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Nidalese Shadow Piercers

spectrevk's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 643 posts (713 including aliases). 3 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 11 Pathfinder Society characters.

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So, I originally bought Unchained for the class fixes, but hadn't had time to really dig into it until recently. I really like the Background Skill option, but I'm a bit torn regarding Group Skills and Consolidated Skills.

I realize that there is an option to combine them, with with the suggested adjustments, leaves low-level characters with one skill group, regardless of class, which doesn't quite seem right.

What I like about Consolidated Skills is that it leaves characters feeling more "complete", and able to do things that I would expect them to be able to do given their specialty. What I don't like about it is having to educate my players on all of the updated skill descriptions, which are only available in a book that none of them own since it hasn't been added to the PRD yet.

What I like about Group Skills is that it doesn't change the way the skills themselves work, while still giving players more bang for their skill point buck. This is particularly a concern if you run a lot of APs, as failing knowledge skill checks can grind the investigative portion of an adventure to a halt and force some rather blatant coincidences to get the players back on track. What I don't like about Group Skills is that because players only gain expertise in a few areas, it seems like characters would be less rounded, and thus, less interesting.

Has anyone put either of these systems (or both?) into practice yet? What were your results like?

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FLite wrote:

Taking without permission is not always chaotic. However reposession is a bad example of this. In reposession the person doing the reposession has permission to do so (laid out in the original contract.) Taking without permission may be lawful in some lands (where the laws say a certain person cannot own property) but that wouldn't be stealing.

Likewise, killing may not be evil. Killing in self defense, or in active defense of another for example. But killing after all opponents have been disabled, is not killing in self defense, you have other ways to protect people, killing the guy is just the most convenient way. So you are killing for convenience, which is evil.

It may be justified by his actions, so it is a justified evil act, which means in isolation it is not enough to shift your alignment, but it is still an evil act. That just means you have grounds for arguing that it is a lawful evil act.

Again, you are mistaking your personal views for objective facts. Stop that.

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...none of which state that performing a Coup de Grace is an evil act.

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FLite wrote:

Killing someone who has surrendered or been incapacitated is an evil act.

The fact that he is a mass murderer doesn't make it less evil, it just means you are descending to his level to resolve the problem. However it is a good justification for your to decide that getting rid of him is worth the 500 gp to pay for an atonement to get forgiveness for the evil act.

The fact that it is a one time thing may mean that your other good deeds balance it out and that you don't need to pay for an atonement.

The fact that the other player is not a good role player has absolutely no bearing on whether this is an evil act or not.

Your opinion on good and evil has no real relevance to the PFS interpretation of how the alignment system works.

The other details were provided for the sake of context (as my motives were being called into question by you and others), nothing more.

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Jessex wrote:

Murdering helpless sentient beings is evil. What is so hard to understand?

Quoting the Core Rulebook "Good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others."

Killing an evil man before he can kill again is a sacrifice I was willing to make. Besides, retributive justice isn't Evil in Golarion, it's Neutral. Otherwise Callistria would be a Chaotic Evil deity, not a Chaotic Neutral one.

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Imbicatus wrote:
spectrevk wrote:
Who is there no love for the Fighter (archer archetype) in this thread? Full BAB plus cool tricks like ranged disarm.

Because it makes it so you can't use Gloves of Dueling, you lose Armor Training which actually does something with the high dex needed for archery, and ranged maneuvers are terrible and are replicated by targeting feats in the Ranged Tactics Toolbox. It's a strict downgrade to a CRB fighter.

Ah, that's a real shame. I hadn't checked out the Ranged Tactics Toolbox. I hate it when they make their own previous products obsolete, though.

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It looks like I misjudged you, and I apologize. I had initially taken your "not calling you out" line to be somewhat sarcastic, and I'm a bit sensitive regarding the way people discuss issues like this online, particularly the presumption of guilt and dog-piling. It's clear now that this wasn't your intent, and I jumped the gun.

I share your disdain for many of the public reactions to clear proof of wrongdoing by celebrities. At the same time, I'm also concerned about the presumption of guilt based on the severity of allegations, particularly since the fallout doesn't end up being equal (Roman Polanski is still considered a "genius" after being convicted and escaping his sentence; Bill Cosby is a social pariah over numerous allegations that never went to court).

But I digress; any conversation about the various iniquities and failures of the U.S. justice system and the media/entertainment machine that reports on it could easily consume an entire forum, let alone a single thread.

Back to Upchurch, it's funny that you should mention running into his defenders at your comic shop, as I was just talking to the (female, if it matters) co-owner of my local shop about Rat Queens. She told me that immediately after the news hit (shortly after issue 8 came out) she had a lot of female readers say they were quitting the book, who then came back to it as soon as they heard Upchurch was being replaced). I didn't find out about it until a while after that, because Rat Queens has always had a pretty inconsistent schedule, and I just figured Upchurch was slow.

For me, I fully understand people not wanting to be involved with him under the circumstances. My initial point was that his art style is unique enough that he'd be hard to replace, and since the art was such an important part of the book, I was concerned about the future. I fully understand the necessity of him paying the consequences for his crime, and I expect that to happen.

I was unaware that the creator-owned caveat at Image extended to Artists - everything I've read on their submissions guidelines for writers say "you own your work, but we won't find an artist for you, you need to find one yourself." This to me has always implied that the writer owned the scripts, characters, and narrative - while the artist was contracted to the work with the writer, by the writer.

I am not privy to the contract details between Wiebe and Upchurch; it is possible that he retained full rights to the IP, but it seems unlikely; modern comic artists are all too aware of what happened to Jack Kirby, Bill Finger, and other silver/golden age artists who made huge contributions to the characters we all know and love, but were robbed of both the financial gains and historical recognition for what they did. Artists typically get co-creator rights for characters that they help develop, so it seems likely that Upchurch has some kind of continued stake in Rat Queens, but the only way to be sure would be to ask Wiebe. And even if I'm right, I imagine it wouldn't be too hard for Wiebe to buy Upchurch out of his stake, as I'm sure both parties are aware of how much damage Upchurch's continued involvement would do to the IP.

Lastly on to more pleasant topics: Yes, the Braga one-shot was fun, and actually speaks very well of Wiebe's work with other collaborators.

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Wiggz wrote:


Pathfinder Society
Pathfinder Society Core

These aren't different rulesets. Pathfinder Society is an organized campaign that uses the Pathfinder rules; Pathfinder Society Core is the same thing, but with a more limited set of potential sources. It's a *reaction* to complaints about bloat. It's the anti-bloat.

Pathfinder Unchained

This isn't even out yet.


Beginner Box

Mythic Rules

These aren't really different rulesets either. The Mythic rules fit on top of the existing rules, and the Beginner Box is just a stripped-down version of the normal rules designed to appeal to kids and get them interested in regular Pathfinder. It even comes with a booklet to teach those kids who to convert their Basic characters to normal Pathfinder.

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I, too, disagree. The summoners would roflstomp at pretty much any level.

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CommandoDude wrote:

Or, what are other people's experiences with the Witch class? From the perspective of - the player; the teammate; and the GM?

The primary offensive power of the Witch is obviously its Hexes. The class is built around it, and while it does get full-spellcasting like the Wizard, it's spell list is much more limited.

The problem I have with the Witch is that its Hexes are basically scaling, non-vancian limited, auto spell resistance penetrating, save or suck "spells." Oh, yes it does receive a variety of Hexes, but the most powerful are obviously the combat oriented ones - of which Slumber is the king.

I'm coming from the perspective of this from "the teammate" I've had a friend who's played the Witch for 3 campaigns now. And I honestly think Hexes are becoming a crutch for him at this point. His character either wipes the floor with the enemy if they don't have good will saves or sleep immunity, leaving the rest of us feeling mostly useful; OR he can't do anything because the enemy have high will saves, leaving him feeling useless. (He tends to pack mostly out of combat heal spells instead of anything else)

I always kind of liked Warding and Evil Eye more than Slumber, personally. There are plenty of things that can't be affected by sleep, and a will save totally negates it. Even if they succeed at a saving throw against Evil Eye, they still take the penalties, but for only 1 round. And unlike Slumber, you can re-apply Evil Eye to the same target over and over again. Ward is also something he can always be doing to contribute to the group's success, so if he isn't taking that, I don't know what he's doing with his other hexes. Fortune/Misfortune are also popular.

Witches are actually one of the better classes introduced in the APG; they're more balanced than the Summoner in my opinion, and they fill a role (debuffer) that wasn't really being covered by either Divine or Arcane spellcasters. Both Wizards and Clerics *have* debuffs, but they don't really focus on them. Witches are almost entirely geared towards weakening the enemy so that other people can murder them. If you're in a party with a Witch, they *should* be setting the pins up so you can knock 'em down. Perhaps you should talk with your Witch about some tactical team-ups you can try.

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Dear James Jacobs: One of the big shifts in 3.0/3.5/Pathfinder was a greater emphasis on planned character growth, versus organic character growth. The rules make it easier to start out a character above level 1, and the nature of feat trees (along with potential multi-classing synergy, which seems to now be part of class design) means that not only are players rewarded for planning their character growth, but they can be penalized for not doing so.

Is this movement towards planned character growth a positive or negative in your opinion? Do you think there is a market for games that encourage more organic, modular character growth, or was that an older style of play that has died off?

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Captain K. wrote:

The campaign traits are superb, and GMs need to be aware that people will want to use them in other games. UMD as a class skill but with Spellcraft and a situational bonus is what a lot of people want, but the cream has to be the trait players are encouraged to take which is unusual. Trunau Native gives +1 Will and a free Masterwork dagger. Expect a lot of players to be Trunau Natives, and a Rogue who doesn't take it is a fool.

It's a free Masterwork dagger that, from a story POV, you aren't supposed to be using. The dagger is supposed to be kept sheathed except when mercy-killing someone else, or killing yourself to avoid capture. A rogue who takes it and uses it as a free masterwork dagger for everyday killing is mechanically doing the "right" thing, but is also kind of spitting on the traditions of the community they're supposed to be defending.

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j b 200 wrote:
The first book seems to be more about defending a settlement from an Orc invasion than about giants. Also, there are interesting locals like fighting inside a volcano and a flying castle. Unfortunately since none of the books are out yet (and we don't even have a final product description yet), we can't really sell you on the AP, since we don't really know what the AP is....

We have descriptions for the first 5 volumes of Giantslayer. It doesn't seem all that varied:

1. Defend town from orc army, explore tomb.

2. Fight Hill Giant chief.

3. Finish exploring tomb, then go to Mindspin Mountains. Fight a bunch of giants in a valley.

4. Fight village of Frost Giants.

5. Fight dungeon of Fire Giants. Learn about flying castle

Presumably, volume 6 will be "go to flying castle, kill Storm Tyrant". I think the problem for me here is the lack of motivation for the villain. Karzoug awakened after thousands of years and was trying to rebuild his empire. First Emperor Xin saw his dream of a perfect society destroyed by his students who then tried to kill him, slept for thousands of years, and went mad. Hakotep had his soul torn into fragments and finally has a chance to avenge himself. These are interesting villains.

The Storm Tyrant is just a guy with a cloud castle and an Orb of Dragonkind, who wants to conquer Avistan because....well, just because. I've heard people comparing this to Against the Giants, but I never had a chance to play that module. What could I be missing out on if I skip Giantslayer?

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UnArcaneElection wrote:
spectrevk wrote:
It seems like the main problem would be convincing someone to allow you to hypnotize them in the first place.

To paraphrase my above post, a lot of people won't let you hypnotize them. Concentrate on those that do.

But seriously...who would? I mean, it's not like hypnosis is a harmless parlor trick in Golarion. Magic is real, and so is the concept of magical mind control. If you have the requisite Bluff/Diplomacy to convince someone to let you hypnotize them without any safety net (someone they trust watching, etc.), then you probably don't need to Hypnotize them in the first place.

It's an interesting thought experiment, but like most powergaming, it's only effective in a world where the player is the only person on earth with a working brain.

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I kinda feel like Dwalin should have a higher Wisdom, but there aren't a lot of martial classes you could take that would make use of it. Did you consider one of the Monk archetypes, like Weapon Master? He survived an awful lot of Orc fights, and was well-respected as a warrior.

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NobodysHome wrote:

Because Captain Yesterday is a lazy fox? Rat? What are you this week, anyway?


...and now that we're both here, I think it's time for the derailments to begin! Say, did you notice that bore?

EDIT: I just can't do that to some poor person I haven't even met. Yet...


And really, any thread derailment that doesn't involve Rogues being underpowered is more than welcome here :D

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EvilTwinSkippy wrote:
spectrevk wrote:

Seems like an easier solution would be to use a Scorpion Whip instead, though obviously Whip Mastery would still be useful to avoid the AoO.

I was mostly just curious; I think a Calistrian Warpriest would be kind of weird...giant platemail painted like a bee, throwing a whip around...

Errm, why painted like a bee? That's just silly.

Calistrian clergy wear black and yellow a lot.


I think the Calistrian Warpriest works rather well. You already start with whip proficiency and Weapon Focus: Whip. A human warpriest could then add Weapon Finesse and Slashing Grace at level 1. Being a Dex-based character, you'd probably want to go a little lighter on the armour as well.

Whip Mastery is an easy grab at Level 3, and depending on your GM, you could probably just use a scorpion whip til then.

I suppose the ultimate permutation of this would be a DEX 20 Elf Calistrian Warpriest in studded leather armor with a whip and stiletto heels. The real challenge would be enduring the snickers and outright laughter at the gaming table, though ;)

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Cap. Darling wrote:
If channeling is gonna be the thing, i like a Half elf oracle of life with the elf FCB on the channeling. He Can wear a breastplate plate but with a trait and a breastplate plate i. Mithral he wont notice.

If he's wearing a breastplate, then he isn't unarmored, and this is a thread about unarmored healers.

And channeling isn't a requirement; I was just answering the question of why channeling is a useful healing tool. It's a source of healing; someone who can cast Cure spells *and* channel (like a Hex Channeler) is going to have more overall healing per day than someone who can only cast Cure spells (like a White Mage).

That said, I think the White Mage might be a bit more interesting, since Arcanists have more offensive spell options than Witches do. I suspect the Hex Channeler/Hedge Witch will do a better job at healing though, and would be more suited to a party where they were the sole source of healing. White Mage would be fine in a party with a Divine caster though (perhaps an offensively-minded Oracle, like a Flame or Metal Oracle?)

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Cap. Darling wrote:
spectrevk wrote:
Cap. Darling wrote:
I dont undestand why channeling is that great. A normal healing patron witch is better IMOP. But a evangelist cleric with a monk dip to get by with out armor is also good all the buffing will make all the healing less likely to be needed:)
Selective Channeling is the most efficient method of keeping a party alive. Unless your DM has you fighting in narrow corridors, there's no way to restrict incoming damage to one person, and in most situations you're best off spreading the damage among several front-liners. Moreover, channeling works at a distance, and it doubles as a (again, very efficient) way to deal with crowds of low-level undead.
That May be but if your baddies do damage that Can be fixed with 1d6 pr 2 levels then i am sure you Can kill them before any body dies on Team hero. And if every body helps end the figth it ends faster. But if you Can make the mini game work for you, then great.

1d6/2 levels is pretty good compared to 1d8+level/2 levels (the Cure spell series) when you consider how much more often you can channel versus cast Cure Light Wounds. Even if you only use it outside of combat, Channeling is more efficient at healing groups, and lets you save your spell slots for buffs, remove curse, and attack spells.

You're not alone, of course; I've seen a lot of people turn up their nose and in-combat healing, as as long as you're facing down fairly safe encounters that give you adequate time to buff ahead of time, I suppose that can work.

I've been in plenty of PFS scenarios where we were dealing with surprise attacks that drastically dropped everyone's HP, and/or were surrounded by a large number of creatures. Now obviously, if you have AOE damage, then it's clearly the better tactical choice there, but if not, keeping all of your friendlies in positive HP, even if it costs you a Standard Action, can mean the difference between success and failure. Channeling is how Clerics can carry a lower-level party through the decision to "play up" a tier in PFS, at least in my experience.

And again, the fact that it doubles as an AOE attack vs undead hordes (again, a common encounter in Paizo adventures) makes it one of the more important things that Clerics do, IMO.

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My problem with more "traditional" AP modules like this is that it feels like something I could put together in a few hours using the tables in a GM's guide. Warlord obtains [macguffin], rallies legions of [cannon fodder], attacks small village, heroes intervene, fight their way up the ranks, kill warlord.

Mummy's Mask had the hook of an exotic locale (Osirion!) and the promise of fighting a 10,000 year old ghost pharaoh in a flying pyramid. Going from that to fighting an evil Giant in a cloud castle feels (a) redundant and (b) like a step down.

I can understand that Iron Gods doesn't appeal to everyone, and I'm not totally against "traditional" modules (I'm looking forward to Hell's Rebels), but much like Wrath of the Righteous, this AP seems a bit too cookie-cutter to appeal to me or my players.

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I would count myself as being somewhat concerned as of the release of the Advanced Class Guide, which I've held off on buying for a bit. I'm actually more excited about the Occult book, because those classes are introducing a whole new pseudo-psionic thing to Pathfinder and Golarion, which is cool. I'm less excited about the ACG classes, many of which just seem like combat-buffed versions of the core classes (is there a reason to be a rogue now that Slayers exist?)

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I wouldn't jump straight to a movie. Start with a mini-series adaptation of Rise of the Runelords, maybe on Syfy, or as a Youtube/Netflix series. Get non-gamer people interested.

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So, with the recent release of a certain 5th edition, I've been thinking a lot lately about my preferred game system for swords and sorcery. D&D was the first RPG I'd ever heard of, and while my entry to the game was delayed by my mom's belief in the corrupting influence of AD&D, I started playing in college and have basically never stopped (though I did spread out into Shadowrun, M&M, etc.) I remember a time when I thought the Forgotten Realms were awesome, but now, the thought of playing a game set there is just...meh.

Golarion, on the other hand, feels almost like a real place. A place that I'm engaged with. A place that doesn't feel crowded with NPC heroes to solve the world's problems, yet which still has a distinctive character, no matter where you go. And...a place where I can imagine someone like myself living. To keep it short, I'm a dusky gentleman of exotic background, and while I didn't think much about Paizo's decision to be more ethnically inclusive with their setting (particularly with the iconics), it hit me when I was flipping through the 5e book and I found myself staring at page after page of rather generic, vaguely-european humans, elves, dwarves, and halflings. I'd always kind of thought of it as a genre convention when I was younger, and it's not as though I play a lot of non-white characters in PFS, but I think there's something subconsciously attractive about knowing that people like yourself have a place in the fantasy world you're playing in.

It also makes Golarion look a lot more interesting, as the architecture often reflects a variety of different influences. It feels more like a world, while Faerun seems more like a single region (the Sword Coast) beset by the same threats (Orcs, Drow, Undead) for eternity. I like a lot of the rule changes in 5e (rogues seem much more attractive mechanically, for example, and the emphasis on character background is nice), but I just can't see myself playing it, perhaps because I just can't see myself in the Forgotten Realms anymore.

Thanks a lot, Paizo. You've spoiled me.

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Tinkergoth wrote:
Subparhiggins wrote:
StarMartyr365 wrote:

I really didn't care much for the brawler until I read this. Now I can't wait to roll one up. I think I'm going to make a Varisian with a bunch of really crappy tattoos and a unfathomable accent who is legendary for his ability to get the stuffing kicked out of him and yet still end the match by landing a one punch knock out that breaks his opponent's skull.


So Brad Pitt's Irish traveler character from Snatch?
Bonus points if he makes terribly one sided deals with people and sweetens them by giving the suckers a dog.

Ya like Goblin dags?

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Insain Dragoon wrote:
She just happens to have a psychological need to fight and possibly kill, no biggie! At least she has positive channels for her needs in Golarian.

A desire to improve oneself through conflict is, at worst, a Neutral trait, not an evil one. Her backstory contains no violence against innocents, and in fact all of her fights appear to be sanctioned matches, against opponents who agreed to the terms of the fight. She's not just "good" from a moral perspective, but an ethical one as well.

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I don't mind seeing Aasimars and Tieflings go, but would it be so bad to get the elemental-blooded races into PFS standard play?

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planex wrote:
I play as my party's defender and I've found that if the GM ignores me and attacks my fellow party members, then I become mostly useless. I'm wondering if there's a feat or action I can take that will force the enemy to attack me. Any suggestions?

"Tanking" in Pathfinder doesn't work like "Tanking" in a traditional MMO. Instead, it works more like "Tanking" during teamfights in a MOBA such as DOTA2 or League of Legends. You can't just sit back and wait for stuff to attack you. You have to give them no other choice.

- Use your positioning, and that of your party, to force enemies to get through you before they can reach your party's squishier members.

- When possible, be the one to "initiate" contact with the enemy, so that you can control where and when the fight begins.

- Make tactical use of feats and combat manuevers to control the battlefield. Reach weapons, attacks of opportunities, feats like Stand Still, and Trip Attacks are all useful tools to protect your party and control where the enemy can go.

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Nargemn wrote:

James Jacobs has stated this was a mistake and miscommunication between early Golarion worldbuilders. With Inner Sea Gods, they hoped to fix some of the issues with the division in the Sarenrae faith. She is supposed to be the absolute kindest of the good gods, but new sourcebooks won't wholly fix this (though even in Inner Sea Combat, I believe, her ban from Taldor seems to either be retconned or recently fixed, as what is described as her largest cathedral is sitting there). Hopefully we might someday see an AP devoted to this issue, or even a module (Which James Jacobs has hinted at).

Also, she's neutral good :)

Ah, that does explain a lot. I'm still a bit confused as to how the kindest of the good gods, and a Neutral Good former angel, has the center of her worship in one of the largest slave states in Golarion (one assumes that Qadira has about as many slaves as Cheliax, if not more). Even if we assume that followers don't hew to the exact dictates of their deity in all matters, we're talking about a society-wide institution that is directly opposed to the definition of "Good" as far as the Alignment rules go. I mean, if we're giving Sarenrae a pass for her followers practicing slavery, why not Asmodeus?

Come to think of it, that'd be a great slogan for Chelaxian evangelists: "Why not Asmodeus?"

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I found this on Reddit the other day, but it's starting to make the rounds elsewhere:

Haven't we all been in this party at some point? I usually hate the inflexible Paladin, but it looks like they really managed to make it work for them.

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I really, really hate Wil Wheaton. And watching other people play board games is incredibly boring. So no, I won't be giving them any money.

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Sometime last year, I decided to try out an experiment: I would run a Pathfinder game for my mother. How this came about is a bit of a long story...suffice it to say that she had been tagging along to some of my games previously and expressed some curiosity about what was going on.

The game started out with two college friends of mine (let's call them Tom and Carl), and Carl's wife (let's call her Wendy) joining my mom (we'll call her Jen) playing through The Dragon's Demand. I wanted the new players to get into the sense of freedom you get with tabletop gaming, so I didn't make any real class suggestions based on their aptitude; instead, we just asked what kind of characters they wanted. So we ended up with:

Tom, the Musketeer Gunslinger
Carl, the Witch
Wendy, the Bard
Jen, the Druid
Bob, Jen's animal companion (a wolf)


Almost immediately, Tom bailed on us, so for the early parts of the adventure they were a party of 3, with no frontline (aside from Bob) and no one capable of finding or disabling traps. As you might recall, Hunclay's house is full of traps, as is the Kobold lair. Jen was loathe to put Bob in danger, despite him having better stats than most of the party at the early levels. They managed to survive, disabling Hunclay's traps via the time-honored tradition of having Carl's Witch walk into them face-first. Jen and Wendy seemed happy to meet up every week, but were also rather distracted, and would often miss important game information. Jen, in particular, would then complain loudly when this led her into trouble, or quibble about the rules when they weren't going her way. If you've never been rules-lawyered by your own mother, I highly recommend it; there's no experience like it.

Around this time they realized that Hunclay's mansion was probably not the first place they should go, so instead they pursued the Kobold lair, where they were doing just fine until the entire party fell into a pit trap. Well, the entire party except for Bob, who managed to make his reflex save. At this point a new player, also experienced, joined the party.

This was Mike, the Ranger/Barbarian.

Mike kindly fished them out of the pit and acted as their tank for the duration of the game. He would often tease Jen about her wolf, jokingly encouraging her to send him into danger.

With Mike around, I found that I didn't need to prompt them as often with tactical advice, which was nice. If you're wondering why I was doing this in the first place rather than just watching them die repeatedly...I don't think that's an effective way to encourage new players. They should, at the very least, understand *why* they're failing in combat. By trying to teach Jen how to effectively make decisions about healing, I hoped to get her more engaged in the game. Wendy, being a Bard, was still having trouble though, as her chosen spell list was often ineffective in battle, and much of her Bard's class abilities were only useful outside of combat.

Wendy was actually the source of most of their successful Knowledge checks (thanks to Bardic Knowledge and that trait that lets you take 10 once per day), but due to a mild language barrier she wasn't very engaged with the plot of the game and was mostly rolling at Carl's prompting.

Jen's ignorance of genre conventions made for some great roleplaying though, as her elven Druid turned out to be quite the mercenary, suggesting that the group squeeze the baroness for more money, keep more of the loot from Hunclay's estate, and even trying to press-gang the villagers they rescued from the Kobold cave (who were in pretty bad shape) into helping the group clear out the rest of the Kobolds. Her lack of attention to details also led to some funny moments, such as when she insisted on going to Tula's tomb as soon as she heard that there was treasure there, then reacted with shock when they were inside and she realized that they were inside of a tomb (and being attacked by undead).

Tula's Tomb was the group's first real combat test, as the Wraith gave them a lot of trouble. Few of them had offensive spells, and only Mike had an attack bonus high enough to make good use of their magical weapons. Why Carl and Mike, who knew better, went into a tomb without Holy Water is a question I still ask myself.

The end came soon therafter, when the group entered the Monastery. They recognized the arrow slits and decided not to use the front entrance, instead choosing to hop the fence (easy as pie when you have a flying Witch and some rope) and explore the grounds. They were immediately spotted by the Alchemist in the bell tower, and noticing an indoor courtyard with a bucket of berries, they smashed the window and went inside to claim them. The Dragon's press-ganged Druid shows up and gives them all of the exposition they need, and they begin exploring the monastery, knowing that their enemies are aware of their presence.

Well, as they make their way through the hallways, they check out the Assembly hall, and while they find nothing, Mike decides to listen at the stairwell. Well, a giant-ass Man/Bat aberration is going to make some noise on the floor above you, so naturally he hears and decides to investigate. The rest of the group, who hadn't been paying attention, decide to follow, and the combat that followed was painful for everyone involved.

Everyone beat the creature in initiative except for Mike, who was right in front of the damn thing. Starting with Carl, they all decide to run past Mike (through the creature's threatened area) so that they won't be bunched up in the stairway. Carl goes down immediately from an AoO, but encourages Jen and Wendy to follow suit, reasoning that he set off the creature's only AoO.

As you may know, the creature in question has Combat Reflexes and a Dex of 18. While he didn't one-shot Wendy and Jen, they certainly got hurt, and Mike went down to a full-attack before he ever got a chance to do damage. Jen and Wendy managed to partially revive Carl, who got off two Maximized Lightning Bolts, with Bob the wolf bravely sacrificing himself to protect Carl. Carl died not too long after that, as did Wendy, who was actually critted. Jen came close to killing the creature with damage over time (using a Flaming Sphere) but in the end she died as well.

So what did I learn?
1. Bard and Druid are pretty terrible classes for new players. They have hybrid roles and a lot of possibilities, and if you don't have a firm grasp of the rules you won't be able to make effective use out of them. Ditto for most spellcasting classes, though I suspect that Sorcerer/Oracle might be an exception.

2. While running for experienced players may have trained you out of "railroading" players, you may want to reconsider doing so when the alternative is watching a poorly-optimized 5th level party take on a CR 8. Having said that, I am confident that experienced players would have reduced that CR 8 to a fine paste within 3-4 rounds.

3. Pathfinder needs large-print character sheets. The inability to read her own character sheet made the game much more troublesome for Jen, and contributed to a lack of engagement as she was constantly having to rely on other players to read her spell list and update her sheet.

4. The difficulty curve of the Dragon's Demand takes a serious turn around 4th-5th level. DR is one thing, but Incorporeal Undead vs a party with no Ghost Touch is rough times. Poor Mike needed a ton of restoration after the tombs.

5. You may think that you're doing new players a favor by not trying to influence their build decisions, but this game has a learning curve, and it's better for them to play something that you know will be fun for them, rather than something that they think will sound cool. Fighters/Rangers/Paladins are all fun, they hit often, and are very survivable.

In the end, the group decided that they'd rather try new characters in a new campaign (The Mummy's Mask) than make new characters and push through Dragon's Demand. That's no knock on the module; I honestly think it's a great intro to the game, and one of the best adventures I've seen from Paizo.

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HangarFlying wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
spectrevk wrote:
Can you explain, then, in what universe the errata'd Crane Wing is "as attractive" as its alternatives?

We were shooting to make it on par with some of the other style feats in Ultimate Combat. Whether or not we were successful I think is the point of this thread. Its pretty clear most folks here feel we fell short of the mark.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

Just because those people are whiny, loud, and vocal about it doesn't make the change wrong. They're not pissed that the new Crane Wing is actually now on par with other feats in UC, they're pissed that the new Crane Wing isn't the old Crane Wing.

I'm kind of wondering why this isn't being "removed" for being a personal attack, but I suppose that only matters if you're on the wrong side of the argument.

Regardless, the new Crane Style feat is not "on par" with the other feats in UC; it's now objectively inferior to the other defensive styles (Snake/Turtle).

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Shisumo wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Does that means that if I never buy a new errataed version of Ultimate Combat, I'm allowed to use the old version of Crane Wing?

As has been noted by a number of people in the numerous threads on the topic - with varying amounts of defiance - you can do that whether you buy the new edition or not, as long as your GM allows it/you're not playing PFS.

gustavo iglesias wrote:
I don't see how you can make an errata to nerf martials, but making an errata to buff them would mean you are forcing people to buy new books

Consider, if you will, the number of people who would insisted, prior to the errata, that you need to know about Crane Wing to make a decent defense-oriented martial character.

There's forcing and then there's forcing.

The only thing that has changed due to this errata is that now, you simply *can't* make a decent defense-oriented martial character. Is that really an improvement?

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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

That is a game we play with every option. We endeavor to get things around the same level, all things being equal in terms of cost and expected level of acquisition. We are not aiming to put out feats that are worse and worse, nor do we endeavor to put out spells that are worse and worse. We want them to be just as attractive, or in the case of rules that explore new directions, to be a viable and fun alternative. Like I said, we dont get it right every time, but that is the goal.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

Can you explain, then, in what universe the errata'd Crane Wing is "as attractive" as its alternatives?

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As for creating perpetual flat-footedness, isn't that what improved feint is for?

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awp832 wrote:
because fun is largely subjective. So ppl on the board give advice based on what is effective. if you're in it for fun alone, you don't need to go on msg boards and ask for advice for having fun.

I think the problem here is that people are asking for a specific type of advice ("how do I make this character better?") and they're getting a different kind of advice ("play this other character instead").

It's more challenging to find a way to make an unusual build viable, but it's also very rewarding.

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lemeres wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

Here's another question for you: How successful do you think you're going to be as a 1/2 BaB character with 6 Str doing a melee attack, even a Touch Attack?

At 4th level (when you get it), you'll have a whopping +0 to-hit. How are you planning to get these guys with it in the first place? And without getting your face ripped off in the attempt?

What happens if you succeed is the LEAST of your problems...

This is assuming you don't have high Dex and Weapon Finesse either since you called out using crossbows as not being an option because you're already MAD.

That seems to be a problem with inflation and gishing. I mean, wasn't the point of touch attacks in the first place was to make it possible for a caster to use attack rolls? What has happened?

Nothing happened; touch attacks are still viable for casters...a strength of 6 is the strength of a small child. If you dump a stat that hard, you should be reaping some consequences.

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I vastly prefer Paizo's emphasis on producing adventure content over constant ruleset/power creep ala WoTC.

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According to recent research, the idea that going without a bra causes sagging is actually incorrect. In fact, wearing a bra/bodice may cause Seoni's "girls" to become saggier over time.

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Bastards of Golarion sounds like a really awesome grindhouse movie. A group of hard-boiled CN adventurers thirsty for revenge against the evil empire that left them for dead.

"They should have Coup-de-Grace'd us when they had the chance. Now we're coming. And all nine hells are coming with us."

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I have to admit, I wasn't terribly fond of Huerta's work on the Pathfinder comic, but these commissions look great.

3 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm looking at a Sandman Bard for PFS, and I'm a bit confused about Stealspell. The description says:

Once the performance is started, the bard can steal a prepared spell or a spell known from another creature with a touch attack as a standard action.

...but it doesn't state whether this is a melee touch attack or a ranged touch attack. Can it be both? Or is it assumed to be melee?

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Strife2002 wrote:

I get the feeling that this issue will really be divided between two groups of people. Those that are RPG-nerds and those that are Comic Book-nerds. Of course there's overlap, but which one are you MORE of. The RPG nerds are buying these comics for the bonus content. The Comic Book nerds are buying these for the comics. The RPG nerds are apparently more vocal because we're on paizo's website, which is populated primarily by us RPG nerds.

I bet if this same discussion were happening on Dynamite's website (if they even have messageboards, I dunno), it may swing the other way.

I am by far more of a comic nerd than I am an RPG nerd. I preferred having the maps, and am strongly considering ending my subscription. My comics were never damaged by the presence of the maps, and the maps added enough value to the comic that I was willing to overlook a serious problem with art quality that, quite frankly, would normally prevent me from buying the comic in the first place.

Huerta has a good sense of motion in his art, but his pencils are too loose and without a good inker the art ends up looking muddled. The new artist has cleaner lines, but has a very poor sense of facial expressions, which is a serious problem when paired with a dialogue-heavy writer like Jim Zub.

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Erik Mona wrote:

They aren't "lost". There was a miscommunication between Paizo and Dynamite, and they went astray for a few issues. We will likely get back to them because we were having fun with them.

I dunno, what do you guys think?

I was really disappointed with the lack of a map and the much shorter "game info" section in the back. I enjoy the story and all, but to be honest, I think the art has been consistently awful and the game material is sort of the "clincher" that keeps me subscribing at this point.

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It's a two-step process:

1. Decide what would be fun to play.

2. Figure out how to optimize it to make it useful.

If Evocation Wizards exist in the game, then they were meant to be played. The party should adjust to having an Evocation Wizard, rather than expecting the Evoker to do the job of an Abjurer or Transmuter. You might not be effective in the traditional Wizard role, but as long as you're effective in *some* role, you're pulling your weight in the party.

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Why would a normal druid be a better Carr than any of the Shaman types? Shamans don't give up any spellcasting.

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As far as I know, a Slam is a regular attack, not a full attack. A creature can move and still deliver a slam attack.

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Is there any way to dual-wield shields? Would you get double the shield bonus? If not, who else would like to see an archetype for this?

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I've been thinking about trying out some archetypes, or at least a less common build lately. One thing that came to mind was a Cad, or some other type of Fighter (Brawler seems most likely) that specializes in either single or dual-wielded daggers.

This is basically a thread for thought experiments. As near as I can tell, the humble Dagger has the following advantages as a weapon:

- It deals both Pierching and Slashing damage
- It can be used as a Thrown weapon without improvising
- It's cheap
- It's a light weapon, so in an off-hand the penalty will be low
- It crits on a 19-20, so with Keen you'd have a 20% chance to crit

It also has some disadvantages:

- Low damage die
- It's a light weapon, so Power Attack is off the table
- There is no mechanical benefit to dual-wielding a pair of light weapons
- All the other Fighters will laugh at you

Now, why be a fighter instead of a Rogue if you want to be a dagger guy?

- Weapon Specialization damage
- Superior CMB/CMD
- Lots of Feats

Looking at the Fighter archetypes, the best synergy that I can see is with the Brawler, who gets a +3(!) bonus to damage with all close combat weapons. They also get some bonuses to CMB for bull rushing and reposition, so I can begin to see a Fighter built around Manuevers and battlefield control, but it still leaves us with the question: why do this with daggers?

The Cad seems like it would fit well with the theme of a Dagger fighter, but I have my doubts about it as an archetype. You're giving up medium and heavy armor, plus tower shields, all for 5 extra class skills and no extra skill points. And a bonus to Dirty Tricks. I love the concept, but it really just seems like a poor-man's Rogue.

Two-Weapon Fighter has some synergy, but why bother with two daggers in that case? Surely longsword/shortsword is a better combo in that case.

Any suggestions?

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You know, after all of this, my original idea for my next PFS character was a Metal Elemental Wizard, but I eventually realized that I just wanted to be a martial artist who could turn into metal. And honestly, if the Metal Elemental wizard wasn't intended for monks to dip into, I have no idea what the hell it's good for.

But that's a whole 'nother thread. Thanks for the help, everyone.

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