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FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht 1,349 posts (2,493 including aliases). 101 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 27 Organized Play characters. 9 aliases.


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**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

Random question, not a complaint: why are so many Season 10 scenarios listed as unknown authors?

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

I call shotgun!

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

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My players just fed a bunch of laxatives to a giant frilled lizard because it ate a MacGuffin and they didn't want to kill it.

GM: "So there's a giant heap of dung, with the thing somewhere inside."
Player: "I Create Water until it's clean."
Player 2: "I Presto it so it smells like strawberries."
GM: "But the memory of where it was still remains."
GM: "Fun fact, this thing is on your chronicle sheet. If you buy it, you might have to explain where it came from."
Player 2: "It's a very long, boring, and uninteresting story."
GM: "Meanwhile, the lizard is still curled up in a ball on the ground, clutching its stomach."

Also, a player dipped a level into Oracle and got a permanent negative level, so their caster level was 0. Most of her spells were useless. Aforementioned Create Water created 0 gallons of water, Comprehend Languages had a duration of 0 minutes, Cure Light cured 1d8 hit points, and so on.

I really like the Bramble Brewer Alchemist. Half-Elf only. The Dendrite Mutagen swaps the AC and stat bonuses (+4 to AC, +2 to a stat), making you incredibly tanky, and gives fast healing in bright light. I mean, it's not much, but it's very cool, and eliminates the need for healing out of combat (as long as you're outside, of course).
The Briar Bombs are cool, but arguably become worse the more you level up, as the splash range will be insane once you hit level 7 or so. At first it's a cute patch of difficult terrain, but by then you'll cover entire rooms with it, including your allies' spaces. Great for when you don't want the enemy advancing on you, but in close combat it'll become quite a nuisance.

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

Dustin Knight wrote:

When I played the GM explained that since we made the Diplomacy check on day 3, we lost the ability to make further explorations. He even cut off the "lake" part of the scenario, which makes no sense to me as the cache of treasure you can discover should still be there even if the rats evacuate.

That sounds like nonsense. Sure, you might lose the opportunity to socialise with a lot of people, but there's plenty of checks to be made by just looking around. As you said, lots of things will still be lying around afterwards. And if you manage to get them to evacuate that quickly, as a GM, I would say it still takes time, so you'd have few days to get more info.

I ran this yesterday and I misinterpreted the part where you can only make one check per person per day (I read it, and promptly forgot about it), and I was wondering why there was all this fuss about with time pressure, while I basically gave my players a tour of everything and they made the checks. I sort of guessed most checks would take 5 minutes, maybe some 15-30.

Also, the checks are ridiculously low. Okay, I had two INT-based characters and a Sage familiar who literally couldn't fail the checks. DC 19 is laughably low. I get that you want everyone to be able to make some checks, but making some trained-only shuts that down for a lot of people already. But even without that problem, you're still in an awkward situation: you want as many people to be able to participate, but make it a challenge anyway. So anyone with 2 skill points per level barely has anything useful to contribute anyway.
But back to the low DC thing: DC 17 or 19. Anyone with INT 10 who has put max ranks in that particular skill has a 70% chance of making that check. There's no difficulty in that. Make it properly low, so people can get it either through luck or cooperation. There's time enough anyway. You have 14 days, and at least 14 successes required. A party of 4 splitting into two groups, each trying one skill and aiding another will still net you two points per day, on average. Hell, a person with 10 INT and one rank in the requested skill has a 30% chance of making it in one try (assuming it's a class skill). Anyone with at least a moderate investment will almost certainly get the DC on their first try (relevant stat at 12, 3 skill ranks at level 7 already has a 55% chance). And that's with pretty much minimal investment. Only if you're in a party of absolute idiots (INT 7 across the board, barely any skill ranks per level, or not in the appropriate skill) will you fail those checks.

On a more constructive note, a question: How are you supposed to divide the tasks? Let players pick a district first, then tell them the choices in each district, or put everything "on the table" straight away and tell them you'll need skills A, B and C in district 1, D, E and F in district 2, and so on? Since the scenario specifically states travelling from district to district barely takes any time, I guess players can go sightsee everything and basically cherry-pick until they've found a skill they're good at and try that.

I asked a similar question a while ago (for Pathfinder), but didn't get a conclusive answer, either. Since it's not directly Starfinder-related (and thus action economy might be different), I'll put it in spoilers so people can ignore it if they want.

My question:
My question was about the Slayer's Studied Target. It starts out as a move action, but turns into a swift later on. The Lenses of Predator's Gaze up your Slayer level by 5. Say I'm level 4. Using the item makes me level 9. Does that allow me to use it faster? There were two trains of thought in that topic:
- Yes, because you declare the action, then see what that falls under (standard, move, swift). In this case, "I use Studied Target with my Lenses, which would be a move action, but my Lenses make it a swift."
- No, because you have to spend the action first to get the effect. In this case, "I use my move action to Study Target."
- And a subtrain of that, which said your action is "refunded": "I use my move action to Study Target, which becomes a swift instead."

Anyway, that whole deal never got anywhere, and I didn't get an official answer. The only useful reply was, "varies per GM."

I personally believe the more negative interpretation works for the player. In this case, declare actions beforehand. "I want to do A, B, and C. I'll use my swift for A, move for B, standard for C," and then the magic actually happens. But I certainly see the opposite being true.

Usually, unless declared otherwise by the powers that be, the least favourable interpretation is true.

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Besmara? Goddess of sea monsters and the like?

I guess the fact that demons are ugly and celestials are pretty (or at least, not-ugly) is due to how we see good and evil. We associate demons with ugliness and angels with beauty and grace. And that probably filters through in the art description. I'm sure a theoretically ugly celestial could exist, but wouldn't appeal as much as a pretty one would.

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

Nope, it's:

From Shore to Sea.

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

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In a module:
Party is fighting in a room with an orrery (despite the scenario insisting it's an armillary), and the party is hit with a Confusion. The orrery keeps spinning around and hits one of the party members.

GM: "So the orrery is spinning wildly while you're fighting, and suddenly Akiton crashes into <player's> location..." *Makes an attack roll.* Nat 1. Akiton crashes into the location, but <player> manages to avoid it, and Akiton keeps spinning on."
Player: "That was an attack roll, right? So it's technically an aggressor?"
GM: "Er, yes, I suppose so."
Player: "Well, then I'm confusion-locked with it. I attack Akiton."

So yeah, Akiton attacked a player and missed. I tried making a Mars Attacks joke, but couldn't come up with one.

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

roysier wrote:

The issue is no one is ever going to be happy. The Arachnid warning is used when exactly? I have a player in my region who gets creeped out by any picture that kinda looks like a spider. I don't think he'll be happy when there is no arachnid warning for a kinda looks like a spider picture.

I have several friends who died form alchohol related incidents. I don't like being reminded of alcohol but I can deal with it. Can we get a alcohol/Bar tag?

I mean where would you draw a line and make eveyone happy? You can't.

Ho do people with extreme triggers watch TV or movies? Are there really arachnid warnings avalialbe on the internet somewhere?

I mean, we have a ratings system for movies and games (PEGI, ESRB), with individual icons/descriptions for each piece of media. Adopting that would help, at least.

As for "where to draw the line," yeah, that's a tricky one. As you said, we can't make everyone happy, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try. The system isn't perfect, and cases like your friend getting scared by something "spidery enough, but technically not a spider" might happen. But with user-input, that will (hopefully) only happen once, as the system is self-correcting: users will go online and tag those scenarios, so future surprises won't happen again. That is, if everyone does the same, of course.

Sara Marie made a good point that can in theory be reverse-engineered. Her suggestion deals mainly with inclusivity of people, but could technically go for phobias as well: if people are really dedicated to avoiding such themes, if such a thing were such a deal-breaker, if a scenario pings on such a tag, people can avoid those scenarios as well. In that case, the tag would basically have the effect of a filter. That might need to be considered.

As Thurston said, I'm not qualified to make decisions about this, I just hope to be able to facilitate the debate.

Thurston Hillman wrote:
As with a lot of community initiated ideas, I think this has a lot of positive impact. I just see it being taxing on resources that are already notably taxed in several different ways.

I understand, Thurston. It not perfect system. At the very least, thank you for taking your time reading (and considering) this! <3

GM Woran wrote:

I think working in a profession where on average 10% is female does expose me to a higher then average amount of 'brown' humor.

Luckily all my male co-workers except three of them dont have kids yet, otherwise Id probably die from dad-joke exposure.

I have to up my game, I see. I'll inform James.

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

My first (and only) Startfinder Society GM experience was Fugitive on the Red Planet, with a playtest Witchwarper in the party. It kinda messed up the final combat.

GM: "It's the bad guy's turn. He seems to be escaping in the mine cart."
Witchwarper: I transpose a different reality onto the train tracks, making it difficult terrain. I basically summon rocky terrain onto it."
GM: "Okay, so the baddy gets jostled about. I'll roll a d20. If I roll high enough, he stays in the trolley." *Rolls high.* "The cart is definitely slowed and is teetering heavily, but still going."
Witchwarper: "Okay, then I do it again in my next turn."
GM: *Rolls again, this time low.* "So the baddy falls out of the cart. As a move action, he gets up again, and with his second move, he books it."
Players: "No worries, he's still within range of us."
GM: *Sigh.*

I mean, it was a very cinematic moment, but also kinda anticlimactic. And during a previous fight, the Vanguard had two gunners under lockdown with his reach and pseudo-Combat Reflexes. That fight went nowhere fast.

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

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True, very true. At some point, you'll have to draw a line. And while it sucks to exclude certain groups, I feel like getting a community poll to see the top X most common phobias/triggers is a good idea. See, the problem isn't being confronted with the trigger, but having the option to opt out. Some people can deal with their triggers if they're forewarned, but when they're surprised by it, it can overwhelm them. In that case, asking before every single scenario, "hey is there thing X in here," is a lot more hassle than seeing the tag and deciding whether you're up for it or not.

And yeah, having a number of tags, but not others sucks. I'm wondering if the pros of having a lot of tags spelled out outweighs the anger or disappointment of those with triggers that aren't featured feeling left out or marginalised. And there probably isn't one true answer.

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

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Hey all,

I had a talk with someone from my lodge about traumas and how it can affect you. I then made the link to Society adventures, where there's a chance you can run into these things without warning. In my lodge, which is quite small (+/- 15-20 people, ish?), there are several people with certain phobias and histories of mental problems, and I can imagine them being confronted with their specific triggers without warning will lead to a bad time.

Pathfinder 1 is nearing the end of its lifespan, but Starfinder is thriving, and Pathfinder 2 is practically around the corner. I think the addition of trigger warning tags in the scenario and in the blurb would be a big help for those who want to avoid certain themes. Starfinder already has tags for spaceship battles and factions, I think this would be a relatively easy addition.

What sort of tags should be included? I'm not sure there should be a definitive list authors should avoid or reference, but there are at least some common themes that could be helpful to know beforehand:
- Arachnophobia
- Horror (physical, mental, body horror, gore, and so on)
- Abuse (mental, physical, and so on)
- Rape (luckily, Society tends to shy away from this, which is a good thing)
- Suicide
- Blasphemy
- Gender/body identity

And possibly many more. Again, this isn't (and shouldn't be) the be-all-end-all list of things authors should shy away from or at the very least mention beforehand, but if an author thinks, "hmm, this might be offensive/problematic for some people," at least make it known. Also, there isn't anything wrong with trying to be inclusive, or being mindful of small groups of minorities. When it comes to phobias and triggers, there is no pandering. I remember people being offended by certain scenarios in Kaer Maga for featuring Miss Feathers, or the nonbinary NPC in a season 9 adventure. I also remember the time I ran The Traitor's Lodge, where the mood went from "regular light-hearted adventure" to "oh s+%! this is messed up" in 15 minutes. Luckily no one was triggered, but I can imagine the scenario needing some redacting if young children are present. And similarly, arachnophobia is a real thing. There are lots of scenarios that have the odd spider. Using realistic minis would be problematic, and someone in my lodge already gets triggered when webs are mentioned. Reflavouring the spiders to say, scorpions might be okay, but it's even better if that weren't necessary.
I can go on with all sorts of stories, but the message is clear: people struggle with things authors might not even realise, and having a list of potential trigger warnings might be a good thing for both the authors and the audience. And ideally, that list is constantly moderated, so that it stays up-to-date and isn't influenced by troll suggestions (where the line between those two should lie isn't for me to decide, but I can imagine this being troll-sensitive)

All I'm trying to say is, Paizo is trying really hard lately to be inclusive. I applaud that. This is a similar simple method of catering to your player base that will increase goodwill towards the company.

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

My Grippli Shaman was really tempted, but I didn't have the heart (pun unintended). I always played him as a person who wants to take care of his tribe. When the whole world was threatened, he was shaking in his little boots. Should I taste corrupting power and sacrifice myself for the greater good, or risk it and believe in my own powers?

In the end, I decided not to do it. He might have been out of his depth, but but he's wise enough to know better. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Our morally grey Alchemist, on the other hand... He was portrayed as politically agnostic and just wanted to further his own research. Now he has eternity to do so. And on a different table, there was a Cleric of Urgathoa. Eating a deity's heart? Yes please!

As someone who greatly enjoys his Envoy (in Society play), I'll add my two cents.

I do think Envoys could use a boost in some way, but personally, I don't think action economy is what's needed, but either a small injection of power or long(er)-term buffs.
To me, the action economy feels nice. I wouldn't complain if more things became move actions, but in general I don't feel like I'm dragging the team down by playing my Envoy. My main beef is that nearly all Improvisations only last one round. Pathfinder Bards were absolute buffing monsters, where the longer a fight lasted, the better the team became. But here, you can basically have only one or two buffs running at a time. Applying the same buff over and over feels a little tiresome. If I'm spending my standard action on it, I either want it to actually do something, or last longer, so it's a worthwhile investment. I haven't played high level yet (she's level 7), but I feel like Get 'Em is a trap. It's a bonus of only +1, or +2 if you choose it twice. I'm pretty sure the math works differently than in Pathfinder, but at least there Inspire Courage leveled up along with you. Once you combine that with Clever Feint, that's a swing of 3 (or 4), that's something, at least. If that Get 'Em bonus was higher, I'd consider taking it, even though it's only a move action. I'm already losing lots of standard actions, but if I can't move at all during my turn, things become too static. And same with longer-lasting Get 'Em. As it's only one turn, I wouldn't bother with it. But if it lasted two or three rounds (or, say, half your level), I can throw it up, move around some, and refresh it when it's either run out or I don't have a better use for a move action.

I've heard people complain about Envoys being "boring" because they can't participate in the most fun part of combat: shooting. For me, that's not true. Envoys are a little puzzle: what buff do I need to hand out this turn? Those buffs are usually better than trying to hit the thing myself, but I can imagine building a combat-focused Envoy. Anyway, messing with the action economy could also be an interesting thing. Something like Clerics did in the 2.0 Playtest with Channel Energy. One action, healing a little bit. Two actions, healing more. Three actions, healing a lot. Then the puzzle I mentioned above will become more interesting. I can throw out two or three buffs at once, at varying intensity/duration. Say I use Get 'Em. Move action, +1. Standard action, +2. Full action, +3. Let's not mess with swifts just yet. If my team's having trouble hitting, I can modulate how big a boost they're getting, as well as doing something else. Combine that with Inspiring Boost (let's say, move action, level + CHA Stamina back, standard action double level + CHA Stamina, full action and perhaps a Resolve, triple level + CHA Stamina) and you can either heal a little and buff a lot, or buff a lot and heal a little. And again, this could work across both axes: more actions = higher buff, or more actions = longer duration (would only make sense for some improvisations, obviously).

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Personally, I like Channel Energy. It's not amazing, sure, but it isn't as worthless as people make it out to be. You don't need people 100% topped up all the time, you just need them healthy enough to mess with action plan of the enemy.
Stupid example: Say an enemy/boss hits for 50% of total HP each turn. After two hits, someone is going down. If you heal for 25% of HP each turn, you effectively bought that person one extra turn to deal with the threat. And it's even better with multiple enemies who focus on spreading out damage rather than piling on one teammate, as those are smaller cuts better healed with a Channel.
Yes, I agree that casting a spell to prevent that damage from happening in the first place is better, but sometimes you don't have that spell on hand, or you're conserving/out of spells. Having those Channels as a plan B is really helpful. Selective Channel is a must, though. Try getting your CHA to 13 or 14.

Personally, I think you over-invested in Constitution, those points are better spent elsewhere. I'd go with (pre-racials, keeping Archon):
CON 12
INT 10
WIS 14
CHA 14

STR and DEX open to fill in as you please, with 3 point-buy to spare. If you drop CHA to 13, that's 5 point-buy to spare. I'd personally put some in DEX, as that helps your AC, but heavy armour can do the same. STR is nice for carrying capacity, but as a support Cleric that isn't planning to attack much, meh.

Eoghan quickdraws a chakram as well, and throws it at Yellow.

Taking a -2 because of range increments.

Chakram attack: 1d20 + 6 - 2 ⇒ (3) + 6 - 2 = 7

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

I assume everything your character owned before death goes to their closest relatives, if any. You signed up for adventure, you'll probably know there's a chance of dying and have your will in order.

Also, maybe you can contact your GM from the last session and explain the situation. Maybe they'll reverse the death if you explain you didn't know selling gear was an option.

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

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During a scenario (name omitted for surprise), I'm the GM. Scary statue holds an item the party wants. On the other side of the screen, my scenario has a big paragraph about how the thing's been enchanted to not be moved by living material. People have to build a construction to pry it out with sticks, balance it on a sword's blade, and so on. Scenario says to make a big deal out of it, to make it seem extra hard. A lot of other things had been trapped, so the party is very cautious. They notice several wards are in place, but can't figure out what, exactly. They send in the construct familiar to pick up the thing (because constructs are immune to a lot of things). The thing gets picked up. Party goes, "huh, well, that's easy," and leaves.

Wasn't hilarious for them, but I was laughing on the inside how they unknowingly avoided this thing.

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

I'll be running this on Wednesday, question about the festivities and the "party" element: can't remember completely, but I think when I first played it, my GM skipped the whole festivities and hobnobbing with the NPCs thing. I'm tempted to do the same, as I see no value in it. Am I missing something? Does anyone have examples or play experiences where they were important?

Oh also, only now seeing that you're shooting the Goblin through the wall. I assume blindly, so no direct line of sight to the target. In that case, I would still do what I said above, but also roll a 50% miss chance, as per Blind Fight. You're essentially targeting an enemy you cannot see.

I thought there was a rule for that as well, but apparently not. If I were to houserule this, I'd say the following: make an attack roll and a damage roll against the enemy, using cover and maybe some additional bonuses (or just use improved cover stats). Your attack will at least hit the object you're targeting, and if you destroy the object in the way, the remaining damage will go through to the enemy if you hit that AC as well.

I've had to apply this when someone wanted to shoot an arrow through a glass window. The window only has a handful of HP/hardness and will probably alter the aim of the arrow somewhat, hence the additional penalty. But yeah, I see no reason why you wouldn't be able to shoot through a window, so the same would apply to a barricade. Then again, that's what break DCs are for. By RAW, it's a separate attack to try to deplete an obstruction's HP, but I see no reason why they couldn't be combined, provided that the enemy is close enough to the obstruction.

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

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I thought I was prepared for THUNDERLIPS!
I was not.

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

Squeaky clean floor, stale air, echoes. When you get to the "inhabited" places, make them look sparse: only the necessities, no more than that. No personal touches like photographs or knickknacks. Maybe an old calendar from two years ago. Maybe longer, but not ridiculously long. A really old model computer, and so on. When the players find the stash of guns, they're still wrapped in plastic or something, or the pricetag's still on them.
Maybe for funsies, and old mailbox filled with spam mail (either an actual physical mailbox, or on the computer you hack into).

So I'm playing a Green Knight in a homebrew, and there's this line of text that's been sitting wrong with me all this time. I believe either the author misinterpreted an ability, or there's a small typo, because the ability would otherwise give way too big a bonus for this archetype:

Green Knight wrote:
Beast Tongue (Ex): A green knight can use Diplomacy to improve an animal’s attitude. Beast tongue otherwise functions like the druid’s wild empathy ability, using the green knight’s Diplomacy modifier and using her cavalier level as her effective druid level, and it counts as that ability for the purpose of other effects (such as feat prerequisites or effects that alter or improve wild empathy).
Druid wrote:
Wild Empathy (Ex): A druid can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check made to improve the attitude of a person. The druid rolls 1d20 and adds her druid level and her Charisma modifier to determine the wild empathy check result. (...)

Emphasis mine. Regular Wild Empathy would just be Druid level + CHA, but as written the Green Knight would use their Diplomacy modifier. I know something's up, because this way, as quoted, the Cavalier's level would do nothing in this equation. Furthermore, using their Diplomacy modifier is way better than just level + CHA.

I mean, to me (and my GM) it's clear that I should just look at how Wild Empathy works from the Druid, not use what the archetype says, but I'd like to hear from the Paizo hivemind just in case. I just find it strange this wasn't picked up sooner.

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

Oh yeah, definitely, I share that sentiment completely. I just mean that if something is supposed to be a challenge, it should be reflected in its description and its DC. That still water should still be a DC 10, but why is there still water at level 10? Either don't put a DC there (so no rolling/calculating is needed), or change it like you said.

Blake's Tiger wrote:
No excessive dice rolled. But if it is an 8 Strength alien with a -2 armor check penalty and no ranks in Athletics, suddenly -3 vs. DC 10 isn't a given and the party/player needs to get creative, but that's better than artificially inflating the DC to 20 and now it's a very difficult -3 vs. DC 20.

As I said, at higher levels, people are expected to have alternate ways of dealing with things. I'm not 100% familiar with Starfinder, but I'm sure by that level you can get stuff/spells that give you a swim speed or such. Then that -3 can easily turn to a +5 at least.

And the thing is, other people can help as well. Assume two people assist in the Swim check, he's already at a +9, nearly enough to take 10 anyway. Still no need to roll dice, but it's still challenging.

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

Jhaeman wrote:

I don't have a strong preference between chart vs. in-line, but I would like more variation in DCs as opposed to everything being derived from the magic formula.

Last, I agree that DCs need to have some relation to the "reality" of the scenario. It's okay to have some low Athletics DCs to climb something even in a high-tier scenario, as some characters may be pleasantly surprised when they succeed.

Yeah, this. Like in Starfinder, enemies should not be built to the same standard as PCs, and DCs should not always be static. Yeah, it's nice to have a go-to DC for regular stuff, but writers should not be beholden to that. As skill level increase, so should the challenges. Scaling a wall at level 6 should be less of an issue, with Fly, Spider Climb, and so on readily available. By that point, the DC 20 wall shouldn't be an issue, especially when knotted ropes trivialise things so much. Only one person needs to make the check (or spend a resource), the rest can go easy mode.

Jhaeman wrote:
Last, I agree that DCs need to have some relation to the "reality" of the scenario. It's okay to have some low Athletics DCs to climb something even in a high-tier scenario, as some characters may be pleasantly surprised when they succeed.

I'm not entirely sure. Rolling stupid low-DC checks just for the hell of it just slows the game down. IMHO, you want to challenge players, when you tell them the DC is 10 at level 10, they just feel insulted. Earlier seasons of PFS had the same problem, where a Knowledge DC 18 was needed. With a Wizard in the party, I just assumed those as a given and gave them, as asking for the roll and having them calculate the result just eats into game time.

The only time I'd say low-DC skill checks are okay is when there's a real consequence to failure. Ideally when PCs are rushed or chased or something. Asking an Acrobatics from everyone to squeeze through a passageway is not a problem when they have all the time, but when they're chased by enemies, that's a problem. The new Chase rules are the best way to incorporate those.

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

In effect, both are the same for me. Whether something says DC 26, or Easy DC, they're both equally difficult to find in a page of text. I highlight DCs to make them easier to find, so both are equally hard to find (I usually have a table of DCs on a Post-it on my screen).

That said, the Easy/Normal/Hard method works really well for multitable specials, and for skill-intensive scenarios as well. Having three distinct numbers is very easy to remember. I don't think I would want every scenario to have these rigid numbers, but some of them would really benefit from them. Then again, separate numbers do really allow for fine-tuning. In my experience, players boost Perception so much (and so often) that Hard DCs are still easily obtained, so a deviating number from that (or Hard +5, which kind of defeats the purpose of having the chart) would be better. And vice-versa, you can really lowball DCs for the rarer skills (Nobility, craft: Basketweaving, Appraise), some of which would be difficult to make even on an Easy DC.

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

As Xenocrat says, there are a lot of ways for the Occultist to boost accuracy, and as Milan says, "free" equipment. I don't think they need a boost. If they did, it'd be the first class to get two-third spellcasting on a full-BAB class. That's just a combination you don't want. And yeah, as other people have said, full BAB means all that BAB goodness, such as Power Attack and iteratives. I'd say the Occultist is fine as it is.

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
ekibus wrote:
I would love the reasoning behind it. Heck if nothing else allow it with a clause (aka must hold/ use shield)

That is already the case:

Panoplies wrote:

To use a panoply’s resonant
power or any of its focus powers, the occultist must select
and invest mental focus into the associated implements that
day. A single bearer must hold all the panoply’s associated
implements to gain the panoply’s resonant power,
the occultist counts the total number of points of mental
focus invested among all of the associated implements to
determine the resonant power’s effect

I think this is another case of Paizo's ambiguous use of "holding" (vs. "wielding" and such) I pretty much asked the same question when I made my Tome Eater, whose implement is a single book. The conclusion to that was that it's basically like a holy symbol, I need to present and/or hold it when using it, but otherwise doesn't occupy the hand slot constantly. I could for instance wield a two-handed weapon, only releasing one hand when presenting the book, then quickly tucking it away as a no action and regripping my two-hander, just like a holy symbol when channeling energy, for instance.

Also, one of the other panoplies (the Mage's Paraphernalia) require a robe, a crystal ball, and a wand. You can't "hold" all of these at the same time, if they require a separate hand for each of them. It's also pretty silly to constantly be carrying a robe around in one hand. The whole idea of the implements is that they're supposed to be things carried or worn on the person, not necessarily readily in hand all the time.
Why Mavaro, the iconic Occultist does so then (he's constantly holding a skull and wielding a longsword in the other hand), is a mystery. But pregens break rules all the time, either for flavour reasons or due to error (having Weapon Focus with BAB 0, for instance).

Yeah, it definitely seems like it's intended to be used that way, but I've never seen a PC be able to pull it off. Yet a lot of BBEG plans hinge on influencing the right people at the right time.

Maybe that answers the question on its own: perhaps it's more intended to be an NPC spell. Much like how there are a lot of archetypes that a sane PC wouldn't take, but would fit perfectly for certain NPCs.

Ascalaphus wrote:
Aunders wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
I suggest sitting down with your player and hammering out in which situations Charm Person would be good and when it won't be, and then giving him the choice of learning a different spell if he decides it isn't worth it anymore.
I like this idea a lot, we will have time to do this between sessions because we only play once a month. That being said, how do you specifically feel about the spell? What situations are good for Charm Person or not good in your opinion?

I think Charm Person as a spell has been treated a bit poorly over the years by rulings on how obvious spellcasting is in general. There's also tension about just how much influence the spell gives the caster.

* There's nothing in the spell that says the target forgets stuff, so after it wears off, the target might realize something weird was going on.

There's an answer to that. The Overlord Mystic Connection says this:

Inexplicable Commands (Su) - 1st Level
When one of your mind-affecting charm or compulsion spells or spell-like abilities ends, the target loses all memory that it was magically controlled or influenced. That creature still remembers the actions it took, but may be confused by them.

So, only the Overlord has the power to make the target forget he was mind-controlled. Therefore, every other spellcaster does not have that power. The target will definitely know he was controlled, and should react as such.

Snowflake's ruler comment made me realise: what are some common nonmagical things I should buy? My PFS-characters are usually underequipped because I only buy the basics, and every single time I think, "oh, should've thought of that" later on.

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

I think the flavour is that you give Vaultkeeper to that specific person, but you can flavour it however you want. If you have a character concept that doesn't fit Vaultkeeper, you can do whatever you want with it.

Part of the boon in question:
You can instead check this box and spend 2 Prestige Points to bequeath Vaultkeeper to one of your other characters, granting that character the effects of this boon instead.

Since it's called out by name, it seems like you actually hand Vaultkeeper over, but it might just be flavouring of the boon itself.

My totally-not-an-authority-figure-ruling is: do whatever you want. If you want Vaultkeeper, it's fine, as long as you don't have any mechanical benefit from having a talking flesh poppet (the regular poppet can't talk).
Also, since the archetype doesn't stat the poppet, it has no stats. Again, I'd say flavour to your desire, but make sure that you don't get actual benefits from it (and maybe inform the GM about it as well).

Well, I think your hit ratio comes from two things:
1. You've really upped your to-hit ratio. Full BAB, +4 DEX, a class feature, a feat, a trait, and frankly, at this level, a ridiculous enhancement modifier. The only thing I can think of to up it even more is that "only" a +4 on DEX. Depends on stat generation of course (maybe you just didn't get a high enough DEX at generation), but by level 6, I would've expected a Belt enhancement. But that's cancelled out by the higher enhancement on your sword.
(Not that a +4 DEX is bad, wouldn't want to say that, I just expected more.)
2. Depending on whether you're fighting "civilised" humanoids (playable races, etc) or monstrous humanoids (basically, monsters), there's not much room to grow, AC-wise. Enemies will wear some armour, have a bit of DEX, maybe a shield. And maybe a few AC comes from class features or feats, magical items, spells, and such. Most armour is balanced around the fact that armour and DEX penalty equals roughly 8 or 9 (padded armor is +1 AC, max DEX of 8, fullplate is +9 AC, max DEX of 1). And generally, NPCs are rarely optimised for their purpose, unless your GM deliberately skews them. But in theory, let's go for max AC: Fighter with armour training, DEX of 14, fullplate, tower shield. Already an AC of 25. Dodge, Shield Focus and Armor Focus feats. 28. +1 armour and shield, Ring of Protection and maybe a Barkskin from a friendly caster? AC 34. This is, off the top of my head, a quick and dirty way to max AC. This guy spent 3 feats and probably all his money just to not get hit. You'll only hit him 10% of the time, and to your allies he's probably unhittable. But as I said, NPCs are rarely this optimised. Let's remove 5 AC from that. AC 29. This sounds like an amazingly high number at level 6, but remember: unbuffed, you have a +15 to hit. You still have a 35% chance to hit him (14+, I believe). Taking a quick look at CR 6 NPCs on d20pfsrd, I see a seventh-level Paladin having the highest AC, with 23. You have a 60% chance of hitting that guy. The average of the other NPCs I found was roughly 18, I guess.
So yeah, martials are supposed to hit everything in sight. Only really poor rolls should miss really well-armoured enemies, and mooks are nearly always a hit unless you roll a 3 or so.

When you're fighting monsters, they get to cheat. Monsters can have a nasty combination of stupid things, such as an ankylosaurus in fullplate or whatever. They get to stack a whole lot of things, such as DEX bonuses not attainable by humans, a lot of natural armour, maybe some deflection from somewhere, and armour. And if they have class levels, hoo boy.

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

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All the second-level revelations have a regular effect, and an "upgraded" effect if you're in the corresponding mode ("attuned or fully attuned"), so I always assumed you can do so if you're not in the right mode. Otherwise, I really don't see how things like Dark Matter would work:

Dark Matter wrote:
As a move action, you can draw on the properties of dark matter to increase your density, allowing you to resist physical damage. You gain damage reduction 1/—. This increases to DR 2/— at 6th level and increases by 1 again every 3 solarian levels thereafter. This benefit lasts for 1 round or until you leave graviton mode. When you are attuned or fully attuned, your DR from dark matter is equal to half your solarian level.

So, assume you're level 6. As a move action, DR2/- when you're either out of combat, or in Photon mode. If you're in Graviton mode, it's DR3/-. That seems easy enough. Maybe I'm missing something, but every other ability works the same way, so I don't see the confusion here.


On a side note, I had a similar problem with a specific Bard archetype that simply doesn't make sense to me. The wording was similar to the wording on Lem's Fascinate ability, which is not what the actual Fascinate ability does. In the end, I just chalked it up as pregens being special. I'll put the issue in spoiler tags, since it's not relevant to this discussion, but if you still want to know.

Fascinate problem:
The actual Fascinate ability says, emphasis mine:
Fascinate wrote:
Fascinate (Su): At 1st level, a bard can use his performance to cause one or more creatures to become fascinated with him. Each creature to be fascinated must be within 90 feet, able to see and hear the bard, and capable of paying attention to him. The bard must also be able to see the creatures affected. The distraction of a nearby combat or other dangers prevents this ability from working. For every three levels the bard has attained beyond 1st, he can target one additional creature with this ability.

Lem's Fascinate says (emphasis mine):

Lem wrote:

Fascinate: Each creature within 90 feet that can see, hear, and

pay attention to Lem attempts a Will save (DC 14). If it fails, the
creature sits quietly and observes the performance as long as
it lasts, taking a –4 penalty on skill checks made as reactions,
including Perception checks. A potential threat gives the creature
a new saving throw, and an obvious threat automatically ends
the fascination.

The problem with this wording was that someone was using the Lem pregen and we needed the distraction. But the way it's written, Lem cannot select which ones he's trying to fascinate, he simply fascinates everyone. Which was a problem, since several people of our party also failed the save.

And now, to my problem: I have a Street Performer Bard, with the Disappearing Act performance (again, emphasis mine).

Disappearing Act wrote:
A street performer can use performance to divert attention from an ally. All creatures within 30 feet that fail a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the bard’s level + the bard’s Cha modifier) treat one creature chosen by the bard as if it were invisible. This performance affects one additional creature at 5th level and every 6 levels thereafter. If the targets take any action that would cause them to become visible, they become visible to everyone. The bard cannot use this ability on himself. This ability is a mind-affecting effect that requires visual components. This performance replaces inspire courage.

I thought at first it's just all enemies I want to affect, similar to how a regular performance affects only my team. But someone pointed out that the way it's worded (similar to Lem's Fascinate, I might add), it means everyone in that 30 foot bubble, including my team and myself. But how the hell can I not see the person I'm literally trying to draw attention away from? The way that it's worded, it's as much a hazard to my team as to theirs. In that forum post, I reasoned it's probably either poorly worded, or I should treat it like Lem's (faulty) writeup of the Fascinate ability, but everyone seemed to disagree.

Anyway, that's my rant on how pregens are poorly written and need to be properly edited, as well as perhaps that specific archetype.

I'm sorry I poofed from the boards as well, been helping someone fix their house before moving. It's left me quite dead. Next Saturday is the move, so after that I'll be back at full capacity.

I'll spend 100 gold on two oils of Bless Weapon as well. Never know when you'll need them.

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NobodysHome wrote:

So here's a weird question for FaWtLers: Know that old claim that your nose is so involved in tasting that if you hold your nose you can't tell an onion from an apple?

Well, when I first heard it as an impressionable kid I of course had to try it and got a mouthful of onion as a result. As silly teens we re-tested it with me blindfolded and someone else holding my nose, and I could easily distinguish pear, apple, onion, potato, and whatnot.

I find that plugging my nose somewhat reduces the flavor, but it's still easy to identify a foodstuff by taste, even when pureed to hide the texture.

So yet again at dinner last night, Shiro brought up that old saw, and I called him on it, and he expressed astonishment that I could tell the difference. He insists on seeing me prove it. Again. Now, he might just want to feed me raw onion, but he's known me long enough to know that's not even a bother for me.

So now I'm really curious. Is there anyone here for which that works? That is, if you plug your nose you can't taste what you're eating? I've never seen nor heard of it, other than in that stupid apple/onion thing.

I've tried this before. An apple tasted the same as a raw potato (sadly, that's the only one I remembered). The texture's different, of course, but we were pretty amazed at what you can't recognise when your sense of smell is gone.

I'm one of the players, but I haven't looked at the other posts yet. I don't know any creates off the top of my head, and I won't be looking specifically, or else I'll come into spoiler territory, but I'm just giving suggestions.

Emotional smothering: Something with a Calm Emotions aura or something that can quicken it?
Disharmony: I happen to know this one, as it's from Wrath of the Righteous: Thoxel Demon? They're supposed to be infiltrators and destroy from within.
Isolation: An Attic Whisperer has the perfect flavour, but mechanically... eh.
Unfairness: Probably something very chaotic?
Confusion and/or hostility: Something with a confusion aura?

Other than that, I dunno. I'll see what I come across. I'll probably have forgotten by then. :P

I agree with level 5-6. But personally, I'm not a big fan of completely waving penalties away with money. I mean, at level 1-2-3 you either don't have access to it or don't have the money for it. Around this level, we can invest some of it, but I'd still like to have a bit of tension. Yeah, part of Pathfinder is overcoming obstacles with cleverness/preparedness, but completely negating it feels a bit hollow, IMHO.

Anyway, I'll still gladly contribute to a wand, this is just my personal opinion. I'm not super enthused about it, but I'm also not against it.

Personally, I think buying a second-level wand at level 4 is bonkers. Yeah, it's the most cost-effective method, but especially Lesser Restoration is IMHO situational enough that 50 charges of it will last nearly the entire AP. My PFS Cleric bought one at level 9-ish, for instance, just so he could save on prepped spells. 10 scrolls of it would get us through the next level or so without cheesing the system.

Most of all, remove a lot of useless rules that do nothing but make things unnecessarily complicated. A lot of rules are basically legacy 3.5 rules that should've been done away with (or at the very least improved upon), but kept in as either an homage, or because of "realism." Yeah, some of those rules make sense, but simply just bog the game down. For instance, a while ago I had a caster who wanted to deliver a touch attack to a creature grappling it. Oh, and it had a blur effect on. So first, arcane spell failure chance, concentration check for casting in combat, concentration check for grappling, touch attack, then miss chance. That's five die rolls, mixing d100s and d20s, for very little gain. I mean, each and every one of those rolls makes sense in a vacuum, but not when combined. If more than one condition applies at a time, I would've just given one roll at the highest difficulty and be done with it (or hell, to make it easier, just a certain DC based on level or something). I hate how things keep stacking, both for and against the player. Players can get insane bonuses, but so too can enemies. I also hate when I'm playing PFS and a newer player wants to do something that seems very logical, but has to jump through several hoops because of rules. For the most basic example, drawing a weapon while moving and needing at least a +1 BAB. It literally only matters for one level, why bother? Or juggling items in hand because of somatic components, shields, and so on. I get that Pathfinder wants to be realistic and rules complex, but that can still happen without bogging the game down, or having to say, "well, actually, you're forgetting this obscure rule..." (for example, damaging your own items when you roll a nat 1 on a save vs a damaging effect. No one uses that rule, most of the time it's irrelevant, and still it pauses the game because we have to play by the rules in PFS). I'm running a rules-light game system every so often, and having the freedom to say "yeah, that makes sense. Go do it!" is fantastic.
In a similar vein, feat taxes and other ease-of-play bug fixes. Just streamline the whole lot of it. I wanna see as few restrictions as possible. It makes things needlessly complicated and bogs down understanding and play. Through a combination of things, I once had to wade through triple difficult terrain (and yes, it stacked. We checked). Each square was actually 15 feet (or 20, I dunno). That was not a fun fight, for both sides of the GM screen.
As a followup to that: clearer language. So many things can be avoided if we understood the original intent. So many things interact with each other while clearly they shouldn't, but do due to unclear wording. It drives me crazy.

the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Sir Belmont the Valiant wrote:
No dump stats. I've always hated them. Stats should not go below 10 unless they are racially modified.
Meeeh. Stats should be rolled with a bunch of d6s as God and Gary intended. Point buys just encourage minmaxing, and the expectation that characters should start off some abstract value of evenly matched, both of which IME cut against interesting directions of roleplaying.

I so, so want to agree with you, but I can't (or at least, I agree with you in theory, but not in practice). The idea of "balance" in Pathfinder is ridiculous; classes are inherently imbalanced. I also really like living with the results of a dice roll. It makes for interesting choices. BUT. I've been on the receiving end of imbalanced parties before, and they're just not interesting. When the campaign flopped, we converted our stats to point-buy. Two of us had about point-buy 17, two others had point-buy 32. That was simply not fun. so my main argument against dice rolling is that things can too easily become frustrating for players due to bad luck. I agree, not everyone starts on equal foot in real life, but that doesn't mean it has to be like that in a fantasy game that's designed to make you feel badass. I'd like some controlled randomness, where some party members aren't clearly better than others. I've seen lots of examples of stat generation that are much more controlled, and I'm dying to try those out.

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

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Lucy_Valentine wrote:

There's a scenario where all the party can transform into wolves. We were told this also applies to familiars, animal companions, etc.

We had a druid, who liked being a size huge bear and had a size large animal companion. We had medium characters and small. We even had a Tiny familiar (owl) and a Diminutive familiar (scorpion). So naturally we all transformed and made a six-tier pyramid of wolves.

When I played that scenario, there was a character on a wolf mount. She was so happy, because now she could actually talk to her mount. That was a sweet/cool moment.

Okay, I've decided on Sarenrae. Maybe a bit standard, but it fits. There was also an Empyreal Lord of bodyguards that also fit quite well, but the lack of lore is a bit of a bummer.
Anyway, I think the Paladin Code for Sarenrae is quite a good fit for me:
I will protect my allies with my life. They are my light and my strength, as I am their light and their strength. We rise together.
I will seek out and destroy the spawn of the Rough Beast. If I cannot defeat them, I will give my life trying. If my life would be wasted in the attempt, I will find allies. If any fall because of my inaction, their deaths lie upon my soul, and I will atone for each.
I am fair to others. I expect nothing for myself but that which I need to survive.
The best battle is a battle I win. If I die, I can no longer fight. I will fight fairly when the fight is fair, and I will strike quickly and without mercy when it is not.
I will redeem the ignorant with my words and my actions. If they will not turn toward the light, I will redeem them by the sword.
I will not abide evil, and will combat it with steel when words are not enough. I do not flinch from my faith, and do not fear embarrassment. My soul cannot be bought for all the stars in the sky.
I will show the less fortunate the light of the Dawnflower. I will live my life as her mortal blade, shining with the light of truth.
Each day is another step toward perfection. I will not turn back into the dark.

Woran, can I switch deities? I chose Magdh because of my background and the fey connection to my archetype, but it hardly comes through in roleplay. I'd like a more conventional deity I have more of a connection to.

Also, others: do you know a suitable deity for someone who's gone to hell and back several times?

We just finished book 3, and my party is bonkers. I already delayed their Mythic ranks by a bit, and they're still tearing through combats like it's nothing. I discussed this with my players, and they agreed to me adding more HP/to-hit to monsters to keep things interesting, as well as maybe some other upgrades. However, I'd like to keep things fair and not use those things too often. So, if you have any ideas how to properly challenge my players without it feeling unfair, please share.

Party composition is:
- Evangelist Cleric with Heroism subdomain. Insane buffs, and he's slowly becoming pretty good at melee combat as well, with Dex to damage and a Holy Keen scimitar.
- Old school Summoner with a grapple/swallow whole-focused Eidolon. Also big fan of creating Pits and just shutting down enemies. Eidolon is nearly impossible to hit for bosses, and mooks just don't hit, period.
- Psychodermist Occultist. Also high AC, and probably the main damage dealer of the party. Also has a boatload of tricks up his sleeve due to being an Occultist.
- Fireball-focused Sorcerer. 'Nuff said. Either combats need to be on insanely large maps, or things melt before they get a chance to do anything.
- Paladin/Swashbuckler/Devoted Muse. Weirdly enough doesn't do a lot of damage, but hyper-mobile, and has reach, which is problematic.

Sorcerer player suggested adding things with fire immunity, or Spell Immunity, so that forces him to get creative. The party has become well-known enough that the demons might start preparing against them now, so that's an option. Other than that, there isn't a main thing that's bothersome, just a confluence of other things, such as extra standard actions with mythic points, the Occultist being able to place Bane on his weapon as a standard action, and Mythic Haste. I was already debating limiting extra standard actions to their their per day, so they don't use it all the time.

I'm thinking of looking for interesting templates to slap onto them, but I don't want to do too much work rebuilding everything. Dual Initiative will already do a lot, and maybe I should look a bit more into easy Mythic templates, such as giving enemies additional standard actions as well. As for the Grapple/Swallow Whole, I'm thinking of looking for spiny creatures/templates that will hurt those tactics.

SO, I'm basically asking if people know any cool/suitable templates or tricks to use against my party without feeling like I'm countering them on purpose, without me rewriting basically everything? I'm already using the updated statblocks for a lot of things, but that doesn't cover everything.

Don't want to add more fuel to the fire, but since it's priced similarly to a Pearl of Power and the Spell Lattice (and half as much as the spontaneous variant I always blank on the name of), I'd say its use is also similar: A reusable item that lets you widen or reuse your spells or spell selection. If it crumbled to dust afterwards, it'd just be a very expensive scroll, and way disproportional to how a Wizard adds spells to his spells known.
The part about "holding" versus "wielding" and so in is incredibly vague, as Ascalaphus said, and I'm not getting into that.

I've only looked at the playtest, not actively played with it, but I've discussed it with Mr. Bonkers and saw his Witchwarper in action. I don't know if there's a formula or "build point amount" classes stick to, but I think the class has a very poor chassis. I'll also compare this class to the core classes, not the other ones in the playtest. If Paizo wants to set a new standard with these new classes, I don't compare it to that.

First of all, HP equal to a Technomancer. I'm still not sure why the Technomancer gets 5 HP/Stamina per level, and the Mystic 6. A remainder of the Arcane/Divine divide?

Also same amount of strong saves as a Technomancer and Mystic, so there's a precedent for spellcasters having low amount of strong saves. But both the Technomancer and Mystic get strong Will saves. For the Wisdom-based Mystic, that's just gravy, but the Technomancer needs it, as it mostly runs on INT. And I'm not saying that all spellcasters should run on the same strong saves, but at least give it a save that's relevant. As Mr. Bonkers said, Dexterity is a very important stat, nearly every class will have at least some of it. This will lead to some very lopsided saves for the Witchwarper.

Also same amount of spells as Technomancer and Mystic. Seems this is the standard for casters now. Fine.

Now, this is debatable, but I think it's important. 4 skills per level is not enough. As Mr. Bonkers said, it's shared with Soldiers, Solarians, Mechanics and Technomancers. The latter two are INT-based, so they can compensate. And the first two are full-BAB, so I guess that's a tradeoff. But the Witchwarper is neither, so I don't see why they get the short end of the stick. In Pathfinder, skills usually represented background training, usually codified from D&D. Rogues were supposed to be crafty, cunning skill monkeys, and Bards dabbled in everything, so they get a lot of skill points. Fighters and Clerics are too busy with training for extra-vocational activities. But the Mystic, the Cleric 2.0, more or less, has 6 skill points per level, so I don't see that paradigm working anymore. All the current classes work on the logic that you're either good in combat, or in skills. And, weirdly enough, INT-based classes get a bit of both. Envoy is mostly busy buffing/debuffing, so making attacks isn't their priority. Hence more skill points. Mechanic gets both, as said before. Relatively few skill points, but boosted by its main stat. Mystic is probably more of a straight up caster, so more skill points for them. Operative is a skill monkey, so skill points. Soldier and Solarian are bruisers, so relatively few skill points. Technomancer is a caster, but due to INT being important, probably as many, if not more, skill points as the Mystic. I'd expect the Witchwarper to fall in the Mystic's camp, but strangely, no.

So even without looking at class abilities (which I don't know enough about to comment on), the Witchwarper is a class that doesn't have enough skill points for its supposed role, has a strange strong save, and an odd amount of HP/Stamina per level. That must mean its class abilities must be very good to compensate, right? As I said, I haven't looked into it enough to form an opinion, but Mr. Bonkers said it didn't feel that way, at least.


As a side note: I'm absolutely baffled by the fact that the Vanguard gets Constitution as a main stat, 7 HP/Stamina per level, lots of skill points, full BAB, AND heavy armour. Seems like he got the best of everything, but most importantly, the double joy of high Constitution and lots of Stamina per level. I would've either given it a different main stat, or lower the Stamina per level to 5 or 6. Usually, people compensate for low Stamina per level with a higher Constitution, but this seems like it's double-dipping. I mean, they're meant to be unstoppable, but this is overdoing it. I've already heard stories of Vanguards with a bigger Stamina pool than a boss has HP. So if they traded blows one for one, the boss would be dead and he still would've needed to go through the Vanguard's HP.

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

Foreword: my dice hate me, especially when I GM. Simply by virtue of being the GM, I tend to make scenarios easier. For some reason, most of the time, when I GM, the universe conspires to just work against me. It's a combination of party setup that makes things trivial, hilarious bad luck on my side, and just plain good work on the players' part. Keep that all in mind when I tell this story.

I will avoid specifics and exact numbers (I'll make numbers and saves up on the fly) as to not spoil them for people who still need to play it, but if you've played it, you probably know which one I mean.
So, in a scenario, the PCs are tasked with killing a specific monster, and they're told it's really, really powerful. During the adventure, they find temporary boosts that help them defeat it. One of my players is a Hoaxer Bard. Basically, they use Beguiling Gift to trick people into taking bad stuff. That player has a backpack full of things that make you blind, debuff you, or otherwise waste standard actions. Using all of those provoke attacks of opportunities, by the way. Of note is the Misery ability, which says he deals (at this point) 2 extra damage whenever he hits someone under the effect of a mind-affecting effect. He has a Strength score of 5, so he usually ignores it, he mostly does it to disable enemies.
So, they fight the boss. Because they're with four people, four-player adjustment is in effect, which states to subtract an amount from his AC, to-hit, and damage. One of the players hits it with an Enervation, giving it 4 negative levels. After that, a Slow is cast on it, debuffing its attacks and AC even more. So, this way above CR creature, with very strong attacks that should hit everyone with ease, got a big penalty and combined with my terrible rolls, even manages to miss against a Summoner with barely any AC, and even had it hit, its damage output would've been absolutely terrible. It ended up at a static +3 damage modifier (before Power Attack, which, admittedly, still would've hurt). That's just sad.
Anyway, the thing gets beaten nearly to death. It's about 15 HP away from going down. There's an NPC following them around, and I announce that he will killsteal it. I look to see if I have any way to deal 15 damage. He's very well built, that should work... Nope, even though he has amazing stats, he can't reach it for melee attacks, has no ranged attacks, and his spells suck. But I do see a Blindness/Deafness. I look back at the monster's stats, and I see his amazing saves. His Fortitude is absolutely bonkers, let's say a +22. Due to Enervation, that becomes a +18. The DC of Blindness/Deafness is 20. I can literally only fail on a nat 1. I say, "Nevermind, pass turn," but my players are excited now. I roll... Natural 1. The giant behemoth is now permanently blind. A cheer from my players.
Now, the Hoaxer's turn is. He does his thing, making the beast provoke an AoO while surrounded by 2 big melee PCs. Beast grabs the fortune cookie and starts to eat it, provoking. The two melee people miss their attacks, but the Bard miraculously hits, hitting its AC exactly through a combination of his boosts thanks to the scenario, Slow, and being blind. He rolls damage on several dice, and rolls 1 below max (remember, this is the STR 5 character, so it's a miracle he hit in the first place). And... 14 damage. The thing is at 1 HP. I announce my amazement that he's still at 1 HP, and the player goes, "wait a sec, I think I'm forgetting something... Yes, I forgot to add my Misery bonus! 2 more damage!"
And the Huge beast went down, thanks to the Small STR 5 Halfling...

Really, this entire fight was just one big ****show, with everything going just right for the players. We had a big laugh at that and we concluded the scenario.

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