I think it's safe to say that further arguing the point here is, well, pointless. gniht has his idea of how things work, and isn't going to accept quotes from the rules, or close reading, or logic, and it doesn't look like anyone is bothering to look at this thread EXCEPT for the people trying (in vain) to help him/her to see the light.
The Magaambyan (sp?) Arcanist, referred to as the Collegiate Arcanist on the d20pfsrd OGC website. It requires Spell Mastery and eventually allows you to change which spells you have Mastered with a little effort, and to spontaneously cast your Spell Mastery'ed spells a few times per day, among other things.
It seemed apt at the time.
"So many people" in this case, being two people in this thread, and a further minority across the forums. Also note that only 1 person (you, presumably) has marked this thread for a FAQ. That doesn't seem to indicate "so many people."
The design team is (generally) not in the habit of FAQing things that need no clarification or explanation--it takes time to review, to make a decision, and to write-up, and then it adds more text to sift through on the FAQ page for people who are looking for relevant clarifications or explanations.
The feat DOES say how Heighten is unlike other metamagic feats: you even illustrated how! Normally, a spell affected by metamagic is treated as a spell of its original level, even though it takes up a higher slot. When you use Heighten, however, the spell is treated as actually being of that higher level. That's it.
Wraithstrike's point (and the same one I made earlier) still stands: unless there is something that SAYS you can break an existing rule, you CAN'T. Even if you want to claim that Heighten Spell is vaguely worded, there's absolutely no way to read it where it actually states that it does anything else differently than cause the spell to count as the actual level you've heightened it to. It says nothing about other metamagic whatsoever, SO, by the way the rules are written, it works like every other metamagic feat when applying more than one to the same spell: their increases stack. You don't need absolutely everything in the books to explicitly call out that it doesn't change existing rules--the CRB would be 10x as long and a chore to read.
You know how other metamagics stack (Maximize + Empower = +5 to spell level for the purpose of using spell slots), and Heighten doesn't say it works any differently, so why are you insisting on claiming that it can? You're just intentionally misreading, or misinterpreting the feat, as a few others have done, because it makes it more worthwhile. It's not the first time that has been done, whether for this feat or others, on the forums. If there were a LOT of people making this "mistake" then it might warrant a FAQ, but there really aren't, and from what I've read, even the people who think it MIGHT work that way, and present it as a possibility, also include a disclaimer that it probably doesn't work that way. It didn't in 3.5, and there's no reason to think that it would have changed, since, by and large, the only things that changed in Pathfinder from 3.5 are those specifically called out as having changed (primarily some class and race abilities, a few feats that are worded differently, combat maneuvers, and some spells, like everything in the polymorph subschool). Note: the description of Heighten Spell hasn't changed from 3.5.
I've seen comments by (sometimes a LOT) of people that make claims without any factual evidence, like: the world is flat (still), we never landed on the moon, the holocaust never happened, Jews have horns, trickle-down economics works...
Just because a lot of people seem to believe something doesn't mean that something is true. Now, in the case of the rules text regarding metamagic feats and Heighten Spell, the only real ambiguity, and alternative viewpoint, comes from willfully being obtuse, deciding that the feat works differently than it is written, despite a lack of any evidence. That many people feel that it works this way doesn't mean it does, and doesn't mean that it is unclear. Similarly, just because the feat isn't very useful to wizards (although it is to sorcerers) doesn't mean it works differently than stated. Additionally, just because a misreading of the thing results in a more useful outcome doesn't mean it works any differently.
There's a difference between wishful thinking and actually reading and interpreting text.
Except there AREN'T examples to support your side of the argument.
You're just completely ignoring the way metamagic feats are stated to work. The text I quoted is from the PRD's section on how metamagic feats function. Every metamagic feat adjusts the spell slot used for a spell upward by a particular amount, and has an effect. Metamagic feats don't confer mysterious additional benefits that aren't outlined in the text of their feat. Multiple metamagics applied to the same spell add the adjustments to the level of the spell slot used together.
Nowhere does anything imply that Heighten spell would work in the way you, and some others, have chosen to interpret it. It has nothing to do with baggage from 3.x. Sure, the feat description could be cleaned up, but even its poor wording cannot possibly lead to a reading that implies that it works in the way you are choosing to view it. It's just not there.
The design team probably hasn't FAQ'ed this, because they generally don't do FAQs for things that are already covered in their rules, such as: things do what they are described as doing, and work according to the rules in place governing them, unless an exception is called out, and there is NO exception made here. Don't you think that if Heighten was designed to work with other metamagic feats in this way, SOMETHING in the text of the spell, or the description of how metamagic feats function would call this out? They specifically call out the fact that a Quickened spell doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity, so why wouldn't they call this out?
Willful misreading or misinterpretation doesn't warrant a FAQ answer from the team.
Gniht, you are discounted the section of the CRB that I quoted, which states that adjustments to spell level from a metamagic feat are cumulative (as in, they stack). If you add Empower and Maximize, you increase the spell level by 5. No one disputes that. Nowhere can evidence be found to suggest that Heighten is an exception to how this works, so it works the same way.
The heightened spell is as difficult to prepare and cast as a spell of its effective level.
True, "effective level" isn't really defined anywhere that I know of, but the implication is clear: the spell is treated as a level X (where X is original spell level + number of heightened levels) spell: for the slot it takes up, for its DC, for what sort of metamagic rod can be used to augment it, for getting through spells and effects that look at the level of a spell (globe of invulnerability).
So if it works like that for all other effects, why would it suddenly work differently when tacking on another metamagic feat? Especially since there is nothing ANYWHERE to suggest that Heighten works differently?
Add Heighten to a spell, find its new spell level, then treat the spell as being that level before adding metamagics on top of it. Fireball Heightened to level 6 is now a level 6 spell. Anything you add after works the same way as it would if you were instead modifying an actual level 6 spell. The only way to realistically argue against this reading, is by locating some text that suggests that Heighten would work differently in this case. There doesn't need to be anything in the feat's description to prohibit the weird stacking, since the rules for METAMAGICS already explain how the feats stack, and there are no exceptions to that regarding Heighten. That's how the rules work: things follow the rules that are laid out governing the particular effect or action, unless there is an exception. It isn't: things can do whatever you like because there isn't a rule prohibiting it (especially when there exist rules that already outline how the thing is supposed to work).
Citing that a level 9 fireball is weaker than an actual level 9 spell doesn't justify Heighten working any differently. There are many ways that you can metamagic a level 3 spell up to level 9, using other feats than Heighten, that would yield results that are considerably weaker than simply casting that level 9 spell. There's a reason that metamagic feats, barring a few, actually see very much play, and why, for many, the common wisdom is to only ever use them as metamagic rods, or in conjunction with something like Spell Perfection: because, in most cases, you're better off just casting the higher level spell.
As for your citing the bit about how much damage a 5th level spell should be doing, I'm fairly certain that that is describing the parameters for 5th level spell DESIGN. That is, you have your 3rd level spells that deal 1d6/level (max 10d6), and 5th level spells that deal 1d6/level (max 15d6), and some higher level spells that deal 1d6/level (max 20d6). It would be inappropriate for a 5th level spell to deal only up to 10d6 normally, unless it carried with it some rather significant additional benefits. For instance, a 10d6, 20 ft. radius burst damage spell is junk as a 6th level spell, but if it also Dazes everything it hits that fails the save for 3 rounds, THEN it's actually worth that spell slot, hence the popularity of the Dazing Spell metamagic feat. Those figures are NOT suggestions as to what your spells should be doing when adjusted with metamagics, they are what new spells you or your DM design should be doing based on their spell level (or vice versa: what level a spell should be with effect Y, or with a particular number of damage dice). Note, however, that if you really want to make the comparison using metamagics, an Empowered Fireball does, essentially, 15d6 and is level 5, which is on-target for what a 5th level spell should be doing.
The fact that Heighten is often kind of weak doesn't mean that it works differently than it is designed: it just means that you probably shouldn't take it unless you need to, or unless you can find a situation in which it's actually worth using. Those DO exist, by the way. There are plenty of spell effects that allow saves that don't have higher level equivalents, which you may wish to make more difficult to resist. Flesh to Stone is an example. Or maybe you don't want to bother learning both Hold Person and Hold Monster, so you get the former, and Heighten it so its DC remains competitive. There are plenty of things in the game that make for rather poor choices--much worse than Heighten Spell--and they don't magically start working in a new way just because they suck...they just continue to suck until they are either officially errata'ed, replaced, or house ruled.
This is really the only important point. Nothing in the rules, or the description of Heighten Spell makes an exception to this. And nothing in the wording of Heighten indicates that you would get free heightening, somehow, from applying a second metamagic to the spell.
All effects dependent on spell level (such as saving throw DCs and ability to penetrate a lesser globe of invulnerability) are calculated according to the heightened level. The heightened spell is as difficult to prepare and cast as a spell of its effective level.
So, reading that, it seems fairly clear that you ONLY get an improvement to the spell's actual level (saving throws and globe penetration) from the heightened levels, as it mentions nothing about other metamagics here, or other effects that might raise the spell's level. Then, the second quoted sentence here indicates that the spell works as though it were actually of the spell level it has been heightened to, which would indicate that you treat it as a spell of that level BEFORE applying other metamagics to it, or using a rod, for the purposes of determining its level and DCs.
So, Fireball (3) + Heighten to 6 + Maximize = level 9 spell slot for a level 6 spell. The DC would be 16+ability modifier. You don't get essentially free metamagic stacking with any other metamagic feat, so why would you in this case?
Personally, I wouldn't bet my life (or my character's) on a dragon not knowing every inch of every nook, cranny, statue and copper piece in their lair, and being aware of exactly how many magical auras are present, where they are, and what their emanating strengths and schools are.
Remember Smaug instantly noticing a small cup missing from his hoard? That seems like it would be standard behavior for dragons.
True, although the people I play with rarely make these kinds of tactical decisions.
Ah, I'd never read that part. Hmm...that's useful for PCs defending against big, strong monsters attempting a maneuver, although most don't provoke for the actions they'd normally attempt.
So, here's my thought: few players seem to use combat maneuvers unless they have the corresponding Improved feat, since provoking an attack of opportunity, possibly failing to succeed on the maneuver (especially since you don't have feat-based bonuses helping you out), and then possibly getting tripped or disarmed yourself is rather punitive, but having players use such maneuvers when they make sense, well, makes sense.
So, my thought is this: rather than provoking an AoO when attempting a maneuver, what if you only provoke if you fail on the attempt (fail to beat their CMD)? If you fail, the results are largely the same: AoO and possible reversal of the action upon yourself, but it makes attempting the trick actually worthwhile at times.
Do you think this would:
--encourage more martial types to attempt maneuvers when they make sense?
Zen Archer would be the only real alternative to fighters, since they get so many feats so quickly.
A ranger would have to take Precise Shot at level 2, wait until 6 for Rapid Shot, until 10 for Manyshot, and until 14 for Improved Precise Shot. They would never get things like Snap Shot, Clustered Shots, Hammer the Gap, Point Blank Shot, or Shot on the Run. Meanwhile, a fighter could have Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, and Rapid Shot by level 2 or 4, Manyshot by 6, and Improved Precise Shot by 12, with the other feats worked in at 8 and 10 if desired.
Only fighters and monks (and maybe one or two archetypes) would ever get Combat Reflexes.
The problem won't be that certain concepts will be hard to emulate, it will be that certain concepts are IMPOSSIBLE to emulate, while others will require multi-classing to do so.
And as for PF in 5-10 years in regards to feats, I don't know what you're suggesting, that we'll have too many feats by then? We have too many now, with too few slots to take many of the more narrowly interesting ones, but with online databases it's not all that difficult to search through everything for stuff you'd like, or use the forums to discover things you didn't know about. Kind in mind, I've played quite a bit of Star Wars Saga Edition, which has more options scattered across more books, and which DOESN'T have a very good database, and whose community has basically been dead for a few years now. That's kind of a pain in the ass, but I still would prefer that to the proposal here.
I'll agree with the second part of that. I liked 3.5's Skill Tricks, even if they were under-utilized as well, and without enough support. I should really reread those and bring the rules into my Pathfinder game. I recall at least a couple of my friends REALLY loving those.
Skills could stand to offer some more options, and be a little more usable in some cases, although there is already a significant degree of misunderstanding and confusion surrounding the usage of many skills, so...
Some things should be easier to do without feats, while others should be openly usable without feats, sure, but I also like them on the whole, and feel like they DO add a lot to the game.
Yes, the Turtles could exist with different weapons, but I'd say that, no, Indiana Jones is simply NOT Indiana Jones without his whip; there's just far too much he does with it to leave him intact sans-whip. He swings from it, lassos with it, uses it to retrieve items, affect terrain, disarm bad guys, and attack bad guys. Sure, he spends a fair amount of time in the films not using it, but the things is inextricably linked to the character. In particular, it separates him from the crowd of other adventurers in a fairly significant way.
While it is true that more options don't necessarily lead to greater diversity, removing options often results in less diversity. Sorry, but there are just far too many character options tied up as feats for characters to get by without them without making other major changes, and without expecting everyone to splash in classes that grant them bonus feats.
There are PLENTY of iconic abilities taken from characters of fantasy and sci-fi novels, shows, movies, and from mythology that are simply not possible to perform within the frame of Pathfinder without feats. There are MANY character class abilities that simply do not work without feat support (Kolokotroni and others have mentioned some of these, such as the various classes that focus on mounted combat). As far as diversity goes...by removing feats, you force every martial character that doesn't get a LOT of bonus feats to wield either one big weapon, or a sword and shield, since they cannot TWF, can't use archery, or thrown weapons, or crossbows. The same characters likely won't be using reach weapons, because they won't have any way to capitalize on the traits of such implements. Fewer characters will have combat maneuvers, no one will have any of the more interesting uses for skills (intimidating on hits, or to frighten enemies; various acrobatic maneuvers; feinting; running along narrow ledges; rebounding with attacks...). The barbarian, whose main selling point, its iconic niche of being a sturdy heavy-hitter, will be nowhere near the fighter in their ability to kill enemies. While the fighter is Power Attacking and Cleaving through their foes, the barbarian will be smacking enemies for about half as much damage, one at a time. You won't see any ranged paladins, non-finesse rogues. You'll see no one but MOMS monks and fighters with Style feats, which are pretty interesting and enable MANY iconic characters from the wider world of fantasy.
There isn't much to look at. Other than archetypes, there isn't really much of anything to look more closely at with class abilities. It's not like those get discounted by the gaming community because feats are so much better: everything gets taken into account already. I already know what it looks like to play a class essentially without feats: I'm playing a barbarian in one game where the only offensive feat I've taken is Power Attack--the rest of my feats are aimed at being tough as nails and nighe-unkillable--while a friend is playing a heavy-hitting 2-handed fighter in my game with Power Attack, Cleave, and Cleaving Finish (or 3.5 Cleave). My barbarian can take more of beating than his fighter can, but he hits a bit harder than I do at times, and can take out 2 or 3 enemies a round, while I'm clobbering one at a time. If I didn't have the feats making me tougher, I would ONLY be hitting for less damage, less often, with a tiny bit more HP. A paladin without feats has one offensive ability that he gets to use a VERY limited number of times per day, has no access to combat maneuvers, can't use his bond for a mount, because it simply becomes a liability with no way to negate hits (Mounted Combat), or stay out of reach while still being effective (Ride-by Attack).
And I've seen what more characters look like essentially without feats: I've used plenty of out-of-the-box NPCs and monsters whose feats all seem to be things like Alertness and +2 to a save. Even NPCs with classes feel rather dull, unless they're fighters, without some more interesting feat choices.
Removing any barrier to entry other than skill ranks and BAB/level/caster level would certainly make some PrCs more attractive, but then you're just changing out the versatility of feats for a system that essentially forces multi-classing. And if you start changing PrCs to be giving feats, instead of costing them, you're just further enforcing that point. In particular, you're going to have a lot of 2 fighter/2 class A/2 class B/1 PrC A/1 PrC B/1 PrC C/10 whatever, and 20 caster class. At which point, I fail to see the goal of the idea. If it's to avoid cheese, or decisions made for mechanical reasons, optimization, you're essentially FORCING that sort of thinking, because you'll have many, many characters that are simply ineffective without some multi-classing, and you substitute complex multi-class combos for the thought that went into feat selection, which seems like a significant step backward, since classes tend to get a little more flavorful if you stick with them.
How would this make the game compatible with older modules in a better way than it is currently? Everything would still need updating, one way or the other, and would require a lot of work on the DM's part in any case (and probably more than is required currently). And, really, if you're going to change the game to such a tremendous degree, you're better off just using an entirely different system in the first place.
If it's module compatibility you want, you can simply strip away all of the rules text in a given module to use the rules for whichever system you're using (AD&D, Pathfinder, 3.5, GURPS, d20 Modern, D&D 4E, whatever) and just use the storyline and characters from the module.
Honestly, I think there is a middle ground between never innovating the rules and having to reboot the system, though I'd lean more toward the latter. With the internet, though, and access to errata in real time, there is less and less of a need to make a major edition shift. Add to that OGC, and there's even less of a reason. Sure, some people that have 1st edition printings of the PF CRB will be unhappy with major changes, but they can pencil those in if need be, or just not bother updating at their private tables. PFS already has enough different rules from what can be found in the books that playing without reading a separate document basically doesn't work in a lot of cases.
What exactly is your goal of a feat-less system?
And as for the number of feats granted: I'd be perfectly happy with a new feat every level, but then you have to A) give the fighter some real class features, and B) re-balance a lot of feats and assumptions based around scarcity being a balancing factor. I think part of the thought process behind limiting feats to a degree is to cut down on the number of decisions players have to make: after-all, while options are good, overwhelming players is a possibility. Additionally, feats at every level probably end up detracting from class features.
Of course if the system was modular then in theory groups could remove the feat module if they didn't want to use it and those who do want to use it could leave it in and both groups would enjoy playing pathfinder.
The amount of additional work that would have been required to make Pathfinder modular is staggering. Class design, monster design, feat design, skill design, the CR system, the spell system and design, race design, PrCs, archetypes...they'd all have to be written in dozens of different ways to account for using everything, or cherry picking one or two facets of the game to remove or use. As others have pointed out, removing feats from PCs but not from monsters will be a pretty big deal. Removing feats also essentially cuts out prestige classes as an option, and forces characters to multiclass, especially in the case of martial characters who are more dependent upon feats than casters are.
At that point, you may as well just give one of the other SCORES of game systems a try instead, or forgo using rules at all and just engage in pure RPing: what you say happens, happens. No adjudication necessary.
Weapons DEFINITELY define characters. What do you think of when you picture Indiana Jones? His hat, maybe his jacket, and his WHIP. He-Man? His sword. The Ninja Turtles? Their swords, bo, nunchucks and sais, respectively. You don't NEED to be able to use a particular weapon to role-play, but weapons can figure very heavily into a character concept, even without ever considering game mechanics.
So every character that wants to use an exotic weapon has to either be a half-elf or dip levels of fighter?
Depends how you define diversity. If you see almost every single character dipping into fighter as diversity, then I suppose you WILL see it.
Multi-classing on spellcasters who need certain feats will still just as bad as it is currently, for delaying their class features and actual strengths.
There are a lot of feats out there that are character defining without being blandly mechanical. Dazzling Display is kind of cool and flavorful and could definitely fit a character's RP concept, as just one example.
As for prestige classes, you are unlikely to see anyone get into a PrC besides fighters, since every single one has multiple feat requirements. Casters won't be able to pick up any of the Spell Focus feats most of their PrCs require.
Sure, some feats that are mandatory/borderline mandatory should probably be incorporated into the system in a less intrusive way, but their being feats serves to differentiate characters. Someone who is skilled at using a bow can squarely hit their foes even when entangled in a heated melee (Point Blank and Precise Shot), and can loose arrows with great alacrity (Manyshot and Rapid Shot), while someone who has little experience with a bow will have trouble hitting a foe embroiled in such a chaotic situation as combat tends to be, and will be fumbling with their arrows too much to demonstrate especial agility with the weapon. The feats may be a bit bland, but they DO serve a purpose.
Yeah, that's always bothered me as well.
For things like pressure plates, it could be something like shoving something of just the right thickness, strength, and flexibility into a gap below/around the plate to prevent it from being depressed, while also making sure that you don't accidentally press down on the plate while trying to disable it.
Magical traps, though...I dunno.
And covered pits. I mean, how does one disable a covered pit?
I and my group allow 3.5 material on a case by case basis, the same way we do most non-core material.
Part of said group.
Yeah, we continue to use 3.5 material (magic items, feats, spells, some PF-converted classes), although the "we" there refers predominantly to ME, I think. I think everyone else is either looking forward, or can't be bothered to pour over as many books as I do when thinking about character concepts.
There's absolutely no reason to outright bar 3.5 material, although I would also warn against giving free reign to all 3.5 stuff without DM perusal first. There are a lot of pieces that are perfectly compatible with, and on the same power level, as Pathfinder, while others don't quite fit (mostly because they weren't appropriate in 3.5 either).
One important thing to keep in mind, however, is that you should be double-checking that PF hasn't replicated or replaced something from 3.5 before allowing it in PF.
Pathfinder Design Team wrote:
Thanks for the quick reply on this. That makes sense, although, as others have stated, it leaves open the question of whether such a "deflected" attack would count as a hit still for effects that are concerned with such. I'd probably say, "No," but that's me.
I DID! I neglected to post there because it seemed pointless. Saw this one pop up and hit the FAQ button. Only posted here, because I didn't want to see this devolve into stupid thread on the same topic #2 unnecessarily. That seems to have been a lost cause, though.
A DM here looking for some ideas for items to give to my players over the course of my game.
A little background on the game and party:
I'm using half of Kolokotroni's magic item replacement system: starting at level 3, players can opt to gain a +1 attack and damage bonus with one type of weapon, a +1 bonus with one type of armor or shield, a +1 resistance bonus to saves, or a +1 bonus on attacks and damage with spells as well as on caster level checks (the +1 damage only applies to one die rolled for a spell, so Magic Missile would deal Xd4+X+1, not 1d4+2 for each missile). At level 6, they can upgrade the weapon, armor, or spell selection to +2, add a +1 bonus to natural armor or Dodge AC, or add +2 to a stat. There are epic feats that will allow them to continue selecting these, although they won't be able to get higher than the options available at level 6. Most effects mimic the items they are meant to replace, and thus do not stack with spells that wouldn't stack with those items.
We have a:
In particular, I'm looking for items that are nifty: increase versatility, providing more options, without necessarily increasing their power directly.
Also, are there any items that can increase an alchemist's ability to press on through a long day the way a Ring of Sustenance and Pearl/Runestone of Power do for a spellcaster? Are there any items that allow alchemists to make alterations to their bombs the way metamagic rods do?
Thanks for any and all suggestions!
Driver 325 yards wrote:
Rather than continue to argue about this in yet another thread, where there is nothing even resembling a consensus, why not hit the FAQ button?
This is clearly a gray area of the rules, and where logic may not suffice due to this being strongly tied to game mechanics, which don't always make strict sense in favor of balance.
** spoiler omitted **...
I think I stand corrected on Bane/Bless, but the phrasing in this FAQ: http://paizo.com/paizo/faq/v5748nruor1fm#v5748eaic9qnn seems to indicate that you can use the spell to counter the ongoing opposite spell, although it's somewhat unclear in that reply as to whether the Haste could be used to dispel Slow on all of your allies, or if it can only be used on a single target (that seems to be the case, but it is a little ambiguous).
Coming back to the thread topic, though, do you think I pegged Darkness/Daylight correctly?
And, yes, dispelling magic has some of the most convoluted rules of any action in the D&D 3/x | Pathfinder system.
I think it would be a major improvement to the game if martial characters were given more options that are realistically usable.
How do you think the game would shift if all characters could pick one maneuver at BAB +1, and another at BAB +5 and 5 levels thereafter that they don't provoke AoOs for using? And if feats that require Improved <combat maneuver> instead required either that feat and its prerequisites, or the maneuver to have been selected in this way and the standard BAB requirement (that is, Greater Trip would not necessarily require Combat Expertise, Improved Trip, or Int 13)?
Or...what if NO maneuvers provoked AoOs for attempting them, but DO provoke if you fail to beat your target's CMD (which makes more sense to me anyway). Improved <combat maneuver> feats would need to be reassessed, maybe removing the AoO for failure?
Either of those would serve to make combat more interesting, I suspect, because people would feel a little freer to attempt maneuvers in situations where they make sense. In the game I'm running currently, the only person that ever bothers doing so is the Crane Style Flowing monk, because he has enough AC (and Crane Wing) to ignore most AoOs for attempting maneuvers that he hasn't spent feats on, which is cool, but I don't think anyone else would even attempt it.
Well, if you expect them to be fighting higher and higher level monsters, then yeah, it will be a problem, because class features alone won't account for rising monster AC, saves, and damage output.
If you're running basically an E6 game where class abilities continue to accrue at the normal leveling rate,you're probably going to end up with characters that are too powerful for the challenges they're facing, but this seems like it would work better than the above. As mplindustries pointed out, though, there are some class features that scale much more dramatically than others: a summoner, for instance, will likely be stronger than just about anyone else you could play, thanks to both their Summon Monster spell-like ability and their eidolon continuing to scale.
Well, if you cast Bless on someone under the effect of Bane, both effects end. Your example of Bless and Bane is different, since you can't pass on the buff by shaking someone's hand, just like you can't shake someone's hand with Haste and impart it upon them.
Reading both Darkness and Daylight, the most likely thing to occur is that you bring Daylight into the dark, and the area is restored to normal light conditions for that zone, until one leaves the other...it seems like they wouldn't dispel each other.
If you end up swapping some spells to pick up more crowd control options that allow for saves, then Persistent would be rather good, but with your list now, it's Quicken all the way.
Also, I don't think you need to drop Summon Monster just because the Summoner has it: summoning more monsters is always a good thing, and it means that you two can switch off summoning to cover different needs.
Oh, if you want to talk about Whirlwind Attack, the entire chain is an incredibly steep feat tax.
Mobility doesn't help with it, because you have to basically stand still in order to use it.
I'd really like to know why the WotC 3.5 writers felt the need to tie such a weak feat to so many awful prerequisites...and why the PF writers didn't feel the need to change such a mind-boggling decision, but that's what we're stuck with for the time being.
So, yes, Mobility is a major feat tax for Whirlwind Attack...as are Spring Attack and Combat Expertise. Hell, compare Whirlwind to Great Cleave, which has a prerequisite of Power Attack (something that directly contributes to your goal of beating encounters by hitting and hurting monsters), and Cleave (useless after you get GC, but you get to use it until then, so not really a tax), and then, so long as you're hitting, you get to do the same thing as Whirlwind, except as a standard action. It's a little more restrictive in its effect (if you miss a target, you stop attacking, and take an AC penalty), but MUCH easier to get into.
I think some people here (O.P. included) need to go to a website, The Alexandrian, and look up an article, Calibrating Your Expectations, then reconsider their views on stat arrays. It was written in the days of 3.0/3.5 and/but it still holds pretty true. It might not change your views, but if it doesn't at least make you think then you never had an open mind on the issue.
Yeah. That's a great article!
Speaker for the Dead wrote:
I was referring to the ability of the core monk to use Stunning Fist to cause the fatigued, staggered, sickened, blinded, deafened, or paralyzed conditions, as these are ONLY listed under the monk Stunning Fist class feature.
The 1/level usage appears in the feat's wording, with no caveats, so the RAW at least indicates that even a monk that gives up the Stunning Fist class feature will get the additional uses per day.
Stunning Fist (Ex): At 1st level, the monk gains Stunning Fist as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. At 4th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, the monk gains the ability to apply a new condition to the target of his Stunning Fist. This condition replaces stunning the target for 1 round, and a successful saving throw still negates the effect. At 4th level, he can choose to make the target fatigued. At 8th level, he can make the target sickened for 1 minute. At 12th level, he can make the target staggered for 1d6+1 rounds. At 16th level, he can permanently blind or deafen the target. At 20th level, he can paralyze the target for 1d6+1 rounds. The monk must choose which condition will apply before the attack roll is made. These effects do not stack with themselves (a creature sickened by Stunning Fist cannot become nauseated if hit by Stunning Fist again), but additional hits do increase the duration.
Which has NO language regarding number of uses per day, and merely says, "you get this feat," and then explains some additional benefits monks gain, to:
Special: A monk receives Stunning Fist as a bonus feat at 1st level, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. A monk may attempt a stunning attack a number of times per day equal to his monk level, plus one more time per day for every four levels he has in classes other than monk.
The second sentence isn't dependent upon the first, and has no qualifiers.
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Well, let's look at the two feats and their respective chains.
Dodge makes you harder to hit.
So, while you may not feel that Mobility is necessary, especially since Spring Attack removes AoOs for movement you'd otherwise provoke from your target, Mobility definitely plays into the theme here, and CAN help with Spring Attack, by making your movement to and from your target less dangerous. Also, the Dex requirement for the feats is in-line with their goals, as more Dex makes you harder to hit as well.
Now let's look at Combat Expertise and things like trip and disarm feats.
The Int requirement similarly doesn't help at all, since Int does absolutely NOTHING for maneuvers. You cannot leverage it into any sort of benefit whatsoever. In fact, by having to spend the points raising Int, you are correspondingly being forced to lower one of the stats that would be useful (or seriously dump Cha and/or Wis, though you could dump those and raise Str and Dex by a little bit more instead).
There are some feats and abilities out there that allow you to gain some benefit on, say, Bull Rush when using Power Attack, but I don't think I've ever seen something that does the same for Combat Expertise.
And for some characters, the AC bonus may be totally irrelevant. I'm sure many barbarians would love to be able to trip regularly and effectively, but with their potentially multiple significant penalties to AC, all Combat Expertise is doing is partially negating those penalties, which will only be relevant if they heavily invest in AC-boosting gear and feats.
CE is definitely a feat tax.
I'd call Weapon Finesse a tax as well. You take Power Attack to get better at what you want to be doing (dealing damage), and take Weapon Focus (weak as it is) to be better at attacking. You take Weapon Finesse so you can do everyone else is already doing (applying probably their highest stat to attack rolls). There are some definite benefits in playing a Dex-based character, but I don't know that I'd classify them as being worth wasting a feat on.
Another example: Spell Focus (conjuration) for Augment Summoning. Now, yes, there are plenty of good DC-based conjuration spells that most characters would want to use alongside their summoning, but if all you want to do is summon (or summon and use spells from other schools), Spell Focus is conferring no benefit upon you in this endeavor.
In the psychology classes I've taken, the point has been made that education actually does increase intelligence. It's called enrichment. It's not just "exercise;" more sophisticated mental schema help you process even more complicated ideas.
That's fair. Still, the way the D&D/PF system is set-up, it seems to support Int-->Education, and experience/exercise--> expanded capabilities (after all, you gain Int, selectively, in the same way you do Str, Dex, Con, Wis and Cha every 4 levels, yet everyone is largely being educated to the same degree).
You've got it backwards.
There is intelligence, and there is education.
Education is what you have been taught, which can make you SEEM more intelligent.
In D&D/Pathfinder, the order is correct: if you are more intelligent, you gain more skill points (you are better at learning, or being educated than someone that is less intelligent). It doesn't go the other way: you don't gain more Int as you gain skill ranks (claiming education as improving intelligence).
A better example would be taking two pupils, one that is naturally intelligent (A), and one that isn't (B).
Maybe pupil B takes two years to learn trig, and their vocabulary is more like 15,000 words. Pupil B doesn't get to calculus until their 3rd year of schooling.
Pupil A's natural intellect means that they can receive and process information more quickly, or better, or can better retain and access that information than pupil B can, so pupil A learns new things faster, can learn more things, and can remember more of the things they have learned.
Now, the difference in intelligence may be irrelevant to some tasks: Profession is a Wis-based skill in this case, and over 3 levels, they could both invest 3 ranks, a class skill bonus, and, say, the same Wis bonus for a 10 Wis, and both will have a +6 in their chosen Profession, but pupil A may also be trained in 3 other skills, while pupil B is trained in only 2 others. Similarly, they both may have attended the same classes about Geography, but pupil A is better at it, because his higher intelligence gives him some sort of edge (either in acquiring the information, retaining it, or remembering it for use later).
In the real world, there is a 3rd factor besides intelligence and education: effort. Pupil A could be smarter, and take the same classes as pupil B, but if A never studies, and B studies all the time, they may end up with even grades or aptitude, and B may even surpass A. In D&D/PF, this is best represented with traits and feats. Pupil B decides that he wants to be really excellent at Geography, so he selects Skill Focus, and ends up being better at it than pupil A, because he invested more in his education.
Finally, increasing Int as you level is less from education and more from exercising the muscle. The brain works like any other muscle in this regard: use it more, and it becomes "stronger," use it less and it "weakens." It's a difference that can be seen between someone who spends 4 hours a day reading novels and someone who spends 1 hour a day reading novels. The first person isn't necessarily better educated, but they are exercising their brain more. Or, as a different example; someone could spend all day playing checkers, and someone else could spend all day playing chess. One is going to require more thought, more planning, more concentration, and even if you aren't being TAUGHT anything, your focus on thinking may result in your being "smarter" in some respects. It's the reason that the elderly are recommended to read more, do crossword puzzles, or Sudoku, and to not take the same route when driving home all the time in order to stave off things like dementia--to keep exercising their brains.
Well put. I agree.
Yeah; this is a matter of disallowing something cheesy like picking an archetype that replaces ability X, and using Quinggong to still get ability X afterward, but replacing something else for X.
The issue of Stunning Fist is whether a line of rules text in the feat description was intended to apply only to monks who received the feat for free, or to all monks. Again, as written, it's for all monks. And, yes, the additional abilities that the core monk gains with Stunning Fist should ONLY be applicable if you retain Stunning Fist as a class feature, since those abilities don't appear as being granted anywhere else.
While the text about a monk receiving Stunning Fist as a monk bonus feat, and that of a monk's special usage of the feat appear together, they ARE separate sentences, and, at least by RAW, should be interpreted as being separate. That is, a monk that possesses Stunning Fist may use the ability once per day per class level of monk. It doesn't specify that you must acquire the feat in a particular fashion.
RAI on this are murky, especially since there was no way to NOT get Stunning Fist as a monk when the feat was written--archetypes didn't exist then.
The RAW is clear, while the RAI may not be, at least due to later additions and alterations. Personally, I'd allow all monks to retain the same type of usage of the feat, irrespective of the method of acquisition.
So, the thinking behind my initial question:
1) If, say, I have an NPC or monster speaking in a tongue that only one person at the table understands, calling out battle plans, or making comments about someone or something. For example, the kobold is saying, "Go for the guy in the robes! He's easy to hit and seems dangerous!" If the person in question doesn't speak Draconic, I don't want that person to know unless one of his allies tells him (and I try to keep character chatter down a bit--you can talk during combat, but you can't start reciting a 4 page battle plan just because it's taking 30 seconds to adjudicate a combat round, rather than 6). Part of this is a tactics concern, and part of this is for fun.
2) If I have a player who understands the language and is unlikely to translate things accurately, or provide all information gained; most of the players can separate that in-character/out-of-character knowledge, but there's often some, "Well, are you going to tell us that he said that?" And at times it can be difficult to separate what you know from what your character does. I happen to enjoy when one player has to recount or translate something to everyone else. Yes, sometimes it makes more sense to just say, "What he (the DM) said," but at others it's definitely more enjoyable to see the telephone game in effect, or to what level some characters will shade or withhold info from the others.
3) One character speaking to another at the table in a language the others (or one other) don't understand. Sometimes a little plotting, whether malicious or pranksterish is worth doing actually in secret, so it carries some genuine surprise.
I'll cast a vote for Quicken as well. Quicken Summon Monster so you aren't standing around for a whole round doing nothing, get the thing out and attacking right away, and still have a standard action to lay down a buff spell or some bardic music. On that note, you should really look at picking up Haste.
At the tail end of 3.5, I house ruled that this was basically how Tumbling worked: rather than being against a flat DC, it was against an opposed roll using BAB + Dex, + special combat modifiers (Combat Reflexes added a +2 bonus to this; Weapon Focus added its bonus as well--I figured it represented martial skill; along with a few other things).
I'd say that CMD - Str - size should work for this purpose reasonably. After all, we have a fairly iconic image of small creatures dodging nimbly around the feat of dragons, and avoiding the grasping hands of giants. You could say that these images are a function of AC to a degree, but in either case, Pathfinder doesn't simulate this well.
At low levels, other than some magic and supernatural abilities, there are a lot of parallels with reality. It's only later in the game that people become really detached from the real world.
I think the point made earlier about humans being possessed of greater endurance than other [creatures] stems from things like the idea that human beings have been capable of many feats in the real world that rival the capabilities of animals we regard as being better than us at particular tasks, like distance running (most animals that are faster than us will collapse long before a human will when running over a long distance), for example.
That said, I think the rules reflect this fairly well.
Keep in mind that your average book keeper probably DOESN'T have a 10 Str; they probably have a 9 or an 8, because they don't spend much time at all engaged in rigorous physical activity. I know plenty of people that can't lift 80 lbs. above their heads, and I know a few people that work in physically demanding jobs who would be struggling to lift 200 lbs. above their heads.
As for having greater stamina than other creatures, that's what the human bonus feat, alternate racial abilities, and traits are for. You can take Endurance, Heart of the Fields, a pseudo-Endurance trait (+2 bonus on the same checks), and still have a trait and a feat left to specialize in something. You can run for longer than most other creatures, can stave off fatigue or exhaustion, and just press on in quite an impressive fashion. And that's without even considering Con. What more do you want from a level 1 character?
My biggest problem with the standard NPC array is that you can't build a character who is very good at one thing and above average across the board. There have definitely been Renaissance men who have been strong, agile and hearty, while also being quick-witted, intelligent, and charismatic. Now, some of that can be synthesized with skills and feats: a character with a rank and class skill bonus in Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Bluff is basically charismatic, even with an 8 Cha.
The only other real issue I have is that no one should be getting only 2+Int skill points/level. A commoner-farmer with Heart of the Fields, should be able to, at minimum, invest in Profession (farming), Handle Animal, and Ride, along with probably a Craft, and Survival or Knowledge (nature).
While true, would you rate a throwing-focused build using returning throwing weapons as being on par with an archer? A good melee build? I feel like to be really good at throwing, you basically need most of the feats that an archer wants AND many of the feats a melee wants (two-weapon fighting chain), and then you're still probably weaker than the archer at the very least.
Yet other combat styles don't come with such a tax on their main weapons (and none of the other styles need to enhance a number of weapons equal to the number of attacks they can make, because the property doesn't even support full-attacking). Unless I'm missing something, Returning is a rather awful ability that only barely supports its main constituency. So, why should it be costly?
Well, the players in my game have just hit level 5, so I can't say how this all works in practice, but from what I'm seeing, fighters should be fine.
For one, there are several special "epic" feats available to everyone that will eat up feats all around: class advancement and improved class advancement to get 7th and 8th level class abilities, respectively (or to gain class abilities from your next 2 levels if you're multiclassed); I have a feat that virtually increases your BAB for the purpose of qualifying for feats and such, some feats for additional spells, a feat for 4 more skill ranks to spend as you please including raising the cap on ranks allowed in a skill to 8, a feat that allows a character to make 2 attacks as a standard action when using two-weapon fighting or flurry of blows, one to gain a lesser version of pounce, a feat to use the above and things like Vital Strike in conjunction with Spring Attack, and a similar feat for Shot On the Run, and a 2-feat chain to gain a +2 bonus to an ability score.
Now, a single character may not want ALL of those, but they're likely to want a good chunk of them. Then, aside from that, characters are going to be able to spend feats on secondary and tertiary concerns that they wouldn't normally be able to afford because of the limited number of feats one has while leveling. Things like +2 save, Improved Iron Will, a secondary focus in a back-up weapon (go ranged if you're melee, go melee if you're ranged), Toughness...
There are a LOT of feats available that are worth taking, but aren't because they aren't as good as the top tier feats. You have to approach the system with a different mindset.
The feat I listed earlier has a successor that grants another level's worth of class abilities. For a pure-classed character, that means level 8 abilities, and I added a "Special" line after the benefits indicating that sorcerers may treat their 9th level bloodline abilities as level 8 class abilities.
I didn't look through all of the classes when writing that, but if any others get very little at 7 and 8, but have a big level at 9 (or even 10), you could simply add that as another line on the feat.
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
BAB is a fairly limited way to judge combat skill.
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
While the 4/6/8 looks nicer than 3/4/6, it isn't all that important. Neither is being only 1 BAB ahead of the wizard. The only important thing to look at in this case is how the 3/4 BAB crew compares with the full BAB crew, since they have to attack the same defenses, and in both cases (E6 vs. E8) the 3/4 BAB classes are 2 BAB down from the full BAB guys. That seems reasonable.
Pathfinder Design Team wrote:
Would have preferred one of the longer answers to this question with some of the developer intent or interpretation included, rather than a single word response.
Good news for the Titan Maulers and lancers in any case.
I read the 3.0 and 3.5 PHBs cover to cover when I first got into playing D&D and bought the 3.5 book instead of the 3.0, which all of my friends had. Instead of trying to return or exchange the book, I read through both to find all the differences (I didn't know about things like the PDF on the WotC site with all of the changes between editions already listed).
I haven't done a cover-to-cover read of any other rule books since then. I'll read a full chapter here or there, but otherwise just look for specific items.
Definitely some points worth considering, thank you.
Well, I'll probably not have the improved familiar until level 11, but once there, I intend to use it as much as I can; however, I may take it at level 7 instead of Dimensional Agility if I'm rarely in situations where I'd want to be using Shift before completing my other actions, or if I find that I'm able to turn out enough wands really make having a familiar using them worthwhile.
I was thinking about going with the Lyrakien, but I've seen people suggest the pseudodragon and faerie dragon. Thoughts?