Kirth Gersen wrote:
I'm also noticing that it's hard to build NPC wizards, because they lack the sheer wealth and end up with empty spellbooks. So I'm currently thinking that one per level or two is more reasonable -- not quite the austerity measure they're currently living under, but a lot more restrained than the 2/level smorgasbord that PF gives them.
But should really each wizard be running with spellbooks/memory bursting with spells? Talented casters, Dark Lords and Wizard Kings won't abide by all the rules a normal NPC runs on but an average witch or a wizard won't be anywhere near their level so they probably should not get the same breadth of abilities.
So what would fix the fighter vs. wizard disparity?
Rewriting the combat chapter of the rulebook. Which would mean that you'll need to rewrite every feat.
Numbers don't mean much when your every action starts with crippling penalties and needs a ton of resources (feats) to become half decent. And that's ignoring the parts where actions are completely prohibited to be even attempted due to size difference or some unknown "balance reasons".
Kill full-attack, allow combat manoeuvrers to be usable on everyone. Hell, maybe even allow crippling attacks without a ton of restrictions on top of them (and as a side bonus Heal could become actually useful).
Then you'll need to get to the Skills and do them at least on the level of what True 20 has.
The biggest problem would be not balancing the fights but managing so many players in general. Beefing the fights with low-level NPCs is a pretty good way to give characters a way to contribute to a fight.
-Build minions for small group tactics, so that 2-3 make aid another actions for each one attack. This way they could stay relevant even at higher levels and will be hard to ignore while saving time on rolling dice.
-If possible in fights attack the party from different angles or present danger from multiple sides. This way party will need to split, but still be within the confines of the single encounter (so not actually split). This allows for multiple smaller combat fronts that would be easier to manage and also should engage players in the fight better - they need to decide who goes where, especially considering that they seem to have multiple characters with similar combat roles.
-Try and use different low level tricks - many feats that do not work well with the party work very well when you have multiple characters built the same way which allows to effectively utilise multiple teamwork and other support feats.
-Don't make minions to fight to the last man. At least most of the time. This way you can use more of them in combat but party won't need to wipe them all out (that could save a lot of time). Give them a threshold to how many people they need to lose before they run (30% is ok most of the time). Of course for mindless enemies and boss encounters you could make them dig in and fight with all they have.
And that's just one of a thousand examples. Spellcasters can move laterally through the world and the plot you're in, whereas noncasters can interact with the world and the setting through combat, social skills, obtain information through knowledge checks, overcome obstacles with movement skills and that's it. Except of course for magic items.
It would be ok, if the difference wasn't so big. Let's take for example Mutants & Masterminds. "Casters" still come ahead, but even a brute character built around high strength can be pretty badass up to high levels. When your character can just go through walls like they are not there, crush force fields, crumple tanks and punch battleships out of the water it rarely feels like you can't contribute. And you very much will have enough points left to get skills that you want.
Of course if we allow casters unlimited access to all other powers - planar movement, teleportation and so on - they will be able to take the upper hand most of the time and have the versatility advantage. The point is - divide is still nowhere as big.
Ryan Freire wrote:
I think people underestimate the effect 1 combat feat becoming 2 or 3 would have on martial versatility
Not by much. Many of these 2-3 feats were just one feat in 3.5 and they still were underwhelming. Now if we look at tactical feats that started in Complete Warrior - which were basically PF Style feats condensed into one. Those were actually somewhat useful. And fun to use in the game because they gave you a bunch of options to choose from.
But they still had prerequisites. Though authors actually did try to make them not so crippling.
Ryan Freire wrote:
Condense feat chains so that martials can feasably pursue more than 1 combat style and that solar problem becomes "Fighter wins initiative, full attacks with his bow and gibs the solar"
You will need to condense them really hard for it to be meaningful. Because you need not only to be able to use weapons but also to defend and have utility for out of combat stuff. And you will need to balance it so that instagibbing on a won initiative is not a thing. Because it is just not very fun when the only thing that determines the winner is who goes first.
If the feats were like progression tracks where they grant multiple choices at different BAB/HD it probably could work for fighter in the long run.
So for example Shields and other weapons will have 3 feats each:
Proficiency: Allows the use of the weapon group without penalties and is prerequisite for other feats.
Same could be done for Skills - you must have 1 rank in skill, and then you can get a feat that will allow you to chose additional options for the skill at different ranks. And you also could get a Mastery feat that gives you numerical bonuses.
Fighters with their proficiencies and bonus feats could easily grab multiple styles and masteries. Other classes either will need to work with only proficiencies that they have from the start or will need to spend feats on them.
You need to keep the roads safe. Which means that the first priority should be organising proper patrols. Preferably mounted. PCs can't be everywhere. And even with divination magic, especially at such a low level, you'll need people to go and get better information.
So you need to organise patrols to cover as much of the land as possible. Probably no less than 5 people in each one. Ideally with rotating shifts, so that, when 3 patrols are out, one more rests/trains at the camp.
Those patrolling don't actually need to be able to tackle the enemies themselves, you have PCs for that, but they should be able to ride horses.
Now let's see what you need for a start:
- 20-25 horses.
Dogs are a really good idea, not only guard dogs but hunting dogs too. They don't need to fight, but they can really help with many things especially with those that like to hide or use invisibility.
Ideally you'll also want to have a way of supplying your people with some form of getting magic attacks on their weapons even temporary. It could be a difference between life and death for NPCs with no magical support.
For a start potions probably are a best bet of getting magic weapons even if somewhat pricey in the long run.
Leliel the 12th wrote:
So, I was wondering-what are some ways he could use his sway to make the life of slavers miserable and their enemies a mandatory vacation week?
Provide vesk, or other expansionist nation that you like more, with automated equipment and manuals for it. Sponsor colleges and universities. Overall support their industry. Buy a couple of technological secrets and gift them to your chosen recipients. Don't forget to invest your money into industries that you are going to support. On the outside you will look like a selfless guy that just likes to help, but forgetting about profit is a crime. You'll need a lot of money.
Basically help the nation to build its economy in more effective ways than slavers do. And then sponsor politics advocating for expansionism and war. Make sure they know where they need to strike first when you are giving them your money. It probably won't be much of a problem as most slaver nations are either weak or don't have many friends. Also their production rates would be pretty low compared to top of the line industry complex of your "pet" empire. So they make conventional targets, with good excuses for starting the war and sizeable chunks of population that will support their conquerors.
Watch the slavers burn while sipping tea from your porcelain cup.
Someone is invisible, flying, and in a silence spell. What's the DC to perceive them? What's the mechanism to perceive them?
DC 20-30. You can still spot displaced dust motes, leaves and similar things. On a really hot day you can also probably spot the air currents they create while moving through the air.
Basically boss should be petty. The kind of guy that when he can't kill his enemies goes for trying to do anything that can be painful or unpleasant for them. And gloating. Lots of gloating.
He knows they are coming for him?
- Bribe or intimidate everyone into not providing services to the party. Or just outright raze villages and salt the earth on their way. And leave notes telling the party how he hates them.
- Try to kill their support NPCs. Especially those who provide healing or magical equipment.
- Hire assassins to kill party in their sleep. Cheap assassins. That gonna almost each night try and kill player characters with little success. Send party a letter asking about how good was their sleep.
Didn't play in Pathfinder E6 but 3.5 after some time really makes you appreciate how much more powerful you are than all those guards, villagers and random bystanders.
Especially if characters even a little optimized.
Like for example simple boring fighter which is really not a good class to play in E6. He can in around 10 minutes crush castle gates with his bare fists. And if he somehow got his hands on adamantine weapons any siege featuring such a fighter probably will go in favor of the side allied with him.
Evocation wizard can kill dozens if not hundreds of soldiers with one spell deciding whole battles in a few rounds. And some tricks that can be made with low level spells are really neat especially if you flaunt them before some 1st-2nd level audience with no access to their own magic.
And that assassin rogue really works. Cause most people have at best 30 HP or even less. So he can go down their chimney and murder them in their sleep with one attack. With different protective spells much less prevalent it is also easier to steal stuff. You probably will still have trouble getting into royal treasury without magic but it will be only "insanely hard" instead of straight up impossible.
Overall E6 favors specialisation even more than normal games. Having a couple of tricks that you are really good at is much more valuable than general versatility. And feats give you chance to broaden your available tricks later.
Well in 3.5 I think there were four great forces - Good, Evil, Chaos and Law. They didn't exactly have conscious minds of their own but constantly influenced multiverse through sheer existence.
They also had champions who ascribed to these forces - good outsiders, evil outsiders, paladins, blackguards, different kinds of gods, etc.
If you were close to one of the forces through some means you could draw power from it.
Can't find now but I remember a homebrew on giantitp where armor granted temporary hitpoints that replenished at the start of the turn.
If I remember right formula was something like Armor Bonus x Level
So a fighter in +1 full-plate at level 6 will have 60 temporary hitpoints at the start of each of his turns.
Even within the current system, "Jump Good" is something a 13th level Monk can do with a Feat (Cloud Step) and "Perfect Balance" is a 6th level Ninja ability.
Technically - no.
Cloud Step allows a maximum of 50 feat of movement. At level 15 without some additional abilities movement rate of a monk will be 35 ft.
Light Step (Ninja) and Spider Step (Feat, Monk) still require to end movement on a surface capable of supporting characters weight.
But yeah, I may have been too conservative with level of abilities.
That's still weirdly asymmetric. 1/4/7/10/13/16/19 would make more sense, IMO. Or 1/4/8/12/16/20. the highest levels in either case would probably only have one option per skill, and be super-powerful as a capstone of sorts.
Well if you have Skill Unlocks getting their "capstone" at level 15 than you can add some "epic" feats at level 17 that have Skill Unlocks as prerequisites and allow for some really supernatural staff.
Let's take for example Acrobatics and top it with something else.
Jump Good Skill Unlock
You can fly with perfect manoeuvrability up to your speed (double move, run all that works) but you must end your turn on a surface capable of supporting you or you will fall down at the end of your turn.
Perfect Balance Skill Unlock
You can stand on any object that is more dense than air regardless of it's ability to support your weight. This includes liquids, thin branches and even gaseous substances.
Air Mastery Feat
Flight: You can fly with perfect manoeuvrability with flight speed equal to your land speed.
Drag: Any time you take a double move, charge or run action you can make a free Trip,Bull Rush or Reposition attempt against anyone who is adjacent to you at any point in your movement. You can use your Acrobatics skill instead of your CMB. This attempts do not provoke attacks of opportunity, failure of a check doesn't stop your movement and you can use combat manoeuvrers in this fashion against targets of any size.
Tornado: You can create tornadoes with power dependant on time spent.
P.S. This Feat is still probably too weak for level 17 and should be spiced with some additional abilities.
Might be a bit overly restrictive to some concepts, though.
Make Skill Focus allow for higher level Skill Unlocks regardless of Ability Modifiers ?
That's a really weird progression.
It's not a progression just some random numbers :)
If you want to start from 1 rank than 1/3/6/10/15 will be a good progression.
That's way less powerful than even the current system in some ways. As it is, you can have all the skill unlocks you qualify for in one skill (admittedly, only 4) as a single unlock. You can then have that in up to five skills as a Rogue. That's 20 Unlocks counting each individually. Almost nobody has that many points in stat bonuses.
Hmm, you are right. Then maybe just tie a maximum level of Skill Unlock to Ability Modifier (Minimum 1)? Someone with Strength 20 can have unlocks up to level 5 using example of progression above (1-15 ranks).
Give 1 Skill Unlock per level without casting progression
Well you still need some number of ranks in a skill to get a Skill Unlock, so even if you can have 6 of them you can't get even 1 at first level.
Let's say you get Skill Unlocks at 4/9/12/15 skill ranks and you need to have at least 1 Skill Unlock of lower level to get to high level Skill Unlocks.
So a rogue with Dex 20 can get 4 Skill Unlocks in one skill of levels from 1 to 4 and 2 Skill Unlocks in another skill of levels from 1 to 2. Not counting what he can get through Class Features (ignore needing lower level Skill Unlocks) or Feats.
Why would that be a problem? Either martials already need them or you're going to be using some sort of compensating bonus system anyway.
Because they will need to track which Skill Unlocks are tied to their inherent Ability Modifiers and which are tied to Ability Modifiers that they get from magic items.
Maybe tie skill-unlocks to main attributes ?
So someone with high Intelligence can get many Knowledge or Craft Skill Unlocks and someone with high Strength can get many Climb and Jump Skill unlocks ?
Let's say you can get a number of skill unlocks equal to 1 + Ability Modifier (minimum 1) in skills governed by this Ability. And you can get Feats that give you more Skill Unlocks. Add some prereqs for higher level Skill Unlocks and someone who relies on Intelligence will have a hard time trying to get physical Skill Unlocks.
Only big problem that I can see is magic items that grant ability bonus.
Some general observations:
To have plot related agency character (or his player) must have abilities that make it possible for him to influence his surroundings in such a way that his opponents or even teammates won't be able to completely shut him down.
For player it's either some leverage over DM or simply real world charisma that allows him to sway everyone onto his chosen path. Even if his character doesn't have any relevant abilities.
For character that's skills, spells or other abilities that have chance of working of around 70% in most situations - character can use these abilities and get reliable results.
What abilities do fighters or similar characters have ?
1. They can fight.
1. Fighters are equal in combat with other characters and sometimes worse.
Variants of what they need to be able to affect plot:
1. The most "fighty" option - they should have overwhelming advantage in combat. So big an advantage that even thinking about fighting a fighter one on one (maybe even a small group on lone fighter)should make other characters tremble in fear.
Fighter is an unbeatable metal sledgehammer and for him every problem looks just like a nail. He may not be able to use skills meaningfully or get more than others out of magic but he always can just kill or destroy anything that stands in his path.
2. Making fighters good at skills. Maybe giving them a small number of signature skills that get really big numbers at around mid levels. Add some unique skill related abilities and fighters at least will be able to carve themselves a small niche out of combat.
Even if most other classes will have much more broad skill lists fighter will be able to beat them at his few chosen shticks.
3. Give him ability to use magic items much more effectively than other characters.
Frankly I don't like that option because it doesn't have much in common with how I envision fighters. That's much more in line with tropes for a rogue.
And where did I say that everyone is out to get you ?
No. I'm playing against "monsters" or bandits, or some other antagonists. You can't win against DM.
There are characters that will not betray. There are even real paladins. But vampires ? No, these buggers are not going to be friendly or easy to kill and they are going to use almost everything to win. And lets not talk about dragons - these are just nightmare fuel.
Let's return to question at hand - non-spellcasters and their problems.
In the example above that uses grenades it's not so much characters against a problem as it's technology against a problem.
If there were more such technical, alchemical or say steam-powered things gap between spellcasters and non-spellcasters may have been a little less pronounced. Because it doesn't really matter if Fireball that killed all enemy archers comes from a wizard or from some alchemical flamethrower.
But such a game will have really different feel and setting. Probably something along the lines of Monster Hunter (Japanese game series).
Currently magic items have too many limitations and are still much easier to do with access to spells.
The Sword wrote:
Well that'a a difference in expectations. I don't expect DM in such a genre to use "kid gloves".
Monsters are played to their strengths. Maybe not as much as possible but without really dumb moves.
And if we are playing experienced adventurers from the beginning I will expect things like vapmires (or their thralls) trying to murder my character while he is sleeping or werewolves trying to frame someone else as the culprit.
The Sword wrote:
No, it is about tropes of a game.
If I'm playing some story about some knight trying to save a princess from a dragon in fairy tale decorations I won't bother with things like blast radius or even grenades. Like at all.
If I'm playing a monster hunter game its tropes are that world and especially monsters is out to get you. 24/7. You always wear a holy symbol, beacuse vampires. You always carry a silver knife, because werewolfs. You always wear a tinfoil hat, because mindflayers.
It is expected that DM (well technically NPCs but whatever) will try to screw you over. That's written in bold print on first page of our Player-DM agreement!
The Sword wrote:
I won't play in something like Pathfinder or any other monster hunter adventures with so much mystery. That's certain death.
Heroes who don't know how their equipment works tend to die young and sometimes crispy.
Hmm, you'll need what ? 8 times the number of explosives to double the radius and damage.
And 64 grenades to go to 4 times radius and damage.
Or somethere in this ballpark.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Possible, but as with any similar attempt will need complete overhaul of the base system. Too much work.
Though what I'm trying to say is that number creep should never be a class feature in itself unless such things have some other interesting side effects - and in Pathfinder they rarely have them without a ton of feats.
If everything that +1 per level (or item) achieves is keeping parity with opponents than this +1 should be a part of general level progression and not a "class feature".
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Good job, you've practically killed the game by saying the scaling of numbers is absolutely worthless.
Considering that most of the time numbers just allow you to stay at the same level as monsters of your ECL ? Yes, they are "worthless" and don't bring much to the table. But without them you won't be able to do anything effectively.
If +1 to STR or some other ability score really changed how character can act in a game world it would have been meaningful bonus but right now it is just about not getting left behind.
For example you can look at Mutants and Masterminds where you can throw enemies for hundreds of meters if your strength is high enough.
Cerberus Seven wrote:
No offense, but this seems like a TERRIBLE idea. Reducing the hit point pool of the fighter, even if it IS a reduced amount of non-lethal damage, is going to have a drastic impact on their front-line survivability. This works (kinda) with kineticists because they're supposed to have a great Con score, in fact it should be their HIGHEST ability score. Fighters, otoh, need Strength as their best score in order to consistently hit and deal damage. Also unlike fighters, kineticists aren't on the front-line, they're ranged attackers blasting the enemy from behind the party's melee barrier. I do not see this working out well for the fighter at all. Combat Stamina is infinitely better at representing the body pushing itself to the limits without drastically screwing over the character using it.
Well, that's certainly not the best idea but non-lethal damage at least can be healed quickly especially since unlike Burn this variant doesn't have a clause of healing only with rest.
Add Heroic Effort ability that allows fighters to transform lethal damage into non-lethal and even if they will fall down that will probably happen after some of their enemies are dead. If they survive their downtime they will be able to spring back even without magic healing within a day.
This all is also reliant on what abilities exactly will fighters get with Heroic Effort. Let's take a look at some spells with levels 1-5 that can be appropriate for a fighter in non-magical form.
Blade Lash - reach weapon only
Blade Tutor's Spirit
Bouncy Body - drop down and jump back
Break - powerful sunder attempt
Cause fear - make people frightened of you
Line in the sand
Mirror Strike - easily re-flavoured as skill
Shield - simply bonus to AC
True Strike - :) though that probably should be higher level
As long as benefits of ability allow you to harm your opponents more than you will be harmed by its cost you are good. Fighter with 14 Con will have HP by level - 12(1), 42(5), 94(12), 154(20). Due to items, feats or simply higher Con he can have more.
Yes abilities of level 4-5 won't be used frequently and that's good. They are supposed to be like this - moves that you save for the most dire moments. For that time then death is a fair price for achieving your goal.
Adding scaling with Heroic Effort level to some abilities can help too.
Idea! (Mostly plagiarizing again)
Fighters need some resource mechanic so that they may have more powerful abilities which can't be spammed without care. At the same time it must be something non-magical and preferably already existing in the system to tie it with other subsystems and rules. But Paizo already made this mechanic or at least it's variant - Burn.
Taking non-lethal damage to get power-ups by overexerting body beyond normal limits.
While fighters train for their whole lives they rarely spend time to study some esoteric or magical skills beyond being able to care for their magical equipment. Many of them just don't have time to study such abilities being flung from one war to another. Others can't find suitable teachers or have trouble with more meditative approaches to combat but they all need some edge to survive on the battlefield and so most of them come to the simplest conclusion - doing what they already can do but better.
Lacking in special training they don't have ability to tap into magical energies or such things as Ki and so they use the only thing that they have - their bodies. By pushing his body beyond anything that even a highly trained creature of their species can achieve fighters surpass their own limits. For a price.
This feats of strength, speed and skill are a heavy toll on fighters body. Each one of them may deal only minor damage but then used one after another they can bring any fighter down even faster than his enemies.
Each time fighter uses Heroic Effort he takes non-lethal damage with amount dependant on the power of ability that he is utilising. This damage can't be reduced or redirected and a fighter incapable of taking non-lethal damage must take lethal damage which also can't be reduced or redirected if he wants to use Heroic Effort. A fighter who is somehow incapable of taking both lethal and non-lethal damage can't use Heroic Effort. A fighter who has used Heroic Effort never benefits from abilities that allow him to ignore or alter the effects he receives from non-lethal damage within 24 hours from last use.
Effort Level and Damage
1st level - 1 point of damage
Spear (Two-Handed, Martial)
1d8 p/b, 20/x3
Additional Damage Type (Bludgeoning) 
Dueling Halberd (Two-Handed, Martial)
2d4 s/b/p, 19-20/x2
Additional Damage Type (Bludgeoning) 
Longsword (Two-Handed, Martial)
2d4 s/p, 19-20/x2
Additional damage Type (Piercing) 
Battle Axe (Two-handed, Martial)
2d6 s/b, 19-20/x2
Additional Damage Type (Bludgeoning) 
I apologize in advance for any mistakes and bad grammar. English is not my first language.
Making called shots
Any attack that deals damage can be made a called shot attack. You take penalty on your attack roll depending on which part of enemy body you wish to target.
If attack hits and deals damage target of a called shot must make a Fortitude saving throw with DC equal to 5+Damage Dealt or suffer the effects of a called shot.
Effects of a called shot unless otherwise noted persist until debilitated creature gets special treatment with a Heal skill or becomes subject to Regenerate spell or similar effect. DC for a Heal check equals to DC of Fortitude save of a called shot.
Range and Reach, Critical Hits and Critical Threats, Automatic Hits, Cover: Ignore this rules.
Concealment: You can't make called shots against targets that have total concealment. Miss chances for concealment do not go up because of the called shots.
Damage Reduction: Reduces damage as normal thus making Fortitude save easier. No other special effects.
Immunity:Immunity to critical hits does not protect from called shots as long as target of a called shot possesses distinguishable body parts that can be targeted.
Regeneration: Creatures with regeneration ability can remove effects of a single called shot as a free action once per round instead of healing Hit Points damage.
Saving Throws: No longer relevant.
Stacking, Touch Attacks: As per PFSRD.
Called shot locations
On a failed save target of this called shot becomes Stunned for 1 round and Dazzled until healed. On a successful save target becomes Dazzled for 1 round.
On a failed save target of this called shot becomes Staggered for 1 round. Note every ear or similar body part utilised for hearing on which target failed save against a called shot. Ears on which saves were failed no longer impose Staggered condition on a creature on further called shots.
If target failed saves on half or more of her ears she takes -4 on all sound-based Perception checks. If target failed saves on all of her ears she is Deafened until at least one of her ears is healed.
Each ear must be healed separately with Heal skill.
On a failed save target of this called shot becomes Dazzled for 1 round. Note every eye or similar body part utilised for sight on which target failed save against a called shot. Eyes on which saves were failed no longer impose Dazzled condition on a creature on further called shots.
If target failed saves on half or more of her eyes she takes -4 on all sight-based Perception checks. If target failed saves on all of her eyes she is Blinded until at least one of her eyes is healed.
Each eye must be healed separately with Heal skill.
Neck, Mouth, Jaw
You can also target any other body part that is used in some way for speaking at the same penalty. On a failed save target of this called shot loses ability to speak until healed and can make only some low garbled noises.
You can also target any other limb with the same effect and at the same penalty. On a failed save all d20 rolls (attacks, skill and ability checks, etc.) that use this limb suffer -2 penalty. If save was failed by 10 or more penalty is -4 instead.
Additionally if target of called shot failed saving throw and tries to cast a spell with somatic components using debilitated arm/limb it must make a Concentration check with DC 10 + Damage Dealt by a Called Shot + Spell level or lose spell.
If creature uses not one but multiple limbs debilitated by a called shot for single task apply highest penalty.
Each arm/limb must be healed separately with Heal skill.
Special: Fortitude save DC for this called shot is equal to Damage Dealt by attack.
Note every leg on which target failed save against a called shot.
If target failed saves on half or more of her legs she considers any terrain as difficult.
If target failed saves on all of her legs she falls prone and can't get up until at least half of her legs will be healed. Targets land speed becomes 5 ft. and can't take any actions that involve legs until at least one of her legs is healed.
Each leg must be healed separately with Heal skill.
On a failed save target takes -5 penalty to all Fly checks. Note every wing on which target failed save against a called shot.
If target failed saves on half or more of her wings she takes -20 penalty to all Fly checks. If target failed saves on all of her wings she loses ability to fly.
Each wing must be healed separately with Heal skill.
On a failed save target gets persistent scar. You can target any body part to leave a scar. You can also choose a form for that scar - letter Z, D or any other simple geometric form. Each scar must be healed separately with Heal skill.
Hmm, regarding witchers, monster hunters and similar characters. We can add an ability that needs both Survival and Craft (Alchemy) skills to make dusts, oils, bombs and potions out of slain enemies.
DC to extract a needed part of creature and create an alchemical item is 10+Target HD. It's hard to saw through big and high leveled creatures with their hardened hides, muscles and other materials.
You can extract:
Racial abilities (Elven Keen senses, Dwarven resistance to poison, ressistance to elements of some creatures)
Spell-like and some (Ex) abilities.
Let's take Black dragon for example
- 1/use acid line breath weapon with power reliant on the number of ranks in Craft (Alchemy) skill
- Acid pool bomb
- Spell-likes: Charm reptiles, Corrupt Waters, Darkness, Plant growth, Insect plague
- Water breathing
- Resistance to acid
- Spell resistance
1. Persuade a local noble to help the party.
5: Take debt. Without diplomacy it will be a big debt and will probably lead to some side-quests if DM wants so.
10-15: Talk to him reasonably if he is not willing to help wreck his place. Break walls, crash windows and cut anyone who will try to intervene.
2. Kill a single powerful monster, like a dragon. Assume it's clever and prepared.
5-10: Go your own way cause you will die horribly if you try. But you are evil so you don't care that much.
15: Hire mercenaries. A lot of mercenaries. Siege engines, alchemical items and all that staff. Preferably be an archer fighter. Chances are good you will still die horribly but you can probably push your chances of success somewhere to 30-40% range.
3. Kill a group of mediocre monsters, like Orcish raiders with a few levels. Assume they're clever and prepared.
5: Die horribly.
10-15: Mercenaries again for meatshields and target oversaturation. Hide your magical items under cloak and be an archer. Kill everyone and loot their bodies. Drink ale with mercs who survive combat.
4. Get inside an enemy's stronghold without the enemy knowing. Assume they have important hostages, or some other hook in them to keep them from just knocking the place over.
5: Probably no luck.
10-15: Find noble rogue from the first task and terrorize him until he will do this work for you. If he dies get your mercs and burn stronghold to the ground - just because you can and you already failed at your main task.
5. Get through a heavily trapped place, like the Tomb of Horrors or a wizard's vault.
10-15: Get to work. Take you mercs and start raiding villages for slaves and livestock and after that use them to find traps. You can also make bets on who will go through most traps alive or how far the heads will roll.
Technically there is no "just strength" even in PF. And there is no "just strength" in the real world - you have skill.
Skilled warrior learns his owns limitations and trains to overcome them. He also learns about his own advantages and trains to use them.
Strong warrior would not just hack at his enemies without care, no. Instead he would pretend that this is all he can do and after that make a switch in tactics to get in advantageous position only now using all his strength to finish fight in one or two strikes.
Strong and heavy warriors are not as fast or precise in their attacks, so they rely much more on their skill. Shorter movements, tighter defenses all in the wait for the right moment to attack and end combat at the same time.
Feat chain five feats long for spellcasters ?
Well a lot of Rogue Talents that are skill based are kind of bad jokes for being limited to once a day or something like that and I have plenty of third party replacements for rogue talents so I wouldn't mind picking through spells to add to skills or skill unlocks. Skill unlocks would probably be better since its easier to restrict access so only the classes that need them get them.
I don't think you really need to restrict them. What some wizard will do with his acrobatics skill that he can't accomplish with a fly spell or levitation ?
If he wants to drop enough points into skill to get ability to jump longer or higher let him. It's not like it will suddenly make him so much more effective at his spellcastery thing.
On the subject of skills, what can be patched on skills to make them more worthwhile?
Not much. Unless you want to gut some spells and trample all over rogues skill stunts (with extreme prejudice). Though if you want to do that...
A good idea would be to have abilities tied to skills which can be chosen at ranks (2/4/6/8/etc.)
Being able to take away the power of flight is a Nice Idea. If you're making an anti-magic character, it should be a core power, just like shutting down dimensional conniptions.
Harpoons, harpoons everywhere. Chuck one at the enemy and then climb up the chain until you can reach him with your sword. Or attach to something heavy and then pull your enemy from the skies (if he won't do it himself when he tries to fly out of chain length).
EDIT For Clarity: less-favored weapon is a fine alternative for a Melee Specialist at low levels, but by level 9 that's no longer appropriate In My Opinion.
Hmm, agree and retract previous statement with a caveat that even fighters who didn't invest anything specifically into ranged attacks still must have at least 60-70% of attack effectiveness maybe with some sacrifices in defense.
Less-favored is okay. Almost worthless is not. Currently you need what 3-5 feats to be passable at shooting ? And that's only bows or some other type of ranged weapon.
But yes being able to move through any terrain is a trope and a mandatory ability for high levels. As a minimum characters must be able to do jump/climb checks as part of the movement action ignoring any obstacles in case of successful checks.
Character wants to make a double move to a more favourable position. He has a base speed of 50 ft. Distance to his new position is 80 ft. There is also some patches of difficult terrain (10 ft. wide) and a wall 10 ft. high.
Character moves and makes 2 Acrobatics checks with DC 10 and a Climb DC 25 check (though it seems somewhat high) or a DC 40 Acrobatics check (8 if using Unchained variant with additional DC 15 climb check).
If all checks are successful character arrives at his destination in 1 turn. (Parkour / Freerunning)