Exactly this. Most modules are written assuming nothing more than basic competence, with a little extra padding tossed in so the PCs can survive a bit of bad luck. Generally it's much easier for a veteran GM with veteran players to tune up the encounters than it is for a new GM with new players to tone them down.
And really, a "normal" CR encounter is supposed to be pretty easy for most minimally competent parties, since the game system is designed for the PCs to win battles so there won't be campaign-ending TPKs every other battle.
That's why an evenly matched battle against an equal number of PC-classed opponents with PC-level wealth is a CR+4 encounter (AKA off the CR scale).
Bill Dunn wrote:
And more importantly, pre 3e the "Big Six" wasn't a thing because those items and stats in general worked in a substantially different way from how they work in 3e.
Yeah, that's why whenever I GMed I let people shift the Big Six items into different slots. I don't mind doing a vest of resistance instead of a cloak if it means they'll take a fun and flavorful item for the shoulder slot.
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Well even with standard treasure rules, I've had players carry around goofy items presuming it was crowbarred out of someone's cold dead hands or a dungeon (I personally stuffed a barrel that makes stuff pleasantly cold into a bag of holding for most of a campaign). Really I find it that people are more likely to carry around silly items that have virtually no real resale value while silly and expensive items tend to get hocked for useful things in short order.
I'd say this hits on one of the bigger issues with silly flavor items. People like keeping them around as long they don't feel like they're giving up something useful to get it. So, the best move is to make sure that there's no trade-off involved.
Also, generally speaking the way to make PCs feel like magic items are cool and unique is to make cool and unique items for them. It's hard to muster much of a sense for wonder for a generic +1 sword.
Just going to second this. Polearms were always far always far more effective in large and tightly packed formations than in single combat. It's why Pathfinder doesn't have the option of equipping your PC with a 20 foot long pike: the weapon's not something a lone adventurer would get any good use out of.
As an aside, there's clearly some "define your terms" issues going on with spears in this thread.
I think the viability of decoy tactics also depends a lot on stuff like party composition. If the group has a dedicated archer, a couple decoy CR 1/3 guys in the back row just means that his first couple arrows kill them instead of knocking some HP off one of the frontliners. Even worse if the group has someone like an evoker who'll just AoE damage everyone regardless of shenanigans.
By the same token, there are definitely times when the tradeoff for decoy tactics is pretty small. If someone's running a monk, having the guy wear robes and a wizard hat instead of monk robes isn't exactly a huge problem.
I think the bigger issue wasn't the GM's call so much as the fact that the players didn't think the rules worked that way and wanted to walk their action back once they found out about the house rule, with the GM not allowing it.
I know as a GM I've made bad rules calls in the past. Nobody's perfect. However, if the player picked their actions based on how they understood the rules, they shouldn't be held to those actions if they find out the rules don't work the way they thought. Pathfinder as a game tends to have lots of problems when people can't agree on how the rules work, which is why it's so important to make sure everyone's on the same page.
Being banned in PFS isn't really an indicator that it's too powerful. PFS dislikes certain playstyles, particularly Dex based one and defensive styles. Most things are banned for either flavor reasons (see: Vivisectionist) or in the interest of keeping build variety within manageable bounds.
Just going to second this. PFS tends to demand simple, straightforward builds that work in the new-group-every-game format of PFS. Basically, anything with iffy flavor, complicate, or likely to cause table variance is likely to get the banhammer. Plus, as mentioned, defensive boosts tend to get targeted because they can mess with encounter design: that's why Crane Style got multiple nerfs.
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Losing your shield bonus if you make an attack with that hand is only a rule for the buckler, not a general shield rule.
Granted, it might fall under the "Hands of Effort" FAQ, but that's a whole can of worms we don't want to open.
I have heard stories about PCs "rolling too well" and having to deal with failure because of it, getting a crit and killing an enemy with a non lethal weapon or critting with a bow which made a spark that ignited fumes in a building and killed everyone in it. But all of those stories came down to really crazy house rules. The game as intended has no mechanism for penalizing players for beating the DC of a check no matter how well they do. It does come up in some other game systems but even then, beating the DC comes with advantages, i cant think of any that penalize you.
Killing with nonlethal damage isn't a house rule, though the rules make it pretty hard to accidentally kill with nonlethal damage. To wit:
If a creature’s nonlethal damage is equal to his total maximum hit points (not his current hit points), all further nonlethal damage is treated as lethal damage.
That exception aside, Pathfinder doesn't penalize you for exceeding DCs. The system's generally pretty binary when it comes to success and failure: you either meet or beat the target number and win, or don't meet it and fail.
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
I will point out that Tywin Lannister rather famously offered outrageous sums of gold to several impoverished houses that had Valyrian Steel weapons.
If it has value, someone will be willing to pay for it.
Yeah, Mithral and Adamantine see such heavy use because they provide bonuses that will stay consistently useful and no drawbacks beyond added cost. Compare that to giving you a small bonus against one specific creature type, a small skill bonus, and something slightly useful but with a big downside.
Brain in a Jar wrote:
While technically true, classes without casting have to pay two feats and a stack of skill points to get a single heavily limited crafting feat, so it's not exactly a great move. Though limiting it to classes with spellcasting still leaves plenty of options.
As for the main topic, it seems like the one of the biggest points of contention is the availability and value of downtime for crafting and other activities. If downtime is heavily limited and/or the crafter has other things they'd like to do, then crafting for the party comes with an associated cost. It's fair for the crafter to ask for something in return if crafting for the party means they're missing out on something valuable.
Then, of course, there's the out-of-game versus in-game argument. Out-of-game, crafting for party members isn't a big effort. In-universe, it's 8 hours of work per 1000 gp of the item. I don't mind spending a couple hours helping a friend at no cost (or at worst asking them to spring for pizza once the work is done), but 8 hours a day for several days in a row isn't a favor for a friend, it's a job. Even when I liked my boss and got along well with them, I still expected my paycheck at the end of the day.
Of course, then you get into metagame concerns like WBL-imbalance...
I'd say the most egregious foul by the GM isn't giving the character some crazy OP abilities, but that he opened the encounter by saying that if the party beat the pirate boss they'd get a ton of good items, then denied any rewards when they actually managed to win. To me at least, that's what really shifts the whole thing to looking like a GM temper tantrum.
Milo v3 wrote:
"As an paizo board discussion grows longer, the probability of getting Bingo approaches 1"
B3, N1, G2, and O3 already filled in...
That's the thing. Baseline fighters get bonuses to their attack (and thus combat maneuver) bonuses, but so does every other martial class. Even if those limits don't come up all that often they're still limits on the maneuver. Limits that things like studied target, favored enemy, and strength surge don't have to deal with. And all those abilities put out equal or better numbers compared to weapon training.
Even for a simple combat base-line with Core Fighter, by level 9 they can add +3 to attack and +4 to damage with just training and two exclusive feats. Core Barbarian Rage hits +3 attack and +3-5 damage by 11.
Holy shifting goalposts, Batman!
I don't think a +1 to attack and +2 damage advantage for two levels is much to brag about. Certainly not enough to offset the massive utility of the rage powers the Barbarian's getting instead of bonus feats going into small numerical bonuses. Pounce at level 10 laughs at the fighter's puny +1 advantage.
Ryan Freire wrote:
I think when it comes to archtype fixes, there is a bit of "damned if you do, damned if you don't" involved. Obviously a full rewrite of the class to fix its problems is ideal, but a couple archetypes that address the issue is better than nothing.
The problem, as Ssalarn brings up, is that all the different fixes don't tend play well with each other. Fixing problem A locks you out of fixing Problem B. Lore Warden makes you better at skills and maneuvers, but you miss out on Advanced Armor Training and the expanded bravery options.
If gunslinger damage really is a balance issue, rather than just a "they shouldn't be able to reload like that" issue, I'd rather see rules aimed directly at that - disallow Rapid Shot for guns, for example. Maybe ban the advanced Two Weapon Fighting feats with runs. Hell, change how BAB bonus grants iteratives with guns if you have to.
Yeah, one of my big annoyances with how Paizo handled the problems double-barreled pistols caused was that they spent years trying to fix the double-barreled pistol by FAQ-rattaing everything except the double barreled pistol. You know, the thing that was actually causing the problem in the first place.
I'd be all for good house-rules (or a Pathfinder rules overhaul) to make guns and crossbows into One Big Hit weapons, but that's the kind of thing that would require completely redoing the rules for those weapons and the Gunslinger/Bolt Ace. Though at that point, we might as well address 3.X's broader issues of all martials being tied to iteratives and full attacks.
As far as I recall, the only criticism the Lore Warden got was from the PDT itself, since they felt like the archetype was a straight upgrade of the core fighter.
Problem is, sans Lore Warden's high CMB bonuses the Fighter doesn't bring much to make it better at maneuvers than any other class, other than having an easier time affording the feat taxes.
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
I've seen plenty of problems in both directions. Let's not forget what happened when Paizo tried to limit free actions to three to five per round, and utterly broke the game. Pretty much every attempt at a hard numerical limit tends to fail because the rules were written with the idea of free actions being free and unlimited as long as players don't do anything too crazy with them.
Since the only real limit on free actions is GM fiat against anything unreasonable, the subject leads to massive table variation. GMs tend to vary wildly on what is and isn't an acceptable number of free actions.
I'd personally suggest a couple general guidelines.
1) No hard numbers
This leads into my next point...
2) Look at what they're doing, not how many Free Actions they're using.
"I want to make a rapid-shot hasted full attack with my sling while calling out a warning to my friends" sounds a lot more reasonable than "I want to take thirteen free actions this round."
3) Specifically and narrowly target FA abuse.
The solution to this is not to completely change how all action economy works. It's tell your player "stop being a dumbass."
Thirdly as Sauce said this ruling would make it absolutely abysmal. Not really a rules argument but still relevant when discussing potential ambiguities.
Indeed. If the rule text could be read two different ways but one reading produces an absurd result, it's a pretty good indicator for how the rules should probably work.
95% of HWalsh's posts can be summed up as "Back in my day (have I mentioned I've been playing for a long time?) everything was so much better. Now all the damn kids won't get off my lawn with their badwrongfun!"
Not everyone's good at cranking out random backstory on the spot.
Magus already has ways to move and full attack anyway thanks to their spell list, so it's not a huge issue.
Yeah, most of my favorite GM-ing memories are from times when the party did something totally insane, and I wound up desperately improvising to keep the game moving. Like the time my Well-Intentioned Extremist Big Bad was a bit too persuasive in explaining his cause, and next thing I knew the entire party wants to betray their current allies and join up with him instead.
Ergo, cheating is okay. Because he got punched in the face one. QED.
Though I think the big question is what if someone got punched in the face for cheating?
I do find it a bit odd how some people are insisting on two seemingly contradictory premises:
1: The GM should constantly lie to their players
In my experience, lying is not a good way to build trust.
Just like with lying, murder doesn't apply to players when interacting with the GM. After all, players are subhuman scum with no rights, while the GM is an all-knowing perfect god.
Really, if the GM murders a player they should thank him for the extra attention and effort the GM has gone to, and be grateful enough to spend their dying breaths helping with the cover up. Probably also apologize for getting blood on the knife or pay for the bullets, because that's extra work/expense for the GM.
The reason players are distrustful of fudging is because largely fudging is perceived as being about neither about "avoiding metagaming" or "to increase player's fun" but rather GM wanting to control the narrative.
I think you've hit on a good point for why some players don't like fudging. It can easily lead to feeling like combat is being railroaded: no matter what happens, every encounter ends the way the GM wants it to. Your clever tactics aren't rewarded, and mistakes have no consequences. Nothing you do matters, because the outcome has already been determined.
I would imagine most fudging GMs don't want things to feel that way, but what the GM intends might not always match up with how the players take it. The thread's made it fairly clear that people have very different opinions on fudging.
Okay, at this point it's pretty clear Diego's starting with "Rules As I Feel They Ought To Be" and torturing the English language and common sense until he can twist things around to match up with what he is emotionally invested in believing the rules should be, rather than anything remotely fact-based or logical.
No other explanation for how someone can read direct quotes from the devs about how Full Attacks and Full Attack Actions are the same thing, and use that conclude that they're different.
I'd say Saerenae could certainly support a pacifist follower. It's not the only way to play a Saerenite, but it's one of many valid ones.
Diego Rossi wrote:
So you're ignoring the Dev statement that there's no difference between a full attack and full attack action?
As far as the military squad comparison goes, I will point out that for a good while combat medics were designated noncombatants who weren't supposed to fight, and sometimes didn't even carry weapons. Nobody in the army seemed to mind having them around.
(Granted, these days a lot of combat medics are armed combatants, but that's due to most insurgent forces not respecting the Geneva Conventions.)
When I GM I tend to go back and forth on the matter. Aside from a couple circumstances where hidden rolls are really important (like bluff vs sense motive) I've seen pros and cons to both sides. Hidden rolls give you a bit more flexibility to fudge things as needed, but open rolls can get the players more excited and invested in the game.
It also avoids any potential drama from players who have a run of bad luck; important since my dice always seem to roll much better when I'm GMing than when I'm playing. With open rolling, we all have a laugh about how the dice gods are being crazy: with hidden roles, the players might start wondering if I'm fudging against them. Sure, players should trust their GM and all that, but sometimes a little openness makes it a lot easier for them to do that.
Of course, I'm also completely unbothered by stuff like my players figuring out what AC or attack bonus their opponents have. Much like Kirth, I've often seen players wind up metagaming in an effort to avoid metagaming.
David knott 242 wrote:
Since most of the 3.5 multi-classing was more about prestige class spam than going into bases classes, the XP penalty usually didn't come into play. Especially since Humans could bypass that penalty thanks to having Favored Class: Any. At worst, getting around the penalty was a fairly minor build restriction if it came up at all.
A charge is a "special full round action". Pounce does not, within it's text change the type of action that is used when you charge. It is still a "special full round action". All pounce does is modify that "special full round action" to allow a full attack sequence instead of a normal single attack action. No more, no less. It is demonstrably NOT a full attack action. By strict RAW (ignoring for the moment the Haste FAQ).
There's no difference between a full attack and a full attack action. They're the same thing.
Flurry of blows is also defined as a "full round action" that involves a full attack with an extra attack, it also calculates in the penalty for two weapon fighting with light weapons with a boost in BAB equal to your class level.
False. Both Core Monk flurry and Unchained Monk flurry never say anything about being full round actions. In fact, both entries start off with "At 1st level, a monk can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action." (Emphasis added)
A MOMS Monk does not gain "Flurry of Blows" but can get the functional equivalent (given relative BAB values) by grabbing twf and itwf and having them used with improved unarmed strikes, you get a equivalent flurry of blows that can even use it with charge-pounce.
No. Seriously, just no. Flurry of Blows is not remotely the same thing as TWF. Core Flurry changes BAB, can be done with a single weapon instead of two, changes how you apply strength modifiers to damage, and can only be done with a select group of weapons. The only thing it has in common with TWF is granting additional attacks at a -2 penalty. Unchained Flurry doesn't even that much in common with TWF.
I'm not seeing that. Flurry of Blows has its own special rules and restrictions that don't apply to other full attacks.
All Flurries of Blows are full attacks, but not all full attacks are a Flurry of Blows.
Kind of odd that the sling, which took significant training to even be able to fire properly, is a simple weapon and the firearm, which you can learn to use with reasonable proficiency in half an hour, is exotic.
The Simple/Martial/Exotic division has always been massively arbitrary. Slings are almost certainly simple not because of the training time, but because they're traditionally seen as a peasant weapon. Firearms are in the exotic category to represent them being relatively new technology.
Still not the most egregious example: that distinction probably goes to stuff like how a normal club is simple, but a club with an asian name is exotic.
That's just what you need to make more than one attack a round. There's also all the usual feats any character who wants to really focus on ranged combat will want to pick up (Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, etc).
Yeah, part of the issue with grading and statting up weapons is that not all weapons are good in all situations. Slings, for example, are very good in the hands of a single well-trained individual for small-scale battles (AKA Adventurers) but have a lot of problems when put into army-scale combat. By the same token, adventurers will almost never lug around 15-20 foot long pikes, despite massed pike formations being one of the most effective military formations around until gunpowder got good enough to make them obsolete.
The Sword wrote:
They do require access to a laboratory and/or workshop after all. Not very practical when sleeping rough in a dungeon. I would discuss with my player in advance whether using crafting feats was going to be practical for them.
The magic item creation rules say nothing of the sort (and in fact say the opposite), though you're free to make up house rules to crush your players for daring to attempt to take agency away from the almighty God-GM. Remember, players are subhumans who exist purely for your amusement, and any delusions of equality must be swiftly and brutally crushed.
To go to what the rules actually say:
"The creator also needs a fairly quiet, comfortable, and well-lit place in which to work. Any place suitable for preparing spells is suitable for making items."
"If the caster is out adventuring, he can devote 4 hours each day to item creation, although he nets only 2 hours' worth of work. This time is not spent in one continuous period, but rather during lunch, morning preparation, and during watches at night."
"Work that is performed in a distracting or dangerous environment nets only half the amount of progress (just as with the adventuring caster)."
I'm very happy with this errata as to me it is a clarification not a nerf in any way. This is how it was supposed to be all along and was clearly the intent. I'm glad the written portion makes it clearer.
So changing the action from swift to move is is a clarification, and not a nerf? How does that follow?