Well I would use this as a precedent:
A merciful weapon deals an extra 1d6 points of damage, but all damage it deals is nonlethal damage. On command, the weapon suppresses this ability until told to resume it (allowing it to deal lethal damage, but without any bonus damage from this ability).
So its either all or none, bane included. Fortunately, as a melee attack, you can always hit them again (and switch to the other type).
Greetings! I have been running a Wrath game for about 3 months now, and my party of adventurers are about halfway through the second adventure. I wanted to share what I did in order to change the power progression for my characters in order to maintain the feel of divinely empowered while not being overly powerful to make the path as written difficult to play.
I utilized the Homebrew and Advice forums to help crowd source some of these changes:
First, I threw out mythic all together and then made a mishmash of the gestalt rules to replace the mythic tiers. At the moment of ascension in book 1, the party got to choose a second class and a prestige class that they would like to have. After that point, they were gestalt in their two base classes (so equal in level to original class) and for every tier they earned, they got the abilities of a level in their chosen prestige class (1 tier= 1 prestige class level powers not including BaB, saves, skills, or HP for the prestige).
My players include the following:
Paladin/Oracle(Battle) of Iomedae with Sentinel abilities
Inquisitor(Cold Iron Warden/Witch with Exalted abilities
Cavalier(Order of the Star)/Bard(Arcane Duelist) with Battle Herald abilities
Druid/Bloodrager(Draconic) with Dragon Disciple abilities (yes sliver ^_^)
Pyrokineticist(yes pyro... sigh)/UnRogue with Arcane Trickster abilities (a little bit of modding for this one as no arcane, but worth it)
Action so far:
It takes a little bit of balancing here and there, but the fights have been really good so far, with just max hp for the baddies. We've had two close calls for death, and both were based on character choices rather than just a bad string of luck, as the Paladin separated himself from the group one night to talk up the troops, the same night that Exorious is meant to attack, and he did spot the Paladin so went after the isolated target.
Then there was the 'kick in the door' strategy for the ghouls in the chapel on the bluff, where the party brought the entire dungeon down upon their heads... lol, who needs stealth?
As to any of my other modifications to make this work, feel free to ask away, or suggest any other things you think could work well.
Thanks for the support, as I couldn't have come up with everything without the assistance of these boards!
Any—Minor Wishcraft: You gained some power of wishcraft from a genie ancestor. You can spend a use of a racial spell-like ability or your elemental assault racial trait for the day to instead use any 0-level spell as a spell-like ability. The spell must be used to produce an effect requested aloud by a humanoid within 30 feet since the end of your last turn.
If that is the wording, it doesn't give you infinite uses if you don't have an at will spell like ability as you expend a use of your spell-like to use any 0-level spell (singular event). One casting of any 0-level a day is hardly broken.
1/day darkness =/= infinite cantrips.
At-will darkness = infinite cantrips.
Of course, now it will be a rules forum argument for some 5000 posts on reading comprehension... sorry if I just brought that on...
Well, I decided on a mix of things, I posed the question of gestalt vs mythic to my players and in a 4 to 1 vote they wanted gestalt. So, to make up for the power deficit, whenever they would get a tier according to the AP, I am giving them a stacking level in a prestige class of their choice. so when they would be for example level 6 tier 1 I have one going gestalt Bard/Cavalier and getting the Battle Herald to stack on top.
While they get the class abilities of the prestige, they don't get the saves or bab or HD, so they are still the same level, just gaining stacking abilities.
This has brought up an interesting question: caster levels stacking. I have several that will end up qualifying for a higher than 20 caster level, which is fine. To simulate the greater power without mythic I'm allowing breaking of the cap on spells (ex 10d6 fireball) once CL is greater that 20 as follows: Add the spell level to the new maximum for variable effects related to level once your caster level exceeds 20.
So in the case of fireball, the new max would be 13d6, at caster level 23. Still a work in progress, but the players are excited to see if they can still handle mythic enemies with gestalt+ that I've come up with.
I also will implement a daily allotment of Hero Points, as was suggested earlier (thanks to everyone for their input so far!) which I think will be equal to 1/2 their level, with maybe a +1 per tier they have gotten according to the story.
Ex. lvl 6/tier 1 is now Gestalt 6 + 1 level of prestige abilities tacked on and 4 Hero Points a day.
Whew... crazyness, but should be loads of fun!
A very large YMMV issue, as many people don't play at such high levels. Mainly games that I run end around the 13-15 level range, as after that the story is complete, or real life issues get in the way of the group, etc. For my part, I try not to stifle the creativity of my group, but when I see the same thing over and over, I tend to feel obligated to do something to break everyone out of the rut. That's where my monk splash limiter came from (the + to AC from WIS is limited by your monk level) as all my players save one were x/1 monk wisdom based characters... so boring...
So, considering that you can only take free actions on your turn you are essentially trading away the 1.5x Str mod on any Attacks of Opportunity to get the defensive buff from the Crane Style feats. Its a little cheesy, but I would allow it in a game I run. More options are usually a good thing.
I quite agree, which is why I simply give the PCs the instant kill ability on the enemies and don't give it to the bad guys. It's an awesome narrative tool, and won't hurt the players win-win if I ever heard of one, and as a house rule, who cares that it's weighted in the PCs favor?
Until the second session, you can change whatever character details you want. You'd be surprised how much this one is useful.
I tend to take this one step further, with my new players. If they choose something that they find useless, and it hasn't meaningfully impacted game play at all, then I allow them to swap. For example, if someone chooses improved steal, and never once uses it... then I'll let them swap it out between session for something more useful.
Exactly the issue I'm running into, thanks for asking Charon's Little Helper, if gestalt can keep up (perhaps with some other mods) then it may be the best way to do things, if not...
My group is fast approaching the climax of book 1... so my time is limited in figuring out which way to take the game.
Thanks for all the debate and opinions, the math behind the rules too!
Been a great help.
I need a weapon selection for a unique pirate, details below:
I'm going to be starting a Skulls & Shackles campaign soon as a player (yay! I never get to play! always the GM... heheh) and was given the option to play any of the races in the races guide that can't breathe underwater. Duergar is a fav of mine, so I ask, he says sure.
Then, in a glorious twist of fate, he offers me another strange option: you can play any archetypes to classes you want and if they clash, pick one option, scrap the other. So I get to thinking and I've decided on a very strange combo: Mutation Viking! Mutation warrior plus Viking (-Shield bonuses to the Viking progression).
RP wise, I'm a grey dwarf who has gone slightly insane due to my time in the sun. While I get the mechanic of Mutagen starting at 3rd level, the flavor is gonna be that I am only bolstering my abilities in my mind 'alchemical' is just the means to figure stacking. I essentially spend an hour mixing whatever liquids I find around the ship/wherever I happen to be, and due to madness or luck, gain a Mutagen. Add this to Rage starting at 4th level, and I'll eventually be a Str monster.
It's a 20 pt buy, and I can take any of the feats that a Duergar gets in the monster codex as well as things like Steel Soul should I desire it. I get one campaign trait, and one of my choice (unstable mutagen, sorry no changing this as its for the flavor).
I want to figure out a fun weapon combo, to cover ranged and up close, possibly reach... not sure. My initial thought was a mancatcher, but my GM reminded me that its sized specifically, and I do want to use my Enlarge Person ability, which would make the mancatcher useless while I'm increased in size.
Anybody have any advice on a good thematically appropriate weapon choice for an insane Duergar who believes in his own alchemical powers? Doesn't have to be super strong, just looking for some fun thing to cap out the build.
Thanks for the read, I know it's a wall of text ^_^
Hmm, so perhaps if the ability to take the mythic version of feats were added into the Hero Point system, they could be considered to be on par...
This is awesome everyone! Thanks for all the thought provoking discussion, keep it up!
As an update, my gaming group has just started the WotR AP, and while they are about level 3 and in just the first book, I still have some time to decide if I want to offer either option (mythic or gestalt) before that point.
I lurk a lot on the boards, and the whole disparity that is touted between martial and caster still exists in mythic. I agree that mythic is amazing, and while I have more experience with gestalt (which might bias my opinion slightly) I think they both make for interesting groups.
At this point, I'm wondering what might bring them closer to par, like for instance I wanted to run a group of gestalt characters through WotR that don't get mythic.
Any ideas to lower the disparity besides Hero Points? Thought that is a good suggestion, it seems to be only a step in the right direction.
So if its the general thought that mythic is simply better, what would help balance things out if I were to offer my players the choice of mythic or gestalt? Giving the gestalt players Hero Points? Or some kind of statistic increase? Like +2 to 3 different stats? Or just a +2 to a stat of their choice every 4 levels to keep them on par with the mythic increases?
Any thoughts would be welcome
When I build a gestalt character, I try to use the two classes to cover each other's weaknesses. The Paladin/Bloodrager is a nice combo, another I enjoy is Inquisitor/Monk (unchained now) for the very potent defense that can be brought to the battlefield. Stalwart+Evasion can make casters cry, especially when you consider the offensive one-two punch of a flurrying judging very fast moving character.
While mythic will make either the inquisitor or monk more potent in a limited range of situations, I feel that gestalt covers a much broader base of situations, allowing for a well rounded jack of all trades that is in no way a slouch.
But for casters, yeah I can see where mythic could just be plain stronger.
I have a question I've posed to my gaming group, and would similarly like to ask the boards here at Paizo:
If you consider the relative powers of a character that gains a mythic tier at every even level to a gestalt character, which will come out to be more powerful?
To expand upon the first question a little: are they comparable in power? Is it far too subjective to make a call? Are there level ranges where one is obviously superior to another?
Personally, I think they are about equal, both have massive min/max potential, and can make for difficult to balance for parties.
Food for thought
Is allowing the Domain spells instead of heal/inflict at the choice of the player? Or is it any cleric, and if you want the heal spells, you need the Heal Domain?
I'm asking because it may be something I put forward to my gaming group, and was wondering if its 'must be selected at character creation' type of thing.
This is awesome! Wow, Kirth Gersen and Metal Sonic have made me realize that if I'm going to be using house rules so much I really need to make the time to put them all down on a document for my players to read at their leisure.
The showing up on time rules are something I never thought of either, but would be of great benefit, as I have a couple that always show up about 15-20 minutes late each week we play... lol.
HP has always been a sore spot in running games, I really don't like the mechanic of rolling for HP every level, as my heroes are the focus of stories. I've got a slightly more complex rule, but it allows me to calculate my players HP on the fly, as I'm so used to it:
Level 1: max
Example: A level 8 Wizard with a Con of 12 and no toughness will have:
49 HP (7+(6*7))
d12 gets 9 per level after 1st
It's not perfect, as it's a little weighted for the not exactly divisible by 4 hit dice (rounding up to their benefit), but it works fairly well, and none of my players ever complain, it makes leveling up a matter of math instead of having to roll dice in front of me, so as soon as a level is earned, they get to work.
These are all fun ideas! I already use the no XP rule in our games, and have for so long I didn't even think to include it in the original post, lol.
Only recently have 2 of my players started to get into the minion master style of play, I like the index card idea! It has slowed our games down quite a bit, and that might fix things.
Keep 'em coming everyone! This is my kind of thread!
As title, I would just like to see some opinions on house rules that you feel enhance the game, either as flavor, or you feel are a mechanical improvement.
1) Wis to AC for monk dips: at one time the gaming group I led had 4 out of 6 characters dip 1 or 2 levels in Monk because they had Wis as a main stat. I discussed with them a limiting factor and we decided that it should be tied to the number of monk levels such as the Duelist prestige class limits int to AC: a 1 to 1 basis. So, want +2 to AC? Need 2 levels monk.
2) For the Stonelord Paladin for dwarves, I calculate Lay on Hands off of the Con stat, yes I understand it is a bump in their power, but I don't feel it is overpowered and it fits thematically in my mind as they draw their power from the earth.
So, what are some house rules you use, and why do you feel they improve the game?
Thank you, I've always wanted to avoid any unnecessary hostility, which sadly seems to be a theme on many forum boards all over the internet. However, while it seems that people are passionate about their opinions, this thread at least is trying to maintain an on topic bent.
I shall endeavor to be more involved in the future, as I hope this game continues to thrive and I have many more books to buy in the future!
Matthew Morris wrote:
No, cunning caster. You know, the feat I quoted showing that you need it to hide your spell casting? The feat that makes it clear you need it regardless of the visible manifestations of the spell?
What source is Cunning Caster from? I'm not familiar with it and would like to read up on said feat.
Matthew Morris wrote:
Spellsong? That feat? The one that allows a Bard, and a Bard only to hide casting when they are denied the use of Silent Spell as RAW in said metamagic feat description?
My post was only meant to illustrate that Spellsong is a weak argument as Bard magic is specifically forbidden from using Silent Spell. If we argue on common sense and logic so much, it is very logical to assume that Spellsong is an answer to the fact that Silent Spell isn't allowed to a Bard, which would also bring up the question: if Spellsong replaces Silent Spell, is Silent Spell everyone else's means to hide casting?
There has been a strong reaction within the thread after someone posted about Spellsong, stating that its wording must signify something. In my opinion, all it signifies is that a dev saw that Silent Spell wasn't allowed to a Bard and went... hmm there's an opportunity to make a feat for Bards!
You can cast your spells without making any sound.
Benefit: A silent spell can be cast with no verbal components. Spells without verbal components are not affected.
Level Increase: +1 (a silent spell uses up a spell slot one level higher than the spell's actual level.)
Special: Bard spells cannot be enhanced by this feat.
The bolded line explains away Spellsong, sadly. I don't think it can be used as an argument that all spellcasting has some Spellcraft check visual element if Bards are specifically exempted from using Silent Spell, and got Spellsong instead...
I have a question that I'd like to pose to both sides of the debate:
What if my character, who specializes in counterspells, has a permanent Arcane Sight spell, (or is a Drow with said racial feats)?
Can I then see a Silent/Stilled spell with my readied action?
Not to derail things completely, I was just curious if this might make it so playing within either interpretation of the rules would still allow one to make a niche character: the counterspelling master!
Astral Projection gives you an incorporeal astral body, so hitting the demiplane at any speed is irrelevant. Once you arrive at the demiplane it creates a new temporary physical body, with a copy of all your gear so you could still wreak a lot of destruction. Unfortunately, this is why I said the cold war issue is still a thing, as you can literally go nova, and even if you die, as you are there via Astral Projection, you just snap back to your body with 2 negative levels, which are a minor nuisance to a high level character, Greater Restoration, and problem solved.
What's worse, there is a lvl 5 version that allows you to travel in the astral plane without going to the other plane, which means a much lower level caster can find a demiplane. Even if that only allows them to map the 'address' of said demiplane, it means trouble for the inhabitants, as there is no special kind of RAW spell that I know of that extends your senses to the astral plane unless you scry, but what if the BBEG sends a low level henchman you've never met, or even knew about? According to your setting lvl 9 is fairly common (most adults are 10th level) so this shouldn't be hard to accomplish.
I've found as a GM the more complex I make a situation, the harder my players try to unravel it... humans are a strange lot. If I leave things vague, I always have less issues with world breaking attempts.
Hope this little trick doesn't prevent you from running your game though!
Yup, exactly the point of Permanent Telepathic Bond + Find the Path. No distance is too far as long as you are on the same plane. In 3 dimensions 3 points can be used to triangulate exact distances... no idea how many it would take in 4d, but should be possible. Angles to demiplane plus distances between points (in this case bonded PCs) and bam!
Maybe 16 points for 4th dimension math? Ah, math is fun but 4d thinking is a tad outside my realm of expertise.
Kamikaze divebombing via subjective gravity... lol.
The Telepathic Bond would at least allow you to narrow the distance down to a realistic level where you are both on opposite sides and then you can just take bets at who will fall into the demiplane first via the gravity rules.
Oh! I forgot to mention that I have two more ways to defeat the 'infinite' nature of the way you describe the Astral Plane.
1) Permanent Telepathic Bond, Find the Path, and Teleport.
Two creatures teleport on a line until they each have opposite directions on their Find the Path beacons, then take turns teleporting half the distance towards each other, waiting until the Find the Path beacon 'flips' as it were. How close do they have to be before they most certainly find the location?
2) Occult Adventures added this text for the Astral Plane to RAW:
Travel through the Astral Plane is a strange affair, as the plane's subjective directional gravity means that each traveler chooses the direction of gravity's pull. Creatures can move normally in any direction by imagining "down" near their feet and "falling" in that direction. In this way a creature "falls" 150 feet the first round and 300 feet on each successive round. Movement is straight-line only. A character can attempt a DC 16 Wisdom check to set a new direction of gravity or stop as a free action; this check can be attempted once per round. Any character who fails this Wisdom check on successive rounds receives a +6 bonus on subsequent checks until he succeeds. When moving in this manner, the traveler does not have the sensation of physical movement. Rather, the landscape of the Astral Plane (such as it is) seems to come toward, through, and past him. Scintillations of light are thrown off by the astral body as it moves along at great speed.
Therefore, once you have narrowed down the location with step 1, you can further simplify things by making your subjective gravity 'down' towards the demiplane and fall at 300 ft/rd straight towards it for the low cost of a DC 16 Wisdom check (just use 2 divine casters :-P)
I love these kinds of mental exercises
To answer your question it comes down to a philosophical difference in the way you have presented yourself. In reading the whole thread, and yes I read all of it, you tried to force convince people using mathematics and the belief that you were correct in there being no possible way to reach another demiplane because (many, many reasons). While this is fine, and all well and good, I have played DnD since the early 80s and Astral Travel was always a relative thing, you didn't have to know your exact destination, and only had to make will saves to move in the proper direction (though they weren't called will saves at the time!). Look at the 3rd Party spell Astral Caravan and you will see more what I'm talking about. It uses Knowledge checks to make progress to a destination until magically arriving.
If instead you started out declaring that the Astral Plane was not the same Astral Plane that I have know and interacted with since 'Astral Plane' was used in conjunction with DnD/Pathfinder/d20 games of any type, then I would have no issues.
I think the majority of the resistance to your geometric view of the Astral Plane is more a legacy thing. There are many who have played various different incarnations of this game, and defining things to the level you do, while fascinating and a wonderful mental exercise, is completely irrelevant to the gameplay, especially considering you, in your capacity as GM, would categorically deny any attempt to 'break' your world system.
It boils down to a simple, because I said so... which again is totally fine, but when you ask people to find holes and then go on to deny that said holes exist its the social equivalent of asking for an opinion on an outfit and then when you hear something you don't like saying, 'Well, your opinion isn't worth squat!' and many people get offended by that, especially considering that an internet forum is a very difficult place to convey tone.
Hope that wall of text wasn't too bad... this is why I tend to lurk rather than post... *sigh*
Player 1 casts: Astral Projection!Player 1 casts: Find the Path!
Player 1 is overly stubborn and will spend the rest of his days searching and casting Find the Path over and over again... never to be seen or heard from again apparently...
At this point I would have to respectfully opt out of your campaign, but it still seems like a fun premise.
Good luck, and don't forget to keep on splitting my infinities!
You failed to answer the last question: what if I, as a PC in your game, decided to use Astral Projection to find a demiplane. If your answer is still, it's impossible, then you are not using the RAW, which is totally fine, but at that point you would be hard pressed to find players willing to believe that you were not simply using GM fiat to make your setting work as you desire.
No where did I state that said outsider would travel via spells (other than Astral Projection to get an astral body), simply physically in the direction of the Find the Path spell. Time is immaterial if the creature so tasked is immortal. Which is why I pointed out that if a tasked creature has a terminable point to said task, then there is no listed duration to a planar binding instead of the 1 day/level for a task such as: guard this location.
If you wish to simply state that nothing can find the Demiplane, that is your prerogative as world creator and GM, but in a world of infinite resources as a canny spellcaster I would always send out some bound immortal creature to follow the path, yes mundanely if necessary, until I had a tuning fork for each and every demiplane that I knew existed. If I'm immortal, who cares how long it takes? If I have infinite resources, who cares how much it costs?
You were looking in your original post to see if there were any problems with the premise and if you could avoid a cold war style standoff, but with said infinite resources and time, the answer is no.
Your reply will probably include some iteration of: they can simply make a new plane, and yes that is true, but we are just getting back into the fact that there is a counter to everything. No matter how many times you wish to say, but this, anyone can come back and say, but that.
At this point it has been definitely answered: the setting works wonderfully if you desire it to do so. It seems like a fun way to design a world as well, especially if you play up the demiplanes and have different styles and themes all the time.
Let me put it to you this way: if I were playing in your setting and said I was going to bind an outsider and task it with making a tuning fork of demiplane X, and I didn't care how long it took, how would you handle it?
What if instead I decided to go myself via Astral Projection, which has no set time limit? Would you simply say my character is dead, or will be traveling an infinite amount of time and so is effectively dead? I'm immortal and patient, and what else is there to do?
First off, I'd like to say this thread is enthralling, and has pulled me into actually posting for the first time ever, and I've played Pathfinder since it came out, albeit only homebrew, but eh, fun thread ^_^
Crimeo, how is the demiplane concept any different than the default cold war status of the Tippyverse described on the first page? It specifically states within the Create Demiplane line of spells that Astral Projection can travel to them, and in astral form, 4d travel has to be possible, so Find the Path plus Astral Projection should RAW lead to the discovery of any demiplane that can be named.
More insidiously, you bind a being capable of astral travel with at will Greater Dispel, and pay said outsider to travel to X demiplane and dispel each and every Permanency spell holding the plane together. Who needs to dispel the demiplane itself if you can simply stealthily remove the magic supporting its very existence? Under binding an outsider, if the task has a definite completion, the duration isn't just 1 day/level.
If you simply want to force the hand of the other demiplane, then instead of destruction, you can send an outsider there simply to attune a fork for Plane Shift. Probably much cheaper that way too, as the task is travel, cast a spell, teleport back to me and give me the attuned fork.
Overall, its an interesting mental exercise, but I don't see a way to remove the vulnerability of annihilation if you only play RAW, even with the limitations you place on Wish and Miracle.