Shiyara the High Mediator

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The mafia in my setting has the wizard laundry business on lockdown and will break your knees if you try to set up shop without giving them their cut.

Being able to ship meat all over the place should be lucrative enough to employ a lot of wage mages for casting Preserve (or gentle repose if you've got a small number of really big things).

I've had characters reach 18 on the "medium" xp track over the course of a very long campaign that I ran.

ErichAD wrote:
The "twisting fear" vigilante talent is a pretty good deal. Combine that with the 11th level grisily murder ability of the serial killer vigilante archetype and you got something pretty interesting going on.

Thank you, this one helped me find Dreadful Carnage, which is much nicer than Gory Finish just for wording alone.

Intimidate skill unlocks are tempting if only because it presents a less cheesy feeling way of going for Frightened than fear stacking via disheartening display (I try to avoid anything that shuts down my players without giving them a save)

So I'm doing up a villain heavily based around being a very frightening person (Antipaladin 3, Unrogue (Thug) 4, Barbarian 5), and I'm kind of wishing she had something to sort of pull it all together. Right now, she's of course got cornugon smash and shatter defenses, allowing her to sneak attack (with all that entails) and use all her thug junk more or less with impunity, and gory finish to keep scaring everyone around her. What I'd really like is to know if there's an item/feat/class ability/archetype/whatever that would let her pull back some bonuses for scaring people. Or anything else that would kind of round it all out. She has no problems causing fear, and I could make that side of it worse pretty easily, but what I'm interested in is anything that will let me make the fear do more stuff.

As a side-note, I'm not very interested in Disheartening Display for this.

Anyway, I'd appreciate suggestions.

I think that, if we're assuming this is a more modern style court system that cares about discerning the truth, resisting the will save on Zone of Truth would be equivalent to saying "no" when the judge asks you to promise to tell only the truth. You are now in contempt of court, go directly to jail, do not collect $200.

Speaking only to modern society, it's hard to make a judgement based purely on RAW because it's hard to know how the spell reacts in different situations. There's definitely potential for abuse though, and I think you'd see a push to get it out of the courtroom make information obtained through its use inadmissible. Skilled prosecutors and defense attorneys could abuse its function, interrogators would just look at it as another tool to put pressure on suspects (and we already know interrogations are often deliberately set up to warp peoples' sense of reality, so does the false confession count as deliberately lying if they've got me believing it?), and ultimately you're just shifting the burden of trust onto the person who cast the spell and knows if the subject passed or failed their save. "Deliberate and intentional lies" suggests all kinds of possibility for the truth to get warped in unpleasant ways.

And as someone just pointed out to me, most witnesses are under misapprehensions of what they saw.

Edit: Actually Zone of Truth is an AoE spell, so I don't believe the caster even knows if the save has been passed or not.

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Fighting with weapons is as much about understanding space and being able to rapidly ascertain what the other fighter needs to do in order to hit you. You could just as easily make a case for int-based accuracy. Or wis-based if you want to make it about the reflexiveness of that mental ability. Being strong and fast certainly helps, and you need a certain baseline of strength to make a weapon do particular things, but at the same time, no one is really mentally capable of performing up to their body's peak physical potential, so it's not too hard to make a case for the mental side of fighting outweighing the physical.

But then there's a ton of different factors that drastically change what is and isn't useful from situation to situation. Dueling weapons tend to be very technical and take a lot of skill to use effectively where weapons designed for large scale combat tend to favour simplicity to the point where some soldiers in some situations may not really be making much use of their "stats" at all.

Reality runs on rules so complicated as to appear vastly inconsistent. Fighting is messy and unpleasant and doesn't have comfortably predictable outcomes most of the time. Tabletop needs to have rules that can be quickly understood so the players can rely on them at least somewhat. So ultimately, which stat you use for hitting is a mechanical choice because stats are made up things that are only loosely connected with reality in the first place.

Trick him into using Daywalker and then flesh-to-stone him. By RAW, I think flesh to stone's only stipulation is that the subject has flesh when you cast it. Conceivably, it should work on inanimate objects if they have flesh somehow, as the spell specifies a subject, not a creature, and doesn't specify living flesh, so undead immunity to fort saves shouldn't actually matter by my reading. Daywalker's duration running out shouldn't technically change anything, since the spell is already cast.

You should still be moving down your iteratives, since there's nothing in charge to suggest that the charge attack is special, as with AoOs and dual wielding, which makes this the only situation that could really matter in, in which case I'd still say that if it absolutely needs to be debated, once the bull rush is happening, either you lose your valid charge target, or you're no longer in a legal charge because of the movement you make. Not to mention interrupting the charge to do a cleave.

Yeah, that Bull Rush specifies "the" melee attack, to me implies that it's meant to replace the attacking portion of the charge completely. Being that a pounce isn't a singular attack to begin with, the wording kind of breaks down otherwise.

I think there's other weirdness with trying to do them all too, like you pounce, bull rush in place of your first attack, great cleave off your bull rush, go into your cleave string, finish that, then you're left with your remaining attacks, but the target of your pounce has been moved away. Does that mean you can change the target of your initial charge if there's still adjacent enemies? Charge requires you to move to the closest space from which you can attack your opponent, so the other targets should be invalid, especially if the opponent you bull rushed was initially in the way. Edit: Okay, I forgot that you can move WITH the target of your bullrush, but that causes more conflict, since you've now moved through blocked squares on your charge.

I would probably consider it as bull rush and pounce being two separate things that can replace "the" melee attack at the end of a charge.

I mean as far as houserules go, Awesome Blow is usually only going to come up at all on an antagonist, since AFAIK its prerequisites are fairly prohibitive for PCs, so it's already in the GM's court as a basic assumption. And for pounce, it's usually going to make a pounce LESS dangerous (I'd rather be prone than dead); as a GM, I've used it specifically to mitigate a creature's damage-dealing ability while making them look powerful. If a PC DOES have it, even if they have someone pinned right to a wall, it's doing less overall than being specced fully into shieldbashing does in that situation, while still having a pretty steep buy in.

Anyway, RAW seems to pretty clearly allow you to make the check after each attack in a pounce.

Manufactured weapon pounces are inherently illogical because it's not like you can ready your three iteratives of a greathammer while running towards your opponent.

I know everyone has different levels of anime they're willing to accept, but for my money, I've tended to narrate it as something like Kenshin's Kuzu Ryu Sen (or any number of similar things in shonen comics). Yeah, it still doesn't make a lot of physical sense, but it's D&D so physics can take a hike.

A Cleaving Smash Vital Strike build with an oversized weapon can get you a pretty convincing Guts.

Necromancy disco? How about - Disco in the Velvet Room.

If you want something a bit more upbeat, Persona has a ton of good ones, but I'd go with the instrumental version of Life Will Change:

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I'm fond of my setting's prime villain, a single class blaster wizard named Freeden Thrayza. He's got a bunch of backstory, of course, but my guiding principle for him has always been that instead of having some singular evil plan, the thing that makes him a bad guy is that he lives and behaves with the perspective of a PC; that is, that he sees the world and all its people as existing as a backdrop for his good times. He's kind of pointedly a villain-sue in that regard. He's also one of the most important heroes in the setting's history; saved the universe and all that. So when a PC snapped at him for causing the deaths of her parents, he looked her in the eye and told her that every second she'd ever had with her parents was a gift from him in the first place. I try to run with the idea that in his mind, everything he does is justified because there's no way for his life to have been a net-negative when considered on the cosmic scale.

Manipulative in the extreme and highly narcissistic, he likes to find the loose threads in someone's personality and tug on them until they unravel completely. It's a visceral thrill for him. Makes him feel smart.

Originally he was two different characters. The first was someone I'd alluded to in the setting's history who was really bad news. The second was just me wanting to make a really good explosion wizard. In the end, I decided they were the same person. The party had a climatic fight with him in the last campaign I ran, and I think it remains one of the best encounters I've ever run. It was high level and extremely nuclear from both sides.

He suffered defeat there, but he's still around. I'm planning to have my current campaign finish with his final death.

You'll never be the best heavy single target DPR, so I suggest focusing on debuffs and area lockdown, which assuming you're in a group, can easily make you incredibly valuable

PFS Field Guide variant Lore Warden Fighter is a nice choice. You get Expertise and Manoeuvre Mastery. Expertise gets you one step closer to Whirlwind attack, which is beautiful if you want to do Cornugon Smash (w/shatter defenses and extra stuff from the Thug rogue archetype) or Dazing Assault or unrogue debilitations on absolutely everything. Manoeuvre Mastery is great for trip and disarm. A great thing with whips is you don't really have to bother with improved manoeuvre feats until later level, since you can be out of AoO range or doing Trip/Disarm on AoOs. Pin Down is, of course, really nice to get.

I was just building a whip user earlier as a level 11 NPC in a game I'm running. Unrogue (Thug imported from regular Rogue)5/Fighter (Lore Warden) 6. Starting out Unrogue is pretty solid because you can get flanks easily with reach to sneak attack and you can grab an extra feat with combat trick. Here's what I did to maximize my feats and get most of what I wanted into a level 11 build: human bonus feat, 4 bonus feats for fighter 6, one feat from combat trick, Weapon Training rogue talent to get Weapon Focus (Whip), and Lore Warden's inherent Expertise, all in addition to the standard feats, of course. That gives you a lot of feats to play with. For me, I used it to get up to Whirlwind Attack, Shatter Defenses, Greater Whip Mastery, and Agile Manoeuvres. Sadly it left me shy of Combat Reflexes, so if I were actually playing this character I'd probably take that before Agile Manoeuvres, but it's a bit of a tossup since each is less useful without the other. Beyond that, Lunge, Pin Down, and Dazing Assault would be the next three feats into this build, though not necessarily in that order.

I wouldn't bother with the Prehensile Whip trait, as one of the Whip Mastery feats (I think improved or greater, but I forget which) appears to do essentially the same thing but better, though it's stated kind of weird.

Consider getting either Pliant Gloves or.... that other reach enhancing item. I forget what it's called. Also potions of enlarge person as soon as you can get them. Later on, Juggernaut Pauldrons love a whip build if you can get them.

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Things blatantly work differently at the chemical and cellular level, since you can't just heal away fatigue or the internal damage caused by poisons, or the various types of ability damage caused by purely physical effects with simple healing spells.

I suppose one could argue that healing a specific structure in a cell would require treating that cell as a separate creature from the person wearing the ring, but then there's a bunch of other conflicts and things that don't make sense. I'd say that a given spell can only heal something its caster is aware of. The person who crafted that ring of regeneration knows what skin and bones and blood are, at least to some extent, but not what telomeres are. So if you really want to have a scientific explanation, it's possible that a ring of regeneration works the way it does because the person who crafted it doesn't have a microscope and doesn't know the exact process by which the skin is being regenerated. You could even make an argument for it reducing the overall integrity of the existing creature if it works like a skin graft or something.

Or, you know, magic runs on storybook rules. Or magic runs by laying alternate possibilities over top of existing reality and so only does exactly what you tell it to, or any of a million different things.

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Oh, I usually gloss over it with some passing reference to the funny bits and maybe a roll or two so I can make something embarrassing happen to someone because we're all over 30 and sex makes us giggle. Everyone wants to f$#* half my NPCs, so I generally run a fairly sexually open setting, which everyone seems to enjoy.

Edit: Also I don't think my players have ever invaded the home of a reclusive mage without discovering their exotic forms of magical masturbation. And there was one dungeon I ran where the entire mystery the players were unraveling was that the wizard who made it died because he tried to neg a marilith. There's a well known book on courting spirits and demons and soforth in my setting. All original copies of it carry a curse that compels the readers to write new editions with lethal errors.

You're right; I was thinking of Mogaru's breath vs Varklops' reflex. As far as flying out of reach and sniping with bites goes, I hadn't thought of that. It requires him to be close enough that Mogaru could still reach him by jumping though, and respond in kind which... I don't recall the specific mechanics on jumping and attacking, but it should be doable. At that point, I think Mogaru actually outdamages Varklops if they're both Vital Striking. But that doesn't reall matter because stunlock kills, so Var would certainly dominate in that scenario. Even if Mogaru gets his own breath off and Var fails the save, staggering doesn't actually affect the outcome here much.

So yeah, I agree. I just had their saves flipped around; thanks for pointing it out.

I think that, ultimately, an in-character Varklops is stupid enough to burn at least one round on breath weapon attacks that are ultimately useless against Mogaru, since he will absorb half the damage from them. Conversely, not having a triple breath weapon means Mogaru has less reason to try it in the first place, but if he does, he's still going to do some damage. Then again, there's still about a 50/50 chance that Mogaru gets stunned by any given breath attack from Varklops, and Varklops appears to have the stronger melee game. Flying, burrowing, or swimming don't really help either of them, as neither can get good enough damage going at range to outpace the other's regen.

Overall, I'd say it boils down to Varklops' precise behaviour, and the results of some saving throws. If a couple rounds get burned on breath weapons that can't significantly damage Mogaru, Mogaru is going to pull ahead and win. If he sticks to Mogaru with melee, he'll dominate the melee. Mogaru might have a chance there if he uses his grab to go to grapple and can rack up enough of an advantage there that Varklops starts actually missing attacks, but otherwise a straight melee doesn't favour him in my eyes.

Long odds on the grapple though, as Mogaru needs a 20 to initiate (unless the bonus from grab isn't calculated in on the numbers I see on PFSRD). But then the benefit of the grab special is that he can keep trying at no cost to himself.

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martinaj wrote:
The nature of complaints I see popping up a lot here boil down to "This class can't do whatever I want it to do." I mean, seriously? That's kind of the entire point of a class-based system. Different classes play differently. One of my biggest complaints of PF1 was that it got to the point where I felt like my class wasn't actually doing enough to distinguish my character. They had a couple unique gimmicks, sure, but a witch I made didn't feel fundamentally distinct enough from an Enchanter or a Fey Sorcerer. When someone comes out and says "I want X class to be able to do whatever I want," I have to wonder to myself why they're even playing Pathfinder instead of a system that uses build points to create characters, or maybe an STG.

What. Like what? This speaks to such a deep level of ignorance on the mechanics of PF1, and you're the one in here calling other people "Trumpian?" Really?

Like I mean witch vs enchanter okay. I mean witch is the base class alternate to the wizard, but even then: Different spell list, completely different ability track with features like prehensile hair, all of which motivates different synergies. I mean you CAN build a witch to operate similarly to a wizard, but that's really on you, and even then, it will never be the same because you have an entire different ability track. So sure, you've got options to do similar things to some of the classes adjacent to your own, buy if you're trying to build a witch like another class, then I'd suggest that perhaps distinguishing yourself as a witch isn't what you actually want to do.

Is your complaint that there were too many options? Because it sounds less like you're concerned with having a class distinguish itself (they do that absolutely fine) and more like you want classes to run along strict lines without branches or close relatives. Like you're here saying the witch isn't distinct enough from one set of options that a class which it's built to be an alternative to has, when it's pretty blatantly as distinct from that class as it can be while still being in the same family. That's an argument less about class distinction and more about having no periphery options to the core classes.

Edit: For the record though, that being what you want, you're going to be disappointed in the end, 'cause all those adjacent classes and options will come along eventually. Unless the edition is wildly unsuccessful, but I don't think anyone is hoping for that.

Buy every diamond in the world and build them all into a tank which will be named "Too Big To Fail." The tank is rigged with a bag of holding/portable hole failsafe self destruct. If they attack your tank, they'll destabilize the resurrection economy and send the upper planes into recession.

Reksew_Trebla wrote:
Java Man wrote:
I believe the initial claim was that something with stats could be killed, not that a single character could do if from a 30' distance. If you get to move the goal posts then of course you can always win.
No the initial claim was “If it has stats, you can kill it.” You is singular. If it was meant to be plural, it would would have said people.

I mean if you want to be that fastidiously literal about it, "you" would be referring to you, the real person. I'm reasonably certain that you are capable of writing big enough numbers on a piece of paper to kill any statted being in Pathfinder.

I like gishes, but not really 6 level casters as I always find myself wishing I had more spell levels. I’m a fan of straight fighters though just because sheer volume of feats lets me do a lot of fun technical things, like nutso crazy whip builds that do massive area lockdown with manoeuvres and dazing assault via whirlwind attack. I find fighter does better if you’re the kind of person who likes the sort of chess game of positioning in combat, as it can get the feats to really take advantage of that and build multiple sets of options.

With my own group, I’ve ruled that martials and non-isn’t based 6 level casters bottom out at 4+ int skill points, and specific to my setting, everyone in the world has access to some spell like abilities chosen from 0 level and 1st level spells (3 0 levels at 3/day total for everyone and 1 1st level per 5 character levels again at 3/day total with certain abusable spells restricted to casters) and this has alleviated a lot of issues.

Draconomicon had the Improved Speed feat if you don't mind importing something from 3.5.

There was also the Fly Like an Arrow spell from a Dragon magazine.

Soulgear wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:

The important part of the Batman is perfectly captured by the wizard class.

1. Exponential increase in strength with prep time.

2. Nearly unlimited money.

3. Smarter than everyone else in the party.

And hey, a level 8 wizard would beat Bruce Lee in a fist fight.

Bruce Lee! Are you nuckin futs?!

Bruce Lee was a very physically adept actor who won some fights when he was a teenager. He wasn't Goku. He couldn't reliably survive something like a forty foot fall, which a perfectly average 8th level wizard can laugh off on average. He'd lose the fight by attrition alone. Skill means something different in the real world and doesn't infinitely scale like in tabletop.

Not that this has a lot to do with Batman, who ranges between being an above average mortal, and a guy who can dodge bullets and punch down brick walls and use magic pressure points, depending on the particular incarnation.

Someone find that alignment chart that has Batman in every category.

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If you want to capture the crazy prep junk, being a wizard is pretty much the way to go for your Batman in a pre-industrial setting where magic is the technology. Hell, BATMAN did it at least once, demonstrating that Batman believes magic is the best way to be Batman in absence of modern technology. Anytime you say X Marvel or DC Superhero wouldn't Y, there are at least a dozen miniseries' that spontaneously spring into existence where they do exactly that.

Though to be fair, I'd probably suggest something like alchemist to the player at that point.

I DID make a sort of Batman character once when my players went into a seedy, crime-infested city. I did him as an unrogue/unmonk with dimensional savant so not big on gadgets, but more on the ambush tactics with coming out of the night and being everywhere at once. He beat up the party's lich a bit before failing a save against Destruction.

Edit: TBH though, I've never found Batman's prep successes terribly believable, and they frequently rely on massive narrative contrivance to make him look smarter than he is.

Duiker wrote:
I really hope not. Just use the standard names and conventions from every video game and decades of tabletop games. I love history, even just for the sake of history, but the important thing is having a shared language of what the terms mean. We know what long swords are in RPGs. I don't really care if somebody from a thousand years ago would use a different term.

I mean, video games use like every weapon name under the sun to represent whatever they feel like, so that’s not exactly citing a “standard convention,” unless the only rule is that there are no rules

Just give me mechanics for building weapon stat blocks on my own and I’ll decide what it is myself. That’s pretty much what I already do by just letting players pick a stat block from the weapon table and decide what it represents.

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Divine grace is a narrative annoyance. Good riddance to it.

Which is not to say that paladins should eat an overall nerf, just that I'd be glad to see them rebalanced to get more stuff rather than have one particularly bothersome ability make or break the class. My annoyance with PF1 Paladins is largely that they're balanced around making the GM be a jerk to them; the code tells the GM to effectively destroy their character if they step too far out of line, and Divine Grace means that the best, most effective, and easiest way to deal with a paladin is to just kill them even if you didn't really want to. As a man said about a completely different game: Death is the best status effect.

Having it as a reaction is nice. Having it at +1 every 4 levels would still amount to a pretty hefty save bonus.

PERSONALLY, to soapbox for a moment, I think the concept of a paladin falling should get dumped completely (unless it's a plot thing where they want to change to antipaladin or something). While I'm sure it must have happened somewhere some time, I have never seen holding that over a player have any sort of positive result. Plus having the paladin motivated to do good because heavenly administrators are watching them and tabulating their every action is bleeeeeh. I'd rather see something like the Unconquered Sun in Exalted, where his powers are governed by his virtues, and when he denies a virtue, the powers tied to it temporarily go away. THAT can lead to interesting sorts of dilemmas.

Haladir wrote:

Phase spiders.

They are a CR5 creature that lives in the Ethereal Plane... a place that's pretty much inaccessible to PCs until you get to 12th level or so.

They phase in as a free action, attack, then phase out as a move action.

There's really not a whole lot PCs can do about them!

The only effective tactic is to ready the action, "Shoot at the phase spider when it appears," and wait for it to attack. But they can see from the Ethereal Plane into the Material, and are smart enough to notice that their opponents are readying missile-weapons, and therefore won't necessarily attack every round!

The things are TPK machines!

I once forced my players, then around level 8, to navigate an invisible maze with pitfalls and cramped spaces while being hunted by sharks that did this. It was one of several trials they went through with the end result being that they became mythic, which I’d say was well earned after that.

Wait no, the maze wasn’t invisible; it only existed at all when light was being cast on it and the entire place was otherwise a giant pitfall where magical light sources and flight were shut down, so they had to get through this thing keeping torches lit while being constantly attacked by sharks that came out of nowhere and disappeared after biting. The sharks didn’t fly on the material plane, they just jumped out like a fish leaping out of water.

Sandals of Quick Reaction are a solid bet if you plan to use surprise a lot.

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So we're at like, level 16-20 and high mythic tier it sounds like, yeah? Does he have evasion? Make a mythic wizard and spam mythic fireballs. He can only Absorb Blow once per round, where a mythic wizard can potentially toss off... three? Yeah, three maximized, selective, lingering, disruptive, mythic fireballs in a round (just my favourite metamagics to stick on at high level, YMMV). At tier 6, your mage can make it bypass energy resist and immunity, which will cover just about anything except the absorb blow, and even if he saves, he's taking 190 - 250 damage for the round (depending on where in that 16-20 range the mage falls).

A mythic dragon specced out with full mythic vital strike and mythic power attack on their bite and as high a fly speed as they can get is pretty horrifying too. Flyby attack for stupid damage and then be a mile away from anything the Paladin can actually hit. Do it at night and buy an extra standard action at the end of the dragon's movement to turn invisible - true seeing caps at 120 feet (at least per the spell, not sure if every true seeing ability is the same), and see invisible caps at your normal visual range, so now the dragon is a stealth bomber.

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It'd be nice if the Sword Saint could vital strike their iaijutsu strike, even if it required a feat to do.

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R0b0tBadgr wrote:
Sure, there are some things that he can do because he is a supernatural being (like his hairs being able to transform into clones of himself) but many of his powers are from his Taoist practices.

Thank you for your post. Just a minor clarification on this: The changing his hairs and duplicating himself is probably "weird taoist sorcery" that he learned. I can't recall if it is made explicit in the narrative, but I'm pretty sure it's the expected assumption. It's kind of the underlying assumption with the entire tradition, that with enough practice and overcoming trials (such as surviving the eight trigrams furnace), you can learn to do anything. Anyway, he certainly never did anything like this BEFORE his super training.

Man, I wasn't even... I brought up the monk as it exists being MAD because it was tangentially related to the thing I was actually talking about. I have no idea how that will play out in PF2, though I think that all else being equal, being MAD will still ultimately be a disadvantage (though perhaps heavily mitigated to the point of not mattering).

I wasn't saying you shouldn't want to play the villain archetypes. I was using them as an example of less wis-based seeming characters in fiction to demonstrate that they exist, counter to what I'd just finished saying about the more esoteric characters, to suggest that you'd probably want a way to make that sort of character as well.

I mean, I just finished running an unarmed antagonist for my players (all level 16/MR 3) who was based entirely around punching things so hard they explode and having a really difficult defense to get through. He was UnMonk (Scaled Fist) 6, Fighter (Brawler) 8, UnRogue 4. It amused me that his weakest point was a low will save, because nobody even considered that.

I feel int and wis are, to some extent, thematically interchangeable here. A lot of the style deconstruction stuff could really fall under either.

The problem, and I think probably the source of MAD problems with the monk class, is that a lot of the source material for its theming assumes that its characters have something like arete, or a general excellence applied to all things. Furthermore, it's trying to encompass a very diverse set of character types that would probably be many different classes if they had their own game (and they do, and it's Legend of the Wulin). Archetypes can help solve some of that, but ultimately, I feel like the monk should almost be built with the intention of being multiclassed, or with class abilities that in some way allow you to accomplish that.

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I should say that I'm not really on the side of removing wisdom as a monk thing. I think it fits in pretty well with the zen-type theming of the class, and it covers your mountain hermits who develop a sort of football playbook of different sword dances and playing mental chess to find the weaknesses in OTHER fighter's secret sword dances. But I think it should be a bit more optional, and do more for the monks that use it, like precision damage and/or hit bonuses. Maybe having the option to go further and be a bit druidic even, so you can get things like your 36 heavenly transformations or turning into a storm or whatever. Some kind of melee based spontaneous casting, even, though not precisely like the magus, because as much as magi can be strong, I find the way they work unpalatable overall.

On the other hand, there are plenty of fictional characters who could fall under the umbrella of monk who are just like, hard hitting power fighters that don't go in for the mental side so much. Live a Live, which I mentioned earlier, has a very strength/power based kung fu master set up as the villain of the "Ancient China" chapter. They're not... generally WUXIA characters (except as designated losers), but that's because wuxia is all about imaginary fights and deconstructing styles. There's still a balance of those factors that comes into play even there though.

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Soulgear wrote:
Tholomyes wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:

By all means, I want Paizo to move firmly away from the mistake of [X Fighting Style] = [Y Class]. Just as I don't believe a gun wielder should be forced to play a Gunslinger, I don't think an unarmed striker should be forced to play a Monk.

That being said, I sincerely do not mind if Monks come with unarmed proficiency built in; it should just be readily available in other classes as well, particularly the Fighter. In the same vein, other classes should have access to means of utilizing weapons with "Monk" special property.

That's probably my stance as well. I think someone who decides to be good at unarmed combat, who chooses to be a class other than Monk, should be as good at unarmed combat as a monk, but monks should be the ones to get that without choosing it as an archetype (so long as it's also possible to create monks that can use weapons, especially outside of the almost universally asian-flavored "monk" weapons. Give me my Shelyn worshiping Flurry of Glaive monk already.)

This thought process confuses me...

If one were to compare real-world unarmed combat vs a martial artist (i.e. the monk) a boxer, while fantastic at unarmed combat, would get wrecked by a martial artist. Flat out wrecked.

I don't understand what this is meant to demonstrate. Are you talking about pitting a real world boxer against a fantasy martial artist? Because like, boxing is a martial art; it's made up of many well codified systems of fighting. If it exists in a Pathfinder context, it will be every bit as supernaturally powerful as a fighter who power attacks hard enough to cleave adamantine with a silver sword. Watch the scene in Ip Man 3 where Ip Man fights Mike Tyson for a perfect demonstration of what your unarmed monk vs unarmed fighter should probably look like. Here, I'll link it:

If you're talking about real world boxing compared with other real world martial arts, then I find the statement even more confusing. They're all sports; they all exist in their own particular contexts with particular rules, written and unwritten, and assumptions. Comparing them against each other in a general sense is awkward at best, especially when it's one umbrella term, "boxing" vs another, "martial arts."

Any skill worth having requires disciplined practice, especially if you're talking about taking it up to the ridiculous levels of mastery that Pathfinder characters attain. If a fighter is spending feats and class abilities on ramping up their unarmed abilities, that constitutes the same determined effort. The only difference is that the monk class does it automatically.

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I'd like to see a monk that has a set of traits they can apply to anything weapon-like they pick up, sort of like magus enchantments, but you know, not. Currently, I'm rather fond of unrogue/scaled fist unmonk dimensional savant for getting the fightan mountain mystic feel, as I feel debilitations fit in pretty well with most monk theming.

I think it would be interesting to see multiple development paths keyed to different stats, so that you can pick what you feel your particular discipline is based on. Sort of like the Xin Shan Quan master in Live a Live (though in his case, he had ALL the different stat-based stuff available to him, but you know, different game with different rules).

Alignment restriction needs to die, but I've said as much elsewhere. I feel it was borne out of looking at certain traditions from the outside. Every lifestyle looks restrictive if it's not what you personally want, but that's not how those philosophies or their adherents see it. The ascetic doesn't become an ascetic because she loves red meat and alcoholism and senseless murder and wants to needlessly restrict herself from those things and repetitively do a bunch of menial activities that she hates every day. She does it because she sees all those vices as restrictive and believes that through daily polishing, her spirit can achieve liberation and freedom.

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Ryan Freire wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
To be frank, any rule that makes it impossible to build Sun Wukong as a Monk is a failed rule.
Sun Wukong is a supernatural being and his legends are based on him being a supernaturally strong and quick warrior. The fact that he used a staff and martial arts does not a monk make. Most of his supernatural abilities stem from stealing things he had no right to.

He is literally a monk. Twice over. This is the second time I've had to say this. He shaves his head and converts to Buddhism after having been an entirely different discipline/spirituality of monk. He is straight up living an ascetic lifestyle and is on the path of enlightenment. IIRC he even achieves moksha at the end of the story. If Sun Wukong isn't a monk, no one is a monk.

Furthermore, he's a supernatural being, yes, and like zero percent of his powers come from that. Every trick he is known for is a spiritual skill that he trained to learn. He's like a Pathfinder kitsune or tengu: Supernatural? Sure, but his abilities are all borne of his class levels, not racial HD.

Edit: And what the hell is this about all his powers coming from stealing things? Like yeah, he has magical gear like any Pathfinder character, and he also has a list of abilities a mile long that he did super training to get. Did you even read the story? The only reason he can even LIFT the staff he "stole" (more like bullied a dragon into giving him with his already nigh on invincible powers gained through super training) is because he is incredibly ridiculously strong on his own merits. Even his immortality was a learned skill; he just beefed it way way way up with drugs after the fact.

I generally run with the premise that magic has allowed for globally connected trade routes in excess of what is seen in actual antiquity (which is still surprisingly connected), so that my players can use whatever and be fairly reasonable. I don’t bother making anyone take ewp. I find that out of everything in the game, which cool sword you use tends to be a choice that almost everyone makes purely for theming anyhow.

Daeryon wrote:
Saffron Marvelous wrote:

He sounds almost exactly like a Gm I had a long time ago. ‘Cept he’d let us get to about level 12, but it wouldn’t matter. His npcs were the stars, his...

Looked at your descrption and it sounds like we had a real similar experience but it's not the same person. My situation was 20 years ago in New Jersey.

Well it's about the same number of years anyway. Doubt he had a teleporter though.

Daeryon wrote:
Theacos wrote:
Daeryon wrote:

Worst part was when we'd get aggravated about the way the adventure was going, his attitude was we weren't "roleplaying enough". His brother, who would play characters stolen directly from whatever movie they had last watched (Samurai movies, "Leon" the Professional, Die Hard etc), he considered a "brilliant roleplayer". His brother would always know the correct thing to say to the drow slavers so they didn't shave his head and tattoo "Slave" on his head like they did everyone else in the party, etc.

Favoritism is the thing I hate the most in a GM. I have had bad GMs I give a pass to just because they treat everyone at the table equally. One of the other wise best GM I've had I grew to hate playing with because of how blatant is favoritism was to certain players.

Sadly the favoritism wasn't the worst part by far. It was just the way the DM was malicious with everyone else. I mentioned 3 campaigns, but what I left out is that it was 3 campaigns because the DM would drop the campaign the moment the characters got powerful enough to assert themselves. (right about level 5 or 6).

I remember when the party pulled together and slew a dinosaur the DM expected us to run from the campaign got dropped right there. "that's ridiculous". Next session we were rolling up new characters to start at level 1.

With now years of hindsight it was obviously a control thing. He wanted to control the whole story, including how are characters were built, what they did, and what they thought, the moment he stopped being able to do that in accordance with the rules, he'd either change the situation: "you are captured and they take all your spellbooks, so now you can't cast anything, and they take your cleric's holy symbol" etc. Or he'd drop the campaign and start over.

He sounds almost exactly like a Gm I had a long time ago. ‘Cept he’d let us get to about level 12, but it wouldn’t matter. His npcs were the stars, his villains weren’t allowed to die, alleged allies were abusive etc etc etc. Your description so vividly resembles him, I almost want to ask where you live to see if it’s the same guy.

Well first of all, it serves no point except to illustrate an entirely imaginary scenario that is so far left of field it really has nothing to do with any realistic discussion about multiclassing. Second of all, if a player, fully understanding that it will do nothing for them, wants to take that one level of wizard, I really don't have an issue with it, because the game's mechanics are already preventing them from being a wizard, so they're really just getting one or two lackluster abilities that they could probably get with feats or rage powers anyway. I see absolutely no reason not to allow this; it's not enforcing a narrative on my game, because their stats already make them not a wizard despite being in the wizard class. Sure, they can get a familiar or a terrible acid ray, but there's a thousand and one ways to get a familiar, and there's like two or three easy ways for a Barbarian to shoot acid at people. Furthermore, if I really feel they need a justification, it takes two seconds to say "this barbarian flunked out of wizard school after getting in on a football scholarship." But really, the abilities they'd get are so minor, they don't really require explaining away as wizard powers, because they're things the barbarian could have gained from almost anywhere else more effectively.

You've illustrated a meaningless scenario that demonstrates nothing.

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I mean, if the character is illiterate, taking a level of wizard is basically just them calling themselves a wizard and gaining no benefit. Literacy is a given with any character in Pathfinder, so I'd imagine a character being specifically illiterate to also be low int, meaning they wouldn't be able to cast anything even if they could read.

Who is asking to suddenly make their illiterate character specifically into a wizard? Why? This example seems unrealistic to the point of being silly.

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Moonheart wrote:

cherishing their powerbuilding...

Stop, please. Like cripes, drop the attitude. You're insulting everyone who ever cared about a theme enough to pore over the system looking for ways to achieve it, and everyone who put work in to get a particular playstyle they liked, or just anyone who ever had fun putting different ability sets together to see what they could do. There's cost/benefit to all of this and it takes a bit of scrutiny and care to work it all out, especially when PrCs tend to eat your saves.

If someone cares about nothing but being powerful (and honestly, that's fine too as long as they're not jerks), they'll just build an arcanist and call it a day.

Pretty much I'd make her Grendel with a swim speed and better DR. Maybe some aquatic based feats, if there are any (otherwise I'd just substitute Flyby attack as a "swimby"), and a fair amount of stealth, because while it's been a long time since I read the epic, I seem to recall her getting most of her kills without being seen.

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The thieves who got caught in a trap and died will have caused just as much, if not more, wear and tear on a puzzle as anyone who made it through. It's good to let players cut the knot sometimes, but they can absolutely end up shooting their own foot in the doing. That said, a problem with puzzles and riddles is that when you make something with a single solution, it's never as simple as you think it is. If the players are trying to bypass the puzzle, it's probably at least partly because they see no obvious clues as to what you want them to do.

As far as your scenarios go:

1. This is a perception and disable device roll for the rogue, which is what it would have probably been anyway. If you want a more involved puzzle, I'd probably suggest something more than just a combination lock.

2. Pretty much the same as above. Ask yourself if you're communicating the initial clues to hook them into solving the lock effectively, and ask yourself if this is something that wouldn't just be a disable device roll for the rogue.

In general, I suggest having an obvious cut-the-knot solution available, and have an idea of what additional challenges it raises when they try to do it, so that they're just putting themselves into another problem that they need to solve.

One similar sort of puzzle I used was something like a keypad that required a disable device check to unlock and a use magic device check to activate. The players had seen a few of these, so they were fairly confident in the basic premise, so with this particular one, because they were careful about examining it, they discovered that both components were trapped, and that furthermore, disabling the trap on either component would irreparably damage the other. This gave them a problem with components and clues that they could see.

Swimming in lava makes about as much sense as burrow speeds over like 0.5 feet per round, and those exist.

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