I for one love the simplicity of the NPC creation rules. I can make whatever NPC/creature I want with very little prep time, and I can make simple mooks on the fly, without breaking the flow of the game. That is a huge plus for me, rather than having to design my plots around the limited selection of baddies in the Alien Archive, or having to wait for a proper bestiary.
That being said, I agree that the disparity in PC/NPC To-hit/AC is terrible for the exact same reason that Wrath wrote.
I firmly believe that Paizo could just as easily have created as simple an NPC creation system as what we got in AA, but using player progression as a guideline. Heck, I did it in a single afternoon, in order to balance things out, because all my players and I share Wrath's experience and sentiment.
I just think that Paizo's design goal is a bit too far off from what players want/expect. And how the balance feels during play. I think their goal sounds reasonable on paper, but in practice, it leads to the players not caring about armor, and spending all their money on maxing damage output and healing. (Which led to our mystic feeling useless, but I've written about that in another thread).
Thanks for all the feedback.
When characters take damage, they can decide wether or not to take it as stamina or hp, or a combination. That way, the healer will be able to apply healing sooner, and it won't mess with the resolve point economy.
(For those who know Fate Core, it's basically like deciding to take stress or consequences).
Just realised that post might be interpreted at bad-wrong-fun, which totally isn't my intention. So I'll just head myself off and clarify. :)
What we do, is once the grenade goes off, and you make a reflex save, you are free to move out of the smoke/danger on your turn (or act as normal). As the reflex save means - to us - you are quick to react, and can dodge/move out of the way. The grenade does not affect you this turn. However, if you are dumb enough to stay in the smoke, or unable to leave the area, because it's too big, you suffer conditions as normal next turn. Meaning you start by making a fort save because you start chocking.
So I guess in rules-speak, it would mean: On a succesful save, you are unaffected for your next turn. Any turn following, counts as if you had just entered the area, and suffer effects as normal.
Guess I've always been too good on my players then. I've always used reflex saves as "throw yourself out of harm's way". We're used to a theater of the mind approach. So making a reflex save -to us - means using your reflexes to throw yourself away from danger, and not just stay put. It's one of those "we're roleplaying, not board-gaming things" where mechanics that say they do one thing, but actually don't, are trumped by narrative description.
They get to save each round, so eventually they should make it. Smoke grenades are awesome, and the save is relatively easy. So I don't see a need to change them.
Let him heal stamina looks like it would resolve your issues possibly.
That's the house rule we've been thinking about. But I'm worried that doing so messes with the whole resolve point/stamina/hp and encounter balance issue. At first glance, it should be fine, but I'm not math savvy enough to discern any unintended complications.
I need some advice guys.
So what seems to be the problem?
Basically he feels that his healing is useless, as he has to wait for everyone to drop below stamina, and even then, they have to drop to almost dead before his healing has any worthwhile effect (paying a resolve point to heal 1-2 hp is not a good deal). And even then, he can only heal them to "half" health. We know and understand how stamina works, and that it's basically a way to not require healers in the party. But it feels like that design decision made the healer redundant.
He currently has 3 spells per day (one of them a heal) so any sort of magic dependence is weak at best. 2 rounds of combat casting spells, and he's out for the day, while the others keep on trucking.
He has a laser pistol and no interest in diving into combat feats to boost his weapons going forward. He want's to be a healer. Not a fighter who is a backup combat medic.
So he has almost no combat ability, and no spells. Healing - his main focus - requires him to wait for most of the combat before everyone is through their stamina before he can do anything, and even then, he needs to wait for them to almost die, and can only heal them to half power. And it only got worse when they leveled from 1 to 2. As now they have twice the amount of stamina, so now he needs to wait even longer before his healing is required.
How do I help this player? He really likes the game, but is darn near to quitting, and just make another character. And I don't think anyone should be forced to make a new character because the character they want to play - as presented in the rules - is useless.
So.. What are we missing? How do we make him the best healer in the galaxy?
We have some house rule ideas, but I'd like to use that as a last resort, so I won't present them here unless we hit a dead end.
Honestly there is no balance issue here at all. Math doesn't lie - once you take into account only getting half specialization damage, the inability to combine trick attack with a full attack, and (at low levels especially) the chance that it simply won't succeed, it simply is not true that operatives average out to doing more damage than the "combat classes". To be clear, this is not something that anyone is allowed to have an opinion on, anymore than anyone is allowed to have an opinion on whether or not 4 is larger than 5. I don't care how annoyed you are that 4 doesn't have to role-play to your liking - it's still a smaller number than 5.
I see your points, and while I agree (as I said, I don't care what the ruling is, I just want an official ruling other than Mark's comment) that we don't get to have an opinion about it, is a bad attitude as far as I'm concerned.If math doesn't lie, then everything should behave as expected at the table. But the fact is, it doesn't.
Let's run by the situation at my table coupled with the math that doesn't lie.
We've got a Solarian with solar weapon, a mystic, a sharpshooter soldier and a ghost operative.
First combat the Solarian charges into melee and deals 1d6+3 (Str) damage. As he isn't a dex build and has light armor, he proceeds to take two hits from an npc with full attack. It dropped him to just below stamina.
Next round, the solarian doesn't want to full attack for the same reasons as the soldier. He doesn't want to risk missing twice rather than hit once, so he strikes again and misses. (Bad rolls happen).
This has led to every fight going like this.
No one is having fun, except the operative.
My answer to them was... Let me hit the forums to get some clarification. And what I've gotten so far is: The operative is right, the other players can't have any fun and We're all wrong for thinking that way. Which really isn't productive.
If the operative was forced due to circumstance to change tactics, applying different skills for different situations (which he is really good at with his 10+ skill ranks per level) and that is the factor that keeps him from almost auto succeeding in dealing damage every turn, then that would be the balancing factor. So no... It's not just about roleplaying. It's about understanding how we balance things between classes. And if one of the thing that causes imbalance is based on a "just because" reasoning, then that is all the more baffling. Because why can't the soldier hit reliably "just because"? Why can't the mystic heal stamina "just because"? Why can't the solarian both have a solar weapon and armor "just beacuse"?
If math doesn't lie, then it should be reliable. But it isn't. I don't care if operatives get to trick attack each round. However, I do care that they get to deal reliable damage each round, when no other class can. Having a bigger damage die is worthless if you don't hit. Have a smaller damage die is powerful, if you deal damage each round.
If there is an official ruling/errata, I'd love to see it. It's not like I desperately want to be right. But without any official clarification, I'm just trying to argue what I think makes the most sense for the exact reasons baggageboy stated.
That's what I mean by breaking the 'reason' of the game. Everything in the game is possible because there is an in-world explanation. The solarians can make star-lightsabers because they are in tune with the cosmic powers, and carry around a mini sun. Everything follows a reason as to why things are possible. Except trick attack... it's just mechanics. How can an operative stand locked in melee combat, blades crossed and suddenly just stealth? Doesn't matter. The mechanics say he can.
That makes so much sense, and actually kinda proves my point.
And you add another conundrum... If the daredevil gets to add acrobatics as a trick attack skill, and everything else is for fluff flavor... why grant them an ability that auto succeeds with bluff? It's like saying, hey all that training you put into trick attacking with acrobatics? Nevermind, npw you can auto succeed with 1 rank in bluff, so why bother with acrobatics anymore?
First off, my apologies for reviving this thread. But since there still is no official errata from Paizo, this remains an issue (among a whole host of other things). So much so, that our Ghost Operative is dominating combat to the point where it is less fun for everyone.
Second, this turned out to be a long post, so here's the TL;DR:
And now on to your regularly scheduled post...
I'm not sure I follow your post, Losobal. There is something conceptually about your post, that I just can't wrap my brain around (english isn't my native language). So I can't quite figure out if you are arguing against or for. But let me try to reply as best I can.
1) Comparing 2 PC level daredevils is a moot point, as the game just wasn't designed that way. Nothing appears in a vacuum. So unless you run PC vs PC arena games, it's really not a helpful example.
2) You use level 11 characters as an example. And most of the examples I see around the forums are usually based on level 10+ characters. Since most campaigns are usually from level 1-13'ish, the arguments made are really not doing anything to adress the problems where they arise: namely level 1-7. Who cares if the Operative falls behind the soldier and solarian at level 13? The campaign is over by then. And the entire time, the solarian and soldier are considering killing their character and make a ghost operative.
So two guys with 'auto bluff succeed' since both are flying, does that equal the first guy does base dmg + 11 + trick dmg to guy #2, who next action does base dmg + 11 + trick dmg to guy #1, because neither can resist the automatic bluff, and the fact they are immune to being flat-footed doesn't seem to prevent trick dmg from working in the first place(...)
3) My original post about stickybombs and daredevils still stand (but could probably do with some elaboration). Shoot him with a stickybomb (or anything else that causes entangle) and he'll drop like a rock (due to how flying and move actions work). IF the 'conditions of skill checks apply'.Otherwise he wouldn't care at all, since entangle doesn't prevent him from taking a full round action, thus allowing him to make a trick attack with acrobatics (if conditions don't apply).
But with conditions applying, I could totally see Bluff working. The operative pretending to struggle with the entangling goo, while preparing to shoot with his free hand.
4) You specifically chose flying daredevils using bluff. Why? The Daredevil would most likely use acrobatics, the ghost use stealth etc. The argument being made is not about flying bluff'ers, but wether or not conditions can prevent the use of certain skills when trick attacking.
Some really good points have already been made in this thread.
a) If operatives can use their specialization skill all the time, no conditions. Then why explicitly add several skills to trick attack, rather than write "make a trick attack check with your specialization skill"? And the "it's for fluff" argument doesn't hold up. No where in the rules are there any other explicit rules that do not have some sort of mechanical effect. That's why they are rules, and not just fluff descriptions.
b) If all operatives can use their specialization skill all the time, no conditions. Then why oh why would you ever play a Hacker, which is the only one who does have conditions, and thus can be shut down by circumstance?
As humans we expect the world to behave in a certain way. That way we can learn how things behave, and develop reason, which can help us make choices and take actions based on how we expect the world to behave. The same goes for roleplaying games. We expect the world to behave in a certain way, and with reason. This reason is modelled after our own experiences in real life, when applied to imaginary game worlds. If the imaginary game world breaks what we expect from reason, it should be called out and explained. We do this with magic. We accept that magic exists in the game world. There are rules and explanations for it, which in term help us deal with magic based on reason.
We ran a cross desert vehicle chase in our first session (to get a feel for the rules), and thought the rules were a big let down.
So I can totally understand why you think Keep up is a bit useless.
Coming from D&D and their short rest/long rest, I consider the 10 minute break as any short moment of safety where the PCs can catch their breath and discuss how to proceed.
My favorite ways to get my players over losing SP include comparing Stamina Points as "shield points" for their real HP. Players savvy to that mechanic from a bajillion other games don't sweat it so much of they're not "at full health". Also, explain that your SP is more like how tough you FEEL. Would you go to the ER if you feel run down? No, you go there so they can address damage to your bodily health (hp). You call up your buddy, the Envoy to psych you up when you feel down! Now your feeling like your old self again, and while you're at it, GET EM!! :)
That's actually a good perspective. I think that will jive with my players.
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
If situational restrictions to skills apply, the daredevil is actually quite easy to shut down. Stickybombs.Or would you allow a daredevil caught in an entangled condition to perform trick attack with acrobatics? The rules say that he can, but it just doesn't make sense within the logic of the game world.
And while the hacker is the only specialization that explicitly calls out a restriction, why would you ever play a hacker? The Ghost gets a +4 and would always be allowed to use stealth, making him almost auto succed from level 1 (so why even require a skill check?), while the hacker is easy to shut down?
As I see trick attack, stealth is for operatives that want to duck and weave behind cover and make ranged trick attacks with small arms. It kinda defeats the idea of a ghost to wail away at opponents in melee. That's the daredevil's approach. Rushing in and doing some matrix style parkour combat.
Abraham spalding wrote:
I agree, and that was sort of the sentiment that my players expressed. They would much rather have SP be something that could go up and down during combat due to heals and whatever. But once they dug into HP, it would hurt a bit more in the long run, and be a measure of the number of encounters they could tolerate in a day's work.As it is now, the mystic sits on his hands (not quite, but I hope you get the picture) until they are well into HP damage, before be can do anything. And then it barely feels like he is keeping them one step from death. And once the fight is over, everyone spends a RP and is up to full health. So now RP is the true measure of encounters per day, which again keeps them from spending RP on abilities.
But alas, maybe it's just a matter of gett8ng used to the system. But yeah, we didn't get the feel of SP and HP that they describe in the rules. In was more the other way around.
We've just had our first session, and one of the major feedback points was damage and healing. My players had some of the same fears based on the argument that there was little to no combat healing.
I'd say it depends on the situation. Remote controlling another ship during a space combat encounter? No.
I'm working on a d100 table for random encounters to throw in once in a while during our upcoming campaign. These are some of my ideas so far:
1) Drift wraiths.
3) Fire storms.
4) Lost city.
5) Drift raiders.
6) Drive malfunction.