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RPG Superstar 6 Season Star Voter. Organized Play Member. 1,180 posts (4,147 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 5 Organized Play characters. 11 aliases.


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The problem isn't the generic nature of the options given alone. It's that, with the aggressive siloing of those options into neat little boxes, characters tend to feel far more generic than PF1's core options alone.

In PF1, I could make an entire party of four Bards straight from the core rulebook and they'd mostly feel distinct from one another right from level 1, before even sitting down to play. Without archetypes this wouldn't be a good idea due to the Performance overlap, but it could be done. I can't really do that in PF2 - they're restricted to a small set of very similar weapons, the large pool of known skills and shorter list of skills means they're going to have a pretty large overlap even before Bardic Lore and Versatile Performance are taken into account. There's Ancestries and Spells, but (not having had a chance to play yet) the Occult list doesn't feel like it has enough variety to make up for the fact that everyone's going to have a longsword, rapier, or their race's ancestral weapons plus a short bow.

There's also something about Signature Skills that. . . feels restrictive. It's not as bad as it feels, but you end up looking at it and getting the initial impression that "This is all the class is good for."

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magnuskn wrote:
Having encounters which get your heart pumping because you fear that your character is in serious danger is, IMO, almost always the better solution.

You've missed something. That assumes that the design of the game is around combats where every single decision should have immediate, potentially fatal consequences. 3.0 was trying to move away from that idea. The design, instead, was to create tension around weaker combatants by making the resource game important. Even if you screw up and things go badly, the party would be able to recover and move on. This was deemed important since it was no longer possible to toss a handful of dice and whip up a replacement high-level character for a dead party member in 3 minutes.

So where does the tension come from? Resource management. A bad encounter against mooks might no longer result in a character death, but the party is in much worse shape afterwards in terms of spells, per-day abilities, and consumables. That makes continuing to fight more dangerous, even against enemies of supposedly weaker power levels. Thus, the danger (and engagement) increase as the adventuring day continues.

Obviously, that didn't happen. So, what went wrong? Two things. One, the designers miscalculated, badly. They assumed the 2E norm of continuing to adventure until the GM said there were no more hours in the day would hold in 3E. Yes, believe it or not it was normal back in the day to make the wizard keep going after his spells were gone, throwing daggers and praying not to be targeted for wearing silly robes in a combat situation.

Two, they made an important resource , HP, far too easy to convert a more trivial resource, GP, to obtain.

This created the 15-minute adventuring day, and arguably every iteration of D&D since has been attempting to resolve that one issue since, once players noticed they could trivialize encounters just by going home between them, they started normalizing it.

Also, from a design perspective, you can't really 'just roll with it' and throw more dangerous monsters at the PCs since that warps the XP curve, as well as limits the variety of encounters you can design to always being super-dangerous. In the current design intent, where 4-6 encounters against even CR makes the last three deadly, you have more room to vary things up. If you want to run CR+4 encounters as mooks in your homebrew, go nuts, but as a designer you have to keep everyone in mind. Everyone from players like yourself who've been at this for 20 years to the bright 12-year-old picking up the book and running for his friends for the first time and expecting everything to work right exactly as described.

ryric wrote:

I played AD&D 1e with a DM who studiously tracked material components...I literally had an entire notebook page just documenting how many eyelashes and owl feathers and other crazy stuff my magic-user was carrying around. I would not go back to that.

I like the spell component pouch idea, but it bothers me that it has infinite "cheap" components. There are threads kicking around where someone's listed all the stuff you have a n infinite free supply of once you buy a single 5 gp pouch and it's fairly ridiculous. I think I'd prefer if the pouch held a certain number of charges, and spells used up variable charges based on the spell. But even that might be too much bookkeeping, although really not as bad as tracking ammo. YMMV.

Gotta add an 'agree' to this. The flavor argument just doesn't hold water - 'cheap' component tracking existed to make things harder on the player for the sake of flavor. It's half the problem with Sacred Geometry, only instead of being overpowered it's done so the player can reach the designer-intended baseline.

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Okay, after a decent night's sleep, it occurred to me that there might be some clues about where this is headed in the Starfinder rules, which I hadn't looked at. And lo and behold, I find these things called "Character Themes" along with an up-front declaration that those who want to stray from the path will be the weakest characters.

I'm done. Not even going to look at the playtest - it's obvious you consider that experiment wildly successful and are going to shoehorn the exact concepts you think are appropriate to your game world into the rules at a fundamental level. That's not what I use Pathfinder for, so the new edition is effectively useless.

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Stone Dog wrote:

Now, let me say right out that I'm not a fan of DEX to damage in melee, really. It just doesn't feel right, but that is just a personal option.

However! What I could get behind? Something that progresses from DEX-to-hit in melee and starts giving more frequent criticals. Improve a critical to a roll >5+AC. Let DEX-to-hit characters stack effects onto those criticals that normal heavy hitters can't do.

Big problem is that criticals tend to be swingy, and thus increasing the frequency of them can rapidly cause either frustration (since a bad run of luck means you're not actually seeing the effects of your investment) or absolutely wreck encounters (which can lead to frustration on the part of the GM). It's an idea, but it likely doesn't go where you want it to.

Sayt wrote:

Do not want:

*Ineffectual combat styles and false/inferior options/Ivory Tower game design."

Yeah, this. I know you said crossbows, and I agree, but I think the poster child for this is the game's bias against dex-based martials with no magic. Sure, by this point you can do it with the Swashbuckler and a deep dive into the Player's Companion line with almost any weapon, but it shouldn't be that difficult to reach the level of "It can be done."

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...having read through both the FAQ and the thread, I feel the need to say I am...cautiously pessimistic about this. I see two places where I think, for those I play with, this new edition is going to fall down and fall down HARD.

1) Baking backgrounds directly into character creation. Please, PLEASE kill this idea now. It's almost always awful. It tends to work out best in systems that are designed to tell very narrow and limited types of stories (for example, all the characters are assumed to be members of the same military, drawn from different specializations) and break when you expand them.

You're about to tell me how you're different, how they're really broad and etc etc. Don't. The problem with this approach is that it places restrictions on how characters can pick up particular abilities to narrowly specific past experiences. (Bad) GMs will use it as an excuse to force players not to do anything with their backgrounds not explicitly spelled out in the core rulebook.

You can present it as an optional system, but put freeform backgrounds front and center. If you don't, that's a dealbreaker up front.

2) Full Golarion integration. A lot of the appeal of D&D and PF is the 'generic fantasy toolkit' with a core restricted to the cliched fantasy stereotypes. By integrating mechanics too tightly with lore, you create a system that loses a great deal of its' utility for the sake of avoiding some of the arguments over players wanting to have things that don't fit your preferences. Going this way reduces Pathfinder's utility, and therefore a great deal of its' value.

WatersLethe wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:

So the tiger goes from +17/+17/+17/+17 for 2d4/6+16

+15/+15/+15/+10/+10/ for 1d4+16 and +15/+15/+15 for 2d4/6+8
with TWF, improved TWF and multiattack
this bumps the full attack DPR from 64.68 to 73.75
Dip into monk for 1d6 medium unarmed damage and 1d8 large

I feel like this is officially getting outside the realm of both "Is the Shifter any good" and "Does the Shifter fit the stated goal of being a 'beginner' shapeshifting class." If you need to grab feats that are generally called out as "Monster Only" and multiclass to get up to the level of a basically-Core Fighter....

It doesn't work like that. Character Level is a measure of overall power, but, when you get one, you sort of 'spend' it to get a Class Level. Class Levels must be 'bought' in order, so you don't get to skip them just because your Character Level is higher. The usual nomenclature for writing down class levels makes this more clear.

Bloodrager 6 / Fighter 1 = A character whose Character Level is 7, with 1 level of Fighter and 6 of Bloodrager.

Fighter 6 / Bloodrager 1 = A character whose Character Level is 7, with 1 level of Bloodrager and 6 levels of Fighter.

Fighter 7 / Bloodrager 6 = A character whose Character Level is 13, with 7 levels of Fighter and 6 levels of Bloodrager.

(This isn't actually the way multiclassing is usually talked about. I said 'spend' and 'bought' but that isn't really what's going on, I just used those words to try to make it a little easier to understand.)

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Statboy wrote:
Boon Companion never applied to the Master but to the Companion to begin with.

I can only assume at this point you are being deliberately obtuse. I will explain one more time for the sake of anyone else reading, and then I am done with this.

If, somehow, some way, an Animal Companion takes Boon Companion, it then applies to the Animal Companion's Animal Companion, which they would then need some way of getting for it to do anything. Period. Stop. If the Companion's Boon Companion applies to themselves, then by extension ALL FEATS taken by any Animal Companion can therefore be applied to the character who that Companion belongs to, by the same logic you are applying.

Statboy wrote:
IE at lvl 5 the Master has given 1 level to 5 different animal companions, who then each take this feat and each become level 5.

Again, this is just wrong. Let's say, for the sake of argument, the need for the Animal Companion class feature is bypassed. It's not, and I explained why already, but let's allow that. You still run into the issue that the feat requires the creature that takes it to have an Animal Companion themselves to act on. Since they don't, it does nothing.

Otherwise, you're seriously arguing that, because an AC has taken the Power Attack feat, the Druid the companion belongs to can Power Attack with a scimitar despite not having the feat and an 8 strength. Which is just ridiculous, but you can apply the same logic you're using to get there.

Biscuit Monster wrote:
crashcanuck wrote:
Personally my changes to the class would be to allow the Shifter to choose any aspect but you also get the Major Aspect if it's one of your chosen aspects also change the Wild Shape to match the various ______ Shaman Druid archetypes, you count as your level for Wild Shaping into your chosen aspects, level -2 if it isn't one of your chosen aspects
I just don't get why they didn't just give them wildshape as is. The Universal Rule of Not Going Nuts normally ensures that druid PCs don't come at the table with more than 5 or 6 shapes pre-loaded to speed play, anyhow. I went overboard years ago and was carrying 9 different character sheets for each of my druid's 9 most common used stat blocks. Them were dark years... never again.

With Hero Lab and a tablet, I was once able to keep track of every Summon Monster available to my Sorcerer and generally take less time on my turns with most of my menagerie out than a Fighter, and can conceive of a system that would let me do the same with valid Wild Shapes - never underestimate the combination of technology and obsession to get one more +1.

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Sorry, but no. I can see where you can get that, but there are two problems.

1) I should have brought this up earlier, but your reading (and my first reading) ignores the rules text immediately above it. Complete section for reference:

Ultimate Wilderness p. 217 wrote:

As they grow in strength and experience, animal companions and mounts develop mutations, personality quirks, and tricks that grant them new abilities unlike those seen in typical animals of their kind. The following feats can be chosen by characters with the animal companion or by companions themselves, as indicated in each feat’s prerequisite line.

An animal companion or mount can select from the feats listed below that include “animal companion” as a prerequisite as if it appeared on the list of animal feats on page 53 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook.

The whole paragraph, along with the lack of italicization of "animal companion" makes it clear. The basic communication problem is that we're talking about two different, really confusingly named things.

animal companion: The actual creature granted by the class feature.
Animal Companion: The class feature that grants a companion. (To try to make this easier, this is usually stated as Animal Companion class feature, but not always.)

With this in mind, go back and break it down - it only refers to the "animal companion" tag, not the Animal Companion (class feature) tag.

2) Even if it operated in the more permissive fashion, it doesn't work - Boon Companion would give the +4 bonus to the (non-existent) companion of the companion if the prerequisite were somehow bypassed.

Yeah, unfortunately what you're looking at is. . . not actually supported by the game rules.

First, at a very deep level, remember that combat is simultaneous. It's not really intended to be pictured as a series of turns narratively, even though, just to keep the GM's sanity, that's how it has to be handled structurally. In short, it's not "You go, they go" it's "We're all going at the same time, and the turn order just dictates whose blows land first when there's inevitably a conflict."

That's why what you're thinking of as "riposte" is so heavily gated - it's not "Wait for them to hit me, then bat their sword out of the way and strike back." That is assumed to be happening all the time, whenever they miss a blow and you hit after, for example. What you want mechanically means actually gaining attacks from of being attacked, with the assumption that's in addition to your normal array of attacks. That can result in a lot of attacks, especially if you're not giving any of them up.

The best way to emulate what you want is to build standard sword-and-board, then purposely delay in the initiative until after someone attacks you. If you want to be faster, then you need to build a character that's actually faster, and in PF that's the Swashbuckler (or hybrid archetype.)

Relevant new rules text:

Ultimate Wilderness p. 217 wrote:
An animal companion or mount can select from the feats listed below that include “animal companion” as a prerequisite as if it appeared on the list of animal feats on page 53 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook.

Boon Companion is listed explicitly as one of this new type of feat, so they get to ignore the prerequisite. Again, assuming they actually mean that and it didn't slip through editing, which I think is honestly the more sensible interpretation.

EDIT: Withdrawn - I didn't read closely enough, although the way it's written is kinda janky. What they are trying to get across there is that feats on that list with "Animal Companion" as a prerequisite are not limited to the list in the CRB. I think.

QuidEst wrote:
Your animal companion can’t take this feat. The feat requires the animal companion class feature, not just “animal companion”. Even if they take it, it provides no benefit unless they have an animal companion or familiar.

Unfortunately, that's not very clear - there's a rider in the text above that says, quite plainly, that Animal Companions can take Companion feats (which it appears to be treating as a new type without applying a keyword) without meeting the prerequisites. Of course, by such a strict reading, while the Companion can take the feat it does nothing.

If they were really serious about this, and I don't think they are, I would expect the intention would be that Companion feats taken this way always apply to the Animal Companion taking the feat as if the owner had the feat themselves. But again, it's just lousy editing that seems to lead to this - I would say that Boon Companion just isn't available to Animal Companions and it should be on the General list.

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First, to address the general reason why Inspire Courage is so good: It's about action economy and rarity. Flat bonuses to hit that stack with just about everything are hard to find. Flat bonuses to damage that stack with everything are even harder. A flat bonus to both these things as a move or swift action? You'd be a fool to pass that up.

On the other hand, haste is on so many different spell lists (Including the bard's), and so useful, that the party's almost never going to be without it, or one of its' improvements (all of which will overwrite Blazing Rondo since it lacks a spell level per the usual Haste stacking rules.) Also, for those who like to use Lingering Performance Masterpieces don't work.

Is Inspire Courage absolutely necessary? Not really, parties without Bards can certainly be successful. But if you're going to give it up in an archetype, you need a good reason. Something good enough that your party can play around it (Like the Magician's Dweomercraft if you've got a party full of 6-and-9 level casters), or something that absolutely makes your character work (A Court Bard focused on control via enchantment spells.)

To answer the specific question you're really asking, you can't look at Blazing Rondo against Inspire Courage in a vacuum. To evaluate fairly, you need to compare it plus whatever spell(s) you might cast alongside against Inspire Courage + Haste (Which is going to be your go-to if you don't have a better standard action in the first round of combat.) We'll use 7th level since that's where move-action performances come online. At that point, Blazing Rondo alone loses the fight because IC+H gives +1 damage per hit, and with iteratives that can start adding up if you have multiple martials in your party, and really add up if Companions are being used. If we use a typical 5-man party (Bard, Fighter, Wizard, Rogue, Cleric), that's between 6-10 damage a round, for no actions spent beyond the first round. That's...fairly significant over a long combat. Whatever spell you're casting alongside Blazing Rondo has to match that kind of performance, and I'm not sure many on the Bard list do.

CBDunkerson wrote:
TarkXT wrote:

Youre not reading the feat.

It says you move with the target trading one of two actions.

It says nothing of move limitations outside of with target. You bash 15ft you move 15ft with the 5ft move you have available. If the action is not you dont.


You use 15 of your available 5 feet of movement.

You're right. I wasn't reading it (that way).

Indeed, I'm still not.

Honestly, while it's badly worded his interpretation is closest to what the words on the page actually say. Breaking it down...

"You may choose to move with your target...": You can move as you have forced the target to move or not, your choice.

"...if you are able to take a 5-foot step...": You may exercise the prior option if you have a 5-foot step available.

"...or to spend an action to move this turn.": You may exercise the prior option if you can move (IE, the shield bash was not made as part of a full attack.)

Strictly speaking, you can even still take a 5-foot step or move after the movement from Shield Slam - you don't spend it, you just need to have it available.

I'm sure that's almost certainly not intended, by the way, but it is how it's worded. In PFS, I'd have probably allowed it to pass with the caveat of bringing it up to a VC. In my home games, I'd have to take the interpretation that you can move with the target by spending a 5' step, but go as far as the target does. But then, I'm a sucker for anything more interesting than "Hit the target over and over again with a big crit modifier."

Yeah, I'm forced to third the request for further clarification. I've read both the FAQ and the post ten times today and I still can't tell why the interpretation Tels originally posted isn't the "correct" one (in the RAW sense vs. the RAI sense you're trying to convey.)

*Sigh* I strongly get the feeling that someone on the design team really doesn't like the kineticist at a very deep level, if things like this are anything to judge by.

Ryzoken wrote:

You are categorically, factually wrong.

I have personally completed Library of the Lion and The Bronze House Reprisal without once rolling initiative. In both instances it was fully intended that this be possible. There are other scenarios where this is also possible. With a good GM, there are several other scenarios beyond those.

There's more than one way to play Pathfinder. Stop insisting people play your way.

I downloaded and read through both scenarios...and concede the literal point only. Now show me how to play an entire career where you, even in theory only, never get into a serious scrape and I'll concede a character doesn't need a solid plan for surviving and contributing to combat in some fashion.

I'll do you a favor and exclude Seeker play, so that just means you need to find 31 more scenarios where there isn't an instance where it is not stated as inevitable the PCs run into a force that will automatically attack them regardless of any skill check or decision on their part. Heck, I'll go ahead and make it even easier - if the CR is below the level of the tier, it doesn't count as a "real" combat for this purpose.

By the way, I'm not calling you out here. I'm genuinely curious - I haven't played very much past season 4, and only dropped in because I started running an AP. If I'm wrong, go ahead and prove me wrong.

All right, look. I looked through the thread and saw someone tried to convince you you can get by without a fair amount of combat competence.

In theory, it's possible, but would require in many cases picking up the adventures you play ahead of time and cherry-picking ones that have a full non-combat path. In practice, it will not happen, and if you insist on it you are going to ruin the game for everyone at the table some day.

No scenarios in PFS are written with outs for all of the combats. There are two reasons. First, because of the nature of sitting down with a bunch of strangers when you sit down someone's going to want to do some fighting, and almost every player doesn't mind that. Second, because D&D derivatives, including Pathfinder, really do function on the assumption that combat is where most of the XP comes from, and it's actually really difficult to write a scenario of only skill challenges and puzzles that will give exactly enough XP to advance one third of a level in only four hours of playtime , which is what the PFS system is based on.

Most of the time, you'll be spending at least half of each four hour session in a fight, probably more. You need a plan for what you're going to be doing when, not if, that happens or your character is going to end up a stain on the floor sooner or later.

If I may be so bold, I think you're looking at this backwards. You've chosen a concept, picked stats, and are now trying to make classes fit your conceptions. This is the opposite of how roleplaying in a class-based system works. You start with a concept, true, but then you need to decide what that concept does in the situations you expect to face, and pick classes to match, which guide your stats.

As to your assertion that, as an Investigator, you're purely int based, that's just objectively wrong. Look at the class. I mean, really look at it, don't just cherry pick stuff you think is cool and ignore the rest. What do you see? There's alchemy, some of which you've traded out and so far you haven't seemed to approach things with an understanding of how you will be using the major chunk that's left. There's Inspiration and some related skill-based talents.

Those represent the things you've addressed. But there's plenty more here. There's 3/4 Base Attack, which, contrary to what you seem to believe, means that when you sit down at the table you're gonna be expected to attack stuff. 3/4 BAB is also home to the Bard, Magus, Inquisitor, the Alchemist (one of your derived classes), the Rogue (also one of your derived classes), the Warpriest, Slayers, Vigilantes, and Monks. What all these classes have in common is that they're all at least theoretically good at smacking things around, including both of the classes you're hybriding off from.

There's Alchemy, which comes with extracts. Again, look at the whole list and tell me what you see there. Restricting it to the first level extracts to keep this manageable, well, there's some utility, yes, almost all of it situational. But about half the list is combat buffs that, in some way, improve your ability to hit things. Given you won't be seeing Infusion until second level, delaying access to all the Investigator talents I'm sure you want, those will be cast on yourself only for awhile.

Then there's studied combat/strike. Now, there's long discussions about the math out there, but the long and short of it is that Studied Combat, unless you build for Strike, will be your bread and butter combat ability when you get it. But a bonus equal to half your level will do you no good at 3/4 BAB unless you manage to get there, and right now that's kind of iffy. Even so, you will be /much/ better off with more ability to hit things.

And that's it. Investigators get no direct damage outside of weapons, no combat tricks, nothing. Your goal when combat starts as an investigator is to maybe drop a buff or two on yourself, then wade in and hit things hard to try to bring them down. They really don't have any other options available to them.

That means Strength. At least enough of it to wear light armor effectively (right now you're not even close). That means Dexterity, at least enough to supplement your AC to survivable levels in that light armor (You're actually sorta there, but only if you can manage light armor which I just pointed out you can't.)

You can't go just ignoring 3/4ths of your class abilities and expect to manage to accomplish anything. That's just as true in PFS of musclehead fighters who dump intelligence and have no skill points - I have a fighter, not even a Lore Warden, who managed to save the day with Aid Another on many occasions simply by spreading skill points around to "Trained Only" skills to give an assist when needed. Heck, I even tried to take a sorcerer into a melee without being a Dragon Disciple. Didn't work out so well, but it was a neat experiment.

Lastly, you assert your character is 'done.' By the rules, that's not true. PFS has a special house rule that you can freely change anything you want between sessions until you make second level. It's specifically for cases like this one, so you really don't have to take our word for it that this isn't viable. Go ahead, play a session, and see what happens.

Ekibus has the right of it. Just to illustrate the point, I've plugged the numbers for his not-ideal build vs. yours into the DPR calculator (I know, I know, 'you don't care about numbers' but this is really going to be huge, so bear with me.)

Your build comes up with an average DPR of 1.23 per round at first level.

Ekibus' comes out to 5.43 DPR. That's literally an extra kobold dropped every single round. Plus, as he pointed out, your AC is effectively only going to be 11-14, compared to his at 15-16. You are literally helpless in melee, where you are expecting to function.

Believe me, the 7-strength Melee build has been something of a passion of mine. It's possible, marginally, but this combination of classes isn't going to do it. You're pretty much stuck with some variant of Dervish (Bard's got the strongest variants here, again), maybe a kineticist of some description, or very maybe a kensai magus, but none of those are exactly easy to build and may not function the way you'd like for a few levels, or about 24-36 hours of your life invested at a real-time table, or several months on the messageboards.

It might be marginally better for a school with good save-or-suck spells you might genuinely want duplicates of, but for evocation you're definitely better off just increasing the damage per spell.

I'm just going to point out that there are several 'detective' type archetypes for the bard. Yes, they predate the actual full Investigator class, but the point stands - you really shouldn't get stuck on a class name as if that defines every aspect of your character's life.

Mind, your GM really is being silly anyway. That's just the best known example of what the discovery is obviously trying to represent in a fantasy-appropriate way.

If you're going to be that focused on outputting large numbers of spells, straight Sorcerer is probably better -you won't have many utility spells, but you can grab the utility spells you want rather than being cut off from a number of them.

Also, I'm fairly certain what you're planning doesn't work - while the Archives of Nethys lists Thasilonian magic as an archetype, checking Inner Sea Magic says that they're actually Schools. The PRD also lists Admixture as a School. Thus, when you take your first level in wizard, you can only select one of these for your Arcane School feature, unless there's an archetype I'm unaware of that lets you choose two Schools.

As always, check with your GM.

Right. I just feel compelled to detail a few more things about Vahyu's background/core idea. One thing is that I see her tribe as more worshipping the Mythos pantheon (or some portion thereof) out of ignorance/awe/tradition than some of the nastier stuff detailed in Paizo's version of the stories. Which isn't to say they aren't nasty customers, just that there's some potential there. She will probably learn quickly that worship of Shub-niggurath (or whatever is most convenient to the plot) is not all it's cracked up to be over the course of the adventure. Lastly, while I did it in herolab that sheet's obviously a rough outline and I'll handle background skills if/when she's selected.

Overall, I'm going for gruff, distant, and obviously somewhat alien (maybe even describe the tiger-form as an entropic tiger rather than mundane, although that's fluff that will only be supported by feats that are otherwise legal to obtain) who will remain somewhat of an outsider even as the campaign leaves the asylum (I'm guessing) and goes into Ustalav proper.

...although managing to stage an entire AP inside a single non-megadungeon building would be quite a trick.

PS - Oh, right, and to get around the inherent problems of being able to turn into an eating machine in the section without equipment, I'll kindly refrain from using Rage until the party's equipment is found.

All right, have an idea for something that's kinda appropriate to the original Lovecraft, albeit in a more modern and less offensive way than the original stories (I hope) - "Savage" from a tribe that probably fell to worship of the Dark Tapestry. I was thinking she might be a Lirgeni (The name she goes by having been given to her by the cult that captured her, since I can't find any info on her names) who pushed further inland after their people were scattered by the fall of Aroden.

Vahyu Merya

Stat Block:
Vahyu Meyra
Female human (Vudrani) barbarian (mooncursed, savage barbarian) 1 (Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player's Guide 79, Pathfinder RPG Horror Adventures 47)
CN Medium humanoid (human)
Init +2; Senses Perception +3
AC 13, touch 13, flat-footed 10 (+2 Dex, +1 dodge)
hp 16 (1d12+4)
Sanity 33, threshhold 1, edge 16
Fort +5, Ref +2, Will -1
Speed 40 ft.
Str 15, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 13, Wis 8, Cha 12
Base Atk +1; CMB +3; CMD 16
Feats Dodge, Weapon Focus (claw)
Traits Pugnacious, savage
Skills Acrobatics +6 (+10 to jump), Climb +6, Handle Animal +5, Intimidate +5, Perception +3, Survival +3 (+4 to get along in the wild)
Languages Common, Vudrani, Vudrani
SQ fast movement, shifting rage
Other Gear 150 gp
Special Abilities
Fast Movement +10 (Ex) +10 feet to speed, unless heavily loaded.
Shifting Rage (Tiger), 7 rounds/day) (Su) Shift into form of chosen animal when raging.

(Since Shifting Rage isn't supported properly by Hero Lab yet, I'm guessing on the changes here)

Tiger Form - AC 15, Str 17, Scent, Low-Light Vision.
Claw +4/+4 1d6+3/1d6+3, Bite -2 1d10+3

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Quick point - he specifically wants to give up the spells to get half his favored enemy bonus on all ranged attacks. At that point, you're looking at something that's a bit more even, although I'd generally say the weight is on the fighter side. Vanilla ranger beats both options, though.

Kurald Galain wrote:
Twelve rounds should cover every combat for the entire day, so that's sufficient. Also, you can easily get more: take a trait for +1 pool, a feat for +2 pool, or a wyroot weapon. So it's not "maybe 12", it's at least 12 and up to 20 if you want.

I never have a full combat day go less than twenty rounds at 4th-5th level. How would that kind of scaling affect your analysis?

Note, however, that the general rule is "Most recent published is the official version." Since the UC errata post-dates UE, the final UC version takes precedent in org play.

Erm, I think the proposed action sequence here is to, before combat, cast one or more iterations of Coin Shot to 'prime' the attack later. THEN, once in a fight, possibly if an enemy has closed to close range, use spellstrike with a different spell on the already-enchanted coins.

Which seems to work if you have some way to get spellstrike with a ranged weapon.

I'll admit Vanilla Skyrim isn't my thing (I've generally had more fun using SkyRE or Perkus Maximus, but if you're not on PC those aren't going to be options.) But one thing that's almost universally true regardless of mods - Combat First. The game's systems are set up on a presumption of combat skills being at particular levels compared to your character level - if your primary damage skill is above this, you will devastate, almost regardless of which skill that is. Although, as a mage, you need spells to go with it, and a warrior type needs appropriate weapons.

Also, for the record: The wording you'd be looking for to cover this rules interpretation is not: X does not stack with Y.

The wording you're looking for is: A subject/target cannot be affected by both X and Y simultaneously. If they would be, (X or Y) takes precedence.

My ruling would basically be that the target has to obey rules for line-of-sight and line-of-effect as if it were going in a straight line from you. Otherwise, as others have said, this lets you bypass a number of infusion costs that are obviously intended.

Right. I think I get it, there seems to be some confusion. In a batch of MMOs that includes WoW, spells are considered individual entities unto themselves. In those games, one spell that doesn't 'stack' with another overwrites it when cast, even if the new one is worse (Or the best applies, depending on the game.)

Pathfinder explicitly doesn't work that way. Per everything above, spells are always divided into their individual effects for purposes of determining how stacking functions - in effect, "stacking spells" doesn't even mean anything in the system, because it never happens.

Tectorman wrote:
Gamerskum wrote:
Theatrical Version has always been used to refer to the Original release versions as opposed to the Special Addition versions.

On a halfway related tangent...

I have the original version of Episode 1 on VHS, and when I got it on DVD, I was disappointed to find a number of additions. I'd like to find the original version on DVD; I just don't know what exactly to look for.

It officially doesn't exist.

Mathmuse wrote:

Instead, we have to extend the not-stacking method to be able to handle this impossible case.

One method is to claim that the not-stacking method was not meant to apply to ordered pairs, so we should break down the ordered pairs into pieces that can be completely ordered. This means to treat the threat range number and the critical multiplier number separately. This form of not-stacking combines 17-20/×2 and 19-20/×3 to give 17-20/×3. The examples that Avoron provided are consistent with this method. We could argue that this is RAW because it lets us interpret the rules so that the impossible case does not exist.

Another method is to allow circumstances to dictate which number of the pair is the most relevant to the ordering. If the crossbow attack roll was a natural 17, then the threat range is the most important number because 17-20/×2 gives a better result than 19-20/×3. In contrast, if the crossbow attack roll was a natural 20, then the critical multiplier is the most important number because 19-20/×3 gives a better result than 17-20/×2. We could argue that this is RAW because RAW delegates determining the highest to common sense.

As James Risner said, Table Variance is a thing. And that thing happens when the RAW have an impossible case.

This almost seems to sum up the rules issue in a logical way. Now, what is the logic for "The spell says it does not stack, therefore nothing in the entire game can overwrite it" per CapinCaril's apparent argument?

ZZTRaider wrote:
...The Synthesist just doesn't care at all what his physical stats are.

This is why I houserule that the synthesist changes are always temporary bonuses - thus, they don't qualify for feats if they try to completely dump their physical stats. It seems to work well enough that I question whether that was always the intention.

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DeltaPangaea wrote:

Which, y'know. Ain't a good thing if it's true. The Kineticist would probably be less awful if they did, and the Medium might well have more spirits...

Uhm, both of these were adjusted per playtest feedback. The Kineticist didn't get adjusted enough but it certainly got a bump, and the problem with the Medium was the playtest version had a bewildering array of spirits, intended to introduce an exponentially larger number, and only two or three of the ones they had were of any value. They eliminated a ton of chaff and made six good ones, with the possibility of introducing more later.

Milo v3 wrote:
Wait... You don't want the "Mind Control capstone" because it's mind control... On the mindcontrol class... There is a reason the iconic is evil in alignment....

Short version (from my perspective) . . . there's mind control, and there's mind control, so to speak. Degrees by which things can be measured.

Hypnotic Stare is less "control" and more "general interference with mental function" as are most of the Mesmerist Tricks. There are also a whole bunch of spells which add up to the 'Jedi Mind Trick' which is generally considered acceptable, if a bit dubious and probably neutral rather than good.

It's not easy being a good-aligned Mesmerist, but it's not impossible.

Which, by PF standard, can't happen. That's why my VERY FIRST thing was asking about exactly that kind of thing, we really need more information. . . although again, I would say the Paladins falling is absolutely going to happen regardless. One of the problems with objective morality is that it restricts options, this is one of them.

You can debate the degree of evil, but it is evil, is deliberate, and thus a direct ethos violation. Period.

(And I'd never run a campaign on this premise for that exact reason.)

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This one is going to require A LOT more information - we basically need to know your entire cosmology because you're clearly not using the Pathfinder standard, or possibly you're misunderstanding it.

However, proceeding on the presumption that you are, indeed, trying to use the PF standard cosmology, the first thing is that this kind of wanton murder is never Good. Never. The GOD would become evil for ordering it of his priesthood.

I'm going to sort of skip the first question you asked, because it's an individual thing and I don't really have enough information on what their belief system is.

Paladins who follow the order fall. Period. No ambiguity on this one - direct murder of an acknowledged innocent is a deliberate evil act, regardless of reasons. That's the one rule ALL Paladins have to follow

ALL Paladins who refuse retain their status, so long as their ethos doesn't have an edict requiring them to obey their god (And they don't have an archetype requiring them to follow a deity.) Base Pathfinder doesn't even require Paladins to draw their power from a deity, so they'll retain their powers regardless over their refusal.

Anzyr wrote:
Lord Van Hohenheim wrote:
So a level 2 Bard spell can perma kill a Lich without the whole hassle of hunting down the Lich's phylactery. Need to be sure to pick this up.
[mind-affecting]. Sorry.

Mesmerist with Psychic Inception has. . . a really bad chance to pull it off, and I believe there's a Bard archetype that can use mind-affecting spells on Undead.

I'd say it's poorly edited, rather than poorly conceived. It seems pretty clear the intent is to work only on abilities that require some sort of conscious action but the game makes that fairly hard to word properly. This is . . . obviously not a good solution, which makes sure that you can confuse a troll into not regenerating.

Steve Geddes wrote:

I think the existence of a poll itself isnt going to help. The only way to fix the perception of those who currently feel ignored is either better communication as to why the PDT went the other way or a shift in design direction. Neither of those things requires a poll, but a poll without either of those things gives the potential for the perception to get worse, in my opinion.

Agreed. A poll is best used as a tool for the PDT for finding out where their time spent on communication is best directed.

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To take these in order...

Chris Lambertz wrote:

- Does having more accessible and visible introductions to our new design/development staff sound like something you want? (Either through our blog via tags or maybe our contact page?) Is there something we can do to the forums themselves to make employees more visible?

The first idea sounds all right, but it's not really what we're going for here. The key problem is that the rules team already has the tools they need, but are choosing, for whatever reason, not to use them. I'm not trying to pass judgement on their reasons for not doing so, but it's leading to the problem whereby there's a disconnect. This can't be solved by giving them more tools, but by them using the tools they have.

- How would you prefer to see new FAQs communicated to the community? Is that in the form of a blog series, or is it a series of threads?

I think it needs both, if not more, personally. Right now FAQs are extremely difficult to find if you don't know where to look. Stickied posts at the top of the Rules forum, individual Product Forums, and the General forum (could concievably be cross-linked somehow so they only need to be posted to once) plus a BIG link on the actual product pages might work.

- Knowing how we've handled errata up until now, what would you change? If it's a blog, what general information would you like to see us include?

The first thing I'd do is stop calling a great deal of stuff like this "errata." Instead, reserve the word "errata" purely for editing issues. A +20 where a +2 was obviously intended, pure typos, that kind of thing. This would bring you in line with the English language. Errata might change rules-as-published, but would not consist of any changes of rules-as-intended. Errata, ideally, would happen very rarely as this kind of thing should be fairly easy to catch.

Now, how to handle the rest of these kinds of changes? First, let's instead call them (for want of a better term) "Updates." Updates reflect new ideas on how a particular rule should work from the rules team. They can be folded into the FAQ system (and announced in the same manner as above - an Update doesn't require a specific forum post to ask a question) but should be subjected to pretty restricted internal review. That would, hopefully, expedite serious changes like this to avoid problems like the massive retraining crisis PFS is undergoing.

Lastly, and I think this is important - there needs to be a moratorum on Updates between the end of Paizocon and the start of GenCon. If that means they don't make the new printing, they don't make the new printing.

- Let's assume the PRD is a blank slate and we can have any unicorn we want, how would you invision errata being notated here?

Display the updated rule as colored text (I'll suggest red, but I'm no web designer). When moused over, red text in rules shows a pop-up of the original text and a link to the Update post or relevant Errata document.

- Are versioned PDFs a thing you'd use and want?


- Polls have been mentioned here, and in the past we've done a *couple* playtest surveys. If we did have polls, what do you invision them being used for? What kind of content justifies a poll versus a feedback thread in your mind?

Updates on product over a certain age should probably require a poll. Obviously, a strong 'no' vote shouldn't be an automatic veto but it should give the rules team pause, which would hopefully make the point more clearly that the community finds certain types of updates . . .less than acceptable.

*Facepalms* Because spontaneous casting is an overwhelming advantage.

Please note, the above is sarcasm.

Grond wrote:

I appreciate everyone's input and advice. I called him this evening and told him I was sending him a link in an email and I wanted him to check it out and give me a call once he had.

About thirty minutes later he called and was apologetic. It turned out my suspicions were right in that he wanted to play a paladin this campaign and was not expecting the, as he admitted, new girl to want to play a martial character and thought she would want to play an Elf magic user of some sort.

I asked him why he thought she would want to play an Elf magic user because it honestly confused me and he sheepishly responded that almost all new players that were girls in his experience wanted to play an Elf magic user of some sort or some kind of Dark Elf ranger.

We had a nice talk and I told him that kind of thinking was really insulting to other people, explicitly sexist even, and he agreed. He then asked me how I liked how he RPed his paladins over the years. You could have cut the dead silence that stretched out with a sword. I finally told him that while I didn't mind the "typical" paladin every once in a while the fact he played it the same way each time made it less interesting. Not to mention it made it always a source of IC conflict with any kind of rogue class or a character that was not very religious.

He said he would apologize in person to Theresa at our next meeting and he would stop the attempts to alignment check her and criticizing her RP. I told him I would hold them to this and if he did not change then despite our being friends for about 20 years I would ask him to step out of the campaign. He agreed.

So hopefully all of these comments that came from someone else besides myself helped turn him around. We have this argument before to lesser degrees over the years and I think he just tuned me out this time because he thought it was just another argument and not a real issue affecting other players.

Thank you guys and gals for your help. :)

Glad to see it worked out!

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