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Nerfing the Drow.


Advanced Race Guide Playtest

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Drow are one of my favorite races. Unfortunately, there is that irritating level adjustment. I know Pathfinder got rid of it, but Drow are still more powerful than core races. Now that the Advanced Race Guide is out, I have nerfed them just enough to put them on par.

New Drow stats:
Type Humanoid

Size Medium

Normal Speed

Standard Ability Score Modifiers (+2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Con)

Standard Language Array (Common, Elven, Undercommon known, Abyssal, Aklo, Aquan, Draconic, Drow Sign Language, Gnome, or Goblin bonus languages) +1 RP

Poison Use + 1 RP

Keen Senses (+2 Perception checks) +2 RP

Darkvision 120 ft +2 RP

Elf Immunities (Immune to sleep, +2 versus enchantment) +2 RP

Weapon Familiarity (rapier, hand crossbow, shortsword) +2 RP

Total RP = 10

Since this Drow has just as many RP as the core races, it is a perfectly reasonable choice as a PC race. Also, since it lacks that pesky light blindness, there is no need to worry about being active during the day.

Thoughts?


Level adjustment?

Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

LA went the way of the Dodo, dude.

Drow are just a bit more powerful than the core races, and are still fine for PCs.

Drow Nobles should be taken out into the sunlight and set ablaze.

Or shot into the sun.


Ringtail wrote:
Level adjustment?

Spell resistance is too powerful not to come with one, even with light blindness. I know the Bestiary doesn't list one, but it needed one just like the 3.5 version did.


Cheapy wrote:
Drow are just a bit more powerful than the core races, and are still fine for PCs.

Especially because that SR can often cause more a problem than it is worth- I'd avoid it as a PC.


Cheapy wrote:

LA went the way of the Dodo, dude.

Drow are just a bit more powerful than the core races, and are still fine for PCs.

Drow Nobles should be taken out into the sunlight and set ablaze.

Or shot into the sun.

With Spell Resistance, it should have kept the LA. Plus, that little bit of extra power causes a lot of angry yelling, at least at my gaming table. I think it needs just a bit of a nerf, and that's what I did.


The Emo Bard wrote:
Ringtail wrote:
Level adjustment?
Spell resistance is too powerful not to come with one, even with light blindness. I know the Bestiary doesn't list one, but it needed one just like the 3.5 version did.

It was just that you mentioned the level adjustment in your opening post as though it were a rule, which it isn't, and not a suggestion, that confused me


The Emo Bard wrote:
Ringtail wrote:
Level adjustment?
Spell resistance is too powerful not to come with one, even with light blindness. I know the Bestiary doesn't list one, but it needed one just like the 3.5 version did.

Actually, as a dwarf can get SR as an alternate racial feature thanks to the APG. I'm guessing the devs disagree with your position.

Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dragonsong wrote:
The Emo Bard wrote:
Ringtail wrote:
Level adjustment?
Spell resistance is too powerful not to come with one, even with light blindness. I know the Bestiary doesn't list one, but it needed one just like the 3.5 version did.
Actually, as a dwarf can get SR as an alternate racial feature thanks to the APG. I'm guessing the devs disagree with your position.

To be fair, if there's a race that is overpowered, it's the dorf.


Ringtail wrote:
The Emo Bard wrote:
Ringtail wrote:
Level adjustment?
Spell resistance is too powerful not to come with one, even with light blindness. I know the Bestiary doesn't list one, but it needed one just like the 3.5 version did.
It was just that you mentioned the level adjustment in your opening post as though it were a rule, which it isn't, and not a suggestion, that confused me

The OP has been fixed.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Emo Bard wrote:
Ringtail wrote:
Level adjustment?
Spell resistance is too powerful not to come with one, even with light blindness. I know the Bestiary doesn't list one, but it needed one just like the 3.5 version did.

SR sucks. It doesn't differentiate between friend and foe so if your buddy tries to help you out he has to pass it also. It also takes a standard action to drop it if you want him to get past it without having to roll the dice.

Another thing is that SR level+5 is not enough to make the bad guys really care, but when you really need that buff or cure......


The Emo Bard wrote:
Ringtail wrote:
Level adjustment?
Spell resistance is too powerful not to come with one, even with light blindness.

Is it? Frankly, I'd have the dwarven traits - either hardy or stubborn - in a heartbeat. The non-noble SR is not particularly reliable, except against wands or possibly traps - and due to it taking time to lower and raise it again, it is as likely to screw up getting a CLW as it is being hit by a hold person spell.

Well, if you want to keep this format, sure... although it seems a bit on the bland side. Note that as per the new Bestiary, 120 ft darkvision costs 3 rp - then again, the same book lists hardy as costing 1 rp, which should tell you something about the document and a given quantity of salt...


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cheapy wrote:
Dragonsong wrote:
The Emo Bard wrote:
Ringtail wrote:
Level adjustment?
Spell resistance is too powerful not to come with one, even with light blindness. I know the Bestiary doesn't list one, but it needed one just like the 3.5 version did.
Actually, as a dwarf can get SR as an alternate racial feature thanks to the APG. I'm guessing the devs disagree with your position.
To be fair, if there's a race that is overpowered, it's the dorf.

No way! Dwarves are the most perfect sentient a god ever placed upon the earth. In a fantasy game Chun from the Destroyer (AKA Remo Williams) would totally have been a dwarf.


wraithstrike wrote:
The Emo Bard wrote:
Ringtail wrote:
Level adjustment?
Spell resistance is too powerful not to come with one, even with light blindness. I know the Bestiary doesn't list one, but it needed one just like the 3.5 version did.

SR sucks. It doesn't differentiate between friend and foe so if your buddy tries to help you out he has to pass it also. It also takes a standard action to drop it if you want him to get past it without having to roll the dice.

Another thing is that SR level+5 is not enough to make the bad guys really care, but when you really need that buff or cure......

Whether it's overpowered or not, it'd still be nice to see it go.


The Emo Bard wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
The Emo Bard wrote:
Ringtail wrote:
Level adjustment?
Spell resistance is too powerful not to come with one, even with light blindness. I know the Bestiary doesn't list one, but it needed one just like the 3.5 version did.

SR sucks. It doesn't differentiate between friend and foe so if your buddy tries to help you out he has to pass it also. It also takes a standard action to drop it if you want him to get past it without having to roll the dice.

Another thing is that SR level+5 is not enough to make the bad guys really care, but when you really need that buff or cure......

Whether it's overpowered or not, it'd still be nice to see it go.

In your opinion, that may be that case and good luck with your RP drow I hope it makes your table happy, but I think a chunk of folks disagree I kind of like the idea of having to make tough choices about "passive" spell defenses the same way a Monk has to once they get SR as an RP issue.


I don't think Drow are overpowered. As other people have mentioned, SR is a double-edged sword, and it's only 6 + level, unlike the 11 + level they used to get. That means it works about 25% less often than it used to. Their darkvision is great, but light blindness makes up for it. Their other abilities really aren't much better than what other races get.

Another thing to keep in mind are the penalties that aren't written on paper. Drow are hated and feared by most of the common races. Few other races suffer as much prejudice as Drow.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
FallingIcicle wrote:


Another thing to keep in mind are the penalties that aren't written on paper. Drow are hated and feared by most of the common races. Few other races suffer as much prejudice as Drow.

Thought that is just campaign specific though.


The devs apparently did agree that Drow need a level adjustment of some sort, at least originally. Look at the sidebar on p406 of the PF CRB.

Racial spell resistance is a bad idea primarily because it scales with level, unlike your typical racial ability. Race as a whole is about having some front-loaded but diminishing benefit (the effect of your race typically diminishes quickly as your character level increases). Having a scaling benefit based on level breaks with that, giving a lasting benefit, and making any race that has that benefit better across the entire 20 level progression.

A static SR that doesn't scale with levels, but that can be improved with feats, would be smarter and more consistent.


VoodooMike wrote:
Having a scaling benefit based on level breaks with that, giving a lasting benefit, and making any race that has that benefit better across the entire 20 level progression.

You mean like humans?

Core Rulebook wrote:
Skilled: Humans gain an additional skill rank at first level and one additional rank whenever they gain a level.


Detect Magic wrote:
VoodooMike wrote:
Having a scaling benefit based on level breaks with that, giving a lasting benefit, and making any race that has that benefit better across the entire 20 level progression.

You mean like humans?

Core Rulebook wrote:
Skilled: Humans gain an additional skill rank at first level and one additional rank whenever they gain a level.

An extra skill point is a flat bonus, not a scaling bonus - it doesnt get better with time. It is the equivalent of having a one point higher intelligence modifier, but only for calculating skills per level.

Spell Resistance increasing with level means that spells cast by lower level enemies get progressively easier to resist. It represents a benefit that is not given to all characters (favoured class, for example, is something all races have, and can likewise give a bonus skill rank) and which gives a relevant in-combat bonus that scales to level. Barring modifiers like spell penetration, your chance to resist the spells of even-level opponents will stay the same as you gain levels - something that, unlike a flat bonus, doesn't lose its power as time goes on.

Had you wished to be clever with your quip, you might have used the bonus feat as the scaling benefit instead as it actually does represent something similar due to the fact that it can be used to qualify for higher feats on a tree at an earlier level than other classes, and that subsequent feats on that tree will each be taken earlier (assuming no other level-gating prerequisites). There's a reason the bonus feat of the player's choice is so popular.


VoodooMike wrote:


An extra skill point is a flat bonus, not a scaling bonus - it doesnt get better with time. It is the equivalent of having a one point higher intelligence modifier, but only for calculating skills per level.

No, not really. +2 to perception as a racial ability - that is a flat bonus, it never changes. At level 1, a human can have +1 to perception; at level 10 it would be +10 (or +2 to five skills) - a linear growth. The higher level you are, the more use you can get out of that ability.

Yes, it's how intelligence works for SPs and constitution and class work for HP.


Thanks to this thread I now have my players asking me if they can use the "Nerfed Drow" from the ARG playtest forums in my campaign.


Dragonsong wrote:
The Emo Bard wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
The Emo Bard wrote:
Ringtail wrote:
Level adjustment?
Spell resistance is too powerful not to come with one, even with light blindness. I know the Bestiary doesn't list one, but it needed one just like the 3.5 version did.

SR sucks. It doesn't differentiate between friend and foe so if your buddy tries to help you out he has to pass it also. It also takes a standard action to drop it if you want him to get past it without having to roll the dice.

Another thing is that SR level+5 is not enough to make the bad guys really care, but when you really need that buff or cure......

Whether it's overpowered or not, it'd still be nice to see it go.
In your opinion, that may be that case and good luck with your RP drow I hope it makes your table happy, but I think a chunk of folks disagree I kind of like the idea of having to make tough choices about "passive" spell defenses the same way a Monk has to once they get SR as an RP issue.

I give my monks the option of dropping SR when they get to that level. It is more of a hindrance IMO. If I played at Emo's table I would see the loss of SR as a boon, not a nerf.


wraithstrike wrote:
I give my monks the option of dropping SR when they get to that level. It is more of a hindrance IMO. If I played at Emo's table I would see the loss of SR as a boon, not a nerf.

Truthfully I can understand why folks would approach it that way, I might be one of those who took such an option if it was offered. I was more disagreeing with Emo's assessment about SR being "too powerful"


Suzaku wrote:
FallingIcicle wrote:


Another thing to keep in mind are the penalties that aren't written on paper. Drow are hated and feared by most of the common races. Few other races suffer as much prejudice as Drow.
Thought that is just campaign specific though.

I never seen a published setting with drow being anything but hated except Eberron. Even most homebrews don't have them in a positive light, as for the OP it may be a valid point if all drow are not evil.


Well I have no hassles with players rolling up a Drow. I guess as long as that player is comfortable staying out in the darkness well outside most of the civilised settings and have brought their PSP for all the downtime when the party is walking around town and the Drow can't be involved then thats fine.

Their choice of character will have consequences well outside of LA considerations and I think there's some balance there.


Nice buff.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Anyway regardless what the drow are in the campaign world, removing SR from the race is actually a buff for a pc race.


Suzaku wrote:
Anyway regardless what the drow are in the campaign world, removing SR from the race is actually a buff for a pc race.

Now, if you gave them harmful SR (SR vs harmful spells only) then removing SR would be bad.

Surrised no one gave this ability in 3.5/PF.


Hasmir Talari wrote:
No, not really. +2 to perception as a racial ability - that is a flat bonus, it never changes. At level 1, a human can have +1 to perception; at level 10 it would be +10 (or +2 to five skills) - a linear growth. The higher level you are, the more use you can get out of that ability.

Yes, really. Regardless of how you decide to look at the result of the flat bonus, it is still a flat bonus - the benefit is not scaling to the character's level, it is simply giving them one more skill point the same way favored class would, or having a higher flat intelligence bonus would, or having selected a class with more skill points would.

Likewise, it does not make the character better than any other character at the things he or she does choose to put the point into - the restrictions related to maximum rank still apply. It doesnt give the character a capability that they didn't already have (they were able to take skills, they just get to take one more). That +2 bonus to perception does, in fact, improve the character past what other races can do, but a skill point does not.

You can nickle-and-dime explain pretty much any bonus as scaling if you want to mince words, but if you can describe them in terms of a flat bonus then they probably are just that. That +2 flat bonus to perception can be described as always being two higher at every level, since the maximum perception bonus DOES go up every level due to the flat bonus.. but the bonus itself does not change.. yet the bonus is, itself, a flat +2 bonus. SR is 10+character level with the key being the + level part. That's a scaling bonus, and since it represents an ability that characters don't normally get, it can't be described in terms of a flat bonus.


VoodooMike wrote:
Detect Magic wrote:
VoodooMike wrote:
Having a scaling benefit based on level breaks with that, giving a lasting benefit, and making any race that has that benefit better across the entire 20 level progression.

You mean like humans?

Core Rulebook wrote:
Skilled: Humans gain an additional skill rank at first level and one additional rank whenever they gain a level.

An extra skill point is a flat bonus, not a scaling bonus - it doesnt get better with time. It is the equivalent of having a one point higher intelligence modifier, but only for calculating skills per level.

Spell Resistance increasing with level means that spells cast by lower level enemies get progressively easier to resist. It represents a benefit that is not given to all characters (favoured class, for example, is something all races have, and can likewise give a bonus skill rank) and which gives a relevant in-combat bonus that scales to level. Barring modifiers like spell penetration, your chance to resist the spells of even-level opponents will stay the same as you gain levels - something that, unlike a flat bonus, doesn't lose its power as time goes on.

Had you wished to be clever with your quip, you might have used the bonus feat as the scaling benefit instead as it actually does represent something similar due to the fact that it can be used to qualify for higher feats on a tree at an earlier level than other classes, and that subsequent feats on that tree will each be taken earlier (assuming no other level-gating prerequisites). There's a reason the bonus feat of the player's choice is so popular.

But it is a "flat" bonus, it's just subtle. Effectively, drow have a 30% chance (or less, depending on whether someone has Spell Penetration) to resist spells cast by a creature with a caster level equal to their character level. The scaling keeps that percentage consistent across all levels of play. If the value of a Drow's SR didn't increase with level, it would effectively decrease in effectiveness by 5% per level until it became completely worthless.

The Exchange

Pff. You want a "level playing field" dark elf? Just use the regular elf stats, change the skin color, and mope a lot about how you're an outcast rebel from your blah blah etc.

(Sorry... just being crabby. Go on with your bad selves.)


FallingIcicle wrote:
But it is a "flat" bonus, it's just subtle. Effectively, drow have a 30% chance (or less, depending on whether someone has Spell Penetration) to resist spells cast by a creature with a caster level equal to their character level. The scaling keeps that percentage consistent across all levels of play. If the value of a Drow's SR didn't increase with level, it would effectively decrease in effectiveness by 5% per level until it became completely worthless.

Too much quoting and not enough content. Yes, it would be of diminishing value like every other racial trait - a simple +2 bonus represents a progressively smaller portion of a total bonus, for example. Non-scaling SR would be no less useful against level 1 opponents when you were level 1 or level 20, it just wouldn't have a ton of utility against level 20 opponents, which is consistent with the front-loaded, temporary benfits of racial traits.

Maybe this is an easier way for you (and some others) to wrap their head around the difference between flat and scaling bonuses: what is the cost of a magic item that produces the same effect, at level 1, level 10, and level 20? For a +2 skill bonus the magic item will cost the same at all 3 levels. For +1 skill point per level you can price the item as being a +2 INT bonus with reduced utility, which again is an unchanging cost. For Spell Resistance 11, 21, and 31, the cost of a magic item changes dramatically - that's a scaling bonus.


VoodooMike wrote:


Too much quoting and not enough content. Yes, it would be of diminishing value like every other racial trait - a simple +2 bonus represents a progressively smaller portion of a total bonus, for example. Non-scaling SR would be no less useful against level 1 opponents when you were level 1 or level 20, it just wouldn't have a ton of utility against level 20 opponents, which is consistent with the front-loaded, temporary benfits of racial traits.

Maybe this is an easier way for you (and some others) to wrap their head around the difference between flat and scaling bonuses: what is the cost of a magic item that produces the same effect, at level 1, level 10, and level 20? For a +2 skill bonus the magic item will cost the same at all 3 levels. For +1 skill point per level you can price the item as being a +2 INT bonus with reduced utility, which again is an unchanging cost. For Spell Resistance 11, 21, and 31, the cost of a magic item changes dramatically - that's a scaling bonus.

Now don't be rude, I can "wrap my head around it" just fine. As for the magic item comparison you make, number bonuses scale exponentially in price as well. A +2 magic sword is not merely twice as much money as a +1 sword, it's eight times as much, even though it's the same difference in power over a +1 weapon that a +1 weapon is over an ordinary one (a +1 difference on your attack and damage rolls). Magic items scale in price this way because of the way that player characters are assumed to accumulate wealth, and to also simulate the rarity of higher powered magic items over weaker ones. The same is true of characters, btw, 20th level characters are very scarce compared to level 1 characters!

Imagaine, for the sake of argument, that a race had a special ability that improved the effective enchantment bonus of any weapon it wields by +2. Obviously, the effective gp value of that benefit would increase the more powerful the weapon you have, but it's still the same difference to your character's power and effectiveness at level 20 when wielding a +5 weapon that it was at level 1 when wielding an ordinary weapon. In either case, your character is getting a +2 to hit and damage.

Skill bonuses are really no different in this regard. A person with a +2 Perception will always be 2 points better at it than he otherwise would be, whether he has 1 rank in that skill or 20. Likewise, a drow is able to resist spells cast by an equal level character about 30% of the time, whether he is level 1 or level 20. A skill bonus NEVER becomes useless because of character leveling. Why should a Drow's SR?


FallingIcicle wrote:
Now don't be rude, I can "wrap my head around it" just fine. As for the magic item comparison you make, number bonuses scale exponentially in price as well. A +2 magic sword is not merely twice as much money as a +1 sword, it's eight times as much, even though it's the same difference in power over a +1 weapon that a +1 weapon is over an ordinary one (a +1 difference on your attack and damage rolls). Magic items scale in price this way because of the way that player characters are assumed to accumulate wealth, and to also simulate the rarity of higher powered magic items over weaker ones. The same is true of characters, btw, 20th level characters are very scarce compared to level 1 characters!

You say you get it, but then proceed to demonstrate that you do not. The cost of the bonuses does not change from level to level - the fact that higher bonuses cost more when making a magic item is irrelevant to that fact. A +2 bonus has a flat cost, a bonus that increases over time does not, its cost scales as it increases. Everything you say after complaining that I'm rude and that you get it, is entirely irrelevant to this.

FallingIcicle wrote:
Imagaine, for the sake of argument, that a race had a special ability that improved the effective enchantment bonus of any weapon it wields by +2. Obviously, the effective gp value of that benefit would increase the more powerful the weapon you have, but it's still the same difference to your character's power and effectiveness at level 20 when wielding a +5 weapon that it was at level 1 when wielding an ordinary weapon. In either case, your character is getting a +2 to hit and damage.

Obtuse hand-waving. The cost of a single item is based on the abilities of that item, not on the sum of the benefits of all items that similarly contribute to the same total bonus. This is why there are modifier types, most of which do not stack. Your thought experiment about a racial ability that somehow bypasses non-stacking enhancement bonuses is not relevant.

FallingIcicle wrote:
Skill bonuses are really no different in this regard. A person with a +2 Perception will always be 2 points better at it than he otherwise would be, whether he has 1 rank in that skill or 20. Likewise, a drow is able to resist spells cast by an equal level character about 30% of the time, whether he is level 1 or level 20. A skill bonus NEVER becomes useless because of character leveling. Why should a Drow's SR?

Because SR is not considered to have a flat value. If we convert a race's benefits into a cost as though they were one or more magic items then the typical core race has a static value at level 1 that remains the same throughout character progression. A race that has scaling benefits cannot be assigned a flat value independent of character level - the value increases with the character level - thus the race that has a scaling value is not balanced against races that have a flat value.

A character, from a mechanical/numbers standpoint, can be seen as a pool of finite resources that, in theory, balances out against other characters at similar progression points. The basic forms of resources for a character are Feats, Class Benefits, and Equipment - things that are spent in different areas, but which are designed to more or less balance against those same expenditures by other players. The initial character has (typically) an identical point buy which allows the player to assign stats to suit their initial character concept, and a race choice which gives some up front benefits that, for core races, diminish in importance and utility quickly as the character advances in levels. Race is, in many ways, like getting a fancy magic item at level 1 that helps you through your early adventuring career but which gets eclipsed by other available resources as you grow.

When a race has a scaling benefit the overall resources involved in the character increases beyond the initial balance as the levels go on. At level 1, the character may have the same converted gold piece value as all other level 1 characters, but the divide increases with each level relative to fellow characters of a race that lacks the scaling benefit.

The ultimate point is this - value balance would require that scaling benefits come with a scaling character resource cost such that the overall value of characters remains even. An example would be a static spell resistance at level 1, but one that could be increased by spending feats during character progression should the player choose.


If the value of X increases then it scales.

If the value does not increase then it is not scaling.

As an example a flat tax is the same for everyone, but if you pay more money because you make more money then the tax is scaled.

SR increases as character level increases which would go hand in hand with the increasing taxes per wealth example.

The human ability to get an additional skill point also scales since it increases by level. If you only got one extra skill point no matter how many character levels you had then it would be a flat bonus.

Something being prorated(X increases incrementally with Y) does not mean it does not scale.


wraithstrike wrote:
The human ability to get an additional skill point also scales since it increases by level. If you only got one extra skill point no matter how many character levels you had then it would be a flat bonus.

It represents a flat value because it would cost a flat amount to gain the benefit in terms of the aformentioned resources. An item that gave a flat +2 Int bonus would give you +1 skill point per level, and the cost for that item would not change between levels. In terms of the ARG, the +2 int bonus would indisputably cost the same amount of RP regardless of other factors.

The same cannot be said for SR 11, SR 21, and SR 31. This is true if you price out a magic item to accomplish the task - the value expressed as gold pieces (for lack of a better medium) changes depending on the SR number, but does not change when, say, the +2 CON bonus the item gives provides +20 hp at level 20 as compared to +1 at level 1.

Lets try to avoid arguments about the definition of words that involve divorcing them from the specific context.

Liberty's Edge

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So you're saying that an ability that says "Gain skill points equal to your level" doesn't scale with level but "gain spell resistance equal to your level" does? Seriously?

And comparing the skill point to a headband of intellect doesn't work, as the headband can only grant levels in a single skill (the skill point can be placed in a different skill every level) and the headband won't stack with itself (ie. I can wear a headband and get its skill point while grabbing my skill point from being human).

Truth is, spell resistance is a powerful ability, some of the time. Other times, its a PITA.


VoodooMike wrote:


An item that gave a flat +2 Int bonus would give you +1 skill point per level, and the cost for that item would not change between levels.

I was under the impression that items or enchantments that boost your Int don't give you bonus skill points. I know that this was the case in 3.X but its one of those little things I never checked in PF. Is this the case?


I'd rather have a bonus to saving throws against magi than SR.

just me

Liberty's Edge

Skaorn wrote:
VoodooMike wrote:


An item that gave a flat +2 Int bonus would give you +1 skill point per level, and the cost for that item would not change between levels.

I was under the impression that items or enchantments that boost your Int don't give you bonus skill points. I know that this was the case in 3.X but its one of those little things I never checked in PF. Is this the case?

They do provide skill points now. In pathfinder an item that raises intellect should have a number of skills associated with it. Those skills gain the points the intelligence bump provides. If those skills already have points, then the points get wasted.


VoodooMike wrote:
You say you get it, but then proceed to demonstrate that you do not.

Let me try and put this as simply as possible for you. The simple fact of the matter is that all of the other racial bonuses you are comparing this to are just as valuable at level 20 as they are at level 1. If you had your way, a Drow's spell resistance would become completely worthless beyond level 6. That's just not right.


i think we should stop comparing to magic items.

as Voodoomike said himself, it's not the total sum of the abilities that determine the value. it's the value of the item itself.

spell resistance equal to 6+level is a drawback more than a benefit. i see it as a scaling penalty.

your spell resistance scales. but that wand the cleric taps you with doesn't.

every level, it becomes harder for the wand to heal you.

Did you Know?

that the majority of post combat healing comes from low level wands?

another truth

most spellcasting foes use thier own spells to harm the party. meaning the 30% failure in combat is effectively always 30%.

i have never seen a baddy with a combat oriented wand. they typically use more "Disposable" goods.


Skaorn wrote:
I was under the impression that items or enchantments that boost your Int don't give you bonus skill points.

Regardless of whether that is or is not the case, when pricing out a magic item's cost for that ability, you would almost always do it in that fashion - by looking at it as an item that gives +2 intellect with a limitation on what it applies its bonus to. If you were doing it as a 3.X item you could also price it as an item that gives you a feat (there are feats from 3.X that give +1 skill point per level). In either case, it'd be a flat cost item.

ShadowcatX wrote:
So you're saying that an ability that says "Gain skill points equal to your level" doesn't scale with level but "gain spell resistance equal to your level" does? Seriously?

Yes, that's seriously what I'm saying. An item that gives +2 CON has a flat cost regardless of what level the creator or user of the item happens to be, but the effect will be "Gain hit points equal to your level" among others. The cost of an item that provides SR changes depending on how much SR it provides.

Steelfiredragon wrote:
I'd rather have a bonus to saving throws against magi than SR.

Not relevant at all to the topic, but I'll certainly say that a flat bonus to saving throws against spells and supernatural abilities would be a better design for a PC race - straight up unchanging bonuses represent a non-scaling ability, which is what racial abilities should be if they lack further development costs.

FallingIcicle wrote:
Let me try and put this as simply as possible for you. The simple fact of the matter is that all of the other racial bonuses you are comparing this to are just as valuable at level 20 as they are at level 1. If you had your way, a Drow's spell resistance would become completely worthless beyond level 6. That's just not right.

A +1 bonus to hit at level 1 represents a much larger overall bonus than it does at level 20. Why? Because other to hit bonuses will eclipse that bonus.. ie the character's BAB, feat based bonuses, enhancement bonuses, and so on. The static bonuses diminish in value as the character advances in levels because it represents a lower proportion of resource-based benefit. Beyond a certain character level (we can use 6 as well) the bonus could be lost and you'd barely notice, while it was a big help at level 1. That's how racial abilities should be working.

Scaling SR means that the benefit never diminishes relative to other contributions - your chance to resist a spell cast by a level 3 enemy actually goes up over time, unlike that +1 to hit bonus. To make them comparable, that to hit bonus would have to increase as the character level increased.

As to SR 6 being "totally useless" at level 6, that isn't true - it is no less effective against the enemies that were faced at level 1 than it was previously, it just becomes less useful against the progressively harder enemies that you will face in levels to come. If the character wants to spend feats to increase the SR so it doesn't become less useful, then that's peachy - it will represent an expenditure of development resources to make up for the increasing value of the ability.

Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
spell resistance equal to 6+level is a drawback more than a benefit. i see it as a scaling penalty.

The item creation guide doesn't agree with you - SR has a progressively higher cost as you increase the amount an item provides, rather than some sort of overall discount. Of course, you're also the guy that felt adding the Advanced template (+4 to all stats) to your character didn't warrant a level adjustment..

Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
Did you Know?

...that SR can be lowered by any creature that possesses it, making it no drawback at all, especially for post-combat recovery?


if i recall correctly that advanced template thing was a special circumstance. it was a high powered campaign that had PCs playing monstrous races, like pseudodragons.

by spending that standard action reducing your spell resistance. you are slowing your companions down. making the objective take longer. same Reason Weekly William's group has a don't take 20 policy.

i beleive there are 2 ways to balance out advanced.

1 make your first class level a racial hit die or npc class

2 start a level behind the others or start with an XP debt.


Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
if i recall correctly that advanced template thing was a special circumstance. it was a high powered campaign that had PCs playing monstrous races, like pseudodragons.

Which would be a great excuse to be using a character that included a level adjustment, but doesn't really explain away not feeling that the template warrants one.

Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
by spending that standard action reducing your spell resistance. you are slowing your companions down. making the objective take longer. same Reason Weekly William's group has a don't take 20 policy.

Standard actions don't slow parties down in non-combat situations (such as recovery/downtime) because they aren't tracked when micromanaging time is no longer a factor. In fact, an individual character's standard action will, at worst, slow that character down in a combat situation by exactly one standard action. herp derp..

Shuriken Nekogami wrote:

i beleive there are 2 ways to balance out advanced.

1 make your first class level a racial hit die or npc class

2 start a level behind the others or start with an XP debt.

So +4 to all stats and +2 to natural armor is LA+1 (if that) as far as you're concerned? QED.

CR and CR adjustment are not synonymous with ECL and LA - characters and monsters are not interchangeable without completely destroying any hope of balance between characters and campaign content.


sorry, but i just don't see a class that actually uses every stat in a meaningful way.

i know it helps martials more than it does casters. and there are more things that synergize besides stats. the class that truly benefits most from +4 to all stats is the monk, and the monk only truly cares about 4 of those 6. most classes only need one main stat for damage.

the reason i see +4 to all stats as +1 LA, is because, you won't meaningfully benefit from all 6. especially when most classes care about 1 offensive stat and the same 2 defensive ones. the natural armor is just icing. in most cases, 6 +4's is just as good as 3 synergistic +4's. and i consider 3 synergistic +4's +1 L.A when stacked on top of a base race like human or something.

the loss of a level in your main class means a whole lot more than it used to.


With the advent of the Races playtest, the rules may change, but as they currently stand Mike, +1 CR IS +1 LA (that can be partially bought off at that!)

The advanced template is a 'decent' 'level.' Not great by any means, but decent enough to potentially compete with a martial level. For certain character concepts I might go with it, but those are fairly few and far between (mostly multi-class concepts that need lots of stats.)

For what it's worth, I've played two campaigns with this rule in place, and it's working pretty well.

NOTE: I should point out that none thus far have desired the Advanced template in comparison to other options available. We do have one Mineral Warrior though.


Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
sorry, but i just don't see a class that actually uses every stat in a meaningful way.

+4 to all stats and +2 natural armor turns into +2 to all rolls, +2 to all DCs and all Saves, +2 hp per level, and +4 overall to AC. I'm quite certain that all classes can benefit from that just fine and, in fact, benfit from it very nicely especially at lower levels. A caster may not gain access to higher level spells, but will certainly gain access to plenty more bonus spells with their casting stat going up by 4.

From your past threads it is pretty obvious to me that you're a ridiculous powergamer that has spent a lot of time downplaying, to GMs, the benefits you try to heap on your characters. I note that, despite all this downplaying, you don't seem disinterested in having those benefits-you-claim-aren't-really-benefits.

kyrt-ryder wrote:
With the advent of the Races playtest, the rules may change, but as they currently stand Mike, +1 CR IS +1 LA (that can be partially bought off at that!)

To say +1 CR is +1 LA is the same as saying 1 CR = 1 Character level, and that has never been the case. Even in 3.0 you needed to sum hit dice and LA (which itself was just an eyeballed, abstract number) to find the ECL for a given monster, rather than just using the CR to determine it. Paizo handwaved things in the bestiary by saying you can apply CR as a LA, but even in the CRB (as mentioned above) they didn't apply that method when discussing the use of powerful races in a campaign.

Monsters are not something that can be interchanged with characters. Monsters are obstacles, like locked doors and traps. Most monsters are, at their heart, one-trick ponies that have a really nasty trick or two that prey upon the vulnerabilities of basic characters, but which can be overcome by the versatility of character classes in a group. When you put monsters in the role of character, they have less versatility, but their inherent trick(s) are things that other campaign obstacles are often not able to deal with.

Now, are we really going to totally drop the original topic to argue about this tangent exclusively? I'd be happy to take the LA/CR equivalency debate to its own thread if you two feel it necessary to continue.


i may be a powergamer at heart. and i am quite aware of the inflated importance of attributes at the low levels. but that is because you have fewer bonuses to work with.

when you get to levels 6-10 and further onward, the bonuses you gain from attributes matter a lot less than the effects you gain from real class levels.

even if we forget the capstone. look at how delaying yourself access to other class based milestones are,

you have less overall feats and skill points, and you don't get the benefits to everything. +2 HP per level, there is a certain point where bonus hit points stop becoming important and become redundantly excessive. there is a point where investing further in damage no longer helps you because you can kill everything in one round. there becomes a point where further armor class becomes pointless because nothing can hit you short of a natual 20. there becomes a point where it's worthless to invest further in a saving throw because you effectively autopass every major roll with that save.

you call me ridiculous. i see the Advanced template as worth giving up around a single level. i don't say it should be free. the delay in class progression is enough of a penalty.

there are other things that will provide more benefit than an extra bonus that will eventually become redundant.

if you have someone you should ask about balance, it's a powergamer, they are the people that stretch the limits of the system. i have shared the occasional bit of advice with the occasional newbie.

if you accuse me of downplaying attributes, which become a bonus of progressively decreasing importance, i accuse you of inflating thier value.

if one PC outshines the others most of the time, it's not a problem with the PC, it's a problem with patterns developed in the DM's playstyle. players will eventually learn a DM's patterns and optimize based on the patterns they see.

i would never pick a race with spell resistance. and i would never Pick a race with a speed less than that of a human.

my differences from a traditional power gamer

unlike most "power gamers" i have an aversion to heavy armor, and an aversion to excessive reliance on a single schtick.

most "power gamers" load up thier main equipment as best they can. i try to carry different backup weapons for different purposes. and i will dip another class if it gives me an interesting secondary schtick i cannot do with the main class.

i even pick up the bonus skill point over the bonus hit point most of the time.

most "Nonhuman" races are built for set niches. i honestly don't see the problem with building a race to a specific niche, the problem i see is when the race goes overboard with it's niche.

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