We always assign half+1 hp:
Another option I have seen is the d4+X method:
I have always disagreed with rolling hit points normally - generally, bad rolls are much worse than average than good rolls are better. And the classes that need the hit points the most are the ones with the most variance in their totals.
It is much easier to make characters using NPC classes compared to doing so with PC classes, although a few very flavorful NPC-class characters could make an appearance (probably 5 or less).
What I am dreaming of is a book that has well over 100 NPCs of various levels. They should have a blurb describing their motivation and personality, as well as flavorful equipment and chosen class features.
If the creators of the book were insane enough, they could even make each character feature their stats a several different levels. (So I could look up Gork the half-orc barbarian at level 3, 5, and 8). It would also be pretty awesome if several of the characters were designed to be utilized together with other characters. (A pair of characters that might work together as mercenaries, for example)
Since Paizo has so many adventure paths already, it probably wouldn't be too much of a stretch to include all the NPCs they already have made, as well as a bunch of new ones and/or advanced/younger versions of the NPCs from the APs.
Tables to look them up by name, class, race, CR, etc. should be included, for obvious reasons.
I hope that helps!
Balance is an illusion sought by players that miss the point. Any DM worth his (or her!) salt can modify, change, create, adjust, nudge, bump an adventure to suit the players, the PCs party build choices.
The point of 'balance tweaks' would be to make it so that you don't 'need' to modify/change/create/adjust etc. etc. to make it so the player with a Monk can share the spotlight (mechanically) as well as the player with a Wizard, especially at higher levels.
And interaction clarifications (Does ability X work with ability Y) is a very useful thing to have errata for, so the DM doesn't have to adjudicate a ruling due to ambiguous wording.
If things were more 'balanced' then the barrier to entry for new DM's wouldn't be so high, and they could have more successful games without having to work as hard, and everyone would have a better time. Experienced DM's benefit little from 'balance' tweaks, since they either would make them on their own, adjust their adventure so it suits the players, etc. But if you get a new DM running a published module, they can use all the help they can get.
I like the OP idea, but I think it would have to be yearly updates. Higher frequency would just cause trouble.
Honestly, I would love to see a Bestiary overflowing with +1 and +2 CR templates.
And yes, rather than just mixing two creatures together ('dragon + undead' or 'elemental + undead' etc.), giving us templates to do it ourselves so we can also do it to all sorts of other creatures too is quite a bit more useful.
Something I really liked about some of WotC's later Monster Manuals was the inclusion of monsters with various class levels ready to use (I could go to 'Orc', and find maybe a barbarian 2, a cleric 2, a barbarian 4, a rogue 5, and an oracle 6, all statted out already)
I also really enjoyed the knowledge DC charts, with the blurb that you read to PCs about the monster based on your check result.
Actually, just a manual of NPCs would be fantastic, sorted by character level. Even if they just took all the NPCs from the adventure paths and stuck them in a book with an index, I would buy it.
Wishlist for Ultimate Magic (Some may have already been mentioned)
My Wishlist for Ultimate Combat: (Some have been mentioned already)
I would populate your world with about as many level 6 characters as you would typically see level 10+ characters in a 'normal' D&D / Pathfinder realm.
At least that is how I see it making the most sense.
Many important people should be level 3-5, depending on how many feats you want them to have.
'like that' meaning the entire discussion where you explained how a single adamantine bolt can bypass essentially all locks. A new DM making their own game or using a published adventure is likely to find locks. Chances are they want those locks to remain challenges, and you pointed out a way that invalidates the open lock skill (the adamantine bolts). Since you pointed this out, I attributed the logical solution to you.
I'm simply trying to give credit where it is due, and you were the source of the adamantine bolt idea in this thread. Since that is a problem a new DM might have to solve, it goes on the list.
Simple to understand.
OK, I started this thread more as a thought experiment to try and figure out various ways to make lower tier classes more relevant in games.
As riveting as the Combat Maneuver and Enemy Tactics discussion is, I would prefer that we leave it be.
I have quite a bit of experience DMing in 3.0-3.5, and a modest amount in Pathfinder.
As a DM, you can always adjust a multitude of things to make the game fall into line, anywhere from altering monster tactics so the party's tactics actually work, banning high tier classes and spells, or simply asking players not to step on each others' toes. This much as always been true. A quality DM can see a problem before it develops, and work to eliminate it, sometimes without the players even realizing what was done.
I get it, and many of you do as well.
I made this thread because I'm working on a large module that I would like to be able to hand to another DM I have no experience with and classes of various power and versatility will be able to contribute fairly equally. This could be due to 'buffing' weaker classes, or tailoring the nature of the campaign itself. I was looking for suggestions and feedback on little balance 'tweaks' that make the game fall more in line.
This would serve as a guide for New DM's as well, since the 'tips and tricks' in this thread would also be great resource to help them avoid some common pitfalls. Lets make a list. Here is what I have dug out of this thread so far.
Ways a DM can bolster the importance of lower tier classes
Throw out the spells that infringe on other classes' 'turf' (such as find traps or knock) through world design (Either by outlawing them or via divine intervention somehow)
Outright buff the lower tier classes (Such as giving Rogue extra skill points and allowing additional uses of per day talents)
Dire Mongoose wrote:
You actually go ahead and just flat out give the lower-tiered characters more stuff ... Maybe your wizards have to build off 15 point buy but your monks get to have something like 16s across the board.
Cause high skill results to replicate the spell results, since the reverse is true, (Beating the Climb DC by 10 grants Spider Climb, etc.)
mechanically make all full casters pseudo prestige classes with minimal requirements (1 rank in a couple relevant skills)
Karel Gheysens wrote:
Ban adamantine bolts (or any way to simple 'dig' your way past locked doors)
The easiest is to have a lot of opponents in each encounter. This keeps everyone busy, and prevents a single spell or super-crit from ending the encounter.
Another option is to give the party responsibility for a large group. A caravan, platoon, refugee camp, etc. This forces casters to use their spells for more then just SoS/SoD, and allows characters with social skills a constant background of interaction.
Have the party stalked by something powerful. If the party has to keep something in reserve, and not allow their guard to drop, they will have to play a more strategic, reserved game.
Don't allow characters to buy every magic item in the book, whenever they want. If characters can completely custom tailor their items, it results in overpowered options. Likewise some limits on crafting can go a long way in keeping casters in check.
Also, at higher levels, intelligent enemies with large resources are a must. This way you have a logical reason not to repeat enemy tactics that completely failed in the past. It also provides the GM with much more options to custom tailor enemy encounters that are challenging
What else should we add? Variations on these? Some that really just don't belong? Any I missed?
(I apologize if anyone is offended with my paraphrasing of their ideas, but I wanted to give credit where credit is due)
Point of interest:
A 'taunt' ability would be pretty kickass (and actually introduce a tank role to the game) Especially something that prevented enemies from taking actions apart from move, attack, 5-foot step, and full-attack
And if so, how did you break it down?
If you haven't, what might be a good way to break it down?
My few cents:
I think that additional class 'Variants' like those featured in the Ultimate Combat playtest should just be printed as 'archetypes' as that is what they really are. It is awesome if they get additional flavor and art (and even some feats to bolster their variant ability).
New base classes scare me away. I honestly value the alternate class features in the APG about 100 times as much as I value the classes in it. I would also enjoy additional support for archetypes (such as feats that apply to variant abilities, like Hunter's Tricks from APG, or cool ways to combine 'similar' archetypes from different base classes).
One thing I would like to see is careful control of what feats do, and instead build those ideas into the upper levels of archetypes to encourage less multiclassing. I am scared as a DM that the game will sprawl into 3.5's bloat problem if too many classes get added (especially since Pathfinder classes tend to be much more relevant than most of those found in 3.5's complete series). I am scared as a player that too many options will present themselves and I either a) have to play an optimized character because others at my table will, meaning min maxing, taking 6 different base classes, 2 prestige classes, and 4 alternate class features to keep up, or b) The new classes will power creep to 'feel' relevant, obsoleting the old classes.
I think archetypes are the pretty much the best thing ever, and I would buy a book entirely filled with them if I could.
All that said - keep up the great work Paizo!
austin thomas wrote:
I suppose I was posting this to see if others thought it was worth a feat. Personally, I think that it should be OK, but I thought I would get more opinions.
The title says it all. Nearly every class that has a pool of 'powers' to pick from (Rage Powers, Rogue Talents, Discoveries, Hexes, Revelations) have a feat that grants an extra one.
Is anything outright unbalanced about allowing the Skirmisher Ranger to learn extra Hunter's Tricks?
Thanks in advance.
Doing the mathcraft has convinced me that I would actually need to add very little to the game to make E6 scale quite well. I would be extremely careful as to what feats are added (DM created custom feats such as Ability Training), so that the PC's don't start acting like superheros. (Which is the point of E6 really, we don't want 4+ level spells breaking our game into a castingfest.)
I think the biggest thing might be to just sit down with your players, and show them what an E6 character with 10 extra feats might look like, and how cool such a character could be. And again for 20 extra feats. The differences are pretty pronounced, but without the arbitrary (and lopsided - compare Armor Training 2 to 4th level spells!) power boosts that come with adding levels.
Anyhow, I haven't run a game yet, but I plan to, and I'm fully expecting it to be much more of what I (and my playgroup) actually want out of our roleplaying game. I think E6 is brilliant.
As an aside - you could create a capstone feat requiring 6 levels of class for each class.
I would presume that you take this guy and fill the slots in?
Pathfinder lets the skill focus feats apply +3, and the +6 later on. It might be reasonable to allow a 'Greater Skill Focus' feat that grants the additional +3 and stacks with Skill Focus. Also requires the former as a prereq, obviously.
Leadership really boosts the party power level. Keep in mind that all your encounters will likely have to scale-up to try to keep pace with 10(!) characters attacking them. Single monsters of appropriate CR will no longer work at all, you will have to throw large groups back at them, which will make encounters quite long (real time and game time).
Sneaky Updates: Okay so this one isn't really a failing with the system. Rather, it's the way that a few significant changes have snuck in by changing a conjunction or deleting a single word from the previous 3.5 rule set. I then will squash a player's hopes and dreams only[/list]...
Would you mind listing the more significant of the sneaky updates you have run into. I recently started playing Pathfinder (From 3.5, after giving up on 4e).
But if the focus of the game is less on leading armies around (Granted, my campaign involves raising an army, so it totally works for me) for the martial classes, what do you do if the story isn't about leading armies around? Then the fighter/barbarian just fall off again? I like how you can make it work in the case of warfare though.
Thanks for posting that link!
I ended up reading about E6.
I think I might just use that to fix all the problems. Makes the game grittier, makes more emphasis on role playing easier, and makes it much easier to make a sandbox of quests that they can do, since I can just make them all CR 7ish and they will work.
I plan on having casters be relatively scarce (in the sense that casters make up a small fraction of characters with PC classes in the game world). That said, most NPCs they would be dropping loot appropriate for the noncasters and rarely would wands, staffs, robes, etc. show up. Provided I make an effort to not drop 'generic' loot (like rings of protection and such that work well on all characters) in this way, do you think that would/could be enough to keep the less-powerful guys relevant in the 10+ level range. I already decided that the campaign is going to end at 18 instead of 20, and after level 16, it becomes primarily RP with intermittent fights until the final showdown, to somewhat mitigate the impact of 9th level spells.
Is there a reasonable pathfinder tier list someplace?
Dire Mongoose wrote:
I guess you edited your post and removed the bit about the druid and the monk, but I have a question about it!
How successful was increasing the Monk's stat array in making the classes more even? What other non-combat bonuses did you grant the monk?
Greg Wasson wrote:
I like this alot. What are methods that work to get the PCs to not try and rest between every encounter. (Other than the artificial one of talking to the players out of game). Things like defending a city where the enemies keep coming and there is no time to rest would work. What has worked for others?
Another thing that I am considering is to provide a number of 'backstory' paths from the PCs to choose from. There will be usually 2-3 options per alignment/class/racial combination. Each of the backstories will come with a number of APG traits. The trick is that the 'weaker' classes will get more traits than the 'stronger' ones. I was also considering allotting differing point buy values for the different classes. Instead of telling the players "Rogue is terrible, don't play it", I bring the message that "If you play Rogue, you get all this cool stuff!". Thoughts?
The Sinister Chris wrote:
With equal levels of optimization, Wizard, Cleric, Druid, and Sorcerer will all by significantly more powerful than Bard, Rogue, and Monk.
What are some tricks to make the lower-tier classes shine?
For example: How do you make a Rogue useful when the wizard can just cast "Find Traps", "Detect Secret Doors", "Knock", "Invisibility", and lots of other spells that do what Rogue does better than Rogue can.
I'm interested in both actual experience (Things that did/didn't work) and theorycrafed solutions (Things that should/shouldn't work) which promote/reward use of the weaker classes.