Too often there's a disconnect between a character's class and what that class represents in the campaign's setting. A fledgling wizard who has spent their life studying to reach level 1, seems to ascend to universe-creating levels of power without doing more than reading their own journal on thereafter. A medium who forges a pact with a spirit, is granted increasingly greater powers without ever renegotiating their deal with said spirit. Or the mighty fighter seems to intuitively learn more efficient fighting styles as they adventure (Well this one I can almost get behind).
I like to think that PC classes separate players from NPCs, they are special in some way, and on a different level from NPCs. It seems the training to assume a player class can be quite difficult, so why is it that that character can then self-teach themselves all the way to level 20?
I'd like to implement a system that gates leveling, and requires the completion of class-specific quests, to earn new levels (assuming the players have accrued enough XP). Maybe the aforementioned wizard must periodically return to the acadamae where they first trained to pass a trial or test. The medium may seek out the help of a mysterious hag who offers advice on securing more favorable pacts with spirits, while entering further into their own imbalanced deal with the hag. The fighter may be compelled to seek out celebrated warriors who can teach them the finer points of a fighting technique.
The fear would be that this kind of thing would break the pace of a campaign. But these quests needn't be too arduous, they should only serve as acknowledgements that players are of a certain class, that their power is growing, and the world acknowledges that fact.
What kinds of thoughts or opinions do other people have on this kind of leveling system? Has anyone tried using a system like this in the past? How did it work out?
So when the Villain Codex was released I was quite happy to hear that it included the new feat "Two-Weapon Grace". Finally, I thought, a Dex-to-damage build for two-weapon fighting that might provide viable builds to stay up to scratch with a two-handed fighter. Y'know something in line to how the Advanced Class Guide tried to patch up One-handed Dex fighter builds.
Quick note: when I say "fighter" I don't mean the class, it's more a reference to the build.
But I revisited that feat this week and was distraught to find that I'd misread it initially, and that it actually imposes a further -2 penalty to attack rolls when used. WHY? Why would you even make this feat if you're going to just add this egregious cost to what is already a feat-heavy build?
I crunched the numbers, and it turns out that you can get maybe 2 damage per hit extra, compared to a strength-based-damage two-weapon fighting build. I apologize for all the hyphens by the way, I swear I'm trying to use them correctly. The problem is that this extra 2 points of damage, comes at the cost of even more feats to make it work.
And feats are only one of the costs associated with two-weapon fighting. The simple fact is that you are less likely to hit on a per-attack basis. Sure, in the long run you land more blows, but your damage-to-attack ratio is way off compared to every martial character who swing a greataxe or a falchion. This problem is only exacerbated as DR becomes the norm for enemies you face up against. DR punishes two-weapon fighters twice as hard, because the little damage they put out gets soaked up that much faster.
The last big cost of two-weapon fighting is the monetary cost. You now have two weapons to maintain and upgrade instead of one. When single-weapon fighters are reaching their +5 enhancement bonus, the two-weapon fighter is still struggling to make ends meat to make sure both their weapons are at a +4.This once again makes DR a bigger problem for the two-weapon fighter.
Now in case it wasn't obvious, I LOVE two-weapon fighters, or rather, the concept of two-weapon fighters. I have three of them in PFS, heck one of them is high enough a level to take on the seeker arc. But they simply underperform at a table when paired with some schlub waving about his oversized hurtstick with two-hands.
Some of the arguments I've seen for nerfing two-weapon fighting is that bonuses are more pronounced, like a rogue's sneak attack, a ranger's favored enemy bonus, or a bard's inspire courage. IF this is the reasoning behind it then I feel unconvinced. My rogue has never landed more than one sneak attack in a round, inspire courage doesn't really help enough with DR issues, and favored enemy is too situational.
I'd really like to know why two-weapon fighting is designed to perform so poorly, I'm probably missing something rudimentary, but I just can't see it.
Hey guys, I'm GMing Iron Gods, and my party has reached the Palace of the Fallen Stars. They're currently level 14 and nearly every player has had at least one character death.
The only character left from the original party is our Techslinger. Now the other players have started taking notice that this guy is putting out crazy damage each turn while they struggle to dent enemies. And the main problem lies in the Techslinger's ability to hit touch AC. It's infuriating if I'm being honest. Like I said, the other players have taken note and we now have an archer fighter, who, for all intents and purposes should technically have the same damage output. But they don't hit touch AC so they're underperforming by comparison.
One saving grace is that many of the enemies in this AP are constructs, therefore, have hardness, therefore are classified as objects, and therefore take half damage from energy-based attacks. I haven't been enforcing this for our lightning-themed arcanist, but thats in an effort to balance it. Because even when I apply these damage modifiers, the arcanist is just barely keeping up with the damage output of a full round attack from our 'slinger.
I really need advice how to fairly balance this issue. I've spoken with the player. And they themself say they now hate the class. Thinks its broken AF, but because they're the only survivor of the original party they want to see the game through to the end with this character.
I've previously brought the ban-hammer down on Paladins, Summoners, and Zen-archer monks after each of those acted as one-man parties in previous campaigns. But I can't keep adding to that list. I'm desperate for suggestions here guys, what do you think?
Hey guys, so I've been thinking about this build the last couple of days based on the Astrologian Job from Final Fantasy XIV.
For those of you unfamiliar with it, its basically a healer type character who uses the power of astronomy and fate to heal and buff allies. One of its cool features is the ability to provide a random buff to party members by pulling from a tarot-like deck of cards. Sound familiar?
I've decided that they're essentially a combination of the Harrower and Stargazer prestige classes. So I'm thinking something like Cleric of Pulura 5/Harrower 10/Stargazer 5 for a level 20 build.
But I started thinking about it more and really they're more Stargazer than Cleric, and I was wondering if using the retraining rules I could turn some of those cleric level into Stargazer levels? Technically the basic requirements of being able to cast 3rd level spells is offset by the Harrower prestige class.
Without Cleric levels I end up with no spell list, so the best I could get to is Cleric of Pulura 1/Harrower 10/Stargazer 9.
But is this legal, or am I cheating the prerequisites of the prestige class?
So in my short career as a GM, I’ve noticed two approaches to prewritten campaign structures. The first is more all-encompassing, and prescriptive, much like Pathfinder Society scenarios, or the Rise of the Runelords AP, and mean less work for GMs, with everything the game will need written on the page.
The alternative is more descriptive, and more of a rough outline of a campaign, that provides a Big bad and some major events and dungeons, but maybe lacking the detail in between those points. This style seems to allow for greater control on the part of the GM who can weave the story as they like.
For shorthand sake we’ll refer to the former as prescriptive and the latter as descriptive. The prescriptive is a railroad adventure with little room for player character development. It does however leave you with a much more coherent storytelling that requires less “filler” so that you can get right to the most important bits. The descriptive however can lead to wide expanses of possibility but runs the risks of derailing from the story entirely. It requires more improvisation, and arguably more preparation on the part of the GM, but it allows for a deeper connection with the setting and its characters.
Having spent most of my hours as a GM running PFS, I’ve come to think of all prewritten material as prescriptive. But a recent dalliance with 5th ed, has opened my mind to descriptive storytelling. Now I’m having some serious issues with Iron Gods as a prescriptive structure, and I’m starting to think it was never meant to be run as written, and that maybe I’ve approached Aps the wrong way up until now. So my question is, do you use a more prescriptive or descriptive approach when GMing Adventure Paths?
So firstly, apologies to the forum mods. I saw that you've already locked a thread on this very discussion. But I feel the need to share my experience this weekend and illustrate why I think the new rule about being unable to reassign level 1 deaths isn't entirely well thought-out.
So pros of the new system: real risk, real play, no messing about. I get that, in theory you're less likely to suffer problematic players.
The problem is that problematic players now have an even greater ability to cause harm, as with what happened this weekend. Now I'm prefacing this by saying I'll be griping about 1 previously earned XP. Just 1, surely I should let that go, right? Well why should I? I earned that XP, I earned the gold, I earned the Prestige. I paid for that game in money, in time playing, in time building the character. That was 3-4 hours of my life playing, and several more building the character. That's time I can spend doing other things, but I didn't, I chose to play Pathfinder and I respectfully played the game and earned my chronicle sheet.
But this weekend I was playing a game at a convention with many first time Pathfinder players. Players not entirely aware of the gravity of society play. Players who did not want to listen to advice on the best way to approach combat. Who deliberately did not engage in combat as I an entire bar brawl turned on us. Because as a Rogue pregen, the first-time player wished to stealth away. As a Gunslinger pregen, could not decide whether to drop a pistol and fight in melee or to provoke attacks of opportunity by shooting in melee. Despite gentle prodding from both myself and the GM, these players refused to assist in combat. And because of this, we were TPK'ed.
I was so angry, because I was powerless to do anything but watch as we were outnumbered and swarmed by NPC who weren't even armed. I couldn't escape because we were surrounded, and I couldn't just play their characters for them. And so my character died.
These players had had Pathfinder Society explained to them before the game. They understood what was at risk, but they endangered my character in the process.
This is a petulant, and childish rant, I know, I should be a bigger man. But after a situation like this I'm not allowed to reassign the death to an unplayed character. That's frustrating. That was a meaningless death and a waste of 8+ hours of my life because of a poorly conceived change to the rules.
I've been playing Pathfinder for about 2 years now, and so I've arrived somewhat late in the game where nearly everything was already in place. But I've noticed that there's a delay with chronicle sheets being made for APs. I'm sure there's any number of reasons behind this, but my question is; what is the typical amount of time between an APs release and it getting a set of chronicle sheets?
Secondly, why do some of the older APs have chronicle sheets but not others? Sure, in the case of Wrath of the Righteous you have mythic ranks which would be impossible to make work for PFS play, but what's the deal with say Second Darkness or Legacy of Fire?