Burst or Sustained Damage for General Society Combat


Advice

Scarab Sages

Hi, new player here. I'm new to d20 systems, but I've played/GMd a lot of FFG's Dark Heresy.

My question is: Which is better - Burst or Sustained damage?

In DH, there are few limits on how often you can use an ability (my party has never taken any of the abilities with daily limits either). The only real limit is actions/turn and ammunition.

Pathfinder has a whack of daily limits, and I'm having trouble telling which abilites/spells/talents/traits are good with respect to killing stuff. I'm playing a hexcrafter magus, and I see cool metamagic abilities, but I can only use then n times per day, I only have n spells per day too. But I always have a sword, and 1/2 spells give multiple uses/targets. I've only played 1 session so far, but there were 3 fights over 2 days. If I only get 3-6 spells a day, limited enhancements doesn't seem so bad, but I could get a meta-magic rod/feat, or i could get a combat feat or better weapon for the same resources, a weapon/feat that is always on. I can't tell which is better right away, and I'm hoping some feedback will help me sort it out. Thanks guys.

Sczarni

Just make sure you have enough abilities to keep pumping out damage per round (dpr) for at least 3-4 fights and spend the rest of your resources to make those fights easier by throwing in the occasional daily or lifesaver.

Sovereign Court

It varies sometimes from session to session. Sometimes you'll have 3-4 minor combats before the final battle all in the same day. Sometimes you only get 1-2 fights before resting.

Play another couple sessions by ear, and you'll get a feel for it.

Silver Crusade

As I'm sure you've noticed, "always on" abilities are usually either weaker or more expensive (or both) than comparable "limited use" abilities. This is by design, of course.

That is not to say that the one is better than the other, however.

For new players, I recommend "always on" abilities over "limited use" abilities just about every time. There are two reasons for this suggestion:
1. Most players, especially new players, are overly cautious when using their limited resources. This is understandable; I don't want to use an ability now only to desperately need it later. But it leads to a lot of unused limited abilities.
2. More importantly, an ability that functions continuously cannot be forgotten about. Even experienced players will sometimes forget about an ability they could've used in that one critical moment. As a new player, you are at an even greater disadvantage because you are learning the system and the campaign at the same time.

Now, with that said, I want to make a second recommendation: nova abilities (super powerful, but only usable once per day or so) can be really fun. If there is one that you think sounds awesome, go for it. Just remember that it is only a fun ability if you are using it. Don't worry about when the ideal time to use it is.


The Fox wrote:


Now, with that said, I want to make a second recommendation: nova abilities (super powerful, but only usable once per day or so) can be really fun. If there is one that you think sounds awesome, go for it. Just remember that it is only a fun ability if you are using it. Don't worry about when the ideal time to use it is.

That said, a lot of scenarios (though by no means all) are pretty blatant about "THIS IS THE BOSS FIGHT!", so if you do only have a 1/day ability you know when you're in your last fight (although it can suck to get to the last fight and realise the ability is useless in this case).

Player: I have a crazy ability that will do super high fire damage, take that big bad boss guy!

GM: You know that he is actually clearly healed by fire right?

Player: I don't care I have been saving that ability ALL DAY!!!

;)

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