Is 3.5e bloat coming back?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Specifically, PrCs being the best options forever, 100 base classes and 500 PrCs, a zillion special materials, and so on.

I ask because of the paper-bound abomination known as Inner Sea Gods and the monstrosity known as Evangelist. From what I have seen of the book, namely Walter's guide to it, it seems to be almost universally terrible from a balance standpoint. Especially evangelist. You lose one level- one fricking level-of your class, and it's easy to get a feat to bring class features back to hit dice. Then you get 100% free features for another 9 levels.

And then exalted has straight spellcasting progression, permanent protect from ______, AND a free domain.

Sentinel is disgustingly cheesy as well. Bonus feats, free +1s to hit and damage, fricking LEADERSHIP for free, +4 to initiative DR, Diehard, and cure critical wounds as a swift action on yourself?

Am I overreacting or should this book never have been written and its authors terminated posthaste?


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i dont see the issue with all the so called splatbook stuff. if you dont like it, dont use it. if you do... do!


st00ji wrote:
i dont see the issue with all the so called splatbook stuff. if you dont like it, dont use it. if you do... do!

It acts as precedent and opens the door for yet more ridiculous things. It wastes time that could have been spent on designing something not horrible. Let me put it this way. If by some hypothetical circumstance 90% of what Paizo wrote was completely unplayable and only 10% was okay, would that be acceptable?

Is it acceptable for Paizo to continuously nerf martials with Crane Wing, weapon cords, spring-loaded wrist sheaths, and the like while giving casters shiny new toys that give them free features and cost absolutely nothing whatsoever after one level just because you don't "have" to use it and can use the old version?

If I wanted to use my own rules for everything I would write my own game. I want to be able to use what Paizo writes and not feel bad about it being horribly overpowered or underpowered.


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I don't get the connection between unbalanced PrCs and rules bloat? And about the evangelist: what feat gives class features back? I've been around these forums for a while, so I think I should've seen such an exploitable thing. Lastly, the evangelist has only 3/4 BAB and d8 hit die, so martials really take a hit. (Though I admit it's solid for low/medium bab)


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Gonna guess 'overreacting.'


Arcturus24 wrote:
I don't get the connection between unbalanced PrCs and rules bloat? And about the evangelist: what feat gives class features back? I've been around these forums for a while, so I think I should've seen such an exploitable thing. Lastly, the evangelist has only 3/4 BAB and d8 hit die, so martials really take a hit. (Though I admit it's solid for low/medium bab)

Shaping Focus, Monastic Legacy, and Boon Companion are the kind of thing I'm talking about. +4 level for <class feature> up to your maximum hit dice.

Cthulhundrew wrote:
Gonna guess 'overreacting.'

Are you basing your guess on firsthand knowledge of the book? If not, you're not relevant. If so, please do tell me why you think so, I'd love to be proven wrong on this. I really don't want to be right about 3.5 bloat coming back.

Silver Crusade

...PRCs? Who's using those for anything? Ever? Best build for most things is 20 straight. I'd know, I'm quite good at system mastery. Unless there's some new uber builds going around that are just insane and 3.5 level dipping, things are fine as they are.


N. Jolly wrote:
Unless there's some new uber builds

This happens to be what I am asking about. There is a specific build in Walter's Guide to Deific Obediences that seems exploitable to me. Namely because of the Evangelist's Aligned Class.


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As an overall observation I do hope that Paizo is able to contain the bloat. New classes should only be added to fill an empty niche, and then only when an archetype would not be enough. And as a rule, an archetype should not be as good as the base class.

So far it seems to me that most PRCs are not worth going for in Pathfinder. The class features of the core/base classes are good enough that losing them makes most people pause.

I haven't seen Inner Sea Gods yet but if this changes things then I'm not necessarily a fan. But I reserve judgment until I see it.

Peet

Silver Crusade

Ipslore the Red wrote:
N. Jolly wrote:
Unless there's some new uber builds
This happens to be what I am asking about. There is a specific build in Walter's Guide to Deific Obediences that seems exploitable to me. Namely because of the Evangelist's Aligned Class.

So...one out of...like 50+? I can live with those numbers.


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If anything, that's a power creep issue rather than rules bloat - and as my book only just arrived, I certainly can't say whether or not there's any issue at all here.


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Ipslore the Red wrote:

Bonus feats, free +1s to hit and damage, fricking LEADERSHIP for free, +4 to initiative DR, Diehard, and cure critical wounds as a swift action on yourself?

Am I overreacting or should this book never have been written and its authors terminated posthaste?

Not a problem.

Yes. You seem to be quite literally overreacting.


I'm kind of glad we finally two (maybe 3) truly viable PRCs. While I agree with N. Jolly that generally speaking straight builds with very minor to no dipping are best, the Evangelist and Exalted are quite the exceptions. In a lot of cases, straight is still really good though, but any Oracle that isn't worried about their capstone or favored class bonus should probably hop into Exalted the minute they run out of relevant revelations (which will likely be soon). Evangelist's Aligned Class coming at second (and thus delaying you a level) is a drawback, but the benefits are nice and will see use.


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Yes, the bloat seems to be coming back, but has been for a few years really.

This is actually a mainly contributing factor to a life cycle of the game. You must continuously put out better and better stuff to get players interested enough into buying your splat books. This invalidates many earlier options, and ultimately creates the "bloat".

Its just part of the cycle. It also tends to symbolize your coming to the end of the life cycle of a product, that's what then brings us the next edition. I have several friends who are pretty heavy in the game design world, and they say PF is on the final 2-3 years, which is about the length you'd expect to get out of a D&D clone P&P game, so its pretty right on in its development cycle to start experiencing more and more of this.

Don't get mad, just understand that is life. Until someone else comes up with a better way to add content to an RPG without that happening this is the life cycle of gaming products.

Liberty's Edge

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Starfinder Superscriber

It may be the life cycle of D&D-based products. Even then, I'm dubious.

If you look (for instance) at GURPS, the 3rd edition lasted 16 years, and the 4th edition is on 10 years and counting, not likely to be superseded in the next few years. Many have pointed out that Call of Cthulhu, although it has gone through edition changes, has only had very tiny changes to the core system.

These aren't the same sorts of things; Pathfinder is a market leader that produces a lot of books each month, just like D&D was. But what you describe as the necessary life cycle of an RPG is not at all that. It is the life cycle of D&D/3e and 4e, and perhaps of 2e, and perhaps of some White Wolf games.

We'll know in 2-3 years if a Pathfinder/2e is being planned. In the mean time, though, I would not be surprised if Pathfinder didn't go into a new edition for quite some years to come.

Inner Sea Gods, at its core, is not a rules book. The book stands on its own even if you elimiate the thre prestige classses. It's a setting book. And that's the point. While Paizo became the market leader by publishing a RPG, at its core it's an adventure and setting publishing company; the APs are its bread and butter.


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Ipslore the Red wrote:
If by some hypothetical circumstance 90% of what Paizo wrote was completely unplayable and only 10% was okay, would that be acceptable?

It seems to be working so far ;)

Liberty's Edge

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I'm really amused by the juxtaposition of this thread and the first post of this one.

For those who aren't looking at it, it's an analysis that Evangelist is almost never worth it without multiple prestige class shenanigans (which are what the rest of the thread talks about).

When half of people ask "Why would anyone ever not take this?" and the other half go "This is really only good on a few niche builds." I think perhaps it's a balanced Prestige Class.


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Ipslore the Red wrote:
Are you basing your guess on firsthand knowledge of the book? If not, you're not relevant.

I'm not irrelevant. I'm irreverent.

And I still think you're overreacting. Take a deep breath. Grab your towel. Don't panic.


Did those PrCs make it to d20pfsrd yet? if yes can you please offer links to them so that i can see for myself?

Liberty's Edge

leo1925 wrote:
Did those PrCs make it to d20pfsrd yet? if yes can you please offer links to them so that i can see for myself?

Evangelist

Exalted
Sentinel

Though mostly he seems to be complaining about Evangelist. Deific Obediences are also cool, and not on the SRD (though you can find a summary of sorts here)...but they can be stopped, and if they are, well, Evangelist at least has all it's class features go away...including the whole 'duplicates another Class' thing.

Scarab Sages

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st00ji wrote:
i dont see the issue with all the so called splatbook stuff. if you dont like it, dont use it. if you do... do!

Everyone else sitting around the PFS table can and will use it regardless of my feelings.

*Not an expression of my opinions towards the book. Just a demonstration why your statement fails. Other at people at games I join can and will use published material even if I choose not too. This may adversely affect my enjoyment of the game.


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"Is 3.5e bloat coming back?"
And what if it does?


Thank you for the links, although without a list of all the obediances and the all the boons i can't really judje the PrCs.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

WHAT!?!?

Did I just completely overreact to one Prestige Class that happens to be good, for a number of niche builds, and start a panic, as if the entire line was falling apart, Paizo was going bankrupt, earthquakes, fires, and ground opened up, unleashing unspeakable horrors upon the world, only to grow infinite in power, and ultimately destroy the very existence of time and space?!?!?

Hmm, maybe. I don't know.

Liberty's Edge

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They need to produce new material. While APs make them money. They can't survive on APs alone. Paizo is not a non-profit organization. They need to money to pay the bills like anyone else. While some see being told they don't have to use the new material as a cop-out. It's not. Unless one has a gun being held at their head no one is forced to use anything in the books. Not to mention most gamers take any other game crying "broken" at something with a grain of salt. As 99% of the time it's not truly broken. Has yet to factual be proven broken. It a some of have said a overreaction.

Scarab Sages

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memorax wrote:
They need to produce new material. While APs make them money. They can't survive on APs alone. Paizo is not a non-profit organization. They need to money to pay the bills like anyone else.

I agree, and have no desire to see a reduction in new material being published. I do want that material to be balanced, with minimal power creep.

Quote:
While some see being told they don't have to use the new material as a cop-out. It's not. Unless one has a gun being held at their head no one is forced to use anything in the books.

This is false. If you are playing in PFS, you have no ability to control what material the other players may/may not use. Newly published material WILL affect your game regardless of your personal choices.

Quote:
Not to mention most gamers take any other game crying "broken" at something with a grain of salt. As 99% of the time it's not truly broken. Has yet to factual be proven broken. It a some of have said a overreaction.

I agree. Most of the time there is an overreaction. Sometimes, however, the concerns are legitimate and abilities/spells/prcs are released that either have unforeseen interactions or are simply broken (Blood Magic, Paragon Surge). The community needs to be more adept at discerning which aspects are truly broken and the developers need to be proactive in addressing legitimate concerns.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Ipslore the Red wrote:
From what I have seen of the book, namely Walter's guide to it, it seems...
Ipslore the Red wrote:
Are you basing your guess on firsthand knowledge of the book? If not, you're not relevant.


Artanthos wrote:
memorax wrote:


Quote:
While some see being told they don't have to use the new material as a cop-out. It's not. Unless one has a gun being held at their head no one is forced to use anything in the books.

This is false. If you are playing in PFS, you have no ability to control what material the other players may/may not use. Newly published material WILL affect your game regardless of your personal choices.

It's your choice to play organized play. When someone says "don't like it, don't use it", I am certain they typically mean for home games, in which you do have the ability to control what material is being used. Especially if you are the GM. And even in PFS play, you only have to suffer through it for 1 game, unless every single person you come across purchases this book and uses it (assuming everything in here is usable for PFS). Then you have a choice: suck it up and continue on, or stop playing PFS.

Scarab Sages

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Adjule wrote:
Then you have a choice: suck it up and continue on, or stop playing PFS.

Excellent advice.

Tell everybody who disagrees with your opinion to stop being a Paizo customer. They are always free to take their money elsewhere.

Much more productive than attempting to minimize power creep, maintain a balanced game and continue growing your customer base. After all: short term profit > long term growth.

Silver Crusade

There is a fair bit of bloat by now. Lots of it is good, some of it sucks by being far too weak, a little is overpowered on its own, some of it opens up unintended combinations that can be very powerful.

But as far as I can see Inner Sea Gods is almost the opposite. The options drip with flavor but really aren't too powerful, at least not at levels that matter to me (I mostly play PFS so 11 or less)

The main abilities the prestige classes give are the boons. At level 8 getting access to some low level spells is hardly a game breaker. L11 gives you some nice abilities but they all come at a significant cost. For example, I really like the 2nd level sentinel boon for a paladin of Shelyn. Walters guide did too. But I'm giving up a LOT (6 levels of paladin) to get it. Pretty balanced to me.

I've seen lots of people saying the classes are overpowered. What I have not seen are actual builds that are overpowered. The closest I've seen is a Mystic The urge who, using a very questionable rules interpretation, gets some unexpected benefits at level 15


Exalted isn't necessarily "overpowered", but I expect it to be standard on any Oracle that isn't relying on something like the Aasimar FCB or waiting on their capstone ability. And quite frankly that's a lot of Oracles. Also it's important to note that the 5th level ability gives you domain spells as SLAs. That's actually super amazing with the right domain, since you can get cost free resurrections and what not. And that's discounting the domain abilities you get.


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Ipslore the Red wrote:
N. Jolly wrote:
Unless there's some new uber builds
This happens to be what I am asking about. There is a specific build in Walter's Guide to Deific Obediences that seems exploitable to me. Namely because of the Evangelist's Aligned Class.

With all due respect to WalterGM and others who write these guides, they are posting their opinions on the topic, not the end all be all last word on things.

My advice is to look over the information first hand and draw your own conclusions.

As for "bloat", no. My opinion is that bloat exists in one's mind. Paizo and third party folks can put out a thousand books a month and it isn't bloat unless one is trying to shoehorn it all into one game. And then it isn't their fault, it is the person trying to use everything.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:

Yes, the bloat seems to be coming back, but has been for a few years really.

This is actually a mainly contributing factor to a life cycle of the game. You must continuously put out better and better stuff to get players interested enough into buying your splat books. This invalidates many earlier options, and ultimately creates the "bloat".

Its just part of the cycle. It also tends to symbolize your coming to the end of the life cycle of a product, that's what then brings us the next edition. I have several friends who are pretty heavy in the game design world, and they say PF is on the final 2-3 years, which is about the length you'd expect to get out of a D&D clone P&P game, so its pretty right on in its development cycle to start experiencing more and more of this.

Don't get mad, just understand that is life. Until someone else comes up with a better way to add content to an RPG without that happening this is the life cycle of gaming products.

I am thinking maybe five years, at the very mininum, before PF ver2 comes our way. I would hope Paizo would have some playtesting of the break from OGL and do up their own gaming license to support third party envolvement.

As far as the "bloat" question, the thing that happened with some of the previous material from Wizards and T$R was that books were put out for no real purpose and was hastely done. The kit books for 2nd edition were, for the most part, horrible. The books that came out for 3.5 after Wizard's knew it was coming to an end ramped up abilities to broken, tested some alternative rules that ended up in the next iteration, and overall made anything made in the first year or so of the edition useless or obsolete.

I don't see that happening here.


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So does the Evangelist not add spells in or do spells count as a class feature?

Can I select Mystic Theurge and actually get to 9th level spells on both the wizard and cleric lists?


I'm not convinced based on the language you can select Mystic Theurge. But Evangelist absolutely allows you to get spells. It's essentially a 9/10ths spellcasting progression with the added benefit of still getting school powers/bonus feats/bloodline stuff. Oh ya, and 6+Int Skills per level... (the 3/4th BAB could be a boon to half BAB people like Wizard as well).


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:

Yes, the bloat seems to be coming back, but has been for a few years really.

This is actually a mainly contributing factor to a life cycle of the game. You must continuously put out better and better stuff to get players interested enough into buying your splat books. This invalidates many earlier options, and ultimately creates the "bloat".

Its just part of the cycle. It also tends to symbolize your coming to the end of the life cycle of a product, that's what then brings us the next edition. I have several friends who are pretty heavy in the game design world, and they say PF is on the final 2-3 years, which is about the length you'd expect to get out of a D&D clone P&P game, so its pretty right on in its development cycle to start experiencing more and more of this.

Don't get mad, just understand that is life. Until someone else comes up with a better way to add content to an RPG without that happening this is the life cycle of gaming products.

I dont agree that this is a deliberate attempt to [ut out 'better' stuff. There have been a handful of such things over the course of the game, many of them in the setting books. In my mind, if you take the spectrum of 'power' (how many weak, moderate, strong, and very strong options there are across the entire book) of the options in the core rules, and compare it against the spectrum of 'power' in subsequent hardcover rpg line books, its pretty even. Are some options better then others? Yes, but that was the case in the core rules as well.

I also dont think we are in the tail end of the life cycle for pathfinder rpg. I think the Advanced class guide shows that paizo isnt done with this ruleset yet. And I also think as long as the APs keep selling, they arent going to change the ruleset dramatically. Its only if somehow the rules get in the way of telling the kind of story that they want that it will change.


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Artanthos wrote:
Adjule wrote:
Then you have a choice: suck it up and continue on, or stop playing PFS.

Excellent advice.

Tell everybody who disagrees with your opinion to stop being a Paizo customer. They are always free to take their money elsewhere.

Much more productive than attempting to minimize power creep, maintain a balanced game and continue growing your customer base. After all: short term profit > long term growth.

Did I say stop being a Paizo customer? No. I said stop playing the organized play where you have 0 say in what other people can play because you don't control their spending habits.

I looked at the 3 prestige classes, and unless the deities have absurdly easy Obedience requirements, I don't see many people taking these 3 PrCs. I don't have the book, so I don't know what the Obediences are, and the boons that you get. But if they are anything like those for the Empyreal Lords in Chronicles of the Righteous, they are rather absurd and most players wouldn't be able to accomplish them every single day, meaning they lose their class abilities until they can do so. Of course, then you will have a lot of worshippers of the deity with the easiest Obedience to accomplish (similar to Ragathiel's from Chronicles of the Righteous).

The Evangelist, Exalted, and Sentinel are not the first of their kind. The book I mentioned also has the Mystery Cultist, who does the same thing as these others, but applies to Empyreal Lord worship.

As I said, I don't have Inner Sea Gods, so can't comment on how the Obediences are, difficulty wise. I honestly don't see any of these prestige classes (evangelist, exalted, sentinel, or even mystery cultist) seeing much use.

And all this complaining about "rules bloat" and "power creep" gets on my nerves. So Paizo, Wizards of the Coast, and every other RPG publisher should just publish the Core Rulebook/Player's Handbook, 1 single monster book, and then NEVER publish another thing ever again. Because anything outside of those 2 books is rules bloat and power creep.


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I suspect that sort of person would prefer game publishing companies take Paizo's adventures-first approach to the logical extreme and not publish additional player character crunch.


Adjule wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
Adjule wrote:
Then you have a choice: suck it up and continue on, or stop playing PFS.

Excellent advice.

Tell everybody who disagrees with your opinion to stop being a Paizo customer. They are always free to take their money elsewhere.

Much more productive than attempting to minimize power creep, maintain a balanced game and continue growing your customer base. After all: short term profit > long term growth.

Did I say stop being a Paizo customer? No. I said stop playing the organized play where you have 0 say in what other people can play because you don't control their spending habits.

I looked at the 3 prestige classes, and unless the deities have absurdly easy Obedience requirements, I don't see many people taking these 3 PrCs. I don't have the book, so I don't know what the Obediences are, and the boons that you get. But if they are anything like those for the Empyreal Lords in Chronicles of the Righteous, they are rather absurd and most players wouldn't be able to accomplish them every single day, meaning they lose their class abilities until they can do so. Of course, then you will have a lot of worshippers of the deity with the easiest Obedience to accomplish (similar to Ragathiel's from Chronicles of the Righteous).

The Evangelist, Exalted, and Sentinel are not the first of their kind. The book I mentioned also has the Mystery Cultist, who does the same thing as these others, but applies to Empyreal Lord worship.

As I said, I don't have Inner Sea Gods, so can't comment on how the Obediences are, difficulty wise. I honestly don't see any of these prestige classes (evangelist, exalted, sentinel, or even mystery cultist) seeing much use.

And all this complaining about "rules bloat" and "power creep" gets on my nerves. So Paizo, Wizards of the Coast, and every other RPG publisher should just publish the Core Rulebook/Player's Handbook, 1 single monster book, and then NEVER publish another thing ever again. Because anything outside of those 2...

Uh to put this bluntly, Mystery Cultist is a trash PRC compared to the Evangelist or Exalted PRC. Both Evangelist and Exalted are so much better then Mystery Cultist that they both are owed an apology for being compared to it.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
"Ipslore the Red wrote:
"From what I have seen of the book, namely Walter's guide to it, it seems to be almost universally terrible from a balance standpoint.

So you haven't actually SEEN the book, you're just basing your opinion from second hand information?


Realizing too late I should have stuck with crb , GMG APG and besiaries1-3. Got WAAY too much invested money in my collection to just stop using the extras:( sadly when DND next arrives if I like it I will likely turn from pathfinder. Just hope I can ignore 90 % of the splat. I.e. not getting monster manuals requiring more than the core rules. Setting sourcebooks with city maps/ details are also OK by me. Complete/ ultimate type books I will keep a close eye on.options are good, power creep isn't.

Digital Products Assistant

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Removed a couple posts. Leave the the graphic jokes and personal insults out of the conversation. Also, mentioning that members of staff or our authors should be "terminated" kind of icks us out. Even though it's meant in jest, it's not cool to suggest actual physical harm to people on our site. Let's dial it back the grar here, please.

Scarab Sages

Adjule wrote:


Did I say stop being a Paizo customer? No. I said stop playing the organized play where you have 0 say in what other people can play because you don't control their spending habits.

For someone whose sole avenue of play is PFS, there is no distinction.


Chris Lambertz wrote:
Removed a couple posts. Leave the the graphic jokes and personal insults out of the conversation. Also, mentioning that members of staff or our authors should be "terminated" kind of icks us out. Even though it's meant in jest, it's not cool to suggest actual physical harm to people on our site. Let's dial it back the grar here, please.

I didn't read the offending posts (and hope none of mine fell into that category) but I have to imagine when they said 'terminate' they were joking about firing rather than execution.


Anzyr wrote:
Exalted isn't necessarily "overpowered", but I expect it to be standard on any Oracle that isn't relying on something like the Aasimar FCB or waiting on their capstone ability. And quite frankly that's a lot of Oracles. Also it's important to note that the 5th level ability gives you domain spells as SLAs. That's actually super amazing with the right domain, since you can get cost free resurrections and what not. And that's discounting the domain abilities you get.

Exalted looks good for Oracles but I am really wary of losing the human extra spells FCB, especially in a game which doesn't allow paragon surge.

I actually think Exalted might well be great for the Cleric. The only advancing class feature that you really care anything about is spells and exalted gives full spell casting. You continue to gain domain spell slots, all you really miss out on is pointless channel dice and maybe a level dependant domain power.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Chris Lambertz wrote:
Removed a couple posts. Leave the the graphic jokes and personal insults out of the conversation. Also, mentioning that members of staff or our authors should be "terminated" kind of icks us out. Even though it's meant in jest, it's not cool to suggest actual physical harm to people on our site. Let's dial it back the grar here, please.
I didn't read the offending posts (and hope none of mine fell into that category) but I have to imagine when they said 'terminate' they were joking about firing rather than execution.

Which while better, still isn't exactly a nice thing for that poster to wish on someone just for designing something they personally didn't like.


Anzyr wrote:
Uh to put this bluntly, Mystery Cultist is a trash PRC compared to the Evangelist or Exalted PRC. Both Evangelist and Exalted are so much better then Mystery Cultist that they both are owed an apology for being compared to it.

They are still similar prestige classes in that they require an Obedience feat, and give Boons every 3 levels or so. They may have different class features, but they are still similar.

Liberty's Edge

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If PFS is the only way to play the game. Then I can see how a new book could be annoying.

It does get annoying somewhat whenever a new book gets released. Or just appears in the release schedule. That the comments of rules bloat, followed by doom and gloom and that the new material spells the end of the rpg. Posters said the same thing with the APG, ARG. The rpg did not and will not suddenly will not collapse under it's own weight. I can respect not wanting new material. even if I don't agree with that position. D&D is the wrong rpg to collect if one feels that way imo. Most rpgs even the ones that don't publish many new books still release new material. After all how many copies does one need of the core book.

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