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What do you want to see fixed in Pathfinder?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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I have been thinking about skills in general. I dont really agree with the intimidate based on charisma deal but at the same time I know that intimidation is not ALL about flexing muscles. for that reason I think that instead of attaching a universal stat bonus to a skill no matter how its used why not use the relevant stat bonus depending on how your using the skill.

for example..

a person who is trying to duck, dodge and flip past an enemy may use an acrobatics check based on D20 + skill ranks and other bonuses + dex modifier.

however a person trying to jump over a gap would use D20 + skill ranks and bonuses + dex modifier.

A man trying to intimidate a thug using a grim stare and intimidating movements may use a Str modifier.

a man trying to intimidate through more subtle means may use a Cha modifier.

the examples of different possible modifications to the use of skills is almost endless. The GM simply applies the appropriate bonuses or bonus options for a given situation and the player uses the one that works best in the situation. In fact the results of a success or failure may be based on the skill used.

a person who failes an intimidate based on Cha may be able to back out of the action (fail) without further insult. while a person who fails using STR may not be able to fail without causing major insult and appropriate consequences.

Note: this is not an extension of the intimidation argument. this applies to almost all skills. There are times where wisdom would be a much better steath modifier than dex, or when a high endurance makes Con a better measure of some ones ability to tread water for a long time than Str.


blue_the_wolf wrote:

Wraith I agree with the opposed intimidate checks also.

I only agree if you can let both sides be shaken.


So blue, you use opposed intimidate instead of intimidate versus 10+hit die+wisdom mod?

Thereby, if a character has no or a weak intimidate, they are easy to intimidate?

So a wise old powerful cleric, a diplomatic very skilled swordsman and a ranger jobber without intimidate are easily scared?

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2013

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blue_the_wolf wrote:


I have been thinking about skills in general. I dont really agree with the intimidate based on charisma deal but at the same time I know that intimidation is not ALL about flexing muscles.

Remember Charisma isn't just about pretty. Charisma is about how you are about to bend others (and even the forces of nature if you are a charisma caster) to your will.

The Dos Equis guy isn't the prettiest guy in the world, he is the most interesting.

Napoleon wasn't physically imposing, but he could get a group of men to exorcise his will.

"Charisma measures a character's personality, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and appearance."

Appearance is last on the list, if you think about it.


3.5 Loyalist wrote:

So blue, you use opposed intimidate instead of intimidate versus 10+hit die+wisdom mod?

Thereby, if a character has no or a weak intimidate, they are easy to intimidate?

So a wise old powerful cleric, a diplomatic very skilled swordsman and a ranger jobber without intimidate are easily scared?

no... more like in cirtain circumstances a person can basically counter intimidate.

its totally a situational thing and works in two ways.

In one way if the characters walk up on a guard and try to intimidate him into letting them pass I let them roll... then I roll an intimidate check of the boss against the guard even if the boss is not present. If the bosses intimidate is higher (with modifiers) the guard may be intimidated by the party but MORE afraid of what the boss will do if he lets the party pass.

The second option is if two guys walk into a room and try to intimidate each other its essentially the one who gets the intimidate first can auto win on a roll. the targets stats have almost no effect on how they are affected by the intimidators effectiveness.

however in some situations I will allow the target to counter intimidate. Depending on the situation the higher score may get a sort of situational bonus against the other.

for example. if you walk up to a bad guy in a bar and intimidate him with some kind of threat... he may look up from his drink, grit his teeth and inform you that this bar isnt big enough for the two of you, doing a counter intimidation. in fact I think its possible to have an entire encounter that consists primarily of a battle of wills using intimidate, bluff or diplomacy in order to defeat the opponent without ever drawing swords. of course one party or the other MAY draw weapons but that may lead to entirely different consequences.


ciretose wrote:
blue_the_wolf wrote:


I have been thinking about skills in general. I dont really agree with the intimidate based on charisma deal but at the same time I know that intimidation is not ALL about flexing muscles.

Remember Charisma isn't just about pretty. Charisma is about how you are about to bend others (and even the forces of nature if you are a charisma caster) to your will.

The Dos Equis guy isn't the prettiest guy in the world, he is the most interesting.

Napoleon wasn't physically imposing, but he could get a group of men to exorcise his will.

"Charisma measures a character's personality, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and appearance."

Appearance is last on the list, if you think about it.

The charisma argument is silly because the stat systems in RPGs are too limited.

take dexterity for example. Why does dexterity make you react faster? does the ability to manipulate small things like computer parts make you inherently able to do flips and throw accurately? does a person who is funny automatically have an ability to brow beat a room into submission?

Thats why I am no longer continuing the argument about Str vs Cha when it comes to intimidation. not because I believe that one side is correct, but because I believe that neither side is wrong. Its an argument that cant be resolved because while I dont think the other side is right in general, I accept that all of their points are valid. I am sure that if they think about it reasonably they would have to admit the same, because both physical and mental characteristics effect intimidation in the real world.


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I'd like to see the combat maneuver system fixed. A stirge has a touch armor class of 16. It also has a combat maneuver defense of 9. That means it is far harder for someone to touch a stirge than to wrestle it to the ground (which one would assume involves touching the target). A couple of other examples include the quasit with a 14 touch armor class and a 12 combat maneuver defense, and the imp with a 16 and a 15 respectively.


haha. good one ringtail

Shadow Lodge

blue_the_wolf wrote:
The charisma argument is silly because the stat systems in RPGs are too limited.

While I agree that the stats are too limited, I don't think this one holds any water. In my opinion, Cha is the perfect choice, followed by Wis, then Int, then Con maybe. Str doesn't really even enter into to be honest, with the single exception of the combat Intimidate, which is iffy.

That being said, I wouldn't mind seeing the ability score divorced from the Skill, and all skills are essentually open to whatever ability score makes most sense at the time. Climbing a might be based off of Str or Con, depending on what you are doing. I also would mind seeing another stat or two add. Appearance, completely seperate from Cha may or may not be a good idea (yes I have that book too).

I would like to see Undead treated as a little more unique, particularly a little resistance to Sneak Attack braught back. I've never liked that change. But, I don't see that one happeing.


blue_the_wolf wrote:
haha. good one ringtail

I just want to take a moment to expand upon the problem with the grapple maneuver and tiny creatures.

Most tiny creatures have a natural reach of 0 feet. If I grapple a tiny creature it is moved to an adjacent square if it isn't in one already. Because a tiny creature can't attack into an adjacent square, it is unable to reach me, despite wrestling with me, so it can't attack. In fact, starting a grapple normally provokes attacks of oppurtunity, however, since tiny creatures can't reach you it can't take that attack; there is no problem with attmempting it without the relevent feats. In nearly all situations it is a great idea for a wizard to attempt to grapple a stirge and/or imp/quasit that is entering its square to attack and prevent himself from having his blooddrained or being poison because even though you are in contact, the tiny creature can't reach you. With the +5 to maintain the grapple and pin, it becomes nearly impossible for even a 1st level wizard to fail pinning a stirge with its sad, sad combat maneuver defense of 9.

Silver Crusade

"Devil's Advocate" wrote:
blue_the_wolf wrote:
The charisma argument is silly because the stat systems in RPGs are too limited.

While I agree that the stats are too limited, I don't think this one holds any water. In my opinion, Cha is the perfect choice, followed by Wis, then Int, then Con maybe. Str doesn't really even enter into to be honest, with the single exception of the combat Intimidate, which is iffy.

That being said, I wouldn't mind seeing the ability score divorced from the Skill, and all skills are essentually open to whatever ability score makes most sense at the time. Climbing a might be based off of Str or Con, depending on what you are doing. I also would mind seeing another stat or two add. Appearance, completely seperate from Cha may or may not be a good idea (yes I have that book too).

I would like to see Undead treated as a little more unique, particularly a little resistance to Sneak Attack braught back. I've never liked that change. But, I don't see that one happeing.

I have always thought that D&D/Pathfinder needed a "Luck" stat.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

The AoO on the grapple attempt is due to the grappler reaching into the target's square, the same as unarmed strikes without IUS. Otherwise, agreed.


Ah, of course. Still not a bad choice. If I cared enough to fix it I'd probably just put in the qualifier: "When initiating a grapple manuever your combat maneuver check must equal or exceed the target's combat maneuver defense or its touch AC, whichever is higher. Maintaining a pin is always against combat maneuver defense."

In fact, if I played more PF and less 3.5 I'd probably implement that,


"Devil's Advocate" wrote:


While I agree that the stats are too limited, I don't think this one holds any water. In my opinion, Cha is the perfect choice, followed by Wis, then Int, then Con maybe. Str doesn't really even enter into to be honest, with the single exception of the combat Intimidate, which is iffy.

EDIT: I wrote this LONG and in depth, totally respectful, explanation of my beliefs and realized that its pointless.

like i said its arguable on both sides just like I can make the argument that climbing a rock should be based on having the intelligence to do it right rather than just brute strength.

the point is I KNOW i am not wrong. but then again you have valid points too. just because I find your points flawed does not mean they are not valid.

so

/shrug/ I agree to disagree.


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Actually in real life the effect of charisma vs size would vary from person to person, and other factors would be included.

I am not intimidated by size. I have seen too many big men that can't fight. Some people just buck authority so even people who know how to home in on a weakness have no effect if they try to threaten that person.


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cranewings wrote:

I get ciretose's point. People on these boards bring up expendable magic items as if they come standard and you always have them, which is how the incense thing came off.

I've never played a wizard that had much spare cash for scrolls, let alone big ticket expendables.

heh, like that only happens with "expendable" magic items on these boards.

I wish they could fix that. Players not expecting magic item shops with full inventory at every place they walk into.

Of course, that's a community problem, not a design one. And even that's debatable.

I guess I wish they made the core rules for magic item creation and acquisition more difficult. Home games are still going to rule it however they want, but at least then official product won't make it seem like every merchant has to sell magic items so they aren't just scattering the floor where customers walk.

"Take these +6 gauntlets of strength off my hand, so i can stop using them as doorknockers, thanks"

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kakitamike wrote:
cranewings wrote:

I get ciretose's point. People on these boards bring up expendable magic items as if they come standard and you always have them, which is how the incense thing came off.

I've never played a wizard that had much spare cash for scrolls, let alone big ticket expendables.

heh, like that only happens with "expendable" magic items on these boards.

I wish they could fix that. Players not expecting magic item shops with full inventory at every place they walk into.

Of course, that's a community problem, not a design one. And even that's debatable.

I guess I wish they made the core rules for magic item creation and acquisition more difficult. Home games are still going to rule it however they want, but at least then official product won't make it seem like every merchant has to sell magic items so they aren't just scattering the floor where customers walk.

"Take these +6 gauntlets of strength off my hand, so i can stop using them as doorknockers, thanks"

The DMG has me afraid to put cities in my campaigns because the players then ask me how big the city is, then they reference the DMG if I tell them it's a large city, then they start telling me there should be X amount of items. Yes it is a guideline but some people tend to think that just because it's in the corebook it's supposed to be used that way.


shallowsoul wrote:
Yes it is a guideline but some people tend to think that just because it's in the corebook it's supposed to be used that way.

That's my point. Why I said they should make it way harder and scarcer in the core rules. My guess is they make it easy and pile it everywhere because they feel like they have to compete with the video game audience.


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What would I like to see fixed with Pathfinder?

All the people who play it that cannot see past the rules they can/cannot exploit. I would change them into roleplayers - not roll-players.

These forums are full of players who want to min-max until the rules break from stress, and GM's who don't have a backbone sufficient to the job of supporting the movement in their lower jaw as they say 'NO' to their munchkin players.

As a GM - if you find a player exploiting and not roleplaying then don't give them XP - they aren't roleplaying and don't deserve any.

If you have a GM who cannot say no to you regardless of the outrageousness of what you ask for - then show some integrity and don't ask.

The Pathfinder rules are just FINE if people do not take the piss. A decent GM of any stripe can run an entire campaign without having to refer to these forums for a solution even once - most of the queries and suggestions here are no-brainers considering that a campaign is run by the GM and therefore subject to his/her decisions on balance et al.

If the phrases 'optimised build' and 'monty haul' are what you like to hear - stay away from any game run by anyone I know.... you will get nowhere!


Kakitamike wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Yes it is a guideline but some people tend to think that just because it's in the corebook it's supposed to be used that way.
That's my point. Why I said they should make it way harder and scarcer in the core rules. My guess is they make it easy and pile it everywhere because they feel like they have to compete with the video game audience.

You can't stop player's from thinking a certain way, but as a DM, you can decide how scarce or rare magic items are. You can change the stats for cities. Really, this is basic DM stuff.

Any game I run, I state up front things like magic item rarity(unique and uncraftable, common as bread, etc), frequency of combat, average difficulty of said combat(casual, hardcore war-mode, etc), etc. I've run games with no magic items at all, and the players still had a blast.

Everything between those book covers are just guidelines. If your player's wont agree to play a game you want to run a certain way, you can try to find a middle ground or run for different people.

Shadow Lodge

Caliburn101 wrote:

What would I like to see fixed with Pathfinder?

All the people who play it that cannot see past the rules they can/cannot exploit. I would change them into roleplayers - not roll-players.

These forums are full of players who want to min-max until the rules break from stress, and GM's who don't have a backbone sufficient to the job of supporting the movement in their lower jaw as they say 'NO' to their munchkin players.

As a GM - if you find a player exploiting and not roleplaying then don't give them XP - they aren't roleplaying and don't deserve any.

I'd probably go the oposite and change it so that your rp reasonings do not matter if you do not have the various traits and stats to justify it. No mattee how great <you think> your background is, or why it should justify you being a prophecied unknown mystery noble heir to the thrones and true prince with an heiloom weapon that's actually a +5 sword of badassness that levels up like you do, you are not getting any xp until you deserve it by actully playing the stats your character sheet says you have, not the ones you added in your head. . .

Shadow Lodge

Josh M. wrote:
Kakitamike wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Yes it is a guideline but some people tend to think that just because it's in the corebook it's supposed to be used that way.
That's my point. Why I said they should make it way harder and scarcer in the core rules. My guess is they make it easy and pile it everywhere because they feel like they have to compete with the video game audience.

You can't stop player's from thinking a certain way, but as a DM, you can decide how scarce or rare magic items are. You can change the stats for cities. Really, this is basic DM stuff.

. . .

Everything between those book covers are just guidelines. If your player's wont agree to play a game you want to run a certain way, you can try to find a middle ground or run for different people.

Guidelines give everyone an idea of how the world works. It's a bit rediculous to think that DM's have some sort of special priveledge. If the players are asking for these things, a good DM should realize that that is a hint that they are telling you what sort of game they want. What things they would like to see more of. It's also a good time to start to consider setting aside your idea and working with them to make everyone happy at the table, or at least a little moreso. :)

Stating up front is one thing, but once it's into the game, DM's need to realize all those things they complain of are doubley true for them, and that the only power they have is what the players allow them to have, not the other way around.


By all means, work with the players so that everyone(DM included) is having fun and enjoying the experience. But don't sit back and let players run over you, either. If you campaign does not have items of X value available for purchase in town, stand by that. If you don't want Y item in your game, then that's your call and the players need to respect that. Goes both ways.

Silver Crusade

I think there is something that people need to realize and it's the fact that player's are going to either play your game or not. Now if you are like most groups you have been playing with these same people for a while now. I can tell you from my own experience that I will propose my game and I will tell people what it's about and what I require, even though they all know what I require anyway because we have been playing together so long and if they don't like that then they will vote not to play. I mean it doesn't get any easier than that but if they do say yes then they have agreed to play in the game that "I" designed and if I designed the game to where magic items won't be crafted like cars on an assembly line then they will know to be cautious.

I, as a DM, are allowed to run games the way I want them to run and players have the right to say no before hand if they want to play like that or not.

Shadow Lodge

I agree, if a few things are true. 1.) it is talked about and agreed on before hand. 2.) you are both consistant with your ideas, and it does not begin to interfere with assumptions about the games setting, and 3.) it is fair all around. In your case, then monsters and NPC's had better not have those magic items either. So that's one thing, and I agree with that.

If I play in Ravenloft, then I can expect for some horror and horrific things to occure and for some things I can't control to take place for the sake of the story. For the same reasons.

But, there are a lot more bad GM stories, (and they often include "experienced" DM's) than there are poor groups stories, I think. It seems people are mor einclined to accept the victimization of the DM and blame poor players than to accept that DM's can make not poor, but outright terrible choices and demand that thier view is right, when it is not, (regardless of if they are the DM or not).


Ravenloft is my bread and butter :) I've had players specifically request I run it, despite me trying to get away and trying to run a different setting. When players play in my Ravenloft games, they know to expect magic items to be rare, and death to be creeping just around the corner. I almost consider it it's own game, separate from D&D because of how we play it. But, I digress.

Shadow Lodge

Ravenloft is a great setting. I love DL a little bit more, but Ravenloft is a very close second.


shallowsoul wrote:
Kakitamike wrote:
cranewings wrote:

I get ciretose's point. People on these boards bring up expendable magic items as if they come standard and you always have them, which is how the incense thing came off.

I've never played a wizard that had much spare cash for scrolls, let alone big ticket expendables.

heh, like that only happens with "expendable" magic items on these boards.

I wish they could fix that. Players not expecting magic item shops with full inventory at every place they walk into.

Of course, that's a community problem, not a design one. And even that's debatable.

I guess I wish they made the core rules for magic item creation and acquisition more difficult. Home games are still going to rule it however they want, but at least then official product won't make it seem like every merchant has to sell magic items so they aren't just scattering the floor where customers walk.

"Take these +6 gauntlets of strength off my hand, so i can stop using them as doorknockers, thanks"

The DMG has me afraid to put cities in my campaigns because the players then ask me how big the city is, then they reference the DMG if I tell them it's a large city, then they start telling me there should be X amount of items. Yes it is a guideline but some people tend to think that just because it's in the corebook it's supposed to be used that way.

Normally I don't allow mic and I don't have magic stores. Because I have 4 players out of six that only just started gaming, for this their second campaign im allowing them to buy anything they can afford. There reactions run from not caring to finding it really stupid, but I want them to play it once raw with community assumptions so they know what it is. I'll personally never run it this way again.


shallowsoul wrote:
Kakitamike wrote:
cranewings wrote:

I get ciretose's point. People on these boards bring up expendable magic items as if they come standard and you always have them, which is how the incense thing came off.

I've never played a wizard that had much spare cash for scrolls, let alone big ticket expendables.

heh, like that only happens with "expendable" magic items on these boards.

I wish they could fix that. Players not expecting magic item shops with full inventory at every place they walk into.

Of course, that's a community problem, not a design one. And even that's debatable.

I guess I wish they made the core rules for magic item creation and acquisition more difficult. Home games are still going to rule it however they want, but at least then official product won't make it seem like every merchant has to sell magic items so they aren't just scattering the floor where customers walk.

"Take these +6 gauntlets of strength off my hand, so i can stop using them as doorknockers, thanks"

The DMG has me afraid to put cities in my campaigns because the players then ask me how big the city is, then they reference the DMG if I tell them it's a large city, then they start telling me there should be X amount of items. Yes it is a guideline but some people tend to think that just because it's in the corebook it's supposed to be used that way.

Put them in contested and dangerous bad lands. Far from cities.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Some people do really not realise that changing what they see as a problem would make PF into 4e...


MicMan wrote:
Some people do really not realise that changing what they see as a problem would make PF into 4e...

I agree, but many people don't like being told "Go play something else..." especially after they may have already dropped a lot of money on a game. Sad part is, just playing something else would probably fix a lot of their issues.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Some people do not realize that you can change a game without making it into 4e.


MicMan wrote:
Some people do really not realise that changing what they see as a problem would make PF into 4e...

What do you mean?

To what do you refer, that blanket statement sounds like trolling, just sayin.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Josh M. wrote:
MicMan wrote:
Some people do really not realise that changing what they see as a problem would make PF into 4e...
I agree, but many people don't like being told "Go play something else..." especially after they may have already dropped a lot of money on a game. Sad part is, just playing something else would probably fix a lot of their issues.

People say that like another game would suit the person perfectly. Too bad all games have there problems.

If I dropped 100 bucks on this game's two main books, I'm going to use them. Changing rules is a hobbie, not rocket science. It isn't like the Paizo writers are anything special. Most gamers who have been playing for a while could write game rules if they didn't have anything better to do.

What I don't get are people who have time to be naysayers on these boards, but think changing game rules is such a massive undertaking no one should try. Just play something else! Your preferences were perfectly predicted by this other product!


Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Maps, Modules, Tales Subscriber
cranewings wrote:
Josh M. wrote:
MicMan wrote:
Some people do really not realise that changing what they see as a problem would make PF into 4e...
I agree, but many people don't like being told "Go play something else..." especially after they may have already dropped a lot of money on a game. Sad part is, just playing something else would probably fix a lot of their issues.

People say that like another game would suit the person perfectly. Too bad all games have there problems.

If I dropped 100 bucks on this game's two main books, I'm going to use them. Changing rules is a hobbie, not rocket science. It isn't like the Paizo writers are anything special. Most gamers who have been playing for a while could write game rules if they didn't have anything better to do.

What I don't get are people who have time to be naysayers on these boards, but think changing game rules is such a massive undertaking no one should try. Just play something else! Your preferences were perfectly predicted by this other product!

I agree with the sentiment you express here (go play something else is hardly going to solve the problem of "The game I'm playing isn't perfect"). Nonetheless, I think the Paizo writers (and editors, developers, publishers, artists, etcetera...) are something special. It's always seemed to me that, as a group, RPG fans grossly overestimate their own abilities at game design and grossly underestimate the skill and talent of those who manage to make a living at it for many years.

Ultimately, I'm agreeing with you that suggesting alternate rules shouldnt be seen as such a grievous sin - but I think one should recognise that Paizo produce something special and a huge proportion of their recipe for success is the unusual degree of talent amongst the people doing it.

EDIT: This isnt as off-topic as it sounds, since there are quite often threads where posters will repeatedly declare some facet of the game 'broken', 'unbalanced' or something similar and insist that the developers didnt understand what they were doing or didnt think through the consequences. Then the aggrieved fan will continue explaining how they are correct even when their points are addressed by the people who wrote the rules.

Chances are, if you have an opinion which seems to be contrary to an expert's view - you're wrong. One shouldnt abandon one's principles, of course. But it's worth taking a breath and reconsidering.

....End of rant (sorry about that, not sure where it came from).


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Give all the classes more skill points, push the base up to 4. This is especially bad for Fighter and Cleric with their measly 2 skill points a level.

Liberty's Edge

Goblins. They reproduce far too quickly.

Neutered, spayed, don't care, just fix 'em.


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I'd like a d20/pathfinder incarnation which doesn't depend upon magic items. Now, I'm not saying that they ought to be done away with... just that they not be required (and thus common place; I'd prefer they were rare and often unique).

I'm of the opinion that the character should be a badass with or without the sword of uber-cool.

So, basically: removal of all +1 items and the like, while keeping property items like "flaming."

Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Netherek wrote:
What do you mean? To what do you refer, that blanket statement sounds like trolling, just sayin.

You are right, although these things have been said before many times:

The shism between 4e and PF is mainly because of three differences: "the rules should always trump the narrative", "classes should be very balanced" and "the game should always be fair".

The result of all three is pretty much the difference between PF and 4e and in this WotC actually closely listened to their players (if only a vocal minority) and made a good game for this audience and this audience ONLY, which was a mistake, according to Mike Mearls, that they wish to remedy in 5e.

So while TOZ is right that you can change, for example, SoD/SoS without making PF into 4e, many people do not realize how small the ledge is that you walk on when doing changes like this.

On fairness:

Spoiler:
In 4e a Succubus can not reliably Dominate anyone for more than a few seconds. It gets ridiculous when you realize that the Succubus (and really every other monster/PC too) also can not reliably Dominate/Influence a 1st level Commoner for more than a few seconds.

This is fair!

On balance:

Spoiler:
In 4e characters are pretty close to each other in powers. Do a bit more damage, shift, take an extra attack, hinder an enemy, grant a boon, almost all classes can do all of the above to varying degrees.

So it doesn't matter at all if you have a Wizard or a Ranger in your group as the combat will play out pretty much the same and even outside of combat both can have almost the same capabilities.

This is certainly balanced!

On rules trumping narrative:

Spoiler:
This is the thing that I object to the most and the real reason I do not like 4e.

Look to the priest in 4e. At low level he can not magically heal commoners because he can only heal people who have healing surges and commoners don't.

4e is full of these things where PCs and classed NPCs can suddenly not affect the world outside the combat round all that much. I guess this could have been alleviated with Rituals, but it wasn't, so the intend was clear: 4e is a game that takes place mainly during the combat round (or skill challenges) and this is what the rules are for. The published modules reinforced this notion.

Now, unless you want to houserule and GM fiat extensively these rules trump the narrative in a spectacular way (as seen in the above example with the succubus).

This however provides a very easy playing field for the GM as the PCs are unlikely to mess with the world too much outside of combat!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
MicMan wrote:

On fairness:

Spoiler:
In 4e a Succubus can not reliably Dominate anyone for more than a few seconds. It gets ridiculous when you realize that the Succubus (and really every other monster/PC too) also can not reliably Dominate/Influence a 1st level Commoner for more than a few seconds.

Spoiler:
This is where I wish 4e had been more explicit on how monster and NPC powers work. I believe a monsters stat blocks list the abilities of a foe that are a) likely to be used in combat (i.e. they are not an exhaustive list of all the NPC's abilities) and b) they are written up in how they affect PCs (i.e the protagonists); NPCs on the other hand unless in combat can be affected more strongly and / or for longer than PCs can be. At least that is how I run things.
MicMan wrote:

On balance:

Spoiler:
In 4e characters are pretty close to each other in powers. Do a bit more damage, shift, take an extra attack, hinder an enemy, grant a boon, almost all classes can do all of the above to varying degrees.

Spoiler:
To varying degrees indeed - quite significantly varying degrees between roles (i.e. yes a striker can perform somewhat similar to another striker, but fairly different to a controller). That for me means classes do play differently.

MicMan wrote:

On rules trumping narrative:

Spoiler:

Look to the priest in 4e. At low level he can not magically heal commoners because he can only heal people who have healing surges and commoners don't.

Spoiler:

Actually as a general rule NPCs and MOnsters have 1 Healing Surge at HEroic Tier, 2 at Paragon Tier and 3 at Epic Tier (per PHB p293). So some healing is possible.

But in general I think 4e needs a different mindset to make it work well. Rather than Rules trumping Narrative with 4e Narrative can trump rules - a Succubus can dominate the town mayor for a week if that is what the narrative demands, a priest can heal an NPC if that is what the narrative demands.

It is in this way that PF and 4e are pretty diametrically opposed - for PF rules come first, narrative is secondary, but for 4e narrative comes first with rules coming secondary. Which is rather ironic considering 4e gets slated as not being a real roleplaying game but instead a tabletop wargame by a few people.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Tales Subscriber
DigitalMage wrote:
MicMan wrote:

On fairness:

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

MicMan wrote:

On balance:

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

MicMan wrote:

On rules trumping narrative:

** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **...

You and I both play 4e very similar. I also agree that the BIGGEST failing of 4e is not expanding on how monsters/powers work out of combat, and not against PCs. Clearly by RAW a succubus cannot dominate anyone for any length of time in 4e, but also equally clear is the narrative imperative that they should be able to so when they need to. Therefore against anyone other than the PCs the succubus should be able to do what the story needs. Does any DND adventure every have the town mayor making their save?

As you say this design approach (which is incredibly badly explained in the rulebooks) is quite different to PF/3.5.

So what I wish to be fixed for Pathfinder is to have a very rules light core baseline that is completely PF, but can fit into a single book (something like they started with the Beginner Box). I cannot describe how much I would love a Pathfinder basic with most of the bloat (3.5 derived) removed, and a way to back convert APs and modules.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

In 4e and in PF the Succubus can Dominate the town mayor if narrative demands.

Only in PF it's actually in the rules and in 4e it is bending the rules to your whim which many players resent.

So in 4e the narrative HAS to come before the rules because the rules disallow so many things for the sake of balanced combat.

Long story short: if someone wants to "fix" PF, he should realise that it isn't broken at all.


And how is it not broken, then? Not broken in terms of mechanics, or narrative?


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Tales Subscriber
MicMan wrote:

In 4e and in PF the Succubus can Dominate the town mayor if narrative demands.

Only in PF it's actually in the rules and in 4e it is bending the rules to your whim which many players resent.

So in 4e the narrative HAS to come before the rules because the rules disallow so many things for the sake of balanced combat.

Long story short: if someone wants to "fix" PF, he should realise that it isn't broken at all.

I respectfully disagree. PF has many areas that do not suit some peoples roleplaying style. I am glad it works for you, it does not for me. How about in 4e if the rulebook said specifically, monster powers work against NPCs as the GM sees fit. Would that be better or worse for your style?

Play some games like Prince Valiant, Dogs in the Vineyard, Burning Wheel or Mouse Guard and you will find games where so called "GM fiat" (more correctly collaborative storytelling) is encouraged, and hard and fast rules are not required to make a fun game. 4e DND went somewhat towards that style of game, and I liked it. And so do my players, all of which have over 25 years roleplaying experience which could qualify us for Grognard status.

Again, I would love a more rules light PF system that allowed more creative space between the density of its rule system.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Alan_Beven wrote:
I respectfully disagree.

Imho there is no need to disagree as we both want the same. You can play 4e just as PF or any other game.

It is just that many players don't see it that way when a game gives incredibly detailed rules about combat and then say that out of combat nothing of this is actually like it.

Also, if I may quote you, you said that is was 4e biggest failure that it did not explain how the powers worked outside of combat (which I fully agree with).

This, however, would mean more rules, not less, and I think you would arrive to where PF is now quite fast.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Icyshadow wrote:
And how is it not broken, then? Not broken in terms of mechanics, or narrative?

Bait me you will :).

Take the adventure paths. How often does the narrative contradict the rules for the sake of the story and how often would you need resort to "the DM may do as he wishes" rule to portray the plot of the APs when playing 4e?


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Some people do not realize that you can change a game without making it into 4e.

I completely agree! My main group over the course of 3e's lifespan simply houseruled what we didn't like. When 4e(and PF to a lesser extent) came along, many of us simply weren't interested, because we had the fantasy RPG we wanted already in hand.

But, I've seen people who have a laundry list of complaints about one system, with most of those issues having been addressed by another system. In that case, they may be better off giving the other system a try.


MicMan wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
And how is it not broken, then? Not broken in terms of mechanics, or narrative?

Bait me you will :).

Take the adventure paths. How often does the narrative contradict the rules for the sake of the story and how often would you need resort to "the DM may do as he wishes" rule to portray the plot of the APs when playing 4e?

And how does that make it "broken", if you will?

I think broken when I see someone make Meepo in 3.5e, not that "the rules say the DM can't do this or that" even when the rules do that in both PF AND 4e.


cranewings wrote:
Josh M. wrote:
MicMan wrote:
Some people do really not realise that changing what they see as a problem would make PF into 4e...
I agree, but many people don't like being told "Go play something else..." especially after they may have already dropped a lot of money on a game. Sad part is, just playing something else would probably fix a lot of their issues.

People say that like another game would suit the person perfectly. Too bad all games have there problems.

If I dropped 100 bucks on this game's two main books, I'm going to use them. Changing rules is a hobbie, not rocket science. It isn't like the Paizo writers are anything special. Most gamers who have been playing for a while could write game rules if they didn't have anything better to do.

What I don't get are people who have time to be naysayers on these boards, but think changing game rules is such a massive undertaking no one should try. Just play something else! Your preferences were perfectly predicted by this other product!

I didn't say that at all. The word "perfect" was used by you, not me. No system is perfect. No two gamers are 100% alike. But, some systems fit a certain type of gamer better than others. I've bought gaming books that I later regretted, and never used. Oh well. Lesson learned. I bought 4e early on, sight-unseen, and after a reading through I did not like what I saw, and rarely ever used it.

Forcing yourself to use a book you don't like, simply because you paid for it, doesn't sound very fun to me.

One of my best friends, and longest running gaming buddies, always had complaints about 3e, even back when we were playing 5-7 different 3e campaigns a week. He played, we had fun, but he was never 100% into it. 4e came along, and it fit him like a glove. That does not make either system better or worse at all, but the style of play, focus of rules, etc cater better to some players more than others.

Changing game rules is no big deal for most players. Reinventing an entire system instead of just trying something else, just seems like a lot of extra work. No problem with that, some people love improving rules and fixing things. Some people don't. Not everyone exactly wants to reshape an entire edition; they'd rather just play something that's more their style.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
MicMan wrote:

Also, if I may quote you, you said that is was 4e biggest failure that it did not explain how the powers worked outside of combat (which I fully agree with).

This, however, would mean more rules, not less, and I think you would arrive to where PF is now quite fast.

Not necessarily, it may be enough to simply have more text explaining that the stat blocks of monsters and NPCs purely presents the information the GM needs to hand to play the foe in combat with the PCs, and isn't an exhaustive list of talents.

Back that up with some suggested extra "plot device abilities" that work at GM discretion, and possibly even a general advice on how those abilities may be countered*, e.g. by skill challenges, and that may be all you need.

Basically 4e needs more advice up front on how the rules are best used, and the paradigm shift some people may need to go through to get the most out of the system.

*I can see how if teh PCs discovered the mayor was dominated the PCs may have to undergo a skill challenge to try to break that control - using skills like Diplomacy, Intimidate, Religion and Arcana with possible auto successes added for using spells such as Magic Circle.

MicMan wrote:
Take the adventure paths. How often does the narrative contradict the rules for the sake of the story and how often would you need resort to "the DM may do as he wishes" rule to portray the plot of the APs when playing 4e?

Probably never as I imagine Paizo make sure to write APs to line up with their rules.

However, playing devil's advocate, one way that the expected narrative of a fantasy adventure may break down in PF is when a PC - the protagonist of the story - gets dominated for a whole day due to a single failed save.

Having that PC sit on the sidelines or start scooping up handfuls of gold while the succubus and her minions continue to savage the other PCs may provide a narrative that isn't traditionally expected, possibly even changing the tone of the game from high adventure where the PCs are big damn heroes, to one of fatallistic struggle where the PCs are inconsequential, just one in a long line of would be heroes end up dead or slaves to the evil powers.

An extreme example, but done to highlight a potential issue with PCs and NPCs being governed by the same set of rules.

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