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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.

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Groundhog wrote:
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.

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Sundakan wrote:
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.

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Wrath wrote:

You are playing a game of us vs them (DM in this case).

Others are playing a game of players in a a world where some folks actually like you.

In one situation you have to out power your DMs deviousness. They can be fun games but I found after some time it really just ruined the fun of sitting with some mates and having a good time. So for my group, we jut gave that type of play away. When your DM is deliberately trying to dick you because every NPC is going to betray you, then it's not a game I want to play in.

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.

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The Sword wrote:

The DM is there to facilitate the actions of the party in an entertaining way.

Any DM who reads that as "Screw you over" is putting their enjoyment before that of the party - unless the party have signed up to a game where they want to be screwed over as some sort of challenge of rules mastery. Difficult does not = screw over.

Of course gunpowder isn't going to come up in a medieval era fantasy unless the game world allows it. The DM or published material sets that.

If vampire hunters were prepared for evening, then films and books would be very dull. The trope of Monster Hunting is that you are absolutely NOT prepared for the full scale of horror that awaits you. Think back to every monster film you ever saw - people get prepared FAST as a consequence of their encounters - I cite tremors again as an example of one of the best monster films of all time.

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.

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The Sword wrote:

Ahh. Classic my-DM-screws-with-me-syndrome.

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!

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The Sword wrote:

I think my point is the GM just makes a decision that fits the action taken and rules it. Think the final scene of Tremors.

Unfortunately no doubt some player would then buy hundreds of grenades and tie then into pack to have calculated the optimal number per blast radius and then take a feat that allows them to be thrown two at a time and then all of a sudden instead of a interesting problem solving technique using equipment and narrative - we now have another optimised character.

The DM should keep the mystery - you have no earthly clue how big the blast radius would be or how much damage it will do. That is why you are a hero and not a technician.

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.

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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

Head (-4)
-Ear (-8)
-Eye (-8)
-Neck, Mouth, Jaw (-4)

Arm (-2)

Leg (-2)

Wings (-2)

___________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________


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.

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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

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Kaisoku wrote:

Every other game I've played that had a "combat guy" called it at least "Warrior", or something more specific.

"Fighter"... yeesh. It's no wonder it's been stuck in a rut.

Warrior king, warrior monk, etc. That's really a much better name for a general combat hero that can be flavoured by his additional skills.


What a warrior should be able to do ?

Mundane (1-4):

Fight. Beat monsters to a pulp and cut bad guys who are not warriors like they are made out of paper. Inspire others by his example and make his enemies cower in fear.

Regardless of background he should have some tactical knowledge/abilities and know his way around weapons and armor. Not only how to fight with them but also being able to determine their quality and at least some rudimentary ability to repair them.

Heroic (5-10):

Warrior should be able to take on a couple of squads of rank and file enemies and rout them without sustaining critical damage. But he also must be able to fight monsters - flying, borrowing, invisible and magical. Because if he can't he is not a proper warrior. He must be able to use ranged and melee weapons effectively even if he is better with some of them (not by much).

Be a leader. Even warriors who are not really keen on becoming officers or lords should be able to lead people in time of war. Ideally some tactical and strategic bonuses for everyone under his command. (In current PF they must at least be able to bestow Teamwork feats on others with 1-2 days of practice)

Secondary abilities depending on role. Those who want to become kings and lords can rule the lands and play political games. Monster hunters, duelists and similar combatants become proficient in their trade being able to learn of weak spots in enemy defenses even if they fight this type of opponent for the first time. And monks train in their arts not only with unarmed strikes but with weapons too.

Legendary (11+):

All bets are off. On this level warrior must be able to stand against a small army and win. Or go against monsters like demons or dragons and still win. Without magic items or other similar things. Maybe even using only improvised weapons and without armor. Though in such a case it should be a really hard battle. As such he should be able to fight against flying and invisible enemies while also protecting himself.

Fighting a warrior on this level should either call for a load of tricks from his opponents or for really epic monsters who can squash towns by themselves. Or another warrior in employment of Dark Overlord.

If some wizard wants to beat a warrior he should not be able to do it in open combat without a solid plan. And even then this plan should have a lot of failsafes. That's not counting resources that warrior can arrange for a fight himself.

Depending on background warrior by this level should either command a small kingdom or some other organization and be able to pull resources and help from it or have some other aces up his sleeve. Monster hunters will have machines, specialised weapons and alchemical items (that can be created without magic) while also being stealthy enough to be able to sneak up on monsters. Warrior monks will have their Ki and its abilities (preferably better than unchained monk).

And all that before taking feats!

In current Pathfinder paradigm that's really hard.