Mental effects and how they are totally ignored by so many creatures. Immunity to mind effects is to Pathfinder as sneak attack/precision damage was to 3.5. Remember the days when Rogues were never played, because they could not contribute and were totally, arbitrarily shut down in so many confrontations?
Now that is the fate of the Mesmerist, Enchanter, and some others. Undead, Vermin, Plants, Constructs, Swarms, Oozes, Partridges in Pear Trees... you name it, they ignore it. Even creatures with obvious self awareness, thoughts, and minds such as vampires and intelligent plants just outright ignore things that should clearly affect them.
I recently ran "Crypt of the Everflame" for some new players. One was a Thassilonian Enchanter and another a Mesmerist. They were utterly useless and the table of six was really effectively a table of four. I had to take them aside and apologize to them afterwards.
Another related issue is the inability to feint many of these creatures. Which of course makes no sense.
A feint is a physical attack meant to make the target react as it would to a real attack, when in fact you mean to attack elsewhere. There is really nothing mental about it. However, due to the mechanic involving Bluff, mindless creatures are immune.
This is ridiculous, of course. These creatures DO react to physical threats, as they still get their dexterity bonus to AC and still have penalties when they cannot react to threats (i.e.: are flatfooted).
Yet, they instantly know when an attack is not an attack. They are not mindless; they are infallibly hyperaware! Mindless should mean "easy to trick" not "impossible to trick".
Mindlessness and mental immunities seriously need to be looked at again for rebalancing.
Well, here I think we have mostly been concerned with people of any age being "set off" by something VERY evocative of known types of traumatic events...
Age ratings are a different can of worms. However, there are MANY publically used scales (like movie ratings) that would render those things simultaneously less subjective AND less "spoilery", since a generic rating does not reference specific content.
So that one is easier. It is the "trauma coding" that I think is more important and (unfortunately) trickier.
I should note that I have more experience with the subject that any sane person would prefer. I have dealt with people with PTSD, depression, and suicidal ideation both in the Army, VA, and VFW. They are more likely to be triggered by things more strongly reminiscent of the trauma, NOT by mere mention of a type of trauma. They have generally all had to use the word in settings as prosaic as the administrative aspects of their treatment. BUT, role playing it out or roleplaying exposure to it all over again is entirely different.
So, what I am saying is, "Sterile, abstract warnings ahead of time are far safer then blindsiding them with suddenly roleplaying it."
Anyhow, just my two cents.
Walter Sheppard wrote:
Won't do child abuse?
How about kidnapping two kids, holding them in a demon haunted manor, torturing their parents to death, posing their grisly corpses, and then putting the kids to bed beside them? Or how about a list of psychopaths that strongly implies you are locked in said mansion with a child killer and a necrophile? Does "Day of the Demon" ring any bells?
So, no, those assurances by Paizo ring a bit hollow... also, those assurances themselves tend to suggest that Paizo considers some material too much to EVER subject some players to, let alone without a warning. It is tacit admission that some material may be too much for some.
That is NOT to say I am advocating strong stories go untold... I am just saying that some warnings are appropriate.
Also, I believe that "triggers" and "PTSD" implies we are talking about a person suffering from a diagnosable psychopathology. That is a handicap, just as surely as any physical one, and the flippant disregard and disrespect that some have shown to said disabled persons is ... troubling to say the least. Personally, kicking someone in their damage and then insulting them to boot seems a bit twisted.
If some are against such warning labels, are they SERIOUSLY suggesting that triggering a PTSD episode or the reliving of a depressive trauma is just the cost of doing business in our little gaming society? Really?
I'd hate to see what they are willing to do to others for something more serious than a game...
Michael Brock wrote:
If that means what I THINK it means, that is very good news indeed. :)
Well, I also need to add this, as I just finished reading some of the newer replies and I think there is one concern with merit: Older scenario "lock-out".
Now this is VERY good news.
I would tend to agree, but the very first response I got insisted exactly the opposite (from a Venture Lieutenant no less)... and he is not alone.
So I guess the real question is, "Absent a ruling, if I tell him to rebuild and I am wrong, what are the consequences to him and his character... and to me for telling him to do it?"
Actually, no, not exactly... let me explain.
Wildblooded is an archetype. This archetype may only take the mutated bloodlines. Sanguine is just one of those mutated bloodlines.
The archetype has not been banned, only one mutated bloodline... so you would be stuck with the archetype (theoretically).
It would not be necessary to change anything but the mutated bloodline... which would NOT allow for regression to the Undead parent bloodline since THAT is a bloodline available to the OTHER archetypes and standard Sorcerers, not the Wildblooded archetype.
So, I hope you see what my concern is here.
Being forced into a different bloodline without a rebuild also creates other problems. Your bloodline specific spells will change. Possibly to one you already spent a "known spell" slot on. Then what happens?
This just raises too many weird situations... I probably have not even thought of them all yet.
Yet another reason why I am thinking telling him to rebuild before the game is the best option.
I am in agreement with Lamplighter, Dylos, and Haller...
It seems fairer to the player after working that character up for so long.
The only reason I ask in the first place is because there have been arguements that only the minimum changes absolutely needed can be made... and that assertion seems to be in direct contradiction to the Guide.
For example, when one of the classes lost its summoning ability, there was the arguement that while Augmented Summons and Superior Summons could be changed out, Spell Focus: Conjuration could not be changed because it could (maybe) have a use... even though it was really only purchased as a prereq. for the other feats.
Again, this seems to directly contradict the guidelines, yet people are arguing vehemently about it (as Andreas argued above)...
So I have to ask, where are they getting this? I don't see these draconian restrictions on post-changes rebuilds; is there some basis that I am missing somewhere?
Well, this has a small (actually large) problem associated with it...
Sanguine is a Wildblooded bloodline. And that is an archetype. So, the character would not even be able to switch to the next closest parent bloodline (undead). Instead we would wind up with another wildblooded bloodline, since it is not technically "necessary" to switch archetype.
So we would have a sylvan sorcerer (or some such) with a bite attack, spell focus: necromancy, and greater spell focus: necromancy. And the character would lose access to all the Necromancy spells that came with the bloodline.
I'm not sure that is draconian and destructive enough... can I also kick him in the crotch and hit on his wife while I'm at it to round things off? That would be super.
(Edit: this post was in reply to Andreas, not Dylos)
OK, the Sanguine Bloodline is apparently no longer PFS legal as of the 28th.
I see some entries in the legal/not legal list that indicate grandfathering of newly illegal options, but no such specificity on that bloodline.
I also see an entry referring to rebuilds when rules change... but they are not being changed, they remain the same but are banned...
So... what happens here?
Character removed from play forever, lose all access to record sheets, do not pass go, immediately rage quit, yadda yadda yadda...
Free rebuild of character...
Grandfathered if played before the release of that errata (like our Aasimar and Tiefling friends)?
That's fine by me. Just so vampire cultists can legally train to Improved Unarmed Strike with their teeth and fingernails... damage type is not a big deal in this case.
Thanks to you all for the clarifications.
Perfect! That's what I was looking for. Thank you.
James Risner wrote:
Because saying "The Ustalavian BITES you" has a great deal more connotation with regards to what the players are dealing with as opposed to "For some bizarre reason, this Dracula reject karate chops you..."
It is not mere roleplay (though that is important enough), but the type of unarmed attack may actually convey information that the players need in order to piece things together.
It's the reference to "fists, elbows, knees, and feet" that worries me. I am uncertain about how exclusive this list is. There are many things NOT on this list. I am also uncertain about how much rules under monks even apply to non-monks with improved unarmed strike.
That's part of the reason I was asking if there was some official clarification.
James Risner wrote:
Yeah, most of the posts I see with regard to Unarmed strike involve trying to get more attacks out of it... so I can see you leaping to that. In fact it was the proliferation of questions like those (to the exclusion of all else) that led me to ask. I could not find an appropriate thread here.
I am more concerned with whether an Undead or Sanguine bloodline Sorcerer can use it to represent more characterful bites and scratches... and still remain within the rules. Kung Fu and boxing are not within the character concept.
I am considering giving a character improved unarmed strike and want to know if there is any official ruling on how much variety there is in such attacks apart from just punching someone.
Can it represent all sorts of unarmed attacks that we see in the real world?
I am not asking for opinions here... is there anything OFFICIAL out there about how much lee-way there is in how such an attack is delivered?
Actually diameter math was good:
Diameter of moon is 2,159 miles x 5,280 feet per mile for 11,399,520 feet in width.
Distance math (both yours and mine) was off:
Distance to the moon is 238,857 miles x 5280 feet per mile for 1,261,164,960 feet. Yes, that is 1.2 billion, not million.
The increase to the perception DC is one tenth of that, so +126,116,496. Minus 9,119,612 for size (decrease in DC equal to four fifths of its size in feet beyond the first five feet)...
So the corrected DC to see the moon would be 116,996,884.
Oh what a difference decimal places make! XD
So actually it would be impossible to see the moon, even with size adjustments to perception DCs.
My daughter's rogue has gone quite far on Improved Feint.Add Weapon Finesse if you are building a Dex-centric Rogue.
Add the various debuffing effects, stat damage, and bleed options to their sneak attack via Rogue talents.
Even within that combination for inflicting damage and debuffs, she has had room to add in flavorful extras like Wall Climber and remain a very welcome addition at any table.
So, that is one method of optimization within the current class' rules.
Very true... if you take the Perception rules too strickly, then (for example) it's impossible to see the moon... ever...
The problem with the written perception rules is the "... depending on how noticeable the detail is" comment about DCs. Taken in combination with its application to "noticeability of the detail", it seems to suggest size matters... a great deal.Yet, all visible creatures are put in one category in the very next table, seemingly in contradiction of what they just wrote. (see page 102)
It would seem logical that the inverse of the size modifiers (per the stealth modifiers on page 106) should apply. It is most definitely NOT as easy to see a fine creature as a colossal creature at ANY given range.
Is anyone aware of any rulings on this? Am I missing something elsewhere in the rules? Does Paizo usually issue corrections to obvious oversights like this? If so, where would it be?
To address the quote above, the moon is 11,400,262 feet wide. Every five feet in width (beyond the first five) should decrease the perception DC by four. So the base DC to notice the moon at point blank range would be -9,120,205.
The enemy is public opinion and prejudice.The enemy is a natural disaster (eruption, meteor shower, raging wildfires, etc.).
The enemy is a acephalous cult of staggering numbers and range (rendering leaders, plans, and casualties meaningless in the conventional sense).
The enemy is equally numerous and is hiding amongst a population the players can't casually kill (perhaps by possessions, or infiltration).
The enemy is human corruption and the very system itself.
The enemy is nature itself (droughts, salinization, famine, plague, etc.)
The enemy is on the offense and after the players, knocking them back on their heels before they know they should start prepping for anything at all, leaving no time for ""plan, scry, and fry".
The enemy is the ignorance of the population itself and there is no time to just "school people".
The enemy wants and plans for you to defeat him; it will make him a martyr and/or more powerful.
The enemy is poverty itself and giving out fish only feeds a man for a day...
The enemy is the conflict between nations and a war so far-ranging that no mere man's presence on the field will change its course (no matter how personally powerful).
The enemy is an economic catastrophe so profound no one's personal wealth will alter things with mere generosity.
The enemy simply attacks in a place that will put the players at a distinct disadvantage no matter what preparations might be taken.
The enemy's defeat will only make things horribly worse.
The enemy is slander and disgrace.
The enemy is just as capable and insightful as any player characters, making it a true match of equals.
The enemy is one of happenstance; a deadly immediate crisis you wandered into while tackling another problem.
The enemy's defeat is not enough; the populace must learn the truth about the villain and they must be convinced to believe it.
The enemy is dispersed and after things the characters care about, everywhere at once.
The enemy is a curse laid on the entire population, making them all speak in different languages. Chaos ensues...
The characters have gone mad... the enemy they face is themselves.
The enemy is a political movement steering a nation down the road to disaster.
These and many, many more. The enemies are limitless. If you players are having to easy a time of it, you must broaden you definition of what a challenge is... it is not an entry in any bestiary. Those are mere building blocks.
And no, I have not been oblivious to the last 13 years. I have weighed the objections and found them wanting; ginned up frustrations without enough creative thinking behind solutions. I could say the same of every set going back to basic D+D in 1979, when I stared playing... this "problem" is neither new nor real.
No, just no. 3.x has been around for the last 13 years and PF is basically 3.75. The issues with high level play have been known about and discussed for years.
The particular break point is often level 15 with the opening up of Spell Perfection and powerful Divinations like Discern Location at which point the enemy stands next to no chance.
Your blunt reply seems to imply that I must be some sort of idiot for not noticing the OBVIOUS failings that you have wisely discerned "for 13 years". I'll forego a reply in kind for the stealth insult so long as you forego taking out your differences with 3.x on people who merely do not share your opinion.
I will merely say that enemies at higher levels should not be sitting around waiting to be divined and whacked OR they should be taking easily achieved precautions, OR they are so powerful that it does not matter.
Furthermore, those enemies tend to be a higher level than the players thereby having access to the same resources and more... so your argument about them standing no chance is actually self-contradictory on its very face.
All this simply means that scenarios of those levels must be written differently. Not more poorly, not more lengthily, not without balance. Just differently. So your objection concerning the capabilities of the characters only reinforces my point: experience with those levels is the key to running them well.
So... no. Just no. And thank you supporting my point, even if you didn't intend to. :)
Multiple posts above seem to indicate that there is some kind of problem with high level play from a rules standpoint. I am somewhat skeptical. If people in organized play have been kept from playing at that level, I would expect delays for more obvious reasons than Paizo's rules being flawed. More likely people are not used to playing at that level. The structure of the system works against getting much experience at it. It is like any skill; if you don't do it, you suck at it.
The same critique applies to the assertion that the characters are naturally unbalanced and game-breaking. GMs cannot manage that which they have no experience managing. It isn't likely a case of Paizo's rules being broken and only a few people noticing it over the last decade plus.
Also, is a the module route really realistic? If people have to map out specific, ham-handed, contrived methods for reaching those levels, it is not really an allowance for higher level play. It is more like exploitation of the unintended consequences of sanctioning modules to increase sales (which I am not against BTW, just saying). If there were actual (intended) support for higher level characters then it would more likely take the form of actual scenarios in Society play.
Finally, we all accept that people don't want their characters lost to being killed; the in-chronicle availability of the resurrection-type spells and their repeated use is ample testament to that fact. The general avoidance of "killer GMs" is also testament to that. But, in the end, the loss of a character is the loss of a character, whatever the cause. Just because it's called "retirement" does not magically make the player like it.
I have been staving off playing my wizard for months now due to his approaching forced retirement. The list of others doing the same is not short. If you wonder why it is harder to get 7-11 tables together look no further than that fact added to the fact that the higher levels are achieved, not made. Anyone can form a level 1 table on a minute's notice... getting "near retirement" characters casually played when there is an on-rushing penalty for playing is quite a bit harder. Talk about punishing achievement...
Anyhow, just my two cents, your mileage may vary.
Just what the title asked...
PFS has been doing organized play for years now. There are a lot of higher level characters out there now. Will we ever see PFS scenarios for level 12+ characters?
I feel slow progression was a cludge fix for rapidly aging-out characters and does not solve the problem... and it reveals the desire for a large enough section of the player base to keep going further with their characters, else it would not have even come to pass.
So, what are the odds? Do the powers that be seem interested (as far as anyone can tell, of course)? Does anyone have any inkling?
Re: Death or Glory...
Crane Style, Crane Wing, Crane Riposte, Power Attack, and Death or Glory allows you to do this:
I am fighting defensively with only a -1 to hit and an additional +1 to my AC and, what the hell, I'm Power Attacking too. I spend a full round action to Death or Glory with its +4/+4/+4. The opponent attacks back. Their attack is ignored because it is auto deflected by Crane Wing. I immediately get another attack via Crane Riposte because they attacked me after my Death or Glory attack.
So they accept repeated Death or Glories from me, or they attack without effect and get a retaliatory kick in the face. And, hey, if they decide not to attack back I still get my Crane Wing and Riposte to use if they attack in their turn... so no loss there.
On another common use note...:
Fighter: I remain standing where I am and ready and action to use my longspear to stab that evil sorceror 15 feet from me...
Evil Sorceror: I step back another 5 feet and begin casting Ray of Stupidly Painful Death at that silly warrior over there...
Fighter: 'Ere we go! I step forward 5 feet for free, use my standard to Monkey Lunge, and now that guy is casting within my 15 foot reach! Hah haaa! <JABBITY JAB!>
Evil Sorceror: Where the **** did that come from?!? Arrrgh... <FIZZLE... THUMP> I would have done it too if it wasn't for you pesky Murder Hobos and you Monkey Lunge..... <DIES>
Monkey Lunge could be used for an a defensive build focusing on AoOs to hamper enemy movement. If all i want to do is stand in this door and irritate the crap out of everything, Monkey Lunge.
Yes, this may work... see readied actions.
"I ready an action to attack anyone moving out of a squre I might threaten with Monkey Lunge plus my free 5 foot step that comes with my readied action."
So, at the point when the foe triggers your readied action you take a 5 footer as needed and burn a standard to extend your reach as the enemy attempts to move through that square, thus really being able to reactively swat targets in a very wide area...
Then, should he/she/it survive, "...he continues his actions once you've completed your readied action..."
... and your reach returns to normal as your turn has now ended and your initiative is reset.
Maybe. The rules lawyers will realy have to look that interpretation over.
On of the persistant problems I have with mindless creatures is their contardictory reactions to feints and other physical deceptions in combat.
Feint is just about the prime offender. Allow me to explain:
A feint is a false attack that diverts defensive efforts away from the real attack. It is, in essence, a very physical, non-illusory, quite credible threat. Yet constructs (et al.) miraculously never react to fients despite their inability to actually sense your motives or even think about/doubt your obvious intentions.
Now, we know that mindless creatures DO try to thwart your attacks... they DO get their dexterity bonus to AC. They are not unresponsive and perpetually flat footed. Yet, for some bizarre reason they DON'T try to defend against these credible threats and lower their guard to the real threat. It's as if they are not only brilliant, but also have telepathy!
In the real world, feints against programmed, mindless opponents work exceedingly well. The first Gulf War kicked off with a swarm of faux jets (actually refitted missiles) and the Iraqi radar reacted exactly as expected... it did not ignore the feint because radar systems can't think. Quite the opposite in fact. Likewise, hacking feints against systems will dutifully divert processor time and efforts for much the same reasons: the computer is notoriously bad at unilaterally guessing your motives. In fact, as a relatively non-thinking device, it can't!
The mindless immunity to feints ironically does not seem mindless at all... it practically makes them combat savants in this regard!
The main problem here is the linkage of feinting to bluff. A charisma based social interaction very poorly simulates what is going on in these cases.
IMHO there needs to be some provision for this sort of situation. Perhaps this could be addressed in a future bestiary or the next edition of Pathfinder? Any comments, suggestions, and ideas would be greatly appreciated on my end. Thanks in advance for any consideration.