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Words of Power: Proof Paizo Is On The Right Track


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Qadira

LilithsThrall wrote:
Dalbrine De Viseler wrote:
Another thing that I don't think has been addressed yet is where skill classes could benefit. Without straying into things like 4th Edition, i would like rogues to have the ability to have class features that increased or magically supplemented their uses of skills. For example: a rogue talent which for X rounds / day gave you the benefits of Invisibility, or a truestrike talent.
Why? Stealth is just as good as Invisibility - better even, given all the ways to see invisibility

I was merely adding an example: SO if there are ways for wizards to be larger than life and others have been saying that fighters need a way to be larger than life, rogues do as well, beyond what they already have.


I'm not sure where the talk about spell attack rolls against static saves comes in.

There's already a casting roll with a DC based on the power of the spell being cast: concentration checks. No new mechanics, just making the DC curve for an existing 3.5/PF mechanic steeper and applying it all the time instead of only some of the time.

Suppose that instead of having spell slots all spells required concentration checks with a DC of something like 15 + spell level squared/2.

Casters can no longer nova: check.
Casters no longer push the 15 minute adventuring day: check.
Casters are still prevented from completely running away with the game: probably check, but there may be limits to how much the DC curve can be tweaked without the math getting impossibly ugly. Fractional exponents are unfortunately not practical.
Vancian spell memorization can be taken out back and shot: check.

Disclaimer: this is pretty much off the top of my head and may fail horribly in actual practice.


Atarlost wrote:

I'm not sure where the talk about spell attack rolls against static saves comes in.

There's already a casting roll with a DC based on the power of the spell being cast: concentration checks. No new mechanics, just making the DC curve for an existing 3.5/PF mechanic steeper and applying it all the time instead of only some of the time.

Suppose that instead of having spell slots all spells required concentration checks with a DC of something like 15 + spell level squared/2.

Casters can no longer nova: check.
Casters no longer push the 15 minute adventuring day: check.
Casters are still prevented from completely running away with the game: probably check, but there may be limits to how much the DC curve can be tweaked without the math getting impossibly ugly. Fractional exponents are unfortunately not practical.
Vancian spell memorization can be taken out back and shot: check.

Disclaimer: this is pretty much off the top of my head and may fail horribly in actual practice.

That's pretty darn close to how truenaming worked. And it failed pretty bad. Shame really, it was awesome.


Davick wrote:
That's pretty darn close to how truenaming worked. And it failed pretty bad. Shame really, it was awesome.

I think the idea can be tweaked while incorporating lessons learned from truenaming's failure.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Davick wrote:


That's pretty darn close to how truenaming worked. And it failed pretty bad. Shame really, it was awesome.

What is truenaming?


LilithsThrall wrote:
Starbuck_II wrote:

Yeah no one has 1/day abilities..., like Smite Evil (dislike Paladins?)

Or is it just te idea that multiple people have 1/day abilities?

Straw man.

The Paladin's smite is a supernatural ability, most of the Fighter's abilities should not be.

Barbarian Rage and sub-powers then. Having limited use per-day Extraordinary abilities is not new by any stretch.


DGRM44 wrote:
Davick wrote:


That's pretty darn close to how truenaming worked. And it failed pretty bad. Shame really, it was awesome.
What is truenaming?

Truenamimg was a casting sub system added in 3.5 book Tome Magic. The biggest issue was that the DCs quickly outstripped the casters ability to make them. It was interesting but in execution had serious problems. Hence needing to learn lessons from what it did wrong.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Yes, the Vancian spell system is just like democracy. It is clearly the worst possible magic system, except for all the other magic systems.

There may be some that work better, (not spell points, see the 3.5 psionicist, especially at mid to high levels - 15+ for complete gamebreaking domination), but it WILL NOT be D&D without it. Too many years, too many spells.


Dorje Sylas wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
Starbuck_II wrote:

Yeah no one has 1/day abilities..., like Smite Evil (dislike Paladins?)

Or is it just te idea that multiple people have 1/day abilities?

Straw man.

The Paladin's smite is a supernatural ability, most of the Fighter's abilities should not be.

Barbarian Rage and sub-powers then. Having limited use per-day Extraordinary abilities is not new by any stretch.

Whether or not it's new is immaterial to whether or not it makes sense. Barbarian rage is pretty much an exception to the general case. A Fighter isn't limited to cleaving only once per encounter. A Ranger isn't limited to only 1/day HIPS.


Major__Tom wrote:

Yes, the Vancian spell system is just like democracy. It is clearly the worst possible magic system, except for all the other magic systems.

There may be some that work better, (not spell points, see the 3.5 psionicist, especially at mid to high levels - 15+ for complete gamebreaking domination), but it WILL NOT be D&D without it. Too many years, too many spells.

Do not bring Psionics bashing into this or you're really going derail this thread.

Quote:
Whether or not it's new is immaterial to whether or not it makes sense. Barbarian rage is pretty much an exception to the general case. A Fighter isn't limited to cleaving only once per encounter. A Ranger isn't limited to only 1/day HIPS.

It is material. It has established systems that work and people like. Which also make sense thematically. It seems like you're getting to wrapped up in thinking that I'm suggesting every ability beyond hitting things with a stick should be limited use per day. By no means.

Again I'll make the point a Wizard has an ass load more abilities gained then virtually all martial classes. They are 1/day abilities sure but they are seriously better then the pitifully small number of at will Fighter abilities.

HiPS also comes on the Shadow Dancer and Assassin as supernatural. Extraordinary, supernatural, they're mostly just thematic labels. If HiPS was limited use per day it would not be worth the 17h level ability that it is. An at will non-magical skill based (DC) invisibly as part of a move action. HiPS is actually good example of a "Skill/Attack" based high level utility ability that very few Martial classes have.

How one sets the balance between Per Day, Rounds of, and At will abilities of various levels is up for debate.


Dorje Sylas wrote:
Major__Tom wrote:

Yes, the Vancian spell system is just like democracy. It is clearly the worst possible magic system, except for all the other magic systems.

There may be some that work better, (not spell points, see the 3.5 psionicist, especially at mid to high levels - 15+ for complete gamebreaking domination), but it WILL NOT be D&D without it. Too many years, too many spells.

Do not bring Psionics bashing into this or you're really going derail this thread.

Quote:
Whether or not it's new is immaterial to whether or not it makes sense. Barbarian rage is pretty much an exception to the general case. A Fighter isn't limited to cleaving only once per encounter. A Ranger isn't limited to only 1/day HIPS.

It is material. It has established systems that work and people like. Which also make sense thematically. It seems like you're getting to wrapped up in thinking that I'm suggesting every ability beyond hitting things with a stick should be limited use per day. By no means.

Again I'll make the point a Wizard has an ass load more abilities gained then virtually all martial classes. They are 1/day abilities sure but they are seriously better then the pitifully small number of at will Fighter abilities.

HiPS also comes on the Shadow Dancer and Assassin as supernatural. Extraordinary, supernatural, they're mostly just thematic labels. If HiPS was limited use per day it would not be worth the 17h level ability that it is. An at will non-magical skill based (DC) invisibly as part of a move action. HiPS is actually good example of a "Skill/Attack" based high level utility ability that very few Martial classes have.

How one sets the balance between Per Day, Rounds of, and At will abilities of various levels is up for debate.

I think that it's possible to give the Fighter more power and versatility, but I maintain that giving the Fighter 1/day/encounter/at will abilities breaks my suspension of disbelief. If that's what you want, though, there is a game system that does that.

I'm much more interested in the "Combat of Power" idea that was mentioned up thread.

Taldor

Bryan Stiltz wrote:


This is an interesting idea, make spell casting like other attacks. Roll your d20 against the DC to successfully hit the target. Also, more powerful spells could be higher DC, however the more powerful spellcaster could of course get better bonuses to his spellcasting. Then you could set the negatives based on the targets ability to resist spells. No more saving throws in spell casting. You could also include fumbles in spell casting.

Hiya,

I am not particularly fond of vaiant systems for myself, but since you mention this specific point :

Something like this has already been done in the excellent (IMO) Thieves World by Green Ronin :

Each spell has a casting threshold when it takes off and starts.
Every round, you roll 1D20 + level + other modifiers against DC of spell. when you reach the DC, you have cast the spell, and can start on another.

Works well if you want a campaign with a lower level of magic than standard, without cutting options.

Cheers.


LilithsThrall wrote:
I think that it's possible to give the Fighter more power and versatility, but I maintain that giving the Fighter 1/day/encounter/at will abilities breaks my suspension of disbelief. If that's what you want, though, there is...

Then be ready to have it broken sooner rather then later. As I said I don't agree with the way 4e did it's rubber stamp balance of abilities. However that doesn't mean there aren't ways to have that kind of mechanical balance.

Ya, Combat of Power. Look at the way Words of Power broke down spells into chunks for combination. Now look at the varius minor effects Fighters can produce though skills and feats (their abilities At Will abilities).

3 levels of Fear
3 levels of Sickness
Bleed
Combat maneuvers and outcomes

Now create a Level based DC outlay (perhaps using the 9 levels of spells progression as the base).

Combine different effects adds to the level which either has a DC penalty or set a higher DC, depending on how you slice it.

Want a move the that seems a foe flying 100 feet, leaves them prone, leaves them shaken, and still does damage. Add it up like Words of Power does for spells. Likely in the current system having a penalty to the

Like words of power you could set it up with a limited number of "maneuvers" or "forms" known. MY fear is that these will be presented as feats. Two reasons, one is Tome of Battle style "this is better and obsolesces what came before". Second is this would still leave most martial classes behind the curve of abilities possess by casters. Created as an add-on or expansion to Combat Maneuvers with little or no feat tax is in my view the only way to do it right.

And before people cry Anime I'd point out that even the "strong man throw off mook dog pile" is difficult to pull off with current combat maneuvers.


Personally my "verisimilitude" vanished the minute I used HP instead of a location or wounds system.

D&D has never been 100% actor stance, anyways.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Major__Tom wrote:
There may be some that work better, (not spell points, see the 3.5 psionicist, especially at mid to high levels - 15+ for complete gamebreaking domination), but it WILL NOT be D&D without it. Too many years, too many spells.

What's awesome about Pathfinder is that it's not D&D; sure it's based on the game's last incarnation, but it can be so much more than D&D.


ProfessorCirno wrote:

Personally my "verisimilitude" vanished the minute I used HP instead of a location or wounds system.

D&D has never been 100% actor stance, anyways.

Big difference between hit points (a simplification) and daily/encounter/at will (not a simplification, just an arbitrary replacement).


So, question for the Wordsmiths.

How would I go about building Magic Missile?

If I'm reading this right, it's at least a level 3 spell, using this system.

Thoughts?


jemstone wrote:

So, question for the Wordsmiths.

How would I go about building Magic Missile?

If I'm reading this right, it's at least a level 3 spell, using this system.

Thoughts?

You actually can't replicate magic missle completely. What words are you using

Force Bolt and Distant? Yes that would work out to a 3rd level spell. It has been noted that Words of Power are weaker then pure most core spells, especially legacy spells like magic missle. Another point is that you are shooting a ray which requires an attack roll unlike the auto hit magic missle and it only effects 1 target.


Dorje Sylas wrote:
jemstone wrote:

So, question for the Wordsmiths.

How would I go about building Magic Missile?

If I'm reading this right, it's at least a level 3 spell, using this system.

Thoughts?

You actually can't replicate magic missle completely. What words are you using

Force Bolt and Distant? Yes that would work out to a 3rd level spell. It has been noted that Words of Power are weaker then pure most core spells, especially legacy spells like magic missle. Another point is that you are shooting a ray which requires an attack roll unlike the auto hit magic missle and it only effects 1 target.

Yep, Force Bolt and Distant.

Personally, I have no problem with being unable to replicate legacy spells. I am now and have been of the opinion for some time that the current cornucopia of spells available to the core game doesn't actually fit the "Magic is uncommon, powerful, addictive, and dangerous" type flavor that I want for my game world. I'm seriously considering throwing out the current list of spells, replacing it with Words Of Power, and calling it good. The sheer number of times that I've had to remind a player "No, I'm sorry, that spell is not available in the game world" has really got me exhausted.

Then again, I'm still of the mind to replace core classes like Wizard entirely, putting something more apropos to the game world in their place altogether.

But! For now, I think WOP will do nicely.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My only beef with the Words of Power system is that they included Alchemists in it. That just doesn't make sense to me.


LilithsThrall wrote:
Big difference between hit points (a simplification) and daily/encounter/at will (not a simplification, just an arbitrary replacement).

They're both pretty huge abstractions. One bugs you, one doesn't -- that's fine, but you're fooling yourself if you think your opinion is anything more than that.


Golden-Esque wrote:
My only beef with the Words of Power system is that they included Alchemists in it. That just doesn't make sense to me.

It makes as much sense as the Quiet meta word, I imagine. In that case, you're talking about metaphorical Words, not actual spoken words.


This probably belongs over in Homebrew in its own thread, but, eh, we're here. May as well.

After reading and re-reading the WOP section on the PRD, I think the system has a lot of merit, but I'm not entirely sure that it works with a Spells/Day mechanic. Now, that is probably due to my long-seated dislike of the Spells/Day system (don't get me wrong, it makes things a LOT easier when working with NPC's and dropping in to a Convention game), but looking at WOP, I keep coming back to the question of "Why are these things bound up by Spells/Day?"

If you continue to gain spell slots as normal (So a 3rd Level Wizard has 2 1st and 1 2nd Level Slot), why can't you muddle them about to come up with a 4th Level Word combination? Power balance? Maybe. Lack of a balancing mechanic other than "Well, we don't want a 3rd Level Caster throwing a 4th Level spell?" Probably.

Someone over in another thread mentioned a spell casting method in which casters had to overcome a DC for each spell, and when they did so, the spell was cast - even if this took numerous rounds to do. So you'd end up with a caster trying to throw, say, a Fireball, and it might take him several rounds to get that spell to cast. Which, if you ask me, sounds like a great way to (a) eliminate Spells/Day from the mechanic, and (b) enable a power-balance mechanic to be placed into the spellcasting system as a method of keeping lower level casters from dropping 9th Level Nukes by 6th Level.

If you tell a Wizard "You're 6th Level, now, you have 15 Slots with which to arrange your words, and don't forget that to cast each of these, you have to overcome an increasingly hard DC" then that Wizard suddenly has to pick and choose how those slots will get spent, and will do so within his means. This leads to a lot less likelihood that he'll turn around and say "Well, I'll throw nine of these into a MASSIVE NUKE that's going to cost me a DC 45 to throw any time I want to cast it," and more likelihood that he'll prepare a bunch of Words that give him utility, defense, and offense as befits his power level.

Will there be the inevitable "Willy Pete" type player who goes out in a blaze of glory every combat? Sure. But it is going to take him several rounds to get that spell out of his brain and onto the battlefield (Unless you know a 6th Level Wizard who can do a DC 45 in one round), by which time he'll have watched his friends cut down the fiercest opposition, leaving him with the dregs. And hey, while everyone loves watching Kobolds do the "Help, Help, I'm On Fire!" dance, it gets old after a while.

I dunno. Just some thoughts. Perhaps I'm mad as rabbits.

Grand Lodge

There were a few interesting alternate spell casting options in one of the old arcane expansion books for 3.5. Things like spells having recharge times/fratigue levels to cast etc. Perhaps that might be what you are after?


bugleyman wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
Big difference between hit points (a simplification) and daily/encounter/at will (not a simplification, just an arbitrary replacement).
They're both pretty huge abstractions. One bugs you, one doesn't -- that's fine, but you're fooling yourself if you think your opinion is anything more than that.

Is there a point hiding in that post somewhere?


LilithsThrall wrote:
Is there a point hiding in that post somewhere?

Hiding? Nope. It was quite plain: Let's not start yet another edition war with posts about how 4E kicks puppies. Heck, if it had been a snake it would have bitten you.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Im n ur hauws, kickin ur puppies.


bugleyman wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
Is there a point hiding in that post somewhere?
Hiding? Nope. It was quite plain: Let's not start yet another edition war with posts about how 4E kicks puppies. Heck, if it had been a snake it would have bitten you.

I posted about how creating fighter abilities that are at will/encounter/daily destroys my suspension of disbelief. If you don't want that comment to lead to an edition war, then don't take it there. I certainly wasn't.

I swear, if I told somebody that I don't like turnips, nobody would be posting about vegetable wars. But it's like some people are too emotionally fragile to hear somebody say they don't like something that's in their favored game.


LilithsThrall wrote:
I posted about how creating fighter abilities that are at will/encounter/daily destroys my suspension of disbelief. If you don't want that comment to lead to an edition war, then don't take it there. I certainly wasn't.

You're posting your gripes about 4E in a thread about Words of Power. Do you really not see the issue?


bugleyman wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
I posted about how creating fighter abilities that are at will/encounter/daily destroys my suspension of disbelief. If you don't want that comment to lead to an edition war, then don't take it there. I certainly wasn't.
You're posting your gripes about 4E in a thread about Words of Power. Do you really not see the issue?

My comments were about and they were in reply to posts by Major Tom, Dorje Sylas, etc. who brought up 1/encounter and daily powers. No, I don't see the issue in speaking out against suggestions raised by other posters wrt WoP.


LilithsThrall wrote:
My comments were about and they were in reply to posts by Major Tom, Dorje Sylas, etc. who brought up 1/encounter and daily powers. No, I don't see the issue in speaking out against suggestions raised by other posters wrt WoP.

I admit you are by no means the only edition warrior here. I replied to your post specifically because I had hoped that your support for hit points (an giant, "gamist" abstraction) coupled with your rejection of martial dailies (another giant, "gamist" abstraction) might serve to underscore the futility of arguing about preferences.

What can I say? I'm naive.


LilithsThrall wrote:
I swear, if I told somebody that I don't like turnips, nobody would be posting about vegetable wars. But it's like some people are too emotionally fragile to hear somebody say they don't like something that's in their favored game.

Why, I wonder, are you always so aggressive?

If there were people in every freakin' thread arguing about the relative merits of turnips and carrots as though their very life depended on it, then yes, people would get fed up. In fact, I believe that there are many, many folks who are fed up -- people who, rather than being "emotionally fragile" as you insinuate, are simply tired of edition war bile bubbling up in every discussion.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

*grabs the popcorn*


Gorbacz wrote:
*grabs the popcorn*

Pass that popcorn over this way. I'm gonna get some butter. I wanta see what happens when bugleyman realizes that the only one trying to make this an issue of edition warring is himself.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
bugleyman wrote:

In fact, I believe that there are many, many folks who are fed up -- people who, rather than being "emotionally fragile" as you insinuate, are simply tired of edition war bile bubbling up in every discussion.

And if they would just give those edition war comments the consideration they deserve (that being 'no response at all'), I think many fewer threads would be derailed. But then, people feel the need to call out the comments and feed the flames. So I guess it's a pipe dream.


This is why we can't have nice things.

ANYWAY...

Back on topic, I do think that WoP are a good start at maintaining the overall feel of the game, while moving away from the Per Diem Magical Expense Account that casters currently have.

If you've seen me talking about things in other threads, lately, I do really favor a "Talent-Based" magic system (I am not above scratching the serial numbers off of Force Powers from Star Wars Saga and calling it good), but I really like the potential that WoP is showing.

I need to noodle this. This could be something.


Actually there could be another way to check that the low level casters don't toy with high level magic in the build-up mechanic. Along with high cap to cast the spell, to which you'd have to build potential to cast, you could also set a low cap, that if not reached would release some kind of backlash. It could be even school specific. Evocation spells would turn back at caster with elemental damage, conjuration spells would summon an opposite creature to harm the caster or his surroundings, transmutation cause deformities and so on.

In the other words those rolling too low would kill/maim themselves if they try somthing too ambitious, which IS a good part of many stories.

Cheliax

A good way to add wuxia-esque elements to a Pathfinder game organically, I find, is to incorporate 3.5's Tome of Battle - allowing martial classes to pull off crazy extraordinary or magical stunts. I'm of the mind that though Tome of Battle's classes were tougher than the Core base classes in 3.5, the power boosts the latter group received puts them on par with ToB.

Please no comments like 'BUT TOB WAS LIKE 4TH EDITION AND THAT'S BAD'. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

I find WoP uninteresting. It is a limited way to put spells together instead of relying on the plethora of already published spells. It is still fully vancian. If you see a spell put together with words of power that you can't do with meta magic then simply design a new spell and you can do without WoP entirely.

And for Wuxia:
I know many many players that like to play Fighter and Barbarians simply because they don't like to handle a plethora of abilities (aka spells).

Cheliax

MicMan wrote:

I find WoP uninteresting. It is a limited way to put spells together instead of relying on the plethora of already published spells. It is still fully vancian. If you see a spell put together with words of power that you can't do with meta magic then simply design a new spell and you can do without WoP entirely.

And for Wuxia:
I know many many players that like to play Fighter and Barbarians simply because they don't like to handle a plethora of abilities (aka spells).

Oh, definitely - replacing base classes with Tome of Battle content would be a poor idea for exactly that reason. I just like to have the option available for those who are willing to deal with the increased complexity. :)

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