Ezren

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Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber. Organized Play Member. 570 posts (631 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Tacticslion wrote:
At the time, I'm uncertain if Aroden was truly a god yet.

In my own campaigns in Golarion, I've strongly implied that Aroden was never actually a god and the Starstone doesn't work exactly people think it does.

That's thrown our divine caster of Cayden Cailean for a bit of a loop. Fun stuff.


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Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
Like, don't expect your DM to ever look at a build like this and give it the thumbs up. They will hate you with a passion.

It's cool, you just need to make sure the rest of your party is fine with playing as BMX Bandit.


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You either die a PC, or live long enough to see yourself become a Commoner.


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The Sideromancer wrote:
I've heard that 65-75% of percentages are made up on the spot

It's not malicious, it's just that four-thirds of people have problems with fractions.


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I don't think that's quite what I'm looking for, but that still sounds incredible.


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An Inquisitor with the Sanctified Slayer gets a total of 6d6 of sneak attack by level 19.

Sanctified Slayer stacks with the Green Faith Marshal archetype to take the Crocodile domain, which grants a total of 3d6 sneak attack that explicitly stacks with other sources.

Taking the Rogue variant multiclass grants a total of 4d6 sneak attack.

Do all of these sources stack completely? Do you actually end up with 13d6 sneak attack? (Or in the case of a Vivisectionist Alchemist with VMC Rogue, 14d6?)


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BadBird wrote:

There's a peculiar running complaint paradox that goes:

1. Fighters lack features, all they get is more feats. Everyone gets feats, that's not a unique or interesting feature.

2. Damn these feat-taxes on feat-starved characters, I can't create the feat-using character I want to with X class because I'm too short on feats to make it work.

Perhaps the obvious conclusion is that a big 'class feature' of Fighters is that they can build the feat-chains nobody else (oh shut up, Human Warpriest) can?

On the whole, I'd still love to see most martial feat chains collapsed into scaling feats and dump a lot of the feat taxes. That way, any martially focused class can still get good depth on a single combat style, but Fighters get the advantage of being the only class that can manage both depth and breadth. If one style isn't particularly suitable for a given encounter, they have something else ready to go that they can switch to; they have a great martial answer to most situations. Given the popularity of the Martial Master archetype, I don't think I'm alone in seeing that as a good direction for the Fighter.

As things stand, though, it feels to me like someone sat down to write combat feats and thought, "Gee, the Fighter gets so many feats. Better stretch these out as much as I can."


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Chengar Qordath wrote:
I'm not a fan of something that's a pretty blatant feat tax, even if it does get the job done.

I think you're greatly underselling what Martial Focus actually does for you. It does look like a blatant feat tax, but I don't think that's true at all.

Fighter-only feats are one of the Fighter's only class features. They're a lot like Rage Powers are for the Barbarian. In fact, you could easily take all of the Barbarian Rage Powers, rewrite them as "Rage Feats" that require the Rage class feature, and give the Barbarian a "Bonus Rage Feat" feature on even levels, and it'd be pretty much the exact same thing.

Martial Focus gives you +1 damage to a set of weapons. That's half of Weapon Specialization (which normally requires you to be Fighter 4), except it applies to an entire weapon group instead of a single weapon. On top of that, it lets you qualify for a subset of the Fighter Feat class feature.

Let's say there was feat to give you a lesser version of the Barbarian's Rage and let you qualify for Extra Rage Power, but only for rage powers that don't have a level requirement. It's limited in scope, sure, but I think it'd be a pretty popular pick for some builds. It's kind of like Variant Multiclass Barbarian, except it comes online more quickly and gives you far more control over how much of a feat investment you put into it. For that reason, I imagine a lot of people would clamor that it's overpowered; why VMC Barbarian when you could just take "Rage Focus" and Extra Rage Power instead?

From that standpoint, what Martial Focus does is incredibly powerful. It lets you pick up a some of the (few) upsides of being a Fighter, without having to take the pain that is actually being a Fighter. It is one of the very few ways outside of archetypes to grab another class's features without needing to multiclass. Even without the partial Weapon Specialization effect, it'd probably still be a feat worth considering for some builds.

swoosh wrote:
But did [WMH] put too much emphasis on the fighter to the detriment of other characters?

Absolutely not. The Fighter needed help more than anything else to begin with. Even when giving the Fighter that much needed help, Paizo still provided a way for anyone else to snag those shiny new toys with a very small cost, somewhat undermining the boost to Fighters.


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If that player takes the Birthmark faith trait, absolutely.


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That does look legitimate that you can share personal spells with anyone in the party that way, yes. Though I don't see any way to do it any more than one ally per casting.

Truestrike is definitely not a valid spell for Reach Spell, though. Reach Spell states that "Spells that do not have a range of touch, close, or medium do not benefit from this feat", while Truestrike has a range of personal. Share Spells allows you to cast personal spells on others as a touch spell, but that does not change that the spell itself is not a touch spell.


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I would contend that detect magic absolutely cannot be used to see what spells a caster knows.

Consider the spell arcane sight -- a third level divination that is essentially a more powerful detect magic.

Among the things arcane sight allow you to do, "If you concentrate on a specific creature within 120 feet of you as a standard action, you can determine whether it has any spellcasting or spell-like abilities, whether these are arcane or divine (spell-like abilities register as arcane), and the strength of the most powerful spell or spell-like ability the creature currently has available for use."

Clearly, without witnessing the use of spellcasting or spell-like abilities, it requires a third level spell just to determine if a creature has that power. While you also gain knowledge of the strength of their most powerful spell/SLA, it still does not tell you what that spell/SLA actually is. Even a seventh level greater arcane sight does not give you more information

Looking at other divinations, there is spell gauge -- a spell specific to worshipers of Nethys -- which reveals a subset of the spells available to the target. So, it's possible, but not common.

Regardless, I think it's pretty clear that this is a power clearly outside the purview of detect magic.


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Natan Linggod 327 wrote:

Well this went in different but very interesting directions. Cool!

Keep it going! I'm getting great ideas for NPCs and potential scenes already.

Btw I've decided to go with Peri-blooded Aasimar with Scion of Humanity trait.

I was going to take Racial Heritage then I realised tieflings aren't humanoids so don't count for the feat.

Well, if you're the GM and this is for a NPC, I wouldn't let little things like that stop you. If it makes sense for the NPC to have both Aasimar and Tiefling feats or traits, just do it. Something like that isn't going to be unbalancing to the point of even needing to adjust the creature's CR (if it even came to combat in game).


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thejeff wrote:

That's fine, but not really helpful for convincing people who like martials not being magic.

It's just saying "Martials get magic around X level, without any real justification needed because that's when characters start becoming demigods".

And pointing at examples of figures who were divine from the start doesn't even help with that. Examples of figures who really did start out as normal humans and got up to beating up demigods just by being more skilled and tough and generally badass would be far more convincing.

Personally, I'm fine with martials getting weeaboo anime style abilities. Or comic book type powers. I don't need (or even really want) the "you're turning into a god" justification. If I did, I'd want that reflected in the fluff, not just the power levels. I'd want in-game events to do it.

It's not about magic at all, though. It's about what sort of power level martials should be at in certain level ranges. How that's achieved is, in my mind, irrelevant. When it comes down to it, levels 11+ in Pathfinder are rather in a world of their own compared to most fantasy I've seen, and the benchmarks a lot of people seem to apply to martials. (Though, for whatever reason, it's totally cool for casters to do anything at all.)

Who cares if the reference demigods were born with a divine spark? Their pre-teen years aren't being used as any sort of benchmark. The beginnings are different, but through some method the demigod and a high level character have come to equivalent power levels. That's the only comparison I'm trying to make. Pick any two random CR 15 creatures. Their fluff is almost certainly very different, but because they're both CR 15, we expect them to be approximately the same difficulty for a party. Same thing.

And, again, Pathfinder kind of skews power levels compared to most fantasy and mythology that I've seen. A level 20 character is equivalent to a demigod or weak god in a lot of mythology, but the Pathfinder gods are far more powerful than that. In game, your high level characters are not actually demigods or gods, but that's only by virtue of the fact that Pathfinder raises the bar for what being a god means.


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BackHandOfFate wrote:
Yes, martials need more interesting things. Wow that was easy. Now if only there was a thread titled: "Why do martials need more interesting things?" Then we could get to the real meat of the issue. :p

I look forward to the sequel, "What interesting things should martials have?"


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Pharasma has both Death and Repose as two of her five domains, so I think that should be okay. Keep in mind that the alignment domains aren't really the most exciting, but every aligned deity has alignment domains taking up one or two of their domain slots. It works out alright, I think.


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I like the general idea of making specialists more specialized, but I think the execution leaves a lot to be desired. (I have no idea why you're getting such horribly negative responses, though.)

You would run into issues with some schools being more powerful than others. Divination, in particular, would probably start to feel pretty useless. (As is, it can be difficult to figure out what Divination spell you want to put in your school slot each day. The requirement that one of your two freebie spells each level must be from your specialty school is similarly painful; there's not a lot to choose from, and a lot of it overlaps heavily.)

Here's a few off the cuff ideas in a similar vein that might give the same sort of feel without being crippling to some schools:

  • Pull some number of spells of your specialty school from other spell lists and add them to your own. As an example, a Diviner might want to pull Mind Thrust from the Psychic's list.
  • Spells outside of your specialty school require two spell slots (like opposed schools do in the core rules). Spells from your opposed school additionally take a +1 level adjustment, like metamagic (so it wouldn't affect the DC or anything, but it would require a higher level spell slot). This could actually make a really good incentive to be a Universalist Wizard... You would be the only kind of Wizard that can cast any spell school using a single slot of the default level.
  • Go through the spell list for each school, and determine which spells you feel would be reasonably "universal" that even non-specialists would learn it. This would probably include things like Mage Armor, that every Wizard would want to be able to cast, but you'd want to avoid the really powerful things like Greater Teleportation. Have these "universal" spells available to all Wizards, even if they don't match their specialist school. Specialists gain full access to their school's spell list.
  • Mess with the DC of spells. Maybe increase the DC for specialist spells by 1 or 2, and reduce non-specialist spells by the same. A lot of the really important spells from each school don't require a save at all, so this ends up being a less severe version of the previous idea.
  • Mess with the effective caster levels. Maybe non-specialist schools manifest at 3/4 caster level or specialist spells manifest at a higher caster level.

A lot of these ideas strictly reduce the power of the Wizard compared to the normal rules with no real compensation. Depending, that may be fine; the Wizard could stand to drop a tier or two. It does skew the balance as compared to other full casters, though, which may be a problem.

EDIT:
Here's another idea: give specialist Wizards some amount of spontaneity. Each day, they can sacrifice a prepared spell to instead cast one of their prepared school slot spells for the day, much like a Cleric's spontaneous cure/inflict spells.

Perhaps Universalist Wizards get a pseudo "spell slot" at each level. They can't actually cast from that slot, but they do gain the ability to use that same spontaneous casting power with the spells prepared in those "slots". As a Universalist, they're not restricted by school on what they can prepare in those "slots".


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Are you required to keep them alive? If not, a Bag of Devouring will provide a 50% chance of preventing even Wish, Miracle, and True Resurrection from ever working.


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CampinCarl9127 wrote:
Kchaka wrote:
I'd just like to say we should review not only this, but all the rules in the game to see how they are affected by pregnancy.
Cast sanctuary twice; once on the mother, once on the child. Make two will saves to attack her!

That may be difficult, since Sanctuary is a touch spell.


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M1k31 wrote:
To compare with a low level rogue(which are generally all I play), when I get a + 3 Int I get 11 skill ranks per level and am generally the highest skilled character questioning which skill not to level, this character gets just as many skill ranks when he dumps Int and essentially makes himself retarded...

The thing is, the Core Rogue is not actually a good skill class -- it just plays one on TV. I understand your confusion. The class listing Skills as 8+Int looks like it should be very good for skills. The class description and role even explicitly call out the Rogue's skills as a selling point. But the fact is, Rogues are horribly outshined in terms of skills by Bards.

The Bard's 6+Int skills is extremely misleading.

From the very beginning, Bardic Knowledge effectively gives 10 free skill ranks every two levels (with the caveat that they must be spent on Knowledge skills), or an average of 5 per level. If you want to double down, this effectively raises the skill rank cap on Knowledge skills from 1/HD to 1.5/HD.

Starting at level 2, Versatile Performance gives you a "buy 1 get 2 free" deal on skill ranks. You get another one of these deals every 4 levels after that. In case that wasn't good enough, some of these useful skills, like Acrobatics and Sense Motive, essentially get to use the Bard's Charisma modifier rather than their normal attribute; Bards often have good Charisma. If you want to go the extra mile, you can take Skill Focus on one perform skill and also get it on two other associated skills. Again, you get that "buy 1 get 2 free" deal, this time on skill related feats.

Starting at level 5, Lore Master allows the Bard to take 20 on a Knowledge skill as a standard action and they can always take 10, even in combat. This doesn't give you any more effective skill ranks, but it does let you leverage those solid Knowledge skills even better.

When it's all said and done, a level 10 Bard is essentially getting 17+Int skills. And it gets magic on top of that.

Compared to the Rogue, what is it giving up for that? Not much. The Bard has better saves (though it doesn't have Evasion or Uncanny Dodge). They have the same BAB and with Inspire Courage affecting an entire party and the ability to grab Arcane Strike, the Bard is likely contributing as much to combat as the Rogue -- without having to worry about flanking in melee and with no loss of effectiveness using a bow.

Even accounting for the Rogue's +0.5/level to Disable Device, the Bard is literally doubling the Rogue's effective skill ranks before Intelligence.

Okay, so lets pull back and pit the Core Rogue against something more in line with its skill potential. Like, the Wizard.

The Wizard only get 2+Int skill ranks, but Intelligence is its primary attribute. By level 10, you're quite possibly looking at 22 Intelligence. Plus, the Wizard is putting a much higher priority on a Headband of Vast Intelligence than the Rogue can really afford to without sacrificing combat effectiveness.

So, by level 10, the Wizard is looking to get the same number of skill ranks as a 10 Intelligence Rogue. In case that wasn't good enough, the Wizard is also a full caster with plenty of spells available that somewhat obviate the need for some skills entirely, such as Spider Climb and Invisibility.

Of course, you mentioned getting a 16 Intelligence. Unless you rolled very good stats, though, that has a noticeable impact on your combat potential. The Core Rogue needs Constitution to stay alive in melee, Dexterity for the AC and possibly attack rolls, and Wisdom to avoid losing horribly to a bad Will save. You likely don't want to dump Strength below 10 to avoid the damage penalties and low weight capacity. Out of combat, you probably want a decent Charisma to make use of your social skills. Assuming a 20 point buy and a class that gives you an Intelligence bonus, you're spending 25% of your point buy on being better than the Wizard at skills.

The Wizard can get away with nothing but Intelligence, but will likely put at least something into Dexterity and Constitution for good measure. That thing that makes the Wizard good at skills also happens to make it even better at both combat (through higher spell DCs) and utility (through additional spell slots).

Even looking at something more similar, the Ranger trades away 2 skill points compared to the Rogue and receives a lot of survivability and combat prowess in exchange. And the Ranger still gets spells.

So, to recap:
The Core Rogue is not good at skills. It must sacrifice combat viability to best the Wizard at skills, while the Wizard boosts its combat capability and skills at the same time. The Rogue has no hope of competing with the Bard on skills, as the Bard can make the same combat vs skills trade-off as the Rogue.

M1k31 wrote:
I can tell you, a highly skilled "Full retard" is a problem from an RP perspective...

The term "idiot savant" comes to mind.


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Melkiador wrote:
You misunderstand. People don't use a 40 point buy. They roll characters that are near 40 point buy. It'd take a long time to roll 3 18s.

That's fair.

Melkiador wrote:
What you seem to be arguing is that the synthesist is broken if you use point buy instead of stat rolling.

Eh, close, but not quite.

If you're rolling straight down the line, I'd agree. But if you have any ability to put stats where you want, whether that's through point buy or rolling an array, you still get to essentially ignore three stats.

In point buy you see this by going from a 20 point buy to essentially a 32 point buy, then replacing your dumped physical stats with your Eidolon's. When rolling stats, you're basically rolling 6 times and keeping the best 3.

The problem is that it lets you significantly change how you approach stat allocation, no matter the method. Everyone else has incentive to dump generally no more than 1 stat in point buy, or spread out their rolls as best as they can, even if it leaves something (like their Intelligence for skill points or Wisdom for Will saves) lower than they'd really prefer.

The Synthesist just doesn't care at all what his physical stats are, because they're just going to be replaced. 18/18/18/18/18/18 isn't really any different than 7/7/7/18/18/18 -- the first three scores are going to get replaced regardless. (That's a 63 point buy swing, by the way.)


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Melkiador wrote:
Rosc wrote:
Nobody remembers an extra pack of Archon Hounds, but everybody remembers the guy with the 40+ point buy stat spread.
Consider that some groups run at close to 40 point buy characters anyway.

Well, using Rosc's stats...

7/7/7/14/16/18 (20 point buy)
goes to
16/13/12/14/16/18 (47 point buy)

Or, if you're running at ~40 point buy anyway...
7/7/7/18/18/18 (39 point buy)
goes to
16/13/12/18/18/18 (66 point buy)

Still looks like a problem.


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Temeryn wrote:

Combat Defensive (AC, saves, HP, ability to avoid damage, protect against certain statuses)

4. Wizard, Sorcerer, Samurai, UnSummoner, Summoner, Bloodrager
Psychic

Does this take into account the Wizard's ability to cast Resist Energy/Protection from Energy, Mirror Image, Invisibility, Fly, and Blur/Displacement?

I'll agree the Wizard is a bit lacking on saves and status protection, but it has some of the best tools in the game to avoid damage, despite a low AC.


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Chengar Qordath wrote:
What about it someone makes a successful trip attack against the Paladin?

Trip maneuvers only cause the target to become prone, rather than fall. A Paladin with an Oath Against Face in the Dirt may still need to atone, however.

I think it's pretty clear that a Paladin that chooses to jump off a 5 foot ledge, rather than climbing down, will fall, however.


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It depends on how high he is when the dispel magic hits.

Since overland flight acts as fly, he'll end up floating downward at a rate of 60 feet per round for 1d6 rounds. If that's enough to get him to the ground, he lands safely.

If that's not enough to get to the ground, though, the Paladin will indeed fall and take the appropriate repercussions.

Whether or not he requires an atonement depends on if he has taken an Oath Against Touching the Ground.


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If I recall, if you look at the trade goods table in the Core Rulebook, 1 pound of gold is listed as equal to 50 gold pieces. Elsewhere, I believe it's called out that 50 gold pieces weighs 1 pound.


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thaX wrote:

Just to put a finer point on this current discussion, a PF 2nd edition will likely not make the Martial vs. Caster disparity any better than it is currently, whether you believe in it's existence or not.

To actually do the balance between classes that would level the playing field would be to revisit the 4dventure of a past edition already dropped, by company and players alike.

You know, I really hate seeing people claim that we can't have balanced classes without every class being the same.

StarCraft is a wonderful strategy game that has been praised for over a decade on how balanced its three different races are, while still providing a unique play experience. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, and answers threats in its own way. The answers aren't always easy; sometimes, it's a matter of recognizing that your opponent is working toward something you can't counter terribly well and applying pressure to prevent them from reaching that point. But the important bit is that there's always something you can do.

Achieving that sort of asymmetric balance is by no means easy, but it is possible. Tabletop RPGs have a bit more leeway than StarCraft, simply because they're not competitive games, but that doesn't mean that balance isn't a good goal to strive for.


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So, I've been looking over Spheres of Power a lot lately and considering incorporating it into a home game as a full replacement for normal magic. On the whole, I think the system is really solid and a great way to bring casters more in line with martial characters. My main concern, however, is that it removes a lot of the distinctions between classes.

Normally, there's a lot of flavor built into the spell list for each class. The Cleric's spell list looks a lot different than the Wizard's, for example, and the differences reflect a lot about the different flavors of the classes. The Inquisitor has a lot in common with the Cleric and Paladin, and thus has a good bit of overlap in the spell list, but also picks up a number of spells that fit the infiltration flavor, like invisibility. As spherecasters, though, you get none of that distinction. A Wizard can be just as competent a healer as a Cleric, and that feels a little weird.

It appears that there are some tools to remedy this in the form of casting traditions. However, this seems like an incomplete solution. As far as I can tell, you're only intended to have a single tradition. So, if the flavor of Wizards and Clerics comes primarily from differing traditions, how do you keep that flavor if a player decides to multiclass in each? It seems a little wrong to prevent a player from pursuing the flavor of a Mystic Theurge (though of course the actual prestige class doesn't fit with Spheres of Power at all).

Has anyone else run into this sort of dilemma? Any interesting takes on how to handle it?


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Entryhazard wrote:

Does really Charm work that way?

Also: did really the Paladin not see the holy symbol of Sarenrae?

Nothing prevents an evil creature from carrying around holy symbols of all the Good gods.


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Secret Wizard wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Ah, I hadn't seen that yet. Feral Combat Training just became a trap.

That's not what trap means. A catfolk adding two claw attacks to his Flurry will not hate the feat.

It is now less powerful than it was before though.

It never allowed that. It lets you Flurry with claws, not add Claw attacks to your Flurry.


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Without Shield Master, they are completely separate tracks.

If you enchant it as a weapon, it does not improve your AC. Likewise, if you enchant it as armor, it does not improve your attack and damage rolls.

With Shield Master, you add the armor enhancement bonus to your attack and damage rolls just like it was a weapon enhancement bonus. However, if you've already enchanted it as a weapon, these bonuses don't stack, because they're both enhancement bonuses.

However, it does mean that you can enchant your shield as +5 armor and a +1 flaming weapon (which will cost 25,000gp and 8,000gp for a total of 33,000gp) and effectively have a +5 flaming weapon and +5 shield (a total 97,000gp value).

It also means that you could have up to +9 equivalent of special weapon enchantments while still getting the benefits of a +5 enhancement bonus weapon, for a weapon that acts as if it were +14 equivalent.


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Otherwhere wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:

It's interesting how so many people require feats in their game. Personally, I hate feats. When a class has an extra X feat to get more class features its the only feat I get (regardless of how gimped sans-kineticist -2 spell level).

I see them as a glut of false choices that rarely add anything meaningful to the game and instead detract from what everyone can do because apparently you need a feat to tie your shoes.

LOL So true.

But if you're not using Feats, you're not playing Pathfinder. They keep coming up with new "feats" when really they are coming up with new mechanics - things that they have worked out mechanically so you can do cool X,Y, &/or Z. And then they restrict it by saying:"NO! You have to take it as a Feat when you get one! We can't let everyone just do this!"

Yeah. Feats are great, but so many things shouldn't be feats.

Why is Power Attack a feat (that nearly every martial takes), but Fighting Defensively is a default option?

Either Power Attack should be something that everyone can do, or Fighting Defensively should become a feat (and if we're going that route, everyone should get more feats to compensate).


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SlimGauge wrote:

Race Traits <> Racial Traits:

See threads like this one

Adopted lets you pick a Race Trait from the traits list in place of one of your other traits, but it does NOT allow you to pick up a Racial Trait (such as dwarven darkvision).

I'd just like to say that I love that not only did Paizo cause all sorts of confusion with the Adopted social trait due to the distinctly different yet similarly named Race traits and Racial traits, but then they decided to do it again by introducing the Adoptive Parentage racial trait that is similar to (both in name and function) but distinctly different from Adopted.


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Aniuś the Talewise wrote:
Fun fact: The entire map of Sun's Garden is 34,935 square miles, which is about the size of Maine, or Tasmania, Portugal, Jordan, French Guiana, La Rioja or San Juan (Im tossing various territories out there hoping that you may find any of those useful as a comparison)

Fun fact: There's a section of mountains in the world that my group normally plays in that we call "Connecticut", because it's almost exactly the same area as the state.

We've also named sections after their shape, like Russia, Scotty Dog, and Massachusetts.

Then there's the completely random bits, like Denmark. And the section that my first character was from... I asked the GM what the name of the country was, and he said "Hell if I know". So now it's known as Hellifino.


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Tormsskull wrote:
Otherwhere wrote:
But in answer to your question: yes, Players do feel that the rules should prevail. And it's not unfair, as part of the basis of Pathfinder was to put power back in the hands of the Players by outlining mechanics for so many things.
Thanks for clarifying. I think this goes back to different group expectations. No one I play with thinks that the rules trump the GM. That makes it a little difficult for me to understand the people who do play this way.

Personally, I see Rule 0 as being primarily for dealing with cases where the rules are silent. Tabletop RPGs are great with that; you can still do things that aren't covered by the rules, because the DM can come up with something on the fly to handle it. That's one of the things that really sets tabletop games apart from computer games.

For the things the rules talk about, however, I must assume that the rules are correct. (For these purposes, pre-written house rules that modify the base rules are still considered "the rules".) I don't have nearly thirty years of experience in the game world to understand how things work there... but my character might. To properly roleplay my character, I must understand the world he lives in and how he would interact with it. The rules are what tell me how the world works and how I can interact with it. The rules let me consider potential actions and evaluate their consequences.

There's still other details, to be sure. The rules don't tell me anything about the country my character is from or the major political figures in the port town to the south, but it is easy to recognize that I don't know these things and should ask.

Without being told ahead of time, there's no way to recognize ahead of time that the rules I've been given don't apply. I make decisions about what my character would do based on those rules, and when I'm suddenly told that we're ignoring what the Core Rulebook says when it comes up, I feel slighted. My character would most certainly have known how his spells work and would have acted more appropriately with that knowledge.

Sometimes it's okay. Everything it affects is in a short time span and easily retconned to make sense again. I simply cast a different spell that's still useful or move to a more advantageous position.

Sometimes that's not so easy (or even necessarily desirable), because the initial decision making was done days (in game) prior, and the problem doesn't become apparent until the critical point during plan execution. Fixing the misconception at that point potentially invalidates hours of gameplay.

I think the goal should be to minimize those instances. It takes away from player agency. It can force characters to end up doing something that is actually out of character (but seemed in character to the player, based on their flawed knowledge). Those things aren't fun, and fun is the whole point of playing the game.

So yes, a skilled and experienced DM can fix the issues present in the rules as published. But unless those changes are codified and available to the players, doing so can lead to very different expectations between people and cause the game to fail that way instead.


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Nicos wrote:
N. Jolly wrote:
As an aside, the model that a game MUST have an experienced GM to keep casters in check is not one that invites new players to experience the game, and admits there's an inherent flaw in the game.
It is also true that the gap between mundane and magic don't seems that apparent with inexperienced players (except for monks, those are a trap)

I don't think that's true. I played with someone that wasn't very familiar with Pathfinder, and she gravitated toward playing a Crossbow Rogue, because she thought it was a cool concept.

Crossbows and ranged Rogues are hard to do well no matter what, but our group primarily plays with the CRB only, so a lot of the things you'd need to do it well weren't even available.

She spent a lot of time in combat trying (and failing) to be effective, until eventually the party Wizard was able to give her Greater Invisibility reliably.

Meanwhile, as the party Druid (focused on summoning), I held back considerably to avoid making things even worse. I usually only had a single summon out at a time, even though I'd have the spell slots to pull out more if I wanted. The summons were always more effective in combat than the Rogue. I felt bad, because I couldn't really do much to scale back further, and it was a bit late to completely change the character concept. Yet, my summons routinely outshone a full party member, all because she selected something that sounded cool and didn't realize it was one of Pathfinder's many trap options.


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Entryhazard wrote:
The game intentionally requiring an experienced GM is silly because then you wonder how the GM becomes experienced to begin with

Exactly.

And your username is hilariously appropriate, too.


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HWalsh wrote:

The game intends for you to have a GM who knows that they are doing. If you don't then there can be problems. That has been how it has worked since day 1 anyway. That is simply how things are.

Birds fly, fish swim, and the experienced GMs face less problems than inexperienced ones.

As written, yes, I agree that is the case. I also fundamentally reject the notion that it is good or healthy for the game to essentially require that everyone that wants to start playing have someone that already knows what they're doing to teach them how to do it right.

If you know someone that can help, that's wonderful. That is absolutely the ideal way to get into the game. But it's a game, for goodness sake, not some exclusive club. If you don't already know someone on the inside that can sponsor you until you achieve full membership yourself, that shouldn't be the end of it.

The job of the Core Rulebook is to teach people what they need to know to play the game in a functional manner. Right now, it fails miserably at that unless you're coming in with years of tabletop gaming experience to fill in the gaps.


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HWalsh wrote:
You can't marginalize the role of the GM. The GM is the most important part of the game. Good GM = Good Game. Bad GM = Bad Game.

Except, as far as I can tell, the way you're defining "Good GM" is "Person that has extreme knowledge of all the ways the system is broken and has the proper game design sense to be able to fix it".

You should not need to be a game designer to be a good GM.

Improv skills? Great.
Solid vocabulary and the ability to vividly describe the world to your players? Wonderful.
A knack for coming up with interesting situations and story arcs the players will enjoy? Grand.
The ability and willingness to do Paizo's job for free in their spare time? Wait, what?


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HWalsh wrote:

I should note, I, and many others, get shouted as though we committed high blasphemy when we point out that the GM should be doing thingd to stop the disparity...

Then he says:

"To a large extent as well the responsibility to keep things fair and fun for all involved lands on the GM's shoulders."

Which pretty much states exactly the same thing. If there is a caster disparity at your table then the GM's not doing their job.

I think the big problem that at least some people have is that, in this case, "the GM doing their job" requires knowledge that's not necessarily obvious or intuitive.

You or your GM know how to run a game such that martial-caster disparity in minimized and every player gets their chance in the spotlight and nobody feels slighted. That's great! But that doesn't help brand new Joe Smith trying to learn the game with his friends.

There's no real discussion in the CRB about how to keep full-casters from running away with the game at high levels. Or even mid levels. Assumptions are made about how the game will be run, but there's never any listing of what those assumptions are. How is Joe supposed to figure out how to keep his martial players feeling like they help the party?

Maybe he's one of the few people who shows up on the forums, desperately looking for someone that's can tell him what he's doing wrong. Suddenly, he hears plenty of people yelling that there is no disparity. Really, what most of these people mean is that there is a disparity, but their table practices are such that it doesn't cause a problem. But Joe isn't necessarily going to get far enough into it to figure that out.

Instead, there's a decent chance he walks away thinking that somehow he's just running the game wrong. After all, a bunch of people on the forums are telling him (whether directly or indirectly through threads he found via search) that the martial-caster disparity is a myth. So, he goes back to the Core Rulebook to figure out what rules he missed that fix everything, but comes up empty handed -- because there's nothing there to find. There are absolutely GM conventions and house rules that can help here, but we need to actually expose those for them to do any good.

Another option is to strive to balance the classes against each other. There's nothing in the rules to suggest that any class is more powerful than another or has the ability to absolutely break the game, so the natural assumption for a new player is that everything is roughly equal and the rules stand up as presented. Class balance can never be perfect, but if it makes things end up well balanced out of the box, it's going to be much easier for new GMs. There's plenty for them to figure out already.


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Just a Guess wrote:
ZZTRaider wrote:
Malwing wrote:
The DC scaling was kind of a typo. Supposed to be 10 plus 1/2 BAB plus Str. Probably will deal with that on a feat by feat basis because as I'm writing these DCs are becoming less and less of a norm.
The Critical feats all have a DC of 10+BAB. Is there any particular reason to deviate from that?

10+ 1/2BAB+ Str is closer to the DCs of caster abilities and spells. That might be the reason.

For example:

Hexes wrote:
The save to resist a hex is equal to 10 + 1/2 the witch’s level + the witch’s Intelligence modifier.

Sure. But I have to assume that there's a reason that the Critical feats don't follow that pattern, even though nearly everything else in the game does. Poison, for example, is 10 + 1/2 HD + Con mod.

Though, interestingly, at level 17, a caster likely has around a +8 casting stat mod, which gives a 9th level spell a DC of 27, which is exactly the same DC as a full BAB class with a critical feat.


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Totes McScrotes wrote:
Depends. If the Alchemist with mutagens and buffs starts outshining the Barbarian in melee combat all around then yes, there's a problem. But for the most part it's nothing you can't solve in-character, through roleplay. Hawkeye and Black Widow were perfectly valuable members of the Avengers even if they were outshined at every turn by the rest of the team.

Hawkeye and Black Widow do have writer fiat in their favor, though. They essentially have a DM taking extra care to make sure that they get to shine, too.

Totes McScrotes wrote:
The trouble is AC doesn't scale with level. AC is usually less useful at higher levels than enhancements, the +2 full plate that made you a juggernaut at level 5 is pretty worthless against touch attacks, save or suck and melee attacks with +20 to hit at level 10.

I'm pretty sure that AC isn't really the issue here. It's that the scaling starts at BAB +4, then it scales based on level, rather than BAB. So taking 4 levels of Ranger then 4 levels of Rogue gets you a +6 to damage, whereas taking 4 levels of Rogue then 4 levels of Ranger only nets you a +4. That's really unintuitive and punishing for no real reason.


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Philo Pharynx wrote:
andreww wrote:
It is a legacy of 3.0. The designers of 3.0 overvalued the benefit of spontaneous casting and it has simply continued down the versions since then.
It's not just spontaneous casting, it's the added flexibility during the day. While wizards are overall more flexible, their flexibility is only as good as the player's judgment of what the adventuring day holds.

Sure. But if a player makes poor judgment of what spells to pick as a wizard, they can change them out completely tomorrow. If someone playing a sorcerer does the same thing, they can't do anything until they level up enough times to swap out a spell. Even then, they only get to change a single spell at a time. The ability to change your strategy completely and recover from poor judgment in only a day's time is amazingly powerful.

LazarX wrote:
Thing is sorcerer spell progression isn't any slower than a wizard's it's just staggered for the first 4 levels. after that, they are gaining spell levels one every 2, just like a wizard.

I'm sure it's not the case in all games, but in my experience, the party tends to stay pretty close in experience, meaning everyone is the same level most of the time. In which case, yes, the sorcerer's spell progression is slower than a wizard's. Pick any character level above 2. When the party is that level one of the following will always be true:

A) The wizard has had his new toys for a while and the sorcerer has just managed to catch up for a little bit (with all of a single spell known at that level, compared to the wizard's minimum of 4).
B) The sorcerer finally gets her iconic bloodline spell, bringing her to a total of 3 spells known of a spell level that is old news to the wizard. Meanwhile, the wizard has just moved on to the next big thing: a new spell level, typically containing goodies significantly stronger than the previous spell level.

Part of the sorcerer's shtick is that she can cast more spells in a day than a wizard, but has less variety in those spells, but that's not even true at all levels. At level 5, a specialist wizard has the exact same number of spell slots as the sorcerer, except several of them are 3rd level spells, while the sorcerer is still stuck at 2nd.

In actual play, it's pretty easy for a power discrepancy to come up here. It's not nearly as bad as martials vs casters, but it's still there.


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Deighton Thrane wrote:

Sorry, I didn't really phrase that very well. What I was trying to allude to is that it's very hard to have an ability that's considered mundane or realistic that competes with what 9th levels spells can do. Which is the problem, because the fighters abilities are basically rooted in no magic origins, having something comparable to level 9 spells is not likely to happen. Especially since fighter get their abilities all day long, and Paizo over values always on abilities.

And things like moving so fast enemies can't react definitely falls into the supernatural category, which maybe makes sense for a ki ability, but the dwarf fighter with the 20' move speed moving so fast people can't react isn't realistic as an Ex ability. Which, once again is the problem, fighters are based in what realistic. So either you have to let go of the no magic abilities base of the fighter, or come up with clever abilities that fall within the Ex category. That's why I was saying that fighter only gets 5th level spells, not that that's what their limit should be, but that where their limit is, because of the design philosophy of the class.

I think the whole take away from all of these martial-caster disparity threads is that those that feel it is an issue that needs to be addressed feel that your stated design philosophy is fundamentally wrong.

When a caster gets to the point of casting 9th level spells, they are effectively demigods. They're doing things that are beyond even most myths and legends.

So, let's recalibrate a bit. Is it realistic for a demigod to move faster than those around them can react? I'd say so, especially if speed is part of that demigod's domain. True, some creatures may have similar levels of speed or can make preparations to deal with the demigod's speed and catch him off-guard. But, in the general case, I think that's perfectly reasonable and realistic to expect of someone that can be described as a demigod.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Oh, god. There's no escape.

Eventually, you'll have to add the Index to the Index.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
Even people who own books will reference the PRD and pfSRD. That does change.
This. Inconsistencies can be a real pain.

It would be absolutely brilliant if the PRD would let you choose a printing when looking through each book, much like the Python documentation lets you look at the documentation for any released version.

And on a similar, but unrelated note, I think it'd be brilliant if the pfSRD let me filter out 3PP material from search results.


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Cyrad wrote:
Once again, you illustrate why letting all class skills apply would be a bad idea. Taking 10 varies in value depending on the skill. It's good on Knowledge checks, but nothing too powerful because it doesn't give you much advantage over other units in encounters. Taking 10 on Intimidate would be absolutely broken because it can inflict fear effects at-will and there's options for building an entire character around that. Again, not using a static list allows a player to easily abuse it to create a broken character by picking the right archetypes and traits to modify their class skill list.

In that case, I'd argue that there should be a list of exclusions, rather than a list of inclusions.

As you said, Taking 10 on Knowledge checks is nice, but not terribly powerful. Why is it a problem if a Lore Warden Fighter that has picked up this new Discipline ability can Take 10 on those checks?

I'll also note that even within the Core Rulebook, a Rogue can take a single Advanced Talent to choose 3 + Intelligence Modifier skills that they can Take 10 on, despite stress or distractions. They can also take that talent multiple times. There's no limitations on what you can choose -- you can easily choose Intimidate or Bluff, both of which have combat implications for a Rogue (through Shatter Defenses and feinting).

I agree this would be an overly strong ability at level 1. Keeping it to the Fighter's class skills, even if they are provided by a Fighter archetype, does not seem ridiculous to me. The Fighter is still going to be hard-pressed to invest enough skill ranks to make good use of more than a couple of these skills, anyway.


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Cyrad wrote:
The devs later on said that alchemists count since they have caster levels, but that did not get reflected in the FAQ.

Ooooh, neat. Since it did not get reflected in the FAQ, can you point me toward any source for that?

chbgraphicarts wrote:
An Alchemist can take Master Craftsman in games where the feat is allowed (i.e. not PFS), thus allowing them to take Craft Magic Arms & Armor and Craft Wondrous Item.

Master Craftsman is really pretty terrible. Since (without house rules) it only allows you to craft magical items using a single Craft or Profession skill, you're still very limited in what you can craft.

For Craft Magic Arms & Armor, you're basically looking at Craft Armor, Craft Weapons, and Craft Bows. If you pick Craft Armor, you can't craft any magical weapons. If you pick Craft Weapons, you can't craft any magical armor, bows, or arrows. If you pick Craft Bows, you can't craft any magical armor or weapons that aren't bows. In any of these cases, you're leaving a good chunk of what Craft Magic Arms & Armor does for a normal caster on the table, and you're spending an extra feat to do it.

Craft Wondrous Item is even worse, as there isn't nearly as much overlap between various wondrous items that you'd actually want.


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Lemmy wrote:

Not that their justifications mean much... Paizo is usually either dishonest or just incompetent when it comes to errata.

The Crane Wing stuff into oblivion because it's easier than actually trying to do proper game design. They nerf balanced tools that were causing no problem to make new classes seem better, not because the nerf made sense. Remember how they nerfed animal companions' armor proficiency to make the Cavalier look better? Or when they nerfed the Paragon Surge exploit because it stole the thunder of Arcanists (that one actually needed nerfing, but I really freaking doubt that's why they did it, considering how long that loophole went untouched). Now, I don't doubt they nerfed SWD to make Kineticists look better. That's paizo "errata" policy 101.

I'm tired of it... I no longer trust the design team. I had hopes things would get better with the addition of Mark to the team, but I was obviously wrong.

I don't think it is what happened in all cases, but there is another possibility here...

Perhaps in some cases, they saw something and decided that while they did not like that implementation, it was a mechanic that people wanted. So, while they fixed the part they felt was broken, they provided another way to do effectively the same thing, but in a way that they felt was more balanced and appropriate.

But I agree that this sort of thing has happened enough times that it is difficult to give them the benefit of the doubt.