Limit the game to the core rulebook only. Most of what makes casters potentially so powerful comes from feats from optional books, traits, and DM's not being careful enough with magic item access.
I know this is late but ... You need to keep a few things in mind when playing 1st edition modules.
1)In first edition they expected a party to be objective focused. Some encounters were not meant to be fought. They expected a party to know to bypass encounters like that or if necessary run away and fight again another day. This is something many modern groups tend to lack.
Bypassing encounters you did not need to fight conserved resources and in first edition the game was all about resource management. This is part of what it is to be Old School Gaming.
2)The adventures at that time were written for a 6 - 9 person party when it was first written for the RPGA. Or about 2 x the size of a modern pathfinder party.
3)Giants were weaker in first edition AD&D than in pathfinder.
4)In the original story you did not need to fight that fight to find clues pointing you to the glacial rift of the frost giant jarl. They expected you to bypass that room.
5)They also have a Hammer of Thunderbolts hidden behind a shield in the steading. It can 1 shot kill a giant in 1st edition.
If you want to actually fight it, they should wait till the giants pass out and are to drunk to stay awake. Take that time to search the rest of the steading and eliminate any available reinforcements. Get any loot you can to help in that fight.
I don't ban anything outright. I restrict access to classes, races, and equipment based on culture and region the character is starting in. If a player can explain in a detailed and reasonable background as to how it came to be without breaking the flavor of the campaign then all is good.
No Katana, Monk, or Kitsune in a Medieval France and England campaign based on King Richards Crusade and Robin Hood unless you can come up with a detailed and reasonable background that fits in the campaign background.
Nor does it need to be a full BAB class, take a cue from the monks flurry of blows while keeping the flavor of the war priest and give the Full BAB with only their diety's weapon.
I find sacred weapon to be inadiquite as a balancing mechanism myself also. The rounds per day are to low at all levels really but at low levels in particular. At high levels when PC's routinely have +5 items Sacred weapon becomes useless.
I think giving them weapon training in place of the sacred weapons would be the way to go. Make the first one that can go to +4 be the group containing their sacred weapon, let the character pick the rest.
Ok so the DM gives teh ranger an advantage (or using other words, the ranger advantage is a DM fiat thing), does the DM give the fighter an advantager (like never targeting his will save)?Umm, no. Because a really good GM will give a hint as to a wise favored enemy for the ranger to take due to the campaign, so to give him the best possible advantage. The GM will still target the fighter's will save. And the ranger's will save. And the pretty much every other martial's will save. The solution? Aasimars and tieflings. Because outsider immunities.
A good player should make their character according to a concept. Optimization within said concept is ok and expected, but you should always place the concept as first priority.
A good DM(or GM) should not give hints during character creation as to what the PC's will be facing. A good DM merely tells the player that the character concept does not fit well with the campaign and makes suggestions on how it might fit in his campaign with minimal changes.
A good DM does not go out of his way to make sure a players choice of favored enemy be sated. A good GM sticks to their planned story and watches for moments where said choices can be used without disrupting his plans.
The 5 foot step can be readied as part of a standard action as per the text. So it has to be announced to the DM or its not readied. Passing a note to the DM specifying the actions to be taken as to keep it secret from another PC is valid if the DM allows it.(I would allow it as a DM)
But as a said in the revision of my previous post: As a DM I would allow it to work once or twice as a reward for cleverness. But if it gets abused I will develope counter tactics.
As a DM I would let it work once or twice as a reward for being clever.
But if they do it regularly I see atleast 4 options on the top of my head:
2) Give the enemies Max HP or Extra HP's instead of average to compensate.
3) Build encounters that flood them with ranged attack opponents so they have to be the one to close in and give them a taste of their own medicine.
4) Haste the enemies so they have an extra standard action to close with to counter the tactic.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
I would not ban the spell. Adjust the monster tactics. When it becomes known the wizard or sorcerer is using baleful polymorph then come up with ways to remove the wizard quickly and with extreme prejudice. When the Wizard is a higher threat than the DPS then enemies will act on that priority.
Spell casters should usually be target number 1 for immediate elimination if the party is being successful with save or suck spells.
Just as a tank who's AC makes them unhittable will be bypassed by mobs, a wizard who is to dangerous will be singled out by them for special treatment.
My game is not low magic. I just like magic items meaning something. I like how The Genius Guide to: Relics of the Godlings handles magic items. They scale by level.
That +1 sword you found at level 2, might eventually scale to be a +5 Shocking Burst Vorpal sword at level 20 with a few other powers added in. A character would not need to find 5 or 6 weapons during their career if they get 1 or 2 that are useful at all levels.
You can give someone 2 or 3 well designed scaling items during their career that provide 90% of what they need and replace a set of 12 to 15 items that most campaigns would give. Then you would only need a few minor items to fill in the gaps.
This is a roleplaying game. The idea is to play a role that sounds fun and interesting and to have fun playing it.
Which is better or not is largely a factor of who is DMing and what their DM style is. Some DM's are more caster friendly some less so.
I tend to run a dark age style game. That means limited magic item availibality. Much harder to make them. And no magic item shops. For the most part you have to find items in my games.
In real life the Longbow was the king of the pre-firearms missile weapons. The regular longbow should actually be able to be made into a strength bow also, and probably was a strength bow by default. It hit harder than a composite bow but required more strength to use. The higher pull meant that it was little less accurate than a composite bow
Composite bows were designed to be springy. If you made them solid enough to use as a strength rated bow they would probably either fall apart when the bonding agent failed or would loose their springiness and effectively become a poorly made longbow.
Historically in the middle ages the appeal of a crossbow was due to a few reasons.
1) It requires a very low amount of training to become capable with a crossbow. Most rifle tactics originated as crossbow tactics. Bows required many years of training and practice to become good at it. It would take a crossbow wielder a month or 2 to develop the accuracy it would take a decade to develop with a bow.
2) Given that they did not want peasants to have the ability to kill their own lord easily, most nations decided the bow was right out in order to preserve the dominance of the Nobility over the commoners. Crossbows with the lower training time made training new troop a quick and easy process meaning you did not have to have thousands of peasants training for decades to kill knights.
3) Crossbows could penetrate the armor of a knight better than any bow Except maybe a longbow. Only a normal longbow could come close to matching the armor penetration ability of a crossbow. Short Bows and Composite bows were not as good as a long bow against heavily armored opponents. The longbow came close to a cross bow, what made it better is it could penetrate plate armor and had 2 to 5 times the rate of fire of a Crossbow.
The real life choice was, rate of fire(Bow)vs. better ability to kill or injure your target.(Crossbow). This choice did not change until the English longbow when you could have both in 1 weapon.
Bows were attractive to England because you can have the weathiest peasants train at their own expense for their entire lives. A yeoman is a wealthy peasant that has enough land to make him middle class and therefor trustworthy enough to trust as a soldier due to the fact that is it in his best interest to preserve the status quo. This is because he has it better in England than any other nation would give him.
Long and Short Bows are cheep enough in the Real life middle ages that they are affordable by peasants. Due to how they are manufactured, crossbows should actually be more expensive than a longbow or shortbow but far cheeper than a composite bow.
Non-composite bows if you translated them into pathfinder money from medieval prices would translate into 6sp for a Long Bow, maybe 1gp. A longbow took 1 day or less to make, then they had to cure for 1 week before being ready for sale. I never adjust the pathfinder prices for the longbow as it is a peasants weapon and the cost would better reflect that those without money were the ones buying them. Those with money equipped as Heavy Infantry or Knights. Another factor that pathfinder does not account for is your average longbow had more hitting power than a comparable composite bows. Any bow should be strength ratable if crafted right, not just a composite bow.
Composite bows took a week to make and had to sit for 1 year before they were sold so their prices might be reasonable. They also needed dry climates or they might not cure right due to how long it took to cure. So your custom made mighty compost bow should take over a year to make from the time you paid for it, and would probably have to be imported from the middle east. Europe was to wet for composite bow manufacture. The advantage of a composite bow was in accuracy. They were a little more accurate due to lower strength requirements to draw the bow. Their hitting power was roughly the same as a short bow and less than a long bow. They were made of multiple materials bonded together over a long time period.
Their are some things in pathfinder that are different from standard in the game I run.
I treat treasure differently in my games vs pathfinder standard. I never liked the Magic emporium concept. And I typically add rare ingredients to magic items in place of gold cost. That way you have to adventure to go locate the ingredients to make the item in question.
Wizards don't often share spells in my games either. They give their apprentice the first level spells then make them discover the rest on their own.
I also favor using the Starting ages from the old 1st edition DMG for wizards. I can see the 18th level 16 year old sorcerer, but not a wizard. Starting them at 26 - 40 solves the I went from 1st to 18th in 6 months and am still only 16 years old issue.
The big thing I like about 1st/2nd edition, which was tackled in pathfinder is rate of advancement. 3rd edition was way to fast after 4th level. Going with medium and slow tracks lets me have more story arcs over the life of a character. It also solves many relative power issues that develop after 12 - 14th level by being able to get more story in fewer levels. I think pathfinder, like its AD&D Anscesters was most balanced between 5th and 12 levels.
2 feats that make it into my wizard builds most of the time. As you typically only need 1 or 2 spells to blast effectively on occasions you need to.
And I agree with the oracle vs cleric. The oracle sacrifices to many spells to be a true substitute for a cleric.
10 Combats a day on a regular basis that require buffs and actual crowd control spells is a bit much. Stuff like this is needed in big fights, not routine romps.
Considering most of these would make it onto a sorcerers spell list, even a blasters spell list, I don't see the merits of a wiz over a sorc in this department. Blasting only works If you metamagic it up a significant amount. Once you are high enough level to be basting effectively, your low level spells are largely gonna be best used as buffs and come from this list anyhow.
A wizards only advantage here is they can afford to learn spells that wont be used often. They can take the spell that might be used 1 or 2 times in the campaign whereas a sorcerer can not afford to take it as a spell.
I started with First Edition AD&D also.
First Edition(And Second)was probably the best edition for a true role player. The less structured environment was nice for character ideas. Character creation was more about the character's concept and background and involved far less descision making with regards to actual mechanics. I think First and Second edition were far more new player friendly.
It also left a lot more open for a DM/GM to be inventive and improvise.
The only real things I would change about it are:
1st edition was all about making what you want using the existing materials. Weather you were making a witch, a Tolkien style Wizard, A monster summoner, or the next Elminster type. You used the magic user or illusionist.
Most new materials were meant to be campaign world supplements and adventures.
I don't see D&D/Pathfinder going back to this methodology completely ever. 3.5/Pathfinder are just to RPG developer friendly from the potential sales standpoint to make more options and rulebooks to sell.
Pathfinder was based on the 3rd edition model which is to sell more and more rulebooks and option book by making character creation more about mechanics. I don't think its better than 1st or 2nd edition, just different and not all in a good way. Some things are better in it though.
Having 3 saving throw catagories, Reflex, Fortitude, and Will is nicer.
D20 + bonus vs AC/Target Number is nice also.
But pathfinder/3rd edition also comes with a lot of baggage you just don't need. It also has many extra classes that don't really give that much extra to the game is one of them.
In all honesty, A barbarian could have been designed as a tree of feats that customize a fighter.
A sorcerer could have been designed as wizard that gives up the ability to memorize different spells to cast them more often. With bloodline powers being done as feats.
Weather prepared or spontaneous casting is better can often depend on the DM and the Campaign.
Groups that are willing to spend time on recon and intelligence gathering will find a wizard to be the better option.
Groups that like to "wing it" will find a sorcerer better, but also put the group in a higher risk of Party Death due to sloppy and/or non-existent recon.
You typically don't need the variety of a wizard if you plan the small selection you do have right. A number of your buffs are better handled by a cleric(Or Paladin) anyhow. And at 1st - 4th level you don't have spells to waste on buffs for either a wiz or sorc anyhow.
At every odd level prepared spellcasters are 1 level ahead in the level spells they can cast. That gives prepared casters an edge at those levels. The only exceptions are 1st level and at 19 which most campaigns will never see.
Nice, the wizard fan picks the only level a wizard can exceed a sorcerer in the number of spells as his argument example. Try looking at all spell levels. At 1, 2, 5, and 7 a wiz can match or exceed by 1 the sorcerers spells if built right. At all other levels the sorcerers is ahead. Starting at 8th level the sorcerer pulls ahead and never falls behind again. At 20th level a sorcerer will have 8 additional spells per day over a bonded item wizard. By the time the sorcerer pulls appreciably ahead they both have 20+ spells a day its not a big factor as a result. And by the time it reaches its largest disparity at 20th level when you are talking 52 spells for wiz vs 60 spells for sorc per day its a down right non-issue.
Both a wiz and sorc are best at different things, which is better depends largly on how you use them.
A sorcerer is a better blaster due to their spontaneous casting ability. Their greater spontious casting ability means that they can handle common situations that a wizard might not have forseen and planned for better. But they will never have the sheer variety of spells a wizard can have and therefor cant handle uncommon situations that call for nitch spells as well as a wizard.
A wizard is a better utility caster due to the much larger spell list they can maintain. They can also have situational spells in their spell book that can handle many situations that don't come up often that a sorcerer does not have the spell list to deal with.
Both can be very capable at any role if build right though.
Golarion in my opinion is most definitely a "Hyborianized" version Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Taldor = The Byzantine Empire
The rest of "Europe" consists of the Barbarian States, much like dark age Europe.
Some of the nations are a different.
A number of them are real world nation put in the "Ideal" time period for pathfinder adventures. Orisan and the Land if the Linoram Kings for example.
Some, like Irisen, are a real world based state put in a specific fantasy state. In Irisans case its what if Baba Yaga ruled Russia.
This may be part of it. Paizo did publish the magazine for a while and therefor have a good idea what will sell.
Another fact is that in order to challenge a group you have to have a good idea what a party is capable of. Most campaigns I see typically break up and reboot to a new party sometime in the early teens. Also look at the monster lists in the Bestiaries. The percentage of high level critters that would be a good threat to a level 20 party is pretty thin.
Steve Geddes wrote:
They might not necessarily be just a gap-filler only. Against the Slave lords is playable with D&D Next according to the back sheet that is over its back cover in its packaging.
D&D next is supposed to be able to be played with older editions material. It would be a good way to get ready made material on the market that would be playable with D&D next when its released and still appeal to older edition fans in the meantime. And for many D&D next players, these classic adventures are new.
I would allow the PC's to think they are working with her all the while she is luring them into deathtrap after deathtrap until they are dead or they decide to get back to fighting for the intended side.
Either that or I would force all the PC's to allow her to charm them and put a Geas on them to garuntee their loyalty. If they allow it, I then tell them to make new characters as their old ones are now Evil NPC thralls to the queen who have lost all independent will and thought.
In the real middle ages a typical city had about 4 - 5 people per building. About 38000 people per square mile was the average medieval urban population.
250 meters x 250 meters is about the size of 2 - 3 city blocks. When compared to the RL population in a medieval city it should have a population closer to 950 people.
captain yesterday wrote:
Most gamers come from the more intellectual side of society which is where your more of your liberal minded forward thinking people come from.But now in the modern times of everyone being shoved through collage weather they should be their or not in order for the schools to make more money, you have the side effect of an increase presence of the evil side of humanity in the pool of people that gamers are attracted from.
Their has also been a dumbing down and attempted mainstreaming of RPG games by some companies. D&D/Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro comes to mind. This has been an effort to attract more players from other, less traditional gamer walks of life, to expand the customer base.
captain yesterday wrote:
Its could easily be a player who is getting very heavily into their character. Barbarians have a big distrust of magic and foreigners in most players minds. Its the stereotype of a barbarian and a lot of their rage powers reflect it. As a result the players have a vision of how a primitive culture and therefor their character should act. This combined with people making characters from widely different cultures encourages this behavior. This attitude was derived from Conan the Barbarian(Shwartzniger version), the father of the modern fantasy barbarian archtype.
Its also a side effect of allowing characters from widely different cultures. Its realistic and makes for interesting roleplaying. This is behavior that should mitigate over time.
Later in the campaign the barbarian may learn to trust the wizard and realize she is capable. Conversly it can also turn worse. It all depends of how both characters roleplay in relation to one another, and what the characters do to prove their worth. Thisis called character development. The characters from widely difference cultures should be a motly crew of 1st level misfits in the beginning who have personality clashes. Then later they become unlikely friends who learn to work flawlessly together once they learn what each other does and and respect for their capabilities.
If the wizard gets the barbarian in her spell areas, she may be dead meat. If she proves helpful without hindering him they may become good friends in the future.
If you want party harmony, don't allow such a cultural variety. Have everyone from 1 small area, likely 1 town or village. Have them all make their characters as having been fiends in the past.
As a Dungeon Master its your responsibility to work with the player to make an acceptable background and personality. If you don't like the character at any step of the process tell them the character is not acceptable. This process should include the history, personality, and general appearance of the character and should go deep enough to root out racist sentiments and other hatreds or fears a character might possess.
Would they be fixed?? Or would the GM have to make a descision about how it works in his game. Just because your GM does not have occasional fluxuations to account for famine or other adventure related events that might affect something does not mean all GM's do.
In one game I ran, for a while prices of food went up for a few months because bandits had prevented many of the farmers from selling their harvest to towns.
And 10,000 GP will buy you thugs who take the food and your money and if they get caught point to you as the person who hired them. In any event they don't give you the food as if you were strong enough to beat the thugs you would have done the jub yourself.
Not everyone, just landholders.
City Dwellers such as Merchants, Craftsmen and such were not vassals. But neither do they own any land to sell. It still technically all belongs to the king. They pay rent to the city. The city government is a vassal to the king though.
Now, as far as Golarion goes, non-feuldal societies are a different animal. A lower class farmer who owns 25 arces would be free to sell to whoever they desired in a nation like Andoran or Galt.
Trinite is right. 10,000 GP cant buy you food in a famine year when their is no food to be bought cause the farmers and noble lords don't have any surplus to sell at the market. To a farmer in premodern times the land was security, its a sure thing.
A yeoman is a feudal rank denoting a middle class vassal holding 30 to 120 acres of land from a knight in exchange for military service. Enough to be an infantry soldier but not enough to support oneself as a knight. If you are a yeoman it is because you are in a feudal society. Therefore a Yeoman can not sell their land, it would revert to their lord.
In a non-feudal society they would not be a yeoman.
Diego Rossi wrote:
I did some math my self. I compared known medieval costs of grain and alcohol from the actual middle ages to pathfinders costs and it comes out to about 1.7 silver pieces = 1 Pence.
1 quarter of grain costs 2 shillings and 2 pence in London.( A real medieval price) 1 Quarter = 8 Bushels = about 448 pounds weight = 448 copper pieces in pathfinder(1# grain = 1cp). 26 pence = 448 Copper Pieces.
17.230769230769 Coppers per pence.
10,500 GP at lvl 5 would make a character worth just under 254 Medieval Pounds.
A 20th level character would be worth about 21,280 medieval English pounds.
For Comparison the crown revenues of England in the reign of Edward I was about 30,000 pounds per year.
That would place a value of about 24 - 48 gold pieces to 1 Real Life Medieval Pound.
Pagan priest wrote:
As a GM. I recommend wrighting as much background as you desire, but give the GM a 1 or 2 page type written background touching the key points. If the GM likes the idea of a 10 + page novel then you can give him the larger version. The longer background is not wasted. Wrighting it has revealed a lot of your characters personality and how they typically react in situations. Such information is invaluable to making a strong, consistant, and well roleplayed character.
One player wrote me a 3 page background and he is going to be rewarded by stories revolving around his background as it gave me ideas that work well in my campaign environment.
The rest I made roll on the Ultimate Campaign charts last night as they provided nothing in the way of background.
In real life polearmsman and LongSpearmen tended to carry a backupweapon such as a sword, mace, battleaxe, Warhammer, etc.
Hold your polarm in your off hand and use a short sword or dagger for close in work, armor spikes can work also, but shord blades like a dagger or shord sword have more out of combat utility uses also.
Even the mightyest of knights carried a dagger for emergencies.