Raegos

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What is a fantasy heartbreaker?

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This essay is about some 1990s games I'm calling "fantasy heartbreakers," which are truly impressive in terms of the drive, commitment, and personal joy that's evident in both their existence and in their details - yet they are also teeth-grindingly frustrating, in that, like their counterparts from the late 70s, they represent but a single creative step from their source: old-style D&D. And unlike those other games, as such, they were doomed from the start. This essay is basically in their favor, in a kind of grief-stricken way.

I think Pathfinder is a fantasy heartbreaker. It tweaks the rules of 3e a bit here and there, but it's the same game under the hood. That's the intent of the rules, but it seems that Pathfinder could break away from that and becomes its own game.


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Benefit: If you have been prone since the end of your last turn, the penalty to your Armor Class against melee attacks made against you is reduced to –2. In addition, the bonus to your Armor Class against ranged attacks made against you is increased to +6.

I kind of want to make a fighter who fights from prone.


I made an unarmed monk (no archetype) using the CRB for the campaign, and I was doing okay for awhile, but now I feel really incompetent. A new player joined with a brawler, and he basically does everything better than my character. His attacks hit and do more damage than mine, and it seems like everything saves against my Stunning Fist. He also gets hit less often than me (or so it seems), and he has more HP.

How should I build my character to make him better?


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CMB = Base attack bonus + Strength modifier + special size modifier

Okay, that much makes sense. But then...

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CMD = 10 + Base attack bonus + Strength modifier + Dexterity modifier + special size modifier + miscellaneous modifiers

So you're adding Strength AND Dexterity to CMD? Doesn't that make it unusually hard to perform a combat maneuver? Or am I missing something? Especially since some combat maneuvers require a standard action to perform, I'm tempted to drop the DC to 5 + whatever if you're adding TWO stats to it...