Martial classes and believability

Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

In most of the games that I’ve played in there have been some streamlining of things to help martial classes run smoother, I wonder how other players/GM have handled this. I’ll give several examples, but I’m also curious about other topics too.

Climbing in combat: basically in every game I’ve been in your character can climb, even if say your character is “sword and board” and has both hands full at the time. Otherwise it would take a full round to put everything away, then at least a move action the next round to do the climbing and another full round to get everything out again. Enforcing the climbing rules is OK if that’s your thing, I guess it would add a lot of strategic depth to battles.

All these weapons, where do they go? I’m no expert on medieval weaponry, but how does some of this stuff get carried around? Notably reach weapons like long spears, and large weapons like greatswords. Does your character have to hold them all the time? Can you sheath a greatsword, do reach weapons have some kind of “holder”? Considering the climbing question above, how would you climb if there was no way to stow these weapons? Basically in the games I’ve played in your characters have some way of putting all of their weapons away, that greatsword, it’s strapped to their back … along with their backpack, sleeping bag, bow and the other golf bag of weapons. >.>

The arrow counting game: that’s right you have to keep track of arrows, especially those archer focused martials. If you have no arrows you can’t shoot your bow martial man, only logical after all.

Verisimilitude unfairly holding your martial characters back, it’s more likely than you think. ;P

My response: I can’t hear you call for verisimilitude over the complete absurdity that is the spell component pouch. Let’s make a comparison, you say bows require arrows to function on the other hand many spells require material components to be cast. Then again that only seems to be the case since in the material component section in the magic section of the CRB basically says “don’t bother to keep track of material components with negligible cost, it’s in your spell component pouch.” Strange thing, guess what also quickly becomes a negligible cost, arrows they’re 5 coppers apiece. Let’s consider the spell comprehend languages it has a pinch of soot and salt, this doesn’t seem that big of a deal during our current day and age, but from what I’ve heard salt used to be a very valuable commodity. The spell component pouch has an unlimited supply of it. As a note Ultimate Equipment has salt being worth 5 gold a pound in the trade goods section.

Let’s use fireball as an example, it has a material components of “a ball of bat guano and sulfur”. Now then apparently the spell component pouch has an unlimited amount of bat guano balls and pinches of sulfur. >.> Also all of this bat guano and sulfur weighs less than 2 lb., which is how much a spell pouch weighs, wow unlimited stuff weighs a LOT LESS THAN I THOUGHT! >.> Another thing every time you learn a spell with a new material component your spell component pouch automatically grows a new pouch full of an infinite amount of the stuff. >.>

In short keeping track of mundane things is for MARTIALS ONLY, all casters are exempt as per the spell component pouch! /end rant ;P

I like some realism in my game as well. I think a lot of these details depend on the GM. Most I have played with gloss over issues of encumbrance and collection of spell components. My favorite GM just checks to see that we all keep track of weight and don't exceed carrying capacity. He will restrict movement if we do exceed. In our games certain rules enforce plausibility. You cannot succeed an acrobatics check to tumble through an occupied square if you are encumbered or have a pole arm strapped to you for instance. As gamers vary and prefer varying levels of gritty realism in their games these details depend on GM style.

On the other hand "Martials" have been dealing with issues of encumbrance in RL for thousands of years. The warriors at Marathon ran 100 miles in their Bronze hop-lite armor to arrive at the battle. My own Dad ran through the jungles of Vietnam under hails of enemy gunfire with an 80 pound pack on his back and on several occasions fought his way out with nothing more than a combat knife. What soldiers adapt to and the challenges they meet under threat sometimes seem unbelievable to civilians.

How much of these logistics make it into your game depends on what the GM feels will add to the fun. Often it is decided that less is more. I like a moderate amount of sober reality in my fantasy.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Martial classes and believability All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.