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As living metal, it could also staunch bleed effects.
As a bonded being, maybe it can slowly change the wearer into an elf, and it plans to do so.
It could have the vicious enchant, but as armor, and not affect elves. Thus, any non-elf hitting it takes some extra damage, but a non-elf wearer takes half. You could limit it to non-weapon hits to allow you to retcon it in.
In the later Bubblegum Crisis episodes, they have liquid armor that is semi-sentient.
Those are some cool ideas!
Maybe I can add them later, using the leveling item rules - to represent how he can do more with it (or it helps him more) as their relationship grows ...
nate lange wrote:
Intelligent item are constructs and therefore immune to mind-affecting effects... So it is impossible to dominate. Reward the cool factor by letting him wear it for a while but just tell him that he doesn't know how to use it the way they do. In reality it is letting him wear it for some scheme of its own.
Instead of trying to match it to what the evil elves have just give him some reasonable bonuses from it. Once in a while (when it suits you) have it make an extra attack or block something or whatever. Remember that it's really just doing whatever it wants since it isn't actually dominated, so you can be fairly arbitrary about when it does/grants what.
Eventually it either gets bored or finds the opportunity it's been waiting for and the party has to fight it (either in its 'natural' form or with the bard still trapped inside).
I understand what you're getting at and I will use some of these ideas to roleplay out the back and foth clash of wills between the Pc and the suit.
And yes, while the evil elves are utter B*****ds, the suit is merely pragmatic or neutral - it's moral compass is more self-focused, mainly based on pride in it's abilities and it's position. (depending on it's wearer)
... and it comes from a world where humans are considered less than dogs mostly, so it has some issues with it's current situation.
I'm still going to let the Dominate stand (if I remember it was "Dominate Person", so I know I am already far out in GM Fiat/Homebrew -land, and I'm fine with it).
Anyways, the whole purpose of this discussion is how to convert what is technically a metal elemental into a form of item that fits my game.
Blymurkla said wrote:
Each intelligent item should possess at least one power, although more powerful items might possess a host of powers. To find the item's specific powers, choose or roll on Table: Intelligent Item Powers. All powers function at the direction of the item, although intelligent items generally follow the wishes of their owner. Activating a power or concentrating on an active one is a standard action the item takes. The caster level for these effects is equal to the item's caster level. Save DCs are based off the item's highest mental ability score.
Seems like this activation conundrum already had a nice solution.
And LuxuriantOak, I'm loving this idea.
I didn't quite understand the bit you highlited (I'm at work so focus is stretched) can you explain it for me?
Also, thanks. :)
Blake's Tiger wrote:
The constant effect is going to have the biggest effect on price/ego... I would make sure your players know they can't sell it (might even make it some only the person who Dominated it has a chance of it working).
Haste = 120,000 gp (base, before adjusting for awesomeness)
Shield = 40,000 gap
So, roughly, your armor would have and Ego of 20 to 22. Possibly 24 if a constant haste effect was so useful it was deemed to cost 1.5 base cost or more.
I like your idea, I'm going to run with it - When the armor bonds, it's for life (i've already teased this in game)
I'm also going to allow the armor to take any form wished by the wearer (meaning in game terms that it can have the stats of any metal armor)
we use automatic bonus progression from unchained so it doesn't need any "+"-es, also he's a buffer bard with miniscule combat stats so letting him choose freely is fine, it's not going to be overpowered.
Adding that will pump the Ego/will DC to 24 I'm guessing? or more?
stats: same as any mithril metal armor (nonmagical)
Constant effect, can be toggled ... once per round ? at will ? (want to avoid somebody ruleslawyering to use both effects after each other):
either Haste -only the extra attack action, non-stackable ?
cost: hell if I know ...
Blake's Tiger wrote:
A suit of +2 armor made of Mithral with Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 12, 3/day Shield, 3/day Heaste, and a special purpose has an Ego of 12, it appears.
I suspect the value modifier is higher with your living armor, and that doesn't include communication method or senses, which might increase the ego further.
I think this version is the easiest to implement in the game, although I still want to incloude the constant/toggle thing somehow
I think the combined price of the item also increases the ego as well (there was a chart ...) but not sure.
Construct Armor? hoo-boy, I think I'll stay clear for now, haven't read the rules for it.
Maybe I'm just biased but: Iron Man is cool and awesome - but he's hardly balanced (or thematicly fitting) for a "Gothic Dark Fantasy"-campaign . At least not mine I think.
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My players suprised me again today.
Always a good start for a topic, eh?
I have these villains in my game: large sized demon elves - pretty much beefed up drow with dark eldar manners.
I thought it would be cool for them to have this armor made out of liquid metal; essentially a metal elemental that is joined to them, fighting and protecting them.
So the players fight a single one of these guys, (it was a bit of a freak accident, very cool and thematic fitting with the story) - and like all PF players they instagib the poor guy before he even gets to take a turn ...
THEN the bard remembers the lore about the "living armors" and decides to dominate/bind the thing before it can react.
I rolled a 1, he rolled a 20 ...
Now I'll admit, I wasn't really planning for anybody to get their hands on these things. They were just a cool description coupled with an excuse to give a scary enemy 2 initiative slots.
But come on; when the player pulls of something impossible with some quick thinking, cool roleplaying, and lucky rolls - I like to reward it.
Now I just have to find some way of statting out this thing without making it overpowered.
My first idea is the following, using rules for making intelligent items (and I still haven't figured out how these work completely):
it's got 12 int, 16 wis, 10 or 12 cha,
it's got a alignment and goal tied to serving the elves, and they are evil dicks so ...
it's probably against anybody not of elven blood (that's all of the players btw) and sees them as unworthy , or possibly: vermin.
it can either be used as a constant Shield spell OR as a constant Haste spell (just the extra attack, none of the other modifiers)
and getting it to cooperate is a Will save vs Ego.
does this seem ok to hand to a level 11 character?
what is it's ego score?
how often do you make the Will check/what situations/intervals are cool but won't tied down the game in excess rolling?
I chose the shield/haste combo to simulate how depending on it's masters wishes it can either lash out at opponents near him, or protect him from blows
- I feel that all the liquid metal, shapechanging stuff can just be made of Handwaveium(tm) and be part of the description of how it moves.
Anybody got some ideas or insight for how to make this? I'd love to hear other versions if they make sense (was playing with the idea of just giving the player a pet elemental, but it seems like more bookkepping and bother than fun).
Asleep = Unconscious
..And THAT just gave me this image of a barabarian, standing while asleep, alterning between snoring and roaring out battlecries ...
... maybe he is narcoleptic...?
Fair enough. There is a balance to strike. I just feel like a GMs description should include any important pieces of information or items of interest that aren't meant to be hidden. And perception checks should be allowed/requested for anything the GM knows about but the players don't. If you like immersion, feel free to roll their Perception checks for them. Heck, if only some of the players pass, pass them a note with the description of what they see instead of saying it out loud to the party, and you get even more immersion.
But don't make your players play 20 questions. It's no fun when they get it right, and it's definitely no fun when they get it wrong, and it's just a waste of time. If there is something for the characters to notice, ask for a Perception check; don't sit back and inwardly smile and cackle as the players try to enjoy themselves while being blissfully unaware of whatever you aren't telling them.
All that being said, I'm getting a little off topic, as the question at hand is whether or not a character could notice an invisible/concealed enemy not being injured by flames. I agree that if they can't see it, they can't tell if it's hurt or not. If the second fireball cleared the fog, but the enemy was still invisible, I can see nothing being mentioned. If the enemy was invisible, but glitter-dusted, I see where some people are coming from about "posture" and "wincing", but that's not the sort of thing most people would think of on the spot.
Also, when comparing DR to energy resistance, remember that a martial who swings a weapon into a target has more than just sight to go off of; they can probably feel the difference when their weapon hits, see that the blade didn't sink in very far, see that very little blood came out despite the strength of the blow, etc.
For energy resistance, you only have the enemies reaction to go off of. If you can't see anything, then you don't have much to go off of. I suppose the LACK of the enemy shouting in pain COULD be a tip off, but...
I understand where you're coming from, I really do
- and we've all played at one time or another with that GM that loved to fool us by withholding info or outright lying.
yay. that was fun.
Because everybody loves to spend their entire game night proving why one of the group is more clever then the rest of the gang.
in a rigged game.
But ... I've also played with what I could describe as "Passive" players:
dudes that are borderline comatose (with their eyes rested at a book or a screen) untill you say the word 'initiative',
and then they grab for their dice and start rolling with barely a declaration of intent let alone description
- and that is a different kind of annoying.
So in the interest of the balance that we've both been talking about,
I propose that the players have some responsibilities as well in making the game fun,
in developing the narrative, and in asking follow up questions if something grabs their attention
I recently switched characters in a campaign because of a similar problem; I had built a face-type character, which is very unusual for me, as my characters tend to be very combat-oriented. It was a gestalt, and rather than give him a combat half and a non-combat half, he was a Bard/Rogue, so he was very focused around non-combat, specializing in Bluff and Diplomacy. I spent the first few sessions watching the rest of the party (things like Shocking Grasp magus's and perma-invisible Ninjas) decimate combat encounters because that's what they were good at. I felt like my time had come to shine when we were infiltrating a drow dungeon in a drow city. We were very well disguised as drow and when we come upon the door to the jailers room at the bottom and he opens the slot and asks why we want in, I feel like "this is great, my character will fast-talk us right past this guy, no problem". The GM asks what I say, so I give an excuse as to why we are there. The jailer slams the slot door in my face and sicks his spider minion guards on us; no questions asked, no Bluff rolls, no nothing. Apparently my excuse wasn't good enough; the excuse that I, the player, came up with. My character should have been able to talk circle around this guy; but alas, his player failed him.
I learned my lesson; I'm a Barbarian|Brawler now, and can't see myself ever trying to dip into the RPing side of the game again any time soon.
Unrelated to the current discussion; but I'm really sorry that you had an experience like that.
they are unfortunately not that rare, If it happened to me I would at least talk to the Gm about it ...
Oh well, I hope you're having fun with your Barbarian/Brawler. :)
my group has tried this:
unchained action system
And our opinion is that it is way better and leads to more options and easier combat.
There was a short periond of getting used to the new way of thinking, but now the players say that it helps them do more and it is very intuitive.
I personaly loves that it removes all the
"full round attack-spring attack-attack action-swift action-move action-whatsmyactionnowagain?!" - nonsense and replaces it with:
"you have three acts, all of them can be use for moves and attacks, in any combination you prefer"
When it comes to called shots, PF isn't really built for that, but my group uses the Critical Hits and Critical Fumbles Card Decks - and they add enough of that to make things interesting.
I'll add my interpetation:
slightly more muscular,
skin tones ranging all over the place but often grayish og greenish tinted,
often tapered ears,
defined jawline with possibilites of tusks in different sizes.
I once played a half orc that had elven bood on the other side of his family,
he had golden-gray skin, a muscular build and pointed ears,
often got mistaken for an exotic elf.
He was also a cleric of an elven godess and had a gentle and peaceful demeanor.
The other players thought he was an elf the first couple of sessions. :)
I don't think there is any "right" answer to this, it all depends on how you want to play your character.
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there is no yes/no answer to this, both sides can be advocated.
so I'm going to pick the "Yes, But ... "-side
Yes you could have given slightly more description to highlight the fact that the attack was not having an effect.
But the players are responsible for asking questions too, and they could have been paying more attention as well.
All in all, you're good - the fact that you're asking youself the questions: "was I fair? am I making the game fun for everybody?" means you're most likely not a powermad 'Killer GM'.
Keep up the good work.
Bluff would be my choice, because you are trying to get a reaction that benefits you by fooling them.
If you are genuinly trying to get their attention, and you are actually interested in them -sexually, romanticly or otherwise then I would use Diplomacy.
This assumes that you're not trying to distract them, but trying to get their attention.
If you fail, they look at you once and maybe roll their eyes, then go back to what they were doing - you did not make an impression.
wizard chassis (bab, hp, skilll per lvl, 9th lvl casting)
redo class skills (
remake domains: make them more powerful, let them add class skills, let at least 1 domain add an Animal Companion, Channel energy, or Shapeshifting.
decide how many domains the new clas have at the start, or if they gain more as they advance (cool idea)
decide how much of their spellist is determined by the domains, and how much is in the "basic" package.
decide wheter wearing armor is important to the class (YMMW on this, I think no armor is perfectly valid , with spell failure, but I can also see points made for light or even medium armor ...)
and it seems I just made a WIS-based sorcerer ... which is fine.
Being contary in nature I would go with a Fighter and let the high stats help with skills and such.
I would probably go sword-n-bord as well just because.
You say you like to make things work, make a sword-n-board Fighter with most of his high stats in mental(cha, int, wis) work, THAT would be cool.
then again, between inquisitor and rogue I can imagine most skills are decently covered, and wizard can potentially cover most utility - so this group would have fun with a Paladin in it (healing & frontliner).
But how much "building" do you need from lvl 1-6 with those stats? (that's why I suggest a Fighter, this is the stats and game where you can get away with just having fun and playing whatever you like, it's too low lvl for optimization and percived C/M-disparity to influence the game -unless someone is having a lot of cheese)
Matthew Downie wrote:
I'd have the leader of the giants be wary. He knows the PCs are strong enough to upset a dragon. So he sends his most expendable giants in first, tells them to throw rocks at the village and see what happens. He hangs back, surrounded by his toughest bodyguards, watching from a good vantage point. That way, it's not just one big battle with everyone attacking at once.
nice, I think that's a good start, I have the Monster Codex (g'damn that's a fun book for Gm's!) so I have many different variants and levels of frost giant to throw at them.
The Raven Black: while the idea is nice it kinda defeats the purpose of the big battle I want to stage, also .... there is the players.
Knowing my group, I think there is a probability of them just moving on with other plots if I massacred the whole town while they were away - at least one of them would first sift through the rubble for loot first.
Having reached lvl 11 and being a varied bunch there is a little bit of cynical thinking in pc's, and some of that is they know that if something is dangerous enough to do X to Y, it could potentially do X to them as well. And I can be a mean GM at times if their reach exceeds their grasp.
As a side note; because of Real Life Stuff(tm) we're only playing once per month, so our sessions will tend towords the larger events and more epic moments in the story.
So the gang is getting back together after a while (last game was before summer)Yay!
And like any GM worth his salt, I of course, don't have any proper notes and my memory is shoddy :)
Oh yeah Btw: DARKER DAYS PLAYERS PLEASE DON'T READ THIS.
there, now they won't know what hit them.
Last times our great(...?) heroes were adventureing they decided to amush a youngling dragon ( it was more like an execution)
and carry the corpse home for mounting and bragging rights ...
it's parent took offence and ambushed them on the way back to town,
glorious/hilarious battle ensued and the end result was that the dragon escaped ... and at least 1 player died
(it's ok, they know a druid in the woods, he'll fix him up ... )
So now they've pissed that dragon off ...
They have also (like players often do) ignored completely the fact that there have been (several) signs of giants coming down from the mountains.
Or the fact that they have aquired an amulet that the giants are looking for. (completely clueless, despite my careful hints)
So here is what I'm going to do: the dragon will contact the giants, manipulate/make a deal with them
(this is ridiculous easy since the players have kinda set themselves up by previous actions),
and point them in the players direction - it will then leave, because that magus left some scorch marks and it needs some "me-time".
the result of this is that next session starts with the giant attacking the village the players have set as base.
the village have no walls or fortifications except the natural:
it is a triangle shape - made by a river splitting in two and the 2 new offshoots "cage" the village.
the bottom of the triangle is made by a natural cliff along that side. at the smallest the river is maybe 2meters wide and have 2 bridges ...
so even without bridges the giants can cross fairly easy.
it's major buildings are: an old inn, a guardhouse, and a abadoned church ... so - pretty much nothing that can survive a siege.
for the record, the pcs are all lvl 11:
a human magus (eldritch scion) katana-wielding spellcaster/"attack helicopter" dpr-focused and tanky
a hobgoblin (unchained) Rogue (knifemaster) 2-weapon fighter, dpr-whore and quite tough
a human bard (archivist) mostly a pure buffer/utility caster and face
an elven ranger, switch-hitter likes tripping, he's also Large sized (it's along story)
Still with me? good, ok here's the questions: How would you do such a siege?
one big battle with ludicrus amounts of giant just swarming the players ?
or in waves of increasing numbers and power? (it's a trope for a reason)
would you have lulls in the battle to allow players to rest and explore options? (like bringing the fight to the giants or negotiating or outright leaving) or would you just keep pounding them untill you run out of giants?
other questions is consequences: what natural enemies have the giants kept in check up there in the cold mountains that might come down and mess with the players at a later point in the campaign?
Is there anything obvious I've missed or anything that would be cool to throw into this mix? I'm open for suggestions
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The short answer is that fantasy settings don't have technological explosions because the setting's creators did not intend them to have one, usually because the result of said explosion would clash with the flavor of the world they're creating. As a result, the creators did not fully explore the possibilities of the rules elements included in the setting.
If you do try to realize the potential of the magic rules as written then you inevitably end up with a realm very different from Golarion as we know it. A simple example is to link cities with Teleportation Circles. However you cut it, having access to free large-capacity at-will long-distance instantaneous travel will radically alter the economic, political and social systems of any country it's placed in.
This doesn't really answers the questions of the OP. He already has reasons as creator to not wanting technological explosion in its world, but he was asking what could be a good IN-UNIVERSE justification.
And "the author didn't want to because of setting feeling" is a doylist answer
you guys have been going at this for a while, and even though I've found some opinions and theories interesting and amusing, I don't think anybody have stated the obvious.
"how do you keep a fantasy setting from a technological explosion?"
OR to be slightly less tongue in cheek about my answer:
regardless of the theoretical possibility of said development to occur, it hasn't happened yet and it's potential for happening is still far in the future.
or to rephrase this slightly: (strawman alert)
"I'm playing a game set in the medevial ages, how do avoid the industrial revolution from upsetting game balance?!" help me internets your my only hope!"
Answer: don't jump several centuries (almost a millenium depending on how you mesure it) into the future - cuz that's when that happens.
Now I'm not going to pretend that I've got a deep understanding of history, but from what I've read: the technological advances that sparked the revolutionary changes that have resulted in the society we have today did take years or even decades to happen.
So assuming that you play standard golarion, or a similar fantasy setting - and for some reason your players start talking about applying modern technology to their fantasy world (or maybe you introduce the concept through an NPC because ... you like more work?) - it will still take decades for any change in society to manifest.
And yes, this is also taking height for the fact that magic allowes you to cheat and skip certain steps.
So unless your campaign spans generations of a house (cool campaign idea btw) it will not be an important part of your game.
If your players chafe at this "enforced setting rigidity" then sit them down and ask them what the h*** they really want to play, because it ain't normal fantasy if they want magitech steampunk haberdash.
Tell them about Iron Kingdoms , or Unhallowed, or Eberron, or any other setting/system that allow you to play that.
So to summarize; it ain't a problem, you're overthinking it.
that's my opinion.
The Dragon Pirate, Captain Rumscale. I hope he has a literal scale made out of frozen rum. It's where he got his name.
No come on, he's either a alcoholic kobold/lizardman/something scaly, or a half dragon drunken master.
that is a nice looking map.
Thanks for giving me a heads up on that page, you might have made my mapmaking days easier :)
on ideas from the map:
the 2 mountain ranges that meet in the middle in a fort with a whole region behind said walls tells me that there is a story - a paranoid country avoiding contact with others? or is the wall there to keep something in?
there is obviously some draconic massive scary thing to the top left, possible winter dragon or somesuch.
and it's neighbours along the top must be dark elves (warhammer style)
I agree with JamZilla that the narrow channel leading to the wider peninsula (is it a peninsula? I can never get geography terms right) must be pirate/bandit waters ...
and the two volcanoes in the surrounding mountain range around that same waters tells me fireworshipping outcast land with some messed up rituals and crazy high priestesses leading a small pirate nation (blood for the blood god etc)
so the end question is: are all the plains peaceful farming areas+ or are they ruled by nomads?
(Native American Inspired Orcs riding Dinousaurs Because Why Wouldn't You?)
that's what I get from first impressions ...
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Found it in the way back machine:
Ethereal Gears wrote:
@LuxuriantOak: At the end of the day, I don't think it's really feasible to seriously increase the fighter's versatility in and out of combat without doing away with some of its simplicity. I mean to say, I think 4 + Int skill ranks is a no-brainer, and I don't mind your stamina houserule. These are both things which give fighters stuff they need, but they're also very modest.
Basically, some people want a fighter who, at high levels, is a commander of armies and a world-renowned warlord able to influence the flow of the campaign's narrative on the same scale as, or on a scale at least somewhat comparable to, a 9th- or 6th-level caster. This design goal can never be achieved while maintaining the simplicity of the fighter's current design parameters. Basically what I'm saying is you have to clarify your goals. Do you want a fighter who's not sucky at skills (which is a fine ambition) or do you want a fighter who becomes Genghis Khan on speed at higher levels? These two goals will require vastly different levels of changing the class.
Just my 2 cp.
You are absolutely right, those two goals are completely different.
I can only answer for myself when I say that the main goal (for me) is to give the fighter more out of combat versatility with skills.
The "general"-option you kinda outlined is not one I'm interested in, I think such an idea is less class-dependant and more game dependant.
Feats like Leadership and rules like the kingdom rules in Ultimate Campaign are the ones who should tackle that scenario.
This is also because I think that a high level Fighter should be allowed to NOT be a leader if the player wishes it, as much as the opposite.
So assuming that all leading is something based on cha-modifiers, diplomacy and performance tests, and that either the leadership feat or Good Oldfashioned Roleplaying/GM fiat/player wishes decides wheter the fighter is a lone knight (a la dark souls) or a mighty commander (like DA: inquisition) ... then my fighter build has the following:
4+int skill points, and most likely slightly more class skills (Without overthinking it I would consider adding 1 more knowledge skill, perception & stealth)
Stamina rules -and the possibility of using stamina on any skill rolls that seems fitting (pushing yourself while climbing: yes, but while studying history? I think not)
And that leaves ... options for being relevant at higher levels against creatures with features like teleport/flying/invisibility/DR and such.
So which of these are actual problems?
Invisibility is annoying, but there is a feat called blind fight (not saying all fighters have it, I'm just saying they can take it and they have loads of feats) so the main issue is finding named creture.
- which is a Perception roll, and I've already made it a class skill.
- and if you allow stamina boosting to work on perception skills that's an added boost for when it's needed (not saying it will work every time, but it can help - haven't run the numbers)
DR is not a problem, the fighter has a nice damage output and weapons can be made out of different materials/enchanted, not an issue moving on.
Flying and teleportation: here we go ... in a full plate the fighter isn't exactly quick, and even if he is wearing less his movement is not fast and limited to horisontal ...
So the solutions for such problems are amongst others; gain flight somehow; stop said opponent from leaving close combat with you somehow; use a ranged attack ....
gaining flight is wholly dependent on items or teammates.
using ranged attacks is fine - but many will complain that it reduces their characters input a lot (assnming he is not an archer of course)
and higher levels will have more of these types of enemies.
using manouvers to hold on to enemies and stopping them from flying off/dissapearing is cool - but only works if you're close enough in the first place ...
I personally think there is nothing wrong with challenging players with different types of scenarios where they sometimes will be outmanouvered or have to rely on different tricks or tactics than usual.
(remebering the rules for cover will solve many problems with flying or teleporting enemies - they can't do much against you if they can't see you - And if you're fighting a flying enemy in an open field without even a bow: WHY?!)
It becomes a problem when it happens constantly and the player feels outshined by everybody else (cohorts included).
Sorry for the wall of text, but you got me thinking and I wanted to clarify my reasoning.
Did I miss something?
Aelryinth: there is no subconscious about it :) more an active intentional attempt on my side. That's why I took the time to clarify the campaign.
Using Stamina to boost physical skill rolls is a start, and I think it's very easy to implement.
Giving him 4+int skill ranks per level might also even the gap.
Edit: and having a look at his class skills list might be in order - I seem to remember while doing a across the bord comparison that the fighter is at the bottom for no good reason ( are tower shields really that great? :p )
Last I would consider if either 1.) Replacing bravery with something more substantial - like increased movement, or a way to use manouvers more efficiently against slippery opponen. Or 2.) Outright adding something like that and keeping bravery where it is.
People keep talking about giving the fighter "all good saves" or complex new abilities that make more similar to other newr classes, I think that the apparent simplicity in a 1st lvl fighter is part of his appeal, and removing that makes you wonder ... if that's what you want - why not play a Brawler or swashbuckler and pick up some armor feats?
Lastly I would add that the increased options for all combat feats with the stamina rules is a badly implemented and complicated addition, that increases the bookkeeping for the player while mostly just adding boring static bonuses and not much more.
Ok guys, been following parts of this discussion (haven't read all the pages I'll admit) and I thought I'd chip in:
I'm currently GM'ing a combat-focused exploration game with a lot of unchained playtesting
(think war-drama, meets fury road, add demons, shake, serve cold)
So just for info I'm using: Revised Action System, Automatic Bonus Progression, Consolidated Skills & the Stamina rules (specificly: the fighters only variant)
Because of all this I'm not even pretending that this is vanilla pathfinder (what is, really? does ANYBODY play that?) -and I think I've never played that. Just something to keep in mind.
First: we have no problem with the Fighter class in this game, none, nada
The PC's are: a Bloodrager, a Fighter, and a Paladin (stonelord) ,
the only one struggeling every now and then is the Pally player
- and that's mostly a combination of bad rolls, less than stellar tactical decisions when under fire, and some Real World Stuff (tm) that has left him very reduced and tired at game nights.
Second: (and this is the part where I bring something new)
A thought popped into my head while reading this thread and it congealed into the following houserule suggestion:
"the fighter can spend points from his stamina pool to increase all Physical skill rolls in the same way that he would increase his to hit "
Boom, bang, svisj, done - it's simple, adds to options and is thematicly accurate (by my opinion) for a fighter.
I think "physical skills" is a good enough description for people to understand, but just in case and for the record they are: Acrobatics, Climb, Escape Artist, Fly, Ride, Stealth & Swim.
Although ... I can see a point for allowing Sleight of Hand, Perception & Intimidate - but then I ask what about Disable Device? and then I wonder if I'm amking a fighter or a Rogue :)
So what do you think?
Fighters using their Stamina Pool to go that extra mile, wheter it's jumping out/through windows while chased by demons, climbing towers to reach dragons or sneaking up on an orc patrol in full plate mail.
(for the record I'm also in the camp that advocates fighters getting 4+int skill points per lvl, since (almost) ALL THE OTHER MARTIALS HAVE IT, seriously wtf paizo? )
I hadn't read this, interesting stuff.
Thank you for necro'ing a 3 year old thread, so that I noticed it. :)
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Seriously, stop with the passive-aggressive nonsense about engaging on his terms. Don't try to fight his character. Declare, OOC, that you do not want the current trend of PvP bullying to continue. Insist that it is not cool and is making the game un-fun for you.
No, it's not as "fun", but it's much more effective long-term in dealing with an asshat.
This is the best advice on this kind of situation.
Other notable ideas is to keep playing and next time the samurai gets offended or starts declaring challenges say OOC (some groups have a sign for talking out of character, others just daclare when they are in or out of character) "OOC; [insert name of samurai playere here], grow the f*** up." and then keep playing like he's not there.
or less agressive: ask him what his deal i snext time he makes things uncomfortable for you. If he says he's just playing his character say : " no, you're being an ass and making our game suck, please stop"
regardless, be diplomatic, comunicative (spelling?), composed and resolved.
It's cool that he wants to roleplay his character or whatever, it's not cool that the game is less fun for you because of it. And it's easy to change; just make the friction between the characters less life-and-death and more funny background banter.
I mean , hell: minsc and edwin could adventure together for most of the game before they attacked each other. literally months of throwing shit before one of them snapped.
also this :
alexd1976 said wrote:
Literally just ignore any stupid challenges/rolls to hit/damage rolls as if they never happened.
He just wants attention, do NOT give it to him
1.) play the module even though they are "underleveled", my experience with players and Challenge Ratings have tought me that the players will find a way.
(this assumes your players are what I consider typical Pathfinder-players: slightly competetive, have a love for tweaking their 'builds' for maximum/better output, and inventive enough to outsmart or outmanouver a lot of the standard modules.)
2.) just level them up, don't overthink it, don't try to make it "fair" or make it fit the rules - you make the rules, if you want them to be lvl 3 or 4 when the next adventure starts you .... make it so (Picard voice).
*poff, you're now lvl 4*
"1 year later, you meet up at a tavern to catch up when .." *plothook from module snags them by the cheeks*
Seth Dresari wrote:
"FE" = 'Favored Enemy' would be my guess.
Elias Alexander wrote:
Michael Grate wrote:
I'm less looking for individual stories and instead I'm interested in ways to put stories together. It's the whole ' teach a man to fish' sort of thing.
Elias Alexander wrote:
So you're looking for less of an overall idea and more of a better way of follow through? Well with the prison idea escape is probably inevitable so having a revenge confrontation (initiated by the former enemies) with one's own former characters might work. Or am I missing what you're saying?
Michael Grate wrote:
Have you had any previous enemies that you've taken prisoner and sent to a jail? If so you can do a campaign with new characters who get sent to jail (wrongfully if they want, otherwise have them make their charges to set up the initial character development) and align themselves with these enemies in order for them all to escape. My current campaign has actually just folded ( scheduling, what can you do?) This is me more addressing an issue of building good campaign arcs after noticing that a lot of my previous games tended to go astray once I had finished the initial introductions.
hmm, I guess the first thing to do is to stop thinking of stories as packaged bundles - like the scooby-doo-cartoons; where every episode is resolved and returned to the status quo at the end.
1.) always have 2 (or more) stories happening at the same time.
for example: the roscoe brothers are robbing a bank at noon, but at the same time the mad bomber mulligan has placed abomb in the city hall.
how do the players get involved? who do they think initially is responsible for the bombing? what happenss when the roscoe brothers deny being the bombers? where is mulligans next target?
2.) decide what the opponents/villians end goal is, then backtrack all the way to the beginning, along the way on each bit ask yourself: is this something he would do himself? or hire someone?
Ex: after several weeks of chasing down the roscoe brothers, while also investigating mystreious stabbings in old town, the group finds out that the brothers might have been hired by james carver; a nobleman and scholar with interests in the occult and friends in high places.
3.)never tie up all the loose ends at the end of a story, leave them to dangle and annoy players - then bring them back later as a reveal or new plot hook.
Ex: the players never found the third witness in the carver case, but 2 months later a corpse fitting the description washes ashore in another part of the country, the marks on it don't fit the carver case ...
I might have more tips, but for now it's lunch :)
Put some of the work in the player's hands.
To outright steal a cool idea that could actually work for any RPG:
Get your players to build your world and give you the story hooks to build the narrative around. Get them to put two plot-hooks in their character history: A personal plot-hook and a major plot-hook.
Personal Plot Hook is something specific to the character:
A missing parent,
Seeking a cure for a congenital illness,
A material goal (become Captain of a ship, become the richest merchant in the region)
Revenge against the mysterious grey-haired figure that burned down the village
The number XIII tattooed on the back of the character's neck.
A major plot-hook has to do with the player's race or class:
The Elves are at war with the demonlord that has invaded their forest land.
The Dwarves have lost contact with the Deep Fort of Ganundum.
Halflings are secretly agents of a powerful dragon, sent out into the world to retrieve word of a potent artifact it seeks.
The Order of the Dragon Cavaliers have sworn to slay every dragon in the campaign setting for burning down a once great city.
The wizard school of Arhaim library has been transported to an unknown plane.
Then take those pieces the players provide and start trying to find out how they fit. Subvert some of the expectations. Once you have a rough outline just start dropping the cookie crumbs that relate to each character's hooks into the story and they should be able to put together the story themselves as they start listening to requests from NPCs, following clues and fighting the forces that they themselves decided on.
This Is Motherf***ing Gold!
I am doing this from now on.
Speaking as a "GM taking a break" I would ask you to consider the same: take a break, if you're struggling to come up with something fun to play ... then you're not having fun I assume. And this is a game.
Maybe it's time for somebody else to run games while you kick back and just play?
If I misunderstood you, and taking a break is not wanted or possible I would say that from your post the first thing I would reccomend is: ask your players what they want from the game and if they are having fun?
My opinion is that everybody in the group, players and GM alike , are responsible for bringing the fun -if your players "aren't interested in doing anything in the game", as you put it; then simply ask them why.
In addition; from your post I get the impression that you put a lot of focus on world building, maybe even without any player input, and then bring your finished product to the table and tell them that's what your playing?
If that is the case, maybe your players are having trouble relating to the lore and culture of your world and maybe they're tired of having to get into your lore, when they'd rather play something else?
Just a thought.
I remember a GM I played with a while back that was so enamored with his own creations that some games would devolve into storytime; with him sitting there reading aloud from his 4 inch thick binder of notes about the culture and locations and lore of something or another that nobody cared about ... his problem was (imho) that he forgot that we were playing a game, not evaluating his fantasy novel.
Not saying that's what you do (I wouldn't know), just saying it's an easy trap to fall into.
regardless, my own way of making stories/getting inspiration? I do the opposite of you:
- I pick a theme or mood that I want (last game was 'dark and gritty')
- I decide what kind of stories I want (last game was horror and an feeling of being against the odds)
-then I make the first plot, and I only make facts and details for things that will be used in that plot and lore that might come up during that game (the first session was in a haunted house in a rural part of a country; I made maps for the house and the elements in and around it, I named the country - didn't draw a map, I fleshed out 2 other side locations in case the Players decided to go exploring) ... -and then we started, I made up stuff as we played or inbetween sessions, slowly fleshing out the world - when I (finally) drew the players a map it was just the country they were in, half a year later they would acquire a map over the continent, and even then it was just 'big picture'-style, with lots of blank spaces wher I could put whatever I needed as inspiration struck.
(I once had a necropoplis spring into existence half a days travel from the town where the players were resting because I wanted to do a 'ruins & tombs'-dungeoncrawl. the players never noticed that it hadn't been there the week before, because I hadn't told them anything about what was to the east the session before.)
the point is to avoid making invisible lines in your head, boundries, or Canon (ugh)so that if you want to do something different for you next plot, like a desert adventure, you haven't already told the players that there are no deserts on this continent and sea travel hasn't reached other lands yet. It's a "center->out"-design approach.
For inspiration I recommend just reading good books or watching good media (films, games, series) .
Another source are any paizo modules or adventure paths that inspire you: read through some of them, steal ideas, entire plots, encounters, npcs, items, bits of lore and put it into your own world.
I once ran the skinsaw murders AP for my group, it was heavily modified and completely changed to fit my world, but the skeleton: the encounters and connecting bits of read thread was loaned from that book. (it's a good one)
Hope some of this helps, sorry about the wall of text (I got inspired)
answer to the title( What happens if Black Blade is lost?): a quest starts?
Who do you play with? Do you really suspect that your GM will try to steal your class abilities just to mess you?
yes you've put some of your power in an item, yes it can potentially be used against you, this is not always a bad thing.
I mean, do you really want to play a awesome mcdudson superman-like character, who never fails, fumbles, have setbacks, have to make decisions, gets tired, cares about things, or people, that can be unbalanced, or afraid? are you sure Pathfinder is the best game for that?
IF your black blade ever gets stolen or disarmed or wahtever, then trust your table and yourself to make it a memorable story and an interesting challenge. And I'm saying 'IF' here, because your GM is probably not a dick - if he is, why play with him? so I am making an assumption that he won't do something like that just to mess with you and make your game un-fun.
but yeah, after 9th lvl it can teleport to you as well, so there's that ...
step 1: befriend said wizard as a fellow adventurer and maybe occasional hireling that can get things done; for example as an assassin or bodyguard.
step 2: spend some years indirectly supporting and helping said wizard relize his goals/saving him from problems or at least making life simpler, maybe go on qusts to get ingridients that are hard to find and get paid by him for your efforts.
step 3: get romanticly involved with said wizard (either as a valued lover or as a friend with benefits) -if said wizard is asexual or you're not his type, try to get a valued position in his household.
step 4: spend some years (of your life, not the character)turning your game into a mashup of game of thrones/marco polo/any other series where people talk a lot - the rest of the group might leave during this time, or they might enjoy it, who knows ...
step 4: realize That You Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore, That You've Forgotten What You Started Fighting For!
step 5: awkward sex with GM ...
...or maybe not, more seriosly though: can you give some more info on the scenario? because so far we have his class and level - and it's impossible to kill Schrödingers Wizard(tm). (at least without the thread turning into a sidetracked spectacle of "nu-uh!/Ye-uhu!")
Who is he? what's his story? what's Your story with him? why do you want him dead? known interests/enemies/powers/allies
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I've only run dragons once, with some variations based on age:
1.) the (3) dragons awoke from slumber and 1 pc was there to see it, because of bad decisions and luck he ended up having to fight the youngest. The battle was inside a mansion with the poor rogue using stealth and mobility to outmanouver the arrogant younger dragon. It died from bleed damage just as he was at his ropes end. (very fun battle for the whole group)
(side note: 1 of the dragons is the Elder while the other 2 are very young, and thereby easier to defeat)
2.) the second dragon was an anticlimatic execution: the party brought all their followers and sat out bait for the other young dragon, after making a pile of stealth checks (and the dragon scoring so abysmal that I thought it was unfair to be honest) they filled the lizard with arrows and bolts (everybody had been buffed up and many of the lvl 1 npc followers managed to hit the flat footed dragon as it gorged itself)
They cut it's head off and loaded the corpse on a wagon.
3.)The fight with the Elder dragon was different, it spotted them as they were leaving with the corpse of it's brood. It cast invisbility and snuck up on them, using a major illusions to adress them from the front of the cart (intimidating them and distracting them at the same time) .
It then proceeded to use it's breath weapon on everybody (all the followers died instantly, the cohort lost heart and ran away screaming) having made it's point it grabbed the corpse of it's child and proceeded to leave.
The party then used flight and fireballs to engage it again, so it was forced to put down it's price.
Using it's monumental flight speed (seriosly, these guys are FAST) and flyby attack it bypassed the front liners and killed/maimed everybody in the backline (casters and buffers) before simply turning invisible and leaving.
The magus frontliner arrived back too late to catch up with him and spent his time stabilizing the bard. The group returned to town to lick their wounds and get the alchemist ressurected. They're hoping the cohort returns, but no sign of him yet.
The dragon flew off to bury it's brood and plot revenge, making alliances/subjugating/manipulating several monster tribes to attack the PC's base while it waited patiently for it's time.
As you can tell this story is not over ...
My summary of what DM_Blake said (and my own opinion):
Have patience, and talk to them.
(isn't it amazing how often that is the best advice?)
Anecdote: it has happened to me as well - players that have very little initiative to drive the story forwards. In my experiences the player will most of the time take more charge and make decisions as they get more comfortable with the group and hobby. In some few cases the player never change and it's part of who they are - for whatever reason, they still care about the game, they just don't like to be put on the spot
Oh, thank God! I thought this was only my experience. I get the feeling it's all the math. Some players just don't want to figure out what their total should be, so they simply give me what is on the die. Then I have to wait until they do add in all their bonuses (&/or penalties) so that I can give them an accurate response. Ugh!
It's funny actually, in my games, I have a couple of players who always just tell me the result of the die roll, not the total of the roll plus their characters modifiers.
It happens so much and I have told them so many times "Is that your total or just what you got on the die?" that I have pretty much stopped asking them.
If I ask for a perception check, and someone tells me they rolled a 16 (and they mean the die has a 16 on it)-I take 16 as their total. I've stopped trying to correct them, it's been MONTHS.
This. So Much.
An order of the scales cavalier with combat expertise(tax) and Dirty Fighting or some other CM-feat focus could be fun.
I am by the way, assuming that you want to replay your character from lvl 1, if you just want to rebuild him as a npc or antagonist for a game then of course I'll need to tinker more.
(first thing that sprang to mind)
just a sidenote here:
-Stamina and Combat Tricks for Everyone
so all of your players will have stamina rules added to all of their feats?
-Have you read that chapter?
because I have the book, and I still haven't been able to finish that ginormus list of added rules for EVERY FEAT EVER WRITTEN ... EVER.
so when you'r players make their characters they will either be laid back: "so I have feat X and feat Y, and oh - they both have the added rules of x1 &x2, more to remember, but it's ok (I hope)"
or if they are the types that plan their characters: "hmm what's the special rule for X? or maybe I'll go with Y *flicks through the book,* nope that doesn't suit my build, let's check out Z *flips again* hmm maybe, what about ...." 2hrs later: "I think this is my starting feat, I just have to check - hey give me back the book! I'm not done!"
(and imagine that times the players)
-maybe an extreme example, but however much I like the idea of the stamina rules, I abhorr the execution.
You might want to reconsider, unless your players are the kind that do lots of homework for their games and have a folder of all relevant feats and rules pertaining their character.
(if they are: Where Did You Find Them?!)
Hello. I am thinking about starting to play Pathfinder but since the game is already several years old, I'm thinking whether I should wait for a second edition instead of committing to purchase 1st edition books now. Is there any info about a possible 2nd edition on the horizon?
This made me laugh, thank you.
(more sriously:I second chaoseffect's answer, he has the gist of it )
Peter Stewart wrote:
The swashbuckler for example is a neat class that fits into many campaigns (especially the one I'm currently playing) but is a nightmare to casually drop into play. Pirate ship full of swashbucklers? Have fun with that combat.
Basically they are unusable for a GM. Which is a shame, especially since a GM needs to spend the time to learn about them all the same if any players want to use them.
I mean... if you think a Pirate Ship full of ANYTHING except cookie-cutter Fighters is manageable you're kidding yourself.
A Pirate Ship full of Sorcerers, Wizards, Druids, Clerics, or any other Fullcasters is a bookkeeping NIGHTMARE because of all the spells available. Druids get SPECIAL mention for having Wild Shape as well.
A Pirate Ship full of Monks and/or Ninjas is going to also be a bit of a gigantic pain because of keeping track of all that Ki.
A Pirate Ship full of Paladins (don't ask) is going to require you to keep track of Smite targets, of their Bonded Weapons, uses of Lay on Hands, etc.
You are SERIOUSLY living in a dream world if you think the ACG was the "too complicated." With the exception of the Shaman, no class was more complicated than any class yet printed (yes, even the Arcanist - that class is pretty straight forward, just with a lot of different options); fill a Pirate Ship with tons of individuals of practically ANY PC Class, even back to Core classes, and you're going to have a giant mess to deal with - the Fighter being probably the sole exception to this rule.
A pirate ship full of Paladins ... now THAT sounds like a good story.
I would say that yes, you're right: any caster will need a spellist, or at least the resemblance of one - and that's extra homework for a GM.
But so is also Deeds, and most players/GM's have less experience with them.
And maybe that's the core of it: experience.
I mean; I don't like building Casters, I hate choosing spells for a npc - but I've been doing it for some years now.
Ask me to add a swashbuckler or a kineticist and (I will first call you a rude name and tell you to get lost, and then )I'll admit I have no experience with any of them and it will take me AGES reading up on them, understanding them, and then choosing what bits to use.
siderant: And is it just me or is there more things to choose in the new classes than the old? It's fun for customizers, but not for Gm's that want a fast opponent to drop into a lvl 10 game. (high level also makes that worse, of course)
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I understand what you mean and I agree that this book has more complex system than, for example the Core book.
This is actually something I've noticed for a while in other books as well, and I've experienced in play how players I consider quite rules-savy have misunderstood or fail to grasp the mechanics of some of the new classes. I've also noticed that some players have forgotten about many of their minor class abilities because there are so many of them.
as a comparison: consider the rogue, fighter and cleric compared to the alchemist, magus and inquisitor in terms of mechanics and you'll see a jump in the difficulty curve.
being a demi-grognard I am dreaming of a time where the classes were easier to wrap your head around and start playing, instead of studying them intensly - like preparing for an exam.
Understand me correctly though: I like a lot of the new ideas and systems shown in the latest books.
I just wish the standard minimum of complexity for class building was more like the rogue and wizard - not the bard or shaman.
Now a lot of these so-called problems might not be a challenge for many of the people that frequent these boards, but out in "the real world" a lot of the new classes have a higher system understanding requirement than the original Core classes.
In my opinion. :)
Just a Guess wrote:
Noncasters and 4th level casters should have all good saves, 6th level casters two good saves and 9th level casters one good save that is not will.
I'm of the opinion that the fighter needs a strong will save.
Actually, I'm of the opinion that every non-caster except barbarian needs a strong will save and the arcane casters don't.
Interesting idea, my opinion would be: 9th lvl casters get a good will save, full BAB classes get a good Fortitude save, and 6th lvl casters (+the monk & rogue) get 2 good saves (1 of them probably reflex)
but it's just the first thought ...
I'm agreeing with you there Ssalarn: some things in unchained work and some don't (for me). overall the book is good and adds coll options - I hope they make a second one.
I originally liked the Stamina system ...
But then I tried to make a fighter using it ...
oh. my. world. - THAT sucked! (also the editing and setup of the feats with stamina options is horribly made and it hurts my eyes to browse through them, let alone read them.
No, the stamina system was a neat idea, but it needs a revamp to simplify it or streamline it-
Scaling items is something I love, but like Cranky, it makes my head hurt.
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I understand what you're trying to say, but Pathfinder have loads of examples of this. And everyone of these so-called "Uber" builds or examples have at least one if not several achillies heel and counters.
-Some would say it's a feature, not a bug.
As an example, the often mentioned slumber witch with a scythe and the shocking grasp magus - buth quite impressive in their field with minimal effort and available at low levels (or even 1st? I'm not an expert)
Both of them can be disarmed or countered of their favorite tactic, but when they get to do their thing they are impressive.
Your sundering 2-handed fighter is the same, impressive in his field and his specilization has born fruit but ...
What is he going to do against a dragon flying over him and spamming its breath weapon? sunder space and time to get on it's back? :p
And to Rynjin: I don't think any "obfuscation" was intended, let's stay civil here.
-But yeah, maybe the topic should have been "Is this how sunder and the PA-feats interact? Do you think that's balanced?" or something like it ...?
Ok, thank you for all your responses. Let me sum up several key points that need to be highlighted:
1. We are playing urban-heavy campaign that involves a lot of humanoid threats. At 12th level I personally try to use APL +2 encounters. This means that I usually pit my PCs either versus 4 NPCs of CR 10 (level 11) or versus 8 NPCs of CR 8 (level 9) or versus 3 NPCs of CR 11 (level 12). I don't use single enemies due to action economy issue.
Using only monsters is not an option for me, thank you.
2. "Just give everybody adamantine weapons" - is not a solution IMHO, it will just look strange fluff-wise.
3. "10/min duration buffs" - same as above. Why would suddenly all NPCs will have this specialized buff? After all it works only 1,5-2 hours at this level and let's say when "its buff time" they have more important buffs to drink/cast.
Destroying someone's weapon at best imposes a penalty to-hit equal to the enhancement bonus of the weapon (so, like -2), and probably a drop in damage dice (for a lot of stuff, something like -2 to -4 damage).
Most of the time it also forces enemy to draw a weapon (say goodbuy to full-attack). As for gauntlets - imagine how ineffective is a fighter with all his weapon focuses, trainings, specializations, etc with gauntlets? no he's basically a warrior of his level.
But again, assume that it all works as intended. Imagine this PC faces enemy with same stats. What would their duel look like?
PC: I destroy your weapon
Enemy: An I destory yours
PC: I destroy your weapon...
Someone: Ok, I don't have any weapons left, you win.
Let him destroy their weapons, because that is probably ALL he is good at.This is not true. He also kills things very very quickly with his uber damage per hit.
So if I'm reading you right, the issue is not that the fighter is good at sundering, but more that the campaign is in an urban setting and A LOT of the enemies are humanoids with gear dependency?
if that's the case then: ... Monks and Brawlers? a disarm specialist every now and then? adding a sniper to some encounters?
In short: adding challenges that aren't weapon dependent or that can outmanouver him, letting the rest of the party help him out/shine.
Like many have said: your guy is good at this thing, don't take it away from him. Let him be " the Bladebreaker - most ruthless man I've ever seen in a fight!" and play to his strenghts.
But add other types of opponents to make the fights less rote might be a good idea.
This is my fix for fighters
Our group play tested it and thought it worked well.
I like the stances and the change to bonus feats!
Some of the other abilities seem a bit much ( am I reading it right that a 20th lvl fighter with haste will have 4 standard actions per round?!)
But I like the thought behind the armor training and the battle experience. Nice ideas!
I've been playing around with redesigning the classes as well.
dividing all the classes into 3 groups: martial, caster, and "hybrid"
(placeholder name, the last group is more diverse than the two other - it's pretty much all classes that have d8 hit dice, 3/4 BAB and all except the rogue and monk have 6th lvl casting)
SInce we're talking about the fighter I'l describe my work in progress for the martials:
All martials (Barbarian, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger, Gunslinger, Samurai/Cavalier, Bloodrager, Brawler, Slayer, and Swashbuckler) get:
4+int skill points per levels
class skills are: climb, craft, handle animal, intimidate, perception, profession, ride, sense motive, survival, and swim.
in addition each class has 4 more class skills:
Barbarian: acrobatics, bluff, knowledge nature, stealth
Fighter: acrobatics, bluff, knowledge engineering, stealth
Paladin: diplomacy, heal, knowledge religion, spellcraft
Ranger: heal, knowledge geography, knowledge nature, stealth
Gunslinger: acrobatics, bluff, knowledge engineering, knowledge local
Samurai/cavalier: bluff, diplomacy, knowledge history, knowledge nobility
Bloodrager: acrobatics, bluff, knowledge arcana, spellcraft
Brawler: acrobatics, escape artist, knowledge local, stealth
Slayer: acrobatics, knowledge geography, knowledge local, stealth
Swashbuckler: acrobatics, bluff, diplomacy, knowledge nobility
(if anybody is wondering how I picked those specific skills: I looked through the class skill lists and saw that some martials had barely 10 class kills, while others had up till 18. I then gave everyone the skills that were most common on all the list and cut away from the lists that had too much. for example all martals except the paladin have climb as a class skill, and the slayer have 18 class skills while the most common number for the others is 10)
the end result is that all martials have 14 class skills and 4 skill points per level.
looking at my list I'm wondering if it wouldn't have been easier to just say "pick 4 from the following list: ..."
I'm also considering wheter to change their saves but I think they are fine as they are - I _might_ adjust so that all martials get a high fort save (they practically do already, there is 2 or 3 classes tops that don't have it)
if anybody is wondering, all the casters (ANY class with 9th lvl casting) have been overhauled to have:
2+int skill points,
a smaller list of class skills than martials (haven't gone though it yet)
d6 hit dice,
and last but not least: all casters are prone to spell failure from armor and none start with any armor proficiency.
the "hybrid" list will be a middleway between the two extremes, more hit points and BAB than casters, can cast in armor, more skills than martials. -but that group is the least uniform one, and I haven't sat down to go through the numbers and balance them. after looking through them maybe I'll have to go back and adjust this list, but I'll see how it goes.
I know it's extreme, and YMMW, but for me I think making martial more competent skill-wise than casters is a good balance. As said; it's a work in progress.
Tl;dr: fighters get 4+int skill points per levels
class skills are: acrobatics, bluff, climb, craft, handle animal, intimidate, knowledge engineering, perception, profession, ride, sense motive, survival, swim, and stealth.
now your fighter can DO THINGS when he isn't in combat.
this is all, of course, based on the assumption that skills matter (in my games they do)
So ...the day I always knew would come - is close
In my campaign I removed elves but left some hintings in wall murals and myth about the terrible 'Eldren' who disappeared ca 500 yrs ago.
One of the pc's is a half elf, and through cool quests, messing with forces he doesn't understand, and a perfectly timed reincarnate spell he has become a full blooded Eldren.
So I should probably figure out what their racal bonuses and such are ...
My idea is simply to take the elf template, slap a large size on it, and call it a day. -Maybe remove 1 or 2 small elf skill bonuses to pretend that it's balanced. (I'm also adding more dex to offset the size penalty)
The end result is a normal elf - large sized ( meaning 10' reach), with +2 str +2 dex -2 con +2 int (is that correct?)
My depiction of them has been vague of course; they are large, have magic, wear armor made of 'living metal' when they go to war, were decadent and cruel, had pale almost blue skin, some of them had horns or antlers... so one part fey crazies, a large part drow, a small part demonic dimension jumping aristocrats.
How would you stat them? (It's allowed to use more than standard points if needed, it's a quest reward )
How would you stat their 'armor of living metal'?
Lets have a look and see who is the best at dealing with these situations shall we:
Hmm, who will do better, the fighter with a Wisdom of maybe 12 and 2sp/level or the Wizard who can trivially maximise Perception, the Diviner who can act in the surprise round anyway and the Wis focused Cleric or Druid?
Who does best here? The martial character whose capabilities are fixed to a short list of class abilities and feats which have little direct impact or the caster who might have a dozen or more individual options prepared together with a grab bag of scrolls they can use, unlike the martial who has to sink a load of their very limited skill points into UMD and an otherwise useless to them Charisma stat.
biting over more than you can chew
See above, people who come with a whole grab bag of options are better at dealing with difficult or unexpected situations than people who are limited to class features like Bravery and feats which are simply too limited in scope.
Or rather, martial orientated feats are too limited in scope. Casters grab things like Summon Good Monster adding extra versatility like the Djinns wind walk from level 9.
Also the idea that spellcasters are squishier than martials is a myth. Druids and Clerics play the AC game as well as if not better than martials character and arcane casters easily employ non AC related defences which are significantly more effective.
I think I see what you're getting at here, but I think you might be misunderstanding what I'm hinting at which in a single word would maybe be: Survivability.
As an example:
The party gets ambushed! (possible due to their own mistakes)
a nasty area effect hits the whole group, followed by charging ... I dunno ... Minotaurs!
the fireball does somwhere past 50 hp damage to those who fail their save (I pulled this number from thin air, don't overthink it) and if the charging Ox-men hit they have some sort of die + a larger static modifier - lets say it's ... 1d10+14
if the whole group failed their save and gets hit with 1 attack (I haven't specified how many players or enemies ther is, not planning to)
-we're looking at somwhere around 65-74 hp damage.
In many cases (not all) that is enough to knock out or even kill a wizard, or a inquisitor or whatever (because? because d6 or d8 hit dice)
-but the Rogue is fine, evasion says so.
-and the fighter, he can take some more of that (d10 hit die), and would like to show mister moo what he feels about this improper ambush.
-of course this is without getting into minute details like con modifiers and the results of hp rolls and so on.
get my point? sometimes it's not about being optimal or making the right choice. Mirror image only works after you've cast it, flying doesn't help against an arrow to the eye.
sometimes it's about surviving to the next round and forming a battle plan along the way.
If everybody in the group are made of paper then sometimes that second round won't come (or it will, but it will be one filled with coup de graces).
As a player in a low optimized game, the druid just handwaved away most problems
(the player had done his homework, the gm wasn't thinking 3-d all the time)
the only reason the rogue wasn't overshadowed was because of good gming,
and a group that was good on roleplay and teamwork.
My paladin deliberatly set the rogue up so she could have her own moments to shine - sometimes by incouraging to split the party, or by shushing the druid when she was doing her awesome skill-based stuff.
As a gm in a homebrew with (I'll admit) changing houserules and character creation boundries
(we've been trying out things and learning along the way)
I have a Rogue that shines as the coolest character in the group (we all think so) who handles himself nicely in combat.
The Magus of the group is at the same time overshadowing the bard and alchemist simply becase the player in question is an optimizer and he has picked his buff and utility spells very smartly
(he sometimes refer to his character as "the attack helicopter"-jokingly; his fall-back tactic when things hit him to hard in combat - he's going to be so annoyed when he meets a proper archer in the game, she will make him cry/panick).
After one encounter with a dragon the group is noticing (I hope) how fragile a group of d8 6th lvl caster are against good all fashioned hp damage when they can't use their favorite tricks.
All in all, I've noticed some small things, but I feel like (for my groups) that the biggest deciding factor is the players and their system mastery, not the class necessarily.
In our case; optimizers with caster levels often overshadows players with low system mastery, regardless of class.
(I mean ... the player with the Alchemist character has some days where he can't find his ass with a mirror and a map, so regardless of the class - the player is very unoptimized. technically he should be outshining the rogue, practically he is only outshining random npcs and some cohorts )
That is something I feel not many have mentioned in their experiences: it is true that a prepared caster with initiative can wreck challenges and outshine others (if the player is good enough to take advantage)
- but what about the other situations?
biting over more than you can chew;
players do this (often) and when something goes wrong or you get sideswiped it's nice to have some sturdier teammembers.
Someone who don't need to buff up before acting, who can take a giants axe to the face (or a full frontal fireball) - spit out some teeth - and then shield the rest of the squishies and get to buisness while they pick up their jaw/balls.
Doesn't that happen to your games? are your players all clairvoyant?