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* Venture-Lieutenant, Virginia—Richmond 1,089 posts (1,092 including aliases). 4 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 33 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.


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Scarab Sages

Re: Stolen Fate: what was the deal with one recurring villain?

spoiler:
Runelord Xanderghul? Doesn't he show up?

Scarab Sages

The module contains the PDF, so they're not going to sell the module without it. The fact that the customer must own the PDF is already baked into the module's price.

IIRC the modules used to be cheaper, but there was no discount for people who already owned PDFs (such as subscribers).

Scarab Sages

*casts raise thread*

Is there any word on the premium Foundry module? I'm preparing this campaign and I like the Blood Lords modules.

Scarab Sages

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Crasimia wrote:
How do you guys feel of the current state of healing in PF2e as of now?

I think healing is a little too strong, and I'm curious about the Stamina variant rule.

Scarab Sages

SuperBidi wrote:

It's not about being online but efficient. Before level 6 it's just fine. It's really when you get Imaginary Weapon that it starts getting out of bounds.

Also, without True Strike, it's not better than a Greatsword Fighter before level 9, roughly. And by level 7 you get Studious Spell that will greatly increase your number of True Strikes (even if before that you can buy scrolls or use your high level slots on True Strike, but you'll still need a few levels for TS to be easily accessible all day long). Staff of Divination is also level 6.

That's why I speak about mid levels as you won't really shine at low level.

How are you using Staff of Divination with a bow? Or are you using a thrown weapon?

Scarab Sages

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Ravingdork wrote:

The algorithms aren't doing anything that artists haven't already been doing for centuries. All art is, to some extent or another, derivative of someone else's art or idea.

I'm an artist (graphic designer/ technical illustrator) by trade, and regularly work with and associate with numerous other artists. Most are excited for the new technology and some will tell you that they would be flattered to hear that someone was trying to emulate their work. That's how artists are made.

I can totally understand the fear of losing one's livelihood, but demonizing the tech itself just doesn't make any sense to me.

There's a difference between inspiring someone and tracing over their work. AI art crosses that line.

Public views on technology is informed by how that technology is used. If stable diffusion, or other tools, is built off stolen artwork and is used to replace human artists, then that damages the reputation of AI art in general.

Scarab Sages

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Ravingdork wrote:

NECR0G1ANT

For AI, I primarily ChatGPT 4, but I also use Dream Studio and Adobe Photoshop (which, yes, does have AI capabilities built into it).

For more manual tools, I primarily use my brain along with Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop.

The training data that some image-generating AI use is stolen ("scraped") from human artists, which is why it's controversial even when it's not used for profit.

Other services that use AI, such as Adobe Photoshop, does use proprietary training data, so it doesn't face as much blowback.

What you personally are doing is fine IMHO, especially if you acknowledge the tools you use, but generative AI itself is still very controversial for the reasons I mentioned.

Scarab Sages

Which tools do you use?

Scarab Sages

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Blave wrote:

Some random spoilers I got from discord:

- Bane and Bless start at 15 ft and increase by 10 ft when you concentrate on them.

Do Bane & Bless move with the caster by RAW? I was never very clear on that.

Scarab Sages

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Hi Luis, love your work

Korada's anthema to "Cause lethal harm to a creature," makes typical adventuring more difficult.

Scarab Sages

I'm guessing the type of creature who are currently immune to necromancy will be immune to spirit after the Remaster.

Scarab Sages

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Why is the word "ikons" spelled that way?

Scarab Sages

pauljathome wrote:
NECR0G1ANT wrote:
Is anyone still using cantrips at L10, much less L17 & L20?

Absolutely.

One of the really cool things about cantrips is purely psychological. They actively encourage you to NOT throw a spell when the situation doesn't require a spell.

In PF1/5th ed/etc the player wants to do SOMETHING useful on their turn. Sure, the fight is basically over or its not too difficult so they REALLY should NOT throw a spell. But it is HARD to just "pass" or delay and not do anything. And its not fun.

Whereas in PF2 you can throw electric arc or ray of frost and still feel like you're contributing. And the bad guy sometimes crit fails and your electric arc puts them down :-).

I've thrown cantrips at level 20 when the situation really didn't need me to do anything more. Even at level 20 a spell slot is a valuable resource.

And, of course, there are times when a ray of frost is a BETTER option than any of your memorized spells. Maybe because of the range, maybe because cold is really useful, maybe you're out of your higher level damaging spells.

Interesting. I've never played a caster past L10, but I generally get way more use out of spell slots than cantrips. I will admit that cantrips are better than using a crossbow or something.

Follow-up question: Does losing attribute modifier to damage make a difference at those levels? For electric arc, it's 5d4+5 at L10, 9d4+6 at L17, 10d4+7 at L10.

Scarab Sages

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YuriP wrote:
NECR0G1ANT wrote:
Is anyone still using cantrips at L10, much less L17 & L20?
Depending from your tradition options that are pretty interesting to trigger some weakness and disable regen. Due you not having the "divination touch" and maybe not prepared the damage type spell you need to a specific situation. Cantrips may help in these cases.

If all you need from cantrips is triggering weakness and disabling regen, then attribute bonuses don't make a difference.

Scarab Sages

Is anyone still using cantrips at L10, much less L17 & L20?

Scarab Sages

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Rand al'Thor was more effective when using the Power rather than a sword and Gandalf was really just fighter with INT18.

Scarab Sages

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HolyFlamingo! wrote:
As evidenced by developer tweets, the game is balanced around a hypothetically perfect wizard who always has the right spell prepared for the right situation. It is unrealistic to expect brand new players to possess this kind of system mastery, and casting "wrong" really hurts when you have so few slots.

I'm not sure what tweets you're talking about, but it's true that the encounter balance doesn't take attrition into account.

HolyFlamingo! wrote:
So... from a game development standpoint, what are some possible solutions? How would you make a baby wizard feel better?

I have a lot of homebrew I use. Here are three that help low-level casters in general.

Spell Recovery
When you Refocus, you can recover one 1st-rank spell slot if you’re a spontaneous caster, or prepare one 1st-rank spell that you already cast today if you’re a prepared caster.

Recharge
You can spend 1 Hero Point to recharge a spell slot. If you are a spontaneous spellcaster, you regain one spell slot of any level. If you are a prepared caster, you gain the ability to cast one spell you prepared today and already cast, without spending a spell slot.

Spell Attacks
When you fail a spell attack roll against a target, the target takes half damage.

Scarab Sages

Shisumo wrote:
Okay, genuine question re: wizard flexibility. Does this feature ever actually come up in play? I'm being serious here - I don't think I've ever really seen it be an actual thing at the table. Every prepared caster I've ever played and every prepared caster I've ever played alongside used basically the same prepared spell list every day, with very occasional swap outs of one or maybe two spells on extremely specific occasions, like needing a given specific-use spell (stone to flesh, for example) that they had to wait until a new set of preparations to cast - but then they just went right back to what they had before. Even that is less common the more your group invests in scrolls, in my experience. I mean, as a theoretical white-room construct, sure, the loss of the potential spells for your school slot is a nerf, but as a practical matter? I highly doubt it's going to prove to be at my tables, at least.

In my experience, no. I reckon it's just an argument to defend the decades-old status quo of Vancian casting.

Scarab Sages

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Temperans wrote:
NECR0G1ANT wrote:

The best Wizard build is currently a high-INT Imperial Sorcerer, and Player Core 1 won't change that.

I think paizo would rather have a class rhat was too weak rather than too strong, but I'm surprised to see a nerf to a low-tier class like the wizard after hearing great rhings about the kineticist.

I will say what held back the wizard (INT-based, prepared casting), can't really be addressed short of an edition change.

Int based prepared casting is not what is holding back the wizard. The fact that you even think that's the issue shows you how much Paizo screwed the class and the Int stat.

Well, I know INT is bad because the worst classes in 2E are the alchemist, witch, investigator (and possibly wizard now). Trained skills aren't quite as good as high Will saves or the combat-applicable social skills, plus it's easy to get the skills you actually use Trained.

Prepared casting (and Vancian casting as well) is bad for reasons that are too long to get into here, which isn't going to be corrected in Player Core 1.

Scarab Sages

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The best Wizard build is currently a high-INT Imperial Sorcerer, and Player Core 1 won't change that.

I think paizo would rather have a class rhat was too weak rather than too strong, but I'm surprised to see a nerf to a low-tier class like the wizard after hearing great rhings about the kineticist.

I will say what held back the wizard (INT-based, prepared casting), can't really be addressed short of an edition change.

Scarab Sages

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Calliope5431 wrote:

The issue is with things like visions of danger and anything that deals damage over time. Either it gets a bonkers boost (unlikely) or they use the wording on dangerous sorcery and only boost spells "that deal damage and don't have a duration".

I'd really prefer the latter, but probably won't happen. It's blatantly stealing dangerous sorcery's damage boost and the sorcerer's niche as king of blasters, and it makes people who cast duration spells sad.

The sorcerer is absolutely not the king of blasting casting. Storm druids and maybe psychics do it better.

Scarab Sages

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Aristophanes wrote:
I guess what I want to know is what affect would a spell attack bonus item, lets say +1 at 5th level and +2 at 13th, have on the math, and would the increase of success make anyone playing a Martial "feel bad".

It would raise the optimization ceiling non-cantrip attack spells, although even that wouldn't make disintegrate better than chain lightening. It would also make cantrip attack spells more accurate, but that woukd be even less significant than the first effect.

Scarab Sages

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Unicore wrote:
I still think it is a big mistake to say that all spell attack roll spells hinge on Truestrike. Hero points exist and are the much better "advantage" resource for pairing with spell attack roll spells, especially since you could spend that last action on a force bolt/heightened magic missile and usually exceed what any martial can do in a single 3 action round of attacks.

No, hero points are not what makes attack spells viable, true strike is. Most players will get one or two hero points per session, and most players will preserve them to avoid a critical failure or character death. Also, burning a spell slot on a one-action heightened magic missile is a waste of high-level spell slots.

If spellcasters want to deal decent damage against single targets (which the game discourages IMO), then they need true strike, either by preparing it multiple times in their lower-ranked spell slots or by using a staff of divination.

Scarab Sages

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Aristophanes wrote:
Just spitballin' here 'cos I'm not as mathematically adept as you all: What would the effect be if "True Strike" had heightened effects, such as +4 True strike can be cast as a reaction. +8 True Strike lasts until the end of your turn.

I think the magus would benefit most of all classes, since they get high-rank slots natively and they benefit from action-economy enhancers.

If I were playing a caster, though, then I still wouldn't use the spell because I already need to burn highest-rank slots if I want to make attack spells worthwhile. A L5 true strike or a L9 version would worsen that dynamic. Especially since so many casters are not action-starved.

OTOH, it fixes the issue is too accessible to martials and best used by casters as staff spam, the way L1 true strike is. Being higher-level means that it would be less likely to be too powerful (synesthesia it is not).

I'd say it's weaker than it is strong. True target should be your point of comparison for higher-rank true strike homebrew spells.

Scarab Sages

Sanityfaerie wrote:
...and while you're assembling that in-depth analysis, be sure to include some consideration of the costs involved as well... where the caster just needs to blow a few lowest-level spell slots or maybe some charges from a staff and the martial has to throw around...

Wait, earlier you had a L8 spellcaster using horizon thunder sphere to do 9d6 damage - that's heightened to spell level 4. For a L8 spellcaster, that's the highest-level spell slot they have. How is that only "a few lowest-level spell slots?"

Scarab Sages

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Sanityfaerie wrote:
The raw quantity of damage you're dealing with isn't the only factor involved

Then why did you ignore everything but damage from your calculation? You didn't account for how easy it is for martials to get flanking or for weapon potency bonuses. Action economy is very important in 2E, but you were comparing a 3-action turn (true strike + horizon thunder sphere) against a 2-action true strike + Strike. Resource depletion is a part of 2E as well, but you also assumed that a spellcaster will have that used their highest-level spell slots for that one spell. You forgot critical specializations, etc.

That's the problem with white-room theorycrafting such as yours - it makes unfounded assumptions (usually in service of DPR, a clunky and inaccurate measure of utility). Your point that casters can spend two actions to deal 10% more damage than a martial that spends just one (only 3 or 4 times per day, tho), doesn't mean anything.

My observation that true strike on a martial is better than true strike on a caster wasn't a challenge for you to build a PC that just spends their turn doing just that.

Scarab Sages

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Unicore wrote:
Item bonuses to spell attack rolls will barely make a noticeable difference in the feel of throwing out spells against non-debuffed, higher level enemies -- it will still be a bad idea. But where the item bonuses will make a big impact, is when the creature is debuffed, and suddenly a creature making a save on a 5, is being hit by an attack roll spell on a 9, and that swings the damage wildly in the spell attack roll's favor.

This why my preferred solution to attack spells being bad is for them to do half-damage on a miss. It uses the same four degrees of success mechanic as save DC spells, and raises the baseline effectiveness floor without benefiting optimization too much.

Scarab Sages

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Sanityfaerie wrote:
NECR0G1ANT wrote:

You forgot to account for accuracy, somehow.

Also, casters run out of top-rank spells before they run out of castings of true strike. That's 3/day, max? Martials can have 6.

It's true, a martial will have more opportunities to throw the spell than a caster will. Has that been a problem in your games?

My pount was that true strike is better on a martial than a caster, which is my two cents in a thread criticising the true strike spell.

Sanityfaerie wrote:
I didn't account for accuracy because it's a complicated mess, and highly dependent on exactly which enemies (and thus which AC) you're up against. Also, a well-run caster is going to be throwing vs-AC spells (and thus, potentially, True Striking) against enemies that have relatively low AC compared to their pertinent saves, while a martial is going vs-AC (and possibly True Striking) regardless, thus throwing off the numbers further. I also didn't include anything to adjust for the nullification of circumstance penalties or flat checks from concealment/hidden. If you're trying to math things, you gotta stop somewhere.

I get that the game math is hard, especially with so many variables, but saying a single Strike from a barbarian deals less median damage than a caster's highest-level spell has nothing to do with true strike, which is about accuracy. You didn't stop somewhere as much as did not even start & then claim the math proved you right.

Scarab Sages

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Sanityfaerie wrote:

Okay. Let's look at that. We'll look at level 8. The martials get decently damaging property runes and weapon specialization, and the casters are throwing around level 4 slots, which means that it's reasonable to start breaking out the True Strike. We'll take 2-action Horizon Thunder Sphere, because it's pretty much pure damage, and we don't have to worry about doing things like calculating in the effects of the drained 2 from Polar Ray or the second save for disintegrate. We'll use the Giant Barbarian because we want to give the martials the strongest argument we can.

Level 8 caster throwing Horizon Thunder Sphere does 9d6 damage - 31.5 average damage.

Level 8 Giant Barbarian with a d12 weapon does 2d12+1d6(frost rune)+4(str)+2(weapon specialization)+6 (giant instinct rage) - 28.5 average damage.

Your argument? I'm not convinced.

You forgot to account for accuracy, somehow.

Also, casters run out of top-rank spells before they run out of castings of true strike. That's 3/day, max? Martials can have 6.

Scarab Sages

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A martial's Strike generally does more damage and only costs one action, so it benefits more from true strike. True strike + Strike takes 2 actions, but true strike + takes an entire turn.

True strike is a 1st-rank spell fhat doesn't require any spell DCs, so martials can pick it up fairly easily. True strike cast by a martial, especially one that has a powerful attack, is much deadlier than the same spell cast by a spellcaster.

Scarab Sages

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What I dislike about true strike is that martials benefit from casting it more than spellcasters do, which is an odd position for a spell. Another issue is that true strike isn't available to all casters

While attack spells need a rework, I really don't like adding item bonuses to spell attqck rolls.

Scarab Sages

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Did they say actually that everyone starts with 3 Focus Points? I also wouldn't count on tempest surge remaining the same as it is no. They might also make Focus Pools harder to expand.

Scarab Sages

Yeah, I still think the original 2E CRB has advantages.

Scarab Sages

If a wizard is obligated to prepare a curriculum spell in one of their 4 spell slots, then the remaster wizard will likely be a downgrade or sidegrade.

If curriculum spells come with spontaneous casting, or even just added to your spellbook with 4 spell slots /day, then it might be decent.

Scarab Sages

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I'm delighted that Paizo is embracing remote work. It's a forward-thinking decision that I hope will help workers avoid being crushed by HCOL.

Scarab Sages

Is the Ethereal Plane the ambient green color around the Overlapping Planes?

Scarab Sages

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Nishah Lharast wrote:

I have a question,

I just received my Rage of elements pdf and I went to peak at the kineticist before work. The first ability listed is Attribute Boosts, this gives "In addition to what you get from your class at 1st level, you have four free boosts to different attribute modifiers".

I understand this is language relating to the ORC documents but until we see the character creation guidelines in the new Core Rulebook I feel a little lost. Do these replace the 4 free boosts character creation had, moving them to the class entry

I think so, or else it's just redundant language from Player Core 1 reminding people how Attributes work.

Nishah Lharast wrote:
or is kineticist the only class that gets this therefore having +4 modifiers over everyone else.

I doubt it.

Scarab Sages

minimayers wrote:
We're playing AV and are getting close to level 5, and I was wondering, do you think it's worth putting one of the ability boosts into my key ability score if we'll probably max out at level 10 or 11? I could boost it at 5 and again at 10 to have a +5 for just one (or maybe two) levels, or I could boost a different stat at 5 and have an extra +1 in that score for five or six levels.

I would say yes and increase that score to 19 at L5. You'll want that extra +1 at the end of adventure more than you want a +1 to the fourth-most important Ability Score.

Scarab Sages

Karmagator wrote:
Pharasma forbids both holy and unholy.

This is kind of disappointing. Isn't holy good for fighting undead as well as fiends? Fighting undead is a large part of what Pharasmins do.

Scarab Sages

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James Jacobs wrote:
That said... what about the Alignment tips did folks find most useful, beyond us suggesting which of the 9 alignments are best to play? Does the rest of the Player's Guide do the job as a whole helping to guide a cohesively themed party that'll fit well into the campaign (as I suspect it might)?

The most useful part about alignment tips was setting expectations. In Agents of Edgewatch, the campaign benefits from clearly establishing that the PCs are not meant to be brutal or bitter police officers. The Blood Lords player's guide is correct when it says that neutral or LN PCs work well in the campaign (although I can't for the life of me imagine an LG PC for that campaign). Hell's Vengeance deserves special mention for walking readers through playing an evil PC without disrupting the group.

That said, it seems that the alignment advice for every Adventure Path can be boiled down to "The PCs should be motivated to follow the plot, accept quests from NPCs, and players should not use alignment as an excuse to be disruptive (no evil PCs without GM & player buy-in)

In the future, I recommend focusing on what sort of motivations, goals, or attitude a PC should have (which the Player's Guides do to some extent). Each adventure path could have some point of disagreement that player could have (tradition vs. modernity, war vs. peace, free will vs. destiny, patriotism vs. self-advancement, etc.)

Scarab Sages

bugleyman wrote:
Like all of it, with the possible exception of saves->defense. To me a "defense" really seems like something the attacker would try to beat (like AC). Obviously the math works out the same either way, so not a huge deal.

I wonder if 'Reflex DCs' will be replaced by 'Reflex Defense', and a 'Reflex saving throw' will be replaced by 'Reflex check'.

Scarab Sages

If the issue is that fighters are better unarmed attackers than monks are, then my preference would to limit fighters' unarmed proficiency rather than boost the monk class' offense.

Similar to how gunslinges are limited to guns, fighters could be limited to weapons.

Scarab Sages

breithauptclan wrote:

Filling the new Monster Core book with only Paizo IP monsters was for legal defense.

Reworking Witch is a major change and errata that they were already wanting to do.

Removing alignment and replacing it with Anathema and Edicts is both.

There are plenty of smaller changes that they were already planning and that the Remaster reprinting seems like a fantastic time to put in.

And there are other minor removals of serial numbers that are being done for legal reasons.

Were they interested in removing alignment even before the OGL fiasco? When did they say that?

Scarab Sages

SatiricalBard wrote:

Yeah, I think more/easier panache-gaining opportunities and the free scaling acrobatics (or, as I mused earlier, the subclass skill) are probably enough to make swashbucklers feel like they are pulling their weight.

I understand the mechanical reason for suggesting it, but I don't see the thematic logic of panache on a failed check though - that goes against the 'vibe'.

Since I suggested the changes of your first paragraph, here's how I would explain gaining panache on a failure:

"I Meant to Do That"
Even your failures look impressive, and you easily flow from misstep to masterstroke. You gain panache when you fail, but not critically fail, the appropriate skill check.

Scarab Sages

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I think a lot of divine spells that formerly dealt alignment damage will now do force or 'spirit' damage. If you're sanctified, those spell also trigger holy or unholy weaknesses.

Scarab Sages

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I played a swashbuckler from levels 1-20 in Age of Ashes. It's a fun and flavorable class, but it suffers at low levels.

I would change it so that finishers didn't need to be your final attack in your turn, and instead just make it so finishers could only be used once per turn. Finishers aren't quite good enough to justify only getting a single attack.

Swashbuckler should have scaling proficiency to Acrobatics, like what inventors have with Crafting or thaumaturges have with Esoteric Lore. Currnetly the Acrobat Dedication allows this, but it's too good to not take, so it might as well be a core feature.

I would also grant panache if you fail, but not critically fail, the appropriate skill check. That way swashbuckler would be effective against foes that are higher level than they are.

Scarab Sages

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Will the new books will include archetypes, right? They'll probably be a Sanctified archeype there.

Scarab Sages

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I recommend allowing people to just choose what they want, with the understanding that if things get out of hand (you hit any pitfalls or combat is trivialized) then you may ask them to stop.

You could also limit your players to a single archetype.

I limit PCs to a single archetype to start with, chosen from a pre-approved list of archetypes selected for matching the themes of the campaign. I also tie some of them to Backgrounds.

Scarab Sages

Foundry and pf2easy have creaturesthat appear only in PFS products. Try them?

Scarab Sages

NielsenE wrote:
Yeah I'm a fan of the "no-multiclass, no medic/sentinel/marshall/beastmaster" for the free archetype.

I understand restricting the latter 4, since they're obvious picks, but what's the problem with multiclass archetypes?

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