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Xanesha

Swivl's page

465 posts (519 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 5 aliases.


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I don't yet have any suggestions for new exploits, but I'd like to see fewer exploit chains. So many greater exploits rely on having earlier ones in the playtest document that a high level character that wasn't planned out the whole way would need to take a normal exploit just to get the greater version 2 levels later.

Now, someone can do that intentionally and be fine with it and all, but to me I'd rather have some greater exploits that don't rely on a lesser version.

EDIT: though if you did keep that up, an anti-magic sort of touch or whatever made to mess with supernatural abilities is something I'm down with.


I'm running a WotW game now, and we're nearly done with book 1. Fair warning, I tend to run games with powerful characters as the assumption, and since this is WotW, I told them to go all out evil. Lawfully, of course. Also, we're using 3.x material as well, doing "conversions" where necessary, so it's a no-holds-barred be-as-evil-and-fun-as-you-can sort of game.

We do have a Dhampir (dread) necromancer, and he's been doing fine, but since many of the signature spells come later he feels incomplete. Book 2 should be much better for him. In the meantime, debuffs like Cause Fear will suit you well if you pursue the necromancer path.

We also have a Half-Fiend Dread from Psionics Expanded, a Nightmare something or other (outsider) working his way into Vampire and Fiend of Possession with some levels in this and that, a half-ogre dungeon crasher fighter working into War Hulk, and an Illumian Drunken Sensei Monk going into Ur Priest and Sacred (in this case Profane) Fist.

EDIT: added the races. Well, one I can't remember right now.


So a few weeks ago we started our new weekly game. This time we started to play our first non-Paizo AP, Way of the Wicked, and my players are so far having a blast. They want to play more frequently than once a week. Being the villains and doing things you wouldn't figure characters of their level could accomplish is pretty refreshing and our role-playing has been better than it usually is for sure.

I'm very happy we started this game and I have high hopes for the rest of this AP and future products from Fire Mountain Games.


Parable wrote:
Its not that they dont want to bring him back, they are worried something bad could happen to.the main npc they need to escort

Then ask said NPC if it's worth the risk, and solve it in-game.

The thing is, I'm sure using it in any capacity, not just the res, would alert the enemies, right?

So they have an artifact that they are told basically not to use, but has things it can be used for. Then... why have it do those things?

These guys have to trust that you, the GM, are not going to full-force murder them just for using the tools given to them. Besides, it's an adventure, some measures of danger should be acceptable given the circumstances.

If they don't res him now, but need to use the artifact for something else later, would they then regret not bringing his character back? I mean, if they have to use it either way, wouldn't it have been better to bring back a companion?


Story Archer wrote:
Swivl wrote:

I came into this thread thinking that there was a character you wanted to kill but just couldn't no matter how hard you tried.

On topic, I had a natural attacker build for Shattered Star and the table joked about reincarnating him after he died. I wasn't terribly amused, but I argued that since I would lose all my normal functions in combat they wouldn't want to do that since they needed my help.

Maybe the group thinks they can get away without using his character's support? Is the game that easy? There's a companion in need and they just sort of shrug?

I wouldn't want an in-game group with such apathy.

OoooOoohh... Shattered Star has the best option in the world for reincarnation, one that would have made your group sorry they joked.

It was too late by then, as it had already been used up. So none of that for me. :-(


I came into this thread thinking that there was a character you wanted to kill but just couldn't no matter how hard you tried.

On topic, I had a natural attacker build for Shattered Star and the table joked about reincarnating him after he died. I wasn't terribly amused, but I argued that since I would lose all my normal functions in combat they wouldn't want to do that since they needed my help.

Maybe the group thinks they can get away without using his character's support? Is the game that easy? There's a companion in need and they just sort of shrug?

I wouldn't want an in-game group with such apathy.


Threeshades wrote:
Swivl wrote:
Threeshades wrote:


I am also skeptical toward the "players do all the rolls" thing. I can only guess at how monsters and npcs are statted compared to PCs, but with this system it sounds like they have a different stat system than PCs, which if it is true, I would loathe. I don't like inconsistency like that, it singles out PCs as weird special cases and i think any given creature should be playable the same way from both sides of the GM screen.
The way monsters in DnD4 are built already bothers me to no end.
Anyway but that is just an if case, that i don't know about yet.

When players make the rolls, they are engaged in the action. If their defense has no meaning other than a number, they wait to see if they are hit and feel no control themselves.

EDIT: Also, making a playable version of a monster, I think, shouldn't use the monster rules. The monsters are made to fight once and die. They are given specialties that make an encounter with it different than fighting another humanoid. Giving that design to a player makes the player too different from one made to last and be adaptable, which is what the normal races are for.

I wasn't saying that players should make monsters. I wouldn't let a player in my campaigns be for examle a chimera. And i realize that the way that a monster's "level" is measured differs from how you measure a PC. What I'm saying is that i like the design philosophies and mechanics to be the same. For example in DnD at least since 3.0 and up to and including pathfinder every creature is measured in Hit dice first. For a player character these come from class level, for monsters its racial hit dice most of the time, but they always follow these rules: You always gain skill points, feats and ability increases based on your number of HD (skills are determined by class or creature type, are added on every HD and vary from 2+Int to 8+Int, feats are always gained at every uneven HD (or in previous editions at 1st and every multiple of 3) and...

I get what you're saying. I just don't agree, I guess.

To me, for the various monsters, even in PF, a number of those mechanics have no player-based parallel anyway, what with racial-based class features and bonus feats for no reason other than to make it work. Plus, most of the time the monsters have higher ability scores by default, so gaining bonus points there is arbitrary.

I like that the monster rules themselves are largely consistent, but having that carry across game roles doesn't concern me one bit.

That said, as a player, when I have a tough character, I'm also usually the one staying behind so the rest can run. If I wasn't there in that capacity, we might not have made it a few times, so yeah, groups can differ on the TPK issue.

On topic, I can't convince my group to play Numenara, though it has interested me at least. I gave it a quick read through, and I like it just fine, but I'm having enough trouble getting them to play my game, much less someone else's.


Zmar wrote:
Well, toward pools and player complexity. Could it be that the DM is to focus on story with supereasy mechanics, while the player can have his complexity of management?

Certainly. At our table we divvy up certain GM duties to lighten the load, and give players something to do. Our GM doesn't handle the total loot or even initiative, really.


Threeshades wrote:


I am also skeptical toward the "players do all the rolls" thing. I can only guess at how monsters and npcs are statted compared to PCs, but with this system it sounds like they have a different stat system than PCs, which if it is true, I would loathe. I don't like inconsistency like that, it singles out PCs as weird special cases and i think any given creature should be playable the same way from both sides of the GM screen.
The way monsters in DnD4 are built already bothers me to no end.
Anyway but that is just an if case, that i don't know about yet.

When players make the rolls, they are engaged in the action. If their defense has no meaning other than a number, they wait to see if they are hit and feel no control themselves.

EDIT: Also, making a playable version of a monster, I think, shouldn't use the monster rules. The monsters are made to fight once and die. They are given specialties that make an encounter with it different than fighting another humanoid. Giving that design to a player makes the player too different from one made to last and be adaptable, which is what the normal races are for.

Quote:


Another thing i don't like about players rolling all the dice is, that you as a GM lose control, you can't fudge rolls, and if you make a mistake, like making an encounter too powerful, there is little you can do to stop it from killing PCs that didn't deserve it.
It's no fun to murder PCs through no fault of their own.

You should trust your players to know when to run. This situation shouldn't happen often, but when it does, it usually is fairly clear. If the players just barely didn't make it, it may have been down to a few rolls in either direction. But if it's a slaughterhouse, then they didn't realize it was a good time to run.

I, as a player, had to make a very specific wish that an encounter didn't happen in order to save the party. It was something we could have avoided, but we stumbled away into it anyway through our own actions. I was very glad that day that I had saved the wish that saved the party.


Laurefindel wrote:
The 8th Dwarf wrote:
Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
The 8th Dwarf wrote:
I have been toying with a mechanic.... The amount you exceed the AC by on your to hit roll is the amount of damage you do + the average damage of your weapon +3 per rank of sneer attack if appropriate.
awesome typo
You get to add insult to injury when you do a sneer attack.

Ha!,

I got such an attack from my girl the other day, when I said she was too young for make-up.

I guess she took a level in Rouge already...

I see what you did there...

On-topic, Pathfinder is on the complex side for my taste. Even with people playing the game for years so much has to be looked up in our games we're just not sure of that I feel playing it is very slow.

When I GM, I want to be so well-versed in what I have to do that I look like a Blackjack dealer throwing stuff everywhere with precision. Using this game, I can't do that.

Okay, maybe I'll settle for Magic the Gathering levels of swiftness. The earlier the better.


Laurefindel wrote:
Now in my experience, the problem isn't so much EXP themselves, but what grants EXP by RaW. D&D and Pathfinder are big on granting EXP based on defeated monsters, but that hardly the only model there is on the market.

The APs do well in this regard by specifying other things that grant the party XP, but sometimes they might not go far enough, in amount and variety of things that grant XP.

Bottom line is that the method of choice, so reliable as it is, is fighting. It shouldn't surprise anyone that the players follow the lead of the design.


thejeff wrote:
Swivl wrote:

Well, I'm designing a game myself that doesn't strictly use XP, but rather a budget of points given out and subsequently spent by the players between sessions whenever they could afford the advancement they would like. I found that with the design I was going for a system for advancing based on usage made things much more complicated than they needed to be, and I just made the conclusion that players will want to power up in a way that would be useful, so they'd likely pick what they use most anyway.

I put a lot of trust in my players, but there is an easy way to audit a sheet like that.

The problem I've found with the usage system in CoC & BRP is that everyone tends to get really good at the most commonly used skills, regardless of whether they were built to focus on them or not. Things like Listen and Spot Hidden get rolled by most characters in most adventures. Combat skills get used often.

Your character's actual specialities or focuses may not come up as often, though they're likely to more important when they do.

That's a good observation. I hope that what I've come up with will alleviate issues like this.

I have an excellent playtest team, with skills in "system mastery" all over the map, from new gamer to video gamer to cheese master. I've not yet tested the whole game with them yet, but it is pretty exciting for me.


Well, I'm designing a game myself that doesn't strictly use XP, but rather a budget of points given out and subsequently spent by the players between sessions whenever they could afford the advancement they would like. I found that with the design I was going for a system for advancing based on usage made things much more complicated than they needed to be, and I just made the conclusion that players will want to power up in a way that would be useful, so they'd likely pick what they use most anyway.

I put a lot of trust in my players, but there is an easy way to audit a sheet like that.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
It's not the basic functionality of firearms that's a problem, it's certain combos that reduce reloading to a free action, which (because there is "no limit" to how many free actions you can take in a round) effectively bypasses the action economy brakes used to balance the use of firearms.

So... gunslingers shouldn't full attack with their namesake weapon?

I get that there are other things to do with a full BAB, but getting more attacks is the most effective use of one.

And if the point is point-blank shot, step up and slash somebody with a melee weapon to reload the gun later, why not make feats and deeds that reflect that idea? Pistol whip is nowhere near that sort of thing.


This thread is very interesting and informative. It's helped put some perspective on the sort of work I'm doing in my spare time.

The short of it is I'm doing a whole new game. I'm looking to fill 150 or so pages for everything needed to run the game, including a small bestiary and sample adventure. From the sounds of it, I may want to split this up and stagger some releases to help expand them, and put the "sample" versions out for free.

The truth is, I'm not certain I could even get 150 pages out of what I have so far, so building up will likely be necessary either way. Plus, a new game would be such a hard sell, and especially so if there's only one PDF available.

In the end, I'm not looking to make bunches of money, just make the game I've always wanted to play and put it out there for others to play, too.


As much as I play Pathfinder, I don't care much for the D20 system.

As for Pathfinder itself, I really don't like it's bewildering level of complexity. Way too many fiddly bits for me.


I had a lot of fun with Loris Raknian from Age of Worms. He had a lot of time in play and he showed the PCs he was plenty canny, and an expert showman.

When the players realize what scheme he had going for them, the cries of frustration with Raknian were priceless.

I think they enjoyed Balabar Smenk a little more. Just as much play time, but they foiled him a little more completely.


I've been mulling it over and thinking about making Way of the Wicked a Mythic Adventure as well. Not for the power boost, but for the feel of it, where these players are a cut above the rest, but have certain people also in that category that likely work against them.

I tend to change APs a lot to work better for my group and to run smoother (I usually succeed at this effort, but not without occasional stumbles), and I have very lax house rules, and while I think this would be a positive addition, I can't help but think they might be reluctant to accept it because they haven't planned for it, and had any expectation when the characters were drawn up originally (a couple players tend to plan very far in advance, and optimize towards their goal thoroughly).

Do you guys think that the mythic tiers can be added to a character without much planning for them to be used? I get the feeling that's the case, but I want to know what you guys think.


Jason Nelson wrote:

I think a way to blend these ideas with another change is to:

Grant a +1 stat mod every even-numbered level, which meshes well with the feats every odd level. Feat, stat, feat, stat feat, etc.

Alternatively, you could grant feats *every* level and make a stat mod feat that can be taken only at even levels. That way people COULD focus on upping their stats, but people who want to load up on actual feats could do that instead.

I did this for my Age of Worms game, and it worked pretty well.


Grizzly the Archer wrote:

Based on all these posts my group,is crawling up the levels then. In a campaign that has been going on for 2.5 years now, we just made 12th level 2 weeks ago. And that was after a HUGE battle of sorts where we were level 10 about 3 sessions prior, and we leveled two times, during the spread out battles. This was on the GM discretion to speed up leveling, for an overall larger campaign arc.

Problem for our group is, there is A LOT of chit chat, and we try to mitigate it when the GM goes out for a smoke break, but everyone has to for some reason have a lengthy story or a joke to tell, even if it's not game related. Also, many times discussions and communication overall breaks down between players due to ruling conflicts, late thinking (when it's your turn, your just starting to figure out what to do, versus having it planned out.. We do 4 hour sessions, but by the 3rd hour things start to break down and pushing other players to not pack up their dice till later is difficult.

..Age of Worms seems to be a very long adventure to get through.

Don't get me wrong, we've had a lot of distracting conversations, and we try to get better at knowing our turns in advance of it actually being our turn. Thing is, we have so many games and character ideas that we push ourselves to finish games because rolling up a new character is always on the horizon.

Yeah, Age of Worms was our longest adventure so far. Most Paizo APs take us 5 months to complete, if we complete them (not the APs fault, we have house rules that determine when a game is dead because we have 3 GMs on rotation, myself included).


My group did Age of Worms in 10 months. That was 10 months of 1-2 sessions a week and 6 hours per session.


Teamwork feats.

Sorry, haven't thought much about the archetype to give advice.


No.

My players make whatever they want. Levels are an abstraction for development. Mechanics are simply the means they use to do the cool stuff. Each of the GMs at my table feel this way (3-way rotation).

Case in point: my tengu has 2 levels in monk, but is wearing full plate, and nobody really cares.


Panther Parry wrote:

While using Panther Style, your retaliatory

unarmed strikes are resolved before the triggering attacks.
If your retaliatory unarmed strike deals damage to an
opponent, that opponent takes a –2 penalty on attack and
damage rolls with the triggering attack of opportunity.

This is the very definition of interception in PF, which is why I push for it. Otherwise, I'm with everyone that Dragon Style is badass.

I agree that losing flurry is probably bad for this.

Flowing Monk is also quite good for this idea as well ("Be water, my friend").

Sacred Mountain... I can take it or leave it for this idea. If Dragon Style, take this, if Panther Style, don't take this, and other styles or archetypes, maybe. Just remember you lose evasion with it.


Certainly the Dragon fits the flavor, but I was thinking of Jeet Kune Do mechanically. After all, he was not at all about "styles" anyway. Besides, most of what dragon style does is make you hit harder, but Bruce not only hit hard but was also extremely fast.

If this is still a point of contention, just make him a Master of Many Styles and he can do both.


Panther Style. Bruce's own style was the intercepting fist, so this fits pretty nicely.


I make a LOT of stuff up, but mostly because I want the game to be more fun. I follow the rules plenty, but especially with APs, I change things up for my games to make them run smoothly and overall keep the players' attention (not that I always succeed, but that's the idea). If the players need help figuring stuff out (hardly ever), I remind them of the stuff that they've already been up to that would lead them in the direction most helpful.


Are you referring to programming, or laws?

I'm quite familiar with the Bank Secrecy Act, having to enforce its use every workday. I work at a casino.

That said, most people are incredibly paranoid about it, and are very much misinformed regarding its use. Many of them think its about taxes, and actually go out of their way to avoid the paperwork. What they don't realize is how much employees already know ahead of them actually cashing anything out, and how efforts to avoid reporting only makes things worse.

[rant]

It's like the guy trying to get money out of his credit card, and when it's declined, talks like he pays the electric bill of the casino with how much he gambles. No you don't, and you're making a spectacle of yourself saying you do.

[/rant]

I can't really help you if the BSA is your problem; we need that to curtail financial crimes, and is probably the least invasive method of discovering them.

OTOH, transparency of banks themselves, especially the largest ones isn't at all a bad idea. But, for the US at least, one of the biggest issues is enforcement and punishment of violations, not discovering them.


My Fighter/Monk/Alchemist uses Power Attack when his mutagen is up. Even then, not the entire time, but certainly a majority of the time.


Kthulhu wrote:
Thing is, after even a single successful adventure, a 5-use limit per pouch won't really be a big deal, money-wise. And on that first adventure, you're gonna be reduced to flinging ineffectual cantrips way before you get beyond the uses of even a couple of pouches.

This is much worse than you realize. Five wizard cantrips have material components.


shallowsoul wrote:
Dr Grecko wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:

And I find it ridiculous that you can command the infinite powers of the universe and yet b@%&$ about needing to take the time to gather rare and exotic spell components if your DM sees fit.

I also find the spell component rules ridiculous because all non cost are taken care of at 1st level with a 5gp purchase and yet you are assumed to be gatherimg components from things you may not have ever of.

Whar if I said there were no exotic component merchant dealers in a 1000 mile radius nor are there any dragons about to your knowledge?

Who's to say that that one spell component pouch doesn't have as many uses of a given spell in it to cover the entire career of the wizard? Why are you assuming that a wizard would ever need to "replenish" his pouch of any negligible cost component.

prd wrote:
Assume you have all you need as long as you have your spell component pouch.
I understand that you want to house-rule the pouch to make the game harder on your players and possibly a bit more "realistic". But in RAW, that 5g pouch has every non-cost component the wizard could ever need.. ever.
Nobody is talking about how RAW is implemented, we already know. We are talking about how the RAW doesn't fully make sense.

Sorry if it breaks some sense of immersion for you, but this is a game. As a game, it makes many (and many more) abstractions to simulate something that models a fantasy adventuring life.

In short, it's the rule of cool: if it's fun, have at it. If it's not fun, do whatever you can to de-emphasize it or get rid of it entirely. What you propose seems to get in the way of the "game" part of this.


memorax wrote:
Another issue I see with enforcing spell components is that the DM also has to give players the opprtunity to buy the more common items and go adventuring for the less common to rare components. If the Cleric and the Wizard in the group are missing at least half of the components the party is not going to continue on the standard quest the DM wrote up. That gets put on hold until at the very least the Cleric is full up on the components he needs to cast all of his spells. So that adventure the DM spent two weeks writing up is not going to happen until the necessary compnents are found. So that means a change in focus. More likely sidequests to get the missing components. That's the thing DM forgot who make players track everything. Adventuring groups imo want to go on a adventure fully loaded up. Who wants to take a wizard along who can't even cast the majority of his spells. Or a cleric who can't raise dead.

This is the sort of thing I'm thinking about when looking at this thread.

There's a lot of attention being paid to something that's not really all that fun to fuss over.

When it comes to components, and the games at my place, all that's worrisome is what components they are, and if material, a potential GP value, and nothing else.

One thing I like about 3.5:
Shadowcasters. Only somatic components for their mysteries. One feat, still mystery, and BAM, no components.


Captain Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
Its untyped so it stacks with everything, plus it also grants you full attack after 15ft movement.

For the latter part, one set of boots already did that. If you don't like that, then don't allow the second pair of boots.

For the former, the movement must be through an enemy's space. Unless that is an error, that means that the enemy will be closer than 15 ft. in the first place in order for that to work. Also, as I said, it's 3 times a day. Even totally stackable, for the price, it doesn't sound too bad to me.


For 9,300 gp, what might amount to +2 to attack rolls for 1 turn 3 times a day... I say let them have it. I'd rather have more permanent bonuses for the price. 10,000 gp is the price of a +2/+2 slot item for reference.


Just got books 1 - 5, and loving them. I run this game next when I'm up (rotating GMs), but I won't be up for a little while, so I can wait on book six.

I'll post play reports, either here or a separate thread, depending on what my players want me to do with it.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Cold Napalm wrote:
Swivl wrote:


I'm not exactly trying to prove anything to you, just to tell you about what I've experienced. Take it or leave it.
I'm sorry, but what?!? Of course you are trying to prove something...otherwise why are you even wasting your breath? If all you wanted to do was provide a useless data point with no details, you were done with that goal on your first post and no more needed to be said. You continue to reply because you DO want to prove a point. Either provide what was asked for, or stop replying because honestly until you actually do give what was asked for, your not gonna prove anything to us, and you will just get more logic loop holes you post pointed back at you.

*sigh*

I was never on a mission to prove to anyone that the premise of the thread is true, only that I felt like it was. When I started to post on my experience, questions were asked. Fantastic, a discussion.

I said pages ago that posting the offending synthesist would go beyond the scope of what I intended to do here, which was simply to share and talk about it (plus, expounded on my view that theorycraft is nigh useless and wouldn't solve anything anyway). But if you really really want a build, I've given you enough information to make one just like it over the course of my posts on this thread.

Being of opposing viewpoints doesn't mean we're antagonistic, man.


Cold Napalm wrote:
Swivl wrote:
The player also helped make the other characters, too, so the same level of optimization went into them.
That doesn't actually mean they were all equally or even remotely equally optimized. I run a game for a mixed group and the casual gamers do get help. GOBS of it. But they are never nearly as optimized as the optimizer players. Your group maybe different...but the whole they got help so they are all equal isn't always the case. The only way to really show this was the case is if you post all the sheets for some peer review of the matter.

I'm not exactly trying to prove anything to you, just to tell you about what I've experienced. Take it or leave it.


Sangalor wrote:
Swivl wrote:
Seranov wrote:

And again, what goes at your table shouldn't have to be the law of the land for every table.

Everyone who comes in claiming that such-and-such is overpowered and should be completely neutered in the game's rules can be countered by another person who has seen it used fine in a reasonable game.

Again, I'm not here to convince anyone that I'm right and that they're wrong. What I am here to say is that there is no consensus on this topic, and arguing as if there is is not the way to go about things. Obviously I and a few other people have defended the Synthesist for not being needed to be banned/nerfed into the ground in the core rules.

No one has proven that the Synthesist is a horrific game-breaking monster in all cases that it needs to be anywhere near as heavily restricted as the example in the OP. (On a related note, I believe wearing your eidolon should qualify as wearing armor, negating the Monk AC bonus.)

** spoiler omitted **

I believe I just said that it doesn't mean everyone needs to follow suit and ban synthesists. Heck, I said just as much even earlier in the thread. I've also said that we were wracking our collective brains for most of the game seeing if everything was as it was supposed to be. That included looking up every FAQ available and retreading and rebuilding just to be sure.

You're not the only one to come to the conclusion that my group simply didn't think it through. How you guys came to that conclusion baffles me because I've had a lot to say on this topic.

It's not one experience; it's 6 months. A lot can be learned during that time. I've just tried to explain what happened, and why, and for my trouble I get a lot of accusations playing the game incorrectly, being too lazy and all sorts of stuff, and not all from one person.

I'm not at all bothered by this, but it does make me lose interest in the forum.

Swivl, I do not think that anyone here wants to dismiss your experience, at the very least I don't....

If I came across as dismissing any possible solutions to what happened in my game, it's either because I tried them and they didn't work, or I thought that what was proposed didn't make enough of a difference or made much sense from my point of view. I'm the last person that wants to come across as bull-headed.

Limited spaces weren't that big of an obstacle. His items weren't problematic. Conditions didn't change much. He was tested fairly thoroughly, and through it all, most of the damage went to his friends, and he lost more than a few of them. The player also helped make the other characters, too, so the same level of optimization went into them.

He didn't need any wands of rejuvenate eidolon; he rarely got hit.

I will freely say that a synthesist is a good choice for CC, even though, or especially because, there are plenty of non-combat encounters in the AP.

A lot of people imagine the worst sort of synthesist is the one with loads of natural attacks and a massive strength score. That's certainly one route to an offensive monster. Try giving it just one attack, but give it grab, constrict, reach, combat reflexes, and grappling for nearly every action for something I think is much worse.


Seranov wrote:

And again, what goes at your table shouldn't have to be the law of the land for every table.

Everyone who comes in claiming that such-and-such is overpowered and should be completely neutered in the game's rules can be countered by another person who has seen it used fine in a reasonable game.

Again, I'm not here to convince anyone that I'm right and that they're wrong. What I am here to say is that there is no consensus on this topic, and arguing as if there is is not the way to go about things. Obviously I and a few other people have defended the Synthesist for not being needed to be banned/nerfed into the ground in the core rules.

No one has proven that the Synthesist is a horrific game-breaking monster in all cases that it needs to be anywhere near as heavily restricted as the example in the OP. (On a related note, I believe wearing your eidolon should qualify as wearing armor, negating the Monk AC bonus.)

** spoiler omitted **

I believe I just said that it doesn't mean everyone needs to follow suit and ban synthesists. Heck, I said just as much even earlier in the thread. I've also said that we were wracking our collective brains for most of the game seeing if everything was as it was supposed to be. That included looking up every FAQ available and retreading and rebuilding just to be sure.

You're not the only one to come to the conclusion that my group simply didn't think it through. How you guys came to that conclusion baffles me because I've had a lot to say on this topic.

It's not one experience; it's 6 months. A lot can be learned during that time. I've just tried to explain what happened, and why, and for my trouble I get a lot of accusations playing the game incorrectly, being too lazy and all sorts of stuff, and not all from one person.

I'm not at all bothered by this, but it does make me lose interest in the forum.


Seranov wrote:

Honestly, even if his HP isn't quite right, he was far from the kind of offensive horrific monster people have described.

Synthesists are not, as a complete whole, ridiculous to the point of needing to be banned outright. The Synthesist from that game had all kinds of fun playing the character (he was a Kamen Rider ripoff, but all that yelling about JUSTICE was pretty funny) and his miss rate wasn't really THAT bad.

I think that a Synthesist's player should sit down with the DM when they're building their eidolon, for the extra pair of eyes to look out for building it correctly, and because the DM should indeed have some say in how the character comes out. That way, the DM knows what is being put up against his challenges to the group, and the player can't just go "I have a 6 Str/Dex/Con Summoner who has ridiculous stats with his eidolon shell, aren't I so clever for gaming the system?!"

But if the DM just outright says "lol no Synthesists they're broken" while still allowing vanilla or Master Summoners, or any of the more ridiculous character builds that are totally available, it just reeks of laziness to me.

Hrm... this isn't good.

I've already stated that the synthesist in my game didn't dump his physical stats. And I misspoke earlier; he was middle age, not old.

I've allowed lots of crazy builds in my game because I could handle them, and I trust my players. I've never sat with them for building a character; we're all adults who have done this for years (save for my little brother). Don't forget, the synthesist player is on my side as well.

We haven't had any other summoners in a game, so I have no frame of reference for you there, and I can't tell you what I think of them. We're a group that emphasizes speedy turns, though, so it's not that likely that one of those other builds would actually be played at our table.

I've also already said that the synthesist posted above isn't broken; it's also not even slightly optimized. It's obviously possible to not break games, but what I've said is that it's very possible TO break games. And considering what I'm up against...

See my table is pretty much half casual half serious-optimizers, and a good majority of the time the character builds are made (or helped along) by one half of the table. There's a good mixed bag as far as decision-making goes, but nearly every character is built to win. That I manage to kill quite a few of them anyway says I can hold my own against the guys who look at AM BARBARIAN and think it's a good idea.

So what it comes down to is I can't let anyone make a synthesist, because we're nearly incapable of making a synthesist like the one posted above. Call it what you like, but our table is in a consensus.

So it's as I said; for my table, this is what works, YMMV, but for us, we can't do a synthesist again.


lantzkev wrote:
have you seen what a 2hand barbarian can do? or even a 2hand figher? Ignore dex and focus on strength and you'll put anything a summoner can do to shame.

I have seen what a level 20 2-handed fighter can do. It's amazing.

That was the same game (Savage Tide) I had a level 20 monk. It was amazing in its own way.


Seranov wrote:

I played in a level 4-5 game with a 2H Barbarian and a Synthesist Summoner. I was playing an Archer Paladin in that game.

The Synthesist spent 90% of his turns whiffing madly, and the other 10% casting haste. The Barbarian and I were wrecking things left and right. Neither he nor I had characters built all that crazy. Let me look if I still have the Myth-weavers sheets for everybody.

My Paladin
The Synthesist (Myth-weavers must have been having a seizure the last time we played, his CMD and such is obviously not that high)
And I couldn't find the Barbarian's sheet, but he was pretty standard 18 Str, Power Attack, etc. Had EWP: Fauchard, iirc.

The synthesist's attack bonus is so close to the paladin's that bad rolls can more easily explain the whiffing than the build does itself.

That said, this synthesist looks pretty harmless as far as breaking any games. It's pretty likely I'd allow something like that at my table.


That's likely going to open a serious can of worms on the side, if what I see on the thread already is to be believed. It would go far beyond the scope of this thread.

So what I'll do instead, is find the sheets, post them as a post-mortem for Carrion Crown, and then go from there. This might be a while; I can't seem to find any of the character sheets from the game.

It will be there that all the speculation and finger-wagging can go on.


lantzkev wrote:

Swivl, without seeing your build, it's impossible to know what's going on. It's a great unknown so far that you have just said "trust me" on.

When I go from the best options available, I don't come up with anything you've described. Banning it without banning many other options is a knee jerk reaction, or a reaction you'll be having again in the near future.

No.

Banning something without thought is a knee-jerk reaction. This was 6 months of gaming.

I've already told you, we've been gaming for more than 10 years, and playing PF since the beta. We don't ban anything without thought or consideration. We are, it seems, pretty open about that.

We've allowed lots of other things other GMs seem squeemish about, and not had to ban those options at all.

I don't know what to tell you, maybe it just needs to be seen in action to get the whole picture.

In a way, I am asking you to just trust me, but only on the fact that I've had such a problem, not that you need to do the same as me and ban it at your games too.


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lantzkev wrote:

Nope, Barbarian = most powerful at lvl 1 =P

I'm honestly not sure how the people that complain about synthesists screw it up so badly on these boards. I've rarely found anyone at my table that can't do simple addition and subtraction and can't read what they're doing.

Once the stats are written down, a eidolon (synthesist or no) requires way less book looking up than a regular spell caster.

EVERYTHING and eidolon has available is in the description and very clear. It's the people who select large and then give bonus str for only 2pts rather than 4pt, or select armor bonus more frequently than the ability allow for that "break" the eidolons.

As far as your ban pile, if this made it in but nothing else, you're playing with a odd group and are just knee jerking it.

Either that or you let the "I can't kill it" comment be the only thing you focused on. You still haven't really clarified what guidelines you let your players use to build and what they get beyond standard. Because standard wise, there's just no way this wrecks like you have claimed.

We really really want to know how this eidolon was actually built and why the other characters weren't as strong or more so in their own way.

The reason I've not mentioned any extras for characters as far as guidelines or general rules it's because there aren't any. For this game, I literally said, "20 (or 25, I can't remember) point buy, no necromancers, and it'd work better with the whole horror theme in mind." So my friend decided on a Jekyll/Hyde synthesist sort of thing, and that was that.

Odd or not, calling it a knee jerk is disingenuous. This was from 1-13, and for almost the entire thing we were trying to figure out why it was he was so much stronger than we intended him to be. Dismissing my group as a whole as being off or not playing right or simply exaggerating is not constructive. Tell me my experience is illegitimate, and I can easily tell you the same, and we'd get nowhere doing it.

I don't have the sheet handy, sorry about that, but with such freedom as some would call it, just figure some of the best options possible for what I told you already and the build is done.


One thing my roommate and I noticed is that we could, mechanically speaking, more accurately replicate a couple of our favorite characters from 3.5. Problem was, these characters, while surprisingly good, were not epic or mythic at all; they were just good for their level.

They went on to feel legendary to us, because of the stories we could tell with them, so maybe that's the point, but super powers they had not.


Nelith wrote:


Even if the summoner isn't overpowered, it isn't a class that players can handle. Synthesists usually have a lot of mistakes in their build. I have the experience that "normal" summoners bog down the game a lot looking up what the monsters that they just summoned do exactly.

I can't vouch for the first part of this, but I can easily believe it.

Our table, since our time is usually limited, has pressure for quick turns. A small hourglass timer will help things move along, we found out.


lantzkev wrote:

Ilja, it's been stated in message board comments by SKR and maybe others that if you have the bonus for more than 24hrs you can now qualify for any feat (and if you lose the bonus, you can't use that feat until you meet it's requirements again)

I haven't seen it in the FAQ for the core rulebook nor in the errata, but it seems accepted. I disagree personally though.

Regardless of what the solution is to the problem, I was just pointing out that fatigue is present now.

We did the fatigue thing. It wasn't an insurmountable problem, much like size wasn't either.

Anyway, my game is over, has been over, and we as a group agree that the synthesist itself is an issue, and barring any rewrites/erratas, it will remain alone in the banned pile (unless something else like it manages to show itself in Paizo material).


Artanthos wrote:
lantzkev wrote:

yeah your age synthesist (was the second category so suffereing -3 str/dex/con) is severly hampered when he's got to sleep. Also environmental things (which can be covered by endure elements)

He isn't allowed to qualify for any feats requiring stats he doesn't possess while resting (because he game wise isn't normally allowed to stay in skin for 24+hrs.

This is also false and was covered by SKR within a certain very large synthesist thread.

Anyone can remain awake for 24 hours, there are penalties in the rules for doing so. This allows the synthesist to qualify for a feat. Now, you can't use feats during the time periods you don't qualify for them, but as soon as your stats go back up, the feat is there waiting for you.

There were also long periods of the party, but especially the synthesist being awake, but this wasn't why. It was actually because tragic things were happening while he slept, so he didn't sleep.

Yeah, come to think of it, the game was pretty brutal. In some ways.


Seranov wrote:

The fact of the matter is that the vanilla Summoner is better than the Synthesist. He's squishier, yeah, but he's still effectively a full caster with a pet that is a damn good fighter.

Giving up all that action economy is a huge blow.

We've yet to find this out for ourselves, as we're hesitant after the synthesist scenario. I feel like we all want to try a summoner of some kind or another, but none of us are planning one yet.

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