinsend for an example]) or "not having to waste your actions to buff other people" (protip: I'd rather have one PC waste one spell slot to give everyone haste than having to have each character burn one of my spell slots and their action to give themselves haste), and so forth.
So yeah. I'm sick of it. I just want the extracts to function like spells. I made some rules to attempt to retain the flavor of extracts as best I could, like them all having somatic and not having verbal components. But I don't even really care about all of that if someone found that "unbalanced," I'd be just as fine ditching the extract concept entirely and just making them full-fledged spellcasters if it were a problem.
You should generally avoid monsters and casters that can make you lose with a single failed save, like the basilisk. Even if it is "much lower CR" than her character, natural 1's happen, it's basically just a random % chance of auto-dying. Such enemies are not nearly as much of a hassle when you have a full party to take down the monster should you fall and to fix you up afterwards.
Well, there's also the metagame aspect.
If you pump your to hit or AC really high, the DM will likely modify his monsters to compensate. If you have subpar to hit or AC, the DM will often modify his monsters down a bit to make up for the unoptimized party. As long as there isn't one guy jumping out ahead trying to be as twinked out on attack modifier or whatever as possible, this will generally hold true.
So feverishly boosting your attack rolls or AC is ultimately a pointless process; the DM is going to want to provide a challenge to you. Does this mean you should utterly tank your modifiers and ask the DM for a lot of mercy? No. Does it mean you should waste resources on eeking out every +1 you can? Also no. Find the golden mean.
So yeah, if there are good, interesting, non-math options, I'll tend to take those over the +1.
I'd rather have feats that give fun and powerful new options and abilities. Rather than a boring static +1 to hit bonus. I like what a poster on another board once said of weapon focus: "I've never had a discussion with my buddies that went: 'Remember how my character took Weapon Focus and after that he got one extra hit for every twenty attacks on average? That was awesome!!' "
Nevermind the problem of devoting to one weapon only to not find any in the loot. Sure, you can upgrade your current one. Maybe... But look at all the nice other 2H weapons you're missing out on!
Even a wizard can wear a mithral +5 buckler and a +5 haramaki and have absolutely ZERO negative consequences on his spellcasting. That's a whopping +12 AC. For less money combined than bracers of armor +8.
That is the sort of thing a monk forgoes for his "class features."
Yeah, a monk can get a pretty good touch AC. But his full AC is garbage, not much better than the touch AC value. And while he has a higher HD, the wizard will easily be able to afford a Con score 2 higher than him due to SAD, so monk doesn't even have more hit points. Let alone the whole fact that wizard can fly to avoid attackers and use mirror image, displacement, etc...
This is a pretty simple change, but one I feel is necessary to curb an ever growing pile of absurdity with the way extracts work compared with spells. So I propose treating an Alchemist's extracts as if they were spells in every possible way mechanically, with how they are used merely re-fluffed. Behold:
• Alchemists have a caster level equal to their alchemist level, and must make concentration checks as a caster does, using Intelligence to modify the check. An alchemist's extracts are considered to be arcane spells.
I think that about does it. Much simpler, much fairer, much better.
It's a tactic that is far more helpful to the NPCs and harmful to the players. Have they ever used sunder against the NPCs? If they haven't, I wouldn't use it against them, or I would stop at giving items the broken condition. Technically the NPC doesn't need to care if he "destroys the loot" or not, but that's exactly why it's an unfair attack and the line of thinking is incredibly meta-gamey.
thomas edison did, and he's still remembered fondly by history for reasons that elude my understanding.
Yeah, that sentiment resonates with me a lot. I like playing warrior types, but I can't stand the gear dependence. I'd rather if my epic hero was actually...epic... Not just some Joe decked out in a ton of magic items that give him all his power. Even Iron Man at least designs and updates his own suit... I don't think it's even necessarily an Eastern vs. Western mindset, though. There's tons of ancient myths with heroes that do all sorts of incredible feats of strength or prowess.
Granted, they're usually claimed to be "demigods" to explain it away (saying, "it's magic! moving on..." is older than dirt, I guess), but the fact remains they aren't summoning or tossing fireballs or anything; they're hitting things with swords, punching things in the face, etc... They might have quasi-magical abilities, but ultimately they're still fighters. Then again, those same myths also had dudes decked out in magic items, like Perseus, to go along with the heroes like Theseus who just plain are the source of power, through his own innate abilities and training. I always liked the Theseus types more than the Perseus types...
Anyway, I think the phenomenon in the west is more recent, it probably goes hand in hand with the rise of christianity (probably would have been the same for any monotheistic religion, but Judaism at least has Sampson), having human beings attain superhuman powers through their own determination and skill kind of hurts the narrative, and having a bunch of demigods running about *definitely* does.
Losing enlarge person alone makes it not worth it. A truly terrible capstone that PF oddly did nothing to fix, even as it gave classes that never even had capstones to begin with really awesome ones.
Sadly, all the high level qingong monk options... all like... 5? of them over the last 4-5 monk levels... are also awful. So your best option is to swap it for some mid level qingong ki power.
Quad is best for sheer damage.
Biped's main advantages are superior reach (once the Large evo and Enlarge Person's start flying) and better as a lockdown/maneuver type. Partly due to reach, partly due to higher starting str, partly due to the ability to swap out the free natural attacks to load up on nothing but pincers for tons of primary grab-enabled attacks.
It doesn't matter if they have eyes or not. If they don't have eyes, they still have some sensory ability that functions like them, and can be blinded.
Apparantly a link is required.
...And a spoilered copy of the text, b/c holy crap is that background annoying.
From time to time the argument crops up that undead can see through all illusions. There are two main ways that people come to this erroneous conclusion.
Premise #1: Undead are immune to mind-affecting effects.
Premise #2: Many undead don't have eyes (skeletons have empty sockets, zombie eyes are rotten, incorporeals are just ghostly, etc.).
Oddly enough, both premises are true, but both conclusions are false. Let's tackle these one at a time.
Premise #1: Undead are immune to mind-affecting effects.
True. It's right there in the description of the standard undead abilities: "Immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects)."
Conclusion #1: Since all illusions are mind-affecting, undead are immune to all illusions.
Whoah! Hold it right there. Not all illusions are mind-affecting! Figments and glamers produce unreal but certainly not mind-affecting effects. If you use silent image to make an illusion of a cottage, the cottage may not be physical, in that it can't shelter you from rain, but it's also not simply a magical image in your mind. You can disbelieve it, which mean you recognize it is false image, but it doesn't disappear (notice the spell says "Will disbelief" not "Will negates."). A lot of people use a hologram as an analogy for figments (and that's a pretty accurate comparison if you don't nitpick it too much) ... and clearly holograms aren't in your mind. Shadow illusions draw upon extradimensional energy to create things that are semi-real (more than just images or sounds), so they're not just mental effects either. So the first part of the conclusion here is false. Since the first part of the conclusion is false, it can't be used to prove the second part of the conclusion.
So far: One "proof" that undead can see through illusions is shot down.
Premise #2: Many undead don't have eyes.
True, and it's obvious by observation, at least as much as we can't in the real world: a skeleton doesn't have eyes, and a rotting corpse's eyes are usually in no shape to be used for vision. While we have no incorporeal creatures in the real world, it's not much of a leap to say that creatures that don't have physical bodies don't have physical eyes.
Conclusion #2: Since they don't have eyes to receive light, they must be sensing things in other ways,
This conclusion is somewhat shaky. Nothing in the descriptions of the undead presented in the Monster Manual say anything about them sensing things any differently than living creatures.* In fact, Sage Advice in Dragon Magazine clarified** that unless otherwise stated, all creatures have the normal five senses of humans (sight, hearing, smelling, touch, and taste). None of their descriptions say they have any unusual sense (unless they have something like blindsense or blindsight listed). In fact, no creature in the MM that lacks eyes (like elementals) is listed as having any special form of sight ... why is it that only undead get this "other ways" sense?
D&D is written for humans. It's written by humans from the perspective of humans, and when comparisons are made, they're made to a baseline human. Things that aren't outright stated in the D&D should be assumed to be human-normal. Huge parts of the game are built around the human as the standard, from armor class (the default AC of 10 is the AC of your average unarmored human) to attack rolls (your average unarmed human with no special training has about a 50% chance -- 10+ on a d20 -- of hitting another average unarmored human with a punch) to saving throws (default DCs are set according to what your average human could resist, dodge, or survive) to skill checks (DC 10 is something your average unskilled guy could succeed at about 50% of the time). With this humanocentric view, it should be clear that if there is no listed answer to a question, the answer almost certainly is the same as asking the question about a human.
Of course, this comparison doesn't hold up to creatures that obviously resemble nonhuman real-world creatures. If asked about the sense of smell or taste preferences of a pegasus, I'd compare it to a horse. If asked what sort of meat owlbears prefer, fish or chicken, I'd find out what real bears like. But for undead, the closest comparison is to humans, since most undead are made from humans (or other humanoids, which bring the comparison back to humans again).
This is really an aspect of Occam's Razor:
So, in this case, if one explanation is "undead senses default to the human norm through some process that mimics human senses" and the other is "undead have some strange method of sensing their environment, even though no part of the rulebooks says that undead have this ability", clearly the first explanation is the simpler one and is probably correct. When backed up by Sage Advice's statement that creatures have normal human senses unless otherwise stated, the evidence is strongly in favor of the familiar human senses rather than the kooky they-have-it-but-it's-not-mentioned-and-only-described-under-one-undead-cre ature sense.
One more comment on this point: Of course, all undead do have a special sense that humans don't have--darkvision. You know this not only because the undead type entry says they have it, but all undead in the MM do (or at least should) have darkvision listed. But the rules also say that darkvision is "black and white only, but is otherwise like normal sight." "Normal," of course, means "like a human's" in D&D. And if undead have a special sense, why would they need darkvision which works like human sight? If they have senses that aren't like human senses and yet have another sense that is like human sight, isn't that strange? Again, the simplest answer is that their senses work like human senses and darkvision is a supplement to that, just like dwarves have humanlike senses with darkvision as a supplement.
probably with some kind of life-force sense,
Here's where things get totally crazy.
First, if undead could sense life force, that would be a HUGE advantage. They could ignore invisibility, mirror image (which, mind you, is a figment, and as explained above produces a real image that creatures can actually see, not a mental trick), blindness effects***, blur, displacement, magical darkness, most concealment effects, know when a creature is standing around a corner (unless this "lifesense" requires a line of effect to the living target), spot hiding creatures automatically ... and on and on. Clearly the lowly skeleton is a much greater threat because of this! What evil necromancer or cleric in his right mind wouldn't keep some skeletons on hand to alert his living minions of invisibles and such in the area! We must increase the CRs of all undead immediately! After all, this lifesense operates like a combination of deathwatch, see invisibility, and true seeing!
But wait ... again we run into the problem that none of the D&D books say that undead ignore invisibility and so on. And this lifesense brings up a lot of questions. Can they sense nonliving things that aren't creatures, like walls? Deathwatch says they can recognize nonliving creatures such as constructs but doesn't say anything about recognizing nonliving objects, presumably because the default assumption of a human caster can already sense that a floor exists, but the lifesense argument cannot use "undead have human senses" as an assumption because the lifesense conclusion is trying to explain why undead do not have human senses.**** It would make it a lot harder for undead to get around if their only perception of their environment was through living or undead landmarks. Heck, if they can't sense objects, undead monks wouldn't be able to use Deflect Arrows since they couldn't perceive the arrow in flight or even as it was leaving the enemy's bow. Same goes for Improved Disarm and Sunder ... how can you knock a weapon out of someone's hand or attack the weapon if you can't actually sense the weapon in the first place? Heck, how can undead pick up weapons and use them in combat? They can't see a scabbard to attach to a belt (which they also can't see), and they can't see the sword in the scabbard. Undead must walk around with their weapons out all the time because if they ever put down their weapon they'll never be able to find it again! And good luck using magic items ... a wounded undead trying to dig a potion of inflict critical wounds (which it can't see) out of its pouch (which it can't see) so it can heal itself won't be able to read the label on the potion (since the label and paper are not living)!
(As an aside, notice the sample vampire in the MM has the Blind-Fight feat. Why would it ever need this feat if it could sense invisible creatures and operate in total darkness? You could argue that it had that feat while it was still alive and just has to "eat" the choice of a bad feat that does nothing for its undead self (just like the Diehard feat would do it no good, since as an undead it can never go to negative hit points). But why would WotC deliberately give a bad feat selection into a creature in the MM? Wouldn't that make the creature weaker than its CR would indicate? You don't see them giving Improved Unarmed Strike feat to longsword-wielding humanoids--which is just as innefectual (and dumb) a choice as the lifesensing vampire with the useless (to it) Blind-Fight feat. Similarly, the sample elite vampire has Blind-Fight and Improved Disarm, which as I point out about is problematic for the undead that can't sense nonliving things.
So maybe they can sense objects walls and floors and such just as well as a human can ... but if you're giving them that, why add in on top of that a special and superior sense that isn't mentioned in the books? If the whole point of lifesense is that undead don't see things like humans do, why turn around and say that they do see things like humans do and then slap some goodies on top of that--goodies that aren't mentioned in the core books?
Can you hear with lifesense? Taste? Touch? Smell? No answers. Wait, undead have to be able to hear, since their creator can give them verbal commands. So is that a quirk that they can hear only because it comes from a living creature? Why would this sense differentiate between sound waves made by a living creature and those that aren't. I guess lifesense lets you hear. Probably like a human. Which again makes me wonder why they need a special sense if they're already using human senses.
What about energy? Acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic aren't objects. Can lifesense detect a wall of fire? Can it detect heat at all? Spells?
And what range is this ability? 60 feet? 120 feet? As far as a human can see? This ability isn't defined anywhere. If it has a limited range, then the living should have long ago figured out what that range and exploited it. "An army of undead is on the way? Fear not, just stay 200 feet back and pepper them with arrows, they won't be able to sense where we are."
And let's talk a bit about animate dead. This is a 3rd-level cleric spell that not only crams negative energy into a body, but it gives that undead body this super-powerful lifesense ability! And the duration is instantaneous, which means it can't be dispelled. How come some smart spellcaster hasn't taken that spell apart to find the "give target lifesense" code, strip out the "cram in negative energy" part, and end up with a lower-level spell (since it does less than the original) that gives the target creature instantaneous-duration lifesense? My answer is that there is no lifesense component, that the default senses of any creature are human-normal (in fact, I'd let you create a human senses spell that gave the target human-level senses instead of its own normal senses, but for most creatures that would be pointless). Some people might argue, "no, see, the lifesense comes as part of the natural abilities of the undead life force you're drawing from the Negative Energy Plane." Ok, I can see that, but that still doesn't mean that someone couldn't make a spell called summon a little undead spirit to wrap around my head and relay to me what it senses, which would have the same effect as the give me lifesense spell. Yet no such spell exists.
It's easier and simpler to let undead have normal human senses rather than make assumptions about an undefined yet omnipresent-in-every-undead lifesense ability that you have to keep redifining and clarifying when it's never mentioned in the books in the first place.
and since illusions don't have life-force, undead see right through them.
If undead have lifesense, and they don't sense things like humans do, then undead should see right through illusions. But hopefully I've shot the whole lifesense idea in the head, which means that the first part of the conclusion is false, and therefore it cannot prove that the second part is true. (It doesn't mean the second part is false, it just means that you have no evidence proving it true, and since the burden of proof is on the one insisting on the truth conclusion, it's up to you to prove me wrong. Any takers?)
Thus, barring any proof that they do, undead have no inherent ability to see through all illusions (though they are unaffected by mind-affecting illusions, which is most of them).
And they don't have lifesense, dagnabbit.
** I would have thought they would have put this clarification into the MM 3.5 but it isn't there ... oh, well.
*** Isn't it funny that in 3.5 flare is evocation, blindness/deafness is a necromancy spell, but power word blind is an enchantment? It's like a Monty Python sketch. "No, really, you're blind, I insist." "Very well, then." (falls off cartoon cliff)
**** Note that the dread wraith's lifesense ability only mentions living creatures and the strength of their lifeforce. If you use that as the basis for your "generic" lifesense ability that all undead (in theory) have, it still doesn't address whether or not they can see nonliving things. It's particularly relevant to this rant that the one creature in the MM that does have a lifesense ability doesn't have any explanation of how it perceives the rest of the world (answer: the default answer of "just like humans").
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
I suspect that someone didn't like lockdown spiked chain tripper builds in 3.5 and set out to nerf them.
It's the same petty reasons that splash weapons got so oddly and blatantly nerfed. I heard JB thought the 3E "flask rogue" was "really cheesy" and hence in PF all of a sudden you cannot sneak attack with splash weapons, and quickdraw goes out of its way to explicitly not work with splash weapons for no apparent reason.
A lot of the noncaster nerfs in PF were born out of pettiness of one of the designers hating something, most likely.
Hell, there was the whole kerfuffle where the original PF Paladin sucked even worse than the 3E one and it was defended as a good roleplaying opportunity until enough people said no and they gave us the final PF Paladin, which IMO is the best changed class from 3E and the only PF class I say is an absolute improvement.
EDIT: It's also worth noting that not only was spiked chain and maneuvers nerfed, the Stand Still feat is now just a pathetic joke of its former self and 100% incompatible with reach weapons. Lockdown got nerfed hard.
Hide/Move Silently worked fine in 3E. Stop trying to blame 3E for pathfinder's problems.
You were definitely right to quit.
I've "walked out" (at least one time was online) a few times.
One time, the DM ran a very open type sandbox game where we were an evil party that took over a kingdom and thanks to the magic of corrupt taxation, were wildly wealthy for our level. Anyway... a player of a monk going into assassin decides out of the blue to kill me in my sleep as her "entry requirement." And then literally gives me a s**t-faced grin about how when the party raises me, I will have to roleplay not knowing she killed me. I leave, angry. DM tells me the game has gotten out of hand afterwards and that she plans to end it by having a party of level 20 good guys come in to kill the party, asks if I want to play one of them. Kind of wanting nothing to do with the game anymore yet also eager for revenge, I say yes. Only for my level 20 character to be stabbed in the back by the other level 20 people who are actually all evil and in collusion with the monk/assassin. Cue more out of character antagonizing of me by her. Also, turned out the DM knew the characters she told the new people to make as good PCs were actually evil and didn't bother to inform me. I yelled and swore a bit, left the room, left D&D completely for about a year, and nearly ended my friendship with said DM. The DM's boyfriend, also a friend of mine, came out of the room after me and tried to console me, and said if it had happened to him, he'd have thrown his drink in the face of the monk player...
If you're wondering what I did to piss the monk player off, it was apparently because when we were looting a temple of some good god, I said we should leave when she wanted to also deface everything. She disagreed, I said fine, do what you want, and left. In her diatribe after murdering my first character, she said that was why and she "didn't like people telling her what to do." Seriously, that was her reason.
Then, there was the online game where the DM (who I had never known before) was constantly criticizing my friend about his character. And I mean that on a personal level, he was insulting my friend, not just his character. We get to the 2nd session and first actual combat, and my friend asks a completely valid question about the surroundings. DM halts everything, says he can't take my friend's questioning and munchkinism (his character was not even optimized, for what it's worth) anymore, and the game was cancelled. He then invited me to play a new campaign w/o my friend. I had, up to now, been keeping my mouth shut other than trying to calm tempers, biting my digital tongue as I angrily watched him completely illogically assault my friend. No more. I told him he had been an a**hole this whole time while my friend wasn't doing anything wrong, how I wanted nothing to do with him and his games anymore, etc... It was crazy, I really can't understand even looking back, how he was so rabidly angry at my friend...
Every group I've ever been in since 3E has always ruled it to be as loud as "a battle": Listen/Perception DC -10.
Or, as one of my favorite DMs demonstrated when an invisible NPC cast a verbal spell, "VERBAL COMPONENT!"
The rules state:
"A verbal component is a spoken incantation. To provide a verbal component, you must be able to speak in a strong voice."
Whether it's SHOUTING level or not, I would think a "strong voice" is at the very least "speaking to a roomful of people" loud, which is louder than normal every day interpersonal speech...except in the case of a++%!##s.
So DC of -10 seems more appropriate than a DC of 0 (ie, a conversation).
Witch's Knight wrote:
Basically, my old DM and I were discussing a few homebrew options to encourage combat maneuvers:
You could start by undoing some of the damage pathfinder inflicted on the entire maneuver system:
Combine Improved and Greater maneuver feats into a single feat that gives +4 bonus and the other benefits of each, with the pre-reqs of the Improved feat. 3E had no "greater" feats - you just got the full benefit w/ one feat (and its inevitable power attack, expertise, or imp. unarmed required).
Grapple can replace any attack, including AoOs. You do NOT have to "maintain" the check each round, if you're content to just hold them till they break free. Each successful grapple check deals unarmed damage to the target (unless you don't want it to). It takes TWO checks to go from pinned to free - one to get out of pinned, one to get out of grapple. If you are pinning someone, you can prevent them from speaking. Foes that are grappling lose dex to AC against anyone other than the foes they're grappling.
Bull rushing someone causes him to provoke AoOs, even if you have no BR feats. As in 3E.
Having more than 2 legs never gives more than +4 vs. trip, as in 3E. Flyers are NOT auto-immune to trip and you can use the 3E Rules of the Game rules for stalling fliers with trip.
Then you can do some more:
Let people attempt maneuvers against foes of any size. If you have the check high enough to have a chance, you should be allowed to try!
Make bull rush add +5 ft moved per 3 you win by, or something. CMD is stupidly high, using the old 3E rule of 5 ft per 5 is just too punishing.
Consolidate the maneuvers. Seriously, there's too damn many. IMO, Steal shouldn't even be a maneuver, roll it into Sleight of Hand, use rules similar to the feinting rules of Bluff for stealing in combat. Combine Drag with Bull Rush. Combine Reposition with Trip. Combine Dirty Trick with Disarm. That way feats or bonuses can apply to the pair of them. I especially don't know why drag needed its own maneuver when it's so ridiculously similar to bull rush...
Make available feats to perform a maneuver on top of attacking for damage. PF has the [name] Strike feats, but basing it on crits is lame and random. Eidolons are cool for maneuvers specifically because they get cheap evolutions to tag their regular attack routine with things like Grab, Pull, Push, and Trip. If it's balanced for a caster's class feature, why is it such a no-no for actual martial characters to do it?!
The problem with class-based is that you're free to multiclass however you want in PF. If all that mattered was class at level 1, people could game the system; if you tried to adjust it for each level up and where it was in, it would be a giant ugly mess of a houserule.
EDIT: I guess the most powerful caster classes (Wiz, Sorc, Cleric, Druid, Witch, Oracle, and Summoner) would be loathe to dip out and lose a caster level even if there was a big point buy difference at stake, so maybe it could work if you had a 2-tiered set up. A lower point buy for the really strong caster classes and a higher one for everyone else.
I don't want the rogue's role to be defined by traps. I play a lot of rogues, I try to avoid being the trap-monkey as much as possible by swapping trapfinding for other features. Being the trap finder is a really horrible role.
You're up in front, trying to disarm the trap that could kill you if it goes off yet is only CR 5 because that's the bs way trap CR's work (I guess because they figure traps are isolated and you just heal up afterwards before the next fight?) while the party looks on from a safe distance. You fail, life sucks/ends for you. You succeed, hurray...moving on. Everyone gets xp and gold for "overcoming" the trap, and you just feel like the poor chump deemed "most expendable party member" stuck looking for land mines with a wooden stick.
I hate hate HATE having to do trap duty. It is the most punishing, unrewarding freaking task there is in the game. I hope to gods the rogue is never given a niche focused on traps (and then traps are made a bigger part of the game to justify said niche)!
Yet another reason noncasters suck to high heavens. Not only do noncasters not need gear as much, they have a means to create it on their own. Noncasters have to rely on literally breaking the rules to find the high level stuff they want.
In any case, as I'm sure you know, equipping a high level character is not "buying his stuff" so much as saying what he's accumulated, inherited, found, and bought.
I don't really like how you keep referring to specialization as min/maxing, as a pejorative.
And there is nothing wrong with being well rounded, or having multiple talents. Crippling over-specialization is just as much a bad thing as being a master of none. But there exists a golden median between the two. Having a role or set of abilities you do very well at, and also having other abilities and skills to assist the guy more specialized with, or to cover as a backup when he's not around.
If you want a game where specializing isn't the preferred method, you need a game system where there aren't any explicit or implicit party "roles." Even then, I suspect in some sort of open ended "buy abilities with points" sort of system, a lot of parties will self-impose role-filling and specialization, since that is pretty much always the most efficient and effective way to go.
Real life works much the same way...
Fighters fight. And they do it fairly well. Not necessarily the greatest (the Summoner's class feature probably takes that crown), but sufficiently well to do his job. I don't begrudge the fighter for his combat performance. I begrudge that a class exists with the sole purpose of being good at fighting. As then it becomes a glass ceiling for all other noncaster classes. None are allowed to dare surpass the fighter at "combat," and when spellcasters are so powerful both in and out of combat, being limited like that ends up holding down all the noncaster classes and keeping them down. It truly gets ridiculous. The board consensus here seems to be that Fighter should be better at unarmed fighting than a monk (and currently, he is, no question!), because....wait for it... unarmed fighting is still fighting!
Combat is the single most important part of the game, takes up the most time of a session, and is typically the only sort of encounter that can kill you. I'm sure your campaign is very special and different, but for most, the above is true. Having a single class to be purported as the best at fighting is patently unfair and messed up. As long as a single class exists for the sole purpose of being "the best" at it and in return getting garbage or nothing for out of combat or special/magical abilities... noncasters will continue to lag massively behind the casters.
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
It's also a game, meant to be fun. Not jury duty.
If he didn't think he would enjoy it with the given conditions, he has no "responsibility" to tough it out and endure a game he isn't enjoying just because he said, "ok, roll for me, then."
I think the question isn't +5 or +x something weapon. The +5 is clearly the best choice.
The question is, "what sorts of other things could I be affording if I spent less on the axe?" It's costs you over 50,000 gp. Reducing it to +4 knocks 18,000 gp off the price, which could potentially buy you a lot of AC and some save bonus.
There's also the fact that sneaking is kind of pointless.
Monsters have scent, blindsense, tremorsense, etc... out the wazoo and stealth doesn't help against that crap.
That's aside from the dilution of class skill benefit means anyone can stealth well if they want to and that spells can do it better.
Ninja is as weak as the rogue, so calling it an overpowered archetype, even if it were plainly better, is laughable. Ninja still has every single problem and lack of a niche that rogue suffers. He does get some actual interesting class features, but he is also even more MAD (multiple ability dependent) than Rogue between the cha-based stuff and the crappy selection of finessable weapons. Ninja IMO is the most MAD class in the game. I guess if you can afford an 18 18 16 14 14 14 type stat array that's not a big issue, but for most people it is an issue.
Ninja also suffers from "lazy designer syndrome." There is currently no truly RAW means for a ninja to gain extra tricks, for example. It seems pretty clear they're intended to have their own feat or just use Extra Rogue Talent (same net effect, since you can get tricks as talents and vice-versa), but it has not been officially addressed, and until it is, PFS is a no-go, as is any vindictive DM angry about the "superior to rogues" thing looking for any RAW-legal way to screw you over (and judging by posts on this board, there are quite a few of these people). Likewise, there are few ninja-compatible archetypes and none specific for it. RAW, ninja is barred from the ones that swap the trap crap, which tend to have all of the really good rogue archetypes (and a slew of mediocre and bad ones too, of course). Would it really be unbalanced to let them swap poison use and no trace as if they were trapfinding/sense? Probably not, but good luck asking your DM. Even if it's an archetype that fluff-wise makes *more* sense for a ninja than a rogue.
I suppose Ninja is the better class just by virtue of having "talents" that are useful beyond the feat-gaining ones. But the true best answer to "ninja or rogue?" is "play bard, or alchemist, or synthesist, or ranger, or inquisitor, or..." Hell, give a Zen Archer Monk the Wisdom in the Flesh trait for Disable Device, and he becomes a pretty good rogue replacement, even.
Well, being good at something is not the same as being good at convincing people of your prowess.
Take an egghead climate scientist (high int) and a charming TV weatherman w/ teeth that literally sparkle (high cha). Have them fiercely debate climate issues. See who the viewing public finds to be "smarter."
Well, are there official rules for "re-slotting"?
How does PF Society handle it (not that anything they do is "official" at all, but still I'm curious)?
It makes a huge difference. Most casters don't care one lick about the other 2 mental stats, but noncasters always need at least 2 of the physical stats, if not all 3. Being locked to one item slot for all of them is gigantic nerf if played that way.
EDIT: I would reslot AoMF to the robe slot. It shares the slot w/ armor, which monks and eidolons don't wear anyway and druids don't get much use out of until they can afford the wild enhancement (I think that covers most of the primary PC buyers of AoMF), so little confliction. And since unarmed strike is literally your entire body, using the slot that drapes most of your body seems fitting. Heh, pun.
I'm just as disturbed by the implication of several posts here that skill checks are pretty much the alpha and omega of roleplaying...a view that's sadly common since the game became skill-based in 3e. Roleplaying is much more than rolling dice.
And on the other hand, I get annoyed by the old school D&D view that player skill is more important than character skill. Nothing quite like having a high charisma bard with maxed out social skills in a game where a DM requires you to "roleplay it out" such that b/c I personally suck at eloquating the party fighter played by the socially literate player ends up being the party face. And yet the DM never demands that same fighter player to "roleplay" his 18 strength by bench pressing 300 pounds.
But hey, dump statting charisma is about as "traditional D&D" as you can get, amirite?
You can use Intimidate to replicate many other social skills.
Diplomacy - "You're going to sign that peace treaty...NOW!"
Charge Through actually looks like a pretty terrible feat... You're charging A, but have to beat B's CMD score to do so or else lose your turn and eat -2 AC in full attack range of B, effectively. I'd rather just kill B first, or walk around him calmly or something...
Oh, I completely agree. Poison really sucks. The only time i use it is if I get it as part of my race/monster on an attack. At that point it's just a freebie chance to debuff someone whenever I attack, so even if it has little chance to do anything, it's a welcome addition.
Closest thing to a decent poison user I could think of in PF is the Poison Conversion ability Alchemists and Poisoner rogues get to make inhaled drow poison (presumably stored in breakable flasks and thrown). Or the Sticky Poison discovery for melee alchemist, which is still probably not worth the price.
Roberta Yang wrote:
I especially like how a Rogue 5 / Assassin 1 has the same BAB as a Wizard 6.
It really infuriates me that paizo "fixed" the save progressions of PrC's to not give a single ounce more than if you had stayed single class, yet they did not bother at all to fix BAB progression for PrC's. No medium BAB PrC should start at +0! There is only a 1/4 chance that a medium BAB class would have been due for a BAB hit the level he enters the PrC, and in fact since many many PrC's have entry at level 6 (ie, after 5 base class levels), in a lot of circumstances, the medium BAB class going into the medium BAB PrC JUST TOOK A HIT TO HIT BAB LAST LEVEL! It's so blatantly unfair and wrong!
Or if you're a ranged attacker, the Seeking enhancement. I hate that you have to spend a feat just to SA against regular concealment; it's also the reason I refuse to play a rogue w/o darkvision. Worthless in a dark alley? Yeah, that totally sounds like a rogue to me...
Tough to choose...
She didn't last very long in-game (~2 weeks, which was about 6-7 months out of game), but I was really enjoying my 3E Rogue/Fighter/Dervish/Shadowdancer, Kayura. Whirling dervish of death, and her AoO/tripping/reach focus made her fearsome against armies. Backstory was being kidnapped by marauders as a little girl not even old enough to remember her former life and surving and growing up to be a viscious warlord in her own right. Her armies were ravaging the land and seemed unstoppable until her long-lost sister (another PC, LG Monk) defeated her and gradually got her to remember her past. They started the game a few years after these events, with Kayura still learning "how to be good"...slowly. She would act childlike and innocent, and goofy most of the time, disrupted by sudden bursts of intense joyful violence and bloodlust when combat would break out. Hard to shake your upbringing, after all. Whether she was actually a mentally scarred child in an adult body, or it was all just Obfuscating Stupidity to help get away with her excessive enjoyment of killing when battle broke out, no one knew.
There was also Sage, my first attempt at an arcanist (per the houserules of the game, he was an Int-based Sorc w/ wizard proficiencies and bonus feats) that eschewed blasting almost entirely in favor of debuffs and battlefield control. I was still new to spellcasting back then and thought blasters were THE BEST, so I considered this concept "a challenge." Ah, youthful innocence...
There was also my evil gestalt Cleric / Shadowcraft Mage // Ninja (a homebrewed version, based off Swordsage from Tome of Battle), Dais. He worshipped a god of shadows whose doctrine claimed He was the primary creator of the universe and that the other gods, fearful of his power, allied against him and sealed him away forever within his tower fortress on the Plane of Shadow (Him being too powerful there for them to outright kill him). They then corrupted his creation with the present day world and did their best to erase all memory of his ever existing. My character and the party being some of the few remaining worshippers he still had, seeking to fulfill his desires - free him from his tower, slay all the other gods, and destroy the "tainted" world so he can then remake it as it was meant to be. Not much else to it than that. It was awesome having an illusion and shadow based caster mixed with wuxia martial arts to play, but I mostly just really liked the plot and backstory.
Hmm... I wonder if it's just a coincidence all my favorite characters were named and inspired by the same anime...
To be fair, I probably name PCs after those characters ~ 1/5 of the time, and I've reused several -- played 2 Dais's and 2 Kayura's already
Yeah, I don't mind noncasters getting nice things. I'm just perplexed and angry that monk and rogue not only did not also get nice things, but were nerfed.
That said, I hate most of PF's "fixes," especially Fighter. He didn't need bigger combat numbers. He needed 4 + int skill points with a better list, a whole lot of pseudo-class features in the form of awesome feats that require a fighter level and not much else (Paizo has done this to a limited extent to their credit... I just wish basic things like Pin Down were neither Fighter-only nor so high level), and an expansion and empowering of what you could do with the existing combat maneuvers ... which paizo instead nerfed pretty badly. An ability to retrain feats (more often than one feat per 4 levels... more like how an eidolon can switch ALL his evo points EVERY level) and spend some time training to "re-assign" weapon-related feats would have been nice, too. It really sucks when you've got Greater Weap Spec. (greatsword) and all pre-req feats... and find a +5 Holy Adamantine Greataxe.
It's actually funny... I've come to realize that the only thing martials are allowed to do in PF is massive hp damage. Combat maneuvers suck now; lockdown feats and abilities either don't exist, were horribly nerfed (like Stand Still), or come way too freaking late (like Pin Down); the game designers and player base are out-right hostile towards non-magic/compulsion "aggro" generating (look at the s**t storm the original Antagonize feat received and how quickly and hugely it was nerfed); since PF is for "those who dislike 4E" the idea of martial maneuvers like ToB or other encounter-based martial abilities is avoided like the plague... The only thing non-casters can do well in combat in PF is damage. It's getting really boring.
Well, Monk is still the weakest class. ;) Rogue is outshone by other classes and has no real purpose, but can still skate by in mediocrity. Monk just completely fails at everything.
And yeah, it hurts. Rogue was my favorite 3E core class and I also love playing martial artists. I wish things weren't as they were. But it's better to be aware of it, I think, and try to mitigate it. Like, playing a Bard or Alchemist and pretending it's a rogue.
Rogue, in the change to PF, lost on basically all grounds. The most damaging was the loss of niche protection with skills (if you think about it, most of what made 3E Rogue good wasn't what it could do so much as that no one else COULD do it), but sneak attack has also taken some severe nerfs in how it can be used and set up. Many other classes and all monsters also saw combat upgrades which makes rogue weaker, effectively (ditto for monk).
I am at least glad there are other similar classes that I can use in place of rogue, so the themes are still available in classes that aren't bad. If only skirmishing hadn't died in a fire in Pathfinder... I guess there's always Magus w/ Bladed Dash and spell combat, it's just not the same, using spells for it...
Second, your focus on skills means that you will completely steal the spotlight from people who have managed to build a balanced character and who like to use their skills- bards, rangers and alchemists spring to mind here.
I doubt this will actually happen...
Loyalist, you DO know that there are many historical facts that cite China and Japan developed in a virtual cultural vacuum, separate from everyone else, right? Very little came to them from outside their borders. And that's one of the many reasons why technologically and even culturally to some extent they became stultified.
The Silk Road never existed! The Portuguese never came to Japan and brought gun technology to the islands! It all never actually happened!
China was probably THE most technologicially advanced civilization for the majority of time between late BCE up to until the mid 1400's, at least. And they mostly just fell behind on military technology - specifically guns (after being the civ that invented gun powder and spread it west...wait, that never happened, I forgot) - partly due to isolation policies. But also due to not being in a constant state of war like Europe was with itself.
I've changed my mind. Go melee. Go as hard on offense as you can, and don't care at all about defense. You'll be able to do good damage and feel like a badass, until inevitably the PC dies. Then you're free to play whatever the hell you want and you can truly rejoice.
So yeah, thug rogue w/ enforcer and sap adept, two weapon fighting with saps as BBT said. Use the Human variant for Skill Focus at levels 1, 8, and 16 in return for the normal human bonus feat since you may as well go for Eldritch Heritage anyway. Get a Compsognathus familiar. It's decent in its own right, and grants you +4 initiative. Dual wield saps.
5th level feat should be Sap Master.
Since it was part bard before, I don't see why Rogue 4 is any more "true" to the original than Bard 4. Ask the DM if you can do that, your stats are better oriented for it, and it's... a better class. Your DM thinks bards are useless. Prove him wrong.
If you do stick with Rogue and want to do ranged, Swashbuckler archetype for longbow proficiency might be best. Normally I'd say dip a class or pick a race that gets proficiency, but those aren't options for you.
EDIT: Actually, I think there's a PF Society trait that grants longbow proficiency. Can't recall the name, though. Do you get to choose 2 traits?