Name one Pathfinder rule or subsystem that you dislike, and say why:


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Milo v3 wrote:
The issue with spell slots is that they don't represent any form of fantasy aside from D&D fantasy.

This is also true of "clerics" and "summon" spells, to name a couple of other quite obvious Gygaxian inventions.

Personally, I dislike basically everything Gygax simply conjured out of thin air, to include spell slots. At least for spontaneous casters, simply creating a "mana pool" is easy to do, and doesn't really make the classes (which are primarily constrained by spell selection, not uses per day) that much stronger.

For prepared casters, spell slots actually "make sense" if one accepts the essential assumptions of prepared casting, generally. Of course, I don't use prepared casters in my game, so my feelings on that issue are clear enough, I suppose.


the secret fire wrote:


This is also true of "clerics" and "summon" spells, to name a couple of other quite obvious Gygaxian inventions.

Umm... No. Holymen being able to perform miracles was not made up by D&D. And summons... so many religions have things like summoning spirits, I mean look at things like the Lesser Keys of Solomon.


Natan Linggod 327 wrote:
Frankly I think they should do something like the Players Option books from way back when. A bunch of optional methods that players can choose to use in their games without altering the base game rules.

I'm pretty sure this is what Unchained is meant to be. Otherwise, I don't know of any optional rules that are purely player defined. All those things in the PF system are GM determined.


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I think Gygax got the idea for spell slots from Jack Vance novels.

Unchained is a good start but really there should be more.
There are a few optional rules in other books like piecemeal armour or DR as armour in Ultimate combat (I think). But such things are few and far between.

By player defined I mean people who play the game, which includes GMs. Sorry, wasn't clear.


For spells i prefer a hybrid Words of Power Spell point system... instead of a bunch of discrete abilities, I like having a WoP like system. Now instead of having "equivalent spell slots" i instead like each portion having a certain "cost" of points. Just like psionics you can only invest so many points at once.


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Milo v3 wrote:
the secret fire wrote:


This is also true of "clerics" and "summon" spells, to name a couple of other quite obvious Gygaxian inventions.
Umm... No. Holymen being able to perform miracles was not made up by D&D. And summons... so many religions have things like summoning spirits, I mean look at things like the Lesser Keys of Solomon.

I was obviously talking about the D&D "Mighty, Fighty Cleric" who tromps around in armor and thwacks dudes with a mace while asking for divine intervention. He does not exist in pre-Gygaxian literature or myth, and was basically born into D&D to fill the healbot role and bridge the gap between fighter and wizard.

Yes, there is some vague stuff in mythology about summoning angels, demons and spirits, generally to provide information or perform tasks which are not entirely straightforward...something like what the Planar Binding spell does. Now show me the magic user from mythology who regularly calls forth dinosaurs and crocodiles to be his "beatsticks" or "meat shields" and you win the prize. Yeah, that's what I thought...he doesn't exist.

"Summon Monster_X" is a Gygaxian fabrication which has very little to do with anything that precedes 1st Ed. D&D.


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the secret fire wrote:


I was obviously talking about the D&D "Mighty, Fighty Cleric" who tromps around in armor and thwacks dudes with a mace while asking for divine intervention. He does not exist in pre-Gygaxian literature or myth, and was basically born into D&D to fill the healbot role and bridge the gap between fighter and wizard.

Yes, there is some vague stuff in mythology about summoning angels, demons and spirits, generally to provide information of perform tasks which are not entirely straightforward...something like what the Planar Binding spell does. Now show me the magic user from mythology who regularly calls forth dinosaurs and crocodiles to be his "beatsticks" or "meat shields" and you win the prize. Yeah, that's what I thought...he doesn't exist.

"Summon Monster_X" is a Gygaxian fabrication which has very little to do with anything that precedes 1st Ed. D&D.

Umm... those sound more 3e than 1e. Cleric itself wasn't even designed to fit the healbot role, it was designed to be anti-undead.


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Well actually, in local myth/legends from where I came from (Borneo), there are plenty of stories of people calling ghosts/spirits/demons/fairys* to do their dirty work.
Sometimes in long rituals like planar binding/ally, sometimes just by pointing at someone and cursing them (sending a spirit after them).

True they don't usually show up in physical form but it's not entirely unheard of.

Although I'm pretty sure Gygax didn't know about our mythologys at the time.

*We kind of conflate them all as the same thing..


the secret fire wrote:
Now show me the magic user from mythology who regularly calls forth dinosaurs and crocodiles to be his "beatsticks" or "meat shields" and you win the prize. Yeah, that's what I thought...he doesn't exist.

Keep in mind the Summon Nature's Ally stuff is there to support the nature theme of the druid.

As for the Summon Monster spells calling up outsider animals? That's just designers taking a shortcut rather than either designing a flexible spirit summon similar to Astral Construct or designing actual spirits relevant to each summon monster level.


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Natan Linggod 327 wrote:
I think Gygax got the idea for spell slots from Jack Vance novels.

There's a reason it's called Vancian Magic.


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Natan Linggod 327 wrote:
I think Gygax got the idea for spell slots from Jack Vance novels.

I think it's more likely that he used spell slots because he wanted a balancing mechanism for casters in his tabletop wargame, and used Jack Vance's name to justify his really quite different magic system.


Did anybody mention full attacking being a full round action rather than a scaling standard action? Because it's really silly that spell casting automatically scales as the caster levels up, but the martial effectively becomes worse at fighting as he levels up, needing to stay in the same place to attack more than once.

Then there's the issue with combat maneuvers being useful only in the first few levels and quickly made either flat out impossible (more than 2 sizes greater, Trip vs Fly, Stealth vs Blindsense, etc.) or just unspeakably hard without serious investment in a SPECIFIC maneuver (CMD's = lol no). Combat Maneuvers should be simplified, and CMD should at the very least, not include BAB.

And while we all know of the issue with skills made obsolete due to spells, there is also the incredibly annoying problem of Armor Check Penalty. My 20 STR fighter sucks at swimming compared to that 5 STR wizard, especially due to his heavy armor, that is about 1/1000000000 times his max carrying capacity. SO HEAVY. Seriously, every 5 points of STR should reduce ACP by 1. It makes no sense to be burdened by something that isn't a burden to you. Plus, we'd have less complaining about adding DEX to hit and damage and whatnot when STR helps AC.

Buff skills to be useful compared to spells and give martials the tools they need to fight their opponents without the aid of magic (i.e. enchanted weapons to deal with incorporeal, flying slashes or pounce-lite with better mobility to deal with more defensive foes) and we'll have a game that's much more fun and balanced for non-casters.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
the secret fire wrote:
Now show me the magic user from mythology who regularly calls forth dinosaurs and crocodiles to be his "beatsticks" or "meat shields" and you win the prize. Yeah, that's what I thought...he doesn't exist.

Keep in mind the Summon Nature's Ally stuff is there to support the nature theme of the druid.

As for the Summon Monster spells calling up outsider animals? That's just designers taking a shortcut rather than either designing a flexible spirit summon similar to Astral Construct or designing actual spirits relevant to each summon monster level.

The problem is summon monster spells calling up anything with a solid, physical form which proceeds to beat things up on the summoner's behalf and then conveniently disappears after a few minutes. Not only is this sort of summoning utterly unprecedented by actual mythology and quite corny if you think about it, but it is also one of the worst and most unbalancing systems in the game - the source of a big part of the caster/martial imbalance (or, put another way, the growing irrelevance of martials).

I have no problem with magic users summoning spirits/angels/demons in relatively involved ceremonies, and setting those beings to task, but Summon Monster_X is not that.


I'm fine with the Vancian Magic system. While it doesn't really work flavor wise in some cases, it's simple (this is extremely important). Sadly, where it leaves room for strategy (what spells you prepare, etc) it can also leave room for disaster (you didn't prepare the right spells).

I would like to see more systems, though. Maybe even alternate systems that can be used by different characters in the same game, to further customize the characters.


the secret fire wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
the secret fire wrote:
Now show me the magic user from mythology who regularly calls forth dinosaurs and crocodiles to be his "beatsticks" or "meat shields" and you win the prize. Yeah, that's what I thought...he doesn't exist.

Keep in mind the Summon Nature's Ally stuff is there to support the nature theme of the druid.

As for the Summon Monster spells calling up outsider animals? That's just designers taking a shortcut rather than either designing a flexible spirit summon similar to Astral Construct or designing actual spirits relevant to each summon monster level.

The problem is summon monster spells calling up anything with a solid, physical form which proceeds to beat things up on the summoner's behalf and then conveniently disappears after a few minutes. Not only is this sort of summoning utterly unprecedented by actual mythology and actually quite corny if you think about it, but it is also one of the worst and most unbalancing systems in the game - the source of a big part of the caster/martial imbalance (or, put another way, the growing irrelevance of martials).

I have no problem with magic users summoning spirits/angels/demons in relatively involved ceremonies, and setting those beings to task, but Summon Monster_X is not that.

There's other uses for summoned creatures too. They can set off traps for you (and if you know what the trap is you can sometimes summon a creature immune to the effects), you can summon flying creatures to bypass the need for a Fly spell, you can summon creatures with Scent that beat the Ranger at tracking. And there's a lot more than that.


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Rub-Eta wrote:
I'm fine with the Vancian Magic system. While it doesn't really work flavor wise in some cases, it's simple (this is extremely important). Sadly, where it leaves room for strategy (what spells you prepare, etc) it can also leave room for disaster (you didn't prepare the right spells).

That's my favorite aspect of the Vancian Magic system. Planning ahead and predicting what you might need could almost be an art form. And it can blow up in your face.


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Athaleon wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Natan Linggod 327 wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:


It's only immersion breaking if you haven't immersed yourself in the nature of this type of spellcasting. If your head is entirely in a mana/stamina system then yeah, your immersion's gonna break. Is your imagination so weak you can't internalize a different approach?

really? You're going with personal insults?

I've been "immersed" in spell slots ever since Ad&d 2nd ed. I thought spell slots were bad back then and I haven't seen anything to change that position since.

Hell, I didn't even know mana points was a thing until the Players Option books came out.
So don't make assumptions about me or my "weak imagination".

It wasn't intended as an insult but as a challenge so to speak.

Spell slots certainly don't fit into a Stamina/Mana mentality, but they maker perfect sense in their own right.

Only to a point. It does lead to situations where a mage might run out of weaker spells but still be able to use stronger ones. Or, he might be able to cast a Fireball but not a smaller "Fire Bolt", or Burning Hands, and so on down the line.

I think that spell slots, and discrete spells with highly specific effects, became a D&D convention mainly to simplify the game and prevent magic from bogging down the combat. It seems more like a highly setting-specific quirk ("in this world, magic works this way") than the system that makes the most intuitive sense for a generic rule set.

With prepare casting, your brain is basically a scroll upon which you put spells, which go away when you read them from your mind.


Milo v3 wrote:
the secret fire wrote:


I was obviously talking about the D&D "Mighty, Fighty Cleric" who tromps around in armor and thwacks dudes with a mace while asking for divine intervention. He does not exist in pre-Gygaxian literature or myth, and was basically born into D&D to fill the healbot role and bridge the gap between fighter and wizard.

Yes, there is some vague stuff in mythology about summoning angels, demons and spirits, generally to provide information of perform tasks which are not entirely straightforward...something like what the Planar Binding spell does. Now show me the magic user from mythology who regularly calls forth dinosaurs and crocodiles to be his "beatsticks" or "meat shields" and you win the prize. Yeah, that's what I thought...he doesn't exist.

"Summon Monster_X" is a Gygaxian fabrication which has very little to do with anything that precedes 1st Ed. D&D.

Umm... those sound more 3e than 1e. Cleric itself wasn't even designed to fit the healbot role, it was designed to be anti-undead.

You're right that the full-on healbot didn't really come into being until AD&D (also developed by Gygax) was published, but the OD&D cleric was very much a bridge between the Fighter and Wizard. The original text described clerics as having: "some of the advantages from both of the other two classes (Fighting-Men and Magic-Users) in that they have the use of magic armor and all non-edged magic weapons (no arrows!), plus they have numbers of their own spells. In addition, they are able to use more of the magical items than are the Fighting-Men."

The Gygaxian cleric was based on some very sketchy and narrow figures from mythology and interpretations thereof, to include pulp vampire hunters and knights templar (who were never said to have done anything remotely resembling "casting spells"). Much like Summon Monster_X, the D&D cleric started off with a relationship to established mythology which was at best vague and highly questionable, and has gotten worse ever since.


Kaouse wrote:
Did anybody mention full attacking being a full round action rather than a scaling standard action? Because it's really silly that spell casting automatically scales as the caster levels up, but the martial effectively becomes worse at fighting as he levels up, needing to stay in the same place to attack more than once.

That has been brought up before, as has the CMB/CMD system.

The whole "move then attack, or attack then move, but not move/attack/move" leads to a clunky system, especially when you're dealing with mounted combat.

"Clunky? Hey, here's a solution! Another Feat! 'Ride by Attack'! Now you can do that thing that makes sense but couldn't because the system got in the way."

Yes - Pathfinder went the other way from old AD&D and really enhanced casters but screwed martials.


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cerhiannon wrote:

Yes AoO can be done in such a way as to not stop/slow table flow. In practice what I see usually goes something like this:

At level 1-5 adventure table, being GMed by a very experienced GM, or VO: ("He" and "him" all refer to the only bad guy in this case who has 15 HP at the beginning)

Player 1: I stab him with my sword. Rolls d20 hit AC 18, for (1d8+2) 7 points.
GM: It looks like he took (most of) that damage. Player 2 your turn.

Player 2: I cast Magic Missile at him (the guy next to me) for (1d4+1) for 3 points.
GM: It takes 4 points. Player 3 your tur.... wait did you want to cast defensively? ...
Player 2: Cast defensively? What is that? How do I do that? Table flow come to screeching halt as GM needs to find the table on their screen for the DC that needed to be reached to cast defensively, while then also having to explain to the player how to preform the check.
-- what seems like 10 min pass while this gets resolved --
in reality 2 min pass then we get back to GM: Player 3 your turn....

I'm not sure how you can call someone a "very experienced GM" if they need to look up the same DC twice in the same turn. I am the rules guru in my group, and I just have all the AoO triggers and DCs memorized. Also, was the second caster not listening when the DM explained casting defensively to the first?

Maybe if the GM is new to D&D or Pathfinder, it would happen like this; but then I imagine that the game will go slowly anyway as everyone figures out what their attack bonuses are.


Knight Magenta wrote:
cerhiannon wrote:

Yes AoO can be done in such a way as to not stop/slow table flow. In practice what I see usually goes something like this:

(followed by an impractical example)

I'm not sure how you can call someone a "very experienced GM" if they need to look up the same DC twice in the same turn. I am the rules guru in my group, and I just have all the AoO triggers and DCs memorized. Also, was the second caster not listening when the DM explained casting defensively to the first?

Maybe if the GM is new to D&D or Pathfinder, it would happen like this; but then I imagine that the game will go slowly anyway as everyone figures out what their attack bonuses are.

I was just about to post this. You ninja'd me by 8 minutes.

I agree. A "very experienced" GM has seen these DCs hundreds of times. Even if he didn't sit down with the rulebook and study it like a college textbook (I doubt anybody does), surely after hundreds of Cast Defensively checks have passed through his "very experienced" GM filter, he must have been able to learn that the DC is ALWAYS 15+2xSL.

Fair enough if a new player needs to ask how to do it a time or two, but then surely they learn the idea too. Both of these caster players were playing a caster for the very first time I suppose? Yeah, the game does come to a halt while the "very experienced" GM teaches these newbie players this rule. After they have used it a time or two, they won't have to halt the game.

So by the time this same group has fought 4 or 5 battles, total, in their entire adventuring career, their next combat goes more like this:

More likely scenario:
Player 1: I stab him with my sword. Rolls d20 hit AC 18, for (1d8+2) 7 points.
GM: It looks like he took (most of) that damage.

GM: Player 2 your turn.
Player 2: I cast Magic Missile at him (the guy next to me). He's threatening me so I cast defensively (rolls a d20). Whats the DC again?
GM: 17.
Player 2: I got a 14, I add my level and INT mod for a 19 so it worked, I blast him for (1d4+1) for 3 points.

GM: OK. Player 3 your turn
Player 3: I defensively cast cure light wounds (1d8+1) on Player 1 (who just took 5 damage on the bad guy's last turn). I rolled a 12 + 1 + 4 = 17, that's what I need, right?
GM: Yes.
Player 3: OK, I heal player 1 for 6 points.
GM: Okay

GM: Player 4 your turn.

Player 4: I move behind "him" to get a flank with Player 1 and attack him. It's just a 5-foot step so no AoO. Rolls d20 gets a 17, hitting AC 19 for (1d6+1, plus 1d6 sneak attack) 9 points of damage.
GM: Okay he takes 9 more and drops.

Much easier, right? Because the GM this time is "very experienced" and the players demonstrate that they're capable of learning the rule too.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

To the folks in this thread, i would encourage taking a look at the mechanics of a D&D 4.0 game.

I love the Pathfinder community and have been playing vastly more Pathfinder lately than D&D 4.0. But, man, the mechanics for D&D 4.0 are just so much smoother.

Move, minor, Standard. At-Will, Encounter, Daily. No martial vs caster disparity. Healing surges for everyone. Yada, yada, yada. There's a lot to like there. It's not all perfect, but damn does it feel like it all ties together better than the mess that is the Pathfinder rules.

I really wish WotC would have gone the Pathfinder route with their game license. Still one of the biggest tragedies to modern table top gaming in my mind. They have a good system, it's just not being used by nearly as many people as it could be!


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Decorpsed wrote:


I really wish WotC would have gone the Pathfinder route with their game license. Still one of the biggest tragedies to modern table top gaming in my mind. They have a good system, it's just not being used by nearly as many people as it could be!

There are people out there who liked 4e, but there are also quite a few of us who didn't particularly like it for their D&D game. It was a pretty jarring change - trading the quirky comforts that are D&D in favor of an action-oriented RPG. For me, it was a solution in search of a problem. I liked D&D as it was (and as it morphed into PF) and already had Fung Shui to scratch that action RPG itch. So 4e was and is pretty much useless to me.


Decorpsed,

Just a friendly warning: Around these boards, any comment that might even tangentially resemble a reference to 4e tends to bring out the torches and pitchforks. It's usually best to steer clear of it, lest another edition war break out, forcing the management to lock the thread and delete all the posts in it in a scorched earth policy, lest it spring up again. Luckily, Bill and I saw it before the Jacobins caught wind of your post...


D&D 4 is a way superior game in mechanics and game flow. But the market was a mess, and the books are incredible tedious to read because it feels like a manual of a game.


Decorpsed wrote:

To the folks in this thread, i would encourage taking a look at the mechanics of a D&D 4.0 game.

I love the Pathfinder community and have been playing vastly more Pathfinder lately than D&D 4.0. But, man, the mechanics for D&D 4.0 are just so much smoother.

Move, minor, Standard. At-Will, Encounter, Daily. No martial vs caster disparity. Healing surges for everyone. Yada, yada, yada. There's a lot to like there. It's not all perfect, but damn does it feel like it all ties together better than the mess that is the Pathfinder rules.

I really wish WotC would have gone the Pathfinder route with their game license. Still one of the biggest tragedies to modern table top gaming in my mind. They have a good system, it's just not being used by nearly as many people as it could be!

CaptainGemini sighs as she opens up her weapon case and pulls out the fully-modded New Vegas laser rifle and her supply of grenades.

"Run! I'll provide covering fire!"

Metal Sonic wrote:
D&D 4 is a way superior game in mechanics and game flow. But the market was a mess, and the books are incredible tedious to read because it feels like a manual of a game.

CaptainGemini grumbles and hands the grenades to Metal Sonic.

"If you're not going to run, start tossing!"


the secret fire wrote:
Yes, there is some vague stuff in mythology about summoning angels, demons and spirits, generally to provide information or perform tasks which are not entirely straightforward...something like what the Planar Binding spell does. Now show me the magic user from mythology who regularly calls forth dinosaurs and crocodiles to be his "beatsticks" or "meat shields" and you win the prize. Yeah, that's what I thought...he doesn't exist.
2 Kings 2:23 - 24 wrote:
23Then he [Elisha] went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, "Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!" 24When he looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up forty-two lads of their number.

When Elisha was mocked by a group of kids, he cast Summon Monster (or Summon Nature's Ally) and summoned two bears that killed them.

I believe there are more (the plagues of Egypt come to mind, but those are less Summon Monster and more Creeping Doom and Summon Swarm).


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Milo v3 wrote:
The issue with spell slots is that they don't represent any form of fantasy aside from D&D fantasy.

In one of the Pathfinder books (or possibly v3.5), there was a wizard who described what it was like to prepare spells. It was an in-game description that totally made sense within the context of the fantasy world. I'll see if I can find it and post it for you.


In The Dying Earth series by Jack Vance, he describes how casters impress a spell upon their mind. It makes sense in that you slowly develop the ability to hold more spells and more powerful spells that are already 99% cast, ready to be completed when needed.

Flavor-wise, spell slots can make sense. For a game, it also makes sense since - well, it is a game. If we can buy into "you can't move, attack, and move again" then why not spell slots?


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RDM42 wrote:
Azraiel wrote:
The problem there doesn't seem to be that withdrawing is a thing, more that martial characters don't have a way to cut you down like a coward when you try to flee from them.
If you don't have withdraw, PCs will never leave combat, they don't flee enough as it is,

That's an oversimplification, I'm afraid. Martial characters need to be able to punish you for turning your back on them. Not every Tom, Dick and Harry, and certainly not your average dumb monster, just martially-trained sentients and appropriately swift or ferocious creatures.

There is a galaxy of difference between a dweeb wizard with a knife trying to block your egress and a trained warrior who will cut you down the moment you falter or take your eyes off them.


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Where withdraw REALLY gets amusing is when a creature with reach uses it to get away from a non-reach martial, who then has to charge through an AoO to hit the monster, thus trading blows while the monster gets to pull the martial to whatever battlefield it wants.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
kyrt-ryder wrote:

Pretty simple really. Spell slots are a form of magical energy, a container of sorts that a caster cultivates as they grow in level.

Prepared casters use rituals to fill those containers with specific spells in the morning and cast them during the course of the day.

Spontaneous casters simply open a floodgate, releasing that spell energy in the form of one of the spells they know.

I think part of your problem is the old 'memorization' terminology. Spell preparation is a ritual and the first 99% of casting of the spell, not a memorization process.

EDIT: I will confess it's a little silly that clerics have to prepare their miracles rather than call upon their god for the right one at the right time. It would be cool to find a balanced way to create a truly spontaneous cleric with access to any spell on their list. Not sure how much fun it would play given the limits it must impose for balance-sake, but it would be cool.

If spell preparation is doing 99% of the spell, then a wizard should be able to cast any spell he knows at any time by doing then long-form out of the spellbook. An preparation takes, what, an hour at the start of the day? If you're doing 99% of each spell ahead of time in that time, the long forms can't take *that* much longer.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Since preparation takes 15 minutes minimum if you have one open slot, it apparently takes at least 15 minutes longer.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Revan wrote:
If spell preparation is doing 99% of the spell, then a wizard should be able to cast any spell he knows at any time by doing then long-form out of the spellbook. An preparation takes, what, an hour at the start of the day? If you're doing 99% of each spell ahead of time in that time, the long forms can't take *that* much longer.

The wizard CAN do this. It's why people leave a couple spell slots open and consult their spellbook.


Darkholme wrote:

Guns/Gunslinger

- Balance: Guns and their ammo are far overpriced, considering how you can't full attack with them.
- Nonsense: Bullets ignore armor, but you can dodge them (touch AC)
- Balance: Gunslinger takes a bunch of terrible equipment, and piles on a ton of class abilities to make them the only way to use the equipment and not suck (free ammo, free gun, ability to use the guns more frequently, etc).
- Flavor: I don't really want cowboys in my d20 Fantasy.
- Flavor: These gun mechanics make it difficult for me to have decent flintlock wielding pirates (which I do like) as the guns are terrible and overpriced for anyone but a gunslinger, and gunslinger is not appropriate for most pirate concepts, which would fire the pistol/blunderbuss/musket, drop it/sheathe it, and then fight with a sword for the rest of the fight.
- Flavor: Guns are much too expensive for me to do the pirate gunslinger thing; Frequently quickdraw a loaded pistol, fire off a shot, and then switch to my sword for an attack or 3 and then do it again with a different pistol, for 5 rounds.

My solution to this is easy. I don't allow guns in my typical fantasy settings, although I am currently building a weird Old West setting, called Gothic Western, where not only are firearms allowed, but almost everyone carries a firearm as their primary weapon (not just gunslingers), "guns everywhere" and guns/ammo are cheap. Along with the setting gunslinging archetypes for every class is being created, many include a battered firearm as a class feature, some have access to grit, most have no needs for grit.

I am actually fine, even prefer, that bullets ignore armor. To me its better than previous editions mechanics for firearms (2e).

In my proposed setting nobody really wears armor any more, there are some exceptions like native American bone-shirts (which are very ineffective against firearms). It is a cowboy setting, so while I also don't care for cowboys in my medieval fantasy, in a cowboy setting, cowboys belong. Since its post Civil War, guns are more available and lower in price than ever in history, so in the setting, guns and ammo are cheap. Because its old west, six shooter pistols and repeating rifles is the norm. Some may possess flintlocks still, but those are more antiques than in common use. Many of the abilities that make the gunslinger more viable exist in every class archetype, so gunslinger isn't so unique regarding firearms versus non-gunslingers anymore. Basically all your complaints do not apply in my setting.

If I were building an Age of Pirates setting, I'd also create gunslinging appropriate archetypes for all classes to wield flintlocks without mechanical difficulty. Though cost would still be an issue, I think.

Dark Archive

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Arcane Magic. The single most overpowered thing in the game, to the point where they had to cripple Wizards in every other respect - D6 hit die, no armour, no weapons, no major class features other than spells, and even then you're severely limited at low levels.

At level 1 a wizard is little more use than a really bad archer - three casts per day (if you plan well, fewer if you don't, OR if the day doesn't go to plan and one of your casts becomes useless) before they pull out their trusty pointy-launcher and try not to be a liability to the group.

All this is simply to counterbalance the truly ludicrous levels of power wizards get at higher levels. A fighter becomes almost inhumanly good at killing things, but a wizard becomes able to tear apart reality on a daily basis. They can kill entire armies with a word, wish towns out of existence, create new dimensions of reality, and create objects or structures with a thought.

I think the magus is a much more balanced way of doing things, where their magic is cool and gives them an edge in combat, but is not enough to keep them alive all by itself, forcing them to find ways to work it into an adventurer's standard repertoire. There are now nearly a dozen classes that mix combat with varying amounts of spellcasting. I think this is a better path than the overwhelming power of a wizard needing the major hamstringing to keep balanced.


Librain wrote:
Arcane Magic. The single most overpowered thing in the game, to the point where they had to cripple Wizards in every other respect - D6 hit die, no armour, no weapons, no major class features other than spells, and even then you're severely limited at low levels.

Agreed, except 3.5 wizards had d4 hit dice, so PF with d6 HD is an improvement.

Librain wrote:
At level 1 a wizard is little more use than a really bad archer - three casts per day (if you plan well, fewer if you don't, OR if the day doesn't go to plan and one of your casts becomes useless) before they pull out their trusty pointy-launcher and try not to be a liability to the group.

Since I don't run PF APs, rather homebrews or 3PP modules/APs, I almost never start PCs at 1st level, usually starting at 3rd/5th/7th level depending on the adventure. So the ultimate weaknesses at 1st level for PCs don't apply in my games. At the same time my games rarely go over 15th level, so no bottom end, nor top end problems.

A wish can improve a stat, prevent a combat from occuring (do-over), even wish an opponent out of existence. Wishes cannot kill dozens let alone an entire army or towns population out of existence

Read this link to Wish spell at d20pfsrd.com. While it does state that you can choose more powerful effects that are subject to perversion of spell, a jump from what the spell allows to entire armies/towns is a huge jump. To me wishing an entire opposing encounter of several NPCs (4 - 6 NPCs) falls under more powerful effects. You suggesting that more powerful means hundreds of people is way stretching the meaning of "more powerful". I am sure that you're mistaken in your perception as to what wish can do.

Librain wrote:
All this is simply to counterbalance the truly ludicrous levels of power wizards get at higher levels. A fighter becomes almost inhumanly good at killing things, but a wizard becomes able to tear apart reality on a daily basis. They can kill entire armies with a word, wish towns out of existence, create new dimensions of reality, and create objects or structures with a thought.

I don't think its houseruling at my table to say wizards cannot kill entire armies with a word, nor can wish ever make entire towns cease to exist. While wish is certainly powerful, it cannot do what you say it does (at least not how I read the rules). You must be reading it different.

Librain wrote:
I think the magus is a much more balanced way of doing things, where their magic is cool and gives them an edge in combat, but is not enough to keep them alive all by itself, forcing them to find ways to work it into an adventurer's standard repertoire. There are now nearly a dozen classes that mix combat with varying amounts of spellcasting. I think this is a better path than the overwhelming power of a wizard needing the major hamstringing to keep balanced.

I prefer the magus and the witch over a wizard flavor/enjoyment wise any day, and almost every PC at my table runs sorcerers and never wizards. I find wizards boring, and have never run a PC wizard since early in 3.5, aside from NPCs as a GM.


gamer-printer wrote:


Librain wrote:
All this is simply to counterbalance the truly ludicrous levels of power wizards get at higher levels. A fighter becomes almost inhumanly good at killing things, but a wizard becomes able to tear apart reality on a daily basis. They can kill entire armies with a word, wish towns out of existence, create new dimensions of reality, and create objects or structures with a thought.

I don't think its houseruling at my table to say wizards cannot kill entire armies with a word, nor can wish ever make entire towns cease to exist. While wish is certainly powerful, it cannot do what you say it does (at least not how I read the rules). You must be reading it different.

Limited Wish->Control winds will do the trick. Any low level creatures caught in the wind will be killed within a couple of minutes from non-lethal damage unless they get out despite getting constantly knocked down from the winds - I ran the numbers once, and IIRC it was something like a typical 3rd level martial NPC would be usually be KO'd within a minute(dead in 2 or 3), and get around 200ft in that distance against the hurricane force winds. Use the Updraft option and toss a wall of fire in the eye and you will end up turning a quarter mile area into a death zone, with an area around the edge where quick witted characters with a decent HP buffer might be able to force their way out of the windy zone.


Snowblind wrote:
Limited Wish->Control winds will do the trick. Any low level creatures caught in the wind will be killed within a couple of minutes from non-lethal damage unless they get out despite getting constantly knocked down from the winds - I ran the numbers once, and IIRC it was something like a typical 3rd level martial NPC would be usually be KO'd within a minute(dead in 2 or 3), and get around 200ft in that distance against the hurricane force winds. Use the Updraft option and toss a wall of fire in the eye and you will end up turning a quarter mile area into a death zone, with an area around the edge where quick witted characters with a decent HP buffer might be able to force their way out of the windy zone.

I'd probably rule in my game that Control Winds and Wall of Fire don't effect the area that you're allowing in your game. It would certainly affect an area larger than the wall of fire itself (maybe 4 or 5 times its size), but the fire wouldn't become a firestorm (hurricane force winds might actually extinguish the fire, versus spreading it)- it would probably require an entire forest to be on fire within a controlled winds affect to even come close. Like Librain, you are adding to what those spells can do in a way that's not written in the rules, and not something I'd allow in my games. Hurricane force winds, on the other hand could certainly be devastating to an army - I'll concede to that. Towns of wooden structures could equally be destroyed, though my communities larger than a village in my settings tend to made of stone, and less likely to be totally destroyed.

Liberty's Edge

Exotic weapon proficiency. Not so much the concept how the devs arbitrarily assign it to a weapon. I get if a weapon allows disarming, bracing, Etc. Then it should be exotic. Usually just because a weapon does slightly better damage and/or crit range. It's exotic. Which is why even with extra fears from the Fighter class I don't waste time spending a feat on "exotic" weapons that don't offer anything really exotic.


Ship combat

Ship combat rules say it will take hours and hours for a ship to sink another ship at optimal range.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ross Byers wrote:
Revan wrote:
If spell preparation is doing 99% of the spell, then a wizard should be able to cast any spell he knows at any time by doing then long-form out of the spellbook. An preparation takes, what, an hour at the start of the day? If you're doing 99% of each spell ahead of time in that time, the long forms can't take *that* much longer.

The wizard CAN do this. It's why people leave a couple spell slots open and consult their spellbook.

Point being, if the 'preparation is pre-casting' logic held true, then a Wizard should be able to do that with expended spell slots, or cast an unprepared spell even without open slots, provided that they have the time for a ritual.


Revan wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
Revan wrote:
If spell preparation is doing 99% of the spell, then a wizard should be able to cast any spell he knows at any time by doing then long-form out of the spellbook. An preparation takes, what, an hour at the start of the day? If you're doing 99% of each spell ahead of time in that time, the long forms can't take *that* much longer.

The wizard CAN do this. It's why people leave a couple spell slots open and consult their spellbook.

Point being, if the 'preparation is pre-casting' logic held true, then a Wizard should be able to do that with expended spell slots, or cast an unprepared spell even without open slots, provided that they have the time for a ritual.

Nah. Those same 'containers' of power I mentioned upthread? Once they're burned you can only recover them by getting a good night's sleep.

Shadow Lodge

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Revan wrote:
Point being, if the 'preparation is pre-casting' logic held true, then a Wizard should be able to do that with expended spell slots, or cast an unprepared spell even without open slots, provided that they have the time for a ritual.

And if I eat all the cake, I should just be able to bake another one. It's not like I need ingredients or anything.


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@ Revan - amusingly, 5E actually addressed - several spells are flagged as ritual spells, and can be cast at any time as long as the wizard has his or her spellbook handy - though the spells take 10 times as long to cast.

That's actually something I'd be fine with adopting into Pathfinder as a house rule.

@ The Secret Fire - a not insignificant number of cleric spells are lifted straight from the Old Testament, including turning sticks to snakes, calling down pillars of fire, and summoning forth bears to rip up forty-two punks =P

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
TOZ wrote:
Revan wrote:
Point being, if the 'preparation is pre-casting' logic held true, then a Wizard should be able to do that with expended spell slots, or cast an unprepared spell even without open slots, provided that they have the time for a ritual.
And if I eat all the cake, I should just be able to bake another one. It's not like I need ingredients or anything.

The Cake is a lie.


I dislike iterative attacks (past 2. Two attacks is okay.) Just really slows down the whole process when you get to high levels and PCs are full attacking for 3 (or 4!) attacks and then when you factor in haste, and two weapon fighting, the round takes forever. A holdover from 3.5 that I never liked, and never could find a good solution for without fiddling with the whole system...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Claxon wrote:
Lifat wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:

The Withdraw action.

"Eeek! I'm a wizard next to a fighter! Now I'm going to run away without provoking an attack of opportunity from him, and weave around this chair in the room to prevent him from charging to catch up with me!"

Spending one round to get out of a dire situation 'for free' seemed so cheesy I disallowed it in my first campaign. Our other GMs allowed it, so I started allowing it, and it's always been abusive and cheesy, in my opinion.

Even if I agreed with you that withdraw was overly powerful (which I don't), then I'd like to remind you that without it most parties will never ever flee from battle (untill they get other ways to escape). Personally I'd love having my players run away from a potential party wipe combat. As a GM I'm supposed to try and avoid the situation but it does happen from time to time and then it is nice that the players have a chance to escape.

I don't see how "Move away from opponent in a straight line and do nothing else on your entire turn" to avoid AoO from the first 5 foot square you leave is to powerful. Once they initiate withdraw that is it. The only choice they have left is how many feet they are going to move in a straight line.

A a GM I use it regularly for villains whom I don't want to die yet, especially if crappy roles mean they weren't the kind of challenge I wanted them to be. It's a great thing to have access to.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Insain Dragoon wrote:

Ship combat

Ship combat rules say it will take hours and hours for a ship to sink another ship at optimal range.

Which...is pretty accurate to the way ship battles were fought, especially in the pre-cannon era.

Most ship battles ended with boarding actions.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Otherwhere wrote:
Kaouse wrote:
Did anybody mention full attacking being a full round action rather than a scaling standard action? Because it's really silly that spell casting automatically scales as the caster levels up, but the martial effectively becomes worse at fighting as he levels up, needing to stay in the same place to attack more than once.

That has been brought up before, as has the CMB/CMD system.

The whole "move then attack, or attack then move, but not move/attack/move" leads to a clunky system, especially when you're dealing with mounted combat.

"Clunky? Hey, here's a solution! Another Feat! 'Ride by Attack'! Now you can do that thing that makes sense but couldn't because the system got in the way."

Yes - Pathfinder went the other way from old AD&D and really enhanced casters but screwed martials.

I always hated the old "can only use blunt weapons" rule of Clerics in older editions. It was based on one or two brief passages in medieval manuscripts about priests defending themselves with maces in order to "avoid spilling Christian blood." A religious edict that makes no sense in a polytheistic fantasy world where even the nice gods have no problem with violent solutions. The Pathfinder notion that Clerics know how to fight, but prefer to stick to simple easy-to-use weapons due to the amount of time their religious duties consume, makes far more sense.

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