Steve Geddes wrote:
IF the tarrasque moves to within ten feet the fighter can attempt an OA, which probably won't hit: with a 16 Strength and a +1 weapon, the fighter needs to roll a 19 or better. But there's no good reason for the tarrasque to get that close. It has a reach of 15 feet with its two claw attacks and 20 feet with its tail.
If the fighter wins initiative she has two chances to hit with polearm master, although she still needs a 19. Getting a third would require the tarrasque to do something on its turn that triggers an OA, which is unlikely.
BBEG encounters shouldn't always be any one particular thing. Some can be short but deadly, others long, running battles of attrition. If you've got a good aligned party, you can even have the BBEG surrender so they can try to play mind games with the PCs before they either escape or get rescued by their minions (think Loki in The Avengers).
If you have players who won't freak out, maybe once in a while you can have the BBEG set up an ambush that's way too high a CR for the party, but designed to capture rather than kill. If it succeeds (and it probably will), they'll be taken inside the Fortress of Doom where they'll have a chance to take the BBEG by surprise and turn the tables - as soon as they escape from the clever deathtrap they're thrown into. If you do this, don't forget to have the BBEG reveal his entire evil plan to the "helpless" PCs. This kind of villain loves to monologue.
Rogues are AWESOME!
- It's not hard to get a sneak attack every round, then use Cunning Action to dash away before the target can retaliate.
- Add twice your proficiency bonus to your favorite skills with Expertise, then at level 11 you can't roll below a 10 with those skills, with the capstone auto-succeed at level 20.
- Use your reaction for reduce damage you take by half.
- Thief's Reflexes gives you two turns on the first round of combat.
- Assassinate gives you an auto-critical if you have surprise.
- Invisible Mage Hand.
- Stealing spells right out of the mind of a spellcaster.
It just get better and... wait. Are you guys talking about Pathfinder rogues? Yeah, I guess that is different. Never mind.
You are completely incorrect about how tough it is to see or hit a target at that range. It is much easier than you think. With just a few hours of training most people in good enough health for military service can make an incapacitating shot 80%+ of the time at 400 meters, using the somewhat underpowered M-16 series rifle. With a top quality hunting rifle they'd do considerably better.
However, more than likely, the battery is a part of the unit and not separatable - you can't pull a dead battery and load a new one, you'd have to replace the entire PPU, and that is impractical - it probably costs your entire allotment of GP per 1st level just to buy one.
So we're assuming that all the tech was made by Apple?
When I was in the U.S. military we had to be able to reliably hit a human-sized target at 400 meters just to be considered minimally qualified. That wasn't using a scope; just the regular sights built into the rifle.
"Yes, I know that the posted announcement said it would be a game based on King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and I see that the other party members are two human fighters, a human cavalier, and a human paladin, but my ratfolk witch/alchemist really isn't any more powerful mechanically than the paladin so I don't see what your objection is."
Doram ob'Han wrote:
Thanks, thejeff! Is that the only issue? If I understand correctly, 5e doesn't assume magic items and caps abilities at 22, so there might be ways to balance that out. Instead of "proficiency bonus," we could just use the PF attack progression. (Part of my thinking in asking is that I'm not going to sink any money into books I'm not going to use, so if this is a crazy idea, I'll leave the $50 for the 5e PHB in my wallet.)
Ability caps are at 20. Characters in 5e generally won't have attack bonuses or saving throws above +11 even at 20th level. The highest non-magical armor class is 20. The attack bonuses for multiple attacks are all the same - not like PF's decreasing by 5 for iterative attacks. However, only fighters get more than 2 attacks per round. Characters in 5e recover lost hit points faster than in PF, assuming no magic.
Spellcasters have fewer spell slots in 5e than in PF, and all of the spell descriptions are different. In particular, the concentration mechanic makes buffing work very differently. Cantrip damage scales with character level, but damage from other spells does not. However, many spells of level 1+ can be cast using higher level slots for increased power. Spell saving throw DCs are based solely upon the caster's level and ability scores, not the level of the spell.
5e D&D is not a revision of 3.5; it's an entirely different game. You could, with work and some fudging, convert characters from one system to the other, but using both in the same game is probably not going to work.
David Bowles wrote:
I would not feel confident at all playing an arcane caster in 5th against a tactically minded GM.
No version of D&D was really designed to support playing against the DM, and 5e significantly less so than 3.PF. Having the right build has much less impact on combat than being able to gain advantage/avoid disadvantage, which requires cooperation with the DM rather than competition.
David Bowles wrote:
I'm using DnD dash to look at the defensive spells in the game. Given that every single one I have looked at is less potent than their Pathfinder equivalent, and martials have far more attacks on the move, it really doesn't look good to me.
And a level 17+ caster with a maxed out casting stat casts spells with a saving throw DC of 19.
Which is just what I said before: martials can threaten casters, and casters can threaten martials. Nobody has an "I Win" button.
David Bowles wrote:
I'm not asking anyone to quit playing 5th, I'm more asking why someone who enjoys casters would play 5th.
For you, there's obviously no good reason. You don't like it, and that's fine. For other people who enjoy casters, however, reasons to play 5e include:
Cantrips that scale.
Reasons that apply to both casters and non-casters also include:
David Bowles wrote:
If you're the DM, you can deliberately screw your players in 5e just like you can in any other RPG. But if you're just using monsters of the appropriate CR and playing them using only their intelligence and in-world knowledge instead of metagaming them, the game is not any more hazardous for casters than it is for anyone else. If moving and attacking had the effect you claim it does, we would be seeing that in games all the time. There are an awful lot of us playing this game, and we're not seeing this happen. If anything, balance issues go in the opposite direction; casters are still slightly OP (especially Circle of the Moon druids), although not nearly as badly as in 3.PF.
That's not to say that 5e is perfect; no game is. And you have every right to prefer something else. But the problem you're seeing in theory does not exist in play.
David Bowles wrote:
Yes, but I see it even more potent in the hands of a GM like myself. If I were GMing 5th ed, I can guarantee that caster death rates would be sky high, as opposing NPCs would exploit this mechanic constantly. Because they are not dumb.
Unless you're deliberately trying to screw over the players (and if you are, then the rules don't matter), the monster's ability to use mobility is balanced by the PCs enhanced mobility. A wizard, for example, can move into position, cast their spell, and retreat behind cover. Clerics can do that too, or they can choose to move and attack with weapons - many of the domains make for pretty good front line combatants. Attackers are more mobile, but so are blockers; they can aggressively move to intercept incoming enemies without losing their ability to deal with them. Tactical thinking and creative use of the environment are rewarded significantly more than they are in 3.PF, which makes for more variety and more cinematic action in fights. As a DM, my reaction to the change is that it makes it a lot easier to have people running around, jumping off of things, swinging from chandeliers, and generally acting more like they're in an action movie than a board game. There's no way I can count that as a bad thing.
Sorry if this has been asked in this 300 post thread; What do people feel about the approach of D&D 5e? On finesse weapons you automatically get dex to attack and damage. Also thrown weapons apparently use Str for attack and damage. I only started off playing a 5e campaign so I don't know how this works out first hand but all over 5e assaults my sensibilities about how things are supposed to work with that being the latest thing so I don't like it but I will play devil's advocate and say that the game hasn't imploded over it and it seems unanimously liked mechanically.
Actually, with finesse weapons you get your choice of using Str or Dex for attack and damage. Most of the time the distinction doesn't matter, since a very strong character probably won't be using finesse weapons, but it can be important if the Str character is without their normal equipment and has to grab whatever they find.
As far as breaking the game, hardly! The higher damage melee weapons are not finesseable, and you can only add your full Dex bonus to AC if you're wearing light or no armor. That means that Conan and the Gray Mouser are both viable options. (William Tell too, since they fixed the absurd longbow/crossbow disparity.)
I'm thrilled that 5e lets me play a decent swashbuckler right from 1st level. The character I'm playing right now is an Dex-based elf two-handed fighter with the pirate background. She's proficient in Acrobatics, Animal Handling, Athletics, Perception, Stealth, Navigator's Tools, and Water Vehicles, and she speaks three languages. Her proficiencies, background, and ability to cast Prestidigitation make her useful out of combat as well as in it.
If every melee build will take something then it need to be a class feature. You shouldn't need feats just to be have average competency in your chosen profession.
It's not for me to tell you what character you should play. If all you care about is pure, optimized power, you should be a spellcaster and not worry about using either Str or Dex to do damage.
But a Str fighter will still do more damage than a Dex fighter because the highest damage weapons are not finessable. And last I checked, barbarians don't increase their Dex when they rage.
Back to realism, hp damage is wounding people. Would you rather in real life be hit (unarmed, with a weapon, whatever) by someone strong, or someone agile? Can you really say that they're equally important, or anything? Heck, why not Cha to damage if we're getting absurd?
I'd rather not be hit, thank you very much. Beyond that, I don't seriously think it matters whether some big bruiser cuts me in half or an expert fencer slashes my throat. I'm the same amount of dead either way.
Which makes you both suspects. It's not an either/or. People investigating an assassination attempt are not likely to assume there was only one person involved.
You can't accuse your agent too soon, either, or you'll sabotage your own plot. The king has to have already taken the poison and be, if not dead, then beyond the point of being saved. By that time your flunky might already have told someone, or written about it in his journal. Somebody might have seen the two of you talking less than an hour before the king was poisoned. Also, the bottle and type of poison might be enough to identify the apothecary it came from; that person has never seen your agent, but has seen you.
Also, how did you come to meet this person so that you could cast Charm Person? Even asking about the names of the kitchen staff is suspicious if you don't have a good reason to need to know.
I would say this plan has more chance of success than a professional assassin attempting to take the king out. It's a basic sleeper agent approach, using someone who has no motive and would not be suspected as the agent. The other nice thing about being low magic is that all of the easy mystery solving spells the royal guard would otherwise use are gone as well. Hiding mundane evidence from mundane medieval era investigative tactics is childishly simple.
If your agent is somebody who has no motive and would not be suspected, then the investigators will be more likely to believe their story. (And if they are somebody known to have a grudge against the king, they won't be likely to have access to the king's food.)
Getting access to somebody that close to the king without anybody finding out that you have a motive to assassinate him would be an extremely difficult task. People close to power watch each other very carefully, and if you are known to hate the king and have access to the kitchen staff, it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to see the obvious.
Believe it or not, criminals were frequently caught during the Middle Ages. They might not have had scientific crime labs, but they did have intelligence and the ability to add up clues. And, of course, as others have pointed out, low magic does not mean no magic. Your entire plan fails if the royal cleric routinely casts Detect Poison on the king's meals.
That's hardly "zero evidence left behind." Any competent investigator will check out the attendant's story, whether they believe it or not. The type of poison and the bottle it came in are both evidence as well. Plus, if you're using a slow-acting poison, the charm will probably wear off before the king dies. Is your lackey going to get scared and blab everything in time for the royal physician to find an antidote?
This plan also requires that you find somebody who has access to the king's food. And you would also need know a great deal about the internal workings of the court and the personalities of the people involved or your charmed lackey might get the idea to do something else, like hand the "antidote" to the royal physician, or to the king himself. It's not necessarily impossible, but it would be very difficult to pull off this plan.
Overall, I'd say that STR-based and DEX-based martial characters are pretty well balanced. Neither one is gimped.
STR gives you more damage in melee, and it's used for grappling and pushing. Also, barbarians get damage a damage bonus if they use a STR weapon while they're raging, and heavy armor has a minimum STR to avoid a movement penalty. Plus, the best non-magical armor for a STR character is slightly better than then best for a DEX character. STR determines carrying capacity too. The Athletics skill works off STR, and there are usually plenty of circumstances where a straight STR check is needed during an adventure.
All the rules you need to play are available for free in pdf format. It may not have absolutely everything you could possibly want; I'd certainly prefer for the full books (with illustrations even) to be sold in pdf format. But it's a bit disingenuous to claim that there's no electronic support.
You can make characters perfectly capable of doing cool things with just the core rulebook. Druids and wizards, for example, are a thing.
You can also make fighters and rogues, however. So when the new player wants to create a character who can sneak around in the dark like a ninja, or a highly dextrous fighter like Legolas or Captain Jack Sparrow, which options do you steer them toward? If you stick to the CRB you can always tell them that Pathfinder is more of a magic game and doesn't do those kinds of characters very well. No problem, so far.
But what about the experienced players who like using all the various books they've collected over the years to create their characters? Do you tell them they spent their money for nothing? Or do you let them play some really cool characters that the newbie can't have? Or do you just tell the new player to go read 1,000 pages or more of game rules so they'll be able to keep up?
Don't get me wrong: having lots of options is good. But having lots of "options" that some of the players don't consider optional when other players can't realistically make the investment to take those options is not so good. And presenting new players with lots of options that appear to be far better than they really turn out to be is very bad.
No DM is going to give a player that kind of money, and power, at first level.
I would, if it fit the campaign. I've done it in 2e, and I wouldn't hesitate in PF. It's expected in Pendragon, and in 5e Noble is one of the official backgrounds in the Player's Handbook - with a variant trait the PC can even start out with retainers.
Quark Blast wrote:
Someone up-thread said:
Those who have departed from the one true way, and do not play the unadulterated game as it was revealed by the blessed developers are no longer worthy to bear the name of Pathfinders. Their magic elf game isn't the TRUE magic elf game that alone is Pathfinder.
From your description, it sounds like what they want isn't Literature Epic, in the sense of just barely overcoming nearly impossible challenges, but Video Game Epic, meaning they can effortlessly win the game.
For the next encounter don't bother to roll dice or play it out at all. Just say, "Okay, you killed sixteen gnolls. What loot do you want them to have been carrying?"
Exactly. Fighters and rogues having to roll to hit is okay, because those classes are so overpowered, but wizards need their spells to always work perfectly or it just isn't fair. [/sarcasm]
I should think it would be much easier to just do what Sauron did: live in a world where Teleport spells don't exist.
Mechanics vs. roleplaying becomes an issue when you're trying to create a character who, based on either real life models or common fictional tropes, ought to be a great adventurer, but who in purely mechanical terms is significantly weaker than a character built with different options (crossbow vs. longbow archer, for example).
Low magic is a very broad term, making it difficult to generalize. A setting where magic works normally except that spells above 3rd level simply don't exist will not feel (or play) much like one where all spells are available but the minimum casting time is 10 minutes/spell level. Or one in which casting is unchanged but magic items with a caster level about 5 are legendary and never available for sale.
I'm pretty sure those people weren't living in North America, where some of the native groups (in the Great Basin, for example) had never even seen a gun before the 1830s.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Different also != bad.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
And in this case, since the game is designed and balanced around an assumption of high magic, this particular difference is generally pretty bad. If you want to play low magic, why not use a system designed to support low magic?
Perhaps Pathfinder is more flexible than you think it is. Why is there resistance to people playing the game they way they want?
The issue is that some spells are required for the game to function on a basic level. You can literally not play the game without healing magic, at least not in any significant capacity. Restoration is a pretty much mandatory spell to exist. You can play without raise dead/breath of life but high level monsters sort of expect to kill at least one player sometimes (Take a look at banshee's or demiliches). Without remove disease/curse a simple CR 5 mummy will kill at LEAST one member of the group. Heck you can't even HAVE a mission in hell/the abyss/another plane without sufficiently high magic but those are not something for everyone. The problem with low magic is the game simply doesn't function without access to specific removal/healing spells. You could however build a nearly functional system banning ARCANE magic.
First of all, low magic does not mean no magic.
Second, not having easy access to healing doesn't make the game unplayable, it makes the game play differently. Powerful monsters like the mummy, demilich and banshee you cited become challenges that require preparation and clever tactics. You can't just stand toe-to-toe with them and wear down their hit points; you need to create a situation where you can take advantage of their weaknesses and restrict their ability to attack.
Without ready access to healing, a mummy or a banshee isn't just an encounter, it's the entire adventure. You have to first figure out what you're dealing with, then do the research to discover how it can be beaten. You might need to undertake a side quest to obtain some special item or material, or lure the monster into a spot you've prepared for it. Only after a great deal of preparation do you confront the creature and (hopefully) destroy it.
It's a very different style of gaming from the "fight everything until you clear the dungeon" mentality, but that doesn't make it any less worthwhile.
If I want real life I don't need a roleplaying game.
If you want something that avoids either extreme and might add a little flavor, consider making the pouch last for 1 adventure. It has to be replaced between adventures (a trivial cost for most PCs), and on the rare occasions that this isn't done - the character is trapped in a dungeon, or marooned on an island, or something equivalent - you can have the player roll a d20 every time they cast a spell with a material component. If they roll a 5 or less, the spell uses up the last of that component.
I wouldn't call vengeance in any form good. At the very best it might ride the line between neutral and evil. Mutilating people while they're still alive is very evil. Doing it after they're dead, maybe not. It depends on what the character believe about the afterlife, and on the effect it is likely to have on others who witness the mutilation.
However, in this context it really doesn't matter what I think. This is something you'll have to ask your GM about.
The only reason somebody needs for homebrewing, house ruling, or otherwise changing any part of the game is "because I want to."
DM: You find a DC 18 trap.
Player: I use Disarm Device and... a 23.
DM: Okay, you succeed.
DM: There's something rigged to the door. There are wires leading from the knob in through a hole in one panel. At the top of the door it looks like they're connected to a trap door in the ceiling above you.
Player: Is it a trap?
DM: It could be. What are you going to do?
Player: Is there some way I can disable it?
DM: Make your roll.
Player: Ah... 23.
DM: It looks like cutting the wire on the left with your dagger will disable the device, whatever it is. Is that what you want to do?
Player: Um... yeah, I'll cut the wire.
DM: There a soft click just as the wire parts. It looks like you've succeeded. What are you doing now, trying the door?
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Low magic means some magic, pretty much by definition. In Chanson de Roland exactly one character has an unambiguously magic item - the sword Durendal. A couple of the other knights have named swords that might or might not have any actual magic. That's pretty much it.
My point about this and the other stories in both the Carolingian and Arthurian cycles is that, even if you count the world as high magic, the heroes are not. They are all exclusively martial characters. Once in a while one of the great knights might gain a single magic item, but they still rely almost entirely on their courage and skill to win the day. Casters fall into one of three categories: 1) court wizards who don't typically adventure, 2) enemies, and 3) ladies who inspire the knights to do great things.
If you want to call that high magic, fine. But a campaign in which none of the PCs can cast spells and where they can expect to obtain just one or two permanent magic items in their entire career is very different from the Magic-R-Us feel that is the default for Pathfinder.
So what does the fighter's player do for the parts of the game that aren't combat? Have a second character with useful skills? Or just sit there playing Angry Birds on their phone?
A character that's only good for one thing is not a viable PC unless the game is severely limited.
However that severely limits not just the class but the game. Adventures have to be made up almost entirely of fighting, which is boring for a lot of players, or else whoever is playing the fighter just sits there bored while the rest of the group is having fun.
That's because the game isn't creating your character; it's playing your character.
Examples of options include two weapon fighting (anybody can do it, no feat required). Moving around the battlefield (in 5e you don't have to give up any attacks when you move). Taking prisoners (when you reduce an enemy to 0 hp you decide whether they are dying or just unconscious). Using DEX instead of STR with a finesse weapon has already been mentioned. Plus, in the 2/3 of the game that isn't combat, you'll have something useful to contribute, no matter what class you picked. It might be just barely possible to create a character that is only good at one thing, but you really have to try hard.