Crane Wing Errata in latest printing


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Sczarni

Quote:
I never claimed it was, "lan" tzkev. :-/

I'm very confused by your choice of where to place quotation marks...


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Things pre-errata Crane Wing completely hosed:
- Powerful Charge. Any creature, no matter how powerful, whose offense was centered on this, has no powerful charge.
- Any reasonable use of True Strike in melee.
- Monsters with single natural melee attacks.
- Vital Strike and all its improvements, for melee.
- Spring Attack
- Cleave (if Crane Wing is the first target, it never even goes off)
- pretty much any of the grabbers, like a wolf
- move action and standard attack

If you're looking at around APL 6, this is a lot of stuff.


You can use True Strike for combat maneuvers. I find that reasonable.

Funny you should mention APL 6, since that's when flying comes online. I think if you grabbed everyone hosed by flying and everyone hosed by Crane wing at APL6, you'd probably get a pretty similar list.

Sczarni

the point is that it was an unlimited resource, had no real downside compared to it's benefit. And shut down anything but full attacks/pounce types from lvl 1-20.

Now it still does that, but to do it, you must yourself give up all your attacks.


Flying is not all that. Flying against wolves in a forest is actually pretty terrible.

Liberty's Edge

My only wish through all of this is that if there is a change made that people don't like, they voice it respectfully and provide some constructive criticism instead of nerd-raging like a baby. Not everyone was like this, but there were a whole bunch of people who were

Shadow Lodge

People are consciously aware that in the grand scheme of things Crane Wing wasn't that powerful right? People make it seem like it ended entire campaigns, killed everything in sight, raised the player to near Godhood, got them the girl/guy, saved the Princess/Prince. lol It's actually pretty funny. :-P It's almost like people were somehow slighted by CW. lol


lantzkev wrote:
the point is that it was an unlimited resource, had no real downside compared to it's benefit. And shut down anything but full attacks/pounce types from lvl 1-20.

And casters, and ranged attackers, and monsters with SLAs, special attacks (breath weapon, etc.) and/or respectable combat maneuver modifiers...

It's an unlimited resource when you spend 4 feats on it, and then then the wizard picks up something with the same defensive applications as a scroll for chump change.

RJGrady wrote:
Flying is not all that. Flying against wolves in a forest is actually pretty terrible.

I need to be educated here. There's some weird "fly in forests" rule I don't know about?


RJGrady wrote:
Flying is not all that. Flying against wolves in a forest is actually pretty terrible.

It sounds pretty awesome to me. I can keep firing at them with ranged weapons (or hitting them with a reach weapon) while all they can do is growl at me and realize they are out of reach every time they try to attack.

Sczarni

Casters are limited resources, when you say "spend four feats" I read "spent two-three feats, the other two IUS and Dodge were something I would of taken anyhow"

complaining about the feats leading up to it is a bit silly as so many things can give IUS or count as it. Likewise acting like dodge is some onerous tax is again ridiculous. If you were a wizard trying to make use of it... yeah it's rough, any serious martial class didn't break a sweat trying to get this going.

Shadow Lodge

Icyshadow wrote:
RJGrady wrote:
Flying is not all that. Flying against wolves in a forest is actually pretty terrible.
It sounds pretty awesome to me. I can keep firing at them with ranged weapons (or hitting them with a reach weapon) while all they can do is growl at me and realize they are out of reach every time they try to attack.

Maybe they are like the zombies in WWZ (movie) and climb on top of one another then the last one jumps up to attack you? Or they hide behind trees taking cover from your attacks. Or maybe it's because when you're flying (in the woods\mountains) the air is thinner and colder and you suffer from hypothermia and die?

Wait wait, I got it! It's because the forest is so dense that you can't possibly fly and run into tree limbs blinding yourself and possibly knocking you unconscious, where you fall to the ground and get eaten by said wolves! That's it! Whew, I knew I could get it. Gold star for me! :-D

You know what makes me sad. I GM'd Fangwood Keep and there was a Monk in there with Crane Wing. She was a lot of fun to play against the PC's, not OP, but challenging. Now if I GM'd that today that combat would be a total joke. :-( I kinda feel like I did after the 4th Indiana Jones came out, left a bad taste in my mouth for the prior ones.


Felix Gaunt wrote:
People are consciously aware that in the grand scheme of things Crane Wing wasn't that powerful right? People make it seem like it ended entire campaigns, killed everything in sight, raised the player to near Godhood, got them the girl/guy, saved the Princess/Prince. lol It's actually pretty funny. :-P It's almost like people were somehow slighted by CW. lol

It was extremely powerful when used in the kinds of builds I mentioned earlier. Crane Wing was a big nudge from "really hard to hit" to "nigh indestructible" for a decently defensive melee build. Take the sample character above. It's not like you can ignore her, even at CR 11, when she's doing 25 damage a hit with two attacks and a very solid attack bonus (and that's when she's not flanking, smiting or hasted and hasn't critted your ass, the latter of which she did on approximately 1 in 4 hits). And flyers? No problem. All of her damage enhancers (Arcane Strike, Discordant Voice, Battle Dance, Smite Evil and Deliquescent Gloves) boost her bow attacks too. All of which would be fine if it wasn't a complete waste of time to attack her, which with her AC it was when she's auto-deflecting the strongest attack that actually managed to hit every round.

There are no three feats (replacing Imp Unarmed, CS and CW) that such a character could take for the same return on investment in terms of indestructibility. The only argument that's going to make that kind of stuff seem reasonable is "casters can do even crazier stuff." Which is true, but if we start balancing everything against spells it's quickly going to render about 75% or more of the existing feats completely obsolete.


lantzkev wrote:

Casters are limited resources, when you say "spend four feats" I read "spent two-three feats, the other two IUS and Dodge were something I would of taken anyhow"

complaining about the feats leading up to it is a bit silly as so many things can give IUS or count as it. Likewise acting like dodge is some onerous tax is again ridiculous. If you were a wizard trying to make use of it... yeah it's rough, any serious martial class didn't break a sweat trying to get this going.

Oh do please show me a straight lvl 5-6 barb/ranger/pally make use of it without a sweat. Feel free to also insert the feat taxes everybody needs, like power attack, weapon focus, possibly arcane strike somewhere along the line, if you can. I'd love to see that. Or are those not serious martial classes?

I'd not mind to see builds for these that'd "take IUS anyway" but not take CW as well.

Also, nice Dodging the whole "crane wing actually only stops really stupid and one dimensional monsters, and only a single one of them at a time, not everything from lvl 1-20 as I've claimed" thing. I guess you must have the old version CW to ignore one of my points so effortlessly like that :)


lantzkev wrote:

Casters are limited resources, when you say "spend four feats" I read "spent two-three feats, the other two IUS and Dodge were something I would of taken anyhow"

complaining about the feats leading up to it is a bit silly as so many things can give IUS or count as it. Likewise acting like dodge is some onerous tax is again ridiculous. If you were a wizard trying to make use of it... yeah it's rough, any serious martial class didn't break a sweat trying to get this going.

Are you serious? I have exactly zero characters that bought IUS as a feat. I doubt very many people take dodge as a feat. Most combat builds are very tight and if you have room to take feats like IUS and dodge, you aren't making a min/max combat build.


Aelryinth wrote:
Covent wrote:

Ok, Finally Got through page 20.

First some info.

A.) I only GM.

B.) I only GM Non-AP stuff in a personally created world.

C.) I do homebrew, however I would say my games are about 95% RAW or as close as I can make them. An example of home brew I use is a Paladin Kit. My largest homebrew to date is a rewrite and stream lining of the Magic Item creation rules.

D.) I believe that a stable and fair ruleset is the key to giving players the confidence that even during the most difficult moments they can succeed.

E.) My player group has extremely different levels of optimization capability and system mastery, however all of the players work together and know that I am willing to help so as to make their concept live up to what they want.

** spoiler omitted **

With all of that said, I have a few things I would like to add.

1.) I think this Errata was completely unneeded. I have GM'ed for multiple Crane Wing PC's over several different games and have never found them more threatening than Say a Beast Totem Barbarian, A well built Fighter, or honestly any other non-Monk/rogue that has been optimized. This is obviously anecdotal evidence but I would love to have some links to the builds that allow for a crane wing character to deal damage equal to say 75-80% of a Offensive focused martial.

It is great if people post stories of "Well, gosh Crane wing let me survive and poke to death these guys after my whole party was dead/fled/useless", however I find it hard to believe that that ability is useful in more situations than the ability to do a larger and significantly more, i.e. ending fights a round or two earlier, amount of damage.

2.) I also am seeing a lot of "Well Crane Wing lets you have your cake and eat it to, as you can just take your hand off your Two-handed weapon at the end of your turn and gain its benefits."

This is true if you are wielding a one-handed weapon in two hands, however it...

#2 Note that IUS is required for Crane Wing, so yes, you have...

Sorry, but you are just wrong. Flat out wrong. Post your build with 75-80% offensive power and crane wing by level 6. Heck, you'd be hard-pressed to do it at 11th! Not only do you have to skip all of the other feats but you have to fight defensively (another -2 unless you go all the way to crane riposte), which is the equivalent of losing weapon focus twice! There's no way (especially in PFS) that you can do that (not to mention cleave and other target multiplying feats that you'll miss). Build or it's not true....


Well, I had Crane Riposte on a Hungry Ghost Monk, with a two level dip in fighter, barbarian, and one level of Cleric. His HP was okay, but his AC was fairly poor; Crane Wing (total = -0 to his attack when fighting defensively, and he got +4 AC) helped, and Crane Wing mixed with Stunning Fist and Punishing Kick really helped keep some melee off of him. Deflect Arrows wasn't bad, too. When he was hit, he just flurried with his katana to bring back some HP. I liked him, but unless something is done with Crane Riposte, I'm going to have to change him up drastically (get rid of all the Crane Feats), and I really didn't want to have to :(


RJGrady wrote:

Things pre-errata Crane Wing completely hosed:

- Powerful Charge. Any creature, no matter how powerful, whose offense was centered on this, has no powerful charge.
- Any reasonable use of True Strike in melee.
- Monsters with single natural melee attacks.
- Vital Strike and all its improvements, for melee.
- Spring Attack
- Cleave (if Crane Wing is the first target, it never even goes off)
- pretty much any of the grabbers, like a wolf
- move action and standard attack

If you're looking at around APL 6, this is a lot of stuff.

Played with a color spray oracle lately? That cancels out all of those attacks and more. But somehow the number one complaint of PFS GMs is Crane Wing?

You know, the best GMs that I play with (VOs, most of them), tend to be very good players as well. In fact, they've taught me more about "optimizing" than I've figured out on my own. Perhaps that explains why they seem to take feats like crane wing in stride. I'd be curious to actually see how many of the complainants have played as much as they've GMed recently. The perspective seems to work wonders...


Jon Otaguro 428 wrote:


Are you serious? I have exactly zero characters that bought IUS as a feat. I doubt very many people take dodge as a feat. Most combat builds are very tight and if you have room to take feats like IUS and dodge, you aren't making a min/max combat build.

Nothing wrong with Dodge. It's okay on its own when you really want to push your AC over the top, plus it's a prereq for lots of things. And see my sample Bard/Paladin/Rogue, above, for a pretty min/maxed combat build that took Crane Wing without dipping MoMS.

Shadow Lodge

Erick Wilson wrote:

It was extremely powerful when used in the kinds of builds I mentioned earlier. Crane Wing was a big nudge from "really hard to hit" to "nigh indestructible" for a decently defensive melee build. Take the sample character above. It's not like you can ignore her, even at CR 11, when she's doing 25 damage a hit with two attacks and a very solid attack bonus (and that's when she's not flanking, smiting or hasted and hasn't critted your ass, the latter of which she did on approximately 1 in 4 hits). And flyers? No problem. All of her damage enhancers (Arcane Strike, Discordant Voice, Battle Dance, Smite Evil and Deliquescent Gloves) boost her bow attacks too. All of which would be fine if it wasn't a complete waste of time to attack her, which with her AC it was when she's auto-deflecting the strongest attack that actually managed to hit every round.

There are no three feats (replacing Imp Unarmed, CS and CW) that such a character could take for the same return on investment in terms of indestructibility. The only argument that's going to make that kind of stuff seem reasonable is "casters can do even crazier stuff." Which is true, but if we start balancing everything against spells it's quickly going to render about 75% or more of the existing feats completely obsolete.

I'm not saying it's not good, it is. That's why I said a good compromise is leave it for Monk's only (say level 4 or 5). Doing what they did to it is an extreme case of over-kill. Also yes I know no one wants to bring up spells, but there are a bazillion things better than Crane Wing that are readily easy to acquire. Heck I've seen 50+ AC Players with mid 20's to all their saves. lol

I've had Crane Wing and been brutalized by stuff, and savaged players who had it. It's nice yes, if they want to tone it down due to PFS that's fine, they gotta do what they gotta do. I just think leaving it alone and restricting just to Monk's is far more reasonable. This whole PFS thing is out of control, I've seen PFS broken in so many ways so many times that CW is the absolute last thing that I would of ever thought to nerf. Kinda boggles the mind..... :-/


Eirikrautha wrote:
Played with a color spray oracle lately? That cancels out all of those attacks and more. But somehow the number one complaint of PFS GMs is Crane Wing?

Maybe they've all just grown acquiescent of spell casting and supernatural abilities?

More seriously, its harder to ban core materials or materials already in game. Likely you won't see slumber or color spray banned, but things from the player companions are much easier to ban(example: Mind Buttressing). Similarly, they don't like to ban things that have been around for a while, if I remember correctly.

Remember, PFS is a beast of its own. That's why it bothers people that its actually seeped in and affected their own games.


Felix Gaunt wrote:

I'm not saying it's not good, it is. That's why I said a good compromise is leave it for Monk's only (say level 4 or 5). Doing what they did to it is an extreme case of over-kill. Also yes I know no one wants to bring up spells, but there are a bazillion things better than Crane Wing that are readily easy to acquire. Heck I've seen 50+ AC Players with mid 20's to all their saves. lol

Gonna have to ask to see some math on that last claim, at least if we're talking PFS levels (11-). And bear in mind that the builds in question have to also present a reasonable offensive threat in order to not just be ignorable.

But yes, I completely agree the nerf went way too far. On the other hand, how do you limit it to Monks without also nerfing MoMS (which I think would be a huge mistake)?


MrSin wrote:

Remember, PFS is a beast of its own. That's why it bothers people that its actually seeped in and affected their own games.

It is, but at the same time the PFS issue raises a major issue with the game as a whole: Does CR matter? I mean, yes, in a home game you can adjust encounters to challenge players by raising them above the theoretically appropriate CR. But is the game not essentially broken if you're having to do that? CR is theoretically a major game element, which if nothing else is supposed to save GMs a considerable amount of time calibrating challenges. If it no longer functions as a way to do this, what does that do to the game as a whole? That's the big question posed by PFS's existence.


Erick Wilson wrote:
Felix Gaunt wrote:

I'm not saying it's not good, it is. That's why I said a good compromise is leave it for Monk's only (say level 4 or 5). Doing what they did to it is an extreme case of over-kill. Also yes I know no one wants to bring up spells, but there are a bazillion things better than Crane Wing that are readily easy to acquire. Heck I've seen 50+ AC Players with mid 20's to all their saves. lol

Gonna have to ask to see some math on that last claim, at least if we're talking PFS levels (11-). And bear in mind that the builds in question have to also present a reasonable offensive threat in order to not just be ignorable.

But yes, I completely agree the nerf went way too far. On the other hand, how do you limit it to Monks without also nerfing MoMS (which I think would be a huge mistake)?

Well, it's been suggested before to errata MoMS so that they still have to meet BAB or Monk level requirements on Style feats. This stops the level dippers cold. It also stops the 'Crane Wing at level 1' shenanigans people have been using in PFS.


Erick Wilson wrote:


Nothing wrong with Dodge. It's okay on its own when you really want to push your AC over the top, plus it's a prereq for lots of things. And see my sample Bard/Paladin/Rogue, above, for a pretty min/maxed combat build that took Crane Wing without dipping MoMS.

That build was really not min/maxed. Take 2 extra levels in bard instead of 2 levels of rogue and you'd have gotten 3rd level casting, (which has many excellent spells), 1 more BAB, Versatile Performance to make up for the lost skill points, 2 more caster levels which may have meant another +1 to arcane strike (if you took magical knack trait), more bardic performance rounds to work with, and like a bazillion stuff I'm probably not even thinking of.

Traded all that away for... an extra feat and situational +3,5 damage.

That's terrible. I think eventhough 2 pally levels would have given less than the bard but still loads more in this situation.


while there might be many "broken" game elements besides Crane Wing they obviously can't all be fixed at once. Instead of seeing this errata as Paizo singling something out I prefer to hope that it is just part of an ongoing process to hone and evolve the game.

Flying in particular seems to have been mentioned a lot in this thread though. Flight is a classic and pretty much essential element of the game, and creating a version of flying which doesn't get you out of the reach of melee opponents on the ground would be difficult. Luckily a lot of dungeon settings have low ceilings, traps, monsters (or gold?) on the ceiling, etc. Crane Wing doesn't seem like an essential element of the game, and creating a version of Crane Wing which is less powerful than the original doesn't seem difficult. In fact, Paizo has already done it. The difficult part might be getting people to accept it.

That said, I wonder if the new printing of Ultimate Combat has gone to the printers yet. If so this discussion might be moot. If not maybe something like allowing the +4 dodge bonus to be used reactively might be considered. I don't have any strong feelings about the errata, but I hate to see so many folks upset over it and wonder whether some sort of compromise might help.


Erick Wilson wrote:
MrSin wrote:

Remember, PFS is a beast of its own. That's why it bothers people that its actually seeped in and affected their own games.

It is, but at the same time the PFS issue raises a major issue with the game as a whole: Does CR matter?

We've known for quiet a few years that CR isn't perfect, if that's what your asking.

*We being an awkward term.

Sczarni

Quote:
Are you serious? I have exactly zero characters that bought IUS as a feat.

yeah it's free from soo many sources, why spend a feat on it...

Quote:
I doubt very many people take dodge as a feat. Most combat builds are very tight and if you have room to take feats like IUS and dodge, you aren't making a min/max combat build.

The fact that crane wing fit in with min/maxing combat build tells you something about it's old form.

Quote:
Oh do please show me a straight lvl 5-6 barb/ranger/pally make use of it without a sweat.

you understand I meant mostly monks/fighters etc, but sure let's do that.

Barbarian Brawler rage power (has improved unarmed strike), lvl 1 dodge, lvl 3 crane style, lvl 5 crane wing. bam.

Ranger (that's harder, but a one lvl dip in fighter(unarmed)solves it), but baring that human, lvl 1 dodge and IUS, lvl 3 crane style, lvl 5 crane wing, and toss in all your other bonus feats... it's actually still pretty optimal, specially if you go natural weapon style.

Paladin same as ranger. hell there's even a prestige class that you could go for that works well... although it does pretty much require a dip into monk.

There's actually not a single class that can't get into crane wing by lvl 5 that's a BAB 20 class and not perform well while using it, complaining you can't fit in two to five other feats into that build is a bit dishonest, when that's kind of the point of the game. not to have everything but to do something very well or do a bit of everything.

Quote:
Feel free to also insert the feat taxes everybody needs, like power attack, weapon focus, possibly arcane strike somewhere along the line, if you can. I'd love to see that.

I guess when you set the requirements of "build a min/max build" that has x feats in it and work in crane wing but dont' splash any classes... you're creating a situation where it's very hard to "win" the argument. Specifically when you're excluding fighters/monks from the argument, even though they were arguably the only ones truely hit by the change...


LoneKnave wrote:


That build was really not min/maxed. Take 2 extra levels in bard instead of 2 levels of rogue and you'd have gotten 3rd level casting, (which has many excellent spells), 1 more BAB, Versatile Performance to make up for the lost skill points, 2 more caster levels which may have meant another +1 to arcane strike (if you took magical knack trait), more bardic performance rounds to work with, and like a bazillion stuff I'm probably not even thinking of.

Traded all that away for... an extra feat and situational +3,5 damage.

That's terrible. I think eventhough 2 pally levels would have given less than the bard but still loads more in this situation.

2 more caster levels would not increase Arcane Strike's bonus. The BAB point I'm fine with losing. I never saw her need more performance rounds than she had already. Also, which feat would you give up? It matters. Crane Wing? Discordant Voice? Cautious Fighter? They're all major. And you've neglected to consider evasion, which is clutch. So nah, your version is only slightly better if at all. The build is fine.


MrSin wrote:
Erick Wilson wrote:
MrSin wrote:

Remember, PFS is a beast of its own. That's why it bothers people that its actually seeped in and affected their own games.

It is, but at the same time the PFS issue raises a major issue with the game as a whole: Does CR matter?

We've known for quiet a few years that CR isn't perfect, if that's what your asking.

*We being an awkward term.

I'm perfectly aware of that, but organized play brings the issue rather sharply into focus. More importantly, the issue is not that CR "isn't perfect." It's that it seems drastically broken.

EDIT: Incidentally, Mr. Sin, what is your issue? You want to complain about PFS impacting home games, but don't want to have the conversation about why that's happening. When I try to get it going, you make a snarky comment. I'm trying to remain civil towards you. Please do the same in return.


Erick Wilson wrote:
MrSin wrote:

Remember, PFS is a beast of its own. That's why it bothers people that its actually seeped in and affected their own games.

It is, but at the same time the PFS issue raises a major issue with the game as a whole: Does CR matter? I mean, yes, in a home game you can adjust encounters to challenge players by raising them above the theoretically appropriate CR. But is the game not essentially broken if you're having to do that? CR is theoretically a major game element, which if nothing else is supposed to save GMs a considerable amount of time calibrating challenges. If it no longer functions as a way to do this, what does that do to the game as a whole? That's the big question posed by PFS's existence.

CR is only a theoretical approximation of power. Only experience can teach the true value of creatures.

As an example, take a look at the Dark Stalker. It's a CR 4 threat all by his lonesome. For an APL 4 party, this is an average encounter and should be pretty easy right?

Wrong.

See, the Dark Stalker has Deeper Darkness at will and the ability to See in Darkness, including that of Deeper Darkness. So your party is in a dark warehouse using light, and then everything turns supernaturally dark. Even those with Darkvision (Half-orcs, Dwarves etc) can't see... but the Dark Stalker can.

He can come in using use his superior vision to start dropping sneak attacks on the party. He can full attack, and then 5-foot step away, and the party will stumble around in the dark trying to find this guy.

It takes a 3rd level spell (available at 5th) to counter Deeper Darkness, and this is something the party doesn't have.

How about an APL 8 party? They have access to Daylight, sure, but how many times? Maybe once if they know to bring it ahead of time? In this situation, the Dark Stalker could bring two allies with him (3 Dark Stalkers = CR 8 threat) or another Dark Stalker and 4 Dark Creepers. You know have 6 enemies with See In Darkness and the Dark Stalkers can use their at will Deeper Darkness to dispel any Daylight spells the party may have.

In the mean time, the full on Crane Style, Crane Wing, Crane Riposte character is crying somewhere as he's denied his dex, dodge and Crane Wing defense. The party is being ambushed by monsters in the night that, and the Dwarf and Half-Orc in the party are, for the first time in their career, scared of the shadows.

There are other such things that exist in this game. The Ghaele Azata is a CR 13 creature that can fairly reliably kill CR 15 - CR 16 creatures with minimal effort or threat to herself. Any creature that can't fly or attack at range can be taken down by a weaker dragon.

Templates added to creature only exacerbate the problem. You can take a Kobold and add 4 different templates before it even reaches CR 2. Then you can toss on 2 levels of warrior and you've got a pretty bad-assed Kobold Conquerer running around. Toss the Advanced and Fey Creature Template on a Kobold with 2 levels of warrior and give them a bow, a CR 1 creature, and watch them make parties cry with their ambushes.

The CR system is imperfect. It only measures the DPR and defenses of a creature, and doesn't take into account spells, spell-like abilities, supernatural abilities, or other abilities the monster may have.

Shadow Lodge

Erick Wilson wrote:

Gonna have to ask to see some math on that last claim, at least if we're talking PFS levels (11-). And bear in mind that the builds in question have to also present a reasonable offensive threat in order to not just be ignorable.

But yes, I completely agree the nerf went way too far. On the other hand, how do you limit it to Monks without also nerfing MoMS (which I think would be a huge mistake)?

I don't want to get into the whole stat thing on here (it's already consumed too much of the thread), suffice it to say they exist and it's not hard (even in PFS). For now I'll just say two words to you "Zen Archer" (as an example).

MoMS appears to be the culprit allowing for the 2 level dip which is (apparently) causing some PFS GM's apoplectic fits. If MoMS still wants to feel special they can make it so they can get it earlier than a regular Monk, not too early though or we'd be back where we started. :-P


I have mentioned this numerous times before but I will mention it again, if you readied an action to attack someone using crane wing you would hit them before they could deflect the attack. Any creature or character could do this, it's not like a great sword wielder with one attack couldn't get his one attack in.


@lantzkev:

I find it amusing that you illustrate my points perfectly, but fail to come to the same conclusion I did. Also, Brawler does not count as IUS (as you probably can't rage 24 hours).

As in: only MoMS dip or some Fighter builds can use CW effectively before lvl 6 (which is when everyone gets a bunch of ways to deal with CW anyway, and/or defensive tools that are as powerful). Everyone else sacrifices like, a 3/rd or 4/th of their damage at least.

I think this is more than a fair tradeoff. The problem is the MoMS dip, which allows it to come online about 4 levels sooner (and, well, terribly one dimensional monsters, especially at low levels).


Cairen Weiss wrote:


CR is only a theoretical approximation of power. Only experience can teach the true value of creatures.

As an example, take a look at the Dark Stalker. It's a CR 4 threat all by his lonesome. For an APL 4 party, this is an average encounter and should be pretty easy right?

Wrong.

See, the Dark Stalker has Deeper Darkness at will...

I know all of this. I would go further than you have gone and say that CR is not only imperfect, it's become barely useful if not actively misleading. So the question is: how can you have a meaningful system of organized play when this is the case? The non-PFS community is going to continue to be affected by what happens within PFS, so I'd say this issue is pretty important. Unless of course you think that there can be no meaningful organized play, which is also an interesting conversation. If that's the case, then organized play should be abolished as it is meaningless in and of itself, yet impacts home style play.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Erick Wilson wrote:
It is, but at the same time the PFS issue raises a major issue with the game as a whole: Does CR matter? I mean, yes, in a home game you can adjust encounters to challenge players by raising them above the theoretically appropriate CR. But is the game not essentially broken if you're having to do that? CR is theoretically a major game element, which if nothing else is supposed to save GMs a considerable amount of time calibrating challenges. If it no longer functions as a way to do this, what does that do to the game as a whole? That's the big question posed by PFS's existence.

Think of optimization level as a tree that branches left and right - the left side is the low end of optimization, and the right side of the tree is the high end of optimization. The height of the tree represents levels, and the trunk CR.

As you start off the tree is low and the branches are relatively close to one another. As the tree grows higher the branches on both the left and the right side move further away from the trunk. More distance builds between the left and right branches as well.

Similarly CR struggles at low-medium levels and ultimately fails at high-very high levels to account for how different parties can handle different levels of opposition. However it was never going to succeed at that - the system is far too flexible, varied, and ultimately imbalanced, to allow any such system. That doesn't mean that challenge ratings are useless, or broken.

CR is absolutely useful, but it's useful as a guideline - not a straightjacket. If your party is tooting a TWF fighter who thinks nunchucks are the bomb, a bard who fights people by beating them with his lute, and a rogue who has a hand crossbow sniper thing going on - you might need to adjust down a bit.

Conversely if your party is stacked to the gills with optimization guides, Paragon Surge sorcerers, GOD wizards and all the other paraphernalia - you might need to adjust up a bit.

However, you can still use CR as a good start-off point. Odds are most parties will be in the general ballpark of what the CR states - you can always fine-tune it later on when you get a better grasp of what your party can and can't handle.


Erick Wilson wrote:
Cairen Weiss wrote:


CR is only a theoretical approximation of power. Only experience can teach the true value of creatures.

As an example, take a look at the Dark Stalker. It's a CR 4 threat all by his lonesome. For an APL 4 party, this is an average encounter and should be pretty easy right?

Wrong.

See, the Dark Stalker has Deeper Darkness at will...

I know all of this. I would go further than you have gone and say that CR is not only imperfect, it's become barely useful if not actively misleading. So the question is: how can you have a meaningful system of organized play when this is the case? The non-PFS community is going to continue to be affected by what happens within PFS, so I'd say this issue is pretty important. Unless of course you think that there can be no meaningful organized play, which is also an interesting conversation. If that's the case, then organized play should be abolished as it is meaningless in and of itself, yet impacts home style play.

The problem is PFS isn't being kept separate from Pathfinder. PFS comes with a list of houserules long enough that it could probably be entirely published as it's on Player Companion.

It's always struck me as odd that people want to bring up PFS in balance debates when PFS has a history of balancing itself. I think PFS should use it's power more often to ban or change problem feats, spells, classes etc, but only for PFS!

During playtests and other such things on the boards, if someone uses a house rule in their examples, they are held up as less credible an example than those who didn't. PFS has a HUGE number of house rules, yet still gives valid feedback?

I mean, in PFS, if you have a staff, it's assumed to be recharged between scenarios, even if the scenarios are linked together and/or take place on the same day. In this way, people can abuse things like the Staff of the Master to get free metamagic on their characters.

Best part? If a character has cheese like this going on, the GM can't really say, "No, that feat/spell/class/item/ability isn't allowed at my table". If it's a legal PFS option, then it's a valid strategy and can't really be stopped. Sure, a GM could choose to evict the person from the table, but that just furthers the GM vs. Players mentality.


Kudaku wrote:
Erick Wilson wrote:
It is, but at the same time the PFS issue raises a major issue with the game as a whole: Does CR matter? I mean, yes, in a home game you can adjust encounters to challenge players by raising them above the theoretically appropriate CR. But is the game not essentially broken if you're having to do that? CR is theoretically a major game element, which if nothing else is supposed to save GMs a considerable amount of time calibrating challenges. If it no longer functions as a way to do this, what does that do to the game as a whole? That's the big question posed by PFS's existence.

Think of optimization level as a tree that branches left and right - the left side is the low end of optimization, and the right side of the tree is the high end of optimization. The height of the tree represents levels, and the trunk CR.

As you start off the tree is low and the branches are relatively close to one another. As the tree grows higher the branches on both the left and the right side move further away from the trunk. More distance builds between the left and right branches as well.

Similarly CR struggles at low-medium levels and ultimately fails at high-very high levels to account for how different parties can handle different levels of opposition. However it was never going to succeed at that - the system is far too flexible, varied, and ultimately imbalanced, to allow any such system. That doesn't mean that challenge ratings are useless, or broken.

CR is absolutely useful, but it's useful as a guideline - not a straightjacket. If your party is tooting a TWF fighter who thinks nunchucks are the bomb, a bard who fights people by beating them with his lute, and a rogue who has a hand crossbow sniper thing going on - you might need to adjust down a bit.

Conversely if your party is stacked to the gills with optimization guides, Paragon Surge sorcerers, GOD wizards and all the other paraphernalia - you might need to adjust up a bit.

However, you can still use CR as a good...

That's a very good analogy of the CR system and one of the reasons why I prefer home games to PFS.

Shadow Lodge

I look at like this, PFS is like...one-hand touch football, with no blocking, or kick-offs, or punt returns. Pathfinder is like regular football. PFS is insanely gimped, that's because they need to make it that way or lose the average player. I've seen single PC's face-roll entire Scenarios with minimal effort or danger. Basing gameplay decisions on that kind of system is...problematic at best. PFS simply can't make it tough or scale the adventures for different groups like you can in a regular Pathfinder game. That is why people complain when PFS affects Non-PFS games. Is there a fix for it? I don't know. I play and like PFS and I play and like home games, but they are VERY VERY different animals.


No offense, but you guys aren't telling me stuff I don't know. You're giving extremely lucid and valuable explanations of the problem, and that's cool. But I'm asking what the solution is. If the game is too customizable to have a meaningful standardization of challenges (even if only beyond a certain level) without the guiding hand of a GM, then meaningful organized play would seem to be unobtainable. But if people continue to like and want organized play, then the things that happen there are going to go on affecting the rules, to the continued frustration of home game min-maxers. So where does that leave us?

Do we need to develop far stricter rules for organized play character creation? Do there need to be, essentially, two separate standards?

Do organized play GMs need considerably more latitude to alter scenarios?

How do we solve this?


Erick Wilson wrote:
Do we need to develop far stricter rules for organized play character creation? Do there need to be, essentially, two separate standards?

Those two separate standards already exist; all you have to do is look at PFS's custom rule set of what is and isn't allowed. As some people said before, just adding Crane Style to the banned list would have been an acceptable solution.

Sczarni

Quote:
Also, Brawler does not count as IUS

you might need to read up on a few thigns that have been stated by developers and faqs etc.

If you have it, even temporary it functions. now in the barbarian situation, he can't use crane wing except while he's raging because during other points he does not have all the pre-reqs.

Sovereign Court

As long as they change Crane Riposte to say that you can use it on any missed attack that you applied Crane Wing to, then I am kinda OK with the change. I still think it was unnecessary because there are so many ways around Crane Wing. It is somewhat depressing that there were so many GMs that were against it. That just tells me there are a lot of GMs that need to learn the combat rules better.


chaoseffect wrote:
Erick Wilson wrote:
Do we need to develop far stricter rules for organized play character creation? Do there need to be, essentially, two separate standards?
Those two separate standards already exist; all you have to do is look at PFS's custom rule set of what is and isn't allowed. As some people said before, just adding Crane Style to the banned list would have been an acceptable solution.

This seems like a departure from most of what they've banned so far though. From what I can tell, most of the banned entities in PFS are banned for reasons other than that they are overpowered. Vivisectionist, for instance, lets you make minions, which is problematic in organized play. In the cases where things were banned for being overpowered, it has generally been because of outright typos and the like (i.e. the staves from APG). I think that's why this change seems so significant to a lot of people, no?

Shadow Lodge

Erick Wilson wrote:
How do we solve this?

Easy, it's solved by how the PFS Organizers are doing it now, they make exceptions and adjustments specifically for PFS play. The issue here is (apparently) mostly a PFS issue, and sadly seems to have trickled into global Pathfinder and caused a ruckus. PFS banned Synthesist, it wasn't banned in Pathfinder. If PFS has such an extreme issue with CW then they should take steps themselves to address it (hopefully not as drastic as what Paizo did), instituting a Monk req and higher level min, etc. Usually PFS is very good with this stuff, I'm kinda surprised that this kinda change made it all the way into Pathfinder as a whole.

Galahad0430 wrote:
It is somewhat depressing that there were so many GMs that were against it. That just tells me there are a lot of GMs that need to learn the combat rules better.

I concur.


Galahad0430 wrote:
It is somewhat depressing that there were so many GMs that were against it. That just tells me there are a lot of GMs that need to learn the combat rules better.

I know plenty of GMs who know the rules intricately and understand your argument, but still oppose Crane Wing. It's a matter of style. Some people think that the nature of the game is adjusting challenges specifically to cater to your party's abilities. Other people think, conversely, that the game is not functioning properly if you are being forced to do this. Both sides understand the game. It's a matter of perspective and sensibility.


Felix Gaunt wrote:
Erick Wilson wrote:
How do we solve this?
Easy, it's solved by how the PFS Organizers are doing it now, they make exceptions and adjustments specifically for PFS play. The issue here is (apparently) mostly a PFS issue, and sadly seems to have trickled into global Pathfinder and caused a ruckus. PFS banned Synthesist, it wasn't banned in Pathfinder...

I don't know for sure, but I suspect they banned Synthesist more because it was ill-understood and the implementation of its central ability caused confusion during play, rather than because it was considered OP. This change is different.


Erick Wilson wrote:

No offense, but you guys aren't telling me stuff I don't know. You're giving extremely lucid and valuable explanations of the problem, and that's cool. But I'm asking what the solution is. If the game is too customizable to have a meaningful standardization of challenges (even if only beyond a certain level) without the guiding hand of a GM, then meaningful organized play would seem to be unobtainable. But if people continue to like and want organized play, then the things that happen there are going to go on affecting the rules, to the continued frustration of home game min-maxers. So where does that leave us?

Do we need to develop far stricter rules for organized play character creation? Do there need to be, essentially, two separate standards?

Do organized play GMs need considerably more latitude to alter scenarios?

How do we solve this?

Hm. I don't care for PFS, but I'd solve it with interchangeable parts of each scenario. Essentially a low power or high power set up.

Like..."If your party is pretty bad ass, use these creatures in your encounters, or if your party is toting a hand crossbow wielding Rogue and a vanilla monk, you should probably use these creatures for this encounters."

And the synthesist is most definitely overpowered and probably banned as such. If it were banned for something as trivial as misinterpretations over it's central ability, an online clarification could have solved that.


Scavion wrote:


Hm. I don't care for PFS, but I'd solve it with interchangeable parts of each scenario. Essentially a low power or high power set up.

Like..."If your party is pretty bad ass, use these creatures in your encounters, or if your party is toting a hand crossbow wielding Rogue and a vanilla monk, you should probably use these creatures for this encounters."

I've been pushing hard for something like this for a while, but there has been determined resistance from the devs. They did that only once, with the Season 4 finale, and I thought it was great.


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Scavion wrote:
Erick Wilson wrote:

No offense, but you guys aren't telling me stuff I don't know. You're giving extremely lucid and valuable explanations of the problem, and that's cool. But I'm asking what the solution is. If the game is too customizable to have a meaningful standardization of challenges (even if only beyond a certain level) without the guiding hand of a GM, then meaningful organized play would seem to be unobtainable. But if people continue to like and want organized play, then the things that happen there are going to go on affecting the rules, to the continued frustration of home game min-maxers. So where does that leave us?

Do we need to develop far stricter rules for organized play character creation? Do there need to be, essentially, two separate standards?

Do organized play GMs need considerably more latitude to alter scenarios?

How do we solve this?

Hm. I don't care for PFS, but I'd solve it with interchangeable parts of each scenario. Essentially a low power or high power set up.

Like..."If your party is pretty bad ass, use these creatures in your encounters, or if your party is toting a hand crossbow wielding Rogue and a vanilla monk, you should probably use these creatures for this encounters."

That'd be a nice idea... But even better would be an simple observation saying "Feel free to adapt the enemy's tactics to your party. e.g.: If melee combat is ineffective, have them draw their bows".

Give more freedom for the PFS GMs to adapt to different tactics and suddenly, no one tactic will be dominant all the time.

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