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Jhaeman wrote:
This thread makes me understand why the dev team is loathe to issue FAQs. No matter what they say, some people will be mad, and no matter how well they say it, some people will parse and quibble over every single word to try to still get the result they want.

Only when they make horrible rulings. No one argued for this interpretation because they wanted it to be true. They argued because they're RAW traditionalists who like to argue. Everyone except dick GMs would be happier if the ruling were what was better for the game.

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Rub-Eta wrote:
I can tell you right now that the Slayer did not make the Rogue obsolete.

Of course not. The change to class skills in Pathfinder, the ability of anyone to detect magic traps and of most people to cast dispel magic on them, the change to blink (it no longer denies opponents their dexterity bonus to AC, thus preventing it from enabling sneak attacks), and the ineligibility of splash weapons for sneak attacks made the rogue obsolete.

Unchained brought back some sort of niche, but that's the first good rogue that actually says rogue on it character sheet in Pathfinder.

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A lot of the rules break down without any grid. This seriously skews balance. Spells with templates either become far stronger or far weaker depending on which way they fudge. Same for AoO builds. Flanking reliant builds usually get boosted because they don't have to actually count tiles and find that their move action can't get them into flank without eating an AoO. Movement speed differences are devalued. Archers get better and improved precise shot becomes redundant because LoS is impossible to adjudicate.

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Wise Old Man wrote:
People say that there will always be world hunger, but it's only 450 billion to end it. Governments can do it. So everything possible.

That's PHB thinking. Anything you don't understand must be trivial. It's not. You can't solve world hunger by giving everyone food. You can't even solve world hunger by giving everyone a farm.

some reasons you can't solve world hunger by throwing money at the problem:

If people with power benefit from the existence of hunger no solution can be implemented without first fighting a war over it. Food donations often don't make it to actual hungry people in tyranical or lawless countries because they're intercepted by tyrants and would be tyrants who want to use the threat of starvation to enforce loyalty. Moving more food from the over-producing to under-fed nations won't get it to the actual hungry people.

If permanent changes aren't made to the cultures that allow tyrants to rise you don't have a long term solution. No one has figured out to do this without first completely breaking society as was done to the Axis nations in the Second World War. At some point you count the cost and find that you have millions of dead people and have brought back colonialism.

From the other end the people in developed nations pushing solutions to world hunger benefit politically from the existence of an unsolved hunger problem. Some care more about humanitarianism than political gain, but those who care about political gain are more likely to be politically influential. Removing those who benefit from pretending to want a solution while avoiding an actual solution doesn't require violence like removing the strongmen on the receiving end, but it would destroy the political voice for wanting a solution.

Not everything is possible and some people really can't sit at the same table. Certainly people at the table to roleplay criminal deviancy can't sit peacefully at the same table as people who are there to roleplay heroism. Maybe optimizers and roleplayers should be more compatible than heroic fantasy and consequence free escapist slapstick murderhobo fantasy, but it's not axiomatic.

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1) The forum. Seriously, it's a really crappy forum. Very limited bbcode. No wysiwyg editor. Moderator tools that are extremely limited. No post editing. Poor flagging mechanism (what good is a flagging system without a details field?) The forum is just generally extremely feature poor compared to free forum software from a decade ago. We'd be better off with no official forum because an unofficial forum would inevitably develop with actual forum software and a normal moderation policy and an infraction system.

2) The unwritten rules. Paizo is in the business of selling rules. They can't sell rules that aren't written. Paizo is in the business of selling content for a rules system. Consumers can't use rules that aren't written. Unwritten rules are for illicit organization where writing down the rules would be evidence that could get the members prosecuted. A perfectly legal corporation whose major business is selling rules has no reason to have such things. Write them down in clear English and publish them or retract them.

3) CMB/CMD. Especially size bonuses. I can't count how many times I've complained about this. It's a horrible mechanic. And unlike other changes I'd like it doesn't invalidate statblocks or spell lists.

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1) A strange library

1a) A strange library with a barbarian librarian.

1b) A strange library with an orangutan librarian.

2) A golem on a treadmill powering who knows what via a shaft or belt going through openings too small to investigate.

3) A functioning golem smithy and a functionally infinite pile of mundane iron weapons.

4) A functioning golem smelter.

5) A functioning golem mine in an endless seam on the elemental plane of earth.

6) A line of golems carrying iron ore or ingots. (multi-hex feature linking features 3-5)

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johnlocke90 wrote:
BadBird wrote:

The basic Monk can potentially be more competitive, but it needs to be approached with a pretty ruthless determination to be effective, and the build-choices to back that up. A Dual Talent Human going 16/18STR, 12DEX, 14CON, 10INT, 14/16WIS, 10INT, 8CHA, taking Toughness as their first feat and Dodge as their first bonus feat, and wielding a temple sword in two hands with Power Attack would be an example of a far, far more effective way to go about it.

There are a ton of other ways to build a Monk, of course; but using an ability score for attack that's as good as what another melee character would use is rule no1. Monks at least get to use full BAB when they flurry, so if all those attacks are backed up with decent accuracy it can do reasonably well.

Which is to say that a bad class thats optimized well can keep up with a good class thats optimized mediocrely.

If you compare a ruthlessly optimized monk to a ruthlessly optimized barbarian or brawler, the monk gets creamed.

The optimization ceiling isn't in a bad place if you have access to the Ultimate Combat and APG style feats and archetypes. Especially if you aren't attached to unarmed combat.

Brawlers have flexibility, but if you've built your monk right Xykon's maxim is in place. Brawlers don't have numbers above the warrior. A sohei or martial artist monk or does as do other monks who contrive somehow to recover ki. Brawler is only for playing with situational feats or for people who don't really know how to select feats and need to be able to partially respec frequently until they figure it out. The optimization ceiling is very low while the optimization floor is very high. This makes it good for casual games and new players, but makes it easy to outperform.

Barbarian is not a useful comparison. Everything else bar primalist bloodrager will come up short because rage powers are actually balanced as if they were magic. But because of the alignment restrictions barbarians and bloodragers cannot be used to build monk-like characters.

The thing about the classic monk is that it doesn't have the gaping hole in its defenses that every other non-paladin martial has. On barbarians and primalist bloodragers with superstition it's limited to the first round of combat if their initiative roll prevents them from raging before being bespelled, but it's still there. Monks have strong will saves. The lower probability of turning on the party means a monk doesn't have to fight as well as say a slayer to be a better character than the slayer. They have to fight adequately, though, and the OP's doesn't.

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Ventnor wrote:
7.) Clearly dragons are just trying to save us financially! Once they have all the money, it will trickle down to everyone else.

That only works if the money is being spent or invested. Dragons are hoarders. Taking money out of circulation is a measure to control inflation not grow the economy. And looking at the price lists Golarion desperately needs inflation controlled.

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Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
Is any one form of good more good than the others?

Well, I think we can rule out LG being the most good because

1 Timothy 1:9 (KJV) wrote:
Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

I guess that leaves it between NG and CG.

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Bandw2 wrote:
Boomerang Nebula wrote:

It is interesting that nobody has put forward an argument that Chaotic Evil is the most evil alignment in this thread.

I have seen it stated in other threads in these forums that Lawful Evil is the least evil and Chaotic Evil the most evil.

it's because you asked the question in the opposite direction.

if you lined up 3 people, said which was worse and then told people to give them an alignment, I almost assure you in a vacuum most people would put the worst people as CE.

like i said, people seem to attach chaotic evil to people who aren't even that chaotic.

Only if you leave the really evil people out of the lineup. If you line up the most evil people of the twentieth century and aren't a blatant communist apologist you're going to wind up topping the list with mostly lawful evil tyrants. The only maybe neutral evil who might possibly make the top five is Mengele and chaotic, hah. Chaotic evil is the alignment of pikers. You need a whole horde of chaotic evil to even approach the evil that can spread from a half dozen lawful evil people and they'l still lack the discipline to be effective against civilization.

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3catcircus wrote:
Derek Vande Brake wrote:

A masterwork backpack makes you treat your strength score 1 higher for carrying capacity purposes.

So imagine the following scenario...

A person with a strength of 12 is wearing equipment and carrying a masterwork backpack with 1 lb. of stuff in it. The total weight is 50 lb. He's carrying a light load.

He drops the backpack, losing the 1 lb. of stuff plus the 4 lb. of backpack. Now he is carrying a medium load and suffers speed and armor check penalties.

What is the other stuff that is weighing 45 lbs? If it is armor (which i assume part of it is from you using the word wearing), you've forgotten the rules which stipulate that you calculate armor by encumbrance unless weak or carrying a lot of gear. Chainmail and a light wooden shield alone gets you to 45 lbs. and drops your movement rate same as a medium load. So even with a MW backpack, he'd still be carrying a medium load.

Cold weather clothing and 19 spell component pouches.

Or a chain shirt, a guisarme, a sling, and a belt pouch containing 9 sling bullets.

Or a chain shirt, a longsword, a longbow, and 120 arrows (quivers don't appear in the CRB item list so I'm assuming the 20 arrow weight includes 20 arrows worth of quiver).

Or the character is a 3rd level fighter who treats medium armor as light.

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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
Kaisoku wrote:
Basically, I want a person to go "I'm making a Tough Guy, so I'm going to pick this feat called Die Hard" and have it change the way that character feels in the game compared to if he had picked a feat to be a powerhouse or nimble acrobat. Tough Guy should be able to wade into combat, and survive despite getting hit a lot, and even take advantage of the surprise and positioning this reckless abandon...

This is not feats job. This is something that should be determined by stat distribution and class selection.

For instance the feat you're describing is called the Barbarian class.

Then precisely what DO you want out of feata?

Finer scale customization. The gross themes should be handled by stat arrays and classes. Kaisoku's "tough guy" is a guy with lots of con even if he insists on building it as a non-barbarian. If something can be described in terms of strong, tough, quick, meditative, careful, or dashing it's a strength, con, dex, int, wis, or cha build. Any of those is only appropriate for some classes. The tough guy is only really a good fit for barbarian and kineticist (the latter of which is horrible theming).

Which style of kung fu your monk favors is a good example of what a feat should do.

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Bandw2 wrote:
137ben wrote:
Also, in 3.5 at least, the core rules use the term "natural" to describe abilities which are not Ex, Su, Sp, or spells. I'm AFB and on my phone now, so I can't easily check if PF kept the same terminology, but if so, it would seem spellcasting would be contrary to being "natural". No more spells for druids!
that's the point I was trying to make that you missed, they aren't about what's natural they're just only pro animal and plant stuff

Leather is anti-animal.

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137ben wrote:
Also, in 3.5 at least, the core rules use the term "natural" to describe abilities which are not Ex, Su, Sp, or spells. I'm AFB and on my phone now, so I can't easily check if PF kept the same terminology, but if so, it would seem spellcasting would be contrary to being "natural". No more spells for druids!

Craft (blacksmith) checks are not Ex, Su, Sp, or spells. Steel armor is therefore natural.

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Hmm. No casting spells on people, no buying pre-existing restaurants, and no making the food yourself.

I don't see anything about using undead and bound outsiders to murder people and take their stuff. I also see nothing about the restaurants being profitable.

I'd suggest starting with De Beers because diamonds are price fixed and used to fuel Wish. Wish is going to be a lot cheaper than building buildings. Then start taking over OPEC countries to offset the loss you'll take on restaurants. And then blanket Africa with locations because land is cheap there. That old joke that you can't go half a mile without running into a Starbucks? Make it true of your chain anywhere that land is basically free. Who cares if they lose money, you've conquered every oil producing country in the near east.

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The thing about special snowflakes is that the term is one of sarcastic derision. Like a real snowflake a special snowflake is functionally identical to all the other snowflakes.

Oh, another drow who, even if he uses different mechanics, is clearly based on Drizzt or that one chaotic neutral guy who also has a couple novels or a horribly generic evil female drow stereotype. Drizzt the sorcerer is not any more interesting than Drizzzt the dual scimitar ranger with 50% more zed.

Oh, another tiefling. Is he based on Hellboy? Is he based on one of those horrible dandified satan figures from popular culture? Is he Drizzt with red skin? Is he a cookie cutter mechanics uber alles build that uses the variable stat array and the prehensile tail alternate racial ability to enact horrible munchkinry?

Oh, a Dhampir. Is he based on an Anne Rice imitator or Anne Rice directly?

Oh, a Kitsune. Is this one furry fanservice or is she yet another fairly generic oriental flavored trickster or a specific anime trickster?

For a human at least I get until the first sentence of the origin story when they tell me where they're from before the boring stereotypes start piling on. And maybe if they're from somewhere like Absalom that isn't a thinly disguised national stereotype they might be vaguely original.

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Snowlilly wrote:
Playing a "dumb" fighter is player choice.

Dumb isn't about having a low score in an ability that allegedly represents intelligence. Dumb is about being incapable of learning to perform skilled tasks. A 13 int fighter is as dumb as an 8 int barbarian and dumber than a 7 int ranger.

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Intelligent item (+500 gp)
+6 dex/con/wis (144000 gp) (x1.5 multiplier for two of the stats included)
resistance +5 to all saves (37500 gp) (x1.5 multiplier included)
+5 enhancement bonus to AC (37500 gp) (x1.5 multiplier included) (base item cost exceeds 200001 gp giving 12 ego)
CL is 20 because it's a custom item made by a level 20 wizard who wants its CL as high as possible because that's the CL of the spells it casts. If he has CL boosting gear or mythic abilities it may be higher.

Custom Special Purpose: defend the daughters of the crafter or avenge them (+2 ego, +4 against people acting against the purpose)
cha 10
int 20 (8000 gp) (+5 ego)
wis 20 (8000 gp) (+5 ego)
telepathic (1000 gp) (+1 ego)
blindsense (5000 gp) (+1 ego)
casts prestidigitation at will (1000 gp) (+1 ego)
casts mage hand at will (1000 gp) (+1 ego)
casts magic aura on itself at will (2000 gp) (+1 ego)
casts liberating command 3/day (1200 gp) (+1 ego)
casts feather fall 3/day (1200 gp) (+1 ego)
casts air bubble 3/day (1200 gp) (+1 ego)
casts resist energy 3/day (2400 gp (+1 ego)
item has 10 ranks of sense motive (10000 gp) (+2 ego)
item can change shape into one other form of the same size (leotard suitable for use as either swimwear or sleepwear) (10000 gp) (+2 ego)
item casts dimension door 1/day (11200 gp) (+2 ego)
item can cast nondetection 3/day (18000 gp) (+2 ego)
item can use true resurrection on wielder, once per month (200000 gp) (in service of its purpose only) (+2 ego)
ego 42 (46 against a wearer acting against its purpose)

Total 499700 gp not including the dress itself. 300gp is adequate for a dress befitting the daughter of an archmage, bringing the total up to a half million even.

That's assuming that's a million gp for two dresses, not a million each. If it's a million each dress we can add a few purpose bound high level spells at will. And a bunch more cheap ego raising abilities because the whole point of this item is to have such a high ego that nobody can survive using it after stealing it from its rightful owner.

And, yes, it's quite deliberate that the archmages daughters will run into ego checks if they try to do anything self destructive or to harm each other. When they're wise and high level enough to overcome a DC 42 will save they're probably wise enough to realize that ditching a chaperone that can cast true resurrection on them once a month is not a good idea and when they can overcome it reliably they probably don't need it.

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A well designed game wouldn't allow a player character to exist that can't fill both combat and noncombat roles.

The way the vigilante is forced to choose a mix of combat and noncombat abilities is the only time I've seen any professional game designer in the D&D legacy get this right since the thief screwed everyone else out of noncombat competence by introducing rules for it exclusive to himself.

If feats are the primary form of combat ability and skills the primary form of noncombat ability there should be no feats to boost noncombat capabilities at all and no way to build a character with too few skills to be useful without taking an NPC class. Feats that aren't genuinely useful (looking at you, fleet and run) and skills that do not further being an adventurer (ie. all the dayjob skills) should flat out not exist. Baker should be a line of backstory, not a skill.

If skills can effect combat and noncombat feats exist every character should be both given enough skills and feats to be good both in and out of combat at the same time and required to take a mix the way the vigilante is required to take a mix of vigilante and social talents.

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HeHateMe wrote:

So, I may be stuck with the "healer" role in our next campaign, and just like alot of people on this thread, I hate Clerics and am not a huge fan of divine full casters in general. I was actually considering playing a melee Spiritualist (either the base class or the Ectoplasmatist archetype) as a non-traditional choice for the healer role.

Assuming I select the Cure/Restoration/Remove X spells for my character, and assuming I have a wand of CLW, do people think that a Spiritualist would have healing enough for a group of 4 PCs?

They're 6 level spontaneous casters. They're going to be extremely late getting them all.

At 3rd level a cleric has lesser restoration and remove paralysis. You'd get lesser restoration at 4th and never get remove paralysis.

At 5th level a cleric has remove disease, remove curse, and remove blindness/deafness. You'd get two of those at 7th and the third at 8th.

At 7th level a cleric has neutralize poison and restoration. You get them at 10th.

At 9th level a cleric gets break enchantment, raise dead, and breath of life. You get two of them at 13th and the other at 14th.

At 11th level a cleric gets heal. You never do.

At 13th level a cleric gets resurrection and greater restoration. You never do.

Even at that you're better than an oracle at some levels because their spells known table is even worse, but it's not going to cover the remove/restore stuff in a timely fashion.

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There are two related groups I don't like.

1) Characters who don't want to be in the party

2) Characters who a reasonable party wouldn't want to have around if they didn't have PC stamped on their forehead

The first group is mostly the lone wolves. Even if they're mechanically productive it just doesn't make sense. This also covers late added characters with built in friction like an elf hating dwarf in a party that already contains an elf or visa versa.

The second group covers annoying roleplay (eg. kender syndrome), characters that don't pull their weight, and characters that really shouldn't be adventuring at all like children, deaf/mutes, people who can't see more than thirty feet, cripples, and noncombatants.

In case you can't tell I'm really not a fan of the oracle class.

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HyperMissingno wrote:
If you want more variety in the class yell at the devs.

We tried. They weren't listening.

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The most tired build is a barbarian that has just come out of rage.

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Studied Target or Studied Combat. Because they're based on consuming action economy rather than consuming an arbitrarily limited pool that can only be replenished by sleeping for the night that exists solely to @#$% up the pacing of dungeon crawls by forcing the party to leave and regroup every few rooms.

Least favorite is every single ability that has a fixed per diem pool. @#$% the per diem paradigm. It's a pox upon the game system and completely at odds with the genre conventions.

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If you assume a general population generated by 3d6 in order the fraction of normal people who have 7 charisma is equal to the fraction of people who can potentially learn to throw sand in someone's face without walking into a blow in the attempt.

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Greylurker wrote:
Paizo also sells pathfinder by subscription so Game Store sales not nessacerily the best measurement. After store markup My group generally finds it cheaper to get directly from Paizo, plus there is the benefit of the free PDF. All I need to bring is my tablet and leave the books at home

The issue is CRBs which (usually) represent new players. You don't get your CRB by subscription. I suspect most aren't bought online at all. It doesn't matter what any other book is doing, if you've stopped moving the basic entry level player book you've stopped growing and started dieing.

If the trend isn't local it's a sign that it's time to wind down Pathfinder and start work on Pathfinder 2. Maybe too late since I'd expect it to be worked on relatively slowly alongside the usual PF1 content, most of which can't be PF2 proofs of concept like ToB was for 4e. I guess Starfinder might be able to be done as an intermediate system with new rules for shared mechanics where PF1's rules need changing, but that depends on how many shared mechanics there are.

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Jessica Price wrote:
claudekennilol wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
John Lance wrote:
Which is pretty much word for word from the Eidolon description. Again, in my humble opinion, this shows the kind of cut-and-paste writing that was used to build the phantom part of the Spiritualist class.
That's how technical writing works. Something looking like it was cut and pasted from somewhere else = language that is precise and consistent. When people are picking apart every clause to determine how a rule works, it's important that things that work the same way be stated in the same way so that readers don't assume variance where there is none.
From everything I've seen though, Paizo doesn't want to "write technically" because then it would be like a text book (have you ever seen the Magic the Gathering compiled rules? (or whatever it's called, I haven't played that in too long)). I would love if there was a stronger consistency in the use keywords and a defined structure on how "rules sentences" are written for exactly the reasons you state, but I haven't seen that coming from Paizo..
You're incorrect in your assumption about what we want--we certainly want flavor text to be... flavorful, but rules text's #1 priority is precision. There's an effort to make sure rules language is consistent, but we also put out enough material that things sometimes slip. We have a style guide dictating whether it's bonuses "on" or "to" things, etc. but whenever we do new things, it can take a bit to codify the language.

I remember just the opposite being said regarding inconsistent wording and undefined terminology in the CRB by someone who was at the time a Paizo employee. If the change in philosophy is across the company not just in your project it's a good thing, but the older rulebooks don't live up to it.

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Another chargen thread? I guess it's time to repeat myself. There's a link to the original post in context at the bottom of each spoiler. The threads linked also have a lot of discussion on the topic that occurred during the six freaking years between the death and reanimation of this thread.

why you should ignore the grognards and refuse to every have anything to do with 3d6:
The problem with archaic rolled stats are twofold.

First, unless you only roll one stat array someone gets the "fun" of playing bad stats while someone else gets good stats. Stat array envy is not fun.

Second, where do you put your crappy stats? You can't put them in strength. It's hard enough to equip someone with average strength. A 9 might be viable for a full arcanist, but below that you're in serious encumbrance trouble. This was written pre-ACG and I used arcanist as a term for full arcane casters. You can't put a bad roll in dex, you need it for AC or touch attacks. You can't put a bad roll in con, you'll have no HP. You can't put a bad roll in any of the mental stats without roleplaying ramifications. There's a reason PF doesn't allow dumps below 7 and 3.x didn't allow dumps below 8 and it's not just to limit the prevalence of adventurer's autism. Stats as low as are common with 3d6 are more likely to engender old fashioned player-PC disconnect than good roleplaying.

4d4+2 or 6d3 are maybe viable. They would cut off the low end and reduce variance so you get average characters instead of a bunch of village idiots and a Raistlin clone. 2d6+6 gives the 3.5 stat buy minimums but is higher variance.context

Why in order rolling is bad:

...most people have a set of concepts they'd like to play that does not encompass all stat arrays.

Some people like playing wizards. There's only one stat for that. Sometimes they want a change to a fighter derivative because they want a more relaxed game. All of those want basically the same array. This was written when there were not good dex to damage options

Sometimes you're playing an undead heavy game and your cleric just died and if you don't replace it with another cleric* it's fate worse than death time.

* Oracles casters cannot handle high variety condition removal and witches cannot channel positive energy to deal with incorporeal undead and haunts.

on roll in order, rolling, rolling one array for everyone, using the elite array, low point buy, high point buy, and someones poorly thought out brainstorm of randomly reordering point buy:
This is really bad for anyone who has a concept in mind or preference or aversion to certain kinds of classes. All random stat generation is, but anything that randomizes order is worse.

Let's look at some examples. One with a specific generally reasonable build in mind, one aiming for a MAD class, and two aiming for more general character types.

Alice wants to play a mad bomber alchemist because it sounds fun. She wants int and dex and doesn't dare dump wisdom. Bob wants to play a monk. He needs medium good stats in a bunch of places but no stand outs. Charlie likes wizards, but will settle for sorcerer. He wants one stat and while he prefers it to be int he can have it in any mental stat thanks to the wildblood archetype. Deborah likes melee. She has a lot of options, but none of them are single stat.

Roll In Order: Alice is almost certainly fumbling for plan B for lack of one of her desired stats. Bob might potentially get adequate stats for a marginal monk because they're independent variables, but probably not. Charlie has a decent chance of getting a high stat in one of the mentals, but if he doesn't he's out of luck. Deborah is pretty flexible, but some stat arrays can still stymie her.

Roll And Arrange: Alice needs a two good stat array with at least one non-dump. Reasonably possible, but not certain. Bob needs a four medium stat array. Less likely but still possible and better than with RII. Charlie needs one good stat. He's about as well off as Bob. Deborah needs to have one good and one medium stat. She's probably going to find something.

Single Random Array: Unless it's a stellar array one of Bob and Charlie will be dissatisfied.

Elite Array: Bob is out, he needed two dumps at 15 point buy. Everyone else can manage.

Point Buy: Everybody's able to make their character, though Bob will have problems at low point buy.

Proposed Point Buy With Partial Randomization: Alice and Charlie are gambling on where their high stats land . Bob might be able to manage if the point buy is high enough to slap 13s in everything. Deborah is going to probably have to risk two low stats to get enough good stats to be confident of getting a decent spread and if they both wind up in strength and dex or one winds up in constitution she's going to be miserable.

TL;DR Only with high point buy can everyone play what they want. Second best is low point buy which leaves monks and similarly MAD concept builds out in the cold.

why a single array isn't satisfactory unless it's absurdly high:
Alice wants to play a monk. She needs 4 stats roughly equal with a bias towards whichever she hits with and has two she couldn't care less about.

Bob wants to play a barbarian. He needs a big strength and pretty good con with dex and wisdom secondary.

Clarice wants to play a wizard. The only stat that really matters is int, though she wouldn't mind having okay stats for dex and con and a wisdom below 6 or con below 10 would start to get worrisome.

Doug wants to play Errol Flynn. He needs lots of dex and everything else at least mediocre. He could dump dex, but you can't be a dashing swashbuckler with dumped dex.

Everyone has arrays that are unsuitable for their characters while not actually being low. Straight 13s would suck for anyone while being an 18 point buy. 17 17 7 7 7 7 is a 10 point buy that Clarice can live with, but nobody else.

The only way an array can be good for Alice, Bob, and Clarice and Doug is if it's something absurd like 16 14 14 14 14 10 10: a 30 point buy.

Point Buy is not going to support Doug unless everyone else is broken. He's just chosen an iconic yet terribly supported character concept. Low point buys hurt Alice the worst and Clarice the least. High point buys increase GM stress unless he'd homebrewing from scratch anyways.

I can see a couple of possible solutions:
Split point buy as mentioned above, except the players don't get to choose which stat group gets the 15 and which the 10. 15 is always physical and 10 mental because physical characters need all physical stats* while mental characters usually need only one mental stat and can dump the others if not with impunity at least without great difficulty. It's actually impossible to get an 18 at 10 point buy across 3 stats,** which helps keep casters under control.

Choice of arrays. You can probably come up with a high array for Alice and Doug that Bob and Clarice wouldn't want and a low array with a strong primary stat and maybe a couple 13 or 14 secondaries and three 10 or less low stats that will serve Bob and Clarice but wouldn't do for Alice and Doug.

*Some can leave dex at 10, but dumping it is hazardous, nobody can dump con, and only monks using agile weapons or amulets can dump strength if encumbrance is enforced.

** 18 7 7 is 9 and 18 8 7 is 11. If you require exactly 10 point buy the best high stat is 17, which prevents multiple dumping.

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pH unbalanced wrote:
One of my early RPG revelations was this: the thing that was most likely to cause your character to die was being in combat. And the thing that makes your character most likely to be in combat...was being good at combat. No matter how good you are, eventually the dice will turn against you.

Like many early revelations this is in fact wrong. If you aren't a hiding in the back being useless you will be in combat every time there's a combat. If you don't carry your weight you're dragging the group down. Dragging your group down causes TPKs. If you're carrying more than your weight in combat you're in every combat, but so are the characters carrying just their own weight and any that aren't carrying their weight who are at least trying.

If combat can be avoided it's by being good at stealth or having a good face, neither of which is at odds with being good at combat.

The better a group is at combat the fewer rounds they spend in each combat and the fewer chances they have to get unlucky. A group good at combat is almost always composed of individual characters who are good at combat, though there are some interlocking builds where some or all members completely fall apart if separated.

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Coffee Demon wrote:
But it also means players look to their character sheet for responses to challenges, moreso than their imaginations. (Or at least more often than in 1st/2nd Ed, to maintain that comparison.)

Nothing breaks a game as quickly as players exploiting the fact that they between them usually have about four times as much brainpower as the DM and can come up with crazy ideas faster than he can explain why they're too crazy to work.

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Buri Reborn wrote:
Coffee Demon wrote:
My only disagreement is with your assumption that a "quest for power" doesn't exist. It does in my games and I'd like to think in many others. You wouldn't know it by fading on these forums though.
It doesn't from a Paizo perspective. I can't recall a single mechanic or guidance in their APs, hardcovers, campaign setting books or player companion books that even hint at restricting options when you level up, caster or otherwise. It's certainly never been a part of any APs which is where the rubber meets the road in terms of both crunch and setting.

It doesn't exist because it's a horrible idea. The game stops being about the reason everyone is adventuring together and becomes different players being forced to fight over the spotlight to drag everyone on their personal quest of power.

"Right, we need to ditch the plot again. Lini needs to hunt down and murder a higher level druid again or she can't level up."

"Then can we go do some gratuitous fetch quest for the temple of Sarenrae so Kyra can cast ninth level spells?"

"Amiri needs to do some pointless spirit quest to get fatigue immunity so she can rage cycle. I guess that's a solo session?"

"Merisel once again has no interesting class features."

"Makes up for that huge thieves guild takeover at 10th level to get access to advanced rogue talents I suppose."

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Expending a precious resource for no return is no fun, and requires the result on success to be powerful enough to be worth the risk. This is why nobody likes save or nothing spells that aren't fight enders. If something is to be unreliable it must be either swingy in a way that really breaks things (rocket tag roulette) or at will (like hitting someone with a sword). The game has evolved in the direction it has because that's what people find fun to play and your nostalgia doesn't make the benighted past of useless low level MUs not a primitive and inferior game.

The problem is people who want to play a game that has wizards and dragons and then turn around and want the world to look just like their idea of medieval Europe and the Levant. You can either play without magic or with extremely limited magic or you can play magitech or you can play with a small number of magic users ruling the world because when there aren't enough to support the magic item frequency that "breaks" the game there's no one who can remotely stand up to them.

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phantom1592 wrote:
The 'cleric' role could be cleric, oracle, warpriest, shaman... probably a few more...

Bad example. Cleric and healing patron witch are still the only prepared caster who gets all the healer spells on schedule. The game still has too much niche protection in it.

Derek Dalton wrote:
The class is powerful but it's restrictions are what keep it from being an OP class.

Having fewer than nine spell levels is what keep it from being an OP class. The restrictions are a stupid obsolete fetter that prevents it from being used for the equivalent concept in other good alignments (or other evil alignments for the antipaladin).

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Ian K wrote:
Real? Aren't all Pathfinder characters imaginary?

I don't think they form a field at all.

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Orfamay Quest wrote:
What do you summon if you pronounce it backwards?

The archdevil Noiralog or the elder water elemental Noiralog or an anarchic housecat depending on your accent. Unless you say it really slowly in which case you get Segnaro, the obscure minor daemon of walking into cactii while drunk.

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Saldiven wrote:
Zautos' wrote:

-2 str and one step lower dmg dice and need to grow 2 sizes to get 10ft reach.

That's the primary reasons.
So, effectively 2-3 points different, on average (2 points of Str is 1 dmg, and the difference between small weapons and medium weapons is rarely more than 2 points on average).

No, because almost nobody builds medium martials that don't have +2 racial strength. At 20 strength power attacking with a greatsword a low level medium martial averages 17 damage. A small martial with 16 strength averages 12.5. That's 36% more damage. That's a big deal at the levels where martials are most important. Who cares if the gap is smaller at the levels where both are obsolete anyways because the cleric can do their job better.

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j b 200 wrote:
A bonus to your dump stat (for point-buy) is actually a boon. Dumping Cha to 7 gives you 4 points but with racial bonus it's only a 9.

A 9 charisma is not any better than a 5 charisma. It's a completely useless stat unless you're focused on either charisma casting or charisma skills, in which case any dumping is unacceptable.

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Because one of the BSF's jobs is to carry stuff and small creatures have 25% less carry weight per strength on top of a net -4 strength compared to any non-dwarf race reasonably used for building a BSF, putting them at less than half the load of a comparable human or half-human or the popular +str native outsiders.

Because that -4 str means a net -1 attack -4-5 damage on strength builds even with the size bonus and most dex builds are nonfunctional the moment you start tracking encumbrance. -1 attack -4 damage is equivalent to weapon specialization, greater weapon focus, and greater weapon specialization at level 1.

Because halflings are just short humans and why not play a human and some people just hate gnomes. Obsessive little blighters.

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You don't want to melt down coins. Coins almost always trade for more than their real value as metal. They're usually going to be adulterated with base metals to reduce wear if nothing else and will often have only enough precious metal to appear properly shiny while still trading at full nominal value if that's the rate at which the issuing government accepts them for tax payments.

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A kid wants to take a Smallpox Blanket to show and tell, anything that stops them is for the greater good. You don't mess around with plagues. Something like that gets out and lots of people die. All NPC classes except Warrior have poor fortitude saves. The majority of NPCs are non-heroic skill NPCs by CRB table 14-6 with 11 con. Not more than 1/6 of humans should have their +2 in con. None of them probably have cloaks of resistance.

CRB diseases range from DC 12 to DC 18. NPCs don't tend to have very high stats so diseases will kill them faster than most PCs. You're probably looking at around 4 failed saves to kill, maybe less for some of the really nasty ones. A lot do con damage which will make further saves more likely to fail. Someone with a 50% chance to save has a 12.5% chance to die before making a single save if it's not a con effecting disease. Recovering usually takes two consecutive saves so the death rate is higher than that. It's 5 HD to have that 50% save rate against the least dangerous diseases. Non-warrior NPCs will never -- even with 20 HD -- get a 50% save rate against the worst unless they're wearing cloaks of resistance or putting some of their level up bonuses in con instead of one of the stats they use to make a living. Cloaks of Resistance are a far less universal accessory among non-adventurers.

Fireballing a crowd to death could be justified to stop a plague under Pathfinder rules unless they constitute a large fraction of the total population to which the plague could be spread.

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The Golux wrote:
There's little reason why clerics of Erastil and Iomedae should be so similar, even with the same alignment.

They need to be so similar because they need to fill the same role in the party that very few non-clerics can fill anywhere near satisfactorily. If only clerics of a minority of gods could heal properly there would be no purpose to the other gods. Their clerics would be cut rate blaster wizards or necromancer witches or other inferior and redundant garbage like that. The self buffing spells can't be domain locked either. Many deities with a strong battle cleric bent have no combative domains. Torag has Earth, Artifice, and Protection. Erastil has Animal, Community, and Plant. Because domain sets like that exist the core list needs to supply the spells for some combat role.

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Blithelight wrote:
On what you said, Storm Druid, I'm intrigued about that. Secondly, the kind of I guess role I want to play, is I've always played kind of a Jack Sparrow character. One that doesn't like, want to be good or bad, but can still ruin everything for everyone just because he's bored. Whether he's helping the good guys or messing with the good guys. All mood dependent I would say.

That's not really a party friendly heroic archetype. What you're describing is a textbook example of how you should not play Chaotic Neutral and why Chaotic Neutral is not uncommonly banned by GMs who ban evil alignments.

Blithelight wrote:
That's one of the problems I have, I don't want to rely to heavily on spells or melee, I really want a mix between the middle, but to still be powerful if I do go down the middle between the two.

Pathfinder deliberately doesn't permit that. Druid is the closest you can get, but you can't have both effective save DCs and effective melee stats at usual point buys. And the style of magic you want is one of the most save DC sensitive styles.

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Your law/chaos rather fails to match lawful and chaotic deities because non-evil deities written by Americans (and probably to some extent people of other nations with English legal traditions) tend to value some degree of individualism. Abadar, for instance, is well to the individualistic side of economics, but values order and is thus lawful.

Law/chaos terminology really needs to be discarded. Law and Order aren't the same thing and pretending they are is one of the major sources of alignment confusion.

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stone giant cartographer: Taller surveying equipment has greater accuracy because of trig. Stone giants are IIRC the most common full int giants and surveying should be an int based skill.

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quibblemuch wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
Otyugh detective
Is he... is that... is he wearing a little deerstalker hat? SQUEE!

I imagine him more on the Samuel Vimes model. It's hard to be Sherlock Holmes with an apparent -4 int modifier, but 14 int is still quite respectable and wisdom appears to be unmodified.

It would be nice if monster statblocks explicitly gave racial modifiers rather than having to reconstruct them from the standard array. It would make creating full NPCs from them easier.

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Otyugh detective

How many murders are never solved because the evidence is disposed of in the sewers and never found? None in my city. My kind own the sewers and the middens. And we talk. You can burn the body to ash and I'll have a report of the teeth being found within a week. Your kind always think they're so clever, but if you were really clever you'd realize that no one's clever enough to evade the law forever.

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Ssalarn wrote:
Mortuum wrote:


You pretty much can't use the Vigilante itself when this rule is in play. I recommend allowing anybody with a Dual Identity to take Vigilante Talents as feats. That way nothing is really lost and everybody has access to a goody bag of costumed adventurer abilities if they're willing to pay for them.
You do mention the suggestion being for a high-powered game, but I thought it was important to note that, in general, Vigilate Talents are massively better than feats. They tend to be worth about 2.5 feats on average. So, just be aware of that.

So about what martial and skill feats should be worth to make spellcasters only moderately overpowered.

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There is no such thing as magic. You're a mental patient suffering from delusions. If you settle down and take your medication the world will start to make sense again and you can have a nice walk on the grounds. How does that sound?

Implausible but not technically impossible lie (-10 penalty). +20 to bluff checks to lie. Is the BBEG specced for sense motive? Because I'm a bard with skill focus comedy and prodigy comedy and oratory.

Even if he doesn't choose to cooperate he no longer believes he can cast spells if he fails the opposed check.

Bluff is basically the one skill that can be as good as magic and glibness massively boosts it.

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Ashiel wrote:
the Fighter doesn't represent anything.

The game needs a class that doesn't represent anything. The alternative is a cancerous proliferation of classes to try to represent everything.

If I want to play someone who isn't defined by his temper, his racism, his horse, his gun, or the alignment system I can be a fighter or a rogue derivative, a 6 level caster, or a swashbuckler that is even worse than the fighter.

Some class needs to be the generic multi-purpose modular fighting man.

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