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The Stymphalidies appears in Pathfinder Bestiary 3.
The definition of heresy is simply "belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious (especially Christian) doctrine." It doesn't necessarily have to be a serious disagreement, though it's usually used that way.
Any given that there were/are a lot of Christian heresies, even a greatly reduced frequency of heresy in a fantasy world would probably still result in the occasional heresy popping up.
Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
Slight tangent: As for the one step alignment shift thing, I much preferred how BECMI (and I believe 2e)did it: each Immortal listed allowed alignments of laity and clergy, which could be 'any'.
I like this idea and am considering implementing it in my current setting. For example, the god of punishment might accept only LN and LE followers, while the LN death goddess would probably be fine with any non-chaotic followers.
Looks like I mis-remembered the wording on the Butchering Axe - thanks!
I was curious about how the entertainingly min-maxed giant axe build compared to the more conservative Two Hand Fighter//Metamorph that avr suggested, so I crunched some numbers.
Going to assume for simplicity everyone buys the belt of strength and a breastplate. DPR vs AC 17, not counting critical hits - again, for simplicity. I'm also going to reference the benchmarks here. In brief, a “blue” rating is optimal, green is a good level for a primary offense, and defenses should be in the orange-green range.
Two-Handed Fighter // Metamorph (Small Butchering Axe):
Stats: Str 18 (17+1-2+2) Dex 14 (10+4) Con 16 Int 10 Wis 12 Cha 8 (10-2)
Attack +10 = 4 (BAB) + 4 (Str) + 1 (MW) +1 (size)
DPR: 14.35 (low) 24.4 (high)
AC: 19 (+6 armor, +2 dex, +1 size)
Special: Two discoveries
This is a pretty good build. Unbuffed attack bonus (+10) and DPR (14.35) are both green, and buffed DPR (24.4) is blue. AC is not great, but with the mutagen it hits the green level (21); HP is also pretty good (52), and at least one of the two discoveries can go towards defenses, so the durability should be fine. Saves are also OK; Will (+4) hits the orange mark, while the others (+7 and +6) approach green ratings. The last feat could go to Dodge, but I'd probably use it for Extra Discovery or something with a bit of utility, like Intimidating Prowess.
Titan Fighter // Titan Mauler (Large Butchering Axe):
Stats: Str 19 (18+1-2+2) Dex 14 (10+4) Con 14 Int 10 Wis 12 Cha 9 (11-2)
Attack +4 = 4 (BAB) + 4 (Str) + 1 (MW) +1 (size) -8 (oversize) +1 (Big Game) +1 (Weapon Focus)
DPR: 10.4 (low) 17.4 (high)
AC: 19 (+6 armor, +2 dex, +1 size)
Special: one additional rage power
Despite the impressive 4d6 weapon die and putting a lot of resources into attack bonuses, DPR for this build actually drops pretty significantly, losing about 4 points unbuffed and 7 buffed. Predictably, defenses are also lower, with the raging AC of 15 falling below even the orange rating – higher HP will help, but I don't think 4 HP and 8 temporary HP is going to outweigh a 6-point gap in AC and the loss of two defensive discoveries (and we also have to worry about sudden barbarian death syndrome). Finally, the saves are worse. The Will save is OK when raging (+4), but terrible if surprised (+2). The Ref save (+3) is just bad.
Maybe an intermediate build could do better?
Titan Fighter // Metamorph (Medium Butchering Axe):
Stats: Str 19 (18+1-2+2) Dex 14 (10+4) Con 14 Int 10 Wis 12 Cha 8 (10-2)
Attack +7 = 4 (BAB) + 4 (Str) + 1 (MW) +1 (size) -3 (oversize)
DPR: 12.4 (low) 19.5 (high)
AC: 19 (+6 armor, +2 dex, +1 size)
Special: Two discoveries
Again, DPR (12.4-19.5) is lower than the Two-Handed Fighter. Defenses are similar, though HP and Fort save are a little lower due to the Str/Con tradeoff. And we're missing that last feat.
Titan Mauler // Metamorph (Medium Butchering Axe):
Stats: Str 19 (18+1-2+2) Dex 14 (10+4) Con 14 Int 10 Wis 12 Cha 8 (10-2)
Attack +4 = 4 (BAB) + 4 (Str) + 1 (MW) +1 (size) +1 (Big Game) -5 (oversize) -2 (PA)
DPR: 9 (low) 20 (mutagen + rage) 23.1 (high)
AC: 20 (+6 armor, +2 dex, +1 size +1 Big Game)
Special: Two discoveries, one other rage power
The most buff-dependent build, this fails to hit even orange DPR unbuffed (DPR 9) – though its fully buffed DPR (23.1) is solidly blue and only barely behind the THF//Metamorph. AC drops (17-20), though not as badly as the THF//Mauler, and the Ref save stays high; HP improves (56+8 temp) and we still have defensive discoveries. Fort and Ref saves are good (+6-8) and Will is OK when raging (+4). Overall this is definitely still a weaker build than the THF//Metamorph – though since it's not a huge difference the “fun factor” of carrying an orc-size butchering axe does make it tempting.
Two-Hand Fighter // Titan Mauler (Medium Butchering Axe):
Stats: Str 19 (18+1-2+2) Dex 14 (10+4) Con 14 Int 10 Wis 12 Cha 8 (10-2)
Attack +6 = 4 (BAB) + 4 (Str) + 1 (MW) +1 (size) +1 (Big Game) -5 (oversize)
DPR: 12.25 (low) 19.95 (high)
AC: 20 (+6 armor, +2 dex, +1 size +1 Big Game)
Special: one other rage power
DPR (12.25-19.95) still can't beat the THF//Metamorph, and again we're looking at a hit to AC and saves.
So it looks like, at least for a level 4 goblin, the penalties imposed by wielding oversized weapons outweigh the extra damage from weapon dice and the opportunity cost of abilities like Mutagen or Overhand Chop. The Titan Mauler//Metamorph comes close, thanks to being able to obtain a Str up to 29 with rage, mutagen, and shapechanging - and it might be worth making a less optimal pregen for the entertainment value. I will see how it stacks up to the other pregens and make a decision.
I don't think there's a rules answer.
I'd let you try, but you'd need to make some kind of check - probably Sleight of Hand - to place the item in such a way that the shifting of the elemental material as the familiar moves doesn't reveal the item. Might also apply some penalty to the familiar since having a large foreign object inside you has to be distracting at best. Shaken or sickened sounds about right.
Is there a competitively strong Focus power in the other schools?
Not for a dip.
Though if you do take the second level in occultist, consider Haunt Collector. If I'm reading it correctly, getting the seance boon doesn't actually require you to invest focus in the implement (though the spirit bonus does). With a Champion spirit, that's basically a +2 to damage - and if you do put 2 focus in the implement, you can twice per day as a swift action add +1 to attack rolls, damage rolls, Strength checks, Strength-based skill checks, and Fortitude saves for 1 round.
Most of the focus powers don't appear to scale that well - Abjuration I think is really only worth it for the spell list. Your best bet at 1st level is probably Sudden Speed. Though if you feel like a 3rd level you might consider Unseen. In that case you'll want focus in Illusion; 7 points (3 level + 2 Int + 2 feat) should give you enough to work with. And that would also make it a good implement to Haunt since the focus for Unseen is also giving you your spirit bonus.
If you take Silksworn, Necromantic Servant gives you a flank buddy whose BAB and attack bonus are based on your character's rather than occultist level. The resonant and base powers are pretty lame, though, and the spell list's not as useful as abjuration or illusion for a dip. Conjuration's also got a useful spell list if you're looking for a 4th school.
In my current setting, the main political power has a "state pantheon," with the main lawful deities within the pantheon responsible for providing specific civic services. The three that are most politically involved (valour, knowledge, and punishment) are also entitled to vote in the Senate.
For example, the church of the god of valour and the sun (think Iomedae crossed with Pelor) is closely tied to the military and provides the vast majority of the empire's combat medics. They also sponsor a prominent Paladin order that specializes in demon hunting. In fact it is the only church to specifically train paladins - other churches just include them in mixed-class martial factions.
The church of the goddess of knowledge runs the school system, which includes a public grammar school. Higher levels of education come with increasing fees attached, but bright students can obtain scholarships from the church through some form of "work-study." The church also funds R&D, with scholars on their payroll whose magical, alchemical, and technological discoveries then become property of the church. Some of these discoveries are put to use for the public good - others are used to fund the church.
The church of the death goddess Alida (vaguely similar to Pharasma) is responsible for running the world's hospitals and funerals. If you're closely associated with a different church you can get help there, and some rural areas are too small for an Alidan presence. But the average citizen of any settlement at least the size of a small town goes to the Alidan church for care.
The god of punishment and ambition runs courts and jails.
I wouldn't say I have heretics - at least not yet. But there are definitely factions and fringe groups. For example, there's also a "black powder" movement within the church of the goddess of knowledge that is trying to replace the crossbow with the firearm as her favoured weapon. As a pro-innovation deity, she's theoretically on board with this - but it's a question of whether the technology is mature enough to be widely adopted. Often these groups end up being represented by a demi-deity or patron saint. For example, the church of Alida recognizes a patron saint of undead-hunters whose followers are not involved in the mainstream hospital administration and have their own training and leaders, but who ultimately report to the High Priestess of Alida, and can count on help from the main church.
So make them look it. For some reason, dumping charisma isn't so much fun anymore then.
I'm currently playing a Cha 9 monk who I describe as being somewhat unattractive, with oversized features. I also try to play the character as a bit blunt and stand-offish, though not intentionally rude.
Another party member is a tiefling samurai who I think has dumped Cha - between fiendish features and extensive scarring he's got an extremely unsettling presence, but is quite affable.
And a couple games back a friend of mine played a low-Cha half-elf ranger as a cute wallflower with self-esteem issues.
Sometimes you need to dump charisma. As long as people are making some effort to roleplay and not bothering the rest of the table, it's all good.
There's also ways to get social skills (at least in part) to be based on other ability scores. The traits clever wordplay and student of philosophy can do this with intelligence. The inquisitor's conversion inquisition lets wisdom be used in place of charisma for several social skills. It would be an interesting role playing challenge to play a character with one of these options (especially if you dump charisma), like a dwarf inquisitor with a 5 charisma, that is actually good at social skills.
Depending on the exact skills and stats involved, I tend to see these as cases of "I don't like you, but you make a compelling argument, so I'll do what you want for now."
Lady-J: Sorry, I should have specified: I'm looking for a big melee weapon, to be wielded two-handed. There is already a gunslinger//alchemist pre-gen - though I don't think that it has a feat to spare for Goblin Gunslinger.
Ierox: That's a really neat build! It might be a bit more min-maxed than I was aiming for, with a -4 AC penalty, no Iron Will, and most of the wealth invested in the strength belt. The character would need to use a masterwork weapon instead of a +1, and would have just 1635gp left for defensive and utility items.
I'm also not confident in the RAI on a Large Butchering Axe. Given that the small axe requires Str 17 and the medium Str 19, I expect a large Butchering Axe should require Str 21, even if this is not stated (due to the assumption that PCs are small or medium).
Unfortunately there aren't a lot of spell-free options with good will saves. There are some archetypes of paladin and antipaladin, the vigilante, and the sleuth investigator. The first three come with RP strings that I'm hesitant to attach to a pre-gen. The sleuth could work - at low levels the deeds are not a terrible trade for extracts, and the skills are nice. But it's a lot of resource juggling, and uses both Int and Cha in a build that otherwise calls to dump one or both of those stats.
Taking Iron Will on top of Power Attack and EWP (Butchering Axe) would mean taking either fighter, slayer, or non-Wild Stalker Ranger in order to get at least one bonus feat.
Given that, Two-Hand Fighter//Metamorph does seem like a pretty good combo. I'd end up with three part-alchemist gestalts out of eleven, but they're pretty different in character (one's a Grenadier, and the other is a vivisectionist poison specialist). Plus, Alchemist is a pretty thematic class for goblins.
If the outsider is actually present on the Material Plane, as opposed to summoned using a summoning spell, then it actually dies.
Rules citation that Katapesh Fried Chicken alluded to:
Conjuration Subschools wrote:
I'm making some pregens for a gestalt one-shot and could use some help implementing a concept: a goblin using the biggest weapon he can get his hands on.
The Titan Fighter will let gobbo use a medium-size two-handed weapon with a -1 penalty.
Alternatively, the small Orc Butchering Axe is essentially a medium-size greataxe. I can squeeze in the required 17 Strength with an 18 minus 2 racial, plus 1 for 4th level - or buy a 17 -2 racial +1 advancement +2 belt = 18. After that all it costs is Exotic Weapon Proficiency.
Classes I'm looking at:
Multiclassing OK though I'd prefer a simple two-class gestalt.
Resistance isn't the only issue with that comparison.
It is definitely an issue. Getting your second element at level 7 helps, but there's still a lot of creatures that have resistances to multiple elements. Most evil outsiders resist all but one element, and demons resist all of them. DR takes a smaller chunk of the fighter's damage, and there are more options built into the game to deal with it (a +3 weapon and an oil of Bless Weapon takes care of most of the DR you'll run into). YMMV on what you actually encounter a given campaign, but one campaign I'm currently in runs into a lot of outsiders.
Second issue though, using only 1 out of 6 feats seriously handicaps the fighter. Adding just Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization (using half the fighter's feats) puts the fighter's routine at +11 (2d6+16) for a DPR of 16.1.
Third, warlock is super dependent on full attacking. That's a bit easier when you work at range but still, better hope you don't get staggered or need to take a move action.
Finally, comparing at level 5 favours the warlock. It's just gotten its main feats and its ability to make all of its attacks against touch AC, and damage increases from Mythic Bolt and Arcane Strike at levels 4 and 5. At 6th level, the warlock's routine is +6/+6/+6 (d6+4) for a minor increase in DPR to 16.8. But the fighter has gained an extra attack: +12/+7 (2d6+16). Against a new AC of 19, that's a DPR of 24.5.
Aw, shucks. :)
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
suprised to see the bard is so high up there.
I'm not surprised to see that it's one of the better liked classes in that category - but I'm surprised that it's 50% ahead of the next runner up, and that Alchemist and Investigator didn't get more attention. I've seen a lot of love for both alchemical classes on the boards. Alchemist did at least get two mentions, but one of them was a 3-way tie and the other was a 4-way tie, so not a lot of weight there.
It's possible this is an unrepresentative sample.
Arcane Strike doesn't reference manufactured weapons. Sense Vitals does. Mystic bolts count as weapons for the purpose of Arcane Strike. They don't count as manufactured weapons for the purpose of Sense Vitals.
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
I think this is partly correct. I like alchemists better than pretty much any option in the other categories that didn't make my favourites list, and it even competes pretty well with my favourites in some of the other categories (for example, I like the alchemist about as much as either the slayer or the wizard). But the 6-level casters are just so good that the alchemist just barely makes my top five in the category (behind inquisitor and occultist and around the same as bard and hunter).
On the other hand, I am a little surprised by the lack of variation in that category. I went and tallied up responses and found that the bard won handily with 6.5 votes, Inquisitor second at 4 and occultist third at 2.5.
Claxon, you've got it the wrong way around. leviathanapsu is "a player in the game in question," not the warlock player the OP is having difficulty with.
The "power gaming" group is a second group (not OP's and leviathanapsu's) that has apparently ruled that the warlock gets +d6 damage every 4 levels instead of +1. This has led the warlock player to believe that the ability actually works that way, and to expect that it will work that way in OP's and leviathanapsu's group.
This is unfortunate. It may be possible to show the warlock player this thread in order to at least convince them of how the rule is intended, but if they're used to playing the warlock with a damage buff they probably won't want to play one as written. Would they be interested in a different class?
Re: warlock balance
I think PossibleCabbage has correctly identified the reasons that many are disappointed with the warlock.
I think the real question is how the warlock stacks up against the other 6-level casters that have a lot of intrigue-related features - like the bard.
Bards get 6+Int skills, but aren't Int-based, which means they should be about on par with the 4+Int Warlock until higher levels when the Warlock has put some effort into boosting Int. The bard can also use Versatile Performance and Pageant of the Peacock to stretch out their skill ranks. Bards get better class skills, with all Knowledge skills and Perception while the Warlock gets only Arcana, Dungeoneering, Local, and Nobility plus Ride and Swim. Bardic Knowledge and Lore Master also make bards very good at knowledge skills despite not being Int-based, and as a Cha-based class they have a leg up on Cha skills. The Warlock can compensate using Social Grace or the Intimidate bonus on Renown, but that makes them more specialized than the bard.
The warlock also gets some other neat talents like Mockingbird, Many Guises, or Tattoo Chamber - but the bard also gets Inspire Competence, Countersong, Distraction, Fascinate, Suggestion, and Mass Suggestion. Getting access to the variety of spells on the wizard's list is definitely a boon for the warlock. On the other hand, the bard gets early access to some nice spells like Heroism or Overwhelming Presence, and also gets exclusive access to things like Gallant Inspiration or Glibness. As a core class, the bard also gets a lot more support, with tons of archetypes for customization.
And of course the bard does just fine in combat, with Inspire Courage boosting the whole party's damage output.
It seems to me that the warlock could stand to have slightly better damage potential, which would bring it more in line with the very versatile and well balanced bard.
The wording isn't confusing.
You're not going to get an official FAQ, because it's not confusing.
You probably won't get a developer comment either, because they don't generally respond to rules questions, especially when you've had several forum members chip in with the same answer.
The only person misreading it is the player who wants this disappointing ability to be better.
If the player is not willing to accept a GM ruling on this one, they're being a bad player.
Of course, you're also free to houserule and tell the player that while they're reading it wrong you think that the damage should increase by d6 every 4 levels. Though I'm not entirely confident that wouldn't be over-adjusting... you might want to run a DPR calculation on the full attack.
I'm going to second/third/whatever talking one on one with the players of the groped characters about it, just in case they are actually bothered about it but reluctant to say so.
its called fondling if its consensual
Usually but not necessarily. As CrystalSeas says it's more of a connotation than a denotation. While in most cases the word implies nonconsensual touching, it's also sometimes used to convey clumsiness (eg two teenagers groping each other) or even just roughness (in contrast to fondling, which tends to refer to gentler forms of touching).
Collins Dictionary wrote:
4. If one person gropes another, they touch or take hold of them in a rough, sexual way.
Cambridge Dictionary wrote:
informal to touch someone's body in order to get sexual pleasure, usually when the person does not like it
When used in a sexual context, groping is touching or fondling another person in an unwelcome sexual way using the hands. The term generally has a negative connotation in many societies, and may be considered sexual assault, and terms such as frotteurism (or toucherism) may describe the practice of a person rubbing up against another person, typically using their sexual parts. Touching a consenting person's body during sexual activity, massage, or medical examination is not usually considered groping, though the term is sometimes used to include clumsy, selfish, or inappropriate sexual touching.
The Dandy Lion wrote:
3/4 BAB, no or 4th casting: I have both a Kineticist and Medium in upcoming campaigns, not sure which excites me more. The latter feels more reliant on finding the right game and GM, though.
Yeah, I find the Medium interesting and would like to try one, but it seems like you'd need a game where (1) you can predict which spirit is going to be most useful for the day and (2) you can reliably access your choice of spirit, or at minimum your second choice.
Like some other folks I'm going to bow out of the "power" discussion and just talk about what I like - and don't like.
Full BAB, no spells: Fighter or Gunslinger. I have a hard time getting over the Fighter's relative lack of skill points. That said, with new support the combat options are more fun, and I'm not all that interested in the Gunslinger's pew pew pew shtick.
Full BAB, no spells: Three way tie between Barbarian, Slayer, and Unchained Monk. Barbarian for the beat-downs, slayer for the best balance between combat and utility, and monk for mobility and style.
I understand why you're reading it that way. As pointed out in the OP, I don't think that's the only way to read it.
While the wording does seem to suggest that the effective spell level and CL are both either fixed or variable (and spell level is clearly supposed to be fixed, per the example in the FAQ) I don't think that's necessarily intended.
For me, the best argument in favour of a variable CL is that CL generally increases with class level (or character level or HD for abilities not tied to a class). It seems really weird that the devs would carve out this little exception almost as an afterthought - a rule added to the CRB as an errata in response to an FAQ, where the CL part of the rule wasn't even addressed in the FAQ.
It's also weird that an occultist's Purge Corruption focus power would have a different caster level from their Flesh Mend power just because the former references Neutralize Poison and Remove Disease and the latter doesn't reference the Cure line of spells.
That said, based on the stats and a glance at the d20pfsrd for the 3PP classes' BAB and saves:
I will second bard and vigilante (probably avenger) for Kazé-oá. Swashbuckler might work depending on whether the combat style involves a light or one-handed piercing weapon, with nothing but a buckler in the off-hand.
Bard's actually pretty strong for Lorana, too, though I'm not sure how it fits her personality. Arcane Duelist might be a neat archetype. If you're looking for something more combat oriented, you might consider paladin if you think she is interested in roleplaying the ethical aspects - it would make good use of high Cha and adds durability and healing. There's also an archetype with a drake companion, the Silver Champion - or if you're willing to fudge a bit you could go with Chosen One and a Pseudodragon familiar (instead of an outsider) sent by a goodly dragon deity. And again, depending on combat style she might be able to make use of Swashbuckler.
And while someone's mentioned Monk of the Lotus for Lucine, you should also check out the Sensei, which gives her magical advice, and the Invested Regent, which trades some feats for extra magical abilities based on her high Cha. Both are compatible with Monk of the Lotus if you want to double up archetypes.
If you do VMC, Grumbaki's suggestions are good, except maybe Perra since her poor BAB and reflex save mean she won't get much use out of sneak attack or evasion - but I'm not seeing a much better solution. Maybe wizard? Transmutation (Enhancement), or Conjuration (Creation) might suit? Ioun Wyrd familiar?
I've had quite a lot of fun with a reach bloodrager. Compares favourably to the party paladin in tankiness, with a more consistent damage output (though of course you can't beat the pally when smiting a demon).
However if you're looking at this specific party, druid. In my experience the damage is not as good as the ragers or paladin, but it's very tanky and provides more magical versatility with defensive buffs (like Barkskin and Resist Energy) and control spells (like Obscuring Mist, Entangle, and Wall of Thorns). Can also help the oracle with condition removal.
I'm not sure you're going to get any better advice than this, as your issue is very specific. It is possible a 3PP subforum would have more people familiar enough with the material to weigh in.
How about granting gestalt if they complete the tasks between 3rd-5th level, dropping the CR range in Aridia to APL - APL+6 and granting free VMC between 6th-10th, and dropping the CR range to normal and they gain some XP for completing the tasks after 10th. Once they complete the tasks, they can't do it again. They are completely unaware of the existence of Aridia before 3rd level.
I'm confused about how this works.
You're planning on changing the difficulty of the campaign based on when the players complete a subquest?
Is Aridia just the place where they do this subquest, or do you expect them to stay there?
Murdock Mudeater wrote:
Did you read the rest of the post?
I'm not familiar with the 3PP you're using, but the Occultist and Scavenger Investigator are object-themed classes if you're looking for more options for Perra and could convert the magic progression.
I would expect most players to feel pressure to use the features of the second class even if they don't really fit the concept or build. If you don't use the gestalt features, then it's disappointing - not much of a reward. And if your fellow players make better use of their gestalts than you do, you'll feel you're not pulling your weight.
We've got an FAQ covering the effective spell level of SLAs not based on spells:
...and similar text made it into the CRB:
If a character class grants a spell-like ability that is not based on an actual spell, the ability's effective spell level is equal to the highest-level class spell the character can cast, and is cast at the class level the ability is granted.
(2) "is cast at the class level from which the ability is granted"
The first case indicates that the caster level does not increase as the character gains levels in the class that granted the ability, while the second indicates that it does always equal the character's class level in the relevant class. So:
1) For SLAs not based on spells, should the caster level remain fixed, or increase as the character advances in the class granting the SLA?
Also, a second related question due to the proliferation of selectable class powers:
2) If a SLA can be selected at different levels, should we base the effective spell level (and possibly caster level) on the level the ability was gained, or the level the ability was first available? For example, if an occultist takes the Evocation implement school at level 6, gaining access to Energy Ray (Sp), is the effective spell level 1 (because the Energy Ray power can be gained as early as level 1) or 2 (because a 6th level occultist can cast 2nd level spells)?
Given that the RP system is intended as a guide for GMs, my question would be "why do you need to know?"
If you're a GM trying to figure out whether it's balanced, the fact that you're allowed to swap darkvision and slapping tail for for evasive maneuevers suggests that it's more or less balanced - you don't need to know an RP value.
If you're a player who's been told they can play any race up to a certain RP value, and are wondering whether you can use alternate traits to lower the RP value of a race... I'd say technically unknown (C) and closer to 17 than 14 because in theory it's a balanced trade (or at least one that some players will find worthwhile). You may be able to work with your GM to make a slightly toned-down version of a race that is just above the GM's cutoff, but it will probably involve dropping racial traits rather than just swapping them out. Or at minimum, making trades that are clearly not optimal for your character. For example, for a Drow without the ability to summon Demons, the "Blasphemous Covenant" alternate trait gives them merely a +2 to Diplomacy with these specific creatures in exchange for +2 Perception and poison use, which is an underpowered trade for that character.
Ryan Freire wrote:
Hooray, barbarians can overkill harder, so what?
Sometimes it's overkill. Sometimes it's just enough kill.
When I'm plugging up an entire 25-foot hallway and practically auto-killing up to 5 mooks a round that are trying to get past me to my squishy party members? And the paladin gets to smack at best one of them, and isn't guaranteed to kill the one he takes a swing at even if he hits?
Tell me I'm not supporting my party to my very pointy face.
Ryan Freire wrote:
You> YEAH BUT BARBS DO MORE DAMAGE AND ALL THIS OTHER IN COMBAT STUFF
Out of combat I've got the party's highest Sense Motive (+26 at level 12) and am the only trained tracker, and our most durable scout (with 40 ft movement, acrobatics, decent stealth and perception) - which is valuable when we don't want to send the squishier investigator ahead alone. I've got a comparable Diplomacy to the paladin since he didn't have a lot of ranks to invest. And I can Craft Magic Arms & Armour during downtime.
Ryan Freire wrote:
and having spell sunder doesn't even touch the utility of all the mercies a paladin has available
Debatable. Hostile spells can seriously hinder a party.
Ryan Freire wrote:
plus access to raise dead without gold cost.
"Access to" = spending two feats in a relatively feat-starved class, and also meeting a non-trivial Charisma requirement. And since it burns 10 Lay on Hands it'll severely reduce your ability to self-heal or use other Mercies. Ultimate Mercy is cool but it costs.
Ryan Freire wrote:
Except the paladin does more to buff up your party than your bloodrager/monk by simple virtue of class abilities.
But the bloodrager//monk is better at controlling the battlefield due to improved reach and combat reflexes, plus spells such as Wind Wall. She's also more mobile, deals more consistent damage, and has better skills.
As to game balance, it is involved. Paladins have demonstrable advantages in a game where they are relevant at all. It is not any any individual ability, it is the synergistic way the work together.
Paladins do have demonstrable advantages - but so do other martial classes. Unchained Monks and Beast Totem barbarians have superior mobility due to a combination of fast movement and flying kick or pounce. Slayers have excellent utility between skill points, talents, and studied target bonuses. All three of those classes perform better during long adventuring days and combats with lots of mooks.
I'm not saying that these classes are equivalent, but that the paladin is not clearly superior.
As to game balance, it is involved. Paladins have demonstrable advantages in a game where they are relevant at all. It is not any any individual ability, it is the synergistic way the work together. If they weren't demonstrably advantaged, then these threads wouldn't exist because no one would feel cheated by not being able play them as a thug.
No, people feel that their character design options are being unnecessarily limited due to the specific alignment restriction and/or specific content of the code.
Even if it is partly a question of mechanics, that doesn't mean the paladin's mechanics are better. If sorcerers were required to be CN-only for some reason, then you would have disappointed people wanting to play heroic charisma-based spontaneous arcane casters. It wouldn't mean that sorcerers are mechanically better than wizards.
Which is a thematic argument based largely on your interpretation of what is "deserving." Many people do not believe that LG is intended to be somehow more deserving than other Good alignments. Certainly the game at least pays lip service to the idea that there is no single "best Good."
The Law-Chaos axis is terribly muddled, which is part of why having mechanical restrictions based on that axis bugs me.
Ryan Freire wrote:
Even if you are correct that LG is the most restrictive alignment (and I do not agree that this is the case), what about the paladin's mechanics require them to be restricted?
So the only mechanic that's even vaguely connected to the idea of restriction is Divine Health, and then only if you interpret physical purity as also indicating moral restriction.
Again, it's not game balance that's requiring this restriction. Paladins not only aren't the most powerful class, they're not even clearly the most powerful martials - I'm playing a Bloodrager/Monk co-frontlining with a Paladin and we're pretty balanced both in and out of combat.
Problem is that there's a good chunk of people who, in absence of a strong opinion one way or another, will stick with the default - which means that currently there are a good chunk of people who will turn down alternate alignments even though they don't really care about the issue. If the alignment restriction were removed, then Lady-J's character concept would only be rejected if someone actually cared enough to say "LG only."
Seems to me that it's not a good idea to effectively ban a character concept just because someone didn't care enough to change the default option.
However, accepting that we will not call your idea of a "holy warrior" with similar abilities to a Paladin but has a different alignment, a Paladin, and meeting us halfway with a simple and harmless change in the name of the class, that goes a long way to fostering goodwill and an atmosphere of acceptance. Both parties end up getting what they want, if not exactly how they wanted it.
I'd be content with that result - having the mechanics shared for all alignments but keeping the "Paladin" title exclusive to LG. In fact, that's how it works in my current campaign. I call the class "Champion" and a specific, exclusively LG order comprises the "Paladins."
Unfortunately, some people are not happy with that. Just in this thread:
Possible Cabbage wrote:
I feel like "champions of other alignments" are a great idea, but the ones that aren't LG shouldn't be defined by things like grace, lay on hands, mercy, etc. They should instead be defined by things that are more appropriate for those alignments.
Ryan Freire wrote:
Everything seems to keep coming back to wanting the class abilities without the restrictions that come with them.
Though no one seems to have actually made am argument for why the mechanics are not appropriate for different alignments.
And the closest we've gotten to an official change is the Grey Paladin, which (1) is mechanically inferior (2) cannot be CG (3) even if NG, cannot worship a CG deity.
This is the correct math, looking at the market price.
If you have a party crafter upgrade new BELT #1, it only costs 3,000gp, which actually nets the PC a 2,000gp profit from selling old BELT #2.
If I can reference medieval demographics, according to this source, you have one "clergyman" for about every 40 people, but only one priest for about every 25-30 clergy (or about 1,000 people).
It seems reasonable to me that most of the basic clergy would be adepts, while most of the priests would be clerics. That would give you an estimate of about one adept per 40 people, and one cleric per 1,000.
Incidentally, you also need about 1,500 people to support a blacksmith, which means that this:
Edward the Necromancer wrote:
...would describe a town of about 1,000-1,500 people. And while one cleric and a couple dozen adepts can do quite a lot of good for a town, I don't think they would be able to fill all the community's needs for water, medicine, or mending.
First, it is my understanding that adepts don't have unlimited orisons:
Adepts and Orisons:
Note: correction on my statement above. Adepts can memorize no more than 3 cantrips. There doesn't seem to be a declared limitation on number of castings a day.
As far as I'm aware, every class that gets unlimited 0-level spells gets either the "orisons," "cantrips," or "knacks" class feature. For example, clerics have: "Clerics can prepare a number of orisons, or 0-level spells, each day, as noted on Table: Cleric under “Spells per day.” These spells are treated like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again." To me this suggests that 0-level spells are not actually unlimited by default, which means that adepts, lacking the orisons feature, can only cast a limited number of them.
Looking at water alone, this source estimates the global average water consumption per person at 1243 cubic metres per year, or 328,365.9 gallons per person, or 328,365,900 gallons for a town of 1,000. At 1,200 gallons per hour for Create Water, you're looking at 273,638 hours worth of work a year, or 750 hours a day. If the magical irrigators are casting 8 hours a day, you'll need 94 of them to single-handedly supply the town.
But can we use the water consumption of a modern person to estimate the water consumption of a pseudo-medieval person?
Well, potatoes are one of the most water-efficient crops at 287 litres of water (75.8 gallons) and 770 calories to the kilogram, which means that to feed a person 2000 calories worth of potatoes you need about 197 gallons of water a day, or just under 197,000 gallons a day for a town of 1,000. That's 165 hours worth of work per day, which takes 21 magical irrigators casting Create Water for 8 hours a day – or about 1/50th the population of the town. For a diet of potatoes.
And remember that if I'm correct that adepts cannot crank out Create Water for 8 hours a day, this work needs to be done by clerics or other PC-classed spellcasters. This would make widespread irrigation by manual casting massively impractical.
However, it would be relatively easy for clerics to supply drinking water to a castle under siege or a sailing ship, and they'd probably be able to blunt a drought or possibly even supplement irrigation long-term in an area that otherwise gets just a little less than it needs to support farming.
And you could get some very interesting things going with Decanters of Endless Water. I've got a city in my setting that is primarily magically irrigated, and I estimated that it would need about one decanter per 20 people - or a 450gp investment each. That's equivalent to 12-13 years of wages for an unskilled worker or about a year's wages for an artisan - which, given that it's a permanent investment, is not out of the question for an elven city.
Should we make a separate, more general thread to discuss the meaning of the FAQ?
I feel like the question in the original post (are some Focus Powers spell-like, and what does that mean) has generally been resolved. And the previous FAQ seems to pretty clearly indicate that the effective spell level is fixed. However, we have two remaining questions about SLAs not based on spells:
1) Should the caster level remain fixed, or increase as the character advances in the class granting the SLA?
2) If a SLA can be selected at different levels, should we base the effective spell level (and possibly caster level) on the level the ability was gained, or the level the ability was available? For example, if an occultist takes the Evocation implement school at level 6, gaining access to Energy Ray (Sp), is the effective spell level 1 (because the Energy Ray power can be gained as early as level 1) or 2 (because a 6th level occultist can cast 2nd level spells)?
Pathfinder has been known to use redundant reminder text - and in this case, as Chess Pwn suggests, it would be beneficial to ensure that people don't try to use character level or total HD as their caster level. My guess is that the FAQ didn't address caster level because it wasn't causing confusion at the time. Then someone took the FAQ when writing the errata and while adapting the text realized that it would be good to specify how caster level works. However they were trying to cram than information into a small space, mangling the syntax. The confusing wording even parallels the wording of the FAQ in a way that I could see resulting from a copy-paste operation and some hasty editing.
"The effective spell level for these spell-like abilities is equal to the highest-level spell that a character of that class could normally cast at the level the ability is gained."
"If a character class grants a spell-like ability that is not based on an actual spell, the ability's effective spell level is equal to the highest-level class spell the character can cast, and is cast at the class level the ability is granted."
Sir Thugsalot wrote:
"Fair" isn't' in the CRB code, but "honour" is.
YMMV (or your deity's mileage may vary) on what is considered honourable.
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