Crane Wing Errata in latest printing


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Aelryinth wrote:
It's a description of how party cooperation can really tie into the power of the feat with a core example spell given, not a declaration that every single combat starts with a slowed enemy, Kudaku. There's other conditions which also help out nicely, and other spells.

It really isn't. It's a description of how Slow absolutely ruins the day of a martial (and especially melee) character. Like I said, when your opponent is Slowed you might as well sling him to death.

For instance Vital Strike is incredibly overpowered if you assume that you will always be limited to a standard action. That doesn't mean Vital Strike is overpowered.

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

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Folks,

One small note, since I have seen this come up again and I feel I need to clarify a bit.

In regards to balancing the system around the core.

We recognize that there are some aspects of the game that are not "even" or "balanced" when looked at from certain perspectives. The bard is just not as good at melee combat as the fighter. The cleric is no match for the rogue in terms of skills. Etc. The core set up certain paradigms when it came to some of these relationships. When we are releasing new material, we keep these relationships in mind. If we ignore them and start changing the balance in books further down the road, we end up with a great deal of conceptual drift and, depending on the area of drift, some pretty bad issues of power creep. Its not that "fighter's can't have nice things" or any of the other catch phrases that we see come up again and again. It has more to do with us playing within some defined roles that make the game what it is. We have plenty of play within that system and we are constantly attempting to explore new areas and expand what characters can do, but we want them to do so in a way that they are still a recognizable part of the game.

Not that this has all that much to do with Crane Wing to be honest. The feat fits within the roles of the classes that could take it. This feat's alteration had a lot more to do with its overall power and balance. We are still evaluating the issue.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer


Rogue Eidolon wrote:


Huh? Given the choice between an easy-to-hit guy and a hard-to-hit guy either with or without images, you claim the images on the hard-to-hit guy make someone more likely to want to attack him? If that's the case, I think your monsters are run in a very different way from the baseline standard that I have ever seen. In general, images dissuade people from trying to hit you, not the other way around.

Not really. When the BBEG and his minions are deciding who to attack it's often dependent on their damage output and their likelihood of depleting the PC's resources. If the choice is between the magus or ninja cleaving into you/your troops for lots of damage or a caster in the back who's using control spells or is focused on something else, that decision isn't always straight forward.

(Kill the DPR PC or the healer isn't a straightforward call all the time.)


Jason Bulmahn wrote:
(...)The feat fits within the roles of the classes that could take it. (...)

Jason, would you mind elaborating a little on this? I'm not entirely sure if I understand what this means.


Petrus222 wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:


Huh? Given the choice between an easy-to-hit guy and a hard-to-hit guy either with or without images, you claim the images on the hard-to-hit guy make someone more likely to want to attack him? If that's the case, I think your monsters are run in a very different way from the baseline standard that I have ever seen. In general, images dissuade people from trying to hit you, not the other way around.

Not really. When the BBEG and his minions are deciding who to attack it's often dependent on their damage output and their likelihood of depleting the PC's resources. If the choice is between the magus or ninja cleaving into you/your troops for lots of damage or a caster in the back who's using control spells or is focused on something else, that decision isn't always straight forward.

(Kill the DPR PC or the healer isn't a straightforward call all the time.)

I agree with this post completely.

However, when someone has mirror image up, that makes you less likely to want to target that person if you have to make that call you just described, not more likely.

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

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Kudaku wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
(...)The feat fits within the roles of the classes that could take it. (...)
Jason, would you mind elaborating a little on this? I'm not entirely sure if I understand what this means.

The feat, being one that dealt with combat and being one that was designed for characters who specialize in combat, was appropriate in terms of its theme. The power balance was why we decided it need a change. Which is why my post was not entirely relevant to the issue at hand. I was just trying to clear up what I meant earlier.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Jason,

I think part of the problem is that you've set your limits in the wrong places.

Classes with magic don't need skills, and don't need to be able to fight as well as the fighter. Magic takes care of that for them.

Classes without magic need to have those things intrinsic to the class that casters don't have to deal with.

There is no way to justify a completely non-magical character like a fighter or rogue not having a ton of skill points. When skills are what you rely on in life, you have them. You don't have magic to do the job for you.

Likewise, if you don't have magic, you should have better core saves and endurance, because you're not relying on spells.

It's a trope in EVERY fantasy genre that experienced martials are ungodly effective at fighting against magic without magic, because they have no choice in the matter.

Having the two classes that have NO magic have only one good save is NUTS. Having a fighter, the Olympian of combat and non-magical special forces guy of the fantasy world, only have 2 skill points when he's the COMBAT GENIUS of the classes, is nuts. Rogues, having no way to fight other then fighting, not having full BAB is nuts, especially since they, unlike all the other medium BAB characters, don't have any abilities that buff their ability to hit (even the monk has flurry!).

So it's not that we mind you keeping characters to their roles. It's that we think you've defined the roles poorly in regards to some of the classes, particularly those without magic.

==Aelryinth


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Folks,

One small note, since I have seen this come up again and I feel I need to clarify a bit.

In regards to balancing the system around the core.

We recognize that there are some aspects of the game that are not "even" or "balanced" when looked at from certain perspectives. The bard is just not as good at melee combat as the fighter. The cleric is no match for the rogue in terms of skills. Etc. The core set up certain paradigms when it came to some of these relationships. When we are releasing new material, we keep these relationships in mind. If we ignore them and start changing the balance in books further down the road, we end up with a great deal of conceptual drift and, depending on the area of drift, some pretty bad issues of power creep. Its not that "fighter's can't have nice things" or any of the other catch phrases that we see come up again and again. It has more to do with us playing within some defined roles that make the game what it is. We have plenty of play within that system and we are constantly attempting to explore new areas and expand what characters can do, but we want them to do so in a way that they are still a recognizable part of the game.

Not that this has all that much to do with Crane Wing to be honest. The feat fits within the roles of the classes that could take it. This feat's alteration had a lot more to do with its overall power and balance. We are still evaluating the issue.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

You did use "keeping to the balance in core" as a reason for nerfing crane wing (which I accepted as a valid but unsound reason).

Personally I approve of your shift on what "keeping to the balance in core" means. I can actually look forward to new material now.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Kudaku wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
(...)The feat fits within the roles of the classes that could take it. (...)
Jason, would you mind elaborating a little on this? I'm not entirely sure if I understand what this means.

The feat, being one that dealt with combat and being one that was designed for characters who specialize in combat, was appropriate in terms of its theme. The power balance was why we decided it need a change. Which is why my post was not entirely relevant to the issue at hand. I was just trying to clear up what I meant earlier.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

Fair enough, thanks! :)


Throne wrote:

I don't think anyone's said they're going to quit playing over this. I haven't seen it (though I think a couple of days ago someone was trying to paint me saying I would sympathise if someone did as me saying I was).

Between us, we've spent quite a lot of money on pathfinder stuff. We're going to continue using it, and just ignore this errata.
But now that Jason's explained that the design philosophy is to work against solving the balance problems, we're not going to financially support the product anymore, just grab the useful bits of new releases off the PRD.

Ahh, gotcha. Sorry for misinterpreting what you said and thanks for the clarification.


Aelryinth wrote:

Jason,

I think part of the problem is that you've set your limits in the wrong places.

Classes with magic don't need skills, and don't need to be able to fight as well as the fighter. Magic takes care of that for them.

Classes without magic need to have those things intrinsic to the class that casters don't have to deal with.

There is no way to justify a completely non-magical character like a fighter or rogue not having a ton of skill points. When skills are what you rely on in life, you have them. You don't have magic to do the job for you.

Likewise, if you don't have magic, you should have better core saves and endurance, because you're not relying on spells.

It's a trope in EVERY fantasy genre that experienced martials are ungodly effective at fighting against magic without magic, because they have no choice in the matter.

Having the two classes that have NO magic have only one good save is NUTS. Having a fighter, the Olympian of combat and non-magical special forces guy of the fantasy world, only have 2 skill points when he's the COMBAT GENIUS of the classes, is nuts. Rogues, having no way to fight other then fighting, not having full BAB is nuts, especially since they, unlike all the other medium BAB characters, don't have any abilities that buff their ability to hit (even the monk has flurry!).

So it's not that we mind you keeping characters to their roles. It's that we think you've defined the roles poorly in regards to some of the classes, particularly those without magic.

I think you bring up good problems, but bad solutions.

Homogeneity is not the answer for fighters and rogues.

Fighter could use more stand alone feats (chains are bad) that diversifies her options beyond "I full attack!". I do find it quite odd that commoners get perception as a class skill, but fighters do not.

Rogues would benefit from an expansion on what can be done with skill passively (as in part of the skill), new nicer rogue talents that synergies with skills, and a re-imagining of the skill trick system from 3.5.

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

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Aelryinth wrote:

Jason,

I think part of the problem is that you've set your limits in the wrong places.

Classes with magic don't need skills, and don't need to be able to fight as well as the fighter. Magic takes care of that for them.

Classes without magic need to have those things intrinsic to the class that casters don't have to deal with.

There is no way to justify a completely non-magical character like a fighter or rogue not having a ton of skill points. When skills are what you rely on in life, you have them. You don't have magic to do the job for you.

Likewise, if you don't have magic, you should have better core saves and endurance, because you're not relying on spells.

It's a trope in EVERY fantasy genre that experienced martials are ungodly effective at fighting against magic without magic, because they have no choice in the matter.

Having the two classes that have NO magic have only one good save is NUTS. Having a fighter, the Olympian of combat and non-magical special forces guy of the fantasy world, only have 2 skill points when he's the COMBAT GENIUS of the classes, is nuts. Rogues, having no way to fight other then fighting, not having full BAB is nuts, especially since they, unlike all the other medium BAB characters, don't have any abilities that buff their ability to hit (even the monk has flurry!).

So it's not that we mind you keeping characters to their roles. It's that we think you've defined the roles poorly in regards to some of the classes, particularly those without magic.

==Aelryinth

We certainly understand where you are coming from on this and we look for ways to ensure that every character and a fun and compelling way to interact with most phases of the game. Where we run into trouble is when folks decide that only one phase is important and all must be balanced in that phase.

Lets just take the rogue for example. I could, quite easily, put out a book that gave the rogue full BAB. Now new players who want to play a rogue will need that book, in addition to the core, unless they want to be told over and over again by other players and the community as a whole that they are playing a poor alternative. I could, instead, reprint the core with a rogue with a full BAB. Now, everyone would need to pick up a new core rulebook. In either case, I am making decisions for your table (and wallet) through my design choices. Meanwhile, calls of power creep and a stealth new edition will run rampant, none of which is good for the game as a whole.

The point of this is that there are a lot of factors to consider when balancing rules and mechanics. What might seem like an easy fix has a lot of deeper ramifications for the game system as a whole. There is no question that the core rulebook is the most common book at the table. It has to, by definition, form a sort of baseline for the game. As I said, we have room to play within that framework, in terms of theme, power, and overall options, but we try to keep it close (across all frames). Now, that said, there are some inequities. We know about them and try to design ways to lessen burdens and problems without violating some of out other overall principles. Its a delicate balancing act. There have been missteps. We are trying our best to fix them as we go along, and we appreciate the folks that have understanding and patience in this regard.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer


Don't forget monk love, Marthkus. Personally, I'm still mystified as to how the exceptionally terrible final form of Wholeness of Body made it into the CRB when a paladins lay on hands ability became the amazing healing and status curing move it is now. Or how there's 32 monk weapons, yet they're only proficient in about a quarter of them by default (and none of the really cool ones either).


Jason, a new mechanic that could a long way to addressing some of the issues would be the ability to sacrifice an iterative attack for an effect. Full BAB PCs and monks could drop their lowest attacks (that weren't likely to hit anyways) for things like additional saves, moves, SR or DR, initiative, physical skill check bonuses etc.

(e.g. Drop an attack to go 2 higher in the initiative order has some potential.)

It seems to me that would be fairly easily balanced either as a feat or better as a combat maneuver... maybe call it Multitasking or the like. You could also make it scale based on the BAB of the attack sacrificed, (i.e. a +5 attack sacrifice would be proportionately level influential than sropping an attack normally made at +20 BAB).

It'd let PC's have a little more flexibility across the board, but favoring martials.


First of all I want to thank you for giving us a peek "behind the curtain", so to say. It's fascinating to get a glimpse of the deliberations and decisions made on the other side of the proverbial GM screen.

That said, the prevalence of the PRD, PFSRD and PDFs means that it is rather less difficult than it used to be to look to other books for additional material.

If the ACG contains options that means rogue players won't consider Combat Trick the best option for their first rogue talent, that's ultimately a good thing.

Finally, since you've taken to rebalancing things via errata, a favorable 'errata' on some of the more underwhelming rogue talents might not be entirely out of line. This has the added advantage of not forcing players to pick up new books or buy the reprinted CRB. For instance, better scaling on the Ki Pool talent would bring rogues and ninjas much closer together.

...And I realize I'm blatantly fishing now, but would you care to elaborate a little on the "inequities" you mentioned?

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

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Kudaku wrote:
...And I realize I'm blatantly fishing now, but would you care to elaborate a little on the "inequities" you mentioned?

It really just has to do with certain problems inherited from the 3.5 ruleset. I wont go into details as it is not really germain to this thread, but we took steps to correct some of them with Pathfinder. Some were so endemic to the system that they could not be fully corrected in the framework we were working with at that time. The echos are these issues are still causing us troubles and we are continually looking for ways to ease their impact without drastically altering the tone and feel of the rule set as it currently stands.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Kudaku wrote:
...And I realize I'm blatantly fishing now, but would you care to elaborate a little on the "inequities" you mentioned?
It really just has to do with certain problems inherited from the 3.5 ruleset. I wont go into details as it is not really germain to this thread, but we took steps to correct some of them with Pathfinder.

It would be VERY nice to know what are those inequities in the developers' point of view. Even if it is in a different thread.

I think most of us have a personal idea of what things inherited from 3.5 are a burden, even if we disagree in the issues (well, except a few guys who think 3.5 was perfect and everything was done right there). But it'll be very insightful to know the Devs' mindset about it, and what problems are those from a proffesional development point of view.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Jason,

I think the very best thing you could do would be to issue alternatives, feats and other things that would work best for those that don't have any magic.

Yes, we're all aware that feats don't measure up, and should be overhauled so the fighter doesn't have 11 half strength class features, and ditto the rogue.

But things that non-casters can take, that casters simply cannot (the same way metamagic feats don't work for non-casters) would be a great first step in this matter towards tilting the scales.

there are loads of spells that duplicate or surpass what can be done with magic. There are almost no defenses/counters to magic in return, which is supremely annoying from a balance perspective.

Such things can easily be fit into splat books, and indeed, I believe should have been the core of the Ultimate Combat book...non-magic options which casters dread.

For a 3.5 example, I'm nodding at the Mage Slayer, Pierce Magical Concealment, and Pierce Magical Protection feats.

Getting spell resistance on someone who doesn't even have supernatural abilities, like barbs or monks get, shouldn't even be a question. If you're going to gimp yourself with magic, you should have strength in other areas, and you seem to avoid that like the plague.

==+Aelryinth


Rogue Eidolon wrote:
I see, you are doing it arithmetically (expected number of hits prevented per round) whereas the analysis that matters more to the results of the feat is the geometric case (total percentage of hits negated).

Gameplay at the table cares about the number of times you get hit or prevent a hit, not ratios and percentages.

It's weird because I agree with your general conclusion (high AC was an effective synergy with the old crane wing) but totally disagree with the methodology and principles you've been applying to demonstrate that :p


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
It has to, by definition, form a sort of baseline for the game. As I said, we have room to play within that framework, in terms of theme, power, and overall options, but we try to keep it close (across all frames).

This

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
We recognize that there are some aspects of the game that are not "even" or "balanced" when looked at from certain perspectives. The bard is just not as good at melee combat as the fighter. The cleric is no match for the rogue in terms of skills. Etc. The core set up certain paradigms when it came to some of these relationships. When we are releasing new material, we keep these relationships in mind. If we ignore them and start changing the balance in books further down the road, we end up with a great deal of conceptual drift and, depending on the area of drift, some pretty bad issues of power creep. Its not that "fighter's can't have nice things" or any of the other catch phrases that we see come up again and again. It has more to do with us playing within some defined roles that make the game what it is. We have plenty of play within that system and we are constantly attempting to explore new areas and expand what characters can do, but we want them to do so in a way that they are still a recognizable part of the game.

And This are not even remotely the same thing.

What exactly do you mean by "balanced to core"? I for one am getting tired of all the double speak.

Do you use core as an arbitrary standard for mechanical balance or not?

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

Marthkus wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
It has to, by definition, form a sort of baseline for the game. As I said, we have room to play within that framework, in terms of theme, power, and overall options, but we try to keep it close (across all frames).

This

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
We recognize that there are some aspects of the game that are not "even" or "balanced" when looked at from certain perspectives. The bard is just not as good at melee combat as the fighter. The cleric is no match for the rogue in terms of skills. Etc. The core set up certain paradigms when it came to some of these relationships. When we are releasing new material, we keep these relationships in mind. If we ignore them and start changing the balance in books further down the road, we end up with a great deal of conceptual drift and, depending on the area of drift, some pretty bad issues of power creep. Its not that "fighter's can't have nice things" or any of the other catch phrases that we see come up again and again. It has more to do with us playing within some defined roles that make the game what it is. We have plenty of play within that system and we are constantly attempting to explore new areas and expand what characters can do, but we want them to do so in a way that they are still a recognizable part of the game.

And This are not even remotely the same thing.

What exactly do you mean by "balanced to core"? I for one am getting tired of all the double speak.

Do you use core as an arbitrary standard for mechanical balance or not?

Its not arbitrary, but it is quite a bit more nuanced than just compare feat X to feat Y. There are a lot of factors we have to consider when we balance pieces of the game. How does feat X play with feats A, B, C, D and E, as well as what do we do when a piece intended for one niche gets co-oped by another due to an unforeseen mixing of components. I am not trying to obfuscate the issue, its just never as simple as we would like it to be. We keep adding parts to the game and that makes our job harder and harder with each book. Having a baseline helps, but it can restrict us sometimes. Deciding when to move forward and when to play it conservative is harder than it looks.

My apologies if you think I am being unclear. I was just trying to provide an inside look as to how things work.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer


Coriat wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
I see, you are doing it arithmetically (expected number of hits prevented per round) whereas the analysis that matters more to the results of the feat is the geometric case (total percentage of hits negated).

Gameplay at the table cares about the number of times you get hit or prevent a hit, not ratios and percentages.

It's weird because I agree with your general conclusion (high AC was an effective synergy with the old crane wing) but totally disagree with the methodology and principles you've been applying to demonstrate that :p

Gameplay cares about how many times you actually get hit though. With high AC, that's basically 0, whereas with low AC, whereas with low AC it's still very high. In essence, with high AC you basically stop all the damage, and with low AC your negation is only a drop in the bucket of what you are taking.


Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Coriat wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
I see, you are doing it arithmetically (expected number of hits prevented per round) whereas the analysis that matters more to the results of the feat is the geometric case (total percentage of hits negated).

Gameplay at the table cares about the number of times you get hit or prevent a hit, not ratios and percentages.

It's weird because I agree with your general conclusion (high AC was an effective synergy with the old crane wing) but totally disagree with the methodology and principles you've been applying to demonstrate that :p

Gameplay cares about how many times you actually get hit though. With high AC, that's basically 0, whereas with low AC, whereas with low AC it's still very high. In essence, with high AC you basically stop all the damage, and with low AC your negation is only a drop in the bucket of what you are taking.

Maybe. Maybe not. Perhaps you did something else with all that investment into AC that was also effective at either avoiding or pre-empting attacks. I already gave the most simplistic example, the magus who spends that money on pearls of power instead and has a lot of mirror images on every round of every encounter.

It's hard for me to imagine that the guys who were finding their way to 49 AC at 11th level weren't shelling out a lot of cash and other things on that, far above and beyond the simple Crane Wing feat. That's a lot of opportunity cost separate from the feat itself.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Its not arbitrary, but it is quite a bit more nuanced than just compare feat X to feat Y. There are a lot of factors we have to consider when we balance pieces of the game. How does feat X play with feats A, B, C, D and E, as well as what do we do when a piece intended for one niche gets co-oped by another due to an unforeseen mixing of components. I am not trying to obfuscate the issue, its just never as simple as we would like it to be. We keep adding parts to the game and that makes our job harder and harder with each book. Having a baseline helps, but it can restrict us sometimes. Deciding when to move forward and when to play it conservative is harder than it looks.

My apologies if you think I am being unclear. I was just trying to provide an inside look as to how things work.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

Let's try it this way.

Do you use core as the standard for the overall power* of an option by comparing like thematic components (martial elements with martial elements, magic elements with magic elements)?

*Power being the strength of the option by itself and it's combined strength with other existing options.

Or another way:

Do you try to keep the overall power spread like it was in core (not power ceiling)?

Or another way:
Did the nerf to crane wing have anything at all to do with its relative power compared with core options?


Coriat wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Coriat wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
I see, you are doing it arithmetically (expected number of hits prevented per round) whereas the analysis that matters more to the results of the feat is the geometric case (total percentage of hits negated).

Gameplay at the table cares about the number of times you get hit or prevent a hit, not ratios and percentages.

It's weird because I agree with your general conclusion (high AC was an effective synergy with the old crane wing) but totally disagree with the methodology and principles you've been applying to demonstrate that :p

Gameplay cares about how many times you actually get hit though. With high AC, that's basically 0, whereas with low AC, whereas with low AC it's still very high. In essence, with high AC you basically stop all the damage, and with low AC your negation is only a drop in the bucket of what you are taking.

Maybe. Maybe not. Perhaps you did something else with all that investment into AC that was also effective at either avoiding or pre-empting attacks. I already gave the most simplistic example, the magus who spends that money on pearls of power instead and has a lot of mirror images on every round of every encounter.

It's hard for me to imagine that the guys who were finding their way to 49 AC at 11th level weren't shelling out a lot of cash and other things on that, far above and beyond the simple Crane Wing feat. That's a lot of opportunity cost separate from the feat itself.

Yeah, 49 AC at level 11 is quite high and probably unlikely for low expenditure. My Fighter is definitely not in the realm where everything needs a 20 to hit him, but really mooky things with lots of attacks usually do. He managed to get there through parsimonious spending and he still has Gloves of Dueling and a +2 Str belt, for instance.

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

Marthkus wrote:

Let's try it this way.

Do you use core as the standard for the overall power* of an option by comparing like thematic components (martial elements with martial elements, magic elements with magic elements)?

*Power being the strength of the option by itself and it's combined strength with other existing options.

Or another way:

Do you try to keep the overall power spread like it was in core (not power ceiling)?

Or another way:
Did the nerf to crane wing have anything at all to do with its relative power compared with core options?

Hmm.. Its probably a blend of the first two. The second does play a role, but the strength of its role varies depending on the option in question. In the particular case of crane wing, I dont think it played as big of a role in our minds as it did the first one. Where Crane Wing triggered a response was in its combination with a wide variety of other options. It had less to do with it being more powerful than core feats (due to the fact that it was much further down a feat tree, giving it little to comparatively balance it against, aside from Deflect Arrows, which is not nearly as useful, but is much simpler to acquire).

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer


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On another note, is it fair to conclude at this point that a great many of the complainers about Crane Wing were misapplying the fighting defensively rules? I've been trying to ask whether there is something I've missed here for days now and getting basically deafening silence when I ask for any other rules that might be at play other than the Combat section ones.

*totally not casually mentioning this just because Jason is here now and would probably be best able to tell me if I'm wrong*


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Coriat wrote:
On another note, is it fair to conclude at this point that a great many of the complainers about Crane Wing were misapplying the fighting defensively rules? I've been trying to ask whether there is something I've missed here for days now and getting basically deafening silence when I ask for any other rules that might be at play other than the Combat section ones.

I think that was only Aelryinth. I know he complained a lot of times, but he's not really representative of the other people who had a problem with Crane.

I personally agree with you on readied actions working (which of course eliminates all attacks but one), but you should also keep in mind that the text on the conditional trigger and when you needed the hand free also] changed in the errata.

Webstore Gninja Minion

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Removed some posts and their replies. I'd like everybody to revisit the messageboard rules, but let me sum up here: You can agree to disagree, but making it personal or insulting is crossing the line. This thread is a useful outlet for discussing the recent changes, but if it continues to go out of our guidelines and degrade any further, I will lock it. Be civil, folks—it's just a game, and everybody plays it differently.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Coriat wrote:

On another note, is it fair to conclude at this point that a great many of the complainers about Crane Wing were misapplying the fighting defensively rules? I've been trying to ask whether there is something I've missed here for days now and getting basically deafening silence when I ask for any other rules that might be at play other than the Combat section ones.

*totally not casually mentioning this just because Jason is here now and would probably be best able to tell me if I'm wrong*

I can't speak to the general case, but I can definitely confirm otherwise in my specific case. My test builds were designed to get into melee and stay there, so they were attacking pretty much from round 1. (They also tend to run toward the high end of the initiative scale, due to high Dex scores and liberal application of Improved Initiative, so it was rare for these characters to not get into their stance and take a swing before the other guy(s) did.)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I'm very disappointed in the changes made to this feat. In its original form, it only allowed you to deflect a single attack per round, leaving the player easily vulnerable to full-attacks from monsters with high attack bonuses (read: most monsters).

As it is now, it's obviously inferior to Snake Style, and no longer makes any sense/has any real synergy with the rest of its feat tree, which focus on fighting defensively. Major changes like this should not be done in a tabletop game like Pathfinder; this isn't an MMORPG that can be re-balanced every few weeks based on the whining of the forum crowd.


Getting back on topic (Crane Wing Errata) I think part of the reason why the Crane Wing errata caused such an uproar (I believe you stated earlier that while you were expecting a reaction, you didn't expect this much of an reaction) is because it was an ability not easily replicated by a spell - while spells offer a multitude of ways to avoid a melee attack (from mirror image to Wall of Force), the ability to straight up deflect an attack was one of very few unique options available to martial characters.

It was also one of the few genuinely defensive (yet viable) options available that didn't rely on stacking AC, miss chance and damage reduction. Now it's much more similar to Panther and Snake Style's focus on retaliatory strikes.

And going slightly off-topic again, is there any chance the errata team could take a look at the Myrmidarch's Ranged Spellstrike? The ability has been causing confusion ever since UC was released, I was kind of sad it wasn't clarified on in the ultimate combat errata.

Webstore Gninja Minion

Removed a post—please state your opinions without making it personal.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Kudaku wrote:
...And I realize I'm blatantly fishing now, but would you care to elaborate a little on the "inequities" you mentioned?

It really just has to do with certain problems inherited from the 3.5 ruleset. I wont go into details as it is not really germain to this thread, but we took steps to correct some of them with Pathfinder. Some were so endemic to the system that they could not be fully corrected in the framework we were working with at that time. The echos are these issues are still causing us troubles and we are continually looking for ways to ease their impact without drastically altering the tone and feel of the rule set as it currently stands.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

You realize you guys have an extremely powerful tool in the fanbase on these forums when it comes to brainstorming right?

All the different errata and responses to it are perfect examples of it. The Investigator playtest was an amazing experience, at least to me, in that Stephen was basically like, "Ok, Studied Combat/Strike don't make the cut, let's hear some ideas."

If there are some deep rooted issues that you guys are having trouble with, have you considered creating a thread so as to brainstorm with the community to fix them?


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I can understand the issue of power creep, and keeping balanced with core. But the current rebalancing can have negative effects:
-why buy a book when the 'good' stuff will be changed down the road
-why buy a book when (as an example) most of the feats are more fluff than mechanics because they can't offer anything beyond the basic book

Still personally, whatever the new stuff and the fixes are, please please please avoid things like:
-AC/save/CMD bonus has to be applied vs one attack roll after it gets rolled but before the result is known
-can be used once per round vs 1 attack specified ahead of time
-once per day gives a bonus...

A feat is a huge price for something very situational and this both breaks up gameplay and makes it hard to use a feat/ability effectively. Part of why the old crane wing was so nice is it automatically was effective with minimal extra work required by players or DM. If you need a degree in mathematics to get good use out of an aspect of the game then that aspect was implemented poorly.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Marthkus wrote:

Let's try it this way.

Do you use core as the standard for the overall power* of an option by comparing like thematic components (martial elements with martial elements, magic elements with magic elements)?

*Power being the strength of the option by itself and it's combined strength with other existing options.

Or another way:

Do you try to keep the overall power spread like it was in core (not power ceiling)?

Or another way:
Did the nerf to crane wing have anything at all to do with its relative power compared with core options?

Hmm.. Its probably a blend of the first two. The second does play a role, but the strength of its role varies depending on the option in question. In the particular case of crane wing, I dont think it played as big of a role in our minds as it did the first one. Where Crane Wing triggered a response was in its combination with a wide variety of other options. It had less to do with it being more powerful than core feats (due to the fact that it was much further down a feat tree, giving it little to comparatively balance it against, aside from Deflect Arrows, which is not nearly as useful, but is much simpler to acquire).

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

It may be a mistake to compare like elements as opposed to all elements. New martial and new magic option, if compared to each other, can balance off each other. Comparing the new options only to like options in core only further reinforces the systemic issues instead of assuaging them.


About power creep and imbalace.

Let's assume a game, which have classes that aren't balanced among them.

We have a class with power Ranking 3/10, a class with 5/10, a class with 9/10 and a class with 10/10.

Let's suppose a new book give options that give everybody a +1. That sounds like power creep, doesn't it?

Now let's suppose that book gives options to the class with 3/10 power ranking. Is it power creep? Is it now *worse* the game because it has a class with 4/10 power ranking to go with the 5/10, 9/10 and 10/10 classes?

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Tels wrote:

You realize you guys have an extremely powerful tool in the fanbase on these forums when it comes to brainstorming right?

All the different errata and responses to it are perfect examples of it. The Investigator playtest was an amazing experience, at least to me, in that Stephen was basically like, "Ok, Studied Combat/Strike don't make the cut, let's hear some ideas."

If there are some deep rooted issues that you guys are having trouble with, have you considered creating a thread so as to brainstorm with the community to fix them?

I agree. The community here has been a great resource for us when it comes to our playtests. It does come down to an issue of time unfortunately. Managing a discussion, getting useful feedback, and coming to a decision through the messageboards is very time consuming and while we budget that for playtests, we just do not have the staff time to deal with every issue in this regard (or even a fraction of them). Its the same reason we dont playtest the entire book.

Ultimately, it is our job to tackle these issues and try to get them right. When we misstep, we count on the boards to let us know and we will take steps to correct them. Its not a perfect system, and it does come with a fair bit of frustration, but its the only one that makes sense for us at this time. We endeavor to be open and clear, and when we go in the wrong direction, we are more than happy to engage with folks to find a way to make things right. We've gotten a number of good ideas from this thread and we are evaluating our options. This is going to take a bit of time as we are in the midst of getting the ACG finished, but it is on the radar.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Liz Courts wrote:
Removed a post—please state your opinions without making it personal.

It's really unfortunate that you removed that post, I thought the person made a very good argument regarding why this change is so frustrating.

For starters, these changes seem to overwhelmingly affect melee classes, rather than casting classes, which is problematic in itself because casting classes start from a position where they can replicate anything done by a non-casting class using only a spell.

Secondly, altering an analog, table-top game like this so frequently is frustrating as someone buying the actual books, because it devalues the purchase; now I have to go print out errata and stick it in the book, or accept that my purchase is now worth less than the PDF that someone bought, or (worse yet) the PRD website that someone else accesses for free.

Thirdly, there was nothing really wrong with Crane Wing. It worked once per round, it was relatively simple, and it gave unarmed/one-handed melee characters a way to remain relevant in a game that seems bound and determined to force them to either go sword 'n board or heavy 2-hander, or give up entirely and just make a Summoner because Eidolons are basically just better than having an actual Fighter.


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Liz Courts wrote:
but if it continues to go out of our guidelines and degrade any further, I will lock it. Be civil, folks—it's just a game, and everybody plays it differently.

Encouraging people to be constructive is one thing, but belittling their passion is bordering on personal insult in of itself.

Webstore Gninja Minion

Marthkus wrote:
Liz Courts wrote:
but if it continues to go out of our guidelines and degrade any further, I will lock it. Be civil, folks—it's just a game, and everybody plays it differently.
Encouraging people to be constructive is one thing, but belittling their passion is bordering on personal insult in of itself.

People can be passionate without insulting other posters.

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