Ross Byers

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RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32. RPG Superstar 7 Season Star Voter. Organized Play Member. 10,441 posts (11,641 including aliases). 2 reviews. 2 lists. 1 wishlist. 1 Organized Play character. 11 aliases.



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RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

How would you build a 40K-style techpriest, servant of the Omnissah?

Technomancer? Which spells?

Mechanic? Exocortex has a good bit of 'the flesh is weak' flavor, but drone would let you have a servitor.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Based on discussion here, I've whipped together some acid-energy ray guns. The stats are a bit paint-by-numbers, but hey, the system is young.

Disintegrator Weapons
Disintegrator weapons generate a field that suppresses fundamental bonding forces, causing most normal matter to crumble into highly reactive mono-atomic dust.
Usually this dust forms molecules similar to those of the disintegrated material, but they sometimes react violently with ambient oxygen or other amospheric compounds.
Disintegrator weapons are named for the level on which they break up matter, from molecules down to baryons.

Disruptor Pistol (Atomic, baryonic, molecular, nuclear)
Disintegration pistols emit a pulse of distruptive energy wrapped in a pocket of magnetic force to prevent it merely disintegrating the air between the barrel and the target.

Disruptor Rifle (Atomic, baryonic, molecular, nuclear)
Disintegration rifles work similarly to disintegration pistols. However, they have the ability to sustain a heavier beam, instead of a bullet-like pulse.

Matter Disruption Excavator (Heavy, Light, Portable)
Originally designed as a industrial digging tool, a matter disruption excavator can be used as a dangerous, if short-ranged, weapon. A matter distruption excavator has increased range in a vacuum, as it does not waste energy breaking up air.

Disintegration Cutter (Industrial, Precision, Weaponized)
Disintegration cutters are used for slicing materials that are otherwise extremely difficult to damage, such as diamond or adamantine alloys.

Advanced Melee Weapons
One Handed Weapons
Disintegration Cutter, Precision
Level 5
4,100 cr
Damage 1d10 A
1 Bulk
Penetrating, Powered (Capacity 20, Usage 1)

Disintegration Cutter, Industrial
Level 10
15,600 cr
Damage 2d10 A
1 Bulk
Penetrating, Powered (Capacity 20, Usage 2)

Disintegration Cutter, Weaponized
Level 15
103,000 cr
Damage 4d10 A
1 Bulk
Penetrating, Powered (Capacity 40, Usage 4)

Small Arms
Disruptor Pistol, Molecular
Level 3
1,600 cr
Damage 1d6 A
Range 20 ft
Critical Burn 1d4
Capacity 20 Charges
Usage 1
L Bulk

Disruptor Pistol, Atomic
Level 8
12,200 cr
Damage 2d6 A
Range 20 ft
Critical Burn 1d6
Capacity 20 Charges
Usage 2
L Bulk

Disruptor Pistol, Nuclear
Level 13
46,000 cr
Damage 4d6 A
Range 20 ft
Critical Burn 1d8
Capacity 40 Charges
Usage 4
L Bulk

Disruptor Pistol, Baryonic
Level 18
46,000 cr
Damage 8d6 A
Range 30 ft
Critical Burn 1d10
Capacity 80 Charges
Usage 8
L Bulk

Longarms
Disruptor Rifle, Molecular
Level 4
2,500 cr
Damage 1d10 A
Range 30 ft
Critical Burn 1d6
Capacity 20 Charges
Usage 2
1 Bulk

Disruptor Rifle, Atomic
Level 9
15,200 cr
Damage 2d10 A
Range 30 ft
Critical Burn 1d8
Capacity 20 Charges
Usage 4
1 Bulk

Disruptor Rifle, Nuclear
Level 14
74,000 cr
Damage 4d10 A
Range 30 ft
Critical Burn 1d10
Capacity 40 Charges
Usage 8
2 Bulk

Disruptor Rifle, Baryonic
Level 19
609,000 cr
Damage 8d10 A
Range 40 ft
Critical Burn 1d12
Capacity 100 Charges
Usage 10
2 Bulk

Matter Disruption Excavator, Portable
Level 5
4,100 cr
Damage 2d6 A
Range 10 ft (20 ft in vacuum)
Capacity 20 Charges
Usage 2
2 Bulk
Blast, Penetrating, Unwieldly

Heavy Weapons
Matter Disruption Excavator, Light
Level 7
6,500 cr
Damage 2d8 A
Range 20 ft (40 ft in vacuum)
Capacity 80 Charges
Usage 4
3 Bulk
Blast, Penetrating, Unwieldly

Matter Disruption Excavator, Heavy
Level 14
120,800 cr
Damage 4d8 A
Range 30 ft (60 ft in vacuum)
Capacity 120 Charges
Usage 10
4 Bulk
Blast, Penetrating, Unwieldly

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

How does one get proficiency with the special weapons? I feel like I'm missing something obvious.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Who is supposed to use Longarms?

Soldiers get Longarms, but they also get heavy weapons, which are better unless you really like shifting your grip to drink serums and apply medpatches.

Anyone can take Longarm Proficiency (and some of the build guides in the core book suggest this), but they won't get their 3rd level free Specialization, which is at least slightly discouraging.

Are they just for Exocortex Mechanics?

Are they really enough better than Small Arms that they're worth a feat, even without Specialization?

Am I missing something stupidly obvious?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

In Pathfinder, Aroden's failed return broke prophecy.

In Starfinder, the Gap broke history.

It occurs to me that those are opposites.

Does the ending of the Gap mean prophecies might work again, in a great spacial-temporal version of turning it off and back on again?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Kasatha are described as tradition bound, but we're only given two examples.

The first shows up in all their art - Kasatha keep their mouths covered. This is easy to explain - mouths are bodily orifices, and Kasatha wear masks for the same reason humans wear pants: they don't want to show off either end of their digestive tract. Humans and other species are then all being a little gross, but they're another species, so it's a bit more like seeing Donald Duck never wear pants than being outright rude.

The second is the preference for melee over ranged combat. This has a few roots that I can see. Most obviously, Kasatha have a racial Strength bonus, so on average they're better at melee compared to other races. But they also come from an old culture that plateaued some time ago. Wars fought with swords (even Laser Swords) have way less collateral death and destruction than those fought with guns and bombs. And duels are more manageable than wars. And duels using melee weapons are a lot easier to make non-lethal than duels using guns (fencing foils and bokken vs. laser tag and MILES gear.)

What other Kasatha traditions (and explanations thereof) are there?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

My first, and only SFS character received the number 702, instead of the 701 that would have enabled the 'Welcome to Starfinder' boon. Can it be renumbered?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I recently received the 'Goblin Golem of Obsidian' card in my Paizo shipment, and I'd like to have access to it on both iOS and Android.

Is there a way to mark my Google Play Games and GameCenter logins as being equivalent?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This was a great book. My only real complaint is that The Specialist seems a rather lot like Alaeron with the serial numbers filed off, to the point of me wishing he was just Alaeron.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 6 people marked this as a favorite.

Archetypes can be tricky to balance, especially for new designers, because of the automatic assumption that you should get something for what you give up.

But the truth is that sometimes giving something up doesn't mean anything, and sometimes there is no room to improve.

I'm going to talk about the latter reason first, because it is simpler and it breaks the game faster.

When there is no room to improve

The inspiration was this thread was the desire for a 'caster cleric', so I'll talk about that. Clerics are a 9-level caster with a huge spell list. They don't get free metamagic feats or quite as many flashy spells as Wizards do, but they don't need to keep a spellbook and get more spells every time a new rulebook comes out.

This means that to a certain extent they don't need metamagic, because they can simply find a higher-level spell that does more damage, or lasts longer, or whatever instead of applying metamagic to a lower-level spell.

There isn't a lot of room between 'cleric' and 'wizard' to make a cleric's spellcasting better.

Some classes are already the best at what they do - making them better at that thing just reduces their versatility (because you traded something else off) or breaks the game (because you gave them 10th level spells or a BAB of 2 x level)

Giving up somethingnothing

Sean K Reynolds touched on this when giving advice for designing archetypes:

Sean wrote:

4) Limiting an existing class ability to one already-available choice isn't cool, nor is it a limitation.

A rogue archetype that says "you have to take this rogue talent at level 4" isn't cool.
A fighter archetype that says "you have to take this weapon category at level 5" isn't cool.
And, assuming that choice is especially appropriate for that character, it's not really a limitation because the character would probably want that thing anyway. A character with a dagger-fighter archetype wants to take "light blades" for weapon training, so forcing him to do it isn't a limitation to the character at all, and you shouldn't treat it like it's a penalty or weakness to justify making another new class ability better (as in, "oh, the daggermaster has to take "light blades," so to compensate for that limitation I'll give the archetype this other cool thing...").

(Similar points here and here.)

This most obviously applies to things like taking away bonus feat to give a specific feat that such a character was going to take anyway (Forgepriest Warpriests were going to take Craft Magic Arms and Armor at 3rd level anyway.) Or restricting a domain choice to the ones that thematically match the rest of the class. These decisions aren't bad design on their own - they are bad design when used to justify a power increase elsewhere.

Suppose I made a 'ranged cleric' archetype that gets to apply Reach Spell to all their Touch range spells for free. Taking away medium armor for that archetype isn't as much of a drawback as it looks like, because such a character has an easier time keeping their distance from the bad guys (unlike a stock cleric, which has to get nearer the action). In fact, such a character might have been happy switching to light armor anyway, because the extra 10 feet of movement keeps more space between them and threats.

This is particularly true when designing an archetype for yourself. 'Must worship Desna' isn't a drawback if your character was going to do that anyway. 'Must be X alignment' isn't a drawback if you were going to be that anyway. Being harmed by positive energy isn't a drawback if you were already making a dhampir. Removing spells from your class list isn't a drawback if you as a player were never going to prepare those spells, and so on.

You can't have everything
The 9-level casters generally don't have a lot of class features to play with. They have spellcasting, some type of customization suite (schools, patrons, bloodlines, domains), and a chassis (BAB, skill points, HD, saves).

The arcane casters are hardest: generally its easier to make a new school or bloodline than swap pieces of a wizard or sorcerer - they can't even really trade off bits of their chassis - already having minimum BAB, skill points, and HD.

This means that most cleric archetypes have a very small list of things to trade off - one or both domains, BAB, HD, maybe Channel Energy. One can't get upset with a downgrade to 1/2 BAB to get some other shinies - there just isn't much else to trade.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

When I came back from vacation, I found my copy of PF #100 waiting for me. However, a nice big bite was taken out of page 100 (apropos, I know). The pages on either side were fine, and the crinkles at the edge of the tear were perfectly flat, so I'm assuming this happened somewhere in the print/bind part of production, rather than in shipping.

Any chance I could have a pristine copy put in my package next month? Do you want/need photos of the damage?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Please cancel my Pathfinder Campaign Setting and Pathfinder Player Companion subscriptions.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I don't seem to have the PDF for the Giantslayer Map Folio on my account.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Magic circle against X is a 10 foot-radius circle. It can be focused inwards, pretty much always to support a planar binding, but could probably be used as a jail for an outsider in a pinch.

If you try to put a creature that is bigger than the circle in it, this happens

Magic Circle Against Evil wrote:
If a creature too large to fit into the spell's area is the subject of the spell, the spell acts as a normal protection from evil spell for that creature only.

I have no idea what that means. Is the creature mobile? Are other creatures warded against it, or it against them?

I also have no idea when it would apply - the circle is a 10-foot radius from the affected creature - how can it be bigger than itself? Is it possible to have made the diagram too small?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Are there any psychopomps concerned with shepherding souls to the material plane for birth?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

19 hours left

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Nominally speaking, the Pathfinder timeline advances in real time (it was 4707 when it started publishing, it is 4715 now). But Paizo has stated that they don't want to canonize exactly when or in what order adventures happen, especially for ones that could significantly change the campaign setting.

For instance, the Guide to the Worldwound notes the fall of the Tower of Yath, which occurred in The Worldwound Gambit. But that tidbit doesn't change any adventures - it's just an easter egg to notice if you've read the book. Likewise, Stalking the Beast and Reign of Stars make reference to other Pathfinder Tales stories. But it doesn't affect their plots - they aren't sequels. Well, both of those actually are sequels. What I mean is they aren't sequels to the other works they reference.

And progressing the timeline via fiction is less damaging than via adventures. It's still an extra book to read, but at least a story has exactly one outcome. An adventure, or adventure path, can have wildly varying outcomes.

Which brings me to my point. I've been reading Lord of Runes. I haven't finished it yet, so this might not be a complete set of examples.

It occurs in Korvosa, mentioning the Blood Veil plague and Gray Maidens.

It has references to Thassilonian lore that imply the the Shattered Star AP and/or Rise of the Runelords AP have been completed. (More likely the former than latter, since the looting of Xin Shalast isn't mentioned.)

And I've just reached the part when Eando Kline shows up, which I think implies the Serpent's Skull AP occurred.

But the big one, because it actually changes the world, is it refers to the Mendevian Crusades as being over, which I have to assume relates to the conclusion of the Wrath of the Righteous AP. (I suppose this had to be addressed somewhat, since Kings of Chaos ties in to the destruction of Kenabres at the beginning of that AP.)

Is this just a consequence of being the fifth book in the Radovan and the Count books, where their own self-contained history needs to be able to move forward?

Do the Radovan and the Count stories get broader license to do this kind of thing as the 'flagship' of the Tales line? Or just Lord of Runes, as the first of the Tor books going to a wider audience?

Is this a change in approach to the fiction in general?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

In the Pathfinder Tales thread, Chris said the intent was to provide links from the product pages of the novels to the digital versions on sites like the iBookstore or Kindle store.

It seems like linking to Comixology for the Pathfinder Comics would have a similar purpose.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Please cancel my Pathfinder Tales subscription. I still support the line, but at this point eBooks serve me best.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Throw Anything and Catch off guard are weird feats.

They are basically Weapon Proficiency (Improvised).

Clearly, they are not meant to replace individual weapon proficiency feats - that would make them too good. So we have to say, 'no, a longsword is real weapon - you can't use Catch Off-guard with it.'

But that leads to the weird situation where an Alchemist (since they all get Throw Anything to go with their bombs) is better at throwing a beer stein or a rock than a throwing axe, which is meant to be thrown. (Your GM might decide the rock only does 1d4 damage, but 1d4 that hits is better than 1d6 that doesn't.)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

What's the best way to get some use out of the Explosive Disarm ability? It seems neat to blast open a door or ruin a trap with a bomb, but the AC is the same as the trap DC...which is going to be higher than a typical touch attack. Why should I roll an attack roll with 3/4 BAB instead of a Disable Device check with full ranks, plus half level in bonuses from Trap Finding, when the difficulty is the same?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

As tablets become more prevalent, would Paizo consider allowing the option to download single-file PDFs unzipped?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

8 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 13 people marked this as a favorite.
Credits page wrote:

Authors • Dennis Baker, Jesse Benner, Ross Beyers, Logan Bonner, Jason Bulmahn, Robert Emerson, Tim Hitchcock, Jason Nelson,

Tom Phillips, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Thomas M. Reid, Robert Schwalb, Mark Seifter, and Russ Taylor

*Ahem*

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Fuse grenades (and their shrapnel-filled children pellet grenades) take 1d3 rounds to go off.

However, they can also be thrown as splash weapons.

Does this mean

A) That you can throw them for immediate ignition similar to alchemist's fire, with a ranged touch attach and the whole nine yards?

B) Or is this just saying to use the Splash Weapon rules to figure out which square one lands in when you throw it, then you have to wait for it to go off?

I have the feeling the answer is B, because a direct hit seems unnecessary when these items have a blast radius. Which leads to my secondary question:

When you activate a grenade, do you know if it has 1, 2, or 3 rounds before detonating? I.e. can you (safely) hold it for a couple rounds before throwing, so your foe doesn't have a chance to move away?

Does it go off at the beginning or end of your turn? Let's say I've rolled a '1' on my fuse (or I rolled a 2 and held it for a round, or a 3 and held it for two rounds). Do I have to throw it this turn or risk having my fingers blown off? Can I throw it next turn before it explodes, but without letting anyone else react?

What if I ready an action (or delay), so that I act before the time my next turn would have started?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

The 'My Subscriptions' page still has this test:

My Subscriptions wrote:

Currently the Strategy Guide may be erroneously displayed as shipping in February for some subscribers who have not ordered it.

This is merely a display issue, and we will not be sending out the books to anyone who has not ordered it.
If you are unsure if you have ordered the Strategy Guide or not, please check your Order History page.

Is it perhaps time for that to come down?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I have a PbP infernal sorcerer. Is there any relatively straightforward way to get glibness on his spell list?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Guillotine Chic

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

These mythic powers say"As a swift action, you can expend one use of mythic power to cast any one arcane spell without expending a prepared spell or spell slot."

Does that mean that you actually cast the spells as part of the swift action (Essentially Quickening them), or merely that, like many other Mythic powers, you spend your Swift action to use the power, but you still have to obey the normal casting time of the spell?

I suspect the latter, but I'm not finding any rules to back me up.

If the former, those are much more powerful than I would have thought.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Spell resistance is a lame mechanic - essentially AC for spells. But not on all monsters. Just some monsters.

It's an extra hurdle - Saves are already like AC for spells.

It's often attached to creatures that have elemental resistances, making damage spells even worse options.

It has odd mechanical implications regarding what is real and what is magical (i.e. spell resistance doesn't protect against a magically conjured boulder falling on you, but does against magically created fire exploding around you), largely giving Conjuration spells a pass.

Related, it is often overlooked when developing new spells. Sometimes Spell Resistance is thought of as a balancing spell feature, sometimes it gets a 'No' because that leads to physical impossibilities*, and sometimes because the spell author just wrote something based on the school and it was never revisited.

It has no flavorful hooks, making to give responses to knowledge checks other than 'is resistant to magic!', which ceases to be an interesting tidbit after the 80th time.

It isn't immunity, so monsters cannot really say 'I am above your mortal magic'.

It applies to spells uniformly, making it less a puzzle (the way elemental resistances are), and more an exercise in finding which spells say 'Spell Resistance: No'.

Proposals to fix it:

Get rid of numeric spell resistance. It effectively only comes in 3 'strengths': 5 + CR, 10 + CR, and 15 + CR. Why not have something more like a 50% miss chance instead of 10 + CR, which works out about the same?

Whenever possible, change spell resistance to something more interesting. Imagine if, instead of having SR X, a Succubus was instead immune to Enchantment spells. That's fitting (Can't b!##%*+* a b*#&!~+$ter), is something interesting to reveal via knowledge check, and is something that the spellcaster can work around, instead of doubling down and hoping for a high roll or looking for SR: No spells.

Abilities that are more interesting than SR:
Immune to one or more schools/descriptor of magic.
Evasion/Improved evasion or the equivalent for Fort and Will saves.
Bonuses to saves against magic (Hi there, dwarves!)
Un-typed magic damage resistance, to soak up the damage from spells like magic missile, disintegrate, or slay living that avoid the resisted elemental types.

*:
e.g. what would it mean if Spell Resistance made you immune to having a wall of iron toppled over on you.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

The weird things:

1)Monsters often have dramatically high Natural Armor scores, which frequently begin to feel gamist to keep pace with their CRs.

2)Every single PC gains at least +1/2 BAB per level, leading to the odd situation where a high level wizard gets progressively better at attack rolls, despite the fact he hasn't used his dagger since 2nd level and the Touch ACs he does roll attacks against are mostly static.

3) Characters have no innate AC gain, relying on protective magic gear for scaling. (A fully-equipped PC gains ~1 AC per level, though it can come in clumps if there is a crafter in the group.*)

The proposed change:
Fighters, barbarians, etc. get 1/2 BAB
Bards, Magi, etc. get get 1/4 BAB
Wizards, witches, etc. get 0 BAB
Amulets of natural armor cease to be a thing, and rings of protection increase in cost by 50%.
Monsters lose Natural Armor equal to 1/2 their CR.

The result:
Against monsters of equal CR, combat doesn't change - Attack bonuses and AC changed by the same amount.

Monsters above CR are slightly easier to hit.

Monsters below CR are slightly harder to hit.

Fighter attack bonuses scale at the same rate as caster saves.

*:
AC magic items require CL of 3 times the bonus, and there are three major AC items: amulet of natural armor, ring of protection, and either magical armor or bracers of armor. So with a crafter on board AC jumps by 3 every 3 levels, instead of moving more smoothly.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

with the stars in his eyes.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

This month's subscription order is only three softcover books, which I would expect in the white cardboard mailer envelope. But my confirmation email shows it shipping Priority at a cost of $13.97. That seems high.

I saw in the November Shipment thread that there was an issue with removing sidecarted books (like the strategy guide) from subscription orders. Was my shipping calculated based on the Strategy Guide, which is heavier and would require a box?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

8 people marked this as a favorite.

Channeling Cheapy and Sean, I wanted to remind people what makes for good playtest feedback.

I've updated Cheapy's ACG post for Occult Adventures.

I’m not the end-all-be-all for what Paizo wants from this, but here are my thoughts on the topic.


  • You are not the lead designer. Jason is.
  • Ignore typos and grammatical errors. That’s not what they want to playtest. They want you to test the rules.
  • Give feedback, not opinions. If you don’t like the idea of the new classes, then don’t just say that. It’s not too helpful as that ship has sailed long ago.
  • You’re still not the lead designer. Jason is still the lead designer. That’s his job.
  • Don’t make houserules for it and then give feedback with those rules influencing your perceptions. Think of it like a recipe site. You go there to find a recipe, and you see a 1 star review for a pasta recipe you’re looking at. The review states that the cook substituted ice cream for butter, and marmite for pesto sauce. Surprisingly, the cook found the recipe to be absolutely horrible. But this review isn’t helpful. It’s helpful for a pasta recipe that includes ice cream instead of butter and marmite instead of pesto sauce. But that’s not the recipe they were reviewing. At all. The recipe they were reviewing had butter and pesto.
  • Remember that the point of the playtest is to work out all the kinks so that you don’t have to make houserules about the classes.
  • Play the game, see what happens. A lot of problems seem like they’ll exist in pure theorycrafting, but don’t really show up in actual play. Keep this in mind. (There was a time when the Summoner was considered underpowered.)
  • If you can, try to playtest multiple different power-levels of the game. How these new, advanced classes work out could be a lot different between a group consisting of synthesist god-tank-pouncers, zen archers, optimized God wizards, and AM BARBARIAN and a group consisting of a sword and board paladin, a rogue rapier-duelist, a cleric of healing and love, and a sorcerer focusing on illusions.
  • Core! Core is great because it sets the base-line level of power. It’s fine if you play some tengu with 5 natural attacks at first level or some aasimar that through various rules hoops has some feats meant for tieflings, but if you find that with the new classes you’re making a completely ridiculous character, consider how much of that is due to the new classes versus the non-core rules. In fact, keep that in mind with core rules as well.
  • I believe that the default assumption in the game is 15 point buy with the core races and the balanced option for wealth by level. Testing at this point is a great way to test.
  • These classes aren't going to be perfect. They might have serious flaws. But that’s what the playtest is for. Designing is hard, doubly so for a base class.
  • Positive feedback, or at least constructive feedback, is immensely preferred to negative feedback. See Sean’s post here for a bit on that. But suffice to say, positive feedback is more helpful because it fosters a helpful environment. It’s the difference between working together and stand-offishly stating your “factpinions” as gospel. If you ever start a sentence that follows this form, you’re doing it wrong: "<feature X> is the worst thing I've ever seen and here’s how I would change it to make it <(balanced, useful, cool, English)>."
  • Despite saying that positive feedback fosters an environment of working together, we aren't working together to make the classes. Jason is still the lead designer of Pathfinder. The odds are probable that you aren’t. Our job, insomuch as it can be called that, is to playtest and report in an unbiased fashion to let them sift through the results.
  • PFS play is useful because it provides a set, known standard of rules. It’s a great environment for testing, as theoretically it’s run the same everywhere. But that doesn't mean that home games aren't useful. In fact, home games can provide very useful information, as sometimes restricting options is a great way to see how these classes do. Core and APG only, no Golarion line crunch? That’s going to present a vastly different playtest result than if done in PFS. Keep this in mind, and try to list your playtest parameters out at the beginning of any playtest reports you give. If someone were to come up with a basic form for all playtest feedback, that’d be solid, and I would recommend everyone use it, just to make sifting through information easier.
  • Try to keep track of die rolls in your playtest report. There's a difference between power and luck. Did your kinesicist kick ass because it's overpowered, or because you didn't roll below a 12 all session? Are too many foes immune to your Mesmerist, or did they just all make their Will saves? I've had encounters that would appear to prove that a Sorcerer makes a great crossbowman: die rolls are important.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I thought I had put my Strategy Guide into my sidecart, but it is currently listed as 'pending'.

If this is not in my sidecart, please put it in my sidecart.
If it IS in my sidecart, can you please tell me how to figure that out on my own in the future.

3/5 RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Oh, you're finally reading those? I guess my 2 and a half year old Varisia-themed quests are feeling a bit dated now...

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Is it worthwhile to invest in the Leadership feat and/or the Loyalty power of the Marshal mythic path? Is there a way for your cohort to gain Mythic ranks?

My concern is that nothing changes the 'Cohort at your level -2' thing. Even with Loyalty allowing stacking your mythic tier, that is likely only to net more followers, rather than a stronger cohort.

A (for instance) level 8 cohort, hanging around with 4 level 10 characters is doing okay. But when those level 10 characters have 5 mythic ranks and can fight a CR 15 monster causually, that cohort is looking a little less like an asset and a little more like a liability. (Getting even more attacks with Marshal's order is nice and all, but only if those attacks can expect to actually matter.)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Clockwork mage?

*looks closer*

Robot clockwork mage!?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The bastard sword (or the Dwarven waraxe) is the iconic hand-and-a-half weapon. But no one ever uses it as one: anyone interested in wading in two-handed would rather just use a greatsword (and save a feat), and most shield-and-sword builds would rather use a feat for something other than one-bigger die size and less-frequent loot drops.

Add to that the fact that the entire 'one-handed' weapon category are hand-and-a-half weapons in that you can switch to a two handed grip for more damage (assuming a Str > 14.) Historically, longswords/broadswords were likely to be hand-and-a-half hilted.

It might be interesting to re-evaluate the weapon categories from light/one-handed/two-handed to something like light (daggers, shortswords)/one-handed (sabers, rapiers, scimitars)/half-and-a-half (longsword, battleaxe, mace)/two-handed (greataxe, greatsword), perhaps with simple Str pre-reqs to proficiency instead of requiring a secondary feat.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me, but has the font in quotes and the left-side navigation three been changed?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Gearless characters are one of those things many people want. 'Vow of poverty' monks or ascetic clerics. A 'low-magic' style feel of not being festooned in system-required numerical bonuses. A desire for a character's accomplishments to be their own doing, not just their magic belt. And so on.

But the system fights this, and hard. There is a basic assumption in the CR tables that you've spent a certain amount of wealth on AC and save bonuses, or on improving your attack roll and damage (if you use attack rolls and weapon damage.)

A GM wishing to run a 'low magic' campaign can simply lower Wealth-per-level and use less powerful monsters, or perhaps just adjust AC, attack, and save DCs somewhat. But that isn't quite fair across the party: spellcasters and martial classes are affected by access to wealth differently. Spellcasters use magic items to save juice - Reducing their wealth simply shortens the adventuring day as more spell slots are spent on basic buffs and healing. Martial characters, in contrast, use magic items to gain new abilities: reducing their wealth increases the chances that a martial character is unable to affect the outcome of an encounter.

There have also been attempts to fit a gearless character into a party of more ordinary characters. These tend to have secondary problems. For instance the 'Vow of poverty' style solution where a character refuses to use gear in exchance for static bonuses. This approach requires the GM to adjust the wealth in their campaign, to avoid the other party members getting a larger share. Additionally, static numerical bonuses (like these approaches usually give) are only half the battle. They don't address the other things magic items can do, like flight or the use of other magical effects. In a way, they also cheapen the idea of a Vow of Poverty: if going without gets you the same result, then there is no sacrifice. (Set had an excellent commentary on Good getting all the toys here.)

Other solutions involve 'buying' magical bonuses by sacrificing/tithing/donating wealth. These solutions manage to avoid upsetting expected WBL, but are mechanically a bit hollow. It feels like a hack, because it is, and also kind of feels like just buying invisible magic items. (Incidentally, it also somewhat cheapens crafting feats.) Sometimes this approach involves magical tattoos or the like, which really do just become magic items under another name.

Gearless characters are also immune or more resistant to sundering, disarming, and dispelling effects, which is usually not the intent of these abilities, but should be considered when balancing them.

I don't have a solution. This thread is for discussion so we can find one.

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This is spun off of some of the discussion of Pathfinder Unchained.

As written, planar binding has issues.

  • The reliance on magic circle (and dimensional anchor) creates a Spell Known tax on spontaneous casters, and creates problems for aligned casters.
  • It treats all outsiders the same, regardless of alignment or ethos: There is only a minimal difference between binding a demon and an angel.
  • 'Unreasonable', 'impossible', and 'cannot complete though its own action' are vague, leading to wide table variation, especially if the GM tries to use these clauses to reign in the spell
  • Even lesser planar binding is a 5th level spell, meaning that characters who want to make such deals don't actually 'turn on' until 9th or 10th level.
  • It has jagged cuttoffs determined by spell level, not caster level, making evaluating bound outsiders an exercise in system mastery and corner-cases.
  • And the big one, it is a poorly-bounded spell (HD is a poor indicator of potency) that gets bigger with every Bestiary, and as a result exhibits loopholes, like making wish into a 6th level spell if you're not in a hurry.

At the same time, it's easy to see why errata hasn't been issued - I have hard time imagining errata that would fit on the page, and address things like the wish loophole in a way that doesn't either arbitrarily limit some SLAs that are ok, or become an itemized list 'per monster'. And you'd still have the problem of a future book possibly breaking the spell.

In comparison, the summon monster (and summon nature's ally) spells use a curated list of monsters, checked for general power level and early access to spell-like abilities. The list doesn't get bigger with later monster books: instead new, different spells like eagle aerie, summon minor monster, or summon elder worm are necessary.

Likewise, Polymorph effects had similar problems in the 3.0 era. They were streamlined somewhat in 3.5, but was a monumentally flexible spell that got better and more flexible with every Monster Manual.

Pathfinder solved the problems with the polymorph spell by breaking it up like Ma Bell. It became a series of spells that granted access to specific forms, with clearly delineated powers. Beast shape i made simpler transformations like turning into a wolf possible at lower than 7th level, but eventually obsolesces like most spells (compared to 3.5 polymorph, which scaled smoothly up to 15th level). New monster books no longer inflated the powers of these spells unless specifically added and evaluated as a new spell. Individual powers could be evaluated on a better basis than 'how many HD does the critter have'. It was a much better paradigm for everyone but sorcerers, who now had to invest in more spells if they wanted to turn into many different shapes. I think that's fine: 'anyspells' should be limited for exactly that kind of reason, and it makes the 'shapeshifter sorcerer' invest in parallel spells in the same way that a 'fire sorcerer' or 'beguiler sorcerer' does. It promotes the ability to actually know what your spells do, instead of bringing the game to a halt to flip through 5 monster books in case there is one with <12 HD that would happen to solve the problems none of your other available spells can.

So, my proposal is this: break planar binding (and possibly planar ally) into a series of spells. Bind genie i could be lower-level and bind a janni, while bind genie iv (or whatever) could get an efreeti, and require 17th caster level to actually get a wish. Bind devil i could be limited to imps and lemures. You can mirror fantasy tropes and make it easier to bind demons/devils than angels, reducing the team red/team blue thing some alignment-based spells have now.


I will reserve final judgement until I see the finished class, but the hit to Sacred Weapon hurts a lot. I can only hope that we will get some way to replenish our fervor like the other limited pool classes.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

The more I think about it, the more I think that PCs aren't meant ot reach 20th level.

I mean, Pathfinder created capstones, which implies someone is supposed to get there, but spell progressions are weird about it.

9-level casters get a new spell level every other level. But there are no 10th level spells at level 19 (or level 20 for spontaneous casters)

6-level casters get a new spell level every third level. But there are no 7th level spells at 19th level.

4-level casters get a new spell level every fourth level. But there are no 5th level spells at 17th level.

To me, this really says that PCs are meant to peter out around 17th level: 20th level exists so you can have an NPC BBEG who challenges the whole party, but doesn't have a 'next tier' of spells in his spellbook the wizard will never get to play with.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

When I ordered my copy of the Emerald Spire, I put it in my sidecart. But today I got my shipping notice for June subs and it wasn't included, so I came and checked on it, only to find it 'pending' as a separate order.

Not sure how that happened, but I did change my address a day or two ago. Maybe that popped it back out of the sidecart?

Anyway, can I get these orders combined to save on shipping?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Inner Sea Gods had a nice little chart of deities and which creatures serve them (if not necessarily exclusively), but I was sort of elaborating on that by thinking about which deities are essentially members of a given outsider race. That is, Erastil and Torag get along with archons, and have archon servants, but they aren't archons themselves.

Asmodeus is the ruler of Hell, and devils all work for him. Even if he isn't a proper Devil himself, being instead a fallen angel or a primordial deity that created the devils, there are several Archdevils that started as non-devils and now have devilish traits. Asmodeus almost certainly has the devil subtype, even if he wasn't 'born' with it.

Gozreh might be an aeon. (S)he is a primal force, and encompasses dualities: Male/female, Sea/Sky, and so on. But this is a stretch.

Lamashtu is a demon. There is no argument on this.

Nethys has to have become an Aeon: the duality thing is perfect, right down to deities being a paradox of immense power and the inability to use it directly. I suspect that Nethys's moment of ascension, when he achieved arcane omnipotence, tapped into the multiverse itself, which the aeons serve directly.

Pharasma can't possibly be anything other than the biggest and greatest of the psychopomp Ushers.

Rovagug is a qlippoth. This went from fan conspiracy theory to canonized. This may have been the truth all along, but James Jacobs has admitted that sometimes when your players come up with an evil plan better that what you have, it's often better to go with their theory as if it was right all along.

Sarenrae has to be an angel. I've debated with people if she's an ascended angel, or the first angel, or creator of the angels. But one way or another, she is an angel.

Zon-Kuthon is a kyton. Maybe Dou-Bral was corrupted by the same force that created the kytons. Maybe Zon-Kuthon created them, or adopted them based on a similar outlook. But like Asmodeus and devils, we can safely assume Zon-Kuthon has the kyton subtype.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

It looks like this is my May subscriptions shipment. I also preordered the Deluxe Harrow deck, which was to be combined with my subscription shipments. Is it also expected this month, and if so, why isn't it attached to this order?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Iomedae has been a deity for 800 years or so. But she wasn't one of the 'Core 20' for the Inner Sea until the disappearance of Aroden a century ago.
Therefore, most of the paladins, clerics, and other various holy warriors in the first and second Mendevian Crusades were of other deities: Erastil, Torag, Sarenrae. The Knights of Ozem would have been one of the only sources of Iomedaen paladins at that time.

In the century since, Iomedae has become the paladin deity of Golarion. It makes me wonder how much of her ascension from patron saint/demigod to Core 20 deity has been a result of drawing paladins to the Worldwound, instead of merely filling the gap left by Aroden.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Psychic Paper
Aura faint illusion; CL 3rd
Slot -; Price 1,800 gp; Weight -
Description
This item normally appears as a sheet or paper or a small folio. With a small effort of will, the bearer can cause it to project a phantasm of a document of the bearer's choice. This is a move action.
This effectively grants a +10 competence bonus on the bearer's Linguistics check to produce a forgery.
Any creature that handles or closely inspects the paper is entitled to a Will save (DC 13) to disbelieve the phantasm.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, magic aura, silent image; Cost 900 gp

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

You're welcome.


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