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Hmm... if you are going strictly by the costs in the book, it’s essentially almost the same thing as the large ability, but with less downside, so I’d price it a bit higher than 4 RP. At least the same as Large (7). Although, I also think that the race builder is a bit off on the point costs, so take that with a grain of salt.
Not sure on the pricing, but I disagree with your assessment. For most characters, the number 1 advantage of being large is increasing your reach, which Powerful Build does not do.
Some things I used in my kobold game with a similar theme:
Players tracked kobolds to a library. The shelves held large tomes on them (over a foot tall, some books almost 24 inches), and it's dark inside. Some kobolds are hiding on the shelves, between books. Some are low to the ground, while others are a little above, getting higher ground to-hit bonuses. They have cover against attacks, and would scramble around on the shelves to hide, or surprise players elsewhere. Some would be atop the stacks with alchemical items to hurl down at them, and crossbows
Their leader was a kobold ninja, Namtab, with Vanishing Trick and the feat that grants kobolds gliding wings. The kobolds had set up a couple of traps in the shelves, while a few hid somewhere else in the room, waiting for the PCs to get into the aisles before flanking them.
When the tide turned against the kobolds, Namtab went to a window, spread his wings, and made his escape.
In this case, I had the kobolds using a trapmaker's sack, which the players ended up claiming as a reward (though they haven't used it much). It's a cool item in any case.
I liked a couple of kobold sorcerer's with the kobold-archetype/bloodline? Where they can set traps of their chosen element (acid, since they're blackscale). Lay a few of those down, then ambush the players.
Use tiny traps that are a nuisance in the midst of fights (thunderstone, blinding powder, trip line...).
I like kobolds lancers or archers mounted on giant geckos.
Similar to the first scenario, the players followed the kobolds to their lair, and discovered that the entryway's rock was very porous (lava rock), some of the holes large enough for kobolds to stand in without squeezing. Some of THOSE they dug out into a network of connecting, small, tunnels, which they used to get above, behind, or ahead of the PCs to harry them with crossbows.
For one of the major fights, I used a synthesist summoner kobold done up as a dragon. This was a serious boss fight for when the players got to level 3 or 4, so it's a bit higher than CR 2, but it was amazing.
• Pyripnon, Avatar of Rhindvuthak (the black dragon), Synthesist 6, CR 5
Languages: Common, Draconic, Dwarven, Giant, Gnome, Undercommon, Elven, Orc, Halfling
Your entire argument is based off of one quote from a contributor's post that implies something similar to your ideas by saying, "Let your players Take 10 unless they're in combat or they're distracted by something other than the task at hand."
I'm not basing my argument JUST on that post by SKR, but it's certainly relevant.
And classifying SKR as simply "a contributor" is selling him short: (from his wikipedia entry) "Paizo hired Reynolds as a developer on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Jason Bulmahn has described him as a "critical part of the design team"
Your assertion that the magnitude of the consequences of failure is somehow a distinction from simply failing and suffering consequences of any sort is overly complicated, highly subjective, and has no support anywhere in Pathfinder. It depends upon numerous tiny variations of perspective and interpretation, and all to do what? Dictate how a player's character should feel and act?
If you think something should be scary, have the player roll a Will save against fear, otherwise, use the rules we have. Or, do whatever you like at your table, but don't make an claim that your way fits the RAW when discussing the rules in the Rules forum.
I didn't mean playing someone according to your class, I meant playing someone that should be using firearms. For instance, you're playing a cowboy from the Old West. When was the last time you saw Clint Eastwood or The Duke in the same SCENE as a bow, let alone use one?
Provoking AoOs for shooting and reloading when you have to be fairly close to your opponents to use a firearm effectively (or burn through grit) means that you're going to be in situations where 5-foot stepping isn't going to get you out of harm's way.
And while Dodge and Mobility aren't GOOD, they're at least not worthless feats.
And if your character is being played as someone who is a gunslinger, and not simply as a pile of stats, do you hang up your guns for a while and use a bow instead?
Also, being able to avoid AoOs can be VERY important, especially when you're provoking 2 per shot. Not saying Deft Shootist is a great feat, or that taking two mediocre prerequisites doesn't hurt, just that dismissing it as really bad, when there isn't really anything that accomplishes the same goal, is kind of overstating things.
Well, this IS the Rules forum, so making broad rulings is kind of the point...
How can distraction result in fear? I think you have that backwards.
Don't claim nebulous "studies" in support of a point. First, this game is necessarily an abstraction of reality, so there's some degree to which going into the psychology of things is well beyond the scope of what the game rules should be doing.
Second, you can look at tons of examples where that's simply not correct--there are people who rock climb ALL THE TIME and don't die, even when doing something incredibly difficult. The parallel here is that they're taking 10, and their 10 is high enough to succeed. Those people who fail, I'd say, didn't notice something was amiss (a loose rock), or had other challenges that pushed the DC higher (the wind picked up--might rule that as a distraction--or the rocks were icy, or their hands were getting cold), or they were distracted by something else like a bird flying nearby, or someone shouting to them, or they became fatigued or exhausted, or they were trying to rush things, and were rolling hoping to get a high roll to do something quick/more efficiently, figuring the odds of their succeeding would be good, and instead rolled poorly.
The very nature of many professions requires that the professionals NOT allow fear to affect how they perform, or they simply don't acknowledge the fear, or don't think about the consequences. Have you ever gone climbing? You don't think about the two thousand foot drop below you, you think about your next handhold and your next foothold--there IS no drop below you. Haven't you ever heard of "crunch time"? That's when the stakes are high and you buckle down and kick ass. Now, perhaps you could say that's getting OFF of taking 10 and going for rolling hoping to keep rolling well, but sometimes it's simply casting aside distractions and taking the time to make sure you do something RIGHT. Maybe that's take 20, but it can't be if there is a consequence for failure. For those situations, we have take 10.
If we couldn't take 10 when there was some negative consequence for failure, why would there be take 10 rules? After all, if we want to guarantee success when there is no penalty on a failed roll, we have take 20, which we expressly cannot use in such circumstances.
Why is a GM deciding when my character is distracted? How does he know if my character's 5 ranks, and Skill Focus, and +2/+2 feat, and high ability score and +5 magic item ALL improving my capability with a skill haven't left me feeling confident even in the most dire of circumstances? Or cocky even? What if he feels like he can waltz past any hazard? Are YOU going to interject and tell me how to play my character? Tell me that he's distracted by the pit yawning below him, even though he's done that 100 times? Or that he can't take 10 to sneak by the dragon at level 10, even though he COULD sneak by the 2 orcs at level taking 10, even though they were just as likely (or even more so) to kill him?
On the one hand, we have your position, where you need to weigh every single action the character has taken, every trial they have endured, every decision they've made, AND every obvious or semi-obvious outcome of their failed check to decide whether they are permitted to take 10. Has he bested this challenge in the past? Has he done so often? Has he done something more difficult objectively (higher CR)? Has he done so subjectively (higher CR compared to the level he was at the time vs. the current CR against his current level)? Is he the sort to laugh in the face of danger (whether bravely or foolishly)? Is he immune to fear? Does he have a death wish? Does killing 2 hydras single-handedly equate to sneaking by a dragon when you have backup? Was he distracted by the sleeping hydras? That's either arduous, hard, or you're not being fair and relying on GM fiat (what you want to see happen) rather than on what makes sense for the game and characters therein.
On the other hand, you say, "Is he trying to do two things at once (2 skill checks), being attacked, rushing, or focused on something else (like a conversation)?" No? Then he isn't distracted and can take 10. Yes? Then he can't take 10. That's easy.
Is your issue with SUCCEEDING at these difficult/dangerous tasks, or with not having to roll for them?
Personally, I LOVE take 10 as a GM, because every now and then I can lull the PCs into thinking they can get by taking 10 and then they run into something with a higher DC for some reason, and they fail, sometimes spectacularly. As a player, it means that I don't have to zero out a skill in order for me to be able to do something consistently.
After all, the INTENT of take 10, is that a person should be able to make a standing jump of 5 feet every time unless there are outside mitigating factors, and it really shouldn't matter whether the intervening 5 feet is ground, water, snakes, a 10 foot pit, a 100 foot pit, a pit with spikes, or a precious mirror you don't want to step on and break.
If nothing else, just remember this: D&D and Pathfinder are about HEROES, and heroes don't fail stuff like that without good cause. Also, MAGIC! The wizard gets to skip most of these challenges by casting a spell...are you going to penalize the fighter who has invested heavily in his skills to succeed at something the wizard is doing effortlessly because somehow the fighter is distracted by the danger of failing, even after all the practice and training he has had, and all the times he has succeeded?
In response to thorin001, Cevah, and yeti1069, the reason it's harder to sneak past a dragon than a castle guard is the same reason some people fail tests even when they know all of the material: we are imperfect creatures. If you are trying to sneak past a dragon, chances are you are going to be terrified, or at least extremely nervous. This causes people to be less able to calmly carry out their task. That is a fact. It doesn't make the task impossible, it doesn't make the task more difficult per se, it makes the character distracted. If the character is distracted, they cannot take 10. That comes directly from the rules. And worrying about being eaten if you get caught is something completely different than "the task at hand" which is trying to move stealthily. In much the same way, thinking about the difficulty of climbing a wall doesn't distract you from climbing it, but thinking about the possibility of falling into lava might, because that is something other than the task at hand. Another separate factor is time constraints. These are most often not an issue, but, especially when combined with dangers resulting from failure, might be distracting because they distract the character from simply completing the task in the best manner possible. The person Cevah quoted specifically mentions being in a rush as something that could prevent someone from taking 10. And finally, yeti, a person could sneak past a guard and a polymorphed dragon in the same way because it's not about the danger. It's about the character's perception of danger, which affects their nerves and their ability to act without being distracted.
That's being needlessly inconsistent with how the rules work.
If you're scared because you're trying to sneak past a dragon...we have rules for fear; use them! Add the Shaken condition, maybe, or a circumstance penalty. Maybe activate the dragon's frightful presence and have the player roll a Will save.
What if the adventurer has killed a dragon before? Is he still too distracted to take 10? What if he's kill 5? What if he killed the last dragon he encountered in one swing? What if he's bigger than the dragon?
What if he's just the sort of person who simply isn't concerned with such things? Maybe he's got a death wish? Maybe he's a paladin and is immune to fear? Perhaps he has confidence in his friends and feels assured that if he wakes the dragon, one of them will take care of it quickly by pouring molten gold over its head?
You should never be distracted by the task you're performing. That goes against the point of the rules. Differentiating between sneaking by a dragon and sneaking by a guard is subjective. At what point do you disallow someone to take 10 sneaking past that guard?
If you alert the guard he will:
A simply, objective way of looking at the way take 10 works by asking yourself: What happens if I fail? That result, CANNOT BE A DISTRACTION BECAUSE IT IS THE WHOLE POINT OF YOUR USING THE SKILL.
Climbing over lava can't be a distraction, because the only way for that lava to be a danger is if you fail, therefore your whole attention is on NOT falling in the lava, such as by focusing on your task and taking 10, rather than being careless or taking unnecessary risks (rolling a d20 when you know you can scale that wall with ease).
Again, at which point is it distracting?
What situations that involve you using Perception are distracting enough to not allow taking 10 on Perception because of what you're trying to perceive?
What situations that involve you rolling Appraise are distracting because of what you're trying to judge?
What situations that call for rolling a Knowledge check are distracting because of what you're trying to recall?
Do you see how inconsistent your viewpoint is?
If you want to disallow taking 10 to sneak past a dragon, come up with a better reason:
OR, just impose some modifiers: he's scared, so he gets a -2 penalty.
OR, you know, let the person take 10 if they want to, but the dragon notices him anyway, because the dragon has a very high Perception, or was just pretending to be asleep, and even though the character was focused on their task, they simply weren't good enough, without getting lucky, to avoid detection. THAT'S how taking 10 is supposed to go! You think you can accomplish a task with your tried and true level of focus and skill, so you approach the task in that fashion, but sometimes you misjudged, or something unexpected comes up, and you fail.
Take 10 doesn't mean you automatically succeed, it means that you are consistent on the tasks that aren't supposed to be challenging for you. If you're a neophyte weaponsmith, maybe you take 10 on a dagger and succeed, get cocky, and take 10 on a masterwork composite longbow and you fail. Meanwhile, the master smith is taking 10 and succeeding on that bow, but then fails when he tries to do the same with what he thinks is a piece of standard iron, but finds out is actually adamantine.
There are so many ways to deal with these situations WITHOUT neutering the take 10 rules that I can't understand why so many people want to arbitrarily deny players that option.
Bob Bob Bob wrote:
Taking 10 is also about committing your standard amount of attention/focus/skill to a task. And, generally, we can perform the same relatively simple tasks again repeatedly without risk of failure...until something else changes things, such as our becoming fatigued, or being distracted by something unrelated, or by conditions getting worse.
Drive 10 blocks down a straight road with stop signs. Are you EVER going to fail that check?
Now, do it tired (fatigued for a -2 penalty to Dex).
Or try taking 10 when some maniac is swerving all over the road (DC goes up for defensive driving).
Similarly, your Perception check while driving should note what other drivers are doing when they signal properly, when you're spaced properly, when everyone is obeying traffic laws, etc..., but the DC may be higher than your Take 10 can achieve for some kid stepping into the street from behind a parked car.
Cevah, thanks for pulling up that quote. I was going to mention it, but was too lazy to go find it myself.
The way I view it is that you can take 10 any time your only concern involves the action you're performing--if you're using Acrobatics to climb or jump, it doesn't matter if you're climbing 10 feet up or 100, and doesn't matter if you're over earth, water, lava, or spikes, since your only concern is succeeding at Acrobatics.
Now, if something else becomes a concern, such as being attacked while climbing, then you can no longer take 10.
Similarly, if you're trying to climb AND be sneaky, then you cannot take 10, since you're focused on two different tasks. Are you trying to avoid falling blocks while climbing? That's distracting. Looking for traps while balancing? Distracting. Pickpocketing while dancing? Distracting. But you can take 10 pickpocketing someone irrespective of the results of your action--whether you're stealing candy from a baby, or trying to scoop some slime off of Cthulu's hide. Ruling it any other way is not only very metagamey, but also paradoxical. You can't change the way you're performing a task based on a possible negative result of failure that you may not be aware of. For example, you don't know if that guard you're trying to sneak past is a mook with a wife and kids who has no interest in doing anything but raising the alarm, but a shapechanged dragon looking for his next meal, so if you can sneak past the first guy taking 10, then you can sneak past the second taking 10 as well.
How would you use these NPCs?
My plan for this was to give the player some additional stats/abilities he has, telling him to try and play the character mostly to form, but a little regressed (he was known to be more of a dick a few months ago than he has been lately), and to try and cast as much blame as he can on the wizard for recent events. He's to also be a little more inquisitive about what his fellow party members are doing/what they do.
Oh, because it would probably be useful, the party composition is:
-Samsaran Oracle w/ the blind curse, and the spell scar mystery; he's a bookish sort with multiple personas derived from his ancestors, and is searching for ways to heal spellscars.
-Teifling rogue w/ a 5 Cha...he started off as being incredibly pompous, rude, obnoxious, and selfish, but has slowly started to adapt to being a figure within a larger community, and has been humbled a bit. He's the one that would be getting swapped.
-Human monk acting as an officer of the local justice/police force temple branch (separate from the city guard). He is fairly even-keeled, and tries to steer the group in a lawful direction.
-Changeling monk who is a member of an order devoted to the goddess of light and good, and that stands against the evils of the world, particularly unnatural ones such as the undead. He's...prone to violent solutions.
-Sylph witch who really cleaves to the "watcher" ideal of his race, and tends to rarely get involved in ANYTHING unless he feels like it. He hangs back to observe much of the time, occasionally deigning to help out...or do something inappropriate. No very politick. Also, he's currently under a Curse of Indecision.
-Kobold...we'll see what she's actually playing. She had been a kobold sorceress, but when the players liberated her people from the sway of an evil dragon, she stayed behind to become their new ruler. We've discussed how she'll continue from there, and she was thinking about sending an acolyte (basically a copy of her previous character) to join the party and try to gain some reparations or some such, but it's not fleshed out yet.
The party has been made part of a semi-independent elite branch of the city guard.
Oops. It's an E6 game, and they're 6 with some "epic" feats under their belts (and a few mythic abilities), so, I'd say the APL is probably 8 (6 person party).
As for the doppelganger, I thought it would be fun to let one of my players play the subversive in the group for a few sessions. We've talked that bit over, gave him just enough detail to play the character along the lines I'm looking for, and will give him some stats he can use.
My players are, occasionally, a fairly suspicious lot, so I have to be VERY careful with NPCs that I want to keep suspicion off of if I want to do something like that. This seems like a fun way to get that done in a fashion that will likely work better--they have some downtime, and in there, the player gets swapped for the doppelganger.
First off, George, Jon, Mike, Andrew, GET OUT!
So, here's what I've got so far:
The players had dealt with a crime ring that had been distributing some nasty drugs around town, and discovered a couple of odd things during their investigation: the purveyors of the pestilence were maintaining a ledger not only on the transactions, but also records of how the effects the drugs were having on their clientele, and SOMEONE was impersonating a noble, framing him as the mastermind behind the whole scheme. They rounded up most of the perpetrators and put and end to the drug ring, imprisoning the head of the local crime syndicate, but without ever finding out who had been impersonating the nobleman. During a separate incident, the cell in which they had imprisoned the boss was discovered to be empty, and her corpse was found back in the hideout the PCs had cleared out...except THAT person had been dead for a LONG time.
Some time passes, and the PCs encounter a runaway flesh golem wreaking havoc in the city. After defeating the monster, they follow its trail back to the cemetery, and discover a few things:
The PCs decided to investigate the graveyard, and waylaid a wizard skulking around just as they themselves were waylaid by a bunch of undead. They managed to capture the wizard alive, but unconscious. That's where they left off last.
What I've got cooking:
So I have two different things going on here. First, is the doppelganger who had been impersonating the nobleman from earlier has found someone else to conduct experiments for him--he wants to attain divinity, so he may travel the far planes...what kind is irrelevant...so he has an alchemist experimenting with different compounds, including the blood of outsiders, to create an elixir that will transmogrify him. This is the reason behind the disappearances and the oddly deformed corpses turning up. The doppelganger is a bard.
Second, the wizard they found is a somewhat hapless necromancer. He had been studying at the local magic academy, but was expelled for practicing the forbidden arts, which he felt was unfair, as their study could potentially yield new insights, and may be important. He's been doing experiments in the graveyard at night, using those already deceased, but he made a mistake, and raised a terror too powerful for him to handle--a witch, dead for hundreds of years, who had, along with her family of cannibals, captured unwary travelers, and kidnapped children, bringing them back to their den in the woods to feast upon. The townsfolk at the time had managed to track the family down and set fire to their hiding place after managing to capture the matriarch. Her family didn't burn to death, but instead succumbed to smoke inhalation and died, preserved in their hiding spot within their layer, never to be found. Meanwhile, she was brought back to town, hanged and interred with wards set upon her tomb to prevent just this sort of thing from happening. When our bumbling caster animated her, she broke from his control, prised him of some information on the current state of affairs of the area, and went off in search of her family, saying that she would return before the new moon.
In an attempt to remedy his mistake, he tries to create a golem who will be resistant to her spells and abilities to wrestle her back into the afterlife, but, again, he drops the ball, and ends up setting the thing loose.
What I need help with:
What I'd like to do is continue to present the players with multiple leads that can point to the wizard, but which he staunchly (and truthfully) denies. He hasn't killed anyone, other than those his flesh golem tore apart.
My intent is to have one of the players taken over by the doppelganger, who will stay with them for some time, ferreting out their secrets, and trying to direct any investigation away from his dealings. I'm thinking that, when the wizard gets captured, the doppelganger puts a hold on his activities for a while, to throw more suspicion the wizard's way.
Eventually, the witch returns, after having animated her family, and they begin their old custom of poaching folks for their cannibalistic cookery once again. When the doppelganger gets wind of SOMETHING turning up missing people, he starts up his activation again.
Eventually, I'd like for the players to catch on to the witch and go after her and her family, and for the players to eventually stumble upon the existence of the separate plot, and trace that back to the alchemist's lab, and discover their teifling companion trussed up and being slowly drained of his outsider's blood while he's also still standing right next to them...and then have the doppelganger escape. In the lab, they'll also find some sort of good outsider and some sort of evil outsider crucified upon the wall and being drained of their blood as well.
So, I'd like:
You could also have a fairly standard pack of bandits (in the level 1-4 area) who are inspired to greater feats of prowess by a bard in their group who's perhaps a little higher level, or who has obtained some magic item that improves his abilities a bit.
Sometimes, just finding the right combination of buffs can make even low-level enemies relevant (to a degree). Plus, it can be satisfying for players to mow down a group of 20+ bad guys who are still somewhat dangerous (ie., they can land hits, can deal damage, but are going down quick due to mediocre/poor AC, and low HP).
I've also come up with a puzzle that uses a tiled surface like a chess board, but where the edge of each square teleports a character crossing the threshold to another square on the board. Each edge has its own destination, and players may enter squares facing a different direction than they were when they started their movement.
If you step down off of A, you may end up entering J from the right side. Stepping up off of A may have you enter from the bottom of 6.
Add some dangers, that have to be dealt with, or a time limit for getting across.
As a hint, I was thinking of having the twisting, turning hallways leading up to this room actually be the solution...right turn, straight, right turn, left turn, straight, etc...corresponding to the directions on the chessboard.
Get them across the river:
You have a chicken, a bag of feed, and a fox that you need to get across the river intact. Unfortunately, the boat is only large enough for you to carry one of them across at a time, and if you leave the chicken with the feed it will eat it; likewise, the fox will eat the chicken if left alone with it. How do you get them all across?
Take the chicken across first, leaving the fox with the feed. Next, go back, grab the feed and bring it across to the other side. Now, take the chicken BACK to the starting side, and swap it for the fox, which you bring across and leave with the feed. Finally, you return to pick up the chicken and reach the other side with all 3.
Here's a logic puzzle I've used before:
You're in a room with 3 switches that you are told light 3 lightbulbs/torches in another room. They are clearly marked On/Off, and you may switch them back and forth as often as you like, for as long as you like. Once you are satisfied, your trial is to leave this room, walk down the hallway to the room with the bulbs/torches, and identify which switch corresponds to which bulb/switch.
Turn one off, one on. For the last, turn it on for a while, then turn it off just before you leave the room. When you get to the 3 lit objects, one should be on, while two are off, one of which should still be warm from having been left on for a while previously.
There has to be a way to word such feats to function with things like Spring Attack without specifically having to call out those interactions in the feats' descriptions, since A) that results in a lot of extra text, and B) doesn't work well for future-proofing.
How about this? Remove Combat Expertise as a prerequisite for all feats it is currently attached to.
Or, the way to make it useful would be to alter it in one of a few ways, such as:
I'd also include:
-A Deed around level 6-9 that allows the Swashbuckler to spend 1 Panache to move 10 feet with a 5-foot step.
-The Rapid Attack ability from the Mobile Fighter archetype as a standard class feature at level 11.
-A Deed that allows the Swashbuckler to make one turn while charging so long as they have at least 1 Panache remaining, and allows them to spend 1 Panache to charge over difficult terrain and obstacles, and allows them to combine the charge action with a list of specific circumstances including balancing on a narrow surface, swinging from something, jumping).
-Consider granting Cha to AC, stacking with light armor (or not).
I'm basically in favor of all of the above, with some tweaks.
I think I'd prefer simply adding Cha as a bonus to Will saves vs. certain effects (similar to the feat that does this in the ACG), along with a good Fort save.
I'd think that for Evasive, Uncanny Dodge should come first, as that seems the most swashbucklery to me. Maybe Evasion at 10, Improved Uncanny at 15.
Power Attack, while a tax, is at least a useful feat, and highly desired by many martial characters even without looking at any chains.
All the +1 to X feats should definitely scale with level.
Any feat chain that requires successive feats to essentially just scale the first feat (ie., Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved TWF, Greater TWF, all the Improved/Greater maneuver feats, etc...) should probably get rolled up into a single feat that scales by either level or BAB, depending upon what the feat does (TWF makes sense to go by BAB, for example, since it would be kind of odd to gain offhand attacks faster than main hand ones).
I think all of the +2 to 2 skills feats should be removed.
I think Skill Focus should remain as-is, BUT should gain some new benefit somewhere before getting to the +6 bonus--basically, it should grant some new, special usage to every skill (probably print that in the skills' "Special" descriptions, rather than listing it all with the feat).
Point Blank Shot makes sense, but it should scale.
Honestly, I think Combat Expertise is the worst of the bunch.
It has an ability score requirement that most characters who would actually want the feats locked behind CE won't have.
It's a gatekeeper for a rather large number of feats/feat chains.
It has ZERO interaction with almost every feat that requires it as a prerequisite (CE is downright detrimental to using combat maneuvers, for example).
As stated earlier in the thread, it essentially works just like fighting defensively, has some overlap with fighting defensively (Stalwart feats, for example), yet doesn't gain any of the benefits aimed at fighting defensively (ie., Crane Style, and numerous other feats, class features, and traits), and is often worse than fighting defensively.
It mirrors Power Attack's penalty vs. bonus progression, but at a worse rate of return, and without any special benefit to a combat style well-suited to using the feat (I'd probably increase the defense bonus for characters wielding a single weapon in one hand with either no offhand weapon, or a shield).
It rarely gets used.
With Kata Master, I don't think Cha is all that important, especially if you're picking up more than a few monk levels. Wis+1/2 level should be enough Panache-equivalency so long as you have 1 or 2 standard points of Panache (that can be regenerated).
I'd rate that benefit higher than what Swashbuckler 1 provides all on its own, but all the other stuff monk comes with really tilts those scales, even if it means having to burn a feat or a few thousand gold on Weapon Finesse or Agile, respectively. It means delaying something a little. I'd probably bump Panther Style to level 3, grab Panther Claw at the same time, and push Panther Parry to level 9, pushing back Dodge (and everything that relies on it). It's good, but it isn't a necessity for everything else to work.
If you are thinking about swash, kata master and MoMS archetypes stack. Then you can parry/riposte with all monk weapons and unarmed strikes. Not sure if it works for you,but could get you more panache to use without the extra panache feat.
So, the Swashbuckler level can be skipped, you get more Deeds, and you get more Ki naturally, which also lowers your dependence on Cha, and removes the need to pick up Extra Panache!
Not gaining a level here, because we'd want 4 monk before going fighter (vs. 2 monk/1 swashbuckler/1 fighter), but that's not too bad sine the extra 2 monk levels are bumping all your saves by 1 (vs. +2 on just Reflex), and you pick up Fast Movement, Ki (notably Wis+2 added to Panache pool, for Cha+Wis+2), Maneuver Training (+1 to CMB/CMD), 1d8 unarmed strikes, and +1 AC along with everything else you get with a Ki pool, and Slow Fall.
I'd probably go: lvl 1-2 monk, lvl 3-4 fighter, level 5-6 monk, rest fighter.
1 Monk -Combat Reflexes, Panther Style, Snake Style, Improved Unarmed Strike
From 13 on, may want to consider going back to monk until 19, since the Kata Master should qualify for Signature Deed at 11 monk (level 19 with this set-up). Conversely, could also stick with monk after level 7 (so you don't delay Greater Trip) to get Signature Deed by level 14, and then go back to fighter. If going that route, I'd want to fit another Style in there, since we'd get the upgrade along the way that allows us to enter 3 styles at once as a Swift action (replaces the need for Combat Style Master for most purposes). Could pick up the Crane feats for yet ANOTHER riposte-type action (which thankfully uses neither a swift, nor an immediate), and some more AC.
Actually, I think I like that better...
1 Monk -Combat Reflexes, Panther Style, Snake Style, Improved Unarmed Strike
True. That looks pretty good! I'd been looking at what monk is getting from 4-6 (more saves, higher damage die, AC bonus, speed, etc...), but getting the focus of the build online sooner is a good idea.
Level 7 you get two feats with that set-up, so you could grab Power Attack there for Felling Smash at 9.
Would another fighter archetype work better? The bonus to CMB from Lore Warden is pretty nice, but the free Combat Expertise, which is the big draw for a lot of characters doesn't mean as much with that Swashbuckler level in there allowing you to use your Cha to meet Int prerequisites, and you want a bit of Cha for a pool of Panache.
Could add in some tripping to jack up those attacks even more:
Move to an opponent; provoke an AoO on the way, Panther/Snake/Parry chain, get to opponent, Power Attack and trip, 2 AoOs, back away from opponent, possibly provoking more AoOs from first enemy/new enemy.
If you can use an immediate action and a swift action in the same turn (immediate eats up swift action on the NEXT turn), you could conceivably get 3 attacks against anyone you pass on the way to your Spring Attack target, 3 attacks and a trip on that target, and 3 attacks at anyone you pass as you leave. You could also sub one of your AoOs from being attacked/missed while moving for a trip, which will generate 2 attacks if successful, so you could actually be doing 4 attacks to anyone taking an AoO against you.
So, move, provoke AoO, trip with Panther, Greater Trip attack, -4 attack against you, +4 attack against them now, Vicious Stomp. If it misses, Snake. If it hits, Parry then Riposte. If Snake hits and you didn't Riposte, hit again.
Power Attack hit your main target, trip, Greater Trip attack, Vicious Stomp at +4 attack.
Dex-focused gives you 1 stat for AC, Reflex saves, Initiative, ranged attack, melee attack, melee damage (and possibly ranged), and some valuable skills (Acrobatics, Escape Artist, Stealth).
Str-focused gives you 1 stat for melee attack, melee damage, ranged damage (and possibly attack with throwing weapons), some mediocre (but occasionally important) skills (Climb, Swim), carrying capacity, and checks to break things.
What I would have liked to see on the Swashbuckler to make it more mobile:
-Spring Attack as an automatic feature somewhere between levels 4 and 8.
It's kind of frustrating that so few things work with Spring Attack/Shot on the Run for basically NO reason, and Pathfinder hasn't adapted the extra-attack-during-Spring Attack feats from 3.5. Every non-magical character wants to stand around full-attacking unless they have pounce, which isn't easy to come by, or Ride-By-Attack and they're mounted, which has its own issues.
Cutting right to the chase, the Feral Hunter archetype for the new Hunter class in the ACG has caught my eye, and I was wondering if people had formed some opinions and advice on ways to build such a character.
In particular, what order would you take feats in (assuming the standards for a wild shape-focused druid, with some of the caster-druid staples included)?
What would you select for your spells known? Say, at level 2, 5, 10?
What aspects and summons/wildshapes sync up best?
Also, do you feel you lose much by not being able to wildshape into an elemental or plant?
No, not yet.
I'd prefer to wait and see what the "Unchained" stuff looks like, and figure out whether the system can be tweaked with that enough to fix the major issues with the game.
That is, unless Pathfinder wants to adopt the Edge of the Empire dice system, but I doubt that will happen as it would be an enormous departure.
I don't see why Paizo continues to make stuff like this so punitive, ESPECIALLY given that Sniper Goggles exist.
At the very least, the archetype should scale automatically and probably not replace anything (or eat up an extra talent slot at, say, level 10 and be done with it). Gaining +10 feet/2 levels to your SA range isn't all that amazing even before considering how difficult it can be to land ranged sneak attacks.
Human Wizard Conjurer, LN. God wizard.
Half-orc Invulnerable Rager Barbarian/Unarmed Fighter, CN. He is there to absorb a lot of abuse while dishing it out himself.
Human Wizard Conjurer, LN. God wizard...because the game I was playing the first one in stalled at level 6 and I wanted to do more with the character, but THIS game died, too.
I think of it this way: if you take a strong guy, and have him crush a stone in his fist, but he's got a big dopey grin on his face, or looks kind of bored, that may not be intimidating at all. That's why we see so many scenes where the big strong guy does something like that, and then his boss/sidekick/friend/underling speaks on his behalf emphasizing that what the guy could do to the stone, he could do to YOU.
It being tied to charisma demonstrates your ability to do more than perform a demonstration, but to "attack" someone psychologically. That's also why we have several methods in the game for achieving basically the same results, but without the reliance on Cha or communication (Dazzling Display, for instance). Of course you can accomplish the same things with Str, Dex (think of Bruce Lee doing his "Dazzling Display" with nunchuks), Con, Int, or Wis, but then it's typically doing something else, or takes a trait, racial ability, feat, or spell to do so, because you're going about things a different way.
You also need to differentiate between intimidation and fear. They're closely related, but I feel like they aren't necessarily the same thing. Watching someone get eaten by a creature might instill fear in you without ever involving an attempt to shake your resolve (and that's really what Intimidate is...causing someone to be shaken without resorting to actual violence or magic).
The Terminator may have had a racial bonus, or significant circumstance bonuses, or a fear aura (like a dragon), or some other similar ability.
Artemis Moonstar wrote:
I was mostly aiming at one number for each of my tests, just because I couldn't be bothered to recall all 3. So, for the 6th level set, about half of the solutions were 19, and the other half 29, and I'm fairly certain that I could have made them all 19.
For the 7th level set, they were ALL 31.
I've been doing some test runs with this, just rolling dice and seeing if I can hit the right numbers...
I did about 30 rolls of 6 dice for spells modified up to 3rd level (6th level character), and about 15 rolls of 7 dice for spells modified of the 4th level, and I not only haven't failed to achieve one of the prime numbers, but have done so in under 30 seconds for almost every single roll.
From what I recall of what my players wanted to do, they're looking to create a headquarters for an elite military/police force (something akin to S.W.A.T.--part of the city guard, but outside the main chain of command), using their troops to do good works in the city (maybe effecting repairs, or in martial action against significant threats), and possibly also use their kitchen space to serve the homeless as a soup kitchen.
My contention is that most of the rooms therein would be devoted to simply supporting their new order, not a place for the public, nor as a producer of goods, really.
We're still in the discussion phase, though some stuff has been planned out, but it doesn't strike be as making sense to have a combination soup kitchen and mess hall--the soldiers and destitute might not mingle well, and the latter represents a hazard of sorts in the event of emergency mobilization. I can't imagine, say, a police station house opening its kitchen for such a purpose. Plus, it offers a too easy way to gain entry to the inner working of such a force for any ne'er-do-wells.
I'm thinking that it might produce some Influence, MAYBE some Goods, but it'd be kind of low on the latter, and wouldn't be earning gold.
Under the "Buildings" section, I don't see the output for each building listed, so, while those buildings DO have things like kitchens in them, there isn't any indication that I've seen that they should be counted in producing capital. From what I can tell, the buildings listed are there to give a sense of what one would expect in a typical version of that structure.
You wouldn't, for instance, build an academy without a kitchen, bedrooms, lavatory, etc...
My position (as Kolo's GM), is that, while a building can be oriented toward a particular capital-generating task, it doesn't necessarily do so for all included rooms. For instance, if you had a two story building, the bottom floor being a storefront for, say, textiles, and the upstairs your personal quarters, the rooms upstairs would have no bearing on your income from the shop.
So, an idea that I worked with back in 3.5 for a while, was that fighters gained multiple lines of bonus feats that they could switch between where at level 6 feats would branch, and you would select 2 different feats, one for each "column" and could swap between them. Then, at level 12, they would branch again, and at 18 a final time.
So it would look something like this:
6. Bonus feat 1 | Bonus feat 2
So, as an example, at level 6, you could chose Point Blank Shot for A, and Combat Expertise for B, and would then devote your A feats toward archery, and your B feats toward some combat maneuver (let's say Trip).
6. Point Blank Shot | Combat Expertise
Then, at 12, these trees would split again, so you could have two branching focuses for each broader discipline:
12. Manyshot/Dodge | Fury's Fall/Death or Glory
In this case, the fighter could be using one option in the left hand column for full attacks with a bow, or the other option for instances where he needs to be mobile, and could use the first option in the right hand column when he's fighting foes that he can trip, or the second option when fighting larger foes (who he is likely not going to be able to trip).
Then at 18, these would split further, where each existing option would gain 2 more, so Snap Shot would branch twice, Shot on the Run would branch twice, etc...resulting in 8 feats selected at 18 and 20.
The way I handled this was that it took a swift action to change focus. While we were using this idea, the few people who built fighters would use their level 1, 2 and 4 bonus feats, and their standard feats to define the character's primary focus, and to pick up feats that they wanted access to full time, and then would build upon their main role with one tree at 6, while using the second tree to build in an alternative option. One could be focused on offense, while the other is looking toward defense, or it could be melee combat vs. ranged, or two different sorts of combat maneuvers.
We ended up with more varied fighters without dramatically increasing the power level of the fighter: they had more options, and could therefore adapt to more situations, but they weren't bringing much more power to bear at any one time.
It gets a bit complicated when you hit level 12, but it was manageable.
I'd think something along these lines might be the way to go, perhaps including some class features that work this way as well.
First, are we going to see Unchained feats? I hope so, but if not, the fighter needs an ability that allows them to either ignore ability score prerequisites for feats (like Int 13 for Combat Expertise), or have his ability scores count as being higher for the purposes of meeting prerequisites fairly early in the class, although this brings up the issue of making the fight an even stronger dip class.
Fighter needs some abilities that make use of mental stats. Perhaps they could have a choice of tactician, martial artist, leader, where abilities would follow those themes a little, and would use Int, Wis, or Cha, respectively.
I like some stuff like that from the Warblade in the Tome of Battle: Book of 9 Swords from 3.5...using Int as a bonus to things like Reflex saves, touch AC, Initiative, confirming critical hits, etc...
Fighters, more than any other class, should probably be good with teamwork feats. They should have some options that allows them to share feats like that during combat...they're certainly more suited to that than the Inquisitor is, I think.
I like the idea that (I think) Ryjin brought up earlier about allowing the fighter to "prepare feats" the way a wizard prepares spells each day. That sort of covers the notion that fighters are highly versatile combatants, and good in many areas, while not loading them down with all of that power at the same time. I think it has some thematic issues, but those could be solved with the ability to change X number of selections Y times per day, allowing the fighter to adapt in combat, possibly.
Hopefully there will also be rules for Unchained full attack combat to give martial characters a better combination of mobility and effectiveness.
I already give all the 2+Int characters 4+Int in my games, or 3+Int+1 free rank each level in a thematic skill (for example, wizards get Knowledge: Arcana, Clerics and Paladins get K: Religion, etc...).
I'm on the fence as to whether I feel fighters should gain a good Will save, or just better abilities to augment their save. Personally, I'd think they should have a good Reflex, since they're focused in physical training, and should have an expanded Bravery bonus...probably start it at +2 to your choice of fear, compulsion, etc... then increase it by 1 per X levels, adding +1 to another type of save.
I'd like to see some of the stuff from Tome of Battle that was more mundane in nature brought over...stuff from the Diamond Mind, Iron Heart, and White Raven I seem to recall being less supernatural in nature.
Uh, being a touch attack is rarely a "saving grace" for an offensive spell, since most casters tend to try an avoid getting into melee range with their opponents who probably hit a lot harder--trading 1d6/level damage with someone swinging a two-handed weapon, or who is going to full-attack you is almost never a good idea, while ranged touch attacks allow you to maintain some distance. I'd say that, depending on how you want to look at things, and what you value, they're about even once you account for all the pros and cons on both sides.
Snowball is pretty amazing. How many level 1 spells allow you to impose a significant debuff at range without a HD cap? How many 2nd level spells allow you to do that AND deal damage at the same time? Rime Spell on Snowball is a pretty strong 2nd level spell, allowing a ranged touch attack to Entangle for a round, along with the chance of also staggering your target. Restrict a target to either a single attack, or a single move action at half speed, along with penalties to Dex (AC), to-hit, and making spellcasting difficult?
I think you're undervaluing Staggered. Forcing someone to choose between moving or attacking or casting a spell is a pretty good status effect. Disallowing full attacks is as well. Now, sure, if your target has pounce and a full attack, they could still use that if not too far away, but that combo isn't very common, especially at lower levels. And if you add Rime Spell, even that option is removed, since Entangled prevents charging. Staggered amounts to giving your side an extra full attack action, or preventing an attack, or allowing your team to get in better positions.
It's not the BEST debuff, but, again, we're looking at a level 1 spell here. How much do you want? Sleep is good, until you gain a few levels, and may not even be useful against a tough boss at level 1, and there are a lot of creatures that are immune to sleep and/or enchantments. At level 2 you have some better single target control options, but how many are as universally applicable? I wouldn't build a whole character around Snowball, but it's a fantastic spell to use early on, and a decent spell to have in reserve at later levels.
As others have said, what you have here is a combination of it being too easy to get flanking (who is the rogue flanking with? remember that the other character must be threatening, so must be armed--the monk's unarmed strike counts, but the cleric and sorcerer need to have SOME sort of weapon in their hand), and a fairly low damage party in general, so +1d6 is looking like a lot.
When the monk starts getting more attacks per round, or his damage goes up, he may steal the spotlight more often.
For comparison, if you had a barbarian instead of a monk, the rogue would be WAY behind: 2d6 base damage from a greatsword + 3 Power Attack two-handed, +9 (16 starting Str + 2 racial, presumably, +4 rage =22, or a +6 modifier increased by 1/2 when used to deal damage 2-handed), for 2d6+12 damage, a higher attack bonus than the rogue, and no need to flank to get that damage consistently.
A fighter would be a bit behind that, but would more or less catch up in a few levels. Several other characters would also either be doing considerably more damage now, or would be in a few levels.
I'll say that, in my home game, the player running the rogue has been rather frustrated, as whole encounters go by without him having a chance to make a sneak attack. In many of my encounters, the players find themselves in unadvantageous positions, themselves flanked in a narrow corridor or otherwise surrounded by foes, or fighting against an enemy that prohibits easy movement (large and huge creatures), flying enemies, etc... He recently asked to pick up the Scout archetype, which allows for Sneak Attack on a charge, and then whenever you move 10 feet (doesn't have this part yet), and he still hasn't had consistent luck with SA. As you can see, it can be a rather fickle benefit.
So, when building a half-dragon kobold, do you just take your CR 1/4 kobold, then add half-dragon (+2), but which has a minimum CR of 3, and jump it up to 3?
Or, do you take you CR 1/4, and add some NPC class levels (kobolds are at NPC class level -3), say warrior 3, which brings it to CR 1, then add the adjustment for the template, giving you a CR 3 kobold with 2 extra warrior levels?