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Ok, great response, I should clarify a bit here. I'm not trying to attack anybody's play type, and if you regularly play 20+ games you aren't somehow in the wrong compared to some other game type. I'm just trying to say how poorly anything on a 3rd edition skeleton handles the math getting pulled that far.

It totally also depends on your class. A Wizard is going to have a grand old time at level 20+, 30+, etc. a Fighter is going to be hard pressed to have something different to do at 30 vs. 20 vs. 10.

I do disagree about your estimation of levels, though. I mean, at 3rd level your pure casters are pretty crap, you either start a fight, surprise/win initiative and Color Spray/Grease or you lose initiative and something very nearly kills you in one attack.

By 8th Level said pure caster might have his 4th level spells, has multiples of 3rd, blasting Sorcerers have come online, plenty of good control spells, etc... but nothing changes. You either win initiative and contribute or you go late and the murder happens to you.

I have run something like 10 campaigns to level 15+ and three more to 20+, one of which was Wrath of the Righteous, with Mythic (which did not help anything at all whoo boy) and I have never really found anything great happens at higher levels (let's say 14+) the "rocket tag" analogy is extremely accurate, defenses can't keep up with offense in any meaningful way. Either your party uses stuff like scry and die, or it happens to them, or they roll over any sort of normal encounter that doesn't take into consideration Project Image, long range spells, or all the other stuff available at high level.

Like for once it would be nice if an adventure was like "this 20th level wizard badguy isn't screwing around. He'll use Wish to steal you party's spellbooks, take families and friends hostage, has Greater Planar Binding, Gate, and Leadership (with a Summoner ally) going, and you fight him in an airless, lightless void he has specifically prepared where he attacks at random from 1000+ feet away with the many, many magic items he has created for this purpose. If the party wins, his Clone activates, Contingency breaks a Staff of the Archmage at the party's location, and an underling receives a missive to head to a neutral deity's temple to pay for a True Resurrection for the Wizard when his Clone dies."

I guess my point is that if you want ridiculously high level adventures, there was a 0 Edition book that handled that, 2nd Edition D&D is fantastic for that (waves at Athas) and there are games like Exalted that exist to give that feel.

When people talk about 20+ Pathfinder, or 3.5, or anything on that chassis, I get this mental image of putting rocket fuel in a pickup truck.

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I've never really enjoyed running or playing in games past level 20. I don't get what the draw is. Levels 1 though 6 or so are often fun. Levels 7 through 11 are almost always great fun. From then on there is a fair amount of drop off- have most people played in level 20 games? Often? Not one shots. Like who has met and played weekly for months as level twenty characters? Almost nobody. The basic 3.x math Pathfinder is based on totally crumples at that point. Numbers all sort of become meaningless, and so does the challenge. Gods don't have stats, but anything else can be killed. Its hard to think of what you could kill at 30 that you couldn't at 20.

Less levels is honestly better with a d20 system. The less variable you can make the math, the more balanced you can make the options, the better it runs. Pathfinder already breaks at high level play, adding another ten levels while balancing those would be a task nobody in the industry has managed with a 3.x system in what, nearly 20 years? Let alone making 21-30 not break 1-20.

Anyway, that's my answer to why not make an EDH. The actual answer, per Paizo, is that the Planar Handbook is the last Pathfinder hardcover rulebook they will be producing. This means that if, say, the transition to PF2 is as messy as the transition between 3.0 and 4.0 D&D was, and if there is enough interest in PF1 for third parties to continue to support it full time and if it seems like a good idea, somebody like Dreamscarred Press could do an epic book.

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Marc Radle wrote:

There are plenty of good things from 5E that Paizo can incoprporate into Pathfinder 2, but there is one thing 5E does that I absolutely hate!

I can't stand that 5E has eliminated "points of" and just says 'damage'
"You take 5 damage', instead of "You take 5 points od damage')

5 damage just sounds too much like a video game, and my skin actually crawls when I hear it ...

So, wise Paizo folks - PLEASE keep 'points of dame' (or some variation) and DO NOT dumb Pathfinder down by changing to just 'damage'


Counterpoint: this seems like an incredibly minor issue to have, and I actually feel the opposite way, with 'points of damage' sounding way more game-y than 'damage'. More importantly, its longer. By making it just 'damage' the designers save 10 characters of space, which should shorten the description of each printed trap by at least that much, and probably free up a page or two in each printed adventure.

I'd also actually argue it comes down to table variation semantics because isn't "he hits you for 5 damage" "he hits you for 5hp" "or a 'you take'" variation of the above the norm? I can't honestly recall verbalizing 'points' because its never unclear what I'm referrign to without it.

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The Caster-Martial disparity is mainly an issue because everybody at the table wants to play, wants to matter, and wants to feel valued. Lord of the Rings is a bad example because while it fairly well defined the audience expectation for OD&D, we've come a really long time since then. Nobody wants to play Frodo. Legolas, Gimili, and Aragorn are all pretty valid. Gandalf should probably be NPCd out.

Playing a superheroes game? The Hulk, the Flash, Batman, etc all have value and can work well together. Superman can't. He's a solo sub-in for basically everybody else.

If I ask you to make the greatest comic squad possible, and I give you four spots, I'm pretty sure Hawkeye won't be one of them.

It's narrative control. Giving a Wizard a Spell that summons a psuedo-fighter that can work well enough to replace the fighter in 80% of situations is like giving the fighter a permanent genie buddy to magic away all his problems. It invalidates the other people playing.

You want to include everybody. You want a class to have features that other people can't easily override with a 1/15th of their daily features. You want narrative situations to occur commonly and without ridiculous hand waving contrivance where the Fighter or the Rogue or the Bard has the perfect solution and the Wizard just... doesn't.

Imagine the following: a huge army threatens the kingdom, and the heroes have only a month or so to remove the threat. It would be really nice if instead of casting half his daily spells and teleporting all the enemies into the sun, the 20th level wizard turns to the 20th level fighter and goes "Hey man, I sort of don't have a spell to stop the entire flipping Persian army, any chance we can get you to lead a badass multi-nation army of justice?"

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One thing I've noticed about this discussion is that people equate Humans with being a weaker option mechanically, or in the lore. They are neither. In Golarion, as well as most other D&D settings, Humans are the most populous race, on the rise, the empire builders, etc. If you look at a "who's who" of the highest level and most influential NPCs in a given setting, they are mostly Human.

Case in point, Elves live flipping forever as someone said- 12 times a Human's lifespan. Yet, the incredibly ancient and powerful Elven Conjurer could be nine hundred and level 18. A Human Abjurer reaches level 18 by... 70? 50? Less? There is something remarkable about Humans.

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The major things to note here are that Characters derive quite a bit of power from Magic Items, and that the CR System factors this in. In other words, if a GM wants to run a low magic game with few items, they sure can, but your group will be weaker. Possibly a lot weaker. So keep that in mind.

There is also a lot of power differential between characters and campaigns. For instance, as a baseline, consider a 15 Point Buy group of four characters who are playing through an Adventure Path, and generally getting the loot the adventure provides. Alternatively, consider a 20 Point Buy group of 5+ characters doing PFS and specifically buying the gear they like from the scenario sheets.

You can also reasonably consider a similar group to either of the above, playing through a homebrew game where the GM just basically hands out lump-sum WBL and all the characters craft Magic Items. All three of those groups have significantly different character power, even if they all consisted of the same characters.

And that isn't even counting how some Magic Items are just no-brainer worth it. Bracers of Falcon's Aim for archers. Gloves of Dueling for Fighters. Not having these items makes you significantly weaker for no reason.

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For some reason, the first volume in a lot of APs seems to get really iconic, and I absolutely say Souls for Smuggler's Shiv is the best. I also loved the Haunting of Harrowstone, and I thought the Worldwound Incursion does a great job of taking players from absolutely boned fail beginnings to competent crusaders without making it too artificial.

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Yeah, if you have an adversarial relationship with both the GM and another player, its time to go. Similarly, if the GM is only running APs as written and is completely unwilling to do anything to make it more fun, bail.

But before you go, there is something you ought to know- Pathfinder Characters are killing machines. I mean, look at literally every Class. They are all, all of them, combat capable. They are not all Spellcasters, and they are not all capable of being effective with Skills. But they can all roll d20s followed by other dice, add numbers, and kill monsters. So that isn't a role you can opt out of.

I understand you much prefer the social interaction to the dungeon crawling. I get that, I mean, I do too, even when I am running games. But its not ok, even at level 1, to just opt out, make a Character who can't help in a fight, and then get mad at the GM when the session is a dungeon crawl. You have to play the game.

If I had a player who hated combat, hated dungeons and was only interested in exploration/social interaction, I would not tell them which sessions to skip. I would tell them to skip all the sessions. Same for a guy who makes AM BARBARIAN. Look, I know your only social Skill is Intimidate. But if your character has no interest in any social interaction, no concern for the plot, and falls asleep every time a riddle or puzzle comes up, man, you could have made a better Character/been a better Player.

I'm not saying that hyper fixated players are bad people. Just that if you only enjoy 1/3 of what a game offers, please go find a game that focuses on that and enjoy 100% of it.

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Yeah not to play devil's advocate here, but this isn't really all that bad. I mean, when people talk about GMs making bad choices for their Characters, it is normally to the tune of a Paladin Character falling, or a Wizard losing his Spellbook or some other "we threw your guy under the buss for the plot cause you weren't there." What happened to your character is just a bit out of the ordinary, and I can think of three explanations:

1.) You GM misunderstands WHY you are such a grumpy cat right now, and thinks you'd come out of your funk for a suitable challenge, orc style.

2.) The GM is introducing a new NPC that is plot important, and hijacked your character's ennui to introduce them.

3.) The GM is tired of your Character's fatalistic homicide wish, and maybe the other Players are too. Ask around to see how everyone feels, and then explain to the GM that your Character wouldn't be this way if he could ever catch a damn break.

Of and 4.) That's actually an Avatar of Gorum or something suitably ridiculous here as an in-game nod towards whatever the GM wants.

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Does the guy who knows all the Pathfinder story ever play a high Charisma Character? Because the fun part about Pathfinder is that the role play and the roll play work together. You know how in combat it doesn't matter how cool you describe things or how perfect your strategy is or if you have a weapon destined to slay the dragon, if you roll a bunch of ones you just sort of fail? And do you know how no matter how cool you make the Levitate Spell sound you can't make it work like Fly?

Skills work the same. It doesn't matter what the Player knows about Golarion- if he can't make the Knowledge check, his Character doesn't know. It doesn't matter how compelling a Player's argument is, how well nuanced, or if it solves all the problems for everyone- if they get a crap roll with 8 Charisma and no ranks in Diplomacy, it doesn't work.

Basically, if the GM requires that you back up that 38 Bluff with an actual, plausible lie in-Character? Good. But if the DC was 30 and you make it, you make the Bluff. Somebody with a really good story can't compensate for missing the DC by twenty. That isn't how the game works.

So do this. Walk up to the NPC and crush them with your crazy CHA magic buffed skilled out 50 Diplomacy. In conjunction, maybe ask Lore Guy out of Character, what's the best thing to say in character, since clearly you just said it.

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Dragon78 wrote:
This is a wish list for classes from Paizo, it has nothing to do with third party or old edition products.

Ok, hold up, look at it this way- if you, as a consumer, really want McDonalds to make pizza but they don't, and Burger King suddenly does, they should certainly be marketing their pizza to you.

I understand that people want official Paizo content for Pathfinder, but its not as though tons of companies haven't been making OGL compatible content for like fifteen years now. Or that making new classes for Pathfinder is extremely difficult.

It would be like somebody coming on here and requesting Pathfinder updates to the Expanded Psionics Handbook. We'd point them towards Ultimate Psionics in a heartbeat.

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It isn't free but I have been using GoodReader for just over a year now and it has worked fine.

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Firstly, Mythic isn't very well balanced at all- once you add that to a character, game balance pretty much goes out the window. If this is Wrath of the Righteous and you need Mythic, check out the Forums for that AP for how to challenge your party. If you don't need mythic, I strongly suggest your drop it and replace it with regular levels, or exclusively have them fight mythic stuff. Also, a Mythic Tier should probably be calculated equally to a Level when considering CR, so go ahead and start things off with CR16s, to see how that works.

Secondly, Leadership Cohorts should definitely add to the APL of the party- there is no other Feat in the game that has even close to its impact on combat. And unless I'm missing something, a Cohort should never be Mythic. But I haven't checked that recently.

In general terms, attack your party's weaknesses. They have no Arcane Caster. They might suck at ranged combat. Do the Barbarians have Blind-Fight? Deeper Darkness? Don't play any enemies dumb enough to get into melee with this party.

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Zathyr wrote:

10 + 1/2 [bard level] + [charisma modifier]

The special Aasimar favored class bonus allows you to "Choose one bardic performance; treat the bard as +1/2 level higher when determining the effects of that performance."

So the DC without the favored class bonus:
10 + 1/2 * 3 + 2 = 13.5, round down to 13, basically as you said

With the favored class bonus, you add 1/2 you your [bard level] 3 times:
10 + 1/2 * (3 + 3/2) + 2 = 14.25, round down to 14

Favored Class Bonuses that are fractions never give any bonus at all unless they are whole numbers. IE: for every two times the Aasimar takes that bonus, the DC goes up by one. The first, third, fifth, etc time, the bonus does nothing.

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To answer your last question first- you really can't create a solo enemy that challenges five players, because the most powerful thing in Pathfinder is extra turns. There isn't really a monster that can make up for getting 1/5 as many turns as the party, nor would anybody want to see a monster that does 250 Damage a round to make up for it.

To put things in perspective, they don't make an Evil Dragon a Paladin can't one-round. So don't try. The Mammy Graul fight is a good start, you actually want the party outnumbered if you can help it.

As a general rule, Paizo Adventure Paths expect a party of 4 15 Point Buy Characters with decent optimization. So you have five expert players and if they rolled for stats, used higher point buy, etc, this will dramatically increase their power.

Good news: you can talk to them. If they are all designers, programmers, they should get it. Have them help you brainstorm ways to make things more challenging. Here are some tips to start:

*Never, ever, ever end a monster's turn next to somebody if you can help it. Don't let that Paladin Full-Attack anything. Rough Terrain, Flyby Attack, etc.

*That Rogue pretty much can't have good DEX if his STR is that high. If he has both, his WIS is probably garbage. So Dominate him.

*Concealment can really ruin an archer's day, Wind Wall ALWAYS ruins an archer's day. Rough Terrain puts the archer at significant risk.

If you give us the character's stats, we can help you to challenge them. But the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path as presented won't do so very often.

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Honestly, what I would suggest would be to run some sort of other adventure to take them LVL17-20 (The Witch Queen's Revenge might be perfect), and THEN give them Mythic Tier 1 at 20th. Then your Campaign has (surprise!) another 9 Mythic Tiers of content before the fight with Baba Yaga, such as the stuff where you de-power her Winter Collectors or whatever.

I should warn you though, Mythic content in the game dramatically underestimates Mythic PCs, to a pretty scary extent. Before you think LVL20/M10 is a good match for Baba Yaga, take a look at the Wrath of the Righteous forums. LVL17/M7 Characters with 15 Point Buy, average gear, and only ok optimization are each doing over 750 Damage per round. And they aren't missing. The CR system gets really screwy at higher levels, I personally think a very strong party of 20th Level non-mythic Characters could still do a CR30 no problem.

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To answer the OP, I think the issue is that a large subset of D&D players cut their teeth on either the Greyhawk setting (which was very common in 2E and the 'default' setting for 3E), or else Forgotten Realms or maybe Dragonlance. These were the most popular settings at the time, and were all rather Tolkeinesque. Those same players did not necessarily play Eberron, Dark Sun, or Spelljammer, while people who played the latter three almost certainly played some of the former three as well, just because they were more common.

So in essence, a good portion of the 'grognard' gamers really prefer "sword and sorcery" settings, and I have seen this firsthand. It is nostalgic and fun for these folks to play games similar to the ones they have played in decades past, and it is comfortable as well. Eventually, things not typical in these setting just seem to not belong.

Thing is though, Pathfinder (and D&D, etc) doesn't really make sense as an exclusive setting. I mean, somebody decided that half the classes in the game would have access to magic, and that magic could do literally anything. It wouldn't be odd or even unlikely that some 17th Level Wizard with some fun ideas or spells to burn could invent things like the internet. Golarion is realistically a few dozen highly specific Wishes away from 21st Century technology.

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I understand that the GM will no doubt have to change preprinted material to challenge most groups and the idea that a Pathfinder Module can be run 'as is' is a fallacy.

I also understand that a character who is "as good as possible" at their role means different things to different people- I was sort of referring to, say, an 'optimized' Barbarian, but not somebody with three 7s in their mental Ability Scores and Ragelancepounce. I apologize for not making the distinction.

I'm still going to stand by the assertion that 3 round encounters in which both parties completely go for broke and nuke each other from orbit are 'normal'. If Pathfinder wasn't designed as rocket tag, that is still what we're seeing, and I'd rather embrace that than try to find ways for everything to be nerfed into even longer slogs.
To put things in perspective, I'm figuring its normal for a damage-focused character to down an enemy of their hit dice each round of combat in which they can full-attack. So, any 4 balanced PCs of 10th level vs. one 11th Level Antipaladin- the bad guy should last about 6 seconds. Does this resonate with what people are seeing? I would think of the PCs in this situation to be optimized to the extent I cited previously.

My other point, which I think is the salient one and the one I'd rather focus on, is that all the Damage in the world isn't enough to win a well-designed encounter; not when a long list of spells and similar effects shuts down a damage dealing character. What I'm getting at is that the OPs GM had a huge toolbox of things which could provide counter-play for the Gunslinger, and instead of employing an in-game, rules-legal solution for one of the other party members to maybe assist with, he instead gave all the enemies Damage Reduction 20/non-bullets, Or some other asinine rules-ignoring backdoor.

I was supporting Notabot in calling out the OPs DM because even if he somehow came to the table with a Fighter who never missed with a single attack and had a vorpal sword that worked on a 1-20, there are solutions right in the CRB for handling that type of thing. There is no excuse to invent a bunch of nonsense to screw with one of your players.

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Ok, so this is written from the perspective of someone who is actually GMing Carrion Crown at the moment, so I feel that I've got a pretty good idea of what is going on in the OP (which we are getting back to six pages later?)

Firstly Pathfinder is built with optimization in mind. Try this experiment: take the usual 4-5 Characters, 15, maybe 20 point buy, though an AP. Make them whatever Races, Classes, Archetypes you want, but without forming a deadly teamwork engine of doom, to replicate a usual group. Depending upon player skill and other factors, you will do between pretty well and very well.
Now try that with the 15 point by unoptimized Iconics they used to put in the back of the APs. Suddenly, game feels like Tomb of Horrors all over again where Valeros hasn't hit something in an hour and Ezren can't make any of the Fort Saves required except on a natural 20.

Character power vastly outstrips CR- If you do it right. If you make terrible characters, you artificially gimp yourself. My argument is that characters who are just about as good as possible at their intended strengths aren't outliers, they are baseline.

You wouldn't argue that a team of really tall basketball players is unfairly optimized, would you?

The OPs GM is being irrational, and Notabot's logic is sound. The 5th level Character did 120 points of Damage, with a Full Attack, that contained a Critical, with a x4 weapon! What the heck did the GM think would happen?

The GM made a bunch of silly mistakes. First, your players really shouldn't surprise you via Class Features. Creative tactics? Sure! Awesome Spell combo you've never seen before? Could happen. But being surprised at the Damage capacity of a Musket Master implies the GM never even read the Class, which is foolish of him/her, given that PFSRD exists.

The GM should be a step ahead on this kind of thing. When you get a Barbarian in your group, ask them if they are Pouncing, if they are Rage Cycling, etc. See if your Maguses are Dervish Dancers. If a player has 4 classes at 5th level, swing by the Paizo forums and make sure they aren't making Pun-Pun.

The GMs real problem, though, was the way he countered the OP. Look at the OPs first post, and look at the things he suddenly went up against! The GM gave the Beast of Lepidstadt +12 Touch AC from nowhere? Super Werewolves that have regeneration 70? The GM could have used any of the tons of obvious foils myself and others posted in this thread. Instead, he freaked out and started making crud up.

TLDR: The OP made an optimized Gunslinger, using all legal rules to make a pretty good character.
The OPs GM didn't understand his own job well enough to adjust tactics and ignored all the rules to make challenges that were completely impossible for 80% of his players.

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Claxon wrote:
Jodokai wrote:

There are space ships, aliens and androids in "Pathfinder" I think gun powder certainly has a place. The problem is that there is a reason no one has really been sword fighting for the last 3 and a half centuries.

Aliens are fine. Magic, specifically Interplanetary Teleport. Or the Sovyrian Stone and similar which the Elves used to travel to and from the planet Castrovel. I do not know of cannon examples of "spaceships" and "androids" though they may exist, but I feel they are very rare examples. Besides there are magical things that are similar but distinctly different like Baba Yaga's Dancing Hut and (for spaceships) and Constructs (for Androids). They accomplish much of the same, but are based solely on magic. I like magic in my games, I don't like advanced technology in my games.

If you play Pathfinder (the RPG) in something else (homebrew setting, Eberron, Dark Sun, etc) than you can avoid guns, androids, spaceships, and all the other jazz.

If you play Pathfinder (the RPG in Golarion, with Campaign Setting supplements) then you should take a look at places like the Mana Wastes or Numeria, which are just as valid as Irrisen or Galt. Do you allow Alchemists? Have you changed Azlanti culture, because they had clockwork robots? I'm pretty sure Nex uses magitech, Final Fantasy 6 style.

When you DM you can use whatever you want, but Golarion doesn't feel right without the more unusual stuff they put in. The Azlanti invented robots about the same time they invented "specialist schools of Arcane magic", so yeah.

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Taku Ooka Nin wrote:
FanaticRat wrote:

Not to be a dick, but why didn't you just go "Your builds are going to outshine the other players heavily, please play something else"

I did not do this because some people come in with OP characters and then limit themselves intentionally. I have had gunslingers in campaigns pull out repeating crossbows. I have had gunslingers shoot all enemies equally, hence spreading their damage out. I have had people play broken characters in ways that are not broken.

The point is that the players in question made characters that were far more powerful than the other characters. The responsibility now falls to the players of said characters to control how powerful they are when compared to other members of the party.

Hell, I am playing a broken character at my level (Warrior 1 Werewolf [natural]) and we are at the beginning of Second Darkness. I could solo the party, solo all of the encounters, and then proceed to go on without them because my DR10 and resistances from Aasimar are too powerful for the monsters to get through without critting. So what do I do? I hang near the back, whip out my short-bow and shoot at enemies from afar until someone gets incapacitated, and then, only then, do I put the bow away and tear things apart with my bite (wolf) and two claws (Aspect of the Beast). It helps that my character was raised by Astarathian in Pangolais, Nidal as a favor to his afflicted werewolf mother.

Any OP character can be played in broken ways, or in not broken ways. Imagine a Nova Magus who does not cast that 10d6 shocking grasp and hold it, then discharge the 10d6 SG out of his sword on the first hit as well as discharge his held, and then cast anotehr 10d6 and discharge that all on the same round. Imagine if he instead decides to cast one 10d6 SG on a tough enemy but use his spell with spell combat the cast cantrips to inhibit enemies.

When the DM tells you that you can play a character but that you are way too powerful that is the DM's way of telling you:...

Now, I'm not going to get super peeved at you like ErrantPersuit because I don't really play PFS, and I have never had a DM like you.

Which is saying a lot. Now, I've been running 3.0/5/Pathfinder for over 10 years, and I have to wonder about the stuff you said. Let's take a look:

* Gunslinger using a crossbow: either the Character is totally broke, or the Player is inept. Supposing any other character in the party had seen them using a gun, and then a crossbow, and seen how much they sucked, wouldn't they inquire why the Gunslinger was using an inferior weapon? Like the Fighter watching the Wizard melee: "Aren't you smart enough not to do that, buddy?"

* Any Int 11 character should know after a fight or two that lightly wounding half the enemies is a complete waste. Any martial character knows this instinctively. A Gunslinger who shoots everything in the room for a 3rd of its health is actually prolonging the life of each individual enemy, and increasing the chances of his allies dying. You leave that character (and player) in the next town you run into, and recruit a professional.

* The werewolf example: Who allowed you to play that, and why? You are talking about overpowered characters, site a number of normal builds, and then use a fricken Template as an example? Whyyyyy?

* Your argument, in a nutshell is: if your character can kill an enemy in a single round, you should instead do whatever illogical action results in that NOT happening, so everybody can eventually get kills? Do your NPCs behave so idiotically? When a bunch of Rogues ambush the party, do they each pick a different character to attack, and thus fail, or do you go 4-6 on one like the Rogue's Class Features intend? Do you use Flyby Attack on a Dragon to strafe each party member in turn so that in 4 rounds a Dragon hasn't downed anyone? This is obviously wrong.

* My argument is: you do the most effective thing. If you aren't the most effective thing, that's your problem! Look, according to your description, the Gunslinger and Zen Archer were so good that everybody else should just help them reload. That is because the other Characters are inferior they need to be fixed, not the people killing things. The Zen Archer and Gunslinger were playing correctly, and you decided to punish them by having all your NPCs focus fire, thus playing correctly. The person who learned their lesson should have been you.

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These threads, man. They always happen and I don't know why. Optimized Characters are supposed to one-round things. It's intended. I mean, how is a Gunslinger absolutely murdering a heavily armored enemy in one round different than a Witch using Sleep Hex--> Coup de Grace? How is it different than a Wizard with Hold Person or worse? How is it different than one of dozens of Pouncing Barbarians?

I'd actually consider any character who cannot solo a CR appropriate enemy to be underpowered. I mean, let's say you have an Evil Dragon, who is somehow about to be Full-Attacked by a Paladin. With a little luck and Litany of Righteousness, the Paladin will one-shot a monster designed to challenge a whole group, and he can do it even if the dragon is 3 or more CR higher.

The DMs who become upset when one character kills three enemies in two rounds, I'm not sure what they are hoping for. Pathfinder is called rocket tag for a reason.

As for how to handle the Gunslinger: Swarms. Incorporeal. Wizards who target Will and have twice to three times the Gunslinger's range. Illusions target Will and waste ammunition. Break the weapons. Threaten him so he can't fight without provoking. Knock him into the water. Fog. Fickle Winds stops every ranged character ever.

Just wondering: How can people think doing ANY amount of damage is overpowered when scry and die still works?

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If most of the races of your world are rare, unknown to the most populous one and have not been seen in generations, those races aren't appropriate for Player Characters, just like how the majority of Races living on the other planets around Golarion aren't playable options in most Pathfinder campaigns.

If you want Players to play the other Races you made, you pretty much have to change the story so that they are known, and are at least 2% of the population or something similar.

If you don't want them to play those Races, just don't mention them to the Players as options, and leave them in as odd stuff to be found around the world.

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Mars Roma wrote:

I need some advice as to how i can beat a 20th level to 25th level Ranger with a few levels of Rouge. He mainly uses a Composite STR +(whatever the max is) Bow. Clustered Shot, Rapid Shot, Many Shot, Basically on a fullround attack he can get off 7 Arrows that ignore DR for a minimum of 250ish dmg. i dont know exactly how he accomplishes this but i dont care. I just need a way to either Survive the first round or Negate his Ridiculousness. Either as a Sorcerer, Dragon Disciple or a Ninja or anything really.

Also he believes a Ninjas 20th level, Hidden Master, uses Up 3 ki every round you are Invisible. From his understanding of this sentence. "Using this ability consumes 3 ki points from her ki pool." so at a minimum of 15 ki(off a 20 CHA Score) at 20th level. He says I only have 5 rounds of this Invisibility. But i say it works like i have 20 rounds per 3 Ki i spend. as i am casting Greater Invisibility at a caster level equal to my Ninja Level. as it says in the book.

A Resolve to both these questions would be great. Im mainly doing this to get him off his high horse because he brags to everybody about it. any way to beat/negate/make useless would be perfect. Remember he has high saves, especially Reflex which is why hes a problem. i cant do the usual Maximized Time Stop into five Maximized Delayed blast fireball trick. with the use of rods and feats of course.

I may have a +21 to my initiative but this doesnt mean i cant lose. so if i dont go first i Die. even then i have to avoid beeing seen when he has invisibility seeing magic items. Who wouldnt really at that level. The Ninja was my way around that. he Ignores anything but total concealment and total cover.

So, first of all, this looks like a Player versus Player situation, or at least a mental exercise in the same. In pretty much any case like that, whoever the GM wants to win will win. No version of Dungeons and Dragons or any game related to that IP has ever had anything close to balanced PvP rules, so any sort of "my character can beat up your character" is a crap shoot.

Secondly, this is either at level 20 or post level 20. If the second, Pathfinder does not really support that. If you are allowed 3.5 Splatbook Epic nonsense than the advice you get here is somewhat less useful than the advice to just find the most broken 3.5 option possible.

This sounds like your friend is constantly bragging about his character which can deal pretty good damage at 20+ level, which is a lot like bragging about a 2nd place little league trophy. You shouldn't have to get him off his high horse. His GM should- how could his character possibly do well against challenges appropriate to him if one spell shuts him down completely?

Fickle Winds is a Spell which pretty much any 20th level character can cast which makes the caster immune to all forms of arrows. It doesn't matter if said arrows are adamantine, +6, formed from a God's hair follicles, etc.

You are correct about Hidden Master. The other person would have to try really, really hard to hallucinate some text which stated that the cost was per round, when everything in Pathfinder with a per round cost specifically says so.

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I was under the impression that Spell-Like Abilities don't have components, and therefore don't provoke Attacks of Opportunity, and therefore don't need to be Cast Defensively. But I don't have any rules to back that up at the moment, sorry.

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Not to nitpick, but what out of combat use does the Fighter have? One of my major problems with the caster-martial discrepancy is that not only are Fighters/Barbarians one-dimensional in combat, out of combat a Fighter can contribute... Intimidate? To quote a post I made a long time ago:

Ninten wrote:

I think that the following provides for a pretty good explanation of how the stuff written on your character sheet informs role-play, as well as why not all classes are ‘balanced’ in this regard.

In this example of play, a Fighter, Rogue and Wizard have all discovered something fishy going on within the local castle, but they’ve been stonewalled in all their investigations and nobody seems to want to talk to them. The Wizard gets the bright idea of maybe talking to the princess, who seems nicer and more open than anybody else.

The group decides to quietly converse with the princess. But in order to do so, somebody is going to have to scale the castle walls, sneak through the tower, pick the lock on the princess’ door, and succeed in assuaging her fears that they are not there to kill her long enough to gain some useful information.

To recap, the ‘fun’ goal is to role-play an interaction with the princess, because everybody else gets to sit on the castle lawn and pick their nose. Not a great scenario by the DM, sure, but I think we’ve all seen this happen.

The Fighter is boned, here. He might be able to Climb the walls, provided that is one of his ~3 Skills. He also has to take off his heavy armor first, meaning that even the princess could stab his AC 11. He also might be able to Sneak though the tower, but quietly opening a lock provides an all but impossible challenge, let alone waking/talking to the princess before she takes one look at his 8 CHA and yells “stranger danger!”

The Rogue is in much better shape. Climb the walls? Probably! Sneak around? Heck yes! Disable Device? Done! Charm the pants off the princess? Sure, and he’ll probably strike up a forbidden romance and score some loot while he’s at it. In comparison to the Fighter, the Rogue has 100% more fun, because the situation favors his Class build.

The Wizard, having spent the day preparing for this secret meeting, needs not make a single roll. Fly, he says, and so Climbs the wall. Invisibility doesn’t make him silent, but a bit of caution surely does. Knock handles the door. Charm Person handles the princess, and the Wizard has enough Knowledge Skills to use that information. Compared to the Fighter, the Wizard has 100% more fun, and has the added benefit of overcoming challenges the Rogue also could not, so long as he knows about them ahead of time.

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Look at it this way: a Barbarian, a whirling, frothing, crazy impulse delivery method who happens to have roughly 8 INT, always knows exactly how many rounds of Rage he has per day, and how many he's used. Never mind how odd it is that this is always the same number, he just knows it.

In fact, that Barbarian is also aware of this number while raging. He knows, with less than a six second margin of error, how long his rage can last, and he can choose to stop short at any time.

If he starts, stops, rests, starts, stops, Rage cycles, rests, starts, takes critical damage and blacks out before coming to the next day, he STILL perfectly knows his number.

What I'm getting at is the dragon in your example is not only centuries older and more experienced than the Barbarian in mine, he's also probably 90 IQ smarter, and has more Wisdom. I'm pretty sure he knows what a 3 round cool-down feels like.

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A Group of Fighter, Wizard, Cleric, Rogue doesn't stop for the day when the Wizard runs out of Spells because of player etiquette. They do it because the Cleric has already run out of Spells and the martial characters would not survive another fight.

Past 8th Level or so it is completely reasonable to say that a Wizard has more staying power in a fight than a Fighter, because the former can defeat enemies more quickly and with substantially less risk to himself.

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There have been more good points brought up in this thread than most on the subject, which is a bit of a plus. That being said, I think we're all cognizant that this has been done to death already- probably the most basic definition of Player Character power is the extent to which the character can influence the world around him, and magic is much better at changing the world than Attacks, Feats, or Skills.

Just looking at a few concepts:

A fighter will destroy anything he finds himself adjacent to (or within bow range of, in many cases). A 10th Level Wizard knows a dozen or more Spells that can Hit things 800ft away.

Fighters get 100% more Feats than anybody else. Fully 50% of those Feats are Fighter Bonus Feats, and can only be used to make them better in combat. Wizards get a handful of Magic Item Crafting Feats which are useful in and out of combat, and are right up there with Leadership for most game unbalancing Feats. Remember that Character WBL IS supposed to be a form of game balance.

A Fighter can act like a Wizard by spending all his money on Wands, Taking one or more UMD related Feats, and burning half or more of his Skill Points on just UMD. A Wizard can craft Wands at half cost and never really needs UMD. So in a situation where the Fighter spends 100% of his WBL on Wands, the Wizard gets the same Wands, and still has 50% of his WBL.

A Wizard can't really act like a Fighter, but he can reach down into Hell and grab a handful of temporary Fighter stand-ins to do the same job.

People say a Wizard is balanced because Spells/day are finite. Wands. Scrolls. The ability to magically bail on almost any situation in which he might run out of spells.

People say a Wizard is balanced because he can't prepare for anything. Wands. Scrolls. Scrying. The previously mentioned option to bail.

Basically, at the same level a Fighter learns how to swing one sword three times in six seconds, the Wizard gets Transformation.

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nogoodscallywag wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

He did say it cost a lot of gold. How much does the 3rd party tattoo cost?

The 3rd party book lists the cost as 2,500 GP. *Cringe*

Clearly, after using it in a game, it is very powerful. It is from the 3rd Party Inkantations book.

I don't think you ever properly gave us enough background for your campaign in order for us to make informed decisions here for instance:

* Approaching, or even beyond 20th level, the math behind the game really breaks down. Soon, if not already, you'll reach a point where the player character cannot make his poor saves and cannot fail his good saves. What are you doing to compensate for the numbers becoming so diverse?

* It seems likely there are only 1-2 players with primary characters at 20-21st level plus some followers or something. How long has this been the case? A team of 1-2 characters isn't the same EPL as a 4 person party, so certainly you buffed them/reduced encounters to compensate, right? For a solo 21st level character, probably CR22 would be "epically challenging". But again, the math breaks down.

* What Class is the character? I ask because by 21st level, I find it really hard to believe that anybody could get into melee with anybody else. Really, almost any spellcaster could defeat the vorpal sword-instant crit strategy with no chance of retaliation. By even 18th level a Wizard can easily scry the character and dump his entire spellbook worth of save-or-die effects unto him from complete safety. Daily. Get six of them to do that for CR 22.

Seriously, though- even if the player never missed with an attack and always instantly killed anything he attacked, he STILL would not be a threat to most things he should be fighting. The fact that once per day he can kill a target should not really reduce the impact the other five CR 22 encounters that day.

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Ciretose, you are really, really pro-GM and I get that, but when making a Character for Pathfinder "mollifying the GM as much as possible" shouldn't be high on the list of goals. In fact, of all the aspects of the game in which the GM has influence, I would safely say that the Player Characters are the farthest from his/her control. A Character with a great backstory, who works well with other PCs, fits into the setting and theme perfectly and does not use any material the GM dislikes is great, but completely worthless if the player playing the Character is not having fun.

There also is not (or should not be) a bias towards players who have played for longer. If a player makes a Character and said Character is both fun for the player and does not detract from the fun of the other players, the Character is worthwhile, regardless of alignment, abilities, etc. Rule of Fun.

To put things in perspective, I'm running Carrion Crown at the moment. Due to a lot of planning and interaction, all my players made complimentary characters that fit the setting and theme. But if I had a player who wanted to play, say, a Kobold Antipaladin who dreamed of becoming the world's greatest pirate lord, I would do everything in my power to accommodate such a character as long as everyone was having fun. And I would do this for a friend I knew for 10 years or a random dude at a gaming store.

To the OP: you should sit down, one to one with your GM and discuss your character, his expectations, your expectations, and come to an agreement. You don't really need our help, because regardless of which of you is "right" or "wrong", we won't change anybody's minds in all likleyhood.

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Shifty wrote:

Or is the problem:

Player builds character.
GM doesn't agree with the build, asks player 'are you sure'.
Player sticks to concept.
GM doesn't like non-mold-fitting-build.
GM smashes party, smashes cleric.
GM comes to forums to ask how to deal with gimp character, shorthand for how do I make him play the way I want?

If a player attempts to engage in melee with a Character who has no bonus to Hit or Damage and 13 AC, it is not a "non-mold-fitting-build". It is a dead Character.

If a player comes to me with a Wizard who has 10 Intelligence and is still using it as his Spellcasting Statistic, I explain to the player what to do, and how to play. Same story here.

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I actually do this in my games: I allow anybody to use their Dexterity Modifier to Hit with Finesse Weapons and characters with Weapon Finesse to add their Dexterity Modifier instead of Strength Modifier to Damage with the same.

It is, amazingly, not really broken. I man, sure, I've got Rogues dealing an average of +3 DMG per Hit, but is buffing Rogues really a big problem? Similarly, it helps to fix the Monk a good deal. There is plenty of room for people to take advantage of the change, of course, but so far nobody has really gotten crazy with it.

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Cranefist wrote:
Makarion wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
Wasum wrote:
evangelist would be neat as well....

If he hadn't dumped charisma I would agree with you.

His alternatives were Con or Dex - his Strength was already low enough that he couldn't carry a decent armour without limping. The guy had bad rolls and the GM gave him no leeway.

Front Line Cleric:

STR 14
DEX 10
CON 12
WIS 18
CHA 10

These stats are barely low for a 15 point buy and the way in which it is low is practically meaningless. Choosing to build:

STR 10
DEX 10
CON 12
INT 14
WIS 18

would not be fixed by more points. How much do you want to bet that if I gave him 4 bonus points to spend, he would have a CON 14, INT 16?

If you think the stat line is too low, you are used to very generous GMs.

Remember that 15 Point Buy is baseline for Modules and 20 Point Buy is baseline for pretty much everything else, including PFS. That makes 25 Point Buy "generous". If I was playing in a 15 Point Buy game with 4 players, I'd be expecting 15-25% easier challenges.

But yeah, you need to talk to the player and explain that he can't be good at what he is trying to do and should change his expectations or character.

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I don't believe Clerics get Heavy Armor Proficiency as a Class Feature anymore.

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Cranefist wrote:

1st level party, 3 decently optimized characters - archer, fighter, paladin, and one guy playing a cleric.

The cleric rolls stats and comes out ok. With race modifiers, he ends up with a 14 Int, 18 Wis, and 12 Con. Strength and dexterity are 10. Cha 7. He wants the high Int for RP. Buys light armor and no shield.

No strike bonus. AC 13.

So he gets hit constantly, never deals damage back, and watches as a CR 3 melee creature takes on him plus 2 of the warriors and beats the three of them senselessly. They barely got out. The cleric swings 4 time for a total of 3 damage.

He picked this, knowingly.

There is nothing wrong with what he chose for a Cleric. However, he appears not to know what Clerics do. He should really never under any circumstance make an attack roll (let alone 4!). You should explain to the player what his ability scores mean, I think.

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I wonder how many of these threads would go away if a poster would look and go "god, I'm basically positive I'm right but 5+ people who also know the information I do disagree with me, and agree with each other. Perhaps I should reconsider?"

Also, AmosTrask32 wrote an excellent guide on how Spell Combat and Spellstrike work. Everybody favorite that so we can quote it at people later.

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Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Can you apply sneak attack on every attack you make to beat a dead horse?

Nope! A dead horse is a horse with the Dead Condition, which means it's an Object. Objects don't have anatomy, and are thus immune to Sneak Attack.

Caveat: If said dead horse is actually an Undead creature which is not incorporeal nor a type of golem then go right on throwing more d6s at it!

...sorry. Ok, so bad humor aside, the OPs problem is that he sees lots of d6s and thinks it will equate to lots of damage. Rather than actually running some number comparisons with TWF Rogues and TWF Rangers, he's trying to nerf Rogues (which can't be easy, really) by beating around a bush like it insulted his mother.

I don't personally think a Paizo employee is going to post a response in here, and if one does, I don't think dozens of people are going to be wrong.

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Right off the bat: Keen and Improved Critical do not stack, he CAN'T have a good Will Save, and look up the Allip.

But seriously, other than the player's attitude, there is nothing wrong with what he is doing. You can't challenge a Fighter with stuff in Melee. It is what they do.

I would hate to see what he could do with something serious, like a Summoner.

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Kazarath wrote:

I am simply going to ignore those people calling me a petulant child.

My character was going to be a serpentfolk alchemist who had 'defected' away from Ydersius, seeing him as the cause of his race's downfall. I even went into great philosophical detail about it, which I could post if people are interested (judging from the previous responses, I'd say that's unlikely). I even used the race builder to stat it up, lowering the stats and abilities vastly while still remaining true to the original. Of course he didn't even look at it. I could even post the build if people are interested, but I have a feeling that's not going to help my image seeing as some people have already decided it was my fault.

I would also like to point out I started this thread to think of character ideas, and only posted the whole rant because the anger at those two particular individuals had been building up for months. I was just hoping for a place to vent without being judged.

EDIT: Redacted a few things. Said some stuff I didn't mean. I apologize, been dealing with some issues lately.

Well first of all, the (quasi)anonymity of the internet lets people be pretty callous, so it isn't actually the best place to vent. Any emotion or anything less than cold hard logic is generally given "cool story bro", which isn't a good thing, but that's how it goes.

So I'll just address the mechanics:

The Core Races are Core for a reason. They aren't balanced, but they represent the usual abilities people tend to expect PCs to have. Dwarves are really good, sure, but there is only so far you can optimize that.

Now take Tiefling. They aren't by default better than the Core Races, but with the correct combination of alternative Heritage, Spell-Like Ability swapping, etc, you can get something a lot better than a 'regular tiefling'.

And then we get to the ARG. All those races could be PC races. But they sure as heck aren't all equal. You mentioned Svirfneblin. Just coincidentally, those are considered to be one of the least balanced races in the book.

And the Race Builder is not actually 'balanced', either.

As for your DM, telling a player "Yeah, you can play some exotic race" is a far cry from telling them anything in the ARG is open and they can make their own stuff too. But better communication on your DM's end is required.

As for the other player, ignore what they want. Your Character is the one thing you always control- your DM can tell you what NOT to play, but nobody else ever gets a say in it.

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Lauraliane wrote:

I just got the PDF for the first module of Reign of Winter, where I learnt that the players are supposed to go to earth...

Well, add me to the list of the people who are extremely disapointed about this, it is hard to explain but for me this is the ultimate taboo in fantasy RPG.

It completely annihilate any kind of immersion I could have had, suddenly it just feels like a teenager trip, like when you find those "San Goku fight Darth Vader" crossover.

I honestly don't care that there were supposedely influence from earth before (I didn't know it to and was happy like that)

It is just bad to me, real bad, I have a complete aversion to the "Let's go to earth to kill Rasputin with Machinegun" thing...

Isn't there enough place to go on Golarion, that of all possible places you have to go to earth?

It feels like when a video games, movies or books break the fourth wall, it can be "fun", but is also has the secondary effect to kill any immersion you had.

I was planning to have my players play Reign of Winter, but I won't now, I don't want to inflict that upon them, I just can't see myself telling them: "Alright guy, welcome to Earth!", without them laughing immediatly and saying "Hehe nice joke...It is a joke right?"

Ah well, I just have to forget I even read that completely and focus on the other 100% Golarion campaigns which by the way are almost all very awesome, but the whole earth thing, sorry, it is too much for me.

If you don't mind the suggestion, stay tuned. Get the remaining 4 adventures you were sure to run anyway, and judge #5 when it comes. I mean, you are a subscriber, depending upon how long you have been I'm sure you've had more than a few adventures you won't get around to running for some reason or another. You can probably modify #5 easily enough to take place in a different word or setting (I vote Iron Kingdoms' Khador, myself) and even if you can't, you can pull something out of it for sure, even if it's just a handful of folklore themed monsters.

I get where you are coming from, for instance, I'm completely opposed to playing a character who is at all like me, let alone a 'you go into the game and become the hero' type of module that companies put out from time to time. But if Paizo did that I'd reserve judgement until I saw it in print, for sure.

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I'm pretty sure that at least a few Classes are commonly known by names, or else there could be serious complications. Like, you could be a Cavalier who dedicates himself to Good and crusades against Evil, and thus call yourself a Paladin. But when the townsfolk hear of your arrival and bring out their wounded/sick/blind/etc for you to cure with your magic, there are going to be disappointments.

Similarly, we know Wizards refer to themselves as such and know what Specialist Wizards are, going so far as to identify Thassilonian specialists differently. So there is no way a Wizard is going to get another Wizard confused with some Sorcerer for very long, and many Wizards are probably knowledgeable enough to tell smaller differences, like between Sorcerers and Summoners.

Basically, if somebody shows up to a magic college and announces that they are a Magician, Arcanist or Spirit-Sage, pretty much everybody else will just roll their eyes and move on.

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Sincubus wrote:

I just dislike EVERYTHING that reminds me of that horrid abomination named Warcraft/World of Warcraft.

Hate the art, hate the games and hate the insane popularity.

This art reminds me of warcraft, especially the wood creature.

And I happen to be a very big fan of like 80% of the art I find in paizo books, as 90% of all the monster art paizo produces are my all time favorite of those monsters, so these artworks kinda spoil that for me, I just hope this is just in this AP, and I hope it doesn't return. (never liked the art in carrion crown bestairies as wel)

Ok, I'll bite: why do you so strongly dislike the Warcraft franchise? I mean, do you dislike the games and thus the art, or do you dislike the art and that keeps you from liking the games?

Did you play the Warcraft RTS games and enjoy them, but hate that the series has switched to MMO? Or have you played the MMO, disliked it, and inferred the other games were bad?

I'm just asking because people who strongly hate World of Warcraft seem to fall into one of two camps- people who hate MMOs on principle or people who love a different MMo that failed in comparison and are bitter.

I've never heard of somebody strongly disliking Blizzard's RTS games, or their art. If art, is it the shoulders?

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First of all, to answer your question, yes, you are grossly overdoing encounter CRs. The good news is, you came here to ask, so the problem is completely fixable.

First of all, every character class is designed to have one or more dump stats. You aren't doing some sort of weasily game-manipulation if 3/4 Fighters you run into have CHA 8. I mean, take a look at the Fighter:

Strength: With the exception of the super rare Dervish Fighter, basically all Fighters need Str, and 14 is about the low watermark for functionality. You want 16.
Dexterity: Same as before. One would think that a tower-shield wielding full-plate wearer could go without Dex, but sadly, all fighters need this too, due to RFLX Saves, Ranged Attack rolls, etc. 14 is probably good, 12 isn't.
Constitution: Fighters usually take this as their second-highest Stat after STR, because they need to soak up all the damage they can't magically prevent. Another 14-16, hopefully. A 10 Con Fighter isn't going to live very long, and probably has a higher RFLX Save than FORT. Not good.

Now, 15 point buy is more like 17 point buy for most people, because they drop a Stat. Since you seem dead set against people doing that (and an 8 is not a horrible dump, either), your players have to work with only a couple of suitable options:

The one that immediately came to mind for me as best for the Fighter is:
14/16/14/10/10/10, putting the Human +2 in Dex.
Instead, your guy went:
16/16/10/10/10/10, Human +2 in one of the 16s. Is +2 Str worth -4 Con?
If you did let your players take an 8, this guy would probably just go:
10/20/10/10/10/8, which is a terrible character.

In short, I would go ahead and let your players take 8s if they wanted, while explaining to them that D&Dv3.5 is different than D&Dv4.0. They should totally optimize their characters, but they don't yet know how. Let them make whatever they want, and then exploit weaknesses. Make them play smarter.

And for god's sakes tell the Fighter that whenever he misses due to not Flanking, duel-wielding, etc, he's doing 0 DPR.

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A good rule of thumb to judge PC capabilities at any given level is to take a look at the Spells available. 10th level means 5th level Spells for all Full-Progression Spellcasters, whether Prepared or Spontaneous. A quick trip to d20pfsrd let me see that you should be prepared for:

Arcane Spells: Cloudkill, Lesser Planar Binding, Teleport, Dominate Person, Feeblemind, Wall of Force, Overland Flight, Permanency are some of the things to consider.

Divine Spells: Atonement, Break Enchantment, Breath of Life, Commune, Flame Strike, Raise Dead.

You also might take a quick peek at what Class Features might pop up at 10th Level... which in this case is nothing new, really.

Lastly, a 10th Level Character can be Base Class 5/Prestige Class 5, which can give you good stuff, too.

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One of the things I've done to somewhat mitigate this is divide the many shipboard NPCs into four types. These types apply to both allies and enemies of the PCs:

Main Characters: These are creatures with the same Hit Dice as the PCs and often PC Class Levels. Usually 1-2 of the Officers on an enemy ship are this, plus the Captain is this, as well.

Officers: These are crew (friends or foes) with 2 less Hit Dice than the PCs. Usually 2-3 of these on an enemy ship, and the named allies of the PCs with PC Class Levels (Sandara Quinn, Ambrose Kroop, etc) are this as well.

Crew: These are 'regular' named pirates on any given ship. They tend to have 1/2 the PCs Hit Dice.

Swabs: These are almost universally 1 Hit Die Commoners, although Experts aren't unlikely either.

Basically, using this system you can keep the PCs inevitable flotilla of carnage in check, as well as create balanced encounters on the fly. Plus Spells no longer take out half the enemy crew that matters in one shot.

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The issue here is not the flaming bolt (it won't really burn a sail and burning a single sail won't cripple the ship). The issue is the use of Pyrotechnics.

You do know that every single potential target is entitled to a Will Save (DC 16-17ish probably), is only effected if they have line of sight to the sail, and that you are technically supposed to roll 20 different Will Saves in this case, right?

It is the same sort of thing as using Fireball on twenty enemies. If you as the GM roll one Reflex Save, get a 6, and decide they all fail, well the Fireball is pretty overpowered.

Lastly, keep in mind that the majority of ships in the Skull & Shackles Adventure Path have noncombatent NPC crews. The ship in question didn't have 20 Fighters or even 20 Warriors on deck, did it? Because 1st Level Commoners tend to fail against everything, and this situation is only going to get worse. By the time the sorcerer is 10th level or so, he will have a half-dozen Spells that say 'target ship becomes uncrewed for 1d6 minutes'. You'll have to deal with that.

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Is the font still going around? If so, I'd love it for my Rise of the Runelords campaign. My e-mail is:



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The question of why an Aquatic PC wouldn't just bail on the Wormwood at the first opportunity came up in my game (I have an Undine and an Aquatic Sorcerer), and the answer is actually the environment. There is no reason why somebody couldn't just jump ship and swim away, except that drowning is the least of your worries in the Fever Sea. Check out the low-level encounter table in the back of The Wormwood Mutiny- basically anything on there will annihilate a single 1st-2nd level PC in under twenty seconds. The ocean is just swimming with monsters, and the only safety for all those 1HD swabs and riggers is being on the same boat as the likes of a CR10 Sorcerer.
Islands aren't safe either, by the way. Bonewrack Island is pretty tame for the Shackles, all things considered.

Edit: Also, I realize the idea is to provide a substantial in-world reason why the player won't bail on the AP. The problem with stopping the Undine from breathing water is that with a Swim Speed (so, something like a +8 Racial Bonus to Swim and the ability to take 10) the Undine doesn't have to go underwater for very long at all to get away, he can just swim off.

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thenovalord wrote:

i like fantasy

i like pirates

im not sure fantasy pirates work.

our group have shelved this in the probably will never run pile

How about fantasy and pulp fiction?

Fantasy and eastern/far eastern culture?
Fantasy and horror?

Not to be obtuse, but if combining 'fantasy' with other tropes doesn't work for you, most Adventure Paths probably won't either.

I mean, most of what people think of when they think of pirates is fantasy pirates.

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