Philippe Lam's page

***** Venture-Agent, France—Paris 360 posts (366 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 49 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.


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Grand Lodge

baggageboy wrote:
pfsrd for Unhindering Shield, emphasis added wrote:
Benefit(s): You still gain a buckler’s bonus to AC even if you use your shield hand for some other purpose. When you wield a buckler, your shield hand is considered free for the purposes of casting spells, wielding weapons, and using any other abilities that require you to have a free hand or interact with your shield, such as the swashbuckler’s precise strike deed or the Weapon Finesse feat.
The way I read that is it's free for wielding weapons. So you can two weapon fight while benefiting or fight with a two handed weapon just fine. Both of which you can do already, you would just lose the benefit of the buckler and take attack penalties. This feat overwrites that.

https://aonprd.com/FeatDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Unhindering%20Shield

The feat is banned from PFS in its entirety because of its text.

Grand Lodge

Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Philippe Lam wrote:
Possible reasoning for the Shield Brace nerf : They wanted to avoid the " I fight two-handed and I still have a shield " as best as possible, so the only known avenue would be (at least for me) is being an alchemist with the Vestigial Arm.

Polymorph spells.

Starting with Alter Self you can pick up 4+ hands. Monstrous Physique adds in some pretty substantial bonuses and special abilities if you follow that path. Mostly only works for STR based magus and melee wizards, but can be quite powerful.

I made the assumption based on a zero-buff situation because fights can happen everywhere and minutes/level spells won't cover every situation unless taking the risk to spend several of these. Illusion spells are great to try pushing the group to waste lots of resources.

Magda Luckbender wrote:


Also I have a strong bias towards lower level (6 and under) Pathfinder play. Reach tactics are very strong at 1st level but becomes a rounding error by 12th level. So if high level play is your thing maybe don't bother with reach tactics.

** spoiler omitted **...

I get the idea, but as I often play 12+ content, can't ofc have the same reasoning. Reach tactics work very well when the party can wait the opponents, not when currently has to storm a castle. For proper battlefield control, there's the need to currently be able to force the opponent into focusing on the character. But it works less and less at higher levels.

I teamed with reach characters from time to time, they pull a lot of weight. Depends a lot on personal experiences, but I often felt it was more rewarding to be proactive rather than doing the waiting game, meaning showing the player will pester the NPCs until the point they have no choice but to pay attention.

@baggageboy : Unhindering Shield follows a similar logic to Shield Brace so that outside of spells or class features, no two-handling with shield.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

That kind of mindset is perfect for a home game (either AP/homebrew/PFS) as there's no pressure to currently "win" hence the experience is more enjoyable. But in a convention it's a lot more difficult, even worse for a special because the setup makes it hard to keep the same mindset (I certainly have a hard time to, or even can't).

That reminds me that I need to not overthink it when I'll play it next week in England, healthier like that (If I start to feel too competitive, drinking a coffee).

Grand Lodge

Targutai Minyatur wrote:


Elf wizard transmutation (opossed schools illusion and enchantment)
Str 10 (Dont want to dum str cause i fear str drain creatures)
Dex 17(+1 enchantment transmutation school)
Con 14
Int 18
Cha 7

I calculate the point buy :

12 to 16 dex (not counting the +1 from the school) :
(12 to 13, 1 point - 13 to 14, 1 - 14 to 15, 1 - 15 to 16, 2) - 5 points spent

It's an elf so starting penalty to con :
8 to 14 :
(8 to 9, 1 point - 9 to 10, 1 - 10 to 11, 1 - 11 to 12, 2 - 12 to 13, 2 - 13 to 14, 3) - 10 points spent

12 to 18 int
(12 to 13, 1 point - 13 to 14, 1 - 14 to 15, 1 - 15 to 16, 2 - 16 to 17, 2 - 17 to 18, 3) - 10 points spent

10 to 7 cha :
(10 to 9, +1 point - 9 to 8, +1 - 8 to 7, +2) - +4 points in total

Depends on the wisdom then as it's not written. For a home game, that wouldn't make a huge different but for PFS, thre's a strict limit on 20-point buy, calculating a 21 so your array exceeds a little bit and you have to rebalance the ability scores.

Grand Lodge

Grabbing as many will save bonuses as needed much earlier than level 15, because chances aren't small that otherwise, you won't be able to play your game due to constant debuffing/ability damage/etc. It's good to play on strengths, but not without covering weaknesses at the same time.

In that aspect that's why the 10 starting wisdom is a difficult look to me as the class has no ways to buff it properly. Also, 12 con and no Toughness, it's doable but the lack of HP will clearly hurt.

Outside of my own mindset though, how you project the character sounds pretty logic.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

Not directly about the topic but might impact in the later run : Is there a planning about more rule/mechanics/etc content or not yet ?

Worried also about the starting number of scenarios right after Gencon as I feel a start in a new system should have a stronger cadre, but if it's not possible, no problems. I'll still test a fair amount of that.

Grand Lodge

Possible reasoning for the Shield Brace nerf : They wanted to avoid the " I fight two-handed and I still have a shield " as best as possible, so the only known avenue would be (at least for me) is being an alchemist with the Vestigial Arm.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

They never errated since, so they kept (and keep as for now) that rule. It still makes sense because in a timeline standpoint, would it be possible to go far far away for another set of duties when the Decemvirate could be completely wiped out in a couple of days (or even hours) ?

Even if in effect, it is true that could be mechanically relaxed, but I think not without a cost (like the All for Immortality trilogy where a no show can negatively effect the quest)

Grand Lodge

Like I say as a player or a GM, " Never split the party " *eyes rolling*

Grand Lodge

A clear answer and/or official response will probably never come given their current schedule, so Table Variation (capital letters on purpose) is the only plausible response that can be given, unless there's somewhere a Paizo staffer who gave inpt.

Grand Lodge

Open the possibility of conflict which can be winnable, but you can imply this won't come without a cost so that's on their best interest to bide their time to get the right opportunity to guacamole targets (preferably without witnesses)

Grand Lodge

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The damage bonuses will very often be more important than the damage dices, the only exception I know (if others could add more examples) are the Vital Strike-centered concepts.

As for your question, the -2 penalty would apply because even if the maul axe would then be considered a "one-handed weapon", it will still be regarded as inappropriately-sized. And on average the extra damage won't compensate for the lower attack rolls.

Grand Lodge

The funniest part of the feat disclaimer :

" When there's ongoing spells with short durations, the NPC may GTFO the attempt "

Grand Lodge

Why should the remainder of the party adapts to a rogue, instead of the character trying what they could to figure it out self ? Teamwork is no given. To that to work, one has to prove to be able to pull the worth alone if needed. And then only if the player can't despite good efforts, then the others take the risk.

Teamwork is out of the question in theorycrafting most of the times, because of doing so alone, and not with a group. Now someone can take the risk to do so but with the risk of being far less efficient if the others' goals don't match.

Grand Lodge

I would use a +3 scythe instead of a +1 Unholy. If you have trouble hitting, it serves lesser purpose to have a bigger starting damage (and 2d6 is likely to do). Straight enhancement is clearly less spectacular, but if the weapon hits more reliably, then you can add specific weapon properties. At that level it might start to be difficult if you have only +9 to hit while using Power Attack.

I might in that aspect prioritize Weapon Focus over Smiting Reversal, also because it's a permanent buff (while the latter is brute but more situational)

Grand Lodge

Blind-Fight should be taken much earlier because unfavourable fighting conditions can possibly occur since level 1, and not having any blindsense/blindsight/tremorsense/etc to fight it off can be crippling. Sometimes it won't involve just darkvision, and as such the 60ft. of it will be of no use. There will be the need to be able do see even in deeper darkness.

Better initiative bonus could possibly be a plus because a decent number of fights won't last long, either way. Nothing else that immediately stands out for me (checking that today), the remainder is up to you.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

Unless there's specific provisos prohibiting to select these as a GM or a combo of others (cf Bid for Alabastrine). There's nothing inside the PDFs of the scenarios forbidding you to do so, you're good to go !

Grand Lodge

If a player wants to make sure the familiar doesn't die, it shouldn't actively play or even be in the map, so hidden in a satchel.

Bodyguard is assuming it is active so targeting is fair game and won't always involve Armor Class. So it's not the only way defences should be upped. But at the very least it requires the PC to have a big constitution or to retrain the hit point levels

Grand Lodge

Not impossible but there's the need to use the good approach and the good arguments. I would suppose that, given there's enough tact given, that it's on the interests of everybody that stopping the fight is the best course. Now not every NPC will be sensitive to that arguments, but there's trying anyway.

Call Truce has disclaimers for players wanting to use it as a foolproof, there's cases when it won't work, and it is still at the GM's discretion, though again, if it does sound reasonable, it shouldn't be disallowed.

Grand Lodge

As a rule of thumb, the general reading superseded any slightly misguided interpretation of a single word (attempt in that case). On the overrun text, what attempts means shouldn't be opened to any discussion. Haven't saw a single GM interpreting your way.

Grand Lodge

Anvil Mithrashield wrote:


My issue with this is not can you get to the other side, my issue is what mitigation is available for a character on the damage? Does everyone need to play a character with evasion to not take damage from this? I'm the GM in my campaign - not the player - seems unbalanced.

Special Attacks trample (2d8+18, DC 29) for example

It's like every effect allowing a save for half, comparison with a Fireball is apt. The two effects need evasion to potentially take nothing, or take an AoO. The DC is difficult to reach sometimes, but the damage is not always backbreaking.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

Given one of the goals of the Society, there should be the opportunity, true ! They would need to depict the amount of earned GP NPC by NPC, in an absolute wouldn't be that difficult to calculate the percentages during an encounter.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

Partial rewards are the rarity and usually happen in noncombat situations. During combats, the norm is the all or nothing.

Grand Lodge

If someone asked a question about the topic, it would be a plausible cause for a necroposting. Giving an opinion nine years later though is more problematic because it invites questions about the off-timing. It's still probably relevant, but because of that, that's weird.

Grand Lodge

Cavall wrote:

I rather think it's good roleplay to say what you feel is honorable combat or not, instead of following the minimum peices of flair.

I would talk with the player, but avoid conflict like name calling. It's a more reasonable solution. Just a game after all.

Same thing that Derklord is saying.

Too many players are being insensitive with their own paladins to the point that roleplay tramples the other players. " That's what it should be done " is heard way too often when it should rather be " I won't yell orders to you, but I clearly won't help if you do bad. "

Grand Lodge

Unless the whole group is stealthy, counting on surprise rounds sounds not plausible because of the "cling cling" hulk, it's more on the group than on the GM.

For a Trap detecting specialist, I would say Trap Spotter is almost mandatory. You need to get it automatically done, otherwise unless not caring about these or being skilled enough to avoid 90 percent of these in triggering them on purpose, it takes a sluggish amount of time.

Outside of that I would take the combat trick to get the first TWF feat (if you want to immediately TWF, and not waiting some levels), but it's up to you as there's no real bad choice, that's the advantage of being a toolbox.

Grand Lodge

That said, a paladin trying to push the whole group into own belief instead of going with what is best for the group is what currently makes disservice to the class and makes it poorly received in lots of games.

There's a compromise to reach, if the others shouldn't provoke the paladin on purpose, the latter is true also.

Grand Lodge

TheGreatWot wrote:
No crazy reliance on items... are you sure that you're playing the right game?

A more detailed version of that : Lots of features need items to get upgrades. These won't suffice by themselves. At a same level, an unstuffed character and a stuffed one and the difference is glaring. The only ones who can sidestep that requirement are classes and archetypes with big freebies.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

CorvusMask wrote:
Dude has lot of popularity :p

That's not the problem. There's market for him and with good reason. My problem is he went solo even if technically never left the Society. Sure he had his own group but it's far from teamwork as a concept in a bigger scale.

Wouldn't have been that difficult to portray him as continuing the side of the Shadow Lodge which cared about Pathfinders where the "old" Decemvirate couldn't care less. Comparing to that others previously spoke about Varian Jeggare, I would have no objections at all about him.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

Fola Barun makes sense as a faction head, but seeing Eando Kline coming back after years of "desertion" ("" are put on purpose), lore-wise it makes sense to make him come back because the organization changes for the better, but it doesn't mean he's the right fit to become a figurehead/important character.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

The Society should be more the World Trade Organization than the United Nations. The push towards being more good-aligned is too apparent. It was clear that some corrections inside the Society were long overdue but they should have been more diffuse.

We can't exclude shadier aspects because some players are not playing/crating these responsibly. I started playing PFS knowing it's grey, not crystal clear. For each Ollysta Zadrian, there's a Stavian III, the organization is also political, it does not only act as a "police".

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

I could try to set one of these up online, but depends on whether the VTTs fancy you or not really !

Grand Lodge

I am a PFS player and GM, but it's not difficult to adapt to the needs of a home game. Lots use PFS a cadre but feel free to use your own. What's great in home games is you can make sure the setup fits the need, rather than more strictly being bound by RAW first. (Even inside PFS, it can make more sense to prioritize the RAI in the case the specific point is that badly written)

Grand Lodge

Anvil Mithrashield wrote:
I've been Game Mastering for 30 years, I've taught English in foreign countries. And if a GM told me this doesn't synergize I'd immediately leave his table.

You would leave a lot of tables. It is proof that nobody is unanimous about that. IT's a grey zone which would allow for table variation at best.

Grand Lodge

Anvil Mithrashield wrote:
TheGreatWot wrote:
Welcome to today's episode of "Why Vital Strike Sucks".
I have to disagree and this build is evidence how OP Vital Strike can be

PFS won't go until 20th level except for one specific chain of modules. It would be more instructing to see how it looks like at seeker level, cf level 12 (irrespective of budget/class/etc), or how the concept progresses from when Vital Strike starts to be available so level 6/8. It could work better in a home game even in PFS-style.

Powerful with the right setup, but the efficiency possibly drops off past a point, or needs a lot of investment to maintain than increasing mobility to raise the chances to do a full-round, because of a couple of reasons :

- While lots of opponents will give opportunity to use Vital Strike at the better possible, others negate or will force the character to fight outside of their best game. It's good as a side attack style, not as a main. Each thing will have usefulnesses anyway.

- The buffing time isn't always allowed in every sequence so numbers would already be slightly deflated. There's the need to show the basic numbers, not the best.

- This multiclassing weakens the concept rather than strengthening it. A solo-classed vanilla fighter or barbarian would yield lesser results at the end, but are far easier to start. Another side note against that would be the very low reflex and will saves. Level 20 is reaching rocket matches, and any weakness is paid immediately in fireballs and dominates.

- To have a better chance to use the concept, having a good initiative and mobility could be important. It's even better with the ability to boost the move speed (boots of speed and fleet, although it's harder to use the latter).

Now it's only my point of view, but I do think a bit about a Vital-Strike adept character, just that I think it should be better balanced.

Grand Lodge

I don't think a double weapon fits into Vital Strike use. Outside of the feat fitting into Gorum's Fighting Style (it is specifically called out), I don't know anything else.

If the base rules or a Paizo book specifically says Vital Strike can be used with dual-end weapons, I'll not be unhappy to stand corrected as I might profit from that myself.

Grand Lodge

For the purposes of Vital Strike, it's a single attack, full-stop. The character still can't get both ends of the weapon. Hero Lab is known to make some things wrong, and that is no exception.

Grand Lodge

Passive/Defensive tanking works well at lower levels because that doesn't need a lot of resources to make it efficient, and a better percentage of the setups which suits these kind of characters better, or that not being aggressive is nowhere as punishing to the group.

But the bigger the scenario is, the less likely defence-first will be successful, or on a lesser extent. There's a few abilities/items/etc which are useful and inexpensive, but outside of that costs will skyrocket, leaving less room for offence balance. It could work but that requires lots of preparations. NPCs will start to counter these builds more easily than before, then forcing them into the character's game is a taller order, either they will often be outsizing, outreaching, more broadly out-controlling the controller.

Sometimes a player has to go counter to the basic premise of the concept to make it work. One has to analyze when defence works, or when a more proactive stance will pay off. Sticking to one gun exposes to more negation. Depends also heavily on the setup of the battlefield. Open space ? 50/50. Siege defence ? Likely favourable. Storming the castle ? Improbable. Small corridors ? Wouldn't bet on it.

Players should align themselves on supposing fights won't accomodate them, rather than expecting they will (so disagreeing with rorek55 in that aspect). Sometimes characters will be fine, other times they will start with a debuff. In the latter case, it's a better bet to try finish ASAP in order to suffer less hits.

As a GM and as a player, sometimes if I see less armored opponents, I might target these first if it's on my best interest within reasonable guidelines. Even spellcasters should have good all-around protection, and that includes armor class. If not, no point on complaining. And then if the melee does not show a good level of threat, the GM doesn't have to always accomodate.

Fun is not above facts, and opposite. Again, opposing rorek55's POV.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

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For the purposes of Organized Play, it's more Rule of Law.

More seriously, it's better for a player to align self with the more restrictive reading than with the generous one.

Grand Lodge

Strictly speaking of the cleric class, I would say Crusader. Losing one domain and spell slots is a sore, but it gives extra feats (a more martial character really needs these), and the character would still get access to full spell progress. Battle Oracle would be a nice alternate, but saves are a notch lower

Grand Lodge

We see the value of something when facing less-than-ideal conditions, not when it is tailor-made for the concept. Fighting through denial is a big part of the game, should the players like it or not. Especially at higher levels.

Grand Lodge

Agénor wrote:
Philippe Lam wrote:
Since when a debate is reduced to who's right and who's wrong ?
Since Sophocles and Aristotle, I fear. Schopenhauer didn't improve things either.

Although some there are in a Cicero-style level of combativeness, forgetting that usefulness is the key notion, not kerfuffling. I had fun some time ago doing that but there's better things to do.

Grand Lodge

Since when a debate is reduced to who's right and who's wrong ?

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

Most of the Tien-affiliated races (which the Kitsune is) are fine, but Gnolls aren't.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

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Even the faintest emanation from the Shadow Lodge/Grandmaster Torch is already a red flag to me. I hope that Fola Barun doesn't go the " I absolutely do not care about the consequences " route.

Grand Lodge

KahnyaGnorc wrote:

I like the randomness of rolling. It is just the issue of one player rolling great and another rolling poorly that I dislike.

For me, role-playing versus "roll-playing" doesn't enter into it.

Seems lots of players haven't gotten the memo yet. Instead of respecting the differing point of views, they're smugly sneering at. At least your approach is better even if I still disagree.

Grand Lodge

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Still opposing Roleplayers and minmaxers is perpetuating the stormwind fallacy. I wonder when it will stop, if ever.

Point-buy allows for everyone to start equal, and then the players decide whereas rolling makes the players being shoehorned in things not always convenient. It's not always making service to the RP, on the contrary. Being "inventive" for the sake of being "inventive" ? Also min-maxing exists since systems have been published, it's not really new.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

" Now, that is advancing the conversation fruitfully. "

I would restrain the use of self-validation one-liners. It also makes a disservice to the argument. As long there's no understanding whether the how is as important as the why, that won't advance.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

Nothing suspicious there, it's pretty apparent from the outside

Grand Lodge

Given the features of respectively Dragon Disciple and Eldritch Knight, the latter don't bring enough to justify the inclusion in the concept. The last levels of DD would give better features, while there would be nothing to lose putting the remaining levels on Sorcerer. It would mean less hp, but better will saves, and more spell slots/levels.

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