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Mark,
I agree with most of how you untied that crazy knot that was my situation. But I do have one further question. Under normal circumstances if you die from a possession/magic jar/marionette possession gone wrong, I would think that Akashic Form would trigger based on this line hidden under "Death Effects" in the CRB.

CRB wrote:
In case it matters, a dead character, no matter how he died, has hit points equal to or less than his negative Constitution score.

Or does that line not apply because it is listed under "Death Effects" and this was not a death effect?

Mark Seifter wrote:
Since you actually managed to die from neither a death effect or hp damage, the record seems like it wouldn't trigger, which oddly means it's one of the few ways (beyond mind-affecting kill effects) to get around akashic form.

If Akashic Form would trigger under normal circumstances, the question would then be does it trigger if the spell was suppressed when the damage occurred but later becomes unsuppressed?

Akashic Form wrote:
If at any point within the duration of the spell you are reduced to fewer than 0 hit points or are slain by a death effect that is not mind-affecting, you can immediately let your current physical body die and assume the record of your physical body on your next turn.

Does being "reduced to fewer than 0 hit points" refer to an action of being reduced or does it refer to the state of being reduced? If it refers to the state of being reduced (I.E. "I am currently reduced to fewer than 0 hitpoints") then I think it would trigger when the suppression ends. If it refers to the action of being reduced, then I think I would need to take more damage after the suppression ends for it to trigger. Or does it only trigger when you are first reduced to below 0 hit points?


Mark,

I was hoping you could just clarify the PDT's FAQ from two weeks ago: Can you use a shield bash with a Klar and is it 1d6 slashing or 1d4 piercing?

Thanks in advance.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
so having arcane spellcaster levels still count too though right? IF I have wizard 1 and skald 7 I'm still a 7th level arcane spellcaster for familiars right?
The weird thing about how the feat is structured is that it also states in the requirements "sufficiently high level" and seems to refer to "spellcaster level" as class level rather than the separate term "caster level", which would seem to preclude, for instance, using things like orange prism ioun stone to raise caster level or taking levels in a non-familiar-granting class to get a high caster level. Are a lot of people actually dipping like that instead of taking feats to get off-class familiars?

I doubt lots of people are or really any but I can think of times it could come up and I was just curious, as it was suggested as a way to get improved familiars.

A dip into bloodrager and getting bloodline familiar and then going skald is a common build suggestion.
A dip into sorcerer for aracana and bloodline familiar and then going wizard with a bonded item.
A dip into eldritch fighter for weapon prof. and going wizard -> eldritch knight
A dip into eldritch fighter for weapon prof. and bard

Now I don't really care much since I've not cared to do this nor seen anyone that had wanted this.

Dark Archive

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Mark Seifter wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
here is a thread that says answered in FAQ but I'm not sure it is, do you know what's going on here?

Yeah, that's part of a very eerie thing. Maybe you can help me. When we were going through the ACG errata, there was some archetype that had basically that exact problem; it got bloodrager powers at the wrong levels in a weird way that was pretty much exactly the way it happened to eldritch scion, and I even thought it was eldritch scion. I brought it up to the PDT and we figured out the right answer, and it went into the errata. I'm almost sure of it, in that I remember it clearly. But eldritch scion doesn't have a listing in the errata at all, including in older versions I could find (also, apparently eldritch scion has other issues that people brought to my attention only after the errata were out, but that's not part of the eerieness). Can you think of another such archetype in the errata? I can't find one any more.

In any case, that was marked in errata erroneously due to my memory of it being in the errata. We can't unmark things though, the UI doesn't have that option.

Was this ever resolved? I'm building one now, and was curious how to handle this as I leveled up (not that it should be an issue for some time at the rate I've been advancing characters).

Designer

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Ning wrote:

Hi Mark,

There are some questions.My friend and I play PFS, so we want arbitration.
Please pardon me as my English isn't very good.

1.I(Humanoid,middle or small size)ride a mount(large size), and weild a Reach Weapon(such as Longspear). May I attack the enemy(middle size) who adjacent to my mount?

2.If a rider has feat Ride-By Attack ,and his mount has Pounce, when they charge, can mount pounce and then move again (continuing the straight line of the charge)?

3.Can animal companion(Int3 or higher) choose feat Additional Traits to get 2 Traits?

4.If I want buy a Adamantine Hide for my animal companion(large size), the price should be 4*15gp+10000gp=10060gp or 4*(15gp+10000gp)=40060gp? And how about +1 Adamantine Hide?

5. May I spand money to make Specific Magic Armor or Weapon upgrade?Such as Magic Armor :Boneless Leather,a +1 Leather, may I buy a +2 one?

THX!:P

1) The real question here is which squares of the mount you occupy. For many purposes, you occupy them all (though of course that would be weird for a medium creature riding a colossal creature or something like that), so at least in the normal case of a medium riding a large, it seems likely you can't hit spaces adjacent to the mount but can hit anything two spaces away from any of the mount's squares. Granted mounted stuff is rather tangled and confusing overall.

2) Another element of mounted stuff being tangled overall is the fact that Ride by Attack is kind of confusing as written (by the text it would seem like you have to keep moving through the enemy's square instead of "riding by"). I think the ability wants to let you wing them with a reach weapon while the mount "rides by", but for that to work (which it doesn't do directly in the text), the mount would need to not be pouncing right on them.

3) An animal companion with Int 3 or higher can, according to the CRB, take feats for which they qualify, so by that, it would seem like maybe they could. On the other hand, the Monkey See Monkey Do blog FAQ, which as I mentioned last time it came up I'm not an expert on and don't fully understand, has made it clear that certain feats (like weapon use) don't fly, and many traits would be even more nonsensical for animal companions to possess than weapon proficiency would be, so I'd exercise caution.

4) As I mentioned last time someone asked this (though on mithral), I'll refrain from answering since it's on the FAQ queue and still in contention.

5) This is not normally legal and is likely not a good idea to allow in your games except maybe for a special/unique loot drop, at least not with the pricing you would likely assume (+1->+2 armor costs 3000, etc). This is because armor and weapons are balanced around the idea of a quadratic increase for abilities that enhance their armor-ness or weapon-ness (the +X equivalent enhancements), so the actual fair cost of a buffed up specific armor or weapon might be much higher.

Your English seems just fine to me!

Designer

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Alanya wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
here is a thread that says answered in FAQ but I'm not sure it is, do you know what's going on here?

Yeah, that's part of a very eerie thing. Maybe you can help me. When we were going through the ACG errata, there was some archetype that had basically that exact problem; it got bloodrager powers at the wrong levels in a weird way that was pretty much exactly the way it happened to eldritch scion, and I even thought it was eldritch scion. I brought it up to the PDT and we figured out the right answer, and it went into the errata. I'm almost sure of it, in that I remember it clearly. But eldritch scion doesn't have a listing in the errata at all, including in older versions I could find (also, apparently eldritch scion has other issues that people brought to my attention only after the errata were out, but that's not part of the eerieness). Can you think of another such archetype in the errata? I can't find one any more.

In any case, that was marked in errata erroneously due to my memory of it being in the errata. We can't unmark things though, the UI doesn't have that option.

Was this ever resolved? I'm building one now, and was curious how to handle this as I leveled up (not that it should be an issue for some time at the rate I've been advancing characters).

For the same reason I eerily remember it being in the errata (despite it not being there in any version of the file I found), I am sure of the answer we reached: you should get them in the spell-level order 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th (so the initial gained spell is in error and should be the 7th-level bloodline spell). I think I also remember pushing for getting the first one earlier and having them advance every 3 levels so it's steadier like for the bloodrager, but I don't remember the upshot of that. Then again, there's no evidence of any of my recollections on the matter, which is eerie.

Designer

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Steve Geddes wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

What do you think about the caster-martial disparity in Pathfinder?

Do you think it's real? Is it a problem? A case of misunderstanding/miscommunication?

** spoiler omitted **...

Thanks.

(To create an axis of my own).

Which axis would that be?

Dark Archive

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Mark Seifter wrote:
Alanya wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
here is a thread that says answered in FAQ but I'm not sure it is, do you know what's going on here?

Yeah, that's part of a very eerie thing. Maybe you can help me. When we were going through the ACG errata, there was some archetype that had basically that exact problem; it got bloodrager powers at the wrong levels in a weird way that was pretty much exactly the way it happened to eldritch scion, and I even thought it was eldritch scion. I brought it up to the PDT and we figured out the right answer, and it went into the errata. I'm almost sure of it, in that I remember it clearly. But eldritch scion doesn't have a listing in the errata at all, including in older versions I could find (also, apparently eldritch scion has other issues that people brought to my attention only after the errata were out, but that's not part of the eerieness). Can you think of another such archetype in the errata? I can't find one any more.

In any case, that was marked in errata erroneously due to my memory of it being in the errata. We can't unmark things though, the UI doesn't have that option.

Was this ever resolved? I'm building one now, and was curious how to handle this as I leveled up (not that it should be an issue for some time at the rate I've been advancing characters).
For the same reason I eerily remember it being in the errata (despite it not being there in any version of the file I found), I am sure of the answer we reached: you should get them in the spell-level order 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th (so the initial gained spell is in error and should be the 7th-level bloodline spell). I think I also remember pushing for getting the first one earlier and having them advance every 3 levels so it's steadier like for the bloodrager, but I don't remember the upshot of that. Then again, there's no evidence of any of my recollections on the...

So the first bonus spell comes online at 7th level, and then the rest follow every two levels beyond that? (That makes sense, I just want to make sure my brain is interpreting your answer correctly!)

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Mark Seifter wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

What do you think about the caster-martial disparity in Pathfinder?

Do you think it's real? Is it a problem? A case of misunderstanding/miscommunication?

** spoiler omitted **...

Sounds like maybe the short answer would have been "The disparity exists within the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, but group dynamics and how you manipulate/alter the system can minimize or maximize the disparity."

But I bet that would've been a lot less fun for you to write. ;)

Also, nitpick: Some of the things you described as reducing the disparity or making the group less likely to encounter the disparity, would be more accurately framed as "encountering the disparity but being okay with it". The "teamwork" topic is a prime example: your martials can be played by the most helpful-minded and team-spirited players in the world and they still can't change the water level. The fact that solving the problem meant asking "Which caster?" instead of "Which character?" proves the disparity is there; it's just that the players might all be okay with it.

Designer

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Steve Geddes wrote:

To move away from PF (and even away from caster-martial):

Would you say that the potential for disparity becomes inevitable in any sufficiently complicated system?

Can you think of any RPGs which give a lot of character building options but where perceptions of disparity are rare?

It depends on the system. Categorically (and unsurprisingly), there isn't a class disparity in classless systems, though in those, there can be other optimization pitfalls such as cookie-cutter abilities that everyone takes regardless of concept or huge disparities based on trickier optimization (though a few pages ago I mentioned an extremely positive result from having one person make all the characters for a classless system one shot so they have a similar baseline). Highly narrative and rules-light systems, even those with classes, also don't tend to suffer this issue (as you might expect from #1 in the long post) due to the fact that generally the adjudication of an action is abstract enough that you are likely to see more of #7-style disparities towards a favored player or towards players who tap the group's social and narrative zeitgeist the best. As an aside, one Indie RPG that has an interesting mechanic to combat the "tyranny of the popular player" in a narrative RPG is Mist-Robed Gate, which does let each other group member directly vote for a favored PC, but also includes some default votes for each side and then randomly draws one of the votes to decide the outcome instead of winner takes all where the more popular/better zeitgeist-capturer might prevail every time.

If we're going to limit ourselves to class-based, rules-heavy games with lots of character-building options, a disparity still isn't guaranteed, but it depends on a variety of factors:

1) Hard Niche Protection: If a game has hard niche protection (by which I mean nobody except the class designed for that niche can perform it, as opposed to soft niche protection where the specialist class might get a bonus but anyone could do it) and has at least one critical niche for the class where your party is disadvantaged for not including it, it is less likely to have disparity issues. For instance, some video game RPGs have a special niche for their thief class by giving enemies rare or unique items you can't get in any way other than stealing them from a monster (the monster doesn't drop it normally) or special chests that only the thief can open. Hard niche protection has some potential drawbacks in that it can feel forced, and it limits flexibility of character concepts that violate niche protection.

2) Parallel Class Structure: Imagine if every class in Pathfinder had 6-level spellcasting like a bard or warpriest (As one example). In that case, there can at worst be a disparity in individual class spell lists or in the non-spell class features, since the spell progression is parallel. 4e used a parallel class structure approach and in many ways curbed the class disparity more than any edition before it. The potential drawbacks of parallel class structure are that many players (myself included) actually enjoy the non-parallel experience of playing different non-parallel classes with different playstyle schemes, and it can increase longevity and replayability to have non-parallel choices as new characters might seem more fresh and exotic.

If you are class-based and rules-heavy with lots of character-building options that continue to increase from the initial publication, and you don't have (and police constantly in new products) hard niche protection or parallel class structure (or both), the chance of preventing class disparity from appearing over time in at least a significant segment of groups playing the game is likely to approach 100%, even if it's less prevalent than in Pathfinder or if it starts as something narrower and limited to a single class, like a group having a disparity where "ClassX is pointless but the other classes don't have a disparity" or "ClassY makes every other class pointless but if you ban ClassY, the other classes don't have a disparity".


Jiggy wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

What do you think about the caster-martial disparity in Pathfinder?

Do you think it's real? Is it a problem? A case of misunderstanding/miscommunication?

** spoiler omitted **...

Sounds like maybe the short answer would have been "The disparity exists within the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, but group dynamics and how you manipulate/alter the system can minimize or maximize the disparity."

But I bet that would've been a lot less fun for you to write. ;)

And much less interesting to read.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

That too. :)

Designer

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Jiggy wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

What do you think about the caster-martial disparity in Pathfinder?

Do you think it's real? Is it a problem? A case of misunderstanding/miscommunication?

** spoiler omitted **...

Sounds like maybe the short answer would have been "The disparity exists within the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, but group dynamics and how you manipulate/alter the system can minimize or maximize the disparity."

But I bet that would've been a lot less fun for you to write. ;)

Also, nitpick: Some of the things you described as reducing the disparity or making the group less likely to encounter the disparity, would be more accurately framed as "encountering the disparity but being okay with it". The "teamwork" topic is a prime example: your martials can be played by the most helpful-minded and team-spirited players in the world and they still can't change the water level. The fact that solving the problem meant asking "Which caster?" instead of "Which character?" proves the disparity is there; it's just that the players might all be okay with it.

That's a fairly good summary except in small details (but they are details that make a significant difference for the purpose of summarizing my views). The lengthier post attempted to discuss different facets of gameplay disparity due to not everyone meaning the same thing when talking about a disparity, as it's conflated between a few different potential experiences (some mean narrative, some mean combat, some mean everything, and more possibilities besides, though those are the main ones I covered; in all cases, though I believe it comes down to spotlight and agency in various situations). I might build off your summary but alter slightly to say "A disparity in spotlight or agency is by it's nature experiential, and there are some groups that experience it and others that don't. Neither are 'wrong' precisely because it's experiential, so if you're experiencing it, you're right that it's there. However, there are several elements of the PFRPG that increase the chances of experiencing a disparity, and few that reduce those chances systematically, so for that reason PFRPG can be more prone to a disparity. There are also a host of other factors that can increase or reduce the chances and which might explain why a given group did or didn't experience a disparity, and to what intensity."

@nitpick:
This likely comes down to nomenclature and definition of the concept of disparity, as I mentioned in the earlier body of this post. Groups that are more hivemind-y, where the players OOC and the PCs IC all discuss resource management amongst each other, may not be experiencing a disparity in spotlight and agency, as a group, when another group focused on individual characters would experience one. For instance, the player of the oracle I mentioned as another example who liked to organize all in-party buffs did so entirely based on a combination of IC and OOC organization and high Diplomacy skill in character to convince NPCs to go along with it; his own oracle spellcasting wasn't related to it other than which spells his character provided, and the player has helped with similar things with his non-spellcasting characters. This leads to agency and spotlight for him when one of the things he marshaled comes up, and also various OOC mentions about his efforts. Or in the water level case, since that spellcaster was down a high-level spell, we relied even more than usual on the martials to take care of the fights that came afterwards (we could have also done it with a magic item, with or without the caster, and the option was discussed as a way to save spell slots but ultimately dismissed due to potential time pressure in finding the item while the martials seemed likely able to pick up the slack from the spent spell). Similarly, as I mentioned in there somewhere, if you have a group that answered in a particular way about challenges and long adventuring days, it starts to be a better group resource decision in most cases to use spellcaster resources to strengthen martials and then sit back through all but emergency encounters and use low-cost or no-cost spells and abilities while the martials take the spotlight and take out the encounter with their more sustainable abilities (something the casters could not have successfully achieved without the martials). This particular playstyle either doesn't have an in-combat spotlight disparity or actually has one skewed toward the buffed martial character (due to a general tendency to pay more attention to the character who took the action than to the one assisting, the same reason it's hard to believe that a bard might be adding the most damage to a group until cracking into the math). And in the narrative of overcoming the particular set of challenges of the day in the water example, there was an example of separate niches, but both the casters and the martials provided something that the others could have done on their own, but not as well (martials without casters would have needed time to find the item that would have delayed the overall response, casters without the martials likely could not have completed all the encounters in a day, and especially would not have had enough steam left to go nuts on the final encounter, so might have lost).

Designer

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MichaelCullen wrote:

Mark,

I agree with most of how you untied that crazy knot that was my situation. But I do have one further question. Under normal circumstances if you die from a possession/magic jar/marionette possession gone wrong, I would think that Akashic Form would trigger based on this line hidden under "Death Effects" in the CRB.
CRB wrote:
In case it matters, a dead character, no matter how he died, has hit points equal to or less than his negative Constitution score.

Or does that line not apply because it is listed under "Death Effects" and this was not a death effect?

Mark Seifter wrote:
Since you actually managed to die from neither a death effect or hp damage, the record seems like it wouldn't trigger, which oddly means it's one of the few ways (beyond mind-affecting kill effects) to get around akashic form.

If Akashic Form would trigger under normal circumstances, the question would then be does it trigger if the spell was suppressed when the damage occurred but later becomes unsuppressed?

Akashic Form wrote:
If at any point within the duration of the spell you are reduced to fewer than 0 hit points or are slain by a death effect that is not mind-affecting, you can immediately let your current physical body die and assume the record of your physical body on your next turn.

Does being "reduced to fewer than 0 hit points" refer to an action of being reduced or does it refer to the state of being reduced? If it refers to the state of being reduced (I.E. "I am currently reduced to fewer than 0 hitpoints") then I think it would trigger when the suppression ends. If it refers to the action of being reduced, then I think I would need to take more damage after the suppression ends for it to trigger. Or does it only trigger when you are first reduced to below 0 hit points?

Indeed, the question lies in whether it refers to the state change of reduction or the state of being reduced (reminding me somewhat of Borchardt's AI proposal to define the universe in terms of the transitions that occur, rather than states). I'll side with Borchardt on this one and say that it seems the transition is important (since otherwise the text in the spell on death attacks would be irrelevant, since death attacks would leave you in the "in case it matters" state like all corpses); with that adjudication, it would indeed be skipped over if suppressed at time of death.

Designer

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N N 959 wrote:

Mark,

I was hoping you could just clarify the PDT's FAQ from two weeks ago: Can you use a shield bash with a Klar and is it 1d6 slashing or 1d4 piercing?

Thanks in advance.

The FAQ said "For the purpose of using it as a weapon, it is a one-handed weapon that deals 1d6 slashing damage, but it is otherwise similar to using a spiked shield". So it would be just like attacking with a spiked shield, except dealing 1d6 slashing damage. Attacks with a spiked shield are shield bashes I believe?


Mark Seifter wrote:
N N 959 wrote:

Mark,

I was hoping you could just clarify the PDT's FAQ from two weeks ago: Can you use a shield bash with a Klar and is it 1d6 slashing or 1d4 piercing?

Thanks in advance.

The FAQ said "For the purpose of using it as a weapon, it is a one-handed weapon that deals 1d6 slashing damage, but it is otherwise similar to using a spiked shield". So it would be just like attacking with a spiked shield, except dealing 1d6 slashing damage. Attacks with a spiked shield are shield bashes I believe?

Yes, just trying to make sure I understand what the PDT was saying. So is it then correct to say the only proficient attack with a klar is, in fact, a shield bash that does 1d6 slashing?

If so, would it not be clearer if the wording on the FAQ said, "for the purposes of determining damage" instead of "for the purpose of using it as a weapon"?

Thank you for responding.

Silver Crusade

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*shoves all the Klars into a pit filled with zinegar and napalm*


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

What do you think about the caster-martial disparity in Pathfinder?

Do you think it's real? Is it a problem? A case of misunderstanding/miscommunication?

** spoiler omitted **...

Thanks.

(To create an axis of my own).

Which axis would that be?

The verbosity-terseness axis.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

To move away from PF (and even away from caster-martial):

Would you say that the potential for disparity becomes inevitable in any sufficiently complicated system?

Can you think of any RPGs which give a lot of character building options but where perceptions of disparity are rare?

It depends on the system. Categorically (and unsurprisingly), there isn't a class disparity in classless systems, though in those, there can be other optimization pitfalls such as cookie-cutter abilities that everyone takes regardless of concept or huge disparities based on trickier optimization (though a few pages ago I mentioned an extremely positive result from having one person make all the characters for a classless system one shot so they have a similar baseline). Highly narrative and rules-light systems, even those with classes, also don't tend to suffer this issue (as you might expect from #1 in the long post) due to the fact that generally the adjudication of an action is abstract enough that you are likely to see more of #7-style disparities towards a favored player or towards players who tap the group's social and narrative zeitgeist the best. As an aside, one Indie RPG that has an interesting mechanic to combat the "tyranny of the popular player" in a narrative RPG is Mist-Robed Gate, which does let each other group member directly vote for a favored PC, but also includes some default votes for each side and then randomly draws one of the votes to decide the outcome instead of winner takes all where the more popular/better zeitgeist-capturer might prevail every time.

If we're going to limit ourselves to class-based, rules-heavy games with lots of character-building options, a disparity still isn't guaranteed, but it depends on a variety of factors:

1) Hard Niche Protection: If a game has hard niche protection (by which I mean nobody except the class designed for that niche can perform it, as opposed to soft niche protection where the specialist class might get a bonus but...

Cheers.

Do you have any specific examples where you think it doesn't exist (since it isn't guaranteed)?

I wonder because it seems to me that eliminating disparity is something of a fool's errand. If you have meaningful choices it seems to me there is inevitably going to be imbalance between them and hence disparity between those-with-the-good-options and those-without.

I'd be curious to hear of any actual RPGs where there's a sufficiently complicated Character-Building game-within-a-game and yet no disparity exists.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Mark Seifter wrote:
A disparity in spotlight or agency is by it's nature experiential

I think this might be where we have different perceptions of what the most common complaints about the caster-martial disparity (C/MD) tend to be.

There are actually two disparities: the systemic C/MD (what's built into the Pathfinder system, and doesn't vary from person to person) and the gameplay C/MD (what comes out at the table, which is of course experiential and group-dependent).

Your posts actually reference both, but they're framed differently. Your main focus is on the gameplay C/MD, which you refer to simply as "the disparity". With your focus there, the systemic C/MD is referred to only by description (rather than title) as you discuss "elements which can lead to a [gameplay] disparity". This is, of course, an accurate description of the relationship between the systemic disparity and the gameplay disparity. However, I think it misses the point of the chatter.

If the C/MD chatter were mostly from people who keep running into it at the table without knowing what to do about it, then your longer post gives lots of great ideas for solutions to the gameplay C/MD (largely in the form of subverting or trumping the systemic C/MD). The "angle" of your post seems to suggest a perception of folks complaining that they can't seem to shake the C/MD issues at their table.

My perception, however, is that the folks doing the most complaining have long since stopped experiencing gameplay C/MD, because they already know how to do the things you suggested (martial-biased adjudications, abuse prevention, bannings, and so forth). The complaint, then, is not "I'm still running into C/MD at the table", but rather "Look at all the stuff I had to do in order to stop running into C/MD at the table".

Basically, it's a past-tense complaint, in which the gameplay C/MD (what you kept calling "the disparity" earlier) has already been solved, and the speaker is upset about having had to work so hard to solve it.

For example: suppose a GM suddenly needs a hitherto unplanned encounter against classed humanoids at a given CR. He purchased the NPC Codex (or some similar product) with the express intent of being able to grab some ready-to-go statblocks for just such a situation. Theoretically, he could grab a handful of NPCs of level X and be reasonably sure that the challenge level would be at least in the same ballpark regardless of what assortment of classes the NPCs had. However, because the systemic C/MD exists, the potential difficulty of the encounter has a very wide range, and scales almost exclusively with the number of spellcasters among the NPCs. Now, can this issue be surmounted in order to prevent a gameplay C/MD? Of course; the GM can simply spend more time being choosy about which NPCs to grab and analyze carefully how their available magic will affect the party, tailoring the encounter much more closely to the PCs. The common complaint (or so I perceive) is not from GMs not knowing how to do that, it's from GMs who are upset that they needed to do so.

I think your long post pretty accurately describes what can come up at the table in relation to the C/MD, as well as what to do about it. However, I think it misses the main point or core complaint regarding the topic of the C/MD: the fact that the system has such a deep-rooted C/MD that the prevention of issues at the table requires such thorough and time-consuming corrective measures.

Designer

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Steve Geddes wrote:

Cheers.

Do you have any specific examples where you think it doesn't exist (since it isn't guaranteed)?

I wonder because it seems to me that eliminating disparity is something of a fool's errand. If you have meaningful choices it seems to me there is inevitably going to be imbalance between them and hence disparity between those-with-the-good-options and those-without.

I'd be curious to hear of any actual RPGs where there's a sufficiently complicated Character-Building game-within-a-game and yet no disparity exists.

D&D 4e at launch is probably the closest I can think of, which it achieved using parallel class structure, though it also had to deal with the drawbacks of that approach.

Silver Crusade

A player is bringing a kineticist/jedi-wannabe to my game, and my rules-knowledge on them is not the best.

Does an elemental kinetic blade benefit from:
Favored enemy
Divine favor/power
sneak attack

Thanks. :)

Designer

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Jiggy wrote:

There are actually two disparities: the systemic C/MD (what's built into the Pathfinder system, and doesn't vary from person to person) and the gameplay C/MD (what comes out at the table, which is of course experiential and group-dependent).

You're dead on the nose here, but it's even more extreme than there being two; there's a lot of difference in what people are discussing when they mention the topic, and that's one of the things that leads to groups of highly-intelligent and incisive people talking past each other so much. The fact that there are so many versions of what it means to an individual person (on various axes including the one you describe, the axis of combat vs narrative, and more) is one of many reasons why nobody is really "wrong" when they say it's there or it isn't until they reach the point where they insist that someone else is wrong about the version that person is discussing.

As to characterizing the discussions of the disparity, I would say it would be oversimplifying them (they're a complex phenomenon, and indeed I fear I myself was certainly oversimplifying them despite the 14 separate points, which is one reason to include so many points rather than pare down to a summary) to claim that they were dominated by people who had removed the disparity from gameplay and were lamenting the effort; in fact, I wouldn't call those the majority of messageboard posts on the topic (in my experience, many messageboard posts actually come from the direction on axis #4/#5 of "cannot or will not ban or adjust from as-written" which necessarily prevents them from being in the state you describe). For instance, some of the more famous posts on the topic, such as insta-win infinite-loop high-level caster builds that pre-suppose #4/#5 "cannot or will not ban or adjust from as-written". These are clever and well-put-together posts, but they are clearly of the "still here, couldn't/didn't fix it" type. Not to say that there aren't people of the opinion that "it was hard to fix it, but we managed, and it shouldn't be that hard", simply that it isn't ubiquitous (in fact, it's easy to recognize them in other discussions because for instance when something that leads to abusive casters like staff of the master gets changed, they're the ones saying "Finally, our group had banned/houseruled it for a while now"). In fact, for example, I will observe that your own personal well-thought-out and insightful commentary of late has generally been of the type you describe.

Jiggy wrote:
For example: suppose a GM suddenly needs a hitherto unplanned encounter against classed humanoids at a given CR. He purchased the NPC Codex (or some similar product) with the express intent of being able to grab some ready-to-go statblocks for just such a situation. Theoretically, he could grab a handful of NPCs of level X and be reasonably sure that the challenge level would be at least in the same ballpark regardless of what assortment of classes the NPCs had.

I actually will not only agree here, but I'll take this one a step further than you did: Once you reach a certain level in the game, whether the PCs or the NPCs have all casters or no casters, or somewhere in between, if you want a tense encounter with predictable difficulty level, you really want to mock playtest with the PCs and their baseline tactics (or at least do some comparisons keeping in mind your group), rather than rely on CR as a magic bullet. This is something I learned running 3e back in high school up to low epic levels, when my level 20 party annihilated a CR 34 challenge but almost lost to a different CR 21 challenge (strangely enough, this was at least as much because of the martials in the party as it was the casters, even though 3e had the same potential for disparity as Pathfinder). This fact is more or less of a showstopper depending on how important it is to be able to have a numerical rating that can be trusted to produce results on its own. One thing Pathfinder doesn't do well is really warn you up front not to trust CR blindly; it's something that some other game systems emphasize more, that their encounter creation tools are a benchmark to use as a good starting point rather than the be all end all of encounter design. Needing to customize and mock playtest certainly makes running at high level more challenging, and it guarantees that whenever I'm running a non-PFS published adventure like an Adventure Path, I'll be heavily modifying it to fit with my group so they don't curbstomp it. I'm hoping Encounter Codex might be a good place to include those kinds of tips, but it's still too far out to be sure. For the record, I'm hugely in favor of anything that makes it easier for groups to run games and eliminate any problematic disparities from their games, and that includes getting any of my tips out there that I think would carry over well to other games (unfortunately, not many, as you have to match a particular group's needs, but hopefully still some).

Designer

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SwampTing wrote:

A player is bringing a kineticist/jedi-wannabe to my game, and my rules-knowledge on them is not the best.

Does an elemental kinetic blade benefit from:
Favored enemy
Divine favor/power
sneak attack

Thanks. :)

It should benefit from all of those, but in most cases gaining them is going to require multiclassing out of kineticist and losing progression, so there's an inherent trade-off. Of course, if it's gestalt, all bets are off!

Liberty's Edge

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Mark Seifter wrote:
Ning wrote:

Hi Mark,

There are some questions.My friend and I play PFS, so we want arbitration.
Please pardon me as my English isn't very good.

1.I(Humanoid,middle or small size)ride a mount(large size), and weild a Reach Weapon(such as Longspear). May I attack the enemy(middle size) who adjacent to my mount?

2.If a rider has feat Ride-By Attack ,and his mount has Pounce, when they charge, can mount pounce and then move again (continuing the straight line of the charge)?

THX!:P

1) The real question here is which squares of the mount you occupy. For many purposes, you occupy them all (though of course that would be weird for a medium creature riding a colossal creature or something like that), so at least in the normal case of a medium riding a large, it seems likely you can't hit spaces adjacent to the mount but can hit anything two spaces away from any of the mount's squares. Granted mounted stuff is rather tangled and confusing overall.

2) Another element of mounted stuff being tangled overall is the fact that Ride by Attack is kind of confusing as written (by the text it would seem like you have to keep moving through the enemy's square instead of "riding by"). I think the ability wants to let you wing them with a reach weapon while the mount "rides by", but for that to work (which it doesn't do directly in the text), the mount would need to not be pouncing right on them.

1) If rider is a small size man, when he mounted, means that a large man use small size long weapon? so the square adjacent to the mount is still a blind-spot? The Threatened Squares is 10 feets around the mount rather than 15-20 feets?

2) If rider charge, use Ride-By Attack, can mount attack once(not pounce)?

THX


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RE: Vigilante's Mad Rush and the state of Full Attacks

Obviously, a very powerful feature and one that most Vigilantes should take as it bridges one of the constant problems for melee-based classes.

But I also noted that new classes, such as the Champion Medium and the Unchained Monk, come with pounce-like features in their kits. Before that, Pummeling Style enabled mobility for the otherwise static Brawler, and Outslug Style allows the Brawler to get a lot of mobility in a more roundabout but still effective way.

Now, my question is about the design ethos behind implementing those features, as I wonder whether it is one of two things:

- Is it because the design team recognizes there should be more option for martial classes to close distances during the late game, and we should perhaps expect more options of this kind to appear for other classes that are full-attack reliant (Fighters, Rogues, etc.);

- Or is it tied specifically to the low attack scores of Mediums, UnMonks, Brawlers and Vigilantes, to compensate their lack of accuracy for consistency,

- Or perhaps a third thing.

Please grant us eyes.

Silver Crusade

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Mark Seifter wrote:
SwampTing wrote:

A player is bringing a kineticist/jedi-wannabe to my game, and my rules-knowledge on them is not the best.

Does an elemental kinetic blade benefit from:
Favored enemy
Divine favor/power
sneak attack

Thanks. :)

It should benefit from all of those, but in most cases gaining them is going to require multiclassing out of kineticist and losing progression, so there's an inherent trade-off. Of course, if it's gestalt, all bets are off!

Actually, my apologies, this was the important ability to ask about:

Finesse Training (Ex) wrote:

At 1st level, a rogue gains Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat. In addition, starting at 3rd level, she can select any one type of weapon that can be used with Weapon Finesse (such as rapiers or daggers). Once this choice is made, it cannot be changed. Whenever she makes a successful melee attack with the selected weapon, she adds her Dexterity modifier instead of her Strength modifier to the damage roll. If any effect would prevent the rogue from adding her Strength modifier to the damage roll, she does not add her Dexterity modifier. The rogue can select a second weapon at 11th level and a third at 19th level.

He was thinking of getting divine favor through an ioun stone, favored enemy human from the dedicated adversary feat, and finesse training to get his dex and con to damage. Does that work?

Edit: I think I just found my own answer - no because he does not add his strength bonus to begin with, even with a physical damage kinetic blade.

Thanks!


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Cheers.

Do you have any specific examples where you think it doesn't exist (since it isn't guaranteed)?

I wonder because it seems to me that eliminating disparity is something of a fool's errand. If you have meaningful choices it seems to me there is inevitably going to be imbalance between them and hence disparity between those-with-the-good-options and those-without.

I'd be curious to hear of any actual RPGs where there's a sufficiently complicated Character-Building game-within-a-game and yet no disparity exists.

D&D 4e at launch is probably the closest I can think of, which it achieved using parallel class structure, though it also had to deal with the drawbacks of that approach.

Cheers again.

Thanks for the last few posts on this. I find it an interesting issue (although I have no great emotional investment one way or the other - I've always been struck by the fact that smart people who know the game well will often vehemently disagree when this area comes up).

Designer

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Steve Geddes wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Cheers.

Do you have any specific examples where you think it doesn't exist (since it isn't guaranteed)?

I wonder because it seems to me that eliminating disparity is something of a fool's errand. If you have meaningful choices it seems to me there is inevitably going to be imbalance between them and hence disparity between those-with-the-good-options and those-without.

I'd be curious to hear of any actual RPGs where there's a sufficiently complicated Character-Building game-within-a-game and yet no disparity exists.

D&D 4e at launch is probably the closest I can think of, which it achieved using parallel class structure, though it also had to deal with the drawbacks of that approach.

Cheers again.

Thanks for the last few posts on this. I find it an interesting issue (although I have no great emotional investment one way or the other - I've always been struck by the fact that smart people who know the game well will often vehemently disagree when this area comes up).

It's something that happens for more issues than just this one, and it's because the game is so robust and variable depending on group dynamic, it leads to repeatable empirical evidence for each person that seemingly contradicts the other person's point of view. It can lead to some serious emotional investment when you consider that what I just called "repeatable empirical evidence" is actually less clinical than that; it's composed of hundreds of hours of several creative and smart people's cherished shared gaming experience, so when someone else says something that seems to invalidate it, they're not just threatening an opinion, but also potentially the perceived validity of all of those experiences. I'm particularly familiar with this because it's the same way in academia (also has many smart people, but it's actually worse, since it could be someone's actual life's work they feel is called into question). In fact, there are particular communication lessons in academia that serve well in the gaming world as well; I try to use those as best I can.


Is FAQ Update planned for Improved Familiar application to Shaman Spirit Animal (with wording barring later changes to type of creature)?
No-choice Variant Familiars (like Pirate Bard, Serpentine BL, Domain Familiars) also have similar if different issue (no wording barring later changes, but the abilities simply don't have a choice mechanic which seems a pre-requisite to make use of expanded choices/options offered by Improved Familiar).
Not sure if there is other cases sufficiently different than those, but actual application was the greater question for me, more so than qualification for the Feat. It just seems doubly strange given that Shaman Spirit Animal was mentioned by name in the FAQ, yet we are left hanging.

Silver Crusade

Secret Wizard wrote:
Please grant us eyes.

Kos (some say Kosm) is in the other thread.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Mark Seifter wrote:
As to characterizing the discussions of the disparity, I would say it would be oversimplifying them (they're a complex phenomenon, and indeed I fear I myself was certainly oversimplifying them despite the 14 separate points, which is one reason to include so many points rather than pare down to a summary) to claim that they were dominated by people who had removed the disparity from gameplay and were lamenting the effort; in fact, I wouldn't call those the majority of messageboard posts on the topic

I was a bit sloppy and inaccurate earlier; it's not just GMs who have already corrected the disparity who make up the majority of that side of the chatter, but also those who would like to correct it but can't because they're running PFS, and those who would like to correct it but they're a player and the GM can't/won't correct it (often due to not believing there's anything to fix in the first place), and so forth. The common thread among the bulk of the C/MD chatter I've personally seen is "frustration in spite of knowing what has to be done", though the nature of the frustration can vary between "I shouldn't have to do that much work" and "I'm not in a position to implement the solutions" and any number of other things. That's the main thrust of the bulk of what I've seen.

Quote:
(in my experience, many messageboard posts actually come from the direction on axis #4/#5 of "cannot or will not ban or adjust from as-written" which necessarily prevents them from being in the state you describe).

Yep, typically (in my experience) it tends to be "cannot" more often than "will not", but yes.

Quote:
For instance, some of the more famous posts on the topic, such as insta-win infinite-loop high-level caster builds that pre-suppose #4/#5 "cannot or will not ban or adjust from as-written".

My experience with the chatter on items like these is a bit different. I find that the famously-broken high-level abuses are hardly ever cited as part of the complaints of C/MD (and when they are, it's usually in the form of a point-making hyperbole, not a central pillar of their complaints). Ironically, the majority of the time that I see someone citing "snow-cone wish machines" and other famous game-breakers, the speaker is one who denies C/MD, and is using the citation as a means of (not necessarily maliciously) dismissing the "opponent" instead of grappling with the idea (frex, "This is the level of absurdity you have to allow in order for there to be a disparity, so obviously there's not really a problem").

In fact, the gap between how often each side cites those extreme cases has consistently been so large that it prompted items #2 and #3 in my attempt to smooth the discussions.

The reason the high-level game-breakers are so famous is not because they're a central element of the issue, but because they're big, flashy, easily recognized as problematic*, highly memorable, and constantly repeated by the uninformed.

*By contrast, consider the humble endure elements. At minimal cost and with no ambiguity or jumping through hoops, the caster can far exceed the ability of any martial to endure extreme climates, even to the point that a hypothetical future printing of a "Tough Guy" ability for a +5 to saves against climate/temperature effects would still be kind of lame in comparison. I find it's things like this which make up the bulk of C/MD complaints, yet those who don't already believe there's any disparity have a hard time seeing the issue. Issues that aren't seen as issues tend not to get famous, while the obvious things like "infinite wishes" will stick in the readers' minds.

Designer

Ning wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Ning wrote:

Hi Mark,

There are some questions.My friend and I play PFS, so we want arbitration.
Please pardon me as my English isn't very good.

1.I(Humanoid,middle or small size)ride a mount(large size), and weild a Reach Weapon(such as Longspear). May I attack the enemy(middle size) who adjacent to my mount?

2.If a rider has feat Ride-By Attack ,and his mount has Pounce, when they charge, can mount pounce and then move again (continuing the straight line of the charge)?

THX!:P

1) The real question here is which squares of the mount you occupy. For many purposes, you occupy them all (though of course that would be weird for a medium creature riding a colossal creature or something like that), so at least in the normal case of a medium riding a large, it seems likely you can't hit spaces adjacent to the mount but can hit anything two spaces away from any of the mount's squares. Granted mounted stuff is rather tangled and confusing overall.

2) Another element of mounted stuff being tangled overall is the fact that Ride by Attack is kind of confusing as written (by the text it would seem like you have to keep moving through the enemy's square instead of "riding by"). I think the ability wants to let you wing them with a reach weapon while the mount "rides by", but for that to work (which it doesn't do directly in the text), the mount would need to not be pouncing right on them.

1) If rider is a small size man, when he mounted, means that a large man use small size long weapon? so the square adjacent to the mount is still a blind-spot? The Threatened Squares is 10 feets around the mount rather than 15-20 feets?

2) If rider charge, use Ride-By Attack, can mount attack once(not pounce)?

THX

1) Yeah, I'd say one square of blind spot, one square of reach, rather than double like for a naturally large creature.

2) As I mentioned, Ride by Attack confuses me in its wording, but best I can tell what it's trying to do, the mount is rushing past the creature and the rider gets a special exception to perform a charge despite not heading directly towards it. Granted, the feat doesn't actually explicitly say that. So the question is, does it also provide an exception for the mount? Unclear. As written I think it only works if you charge and overrun the target (or drop the target and keep going through), which isn't a ride-by at all.

Designer

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Secret Wizard wrote:

RE: Vigilante's Mad Rush and the state of Full Attacks

Obviously, a very powerful feature and one that most Vigilantes should take as it bridges one of the constant problems for melee-based classes.

But I also noted that new classes, such as the Champion Medium and the Unchained Monk, come with pounce-like features in their kits. Before that, Pummeling Style enabled mobility for the otherwise static Brawler, and Outslug Style allows the Brawler to get a lot of mobility in a more roundabout but still effective way.

Now, my question is about the design ethos behind implementing those features, as I wonder whether it is one of two things:

- Is it because the design team recognizes there should be more option for martial classes to close distances during the late game, and we should perhaps expect more options of this kind to appear for other classes that are full-attack reliant (Fighters, Rogues, etc.);

- Or is it tied specifically to the low attack scores of Mediums, UnMonks, Brawlers and Vigilantes, to compensate their lack of accuracy for consistency,

- Or perhaps a third thing.

Please grant us eyes.

I would say that having some ability to move and full attack at those levels is something I like to include as an option for a new martial melee class, as long as the trade-offs are right and they don't have something else of an equal level of flashiness, even though it's true that the game would be less rocket-taggy at those levels otherwise, so I tend to suggest including one when we're in design. In an ideal world, high-level full attack damage would be what the game expects, rather than what it actually is (way higher than expected), and everyone could have a move and full attack option for free, but since we don't have that but still have archers making far above expected full attacks without needing a round to move around, plus some melee characters already had comparable options, it seems prudent to look critically within those niches and compare and contrast when releasing a new option.

Designer

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SwampTing wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
SwampTing wrote:

A player is bringing a kineticist/jedi-wannabe to my game, and my rules-knowledge on them is not the best.

Does an elemental kinetic blade benefit from:
Favored enemy
Divine favor/power
sneak attack

Thanks. :)

It should benefit from all of those, but in most cases gaining them is going to require multiclassing out of kineticist and losing progression, so there's an inherent trade-off. Of course, if it's gestalt, all bets are off!

Actually, my apologies, this was the important ability to ask about:

Finesse Training (Ex) wrote:

At 1st level, a rogue gains Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat. In addition, starting at 3rd level, she can select any one type of weapon that can be used with Weapon Finesse (such as rapiers or daggers). Once this choice is made, it cannot be changed. Whenever she makes a successful melee attack with the selected weapon, she adds her Dexterity modifier instead of her Strength modifier to the damage roll. If any effect would prevent the rogue from adding her Strength modifier to the damage roll, she does not add her Dexterity modifier. The rogue can select a second weapon at 11th level and a third at 19th level.

He was thinking of getting divine favor through an ioun stone, favored enemy human from the dedicated adversary feat, and finesse training to get his dex and con to damage. Does that work?

Edit: I think I just found my own answer - no because he does not add his strength bonus to begin with, even with a physical damage kinetic blade.

Thanks!

I agree with your edit!

Designer

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Quandary wrote:

Is FAQ Update planned for Improved Familiar application to Shaman Spirit Animal (with wording barring later changes to type of creature)?

No-choice Variant Familiars (like Pirate Bard, Serpentine BL, Domain Familiars) also have similar if different issue (no wording barring later changes, but the abilities simply don't have a choice mechanic which seems a pre-requisite to make use of expanded choices/options offered by Improved Familiar).
Not sure if there is other cases sufficiently different than those, but actual application was the greater question for me, more so than qualification for the Feat. It just seems doubly strange given that Shaman Spirit Animal was mentioned by name in the FAQ, yet we are left hanging.

We don't have an update planned, but if it's enough of a requested FAQ, we'll be sure to address it. Given the question is fresh on everyone's minds, that would give it an edge if the FAQ choice was a close call.

Designer

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Jiggy wrote:
Quote:
(in my experience, many messageboard posts actually come from the direction on axis #4/#5 of "cannot or will not ban or adjust from as-written" which necessarily prevents them from being in the state you describe).
Yep, typically (in my experience) it tends to be "cannot" more often than "will not", but yes.

Yep, I knew you knew there's lots of nuance, since I remembered that post you linked before you linked it as soon as we started chatting here (I'll credit it as being one of the first posts I remember to directly address one or more of the different axes in the discussion, thus making it one of the best posts on the topic I read on the board at the time, if admittedly focused more on one end of the discussion than the other). Each divide we discuss together here isn't even just a hard "one side or the other" either, but a spectrum, which also complicates things quite a lot. For instance, there's #4 proper, divorced from #5, the spectrum of how much the group can find problem components. But it's not an either/or; in fact most groups fall somewhere in the middle and can find some of the problem components and miss other ones (as you mention later, some can slip under the radar). For instance, I've seen people who mention disliking the disparity and yet also mention disliking the scry/teleport clarifications in UI and not wanting to use them in game (clarifications that, if you use them, are a significant assistance in experiencing less disparity). This isn't actually definitively contradictory because it's caused by yet another axis we haven't discussed yet ("The caster magic bullet abilities and campaign derailers are a problem that should be curbed to help remove the disparity" vs "Every character should have those abilities" axis), but is at least fair evidence of a group that is "cannot/will not change written rules" on #4/5.

Quote:
My experience with the chatter on items like these is a bit different. I find that the famously-broken high-level abuses are hardly ever cited as part of the complaints of C/MD (and when they are, it's usually in the form of a point-making hyperbole, not a central pillar of their complaints). Ironically, the majority of the time that I see someone citing "snow-cone wish machines" and other famous game-breakers, the speaker is one who denies C/MD, and is using the citation as a means of (not necessarily maliciously) dismissing the "opponent" instead of grappling with the idea (frex, "This is the level of absurdity you have to allow in order for there to be a disparity, so obviously there's not really a problem").

Interestingly, I've found that the uses of such examples varies by venue, and complexity. I'll separate it into two axes: Is the mention in a dedicated discussion thread about disparity (whether initially or derailed as such) vs a sort of "drive by" mention on another topic, and is the mention a mention of one exploit (particularly Sno Cone Wish Machine) or an in-depth build of an ultra-powerful high level caster character using all the biggest problem spells (or link thereto). In dedicated discussion threads with casual nods to a particular exploit, you're completely correct that the majority of those posts are solidly from people who don't experience the disparity, often used as a dismissal tactic like the example you gave. However, "drive by" mentions of either type on the other axis (for instance, in a thread about a disruptive option that is not for wizards, coming on and mentioning that it isn't a wizard and can't do XX) are even more of a majority from people who experience the disparity and lean towards cannot/will not on 4/5, and in-depth builds of broken high level casters are close to universally used as examples by those experiencing the disparity and not those who aren't.

Quote:
*By contrast, consider the humble endure elements. At minimal cost and with no ambiguity or jumping through hoops, the caster can far exceed the ability of any martial to endure extreme climates, even to the point that a hypothetical future printing of a "Tough Guy" ability for a +5 to saves against climate/temperature effects would still be kind of lame in comparison.

Endure elements is an excellent example, and one that shows how deeply you've explored this issue. Stepping back and comparing what we're getting from it, It's definitely too all-encompassing and long-duration for a level 1 spell, I agree. However, it's actually a good example of a spell that often has mundane solutions (last time heat dangers came up, the cleric suggested using most of her slots to provide endure elements and the high-Survival fighter suggested resting during the hottest parts of the day to avoid traveling during the problem times, using hot desert gear, Survival checks, and a few other things just in case. Thanks to the fighter, nobody had any significant problems from the heat (the adventure had even mentioned what the hot parts of the day were with temperatures) and the cleric had all her spells. The time before that (different group), everyone used the monk's wand to keep pressure off the cleric (even at higher levels, party members preferred getting shield of faith from the cleric with those slots to prevent needing to purchase a bigger ring of protection).


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Hello hello!
Hope you are having a good day!

So, it has come to my attention recently that you are not able to take a fcb that improves a class feature which you do not yet possess, which makes sense. Does this apply for fcb that don't turn on until you get that feature anyway?

Specifically, Im referring to the halfling fcb that earns you an extra 1/6 internal buffer points. Since even 5/6 points rounds to 0, I could argue that its not actually improving anything. Then again, it is certainly strange to work up toward something that you don't even know yet, and Internal Buffer is pretty strong as it is.

Similarly, does that mean you can't start working on, say, the human kineticist fcb that gives you an extra wild talent feat until you could take that feat normally?

Thanks as always!

PS: My ascetic is doing great! And I have even used the legendary draining fist on one occasion

Designer

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Renkosuke wrote:

Hello hello!

Hope you are having a good day!

So, it has come to my attention recently that you are not able to take a fcb that improves a class feature which you do not yet possess, which makes sense. Does this apply for fcb that don't turn on until you get that feature anyway?

Specifically, Im referring to the halfling fcb that earns you an extra 1/6 internal buffer points. Since even 5/6 points rounds to 0, I could argue that its not actu#lly improving anything. Thnn again, it is certainly strange to work up toward something that you don't even know yet, and Internal Buffer is pretty strong as it is.

Similarly, does that mean you can't gain, say, the human kineticist fcb that gives you an extra wild talent feat until you could take that feat normally?

Thanks as always!

PS: My ascetic is doing great! And I have even used the legendary draining fist on one occasion

I'm not sure specifically how it works; it seems to have been a departure from the original examples in the APG that originated from a discussion that happened before I arrived. I'm pretty sure that by that ruling, you can't take the halfling FCB early because it modifies a class feature you don't have yet, though I don't really mind allowing it either for a group that's deciding what to do with racial FCBs (it is certainly powerful but also less abusive/troublesome than various other racial FCBs). As to the feat, since it isn't a class feature or class ability, it should probably work anyway.

@Ascetic: Eeeeexcellent! Draining Fist is fun because it's one of the best ways to add metakinesis or composite without giving up on getting a full flurry.


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Whew, that was quick!
Thanks for the speedy reply! It seems that by PFS standards, that probably means I need to rework my character's FCB points, but on the bright side at least I'll have some extra HP/Skill points!

Yes, I definitely like that aspect of the Draining Fist Style :D
Unfortunately, the air elemental I was draining/eating decided to die before I could do anything else cool so that was unfortunate :/

Coincidentally, what do you think you would prefer: Boar Style to add some nice extra damage on a double-hit, or Expanded Metakinesis for Furious Spell to put back some of the "Elemental" in my Ascetic? At the moment I'm doing so much unarmed damage that I feel like I'm both building her wrong and taking Kineticist ranks just for the awesome jumping power (since I went aero with this one). Then again, there is a certain pleasure in jumping over walls that your peon-like teammates simply walk around.

Designer

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Renkosuke wrote:

Whew, that was quick!

Thanks for the speedy reply! It seems that by PFS standards, that probably means I need to rework my character's FCB points, but on the bright side at least I'll have some extra HP/Skill points!

Yes, I definitely like that aspect of the Draining Fist Style :D
Unfortunately, the air elemental I was draining/eating decided to die before I could do anything else cool so that was unfortunate :/

Coincidentally, what do you think you would prefer: Boar Style to add some nice extra damage on a double-hit, or Expanded Metakinesis for Furious Spell to put back some of the "Elemental" in my Ascetic? At the moment I'm doing so much unarmed damage that I feel like I'm both building her wrong and taking Kineticist ranks just for the awesome jumping power (since I went aero with this one). Then again, there is a certain pleasure in jumping over walls that your peon-like teammates simply walk around.

If you're doing lots of unarmed damage, you probably built it just right. Both feats are definitely fun ones; Boar Style uses less burn, so there's that, and 2d6 extra damage is nothing to sneeze at, and it's easy to qualify compared to some of the other styles.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:

RE: Vigilante's Mad Rush and the state of Full Attacks

Obviously, a very powerful feature and one that most Vigilantes should take as it bridges one of the constant problems for melee-based classes.

But I also noted that new classes, such as the Champion Medium and the Unchained Monk, come with pounce-like features in their kits. Before that, Pummeling Style enabled mobility for the otherwise static Brawler, and Outslug Style allows the Brawler to get a lot of mobility in a more roundabout but still effective way.

Now, my question is about the design ethos behind implementing those features, as I wonder whether it is one of two things:

- Is it because the design team recognizes there should be more option for martial classes to close distances during the late game, and we should perhaps expect more options of this kind to appear for other classes that are full-attack reliant (Fighters, Rogues, etc.);

- Or is it tied specifically to the low attack scores of Mediums, UnMonks, Brawlers and Vigilantes, to compensate their lack of accuracy for consistency,

- Or perhaps a third thing.

Please grant us eyes.

I would say that having some ability to move and full attack at those levels is something I like to include as an option for a new martial melee class, as long as the trade-offs are right and they don't have something else of an equal level of flashiness, even though it's true that the game would be less rocket-taggy at those levels otherwise, so I tend to suggest including one when we're in design. In an ideal world, high-level full attack damage would be what the game expects, rather than what it actually is (way higher than expected), and everyone could have a move and full attack option for free, but since we don't have that but still have archers making far above expected full attacks without needing a round to move around, plus some melee characters already had comparable options, it seems prudent to look critically within those niches and...

Thanks for the answer!

I feel more confident at applying some homebrew "pounce" options now. I always try to reduce player options for power creep to keep the game functional, so that helps to hear.

(Right now we have a Cavalier who can charge-pounce once per Challenge and a Swashbuckler who can pounce on successful tumbles.)

Designer

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Secret Wizard wrote:

Thanks for the answer!

I feel more confident at applying some homebrew "pounce" options now. I always try to reduce player options for power creep to keep the game functional, so that helps to hear.

(Right now we have a Cavalier who can charge-pounce once per Challenge and a Swashbuckler who can pounce on successful tumbles.)

In truth the game would probably be more functional in a direction of overall reduction (in save or lose too as well as damage), but adding mobility full attack options when it fits a particular class's other stuff at least doesn't have archers far and away ahead. In terms of when it fits the class's other stuff and when I would recommend holding back, for instance, I'd say that cavalier option would probably be safer if it can't be used in conjunction with mounted charges and their numerous enhancers, since that's a shade more synergistic than the other examples.

Liberty's Edge

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I love you Mark! and there is an other question:P

A medium rider with a large mount ,Casting Spell:Animal Growth to the mount. The rider will become large or not? And saddle? Can he still stay in the saddle?


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I think the worst thing about full attacks is the weird anti-progression you get with them: That is to say, leveling up is supposed to be about making your character better and more capable, but for fighters and other martials that don't gain innate access to pounce, you actually get less and less mobile the higher your level and it feels really wrong that the fighter is never better at darting around a battlefield than it is right at level 1.

A special mention for Swashbucklers here. I'll never understand how Paizo could take an archetype that so thoroughly exemplifies the mobile swordfighter in fiction and turn around and not give it any options so it ends up being one of the least mobile classes in the entire game.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

First, I'd like to thank you and Jiggy for your wonderful to read discussion.

And then I'm wondering if you could weigh in on a mythic question.

The core rules state that you can only take a full round action if you do not take a standard or a move action generally speaking. There are a few mythic abilities that allow extra actions, would taking an extra action prohibit someone from taking a full round action?

Verdant Wheel

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Hello Mr. Seifter,

I an very impressed by your work and methods, thank you very much for your nice work.

1- I have been thinking about using the research rules from Ultimate Intrigue for Crime Scenes Investigations like the crime scene were a library. Do you think its a fair variation of the rule or there is better ways of doing it ?
And using the research rules for a deep garther information checks within a community or large body of witness ?

2- Do you think there can be 2 spell level s casting classes or this concept of a dabbler is better achieved by multiclassing ?


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Hello, sorry to bother you, but I was having a discussion with my group about size increases and wondered if you have an answer to this conundrum or know if it's been answered somewhere?

Can someone's combined size increases (between real and virtual ones) increase their size for weapon damage past Colossal? Strong Jaw seems to imply that it would stop (becuase it's got an alternate clause for what happens in that situation), and the previous rules were fairly vague about it. The FAQ on size increases has damage increasing in steps based on size, but doesn't state in either direction if sizes past Colossal exist, so I've been wondering how that works.

Silver Crusade

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Forrestfire wrote:

Hello, sorry to bother you, but I was having a discussion with my group about size increases and wondered if you have an answer to this conundrum or know if it's been answered somewhere?

Can someone's combined size increases (between real and virtual ones) increase their size for weapon damage past Colossal? Strong Jaw seems to imply that it would stop (becuase it's got an alternate clause for what happens in that situation), and the previous rules were fairly vague about it. The FAQ on size increases has damage increasing in steps based on size, but doesn't state in either direction if sizes past Colossal exist, so I've been wondering how that works.

Weapon damage sizes have their own chart for progression, they don't use sizing like medium>large>Huge>Gargantuan>Colossal

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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I JUST SNIPED THE 5,000TH POST OF YOUR THREAD. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT?

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