The classic 4


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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TriOmegaZero wrote:

Slight tangent, but I think every monster should have been designed using a 20 level progression.

Why, you ask? One, you can have a particular monster at any level of the game. Two, monsters as PCs is already worked out. Three, abilities have a defined level they are appropriate for.

Not economically feasible for publishing, and harder than reading a statblock, but there it is.

I really like the thought of that.

total nightmare to accomplish, but nonetheless


kyrt-ryder wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:

Slight tangent, but I think every monster should have been designed using a 20 level progression.

Why, you ask? One, you can have a particular monster at any level of the game. Two, monsters as PCs is already worked out. Three, abilities have a defined level they are appropriate for.

Not economically feasible for publishing, and harder than reading a statblock, but there it is.

Not that difficult ToZ. I imagine such a task would take, at most, one hour per monster once you got into the zone. Infact... that sounds like a good idea to publish...

Come on ryder your going to back down now?

You have a bestiary to convert!

(totally kidding)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Kyrt, I suggest we start another thread to pursue that idea. :)

Edit: And done!.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The classic four work very well, but I would think an unconventional set would be fun...

Paladin (Divine Defender)
Oracle (Battle)
Cleric (Negative Channeling, channel focused)
Wizard (Conjuration)

Dark Archive

DrDew wrote:
theshoveller wrote:

I think the 'classic 4' is a classic for a reason. Arguably, the majority of the other classes are just hybrids of them anyway.

It also appeals to the old school part of my soul - the part that still think it's playing Basic D&D and wants to have 'Elf' as a class.

Haha. Even when I was playing basic D&D I thought Elf as a class was a stupid idea. It grated at my logical mind. lol

It appeals to the profoundly illogical part of me. I think it annoyed me at the time (and the level cap for demihumans), but I've come to the conclusion that, after 20 years of playing of D&D, the game has its own logic that doesn't really mesh with reality - it is it's own thing.

This is a tangent.


1. Mystic Theurge
2. Arcane Trickster
3. Eldritch Knight
4. Arcane Sorcerer with Leadership, Wizard cohort

That sorcerer, he gets no respect. No respect at all.


My favorite combination would have to be:

Paladin
Bard
Wizard
Ranger

This combo was featured in Curse of the Crimson Throne AP. With all the APs printed, I have noticed Seelah (Paladin) has always been paired with Lem (Bard), so that makes me think that some synergies are important.


You need any combination that results in combat ability, skills, healing and utility casting.


Tomorrow we will be starting Kingmaker with;

Alchemist
Oracle
Paladin
Ranger

Light on the fun Arcane magic tricks, but should end up being solid.


c873788 wrote:


I know there are endless combinations you could pick that would work, but if your life depended on it, what 4 classes would you pick that you think would have the greatest chance to succeed and why? Let's assume you are adventuring in any typical Adventure Path campaign without any unusual anomalies to consider.

I wouldn't limit it to just pure classed PCs for starters.

Secondly I would want a number of bases covered rather than classes covered.

And third I'd be more worried about the party synergism and their ability to work together.

Might feel like a cop out answer, but there you go.

-James


For something a little different

Alchemist
Druid
Cavalier
Witch


Still miss the 4

Fighter
Cleric
Rogue
Wizard

.

Ranger (Rogue/cleric)
Paladin (Fighter/Cleric)
Barbarian (Fighter/Rogue)
Druid (Cleric/wizard)
Burger (Rogue/Wizard)
Rune Blade (Fighter/Wizard)

Liberty's Edge

c873788 wrote:

Once upon a time, when D&D had a THAC0 table, there were the classic 4. The classic 4 were the staple classes of many early D&D campaigns and included a Thief (Rogue), Cleric, Magic User (Wizard), and a Fighter. They all had their roles to play and each class was made to feel useful.

Ofcourse, the classic 4 is now well and truly an anachronism and it is entirely possible to have a functional and capable party without any of these classes. What I want to know is what you would consider your must have classes if you wanted to be guaranteed of success in surviving a campaign from levels 1 through to 12. So basically, what 4 classes would you pick to guarantee the survival of your party for the full length of the campaign.

I know there are endless combinations you could pick that would work, but if your life depended on it, what 4 classes would you pick that you think would have the greatest chance to succeed and why? Let's assume you are adventuring in any typical Adventure Path campaign without any unusual anomalies to consider.

I don't have the APG, so I can't comment on those classes.

But typically any group needs someone with copious amounts of healing. So a healer. This would 9 times out of 10 be a Cleric, but I suppose you could craft a special type of rogue that would be able to use magic items and Druids and Bards can cast cure spells, so could use those wands as well.

Other than that, what you need is a trap guy, artillery, and meat.

trap guy is most likely a Rogue, but I suppose a wizard, sorcerer, and possibly a Bard could take that role. Although memorizing nothing but knock and detect traps and such for a Wizard would be boring at lower levels and a sorcerer at lower levels doesn't know enough spells to make this an interesting option.

Artillery is most likely going to be your wizard or sorcerer, but could be a ranger or bow specialized fighter.

Meat is most likely going to be a fighter type. The guy who takes up damage and holds back all the minions from hurting the other specialists.

So I'd say that the iconic 4 are still the best. In this, the Wizard and Sorcerer are pretty much interchangeable though.


I think that the roles you need are multiple and can be broken down as follows:

Damage Dealer: You need somebody who can dish out basic hit-points damage on a regular basis. Usually a melee combatant, this role can be filled variously by Barbarian, Druid, Fighter, Paladin, Monk, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer or Wizard can fill this role, although the spell-casters can have problems when they run out of spells.

Face: Somebody who can talk to NPCs, negotiate with authority, and dig out information and clues is always useful. Bards, Clerics, Paladins, Rogues and Sorcerers are usually good for this.

Healer: You need somebody who can heal you of conditions (just hit points isn't so vital, but conditions can hurt worse in the long run). Cleric is the best at this, but Druid, Bard and Paladin can fill in at it.

Loremaster: Somebody who knows those obscure facts about how to kill the thing with lots of eyeballs is always handy. Bards and Wizards are often best at this, but most classes have some skills that come in handy, Clerics, Paladins, Rangers and Monks often do.

Ranged Attacker: Being able to hit at a distance is useful. This role is usually divided amongst party members as most have a spell or a missile weapon. Fighters and Rangers can specialise at it particularly well.

Trap Springer: You need somebody who can find those nasty traps when they pop up. Rogues excel at this, but Bards, Monks and Rangers can fill in at it.

Tank: The guy that can take some hits and keep the nasties from the squishies is very useful - Barbarians, Fighters, Paladins and Rangers are the best at this, Clerics and Druids can fill in at it.

Utility Caster: The guy with the big spell list is a very handy guy indeed - Wizards are best for this, but Clerics and Druids also fulfil this role well; Bards and Sorcerers less so.

The thing is, different classes can partially fill roles, and enough partials can make a whole.

For example, one 'complete' party I was in consisted of a Rogue, a Cleric and a Wilder. Between the three of them they managed to tick all the boxes - Cleric handled Utility Casting (some), Healing and Tanking; Rogue handled Face and Trapspringing; Wilder handled Damage Dealer, Ranged Attacker and Utility Casting (some); all three shared Loremaster by careful placing of skills.


Oliver McShade wrote:

Still miss the 4

Fighter
Cleric
Rogue
Wizard

.

Ranger (Rogue/cleric)
Paladin (Fighter/Cleric)
Barbarian (Fighter/Rogue)
Druid (Cleric/wizard)
Burger (Rogue/Wizard)
Rune Blade (Fighter/Wizard)

Ranger (Rogue/Druid)

Paladin (Fighter/Cleric)
Barbarian (Fighter/Druid)
Druid (Druid)
Bard (Rogue/Wizard)
Magus (Fighter/Wizard)

there you go :)


+1 on duel roles.

Ranger (primarily melee, back up healer)
Paladin (primary melee, back up healer)
Cleric (i like Rage, Blood Subdomains)
Wiz

Liberty's Edge

c873788 wrote:
CoDzilla wrote:
But you said optimal party, and that means all casters.
I was under the impression that the power gap between casters and non-casters did not become noticable until later levels. Maybe I'm wrong. Roughly, at what level do you think the power gap between casters and non-casters can no longer be ignored from an optimization point of view?

I honestly don't believe it ever becomes an issue. And yes, I have experience gaming in a diverse group with 3 current campaigns, all at 15th level or higher.

Dark Archive

LilithsThrall wrote:

For something a little different

Alchemist
Druid
Cavalier
Witch

I really like this combination. It looks like it would be a lot of fun classes to play as a player or have your players play at the table. A lot of synergy between the group.

Liberty's Edge

Sylvanite wrote:

Pretty sure the google thing was a joke....

Summoner (Tank Eidolon/Buffer)
Rogue/Sorcerer (Skills and Face: Rogue just for skill trainings, then all sorc)
Oracle or Cleric or Druid
Wizard

Not sure what that fails to cover.

Actually, he dropped the 100k. Pathfinder Caster Edition

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
houstonderek wrote:
Sylvanite wrote:

Pretty sure the google thing was a joke....

Summoner (Tank Eidolon/Buffer)
Rogue/Sorcerer (Skills and Face: Rogue just for skill trainings, then all sorc)
Oracle or Cleric or Druid
Wizard

Not sure what that fails to cover.

Actually, he dropped the 100k. Pathfinder Caster Edition

Of course, it's a search for Pathfinder + Caster + Edition, which yields all sorts of results such as "Pathfinder is a variant of 3.5 edition with changes to caster classes".

The actual amount of results for Pathfinder + "caster edition" is 213 trimmed down to 19 actual results (most of them coming from the Den and it's usual posters).

I know, using Google is hard but ... you know.

Shadow Lodge

Summoner
Summoner
Summoner
Conjurer (with an Imp as a familiar!)

I win!


Andrew Christian wrote:
c873788 wrote:
CoDzilla wrote:
But you said optimal party, and that means all casters.
I was under the impression that the power gap between casters and non-casters did not become noticable until later levels. Maybe I'm wrong. Roughly, at what level do you think the power gap between casters and non-casters can no longer be ignored from an optimization point of view?
I honestly don't believe it ever becomes an issue. And yes, I have experience gaming in a diverse group with 3 current campaigns, all at 15th level or higher.

I'm with you on this one - casters, non-casters, they all have their strengths and weaknesses. A party of casters in an anti-magic field? Dead meat. A Party of casters that have run out of spells? Nearly as dead.


My ideal party at the moment would probably be:
Batman Wizard
Mobile or TH fighter Archetype
Thug Rogue (ideally half-orc STR build with Cornugon smash)
Detective Bard
Spell-less Paladin variant with a TH build
OR Super-Healer Cleric (healing domain, sel channeling, extra chan)

Liberty's Edge

Gorbacz wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
Sylvanite wrote:

Pretty sure the google thing was a joke....

Summoner (Tank Eidolon/Buffer)
Rogue/Sorcerer (Skills and Face: Rogue just for skill trainings, then all sorc)
Oracle or Cleric or Druid
Wizard

Not sure what that fails to cover.

Actually, he dropped the 100k. Pathfinder Caster Edition

Of course, it's a search for Pathfinder + Caster + Edition, which yields all sorts of results such as "Pathfinder is a variant of 3.5 edition with changes to caster classes".

The actual amount of results for Pathfinder + "caster edition" is 213 trimmed down to 19 actual results (most of them coming from the Den and it's usual posters).

I know, using Google is hard but ... you know.

Actually, I found a few more forums to browse due to that search.

Yeah, in the 4.7 million you get a bunch of Nissan stuff too, but it's still funny.


Quote:
I know there are endless combinations you could pick that would work, but if your life depended on it, what 4 classes would you pick that you think would have the greatest chance to succeed and why? Let's assume you are adventuring in any typical Adventure Path campaign without any unusual anomalies to consider.

Paladin: like the fighter, but with a will save.

wizard: offense,defense, versitility

cleric: heals and debuff removal

druid: better at finding traps at low levels, almost as good at finding them at higher levels, comes with a rogue level combatant as a class feature, magic traps can suck his dispel magic. can scout as a rat, heal, tank as a bear, or kill/debuff with spells.


BigNorseWolf wrote:


druid: better at finding traps at low levels, almost as good at finding them at higher levels, comes with a rogue level combatant as a class feature, magic traps can suck his dispel magic. can scout as a rat, heal, tank as a bear, or kill/debuff with spells.

I'm curious do none of the AP have traps that setting them off warns the bad guys?

Or are the traps simply forced a kind of 'wandering monster' without purpose other than 'we should have a few traps'?

-James


I think if I was trying to "win" the adventure path, I would probably go with:
A heal and buff type cleric
A Paladin
A summoning wizard
A bard who could swing a weapon.
(Druid would work well, as would fighters, some rangers, etc. Also, there are a half million alternate options if you include the APG.)
The strategy would be about the paladin being the head of the wedge, followed by spamming summons, buffing everything up with the bard, and keeping it going with the cleric. The wizard would do battlefield control and Dominate, and Save-or-suck spells.

It would be a pretty boring way to play (the dominated ettin gets the killing blow...again.), but I think success would be fairly easy.

With that said, I would play any AP with any group as long as there was some healing, AC, muscle, etc. For a long time I have wanted to try an all-bard party based on a traveling sideshow. Strongman, hypnotist, lobster boy, etc.


I think I'd go with four clerics if I couldn't have someone die. You'd have tons of healing, tons of buffs and debuffs, and +3 to a skill is a terrible reason to saddle yourself with an inferior teammate. One tanks, one serves as face, one takes disabled device, one takes use magic device. All four support each other. With scribe scroll, they'd never face a condition that they couldn't eliminate.

If I wanted to get complicated about things, I'd probably do 2 druids and 2 clerics. Druid 1 specializes in summoning and area control. Druid 2 specializes wild shape tanking and buffing the two animal companions. Cleric 1 focuses on tanking and buffing. Cleric 2 debuffs and takes the channeling feats earlier than cleric 1.

Flood the field with companions and summons.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The classic 4 are really all you need to get you through any campaign (see also: Serpent's Skull).

It really varies from Campaign to Campaign (or Adventure Path to Adventure Path). For example Kingmaker would work best with a combination of wilderness and face characters.

My recommendations for a 4 man team (by APs that I've read). Spoilered for spoilers of course:

Curse of the Crimson Throne

Spoiler:

Ranger (Sable Company Marine)
Rogue (Lots of shady underworld to deal with)
Bard (Social interaction comes up a lot)
Witch (Probably flavoured as a Shoanti).

Second Darkness

Spoiler:

Rogue (Yarr!)
Bard (Yarr! Bluff, Bluff, Bluff, Bluff, Bluff the stupid drow)
Ranger (Favoured Enemy: Drow)
Cleric of Cayden Caillean (YARR!)

Council of Thieves

Spoiler:

Rogue (It's the Council of THIEVES)
Bard (To get the most out of Book 2)
Paladin (For all the Devils)
Wizard (Because someone should be interested in the lore found in the Pathfinder Lodge)
[/spoilers]

Kingmaker
[spoiler]
Cavalier (Wilderness + Mount + Charisma = King)
Druid (Once again there's a LOT of wilderness)
Bard (Because someone needs to placate the people)
Fey-Blood Sorcerer (Only because a wizard might struggle in book 1, seeing as the Greenbelt does not start off with a lot of libraries. Plus Charisma is a handy stat for a few positions)

Serpent's Skull

Spoiler:

Fighter (Because of all the fighting!)
Rogue (For all the traps)
Aberration or Serpent's Blooded Sorcerer (Again there's a lot of wildernessy trekking which just doesn't offer a wizard a big chance to research)
Oracle (For the Juju flavoured goodness that this AP has)

At some point I'm likely to be a player in RotRL and at a guess the classic four seem to be the best choice for it seeing as it has such classic themes. But that's just a guess on my part.

I'm currently playing in Legacy of Fire and our party is me (Summoner with Genie flavoured eidolon), A Paladin, A Bard and a Fighter. My summoner is going to invest heavily in UMD to make up for lack of healing and combat spell-casting, but we've got a lot of HPs between my Eidolon, Fighter and Paladin. At a guess though I'd say for LoF:

Summoner (Extra body and thematically makes sense)
Paladin (There's been quite a bit of Sarenrae flavour)
Elemental Sorcerer (I think it's just a thematic fit)
Cleric of Sarenrae (Again for flavour)


Andrew Christian wrote:


But typically any group needs someone with copious amounts of healing. So a healer. This would 9 times out of 10 be a Cleric, but I suppose you could craft a special type of rogue that would be able to use magic items and Druids and Bards can cast cure spells, so could use those wands as well.

Other than that, what you need is a trap guy, artillery, and meat.

trap guy is most likely a Rogue, but I suppose a wizard, sorcerer, and possibly a Bard could take that role. Although memorizing nothing but knock and detect traps and such for a Wizard would be boring at lower levels and a sorcerer at lower levels doesn't know enough spells to make this an interesting option.

Artillery is most likely going to be your wizard or sorcerer, but could be a ranger or bow specialized fighter.

Meat is most likely going to be a fighter type. The guy who takes up damage and holds back all the...

I agree with this mostly, except that in my experience good party tactics can take the place of a lot of healing. You still need healing, but most of the time good tactics and a reasonable amount of quick, emergency healing is usually the better option. Also, the need for a dedicated trap person varies from campaign to campaign.

As for the best party build, I would worry more about filling roles than getting specific classes. As long as you fill the major roles and the party works well together everything should be fine.


A Lore Oracle. Access to full cleric list for the using of wands/scrolls, and has access to all the cure spells by default.
Lore for all the knowledge skills one could ever want, with a charisma base they can easily be the Face as well.

Wizard. Wizard is still the best arcane caster.

Fighter/bard/ranger/paladin: Any one would be fine. I preferably like the Fighter best- but any of them fit the bill as up front combatty type person.

Depends. Possibly a full cleric or a spell caster druid or, alternatively a witch or summoner. All of them make a very good 4th person when you have the other things covered very well.

if shoved into a corner I'd go with:
lore oracle, wizard, fighter, and summoner.

Gives you the cleric and wizard spells you need with the melee (through fighter and Big E) to keep up that side with the summoner himself able to provide buffing so the wiz and oracle didn't have to concentrate on it so much.

I'd trade out the fighter with a switch-hitting ranger and the summoner with a zen archer monk, if the campaign looked to be one that you wanted to use alot of range for. (such as a high-undead type where melee is generally a bad idea)

-S


I'm doing Curse of the Crimson Throne in a group with:
Cleric of Pharasma
Sorcerer
Fighter/Paladin
Fighter/Rogue (going Duelist)
Rogue/Cleric

Council of Thieves our party consists of:
Cleric
Fighter
Rogue
Wilder
Wizard (conjurer)

Kingmaker with:
Cleric (we seem to have a revolving door with divine casters)
Oracle of Nature (just joined us replacing a Bard)
Wizard (transmuter)
Fighter
Ranger
Rogue

I'm running Rise of the Runelords with:
Monk
Psychic Warrior
Another Psychic Warrior
Wilder
Rogue
Psion (telepath)
Cleric

Generally, it's most fun if players make what they want to make.


Dabbler wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
c873788 wrote:
CoDzilla wrote:
But you said optimal party, and that means all casters.
I was under the impression that the power gap between casters and non-casters did not become noticable until later levels. Maybe I'm wrong. Roughly, at what level do you think the power gap between casters and non-casters can no longer be ignored from an optimization point of view?
I honestly don't believe it ever becomes an issue. And yes, I have experience gaming in a diverse group with 3 current campaigns, all at 15th level or higher.
I'm with you on this one - casters, non-casters, they all have their strengths and weaknesses. A party of casters in an anti-magic field? Dead meat. A Party of casters that have run out of spells? Nearly as dead.

Well, if they're too stupid to walk 10 feet back and launch the (Conjuration: Creation) missiles they deserve to die.

An all caster team has more than enough spells at every level. In part because they have more reserves of spells, and in part because they can use those spells efficiently.

Non casters need to be heavily optimized just to keep up with practically optimized casters and keep up with ordinary opponents.

Once the casters, or the enemies start optimizing at all, even in very simple ways such as using cheap consumables to get a massive AC boost? Forget about it.

The difficulty of 3.x games I have played over the years ranges from "Normal" to "Very Hard". Perhaps the weak classes don't get punished that hard if your game's difficulty is "Easy". That doesn't mean they're good though. And in PF, weak and martial are synonyms, because there aren't any good martial characters in PF.

On Normal difficulty the casters just blow away everything. Which actually makes things rather easy, but there is no middle ground in PF.

On Very Hard mode you adapt or you die. And the biggest weakness of martial characters - ALL martial characters, even the good ones is adapting. They can't do it. If they're a charger, and they can't charge they don't have another trick. And trying to give them another trick won't give them two tricks - it will give them zero. Conversely, the biggest strength of casters, especially prepared casters is their ability to adapt to anything. If the adventure takes the party to the depths of some frozen wasteland, and then to the hottest desert in the world, and then to a place over a mile underground hidden in a maze of caverns, and then to a castle flying about two miles up all within the course of a single in game month the spellcasters can and will adapt to each and every one of the drastically changing circumstances.

You throw some martial type on anything other than a flat, featureless plain with an enemy nicely standing on the ground in front of them, in plain sight and within charge range and they're already struggling desperately to keep up.

Meanwhile, spellcasters can deal with opponents that have actual options because they have actual options, themselves.


james maissen wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


druid: better at finding traps at low levels, almost as good at finding them at higher levels, comes with a rogue level combatant as a class feature, magic traps can suck his dispel magic. can scout as a rat, heal, tank as a bear, or kill/debuff with spells.

I'm curious do none of the AP have traps that setting them off warns the bad guys?

Or are the traps simply forced a kind of 'wandering monster' without purpose other than 'we should have a few traps'?

-James

he can pickup disable device for the regular traps

rogues and bards got a little hosed by pathfinders letting anyone get full ranks in the skills.


CoDzilla wrote:

And the biggest weakness of martial characters - ALL martial characters, even the good ones is adapting. They can't do it. If they're a charger, and they can't charge they don't have another trick. And trying to give them another trick won't give them two tricks - it will give them zero.

What about switch hitting rangers? They seem to be quite capable of at least 2 tricks - shooting and melee. And what if they ready a shot against your caster? My understanding is that concentration checks are much harder than they were in D&D 3.x which I think helps balance things out to some degree. Don't get me wrong, I don't dispute that there might be a power gap appearing at later levels. I'm just not sure I'm seeing the problem you're talking about at lower levels.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder "warrior edition" = 50 results

Pathfinder "caster edition" = 19 results

NPC class superiority over clerics, druids, oracles, witches, sorcerers, and wizards PROVEN!!!

I'm changing my answer, based on the infalible evidence that Pathfinder is so utterly warrior-dominated!

4 warriors! the PERFECT party


c873788 wrote:
CoDzilla wrote:

And the biggest weakness of martial characters - ALL martial characters, even the good ones is adapting. They can't do it. If they're a charger, and they can't charge they don't have another trick. And trying to give them another trick won't give them two tricks - it will give them zero.

What about switch hitting rangers? They seem to be quite capable of at least 2 tricks - shooting and melee. And what if they ready a shot against your caster? My understanding is that concentration checks are much harder than they were in D&D 3.x which I think helps balance things out to some degree. Don't get me wrong, I don't dispute that there might be a power gap appearing at later levels. I'm just not sure I'm seeing the problem you're talking about at lower levels.

They will suck at both melee and ranged, which aside from ranged being shut down by even more things than melee despite the list being partially different are still the same trick. Fullattackfullattackfullattack, and hope you take the enemy to 0 HP or lower, or you are not helping.

Readied actions means you aren't full attacking, which means you're alright not doing anything important. Then you have to hit. While attack vs AC is an auto success past the first few levels for anyone, spellcasters have defensive methods that actually work.

Then, assuming you do hit the DC is exactly the same as it would be in 3.5, as the DCs for casting through damage were not changed at all. You are a ranged character, and you are in PF which means you do no damage worth mentioning, and retaining the spell is easy.

At level 1 there isn't much of a difference because hitting things with a stick is a save or die. At level 2, this stops. At level 6, it's painfully apparent this character is not like the others. At level 10, assuming you aren't dead or retired yet you need pity artifacts to keep playing at all, and even then your character is a second class citizen.


Pst, Codzilla. You've got it wrong about the ranged damage in PF.

Ranged Power Attack (with 2:1 ratio, even if it's the flat value PF gives) does quite a bit to rev up ranged damage. Add favored enemy (yeah, unreliable as s*+@ I know) or weapon spec/weapon training and you can pretty reliably shut spells down with it if you hit. (Also, I think the DC for casting after getting hit WAS changed. It's 10+damage taken + spell level in PF)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
kyrt-ryder wrote:

Pst, Codzilla. You've got it wrong about the ranged damage in PF.

Ranged Power Attack (with 2:1 ratio, even if it's the flat value PF gives) does quite a bit to rev up ranged damage. Add favored enemy (yeah, unreliable as s!@@ I know) or weapon spec/weapon training and you can pretty reliably shut spells down with it if you hit. (Also, I think the DC for casting after getting hit WAS changed. It's 10+damage taken + spell level in PF)

A Fighter can take Disrupting Shot which adds +4 on the top of that.


kyrt-ryder wrote:

Pst, Codzilla. You've got it wrong about the ranged damage in PF.

Ranged Power Attack (with 2:1 ratio, even if it's the flat value PF gives) does quite a bit to rev up ranged damage. Add favored enemy (yeah, unreliable as s#%! I know) or weapon spec/weapon training and you can pretty reliably shut spells down with it if you hit. (Also, I think the DC for casting after getting hit WAS changed. It's 10+damage taken + spell level in PF)

"Ramping up ranged damage" requires force multipliers. And by force multipliers I mean "You are PAOed into an Arrow Demon, who wields a pair of Splitting bows and therefore effectively gets four shots for the price of one."

Even a Ranged Power Attack can't save it, it's that bad.

The DCs are exactly the same. You always added spell level to the DC if you are casting a spell.

Fact of the matter is that Rangers are a bad class because being able to choose between a bad option and a bad option means you have a bad option regardless of what you actually do. It doesn't matter if there is one bad option, two, or six. You take a bad option, you can't accomplish anything. And both TWF and archery are bad styles.

It's not a coincidence that in the later parts of 3.5, when WotC realized how bad they screwed up balance and started making bug fixes in later books, and one of those bug fixes was a series of feats that read as "For one feat, your levels in two specific classes stack for most of the things that matter and you get other benefits too." that one of the specific semi gestalt feats targeted Rangers by combining them with Scouts, giving them all the meaningful benefits of both classes along with allowing them to bypass the ever common precision immunity on said enemies. And they were still only average. If optimized.

None of this has changed. Only your ability to compensate has changed. For the worse.


Forget I said anything. I just realized concentration checks use the caster stat now. Yeah, the casters have pretty good odds of concentrating against any ranged damage a Ranger can throw at them without favored enemy in place. A fighter specialized in the bow could pull it off though.


CoDzilla wrote:

The DCs are exactly the same. You always added spell level to the DC if you are casting a spell.

The DCs are not the same as far as chance of success. PF removed concentration as a skill which means you are rolling with only your ability bonus. Assuming a 4th lvl Ranger with a composite strength bow (say only +3) plus his Deadly Aim feat (ranged power attack) managed to hit the spell caster with a readied action, that's going to be 11 points of damage avg rounded down to give a total DC of 23 for a 2nd lvl spell for your 4th lvl caster. Assuming you have +4 for your ability score and 4 for your level, you are going to have to roll 15 on the d20 dice to succeed. That's no guarantee in my book.

You mention taking bad options and bad styles for the ranger. These statements are coming across as vague and subjective. Is there some way you could extrapolate on these views perhaps with some sort of mechanical breakdown that would help solidify your point of view? I still haven't made up my mind about this, but you are going to have to come up with more tangible evidence for me to understand why you are dissing the melee classes at such an early level.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
james maissen wrote:


I'm curious do none of the AP have traps that setting them off warns the bad guys?

Or are the traps simply forced a kind of 'wandering monster' without purpose other than 'we should have a few traps'?

-James

he can pickup disable device for the regular traps

rogues and bards got a little hosed by pathfinders letting anyone get full ranks in the skills.

It really doesn't answer my question however.

A rogue finding traps does so at full speed, while a non-rogue has to search actively which slows down their movement rate or look to simply trigger them to find them.

A rogue (and other trapfinders via variants) can disarm magical traps rather than hope to burn dispels on them then hope there aren't any closely after them as they won't have time to fully search before the dispel's suppression wears off.

So I'm curious how a sub-par trap detection/removal works in the APs that they've put out so far.

-James


CoDzilla wrote:
Meanwhile, spellcasters can deal with opponents that have actual options because they have actual options, themselves.

Yes - if they chose the right spells.

If they chose the wrong ones they are dead meat. Warriors ... well damage always works in the end, so they always have a chance even if out of their comfort zone (and every well-built warrior has at least two specialisations he can fall back on).

Liberty's Edge

CoDzilla wrote:


The difficulty of 3.x games I have played over the years ranges from "Normal" to "Very Hard". Perhaps the weak classes don't get punished that hard if your game's difficulty is "Easy". That doesn't mean they're good though. And in PF, weak and martial are synonyms, because there aren't any good martial characters in PF.

On Normal difficulty the casters just blow away everything. Which actually makes things rather easy, but there is no middle ground in PF.

On Very Hard mode you adapt or you die. And the biggest weakness of martial characters - ALL martial characters, even the good ones is adapting. They...

Ludicrous statements all the way around.

Most of the melee classes are good to strong classes.

I run a hard to very hard campaign, and yes, without the casters, the party might die. But that is more a utilitarian thing than a "solve the damage problem" thing.

If a DM can't figure out how to make a campaign Very Hard where the spell casters aren't the bomb diggity for every single encounter, then it will never be anything but an easy to very easy campaign.


Dabbler wrote:
CoDzilla wrote:
Meanwhile, spellcasters can deal with opponents that have actual options because they have actual options, themselves.

Yes - if they chose the right spells.

If they chose the wrong ones they are dead meat. Warriors ... well damage always works in the end, so they always have a chance even if out of their comfort zone (and every well-built warrior has at least two specialisations he can fall back on).

Good thing spells are broad now isn't it? Yeah sure, some caster who thinks Scorching Ray and Magic Missile are the best things ever won't get very far. But that's like assuming the melee characters will have a Con of 8. You have to assume the characters will be played at least somewhat intelligently.

Damage only works when it kills, and there's so many things that mess with swinging swords it's not even funny. Every non caster is a zero, or one trick pony. If you think you have more than one, you really have one or zero.


Andrew Christian wrote:
CoDzilla wrote:


The difficulty of 3.x games I have played over the years ranges from "Normal" to "Very Hard". Perhaps the weak classes don't get punished that hard if your game's difficulty is "Easy". That doesn't mean they're good though. And in PF, weak and martial are synonyms, because there aren't any good martial characters in PF.

On Normal difficulty the casters just blow away everything. Which actually makes things rather easy, but there is no middle ground in PF.

On Very Hard mode you adapt or you die. And the biggest weakness of martial characters - ALL martial characters, even the good ones is adapting. They...

Ludicrous statements all the way around.

Most of the melee classes are good to strong classes.

I run a hard to very hard campaign, and yes, without the casters, the party might die. But that is more a utilitarian thing than a "solve the damage problem" thing.

If a DM can't figure out how to make a campaign Very Hard where the spell casters aren't the bomb diggity for every single encounter, then it will never be anything but an easy to very easy campaign.

Casters are not about damage. Your argument is invalid.


c873788 wrote:
CoDzilla wrote:

The DCs are exactly the same. You always added spell level to the DC if you are casting a spell.

The DCs are not the same as far as chance of success. PF removed concentration as a skill which means you are rolling with only your ability bonus. Assuming a 4th lvl Ranger with a composite strength bow (say only +3) plus his Deadly Aim feat (ranged power attack) managed to hit the spell caster with a readied action, that's going to be 11 points of damage avg rounded down to give a total DC of 23 for a 2nd lvl spell for your 4th lvl caster. Assuming you have +4 for your ability score and 4 for your level, you are going to have to roll 15 on the d20 dice to succeed. That's no guarantee in my book.

You mention taking bad options and bad styles for the ranger. These statements are coming across as vague and subjective. Is there some way you could extrapolate on these views perhaps with some sort of mechanical breakdown that would help solidify your point of view? I still haven't made up my mind about this, but you are going to have to come up with more tangible evidence for me to understand why you are dissing the melee classes at such an early level.

Ugh, board problems.

I will summarize.

PF caster at level 4 = 21-23 Int. The caster might not have his Int headband until level 5, that's why the range is there. Check is 1d20 + caster level + prime stat.

3.5 caster at level 4 = 14 Con. Check is 1d20 + character level + 3 + Con.

PF caster = 1d20 + 4 + 5-6 = 1d20+9 or 1d20+10 vs DC 23.
3.5 caster = 1d20 + 3 + 4 + 2 = 1d20+9 vs DC 23.

Conclusion: Exactly the same, or slightly easier for the PF caster.

Now if you assume a very poorly built caster (only 18 Int at level 4 in PF?) you'll get different results. But I'm not assuming the martial guy is incompetent for reasons he can control, so you should not assume the caster is incompetent for reasons he can control.

As for the weapon style thing, mundane combat is THF or bust.

TWF is in every way inferior to THF except frequency of attacks, which is a significant enough positive factor for Rogues, and no one else. For every non Rogue you're spending more feats, more stats, more gold, and getting lesser results.

Archery suffers from every single shortcoming melee does except one - if enemies move, you are not shut down. You still have to stand still though. Of course it has its own list of critical flaws on top of that, starting with the nature of ranged combat itself. Spotting distance. Encounter terrain. Enemy mobility > yours. Your own party. All of these things mean you won't even get to fight at range at all, nor will you really want to. You'll be right up close to the enemy with everyone else, except using an inferior weapon, that you need a two feat tax just to be slightly less of a waste of your time. Which means archery is in every way worse than meleeing, which isn't that good either - at best, it's a means of mopping up after all the real work has been done by casters.

Assuming that you completely ignore spotting rules and try and shoot something 500 feet away ranged penalties kick in hard, and enemy mobility is such that at any level you could seriously attempt this they'll just respond by tele fragging you. Poof, no more range. This isn't 4th edition, Mongols are not an effective character archetype beyond low levels and even then, they can shoot back.

Liberty's Edge

CoDzilla wrote:


Casters are not about damage. Your argument is invalid.

Depending on the type of campaign you are running, that's a silly thing to say.

If your campaign is a socio-political campaign, you are correct, and then in many cases the spell casting vs. melee only matters in that the melee guys usually have less skill points than the bard or rogue.

If your campaign is a typical campaign, where you have to go out on an adventure, get some treasure from some "dungeon" or solve some problem, then doing damage is important.

I recall someone saying that color spray or hold person or charm are just as valid spells to win a fight. I agree with you.

But those spells wear off. If damage is never done, then the bad guy can come back and kill your wizard.

And while he's color sraying the two minions advancing on him, the fighters are taking out the other 3 or 4 by doing... wait for it... damage.

Most people I've seen talk about the big power gap starting at 5th level, because wizards get the big damaging AoE spells. Of course you are forgetting that AoE spells only do 5d6 damage at that level, and a hard to very hard campaign considers a CR5 encounter an equal match to a group of 5, 5th level characters. In other words, you aren't fighting five 1 HD monsters (which is how 3.5 defined a CR 5 encounter), but rather you are fighting five 5 HD monsters, which will most likely be able to avoid the one fireball, five kills.

While spells are not always about damage, at some point in combat, damage has to be done.

Don't just toss my opinion out with the bathwater without explaining yourself a bit more in depth. Seems to be your MO on this thread, is to make very broad, polarizing, and vehement statements about anything other than spell casters, without really explaining yourself with mechanical examples.

There are many, many folks on here with at least 2+ decades of DnD experience (that includes, most likely, a decade of 3.x experience) and have seen just about every type of campaign. That disagree with you whole heartedly.

Your experiences are not the only ones that matter in this argument. Just like mine aren't the only ones that matter.

Shrug

I suppose I'm going to agree to disagree with you here, because otherwise this conversation is liable to get quite heated and personal.

The Exchange

If my life really depended on it?

Conjurer
Cleric
Druid
Barbarian (with the rage power that grants Pounce)

I've got 3 characters with 9th level spells, tons of battlefield control, tons of summons, the druid (while wild shaped) and his companion as secondary melee combatants, and a brawler who can full attack on a charge. You also have tons of utility spells and plenty of healing for between combat. Traps and locks can be handled with magic pretty easily, the wizard just needs to be sure he's prepared for them with scrolls.

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