The game simply isn't designed around balancing the classes against each other. It is balanced around a cooperative party of them facing challenges.
Yes, that Lich can go hardcore Gygaxian on them, pull every dirty trick in the book out, and probably literally smash them. If he does, then the players have the right to look at the DM and say "WTF, dude?" The DM can ALWAYS overpower any given encounter and ensure his players lose. DMs that do that are generally considered dicks.
High-level casters are hell, and the game pretty much assumes a standard group will be packing one or two. A DM with an all-martial group will need to account for it in his planning.
New DMs are often over-enamored with their own ideas. I know I was. I would come up with absolutely brutal traps (literal and metaphorical) that I thought would bring in new elements. What I was really doing was cheating my players out of their investments.
I think you should sit down with the DM and ask him, OC, why he is implementing vile damage. What is his goal? Ask him if he would like it if he was playing a Cleric whose spells didn't work, and if he would like being one-shot down to 3 hp.
From an OC perspective, lean away from vile damage. Start hiring mercenaries with your gold, using summon monster spells, going with ranged/kiting builds, and maybe go so far as to report this Court of Bones to the nearest group of paladins, and then start inquiring at inns about goblin tribes that need to be crushed.
First, you are a stellar DM.
Second, it's clear that your players' priorities are mostly to have fun with as little effort on their part possible. That is not your priority.
Thus, you need to decide if you are willing to keep playing the game for them (which you are basically doing at this juncture), OR if you don't want that much effort.
You might consider switching over to a system-lite game, like FATE, Savage Worlds, or Apocalypse World. All of those have substantially less system over-head, so it will be easier for them to be involved.
You might also consider culling the herd a bit. In my experience, every player, due to interacting with all the other players, adds exponentially to the complexity and time frame to get s#%! done. If you have one or two particularly egregiously irritating players, take them for a chat on the balcony and lay down the law about how their behavior needs to change. Tell them this doesn't affect your friendship, but you need them to change behavior, or you need to continue your friendship in venues other than gaming.
I think you need to have a sit-down with your DM. By agreeing to play a single class, you have already gone farther than many players would. Ask him for a clear set of guidelines, written, on what you can and cannot use. If he can't provide those (and I bet he can't), then gently point out that you don't enjoy being told to choose a single class, and then having even the options within that ripped out from under you.
The game is supposed to be fun for everyone. You should try to work within their dynamic, but ultimately they need to include you. This isn't work. You aren't the new intern who is expected to run for coffee and donuts. You are sitting around with a bunch of fellow nerds playing a game. For fun.
Anyway, you owe it to yourself and your new group to point out the almost hilariously arbitrary nature of the decision-making, and ask them if they want a new player, or a robot who tosses heal spells.
I don't generally enjoy playing characters with mediocre stats, especially with no control over the outcome, so no, I wouldn't play. If I just had a low-point buy for a very gritty game, that might be fun. The "meh" stats, combined with the utter lack of player involvement in their generation, would turn me off.
My gaming philosophy has always been there is no right way to play, on the way that works for you and your group. This way wouldn't work for me, and I would have said so at the outset. I would have engaged the DM in dialogue about why he felt the need to roll the stats, and asked how that line of thinking impacted his DM style.
You had good instincts; you just should have spoken up about them earlier.
Thenk you, StreamofTheSky.
Yes, that's a good start. In fact, if we are going for dedicated caster, pumping Wisdom and dumping more physicals or Charisma makes for a better choice anyway. More movement is always good, especially if you are trying to avoid combat.
I don't think a Cleric will do it, unless it's basically a Druid in play, anyway. I guess there is nothing that stops an Animal/Nature Domain Cleric wearing leather and chilling in the wilds with a pet or three. I will roll that around.
I guess Wildshape is just such a core feature people haven't written much to trade it away.
Sorry, but the guide you linked is a Core only guide that describes how to be a good Druid. I am looking for ways to trade away those features, and yes, I already read the other one, too.
I know it's a little weird to try chucking Wildshape out the window. But, it's my goal here. Yes, I know it's good.
**This thread is not to discuss whether or not this is a good idea.**
A friend of mine expressed a desire to play a Druid that is a primary caster, and doesn't deal with Wildshape and other Druidiness (except the Animal Companion). Please advise me on ways to buff a Druid's overall spellcasting, preferably in ways that trade in class features not related to the Animal Companion, and bonus points if it gives up Wildshape or weakens that power.
Imagine a Druid played like a Wizard with an animal Cohort.
I don't think demanding that people hurry up is going to help.
Honestly, as soon as I read "(cure serious wounds)Spell-Like Ability, At-Will (6)" I stopped reading. This is pure silliness; I don't care if the strict RAW allows it. It destroys healing economy.
As a rule, darkorbit, if a homebrew ability or power is so good that it makes everything else look like an outright bad option, it's probably too good.
Optimizers can counts angels on pins and tweak amazing potential out of things, but some stuff is just over-powered. That is over-powered.
You have enough spell slots sloshing around in that party to handle most issues. They just need to be aware of the potential holes and plug them.
All of them have Summon spells, so if nothing else a little research and some scrolls or designated slots can cover a lot of different roles.
They will sometimes run into something that expends more resources than normal, perhaps. If the DM finds that one thing they can't possibly do and utterly destroys them with it, then the problem is the DM, not the party composition.
Unless you have a really good reason, give your players as much flexibility as possible. I would personally find the idea of a DM choosing bonuses for me rather patronizing.
If you really want to save time, and don't expect them to run through the items outside of play time, you might gin up a list of generic items like: stat booster +2, stat booster +4, weapon +1, etc.
Then give them a "master adventurer's kit" where you handwave stuff like rope and rations.
If a DM moves to using dice rolls to force "friendly" character action, the players will immediately know something is up.
The local bartender doesn't use Diplomacy checks to chisel an extra copper out of them as a tip.
No, she needs to actually do them favors, and be a real ally. That is the only way for the betrayal angle to work.
Collin S. wrote:
Well, you're a new GM. Since everyone else has given fine advice on the players, I'm going to give you some advice.
Think about how many encounters you are expecting them to get through. Look at the resources they have. Even if you're running an adventure path, it is your job to understand it well enough to make changes, including depowering it, if your party can't handle it.
Now, in the mid-late game, they will have way too many spells, but at low levels, you should examine everything carefully. What is the HP ratio they are coming up against? Are you expecting their 20 hp Fighter to make it through 100 hp of minions on the fifth encounter of the day?
Finally, since you'r a new GM, and you have a NPC, you might simply have a case of GMPC envy on your hands. Your players are new, and low level. They don't realize the Fighter is going to be a glorified meat-stick by level 7, and so they feel a little shown up when he is still swinging away and they are running on empty. Never, ever, let the NPC outshine the PCs. "I don't have enough spells" can easily be code for "I don't like sitting here watching your character kill monsters when I can't do anything."
This old problem.
The issue here is importing our modern, complicated notions of the words "Good" and "Evil" into a world where morality is a fully realized, divine or semi-divine force. In our world, good and evil are debatable. In Pathfinder, Good and Evil define your character in an objective sense.
You can certainly play DnD/Pathfinder "straight," which means you accept the moral precepts it lays down. Some creatures are, in fact, evil. Evil should be destroyed. This allows you to go about your campaign without wondering about these moral quandries. You kill evil things and take their stuff. A horrible way to exist in our world, certainly, but in Pathfinder, that makes you a hero, because evil is bad.
If you want to discard that notion entirely, and treat alignment as a moral code you aspire to (like in our world) rather than an inherent force that places a mark on your soul, go for it. If you enjoy the kind of dilemma you are facing right now, then by all means import all the moral/ethical BS from our world.
The important thing is you agree with the table about which version of the game you are playing. Never cross the streams. If the Paladin is going hardcore Gygaxian, vaguely racist genocide, and the Wizard is planning on clucking his tongue and demanding that the DM have him fall every five minutes nobody is going to have fun.
So, take five minutes before your next session and ask, OC, which kind of Pathfinder you want to play. Maybe your DM should just lay down the law on what good and evil mean, and go from there.
The Blessed Books basically pay for themselves in the long run.
I usually take Craft Wondrous Item in order to make the Books and to save money on "normal" Wizard items that I can pump into my spellbook.
Remember, the BSF has to dump money in weapons (probably multiple) and armor. You don't. CWI covers 90% of your static magic item investment. The only reason you should have trouble with money and learning spells/scribing scrolls is campaign-related.
If it's a low magic campaign, you won't see as many free scrolls and spellbooks. If it's low-wealth, then you have less money, period. If you have both, then it can get tight.
Ask your DM about finding local spellcasters you can trade spells with. Even if he insists on giving you unfavorable trades, you got more spells for only the cost to scribe, rather than the price to buy a scroll.
Honestly, if you didn't let a newbie Monk with Wisdom 10 move some stuff around, I would say you are too harsh.
There are a lot of moving parts to Pathfinder, and punishing new players for not instantly assimilating all of it will only result in pain, and make it less likely they want to play in the future.
It's a game, and everyone is supposed to have fun. You allowed for fun. That's a good thing.
Void does look like one of the best Elemental types, but the lower-level spell list seems a bit sparse, unless I am missing something.
Spellbinder strikes me as something to be managed with scrolls, once again, unless I am missing something.
I have asked permission to play a Tiefling. If that isn't granted, I will coin flip between Human and Elf. Any advice on whether the extra +2 stat bonus is worth losing the bonus feat and skill point?
My group is about to play Kingmaker, and I am playing the party Wizard. We have a fairly large group, consisting of a Barbarian, another smashy-type yet to be determined, a Sorcerer (Undead Bloodline), a Druid, and a Cleric.
I love playing Wizards. TreantMonk's guide on the 3.5 CharOp boards as a big help to me back in the day, and I have read the other guides here.
My question is, how does my role change when we have another Arcane caster, and two other Divine casters? I have always played the Wizard as the walking "oh, crap" button. What do I do differently?
Also, any Kingmaker-specific advice would be much appreciated.