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


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Scarab Sages

Less a rule or subsystem, and more an attitude: The quest for immaculate RAW. If you fed every page of the Pathfinder rules into a compiler, you'd get a crash and a list of errors. Some rules are vague. Some rules directly contradict one another.

The fundamentally human ability to patch gaps in an imperfect set of rules with judgement calls, and to base those judgement calls on which ruling will make the game more fun for the people around the table, is one of the greatest benefits of playing with a human DM, rather than assigning a computer to run the game. Improvisation and flexibility allow things to happen in tabletop Pathfinder that simply cannot happen in an MMORPG.

House rules, Rule Zero and flexibility are Good Things, not Bad Things.

When the goals are interchangeability and standardization, as in PFS, then the quest for RAW is understandable (but still ultimately doomed). I get peeved when that quest spills out of the PFS board, and people sneer at the idea of using less than perfect RAW in home games.


randomness of d20 and too many occasions I have to roll


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I Hate the action economy in Pathfinder....
The way it is distributed, you want to dodge a enemy it is a move action, you want to strike with a weapon is a standard action, you want to bash the head multiple time, a complex one, there is too much disparity between physical actions and spells, you can move cast a quickened spell and cast a second spell in the same round, but you cannot strike three times a opponent if you have moved...
Also the way magic get rid of every problem without cost, you can launch a earthmoving spell that change the reality with no effect on you, you are never tired or exhausted...
I have also a real issue with the way the game is manage, you find a good feat, a good build, a good spel and BAMM the Big Nerf come and break every thing, so you no longer can use it and your character go to the bin....

Grand Lodge

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Raltus wrote:

Mine is that every class gets the same AoO and a 5 foot step. Melee only classes should get 5ft step and a melee AoO.

The Wizard/Sorc/Oracle didn't train martially they are casters, their AoO should be related to counter spelling not attacking.

They also shouldn't get a 5ft step because that is something that training in combat should be all about.

Are you seriously worried about an AOO from a half BAB class who's going to be threatening you typically with either a quarterstaff or dagger, or most likely nothing at all because all he has out is a wand and a free hand so that he can cast?

No I am not worried about that, I said it bugs me because it doesn't overly make sense.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Edymnion wrote:

Hitpoints. Mutants & Masterminds turned HP into basically a Toughness saving throw. Damage comes in, you make a Toughness save. You pass the save, you're fine, no damage. You fail the save, you take damage that basically applies a -1 to everything (future toughness saves, damage, ability checks, whole shebang). Fail the save by a lot, and you go unconcious/dead.

Meant that the more damage you took, the more you slowed down. It wasn't the binary "You are at 100% capability or you're dying, with nothing in between" that we have in DnD and PF.

There are at least alternate rules that DO do this in PF.

Liberty's Edge

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KarlBob wrote:

Less a rule or subsystem, and more an attitude: The quest for immaculate RAW. If you fed every page of the Pathfinder rules into a compiler, you'd get a crash and a list of errors. Some rules are vague. Some rules directly contradict one another.

The fundamentally human ability to patch gaps in an imperfect set of rules with judgement calls, and to base those judgement calls on which ruling will make the game more fun for the people around the table, is one of the greatest benefits of playing with a human DM, rather than assigning a computer to run the game. Improvisation and flexibility allow things to happen in tabletop Pathfinder that simply cannot happen in an MMORPG.

House rules, Rule Zero and flexibility are Good Things, not Bad Things.

When the goals are interchangeability and standardization, as in PFS, then the quest for RAW is understandable (but still ultimately doomed). I get peeved when that quest spills out of the PFS board, and people sneer at the idea of using less than perfect RAW in home games.

I agree to an extent. But in order to abandon the quest for a semi-perfect RAW, Paizo also has to drop the effective "follow the RAW" requirements from PFS. Because the reality is that a LOT of people play PFS, and as long as RAW is the standard for PFS you will have no shortage of player-GM disputes over the rules. The notion that RAW trumps the GM has infected PFS in many areas so deeply that it is beyond ridiculous. There will of course be times where the RAW is critical, but other times where following RAW becomes a major barrier. An example of the latter I can think of is Beast Rider Cavalier and Druid (with at least 6 effective Druid levels applied to the Tiger), a Druid with a Tiger has to go 2 levels with a second companion (horse or camel), and after 3 the Druid can dismiss the second companion and stack Cavalier levels with Druid for their Tiger. Another example is how people can't agree whether Brawler levels and Fighter levels stack for fighter feats by RAW, even though by all accounts it would make sense if they stacked.

Basically this is a long winded way of saying that, PFS needs to change otherwise RAW will continue to be the baseline. As, at least in my experience, GMs who insist on following RAW 100% are not the norm for Home Games.

Liberty's Edge

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KarlBob wrote:
(With regard to Cha as a dump stat)
The Sword wrote:
Or just don't dump any stat...and take a less extreme range.

Fantastic idea! Pathfinder gives characters extra points to spend on stats as they level up. Magic items provide even more points. With all of these chances to improve, is it really so bad for characters to start with stats that are grouped within a fairly narrow range?

I've always found the idea of dump stats to be inherently limiting. Is it really worth crippling one aspect of your character, just to achieve an ideal stat block at level 1? I'd rather see players assign an extra low score in a stat only if it describes the character they want to role-play.

I always had this problem with both point buy and random rolls. More with point buy of course since you can ALWAYS choose to dump, and with random rolls there's a chance you won't roll anything low. But randomly rolling stats tends to feel a bit TOO random to me, even with 4d6 drop lowest (even rerolling totals less than 7 or 8) you still have a chance of getting all 18s and a chance of getting all 3s (or 7s or 8s). And that's just treating each character as being in a vacuum, whenever you consider the party as a whole you have a good chance of imbalance with random rolls as you may have some considerably less competent than others.

Point buy gives a good opportunity for better balance, but it encourages minmaxing.

An alternative I always liked is of course providing the players with a list of stat array options all built between 20 and 25 points, and not including ANY dump stats and trying to keep a fairly narrow spread (say nothing below 11 or 10 and nothing above 16 or 17 before racials). The players each pick an array of 6 numbers that they can distribute among stats as they choose. This should curb minmaxing for the most part. But if any player says they feel their character should have one stat that is extra low, give them the opportunity to present their case from a character point of view. I would suggest then distributing the points gained from the dump into multiple stats rather than just one.

One other good way to give characters some flavor is the background skills option found in Unchained, it really lets players flesh out their characters a bit more and avoid feeling limited by skills in determining aspects of their character's background.

And I can't emphasize this enough... force every player to come up with SOME kind of character background, it can be generic and simple if they so choose but encourage creativity (and inform them that nothing in their background will grant special snowflake powers of any kind that go above and beyond their stats, but encourage them to discuss potential homebrew traits that grant small bonuses if they find nothing appropriate), even if some players opt for "I'm just an unremarkable mercenary" it still gets everyone THINKING about their character. Never let someone show up with just a name and a set of numbers.

Also when 5 of 6 players are focusing on roleplay, and one player is trying to optimize their character. I say let them as long as it isn't gamebreaking, particularly if their character is nicely fleshed out in the roleplay department. If there's any tension as a result of choosing to nerf, make sure you're keeping an open dialogue with the player. It just becomes difficult sometimes when not all players on the same page, so one over optimized character can take away the fun from some of the others (with a long list of exceptions of course). I once choose to nerf an always on Ring of Invisibility that a Rogue found in a pre-written Adventure Path... down to 3/day for 1 minute at a time. He was still thrilled by the free invisibility and agreed that Always On made it hugely overpowered (and it would've been, there was absolutely nothing in the entire campaign that would've relied on unlimited invisibility).

Keep in mind EVERYTHING I just said is predicated on the assumption that a GM is running a character-first/roleplay focused campaign. If you and your players WANT to play a numbers game (which for Superdungeons like Emerald Spire I can find little to no fault with) then be all means have at it, optimize and minmax away.

PS. Please excuse my long-winded rant.


...Or you can just let players play how they like to play and not punish them for being less dramatic than you or enjoying parts more that you enjoy less, like tactics, puzzles, and the aspects of the game that have been around in RPGs just as long as, if not longer than the story.

You know, if you don't feel like being judgy and holier than thou about other people's game style, that is.

See also my earlier post about why even 12 is a dump if it's the lowest you allow and how minimum stat ranges will NOT change player attitudes or styles.

Liberty's Edge

thegreenteagamer wrote:

...Or you can just let players play how they like to play and not punish them for being less dramatic than you or enjoying parts more that you enjoy less, like tactics, puzzles, and the aspects of the game that have been around in RPGs just as long as, if not longer than the story.

You know, if you don't feel like being judgy and holier than thou about other people's game style, that is.

See also my earlier post about why even 12 is a dump if it's the lowest you allow and how minimum stat ranges will NOT change player attitudes or styles.

It's not about changing playstyles, but about keeping players on the same page. See my (edited before reading your's) previous post where I state that if your players as a whole are happy to play the numbers game, or whatever playstyle they all want, by all means. It becomes difficult when a group (particularly a mixture of new and veteran) players all want to approach the game differently, it becomes much much easier to put everyone down to a level playing field as opposed to expecting the new players to be capable of optimizing their characters to the Nth degree. And when the veteran players who are optimizing their characters tip the balance of their party greatly in their favor it can make the newer players feel incompetent and underpowered (if scaling encounters up in difficulty for the optimized characters) and like they aren't contributing (if you don't scale, and the optimized characters sweep through the encounters).

One of the other challenges I've run into a few times is when you have new or inexperienced players who want to focus on roleplay, they sometimes (in my experience at least) have difficulty looking past the numbers and need a little help, a few things that push them towards thinking in terms of roleplay.

Honestly if you're a player whose sole interest in Pathfinder is ensuring that YOU yourself have the best numbers you can have, regardless of the effect it may have on the other players, and are completely unwilling to accept any restrictions that might impede your numbers game... well I have little respect for that kind of selfish behavior.

But if your group is entirely composed of veterans who know how to optimize, and everyone agrees to the GM scaling up encounters, then he can do that without making any new or inexperienced players feel left out. Of course if you have a group of skilled, veteran players then you can probably even focus on roleplay AND optimize (though it really does depend on HOW exactly they are optimizing).


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I always hated the maneuver system, especially the attack of opprotunity for those without the improved maneuver feats. I can only imagine the amount of bar fights that end with dead guards because the drunk with the knife got to stab them in the chest when they tried to take away the drunk's weapon. This goes double for non-human guards who have to wait until level 3 before they can try to get improved disarm.

I find it completly against the idea of heroic fantasy that maneuvers require multiple feats just to not get stabbed during my own turn. All the other table top games I've played were much less restrictive when it came to secial maneuvers and it just feels wrong that my accountant from Dark Heresey starts off with more melee techniques than my paladin.


I also don't really like the maneuver system. It feels too weak and situational. You don't ever really want to trade away your damage out-put for the benefits gained by them.
Honestly, they should be really good (and also deal some damage). As in, almost always a better option than to only deal damage. The only reason why you'd want to only deal damage would be to finish an almost dead guy quickly.


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vorArchivist wrote:
I can only imagine the amount of bar fights that end with dead guards because the drunk with the knife got to stab them in the chest when they tried to take away the drunk's weapon.

Try to take away a knife from someone without specific training in the ability to do that, and see if you don't get stabbed. It's pretty reflective of that.


vorArchivist wrote:

I always hated the maneuver system, especially the attack of opprotunity for those without the improved maneuver feats. I can only imagine the amount of bar fights that end with dead guards because the drunk with the knife got to stab them in the chest when they tried to take away the drunk's weapon. This goes double for non-human guards who have to wait until level 3 before they can try to get improved disarm.

I find it completly against the idea of heroic fantasy that maneuvers require multiple feats just to not get stabbed during my own turn. All the other table top games I've played were much less restrictive when it came to secial maneuvers and it just feels wrong that my accountant from Dark Heresey starts off with more melee techniques than my paladin.

I'm pretty sure if you try to disarm a guy with a knife you will get stabbed, unless you have got a lot of training, similarly if you try to trip someone up you'll be leaving yourself fairly open, Trying to walk up and grab a hold of someone is probably going to get you hit or stabbed too. I can understand disliking them from a balance perspective, but AoOs for attempting combat maneuvers without training make sense.

And how is against the idea of heroic fantasy, level 1 characters aren't very heroic. Higher level characters are heroes and they can have the necessary feats for a maneuver they plan to use a lot, or if you have some maneuver specialist hero in mind (not really many examples come to mind) then there's things like maneuver master monks and brawlers.


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Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:
vorArchivist wrote:
I can only imagine the amount of bar fights that end with dead guards because the drunk with the knife got to stab them in the chest when they tried to take away the drunk's weapon.
Try to take away a knife from someone without specific training in the ability to do that, and see if you don't get stabbed. It's pretty reflective of that.

Yes it's realistic, doesn't mean it's a good system. In fact realism tends to make unfun systems with only a niche audience.


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HyperMissingno wrote:
Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:
vorArchivist wrote:
I can only imagine the amount of bar fights that end with dead guards because the drunk with the knife got to stab them in the chest when they tried to take away the drunk's weapon.
Try to take away a knife from someone without specific training in the ability to do that, and see if you don't get stabbed. It's pretty reflective of that.
Yes it's realistic, doesn't mean it's a good system. In fact realism tends to make unfun systems with only a niche audience.

Indeed. One could argue that attempting to model realism in a game with dragons, house-sized insects or magic is, in fact, a fool's errand.

And that's without getting into the whole Realism vs Acceptance argument, of which my favourite analogy is: "We accept dragons. But a FOUR-WINGED DRAGON? That's preposterous! How would it fly?".


Raynulf wrote:
HyperMissingno wrote:
Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:
vorArchivist wrote:
I can only imagine the amount of bar fights that end with dead guards because the drunk with the knife got to stab them in the chest when they tried to take away the drunk's weapon.
Try to take away a knife from someone without specific training in the ability to do that, and see if you don't get stabbed. It's pretty reflective of that.
Yes it's realistic, doesn't mean it's a good system. In fact realism tends to make unfun systems with only a niche audience.

Indeed. One could argue that attempting to model realism in a game with dragons, house-sized insects or magic is, in fact, a fool's errand.

And that's without getting into the whole Realism vs Acceptance argument, of which my favourite analogy is: "We accept dragons. But a FOUR-WINGED DRAGON? That's preposterous! How would it fly?".

It flies by the power of AWESOME! But seriously, rule of cool and rule of fun > rule of realism.


412294 wrote:
vorArchivist wrote:

I always hated the maneuver system, especially the attack of opprotunity for those without the improved maneuver feats. I can only imagine the amount of bar fights that end with dead guards because the drunk with the knife got to stab them in the chest when they tried to take away the drunk's weapon. This goes double for non-human guards who have to wait until level 3 before they can try to get improved disarm.

I find it completly against the idea of heroic fantasy that maneuvers require multiple feats just to not get stabbed during my own turn. All the other table top games I've played were much less restrictive when it came to secial maneuvers and it just feels wrong that my accountant from Dark Heresey starts off with more melee techniques than my paladin.

I'm pretty sure if you try to disarm a guy with a knife you will get stabbed, unless you have got a lot of training, similarly if you try to trip someone up you'll be leaving yourself fairly open, Trying to walk up and grab a hold of someone is probably going to get you hit or stabbed too. I can understand disliking them from a balance perspective, but AoOs for attempting combat maneuvers without training make sense.

And how is against the idea of heroic fantasy, level 1 characters aren't very heroic. Higher level characters are heroes and they can have the necessary feats for a maneuver they plan to use a lot, or if you have some maneuver specialist hero in mind (not really many examples come to mind) then there's things like maneuver master monks and brawlers.

Even a level 1 fighter is a trained combatant though, and learning how to fight should include learning more than just swinging sharp objects at people. Removing the restrictions from combat maneuvers, mostly the AoO would make melee characters about 5 times as interesting, because suddenly they have more options than attack or move and attack.

I made a house rule that gives each class a list of combat maneuvers they can perform without having to suffer AoOs and also allows them to take the Improved [insert Maneuver here] feat without having the prerequisite feat for that. For example monks and fighters can use all maneuvers without penalty, barbarians gain the more forceful types of maneuvers (like grapple, sunder, bull rush etc.) and characters like rogues gain the more subtle, and dirty maneuvers (like disarm, dirty trick and reposition) with some overlap here and there, while full casters as a rule don't have any maneuvers.

In 5th edition they really improved the whole thing, making what Pathfinder classes as Combat Maneuvers a whole lot more accessible, and much more likely to actually work too. In Pathfinder CMD severely outpaces CMB, on monsters even more so than PCs and NPCs with mostly class levels. In 5th you use your athletics skill for most of them against the opponent's athletics or acrobatics (the target chooses which to defend with) and in general that means you're always in the same ballpark and have a realistic chance of actually pulling your maneuver off. And there is never an Attack of Opportunity.

Liberty's Edge

Threeshades wrote:
412294 wrote:
vorArchivist wrote:

I always hated the maneuver system, especially the attack of opprotunity for those without the improved maneuver feats. I can only imagine the amount of bar fights that end with dead guards because the drunk with the knife got to stab them in the chest when they tried to take away the drunk's weapon. This goes double for non-human guards who have to wait until level 3 before they can try to get improved disarm.

I find it completly against the idea of heroic fantasy that maneuvers require multiple feats just to not get stabbed during my own turn. All the other table top games I've played were much less restrictive when it came to secial maneuvers and it just feels wrong that my accountant from Dark Heresey starts off with more melee techniques than my paladin.

I'm pretty sure if you try to disarm a guy with a knife you will get stabbed, unless you have got a lot of training, similarly if you try to trip someone up you'll be leaving yourself fairly open, Trying to walk up and grab a hold of someone is probably going to get you hit or stabbed too. I can understand disliking them from a balance perspective, but AoOs for attempting combat maneuvers without training make sense.

And how is against the idea of heroic fantasy, level 1 characters aren't very heroic. Higher level characters are heroes and they can have the necessary feats for a maneuver they plan to use a lot, or if you have some maneuver specialist hero in mind (not really many examples come to mind) then there's things like maneuver master monks and brawlers.

Even a level 1 fighter is a trained combatant though, and learning how to fight should include learning more than just swinging sharp objects at people. Removing the restrictions from combat maneuvers, mostly the AoO would make melee characters about 5 times as interesting, because suddenly they have more options than attack or move and attack.

I made a house rule that gives each class a list of combat maneuvers they can perform...

Step 1: Play Brawler

Step 2: Temporarily take free Maneuver feats

Step 3: ???

Step 4: Don't die from AoOs.

Scarab Sages

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Frederic wrote:

Breastplate Armor.

Every warrior should be wearing this in some form. There is no way that "a single piece of sculpted metal" should provide 6 points of AC. Don't get me wrong, breastplates are very cool but 6 is too much. It takes out a lot of interesting variation. I cant believe that a Helmet does nothing to protect you but covering your chest makes you nearly invulnerable. Yeah "Fantasy" blah blah but let me believe it is plausible.

Chainmail. With the exception of the expensive Elven variety the unique advantages of which come in no other form, chainmail is, aside from being an ultimately paltry 50 gold cheaper, STRICTLY inferior to the breastplate.


I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Frederic wrote:

Breastplate Armor.

Every warrior should be wearing this in some form. There is no way that "a single piece of sculpted metal" should provide 6 points of AC. Don't get me wrong, breastplates are very cool but 6 is too much. It takes out a lot of interesting variation. I cant believe that a Helmet does nothing to protect you but covering your chest makes you nearly invulnerable. Yeah "Fantasy" blah blah but let me believe it is plausible.

Chainmail. With the exception of the expensive Elven variety the unique advantages of which come in no other form, chainmail is, aside from being an ultimately paltry 50 gold cheaper, STRICTLY inferior to the breastplate.

The description is just Paizo being stupid for no reason.

3.5 SRD wrote:


Breastplate
It comes with a helmet and greaves.

And, of course, nobody complains that Splint Mail is strictly inferior to both Banded Mail and Half Plate and all three are strictly inferior to Full Plate. Because that's how armor works in D&D. There's a definite ordering from worst to best within each category. That's not an accident.

Scarab Sages

Atarlost wrote:

And, of course, nobody complains that Splint Mail is strictly inferior to both Banded Mail and Half Plate and all three are strictly inferior to Full Plate. Because that's how armor works in D&D. There's a definite ordering from worst to best within each category. That's not an accident.

Splint mail I'll grant you - but the others are so much cheaper than full plate that I'd say it's enough to matter under a much more significant array of circumstances, even if it is still dwarfed by the costs of enchantments and special materials (and banded mail also has the advantage of being 15 lbs. lighter than full plate, which can matter).

Also, the difference between those and the chainmail VS breastplate issue is that you DO expect full plate to be superior to those armors, and it even does a good job explaining why - by contrast, a breastplate not only shouldn't be superior to chainmail, but chainmail, like full plate, is a distinctive suit of fantasy and historical armor (as a matter of fact, for what the historical perspective is worth, chainmail was more important for longer than full plate, whose heyday was comparatively brief, and mainly served to signal the terminus of the archaic arms race), and while full plate gets its due, there's just not enough reason for most adventurers to wear chainmail. It, not the breastplate, really ought to be the top of the line in the Occidental-inspired medium armor lineup (breastplates should be a niche competitor preferred by a substantial minority, but chainmail should be what's best for most medium-armor connoisseurs).


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Have to agree that mechanically speaking, medium and heavy armor really shouldn't have an obvious best choice whose only restriction is a small price difference that rapidly becomes insignificant in normal play.


Raynulf wrote:
HyperMissingno wrote:
Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:
vorArchivist wrote:
I can only imagine the amount of bar fights that end with dead guards because the drunk with the knife got to stab them in the chest when they tried to take away the drunk's weapon.
Try to take away a knife from someone without specific training in the ability to do that, and see if you don't get stabbed. It's pretty reflective of that.
Yes it's realistic, doesn't mean it's a good system. In fact realism tends to make unfun systems with only a niche audience.

Indeed. One could argue that attempting to model realism in a game with dragons, house-sized insects or magic is, in fact, a fool's errand.

And that's without getting into the whole Realism vs Acceptance argument, of which my favourite analogy is: "We accept dragons. But a FOUR-WINGED DRAGON? That's preposterous! How would it fly?".

But … DRAGONS!!! Therefore All Realism Must Die !!!!!!


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RDM42 wrote:
Raynulf wrote:
HyperMissingno wrote:
Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:
vorArchivist wrote:
I can only imagine the amount of bar fights that end with dead guards because the drunk with the knife got to stab them in the chest when they tried to take away the drunk's weapon.
Try to take away a knife from someone without specific training in the ability to do that, and see if you don't get stabbed. It's pretty reflective of that.
Yes it's realistic, doesn't mean it's a good system. In fact realism tends to make unfun systems with only a niche audience.

Indeed. One could argue that attempting to model realism in a game with dragons, house-sized insects or magic is, in fact, a fool's errand.

And that's without getting into the whole Realism vs Acceptance argument, of which my favourite analogy is: "We accept dragons. But a FOUR-WINGED DRAGON? That's preposterous! How would it fly?".

But … DRAGONS!!! Therefore All Realism Must Die !!!!!!

All unfun realism must die. If the realism doesn't get in the way of awesomeness and fun it can stick around.


Raynulf wrote:
HyperMissingno wrote:
Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:
vorArchivist wrote:
I can only imagine the amount of bar fights that end with dead guards because the drunk with the knife got to stab them in the chest when they tried to take away the drunk's weapon.
Try to take away a knife from someone without specific training in the ability to do that, and see if you don't get stabbed. It's pretty reflective of that.
Yes it's realistic, doesn't mean it's a good system. In fact realism tends to make unfun systems with only a niche audience.

Indeed. One could argue that attempting to model realism in a game with dragons, house-sized insects or magic is, in fact, a fool's errand.

And that's without getting into the whole Realism vs Acceptance argument, of which my favourite analogy is: "We accept dragons. But a FOUR-WINGED DRAGON? That's preposterous! How would it fly?".

You mean a two winged dragon.

Due to the required lift and air current needed, a 4 winged dragon has a better chance to acquire lift and fly. Think of a dragonfly for how it flies.

Dark Archive

Natural 1s wrote:
randomness of d20 and too many occasions I have to roll

The 3d6 of GURPS had a nicer curve to it, in that not every action, from the most untrained peasant to the best-in-the-world expert, had a 5% chance of humiliating failure (rolled a 1!) and a 5% chance of critical success (rolled a 20!). Although even 3d6 got a little tight, with some fairly large jumps in percentage with a single increase in skill, such that it was proposed that 3d10 might have flowed better, in the long run, had not a design intention of GURPS been using only d6's.

Still, it's a fairly easy house-rule to make every d20 roll into a 2d10 roll, which makes a critical failure (*two* 1s, which only would happen 1% of the time) rarer, but also a critical success (*two* 10s, in most cases, also only 1% of the time) similarly rarer (and perhaps eliminating any need for a 'critical confirmation roll'). 10% of 2d10 rolls would be an 11, 9% would be either 10, 9% would be 12, etc., instead of 1d20, in which there's an equal 5% chance for every result.

More use of 'Take 10' options can also do away with the 'swinginess' of 1d20. If there's no reason to roll that die, it's sometimes safer to avoid it.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

Action economy: as many people undoubtedly already said it makes no sense a lvl 20 fighter can attack once in melee after moving while a wizard can move and cast more than once.

This was something that went overboard in 3rd ed and wasn't fixed with PF.


Great points about the Gunslinger class. I've considered converting the gunslinger into more of a magical class, i.e., guns are enchanted, can only be used by the gunslinger, bullets are magical, have magical properties, do various things, almost like an alchemist. Then it feels more fantasy to me.

Still working on it.


Dug wrote:
I've considered converting the gunslinger into more of a magical class, i.e., guns are enchanted, can only be used by the gunslinger, bullets are magical, have magical properties, do various things, almost like an alchemist. Then it feels more fantasy to me.

I've long wanted go the opposite route -- gunpowder *should* be inert in Fantasy Land, but the gunslinger is outside of that reality and carries the physical laws of another universe with him. As he levels up I'd give him more abilities along that theme. Haven't worked it all out yet, though.


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Rogar Valertis wrote:

Action economy: as many people undoubtedly already said it makes no sense a lvl 20 fighter can attack once in melee after moving while a wizard can move and cast more than once.

This was something that went overboard in 3rd ed and wasn't fixed with PF.

QFT. It's arguably the biggest source of my ire with PF rules...


Starbuck_II wrote:
Raynulf wrote:
HyperMissingno wrote:
Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:
vorArchivist wrote:
I can only imagine the amount of bar fights that end with dead guards because the drunk with the knife got to stab them in the chest when they tried to take away the drunk's weapon.
Try to take away a knife from someone without specific training in the ability to do that, and see if you don't get stabbed. It's pretty reflective of that.
Yes it's realistic, doesn't mean it's a good system. In fact realism tends to make unfun systems with only a niche audience.

Indeed. One could argue that attempting to model realism in a game with dragons, house-sized insects or magic is, in fact, a fool's errand.

And that's without getting into the whole Realism vs Acceptance argument, of which my favourite analogy is: "We accept dragons. But a FOUR-WINGED DRAGON? That's preposterous! How would it fly?".

You mean a two winged dragon.

Due to the required lift and air current needed, a 4 winged dragon has a better chance to acquire lift and fly. Think of a dragonfly for how it flies.

Four wings or two wings is irrelevant, a dragon has far too heavy a body mass to lift ratio. I've always assumed that like the Oriental variety, a dragon flies by magic.


That makes sense - except they can fly in an anti-magic zone...


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thegreenteagamer wrote:
That makes sense - except they can fly in an anti-magic zone...

Dragon magic isn't constrained by petty mortal anti-magic. Technically speaking Anti-Magic is more accurately named Anti-Battle Magic.

Fact of the matter is if you're going to insist on talking in Physics, dragons don't work.. period.

Dark Archive

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
I've long wanted go the opposite route -- gunpowder *should* be inert in Fantasy Land, but the gunslinger is outside of that reality and carries the physical laws of another universe with him. As he levels up I'd give him more abilities along that theme. Haven't worked it all out yet, though.

[tangent] At least one superhero game has flirted with that notion, that superheroes 'break the laws of physics' by imposing the rules of another reality on the region around them, say by lifting a huge item without tearing a chunk off of it, or sinking into the ground in the process. In Aberrant, powers came with a strange growth in the brain that enlarged the more one used their powers, and occasionally included freakish, or even monstrous, physiological and psychological side-effects, for instance, and one Lovecraftian theory was that the growth was alien, not just to this world, but to this dimension, and that the alteration of local reality was an attempt to 'soften' local reality for a larger incursion, or to make it more 'comfortable' to this extra-dimensional form of life. [/tangent]


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
thegreenteagamer wrote:
That makes sense - except they can fly in an anti-magic zone...

Dragon magic isn't constrained by petty mortal anti-magic. Technically speaking Anti-Magic is more accurately named Anti-Battle Magic.

Fact of the matter is if you're going to insist on talking in Physics, dragons don't work.. period.

I'm the last person to argue about realistic physics. I laugh at people who get upset about reloading a gun multiple times in a round, for example. Not just dragons - which totally defy physics, yes - but also giant insects capable of moving despite their exoskeletons being so heavy they should be crushed to a pulp.

The comment I made earlier was not about physics - it was about comparative skill. I think combat maneuvers should provoke if you're not trained in them, because it's just way easier to smack someone with something than to disarm them or trip them or whatever. It's not about if one is possible to do at all, it's about if it's possible to do to another person actively not wanting you to do it. It's not how good can you be, it's how good are you compared to them.


thegreenteagamer wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
thegreenteagamer wrote:
That makes sense - except they can fly in an anti-magic zone...

Dragon magic isn't constrained by petty mortal anti-magic. Technically speaking Anti-Magic is more accurately named Anti-Battle Magic.

Fact of the matter is if you're going to insist on talking in Physics, dragons don't work.. period.

I'm the last person to argue about realistic physics. I laugh at people who get upset about reloading a gun multiple times in a round, for example. Not just dragons - which totally defy physics, yes - but also giant insects capable of moving despite their exoskeletons being so heavy they should be crushed to a pulp.

The comment I made earlier was not about physics - it was about comparative skill. I think combat maneuvers should provoke if you're not trained in them, because it's just way easier to smack someone with something than to disarm them or trip them or whatever. It's not about if one is possible to do at all, it's about if it's possible to do to another person actively not wanting you to do it. It's not how good can you be, it's how good are you compared to them.

Absolutely agree, otherwise every strike in melee would be one to Sunder your opponent's weapon, or Steal it, when it's not being a Trip.


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Absolutely agree, otherwise every strike in melee would be one to Sunder your opponent's weapon...

I'm not sure I follow.

Opponent wins initiative, sunders my sword on his turn.
On my turn, I draw another weapon and kill my opponent with it.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

thegreenteagamer wrote:
but also giant insects capable of moving despite their exoskeletons being so heavy they should be crushed to a pulp.

But do they know that?


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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Dug wrote:
I've considered converting the gunslinger into more of a magical class, i.e., guns are enchanted, can only be used by the gunslinger, bullets are magical, have magical properties, do various things, almost like an alchemist. Then it feels more fantasy to me.
I've long wanted go the opposite route -- gunpowder *should* be inert in Fantasy Land, but the gunslinger is outside of that reality and carries the physical laws of another universe with him. As he levels up I'd give him more abilities along that theme. Haven't worked it all out yet, though.

Far better for gunpowder to be completely mundane and widely available. Because gunpowder allows mundanes to pull off some stuff otherwise exclusive to mages.

Spoiler:
Cleric: Augury doesn't like going into the mcguffin room through the door.
Wizard: I can stone shape a hole in the wall, but it would use up my bonded object slot.
Fighter: I have a portable hole full of gunpowder and knowledge: engineering.
Rogue: We need to clear up space in the hole for the thousands of comically oversized copper pieces anyways.

In general the more technology you have the less magic makes mundanes pointless. Rather than the fighter having zero ways to contribute and the wizard one the fighter has one way to contribute and the wizard two. Gunpowder is technology that's in period and not allowing it just makes casters relatively stronger.


Wiggz wrote:

The impossibility of multiple swift actions.

We made one minor change to an existing feat (Quicken Spell reduces casting time to a move action) and now our rounds allow the following options, where any action can be exchanged for a lesser one.

A character can make the following actions in a round:

Full round action, swift action.
Standard action, move action, swift action
Standard action, swift action, swift action
Move action, move action, swift action
Move action, swift action, swift action
Swift action, swift action, swift action

You do that and classes with multiple swift action options get a hell of a boost, and the bulk of those are magical ones like the Paladin, the Magus, who can now use arcane strike and buff his weapon in the same round. or simply cast a bunch of swift action spells.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Four wings or two wings is irrelevant, a dragon has far too heavy a body mass to lift ratio. I've always assumed that like the Oriental variety, a dragon flies by magic.

While you are correct, it is also more complicated than that.

Unnecessary ramble on structural mechanicals:
Not only would dragons need enormous wing spans to gain the surface area necessary to produce the thrust needed to hold themselves aloft (and would likely have very low flight ceilings, which is another matter), but their muscles, bones and sinew would have to be mind-bogglingly strong to withstand the loads being put upon them.

Big heavy things that walk on the ground work by putting their legs directly under their body and transmitting the load to ground by compression as much as possible. This is a good thing, as it is the least mechanically demanding method of holding something up.

For dragons to fly, but necessity their wings need to be outstretched - but make no mistake, those wings and shoulders are holding aloft the full weight of the beastie. But, the load is carried entirely as bending through the wing and shoulder structure. Not only is this dramatically harder on the shoulders (you can try it yourself if you're not convinced), but the bone, muscles and tendons need to defy modern materials science to withstand the loads. Carbon nanotubes have nothing on D&D dragon tendons.

Dragons are simply one example (giant bugs are another - passive respiratory systems don't permit even "small" sized insects as they suffocate) where realism is discarded in favour of coolness. There are countless others.

My point (as you've also commented) wasn't that there's anything wrong with dragons or giant bugs in the game, but that people often have a double standard when it comes to "realism" in games: If it's pure fantasy, but familiar, it passes without comment; If it's new or unfamiliar and not grounded in "realism" many people balk at it.

The true measure of "Is it a good mechanic" is not whether it models reality, but whether it is actually fun at the table and consistent with the rest of the game.


PFS has created multiple generations of rules lawyers.


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justaworm wrote:
PFS has created multiple generations of rules lawyers.

I don't think you understand the definition of the word "generation." PFS and Pathfinder itself have only been around...what, less than a decade?

It has certainly encouraged a multitude of rules lawyers, though, I will agree with the context of the statement...the post as intended, rather than the post as written, as it were. *snicker*

Liberty's Edge

thegreenteagamer wrote:
justaworm wrote:
PFS has created multiple generations of rules lawyers.

I don't think you understand the definition of the word "generation." PFS and Pathfinder itself have only been around...what, less than a decade?

It has certainly encouraged a multitude of rules lawyers, though, I will agree with the context of the statement...the post as intended, rather than the post as written, as it were. *snicker*

This works on so many levels that I just have to thank you for posting it.

PFS has inherent problems due to the restrictions placed on GM discretion. By banning house rules of any kind it in theory makes for a more consistent experience... Allowing characters to move between groups and so forth... But it creates a system that enables rules lawyer behavior. In a home game the GM can invoke rule 0 to change anything he wishes, the only restriction being how accountable he holds himself to his players and in what way (which can be good and bad, depends on the GM and players). In an ideal group the GM is expected to make the game fun, everything that serves that end is permissable. But PFS by nature forces the GM to be accountable to the rules, denies them Rule 0 except when settling inconsistencies or disputes over rules and even then too many players fight against it.

***Of course this all varies depending on the PFS scene in your area and is all based on my own experiences back in Toronto (very large city). Since I moved to a more mid-sized city with a tighter-knit PFS community things are better (though the aforementioned problems appear more frequently than in any home games I have ever played).


Where do people get this notion that guns don't belong in fantasy? Is it Tolkien? 'Cause the Western discovery of gunpowder predates the development of full-plate.


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I don't know. They also have this idea that th entire possibility of fantasy has to evolve technologically and progressively at the same rate as the rest of the world. They have women treated like crap or no plumbing "because it was like that back then."

When? When dragons flew and magic was real? This is an entirely different universe, it doesn't have to make the same mistakes we did unless you want it to!


Larkos wrote:
Where do people get this notion that guns don't belong in fantasy? Is it Tolkien? 'Cause the Western discovery of gunpowder predates the development of full-plate.

A lot of people have been told, or just assumed, that "medieval things" like knights, full plate, castles, and swords were all swept aside when gunpowder arrived and rendered them all irrelevant. It's completely wrong, but on the surface the idea makes a lot of sense, so it stuck.


Larkos wrote:
Where do people get this notion that guns don't belong in fantasy? Is it Tolkien? 'Cause the Western discovery of gunpowder predates the development of full-plate.

If it's Tolkien they didn't read it very well because there's definitely gunpowder in Middle Earth and some of the fireworks names imply that it's not new.

Liberty's Edge

If your campaign is set in Golarion then 90% of the world's guns are produced and remain in the city of Alkenstar in the Mana Wastes of Central-Eastern Garund. RP-wise if you're a Gunslinger you have to hail from, or have spent substantial time in Alkenstar to learn the art of gunsmithing (or have a special-snowflake case where you were taught the art by [insert random craftsman from Alkenstar who teaches PC how to gunsmith in wherever the PC decides they were taught], or you "learned yourself" (which can be very difficult to justify without the appropriate stats). It's especially problematic if a player wants to multiclass into Gunslinger while in a region where guns aren't really present let alone some roleplaying justification for learning Gunsmithing.

Gunslingers present some balance issues some of the time depending on how they are built (but so do a lot of other classes). They aren't necessarily overpowered but their ability to hit touch AC with weapons that deal DEX to damage (after a certain point) at a range, without the limitations placed on casters can be a bit... Less than appealing to some GMs. I'm not saying those GMs are right or wrong however, but I won't ever call a GM wrong for opting to omit guns from his campaign.

As well I find many don't oppose the idea of guns in Pathfinder or D&D from a perspective of "there weren't guns in medieval times" but the idea of guns usually feels more in-line with modern times and strikes many is a bit out of place in a realm of swords and sorcery. Robots also tend to feel very out of place (and yet Numeria exists).
Plus as anime and many video games have taught us, "Guns are Worthless" < that's a link

PS. I'm not really arguing in favor of or against guns, I wouldn't even call it playing devil's advocate. I just feel that nobody is really right or wrong in deciding to take an issue with guns or not, and I feel that people should be willing to accept if a GM decides they'd rather not have guns (or any other class/item/feat/etc) in their game.


Dragon wings are probably like insect wings:
The real secret to how insects fly lies in the wings, both in their design and in how they're used. Most insects rely on two pairs of wings, which join or overlap so they work together as a single pair. Insect wings are one of nature's lightest structures, lacking bone and muscle; they're made of chitin, an extremely tough material that also composes an insect's hard outer skin. Chitin is a polysaccharide, a chemical compound that forms fibrous molecules (in which hydrogen atoms bond to produce extra strength). A network of veins also lends insect wings extra support.

So give your dragons dual wings that perform together (when they hit you with a wing, they use both at once).

Also let the dragons flap like insects:
On the upstroke, insect wings move differently from those of most other flying creatures-in a kind of figureeight motion. As the insect wing nears the end of a forward stroke, the wing rotates backward, twisting upside down, parallel to the ground. This rotation accelerates (speeds up) the flow of air over the wing.

This means that insect wings generate a burst of lift and speed from the upstroke as well as the downstroke-unlike the wings of birds or bats, which derive most of their flying power only from the downstroke. "Such elaborate wing movements create miniature tornadoes that send bugs soaring by sucking the wings upward," says Jane Wang, a physicist (scientist who studies motions and forces) at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

The rotation, combined with lightning-fast wing flaps, whips air flowing over the top of an insect wing into a swell of curling vortexes, or whirling spirals of air. Vortexes act like air streams that flow from a propeller, and prove "crucial for insects to hover," says Wang. "Air swells help bugs get lift, thrust to turn, and maneuver." When insects flap their wings downward, some air passing over the wings rolls along the entire front edge in a vertical spiral that grows as it sweeps along the wingtip.

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