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Green Dragon

William Senn's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 162 posts (6,033 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 9 aliases.


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Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Because the caster doesn't have to be the one with the aura? Anything attacking the target with an aura gets the bonus. Sure an inquisitor probably can't trigger it on his lonesome, but maybe his party members can.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This is quite possibly the deadliest library ever. That said, I have a character who's been wondering if there'd ever be any use for all his Acrobatics and Climb ranks, and I can now tell him yes, yes, there will be.

Scarab Sages

Matt asked me to stop in and let you all know that he hasn't forgotten about this but he's super-busy this week, so he hasn't been able to update. Dimma does not react to the Diplomacy attempt--it's not clear whether there's magic involved or if she's just not listening. It's Culdren's turn.

Scarab Sages

For the record, Matt asked me about the poison thing face to face some time ago. I only stepped in here because it seemed to be a discussion which was about to start again (and, of course, this being the internet, me stepping in started a discussion, which I should have anticipated).

Just so people don't think I was being nosy. :) I'm generally going to try and stay out of the way unless playtest-relevant questions get brought up OR if Matt asks me to step in for whatever reason.

Scarab Sages

Did someone shine the rules lawyer signal?

Just as there are no automatic checks for noticing a trap or a secret door (barring class or race features; I'm talking by default), there are no automatic checks for noticing poison either before or after it's been ingested/injected/inhaled/contacted.

Certainly circumstances can lead to "I've been poisoned!" as a logical conclusion--such as a sudden feeling of weakness while the person who just served you drinks tries to kill someone right in front of you. However, in the absence of a special rule stating otherwise, there's no obligation for the GM to give you a Perception check to notice poison before you ingest it. There's a reason poisoned food/drink was a favored assassination method, after all: it's hard to detect without specialized means (food tasters, chemical analysis, magic).

Personally, I'd give a Perception check if the poison were particularly noticable (bleach poured into a drink) or if a character was previously established as being especially alert to/suspicious of such things.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
jlighter wrote:
I wasn't sure what math to use for the Aura distance. I'm guessing it's 5 or 10 ft?

The aura of evil from an embodied blood spirit is the same as any alignment aura, such as a paladin's aura of good. It has no distance, no inherent effect, and only shows up if someone is actively using (in this case) detect evil or similar magic. Blood spirits are nasty little things.

Note that you'll only have that aura while you're actually embodying a blood spirit. If you have reason to suspect that someone's scanning alignments, you can dis-embody the hungry father spirit with a standard action. You'll lose access to exsanguinate and your embodiment bonuses (and penalties), but you won't show up as evil since your actual alignment is CN.

For starting gold, I believe I used the amount Fighters get, since Spirit Binders are intended to cover a similar role. Upon reflection, Rangers might be a more suitable choice, since SBs don't get heavy armor, but it's not really a big deal either way.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just stopping in to introduce myself. I'm the lead designer of the Spirit Binder class and I did some work on the Moai and Amazon as well. I'll be helping Matt run the game if he needs it, providing answers to mechanical inquiries about the playtest content, and so forth. Hopefully ya'll won't be seeing much of me because that means everything is going smoothly :)

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My guess is, it's intended for swift actions to actually require a choice as far as when to use them. After all, if they just wanted you to be able to use the abilities whenever, they wouldn't take a once-per-round action. In addition, there are classes that hardly use swift actions at all, such as the Fighter and Rogue, and generally speaking they're considered weaker than other classes that fill similar roles. Giving them things to do with their swift actions helps level the playing field, since the classes that are generally considered "better" usually already use their swift actions (and in fact, that's one of the reasons those classes are usually considered better).

In other words, keep it as is. Resource management is part of the game.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cold Napalm wrote:
And even with that almost, all the rounding texts do state to do it either down or up

Actually, the vast majority of things that round don't mention rounding at all. This is because the rule is to round down always; it's explicitly stated so in the Core Rulebook. There are a very few exceptions, and they always explicity state that they round up. If it doesn't say round up, in Pathfinder or in 3.5, you round down, always.

Scarab Sages

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, I absolutely detest the lesser trials as written. The ones that aren't dirt simple or GM fiat require either absurd luck or terribly disruptive amounts of metagaming.

The luck based ones are basically completely pointless when you have to declare your trials ahead of time. No one is going to go for "get 3 consecutive critical hits" when there are sane options available; the choice might as well not even exist. If trials didn't have to be declared ahead of time, these would be OK (if still generally requiring stupid amounts of luck) simply because you wouldn't be forced to choose between metagaming and a roll of the d10000.

The metagame ones are absolutely rage-inducing, though, and unfortunately they're the vast majority of the available trials. These require you to play in extremely stilted and unnatural ways with the express goal of fulfilling your trial quota at the expense of gameplay. School Display, for example, absolutely requires that the combat extend for 8 rounds and that the caster expends likely the entirety of their top two tiers of spells. This puts an enormous strain on the game because it essentially enforces the 5 minute work day. You're encouraging wizards to unload all of their strongest spells in the least efficient way possible (because they have to extend the combat to 8 rounds, which is bleeping HARD when you're tossing around max level spells), which is going to leave them basically neutered for the entire rest of the day.

School Display is hardly the only offender, either. Every single path has at least one that's as bad or worse.

And then there's the "Really? That's all I have to do?" choices. Boon Giver: cast bless on a party of at least 5 people including mounts and other cohorts, have everyone attack once, collect Trial. Wild Warrior: be a Druid while fighting any mythic monster, collect Trial. Simple Success: seriously, it doesn't even have to be a mythic encounter. Unexpected Strikes: get wizard to cast greater invisibility on you, collect Trial. Savant: put points into Knowledge skills, collect Trial. Blockade: find 5' hallway, collect Trial. Etc.

I don't see why Lesser Trials have to exist at all. Just give the GM the entirety of the keys to Mythic play. Let them decide when you advance a tier. They can already do that because of the Greater Trials; just remove the ugly busywork of Lesser Trials entirely.

Alternaly, redesign all of the Lesser Trials. Almost none of them feel right to me. There's a few that are close (Indestructible would be OK if you didn't have to pick it in advance and it didn't discourage taking fortification armor, for example), but I really don't think any of them hit the balance between being epic storytelling moments and epic gaming moments, and that's what they should be aiming for if they're to stay. You shouldn't have to sacrifice story for gameplay or vice versa just to advance your character.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
johnlocke90 wrote:
Okay, lets look at the numbers.

Sure, let's. The real numbers, that is.

Quote:

At level 15 a fighter is getting a +3 bonus from weapon training and an extra +2 to damage and a +1 to hit from special fighter feats.

A paladin who took Divine Power(from the Unsanctioned Knowledge Feat), will get a +5 to hit and damage when he activates it. And another +4 from his his divine bond with his weapon. This is assuming he can't smite.

The Fighter has an additional +2 to hit and +4 to damage over what you listed (gloves of dueling and Greater Weapon Specialization) and also bypasses 5 points of typed DR.

The Paladin does not have any additional (flat) bonuses to hit or to damage from Divine Bond because they're both using +5 weapons by level 15. Divine power only lasts 11 rounds at this level and requires a standard action to cast, meaning it's very hard to pre-buff with it and casting it in combat means you aren't making an attack that round.

Quote:
Granted, without spells or abilities a fighter will have a +5 to damage and a +4 to hit over the fighter [sic] and he will get extra feats which let him do other things(but those things generally require ability score investment)

The Fighter will have +6 to hit and +9 to damage over the Paladin against targets not being Smote. That +6 to hit is absolutely massive in terms of overall damage output -- it's more than 1 iterative attack's worth, which means the Fighter will hit one more time per full attack, on average, than the Paladin against the same target, resulting in a lot more damage every round. Similarly, the Fighter doesn't have to buff to get his bonuses, so he's free to attack every round. If we're comparing archers, he's a full attack ahead of the Paladin; if we're comparing melee builds, he may be a full attack or just a charge ahead of the paladin depending on distance to target (Paladin is slower and can't charge or double move the first round since he's using a standard action to buff).

EDIT: Also, by level 15 the Fighter absolutely has had the spare feats to pick up Iron Will and Improved Iron Will, unless they're going for an extremely feat-intensive build which the Paladin couldn't even attempt. Also the Fighter can use the same stat array as the Paladin except Wis instead of Cha, so he's got at least a +2 to Will from that (since your Paladin is casting 4th level spells he has at least a 14 Cha). That puts the Fighter at a +16 Will save (5 base, +2 Wis, +4 feats, +5 cloak of resistance). Saves higher than level is generally going to be enough to be competent defensively, if not impenetrable (and he's got a re-roll if something particularly bad gets through). For reference, that's a 50% chance to save against a CR 20's "primary ability DC" and an 85% chance against their "secondary ability DC", without even spending an item slot that is useless otherwise (headband) on it.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DarkLightHitomi wrote:
I think in character thoughts should be along the lines of "he's hurt, let's finish him off first so we can deal the others,"

But this is what already happens. There's no benefit in the current rules to having 2 half dead creatures when you could have 1 dead creature and 1 full health creature. Focus fire has been the goal ever since 1st edition. If you're just making a system to encourage people to focus fire, I have to ask why, because the current system should already do that.

It's also not at all realistic. Heavily injured fighters are usually ignored in favor of people who actually have a chance to hurt you. In medieval wars, most casualties weren't people who were killed outright in battle, but rather those who were wounded too badly to continue fighting and were left on the field. The winning side would sometimes go through and kill all the enemy's wounded after they'd won, but it'd be suicidal to go around killing wounded soldiers while there's perfectly able ones trying to kill you.

Also, remember that any rule which makes it easier to kill both monsters and PCs is going to heavily, heavily favor the monsters. In the course of a given campaign, a party of 4 PCs will face hundreds or thousands of monsters. To boot, the monsters are designed to be killed and the PCs are designed to be challenged but not killed (in general). It's the same reason why "three natural 20s in a row on attacks means an instant kill" is a bad, bad rule to apply to PCs.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Evil Lincoln wrote:
  • Hey, George, watch out for that... Swinging from a vine, rope, or chandelier as an effective maneuver in combat.
  • I'm working on a product that at least has this covered :) In a kind of abstract way, admittedly, but it's there and one of the primary goals.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Mortuum wrote:
    Yeah, still not seeing why "add up everything from each class and divide by 2" is noticeably harder than "take the highest from each of your two classes at each level"

    It isn't "add everything and divide by 2", though. It's "add everything and divide by two, then sometimes but not always add 1, oh and round up when you never round up in d20". Gestalt is just "add everything up, take the highest" (note that it isn't per-level).

    It just feels clumsy. Adding 1 to hit dice and skill points means that there's very little incentive to take barbarian unless you really want rage or rogue unless you really want the ability to find magical traps. Rounding up is just a very strange decision when there's actually a rule in the rulebook that says always round down. Averaging in general makes characters more average, which is a strange goal. Monks in particular are just about pointless under this system, since you only ever get half benefit from their saves and they offer very little to the other side of the combination.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Mortuum wrote:
    Yeah, still not seeing why "add up everything from each class and divide by 2" is noticeably harder than "take the highest from each of your two classes at each level"

    It's actually divide by 2 then add 1. It just feels clumsy. The add 1, especially. I don't like that it disincentivizes the extreme classes. You can get d11 hit points by pairing up any two full BAB classes, so why even look at barbarian? You can get 7 skill points by pairing up a large number of classes, so why look at rogue? The monk's overall save bonus feels completely wasted because you're literally never going to get full benefit out of it (and monk's already a pretty terrible class).

    Also, in Pathfinder, you never round up. It's actually in the rulebook.

    Scarab Sages

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    DarkLightHitomi wrote:
    I don't think any system lends itself to penalties for wounds.

    They work fine in Burning Wheel -- but then, that's a system not based around hunting down things and taking their stuff.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Ah, I see what you mean. OK, I can accept that.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Templates aren't intended for use on PCs, so some of their rules don't really interact well with PCs. PCs don't have CRs, so that's one of them.

    An NPC with heroic class levels has a CR equal to their total level - 1. That CR is increased by 1 if it has greater than NPC wealth by level (which PCs do) and by 1 if it has better stats than the elite array (which PCs probably do). So, the best strict estimation is level + 1.

    However, the safest is probably just CR = level.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Rudy2 wrote:
    Want to do a cleric/druid? Well, bad idea in gestalt (since they have the same BAB, hit points, and saves), but it would work fine under this system.

    Err, what? As far as I can tell, both systems would produce identical results for a cleric|druid, as far as class-dependent variables are concerned.

    Also, I have no clue what you're talking about with respect to the following:

    Quote:
    The second is that it makes it so that player power depends on the *order* in which you gained your levels, and that's something that should be avoided at all costs, in my opinion.

    Gestalt has nothing to do with the order you take levels in. A Fighter|Barbarian 2 that then takes a level in Bard|Rogue comes out identically to a F|B 1 -> Bd|R 1 -> F|B 2. Or any other class combo.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Evil Lincoln wrote:
    DLH, I suspect Mr. Senn was speaking generally, and not referring to the UC system specifically.

    Correct. That said, my point still stands for the UC system. The first guy to lose all of his vigor points has almost certainly lost the combat, and with two identical combatants that's most likely to be the guy who lost initiative.

    Anyway, I'm not trying to suppress conversation on the topic or anything. It's just that d20 is not, IMO, a system that lends itself to penalties for being hurt. Any attempts to add one have to be very careful, need a lot of thought put into exactly what the effects would be.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    wraithstrike wrote:

    Most of us already know that stacking templates can lead to abuse. This is not new. :)

    Yep.

    Of course, that's not a problem because templates aren't things that the players can choose for themselves. Templates are entirely GM-controlled and only very rarely apply to PCs anyway.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Wounds are a very tricky subject because they can seriously exacerbate the he-who-strikes-first-wins nature of D&D combat. If you take two opponents who are identical in every respect, the one who wins initiative will win the majority of fights in normal Pathfinder. Add in injuries, and you tip the scales from "majority" to "vast majority".

    I'm honestly not convinced that the basic d20 system can really handle an injury system past just hit points. There are systems that do handle injuries well, but they're all designed from the ground up with assumptions that support injuries. There are also a lot of systems that try to implement injuries and just end up with the first guy who gets injured being nothing but meat.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Evil Lincoln wrote:
    Low-wisdom paladins are decidedly counter to the Paladin tropes.

    Eh, I disagree with this, but I don't want to derail the thread about it.

    A solution for the knocking-people-out-with-a-single-attack problem is to just straight up steal 4E's minions. Give them CR-appropriate stats, AC, saves, damage, etc, but only 1 hp and reduced XP. It's not the best solution in the world, but it's very quick and easy.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    It doesn't take an awful lot of time or willpower to say, "Yeah, sure, if you win the grapple check against the dire bat you can land on its back and start stabbing it as it tries to shake you off (ie break the grapple)."

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Believe me, I do understand and even agree with your "realism > fighters" stance. I've railed plenty enough on my own about how Fighters seriously can do nothing better than a Commoner outside of combat, and in a lot of cases Fighters do suffer from the "realism curse". On the other hand, I just cannot "see" how filling a horse that can literally stand on the air with arrows causes it to plummet. That's got very little to do with game balance, but it is a personal sticking point. If it were the only one, I wouldn't even have brought it up.

    As for nonlethal damage, I'd probably lower the DC. Using your as-written DC, I'd probably just halve it. Nonlethal damage is bruises and strains rather than cuts and broken bones (IMO), so it makes sense that it could still make a creature fall out of the air, but also that it wouldn't be as effective.

    My suggested fix for your fix ( ;) ) would be DC 5 (maybe 10, would need testing) + damage, and a failure would make the creature fall a distance equal to the damage dealt, min 5 feet. That still gets 10-15 feet from each ray of a scorching ray up to a couple hundred feet for a FighterMan Manyshot crit or a disintegrate (or God forbid, a disintegrate crit, which would kill almost anything and SHOULD ground anything that it doesn't kill).

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Kirth Gersen wrote:
    William Senn wrote:
    Congratulations, you've now completely neutered the nightmare.
    Forced it to the ground, anyway. And that's not hurting my feelings at all -- especially because in the core rules it can't be done by any archer, no matter how skilled, ever.

    Why should an archer be able to force a creature that doesn't rely on physical means to plummet to the ground just by hitting it with arrows? I understand it as a replacement/abstraction for called shot wings for creatures that rely on physical means to fly, but it doesn't make sense for things like nightmares, beholders, and so on.

    I suspect your answer will be "game balance", and actually that's fine as far as it goes. I prefer to be able to couple game balance adjustments with logical, internally consistent reasons, but sometimes you just have to nerf things.

    Quote:
    You obviously like "fly=win" and "no fly=you suck" in your games, and that's fine for you. I'm not telling you how to play.

    I said that your fly fix was flawed. I showed, mathematically, with a very mild example, exactly how it's flawed (your DC is too high and scales too hard). This somehow means that I think fliers should automatically win even though I'm the guy who made FighterMan in part to prove that flying wasn't an automatic win. So no, you're not telling me how to play (nor am I you); what you are doing is telling me what I think, which is just not really a good idea in civil discourse.

    Please stop projecting your dislike of opposing opinions on others (it's not just me; you're projecting on Dreihaddar, too). I havn't written any insults in this thread. My comments about the flaws of your Fly fix aren't insults, they're criticism; there is a difference. I apologize if you were insulted by the criticism.

    I actually wrote all that because I found it interesting but, as I said, flawed. If the math were fixed -- and IMO the ideal way involves more than just changing the DC -- and some of the other issues I raised (which I note you havn't addressed; oh, here's another one: how does this interface with nonlethal damage?) were addressed, I think it'd be a potential houserule for my group. As it stands, it has to go in the same pile as WotC's Truenaming: interesting, but unusable IMO as written.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Kirth Gersen wrote:

    As written the rule doesn't say "you cannot fly in combat" -- it says "you can fly in combat, but will almost certainly lose altitude if hit, so judge your height and risk accordingly."

    So OK, our nightmare is now 20 ft. off the ground, still flying. The rest of the party focuses fire on it. It falls 20 ft. for 2d6 damage and is on the ground, but it's now the nightmare's turn -- it takes a double move and is now 180 ft. up in the air, and will have a very hard time failing enough rolls badly enough to lose that much altitude as a consequence.

    Congratulations, you've now completely neutered the nightmare, because it's spent its entire turn doing nothing but moving while eating the entire party's full attack (plus probably an AoO, because it certainly hit the ground). It won't survive two turns of that (just the initial scorching ray did 20% of its hp), so your rule has completely prevented it from having any impact on the fight, through no fault of its own, and with absolutely no recourse. This is a powerful outsider that flies through sheer magic and it has a 10% chance to lose 5 feet of altitude for being bit by a mosquito (1 hp of damage).

    Quote:
    If you really can't see the difference between "have everything given to you already, if you're smart enough to use it" vs. "have to spend additional resources to get the things you need, even if you're smart about it," then there's not much I can do for you.

    4 spells per spell level is not "everything". Wizards have to expend resources just like Fighters if they want to actually be the masters of the universe that everyone claims they are.

    Quote:
    No need. Between open spell slots, cheap scrolls he can scribe for himself, and a reasonable selection of offense/defense/utility spells prepared, a high-level wizard pretty much DOES have what he needs at all times.

    Open spell slots, even with the silly 1 minute preparation APG thing, are useless in combat situations. They're great for utility purposes ("there's a locked door that we have to get past stealthily but our Rogue didn't make it today" / "we need to get a scout across that chasm to flip that lever") but 1 minute is about two to three times as long as the average combat lasts. You can't see a lich, realize you havn't prepared any non-Fort/Will-targeting spells, and be able to pull one out of your spellbook. Scrolls aren't a good solution in that case either, as their DC is set to bare minimum just like wands are. You really do have to pick and choose which combat spells you're going to take at the start of the day.

    Kolokotroni wrote:
    If you have say a hasted archer fighter, do flyers actually have a hope of staying aloft?

    Not a prayer in Heaven or Hell. FighterMan did 1d8+2d6+33 damage per shot, with 6 attacks per round, and the first attack did 2d8+4d6+66 with a 95% hit chance. That first attack alone is an average of a DC 198 check vs an average Fly roll of 43. That's -160 feet of altitude on average just on the first hit. The Balor has a 90 foot fly speed, so that's the majority of a double move, with 5 attacks still to come. Each subsequent hit (and there are two more with a 95% chance to hit and one with a 90% chance) is an average of another 71 feet of altitude lost. On average, the Balor is going to lose something like 450 feet of altitude per full attack -- that's a run action with the Run feat.

    Hell, even if the check was just "DC = damage dealt" the Balor would be losing altitude. Not nearly as much, but it still can't make the check for the initial shot ever and the average damage for subsequent shots is higher than its average Fly check result.

    And FighterMan was made with just the core rulebook. No archetype, no APG/UC feats, no APG/UE magic items. A modern version without Man in Black's hobbling rules (ie, allowing an evil outsider bane bow) would easily exceed 600 feet of altitude lost.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Kirth Gersen wrote:
    Evil Lincoln wrote:
    Or... you know... they get longbow proficiency for a reason.

    Longbows are super-effective against Balors... if you invest all your feats and wealth into archery. At high levels, fighters can't keep up in melee and archery both, even with their extra feats (not so much because feats occur in chains instead of scaling, which is bad enough, but because even the chains are nowehere near as good as simple spells). Under the RAW, it's nearly impossible to bring down a winged flyer unless you're an archery specialist, and it's impossoble to bring down an opponent who's using magical flight (which pretty much all villains other than balors, dragons, and pit fiends do at upper levels of play). That's just how the game works.

    And that doesn't even touch on environmental challenges that DON'T involve combat, in which the fighter's bow is useless anyway. But, yeah, I know, they're called "fighters" -- they're not supposed to have actual rules support for doing anything else, unless it can be easily accomplished with a couple of skill points.

    Look, EL, I like you and all, but this is one topic on which you won't really sway me... not even with sarcasm.

    Kirth, I respect you and all, but you've missed the mark on this thread by about an AU.

    This is NOT a "Fighters can't have nice things" thread. This is one single person making patently false statements and oodles of people refuting those statements, only to be met by "nuh-uh".

    OP's assertion is that it is impossible for Fighters to melee greater than 50% of all of the monsters in the game because they fly and he doesn't. This is provably untrue on the surface (fewer than 50% of the monsters in the game fly, and of those that do fly, almost everything outside of dragons cannot kill an appropriately-leveled Fighter without engaging it in melee combat). It is also a straw man, because OP refuses to accept that Fighters can actually hit things with ranged attacks unless they are full-on archer spec. You, unfortunately, also seem to fall into this extremely strange misconception.

    The difference in damage between a full archer spec Fighter and a smart Fighter who took bows as their second weapon group and has one or two supporting feats is not large. "Longbows are super-effective against Balors ... if [implied only if] you invest all your feats and wealth into archery" is just straight-up false. Balors cannot kill a Fighter from range. They just can't. They have one fire storm and one implosion per day. That won't kill a Fighter that has any business fighting a Balor. Even a completely melee-focused Fighter that had the insight to buy a +3 evil outsider bane composite longbow (not a stretch purchase, as evil outsiders are by far the most common single bane-capable creature type past about 10th level) will positively wreck the Balor.

    And, while I'm at it, your "fix" to the Fly skill is deeply, tragically flawed. It basically reads "You cannot fly in combat, even if you've taken full ranks in Fly and have a racial bonus". Let's take a Cauchemar Nightmare for example. CR 11, Fly +19. A level 9 Wizard casts a 2nd level spell, scorching ray. The Cauchemar now has to make, on average, two Fly checks against DC 48. It cannot make those checks. Its average roll is 30, so it falls 40 feet, potentially taking another 7 damage on top of the 28 it's already taken from a spell 3 levels under the Wizard's highest level and is already exceedingly powerful even after Paizo directly nerfed it from 3.5. And now all the rest of the party gets to take their shots at it, forcing it to make even more checks it can't possibly succeed on (seriously, 14 damage is nothing at level 9).

    Seriously, 20 + twice damage? What were you thinking? There are very, very few things in the game that can reliably make that check. If you're going to do twice damage, the base needs to be 5 or 10 at the absolute highest. Even with 20 + base damage, the Cauchemar still has a solid 20% chance to fail the check from quite low damage; at 10 + twice damage, it's a 40% chance. If it were me, I wouldn't even touch double damage on a DC for anything. Damage advances way, way faster than any skill check.

    Even ignoring the silly-high DC, it still presents a load of problems. Does the fall provoke AOOs? Since it's an uncontrolled fall, does a rider have to make a Ride check to stay on? Why does this work against creatures using magical flight (like the Cauchemar example)? Why does this system, purportedly designed to help martial characters, actually benefit mages the most (mages have the longest effective range in the game and the highest single-source damage in the game)?

    Honestly, I really think you need to take a step back and actually examine the situation. You're jumping at shadows.

    EDIT: I'm with you on "Fighters can't do anything but fight", but that's a completely different thread and has nothing to do with this one.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    I'd imagine that gunslingers would typically take champion or trickster, with maybe some taking warden or marshal. I don't think the paths are literally designed as "the Strength path is all about the Strength stat", and the two examples Jason posted from the Champion path (can move before or after full attacks and don't take the iterative attack penalty on full attacks) would both be extremely useful for gunslingers.

    Archmage and Heirophant are likely to be a little different as they're probably not going to be as useful to a non-magical character (Archmage especially).

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Yeah, a paladin will rip a non-antipaladin evil Hell Knight a new one -- unless the paladin is notably lower level, but that's not much of a climactic fight. I don't see any reason that the Hell Knight couldn't be LN, though. In both scenarios, he's upholding the established law and order, and in neither scenario is he really doing anything inherently evil (at least by necessity).

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    deuxhero wrote:

    "I'm reasonably sure that every monster in the 3.5 SRD is also in the PRD"

    But that has half the stuff in the PF SRDs.

    Only because Paizo included Bestiaries 2 and 3 in their entirety into the PRD, while WotC only included a bare handful of non-MM1 monsters.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    deuxhero wrote:
    Transmute Mud to Rock is a save or die on a burrower without earth glide, and even if it beats the reflex check, the area it creates is safe from burrowers. That's just the most obvious. Obsidian Flow is another option to create a "safe" spot.

    As a general rule, this is false. There is no rule that says non-earth gliding creatures cannot burrow through solid stone (at least, not one that shows up with a search of either the core rulebook PDF or bestiary 1 PDF). In fact, bulettes and purple worms specifically make reference to moving through stone.

    Earth Glide's primary utility is its tracelessness, not extra mobility.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    deuxhero wrote:
    I said SRD. The percent goes WAY up.

    There is no Boruta in the SRD*, either. I just checked. In fact, I'm reasonably sure that every monster in the 3.5 SRD is also in the PRD. Regardless, *I* specifically said the Bestiary I.

    * - this isn't the actual text document that you download off of WotC's website (if you can even do that anymore) but it contains all of that data plus OGL stuff from other WotC books, so it's even more inclusive than WotC's SRD.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    deuxhero wrote:
    "No class gets all of: a burrow speed, a way to see through solid ground, and a way to attack through solid ground. Not a single one of them." Wizard, Cleric, Durid, Sorcerer, Oracle.

    Please tell me how Wizards, Clerics, Druids, Sorcerers, and Oracles gain the ability to ignore line of effect for their spells.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    deuxhero wrote:

    @William Senn

    You missed a few. Don't just check the movement options, a few have their method of flight outside of that space (The Boruta for example). Also didn't note burrowers and swimers that are even worse for fighters.

    Boruta isn't in the Bestiary 1, so no, I didn't miss it, thanks very much. EDIT: Actually, there's no monster called a "Boruta" in any of the three Bestiaries, so I havn't the foggiest what you're talking about there. I did scan for combat flight via default spells and included everything I saw, but I'm not discounting missing the occasional instance.

    Burrowers are a total and complete ***** for every single character class to fight. No class gets all of: a burrow speed, a way to see through solid ground, and a way to attack through solid ground. Not a single one of them.

    Swimmers are actually very easy for melee Fighters. Very nearly every (caveat: non-dragon, again) swimmer is pure melee. In fact, it's archers who have the problems underwater because bows just simply do not work. Crossbows do, but they don't do as much damage and require more feats, so you don't see too many crossbow Fighters.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Well, Hellknights are very, very strongly Law-focused. As such, the obvious enemies would be Chaotic. If he wants to battle the forces of Good, that'd mean Chaotic Good, which would be azatas, brass and copper dragons, and the goodly fey. There aren't any azatas that are really the right CR to be a final boss by default, but you could always add class levels to a lillend or slap a weakening template on a ghaele.

    Do you think the player would prefer a combat-heavy game or one with a mix of talking and combat? If the latter, a lillend with a couple extra bard levels could be a really nice boss. Maybe she's stirring up rebellion against the rightful (but evil/tyrannical) ruler of a city/region? That'd ping a Hellknight's radar hard.

    Scarab Sages

    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    AvalonXQ wrote:
    So, based on William Senn's analysis, all fighters should actually carry a dragonbane bow.

    Ehh, that's assuming that every creature of a given CR is an equally common encounter, which is a seriously flawed assumption (even if it is the assumption I went with for my analysis). In actual play, dragons are going to be pretty rare. I'd say an evil outsider bane bow would be more useful, because they're summonable and fairly common as foot soldiers as you go up in levels. Dragons aren't really summonable until you get to gate, and tend to be either the final boss or one of the final boss's primary agents, so don't get encountered without warning.

    Scarab Sages

    5 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    I'm feeling bored and a bit contrary, so I'm going to go through the monsters by CR for Bestiary 1 (since there is no monster by CR chart on the prd for the other two and I'm too lazy to do this without hyperlinks/bookmarks), starting at CR7, and find the proportion of monsters with flying and ranged attacks.

    CR7:
    aboleth, air elemental (huge), black dragon (young), black pudding, brass dragon (young), bulette, chimera, chuul, dire bear, dracolisk, drider, earth elemental (huge), elasmosaurus, elephant, fire elemental (huge), flesh golem, ghost, greater barghest, hill giant, invisible stalker, lillend, medusa, nymph, remorhaz, shadow demon, shaitan, spectre, stegosaurus, succubus, water elemental (huge)

    30 creatures, 11 fliers. Of the 11 fliers, 7 1/2 (air elementals, dracolisks, non-ranged-class ghosts, invisible stalkers, lillends (with default gear), shadow demons, spectres, and succubi) aren't long-term threats outside of melee, having at best limited-use ranged options (or gazes with no other ranged options, which just means you look away until it attacks you in melee). 3.5/30 = 11.67% fliers that a solo Fighter without a ranged weapon will have trouble attacking.

    CR8:
    behir, copper dragon (young), dark naga, dire tiger, efreeti, erinyes, giant octopus, giant slug, gorgon, greater shadow, green dragon (young), intellect devourer, mohrg, nabasu, ogre mage, sphinx, stone giant, treant, triceratops

    19 creatures, 8 fliers. Of the 8 fliers, 4 (greater shadow, nabasu, ogre mage, and sphinx) have to mix it up in melee at some point. 4/19 = 21.05%.

    CR9:
    air elemental (greater), blue dragon (young), bone devil, bronze dragon (young), dire crocodile, dire shark, dragon turtle, earth elemental (greater), fire elemental (greater), frost giant, giant squid, marid, mastodon, nessian warhound, night hag, roc, spirit naga, tyrannosaurus, vampire, vrock, water elemental (greater)

    21 creatures, 7 fliers. Of those 7, 1 doesn't even always fly (vampires) and 4.75 (air elementals, bone devils, rocs, non-ranged-base but still flier-base vampires, and vrocks) need to attack in melee. 2.25/21 = 10.71%.

    CR10:
    bebilith, brachiosaurus, clay golem, couatl, fire giant, giant flytrap, guardian naga, rakshasa, red dragon (young), silver dragon (young), white dragon (adult)

    11 creatures, 4 fliers. Of those 4, 1 (couatl) has to melee. 3/11 = 27.27%.

    CR11:
    air elemental (elder), barbed devil, black dragon (adult), brass dragon (adult), cauchemar, cloud giant, devourer, earth elemental (elder), fire elemental (elder), gold dragon (young), hezrou, retriever, stone golem, water elemental (elder)

    14 creatures, 6 fliers. Of those 6, 2 (air elemental, cauchemar) have to melee. 4/14 = 28.57%.

    CR12:
    copper dragon (adult), green dragon (adult), lich, purple worm, roper, sea serpent

    6 creatures, 2.5 fliers (liches generally can't fly innately and non-arcane liches generally won't have an all-day combat flight spell). All 2.5 of them are suitably deadly at range, however. 2.5/6 = 41.67%.

    CR13:
    blue dragon (adult), bronze dragon (adult), froghemoth, ghaele, glabrezu, ice devil, iron golem, storm giant

    8 creatures, 4 fliers (levitate doesn't allow lateral movement, so storm giants are out as you can just move out of their range). All 4 are non-melee threats. 4/8 = 50%, finally.

    CR14:
    astral deva, crag linnorm, nalfeshnee, red dragon (adult), silver dragon (adult), trumpet archon

    6 creatures, all 6 fly. However, 2 of them (astral deva and trumpet archon) can't really do anything to you at range. 4/6 = 66.67%.

    CR15:
    gold dragon (adult), neothelid, phoenix, white dragon (ancient)

    4 creatures, all fliers. However, the phoenix really isn't a serious threat at range. 3/4 = 75%.

    CR 16:
    black dragon (ancient), brass dragon (ancient), horned devil, planetar

    4 creatures, all fliers. Horned devils aren't big threats at range. 3/4 = 75%.

    CR 17:
    copper dragon (ancient), green dragon (ancient), ice linnorm, marilith

    4 creatures, all fliers. Default mariliths are no threat at range. 3/4 = 75%.

    CR18:
    blue dragon (ancient), bronze dragon (ancient), kraken

    3 creatures, 2 fliers, both fliers are ranged threats. 2/3 = 66.67%.

    CR19:
    red dragon (ancient), shoggoth, silver dragon (ancient)

    3 creatures, 2 fliers, both fliers are ranged threats. 2/3 = 66.67%.

    CR20:
    balor, gold dragon (ancient), pit fiend, tarn linnorm

    4 creatures, all fliers. Balors actually can't do much at range. 3/4 = 75%.

    CR>20:
    solar, tarrasque

    2 creatures, 1 flier, said flier is a ranged beast. 50%.

    -----------

    Conclusions I draw from that? Dragons are bad for stupid Fighters that don't have any ranged options, friends who can make them fly, or money spent on ways to fly. If we remove dragons from the equation, there's very little that can actually kill the Fighter without engaging him in melee.

    EDIT: Also, a huge portion of the fliers are good dragons and good outsiders, which are very rare to encounter as enemies unless you're playing an evil game, which is outside the default assumptions of the system.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    You keep saying "WBL" as if the rules for WBL don't say that 15% of the wealth should be in the form of consumable items, like potions, and another 10% should be liquid (and thus spendable on potions).

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    deuxhero wrote:

    Excellent retort!

    The Fighter's "unique" abilities are

    1: Do +1 damage and get +1 to hit every 4 levels (and it isn't even universal, it requires a specific weapon) in a system where enemy HP rises by at LEAST 8 points per level on any credible melee threat

    You are drastically underestimating the value of +1 to hit.

    Quote:
    4: Some extra feats. EVERYONE gets feats, and in PF they get even more feats. Unlike the new Ranger or Monk, the Fighter can't ignore requirements (chiefly character level and ability score ones), and is either stuck with multiple trees, or options that are subpar for the heavy feat investment needed (hello TWF). Fighter exclusive feats are also fairly subpar, and not really that fighter exclusive anymore, and many of the feat chains were nerfed to the point they aren't worth bothering with.

    You're also drastically underestimating Fighter-only feats. Greater Weapon Focus is very good (again, you don't realize how good +1 to hit is), Spellbreaker is excellent, Critical Mastery can be quite strong with the right support, and Penetrating Strike/Greater Penetrating Strike are both excellent. And that's just in the Core Rulebook.

    Say what you will, but if you say that Fighters can't fight better than anyone else, you're just flat-out wrong. Fighters consistently have the highest attack bonus, and attack bonus translates more directly to damage than any +damage class feature on any other class. A 10th level Fighter's +4 to hit (weapon training 2, weapon focus, greater weapon focus) over a 10th level Cavalier, for example, more than makes up for dealing 6 less damage (cavalier +10 vs fighter weapon training 2 and weapon specialization) to 4 enemies per day. And note that even with those three feats assumed, the Fighter still has 2 unused bonus feats from a better list of bonus feats than the cavalier's 1 unused bonus feat.

    Fighters' problems don't involve killing things. They're the undisputed masters at killing whatever arbitrary monsters your DM throws at you (Paladins are better at killing their specific subset of monsters, Rangers theirs, etc, but if the DM throws a Marut at you, chances are the Fighter's going to be in the best situation to kill it of all martial characters). The problem Fighters face is that killing is pretty much all they can do.

    As for Synthesists, as others in the thread have said, they're actually significantly weaker than normal Summoners. Normal Summoners have just as many effective hit points, don't have to be on the front lines so their AC doesn't matter as much, have identically-strong Eidolons, and get to cast spells in addition to have their Eidolon attack. The only advantage Synthesists have is that their AC can get pretty monstrous and they're a half-decent 2-to-4 level dip class for a non-spellcaster.

    A legal Synthesist isn't going to outdamage a similarly-optimized Fighter. They might out-tank a similarly-optimized Fighter, although a defensively-oriented Fighter can still get crazy good AC. But day-in, day-out, arbitrary opponent damage? No one beats the fighter. Except perhaps AM BARBARIAN, but he's cool about it and we're not a mage, so it's no big.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Regency? Cool. I live like 5 minutes from the mall. I'm not too keen on d20 Modern, but I've had a soft spot for Forgotten Realms ever since Baldur's Gate, and have always loved Planescape. I'd be interested in that game.

    The only caveat is that I have another group I play with and our meeting day isn't set (two of the players have really odd work schedules, so we have to set up our game day week by week instead of always meeting on the same day), and if that game happened to fall on a Sunday, I'd be playing that game first.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    SmiloDan wrote:
    Also, I'm gettin' the feelin' the "Summoner" ain't gonna be summonin'. Sounds like she gets herself a permanent pet, be it a guardian angel, bound demon, Cthuluesque familiar, magical beast friend, cobbled-together clock-work companion, or stitched-together animated corpse.

    I'm not so sure it'll be truly permanent. Not at first, anyway. If it's significantly more powerful than a Druid's animal companion, it can't be a permanent pet without some other significant tradeoff -- and we already know they're full arcane casters, just "a bit more limited than the sorcerer", so probably spontaneous with very few spells known or lower spells per day. I suspect it'll be a time-limited thing. So many minutes per day. Possibly like Druid shapeshifting, with scaling uses/day and time/use so that it eventually becomes permanent.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Here's a bit of concept art that a friend of Matt's whipped up for Sartel around the end of Round 2:

    Sartel Bollen, Mistress of the Headless Caravan

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    A friend of Matt's (Not me! I'm not that talented) drew up an image of Sartel and her caravan shortly after round 2, but he didn't want to post it before he was eliminated out of a desire to not skew the voting. Also, he wasn't able to get it scanned 'til just now. Anyway, here it is, and IMO is an amazing piece of concept art and really captures the character well:

    Sartel Bollen, Mistress of the Headless Caravan

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Charles Evans 25 wrote:
    If blink dogs aren't in the Pathfinder Bestiary, then either the scene goes, blink dogs go in the back of the module taking up space, or Sean pencils in* a note for DMs 'use the stats for zombie ghoul dogs with the ability xyz'...

    Uhhhh.... no.

    Remember, the entire point of Pathfinder RPG is to remain backwards-compatible with 3.5. Any 3.5 monster is usable with a minimum of alteration. Off the top of my head, I can't think of ANYTHING in the blink dog entry, except possibly skills, that would need to be changed for PRPG.

    And, regardless, the "irrelevant creatures" was referring to the really oddball, specialized, niche critters like Tojanidas. I'm willing to bet you large amounts of cash that I don't have that blink dogs are in the bestiary.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Larkspring Irellion wrote:
    I like the gelatinous cube, but the heading on each room should be “EL,” not “CR.”

    Incorrect. There is no such thing as Encounter Level in Pathfinder. It's all CR.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    stowcreek wrote:
    I agree that "not voting for your favorite(s) because [insert reason here]" is actually inappropriate and clearly dangerous.

    My point is: that's absolutely fine if you only have two favorites. Clearly you just vote there.

    But what if you have three or four favorites? You only have two votes. Yes, there's probably two that you think are a bit better, but if you know the four entries that you think definitely deserve to advance, and one or two of those four are CLEARLY in the lead in the exit poll, it's not a badwrongfun decision to vote for the ones that aren't on as solid ground. Regardless, you're still voting for two entries that you think should advance.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    inue wrote:

    I have an observation from reading comments in each lairs threads. Why do people write in to say they think that the OP has the best lair but they are voting for another b/c they don't' think it will get votes? That's not really the spirit of the contest -- the point is you want to vote for people who you think will write the best freelance material, correct? If they win your hearts with their entries you should vote for them.

    Not necessarily. If you believe that enough other people will vote for your top entrant, but you feel strongly that two others should advance (even if they aren't THE best, they're in the top 4), you can help them out by voting for them instead. This round of the contest is to decide the best four contestants, not the single best contestant.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Turin the Mad wrote:
    Chris, your having stepped up and done this of your own accord is all kinds of awesome, deserving a thoroughly well-earned kudo! (At least from me :P)

    I'll second that, making it official: Kudos to you, Chris.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Heh, I figured it was something like that. I find it pretty interesting that both Rustin entries had very similar names, especially when those names were based off a single line in the villain's backstory.

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