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White Dragon

Xexyz's page

Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber. 1,185 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Nothing huh? Darn, I was hoping the system was built up by someone.

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chuffster wrote:

Bonus gripe: doesn't it seem odd that it takes a feat slot to swing your weapon really hard? Like, feats are supposed to be these amazing abilities that level the gap between fighters and casters... but it turns out that the best feat is the one where you attack harder. And people who don't have this special training are completely unable to comprehend the concept of sacrificing accuracy for power.

Just picture the training montage where the wise old master drills the youngster in how to do a Power Attack. Pretty short, right?

I agree. They could've mostly avoided this by creating a base combat rule that allowed you to sacrifice accuracy for damage, but just not at the ratio of Power Attack; such as 1 for 1 instead of 1 for 2.

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I'm designing some homebrew races for my campaign but find that the options presented in the ARG aren't as expansive as I'd like. Does anyone know if there are any sources for additional race traits? Of course I can make up my own, but if there are other sources out there I'd like to check those out first. I'm willing to consider 3rd party sources.

(In case there's any confusion, when I say "race traits" I'm referring to all of the components listed in the back of the ARG for constructing custom races.)

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Claxon wrote:
you are looking into how to optimize your character further, you can actually do some math (with estimated values for a potential enemy).

Yeah, this is what I'm looking for; if someone's already performed this math so I don't have to duplicate efforts. =)

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I've read several claims that At high levels PA becomes sub-optimal because the penalty to hit outweighs the additional damage. Since both the penalty and bonus damage scale at the exact same linear rate, that implies it's really the 3rd & 4th iterative that's primarily affected and dragging the overall damage down. What's the math for this? What I'm looking for is a general cutoff in terms of hit percentage on the last two iterative attacks which delineate when to use PA and when not to.

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Charon's Little Helper wrote:
They may feel that anecdotally. The math disagrees.

I'm not entirely surprised. What assumptions does the math make?

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Lord Gadigan wrote:

8. Occult Rituals-

I think there's room for interesting expansion here. I like the idea behind special ritual spells with potent/unique effects. There's some mechanical weirdness happening with the success-odds, but I'd still like to see more rituals

This. I've been wishing for a system for ritual spellcasting for as long as 3.x has been around.

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Charon's Little Helper wrote:

In your game you make houserules such as full HP which hurt martials.

You also talk about how martials are far weaker than casters. (moreso than most think)

I would think that the inference is pretty clear.

It wasn't. The only thing I was sharing in my post was my group's experience with playing with max-hp. I said it was interesting because you stated it's a nerf to martials due to SoS/SoD spells while in the game I played [with that change] as a Fey-blooded sorc who specialized in enchantment spells it didn't feel that the martials were nerfed because of it. There were 4 martials in the group, and none of them felt that max-hp was a nerf to them.

So far I've been involved with three campaigns with the max-hp rule; A Kingmaker campaign where I played the aforementioned fey sorc, a RotRl game that's currently near the end of book 4, and the homebrew campaign I'm running where the PCs are level 10. I liked the rule when I was playing in the Kingmaker campaign so I adapted it for my game. (One exception - in my game summoned monsters don't get max hp).

As to how it relates to what I said in the other thread, it's irrelevant. I could understand why you might make that comment if I was complaining that martials were weaker than casters, but since I was expressing the opposite, your reply confused me.

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Charon's Little Helper wrote:
You were just on another thread saying how much martials suck & casters rock. (and you like it that way) Think there may be a bit of a correlation?

Correlation between what? Why can't you just state your point clearly instead of replying with snark?

(And seriously? You're going to reference that other thread? What does that other thread have to do with this one?)

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I'm going to have to decide if I want to include this change in my game, since the PC inquisitor uses this spell a lot. If I do decide to change it, I'll let him pick a different spell for the slot if he wants.

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On a personal note, I've mostly totally forgotten that WotR Seoni can draw card after acquiring an ally. I even put a power feat into that ability!

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Lemmy wrote:

They nerfed Litany of Sloth? Why?

Sometimes I think we'd be better off if Paizo never made another errata.

It's a 1st level enchantment (compulsion) spell, so I always thought it strange that it didn't have a save when it was first printed.

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CWheezy wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

So, you cast Litany of Sloth on the Hill Giant and he can make the DC 14-15 save on an 11 or 12. This will negate... One... Exactly one attack of opportunity which would, if it hits, do around 18 damage at best.

Litany of sloth used to be no save, I am pretty sure

That's correct. When Ultimate Combat was originally printed it did not have a save.

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"Devil's Advocate" wrote:
From someone familiar with White Wolf and Mage, you are NOT actually answering the question.

I answered it to the best of my ability to explain. It makes sense to me, and since it's my setting, that's all that matters.

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Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Cerberus Seven wrote:

The latter is a better idea. Maximize hit points or apply Strength mod to each hit dice as bonus hit points, rather than the measly +whatever constructs get normally. Hell, do both, make the PCs really work to take it down.
I must say - maximizing HP punishes all martials, but not most casters. Save vs death/suck spells don't care about HP.

Interesting. My group plays with max HP for PCs and all monsters & NPCs, and we haven't felt that it marginalizes martials. What we've noticed is that max HP:

1. Marginalizes in-combat healing outside of the heal spell.
2. Nerfs blasters.
3. Makes combat a bit less rocket-taggey.

We do play with a roughly 25 point buy, so that no doubt has an impact as well.

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Ashiel wrote:

Xexyz wrote:
In my setting - which, again, the only setting where I've bothered to think of such distinctions and definitions - the magic of the gods and the magic of mortal spellcasters is fundamentally different. It doesn't matter that a 17th level wizard can cast wish, create demiplane, or whatever other spell. There are differences that, for all intents and purposes, cannot be overcome by your 17th level or 20th level wizard or 50th level wizard (I'm not using Epic Spellcasting from 3.0). Divine casters are even more removed since they get their spells directly from a deity - can't really become a deity when all of your power is directly derived and controlled by one.

So what's the fundamental difference. There actually isn't much difference between a 17th level caster and a 50th level caster in terms of what they can do (because the "quadratic wizard" trope stops at 17th level). You say they are different but fail to explain how. All you've said up until this point is just thrown out random numbers like "CR 130" (which is nutty) or "Cannot be overcome by...50th level wizard".

What is the functional difference. What makes a deity? You haven't actually explained that at all. You've just...

Again: For my setting, the magic the gods use if fundamentally different than the magic mortal spellcasters use. It's capable of things that mortal magic is not. For a reference, if you're familiar with Mage: the Ascension, it's somewhat like the difference between True Magick and Static Magic. If you want more of an explanation than that, go pick up a copy of Mage and read through it.

For a setting agnostic definition, the question is invalid to me because I don't define godhood in an agnostic context.

EDIT: Though again, I have no "issue" with your concepts or your game, nor am I badgering (really, your paranoia needs to take a chill-pill). I'm asking for clarification because I want to understand and at the moment I do not.

I wouldn't call it paranoia, but I feel like you're not debating in good faith. It feels like for as much as you say you want a clarification, you won't accept one that doesn't support some pre-existing notions you have about how the game is should work.

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Ashiel wrote:

So at what point do you think a creature has godlike power (in any setting, really)?

I mean, I'm going by references from reality. Now I don't personally know what a god in your setting is but I am curious as to what defines one and I'd prefer details. Not "more powerful than a wizard" but actual examples of what constitutes as a god.

Your responses have seemed evasive and frankly confusing, especially since you commented that you didn't understand how a wizard could replicate all the acts of god in the bible, then when related dismissed them as rules shenanigans (when only one was rules questionable and another poster quickly clarified that you can just do it by casting the spell the ol' fashioned way) and remarked that wizards just can't do it, then that they could, but gods do it bigger. It seems very erratic.

Because for me, if it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck it's probably a duck for all meaningful purposes. So when I see something that would be described as a god in our reality that looks like a god to me. When it does all of the things that actual gods in our lore are proclaimed to do by virtue of their godhood, that seems pretty godly to me.

Hence, again, how much more godly do you have to be to be appropriate godly? What sort of bar is raised that even our own gods of legend cannot reach, and if they cannot reach them, are you even talking about a god or something that hasn't been defined yet?

I appear to be approaching the question from a totally different point of view than you. You're comparing what a 17th level wizard can do to what miracles are described in the Bible, whereas I'm not making any comparison between the game and real life. I mean, based on your definition even a 5th level wizard might be considered godlike - after all, such a person can conjure lighting and fire, fly, disappear from sight, understand any form of communication, read minds, etc.

Making comparisons to the Bible doesn't work for me when determining what constitutes a god and what doesn't in Pathfinder - at least in my homebrew setting, which is really the only one I care about. You ask what I think constitutes godlike power for any setting, but to me the question is nonsensical. Every game that is played exists in someone's setting, whether homebrew or some other published setting, and the nature of those settings will determine what is godlike and what isn't. Trying to declare some universal that applies to any or all of them seems pointless.

In my setting - which, again, the only setting where I've bothered to think of such distinctions and definitions - the magic of the gods and the magic of mortal spellcasters is fundamentally different. It doesn't matter that a 17th level wizard can cast wish, create demiplane, or whatever other spell. There are differences that, for all intents and purposes, cannot be overcome by your 17th level or 20th level wizard or 50th level wizard (I'm not using Epic Spellcasting from 3.0). Divine casters are even more removed since they get their spells directly from a deity - can't really become a deity when all of your power is directly derived and controlled by one.

I don't know how to make it any clearer than this. If you still don't understand where I'm coming from, I don't think you ever will.

Edit: Also, what kyrt-ryder said in his most recent post.

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Ashiel wrote:

Well I try not to be that person who's always jumpin' in going "Hey, you want E6" or whatever but we're talking a leveled RPG system here. Levels are a representation of power on a scale that goes from normal dude (3 hp commoner) to stand-in for god (a solar that can literally not be killed except by destroying them with incredibly strong magical weapons and spells keyed to the energy diametrically opposed to its very existence, who can perform miracles casually, who can raise the dead, heal the sick, avert a comet, etc).

I don't see a need to continue inching the godly section of the scale ever higher to try and pretend that those climbing it are still just mortals, anymore than I see a need to try and make a CR 1/3 orc a relevant fear for a party of 8th level PCs. It's fighting against the power scales.

I also, still, do not get how one becomes more godly than godly. There comes a point where the only next reasonable step is narrative control over everything which doesn't work very well in a fantasy setting (especially one with multiple deities) and relegates them to either obscenely boring or so distant as to not exist at all (making them more of a legend but having no actual function).

If you don't want things to scale past a certain point, that's fine. E-whatever helps a lot in that regard. I just don't see the point in trying to stretch the scale ever onward with no real explanation as to what constitutes as "god+".

It's not just about power levels though, at least the way I'm defining such things in my game. Just like being able to fly doesn't make one a bird, being able to all the stuff 17th level wizards can do doesn't make one a god [in my setting].

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Ashiel wrote:

Well, I consider godly things to be godly. Like, we have things like lava in reality, we have lava in Pathfinder. I can see lava deals Xd6 fire damage, ergo when I see an ancient red wyrm breath a hotter breath weapon I can certainly say "Holy crap! That wyrm's breath is hotter than lava!"

When we have accounts of gods in reality and then I see creatures rivaling or meeting them pound for pound in Pathfinder, I can say "wow, that's a godlike creature".

So my question is, when we have accounts of godly things to compare to, how much godly does something have to be before it qualifies as a god? I don't think that the question is hard to comprehend or silly at all.

How much of an immortal miracle working being do you have to be before you can be considered a god?

Are you asking in abstract or are you asking as it pertains to my setting? I can answer the latter, but not the former.

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kyrt-ryder wrote:

Heh, that's part of what I meant by characters of 17th level and above becoming deities.

They can attract worshipers whose faith in them allows them to work divine magic.

You sidestepped your own setting quirks, but I'll provide one of mine. The gods don't grant magic in my games, Faith grants magic, the gods are just icons of sufficient power and glory so as to generate divine magic in their faithful. Except spellcasting after reaching 17th level those are borne out of the caster's own divinity of course.

It's the same reason some clerics [and pretty much all Druids] cast divine magic without worshiping a god at all. Because it isn't god-granted-magic, it's simply divine in nature.

EDIT: for further detail, characters level 13-16 are classified as Demi-gods and members of their cults can receive up to 4th level spells.

My setting has the opposite premise but has the same logical consequenses. In my setting, faith and belief in the gods grants you spells; There are (almost) no divine casters which derive their spells from anything other than the gods. Furthermore, the magic the gods use is fundamentally different from the magic they grant and the magic all mortal spellcasters use.

The single exception are some druids. In my game druids are very rare, and even among their numbers many worship the Llynnain, the Goddess of Nature. The ones who don't [worship Llynnain] worship the Beast Gods, which were the pantheon of gods which reigned before the current pantheon drove them from power. Because of this most druids, if discovered, are hunted down and killed by the agents of several of the evil gods.

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Bob Bob Bob wrote:

Sure, perfect balance is probably impossible without everything being the same. That doesn't mean you stop trying to balance things period. Are you really saying that no time should be spent making sure that Alice, the person who can summon a monster with CR equal to her level every battle should be balanced with Bob, the guy who knows which end of the sword goes in the enemy (the pointy one)?

No, of course not. But I'm really tired of the way people around here talk as if perfect balance is simple and easy and the only reason we don't have it is because those dastardly writers on the development team are villainously keeping it from us because reasons.

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Milo v3 wrote:
That's completely arbitary though....

Of course it's arbitrary; it can't really be anything but arbitrary.

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kyrt-ryder wrote:

EDIT: although... I am curious now that I think about it.

Why exactly do you want the gods to be so powerful? Do you want to keep them in the background out of the player's sphere of influence?

[Personally speaking I LIKE my players either joining or dethroning (or at least 'lone-wolfing' it with occasional interactions as equals) the gods at the end of the rare campaign that reaches level 17-20, but that's just me.]

I'm going to leave out the particulars of my homebrew world since I don't think they're especially relevant. But after thinking about it, the reason seems self-evident to me. In every version of D&D, the gods grant spells. The gods can grant spells to hundreds - if not thousands - of worshippers every day without so much as a second thought. The implication of this seems to then be that the gods are enormously powerful. So it seems reasonable to imagine the gods performing feats of magic that are the equivalent of casting a thousand miracles all at once; or a powerful earthquake spell that affects an entire country, etc.

(I know there's a power in the Mythic Adventures book that allows a PC with mythic tiers to grant spells, but I haven't incorporated much mythic content into my game, and in any event that power would not be available to any mythic character.)

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Ashiel wrote:
You didn't answer my question though. Exactly how much more godly than godly does something have to get before it's godly?

I don't know how to answer this; the question seems nonsensical. Let me spin it around. If a level 17 wizard is godly, how much lesser than a 17th level wizard can you be before you're considered non-godly?

My reasoning - as it applies to my homebrew world - goes something like this:

There are a class of beings which consist of the gods of my homebrew world.
Beings less powerful than they are not gods.
Mortal wizards are less powerful than they.
Therefore, mortal wizards are not gods.

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kyrt-ryder wrote:

EDIT: although... I am curious now that I think about it.

Why exactly do you want the gods to be so powerful? Do you want to keep them in the background out of the player's sphere of influence?

[Personally speaking I LIKE my players either joining or dethroning (or at least 'lone-wolfing' it with occasional interactions as equals) the gods at the end of the rare campaign that reaches level 17-20, but that's just me.]

I will answer this, but I swear if someone responds with some claptrap about how the rules/spells/whatever of the system imply X so therefore my reasons are unsound, I will get very salty.

I've got to think about how to answer because some of my players occasionally read the forums and some of what I say may be spoiler-ish.

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kyrt-ryder wrote:

Technically they're playing the game as it was written, and you're altering it via GM Fiat. [No shame in altering the game, I've practically rewritten Pathfinder entirely for my own purposes. Bear in mind when I discuss Pathfinder unless I explicitly mention my houserules I'm discussing the actual game-as-written as best I understand it.]

Which is totally awesome if your players are happy with it. I'm the type of player who expects restrictions and house-rules and 'GM interpretations' laid out in advance.

What does that have to do with the current discussion at hand?!?!?! We (you, me, and Ashiel) were talking about what each of us in our respective homebrew worlds conceptualizes what the gods are capable of. Last time I checked, there's never been anything published by Paizo that explicitly spells out exactly what deities are and are not capable of. In my world deities are capable of greater magical feats than mortal wizards. Period. End of story. It's a waste of my intellectual energy to sit down and consider, "well, here's everything a mortal wizard can do, so I better make sure a deity is capable of X,Y and Z in order to be logically consistent".

Really the thing that all this is making clear is that I seem to approach the game in a fundamentally different fashion than the rest of you.

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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Sure, if you want your deities to be capable of stuff like that go for it. I'd never put that in my setting but how you GM is your choice.

They probably are. Not that I've put any real thought into it because it's not something I would actually introduce into my campaign, but conceptually it's an example of how much more powerful deities [in my world] are than mortal wizards.

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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Be enlightened my friend

The difference between what the wizard did in the linked thread and what I imagine the deities in my world are capable of comes down to scale. For example, sure, a wizard can create a demiplane and put life on it. But if a 17th level wizard wanted to create an earth-sized planet with create demiplane? That'll be 1.11975 x 10^16 castings of create greater demiplane, thank you. Oh, don't forget all the permanency spells you'll need. Which, by the way, will cost you 22,500 gp for each of your 11.2 quadrillion CGD spells.

Also damage is BY FAR the least powerful thing a caster can do the vast majority of the time.

I agree, but that's only because direct damage spells are so weak in comparison. Suppose there was a spell that did 1000 damage with no save, bypassing spell resistance and all immunities, to 100 targets of your choice within a 1000 foot radius. All of the sudden this becomes the go-to spell for solving your problems. But that's far beyond what even a 20th level spellcaster could do - but such a spell might be trivial for a deity.

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Ashiel wrote:

A 17th level wizard in 3.5 could replicate every act of god in the christian bible. It's not much different in Pathfinder. I really don't see the need to get more godlike than that, honestly. If we look at it as realistically as possible, a single solar qualifies as a god for all intents and purposes.

Really one can say "it's like this godlike thing except more godlike", but how much farther past "can create worlds from nothing and perform literal miracles" does one have to be before one qualifies as godly?

Whaaa? Now maybe I don't possess the system mastery of some people, but that seems far fetched. Hell, even the strongest direct damage spell in the game inflicts pitiful damage compared to a mid-level martial.

I mean unless you interpret wish/miracle to literally have no limits, which in that case yeah, 17th/18th level spellcasters are gods.

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Ashiel wrote:

Also, it's worth noting that as PC levels rise they have consistently still encountered lots of low-CR creatures. Now that they're on the backside of the 20 levels, they almost never face anything near their levels. Groups of low level enemies? Sure, absolutely.

This is actually a good thing IMHO, because you actually get to appreciate being a high level. If everything scales with you, it doesn't really show growth. Watching the ogres go from threats to peons has a nice effect on your morale.

I agree with this and pretty much run things the same way. Whereas at low level the PCs might encounter a small group of orcs, now they would encounter an entire warband of orcs, led by chiefs and subordinates that have class levels.

Still, just as higher level characters/creatures are more uncommon than lower level ones, large groups are realistically rarer than small groups. A small group a orcs that challenge a group of level 3 PCs can pretty much be written off without any more thought, but a large warband realistically has to have some thought put into it as to the narrative of its existence.

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Ashiel wrote:
This is pretty accurate for my games as well. The most powerful being that the party has come across has been CR 16, a planetar, who is the patron goddess-type thingy of the aforementioned crusader sorts. She is afraid of the CR 17 maralith that by all accounts a literal goddess. The gods who created the world itself are about CR 20.
kyrt-ryder wrote:
To expand on this, in my own games characters literally become deities at level 17, and all deities in the world are statted up as normal characters between levels 17 and 20.

Interesting... I hadn't really thought about the CRs of the deities in my world. Seemed pointless? But as a thought experiment I kind of imagine them to be somewhere in the range of CR 130ish, but that's silly anyway since the CR system only goes up to CR 30 (I think), and even then many people will argue that it breaks down and becomes meaningless many levels below that.

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Ashiel wrote:

It's a beautiful way to show PC growth as well as set certain realities of the world in your PCs' minds. For example, there's an elite band of crusaders that are around CR 4-6 and their members of such rank are legendary for their ability to single-handedly turn tides of huge battles and take on dozens of soldiers without faltering.

The party's Paladin and Psion around 11th level, are actually cause for the crusader group's council to worry because if they ever went rogue they could level cities. In a sparring match between the Paladin and Psion (who were working out some relationship frustrations) and they nearly collapsed the building they were sparring in.

I'm not quite to where you are yet, as the "background level average" I think skews a little higher in my game. For example, the head of one of the major religions in my world is a 20th level cleric, and the leader of one of the countries on the continent in which the campaign takes place is an 18th level caster. Even in the city they were just in the heads of two faiths that aren't very popular were still 9th level.

Where it's beginning to impact my game is that I use random encounters for overland travel. The PCs are at the point where if they travel on a well-traveled road it's very unlikely they'll have a combat encounter worthy of actually playing out. So I've had to modify my encounter tables, but since I can't just put higher CR encounters without breaking verisimilitude, the practical result is that I'm more or less forced to phase them [random encounters] out. It's not such a big deal, since the PCs can teleport (cumbersomely) now, but the players have had a lot of fun with these encounters over the course of the campaign.

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Aratrok wrote:
Wizards are traditionally far more durable than non-casting classes, after the first few levels.

Heh, for a second I wanted to argue this, but then I remembered playing my sorcerer and went, "yup, I pretty much took the least amount of punishment of everyone in my party".

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kyrt-ryder wrote:

What I mean is I feel that 'all powerful spellcasters' don't need to be in a party with 'frail mundanes.' The 'frail mundanes' are the world and the 'all powerful heroes' make the best companions to the 'all powerful spellcasters.'

That's what I meant.

What do you mean by "don't need to be in a party with 'frail mundanes'"? That spellcasters should only be in parties with other spellcasters? Who are the 'frail mundanes'?

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Bob Bob Bob wrote: are flavor and balance in any way related? Flavor is literally just descriptive text you just make up. Balance is rules. Never are the two required to meet. The best example of this is Mutants and Masterminds, where "powers" are a bunch of mechanical choices and the flavor of the powers is "whatever you feel like". There's some minor crossover where you need to include descriptors for the power (basically what type of damage it is, usually) but otherwise "flavor" and "mechanics" are completely separate.

Hmmm, now that I'm thinking about it, flavor probably isn't the best word to use. Instead of flavor, think playstyle. You have playstyles that consist of various things such as doing damage to monsters to eventually kill them, playstyles that emphasize controlling the battlefield, ones that focus on buffing allies or debuffing enemies, healing, and so on and so forth. Furthermore, those playstyles can be resource-based or not, and the types of resources can vary as well.

Inevitably some playstyles will become better than others for overcoming the typical obstacle, which effectively makes some classes more powerful than others. The problem (the fundamental problem I spoke of earlier) then becomes how do you balance the classes without homogenizing them? Balance inexorably leads toward homogenization as class X gets buffed so it's better at playstyle A, while class Y gets nerfed so it's worse at playstyle A.

I don't want that to happen to Pathfinder. I would rather the current imbalances continue to exist than those balances be fixed at the cost of class homogenization.

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TarkXT wrote:

In a meta sense though it is adversarial.

What you're fighting against is not the GM though or really even enemies.

But relevance.

Why do people get mad about power gamers?

Is it because they break the system? Is it because they only care about dirty filthy math?


They get mad because a power gamer's character steals relevance from the other players. They rip the relevance of the GM's encounters right out of their hands and devour the spotlight whole.

Like, if you made an archer character and I made a better archer character with a near identical story in the same game how would that play out?

That's what, when you get down to it, the argument boils down to.

You see, even in your homebrew the full casters are the most relevant. They're the ones with all the power, all the control, what they do affects the world in earth shattering ways.

As NPC's. That's okay. They're challenges, background noise, they're antagonists and costars in the stories that the PC's write.

As team members it's rubbish. And it feels awful once you come to the realization that despite your best efforts you will only be relevant a little while someone else through class choice alone is relevant the entire time....

I see where you're coming from and don't disagree; I was merely stating that system mastery within groups tends to level off over time, which makes situations like you're describing mostly inconsequential.

(I do submit that I'm biased by the fact that I've been gaming for the same group for a decade; several members of the group have been gaming with each other for 25+ years.)

In a greater sense, the fundamental issue as I see it is that flavor and aesthetics exist on one side of a continuum, with balance on the other side - you can't increase one without decreasing another. I think, based on a lot of the posts I see here in this thread and on the forums in general, that others don't see things the same way. That's fine, but I do get annoyed with the way they make it seem that achieving perfect balance without sacrificing flavor and aesthetics would be easy as pie but the Paizo development team refuses to give us this utopia because reasons.

Finding the right mix of flavor & balance is incredibly difficult, evidenced by the fact that D&D has been around for near 45 years and we're still trying to figure it out.

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Ashiel wrote:
This is what I do, actually. How amazingly super-epic stuff is stems from level. The vast majority of the world is sub CR 6, with common people being more between CR 1/4 and 2. The most powerful people in the world are about CR 10-12 and most of those are living legends. CR 12-20 stuff is pretty much godlike (complete with having cults and worshipers dedicated to them).

I'm reaching the point in my game where I'm having to consider the ramifications of this, as the PCs are now level 10. I can't just keep raising the levels of the NPCs as a matter of course without breaking verisimilitude, so it's making the designing the next chapter of my campaign more challenging.

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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Xexyz, is there a reason you keep ignoring my post? I've attempted to engage you in sincere discussion and I continue to receive nothing.

You mean this post:


Even the level 1 Wizard and Sorcerer that are somewhat vulnerable to murder by housecat? [It's quite strongly in the Wiz/Sorc's favor in Pathfinder unlike 3E, but they could still conceivably lose.]

Even the level 20 Warrior of Legend who stands shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Thor with Mjolnir and Odin with Gungnir?

In my personal opinion the best way to get the feel you're going for is to keep the world's level WAY WAY LOW.

It's what I do in my own campaigns, over 90% of adults are level 1-2, with a scant smattering of level 3-4 people.

Only reknowned heroes and scourges are in the level 5-8 range and basically NOBODY ALIVE is over level 8.

I haven't responded because I don't understand what it means. All I can get out of it is that you're telling me that I'm playing the game wrong, which doesn't really merit a response.

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TarkXT wrote:
Renata Maclean wrote:
Xexyz wrote:
CWheezy wrote:
So you wouldn't mind this being labelled in the book then, as a warning? It would be less confusing for new players when the book presents each option as reasonably equal
I really don't care one way or another, so if you really feel it's that important, than sure. Though I do find all this concern-trolling of "what about teh poor innocent new players?!?!" to be farcical, as if nearly every new player isn't introduced to the game by more experienced players who will show them the ropes.
It's likely that a new player is going to assume that every class is at least somewhat viable, even if a more experienced player is trying to steer them towards the classes that aren't literally useless
It's also making some rather big assumptions about about the actual experience of the teaching player.

Not really. Whether the teaching player has a lot of experience or just a little, the result is mostly the same. It's not about absolute game mastery, but the relative game mastery of the group in question.

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TarkXT wrote:

Which I respect.

I simply don't think that aesthetic is the correct mindset to go in with in a game where a certain level of cooperation is expected.

Being more or less powerful than the characters is a matter of NPC's not a cooperative group expected to band together and defeat these challenges.

That's interesting, because I actually feel the opposite. Because the game is cooperative instead of adversarial those writing and developing it have more freedom to promote flavor and aesthetics at the cost of perfect balance. Conversely, when I'm considering playing a game that's adversarial by design that I place a lot more importance on balance between players and believe aesthetics should properly take a secondary role.

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Ashiel wrote:
I personally don't think it's necessary to do either of those things in the absolute sense. You just need to have martials that can do things that matter and have ways of reacting to things and having level-appropriate abilities. There is no need for making warriors that do things like turn dragons into statues or bring people back from the dead (though Paladins do this already) or summon monsters and stuff, but it does mean that you'd need to have ways of reacting to things like how barbarians can become very magic resistant, break magic, remove buffs, or spank spells back by striking them with your sword or shield (which are probably magical themselves).

Sure? I guess this stuff just isn't that important to me. But, I know that if the Fighter gets too far away from its mundane roots I would not like it as much. As a GM I use fighters a lot in my game for the reason that they are mundane.

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CWheezy wrote:
So you wouldn't mind this being labelled in the book then, as a warning? It would be less confusing for new players when the book presents each option as reasonably equal

I really don't care one way or another, so if you really feel it's that important, than sure. Though I do find all this concern-trolling of "what about teh poor innocent new players?!?!" to be farcical, as if nearly every new player isn't introduced to the game by more experienced players who will show them the ropes.

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Charon's Little Helper wrote:

False premises.

I'm not making an argument here, so I don't have any premises, you dig? I was expressing my opinion, which isn't up to debate. You can no more logic me into changing my aesthetic preferences than you can use logic to prove that green is a more aesthetically pleasing color than blue.

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TarkXT wrote:

Now for the million dollar question.


I've thought about this. It boils down to the fact that having all classes equal, in the context of 3.x, means either:

A) Martials are brought up to the power level of full casters.

B) Full casters are brought down to levels where they are equivalent to martials.

Either solution, as I can conceive of them, will ruin the flavor and aesthetic of what I want from a (roughly) medieval-themed fantasy RPG. In such a setting, I want wizards and their equivalents (sorcerers, witches, etc.) to be able to count themselves among the most powerful beings in the world. Hell, the homebrew world in which I run my games is pretty much based on this very fact.

Or to put it all another way, that fighters are weaker than wizards in Pathfinder isn't a bug, it's a feature.

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CWheezy wrote:
So it is ok some classes are 2nd class citizens?

Yes. In fact, the day all classes become equal is the day I probably put down Pathfinder and look for a different game.

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Vic Wertz wrote:
Added to FAQ.

Well, crap, my group's been simply checking off cards on the list regardless of whether or not we had them.

Next playthrough we'll do things the right way, but as it stands without knowing when we'll have the opportunity to redeem cards we'll stick with the way we've been doing things.

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Personally I think the staff of minor healing is the best bet. As soon as my Feiya found it during her solo playthrough of RotR she felt a lot less fragile.

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Update totals for deck 5:

Powers 1 & 2 (as I've listed them in the opening post) are still the same as before. The only card in deck 5 that has a masterable trait is the icy prison spell.

Power 3 {When you acquire a card that has a mastered trait or an ally (□ or a spell), you may draw a card} is only relevant for the icy prison above. So that brings the current total as follows:

Acid = 0 spells
Cold = 6 spells
Electricity = 2 spells
Fire = 10 spells

Again, note that of the 10 spells with the fire trait, 5 are divine only.

Power 4 {Reduce damage of a mastered type dealt to you by 2 (□ 4)} new totals:

Acid: 2/14/0/0/0 = 16 total, 7/16 sources conditional. Of that breakdown, 2 [regular] monsters are basic while 4 are elite. Of note that while 7 of the sources only inflict acid damage conditionally, 4 require difficult [for Seoni] checks to avoid the damage.

Cold: 4/0/0/1/0 = 5 total, 4/5 sources conditional. 2 of the conditional sources of cold damage come from encountering the henchman wight after failing to defeat the baleful shadows barrier. There are 2 copies of this barrier and it's elite.

Electricity: 0/3/0/0/0 = 3 total, 2/3 sources conditional. Of that breakdown, one of the monsters will only inflict electricity damage if you choose to re-roll your combat check, which the monster allows you to do.

Fire: 5/1/1/0/1 = 8 total, 8/8 sources conditional. Of that breakdown, 1 barrier is elite. Also, the location Molten Pool inflicts 1 fire damage at the start of your turn [if you're there] and changes all combat damage received into fire damage.

Power 5 new totals:

Monsters which are immune to a masterable trait:

Acid: 10/1/1 = 12 - Of that breakdown, 1 monster is elite. Of note, 7 of the 10 are also monsters that inflict acid damage.
Cold: 1/0/1 = 2
Electricity: 34/1/4 = 39 - Of that breakdown, 4 monsters are elite.
Fire: 3/0/1 = 4

(unchanged from deck 4)Monsters which are strong against a masterable trait:

Acid: 0/0/0 = 0
Cold: 3/0/0 = 3
Electricity: 4/0/0 = 4
Fire: 3/0/0 = 3

This category basically consists of the pitborn scoundrel. It's strong against cold, electricity, and fire, and there are 3 copies. It's elite.

Monsters which are weak against a masterable trait:

Acid: 0/1/0 = 1
Cold: 6/0/0 = 6
Electricity: 0/0/0 = 0
Fire: 2/1/0 = 3

Of all those monsters, 1 is basic and 2 are elite, and all three are weak against cold.

Since power #6 {Add 4 to your check that has a mastered trait} mostly interacts with many of your spells (until you get power #5), it's important to consider how many arcane spells of each masterable element there are. As of deck 5, here's the breakdown:

Acid = 2*
Cold = 10*
Electricity = 5
Fire = 10

These number include both spells that have the trait by default and spells that can add the trait as part of the spell's power.

* I made an error with my previous numbers; I had the spell hellmouth lash incorrectly adding cold instead of acid.

Last but not least, there are a few other non-weapon cards that can add a masterable trait. Through deck 5, they're as follows:

Fire - Druid of the Flame
Electricity - Druid of the Storm, Lyre of the Storm

demon armor (x2) - fire
Suurlahetas - fire
Runelord Alderpash - acid, cold, electricity, fire
evocation staff - cold, electricity, fire

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magnitt wrote:

Yes, this is a cooperative game, but when we play we are sometimes a bit individualistic and I think this is fine.

I feel that it is not normal or fun when one of the characters is much better than others and so he does multiple explores each turn while others mostly explore once a turn and keep playing blessings and cures on that character. Even if such a strategy would be more beneficial to the group as a whole, it is not fun.

That's why sometimes a player in our group may keep a certain card to himself even if it would be more useful to another character, and we accept this. Or he may give it up but ask for something else in return, this kind of thing. And we'd rather help a character who is falling behind than help the most "powerful" character to become more powerful still.

Each player should feel that he is actively contributing to victory, not just support others. Yes, some characters are more support-oriented, I did Lem and Oloch myself, but it is not normal or nice to exclusively limit some player to supporting others. It is not good if one player says "Guys, I'm better than you, so I'll use my blessing to explore and you will play yours to support me".

So in our group we accept reasonable selfishness :) We still try to help each other, but we are careful about keeping balance between our characters even if this sometimes may mean that we become less powerful as a group.

That being said, I wouldn't say that we are not successful. We played RotR twice without ever loosing a scenario. We did S&S twice and only lost three scenarios in AP6. In WotR we are loosing more often (which I personally enjoy because I like more challenge) but mostly we win, and no character ever died.

And yes, we play with our hands closed. We do tell others about our blessings and stuff when it's important, but we like keeping our cards private. It is also more handy for us because keeping cards face-up would require wider playing area.

I agree very much with what Magnitt says here. Between scenarios in my group we'll discuss who gets/keeps what but for the most part if a boon would be useful for everyone than the person who acquired it gets to keep it. If someone wants to keep or take a boon that's clearly better for someone else - such as if a Kyra player wanted to hang onto the Ring of Regeneration instead of handing it over to Valeros - we'll speak up and discuss it.

I'd balk at playing with an open hand. I played another game open hand once and it was a very un-enjoyable experience. Other players would give me 'suggestions' and basically try play the game for me, which made it frustrating to learn to play. Also, we were playing with limited space and open hands sometimes made it difficult to tell which cards were in play and which cards were in peoples' hands. I very much dislike open hands.

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Jim John wrote:
- If you don't want a boon, survey the table to see if someone else wants it.

This isn't automatically assumed?

I'd probably leave the table [after the scenario] and quit playing with people who weren't team players.

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