Funny story with new coke, in the blind taste tests coke conducted people consistently liked new coke better. So at least from the data coke had people would have liked it better. what new coke really teaches us is people are afraid of change even if it's for the better and will resist it just to avoid "scary" change instead of judging it on it's own merit...
Which seems to parallel a lot of what is happening right now on this board.
(second thing it teaches us is marketing is proper marketing is almost more important than the actual product...)
Note: I'm not saying pathfinder 2nd edition is like this as we do not have enough data at this stage to really make any judgement that hold weight since we are seeing it piecemeal.
This sounds like a GM and group issue, not a ruleset issue...
Yeah and if I recall in Eberron all the goblinoid races are the remnants of a fallen empire that used to rule the land before humans came to power. So they were more the "fallen" ancient empire theme.
I think I'm missing something here? I'm not sure why there is such an outrage of goblins being core? Is it related to Pathfinder society where the gm doesn't get input on the characters? Because in my groups home games, nothing is assumed to be included and excluded in campaigns... Core or not... so if a goblin doesn't fit into the current campaign the GM just says no goblins or humans or elves or whatever.
I use both daily or at least weekly as well, because I often have to explain construction plans to older contractors who grew up when Canada was still imperial. I'm struggling to find an example where I have used the imperial system to greater effect than the metric other than the above noted converting for people who don't know it.Can you provide some examples of where you perceive it to be better? I'm genuinely curious
Perhaps the states should use the approach Canada did. Just make metric the default system, stop teaching imperial in schools, then just attrition out. (IE my parents only know imperial, I grew up in the transition so I have to flip between the two, my kid will be 100% metric).
I think the easiest thing if your having confusion with the feet, if just drop the feet and treat everything as relative for visualizing. IE if my character is 6ft and a giant is 12ft, I don't try to convert that into metric, I have a good mental picture of how tall my character is so I just picture the giant twice as tall as my guy.
Zi Mishkal wrote:
This is a decent idea, but I suspect the value gained from it is pretty much useless at this stage. Pathfinder is so complex with so many intertwined rules that until we have the full playtest package in hand to see how everything works together our feedback is mostly just guessing.
I think the codified combat rules is a lot because of the dnd base (which started as a tactical war game), I actually find Pathfinder/DND based games often are the different ones with their deep combat rules. In playing some other systems combat is no different than skill checks, just different skill checks.
So I often feel these sort of bonuses and additions are peoples way of adding more depth to the "neglected" side of d20 system which is your RP interactions and exploration since they are woefully under developed.
I think a lot of this disagreement just comes down to your table and playstyle anyways. Some groups like to play very mechanically focused where most things are governed by raw and you stick to the checks and the rules with little to no DM tweaking. Some groups use the rules as a guideline and act outside of it all the time... and there is a whole spectrum in between, and all of it is ok providing your table fits your playstyle.
One thing I have found playing other systems then coming back is I don't always make my RP rewards purely based on my discretion as a GM. I usually try to read the parties reaction to a player's RP action as well. If a player does something that elicit a strong positive reaction from the players I will often hand out an rp reward (Hero point/circumstance bonus/Inspiration whatever we are using for that campaign).
Another soft reward rather than a mechnical bonus that can work if you're comfortable with improvising while Gming is allowing the player more narrative control if they put the effort forward to contribute to the RP. So asking them "what happens?", IE if they work something clever in or knowledge about an NPC and succeed their diplomacy check, I will let them decide the NPC's In fiction reaction within reason. If they just role and succeed I'll determine the NPC's reaction as normal.
I do think an important key to this though is rewarding player "effort" rather than pure skill.
TL:DR: Do what your table likes and if you do reward for good RP reward the effort rather than the execution so as not to discourage people.
Yeah I would agree with the cost. I purchase most of the books because of the fluff and their awesome art. but in play we don't really use any of the books anymore... even the core rulebook we only have one on hand...
Another take on why I started adding circumstance penalties:
How many people have had this happen:
Trog the warrior: I'm going to go tlak to that guard and see what he knows
Julia the diplomancer: Wait! You don't have enough charisma, you will just fail the check, better let me do it.
Trog: Your right *Proceeds to sit quietly*
I found once I started giving out circumstance bonuses/penalties to skill checks the RP scenes became more dynamic as the non charisma focused PC's were not as scared to speak up.
Lately though I have been stealing the inspiration mechanic from 5th edtion over circumstance bonuses. So someone comes up with an awesome idea, whether they fail or succeed I give them a "bottlecap" (thanks Glass cannon) and they can cash it in later for advantage on another check. So someone who isn't great at talking but is good at coming up with clever ways to say make his stealth check better can now save the bottlecap for a later check that their character may not be so good at
I am prepping a session where the party is going to get shrunk down. I don't want to adjust size modifiers/size ability score bonuses, as I don't want to make the party recalculate a lot for one session. (enemieswise I'll use the "giant" versions as regular size so avoid changing stats). I'm trying to think of some interesting quick changes to make them "feel" smaller without changing a ton. my current thoughts are:
1) Reduce everyones die sizes by 1 step (I'll do the same with enemies)
Also if anyone has any ideas for interesting or fun encounters/puzzles being shrunk that would be great.
The current premise is one of the PC's is looking for their ancestral keep only to find it had been shrunken down by a vindictive/tricker fey. So they will get shrunk, go through the keep to break the curse. (I'm thinking the boss fight will be they fight the fey at full size while they remain shrunk)
It's not that hard black widow is fighting other villains, doing spy stuff, providing leadership.
I disagree that it's hard to write for. We deal with it all the time in game as we usually have a mix of mundane and magic users. Just need to know your players and give them stuff they want to do.
but as I said I wasn't saying your idea is wrong just something I wouldn't want as default since myself and my group like the option.
I don't make them act it out but I often encourage more flavour then just saying I attack. Not every attack but when say a player makes an attack that takes an enemy down, I will ask them to describe what happened. They usually seem pretty delighted to get some narrative control and it's more interesting for me as a gm to see what sort of mental image the player has.
The big thing (which some other people have mentioned) is provide the option to the player but move on quickly if they are stuck or on the spot. I like to ask leading questions if the person is not as good of an improviser. (a trick I learned from the character creation in dread) that way it doesn't flood the PC's with decision paralysis.
Assuming your group likes this and you have a consistent group eventually my group just started doing it themselves.
I don't use it in any game but I also have used the "bottlecap" system (stolen from the glass cannon podcast). Basically if a player goes the extra mile in their description or flavour I'll give them a bottlecap which they can cash in to roll 2d20 and take the best on 1 check. I also limit it to one bottlecap at a time to encourage them to use them and not hoard them.
I don't think this would work for a lot of groups, since raw power and being equal isn't always the goal.
Let's Take the Avengers as an example. Some times I want to play Thor, sometimes I want to play Cap or Blackwidow. They are not even close to equal in power but they both exist in the same narrative and they are all important members.
(All this being said, if that is something that your group wants I would love to see it as an option but I wouldn't want to see it become say a core rule).
I'm in the same boat as the OP, while I can see it's theoretically a problem, I have never had it come up specifically in relation to caster/martial. Generally the class doesn't matter it tends to be either:
Both of these were easily solved by talking to the player in question and never a problem again
Other people gave great advice, but I thought I would draw you attention to this relatively new fighter archetype:
You wouldn't be a gish but it kind of sounds like your more interested in the "dragon disciple" part over the casting.
Otherwise I agree, if you are making a caster or a buffers who primary job is fighting, look for longterm buffs as stated and I follow the same rule Rosc does I only allow 1 round for buffing, anymore and the fight is over before you get to contribute.
I actually ended up building an Invigorator Paladin with a Wolf for divine bond (my GM let me swap the horse out).
Picked up standard bearer, swapped the mercy for inspiring blade.
Sadly tempered champion didn't stack with invigorator, and warrior of the holy lights buffss are pretty minor until higher levels (this campaign is going to end around 10).
But the paladin has so little spells I'm going to work with it.
The current plan is Round 1: Activate DR, use inspiring blade (which it amuses me that I can buff someones knowledge history check with my awesome sword play).
Wolf goes in with the frontliners and trips enemies. Then uses bodyguard to buff acs and in harms way to take hits as needed (depending on what level).
The from second round on I will be fighting as well, healing where needed or maybe taking damage for a squishier guy with shield other and healing myself.
Not 100% optimized but I think it should be decent compared to the other characters level of optimization.
SO I am running a campaign where the BBEG is going to be a an Angel (Short version: the angel views the whole world a sinful and must be cleansed). So I'm wanting to make a recurring lieutenant who is a Invigorator Paladin with Inspiring Sword.
The idea is the Paladin hands out DR and uses inspiring sword to buff the other enemies in the encounters if it comes to fighting. Then if the angel is involved (which will be more an end game fight which i'm planning on ending somewhere between 12-14) use shield other to soak damage for the main boss.
Since I want this guy to be a recurring character I want to flesh out his build.
The part I'm struggling with is what to do with the other hand since he is locked into a longsword (obviously as the GM I could change this but I like to make NPC builds within the rules if possible). The obvious thing is a shield but I'm curious if other people have some ideas as the shield is generic and I would like him to standout more in his fighting style and have some more interesting mechanics in the fight rather than just a higher AC.
This seems like a pretty interesting build. I'll have to look into it.
Thanks for the suggestions, nice to know there are range of options.
I am looking to build a support/Buff character for a low magic campaign. While the GM hasn't outright banned casters but he has banned 9th level casters and the summoner (chained), Occult classes. So it is a safe bet that most characters will be Gishes or full martial.
In the spirit of the campaign I want to play a character with no spells at all, but I would like it to be a support character/secondary fighter.
The obvious choice is Cavalier, but I'm curious if anyone has any alternative classes/builds/archetypes they know of as I'm not sure I want to be bound by the order edict and the mounted theme
Thanks for all the discussion. I have definitely noted some to try.
Or if am encounter is dragging on too long but the pcs have clearly won, I sometimes just reduced the enemies hit points or make the next him drop them rather than dragging on for a couple more rounds.
Ah well then no issue there. Even then it's a minor issue, I have ran Iron Kingdoms RPG games which uses 2d6 base system and it worked fine. Just changes how the players play a little
One potential drawback is if you are doing something outside of your specialization you will have a significantly reduced chance to succeed through pure luck.
Fighter with +10 to hit against AC 18, this benefits him lots since he now has a 79% chance to hit vs a 65% chance.
Now let's say there is a scenario the whole party is down except the wizard, he is completely out of offensive spells, the BBEG with AC 18 is severely wounded and almost dead. The wizard heroically picks up the fighters weapon and attacks the bad guy. Lets give him a +2 (since the wizard most likely would be not proficient and would dumped strength ).
The wizard normally would hit 25% of the time but with a 2d10 system he would only hit 15% of the time.
This would carry into anyone trying to do something they are not "good" at (Heavy Armour fighter rolling acrobatics, dex rogue making a strength check).
How much this would come into play would vary a lot though, depending on your GM style. If you don't make the PC's act out of their comfort zones/builds much it would come up a lot less.
Edit: I realized the wizard is a bad example since they most likely have an offensive cantrip...
So we know Pathfinder is not a 100% balanced game and seem to assume some balancing required on the GMs part or players part. Leaving out the debate whether this is good or bad, It got me curious about what sort of balancing techniques other GMs use. I'll list a few I have have used below:
Nothing/Self Police: This is for my main group that I have been gaming with forever. Basically the maturity level is high, so I don't need to do anything, the players make sure not to overshadow each other and share the spotlight. I don't ban anything except potentially flavor choices based on the campaign if something doesn't exist in this particular world.
Pre approved characters: I have only really used this one when I gm in a shop as the players that show up vary wildly and have different goals/system mastery. So in this case I vet the characters sheets and ask the players to make adjustments. Generally I go by a majority rules sort of thing, so if one PC is severely under optimized compared to the rest of the party, I will help them to optimize their character concept. If the opposite is true, I will get the hyper optimized guy to "weaken" their character a bit.
Arms race: This is more of a monster vs pcs thing and pathfinder helped a lot in closing a lot of loopholes, but if there is a loophole in the rule or some weird combination that results in a really power effect, I won't straight out ban it, but if it is fair game for the PCs I make it fair game for the monsters. I don't have a specific pathfinder example but back in 3.5 days there was a spell called wraithstrike that was level 2 swift action that made all your attacks touch for a round. It was a crazy awesome spell for say dragons who had natural sorcerer levels and lots of attacks, but they would not use it as a tactic unless the PCs started abusing it.
I would do the same with instant death effects but I have not needed to in pathfinder since they reigned in those a lot.
So what sort of techniques do you use?
This is a 3rd party class for psionics but with some minor modifications (drop the pp requirement and change knowledge psionics to arcana)
With the changes she could enter it with any simple melee class and it has all the fire themed abilities.
I was curious what are people's go to builds/classes for a shapeshifting character that is not nature themed (As most of the builds I find are very nature themed shifter, druid, ranger with archetypes etc..)
I'm not too picky with having a ton of forms I just would rather be turning into different forms than animals/elementals/plants
I know of the spheres of power shifter and would love to try it but this upcoming campaign is 1st party only.
Has anyone ever played one? and has any insight to share?
My google fu is failing me I'm wondering if there was any announcement that pathfinder is moving away from the OGL model?
I noticed Ultimate Wilderness is not flagged as an OGL and that there doesn't seem to have been an open playtest like the other books? (I hadn't really been following new books for a while so if this is answered I apologize)
General disclaimer: If the Pc's want to do something like this and you kill it, they will probably become a bit disillusioned and claims of Railroading will be thrown around.
I would suggest you hit a middle ground. Maybe make it so only low level Mercenaries are available, so the army will lose without the powerful PC's leading them.
You could also make it so that the mercenaries are not working well together. Since they would probably have to hire multiple groups to make up an "army". So the PC's need to step in and lead.
While this doesn't work for an adventure path as a gm I always appreciate it when you sprinkle in a couple plot points or characters that I can draw from when making sessions. That way I can make characters focused sidequests.
Also make sure your backstory is appropriate to the level of the campaign start. I've had a few level 1 characters with pretty epic vackstories for a level 1 pc.
For a campaign I'm about to be running I'm going to be giving the PC's each powers based on one of the core elements (Earth, Air, Water, Fire)
So I'm hoping to crowd source some help for ideas and balancing.
I want to keep this level simple as they are "discovering" their powers.
I only have 1 and 3 done right now, but I'm open to any suggestions for any of the levels or for modifying other powers. I'm going to need to be extra creative with fire since I'm trying to avoid damaging effects
You may want to check with your GM before attempting this one. While by RAW it's legal, it feels very much like a loophole so your gm may not allow it.
I will deal with that issue as it comes up, but so far none of my Players have ever actually showed any interest in any of those elemental themed races
I was wondering if people could weigh in on the balance issue of kinetic invocation. I don't see why you need to use a feat and a wild talent slot to get these options. Would it really be too powerful if these options were just normal wild talent options? Especially since there are not very much variety of talents in each element right now anyways.
Am I missing something?
Only cure and domain seems pretty harsh. Doesn't that basically mean they only get 2 spells known ever a level? other than the cure spells?
I could get behind the school restriction, though there is the issue that the schools are not evenly balanced with options so it would lead to some schools being the clear best choice.
My thought in general the spontaneous casters aren't so bad if you get rid of scrolls as an item type. then they have to choose between utility and combat anyways.
For prepared casters an option I was just thinking of that's not fully formed is perhaps limit the max amount of spells per level they can have in their spellsbooks so they have more versitility than a sorcerer but not unlimited, combined with getting rid of scrolls (give wizards a different feat to compensate)
The idea between raising the difficulty is to keep the encounters challenging and fun, but you know your group better than anyone so go with what you like. Maybe they want the power fantasy where they defeat every encounter easily.But the point I was trying to make is it gives you a baseline, generally once a character is built they are as optimized as they are going to be. The other idea behind it is you know how to make an encounter too strong... which can be good. As long as you drop hints and don't go overboard and kill them, running into something way too strong for them to kill is a good way to encourage roleplaying/make them realize blunt force can't get through everything/Learn to run away sometimes.
The other reason is assuming they are all optimized roughly the same, then no one is actually optimized if you scale the encounters to them. Same with reverse if everyone made sub optimal combat characters and you scale the encounters down it's exactly the same. The problem comes when the PCs are mixed optimization
Others have mentioned some of these points but I'll throw in my 2 cents:
1) Combat: Yes most rules are geared towards combat but that is because it is the most rule intensive requirements. You don't really need rules to roleplay and solve mysteries etc.. or you only need minor rules.
The ambush issue: It's good in a way that they are planning things and using tactics. but what about using your creatures in waves. So they ambush the first group of monsters, and the second group hearing all the commotion and cries run in from another room?
One big key I use (back when I still handed out experience instead of using the milestone system). If the players solve/avoid/talk their way out of a combat they get full exp as if they killed all those creatures. This also helps to motivate them to not just kill everything, since if they bypass an encounter they get full exp without needing to expend resources.
2) Encounters: I know you have said somethings are unbeatable, but nothing can out optimize you, if your players are optimizing to the extreme for combat raise your encounter difficulty. Usually I slowly ratchet up the encounter difficulty until I find that sweet spot where 1/4 PCs will almost die every encounter. then I use that as a baseline to scale up or down as needed.
3) Roleplay: If your PC's are completely ignoring non combat stuff make sure to factor that in. If they are sticking their foot in their mouth, killing everyone they meet. people in the world should take notice, powerful law enforcement can show up (this can lead to fun RP as well).
4) Spell issue: Locate object vs fireball. Put them in situations where brute force cannot solve it more often and that will gently encourage them to prepare a wider variety of spells.
Anyways I hope some of that helps
Extra Credits did a series of video's on Durlag's Tower from Baldur's gate. It is a video game but they go over the principles of good dungeon design, I feel it is very applicable to pathfinder dungeon crawls as well as general guidelines:
Seconded the 5 room dungeon. It is a good way to make a short dungeon crawl, that has all the elements. Just need to be creative with what you define as rooms