Grim Reaper

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ArmouredMonk13 wrote:
P.S. if you have any ideas for more effective fighters please post them.

This seems off subject, but I'll bite. :D

I'm currently working on a new system, but my ideas are mostly relevant to Pathfinder fighters.

Firstly, giving a class a bunch of combat feats and saying "here ya go, this is 90% of your class, enjoy" is just lazy and boring. Pathfinder at least took it 1 step further than 3.5 with weapon and armor training, but it's still not very exciting. Sure, there are a lot of combat feats out there that are awesome, but a class list that says "bonus feat", "bonus feat", "bonus feat" on every other line is still generic as hell.

How about actually giving them unique features like every other class gets? For example, in my system fighters (my name for them is Warriors, but that's neither here nor there) get an Attack Stance and a Defense Stance at level 1. You can only be in 1 stance at a time and can switch your stance once per turn. Neither stance invokes any penalties (like Rage does), just grants minor benefits.

From there, most class features they get are based on these stances. For example, you get to choose a few different counter-attack abilities that are usable in defense stance. You can choose a few overwhelming attacks that let you attempt to trip, disarm, or sunder for free that are usable in attack stance.

And those are just a few examples. It would be easy to give them more utility as well by introducing a Knowledge: Combat skill and giving fighters an edge in that skill. Also instead of archetypes, I think all classes should be able to cherry pick and choose the variant class features they want freely. So a fighter might choose an alternate feature that gives him an edge in a skill OTHER than Knowledge: Combat, and he could also pick different class features that let him specialize in different fighting styles instead of getting stances - so instead of having the default attack stance and defensive stance, a fighter might have a slew of class features dedicated to two-weapon fighting, sword-and-shield fighting, 2-handed weapon fighting, or even bare-handed brawling. Archetypes already do this in Pathfinder, but I'm suggesting that they all just be categorized as variant class features that you can pick and choose from. So you may still be considered a "two-weapon warrior" or a "brawler", but you're not stuck with a whole set of class features you may not like, just so you can have 1 specific class feature you DO like.

EDIT: Forgot to mention an important idea... what if at mid-to high levels, fighters got an ability that lets them make a full-attack sequence as a STANDARD action? This would help them out tremendously in effectiveness. It would be a powerful ability for sure, but something only for high-level fighters to look forward to. This would make fighters the king of the full-attack action. An alternative feature could be to move your speed as a SWIFT action.

Honestly, the ability system (and the point-buy system) is one of the few mechanics in the game that is NOT broken. As others have said, if you changed the system around, there are other things you'd have to change. It's one of the core mechanics that the whole game revolves around, so you will likely discover things that it will affect later that you didn't realize you were affecting.

If your main concern is some classes needing multiple attributes, a better solution would be to introduce new feats and items that allow characters to convert X to Y. For example, maybe you introduce a feat called Improved Weapon Finesse (or something similar) that allows you to add your DEX modifier to damage rolls instead of STR.

Something similar to this concept that I remember from 3.5 is Kung Fu Genius. It allowed Monks to use INT instead of WIS to determine their bonus AC, as well as a few other monk features, I believe. These of course are only examples of ways you can help some classes condense which ability scores they should focus on.

Cyth-V'sug secretly has some sort of fungal vegetation growing nearby (perhaps near the druidic shrine in the gardens). Maybe he is taking advantage of the druidic shrine (or just this particular location), which affects his fungus and causes Cyth-V'sug grow in power. The tainted fungus is very discrete, however, and to the naked eye it just appears as some mushrooms/mold in the garden (or in the area it grows).

Somehow, the succubus has found out about the tainted fungus. Disguised as the noblewoman, she plans on going out and collecting the tainted fungus for herself. Maybe she plans on using it to poison the crown prince, or maybe she has her own mischievous plans (or perhaps she just wants to prevent Cyth-V'sug from gaining any more power). Either way, this would certainly be cause for any of his worshipers to spring into action to prevent the succubus/noblewoman from disturbing the fungus.

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Since they're regular horses, you don't have to worry about the horses trampling, because in Pathfinder creatures need to have the ability Trample to do so. Normally a horse COULD try to overrun somebody, but Overrunning is a standard action that targets somebody, which cannot be done if you're panicked. If you're panicked, all you can do is basically run / move away from the source of your panic. So the horses would either be trying to get out of the pen and away from the party, or just backed all the way to the other side of the pen as far as they can go, then cower. Panicked doesn't mean you're trampling everything in sight, it means you're scared and you're trying to get away as fast as possible. If the PCs are trying to panic the horses tactically, it may distract other NPCs nearby (or draw their attention). Otherwise it will just mean a bunch of horses running randomly everywhere. If a PC wants to actually try and make one of the horses do something, it would be a Handle Animal check as a move action.

If you agreed to this, my first reaction would be to scrap all of your 3.5 gear and wealth and just start with a clean 140,000 GP to spend on Pathfinder items. My only stipulation would be to equip similar items when possible to what you had in 3.5. For example, if you WERE wearing a suit of +1 full plate, I would ask that your new converted character have a suit of full plate OF SOME KIND equipped. It could simply be a suit of masterwork full plate, or it could be a +2 full plate - just as long as you are similarly equipped to your old character. Any extra leftover gold could be spent however you see fit. Since this is a special case, I would want to compare your new GP allotment to your old 3.5 character's gear and GP, but as long as your newly equipped Pathfinder character isn't wildly different than he was in 3.5 (besides new gear or upgrades gained from the extra GP), I would think that a clean start with 140,000 GP would be the easiest and best way to go about it, and would go that route if you were of a similar mind. If you as a player don't like this approach, I would be willing to explore other alternatives with you.

EDIT: I suggest this because to me, your character's wealth allotment is a mechanic. It might seem odd that you suddenly have a ton of extra GP, but keep in mind that this is a character conversion. The system is different from 3.5. So it's okay that you "suddenly" have more GP, because that's what the conversion dictates. There's no NEED to roleplay or justify the sudden jump in GP other than the fact that you're playing a converted character. If you absolutely WANT to just earn the extra GP from adventuring because you don't want to feel like you're cheating, that's fine - but I would warn you that at least in starting out, you would be playing an under-geared Pathfinder character, since he hasn't been completely converted properly... my 2 cents from a fellow DM. :)

By "tight quarters", do you mean they're pinned / tied up? If so when they're panicked, give them a roll to see if they can break out. If there's no way they can break out, then you'll simply have a bunch of spooked, rearing, loud horses on your hands and that's it. But if they can break out, they would definitely be running amok. You can obviously rule otherwise, but in this situation (if they're close to combat AND a rogue is trying to spook them), at least some of them would be panicked and would be doing their best to run away if at all possible.

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1 = critical fail, 20 = critical success for skill checks is NOT a bad idea... unless you're a TERRIBLE DM. It doesn't have to take away from taking 10 or taking 20, nor should it always be autowin/autofail.

I implement it in my games, and it's always worked swimmingly. If someone wants to take 20 tying someone up with a rope, then they take the time to tie that victim up as best as they possibly can with that rope. If someone wants to take 10 to balance across a narrow ledge they're crossing with no nearby danger, then they can by all means do so. BUT when a check is called for, such as being under pressure or UMD, 1 = critical fail and something bad happens (similarly to the default UMD rules), and 20 USUALLY means auto success, and possibly an added benefit / boon. For example, if it would normally take you several rounds to use Escape Artist to get out of some ropes but you roll a 20, it may instead only take you 1 or 2 rounds to get out. Or if you get a 20 on a Stealth check, as a boon for getting a 20 you may be able to keep that roll for the next 1 or 2 Stealth checks you would be required to make (in the next few moments). On the other hand, if someone rolls a 1 on their Stealth check (and the enemy does not roll a 1), the enemy automatically finds you, regardless of the math. Or if you roll a 1 on that Escape Artist check, it may take you even LONGER now to get out, since you just made it even worse.

By the way... if anyone tried to "jump to the moon" or something ridiculous to exploit the system, I would smack them in the head with the core rulebook. It's about making the game more exciting, not exploiting the system. It's a houserule to begin with... and you're afraid of someone trying to exploit a houserule??? Come on now.

Simply trying to spook the horses into a panic, the rogue could use either Bluff or Intimidate. Since "deceiving someone" takes 1 round to do and demoralizing takes a standard action, I'd rule either case a full-round action. The horses just have to be able to hear the rogue. If the rogue's check is successful, the horses are Panicked. This is assuming they are standard horses. If they are trained warhorses or something, I'd say they would only be shaken instead of panicked.

No, this isn't in the rules, but this is a special scenario requiring DM fiat, and is just my personal recommendation from an experienced fellow DM. Someone else may be able to reference a FAQ or something that would closer resemble an official ruling.

EDIT: Regarding standard horses being panicked by default due to a nearby battle, there may be an "official ruling" somewhere, but the way I'd play it is to roll a d% for each horse at the end of each round (or during the horses' initiative if you're counting them in... but for the sake of ease and sanity, I'd just do this at the end of each round). Default 50% chance that each horse will be panicked and run amok. I'd say default distance is 30 ft. away or so. If the horses are closer than that, there is a higher chance. If they are further than 30 ft. away, they have a lower chance of getting spooked. With this scenario, you will have some horses going nuts while others just stand rearing up in place, scared and confused. Besides possibly playing into the encounter, it's just a good cliche scene to envision, and the dice here are bringing it to life. If a horse does not get panicked (and it's just a standard horse), I'd say that it is still shaken if it is within 30 ft. of the combat. My 2 cents. :)

Just make it clear to them that changing character mechanics around willy nilly is not standard. Let it be known that you're making a one time exception for them - UNLESS you're the type who is okay with characters doing that indefinitely. As they're learning the rules, they're also learning your DMing patterns and how lenient you are. If you wouldn't be comfortable with that kind of leniency under normal circumstances, let your players know that.

magnuskn wrote:
I have written a homebrewn Swashbuckler core class which I just recently updated and vetted on the Suggestions forum. You can download it here, if you have any interest ( PDF uploaded via Google documents ).

Do you have a proper place somewhere for the public to leave feedback on this? In a nutshell: I like your take better than the 3pp one I saw, though I do have some qualms about a few details. :)

Absolutely, though it would either take a fresh re-write or a homebrew twist. Care if I take a stab at it and want to tell me what you think? And if so, would you want it to be similar to the 3.5 Swashbuckler or what would be your general take?

EDIT: Check out this Swashbuckler that's already been done. At first glance, it appears to be well done and well thought out. It's similar to the 3.5 Swashbuckler except they get a quasi-sneak attack instead of Insightful Strike, which means you don't have to focus on INT if you don't want to. In fact, it doesn't look like any of the abilities key off of CHA either.

EDIT#2: On second look, this Swashbuckler is a tad unbalanced, namely the Find the Mark ability. It is a heck of a good start though, and with a bit of tweaking/rebalancing it's a good take.

thejeff wrote:

Actually, that is RAW. In Vision and Light

Though I suppose you could argue that it grants concealment (and thus miss chance) even though you can't use stealth. Is that what you meant?

Of course, it's worse than that, since the text also prevents you from using any other form of concealment. And, literally read, keeps you from hiding from everyone, not just the character with darkvision.

Yet another example of vagueness in the rules... is it really so hard to write:

Darkvision (Ex): You can see clearly in dim light and darkness (as if they were normal light) out to the indicated distance and are not hindered by their effects. Other creatures cannot use dim light or darkness to gain concealment or total concealment from you. In areas of darkness, you discern colors as black and white only.

Problem solved. The problem is the way the rules are currently written.

EDIT: Why did they put that in the rules for light and darkness?? Shouldn't it belong in the rules for Darkvision? (like in my suggestion)

thejeff wrote:

How about blindsight, tremorsense or similar abilities? Can HiPS be used to hide from those abilities? Why or why not? AFAIK, there is no specific rule saying either way.

More generally, what's your idea of the effect of using HiPS?
What does it look like to the person observing the Shadowdancer? Do they just fade away? Gone after you blink? Something more dramatic - Shadows from nowhere cover them for an instant then shadows and dancer are gone? Or do they somehow use the nearby darkness to actually hide in?

For that matter, does darkness work? Assuming they're being watched by someone with darkvision, if there are no light sources and thus no dim light only darkness, they shouldn't be able to use HiPS, right?

You were probably asking someone else, but we all have opinions, right? I will briefly share mine.

Look at the spells Darkness and Deeper Darkness. There's even a quote there from James Jacobs with Deeper Darkness. You have bright light, normal light, dim light, and darkness. These are all the normal levels of light there are. In Pathfinder, the Darkness spell simply drops the current "light level" by 1 step. However, Deeper Darkness introduces a new kind of darkness that is 1 step darker than normal darkness... supernatural darkness. Darkvision can see through all 4 normal lighting conditions just fine. It takes this special supernatural darkness from the Deeper Darkness spell to overcome Darkvision in Pathfinder. In my opinion, this is a good mechanic, and how it SHOULD work. The only problem here is that the rules don't clarify that you CAN'T use dim light or darkness to hide from someone with Darkvision. To me (and others) this is fairly obvious, but apparently to many folks out there, it isn't. Using the mechanic this way, you can't use dim light or darkness to hide from someone with Darkvision, but you CAN use the supernatural darkness from Deeper Darkness to hide from someone with Darkvision.

Again, HiPS is vague. If a Deeper Darkness effect was 10 feet away from a Shadow Dancer, could she use that as her shadow to hide from someone with Darkvision? Now THIS is a good question that doesn't have a clear answer from the rules, but I would say YES. If the effect was normal darkness, no. But Deeper Darkness, yes.\

HiPS is essentially a supernatural ability that amplifies your ability to hide. It doesn't make it EASIER for you to hide, but it DOES present you with more opportunities to hide. It doesn't even have to be a shadow; normally a person standing behind a statue can't hide from an enemy who's staring him down, but a Shadow Dancer can. So to me this would look like to the naked eye the shadow dancer suddenly vanishing. The character is using the HiPS supernatural ability to sort of meld with her hiding source, and this appears as an instant vanish to observers. *shrugs* This is mostly flavor though... it's the actual mechanic that matters.

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The rules for Stealth, Perception, and HiPS are all vague and lack clarity on this matter - especially the rules for Stealth. Technically Stealth doesn't even cause unaware foes to be denied their DEX. Go ahead, look it up.

Another thing the rules fail to mention is that dim light and darkness do not grant concealment / total concealment against those with Darkvision. This is how it's supposed to work, but it's not actually there RAW.

1. You need a source of concealment or cover to hide using Stealth. This also applies to Shadow Dancers, except they can ALSO hide if they have a shadow / dim light within 10 feet of them (yet another vague rule).

2. The ability Hide In Plain is Supernatural itself, but THE SOURCE of your hiding spot (shadow, dim light, darkness) is NOT supernatural. Therefore, those with Darkvision see through it just fine, therefore it's not a legitimate hiding source against someone with Darkvision.

Sure, this is just an opinion, and I have no documentation to back it up. But my point is since the rules are vague in these areas, you're essentially arguing over opinions anyway. Blame the lack of clarity in the rules, not each other for different interpretations.

I ran a homebrew Call of Cthulhu adventure not too long ago, and came up with this Starspawn. If you think your alienist would have made something like this, feel free to use it. (The creature listed below the starspawn is another creature I used as a miniboss, summoned from the Necronomicon).

Ssalarn wrote:
I actually agree with you here as far as how it should work. The problem? Other builds don't require you to have a weapon in your hands at all times. You can use Quickdraw to two weapon fight with a couple braces of thrown daggers, or shuriken, or darts, etc. If you can access the weapon, it's valid. Nothing actually says you have to start your turn with a weapon in each hand.

Aye, you speak the truth. RAW aside now, I think things like your Quick Draw example should be case-by-case. By DEFAULT, I think you should need to have 2 weapons equipped for 2-weapon fighting - but things like Quick Draw should be an EXCEPTION to the rule. Alas, no system is perfect and is going to please everybody. Even PFS games require DM fiat and some group-agreed houseruling at times.

By OP definition I'm true neutral, though I think "balance" is a more appropriate term here than "difficulty".

WARNING: Rambling ahead.

In my experience, the game is most fun when you DM realistically: dynamic character actions and realistic logical outcomes. Just because Pathfinder is a fantasy game with magic and mechanics that take a heaping pile of s**t on physics and science doesn't mean that all sense is thrown out of the window. Not in my games, anyway. Yeah, you can fly to town with magic. You can have a Santa sack that's bigger on the inside. You can convince storm troopers that these aren't the droids they're looking for with a force-infused hand wave. Wait... that's not... *scoffs* anyway. Yes, it's fantasy, and many aspects defy reality. Even some nonmagical mechanics are fantasy-heroic, and sometimes don't really make sense in relation to real life.

But there's still a method to all the madness. All logic isn't flushed down the drain in favor of an anarchic system where anything goes. It's a paradox: you are free to do as you see fit with zero restrictions, except for the limitations of your brain and normal logical restrictions that the laws of physics WILL try to enforce. The magic, supernatural, and extraordinary elements of the game are the EXCEPTION to physics; not the rule.

Your actions MAY have consequences, just like they do in real life. You have a limit on how high you can normally jump, just like in real life. You may fall off of that building if you're not careful, just like you could in real life. People and environments change through minor and significant events every day, regardless of what your character does, just like the real world keeps spinning with or without you in real life. If you decide to leave an adventure for a few days, you might just come back to a fully reset temple and a sleep trap waiting for you. (YMMV.) Logic and real consequences aren't going to go away just because you're a cool cat and you like convenience. Not in my game. :) And I'm forever convinced that these logical dynamics don't put a damper on the game, but rather ENHANCE it. What fun is unrestricted chaos if you know there are no consequences? Good luck trying to guess what's in store for my next game... or hell, what's even behind that door or what's around the corner. I DO hope you find everything to be indecisively relative... just like real life.

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Sslarn wrote:
Sorry Sinatar, you're still wrong. I get to make all of my iteratives with my main hand while I've got a free off-hand, then switch up so the other hand is free and I've got gun in the other.

I was wrong about the max of 4 in the main hand and 2 in the off-hand... for whatever reason I was thinking that you needed to use the weapon cord each time you want to reload... no idea why I was thinking this. -_-

There are still 2 minor issues with this method, though with all the given information it is still legal RAW.

1.) During the next round with your weapon cord tactic, you start with 1 gun in your hand with the other dangling. Oops. You must have 2 weapons equipped to use two-weapon fighting, and a weapon dangling from a weapon cord is not equipped.

2.) The weapon cord rules state that your cord-hand is free, but you are limited with "finer actions". This is extremely vague and is mostly negligible, but it would be reasonable to rule that loading a firearm is a "finer action".

*shrugs* Again, I'm only looking at RAW. My own personal opinion on the matter? You should not be able to use two-weapon fighting unless you have both weapons equipped throughout the entire attack sequence. Things like Prehensile Tail/Hair should let you do simple tasks like hold a pistol temporarily. I think 2-weapon fighting with pistols and hand crossbows should be viable with the right build, but I DON'T think you should get extra attacks from having a double barrel. It's a stupid mechanic. You're still only shooting once, just with more than 1 round of ammo. It's much like shooting 2 arrows from a longbow - you're still only firing once, just using more than 1 arrow. My suggestion? Instead of granting an entire extra attack, using a double barrel should simply add more damage at the cost of a penalty to attack and increasing your misfire chance by +1. This would cut down on the cheese.

Ssalarn wrote:
You start with a pistol in each hand, both on weapon cords. You fire your first two shots with the main hand, drop the pistol in your second hand to reload and finish your iteratives with your main hand, then drop it as a free, retrieve your second pistol as a swift, and take your off-hand attacks. The next round, the gun that was your off-hand weapon is now your main hand and you do the exact same sequence. This is completely legal by RAW and only takes one swift action, and allows you to take your full round of iteratives.

This example is legal, but it only allows a max of 4 attacks with your main hand and 2 attacks with your off hand. Any other potential attacks you may have, such as a 3rd off-hand attack from Greater Two-Weapon Fighting, are wasted. This was exactly my point and my statement is still true regarding Theomniadept's example: it doesn't allow you to make all of those shots. A max of 4 in the main hand and 2 in the off-hand.

Ssalarn wrote:
A Glove of Storing allows you to do the same thing all as free actions without even needing to burn a swift.

I was wrong about the Glove of Storing - this would technically work. The off-hand weapon, however, would still be limited to 2 shots.

pika626 wrote:
The text states that it is a swift action to RETRIEVE a STOWED object from a player's possession. This is to get around the move action of having to search for the particular item in your bag. It does not comment on taking something from your own hand and placing it into another "hand" which is what a prehensile tail is. Switching hands is a free action as far as I know and from how the text is read there is nothing about it being a swift action.

It's debatable whether or not Prehensile Tail can even be used to retrieve an equipped weapon. It specifically says that it can be used to retrieve stowed items, but it doesn't even hint of other possible uses beyond that. Therefore technically, even using it to temporarily hold a weapon would be a houserule. In my opinion it's quite a reasonable houserule; I'm simply pointing out RAW. Using Prehensile Tail this way is reasonable, but not covered RAW.

Ssalarn wrote:
Just wanted to point out that if you look at the posts right before yours there's at least... 5 different ways to reload double-barreled pistols while dual wielding, 4 which are PFS legal. And there's probably more not mentioned.

Seen and accounted for in an edit to my post. Bottom line: still wouldn't work. Unless I missed something. Which is likely. ^_^

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Theomniadept wrote:

First, assume a 16th level character or onwards. This would mean they get 4 attacks[...]

Next, add Rapid Shot. This means as a full attack you get one MORE attack. Also, add either the Haste spell or the Speed enchantment, which adds another attack. Now we have the 6 attacks[...]

You're legit up to this point.

Theomniadept wrote:

Now let's take things a step further. Two Weapon fighting has three feats: Two Weapon Fighting, and its Improved and Greater versions that altogether add 3 more attacks. Factor in Haste/Speed enchantment on this off hand and you get another attack with the weapon, for 4 more attacks. We are up to ten[...]

Now look at the Pistolero: with TWO double-barreled pistols he can fire -both- barrels as an attack. At the same time. If, referring to my first post, he is completely able to reload these with free actions (requiring Quick Draw, just like using two hand crossbows) then his ten attacks are each using two bullets. That's double the attacks on a higher damaging weapon.

Hold on there, cowboy. You're breaking the rules in 3 areas.

1.) You must have a free hand to reload a firearm. Two-weapon fighting means you don't have a free hand. Therefore you can't reload to make a full attack with 2 double-barrel pistols.

2.) Quick Draw has no effect on how quickly you can sheathe a weapon. Sheathing a weapon is still a move action. Therefore, you still can't reload while holding 2 double-barrel pistols.

3.) You cannot benefit from multiple Haste/Speed effects. The rules state this clearly in both descriptions. Therefore you can only use the effect of 1 Speed weapon at a time; there's no point in wielding 2 Speed weapons.

Do many firearm mechanics need cleaning up? Yes. Can you make 24 attacks in around with them? Not without houseruling.

EDIT: Using a Weapon Cord is a swift action, so you could only use it once, meaning you still wouldn't be able to get all of your attacks. You can't wield a weapon in the same hand as a glove of storing, so that won't work either.

EDIT #2: Prehensile Tail is a swift action, not a free action, meaning that just like the Weapon Cord, you could only use it once during a full attack.

Shameless Bump!

master_marshmellow wrote:
i originally had all the social skills as one like you have, and i just called it Socialize, i do prefer it, but including Deception gave me a way to incorporate Disguise

I did not consolidate all of the social skills into 1. If you'll read my entry, each is still its own skill in my system. I simply grouped them together in this thread for readability.

Each social skill has its own unique niche in the game, and I have found that they should be kept separately from each other (in regards to the skill system). I have incorporated Disguise into Bluff in my system, which you would also know if you read my entry...

master_marshmellow wrote:

the main differences we have come from separating knowledge skills from spellcraft and UMD

personally i like knowledge skills to always be just that, and not have tangible applications

for that purpose (and because i like the concept of being able to identify spells by their components rather than having to roll a matching knowledge) i kept spellcraft, but incorporated UMD into it, rather than into Knowledge(Arcana)

If you look closely at the current rules for Spellcraft, every single one of the mechanics listed make sense sense for being tied to a Knowledge skill. Knowing about a spell being cast... knowing the properties of a magic item... learning spells from a spellbook... etc. They all easily make sense as a knowledge skill. I disagree with your sentiment that Knowledge skills shouldn't have "tangible applications". By that logic, Knowledge skills should not be able to reveal enemy weaknesses, which is already a part of their mechanic in the game. Identifying a magic item or a spell being cast has the potential to be every bit as important as identifying an enemy's resistances or having a good idea about which deity your enemy worships.

I disagree with the idea of grouping UMD with Spellcraft. UMD has nothing to do with being good at magic, but rather the ability to "trick" magic items to get them to do what you want them to do. It's a device manipulation mechanic, not a magical skill. This is the reason I have grouped it with Disable Device into my new "Tinkering" skill.

master_marshmellow wrote:

i dislike concentration as a skill, and i dislike the powergaming aspect of multiclassing, its one of the things i really liked about pathfinder over 3.5, imo splitting up your training between classes shouldnt make you better than someone who stays specialized, especially when changing spellcasting classes, maybe make it spellcraft based like crafting magic items is?

i also like the PFRPG concentration mechanic because i felt it appropriate to replace the bards perform skill check with a concentration check, because they should be the same anyway

I agree that multiclassing shouldn't make you stronger than a single-classed character, but I disagree that it should be dismissed as an option. On the contrary, it should be ENCOURAGED as an option. Just because you personally don't like multiclassing doesn't mean that a different character with a clever idea and build concept shouldn't be able to take advantage of multiclassing. While Pathfinder has done quite well to strengthen single class builds, multiclassing still has its place as an option. Otherwise, it wouldn't be in the game. I still think that one's ability to concentrate and one's ability to cast spells should be SEPARATE from each other by default. Concentrating/focusing on something sometimes has nothing to do with casting a spell at all. I'll have to agree to disagree with you here.

master_marshmellow wrote:
our systems are so similar it would be dumb not to consider melding our ideas

A few of our approaches are similar, but we do have some glaring differences. I am going to have to respectfully decline, because I am already collaborating with others in developing my homebrew system. I would, however, be willing to give you more feedback in your thread if you want, and welcome any further feedback you might have on mine. ^_^

Interesting. I won't comment too much on yours here (if I do it will be on your thread), but in short, I agree with some of your approaches while I disagree with others. :P

I'm working on a homebrew system and would love some honest feedback on the skills. The base mechanics in this system are mostly unchanged; the main goal is to consolidate and clean up the actual skills themselves. So here's what I've come up with (keep in mind that this system is still in a brainstorming phase):

Concept remains the same except Escape Artist and Fly are rolled into this skill, and jumping is now done with the Physical skill instead (see below). Escape Artist and Fly remain mostly the same mechanically, just used with the Acrobatics skill.

*NEW* Physical:
This is ideally the skill to use for muscular tasks. Climb, Swim, and jumping are all rolled into this skill. The idea is for Acrobatics to be the finesse skill while Physical is the muscle skill. Frankly the biggest problem I have is pinning a good name to it. You can't name it the Strength skill because of the confusion it would cause with the attribute.

Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate:
These skills remain the same in concept, but with some refinement and mechanical tweaks. An NPC's attitude toward you (hostile -> unfriendly -> indifferent -> friendly -> helpful) is well defined mechanically in my system, and all 3 of these skills can be used to influence it. Diplomacy improves, Intimidate lowers, and Bluff can do either. You can also use Diplomacy and Bluff to influence someone's attitude toward a DIFFERENT creature. Each skill has additional uses, such as haggling (Diplomacy) and disguising (Bluff). Oh yes... Disguise is rolled into Bluff. Intimidate can be used to force someone to do what you want (much like a Suggestion effect) or to cough up information, though it doesn't actually improve their attitude.

Each of these also has a unique combat mechanic. Diplomacy can be used to improve a hostile target's attitude in the middle of combat (which isn't possible with the other 2 skills) by taking a -20 penalty and using a full-round action. Improving the target's attitude toward you means that it won't attack you. You can also take feats to do this quicker and possibly be able to do more than just convince the target to not attack you.

Bluff still uses Feint and Intimidate still uses Demoralize, except these mechanics can be improved further with feats. A chain of feats stemming from Improved Feint allows you to eventually use Feint as a free action by taking a hefty penalty. A chain of feats for Demoralize adds a "taunt" mechanic to it and, you guessed it, allows you to reduce the action time by taking a penalty.

*NEW* Handle Creature:
This is a new twist on Handle Animal. It applies to any creature that doesn't share a language with you. It works similarly to Diplomacy in that you can use it to improve a creature's attitude (hostile -> unfriendly -> indifferent -> friendly -> helpful) toward you or an ally.

The Ride skill is also rolled into this skill. A delima exists here in that it makes sense for riding and handling a creature to use the same skill, but normally Handle Animal uses CHA while Ride uses DEX. My solution? Make the skill DEX based. This can be explained by the fact that a very charismatic person doesn't necessarily have a way with animals or other creatures. Similarly, someone who isn't charismatic can still have a natural way with animals and other creatures. Humanoid interaction isn't the same as animal/creature interaction. Furthermore, getting a creature to do what you want often means PHYSICALLY handling it or doing it with body language, which is better represented with DEX than CHA.

Stealth & Perception:
Concept remains unchanged, just cleaned up the mechanics for clarity. I've already done a rewrite for both of these (if anyone is interested I'll post them).

*NEW* Medical:
Renamed the "heal" skill to this since it encompasses more than just healing. I've added that you can use it to diagnose injuries and cause of death (use it to tell if a creature is bleeding out vs. actually being dead, understand the effects of a poison or disease and what caused it, etc) as well as use it for anatomic knowledge (not just humanoids).

I've changed the "treat deadly wounds" mechanic (the one that lets you heal HP with this skill) so that you heal your subject for half of your total Medical check (still usable only once per subject in a day and still consumes 2 healing kits per use). My reasoning is that the amount healed should be solely based on the user's Medical skill, regardless of what level the subject is.

*NEW* Concentration:
Yes, I want to change Concentration back to a skill. With my condensed skill system, it's not a painful change. If anything, it makes more sense than Pathfinder's approach; hear me out.

My first beef with Pathfinder's Concentration mechanic is that it's based on caster level. This means that a multiclass caster is worse at concentrating on his spells than a full caster is. To me, this is poor design because it discourages multiclassing as a caster even more than it's already discouraged. One's ability to concentrate should not be based on caster level.

My second beef is that your spellcasting ability score is what you use to concentrate, regardless of what that ability score is. Now, don't get me wrong - this is not a terrible mechanic. It's fair in terms of game balance. I do, however, have a BIG problem when logic is tossed aside in games for no good reason. Concentrating has absolutely nothing to do with your CHA - I don't care if it is your spellcasting attribute. Not by default, anyway... a feat, item, or class feature might let you do it, but under normal circumstances, a joe shmoe's pretty smile is not going to keep his spell held up while a couple of orcs carve him a new hole. Is it too game breaking to ask that Concentration be based on CON, and to require some investment in discipline to be good at it, regardless of what your class levels actually are? Feel free to discuss. I realize this is just a matter of opinion.

My Concentration also applies to more than just spellcasting. When making a ranged attack, you can use it as a "defensive shooting" mechanic to avoid attacks of opportunity, just like spellcasters can. I've never understood why spellcasters get this mechanic exclusively, while archers get the shaft. Shooting a bow successfully with someone beating on you takes concentration just like casting a spell does. The idea is to use this skill for anything that requires focus and discipline.

*NEW* Intuition:
An expansion on Sense Motive. It works the same but can be used for more than detecting lies. It's the "cleverness" skill. Acrobatics is for finesse, Physical is for muscle, and Intuition is for thinking. Intuition checks are called for in place of Wisdom checks.

Sleight of Hand:
Concept remains the same, and I've added a few more mechanics that the skill can be used for (surreptitious casting, performing "magic" tricks, cheating).

*NEW* Tinkering:
Disable Device and Use Magic Device are rolled into this skill. Can also be used to create makeshift items from scratch and to build unique contraptions. If you aren't trained in a Specialty (see below), you can use this skill to make a generic version of something. For example, if you aren't a professional trapsmith but you want to try and make a trap, you can use this skill to build a makeshift "trap". It will pale in comparison to a genuine trap, but at least it's something. You can also repair mundane broken items (but not destroyed) with this skill, as well as take something apart without breaking it. This skill is based on INT (which is kind of funny because neither DD nor UMD are based on INT).

*NEW* Specialty:
Rolls Profession, Perform, and Craft into 1 categorized skill. Any trade, talent, or job you're good at is a Specialty. I want to revise the crafting rules so that making things is less complicated (but remains balanced). I also want to make Performance specialties (dancing, singing, instruments, acting, etc.) be better tied to Bards. But these are completely different discussions. :)

Here is one I've put a good deal of thought and focus into. Currently there are 10 poorly defined Knowledge types. In my experience as a GM, Knowledge checks tend to come up fairly often, so I feel that it is an area that requires more attention than what is presented in Pathfinder. The idea is to consolidate them and sort what belongs where more logically. Also, with my approach, some knowledge checks might overlap with each other, and I think this is perfectly fine (meaning that the party might be able to use more than 1 type of knowledge to learn the same thing). My biggest fear is that these might be TOO consolidated. My approach:

Knowledge: Civilization - Appraise, Engineering, Local, & Nobility are all rolled into this Knowledge. Anything related to civilized races, structures, culture, etc. is tied to this.

Knowledge: Wilderness - Survival, Nature, Geography, and Dungeoneering are all rolled into this Knowledge. I've removed aberations from this category and added dragons. Wild creatures and natural structures are tied to this.

Knowledge: Academics - History, Religion, and Planes are all roled into this Knowledge. I've removed undead from this category (you'll see why), while aberations and outsiders are both tied to this Knowledge.

Knowledge: Magic - Spellcraft and Arcana are both included in this Knowledge. Constructs, undead, and magical beasts are all tied to this Knowledge. I would also like to adjust some of the mechanics involved with Spellcraft here (in relation to magic items), but that's another discussion.

Knowledge: Combat - a brand new Knowledge. Information about weapons, armor, poisons, classes, abilities, fighting styles, weaknesses, strengths, and anything related to combat can be gained using this skill. This skill can be used to assess information about an enemy just like the other knowledges can, but again I feel that it's okay to have this overlap.

shallowsoul wrote:

Might want to actually ask before you take the word of others. There are a few posters around here that like to post what they want to believe, because it tries to validate their argument, instead of whats there.

Secondly, no poster here gets to decide when a topic is finished. You decide by not posting, declaring the topic is finished is not a choice you get to make (Vod or anyone else here).

I never said anything about it making someone a bad DM.

Just for the record, there is no official rule that you have to use magic shops or that they have to exist. There are other ways of obtaining gear from people using money.

Lastly, this is a discussion board so that means we discuss things. My opinion of magic item shops is just as valid as anyone else's so I am going to discuss it.

And this is exactly why I added the "if this is true" disclaimer. I'm glad it's not true. =) I have no qualms then. Carry on.

Vod Canockers wrote:
You think that any GM that allows all those things is a bad GM.

Not trying to add fuel to the fire here, but if this is true, it's absurd. You don't like magic items and the idea of shops that sell them? Fine. That's your prerogative. But don't try to justify and elevate your opinion by insulting the intelligence of every other GM in existence. You're essentially saying that any GM who uses the default "Purchasing Magic Items" rules is a bad GM.

On the contrary, any GM who feels the need to limit and restrict his PCs by dampening (or outright removing) the Magic Item economy is a a bad GM. Especially if he does nothing to ease the encounters they face to offset this imbalance. You're making the game less fun and interesting for your players by diminishing a core portion of the game, simply because you're paranoid that the PCs will be "too powerful".

Good GMs allow players to build their characters however they want and do not dampen the magic item economy (unless you're intentionally running an adventure that wouldn't have a normal magic item economy - for the purpose of group interest, NOT because of PC paranoia - such as a pre-historic setting). Good GMs find other ways to challenge powerful PCs that don't involve restricting their freedom.

To those who are trying to get the OP to drop the subject, I apologize. I read that little sentence and just couldn't remain silent. ^_^

Roberta Yang wrote:
Improved Balance doesn't really make much difference because, even though it reduces the penalty for fighting with a one-handed off-hand weapon, it also reduces your penalty further if you're fighting with a light off-hand weapon. In other words, it doesn't actually the longsword dual-wielder catch up to the kukri dual-wielder any more than Weapon Training does.

Twin Blades is basically the same thing as Weapon Training for Two-Weapon Warriors. But Weapon Training / Twin Blades aside, the benefit of Improved Balance is still relevant. The OP's goal is to reduce the penalty of using a 1-handed weapon in the off-hand. Improved Balance accomplishes this exactly by reducing the penalty from -4, -4 to -2, -2. It doesn't matter in this case what the light off-hand penalty is because the OP wants two 1-handers.

Regarding light weapons, you are correct; a simple -1 penalty reduction is pretty paltry, especially at 11th level.

As per your actual question and proposed method, that is a reasonable and fair feat. If I were GMing a player who asked for this, I would allow it.

I would like to point out, however, that this exact thing IS already mechanically seen in the game via Improved Balance, a class feature of the Two-Weapon Warrior Archetype. Granted, you did mention that you want it from the get go, and Improved Balance isn't gotten until level 11.

Ah, a simple question without a simple answer. Thanks, Pathfinder. ;)

I'm with Grick on this one. It's wonky, but there's no reason why a horse couldn't grapple. The description would be awkward, but it can still be done... grabbing someone with its mouth, rearing on its hind legs and getting tangled with someone with its front legs, or even pinning someone to its body using its head and neck. Weird visuals, but they could all represent a horse "grappling" someone. Also because of the humanoid/hand rule that Grick mentioned, I would be tempted to give the horse a -4 penalty to his CMB roll. No, horses aren't humanoids, but it's no less awkward than a humaniod trying to grab someone with 1 hand.

On the other hand, I cannot think of a situation where this would ever come up, except if someone actually TRAINED a horse to "grapple". In pretty much all other situations, a horse would not attack someone by grappling them.

Aldath wrote:

[...]I've read on the forums that levels 7+ start becoming just unplayable.

Also, I've read that Gunslinger and Summoner are classes that shouldn't even exist... I've read that weird quote "stay away from the Summoner" many times before.

Include me among the DMs who have experience with high level play. I've DM'd a level 15 group and find that the game is NOT broken at high levels, even with minimal house ruling. I can attest that the game is still fun and balanced at these levels. I've seen people say, "Wah, enemy CMDs are too high!" Or "Wah, solo encounters are imbalanced!" And other similar nonsense. Yes, enemy CMDs and AC can be quite high in many cases, but that doesn't mean the game is imbalanced. It means that at this point in the game, PCs have many options available to them for dealing with a high AC - usually as simple as finding a way to target touch AC or a saving throw. As for high CMDs, I can tell you that if a character invests enough resources into a particular maneuver (I usually see grappling or tripping), he/she can overcome even the highest of CMDs. If you invest 0 resources into maneuvers, then of course you're going to have trouble with high level CMDs. People can be silly.

Also, I don't have any personal experience with summoner, but I DO have experience with Gunslinger. One of the level 15 characters that I DM'd was a Gunslinger, and I DON'T think they're overpowered - even when combining Rapid Reload, Alchemical Cartridges, and/or Lightning Reload to be able to always reload as a free action. Reason being, Gunslingers have to invest so many feats and gold into being able to shoot well, that they're hardly good at anything else. The Gunslinger I DM'd was easily doing ~40 damage per shot or more, but that's all she could really do. If her gun was disarmed or she got grappled or something, she might as well have been a sitting log. Gunslingers CAN shoot things well, but that's the only thing they're good at... they hugely lack versatility. They're not overpowered.

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My personal suggestion:

Is Red Mantis Assasin the only thing set in stone, or is it also still in the air?

Because honestly straight ninja the whole way would fit your stipulations perfectly.

1.) The ninja's capstone ability is amazing; definitely worth the long haul.

2.) Plug in the good tricks / feats / items, and the character is quite simple to play. Nothing complicated and minimal book keeping, yet the character is still very capable and efficient.

3.) Ninjas need a high CHA, and all social skills are class skills for them. This is great synergy for this gifted female character with social graces. ^_^

4.) This is about as "fluid and acrobatic" as it gets! The ninja is one of the best classes at taking advantage of the Acrobatics skill, using their Ki. Many ninja tricks build onto this concept as well.

5.) You wouldn't need to worry about houseruling weapon finesse working with mithral weapons, or using 3rd party material. This point is moot, however, if you aren't hesitant about 3rd party material in the first place. ^_^

Environmental rules excerpt, underwater combat wrote:
Attacks from Land: Characters swimming, floating, or treading water on the surface, or wading in water at least chest deep, have improved cover (+8 bonus to AC, +4 bonus on Reflex saves) from opponents on land. Land-bound opponents who have freedom of movement effects ignore this cover when making melee attacks against targets in the water. A completely submerged creature has total cover against opponents on land unless those opponents have freedom of movement effects. Magical effects are unaffected except for those that require attack rolls (which are treated like any other effects) and fire effects.

WTF!? This is ridiculous! *sigh*... whoever approved of this rule should be hung by their toes and beaten with a wet squirrel. This is a terrible mechanic, and I'm surprised that it has eluded my radar until now.

Imagine if you were on land, choosing to either shoot someone on the surface of water 20 feet from you, someone hiding behind a statue 20 feet from you, or someone behind a wall with a small arrow slit 20 feet from you. Who do you think would be easier to hit? By this geniusly written rule, THE GUY ON THE SURFACE AND THE GUY BEHIND THE TINY ARROW SLIT are equally as hard to hit. It's stupid. It's really stupid.

First of all, water should not even provide cover mechanically; it should provide CONCEALMENT. Cover should be a solid surface (trees, statues, walls, etc), whereas concealment should be anything that obscures clear vision. If you're simply on the surface of water relative to others on land, you do NOT have a solid barrier that provides ANY kind of cover; therefore, you should have CONCEALMENT. Being submerged under water should be TOTAL CONCEALMENT, not total cover.

When I read this rule... it hurt my soul. It hurt it bad. I think a part of me died a little. I face-palmed in real life.

DrDeth wrote:


Do you honestly want them to come out with a 2nd Edition NOW, to fix this tiny issue?

I'm not impatiently demanding anything NOW, but I WOULD like some acknowledgement that Paizo intends on doing something about it at some point. I have seen nothing from Paizo saying that they are working on revisions, rewrites, or even anymore errata to the core rules. You say that they are working on it, do you have a link to a source? I'm simply trying to raise awareness and make some helpful suggestions. If I could see any mention of this from Paizo somewhere, I would certainly be satisfied.

EDIT: And no, I'm not worried over one "tiny issue". There are MANY core mechanics that need to be rewritten.

Josh M. wrote:

The rules are pretty clear, despite not actually saying it anywhere in the rules. They were pretty clear in 3,5, which is what you might be mentally recalling, but as for PF? Nope.

If we're allowed to make things up that aren't actually stated, then I want my fire-breathing half-dragon unicorn mount for my Fighter at 1st level. It doesn't actually say that I don't get one, so obviously I should.

They dropped the ball, and decided to just shrug their shoulders and move on instead of fixing it. Woohoo progress.

Interesting fact... Pathfinder Stealth is partially copied from the 3.5 SRD entry for "Hide", and that entry neglects to mention unaware foes being denied their DEX against those who are hidden. However...

In the 3.5 Rules Compendium, they added a convenient little sentence to the Hide rule that DOES specify that unaware enemies are denied their DEX. Unfortunately, Paizo copied the entry from the 3.5 SRD instead of the Rules Compendium. Pity.

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DrDeth wrote:

Umm, no, you can also go behind cover or anything else that blocks line of sight, and become concealed again. And there’s all sort of “practical benefits” the ONLY “practical benefit” you DON’T get is no auto sneak attack ..which you’d only get for one hit anyway. The loss is small, and JJ sez it’s fine to houserule it.

But yes, of course you need HiPS or it’s equivalent to go back into being hidden after revealed, do you think a sneaky guy can really just Hide in Plain Sight without some sort of special ability?

Read the Stealth blogs. They are well aware of the issue. It is an issue that can NOT be solved without a great deal of rules re-writing which will have to wait until another edition. They have said that. So, what’s the problem? The devs know about it, acknowledge it, suggested a houserule, and will fix it next Ed.

NORMAL cover should not completely block line of sight and line of effect, but TOTAL Cover should. This is yet ANOTHER confusion in the rules because of 3.5 SRD text copied directly into Pathfinder. It's a confusing mechanic that causes a ripple effect for the whole game. It affects Stealth and Perception, as well as ANYTHING that has to do with line of effect (or line of sight). Normal cover should provide +4 AC, +2 Reflex, prevent AoOs from those you have cover against, allow you to use stealth, but NOT block line of sight/effect (unless you are hidden from stealth). If cover completely blocks line of effect, what's the point of the bonus to AC? Only total cover should block line of effect. These mechanics need clearing up, and this is how you do it.

You don't need anyone, game designer or not, to tell you what's "fine" to house rule. My suggested changes come DIRECTLY from the Stealth blogs you are referring to. Check them out.

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mplindustries wrote:
It doesn't need to say that in the stealth section. It says that in the section about enemies being unable to see you (blind).

Oh, you mean the rules for being blinded? Yes, the rules specify that a blinded creature is denied its DEX to AC. But where in the rules is the blinded condition linked to enemies who cannot see a stealthed crature? I'm not trying to be difficult. If you say that it just does because that makes sense to you, then wonderful! I am not bashing any house ruling. I too house rule that enemies who don't notice a stealther are denied their DEX bonus against them. My point is that nowhere in the core do the rules mention this. However, I have missed things before. If you can find anywhere where it says that unaware enemies are denied their DEX or are blind to stealthers, I would be happy to see it!

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mplindustries wrote:
If you've successfully stealthed, they are blind to you, so they are not flat-footed (that's a specific game term), but they are denied dexterity to AC.

I wholeheartedly agree that this is how Stealth SHOULD work. But please, show me here in the rules for stealth where it mentions that they are blind to you? (HINT: it's not there)

The unfortunate truth is that technically this is a house rule. Again I say, it's absurd that it has to be.

Zardnaar wrote:
The big major problem in PF is offensive options scale to fast. Things players like are bad for the DM and a few I consider to good are magic item rules (to cheap/easy), wands of cure light wounds (each fight has to be rocket tag or PCs auto win), and feats like power attack and rapid shot.

But keep in mind that enemies and monsters also scale quickly in power. Some enemies the PCs will face also have power attack, rapid shot, etc. As a GM, PCs may seem overpowered when you look at their character sheets, but also look at the enemies they're going up against. Keep in mind that you can just increase the CR of your encounters if the PCs are just blowing though everything. In my experience, regardless of how powerful the PCs are, I don't need to bump up the CR more than 2 or 3 to present a challenge. Let the PCs enjoy their power. You are the GM, and as long as you can match it with what they encounter, it's not a problem.

Also, you shouldn't worry too much about wands of cure light wounds. They cost money, and they're really only good for out of combat healing. Any character with fast healing has FREE out of combat healing anyway. As long as your encounters are challenging, it's okay for the PCs to have easy out of combat healing.

Rictras Shard wrote:
I would argue that it should be difficult to hide when your enemy is watching you.

Funny thing you should mention that... earlier in this thread I linked to a thread where I suggest some re-writes, and in my Stealth rewrite I included a section exactly for this. You should check it out.

Piccolo wrote:
I suppose I really should go check out the game mechanics as regards this. I'd always played it that if you snuck up on somebody, they were considered surprised and therefore flat footed (no dex to AC, vulnerable to sneak attack). After all, isn't "sneak attack" supposed to be sneaky?

Indeed sir. You should also check out my proposed rewrite and tell me what you think - it clarifies this exact issue by giving Stealthers a "hidden" condition, which renders unaware foes flat-footed. In the thread I linked check out "Stealth" and "Conditions" (if you're interested).

Piccolo wrote:
Dunno man, I still play it like surprised characters are flat footed, and therefore are denied their Dexterity to AC.

As you should. But unfortunately this is technically a house rule, and it shouldn't have to be... precisely my point.

DrDeth wrote:

Altho it is true that Stealth does not make a foe lose his Dex, it is still not useless as a game mechanic. A PC with HiPS can simply walk up to an enemy wizard, then come un-stealthed and attack. The wizard can't attack the sneak at all, as he can't detect him (until the sneak attacks). And, a PC with HiPS can just casually walk around a monster, ignoring AoO until he gets into a perfect flanking position.

Being 100% un-attackable until you attack? That's not a "GAME MECHANIC BENEFIT"? And then going back into stealth mode if the battle is too tough and having a 100% chance of escaping? Not a GAME MECHANIC BENEFIT?

Okay, I'll reword it. Currently the rules for stealth offer little to no benefit. Yes, it can be used to sneak around the battlefield unnoticed, but alone its usefulness stops there. As you mentioned, you must have HiPS in order to even be able to hide again after you are revealed. That's 2 resources your character has to have just to be able to hide after being revealed. That's it; there's no other practical boon, when there SHOULD be.

And don't take any of this out of context. I think HiPS is a good mechanic, and for the most part it's fine as is. It's stealth I have a beef with - much of it is directly copied and pasted from the 3.5 SRD "Hide" entry. A fact that should have been addressed long ago.

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DrDeth wrote:

3 & 5 are good points, and James Jacobs admits as much. BUT read the two Stealth blogs and the replies. They found out that fixing them required[...]

A complete re-write of the rules, which will have to wait for another edition.

This is PRECISELY what I'm suggesting, and what I think needs to happen. All because much of Pathfinder's core is copied and pasted 3.5 SRD text. As I explained, a re-write wouldn't be THAT big of a deal (a revision). Even a Joe-Shmoe like me could do it with a bit of time. And again, this WOULD NOT be a change in mechanics - but rather FIXING the existing mechanics by doing a clean rewrite.

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shallowsoul wrote:

4: The wording of some things are just not clear.

[...] Now the thread doesn't have to focus on just those, there are others out there so post them here.

I love Pathfinder as a whole, but my biggest problem is that somewhere around 70% of the core text is directly copied and pasted from the 3.5 SRD. A bold accusation, but I can provide countless examples as proof. However, my problem is not with the copy and pasting of text itself, but the fact that it creates inconsistent, repetitive, and "bloat" wording (not to be confused with "fluff"). We have new, innovative mechanics interwoven with an outdated core language, which can sometimes be unintentionally unclear and confusing.

This is why I (like the majority of posters in this thread) agree with the OP in that this needs to be fixed. I sincerely hope that the Pathfinder designers don't take this complaint lightly. Here are a few noteworthy examples:

1.) RAW, line of effect only applies to SPELLS, even though many other non-spell related mechanics - such as total cover - use line of effect.

2.) The rules for line of sight and line of effect BOTH refer to each other. Furthermore, the rules for line of effect imply that line of sight is specifically used for ranged attacks, although the rules for line of sight don't mention ranged attacks at all. Could this be ANY more convoluted?

3.) The rules mention several stipulations about concealment, but they don't even hint as to what concealment actually is. RAW, sources of concealment are specified case-by-case (namely dim light and darkness).

4.) The current rules for invisibility have twice as much text as the rules for stealth. I realize most people don't care about this, but my point is that it's absurd for invisibility (and other mechanics) to be so wordy.

5.) There is NO ACTUAL GAME MECHANIC BENEFIT for using stealth. It's absolutely absurd! An iconic skill that RAW doesn't even cause unaware enemies to be denied their DEX? Why has it been 4 years since this game's release and this issue is STILL yet to be resolved? Don't tell me that "it's by design, stealth is meant for out of combat" either, because some time ago Paizo discussed this VERY ISSUE in a blog, planning for a fix, but then the whole thing just got dropped. My question is: Why?

Just to list a few examples of how copying and pasting 3.5 text into the Pathfinder core causes trouble. The core mechanics need a rewrite. I'm not talking about changing the mechanics - just rewriting them. Make them work the way they are SUPPOSED to work. Tie up these loose ends and make the wording clearer. It's a simple thing would VASTLY improve the game.

And no, a lawyer would NOT be required for such a thing. Why do I keep seeing this? I'm no lawyer, and even I can do it. Check out this thread that I made a while back (that sadly got very little response) for a few good example re-writes.

GM_Solspiral wrote:
Here's the rogue trick Fast Stealth its a favorite of mine.

In this case, not a thing would need to be changed! My suggestion still applies a default penalty to stealth if you move more than half speed, so Fast Stealth wouldn't need to be touched (look at my second paragraph under "Movement and Stealth"). I thought you meant that there was a rogue talent that allows you to move from one spot to another using stealth - which is why I was concerned.

I want to try my hand at the other Pathfinder mechanics, but at the same time I don't want to waste my time if no one else really cares. The lack of interest and feedback of this thread speaks volumes in and of itself... it's pointless to revise the rules just for myself! If I can get some support from the community, I will happily continue this work.

GM_Solspiral, I will check your message now. Thanks again for your honest input. And thanks to everyone else who has responded. :)

Puna'chong wrote:

I haven't seen this so far, but it looks like something that could be exploited. "Guys, save your hero points for the boss and we'll just use them to finish it quicker." That's kind of my issue with a RAW instead of suggested RAI approach; you give written rules to a player and some will stretch them however they can to break it.

The reason I'm asking, mainly, is that I've been using the system for a while, and normally my players forget about it like a familiar until they get caught in a situation where it's really going to come in handy, which has worked so far. But now one of my players is making a character that's essentially based on luck or a heroic destiny, using the human racial feats from Advanced Race Guide and the Heroic racial trait on an Order of the Shield Cavalier with the Standard Bearer archetype. He's actually pretty cool, storywise

As long as you make sure Hero Points are a very limited and hard-to-come-by resource like I do, I say that your example is fine! If the players want to coordinate and blow them all on the boss, I say go for it! They might regret it later, though, if they die and have no Hero Points to cheat death. :)

This is why I don't allow traits, feats, spells, etc. that have anything to do with Hero Points. It virtually eliminates potential abuse, it really amplifies the spirit of Hero Points being a precious/limited resource, and it encourages players to manage them carefully (like the coordinated boss attack example you mentioned!).

EDIT: Forgot to mention that I make a point to remind my players of their Hero Points! Their faces usually brighten or they at least smirk when I teasingly bring it up. "Remember, you can use a Hero Point to get another standard action if you want!" or "You know, you could use a Hero Point for basically a guaranteed hit if you're really intimidated by this thing's AC." You can just see their wheels turning, considering that meat dangling before them, as they silently thank my reminder with a smile. =)

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As a GM, the Hero Point system is my favorite mechanic in Pathfinder! I absolutely love it, and always implement it into my games. I pretty much use the rules as written, except:

* I don't normally allow the feats/spells/magic items that grant extra Hero Points. That stuff deflates the value and significance of Hero Points! They aren't meant to be flung around willy nilly... in my opinion, they work best when used sort of as a "get out of jail free card".

* I omit the "Bonus" and "Reroll" rules of the Using Hero Points section and simply rule that you can use a Hero Point to take 10 on ANY d20 roll with the added +8 luck bonus. I do this because Hero Points are meant to be exciting and to give the player an edge! How deflating would it be to use a Hero Point only to roll a 1? To me this significantly cuts the intended value of Hero Points. With my change using them is always guaranteed to help, just like all the other listed uses.

* I rule that if a character uses 2 to Cheat Death, they automatically have 0 HP and stabilize, regardless of how deep they currently are in the negatives (as long as their corpse is mainly intact)

* I broaden the spectrum a bit by ruling an "allow" or "disallow" use of Hero Points on a case-by-case basis. For example, my players have asked before if they could spend a Hero Point to move without provoking an attack of opportunity from the big bad boss, and I allow it.

I don't mind my players having the extra Ace up their sleeve because I tend to make challenging encounters anyway. :) It's a fantastic way to add excitement and heroic moments to the game (and it generally makes your players happy). At the same time, since they're such a limited and precious resource, it adds an element of strategy by encouraging players to manage them carefully. The mechanic is GENIUS, especially the 3 point limit rule. It makes 4E's Action Point system look like the Hero Point system's younger, weaker, lazier brother.

GM_Solspiral wrote:
Lighting Conditions: Unless I'm mistaken you added bright light as a new lighting condition, then there's normal and dim light. What's a cloudy day in winter then? Are you telling me my archer is ineffective on a cloudy day in winter? I get there re lgiht sensitive races but I'm not sure they should be as functional in normal light any more then they'd be in bright light. +0 points

These rules already exist within the game; this presentation simply organizes them better (or that's the intended goal, anyway). Bright light vs. Normal light are already mechanics within the core rules. See for yourself HERE.

The current rules also specify that light sensitivity and light blindness take effect in bright light (as opposed to normal light). It's not an original idea by me. See for yourself HERE.

However, if you simply don't like the rules regardless of where they originated, that's another matter. I simply cleaned it up.

GM_Solspiral wrote:
Concealment: Did this really change that drastically over what was already written? There's that cute bit about spellcasters getting nerfed by concealment which I would only agree with on spell that require an attack roll (sorry my Magic Missile and burning hands still hit.) B/B I cannot really see much difference and do not approve of the difference I do see (needs either clarification or omission) I can't give you points here either. +0 points

Very little (if any) actual change. Concealment is one of those mechanics that is directly copied and pasted from 3.5. My main beef with concealment in its current form is how vague it is. It explains how to determine if you have concealment, but it doesn't mention what concealment actually is! Because of this, concealment is determined case-by-case in its current form. In other words, if something doesn't specifically state that it provides concealment, then RAW it's not necessarily concealment. This is bad form, and it's no trouble to fix with a sentence or two. My goal is to eliminate the guess-work of determining concealment, not to make any undesired changes. Which part would you say needs clarification or omission?

Also, my suggestion specifies that concealment only applies to attacks, etc. that "specify a target", which falls in line with the stipulation you said you'd want.

GM_Solspiral wrote:
[...]not sure I support listening being a move action.

You know, I actually struggled with this for a while. My goal is to make listening a clearly defined part of the overall Perception mechanic without getting carried away. I think my vision mechanics might be okay (unless I missed something), but admittedly I'm not 100% sure on actively made listen checks. I specified a move action mainly for consistency. With my suggestion, an active perception check of any kind is a move action unless you're taking your time (like looking around). Simplicity + balance is the goal!

GM_Solspiral wrote:
[...]movement and stealth, we have a rogue trick for this, and I'm not sure I want to change this. [...]If you do want to make the change mechanically I'd give rogues a choice 1)1/2 move at no penalty OR 2) move full but with 1/2 skill penatly.

Excellent point! Thank you for pointing this out. :) The current rules definitely don't cover a lot in this area. There is a small stipulation about movement, but it doesn't say anything about when you should make new stealth checks, which I notice comes up a LOT with stealth users. With the current rules, the GM has to rule himself and guess when to call for new stealth checks. Again, I say that this is bad form, and easily fixed. As I mentioned, one of the main goals in my suggestions is to eliminate the guess-work without getting carried away. Also, shouldn't all stealth users be able to move around quietly if their skill is high enough (not just rogues)? Do you know the name of the rogue trick you're referring to? I'd like to take a quick look, but I really like your suggestion about making it eliminate the penalty as opposed to allowing them do it (when all non-rogue stealth users should be able to do it).

I can't tell you how grateful I am for your detailed feedback! This is indeed only a draft, as I am thoroughly open to any and all suggestions. My goal and intention is to IMPROVE the game - not lay down a "my way or the highway" book.

Hah, there may very well be some 3.0-esque material there. If there is, it wasn't consciously intentional (though one of the many voices inside my head might have pushed me in that direction without me realizing it... wouldn't be the first time).

Thank you three for the honest responses! That's EXACTLY what I need - honest impressions, not false praises. The lip reading rules have already gotten bad votes from 2 out of the 3 of you, so that may very well be omitted. My INTENDED approach is to make the base rules broad and all-encompassing, with specifics only used as examples. Lip reading may be too specific to be included as a core mechanic.

GM_Solspiral wrote:

[...]you're way to detailed for most folk and the DM that gets that specific is going to make the game action take for frikin' ever.

[...]I'd refuse to game with a DM that slows down the game to re-read thru the materials to make sure they are aligned with your rules

My goal is to NOT be too detailed or specific unless it's necessary. Did the examples that are listed come across that way to you? Or is it something else (like the lip reading thing)? Any specifics you can tell me would help.

GM_Solspiral wrote:
Perception for most is a roll that just happens when called for[...]

I absolutely agree! (as noted in the "Check" section under Perception).

GM_Solspiral wrote:
Stealth for the most part is used out of combat- the benefit of stealth is if an enemy doesn't notice you they aren't attacking/targeting you. We don't need all this johnny specific stuff and I'm not buying a reprint of the core rules for it either.

If stealth was meant for out of combat situations, then why do the current rules bother mentioning movement speed? What's more, why would Paizo themselves publicize a proposal to revising stealth? My concept is directly based on their proposed changes (that never got errata'd). Not to mention sniping.

I know many Pathfinder players who would LOVE to be able to use stealth in combat. The rogue class in particular needs stealth for their primary class feature to work, and the rules currently don't even do this right. It's a simple change that would make stealth work the way Paizo originally intended. I can't really comment on the "johnny specific" remark because I'm not sure what exactly it is you're referring to. At any rate, I thank you for the honest feedback.

Ciaran Barnes wrote:
There's an awful lot to take in though. I see you incorporated some 3rd edition material too.

I do think that Pathfinder omitted (or left out unintentionally) SOME strong mechanics. If this was because they didn't like the language, I don't see why they couldn't just re-write it. Though admittedly, the lip reading mechanic may be pushing the "specific" envelope too hard.

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