Options x Numbers: aka: "Why wizards are so friggin' powerful"


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Yeah a skill point overhaul would be good too. Seems like Class Skills for characters should get at least a "Every X Level" increase so you don't have to pump points into it unless you want to be godlike at it.


Roberta Yang wrote:

That's one of Pathfinder's big problems: it really has no support for the "cunning tactician" or "charismatic leader" character types.

Look at the Tactician archetype for the fighter, which should fulfill this. At first level, it's basically a first-level Cavalier minus the Mount, the ability to Challenge, the Order skill bonus, the teamwork feat ability (called "Tactician"), and the heavy armor proficiency. The first time the Tactician becomes able to use its Int in combat is 11th level, with the multi-Aid Another ability - except it still uses a standard action and has such a limited scope (it doesn't work at all unless three of you are all adjacent to the same monster), and such a limited effect for a standard action, that it's virtually never worth using. The first actual worthwhile Int-based ability it gets is at 15th level (grant Int to an ally's attack roll as a swift action 3+Int times per day), but by that point it's definitely too little, too late.

The same is true of the Lore Warden archetype, whose first ability that keys off Int, Know Thy Enemy at 7th level, is pretty much a bardic Inspire Courage that requires a Knowledge check, doesn't provide bonuses to saves, only applies to you, only applies to enemies of one specific type, still takes a standard action (by this level bards have it as a move action), and doesn't scale up in effect at higher levels. So basically it's just kind of bad. Eventually you hit 15th level and it becomes a swift action - but again, too little and too late.

I completely agree with this.

I prefer the feel of low level play, and would love E6, except most of the (totally mundane) abilities I find most interesting are locked past the level 6 cap.

At least 3.5 had Swashbuckler to give you Int to damage at level 3.


I personally think that all high level characters should just claim some type of magic enhancement (Ki, Chakra, Magic, Spirit Power, Soul Energy etc) just to get over the verisimilitude argument. If there must be classes that are purely mechanically inferior they should be recognized in game as inferior like how in Exalted you can play a heroic mortal but you will always be inferior to a true Exalt.


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Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Is this yet another rehashing of the old argument that it's not fair that a guy who spent his entire life researching and mastering the arcane mysteries of the universe and can manipulate space and time with words and gestures should be able to do more than a guy who swings a pointy stick at other people?

Just not getting that argument.

You seem to have a very poor understanding of what a Fighter is supposed to be. Let me explain it to you.

A Fighter is not "the guy who swings his pointy stick at people". They already have class for that: the Warrior. The Fighter isn't even "the guy who's really, really good at swinging his pointy stick at people". That's just a high-level Warrior. A Fighter is the guy who spends every waking moment turning himself into a living, breathing weapon. While the Wizard is locked away in his tower studying ancient tomes, you're honing your body the old-fashioned way: cardio, push ups, stretches, crunches, drills, pull-ups, over and over and over again until you're so tired you can barely stand. Every day. No exceptions. For every book the Wizard's poured over for the thousandth time, you've taken that stick of yours and shoved into all manner of practice dummies. You've sparred with partners, or with your master, so many times you've lost count. By the time the Wizard's gotten down cantrips, you've spent so much time with a weapon in your hand that using it comes as naturally to you as breathing, as complicated as walking and chewing gum at the same time.

And then comes the killing. Because being a first level Fighter doesn't just mean you're pretty good with a stick, it means you're pretty damn good with that stick. It means that you've already gotten used to using it on living things. Nothing terribly dangerous, generally speaking. Kobolds or goblins, mostly, maybe some wolves, but killing living, breathing things isn't easy by any stretch of the imagination. Each and every one of them was quite literally fighting for their lives, and the only thing you had to rely on was that pitiful little stick of yours. But you're a Fighter. You haven't just done well, you've excelled. When it comes time to hit that magical first level, the Wizard's cast his spells more than a handful of times, but is terribly lacking in real world experience. Not you. You've already seen plenty of combat, been in dozens of fights, and you've already got blood on your hands.

And that's just level 1. As you grow in levels the threats you face become larger and more powerful. Luckily, so do you. You get better at fighting, become more and more adept at taking lives. You're not using that stick to kill kobolds anymore; you're driving it between the eyes of things two, three, four times your size. You're using that stick in ways you didn't even thing was possible when your first started along this path. You're doing things most folk couldn't do with a stick even if they trained for it their entire lives. And you're doing these things effortlessly, over and over again, dozens of times a day. Every day.

And you just keep.

Getting.

Better at it.

You're not just a guy that swings a pointy stick at things. You're a guy that swings a pointy stick at gods.

And then those gods die.

Every hour that Wizard's worked at becoming better at magic? The Figher's put it that same amount of time, only he's worked at becoming better at killing things rather than better at magic. Their investment is identical. You can argue (if you want, I guess) that what the Wizard's working at is more fantastical or whatever, but to the common man being able to single-handedly put down an ice devil is just as impressive, if not more impressive, as shooting fire from your hands.

Quote:
There's a game that does that though. It's called 4e.

You're right, but not in the way that you think you are. 4e specifically goes out of its way and tells you, point blank, that being a Fighter means more than just being Dude What Has Sword. Hell, according to 4e fluff Fighter is actually a rarer class than Wizard. After all, anyone can learn magic. Being a Fighter, even a 1st level Fighter, implies a level of skill, mastery and (most importantly) potential that straight up is not there in the vast majority of the population.


Are barbarians wizards? Are they mythic creatures?
Because barbarians are what fighters wished they were.
They can fight all day erry day, raging whenever it gets serious and deal dpr comparable to the fighter. He also gets 4 skill points a level so he can do whatever skill fighter build you can come up with, without putting a single point in int.
He can also hit so hard, magic breaks. He can do a warp spasm and grow claws, horns or wings. He can rage so hot his weapon deals fire damage. He can call spirits to harm enemies around him. He can channel the power of dragons, demons or beasts. He can gain several types of supersenses, heal himself and increase his strenght severalfold. One archetype allows him to go giant whenever he wants and another allows him to become nearly invulnerable.
The barbarian can do all kinds of awesome stuff, so why can't the fighter?


VM mercenario wrote:
They can fight all day

Sure, unless the day lasts more than a couple of minutes. When they run out of rage rounds, they turn into NPC Warriors / Fallen Paladins.

Because it would really be unfair to the casters if martials didn't share their daily limits, right?


Rathyr wrote:

Plus no one wants to really face the most obvious solution of taking some of the toys away for those that have them all... Raise the floor for what is acceptable for a "mundane" to perform and lower the ceiling for the reality-bending finger wigglers.

That would be my chance to the next edition of PF.


i can think of a few ways to fix this.

the easiest

Gestalt, with the ruling that at least one of the classes has a minimum of a 2/3 progression in either spellcasting or psionic manifesting. effectively making everybody able to cast.

slightly harder

convert the Bo9S to pathfinder

A lot harder

gut the martial classes and recreate them from scratch to possess the desired supernatural progression

other good ideas

give everybody max hit points per hit die, this gives fighters a drastic advantage over wizards in the HP department, but should also make a barbarian's rage HP matter more.

ditch the concept of favored class, give everyone 2 additional hit points and 2 additional skill points per level instead. double the bonuses granted by toughness and open minded and give all spontaneous casters (and psionic classes too) the benefit of the human sorcerer favored class bonus into their standard progression.

merge the 2WF tree into one feat. from 2WF and Double Slice, to I2WF and Greater 2WF.

Give everyone the power attack, spring attack, deadly aim, combat expertise, pirahna strike, combat reflexes, and reckless abandon (the rage power that trades AC for attack bonus) feats for free.

give all martials pounce for free at B.A.B. +6, drop any options, items, or archetypes that were only serving the purpose of acquiring pounce.

change the jumping rules. maximum distance jumped equal to jump check result (both vertical and horizontal)


I'd like to see non-casters do things other than full attacking, charging, and whatever maneuver they've dumped enough feats/traits/gold/whathaveyou into in order to make it relevant.


Very interesting thread. In a sense it seems that Feats have become Gates defining what characters are able to do and how well to do them. This very ordering of the game then limits the feat based characters. Spells are like Doors, they open options and are made to circumvent limits.

Consider metamagic: a single selection here can be applied to all of a casters spells (yes a blanket statement with MANY exceptions but you get the idea....) Why are there no "Meta-combat" feats?

To answer my question there already are..Power Attack and the Assault line and Improved Crit and Crit applications. Maybe all the Combat manoeuvres should have a similar base feat that is applied to ORDINARY attacks as a sort of bonus (like the Assault line)

Perhaps martials could benefit from an easily applied mechanical bonus. Think of fiction in literature and film, the mark of a hero is that he acts like a caffeinated terrier while slaughtering those around him. Give full martials bonus actions as they bonus. A level 20 fighter with TWO Full Actions in a round could get things done, and this would also incidentally let him apply all sorts of CM to melee. Fighters could now pounce like Barbs and Barbs would be able to Pounce/Repounce??

so two fixes for martials, more "inclusive" feats ala metamagic, or mechanically adjust actions/round. I like the second......

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Would like to point out that being a genius and book learning are very, very different then having training in an appropriate area. Plenty of geniuses in the world can be outfoxed by experienced tacticians who know what they are doing.

I believe the skill used in such things is Sense Motive, which is a Wisdom check, and who is more likely to have points in such tactical fields then Military types?

Would also agree that Fighters don't have the points to actually DO that...

Agree wholeheartedly on the Fighter example above.

Batman is a level 6 human...as good as an Olympian in every single athletic endeavor, with base 18's in all stats, and a 23 Int. He's the second smartest human on the planet (only Lex Luthor is smarter). He's an accomplished scientist, designer, engineer, and detective with an impossibly broad knowledge of just about everything imaginable.

His baseline is Fighter...he's considered the second or third best martial artist on the planet (I belive Richard Dragon is #1), and he has beaten Lady Shiva, so he's above her. However, he's also plainly gestalt...he's equal parts monk, rogue, ninja, expert, aristocrat and ranger.

Batman doesn't have high levels, but he has concurrent, sideways levels. He's a 6th level fighter specializing in Unarmed Combat, a 6th level ranger with FE: humans (+4), a 6th level monk hitting as hard with his fist as most people do with a baseball bat, he's got Skill Focus feats up the wazoo...

And, of course, he's one of the richest people on the planet, too, perhaps the richest now that Lex lost control of Lexcorp. You can buy a LOT of ability mods with level 21 wealth...

===Aelryinth


I'd like tp see high level martial character being able to perform great feats of strength, agility and skill. Things that could possibly be achievable if you had enough physical power.

I don't want a fighter flying and shooting fireballs, but I'd like to see them running miles in a few seconds and cutting through mountains. I''d love to see epic fighters being able to resist damage that could sink a warship.

Being mundane is not the same as being ordinary. Hulk is mundane, but he is extraordinary.

IMHO, full casters have way to many options for very little investment, while Fighter have t sacrifice much more to have moderate versatility and utility. Rogues, otoh, have more options than Fighters, thanks to their skills and talents, but they lack the numbers to make their options as effective as the other skill-focused classes.

Bards and Inquisitors are very balanced skill-focused characters. They are great at this role, both in social situations and other non-combat encounters, while still being able to contribute a lot ina fight.

Paladins are very balanced combat class. They have enough survivability to stay in the front-lines against pretty much every threat, and they excel at their specialty (finding and slaying evil creatures), while being able to contribute to the party in other ways as well. They can help with healing and buffing, and are good "party-face" characters, although not nearly as much as a Bard or Inquisitor, but those are not as good as Paladins in combat. (I'd give Paladins two extra skill points, though, and probably make Knowledge(Planes) a class skill)

So these three classes have about the same amount of options, but their options, while equally effective, are different from each other and focus on different areas.

This is the kind of balance I'd like to see in all classes. Different options, focused on different things, but overall, equally effective.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I do prefer my fighters using equipment to overcome enemies. But I would like to see options for higher powered fighters in the event you wish to play that. I think Mythic will be a good scratch to that itch. And I want Fighters to have 4+Int skills.


Nordlander wrote:
Very interesting thread. In a sense it seems that Feats have become Gates defining what characters are able to do and how well to do them. This very ordering of the game then limits the feat based characters. Spells are like Doors, they open options and are made to circumvent limits.

Kind of. The vast (vast) majority of feats, especially combat feats, are just +2 to this or that. Even the more complicated combat feats like Power Attack (which is practically mandatory) or Combat Expertise (which is terrible and usually a feat tax) aren't all that complicated. Sure, the Fighter gets a truckload of feats, but nine times out of ten he's going to go with "+2 to this or that" when he levels up. Granted, sometimes enough feats focused towards a specific thing can turn quantity into quality, but in general the Fighter isn't getting new things, he's just getting better at the things he can already do.

By contrast, the Wizard gets either more spells or new spells at every level, both of which greatly influence his ability to affect the world around him.

This isn't just a problem with Fighters, either. Every non-caster class (Bards and Inquisitor count as casters) gets a handful of abilities within the first five or so levels, then just has those abilities get better or become usable more often. Rogues are the exception, but most of the talents still fall under the umbrella of "+2 to this or that". The problem isn't that these classes aren't effective (they aren't, but that's another discussion entirely). The problem is that they're boring to play. They're about as complex at level 1 as they are at level 20, and good tactics at level 1 remain good tactics at level 20. That's fine if you want your character to be simple and remain simple as he gains levels, but what if you don't? What if I want to play a Fighter, but also want to have my character grow more complicated as I level up?


Blurg wrote:
good tactics at level 1 remain good tactics at level 20.

That's not true. At level 1, you're allowed to move ten feet and still attack properly.

3.0/3.x/PF has a number of problems, but I'm not sure any of them is quite as bad as the full-attack mechanic.


Well, I do not like most of the suggestions. I like the fighter to be mundane, yeah at hihger level they are most than just mundane but they should acomplish their goal troguh their skills and training not supernatural abilities.

And hey, I am not saying this because I hate anime-likeaction, since I had 7 I have seen and enjoy dragon ball like 10 times. It is just that it is not what i want in a D&D game.

I think the problem with marticals, and particulary fighters is the lack of options and not their combat prowess.

So, a couple of suggestions.

1) For some reason there are feat that reduce martials choises, strike back I am looking at you. The answer is to erase those from the game.

2) Make maneuver more desirable. To Eliminate the AoO should be the first step.

3) Create more maneuver/movements that all martials should be capable of triying. I do not want a feat that allow fighter to fly, go invisible, travel to other planes.
I do want my fighter to shot at the wings of the harpy to take her down.
The ranger shoudl be capable of trhust an harpoon in the back of the dragon, hang on it and accompnay the drgon in its fly while attaking it with the sword in his other hand.
The cavalier should be able to try to attack the eyes of the basilisk so it can not petrify any longer etc.

EDIT: to clarify.


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SKR has gone on record saying called shots aren't needed because we already have critical hits which are the same thing.

I'm not sure SKR knows what "called" means. Or what "meaningful decisions" means.


Roberta Yang wrote:

SKR has gone on record saying called shots aren't needed because we already have critical hits which are the same thing.

I'm not sure SKR knows what "called" means. Or what "meaningful decisions" means.

quote?

EDIT: there are called shot in UC. Their mechanics is lackluster though. they really should have used more pages for martials movements/options inteads of spells u.u


Nicos wrote:
quote?

Called Shots Do Bad Things to the Game

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Fortunately, D&D does have a system for handling especially well-placed hits against enemies: the critical hit. The game even has a system for characters to learn how to place such blows more often: the Improved Critical feat. So there's already stuff built into the game to handle the effects of called shots without having to introduce the complexity or the problems of actually requiring specific called shots. Trying to build more complex stuff into the game introduces some problems, slows down gameplay, and either makes armor even more valuable than it already is (by dealing more damage to armorless characters as compared to armored characters) or makes armor much weaker than it should be (by allowing attackers to easily bypass armor's protection).

The rest of the article indicates that he can't think of any possible use for called shots that aren't just "attack exactly like normal except the AC is slightly lower than normal due to number shenanigans" - shooting out the wings is inconceivable to him.

Admittedly, it's an old post - ten years old at this point - but it's still displayed proudly on his website with no "UPDATE: by the way all of this is completely wrong" tacked on.


Blurg wrote wrote:


Kind of. The vast (vast) majority of feats, especially combat feats, are just +2 to this or that. Even the more complicated combat feats like Power Attack (which is practically mandatory) or Combat Expertise (which is terrible and usually a feat tax) aren't all that complicated. Sure, the Fighter gets a truckload of feats, but nine times out of ten he's going to go with "+2 to this or that" when he levels up. Granted, sometimes enough feats focused towards a specific thing can turn quantity into quality, but in general the Fighter isn't getting new things, he's just getting better at the things he can already do.

Yeah I agree, Feats are limiting, Spells are made to break limits. Feats in effect become a bar to what characters want to do, Spells provide open doors...

Imagine looking at all character abilities as feats...So garden variety feats are "Feats", Rage powers are "Super Feats"[they have a duration and often scale with level] Spells are "Epic Feats" [they have durations as balance and will often scale with level.] Monk , Ranger , Paladin and other class abilities could also be ranked in this defacto feat scheme.

a fighter has to get Weapon focus, and Weapon Specialization to get +1 +2 bonus to hit and damage, with Divine favour a cleric can get this bonus to hit and damage that scales to +3+3

The assumption being that caster limits of spells per day and spell duration is balanced. Resist Energy is originally a 10 point energy absorb that scales to 30 at level 11. Compare that to any feat (or Rage power for that matter) Weapon Focus gives a level 1 fighter +1 to hit and a mighty highly skilled level 20 Fighter...+1 to hit. Even the casters damage buff Arcane Strike scales with level..(insulting to martials!!) Wizards get how many of these "feats" that they can customize to their encounters in a day? A level 12 wizard has maybe 29? or likely more spells... makes the Fighters 7 feats look kinda chintzy (level 12 fighter would be getting 2 wpn focus and 2 wpn spec, so even less choice)

Feats should scale , for martials especially

the deuce if i can figure out the formating! sorry!


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Roberta Yang wrote:
Nicos wrote:
quote?

Called Shots Do Bad Things to the Game

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Fortunately, D&D does have a system for handling especially well-placed hits against enemies: the critical hit. The game even has a system for characters to learn how to place such blows more often: the Improved Critical feat. So there's already stuff built into the game to handle the effects of called shots without having to introduce the complexity or the problems of actually requiring specific called shots. Trying to build more complex stuff into the game introduces some problems, slows down gameplay, and either makes armor even more valuable than it already is (by dealing more damage to armorless characters as compared to armored characters) or makes armor much weaker than it should be (by allowing attackers to easily bypass armor's protection).

The rest of the article indicates that he can't think of any possible use for called shots that aren't just "attack exactly like normal except the AC is slightly lower than normal due to number shenanigans" - shooting out the wings is inconceivable to him.

Admittedly, it's an old post - ten years old at this point - but it's still displayed proudly on his website with no "UPDATE: by the way all of this is completely wrong" tacked on.

If we're just going to rehash terrible Sean K Reynolds opinions we're going to be here all day.


Nicos wrote:

Well, I do not like most of the suggestions. I lie the fighter to be the munddane, yeah ath hihger level they are most than just mundane but they should acomplish their goal troguh their skills ad training not supernatural skills.

And hey, I am not saying this because I hate anime-likeaction, since I had 7 i have seen and enjoy dragon ball like 10 times. It is just that it is not what i ant in a D&D game.

I think the problem with marticals, and particulary fighters is the lack of options and not their combat prowess.

So, a couple of suggestions.

1) For some reason there are feat that reduce martials choises, strike back I am looking at you. The answer is to erase those from the game.

2) Make maneuver more desirable. To Eliminate the AoO should be the first step.

3) Create more maneuver/movements that all martials should be capable of triying. I do not want a feat that allow fighter to fly, go invisible, travel to other planes.
I do want my fighter to shot at the wings of the harpy to take her down, my ranger shoudl be capable of trhust an harpoon in the bac of the dragon and hang on itso the dragon can not reach him with his claws or bite, the cavalier should be able to try to attack the eyes of the basilisk so it can not petrify any longer etc.

I agree with pretty much everything in this post. And I'd like to share an idea for the skill system.

Divide the skill list in 3 categories: physical, social and intelectual.

Physical skills include pretty much every skill based on Str or Dex, and the number of skill ranks per level is based on your Con modifier.
Social skills include Sense Motive and basically every skill based on Cha, except UMD. Socia skill ranks per level are based on your Cha modifier.
Intelectual skills include UMD, most skills based on Wisdom and all skills based on Int. Skill ranks per level are based on Int.

So wizard would get very few social and physical skills, but lots of intelectual ones. Bards would get lots of social skills and a decent amount of the other two. Rogues would get lots of all of them. Fighters would get lots of physical skills but not much of the other two.

The problem is, I never could figure out the numbers. This system would mean every character has many more skill ranks than normal. which may not be bad thing, but it surely risks bringing up unexpected consequences when every character has 4~8 more skill ranks than normal.


Blurg wrote:
Nordlander wrote:
Very interesting thread. In a sense it seems that Feats have become Gates defining what characters are able to do and how well to do them. This very ordering of the game then limits the feat based characters. Spells are like Doors, they open options and are made to circumvent limits.
Kind of. The vast (vast) majority of feats, especially combat feats, are just +2 to this or that.

do you have the numbers to back up your argument?


Lemmy wrote:
Nicos wrote:

Well, I do not like most of the suggestions. I lie the fighter to be the munddane, yeah ath hihger level they are most than just mundane but they should acomplish their goal troguh their skills ad training not supernatural skills.

And hey, I am not saying this because I hate anime-likeaction, since I had 7 i have seen and enjoy dragon ball like 10 times. It is just that it is not what i ant in a D&D game.

I think the problem with marticals, and particulary fighters is the lack of options and not their combat prowess.

So, a couple of suggestions.

1) For some reason there are feat that reduce martials choises, strike back I am looking at you. The answer is to erase those from the game.

2) Make maneuver more desirable. To Eliminate the AoO should be the first step.

3) Create more maneuver/movements that all martials should be capable of triying. I do not want a feat that allow fighter to fly, go invisible, travel to other planes.
I do want my fighter to shot at the wings of the harpy to take her down, my ranger shoudl be capable of trhust an harpoon in the bac of the dragon and hang on itso the dragon can not reach him with his claws or bite, the cavalier should be able to try to attack the eyes of the basilisk so it can not petrify any longer etc.

Lemmy wrote:


I agree with pretty much everything in this post. And I'd like to share an idea for the skill system.

yuhu!. I forget to mention to give and extra +2 to fighter skills points, cause 2+int skills per level to an entirely mundane class is absurd.


Lemmy wrote:
Fighters would get lots of physical skills but not much of the other two.

Back in AD&D, fighters got a keep and an army when they hit high levels and were expected to do some ruling. A fighter shouldn't be confined to being a guy with big muscles who punches things; a fighter should be perfectly capable of being a tactician and a leader. This is pretty much just your revamped skill list's analogue of giving fighters a measly 2+Int skills.

Look at Odysseus. Odysseus is almost certainly a fighter. But he was also the best at what you would label social skills that the Greeks had, and he was strong on the intellectual front as well.


Roberta Yang wrote:
Nicos wrote:
quote?

Called Shots Do Bad Things to the Game

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Fortunately, D&D does have a system for handling especially well-placed hits against enemies: the critical hit. The game even has a system for characters to learn how to place such blows more often: the Improved Critical feat. So there's already stuff built into the game to handle the effects of called shots without having to introduce the complexity or the problems of actually requiring specific called shots. Trying to build more complex stuff into the game introduces some problems, slows down gameplay, and either makes armor even more valuable than it already is (by dealing more damage to armorless characters as compared to armored characters) or makes armor much weaker than it should be (by allowing attackers to easily bypass armor's protection).

The rest of the article indicates that he can't think of any possible use for called shots that aren't just "attack exactly like normal except the AC is slightly lower than normal due to number shenanigans" - shooting out the wings is inconceivable to him.

Admittedly, it's an old post - ten years old at this point - but it's still displayed proudly on his website with no "UPDATE: by the way all of this is completely wrong" tacked on.

Terrible indeed.

I would like to create a thread to ask SKR about his opinion but with all the bash he have recived in the last year I dobut It end well.


Having fighters be mundane at high level is silly. It turns them into a walking personification of bad Chuck Norris jokes.


Roberta Yang wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
Fighters would get lots of physical skills but not much of the other two.

Back in AD&D, fighters got a keep and an army when they hit high levels and were expected to do some ruling. A fighter shouldn't be confined to being a guy with big muscles who punches things; a fighter should be perfectly capable of being a tactician and a leader. This is pretty much just your revamped skill list's analogue of giving fighters a measly 2+Int skills.

Look at Odysseus. Odysseus is almost certainly a fighter. But he was also the best at what you would label social skills that the Greeks had, and he was strong on the intellectual front as well.

I understand that, Roberta, but remember, having, let's say, (2+cha) plus (4+con) plus (2+int) skill ranks is a lot more than only (2+int). Although I suppose having a decent amount of social skills would be okay.

Like I said, I never could figure out the numbers for such a system. Maybe if the character only added half the the relevant attribute modifier.

BTW, another good thing of this system is how Cha gets a much needed boost, being on par with Int.


Lemmy wrote:
Roberta Yang wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
Fighters would get lots of physical skills but not much of the other two.

Back in AD&D, fighters got a keep and an army when they hit high levels and were expected to do some ruling. A fighter shouldn't be confined to being a guy with big muscles who punches things; a fighter should be perfectly capable of being a tactician and a leader. This is pretty much just your revamped skill list's analogue of giving fighters a measly 2+Int skills.

Look at Odysseus. Odysseus is almost certainly a fighter. But he was also the best at what you would label social skills that the Greeks had, and he was strong on the intellectual front as well.

I understand that, Roberta, but remember, having, let's say, (2+cha) plus (4+con) plus (2+int) skill ranks is a lot more than only (2+int). Although I suppose having a decent amount of social skills would be okay.

Like I said, I never could figure out the numbers for such a system. Maybe if the character only added half the the relevant attribute modifier.

BTW, another good thing of this system is how Cha gets a much needed boost, being on par with Int.

or you could lower the cielings on attributes for player and monster alike.


Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:
Lemmy wrote:

I understand that, Roberta, but remember, having, let's say, (2+cha) plus (4+con) plus (2+int) skill ranks is a lot more than only (2+int). Although I suppose having a decent amount of social skills would be okay.

Like I said, I never could figure out the numbers for such a system. Maybe if the character only added half the the relevant attribute modifier.

BTW, another good thing of this system is how Cha gets a much needed boost, being on par with Int.

or you could lower the cielings on attributes for player and monster alike.

Reducing ability scores would change a lot more about the game than having more skill ranks, ad would require a lot more tunning and homebrewing.


One thing I would like to comment is that I do not think fighters as a class needs a lot of changes. As they are, they can handle a lot of challenges reasonable good. I would give him more skills, and maybe another good savesand that is all.


reducing the cielings requires a new edition.


Probably the biggest factor that makes non casters seem like they have such fewer options than the caster is that they're usually played by less intelligent players...
*runs away*
JUST KIDDING! JUST KIDDING! Gentle people put your torches away

The actual biggest factor that makes non casters seem like they have such fewer options than the caster is that they're usually played by less imaginative players.
*runs away*
JUST KIDDING! JUST KIDDING!

Realistically the non casters are the ones that are overpowered in pathfinder because they gets something that none of the other players get...

A friend who's a caster! (and they didnt even spend a feat for it!)
*runs away*
JUST KIDDING! JUST KIDDING!

At the very least I like the idea that all of those combat feats should scale, like you get the first tier of the feat using a feat point and then the rest of the tree completes itself for free as you level... And I'd agree that the skill system should be modified except I think it's only really an issue because folks like to keep a tiny amount of skills cranked up as high as they can go... I agree that just about any physical skill like swim and acrobatics should be a given to any non caster build... Then again they already kind of are because most of those are based on physical attributes that the non casters crank up anyway...

Speaking of attributes I'm not sure its a great idea to compensate for the SAD nature of a caster by giving a non caster high scores in all his physical attributes... But its a thought. I don't like it, but it's a thought.

Coming from a 2e/palladium background I have never been a real paragon of 'balance'... Some folks like playing something that has options and is complex. Others like to play Thor. My skills? I put the Hammer down... Feats... Yeah. I uh.... I PUT THE HAMMER DOWN!

Its not magic... Its a... uh. Racial ability.

For folks who walk down the middle of road and get squish... Just like grape... Well there's plenty of classes for those folks as well. I think also maybe theres something to making it so that a died-in-the-wool complete non caster can bypass DR/- even using mundane weapons. Thats not more options, but if you wanted options, you usually don't choose fighter.

Sure a fighter that wants to remain relevant in the 17s needs a little somethin-somethin to help him out. Thats what it means to make friends along the way. I feel like if you want your character to have more depth than Wreck It Ralph then there's plenty of options out there, but I agree. Fighting for 'balance' sometimes results in a lot of dead youngling jedi...

Ooh. Wait! Is that what we're talking about? You want your fighter to be a Jedi? Little force choke here, little lightning finger chi there?

Contributor

Smug Narcissist wrote:
Lemmy wrote:

I agree. They are completely different, but please, don't call me a dumb f~+!. It hurts my feelings.

Anyway, from fighting games, I learned something very interesting. Something that is consistently true to pretty much every game ever, from DnD to Mortal Kombat, passing by Magic The Gathering and Super Mario Bros. And quite possibly, to many aspects of real life as well:

Options are the most valuable resource you can have.

Read it again, it's important. It's the whole point of this post.

In fighting fames, just like in PF, we have the concept of "tiers". These tiers are based on character effectiveness. While there is never 100% consensus, there are many points where the players of any given game will agree. e.g.: In Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, people might disagree about who's better, Vergil, Zero or Dr.Doom, but they'll tell you that all 3 of them are incredibly effective.

Bad Example with the fighting games here if you ask me.I'm not so on top with the fighting games nowadays but I know my classics, and one thing I can say for sure:The complex fighters where always the weak choice

Again I'm speaking about the classics here,and there can be no debate that the top tiers where all the 1-2-3 kind of guys.

Paul in Tekken(Yoshimitsu or Lei had way more options in almost all incarnations but they where simply sucky pros choose Paul over all others although he always was one of the most limited chars but those stonefist where the best move in the game)

Sagat in Street Fighter( I don't have to elaborate on him right?)

Mitsurugi in Soul Edge(again less moves than most others but better ones)

So what did we learn? Simple and effective is the way to go.

Sorry for the nerdrage but you brought this on yourself

However, the likes of Dhalsim in Street Fighter, Eddie in Guilty Gear, or Nu-13 from BlazBlue are rather complex characters that do really well, especially in the space control departement. It really depends on the character's options as well as the player in control. It's kind of like a more experienced player may make use out of a wizard better than a new player would of a rogue.


Since my position here was somewhat mischaracterized I'd like to restate it for purposes of clarity.

I like the idea of martial characters who are truly mundane and would not have a problem playing one. I am OK with the concept that such a character will not be able to hold up against magical characters at high levels.

(Minor point, I rarely play at high levels, most of my characters retire around level 12 or so).

I have no problem with martial characters who can accomplish "superhuman" things through supernatural means. I just want that clearly stated that they are superhuman and using magic.

Regardless of both of these, I have no problem with pencil-necked, geeky, frail bookwormy wizards still being the all powerful lords of the game. But that's not required. If you want some supernatural martial character to somehow challenge the wizard's "time stop" ability, then fine. Go ahead. But now all you've done is create a new top dog in the tier system because he's as good as a wizard at magic, and ten times as good with a weapon.


And it wouldnt hurt if, as a combat class that likely has romper stomper initiative bonuses that you use your system-given-right to hold your action until he starts casting so you can whack him when he casts and interrupt his spell... Did pathfinder get rid of that option?


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Since my position here was somewhat mischaracterized I'd like to restate it for purposes of clarity.

I like the idea of martial characters who are truly mundane and would not have a problem playing one. I am OK with the concept that such a character will not be able to hold up against magical characters at high levels.

(Minor point, I rarely play at high levels, most of my characters retire around level 12 or so).

I have no problem with martial characters who can accomplish "superhuman" things through supernatural means. I just want that clearly stated that they are superhuman and using magic.

Regardless of both of these, I have no problem with pencil-necked, geeky, frail bookwormy wizards still being the all powerful lords of the game. But that's not required. If you want some supernatural martial character to somehow challenge the wizard's "time stop" ability, then fine. Go ahead. But now all you've done is create a new top dog in the tier system because he's as good as a wizard at magic, and ten times as good with a weapon.

nobody wants a martial class who can cast just as good as a wizard and challenge the wizard's time stop.

it has merely been said that we want some supernatural levels of physical prowess for martials. supernatural powers need not mean spells.

i personally wouldn't mind a series of slightly weaker supernatural powers a martial class would be able to use at will. stuff a barbarian can already do through rage powers with rage cycling.

i'm not asking for things like fighters to summon meteors with their minds or stop time. though stopping time could be an interesting rogue thing at high levels.

examples of abilities i would like to see

the fighter (or other martial) swings his blade with such speed and force, that despite being unable to physically reach you, he creates a vaccuum of wind to damage you in the place of his blade

the fighter moves so fast, that it appeared he teleported, aka the flash step.

by swinging his weapon along the ground, the fighter creates many feet of difficult terrain

the fighter kicks up some dust and dispels the illusion, whether by invisibility, mirror image or whatever

the fighter, through sheer determination and resolve, overcomes any ongoing condition that affects him, whether the domination by the enchantress, a curse from the gods, the beijing cocktail that seeks to kill him, the paralysis from that evil sorcerer, the death spell of that vile necromancer or even the planar corruption consuming his very being.

the fighter, by muttering a promise, can recover his focus and ignore a portion of his grievous injuries, allowing him to continue on as if he had recieved a healing spell (swift action lay on hands for fighters)

with a powerful swing, the fighter cleaves through the castle wall with his blade and creates an opening to enter through.

the fighter is so trained in the art of sundering, he may sunder magic itself, sundering the very spells the wizard had set up

the fighter with a simple parry motion, can deflect a ranged offensive spell back at the caster who fired it. whether ray, magic missile, or AoE. automatically hitting the unprepared caster.


Vincent Takeda wrote:
And it wouldnt hurt if, as a combat class that likely has romper stomper initiative bonuses that you use your system-given-right to hold your action until he starts casting so you can whack him when he casts and interrupt his spell... Did pathfinder get rid of that option?

Five foot step. :-P


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Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Since my position here was somewhat mischaracterized I'd like to restate it for purposes of clarity.

I like the idea of martial characters who are truly mundane and would not have a problem playing one. I am OK with the concept that such a character will not be able to hold up against magical characters at high levels.

(Minor point, I rarely play at high levels, most of my characters retire around level 12 or so).

I have no problem with martial characters who can accomplish "superhuman" things through supernatural means. I just want that clearly stated that they are superhuman and using magic.

Regardless of both of these, I have no problem with pencil-necked, geeky, frail bookwormy wizards still being the all powerful lords of the game. But that's not required. If you want some supernatural martial character to somehow challenge the wizard's "time stop" ability, then fine. Go ahead. But now all you've done is create a new top dog in the tier system because he's as good as a wizard at magic, and ten times as good with a weapon.

And that's the exact thing I have a problem with. But anyone who knows me knows I take balance very seriously for any game I play, be it a video game, tabletop RPG, or something as simple as a board game like Monopoly.

Currently what I'm butting heads with against the other members of my team right now, now that I think of it. A few seem to have it in their head that it has to "Be realistic" or "Make logical sense" regardless of balance, and I disagree.

And the martial character doesn't have to be as good as a Wizard at magic and still be a badass swordsman. That's not the point at all. The point is to stop artificially gimping characters because "it doesn't make sense without magic". The Fighter and to a lesser extent other martials need something besides "I hit it with a stick/shoot it with a bow, and occasionally I trip/push/grapple it. And if that don't work? Well I'm s&&# outta luck aren't I?"

The Barbarian is a good example of this. Interesting, inhuman abilities, but still not MAGIC. Some Supernatural, some simply Extraordinary, but he has a few more options. I think all martials need to be AT LEAST as versatile as the Barbarian (who is really only mildly more flexible than the Fighter). Ideally all martials would be on par with someone like the Inquisitor in versatility.

The idea that "Full BaB and d10+ Hit Die and versatility outside of combat are incompatible things" needs to be dropped for that to happen though.

The way the current system is, yes, Wizards are the dark lords of all in the end game, and I'm honestly fine with that too. They're mediocre early game and simply very good mid-level, it's only towards the end when you WANT the guy who can bend space and time around his pinky that he really gets there.

The problem is that the Wizard's "very good" in the mid-levels is in comparison to the Fighter/Rogue/Monk's "kinda okay" (though I love me some Monk). That "very good" rating should at least be in comparison to anotehr class being "pretty good". That make sense?

I understand that perfect balance is impossible, but it's very possible to reduce that gap between "okay" and "really freakin' good".

@Lumiere: I like a lot of those ideas. Though I'm not sure on the last one. Deflecting and then AUTO-HITTING with the spell seems overboard.


Arbane the Terrible wrote:
Vincent Takeda wrote:
And it wouldnt hurt if, as a combat class that likely has romper stomper initiative bonuses that you use your system-given-right to hold your action until he starts casting so you can whack him when he casts and interrupt his spell... Did pathfinder get rid of that option?
Five foot step. :-P

That, and the "wizard" you're facing is probably an illusion while the real one is invisible and flying and preparing to either one-shot you or teleport away.

See, that's the thing about wizards. They have spells. Lots of spells.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
(Minor point, I rarely play at high levels, most of my characters retire around level 12 or so).

You don't say.


Roberta Yang wrote:
Arbane the Terrible wrote:
Vincent Takeda wrote:
And it wouldnt hurt if, as a combat class that likely has romper stomper initiative bonuses that you use your system-given-right to hold your action until he starts casting so you can whack him when he casts and interrupt his spell... Did pathfinder get rid of that option?
Five foot step. :-P

That, and the "wizard" you're facing is probably an illusion while the real one is invisible and flying and preparing to either one-shot you or teleport away.

See, that's the thing about wizards. They have spells. Lots of spells.

Indeed. A well prepared wizard is everything they are sold to be for sure.


Roberta Yang wrote:


The rest of the article indicates that he can't think of any possible use for called shots that aren't just "attack exactly like normal except the AC is slightly lower than normal due to number shenanigans" - shooting out the wings is inconceivable to him.

Just to throw this out there... HP is a pure abstraction. How do you handle called shots when the HP system says 'until you take your last HP of damage, you are 100% combat effective'?

You'd have to make rules for dropping weapons (hands), losing mobility (legs), losing spells/skills (head), losing flight (wings), losing natural attacks (tails, claws) etc...

And then, HP are no longer a magic pool of ablative armor.

Considering that a 'hit' can take off 50 hp and be described as a 'scratch' or 'becoming winded', it seems that 'target the wings' fails simply bacause the HP system can't handle being anything other than ablative armor unless you're willing to add a very complex re-write to the entire system.

Silver Crusade

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Vincent Takeda wrote:
Roberta Yang wrote:
Arbane the Terrible wrote:
Vincent Takeda wrote:
And it wouldnt hurt if, as a combat class that likely has romper stomper initiative bonuses that you use your system-given-right to hold your action until he starts casting so you can whack him when he casts and interrupt his spell... Did pathfinder get rid of that option?
Five foot step. :-P

That, and the "wizard" you're facing is probably an illusion while the real one is invisible and flying and preparing to either one-shot you or teleport away.

See, that's the thing about wizards. They have spells. Lots of spells.

Indeed. A well prepared wizard is everything they are sold to be for sure.

The biggest problem is assuming the wizard is going to be prepared and that the enemy will always fail their saving throws.

Hell, any class will dominate if they are always at the right place at the right time.

Silver Crusade

The survivability of Wizards falls at really high levels because most creatures have immunities, Spell Resistance, spells of their own, and enough intelligence to spot the party's wizard and head straight for him.


Is it alright if I play my high level super genius as if he might maybe have enough intelligence to realize he has enemies and he should avoid traps and ambushes whenever possible? And that maybe he SHOULD actually be prepared because different situations do actually call for different spells and I just happen to be an expert in the subject. It's not that hard and not nearly as much of a drain on his resources as people believe. The entire argument that wizards wouldn't be prepared for every situation is a dumb one because there are only a limited number of types of situations that high level wizards even care about and it is not even that hard to be prepared for them all. Why people seem to think SR and immunities cause epic troubles for wizards is beyond me.


Smug Narcissist wrote:


Sagat in Street Fighter( I don't have to elaborate on him right?)

So what did we learn? Simple and effective is the way to go.

Sorry for the nerdrage but you brought this on yourself

Just going to point out that Sagat is one of the strongest characters in the Street Fighter games, because he DOES have more moves than almost everyone else, and the moves he has cover a wide range of situations.

Now, I kind of stopped playing the SF games when they started putting in the stupid ultra combos or whatever, but Super Street Fighter II was a pretty good, varied game, so I'll look there.

He has more moves than Ryu and Ken, a more versatile suite than Vega or Bison. Who compares? Now, he's a little slow, but given that you can make it very difficult to approach him, then punish people who get too close, attacking low, standing, and in the air (in two different ways), and out-reach most of the rest of the field, that looks like a pretty decent wizard comparison to me.


To the original topic, the problems with fighters (standing in for all martial classes here)are:

-They get too few options. Compare the versatility in capabilities even a sorcerer has to that of a fighter. At best, the fighter is pretty good at maybe two styles of combat, has a decent AC, and has some out of combat options, although they aren't exactly set-up well for the last, with few skill points and fairly poor out of combat class skills to choose from. Their greatest in-combat versatility is in their combat maneuvers, which require feats to become even passable at for a few levels before even the feats-powered maneuvers get outpaced by the CMD system, and their feats, which only very rarely compare with a spell or two obtainable at the same level once you get past about level 4.

A wizard, or a sorcerer, even, can have a contingency for flying enemies, invisible enemies, teleporting enemies, energy resistant enemies, energy susceptible enemies, undead, outsiders, creatures with DR, big critturs, and little critturs. They can end whole fights with well-chosen single standard action. And although their spells can run dry, there are ways to mitigate that, such as by using wands, scrolls, wands and staves, or by withdrawing from a challenge to return at a later time when better prepared.

A martial character, meanwhile, has the ability to hit something with a weapon, hit something from farther away with a weapon, or impose one of a limited number of negative conditions that typically only last 1 round, and have a poor success rate the higher the CR of the opponents faced.

Take a wizard at level 5. Let's say he prepares Fireball 3x, and Aqueous Orb once (there are certainly many other options). It's entirely possible for him to simply END 3 encounters in a day using only a standard action, and a 4th with probably a standard action and then a few rounds moving the orb around. There's NOTHING a martial can take as an option at level 5 that would allow them to end even a single encounter (outside of a fight against a single monster, or maybe a pair adjacent to each other, with a lucky crit or two). What's more, the wizard can do this from outside of charge range of his opponents.

The Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords from the end of 3.5 made a valiant attempt at bridging some of this game, by giving martials some better action economy, some encounter-ending abilities, and abilities that aren't JUST about doing damage, or inflicting a minor negative status effect for a round, but some more could be done.

Honestly, I think the first that needs to be done, is the martials need to be given MANY more options. Combat Maneuvers should be easier to perform without spending a feat, and the list of possible actions that fall under this heading should be expanded, while the feats should add additional effects onto the maneuvers (as some already do). They probably need to be getting many more feats to reflect the difference in power scaling between spells and feats--yes, most feats are usable all day long, but many spells get the job done in one usage, and once you hit mid-levels, you start to accumulate more answers than there are questions, for the most part.

Martial characters really need some ways to attacking things that aren't AC or CMD. Casters get to attack AC, touch AC, Fort, Refl, and Will. There are a few martial abilities that offer some of these options, and they are widely regarded as some of the best choices available to a character not using magic (Dazing Assault being the biggy). Dazing Assault is pretty good, and can be used all day, but it doesn't offer the kind of versatility a caster has, because you don't get to replicate the effect for non-Fort saves (which are the best saves for monsters at that level), only lasts for on round, and requires the character to be in imminent danger. Stunning Fist is a strong choice for the same reasons, but suffers the shame shortcomings.

In Dungeons and Dragons Online, melees are given a bit of a boost (though they are still by and large at a major disadvantage to casters) by having ramped-up combat maneuvers made available to them: Stunning Fist gains a parallel in Stunning Blow that anyone with Strength and Power Attack can pick up, and Improved Trip keeps monsters down for longer than "a round." Now, DDO is a separate animal, but it serves to illustrate an example of a way in which the gap between melees and casters can be closed a little bit, though I think it needs to take more steps in that direction.

----------------------------------------
TL;DR
-martials need more options with easier (read: featless) access to them
-martials need the ability to target things that aren't AC or CMD
-martials need higher-level options that are comparable to spells available of about the same level (compare a level 4+ spell to a feat available at the same level).
-martials probably need, at minimum, more bonus feats than they currently gain at higher levels as a way of off-setting that power difference
-Pathfinder needs to steal a bit more from Tome of Battle: Book of 9 Swords (show-stopping abilities, action economy stuff, alternatives to standard attacks and 1-round-long debuffs)

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