FeranEldritchKnight's page

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cappadocius wrote:

I'm not a game designer, and I don't even play one on TV, but:

DC 10 - Name of creature
DC 15 - General Ecology - diet, activity cycle, habitat
DC 20 - Combat knowledge - known weaknesses, exploitable behaviors
DC 25 - Specific knowledge - statistical outliers, rare variations
DC 30 - Intimate Knowledge - religious secrets, obscure weaknesses

Aberrations add, say, +5 to the DC, Animals -5, and so on.

One table that can go at the beginning of the Monster Manual, and none of this crap where the more dangerous something is, the less likely anyone is to know anything about it, or where the bigger something is, the harder it is to remember what it's called.

While I understand what you're saying, you're suggesting that someone would recognize a dog, a kobold, a mind flayer, and the terrasque all equally well. While as a DM we can abjucate accordingly, it fits better to scale with HD or CR. I personally have been using CR for the exact reasons given above- "tank" creatures have much more HD compared to CR, where "controllers" like mind flayers have much less HD compared to CR but have more odd abilities to remember.

On the other hand, let me open another can of worms here- Let's say you're facing a 9th level orc fighter. Is it harder to identify this orc as an orc than the 1st level warrior guards? Is it more difficult to identify a 20th level wizard lich than the basic 11th level kind? Obviously it shouldn't be, but technically it is. While it's easy to ignore the character levels when determining knowledge checks, templates become slightly more complex. Liches have a minimum level to become a lich and you could use this, but it's not neccessarily accurate. And vampires need 4HD to become a full vampire and not just a spawn, and then gain a +2 to CR but HD just change to D12s. If you have a troll vampire, what do you learn from what knowledge check?

My suggestion is this:

DC 10+CR= Identify the creature and basic information on the creature. It also reveals the creature's type and if requested basic information on that creature type (humanoids have D8 HD, etc)
DC 15+CR= Common tactics employed by the creature and any offensive abilities poseessed (spell-like abilities of devils, etc)
DC 20+CR= weaknesses the creature has (liches have DR vs silver magic weapons, etc)
DC 25+CR= extremely rare information about the creature.

Also, we need to establish other types of information for other purposes- what do you learn from a knowledge (religion) check to identify religous information. But obviously that is a separate topic.

My break point has more to do with flavor than particular rules. Maybe I just don't notice or maybe I just don't care, but I don't think Polymorph is that broken. I never really felt there was a huge problem with Turn Undead. I was happy to hear that there was a fix for Turning, but it's not a fix, it's a replacement. That is too far for me. I no longer look at PFRPG as an upgrade but rather a book of alternate/house rules. Turning feels like D&D to me- channeling energy to heal people and as a side effect harm undead is not the same.

Damage done. I'm out. Oh well.

Chris Mortika wrote:
(Oh, and, FeranEldritchKnight? It was Saul, consulting the witch at Endor in I Samuel 28.)

Thanks for the assist there. You would think a Star Wars nerd could remember the witch of Endor, but I always hated Ewoks. :P I was thinking Saul, then second-guessed it because of the "Road to Demascus" Saul/Paul guy.

hogarth wrote:

Exodus 7:10-11 -- "And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent.

Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments."
(Non-God worshipping wizards and sorcerers? Check.)

Excellent quote and point. Makes me wish the old 2e spell Sticks to Snakes still existed. :D Too bad that was a divine spell the pharoah's sorcerers were duplicating. I would conceed that evil clerics get their spells from another source, like Theophile wrote and I alluded to earlier. Also, one of the kings in the Old Testament (can't remember who now- Joshua?) did visit a diviner who called up a dead spirit to foretell the results of an upcoming battle. Clearly this is something that Jehovah would not allow or condone.

hogarth wrote:

Exodus 22:18 -- "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."
(Witches that offend God? Check.)

Close- That's the King James version that King James altered because he was on an anti-witch kick. The original text translates closer to "Thou shalt not suffer a heretic to live. Regardless, it's generally accepted that any spellcasting that isn't from God comes from a sinister source.

Considering some of the flaming I've seen on message boards, it's good to see people keeping it pretty civil here. Kudos to everyone! Thanks to the OP for bringing up a thought-provoking topic and also to Theophile for sharing your CS with us.

Personally I would have ruled it the same as if anyone had cast an area effect on the swarm- healing the swarm by 1.5x the ammount rolled. I think you did the right thing by not healing the swarm.

Honestly that is an odd situation and deserves a ruling, but I would have followed the rules for swarms and area effects and moved on as DM.

I believe there actually is a 3e campaign setting based on Christianity. I'm wanting to say it's called Babylon, but I never went looking for it. Check out Christian bookstores like Omega Bookstore and you should be able to find it. Thanks, OGL!

In the PHB, it says you don't have to be dedicated to a deity as a cleric. It gives the option of being dedicated to "a cause or source of divine power". In a monotheistic world, this could reflect worshippers of "Asmodeus" (or whatever you want to call him in your world). I would only allow followers of "Jehovah" (or whatever name you want to use) to cast from certain domains that reflected the intentions of the god. If you expect the good creator of the universe to grant spells that desecrate an area or create horrible undead abominations, then it doesn't seem like you are really getting the feel you want- but that's my opinion. There are rules about monotheism in the 3.0 book Deities and Demigods.

To address the level differential issue, perhaps a bonus/penalty of 10% per difference in level would be acceptable and not too difficult to impliment. For example, a group of adventurers of varying level (level 4, 2 at level 5, and level 6) fight a CR5 encounter. The creature is worth 1600xp and divides evenly to 400xp per character. The level 4 character gains a 40xp bonus for being one level below the encounter and the level 6 character only gets 360xp, for a 40xp penalty for fighting a lesser challenge. Anything worth at least a CR1 is dividable by a party of four and then still be a multiple of 100 making an easy division. Anything less than CR1 should be encountered in large enough groups to be worth at least a CR1 anyway.

airwalkrr wrote:
I do like Pathfinder, but this is one portion of the rules I will not use. Simplify it, and I will consider it.

How complicated is it really? Every creature is worth a flat value. And if you are too lazy or too busy to divide the XP yourself, the chart gives suggestions on how much to give based on the size of the party. What else do you need to make it simpler?

DeadDMWalking wrote:

Increasing attacks or damages across the board may not be a good idea. It makes it more likely that battles will be short, but it also means that PCs are more likely to be dead.

Blanket increases are bad for the PCs.

This is what I meant. Any change made to the PCs is also a change to NPCs and monsters. Starting HP increases should apply to NPCs and monsters also to be fair. Then if you increase the damage output, NPCs damage should increase also. Then players will scream that they are getting killed too quickly, and we're back to heaping HP onto everyone. One of the biggest things about 3.5 is that the rules for PCs and NPCs are exactly equal. Honestly though I'm not worried that Paizo is even considering this because it changes things way too much.

If we increase the damage by the party, then you increase the damage by the monsters to maintain balance. Then you want more HP for the party because they are getting wiped out too fast, and need to give the clerics more healing power. But then the NPCs have more HP and healing power, so you need to do more damage to take them out... See where I'm going here? It's not broken. If anything, we need to scale back the damage so we don't have to tack crazy "side effects" onto existing cleric abilities and change the base HP in the core rules.

5?ã2=7 (roughly). Thanks!

edit: D'oh! Too bad it doesn't post.

Locke1520 wrote:
FeranEldritchKnight wrote:

The funny thing about the "fast" XP chart is that it follows the WotC formula- not the "medium" as expected. I think the fast chart should be the medium and a faster chart be made for the fast flow.

<sigh> It seems you can lead a horse to knowledge, but you can't make him think. Obviously having someone feed you the chart is much easier than making your own based on your own needs. I was hoping that a game so deeply based in math wouldn't make someone sick at the thought of using a calculator and typing "x5" or "/2".

I can think fine thank you.

I could of course adjust the flow of XP or draw up my own chart but if there can be ready options why is that bad?

I have a 40+ hour a week job, a wife, two kids, and enough stress and other stuff in real life that I don't mind having some of the heavy lifting done for me. That's why right now I'm running the RotRL. Running an AP cuts down on my prep time.

I don't see how letting the professional game designers take care of a little detail like an XP chart makes me deserving of the snarkiness.

Don't get me wrong- I feel your pain. I have the full time job, wife, and two kids myself. I'm running Red Hand right now. And I apologize for the snarky comment- people who let others think for them really bother me, and I get testy around people who get confused when told to divide by two.

What I'm saying is that everyone is making it sound like you need a math degree to alter the flow of XP. If you are capable of doing this, then my snarkiness isn't directed at you. I just don't see the need for more than one chart with a small sidenote about adjusting XP to prolong or shorten a campaign. Besides, it's only the DM that needs to be concerned with the XP dealt, whereas everyone has to remember which XP chart to use if you go that route. I feel putting three charts in the book will confuse the people who are incapable of deeper thinking. I feel those people should be playing Candy Land instead though.

For my thoughts on math in D&D, consult my post about the XP charts... :P

Seriously, the math nerd in me can't make diagonals either one or two, as moving diagonal is five times (the square root of two) feet, or roughly seven feet. ((Why doesn't a keyboard have a square root key?)) At least in SW a square is worth 2m and therefore diagonal movement is 3m. Perhaps movement should be doubled, straight lines count as 2 per square and diagonal count as 3. Not that I'm seriously suggesting it be changed, but then I would be happy. And ultimately isn't that why we're all here- my happiness? :D

The funny thing about the "fast" XP chart is that it follows the WotC formula- not the "medium" as expected. I think the fast chart should be the medium and a faster chart be made for the fast flow.

<sigh> It seems you can lead a horse to knowledge, but you can't make him think. Obviously having someone feed you the chart is much easier than making your own based on your own needs. I was hoping that a game so deeply based in math wouldn't make someone sick at the thought of using a calculator and typing "x5" or "/2".

FeranEldritchKnight wrote:
The drawback to this is players may feel rushed or cheated depending on how you adjust the flow.
SirUrza wrote:

And that's why you don't adjust the amount of XP, you just use the kind of table above for the style of campaign you want to rule. As the DM you're supposed to plan ahead, figure out how quickly or how important it is for the PCs to level, and pick an appropriate chart.
I know for a fact that if I want my party to defend the city from 100s of orcs the mechanics for the fighting is a lot easier to deal with at low levels. Firstly I can throw 10-20 cr 1/4 at low level PCs per "day" and it'll not only be fun, but with a slow XP table, they'll get to kill A LOT of orcs without leveling up and forcing me to use tougher creatures or modified orcs.

Planning ahead still only allows you to use one XP chart. My way allows more versatility providing your players trust you. I don't recommend this technique with people who don't know what you're doing and turn into rules lawyers. My players (hopefully) would understand that I am doing it for a reason and accept it.

Even if WotC has a trademark on the sliding scale XP chart (where a creature's XP varies by the level of the party) they have presented two concepts- that an average level should be about 13.3 encounters of equivilant level, and two creatures of any given CR should give the same experience as a single creature of that CR+2. Following this formula anyone can create a set XP chart for each CR- which is what Paizo has done. As long as the CR 2 creature is worth half as much as the CR 4 creature, and to reach level 3 you need to gain (CR2 XP)x13.3 XP then your chart is comparable to the "official" one. What I am saying is there doesn't need to be three charts. All a DM has to do to slow or hasten the leveling is multiply or divide the XP by a set number. It's simpler to give a rule on how to adjust the flow of XP then to print three charts. Especially if the DM wants a different option than the three presented. Teach the formula, and they can do it themselves.

Personally, I agree with DeadDMwalking that channeling energy isn't the right flavor or mechanic. For backwards compatability the mechanic should have similar effects and have the same name. Altering it as much as the Alpha document has no longer makes it a Turning effect but rather a healing effect. Cure spells have always damaged undead and this is just another way of healing. How many clerics use their Cure spells to harm undead anyway? What if this mechanic becomes the same? Cleric thinks, "None of my allies are injured, so why waste the Turn on these undead?" Or worse yet, "The lich just Fireballed my party, so let's heal them back to full and damage the lich at the same time."

The function of the 3.5 Turn Undead wasn't exactly broken- many posters here will agree that the fleeing effect was a pain, but not the concept. The chart was a pain, but not the cleric level vs undead level. No DM wants the players to reach the vampire/lich BBEG and simply use Turn to destroy it, so there needs to be a feeling of scale.

SirUrza wrote:

To me it depends on the kind of campaign you're running if you ask me.

The High XP I can see being used in 2 situations..

1) Want to get through the low levels quickly with moderate amount of combat.

2) Want to reward the characters because there's a low amount of combat and more social activities going on... meaning it's not a dungeon crawl.

The low XP I can seeing being used in 2 situations..

1) Want to spend more time in a certain level range.. like levels 5-12 without reducing the counters you're heaving.

2) I have a TON of encounters and a TON of creatures to fight, but I don't want to give the PCs lots of XP and thus have to use tougher creatures (think a defend a border outpost from a horde attack.)

These examples tell me you need to adjust the flow of XP, not the set chart for gaining levels. Why not have your cake and eat it too?

Let's say you want to go through the low levels quickly then spend a lot of time around level 8-12. Until you reach level 5, give out 50% more XP than listed. When you reach level 8, reduce the XP by 50% from the chart. This allows you to rush through the "boring" levels and spend more time in the "sweet spot".

The drawback to this is players may feel rushed or cheated depending on how you adjust the flow. If your players don't trust you, they may not understand why their XP is looking meager during the sweet spot.

I think Majuba has the right idea about how the rebuking should work. The mechanic should work the same wether you are turning or rebuking. I think the condition given to undead that are turned/rebuked should be shaken. This gives a clear definition of the effect, though usually undead are immune to fear effects.

Personally I've not been a proponent of the positive/negative energy burst that the ability is being turned into. Like everyone else, I have an opinion about what should be in PRPG and feel I need to share with the group, so bear with me a moment.

Perhaps instead of using damage dice, a negative level could be applied to the undead. On a failed save, the udead suffers from 1 negative level per 2 cleric levels. If the number of negative levels exceeds the undead's total HD, it is destroyed. The reverse of this would work as a bolstering effect if desired or could just be the mechanic used to determine wether the creature is rebuked or commanded. This idea removes the healing/harming effect as written, but IMO turning undead was meant for that. As I posted elsewhere, if the clerics need more healing ability, I think they should have a Lay on Hands ability like a paladin (only better) or a healing aura like a dragon shaman (from PHB2).

There is already an existing game mechanic that would really help with the limited clerical healing- Lay on Hands. If a cleric had a finite pool of healing like this, it would keep the balance and not have to boost turning undead into a healing ability.

Something like turning and rebuking undead is something that is intrinsic to the D&D game. It is one of those things that (to me) makes the game feel like D&D. What we need to decide as a whole is wether we want Pathfinder to feel like D&D or to feel like something else. Part of the reason I want to play 3.5 (and thus Pathfinder) is to retain the feel of D&D, which I feel 4e does not have. Moving too far from the true feeling of D&D could potentially turn customers rather than undead. :)

My personal opinion is that you should need an additional feat to heal people with your Turning/Rebuking. If not a feat, perhaps the damage should be d8s and the healing be an equal number of d4s. Linking the ability to CR rather than HD is one of the better ideas I've heard here. Turn resistance could easily be considered as an addition to CR rather than HD.