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I don't know it is mainly just I don't like as a player many of the speical magic item properties. A cursed item that looks like the big six may cause player so excited to let their gaurd down espically for an item that is a static bonus.


doctor_wu wrote:
I don't know it is mainly just I don't like as a player many of the speical magic item properties. A cursed item that looks like the big six may cause player so excited to let their gaurd down espically for an item that is a static bonus.

In a similar vein, a game I was GMing once included some items gifted by some drow who the party was working with out of convenience. The drow attempted to betray them at a certain point once the party's usefulness wore off. They gifted them with some cursed items. The items appeared to be gloves of weapon expertise (essentially melee versions of greater bracers of archery) but were instead gloves of folly (when danger was near they pinned your hands together, causing a lot of penalties such as preventing somatic components, applying bad hit penalties, and so forth). The two martials were so psyched about the items that they donned them immediately...

When they donned them, the drow decided to go through with their ambush to capture them. Now in danger, the gloves clasped their arms together at the wrist and the party was about to have to deal with being outnumbered by drow while their primary damage dealers and tanks were going to be incapacitated. Fortunately, the bard in the party had chosen remove curse as one of his spells known and spent his first round (he won initiative) breaking the curse so the martials could quickly doff them (we were using action points, which are very watered down Hero Points, as they only allow an extra action each round instead of all the really super Hero Point stuff). The drow were like "OMG, WTF!?" and the martials were angry and went to pounding drow face.

But it was amusing to see them leap into the drow's trap so willingly. XD


Skeld wrote:

Also, there were enough things SWSE got wrong that I wouldn't want pathfinder to look too closely at it.

-Skeld

Like what? As far as I could tell, it was damn near perfect.


Something important to remember is that Star Wars has no emphasis on equipment at all, because it's not supposed to. In the entire SWd20-R, the best you could get in the game was a masterwork weapon. There is no emphasis on getting treasures of any sort in Star Wars. You use the same blasters at 1st level as you do at 20th. It's not that the acquisition of equipment is not a major factor in Star Wars, it's that it's a non-existent factor.

Now some people actually like magic items to mean something. If magic items are just flavor, then it takes most of the excitement out of getting them. If magic items don't greatly contribute to your success in a notable way, who cares? You might lose your big six, but then you'd just get a new big six of items that had perks that were so useful that everyone had to have them.

I've seen the results of what happens when you allow items that make PCs better in Star Wars as well. People seek those items. If you can make a lightsaber crystal that gives +2 to hit and damage, then people are going to try and get those lightsaber crystals, because they work for you. The only way to get rid of items everyone wants, is to make items more or less worthless.

And to be honest, the core of D&D adventuring is you're an adventurer who is trying to make it big and get shiny stuff. I'd rather have a game where I can keep progressing and getting progressively cooler stuff, as opposed to having a game that's like GTA-4 (that is, you have tons of treasure and little to use it for, making it worthless).

Osirion

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Removing any item property that does nothing but add pluses to attributes, saves, dice rolls, etc. would be one route to go, but I wonder if spells that have those same effects should also be removed.

Leaving the spells in begs the question of why magic items with those properties no longer exist (or can't be created), and various buffing spells like bull's strength or shield of faith tend to eat up actions and / or spell slots that could be used for more distinctive effects, in the same way that 'big six' items eat up magic item slots and cash resources that could be spent on more viscerally 'cool' items that actually feel *magical,* like a horn of valhalla or a wand of fireball.

Another quasi-related wrinkle is the plethora of different types of bonus. If a person could only benefit from a single type of bonus to Armor Class or saves or ability scores, there'd be no question of stacking enhancement bonuses and luck bonuses and resistance bonuses and alchemical bonuses and deflection bonuses and dodge bonuses and sacred bonuses and circumstance bonuses and profane bonuses and insight bonuses, etc.


Set wrote:

Removing any item property that does nothing but add pluses to attributes, saves, dice rolls, etc. would be one route to go, but I wonder if spells that have those same effects should also be removed.

Leaving the spells in begs the question of why magic items with those properties no longer exist (or can't be created), and various buffing spells like bull's strength or shield of faith tend to eat up actions and / or spell slots that could be used for more distinctive effects, in the same way that 'big six' items eat up magic item slots and cash resources that could be spent on more viscerally 'cool' items that actually feel *magical,* like a horn of valhalla or a wand of fireball.

Another quasi-related wrinkle is the plethora of different types of bonus. If a person could only benefit from a single type of bonus to Armor Class or saves or ability scores, there'd be no question of stacking enhancement bonuses and luck bonuses and resistance bonuses and alchemical bonuses and deflection bonuses and dodge bonuses and sacred bonuses and circumstance bonuses and profane bonuses and insight bonuses, etc.

My only concern is then we'd just get another batch of "big six" items. They would be different items. There are plenty of people in this thread, myself included, plus my players who don't really believe in the Big Six. It's rare that we get the best items at the earliest times. Most of those on the big six list we could actually care less about (even our martials aren't exactly salivating for a +1 sword). Too many other good items that do things. Like I said before, for us, many of our more must-haves tend to be magic items that do stuff; but we still appreciate grabbing up our little +1s here and there, and probably will as it becomes feasible to do so. If operating on a budget, we'll go with what works before a little +1 somewhere.

But if you want our "big six" for high level play, none of them are +stat items, except maybe +resistance items for saving throws. Everything else would be items that grant effects like death ward, freedom of movement, mind blank, dimension door, resistances, and methods of dealing with unusual foes (like ethereal creatures).

At low levels you get more mileage out of potions and long-duration spells (greater magic weapon is more or less superior to actual magic weapons for quite a few levels).

Take away stat boosters, and then the new must have items might look like:

1. That item that lets you teleport short distances a few times.
2. That item that lets you summon monsters a few times.
3. That item that lets you adapt to any environment.
4. That item that lets you have telepathy.
5. That item that lets you fly.
6. That item that makes you immune to all those bad things.

People wouldn't stop coveting items, or compiling lists of items that are the most optimal to have. It wouldn't make things any easier to adjudicate for the GM, since instead of dealing with a few +1s here and there you're instead figuring out how to challenge the party of teleporting dudes with their legions of construct barbarians and immunities to stuff. And then you're complaining about the good old days when magic items didn't matter, and everything was perfect and good, and no one had balance problems, and there were no power gamers, and how low-level fighters didn't randomly get vorpal swords because of a lucky % roll.

(0_0)

Shadow Lodge

Ashiel has a point in that there was a lot less item enhancement in SWd20. However, allowing item enhancement doesn't always create items that everyone wants. The trick is, you don't make a lightsabre crystal that gives +2 to hit and damage. You make a crystal that gives a bonus to hit in exchange for a penalty to damage, or the reverse. Or you make a handle that gives +2 to resist a disarm attempt. Or a focusing ring in a blaster that improves threat range by one, or range by 50%. And then you let players use a limited number of these in their weapon. When my group used these modification rules (based on the SW Equipment guide) everyone had modified weapons, but they were all different modifications. It gave the players a bit of a boost, but mostly made the weapons feel personalized.

slacks wrote:
It seems odd that you have to take a feat to make the item system in PF interesting, and doubly odd that you would have almost no way of knowing that from the rulebook...

You don't have to take the item creation feats. A creative DM can add interesting and useful items to any campaign. My gaming group has been having fun with magic items since 3.5, when the XP cost made crafting a bad deal. However, Anlerran suggested that giving characters a choice of items, and particularly allowing item creation feats, was a bad thing. I think that item crafting is not always bad and can add to the experience. That's a far cry from saying that crafting is necessary to make magic items interesting. Pathfinder is full of options for fun, engaging play; item crafting is one of them, but not the only one.

Atarlost wrote:
I think if I were to run an AP I'd throw out the item creation feats and master craftsman and let anyone craft using craft skills (but not spellcraft).

Don't know if I'd go that far. You'd run the risk of making item crafting too mundane. Could be fun, though, and it would definitely increase the number of ranks your PCs put in Craft skills


Weirdo wrote:
Ashiel has a point in that there was a lot less item enhancement in SWd20. However, allowing item enhancement doesn't always create items that everyone wants. The trick is, you don't make a lightsabre crystal that gives +2 to hit and damage. You make a crystal that gives a bonus to hit in exchange for a penalty to damage, or the reverse. Or you make a handle that gives +2 to resist a disarm attempt. Or a focusing ring in a blaster that improves threat range by one, or range by 50%. And then you let players use a limited number of these in their weapon. When my group used these modification rules (based on the SW Equipment guide) everyone had modified weapons, but they were all different modifications. It gave the players a bit of a boost, but mostly made the weapons feel personalized.

They actually had those. And if you allowed them, then everyone would use them. We used the weapon customizations from the Arms & Equipment guide (SW book). It allowed you to make customizations to your weapons. Certain ones were favored, and quickly you had a customized weapon if you could afford it. Example customizations included +1 to hit for -1 to damage. My brother ran around with blaster pistols that had +3 to hit and -3 to damage, because the +3 to hit seriously rocked socks, and he was fine lowering his DP-Hit from 10.5 to 7.5 if it meant +15% to hit (made deflecting with lightsabers harder, and allowed him to pound enemies with auto-fire/rapid-shot/two-weapon-fighting).

We experimented with other sorts of items as well. The fact is, if you make it, they will take it. If it gives you an advantage, then you will have it if you can get it. It's why my group isn't really big on the "big six". They're nice, but we have our own "must haves" or "most wanted". If you want a game where it doesn't matter if PCs have magic items or not, then you want a game where magic items are more or less useless. I can tell you right now that it matters a ton if PCs don't have even mundane items. Some alchemist fires, antitoxins, and tanglefoot bags can give PCs such a leg up in some encounters that it makes +2 to hit bonuses worthless.

PCs are expected to have plenty of money over the course of the game to get all the items they will ever need, and if they craft items then they will get more items (but not stronger items, so they are more likely to spend their effort and time making things like consumables or for-fun items instead of +X/+Y items). If we remove the +X/+Y, you will still end up with items that everyone wants. It's the nature of having equipment that is worthwhile. Star Wars doesn't have this "problem", but Star Wars doesn't care about equipment at all. Star Wars isn't about adventuring and getting wealth and treasure.

In Star Wars, your biggest purchase is maybe a starship, and those are more plot device than equipment. If you add items that are worthwhile, then they will be acquired. The cyber-limb enhancements in that one sourcebook that give +X to certain stats? Yeah, you can believe people will take the ones that give +X to those stats. Heck, they're almost exactly like the undead grafts in Libris Mortis ("Hey, let me replace your arms with arms that give you +2 Strength!", "Uh...okay!").

I just think this complaint about everything being balanced against having magic items is silly. Or the idea that you will want certain magic items silly. It will always be like that, or there will be no magic items. It's very easy to build low-fantasy encounters without overpowering them. In many cases it's just about using multiple weak enemies. Especially since most of the complaints seem to come from Grognards who are in denial about how the game used to be as well. If anything it's less critical to have such items. Heck, you couldn't even damage many enemies unless you had a weapon that was at least +X. It wasn't a matter of damage reduction, it was damage immunity. And instead of good guidelines for how to hand out magic items and pace everything, you got more pick and choose guesstimates, or you rolled on a chart, resulting in level 3 fighters with vorpal swords. Whee!


1st level buffing oils might be a cheap short term solution. but 2nd and 3rd level buffing oils have significantly higher costs that make them less practical.

and personally, i don't like having to rely on the party arcanist to show up to provide me with a greater magic weapon spell. not all of us have that little privelege. and some groups don't have the level of coordination nor the patience to slather the martial guy in oils and let him do all the work. especially when you have 6 or more martial guys out of a 10 person group, not counting pets that would end up expecting to be oiled up. are these guys warriors or beachside bikini babes? i would personally rather have a more permanent solution that didn't require a specific player to show up or some some random person to slather my character in magic lotion. my saturday group makes enough jokes about the word "touch" already.


Shuriken Nekogami wrote:

1st level buffing oils might be a cheap short term solution. but 2nd and 3rd level buffing oils have significantly higher costs that make them less practical.

and personally, i don't like having to rely on the party arcanist to show up to provide me with a greater magic weapon spell. not all of us have that little privelege. and some groups don't have the level of coordination nor the patience to slather the martial guy in oils and let him do all the work. especially when you have 6 or more martial guys out of a 10 person group, not counting pets that would end up expecting to be oiled up. are these guys warriors or beachside bikini babes? i would personally rather have a more permanent solution that didn't require a specific player to show up or some some random person to slather my character in magic lotion. my saturday group makes enough jokes about the word "touch" already.

Well 9/10 times at low levels, you won't need a magic weapon anyway. You usually don't start running into DR/magic regularly until around 5th level or so. Masterwork equipment is plenty for early levels, and gets it prepared to enhance later.

As for the cost of potions, oils are good for on the fly, because you can quickly prep weapons as needed. However, for longer duration buffs, scrolls and wands are even better. A CL 5 scroll of greater magic weapon gives you a +2 weapon for 5 hours, which can easily be an entire adventure. It costs 375 gp, or 187.5 gp if your party's spellcaster creates it themselves. At market price, that's about 21+ adventures with a +2 weapon. A CL 20 scroll of greater magic weapon can be purchased for 1,500 gp, or crafted for 750 gp. Since you can craft items at a higher caster level than your own by increasing the creation DC as long as you can provide the spell, you can produce scrolls of this sort for adventures that you want your party's melee to wield a +5 weapon for 20 hours. The catch is it doesn't provide the DR-penetration of a true weapon, but you can cast it on special material weapons (such as cold iron) and apply alignments as needed. You can also find such scrolls on sale easily in any Large Town.

As for beach side bikinis babes, nay, they are beefcakes in speedoes! Haven't you ever read Conan!? Joking, I swear!
========================================================================
Just to show an example of how this looks in play, I'll show you the sort of thing that I myself do. Here's a quick example of a level by level breakdown.

1st Level Martial
- I have 175 gp starting cash due to my class
- I spend 150 gp on chainmail
- I spend 5 gp on a heavy wooden shield
- I spend 0 gp on a club or three
- I spend 0 gp on a sling or five
- I spend 0 gp on rocks, because they deal 1d3-1 + Str from my sling.
- I spent 5 gp on a Longspear.
- I have 150 silver left to buy supplies.

2nd Level Martial
- I've acquired about +1,000 gp.
- I pickup some alchemical items (maybe 100-200 gp worth of alchemical goods, such as some alchemist fires, holy water, tanglefoot bags, or antitoxins).
- I grab up some oils or consumables (a few 50 gp potions/oils for emergencies, maybe about 200-300 worth, since anyone in the group can use them).
- I chip in about 200 gp towards a Wand of cure light wounds for the party (hey, I'll likely need it at some point).
- I buy something nice (such as a masterwork weapon, or a masterwork breastplate).

3rd Level Martial
- I've acquired about +5,000 gp.
- I've kept my stock of alchemical goods refreshed (200 gp)
- I've bought a kickass masterwork bow (about 1,000 gp for a mwk +4 composite bow).
- I've purchased a +1 cloak of resistance (1,000 gp)
- I've refreshed my potion stock (300 gp)
- I've purchased a couple of elixers (500 gp)
- I've had my armor enhanced by +1 (1,000 gp)
- I've decided to trade in my favorite weapons for masterwork gears (I purchase a mwk reach weapon for about 300 gp, and a cold iron and silver weapon as well, so we'll say 400 gp total).
- I've now got about 3,100 gp left to spend as desired. I could double the size of my potion stock for another 300 gp, and pickup potions of resist energy, lesser restoration, and delay poison in case we end up in a forest of ettercaps and spiders or dealing with hostile elements. A potion of endure elements might not be a bad investment either (24 hour duration is nice).
- I might consider chipping in and buying some scrolls for the party spellcasters. We're only 3rd level, but I could get the party cleric a scroll of animate dead for 375 gp to get some front-line helpers, or I could buy the wizard a scroll of summon monster III for when s#+~ gets real. Or I could spend some cash and get a heightened continual flame on a trinket to protect against tieflings, drow, and darkfolk. Or I could buy the cleric a scroll of remove blindness/deafness in case I get blinded during an adventure (since as a martial that's basically 100% defeat right there). Or I could just sit on my money so we can buy supplies as needed. Or perhaps grab a couple of utility items like continuous ant haul or a handy haversack.

The Best Part!?: I'm counting the consumables amongst my WBL, but the encounter values often provide enough excess WBL to cover the cost of consumables plus your real gear. Want proof? Check this.

It will take about 20 CR 1 encounters to reach 2nd level on the standard medium progression. The treasure for each encounter will be about 260 gp. Your share of treasure by 2nd level should actually be about 1,300 gp, but your WBL is 1,000 gp. So you have 300 gp excess that you can put towards consumables, novelties, or just boozing it up.

From 2nd to 3rd you should acquire about +2,750 gp. From 3rd to 4th, another 4,000 gp. From 4th to 5th, +5,750 gp. So if you follow the guidelines, you will end up with some excess wealth at each level, which can be put towards anything you want. Be it consumables, collecting art, handing a platinum coin to the stableboy to be a showoff, or whatever you want. EDIT: To put it into perspective, if you get the standard treasure per encounter (even if those treasures are not gained after each encounter) then you will have about 3,300 gp more than your WBL by 5th level. That's enough to buy something very nice, or to use a nice % of your WBL in consumables and support items without falling behind.

Shadow Lodge

Ashiel - Everyone took the same modifications? In my group, everyone took the modifications that fit best with their play style. For example, the sniper took the range boost, the scoundrel took extended crit range, and the lightsabre duelist took +2 vs disarm. We did mostly use the Arms & Equipment guide for these personalizations, with a few additions from the GM. We also poured most of our credits in that game into a really first-class spaceship, which we then used in one or two dogfights.

I definitely agree that if loot is offered players will want it, no matter what the loot is (magical or mundane) because any useful item by definition gives you an advantage. I'm not sure if people who are frustrated about the item system are frustrated by players' desire for loot in general or players' desire for generic loot that doesn't feel flavorful. Low-magic games may be motivated to reduce the former, but the discussion about the "tyranny of the Big Six" seems to suggest that the latter is a problem.

Shadow Lodge

Ashiel wrote:

The Best Part!?: I'm counting the consumables amongst my WBL, but the encounter values often provide enough excess WBL to cover the cost of consumables plus your real gear. Want proof? Check this.

It will take about 20 CR 1 encounters to reach 2nd level on the standard medium progression. The treasure for each encounter will be about 260 gp. Your share of treasure by 2nd level should actually be about 1,300 gp, but your WBL is 1,000 gp. So you have 300 gp excess that you can put towards consumables, novelties, or just boozing it up.

Sounds right. I think the WBL assumes that some portion of your wealth between levels goes to consumables that are used between levels instead of permanent, retained assets.


Weirdo wrote:
Ashiel - Everyone took the same modifications? In my group, everyone took the modifications that fit best with their play style. For example, the sniper took the range boost, the scoundrel took extended crit range, and the lightsabre duelist took +2 vs disarm. We did mostly use the Arms & Equipment guide for these personalizations, with a few additions from the GM. We also poured most of our credits in that game into a really first-class spaceship, which we then used in one or two dogfights.

+2 vs Disarm is pretty poor when you consider that +1 to hit attacks applied to hit rolls, disarm rolls, and rolls to avoid being disarmed. +1 to hit made you a much better lightsaber duelist than +2 to avoid being disarmed does.

Quote:
I definitely agree that if loot is offered players will want it, no matter what the loot is (magical or mundane) because any useful item by definition gives you an advantage. I'm not sure if people who are frustrated about the item system are frustrated by players' desire for loot in general or players' desire for generic loot that doesn't feel flavorful. Low-magic games may be motivated to reduce the former, but the discussion about the "tyranny of the Big Six" seems to suggest that the latter is a problem.

I blame their lack of imagination. That being said, I don't want loot if there's nothing to spend it on. I'm having the same problem with GTA4 right now. I've recently been playing through it for the first time, and I've done everything from preforming hit missions to robbing a bank with a $250,000 cut of pot. My biggest complaint with the game?

It's becoming really boring and pointless to keep doing all these quests for money, and to hear them talk about needing more money, when I'm sitting on enough loot to retire for life on, and have literally nothing to spend it on. Unlike in San Andreas or Vice City, there are no buildings or properties to buy to slowly take over the city. You can only carry so many weapons and the most expensive I've bothered with was a little under 10,000. The most expensive consumable I've had to purchase was grenades at $1,000 a piece, but I can only carry 25 of them. Essentially, I could care less about my loot. It doesn't matter if I have $400,000 in that game because it doesn't mean anything.

Heck, in most of our Star Wars games (when we weren't experimenting with lots of little booster items), credits were kinda "meh". I mean, it didn't really matter how much money we had, because the only things we would have wanted money for were for a starship and a bacta tank. Everything else was gravy, and you could go many sessions without even boarding a starship or using a bacta tank. Credits were little more than a plot device. Possibly a means of bribing NPCs. Heck, just to show how worthless credits and even starships often were, you could steal the starship of some smugglers or something and it would have 0 effect on how potent your character was.

It's a very different sort of game. It demonstrates the versatility of the d20 system beautifully; but at the end of the day I really appreciate that we can actually look forward to getting sweet magic items and stuff that actually makes us better. If your items are boring as heck, that's the fault of your group or your GM. It's remarkably easy to create items that are flavorful using the rules. I've posted many of the ones I've had in my own games.

Some of my favorites have been...
========================================================================
Arclight: This short sword was forged by a powerful blue dragon from her dead lover's fangs. She gifted it to an assassin and paid him handsomely to drive it into the spine of the dragonslayer who slew her mate. It's said that the assassination was a success, and the sword was lost to history. Some copies or replicas have shown up from time to time, but no one has yet discovered the lost original. Perhaps you have...

This is a +1 shocking short sword that twice per day upon command can allow the wielder to transform the blade into an arc of dangerous electricity, allowing them to use the sword to make a touch attack to deal 5d6 electricity damage (+3 to hit if they are wearing metal armor).

Shield of Flames: This +1 heavy steel shield has an intricate etching of a red dragon's head upon the front of it. The dragon can be awakened as a standard action and made to belch flaming death at the bearer's enemies. The bearer holds the shield forward and mentally wills the strength of the flames. The dragon can breath up to 5d4 fire damage per day, split as desired (anything between 5 1d4 flames or 1 5d4 flames). It's a 15 ft. cone with a DC 11 reflex save for half.

The Curious Bracers: No one is entirely certain where these bracers came from, though they were found in the bottom drawer inside the dwarf barracks, beneath a suit of heavy chainmail. They are intricate and beautiful. Those who don them find themselves innately more skilled at pretending to be someone they are not, but a strange curse accompanies the effects...

These bracers grant a +5 bonus to Disguise checks when worn, but change the gender of the wearer until removed.

Whispersilk Cloak: This beautiful masterwork spidersilk cloak was created by the queen of the drow for her most accomplished assassin, but was lost during an assassination attempt where he was slain by his target. The assassin was disarmed of the cloak when he impaled his target with his poisoned blade, only to find his target was in fact secretly an undead creature. His cloak wrenched from him, he was forced to flee, but met his end as his mark donned the cloak and chased him down, ambushing him from the ethereal. It is uncertain if this is the original Whispersilk Cloak, or one of several replicas made afterwords.

This masterwork cloak provides a +2 circumstance bonus to Stealth checks (mwk tool) and allows the wearer to become ethereal as a free action, as if using ethereal jaunt for up to 13 rounds per day. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.


Weirdo wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

The Best Part!?: I'm counting the consumables amongst my WBL, but the encounter values often provide enough excess WBL to cover the cost of consumables plus your real gear. Want proof? Check this.

It will take about 20 CR 1 encounters to reach 2nd level on the standard medium progression. The treasure for each encounter will be about 260 gp. Your share of treasure by 2nd level should actually be about 1,300 gp, but your WBL is 1,000 gp. So you have 300 gp excess that you can put towards consumables, novelties, or just boozing it up.

Sounds right. I think the WBL assumes that some portion of your wealth between levels goes to consumables that are used between levels instead of permanent, retained assets.

Agreed.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

This was really interesting to me (we have no strategy about what to buy when). However, am I being a moron? Can you explain the bolded bit at the end:

Ashiel wrote:

Just to show an example of how this looks in play, I'll show you the sort of thing that I myself do. Here's a quick example of a level by level breakdown.

1st Level Martial
- I have 175 gp starting cash due to my class
- I spend 150 gp on chainmail
- I spend 5 gp on a heavy wooden shield
- I spend 0 gp on a club or three
- I spend 0 gp on a sling or five
- I spend 0 gp on rocks, because they deal 1d3-1 + Str from my sling.
- I spent 5 gp on a Longspear.
- I have 150 silver left to buy supplies.

2nd Level Martial
- I've acquired about +1,000 gp.
- I pickup some alchemical items (maybe 100-200 gp worth of alchemical goods, such as some alchemist fires, holy water, tanglefoot bags, or antitoxins).
- I grab up some oils or consumables (a few 50 gp potions/oils for emergencies, maybe about 200-300 worth, since anyone in the group can use them).
- I chip in about 200 gp towards a Wand of cure light wounds for the party (hey, I'll likely need it at some point).
- I buy something nice (such as a masterwork weapon, or a masterwork breastplate).

3rd Level Martial
- I've acquired about +5,000 gp.
- I've kept my stock of alchemical goods refreshed (200 gp)
- I've bought a kickass masterwork bow (about 1,000 gp for a mwk +4 composite bow).
- I've purchased a +1 cloak of resistance (1,000 gp)
- I've refreshed my potion stock (300 gp)
- I've purchased a couple of elixers (500 gp)
- I've had my armor enhanced by +1 (1,000 gp)
- I've decided to trade in my favorite weapons for masterwork gears (I purchase a mwk reach weapon for about 300 gp, and a cold iron and silver weapon as well, so we'll say 400 gp total).
- I've now got about 3,100 gp left to spend as desired. I

How have you got 3100gp left?


Steve Geddes wrote:

This was really interesting to me (we have no strategy about what to buy when). However, am I being a moron? Can you explain the bolded bit at the end:

Ashiel wrote:

Just to show an example of how this looks in play, I'll show you the sort of thing that I myself do. Here's a quick example of a level by level breakdown.

1st Level Martial
- I have 175 gp starting cash due to my class
- I spend 150 gp on chainmail
- I spend 5 gp on a heavy wooden shield
- I spend 0 gp on a club or three
- I spend 0 gp on a sling or five
- I spend 0 gp on rocks, because they deal 1d3-1 + Str from my sling.
- I spent 5 gp on a Longspear.
- I have 150 silver left to buy supplies.

2nd Level Martial
- I've acquired about +1,000 gp.
- I pickup some alchemical items (maybe 100-200 gp worth of alchemical goods, such as some alchemist fires, holy water, tanglefoot bags, or antitoxins).
- I grab up some oils or consumables (a few 50 gp potions/oils for emergencies, maybe about 200-300 worth, since anyone in the group can use them).
- I chip in about 200 gp towards a Wand of cure light wounds for the party (hey, I'll likely need it at some point).
- I buy something nice (such as a masterwork weapon, or a masterwork breastplate).

3rd Level Martial
- I've acquired about +5,000 gp.
- I've kept my stock of alchemical goods refreshed (200 gp)
- I've bought a kickass masterwork bow (about 1,000 gp for a mwk +4 composite bow).
- I've purchased a +1 cloak of resistance (1,000 gp)
- I've refreshed my potion stock (300 gp)
- I've purchased a couple of elixers (500 gp)
- I've had my armor enhanced by +1 (1,000 gp)
- I've decided to trade in my favorite weapons for masterwork gears (I purchase a mwk reach weapon for about 300 gp, and a cold iron and silver weapon as well, so we'll say 400 gp total).
- I've now got about 3,100 gp left to spend as desired. I

How have you got 3100gp left?

Typo. It's more like 2,600 (I think I left out the cost of the elixers), counting total expected WBL (6,000). Which is enough to cover the base mwk armor to be enhanced, and allow me to purchase any of the things I suggested I could do with the rest of the gold. Good catch though. I didn't notice it when I hit post, and it's too late to edit it now. Also, I got up to go do something while posting, and then came back, so somewhere in there I forgot how I was mapping the progression; so 2nd level shows wealth gained from 1st to 2nd, whereas the 3rd progression shows wealth being gained from 3rd to 4th; which throws off the impression of it pretty ferociously. (~_~)"

I hope that cleared it up. The point, of course, is that I don't try to rush out and buy up lots of +1 weapons and expensive magic items all over the place. I usually don't start considering a permanent magic weapon until around 4th-6th level, and usually then I'll probably go with things that enhance survival first (if I have to choose between a +1 sword and a +1 deflection to AC, I'm taking the deflection).


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Yeah, no worries - your point is well made. It was really useful to me to see a better way to do things (we're much more likely to spend any loot on one big item and never buy consumables).


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Steve Geddes wrote:
Yeah, no worries - your point it well made. It was really useful to me to see a better way to do things (we're much more likely to spend any loot on one big item and never buy consumables).

I used to be like that when I was younger. Wanted that sexy +1 sword soooo bad. Kept getting my butt kicked. Suddenly I realized, later when I was older and replaying Baldur's Gate, that consumables are really useful. Most of the NPCs that were kicking my can all over the field were those who were entirely willing to use a scroll, potion, or otherwise. Heck, there is a battle against some amazonian mercenaries that consists of a fighter, a thief, and two clerics. They do stuff like quaff a potion of defense, cast a scroll of strength, drink a potion of invisibility, and basically get ready to own your face. And then they do.

Eventually I realized all those potions and scrolls I kept finding during my adventures weren't just trading cards. They had uses. So suddenly I found myself winning really hard battles when I used scrolls of spell immunity, drank potions of defense or immunity, used an oil of speed (OMG haste is broken in that game :P), and used charges out of my wands and such. In many cases, these sorts of things allowed me to handily overcome even the most challenging of battles when even my +3 weapons would not do.

Upon re-evaluating my thoughts on these sorts of things, I realized that all those consumables typically give much grander effects. Static modifiers are expensive because they are constant. A +1 club is 2,300 gp. An oil of enlarge person is 50 gp. Which is more likely to grant you combat advantage? The oil makes you stronger, makes your weapons larger, and gives you more reach. It's not just in combat either. I began to respect having wands, potions, and oils to heal with outside of battle. When wandering through a spider infested forest, having a 50 gp potion of delay poison is a good deal, since immunity to poison for 1 hour is really handy when you're covered in spiders. Having a wand of lesser restoration is good for healing some of the damage already done.

I grew to appreciate how much of a difference even weak allies could make. A few simple wild dogs summoned at the right time could tip the balance of a bad encounter, or even buy you time to stall until your enemies run out of time on their powerful but short duration buffs (a great example would be if your enemies are hasted at low levels, then stalling the combat with summons for a few rounds can make it wear off).

I grew to appreciate that sometimes, it was nice to have a scroll that was beyond my party's casters for emergencies. I believe there was once or twice that I found some scrolls with higher level spells than my casters could even cast yet, but often those scrolls served to keep my party alive when nothing else would have. Same with wands and the like.

In tabletop, options matter even more, because while in Baldur's Gate you didn't worry about flying enemies and everything was just a D&D computer game, in tabletop stuff is against you in a big way. You need to deal with things like cover, concealment, lighting, and more. Sometimes the most powerful weapon in your arsenal is a simple 20 gp smokestick.


It might be worth mentioning that if you want a low magic game, you (you being anyone who hates the big 6) might be better off running it as an E6 game. It goes along with what Ashiel was saying about low magic games not featuring pitfiends so much. I mean, you could have an e6 game that has a pitfiend but it wouldn't be a challenge that the PC's defeat through brute force in all likelyhood.

Then you could also just do away with all those big 6 items, because over all they won't effect the E6 game that much. Run your game with very long periods between levels, and eek out the gritty details. You might even use something SKR discussed once on the boards which was granting leveling benefits in small chunks, so you don't have a big change to your PCs happening all at once.


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All I know is I virtually always run extremely low-wealth games, and don't give a rat's ass about WBL :) ... which probably has something to do with running games at a level that makes most people think we're loony, I guess.

On the other hand, I'm a HUGE fan of the Weapons of Legacy rules. I find them to be a great tool for subtly moving the campaign in ways that help the long-term plot, and for encouraging the PCs to investigate places or confront foes they otherwise might not be aware of.

I've never quite understood the "tyranny of wealth by level" thing. If I really truly had a player complain to me that they were below their WBL (and they ALL are), I probably wouldn't even respond other than with an incredulous look.

But, to each their own, I guess!

Shadow Lodge

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Ashiel wrote:
Weirdo wrote:
Ashiel - Everyone took the same modifications? In my group, everyone took the modifications that fit best with their play style. For example, the sniper took the range boost, the scoundrel took extended crit range, and the lightsabre duelist took +2 vs disarm.
+2 vs Disarm is pretty poor when you consider that +1 to hit attacks applied to hit rolls, disarm rolls, and rolls to avoid being disarmed. +1 to hit made you a much better lightsaber duelist than +2 to avoid being disarmed does.

True, but +2 vs disarm is more interesting. My group will usually go for the interesting boost over the strategically optimal one, given the choice. I guess we're more casual than a lot of players.

Great custom items. I especially like Arclight.


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gbonehead wrote:
I've never quite understood the "tyranny of wealth by level" thing. If I really truly had a player complain to me that they were below their WBL (and they ALL are), I probably wouldn't even respond other than with an incredulous look.

I didnt think the "tyrant" was the players, I figured the point was the system demands characters be close to their prescribed WBL. I thought the argument was that the higher level enemies are built assuming PCs have more-or-less the equipment set out in the WBL table. If you dont adhere to that, the claim isnt that the players will complain, it's that they wont be able to handle level-appropriate encounters.

.
Not that I really know, but that was always my understanding of what people mean.


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If, at high level, everyone in your party is decked out in these and you are playing a "normal" char, then, yes, the big six is mandatory for you to compete witht he challenges that the GM must throw at such a party.

If your game is heavy on linear flip-mat encounters and dice rolling then the big six give you the best bang for the buck.

If you are a novice player then the big six are easy items in their "staticness" and thus good, albeit boring.

The problem with the big six arose only after the game made it possible to easily create your own items with lax level restrictions and GMs felt the need to strictly adhere to the WBL to avoid "OPed PCs".

So the big six are a home made problem, if at all.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
gbonehead wrote:
I've never quite understood the "tyranny of wealth by level" thing. If I really truly had a player complain to me that they were below their WBL (and they ALL are), I probably wouldn't even respond other than with an incredulous look.
I didnt think the "tyrant" was the players, I figured the point was the system demands characters be close to their prescribed WBL. I thought the argument was that the higher level enemies are built assuming PCs have more-or-less the equipment set out in the WBL table. If you dont adhere to that, the claim isnt that the players will complain, it's that they wont be able to handle level-appropriate encounters.

I guess that makes sense, but the entire CR system isn't like LEGOs. One party might steamroll a creature of a given CR that would TPK another party, and vice-versa. I've always considered it to be the role of the GM to know the party and capabilities of a group well enough to design appropriate encounters (or to use/modify encounters in off-the-shelf material to be appropriate to the party in question).

WBL is a tool in this regard, but it's hardly a requirement of the system. I run a group that by my very rough calculations is at probably 1/10 WBL. It just means that what would be considered "under CR-ed" encounters aren't as easy as they might seem.

From having run many, many convention games, I've found it more important to be able to match the event/encounter/module to the party than to try to do a perfect calculation ahead of time.


There are two main possible problems with the big 6. I'm not saying they are problems or not since I haven't run the numbers:
1. Inter party balance gets out of whack, such as two front line fighters having vastly different survivability and no way to manage aggro.

2. The CR system breaks down because either the big 6 are assumed and not taken or not assumed and are taken.


slacks wrote:

There are two main possible problems with the big 6. I'm not saying they are problems or not since I haven't run the numbers:

1. Inter party balance gets out of whack, such as two front line fighters having vastly different survivability and no way to manage aggro.

2. The CR system breaks down because either the big 6 are assumed and not taken or not assumed and are taken.

Entirely anecdotal, but I've used the CR system as written for literally for 1.2 decades, and have never once felt the need to adjust due to "the big six". The closest to expecting a big six I've come is expecting a Fighter to have some nice gear in the same way I expect a wizard to have nice spells. Admittedly, Fighters have less control over having a +5 sword at 20th level than wizards have control over having 9th level spells at 20th level, but I've found it to be extremely rare that being a bit below your WBL has any real impact on your power.

In more cases I find it's how you wield your power. Like I said, our group doesn't exactly sport tons of bling. Between 4th-6th level is when I'm hoping to get my first +1 weapon, at the earliest, but my group tends to face-roll some truly frightening encounters with less gear than many in this thread are suggesting that you need to succeed.

My games typically follow WBL pretty steadily, but there are games where for one reason or another there is a long drought or a sudden and superior haul. A great example of this was a game where the party was escorting a caravan through a frozen mountain forest, and the caravan was destroyed by an avalanche. With all the caravaners slain, and the party miles from civilization, they looted all they could to make their way to civilization. This first level party found masterwork armors, potions, a couple of wands, an adamantine sword, and so forth. Without doing much of anything at all. Basically they got frontloaded with tons of sweet gear; but then didn't get much in the way of gear at all over the next arch of the adventure as they were wandering the wilderness.

Despite being over WBL significantly, I never felt a need to gear up the encounters. They were still challenged, because ultimately a couple more +1s didn't affect the overall balance of the adventure. Especially if encounters are a bit more dynamic than two morons hitting each other over the head until one croaks.

Contrast to another adventure I ran where the party was in a spider-infested forest for about 5 levels. The party entered the forest at level 1 with starting gear, and didn't emerge from that forest until they were around 5th-6th level. They mostly encountered spiders and ettercaps, as well as a group of forest-dwelling drow and drider. There was a point where they explored an ancient temple fortress, and had to deal with some of the drider who were tossing spells about; but with the exception of some of that loot between 4th and 5th level, they pretty much made do with what they had. Again, I didn't have a real need to adjust CRs at all.

I think a lot of the "WBL Tyranny" comes from GMs who have misconceptions about high level play. Or in some cases even mid-level play. Most of these people should really explore variants like E6/E7, and understand high level play better. High level play is not for everyone. D&D/PF is really cool because it caters to at least 3 distinct playstyles. "Realistic" / "Fantasy" / "Epic Fantasy". Realistic is the 1st-4th levels, where people are sufficiently mortal. Falling off cliffs, getting hit by avalanches, taking arrows to the knee, all these things are dangerous and possibly fatal at these levels. By Fantasy levels, you've got some folks wielding a few permanent magic trinkets, fighting hydras, and falling out of 10th story windows and being able to walk it off. By epic fantasy, you blind people who detect magic on you, and you'd fly 300 ft. into the air and crash into your opponent from the sky like a comet and laugh about it, and you can castles down with your bare hands. You fight things on a regular basis that would be viewed as gods in the real world.

No, high level characters cannot face high level challenges decked out in low level gear or worse. They shouldn't be expected to. The WBL system is a good benchmark for item progression, that keeps a good pacing.


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Ashiel wrote:
By epic fantasy, you blind people who detect magic on you, and you'd fly 300 ft. into the air and crash into your opponent from the sky like a comet and laugh about it, and you can castles down with your bare hands. You fight things on a regular basis that would be viewed as gods in the real world.

And what fun it is :)

At some point you stop dealing with silly things like falling damage, mundane fires, and even, say lava.

Hah! 10d6 damage/round!? I ignore it and keep fighting!

:)


gbonehead wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
By epic fantasy, you blind people who detect magic on you, and you'd fly 300 ft. into the air and crash into your opponent from the sky like a comet and laugh about it, and you can castles down with your bare hands. You fight things on a regular basis that would be viewed as gods in the real world.

And what fun it is :)

At some point you stop dealing with silly things like falling damage, mundane fires, and even, say lava.

Hah! 10d6 damage/round!? I ignore it and keep fighting!

:)

He, I actually did that once... Although I suppose I was cheating, since I had fire resistance. (it did kill the Lich, though)

I've seen Barbarians kill enemies by drowning. Simply grappling and holding the target underwater (both of them). The Barbarian knew he could hold his breath a lot longer than the other guy.
I've seen a Monk (with help of a fighter) push a dragon down a cliff and grapple its wings. His line of thought was "Dragon don't have Slow Fall!". It actually worked. I've never seen Slow Fall be useful again ever since.

Wait I'm derailing the thread... Gotta fix that!

I don't think the Big 6 are mandatory. But they are relatively cheap and very efficient. They are an easy, solid choice.

You don't need a +4 sword at 16th level, but you gotta have a way to make up for that. And with 32000 gp, you can.
Personally, I like having a +3 sword just for the ability of bypassing DR, although, as Ashiel pointed out, it's easier and cheaper to have a couple +2 sword.

That's particullary tre for classes who can buff their weapons, such as Magi, Paladins and Inquisitors.

I wonder how things would change if BAB alone gave you the ability to bypass a few monsters defenses,
e.g.: BAB +5, your attacks count as magical, BAB +10, they affect incorporeal creatures, BAB +15 count as silver/cold iron, BAB+20, they count as adamantine (or alligned).


Ravingdork wrote:
Buri wrote:
What are these "big six" items? I've seen them refereed to but have never seen them listed.
I would like to know this as well, since I've seen variations of the big six being listed all with the same title of "the big six."

That's why we trolls call it "the big nine".

And in my corner of Golarion, we simply started crafting our own magic weapons that work better against invaders thus equipped.

Our "web bomb" items are extra-sticky against magic armor. (-2 to the Reflex save DC for every point of armor enhancement bonus)

Our "fireball trap" doors cause extra damage to invaders wearing resistance cloaks. (+2d6 damage per point of saving throw bonus)

Our magic weapons, taking a cue from holy/unholy weapons, bestow permanent negative levels when anyone wearing a ring of protection touches them.

After all, if the invaders are going to be predictable, we trolls might as well make use of that.

And don't get me started about how much gold we've made crafting resistance cloaks with 50 charges and selling them to traveling merchants. It costs us half the material cost, and the merchants never think to check for that type of alteration to a "tried and true" boring item. I bet a bunch of you adventurers are wearing those and do not even know it!

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