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James Jacobs wrote:
I've explained numerous times (including my previous post) the many and complex reasons why the APs don't go to 20th level, and I"m not gonna repeat myself here (although I AM trying to get Hell's Rebels to give the PCs a chance to play at 18th level for the end... not sure I can make that happen but I'll try—with this AP having a slightly longer part 2 and part 4 than normal, it might just go a LITTLE further than normal...)...
Fair enough, I wasn't expecting my post to change anything. I just wanted to let you know that some of your customers do want those things.
James Jacobs wrote:
(For some reason, the last 3 suggestions won't quote?)
Thanks for the ideas (I do really appreciate them), even though I have basically zero chance of seeing them as a player. Looks like I'll have to just run something myself (probably I'll need to write it from scratch) and enjoy it vicariously through the rest of the group.
James Jacobs wrote:
Some of your customers (and I have probably 80% of the hardback line and a couple of the APs plus the Hero Lab files for everything, though I buy the books locally) ARE asking for higher level APs, and have been for a long time. I personally have been asking for this for at least a couple years. I notice there are numerous threads posted on these forums asking for such a thing, only for the very idea to be stomped on by others, or for Paizo folks to say "nah, we don't plan to do this because X".
So, here's my last grasp at this possibility - YES, I want some APs that don't start at level 1-4. YES, I want some APs that go all the way to 20, or even beyond.
I'm sick to death of starting every new story as a pathetic dirt farmer with single digit hit points. I'm sick to death of seeing class capstones and 9th level spells listed in the rulebooks and then never getting to use them. I'm sick to death of being told "that will never happen, so stop asking for it", or "you don't really want those things you're explicitly asking for".
I don't understand the logic of making rules for something and then never giving your customers the chance to use them (in your official APs, to say nothing about PFS). I don't understand the logic of saying there aren't enough monsters to make high level APs, when there are as many bestiaries as PF has - it seems like it would be a relatively simple thing to have developers make 1 high level critter instead of 2 or 3 more variations on things we already have. I don't understand the logic of asking folks to let you know something we have already been saying for years.
I don't understand what still needs to happen for high level APs to be scheduled/produced.
Our group's experience with Iron Gods is that after beating H*, there's basically no reason to continue the AP as written. We generally ride the plot train without too much complaint, but with nothing more than a vague suggestion that there's something we should be looking for (and no real reason to actually be doing so), I have no real motivation to continue.
Maybe that's different for other groups. I certainly hope so.
Taking inspiration from numerous discussions on these forums regarding the Paizo APs, I've been inspired to make an AP myself.
Starting at what many people would consider "high level" (10-14) and continuing through 20+ and possibly Mythic, dealing with the aftermath of catastrophic failure in at least one other AP (WotR), utilizing zero "straight from the book" monsters, and providing a relatively sandboxy ecosystem of goals and missions that can be tackled in any order would be the primary objectives.
Would anyone else be interested in such a thing? Comments, suggestions?
I'm more bothered by the fact that it only activates on a crit. That means you can have a whole quiver (or several) full of barbed arrows tied to individual ropes, and despite hitting with every one of them (and your target trailing dozens of ropes), you get no grapple check. Near as worthless, IMO.
In my experience, some maneuvers (grapple and such) bog things down massively, while the others are essentially useless unless you build specifically for (one or two of) them, because they fail so often. It's almost always better to kill an opponent faster, rather than inflict some sort of condition (grappled, disarmed, prone, etc). In the cases where that's not true, such as boss fights, the opponent will usually be so much stronger (Str score, size modifier, extra legs, the list goes on) than the characters that combat maneuvers are a waste of actions.
Overall, some good stuff and some bad. I like the (apparent) intentions, but I see a few things that may not match up as intended. I know you're not asking for feedback, but I'll put my 2c on display anyway ;)
My own comments, in no particular order:
Wow, this is a LOT of house rules.
Altmer are quite nice for casters mechanically, even for Sorcerers, despite the Cha penalty.
Argonian quest isn't possible to complete, as enemies aren't blinded by their spit.
Bile Spit itself is basically worthless as written. Daze only affects creatures of 4 or less HD, only lasts 1 round, and allows both a Will save and SR. While it's a cantrip normally, Argonians only get it 1/day. No enemy worth spending your own standard action to prevent their actions for one round can be affected by this. I'd change it to be a ranged touch attack that makes the enemies Blind for 1 round plus 1 per 2 HD (1 rd at first level, 2 and 2nd, 3 at 4th, etc), plus either allowing a Fort save to reduce the duration to 1 round or restricting to 1/day per 2 HD.
Bretons racial SLA seems either too strong or too weak. What's the range and area? What if the Breton isn't a caster (and has no CL)? Does it affect the Breton as well? What about his allies?
Dunmer quest doesn't seem possible to complete. Does "one attack" mean a single attack (standard) action, or is it equivalent to "in one combat/raid", or does it mean the victims have to be outright slain with only a single hit each? Even with sneak attack, that doesn't seem possible or likely, unless the Dunmer ends up killing super-low CR enemies.
Dunmer quest reward seems weak for a 1/day ability. Maybe if it were an ancestor ghost (something like a shadow but with reduced damage and no ability to create spawn) it'd be good.
Imperial looks good.
Khajiit look good, if a bit strong. Does their Pounce ability limit them to only those two claw attacks, or does it work like the normal Pounce ability (or does it work like the Bulette's ability, where they actually jump and thus don't need a clear charge lane, but can only use natural attacks)?
Whiskers and Mischief both look exploitable. Given the race quest, I'd change Mischief to something like Catfall - 1/day reduce falling damage by half and automatically land on your feet. Whiskers I'd probably replace with 1/day Uncanny Dodge, upgrade to Improved Uncanny Dodge at level 8 (or level 6, if you end up stopping advancement there).
Nord looks good, but how does Pride of the North work? Shor's Oath is nice, but why limited to humanoids who speak a language? One or the other should be sufficient, I would think. Or, neither and make the limit "intelligent creatures".
Shor's Curse - is that as the Fear spell? Does that make Shor's Oath a fear effect (making many more creatures immune to it)? Is there a save for the fear part, and if so is it separate from the base effect?
Orc - is Berserk something the Orc can choose whether to enter? Does it cause fatigue afterward?
Blood of Malacath - Bull Rush and Overrun do not inflict damage, does this ability make them do so? If so, this is a very interesting ability - it would make these maneuvers actually worth using day to day, rather than only in specific builds or very niche circumstances (enemy next to a cliff or something). Also probably should not be limited to 1/day (since it also says "all" Bull Rushes and Overruns).
Swordtrained - Maybe rephrase this to say something like "gains proficiency with weapons in the Heavy Blades and Light Blades Fighter weapon groups".
Standing stones - how long do these abilities last, and how does that change with different types of soul gems?
Serpent stone - what does this mean by "physical mod"? Caster's Con score? Also, damage appears to be raw HP damage. If that's the actual intention, might be good to specify, something like "1d10 hp per 5 levels".
Tower stone - I'd add 1/day Trapfinding as a possible selection, as a rogue of equal level, duration 1 minute per HD.
Warrior stone - should this read "Twice per day, as a swift action you may re-roll an attack roll and add +4 to either the attack or damage roll"? Is this re-roll before or after you know whether the original roll was a success? I would suggest changing this to "Twice per day, as a swift action you may either re-roll an unsuccessful attack roll and add +4 to your total, or add an amount equal to your character level to the damage of an already successful attack. If a re-roll results in a possible critical hit, you may also add the +4 from this ability to your confirmation roll."
Action points - what kind of extra action in a round?
Iterative attacks - this reads to me like the first one is an actual attack, and all others are CMB checks, at their normal descending to-hit numbers. This is going to lead to a LOT of failed CMB checks, and probably wider use of Vital Strike.
Fumble chart - this, I hate. HATE. Fumbles are super-terrible for PCs and only minorly annoying for NPCs. Why? Because PCs will be making SO MANY more attacks over the course of their levels. This isn't a "walk away from the campaign" issue here (primarily because I like the Elder Scrolls and the rest of what you're doing so much), but it's really bad. Please reconsider.
Progressive feats - "tier" is every 4 levels? Edit, yes it is, according to the second house rule section.
Save feats - is the +3 (if your save is already good) also 1/day? If it's constant, it seems a bit strong; maybe a +2 instead. If 1/day, is it separate from the re-roll?
Metamagic - if you fail by 15 or more do you NOT lose your turn?
Counterspell - as written, a 1-level Sorcerer dip plus the Counterspell feat is going to be really strong defensively, since you can counter anything with a cantrip of the correct school. This probably should specify "of the same or higher spell level" or similar.
Scrolls - when a Sorcerer adds a scroll's spell to his list of spells known, does that consume the scroll?
Why can clerics not cast from scrolls? Does this extend to wands or staves (or other consumables)?
Potions - does the "only Alchemists & Witches can brew potions" override the rules above making it into a skill that anyone can put ranks in?
As Julie posted, we probably need a list of which potions change, and how, when a Sorcerer drinks them.
Wizards holding potions, I'm not a fan of. Mainly since it adds bookkeeping for very little actual benefit.
Wands - I like this system. Too much math, but it certainly does make wands worth using.
Armor - "Adamantine weapons gain +5 to ignore DR" should probably read "Adamantine weapons ignore 5 points of DR", if I'm parsing what you mean correctly. There's no check to bypass DR that I can see in these house rules.
Free movement - very nice, I like this a lot.
Condition track - This is good.
Wound points - what is a "Clobbered" score? I know what the word means, but I see no other reference to such a score here.
Bloodied - this should NOT be used together with the SWSE Condition track. One or the other. Especially at low level, this means one good hit and you might as well be dead.
Massive Damage & Clobbered - these two should also not be used together.
Initiative - do you get to "subtract 15 and go again" even if your Init roll was below 15?
By the by, a natural 1 on a skill check is NOT a fumble or auto-failure - that happens only on attack rolls and saves.
You should still go by the total of the roll, so unless your magus has a low enough stealth skill that he could be detected by the NPC (including the -10 penalty for being asleep, plus whatever penalties for distance and intervening walls/floors) you ruled it incorrectly.
In that situation I'd say the penalties for being caught should be either extremely light, or something that can be entirely handwaved away.
I had some success with using Roll20 in that regard a year or so back. Basically treat the images like maps, place them on the map background, then do rectangular area reveals as necessary. Since you can have multiple images per "map", and multiple "map" canvases, and the GM can flip back and forth between them easily, it worked pretty well.
The alternative would be to set up a campaign wiki or something similar (obsidian portal perhaps), where things can be posted singly and cross-referenced.
As an aside, I don't see how the move+standard to draw and drink the Touch Injection infusion, and then another move+standard for the Cure X potion, then another standard to touch the intended recipient, comes out to doing wonders for the party's action economy. In fact, in the case of a downed party member, it's significantly worse than just pouring the Cure X down their gullet directly.
Soul gems are just part of random treasure, and I have someone who made values for those. If I need to adjust those later I can.
Does this mean we won't be able to use/make them ourselves (as in, use a Soul Trap spell to fill them)?
I'm considering trying to use the system similar to Eberron's gems. Thoughts?
No idea how that works. Not a fan of Eberron, mostly for flavor reasons.
I'm going through the race conversions that a lot of people of done right now and picking out the ones that I feel are the most interesting and faithful to the Elder scrolls.
Neat, I look forward to seeing which ones you pick.
Alchemy is a little different, as we have a seat, and classes for that. What with group ocean, the which class, and the alchemist class, that handles pretty much everything. So essentially I think it comes down to figuring out what ingredients in the world go with which potions in Pathfinder. That one could use a little discussion, because in Pathfinder ( not necessarily in the Elder scrolls) I actually limit who can craft potions, especially of higher levels. But in the elder scrolls, anyone picks up flower can. Which I'm not that much of a fan of. But let's discuss how alchemy should go down. :-)
"Group ocean"? Are you using text to speech? :) Craft Alchemy should just be a skill (like Craft Blacksmith etc), and anyone who puts points into it should be able to use it.
That's a good idea on the alchemy tables, Korak. I like the idea of anyone being able to craft weapons or armor, upgrade their quality, or do potions and such, so long as they are at the table they need. They would still need skill points to hit the DC check to see if they succeed, though.
Yes, all craftings should be their own skills. The craft DCs do bring up the question of whether we're using normal levels or some E6 variant, since they're capped by character level.
I'm starting to pull together an extensive list of weapons and armor and such in Skyrim, and attach it to its counterpart in Pathfinder. I think I'm going to use the weight and septum value of items from Skyrim, being as they are all balanced with each other in that economy, which is the one that we will be playing in. But things like armor class and damage and the effects of material types will be from Pathfinder.
So, just the normal PF equipment then? Armor/weapon material won't mean anything significant in that system, as far as I can tell. Maybe the armor as DR rules would help fill in that gap, but color me skeptical until you have the list done ;)
I think Tenro has it right on this one, regarding soul gems and alchemy.
As for materials, I think maybe just eliminating the boring "+x" enchantment for weapons and armor, and having the materials count as the enhancement value is probably the way to go. Something like this:
Smithing to improve the items could simply increase the damage by one die step each time, with a max of 5 steps. DC something like 15 + (5 * innate bonus of material) + (5 * # steps already increased). If a die step increase is too much, maybe just a flat +2 damage (which would multiply on crits and such as normal) per step.
As a matter of fact, let me propose an alternative to the E6 idea... everyone starts out about level 4-5, then if you want to cap the power level we could stop at say 12, with every level after that being a gestalt of previous levels (starting back at 1). "Real ultimate power" still gets capped (still no 7/8/9 level spells), but we gain a whole lot of versatility and choice, not to mention actual narrative control. A lot of the things martials really need in order to keep up with the bestiary contents are locked off behind level 10 or higher.
We're going to be low powered enough as it is, please don't make us start as NPCs on top of that. What's next, everyone has to take the Young Creature template?
Edit: or maybe I should follow Korak's lead. I love the idea of the Skyrim setting combined with PF rules, but this is kinda wandering far afield, for me. I usually can't stand anything below about level 4, since there are so few real options. Characters at those levels aren't, in my opinion, heroic. I guess I'll hold off until the houserules are finalized.
Given the text of Share Spells ("The wizard may cast a spell with a target of “You” on his familiar (as a touch spell) instead of on himself."), plus how Infusions work (basically as potions - others can benefit from normally Alchemist-only extracts but they're the ones who have to drink it), I'd say the familiar would have to be the one drinking. This gets into kind of a weird corner case, though, so there's really no RAW to explicitly state so.
1 & 2 redux: Extracts and mutagens are both considered spells for purposes of the Share Spells familiar ability, so yes.
4. Like you said, RAW doesn't allow that. It's not that the target becomes "You", it's rather that you become the target (the touched creature, or the creature within Close range, etc).
Allowing basically any extract to be used with Share Spells on your tumor familiar seems like it would be a pretty reasonable houserule, though. Ask your GM. I personally would allow it.
I'm interested, so long as we can get a coherent set of rules / house rules that I can figure out, in one place rather than spread across a bunch of posts. Maybe a google docs version? I googled for "epic 6 pf" and found basically nothing of use, so on that basis alone I'd suggest we use standard advancement.
Anyway, depending on the final version of racial stats and such, I'd probably go with a Khajiit barbarian/brawler. Mostly natural weapons unless we end up fighting something they'd be ineffective against (dragons, liches/dragon priests, high rank dremora), then probably either an axe or twin daggers/shortswords, depending on what the system makes usable.
Character: Male Khajiit, fleeing slavery, captured and tortured by Thalmor, escaped again and has heard that someone in Skyrim is actually standing up to those pointy-eared bastards, so he's headed that way in search of allies. Somewhat paranoid/survivalist, but realizes he needs others to succeed.
Would prefer exploring the Thalmor story (obviously), since it was woefully underexplored in Skyrim proper. Liked the Dark Brotherhood questline (although the one in Oblivion was better), along with the Companions. Not a huge fan of Mages' Guild or Thieves' Guild (storylines - I'm not opposed to them at all, just thought the stories were rather lackluster). Civil war story would be almost necessary to explore Thalmor stuff. I'd be okay with the Dragonborn stuff actually being a background to what we're doing, so long as he doesn't end up as an uber GMPC/NPC - it might be interesting if we're the ones who do all the really crucial stuff and he just takes the credit historically.
Mechanically, I do like the idea of having a more ES-ish crafting system, so ES materials, soul gems, alchemy, all that is great.
Fumble is another name for Natural 1
No, it's not. If you roll a natural 1, you just simply miss that attack, even if the roll otherwise is equal or higher than the target's AC. There's no additional effect unless you're either using house rules, or something else overrides the "just miss". In the case of misfires, those happen (if you roll in the misfire range for your particular firearm) in addition to the natural 1 = miss, not instead of it.
Having played under "fumble decks" a few times let me just say, DONT DO IT.
This. SO MUCH this.
Critical hits are fine, so long as they're PC (and *maybe* the occasional non-monster boss) only. If opponents can get special effects from their critical hits, it's disproportionately hard on the party, simply because there are so many opponents and only about 4 party members. Statistically, the party will be receiving FAR more crits than they can possibly dish out.
Crit fumbles are bad because the more attacks you make, the more often you have a chance of the fumble. The chance per swing doesn't go down as you gain levels, but the number of times you have to roll that chance does, and dramatically so. It's not worth it, and having played in a game that used these, I would absolutely not do it again - to the point of leaving the group.
1. Yes, but only if they have a target (not range - that would usually be "personal") of "you". Disguise Self and Expeditious Retreat are good examples of this. You treat extracts as spells when using the Share Spells ability, but they still have to meet the other criteria.
Dave Justus wrote:
Extracts are not spells. Share spells does nothing for an alchemist by RAW.
Share spells explicitly does work on extracts - reread the quoted (and bolded, in this case) text from the tumor familiar ability. No house rule needed.
This interests me. Would it be PbP or realtime (Roll20 or similar)?
There's also some conversion docs floating around that have a bunch of Morrowind/Elder Scrolls stuff statted out for PF already. I can't find the specific one I'm thinking of at the moment, but here are some others to check out: PF Elder Scrolls stuff on Reddit
Reebo Kesh wrote:
Clearly people believe the system forces them to play Min/Maxed characters but hey guess what, your roll a 1 on a saving throw and you're still dead not matter if you can trip a Remorhaz. How about focusing on personality for your next character? It is a role playing game too.
Hey, great idea. I'll make a roleplay character, and then he can be dead when I roll below a 12 on that same saving throw instead of just on a 1...
Taku Ooka Nin wrote:
this is just an issue with players wanting to "win" the game
I far prefer thinking of it as "not wanting to lose", because playing a terrible (ineffective at what the character is supposed to do) character is not fun for me, or most of the players I know.
We don't always optimize or plan builds out 20 levels... but in PF, if you don't focus in something (and usually from a very early level), you generally won't be good at what you're trying to do. In some cases, you can't even be mediocre outside one or two "super" builds.
If you want a game that encourages broad character expertise instead of tight focus, I'd suggest you play something like Shadowrun. Pathfinder isn't that kind of game, and can't be without a huge amount of work (and then the subsequent balance pass after the first one turns out to have massive holes in places you didn't expect).
Whenever you think you need a GMPC... think again. You don't. Almost without exception.
Either play the character that's not there, or have someone (or all of them) pick up Leadership and then the cohort can fill the extra slot.
GMPCs lead to a very dark place, and I want to help others avoid it, having been down that road (as a player in a group that had multiple GMPCs) myself.
Hey, there's another good idea, although not directly related to how to deal with C/MD here...
High physical attributes should have superhuman benefits. To NON CASTERS (so, summoned critters and eidolons and animal companions and such wouldn't get these benefits).
20 Con = fast healing 1 while not in combat, every 2 points above that increases FH rating by 1.
20 Str = reduce all DR by 1, every 2 points above that reduce it by 1 more.
20 Dex = 5% miss chance, every 2 points above that increase by 5% (cap of 50%).
20 Wis = +1 on Fort/Ref saves, every 2 points add 1 more.
Not sure what to do for Int/Cha, but along those lines maybe. Not sure if flat scaling is the way to go, or if maybe we should start lower and require higher increments to scale (first benefit at 18, then 21, 25, 30, 36 etc).
Here are some thoughts I've had on this issue:
1. Like Anzyr and KC mentioned above, cunning heroes (like rogue) should have some ability to "unweave" or otherwise disable / circumvent magical protections. This feels to me like it should be a fairly fine-grained ability, so maybe a skill. Probably not just disable device though, since so many other classes get that. Should be a rogue and rogue-lite class feature (rogue-lite at a penalty). Seems like this maybe should be its own minigame, like decking in Shadowrun (although, not to the point where it bogs things down while everyone else has to wait to play). There should be metamagics that make this harder or impossible to pull off. Edit: LoneKnave's idea about "magic-breaking" tools is a good one.
2. In order to "unweave" magic, you need to be able to sense it. Not sure if this should be baked into the perception skill, made its own skill, or maybe even done through alchemical means. Maybe all of the above. Normally its own skill, rogue talent (or trait, really, this is kinda weak to be its own talent) to let you use regular perception, and a couple alchemical items to let you use perception or just flat out give you the Sight. (Alchemical items kinda needed here since this ability should be shareable.)
3. Brute heroes (fighters and such) need to flat-out be able to cut through spells tossed at them, using only their blade. Probably something innate to the class instead of a weapon enchantment, this should be doable even after picking up a chair leg in a bar fight. Maybe cost a feat, gain the ability to, as an immediate action, (a) make a spellcraft check to identify incoming spell effect (wait, is this already a free or non action?), (b) attempt to "attack" it once identified, or do so with a penalty if the spellcraft check isn't high enough. Might be neat to have blades and blunt weapons affect certain spells differently - blades cut through while blunt weapons smash it aside. Could make for a neat "fizzle / misfire" table for disrupted spells.
4. Stealth needs to work, and there needs to be a way for a stealth character to help the rest of the party not suck at it (as Anzyr painted so vividly above). There are already ways for paladins (as an example) to "steal" the rogue's stealth ranks and share it with the group, but nothing intrinsic to the stealth class itself? Seems wrong to me. This should be something with a resource cost, like alchemical items.
5. Monks need some love too, in this arena. Maybe give them a separate SR for hostile spells only (or cost a feat to be able to select which incoming spells are affected by their SR). Probably should include their Wis mod as a bonus to the SR rating. They'd need spellcraft to identify incoming spells as well.
6. Casters have too many scaling factors, and they're too SAD. Int casters should have their save DCs affected by their Wis mod, Wis casters by Cha mod, and Cha casters by Int mod (or something like that anyway... not the same for everyone). There should also be no bonus spells for high casting stat (they already sort of get more spell slots simply by being able to cast the higher level spells at all).