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Swim armor penalty has been reduced in Pathfinder?


General Discussion (Prerelease)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Unlike the SRD, I noticed that in Pathfinder that there is no mention of the armor check penalty being doubled on swim checks. The skill table also make no special notation for this, unlike the SRD. Any one know if this is an intended change or an error?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I just wanted to do one last check to see if anyone has the answer to the above before I try sending an e-mail.

Thanks.

Osirion

i was guessing it was myself but it might be a typeo

Grand Lodge

Well honestly I imagine it to be a typo. As much as I hated almost drowning due to forgetting that rule (cleric will never go for a swim in plate armor again) it just makes sense for that extra penalty.

Andoran

I think they deliberately eliminated it. It has been missing through the Alphas as well. Since that was the 'one rule that didn't follow the rule' it was difficult to remember and was frequently not applied.

So, the Armor Check penalty is all that applies against your ability to swim.

Personally, I think that the rule might simply state that you cannot swim while carrying a medium or heavier load (like many flying creatures). Thus, if you're very strong, but you're carrying a medium load and you fall into the water, until you 'drop something' you have no chance of swimming free.

And of course, the Armor Check Penalty would still apply...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Not being the guy who wrote the section (that'd be Jason, and he's on vacation until next Monday), I can't say for sure...

But I think the intention WAS deliberate. By changing it so that Swim skill checks work the same as other armor penalties for every other skill, the whole system is simplified. No longer do you have to remember an exception to a rule if we fix this thing for Swim checks; armor checks work the same all the way down the list.

That said, it might be worth keeping the enhanced penalty for Swim checks. Check it out in play, keep an eye on it, and if we've got too many Plate-Mail wearing swimmers in the end... we'll fix it back!


James Jacobs wrote:

Not being the guy who wrote the section (that'd be Jason, and he's on vacation until next Monday), I can't say for sure...

But I think the intention WAS deliberate. By changing it so that Swim skill checks work the same as other armor penalties for every other skill, the whole system is simplified. No longer do you have to remember an exception to a rule if we fix this thing for Swim checks; armor checks work the same all the way down the list.

That said, it might be worth keeping the enhanced penalty for Swim checks. Check it out in play, keep an eye on it, and if we've got too many Plate-Mail wearing swimmers in the end... we'll fix it back!

I have a further question about players who insist that they can swim in very heavy armour.

I have a player who insists on wearing splint mail and a light steel shield (-8 armour check penalty to skills) while sailing across an open lake. The water is deep, but calm (DC10). He has no ranks in his Swim skill, but he has a +3 strength modifier. If he falls into the water, he needs a 15 in order to swim. And if he roll a 10 or less, he goes underwater. But he says, 'so what?' He just needs to roll a 15 or higher anytime during the next 17 rounds while he is holding his breath and he will swim back to the surface because he can swim 10 feet per round. And this is because 3.xE has never deal with what happens if a character fails to swim underwater more than once.

Logic tells me that heavy metal armour will drag a character down more than 10 feet if he fails to swim several rounds in a row. Having him able to wait 17 rounds and then just swim 10 feet up to 'reset' the whole thing because he can get fresh air in his lungs, reminds me of the system they used in The Elder Scrolls:Morrowind game.

I would like to tell this player to go wear 150 pounds of battle armour and then try to swim in a lake 30 metres deep. But he insists these are the rules... but he is the kind of player who always insists that reality does not belong in a role-playing game.

And I don't think they addressed it in 4.0E either.

Osirion

Not official but how I do it is you sink 1 foot per pound over a light load and 1 foot per every number you missed the roll by.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Douglas Jew wrote:
...wrote stuff about sinking...

This is probably something best handled in the environmental section of the final book, I would guess, but also mentioned in the Swim skill. I'd like to see something simple like this:

Sinking: A non-buoyant object, an encumbered creature, or a creature wearing medium or heavy armor automatically sinks 30 feet per round if he fails to make a successful Swim check to remain afloat.

30 feet a round might be too much... but that's the general idea I'd probably champion for. Simple and easy to handle.


James Jacobs wrote:
Sinking: A non-buoyant object, an encumbered creature, or a creature wearing medium or heavy armor automatically sinks 30 feet per round if he fails to make a successful Swim check to remain afloat. 30 feet a round might be too much... but that's the general idea I'd probably champion for. Simple and easy to handle.

I would rather say 10 feet per round, and 1d6 points of drowning damage per round (Fortitude DC10 +5/10 feet).

(this reflects the old 1d6HP/10ft from falls)

Osirion

Lets go 15 feet that way you need 2 good checks per 1 failed roll. Oh and 1d6 drowning per round is a good one. we could have it taken from rounds you can hold your breath or something


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

You could vary the sinking rate by the load they have. 10 feet for light, 20 for medium, 30 per heavy or something similar. That pretty much takes care of the "who cares if I fail a swim check" bit -- if you go down faster than you can swim in a round it could be a problem...

IMO, I'd save the damage for when they can't hold their breath anymore. More fun that way :D

Osirion

R_Chance wrote:

You could vary the sinking rate by the load they have. 10 feet for light, 20 for medium, 30 per heavy or something similar. That pretty much takes care of the "who cares if I fail a swim check" bit -- if you go down faster than you can swim in a round it could be a problem...

IMO, I'd save the damage for when they can't hold their breath anymore. More fun that way :D

sink by level sounds real good.

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