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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber. 129 posts. No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists.

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This Thursday I am hosting Session 0 of Serpent's Skull. Running Souls For Smuggler's Shiv has been on my mind for years.

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thflame wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
It's cool to see all the different speculation, particular those in this thread who were clever enough to predict that "Attack of Opportunity" might have some extra benefits now for fighter and friends, and that someone dedicated to interrupting without that reaction could ready an action. AoOs are pretty nice at interrupting actions nowadays, and they're not the only game in town for these kind of "attack when the enemy does something particular" reactions; they're just the one that's most recognizable. A certain character might hate magic enough to attack whenever someone casts any spell, even one they thought was safe, and another might be so skilled at combat that they get an attack whenever an opponent misses them by 10 or more! The reaction system allows characters to have all sorts of different reactions that surprise and confound their foes!

Let me get this straight. If I want to be able to stop a guy from drinking a potion or casting a spell right next to me, I either have to have special training to react to this situation, or I have to devote part of my turn to preparing to interrupt the action?

Are there going to be penalties to performing actions that would normally provoke an opportunity attack? (Like casting defensively)

It feels kinda video game-y to just have to stand there while someone does something utterly defenseless because I lack special training.

I don't see what is so special about swinging your sword at someone who let's their guard down.

I'm going to argue that this isn't any more video gaming than taking turns has been since 3.0. Your actions on your turn are supposed to represent what you are doing during the round. A character isn't standing still while other characters act, that is a conceit to manage the game. The whole structure is video gamey! I actually enjoyed the everyone declare then everyone act structure of older style games but they tended to be slower and harder to wrap your mind around. Shadow of the Demon Lord sort of brings it back with their quick and slow action system.

If a character wants to pay more close attention to their opponent's actions and attempt to disrupt it, it sounds like the ready action should be good for that since it works off of reactions and only requires one action. My hope that the ready action allows a degree of open endedness (I hit them if they let down their guard). Ready in 3.x style games had a huge opportunity cost. Now it is one of three actions and depending on how readying a third attack works might be a really good circumstantial option even without reaction abilities.

AoO were a way to make combat feel more dynamic, live and simultaneous. They did good at that. But now actions are being broken down a little more fluidly in a turn. Since the opportunity cost of the ready action is significantly lower, it makes sense to meld everything together. That some characters will be better at this sort of thing does not mean that other characters will be horrible. They will just likely have different incentives.

Rogue-like characters being good with AoOs is a style I hope carries forward in the system. I just don't expect it to work out exactly the same. My suspicion is that Fighter types and Rogue types will have a very different feel to the reactions, and opportunist style rogues will still be a thing.

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thflame wrote:

My thoughts:

3) When it comes to Sword and Board and Two Weapon Fighters, their standard attack action should encompass BOTH hands. Having to burn an action on readying a shield is nonsense, especially if you have formal training (maybe you have to use an action for your shield unless you are proficient?) especially if you have done any HEMA. Your shield and sword work together to attack and close off angles simultaneously.

The same goes for TWF. If my character isn't getting any real mechanical advantage out of attacking with 2 weapons, why bother?

How I would handle S&B and TWF:

While using 2 weapons/weapon and a shield, you have 3 attack options:

a) Single attack.
b) Dual attack.
c) Attack and Block.

Single Attack lets you attack at no penalty with one hand, but you gain no benefit from your other weapon/shield, as ONE Action. Requires no feats or special training. (Essentially, this is just a standard attack. You just happen to be holding another weapon/shield.)

Dual attack gives you a slight penalty (-2?) but you may attack with each weapon (or attack with your weapon and bash with your shield) as ONE Action. Requires a Feat or Special Training.

Attack and Block gives you a slight penalty in your...

I think this concept is going to be easy to portray in this system. A shield isn't a passive defensive item. It is something actively use to block and shield yourself with. So option c) is one action to attack, one to defend, and the third action for movement or whatever. Option a) is essentially just attacking multiple times. The character is focusing on offense instead of offense and defense in that action. Option b) really comes down to how they handle two weapon fighting in the system.

Two weapon fighting is something that is hard to handle well in RPG systems. Holding two weapons doesn't give you more actions in real life. You already have a second hand. The second hand, empty or with a weapon, gives more options that can be in tandem with your main weapon. Locking weapons, double strikes, grappling, feints... ect. So rather than see something like extra attacks as previous D&D systems have done, I would rather see a series off hand actions to represent using your second hand more fully.

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This is a change I am happy with! While rough, and a patch to a preexisting system, the Revised Action Economy is basically why I bought Pathfinder Unchained. My preference is for more tactical combat and this will help encourage that.

Hopefully, all of your actions can be done during your other actions so that you don't need multiple action to move before and after an attack. I think that would flow more naturally.

Action cost can be more nuanced in balancing magic. Hybrid characters that rely on spellcasting to buff can be easier to design if buff spells only cost one act.

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I do love the look of the landing page. Overall it is much more modern and in keeping with other gaming sites. The line with current month releases, with the option to scroll back or forward one month is a great idea. The "featured" section is not auto scrolling for me on Chrome, but is a wonderful addition. I love having the art showcased in this way and it keeps the landing page fresh and dynamic.

The look of forum post pages still appears a little off to me. The font is bigger, but I feel the real issue as others stated is the width. The text wrap is working fine if I resize the window in desktop Chrome, but that also means keeping my Paizo tab open in a separate window instead of a different tab. A minor nitpick I know but just giving feedback. The width seems good for browsing through the thread titles, with the caveat of the font feeling a bit too large.

Forum browsing on my phone I feel is much better. The font still feels a little big but the width is perfect. Browsing topic threads the width feels too small, but it also feels quicker.

Personally, I feel the biggest loss on the front page is the Blog. Paizo's blog feels much more interactive and widely read than many company sites I frequent. There are many elements I would not have noticed without the blog calling to me. The store blog has especially been useful of informing me of product you carry from other companies. The Paizo blog has been great for introducing me to new ideas and keeping me informed of what the company is up to. Something other gaming companies sorely lack. My suggestion would be to have the most recent store and Paizo blog posts in the "featured" scroll. EDIT: To add to my point, yesterday's blog post for PACG has zero responses after almost 22 hours.

Overall the site is running significantly faster and it feels like it takes less bandwidth. I am looking forward to see what other new features are in the works once the roll out issues are finished. Great work!

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My set is now fully opened up!

- The paint apps overall have me wowed. I would mistake a number of commons as uncommons! A few uncommons could be mistaken as rares.
- That assassin vine is massive!
- The large rares in general tend to be quite intimidating. The nightmare dragon and minotaur really stand out.
- One of each rare yet again! My doubles on dressing were the suit and the door.
- Three of every large uncommons. 3-5 for small/medium uncommons. 2-3 for medium uncommons. Collation remains great on these sets.

Middling Points:
- The pretty goblin would have been better as an uncommon in my opinion. Even with no paint apps.
- The halfling butcher was fine but I would have rather he be uncommon with a more interesting look. The most boring figure in the set in my opinion, and it isn't a bad figure. The medium base mistake is funny but thankfully not a terrible issue.
- Good mix on the species appearing. Plants are something under represented. The minotaurs are good though I don't know how many of each I would need. A few that are a little niche but could easily substitute.
- I could have used the fungal and druid pieces a month ago!

- The medium brass dragon is very heavy in the wings. With care it can be stood up, but cannot withstand almost any vibration or graze. I notice most raised up flyers have swept forward wings to balance out their figures. This figure needed more weight nearer the base to make up for the wings. A gorgeous figure though!

- This is probably my own errors, but the sea drakes are a pain to remove. Two of the three snapped where the base meets the stand trying to get them out of the plastic. The problem I feel is they are held at both the top and the base. The one I removed without error I had to carefully shimming alternating between the top and bottom. That was on my second try, and was unable to do it on my third. Maybe I should cut those figures out in the future. Should be an easy glue fix, as I've broken a few stands on flying figures before, but I feel they can be packaged a little better.

- My Portcullis has a pretty severe warp. The two ends have folded in, so they cannot rest flat on a table and the the thinner bars have a wave. In all fairness I live in Texas so it could have been the heat of transport. Did anyone else experience this? I'm trying to decide if I should try for a replacement or if I should attempt a hot water dip to try and straighten out the figure.

Still really enjoying these cases and look forward to the next set!

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Naal wrote:

Eh, economy. How ordinary. Unless...

** spoiler omitted **

If not, I'm happy if there is something neat in the centerfold. I like stuff such as the maps in the People of... series and Faiths & Philosophies.


That was a Merchant's Guide that definitely blew minds! I remember people being upset that it wasn't ACTUALLY an in depth book on the economics!

I'm still hoping FFG decides to release a 5th edition using R&K but bringing in a few ideas from the Narrative Dice System.

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Maybe they decided to delay the singles to give subscribers a chance to receive and open their cases. A good idea if so in my opinion.

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Class Deck Witches gain the Arcane skill through the use of Cohort cards that represent familiars. The cohort starts in your hand after drawing the initial hand and can be immediately displayed to grant the Arcane skill. It creates a very different dynamic to other casters in the card game. Familiar cohorts grant a second skill in addition to Arcane, as well as an ability that puts them on top of your deck. There are also a number of staff cards in the Witch deck that let characters burn spell cards for extra effects so even a Witch that is temporarily without the Arcane skill has a chance to use the spells for something.

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A vizier archetype for mesmerist. I assume this comes standard with a red parrot familiar. Interesting new niches filled in this book!

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hfm wrote:
Man.. I got the first three sets.. I think my wife has put her foot down now though.. :)

If one foot covered three sets, that means you need three more to cover the other foot coming down. Right?

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Weapon and Armor Proficiency
Gunslingers are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with all crossbows. They are proficient with all light armor.
This replaces the weapon and armor proficiency Gunslingers normally receive.

Replacing firearm proficiency with the exotic crossbows gives interesting options for the Bolt Ace. Hand and the Repeaters give a few options, even if the Repeaters are largely unnecessary. Launching, Crank, and Underwater give 'tricks' or overcome terrain. Double Crossbow cannot be abused with Inexplicable Reload since it still takes a swift action to reload both bolts, making the regular Crossbows better DPR options.

Crossbow Training (Ex)
Starting at 1st level, a bolt ace can select one specific type of crossbow, such as hand crossbow or heavy crossbow. She gains a bonus on damage rolls equal to her Dexterity modifier with that crossbow. Furthermore, when she scores a critical hit with that type of crossbow, her critical modifier increases by 1 (a x2 becomes a x3, for example). Every 4 levels thereafter, she can pick a different type of crossbow, gaining the bonus damage and increased critical multiplier with that type of crossbow as well.
This ability replaces Gunsmith and Gun Training.

I applied the Guns Everywhere option for Gunslingers since having a free firearm and firearm crafting capability does not make sense. Crossbows are still weaker weapons than firearms, so I think this is a good trade off. This is a huge boon for starting Bolt Aces and those taking a dip to be crossbow enthusiasts. A bow archer will in general still have higher damage, but a Bolt Ace will crit more often and be less MAD.

Grit (Ex)
A bolt ace regains grit when she scores a critical hit or deals a killing blow with any kind of crossbow. In Grit feats bought apply their effects for crossbows instead of firearms. This ability modifies the grit class feature.

I thought I would make it explicit that Grit feats work for the Bolt Ace, to provide extra options. Most of the feats will work just replacing 'firearms' for 'crossbows.' Deft Shootist is largely covered by new deeds, which I am fine with. Named Bullet still requires Gunsmithing and I am okay losing out on that feat for Bolt Ace usage. Maybe make an alternative feat. Secret Stash Deed would also still not be usable, but doesn't overcome an issue that is as big for crossbows as it is for firearms.

A bolt ace can perform the following deeds with a crossbow instead of a firearm: gunslinger initiative, pistol-whip, dead shot, targeting, bleeding wound, death's shot, and stunning shot.

The bolt thrower swaps the following deeds.

Sharp Shoot (Ex) At 1st level, a bolt ace can resolve an attack against touch AC instead of normal AC when firing a crossbow at a target within its first range increment. Performing this deed costs 1 grit point.

This deed replaces deadeye.

Vigilant Loading (Ex): At 1st level, as long as a bolt ace has at least 1 grit point, she does not provoke attacks of opportunity when loading a crossbow.

This deed replaces quick clear.

Shooter's Resolve (Ex): At 3rd level, a bolt ace can spend 1 grit point when making a crossbow attack as a standard action and ignore the effects of concealment (though not total concealment) and cover (other than total cover) against that shot.

This deed replaces utility shot.

Distracting Shot (Ex): At 7th level, a bolt ace can spend 1 grit point and choose to miss a target that she could normally attack within her range with a crossbow attack. When she does, the target loses its Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) for 1 round.

This deed replaces startling shot.

Vigilant Shooter (Ex): At 11th level, as long as a bolt ace spends 1 grit point when she does so, she does not provoke attacks of opportunity when firing a crossbow.

This deed replaces expert loading.

Inexplicable Reload (Ex): At 11th level, loading a crossbow becomes unthinking and automatic for a bolt ace. As long as she has at least 1 grit point, she always starts each round of combat (even a surprise round) with her crossbow loaded. Also the amount of time needed to reload a crossbow decreases by one step: a standard action becomes a move action, a move action becomes a swift action, a swift action becomes a free action, and a free action becomes not an action.

This deed replaces lightning reload.

Pinning Shot (Ex): At 15th level, the bolt ace can spend 1 grit point while shooting a crossbow and attempt to pin down its target with the bolt. If the crossbow attack hits, it pins the target to a nearby object, to a wall, or to the ground, entangling and staggering the target. While pinned by the bolt, the target cannot move out of its space until it takes a standard action to free itself from the pinning bolt, except by means of teleportation.

This deed replaces menacing shot.

I made no additional changes to the already changed deeds. Personally, I think Vigilant Loading and Vigilant Shooter could already be covered by Deft Shootist, but it is nice not to need two other feats first. How firearms and the Bolt Ace target touch AC easily is not a big like of mine, but I was keeping this a minor revision as close as possible to what seems to be the intention behind Bolt Ace.

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Personally I think going three characters with a tighter build off the deck is the best option. Paizo can always add more Class Decks of odd design or focus down the line. Prestige Classes, an odd theme, unusual races... Likely not a top priority as I imagine the UCom UMag APG classes followed by hybrid classes will see decks before anything too unusual. Plenty to fill out the ranks for now. Or just flat out "Class Deck: Fighter 2." It is not like we are actually getting less characters. I imagine the seven class decks already released will still be usable in Season of the Righteous along with the new decks about to start up. That means even more diversity at the table, not less.

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A lot of what makes spells so powerful is the manner in which the game is played. A more continuous adventuring day, more difficulty in recovery, and other resource burning narratives weaken limited resource heavy classes. With the lifestyle of my gaming group, in of the time we only have one or two combat encounters then wrap up the game to allow a rest for ease of book keeping. When I was younger, I had a gaming group where I was able to run games with 5-8 encounters in a session, restrict resting, and still have easy book keeping between sessions. The game and adventures are generally written with a middle ground narrative in mind but the practical reality does not always match that. This narrative effect on limited resources is a hard feature in most pre-4E D&D based games. This leads to a design where spells need to be powerful for what they do.

In addition to the that, spells tend to be designed around a different system than that of 'mundane' activities. Non-magical activities are a die roll. Spellcasting creates an effect, then allows a reactive die roll. This really switches the burden around.

Also, the effort for spellcasting is small in these games. The action economy and exhaustion of spellcasting tends to be less efficient than weapon-combat, but not by much nor in all cases. That appears to be a feature of the Vancian system, however I have never read Vance so do not know if that is true to the source. If we look at some of the other major influences in D&D like Lankhmar and Hyboria spellcasting is more intensive not just in training but also the act. Amber has a spell system similar to D&D, where spells are "hung" for quick usage later. Imagine a D&D system that took a different approach though. Some systems there is a basic increase in casting time when increasing power. If Pathfinder required at minimum 1 round per spell level that would heavily change the action economy and how magic works in combat. The game isn't designed for that, but as a thought exercise shows how magic can be altered without necessarily changing the effects of spells.

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Conan wore as much armor as he could reasonable get a hold of in the novels. The image of the loincloth brute mostly comes from cross media exaggerations. Some of the early Conan artwork depicted iconic scenes, such as one where he was stripped naked and tossed into a snake pit. Hence loincloth for decency. Such illustrations were multiplied into near constant near-nakedness once translated into comics and movies. It looked cool and barbaric, and such an image has been a fantasy trope for a long time. In reality, "primitive" cultures still used as much effective armor as their technology could afford to produce. Fur and leather protection goes back to paleolithic hunter-gatherer societies, and were important in hunting and possibly war.

One of the big problems with heavier armors is that it needs to be balanced for use at early levels. Considering how armor works in D&D, I feel this leads to the mistake of how equipment and level wealth was balanced when updating previous edition standards. So rather than focusing on a tax for heavy armor, we have small taxes and heavier mobility disadvantages. In history, anything more than moderate mobility disadvantages made an armor ineffective. Hence armor fell out of favor as cheap firearms meant only the heaviest awkward armors could reasonably withstand direct fire. In a way, Pathfinder is experiencing much of the same. Even though the taxes (proficiency and cost) of heavier armors is rather small, the benefit is not worthwhile for the disadvantages for many character builds. If there was a material as effective at making heavy armor less penalizing as mithril is with medium armors, heavy armor would make a big comeback. At the point the biggest hold back then becomes the synergy problems.

Personally, while I love D&D games, I vastly prefer systems that pit skill vs skill and equipment vs equipment when it comes to combat. In d20 Systems that would mean Armor Class is mostly determined by skill and usually referred to something like Defense, with armor and weapons being in conflict through a Damage Reduction type system.

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As others have said the biggest problem with the monk in comparison to other martial classes is their inaccuracy keeps their DPR down. Rogues do better than monks despite similar inaccuracies by way of sneak attacks and rogue talents more ably to synergize with martial combat. While a monk can conserve early to mid level gold in terms of mobility, unarmed strikes are either too costly to keep up magically or a wasted set of capabilities if going for a Monk Weapon.

The secondary issue in my mind is the monk has few leveling based options. I felt the class should have been designed in a way similar to Cavalier/Cleric/Oracle/Sorcerer/Wizard with a very important first level pick that flavors the class or been designed similar to Barbarian/Ninja/Rogue with a constant set of choices to make that molds the character to personal taste. The current set up is a very rigid style of monk. This issue is not a capability issue so much as an interest issue.

A while back I came up with a monk redesign that stripped many of the abilities into a "Discipline" choice every even level that is very similar to Ninja and Rogues. Then I gave the monk a wisdom based ki effect that makes Wisdom their offensive stat in addition to bridging the gap in BAB and down playing unarmed strikes to a usable alternative to weapons rather than a capability intended to replace weapons but weaker. My idea has not been playtested and is more than likely unbalanced, but what the monk needs is a numbers based approach to keeping them competitive as martial characters so that making this flavor choice is not unintentionally substandard.

EDIT: As for the monk role of caster disruption, I would agree that at low levels monks are very well tuned to filling that role. That falls behind in the mid to high levels in my opinion. Monks have more defensive capability than warriors or rogues but that difference starts to matter less and less. At higher levels save based spellcasting is comparatively less effective against PCs and BBEGs. The main advantage of spellcasting is controlling the field of combat. The monks natural abilities of movement are largely redundant in the face of magical equipment, and even needs supplementing. In the end, the lower damage output compared to a rogue or ninja makes the monk less capable of disrupting spellcasters around the time that movement speed alone is no longer good enough to catch a spellcaster.

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It is an abstraction. Realistically, many larger throwing weapons require a free hand to provide proper balance and counter weight to the act of throwing. Also consider that you hold a spear in a very different way when throwing as opposed to stabbing. Throwing a spear your hand will be much further up the shaft near the head to have proper balance on the throw. The haft is largely adding heft and funneling its flight through the air to keep it straight. However if you stabbed with the same grip you'd lose out on full effectiveness of such a heavy weapon in a stabbing motion. When stabbing properly you want a two handed grip and much further down the shaft. A weapon that you spin and swing, such as staves or when striking with the butt of a spear, would have a central grip.

Basically, spears and weapons in general are much much more complicated than the rules are set up to portray. Instead the game goes for a few nods towards realism but places game enjoyment and practical usage of the rules first.