Deep Crow

Don't go into Power Dome A's page

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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Zhayne wrote:
Lame, stupid stuff like throwing bat poop or swallowing a live spider? No. Get rid of that idiocy.
That occultic pseudoscience of arcane formulae and recipes is one of the best things about the entire DxP spellcasting system

To me it feels like something included as a joke, and has only been massaged into something less over time. The original scry required you to build a simple television. It was never meant to be anything other than a gag and it's an old, lame joke which should be put out of its' misery.

There is no "occultic pseudoscience of arcane formulae" because it's all entirely nebulous and if you actually go back to the source to get more specifics on how the components are actually used it is 1000% goofball territory.

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Character=Class isn't really a defensible concept in Pathfinder where you have "classes" like Rogue or Barbarian. Clearly these are mechanical packages and not in-setting professions or callings. Calling someone a "Barbarian" in character almost certainly doesn't mean a character with Barbarian class levels. If character=class then everyone should have mandatory NPC class levels and then advance as a Rogue while adventuring as they aren't currently practicing their profession in favor of being some variety of murder hobo grave robber.

Obviously the degree to which character=/=class varies from class to class. Any game where character=class would require some very tight world building and much narrower focus to assumed playstyle than has ever existed.

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gustavo iglesias wrote:

Gary Gygax also created "elf" as the equivalent of a class, making all elfs pretty much the same: a fighter-mage user who cast a few spells but also used a sword.

However, the game has evolved since then, and now we have elves of different classes. Including Paladins. And a paladin of elven ascendancy will probably have very different roots than Charlemagne, King Arthur, and the christian templars. It will also have very different ethos, and ideals, and will fight for a very different kind of greater good.

Elves could also be Thieves. The important thing to know about OD&D is that it wasn't attempting to simulate a fantasy setting but only a particular milieu of dungeon delvers which tended towards the picaresque.

The conception of D&D was originally as more of a specialty wargame, so the suite of abilities characters had was limited so as to be suited to the scope and objectives of the game. This gameplay mode of heroic adventure basically didn't exist and the kinds of characters you could play were restricted to the kinds of characters you might find in an army and the game's objectives were centered around a fantasy version of medieval military foraging operations.

In the game Gygax was creating all of his choices make sense, it's just that most of the actual run of D&D in the early years saw a rapid expansion of the scope of the game and unleashed a lot more imagination from the playerbase than was originally dreamed of by Gygax's earliest efforts.

Brew Bird wrote:
The bulk system. It's clunky, and kind of immersion breaking. I much prefer PF's weight-based carrying capacities. As they exists in Starfinder, bulk limits create comically weak creatures.

It isn't about strength, it's about Valeros looking ridiculous. I used to LARP as a teenager (pre-3e) and one of the guys in the game's running gag would be to grab as many weapons as he could physically carry and insert about his person and say "Look, I'm a D&D character!"

A mattress boxspring is pretty light and you could probably physically strap 5 or more on an average person's back that they'd be able to carry, but 1 should probably make them encumbered.

In reality almost no one uses any encumbrance system in any RPG so if it isn't something players are actually going to use then don't even waste the ink. I don't know if people will use Starfinder's rules yet because the game is still too new. I know if Pathfinder's rules are retained no one is going to use them anyway.

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Shadow Kosh wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
they're not producing new content either, which kills the system dead.

That's the popular theory / justification for bloat around here, but if that's ACTUALLY the case, then why is 5th edition, a system that has had very little rules expansion in the three years since the core books came out, beating Pathfinder so handily?

In my opinion 5e's popularity is almost entirely a product of Critical Roll and The Adventure Zone which broke tabletop gaming into a market of younger video gamers who were already on Twitch and tuned into Griffin McElroy's other work.

Not that 5e isn't without its' own merits but its' success obviously isn't simply a product of its' own mechanical innovations and great content. The lack of content is probably the one complaint I see over and over again from people who are new to the hobby and came in via 5e once they realize other game companies publish a lot more material to support their games and feel like 5e deserves more because it is their first kiss RPG.

5e doesn't even really have proper campaign setting material. In point of fact I'm pretty sure WotC could be crushing it a lot harder than they actually are if it weren't for Hasbro bean counters licking their wounds over 4e.

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Tallow wrote:

Ah yes. I'm pretty sure I fell on the side of, "Yes, there is a disparity, but its a feature, not a bug." And, "The disparity isn't as big as some folks try to make it out to be, and a high level melee character can hold their own in high level play." Anecdotally, I got to see this play out twice, with my largely martial rage prophet/battle oracle that I got up to level 19 (yup Jiggy, Bbauzh is level 19 now) and with my grippli ninja that I got to level 20.

That being said, anything that creates more balance across classes but still allows for maximum differentiation (I hated that 4E made everything feel the same, just with a different

Martial characters have a lower floor for optimization meaning it is easier to be bad. It's counter-intuitive for the Fighter to be the most complex class in the game.

Regardless the caster-martial disparity debate didn't start over combat effectiveness but "Narrative Control" and I feel it has been derailed for years into a question of combat which has never really been an issue for martials outside of the more general issue of needing a good deal of system mastery to build one. The problem allegedly goes all the way back to OD&D, B/X, AD&D et cetera where Fighters were godlike beings who hewed down everything in their path with no system mastery required.

The problem, as it actually exists is much harder to fix because Wizards et al are going to have more "Narrative Control" ie agency without fundamentally altering the assumptions of what a game session entails. The Vigilante is an example of a very high agency martial, however he's a poor fit for most adventuring parties. He's high agency in a game focused around vigilantism. Likewise if you played the game like Gary Gygax kingdom building becomes a major part of the game and the Fighter's retinue as a class feature becomes a high agency trump card.

The Wizard Problem in a heroic fantasy adventure game is akin to the problem with deckers in the Shadowrun going off into their own Matrix mini-game while the rest of the players who can't hack sit around waiting for the this lower risk method of conflict resolution to play out before resorting to gunplay. The Wizard eventually attains a huge suite of options to resolve conflicts (which isn't strictly combat) before the rest of the party need get involved, which in some situations will feel like the other party members are another card in the Wizard's deck which he pulls out after spellcasting options have been exhausted. Even on the level of face-time with the DM a good player of a Wizard character will be spending a lot more time seeking adjudication for all of his abilities and spending a lot more time controlling the overall narrative of events than other player's characters will.

In part this is a social problem at the table but unlike many other social problems it is one which is positively reinforced with mechanics. It's never been about combat and "Cast glitterdust and win" has always been a dumb meme.

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Charisma would be fine as it is if this 3e idea of tying it into classes core mechanics would have died by now. It doesn't need to be 'equal' with other stats if there aren't classes that key a bunch of their stuff off of Charisma for no reason related to what Charisma represents. As it stands most of the classes which do key their stuff off of Charisma don't have any reason to. The Charisma-Sorcerer link was always contrived and the Charisma-Solarion link is non-existent. It's just stated but not explained. Why do Solarions key off of Charisma?

"Your Charisma lets you channel your connection to the cosmos". How? Why?

"Charisma measures a character’s personality, personal
magnetism, ability to lead, and appearance." Nothing about cosmic channeling or awareness here.

"Dexterity measures agility, balance, and reflexes." It's intuitively powerful because these things are all important in games focusing around action and adventure. Charisma and Dexterity shouldn't be equal in power. Charisma should just do what Charisma should do intuitively which is listed above, and nothing else.

It's only a problem when your Charisma is shoehorned into being the stat which governs connection to the cosmos. It wouldn't be a problem if the only classes which keyed off of Charisma were classes that were meant to be charismatic as part of the class fantasy.

Arguably the Solarion should be uncharismatic as part of the class fantasy. I'm told by proponents of how good the class is as written that the Solarion gets to be a 'face', but its' not actually a choice mechanically. No, I'm not going to play a 'face' because I didn't pick Solarion to help me roleplay a diplomat or swaggering caudillo. There is a better argument for every other stat being related to the Solarion lore and broader tropes it is based on over Charisma.

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HWalsh wrote:


The problem with Solarion CC is you giving up your Standard or Full actions to cause enemies to take minor penalties or lose lesser actions, which is a bad trade off. This is an underlying problem with the d20 3.x chassis which has never really been addressed. Notably Save or Suck spells are typically also ones which lock down entire areas or hit multiple targets over multiple rounds. Glitterdust, Black Tentacles, et cetera would be terrible if they were single target and took actions to maintain. Which is basically the default for Solarion CC.

3. Gravity Hold doesn't stop an enemy from taking anything but actions to move in most instances. It is something that appeals in the abstract to people who do not understand the importance of action economy. Like so many Solarion abilities it is situational, and as a worse offender it is most useful against opponents most likely to succeed a Fort save.

This is one of the okay-ish CC abilities of the Solarion in that it can in theory one-shot or fully lock down a single enemy depending on terrain by using both your move and standard action on the first round of activation and standard action there after. In a standard hallway/small room fight in an AP however it's probably entirely useless to pick someone up and move them 15 feet as a full round.

4. Crush is the other ability which is a possible 1:1 trade off in terms of actions in that maintaining is only a move action. If you spend the Resolve to Stun you lose a Standard for their Full Round on a failed save, and maintain as a Move for them to lose either a Move or Standard (no full attacks from either party).

Again we need multiple failed saves, and I'd hold a 1:1 trade off in action economy is bad unless you are fighting an opponent whose actions are clearly superior (and without spending the Resolve this is downgraded from situational to objectively bad) which makes the ability suboptimal except in niche fights versus 'boss' type enemies.

A comparable example was spamming disarms with my Brawler (something the class is designed to be able to do well out of the box) in Iron Gods versus the chainsaw wielding Orc. Worth my actions in that 1 fight and no other due to the potentiality of suffering chainsaw crits. Now about halfway through book 4 and just duking it out is basically always better because there isn't an obvious and deadly disparity in offenses. Of course Crush is probably a suboptimal choice when disarm is an option, if the enemy is using a disarmable weapon.

I see Crush having a similar problem in usefulness, in that it is yet again situational. This time on the basis of fighting a high CR, high DPR solo enemy designed to potentially one-round player characters. Which is less of a factor in Starfinder than it was in Pathfinder by default.

5. Gravity Surge is a Full Round Action. It's only advantage is as a ranged maneuver. The free psuedo-feat is negated by not relying on your primary attack stat. For a melee Solarion a full-round trip against a target you aren't currently in melee with is a bad move. You are better off just buying the maneuver feat and rolling trips with your Str. If you are using Solar Weapon you can even have a free hand for a Taclash. This could have some utility combined with Crush against powerful enemies.

As a disarm, it only gets good at high levels when there is a large damage disparity between humanoid opponent's primary and secondary weapons. To fully disarm them of ranged weapons would require using 2 full-round actions and hitting on both.

This ability again seems clearly very situational, and again suffers from the action economy problem. A full round action buys you an enemy losing a move action to stand or a move action to draw another weapon. A bad trade. I have to wonder if some earlier version of the Solarion was like the Swashbuckler/Gunslinger which got all Revelations by default which would make many of its' only situationally useful abilities make more sense.

Hypnotic Glow is good as CC since it can fully take a target out of a fight for Solarion level rounds with a single failed save. There is a language barrier for use of the ability and it is highly interpretive. In my own personal experience in actual play Charm Person is basically useless for how most DMs handle the spell. A literal reading of the spell would cause the charmed target to continue attacking your allies while you spend 10 rounds using Diplomacy to alter his attitude toward the rest of the party. Virtually every Charm Person command can be interpreted as obviously suicidal. The Command spell function could still be used to good if lesser effect, and better than any other Solarion CC as it uses your Standard Action to potentially eat the target's whole round. Which should be the default assumption for any single target CC.

Of course on the other hand for some groups this will be an amazing ability, and it is still good OOC regardless.

Overall my perception of the problem with Solarion from a design standpoint is they seem to have been designed to be 'neat' or 'cool' aesthetically rather than actually having an effective suite of supernatural abilities which allows them to fulfill any particular mechanical role outside of damage dealing. The class and its' abilities having been designed intuitively around its' core premise whereas most of the other classes were designed around filling a pre-existing mechanical niche.

Shuffling people about a handful of squares isn't really a role at all, but what else does a 'gravity powers' based class do? This never should have been the basis of what the class does though. No other class really gives up anything to fulfill some high concept which doesn't mesh with the game's mechanics. They are all built around fulfilling a mechanical role first with a veneer of fluff on top to justify those abilities (with perhaps the Envoy being an exception fulfilling an aesthetic niche before a mechanical one, which is also notably the next most criticized class).

More damning Solarion is actually good enough in melee that doing anything else comes at a significant opportunity cost effectively pigeonholing the class into that role while its' theoretical design aesthetic which doesn't translate into any mechanical role will be used as a justification for the class's mechanically non-intuitive clunkiness. Comparatively a Mystic's action choices will almost always preference spellcasting and they have an impressive suite of CC (and other) abilities, including access to the Solarion's best CC trick at level 1. The Mystic is also clearly built around an underlying game mechanic and filled out with a lot of pre-existing spells and its' aesthetic premise or class fantasy doesn't get in the way of that mechanical niche.

If the Mystic had been designed around an aesthetic premise of being a woo-based New Age crystal merchant and had an entirely new set of abilities which extend from that premise it would also probably be problematic because selling merchandise to aging hippies isn't a game mechanical niche which can be filled in a way which would contribute to the game's assumed primary mode of conflict resolution. Or more appropriately if the 'mental and biological systems too complex to be understood' translated into spending your rounds fiddling with insight bonuses instead of spellcasting and filling the game's divine spellcaster role the class would probably be terrible mechanically but would still appeal to many people on being 'neat' or 'cool' in more accurately reflecting that bit of fluff text.

4e also had a problem of a lot of classes having compulsory movement abilities which had no real impact on the outcome of combat, and even though they were just riders still became obnoxious in dragging out combats as they increased time in re-analyzing the board after each round. If they had been abilities which were used in place of doing damage they simply would have never been selected by players. We are going to almost never see these Solarion powers in use in actual play over time as we see with many never used feats, spells et cetera in Pathfinder, however unlike those options we will continue to see ardent defenders of the abysmal Solarion options because of the non-mechanical fulfillment of the class fantasy, which will never be the case for Elephant Stomp. The class feels like it should be able to fling people about and perform high-flying acrobatic stunts. But at the actual game table on a 1"x1" grid using tactical combat rules, AC, HP and saving throws to resolve conflicts those abilities don't really amount to much. Shuffling miniatures a few squares this way or that isn't usually a good use of actions. Trading your Standard+ for their Move isn't a good use of actions no matter how right it may feel to some people.

This isn't a Cooperative Storytelling game, which is what the Solarion feels like it was designed for and what people are arguing for. We aren't narrating the Solarion's round and then rolling Fate dice to determine degrees of success. What the Solarion can theoretically do is not the same thing as what it is likely to actually do in play. You can declare you do X, Y or Z but what percentage of the time will these be able to be pulled off? You get 1 Revelation every other level. At level 12, at the end of Dead Suns you will have 6. How many rounds of combat will you be in over the course of that AP? How many rounds will you spend maintaining Crush? How many of those rounds will it have had any effect? What is the significance of that effect when it does occur? What alternative action is it being compared to?

If you aren't getting heavy armor your best choice is probably weapon focus.

Dead Suns 2 has the Woioko, which are +2 Cha, -2 Con and either a +2 Str or Dex. They are amphibious subtype with a 30 ft swim and land speed. +2 Culture and Diplomacy. Low-light vision.

Mechanically they are in a similar niche to Lashunta having a penalty to one of their save stats but aren't ineligible for Spellbane.

HWalsh wrote:
Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

You don't need 20 - A soldier who takes Skill Focus Intimidate and drops each upgrade into charisma (still leaving room to upgrade Dex, Con, and Wisdom to handle AC/Stamina/Fort Save/Will Save ever raise) can start at charisma 10 and hit 18 by level 20, giving:

+4 Stat
+3 Skill Focus
+20 Ranks
+3 Trained Bonus

1d20+30 by level 20 (DC 40)
1d20+24 by level 15 (DC 34)
1d20+18 by level 10 (DC 28)
1d20+12 by level 5 (DC 22)

That's pretty hard to intimidate generally speaking. Not to mention way higher than CR x 1.5 and all this takes is 1 feat which, as a soldier, you have to spare.

Heck, even without the feat:

+27 at 20 (DC 37)
+21 at 15 (DC 31)
+15 at 10 (DC 25)
+9 at 5 (DC 19)

For reference, an NPC built using any array:

At CR5 +16(master) or +11(good)
At 10 +24 or +19
At 15 +31 or +26
At 20 +39 or +34

So basically if an NPC has Intimidate as a skill at all you aren't in good shape.

TrinitysEnd wrote:
Totally crippled, right?
"Totally crippled" is just your strawman. Nothing I said was factually untrue. You are still talking about heavily investing in Charisma and Intimidate to get marginally worse as you level and have reduced Up Time on either end of the skill's usage.

Level 5 - +3 Class Skill, +3 Stat, +5 ranks = +11 - Not good, that is more than "Good" because it is a character that has at least a +3 Charisma, has full ranks in intimidate, and has it as a class skill. That isn't GOOD that is EXCEPTIONAL. If we go to "Master" we're looking at +3 Class Skill, +2 Skilled, +4 Stat, +5 Ranks, +3 Skill Focus, +2 Misc from class bonus or a +19... Just saying...

I'd say "good" assumes a +0 to +1 stat, as most enemies probably aren't Charisma focused. So I'd say, usually, you can expect to see maybe a +9 vs a DC of 15+1.5xCR (DC 22) or 10+11 for "Good" (DC 21) giving it a less than 50% chance of working. Even if it does work, we're not seeing really heavy (or long lasting) penalties.

I'm not giving you my opinion. I'm giving you the check bonuses that NPCs built using Alien Archive will actually have and "Master" and "Good" are their terms not mine.

An NPCs Intimidate check is not dependent on its' Charisma score. If a CR5 NPC has Intimidate as one of its' "good" skills it will roll a d20+11 for the check.

A CR4 Shobhad has +15 Intimidate and a psuedo-Charisma of 12-13. NPCs no longer have ability scores. A Master Skill for a CR4 is +15. His Charisma doesn't enter into the equation.

Erk Ander wrote:
A drone Mech actually out-damages a Soldier in ranged combat.

That would be an interesting breakdown to see considering the accuracy differential given some baseline assumptions like ranged enemies almost always benefiting from cover, and the drone presumably being the beneficiary of Overcharge.

Maximum Overcharge is only 14d6 in any given round if both attacks hit, versus Focus Fire's 6d6 if all 3 hit. Assuming you are firing against cover against Combatant Array enemies, a Soldier targeting KAC (and hence doing more damage per attack) will have an effectively equal to-hit as a Mechanic targeting EAC and a significant bonus over the drone. Versus non-combatant array the Soldier is ahead by +1 (assuming cover) and when the Soldier targets EAC or the Mechanic targets KAC the Soldier comes out ahead even further in terms of accuracy with 3 attacks.

A Soldier at 20 using the level 20 x-gen gun will be at +25/+25/+25 for an average of 86 damage per attack. A Mechanic/Hover Drone both using the zenith laser rifle will be at +25/+18/+18 for 82/82/38.5.

As for ranged Solarion versus Exocortex Mechanic, Solarion's Onslaught does not require a melee weapon, nor does Photon Attunement. How does the Solarion not pull ahead?

Edit: My numbers are off by 1. Mechanic and Drone should have +1 higher to-hit. That pesky Weapon Focus. I also didn't apply 'Personal Upgrades' to the drone. I'm skeptical that a drone can take them given both the name of their broader category and each example item specifying the target as a 'character' versus 'you' or 'the creature'.

HWalsh wrote:

You don't need 20 - A soldier who takes Skill Focus Intimidate and drops each upgrade into charisma (still leaving room to upgrade Dex, Con, and Wisdom to handle AC/Stamina/Fort Save/Will Save ever raise) can start at charisma 10 and hit 18 by level 20, giving:

+4 Stat
+3 Skill Focus
+20 Ranks
+3 Trained Bonus

1d20+30 by level 20 (DC 40)
1d20+24 by level 15 (DC 34)
1d20+18 by level 10 (DC 28)
1d20+12 by level 5 (DC 22)

That's pretty hard to intimidate generally speaking. Not to mention way higher than CR x 1.5 and all this takes is 1 feat which, as a soldier, you have to spare.

Heck, even without the feat:

+27 at 20 (DC 37)
+21 at 15 (DC 31)
+15 at 10 (DC 25)
+9 at 5 (DC 19)

For reference, an NPC built using any array:

At CR5 +16(master) or +11(good)
At 10 +24 or +19
At 15 +31 or +26
At 20 +39 or +34

So basically if an NPC has Intimidate as a skill at all you aren't in good shape.

TrinitysEnd wrote:
Totally crippled, right?

"Totally crippled" is just your strawman. Nothing I said was factually untrue. You are still talking about heavily investing in Charisma and Intimidate to get marginally worse as you level and have reduced Up Time on either end of the skill's usage.

TrinitysEnd wrote:
Charre wrote:
The 1.5X scaling of DCs is just broken. At level 20 your soldier won't be able to intimidate anything close to his level. Need a skill monkey class to reliably use skills at high levels for any scaling DC tasks.

Level 20 Soldier, assuming 20 Charisma:

20 ranks, +3 CS, +5 Charisma, +3 Skill Focus, +2 for that AA voice thing = 33. DC is 45 for a CR appropriate difficult fight (CR-2 is more what you'll be fighting. Which is DC 42.). I've not gone through the material exhaustively, but that is Intimidating a creature that you'll typically be fighting on a 9, and a Difficult Fight on a 12. Fully capable to do so.

Now, if you don't like how it's not like PF where you can intimidate everything for years, that's a different story. But it is FULLY possible to do so, unlike what you say.

Edit: Fixed name from Fighter to Soldier

Except no Soldier is going to have 20 Charisma so there is no reason to assume it and he would only have Skill Focus due to the current lack of Feats which is a situation which will likely not persist. To have 20 Charisma you have sacrificed combat relevant abilities, and to have that you would have had to have started with a 14 in the stat. 20 Charisma is a "very high Charisma". Which of course leaves us in this bizarre Gamist simulacra wherein our hypothetical Soldier becomes less intimidating the tougher he becomes and vice versa.

You proved the other poster's point. A fully optimized Soldier who has sacrificed his ability to fight will be the only one to reasonably pass a check. That same Soldier at level 1 would have a +7 Intimidate check looking to pass DC 16 versus CR1 opponents, needing a 9. If his first level Feat was Skill Focus he'd only need a 6.

To be clear it would be bad game design to merely maintain a power curve which shows no improvement with non-optimized investment. Which isn't the case here. Here we have decreased 'up time' for ability usage as we level with fully optimized characters.

It wouldn't matter if we were capping at Charisma 28 as you would still have improved 'up time' for demoralizing and not being demoralized yourself at lower levels which gets worse as you level.

Its' not immediately obvious that the melee PC will always be focus fired. Generally focus fire gets directed at the softest target, not the one doing the most damage. The melee's damage will be more manageable by enemy parties via obviating full attacks with guarded step as a move action, so long as it won't take the enemy being attacked in melee out of cover.

Also it is a perfectly reasonable assumption that a ranged enemy being attacked by a melee PC will routinely take the full defense action as their standard action. Spreading out to break up charge lanes with terrain obstacles is also something enemies can do while targeting the melee PC's weaker allies to increase travel time and reduce the number of attacks when switching to a new target. Combat Maneuvers are another option for NPCs to stifle melee PCs while the rest of battle goes on rather than focus firing the melee.

The optimal enemy strategy for focus fire is still going to be to attack the lowest AC and lowest HP/Stam targets to remove them from the combat first as it has always been in games with these mechanics. Which will also allow for greater mobility in whittling away high AC/HP/Stam melee opponents after ranged targets have been downed and there is less need for cover from multiple angles.

I wouldn't use these tactics in every fight, but melee damage has its' disadvantages outside of being focus fired and is manageable by NPCs, who would optimally be targeting say drone mechanics who are also potentially heavy damage but softer targets than a Vesk blitz soldier with a plasma doshko. It would be reasonable for a squad of Aeon Guard to know how to deal with melee opponents not simply walking among them and slaughtering them. Likewise from an angle of verisimilitude it shouldn't be immediately obvious to an NPC that any random PC laying down fire with rifles and heavy weapons isn't actually more of a threat.

Zombie Jesus wrote:

Just a corrective note on the above... Pg.167 of the rulebook states the game assumes that in typical settlements you can find and purchase anything with an item level no greater than your character level + 1, and at major settlements items up to your character level + 2.

Level+2 gear is like half your WBL, so is usually going to be prohibitively expensive. I wouldn't base any theorycrafting around that assumption.

The main problem with Solar Weapon is it seems to be balanced around being a Level+0 weapon, meaning at any clutch level where a best-in-slot Advanced Melee weapon is available for purchase at Level+1 Solar Weapon will be the worse option. This is a pretty minor problem except at level 1-5 because Tactical Pike is available and affordable at character creation and is clearly superior.

In general this is a problem with the system which should have had all characters scale like the Solarion, in loading some of the damage bonuses on character level and some on the gear making all weapons work mechanically like Weapon Crystals. Having all of the damage scale by the weapon also introduces some problems in encounter design and verisimilitude.

As for the doshko, unwieldy weapons also don't allow you to make AoO with them further limiting their utility for a primarily melee combatant. Also I'm pretty sure full attacking is the superior option even at level 1. The unwieldy melee weapon only seems useable by the Kasatha or some other multi-limb wielder who will also have another weapon for AoO, Step Up and Strike, full attacks, et cetera. Of course affording two weapons is another issue.

The Google doc links posted ITT don't work.

Castilliano wrote:
greatly enjoys Stellar Rush and the mobility advantages it gives him over the Soldier.

Unfortunately that advantage disappears against Blitz Soldiers at level 5 when they also get a standard action charge with a full attack at the end no less.

I'm assuming power armor grants Strength in part to accommodate the bulk from fully equipping all of the weapon mounts, but you again run into the money problem.

Castilliano wrote:


If you want to argue mechanical balance, then you have to run numbers.
Since the damage numbers for Solarians place them above Soldiers, maybe Weapon Crystals shouldn't get the buff?

But Solarion damage hedging out Soldier (narrowly) isn't dependent upon the Solar Weapon's damage. It is because of their Revelations and Photon Attunement. If advanced melee weapons outscale Solar Weapon then Solarion players will just use those instead. Most Solarions will probably already have levels where found advanced melee weapons will be better than their Solar Weapon and none of the Revelations require the Solar Weapon.

Hijiggy wrote:

I would say no because of this line in the weapon section:

"Weapons of the same type are of similar size and have similar mechanical properties. Weapon types include basic melee, advanced melee, small arms, longarms, heavy weapons, sniper weapons, grenades, and special weapons. Ammunition and Solarian weapon crystals are also listed here."

Except you can put fusions on ammo.

I'd prefer if undead used constitution and if a PC undead race has a Con score due to asymmetrical design it wouldn't break my immersion but there isn't much of a power differential between one which does and one which does not.

The specific instance wherein a class would want both a good Con and Cha score and could double up on a stat would mean a power bump, but that's really the only instance. A typical melee Solarion would have an identical stat distribution at max level excepting the undead would have much higher pseudo-Con.

Especially if they were as suggested a +2 Int/-2 Cha race which would mean said Solarion would be in the hole in terms of one of his starting stats at character creation. Comparatively a human Solarion would have either higher Str, Dex or Cha at level 1 and on par in the other 2.

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Pathfinder archetypes filled a particular niche in character customization which Starfinder archetypes do not and currently nothing else does. They just fundamentally are not the same thing and do not serve the same purpose.

Some classes in particular like the Solarion have a very specific and narrowly focused 'class fantasy' which Starfinder archetypes do not alter and so people who currently do not find the class appealing probably never will. Which is definitely not the case with Pathfinder archetypes, many of which create wholly different 'class fantasy' experiences.

This is not a problem of elegant or efficient game mechanics but one of psychological appeal. Those classes which are the best able to make benefit of Starfinder archetypes are also the ones which least sacrifice essential parts of their 'class fantasy' package. Which is a huge consideration because it is unlikely that any class-independent archetype will ever alter the 'class fantasy' experience which means you are usually going to be trading something for nothing, excepting those cases where an archetype will dovetail so neatly so as to be class specific without literally being so. Which will make these even more like Prestige Classes in that regard.

Phrenic Adept doesn't make your character into a psychic, although a Pathfinder style archetype could have made any of the 7 classes into a psychic by trading out some element of that classes core mechanics for something different. The Starfinder archetype will always have to be something packaged to be in line with half of a Soldier's bonus feats.

MagicA wrote:
Does anyone else think that magic item limitation is kinda extreme?

Not really. It's only a limit on worn magic/hybrid items. You still have tech items, augments, et cetera. The rule simply de-emphasizes magic items specifically in favor of tech. There is still plenty of performance enhancing loot spread across multiple categories.

I like the HP/Stamina/Resolve system because in-combat healing has always sucked in 3e. Consuming CLW wands outside of combat doesn't add any strategic element to the game for me personally.

However effectively spending Stamina (in the form of Resolve) does, since it is a resource not exclusively used for healing. The strategic use of Resolve for either class abilities or healing is basically the same game mechanic in play for clerics spontaneously converting prepared spells into cures, but spread to every class.

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Some of the aliens in First Contact with stats for PCs have +1/-1 ability score adjustments.

A better hack would probably be to proffer some defensive bonus from Charisma. A version of Charmed Life perhaps, or Charisma to Initiative. The problem is really that by the way the class is designed Charisma would probably be a dump stat and the control options which key off Cha are traps. Charisma doing literally anything of general value would make the MAD situation a lot less onerous.

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Hitpoints are an abstract system, so taking damage from a weapon isn't necessarily even being 'hit'. The HP system doesn't model the lethality of medieval melee combat well either. Ultimately you can't have a highly lethal combat system as you'd run out of PCs.

4e had their mook system with 1 HP monsters that had level appropriate offensive capabilities that could model a more fast and furious playstyle that facilitates mowing down large numbers of opponents with single shots.

Star Wars Saga edition allowed autofire weapons to target a block of squares for unmissable partial damage, allowing massive numbers of even the weakest enemies to be a threat and tax the parties resources but could still be cut down like stormtroopers by mid-level PCs.

Ultimately whatever model is used to mimic a cinematic style where you have one shot = one kill high lethality gunplay but the heroes consistently come out alive is going to have to be handled on the back end mechanically like SW Saga or 4e and not by just making guns highly lethal by themselves.

Scaling damage by player level is obviously another way to go as someone else above suggested.

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chbgraphicarts wrote:

Well, both are remedied by taking Combat Casting and Uncanny Concentration.

Not really. This honestly seems like an oversight. Mindblade also loses Improved and Greater Spell combat.

A 10th level Mindblade has to hit a DC 33 concentration check to cast a 4th level spell on the defensive. With 16 Int and both feats he's going to have a +19 concentration check giving him a 35% chance to get the spell off, or a mere 50% chance by taking an additional -3 to hit (which is in reality -5 with your 3/4 BAB class since you are using Spell Combat; assuming Spell Combat and TWC penalties don't stack).

It's only a 10% chance increase for each lower spell level you can cast, which is still terrible. The playstyle would be spamming spell slots into the nether hoping something goes off. The class can no longer tactically use it's spells via Spell Combat. They become like procs. You swing and swing and something extra is added into the attack routine every once in a while.

By comparison a 10th level Magus has to hit a DC 23 and with neither feat will have +15 concentration check, giving him a 60% chance of getting the same spell off defensively, and a 75% chance by taking that -3 to hit. With both feats that's a 90% chance to get off your 4th level spell, and a 100% chance for everything lower with no additional penalty to hit.

A level 20 magus with 20 Int can auto-succeed at casting 6th level spells defensively with neither feat and no additional penalty to hit. A 20 mindblade with both feats cannot auto-succeed at casting 4th level spells defensively. The mindblade is not an effective gish, and being able to TWC/2h with Spell Combat is frankly irrelevant if you can't actually choose to cast spells when you want to with any reasonable chance of success. The regular Magus can already TWC/2h and not Spell Combat, and has other advantages such as a potential wider repetoire of spells than the Mindblade.

It's hard to imagine that this was playtested or the disparity in playstyles between the base class and the archetype was intended. It neither gains nor loses features that fundamentally alter the way the class plays. It's a mere mathematical quirk that makes the class's primary, defining class feature not really work.

Undead aren't always evil, but there aren't very many options as a player to have non-evil undead companions, especially as a horde cleric.

Zombies and Skeletons are "Always neutral evil" and their alignment is as absolute as animal alignments are.

As for Vampires, they are also "Any evil". I don't know what Blood of the Night is talking about, but it's probably just wrong. Vampires are also not normally eligible targets for Atonement either. It's not mind-affecting so also cannot benefit from Threnodic Spell.

I'm assuming Blood of the Night is just referencing rule 0 in making non-evil vampires for story reasons. From a purely mechanical standpoint there are no options for PCs to create non-evil vampire companions.

Ghosts are the only undead that spring to mind that aren't mandatory evil.

Aelryinth wrote:

I have said that AT LEAST 3 times. Your willful misinterpretation of me is getting annoying.

You can say it as many times as you want. The reason that 2e is not called AD&D is because of edition warring s#*#posters that insist "2e IS NOT D&D" which I'm assuming you are one of. There is no 'avoiding confusion' entering into it, because no one here was confused and neither were you, as the title of the thread specifically mentions edition. At the edition warring s!&*poster dens that insist on this nomenclature, calling 2e a "true" edition of Dungeons & Dragons results in a temper tantrum at best, or banning at worst. It's not going to fly outside of them because it's factually wrong, and completely childish.

DinosaursOnIce wrote:
on to make another assumption (that each marble triggers individually)

The more egregious portion of the reading is that throwing any number of marbles constitutes an "attack" at all. This has clearly never been a viable tactic and it's the worst kind of rules lawyering. It's a knowingly wrong interpretation of the rule argued disingenuously to gain a benefit over an overpowered option. No RAW argument for this kind of tactic would fly here if we were talking about Pathfinder, because the tactic being discussed is essentially finding a reading of the rules that allows you to cheat, and being able to cheat means a particular option isn't even powerful if you can cheat your past it.

Aelryinth has already cut off the logical interpretation of his own tactic at the pass saying you can't actually throw a handful of marbles to constitute multiple attacks. It's just an exception to the general "rule" that throwing handfuls of marbles is not an attack, or multiple attacks when the target has stone skin up, in which case a hand full of marbles chucked in the same general direction as the target is then considered as many attacks as you've got marbles in your hand.

Presumably Razmir is already beyond the scope of a human life as non-PC 19th level wizards don't pop out of nowhere. He may have used the elixir in the past. I don't think him going after more is that risky since virtually no one knows what he looks like, and he's presumably well defended against divination.

Being a 19th level wizard, and the ruler of a nation gives him access to a lot of wealth and a means of transporting it easily without detection as well. But as you say, the elixir is not a permanent solution.

Carrion Crown 3, Broken Moon has a lot of problems. In addition to what's already been mentioned it's this murder mystery but it's laden with many red herrings that might make for good story but they don't work in an adventure.

The players don't necessarily have the investigative skills needed to solve the mystery, and the characters don't yet have enough information about the Whispering Way's plot to discount false leads. The characters are already suspicious and any given detail that is out of place could be significant. You are basically pixel b@$#~ing about the lodge, potentially eating up multiple game sessions, accomplishing nothing and even in the inevitable failure of a particular lead going cold (or derailing the adventure) you still don't wind up at a situation where you've found out more about the enemies overarching goals by process of elimination. It's literally just a huge waste of time.

It doesn't help that the immediate next book, despite being a good stand alone adventure, is basically a segue where you get pulled into an adventure by being in the wrong place at the wrong time while on the trail of the Whispering Way.

It's basically Passwall and nothing else. There really isn't a creative use for it as an escape, and any such uses just wind up looking like DM fiat allowing a recurring villain to escape. You need to set up the terrain in advance for your villain to use gaseous form, which is the definition of lame. If you are going to ensure whatever is necessary for your villain to escape then you don't need any creative use of anything.

The real unfortunate part of the spell is for vampires who explicitly are stated to use it for an escape. Even though it's 20' movement for them it's still bad.

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born_of_fire wrote:
I ban Bane.

Was getting banned part of your plan?

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Aelryinth wrote:

There's such a thing as suspension of disbelief.

There is, but yours is arbitrary. The difference between a tiny bird and a medium humanoid is the same as the difference between a medium humanoid and a huge dragon. Yet medium humanoids can do more damage than huge dragons.

"Getting smaller" isn't any different than being smaller. Your house rule doesn't work. You'd necessarily have to have creatures do a set damage based on the size of the creature they are attacking that is a percentile of that creatures damage output.

A medium human attacking a troll should be capped at doing 80-90% of the trolls damage potential. Otherwise you are left with a situation wherein a creature "gets smaller" yet does more damage by means that are mostly unrelated to its' size.


stacks with strength, and accurately reflects the additional skill needed to do damage with an inferior combat style.

In real life strength has diminishing returns in combat, and in terms of general athleticism having too much muscle has its' own negative effect on overall fitness and endurance. Putting on as much muscle as possible is an inferior combat style, which is why you don't see body builders as soldiers, boxers, or dominating MMA competitions.

A more apt example would be Greek antiquity and their pejorative view of their equivalent of body builders because they were useless as soldiers and therefore weren't pulling their weight in the most important of collective endeavors a citizen could engage in.

I'm also assuming you don't require your player's characters to maintain a lifestyle necessary to maintain their inordinate muscle mass. There is absolutely nothing "realistic" about a 20 strength barbarian marching all day, every day, getting his only exercise in the occasional combat, eating trail rations, and sleeping hard on the road.

The Occultist archetype for the Arcanist can spend a point per spell level to cast a Summon Monster as a standard action, which lasts 1m/level without expending a spell slot.

The ability gets prohibitively expensive at higher levels compared to the even scaling of the Summoner SLA, but being a full caster the Arcanist relies on those summons a lot less after a certain point. It's got a lot more going for it than the Conjuration Wizard and is a better point of comparison.

CalethosVB wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
having a SLA gives you a caster level.
It depends. Having a race or class-granted SLA generally uses your level or your level in that class as that SLA's CL. Getting an SLA from a trait gives you a CL of 1 that does not improve with your level. (See first post.)

Unless there is some "errata" that rewrites certain traits, many of the traits that grant an SLA explicitly give you a caster level equal to your character level. Only a handful of the more recent ones don't.

Yuugasa wrote:
I've watched the first few videos so far, aside from some very occasional snark here and there and a couple context based errors I've caught I don't understand why this would upset anyone. It's very tame and innocuous.

The initial uproar was before the videos were made, so no doubt part of the reaction was an expectation of something a lot worse. I didn't really follow it when it happened so I can't really give much more than that.

There is also a long history in attacking 'gamers' and games for perceived problems, like violence in games causing violence in society, which was roundly rejected and by gamers and this has primed the pump for further similar criticism. Part of the issue here is that the gaming press at the time was roundly against this argument, but were here very soundly in favor of the argument that sexism in games causes sexism in society despite the fact that seemingly the same exact reasoning would used to reject both arguments.

She doesn't critique exclusively Japanese games if that is what you are asking. Her most recent video goes on about the newest(?) Hitman game IIRC.

Her conjecture seems to be equal parts transmission as reception. So in some sense she is critiquing Japanese culture and attitudes that resulted in the 'tropes' in those specific games, but also that those games are the cause for those attitudes in the culture as well. Her partner/producer said something to that effect on twitter regarding violence in video games recently (that they cause the audience to become violent) so I'd assume that the stance regarding sexism is consistent.

Basically the "Life imitates Art" argument.

No, these videos don't have anything directly related to gamergate other than that some of Anita's critics are also commenting on gamergate.

They are probably necessary viewing anyway though, if you are going to talk about the general subject of video games and culture, since they are so widely discussed.

I'm not a fan of them because I believe the critique is too broad to be useful, and that you could use those critiques against anything. Anita doesn't point to any positive portrayals probably because she knows her arguments essentially work on anything. It's not terribly different from stage magician tricks like Cold Reading which work against the biases and lack of knowledge of the audience.

You can still take general 'shield' feats with those bonus feats, like the ones needed to qualify for Shield Master at 11. Weapon Focus and Specialization for your shield still qualify as well.

You have to buy them as normal. Some classes/archetypes obviously get firearms proficiency as part of their normal weapon proficiencies. On the upside most technological firearms have a built in Rapid Shot with their semi-auto property.

The player's guide has traits that work out to a fractional Technologist feat. Local Ties let's you use either Disable Device or Knowledge(Engineering) as if you had taken the feat. There is also a 1st level spell on the bard and sorcerer/wizard list in the Technology Guide that let's you identify technological items using knowledge(engineering) without taking the Technologist feat. It's called Technomancy IIRC.

I do think that it's a feat tax, but presumably even a lot of natives of torch are only peripherally aware of high technology and still couldn't identify it or manipulate it without special training. As DM I'd probably handle things without the feat being absolutely necessary. There are obviously a lot of alternatives, from handwaiving when a PC has had enough exposure to know something about tech, to creating your own more solid mechanical alternative. The whole binary nature of the feat turns me off, and it strains my willing suspension of disbelief that these PCs that don't have the feat/traits will go through this entire AP not knowing a laser rifle from a doorknob.

As written you probably can't even recognize that a robot is a robot on sight.

Humphry B ManWitch wrote:
8d8 is about rite. Have a go at building this in herolab and see what happens.

That supposes herolab is correct, which it very frequently is not.

fuzzyillogic wrote:

Well, not every character need to be absolutely devastating in combat: you can always use your investigator as a supporter, either using the "aid another" actions to help the party BFS or using ranged weapons.

Personally, I'm trying some Steelhound Investigator builds to see if it's feasible: even if firearms are far from optimized, using touch attacks to deliver those nice studied strikes later is going to be fun.

If I was the 5th man in a party, rather than the 3rd, Investigator starts looking a lot better (which is also true of the Bard, probably the most directly comparable class.) Likewise with more lenient character generation, like 20-point buy, et cetera.

Firearms are probably a good way to go even if you aren't going Steelhound. Even without the ranged Studied Combat feat you'd still get your damage bonus at range (unless that isn't pending errata and was intentional) and you don't really need the bonus to hit very badly against most enemies.

Bards make decent support+combat as archers when they invest all their feats, and they've got less in-class synergy with that style than Investigators.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
that doesn't invalidate sneaking in to steal things or kill creatures in their sleep, or those encounters that can't readily be solved with violence, or Knowledge skill checks, or a host of other things.

No, it doesn't, although stealthy cdg isn't the sole province of the Investigator. I really don't think they are better enough at it to be noteworthy.


Uh...not really, no. A Beastmorph Alchemist gets Pounce, which is quite an advantage, but barring that, not even a little. +1/2 level to hit and damage vastly outstrips any of the bonuses Alchemists get to melee combat, and can be done all day rather than a few rounds like bombing.

The inherent benefit of using natural attacks (no need for Beastmorph, just use the Discovery) is a big deal, and so is basing your damage on bonuses that are multiplied on a crit.

+5 damage at level 10 that isn't impacted by anything else is not as good as triple attacking without attack penalty, and applying full strength modifier as early as level 2. You can still be stealthy and you can even sneak attack if you don't want bombs (which you get more of than you do combat inspirations) while still being a hulking brute with high strength.

And, as noted, I'd casually pit an Investigator built for combat up against a Mr. Hyde Alchemist and expect him to do as well or better at 4th level plus (especially as levels went up), and not too shabbily before that...though I admit, pounce specifically gives me a bit of pause.

I think you are quite delusional on this front. A +10 to hit and damage for a 3/4 BAB class that doesn't add much else on the combat front besides this ability is quite far behind even at level 20. The Swashbuckler's own precision damage is +20 and they will have no trouble hitting. They also have decent skill points, an archetype that synergizes Int, and many more combat abilities that the Investigator doesn't get. The Slayer and Ranger are the same story. The Inquisitor is another utility/combat oriented class that is not impressed with Studied Combat (and again doesn't wait until 4th level to get its' primary class ability).

Investigators can have Mutagen, too.

They have to buy it. The Alchemist doesn't. If you are going for a Mutagen build you've missed out on not playing an Alchemist. It's cheaper to buy up to Improved Studied Combatant as an Alchemist than it is for an Investigator to buy the Mutagen line of Discoveries. Across the board Discoveries seem to be much more powerful than Talents.

If your melee Alchemist build sans an AoMF? Because that's likely even more specialized...

AoMF is much more common loot than Inspired weapons. Regardless by mid level you are going to be wanting to be using a manufactured weapon + bite attack and using Alchemical Allocation with a potion of Greater Magic Fang for your bite. You could go AoMF if you were going for full Dex build to grab the Agile property alone. Not my cup of tea though. A cheap potion isn't that specialized.

Having any one class in a party is an opportunity cost of any other class that could have been. The Investigator doesn't get enough to make it a superior choice, and no it's not a better damage dealer than many other classes that also have decent utility and your builds show that this is in fact the case. The numbers are not impressive.

+5 to hit and damage at level 10 could be a lot of other things. It could be an archer ranger, it could be a cracked out Mutagen focused Alchemist (or Fighter now). It could be a buffed battle Cleric or Oracle (that are also full casters). It could be a Magus whose own bonuses to hit and damage embarrass the Investigator. It could be a Bard that is equally as skilled, almost as good in combat, and has better spellcasting.

The Investigator is at the low end of the power curve. At a level where players will be one-rounding monsters with a CR meant to challenge an entire party with their individual characters, an Investigators main claim to fame will be a piddling damage bonus not multiplied on a crit.

Lord Twig wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Maybe calling upon such things is mentally strenuous. Suddenly figuring out how to become a good grappler(improved grapple, greater grapple, weapon focus(grapple), in less than 30 seconds might not be an easy thing to do. <---Why it can not be done all of the time.

Sorry, didn't actually respond to this part. To me the whole idea is a bad one...

So the Brawler can rapid-fire, and even shoot two arrows at once, then later be able to bend someone into a pretzel with grappling, but then can no longer rapid-fire arrows because they are "too tired". But not too tired to grapple a giant into a pretzel again!

What? How does the Brawler explain that to their fighter companion?

Fighter: "You were so good with a bow earlier. What happened?"

Brawler: "I started grappling and I forgot how. But don't worry, I will be able to remember again tomorrow! Or maybe I can become good at tripping people, but then I won't be able to grapple or shoot a bow fast."

Fighter: "And why is that?"

Brawler: "Because balance..."

But really, all of this flavor problems will be forgotten after a group sits around for a few hours waiting while the brawler player tries to figure out what feats he wants for the next 15 minutes.

This is like when Ali knocked out George Foreman and everyone came to the conclusion that he forgot how to use his trademark of not getting knocked out.

Sometimes people choke, and sometimes they are 'in the zone' and perform above par. The Brawler emulates this better than dice rolls because in most instances the player is choosing rather than the dice.

You are reduced to using dumb examples because the Brawler can do all of the things they can do basically 100% of the time. They just get better at them some of the time. The only exception that comes to mind off the top of my head would be Style Feats, which frankly don't bother me because no one RPs them anyway, and they are in almost all cases non-thematic regular combat feats.

JoeJ wrote:

Hopefully we can all agree that having a class ability that lets a character swing their sword and automatically kill their opponent a certain number of times per day would be a very bad mechanic for a roleplaying game.

Actually my example was at will, not uses per day. Your reason for disallowing it is based entirely around balance, and then making up the flavor after the fact.

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
But you don't get the loot, so you are almost always worse off for resolving encounters outside of combat. The benefit is the diminished risk of losing a party member from death. The more encounters you sneak/diplomacy past the further you fall behind WBL and gear is probably overall a more important part of your statblock than class abilities. Especially for classes like the Alchemist and Investigator that are expected to rely on melee combat to some degree.
This is, generally speaking, deeply untrue. You can get all sorts of rewards from talking (and especially sneaking) your way through things. Besides, almost all APs assume you'll miss some treasure and include extra stuff above WBL in case you miss some. And Investigators make you much less likely to miss hidden treasure and similar things...

I've read almost every installment of almost every AP. It is absolutely deeply true (find me 5 examples where the pacifist option rewards you with equivalent loot from the combat encounter you bypassed out of >80 AP installments).

If you don't kill the enemies, you don't get their stuff, and there is no alternative reward for choosing a non-combat route. As far as being over WBL, not really. Paizo makes this claim, but the amount you are over, and when and where you go over is not reliable at all.

This also assumes that every single piece of loot is going to be usable, and isn't going to be hocked for 1/2 price.

Not in melee at level 4 and above, it's not.

Yes, in melee an Alchemist built for melee at any level is better than an Investigator built and played by the same player.

What resources? Power Attack, maybe another...

You won't be doing any appreciable damage in comparison to another melee character without a custom enchanted weapon and a Talent that isn't available until level 9. The class is feat starved, and MAD without any real way of getting around it.

Inspiration? Maybe, but not the ability to easily use it in combat

Use it in combat twice per day at level 4. This is not a good ability. It does not bring you up to parity with a Mr. Hyde, who is superior in melee, in addition to not being far behind in skills, and having the same extracts. A Mad Bomber is even better in the skills department than the Mr. Hyde, still better at damage than the Investigator and he's a ranged, AoE focused combatant.

I don't need the ability to add ~d6 to Knowledge checks an infinite number of times per day because I'm simply not going to be making that many knowledge checks. If I wanted to I could make an Alchemist that gets his Int to Knowledge skills twice, and then buff my Int with a Cognatogen which directly impacts my combat effectiveness with bombs. What the Investigator gets for that Int is a few extra Inspiration per day, which is unimpressive without investing at least two talents, and a custom built magic weapon into it. Like an Alchemist you are still taxed for Infusion. You've got 1 'free' Talent between levels 1-9 just to be an effective party member. That will probably be Mutagen anyway.

Studied Combat and Inspiration does not make up for Mutagen, and Bombs, which the Alchemist gets for free and at 1st level, in addition to getting their first Discovery a level earlier. The proposed, vague Investigator requires special equipment and doesn't come online until level 9. Either Alchemist comes online at level 1. I can pump resources into jacking skill checks and still be effective with what I get for free out of the class. The Investigator will be chasing after the Alchemist in exchange for their "skillmonkey" role, which really also isn't very good unless you grab Talents for that as well since you'll be burning combat resource to make skill checks. But you aren't getting those skillmonkey talents until level 11.

Regardless, this sidesteps the OP which is talking about levels 1-3. You hit level 4 at the end of the first installment of an AP for most of them. Is the Investigator's suite of abilities "fun" at level 1-3? No, because the classes primary combat ability should be available at level 2 at the latest. Inspiration which you can use for 2 rounds per day in combat is really, totally meaningless, and so is infinite small bonuses to Spellcraft checks.

Kord_Avatar wrote:
What happens if you use Two Handed Thrower + Quick Draw to throw your shield as a part of Flurry of Blows? Do the targets hit by the ricochet attacks (the ones after the first hit) also get the increased strength bonus damage? Or does only counts for the first hit?

You don't need Quick Draw to get your normal rate of fire, as you aren't throwing a two-handed weapon.

To get the AC bonus from the shield after throwing it however, it needs to be donned again, which normally takes a move action. You would need a quick draw light shield and the Quick Draw feat to don a shield as a free action.

JoeJ wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
JoeJ wrote:

It looks like it's a dissociated mechanic, which creates a roleplaying problem. Just what is the character actually doing?

You can make up a house rule to associate it with something in the world, but that leads to further mechanical problems; for example, if this is a magical ability, then it shouldn't work in areas of antimagic; or if it represents fatigue, then the character should be feeling the effects of that in other ways as well.

You don't need a houserule to explain how it works. You can just find flavor that makes sense to you.

Flavor has mechanical consequences, so a house rule is necessary. For example, if I say the ability is magic, then it can be detected or dispelled, and it won't work inside an antimagic field. If I decide it's a ki ability, then a character who has ki from some other source should be able to use that other source to power additional uses of this ability. This is something that really should have been done by the devs, not handed off for each GM to rule on individually.

Rather an ability is (Su) or (Ex) is not "flavor", so no it has no mechanical consequences. There is no unified mechanic between classes so no, you saying it is a function of "ki" does not mean another ki user can use their ki pool to fuel some other classes ability.

By the inclusion of "ki" as a real, tangible thing in the setting, it is implied that all living creatures have ki, and all that they do relates to its' internal production, flow and harnessing. It doesn't fuel their class abilities, it fuels their living.

That doesn't speak at all in how they are trained to, or if they are aware how they are harnessing their ki. A monk that gains levels in another class is still harnessing his ki to use his other classes abilities, but his monk training regarding his ki pool is specific to those abilities, and there isn't any multidisciplinary school of Monk/X Class fighting that fully reconciles two different disciplines.

What's more this 'problem' raised in this thread occurs without any need for a uses per day ability. My character can one hit kill an ogre. But only some of the time? How am I supposed to buy this. If a GM is going to make me go through the rigamarole of rolling to hit, confirm criticals, roll damage dice, to see if maybe I some of the time one hit kill stuff I'm being "disassociated". I swing once, it dies.

Any uses per day ability like Martial Flexibility is representing the vagaries of combat, which is inherently vague. Initiative, attack rolls, armor class and HP are all "disassociated" mechanics. Sometimes when you go to grapple a creature it whacks you while you are shooting for them and sometimes you had Improved Grab. Not any different than sometimes you one hit killed that ogre, and most of the time you didn't.

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