One character stealing from the party can totally work, but, IMO, if and only if everyone knows about it out of character. Whether you give extra bonus money that the character will auto-spend on women and wine, or it comes from a cut of the regular loot, is going to depend on your group.
No matter what you do, though, letting the other players know changes it from "hey, this guy's a jerk!" to "hey, this character is a jerk, ha ha ha!"
I'm OK with Paladins having a mechanic that lets them lose their powers (although I don't agree that there NEEDS to be one - Witches, Wizards, Oracles, and so on don't have morality-based ways to lose their powers, after all, and I don't see any threads complaining about how unbalanced that is).
When I say they're poorly defined, it's because they DON'T allow for different game settings, different religious traditions, or different concepts of morality and honor.
The Paladin can explicitly lose his powers for:
* Ceasing to be Lawful Good
Compare that with the Cleric, who loses powers for:
* Grossly violating the code of conduct required by his/her god
Or the Druid, who loses powers for:
* Ceasing to revere nature
Or the Inquisitor, who loses powers for:
* Slipping into corruption
I think it's clear that the Paladin list is far more restrictive and leaves far less room for the player to justify his/her actions. It also makes it much easier for a jerk GM to force a no-win situation on the Paladin ("The only way you can help this innocent is to lie! Ha, now you HAVE to fall!"). You could easily get rid of the last 7 bullets in the list for Paladins without any negative consequences, and they would still have a more restrictive code than Clerics, Druids or Inquisitors.
But Chaos Scion is absolutely right - the best solution for any Paladin vs. GM problems is communication. The existence of the "fall" mechanic makes some GMs believe that anyone playing a Paladin character wants to be presented with moral dilemmas, but that's simply not the case. Some Paladin players also think that they should be able to get away with anything, with no risk of falling, but that needs to be cleared with the GM first as well.
Vod Canockers wrote:
The bolded part is my point. If Inquisitors, Clerics, Druids and so on listed specific actions that would cause them to lose their powers, we'd see a lot more wailing about that, too.
Instead, we have several classes who can lose their powers under vague and fairly extreme conditions ("grossly violating" must be pretty bad), and one class who can lose them by telling a fib or having another player in the party with an Evil character.
If the "Code of Conduct" section were identical to the one listed under the Cleric, then I doubt that the falling Paladin would be a bigger issue than the Wizard who keeps on losing his spellbook.
The whole "paladins may fall" thing s a really crappy mechanic, IMO, and it's one I wish Paizo had eliminated from Pathfinder in the first place. The conditions are poorly defined and open to interpretation, and it's really unclear why other classes who receive their powers from higher beings (clerics, inquisitors, witches, etc.) don't have any similar rules.
In answer to your question, the reason so many GMs seem to want their Paladins to fall is simply because the mechanic is there. The implication of the mechanic is that falling is a major problem for Paladins, so many GMs feel that they ought to bring it into the game.
A similar issue is how wizards frequently lose their spellbooks, or fighters keep getting captured and have to escape dungeons with no weapons or armor. The difference is simply that these issues aren't quite as debilitating as the paladin falling, although often just as arbitrary, so they don't generate as much weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth on the forums.
Damocles Guile wrote:
That's an academic distinction in Pathfinder, though - equipment is so critical to a character's effectiveness that it's really not fair to exclude it from a power comparison.
I agree with you that "most damage" is not even close to the same as "best" in this game, though. Another thing that makes "best class" discussions descend into pointlessness is the fact that everything is very context dependent. In the right group, a well-built Bard can be AMAZING, while the same character in a different group could be mediocre. A well-built character will usually be better than a poorly-built one, and different characters require different types of system mastery from players to be effective.
For example, it's easy to build a good Wizard, because all you really need is a high INT score. Poor spell selection is easily corrected if you survive long enough to learn what spells you should and shouldn't take... but a player needs to be willing to read and remember a LOT of different spells to be effective in actual play. The most optimized Wizard in the world is going to suck horribly if it's player thinks that Fireball is the most powerful spell in the game.
On the other hand, it's fairly easy to play a Barbarian, but it takes a fair bit of knowledge to build a good one. You need more than just one high stat, you need to pick good feats and rage powers, and you need to know how to cover your weaknesses. Once you've got that figured out, though, the hardest part about playing is remembering what abilities you gain while raging.
So the only REAL answer to any "what is the best class" question is "it depends on the player, the party, the campaign, and the GM". Full casters are usually a good answer, but beyond that it's not really possible to come up with anything more specific.
Yes. Put another way, you can play a switch-hitter - get Power Attack and a 2H weapon, and when you don't have a good shot, you can do any of the above OR charge in swinging. As I said in the first place, switch hitting is mainly a way to make your archer character more viable at low levels. Unless you're trying to argue that giving up half of your attacks, giving up all of your attacks, or attacking a less important target are GOOD options for a character whose main job is to do damage?
I wouldn't say an archer sucks at low levels. The ranger should have precise shot by 2nd level, and even before then enemies are low level too. I don't remember having any problems hitting enemies then. You just need to pay attention to positioning and be able to accept that some times you are taking a penalty to hit.
This is only true if you are ignoring the rules for cover, and/or if your GM isn't playing the enemies with the most basic intelligence. Until you have Improved Precise Shot, your opponents should be able to get a cover bonus against your archer(s) at LEAST half the time. If they aren't ducking around corners, then they should be engaging your allies in melee and keeping your friends between you and them as much as possible.
It's funny how often people are willing to overlook this issue when discussing archers. If a monster's move action could consistently give a melee character a -4 to hit, we'd all be complaining about how useless melee is.
John of Arc wrote:
you'll eventually never have any reason at all to enter melee and then all those melee feats you took are suddenly wasted.
To be fair, a switch hitter focused on archery probably only has one melee feat - Power Attack - if only because archery is so feat intensive.
I don't think there's much point talking about a high-level switch hitter, though, because switch hitting (as I understand it) is primarily a way to keep an archery-focused character viable at low levels. Until you have Precise Shot and Improved Precise Shot, it's really hard for an archer to put out consistent damage. That means 5-6 levels of sucking pretty hard. If you're starting at higher levels, or are willing to be a weak party member for AT LEAST 1/4 of the campaign, I guess this isn't an issue...
... but if you're playing PFS, that's half of your character's adventuring life. In most adventure paths, it's at least a third of the game. Spending one feat slot on Power Attack makes most characters passable melee combatants until level 8 or so, which seems like a fair price to make your character viable at all levels.
IME, most campaigns peter out before the high levels, so I don't think it's a "wasted feat" to do something that makes your character significantly better for a significant chunk of your campaign.
Just watched the terribad He-Man/She-Ra Christmas Special with my 2-1/2 year old son. He loved it, and I enjoyed my flashback to the 80s. I remember getting the Castle Greyskull playset for Christmas back in... yikes, 1982?
Anyway, it got me thinking about what the various characters might look like in Pathfinder terms. In the original mini-comics (before the animated series) He-Man was a pretty generic Barbarian, but I think the animated series He-Man might be a bit closer to a Beast Rider Cavalier. Thoughts? What about Skeletor and the rest of the characters?
I'd take a look at the Roper, reskinned slightly - its ability to disguise itself in stalactites would translate easily to the Grither's translucence, and the long arms sound a lot like tentacles. CR is about right, too... you might want to boost its speed a bit, but otherwise the stats should work Ok.
Crypt of the Everflame is a nice starting module; it gives the players a solid background and reason to work together without being heavy-handed or limiting their options significantly. It also ramps up the danger level slowly enough that new players can fool around for a little bit as they learn the rules, and what tactics work and don't work in Pathfinder.
The plot is interesting, but easy enough for the PCs to follow even if they don't take prisoners or make knowledge rolls all the time.
It also gives a natural lead-in to a published mini-campaign, but is open enough that you could easily lead into your own adventures after.
As for mechanically well the amount of ki isn't worth the price of no-equipment, my monk can't keep up with the rest of the party and my lawful good monk continually putting the party at risk trying to rescue him from his own pride is getting old fast.
Yes. And this is why vow of poverty is terrible. There are some poorly-designed and outright terrible feats and rules in this game, and you've stumbled into one of them. Give it up while you have the chance!
It's essentially the same as a monk with a vow of silence using illusion spells to speak, a monk with a vow Of fasting using prestidigitation to make his rice and water taste like gourmet meals, or a monk with a vow of celibacy hiring a dominatrix who doesn't actually touch him. It's a betrayal of the spirit of the vow, and the spirit of the vow is more important than the letter of it. For example, look at the vow of chains - it tells you that the monk MUST wear chains, but also tells you what he/she needs to do if that's not an option for some reason.
lucien pyrus wrote:
Sounds like a wise choice. It's better not to play at all than to play in a game that's not going to be fun for you.
I don't have much to add to this thread since my previous post, but I think you're wrong here.
First, alcoholics are not "idiots who can't control hw much they drink". Alcoholism is a disease; while it may be preventable, it's pretty insulting to dismiss all alcoholics as "idiots", and I think you should probably learn more about the disease in case someone you love is ever an alcoholic.
Second, even if the gods wouldn't give paladin powers to an alcoholic, why would you think that a paladin couldn't become an alcoholic later on? Paladins, presumably, have to deal with all sorts of terrible things, and many people who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder from seeing people do terrible things to each other look for solace in a bottle.
At any rate, dealing with a flaw like alcoholism could make a really interesting character, and it would probably serve to make the character even more heroic.
Sounds like an interesting concept - like Rooster Cogburn from True Grit or something like that.
First, you should have a frank discussion with the player. Make sure he's not just trying to have an excuse to break his code without consequences (it sounds unlikely, but you never know). Then find out why he wants to play this particular character - is it because he likes the idea of a hero with a tragic flaw? Is he looking at eventually becoming an anti-paladin, and is that OK in your campaign? Does he see it as something where his character may risk losing his powers and have to quest to regain them, or does he expect that his character's morality will be strong enough to stay within his code in spite of his alcoholism?
Having a flawed hero can be a lot of fun and can open up opportunities for some really cool roleplaying. I wouldn't worry about losing his divine powers, unless you are planning to be a bad GM - it's ultimately up to you whether he loses his powers, and what he will have to do to earn them back, if ever. This is the kind of thing that will work better when you and the player are on the same page as to what you both expect and hope to achieve in the game. It's OK for him to lose his powers, but make sure he knows this is a possibility, and make sure he knows whether it is likely to be permanent.
Paul Barczik wrote:
I think that line is there to stop people from saying stuff like "my eidolon looks like a normal dog/human/horse/whatever so everyone will ignore it". I could be wrong, but my understanding is that your eidolon can look however you want it to look, but anyone who sees it can tell that it isn't a "normal" whatever it looks like.
Take a look at the Beginner Box, as it's a great teaching tool. Alternately, the published adventure Crypt of the Everflame is a good introductory scenario.
Writing your own introductory adventure is also a good option, if you have time to do it. A dungeon is a good introduction, generally speaking - it allows players freedom of choice, but also provides a comparatively controlled environment so you aren't dealing with too many crazy possibilities as a GM. Try to come up with something where there is a little bit of combat, a couple of situations that can be resolved with skills (knowledges or thief-type skills are good), a couple of situations that can be resolved by talking to people instead of killing them, and at least one puzzle that the players can solve by using their brains instead of their dice.
Note that "a dungeon" is a broader term than it sounds... really, any scenario in a closed environment with only one or two ways out counts as a dungeon. For example, the PCs could be breaking into a mansion to steal something valuable, or boarding a mysterious shipwreck, or looking for a temple hidden in an enchanted forest. As long as their choices and decisions are meaningful, and you have an idea of what each choice leads to, it's all good.
You know, not everyone with high stats is cheating, and it's annoying that you would imply it. In my current game, we rolled stats, and mine ended up being equivalent to a 47 point buy or something. I decided to play a Monk to compensate for my ridiculous stats (I had been planning on a Druid).
Let the GM make his own characters and play the game alone.
Completely inappropriate, the DM has the right to allow or disallow classes as he sees fit.
Some fun character ideas:
A Summoner who has an "inappropriate relationship" with his succubus-like eidolon
I think the intent of a reach weapon is to use it like a pike. You poke people from way over there. Could you use the haft to make an improvised weapon attack? Not really. The pole is too long to be wielded like a quarterstaff. A quarterstaff might be six feet tall. A pike is between 10 and 25 feet as listed on wikipedia. Its fair to say that a small pike could easily be twice the length of a quarterstaff.
Pikes aren't the most common polearm in this game, though - it usually seems to be halberds, glaives, ranseurs, etc. that PCs are using. And historically, late medieval fighting manuals show combatants striking with the shaft and butt of halberds as standard fighting maneuvers.
The way that reach weapons work in the rules is clumsy and causes a lot of weirdness. It's too bad that the good folks at Paizo didn't fix this, but they probably didn't have time considering the more pressing issues with stuff like Polymorph.
You're right that a DM shouldn't tell his players how to play their characters. On the other hand, that doesn't give players the right to damage the mood for the DM or anyone else.
I'd suggest that you talk to the player privately and let him know that you don't really like the torture stuff in your game. If he isn't willing to compromise, you have to decide if you're willing to tolerate it, would rather ask him to leave the group, or would be happier laying out in-game consequences for the behavior.
Evil PCs are a similar matter, and it really depends on your campaign and your group. If you have a group willing to find good reasons to have the evil and nonevil PCs working together, it can be a lot of fun... but be aware that this requires players who are willing to take on some of the responsibility for keeping the story moving forward.
At the end of the day, the DM generally puts more effort into the game than the players, and this gives him/her the right to set some ground rules, like "I want to play a game where the PCs are not evil and will work together" or "In my game, everyone will be a pirate". If someone doesn't want to play that kind of game, you negotiate and find a solution that works for everyone. You don't allow one player to dominate the game by insisting everyone bends to his will.
Darklord Morius wrote:
I'm pretty sure these words are English/Germanic in origin - shrine comes from OE scrin, meaning "shrine" (probably from the Latin word scrinium), and "silly" comes from OE saelig, the adjective form of sael, "happiness".
But you're right, English borrows shamelessly from other languages. Usually, we standardize the grammar of these borrowed words to match English grammar - which is why we say "bonuses" instead of "boni", much like we normally say "ninjas" instead of "ninja", even though Japanese doesn't use plurals.
Druids kinda get the shaft, I'm noticing. Every other class seems to have loads of feats dedicated to enhancing their abilities and the Druid pretty much gets Natural Spell... that's about it.
Most of those classes would happily give up every other ability-enhancing feat to have a feat that adds as much power and versatility as Natural Spell. It's more important to a Druid than Power Attack is to a Fighter.
And for a mini, youshould consider using this guy.
When I was around 10 years old, I was invited to play a D&D game by a neighborhood kid I knew. The group had players take "turns" with the DM in a separate room. The DM's friends would spend 30-60 minutes in the room, and the rest of us were lucky to get more than a minute or two. I didn't come back after the first session, and not playing was consistently more fun than playing.
The game can actually work pretty well without AoOs. Sure, it makes rogues, archers, and casters a bit stronger, but let's be fair: rogues need all the help they can get, archers still have to deal with cover (and can't get the powerful feat chain that lets them threaten with a bow), and casters are going to dominate anyway.
If you want to make it a little more balanced, don't let anyone cast spells or make ranged attacks from a threatened square, and make sure to be familiar with the grapple rules. This will slow the casters and archers down without making them useless, without over complicating things much.
I don't usually pimp other RPGs on message boards, but it may be worth taking a look at the Burning Wheel RPG for some ideas about this. One of the guidelines in that game is that failure should be interesting - that is, when the PCs fail at something, it advances the story just as much as if they succeed.
Too often, in Pathfinder and its cousins, we see success and failure as opposed binaries. That is, the rogue either succeeds in picking the lock, or the party must find another door; the jump check succeeds or the character falls; the PCs rescue the princess or they die. It's not too hard, however, for a GM to make a failure into an interesting alternative. For example:
The rogue fails to pick a lock. Instead of saying "you fail", the GM could say "You manage to open the lock, but you drop a tool and alert the guards", or "you damage the mechanism, so the door can't be locked again."
The jump check fails. Instead of falling, the GM could say "You make the jump, but twist your ankle so your move is reduced by 10' until you can rest for 24 hours", or "You make the jump, but you drop the MacGuffin down the chasm - who knows how far down it went?"
The PCs fail to rescue the princess, so the King sends an assassin to hunt them down. Or maybe the princess rescues herself, and demands that they pay back the money. Or maybe the evil wizard turns himself AND the princess into liches, and they lead an undead army to attack the kingdom.
At the extreme, a TPK can lead to an adventure where the PCs have to escape the underworld.
The possibilities are huge, and if you can hit the right pitch with your group, they will take more risks because failing is just as much fun as succeeding. The risk is that you have to have a good, trusting relationship with the players, and you shouldn't try to force this stuff on them unexpectedly in most cases.
That depends. Some players will grab all the spellcasting they can, simply because it's restricted, but I've known plenty if players who would sigh in relief that they can finally play non-casters without being hopelessly outclassed in the teen levels. It really depends on the group, and we should probably assume that the DM in question knows his group.
There's also a matter of interpretation; nobody will have anything above 1st and 2nd level spells, and most of the divine spells at these levels are pretty decidedly on-flashy. A character could pray to Krom at he start of a big battle, and nobody would necessarily realize that he had just cast Bless using his two Cleric levels unless they, too, are trained in the mysteries of magic.
I would say that the best character in this kind of game would be a switch-hitting Ranger or a Rogue. The Rogue isn't going to have spell casters taking over his specialty, so his skills go from "useless" to "pretty sweet", especially in a melee-heavy party. A Ranger gets great combat ability and flexibility combined with a good skill list and plenty of skill points -and without spells to solve all your problems, skills will be very important.
I'd actually steer clear of magic abilities unless they really fit your character concept. Really religious characters could pick up a level of Cleric every now and again. The only Arcane classes worth considering are Witch and Wizard, and those would probably be best with a knowledge-focused Rogue. Utility spells and divinations will generally be more valuable than combat spells.
james maissen wrote:
No, but it's still an ability you don't get with a level of Fighter.
One more thought - an 8 isn't really that low, if you think about it. Or, more specifically, if an 8 is low, then a 12 is high. Those should logically all be well within the range of the average person. A 6 or 7 is low, in the sense that a 13 or 14 is high, but not so low that someone with this stat would be completely unable to function in society. Someone with a STR of 6 is a 98-pound weakling, and bullies kick sand in his face at the beach, but he/she can still run around and fight. Someone with WIS 6 is a foolish person who doesn't pick up a lot of what goes on, but he/she isn't necessarily totally oblivious or a complete moron. I've met more than a few people who probably fit the CHA 6 range, but they can still be a fun addition to a gaming group if everyone at the table is fairly open-minded.
I disagree with Kor - you need the prerequisites for any bonus feats you get unless the class description specifies that you don't. For example, the Monk bonus feats and Ranger combat style feats say that you may ignore any prerequisites; Fighter and Gunslinger bonus feats don't have this caveat, so you need any prerequisites that the feats would normally require.
Why not use a modified point buy, where you only get 1/2 an extra point per point below 10, or make 8 a "hard" minimum (i.e. you can't go below 8 even after racial modifiers) like TClifford suggests? IME, the reason people use dump stats is to boost their good scores even more. Make dump stats less appealing, and you'll see them less often.
Alternatively, provide an additional minor in-game penalty for stats below 8 (but PLEASE let the player know this BEFORE he creates his character!). For example, the CHA 6 character has to roll a DC 10 Diplomacy test during each conversation with an NPC or the NPC simply tunes him out. A WIS 6 character has to make a DC 10 Perception test to remember where he sheathed his weapon, and if he fails it takes a standard action to ready it. Make it a really easy test that any non-dump-stat character could pass by taking 10. This can let the player keep his min-maxed guy, and add a little comic relief to the game, without ruining things for anyone.
I don't think it should depend on the town really. or look at it this way. animal companions are not tame animals. why do they get a special exception? does the circus walk around town with their elephants off leash in your world? if the answer is yes then I sure animal co panions are fine. if the answer is no then is likely thier treated like any other large dangerous animal in a city expected to be controlled in some way.
I agree that it depends on the world. For example, when I was in Thailand, I saw a man walking an elephant down the main street of a small city. In my hometown, that only happens at the zoo.
Liam Warner wrote:
Now there's a thought the druid enters town with his 30 foot t-rex and its promptly set upon by a group of adventurers on the basis something that big has to be worth a level for them.
That can't be any worse, or more common, than the party that starts a bar fight because they are only a few XP away from leveling up.
I think the archetype is only weak compared to the standard Summoner; it's still quite strong compared to anything that isn't a full casting class.
I could see all sorts of abuse with the Skilled evolution; you could have a bunch of stealthy scouts, a dedicated crafting team (Keebler elves?), or a traveling bawdy house. Or you could just have a bunch of little guys who carry your summoner around on a throne or shield.
I kind of like the idea of a Broodmaster building his eidolons to be servants and henchmen to the party; for combat, he dismisses them and summons monsters instead.
re: the "weapon must be wielded" thing - if "wield" is taken to mean that the item must be ready to attack, and therefore a two-handed weapon must be used with two hand, and therefore the Wizard must take severe casting penalties - then RAW, a Wizard with a bonded staff is a terrible idea.
This is a RAI argument, but I doubt that Paizo intended to make a bonded staff a terrible choice for Wizards. Even in PFS, I can't see a GM making a big deal about a bonded falchion being wielded in one hand for spellcasting, unless the player is trying to pull some kind of sneaky workaround to allow himself to attack with the falchion one-handed or something.
I'm going to second the suggestion of going Eldritch Knight. Magus is a great class, and would fit with your concept well, but it doesn't work well with a Falchion and wouldn't really add anything to your character at ths point. If you take a level of Fighter or Barbarian, you should qualify for EK the level after that - you won't get to do the funky spell combat stuff, but you'll be a better spell caster and as good a melee combatant as any Magus.
Even if you're not worried about character power, it doesn't really make sense to switch horses at this point. Eldritch Knight is totally legal; the main reason to choose Magus instead is that EK makes you spend several levels as a Wizard before you become a warrior-wizard. You've already done that.
However, it makes no sense that a mouse, through its own strength without magic, would be able to fell a man with a tiny sword. You could pin-prick him to death but it'll take a while. :)
We're talking about a 1 foot tall mouse wielding a kitchen-sized knife, though - I assume you accept that someone could be killed with a knife, right?
The roles in 4e aren't actually as strict as the rulebooks suggest. I've seen more than a couple of striker Fighters, controller Rogues, defender Clerics and so on. The real difference here is that 4e classes are designed with roles in mind, while Pathfinder classes aren't necessarily as focused.
Neither game actually requires any particular roles, but effective parties often have them all covered. There are also lots of ways to divvy up the roles; Controllers are basically just ranged Defenders, as both types help determine where enemies move and who they attack. Leaders are Buffers and Healers rolled together, and ranged and melee Strikers are both handy to have too.
The roles also don't cover non-combat situations, where it's handy to have a Face, an Investigator, a Loremaster, and a Thief (more or less - plenty of ways to look at these roles too). One of the shortcomings of 4e is that it barely looks at rules for noncombat roles. One of the shortcomings of Pathfinder is that it's easy for inexperienced players to make characters who come up short in every role because the roles aren't explicit.