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.
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.
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."
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.
Erik Mona wrote:
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.
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.
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 also has some disadvantages:
- Low damage die
Now, why be a fighter instead of a Rogue if you want to be a dagger guy?
- Weapon Specialization damage
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.
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.
I've seen some of the other threads on Unarmed Fighter as an archetype versus Monk, and the consensus is generally that the Fighter does more damage...but that's looking at level 20. What about low to mid-level play?
I'm working on a Pathfinder Society character, starting out at level 1. The max it could ever go is 11, since retirement occurs at 12. The main benefit I see with the Unarmed Fighter at low levels is that they get to "cheat" when it comes to one style feat at level 1. Of course, the Master of Many Styles gets to do this repeatedly, and with the later feats in a style chain as well. You could basically complete a full Style tree by 6th level as a MoMS if you focused on it.
Martial Artist has to "play fair" for Style Feats, but by 4th level they can "cheat" and pick up Fighter feats (like Weapon Specialization).
So let's assume for the moment that all three characters have a Strength of 16. Let us also assume that all three will, eventually, be going for Dragon Style.
At first level:
The Martial Artist has +3 to hit once, or +2/+2 on a flurry, doing 1d6+3 with both attacks (average of 14 damage per turn if both attacks hit).
The Master of Many Styles has their first Dragon Style Feat, so the first attack in their flurry does 1d6+4, raising their average to 15 damage per turn if both attacks hit.
The Unarmed Fighter also has their first dragon style feat, but they'll need two-weapon fighting to give them their second attack. They'll have +4 if they attack once, or the same +2/+2 with TWF. Damage will be a mere 1d3+4 for the first strike, and 1d3+3 for the second. Average of 11.
If human, all three of our examples will have an additional feat. The Fighter could pick up Power Attack, which would drop him to +1/+1, and giving him a bit of extra damage on both attacks, raising the average to 14. The Monks don't really have any other damage increasing options that I know of, so we'll leave those be.
At 1st level then, the Master of Many Styles wins, with the most damage at a decent chance to hit.
Now lets look at our fellas at level 5.
The MoMS has, at this point, gotten two feats into his style and has been that way since 2nd level. With Dragon Ferocity, he's getting an extra +1 to his damage rolls. He could also have picked up Power Attack at level 3, giving him +2 damage to each of his attacks, since unarmed monk attacks are never off-hand. His damage has gone up to a d8, so if he hits all three attacks his average is up to 23 damage per turn. How likely is he to get that kind of damage? Well, He'll be at +5/+5, if I'm doing my math right.
The Martial Artist has finally been able to pick up Dragon Style (at 3rd) but won't get Dragon Ferocity until 6th level as a bonus feat. On the bright side, he was able to pick up Power Attack as his bonus feat at 2nd level, and Weapon Specialization at 5th. That leaves us with an average of 25 damage per turn if all attacks hit. On the bright side, Exploit Weakness gives him a +2 to all of his attack rolls if he succeeds at a d20+WIS+Monk Level check versus 10+Target's CR, a roll that is weighted in his favor. He will also be ignoring DR. Plus he had to pick up Weapon Focus, so his attack bonus would be +8/+8.
The Unarmed Fighter, due to problems with prerequisites, was unable to pick up Dragon Ferocity with his 4th level bonus feat, and will have to wait until 6th level. He does, however, get Weapon Specialization at 4th level, and Weapon Training at 5th level, for a total of +3 to damage all the time. Sadly, he has only two attacks still. I believe that leaves his damage per turn at 17 if he uses TWF. His attack bonus is also +8/+8 with TWF, if my math is correct.
The Martial Artist has pulled ahead.
At 10th level let's assume that all 3 have STR 18:
The MoMS could complete the Dragon Style chain by this point, or have two feats into the Boar Style chain and combine boar style's bleed damage with the damage bonuses from the first two feats of Dragon Style. So that'd be...a lot of damage. Dragon Style only adds 1.5 times strength to the first attack, but still that's 58 damage plus 12 points of bleed, for an average of 70 per round if all attacks hit. 11/11/6/6 attack bonuses.
The Martial Artist will have the same attack bonus, but won't be able to combine styles. On the right side, by 10th level he'll have Greater Weapon Specialization. I believe this will leave him around 66 damage per turn if all attacks hit, with a bonus of 13/13/8/8 when he flurries.
The Unarmed Fighter...honestly, I don't know how to help him catch up at this point. 55 damage per turn by my count, since off-hand attacks only add +1 damage from Power Attack. Anyone have a good build here?
So as near as I can tell, the best absolute damage would be the Master of Many Styles, with the Martial Artist probably being the best option overall, due to its ability to ignore DR.
I'm pretty sure I'm going to be laughing the first time that wizard gets hit with Cause Fear or whatever. The only way it would stop being fun is if the GM was spiteful and just focused on ways to punish the character/player, and in that case I'd just stop playing with them.
No amount of optimization would fix that problem, though. I feel sorry for players/GMs who get caught up in an arms race to see who can break the system harder.
You're kind of making my point for me, here. In your example, the Lawful Neutral God defended slavery, because "Good" is meaningless to him. The suffering of the elven girl is irrelevant to Tyr, because he isn't Good. He's Neutral. The Paladin, in this case, was specifically empowered by a God of Law, which means that he was obligated to obey the local law. Had he been a Paladin of a Lawful Good deity, or even a Lawful Neutral one with a different portfolio, the results may have been different.
Regarding the Punisher, you are simply wrong. Nearly all vigilantes/superheroes operate without a formal endorsement from the government, and even those that do operate with a mandate would not cease to do what they do if that mandate expired. Vigilantes like the Punisher and Batman exist because of perceived failures in the operation of law enforcement as regards public safety and maintaining the peace. They are acting on behalf of the civilian population, rather than the government, and they operate within strict guidelines. The Punisher will not shoot someone simply because they cut him off in traffic. Batman does not break a guy's arm for littering.
Chaotic Neutral behavior, in a comic book, would be better exemplified by a character who randomly changes allegiances and cares nothing about the sanctity of human life - a mercenary, such as Deadpool, Deadshot, or Deathstroke the Terminator.
LG: Cares about maintaining order, and the preservation of sapient life. May have to do things he/she doesn't want to (such as letting an enemy escape) in order to either comply with an obligation, or save a life. (Superman, Captain America).
NG: Cares about the preservation of life and happiness. That's it. Would prefer to avoid conflicts with authority, but would be willing to do so in order to safeguard an innocent. (Wonder Woman, Spider-Man)
CG: Actively dislikes authority and/or is independent in the extreme, but is a genuinely good person. Often the alignment of loners. Would gladly break the word to an evil person. (Wolverine, Green Arrow)
LN: Cares about structure/order, and believes that this need outweighs any concerns about the sanctity of life. Would willingly sacrifice one person to save 20. Would use lethal force on an inferior combatant if that combatant's crime was severe enough. (The Punisher, Judge Dredd)
N: There are almost no truly Neutral characters in comics. Even The Watcher, who is supposed to be completely neutral, has broken his neutrality before. I suppose Death, particularly the Marvel Universe version, qualifies.
CN: Doesn't care about loyalty or sapient life; out for themselves. Likely to change allegiances frequently. (Deadpool, The Secret Six)
LE: Honorable, but actively disdainful of the sanctity of human life. Has no qualms about sacrificing others to accomplish a plan. (Dr. Doom, Ra's Al Ghul)
NE: Primarily concerned with personal advancement. Would lie to an ally or break an oath if convenient. Most "hireling" type villains fit in here. (The Rhino, most of The Flash's Rogues Gallery)
CE: Generally reserved for the criminally insane. (The Joker, Norman Osborne)
I've been having a lot of fun lately playing characters that are intentionally not fully optimized. The first was a Sorcerer who (still, even at level 5) knows nothing about Spellcraft. This led to some funny situations where the party found a magic item and her response was simply "Yep...that's magical." It's fun to break out of the mold just a little bit, and it's not crippling to gameplay at all.
A riskier example is that I recently sat in on a friend's Beginner Box game at my FLGS and played an elven Wizard. I rolled some pretty good stats...and a 6. Now, the obvious choice would be to stick the 6 in strength, but for some reason I thought it'd be funny to put it in Wisdom. So my absent-minded Wizard, who didn't know when to shut up and generally lacked common sense was a blast to roleplay during the game. The other players, who were new to the game, had the opportunity to define themselves in opposition to her ("I'm an elf, but we're not all like *her*...")
Best of all, both characters experienced cool, dramatic moments when they actually succeeded at something. The Sorcerer who doesn't really study magic was one hell of a badass when she started tossing out Elemental Rays and magic missiles at the creatures that the melee characters couldn't hurt due to DR or high AC. And I truly wish I could have gotten a photo of the table's reaction the first time my Wizard hucked a longsword right into the gut of some lizardfolk we were fighting, or rescued the Rogue (who was unconscious and drowning) by casting sleep on her attackers and wading into the water to drag her to the surface.
The last benefit is, I'll admit, merely superstition: I've noticed that when I intentionally forgo maximum optimization, I tend to roll better. Seriously, my best optimized characters will get saddled with terrible rolls, but my flawed protagonists always come through in a clinch.
The Punisher is absolutely a Lawful character. He does not punish people randomly, nor does he ever let people off the hook. He is enforcing a strict code of law. He is the definition of Lawful Neutral.
You seem to be confusing Lawful Good with Lawful Neutral. A Lawful Good character cares about both the law and the sanctity of human life. A Lawful Neutral person only cares about what is "right", regardless of the consequences. That's what "neutral" means. The "goodness" of an action is irrelevant to a Lawful Neutral character. What matters is the letter of the law, not "justice".
I'm inclined to agree with the player - he's killing people who attack and/or wrong him. Lawful Neutral is exactly the kind of alignment to do the sorts of things that you are describing. If he starts hurting people who have done nothing to him, then he's dipping into Evil territory, but simply being merciless to one's enemies is well within the bounds of neutrality.
Most players hate the "you wake up bound and gagged" or "you are captured by X" scenario, and they are not necessarily wrong. It's an overused plot point, it robs the players of agency, and more often than not it turns the game from an interactive experience into "story time".
As an alternative to killing the PCs, capture/escape is great, but unless you've got some actual plot for them to accomplish while imprisoned (i.e. someone they need to meet in prison, or this being a convenient way to get them into the enemy's base), it's generally not worth the headache IMO.
I like Tyrion as much as the next person, but I think his "goodness" is somewhat exaggerated by many, especially if we're talking about his behavior early on. He's sympathetic because his sister/father treat him so badly (and are much worse than he ever was), but he's still a Lannister.
Actions themselves are not necessarily good or evil; motivation plays a part as well. Littlefinger betrayed Ned Stark for a number of reasons, all of them selfish. Much of what Tyrion does during his time as the Hand is geared towards mitigating the damage that his nephew and sister are doing to the kingdom as a whole. Until he is forced to flee, Tyrion's politicking is mostly about preserving what passes for order and civilization in Westeros, because he knows that his sister and nephew are f#%$ing bonkers, and his father/brother are too disinterested to notice. Most of Tyrion's "chaotic" actions relate to his entertainment during his off-time, but it is worth noting that when Alayaya is tortured to "punish" him, he goes out of his way to make sure that she is compensated, an act which is, in my opinion, quite Lawful. Depending on how charitably you view his actions (one could argue that he fought in defense of an evil regime when he defended King's Landing; one could also argue that he defended innocent people from what surely would have been a massacre by the enemy troops), he could be considered Neutral Good or Lawful Neutral, IMO.
Ned Stark is probably the best high-profile example of Lawful Good that I've seen in years. Of particular note is his insistence on performing his own executions, rather than passing the responsibility to an underling.
Arya is kind of a puzzle, but she's also a small child, and likely does not have a fully-formed alignment yet. Her vindictiveness does not preclude her from being considered Chaotic Good, IMO, as the targets of her ire are all firmly in the "evil" category.
Sansa has been "redeemed" to some extent by the TV series, which portrays her in a much more sympathetic light. Her actions in the first book are still incredibly selfish/cowardly, and she betrays her own family on multiple occasions, which would push me towards labeling her Neural Evil if she were not also a child.
Joffrey is textbook Chaotic Evil.
Cersei is Neutral Evil for much of the series, until the pressures of rule/paranoia push her into Chaotic territory. Her twin, Jaime, likewise starts out NE and though I still haven't forgiven him to the extent most fans have, I will grant that by the time he grants Oathkeeper to Brienne, he is at least Neutral.
Despite his reneging on the marriage contract, Robb is still LG, IMO. The contract was made under duress, and everything he did was in service to his quest to avenge his father. Jon Snow's decision to remain on the Wall and do his duty is likewise evidence of him inheriting his father's alignment (though between you and me, I suspect Ned never really fathered a bastard, and Jon is really his nephew via Lyanna)
I could go on, but you get the idea. There are all, of course, merely opinion. I think Westeros is mostly unique for the large number of Neutral- and Evil-aligned leadership.
Aren't Garundi also similar to Sub-Saharan Africans? Perhaps Ethiopians?
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
The question of murder in a world where resurrection exists is covered pretty thoroughly in Steven Brust's Dragaeran series (Taltos, Jhereg, et. al.)
Basically, standard killing is considered a warning. You kill a guy to show that you can get to him, so when he gets rezzed, he knows he has stepped on the wrong toes. Killing someone so they stay dead requires destroying their head or hiding their body long enough that the soul departs the plane. And then there's "Morganti", a class of soul-eating weapon that delivers a complete, unalterable death that bypasses the afterlife entirely. Morganti is not used lightly, not even by the most vicious of people.
Just how evil are the "Evil" nations in Golarion? My initial assumption wass that the Lawful Evil nations, like Geb and Cheliax, allow visitors and treat them normally (i.e. not enslaving you the moment you cross the border), but now that I think about it, "Lawful Evil" isn't necessarily the same as "Reasonable Evil".
Geb, for example, keeps living humans as a food source. It is implied that they have non-edible living humans as well, but they're a minority. If you wandered into Geb, would they treat you like food, or a guest? Is there such a thing as evil tourism in Golarion? If I was an evil or neutral Wizard, could I arrange to visit a library in Geb to research spells? Would I be able to immigrate? Would that depend on whether or not I intended to become undead in the near future?
Likewise, with Cheliax: obviously worshipping anyone who isn't Asmodeus is grounds for imprisonment/enslavement/execution, but what if you're a non-believer who simply doesn't proselytize? Like, if I was a Cleric of Iomedae who had to pass through Cheliax on my way to somewhere else, or had relatives there I wanted to visit, could I just not wear my holy symbol, not preach my religion, and more or less be okay? Granted, I can see how Iomedae might be pissed at me for doing that, but I could see a Cleric being forgiven for something like that if it was the only way she could visit her ailing mother, or something like that.
I assume there has to be some way to legally visit Cheliax, since they have to trade with other nations, but with Geb...undead don't really need to import fruits and veggies. I suppose the living would still need food though. Perhaps visitors are "on their own" when it comes to dealing with random undead attackers, but the government has no official policy of enslaving visitors? If so, how do the humans in Geb who are designated as a food source end up that way? I mean, humans under those circumstances wouldn't willingly bring more children into the world, so they're either compelling them to do so in some way (Charm Person?) or continually capturing new edible humans. Of the two options, I think the latter seems more likely, if only because I don't think spellcasting undead would want to be stuck with the job of "human animal husbandry".
I know this seems like an odd tangent, but it just struck me as interesting, and I can see some interesting story seeds in there. Framing a campaign with a tourism package to "Golarion's Most Controversial Nation-States" sounds like fun to me. Dealing with being an "illegal immigrant" to a Lawful Evil country would likewise be interesting...I could see a more mercantile nation letting you off with an exorbitant fine, while Cheliax might enslave you (after a trial, of course) and Geb would throw you into "the farm".