Archade's Ongoing Playtest Reports


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Dark Archive

Hey all,

So last session all we really got a chance to do was have the PCs duke it out under the Hospice of the Blessed Maiden with *everyone* in the vat chamber. Here are my observations as far as playtesting go ...

I compared Acrobatics/Tumble checks on the Beta DC 15 + BAB and my pre-PFRPG Houserule of DC 10 + Reflex save, and while I find using the Reflex save is more ‘realist’ for nimble foes catching tumblers, BAB seems to work well.

Appraise continued to work reasonably well for non-treasure items – the identify/not identify a treasure item mechanic is a blessing after the 'you are off the value by 15%' rule - the DCs seem a bit simplistic, so when a 5th level character found a 350 gp item, the DC of 10 seems far too easy. In fact, Joe Peasant with Appraise of +0 can easily identify items of up to 500 gp. Perhaps the DCs should be bumped up by 5 …

Identifying magic items came up in play, and while I must sound like a broken record, I have to repeat that DC 15 + caster level is too low. Since the PCs have Zellara’s Harrow Deck, they can use the spell identify 3/day, and each attempt allows them 10 items at once (since the deck is CL10). That part is great – they are identifying magic items on the fly, and using them in play. However, my players have a beguiler, who has a +11 on his own to identify, so with the identify spell he has +21, so he automatically identifies CL6 and lower items – which is pretty much everything. I’d recommend upping the DC to at least 20 + caster level.

Fighting PFRPG-ized Rolth and Andaisin didn’t feel much different, but I gave them the extra hit points for their favored class, and that made them more durable. As a DM, it felt a little more gratifying to have important persons in the campaign last a little longer.

One of the PCs was incinerated by Rolth’s lightning bolt spell, dropping his hit points to the negative teens, and he died. I have a standing house rule allowing Heal checks to revivify a dead character within one round, and while the party wasn’t successful in doing so, I’d recommend allowing it in the PFRPG.

In the knock-down drag out fight, there weren’t any CMB checks, so it felt like 3.5 combat. The only differences I noticed in play were in skill use this session.

Dark Archive

Continuing on with the Hospice, the characters proceeded to fight Andaisin reborn, Ramoska the Nosferatu, and finally a Leukodaemon.

In the first two fights, turn undead was used extensively, both by the newly introduced paladin, and the existing straight-classed cleric. In those fights, turn undead ultimately destroyed Andaisin (after many attempts, as well as some well-placed melee attacks). Against Ramoska, it injured him enough to flee. The nice thing about turn undead, is damage reduction is bypassed, which made the effort worth it against the nosferatu.

Against the Leukodaemon, the Paladin used his Divine Bonded Spirit to infuse his +1 greatsword with the holy property, and got a critical! Very dramatic.

OBSERVATIONS:

The smite evil ability we have house ruled to double damage (since +5 damage just isn't enough), and the paladin used his ability once to good effect. However, the more I think about it, and given other people's feedback, it would be more elegant to make smite evil attacks register as extra 1d6 or 1d8 damage, to avoid confusion with criticals.

All the undead made their saves, so they only suffered half damage from turn attempts, and no turn effects, but the power was still a worthwhile option for the players

Dark Archive

One other observation ... when the group looted Rolth's corpse, I updated his Headband of Intellect to a Headband of Vast Intelligence with ranks in Knowledge (arcana). This was a bit odd for the players to suddenly have the wearer receive 1 rank per level in that skill from a magic item, and we have yet to see how it plays out ... odds are the party Factotum is taking this item ...

Liberty's Edge

Yep, the Factotum gets it. The Beguiler has one too, and now the Archivist has one as well (bonus ranks into sense motive). It's wierd how it's worded in the itm entry though. Perhaps it should be clarified a bit.

Dark Archive

Today's session was played. The only Pathfinder mechanic that came up was Tumble/Acrobatics. The DC for tumbling past opponents being DC 15 + opponent's BAB / 20 + opponent's BAB was smooth and intuitive. I vote good rule!

Our knight tried to Bull Rush, and was unsucessful, but she rolled a natural 3, so we really can't objectively discuss whether the DC of 15 + opponent's CMB is scaled well. However, her opponent had been sickened, suffering a -2 to ability checks, so I subtracted it from the opponent's CMB ... it only seemed fair.

Dark Archive

Okay,

Today's session was interesting. We continued to play a modified version of COTCT, and here is what we found.

First, they went into Old Korvosa and played a game of Blood Pig. Thank god for Combat Maneuvers! This made the game go much more quickly, although the DCs proved unmanageable for the Shinglesnipes. I tried to have them Bull Rush, Trip, and so on, and nothing worked.

They handily defeated the Emperor and Jabbyr, and prceeded to attempt to identify the loot. Again, Appraise DCs seem much too low. The party Factotum had a +8 to appraise, and the only thing that made his life difficult was the most expensive of Salvator's paintings.

RECOMMENDATIONS: I'd say the Appraise skill DCs for found treasure should be 5 higher. Peasant Bob could take 10 to identify anything worth up to 100 gp, but it would have made my 7th level PCs able to take 10 and autmoatically identify anything up to 500 gp.

Secondly, I had a stroke of insight on Combat Maneuvers. Right now everyone has a CMB modifier, and is rolling against a target of 15 + the opponent's CMB. To be more elegant, and have reasonable targets, why not look at Armor Class? Right now everyone has a standard AC, a touch AC, and a flat-footed AC. Why not have a Maneuver AC? These Combat Maneuvers are attacks, and they simply could be figured as a touch AC, at 10 + Dex modifiers + deflection modifiers, and on top of that, add the opponent's Strength modifier. I think it would be more elegant. I'll start a separate post on this ...

Dark Archive

One other bit ... before the session, our group's half-orc paladin levelled up to 6th level, and had to choose a feat. He had Power Attack, and was looking at the next feat in the chain.

Looking at Cleave, it really didn't do him much good -- his modified attack roll with his greatsword was +12/+7. To take Cleave, only under limited circumstances with adjacent foes could he use it, and it simply changed his attack pattern to +12/+12.

He chose Overhand Chop instead, increasing his damage with his greatsword.

Can I recommend that using Cleave be a standard action, rather than a full-round action? That way, at least the paladin could have the option to move, and then attack two adjacent enemies...

Dark Archive

Oh, another reflection on our playtest.

I am not using the existing smite rules, because frankly, I find them weak. Our 7th level paladin with a 14 Cha would gain +2 to hit and +7 damage 2/day.

Instead, I have house-ruled (and it's been in play since pre-Pathfinder Alpha 1) that a smite attempt gains the Cha mod bonus to hit (+2 in this case), and does double damage that can't be increased by a critical.

So, our 7th level half-orc paladin did smite yesterday night (on the gnome) and did his regular (with Power Attack and Overhand Chop) 2d6 + 14 damage, plus an additional 2d6 from the smite. It was dramatic and flavorful (in fact, he spent an action point to get another smite attempt for the day, and missed, but that made his rare ability worth while in the attempt).


I don't get it -- you're saying that +7 damage is weak, but +2d6 damage is better? They're exactly the same, on average.

Dark Archive

hogarth wrote:
I don't get it -- you're saying that +7 damage is weak, but +2d6 damage is better? They're exactly the same, on average.

I'm sorry, I wasn't clear. He did a further 2d6 + 14 (bonuses from his Strength, Overhand Chop, and Power Attack). So, +21 on average ... it seems reasonable and balanced to me, considering he can normally only do this twice a day.


Archade wrote:
hogarth wrote:
I don't get it -- you're saying that +7 damage is weak, but +2d6 damage is better? They're exactly the same, on average.

I'm sorry, I wasn't clear. He did a further 2d6 + 14 (bonuses from his Strength, Overhand Chop, and Power Attack). So, +21 on average ... it seems reasonable and balanced to me, considering he can normally only do this twice a day.

I'm still kind of slow, so bear with me. Usually he does 2d6+14 damage power attacking. So what is his smiting damage -- 4d6+14, or 4d6+28?

Dark Archive

hogarth wrote:
I'm still kind of slow, so bear with me. Usually he does 2d6+14 damage power attacking. So what is his smiting damage -- 4d6+14, or 4d6+28?

I'm not being clear either, and since I was doing it from memory from work, I'm sure I mis-calculated. And I'm low on sleep. Let's try this again.

The paladin has a Str of 18. His damage modifier is normally +4, and with a two-handed weapon +6. With Overhand Chop it's +8. Because he has a +1 greatsword, it goes to +9.

With his power attack, he takes a -4 to hit, and gets a +4 to damage, so 2d6 + 13 with his greatsword.

When he smites evil *and* power attacks, he got a total of 4d6 + 22 total. Or that's what I recall.

Is that right?


Archade wrote:
hogarth wrote:
I'm still kind of slow, so bear with me. Usually he does 2d6+14 damage power attacking. So what is his smiting damage -- 4d6+14, or 4d6+28?

I'm not being clear either, and since I was doing it from memory from work, I'm sure I mis-calculated. And I'm low on sleep. Let's try this again.

The paladin has a Str of 18. His damage modifier is normally +4, and with a two-handed weapon +6. With Overhand Chop it's +8. Because he has a +1 greatsword, it goes to +9.

With his power attack, he takes a -4 to hit, and gets a +4 to damage, so 2d6 + 13 with his greatsword.

When he smites evil *and* power attacks, he got a total of 4d6 + 22 total. Or that's what I recall.

Is that right?

Yet another person that thinks the Smite rules suck...some HUGE threads going on about it, you may wanna check out :) I think we are getting somewhere...at least the majority of us think that smite needs a boost.

From what you have said you only forgot one thing. The ST damage boost of PA would be +8 because it is 2 handed. So that would be +17 before smite is added in. I think you said this doubles damage in your game? so 4D6+34 would be the actual number I think.

Pretty respectable but its a shame that the holy warrior against evil can only really hurt evil twice a day huh? :(

Dark Archive

Heh. You are clearly in the Smite Constantly camp, while I clearly belong to the Smite Infrequently but Do It Well camp. :)

It is an underpowered ability, for paladins, fiendish and celestial creatures, and other sundry things that have access to such abilities ... on that, we agree.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I noticed that a crit has no additional effect with the smite variant you are using. Have you considered instead maximizing damage while adding the paladin level? I don't think that would match double-damage but this way the paladin could still get a critical hit on their smites.

Alternately, using your method, perhaps getting a crit on a smite could maximize the damage.

Thanks for the PT reports, it's interesting reading what various groups are reporting.

Dark Archive

Laithoron wrote:

I noticed that a crit has no additional effect with the smite variant you are using. Have you considered instead maximizing damage while adding the paladin level? I don't think that would match double-damage but this way the paladin could still get a critical hit on their smites.

Alternately, using your method, perhaps getting a crit on a smite could maximize the damage.

Thanks for the PT reports, it's interesting reading what various groups are reporting.

I thought critting the extra smite damage might be a little much. To be honest, someone made a suggestion of making smite damage like sneak attack damage, extra dice that don't crit and scale with level ... I think that would be a good solution as well.

I'm keeping this ongoing thread to keep all my playtest information straight. It's neat to see what choices my players are making with the rule shift. It's subtle.


Archade wrote:
Heh. You are clearly in the Smite Constantly camp, while I clearly belong to the Smite Infrequently but Do It Well camp. :)

Personally, I'd like to see all of the paladin's X/day abilities put into one pool. They've already combined Remove Disease and Lay On Hands, but I'd like to see everything work off of Channel Energy. That means:

  • smite
  • lay on hands
  • turning undead
  • summoning a "divine bond" (mount, weapon)
  • remove disease/neutralize poison/break enchantment
  • aura of justice

would all work out of the same pool.

Dark Archive

New session tonight .... we had a couple of interesting playtest issues, mostly centered around poison.

First, the players in my modified COTCT game went into the Vivified Labyrinth, and encountered the fungal jannis, and I wasn't able to convert the poison spore cloud to the Pathfinder poison effect of round-by-round, since it's damage was 1d2 Constitution, and a minute later 1d2 Constitution. So I had to run it the SRD way.

The characters then went on to the actual labyrinth, and encountered the Hall of Pain. Currently, the way of Symbol of Pain spell is written, how do you adjucate who notices/sees the symbol, and then is affected? The Search DC is 30, so I allowed anyone to make a Search check to notice the symbol and have it *not* affect them. The spell should probably be clarified.

They then went on to the Three Flavors of Venom, and these poisons I was able to convert to Pathfinder, and outside of combat, they work oddly. The Insanity Mist was run at a Fortitude DC 15, and I forced all 6 players to make a save -- 2 failed, 4 succeeded. So the 2 who failed took 2 points of Wisdom damage and were forced to roll again. One failed, took his next 2 points of Wis damage, and was told roll again. By the fourth round, the cleric clued in and asked to supplement the Fortitude save with a Treat Poison check with the Heal skill, but the character made his save.

Is it mechanically sound to have people roll and reroll saving throws, or should there be a shortcut for damage and saves outside of combat? It seems mean as a DM to sit there with the one player, and force him to make save after save, if he keeps failing.

If I sound like I am repeating myself, Appraise DCs to identify the carvings, the 7th level character with the +7 in Appraise let him take 10 and identify the value of everything up to 1,000 gp with no effort. The Appraise DCs should really be set 5 higher.

As well, since I harped on and on about the DC of identifying objects I've upped the DC to 20 + caster level, and they identified the +1 chain shirts of the janni with a DC of 23 (the 7th level beguiler had a +16 to identify the objects, so he still blew the DC attempt away, never mind he used Zellara's Harrow deck that gave him a further +10.

That's tonights session. Next week I'm a player in a starting campaign, starting at 1st level.

Liberty's Edge

Archade wrote:
If I sound like I am repeating myself, Appraise DCs to identify the carvings, the 7th level character with the +7 in Appraise let him take 10 and identify the value of everything up to 1,000 gp with no effort. The Appraise DCs should really be set 5 higher.

Out of curiosity, why do you want the PCs to have to sweat when they evaluate treasure? Do you find it adds to the game?

We used to worry about it, but it led to way too much, "Hey, do you remember those gems we got six months ago? My Appraise is high enough now ... how much are those worth?"

(I scramble to find the adventure from six months ago. Ten minutes later:)

"Oh, man, is that it? I wish we hadn't had to wait three levels to sell them."

(Personally, I'm for transparency being the norm. If I want an item of treasure to be mysterious, I'm fine with making it mysterious through my power as DM.)

--Jeff

Dark Archive

Jeff Wilder wrote:
Archade wrote:
If I sound like I am repeating myself, Appraise DCs to identify the carvings, the 7th level character with the +7 in Appraise let him take 10 and identify the value of everything up to 1,000 gp with no effort. The Appraise DCs should really be set 5 higher.

Out of curiosity, why do you want the PCs to have to sweat when they evaluate treasure? Do you find it adds to the game?

We used to worry about it, but it led to way too much, "Hey, do you remember those gems we got six months ago? My Appraise is high enough now ... how much are those worth?"

(I scramble to find the adventure from six months ago. Ten minutes later:)

"Oh, man, is that it? I wish we hadn't had to wait three levels to sell them."

(Personally, I'm for transparency being the norm. If I want an item of treasure to be mysterious, I'm fine with making it mysterious through my power as DM.)

Good questions.

If you are going to require a skill check, there should be some challenge and some chance of failure. I love the new Appraise mechanic for identifying valuable nonmagical items. It's transparent -- you either know its value, or you don't. There's no more random values. But a 1st level character can easily have a +6 to Appraise, meaning he can identify up to 1,000 gp items by taking 10. That's *too* easy. Why even have the skill at all? Heck, Muddlegump the Idiot Peasant (1st level Commoner with a 10 Wisdom) can identify precious gems up to 500 gp.

I just think the DC should be set 5 higher.

That way, Muddlegump can identify items up to 100 gp, my group at 7th level (with 1 rank in Appraise, mind you) can identify items up to 500 gp (taking 10), and have a chance of identifying objects worth up to 5,000 gp.

Liberty's Edge

Archade wrote:
Why even have the skill at all?

Exactly! Why have the skill at all?

(To be precise, I folded Appraise into the active half of my split version of Perception (called Observe and Notice). For most groups, it's going to be pretty much automatic.)

FWIW, I agree that if the skill is deemed valuable enough to stand on its own, the chance of failure should be meaningful.

Liberty's Edge

Unrelated to the appraise notes, I have a concern about the effect of size on CMB. I think it's been reduced too much now. Used to be +4 for large, +8 for huge etc. Now, it's +1,+2,+4 etc.

I think that's too low. I suggest +2 for large, +4 for huge, +8 for gargantuan etc. The smaller sizes should go down by the same steps. Really a modest change, IMO.

Dark Archive

Xuttah wrote:

Unrelated to the appraise notes, I have a concern about the effect of size on CMB. I think it's been reduced too much now. Used to be +4 for large, +8 for huge etc. Now, it's +1,+2,+4 etc.

I think that's too low. I suggest +2 for large, +4 for huge, +8 for gargantuan etc. The smaller sizes should go down by the same steps. Really a modest change, IMO.

Oh, good point.

Last night, we had our 7th level knight with enlarge person attempt to grapple a fungal janni. The janni was CR 7, and enlarged had a CMB of +13 (IIRC). The 7th level knight had +11 (again IIRC), so had to roll a 17 to successfully grapple, which she did not.

Liberty's Edge

That DC sounds a little high to me. A character with full BAB progression against a foe of the same size should have a pretty good chance of getting a hold. If it were my archivist, I'd expect it to be nearly impossible, but the knight should have had a better chance.

A second thought along that line, do you think that it's a good idea for creatures with improved grab and trip have some sort of racial bonus to their CMB when performing that specific special combat action? +2 like the feat sound reasonable to me.

Dark Archive

Xuttah wrote:
That DC sounds a little high to me. A character with full BAB progression against a foe of the same size should have a pretty good chance of getting a hold. If it were my archivist, I'd expect it to be nearly impossible, but the knight should have had a better chance ... A second thought along that line, do you think that it's a good idea for creatures with improved grab and trip have some sort of racial bonus to their CMB when performing that specific special combat action? +2 like the feat sound reasonable to me.

It is a little high. I'm of the mind that CMB should be calculated slightly differently -- more like an AC value, that figures in Strength and Size. If you had a Maneuver AC to roll against, It'd more or less be DC 10, not DC 15, but you'd add in the Dex modifier, so it'd average higher (around the 13-14 range for nimble guys).

I've been giving any critters with improved grab or trip a +2 on those maneuvers already ... and the otyugh is still sad and pathetic with it's Strength of 10...

Liberty's Edge

Shall I recalculate my summoned monsters' CMBs to reflect this then? The crocs may actually be able to grab their prey that way. ;)

Dark Archive

Xuttah wrote:
Shall I recalculate my summoned monsters' CMBs to reflect this then? The crocs may actually be able to grab their prey that way. ;)

Yeah, any creature with Improved Grab can have +2 on their CMB. Hey, why are you filling a playtest thread with campaign questions? :)

Liberty's Edge

Archade wrote:
Hey, why are you filling a playtest thread with campaign questions? :)

Because. :P

How about improved trip? That's situational modifiers for those specific actions, not an accross the board bonus to CMB. Right? Are we keeping the size mods the same as Beta for now, or moving to +2, +4, etc...?

I actually think this has to do with playtesting because we're proposing ammendments to the rules and testing them out through gameplay. Play. Test.

Just give me an excuse to summon dire wolves and crocs now! :)

Dark Archive

OK. Monsters with Improved Grab (like crocodiles) I've been giving +2 to CMB. Creatures with Trip (like wolves) get a +2 to CMB to Trip.

I'm not changing size, or changing the rules in this case, because while I think CMB DC is not on the mark, I don't have a quick fix. Some people have suggested CMB DC of 10 + your opponent's CMB, but that still doesn't address conditions (flat-footed, nauseated, etc), or the problem. I've offered my suggestions, but I'll keep running CMB as-is and keep dropping feedback data in this thread to help Jason get as unbiased perspective as I can offer.

Now Appraise, on the other hand, I feel *REALLY* strongly about, and have increased the DC by 5 in our game, but I'm reporting what would have happened if RAW were used.

For proposed amendments and musings and the like, why not start a 'Xuttah's Player Feedback and Musing' thread for that? That way, we can keep this one as factual as possible ...

Liberty's Edge

Okay...(peevishly kicks a tin can while shuffling feet off to the bad corner)...
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Somewhere, off in the distance, a kobold sqeaks and expires from a tin-can wound to the head.

Dark Archive

So, we continued our “Curse of the Wyrmling Throne” campaign tonight, where the players, trapped in Old Goethe, went looking for Neolandus in the Vivified Labyrinth below Vencona manor.

The party ran into the Symbol of Sleep, and bizarrely enough, the spell Rouse available to the Beguiler was used to good effect. I thought the spell was a waste of paper, but apparently I was wrong.

The other symbols were encountered, and I did notice that Symbol of Stunning was exceptionally wimpy for a CR 6 / 6th level spell (it stunned one creature for 1d4 rounds – bleah).

While exploring the trap-infested labyrinth, the archivist summoned a celestial monkey or two to good effect in sniffing out trapped areas. When he ran out of 1st level summon spells that he memorized, the cleric then summoned a celestial monkey. He didn’t have the ability to speak celestial, so when the monkey stood there looking puzzled with no enemies in sight, he bodily threw the monkey into a trapped area, causing havoc (and a third dead monkey – I’m sure there will be an inquiry).

They then ran into “Vencarlo”, and being suspicious, the paladin detected evil, and the group proceeded to beat the tar out of the revealed Vimanda

Things I noticed – first, the beguiler used dispel magic to remove enchantments from Vimanda with limited success. The beguiler has made a tactic of this, and previously used it to great effect on Andaisin. It strikes me that a single use of a 3rd level spell currently as written has the ability to negate several spell effects of any level, on one single casting. I would think that this makes the spell a little to useful for 3rd level, but this isn’t a Pathfinder innovation note, just an existing SRD note.

Vimanda, by the fifth round, was surrounded by enlarged characters that could reach her while flying, and proceeded to wallop her. She had to make casting defensively checks, and they were ridiculously easy (I was making it with natural 2s and 3s). This is a case where Spellcraft does not scale in comparison to the opponents. You’ve fixed this sort of issue with Acrobatics (Tumble), and it should be passed on to Spellcraft, and the DC should be 15 + spell level + opponent’s BAB.

The enlarged archivist attempted to grapple Vimanda, and once again modifiers should have come into play (cover from the grapple), but didn’t. Again, CMB should be rolled against a AC-based number that can be affected by cover, Str or Dex modifiers from conditions, or the like, to deal with situational modifiers to grappling.

The spell Holy Rain did in the rakshasa, more than anything, and we wrapped for the night.

RECOMMENDATIONS

- Dispel magic should only be able to overcome spells up to 3rd level, or up to one spell effect per 3 caster levels, or something to limit the huge utility of dispel magic
- Spellcraft used for casting defensively should scale at higher levels so it is not redundant.
- Grapple and other Combat Maneuvers should deal with conditions and modifiers

Dark Archive

So tonight we finished up our version of Escape from Old Korvosa, and we most notably tried the new smite evil.

First instance came up when the 7th level archivist summoned a celestial lion versus the Beatific One – we assumed they get the new smite evil effect too, so it got +0 to hit and +2d6 damage, bypassing DR. It did a small amount of damage.

Then the 8th level paladin hit the Beatific One (it doesn’t say evil subtype for the Beatific One, but I’m sure it’s a typo since it’s a creature from Hell with good DR) – he rolled a modified 30 to hit, and then did 2d6+9 with his greatsword, plus 2d6 for the party archivist’s foe ability, plus 4d6 from smite totaling 36 damage bypassing DR. The 8th level paladin’s smite lasted to the next round, and doing the same roll of damage, did a further 26 damage, killing the creature.

The paladin then went on to smite evil against Sivit and slay her with 21 damage.

My observation is smite evil was VERY effective in our game. The creatures were CR +1 and +2 above the party, and they were defeated fairly handily because of the paladin – however, I do understand the smite ability is highly circumstantial. I believe I am happy with the effect, and so are my players (although they did ask if it was TOO powerful).


Seems like an example of smite working against Big Evil, which is all I could ask for.

Sovereign Court

Archade wrote:

So tonight we finished up our version of Escape from Old Korvosa, and we most notably tried the new smite evil.

First instance came up when the 7th level archivist summoned a celestial lion versus the Beatific One – we assumed they get the new smite evil effect too, so it got +0 to hit and +2d6 damage, bypassing DR. It did a small amount of damage.

Then the 8th level paladin hit the Beatific One (it doesn’t say evil subtype for the Beatific One, but I’m sure it’s a typo since it’s a creature from Hell with good DR) – he rolled a modified 30 to hit, and then did 2d6+9 with his greatsword, plus 2d6 for the party archivist’s foe ability, plus 4d6 from smite totaling 36 damage bypassing DR. The 8th level paladin’s smite lasted to the next round, and doing the same roll of damage, did a further 26 damage, killing the creature.

The paladin then went on to smite evil against Sivit and slay her with 21 damage.

My observation is smite evil was VERY effective in our game. The creatures were CR +1 and +2 above the party, and they were defeated fairly handily because of the paladin – however, I do understand the smite ability is highly circumstantial. I believe I am happy with the effect, and so are my players (although they did ask if it was TOO powerful).

What if you had run it as written, He would have only gotten +7 damage instead of 4d6. Also the archivist's ability is the one that sounds like it was making things really tipped in the paladins favor.

But I am glad that when things came down to it the paladin did well. Here's my quetsion, if he had been doing it to any evil instead of outsiders with the evil subtype, would it have been overpowered? or would it have done exactly what it did here and have been a good ability?

And what is a rogues sneak attack bonus at level 7, thats a serious question, I have no idea?

Dark Archive

lastknightleft wrote:

What if you had run it as written, He would have only gotten +7 damage instead of 4d6. Also the archivist's ability is the one that sounds like it was making things really tipped in the paladins favor.

But I am glad that when things came down to it the paladin did well. Here's my quetsion, if he had been doing it to any evil instead of outsiders with the evil subtype, would it have been overpowered? or would it have done exactly what it did here and have been a good ability?

And what is a rogues sneak attack bonus at level 7, thats a serious question, I have no idea?

+7 damage, with no ability to overcome DR? That would have put the paladin in the same ballpark as the party's 8th level knight, or 8th level archivist in combat ability, maybe a little better because he was wielding a two-handed weapon with a high strength, but that's it.

Against small-e-evil creatures, I see the paladin having a marginal ability, against big-e-evil creatures, the paladin gets to shine.

Nice observation of smite evil vs sneak attack. Of course, the paladin doesn't need to flank, it lasts for multiple rounds, and he gets a +3 to his AC while he is smiting. I'd say the abilities are comparable, with the paladin having access to his ability only a couple times per day. But the paladin is a fair fighter and a dabbling spellcaster without it, never mind its holy bond ability or its raft of resistances and immunities ...

Sovereign Court

Archade wrote:


+7 damage, with no ability to overcome DR? That would have put the paladin in the same ballpark as the party's 8th level knight, or 8th level archivist in combat ability, maybe a little better because he was wielding a two-handed weapon with a high strength, but that's it.

Against small-e-evil creatures, I see the paladin having a marginal ability, against big-e-evil creatures, the paladin gets to shine.

Nice observation of smite evil vs sneak attack. Of course, the paladin doesn't need to flank, it lasts for multiple rounds, and he gets a +3 to his AC while he is smiting. I'd say the abilities are comparable, with the paladin having access to his ability only a couple times per day. But the paladin is a fair fighter and a dabbling spellcaster without it, never mind its holy bond ability or its raft of resistances and immunities ...

Um, just one thing, by your statement you seem to imply that the rogues sneak attack doesn't last multiple rounds lol. I know that wasn't your intent, but when making a comparison and saying that it lasts for multiple rounds...

lets see, okay I take it your 8th level, so 8 damage instead. and you have three smites that last 2 rounds each. When the paladin smites small evil you said that his ability is compatable to that of the knight or archivist and unless I'm mistaken their abilities always work (unless the knight is fighting something non-intelligent, which also means non-evil ususally so it's not like the paladin has an advantage then). So what you are saying is that for 6 rounds in a day, unless its the big evil the paladin is comparable, which means that if combat lasts more than 6 rounds in a day then the paladin is behind when fighting evil. So the paladin only gets to shine for six rounds a day against big evil, and if it isn't big evil then the paladin gets to be on par for six round before being behind, and if it isn't evil at all he lags behind the entire combat. I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound right to me. I know in my games I have had several combats that last at least 6 rounds. the last fight i was in lasted 12, and I was only 4th level which means that I was on par to the 4th level knight in my game for 1 round in the game. I didn't want to use both smites since I wasn't sure if this was the only fight we'd have.
So really in a fight against evil I got 1 round to be on par. Your paladin has six, that's one whole fight if he's lucky.

The paladin should be on par to the knight and fighter when fighting evil, be behind when not, and shine when fighting the big evil. by your own words he's got the shine when fighting big evil, but he's behind every other point in the day.

Sovereign Court

By the way, this is some good discussion we've got going, do you mind me copy pasting it to the design board.

Dark Archive

Yes, feel free to post on this.

I'll be honest, pre-Pathfinder I had already house-ruled that paladins did double damage when smiting, so I see the current bonus as an improvment. You are right about small-e-evil, and if I were playing a paladin, and I came across a group of bandits, I wouldn't bother with my ability against mooks, I MIGHT use it against the bandit leader, but it wouldn't add up to much. The question remains - is this a good thing or not?

In other thoughts, it occurs to me -- small e evil smites double on a critical, big e evil smites do not. Wierd, no?

Sovereign Court

Archade wrote:

Yes, feel free to post on this.

I'll be honest, pre-Pathfinder I had already house-ruled that paladins did double damage when smiting, so I see the current bonus as an improvment. You are right about small-e-evil, and if I were playing a paladin, and I came across a group of bandits, I wouldn't bother with my ability against mooks, I MIGHT use it against the bandit leader, but it wouldn't add up to much. The question remains - is this a good thing or not?

In other thoughts, it occurs to me -- small e evil smites double on a critical, big e evil smites do not. Wierd, no?

That's why I was pushing it be switched to a flat levelx2 across the board, that way it was always doubled on a crit, although you would loose a lot of damage against undead and outsiders. I don't know what else to do though.

Dark Archive

lastknightleft wrote:
That's why I was pushing it be switched to a flat levelx2 across the board, that way it was always doubled on a crit, although you would loose a lot of damage against undead and outsiders. I don't know what else to do though.

I'll be honest, while level x 2 is a little higher than 1d6 per 2 paladin levels, there was a lot of drama added to the game by adding the extra d6's. The paladin player took a lot of joy in rolling a big handful of dice, and everyone crowded around counting up the damage and crowing with glee. There is something to be said for atmosphere over hard math.

As a compromise solution, I could see a Paladin Feat.

Smite Evil Foe (General)
You can use your smite evil ability against a wider range of opponents.

Prerequisite: Smite evil class ability

Benefit: You can choose one of the following types or subtypes of opponents, and your smite evil works against them as if they were evil outsiders or undead, gaining 1d6 damage per 2 levels of paladin. As with any smite evil effect, the opponent must be of evil alignment to affect it.
You may choose from aberrations, humanoids (choose one subtype), magical beasts, elementals, dragons, shapechangers.

Special: You may choose this feat more than once, choosing a different foe group each time.

Normal: Your smite evil against evil creatures normally does +1 point of damage per paladin level, unless they are outsiders of the evil subtype or undead.

Now you can have dragonslayer paladins, aberration paladins, etc...

Sovereign Court

Archade wrote:
lastknightleft wrote:
That's why I was pushing it be switched to a flat levelx2 across the board, that way it was always doubled on a crit, although you would loose a lot of damage against undead and outsiders. I don't know what else to do though.

I'll be honest, while level x 2 is a little higher than 1d6 per 2 paladin levels, there was a lot of drama added to the game by adding the extra d6's. The paladin player took a lot of joy in rolling a big handful of dice, and everyone crowded around counting up the damage and crowing with glee. There is something to be said for atmosphere over hard math.

As a compromise solution, I could see a Paladin Feat.

Smite Evil Foe (General)
You can use your smite evil ability against a wider range of opponents.

Prerequisite: Smite evil class ability

Benefit: You can choose one of the following types or subtypes of opponents, and your smite evil works against them as if they were evil outsiders or undead, gaining 1d6 damage per 2 levels of paladin. As with any smite evil effect, the opponent must be of evil alignment to affect it.
You may choose from aberrations, humanoids (choose one subtype), magical beasts, elementals, dragons, shapechangers.

Special: You may choose this feat more than once, choosing a different foe group each time.

Normal: Your smite evil against evil creatures normally does +1 point of damage per paladin level, unless they are outsiders of the evil subtype or undead.

Now you can have dragonslayer paladins, aberration paladins, etc...

Okay, that's a fair compromise, in that spirit I suggest.

improved spellcasting: When a spellcaster attains a certain level this feat allows him to cast spells one level higher than his current level.
Normal: a spellcaster may only cast first level spells.

Basically we don't ask spellcasters to use feats to open up new spellcasting why is it that we give the paladin constant suck and then say, oh but it's okay here's a feat to make it a decent class feature.

Also I don't like a feat or class features that turn paladins into a different type of ranger. that's what the current smite does, it turns them into a demon/undead hunter, and if they take a feat, they can hunt even more. Meanwhile they should have been playing a ranger to begin with.

Howsabout instead as a compromise we just let smite work against any evil with those dice and not worry about crits so that you keep the atmosphere and the paladin isn't pidgeonholed into a specific career that he was never meant to have.

Dark Archive

I would not refuse to purchase Pathfinder if the uber-smite worked against all evil creatures, but I do like the tiered effect, to be honest. I'm of the belief that smite evil should be circumstantial and rare, but to what degree, I don't know yet.

My feat suggestion was an honest offer at compromise allowing to open up a restricted class ability, or making it more effective. There are lots of feats that do that now

- improved familiar
- selective channeling
- turn outsider
- turn elemental
- extra turning
- extra rage
- extra bardic song
- extra ki pool

We agree that the SRD paladin is suboptimal, and we agree on some changes, which is good, but ultimately, we may not agree on the fine details. I'm probably biased because in 10 years of playing, there have only been 3 paladins in my game.

You are very passionate in your belief that the paladin needs more, and that's cool. I'm content for the moment, but that's only based on what I guesstimate from theoretical abilities on paper, and one session, and the fact they took away my need for a house rule, and made it better than I had it.

Sovereign Court

Archade wrote:

I would not refuse to purchase Pathfinder if the uber-smite worked against all evil creatures, but I do like the tiered effect, to be honest. I'm of the belief that smite evil should be circumstantial and rare, but to what degree, I don't know yet.

My feat suggestion was an honest offer at compromise allowing to open up a restricted class ability, or making it more effective. There are lots of feats that do that now

- improved familiar
- selective channeling
- turn outsider
- turn elemental
- extra turning
- extra rage
- extra bardic song
- extra ki pool

We agree that the SRD paladin is suboptimal, and we agree on some changes, which is good, but ultimately, we may not agree on the fine details. I'm probably biased because in 10 years of playing, there have only been 3 paladins in my game.

You are very passionate in your belief that the paladin needs more, and that's cool. I'm content for the moment, but that's only based on what I guesstimate from theoretical abilities on paper, and one session, and the fact they took away my need for a house rule, and made it better than I had it.

Okay you make a good point there, I hadn't considered that. (the extras don't really fit but the turn outsider is a damn good counter) I think my problem is that never before has a paladin been an evil outsider/undead hunter. And now he is. That's where my issue lies. Here is a question, if your game was about an evil army of powerful orcs, or a breed of abberations with many different forms so that the CR constantly grew that were wreaking havock, or even a slaad invasion, would your houserule need to come back?

Dark Archive

lastknightleft wrote:
Okay you make a good point there, I hadn't considered that. (the extras don't really fit but the turn outsider is a damn good counter) I think my problem is that never before has a paladin been an evil outsider/undead hunter. And now he is. That's where my issue lies. Here is a question, if your game was about an evil army of powerful orcs, or a breed of abberations with many different forms so that the CR constantly grew that were wreaking havock, or even a slaad invasion, would your houserule need to come back?

How about setting up the PF MM that any creature with a moderate aura of evil (as detect evil goes) or greater has the Evil subtype, and smite evil automatically affects any creature with the evil subtype?

I'd be okay with that. A *REALLY* powerful bandit might be considered evil that way.

Sovereign Court

Archade wrote:
lastknightleft wrote:
Okay you make a good point there, I hadn't considered that. (the extras don't really fit but the turn outsider is a damn good counter) I think my problem is that never before has a paladin been an evil outsider/undead hunter. And now he is. That's where my issue lies. Here is a question, if your game was about an evil army of powerful orcs, or a breed of abberations with many different forms so that the CR constantly grew that were wreaking havock, or even a slaad invasion, would your houserule need to come back?

How about setting up the PF MM that any creature with a moderate aura of evil (as detect evil goes) or greater has the Evil subtype, and smite evil automatically affects any creature with the evil subtype?

I'd be okay with that. A *REALLY* powerful bandit might be considered evil that way.

Still sucks for the paladin levels 1-7 where the paladin needs the most help. I'm sorry, but the fix to smite leaves the paladin weak unless your campaign involves undead or outsiders, and that change doesn't help where the paladin needs it the most, low levels.

Sovereign Court

Oh and one last thing about the comparison to smite and sneak attack, with one feat and a decent bluff skill, let alone if you take the two feats to make bluff get an additional +5 or have a scroll of glibness, a rogue can SA every single round. Without flanking. your feat, opens up usefulness maybe a 3rd of the time. The only real advantage given to the Paladin is the AC and the attack bonus. Both of which a rogue with a decent UMD can beat the crap out of while the paladin activates his divine bond then casts divine favor on himself to keep himself going toe to toe with the baddies. And the rogue isn't limited to a # of rounds per day.

Liberty's Edge

lastknightleft wrote:
Oh and one last thing about the comparison to smite and sneak attack, with one feat and a decent bluff skill, let alone if you take the two feats to make bluff get an additional +5 or have a scroll of glibness, a rogue can SA every single round. Without flanking. your feat, opens up usefulness maybe a 3rd of the time. The only real advantage given to the Paladin is the AC and the attack bonus. Both of which a rogue with a decent UMD can beat the crap out of while the paladin activates his divine bond then casts divine favor on himself to keep himself going toe to toe with the baddies. And the rogue isn't limited to a # of rounds per day.

Yes, but that requires an allocation of additional resources (ie 2 feats, skill ranks & gold expenditues for the scroll); a paladin can do this with no additional commitment or resources (naked with naught but a wooden spoon and fig leaf if nescessaery).

If additional goodies are sought for the smite-dependant pally, I could easily see a number of feats being designed to increase the utility of smite (extend smite for duration, infidel smite for non-good or non-lawful foes, extra smite for numbers of daily smites...the mind boggles). As it is, I see this as a good baseline IMHO.

Sovereign Court

Xuttah wrote:
lastknightleft wrote:
Oh and one last thing about the comparison to smite and sneak attack, with one feat and a decent bluff skill, let alone if you take the two feats to make bluff get an additional +5 or have a scroll of glibness, a rogue can SA every single round. Without flanking. your feat, opens up usefulness maybe a 3rd of the time. The only real advantage given to the Paladin is the AC and the attack bonus. Both of which a rogue with a decent UMD can beat the crap out of while the paladin activates his divine bond then casts divine favor on himself to keep himself going toe to toe with the baddies. And the rogue isn't limited to a # of rounds per day.

Yes, but that requires an allocation of additional resources (ie 2 feats, skill ranks & gold expenditues for the scroll); a paladin can do this with no additional commitment or resources (naked with naught but a wooden spoon and fig leaf if nescessaery).

If additional goodies are sought for the smite-dependant pally, I could easily see a number of feats being designed to increase the utility of smite (extend smite for duration, infidel smite for non-good or non-lawful foes, extra smite for numbers of daily smites...the mind boggles). As it is, I see this as a good baseline IMHO.

Right but then even without those feats the rogue can do it naked with a wooden spoon by stepping behind the guy, and do it ten rounds after the paladin got left using just the wooden spoon.

Liberty's Edge

lastknightleft wrote:
Right but then even without those feats the rogue can do it naked with a wooden spoon by stepping behind the guy, and do it ten rounds after the paladin got left using just the wooden spoon.

It's still a +1 flaming wooden spoon though :) Sure, it's a situational bonus that only gets good when you're up against truly supernatural evil, but sneak attack is situational too (or at least it used to be) with regards to creating situations where the foe is flat footed or looses thier Dex bonus.

IMO it's a damn sight better than it's ever been or I ever hoped (I submitted a reworked paladin class in February before PFRPG was announced and the changes go further than I'd ever dare to go). The only things I'd add would be an increase to x+Cha smites and Mettle (fort save version of evasion).

What do you propose to fix the paladin? I'd really like to see an honest and specific critique. :)

Sovereign Court

Xuttah wrote:
lastknightleft wrote:
Right but then even without those feats the rogue can do it naked with a wooden spoon by stepping behind the guy, and do it ten rounds after the paladin got left using just the wooden spoon.

It's still a +1 flaming wooden spoon though :) Sure, it's a situational bonus that only gets good when you're up against truly supernatural evil, but sneak attack is situational too (or at least it used to be) with regards to creating situations where the foe is flat footed or looses thier Dex bonus.

IMO it's a damn sight better than it's ever been or I ever hoped (I submitted a reworked paladin class in February before PFRPG was announced and the changes go further than I'd ever dare to go). The only things I'd add would be an increase to x+Cha smites and Mettle (fort save version of evasion).

What do you propose to fix the paladin? I'd really like to see an honest and specific critique. :)

Simple, make smite work that way against any evil. It's still situational, and the limited nature of smites means that it's not going to be overpowered. If Jason thinks it's too powerful against any evil, then as far as I'm concerned he can then drop the multiple round duration. I want smite to feel like a smack down, not the piddly amount of damage that it is now if the foe isn't a demon/undead. I don't really care about the extra rounds. As a once per day power (and remember if not for your DM houseruling it, your first smite wouldn've done 8 damage and not bypassed DR) it needs to be that powerful to compete. Also the low level paladin is still being shafted with a weak pidly extra damage bonus, but an extra d6 is a lot more satisfying then an extra 1 or 2, remember a lot of low level games never see undead/outsiders. look at RotR, no undead till level 4.

Remove channeling from LoH. Right now paladins cannot afford to burn Channels for Divine feats, which is a big paladin thing, so the current tweak breaks backwards compatability. LoH is awesome now and I don't want them to change LoH at all.

And make his spellcasting spontaneous from his whole list (ala the warmage)

As far as I'm concerened that would fix the paladin.

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