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Goblin Squad Member. Organized Play Member. 6 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 Organized Play characters.


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Hey devs/community. I'm writing because I'd like to have a copy of the playtest materials printed as "printer" or "screen reader" friendly so that people with visual impairments can have it read to them without stopping at every image.

In previous materials it was much easier for the visually impaired to have the pdf docs read to them with their screen readers but this copy of the rulebook is extremely difficult and hard for the readers to read.

Can you guys get in touch with me or release a printer and or reader friendly version?


your visually impaired pathfinders.


+1 attack for readied actions will be highly chosen in my opinion

ulgulanoth wrote:
Is steal breath only for catfolk? Cause that is an awsome spell...

1 round is not a very good duration, even hold person is several rounds with round by round saves. This should be something like a set 3 rounds, or 1 round per 2 caster levels. A single round of silence and 2d6 damage seems a little underpowered for a 2nd level spell.

Charlie Bell wrote:

I'm curious. Does ghoul paralysis affect half-elves?

d20PFSRD.com wrote:
Elf Blood: Half-elves count as both elves and humans for any effect related to race.
Soooo... they count as elves (immune) AND as humans (affected). What trumps?

If you read under the Ghast section in Ghoul in the Bestiary I, it says that elves are NOT immune to the paralysis of Ghasts. They are still immune to the ghoul's though.

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Dungeon and Dragons 4.0: A Wrong Turn for an Honored Product

Now that D&D 4th edition has been out for a few years now we, as gamers and dungeon masters, can reflect on its effectiveness as a game product. While most of the gamers I knew had high hopes for the 4.0 product line before it came out, we were confused and let down when it actually did. The system is riddled with flaws, compared to previous editions and competing product lines and I believe a step backwards rather than forward. Fourth Edition does not simply suffer from a few minor flaws, or one large one either, its weaknesses are broad including: lack of skills, altering key defenses, a lack of ingame economy due to crafting issues, and giving fighters millions of powers.

In previous editions of D&D, skills were an integral part of character concepts. They helped to define and limit a PC to what they could and could not do when it came to things outside of combat. The wide variety of skills and ranking was created to give each player the feeling that their PC knows something. Fourth edition takes much of this control and diversity away. It condenses the skills to the point of lunacy. No longer can players study nobility, geography, craft a non-magical item, or be a barkeep; these skills were removed completely to make room for the other board game additions.
A fundamental aspect of a role-playing game is the ability to role-play your character based on their strengths an weaknesses. If a character has fewer ways to define who they are, then the system fails to establish itself as a role-playing game (becoming a roll-playing game). The complete lack of crafting is obviously disturbing for most players, as in many previous editions, crafting added a level of control and fun that players enjoyed exploring.
Now, fourth edition didn't get everything wrong when it came to skills. The passive perceptions of Insight and Perception was an excellent way to deal with things seen and unseen before player's rolled. However, this minor strength does not outweigh the multiple other areas that 4th edition d&d lacks on skills. I believe Heinsoo, Collins, and Wyatt dropped the ball completely here.

Skill Encounters
The way in which fourth edition deals with role-playing is as much an insult to the gamer, as it is ineffective as a device for story-telling. While in previous editions the players and the DM had the ability to role-play encounters and occasionally throw a dice to influence certain aspects, in fourth edition there is little or no non-dice role-playing. Skill encounters in 4th are nothing more than, “roll that skill (x) times to get (y) successes to achieve (z) goal before rolling (n) failures. Most of the time the skill checks go a little like this:

“You need to get away from the horde of orcs chancing you, while not falling off the cliff. Roll Endurance, Athletics, Acrobatics, and Insight once for a bonus to a single check. 4 sucesses before 2 failures.”

“I rolled 25 on Endurance.”
“20 on Athletics.”
“I rolled insight of 20 to see which way is better.”
“I rolled 22 on acrobatics + his 2 bonus from insight.”
“I rolled 14 on Endurance, fail here.”
“I rolled 20 on Endurance, we win.”

Skill Encounter over.

While the intention of skill encounters is to add what happens into the skill checks by the DM it usually is nothing more than, “You run fast, you run faster, you jump over that well, you trip over a log,” etc. In the end, on average, it is about 10 minutes of rolling dice at an encounter that really could have been a device for active role-playing and fun.

Magic Items
One of the most frustrating areas that fourth edition completely fails at is concerning magic items. The vary idea that an economy, in many ways based around magic, can make money in the fourth edition world is beyond belief. You can't make a profit at anything if you have to purchase the materials at the same price that you sell them for. Who thought this was a good idea? In addition, a player has to sell things at 1/5th cost? How does a world which uses 4th edition logic able to even produce magic items?
In addition, there is no other drawback to crafting items. No exp needed, no large amount of time required, not even a skill check! With this set up a DM need never give out any magic at all. They might as well give out magical dust or gold all the time and let players make whatever they want, no one in their right mind would sell magic items for 1/5th value, to begin with, they can just buy them and not waste the time making the item for the same value.
In previous editions it took time, money, experience, and sometimes special items to craft magical equipment. In addition it was only ½ the value of the item to make, so the economy could exist at a “Key-Stone” markup on average (sold at twice as much as you bought it for). However, even this system had its flaws, mostly being that casters who crafted were always behind on experience and levels compared to anyone who didn't craft magical items.
Pathfinder irons out nearly all of the weaknesses of crafting. Players still spend 1/2 crafting value, but no longer was their an exp cost. Pathfinder made it cost time, and a skill check. This is far superior for the economy, and I can imagine a world in which magic is made, sold, and traded under these conditions. In addition the casters no longer were below the exp curve, and their was still a cost for creation and penality for failure (no magic item made). In addition, fourth editions rules mean that any character can take a magical crafting feat who has the skills. Fighters should not be able to cast magical enchantments simply because they have a little arcana knowledge. They must be magically trained and have a well of power that lingers on the items they make. Crafting should not be like MMO's in which anyone can just choose to be an enchanter, it works for World of Warcraft but it doesn't work in D&D.

Whoever thought that giving fighters 30 abilities to choose from, was playing too many MMO's and board games. D&D is not a board game, it is a role-playing game which uses maps for it's combat. Wizards and other casters have spells and a large choice of them for a reason, they are casters and that's what they do. Giving Fighters the abilities to completely control monsters, and do ridiculous creature control effects is just turning them into wizards. There is a single class called “wizard” as a game designer I could not see the benefit to having 12 classes that are essentially all wizards.
Next, and most likely the biggest mistake that fourth edition made, is infinite spells. A wizard has never had infinite magic missiles, unless epic, and having infinite “At-Will” powers is nothing more than what you'd find in a video game. Eventually power runs out, and even wizards should run out of energy to fight; that is the price for being a wizard.

Healing and Encounters
Mostly, this was never a huge issue in previous additions. Healing was seen as a way to balance the power of characters vs. monsters each day, but fourth edition takes this too far. Giving each character the ability to instantly heal themselves, is taking the need for a healer out of the game completely. I have run several fourth edition adventures in which a healer was not required to succeed. Of course there are limits to this healing (surges) But are surges really a limit? There are several powers that read “as if a PC had spent a surge,” “regen x amount without a surge,” “Add x temp hitpoint when you do y,” “Heal an extra y when you do x,” “Heal x more to your allies whenever they spend a surge,” etc. I have run some very long and intense sessions of D&D 4th and can say, with an expert degree of knowledge, that characters are so resilient in 4th that there is little to challenge them within their CR bracket; there isn't even instant death to help balance the scales.
Now, I like the way that pathfinder breaks the mold between 3.5 and 4th. They add a little extra healing to classes, like the cleric, but still have the spontaneous casting of 3.5 for positive heals. This gives a bit more healing, without making it ridiculous, like 4th edition. The fear of death should be real for the characters, and fourth edition just doesn't have enough of that fear to challenge the players within their CR bracket. Most encounters of +4 EL or less can be taken by any party without too much difficulty. The only way to challenge the party seems to be going beyond the encounter building rules and adding more to it than is allowed for the CR. Adding additional CR challenges in this way is not fair to the players, and goes beyond what is recommended in the DMG. Staying within the CR +3 bracket in Pathfinder is more than challenging for players, and certainly adds the sense of fear that every player is looking for.

Classes and Races
I don't see how anyone could completely screw up the fundamental concept of class structure as the fourth edition developers did. Base attack is gone, all attacks are based with + to base attribute with no real bonuses beyond magical and a few feats. While this may look good on paper, in practice it is a disaster. In conjunction with races, it is set up for only races that have those bonuses to the attributes and no other may apply. Even +2 to an attribute more than any other can unbalance the system and tables for CR vs. APL. This sense of “we have to balance absolutely everything about each class, has made each class exactly the same as any other.
As for multi-classing, forget it. Fourth edition has completely destroyed multi-classing, making it feat based, without the ability to mix and match levels. If you think Hybred is a viable class, make sure to read it well, it's not even close to multi-classing either. Fourth edition is a single class system and there is little or no way to fix it with their setup. (another typical MMO concept)
On that note, races in fourth are completely misguided in concept. First, making all races with 2 +2 attributes and no drawbacks is against the spirit of the game. Each race should have a drawback compared to other races. Plus, this system makes humans completely the minority in all worlds, even more so when races have +2 to one stat and +2 to one of 2 other stats of your choice. The humans +2 to a single stat is nowhere close to the power of all other races. Virtually no one plays a human in fourth edition and it is because + 1 feat does not equal +2 to one of 2 other stats + other ridiculous bonuses that each nonhuman race receives. For example:

Ability scores: +2 to one ability score of your choice
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares.
Vision: Normal
Languages: Common, choice of one other
Bonus Feat: You gain a bonus feat at 1st level. You must meet the feat’s prerequisites.
Bonus Skill: You gain training in one additional skill from your class skills list.
Human Defense Bonuses: You gain a +1 racial bonus to Fortitude, Reflex, and Will.
Human Power Selection: Choose an option for your human character.
Bonus At-Will Power: You know one extra 1st level at-will attack power from your class.
Heroic Effort: You have the heroic effort power.

Ability scores: +2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence or +2 Strength
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares.
Vision: Normal

Languages: Common
Skill Bonuses: +2 Endurance, +2 Intimidate.
Living Construct: You are a living construct. You do not need to eat, drink, breathe, or sleep. You never make Endurance checks to resist the effect of starvation, thirst, or suffocation. All other conditions and effects affect you normally.
Unsleeping Watcher: You do not sleep and instead enter a state of inactivity for 4 hours to gain the benefits of an extended rest. While in this state, you are fully aware of your surroundings and notice approaching enemies and other events as normal.
Warforged Mind: You have a +1 racial bonus to your Will.
Warforged Resilience: You have a +2 racial bonus to saving throws against ongoing damage. Also, when you make a death saving throw, you can take the better result of your die roll or 10.
Warforged Resolve: You have the warforged resolve power.

The human is far underpowered compared to all other races. Extra at will powers are useless, you'll only need 2 at the most anyway. An extra skill is also useless when there are only 10 to choose from. And the +1 to some defenses is nice, but compared to not having to sleep, eat, breath, and automaking all death saves is ridiculous.
The only drawback to any race is being human, and that is not how it should be. No race should have so much more power than any other unless that class has a level adjustment. Having a negative to a stat is important to balance for each race, and gives each race the ability to be any class respectively.
Pathfinder has put the power back in choosing a human, while maintaining the power of other races. It is the perfect way to balance but also so difference amongst the races, bravo to Paizo and the playtesters!