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Thrawn007 wrote:

I personally don't feel mystic bolt is as hopeless as many around here seem to. I think it has a lot of potential, and it's something different. I also don't measure everything by DPR as far as the worth of a class either.

I do agree changes would be good for the health of the class, but I think we are much closer than most people think.

the problem is that the ability is pretty much null at higher levels if only because of the ubiquity of energy resistances. The bolt could be great if it started non elemental and you could take stuff to make it elemental to add features to it, say nausea, stagger, etc.


Thrawn007 wrote:
If you are worried about immunities, you take a 2nd or third bolt type. Odds are you have something to get through. If we are talking high level, you likely can have multiple bolts AND full spellcasting.

My point was that if you're trying to be bolt focused you're eating spells to amp the bolts at a fairly high rate, not to mention having to take the bolt talent multiple times. My point specifically was that the concern that the damage would be excessively high was alarmist.


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I've been looking at the vigilante and I think I realized the origin of some of the problems that we've seen, but also a bit of the problem with the view. The thing is that the vigilante doesn't just have to be be balanced against other classes (to make sure that the vigilante isn't ridiculously over or under powered) but it also has to be compared to itself.

I am wondering if the problems from the warlock and zealot that we're seeing is from them trying to balance caster versions versus non caster versions. The thing is that so far it looks like the warlock and zealot are looking less interesting and maybe even less effective than say the stalker version. The Avenger version has its own issues but that mostly has to do with the fact that in some ways it's actually playing against type.

What I would suggest is that it might be a good idea for the designers to focus on class intangibles. Stuff that a class can do but that isn't a clear power comparison. IE things like the warlocks mystic bolts versus a different class ability. The thing is right now part of the problem with the vigilante is that the options feel limited, and worse they feel BORING. Most of the other classes feel dynamic when I am building and designing and instead we're seeing something kinda iffy with the vigilante.

The vigilante needs to feel less cookie cutter and more dynamic, it also needs to be able to do its job at least as well as another class trying to copy it. Remember, there is a masked hero version of the swashbuckler for example, and I'd be pretty sure that it will probably fight better than the avenger vigilante and might even be able to do the secret identity stuff better too. What we need for the class is more than raw power, we need options. I had mentioned the idea of something like the shadow companion from a 3.5 book that couldn't fight, couldn't flank, but gave all enemies around it a penalty to hit, saves and AC. Something like that could be really cool for the warlock as an option, or something that lets them use wands and staves better.

I also figure that people here have ideas for different versions of the vigilante that would be interesting and fun. What I guess I'm wondering is what you guys think on this and, if my idea on what part of the core problem is ways we might be able to fix or adjust it.


Endoralis wrote:

It would be too powerful, A simple 1/2 level with the base being pure magic energy would be fine.

If they make it wear choosing an element makes it equal level or has an additional 1d6 or 2d6 then you will see a plethora of Bolt Warlocks who arent invalidated.

As it is the number is far too low.

I disagree with the idea of it being too powerful. Don't forget the sheer amount of energy resistances and immunities that will be run into at mid to high levels. Let's say it became 5d6+5, pretty much any weapon will beat that per hit, and if I take arcane strike I also have to burn spell slots which means in terms of opportunity cost to keep up I am spending at least 6 talents on it.


master_marshmallow wrote:

How about a feat that let's you bypass ER? Or a "Clustered Rays" feat that works like Clustered Shots.

Clustered Rays wrote:
When making multiple touch or ranged touch attacks, total the damage from all hits before applying that opponent’s energy resistance. If you must roll to penetrate Spell Resistance, you only roll once. If you fail to penetrate Spell Resistance, then none of the rays hit.

still too feat intensive and it still wouldn't do enough damage. This is frankly depressing. I wish a few of the ideas that were offered, mine included, would have at least been considered.


This is just exasperating, it feels like they took our complaints about the warlock issues and decided to actually make the problems worse


Well, that was disappointing, not only is the damage lessened but the bolts are utterly useless after 8th level given the average energy resistances that are going to become more common around that time. The warlock version has a lot of potential for fun, but seriously, this is just annoying, it looks like they beefed up the ok versions of the vigilante and made the problematic ones worse.


PIXIE DUST wrote:
But why force him to be a cruddy spell caster or have vlass abilities? Sorcerers get full casting AND pretty nifty abilities. Magus and Bards get crazy abilities AND are better casters...

Which puts us in a different situation, the vigilante does have class abilities but quite often they seem to fluctuate between which 'side' of the class can use them.


Mr. Shiny wrote:
Archangel62 wrote:
no thoughts one way or the other on these?

I like the new talents, I'm just thinking that Eldritch Channel should have a bit of a drawback when used (requiring a full round, staggering the caster after, taking nonlethal damage, etc)

Also agree on the armor casting.

Main issue is that the class needs to have some edge when it comes to the mystic arts and why not have that edge be in terms of being able to coax more power out of wands, staves and scrolls. Why add on a weakness for something that is actually worth taking as a talent?


Tuyena wrote:
One could argue that ranged Avenger is one of its few strengths, with vital strikes snap shots.

Yeah I'll give that that trick is handy.

@Vrog: With no ability to regain the ambush position it's still tricky, range is easier but still not great. And the problem is that most of the talents aren't very useful for a ranged character. My point was why not create talents like say trick ammunition.


no thoughts one way or the other on these?


Rub-Eta wrote:
Archangel62 wrote:
Your comparisons are kind of off, Barbarian is meant to be melee first and foremost with stats that boost strength and the like, and the brawler is, well a brawler again mainly melee. The vigilante however doesn't have anything thematically that would seem to preclude ranged combat and in fact if looking at themes would seem to be something that would embrace it.

Except that the avenger doesn't really have anything ranged at all. It's refered to as a guy in the shadows, charging out and striking with his sword (both flavour and mechanically).

Just like how a Brawler is a fist fighter and not a ranged character, or how a Barbarian gets a lot of melee boosting but nothing extra for ranged. The avenger sings the same song.

No, no it really doesn't and please don't say that it does. The brawler in name and class features shows that it is meant to be an up close combatant. The barbarian can do ranged combat but class features show otherwise. Main class features for the Vigilante are those of the secret identity and the ambush features. And before you say that the talents themselves prove it then, I point out that the talents as done are poor.

And, since we tend to dance around it, let's actually look at the heroes who are in fact ranged weapon specialists.
Punisher, Vigilante, Hawkeye, Green Arrow, Red Hood. Not to mention a guy who patterns himself off a certain winged mammal who also has some rather iconic thrown weaponry. The point is that a combatant character for ranged makes sense, especially given the fact that a ranged character can at least theoretically get more advantage out of the ambush features in a combat since they might be able to do it more than once.

Frankly one good idea might be to give the Avenger the 'from surprise' abilities in such a way that they also work on enemies they get crits on or on other enemies after they down a foe. Since one of their big issues is simply that the surprise abilities are more or less only good once.


Intriguing, the idea that maybe the cover identity provide a few extra class skills and general abilities.

Socialite: Social skills and generally speaking the wealthy and socially connected one.

Scholar: The scribe, more knowledges and linguistic capabilities

Expert: Reporter, Barrister, Laborer.

Commoner: A hero of the people, blend into the crowds but show an exceptional skill and will.


Rub-Eta wrote:

It's not really a problem with the class. They won't really have talents to spend on anything but combat feats if they're using ranged (and they shouldn't get alternative talent options for ranged, as ranged characters don't need to get any stronger. Otherwise they'd have to be sub-par compared to combat feats or create a new variant way of using ranged, which shouldn't be a part of one class but a much bigger system).

It also isn't a problem since the class probably isn't supposed to be used with ranged (as no talent refers to a ranged attack or weapon but several times to a sword user). Just like how a Barbarian, Brawler or a Wizard (etc) doesn't really have anything in-class to support ranged combat specifically.
I can't say that the avenger doesn't have good synergy (as it's about as much as a regular fighter). Taken into account that it's a class that does two seperate ways of play (and really can't have synergy between social or vigilante mode).

Your comparisons are kind of off, Barbarian is meant to be melee first and foremost with stats that boost strength and the like, and the brawler is, well a brawler again mainly melee. The vigilante however doesn't have anything thematically that would seem to preclude ranged combat and in fact if looking at themes would seem to be something that would embrace it.

The problem with that setup though is that the vigilante abilities don't mesh well with the avenger package. The stuff for being frightening or awe inspiring do not, for example, mesh well with a package that has virtually no means of returning to stealth after attack. So while they might (emphasis on might) be able to make a splashy entrance afterwards they are going to be at something of a disadvantage.

Not to mention that I don't think it's unreasonable to have some options for ranged, something as simple as being able to use arrows or bolts to pin someone to a wall or do a ranged disarm, hell call it trick ammo or something. Not to mention the idea of providing options for thrown weapons isn't the worst idea either. The main problem is that yes, there are some cool melee abilities (the charge power, sucker punch, and the vital strike AOO talent) it doesn't have a lot of things that scream out a good setup or something that would feel very unique or interesting.

I'd argue that it needs more ranged support, or at least some ranged options. Not to mention, as said before, it needs a few other talent options to not feel like it's trying to be a fighter with a small number of useful tricks. Actually one potentially good idea might be doing something a bit like Tome of Battle from 3.5 for the avenger.


While I'm loathe to suggest adding another spend points from a pool mechanic class, the idea of something like that would probably work, essentially using a point to make it a full round action to change at low levels. It would still be a tax and I have concerns about how many classes have these point pool abilities but in principle the idea would work as a patch.


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Class feature adjustments: They are able to cast and use all abilities in light and medium armor. I'm sorry but this one should have been a no brainer, if they can't do this then the class as a whole requires an overhaul, especially given the current requirements for just getting more spell levels.

For currently listed talents:
Mystic Bolt: Make it supernatual, have the damage it deals be raw energy, and allow a secondary talent to take an elemental flavoring, said flavoring provides elemental damage and the following
Acid:Save or sickened
Electricity:save or dazed
Fire:save or caught on fire
Frost:save or slow
Save DC is 10+1/2 warlock level +int mod.
(I'd also like to be able to use deadly aim etc. with it but if not that, at least this stuff makes it usable and not entirely pointless at mid to high levels)

Bombs:I'd argue allowing to add int to damage, but if that's too strong, consider allowing them to use other talents to purchase alchemist discoveries related to bombs. It's unlikely to make things too problematic and might even allow for some more variation in spell design.

New Talents:
A talent called eldritch channel that gives a flat +4 bonus on all UMD checks as well as improving the effective caster level and saving throw of wands and spell completion items by 2.

New Talent called dark agent, it is similar in principle to a familiar, it conjures up a being of shadow, it can be destroyed if damaged but can be recalled as a full round action. Any enemy it is adjacent to takes a -2 penalty on saving throws, and to hit, you have to be at least 6th level to take this, it is also a swift to direct and move this creature, it does not exist for purposes of flanking.

New talent called Pact of Power, it would effectively allow abilities in a similar vein to bloodlines, offers some thematic opportunities and can help make individual warlocks more distinct.


Archangel62 wrote:
Rub-Eta wrote:

Just a heads up, the title is a bit offencive, as you're basically saying that they did a s!&$ job and should start over.

I see that there's a lot "I feel like" or "I think that" and no hard numbers when people havn't actually playtested the class (this probably affects what paizo listens to or not).

I wouldn't say that the Suckerpunch only usable once/encounter is a problem compared to that it's none-leathal damage, it's a flavourful talent, not an optimal one.

The avenger do get enough ranged love, as they can pick combat feats instead of their talents (and they can pick it mutliple times). That's all a ranged character needs, with that it's almost as good as a fighter but also have a social/skills side. The extra love for melee helps to make it not just another composite bow class.

The problem is that most of the avenger talents and abilities only really work for MELEE. And I would love to see options where an archer could use arrows or bolts to pin an opponent to a wall, or use trick ammunition. The suckerpunch thing and other general ambush abilities are still problematic in that, as the class currently stands, you only get to use that surprise once. You can make a decent splashy entrance but after that a lot of your features are questionable, this is very noticeable when compared to the other features which either have ways of going back into the darkness and ambushing again or have ways of doing their work more subtly.

Maybe my tone might seem harsh with the title but the fact is that the avenger feels like the class features are not meshing properly with the design. There are some cool elements, the charge, the vital strike attack of opportunity, but in general the abilities look as though they're at odds with the main class features or at least synergize very poorly.

Oops, fixed above.


Rub-Eta wrote:

Just a heads up, the title is a bit offencive, as you're basically saying that they did a s!&$ job and should start over.

I see that there's a lot "I feel like" or "I think that" and no hard numbers when people havn't actually playtested the class (this probably affects what paizo listens to or not).

I wouldn't say that the Suckerpunch only usable once/encounter is a problem compared to that it's none-leathal damage, it's a flavourful talent, not an optimal one.

The avenger do get enough ranged love, as they can pick combat feats instead of their talents (and they can pick it mutliple times). That's all a ranged character needs, with that it's almost as good as a fighter but also have a social/skills side. The extra love for melee helps to make it not just another composite bow class.

The problem is that most of the avenger talents and abilities only really work for ranged. And I would love to see options where an archer could use arrows or bolts to pin an opponent to a wall, or use trick ammunition. The suckerpunch thing and other general ambush abilities are still problematic in that, as the class currently stands, you only get to use that surprise once. You can make a decent splashy entrance but after that a lot of your features are questionable, this is very noticeable when compared to the other features which either have ways of going back into the darkness and ambushing again or have ways of doing their work more subtly.

Maybe my tone might seem harsh with the title but the fact is that the avenger feels like the class features are not meshing properly with the design. There are some cool elements, the charge, the vital strike attack of opportunity, but in general the abilities look as though they're at odds with the main class features or at least synergize very poorly.


Lukas Stariha wrote:
Archangel62 wrote:


Also realized a few modifications that need to be made, or clarifications. I am hoping we can use deadly aim with mystic bolts. Also would like to point out that we need to know if we can cast properly while wearing armor for the warlock, if we can, then that does add some useful new options.If not...we need that option.

I wouldn't expect Deadly Aim/Power attack to ever be applicable to Mystic Bolts, as they are touch attacks and pretty much one of the main examples why those feats have clauses against them.

Additionally, it has been clarified: Warlocks are arcane casters that suffer ASF when wearing any armor or shields.

...so in other words it loses key class features, got it. This is not a good design. I would also argue that the bolts should be considered an exception for deadly aim, if only because I can throw more damage with a gun and have fewer limitations against me. Not to mention being outpaced by bows, etc.

On a different note, I got an interesting idea, something like a sort of mini eidolon, a powerful wraithlike entity or other such being that could be called on as a kind of partner or temporary summon to aid in battle.


I'm looking over the vigilante, and the avenger has me...concerned. I like the idea and I agree that it's good to have, but I am seeing an issue with the features given not meshing well with other class abilties. What I mean is this, the main class has a lot of stuff for sudden ambush attacks and generally being sneaky and social. The combat stuff, yes it has a few cool stealth oriented abilities (Suckerpunch, the armor training stuff to stay hidden) most of them don't fit as well. The problem is also that those stealth attacks are only going to be good once, since unlike the other classes there are no spells or talents to allow the avenger to vanish into the shadows again for another ambush.

I'd also point out that ranged could use a bit more love for the vigilante in terms of avenger talents, but that might just be my bias. I love the manuever stuff, and the ability to use vital strike on attacks of opportunity, the charge trick was nice too but by and large I'm a little iffy. Maybe it's just that it doesn't seem to have the same pop that the other versions of vigilante do, but it does feel like it could use a lot more polishing, if only to either be able to take proper advantage of the stealth tricks or a better way to get around being able to use those abilities maybe once in a combat.


I am now thinking of either Moon Knight or Batman Incorporated, either way I am intrigued.


Alexander Augunas wrote:
thorin001 wrote:
The whole mechanic seems forced. Also it does not really seem to accomplish anything.

Except for being a foolproof way to completely thwart divination magic that tries to connect you to your secret identity?

I mean, seriously, this is a martial class (3/4 spellcasting if you take warlock or zealot) that has an ability that LITERALLY does something that no spell can currently do: foil divination effects so hard that they only pop up as "black." How is that nothing?

This isn't a class that you're going to be able to drop in Shattered Star and have it work, no. But Kingmaker? Hell's Rebels? Wrath of the Righteous? Those are ALL APs where having a secret identity that no one expected would be super useful.

From his lair in the City of Locusts, Deskarii slams his fist into his table.
"What do you MEAN you can't find him?! Work your magic, Abyssal worm! I WANT THE GOLD BARON'S HEAD AND I WANT IT NOW!"

ACtually speaking of Kingmaker, could both of your vigilante identities take on different kingdom roles?


The Morphling wrote:
They SHOULD be made to bypass Spell Resitance. The ability is weak enough already (with the ban on using useful feats like Rapid Shot or TWF to make it relevant), it doesn't need more dragging it down.

Agreed, I think I might like it more if it was non elemental and you could pick up a secondary talent that was elementally oriented for the blast that also adds in something like a secondary effect. Say being on fire for fire blast, slowed for ice, dazed for electrical, etc. I'd also be in favor of allowing things like TWF, Deadly Aim, etc.


Looking this over I'm seeing some fun potential involving suckerpunch and a merciful weapon, using it to produce ambush knockouts. Not useful against undead or certain other beings but still potentially hilarious.


Looking at your point while I was pretty happy to see the warlock option, making me remember my second favorite class from D&D 3.5 you have a good point on several of them. The tax issue is a fair one, I kind of wonder if something like the witch hexes might be a fun option for this. Also I do agree that it needs something, either more spells or SLAs, or something because pure magic is pretty nice, as designed it's sort of an issue.

Also realized a few modifications that need to be made, or clarifications. I am hoping we can use deadly aim with mystic bolts. Also would like to point out that we need to know if we can cast properly while wearing armor for the warlock, if we can, then that does add some useful new options.If not...we need that option.


Well, I have to say that I am loving the warlock option, both as a reminder of the old warlock class and some fun thematic potential for games. I will also say that I am a little unsure on the avenger archetype more because while it does look decent it doesn't have anything that makes it pop the way the others do.


My connection hiccupped during my submission. I don't know if my submission actually got in or not and don't want to submit the same thing twice. Is there any way I can be sure it got in?


Maybe I'm kind of alone in this or maybe I missed the rules for it somewhere. I was just wondering anyone else out there was surprised that there was nothing for the alchemist in terms of firearms. When a lot of other classes were given firearms options it seems odd to me to ignore the alchemist, someone that would presumably know how to do the whole blackpowder thing, had a medium BaB so they could reasonably use the guns in combat, and it would seem, at least to me to fit with them thematically. Perhaps I'm wrong though, any comments on this would be welcome.


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Maybe I'm kind of alone in this or maybe I missed the rules for it somewhere. I was just wondering anyone else out there was surprised that there was nothing for the alchemist in terms of firearms. When a lot of other classes were given firearms options it seems odd to me to ignore the alchemist, someone that would presumably know how to do the whole blackpowder thing, had a medium BaB so they could reasonably use the guns in combat, and it would seem, at least to me to fit with them thematically. Perhaps I'm wrong though, any comments on this would be welcome.


Did some experimenting on my own. I'm an Eberron junkie and tried building warforged, some Karnathi Skeleton men, and a shifter, also tried building Raptorans. I can post them if you'd like.

My issues:

Thoughts:
1) Resurrection weakness is a bit hit or miss for me, it’s something that I can see being used a lot since it might never come up (IE the enemy is unlikely to have it immediately available and ready). It’s an interesting idea, but I’m shaky on it.

2) There needs to be a better demarcation of where an ‘advanced’ race begins and ends, some of the abilities listed don’t seem especially mindblowing. See also the problem where a Tiefling/Aasimar is well below what other 10 point builds can be.

3) Some of the PH races are a bit strong, it might help if we had a clearer demarcation, does a tiefling still need an LA? Probably not, but is 13 the cutoff point or can we go higher?

4) Need clarification on the ‘can be taken multiple times’ thing in regards to the total limit on taken abilities from each category.

5) Improved elemental resistance might need to be either cleaned up or expanded, since there are abilities that grant resistances that aren’t the specific elemental resistance power.

6) Limit on number of save boosters, this is more the issue of in defensive I could be a half construct of say Dual mind and fortunate.

7) racial spellcasting can allow racial self buffs, unsure on that idea

8) I admit I’m curious on the idea of fast healing, not too high, but would it be feasible or would that be overpowering? I think it might be salvageable as a high point cost advanced (like 6-8) or a medium cost (4-6) Monstrous ability.


One thing that I feel I have to say is that by and large I really enjoyed both Ultimate Magic and Ultimate Combat, the latter moreso. One of the problems that comes up is that both of them had...well let's just say certain handicaps out of the gate.

UM was the first focused supplement and they introduced some interesting new ideas but also some that were...well not so good (many of the monk vows and/or a lot of the witch hexes). The Magus was frankly awesome and is probably one of my favorite classes and I also like the ideas for the new magic system. Most of the complaints that I saw for UM were either screams of power creep or some complaints of things that were pretty silly (as mentioned before, many of the witch hexes or the oaths for the monk).

UC had a different problem, it had a few things that people complain about, oriental material and guns. There are people who would complain about those being added regardless of how well or poorly the material is integrated. While I might not use everything listed I like the options presented. For example while I might never use some of the alchemical vehicles listed I like that the rules are there for them if I want to try that kind of campaign or if I want to play with that sort of thing conceptually.


A Man In Black wrote:

It's only one community, dude, and power creep is about bad rule book writing. If the old feat gave you +1 and the new feat gives you +2, that's power creep, and no amount of whining about "roll" players changes that.

In fairness I would argue that some of it may well just be that the old feat was underperforming or not good enough, etc. One thing about power creep is that it can mean just about anything.

New options can be argued to be power creep if they let a person focus on something more effectively or let an archetype suck less. To some people anything will be considered power creep if it goes above their view of what the limit should be.

I like most of the stuff in UC for example, though the variant rules could have used some work, called shots were mildly interesting but the others pretty much had me groaning. The gunslinger was interesting, even kind of fun looking, plenty of the archetypes are at least somewhat fun. The Ninja was actually pretty meh for me but I like that they have the options there.


I'm not a huge fan of the food/water tracking thing either. I think some of it has to do with genre conventions. If you're doing a campaign like Darksun or a place where food and supply access is a key part of the drama (say exploring a dangerous and remote area) or something similar then it's probably a good part of drama. For games like Gamma World, Deadlands, etc. food and water tracking can be good and make sense. However in general pathfinder, I would have to argue that it's a bit of a distraction and seems like it might be unnecessary in most cases.


FrinkiacVII wrote:
Archangel62 wrote:
My own thoughts on the OPs question are as follows. I find it problematic if you're going to claim that it's too easy to make items or whatever when in essence a big part of the games central axis is supported, and arguably even dependent on magic items and the use thereof. Now you might argue that you feel that it's 'too easy' or 'too fast' but my question is what your barometer would be exactly.

My barometer is basically this: if an item has a caster level of X, then I think it logically follows that the PC crafting it ought to have a pretty hard time making if they're not caster level X or higher. And even if they are caster level X, it shouldn't necessarily be automatic. If an item has a requirement of "must be a level 10 cleric" and you're not a cleric, and you're not even CLOSE to level 10, it ought to be damn near impossible, but perhaps achievable with a lot of luck (i.e. on a high d20 roll). Under the current rules, it's a cakewalk. This, to me, is something I find wrong with the RAW.

That's really the crux of the issue for me. All of the discussion about the WBL table, what it means, how it should be used, etc is fascinating to read, but what I really have trouble with isn't power level, wealth level, or treasure level in my campaigns, but rather that annoying problem of a low level caster being capable of EASILY making items that should, to me, be FAR beyond his skill level to do. I mean, I have in-game images in my head of this lvl 5 wizards peers warning him with ominous predictions of doom like "You're meddling with powers you barely understand!" and "You'll shoot your eye out!" and then he just hauls off and cranks out the item in like a week with absolute confidence and no possibility of failure. There's just an unavoidable "reality check" for me there as ironic as that sounds talking about magic in a fantasy game, but still, there it is...

The argument that the REAL limiting factors should be time and money alone just isn't good enough for me, as a...

I suppose I can see your point, the issue being less about technical power level than it is about the rules making a kind of internal sense. I can appreciate this and even agree to an extent. I think part of why it bothers me less is that a lower level caster can use high level scrolls and people with no magical ability can activate a wand for UMD. To me magic is basically a science that the wizards have mastered and the sorcerors work intuitively (as to divine casters they have divine beings doing the math for them) so I figure it just means that things would be more difficult (see the DC).

As for their rolls, while I can see your point I think some of it was done to make it so that players would feel encouraged to make crafters and be able to do things that were a bit beyond them if they felt willing to try. I'd also point out that unless the players have the resources to pull it off it isn't likely to really happen in game often (IE them making something radically above their caster level)


Hmm, just got an odd idea, if you were to mix gestalt and regular, maybe have the regulars on the fast or moderate table and the gestalt set one table higher for XP requirements.


The one that caught my group by surprise, mostly because we all came from 3.5, was that undead and constructs could now be critically hit and sneak attacked.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
"Well, my cohort just reached level six. Hey, he should take Leadership too, and get a cohort himself! Wait...." *begin breakage*

Had that happen in one game, guy did the russian doll of leadership and forged a huge army. Then we found the deck on many things, a close ally ('man number 3' on the cohort chain)turned against him and suddenly there was a massive civil war. Hilarious as hell to watch.


My own thoughts on the OPs question are as follows. I find it problematic if you're going to claim that it's too easy to make items or whatever when in essence a big part of the games central axis is supported, and arguably even dependent on magic items and the use thereof. Now you might argue that you feel that it's 'too easy' or 'too fast' but my question is what your barometer would be exactly.

Some games have very loose crafting rules but require a great deal of luck (see the Pre-Savage Worlds Deadlands) or were left entirely up to fiat (second editions system). Now, to the idea that a world that has shops that can sell magic would be immersion breaking or that at the current potential speed of creation the world would be awash in magic items, well I would have to disagree. Many shops that would deal in such trade would likely be set up with well armed and protected guilds (a la Eberron) or would have other countermeasures. And as to the idea of the world being awash in the items, most people would simply make them for allies or for personal use/trade and sometimes as a payment for services rendered. As a side effect the items will tend to be adorning the trophy walls of the wealthy or be in the hands of adventurers as well as in the various places that said adventurers died at where they can be reclaimed by hopefully luckier ones.

Your idea of making it very easy to create cursed items is one of those things that sounds wonderful and logical until it starts seeing active play. See also the critical fumble discussions and the various crit table ideas in d20. Not saying that they can't work or that they're inherently bad ideas, just that hiccups are likely.

If the chance is small, say you would only have it happen on a '1' if they are trying 'over their head' then we have a new problem. Players might try to shoot at the moon in terms of item creation because frankly if the odds are the same regardless, and relatively small you're only adding a bit of extra rules text that often won't come up and be more likely to frustrate players who might make an occaisional item and roll poorly rather than those who are using the system heavily.

Conversely, if the chance is too high it makes it so that item creation is either prohibitively dangerous to the point where few people would even want to try (and then begs the question of what madman or madwoman made the magic items they're finding) which then makes the rules for making magic items questionable in use, after all if you want to discourage people from using something you might be further off not including it at all.

Part of it is also this, item creation being relatively easy is an asset to a DM. It means that if someone in the party has it then they don't have to work as hard to make sure that everyone will get at least SOMETHING useful out of the treasure rather than the items tending to weight towards one person or another, or even towards some classes more than others.


My own views will be colored a bit by the edition shifts, I have run for several duskblades and am in a game with a Magus at current.

The Duskblades big advantages are the larger pool of spells to draw from which means in general that more casting can be done and more 'oomph' gained in impact, in addition the ability to channel a spell into each attack of a full attack is quite potent, in fact it's arguably the biggest point in the duskblades favor. The fact that the duskblade also has a full base attack bonus is a point in its favor, though not fully relevant as I will explain shortly. The Duskblades ability to use two handed weapons and polearms is also an edge, and could allow for far greater damage, however it should also be noted that really in 3.X damage was somewhat irrelevant as far as casting went.

However the Magus has several big edges that equalize it in my view at the very least or might even push it slightly beyond the duskblade. The first is simply the arcana pool, the Magus can get a collection of various abilities from rerolling checks, to gaining insta-hastes to any number of other abilities. It also allows them to turn ray spells into touch spells, I would consider this to be a slight edge if nothing else. They can also use the points to recover expended spells as well as several other features.

The other thing about the Magus is this, their casting option is quite different. A full attack is made and then a touch spell is used, either through touch or through a weapon. The attack is made at the highest BaB which will usually mean that there will be a hit. The Magus also gets treated as a fighter, half leveled but still, for the purposes of qualifying for feats. I would also point out that the magus has an overall better quality of spells for use compared to the duskblade with a few possible exceptions.

One other important area is this, the Magus external options are what push it head and shoulders above, while the staff magus has me scratching my head a bit but the bladebonded magus and the hexcrafter actually have me very interested as they look very fun and interesting.

I suppose in summation, the duskblade in comparison seems like it would likely burn out before too long especially at low levels. The Magus can nova through a few encounters or use abilities sparingly and go through many of them though some designs are better at this than others. I honestly can say that in my view, a duskblade as is would probably be instantly trounced by almost all of the current pathfinder classes in both power and utility assuming some modicum of skill at character design.


Gorbacz wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

I've scanned the bladebound magus much like I've scanned the new archetypes of all the classes, but nothing popped out to me.

What exactly makes it so popular that I keep hearing people bring it up over and over and over again?

Is it really powerful? Flavorful? What?

One word: Elric.

I mentioned that to one of my two gaming groups, one group got it, the other gave me such odd looks.


Much of what I want is mentioned already, while I might not use a samurai or ninja in my games the idea of clear and concise firearms rules that are balanced with everything else is rather appealing. But as for my big stuff

1) As mentioned by others feat chains or archetype options for specific weapon types for extra advantages or things like that with certain styles (maybe even making the weapon style things universal instead of fighter only)

2) I may be the only one but I kind of miss the concept of tactical feats from 3.5 and would be somewhat interested in seeing them again, or at least seeing if they would work.

3) Maybe some rules for templating animal companions or class steeds as part of advancement (this is more a maybe)

4) Schools of combat and warfare that might give their students bonuses in certain situations and penalties in others, similar to the oath concept.

5) Maybe this would be the wrong place, but exotic materials for weapons and armor as well as modifications to same that are nonmagical would be of some interest.


Ral' Yareth wrote:

Yeah this spell seems messed up. It directly contradicts the book in question in the section about designing new spells.

I think it would have been an ok spell if dmg was 1d6/2 levels rather than 1d6/level.

Anyway, I'm glad Sean is looking into it.

I disagree somewhat, if only because in the spell creation section when they were talking about different spells they did comment that cone of cold was actually fairly weak for the level it was at. Not saying that this spell might not be a bit op, just saying that part of it might be more cone of cold not quite being up to snuff.


Casper Andersen wrote:
My imopression so far is that, although Ultimate Magic is a great book it falls just short of APG. Some of the options are either flatout crap (Vows) or doesnt really work thematically as intended (Dragon Shaman). But whatever misteps in the book, consider it against any of the old 3.X splatbooks, those usually had 3-5 things i would potenially use, whereas in Ultimate magic i can only find 3-5 things i would NOT use. That is a win to me :-D

Oh yes, agreed. As mentioned my only real complaint is with the witch, admittedly I didn't look too closely at the vows when I was reading through it the first time but looking at it now..there are probably some things that need to be worked on.


Shadow_of_death wrote:

This may sound weird from me if you have been following the big UM threads, but I actually have to disagree.

Poison steep (with beguiling gift especially), beast of ill omen, and unnerve beasts seems very powerful to me. Handing out poison, bane-ing a creature and making enemy pets attack there owners/ causing random bear attacks just sound useful, no more annoying druid villains unless they want there pet t-rex to eat them.

Not to mention prehensile hair, child-scent, and water lung seem to have great utility.

All of this and there very witch like, I must say I approve.

Water lung is pretty good and I thought I mentioned as much, if not, then I will say it here. The poison thing I am a bit iffy on, I suppose I can see it working but that seems to be a little overly involved and situational.

The making a druids pet attack seems somewhat unlikely based on the hex, most DMs would probably say it doesn't work that way though that is a neat idea.

Beast of Ill omen...I can see where it might be nice, my issue with it is that it makes my little living spell book an easy target or the question of them noticing my little scorpion.

Child scent I can't see much use for, but yes, I do like prehensile hair and probably will be taking it if only because I like having extra hands.


While I actually like prestige classes I will say that thus far the way that the various archetypes are set up I am content if we don't see to many so long as the base classes remain interesting and functional.

I love messing with mechanics and in my view the prestige classes were meant to be a patch fix for a class that might be a bit weak or a way to introduce new concepts as well as making certain archetypes more achievable. The APG, between the alternate character options and interesting base classes managed to throw multiple different options for someone who just wants to explore mechanically as well as offering a few prestige classes for things that might not be perfectly explored and still provide a lot of fun and balanced stuff.

Edit: And good point AEvux, I can see the issue where a few different abilities might work well thematically from different archetypes and the ability to try to mod them a bit more can be problematic. I hate to put that one solely in the DMs area but trying to design a more modular archetype system where you can switch parts and make it a hard an fast part of the system would likely be a tad problematic.


Mikaze wrote:

Monks feel the witch's pain on the imbalance of "good-evil" options. New evil toys for the monk, none good.

It would have been nice to have new coven suggestions that didn't revolve around hags. Fey, benign aberrations(flumphs exist, don't claim the concept isn't possible), strange celestials...

Agreed, I figure the monk will probably get some nice toys in Ultimate Combat.

And to the people who think that putting in effects that are impractical for normal use are great, tell me if you'd like chapters on mechanics for a new class or system that are unworkable or impractical and took up space that could have been better used for something else.

I did not ask for a hex that let me kill someone at 40 paces, nor did I complain that I wasn't able to get hexes that were BETTER than the APG. My complaint was that almost all the hexes were worse and many of them were impractical for use either due to their general theme; cooking a sentient creature and eating them in a cauldron for example. My issue is that the witch section felt very poorly done compared to the others, I feel sympathy for the monk fans but at least ultimate combat is likely to offer them some new feats or options, at least in theory.


Mnemaxa wrote:

Actually, I'm perfectly happy using these thigns as flavor text. The fact that Ultimate Magic isn't synonymous with "ultimatedeathraykillystuff that breaks the game" is fine by me, because it means that it adds flavor and options, rather than trying to do what 4e and 3.5 did which was "make everything better so that you HAVE to buy more books to keep up with the times and power levels of the characters!"

I would much rather have cool and interesting than powerful. Powerful is already covered in the APG and the Core books. Those two books let you be as deadly as you want. Being more deadly is pointless when you can already build characters in core that can kill in one or two rounds of combat against CR = their level. Minmaxing is silly as well - so you can kill something in one round instead of two. Oh boy!

I can only hope Ultimate Combat is similar in design.

Flavor and options are wonderful, and I'm not asking for things that are game breaking. What I would like is stuff that is at par with the hexes in the APG. Unfortunately a lot of the hexes are either impractical, unusable (cook person) or too weak to be viable.

When the abilities are just flavor text that don't do anything then why bother making a person have to take them, just make it so that your arcane marks look like scars or something.

When I buy a gaming book I am buying it for more options, not necessarily a more powerful character but for the ability to make a character that is fun to play and both thematically and mechanically interesting. While some of the hexes were very interesting thematically (I personally love the baba yaga hex even if I may never use it) many of them were mechanically bland and disappointing.


I got ultimate Magus recently and frankly I love it, there are a lot of interesting things in there. The Magus looks like a lot of fun, especially with the black blade option (big Elric fan). The lack of prestige classes was a little disappointing but given that the base classes actually stand on their own quite well I don't really see that as an issue.

In fact only one thing really kept me from putting the book at or near the level of the APG, and that was the witch section. I am currently playing a witch in a pathfinder game, we're using the adventure path 'Legacy of Fire' and I have been enjoying the character and was looking forward to some new hexes, mostly so I could find a replacement for 'slumber' as it's driving the DM a tad nuts.

When I looked over the hexes to say I was disappointed would be an understatement, hexes like Feral speech an prehensile hair were pretty interesting and water breathing actually looks pretty good. The problem though is that a lot of the hexes are either nigh useless or only really valid for an NPC.

Scar and beast of ill omen, for example, are both problematic for different reasons. With scar I'm spending a hex slot to get something that has very few real uses, if any. Beast of Ill Omen has two problems in my mind, one is that it's less useful than say Evil Eye in mechanical terms but it also leaves the familiar a bit vulnerable and since the familiar is also your spellbook that can be a bit of an issue.

On the other side you have things like Cook Person, Child scent, etc. where the idea is clearly for these to be used by the stereotypical evil witch that lives in gingerbread houses and devours overfed bavarian children. Now I actually think these are kind of interesting, I even got an idea for a villain looking at Cook Person, but they aren't usable for the player. I get that the game isn't all about the players but when it seems like many of the hexes are inferior to what was in the APG or are unusable for a normal game things get a tad problematic.

Some of the problem is simply this, many of the hexes given ended up being impractical for player use if they didn't fall under too weak or villain fodder. For example there is a hex gives a person damage over the span of minutes where they get fresh saving throws, for a player this is questionably useful since odds are they'd focus more on immediate battle hexes and if minutes are kicking in then more likely the entity in question as plot armor or can likely make the save. In either case, not very helpful.

I want it to be known that I really did enjoy the book overall and I like the witch, but with the stuff listed the hexes were almost universally disappointing. Some of the archetype stuff was good, but I wish we had gotten either better hexes or more archetypes. And before anyone complains about 'roll-playing' or any of that crap, my issue here is that the witch material felt very lacking compared to the other stuff in the book, and given Paizo's record otherwise I found it rather annoying.


Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:

It basically lets you cast a Still, Silent, Heightened version of a first level spell three times per day for free. I don't think that's too shabby.

UM introduced a few new (Sp) hexes anyway, so it's not like it's alone in that respect.

Except a lot of the hexes were rather disappointing.

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