Blue Dragon

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Organized Play Member. 667 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 Organized Play characters.


Liberty's Edge

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[RANT]

Scrogz wrote:
...No, I am not necessarly evil, just highly motivated =)...

I stopped reading after this line, so forgive me if I come off as harsh.

Your Character is EVIL. period.

Evil does not mean "enjoys murdering and eating babies". That's the definition of Vile, which is another way of saying "super-evil".

Evil - casual, everyday evil - is pretty much exactly the above: "I know that doing this will probably result is any number of horrible things, but I stand to make a lot of money, and I won't actually be doing any of those horrible things, so it's not like this is actually wrong".

It's crappy fail-logic like this that makes playing Paladins so freaking difficult in most parties.

[/RANT]

Anyway OP, if you are looking for a way to make some money off of this thing in a way that doesn't involve accidentally unleashing a 10hd demon that will terrorize the local populace, I'd suggest finding a nearby church of Saerenrae or Cadean Caylan or one of the other more-or-less reasonable good-aligned gods and convince them to straight-up buy the ruby from you, demon and all. Figure out what it'll cost to get rid of the thing properly, subtract that from the market price of the ruby, and divide by two - that's the amount of coins you want them to put in your pocket.

EDIT: the "divide by two" is there for a lot of reasons:
1) to help sell the idea to the church (which will have to call in experts and coordinate the actual expenditure of resources and so on, all of which costs "background-setting-money" (as opposed to "adventuring money"))
2) To keep your involvement to a minimum. If you try asking for the whole net worth, they'll likely want you to provide "security". They'll also ask around, find out about the rest of your party, and ask them to assist with the ritual (which means you have to split the gold with them now)
3) To sell your GM on the idea. He handed you a big shiny box of trouble, and this solution gets rid of it simply and quietly. Maybe he's upset that you are trying to dump the trouble this way, or maybe he didn't mean to give this to you at all and wants to remove it cleanly; either way, asking for less makes it more likely he'll go for it.

Liberty's Edge

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Why are people still posting in this thread? James Jacobs (creative director of Pathfinder and frequent poster on these wonderful boards) already won an internet with his beautiful comment.

"no where in the rules does it say that a dead body falls prone". Just wonderful.

Liberty's Edge

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Skerek wrote:
In fact the only thing i can think of that can't be properly covered by a fighter is a decent thrower, you have to optimize the crap out of them just to get them performing 'average'

In other news: Paizo, can we have this please?

Liberty's Edge

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Quote:
Bringing an iconic Rogue along on a typical adventure is like bring a valley-girl on a hunting trip, just like bringing an iconic Barbarian to a Ball is like bringing a Red-Neck to San-Francisco - neither one fits in the others world. Unfortunately, Pathfinder is almost all about wilderness and dungeon exploration; city adventures - and especially social adventures - just aren't something the system lends itself to.

-The difference is that

1) Its easier for the Barbarians Player to have fun at the ball being unsuccessful at WOOING WOMEN! than it is for the rogue to have fun either hitting like a dry sponge or being backhanded by every monster in the game.

2) Everyone participates in combat. A social challenge is like a lock: usually ONE person does it. AM BARBARIANS social grace of a rabid honey-badger in heat hinders the parties face as much as Sir clanks a lot's mammoth esque dexterity score keeps the rogue from picking locks. If worse comes to worse treat a trip to the palace like putting BA on a plane.

Which is my point - Pathfinder is set up, top to bottom, front to back, beginning to end, etc - to be about exploring dangerous places, killing weird monsters, and taking their stuff. While an iconic Rogue is definitely interested in that third item, they are horrible at the first two.

Pathfinder Rogues, when they play to type, work really well, as I detailed in my last post. It's just that what they tend to do isn't what Pathfinder as a whole tends to do, so they don't fit well.

What I'm trying to say, really, is there is no solution to this problem. Making Sneak Attack easier or adding Dex to damage or whatever will not let Rogues act like Rogues. Think about Iconic Rogues like Errol Flynn, Robin Hood, Captain Jack Sparrow - how many people did they actually kill, or try to kill, or even face in anything like a fair fight or especially fight at all when they could run away?

My point is that, at a very deep, fundamental level, the Iconic Rogue just does not fit into a typical Pathfinder Adventure. no amount of rules tweaking is going to fix that.

Liberty's Edge

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Ultimately, the mechanics of the Rogue class are not the problem; it's the game the class is in.

In Pathfinder, if you want to deal lots of damage in melee, you must stack Strength. To be a Rogue who does lots of damage in melee, you still need to stack strength, which is fine mechanically, but doesn't fit how people see Rogues.

The "patch" for this in 3rd edition and 3.5 was to use two-weapon fighting; however, Fighters and other big melee guys do more damage now, and while there are now almost no monsters that are immune (only elementals and oozes I believe), getting the damage to happen reliably is hard. It looks good on paper, but ultimately its a trap - Sneak Attack damage either can't be set up at all or can't be set up against a worthwhile target. When Sneak Attack does work, it runs into the problem of overkill - odds are, if you got a target, you only have one target, so when it drops your turn ends. It's similar to the problem that weapons like the scythe have - 20x4 looks like its the same as 18x2, but it tends to waste more damage.

***

Finally, there's the concept of a "Rogue" itself. They are supposed to be dashing, charismatic, humorous guys who dart and dash around the battlefield, using their training, wit, and cleverness to beat their opponents. Yes, archtypes like "thug" and "assassin" should be supported, but the "assumed default" is supposed to be a, well, Rogue.

Believe it or not, this sort of character is already completely supported by the core book - take Agile Maneuvers, Combat Expertise, and Improved Feint; pair with Rogue talents that let you taunt opponents with bluff and go to town. It'll be a while before this kind of Rogue can pick up feats like improved Disarm, but that's the beauty of the archtype - Feint renders the opponent flat-footed, which reduces their Combat Maneuver Defense (just like it does AC), plus flat-footed characters can't make Attacks of Opportunity, so you don't need the feat to function.

Unfortunately, and this is what I meant in my opening statement, this sort of universal, instantly recognizable, and thoroughly iconic character archtype is just flat out not compatible with a typical Pathfinder game. Being agile in tight spaces isn't any use in the wilderness or in large dungeon rooms. Being able to trick and taunt your opponent doesn't help when fighting mindless creatures, or ones that don't understand you. Trying to preform Combat Maneuvers on creatures two-three sizes larger than you is just asking for trouble. And so on.

Bringing an iconic Rogue along on a typical adventure is like bring a valley-girl on a hunting trip, just like bringing an iconic Barbarian to a Ball is like bringing a Red-Neck to San-Francisco - neither one fits in the others world. Unfortunately, Pathfinder is almost all about wilderness and dungeon exploration; city adventures - and especially social adventures - just aren't something the system lends itself to.

Liberty's Edge

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Someone did a full Ebberon conversion - all the races, feats, domains, dieties, the artificer, etc; Least Dragonmarks done up as traits, very nice overall.

Sadly, it cannot be posted/pinned here because of copyright infringement (Ebberon is not a part of the OGL), and I do not remember the person's name so I cannot give proper credit.

I do, however, have copies of all of the pdfs. Here's that version of the Warforged:

Warforged Racial Traits
• +2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma: Warforged are resilient of body and sharp of mind, but their
difficulty in relating to other creatures makes them seem aloof or even hostile.
• Living Construct Subtype (Ex): Warforged are constructs with the living construct subtype. A living construct is a
created being given sentience and free will through powerful and complex creation enchantments. Warforged are
living constructs that combine aspects of both constructs and living creatures, as detailed below.
- Immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, disease, nausea, fatigue, exhaustion, effects that cause the
sickened condition, and energy drain.
- Cannot heal damage naturally.
- Can be affected by spells that target living creatures as well as by those that target constructs. Damage
dealt to a warforged can be healed by a cure light wounds spell or a repair light damage spell, for
example, and a warforged is vulnerable to disable construct and harm. However, spells from the healing
subschool and supernatural abilities that cure hit point damage or ability damage provide only half their
normal effect to a warforged.
- A warforged takes damage from heat metal and chill metal as if he were wearing metal armor.
- A warforged with 0 hit points is disabled, just like a living creature. He can only take a single move
action or standard action in each round, but strenuous activity does not risk further injury. When his hit
points are less than 0 and greater than negative his Constitution, a warforged is inert. He is unconscious
and helpless, and he cannot perform any actions. However, an inert warforged does not lose additional hit
points unless more damage is dealt to him, as with a living creature that is stable.
- Can be raised or resurrected.
- A warforged does not need to eat, sleep, or breathe, but he can still benefit from the effects of consumable
spells and magic items such as heroes’ feast and potions. Although living constructs do not need to sleep, a
warforged spellcaster must rest for 8 hours before preparing spells.
• Medium: As Medium constructs, warforged have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
• Warforged base land speed is 30 feet.
• Natural slam attack that deals 1d4 bludgeoning damage.
• Composite Plating: The plating used to build a warforged provides a +2 armor bonus. This plating is not natural
armor and does not stack with other effects that give an armor bonus (other than natural armor). This composite
plating occupies the same space on the body as a suit of armor or a robe, and thus a warforged cannot wear armor or
magic robes. Warforged can be enchanted just as armor can be. The character must be present for the entire time it
takes to enchant him. Composite plating also provides a warforged with a 5% arcane spell failure chance, similar to
the penalty for wearing light armor. Any class ability that allows a warforged to ignore the arcane spell failure
chance for light armor lets him ignore this penalty as well.
• Automatic Languages: Common. Bonus Languages: Any.

Liberty's Edge

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What about letting them use weapons that are one size category larger than themselves without having the "handedness" change? That would make it easier to get "more" from the bonus / extend its life, and the difference between 2d6/2d8 and 3d6/3d8 is not a big deal.

Liberty's Edge

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Okay, I know he clearly means Explosive Runes, but I'd like to detour for a minute here.

Explosive Ruins: 8th or 9th level illusion spell, with a huge area and long duration, that creates whatever you want and then explodes when someone makes the will save to disbelieve.
I want this in my spellbook.

Liberty's Edge

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I'm wondering if the "Powerful Build" ability is ever acceptable from a +0 level adjustment race.

Specifically, I'm referring to the "Half-Giant", from Dreamscarred Press's "Psionics Unleashed", which I've quoted below.

Quote:

Half-giant Racial Traits

+2 Wisdom, +2 Strength, –2 Dexterity: Half-giants are tough and intuitive, but not too nimble.
Giant Blood: Half-giants count as both human and humanoid (giant) for any effect related to race.
Medium: Half-giants are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Half-giants have a base speed of 30 feet.
Low-Light Vision: Half-giants can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Fire Acclimated: Half-giants receive a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against all fire spells and effects.
Powerful Build: The physical stature of half-giants lets them function in many ways as if they were one size category larger.
Whenever a half-giant is subject to a size modifier or special size modifier for an opposed check (such as during grapple checks, bull rush attempts, and trip attempts), the half-giant is treated as one size larger if doing so is advantageous to him.
A half-giant is also considered to be one size larger when determining whether a creature’s special attacks based on size (such as grab or swallow whole) can affect him.
A half-giant can use weapons designed for a creature one size larger without penalty. However, his space and reach remain those of a creature of his actual size.
The benefits of this racial trait stack with the effects of powers, abilities, and spells that change the subject’s size category.
Naturally Psionic: Half-giants receive Wild Talent as a bonus feat at 1st level. If a half-giant takes levels in a psionic class, he instead gains the Psionic Talent feat.
Half-giant Psionics: Half-giants gain the following spell-like ability: 1/day—stomp. The manifester level for this effect is equal to 1/2 the half-giant’s level (minimum 1st). The DC for this power is equal to 10 + the power’s level + the half-giant’s Charisma modifier.
Psionic Aptitude: When a half-giant takes a level in a favored class, he can choose to gain an additional power point instead of a hit point or skill point.
Survivor: Half-giants gain a +4 racial bonus to Survival checks.
Languages: Half-giants begin play speaking Common. Half-giants with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Draconic, Giant, Gnoll, and Ignan.

I'm familiar with the Race Building Guide on these forums, and I agree with most of its points. Here's how I see the Half-Giant race breaking down:

Ability Scores - standard, zero points. They lost the +2 con they had in the XPH, which helps here, and the -2 dex is a solid penalty, much more reasonable than the -2 int or -2 cha I'd expect to see in a home-brew race.

Giant Blood - 1 point. Like Half-Orcs and Half-Elves, here.
Medium Size - 0.
Speed 30 feet - 0.
Low-Light Vision - 1 point.
Fire-Acclimated - 2 points. Decent defense against a fairly common type of attack.

Powerful Build - Skipping This for now.

Naturally Psionic - 1 point. Yes, it's a "bonus feat", but it gives 1 power point (wild talent) or 2 power points (psionic talent). It's the racial equivalent of "you can cast a 0th level spell once per day; if you enter into a class that has this spell on its list of spells know, you may cast it at will". Honestly, I feel bad even charging one point for this.

Half-Giant Psionics - 1 point. First level spell, usable once per day. I looked up the spell, and it's basically an instant-duration Grease in a 15 foot cone, limited to area effect only. I could see a Warrior-type using this consistently through the levels, so I'm comfortable charging for it, but it's not a huge benefit.

Psionic Aptitude - 0 points. Races don't get charged for alternate favored class options.

Survivor - 2 points, +2 to Survival and +2 to Survival. Not quite the intent, but not worth more than this.
Languages - 0 points. Standard stuff here.

Without Powerful Build, they're at 8/10 points.

But what does Powerful Build - this particular version of it, anyway - get them?
+1 to most/all CMD checks: 1 point, maybe 2.
+1 to CMB most/all of the time: 2 points, maybe 1. Combine this with the previous one, it's a solid 3.
Resistance to Swallow Whole and similar size-based abilities: 1 point.
Ability to use weapons one size category larger: 4 points. It's basically Weapon Specialization; 2d8 averages 2 points higher than 2d6. While Weapon Spec isn't all that good, this applies to all weapons, and stacks with Weapon Spec.
So Powerful Build, all by itself, is worth 8. Which puts Half-Giants at 16 points altogether.

***

Thing is, I like the Half-Giant. Besides the whole "size huge Bastard Sword OMG" nonsense they can get up to, the race doesn't seem typecast, which is says a great deal. Two questions:

1) Is the race as presented balanced at +0 level adjustment?

2) Would removing just the "A half-giant can use weapons designed for a creature one size larger without penalty" aspect of Powerful Build make them mostly balanced at +0 level adjustment?
I say "mostly" because some of the "NPC monsters" from Bestiary 1 and 2 don't quite match up to 10/10 either, and they are generally still okay; some just need a "trait tax".

Liberty's Edge

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Tom Baumbach wrote:
The Dervish Dance is one way, but it is limited to scimitars.

actually, it's limited to scimitar, one-handed, with absolutely nothing in the off-hand (no two-hander, no dual-wielding, no buckler).

Still, not bad. Didn't know about the feat, so thanks for pointing it out.

Liberty's Edge

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Anyway.

Here's my new idea for Wands and Staves. I've taken to referring to them as “Arcane Implements”, or as a concession to Clerics and Druids, “Caster Implements”.

(Tables do not work on this forum; I think I've got the layout close, please work with me)
Simple Weapons
Ranged Weapons Cost.....Dmg (S) Dmg (M) Critical Range Weight Type Special
Staff (two_handed)50 gp...1d6...... 1d8........20/x3..Short....4 lbs.....B...5 range increments
Wand(one_handed)35gp...1d4...... 1d6........20/x3..Short....2 lbs.....B...5 range increments

Staff: A typical staff appears as a simple piece of wood, about 5 feet in length, that has been crafted with several rare alchemical and magical components. A staff's special construction allows it to hurl telekinetic bolts that deal Bludgeoning damage; this is a supernatural ability. These function as a normal ranged attack. Staves may be enhanced as ranged weapons. A character must have a caster level of at least one in order to use a staff in this manner.
After firing a telekinetic bolt, a staff needs 1 minute to recharge using ambient magical energy; a character with a caster level of one or higher may spend a move action to “reload” his staff instantly.
It can also be used as a quarterstaff.
A Staff may be chosen as a Wizards Bonded Item.

Wand: A typical wand appears as a narrow piece of wood, 4-8 inches in length, that has been crafted with several rare alchemical and magical components. A wand's special construction allows it to hurl telekinetic bolts that deal Bludgeoning damage; this is a supernatural ability. These function as a normal ranged attack. Wands may be enhanced as a ranged weapon. A character must have a caster level of at least one in order to use a wand in this manner.
After firing a telekinetic bolt, a wand needs 1 minute to recharge using ambient magical energy; a character with a caster level of one or higher may spend a move action to “reload” his wand instantly.
A Wand may be chosen as a Wizards Bonded Item.

Proficiency: Any character with a caster level of at least one should be considered proficient with wands and staves; Druids can use wands and staves without penalty.

Special materials: For simplicity, assume that, due to their unique construction, Wands and Staves crafted out of special materials do not grant any special properties to the bolts of telekinetic force they launch. For instance, an adamantine wand is very difficult to break (and thus still a good idea), but is of little use against a Golem.

Existing Staves: All existing magical staves (staves that store spells, not magically enhanced quarterstaves) should also be considered staves (as above), of at least masterwork quality. This adds 350 gold to the item's base price, which should be trivial.
If a character already has a staff in his possession when these rules are introduced, and that staff has an enhancement bonus, he should be allowed to decide if it applies to the Quarterstaff or the ranged Staff portion.

Existing Wands: Spell wands previously acquired by adventures, or found in future encounters, might also be considered weapon wands (as above). Use the spell stored in the wand as a guide; a Wand of Mage Armor, for instance, is unlikely to also be a ranged weapon, as it is not something a spellcaster would keep in his hand all day. If the wand in question is also a ranged weapon, increase the base price by 35 gold. A found spell wand should always be considered of normal quality.
The weapon portion of a wand continues to function as a weapon even when all charges have been depleted from the spell portion of the wand.

Guidelines: Wands and Staves, as presented, should be considered Ranged Weapons in virtually all respects. They are not ranged touch attacks; they function as normal ranged weapons. As a result, most existing mechanics should work without any additional ruling.

For instance, weapon feats and class abilities continue to work just fine, even Rapid Reload (just add “wands and staves” to the list along with 'crossbows” and “guns”). The Gravity Bow spell does not apply to Wands and Staves, but a Gravity Wand spell would, and is perfectly balanced. An Arcane Archer using a Wand or Staff does not create any balance issues, and fits wonderfully in most Pathfinder settings. And so on.

Design Notes: The damage for the Staff is identical to the Light Crossbow; it also has the same reload time and weapon proficiency. The Wand is a one-handed version of the same thing. Wands and Staves do technically get free ammunition, but the much reduced range increment accounts for that nicely. Besides, bolts are dirt cheap even at first level, so the crossbow remains a generally superior weapon; Wands and Staves just fit better as the default caster sidearm.

I'm not 100% happy with the wording of the reload action. "After firing a telekinetic bolt, a wand needs 1 minute to recharge using ambient magical energy; a character with a caster level of one or higher may spend a move action to “reload” his wand instantly." Ugh.
On the one hand, I want to point out that wands and staves are carried around "loaded" by default, and sneak in an explanation as to where and how these things get their power from. On the other hand, "spend a move action to reload his wand instantly"? Ugh. Does not sound right.

***

Optional Rules
There are several variants that players and GMs are likely to be interested in; I've done my best to try and accommodate these.

Other Types of Physical Damage: There's no mechanical balance issue with letting a given wand or staff deal Piercing or Slashing damage. Personally, I believe any of the three types should be available as options, but which type should be fixed at creation. All three are perfectly fine and I would have no problem at all with a piercing or slashing wand/staff in my campaign; Bludgeoning just fit best thematically.

Special materials: It feels off somehow. Doesn't look unbalanced, really; it's mostly a concession to the Bow Ranger who's looking at the wizard with the Adamantine stick, looking at his own ammo cost, and grumbling.
If the GM (and other party members) are okay with it, go right ahead.

Energy Damage: I'm honestly not sure if there's anything wrong with Energy Wands and Staves. Not Acid, Sonic, and Force - those are right out - but allowing Fire, Frost, and Lightning wands and staves is a reasonable idea. It would have to be worded correctly (the fire doesn't stick around long enough to ignite anything, for instance), but I don't see any balance issues.
The potential exists, of course; an Arcane Trickster with Rapid Reload launching full-round sneak attacks with a +1 Flaming Burst wand of fire, for instance, could be really nasty. On the other hand, it could flop; energy resistances tend to be higher than DR. I went with physical damage because I'm not sure whether energy would be unbalanced or just neat. I really don't know.
Ask your DM – ask him nicely – and if he says no, sorry. It's my own idea, and I don't know if I'd say yes to energy wands either. It fits thematically, and it doesn't look broken, but it doesn't feel quite right, either.

Ranged Touch Attacks: This makes Wands and Staves significantly better than crossbows, and as good as or better than the limited uses per day special ability most spellcasters get at level one.
That said, if it's only a Ranged Touch attack out to the first range increment, it's not a huge power boost – it puts them on roughly equal footing with Guns (less damage and limited to non-warrior classes, but no feat requirement and no ridiculous ammo cost).
Personally, I think that just making wands Ranged Touch all the time would be broken, but adding a feat that allowed a character to choose whether or not any given Wand/Staff attack was Ranged Touch or just Ranged, out to the first range increment only, would probably be okay.
Like the Energy weapon idea above, I'm not sure if there's a balance issue buried deep in the rules minutiae; a Feat for Wands/Staves hitting Touch AC out to the first Range Increment looks alright, and I'd be okay with someone trying it out in my campaign; just keep an open mind, and if it breaks something, be willing to let it go.

EDIT 1: cleaned up wording of "telekinetic bolts" and "enhance", based on Kirth Gerse's suggestions; also corrected a few spelling errors, and removed a note that was no longer necessary.

Liberty's Edge

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Alright, I'm fairly certain that a mage can use Pyrotechnics on a pre-existing Flaming Sphere - that is, a Flaming Sphere is a valid "source of flame" for the Pyrotechnics spell.

What I'm not clear on is this - what happens to the sphere?

Relevant text from Flaming Sphere: "It can be extinguished by any means that would put out a normal fire of its size."

Relevant text from Pyrotechnics: "The spell uses one fire source, which is immediately extinguished. Magical fires are not extinguished, although a fire-based creature used as a source takes 1 point of damage per caster level."

So, which happens:
1) Pyrotechnics consumes / destroys the sphere; given it's relatively small size (5 foot diameter) and the fact that a) "the sphere is extinguished by anything that would put out a normal fire of it's size" and b) "the fire source used by pyrotechnics is extinguished if it is a normal source of fire".
2) The sphere is unharmed, because it is a "magical source of flame".
3)It takes 1 point of damage per level, because it counts as a fire-based creature.

3a) Follow-up question: The sphere has no hit points or any other listed statistics beyond a movement speed and damage dealt (which is prevented by a Reflex save, not a failed attack roll/touch attack). How much damage can the Sphere take?

Either interpretation seems valid to me - I don't see how one takes precedence over the other. I mean, if a mage cast Pyrotechnics on the "+1 Flaming Greatsword" wielded by the party Barbarian, the sword would not go out, because it's a magical source of flame (whether the mage would survive the barbarian's wrath is an interesting question, but off-topic).

I'm also not sure there's a balance/powergaming problem with the strategy - it takes two rounds to set up, and the sphere doesn't last that long,so it's not like there will be multiple castings of Pyrotechnics off of the same sphere.

If Pyrotechnics consumes the sphere, the tactic is noticeably less awesome. It's still worth doing, but not as often - and it's already not always worth doing.

I'm not sure. I could go either way.

Liberty's Edge

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I've been thinking, and I've built myself a complicated situation. I think I know what happens, but it's questionable enough that I would like some feedback from the forums.

Party includes a Rogue, a Ranger, a Wizard, and whatever else. Party is in generic first level dungeon. Party sees light coming from a room down the dark hall.

Rogue decides to investigate, rolls stealth (8 + 7 mod = 15). Wizard player promptly chastises Rogue for rolling instead of taking 10, Rogue player says "I like to roll". Rogue jots down "15" on the battle mat, as everyone knows you need to keep track of your stealth check result.

Rogue heads down the hall, sticks his head in the room, sees two goblin warriors on sentry duty - to keep the math simple, the DM rules that, since the rogue has his head in the door, he is "9.99 feet away" (no penalty on the goblin's perception checks). Wizard Player questions why the goblins have a fire going, party tells him to "shut up already".

(I swear, this is not from an actual gaming session. I'm trying to describe something that might actually come up, instead of just poking random holes in the rules. Also, I think the details are funny.)

The DM is aware that the players have a somewhat stealth-heavy party, so is using custom built first level NPC Goblin warriors; these ones have a rank in perception and the Skill Focus feat. The DM rolls (8,9 + 5 = 13, 14) - the goblins do not see the Rogue! The Wizard Player mumbles something about "no one ever takes 10 but me", Players ignore him.

(IMPORTANT NOTE: At this point, everyone promptly forgets what the goblins got on their perception check. No one but the DM knew in the first place, and he doesn't think he'll need the information - all that matters is they didn't see the Rogue. Or so they think.)

Rogue, knowing the Goblin language, understand what the Goblins are saying, and spends several minutes listening to their conversation. The party "grows concerned" (other Players are getting bored), and sends the Ranger forward. The Ranger is a half-orc with the Two-Handed option, and doesn't have very good stealth. He rolls (7 + 5 = 12), writes it down on the battlemat, and heads forward.

(you can see where I'm going at this point.)

Ranger moves up to the doorway, waves at the Rogue. Goblins make perception checks to see if they spot the Ranger. Goblins roll (14,15 + 5 = 19, 20). (To refresh your memories, the Rogue got a 15 on his Stealth check).

Table erupts into chaos.

Rogue says "they don't see me, they failed to see me before and nothing changed". Ranger says "I'm not getting shanked alone!" Wizard blames everyone for not taking 10. Remaining party members, shocked awake by the yelling, knock over the dice towers they built, which go clattering to the floor and are chased by the cat.

20 minutes of debate later, DM declares Session over, everyone goes home.

***

The question I'm trying to ask is - what is supposed to happen in this situation? Is the GM supposed to keep and re-use the Goblin's perception checks? In my 11 years of 3.0/3.5/star wars/d20modern/pathfinder gaming experience, no one ever bothers to keep track of their old spot/listen/perception checks.

Since the DM didn't keep track, regardless of whether or not he was supposed to, what's the correct or most fair ruling here?

I think the right thing to do is: 1) don't bother keeping old perception checks, and 2) Goblins fail to see the Rogue (since they didn't see him earlier, and he hasn't changed), but see the Ranger.

But, like I said at the top, I'm looking for feedback/comments on this.

P.S. I swear, this is not from an actual gaming session. No feelings will be hurt. It's just something that could come up in the future, and I'd like to know what the right and proper way to handle it is.

P.P.S. Another Thought! What's the social protocol for when you accidentally knock down another Player's dice tower, and the cat belonging to a third Player swallows one of the dice and has to go to the vet's? Again, did not happen, but I'm curious.

Liberty's Edge

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I'm looking for advice on Metamagic for a Sorcerer with the Arcane bloodline.

I've been thinking about the build for several days now, and I'm stuck; I've never really understood metamagic feats. I understand what metamagic feats do (add theoretical utility to spells and spellcasters), and why sorcerers have the "action tax" (limited spells known increases the theoretical utility of Metamagic feats, so increased casting time balances this advantage out).

It's just that, well, I've never really believed in the theoretical utility of these feats. An "empowered magic missile" or "empowered burning hands" doesn't come close to matching a fireball, so it's not like a sorcerer can pass on learning the higher-level spell. Feats like "extend spell" and "reach spell" are handy, I guess, but compared to Spell Focus, or Toughness? I don't see it.

For the past week or so, I've had a Character Concept for an Arcane Sorcerer floating around in my head; I like the character, and it's looking more and more like I'm going to get to game (which I've only done twice in the last four months - sigh). I just don't see the point of Metamagic, which is the problem. No metamagic means the Arcane Bloodline is largely superfluous, which bugs me.

I'd like to play the character that's in my head, but I feel like I need to figure out how to "like" metamagic in order to do that, and I'm not sure how.

Liberty's Edge

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What you need to understand about "third party" D&D 3.5 products is, 99.999% of the time, they are complete and utter crap. Always have been.

Pretty much every DM banned all of them outright, and only made very rare and very specific exceptions.

You need to regard "3.5" has "Wizards of the Coast published material", and define "3rd party 3.5" as a separate (and banned) category.

Liberty's Edge

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Is it unbalancing to let a Wizard or (or Sorcerer or Adept) to take a dog as a familiar? I'm thinking that it's fine, but I figured i'd ask.

Also, seeing as how it's a 'standard' familiar, what would it's special skill bonus be? +3 to Survival?

Liberty's Edge

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Question: "What do Fighters contribute outside of combat?"

Answer: "Almost nothing".

You can RP, of course, and if you are willing to sacrifice combat effectiveness you can nab some skills, but really, there's pretty much nothing for Fighters to do outside combat.

Every other class in the game has ways they can contribute outside of combat. Fighters do not.

This is the cost of a Fighter's combat ability. Properly constructed, a Fighter is the hands down undisputed master of combat - he can deal more damage per round than any other class and maintain a very nice AC at the same time. Throw in Iron Will, a cloak of resistance, and a non-negative wisdom modifier, and there's not a whole lot that can really bring them down, except for massive amounts of damage or creative terrain.

Fighters fight better than any other class in the game, because that's all they do. This is both good and bad, as you are discovering.

Liberty's Edge

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I've been following the forums, and I've noticed a repeating theme. People are complaining, over and over again, about Monks, Barbarians, and to a lesser extent Rogues. I would like to perhaps try and address this issue by looking at how characters in pathfinder fit together.

I've been around a while. I've played second edition, third edition, 3.5, 4th, and pathfinder, along with loads of other RPGs, like Exalted and Legend of the Five Rings. I currently play WoW. In all those games, there are Character Roles. generic slots that characters fall into and describe in general terms what that particular character does for the party.

Sometimes, like in second and third edition, these roles are rather vague. Other times, like in 4th and L5R and WoW, these roles are very explicit.

In second edition, you need a fighter to get hit, a rogue to deal with skills and sneaky stuff, a cleric to heal the party, and a wizard to kill stuff. But those roles aren't expressly called out in the system, and you can get by without one of them for most things.

In things like WoW and 4th edition, you can also get by easier stuff without one of those, but the really hard, cutting edge challenges require all of them filled and working well, or for very unusual tactics (in Wow, for instance, there was a time when the best way for dealing with Sarth (a big bad dragon) was for a warlock (squishy magic class) to 'tank' him; this was fixed in a patch. WoW discourages unusual tactics).

Like I mentioned at the very beginning, people are complaining. "Barbarians don't fight as well as fighters and paladins" and "monks can't hold their own in front line combat OR compete against rogue damage".

I think these problems come from a lack of understanding as to how each variant build of each class fits together within a party. I think these problems could be addressed by figuring out:
A) what are the various roles for characters in pathfinder? and
B) what roles can each class fill, and how should they go about it?

Here's the initial list that I see. Please help me expand it. Note that the class list is incomplete; I am particularly unclear as to what clerics can do.

Controllers: Also called Buffers, Debuffers, or Leaders, these guys make the enemies hit softer and the party hit harder. They limit the enemies options from afar and let the party do things they couldn't otherwise do.
Classes: Wizards, sorcerers, druids, clerics, bards.
Note: the traditional 'cleric' or 'healer' role is usually a waste of time in pathfinder; spells are better spent preventing the enemy from hurting the party in the first place. Regularly buy Wands of Cure Light Wounds and the party will be fine.

Tank: Also called "Protectors", these guys are there to be hit. They either do as much damage as Melee, or lesser damage but have certain Controller abilities like trip and disarm; without either of these abilities, their high AC and large hitpoint pools make them unattractive targets. They tend to have low mobility compared to melee and disruptors, but otherwise operate as melee.
Classes: Paladins, Fighters.
Note: Shields are a trap. They increase your AC (making you less attractive a target), reduce your damage (making you less attractive a target), and inhibit controller-like actions (making you less attractive a target).

Melee: short for "melee damage dealers", also called Strikers, these guys are the primary source of damage to enemies. They can one-round-kill a lesser monster and reliably handle an even level enemy in two or three rounds. They tend to be fairly mobile, but rely on Controllers for buffs and Tanks for flanking to be most effective.
Classes: Rogues, Rangers, Paladins, Druids, Bards. (see also: tank)

Ranged: short for "ranged damage dealers", also called Strikers, these guys tend to do less damage overall than melee characters, and also tend to be more vulnerable, but compensate by being harder for enemies to get to most of the time and by being able to strike at the entire battlefield, rather than just what is within melee reach.
Classes: Wizards, sorcerers, druids, clerics, bards, rangers, fighters.
Note: because they pretty much always do less damage than melee focused characters, and 'prevent' less damage than controllers (monster with 1 hp still hurts the party), these are usually sub-optimal roles. This does not mean they are 'bad', just not "minmaxed".

Disruptors: something that seems unique to pathfinder, these guys are there to disrupt the enemies plans, the "Anti-Controller". They move around or through the enemy lines, avoid or counter hostile terrain, and harass the enemy controller. Their damage is roughly comparable to ranged, lagging noticeably behind Melee and Tanks, and have unusual abilities like speed, escape tricks, and shut-down maneuvers instead of damage enhancing techniques.
Classes: Monk, Rogue, Bard, Barbarian.
Note: these guys require intelligent enemies and interesting settings to be effective. If every fight takes place in a perfectly swept square dungeon room or on a perfectly maintained lawn, and the enemies do nothing but stand in place and try to kill the tank, these guys are going to be rather boring. In dynamic locations against intelligent foes, they steal the show.

So Tanks are on a sliding scale of Melee vs Controller, along with high hit points and AC. Ranged deal less damage but also take less, and can cover somewhat for an Disruptor. Disruptors get stuck with the same low damage as ranged, but without the range, which looks really bad on paper, but thanks to their various odd-ball tricks they can actually do quite a lot in anything outside of the stereotypical arena.

Class Breakdown List:
Barbarian: Disruptor. Their damage isn't high enough for the Melee position, and they can't afford to trade hits like a Tank. It's not the same role they had is 3.5, which is imensely frustrating to many barbarian fans.

Bard: Controller, Melee, Ranged, Disruptor. Bards are their usual flexible selves; as Melee they don't do as much damage on paper, but make up for it with their buffs and debuffs; well chosen spells also let them move around the battlefield in Disruptor fashion.

Cleric: Controller, Ranged. I honestly don't know much about what clerics can do in pathfinder, so my information may be completely wrong.

Druid: Controller, Ranged, Melee. Druids can no longer do everything, due to how wildshape works, but are still a flexible, unique class.

Fighter: Tank, Ranged. Fighters fight. They exist to hurt the enemy, by limiting their movement options, setting up flanking, using combat maneuvers, and beating their enemies to death with pointy objects. They can either deal competitive melee damage, or shut down enemy melee, or deal competitive ranged damage.

Monk: Disruptor. Monks continue to fill the unique role they occupied in 3rd edition, only without the option to just do a bunch of damage instead. Again, many players are upset about this.

Paladin: Tank, Melee. Paladins tank just like always, only now they don't use a shield. They can only compete as melee if they are mounted. Fighters can technically try the mounted thing too, but their horse / dog will get one-shot, so it's not really an option. Also, the mount limits mobility as much as it enhances it by requiring open areas with high ceilings to function.

Ranger: Melee, Ranged. They've got enough mobility and staying power to get into position as Melee and stay out of trouble as Ranged, but not enough to Tank or act as Disruptors.

Rogue: Melee, Disruptor. A duel-wielding rogue is perhaps the highest-damage-dealer in the game, if he has a full round action, a flanking buddy, and a Controller to pile on the spells. A rogue who picks up some speed enhancing magic items has the tricks (uncanny dodge, evasion, skills) to get next to controllers and the tactics to shut them down.

Sorcerer: Ranged, Controller. Stand in the back and blast away. Tend to make better Ranged than wizards, thanks to metamagic and more spells per day.

Wizard: Ranged, Controller. Stand in back and blast away. Tend to make better Controllers than sorcerers, thanks to large spell selection and flexible preparation.

Note that all of the above are broad, sweeping generalizations. Your mileage may vary.

Liberty's Edge

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Look, this advice is nice and all, but I'm looking to play pathfinder, not 3.5 here.

I'm not trying to attack the use of 3.5 material or anything, but is everyone suggesting that ray sorcerers only work if the grossly overpowered stuff from the later days of 3.5 is made available?

If so, why? If not, how would a pathfinder ray sorcerer break down?