Judge Trabe

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804 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.

I'm trying to build a Sensei. I have a lot of questions.

WIS>>>>DEX>>CON dumping CHA.

1) I gather Qinggong is a good match with Sensei, although I'm leaning toward Ki Mystic for the skill utility and reroll buff.

-Is it possible to take all 3 archetypes? Qinggong says you replace monk ability X with a ki power. Can you replace the conflicting monk ability (mystic visions) with a ki power to resolve the conflict? (And generally, can you ignore everything past level 12 for PFS in terms of conflicting archetypes?)

-For Ki Mystic, does the +2 to all knowledge skills allow you to use them untrained, or would I have to spend ranks to use them?

-Any suggestions on what item to choose for Vow of Poverty, or would that make life too difficult?

2) Aside from buffing, what is my secondary role? Grappler, stunner? Stay out of combat? The latter seems like it would be a waste since I could get pretty good AC/HP.

3) Any trait/feat suggestions?


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I posted a small part of this in the MMO wish list, but it got buried. I am reposting it here for the purpose of discussion.

I constantly see people talk about the "dumbing down" of WoW, and I want to address this with regards to PFO.

In a way I completely disagree. WoW is incredibly complex and sophisticated, and no amount of information on wowhead, google, or wow forums can detract from that.
But I understand where they're coming from:

1) Rote fights. Endgame often consists of watching a video of another guild killing a boss, and replicating what they did over and over. While the fights are always pushing new levels of complexity mechanics-wise, they are still repetetive. Nothing ever changes.

2) One button wonders. While this is an exaggeration, every class basically has their "go-to" ability. They spend some time ramping up, some much more or less than others, but ultimately the goal is generally to push that one button as many times as possible.

3) Binary challenge curve. Often fights are either impossible or pushovers--very tough or very easy. Few challenges ride the grey area. This is because, due to the static nature of everything else in the game, the only variables are fight mechanics (which are rote once learned) gear level, and the wide spectrum of player skill.

Solution strategy:

Something needs to be done to mix things up. Something that is somewhat forgiving of skill, yet also provides challenge for players operating with years of experience. Something to really diversify things.

And I think the answer can be found right in the Pathfinder RPG.

No Holy Trinity!

There is no "tanking" at the table. Tanking implies aggro control, which does not exist in RAW. (Except for that one feat which shall not be named.) Sure you have your tin cans and meat shields, but tanking is more than being able to take hits and running in first. Without aggro, these builds are just more survivable damage dealers.

Healing is not a dedicated role at the table either. On the contrary, healing in combat is decidedly sub-optimal.

Dedicated damage dealers are not required due to the variety of campaign style options. If you run a social game, for instance, you may not even engage in combat.

The point is, the Trinity roles don't exist as such at the table. The Trinity roles don't feel like Pathfinder.

What could this mean?

Remember playing through dungeons while leveling in WoW (or whatever you've played), before you really knew what you were doing, before knowing that you were "supposed" to tank 'n' spank? It was chaotic. It was awesome. How could we make that the way the game is supposed to be played?

Get rid of the Trinity roles.

-Make "tanking" be about keeping yourself alive while the focus is on you, rather than about keeping the focus on you, as it is in other MMOs.
-Keep taunt (in fact, make it available to everyone as a skill), but do not have any aggro ensuring abilities or aggro multipliers. Taunt would give you brief seconds of control, be used as an emergency to save another player, and be on a long cooldown to avoid taunt swapping.
-Give all martial characters the ability to situationally "tank" as part of their utility abilities or cooldown abilities.
-Give all ranged characters the ability to root, snare or otherwise control mobs at range--effectively, to "tank" at range.
-Give everyone comparable damage opportunities (lest they be pigeonholed into a role due to lack of built-in potential).
-Make "healing" be ideally done as HoTs, shielding, buffs, debuffs, potions, between fights, that sort of thing. Do not require dedicated healers.
-Give people more options for mitigating damage done to other players than just healing. Got a shield? Use it to protect your friend. Shooting arrows? Cast a spell to give the current "tank" a short, powerful protection buff. Casting? Debuff the mob so it does very little damage for a few seconds.

In other words, give everyone some ability to perform all three of the former Trinity roles in some manner.

What effect would this have?

Roles would be dynamic instead of static. One minute you'd be DPSing something your friend was tanking, the next, you'd be tanking! But it would be ok, because you'd have the situational tanking tools you need. The ping pong would be constant, but that wouldn't mean an automatic wipe like it always does in "trinity" based encounters. Instead, it would mean no fight would ever be the same twice. Very basic boss fight mechanics could generate wildly different fights over time.

This would preserve the feel of the PnP game, give characters improved PvP viability (especially group PvP where the strategy almost always boils down to "kill the healer"), and also introduce a revolutionary tactical challenge to raiding that would not relent once the strategy is learned. Players would always need to be paying attention, be prepared for when they get aggro, and have a plan for how they will deal with it this time around.

In short, it would require players to think.

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What, if any, will the penalties be?

How accessible will resurrection be?

I have for the last couple of years had a certain fascination with this man--Nikola Tesla. I mean, half the shaman in World of Warcraft have derivatives of his name, he must be awesome, right? Right.

The man invented wireless electricity. Over 100 years ago. We are only now starting to make use of this. The process is even named after him--the Tesla effect. He invented X-rays and supposedly a death ray. Because of him, we might have had free global telecommunications, (and possibly by extension free wireless electricity), except for an investor who didn't see the profit in it.

He is the quintessential steampunk.

So which is he--genius or crazy?

To what uses might his many and often bizarre theories be put to solve modern problems? Particularly, alternative energy and energy efficiency?

I want to get a general sense of people's use of this aspect of the game. Do you hire people to take care of your horses while you're in dungeons? To fill a missing role? What role does your cohort play?

Does anyone have house rules for using mana as a resource rather than spell slots?

I was having a discussion with my group the other day, and one of our players mentioned he hates saving throws. I'm not saying I agree, or even knew what to say to him, but his argument was this:

1) Two of the three saving throws are redundant skills. Reflex is the same as Acrobatics, and Fort is the same as Endurance. (Willpower is the obvious exception.)

2) Saving throws take the "roll" away from casters. His opinion is that part of the fun of playing melee is rolling to see if you hit. Spells, on the other hand, shift the roll to the defender. While that can be fun too, it makes being a caster fundamentally less active in play. He would rather have a static value to roll spell hit against.

What do you guys think?