Quinley Basdel

Buri's page

Organized Play Member. 3,611 posts. 1 review. 1 list. No wishlists. 5 Organized Play characters.


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Covent wrote:
It is not that levels >12 are verboten or anything, it is simply that most people admit that the math gets rather unhinged past level 15 or so and that the vast majority of games end at or before 20.

I don't see the math getting unhinged there. What does that mean? Is there a limit on what DCs you can beat? In the Rise AP there are checks up in the 50s way before level 15. I don't understand it.

Covent wrote:
In addition the fact is that it take a very long real life time for most games to reach level 20. This means that if level 20 was where discussion and focus was for the game you would have to wait a very long real life time before playing the "Real" game.

Pathfinder has been released for about half a decade if not so. Do we have to wait longer?

Covent wrote:
Another factor is that at 15+ you run into the WBL issue where any sufficiently determined and system wise person can use and abuse WBL to create a very powerful character out of anything up to and including a commoner just by manipulating gear load-out.

This implies to me we can't discuss the weakness of the system and can only talk about the good as if Pathfinder is untouchable to critique yet I know that's not true given other threads. What makes this aspect of the game unique? That commoners can do it? This would seem to put the impetus on Paizo to refine their item design yet they seem to get a free pass. Why?

Covent wrote:
Lastly most level 20 builds/abilities/effects do not bear any resemblance to or extrapolate well to what the same character could do at lower levels.

So we ignore them?

Covent wrote:
All of this make level 20 a place where YMMV is very much a given and so most people will not choose to base their statements off of this rather difficult to define ground.

Is it difficult because the game is somehow more complex (I'd argue it's not; just more of the same) or because there is a culture that says 'we don't talk about it' which results in a sort of communal atrophy in the ability to work in that space either by communication or practice?

Covent wrote:
Please understand that I believe that high level play is both fun and possible, but do to the increased need for GM intervention, read "Fiat", as you get closer to 20 and past it, it is not the best place in my opinion to discuss or define ideas or concepts especially concerning balance of any kind.

Again, why? Would it not better serve the community to hash out seeming tricky bits to create a shared sense of what it is what? I don't mean to sound like there can be an organized body that hands down rulings. But, balance issues abound in lower levels. I can TPK a level 1 group with a CR 1 swarm. How do we deal with that? We know how to deal with that! And, it's pretty common knowledge too. Higher levels should be no different.

Covent wrote:
This is of course all just my opinion but I hope it helps.


Nicos wrote:
I suppose that is what he wants to find out.

I don't want to find out anything. I'm simply making a (what I thought was reasonable) request to the boards. What I'm seeing in this thread is a resounding f-you or being questioned about what *I* want help with in spite of other people agreeing with me. If you think this is a request for advice you've completely missed the point.

In the ACG there is the spell Mark of Obvious Ethic with the short description "other creatures can determine the target's alignment." So, if alignment is ethics and not morals that could have some interesting implications.


I didn't think about that! Thank you.

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Having GMed Shattered Star, there most absolutely is. It's your job to communicate it to the players. I agree if you run it as printed then it doesn't seem so. It plays like a mindless dungeon crawl. But, there's actually a very deep story in the background that spans several APs. I would suggest heavily drawing off the Rise AP to help communicate it. It's awesome you can even do that since it's the only Paizo AP to be a part 2 which has the benefit of having a part 1. In addition to that, in every other module, story, and AP that anything Runelord, Thassilon, or Lissala plays a role, it can probably be tied back to the Shattered Star mythos to heavily imply events of the past. You can actually weave a very high intrigue story out of it with just some research and the will to do so. The AWESOME thing about Shattered Star is that the more you play the more you can outright share those details and explore them. This is brought to fruition and pushed in your face in book 6, and you should know what I'm talking about. You could even run a campaign to tell the deep story background leading up to SS with just the events described in it as the framework and then jump your group to 'present day' and run them through SS itself if you're feeling particularly adventurous.

As to AP design, it is a smart way to for Paizo to do what they do. They perpetually keep their content available to newcomers.

Deaths Adorable Apprentice wrote:

you are coming across a little combative which will not lead to a good discussion. most people play in the lower levels since the most common games are society or the adventure paths which paizo doesn't write to reach level 20 because of how difficult things get at that level. but on these message boards I have seen people talk about getting into the high levels. I am running a campaign that will be hitting level 20 and I have been bothering the wonderful people on the message boards for information. its a matter of finding people who have played pathfinder in the after the campaign scenario. my group started a whole new campaign while we are waiting for our other GM to create the adventure that follows the final boss. he guessed around a year because it is a lot of work. Paizo clearly made their system to not hit that high of levels the CR to challenge a group of four much less our group of seven is hard to hit without wiping the party.

And you are a person, abet the apparent minority like me. you can talk about your experiences but do it in a way that welcomes dialogue not confrontation.

I say things as I think them. Perhaps I should hire a PR company to represent me. I'm not even really joking. I know I'm a person. However, when an opinion insinuates that 'people' do this or that then that directly insinuates people who do the opposite are not 'people' which is dismissive. That that can be considered okay but I come across combative is seriously jacked.

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thegreenteagamer wrote:
That being said, what is your specific issue?

The attitude that high level play doesn't bear discussion on the boards without getting flak about PFS or being dismissed as irrelevant rocket tag.

I saw the report a problem link but not any other feedback and didn't know where else to post this.

Is there a way, or could we get one, where we can view content based on source? For example, seeing what was in just the Technology Guide or the ACG.


thegreenteagamer wrote:
Buri wrote:
Can we please stop dismissing them just because PFS stops before level 20?

PFS stops at 12, which while categorically "under 20", is a long flippin' way from 20.

I'd say most people dismiss high level stuff because
1. Almost all the APs end around 16 or so.
2. Combat is a serious P.i.t.A. the higher you get in level.

I highly doubt high level discussions would be much different if it ended at 13 or 14. There's an undercurrent to the PFS line that says if it's not PFS then it doesn't matter to be discussed which is patently false and frustrating to see here.

blahpers wrote:
It isn't just PFS. The vast, vast majority of gameplay occurs much lower than level 20. Way more than 95% of gameplay. Most of the time, it makes sense to focus on the levels people actually play.

This is a great display of the mindset I'm talking about. I'm playing a level 13 character... ALLLLLMOST level 14. Am I not an actual person? Can I not talk about my experiences? If I do, will you shout me down because it's not relevant to 'way more than 95% of gameplay?' It actively diminishes the kind of environment Paizo and their guidelines seek to create on these boards.

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Can we please stop dismissing them just because PFS stops before level 20?

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Skeld wrote:
Very true. However, I mention it because Paizo staff have mentioned it as something they like to minimize.

Their mistake was referencing my page rather than by article entry.

Page references are inconsequential with a good index.

I use the classification of tiers associated to a city's size on whether or not to make the check. If the city size has a dash they just don't have any. However, you could tweak the check since Paizo decided to introduce more categories within the major three that adjusts the 75% figure to be more appropriate. So, start 75% for lesser minor items, 70% for medium minor, 65% for major minor, and so on until 35% for major major items.

That's what the 75% d100 check is supposed to represent.

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I hate them. I hate when players say 'I go buy/shopping for/want x' and immediately start marking the GP off their sheet. I hate that magic items are needed by the system.

For Pathfinder I would institute mage's guilds in the larger cities and run it as though they regulate the sale of non-trivial magic items going so far that they sack little town with their local government authority if reports that they're trying to be sold there.

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Jiggy, that's way too much thinking. One rule for everything!

Eidolons have never gotten their first hit die at full. Why is this a thing?

Edit: Found rules:

CRB, Getting Started wrote:
HD:[...]Hit Dice are represented by the number the creature possesses followed by a type of die, such as “3d8.” This value is used to determine a creature's total hit points. In this example, the creature has 3 Hit Dice. When rolling for this creature's hit points, you would roll a d8 three times and add the results together, along with other modifiers.
CRB, Getting Started wrote:
HP: To determine a creature's hit points, roll the dice indicated by its Hit Dice. A creature gains maximum hit points if its first Hit Die roll is for a character class level.

This has how things have always worked. PFS then has specific rules about average * level.

In any case you should be able to offset the hexes so that things line up okay.

bugleyman wrote:
I'm actually pretty knowledgeable about the various digital formats. As it turns out, I've spent the last ten years working in IT for one of the largest publishers in the world.

Cool! I wrote software behind print personalization and print on demand solutions. Fun stuff.

bugleyman wrote:
But that's really beside the point. Any industry-standard data format which is NOT tied to their proprietary application would be fine.

I don't think that's where they're going. At best, from what they've described, is they'll keep a local copy of the print in XML form.

bugleyman wrote:
However, if access relies on a continued sub, or on the continued existence of an authentication server, then their "digital offering" is a non-starter.

I don't think so. There has been comments saying that it didn't need a persistent connection. That basically translates into one and done purchases at minimum if there's any kind of sanity involved.

bugleyman wrote:
I'm sorry, but all indications are this this isn't about meeting the customer's needs, but rather about them maintaining absolute control, which, aside from being a fool's errand, always comes at the consumer's expense. Pass.

They just don't seem to meet your needs. Nothing says they need to and nothing says you need to be their customer. However, as a classification of needs, I actually think their goal is to meet needs. You and Wizards simply don't coexist on the same road right now.

leo1925 wrote:

I already only run for 4 players with 15 point buy but what do you mean by unoptimized and a set number of roles?

I am not asking for APs that cater to any combination, what i want is to be advised if an AP can't handle (mechanically) particular classes (gunslinger and witch in most APs i have seen) and more importantly to have encounters for high-ish level (11+) characters that assume that the players have played again 3.X at those levels (most APs i have seen seem to assume a level of inexperience found on players who have never played on those levels).

Certain classes will always be optimal for different situations. You need to determine for yourself if a class is overpowered for a majority of the encounters.

The roles I meant were to have only one martial character, one skill or ranged character, one arcane character, and one divine character. Unoptimized generally means you enforce the gold expenditure guildines in the Gamemastering chapter in the CRB under the Wealth By Level table for gear. For build, it follows the same kind of advice. You need to make sure your players don't spend a lot of build choices on doing just one or two things and ensuring they're generally proficient in several scenarios.

It's too early to criticize because there's a lack of information which you can criticize. But, for all we know, the rules portion could be spearate from the character builder could be separate from the campaign management could be separate from a persistent subscription to errata could be separate from new book releases and so on. We just don't know. Wizards also can't promise exactly how the application will work because they're not building it. The building is being done by an outside firm.

Regardless of what they want, it's what Wizards is selling. That sounds cold, I know.

The question is the same. Any race can serve in the role and work with the class. I would just avoid those that take a hit to intelligence. When I read the class I actually thought humans would fit the class exceedingly well.

Dennis Harry wrote:
Digital authoring with sufficient means, such as Wizards has, could have easily been accomplished already if that was their strategy. I know, I had a small publishing company and did print as well as digital books on Kindle and on Amazon.

Did you also offer character building and campaign support? Dungeonscape is much more than a rules compendium.

Also, please, don't throw around 'easy' on custom made programming project. They're anything but.

I think questions like this come down to min/max or roleplay. Anyone can wear a mask to conceal their race. If you're concerned about capitalizing on abilities and bonuses, then we can mince one race versus another.

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I thought it was a joke on the Judeo-Christian god. Almost an intended mockery. I didn't take it seriously at all, and I used to be a licensed clergyman. :D

All the better to see the dragon that's about the eat you.... or the party of heroes that's about to murderhobo you. :D

The wait thing with digital can easily turn into an eating your cake and having it too request. Digital authoring takes time. Creating those tools take more time. Patience is necessary. Yes, Wizards could have released PDFs by now. They could have done it at release. However, Dungeonscape is doing much more than what PDFs can accomplish. Since I'm a firm believer that you can always do better, I'm excited to see what it delivers.

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Orthos wrote:
I tried running APs out of the box when I first started[...]

I tried doing that with the Shattered Star AP and it went horribly. I actually feel bad because that campaign ended in a s!@@ty way and I was super new to GMing and was timid to change things. I feel the story Xin truly needs told since that's the AP that explores how all this stuff got going in the first place and can easily serve as the background to Paizo's iconic AP, Rise of the Runelords.

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I think the folks in this thread are too caught up on PDFs. When you're talking about digital distribution, there are so many more options and many of them better than PDFs. The ebook format, for example, is better at publishing book-like material than them with even more device support. But even then, these are just two of many formats.

Have a read...

Beyond the device formats, since a myriad of devices have browsers in them, you can even do away with specific formats altogether. So, the point I'm trying to make, is to not preach PDFs as the One True Way and anyone who doesn't do it is doomed. That's incredibly short sighted and ignorant of the technology and business landscapes.

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leo1925 wrote:

I agree, since the CR system is tied to the xp system and the CR system is wonky at best, i also advise to drop xp entirely and make encounters that can challenge your group.

The issue is that by using that way where you have to rebuild entire encounters, then rebuild entire floors of encounters, then an entire book of encnounters. Then you ask yourself why are you buying APs, i buy them because i don't have the time to make my own campaign but i end up having to create my own encounters for big chunks of the campaign...

So only run 4 player, 15 point build, nonoptimized characters, with a set number of roles that only one character can occupy and you're set. It's untenable for Paizo to anticipate every party combination.

Sslarn wrote:
I would disagree. The most powerful spells and classes are still right in the CRB. The book may have elevated the floor a bit and introduced classes that are harder to f~@! up and archetypes and feats that help shore up the obvious weaknesses of pre-existing classes, but that's not creep, that's making the game more accessible to a wider audience.

That's only because the CRB was published first which book ends the power of an individual thing a character can do. The ACG feels more like the classes the CRB perhaps should have been.

FYI, elevation is explicity creep. You say you disagree, then you just use different words than me to say the same thing couched in terms of accessibility. Mind you it wasn't just floors that were elevated. Cielings were pushed as well. The arcanist gives a flexibility no one has in the CRB or other materials with full casting progression. I just call it what it is. You appear to being taking the more PR angle to it.

You're way downplaying the other features of the sorcerers and wizards, Cyrad. The arcanist can not get the higher school or bloodlines powers. Those can go a long way in making a build powerful. The creep part is on Schrondinger-ability of wizard style preparation.

I think the ACG as a whole is power creep. That you're taking two classes and putting them together with years of refinement on top of providing archetypes, feats, and spells to support them, the end result is basically gestalt without needing gestalt rules. I was *just* talking to a friend how the investigator is more skilly than the bard investigator and they were the previous kings of skills. The empiricist archetype makes that just more pronounced. Then, they take the rogue sneak attack, reflavor it, and let you do it at will with just a move action. It's all power creep. I would put the ACG to the player who is unhappy with the floor of power the CRB represents while maintaining the ceiling of the wizard. I can see what you mean by the arcanist being Schrodinger's wizard, though, so I'm tempted to even say they creeped on the wizard, too.

I don't get the claims that arcanists are broken. Is it because they can counterspell and dispel better than a sorcerer or wizard? That they can potentially infinitely basically dimension door? All those seem minor except maybe the counterspell as frequent counterspells can be annoying. But, if that's all it does other than blast then it actually reads quite boring to me.

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It was entertaining. It just wasn't godzilla.

Interesting. Thanks everyone!

Is there an FAQ for that? I would think it's gray. For example, eldritch knight gives you bonus feats. Do you lose them as well even though you still qualify for them?

For the synthesist, say you take the evolution that gives you proficiency with all martial weapons and prestige into eldritch knight. You then use transmogrify and are no longer proficient with all martial weapons. Do you lose the PrC features until you get it back?

More generally, many PrC have feat prerequisites. What happens if you retrain a required feat after taking levels in a PrC?

1) You sneak attacks on opponents you have advantage on. You don't need advantage to get sneak attack though. Keep a buddy next to your target for round to round sneak attack.

2) Versatile weapons

3) What's your goal/vision for the character?

4) I forget which but there's a single 35 speed race, iirc. That said, that's kind of impressive as many of the attack cantrips have 120 foot range. The only way your companions were shooting significantly further was if they were taking disadvantage on their rolls. (P.S. it's 'too')

5) See 3

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You mean like how the new godzilla used his atomic breath twice and only after getting his face kicked in? Oh yeah, I went there.

My thinking is that you can afford to pull off MAD requirements a lot easier if you're willing to invest 2 or 3 levels into it. Specifically, with the synthesist, you can have at least two very high stats with several race combinations + the ability increase evolution, you can do things like have potent saves for both spells and exploits in the arcanist example. The abbreviated spell list for summoners should afford the delay. As you level and get your magic items, you can pay for a transmogrification to be walking around as an arcanist with a few immunities, even. Stuff like that is what got me curious about the other ACG classes which are generally MAD from what I've seen and often dip into charisma for either use/day or saves for their auxiliary abilities. I wouldn't do a summoner 10/arcanist 10 or anything like that. But, a summoner 3/arcanist 17 would be worth consideration.

For reference, charisma is useful for acanists, skalds, bloodragers, and hunters. I didn't look at the archetypes.

For all the cool stuff in the Advanced Class Guide, how does that add to the crazy stuff you can pull off with a few levels of summoner? None of the ACG classes build off it so you can multiclass it with anything. I would think a synthesist boosted arcanist would be more ridiculous.

They don't assume optimization at all. Plus, they create against an even spread of classes (melee, [skill|range], arcane, and divine). In my groups there's quite usually 2 or 3 of something be it armored melee or arcane caster. Larger groups can't help but cover the same roles.

It's probably better to add or remove enemies as necessary while keeping the XP the same. Taboo, I know, but the various Paizo folks' long standing advice is to do what's best for your games. If a fight needs to be tough but not something that should be practically a level in a bottle, then make it tough one way or another while keeping the reward about equal. When I've tried to run AP content as written bad things happen. It needs tailored to your particular group unless you run a 4 person team, 15 point buy, and a class spread like I mentioned.

Thanks for that.

No worries. That last line wasn't at you.

Wow. Instant criticizing of the class I played rather than the question I posed especially when they have nothing to do with each other. Yay forums.


Instead of attempting to break or reverse the grapple, you can take any action that doesn't require two hands to perform, such as cast a spell or make an attack or full attack with a light or one-handed weapon against any creature within your reach, including the creature that is grappling you.

There, I edited my post to just say 'character.' See how nothing changes?

Last session of my Rise group, my character got grappled but still attacked with his dwarven waraxe. My GM let out an exasperated 'how?' since finding a clear weakness to the character is difficult. I explained the description and showed him he had the exotic proficiency feat. Such joy... haha. The ironic thing is, I never set out to for that weapon build and got the waraxe through a fallen PC so he carries it mainly as a reminder of the character. I only ended up giving him the feat when we had some extended downtime and I did some retraining on the character.

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When you go to research a question feeling the answer is on the tip of your tongue only to find your own posts from years earlier on the very same topic answering your question.

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