I haven't had time to pore over all 7 pages of this thread, so someone may have already pointed it out....but like the wackiness about Vital Strike, I'm pretty sure the whole 'you have to wield a 2-handed weapon to cast your spells if its your arcane focus' thing is a result of poor wording more than anything else. Otherwise, how would a wizard use an arcane bonded staff? It's a 2-handed weapon, after all. And I seriously doubt Jason Buhlman intended to nerf the hell out of staff-toting wizards...
'Wielding' as a term isn't clearly defined in the game rules that I know of, but it seems as if Jason was using 'wielded' as a synonym for 'in-hand', which seems reasonable without the benefit of hindsight.
Apologies if this ground has already been covered.
It should go without saying in a thread like this, but just in case, the entirety of this post is my personal (and likely somewhat ill-informed) opinion, and should not be construed as actively hostile towards any other posters. That disclaimer out of the way.... :P
As someone who does believe that life begins at conception (as, if denied the intervention of an abortion, the fetus will most likely end up having bad habits, aspirations, opinions on abortion, a deep love of cheese, etc....y'know, all those things we love so much) I'd like to be 100% pro-life. However, I do personally realize that's an unrealistic position, for a couple of reasons:
1) pregnancy isn't always a choice, with rape being the primary culprit here. A woman who's been raped has every right to an abortion - and if a rape results in pregnancy, the penalty on the rapist should be steeper (or just steepen the penalty for rape all around, I'd be cool with that; that'd cover men and boys who've been raped too).
2) people (particularly young people like myself) often have seriously destructive views on sex. The general scorn towards virgins, for instance. People end up pressured into having sex without really thinking about the fact that it feels so good *because nature wants you to have babies*. Hey, surprise! You had a baby. You'd have to change society's perception of sex in general (it's not evil, but it can be dangerous and should be talked about and respected) to fix this problem, which isn't likely to happen in any timely manner.
3) mother nature's a sexist @#$*& who saw fit to burden one sex with pretty much all the responsibility for the next generation (ironic, considering she's usually represented as female). If paternal responsibility could somehow be legally enforced, that'd be awesome, but as it can't (money doesn't count) I suppose this is just an ugly truth.
Until something can be done about these things, I have to reluctantly grant that abortion is necessary in many, possibly even the majority of cases.
off-topic (short rant on the death penalty):
And for the record, I consider myself pro-life because I *do* believe (human) life is sacred, but I'm also for the death penalty. They're not mutually exclusive. The difference between the two situations is that an unborn child is being punished for a mistake made by someone else; a murderer made a choice that he or she is responsible for. I do think throwing an 18-year-old girl in prison for a mistake is a bit extreme, for the reasons outlined above. However, a murderer violated the sanctity of life in general, and therefore forfeited the sanctity of his own. I suppose if abortion *was* made illegal, I don't think it'd be unreasonable to charge a violator with gross negligence or involuntary manslaughter (from my limited understanding of those charges; I don't pretend to be familiar with our legal system, having never had occasion to be involved with it).
I see your point to a degree, but the capstone doesn't *have* to be tied into spellcasting; it can be something new, like the nature mystery. Oriental Adventures did a really good job with the Shugenja of defining their elemental traits. There was damage (fire), physical buffs and terrain control (earth), healing and restorative powers (water), and mental buffs, utility, and transportation (air). This is way more interesting than the sorcerer air bloodline just being the fire bloodline, but with lightning and flight instead of fire and running. And why the heck was acid associated with earth? The water domain isn't the water domain, it's the cold domain. Elements and energy types don't line up at all, with the obvious exception of fire. Space is damn cold, but relatively dry, from what I hear; the same is even true of winter air. Most naturally occurring acids are organic or exist as chemicals mixed with water, from my limited knowledge (could be completely wrong here, but I doubt it). Lightning has a lot more in common with fire than with the wind.
Anyway, getting off on a bit of a rant there. My point is, you could do something really cool with the elemental capstones, giving the wind mystery powerful and unique weather-manipulation and flight abilities, the stone mystery powerful defenses above and beyond what the mystery already grants, or the ability to manipulate the terrain above and beyond what spellcasting normally allows.
I agree with the OP, and I'll also add that I find the Flame/Wind/Stone/Water Final revelations to be kinda boring compared to the rest of Pathfiner's capstone abilities.
Seconded. All the non-elemental capstone powers are really cool, these seem really vanilla. I never got the whole 'all elements are created equal' logic; the whole point of the four elements is that they're wildly different. Earth is stable and solid and unmovable, water is fluid and flowing and purifying, etc.
The specific ability I'm referring to is Steelbreaker Skin. While thematically I love it, it seems a bit too potent. At a certain point you simply become immune to weapons for 10-20 minutes a day, unless the opponent is using adamantine.
As a case in point, if I'm reading the rules correctly a balor's sword has hardness 12 and 20 hp (10+2 hardness for being steel with a +1 enhancement bonus, (5x2)+10 hp for being a Large one-handed blade. Even at 15th level, when a balor should be an almost overwhelming threat to the group, if he happens to land a couple of hits on the oracle his weapon is gone. Obviously he probably would avoid striking the oracle after his first swing, and the balor has a lot of other attack options, so this might not be a huge problem, but effectively making someone immune to a full attack is kind of rough. This example is also a lot weaker if you interpret any of a weapon's effective enhancement bonuses from special abilities to count towards increased hardness and hp. Even considering these matters, however, just striking the oracle once immediately applies the broken condition to a weapon, imposing some pretty significant penalties.
Of somewhat more concern are projectile weapons. At a certain point, an arrow that strikes the battle oracle just isn't going to survive (if you count the arrowhead as the portion of the weapon that takes the damage, it has hardness 10 and probably 1 hp, considering a dagger only has 2). By level 11, the oracle is simply immune to nonmagical ranged attacks, and quickly becomes immune to even ranged attacks of pretty decent enhancement. On top of that, the language seems a little ambiguous; the ability states that the *weapon* takes damage from striking the oracle. This ability is supernatural, so it's entirely possible that the bow would splinter and shatter from firing an arrow at him; is that the intent? Or does it refer to the projectile?
My numbers here are pretty rudimentary, and if anyone sees any glaring flaws in my logic please point them out. This just seems a little excessive.
Mechanically, I see no reason you couldn't use a lance 2-handed while mounted, though it wouldn't be the big, fat tourney lances, just because there wouldn't actually be anywhere to grip it with your other hand.
There are a couple of lances there, particularly the one on the right, I could see 2-handing from horseback. I don't particularly see why that would be especially overpowered (I've seen what an archer with basic archery feats can do at a decent level; first combat that character was in, at 11th level, he did about 80% of an advanced dire bear's health in one round, and in the second combat, he rolled top of the initiative count and 1-rounded a stone golem before anyone else even acted). However, I *do* stand by the fact that if you as a GM think that looks silly, and would clash with the tone you're trying to set for your world, then you are 100% allowed, even obligated, to ban it. I mean, the GM is perfectly justified in banning entire *classes* if they don't fit with the feel he's trying to get for his game, I see this as being exponentially a more minor affair. Just make sure you're doing it for story or tone reasons, and not just altering the existing mechanics (which allow your player to do what he's asking) to shut down what you perceive as power-grubbing (unless it blatantly is, like a spellcaster flat-out asking if you can remove spell resistance from the game because it 'makes him suck' - which I've had happen).
As a handy example, for some games, I can see the above-mentioned dual-lancer build being over-the-top goodness - but for the game I'm currently running, I'd toss a balled up character sheet at a player for even suggesting it; regardless of the physics or mechanics involved, it looks silly (to me, and to most of my players). We just couldn't take that seriously, and this particular game isn't served best by having laughter and eyerolls erupt every time a character uses his signature move (we have banter and bad puns for that sort of thing). Monkey grip's banned in my current game for similar reasons; no matter how you slice it (no pun intended) a 6-foot man wielding a 10-foot long, 2-foot wide sword looks ridiculous(ly AWESOME). If you're going for a super-high-fantasy-borderline-anime tone where anything goes as long as the character's sword-fu is strong enough, there's very little reason to ban almost anything when it comes to fighters. But the Lord of the Rings films would've been an entirely different story if Aragorn was leaping 30 feet through the air and supreme-cleaving orcs with a 10-foot flaming shocking icy corrosive (what would that even *look* like?!) sword of wounding...with the explosive fountains of blood that the wounding property implies. Ban or allow things as your story demands, just make sure your players understand why - you as a DM aren't there to facilitate them having fun, just as they aren't at the table to serve as your punching bags. Everyone at the table is there to work with each other to have a good time.
True, but the spells he *does* get that allow a save are fairly useful; detect thoughts, enlarge person (useful against enemy archers and mages), glitterdust, reduce person, slow, charm monster, baleful polymorph, hold monster, magic jar, dominate monster, and maze are all solid spells. Most of them have the potential to win an encounter with a small bit of luck. Why *wouldn't* he want to be able to use these? particularly because he doesn't have much use for Strength, Intelligence, or Wisdom, and Con is secondary owing to a couple of damage mitigation abilities.
On point two, I have a couple of issues. First of all, the summon SLA is 3 + Cha mod, so even with a 15 in his primary casting stat (which I've seen at the table a grand total of two times, it's almost always at least a 16), he gets 5 summons per day. With racial bonuses, an 18 Cha really isn't that hard to hit (half-orcs, half-elves, humans, gnomes, and halflings all are most likely getting a bonus to their Charisma if they're playing a summoner). Secondly, Charisma gives him plenty of benefits; it's his primary casting stat. Boosting his save DCs (which are going to be low anyway, due to low spell levels) and giving him more spells per day is pretty nice.
Also, as to point 4, by 7th level a summoner has access to dispel magic. Even before then, any friendly wizard or cleric with a slot to spare is going to have dispel magic prepared, and since protection from good also grants immunity to mind control and a fairly relevant AC and save bonus, it's a prime candidate for dispelling.
Your other points I agree with completely. :)
I thought I'd point out that most of the time, 3 rounds is 'enough for a fight'. So by level 3, even a wizard summoner has a summon that's around for the duration of most combats. Sure, there's marathon battles that go on for 10 rounds or more, but I don't see how most parties could survive those until 5th level or so, and burning one spell slot or SLA to have an extra buddy around for half the fight is not too shabby at all.
The only benefits giving the ability a minute/level duration add is allowing it to be used in multiple fights, letting him nova a one-man army, and improving the scouting ability of summons (which, to me, steps on a lot of toes). He gets *at least* 5 summon SLAs a day, most likely, and most parties are spent after that many encounters anyway, so leaving it at its normal duration lets him toss that once per fight and still have time to buff, attack, etc. Again, he *also* gets summoning spells *on top of the spell-like*, so most summoners are probably going to have somewhere in the ballpark of 10 useful summon spells per day, on top of a badass pet. And again, he still gets it as a standard action, which is a huge buff over normal summoners, who have to wait a round and have a very serious risk of losing the spell entirely if they get hit in that intervening round.
I just don't see why the increased duration is necessary, or how it adds to the class. He's effectively getting 2-3 times as many spells per day as any other caster at first level, and while that benefit is going to shrink as other casters pull ahead of him in spell utility, it's never really going to go away. He's still going to be dropping more summons than anyone else in the game. What's the point of giving him the increased duration on the SLA?
I actually agree with the folks saying that the summon SLA should only be useable one at a time; I think this because he *also* gets actual summon monster spells.
Therefore, they're *not* placing a restriction on him that other classes of summoners don't have to deal with; he can summon with spells as well or better than a wizard can (he gets a 9th-level summon at 16th level!), those two rules match up pretty well. The restriction on the SLA would simply be a unique rule for an equally unique (and totally awesome IMO) class ability.
If he absolutely must be able to toss out gobs of summons with his SLA over and over again, I don't really see why it even needs to have its duration increased at all; even at level 1, he's still doing better than a wizard or cleric or druid summoner because he can toss out a monster with a standard action, instead of having to wait until next round (when his wizard companion or cleaving fighter friend could realistically wipe out half of the encounter or more). Honestly, at level 1, that just makes the summon worth using rather than a waste of a round to summon a creature that will attack once, will probably miss, and even if it does hit will do about the same damage as a magic missile.
Later on, I can definitely see the minute/level duration being incredibly obnoxious, and it's honestly unnecessary. Summoning spells weren't balanced to be used over multiple encounters, unless I miss the intent of giving them a round/level duration in the first place, so allowing them to last two, three, or five encounters (depending on the pace of the adventure, the toughness of the summon, and the level of the summoner) is a big increase in power. I guess I'm basically thinking of it like this: would a minute/level duration hold person seem balanced? A 10 hour/level charm person? An hour/level blur? Just take any other spell in the game, multiply its duration by 10, and think of how you'd feel about giving it to a class as a class ability at the same level most other classes earn the ability. I particularly shiver to think about the idea of a character capable of charming 5-7 people at once for 10 hours at a time at 1st level. Most of us, I'd assume, would be uncomfortable with the idea to say the least.
Letting him summon as a standard action is all the buff he needs to be better at his schtick than any other summoner in the game, as he should be. He doesn't need ten times the duration, especially seeing as unless it works differently than other SLAs, it has no verbal or somatic components (and thus he can use it while grappling or while invisible without giving away his position). With the eidolon and all the versatiliy it grants, being able to toss out 6 summon SLAs and who knows how many actual summon spells per day should be all the soloing goodness you could want. If you really want him to shine as a solo class, just add a sidebar talking about how the class is particularly well-suited to that style, and that if you're playing solo, you'd suggest increasing the duration of the SLA back to a minute/level.
So, to summarize my stance, I'd suggest one of the following:
- simply remove the note about the ability lasting for 1 minute/level.
- add a restriction so that only one summon monster SLA can be active at a time.
Anything more complex, such as giving it a free metamagic or fiddling with the levels at which he gets the various SLAs, would be unnecessary.
Just my 2 cents.
PS: I LOVE SUMMONERS, AND I LOVE THIS CLASS. My last 3 characters have all been summoners, 2 clerics and a sorcerer, and they're incredibly fun to play. I usually stick with one to three summons at a time, and restrict myself to monsters with a single attack for the most part, in an attempt to keep from bogging things down. (Except for my aberrant sorceress/alienist.....a pseudonatural giant octopus will be worth the bookkeeping and prerolling *drool*) This class is a godsend for me, so I really don't want to see it banned or heavily houseruled in any games I end up playing in the future. Keep it simple, keep it smooth!
Not sure if this is a mistake or an intentional exception to the rule, but the save DC for the giant ant's poison attack is only 12; according to the general rule, it should be 14 (10 + 1 for HD + 3 for Con).
Also noticed that the Gorilla's CMB is +6; near as I can figure, it should be +5 (+2 BAB, +2 Str, +1 size), unless I'm missing something.
I like the intent behind this rule; while I can see your point, James, that the falling rules were designed with certain assumptions in mind, any aspect of the game to me is ruled by how cinematic it is. In virtually any media besides the most over-the-top animes, someone falling more than 50 feet is a death sentence without mitigating factors (in most cases water). I'll never forget my group laughing when the ranger fell off of the dam in Hook Mountain, only to hop to his feet, dust himself off, groan a bit, and hike back up to join his companions after they'd mopped up the baddies. It was completely anticlimactic and there was much eye-rolling, something that no game mechanic should ever support if it can be helped. I've also more recently ran into a situation where a party was 'trapped' by a monster at the top of a 70' tower...until they realized they could just jump off and make good their escape with minimal harm.
I'm running a homebrew (Western D&D aesthetics, lots of homebrew races, with a Princess-Mononoke-style take on spirits and beasts), playing in another homebrew (a grim, gritty, and quirky world where the stars are enslaved servants of a powerful mage and the DM pretty much makes up every monster we fight from scratch), and also playing in a Council of Thieves game (we're in the middle of The Six-Fold Trials).
Kishik - Kercpa (Squirrel-spirit) Sorcerer (fey)/Rogue. Hoping to become an arcane trickster, for now sneak attacks people with a ray of frost.
Bikis - Centaur (homebrewed down to a PC-friendly race) Ranger; the group's archer. Gripes regularly about me carrying over the Undersized Weapon trait centaurs have in the bestiary. :P
Alice (pronounced "Ah-lees") - Tanuki (shapeshifting raccoon spirit) Cleric. She's only recently discovered her true nature, having been raised among the decadent nobility of a human nation. Fights with a ranseur and worships Quetzalcouatl - Air and Luck domains.
Rujo - Human Cleric. Dresses in bones and feathers, and also worships Quetzalcouatl; he's the group's healer and has the same domains.
Hinotama - Human Warblade (toned down a bit from the Bo9S version). He's sort of like Ang from Avatar: the Last Airbender, but is uniting the four elemental samurai schools. Wields a burning greatsword and wears brass armor that rings like thunder when he fights.
Rei - Human Sorcerer (air). He's still working out the details of his character as we go. Which is fine, he's a secretive bastard :P. All the party knows really is that he hurls lightning with the best of them.
The other homebrew:
Bim - Gnome Sorcerer (aberrant) / Alienist. Grew up an urchin on the streets of a human city, is completely albino, and hears voices. Also spits gouts of acidic spittle when frightened. Still thinks of herself as a child despite being almost 60 and usually passes for an incredibly creepy human girl. Recently, she's met her 'Mommy', to the world's peril.
Carol - Human Fighter. Totes a legacy fullblade and vital strikes faces off. Is usually enlarged into a horrible pulsating abomination by Bim.
Jo - Flit (Pixie-like homebrew race) Bard. Specializes in quasi-erotic dance and is an incurable cleptomaniac. Is searching for the man who rendered his father down into a vat of hallucinogenic drugs to exact vengeance.
Anael - Human Cleric. Worships the goddess of adventurers, and pretty much strives to be the ultimate adventurer. Air and Travel domains. He's surprisingly good with a quarterstaff.
Nark - Half-elf Ranger. The player's new to D&D/PF and is still working out the details, but he dual-wields short swords and has a velociraptor companion.
"Lynx" - Human Rogue. A dual-wielding knife fetishist who goes masked to conceal his Joker-esque scars. Planning on becoming an invisible blade.
Astagal - Human Fighter. He's a sniper from Alkenstar and just recently got his gun out of a Chelaxian lockup. It was confiscated for shooting a nobleman's game birds.
Toman - Half-orc Bard. Ugly but possessed of a silver tongue and an brutish charm. Made a name for himself portraying devils, monsters, and other hideous characters in Westcrown's many theatre productions. Recently rocketed himself and his companions into the spotlight with his portrayal of Larazod in 'The Six Trials'.
"The Grey" - Aasimar Paladin. A shady paladin of Iomedae who does his best to do the work of the righteous while not drawing attention to himself.
Krug - Half-orc Barbarian. A childhood friend of Toman; he looks to his much brighter and more eloquent companion for guidance in the sometimes confusing human world. Toman on the other hand bruises easily and looks to Krug to keep his hide intact, and to smash any problem that can't be solved with smooth talking and a winning smile.
I play Bim and Toman in the latter two games. Good times had all around ;)
If the PC's slaughter the BBEG in a round or two, we move on as a group, everyone continues playing. Can it be frustrating as a dm? Yes, but I still get to continue dming the next bit of the story. I have a world full of monsters, the player has only one pc. I dont believe a dm should ever make a player 'sit out' if he can avoid it.
While I agree with you on the whole that it *is* a DM's job to help the PCs out (discreetly), it's also been my experience that a lot of players tend to get just as frustrated when the BBEG is reduced to a pile of meat in a round or two. I know when I'm on the more populous side of the screen, I feel kinda cheated when a baddie I've come to respect/fear gets his butt handed to him.
Two things I thought worth noting.
Firstly, a little creative thinking goes a long way. Sundering a relatively fragile holy symbol isn't that hard for a strapping young fighter, particularly if he's toting a greatsword. ;) If it's looking dire, I'm usually more likely to point out an option like that that the party hasn't thought of rather than have the NPC act oddly merciful. Alternately, I usually get a kick out of throwing in some suitably cinematic monkey wrench in the works if things are looking really bad. The other day we had a group that was half-dead at the claws of a chuul deep in a king-kong-esque jungle river basin. As the chuul was about to finish off the party cleric, it was suddenly attacked by a dire crocodile that had been attracted by the ruckuss and the smell of all the blood. Think the T-rex coming to the 'rescue' at the end of Jurassic Park. The party still had to get their junk together to survive, but they managed to gather up their wounded and escape in the round it took the croc to swallow the chuul. It was fun, exciting, and didn't feel like deus ex machina (even though it was). It felt like something you'd see in a movie.
Secondly, I'd say pretty much any third-level character is going to be messy against your average group of 1st-levels. A 3rd-level wizard tossing *color spray* or nailing the party healer with a *scorching ray* is going to turn things bad fast. A 3rd-level greatsword fighter or barbarian with Cleave has a very real chance of wiping out two party members in one shot if she catches them in a bad spot. A 3rd-level rogue archer with Rapid Shot likewise has a solid chance of dropping two party members before they even know what's happening if he gets the drop on them and picks histargets. PC-classed bad guys are just naturally offensively more powerful than most monsters, and balancing their CR is always tricky, particularly against notoriously flimsy greenhorns.
It might be a flaw in the system, but its fairly easy to cover for; I usually take it easy on 1st-level groups. Swarms of goblins and the occasional tussle with a street gang are plenty fun to get the kinks worked out. Soon as they hit level 2, take the kid gloves off and start hurling the wrath of hell at 'em. :P
Also, for what it's worth my group uses the racial bonus hit points suggested in the Beta as a core rule now, and that's worked out really well for us. (8 hp for dwarves and half-orcs, 4 for elves, gnomes, and halflings, and 6 for humans and half-elves)
Hope I didn't ramble too much. :P
Brian E. Harris wrote:
I thought the trolling accusation was a bit out of hand, too, but look again. He didn't say 'I was dissatisfied with this product, and here's why. Hopefully they'll get it better next time.'
He shows up, and essentially says, "This book sucks because I have unrealistically high expectations and I'm leaving." He wrote in more polite and attractive prose, but that's more or less the gist of what he's saying. He refuses to actually provide any constructive criticism or give realistic suggestions for what could be done to satisfy him; he just continues to reiterate that he hates the book, and anytime someone tries to point out something that might compensate for this one book's shortcomings, he summarily shoots it down ("I hate paperbacks") or ignores it. He is indeed entitled to his opinion, and it's an opinion I'm actually pretty interested in as a fellow monster-book and monster-fluff fan, but what's the point of starting a thread if you don't want to provide anything constructive?
Edit: I've also still not seen him address the most important argument I've seen other people (including Paizo staff) make: space. Unless you count an off-hand dismissive comment about stat blocks being unimportant.
Again, not to pick a fight, J, but would you mind at least addressing the issue of what you would've been okay with cutting? It seems quite relevant to the discussion.
That's exactly what he's complaining about; he wants the Bestiary to be built off the chassis of books like the Monster Manual V, not the 3.0 MM.
Also, have you thought of comparing quality of the flavor text rather than quantity? In 3rd edition, there was little to nothing that made me want to use girallons except as a random encounter. In Pathfinder, girallons are intriguing, even frightening. Paizo managed to pack more wonder, mystery, and creativity into that half a page of flavor than the two-page spreads I see most of the time in my MMV.
I mean, giant hive-minded plague-ridden rats are pretty cool, but the multiple pages of material they give on those creatures in the MMV doesn't get my creative juices flowing like the three relatively concise paragraphs on girallons in the Bestiary. And really, isn't that what flavor text is supposed to do? Inspire good storytelling, not hand you a bunch of dry academic information that you're expected to cleave to?
I'm really not trying to pick a fight, OP, but I'd appreciate it if you'd answer a question a number of posters have posed, and that you've either overlooked (understandable, you're catching a lot of flak) or ignored thus far.
What monsters would you have cut?
This isn't really a fair question, as to answer this completely, you'd have to give us a list of at least around 150 monsters, because that's how many would have had to be cut from the book for you to get what you're asking for, but I would settle for a list of 20-50 or so.
Another nitpick; the Organization listing for Wood Golems is 'solitary or gang (24)'. I'm assuming it should read 'solitary or gang (2-4)'.
Also, come to think of it, the Wood Golem also has a +5 bonus to his CMD against trip; is that derived from something? Or just an inherent bonus against tripping? It's even more odd that it's a +5 and not a +4 like most stability bonuses.
The Lizardfolk has the same problem; it's not suffering the penalties for two-weapon fighting with a melee weapon and its natural weapons.
Actually, after checking, neither are the tengu, the troglodyte, the skum, the salamander, the satyr, the sahuagin, and I'm guessing any other monster in the bestiary that uses both natural weapons and manufactured weapons.
Couple problems with the Orc entry:
The orc's attack bonus doesn't factor in his weapon focus; he has a +4 (+1 BAB, +3 Str) on attacks with his falchion, and should have a +5.
He's not listed as having light sensitivity in his stat block; might not be an error per se, as light sensitivity *is* mentioned in the 'Orc Characters' section, but it seems like it'd be worth adding.
The Orc is listed as possessing both darkvision 60 ft. and low-light vision in his stat block, but only darkvision is mentioned in the 'Orc Characters' section. I think it'd be kinda cool for them to have both (being the nightmare berserkers stalking the night), but I'm pretty sure giving them low-light vision was an error and the issue could use some clarification.
Enga Keckvia, the kobold barbarian from Rise of the Runelords: Fortress of the Stone Giants. She's kind of a comic relief fight as I read it, though I beefed her up when my players fought her. She's a really fun little character, she just seems altogether too plucky to be the iconic sniveling kobold. Again, I understand Paizo's resources as far as art goes are somewhat limited, so it's not big deal, but in a perfect world it'd be awesome if the iconic kobold and the iconic hobgoblin were given as much love and attention as the iconic barbarian and the iconic bard :)
A Man In Black wrote:
(Monsters of Temparate Swamps, woo.)
What about 'Horrors of the Bayou' instead? Or 'Beasts of the Moors'? :P There's plenty of awesome folklore concerning temperate swamps. They're creepy places, home to all manner of creepy creatures. Even a lot of cool existing critters like the will-o'-the-wisp are bog dwellers.
Nitpicking aside, I'd second this motion. Themed books are always superior to generics, and by the work Paizo's done injecting flavor into previously uninteresting monsters (girallons, etc.), I think a line of environment- or type-themed books would be awesome. Draconomicon, Lords of Madness, Frostburn, and their like were some of my favorite 3.5 books, and I've been starved for a book detailing the fey for a long, long time.
I *would* like to disagree with the OP on the point about Golarion-themed monsters, though. While I would be happy as a kid in a candy store if they released a Golarion-specific bestiary, particularly if it updated and compiled the monsters from the various adventure paths, I'd prefer if a 'Bestiary II' release focused on even more setting-neutral monsters. Tome of Horrors still has lots of classic monsters that could do with a facelift, and there are tons of great OGL monsters even in the SRD that didn't make the cut this time around. A few of the more setting-neutral characters in the adventure-paths, like redcaps and ogrekin, would also be a nice fit as well.
Also, I understand it's probably not feasible at the moment, but I look forward to the day when Paizo has the resources to commission original art for each of its books. I heard people talking excitedly about the kobold illustration in the bestiary and was ever-so-slightly disappointed to see Enga snarling back at me when I checked it out. I loved Enga, and my players hate her, but she never struck me as the iconic kobold :P
Sean FitzSimon wrote:
True, but what about a mastiff? A wolfhound? A husky? A St. Bernard? :P Mastiffs in particular are terrifying animals.
Thanks James. :) Would riders then also get errata'd up to Summon Monster II then? Perhaps replaced with a normal dog? I'm playing a summoner at the moment and have another person playing one in a game I'm DMing, so I appreciate the clarification.
And to clarify to another poster (I didn't think to reply to your post and can't remember your name now, my apologies), riding dogs also get the free trip attempt.
I was looking this over and I can't quite figure it out. Is there a particular reason wolves are considered significantly superior to riding dogs for purposes of summoning spells? The only difference between them I can discern is that the wolf is a bit faster and has 1 point higher AC, but on the other hand the riding dog has a higher attack bonus and deals more damage, not to mention has a higher chance to trip the target. Otherwise, they're identical in virtually every way.
Am I missing something? Did anyone notice any similar oddities about the summoning lists? Any insight would be appreciated.
A Man In Black wrote:
Not to be overly snarky, but can you sneak past a dog when there aren't foul-smelling garbage cans, engine exhaust, and the pervasive smell of strangers who pass by on a daily basis to deliver mail, fix sewer lines, and play soccer in the street filling the air, when the dog isn't conditioned to ignore strange smells because his owner scolds him for barking at company when they arrive? My limited experience with guard dogs in the country is that they'll smell/hear you coming a loooong way off.
I *do* agree that there should be rules on how effective scent is when a creature is asleep, though. A dog awake is probably going to notice someone within range of their scent almost 100% of the time if they're used to being rewarded for guarding, but a dog asleep is another matter. It suffers from not being something players can actually use all that often, and therefore seems somehow less important to be fleshed out rules-wise, I suppose. :P
Getting more and more off-topic, but a good way for you as a ranger to boost your damage output is to take Improved Favored Enemy; I believe it's in Complete Warrior or Adventurer. It grants an additional +3 to damage against your favored enemies; your DM should allow it, since you say he'll allow any printed feat. If he ends up using Pathfinder rules for rangers, you might even be able to swap that for your Animal Companion/Favored enemy feat, as Pathfinder rangers already get their favored enemy bonus on attack rolls (though the Improved Favored Enemy feat still only applies to damage).
EDIT: Ah, misread your post, the companion/enemy swap was a substitution. Well, maybe you'll get an animal companion or the fun new Hunter's Bond ability out of the deal :P
We were usually 5 PCs v. 4-6 monsters, most groups consisting of giants. Basically, the archer in my group focused more on strength than you'd expect for an archer (with a 20 Str and 18 Dex at level 11 with items). He had bows as his primary weapon training and a +1 enhancement bonus. So at 11th level, he was doing 1d8 + 5 for strength (with a composite bow) + 1 for enhancement bonus + 2 for weapon specialization + 2 for weapon training + 1 for greater archery bracers + 1 most of the time for point blank shot. 1d8+12 on each shot, with double damage from Manyshot on the first shot, combined with rapid shot, and haste (either from his boots of speed or the mystic theurge casting it, and even if the last shot missed (which it did about half the time) you end up with about 80 damage a round at 11th level, before various cleric buffs to damage rolls. And for emergencies, he had a handful of various types of bane arrows. Later on his numbers exploded up into the multiple hundreds mostly because of better buffs and finding a treasure of truly epic proportions.
Granted, this player is notorious in my groups for focusing more on math than on anything else, and he can be a pain to play with at times because of it, but I was just trying to illustrate what an archer can be capable of if you really want them to break faces ;).
Just thought I'd point out, the rules on touching 6 targets as a full round action do specify willing targets. I'd imagine making multiple touches with chill touch would consist of the one free one you get when you cast the spell, and in subsequent rounds you would take iterative attacks just as if you were wielding a weapon.
Edit: Ah, you caught that. :) Carry on.
http://paizo.com/store/paizo/pathfinder/pathfinderChronicles/35E/v5748btpy8 4eo That's the campaign setting.
Well, to be fair, it's hard to justify complaining about a rule when A) you haven't read much of the rules and B) your DM is houseruling a lot of the most basic balancing rules out. If he's houseruling that much, anyway, then you might be barking up the wrong tree; instead of asking paizo to publish a feat that he might just ignore anyway, talk to your DM about the problem and ask if you or he can homebrew the feat yourselves.
It's true that archers don't do damage with a full attack pound for pound like a melee guy does; the difference is, the archer gets a full attack *every round*, pretty much no matter what. Melee characters have to deal with difficult terrain, AoOs *just to close to melee*, pits, chasms, cliffs, coping with flying opponents, and a slew of other difficulties. Comparatively, archers have it easy-breezy, seeing as there's feats and incredibly cheap weapon abilities to negate virtually any situational problem with playing an archer, so in my opinion,there's not much reason to give them a hand.
I had a guy in my RotRL game that (with a completely core, very straightforward, single-classed Fighter) had matched our dwarven sword-and-board for AC (well, he was down by about a point, sometimes two, depending on level), and consistently dished out around 90 points of damage a round at level 11, bypassing most DRs (with his golf bag of arrows), ignoring cover, concealment, and displacement (via a +1 seeking bow and Improved Precise Shot), and pretty much negating invisibility or stealth via judicious investment in Perception (both ranks and magic items, no feats) and again, a seeking bow. He was, by far, the most powerful character in the party (he ended up dishing out 200-300 damage a round at 15th level once he was buffed by our mystic theurge), dealing more damage than anyone else, having the second highest AC in the party by 2 points (which was largely unnecessary, as most things didn't survive long enough to melee him), and having almost as much HP as our dwarf. Literally his only weakness was very high winds, and having every encounter involve a wind wall spell in some way shape or form became kind of cheesy :P
And get this: I only ever made an AoO on him with a monster because of a ranged attack a grand total of 3 times (using giants, dragons, and other enormous monsters virtually the entire game), and those occasions were when the party was surprised and in a bad spot. Only one of those even hit, and that was with a rune giant rolling a natural 20.
His combination of a high AC and judicious use of cover (which prevents you from provoking AoOs) kept him from having much trouble. Our mystic theurge was really trigger happy with walls of force and walls of stone, which made that easy, but it's doable in almost any adventuring situation; cover isn't really that hard to find most of the time. If the party is helping each other out as they should, you should very, very rarely have to worry about provoking with ranged attacks.
And if you absolutely, positively must make a new feat for this....why not just have one that adds a +4 (or +6) dodge bonus to AC against attacks of opportunity provoked by firing a ranged weapon? It worked for Mobility, and meshes well with Combat Casting (providing a bonus, but not completely negating the danger).
This is pretty similar to an idea I myself had for an alternate Druid a few weeks ago; never really fleshed it out, but the basic idea was swapping the progression of Wild Shape and spellcasting so that the druid started with wild shape at 1st level and picked up spellcasting at 4th (lagging behind 3 levels thereafter in his progression).
Your idea of dropping spellcasting altogether could be interesting too. Bumping him up to a full BAB/HD class would probably balance it well enough, provided you added bonus feats or some other perk to cover the dead levels (5th, 7th, 11th, and 17th) where the normal druid gets new spell levels, and the one at 19th. If you use bonus feats though, I'd consider keeping the list of potential feats pretty limited. Full BAB/HD plus a full animal companion progression sounds pretty nasty all by itself.
As an alternative, have you thought about instead using a variant of the barbarian? (maybe call him a berserk, for the sake of this musing) Instead of raging, he gains wild shape, and in place of his damage reduction and trap sense, he gains a ranger-style animal companion at 4th level.
If you limit the wild shape ability to only mimicking the various 'beast shape' spells, but include magical beasts, you end up with something that seems pretty balanced with rage and rage powers; the raw strength and constitution bonuses are weaker, you can't wear most armor, and you miss out on power-attacking with a magic greataxe, but you get natural armor, movement forms, and lots of fun special attacks.
What class are you playing that the *only* thing you need is enhancers for a single ability score? I recently ran a game where the group conquered a city essentially made of gold, and they'd EACH spent a little over a MILLION gold before they felt they were topping out item-wise. That group consisting of 2 fighters, a ranger, and a cleric/wizard/mystic theurge, which pretty much covers any and all class gear requirements.
If you feel like you need a single bonus type to stack, look at other bonuses a different way: You can only get up to +6 Strength, true, but as far as attack and damage rolls are concerned, a +5 weapon is essentially the same as +10 Strength, a luck stone (granting a +1 bonus) is similar to another +2, an item that enlarges you grants another +2 Strength, and so on. Just with the items I've listed, that's (almost) the same as a bunch of Strength items that total up to a +20 Strength bonus. You still stack up items in D&D, just like in EQ or WoW or something along those lines, you just do it differently.
James Risner wrote:
I thought I'd point out another reason my group has always considered the planar shepherd to be broken; it's been a long time since I've looked at it, so there might some slight flaws in the argument, but noone in my group has wanted to play one so it hasn't much mattered.
If I remember correctly, the class grants you supernatural special attacks of the creature you shift into and explicitly states that you gain the spellcasting ability of the creature you wild shape into via Planar Wild Shape. So a 14th-level druid/planar shepherd could wild shape into a planetar and gain the spellcasting ability of a 17th-level cleric on top of the other benefits of that form. That, combined with the fact that you give up nothing to enter the class beyond venom immunity and a thousand faces, made it clearly an overpowered class in our estimation.
Now, Pathfinder's change to wild shape would necessitate a change to the way the planar shepherd's ability worked, so this is probably a nonissue now. I just thought I'd point out the big reason (even beyond the time-manipulation potential, as there aren't that many core planes with that trait) that it was banned (by my players, and by me) in our games.
Fake Healer wrote:
Three words: INNER SEA REIGON!!!
Okay, I love Paizo like an orc loves big rusty spikes, and the ideas they put into their flavor material are top-notch and miles above and beyond almost anything I've seen Wizards produce as far as getting me pumped about a subject goes...
But Wizards had the Paizo guys beat as far as editing goes. The Campaign Setting was riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, NPCs in adventure paths often have a number of discrepancies in their stat blocks, and I'm still mystified as to how someone missed the typo on the Inner Sea Region poster map. And while it was under the brooding eye of a hook-nosed WotC taskmaster, I'm sure, a lot of the most poorly-balanced stuff I've seen come out of the D&D game came out of issues of Dungeon and Dragon published by Paizo.
So while I am firmly in the Paizo camp, as flavor and a love of the game come before all other concerns in my book, I've gotta take issue with someone referring to a WotC product as 'rushed' and 'shabby' while presumably happily lapping up Paizo material (which is, now I think of it, a rather big assumption on my part, and I apologize if I'm incorrect about that). They may have never lifted a finger to balance stuff, I never really got a feeling that they actually *liked* the game they produced, and I hated the 2-crappy-splatbooks-a-month-that-players-feel-entitled-to-use paradigm as much as anyone, but as far as editing and production quality go the Wizards were kings of the hill.
Also, where did you find information on the relative power levels of the runelords?
Concerning the Karzoug fight, I'm fully aware that there are lots of transmutations that don't target a specific character; however, when the entire group is flying in a demiplane that seems specifically designed to be bad for a wizard to fight in, there's not a lot to work with. :P If I'd run Karzoug as written stat-wise, he woulda got 1-rounded(by the 100% core archer-fighter). As it was, I pumped up his hp and AC a bit and he still ended up fighting a defensive battle until they managed to catch him in an antimagic field and literally held him down and beat him to death.
Hmmm, I'd already planned on coming up with a few custom illusions for Xanderghul (specifically, one that convinces you you've disbelieved a real object as an illusion if you fail your save). Also, the runelords probably aren't going to have a lot of time to set up a base of operations; Xin-Shalast was the only city to survive intact, to my knowledge, so intricate traps, powerful artifact-tower-fortresses, and carefully bred monsters are gonna be a bit far-fetched. As far as I know, the runelords don't have any particular ability to create powerful magic items overnight. RotRL 1 mentions that the city of Pride survives in Varisia somewhere and is relatively well-known, but you'd think something that important would have made it onto the map in the article in Hook Mountain Massacre.
The note about dispel magic is helpful, I wasn't aware you could target specific spells with an area dispel. Thankfully the rules on prohibited spells changed, so Zutha and Alaznist would still have the option open to them.
As to making him epic, I was trying to avoid that if possible; I'm not terribly familiar with the epic rules, and my players hate them as a rule. Still, I'll look into that and see if I can bone up on that before breaking out my character generating kit.
I realize that Xanderghul is the epic hoss illusion-master extraordinaire, with a trick for every situation and a mind capable of outthinking a supercomputer. Unfortunately, I'm not Xanderghul, and I'm not a career optimizer, and I've never played an epic character, much less an epic wizard who makes up epic spells in his free time; I'm an insomniac with too much time on his hands who's only ever played 2 games (including this one) past level 12. :P Hence me asking for tips.
We've just finished Rise of the Runelords a few weeks ago, and my guys are currently occupying themselves cleaning out Xin-Shalast, putting their newfound and completely unnecessary wealth to good use, etc. However, they're also talking about tracking down the rest of the runelords soon, starting with Xanderghul. They've gathered that, if awakened, he'd probably be best suited of the runelords to rule a new Thassilonian empire, and want to nip that particular problem in the bud.
So I have a dilemma: not having played many illusionists in the past myself, I'm unfamiliar with any ways (be they feats, spells, magic items, simple tactical choices, etc.) there might be for great and mighty Xanderghul not to get completely pwnt by true seeing. The spell's expensive, but my players were keeping a small chest of the material components tucked away for a rainy day even before they gained access to Xin-Shalast's millions of gold worth of wealth, and I'm expecting them to have it going almost constantly once they start hunting him.
Similarly, is there some way for Sorshen not to be negated by protection from evil and mind blank? Krune not to be rendered impotent by a simple dimension lock? Karzoug figured out fairly early on that the party was using runeforged weapons against him, and it felt weird having the master of transmutation relying on everything *but* transmutation spells because he knew trying to transmute the party was a waste of spells and actions. I'm trying to avoid a similar situation.
So if the goodly people of the Paizo boards could lend me their genius in working around these problems, I'd be most grateful.
Dennis da Ogre wrote:
While you make a valid point from a character generating perspective, I was speaking more in terms of a DM/world-reference perspective. If I want to build an adventure in Varisia, it saves me enormous amounts of time to have one book to refer to if I want to look at great Varisian monsters, rather than 6. The same goes for the gods; the articles on the gods in the AP volumes are far more in-depth than anything contained in Gods and Magic or the campaign setting. It'd be nice to have one, true tome to refer to when trying to decide what kind of cleric you want to play, for example, or what to put in that temple of Zon-Kuthon to give your players the willies.
Michael Miller 36 wrote:
I also think that this change makes combat casting almost a required feat. NO feat should be required in order to do your job. A feat should be useful, a feat should be good. any feat that is REQUIRED or a must take should be part of the class to begin with. No caster in my game has taken combat casting in the past, now they have to do that just to have a chance to cast a spell and still have a 2 in 10 (or more) chance to fail. and risking two attacks of oppertunity per casting is a bit much. More I look at PFRPG, the less of the magic system I'll be using
I think you might be acting a tad alarmist. Combat Casting isn't any more required for a mage than Weapon Focus is for a melee type; it's a good idea, but not a requirement. A mage is *supposed* to be frightened of being in melee, and there are plenty of ways for him to avoid getting hit. Flight, invisibility, walls of force, stone shape, displacement, mirror images, teleportation, even judicious uses of web and grease...not to mention those big strong lads/lasses on the front line with the iron pots on their heads and the meat cleavers in their hands. They're spellcasters! Let them use their spells to prevent them from getting into melee in the first place. The only time I'd see Combat Casting being required is when you're making a melee caster such as a claw sorcerer or an eldritch knight, and that's to be expected; after all, Weapon Finesse is pretty much a requirement for most typical melee rogues, no one complains about that.
You say that you feel Combat Casting is required; let me ask you this: Are you going to add some mechanic that allows the greataxe barbarian to only lag minimally behind his usual damage output when the enemy refuses to come within reach (fast-moving flying creatures, climbing creatures at low levels, flying mages, etc.)? Is it REQUIRED for said barbarian to have a power-archer ability built into his class just so he doesn't get shafted in a situation he's supposed to be shafted in?
As to your last point, I'm unsure what you're referring to; if you're referring to a mage provoking 2 attacks of opportunity because he's shooting a ray, that's nothing new. The rules might not explicitly state it in 3.5, but I always took it as a given that ranged touch attacks used all the rules for a ranged attack, except where explicitly stated that they were different: therefore, ranged touch attacks provoked attacks of opportunity anyway. In that case, the mage only has to worry about 2 attacks if he doesn't cast defensively in the fist place; simply attempting to cast defensively negates the AoO for casting the spell. He's only got to worry about the one for making a ranged attack. If you're referring to the fighter feat Spellbreaker....he only provokes 1 attack of opportunity. Again, just *attempting* to cast defensively denies the fighter his usual attack of opportunity; the feat simply allows him to take it back if the mage fails his check. And that's only for 10th-level fighters and above. How often do they really show up on the villain roster?
Hope I didn't ramble too much.
EDIT: Read over what had been posted while I was typing this, saw a couple of good posts that pointed out a major point I'd overlooked, and adjusted my post accordingly :P