My magus is up to having 3rd level spells. I keep saying as soon as I get the bare minimum equipment I need, I will start filling the book. But there is always more gear that I just "must have" right now. He has only bought two first level spells that were necessary for a particular job. Other than that he only has the free ones.
On the other end, When I tried to run a diviner a few years ago. By mid levels, I spent so much on "Oooh I got to have that spell. And that one will be really kool if..." that the only magic item he had was a bag of holding to carry his spell books.
Ok, I have a mid-level magus and am considering starting an arcanist (possibly a witch or wizard) in the near future.
To be honest, I haven’t enjoyed prepared casters that much. It seems like I rarely have enough information to pick better than my default generally useful spells. And if I’m always going around with just a general selection, I might as well just be a sorc. Plus, there are just so many spells in the books that I probably didn’t have what I wanted in the book anyway.
However, I’ve recently seen a couple of well-played prepared spellbook casters. They had enough variety of spells to be useful in a variety of situations. Making several potentially lethal encounters only fairly dangerous. So that has got me thinking again and I’m going to give it another try.
One of the questions I have is how much emphasis to put on ‘filling the spell book’ with additional spells? I could burn every copper I find on spells and still not get them all. But if you don’t get it moderately expanded, you’re back to being nearly a sorc. Just at a quick perusal, it looked like one of those guys I mentioned spent over 1/3 of his wealth on his spell book. That seems huge to me. But he did have the nearly perfect spell for several odd situations.
What have you done? Was it enough or too much?
Hmm... hard to answer.
It seems really weird to paly a game that revolves around magic and not have any of my own. So almost every PC I've even seriously considered playing has at least some spell casting. (Though sometimes, just a bunch of weird abilities can also be fun.)
I do not like the prepared caster at all in some groups.
In a group that is more into and allowing of planning they are much better. However, I still often feel like I didn't pick the right spells for today. I also feel like I have to know umpteen bajillion spells perfectly all the time. That's usually too much work and pressure for my hobby.
I do like how clerics and druids can convert to an at least nominally effective spell. So I rarely get to the end of the day with a bunch of wasted spells prepared that never had a use. Or having rounds with a bunch of spells left and nothing useful I can do. (That has happened the last couple of times I played a wizard). At least my magus can poke something if no good spells are left.
And I really dislike the spellbook tasks of the wizard. The witches familiar is almost as bad. But at least you don't have to figure out how you are carrying 7 heavy tomes and where you hid the backups.
So I much prefer spontaneous spell casters. Unfortunately for me, those are mostly charisma casters. I don't mind being the party face some of the time, but I don't like being stuck with it for every single character. I often prefer a non-charisma caster.
I have been finding that sage sorcerer or inquisitor will cover almost all the concepts that I really like.
But really, the class is only a part of it. I seem to have the most fun when I manage to put something that amuses me into the build.
My nagaji naga aspirant that is prejudice against all the smelly mamals around him.
My magus with a wand of true strike and a whip that can trip or disarm almost anything.
My life oracle that blasts undead, but doesn't like to waste his powers healing people.
My witch that is going to take all the feats, spells, and magic items to make huge use of hero points to be Mr Lucky.
My chelish deva that will try to lie her way out of any situation. (Hoping to get a chance to use this concept soon.)
I make lots more characters than I will ever get to play. When we get to new campaign time, I get the background info and an idea of what the others are playing.
Usually that narrows it down to just a few of the builds I already have.
I pick one then modify it some to fit even better with the campaign or group.
Since it isn't me, I can't be sure. But I believe the reasoning (such as it is) goes something like this.
With 'nothing' the response seems to be, "Ok this player won't participate in this part of the game. At least I'm free to make something up and use it as I see fit."
With 'simple, short, boring' the response seems to be something like He's throwing my reasonable request for a story in my face, That gives me nothing to work with but still limits me from coming up with something, and/or If you're not going to take it seriously and do a worthwhile job just forget it.
I think it is mostly a matter of being offended by not taking a particular aspect of the art as seriously as they do.
... "I was born on a farm to some farmers who worked really hard, but I was born with a black thumb and everything I tried to grow or tend seemed to die. So my parents sent me to my uncle to train as a guard and I realized I was really good at sword work. About the time I was going to graduate from the academy, a caravan came along needing guards and my uncle gave me a good recommendation. I've been adventuring ever since and I'm looking for my next gig." ...
is good enough, I can see the point of people who say "Why should I even bother coming up with a back story if something that simplistic is good enough? It doesn't provide the GM with anything of any useful significance."
I don't get the GM's that expect a full, exciting, and rich history before 1st level. Ok, that just doesn't make sense. First; pre-teens don't topple governments (except maybe in Harry Potter). Second; if their history was that full, rich, and exciting, why aren't they back home managing their full rich and exciting life rather than investigating why a few horses are missing on the edge of town (remember adventures that 1st level PC's can handle).
Don't get me wrong, I try to come up with an at least moderately detailed backstory. (Though I do tend to come up with it over the first few play sessions as I decide on a personality rather, than before I create the character.) I usually try to throw at least a couple things in there that a GM could hang something on if he chooses. Only very rarely has a GM made use of any of my backstory.
When I am GM and a player comes up with something fairly unique I will try to make use of it. But if the player only puts together something very bland that's only 3 lines long, I don't feel any real drive to try and include something that obviously was not a central to the player within the campaign.
I mean, seriously, how hard is it to come up with something like: "I was born on a farm to some farmers who worked really hard, but I was born with a black thumb and everything I tried to grow or tend seemed to die. So my parents sent me to my uncle to train as a guard and I realized I was really good at sword work. About the time I was going to graduate from the academy, a caravan came along needing guards and my uncle gave me a good recommendation. I've been adventuring ever since and I'm looking for my next gig."
I have had some GM's that would be more upset by this than amnesia or nothing. They want an exciting and rich story before you even start adventuring.
I would have just said, "What amazing luck! You managed to escape your awful Destiny."
You know, it took me three mentions of 20 page backstories to realize that you all were saying that they were too long. I kept thinking "Yeah, that's kinda short." :P ...
Uhmm... I think you would be sadly disappointed in 90% of the people with whom I've played RPG's. I think I've only known 2 guys that regularly go over a page. One of those is because he hand writes it very messily.
James Langley wrote:
I've never heard anything like this one before.
Yup. If you check up top I have most of my build at least partially fleshed out before I even start working on the personality. Then I have most of the personality before I try to figure out what happened in his backstory to make him the way he is.
And yeah. I've had people tell me I'm not role playing that way. They're full of something smelly and unpleasant.
I have fun playing my character. He's nothing like me. he's almost always quite memorable. Rarely has a group not liked my PC's inclusion. (The few times that were otherwise it was because some mechanical build aspect did not work as well as I thought it would.)
I've tried doing it the way some people insist is 'the one true way' of backstory, personality, then build. I just get a boring, unmemorable, soldier number six type of PC that I grow to hate. It just doesn't work for me.
... I tend not play pure casters, not because I don't like to but because I'm not good at it and the rest of the party tends to start giving me the stink eye after a few combat sessions. ...
As one of our group keeps telling me, "You'll never get better if you don't try to get better!"
About half the time I reply, "I don't want to get better cause then all you posers will leave me stuck with it all the time!"
For me creating a character is based upon my desire to explore some facet of my own beliefs or personality traits. ...
I have heard this from some other people.
I'm usually the opposite. If I focus a build on a belief or personality trait, I try to make it one that I don't have much connection to in RL. For me this is an escape from the worries and stresses of RL. If it starts to become too much like RL it stops feeling like an escape to me.
I can't believe I forgot my new most important character creation rule. (This is kinda new for me. My early PC's don't have it.)
The worst part was the sneak attack damage! My undead blasting life oracle walked right amongst them so I could channel to blast which ever turned out to be the correct coffin. Very close to dead.
Mysterious Stranger wrote:
Actually if you want to maximize the use of teamwork feats consider a hunter. Not only do they get the ability to swap out their teamwork feats like the inquisitor, their animal companion also gets their teamwork feats.
Cavalier with mount also works.
Then I'm going to do an inquisitor with eldritch heritage arcane to get a familiar with the valet template so it has all my teamwork feats.
Friend was making a campaign that had a council of 5 gnome liches.
Long ago, there was a quite vile bad guy. Tried to commit genocide on gnomes (or something similarly horrific). A team finally put him down. But by then the hate was so strong, that wasn't enough. They wanted to make an example of him so no one would ever try that again.
The council theoretically rule the nation since no one can stand up to them. But in actual practice they don't really care what happens as long as it doesn't interfere with their hunt.
The campaign hook was a team of grey cloaks (council assassins) tries to kill one of the party. Apparently, the artifact has identified 1 of them as distantly related to Mr Vile.
Unfortunately, we never got to run the campaign. So I don't know how it turns out.
It can be good if used sparingly. I used to have a GM, that liked to pile on templates.
We'd encounter a feral, two-headed, insectoid, half-dragon, lizard folk.
We stopped even bothering to listen to his descriptions of these bizarre beasts. half a dozen templates would make them immune to most magic spells we might want to try OR at least they would have all very high saves. So it just became:
I think it is a great idea. And yes, you can make them very different.
- I have one that is a heavily armored dwarven tank in full plate with sword and board.
Ok, that has nothing to do with the cohort. I would quite literally tell them to stop complaining about something that isn't really the problem. It is impossible to resolve an issue by fixing something else that isn't broken.
sorta kinda similar situation:
Entire group was mad at one player and was trying to get me to punish him or kick him out for cheating and betraying the group. when I didn't, they ended up going PvP and shooting him with poisoned arrows.
Cheating - He used 3 javelins in a combat but had not written on his character sheet that they were kept in a quiver or anything like that. So they said that meant he had to have them been buried in his back pack and he didn't have time to get them out. I've never required any players to put down the container that things like javelins are stored in. Some players do and some don't. Not even all of the players accusing do so. But he was a traitor for doing so.
Betrayal - His LN fighter decided to enter the competition in the arena. The others came up with a plan for him to take a dive and themselves make money betting against him. He very clearly and repeatedly told them he would not do something as dishonorable as take a dive so they could profit off it. They bet against him and he won the match. They were incensed at losing their money from betting against him. They kept saying he had betrayed them. I would have played the PC the exact same way. I think most of them would have played a LN fighter the same way. But was a traitor for doing it.
Player quit the group and the campaign imploded at about the same time. It wasn't until repeated questioning weeks later that they even started to say they were upset about unpleasant things he was doing completely outside the game and group.
You can talk to the player some. Does he really thinks in-character that what he is doing is correct? Did he agree to be the party buffer and emergency medic? If so, this might be best served by an in-character discussion between the PC's (in other words NOT the gm).
Dreaming Psion wrote:
For some reason, I seem to be channeling my old 3.x books lately even though I haven't looked at them in years.
Something is weird here.
First, although I let the players run their cohorts as they see fit (within reason), I build the cohort. They give me the generalities of what they are looking for (or sometimes they hire someone they've encountered). And I build to that but I use 5 less on the point buy unless they want an NPC class. I build a decent character, but I don't optimize it to the absolute limit.
Second, there is no way a cohort at least 2 levels lower (even with extra buffs) should be making the entire party look bad. In PF, 2 levels is such a bump in power that it is sometimes difficult to keep someone 2 levels lower alive. Let alone out shining multiple characters 2 levels higher. That doesn't make sense unless the rest of the party is really poorly made.
Third, is the grievance really combat effectiveness or is it spotlight time. If it is spotlight time, it can probably be handled best by a private conversation with the player. "Hey with 2 characters you're using a bit to much of the table time and it's bothering some of the others that can't get enough table time for their character. Try to have both sets of actions planned out a faster so they don't have to wait twice as long."
Fourth, maybe you need to talk to the other players and find out whether 2 or 3 really applies (or maybe both).
Fifth, Please, please, please do not intentionally kill off the cohort, have it betray him, or have it run away! This sounds like one of the very few players that is really doing a good job of role playing with his PC being kind and loyal to his cohort. That behavior should be rewarded not punished.
I'll have to go read again. I thought the ones at the top knew what was going on.
... good stuff ...
Ya know, that really never occurred to me and it should have.
I was looking at doing something very similar for spells. I was going to google translate and using something like Slovak to shout out my spells. But once I advanced a couple of levels and had more spells getting used, I was forgetting what I had used earlier. So I was going to make a list in with the character that I could just copy and paste.
I think I will have to do something like this for both spells and attacks for my next PbP game.
The Pale King wrote:
I might suggest you try the PFS PbP. Short scenarios keep every one focus on a short range goal with the end in sight. They almost always complete with the original players and GM.
Whereas when someone starts a PbP AP, after the first coule of weeks most/many of the participants have no sense of drive or urgency. "meh, I'm busy, I'll post tomorrow or the next day." Pretty soon there are 3 posts total in a week and it takes a month just to talk to the captain just to find out what your mission will be.
I tried several that slowed down to a crawl even if they didn't quite die completely. It felt like trying to read the Wheel of Time series 1 paragraph each day. I only got in one that the whole group seemed to stay active. Unfortunately, I had to drop that one due to RL issues. I was pretty ticked about that.
I usually get my inspiration from a piece of art ...
... or I pick a piece of character art I like out of a book and generate a character from it. ...
I've heard that before. The closest I've ever come, is that I have a figurine that I think is really cool looking but have never really had a chance to use. So I'm trying to come up with a character to match it. Unfortunately it isn't going too well.
That is one of the major things people are unsure of. Many of us think it will be eventually ruled yes. But that isn't certain.
I didn't think of that. Good to know..
Wow! It's too late to add to the current campaign, but this is happening next campaign I start.
Ok, this isn't on the level of some of those above, but I was pretty proud of it at the time.
Party is sleeping in the woods (yes, one was on guard). But they are all awoken by something large roaring and crashing through the woods. They have 2 rounds to prepare. They are getting ready to flatten the giant whatever before it can attack them.
Just to add insult to injury, several sneaky hobgoblins start throwing paper wasp nests into the clearing around the party.
Arbane the Terrible wrote:
For every teacher I've ever had, if it wasn't clear it was wrong.
I think the most amazing part is that it can be read both ways. You can read it as just an amusing romp about fantasy land or you can read it as a fairly vicious satire of the boss/cop/lawyer/politician/beaurocrat you are currently ticked off at.
Terry Pratchett is one of my 3 favorite authors. Right up there with Brust and Weber. I really like the Jhereg and Honor stories, but in some ways Pratchett is the best of the 3.
No matter how bad a mood I'm in, I can pick up a Diskworld book and it will almost always make me smile. When some jerk at work is really torqueing me off, it often reminds me of scene from one of his books. That helps to remind me that at least I'm not alone dealing with that crap and others recognize it for the idiocy that it is.
Oh, I absolutely agree that a reoccurring villain or organization, or heck even someone that knows the famous PC's are in the area will make plans to deal with them.Most of our opponents don't fit in those categories. At least not in the last 2 of 3 campaigns. (In the 3rd the whole campaign is against 1 particular organization.)
I also often play PFS where I don't think it would often be reasonable to say this particular villain knows that of all the potential pathfinders that particular guy is coming after him and oh by the way he has really high SR.
... Enemy casters still have plenty of ways to mess with you without having to beat SR ...
My reasoning has been that unless your GM is horribly metagaming, the enemy casters won't know you have SR until they've tried to hit you at with at least 1 attack spell. By then, any proper untouchable should be in his face mashing him flat.
Even if it has other spells, most write-ups for casters have them opening combat with a fireball, enervation, confusion, charm, etc...
A few do have them starting with a pit or black tentacles to hide behind. That could be a problem. But not all those nasty direct attack spells.
I expect it to work better than some say, but I acknowledge that I haven't had a chance to try it yet.
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Rarely. Some players would try to take the couple highest level guys with them. If you were very careful you could keep them alive. But if you're that careful with them, are they really contributing all that much? Not sure.
But there were times when you could make use of them. I remember once where we had 3 separate small armies from 3 characters. We had some rings that gave easy communication. Then the wizard would teleport us to whichever army the opposition started to mass against.
We would then charge the leadership of said opposition army or attack the anti-party that was set against them. So our armies were substantially more effective than expected since we could risk them a bit more and save them when in legit danger. And sometimes we would be fighting alongside to save one of the army groups.
Other GM's would just say things like your city has a much lower crime rate, few bandits in the surrounding countryside, and is less likely to be on an invasion path since your followers just quadrupled the number of armed locals. So it will grow from immigrants a bit faster since it is known to be safer. But unless you supplement the income, taxes will have to be raised a bunch to pay for that many armed retainers.
Other groups wouldn't make much direct use of their army, but would use it for things like guarding the camp site and entrance when in a dungeon so as to not be surprised/trapped by other returning creatures.
So I know different people make characters differently. Since I have some free time and am curious, I thought I’d put down my usual process. Then ask what you folks do.
I have some personal default ‘almost rules’ for my PC’s. I will occasionally violate these rules but not often.
So what about you, what is your creative process and do you have any personal character rules?
I haven't usually found them to be too deadly, just freakin hard to kill for good.
Most of the lichdom stuff they get is defensive in nature or help melee combat. So since they always seem to be made from an arcane necromancer, it doesn't help them as much as it seems like it would when you look at the CR and write-up.
I think if someone made a lich that was a melee cleric or warpriest before becoming a lich it could be horrifically dangerous. Haven't seen one though.
My dissatisfaction with leadership is not all encompassing and prohibitive. But I do have some specific issues with it depending upon the group.
1) Time in combat. We already have several players that have difficulty keeping track of what their PC can do and what the effects are. Ok, I've got a +1 from his bless, then blessing of fervor with the +1 to hit, I drank a potion of bulls strength but it only gives me a +1 to hit and +2 to damage because I have the belt, etc... I already get to spend way too much time watching people do math. I don't want to double it.
2) Party size. We sometimes have 6 players with PC's at the table. Especially indoors or underground we have issues with some not being able to get into the fight. You make it 12 characters and a lot of people may spend time doing nothing.
3) Fragility. Sometimes I find it difficult to make an encounter that will challenge 12 characters that are up to level 10 without just wiping out the characters that might be as low 6-7.
4) Nonsensical builds. Some of the builds that players want only make sense within the context of it being his particular follower. The character is very nearly non-functional otherwise. It doesn't make sense that someone would go into an incredibly lethal profession the only work on skills that are useful to one particular teacher. With anyone else he will die in his profession.
5) Magic item factory. This one kinda bugs me. I was at a group for a short while where 3 of the 5 cohorts were basically sweatshop slave workers.
On the other hand I do allow them sometimes. When the group was small because people moved, they got a front line tank cohort.
Sorry, lost access.
The core players of my group have also been playing together for 20 years, but that's mostly irrelevant. It's a question of playstyle, not experience. Some groups are going to like PVP, while other groups won't. ...
I've played with a fair number of groups over the various incarnations of the game. Two of them could well handle PvP, Evil mixed in a Good party, wildly conflicting goals, etc... Most of them could not.
I think that is because of the numbers. For a group to handle it well, every single player (including the GM) need to be the type that handles it well. If even one of them doesn't handle it, there will likely be problems.
If the group doesn't allow intra party conflicts to get out of hand, there is a difference. If one guy could have handled those conflicts, it doesn't cause a problem, other than that one guy maybe missing this aspect of the game that he enjoys. But it doesn't break up the group or friendships.
I also wouldn't use the term 'mature player' since these issues have nothing directly to do with maturity. (People can and have made the case that no one playing the game is mature.) It is more of a way of playing the game, an outlook, or the type of game desired.
... I was picturing a very pregnant barbarian hit with a force spell of some sort, and the magic leaked into her womb, touched the baby, and the tribe was very surprised by the birth of a sorcerer.
I would think that would work fine for most any GM I've met that would even consider player created bloodlines.
Just playing devils advocate. Those same GM's I mentioned would have said:
I don't know your GM, I'm just saying you might want to give it some thought.
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
... I never argued that handwriting is disappearing entirely. I argued that cursive is completely unnecessary as has already been stated the only advantage it carries is speed. ...
Some of the posts above seem to be saying that handwriting is unnecessary. I certainly hear people say it a lot.
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
... Your arguments about need for legibility only bolster my arguments that cursive is completely unnecessary. Of course we should still do block lettering. Writing shouldn't disappear altogether. Block lettering should be the thing, not cursive as its easier to read. ...
Agreed. Cursive does not need to be illegible. But if you're going to reduce the curriculum to the bare minimum, at least clear printed block lettering would allow actual communication.
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
... You're also wrong on the "rich neighborhood only" thing. It was a state wide initiative in Idaho..
First, I did say our district. I'm not wrong for our district.Second, I don't think there was any statewide voted initiative that I remember hearing about. However, it is certainly the policy. But somehow the funding wasn't made available. Just the direction to drop the class and give everyone a computer. So the class is gone, but there are no laptops in most of the schools.
Third, you said the initiative didn't pass. So the students did not all get a laptop. But I would be surprised if very many schools are still teaching handwriting.
Pragmatic Activator is a favorite of mine.