Fire Giant Forgepriest

Ian Bell's page

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It's still impossibly game-y feeling - it doesn't feel like something that grows out of the fiction at all, it's the worst kind of immersion breaking for me.

MaxAstro wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Frozen Yakman wrote:
No it doesn't because DCs are not level dependent values. Eventually everybody reaches 95% success at picking normal locks. The variance between specializing in picking locks and not caring whatsoever gets washed away by level.

We don't really know how true this is.

Hypothetical adventure 1: All locks increase in DC at a rate of 1 per level. PCs who are better at locks than others will remain better by the same amount. Levelling up may feel like a treadmill, giving only the illusion of progress.

Hypothetical adventure 2: All locks remain the same DC throughout the adventure. As PCs level up, skill bonus points become irrelevant because everyone has enough skill points from their level alone to pick all locks.

Hypothetical adventure 3: Lock DCs vary wildly. Some locks will be pickable by all PCs of the expected level. Some are borderline impossible for all PCs. Some are vaguely level appropriate (eg, 90% for specialist PC, 65% for amateur PC, or 10% for amateur, 30% for expert, or something like that).

I think this is a really good example. I think a lot of people who don't like level-based bonuses are coming from a point of view of assuming either #1 or #2 will be true, and I think Paizo is aiming for #3.

Whether they hit that mark or not remains to be seen, but those hypotheticals are a good way of demonstrating that it's possible to have a meaningful outcome other than the ones people seem afraid of.

Here's the thing; in practice, #3 is the same as #1. Pathfinder does most of their business through published adventures, whether that's APs or PFS or Modules. The DCs in those adventures for anything that actually matters are going to be set such that they're a challenge to specialized characters of the expected level, just as they always have been in prior content.

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I like this in general.

However - I question the idea of having spells, and Spell Points, and then you don't use the Spell Points for casting your regular spells, but rather some other 'spells' that aren't really spells. This is 100% going to confuse people.

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The critical failure on spell saves is probably the first rule I'd remove from a game I GM. Those sorts of effects always disproportionately affect PCs, and I've never seen a fumble system that increases fun for the players. Leave that sort of thing for games like Blood Bowl.

EDIT: Honestly, in general, critical failures - especially when tied to chance of success - have the effect of discouraging players from trying heroic, low odds things under duress, which is another thing I don't want. Just really not a fan of this system in general.

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Fuzzypaws wrote:
Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
That sounds cool until someone summons a lillend azata and the GM needs to stop and customize it, or (possibly even worse) have the player do so. Let alone if they summon 1d3 of them.

Summoning is already a gamestopper unless the GM enforces that characters with summoning spells have their stuff looked up ahead of time, instead of poring over the options in the monster manual. So if you want to summon chaotic outsiders, you have your little stat block already written out in your notes or you don't get to.

The GM would already have this worked out ahead of the adventure and presumably could just toss d100 a couple times to build it instantly if forced to improvise.

If the player has to pre-prepare the stat block, it becomes just another vector for min/maxing rather than any kind of flavorful chaotic randomness.

necromental wrote:
FaerieGodfather wrote:
Well, I do not agree with you there. Making an effective character should be the default assumption, and it should be damned near impossible to make an ineffective character accidentally.
If all choices are (mathematically) the same, why are there choices? I'm all for raising the floor and lowering the ceiling, but I don't want to live in a 4ft tall apartment.

I mean, if we're throwing out spurious analogies, presumably you also wouldn't want to play on a baseball team where everyone else on your team gets issued a baseball glove, but you have to play outfield with a pair of mittens.

A more or less level playing field should be the default for a whole host of reasons.

graystone wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Noir le Lotus wrote:
QuidEst wrote:

1. PF1, nobody moved. My players had to be reminded of how to do things without provoking all the time. I think allowing movement leads to tactics, and Fighter being unique in locking things down is good.

Well if only fighters have it in the party but all monsters can do it too, that won't change a lot : your party will remain unable to move ...
Some monsters will have it doesn't mean all monsters will have it.
If enough DO it would effectively stop the tactic until/unless the monster is ID'd to find out if it does. This also makes IDing humanoids CLASSES an important tactic.

Assuming that humanoid monsters *have* classes; they may be 4e/5e style things like 'hobgoblin soldier' or whatever, with enumerated special abilities that make them function *like* a class, without having to burden their stat block with tons of minor class abilities.

Arssanguinus wrote:
So you think that(presuming you are unskilled at basketball) there is actually a non zero chance that you won’t be embarrassed and humiliated?

What I think is, we accept a certain amount of uncertainty into the outcome of die rolls. That's literally why die rolls are in the game. We don't say, "well, the big bad guy is 5 levels above the party, we'll just say he wins because he's better at fighting than they are." What is it about the skill system that makes it any different from how we resolve anything else in the game?

Arssanguinus wrote:
But it still means there is a pretty significant chance of the less skilled person winning the roll off.

Why is this acceptable in combat, but unacceptable with skill checks?

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Arssanguinus wrote:
Save that now at mundane tasks a legend is barely distinguishable from a barely trained individual.

Who cares? If the DC is 10, why does it matter if the legendary character beats it by a lot more or a moderate amount more?

Nathanael Love wrote:
Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:

I am gonna agree with this. I ran PF for years, I ran pbp here on this forum, I ran games IRL and now I run 5e. Every single class in the games I have been involved with feel different. Sure the math is the same or close too it, but non of them feel the same.

And people go on and on about "Oh the wizard and the fighter have the same chance to hit" which is both true and false. The caster my have the same chance to hit ranged, but as someone playing a melee cleric, I will tell you the fighter, paladin and Barbarian all outclass me in melee. I can match them for a few rounds by burning though powers, but not all session.

In the end, this "oh they have the same chance of hitting" misses the whole point

I couldn't disagree more.

In fifth ed the Paladin, the Battle Cleric, and the Battle Bard all play virtually identical.

I had a bard and a cleric at the same time in two different games and they felt like identical characters.

There was a Paladin in the group with my cleric and a battle cleric in the group with my bard (both played by the same fellow player)- this only confirmed to both of us that all three "classes" were essentially identical.

There was also player with a one level fighter dipped Wizard- who eventually always out damaged the Paladin, the Bard, either cleric in melee-- but ALL of those were basically useless because in 5E Barbarian is overpowered and you basically shouldn't play anything that ever intends to swing a melee weapon that isn't Barbarian.

This doesn't come close to matching my experience with 5e. Not even a little. At our table the paladin significantly outperforms the barbarian in terms of dealing damage, whereas the barbarian is able to TAKE way more damage, while also giving everyone advantage. It's a flip of their expected support vs. damage roles in other editions, to be sure, but the idea that a 5e paladin is 'useless' is completely ludicrous.

Frozen Mustelid wrote:

The barbarian can't assist the rogue because the barb doesn't have proficiency in either skill. You can't assist another person unless the assister is proficient.

This is only true of checks that require proficiency to attempt in the first place, like, say opening a lock. In which case the example doesn't apply at all, because the barbarian could never make his own check after the rogue failed.

Frozen Mustelid wrote:

Bounded accuracy is atrocious. Your main thing you specialize in the whole game is rendered worthless through will of the dice. Consider this scenario between a level 8 rogue with +3 Int and Dex and expertise in Search and Thief Tools and a level 8 barbarian with -2 to both Int and Dex and no proficiency in either skill.

Rogue: I search the chest for traps. (rolls nat 6) 15!
DM: You don't find any traps.
Barbarian: I want to try! (rolls nat 18) 16!
DM: The lid is sitting on a pressure plate. It will be difficult to remove the trap without setting it off.
Rogue: I try to disarm the trap. My Dexterity(Thief tools) check is 17 (nat 8).
DM: You're trying to jam the plate closed, but it doesn't want to stay.
Barbarian: Let me try that.
Rogue: Sure.
Barbarian: WOO! Nat 20! That's an 18.
DM: You manage to jam the plate. The chest is now safe to open.

This is not a hypothetical scenario, this happens ALL THE TIME in 5e. It's not always the same player, but very often the one player who took an obscure or rarely-used ability is completely upstaged by another player because of a bad roll. It feels awful. 5e is designed to make every class useful in combat, so as a player you feel like your build is useless because the only thing you can contribute is damage, which every other class can do just as well - And if you're having a bad night, you can't roll to hit, and the enemies make all of their saves because level-appropriate enemies rarely have less than a 40% chance to make their save. Heck, a CR 1/4 Zombie has a 15% change of making its CON save against a level 20 Wizard with 20 (i.e., max) INT. Because zombies have a +3 CON mod, they can make a DC21 save by rolling 18. Likewise, a CR 1/4 skeleton can take half damage from Fireball from the same wizard on 19. Since the average damage of 5e Fireball cast at its lowest level is 28, and skeletons have 13 HP, if you roll low on the damage then it's very possible for skeletons to survive being Fireballed by a max level wizard. Out of all of the...

Perhaps I'm veering off topic, but the skill examples you gave here are not really how 5e is supposed to work. Your trap-checking example, for instance, should have been resolved as 'the barbarian helps you search, which gives you advantage' - so you'd have had 2 rolls at +9 rather than a roll at +9 and a roll at -2.

The takeaway for the larger discussion, I guess, is that you can't really discuss 5e's bounded accuracy/DC system without accounting for the effects of the advantage/disadvantage system.

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It seems silly to base your argument on 1e abilities we don't even know are going to be there in 2e. (I rather think that Divine Grace will not exist as-it-is-now in 2e, frankly.)

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thejeff wrote:
Threeshades wrote:
That's your preference. Mine is what we have right now. I like how these characters look despite practicality. And I think its alright to have some characters be a little more exposed for reasons of sex appeal as long as its done for both genders. And it's not like unarmored pants are going to help seoni against sword blows and dragon claws. Since she's a sorcerer we won't see her in armor anytime soon.
It's not so much armor against sword blows and dragon claws. It's "Completely impractical even for walking in the woods not expecting to be attacked by anything."

I mean just the ticks and burrs alone...

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I'll give it a chance, but the short description makes it all seem a bit game-y and 4e-ish, which concerns me. If it ends up being more along the lines of 5e in terms of filing off the edges while remaining more of an experience than a boardgame, then I'll feel a lot better about it.

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I'm padding out the content of the adventure to put it on the medium XP track instead of fast, so my plan is to have a lead from the fishery take them outside of town to a nearby village for a couple days, then they can come back to Les Miserables barricades already in progress and have it make a bit more sense.

"You ignore your Strength penalty to damage" is not ambiguous. It doesn't matter why you have a penalty to damage from Strength; you ignore it. It doesn't need clarification. I'm not sure where that Editor's Note comes from, but it introduces confusion that is not actually present in the feat.

I imagine things would get pretty tough for the ratfolk around the time that the plague hits and everyone starts blaming them. Seems like a good hook.

The battle poi should probably have its damage line expressed as "0 + 1d4 fire".

I ended up taking critical focus and quick draw on a samurai character (who gets limited forms of those baseline.) Compounding the fact that I was dual-wielding different weapons, even. Definitely not the most optimal character ever, but he was fun.

Aeons, perhaps, or experimentation by axiomites.

Large and reach is just asking for trouble, especially in a dungeon. He's not only going to trivialize some encounters, he's also going to get in the way of other players, etc. Perhaps he should look at options that are less crazy race point wise, like an ifrit with the enlarge person SLA or whatever.

Sundakan wrote:
They ignore 20 points of hardness, but can't be used to cut through anything that would be useful against, so that point is moot.

There are creatures with hardness.

I wouldn't apply it to ongoing condition effects like bleed damage, catching on fire from an alchemist's fire, etc. IMO you're not the source of the damage at that point, the condition is.

As an aside, naginatas are not swords.

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I think you mean the inferred maximum would be 24; A +25 is a 45/55 chance against a DC of 35.

Alan_of_Q wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:
Alan_of_Q wrote:

2: Regarding Magic Vestment + Mage Armour, they will also stack. Mage armour grants an armour bonus (ie raises your base Armour Bonus to AC from 0 to 4). Magic Vestment adds an enhancement bonus to your Armour Bonus.

This can be cast on a normal set of clothing as mentioned in the spell description: An outfit of regular clothing counts as armor that grants no AC bonus for the purpose of this spell.

This is completely wrong.

Mage Armor surrounds you in a field of force that replicates armor, giving you an armor bonus.
It does NOTHING to your clothing or yourself.

Magic Vestment CANNOT target Mage Armor, because mage armor is a force effect and spell, not a suit of armor.

If you cast it on your AC 0 clothing, you get AC+5 clothing. Congrats, it works like a chain shirt or something for a few hours.

Since it provides +5 AC and is a suit of armor, it completely suppresses all the effects of the mage armor while in force, just like it would Bracers of Armor, since it has +5 Ac vs +4 from the Mage Armor.

Your clothing being AC 5 and the Mage Armor being AC 4 are seperate sources of armor and do not stack.


Nay, 'like' bonuses do not stack. But, for example, a 'sacred' bonus to AC will stack with an 'enhancement' bonus to AC.

Mage Armour provides a +4 'armor' bonus to AC. Magic Vestment provides an 'enhancement' bonus to AC. Ergo, they stack.

You are correct that you can't target the force effect created by the Mage Armour spell, but you can target your t-shirt to gain the 'enhancement' bonus.

Magic vestment does not give an enhancement bonus to AC. It gives an enhancement bonus to the armor bonus of the thing it is cast on. It takes the bonus and increases it, THEN you apply stacking. So you have a shirt with a +5 armor bonus and mage armor with a +4 armor bonus. They don't stack. The enhancement bonus does not go directly to your AC.

PRD wrote:

Enhancement Bonuses: Enhancement bonuses apply to your armor to increase the armor bonus it provides.

Nope, regular alchemical splash weapons like acid and alchemist's fire do a defined amount of splash damage, not the minimum. Acid does 1 point of damage to the splashed creatures, the end, it isn't doing 1 because 1 is the minimum roll on 1d6. You can see this is especially clear with holy water (2d4 damage on hit, 1 damage on splash.) It's also, by my reading, not a 'damage roll' which is what Weapon Specialization explicitly refers to.

Baval wrote:

Blade snare says:

This spell creates an invisible magic field that does not stop weapons (whether manufactured or natural) from moving toward you, but impedes their motion when they are retracted. When you are hit with a melee attack, attempt a caster level check against your opponent's CMD. If your check succeeds, your opponent's attacking weapon or body part becomes caught in the field, as if magically affixed to your body. If your check fails, your opponent may retract its weapon.

It clearly says weapons and intends all weapons, as it works on any melee attack, and specifies only "manufactured or natural" as the two options.

What this tells us is that most of us have been using too many categories, as even Improvised Weapons are considered Manufactured Weapons.

There are only two categories of weapons, Manufactured or Natural. Any others are only sub categories.

I don't think we can successfully read the tea leaves on intent from a parenthetical phrase in a spell from the campaign setting line.

Dave Justus wrote:

Mystic bolts would be 'weaponlike spells' which do indeed count as manufactured weapons.

See this FAQ and this one for clarification.

Count as weapons, yes. As manufactured weapons? Who can tell?

AFAIK poltergeists don't 'hold' the items they're attacking with, they just use telekinesis like the spell. As long as the object is in range and fits their weight restrictions they can shoot it at people. There's certainly no reason an object being manipulated via telekinesis would have to be in the poltergeist's space.

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
thorin001 wrote:
Ian Bell wrote:
I think you could also give the bracers the wild armor property but that's going to be a really expensive way to do it.
Bah! Just take them off, wildshape, and have your buddies put them on the new form.
Then you have the issue of the bracers not fitting.

Nah, they resize, and the inside front cover of Animal Archive has guidance on which animal shapes have wrist slots to use (most of them.)

It works OK, especially if you stick almost entirely to a single form.

Which is fine, until you have to switch to a new form mid-combat. Bracers are just a really awkward option here. A friend with a wand or saving for wild armor appropriate to your dex is the better option.

Imbicatus wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Where it can be worth it is wielding an otherwise two-handed reach weapon in one hand. Want to go glaive and shield without being a phalanx soldier? A small polearm will let you.

I've always felt this is a horrible abuse of the rules. But strictly speaking there is no rule against it.

Longspear and shield is a common historical fighting style, and until the introduction of the phalanx soldier it was impossible to match without using a smaller weapon. It does have penalties associated with it in a permanent -2 to hit and an average -1 damage for using a smaller die.

I don't see any difference between it and the iconic barbarian using a large bastard sword.

The iconic barbarian isn't getting reach out of the deal, which is where this one gets people's hackles raised. I probably wouldn't allow it, myself.

Yeah it's not ambiguous. It's really easy to misread as you skim by, certainly I did that before this last druid I played, but it isn't ambiguous.

I'm not really seeing something like, for example, 'the social side of your renown talent stops working on people who both know your vigilante identity and are opposed to it' as being a "brutal punishment". That's the kind of thing I would expect to see happen at my table or the other tables I play at.

Also - I think the ultra-specific pigeon-hole-y design of the class is completely deliberate.

EDIT: With regard to the masked performer, it's not clear to me why it even has the ability. It has basically no mechanical impact on the archetype, since while you can only use Social Grace in your social identity, none of your abilities require the masked identity. I would thus hesitate to use it as an example for anything on either side of the argument, it appears to serve no purpose at all.

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Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
Ian Bell wrote:
If Luke Cage doesn't have a secret identity that needs mechanical representation, then by Pathfinder standards he should probably be playing a brawler.

The Masked Performer Bard also has the mechanical representation of a secret identity, but it explicitly is one that everyone knows about. Why is it acceptable for them but not Luke Cage?

Further, Dual Identity is just one of a big pile of abilities for the Vigilante. For example the Arachnid Wildsoul is pretty obviously Spider-Man. After a story arc where Peter Parker reveals his secret identity to the world is he supposed to retrain to another class that doesn't actually support any of his iconic abilities because ignoring Dual Identity is totally unacceptable? Similarly, does every villain Vigilante that gets defeated and forcibly unmasked have to do a total rebuilt after because that isn't okay?

One can certainly, intentionally or not, end up with a Vigilante whose cover is totally blown. The issue is that the game does not address that possibility or give guidance to its implications, which really is important given how much time they spend talking about the feature. By doing it purposefully one shines a spotlight on that issue, but they are not responsible for creating it.

It seems pretty clear that the intent is that you shouldn't just drop the vigilante class in as a regular option for every game:


Game Masters should consider carefully whether
or not a vigilante will make for a good fit with their
campaign. The class is one that requires a degree of social
aptitude and roleplaying to make full use of its potential.
Campaigns that focus more on wilderness exploration,
travel, or dungeon delving and that are lighter on politics,
negotiation, and manipulation might require a vigilante
player to put in additional effort to make full use of his
class features.

So yeah, in a game where there's no story impact or importance to the presence of the vigilante as character-with-secret-identity, then there's not necessarily going to be much of a reason to care if the identity gets out. The book pretty much tells you to not even use the vigilante in games like that, though.

I would, personally, rather let the consequences of the secret getting out be mostly in my hands as a GM rather than a particular mechanical representation that might not reflect what's going on in any given game.

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Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:

The only weird part is that a known Vigilante would have to change identities at all. If everyone knows that Luke Cage is Luke Cage, shouldn't he just get his Intimidate Bonus or Reaction bonus depending on the person, rather than depending on whether or not he spent a minute grunting and winding himself up first?

Well, that isn't the only weird part, I've got a list of those that starts with switching forms and thus alignments before kicking puppies, but this is the one that is going to come up the most in this situation.

If Luke Cage doesn't have a secret identity that needs mechanical representation, then by Pathfinder standards he should probably be playing a brawler.

Just be very careful about the possibility of breaking their new toy right after they spent, from the sounds of things, a lot of time and effort getting it. Many players will be pretty unhappy about something like that.

I think you could also give the bracers the wild armor property but that's going to be a really expensive way to do it.

Ah, yes, the problem is I can't read source footnotes apparently. Still kind of strange, but not a Pathfinder issue per se.

So, Greater Feint (Mythic) is now kind of strange then.

Yeah it's used incorrectly in the spell as well. Well, partly. Fine for trees, but animals are already sentient.

I wish someone had looked up the word 'sentient' before writing that particular blog post.

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I'm about 99% sure that line in the Throw Anything feature is just there to stop you from adding the bonus twice.

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Put it this way: if you just delete the Throw Anything ability, the Bomb ability still contains the "additional damage equal to the alchemist's Intelligence modifier" language. So no, they don't lose it.

If you're the GM you can ultimately decide whatever you want, if it serves the plot. So go for it, it isn't something that has a mechanical impact, it's just a worldbuilding thing.

Doomed Hero wrote:
The mundane Pilum comes to mind.

Only helps against actual shields, not a shield bonus from a non-shield source.

Slashing, per the "like any other longsword" line.

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