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Armistril's Shield

blue_the_wolf's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 1,263 posts (1,290 including aliases). 2 reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character.


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Neo2151 wrote:

Fun? Sure, maybe.

Balanced? Eh, I obviously think it's below par.
Effective? Only if the target is incorporeal.

Sure, not everything is about DPR, and not everything should be.
But successfully contributing to the party's success is important, and I just don't see how MM does that.

For example, you know what else is fun? Enchantment Spells. But if you're not a Kitsune Sorcerer, you're (generally speaking) wasting your, and everyone else's, time by trying to make those work for you.

so you don't like it...

fair enough, your entitled to not like it... i personally don't like color spray for various reasons... but I'm suggesting it should be removed from the game.

I guess I don't understand why you think I should not be able to use MM because YOU don't like it.

should it be tweaked in some way? should it be replaced? should the magic spell list be the 7 spells you feel are useful and we should remove all other spells because YOU find them useless?

Im just not sure what the point of this post is.

NOTE: you are fully entitled to your opinion. If your post was something like "I don't really like MM why do you like it" I would find that fair but your post is more like "I don't like MM and I think it should be removed prove me wrong" which I think is small minded... my own personal opinion of course.

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.... so i guess your question is

why should there be any spells other than color spray, sleep, burning hands and scorching ray at that level.

If thats the case then there is no reason to use Magic missile... so don't.

all spells are situational that is the nature of spells.

go into battle with undead and your going to wish you had magic missile rather than useless colorspray and sleep.

bottom line if you don't like it don't use it. But the question of why is it still around is basically troll bait.

its around because its fun, effective and balanced. Not every choice in the game is about DPR (damage per round, Damage Per Second is kind of meaningless in a turn based table top game.)

Personally it seems the intent is clear.... Its ment as a splash damage arrow.

Treat as a splash weapon with total range of one square

No benefit from str, dex, and other such bonuses. Full benefit from weapon enhancements

I think its a good thing....

but it may require testing. I mean... people cry about fighters.... but if they suddenly got say 5 more feats by level 15 would they be over powered?

having said that... something should just be free.... Power Attack anyone?

Wow. A few things here i had not considered.

I always agree with the awesome blow thing. I mean.... It should just be a feature of being big... In fact i would not even make the awesome blow a choice... Big thing hits little thing should be auto bull rush Attempt. IMO

I also agree with the combat maneuver thing.... Except that you would start to need a bunch of new rules for the rediculous variants. What if you kept the size limits but created feats. That allowed you to surpass them.... For example GREATER combat feat would allow one to go beyond the size limit.

I dont agree with the weapon damage issue.... I alwayse felt that they do not do enough extra damage.. i kinda think that weapon damage and hitpoints should be doubled per size category after all other mods and rolls. An ogre for example would average 60 hp and deal (2d8+7)2

I was just wondering how people feel about size modeling in pathfinder.

on the one hand i feel that the simple changes to STR, DEX, AC and bonus to his are way to simple, and lead to some ridiculous comparisons

on the other hand I know that complicating the process is a slippery slope.

Do you know of any alternate systems that work well?

what ideas have you considered or implemented for size increments?

I have considered a few very simple ones but they do lead to some changes the GM would have to be wary of (enlarge spells become much more powerful)

do you think it works well enough as is... or do you think a hypothetical revamp of the paizo system could readdress this in a simple but functional way?

LOL. of course I'm not mad.

I use bold letters for emphasis because I fundamentally think that some people just skim without processing.

what do i expect? ... I expect people to read the debate and eventually over possibly many debates opinion may be changed.

because its actually a big deal to me.

having said that. I was done a few times but when some one makes a point that has, what I believe to be, glaring flaws. I feel obligated to respond.

Im not trolling, I am not insulting, I am not arguing for the sake of argument. But I do enjoy the debate.

In real life, some people are caught flat-footed when hostilities erupt.

IRL SOME people SOMETIME are cought FF when hostilities erupt.


The rule should reflect the exception as an exception and not as the Norm.

Let me use another example.

In real life do people SOMETIME fail to see things that are in plain sight? yea it happens and I can provide a ton of examples, experiments and research....

Do we have a rule for missing big obvious things like trees, open paths, doors and owl bears laying in the middle of the path? YES WE DO its called Perception. but its assumed that since people would normally notice those things you don't bother with the perception check except in those situations that are unusual. such as when things are hiding, hidden, or otherwise difficult to see.

in other words general play assums the norm and the rules represent the special cases.

FF in the first round is the opposite of that.

I have said it before and will say it again be cause every one conveniently ignores this.

Does EVERY fight ALWAYS start with some one being unprepared?
or does it SOMETIME happen? if the majority of situations are covered by the assumption that neither party would generally be considered unprepared (i.e. your walking and approach another party, your approached by guards, a bear approaches through the woods, you walk into the throne room and confront the king, etc etc) then there should not be a rule that applies the special case of SOMETIME people are unprepared, except in those cases where there is a reasonable reason to assume that this is one of those times... like a surprise or ambush or feint or something else.

so again... my question and please answer it.

Do you think that the majority of combat situations include some one being unprepared.

if not then why have a rule that assumes it happens every time a battle begins?

that is the primary question of this thread.

NN you had a point in your first post.

then fell in to the same trap in your second post.

don't try to rationalize it because I don't believe there is any valid rational for it other than some ones absolute determination that ANYTIME combat begins some one is cought flat footed even if both sides were completely prepared.

If its JUST a rule, WHY do we need the rule? what does it add to the game?
To help sneak attack? then give them a special rule instead of applying the rule to everything.

If its to simulate reality why simulate general reality with a relatively rare situation?

if they decided instead of flatfooted they did the "flanking" rules instead where u get a +2 to hit in the first round against someone who hasnt gone yet.

although I think that no automatic penalty is necessary other than 'you didn't get to go first'

I would be happier with this than the stupid flat footed rule.

Kelarith, again, set piece scenario. would that Krav Maga fighter be able to do the same thing if the guy with the gun was 20 feet away?

no... specific scenarios are irrelevant. what is the norm for start of combat. that should be what the general standard rules are based on.

A high dex character naturally has higher initiative. They are agile, reflexive. They can stab you in the gut before you even finish getting your sword out of your sheath. It's what they do.

again does EVERY combat start face to face with an agile reflexive character who will stab you in the gut before you even finish getting your sword out?

or does most combat start with the party recognizing a threat at some distance (be it 10000 feet or across the room) and mutually initiating combat?

if the answer is the former your absolutely correct.

if the answer is the latter I don't get why the insistence that all combat should be modeled on the former.

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argh... why is it so difficult? every one wants to base ALL combat on some extreme and unusual situation.

does all combat in pathfinder start with a sucker punch in a bar? so why base all combat on that example?

I think the reason why characters and npcs are flatfooted at the beginning of combat basically there to inforce that the person with highest iniative acted first.

let me ask you this, what is wrong with simply {[i]dramatic pause[/]} letting the winner of the initiative act first?

Why does one side HAVE to be unprepared in some way. what is this insistence that loosing initiative MUST include some debilitating penalty?

Its completely reasonable to get some penalty like flat footed when one sides activities or the environment lends some tactical advantage like an ambush or something.

But the question here is not "should there be a mechanic for catching an opponent flat footed"

The question is "should EVERY combat situation assume that the person who moves second is completely unprepared and flat footed until he takes an action in rounds"

remember the rules don't even state that the person has to attack. He simply has to take an action on his turn. so a person can be last in the initiative and chose to do nothing but scratch his nose... by game mechanics he is no longer flat footed.

WHY IS THIS A UNIVERSAL MECHANIC? It is added complexity that does NOT add anything to the game.

NOTE AGAIN: I am not saying that there is no situation in which people should not be flat footed. My point is that it should not be the general purpose standard rule for EVERY combat situation.

My entire point is that the general rule should be based on the most common circumstance and special rules like surprise rounds can exist for special circumstances.

Please explain why that is wrong or unreasonable.

basically your saying the only possibility is total preparedness (goal kick) and total unpreparedness (guy sitting at the computer when his friend randomly dings him in the head.

what about the in-between which constitutes basically everything else.

Try this.... in your next game. at the start of combat imagine the situation and think to yourself the following.

"In this situation does it make sense that the looser of the initiative be considered unable to properly defend himself?"

keep tabs on the answers and at the end tell me which wins out the situations where it makes more sense that a trained combatant be able to defend themselves or the situations where it makes more sense that a trained combatant be unable to defend themselves.

Its my belief that being able to defend themselves will win out.

agree with Kazaan

I dissagre Ryric and Majuba

if that were the case then does that mean the rogue can sneak attack any one who has a dex bonus of 0 or less?

no. flat footed (i.e., denied dex bonus) is a mechanic to simulate not being able to "properly defend oneself"

the question is, does loosing the initiative in general mean that your not able to "properly defend yourself" regardless of how you envision the inability to properly defend yourself the question is this.

does not going first universally mean that your not able to properly defend yourself.

I personally don't think it does and I think that in order to make that assumption you have to imagine special cases where the victim is not aware or startled or distracted or otherwise unable to properly defend themselves. But those are special cases while in the normal state of things people are generally aware of the danger and able to properly defend themselves.

I don't think the simple status of "didn't swing first" automatically results in "not able to properly defend yourself."

thus the standard rule should not make that assumption.

just a note... i use the total damage, total distraction method.

if my caster is trying to cast a spell while standing on the deck of a ship in a storm and then he gets hit by a readied action i don't roll one concentration for the environment and one for the damage.

I add it all up and roll one check. it makes the check much harder but in my mind the roll is your ability to over come ALL of the distractions that are affecting you at the time of the casting.

For example if i am carefully reciting "twinkle twinkle little star" and am facing the distraction of a bad smell, a funny joke and a feather in my ear... i am not individually affected by 3 separate events during the recital. Its one event, the recital, and I am trying to overcome the combined distraction from 3 different sources.

but thats just our tables conclusion.

personally I house rule it and ultimately believe the standard rule should be...

simply remove the flatfooted for loosing initiative as a general rule.

You can apply flat footed to special situations like suprise rounds or special cases defined by the GM but one should not be flat footed as a general rule.

(i personally add a special caveat allowing sneak attack classes to treat an enemy that has not acted in the first round as flat footed, but I only do that to make stealth characters not feel nerfed.)

deep breath.

my point:

Most people can instinctively react to a thrat. They move they duck they raise their arm, they are not flat footed.

my point being that most people are going to react to a threat and an experienced combatant is going to react to a threat in an experienced way.

Your counter:

A reaction as subtle as raising an arm does not constitute someone being ready for combat. Sorry, you aren't in a combat stance, you aren't completely ready for combat, and you are still flat footed.

You took ONE of my THREE examples, made an unreasonable assumption, and attempt to counter the whole point.

you completely ignored the concept being presented which is that people are going to defend themselves unless completely surprised which is simulated by a surprise round. not opposed initiatives which by their very nature imply that the two sides are aware of each other and reacting. else it would not be an OPPOSED check.

BornofHate wrote:

Not to mention the owlbear argument is terribly flawed.

At no point in this example was either side allowed a skill check to determine awareness. Which is something I integrate into all of my combats.

When I GM, every single combat is preceded by some type of check to determine awareness. If those checks fail then everyone is flat footed and no surprise round occurs. If only one side succeeds then it's up to them how they want to react to what they know. This might end up in a surprise round, or it might not. If both sides succeed, then there is no surprise round and we are back to rolling initiative.

Perhaps I'm not playing the rules right out of the book. I don't roll initiative before I determine awareness. I determine awareness before initiative. Maybe that's why I don't mind the rule and others dislike them.

Now that I take a closer look at the combat steps, they are terribly out of order. It makes no sense whatsoever to determine awareness AFTER initiative.

This is how I run combat and for me it works more organically:
1: Determine awareness
2: Roll initiative: those aware get a surprise round
3: First round of combat, everyone goes
4: Wash Rinse Repeat

It sounds to me that your issue is more one of not agreeing with the way the beginning of combat is ran. you want a more nuanced procedure for determining who sees who and how they react to it.

This discussion assumes that we agree on everything about the start of combat EXCEPT the issue of being flat footed in the first round simply for loosing the initiative.

bbangerter wrote:
blue_the_wolf wrote:

Being flat footed is being unable to defend yourself because you are unaware or unable to respond quickly enough to the danger.

My own words inserted to correctly state what flat footed is, IMO.

sorry I was quoting using my iPad and regular quote was not working.

blue_the_wolf wrote:

Like when your paying attention to the axe being swung at your head from the other side. They simulate this by considering you flat footed.

This isn't accurate. Flanking is not making your opponent flat footed, or treating them as such, though it does grant SA damage. Flanking is a flat +2 bonus to hit. Flat footed could mean anything from +0 to +20 or more depending on the dodge component of an opponents AC.

Please note my whole point

The game also assumes that some classes are particularly deft at taking advantage of distraction.... Like when your paying attention to the axe being swung at your head from the other side. They simulate this by considering you flat footed.

having said that I was making the mistake of confusing flanked and getting sneak attack damage with flat footed and getting sneak attack damage.

lets not get distracted with that because its not relevant to the OP which is being flat footed at the start of combat.

BornofHate wrote:
blue_the_wolf wrote:

Most people can instinctively react to a thrat. They move they duck they raise their arm, they are not flat footed.

I beg to differ. A reaction as subtle as raising an arm does not constitute someone being ready for combat. Sorry, you aren't in a combat stance, you aren't completely ready for combat, and you are still flat footed.

By your understanding a random guy playing a pickup soccer game as a goalie and an IT professional working in their cubicle have the same chances of reacting to a ball kicked at them.

That's a hell of an argument.


actually your completely misrepresenting my point. I am working from the assumption that both sides of the conflict are experianced in combat. thus they are not IT nerds compared to experts or dears in the headlights. that raised arm likely has a shield and if I give 3 examples (duck, dodge, or raise an arm) please don't evade the point by focusing on a weak argument about raising an arm while ignoring duck and dodge.

the point being most people are going to have some form of reaction to threat and an experienced combatant will likely react in a way that is not ignorant. meaning he will likely not be "flat footed"

Being flat footed is being unable to defend yourself because you are unaware or unable to respond to the danger.
Most people can instinctively react to a thrat. They move they duck they raise their arm, they are not flat footed.

The game also assumes that some classes are particularly deft at taking advantage of distraction.... Like when your paying attention to the axe being swung at your head from the other side. They simulate this by considering you flat footed.

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90% of the time, this is pretty straightforward. The party comes around a corner, there's an owlbear just chilling out. Everyone in the party goes "Yikes, an owlbear!" The owlbear goes "Yikes, a party!" and everyone just starts drawing weapons and prepping spells and rearing up etc. etc. and whoever's reflexes are the sharpest is probably going to get a quick hit in on an opponent who isn't prepared for it yet. Nobody really seems to have an issue here.

Actually we do have an issue here.

That 90% of the time is exactly the point.

One side of the argument seems to see it your way that when you come around that corner there is an instantaneous decision on both sides to kill each other and without preamble combat begins and the looser of the initiative is twiddling his thumbs while the other guy attacks.

The other side believes that when you come around that corner there is a moment of assessment and recognition of the threat. The owl bear roars menacingly, the party takes a fighting stance any options for diplomacy or conflict avoidance are weighed THEN combat begins.

On this side of the debate we believe that becoming aware of the enemy, taking a battle stance or instinctively reacting to a know threat, constitutes being NOT flat footed.

Again, Xara makes the point precisely

any time a PC or NPC believes they may need to fight you'd initiative

Meaning that the sides recognize the possibility of combat and prepare themselves even if they dont immediately start swinging. That preparation constituted not being flat footed.

Most people simply shorthand this and dont bother rolling initiative until actual attacks are being made thus the oddity of the flat footed rule, it does not mesh with the situation the vast majority of the time.

Thus being flat footed at the start of combat should be the special case exception and not the general rule.

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I'm not sure what point Xara and Bbang are making.

It sounds like they are saying that in game your essentially ALWAYS in combat when combat is a possibility and thus have essentially always acted, and thus the flat footed in the first round rule is meaningless except in those specific situations where one side was completely unaware that any form of combat was about to beggin, aka a suprise round.

Thank you for your excelent explanation of the OP position.

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Googleshng wrote:
blue_the_wolf wrote:
i think its silly when person A and person B are standing 50 feet apart swords in hand cursing each other's lineage. And At some point they take actual hostile action and initiatives are rolled.

You are confusing hostile actions with violent actions. When they first see each other, before they've started shouting, when someone first gets the inclination to grab for a sword, or call someone out, honestly, in a lot of realistic in-game situations, when they first so much as see each other, that is when you're supposed to be rolling initiative.

I diagramed out pretty much every possible permutation of this at the bottom of the previous page for situations that aren't kill on sight.

Not sure where your going with that so let's draw it out a bit. Are you saying that as the party is walking through the Forrest and come across another party we should roll initiative immediately and then do any diplomacy or conversation in turns?

That seems to imply that after one round of conversation we have all "taken an action" and we are the not flat footed.

This is the kind of thing that is short handed into.... You come across another party, you notice each other and after a Brie exchange of words roll initiatives.

In that short hand scenario no one would be flat footed as we simply condensed the prior example of diplomacy be rounds. Since MOST interactions are closer to that than true suprise dont you think that not being flat footed should be the norm with special rules to cover unusual situations like the ambush.

EDit... I hate typing on iPad

I house rule that the flat footed in the first round rule only applies urging suprise situations. I also allow sneak attack classes to take advantage of the rule so as not to take anything from them

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the problem with this rule.... And every debate about it is the assumption of the norm.

People who support the rule will almost always speak of some kind of suprise or super human feat like Bruce Lee's counter punch.

People opposed to the rule will almost alwayse point out that most combat actually starts with the combatants aware of each other and prepared for hostility.

I am in the latter group.

i think its silly when person A and person B are standing 50 feet apart swords in hand cursing each other's lineage. And At some point they take actual hostile action and initiatives are rolled. By RAW the winner of the roll charges 50 feet screaming bloody murder and waving his sword.... While the other remains completely unprepared untill his head takes the action to roll across the floor.

I understand that some combat begins as a suprise... But most combat does not and most peoples instinctive reactions will provide some form of defense.

I think that rather than assuming that people walking around heavily armed and armored are generally cought unawares by the outbreak of hostilities. The rules should assume that people are generally prepared for combat and provide options for those less common times such as an ambush, sucker punch or being distracted by a particularly shinny mote of dust right when the enemy charges from 50 feet away.

Based on the OP and not the rest of the thread....

The concept of good and evil is, for the most part, completely subjective.

With that in mind from a human perspective a creature that preys on human beings is evil.

From the creatures perspective it is completely neutral.

If that creature is human and preying on humans they would probably still be considered evil on both sides. If for example someone discovered that she was dieing and could indefinately extend her life by transplanting a new heart into her body every month and thus began kidnaping and harvesting peoples hearts.... Would she be evil? I think she would think she is. Humanity would definately judge her so.

eDIT: sorry about the touch of reality there.

yep thanks. found it.

so .... general discussion is open to advanced class discussion?

good stuff. thanks

This is post is about the play test process itself.

not comments on class, abilities, etc.... Right?

but i have a question/comment about a class and wanted to know where to post or discuss this

can any one point me in the right direction?

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Found it. Titans bane, mythic champion ability

.... It may be mythic

Similar.... The ability i am looking for is similar to monkey shines and underfoot but it specifically mentions being two size categories smaller than the enemy.

The image i got was that of stabbing at some giant from between his feet.

Any one know what this ability is?

There is a feat, or ability somewhere that basically says you can occupy the same space as a creature two size categories larger than you and you gain cover from the creature.

I just cant seem to find that ability anymore. Does anyone know what ability that is?

Rocket, i once bale full prolly morphed a player into a bunny mid combat. It's still one of the legends of the table. The people i play with dont take things too personally unless the gm kills them in their sleep with their own pet or something ( happened to me once ^_^)

I find it interesting that people are not just against the idea but seem personally offended by it.

I honestly makes me self examine. I have never actually done this kind of joke in game before and thought people would disagree with the mechanics more than the the attics. But most of you seem ok with the mechanics and pretty upset about the thematics.

Well... Guess i will modify the thematics. The mechanics are still fine.

walter mcwilliams wrote:
Abbadon666 wrote:
MY GM does not allow weapon enhancement to by pass specific material DR. It has started to hurt my character's effectiveness and quote "I think the weapon enhancement rule is bullsh$t and is a lazy persons way out of being perpared
Been my house rule since Pathfinder Beta first proposed the change, and I will never change it. Just like 50% miss chance vs. 1/2 damage vs incorporeals.

I use the same rule, (though I like the 1/2 damage vs incorporeal)

I also say blunt and broad head arrows have damage or accuracy penalties so archers rarely concern themselves with these things. ... and I ban Clustered shots because DR is supposed to suck more for archers than melee.

DR is generally week anyway it adds about a round to most combat. hardly debilitating.


so... what kind of jokes do you have at your table?

or are your games all about the grim reality of facing the evils of the world wound?


I expect it won't affect the character for more than a session. at the first chance they will just remove curse it... or force the caster to remove it.

its kind of like baleful polymorphing the main fighter into a bunny. its a funny story to tell about the hedge witch that gave him the water curse and the little dance he had to do.

mechanically its strictly weaker than the recommended effects of Bestow Curse, the point is to limit but not negate the combat power of the group or a party member. The player has to chose between fighting hindered or giving up two rounds per battle.

I can do the same thing by saying the player has some other ailment... like overwhelming uncertainty and the player has to spend 2 rounds focusing to gather his confidence... or I can simply say he has -4 all the time... but i like the idea of a bit of silly that will be remembered for a long time.

context is of course essential. but without telling you the entire story of the adventure take "tricksy caster', imagine a fey with an annoying sense of humor and a grudge against the party, and apply bestow curse.

So I want to drop a curse on a player.

the enemy is a tricksy caster who uses heightened spell and other abilities to raise curse to a difficult to resist level.

anyway the caster would like to curse a player to have the extreme desire to urinate when ever he enters battle he is overcome with the need to Urinate.

thematically he must either go pee, do the peepee dance, or fight distracted by the need to pee.

Mechanically he must either suffer -4 penalty on attack rolls, saves, ability checks, and skill checks

do the peepee dance for 2 rounds and get laughed at by the enemy)

or actually go and urinate (about 10 rounds)

I think this fits the rules and theme but I want it to be fun and annoying, not annoying and punishing.

would this work?

So.... A common thread is that warriors are under powered and casters are over powered.

I'm not sure how i feel about this.

Personally i dont quite see the issue (on the other hand i recently expressed a gripe about paladins which most dont agree with so maybe i am just all around in the minority)

Any way. I want to try something. Please dont respond to any other posts ONlY answer this question.


Please only answer that question and dont argue with some one else's opinion. I know this is a touchy subject and am not looking for a flame war.

I know it will be hard but please try. Post as much as you like as thoughts come to mind but at the end of every post please copy this line into the bottom of your post.


i respectfully ask that you do not respond to my post either positively or negatively and only give your answer to the OP question.


Doomed Hero wrote:
The size category rules, in general, are completely borked.


Kelarith I know that your just giving advice... but what if you said you had an accident any my response was "a good driver knows how to pay attention to the road and avoid threats" I dont know why you had an accident but i immediatly imply that its obviously because you were not paying attention to the road.

My point is this. I DO talor to different members of the group. My entire issue is that the paladin has too many things to talor to.


Out of curiosity, are these questions theory-craft, or are you actually having trouble with the class in a game right now?

Any specific examples that have given you issues?

combination of the two.

I was running the same campaign for 2 different groups and kept running into paladin problems. I then started examining WHY I was running into paladin problems and it mostly boiled down to the 3 reasons above. not that the paladin had one of those things... but that he had all 3.

so the debate raged in the groups and I decided to come here for an outside opinion.

to be honest I have been swayed that my opinion is not only the minority but the other side is completely valid in its point of view.

Laurefindel wrote:
chaoseffect wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
blue_the_wolf wrote:

The fact that a guy in full armor can fire a bow with all of the speed and accuracy of some one in light or no armor.

New home rule for the next game I GM. some form of penalty to shooting bows while wearing medium or heavy armor.

Why? Who does that help?
Justify the existence of crossbowmen?
I doubt it. It's not like you really need a ton of AC as an archer anyway.

True, which means it wouldn't hurt archers much then. Regardless of who it wouldn't hurt, the question remains: "who would it help?"

Versimilitude to real-life experience perhaps, or to closer simulation of historical combat... I agree that it wouldn't add much to the game.

(but I still think it would give something to the crossbow, which atm is just an inferior choice)

amazed to see the thread hijacked by my little comment.

for me its simply a balance issue. I like to see trade offs. focused archers get to do huge amounts of damage due to the benefit of pretty much always getting a full attack without regards to positioning. the trade off should be that when they get caught in melee they are in greater danger of getting hurt.

Melee has to work much harder to full attack but they get to benefit from more defences.

its really just a pet peeve. bassed on my personal idea of balance.

While I agree that the pally has lots of decent abilities, nearly all of them are situational though. As mentioned by only one poster so far, the pally comes with his Lawful Good and Code of Conduct baggage, which I tend to think as a balancing factor for having so many differing abilities.

This is, along with the "only works against evil" defense are pretty meaningless in my eyes.

basically the paladin code of conduct baggage is pretty much a trap that leads to argument. Most players will always argue some kind of justification for their moral actions. And if the GM not only dissagrees but wants to punish the player for having a different moral view things do not end well. In the end I think most GMs just tend to let players put on the thinnest veneer of LG and call it a day.

and the Only works against evil defense is moot because no matter how many creatures you list from the bestiary that are not evil the fact of the matter is most baddies in most adventure paths are going to be evil. even if its a home brew that paladin is going to be rightfully upset if every big baddy is taylor made to negate his ability. besides, I dont want to take away the paladin smite... i just think it, combined with all of the other abilities, is a bit much.

Chris O'Reilly wrote:
I think what makes a pally seem overpowered might be that everything they have is pretty... obvious. You dont have to work to make a good pally, everything good they get is just handed to you. There arent really many choices or ways to "mess up" a paladin. Compare a pally to an optimzed (other martial) and they may look similar, but compare two completely new players, one making a pally and one a barbarian and the situation will probably look pretty favorable on the paladin side.

OUTSTANDING POINT. I had not thought of this.

it also explains a lot of the missunderstanding in the debate on the matter. people may say something like

Ranger 'smite' > paladin smite
superstitious invulnerable rager > Paladin resists
Druid action economy > paladin action economy

and consider the point made... but i look at that and say "do you realize you just specialized 3 different classes to out do the standard issue abilities of every paladin?

but at the same time people defending paladins are trying to point out that other a bow focused vengeance paladin they really dont get much more powerful than that same standard issue paladin.

but... still... is that a good thing or a bad thing for the paladin? that their standard issue build is so good that they cant really come up with any horizontal growth.

I have discovered a new one... though its not a rule but a lack of a rule.

The fact that a guy in full armor can fire a bow with all of the speed and accuracy of some one in light or no armor.

New home rule for the next game I GM. some form of penalty to shooting bows while wearing medium or heavy armor. something like an additional penalty to all iterative shots or you can only fire a bow as a standard action while wearing heavy armor.

Having said all of that

I am willing to concede that my view on the matter is clearly in the minority. I think there are a few simple things that I can do at the start of a game to mitigate for the paladin.

Hey I really appreciate all of the comments. As I respond to them I want to remind everyone that my personal focus here is group dynamics. I am not comparing level X paladin to level X (insert class here) I am speaking to the balance of the class in a group dynamic, how much do i have to modify the world to balance for any specific class, in this case the paladin.

Im going to try and collect a lot of points here pointing out why paladin is NOT overpowered.

Smite: Most people say something to the effect of
smite is highly limited to evil targets and is easily over come by spells and abilities which mitigate smite

what that argument means is that as a GM I should buff out most bad guys to counter the smite, I think if I find myself doing that its a sign that something is wrong.

Resists: this one few people comment on but when they do its something like
Paladin has to have SOME form of awesome ability and/or its not that powerful

True, resists are not devastating but from a GM perspective they do skew the balance. as mentioned above the majority of the time things that bother the group are "fail on a 1" for the paladin or in order to make it interesting for the paladin I have to make it too dangerous for the rest of the group.

Action Economy the gist is
class X has action economy also

I think that many people are misunderstanding or underestimating the power of paladin action economy.
swift actions for other classes are a trade off, For the magus its their class defining skill, they dont get much else (but it makes them very powerful). casters give up spell slots and a feat. on the other side of the equation almost every form of healing takes up someones standard action... except for the paladins. and other burst abilities like Ranger 'smite' requires a standard action and/or a spell slot to initiate. Paladin has no such restriction.

I have no problem with action economy where there is a trade off. in many cases the paladin makes no such trade off.

Again my focus is this: individually the paladins signature abilities are great but not overpowered. but the paladin gets SO MANY signature abilities all of which are very powerful. They dont need any one in the party to heal or buff them. They have high resists AND high AC, AND high damage when it matters AND can be the "Face" during role play.

thus as a GM I find myself working most often to work around the paladin in order to give other players a chance to shine.

stat roll d6 + d4 +8 range is 10 to 18 but average is 13. reasonable stats.

XP removed- players level by GM fiat at a time appropriate to the story

flat footed in the first round removed as a general rule
if someone with sneak attack attacks an opponent in the first round who has not acted that character gets to treat the target as flat footed.

PCs get 2 free skill points at first level to place in a profession or perform.

feats and spells
some feats and spells banned (with player agreement)
some feats and spells modified (with player agreement)

All Resurrection and reincarnation effects short of wish or direct acts of a god removed universal wide (NPC cant be resurrected either).
Replaced with a universal ability. If a player should fall bellow negative CON the character is dead... however, the character can be brought back within 2 mins if they are healed back up to 0 or more. all healing until they reach 0 is 2 for 1 and the character is then in a coma for 1 day per death.
Also if Hero points are in the game and the player has 2 hero points available 2 hero points are automatically used to leave the character stabilized just before death.

world environment
most citiesare warded in such a way that many abilities such as flight or any plane shifting effects (summoning, teleport, etc) are blocked in some way

alignment alignment as written on a character sheet is the characters views of himself with the understanding that true alignment is decided by the opinion of the gods (GM) only players whos class is reliant on their alignment will get any particular warning before a change in alignment.

some classes and races banned or modified (with player approval)

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