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High-level wizards are balanced - IF you sandbag like crazy!


Serpent's Skull

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So, I'm running Serpent's Skull, and I just started book 5. I decide to check out the pregens in book 6, to see what the Paizo idea of a level 15 party is.

The wizard has 2 8th level spells memorized. Iron Body, and Polar Ray. Whisky. Tango. Foxtrot. This is not sandbagging, this is stuffing rabid badgers don your pants.

Let's take Polar Ray first, as it's merely very bad. One ray, ranged touch, 15d6 cold damage and 1d4 Dex drain. The Dex drain is a terrible debuff, he will never be able to drop an enemy with it and it's one, maybe two points of AC and reflex. Also, 15d6 to one target after an attack roll is super dork lame. He's got a +6 ranged touch attack; the first 3 monsters I find in the book are touch AC 17, touch AC 13 but randomly immune to cold, and touch ac 17 again. That's 11+; a 50% chance for his highest level spell to do nothing, even assuming optimal conditions (cover, firing into melee etc).

The guy could seriously be casting Quickened, Empowered scorching ray for swift action 3*6d6 instead, out of the same spell slot. And that would be bad too, but straight up better by a mile.

Now, the other spell. Iron Body. It's a transformation spell, personal range, 1 minute per level. Right off the bat, it gives him a 35% arcane spell failure chance. And he doesn't have any bypass for that, so let's assume that he intends to melee after casting it. He even has Arcane trike to buff his melee attacks. And hey, he has Bulls strength and shield memorized, let's assume he's pre-buffed with those too.

Now, he has an AC of 18, DR 15/adamantine, 89 HP. He has a speed of 15' (and doesn't fly), and a full-attack routine of....+10/+5, 1d6+8.

The rest of his spell selection is merely bad, but these two are jaw-droppingly terrible.

Andoran

The iconics as presented in the APs were...pretty bad generally. I mean, this isn't a "Them screwing the Wizard." issue...it's a "Wow, those characters are really unoptimized." issue. Have you looked at Valeros or Merisiel in the same book?

I mean, Merisiel is wearing studded leather armor, for God's sake (foregoing the +7 or so to her AC from Celestial Chainmail for no good reason) while Valeros foregoes Full Plate with a similar disregard for optimization, and Two-Weapon Fights with two different weapons, without even picking up Weapon Focus or Specialization for one of them.

And those are just giving them a quick once-over. Just look at their Feat lists for more evidence.

You want to complain that the Iconics as presented in the APS were extremely unoptimized? By all means. You say the Wizard is the only one? I'm afraid I must disagree.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Part of the reason we quit putting the pregenerated iconics in there is precisely because of this reaction.

I'm actually not at all interested in trying to make the most over-the-top numbercrunched optimized characters... be it in a game I'm running or as sample PCs. Partially because it's kind of soul-numbing, but also because it's pretty hard to sift through every possible spell option and try to perfect a stat block that, in the case of those sample PCs, is being done at the last minute anyway.

In fact, we often picked spells for the PCs based ENTIRELY on the length of the spell, since too many long-named spells would make the spells prepared not fit in the space we had available. In other cases, we'd pick spells (and feats and the like) that might not be "optimized" for a specific build, but are the perfect feats for that particular character.

For example as well... Merisiel is wearing studded leather armor because that's what she's wearing in her artwork.

The iconic stat blocks had FAR more masters to serve than the "Optimization Master." to the extent that serving the "Optimization Master" was never on the to-do list in the first place.

AKA: Those pregenerated characters are NOT intended to be optimized, but folks who want or expect them to be get worked up and therefore threads like these start up. So we quit doing it.

If you're looking for a better representation to how we build high-level wizards, a better place to look than the prebuilt PCs is to any high-level wizard NPCs in the adventure. Of course... those are built as NPCs with specific story goals and requirements their stats must serve first before any other master... and they've got worse stats than most PCs most of the time, so maybe not.


Deadman is correct.

Andoran

For reference, I don't personally have that much of a problem with the AP characters being less than perfectly optimized. Indeed, perfect optimization would likely be fairly boring.

I do tend to think that (likely due to the time pressures mentioned) the AP pre-gens went a bit too much in the other direction, though.

But any commentary on the decision not to worry about their level of optimization wasn't the intent of my original post, anyway. I was basically just responding to the idea that Ezren in particular was being made less effective in an effort to 'balance the Wizard' or some such thing. Which is clearly not the case looking at his compatriots.


Quote:
And he doesn't have any bypass for that

Except casting it on a dragon form 3 (wich he doesn't have, I know) polymorphed familiar. I don't have Ezren stats, and IIRC his familiar is a weasel, but iron body is not a poor spell. He just needs to be smart to use it, good thing he is a wizard.

Polar ray also have its uses, and I rarely use it to deal damage to creatures (I happen to cast it from a scroll only but whatever).
If your point is that Ezren is no more powerfull than an equivalent level martial character, I will have to disagree. He is still a wizard, and as such can have any arcane spell in the game on a scroll.

Besides, not every encounter are about killing someone on the spot.


As the topic is talking about iconics, I have a question for James :

I'm playing the Kingmaker and after the death of my previous character, I'm now playing an elven fighter/rogue who is the leader of a mercenray company and is hired as marshal by the other PCs. To buid my mercenary company, I decided to take the Leadership feat without a cohort for the moment. My company is composed of hirelings and my followers. To ease the things, I took the iconics as followers.

A few days ago, I tried to get stat blocks for each of them and I searched their characters sheets in the pathfinders I own plus on the website and I noticed one thing : in each case, they never have the same stat blocks : feats, abilities, spells are slightly different.

So James, does each of you give his own version of an iconic when you write in a pathfinder ?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Noir le Lotus wrote:

As the topic is talking about iconics, I have a question for James :

I'm playing the Kingmaker and after the death of my previous character, I'm now playing an elven fighter/rogue who is the leader of a mercenray company and is hired as marshal by the other PCs. To buid my mercenary company, I decided to take the Leadership feat without a cohort for the moment. My company is composed of hirelings and my followers. To ease the things, I took the iconics as followers.

A few days ago, I tried to get stat blocks for each of them and I searched their characters sheets in the pathfinders I own plus on the website and I noticed one thing : in each case, they never have the same stat blocks : feats, abilities, spells are slightly different.

So James, does each of you give his own version of an iconic when you write in a pathfinder ?

The iconics have different stat blocks because they were built differently each time for several reasons...

1) We switched game systems

2) The levels required were different

3) We switched layout programs and had to rebuild things

4) They were almost always things we whipped together at the last minute, usually on the day we were shipping the volume

5) Deliberate change so that we'd drive home the fact that there's NOT "one true stat block" for any iconic—the fact that they can change and DO change is a strength, because that way if, Heavens forbid, Paizo makes one not good enough, we or someone else can perhaps some day print one that's better without it being that big a deal

In any event, the primary reason we put their stats in there for as long as we did was because people saw the cool art and wanted to know what the numbers were. Once that started turning into some sort of annoying "Paizo can't create characters for their own game" thing... the decision was to drop the stat blocks rather than to spend the time it would take to make them better. Mostly because we have 100 units of time to make a month's volume of Pathfinder, and the 2 time units we were using on those iconics go a lot longer when they're used on any other part of the book.

And yes... it's a sore subject.


James Jacobs wrote:
Noir le Lotus wrote:

As the topic is talking about iconics, I have a question for James :

I'm playing the Kingmaker and after the death of my previous character, I'm now playing an elven fighter/rogue who is the leader of a mercenray company and is hired as marshal by the other PCs. To buid my mercenary company, I decided to take the Leadership feat without a cohort for the moment. My company is composed of hirelings and my followers. To ease the things, I took the iconics as followers.

A few days ago, I tried to get stat blocks for each of them and I searched their characters sheets in the pathfinders I own plus on the website and I noticed one thing : in each case, they never have the same stat blocks : feats, abilities, spells are slightly different.

So James, does each of you give his own version of an iconic when you write in a pathfinder ?

The iconics have different stat blocks because they were built differently each time for several reasons...

1) We switched game systems

2) The levels required were different

3) We switched layout programs and had to rebuild things

4) They were almost always things we whipped together at the last minute, usually on the day we were shipping the volume

5) Deliberate change so that we'd drive home the fact that there's NOT "one true stat block" for any iconic—the fact that they can change and DO change is a strength, because that way if, Heavens forbid, Paizo makes one not good enough, we or someone else can perhaps some day print one that's better without it being that big a deal

In any event, the primary reason we put their stats in there for as long as we did was because people saw the cool art and wanted to know what the numbers were. Once that started turning into some sort of annoying "Paizo can't create characters for their own game" thing... the decision was to drop the stat blocks rather than to spend the time it would take to make them better. Mostly because we have 100 units of time to make a month's volume of Pathfinder,...

1, 2, and 3 make sense.

4 is kind of a so what? No one expects you to make each iconic an example of pure Mary Sue, but it still doesn't take you as much time as you are intimating to make a character. Particularly if you use PC Gen or Hero Lab (I'd frankly expect the kind of people you hire to make these adventure paths to have mastered BOTH of those programs since they are so widely used by your customers).

5 is kind of a "really" kind of thing. You really think that's plausible? I can build a version of Valeros, Merisiel, or Seoni in about 5 minutes that makes sense, if I have something like Hero Lab to take care of the numbers for me. I can make one in 15 minutes in I have to do the math by hand, but I won't guarantee I didn't make an error in math or something else along the way.

Take an example like Valeros. It's not even Char Op at this point, but everyone knows two weapon fighting only makes sense if you use the same weapon in both hands, so you can get maximum use from your feats. Everyone knows you have to stack as many damage modifiers as you can on that weapon.

Everyone also knows about will saves and fighters and 3.5/Pathfinder. Iron Will and probably Improved Iron Will HAVE to be in every build, along with those Gloves of Dueling.

It's pretty basic at this point.

If you find somehow that this is too much work, you could easily farm out the builds to the RPG superstar section on this forum. I'm willing to bet for the simple act of putting "Valeros by Joe Smith of Peoria, ILL" at the top of the block you will get more good builds for free than you know what to do with.

You haven't touched it in this thread, but your page saving argument makes more sense. But since we are talking about one page, I'm kind of not buying that.

Silver Crusade

11 people marked this as a favorite.

Optimization ruins more than just games, it seems. ;)

This is why we can't have nice things.

Grand Lodge

9 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I'm going to spin a view from the other side.

I'm glad that the pregens were not paragons of perfection designed to please the Theorycrafting Number Crunching Gods of Olympic DPR. It gives me a sense that the AP's were not designed with Min-Maxing PC's as the expected standard, and that I can tell my players that they actually have more freedom to design their characters than what's allowed at a WOW Raiding Guild.

In retrospect , I also see that eliminating the iconic pregens was a wise if unforunately warranted move thanks to the incredibly vocal minority who are the reason we can't have certain nice things.

You don't like pregens as they are? Don't use them or modify them to your taste. I think at this juncture there's no way we'll ever see them back again unless an unforeseeable change occurs within the climate of this venue.

Silver Crusade

12 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
sunbeam wrote:

Take an example like Valeros. It's not even Char Op at this point, but everyone knows two weapon fighting only makes sense if you use the same weapon in both hands, so you can get maximum use from your feats. Everyone knows you have to stack as many damage modifiers as you can on that weapon.

Everyone also knows about will saves and fighters and 3.5/Pathfinder. Iron Will and probably Improved Iron Will HAVE to be in every build, along with those Gloves of Dueling.

So if I have a player in my game that has a Fighter without Iron Will and GoD am I to ram forks into their eyes, set them on fire and throw them out of the window because they duh, don't deserve to breathe or something? Hint: I have 2 such players in different groups I run.

Look, it's your "everyone" argument flying away. :)


I don't know how to answer that.

Do you avoid using spells that have will saves on your players or something?

Shadow Lodge

7 people marked this as a favorite.

I had a character who didn't take Power Attack until 6th level. Am I a bad person?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
sunbeam wrote:

I don't know how to answer that.

Do you avoid using spells that have will saves on your players or something?

You know... even fighters with Iron Will can fail Will saves. It's part of the occupational hazards of rolling one.

But then again even clerics with 18 wisdom have been known to fail such a save as well.... it happens.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TOZ wrote:
I had a character who didn't take Power Attack until 6th level. Am I a bad person?

My 7th level Cavlier still hasn't. Sure, he does crap for damage, but that isn't why I made him.

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
sunbeam wrote:

I don't know how to answer that.

Do you avoid using spells that have will saves on your players or something?

Nope, it seems like I'm actually playing this game instead of wondering if my PC will solo 10 Erinyes and whose mother must be called out if he won't.

Andoran

6 people marked this as a favorite.

So what if they're not optimized? Who are you to tell people how they have to build their characters? Pre-generated pcs are an option. If you don't like them, don't use them, it is that simple.

Make no mistake, I help out with optimization when I have a bit of free time to kill on the boards, I enjoy it. And I enjoy optimized pcs, but that is NOT the only way to play the game. Nor should it be. Nor should it be the Paizo sponsored way to play the game.

I swear to gods, if people don't have something to complain about they're just not happy.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
sunbeam wrote:

Take an example like Valeros. It's not even Char Op at this point, but everyone knows two weapon fighting only makes sense if you use the same weapon in both hands, so you can get maximum use from your feats. Everyone knows you have to stack as many damage modifiers as you can on that weapon.

Except then you are violating what James said about why Merisiel doesn't have Celestial Armor. Valeros is drawn with 2 different length swords. Therefore, he gets 2 different swords in his stat block. Art and optimization can conflict, and not everyone needs to be optimized.


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sunbeam wrote:

Take an example like Valeros. It's not even Char Op at this point, but everyone knows two weapon fighting only makes sense if you use the same weapon in both hands, so you can get maximum use from your feats. Everyone knows you have to stack as many damage modifiers as you can on that weapon.

Everyone also knows about will saves and fighters and 3.5/Pathfinder. Iron Will and probably Improved Iron Will HAVE to be in every build, along with those Gloves of Dueling.

This has to be a joke. I find it hard to believe a majority of people play the game this way or that it is expected behavior by most groups.

Do you just give the "Gloves of Dueling" out at first level or do they automatically show up at a later level? Do players complain when the "Gloves of Dueling" are not in the first treasure pile or available for purchase at any shops? Weird. I’m not even sure what "Gloves of Dueling" are or what they do.

BTW, I’m glad the iconic stat blocks are gone. I’d rather have the page count for other things.


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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
sunbeam wrote:
<snip> "Everyone" <snip>

I don't think that word means what you think that it means...

Your cited MUST HAVES haven't even been a blip on the radar in the campaigns I run.

Optimization is a choice, not a requirement. In my experience, when it becomes the goal rather than a role-playing tool, bad things happen to games.

Oh, and we use 15-pt buy for Characters as well. Just thought I'd let you know before you say "everyone uses Epic pt-buy for PCs". ;)


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
sunbeam wrote:

I don't know how to answer that.

Do you avoid using spells that have will saves on your players or something?

Nope, it seems like I'm actually playing this game instead of wondering if my PC will solo 10 Erinyes and whose mother must be called out if he won't.

Bingo.

Silver Crusade

Gorbacz wrote:
sunbeam wrote:

I don't know how to answer that.

Do you avoid using spells that have will saves on your players or something?

Nope, it seems like I'm actually playing this game instead of wondering if my PC will solo 10 Erinyes and whose mother must be called out if he won't.

Amen. Gorb, you are quickly becoming my fave poster here.

Shadow Lodge

Gorbacz wrote:
sunbeam wrote:

Take an example like Valeros. It's not even Char Op at this point, but everyone knows two weapon fighting only makes sense if you use the same weapon in both hands, so you can get maximum use from your feats. Everyone knows you have to stack as many damage modifiers as you can on that weapon.

Everyone also knows about will saves and fighters and 3.5/Pathfinder. Iron Will and probably Improved Iron Will HAVE to be in every build, along with those Gloves of Dueling.

So if I have a player in my game that has a Fighter without Iron Will and GoD am I to ram forks into their eyes, set them on fire and throw them out of the window because they duh, don't deserve to breathe or something? Hint: I have 2 such players in different groups I run.

I love playing fighters, and while I do generally grab Iron Will, and maybe Improved Iron Will, I will right now admit that without looking it up (which I'm not going to bother doing), I have no clue what exactly Gloves of Dueling actually do.


Tell you guys what.

Roll up some characters. I don't really care what level.

Let's take an encounter from the Adventure Paths that is significant.

I'll run the encounter and use what I consider to be intelligent tactics.

I really like the Clocktower in Magnimar from the Skinsaw Murders, and I actually have that Pathfinder.

Now, let me get this straight, you guys are saying roleplayers don't take Iron Will right? Because that makes as much sense as the rest of what you guys are saying.

I'm kind of looking forward to using that Lamia Matriarch against you guys.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
sunbeam wrote:

Tell you guys what.

Roll up some characters. I don't really care what level.

Let's take an encounter from the Adventure Paths that is significant.

I'll run the encounter and use what I consider to be intelligent tactics.

I really like the Clocktower in Magnimar from the Skinsaw Murders, and I actually have that Pathfinder.

Now, let me get this straight, you guys are saying roleplayers don't take Iron Will right? Because that makes as much sense as the rest of what you guys are saying.

I'm kind of looking forward to using that Lamia Matriarch against you guys.

Sure. But, I charge 20 USD per hour. Also, since you're throwing mud my way, I'll have to charge extra 10 for having to bear your presence. I accept cheques, sadly no VISA/Mastercard.


Gloves of Dueling are a wondrous item from the APG that increase your weapon training by 2 plus a few other things.

Certainly a very useful item for a fighter but I really find them bland : just another item that gives your fighter more bonus to att/dmg.

Andoran

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

Tell you guys what.

Roll up some characters. I don't really care what level.

Let's take an encounter from the Adventure Paths that is significant.

I'll run the encounter and use what I consider to be intelligent tactics.

What purpose would that serve?

sunbeam wrote:

I really like the Clocktower in Magnimar from the Skinsaw Murders, and I actually have that Pathfinder.

Now, let me get this straight, you guys are saying roleplayers don't take Iron Will right? Because that makes as much sense as the rest of what you guys are saying.

I'm kind of looking forward to using that Lamia Matriarch against you guys.

Where did anyone say what feats anyone takes? I don't think anyone has made claims about what groups do what.

Wait, someone said something about Iron Will being in every build. But he was proven wrong.

Shadow Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Winter_Born wrote:
Gorb, you are quickly becoming my fave poster here.

Must. Post. HARDER.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
sunbeam wrote:

Tell you guys what.

Roll up some characters. I don't really care what level.

Let's take an encounter from the Adventure Paths that is significant.

I'll run the encounter and use what I consider to be intelligent tactics.

I really like the Clocktower in Magnimar from the Skinsaw Murders, and I actually have that Pathfinder.

Now, let me get this straight, you guys are saying roleplayers don't take Iron Will right? Because that makes as much sense as the rest of what you guys are saying.

I'm kind of looking forward to using that Lamia Matriarch against you guys.

What if my character is unusually susceptible to mental manipulation due to a low self-esteem and lack of social interaction from a childhood spent in work camps for half-orc orphans? Am I still required to take "Iron Will"?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
sunbeam wrote:

Tell you guys what.

Roll up some characters. I don't really care what level.

Let's take an encounter from the Adventure Paths that is significant.

I'll run the encounter and use what I consider to be intelligent tactics.

I really like the Clocktower in Magnimar from the Skinsaw Murders, and I actually have that Pathfinder.

Now, let me get this straight, you guys are saying roleplayers don't take Iron Will right? Because that makes as much sense as the rest of what you guys are saying.

I'm kind of looking forward to using that Lamia Matriarch against you guys.

LOL. So you say that equipment is mandatory for a fighter to get through an encounter for which that equiment (and the fighter even) wasn't written yet.

Seriously, people have successfully taken the iconics as written through the APs, and no one is saying they are well optimized.

Players make their characters to the campaign and GM they have, not to theoretical bests. Character builds evolve with the GM and the game.

If high damage output isn't a priority, the fighter may not need weapon spec or power attack. Perhaps skill focus is a high priority for some games. If the GM doesn't throw a lot of will saves, iron will becomes less useful, and may lose to other generic feats. Sure, that time he does hit you with it will likely suck, but you will be able to accel some other time you wouldn't have from the other feat you took. Even with Iron Will you probably wont go over a 50% chance to save anyway.

Shadow Lodge

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sunbeam wrote:
Now, let me get this straight, you guys are saying roleplayers don't take Iron Will right?

Nobody is saying that. What we are saying is that just because a player doesn't select Iron Will, Improved Iron Will, get auto-given Gloves of Dueling, that doesn't mean he's a noob that shouldn't be playing the game, as you seem to be implying.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
sunbeam wrote:

Everyone knows two weapon fighting only makes sense if you use the same weapon in both hands, so you can get maximum use from your feats. Everyone knows you have to stack as many damage modifiers as you can on that weapon.

Everyone also knows about will saves and fighters and 3.5/Pathfinder. Iron Will and probably Improved Iron Will HAVE to be in every build, along with those Gloves of Dueling.

Sure. And everyone knows that if you go dual wielding, the only weapon worth using is the dual keen kukri, for the sheer chance of critical is the only thing that makes fighters worthwile.

And everyone knows that the only reason to, ever, raise Cha above 7 is a 87-points Point Buy (or better) (which will force you to get that Cha 8, all other stats being 18 already)... after all, who needs social aptitude when your whole raison d'etre is to put out as much mega damage as quickly as possible?

Sheesh, and that's just the basics. Everyone should know what elementary steps are necessary to have a chance at winning this game. And of course, anyone who has no chance of winning the game should never ever be included in the party, as his underperformance will make the whole raid... erm, game, suffer. Right?

Please, do yourself a favor: Don't come any closer than, say, 10 miles of any table I am playing (or GMing) at. Your blood pressure just wouldn't be able to cope with the situation.

Thank you very much.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Successful optimization is when you ballance your character to the needs of the party without driving the power curve of the game out of ballance. This means it varies widely on the GM playstyle, the other players, and the type of campaign being run. With motivation, its not hard to design characters that will trounce the opposition if that is your goal. But the GM can, and in my experience will, just throw up the power curve of the game to match your overoptimized party. This usually has detrimental effects because of the non-linear scaling of some damage output with the linear scaling of HP, and the fact that monsters of various CRs are designed to go against parties with access to certain abilities at a certain point.

I find as a GM it is more beneficial to not up the power scale, let the players trounce a few trivial fights that should be hard, and then they realize that their characters are too hyperspecialized and they will branch out into something they get trounced in, like social combat or stealth.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
I charge 20 USD per hour. Also, since you're throwing mud my way, I'll have to charge extra 10 for having to bear your presence. I accept cheques, sadly no VISA/Mastercard.

Just two questions: Do you charge extra for travelling expenses, and are the extra $10 per hour, or a one time surcharge?

Shadow Lodge

Noir le Lotus wrote:

Gloves of Dueling are a wondrous item from the APG that increase your weapon training by 2 plus a few other things.

Certainly a very useful item for a fighter but I really find them bland : just another item that gives your fighter more bonus to att/dmg.

Bleh. I detest magic items that don't do anything other than give a bonus to something or another. They're beyond bland. Frankly, I hope (almost certainly in vain) that all flat bonuses due to magic are excised from Pathfinder 2E.

Build that s@%~ into the actual characters, and save magic for actual cool effects, not just buffing up weaknesses that seemingly only exist to support the proliferation of exceedingly bland magic items.


With all that this statement implies, if you make it through some of the encounters in these adventure paths with the pre-gens you either had a lot of luck, or the dm "sandbagged."

I guess we are going to have to think one side of this discussion doesn't know what they are talking about. And I don't think it's me.

What gets me the most is you seem to think I'm saying all characters have to be char op fiends. Whereas what I'm getting from you is using two different weapons for two weapon fighting is a good idea.

They may have made the build fit the artwork, but I'd wager a guess that virtually all two weapon builds by the majority of players use the same weapon in both hands. Feel free to prove me wrong, or show me why a longsword in one hand, and a shortsword in the other works better than two shortswords.

Obviously we have a gulf in communication. With little payoff in closing it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Caineach wrote:
sunbeam wrote:

Tell you guys what.

Roll up some characters. I don't really care what level.

Let's take an encounter from the Adventure Paths that is significant.

I'll run the encounter and use what I consider to be intelligent tactics.

I really like the Clocktower in Magnimar from the Skinsaw Murders, and I actually have that Pathfinder.

Now, let me get this straight, you guys are saying roleplayers don't take Iron Will right? Because that makes as much sense as the rest of what you guys are saying.

I'm kind of looking forward to using that Lamia Matriarch against you guys.

LOL. So you say that equipment is mandatory for a fighter to get through an encounter for which that equiment (and the fighter even) wasn't written yet.

Seriously, people have successfully taken the iconics as written through the APs, and no one is saying they are well optimized.

Players make their characters to the campaign and GM they have, not to theoretical bests. Character builds evolve with the GM and the game.

If high damage output isn't a priority, the fighter may not need weapon spec or power attack. Perhaps skill focus is a high priority for some games. If the GM doesn't throw a lot of will saves, iron will becomes less useful, and may lose to other generic feats. Sure, that time he does hit you with it will likely suck, but you will be able to accel some other time you wouldn't have from the other feat you took. Even with Iron Will you probably wont go over a 50% chance to save anyway.

I'll say equipment is 100% mandatory for a fighter.

I'll also say this, with the only data coming from what I've seen in games I've been in and builds on places like this board.

The Iconics aren't built like any character I've seen. Maybe it's different in the games you play, but that's what I've gathered.

And as for the Gloves of Dueling? You are going to be hard pressed to find a fighter that doesn't have them unless the dm says they aren't available, or an archetype doesn't have the weapon training feature.

They are that good. So good it seems to me they were a stealth buff to the fighter via equipment, or else a really poorly conceived magic item.

Shadow Lodge

sunbeam wrote:
They may have made the build fit the artwork, but I'd wager a guess that virtually all two weapon builds by the majority of players use the same weapon in both hands. Feel free to prove me wrong, or show me why a longsword in one hand, and a shortsword in the other works better than two shortswords.

Perhaps a player thinks it's cool, and as such has more fun with it. Having fun is far more important than any mechanical advantages and/or disadvantages. Therefore, it's better for anyone who happens to think that concept is cool/fun.

The game isn't about winning or losing. It's about having fun. I've had more fun hovering on the edge of death (and occasionally careening over that edge) than I ever would have if I were able to one-shot a balor.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
sunbeam wrote:
I guess we are going to have to think one side of this discussion doesn't know what they are talking about. And I don't think it's me.

It would be strange if you didn't. I rather think both sides know what they're talking about, they just disagree. But have fun with the 'with us or against us' attitude.


Rather than being fully optimized, what I'm looking for is consistency and completeness. The theme for the character doesn't have to be optimal, but I want a sense that there was no randomness in the build choices. Make it all fit together. Use everything that is available to enhance the theme.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
sunbeam wrote:

What gets me the most is you seem to think I'm saying all characters have to be char op fiends. Whereas what I'm getting from you is using two different weapons for two weapon fighting is a good idea.

They may have made the build fit the artwork, but I'd wager a guess that virtually all two weapon builds by the majority of players use the same weapon in both hands. Feel free to prove me wrong, or show me why a longsword in one hand, and a shortsword in the other works better than two shortswords.

I think there are a significant number of players who build a character without much thought towards what's mechanically optimal. As an example, I'd never build two weapon fighters with the same weapon - it just doesnt feel right to me, I prefer a sword and a dagger/main gauche. What you said about getting value out of feats and so forth made sense, but it just doesnt have any relevance to how I build a character.

I'm not saying you have to choose between being optimally effective or being roleplay-y (you can obviously do both). It's just that being mechanically effective is not high up on my list of priorities when building a character (hence a longsword/shortsword combination might be "good" because it matches a figure I have).


TOZ wrote:
I had a character who didn't take Power Attack until 6th level. Am I a bad person?

Ugh...You're the worst.


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sunbeam wrote:
show me why a longsword in one hand, and a shortsword in the other works better than two shortswords.

It doesn't. It just looks cooler.


Winning or losing?

If you call completing an adventure successfully winning with no one dying, then that's what I'm all about. Winning you know.

And it kind of goes beyond the scope of a thread like this, but there are a couple schools of thought about what the mechanics of this game imply.

One such school of thought says if you are a fighter, you darn well better one-shot the Balor, because he can one-shot you, or at least render you useless.

Heck I don't think I've seen a version of Valeros with a flying item. And with all those feats sunk into his version of two weapon fighting he isn't much of a threat with ranged. I figure a creature with both Wisdom and Intelligence of 24 will suss that out at a glance.

Now I can hear the chorus now, it's not a solo game, etc. No one said it was. Most level 20 parties (well maybe not apparently) are perfectly capable of winning initiative and one-shotting a Balor. And they had better because if they don't things are going to get a lot more interesting for them.

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