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While I like keeping things largely Pathfinder derivative, I'm hoping magic items and the associated snowballing economy get the axe.

I mean, you can still have treasure, but the way rewards and costs scale with level in 3.x/PF completely destroys realistic in-game economies (i.e. it's weird going into town and paying 1 SP for a stay at the local inn with meals included then selling 30 +1 swords for 10,000 times that, each).

Plus, it really disincentivizes peaceful negotiation. If I talk this guy out of a fight, I don't get his +3 sword and armor I'd have gotten from killing him, and wow that's a big chunk of change.

Being able to have rich and poor characters in the same party is also a nice dynamic to have access to via traits and such that doesn't work if everyone's getting insanely rich off adventuring.

... although on the other hand, investing a huge amount of cash in bigger and better spaceships has some appeal.

The only example that immediately springs to mind is in the first book of Second Darkness has a Mwanganese elf named Kwava, who is written as fairly dark skinned, but his official illustration is still fairly pale.

This is one of those tricky issues where there's a lot of places on the pipeline where things need to go smoothly though. First, you need non-human races to show up in the first place. Golarion is a very human-centric setting in general, and even with the canonically human-heavy demographics of any given city, writers rarely remember to include any non-human NPCs in adventures.

Then there's remembering to call for diversity. Most of the actual written material spells this out in the general sense (gnomes all vary wildly in appearance, elves take on the skin tones and features common to humans living in the same regions if they're around long enough, this ethnicity is most common in this region, etc.) but that doesn't help if whoever's commissioning the art doesn't know, or doesn't specify.

Then there's the actual artist involved, who will often ignore many specified details and just focus on the ones that seem most relevant. I seem to recall someone on the Paizo staff a while back talking about how unfortunate it was that so many NPC illustrations from Legacy of Fire came back white in spite of requests, but the timetable forced them to make do. Come to think of it, I'm really curious now if Mummy's Mask came off better there, I haven't had a chance to look it over yet.

Ultimately though, the real problem is that fantasy art has such a longstanding history of whiteness to it, it's everyone's default. The only real fix for that is for writers, and particularly artists, to train themselves out of it.

To the degree where if I commissioned "an older scar-covered ranger" without any other details, ideally you'd come back to me with a hard-eyed thick-framed black elven woman. And then say "you should have specified that" if I say it isn't what I was looking for.

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It's funny comparing the level of detail given in this thread and the snark one. Over there it's (and yes I am intentionally using a description here that does not apply to anything I have actually seen):

"Really? Pink elephants?" "No glaive-guisarme should cost that much." Etc.

Here, it's:

"Ooh! I really like you!"

Seems like the two should really work on the same standard, one way or the other.

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Addressing the main argument in this thread:

Misogyny, at least in the sense people are using it here, is the systemic oppression of women.

Oppression is evil. This is pretty much the cornerstone of every moral philosophy out there, with the conspicuous exception of those that are transparently laid out explicitly to keep oppressors in power. Most relevant in this context, evil in Pathfinder is more or less defined as getting ahead in life by walking all over everyone else. Especially when we're looking specifically at Lawful Evil.

Therefore, misogyny is evil.

Misogyny is also lawful, in that the systemic part of systemic oppression implies an actual society-level system (so really, this is more the concept of patriarchy if you want to split hairs, but again, how everyone's been using it).

It absolutely makes sense for the most prominent LE deity to be a misogynist. Just like it makes sense for him to be pro-slavery, favor a rigid caste system, and lie constantly to present everything he thinks and does as perfectly justified.

It would make absolutely no sense at all for any good deity to support any of that. If you want a deity who mostly comes off as good, but makes allowances for outright evil things as an "interesting flaw" what you would then have is a neutral deity. Abadar is a great example. All about peaceful living and thriving cities, but he has this huge blind spot about money changing hands. Doesn't want his clergy turning away evil people or offering a discount to good, which can lead to terrible things. Pharasma's another example. She generally leans lawful good, very much into fair judgement, hates anyone trying to escape her judgement by going undead, but she turns a blind eye to daemons straight-up destroying souls, because they do it on their own turf after she's handled the processing. Or take Calistria. Very non-judgemental, wants everyone to have a good time, absolutely believes people should be punished when they wrong someone, but there's no real sense of proportionate response.

Also worth noting, before it was officially cleared up that Torag's traditionalism was more "I don't trust these newfangled printing presses, how do you get the importance of a story without a teller to emphasize the right words?" and less "women should be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen" I made a paladin for Kingmaker. The GM very strongly urged me to worship Erastil, as he plays a huge role in that AP and I was the only religious character in the party. Erastil-as-intended would have been absolutely perfect for this character, but Erastil-as-presented was so off-putting I ended up going with Iomedae instead. It was very clear at several points that we were missing out thanks to that, and at no time did it make things feel "more interesting" in any fashion.

All that said, unrelated sidetrack time!

Blackwaltzomega wrote:

Erm...about the whole "Good is never, ever, ever, ever, ever bigoted in any way" thing...

So a deity would automatically disapprove of the numerous good-aligned characters that are prejudiced against Goblinoids, Orcs, or Drow? Because I'm pretty sure there's a lot of them and they're still good guys despite hating people from those races.

Absolutely. Assuming, at least, that when you say "prejudiced" we're talking about the sort of character who unquestioningly kills all members of those races on sight, that is absolutely evil. You'd be playing a genocidal racist.

If we're talking about someone who regularly, constantly fights rampaging hordes of goblins, who is particularly horrified by how they just run around stabbing cats to hear what sort of sound they make and hiding in ovens to ambush people and such, having witnessed these things, that's much more understandable, so long as that character doesn't completely lose it when he runs across a fairly stable goblin making an honest living as a blacksmith's apprentice, and takes it on good faith that they are an exception to what they're used to based on how the local society clearly considers them a member in good standing.

Blackwaltzomega wrote:

Dwarves hate goblins and orcs (or Drow, giants, and dragons). That's built into your racial abilities; you hate them so much you're really good at hitting them.

Torag, a lawful good deity, approves of this. In fact, he approves of this so much that his paladin code instructs paladins of Torag that the enemies of their people must be defeated at any cost. Mislead them if you must. Do not accept their surrender. Don't give them a second chance. They are your people's enemies. Kill them, while conducting yourself in a way that honors Torag.

Either Torag's asking some kind of zen contradiction-riddle of his followers or he's pretty on board with Dwarves giving no quarter to goblins whether they're ALL tiny, psychotic pyromaniacs who kill for fun and aren't averse to eating babies every now and then or not.

Are we talking about the paladin code from Faiths of Purity? It makes no mention of any of those races, just "my people's enemies." And it most certainly does not preach genocide. "I will defeat them, and I will scatter their families" implies quite the opposite. Chase off anyone who might come looking for revenge when you kill the ones actively attacking you.

Similarly, dwarves don't get bonuses because they don't like people. They get bonuses because they have such a long history of war with those races, dwarven children are taught where to aim when fighting them.

That sort of teaching would inevitably foster a degree of racism, but that's another issue entirely, and not on Torag.

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Frumple wrote:
ARGH.... use commas in your numbers!!!!!!!!!

Right! Next year, nothing with a price less than 2,000,000 GP, or that weighs less than 1,000,000 lbs. from anyone!

It's going to get a little silly for skill bonuses.

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I am 90% sure I made a couple of minor formatting errors (leaving a comma out of a price, forgetting to italicize a spell, etc.), and now there's this wonderful little argument in my brain as to whether these are so inconsequential they won't matter at all, or whether people will downvote it to hell for the unforgivable sin of not giving it one last properly detailed editorial pass.

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I know I really struggled with pricing mine this year. The problem is, the farther away you get from items that already exist, and the low end of the price scale in particular (which I would generally recommend- you can either go for low-level utility or high level novelty, while pricey items have to compete with high level mainstays) gets more inconsistent for value estimation. Permanent special abilities here, whip feather tokens there.

One issue I'm particularly seeing this year is people erring on the side of too descriptive. It's nice to really convey what it looks like when you activate an item and what it's made from, but you don't want to bury the actual use of the item under a long backstory.

That's a shame, you'll be missed, but sometimes life happens.

Coincidentally, an extremely large, rather terrifying bit of life has decided to happen to me this week, so I'm still running behind on a proper thread update. Sorry again for the delay here.

I'll advance a round by this time tomorrow.

Hmm... given that the end of this here fight is something of a turning point where the actual proper start of the AP is revealed, a bit of a boss fight of sorts, and one with some undead samurai issuing a challenge at the closest equivalent (the bardadin) I'm kind of inclined to pause here and wait for Saif to be back some time this weekend.

Anyone object to that?

I should also use this time to pluck out a replacement 4th PC, really.

You guys have no idea how hard imgur fights me about some of these uploads. Hours sometimes...

As you make your way into the final chamber of this cave system, the constant glow of the sunrod reveals yet another skeleton, this one in more properly intact armor than the rest, seated upon a large cherrywood chest decorated with jade. As you approach, it stands, pointing the tip of its sword towards Saif, and opening its mouth as if to shout in challenge.


Init order: All PCs, all friendly NPCs, skeleton. Simple.

Niveus Anguis wrote:

Rinse and repeat. :P

Edit-The dice still hate me.
Aleon Hunter wrote:
probably enough to one shot a skeleton even though it is slashing damage[/ooc]

Yeah. I'd say you're nuts for not using a weapon that does blunt damage and hits on touch AC against skeletons, but you seem to be absorbing all the luck that's avoiding Niveus like the plague.

Another skeleton goes down, allowing Kairi to safely retrieve the sunrod, while the remaining pair continue to slash at Shalelu as she slowly falls back.

Skeleton: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
Wow one hit: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Skeleton: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
Skeleton: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
Skeleton: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13

Wincing a bit from the nasty scratch, she repeats her patten of backing off slightly and chipping away...
Shalelu: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (7) + 11 = 18
Damage: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
Shalelu: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
Damage: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9

Finally managing to peg them right in the right vertebra to remove their skulls, and once more put them to rest.

This earns you all another 202 XP, and a chance to recover various bits of discarded equipment before rounding the next bend, should you choose to proceed along.

Aleon manages to swing down with enough force to put an end to a skeletal attacker, as many other attempts go wide.

Saif: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
Saif: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
Shalelu: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16
Shalelu: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
Shalelu: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
Shalelu: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10

The skeletons, of course, don't fair much better.

Bow: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (7) + 11 = 18
Damage: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
Bow: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14

Shalelu still isn't managing more than a few chipped bones...

Saif's Attack: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12

... nor is Saif.

Ah, low level Pathfinder. When people just miss left and right, and the damage is in single digits. Also imgur is not playing ball today, but... Aleon can flank with Saif after some 5' dancing, otherwise same map as last round.

Oddly enough, over the weekend I got an automated google docs request from someone wanting editing permission on this little chart here. This says to me someone has suggestions for some change or other and is really shy about making them.

Feel free to toss stuff out if so inclined. There's a chance I might do a revision when Inner Sea Races hits.

Saif takes a swing at the skeleton closing in on him...

Attack: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12

... his blade glancing off the slick bone, and begins backing towards Kairi to lend aid. Aleon meanwhile quite handily blows it to bits, while Niveus attempts to down another but goes a bit wide. Kairi meanwhile drops the sunrod she's been carrying to ensure a good view of the chamber and backs to a corner, entirely too injured to stand any further blows, and not wanting to push things further having exhausted her magic.

The remaining skeletons close in, switching their focus to the most immediate targets.

Saif: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
Saif: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
Aleon: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
Aleon: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15
Shalelu: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
Shalelu: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15

Fortunately, their bony talons find no purchase. Shalelu backs away, continuing to toss out arrows in hopes of a lucky hit...
Bow: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (4) + 11 = 15
Bow: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13

... while Saif circles around, hoping for the same from his sword.

Attack: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9


OK. Thanks for the heads up.

With a shot that echoes in nearly deafening fashion within the stone cavern, Aleon obliterates the skull of the nearest corpse, Unfortunately, the others seem to take offense to this, standing up and advancing with menace, as the malevolent dead are wont to do from time to time.

Initiative (brought to you by the d20 that really likes to group the PCs up): Skeletons, Shalelu, Saif, Aleon, Kairi, Niveus

Proceeding from left to right...

The nearest skeleton to Aleon takes a moment to pull itself to its feet, gasping and clawing at the air. The two nearest Kairi however are close enough to claw at her, as she holds up a sunrod to light the cavern.
Claw: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
Claw: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
Claw: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16
Damage: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
Claw: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
Damage: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
The latter of which tears at her arms with sharp talons of raw bone.

A second pair rises from the water, moving up to Shalelu, one in striking range.
Claw: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Claw: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9

She steps back, answering in kind with her bow...
Bow: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (13) + 11 = 24
Damage: 1d6 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
Bow: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17
Damage: 1d6 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
... chipping the shoulder of one, and muttering at the ineffectual nature of arrows against the undead. "Well, I suppose this is slightly better than having them pen us in from behind..."

Continuing along, deeper into the cavern, through a mix of squeezing through a narrow crack, and circling about, eventually all paths seem to converge in a large half-flooded chamber, in which the bones of several humanoids lay strewn about, still in their armor of odd foreign make, evidently lying where they died, many years ago.

Local/Geography 15:
Specifically, they seem to be dressed in the sort of armor one typically associates with Tian nations.

A narrow passage winds off to the west. It's possible the cavern may also extend further to the southeast, although some amount of swimming would be required to say for sure.

Aleon Hunter wrote:
Aleon isn't going to waste some valueable pellets on one creature when pellets hit several. So he puts away his gun and withdraws his axe as part of move

Not an issue at the moment, but if you're actually properly putting one weapon away and drawing another, you have to spend a move action on each. You can drop one, draw the other while moving, and still attack, but then you have to double back for it later. That said though...

No sooner does the amoeba arise from the water's surface, it is violently cut down by Aleon, with a bolt from Niveus' crossbow ensuring it won't get up again.

100 quick XP, and a few crystals of some value to be harvested, but otherwise that seems to be it for this side branch. Where to next?

Pathfinder is designed from the ground up that all PCs, at all times, will have the exact same XP total, no exceptions. One of the best changes made from D&D really.

Meanwhile, on the cash front, if you're sticking with WBL guidelines (APs generally do), go with that. If you're not (or if you are, and don't mind the extra bookkeeping), work out the net worth of the average net worth of the existing PCs, give the new one that much cash.

If you're replacing a dead/retired character, you really want to do that instead of swiping everything from the outgoing character. Theoretically, it would work out to just give all their stuff to their replacement, but why force your new alchemist to make due with your old wizard's hand-me-downs?

Busy weekends strike again!

The crystals growing on the small "island" in this chamber look like they might be rather valuable if you took the time to break them off.

Appraise 20:
But really, they're worth a total of 20 GP.

As Aleon draws close enough to inspect them however, it attracts the attention of some strange protoplasmic blob, until now hidden within the water.

Knowledge: Nature 11:

Init: Niveus, Aleon, Saif, Kairi, Shalelu, Amoeba

Aleon is welcome to use that shot rolled earlier now that it's properly in view, if so inclined. Either way you're pretty clearly starting the round with your gun wielded.


So why so many people in this thread looking at a permanent change inducing elixir with a 2,250 GP price tag for various notions that involve hopping back and forth over the sex fence? This item is really only practical for a one-time permanent change. Otherwise, you're better off with a Greater Hat of Disguise. At 12,000, it pays for itself after just 3 round trips. And that's only if you want it as a real transformation. 1,800 for the standard variety if all you care about are appearances.

ElementalXX wrote:

If you make precise strike a flat untyped bonus you can easily compare it to a smite evil, more importatly:

At will Cavalier Challenge= Balanced?

Here's the math again.

Looking at these numbers another way, if you want to compare the precise strike progression to a smiting paladin, by level 16, the swashbuckler would need to have a strength of 26 to beat the average strength of a paladin with a strength of 18, without power attack on the table. With power attack, the swashbuckler needs a 34. If the paladin is actually pushing strength, getting a nice fat 34, the swashbuckler would need a 58.

The numbers come down a fair bit if you throw Swashbuckler weapon training into the mix, but again, people severely underestimate how much damage you leave on the table with just a one-handed weapon.

Whisperknives wrote:
Lord Vukodlak wrote:
Fnipernackle wrote:
I like changing precise strike to deal standard damage, but would allowing it to be multiplied on a crit be a little too much? I'm also not sure about losing the light armor proficiency.

It probably would be, I think it be best to change precise strike to dex to damage(up to their level) and remove that feature from slashing grace. Make dexterity to melee damage their ability. The up to their level bit is to discourage dipping.

All that would do would lower their damage, everyone playing a swashbuckler is going to get it one way or another anyway.

Slashing Grace, Agile weapon, or Fencing Grace when it is in print.

However I would be ok with that if they gave up the idea of not being able to attack with anything in the other hand.

You don't need to modify the class to do that. The only feature swashbucklers have which insists on them using a one-handed weapon and an empty off-hand is Slashing Grace, and all it does is offset the damage you lose by doing so. It is a zero-sum enabler of a theme-y option, which is no better or worse than what you'd have if you just pretended you didn't get the ability. Well, aside from the whole bit about being denied your extra crit damage, which makes it an inferior option.

Adam B. 135 wrote:
Darche Schneider wrote:
Adam B. 135 wrote:

Also I think that charisma to saves + having a good fortitude save should be incompatible. No blanket Charisma to saves unless the saves stay as they are.

Why would that be? Pallys get good fort and will.

The way I see it, Precise Strike + Swashbuckler Weapon Training can be used on more foes as a damage and attack boost than smite can. Smite is limited to evil while Precise Strike is limited by sneak attack immunity. Swashbuckler Weapon Training is never limited by anything.

Precise Strike should never be compared to Smite. The "extra damage" it provides brings you roughly up to par with the damage you would be doing with a two-handed weapon, or two-weapon fighting. Paladins are already doing that against every enemy, with smite being a pure bonus on top.

Cyrad wrote:
Charmed Life doesn't cost any panache,

It doesn't, but it prevents you from using any abilities that require spending panache, because more or less all of them require a swift action. You lose access to your next swift action whenever you use an immediate action, and may only do so once per round. And of course Charmed Life runs off its own usage pool, which is a lot more limiting than the panache pool in practice.

If you're willing to dig through the playtest threads, I have a very verbose post in there about what an inefficient band-aid it is. Say you're attacked by a ghoul, which gets a lucky hit in (likely, they get a lot of attacks for their CR). If you didn't already use your immediate action to try to parry, you're forced to choose between activating charmed life for the paralysis, or the con damaging disease. Take a second hit that round and you can't parry or activate charmed life. On top of which, even when you do get it, charmed life isn't even going to bring your fort save up to par with that of anyone else who ends up on the front line making them on a regular basis.

Swashbucklers don't need some special extra edge to make two weapon fighting worth it. It's already worth it on its own. Two weapons=twice as many attacks=twice as many chances to crit=twice the panache inflow. That's huge. They also do plenty of damage. The only downside, besides weapon upgrade costs, is losing a third of your damage when you aren't full attacking, but any time they can't use their second weapon, precise strike kicks in, and handily compensates.

KingmanHighborn wrote:
They need to lose light armor proficiency. Very powerful class as is.

Archetypes are all about trade-offs, even when it seems like a class just needs a boost.

Also, you can still wear armor without being proficient, it just increases the armor check penalty. So, all that would happen here is people would be pushed towards padded cloth/leather/leaf armor, rather than a relatively bulky chain shirt. Which in turn would incentivize a high dex more, which weirdly enough is something the class doesn't really do out of the box.

As for how to add more mobility- Dodging panache could stand to scale up. A deed for changing directions in a charge saw a lot of discussion in the playtest. It fundamentally needs some ability tied to swinging around on ropes, lots of possible ways to handle that. Something for ignoring difficult terrain would be nice. There's ideas to lift from the Jabbing style feats and that one swash-like Investigator archetype too. Also something to be said for spending a point of panache to take an extra 5' step, with a once-per-round restriction.

silvermage wrote:

I'm not trying to make it a him vs me thing, although that is what this has turned into.

I want to play the damn game and be able to trust my GM. I want to play WITH him, not against him. And I'm trying to figure out how to get him in that same page, because he currently seems to see it as him vs the PCs.

In my experience, any time you find yourself in this sort of situation, you really do have to just stop playing games with them as the GM. Have someone else run the game. Partially as a tough love thing (run games in this sort of antagonistic fashion and nobody's going to want to play), partially to provide them an example of what a healthy gaming group looks like, but mostly because what it really comes down to is a matter of emotional maturity, and it's nice to have a fun game to play while you wait for him to gain enough to see the error of his ways.

Simon Legrande wrote:
Maybe he's only doing that because you're always on his case about the rules. Maybe it's time to set the book aside and try to enjoy the game. You know he's not going to kill you, why do you have to have your face in the book at all times? Maybe just let the game happen for a while.

That is a very strange statement to make in a thread about a GM killing off a PC by pure fiat, charging the party three times the usual cost for raise dead, and never letting them lose the negative level. (Or was it a full on, pre-Pathfinder level loss?)

But yeah, this is sounding less and less like a nice happy healthy "let's all get together and have fun sort" of gaming group silvermage is in. Always good to clear the air as best you can with one of those.

Give them a good fort save, remove the extra panache feat, give them divine grace, give them dex to melee damage and CMB out of the box, change precise strike to deal standard, regular critting damage, replace the majority of the deeds entirely, and while you're at it don't go so crazy about everything taking a swift action.

Doing it as an archetype, I'd probably really tie them to a severely limited weapon set, and drop even light armor proficiency to balance it out.

silvermage wrote:
Well anyway, today a character died. We were in the haunted house from RotR in the 2nd book, (5th level characters at this point,) and she cut her own throat open with a sharp length of wood that she thought was a dagger. My paladin tried to stop her but she counter-attacked and surpassed my AC, then proceeded to kill herself.

Obviously it's too late to do anything about it now, but you should have your GM take a closer look at the wording of that haunt. He absolutely ran that wrong.

Attempting to stop the victim from slitting their throat causes them to instead attack whoever is attempting to intervene, automatically scoring a crit and also dealing some bleed damage, after which the haunt ends, the dagger turns back into a wooden splinter, and they do not continue with their attempt.

Plus, even if nobody attempts to stop them, it's not quite an automatic death. It's a coup de grace attempt. Make a fort save equal to 10+the damage from critting yourself and you're fine.

Making those haunts more deadly than they are is a rather bad idea, since that's just going to encourage the party to avoid triggering them, missing out on a huge chunk of experience, and missing out on the unfolding story behind the location.

aceDiamond wrote:
I also remember a question I had about Daring Champions and Swashbucklers. Is there any reason why you can't go two-weapon fighting as one of those? Precise Strike would be good for when you only have a standard action to spare, but otherwise isn't a full attack action with two weapons the better call than one with only Precise Strike?

Absolutely the case, yes. Particularly since you still get the benefit of Precise Strike on those rounds where you can't full attack (nicely canceling out what's usually one of the downsides to two weapon fighting). You still need to buy two weapons, but hey, enjoy your extra panache flow.

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This is true, yes. If you're already fighting with one hand tied behind your back, then yeah, it's a massive damage boost for free.

Mainly I just wanted to break it down for the sake of people worrying about swashbucklers becoming the new queens of melee damage or something. It's really not a better deal than the reigning standard of two-handed fighting, and it's not even the best option for a swashbuckler, where two weapon fighting puts you way ahead on panache and available deeds.

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So, a lot of people are looking at that Precise Strike deed that Swashbucklers (and others) get access to, and flipping out at how much of a huge damage boost it seems to be. Let's break down real quick how it isn't.

From the level at which it comes online, you're adding your level to damage on all your hits. On top of that you've got the base damage for the rapier you're basically forced to use, your strength bonus, and whatever feats and class features you have to stack on extra damage (weapon training, precise strike, etc.) Rapiers also have an 18-20 crit range, which is always nice.

Let's compare that now to someone using a good ol' two-handed falchion, which is also an 18-20 crit range, and say we have the same feats.

First off, we have the actual dice involved. 1d6 vs. 2d4. Those average out to 3.5 damage per hit, and 5 damage per hit respectively. So that's -1.5 damage to the rapier user so far.

Next comes strength. You add your str mod to the rapier, but 2x str mod to the falchion. -1 potential damage for every 4 points of strength.

Power attack works along the same principle. Assuming we've got a full BAB character and we're really chasing damage, it's a no brainer feat, and we have that same ratio. 2 damage per 4 BAB with the rapier, 3 with the falchion.

So here's how much str you need at each level to outperform the precise strike deed (by that half a point there) at each level, vs. someone with the same str, assuming you're power attacking:

1: 8 (Precise Strike has yet to kick in, dice alone are a huge deal, no power attack here)
2: 8
3: 14 (Precise Strike is now online, assume we're both power attacking now)
4: 14 (PA edge just jumped to +2)
5: 18 1.5 2 2
6: 22 1.5 3 2
7: 26 1.5 4 2
8: 26 (PA edge hits +3)
9: 30 1.5 5 3
10: 34 1.5 6 3
11: 38 1.5 7 3
12: 38 (PA edge hits +4)
13: 42
14: 46
15: 50
16: 50 (it's +5)
17: 54
18: 58
19: 62
20: 62 (and again)

Now, putting it in these terms makes it look like a huge deal. Nobody's ever going to get their str up that high. But again, this is just to establish the baseline. Let's look at it in more practical terms.

If we assume both the rapier user and falchion user have an 18 str and never upgrade it...
Level 1: Falchion's hitting for 4.5 extra damage on each attack.
Level 2: Falchion's hitting for 4.5 extra damage on each attack.
Level 3: Falchion's hitting for 1.5 extra damage on each attack.
Level 4: Falchion's hitting for 1.5 extra damage on each attack.
Level 5: Falchion's hitting for 0.5 extra.
Level 6: Rapier pulls ahead with 0.5 extra, and gains an extra 1 point lead 3 levels out of every 4.
Level 16: Rapier has a 7.5 point lead in the damage race. This is about where most APs end.

Again though, no real melee character is going to neglect their strength that much. Every time you upgrade that belt, cast that enlarge person, or bull's strength, or activate a barbarian rage, whatever, you're upping that lead. It's not unreasonable to consistently be walking around with a strength of 34 by level 16 if you're really pushing it. Do that and the falchion user is closing out a 16 level campaign doing only 3.5 less per hit than the rapier user, and if you're upgrading belts/activating buffs regularly enough (or starting with a 20 str), you keep the lead for a bigger chunk of the low end of the level spectrum.

It's worth keeping in mind that, doing 4.5 more damage per hit at level 1 is a way bigger deal than it is in the mid-teens. It's potentially the difference in dropping something with only 1 or 2 hits, and needing 4 or 5. At higher levels, when martial types can set themselves up to consistently pile up enough bonuses potentially hitting the triple digit range, any single digit edge is pretty trivial.

Then of course there's the precision damage issue. If something is immune, the rapier loses an amount of damage equal to its user's level off this curve, which makes a huge huge difference.

You also feel this difference any time you score a crit... which is going to be pretty often. 18+ crit ranges on the weapons we're talking about, double that and it's a 15+, or 30% of the time. Now true, if you have the Precise Strike deed, every time you score a crit, you can use the point of panache you gain from doing so to add that lost crit damage back in, but that's assuming that A- You don't need that swift action for anything else, B- you don't need that point of panache for anything else, and C- You aren't scoring multiple crits in a single round, and wasting panache by hitting your cap. Plus there's this weird offset where the extra damage gets added to your next hit, not the crit, which can get kinda screwy at times.

This point is particularly relevant if we're looking at a single rapier swashbuckler next to one with, say, paired sawtooth sabers. The latter's critting more often, already getting the full damage from doing so, and getting to keep the crit panache to spend elsewhere.

So really, it's not at all like having some sort of always-on smite bonus, like it looks at first glance. It's just a weird offset to the potential damage you're losing by fighting with one hand. It doesn't come close to compensating at low levels, but kinda makes up for it by catching up on the high end of things, but at the end of the day, your output is just being brought up to par with Timmy Two-Handed.

Aleon Hunter wrote:
Not sure if I take a penalty or not for firing as soon as I see something without trying to aim, like stepping forward and firing as quickly as possible. It hits all creatures within a 15-foot radius, as Aleon is expecting to see more spiders or deadly things in this dungeon, he is trying to get the surprise on them, if it even looks alive, he fires at it, even if he ran into a statue, he doesn't take time to process what he sees before firing, just that it is alive or looks like it can be.[/ooc]

While it's possible to, say, ready an action to take a shot at anyone coming around the corner you're actively watching, and get off a quick surprise round attack, when you are the one coming around the corner, particularly in a group, with a sunrod lighting the way, there really isn't any way to get an action off before you turn first comes up like that. There's still something to be said for pre-rolling first round actions just to speed things up for this sort of PBP game though, but as it stands at this particular moment...

Winding around the corner, the western passage opens up to a small chamber, in which a small crystalline rock formation juts from the center of a murky pool, with no other exits in sight.

Kudaku wrote:
Lissa Guillet wrote:
Not relly a life choice. Changelings hear the call and are pulled to the coven but honestly, that's built into their instinct and once there, they don't have much choice in the matter. When ARG came out, I wrote a little class called the hag-riven that was all about being in the middle. About those that heeded the call and either managed to get away or were rescued in the middle of the ritual. They didn't usually manage to be much better than their hag sisters but they retained a portion of their own sanity and personality though tended towards the chaotic. It was a fun advanced race and it specifically mirrored some of my feelings on being trans.
Is there any way I could convince you to either post this race somewhere or send it to me in a PM? I have a player I think could be very interested in the class you describe. :)

Sounds pretty much exactly the sort of character I was describing so, yeah, I'd like to see that too.

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Most of the major issues have been covered by other people (saves, swift action bottleneck, lack of appealing deeds, nothing you can't honestly do better as a fighter).

Also problematic is that the most obvious and archetypical way to throw one together is honestly a series of traps-

The whole premise of the class is to provide a viable dex-based melee character with a lot of charisma. Light armor, free better-than-usual weapon finesse, and of course, fighting with a rapier and buckler.

So to start off, we have our stats. Seems like the best way to go should be something like Dex > Cha > Con > Int > Wis > Str or some such, right? Not really though. Honestly, it's the most MAD class there is. You need a fair deal of strength in order to carry a reasonable loadout of equipment without exceeding your light load limit (which you absolutely must avoid), might as well make it at least a 13 for power attack and the various feats chained off it. You are a frontliner with a bad fort save, so you need all the con you can get. Bad will too, without any real consolation prize a la bravery, so you can't neglect that. Int is nice to have conceptually, and hey, 4 skills, but you're going to wind up dumping it through the floor, particularly since you can sub it out for feat requirements. Charisma, if you aren't subbing it in to qualify for combat maneuver feats, is shockingly inessential. Sure, it gives you more panache, but the swift action bottleneck and recharge mechanic mean you only ever really benefit from 2 points. 1 to keep the passive abilities going, one you're going to spend on some swift action or other every time it's there (and your odds of getting it back each round are fantastic). Plus, hey, there's a minimum of 1 panache, and a feat for 2 more. Totally covered no matter how low you dump it. That leaves dexterity which... honestly you don't need. You're not using a bow, you're not casting haste before the party spreads out, and your reflex save is fine without it. All you actually NEED dex for (if you're cynical enough not to chase the premise on principle with a truckload of tax feats) is AC... and even then, all you really need is enough to hit the cap for a chain shirt. Your dodge bonus, and easy shield access handle the rest. Or you can just ignore it completely and count on parry/riposte to keep you safe. So if you're looking purely at optimization, Str > Con > Wis > Int = Cha > Dex. Maybe Con ahead of Str honestly.

Now let's look at your options for weapons. Rapiers are clearly promoted, there's that deed that lets you add your level to damage if you use one, right? Well no, that's not a bonus, it's an offset, and a lousy one. All that extra precision damage does is offset the damage you're losing by not using a two-handed weapon (or paired weapons), and it's not like any of the other class features prevent you from doing so. All you're doing is giving up a big chunk of your damage every time you crit, or fight something you can't crit, without any real benefit. Speaking of crits, they're how you recharge your panache, so you want as many as you can get, and you get more with paired weapons. So ideally, you want an 18+ crit weapon in each hand, or an 18+ and a 19+. Even just two 19+ will give you a faster panache turnover. And, again, more damage on crits/against critless. Plus there's some cheese where you still get the precision damage when you aren't full attacking built into the wording.

A high dex, lowish strength smart charming rake with nearly no armor should be the best way to throw a swashbuckler together, but in practice you're shown up by a big tough dumb lug in a chain shirt with two sawtoothed sabers. Or a member of any other martial type with the amateur swashbuckler feat. You don't really feel the difference until level 11 or so when you're missing out on that bleed option, but you also aren't dying to a single lucky hit from a ghoul or a wyvern before you get there. And then there's the archetypes for Magus and Cavalier in the mix.

I don't think the idea really works as a hardcover. Paizo has, generally, been very very good at avoiding the common problem with RPGs putting a little of everything into every book, and generally keeping things condensed and consolidated, and this would very much be a case of "I need this big thick book on the table just too look at these 10 pages, here and there over the next several months/years.

I'd still really love to see a hardbound version of Crimson Throne that updated things though... or any of the pre-Pathfinder APs, should they somehow untangle themselves from the limbo of muddled ownership.

rkr1970 wrote:
How many cantrips does an arcanist get at each level? Am I having another brain fart or is this missing??

Are you looking at the spells/day chart instead of the prepared spells chart? If I recall, they get the same number as a sorcerer per day, and start with all of them in their book.

LazarX wrote:
You might want to clarify that you are talking about Eberron changelings as opposed to Golarion changelings which are all female offspring of hag/human matings.

No, I was absolutely talking about hag-daughter changelings.

The context here was rationalizing a character who had identity/self-image issues related to race. A changeling is a skinny little human-sized girl who has the potential to transform into a big hulking monstrous hag around puberty. If you want to get into extreme body image issues with a character, there's some pretty fertile ground there.

But again, that's still not really equatable to the trans experience, more of a regrets about a major life choice thing.

The one thing I see that doesn't add up is that he is completely ignoring the encumbrance rules. Have him fill in the weight for everything in his inventory, leave just the number in each of these blanks (if you put "6" a myth-weavers sheet will total things up correctly, but "6lb" doesn't parse as a number to it).

Fill that in correctly and you should see his AC suddenly plummet, he loses access to all his deeds, and his speed drops to 20'.

His damage, meanwhile is actually too low if I'm reading this right. +1 (weapon) +6 (slashing grace) +1 (weapon training), +1 (weapon spec), +6 (precise strike)= 1d8+15, 2d8+24 on a crit.

Which is, incidentally, totally on par for martial types. If he were a fighter built along the same lines, he'd be doing something like 2d4+18 with power attack.

I'd definitely audit the other PCs sheets and make sure they aren't selling themselves short. You'd be amazed how many first-time players' sheets I've seen where they weren't adding their strength bonus in to anything.

Shalelu: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (2) + 10 = 12
Damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
[ooc]Oh hey, 0 HP even.[/o0c]

Random target: 1d3 ⇒ 1
Wasting no time at all, you quickly surround the spider before it can properly react to your presence, jab at it with various blades, wounding it so heavily that it collapses after a single attempt at chomping into the soft exposed flash of Aleon's arm.
Bite: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5

100 XP and moving right along!

Past the spider's cavern, the narrow tunnel continues to twist along, with a passage branching off eastward, from the look of it joining the main cavern, another curving off into darkness to the northwest, and a third continuing along to the southwest, but narrowing to such a thin crack between the rocks that one would need to very gingerly squeeze their way through. (Escape Artist, DC12)


Pressing along through the narrower tunnel single file, you shortly come across a wide chamber, serving as the nest to a rather oversized wolf spider, currently dining on the corpse of a similarly sizable gecko. While you might be able to back away and leave it be, it seems unlikely that it will ignore you should you make your way past.

Surprisingly Alphabetical Initiative Order: Aleon Kairi Niveus Saif Shalelu Spider

Knowledge Nature 11:


Anthropomorphic Animal is also on the table.

Can't see much in the way of practical usage, but if someone loses their limbs and nobody has regeneration, technically it's a stopgap fix.

There's a much stronger case to be made for changing into "Gail" again to be her only option, honestly.

Generic doesn't mean random. You can't specifically impersonate someone else with it (although you can get a good start on a disguise) but you can absolutely make yourself look the same every time you use it.

There's plenty of magically disguised villains in Paizo published adventures to back up the consistency angle.

I'm assuming there was a typo there, and it was meant to have the same "solid requirements; BAB X, Brawler Y, or Monk Y" requirements as every other similar feat in the book. Someone should probably stick it in the errata thread I assume is floating around somewhere.

Had a chance to flip through this today, and aside from some serious gripes about swashbucklers, I'm pretty impressed.

Just to get the negativity out of the way up front:
the dex to damage feat situation isn't all that upsetting, but it's still coupled with the saving throw issue, the swift action bottleneck, the huge number of deeds I just can't ever see any reason to consider using, the lack of dumpable stats, the fact that they can get away quite easily with dumping cha through the floor, and the weird way in which two weapon fighting is so much more effective than the rapier-and-open-hand style it seems built to work with... all of which I really rambled on about plenty in the play tests. The archetypes are a bit odd too though. How is a picaroon supposed to reload, exactly? And why does every archetype have to go and dump bleeding wound?

All that being said, the rest of the classes cleaned up real nice for the release version. I'm particularly impressed at how much Hunter turns around when the archetypes are on the table.

The archetypes for existing classes really open up some interesting options, almost all of which look really solidly built. Same goes for new feats. It's particularly nice to see some added support for vital strike, and these new combat styles.

A fifty-foot-high cliff rises along the marsh’s southern border, its face a thick tangle of jutting rocks and bright green vines and nettles. A curtain of these thick nettle vines partially conceals a cave opening at the base of the cliff.

As you cut away the nettles, Shalelu asks, "I don't suppose anyone happens to have some handy little magical lightsource on them? Looks too twisty in there to rely on sunlight, not that there's much left." It quickly becomes apparent that between the five of you, the only sources of illumination are a pair of torches carried by Saif, and some sunrods on Shalelu, one of which she lights and passes off to Kairi. "You have a hand free more often than not, right?" She smirks.

Inside, the cavern quickly branches off, with a comfortably wide, if somewhat flooded path winding southward, and a much narrower, and twistier branch to the west which curves south at the outer limits of your vision.

Secret Wizard wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
I would say actions matter. If someone lacks natural empathy, but generally struggles to do the right thing by applying ethical reasoning and/or following a strict code, then they are making a genuine effort to be good despite their limitations.
This is part of the problem with alignment. I think alignment means motivations. The rulebook says alignment means effects.

No, the rules are pretty darn big on motivation. The random backstory generator in Ultimate Campaign (which is rather annoying in how it kinda treats good/law and evil/chaos interchangeably, but still) lets you get yourself to just about any alignment from the same circumstances, based entirely on why you did what you did and how you felt about it after.

There's also the whole concept of attonement, the mandate for chaotic evil characters to act in a self-serving fashion but otherwise no real restriction on what they can do, etc. etc.

Good to know. My main issue with zoom is less with the centering though, and more with shrinking the font size when zooming out. Particularly since the main reason I ever do so is to measure out some crazy long distance or other.

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