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I agree that Pathfinder remains the best system to use. I also agree that it could be further improved. Because experienced players like so many options it is easy for beginners to feel overwhelmed. I like the idea of a tiered class system.

Tier one basic classes level to unlock Tier two advanced classes which level to finally unlock prestige classes. I would keep a modest number of basic classes with each subsequent tier branching into more and more options.

Maybe it is naive to hope that a system might be devised which allows mechanical advantages to come with leveling up that do not also complicate game play but a tiered class system might offer that solution.

No I see you are right. Ill go Monk 6 Sorc 4 and get there by 10th

Yeah but with 4 levels of sorceror you get there by 8 unless Im mistaken.

I'm planning to play an Aasimar Arcane Archer in our next campaign. It may not be optimal but Im going Zen Archer 4 then Sorceror 4. This allows a pretty believable awakening of the celestial bloodline and meets the requirements on schedule while giving me fun abilities on the way.

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Vampire Hunter D.

Coolest Anime antihero ever.

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Pugwampies. Pugwampies suuhuuuuuuck.

Grima wormtongue serves Saruman. Saruman serves Sauron. These evil villians behave with evil even though they are cooperating.

I have also been on both sides of the GM screen many times. As a GM I strive to empower players to try any solution to problems they find. I am sometimes surprised by their successes or failures, which I like even though it often means extra work. They have fun because their choices, in and out of combat, matter.

As a player I hate losing control of my character. I accept when this happens because of magic or affliction or my own mistake but having my characters actions narrated to the group by the GM makes me question why I came. I also hate long game sessions without reward. When no gold, xp or even plot advancement comes after hours of play I get demoralized.

Just as you describe.

This is what I run as a GM and I only play Small martials when other GMs agree to this house rule.


Of course the damage remains the same. So Sting does 1d4 without its magical and masterwork properties weather wielded by an Elven prince or a wandering Hobbit.

I agree with Pendagast,

Halflings, as classically described in Tolkien, famously used the equipment of larger races. I have ranted on this before. If Bilbo had been from Pathfinder he would have remained armed with a walking stick sized for him and died holding it as Spider venom surged through his veins.

All small races should be allowed to use selected medium equipment without penalty. It is just lame to make them use toy weapons, not to mention mechanically punishing. I have played a Halfling warrior and you just never find anything useful. That sucks and so they suck.

I always house rule that small races can use medium items at one step in size up. A medium sized dagger, like Sting, is a Short sword to a Hobbit. I mean give me a break. Fix that and you fix them.

Yes, my Half Orc ranger uses the two handed weapon combat style and both Power attack and furious focus. Thats all he really needs featwise but then there is cleave also, pretty handy to have an extra attack. Now Im getting spells. Rangers are awesome and Darkvision and Ferocity are a great addition. You will enjoy your character.

Forgotten Realms (Pre Spellplague)

Thanks for the replies.

Graystone: I was thinking of other spells that could make use of the Vestigial wings but Feather fall Levitate and even Glide dont seem to employ the Fly skill in any way RAW. I just wanted to play a warrior. Ive been looking at Blood Rager as a Warrior with spells to eventually use the wings.

Its kind of disappointing that the magic you need to use them makes them redundant anyway.

I am considering a Tiefling character with the Vestigial Wings alternate racial trait. I wont take it though if it never becomes useful. Is magical Fly the only way to use the +4 bonus to Fly skill that the wings grant? Is there any way to use Fly skill without the Fly spell or a magic item?


After using the Elven Curve blade in one campaign I made a barbarian with a Falchion in the next. Then my NPCs started favoring the Scimitar. Once you taste 18-20crit range its hard to go back. You just Crit in every battle. Its hard to match that for sheer fun. Anything with the crit range baby.

So, my relatively conservative question here is: If a Half Orc and a Half Elf reproduce can they give birth to a half human with 1/4 Orc and Elf with regards to racial traits and feats? Would this comply with RAW? Would Racial Heritage be necessary to draw upon those abilities?

Could a Half Elf and full Orc? Could a Half Orc and Full Elf? Any ideas about this intriguing possibility?

Half Elves are considered to be a particularly versatile and well rounded individual. The second favored class suggests that they more smoothly adapt to varied skill sets. You never benefit from this particular trait unless you multiclass. The choice of a second favored class, even if made at first level, never matters unless you multiclass with it later.

Musashi did win many of his duels with a wooden sword its true. He invented or at least popularized his two sword style at a different stage in his long career.

At our game table we've long considered weapon weights as listed to include the appropriate belt harness scabbard etc. Combat swords are usually much lighter than replica weapons. Carbon steel is lighter.

As for swordplay, my friend took a few years of French fencing and I took a few years of Escrima so we fight with padded swords for fun. We have tried every combination of long and short swords and shields.

Actually if find both shields and off hand weapons kind of a hinderance in a one on one duel. The versatility of the free hand for switching hands, those of us lefties with ambidexterity,and doubling up at need really adds flexibility. Personally I like one handing it. Turning the body edge on to your opponent makes a much smaller target than squaring up two handed. As with knife fighting most swordblows land on the hands and arms as they are always the closest target. That is why Kendo armor has excellent helmets and padded gloves. Still the head is hard to reach if your opponent has practiced before.

The last Fighter I played was a Tactician Archetype. Aside from the trained bonus to perception, Tower shield and heavy armor it is as you suggest. My character concept favored Medium armor anyway and a Two handed sword so it worked. I think your suggestion should have been RAW. Too bad we will have to wait for PF2 for a new Fighter. House rules will have do do.

I think this house rule will effectively eliminate martials. There would be far less penalty upon magic users and most players will simply choose spellcasting to handicapped warriors. If this is your intent I think it will work out nicely.

I think Archetypes were introduced as an effort to redeem the fighter and rogue classes. This solution is a patch and never fully succeeded but allows for playable Fighters. As I posted thousands of posts ago the Tactician Archetype actually does a lot of the things we all agree Fighters need. That the "Simple" Fighter needs these Archetypes to be effective is a result of the interest in his versatility. He can be quite good at some things at the expense of those other things. Its apparent to most of us that a True solution would require drastic modification basically PF 2ed. So we deal with the Patch. Traits, Feats Archetypes. Limping on, the Fighter endures.

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yeah, I always liked FR. Still run my Pathfinder Games there. If you want to mod AP stuff for it I agree with Bellona.

There is so much great material in the old FR books. I think sub races are awesome and when you allow them with both traits and racial feats there are so many options for players. Lots of fun.

Wild Elves, Arctic Dwarves, Ghostwise Halflings... Who doesnt want to try that?

In a game I am running the Barbarian was surprised to discover the max range of thrown weapons to be 5 range increments. Core p. 182. For spear that means 100ft maximum range at a minus 2 to hit per range increment. If you prefer the Javelin you can extend that but should equip a side arm to avoid attacks of opportunity. The build you describe is cool but gives up some att. bonus at range. Just be aware.

I play very much as you do. I have also noticed that most do not.

Yes Matthew my narrative outpaced my understanding of game mechanics in this session to the detriment of our game. Not only was my description inadequate, in hindsight, but my bomb was the result of a gross misinterpretation of alchemist abilities. I will specify that the bomb is "magical" rather than "alchemical" to save face but I see why drop bombs aren't available to players. No doubt this also contributed to the angst of my players.

Ok thanks everyone. I think I can use the falling and stunned rules in my defense. I appreciate it.

Antipaladin's turn, Standard Action: Touch of Corruption. Move action: Draw item and hold it up. Free Action says, "Do it, Send us all to Hell".

There was no "Readied Action". Does that RAW the item is not active outside his turn? I think most of you suggest that the bomb drops and detonates, possibly with a save. I allowed all in range a save.

With all of the Confusion I mainly want to know if the bomb should, in fact, fall at the end of the Ranger's turn, AKA moment of Enemy death. A conclusive answer on that might effect future game play.

Thanks for all of your feedback here. Trying to be a better GM.

Thanks for the replies,

The PCs argued that he would'nt have time for a third readied action. They suggested that his Standard Touch of Corruption and move equivilent draw item would be all he could do.

In last night's game I ran a somewhat climactic battle for my PCs. After defeating several powerful Knights they faced a Corrupted Antipaladin. As the Enemy's HP were quickly carved away by the Party's optimized barbarian The Antipaladin used his Standard action to perform a Touch of Corruption as a last strike against the Brb and his move action to take out a "bomb" and hold it aloft. I thought it would be cool and dramatic, even adding a one liner "Do it, send us all to Hell!" That was the end of his turn. In the next turn of the same round the distant ranger sank two kill shots into the Antipaladin with his peerless archery skills. Now it gets... sticky.

So let me explain my problem. In our games usually, and to my knowledge, all other games, players take turns in a dynamic temporal flow. Like... As a player I know that the Fighter's sword strike killed the goblin so I target a different enemy on my turn. I don't waste my attacks on the dead goblin. I can make this decision on my turn even though it is the same round and events supposedly occur simultaneously. The goblin's death happens "before my turn" and I immediately behave differently. I have never played in a game where all deaths occur at the top of the round to avoid such temporal issues.

Still when I described the drop of the bomb to the floor and it's subsequent detonation my Party called BS. The argument that ensued took 15 minutes and utterly wrecked the narrative. I want to hear your thoughts on this. Can an event be triggered by a PC action and occur out of turn? When the PC killed the Antipaladin causing him to drop the "bomb" Should it have fallen slow enough to allow later turns in the round to occur mid drop? What should I have done here? In future games I hope to better understand the fundamental workings of Turn based combat. I'm embarrassed to be unsure after so many years of playing but too few running the game.

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I agree with most posters here about potential room for improvement to the core mechanics beneath the PF game system.

I hope that changes reduce redundancy among classes and, as stated by others, rely on more scaling class abilities than tacked on bonuses.

I might be in a minority opinion in my preference for graceful simplicity but I would even prefer that just a handful of base classes were described in the core rule book which opened up through specialization at mid level to more complex and focused mid tier and high tier prestige classes. Like "Warrior" opens up into Ranger Knight Paladin Magus etc through meeting feat requirements over time. In this way simple, user friendly classes at the start of a campaign still allow for sophisticated archetypes later without redundancy among class abilities or muddied roles in party play.

Again, I might be alone in that vision.

I encourage role play in my games. In my efforts to encourage role play I flesh out a huge stable of NPCs with rich character details. I want the people of the world my PCs inhabit to reflect an approximation of the culture and diversity of the setting. Currently that includes a Bad ass lesbian Duergar and two gay human aristocrats. Rather than a gimmick though I hope I have been successful in representing plausible and memorable characters. Traits such as gender, religion and sexuality all contribute in some way to that effort and so they are included. No big deal.

I think a human with Racial heritage elf can take the elven feat Arcane talent and then gain a 0-level spell casting at character level. My human chose light. Maybe that works for your human barbarian.

I agree with Jamie Charlan,

Another advantage to reexamining the Weapon Proficiency system is that by shifting toward weapon groups such as "light blades" or "Pole arms" is that greater thematic variety can be built into the various martial classes. I wish rather than "Fighter" We could have "Swordsman" or "Archer" and have those mechanics mean something concrete.

Let me clarify. Isn't it likely that a warrior who chose to train only with swords would be better with them than a more general soldier who is pretty good with virtually any weapon?

I realize that you can force fighters into this mold but it is a step down rather than a step up. It never helps you to not be good with every weapon, you just specialize too. Well I think we might reconsider level restrictions on Specialization for "Fighters" if martial classes could be divided by weapon group and permitted to excel in a particular way.

Why cant my Fighter just be a "Swordsman" and give up fifty other weapons in exchange for being a true expert at one of them. A peerless fencer who isn't interested in maces or Bec de Corbins. A matter for 2E maybe.

When this eventually happens I hope that Paizo changes a few things. Every system has the potential for improvement.

Weapon size, small creatures should be able to use some medium equipment. Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin all used medium equipment.

Fighters, they need skills and a defense bonus that stacks with their armor rather than just retaining Dex bonus.

Rogues, they need better combat abilities. Maybe a circumstantial BAB increase under certain conditions.

It would be nice if Longswords didnt suck.


As Oncoming Storm suggested.

I'd use club stats and allow the appropriate weapon proficiency, ex longsword, to apply. Call it Bokken or Bokuto or Waister etc. There is absolutely historical context for this kind of weapon in combat. Miyamoto Musashi won over 100 duels to the death, many of them against very famous and accomplished Samurai, with nothing more than a wooden practice sword. His epic battle against Sasaki Kojiro ,in particular, when he carved a boat oar into a wooden sword en route to the dual shows just how effective such a weapon can be in the hands of a true bad ass. Make no mistake though Musashi was a real man and not mythological. Kojiro's masterwork katana "Clothes Rod", named for its unsusual length, was not enough to save him from Musashi's legendary Kenjutsu, proof once again that its not the weapon but the one who weilds it.

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Having played D2 table RPGs up from their simplest origins, D&D, AD&D 2nd 3rd, 3.5 and now Pathfinder I share your interest in Roleplay. Many of the younger players of this latest iteration grew up on World of Warcraft and view table games as derivative analog versions of that game. There is the notion of "Winning" the game through optimized character creation designed to defeat encounters easily.

The mechanics of the system allow for this type of play and honestly Id say it has become the norm. My own group with its deliberate emphasis on role play and character development represents a minority. Having played and GMd so many games I know that the challenges designed by the GM are merely aimed at providing opportunities for the story to be told, that rushing to their conclusion to "Win" offers fleeting rewards.

It is true that you wont find our voices loudly subduing dissent on these boards. We aren't here trying to "Win" a debate any more than we are trying to "Win" at Pathfinder. We are along for the ride. The quest and the journey are our destination. But know that you are not alone. Old school gamers still play for fun with imperfect strategies and characters in worlds of their own making under these rules, certain that just around the next bend, true adventure awaits.

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I love role play. Speaking in character and interacting directly with other players and NPCs in character. I reward XP for this in my own games and I cant really enjoy a game that omits this kind of play. Maybe I'm old fashioned but that is why I come to the table. If I wanted Diablo I'd be online.

I understand where you are coming from. Another symptom of the ever expanding options that bothers me is the variant archetypes. When party members are dipping into this and that to "round out" their characters with animal companions and spells and rage abilities etc. Nobody knows what their role in the party is or just who their character is anymore.

The exotic races and unlikely class combinations can work sometimes but also get tiresome when overused. I think it is a legitimate restriction to run a "Core" game only permitting the core rulebook options. This is a pretty classic approach and I think well within a GM's authority to require at character creation.

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I think this could be a good fix. Have you considered using the bonus feats in exchange for the Ki pool? Maybe the option to trade each feat for the alternate Ki ability a la cart.

My Human Fighter was born to a human Father and Half elven mother. At the age of 9 he had to accept that his father had fallen in a great battle. His grieving mother returned to her forest homeland among the elves where the boy grew up with his elven grandparents. For the next 10 years he learned the elven arts of war. At last he set out with his Grandfather's elven Curveblade to bring honor to his father's name.

Adopted allowed him to learn use of elven weapons and supported his back story with beneficial game mechanics.

I think it is most tastefully used to support backstory in this way.

Hmm.. your party member are covering a lot of thematic bases for you already. Three Hit/Healers... I think playing a new Race, one with interesting abilities combines well with Barbarian. Or you could go with a Fighter/Thief.

I like less archetypal combinations. A Dwarven Fighter thief is not overdone for example. My Drow noble Barbarian seemed to never exhaust the potential tricks of his racial feats. This helped offset the relative mechanical simplicity of Barbarian and made for a fun game.

I like some realism in my game as well. I think a lot of these details depend on the GM. Most I have played with gloss over issues of encumbrance and collection of spell components. My favorite GM just checks to see that we all keep track of weight and don't exceed carrying capacity. He will restrict movement if we do exceed. In our games certain rules enforce plausibility. You cannot succeed an acrobatics check to tumble through an occupied square if you are encumbered or have a pole arm strapped to you for instance. As gamers vary and prefer varying levels of gritty realism in their games these details depend on GM style.

On the other hand "Martials" have been dealing with issues of encumbrance in RL for thousands of years. The warriors at Marathon ran 100 miles in their Bronze hop-lite armor to arrive at the battle. My own Dad ran through the jungles of Vietnam under hails of enemy gunfire with an 80 pound pack on his back and on several occasions fought his way out with nothing more than a combat knife. What soldiers adapt to and the challenges they meet under threat sometimes seem unbelievable to civilians.

How much of these logistics make it into your game depends on what the GM feels will add to the fun. Often it is decided that less is more. I like a moderate amount of sober reality in my fantasy.

Thanks I thought so

Stupid question but can you weapon finesse unarmed strikes with improved unarmed combat?

I personally hate this kind of commentary during a game. I and most of my group enjoy the immersive element of role play. I have no problem when a player Knows these details but I insist that they do not talk about them at the game table.

As a GM I factor this kind of Metagaming into my Roleplay XP rewards. Players who remain in character and interact more authentically recieve an XP bonus which is significant. Not getting it sends a message to players that my scowling disapproval never will.

Yeah I house rule Spears as simple 2H and Martial 1H weapons. Its an easy fix and seems balanced.

Thematically I love the Fighter but it is just easier to stay effective as a Barbarian both in and out of combat. I cant be bothered to scout out metagaming tips online to maximize DPR through elaborate feat trees.

When my Neutral HalfOrc Ranger used his Survival skill to render rations from fallen humanoids other party members called foul. I was told this was evil by players and these message boards. I made the necessary adjustments and toned down his Orcish mannerisms a tad. No biggie. I think most here will call any consumption of humanoids evil.

Maybe there was a lingering -2. I remember the arduous feat tree including Ambidexterity, TWF and Improved TWF or maybe it was greater TWF. Anyway a long way to go for a -2 att.

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