Sound Striker - Wierd Words Ability questions


Rules Questions

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Diego Rossi wrote:
Devilkiller wrote:

I like the removal of the Fort save since it should cut down the number of mostly useless d20 rolls to confirm that most enemies will make the save on most Words. I'm not sure if I like the 1 Word per target limit. Stacking up 10 Words on one target was probably excessive, but it seems like limiting the number of Words might be better than making the Bard split up the Words between multiple enemies who may or may not be there in a particular combat. That seems more like an AoE ability to me, which is more like what the Thunder Caller does.

Like Trogdar and mplindustries, I was thinking of basing the number of words on BAB. I'd want to carefully spell out that Weird Words doesn't work with Haste, Rapid Shot, or especially TWF though. I also suspect that GMs might really hate it when somebody took 6 levels of Bard "just to get iterative touch attacks". Maybe it would be better to just allow one Weird Word per 4 levels, capped at 3. That way you'd get your Words at about the same speed as Scorching Rays, which are already a known quantity in terms of power level and interactions with various buffs.

I'd say that a 12th level Bard blasting somebody for about 3d8+24 is pretty big damage, but I don't think it is crazy, game breaking damage. I can imagine various ways to increase that, but most of them would apply to other touch attack powers too.

Not bad. Actually it is a good suggestion. It seem reasonably balanced as a substitute for suggestion and worth having.

When trying to find a balance for the power, we should remember what it substitute. Suggestion is useful but nothing exceptional.

+1


dot


BTW.

1) Does PBS and precise Shoot really apply to range touch attacks? I know they do when you use rays, but I haven’t seen anything that confirms that it applies to range touch attacks.

2) And does PBS, Good Hope and Inspire Courage really grant a bonus to damage? I know they all do when you use rays that deal hit point damage, but I haven’t seen that confirms that it applies to range touch attacks.


Maybe I'm missing something. Can anyone give a sane reason to not be running Inspire Courage in combat (assuming you have it) that doesn't involve saving Performance rounds?


@Zark.
1) PBS and precise shot don't normally apply to any non-ray ranged touch attacks, and non-ray ranged touch attacks also don't take the firing into melee/soft cover penalties either, per the RAW those both specify penalties to -WEAPON- attack rolls, which non-ray ranged touch attacks are not. However, it is one of the most common mistakes, at least in my area, that people apply both the benefits and penalties for them. In the case of Weird Words, being specifically called out as having a weapon damage type, it could go either way and be equally justified. One more reason to drop the ranged touch, make them sonic, and keep the Fort save instead. It saves a lot of headaches.

2) Same as Above, they wouldn't normally apply to non-weaponlike spells/abilites, this would also keep a lot of people from screaming ZOMG Weird words is Borked!! But with the specification of physical damage types, it's up in the air for intent. Once again, sonic damage with a fort save stops those shenanigans, and brings the ability in line with similar damage caps at the levels discussed.

@Chris Kenney.
If you happen to have a good idea that you can hit the guy with a full barrage and kill him, then the +2-4 hit damage for the rest of the group won't matter at all. It depends on the party make up. Maybe you have one martial and 3 casters?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Chris Kenney wrote:
Maybe I'm missing something. Can anyone give a sane reason to not be running Inspire Courage in combat (assuming you have it) that doesn't involve saving Performance rounds?

Unless he has cast Virtuoso Performance, a bard can have only 1 performance active at a time.

Add that some person interpret this: "Changing a bardic performance from one effect to another requires the bard to stop the previous performance and start a new one as a standard action." as "The bard can't not stop maintaining a bardic performance at the start of the round as a non action/free action and activate a new performance as a standard/move/swift action (depending on his level). He must always take a standard action." They totally disregard the next row of that that say that maintaining a performance require a free action in your turn.

AFAIK a bard can stop maintaining a bardic performance at the start of the turn and then start a new performance as whatever kind of action he can to use, depending on his level. It is only if he has maintained a performance (for whatever reason) and want to change it that he need to use a standard action.
That rule function seem to be meant principally as a way to stop a bard from using a performance with an instantaneous effect as a swift/move action and then starting a second performance in the same round.

@James: Weird word don't substitute inspire competence, that ability is replaced by Wordstrike, so saying that weird word replace both suggestion and inspire competence is false.

BTW, for the PDT, Wordstrike lack the range at which it work.


Well if they intend for it to be only a supplemental thing to a melee bard then it should really have some wording that sets it apart from other performances so it can be used without ending other performances.

I still feel the BP round cost is too high. But at least it might see some use. If they don't stop it from interrupting other performances though it will never see use.


Zark wrote:

BTW.

1) Does PBS and precise Shoot really apply to range touch attacks? I know they do when you use rays, but I haven’t seen anything that confirms that it applies to range touch attacks.

2) And does PBS, Good Hope and Inspire Courage really grant a bonus to damage? I know they all do when you use rays that deal hit point damage, but I haven’t seen that confirms that it applies to range touch attacks.

No to both. Never in any rules or FAQ has it even been slightly suggested that everything with a ranged touch/touch attack works with things that effect weapons. Rays and weapon like spells yes. But that's it.

Some people try very hard to push their own logic that anything with an attack roll is "weapon like" but this is not supported by RAW.

-Edit- Even more so I think that FAQing it into working would be a huge mistake. These are feats and abilities meant to help mundane classes and even still they are the bottom of the food chain. Making these things effect already easy to land touch spells/abilities does nothing but help the already stronger classes.


james maissen wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:

When trying to find a balance for the power, we should remember what it substitute. Suggestion is useful but nothing exceptional.

It substitutes the ability to take any other Bard archetype for starters.

It substitutes having inspire courage or greatness active at the cost of a standard action.

And it also replaces both inspire competence and suggestion.

If you narrow down just on suggestion, then you are treating this as if it were just an option to swap out suggestion. It's not, as there are other costs associated to it.

You want this archetype to feel like it has something worth taking over other archetypes. If you err too much on caution, then you are better served simply removing the archetype entirely.

I second this. You can't just look at weird words by itself. I would use 2 criteria:

1) with the change, will the archetype as a whole appeal to a decent group of players (but not all players) compared to other options? Note: Wordstrike seems to be a horrible ability unless I'm missing something and inspire competence is actually ok.

2) is weird words useful enough to actually see play over alternatives (keeping up inspire, etc.) semi-regularly (once a session? every other session?) but not constantly

I can see how people don't want weird words to be the default action for the bard, so I am liking weird words being sort of a nova power.

So you can burn huge rounds of performance for a huge effect but can't do it more than a couple times a day (and probably won't want to do it more than once a day). But the effect should be big. How about 1d8 per word sonic (1 per level up to 15), cha only once per target, no attk, no additional dam mods possible, 1 save per target for half. Performance used should be around 1/3 total performance for a 16 Cha bard for max effect. So maybe 1 use per word is ok.

So now you get a powerful (but honestly not that powerful) short range attack that you can use if you need big damage but at a huge cost (no inspire that round, 1/3 your performance for the day, can't take other cool archtypes, lose inspire competence for a useless ability, lose suggestion).

I am warming to the idea of a huge performance cost so it's not a spam attack, but weird words has to be really high damage to make it worth it (I would also be ok with lower damage and a good debuff).

IMO, the current revision would not see play.


I'm very much so against the changes to Weird Words. With the 1 BP per attack, almost no one will use it except for in dire emergencies. Even as it stands, Weird Words is really only useful as an attack against the party. The party is unlikely to have much DR, if any, unless they are all popping Stoneskins all the time (which is expensive). If a creature doesn't have stoneskin, doesn't have a high fortitude and the Bard has Charisma as his primary, sure, Weird Words is powerful (but only if he can target the creature with multiple words).

While Weird Words appears powerful, it's also got a lot of downsides. It stops Bardic Performance (unless the Bard casts virtuoso performance), it is subject to DR (which is very common at mid to high levels), subject to a save for half (which is likely to be low while Monsters have a high save bonus), and it provokes attacks of opportunity (it's a ranged attack).

It's not clear as to whether or not buffs apply to it, and if they do, what kinds of buffs. It's not clear as to whether or not the Words can crit. Another thing that needs to be clarified is whether or not the effect is sonic in nature (despite being called Weird Words or referred to as potent sounds) and how it interacts with silence spells or effects that block sound, such as mage's private sanctum.

It's also clunky to use because of the massive amount of rolls needed.

If I were to change it, I would make it more like a sonic form of telekinesis. It'd still do weapon damage, so DR can still block it and it doesn't become the go-to attack form for a Sound Striker. I'd keep the touch attack, but remove the fortitude save. Conversely, if you change the damage to Sonic, remover the touch attack, keep the save.

Weird Words (Su): At 6th level, a sound striker can start a performance as a Standard action, lashing out with a number of potent sounds equal to the bards Charisma bonus. The bard must make a ranged touch attack against a target within 30 ft that deals 1d8+ the bard's Charisma bonus in bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage (chosen at the start of the performance); if multiple words strike a single creature, total the damage together before subtracting DR (if any). The words are not subject to bonus damage from spells or effects, such as good hope or inspire courage, nor can they be used to make critical hits.

Alternatively, the words can be used to make a disarm, trip or sunder combat maneuver using the bard's level plus his Charisma bonus for his combat maneuver bonus. If used in this fashion, the words deal no damage, but if multiple words target the same creature for the same maneuver, each additional word gives a +2 bonus to that maneuver. Any feat that enhances the bard's combat maneuvers (such as Improved Trip) applies to these maneuvers.

The sound striker can choose what each word does at the start of the performance, allowing him to damage, trip, disarm and sunder with the same performance.

Any effect that blocks sound (such as a silence spell) also blocks Weird Words.
=======================================

If I were forced to change Weird Words, that is how I would change it. The rolls are drastically cut down, making it easier to use. With less words, you don't have to worry about a Bard relying on Weird Words as their main damage source, but the damage now fairs better against DR, so it still remains useful. It can also be used to make combat maneuvers, letting Bards contribute better to the fight, than just blasting a creature.


Since the PDT is looking at the Sound Striker, could we get an errata or clarification on the Wordstrike ability? As it stands it's unclear and/or awful. It doesn't mention what type of damage it deals, which really matters against objects as energy damage is automatically halved, while physical damage isn't.

If it deals sonic damage, it's halved vs objects, and then it has to get through hardness, which basically means it's good for cutting rope. Even a 20th level Bard that rolls a 4 is going to be doing only 12 points of damage against an object before hardness. A 2x4 board (very common board) has hardness 5 and 20 hp, so a 20th level Bard rolling max damage on his Wordstrike couldn't even break a 2x4 without using up two uses of Wordstrike (and 2 standard actions).

If it deals physical damage, it's a lot better as it isn't automatically halved against objects. However, again, a 20th level Bard wouldn't be able to break a 2x4 as 24 damage is it's max and 5 of the damage is negated by hardness, and the board still has 1 hp left.

In both cases, the damage needs to be bumped to actually be of some use. Bumping it to 1d4 for every 4 bard levels, plus the bard's level in damage would make it useful against objects.

If the damage is sonic damage, then it should either not be halved against objects, or ignore an objects hardness, otherwise it's basically useless in that aspect. You can't push the damage too high, otherwise it becomes too effective against creatures.


Diego Rossi wrote:
@James: Weird word don't substitute inspire competence, that ability is replaced by Wordstrike, so saying that weird word replace both suggestion and inspire competence is false.

Great, so can I take Weird Words and not give up inspire competence? No?

Then you've really missed my point.

Also the fact on how utterly useless Wordstrike is.

But if you'd prefer that the Sound Striker also gains 'wordstrike'.. go for it.

But if you've elected to get Weird Words, then you've given up inspire competence, suggestion, and the ability to take almost any other Bard archetype.

These are costs.

It is not just suggestion, and should not be looked at that way. One can look at the Wizard bonded object vs familiar in such a fashion, but this is not the same... it has other things tied to it, and consequences of those choices.

-James


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Could turn it into Fus Roh Dah...


Another idea that I had would be to make word strike a sonic damage rider that functions off inspire courage similar to the discordant voice feat. That way you could double the performance cost of inspire courage and get an extra d6 of sonic damage per point of competence bonus that inspire courage grants.

I like the idea of cranking up the buff a little at the cost of doubling its effective cost. Fits the theme pretty well too.


@ TGMaxMaxer and Stome. Thanks for your answers.
Just as I thought and just as we have played it.

----------------------------------------------

The more I think of it the more convinced I am that the attack roll should be removed and the fort save should be added to avoid people turning this into a weapon attack and stacking a lot of crazy stuff to it. It would also salve the problem with DR.

This doesn’t mean that the Devilkiller’s or Cheapy’s ideas are bad.

“One Weird Word per 4 levels, capped at 3. That way you'd get your Words at about the same speed as Scorching Rays, which are already a known quantity in terms of power level and interactions with various buffs.”

Make it sonic and each word cost one round of performance.

BTW, here is a link to Cheapy’s idea: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2opvt?Sound-Striker-Revisited#1

  • and again: I think will be easier to make it balanced if the DR issue goes away. It will make it easier to balance the ability so it won’t be to powerful vs. foes without DR and still make it useful vs. foes with DR.


  • We need something simple, but still useful, and I want to add a couple lines to Wordstrike, so we also need to drop some wordcount.

    Need: less dice rolls, less tracking, easier flow, less extra stacking of buffs.

    Cut the attack roll so people stop trying to stack buffs, make it sonic damage to get rid of the DR tracking, give 1 fort save per target instead of per word, regardless of 1 word or 10, drop the words to 1per 2 levels, capped at 10. 1d8/2 levels is a fairly standard damage progression, Fort save (most common good save in the beastiary) balances out the Cha on each word, as well as the cost of 1 performance round/word.

    So, at 6th level when you get it you would have:
    3d8+Chax3, single or multiple targets, cost 3 rounds, means dropping other performances, Fort for half, at 30ft range.

    4-6 dice rolled, no complex math needed, standard fort/half, no DR concerns, the extra Charisma bonus damage paid for by the extra performance rounds. If you wanna cut to Cha once per target, then don't charge extra rounds for the extra words.

    At 20th level when it caps, you have 10d8+10xcha, costs 10 rounds, (easily a quarter of your daily total unless you really burned resources to increase it), Fort half.

    If you drop the focused fire option, the ability goes into the "fun concept terrible execution" pile, since the high cost would make it useless to spend your standard action on.

    Short and sweet:

    Weird Words (Su): At 6th level, a sound striker can start a performance as a standard action, lashing out with up to 1 potent word per 2 bard levels (maximum 10).
    You may divide the words among targets as you choose within 30 ft.
    Each word expends 1 round of bardic performance.
    Each target struck makes a single fortitude save for half damage, even if struck by multiple words.
    Each weird word deals 1d8 points of sonic damage plus the bard's Charisma bonus.
    This performance replaces suggestion.

    Now that we've cut around 20 words from the proposed changes(not counting the note lines), we can also add a couple to Wordstrike.

    Wordstrike as written is also useless, 1d4+3(when you get it) is 4-7, after hardness of anything but rope is no damage. Especially since wood has hardness 5, and 5 hp, so it will take 3 rounds minimum to break a hafted weapon with it. A steel sword, at hardness 10 and 5 hps, takes 5 rounds to break at max damage rolls at level 7. Heaven forbid it is magic, you'll never break anything enchanted.

    It needs to specify that it bypasses hardness, so it can actually do something, it also needs a range, i feel that since it's objects only a longer range is fair.

    Wordstrike (Su): At 3rd level, the sound striker bard can spend 1 round of bardic performance as a standard action to direct a burst of sonically charged words at a creature or object within 60ft. This performance deals 1d4 points of damage plus the bard's level to an object (bypassing hardness), or half this damage to a living creature. This performance replaces inspire competence.


    Bump.

    The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

    Tels wrote:
    Bump.

    My guess is they are still pondering it. Most people in this thread want something different from the ability.

    There are those that want it toned down from the proposal.
    Those that want it powered up from the proposal.
    Those that want it changed in a number of different ways.

    In short, there isn't any consensus in the audience.


    I know the PDT is working on it; I just want others to be able to find it and post their thoughts. If we let it fall out and die, then that ends the discussion on it.

    With the so wide and varied ideas on where the ability should go, I think it should be discussed further. For the most part, the proposed changes didn't really sit well with most people. So I would say the proposed changes aren't the right ones.

    The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

    Tels wrote:
    So I would say the proposed changes aren't the right ones.

    It is likely they didn't sit well, but I don't think we will ever be able to agree.

    The multiple competing goals of the player base are fundamentally incompatible.

    The "I don't want Bards to have an ability that out damages most melee types and useable 20-30 times a day" crowd would favor this stance:
    a) Lower damage output
    b) Increased round expended per use

    The "I want to deal 100-200 points of sonic damage a round" crowd want:
    c) Higher damage output
    d) One round used per application

    The "This thing is too many die rolls" crowd want:
    e) Save or attack roll, not both.
    f) Other ways to reduce the work needed to resolve this thing

    There is no solution that makes all happy.

    I'm in the reduce die rolls and lower damage output camp. I don't want this being the "go to damage archetype" for bards and I don't want 30 die rolls to adjudicate this at 10th level.


    James Risner wrote:
    I'm in the reduce die rolls and lower damage output camp. I don't want this being the "go to damage archetype" for bards and I don't want 30 die rolls to adjudicate this at 10th level.

    I'm in the same camp. That said, I don't think making it cost multiple rounds per use is really a good idea. I think that a good compromise would be to make it deal 1d6 (max 10d6) sonic damage per caster level, striking all enemies within 30 feet and allowing a fort save for half damage. Taking the attack roll away and making it deal sonic damage levels out the ability - no stacking bonuses, but DR doesn't make it completely irrelevant. Taking the charisma modifier out of the damage makes it a known damage, and puts it on a similar level to Fireball for clearing out mooks. Difference between it and fireball becomes the range and area - the bard has to be in the middle of the mooks but the area effected is greater. Also, the bard has significantly more uses of this and isn't required to prepare it. Instead, the opportunity cost is a round of performance, which could have been Inspire Courage instead.

    Doing this would make the ability really good at 6th level with falling value but maintaining some relevance through about 12th level, after which, it becomes only situationally worthwhile.


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    MechE_ wrote:
    James Risner wrote:
    I'm in the reduce die rolls and lower damage output camp. I don't want this being the "go to damage archetype" for bards and I don't want 30 die rolls to adjudicate this at 10th level.

    I'm in the same camp. That said, I don't think making it cost multiple rounds per use is really a good idea. I think that a good compromise would be to make it deal 1d6 (max 10d6) sonic damage per caster level, striking all enemies within 30 feet and allowing a fort save for half damage. Taking the attack roll away and making it deal sonic damage levels out the ability - no stacking bonuses, but DR doesn't make it completely irrelevant. Taking the charisma modifier out of the damage makes it a known damage, and puts it on a similar level to Fireball for clearing out mooks. Difference between it and fireball becomes the range and area - the bard has to be in the middle of the mooks but the area effected is greater. Also, the bard has significantly more uses of this and isn't required to prepare it. Instead, the opportunity cost is a round of performance, which could have been Inspire Courage instead.

    Doing this would make the ability really good at 6th level with falling value but maintaining some relevance through about 12th level, after which, it becomes only situationally worthwhile.

    I still think that Thundercaller already fills this role as an Archtype, and that changing the ability to an AoE mook clearer makes Sound Striker just a less competent Archtype.

    What I don't understand is this:

    People who currently play or enjoy Sound Striker use Weird Words to deal single target damage instead of using a bow or a melee weapon. So why is this usage not in the solution?

    Frankly, I would like to see this ability be a possible staple for the Bard that chooses the Archtype. To that end, here is my proposal:
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Weird Words (Su): At 6th level, while the Bard is maintaining a performance he can lash out with a potent sound affecting one target within 30 feet. This is a ranged touch attack that deals 1d8 points of damage plus the bard's Charisma bonus and the bard chooses whether it deals bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage. This damage increases by 1d8 at 10th level and every 4 levels thereafter to a maximum of 4d8 at level 18. Using this ability costs 1 round of Bardic Performance.

    This performance replaces suggestion.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    So, a Bard at 10th level could shoot a Bow, targeting AC, and hitting for 1d8. At 10th level they can shoot twice with a full-attack and use all the feat support that a Bow gets. The Bow can have an enhancement bonus to bypass DR etc. and does not cost rounds of performance. Or, with this archtype, they can spend a round of performance to make a ranged touch attack for 2d8+Cha. So weird words is better unless the bard invests feats etc. into shooting a Bow, which really should be the case.


    Why should a non-Core archetype that most Pathfinder players don't have access too, let alone are aware of, determine a core archetype that most players would have access to?


    Cheapy wrote:
    Why should a non-Core archetype that most Pathfinder players don't have access too, let alone are aware of, determine a core archetype that most players would have access to?

    Okay, fair enough, but I still think that current usage should factor in to the errata. All the anecdotal evidence supports that players are currently using Weird Words as a single target attack. The devs said that it should be an option for Bards that do not want to invest as much into physical/mundane combat, and that it should provide a secondary way to spend bardic performance.

    The criticism of the change is valid. I would never choose this archtype with the proposed change. I certainly can't speak for everyone, but this ends up looking like a big 'ol trap option. Spend a huge amount of resources to cast a fireball? Why? What is that adding? Moreover, how does it feel like a good archtype when the abilities granted are so conditional, so costly, and so rarely used? A good archtype should alter the feel of the character. It should make this Bard feel different from other Bards.

    Weird Words, as rewritten, should just be a Masterpiece performance option. Do we really need any more useless archtypes?

    The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

    Lord_Malkov wrote:
    People who currently play or enjoy Sound Striker use Weird Words to deal single target damage instead of using a bow or a melee weapon. So why is this usage not in the solution?

    Probably because it shouldn't have ever worked that way, since no other ability that "works" that way omits "them strike a single creature or several creatures" language.

    Lord_Malkov wrote:
    current usage should factor in to the errata.

    Not when the current usage is outside the intent of the ability and outside what some people think it says. The fact is that this ability has always had other who didn't read it the same way. I've never believed or allowed players to target the same target with multiple words from day one.

    Dark Archive

    I am currently leveling up a Sound Striker Bard through PFS and I was attracted to the archetype for the idea that the Bard can inflict damage through his rocking guitar solos.

    There are a lot of questions related to this ability that I am unsure of, but I will try to clarify.

    First, the PDF claims that Sound Striking takes little investment for high output compared to archery. I do not think this is the case as (unless I am mistaken) ranged attack rolls are subject to needing PBS and Precise Shot to work reliably against targets engaged in melee. This is almost half of a Sound Striker's feats at level 10. Additionally, other feats such as Arcane Strike are needed to increase the damage to maintain relevance as you get closer to 20. I think the synergy of the feats is interesting gameplay as it requires the Bard to make a decision as to which feats to pick up.

    I believe that this ability should be worded as such:
    Weird Words (Su): At 2nd level, a sound striker can only use this performance as a standard action, lashing out with up to 1 potent sound per two bard levels (10 sounds at level 20), each sound affecting one target within 30 feet. A target can be struck more than once.
    Each potent sound expends 1 round of bardic performance.
    These are ranged touch attacks and are augmented by feats such as Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Arcane Strike, etc.
    Each weird word deals 1d8 points of sonic damage plus the bard's Charisma bonus. At 10th level, the damage increases to 2d6.
    This performance replaces inspire competence and suggestion (and removes wordstrike).

    1) I think by allowing the bard to use Weird Words earlier this will give the archetype viability at lower levels and will get rid of Wordstrike.
    2) Each sound costs a bardic performance, but the cost is way to high with the current incarnation of capping at 10th level. So to offset that, the sounds are spaced at every other level.
    3) The sounds should be able to hit the same target, otherwise the viability of the attack is worthless on single target fights.
    4) Sonic damage allows the ability to overcome DR and fits thematically, but subjects it to Resist Energy.
    5) The jump from 1d8 to 2d6(or 1d12) is a slightly smaller increase to accommodate for the rising health pools.
    6) Finally, it reduces the die bloat at the table around level 10. No more 10 attack rolls, 10 Fort saves and 10 damage rolls. Instead, there would be 5 attack rolls and 10 damage rolls (or 5 damage rolls with 1d12s), which is much more consistent with the average archer.

    This is an archetype that should focus more on damage than the traditional bard, not just have the ability relegated to small niches, thus it should have a significant impact on the fight.

    A truly optimized Sound Striker at level 10 in PFS would have 28 Charisma and ~18-20 Dexterity (as well as PBS, Precise, Arcane Strike and Good Hope). [This would mean heavy negatives in at least two stats.] This means the bard can do 10d6+75 damage for an average damage of 112 damage.

    On the other hand, an archer (Fighter) at level 10 can do 1d8+17 (+4[+4 longbow]+2[Str]+6[Deadly Aim]+1[PBS]+2[Weapon Training]+2[Weapon Specialization] with a progression of around +27/+27/+27/+22/+17 for an average of 123 damage.

    If the Sound Striker's damage is too high for the likes of the PDF, then remove the damage dice increase at level 10. This would lower the average damage from 112 to 97 damage.

    Additionally, I realize that the Sound Striker's attack is a standard action and the Archer Fighter's is a full attack action. If this is also a problem, then maybe consider changing Weird Words to a full attack action for more than one sound.


    My suggestion:

    Weird Words (Su): At 6th level, a sound striker can start a performance as a standard action, lashing out with up to 1 potent sound per 3 bard levels (maximum 5 at 15th level), each sound affecting one target within 30 feet. Note: "Up to" means you can choose to fire fewer than the maximum number.
    A target can be struck with more than one potent sound. Note: This makes the intent clear.
    Each potent sound expends 1 round of bardic performance. Note: This is new, and keeps the cost from being trivial at higher levels for using the maximum number of sounds.
    These are ranged touch attacks.
    Each weird word deals 1d8 points of damage plus the bard's Charisma bonus. At 12th and 18th level, the damage increases by 1d8. Note: Scaling damage is new. Fort saving throw removed.
    The bard chooses what type of damage each word deals (bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing).
    This performance replaces suggestion.

    /////
    This allows proper scaling (Max 3d8+cha x 5), burns additional resources for full effect(but at a rate that bard can afford properly at each new level), is still effected by DR (but scales enough to partially bypass it at appropriate levels), reduced die rolling. My 2c.

    The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

    Ace of the Flesh Puppets wrote:

    I am currently leveling up a Sound Striker Bard through PFS

    A target can be struck more than once.

    Fighter ... +27/+27/+27/+22/+17 for an average of 123 damage.

    Sound Striker's damage ... 112 damage.

    Additionally, I realize that the Sound Striker's attack is a standard action

    I'm surprised you haven't had significant table variance, playing in PFS games.

    I don't think they are going to relent on the "more than once" deal. As I don't think the design, intent, or goal of the text was to allow more than once target. So they are not likely going to extend it just because people want it extended.

    A fighter has to full attack and go against Armor Class, while the Bard goes against touch AC and does it as a Standard. It shouldn't be 123 damage vs 112 for a fair comparison.

    Also, you could optimize this ability to outdamage Archer and Fighters if you allow the multiple words per target deal. I don't think that is proper, fair, or reasonable to allow in a game.

    Dark Archive

    James Risner wrote:
    Ace of the Flesh Puppets wrote:


    I'm surprised you haven't had significant table variance, playing in PFS games.

    First, I have no idea what that means. There is always significant table variance, but that has nothing to do with the rules.

    James Risner wrote:
    Ace of the Flesh Puppets wrote:


    I don't think they are going to relent on the "more than once" deal. As I don't think the design, intent, or goal of the text was to allow more than once target. So they are not likely going to extend it just because people want it extended.

    I think that they will extend it to multiple attacks on one target because 1) it makes sense (you can fire multiple arrows at a single target) and 2) the ability is largely useless if you don't allow it to hit all on a single target. Why would I ever waste my standard action and my Inspire Courage for 1d8+mCha damage on one target?

    James Risner wrote:
    Ace of the Flesh Puppets wrote:


    A fighter has to full attack and go against Armor Class, while the Bard goes against touch AC and does it as a Standard. It shouldn't be 123 damage vs 112 for a fair comparison.

    1) I addressed this in multiple ways. If the ability is too powerful for a standard action, then make it a full attack ability OR reduce the damage dice. Additionally, I am not opposed to turning the ability into a ranged attack roll against AC.

    James Risner wrote:
    Ace of the Flesh Puppets wrote:


    Also, you could optimize this ability to outdamage Archer and Fighters if you allow the multiple words per target deal. I don't think that is proper, fair, or reasonable to allow in a game.

    Actually, I think I presented pretty optimized damage comparisons, so I believe that you are wrong here. I doubt a level 10 Bard will have higher than 28 Charisma. 135 damage is the maximum damage with my alterations. An enlarged Viking Fighter with 28 Strength wielding a Large Impact Earthbreaker +3 (utilizing Weapon Spec, Furious Finish, Imp. Vital Strike, Dreadful Strike, etc.) can do ~150 damage as a standard action (18d6+42). This is a highly optimized Fighter, but the idea is the same. Looking back, I think that the damage dice should not be increased at level 10. Maybe at Level 14. Something out of the reach of PFS.

    The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

    Ace of the Flesh Puppets wrote:

    There is always significant table variance, but that has nothing to do with the rules.

    I think that they will extend it to multiple attacks on one target

    135 damage is the maximum damage with my alterations. An enlarged Viking Fighter with 28 Strength wielding a Large Impact Earthbreaker +3 (utilizing Weapon Spec, Furious Finish, Imp. Vital Strike, Dreadful Strike, etc.) can do ~150 damage as a standard action (18d6+42).

    We had two local players (a year apart) try to play a Sound Striker for the multiple on one target aspect. Every local GM rejected that reality. I'm sure they could find some tables to allow it. The point is that if you build a character around something that some tables will reject, you shouldn't build a character around that contentious rule.

    If you read back to their original post starting the discussion on how to reword the ability, I believe they made it clear the one word per target is a design goal and wouldn't be changing. But maybe I failed reading comprehension on their post. Who knows.

    You can't wield a Large Earthbreaker, so point is irrelevant.

    Dark Archive

    James Risner wrote:


    We had two local players (a year apart) try to play a Sound Striker for the multiple on one target aspect. Every local GM rejected that reality. I'm sure they could find some tables to allow it. The point is that if you build a character around something that some tables will reject, you shouldn't build a character around that contentious rule.

    If you read back to their original post starting the discussion on how to reword the ability, I believe they made it clear the one word per target is a design goal and wouldn't be changing. But maybe I failed reading comprehension on their post. Who knows.

    You can't wield a Large Earthbreaker, so point is irrelevant.

    I've gone over my build with a few of the local GMs and they are ok with the idea that multiple sounds can be used on a single target once I hit level 6.

    I have no idea on the original post. I just mean from a technical standpoint. One sound at 1d8+Cha per target is worthless for a standard action.

    Point is not irrelevant. Thunder and Fang allows the character to wield a Medium Earthbreaker as a 1H weapon, therefore a Large Earthbreaker can be wielded as a 2H weapon.


    Ace of the Flesh Puppets wrote:

    I've gone over my build with a few of the local GMs and they are ok with the idea that multiple sounds can be used on a single target once I hit level 6.

    I have no idea on the original post. I just mean from a technical standpoint. One sound at 1d8+Cha per target is worthless for a standard action.

    I suspect those GMs will have second thoughts when they realize that for a single standard action you are rolling 6d20's 6d8's, adding your Charisma modifier 6 total times, and asking them to roll 6 fortitude saves... I know I would - just keep in mind that some things sound fine until they are fully explained/realized.

    Off Topic:
    Ace of the Flesh Puppets wrote:
    Point is not irrelevant. Thunder and Fang allows the character to wield a Medium Earthbreaker as a 1H weapon, therefore a Large Earthbreaker can be wielded as a 2H weapon.

    Thunder and Fang does not actually allow wielding a Large Earthbreaker in two hands. It only allows exactly what it says it allows (wielding an Earthbreaker one handed while TWFing with a Klar) and nothing else.

    Now, a Titan Mauler Barbarian with Jotungrip can wield weapons one size category larger than him and could therefore wield a large earthbreaker as a two handed weapon.

    Dark Archive

    MechE_ wrote:


    I suspect those GMs will have second thoughts when they realize that for a single standard action you are rolling 6d20's 6d8's, adding your Charisma modifier 6 total times, and asking them to roll 6 fortitude saves... I know I would - just keep in mind that some things sound fine until they are fully explained/realized.

    ** spoiler omitted **

    I feel as if that is no different (aside from the Fort saves, which I think is silly) than an Archer full attacking for 5d20s, 5d8s, adding Deadly Aim, Str, Enhancement, Buffs and other mods 5 total times.

    But! If you see my proposed changes, I think that staggering the sounds to every other level gives a better feel to the amount of dice rolled as it seems to mirror archery, up until 7-8+ sounds (which would be well past PFS). Additionally, you would need almost as many feats to compete with the archer's damage. I think implementing my change, but making it a full attack action would help mirror it to an Archer build.

    The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

    Ace of the Flesh Puppets wrote:

    I've gone over my build with a few of the local GMs and they are ok

    One sound at 1d8+Cha per target is worthless for a standard action.

    Point is not irrelevant. Thunder and Fang ... therefore a Large Earthbreaker can be wielded as a 2H weapon.

    Did you show them the wording on Magic Missile and other "hit same target with multiple things" and how they all have a rider saying you can hit multiple on one target and sound striker omits that language?

    Not all abilities are designed to be awesome options.

    Thunder and Fang will not let you use two hands with Earthbreaker.

    MechE_ wrote:
    Titan Mauler Barbarian with Jotungrip can wield weapons one size category larger than him and could therefore wield a large earthbreaker as a two handed weapon.

    No, Jotungrip doesn't allow you to do a Large Earthbreaker either ("appropriately sized".) All Titan Mauler does is allow you to wield weapons anyone could with less penalties than others take.

    Ace of the Flesh Puppets wrote:
    full attack action would help mirror it to an Archer build.

    It still doesn't mirror, because an archer is rolling against AC and you against Touch AC. DR is irrelevant as most things.

    Dark Archive

    James Risner wrote:

    Did you show them the wording on Magic Missile and other "hit same target with multiple things" and how they all have a rider saying you can hit multiple on one target and sound striker omits that language?

    Not all abilities are designed to be awesome options.

    Those spells are irrelevant because the language of the ability used seems quite clear on the intent. The phrase you are referring to is: "each sound affecting one target within 30 feet." This implies that each sound can affect a different or the same target. If the design team wanted it to be different targets, then it would have read "each sound affecting a different target within 30 feet." If they all were to be against the same target exclusively, then it would read "all sounds affecting one target within 30 feet."

    Also, why shouldn't we try to have most abilities be awesome options? This is a fantasy game where you are trying to be as awesome as possible. More options never hurt anyone, especially seeing as how the game is co-op.

    James Risner wrote:
    It still doesn't mirror, because an archer is rolling against AC and you against Touch AC. DR is irrelevant as most things.

    And, as I said, I'm not opposed to the sounds targeting AC.


    Ace of the Flesh Puppets wrote:
    Those spells are irrelevant because the language of the ability used seems quite clear on the intent.

    And if you read upthread, looks like the design team's intent is to make it deal damage to only different targets so far. They also stated that their intent is that Weird Words is NOT meant to be a primary attack option for bards or be anywhere near archery.

    Everything else has been other ideas, but I would be getting mentally prepared that your ability will change soon, especially if you are playing it in PFS.

    As a second data point for you, I have a level 11 Sound Striker in PFS as well, and I have had PLENTY of GMs say that I cannot use the words on the same target. When I read the ability myself, I can see it going either way 100% based on GM interpretation, and blame no GM that rules it either way.

    Dark Archive

    CRobledo wrote:

    And if you read upthread, looks like the design team's intent is to make it deal damage to only different targets so far. They also stated that their intent is that Weird Words is NOT meant to be a primary attack option for bards or be anywhere near archery.

    Everything else has been other ideas, but I would be getting mentally prepared that your ability will change soon, especially if you are playing it in PFS.

    As a second data point for you, I have a level 11 Sound Striker in PFS as well, and I have had PLENTY of GMs say that I cannot use the words on the same target. When I read the ability myself, I can see it going either way 100% based on GM interpretation, and blame no GM that rules it either way.

    Agreed on all counts. I can see where a GM would rule the other way, which is why I ran it by my local GMs. I personally do not think that it is ambiguous, which is why I made one after finding the archetype in my copy of Ultimate Magic. I thought, "Awesome! I get to melt people's faces with my sick guitar riffs!" However, after reading some forums posts, I found out that there are people who read it differently.

    I also see that it is not their intent to make it comparable to archery because they see it as less of a feat/gold investment, but I think by requiring feats to make it successful (PBS, Precise, Arcane, etc.) and requiring a round of bardic performance per attack roll would make it more on par with archery and would definitely make it less sustainable in comparison with only 5 or so rounds per day of full attacking, provided you aren't Inspiring with the spell.

    Overall, I would be sad to see a great ability with potential be swept under rug for seemingly no reason. I can count on no hands the number of times that I have needed to spend my standard action at level 6 or above dealing 1d8+Cha to every target. By making it a crappy AoE, it will become a seldom, if ever used ability.

    The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

    Ace of the Flesh Puppets wrote:

    "each sound affecting one target within 30 feet."

    "each sound affecting a different target within 30 feet."

    All existing abilities define how many targets you get and have an additional line stating you can hit "same or different targets." This ability didn't have the "same or different language."

    Can you name another ability without the "same or different language" that allows you to hit multiple times on the same target?

    Going just off memory and spells the following use the same or different:
    Admonishing Ray
    Blinding Ray
    Fiery Shuriken
    Gloomblind Bolts
    Magic Missile
    Scorching Ray

    Plus the additional complications is that other very popular games don't allow you to overload the use of target this way. For example in Magic the Gathering, if an aility says "two targets" they can not be the same target. Only if it says "target land and target artifact" can you use the same target for both if the land in question is also an artifact.

    Silver Crusade

    They're going to destroy this archetype and make it not worth playing. I guess I should be glad my PFS sound striker bard hasn't hit level 2 yet and I can re-optimize it into another archetype that is less terrible than sound striker is going to end up being.

    Actually, I'll probably just end up not making it a bard at all because any other type of bard is going to be terrible compared to the current sound striker with multiple words hitting the same target.

    Dark Archive

    @James: I don't know that much about the language, but it seems that this archetype has poor wording, so can you really rely on the supposed standards of language according to previous spells?

    The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

    Bigdaddyjug wrote:
    They're going to destroy this archetype and make it not worth playing.

    If by destroy you mean removing it from the best DPR category for all classes level 6 to 12, then I certainly hope they destroy it.

    Ace of the Flesh Puppets wrote:
    archetype has poor wording, so can you really rely on the supposed standards of language according to previous spells?

    Yes you should rely because otherwise things are not clear.

    Pathfinder Design Team wrote:

    it is problematic, in that it isn't clear, and (depending on how it's interpreted) is either a very poor ability or a very powerful ability.

    * text isn't clear whether you can shoot one target multiple times

    PDT believes as you are interpreting it, that it is very powerful (I agree) and the text is not clear whether multiple targets or one word per target is correct (I agree.)

    The abilities need to be written in a clear way, where questions like this are not up to interpretation. This is why you see so many "same or different targets" language in other similar effects. Without those words, it wouldn't be clear if you can hit the same target.

    None of this limits or prevents individual GM's from creating table variance (often called House Rules) to deviate.


    Are they going to make a ruling on this still? Or did I miss it? Seemed it was still being discussed.


    It is still being discussed, and they haven't made a ruling yet.

    Grand Lodge

    James Risner wrote:
    Bigdaddyjug wrote:
    They're going to destroy this archetype and make it not worth playing.
    If by destroy you mean removing it from the best DPR category for all classes level 6 to 12, then I certainly hope they destroy it.

    It ain't, by far, the "best DPR category". Nowhere near. ANd ytou are hearing this form someone who did have a PC affected by all 10 words at once, with a GM caveat for a single save for half, which the PC failed, but the PC was still standing afterwards. And the PC only had a Con of 12, and 11th level Fighter, with FCB for skills, so, no, far from being out of control for damage. I have seen more damage from lower level Barbarians, and that without the chargepouncerake options.

    James Risner wrote:
    Ace of the Flesh Puppets wrote:
    archetype has poor wording, so can you really rely on the supposed standards of language according to previous spells?
    Yes you should rely because otherwise things are not clear.

    And you missed it where SKR mentioned that they change-up the language, and don't use identical langiuage all the time for the same or different effects?

    James Risner wrote:
    Pathfinder Design Team wrote:

    it is problematic, in that it isn't clear, and (depending on how it's interpreted) is either a very poor ability or a very powerful ability.

    * text isn't clear whether you can shoot one target multiple times

    PDT believes as you are interpreting it, that it is very powerful (I agree) and the text is not clear whether multiple targets or one word per target is correct (I agree.)

    The abilities need to be written in a clear way, where questions like this are not up to interpretation. This is why you see so many "same or different targets" language in other similar effects. Without those words, it wouldn't be clear if you can hit the same target.

    None of this limits or prevents individual GM's from creating table variance (often called House Rules) to deviate.

    And, as mentioned by almost everyone, if the "different" only setup is implemented, it goies from being an average ability, with some flavor, to being something so bad it will never get used.

    Fortunately for PFS Sound Striker Bards, if they change the ability into something different, they will get a free rebuild.

    Spoiler:
    I built my Sound Striker Bard based on the way a good DM ran the Sound Strikers in the Ruby Phoenix Tournament. YMMV.

    The Exchange

    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
    Stome wrote:
    Zark wrote:

    BTW.

    1) Does PBS and precise Shoot really apply to range touch attacks? I know they do when you use rays, but I haven't seen anything that confirms that it applies to range touch attacks.

    2) And does PBS, Good Hope and Inspire Courage really grant a bonus to damage? I know they all do when you use rays that deal hit point damage, but I haven't seen that confirms that it applies to range touch attacks.

    No to both. Never in any rules or FAQ has it even been slightly suggested that everything with a ranged touch/touch attack works with things that effect weapons. Rays and weapon like spells yes. But that's it.

    Some people try very hard to push their own logic that anything with an attack roll is "weapon like" but this is not supported by RAW.

    -Edit- Even more so I think that FAQing it into working would be a huge mistake. These are feats and abilities meant to help mundane classes and even still they are the bottom of the food chain. Making these things effect already easy to land touch spells/abilities does nothing but help the already stronger classes.

    http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2q0e7?Are-spells-like-acid-splash-subject-to-ra nge#49

    you can argue that they're not weapons, but the penalties for firing into melee still apply.
    so feats like precise shot which remove the penalty should work.

    i'd love to see that FAQed and answered separately, since there seems to be community split on it: many people do it, even if its unintentional. I do it, and its intentional because thats how I think it should work.

    The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

    kinevon wrote:

    I have seen more damage from lower level Barbarians, and that without the chargepouncerake options.

    SKR mentioned that they change-up the language

    Fortunately for PFS Sound Striker Bards, if they change the ability into something different, they will get a free rebuild.

    Barbarian has higher top end but probably less DPR (average damage per round.)

    I'm aware of SKR post related to the same text near similar, which isn't the case when things are far apart. If you disagree, find a spell or effect that explicitly targets more than one shot on the same target but doesn't use "same or different target" language.

    This will probably be rebuild approved, but Mike Brock has said things that clearly are not being used as they should (like stacking double Dex to damage from Gunslinger archetypes that have an error and don't remove Gun training) do not get a rebuild. So it comes down to if you should know that it doesn't work that way, you may not get a rebuild.

    Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

    I'm still watching this discussion.


    PDT hasn't posted in here for awhile, any hint on where you guys are leaning after the discussion of your proposed changes?

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

    Likely, they are looking for more input.

    This is a bit of a weird situation.;)

    Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

    So far, there isn't anything remotely resembling a player consensus on this issue, so we're waiting to see what the discussion turns up.

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