High-level wizards are balanced - IF you sandbag like crazy!


Serpent's Skull

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Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

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I think I have favorited more posts in this thread than in any other thread ever.


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This thread made me sad (by Dr. Sheldon Cooper's standards of sadness).

James, I loved your [Paizo's] unoptimized pregenerated characters, even though I've never used one. I like to optimize, but I haven't always done it, and those characters who didn't get that treatment are some of the most successful ones I've had.

I can't say I will miss them now that they are gone... since I never used them and all... but I respect them for what they are.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
sunbeam wrote:

Winning or losing?

If you call completing an adventure successfully winning with no one dying, then that's what I'm all about. Winning you know.

And it kind of goes beyond the scope of a thread like this, but there are a couple schools of thought about what the mechanics of this game imply.

One such school of thought says if you are a fighter, you darn well better one-shot the Balor, because he can one-shot you, or at least render you useless.

Heck I don't think I've seen a version of Valeros with a flying item. And with all those feats sunk into his version of two weapon fighting he isn't much of a threat with ranged. I figure a creature with both Wisdom and Intelligence of 24 will suss that out at a glance.

Now I can hear the chorus now, it's not a solo game, etc. No one said it was. Most level 20 parties (well maybe not apparently) are perfectly capable of winning initiative and one-shotting a Balor. And they had better because if they don't things are going to get a lot more interesting for them.

There are communities out there where D&D is a two-round rocket tag, WBL and CR are set in stone more firmly than the Commandments and the Constitution are, optimization is assumed and all game designers are considered to be brainless monkeys.

This is not one of those communities.

Liberty's Edge

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TOZ wrote:
I had a character who didn't take Power Attack until 6th level. Am I a bad person?

You are just drawn that way.


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sunbeam wrote:
Most level 20 parties (well maybe not apparently) are perfectly capable of winning initiative and one-shotting a Balor. And they had better because if they don't things are going to get a lot more interesting for them.

See this is what I hate about optimization - supposedly epic encounters have to be finished in 6 seconds or something is seriously wrong.

I want a battle against a Balor to go on for rounds and rounds and more rounds. I want to have fun - as player as well as a GM.
Things are going to get interesting for me? That is exactly what I want!

Silver Crusade

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I am really liking the new stuff replacing the iconic stat page, but I am missing the iconic stat page. sigh :|
complicated feelings are complicated.


Gorbacz wrote:
sunbeam wrote:

Winning or losing?

If you call completing an adventure successfully winning with no one dying, then that's what I'm all about. Winning you know.

And it kind of goes beyond the scope of a thread like this, but there are a couple schools of thought about what the mechanics of this game imply.

One such school of thought says if you are a fighter, you darn well better one-shot the Balor, because he can one-shot you, or at least render you useless.

Heck I don't think I've seen a version of Valeros with a flying item. And with all those feats sunk into his version of two weapon fighting he isn't much of a threat with ranged. I figure a creature with both Wisdom and Intelligence of 24 will suss that out at a glance.

Now I can hear the chorus now, it's not a solo game, etc. No one said it was. Most level 20 parties (well maybe not apparently) are perfectly capable of winning initiative and one-shotting a Balor. And they had better because if they don't things are going to get a lot more interesting for them.

There are communities out there where D&D is a two-round rocket tag, WBL and CR are set in stone more firmly than the Commandments and the Constitution are, optimization is assumed and all game designers are considered to be brainless monkeys.

This is not one of those communities.

Yeah. That is exactly where the game mechanics lead you. Two round, actually one round rocket tag.

That goes back a long time though. Same thing occurred in 1e. It's much worse in 3e/Pathfinder though.

If your game isn't two round rocket tag at higher levels though, that is good if you are having fun.

That requires your dm to run things in a certain way though, and avoid the typical opponents in a game using their abilities as they potentially could be used. There's just not much way around it when you get to the levels you toss 9th level spells around.


They could put the iconics up as a web supplement page if they wanted. Not even bother taking a page up in the book.


The Rule of Cool > number crunching, for most players.

That's it. There's the reason.

I've played a plethora of Fighters who never took Iron Will. Oops.

I've played tons of characters with TWF who used the same weapon, because I like the way it looked in my head, not the numbers.

One of the most fun characters I've ever played was a female Gnome Bard made to resemble a fantasy-RPG version of Bjork... Who got swallowed whole by a Black Dragon, and lived to write an album about the experience. And not a single thing was optimized that day...

Caineach wrote:

LOL. So you say that equipment is mandatory for a fighter to get through an encounter for which that equiment (and the fighter even) wasn't written yet.

I'll admit, I'm still chuckling about this as well...

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

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Wow, I think my (now third level) sorcerer in PFS would make some people cry.


  • No wand of CLW, 4 potions of healing instead
  • Darkwood masterwork club.
  • +1 Hakiri-maki
  • sleep, snapdragon fireworks in his spell list.
  • Lowest stat is an 11 wisdom, highest stat is his 17 int.

But he's fun.


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sunbeam wrote:
They could put the iconics up as a web supplement page if they wanted. Not even bother taking a page up in the book.

Which just opens them up to people like you complaining they are not optimized enough.


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Matthew Morris wrote:

Wow, I think my (now third level) sorcerer in PFS would make some people cry.


  • No wand of CLW, 4 potions of healing instead
  • Darkwood masterwork club.
  • +1 Hakiri-maki
  • sleep, snapdragon fireworks in his spell list.
  • Lowest stat is an 11 wisdom, highest stat is his 17 int.

But he's fun.

TYPICAL PAIZO CUSTOMER, POLLUTING THE GENE POOL OF OUR SPECIES!

Dark Archive

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Matthew Morris wrote:

Wow, I think my (now third level) sorcerer in PFS would make some people cry.


  • No wand of CLW, 4 potions of healing instead
  • Darkwood masterwork club.
  • +1 Hakiri-maki
  • sleep, snapdragon fireworks in his spell list.
  • Lowest stat is an 11 wisdom, highest stat is his 17 int.

But he's fun.

I believe you're having what is refered to as "Bad Wrong Fun" and should attempt to immediately stop it. Perhaps a visit to your local physician may help.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
sunbeam wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
sunbeam wrote:

Winning or losing?

If you call completing an adventure successfully winning with no one dying, then that's what I'm all about. Winning you know.

And it kind of goes beyond the scope of a thread like this, but there are a couple schools of thought about what the mechanics of this game imply.

One such school of thought says if you are a fighter, you darn well better one-shot the Balor, because he can one-shot you, or at least render you useless.

Heck I don't think I've seen a version of Valeros with a flying item. And with all those feats sunk into his version of two weapon fighting he isn't much of a threat with ranged. I figure a creature with both Wisdom and Intelligence of 24 will suss that out at a glance.

Now I can hear the chorus now, it's not a solo game, etc. No one said it was. Most level 20 parties (well maybe not apparently) are perfectly capable of winning initiative and one-shotting a Balor. And they had better because if they don't things are going to get a lot more interesting for them.

There are communities out there where D&D is a two-round rocket tag, WBL and CR are set in stone more firmly than the Commandments and the Constitution are, optimization is assumed and all game designers are considered to be brainless monkeys.

This is not one of those communities.

Yeah. That is exactly where the game mechanics lead you. Two round, actually one round rocket tag.

That goes back a long time though. Same thing occurred in 1e. It's much worse in 3e/Pathfinder though.

If your game isn't two round rocket tag at higher levels though, that is good if you are having fun.

That requires your dm to run things in a certain way though, and avoid the typical opponents in a game using their abilities as they potentially could be used. There's just not much way around it when you get to the levels you toss 9th level spells around.

All I'm saying is that you'll find places where your play style is considered to be baseline, and where after giving an account of this thread the locals will pat you on the back and ask you to show them on the doll where the bad Paizils touched you.


sunbeam wrote:


Now I can hear the chorus now, it's not a solo game, etc. No one said it was. Most level 20 parties (well maybe not apparently) are perfectly capable of winning initiative and one-shotting a Balor. And they had better because if they don't things are going to get a lot more interesting for them.

Redundancy aside, I happen to find interesting games, well, very interesting. Isn't that kind of the point?


Josh M. wrote:

The Rule of Cool > number crunching, for most players.

That's it. There's the reason.

I've played a plethora of Fighters who never took Iron Will. Oops.

I've played tons of characters with TWF who used the same weapon, because I like the way it looked in my head, not the numbers.

One of the most fun characters I've ever played was a female Gnome Bard made to resemble a fantasy-RPG version of Bjork... Who got swallowed whole by a Black Dragon, and lived to write an album about the experience. And not a single thing was optimized that day...

Caineach wrote:

LOL. So you say that equipment is mandatory for a fighter to get through an encounter for which that equiment (and the fighter even) wasn't written yet.

I'll admit, I'm still chuckling about this as well...

I don't get what's so funny about it. I only own the Rise of the Runelords Pathfinders, along with a couple of others. I picked an encounter I remembered as being very difficult, with will saves being very important.

If you want to play that particular game the only other adventure path I have any of the Pathfinders for is the one where you wind up on the Island in the demiplane, the one that Nex created. I've only got a couple of those.

If you want to wait a day or two, I can see what my acquaintances have. I know I can get my hands on all of Serpent Skull.


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sunbeam wrote:
Josh M. wrote:

The Rule of Cool > number crunching, for most players.

That's it. There's the reason.

I've played a plethora of Fighters who never took Iron Will. Oops.

I've played tons of characters with TWF who used the same weapon, because I like the way it looked in my head, not the numbers.

One of the most fun characters I've ever played was a female Gnome Bard made to resemble a fantasy-RPG version of Bjork... Who got swallowed whole by a Black Dragon, and lived to write an album about the experience. And not a single thing was optimized that day...

Caineach wrote:

LOL. So you say that equipment is mandatory for a fighter to get through an encounter for which that equiment (and the fighter even) wasn't written yet.

I'll admit, I'm still chuckling about this as well...

I don't get what's so funny about it. I only own the Rise of the Runelords Pathfinders, along with a couple of others. I picked an encounter I remembered as being very difficult, with will saves being very important.

If you want to play that particular game the only other adventure path I have any of the Pathfinders for is the one where you wind up on the Island in the demiplane, the one that Nex created. I've only got a couple of those.

If you want to wait a day or two, I can see what my acquaintances have. I know I can get my hands on all of Serpent Skull.

What is funny is that you are talking about needing to be highly optimized, including having golves of dueling, for an encounter made prior to Pathfinder rules being written, let alone the specific magic item you say them must have. People played through all of the APs through Kingmaker without the gear in the APG, but here you are saying that that gear is mandatory.


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the thread title wrote:
Highlevel wizards are balanced IF you sandbag

I just realized that the title ends with sandbag and not douchebag as I was reading. Oh well, I can throw away my well constructed post about wizards with no self awareness...

TOZ wrote:
I had a character who didn't take Power Attack until 6th level. Am I a bad person?

The Pathfinder is a system, TOZ. That system is our enemy. But when you're inside, you look around, what do you see? Minmaxers, roleplayers, rulelawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system, and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it. Were you listening to me, TOZ, or were you looking at the woman in the red dress?


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sunbeam wrote:

I guess we are going to have to think one side of this discussion doesn't know what they are talking about. And I don't think it's me.

From a mechanics evaluation standpoint, people just have different opinions.

From a "right way to play" perspective... PSST. C'mere, kid. Hey buddy, between you & me I gotta tell ya, IT'S YOU.


I've +'d so many posts in this thread....


Caineach wrote:
sunbeam wrote:
Josh M. wrote:

The Rule of Cool > number crunching, for most players.

That's it. There's the reason.

I've played a plethora of Fighters who never took Iron Will. Oops.

I've played tons of characters with TWF who used the same weapon, because I like the way it looked in my head, not the numbers.

One of the most fun characters I've ever played was a female Gnome Bard made to resemble a fantasy-RPG version of Bjork... Who got swallowed whole by a Black Dragon, and lived to write an album about the experience. And not a single thing was optimized that day...

Caineach wrote:

LOL. So you say that equipment is mandatory for a fighter to get through an encounter for which that equiment (and the fighter even) wasn't written yet.

I'll admit, I'm still chuckling about this as well...

I don't get what's so funny about it. I only own the Rise of the Runelords Pathfinders, along with a couple of others. I picked an encounter I remembered as being very difficult, with will saves being very important.

If you want to play that particular game the only other adventure path I have any of the Pathfinders for is the one where you wind up on the Island in the demiplane, the one that Nex created. I've only got a couple of those.

If you want to wait a day or two, I can see what my acquaintances have. I know I can get my hands on all of Serpent Skull.

What is funny is that you are talking about needing to be highly optimized, including having golves of dueling, for an encounter made prior to Pathfinder rules being written, let alone the specific magic item you say them must have. People played through all of the APs through Kingmaker without the gear in the APG, but here you are saying that that gear is mandatory.

I said no such thing. If you want, you can play a fighter without a single magic item. You aren't going to get very far, and the game assumptions are that you are a christmas tree of magic items as you rise in level.

Strawman seems to be a term that is thrown around a lot these days, but when the shoe fits, it fits.

I've made perfectly rational statements. The majority of posters in this thread are inserting their own strawmen and tearing them down.

Let me give you some red meat.

I haven't played Kingmaker. But I'd be willing to bet a large amount of money if I dm'ed it for you, it will end in a tpk very early on.

Not because I'm going to make it a point to kill you off. But if Kingmaker is like any of the other paths I've seen you have a very good chance of being tpk'ed in any of the individual modules in the adventure, if the opponent is played intelligently and you don't optimize.

Heck you have a good chance of being tpk'ed if you do optimize and the opponent is played to the hilt.

And if you follow the odds, six opportunities or so of being tpk'ed equals a good chance of not "winning" by finishing the adventure path.

And I like to finish the adventure path, and "win."

Now as regards some of the other things discussed in this thread.

I personally think two weapon fighting is inherently weaker than a two handed weapon. If you want I could write all kinds of stuff about having to buy two weapons, invest more feats (even if you do use the same weapon in both hands), deal with dr, and the fact you don't get to cut loose with a full attack as often as you would like.

I'm just saying if you want to make a two weapon fighter, well and good. But the way they do it is in no way similar to the way the majority of their customers do it, as far as I can tell.

If you wouldn't get bored, I could pick apart most of the other iconics. Most people on these boards could do the same.

The Iconics don't have to be optimized. But the way they are built doesn't make much sense.

I know you have to construct more strawmen to tear down, but answer these questions:

1) How long should it take them to build an iconic character? Say they use Hero Lab. Or one of the many spreadsheets out there, or just by hand honestly.

2) How hard would it be to put up a web page supplement with iconics for each adventure path and individual module? That way you get one extra page in each module.

3) If it is many hours of labor, why not just have people on the board come up with them? I've seen people make elaborate builds on a particular theme in just a few minutes.


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If my character dies a noble death doing what he loves (adventuring), then I'd have no regrets. I'd just roll up a new character.

Seriously, PF isn't a competition. Playing it competitively is not everybody's cup of tea.


Josh M. wrote:

If my character dies a noble death doing what he loves (adventuring), then I'd have no regrets. I'd just roll up a new character.

Seriously, PF isn't a competition. Playing it competitively is not everybody's cup of tea.

I just don't think we are talking about the same thing. I get a great big happy if I spend 3 to 6 months playing one of these things, and in the end we save the world or create a kingdom.

I don't get a big happy if 3 months in we have a total tpk and some kind of hand waving occurs so we have to get a new party, or start some other adventure.

I like it when Johnny the Sorcerer, Kragoch the Dwarf, Jemma the Wise, and Willie the Slick meet up in a tavern, and take it all the way.

I don't like it so much if they all become statues in some medusa's garden, or all wind up in a Purple Worm's gut.

Having a character who can walk up and smack down a Balor isn't some kind of wish fulfillment thing (nothing wrong with that though), I just think the game turns into that after a while.


So, it's optimize or TPK?

Don't get me wrong, I don't set out to see my characters perish, but adventuring is a dangerous line of work, and character death is not unkown. I'm just not going to metagame the hell out of playing to prevent it, I'd rather play my character as the character would be, let the dice fall where they may.

I'm not going to auto-build a Fighter with Iron Will and gloves of dueling out of any sort of mandated decree of uber pwnage. Maybe my Fighter is weak-willed? Maybe he has a gambling addiction?

PF versus mode is fine for some, but it's not the only way to play. otherwise the core rulebook would be a LOT thinner and we'd only get "I WIN" buttons.

Dark Archive

I'm going to have to agree with the earlier statement, my troll senses are tingling mightily

Silver Crusade

He actually thinks he's "right"

I don't even know what to say. I'm just so thankful that no one I play with is like this. I swear the World of Warcraft boards have skewed some people.


"Skewed" is a gentle term; "warped" more accurately defines what WoW has done to RPGs in general. The way it is played, WoW only loosely qualifies for the RPG label anymore, where the role being played boils down to tank/DPS/heals. I played for a year and a half on an RP server - my biggest complaint was that the ignore player lists had a limit.

But that's neither here nor there.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Winter_Born wrote:
He actually thinks he's "right"

He is. For his own games.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Money to pay for curative consumables and raise dead is built into encounter treasure and WBL assumptions. Anything short of a TPK and you still won. Until you can afford raise dead, be careful.

Also, RotRL, particularly that one encounter, is benchmark hardmode, not middle-of-the-road AP difficulty. And not all opponents need be played "intelligently." Many enemies are quite stupid, or have other reasons for not using optimal tactics.

Silver Crusade

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Winter_Born wrote:
He actually thinks he's "right"
He is. For his own games.

That's not where he's stopping. Have you been reading?


sunbeam wrote:

I said no such thing. If you want, you can play a fighter without a single magic item. You aren't going to get very far, and the game assumptions are that you are a christmas tree of magic items as you rise in level.

Ah, I see the problem here. I was using "that" to refer to a specific piece of equipment as a singular object, since that was what we were discussing, but it was easily interpretted as me refering to all equipment. Damn pronouns.

me wrote:
LOL. So you say that<was refering to GoD> equipment is mandatory for a fighter to get through an encounter for which that equiment (and the fighter even) wasn't written yet.


Caineach wrote:
sunbeam wrote:

I said no such thing. If you want, you can play a fighter without a single magic item. You aren't going to get very far, and the game assumptions are that you are a christmas tree of magic items as you rise in level.

Ah, I see the problem here. I was using "that" to refer to a specific piece of equipment as a singular object, since that was what we were discussing, but it was easily interpretted as me refering to all equipment. Damn pronouns.

me wrote:
LOL. So you say that<was refering to GoD> equipment is mandatory for a fighter to get through an encounter for which that equiment (and the fighter even) wasn't written yet.

Let's do this a different way Caineach.

Look at the fighter builds on this board. They aren't all dpr olympics builds.

Tell me how many don't have Gloves of Dueling? The item is so ubiquitous you aren't going to find many without them.

Do you remember natural spell and druids in 3.5? It's the same thing in this edition with the fighters and the Gloves.


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sunbeam wrote:
Caineach wrote:
sunbeam wrote:

I said no such thing. If you want, you can play a fighter without a single magic item. You aren't going to get very far, and the game assumptions are that you are a christmas tree of magic items as you rise in level.

Ah, I see the problem here. I was using "that" to refer to a specific piece of equipment as a singular object, since that was what we were discussing, but it was easily interpretted as me refering to all equipment. Damn pronouns.

me wrote:
LOL. So you say that<was refering to GoD> equipment is mandatory for a fighter to get through an encounter for which that equiment (and the fighter even) wasn't written yet.

Let's do this a different way Caineach.

Look at the fighter builds on this board. They aren't all dpr olympics builds.

Tell me how many don't have Gloves of Dueling? The item is so ubiquitous you aren't going to find many without them.

Do you remember natural spell and druids in 3.5? It's the same thing in this edition with the fighters and the Gloves.

I haven't looked at fighters in a while, but this is the first time gloves of dueling registered in my mind as a relevant magic item.

Now that I look at it, I find it to be an overpowered item that I probably wont allow in my games.

Just because something is overpowered doesn't make it mandatory.

You don't need to be optimized to play the game.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

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heheheh

The most amusing thing to me in this whole thread is that I'd never even heard of gloves of dueling until they were mentioned in this thread.

Then again, I virtually never build PCs, only NPCs, and I typically "arm" all my NPCs with the results of semi-random treasure generation. I was about to give an example but then I remembered that someone I know tends to lurk about here....

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Winter_Born wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Winter_Born wrote:
He actually thinks he's "right"
He is. For his own games.
That's not where he's stopping. Have you been reading?

Of course not, it's hazardous to my health!

Shadow Lodge

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gbonehead wrote:

heheheh

The most amusing thing to me in this whole thread is that I'd never even heard of gloves of dueling until they were mentioned in this thread.

Me either. I've seen a lot of threads about the "mandatory" items that PCs "should" have, but this is the first one where I haven't had at least some general idea about what the hell the item that some dork has declared "mandatory" actually does.

I mean, are gloves of dueling really so widespread? I really don't think I've ever played a game where ANY character, PC or NPC, had the damn things.

I guess I've been having BADWRONGFUN and DOINGITWRONG all this time.


sunbeam wrote:
Caineach wrote:
sunbeam wrote:

I said no such thing. If you want, you can play a fighter without a single magic item. You aren't going to get very far, and the game assumptions are that you are a christmas tree of magic items as you rise in level.

Ah, I see the problem here. I was using "that" to refer to a specific piece of equipment as a singular object, since that was what we were discussing, but it was easily interpretted as me refering to all equipment. Damn pronouns.

me wrote:
LOL. So you say that<was refering to GoD> equipment is mandatory for a fighter to get through an encounter for which that equiment (and the fighter even) wasn't written yet.

Let's do this a different way Caineach.

Look at the fighter builds on this board. They aren't all dpr olympics builds.

Tell me how many don't have Gloves of Dueling? The item is so ubiquitous you aren't going to find many without them.

Do you remember natural spell and druids in 3.5? It's the same thing in this edition with the fighters and the Gloves.

1) There is nothing wrong with uber optimizing your characters to the extent of everything else. Good DM's will just uber-optimize everything you encounter, so its a wash.

2) There is nothing wrong with /not/ uber optimizing to the extent of everything else. In fact, the AP's assume that you don't. They also assume a relatively low point by, and only 4 folks at the table with the DM.
IF you went through RotL with super-optimized stuff, the DM didn't change anything, but you used Pathfinder rules and magical items.. well, you were probably bored out of your mind. Especially if you have more than 4 people at the table and/or used a more generous point buy.
Note also that their point is that the gloves of dueling didn't even exist when RoTL was written so you aren't finding any inside that adventure unless the DM is changing it, or you are crafting it yourself.

But you are stating that anyone who doesn't super optimize is being coddled by the DM (something you call "sand bagging") and thats really the issue most folks are having with your posts.

A normal party of not-optimized people who instead engage their brains and use moderate tactical awareness can probably deal with every encounter written in most if not all AP's. Sure, there will be exceptions. There are alot of encounters that alot of folks think need to be retuned. (The bell tower you mentioned in RotL is one such).

But I have to ask- if your DM didn't change a *thing* and you are super uber optimized for the bell tower- how bored you were before it? and after it?
Because I've been through that book and the one before it and the one after it and if you are super uber optimized out the wazoo and the DM isn't changing things- you "won" the encounter only to be bored out of your freaking mind the rest of the time.

What you need to realize though is that while your method of playing isn't wrong/bad/evil- the rest of us aren't playing wrong/bad/evil either. We're just having fun.

Quit trying to write it off as though we're a bunch of noobs and you are trying to educate us as to the "correct" way to play- as though both we and our DM's are a bunch of twits.

-S


Kthulhu wrote:
gbonehead wrote:

heheheh

The most amusing thing to me in this whole thread is that I'd never even heard of gloves of dueling until they were mentioned in this thread.

Me either. I've seen a lot of threads about the "mandatory" items that PCs "should" have, but this is the first one where I haven't had at least some general idea about what the hell the item that some dork has declared "mandatory" actually does.

I mean, are gloves of dueling really so widespread? I really don't think I've ever played a game where ANY character, PC or NPC, had the damn things.

I guess I've been having BADWRONGFUN and DOINGITWRONG all this time.

Well, until you hit level 10 they are going to be entirely out of your price range, and even then they are a strech before 13. So only high level fighter players would ever look twice at them.


We have not had a PC or NPC in our games (and we've played constantly since APG came out) that has had gloves of dueling. Granted, with their 15,000 gp item value you will most likely need to have higher level characters in order to afford them. They are certainly nice, but I don't consider them mandatory by any stretch.

Regarding the pre-gens, I would love to see 1-20 builds of all of the iconics. At one point I made up 1-20 builds of Valeros and Amiri using the development I saw in some of the AP's I have. It is something I hoped the community might pitch in and do collectively. Not in an optimization sense, but in order to spread the work around (since it can be quite a bit of work to build a PC out level by level from 1 to 20, especially if you decide to include gear).


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James Jacobs wrote:
4) They were almost always things we whipped together at the last minute, usually on the day we were shipping the volume

And

James Jacobs wrote:
In any event, the primary reason we put their stats in there for as long as we did was because people saw the cool art and wanted to know what the numbers were. Once that started turning into some sort of annoying "Paizo can't create characters for their own game" thing... the decision was to drop the stat blocks rather than to spend the time it would take to make them better.

So basically you are saying that there was a product demand from your customers, so you decided to fill that demand. But you (and I mean Pazio in general, not you in particular) didn't feel the need to actually create a quality product (meaning the stats for the iconic characters) by putting any actual effort into it. It was just slapped together at the last minute, with choices made to generally match the artwork, but otherwise just to fit the space you had left over from the more important stuff.

I am not trying to be snide here. What I am trying to point out is that I like seeing the stats for the iconic characters. They don't need to be perfectly optimized, but they should at least be good enough to be considered at least mostly effective. And your comments came off as saying that what I (and others like me) want really wasn't important to Pazio at all.

You really should be careful about how you describe your content. Saying, "Well this wasn't good because we didn't put any time or effort into it" really isn't going to sit well with your customers that actually wanted that content.


Kthulhu wrote:
gbonehead wrote:

heheheh

The most amusing thing to me in this whole thread is that I'd never even heard of gloves of dueling until they were mentioned in this thread.

Me either.

Yeah, same here.

What's more, I don't spend time studying optimized character builds, and I have never planned out a character's progression from level one to twenty. I might have a general idea of things like which feat or spells I'll take when I level up next time, or which prestige class I'm going for, but the majority of my character decisions are made when I level up, based on what makes sense for my character and the campaign I'm in. I've even been known to play Wizards focusing on blasting-spells. I may even have picked Polar Ray as a spell (though I've only once played a Wizard of high enough level to cast 8th level spells, and it was a while ago, so I'll admit I might be mistaken - but it seems like the kind of spell my character would know and use). Everyone I've played the game with play it in much the same way - we want to have fun and play interesting characters doing fun and exciting things. I've never found my lack of optimization impeding that in any way.


sunbeam wrote:

With all that this statement implies, if you make it through some of the encounters in these adventure paths with the pre-gens you either had a lot of luck, or the dm "sandbagged."

I guess we are going to have to think one side of this discussion doesn't know what they are talking about. And I don't think it's me.

A little arrogant there. I've been running games for dozens of systems for more than 30 years. I can tell you without a doubt that the iconics can be run through the APs without needing a lot of luck or sandbagging. It's easier for some players than others, but it's not the iconics that are the problem. It's the GM most of the time. I have seen too many GMs on various message boards (and some in actual games) play the enemies as if they are masters of tactics regardless of the Int, Wis, skills, or personalities of the enemies. This is bad form and should be discouraged as much as possible.

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What gets me the most is you seem to think I'm saying all characters have to be char op fiends. Whereas what I'm getting from you is using two different weapons for two weapon fighting is a good idea.

It may not be optimal but it doesn't necessarily mean that the character will fail. I have built and seen others build characters that use two different weapons to great effect. Valeros isn't optimized but he will do just fine as written. At one point I did post a more optimized version of him that kept the two different swords, and I kept him Core-only.

Quote:
They may have made the build fit the artwork, but I'd wager a guess that virtually all two weapon builds by the majority of players use the same weapon in both hands. Feel free to prove me wrong, or show me why a longsword in one hand, and a shortsword in the other works better than two shortswords.

Why should they work better? That is the problem. You are building the character from a purely mechanical standpoint. Why not try to build the character from a concept standpoint and make the mechanics fit? It doesn't have to be better. It just has to not fail.

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Obviously we have a gulf in communication. With little payoff in closing it.

Attacking people is a good way to create the gulf or at least make it bigger.

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