Anburaid's page

Organized Play Member. 1,226 posts (1,274 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 3 Organized Play characters. 6 aliases.

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For monks I would do a few things (though I don't think monks are that terribly off, they are just hard to optimize so optimizers hate them). I would reverse their BAB functionality. Grant them a full BAB and d10 HP, but say that when not using monk weapons, they use a 3/4s BAB (making some feats unusable when they do, based on BAB prereqs). That would hopefully free them up to move and attack at full BAB and stand toe to toe with fighters at the front line.

I would change Maneuver Training to only make AoO from attempting maneuvers only happen when the maneuver fails. This would hopefully incentivize maneuvers even when you don't have improved/greater feats.

For handling their damage issues I would allow monks to choose to increase their unarmed crit chance every 4 levels in place of increasing their damage dice. Since monks get A LOT of attacks, that would hopefully allow them to push up their damage through flat bonuses such as power attack. I am not sure, though, if this would be too much of a boost. I think part of the appearance of their weak damage is that they have lots of attacks but often a not so great hit chance. So rolling to miss so much gives the perception that they are weak, when they might actually be doing ok over time. More crits would hopefully counter that image.

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I think his stats are just right. I'd go drunken master/quingong monk, myself and not worry about ninja. Multiclassing can really hurt monks. Keep a high strength, pick up barkskin, buy a wand of mage armor and perhaps UMD though traits and go to town.

I'd throw in some style feats too. Perhaps boar style, or dragon style.

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One thing that doesn't come immediately across for most people reading the crafting rules is this. You ALWAYS want to be taking 10. Not taking 10 gives you a chance to create a cursed item, and then become that cursed item's first victim.

So then when you go back to looking at those DCs, note that not having prereqs starts to push those DCs high for people who aren't hardcore crafters. Having the spell you need or whatever other prereq required removes this danger of creating a cursed item. So there is that.

Also as mentioned above, the real counter to overzealous crafting is gold pieces and time. Don't have'm? Can't craft.

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I don't know if anyone has brought this up yet, but Making Crafting Work is a low cost 3rd party pdf that is highly recommended if crafting is big part of your games.

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Aelryinth wrote:

Nosferatu, we are talking about the spell because it's a game-breaker.

the suspension of disbelief that the economy of a magical world works cracks and shatters as soon as you apply Fabricate to it.

That's why the discussion is happening. Sure, if the player is never going to abuse it, you can ignore it, and the DM says it doesn't happen. Buuuuuut as soon as your level 9 wizard or sorc wants to make a little money on the side...it opens a really bad can of worms, and then the other effects of the spell start to be revealed, especially how it sidelines crafters.

as for the 50% rule and demanding to sell at 90, great, just wait around for the buyer, and don't go adventuring.

The 50% rule assumes you are selling to middlemen, who turn around and sell to final customers. If you want to BE a middleman, give up adventuring and get into being a merchant, I'm sure your party can adventure without your character. The DM will take him and make an NPC, explain how he's getting into merchant politics and making and using a lot of gold, and the rest of the party is killing monsters and being heroes.

It's all good.


Hold on. I think that this conversation is taking things a bit far. Fabricate doesn't break the economy because the economy is in the GM's capable hands. There is no guarantee that a wizard using fabricate to make suits of armor is going to have buyers. This is a meta-game concept that we all usually take for granted when unloading all the spoils of the last adventure. But any GM worth their salt is not going to let a PC flout Wealth guidlelines because they have fabricate. That just assumes too much.

The craft rules have always been borked since 3E, and no one fixes them because the game is not called "Merchants and Moneylenders" (although there are some nice 3rd party products out there). Fabricate is also NOT an exploit to get rich. Its a spell you use when you need to craft a specific item right now. Its also a 5th level spell, like teleport or dominate person or baleful polymorph. A 9th level wizard is already breaking physical laws left and right in very dramatic ways.

Wizards and economics already don't mix. If a 9th level wizard sold the castings of all his spells, its would net him something in the thousands of gold pieces range, per day. But that doesn't automatically ruin the economy, in most people's games, now does it?

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Call it a Grimoire!

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Kthulhu wrote:
Wind Chime wrote:
Maccabee wrote:
So we're back to bashing the Pathfinder rogue because its a thief and not a stabby machine from Azeroth. The only difference between a Fighter and Samurai is the dogmatic code the Bushi paid lip service to. Sure, in Pathfinder they can be "magical karate warriors" if you want them to be, but in actuality you're talking about an asian themed fighter with ranks in poetry, banzai pruning, and bullying the peasantry.
People are bashing the rogue because he fails to match the wizard at being the ultimate thief, stealth expert (invisibility), trap finder (detect trap,magic etc), skill monkey and also fails to be able to outfight anything. The rogue is an inferior good, pretty much outclassed at all its specialities by the periphery talents of other classes.

Which is a reason to fix the wizard, not the rogue. Of course that runs contrary to the d20 design philosphy of magic being able to do anything that anyone else can accomplish, but with the spellcaster only needing to be half the level.

Strengthening the "weaker" classes isn't the only way to balance the game. Nerfing the "stronger" classes is just as acceptable an option.

Or, you know, actually making them play by the rules, which is frequently ignored.

I would LOVE it in a new edition of PF if higher level spells had more full round actions attached to them. If you are summoning a meteor or are about the drastically change the field of battle for everyone, that should require you to be chanting and waving your hands for the full round, so that the party needs to defend you. It also would make the choice between casting and moving more dire.

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If I was going to modify monks to address the problems discussed in the forums, I might do the following:

• d10 HD. No matter how you slice it, monks are meant to fight toe to toe with enemies. People who want to play frontline fighters need to have the HP to do it.

• Full BAB. Monks would fight at 3/4 BAB when using non-monk weapons. This includes feat prereqs. Feats with a high bab requirement cease functioning as long as the monk is using non monk weapons, if the 3/4 bab doesn't meet them. Forcing monks to stand in place to get the best chance of hitting makes no sense to me.

• Maneuver training (since the full BAB makes it redundant) would make it so monks only suffer AoO for attempting maneuvers if they fail the maneuver. The feats would thusly still be quite nice to have, but monks would be more encouraged to attempt maneuvers. (props to my gaming group for that idea :D)

• When a monk's improved unarmed damage increases, they may choose between going up to the higher damage, or increasing their unarmed attack's threat range by 1.

• Create a two feat chain that lets monks substitute their wisdom bonus for their strength bonus for unarmed attacks and maneuvers. This would be one for attacks, and one for damage. This would help PCs attempting to do stunning fist builds, and create a hard style/soft style divide. Crazy old man hermit style FTW!

Now this doesn't address a monk's attack bonus deficit (as other classes MAD fighter types get situational attack bonuses, such as favored enemy and smite), but a monk's many attacks technically increase their chance to hit. Maybe not a lot, and maybe it contributes to the whole "monk can't do damage" thing, as it seems like they miss all the time, but hopefully the extra attacks (with ki, and feats) even out.

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Arrrrr Loyalist had a diplomacy check fumble, me tinks.


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I hate the Magus' knowledge pool ability. Not for its mechanics so much for its fluff. why would you ever go out and seek arcane secrets if you can just sit there and write it into your spellbook by miraculous inspiration. Not too "arcane" if you ask me.

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Addressing the whole class description and its impenatrability, perhaps monks should have had orders like calaviers, each one helping describe the beliefs of the specific monk school. Something like that could have given them some direction as far as skills and fluff go. We have style feats and archetypes now, but had they started with some kind of monk orders their might have been less confusion about their purpose.

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Nevermind. Again, half empty glasses. Claiming that a monk and wizard have the same HP? No amount of logic will fill this glass.

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wraithstrike wrote:

It is a team game, but he tried to give the MONK the credit, so I want to see what the MONK did. Now if he got the dragon to the ground and the fighter killed it then the monk did not "beats the snot out of them."

Notice that "them" is plural so maybe he is a level 13 monk taking on CR 5 dragons.

Does the monk not get credit for grappling the dragon? Is that not awesome in itself? I get what you are saying, you are comparing contributions, but I think that there is a certain amount of glass half empty when people cry "monks suck!".

In the team game every person makes a difference. They might not all be equal, because the circumstances change from encounter to encounter. Monks might be flankers or they might be front-lines, and sure they have challenges but they still decent. Vanilla monks are essentially Two-weapon Fighters. They do about the same amount of damage, and are just as gear dependent (which is kinda sad, considering their fluff). They don't have quite the HP but they have evasion, resistances, saves, and SR. "Suck" or its equivalent is IMHO hyperbole.

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Azaelas Fayth wrote:
Androids or Warforged?


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Gorbacz wrote:

Personally, I blame anime. Folks watch wuxia over-the-top fighting, come back to D&D and are amazed that Monks can't teleport across universes and throw punches that conjure meteors of death from 999th Hell or whatever. They want to go Ninja Scroll or Tekken and ooops, the system doesn't support that right out of the box.

I think that expectation of anime fans is one of the major drives of "D&D martials suck" movement. Of course, WotC didn't really help with throwing them a bone with ToB:Bo9s...

I totally just made a ninja trying to clone Jubei Kipugami for PFS. I also made a qinggong monk as a backup. I am totally who you are talking about except I know what to expect, and that is that I will be rockin' that table with anime tropes till their minds explode.

*air guitar solo!*

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In some of the campaigns we run, we use a house rule that the Big Six bonuses are taken out of equipment and granted to players based on their level. This leaves only magic items that do magic things, like grant you the ability to fly or provide you the effect of a feat or whatnot.

For monks it would be quite nice, because they don't pay extra for getting more attack bonus, and they can operate as though they don't need lots of gimmicky equipstuff. If there ever is a second edition of PF I am seriously hoping that the Big Six get a hard look. There is nothing that feels magical about near mandatory "bonuses".

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Honestly, after going through half the pages on the stealth playtest 2 blog, I still don't know what "holes" were poked in the playtest rules. It still seems pretty straight forward. Can anyone point to any specific examples as to why the playtest rules didn't fix stealth?

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PFS ostensibly uses the RAW, so some people go out of their way to try to define what that is. I like knowing what the RAW is, so I get drawn in. Its a sickness, I admit.

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DM_Blake wrote:
Now, some people here are advocating that MY facing is determined by YOUR die roll (and let's face it, if you can apply Stealth and if you have bothered to even barely-optimize it, you can Take 10 and have such a huge modifier that nothing in the book will perceive you, even by rolling a 20)...

Correction. Your facing is determined by YOUR perception check. Your DC is determined by your opponent's stealth check. You are still in control of your character's actions. That is absolutely how things work in pathfinder (bluff vs sense motive, sleight of hand vs perception, etc, etc).

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Or you could just say that "facing" is really a matter of a perception check, and people who roll poorly are facing their navels.

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Don't forget the narrativists who just want it to work simply and not get in the way of the story :D

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Atarlost wrote:
Anburaid wrote:
If you just make the spear a double weapon then you make every weapon on a stick a double weapon, and then where does it end? Hell, in RL longswords were used as double weapons, but only generally through training/what we might call feats.
Feats. Like, oh say, this one?

To reiterate. Attempting to use a spear with a weapon feature it does not normally have (the double feature), would in my book, incur a penalty. Doesn't make it impossible, just not ideal. Is that so unreasonable?

If you made a spear fighter, I would think that you would be eager to spend feats to represent that extra training, surpassing those limitations. But joe-miltia-guy from hamlet-village? He is just going to stick to giving people a poke.

Also, you should check out the Burning Wheel RPG if you haven't already. It definitely has a more "realistic" depiction of medeaval combat.

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European Christian monks and Asian Buddhist monks were pretty similar in every way other than martial arts. They both lived in communal buildings, fasted, and prayed for the majority the day. The only real difference is that when European monks were threatened they built really tall towers to hide in, where as Asian monks learned to kick ass. Which do you think makes the better class?

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Dennis Baker wrote:

As someone who likes to game online occasionally and hates spending gobs of time setting up and dealing with software issues, this sounds awesome.

While I like the idea of using it for an AP, I'm most interested in using this for PFS. Hopefully PFS pricing will be reasonable, I can see this being a huge bump to online PFS.

This. A big hurdle in my life right now is scheduling time to play games. If PFS is accessible with game space, and I can search for a game to join when I have time play one, that would be peachy +5 keen (plus wounding).

It seems like that kind of functionality is really more about how the PFS website might evolve with game space. The PFS pages might have a immersive user-interface that tells the player "you are in the grand lodge, chatting with fellow pathfinders, looking for an expedition" while the game space itself is agnostic. A gm might recruit people from the PFS page and then they all log into game space and make he game happen.

Man, that's cool.

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Seriously, someone needs to make a bodhisattva Avatar, and use it to answer all these monk threads with zen koans.

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CLEARLY, dis santa isa right jolly, rouge-pirate. It esplains the outfit, the need fer breakin' and en-erin', an 'is obvious chaotic neutral tendencies, love o' wassail, wenches, and cookies, not whitstandin'.

Ats roight, Rouge - Pirate.


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for like a year, back when 3.0 first came out my friends and I thought that you threatened an AoO by "stepping within" a creature's threat range, not just "moving through". Thus all our combats had people moving just close enough to be able to take a 5 foot step, or some other maneuver to force an AoO from an opponent trying to get into melee range.

Then we figured it out later when an FAQ on AoO was posted on the WotC site. These things happen, I guess.

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LilithsThrall wrote:

It offends me to hear people blame activity like


on income disparity - as if the poor cannot help but act like thugs.

If we can figure out why people engaged in the kind of stuff I linked to above, then Occam's razor comes into play from there.

What I think is interesting is the metanarratives in play - everything from "the thugs are the victims" to "the media did it" to "the city is to blame". I think if you really want to understand what happened in Britain, try to figure out the mental patterns which have created the "justifications" and blame patterns for the whole thing.

I think there are quite a few factors, other than income disparity, such as youth unemployment, massive cuts to social programs that young people would need to help find employment, and a police force that has been caught taking bribes and shooting people because they are black. Add those all up and you have a generation of kids who find it easy to blame the rich and their tools, the police.

Mind you, I am not saying that looters have a free conscience, just that its not coming out of "nowhere". When hypocrisy in government reaches intolerable levels, populist uprisings follow. Hell the tools of the rich in this country are blaming the poor for not being taxed enough!

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we revisited our warforged stats last night and I came up with the following (which are intended for an eberron game in the future).

Warforged Redux wrote:

• +2 Strength, +2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom. Warforged are physically imposing and quick learners, however they come to adulthood at around four years old and lack real world experience.

• Medium: Warforged are medium sized creatures and gain to bonuses or penalties based on size.

• Normal Speed: Warforged have a base speed of 30 feet.

• Tireless: Warforged gain the Endurance feat. In addition, whenever they would normally suffer fatigue or exhaustion, they may instead choose to be able to act normally and suffer 1d6 non-lethal damage. Spells or effects that remove the fatigued or exhausted conditions do not reverse the non-lethal damage that the warforged received. Fatigue or exhaustion from rage like effects are an exception and warforged may not choose to trade the effects of their fatigue or exhaustion from an ending rage for non-lethal damage. Warforged do not sleep and are not affected by sleep spells and effects. A warforged spellcaster must still remain inactive for 8 hours per day to be able to cast spells but these hours need not be consecutive.

• Auto-Stablization: Warforged who are reduced to -1 hp or lower automatically stabilize on their turn.

• Part-Machine: Warforged are humanoids with the living construct sybtype and are affected by spells that effect constructs as well as humanoids. As living constructs they do not have normal anatomy the way other living humanoids do. They require very little to function and are immune to starvation, dehydration, and suffocation. While still vulnerable to poison and disease, their unorthodox anatomies grant them a +4 to saving throws against poisons, disease, and the sickened and nauseated conditions.

Warforged do not heal with rest. Instead they requiring repair by someone with the proper tools and a craft specialization in woodworking, blacksmithing, armorer, or clockworks to gain hit points from rest. The DC for performing repairs on a warforged is 15, and the warforged gains their current level in hit points per 4 hours of repairs. Warforged gain only 1/2 the hit points from magic healing spells and effects. They gain the full amount of hit points from repair spells, and the spell make whole. Warforged heal non-lethal damage normally.

• Ferrous: Though incredibly resilient warforged can fall prey to some dangers that threaten animated object and constructs. They are considered a ferrous creature and suffer damage from the spell rusting grasp or similar effect such as the touch of a rust monster. The spell repel metal or stone and repel wood as if holding an object that they cannot let go. Their bodies require some basic maintenance to avoid rust, mold, and corrosion. A warforged who has not undergone maintenance once during the week suffers a -1 armor check penalty per week neglected.

• Armor Plating: Warforged possess a built-in armor plating of masterwork quality that grants a +2 armor bonus to AC, 5% arcane spell failure chance, and reduces their carrying capacity by 15 lbs. This plating cannot normally be removed though it can be sundered. A warforged is affected by the spells heat metal and chill metal normally and cannot remove their armor plating to avoid its effects.

Warforged may be retrofitted with custom designed masterwork armor plating that resembles other armors. This custom armor plating can be installed with a DC 20 craft (armorer) check, requiring 4 hours and tools and conditions suitable for crafting armor. The cost of creating or commissioning new armor plating is the same as that of masterwork armor of the same type. This plating must be custom made to fit the individual warforged who receives it, and it reduces the warforged carrying capacity by its weight.

• Languages: Warforged begin play speaking common. A warforged with a high intelligence can take any bonus language they want (except secret languages like druidic).

I stayed away from the +2 to any attribute style because IIRC the race started out as just mechanical soldiers. Early on they didn't have sorcerers or specialists because their creators did not know how versatile their creations were. Later in the Last War, warforged proved to their masters that they were quite capable in a variety of tasks, and more specialized types of warforged began to be created, but the great majority are still of the standard "fighter" type.

Now after the War many warforged have taken menial labor jobs employing their tirelessness and natural strength, which has engendered resentment amongst the poor whom they have displaced (they are stealing our jobs!).

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The Chort wrote:
My GM let's us use an "adventurer's kit." 10 gp, 10 lbs, don't really think about it much after that.

I like this. Its a way of cutting down the prep time. Great compromise.

I think there is a place for RPing camp setup, where you are sleeping and how, what's your camp fire like, what equipment you have out, etc. These scenes slow the game down but allow the tension to decompress. They allow people to RP a little and express their character's personalities and quirks. You might only need to do it once in a while to get that feeling across, though, handwaving it when its not important for the PCs to get into that kind of detail.

The other nice thing about this kind of scene is that its a good set up for a frenetic combat later. If the players have had the time to settling into the details of the game, their imaginations are more active when the action packed scenes come through. If you RPed putting down your backpack and laying your bedroll down, when goblins ambush you in the night, you might use those details to make your combat more organic, like throwing the bedroll over a charging goblin to blind them (assuming a 1st level adventure where goblins are level appropriate combatants).

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Holy CRAP! My prayers have been answered ... SPACE CAMPAIGN FTW!

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The stabbity geisha girls local #507 wholehearted approve this informative tale of ninja awesomeness. Gratz Liz

For great justice!!!

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sieylianna wrote:
Sigil87 wrote:

The Ninja was WAY overpowered in the play test and from what i am told it still seems to be a LOT stronger than the rogue. I personally will be banning the class because rogue was around first and letting a ninja into my game would remove the rogue from existence. Which is total BS. They should of just fixed the rogue.

I also do not consider giving the rogue ninja stuff a buff. Thats stupid! It basically means that a rogue has to take another classes scraps to be worthwhile. *shakes head*

I agree. Rogue is one of the four original iconic classes in D&D. They should be preeminent at their class roles. UC turns that on its head because ninja are clearly superior to rogues...

Wait, the rogue's class role is kick ass in combat? I thought it was to disarm traps and steal treasure. Can anyone show me how a ninja is greater at combat than a dedicated combat rogue (lets say the typical half-orc falchion rogue)?

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Matthew Trent wrote:
I don't see why people are so keen on reactive abilities. They're straight up not as good. Though I have to say that something as basic as being attacked probably comes up frequently enough to be viable.

On further reflection Order Challenges, so far, have been about giving the cavalier a preferred tactic to use in battle. For some its "while on a horse", or others "while defending a comrade", etc.

What if the Ronin's challenge was "when outnumbered 2-1", as they don't have a cohort of warriors to aid him in his struggles. It could be a bonus Dodge AC, to compensate for being outnumbered. To me it conjures moments of when a lone ronin is surrounded by enemies and then deftly takes them all on at once, such as in Zatoichi movies or Lone Wolf and Cub.

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Here are my thoughts. I have no problem with the Ronin's challenge other than it relies on a specific class feature to work. What about expanding it to include anyone who attempts to demoralize the Ronin using intimidate? That way the Ronin has slightly more of chance to encounter a tactic he is especially suited to answer.

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The stealth rules have been called "intentionally" vague by James, I believe, so that GMs can deal with it as they choose. However, for players and gamers who want concrete rules determining especially what cases sneak attack can be used, it leaves things too fluid.

Putting on a GM hat I've read various parts of the stealth/invisibility/perception rules and go by these general guidelines. Some of which are house rules that bridge between RAW rules.

1. You need either cover/concealment or a distracted observer to use stealth in the traditional sense. Line of sight generally confounds the use of stealth without these factors.

2. guards use a move action to be 360º aware of their environment. If they do not use a move action to guard, a character can use stealth within their line of sight by picking the right time. It is resisted by a perception check.

3. distracted individuals are at penalty to their perception checks, compared to those "not guarding". This would be someone who is studying a spellbook, whittling a stick, or in general focusing their attention on a task.

4. people change their perception status on their action. Someone who is whittling may just put it down for minute and go back to guarding on their action. If someone is stealthed near them without cover/conceal they are immediately revealed.

5. A stealthed individual needs to make a sense motive check to determine the perception status of a person guarding.

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james maissen wrote:

Actually I think that the fighter is a good base line to use.

It's a question of what your PC brings to the table...

My perspective is that using the fighter as a baseline skews the expectations. The fighter should be better than baseline. In my experience fighters in my games out damage everybody. This is in part due to party buffs, but is is also because at the base, they start off doing generally more damage than other classes.

Treating fighters as baseline also contributes to the perception that "fighters can't have nice things". Making them baseline means you expect other classes to surpass the fighter as a matter of course, about as often as they don't quite match the fighter. My experience doesn't match that. On occasion a rogue gets a nice round of sneak attacks, or the paladin faces off against a dragon/demon/undead, but those are special cases.

Now if you are looking for the fighter to be a good idea of what the high-end of level appropriate damage is, then I think the fighter does nicely as a metric. His damage is usually the same from round to round, so its consistent. the fighter's damage is also generally not conditional like sneak attack, or favored enemy.

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Caineach wrote:
Anburaid wrote:

I think the problem here is that COMBAT-DAMAGE is being used as the measure of success, and while pathfinder is very combat centric, damage is NOT the only form of party contribution. The EK in this scenario has been built to fight. The other players probably have made characters that might be relatively decent combatants, but have diversified skills which dilute their combat prowess but allow them a way to contribute in other roleplaying endeavors. That doesn't make them badly designed, or the EK's combat advantage unfair. The EK is just more focused. His focus will mean that in situations outside of his focus he has less of an impact.

Part of the reason I started this thread was because I wanted to know how much damage a non-twinked combat character would have to do to remain relevant in the combat by attacking. Yes, there are other things that they can do, and hopefully they designed their character with some leadway. But, sometimes, you get into an encounter where your schtick just doesn't work, like a bard focusing on dazzling display facing undead. He has all mind affecting offensive abilities that the undead are immune to, so he is likely going to be attacking. Can he stay relevant or will he be better off trying to do something else, and where is the breaking point between those 2?

This idea can also help with the EK above durring character design. If the EK player knows about how effective his allies are, he can design his character to be in line with their power, rather than being the most twinked out he can be. Shift the goal posts on him from combat twinked to in line with others. Personally, I find this kind of optimazation more challenging and fun. The DPR Olympics were interesting not because you were trying to max out damage, but because there were limits that prevented you from just focusing on damage and you needed other survivability. If instead of telling me to make someone who hits 70 DPR at lvl 10, you tell me to hit ~50 DPR at lvl 10 and have annother...

well the DPR olympics did mean you had to focus on survivability as well as damage output, but really that's all it required. Consequently you didn't see many resources spent to learn "flower arrangement" or some-such.

steering back towards the topic at hand ...

if there was a type of character to compare for level appropriate damage, its not the fighter. The fighter is supposed to be better than other classes in dealing combat damage on a reliable basis. That's what he does. IMHO You shouldn't make him the baseline and expect everyone else to compete, unless you can quantify their indirect damage contributions, such as buffs, battlefield control, etc.

Your average bard will generally do less damage than a fighter, because he gets out of combat skill use, and other ways to shine. Its good to keep in mind that the fighter's contribution to the party is that he extra capable in combat.

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Beek Gwenders of Croodle wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

One response talks about a f/m/ek doing x amount of damage but gives no level at which that damage is done, so this could be a 20th level character for all we know (in which case that damage is clearly sub-par).

You're right, sorry.

We're playing a Greyhawk campaign which averages 8th-9th level.
The characters in the party are all built upon straight story and not minmaxed at all, on the contrary they might be considered highly unbalanced to a technical eye - some characters have very low armor class for instance.
Recently a new player has joined, a really technical player. I somehow tried to contain his mathematical approach but could not completely hack in to pieces. In any case he came up with a 9th level character (f1/w5/ek3) which has been minmaxed to hairsplitting precision. He's got two handed sword, transmuter levels char bonuses he placed into strength (str 20), greater magic weapon extended with a rod, scabbard of keen edges he built himself with metamagic feats, masterwork weapon, power attack, arcane strike plus a score of spells he casts before combat in typical SSL Computer Game stratecy (haste, enlarge, etc.). We and up with something like 3d6+20 and 3 attacks.
He might not be the strongest character in the universe, but compared to the other players which never thought about measuring bonuses and on the contrary went against their own advantage to build a character which is closer to their imagination, this seems unfair.
Just that.

I think the problem here is that COMBAT-DAMAGE is being used as the measure of success, and while pathfinder is very combat centric, damage is NOT the only form of party contribution. The EK in this scenario has been built to fight. The other players probably have made characters that might be relatively decent combatants, but have diversified skills which dilute their combat prowess but allow them a way to contribute in other roleplaying endeavors. That doesn't make them badly designed, or the EK's combat advantage unfair. The EK is just more focused. His focus will mean that in situations outside of his focus he has less of an impact.

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Getting grappling is the worst thing that can happen to a caster, especially weak strength wizards and the like. This was intended by the developer as part of the "don't let your caster get into melee combat" rebalancing of magic-users.

Monks, as a class, are probably the best caster-blocks in the game. They can move about the battlefield with unparalleled ease, they have a lot of synergy with grappling, and they have evasion, awesome saves, and massive touch ACs. Really in the example of the OP the cards were majorly stacked against the cleric. Which is not the poster's fault. They game was designed for 3.5 and grappling's complications discouraged people from using it. Any 3.5 era adventure is going to need tweaking for PF, if just for the fact that PCs have more powerful class features and more HP.

If your caster BBEG is facing a monk he generally has ONE real chance to escape and that is to cast something in the round that monk initiates the grapple (and remember that melee monsters can also full attack the monk in the 1st round of grappling). At least then the cleric is making a check with his level and highest stat bonus and hopefully combat casting.

I would encourage the original poster to not try to houserule grappling or try to limit the player who has built his character by the RAW. Instead, try to limit the enemies vulnerability to grapples, but still give this character who grapples reasons to use the feats and tactics he/she has chosen. Perhaps the next caster will be in a very difficult to reach position, and the monk is going to have to take several rounds to get there. Perhaps the next caster has a ready dimension door, or perhaps some damaging or compromising spell ready, with combat casting, or quickened. In any case try not to be too punitive as the player may feel like your are trying to get revenge.

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Toyrobots and I worked on this for about a month. We started converting the artificer for use in our RL game sometime this summer, and as we kept modifying this, and houseruling that, we decided at one point to try our hands at dramatic overhaul. By the time we were done, this version of the artificer was so different we decided to give it a new name. Hope you guys like it.


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In our RotRL game, I convinced my DM to let me pay an Eberron Artificer and we went about "pathfinderizing" it. we ended up doing the following

• D8 HD, 3/4 BAB, 4 skillpoints, Will saves high

• We added Decipher Script to the list of skills

• We decided faking any spell (within your level range) with UMD was too extreme, especially since there was a wizard in the party who might have used me as an infinite library of new spells. So we gave artificers a spell book (I called it a Schema book), that was the basis for what spells they could fake. This was before the PFCR came out, but even with the relaxed crafting rules, I think it still makes sense to keep it. Many times an artificer is going to casting from scrolls and wands and those are not spell rereqs you can ignore.

• Instead of Artificer Knowledge, we gave them Detect Magic as a spell-like ability. It became Dweomer Sense.

• Craft reserve was dumped. We beefed up Retain Essence, allowing it to salvage the enchantment for the purposes of crafting, and moved it to level 3. The ability got called Distill Radical. Basically the artificer destroys a magic item, but distills the dweomer into a small trinket called a radical (stolen from shadowrun's enchanting rules). The radical has a GP value of 1/2 market price of the item it came from. That whole gp value can be used towards the crafting of a magic item of the same enchantment (basically the artificer takes the dweomer out and reapplies it to a new item) or a portion of it can be used towards a similar item at the DM's discretion. So now my "Craft Reserve" is a bunch of dweomers in nicknacks, gems harvested from hilts, beads on strings, and other magic pieces of junk.

• Dispel Magic and Break Enchantment were added to the infusions list.

• Infusions, like Weapon Augmentation Personal, etc that had a 1 minute cast time got changed to a full round action, but now require a UMD check at 15+infusion level. If one wants to cast them without incident they take 10 (which takes one minute)

• A new class feature at level 5 called Plural Infusion allowing you to spread an infusion to an additional item at no additional cost once per day. This goes to 2 per day at 10th and 3 per day at 15th. The idea here was to encourage the artificer to spread the love on occasion while buffing himself. This culminates with the capstone power, Mass Infusion which allows an infusion to be spread to items carried by all allies within 30 feet.

• Some minor changes were made to some infusions to balance them or make them work in the new system. Bane is WAAAAAAAY over powered as +1 enhancement if you can cast it on demand. We moved it to Lesser Weapon Augmentation (Edit- Did I say lesser weapon Aug? I meant regular Weapon Augmentation) so that it was on par with Holy. Spell Storing Item was changed so that it could cost hitpoints to cast. It basically inflicted damage equivalent to an inflict spell of the same level being used.

All in all, its been a really fun class to play. But a note to DM's out there, artificers run on cash. Their midlevel features expect the artificer to be wielding a boatload of scrolls and wands. they can get by on infusions alone, but the real fun of the class is to craft stuff, and use it in the next adventure. The inverse here is true too. if your artificer has been über powerful in the game, reduce the money flow, and the down time, and make him spend his resources.