Oly's page

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Arachnofiend wrote:
I think what a lot of people are missing is that the party's "martial" can be played as a Druid, Cleric, Oracle, Magus... really, the only class that gets zero spells and is as effective with a big stick as the casters is the Barbarian. Mainly because the Barbarian gets great utility abilities that the other non-spellcasters just don't have (barb smash puny maze).

Slayers are quite effective.

Fighters could use some improvements. They should be the ultimate with the big stick, and aren't as good as they ought to be. They needed an Unchained variant to improve them-- not as much as rogues did, but still...they aren't as good at combat as a completely non-magical class should be.

My view is not that it's all completely equal, but just that people overstate the disparity.

Just a Guess wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:

I belong to the second group, generally. We don't do individual XP, we just all level when the GM says so, it takes the stress out of contributing.
This is not about stress, this is about fun. Watching the casters solve all the problems is not fun for a martial, even if he gets the same xp.

Though martials are still fun to play, or no one would play them-- or at least no one would except as a favor to the group (and if they were really, really weak, it wouldn't even be a favor, because the group would rather not have them as dead weight).

It isn't completely balanced, although my solution of having reasonably intelligent NPC's (I mean Int of 8 or more, not genuises) who do physical attacks try to target the full caster-- who, if arcane, is easy to pick out as well as the logical person they'd want to attack first-- levels things most of the way and is logical. The groups I've played in, GM's (including me) have done that, and martials are very important to keep the NPC's from killing the casters.

I've never tried my own favorite rule for making casters the most MAD classes-- but if bonus spells were always based on Int, concentration checks on Wis, and save DC's on Cha (the "casting stat" would still determine the stat that one must be 10 + spell level to cast the spell)...but add that in, do the first, and I think the danger and MADness of playing a full caster would balance martials and casters completely.

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Seranov wrote:

So what you're saying is "if the party is all spellcasters, I have to nerf them." How exactly is that saying that party makeup doesn't matter?

Let's get real. A party of Paladin/Bard/Druid/Sorcerer is hilariously more effective than a party of Fighter/Rogue/Cleric/Wizard, because the first group is full of people who can contribute all the time. The second group has more powerful spellcasters, yes, but half the group is effectively just there to soak hits and solve problems in the least effective and efficient way possible.

The second party is badly handicapped due to having a class as bad as an NPC class (unless possibly if you mean the Unchained version, as I haven't tried it out), the Rogue. Replace the Rogue in the second class with a Bard (or Investigator or even Slayer, which doesn't cast spells-- or make extracts as the Investigator does) and the parties are very close to equal.

In any event, the power and abilities of martials are close enough in power and fun to those of casters that martials can still be fun to play.*

*Proof: People still play them. When it's common to be unable to find anyone interested in playing a martial, or groups have to take turns, "Damn, I guess I have to play the Martial this time," then you can claim they suck. It's not enough if you've at one point experienced it; if would be if it were a very common experience to find that, at least as common as finding someone who wants to play a martial.

Bandw2 wrote:

not true, as mentioned, the disparity is between the abilities capable of changing a story. a wizard can teleport and warn of an impending invasion, the martials simply have to walk back. If they say had a class choice to gain some kind of extra quick mount or other ability (maybe a rogue can have trained pidgeons to move items or messages about) to effect world changing plots.

Now, that part is true. Magic is fun, because of out of combat uses. When I started playing some time back, I was more thinking about survivability and gravitated toward martials.

I've come to see magic as more fun, and am much more likely to play casters now.

But because those I've played with (including when I GM) have intelligent NPC's usually target those easily identifiable as casters, I certainly feel more vulnerable when playing arcane casters (divine casters are less vulnerable, but that's balanced by making their spells weaker than arcane spells). I've died as casters (and eventually been resurrected), and never died in combat as a martial.

Maybe I need to use Mirror Image more, but I think people are ignoring relative danger, partially because many GM's don't have intelligent NPC's target the squishies.

As far as fun, to me that's the tradeoff: Less danger (as a martial) for less cool stuff vs. the opposite. And if you think casters are both very much stronger characters and (really to the point) more fun to play, then just play them....

What has surprised me, and gone against my own experiences, is that so many GMs, as had been posted in other threads, don't have NPC opponents do the smart thing and go after the squishy full arcane casters.

An NPC will see a martial there in medium/heavy armor, no spell component pouch, and the wizard/sorcerer/witch/arcanist in no armor with the pouch: Realistically, and in games I've played, he's going to realize both that (attacking physically) he can damage the squishy more, and that the squishy poses more threat to him and his group.

Just having the NPC's (with reasonable Intelligence/Wisdom anyway) do what is the smart tactic from their end, and the danger to full arcane casters does a lot to balance out other powers.

The only other problem is the way that casters are intentionally made SAD-- but some martial classes are as well (I think no one should be SAD, but that's a flaw in the game that helps others besides casters).

Because of limited uses and the like, I don't think the martial/caster disparity is as big as people think. There is some, but it becomes pretty close to balanced if NPC's intelligently try to go after full casters first.

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Bandw2 wrote:
Oly wrote:
Tormsskull wrote:

Regardless if the player created a suboptimal character, an average character, an optimized character, or a super-optimized character, if the rest of the group is not having fun because of it, it needs to be addressed.

Short version, if you have six players, and one is causing the problem, address the one, rather than trying to get the five to create more powerful characters to compensate.

So you tell someone, "Since you made an average character I'll punish you by nerfing him, because everyone else made crappy ones, so you must be crappy, too! Make your character crappy or I'll nerf you!" That's flatly unfair.

which I reply with, so?

the goal of pathfinder is to make a fun game not a fair game. If asymmetry makes the game funner then you have accomplished this goal.

An unfair game is always an unfun game.

I will say there are times a GM can legitimately force someone to power down his character even if the character isn't against the rules (which btw is always far better than rigging encounters against a character/having NPC's target him harder, because it's honest), but only justified when someone has minmaxed by carefully optimizing everything (unless that's what everyone wants to do).

It's usually more fun for people to go after a concept and make a solid character within the concept, without optimizing everything.

Even in that case though, what becomes acceptable IMO is the ultimatum to un-optimize or have to stop playing. To have NPC's artificially target the character, or to make sure the encounters (more than an ordinary mix) are set to target the character's weaknesses, is never okay.

In this case, the Warpriest is not minmaxed. Often people point out that if someone sounds bad, we're only hearing one side of the story. In this case the one side we're hearing, though, is the GM's, so when the player gets so much of the support even then, it suggests the player is doing nothing wrong.

Tormsskull wrote:

Regardless if the player created a suboptimal character, an average character, an optimized character, or a super-optimized character, if the rest of the group is not having fun because of it, it needs to be addressed.

You can have a group of five all suboptimal characters, and the group can have a blast. Then someone comes along with an average character, and that average character outshines all of the other characters.

If the players of the suboptimal characters enjoyment of the game is lessened because of this, the solution isn't to tell them they didn't build powerful enough characters and they all need to recreate them. Especially not with the player with the average character assisting them.

Short version, if you have six players, and one is causing the problem, address the one, rather than trying to get the five to create more powerful characters to compensate.

So you tell someone, "Since you made an average character I'll punish you by nerfing him, because everyone else made crappy ones, so you must be crappy, too! Make your character crappy or I'll nerf you!" That's flatly unfair.

Tormsskull wrote:

In this particular situation, it sounds like a player/gm with an unclear understanding of the rules may be contributing to some of the problem PC's power.

Once those issues are cleared up, if the problem still persists, talk to the player and let them know that other people are having less fun because his character is trivializing the encounters. If he's willing to alter his character to accommodate, then you're all set.

Assuming he's not willing to alter his character, then you as the GM have a few options:

  • Award more gear that is tailored to the other characters and will increase their power level, bringing them more inline with the warpriest.
  • Carefully select enemies that more often play to the warpriest's weaknesses. If the warpriest is a melee monster, add in flying/ranged/teleporting attackers that he'll have a harder time getting to.
  • Add in enemies that can reduce the warpriest's capabilities in a temporary fashion (poisons, diseases, curses, etc.)
  • Reduce the effectiveness of the warpriest's attacks at certain times.

While some people will disagree with #4 above, keep in mind that everyone needs to be having fun. If one player is ruining the other player's fun, and he isn't willing to remedy the problem, then you as the GM need to.

I actually disagree with all of those, but #4 the worst. "You're playing competently! You must be punished for it!" A twink/munchkin is a different story, but that's not what's happening here.

Edited to add: I also didn't see anything that stated the other players weren't having fun. Maybe I missed something, but maybe it's just the GM feeling frustrated to see the Warpriest ending fights so fast.

As others have said, adding a few extra mooks to opposing parties due to the size of the PC party would make some sense; but a GM's job is to create a world, come up with stories, and referee the game fairly, including calling out munchkins (but the player discussed isn't a munchkin). It is not to favor some players over others.

FLite wrote:

Maybe they meant per hour?

That would be about right at the low end. Not sure how it would hold up at the high end.

If they mean per hour, and by "sickened" they just mean "drunk," that would be pretty accurate among average-Con people.

I even find the basic alcohol rules are problematic, actually. I guess they're written knowing that PC's will nearly always have at least 12 Con, but it always bothered me that the number of drinks before being sickened is 1 + (2 * Con bonus), because the average real life human has a Con of 10, meaning an average person gets sickened after 2 drinks in one night?

And someone just slightly below average (Con 9) will get sickened from 1 drink?

Even if by sickened they just mean drunk (maybe they do, because sickened is less severe than nauseated) they're still a couple of drinks low at average Con levels. If they really mean it becomes unpleasant, they're at least 5 drinks too low at a Con of 10.

Godwyn wrote:

+20 is pretty odd though. Perhaps, instead of a +20 bonus at level 1, it provides a scaling bonus. Or just the same +10 as most of the disguise spells. The only reason I can see for the +20 that early, is that somehow the Vigilante is supposed to be able to hide from higher level characters. It think that approach is flawed. The level system is an integral part of the overall system. Higher level characters are supposed to be better, even if that means a level 10 bard, ranger, oracle, whatever, can figure out the secret identity of a low level vigilante.

Well, since they're making a class out of it, which I'm sure they'll do regardless of the fact that so many of us agree it's not worthy of a whole class (we differ on whether it can be one feat or needs to be more, but I agree it's not nearly enough to base a whole class on), it's pretty useless if when interacting with anyone significant when they're at low levels, they'll be discovered.

Their social identity is meant to interact with powerful NPC's without being discovered, so the concept requires the +20 to work as intended.

So blending in is never useful? I guess I'm the only one who's ever played in games where the Disguise skill gets used?

Because if the Disguise skill is ever useful, a single feat with all of Dual Identity in it is so far superior to Skill Focus: Disguise (granted, I doubt SF: D is taken much at all; I've never seen it taken) that's it's way OP. It's not just +20 rather than +3/+6 to Disguises, but beating Scrying is also really important.

I would, in a feat chain, have Greater Dual Identity be able to detect as whatever alignment one wants when in false identity form. It was a real mistake when Paizo is trying to make a whole frigging class out of it to limit alignment falsification to one step. Still, it's more than the Disguise skill or Alter Self can give you.

No one seems to be thinking about a character whose dual identity is only used to gather info as a "normal person" and then he adventures as his adventurer-self (defeating nobles whose info he has learned using his "normal person" pretense), so his "normal person" identity will never come up in a scry when he's with the party.

Godwyn wrote:

For a feat, though, it is great. In that sort of focused campaign, everyone spends their first level feat on it. And Voila, we have a Power Rangers team, or Batman and Robin, any number of the Sailor Scouts. As a feat, this ability works, as the focus of a class it does not.

If "everyone spends their first level feat on it," even if only in specific types of campaigns, it's OP. A non-OP feat always has people thinking, "Should I take this feat, or is it better to take this other feat?"

I agree on the other hand that it's definitely too weak to be the focus of a class.

The way it becomes "Should I take it or not?" is if you need to take a chain of feats to get all the benefits.

It's true that no one would take Secret Identity, even as a single feat, in a hack and slash campaign with no intrigue. But in certain kinds of campaigns giving all the benefits in one feat is way OP.

Snowblind wrote:
Oly wrote:
Doomed Hero wrote:
Oly wrote:
I agree it shouldn't be a whole class, but I'd make it a feat chain to get all the abilities of the dual identity in the class (Dual Identity, Improved Dual Identity...

Just say no to Feat Chains.

It either needs to be a scaleable feat, or just be a Skill Unlock for Disguise.

I guess that's redundant considering that Skill Unlocks are all scaleable feats.

I think, if all aspects of dual identity were to be incorporated into feats, it would have to be a chain because, while it's not an ability worthy of a whole class, giving all its benefits in one feat would make that feat OP.

I don't like "feat taxes," as if Dual Identity were one feat but required the Deceitful feat as a prerequisite. But the full version of Dual Identity, with all the features of it in the class, would IMO be OP to get (even scaled) in one feat.

If they do an "Amateur Vigilante" feat, I'm certain Dual Identity will be much more limited than in Vigilante.

You keep saying dual identity is overpowered as a single feat.

Why is that?

Would a feat that allowed you to cast Alter Self, with unlimited duration, on demand, but without changing ability scores or gaining special attacks and the like be overpowered or not? I say it would be.

In some ways, Dual Identity is inferior, in that you can only change to one identity and the time to change is longer than Alter Self's casting time. But on the other hand, the Disguise bonus is +20 rather than +10, you're immune to scrying, you can (slightly) fool alignment discernment, and because it isn't magical anti-magic fields or True Seeing don't penetrate it.

With a campaign involving intrigue, which is what the book is about, being able to be two seemingly-different people is quite potent. It isn't potent enough to be the point of a whole class, but it's more potent than any feat that isn't often banned.

Quemius wrote:

You did not mention what classes that make up the party, and that gives us more info when trying to help you adjust things in-game.

Actually, he did. Among them are a Sorcerer, a Cavalier, and a ranged-sepcialist Rogue. I don't recall the others.

Quemius wrote:
So, the troublemaker (so to speak) is a Warpriest. Try creating situations that will take him out of encounters early on, i.e. Saves against conditions or spells, bad guys that have been pre-buffed before initiative begins, etc. not ALL the time, but enough that he begins to appreciate the strengths and abilities of the others.

Except, he's not a legit troublemaker, which is why it's horribly unfair to him to penalize him for being *gasp* competent.

Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Oly wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
So - what do you guys think of a Sheldon Cooper without the lovable bits. (Frankly - I think he'd be FAR less amusing in person and more than 20min at a time.) Maybe without personal hygene and with more OCD.
Actually, when I first saw Cha of 1 what I thought of was "Sheldon Cooper turned up to 11, plus add in ugly as all hell," but that might be more Cha of 3 or 4, because below that he couldn't even get noticed (perhaps). Sheldon with his redeeming qualities is probably Cha 5 (or thereabouts) with Int of 20 but Wis below 10.
I'd actually guess that he's already a 3 or 4 max. Remember - according to the old school rolling system - one could argue that 1/216 people has a Charisma of 3. I've known more than 216 people - none have been as uncharismatic as Sheldon Cooper.

You're probably right, the way I tend to view Charisma. There are really two ways in which Charisma is viewed, and I was influenced by reading posts of the other view, that Charisma of 1 would be completely unmemorable, and kind of had a hybrid view in my mind, whereas the two readings of Charisma are simply mutually exclusive. Neither is objectively right; it's open to interpretation.

So the way I naturally see Cha, Sheldon as portrayed probably is a 3 or 4 (though one could still argue not quite as low with his unlikeability-- if you had to deal with him in real life, as he's fun to watch as a character-- partially due to a very low Wis as well).

The interpretation of the player, GM, and group matters in whether the OP just needs to retire the character. It could be fun to play him as a Sheldon Cooper type, except even more extreme (that, if he has decent Wisdom, will know, unlike Sheldon would, to stay away from dealing with NPC's the party has to win over), whereas if he has to play the character as essentially mindless, the OP is best off retiring his character and making a new one.

Froth Maw wrote:

To me, it's like how two players can play at different difficulty levels in certain video games while still playing together. If the enemy goes for your noobie, he fights at noobie level to even it out. I was on the other side of this the first time I tried to build a barbarian (ok barbarian surrounded by useless teammates) and I didn't mind catching a little extra heat. It'll give him more suspense and more guys to chop up. The DM just has to remember not to be TOO heavy handed.

If the Warpriest's player agrees to it, as one would agree to play a game with someone else at different difficulty levels, that would be okay. If the GM just does it regardless (worst of all, if he doesn't even say he's going to do it), it's unfair to the Warpriest's player.

I don't think it's fair to punish someone for just building and playing competently, just because others in the group haven't been able to. If the Warpriest were a true munchkin, it's a different story, but he really isn't.

Doomed Hero wrote:
Oly wrote:
I agree it shouldn't be a whole class, but I'd make it a feat chain to get all the abilities of the dual identity in the class (Dual Identity, Improved Dual Identity...

Just say no to Feat Chains.

It either needs to be a scaleable feat, or just be a Skill Unlock for Disguise.

I guess that's redundant considering that Skill Unlocks are all scaleable feats.

I think, if all aspects of dual identity were to be incorporated into feats, it would have to be a chain because, while it's not an ability worthy of a whole class, giving all its benefits in one feat would make that feat OP.

I don't like "feat taxes," as if Dual Identity were one feat but required the Deceitful feat as a prerequisite. But the full version of Dual Identity, with all the features of it in the class, would IMO be OP to get (even scaled) in one feat.

If they do an "Amateur Vigilante" feat, I'm certain Dual Identity will be much more limited than in Vigilante.

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Ultimatums aren't really "passive" aggressive. Pretty sure we just call those aggressive. Passivity requires a certain level of beating-around-the-bushness.

I agree, and I guess I wrote in a way that could be misunderstood.

Passive-aggressive is having NPC's target the Warpriest in ways that don't make in-game sense, or setting up encounters to specifically weaken the Warpriest, and the like.

I was saying I'd prefer an ultimatum to that, preferring "aggressive" to "passive-aggressive," although since the Warpriest isn't really a munchkin, I don't know if even that is fair.

Charon's Little Helper wrote:
So - what do you guys think of a Sheldon Cooper without the lovable bits. (Frankly - I think he'd be FAR less amusing in person and more than 20min at a time.) Maybe without personal hygene and with more OCD.

Actually, when I first saw Cha of 1 what I thought of was "Sheldon Cooper turned up to 11, plus add in ugly as all hell," but that might be more Cha of 3 or 4, because below that he couldn't even get noticed (perhaps). Sheldon with his redeeming qualities is probably Cha 5 (or thereabouts) with Int of 20 but Wis below 10.

Atragon wrote:
Flynn Greywalker wrote:
Seranov wrote:

Yeah, what? 30ish damage a round at level 11 is hardly what I'd call overpowering. Especially since he's splitting his attacks between various targets and/or making only one attack a round vs. something outside his reach.

Exactly what is the rest of your group doing that this guy is supposedly making them look bad? More and more it sounds less like he's absurdly strong and just that everyone else is just really, really poorly built.

Possibly. He critical hits a lot with his improved critical and keen falchion.
You may want to re-read the rules for Improved Critical and Keen, they explicitly don't stack...

The OP said he's just using 15-20, so he isn't stacking them-- another way that if he's trying to minmax he really isn't doing it well. The Keen property would be much better spent elsewhere since he has Improved Critical (or instead, Improved Critical isn't the best feat if his weapon is Keen)....

Flynn Greywalker wrote:
Ragoz wrote:
The easiest way is to just add the Advanced Template to everything to raise the CR by 1. Add 2 Natural Armor and 4 to every ability score. Easy and you don't really have to think of anything new.
I was leaning that way. Adjusting the AC of the creatures facing him will make his battles tougher. Also, hitting him with the ranged enemy casters will wear him down some and make him more cautious I hope.

Why would the enemy casters target him specifically, unless they've faced the party before? He won't appear more dangerous than the other characters.

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Flynn Greywalker wrote:
Froth Maw wrote:
The way my DM would handle this would be to have the enemies gun way harder for the stronger character. Let's say you've got an enemy with three natural attacks. When you attack the war priest, you go full attack on him, but if you attack your comic relief guy, just hit him with one attack. Or if your players wind up scattered and fighting different enemies 1v1 or 2v2, send any extra guys you have over to fight the war priest. It'll probably work out fine since he wants to fight and everyone else wants to do whatever people who build underpowered characters see as their end goal.
I like this. Agreed. If someone wants to act like Superman, he is going to draw the enemy attacks more than the rogues and other spell casters (unless they cast a spell that draws attention). Good advice:) thanks.

I strongly disagree. That's passive-aggressive GMing. Rather than discussing the matter with the player, you just have the NPC's use better tactics against his character than against other characters.

I almost replied with something about that when someone said an ultimatum was the worst thing a GM can do. I'd much rather be issued an ultimatum than have the GM intentionally discriminate against my character.

Given the damage levels mentioned, if the player in question is trying to power-game, he isn't even power-gaming that effectively.

I dislike extreme minmaxing power gaming, and as a GM would call someone out on that, but even if this player is trying to do that, he's not doing the kind of damage that one can do if it's done well.

Outside of true minmaxing (which is a bad thing IMO), I'm bothered by a trend on the boards that players should be told, "You're playing too well! Stop!" But...being told that is less bad than having the GM discriminate against your character.

Cevah wrote:

To those advocating being rude, annoying, and so on, you are describing a charisma > 10.

I definitely disagree with that, although I think it might be true that a Cha of 1 can't even be rude and annoying because no one will even pay attention. But if you imagine the rudest, most obnoxious person you've ever known, make that person hideous and with a speech impediment, that person probably has a Charisma of 4.

But anyone with high Charisma (in real life, even a Cha of 12 is pretty high) is polite and easy to get along with, as long as he wants to be.

Charisma is the key stat for Diplomacy, Bluff, and Handle Animal: Higher Charisma means you can be likable and gain trust you may not deserve, at least if you want to. You can also be manipulative, as in Intimidate.

Even something like Use Magic Device is sort of "manipulating" the Magic Device.

Now, with a Cha of 1, you'd still lack those social skills, but have trouble even getting noticed enough to annoy anyone.

The GM should allow the party to buy a Wish or Miracle casting for you that if it doesn't restore the Cha loss, at least allows it to be restored via quest. If it absolutely cannot be undone no matter what, I agree with the advice to retire the character and create a new one.

Umbral Reaver wrote:

I've occasionally seen a related but slightly different phenomenon:

A player picks up an immunity or powerful defense, then starts encountering enemies that are specifically built to bypass that immunity.

You're immune to disease? You encounter an obscure disease that your immunity doesn't apply against because of some reason.

You're immune to fear? You encounter something so supernaturally scary that your immunity doesn't count.

You're immune to enchantment effects? You encounter something that can dominate person as a transmutation effect or something.

When a GM does that, that's total BS and horrible GMing. Having NPC's metagame is bad GMing, but at least there's the excuse that the GM may find it hard to force himself to have the NPC's make choices he knows are bad. It's poor GMing, but still at least understandable.

What you describe is premeditated, going out of one's way to negate a PC's legitimate ability, and is inexcusable.

I agree it shouldn't be a whole class, but I'd make it a feat chain to get all the abilities of the dual identity in the class (Dual Identity, Improved Dual Identity, Greater Dual Identity, the last of which might include some abilities not even in the class)-- but I agree it's not worthy of an entire class, though I really do like the dual identity concept.

As to suggesting ways to build the Dual Identity ability up to make it worthy of an entire class, I'd suggest adding in most of the features the Master Spy PrC gets. Those plus what's already there could make it worthy of a class.

Note that I really hope Dual Identity can be incorporated into the game one way or another, though-- but if it's not just made a feat chain (which would be ideal) the Vigilante class needs more features added to the Dual Identity to be worth playing.

I really like the concept of the class; but the way it's written, it just doesn't have enough features to be useful.

The class features unique to the class could be a feat chain as it is.

It's still a good idea, but just needs essentially to have more abilities: Maybe they didn't want to step on the Master Spy PrC or something; but Master Spy, while a great PrC for creating very slippery NPC's, is quite weak as a PC PrC. The Vigilante class would be worth playing if they incorporated more of the Master Spy class features; but as it is, infiltration-based archetypes (the Inquisitor has a good one, and I think the Investigator does as well) are nearly as good for dual identity usage; and because their classes have other features as well, are considerably better at everything else.

ryric wrote:

I'd like all ability scores to have real detrimental effects if dumped, for all characters. Choosing abilities should be a process of give-and-take, not "I'll put a 7 in Cha and never talk." Having a 7 in any stat should be as bad as having a 7 Con.

YES! And for those who say that would make PC's too weak, obviously you then have higher CR's for a given difficulty of NPC in exchange.

Rynjin wrote:
Pan wrote:

1. Everyone MAD and no more "use x instead of y"

Interesting. I would prefer something of the opposite, myself.

Make everyone SADer. Or at least DAD.

Monks Dex/Wis, Rangers Str or Dex/Wis, Paladins Str/Cha, Fighters Str/Int, Wizards Dex/Int, and so on.

Then make all their mechanics work off those two. Monks can attack/damage with Dex, Wizards need Dex for Casting Defensively or maybe for Concentration checks for spells with Somatic components, stuff like that.

I think more people agree with you than agree with me (and Pan), but I fully agree with Pan on this point. Any stat you dump should have consequences for dumping it, regardless of your class (although of course for any given class some stats will mean more than others; you can be a dumb Barbarian or a weak Wizard, but the opposite shouldn't work so well).

I'd greatly limit, in that regard, "use X instead of Y." I wouldn't completely eliminate it. Weapon Finesse, for example, makes sense, because as far as the chance of hitting both Str and Dex would normally matter. Str is good as the default (because Dex is more useful in other ways), but at the cost of a feat you can change it to Dex. However, no Dex-to-damage. Dumping Str means you won't hit as hard, period. Other "use X for Y" usually shouldn't be possible, either.

Similarly, lots of people want to nerf casters, focusing on damage output and ignoring the squishiness factor. There is one nerf I'd use, but only the one, which is to make them also much more MAD: Bonus spells would always be Int-based (more Int, you can control/remember more spells), while save DC's would always be Cha based (raw power). Concentration checks would always be Wis-based. The one thing that would depend on the class' "casting stat" would be the stat that has to be at least 10 + the spell level to cast a spell. That, of course, is the absolutely mandatory stat.

Everyone being MAD would mean NPC's would have to be less powerful at any given CR, of course. That's fine. Most monsters could remain as they are and just be given a higher CR. Some might be weakened and keep the same CR.

Some other things I'd do if I could:

1) No PrC's (or at least none that require multiclassing or specific feats for entry). Most PrC's could be remade as archetypes, and the others as new classes.

2) Make dipping worthless (which would allow more class features to start at lower levels). My best idea on how to do this, though some idea may be better, is that if you multiclass, you only get features from the lower level class if it's at least half the level of the higher level class.

3) Shorter feat chains and no "entry feats," notably Combat Expertise, but also Improved Unarmed Strike for some things that aren't Unarmed Strikes; and even Power Attack, which isn't as bad of an "entry feat" because it's certainly a useful feat, is still a prerequisite for too many other feats. However, since I believe in MAD, keep the Int requirements for feats under Combat Expertise, etc..

4) Don't set it up so that some magic items are practically mandatory (you know the ones-- headbands for mental stats, belts for physical, ring of protection, cloak of resistance....) Maybe just raise the price to be very, very high for those items. Again, if that's done, NPC's have to be weaker at a given CR...which could be done.

5) Simply make it clear in the skills section that "No real life human has even 10 ranks in any skill, and most real life humans have at most 5 in their best skills, so if a very high bonus allows superhuman results, that's because it is a superhuman degree of skill." Then add some things, when possible, to aim for with really high skill bonuses. I once saw a thread in which someone discussed this, and for example, a DC 50 Perform skill check might allow a performance so great that even marauding orcs stop to wipe tears from their eyes from the performance's poignance. The note would also help with people who are, as in another thread, bothered by what people can accomplish with really, really high Stealth.

That's enough for now....

UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Yes, but it should be forging that requires going through some levels that actually demonstrate ability to use (increasing) power responsibly out in the field, not just in boot camp. Same for Inquisitor.

I can see that for Paladins more than Inquisitors. Inquisitors require (in my view) less trust than Clerics, precisely because they don't have to adhere to the tenets of the faith as strictly as Clerics do.

There's a whole starting age thing somewhere that distinguishes between Studied, Self-Taught, and Intuitive classes, related to the training the person needed (or didn't need) before he started adventuring. We just should take it that Inquisitors were in the Studied (I could have the name wrong) group, as would be true with Clerics as well.

With Paladins, there's more of a point (though I'd rather see no PrC's, with them all turned into 20 level things-- many through archetypes, but some like Arcane Trickster seem to deserve their own class; nothing is close enough to Archetype from, except maybe through the multiclass archetypes project with "First class: Arcanist, Second class: Rogue"-- using Arcanist because "Trickster" and "Exploits" seem to work together in my mind; I could see Sorcerer for Cha-based casting, as a "Trickster" would usually be Charismatic; Wizard would seem off).

But if Paladins were made a PrC that definitely required no multiclassing or specific feats, but simply, say, 5-7 levels as a Fighter (maybe Rangers could me included, possibly Slayers, but not just any martial), with Lawful Good alignment and the character having shown that he abides by the Paladin's code even without the powers, and maybe 5 levels of Knowledge (religion)...I could accept that.

I definitely dislike PrCs' usually forcing you to multiclass and usually forcing you to take specific feats that you may not want much. If it didn't force either, and at worst made you throw 5 levels into a skill that's sometimes useful anyway and you'd expect a Paladin to have, but otherwise just required showing commitment by being super-Lawful Good, my only problem would be the number of games that never even reach level 10, where the player wanting to play a Paladin would end up having to spend most of his time as something else.

kestral287 wrote:
Oly wrote:

It isn't. I see the point there, about what GG posted. It was a personal attack on the OP, not on GG. Kestral's post was still out of line.

EDIT: I found and read one of the previous threads about the golem. This is all related, so Kestral bringing up what he did wasn't as out of the blue as it seemed. I still don't think it should have been said (why dredge it up in this thread, other than as if to say the OP has no right to post about this campaign at all?), but I'd called it an unrelated thread, and it wasn't really unrelated.

To answer the "why": because this thread was about "what do I do with this money".

Which is an answered question. We know what the OP did with that money, because the other thread tells us. Giving him more advice on what to do with that money is utterly useless, since it's been spent*, hence "late to the party". And yet this thread kept coming back, with more advice on how to spend money that no longer exists.

This is akin to me coming up to you and saying "Hey, I'm free Saturday, wanna hang out?" And we talk about how we should hang out. And then, next Monday, you tell me that we should go see Mad Max last Saturday. Mad Max is a pretty cool movie, but the window of opportunity has passed so it's an irrelevant and useless statement.

Was I snarky about it? Yeah, sure. I love the snark.

Did I insult the OP? Eh. Frankly I don't see it. I wasn't subtle or circumspect in my summary of events so I could see how an insult would be taken, but there was no direct insult. If the two threads weren't related, yeah, I'd see your point, but the other thread is a direct continuation to this one that even begins by linking this one.

*Exactly how much of it was spent is a bit of an open question because Animated Objects are weird, but the OP also loved to reiterate that he "had a plan" for the rest of the money after building the CR15 killbot so I'm rounding up to "most of it".

I have to admit, I overreacted to your post, largely because I didn't realize the relation between the threads (I hadn't read the others on the topic).

You'd have to admit, if the threads were totally unrelated and you had jumped in and said, "Hey, this OP is the guy we flamed for X, so why are we helping him?" that would have been essentially harassment; and I've seen that sort of thing happen on internet BBS's.

While I still think there was a personal element to your post (you hated how the OP had used money that allowed people to overpower their characters to overpower his character, and so you let go on him in this thread, which I don't agree with), it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought when I first jumped into the discussion, as you were also pointing out that it was pointless now to advise him on how to spend the money, as it's been spent-- which was legitimate.

KarlBob wrote:
Did the other thread reveal anything about the key, or why the GM provided the PCs with so much money?

Not that I read (I didn't read it all that closely). It would be interesting if the OP filled us in on that aspect.

The Master Spy PrC sucks for a PC, but for an NPC infiltrator it seems very useful.

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I tend to think it would be a good idea if all PrC's were reworked into either archetypes, alternate classes, or regular classes that could be taken for 20 levels. In the case of Arcane Archer, an archetype might be best, probably a Magus archetype.

PrC's don't work well in PF because the system is set up to discourage multiclassing, but you almost have to multiclass for most PrC's.

So, it should be possible to use the concept as a 20 level single class (probably through an archetype).

CWheezy wrote:

I also know wizards are broken. Saying "Thing Y is more broken, so X isn't broken" does not follow, they are unrelated. This is just another thing on the pile of broken nonsense.

Saying 'Well he s a martial he should have broken things" Doesn't follow either, no one should have broken things

Unless you take the more reasonable view (in my mind) that Wizards aren't broken, and that therefore this use of Stealth isn't broken either.

At high levels, everyone should be doing superhuman things (the high CR monsters do, as well), and most classes, including martials like the barbarian (with buffs, especially) are. Even a buffed fighter is.

They aren't seemingly as superhuman as a wizard (though magic-- even a Light cantrip-- is explicitly superhuman), but a wizard has limited uses per day and is really squishy in return. It's not 100% balanced, but closer than people like to admit. Of course they're superhuman, but so is every decent class-- including decent martial classes at high levels. Anything above about level 8 should be seen as better than any real life human could do, and that's that.

But...there seems to be a really special bias about someone doing great stuff due mostly to skills (often helped by class features and/or buffs). Let a highly skilled Shadowdancer, who sacrificed a lot in other areas, be quick and sneaky. The player decided to go way out of his way to build a super-sneaky character. In return, he can't do spells or even do direct martial damage anything like a barbarian can. It's as legitimate a way to succeed as any other, and none of it is broken.

I'm not saying by definition none of PF can be broken. Some feats clearly are, as are some archetypes. But I don't see any of the classes as such, and I really dislike the view of "OMG, that skill really affects the game! That skill is broken!" No, super-high skills should be awesome.

CWheezy wrote:
Gilfalas wrote:

you shoukd probably reread what helkcat stealth does. The combo of hellcat stealth and shadowdancer allows him to make stealth checks at any time

So, he specialized in Stealth, went PrC to maximize it, and so he's really good at it, at the cost of being worse at other things. That's so bad?

It should be possible to be great at a skill, and have that skill have a very large effect on the game. He went all-in for Stealth, and so he deserves the benefits of it.

Claxon wrote:

Oly, please read the whole conversation (which had really eneded) before you add your comments. I agree with your general position, but it doesn't work for my group because of my players thoughts on how bluff and diplomacy should work.

Using DM fiat to say that the lie isn't reasonable or to say that the creature is too hostile and doesn't listen to diplomacy aren't options with my group. Ergo, I must change the rules for my group.

I realize that the Bluff/Diplomacy part of the conversation had ended, but I still wanted to insert my views.

With Bluff, you can even get around the "lie isn't reasonable" 90% of the time by just using the common sense rule, that a successful Bluff just means the NPC believes you believe what you're saying. It means you can lie but seem to be telling the truth. If it's completely unreasonable, most of the time the NPC would just decide you're crazy (even though he'd believe you believe it).

With Diplomacy, I think the best ruling is that it doesn't hide your intentions. You need Bluff for that. So if you're hostile toward the other party, you must first Bluff them into thinking you aren't, and then you have a shot with Diplomacy even if they're extremely hostile.

Claxon wrote:

Or I could just not use it at all.

Diplomacy and Bluff are already strong enough as is. These are optional rules, I am of the opinion that this options is not one that should be used.

The reason why I am okay with magic is that it uses up limited daily resources and has a save to negate them. You get a chance to defend yourself.

With Diplomacy there is literally no defense. It's strictly a DC 35 to turn a hostile creature indifferent. There is a thread which illustrates how to achieve a +26 to diplomacy at level 1. Which means unless you're actually in combat, at level 1 you can use diplomacy take 10 and shift someone to at least indifferent.

Bluff isn't much better, since the defense is Sense Motive. A largely unused skill. But the problem is how bluff is worded, and there is too much adjudication needed to not get wonky results.

I already didn't like how normal bluff and diplomacy rules worked. This did not make it better. I'm really considering how I would deal with this sort of stuff as a GM, and these are exactly the sort of things that would just make me incredibly frustrated.

The idea of Bluff and Diplomacy being overpowered (Bluff in particular), I don't buy at all...though with Bluff one RAW that can be ignored and one thing not in RAW but that is common sense need to be considered.

Also, when considering the skills, one should keep in mind that depending on who you listen to in terms of the exact level, no real life human ever reaches above somewhere between level 5-8. So someone with 10 ranks in Bluff, 22 Charisma with some headband help, and other magical/racial bonuses is a considerably better liar than any real life human. This is similarly true with Diplomacy. As such, they should manage to do things no real life human could do.

The sometimes ignored RAW with bluff is simply "Some lies are so farfetched it's impossible to convince anyone to believe them." GM's can overuse that rule as well, but Bluff will seem very overpowered if you ignore it.

The common sense part is that a successful Bluff check convinces the person that the person is telling the truth, which is different than that what he is saying is accurate. Suppose I were in real life as good a liar as someone with a 30+ Bluff bonus (far better than any real person is). Then I used it to say the D&D universe is real, and the guy who was rude to you earlier, who seemed to be me, was really a Doppelganger out to discredit me.

If I were that great of a liar, I could get you to believe I wasn't lying, that I believed it, but you also wouldn't believe it was true. You'd believe I was crazy and had horrible delusions. (Now, in the actual D&D universe, that would be a potentially believable-as-true lie of course, so the right Bluff roll and it would be believed; but there are examples that would convince others you believed it, but not that it made it true).

Those caveats, and Bluff isn't overpowered-- especially considering what else can be done at levels 10+.

Diplomacy's natural limitations are also not necessarily seen. One thing it isn't, is that it's not Bluff. If you're bent on obstructing an NPC's goals, or course Diplomacy won't work. A combo of Bluff and Diplomacy might-- Bluff to convince him you're not hostile yourself, and the Diplomacy to change his attitude.

But if you're Hostile, Diplomacy alone won't make someone not be Hostile to you (without Bluff first working to convince the NPC you're not Hostile), because Diplomacy is expressing the truth in the best possible way; it doesn't include lies you may have to tell.

Also, if someone's job is to kill you, or they kill everyone of your race/alignment (if they can discern it) they come across, Diplomacy can't stop that.

Finally, even on success, it's no better than a successful Charm Person: The target won't do for you what they wouldn't do for a trusted friend.

I think it sometimes gets overly limited by some GM's who abuse fiat and don't appreciate that a build to talk one's way out of trouble is a valid build, and would overuse rulings as to when it can or can't work.

But with proper limits, neither of the main social skills is overpowered, as long as one accepts that talking one's way out of trouble can be a good part of the game (and thus doesn't overly limit their use, either).

I'd actually in one way expand Diplomacy beyond RAW, actually: I think the attitude change should be permanent, as long as you don't do anything to betray the target (i.e. if it would allow a new save on a Charm spell, it can lose the Diplomacy attitude improvement)..which might actually require different bonuses for Skill Focus/Rogue's Edge on that skill.

Omnitricks wrote:

I like how most topics about rogues are about how people shouldn't be playing rogues. Rogues are weak, other classes are better skill monkeys than rogues, other classes can get what should be rogue only mechanics like trapfinding and sneak attack, other classes are better rogues than rogues, you get the idea.

So Unchained comes out to make rogues more appealing to people who think rogues are inferior to other classes. One of the new draws is the signature skill unlocks. Everyone goes like "omg what a good idea. But why are they rogue only? Everyone else should get them. FOR FREE!" instead of you know, spending a feat to get one because it will be eating away at their resources.

I wonder if anyone else sees the same problem as I do here.

I generally agree with you, though I think it's okay to give a bit to everyone for free as long as rogues stay as far ahead in the unlocks as Unchained allows.

So, you could give one Skill Unlock to every player (non-rogues get just one skill, or a second one if they take the feat), with the levels being 4/8/12/16 (It's still bad to wait till 15 for the ones that really make a difference; this lowers it a bit to 12), but then you give rogues Rogues' Edge at 3/6/9/12/15/18, as well as counting their skill ranks as 5 higher than they actually are for when they get the various benefits (with the bases for everyone being 4/8/12/16, so rogues would then get the currently default 20th level bonuses at level 11 with their +5 bonus; levels above 11 would just allow them to increase at 12, 15, and 18 how many skills they get this advantage for).

I think it's good for Chekhov's Gun to sometimes be a red herring, even in regular fiction to surprise people, and in PF both for that reason and because if you don't railroad you can't know what circumstances might change (and railroading is awful).

Done right, it could be lots of fun. But there are very few rules, even the mythic rules, that give you much guidance on how to make it work.

I wish you the best of luck though, because if done right it would be lots of fun to play.

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Tcho Tcho wrote:
Ok the balance thing. Please show is a build we can look at and determine how OP it is.

There was a thread, I don't know, two months ago, in which it was all litigated and it was shown that you could have a very good martial with 8 Strength (if Dex to damage exists).

I'm personally much better at theory and logic than concrete examples, and I think the logic is unimpeachable:

1) What is more useful for skills, Str or Dex?


2) What is more useful for combat defense, Str or Dex?


3) What is more useful for Initiative, which is very, very important?

Dex, as the only stat that affects it.

4) What is more useful for saves?

Dex, even if it's kind of by default because Reflex saves aren't that important.

5) So is Str better for anything besides melee offense?

How much you can carry...and that's about it.

6) What happens then if you make Dex the only stat needed for melee offense?

Str is way too easy to dump, or at least not invest any points into improving above 10.

Matthew Downie wrote:

If you're impaled on a sword, it doesn't matter much how strong the person was. Run through is run through.

But it takes Strength to run the sword through a person, even more so to run it through something with DR.

Matthew Downie wrote:
If you hit someone with a battleaxe, strength would help, but so would skill.

Skill, of course. That's BAB. Dexterity isn't a factor, or at most a much, much smaller one than Strength or skill.

I don't only dislike Dex to Damage for realism, of course, but also for balance. Martials dumping Strength (in addition to Charisma, but there's nothing that can be done about Charisma and at least it's realistic that a martial wouldn't need it) and losing almost nothing for doing so, is very unbalanced.

It's also a bad thing that non-spontaneous full arcane casters can dump Strength and Charisma and lose basically nothing. Somewhere upthread I suggested a solution to that, but it would require some major game dynamics changes, more than I'd ever house rule.

Matthew Downie wrote:
Oly wrote:

If you suddenly punch someone and they had no idea it was coming, you usually hurt them a lot more than otherwise. I'd imagine it would be no different with a weapon.

A sneak attack is a case where the person really, really has no idea it's coming, so...extra damage makes sense to me.

In that case you could equally plausibly get some extra damage by surprising your opponent with a sudden precise thrust due to your dextrous fighting style.

Surprise? He sees it coming. If he can use his Dex bonus to AC, thus it's not Sneak Attack qualified, he sees it coming.

And a sudden thrust does a hell of a lot more damage if it has more velocity, which comes through Strength.

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Tcho Tcho wrote:
Dex fighting is an other fighting style then strength fighting. If you only come up with examples of heavy weights knocking each other on the head then no, a dex based fighter isn't as good in that. But it you look at the WC fencing you'll won't see any beefcakes. The dex fighting is all about stabbing the right spot and you don't have to hit that hard to pierce the skin. The rest of the damage is based on hitting the right spot, like a kidney.

That's called a "critical hit" and is a separate mechanic.

Tcho Tcho wrote:

Having been in several kickboxing matches (ok its not mma but close enough) I think I could punch a lot harder than the average fencer but would no way deal more damage with a rapier.

Just to be sure: Do you really think your mma guy Melvin Mannhoef would deal more damage with a rapier than
fencer Nikolai Novosjolov?

A fencer has Weapon Focus (Rapier) and Weapon Specialization (Rapier), while an MMA fighter (or a kickboxer or a boxer) is more like a Brawler and isn't even proficient with a Rapier. Also, in general fencing cannot be compared because it's about touches. Dex for touch attacks makes total sense, but that's not what we're talking about.

If fencing were to the death with truly sharp swords, which for good reason we'd never allow, stronger fencers would prevail because they'd be able to do a hell of a lot more damage per hit, as long as they had the proficiency and the weapon focus/specialization.

Matthew Downie wrote:
Do the people who object to dex-to-damage on realism grounds feel the same about sneak damage?

I don't have a problem with sneak attack damage. In fact, that's the sort of way that people who want to fight using Dex as their main stat should have to fight.

While Rogues are very underpowered, I like the way they're supposed to work. If the other guy is stronger than you and no less skilled, you sneak around and fight dirty to beat them, which is what sneak attacks represent.

If you suddenly punch someone and they had no idea it was coming, you usually hurt them a lot more than otherwise. I'd imagine it would be no different with a weapon.

A sneak attack is a case where the person really, really has no idea it's coming, so...extra damage makes sense to me.

Matthew Downie wrote:

Which, unfortunately, is a level of nuance the rules can't really handle.
We basically have to assume for Armor Class rules to make any sense that there are weak points in the big guy's plate mail that the dextrous guy with the rapier can get through on a high roll. Otherwise he'd be doing no damage at all.

Getting through isn't damage. It's to hit, which can already (with my blessing) be made a Dex function through the WF feat.

How much damage you deal once you get through, outside of critical hits, is all Strength in real combat, or anytime you don't have Dex to Damage, which should never exist.

Magda Luckbender wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Big tough guy who's a little slow, versus a lightly-built skilled fencer with a very sharp sword? Big tough guy is probably dead within 6 seconds.

If they're both unarmored, and there's lots of room to move around, the agile guy with the weapon will likely win.

If they fight in close quarters, and both have as much armor as desired, the big tough guy will win every time.

It's all about context.

And btw, the chance for the agile guy to win if both are unarmored is already represented if the agile guy has WF.

Then it's Dex to hit as well as to avoid hits for him. He'll hit more often, while the strong guy will hit harder.

The strong guy only triumphs even with the agile guy having WF once they're both wearing the best armor they can carry.

Tcho Tcho wrote:
About the MMA weight classes, they are about unarmed combat. Quick instead of strong works better for things like rapiers.

No, it doesn't, not in terms of damage. That's based on how much velocity you can put into the slashing, stabbing, or bludgeoning strike, which the stronger person can always do.

There's a case to be made that Dex should affect "to hit" by default. While I'm fine with the Weapon Finesse feat, I think the default should be Str for "to hit" in melee.

The reason is, I've played game systems where Dex was "to hit" (and also avoiding being hit) while Str was damage, and Dex was far more valued than Str. So, if you want Dex "to hit" it's more or less okay with me, but you should have to spend the one feat (though negative modifiers from either should penalize the striker).

But how can Dex cause damage, as opposed to helping you hit? The only way it possibly could would be precision, represented by Critical Hits. Letting Dex add to the chance of a critical threat would be OP, but letting it aid the confirmation roll would be reasonable-- about the only way it causing damage should be allowable.

BadBird wrote:
Oly wrote:
Not only is Dex good for many more things than Str is, but I also care about combat being as realistic as possible.
This is not a realistic system. This is an abstract system. If you have problems with dex-to-damage on some kind of principle, then you should also have problems with the fact that a 20STR/3DEX creature has an easier time connecting with an attack than a 19STR/19DEX one.

That's a reasonable criticism. Because part of hitting is penetration, Str being important to hit makes sense (while allowing it to become Dex with Weapon Finesse, which I'm all for, just not Dex to damage).

I guess that ideally any negative modifiers from Str or Dex would apply to hit, and using WF or not would simply determine which stat gives you positive To Hit modifiers.

If that were done, 20 STR/3 DEX would hit much less often than 19 STR/19 DEX.

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