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I stole a part of our character creation process from another system, though I can't remember its name.

Basically: after character creation; each player tell about an event that was important in shaping the character, the event must be at least 3 years old, but can be older.

Then players take turns telling how their character knows the character on the left. Changing the character's defining event is not allowed, but anything that fits within the campaign outline is allowed and the player on your left must now fit it into his/her story.

It gives us a group that actually works together, as well as give the game master several clues on how to involve the characters. We've even had campaigns where this process decided the entire story and everything became about the players - which was,honestly, awesome :-)

I haven't bought 3rd party stuff since 3.5, most of that was terrible, but many good things have come to Pathfinder, such as Dreamscarred press.

My approach is not viability, its traps. There is no good reason why a character should need at feat to fire a ranged weapon while prone without taking penalties, or having a feat to make a non-lethal coup de gras. Even worse when you need a class ability to be good at starting rumours.

There is a huge number of feats, archetypes and spells that are not only sub-optimal, but actually makes a party worse off if they are in play.
Many spells in newer material are worse versions of the ones in core or the apg. Loads of feats only serve to place restrictions on something that used to be possible for free and several archetypes leave a character with less than if they had stayed "vanilla."

Most of these traps come with thematically interesting descriptions, but when they come into play, they handicap the player or group to the point where it becomes annoying for the player or group - and not necessarily from a viability standpoint but also concerning concept and ability to do more than sit around for whole game sessions at a time :/

Malwing wrote:
On the idea that you're punished for making flavor choices; I think that's true but not to a great extent unless you're optimizing in some way. I know Stormwind Fallacy gets called a lot but honestly the most functional games I've ever run or played were the tables of people who couldn't optimized their way out of a paper bag because the bar was low to be useful compared to your fellow players, making flavor build decisions less detrimental and the APs were still 'winnable' with a bunch of scrub builds playing through. Basically if you're not using the internet to sort out the best things to do then more like 90% of a given book is pretty useful instead of garbage.

I can honestly say that I've never taken a build off a forum, they are always min/max one-trick ponies good only for spamming a single kind of attack, pointless at the table.

Powergaming is about doing many things very well, its about covering your weaknesses. Min/maxing is about doing one thing to extremes and be praktically naked in other areas.

Both can be fun in theory, but needs quite a bit of moderation to be interesting in a real game.

But; never having used a build from a forum I still find that 50-75% of the non-golarion material is garbage (setting material is a little better, showing that Paizo - thankfully - loves their setting).

WormysQueue wrote:

Oh, and by the way:

What mechanics actively adds to the roleplaying experience?

Can be all. If an archetype inspires me to build a specific character (and I'm not talking about the rules backbone), it directly adds to the roleplaying experience. Same goes for any other option. I'm not thinking in character builds but in actual characters. So when chosing traits, i'm not looking for a particular bonus I want to have, but for an character idea I want to play, the bonus is fine, but it's the inspiration which is important.

YMMV, of course.

See I can understand thinking in characters. I have never played in a group where people did not think in characters. The problem with the bloat is that if you ONLY think in characters you will be punished for not ALSO thinking in builds.

I have seen it a lot, it is one of the reasons my group left Pathfinder behind. We had the issue that a couple of members couldn't be bothered finding their way around all of the material to find the things that fit their concept without handicapping them. Something I can only get behind, playing Lawyers and Ledgers isn't as fun as one would think.

When we finally got them characters that could function within the concept and not need a wheelchair, the people playing the characters had trouble remembering the slew of rules necessary for their character concepts to come together. It was a hassle not worth the fun we had actually roleplaying those characters.

On the other hand: two of the other players had an instinctive understanding of good options and bad options and was quite skilled at avoiding the bad ones, though by no means being powergamers.

Because of the bloat of bad/trap options, this created a natural divide within the group, unless the less rules-interested players got a lot of help.

That divide is the problem. Why is it acceptable that some players are punished for making character choices over optimization choices?

But to address your point directly (I tend to get a little long-winded, sorry about that):
The inspiration you gain from an archetype might as well be gained from a book, comic or movie. Nothing mechanical in the archetype help you roleplay that archetype, the closest thing it has for that is a bit of flavor text, if that much. Thus an archetype adds nothing mechanical to the roleplay experience.

WormysQueue wrote:
Rocket Surgeon wrote:
This is a battle game.

No it isn't. It's much more than that. It's a roleplaying game. Combat is part of it true, but it's much more than that. It's character development, it's creating memorable stories, and, most important of all, it's having fun with you're friends. It's Lord of the Rings as well as Conan the Barbarian

What mechanics actively adds to the roleplaying experience?

Skills certainly don't as they reduce roleplay to single tests, such as convincing the king to lend you an army becomes a diplomacy check to make him helpful.
Class mechanics bring nothing to the roleplaying experience as they are all about how the character fights. Archetypes are simple additions to classes, so they don't bring anything either.
Spells? Feats? Talents? None of these adds to the roleplaying experience, they only add mechanical benefits (or often nothing at all).
Nothing in the rules actually help you create a memorable story. True, the game supplies a grid on which you can build a good story, but you can create memorable stories without any system at all.

WormysQueue wrote:
Rocket Surgeon wrote:
It is not my job as GM to correct the mistakes of the system.

The thing is : That's exactly what part of being a GM is all about. Because there is no such thing as an error-free system.

I agree that there is no such thing as an error-free system. But I do not agree that it is my job to correct glaring mistakes.

My job is to make a good story and make sure that everyone is enjoying themselves, not correct lazy editing and half-thought rules.

WormysQueue wrote:
Rocket Surgeon wrote:
Besides; "...thematically cool SOUNDING..." <- this is just bad. If the options sound cool they should live up to that and many,...

Well they do. They inspire and they give benefits. We can argue the whole day about how big this benefit should be, but to be honest, I'll take inspiring over mechanically sound any time of the day. Luckily, most options are both. At least for me.

I can follow you on the inspiration. But why is it a good idea to force players to spend limited resources on something that functions ONLY as inspiration? Why not allow the players to spend their limited resources on something that is actually mechanically sound AND give them the benefit of being inspired for free? Why must it be a trade-off?

The argument of Inspiring before Mechanically sound is like the dowager in Downton Abby saying "If the choice is between principle and logic, I will take principle any day!" It makes no sense to demand a feat to make a Coup de Gras that deals non-lethal damage, it should just be possible for free. And there are loads of feats like that, that's the bloat, senseless filler "options."

It doesn't even anger me that these trap options are in the game, it saddens me that customers can be fed that kind of crap and still believe that it is fine.

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To quote the griffon: This is where we end to agree.

I like to see how crazy a concept I can make and then I usually skip it for something more ... alive. Powergaming is not necesserily a bad thing as a mental exercise, it helps gaining insight to what a system has to offer, what to avoid and what doesn't work as the flavor describe it.

I've never run a game where powergaming was a necessity, I prefer story over system and will go easy on my players if it fits the story, rules and challenges be damned. But I will NEVER actively seek ways for useless feats, archetypes and spells to become useful. It is not my job as GM to correct the mistakes of the system, especially not when I'm paying almost 60 dollers for a single book.

About thematically cool options:
This is a battle game. A friend of mine once defined 3.5 D&D (and thus Pathfinder) as a "bag 'em and shag 'em" game. This means that you go kill something to take its loot, then go back to town to spend said loot and shag a few wenches (his words, mind), then go back out to kill more stuff. All for the purpose of becomming better at killing stuff so that you can get better loot, by killing stuff.

Following that line of thought:
If the game is designed around the concept of killing things for their loot, then options that do not add to your ability to killing said things are trap options. Trap options are unnecessary and take up page space that could be used on more relevant things, such as expanding classes to make them better or more interesting.

Thematically cool sounding options:
Thematic options are pointless. All they do is lock you into a mindset where you must have a feat, talent or spell to do something that should otherwise have been fairly simple to adjudicate as game master. Thematic feats, archetypes, spells and whatnot actually serve to limit options for roleplaying characters, not expanding them.

Besides; "...thematically cool SOUNDING..." <- this is just bad. If the options sound cool they should live up to that and many, if not most of them, simply does not. You even say it yourself that you "...tend to FIND WAYS so that players actually CAN use those options ingame." It is horrible that their choice of options are not easily used into the game but that you, the game master, has to find ways for them to be used :(

So the bloat is real. The question is more if we are ready to face what it means and deal with it accordingly. Which I was not, hence I left the game behind. And no, not for 5E, I'm done with d20 in general.

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I belive in bloat and I very much dislike it.

Bloat in my world is NOT more options though. Bloat is the avalanche of horrible trap options that litter the game as a toppled trashbin.

There are tons of feats, spells and archetypes that are simply horrendous, even though most of them are written to sound thematically cool.

These are the bloat, filling up the system with useless garbage that is simply a waste of pages, put there for the one reason that a book needs a certain amount of feats, spells and archetypes because that is what the buyers expect.

I won't be paying 58 dollers (I don't live in the US, making for added costs) for a book that countains a handfull of things that I like and find useful and another handfull that I hate, but my table find useful and then 2/3 of the book being completely useless because it is trap options, unnecessary rules additions and other garbage.

I have left Pathfinder behind because it was becomming bloated with horrible, pointless "options" that cost me a ton of money for a few grams of quality. In addition; I found the quality of everything after the APG to drop drastically, making each subsequent book less and less useful and interesting.

These days when I trawl the PRD for inspiration it seems to me that everyone at Paizo, their dog and their entire extended family is allowed to write feats, spells and archetypes, its just that bad.
At the same time the editing quality is also dropping steadily, making the finished product riddled with mistakes that could easily have been avoided.

So the bloat is there, not in the form of more options, but in the illusion of more options that is really just page filler and sloppy editing.

Skeld wrote:
Regardless, I expect Paizo is making decisions based on sales data, not who and how many post to a handful of threads.

I'm not trying to convince you otherwise, I was simply stating the tendencies I have observed over the years of following these boards and seeing the development of the Pathfinder game.

I do agree that they are probably making many of their decisions based on sales data. The problem with that approach is that sales data is only a single parameter to look at and by looking at only a single parameter, they will be missing a lot of vital information to stay alive as a business.

What I also believe is that they take a big hint from the forums, as it is a free source of opinion. What should always be remembered though, is that the people on forums are very rarely representative for the collected customer base, as they are only those who are interested enough to spend their free time reading and writing posts on the matter. Most customers are satisfied with playing the game and when the game becomes a chore they simply switch games.

Sales numbers will never tell you why you are losing customers, only that you are. And forum posters can never give you a good picture of what people think about your product, because they are always highly biased, as the ones posting are the ones who feel strongly about something, no matter their approach.

Skeld wrote:
Rocket Surgeon wrote:
The reason that this is impropable is that they have a small, but very vocal, fanbase that demands that things should remain the same.
Where is the evidence that the gamers who are opposed to a new edition of Pathfinder are a "small, but vocal minority"? In the absence of clear evidence, that term is laden with personal bias.

Look back through threads like this from the last 6 months. It's the same 4-5 people who join the thread to write long posts against the need for a new edition. They usually re-use the same old arguments, along the lines of "backwards compatibility and dollers spent."

Usually some 10-15 people then pop in at random intervals to say something along the lines of "Nope, no new edition is needed." And then remain silent for the rest of the thread.

As it is usually the same small group that speaks against a new edition, including the ones popping in to simply say no, it should be possible to define them as a "small, but vocal minority."

I will give you that the group suggesting/demanding a new edition is equally small, but they are less loud and often less aggressive in their argumentation. At least when compared to the harshness of some of the people arguing against them.

Neither is "clear evidence", of course, but clear evidence does not exist, not even in hard sciences, as facts and evidence changes all the time, changing our views on what is indisputable fact. In the case of the number of forum users arguing for something it is even less clear, as new users will come along while old users will leave the forums, changing the general user profile.

I myself is not for, or against, a new edition of Pathfinder, I stopped using the system some three years ago. But I still find Paizo interesting in relation to my education, as they are a company that has come a very long way in a comparatively short time. With this kind of growth, a company will always be affected one way or another, how they are is what makes it interesting :)

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I very much doubt that you will see a new edition within the near future, maybe not ever.

As pathfinder becomes harder and harder to figure out for new players it will probably lose many of those who hang on because they might like to introduce their friends and family to the game, but cannot due to assumed rules, wierdly functioning classes, abilities, spells, monsters, magical items and what-ever else you can imagine.

As customer numbers dwindle, and they most likely will, Paizo will find themselves in a spot where they have to re-invent Pathfinder or face the risk of dying from a lack of customers.

In that case they will most likely attempt to consolidate their remaining customers, likely by lowering their prices and increasing their product output, which will not help the problem but increase it.

What do I base this on?

Well. Paizo is making their money keeping 3.5 dungeons and dragons alive. This means that they have not really re-invented anything, merely building on what was already there.

To make a new edition of Pathfinder, they would have to re-think how they do things, how they design and implement material.

The reason that this is impropable is that they have a small, but very vocal, fanbase that demands that things should remain the same. This fanbase usually point to, often unproven, claims that Pathfinder is the best selling game out there and that the fact that you can find organized play almost everywhere is an amazing thing.

What the vocal minority tends to forget is that many play pathfinder because it is the only game available near their home, while others play it out of habbit or a lack of local game stores where to find new games.

In the end, the vocal minority has, time and again, been proved to be the ones Paizo attempts to please. The company changes rules over and over again because the vocal minority is screaming about how this or that is overpowered.

And in the end, the vocal minority will be the ones standing in the way of a new edition of Pathfinder. Not necesserily because they are right, but because they are loud. And this way, Paizo's most hardcore fans may prove to be their undoing in the end.

I am not against Paizo's buisness model, though as a buisness management student it puzzles me. The way they have been doing things up to now, Paizo will not survive in the long run. They will not perish within 5 years, most likely not even within 10, but if they do not manage to re-invent their product, they will die. This isn't a matter of opinion, it is just how things are as a buisness, re-invent or die.

How about re-thinking the classic slums?

In the past, crime went rampant and the city watch lost too many men in there, so they withdrew from the district, leaving the citizens to fend for themselves.
After a few years of excessive crime, that was what they did. A bloody war with the gangs left the regular people in charge of their district and they made it quite clear that the city watch was no longer welcome.
Since then, the district has been ruled by a council of elders who tries to keep everyone happy, even though they are poor, while keeping criminal elements out.

I like the cliff face idea, though I would play it as a noble's district with an unrivaled view and magical elevators :)

Funny. I never really liked the factotum. The way it picked up abilities on the fly was kinda cool, it just seemed too different from the "normal" way things was done in D&D for my tastes.

What was so attractive about the cameleon, at least for me, was that I had to pick my focus for a longer period and even at higher levels I had to consider it carefully before I changed it to something else as I could hardly afford to be caught in a "mode" that my feats didn't support.

Hello all.

I haven't play tested the vigilante and I'm not going to. But I didn't come here to speak badly about it either. I came here to make a suggestion.

First off: the general consensus seems to be that the vigilante isn't a very good class. It takes too long to be able to change between social mode and effective mode, either in the time it actually takes, or in the levels one needs to acquire before being able to do it fast enough. And when you finally have the level to change in a fair time, the abilities are simply too far behind everyone else to matter much in the bigger picture.

The idea: Looking at the vigilante made me think of the old 3.5 prestige class "the cameleon." This class could shift between being an arcane caster, a divine caster, a semi-warrior or a semi-rogue.
At the early levels, you could change your "focus" once per day and as you leveled you could do it more often. As you leveled, you where also able to apply class abilities, such as smite, rage and trapfinding and at level 7 (out of 10) you could have 2 foci up at the same time.

Building the concept into a 20 levels class seems to me to be an interesting possibility, especially with the talents of the vigilante, as they could be made into a general pool that supports a specific focus.
This would mean that you would have to spend your talents on one, or at the most two foci, to be able to keep up with the rest of your party, but when you really need another healer, or a trapfinder, or a backup martial, you can shift over and hold that position, at least acceptably.
Making a "social focus" would give the Vigilante the ability to shift into a social persona and still being capable within that focus instead of losing most of his abilities.

Sending the Vigilante in this direction would make a spy more than a super hero, but since the book is called "ultimate intrigue" and not "ultimate avengers," I think that would be acceptable.

On a personal note: Having read through a bunch of the threads about the Vigilante I think that it would be healthier for the class in general if the developers accepted that most people who take a look at it hates it and finds it useless compared to other classes.
The current trend with stubbornly claiming that it is a good class and not acknowledging the feedback, even if it is mostly "armchair" will probably come back and bite them in the backside if they publish the class the way they seem to envision it.

Also the name ... The Vigilante was a not-very-interesting prestige class in 3.5, making it a not-very-interesting base class in Pathfinder, just because superheroes is the new black, doesn't seem a very good idea :)

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I have lost my love for pathfinder.

It has become too much of a mess and I found myself writing house rule after house rule, until I realised that I was attempting to write a different game.

So I did. I've left behind the clunky, math-heavy rules of the d20 system and gone in a different direction entirely and we are playing it weekly, with great enthusiasm from my players and myself :-)

For me, it all ended when magic became ordinary. Without the feeling of magic, I can't see the reason to play a fantasy rpg and pathfinder lost that feeling long ago.

Of course, that doesn't prevent me from data mining these forums every now and then for ideas, I especially like the homebrew forum for that ;)

I run with a magecore, a techno-magic device that is used to power constructs, engines and weaponry. It needs to be recharged sometimes, how often depends on the size.

The magecore can be made by non-spellcasters who has the nessessary knowledge and materials for the crafting.

It has resulted in lightning enhanced blades with large bacpack powerpacks, train-like transportation and working constructs that isn't dependant on having a wizard crafting them.

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Here lies Karg the Impaler.
Died on a wednesday,
With not a coin to his name.

Substitute Karg for any other character name as needed :-)

Gnome fighter with mw longsword, shield and breastplate. Go for 18 str (16 with reduction. And 16 dex.

With weapon focus feat and sword scion talent you can boast a +8 to hit, +7 with power attack. And you deal 1d6+5 damage, with an armor class of 22.

Remember to have 12 or more wisdom, so your will save isn't a complete loss :-)

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Will your group be covered in the spellcasting department?

If yes, then I made my GM contemplate arbitrary character murder with a Gunslinger/Magus. The build revolve around the less-than-humble pistol and - if you plan ahead to level 16, some 11 touch attacks a round.

Start out Gunslinger, focus everything on the pistol. At level 3 or 5, depending on your personal tastes, you shift to Magus to add some melee capabilities to your character.
Take 1 level of Magus if you shifted at level 3, then go back and take the last 2 levels of Gunslinger. Otherwise take at least 5 levels of Magus.
Go Alchemist 4, take the extra arms discovery. You can now enchance one of your pistols with a +2 bonus to it's usual enhancement, two-weapon fight with pistols and cast second level spells - which should be used on utility as far as possible.
Go Magus until the end of the campaign, or no more than a total of level 8, then back to Gunslinger.

You need: Pistols <- Should have as high an enhancement bonus as possible and the distance enchantment, possibly keen. A "pouch of endless bullets" with alchemical (paper) cartridges, there's and endless ammunition spell in UC, it will cost 10.000 gp. Armor, mithral breastplate is to be prefered.

At level 20 you will have: +17 base attack, 3rd level spells, 11 touch attacks a round with weapon specialization, arcane strike, and deadly aim. If done right this build will work from level 1 and put your GM in a vengeful mood around level 10, at level 14 you should be prepared to either leave town or apologise ;)

Magical ammunition shouldn't lose it's bonus until a round after it leaves the magus' posession. The way it is now, some, very detail orientated, people could interpret it to mean that you get the magical bonus to hit, but not to damage - since it loses the bonus upon being fired.

Rest looks interesting, I'll probably give it a closer look :)

The problem is that this isn't just a joke. You're giving the affected character a severe debuff AND you're forcing him to either look stupid, or leave combat for 10 rounds.
You're basically dictating what the character can and cannot do in combat until the curse is removed and what you're telling him is " look retarded or suck", that's the uncool part.

I can support baleful polymorph, it takes an enemy out of combat right now as well as leave you with a handy prisoner to question later, it's good tactics.
What I question about the curse, any curse really, is: why would a sensible, spellcasting, villian use this spell? A spellcaster will know how easy it is to counter with magic, or just buff through.
I've always used bestow curse as a means to harass the players from a distance, not a combat debuff. At least not for villians, it's damn nice to use as a player.

I can't stop thinking about why one would use such a curse?

Humiliating your enemies is fun, yes. But doing so during combat doesn't seem like the smart thing to do, it will not make them go away nor surrender. If anything, it just makes them more determined to either kill you, or capture you and make your imprisonment so horrible that it rivals the Game of Thrones series...

My girlfriend is Thinking about building a short adventure about the wives of a small village fighting off a zombie attack with their pans, rolling pins and pitchforks. Everyone is either commoners or experts.

I like the idea for a single adventure, it has a lot of flavor and can make humble beginnings quite interesting. But I think that a full campaign without class features, hit points, spells and base attack will end up being a bit of a drag.

Unless your group don't care about these things, then you're good :-)

aboniks wrote:
Rocket Surgeon wrote:
If my character was hit by this curse, I'd probably go spend my 10 rounds off to the side every combat, perhaps get me a full plate and argue that it should extend the 10 rounds to 15, that's how little I would be playing along.
Don't forget to use Total Defense. ;)

Nooo. I insist on taking all of the hits I can, with no dex bonus to ac as well, since I always pee sitting down to avoid missing the loo ;)

If my character was hit by this curse, I'd probably go spend my 10 rounds off to the side every combat, perhaps get me a full plate and argue that it should extend the 10 rounds to 15, that's how little I would be playing along.

The curse would probably be fun in a comic or a movie, but putting it on a player character would just be humiliating and demeaning :(

Edit: Oh! And I'd bring a book to every session, since I'd obviously never be in combat anyway ;)

Demon hunter, dragon slayer, guild thief, variations of the dragon disciple for other bloodlines, racial paragon classes, knight of the realm, witch/fighter hybrid.

I always liked prestige classes Way more than archetypes, since they give me something to strive for within the campaign that also makes sense for my character :-)

I like to powergame the Heck out of a character. My gnome fighter is level 5, with ac 29, +12 to hit (with power attack) who does d6+14 damage, he's a combat monster, booya! And yet I've just gone on an extended break from my regular group due to a lack of roleplaying and immersion.

I like to powergame and I love to roleplay my characters, I am not a just a powergamer and not just a roleplayer, I am more than the sum of my parts. Who am I? I'm Jean Valjeaaan! And so Javert, you see it's true, that man bears no more guilt than youuuuu. Who am I? 24601!

Because that's what this silly notion of "them against us" deserves ;)

Many of us embrace our powergamer nature and someone trying to limit us to it is narrowminded and predjudist and I honestly pity such small minds. If threads such as this is born from envy then just ask, I'll be happy to help you powergame too.

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I usually sit down and build on things that happened during the session the day before, then I abandon it mid-way because of some practical chore, forget all about it for about a week and then finish it in a paniced rush a few hours before game time. Sometimes I don't finish it at all but run everything from memmory instead.

Needless to say, I've become very good at winging it and I've added an almost encyclopedic knowledge of rules and monsters to be able to keep up the charade x)

I'd go for an angelkin aasimar, Fighter (Weaponmaster) 3/Slayer 2/Wilder (battle) 4/Sighted Seeker 3. I'd take 3 feats to gain an animal companion (small cat) of my full level and the aasimar feat that grants the character wings
Even with less than stellar stats I'd be able to do a great lot of different stuff at level 12 and I'd have a great deal of fun :-)

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Something like that, yes.

The Barbarian chose to rage and he has some control over himself while raging, he can decide who to attack or when to end it after all.

So since he decided to rage to kill the paladin, his rage shouldn't be an excuse at all, it might even make matters worse that he somehow got himself quite worked up at the thought of slaughtering the paladin and the guards.

On the matter of him protecting his friends, I can't really see it as an excuse since he threw the first blow, choosing violence over a possible peaceful solution.

As for the int 7 argument it doesn't hold any water, being a dumb brute doesn't make it any more right to attack anyone, even if they're armed and pointing their weapon in your general direction.

As for the overall question about killing always being evil; the ansver is obviously no, there are reasons that makes it acceptable, otherwise there would be no paladins, as people has mentioned before.

A side note on paladins. In 3.5 there was a clarification of the paladin code that specified that a paladin was required to follow just law where he travled, but should he encounter an unjust tyranny he was obliged to do everything in his power to topple the tyrant and install a fair regime in his stead. I like to play with this extra because it allows paladins to actially be Lawful GOOD, instead of just Lawful :)

Saying that the barbarian being in rage makes the murder morally excusable is like saying that killing someone while drunk is ok, you where drunk after all, so it's not your fault :P

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Attacking and killing someone simply for having a weapon drawn is an evil action, no matter what your class and int might be. The matter of it being justified or not isn't really an issue, since the alignment system is pretty black and white.

The Barbarian is probably chaotic evil, accept it and move along. In an evil group this isn't even a problem anyway, so nothing's lost. Our characters should have the alignments we play, not the ones we'd like to see on our character sheets.

On the matter of this being railroading and bad GMing ... Well. In my group we'd think of an arrest as a possibility for for adventure and roleplaying, not a forceful attempt to curb our fun, but each to their own I guess.

I'm just glad that I have at least one ocean (or a continent and an ocean depending on you going east or west) between the op and myself x)

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Bestow upon him the greatest insult one can bestow upon an enemy; to be ignored <- Gotta love Mass Effect.

Don't answer him when he's being a pointless, greedy, self-serving little git, just ignore him completely and if his character attacks yours, ignore that as well.
Then when (if?) he behaves himself well enough you, include him on the same level as everyone else.

If the GM interferes on behalf of the disruptive player you now have the basics to argue that he should stay out of it in the same way he stays out of it when the guy's a problem to the rest of the group.

If the GM insists on backing the problem player still, the issue isn't one you can solve and you should just pack up and go, hard as that will be.

I have to ask: Is the problem player a close friend of the GM? And how do the rest of you stand with the guy (GM)?

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I like to start small when designing worlds, a town, kingdom or other limited area, and then work from there.

I'm currently working on a setting of my own. I started out designing a small kingdom based around the kingdom from Tangled, then expanded it into the countryside, making up the populace, politics and few good places to seek adventure.

I considered what ressources the kingdom had, farmers, miners, trade partners, allies and so on and built on that for flavor and belivability. Also, trade partners and allies gave me a good idea about the nations and countryside around the kingdom I'd built, should I need to expand my adventure outside it's borders.

All that was needed is history, but I will be building that as the player's advance and explore. I have a rough idea about the background of the kingdom, but mostly as a building point for myself, not something that's too important at the beginning of the campaign.

I've tried building worlds from the top down before, but it always ended up being a mess of half-planned ideas and it was never very good. There's too much to keep tabs on, so most of it will lie unexplored and forgotten, both by you and by your players.

Look at Golarion for instance. Most of the nations in that world could be cut out and used without any relation to any of the other nations - and in many of the adventure paths they are.

Over the years I've learned that the most important thing about good worldbuilding is making your players believe in it. Nobody cares about the grand demon war 600 years ago if they do not feel the effects of it today. And having a world run by level 15+ clerics and wizards will make people wonder why these powerful individuals doesn't just take an afternoon off to destroy the bandits bothering the countryside instead of sending a group of 2nd level adventurers.

If I should give just one piece of advice it would be this: Make them believe, everything else is just windowdressing :)

I'd go for Wizard/Cleric/Mystic Theurge as well and then Hierophant for my mythic path. I'd stay human, since mythic enables me to become immortal.

I'd be running around mental institutions casting mass heal to make everyone well, using my alter self and other shape changing powers to stay under the rader. Oh I'd pop up at various disaster areas around the globe to heal the injured, regrow lost limbs and cast create food and water for the very needy.

For money I'd start up an instant transportatino service for a resonable fee, teleporting goods and people all over the world, again using my disguise magic to stay unknown.

And I'd have a Contingency running with a Breath of life at all times, as security against random murder and accidents.

And if someone came after my family to try and use them as leverage against me I'd use my powers to make their life a living hell, keeping them on the edge of sanity for the rest of their lives. Being a wizard/cleric would give me the perfect tools for finding them and keeping tabs on them.

All in all, I'd use my powers for good ;)

He fails his acrobatics check on the icy bridge next game session.

Silly, yes, but still very true :)

Drunk Fighter wrote:

First off, let's hope I put this in the right thread!

I have this thing where, after playing the same character for awhile, I like to think of random ways to kill my enemies that make them embarrassed to admit how they died. My recent being my Trox Brawler who chokes his foes to death with his two main arms while feeling up the victim with the other 4 arms while singing love songs to them...

Anyone else got any other embarrassing deaths they want to share? I'm curious now.

You just helped me design the crazy killer I was thinking about for my next low level campaign. Thank you :D

Oh and that character is rather disturbing, if he was in my group I'd murder him in his sleep, perhaps even while singing a lovesong ;)

LazarX wrote:
Pupsocket wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Pupsocket wrote:
But the changes are compatible, so there's absolutely no reason your GM shouldn't allow it.
Compatibility is irrelevant. If both archetypes change/modify/delete or do ANYTHING to the same class feature, they can not be combined. Both modify the arcane pool, the fact that it's the same modification, does not change anything.

I know what the rules say. I also have a strong opinion on what a reasonable GM should say. If you're not spending the same coin twice, and if the incompatibility only happens for high levels you're never going to see, there's really no good reason.

So you're saying that GMs who follow rules are unreasonable? Or GM's who don't allow munchkin combinations are unreasonable? The Bladebound archetype is a pretty powerful archetype. Combining it with the Skirinir with no real loss is a rather severe power boost to an already powerful archetype.

What's being said is that it would be within reason to allow it as a GM.

I would allow it myself, since the skirnir isn't a very powerful archetype. What's making an issue is the probation against having another bound object/familier, that's the one closing the concept down.

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They should totally make this!

The title should be ...


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The most important thing you can do for yourself when playing with "veterans" is to remember that this is a group effort and while their experience can be a help, you should never allow it to become a hindrance.

This is your game, not your farther's, and your way to rp the npcs is no more wrong than the way he would have done it, it's just different.

You did good :-)

I've been giving the Swashbuckler a good thinking through and here's my thoughts.

Overall, the class is terrible. It depends solely on it's pool of parnache points to do anything, even things it doesn't have to burn points to activate. Many of the deeds are permanent abilities, as long as the Swashbuckler has parnache points left. This forces the class to always save at least a single point, or lose out on a lot of their more essential abilities.

The parnache pool is very small, so the abilities that do require points to be burned will be used less often, and points will be hoarded for that one big fight that - potentially - awaits the party. This slows the swashbucklar down and keeps him from doing what he should be doing all the time.

Many of the deeds abilities should have been class features in their own right, not depending on having parnache points left. The parnache pool should have been cha bonus + 1/2 level instead of the cheap cha bonus only. And it should have a good will save, since most classes these days has 2 good saves.

Overall I can see a lot of possibilities in this class, but it needs to focus less on the parnache mechanic and more on having abilities it can actually count on having.

Overall I like the Bloodrager.

I have a few gripes with the class. One is a lack of a good will save, the paladin has it, so why not the bloodrager? Another is that the bloodrager cannot cast spells outside of rage. It seems strange that he has to be really angry to do something that the sorcerer has to be at peace to do. I would allow it to cast spells both in- and out og rage, it's spell list is rather limited anyway.

I also think that it would suit the class to have it's own spell list.

Yes, please! Give it something, anything - almost.

It is currently powerful, but so extremely bland that only a true number-chuncher will be able to play it. It really needs some love.

After reading it I thought about giving it a school like the wizard, but with delayed ability gain. A bloodline like the sorcerer, but again delayed. And a familier or a bonded object that allows it to change it's spells x times per day.

I like your ideas on the matter, those where just some of my own initial ones.

I've been giving the Skald a thorough read and some heavy thinking. Here's my thoughts.

The basic premise of a raging Bard who inspires rage in his allies is a great idea with some excellent possibilities. But there's a lot of things with this class that just doesn't really connect. Abilities looks like an un-edited hodgepodge of Barbarian and Bard, with little thought gone into flavor or synergies.

It seems like it wants to be a viking skald, with blood in it's beard and fire in it's soul. But it reads like a really angry teenager with a guitar and a subscription on national geographic magazine. It just doesn't follow through.

Bardic knowledge is a great ability, but it screams "wandering minstrel", not "skald to the jarl of the summerspring fjord". The Skald might be an adventurer, but his abilities should reflect his name and be more viking/barbarian than wanderer.

Spell Kenning is a great ability, it feels very Bardic and cool. Only problem I can see with it is that the usefulness is somewhat limited, since he takes spells from a 9th level spell list and uses them on his own level 6 list, so many of the interesting spells he can use will be limited by being cast at a level where they're losing importance, because the original caster would have much higher spells anyway. But I guess it's good for the occasional Heal or buff. The added time and the terrible cost of 2 spell slots makes this ability even worse and I would only use it in the most dire emergency - where I wouldn't have the time to use it anyway. All in all it doesn't seem like it was thought through.

The Raging Song is it's own can of worms. It's a solid ability within a party of Fighters, Rangers, Brawlers and Slayers, but for everyone else it's horrible and should be shunned. A Magus will lose access to his primary damage output ability, spells. A Rogue will lose the ability to sneak up on a target. And any spellcaster will cry at the thought of being affected by the song. It has no effect on Barbarians, Bloodragers or various raging archetypes. In the campaign I run it will affect the Skald himself, because everyone else (a full 5 people) will have to opt out, or lose their actual function to become ineffective barbarians.

It's weapon proficiencies should also get a do-over. No self-respecting Skald should ever use a rapier or a whip. Give them handaxe and battleaxe instead.

All-in-all I like the ideas behind the class, it just doesn't deliver on what was promised and what it delivers is disastrous to most members of any average party.

I've given it a thorough read and due consideration, but I won't be able to playtest it in the nearest future. So here's my initial thoughts.

I see what Paizo's trying to do here and I like the basic premise of the Shaman. That being said, it still has some severely rough corners to it that needs to be polished with heavy machinery before it works.

I has a lot of good stuff. The spirits is an interesting and flavorful take, the wandering spirit and wandering hex abilities make for a good opportunity to mix it up and gives the class great versatility.

I does seem a bit half-baked overall though.

The spirits are vildly varied in power and utility, so it has to pick it's main spirit with great caution to make sure that it will not suffer on the earlier levels.

The familier should have been a companion familier in the style of the level 15 nature shaman hex - possibly with a delayed companion progression.

The spontaneous casting - while a great idea in theory - risks becomming a bookkeeping speedbump when the character gains the wandering spirit feature and has to look his bonus spell up every time he has changed his spirit, which is probably quite often.

The spell list itself seems quite inappropriate, I would go for the Druid list instead if I had to choose a current list, but a customised list would suit the class far better.

All in all a solid concept with good options, but it seems a bit lazy in it's execution.

Edit: It should have a good fortitude save as well.

ciretose wrote:

@Rocket Surgeon - But those also didn't penetrate armor well. So we need to either pick our poison or have differentiation with ammunition types.

I'm fine either way or even both. Have the ability to choose armor piercing (touch ac/low damage) or high damage ammo.

What we have now is both, with a lot of machinations that slow down play.

EDIT: Also, again like to like. A sabre wound to the stomach vs a bullet wound to the stomach...

Oh. That's what you ment. Well yes, their armor penetration was horrible, even chainmail or boiled leather would have offered a measure of protection.

I agree completely that the gunslinger could have been a smoother ride, no argument there, but the guns themselves aren't that bad if you look at them seperately.

About the gutwound; it would be basically the same damage. Though no selfrespecting sabre user would use his weapon for stabbing ;)

ciretose wrote:
Rocket Surgeon wrote:

Remember that the guns in pathfinder is the kind with a round lead ball that flatened a lot upon impact and did severe tissue damage as it passed into the body. As such, the critical range on guns is actually more unrealistic, since it should be far better.

I think guns are ok in pathfinder, they pack quite a punch, but the gunslinger is the only class that does it well.

As for comparing the effects of modern firearms to the effects of early firearms, it cannot be done that easily. Modern firearms are designed for penetration and wounding, since wounding the enemys troops will force him to spend ressources on keeping them alive and healing them.
Early firearms, on the other hand, was designed to do a lot of damage and preferably kill the enemy with that one shot.

All in all, I don't see the need for a fix :-)

Relative to what though?

If I stab a sword through your body, it will do more damage than a bullet, would it not?

However the sword is less likely to pierce armor.

We should be comparing like to like, as it were.

Relative to a modern firearm, barring shotguns and other stoppers, you're right. But fintlocks fired masive bullets, some up to 1,5 or 2 centimeters in diameter. Now because these where lead bullets, they didn't keep their shape very well and as they warped they did far more damage to muscle and soft tissue than most personal firearms do today.

So to compare a sword to a firearm of the time, the sword - most likely a sabre - could shear an opponent's arm clean off with a good strike, where a bullts would lften turn vital organs into hemorhaging mush.

A clean sabre wound is much easier to bind and treat than a messy pistol shot in the stomach.

So to answer your question: no, a sword wouldn't nessessarily do more damage than a gun from the same period :-)

Remember that the guns in pathfinder is the kind with a round lead ball that flatened a lot upon impact and did severe tissue damage as it passed into the body. As such, the critical range on guns is actually more unrealistic, since it should be far better.

I think guns are ok in pathfinder, they pack quite a punch, but the gunslinger is the only class that does it well.

As for comparing the effects of modern firearms to the effects of early firearms, it cannot be done that easily. Modern firearms are designed for penetration and wounding, since wounding the enemys troops will force him to spend ressources on keeping them alive and healing them.
Early firearms, on the other hand, was designed to do a lot of damage and preferably kill the enemy with that one shot.

All in all, I don't see the need for a fix :-)

How much horror do you want in it? It is "just" ghosts, haunts and undead that can be passed with force of arms? Is is a place of true horror, where nothing is certain and gruesome scenes await in every room?

If it's the first, I'd advice you to look over old maps of realworld places. If it's the latter, I've found it better to run it without a map. Without a map rooms can change around, hallways can disappear and you never have to worry about remembering where the party is when the session ends ;)

I'll chip in and ask why only Aasimar can take feats that grant them wings?

It would seem that it would be just as beneficial to allow the same option for Tieflings, at the same levels and such. But they can't have it. Looks a lot like differential treatment.

I do allow the wing feats for Tieflings in my own game though, I've just wondered why everything must be divided into options for this race or class versus options for that race or class, it's counter intuitive.

Make sure that he has the "Undetectable Alignment" spell. It should come standard for all evil, manipulative Bards with even a hint of self-preservation.

That said; abuse the heck out of versatile performance. Make sure to grab a perform skill that allows for Sense Motive checks, so that you can use his charisma bonus instead of his wisdom bonus. And as Atarlost said, grab skill focus in the perform skill that gives him the best social skills (Bluff and Diplomacy, if I remember correctly), so that you get it to both of these skills in one feat.

Use his other feats for combat, Arcane Strike, Dodge, Finesse and so on. Feats aren't that good for much else anyway. Optimise his social skills, cutting skills such as stealth and just throw a single rank into each of the knowledge skills for free knowledge about how to abuse the various aspects of life.

I would probably have him have a longer term goal than just "personal pleasure" if you're going to use him for more than a short adventure. He's a little one-sided to be more than an annoying bump on the road to more glorious enemies.

Other than that, I can only recommend that you sit down and make him yourself, it will give you a far better understanding of the character when you use him to lie, cheat, manipulate and steal his way through the game setting :)

Edit: Don't plan too hard on him using Intimidate against the players, it's a short term effect, that leaves a very negative impression of the NPC and most players will instantly tag him as an antagonist and a target if he uses this tactic against them.

Instead use Diplomacy, compliment their achivements, talk of their heroics, get them drinks. All the while manipulating everyone around the heroes into giving him what he wants for free ;)

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