Which foes are stupid enough to not attack the casters first?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Artanthos wrote:

If you're building for PFS, you're not building for level 20 for level 20 with level 20 gear. You're building for level 7 or 8 with, at most, a +4 stat item until the very end of your career. You will need your skills to be effect in that level range.

Once again, he is a Sage blooded sorcerer so Int is his primary stat. He doesn't need skill boosting feats because he is getting around 8-10 skill points per level throughout his career.


Charon's Little Helper wrote:
andreww wrote:


Combat Casting is garbage and has always been garbage.
For a pure caster - yes. It's not bad for a magus who actually wants to be in melee when he casts.

Yes, there are some limited number of classes that might value it. Partial casters, melee focused summoning clerics, str based druids, but for casting focused primary casters it is a terrible option which just keeps getting worse as you level.


Charon's Little Helper wrote:
andreww wrote:


Combat Casting is garbage and has always been garbage.
For a pure caster - yes. It's not bad for a magus who actually wants to be in melee when he casts.

True. But even for magi it is more of a extra cushion than necessary, since they naturally get bonuses to concentration checks anyway. Its kinda like Iron Will on a full caster. Sure, its nice to have so that you only fail on a 1 instead on a 4-1 but your odds are still pretty decent either way.


PIXIE DUST wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
PIXIE DUST wrote:
Artanthos wrote:

He is a one-trick pony. Every feat he has is dedicated to blowing things up.

No feats or traits are dedicated towards defenses, skills, utility or crafting

I don't think you are getting it...

HE DOES NOT NEED TO WASTE HIS FEATS OR TRAITS ON THAT!!!!

You want to know what the funny thing is about spellcasters? They don't need to waste their time on feats for mundane things like that. Need to open a lock? You can disinigrate the door, Knock the lock, or turn incorporeal and just kinda walk threw it. Need to be stealthy? Invisibility +fly/overland Flight makes you one of the best stealth artists in the game. Defense? Mirror Image+Blur. Enough Said. .

Mirror Image+Blur doesnt help vs most Will saves or Fort saves, and once you fail either, you are the LEAST versatile Character at the table.

My Sorc has Iron Will , Imp Iron Will (free-ish via bloodline) and Mythic Iron will. I dont think any of those are wasted in the least, esp in RotRL.

Even Improved Iron Will, which I think is marginal, helped me what I rolled that Nat 1.

Iron Will is kinda meh on many casters... seeing as Will IS THERE ONE GOOD SAVE.

Yesbut, if you fail,you're out- or turn on the party. And, except for WIS based casters, most dont have much stats in WIS. Many "guides' even suggest Dumping WIS, which is always a mistake.


andreww wrote:
Artanthos wrote:

If you're building for PFS, you're not building for level 20 for level 20 with level 20 gear. You're building for level 7 or 8 with, at most, a +4 stat item until the very end of your career. You will need your skills to be effect in that level range.

Once again, he is a Sage blooded sorcerer so Int is his primary stat. He doesn't need skill boosting feats because he is getting around 8-10 skill points per level throughout his career.

Honestly, 90% of the time the skill boosting feats complete wastes of time... they only time I have seen them being any use is with Diplomamancers (because having upwards of +60 to bluff is utterly priceless sometimes) or stealth specialists (have stupid high levels of stealth with Hellcat Stealth pretty much means you are effectively invisible to anything that does not have blindsense/sight or tremorsense (until you get ways to fly))


The problem with Combat casting as a feat is that the DC to cast defensively increases by 2 for every 2 levels you attain but only for your highest level spell. However your concentration check increases by at least 1 every level and more as you increase your primary casting stat. So your chance to defensively caster your highest level spell always at least keeps par with the DC and will increase while your chance to defensively cast lower level spells will quickly reach 100%.

At level 10 most casting focused casters will be looking at a stat of around 26. 20 base, +2 levels, +4 headband. That gives them a concentration check of +18 before we even consider any form of equipment. You automatically cast any level 0-2 spell defensively. Add in the bracers which give +2 concentration and you do everything up to third. Add gloves of the elvenkind and you can defensively cast every spell you are capable of using.

The most I might ever consider investing in terms of limited character resources might be a trait for +2 but even then there are definitely better options. I am certainly not setting fire to one of my few precious feat slots for it.


DrDeth wrote:
PIXIE DUST wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
PIXIE DUST wrote:
Artanthos wrote:

He is a one-trick pony. Every feat he has is dedicated to blowing things up.

No feats or traits are dedicated towards defenses, skills, utility or crafting

I don't think you are getting it...

HE DOES NOT NEED TO WASTE HIS FEATS OR TRAITS ON THAT!!!!

You want to know what the funny thing is about spellcasters? They don't need to waste their time on feats for mundane things like that. Need to open a lock? You can disinigrate the door, Knock the lock, or turn incorporeal and just kinda walk threw it. Need to be stealthy? Invisibility +fly/overland Flight makes you one of the best stealth artists in the game. Defense? Mirror Image+Blur. Enough Said. .

Mirror Image+Blur doesnt help vs most Will saves or Fort saves, and once you fail either, you are the LEAST versatile Character at the table.

My Sorc has Iron Will , Imp Iron Will (free-ish via bloodline) and Mythic Iron will. I dont think any of those are wasted in the least, esp in RotRL.

Even Improved Iron Will, which I think is marginal, helped me what I rolled that Nat 1.

Iron Will is kinda meh on many casters... seeing as Will IS THERE ONE GOOD SAVE.
Yesbut, if you fail,you're out- or turn on the party. And, except for WIS based casters, most dont have much stats in WIS. Many "guides' even suggest Dumping WIS, which is always a mistake.

True, but unlike martials, you have spells that can cover your weakness there as well. Prot of Evil is always nice, Owl's Wisdom works wonders at lower levels, and Mindblank is pretty much a catch-all. Additionally, most creatures have a tendency to target martials with Will Save effects because the chance of success tends to be MUCH higher than trying to target the caster (whom all, bar none, have good will). Kinda like how usually you don't send a Disinigrate at a martial but will be pretty comfortable to send one at a caster in the back.


PIXIE DUST wrote:
andreww wrote:
Artanthos wrote:

If you're building for PFS, you're not building for level 20 for level 20 with level 20 gear. You're building for level 7 or 8 with, at most, a +4 stat item until the very end of your career. You will need your skills to be effect in that level range.

Once again, he is a Sage blooded sorcerer so Int is his primary stat. He doesn't need skill boosting feats because he is getting around 8-10 skill points per level throughout his career.
Honestly, 90% of the time the skill boosting feats complete wastes of time... they only time I have seen them being any use is with Diplomamancers (because having upwards of +60 to bluff is utterly priceless sometimes) or stealth specialists (have stupid high levels of stealth with Hellcat Stealth pretty much means you are effectively invisible to anything that does not have blindsense/sight or tremorsense (until you get ways to fly))

Bards make great use of Skill Focus (Perform) in combination with Versatile Performance and I will sometimes go Human just for the 3in1 offer that is Focused Study. Getting +6 to Perception and two other skills over the course of your career is a pretty decent bargain.

Scarab Sages

PIXIE DUST wrote:
Artanthos wrote:

He is a one-trick pony. Every feat he has is dedicated to blowing things up.

No feats or traits are dedicated towards defenses, skills, utility or crafting

Crafting? So the wizard is "a one-trick pony" if he can't craft? What does that make the rest of the party, seeing as the mundanes don't quite qualify for craft unless they take Master Craftsman as well...

Utility. I mean REALLY??? You are SERIOUSLY arguing a full caster, OF ANY SORT. REGARDLESS OF FOCUS, IS NOT ONE OF THE MOST VERSATILE CHARACTERS IN THE GAME? A druid that focuses purely on Combat will still have access to his utility forms AND still have his spell casting. A battle cleric can still cast a true res as well as any other cleric and can still cast restoration just as well as a healbot cleric.

1. I have fighters that can craft magic items. It is not difficult. Wizards just have an easier time due to bonus feats.

2. Utility: yes. There are a lot of non-combat feats. Some people actually enjoy solutions other than "I blow it up." You may like your spells, but my wizard can stand toe-to-toe with the bard while resolving social situations, without using magic. (Last game I played, there was a 3 point difference between my intelligence caster's diplomacy and the bard's.) UMD that divine scroll or wand? I'll bet my wizard is far better at it than your sage bloodline sorcerer was at 7th level. Did I mention I am a specialist wizard with no opposition schools? It was inconvenient, I got rid of it.


Hmmmm the main focus of my magus is to have a big arcane pool. Does that make him a one-trick pony?


Artanthos wrote:
2. Utility: yes. There are a lot of non-combat feats. Some people actually enjoy solutions other than "I blow it up." You may like your spells, but my wizard can stand toe-to-toe with the bard while resolving social situations, without using magic. (Last game I played, there was a 3 point difference between my intelligence caster's diplomacy and the bard's.) UMD that divine scroll or wand? I'll bet my wizard is far better at it than your sage bloodline sorcerer was at 7th level. Did I mention I am a specialist wizard with no opposition schools? It was inconvenient, I got rid of it.

I doubt you are. My current PFS sorcerer is two sessions from retirement and running with +29 diplomacy and +26UMD (31 for divine items) and doesn't expend divine scrolls when he uses them. The Razmiran Priest archetype, Pragmatic Activator and Student of Philosophy are just that good thanks very much and none of them are feats.


Artanthos wrote:
PIXIE DUST wrote:
Artanthos wrote:

He is a one-trick pony. Every feat he has is dedicated to blowing things up.

No feats or traits are dedicated towards defenses, skills, utility or crafting

Crafting? So the wizard is "a one-trick pony" if he can't craft? What does that make the rest of the party, seeing as the mundanes don't quite qualify for craft unless they take Master Craftsman as well...

Utility. I mean REALLY??? You are SERIOUSLY arguing a full caster, OF ANY SORT. REGARDLESS OF FOCUS, IS NOT ONE OF THE MOST VERSATILE CHARACTERS IN THE GAME? A druid that focuses purely on Combat will still have access to his utility forms AND still have his spell casting. A battle cleric can still cast a true res as well as any other cleric and can still cast restoration just as well as a healbot cleric.

1. I have fighters that can craft magic items. It is not difficult. Wizards just have an easier time due to bonus feats.

2. Utility: yes. There are a lot of non-combat feats. Some people actually enjoy solutions other than "I blow it up." You may like your spells, but my wizard can stand toe-to-toe with the bard while resolving social situations, without using magic. (Last game I played, there was a 3 point difference between my intelligence caster's diplomacy and the bard's.) UMD that divine scroll or wand? I'll bet my wizard is far better at it than your sage bloodline sorcerer was at 7th level. Did I mention I am a specialist wizard with no opposition schools? It was inconvenient, I got rid of it.

Has anyone ever told you that you seriously come off as rude and horridly obnoxious, because you do...


It isn't really a surprise to anyone any more. I try to tune it out.


PIXIE DUST wrote:
Additionally, most creatures have a tendency to target martials with Will Save effects because the chance of success tends to be MUCH higher than trying to target the caster (whom all, bar none, have good will)

Barring multiclasing and some tricks at high levels, paladins and barbarians will have better saves than arcane casters. But beyond that it is the spirit of this thread to argue that a monster that do that is stupid because he have to target the caster first, always, duh.


K177Y C47 wrote:
I'm sorry but this thread makes about as much sense as the "logic" behind trying to sunder a spellcaster's spellbook... it just reeks of GM meta-gamingand class punishing.

This.

Opponents would have to be pretty tactical to strictly go after the casters.

Highly intelligent opponent, sure. It's a valid tactic.

Average intelligence, not likely. They would more likely be afraid of casters.

Making vermin rush the casters, that's just crazy talk.


Nicos wrote:
PIXIE DUST wrote:
Additionally, most creatures have a tendency to target martials with Will Save effects because the chance of success tends to be MUCH higher than trying to target the caster (whom all, bar none, have good will)
Barring multiclasing and some tricks at high levels, paladins and barbarians will have better saves than arcane casters. But beyond that it is the spirit of this thread to argue that a monster that do that is stupid because he have to target the caster first, always, duh.

This subject reminds me of a recent game where there was a VIP (in this case, not a mage but the bad guy who had a lot of really tough hired bodyguards), and my brother just decided that the best course to getting the guy was to just go get him, so his Paladin goes "Stand down and no harm will come to you, but either way I'm coming through!" and then just began marching up the staircase with his sword & shield.

He ended up getting the hell blasted out of him by a group of psychic knight mercenaries (multiclassed and fairly optimized for melee with the ability to also do some magical attacking), but none of them could really hurt him (he had popped a couple of AC boosting potions when they entered, was wearing plate mail, had a shield, etc). He just kept walking through their attacks to the panicking dude in the back. They spent lots of actions just trying to stop him, and then the party was more or less free to wreck the knights from a distance.

Turns out that due to a high AC, Hp, and Lay on Hands, he just didn't give a **** about their attacks. When they flanked him and attacked, he just started beating the snot out of them with his longsword, and then continued moving when it was applicable.

It was just hilarious to watch.


It was especially funny when the boss guy (who wasn't strong himself) started trying to bribe my brother to let him go. XD


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Ashiel wrote:
It was especially funny when the boss guy (who wasn't strong himself) started trying to bribe my brother to let him go. XD

Trying to bribe a Paladin... You just went full PC. Never go full PC.

The Exchange

PIXIE DUST wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
PIXIE DUST wrote:
Artanthos wrote:

He is a one-trick pony. Every feat he has is dedicated to blowing things up.

No feats or traits are dedicated towards defenses, skills, utility or crafting

Crafting? So the wizard is "a one-trick pony" if he can't craft? What does that make the rest of the party, seeing as the mundanes don't quite qualify for craft unless they take Master Craftsman as well...

Utility. I mean REALLY??? You are SERIOUSLY arguing a full caster, OF ANY SORT. REGARDLESS OF FOCUS, IS NOT ONE OF THE MOST VERSATILE CHARACTERS IN THE GAME? A druid that focuses purely on Combat will still have access to his utility forms AND still have his spell casting. A battle cleric can still cast a true res as well as any other cleric and can still cast restoration just as well as a healbot cleric.

1. I have fighters that can craft magic items. It is not difficult. Wizards just have an easier time due to bonus feats.

2. Utility: yes. There are a lot of non-combat feats. Some people actually enjoy solutions other than "I blow it up." You may like your spells, but my wizard can stand toe-to-toe with the bard while resolving social situations, without using magic. (Last game I played, there was a 3 point difference between my intelligence caster's diplomacy and the bard's.) UMD that divine scroll or wand? I'll bet my wizard is far better at it than your sage bloodline sorcerer was at 7th level. Did I mention I am a specialist wizard with no opposition schools? It was inconvenient, I got rid of it.

Has anyone ever told you that you seriously come off as rude and horridly obnoxious, because you do...

Hmmm, you're the one throwing bold text statements in many of your posts and throwing made up stats to build false arguments, plus telling people that taking anything but your suggested builds is less than standard.

I haven't found any of Artanthos posts rude at all. Yours have been .....interesting though.

Maybe you should both tone it down a bit.


Wrath wrote:

Hmmm, you're the one throwing bold text statements in many of your posts and throwing made up stats to build false arguments, plus telling people that taking anything but your suggested builds is less than standard.

I haven't found any of Artanthos posts rude at all. Yours have been .....interesting though.

Power attack is a standard feat for all "martial" characters.


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Honestly I haven't said anything that hasn't been backed by many many many years of experiance from multiple different people even on this board. Artanthos has been having a "I am right and all of you people are dumb for arguing with my" type of attitude in his comments. Whether or not it is intentional, I do not know, I just know they come off as VERY rude.

For instance:

Artanthos wrote:
1. I have fighters that can craft magic items. It is not difficult. Wizards just have an easier time due to bonus feats.

He has a rather snarky attitude here, when years of experiance tends to run counter to him. With 2+int skill points AND being MAD as all hell (He needs Str to do damage, Con since he is up front taking damage, Dex [unless he wants to completely forgo one of his only class abilities...] for AC, and Wisdom to make up for his non-existant will save) he is not having an easy time finding skill points to put into Craft. Additionally, he tries to sound snarky bring up wizards when it comes to bonus feats when, IF ANY CLASS HAS IT EASY WHEN IT COMES TO FEATS ITS TEH FIGHTER. I.e. THE CLASS THAT IS 99% Feats. I mean, if he had said like Paladin or something sure maybe, but fighter just about gets nothing BUT bonus feats...

Artanthos wrote:
2. Utility: yes. There are a lot of non-combat feats. Some people actually enjoy solutions other than "I blow it up." You may like your spells, but my wizard can stand toe-to-toe with the bard while resolving social situations, without using magic. (Last game I played, there was a 3 point difference between my intelligence caster's diplomacy and the bard's.) UMD that divine scroll or wand? I'll bet my wizard is far better at it than your sage bloodline sorcerer was at 7th level. Did I mention I am a specialist wizard with no opposition schools? It was inconvenient, I got rid of it.

He again, sounding snobby with the comment "some people actually enjoy solutions other than I blow it up" as if blaster casters are the only type of caster which makes no sense. Heck, the "I Blow it up" caster is generally viewed as the WEAKEST caster. I simply said that blaster casters are sometimes fun because, hey sometimes PEOPLE WANT TO BE ABLE TO BLOW THINGS UP. Additionally, NO BODY SUGGESTED YOUR ONLY ANSWER TO BE TO BLOW IT UP! I, along with many other people, have pointed out that even with your feats going into evocation and maximizing teh effectiveness of your tacticle nuke, you can still be a powerful utility caster. NOTHING IS STOPPING YOU FROM DOING IT. AT... ALL. In fact it was HIM that stated because all of my feats went to improving my shots with fireball I am some how "a one trick pony" despite the fact that he was proven wrong time and again.

So yeah. He does sound rude.


The figther is prablably crafting usin the sla rules, meaning he is probably limited to certain races.


If you want a flying UMD based crafter fighter, might I suggest the Aegis? They actually get direct class features to support that idea.

Now you can get flying on a fighter with class features. I even have a Build Path for that idea, and I think it, scales, well

Scarab Sages

andreww wrote:


I doubt you are. My current PFS sorcerer is two sessions from retirement and running with +29 diplomacy and +26UMD (31 for divine items) and doesn't expend divine scrolls when he uses them. The Razmiran Priest archetype, Pragmatic Activator and Student of Philosophy are just that good thanks very much and none of them are feats.

That comment was directed at the theorycrafted and narrowly focused level 20 sage sorcerer blaster. It had neither Pragmatic Activator nor Student of Philosophy. In fact, it had nothing, trait or feat, devoted towards anything that did not maximize spell damage. Unlike the theorycrafted build, your taking the utility type abilities I was promoting.

And yes, I'm very familiar with Pragmatic Activator and Clever Wordplay (same thing as Student of Philosophy).

Scarab Sages

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PIXIE DUST wrote:


For instance:

Artanthos wrote:
1. I have fighters that can craft magic items. It is not difficult. Wizards just have an easier time due to bonus feats.
He has a rather snarky attitude here, when years of experiance tends to run counter to him. With 2+int skill points AND being MAD as all hell (He needs Str to do damage, Con since he is up front taking damage, Dex [unless he wants to completely forgo one of his only class abilities...] for AC, and Wisdom to make up for his non-existant will save) he is not having an easy time finding skill points to put into Craft. Additionally, he tries to sound snarky bring up wizards when it comes to bonus feats when, IF ANY CLASS HAS IT EASY WHEN IT COMES TO FEATS ITS TEH FIGHTER. I.e. THE CLASS THAT IS 99% Feats. I mean, if he had said like Paladin or something sure maybe, but fighter just about gets nothing BUT bonus feats...

With 7 skill points/level on my fighter, and spellcraft as a class skill, finding the points is not hard. With a racial caster level, crafting magical items becomes simple. Fighters certainly have the feats to spare.

I'm not getting snarky, I just get very, very tired of people building DPR focused combat machines and then complaining fighters cannot do anything outside combat. Fighters can do as much or as little as you choose to build for. The same can be said for most classes.


Artanthos wrote:
I'm not getting snarky, I just get very, very tired of people building DPR focused combat machines and then complaining fighters cannot do anything outside combat. Fighters can do as much or as little as your choose to build for. The same can be said for most classes..

To be fair, in that other thread about fighter you could not actually back up your statements. For example, you showed a fighter with good skills and then he sucked at saves (your winged twf sword and board If I'm remembering correctly), you showed a fighter with good saves and he was bad at skills, among other stuffs.

Scarab Sages

Nicos wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
I'm not getting snarky, I just get very, very tired of people building DPR focused combat machines and then complaining fighters cannot do anything outside combat. Fighters can do as much or as little as your choose to build for. The same can be said for most classes..
To be fair, in that other thread about fighter you could not actually back up your statements. For example, you showed a fighter with good skills and then he sucked at saves, you showed a fighter with good saves and he sucked at skills, among other stuffs.

It's all a balancing act. If a single build was the best at everything, why would anyone play anything else.

You choose your strengths and weaknesses. I demonstrated range of fighter builds moving down the range from very high saves to very high utility + skill monkey. The character with low will save was only actually vulnerable to a limited range of mental effects, much of her defense was invested in immunities (unless everything just happens to be true neutral).


Artanthos wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
I'm not getting snarky, I just get very, very tired of people building DPR focused combat machines and then complaining fighters cannot do anything outside combat. Fighters can do as much or as little as your choose to build for. The same can be said for most classes..
To be fair, in that other thread about fighter you could not actually back up your statements. For example, you showed a fighter with good skills and then he sucked at saves, you showed a fighter with good saves and he sucked at skills, among other stuffs.

It's all a balancing act. If a single build was the best at everything, why would anyone play anything else.

You choose your strengths and weaknesses. I demonstrated range of fighter builds moving down the range from very high saves to very high utility + skill monkey. The character with low will save was only actually vulnerable to a limited range of mental effects, much of her defense was invested in immunities (unless everything just happens to be true neutral).

Except, you see, the caster can have high damage, high skills, AND high saves... Especially if by caster you mean "Oracle"....


Artanthos wrote:
PIXIE DUST wrote:


For instance:

Artanthos wrote:
1. I have fighters that can craft magic items. It is not difficult. Wizards just have an easier time due to bonus feats.
He has a rather snarky attitude here, when years of experiance tends to run counter to him. With 2+int skill points AND being MAD as all hell (He needs Str to do damage, Con since he is up front taking damage, Dex [unless he wants to completely forgo one of his only class abilities...] for AC, and Wisdom to make up for his non-existant will save) he is not having an easy time finding skill points to put into Craft. Additionally, he tries to sound snarky bring up wizards when it comes to bonus feats when, IF ANY CLASS HAS IT EASY WHEN IT COMES TO FEATS ITS TEH FIGHTER. I.e. THE CLASS THAT IS 99% Feats. I mean, if he had said like Paladin or something sure maybe, but fighter just about gets nothing BUT bonus feats...

With 7 skill points/level on my fighter, and spellcraft as a class skill, finding the points is not hard. With a racial caster level, crafting magical items becomes simple. Fighters certainly have the feats to spare.

I'm not getting snarky, I just get very, very tired of people building DPR focused combat machines and then complaining fighters cannot do anything outside combat. Fighters can do as much or as little as you choose to build for. The same can be said for most classes.

Except, as I HAVE SAID BEFORE, the blaster build, while focused on DPR, is still capable of doing everything else a normal wizard is. There is absolutely NOTHING stopping him from doing whatever the heck he wants. The only thing he invested into his blasting was his feats. His spell slots are all mostly open to whatever he needs and his skill points are not even mentioned.

YOU seem to be the one who is stuck on this "if you build for DPR you can't do anything else" train...


PIXIE DUST wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
I'm not getting snarky, I just get very, very tired of people building DPR focused combat machines and then complaining fighters cannot do anything outside combat. Fighters can do as much or as little as your choose to build for. The same can be said for most classes..
To be fair, in that other thread about fighter you could not actually back up your statements. For example, you showed a fighter with good skills and then he sucked at saves, you showed a fighter with good saves and he sucked at skills, among other stuffs.

It's all a balancing act. If a single build was the best at everything, why would anyone play anything else.

You choose your strengths and weaknesses. I demonstrated range of fighter builds moving down the range from very high saves to very high utility + skill monkey. The character with low will save was only actually vulnerable to a limited range of mental effects, much of her defense was invested in immunities (unless everything just happens to be true neutral).

Except, you see, the caster can have high damage, high skills, AND high saves... Especially if by caster you mean "Oracle"....

This. And, there is no need to go caster with his. Other martial still do it better.

The Exchange

Sophismata wrote:
Wrath wrote:

Hmmm, you're the one throwing bold text statements in many of your posts and throwing made up stats to build false arguments, plus telling people that taking anything but your suggested builds is less than standard.

I haven't found any of Artanthos posts rude at all. Yours have been .....interesting though.

Power attack is a standard feat for all "martial" characters.

No, it isn't. It's an option martial characters can take. It's an option many two handed Martials take. It is not standard though. It might be considered a good choice for certain types of Martials built for certain roles ( such as pure damage output).

However, Martials have multiple roles outside this range and can be built for those as well.

Pixie dust talks about his/her experiences being the reasoning behind arguments. That's fine, but he/she presents them as the only possible answer. Putting in completely made up percentages to try and back up the point. Bold wording text to show that surely his/her statement is correct.

Well my experience, as with all the people I play with and all the people I've gotten to know well in this game realised long ago that power attack was limiting to secondary attacks far more than int benefitted. Rage helps to mitigate this somewhat, which is why barbarians can get away with it a bit. Two handed weapons get a nice benefit to I cost ratio due to the 1.5 benefit.

Even fighters in our area think twice about power attack, because the combat manoeuvres it leads to don't really help.

Vital strike feats though, they're useful, and if Martials are building for them then sure it's there, just used as a stepping stone.

It is far from standard. These boards have a limited number of people who post here. That number gets even more limite if you read the advice threads on builds or the ones that complain about caster martial disparity, then you really only get about twenty people. All of whom share a similar view. However, I've also counted about twenty people who share my point of view. See, that doesn't make anything standard at all.

Power attack might be standard in your neck of the woods, but it isn't in ours. We have very experienced players here who don't choose it for a number of reasons. Our players build for versatility and for variety. They don't follow build threads nor do they build cookie cutter characters based on the narrow view of the posters in some of these threads. They use their own experience over 20 or more years of playing to make decisions.

I have no idea whether other posters here build cookie cutter characters from build threads. Bbt certainly the ones telling me that certain feats are "standard" sound like cookie cutter characters.

For the record, my original response to Pixie Dust about standard feats was for the caster he/she posted.

Cheers

Scarab Sages

Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:
Hmmmm the main focus of my magus is to have a big arcane pool. Does that make him a one-trick pony?

You have one trick. Run in and pound on things with frostbite and Hasted Assault, with Arcane Accuracy if your attacks miss. You have modestly higher damage without burning arcana and significantly higher damage while burning your arcane pool. It's what you are built for. I might be able to catch up to you in another 5 levels, but I doubt it, you are very focused on damage. (My attack routine: +3 Scimitar +16/+11 (1d6+13/15-20/x2) with arcane pool running. I'll go to +5 Scimitar +19/+14 (1d6+15/15-20/x2) at 9th level. Spell Combat and Haste as appropriate.)

Your skills are what would be expected from a level 13 magus with your intelligence. Nothing above or beyond the average, nothing deficient. At 8th level, several of my magi's skills already exceed yours. Given a difference in skill distribution, not much to compare, but I have a +13 Diplomacy and +17 Perception while being 5 levels lower. The difference will only climb; you gave up your human racial bonus, I have fast learner.

On defense: I have a higher AC, CMD and Reflex save at 8th level than you do at 13th. On Fortitude and Will, I'll have to wait and see but, as I'm PFS, it's unlikely I'll ever hit 13. I'll concede you have more HP, Even if I spent the WBL to eventually add Con to my belt, your still 1 hp/level more than I will be.

Spell selection is similar. I have less of it and, given my archetype, always will. For me, scenarios are an exercise if resource management. I don't expend anything unless necessary.

The character is well designed for your apparent playstyle. Nothing wrong with that. But outside of combat, he's strictly average, with no resources dedicated to do anything beyond the baseline. I enjoy more options outside combat and have spent my feats towards that end.


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Wrath, I recommend to go look at the breakdown I posted purely for your benefit earlier, and you are now completely ignoring. Power Attack is a straight up damage buff for all martials, one and two handed, throughout the entire game. And a significant one.

If Power Attack is not standard in your "neck of the woods", it's not a matter of playstyle difference. It's a matter of people failing to understand the math behind why it's always a good choice to include on a melee focused character.


I think the only times I DON'T see people take power attack are 2 weapon fighting, feint focused rogues...

Or monks who dumb str to hell and back again to try and use a Agile AoMF...

Scarab Sages

PIXIE DUST wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
I'm not getting snarky, I just get very, very tired of people building DPR focused combat machines and then complaining fighters cannot do anything outside combat. Fighters can do as much or as little as your choose to build for. The same can be said for most classes..
To be fair, in that other thread about fighter you could not actually back up your statements. For example, you showed a fighter with good skills and then he sucked at saves, you showed a fighter with good saves and he sucked at skills, among other stuffs.

It's all a balancing act. If a single build was the best at everything, why would anyone play anything else.

You choose your strengths and weaknesses. I demonstrated range of fighter builds moving down the range from very high saves to very high utility + skill monkey. The character with low will save was only actually vulnerable to a limited range of mental effects, much of her defense was invested in immunities (unless everything just happens to be true neutral).

Except, you see, the caster can have high damage, high skills, AND high saves... Especially if by caster you mean "Oracle"....

Given most of those fighters I posted had the feats and abilities to shut casters down, I don't think using a caster/martial disparity argument is going to work. Once my fighters reach an NPC, everyone gets to be a martial.

Scarab Sages

Aratrok wrote:

Wrath, I recommend to go look at the breakdown I posted purely for your benefit earlier, and you are now completely ignoring. Power Attack is a straight up damage buff for all martials, one and two handed, throughout the entire game. And a significant one.

If Power Attack is not standard in your "neck of the woods", it's not a matter of playstyle difference. It's a matter of people failing to understand the math behind why it's always a good choice to include on a melee focused character.

Except when the to-hit penalties decrease your DPR by an amount equal to or greater than your gain. A common occurrence with TWF builds. With TWF rogues, it's not even a close call, Power Attack is a strict decrease in damage against all but the lowest AC opponents. Monks also encounter this issue. Arcane Strike, on the other hand, is a strict DPR increase for TWF builds. Even with full BAB TWF builds, Arcane Strike is the better choice at many levels when facing a +2 APL or higher encounter.


I recommend you go look at the math I presented, which shows the opposite of your claim is true for one handed and two handed fighters. I didn't present any statistics for two weapon fighters, since they're a lot less common, but I suspect they'd receive slightly worse benefits from Power Attack than the other two styles (deriving more of their power from the effects of Double Slice and Two Weapon Rend).

Scarab Sages

Aratrok wrote:
I recommend you go look at the math I presented, which shows the opposite of your claim is true for one handed and two handed fighters. I didn't present any statistics for two weapon fighters, since they're a lot less common, but I suspect they'd receive slightly worse benefits from Power Attack than the other two styles (deriving more of their power from the effects of Double Slice and Two Weapon Rend).

I've run my own numbers. More than once. When things were too close to eyeball, I've found Power Attack was a break even or loos.


Cool. Share them. I did. Claiming the numbers exist without being willing to prove it is not in the least bit helpful.

If it helps you, a solid model for determining DPR is:

D = Average Damage/Hit
A = Total Accuracy (Expressed as a float)
C = Confirmation Rate (An average of attack accuracies)
X = Critical Threat Chance (An average- this usually doesn't matter, but may be relevant on high crit range low accuracy attacks where a threat may not actually be a hit)

(D*A)+(D*A*C*X)

For example, the routine
+18/+13 (1d8+10/19-20)
When compared to the same level CR (8)'s average AC of 21 translates to
D = 14.5
A = .9+.65 = 1.55
C = (.9+.65)/2 = .775
X = .1

(14.5*1.55)+(14.5*1.55*.775*.1)= 22.48+1.74 = 24.22 DPR


Artanthos wrote:
Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:
Hmmmm the main focus of my magus is to have a big arcane pool. Does that make him a one-trick pony?

You have one trick. Run in and pound on things with frostbite and Hasted Assault, with Arcane Accuracy if your attacks miss. You have modestly higher damage without burning arcana and significantly higher damage while burning your arcane pool. It's what you are built for. I might be able to catch up to you in another 5 levels, but I doubt it, you are very focused on damage. (My attack routine: +3 Scimitar +16/+11 (1d6+13/15-20/x2) with arcane pool running. I'll go to +5 Scimitar +19/+14 (1d6+15/15-20/x2) at 9th level. Spell Combat and Haste as appropriate.)

Your skills are what would be expected from a level 13 magus with your intelligence. Nothing above or beyond the average, nothing deficient. At 8th level, several of my magi's skills already exceed yours. Given a difference in skill distribution, not much to compare, but I have a +13 Diplomacy and +17 Perception while being 5 levels lower. The difference will only climb; you gave up your human racial bonus, I have fast learner.

On defense: I have a higher AC, CMD and Reflex save at 8th level than you do at 13th. On Fortitude and Will, I'll have to wait and see but, as I'm PFS, it's unlikely I'll ever hit 13. I'll concede you have more HP, Even if I spent the WBL to eventually add Con to my belt, your still 1 hp/level more than I will be.

Spell selection is similar. I have less of it and, given my archetype, always will. For me, scenarios are an exercise if resource management. I don't expend anything unless necessary.

The character is well designed for your apparent playstyle. Nothing wrong with that. But outside of combat, he's strictly average, with no resources dedicated to do anything beyond the baseline. I enjoy more options outside combat and have spent my feats towards that end.

Or I can spont cast all the spells I want, or spam the BFC I have prepared?

Also you are underestimating being able to strength polymorph. Shield + monstrous physique II put my AC to 33 (it would be 36 once I get my fullplate).

So fully buffed, I'm looking at the following
AC: 33
+27/27/22 for 2d6+26 + 1d6+13(nonlethal cold) + 1d6(fire/cold/electricity) so ideally 4d6+39

My HP is kind of terra-bad. I keep it buffed up with bear's endurance and false-life.

As far as resource management goes, I have yet to run out. Seems like the full casters are always running empty before I am.

EDIT: Also you might not want to compare builds. What I linked is an actual character. So wbl is off, it's 26 point buy and other yada yada. Of course it's not like PFS characters(your's) are WBL either, but I'm not sure how comparing a lvl 9 and 13 will do much of anything.

The Exchange

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Aratrok wrote:

Wrath, I recommend to go look at the breakdown I posted purely for your benefit earlier, and you are now completely ignoring. Power Attack is a straight up damage buff for all martials, one and two handed, throughout the entire game. And a significant one.

If Power Attack is not standard in your "neck of the woods", it's not a matter of playstyle difference. It's a matter of people failing to understand the math behind why it's always a good choice to include on a melee focused character.

I love how people tell us about the math.

Understand this point please. We are experts in this game, just like you.

Understand that doing 20 points over the hit points of the enemy actually doesn't do anything more than doing 1 point over the enemies hit points.

The Melees in our area that don't take power attack kill enemies just as fast as the power attacking melees. The power attackers over kill. The non power attackers just kill.

Now you'll tell me that higher level creatures have more hit points therefore you need to do more damage - so power attack.

I'll respond by saying iterative attacks hit more frequently when not power attacking, and every attack that hits does more damage alone than the power attack bonus.

You'll move on to the idea that moving prevents iterative attacks, ill counter by saying that smart tactical play in area often means full attacks happen very easily. Enough so that the kill rate is even enough that none of us can tell the difference (we don't run stats on game sessions).

It all balances, especially when "you understand the math" as you like to put it.

This isn't uber optimisation theory crafter time. This is the reality of the game at the table. Admittedly, only from the experience of hundreds of players I know.

As I said, for those who take it at early levels it seems cool. But after level 6 its not, unless you have feat chains that need it. Even then, you're not using it, you're just trying to unlock feats.

<sigh> This really is a pointless argument. We're doing semantics. On these boards, with the people who post in advice threads especially, there is an undercurrent of "if you don't build it this way, you're an idiot". This is reinforced when you start throwing out the words "standard build". It is the tone I dislike, rather than the word I guess. It erks me when people speak as if their experience is the only one possible.

Meh, time to leave this thread for a while. I don't come here for annoyance, nor to try and annoy others. Occasionally though I seem to fall into one of those categories.

Cheers


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Overkill is not an issue that's coming up- at no point in the statistics I produced was dramatic overkill being produced. The only time it even happened was at 16th level for a power attacking greatsword user, dealing 13 points more damage than an average CR 16 opponent has health. Perhaps for a character who focuses too much on offense and is poorly built, yes, that could be an issue, but I'm speaking about average, non-perfect character builds, and I used a model to support that.

And I can tell you right now, it does not balance out. You keep saying that, and I keep pointing you to the statistics that prove power attacking increases your damage output against average ACs. It gives you more of an improvement against lower ACs, and less of an improvement against higher ACs, but it's almost always an improvement unless you're running up against an opponent with an AC that goes off the RNG for your iteratives- like another PC with a focus on AC.

Aside, if you're using a one handed weapon power Attack gives you about the same benefit at 1st level that it does at 16th (a 15% increase to a 14.3% increase). And if you're using a two handed weapon, its benefit only grows over time (a 20% increase to a 26% increase). Suggesting that it becomes less relevant as iteratives come into play is innacurate.

I would deeply appreciate it if you'd respect my point at least enough to read and parse the information I'm generating and respond to my arguments with actual counterpoints, not accusing me of being a "uber optimizing theory crafter" and trying to call on the personal experiences of yourself and others. I respect you enough to not do those things, and in a safe place like this I'd expect the same courtesy.

The Exchange

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@Aratok, my last post for this thread. I wasn't trying to be disrespectful to you personally. I read your post fully, as indeed I have done for every post in this thread. It has been enlightening and civil to date.

However, I don't have any respect for the DPR calculations used in these threads though. I'll explain why below.

Percentages used in the context of these boards actually don't correlate to the game table itself. The model is incorrect. It cannot account for the actions of the enemy, nor can it account for the actions of the party. All statistics used for those models of DPR assume that every outcome is completely independent of the actions at the table. They aren't though. Every action at the table completely effects the next action and can in fact screw with your model totally (buffs, miss chances, tactical advantages, healing, etc etc.)As a consequence of non independent outcomes, the models used are actually not correlating to the real world. In statistics we call that a failed model.

Additionally, the "average AC" model is ok for comparison, but it doesn't represent the game table very well for the exact reasons I mentioned above. I understand where you're coming from, I read the build threads and I take from them some solid advice on feat combinations and damage etc. However, I also understand statistics extremely well and have a good feel for how the stats play out in the game itself. One day, I might even try to track the statistics just to see how they bear out over a campaign, but I have much better things to do, so probably not.

Build threads are, however, good for checking out strengths and weaknesses of builds. I grant you that power attack is not a bad feat. It's just not the be all to end all that everyone talks about.

In order to take it, you have to not take something else. For many players in our area, the something else often is chosen instead of power attack. Especially for martial classes that don't have the feat freedom that fighters do.

Something to consider, when you use power attack in your probability models. You know exactly what the creature is and what its AC is.

The players at the table don't know this. They have to make a call about how hard it is going to be to hit and whether they can afford to lose on those +'s to hit or not. First attack is power attack and they miss. Player doesn't know by how much, doesn't know if the power attack cost them the hit or not, doesn't know if using power attack next turn will cause them more misses.

They can choose to take a risk and keep going, or they drop power attack.

It works the other way too. If they don't use power attack they still have no idea of the enemies capabilities.

Sure you can make a judgement, but in this game there are so many ways to ramp up AC that those judgements are damn hard. Particularly as levels increase.

Any way, none of this entire conversation in anyway invalidates my point. It really doesn't matter what reasons melee players don't use Power Attack, or what reasons a caster that tries blasting doesn't use all the feats listed by Pixie Dust. The fact that many people don't use those means they are "Not Standard", which is all I was trying to say the first time.

Now, have fun in the thread. Its kinda gone off topic now, and I'm off to play my level 12 Summoner tonight, where there's a solid chance the army of angry Drow we stirred up will kill me. Good Times.

Cheers

Sovereign Court

Also - since power attack is far more useful with single attacks than full attacks - pummeling style (charge) just made it far less useful.

I can't see many fighter/barbarian players not taking it at level 12 or 13.

That of course, defeats the argument that power attack is more beneficial for single attacks - as those with pummeling charge will only very rarely make single attacks.


Well if we're going on anecdotal evidence then I present this. There's a reason everyone I play with goes by the standard(For us) ruling of "Always power attacking unless we say otherwise." Incidentally in this next campaign we're running we've house ruled that EVERYONE get's power attack for free and can use it as long as they have a BAB of 1.

Sovereign Court

Chaotic Fighter wrote:
Well if we're going on anecdotal evidence then I present this. There's a reason everyone I play with goes by the standard(For us) ruling of "Always power attacking unless we say otherwise." Incidentally in this next campaign we're running we've house ruled that EVERYONE get's power attack for free and can use it as long as they have a BAB of 1.

It sounds like in your campaign I'd jack up my AC and very rarely get hit. :P


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Artanthos wrote:

With 7 skill points/level on my fighter, and spellcraft as a class skill, finding the points is not hard. With a racial caster level, crafting magical items becomes simple. Fighters certainly have the feats to spare.

I'm not getting snarky, I just get very, very tired of people building DPR focused combat machines and then complaining fighters cannot do anything outside combat.

Certain races can do lots outside of combat by default. Fighters are handicapped at every step of the way by comparison to other classes. There is nothing in the Fighter class that lends itself to being a skillful class, nothing that helps it in creating magic items, and nothing that actually contributes to being able to pick up item creation feats.

But why is this?

1. Fighters do not get any particular synergy from a good Int (any more than a commoner would).
1. Spellcraft is not a class skill for fighters (putting them behind the curve).
2. Fighters will always have to increase the DC of items they make by at least +5 (making it harder).
3. Fighter bonus feats cannot be spent to pickup Item Creation feats, Skill Focus, any of the +2/+2 feats, or even Magical Artisan.
4. Fighter class levels do nothing to qualify you for item creation feats and Magical Artisan requires you to sacrifice 1 feat which does nothing for 2 full levels, and then gives you a grossly depreciated version of a single item creation feat.

It is incredibly dishonest to claim these things as features of the Fighter when everything about them actively discourages you from everything that you have described. Item creation was a feature of your race. You can't just be a fighter and have this be possible. It's no a matter of slight adjustments such as elf vs human vs dwarf in Hit Points, it's a binary and boolean of thing of "Yes or No". Fighter has no-influence over it.

I can take a commoner with a racial caster level (say gnome) and do everything that you have claimed as a thing Fighters do. But I could not, honestly, claim those as benefits of being a Commoner because they aren't. It's my knowing how to get exactly what I want out of the system and how to do something even though my class is actively working against me.

The claim that Fighters have so many sweet bonus feats still gets made to this day, and that somehow makes them better at item creation and such, or pretty much anything, but it's a lie at worst and dishonest at best. Fighters have fewer class features than other classes, and those bonus feats of theirs are there to try and make up for that (I'm not even going to bother going into detail as to why their non-bonus feat class features are pretty "meh" because it's been done so much before). Those bonus feats cannot be used to take non-combat feats.

Most fighter-enthusiasts insist that "fighters get so many bonus feats they can use their normal feats to make up the differences", but that has never been true. Fighters get 11 bonus feats over 20 levels. Those feats have the burden of giving the Fighter an edge in combat and comparing to the class features of other classes. Then, everyone gets 10 feats over the course of their careers that can be spent on anything that they qualify for. Fighters are frequently paying out their non-Fighter feats in huge amounts to play catch-up to other classes.

1. Rangers and Paladins qualify for major crafting feats naturally regardless of their race at 5th and 7th level. At the level that a Fighter would be able to have spent 2 of their 10 non-Fighter feats to get a dumbed-down version of a single item creation feat, the Ranger and Paladin have spent 2 of their feats to get 2 fully functional item creation feats, and they have Spellcraft as a class skill giving them a +3 advantage, equivalent to 6 more points of Intelligence, to their spellcraft skill.

2. Fighters are generally expected to invest their non-Fighter feats on things like Lightning Reflexes and Iron Will, consuming another 2/10 (so we're at 4/10) to pad their innate weaknesses. Meanwhile, Rangers and Paladins effectively get Lightning Reflexes or Iron Will 3 times for free. If they want to get better at skills that other classes are going to get a "free" +3 to the skill, they have to invest more non-bonus feats into things. Every extra feat that they have to expend on something other classes do not is a feat advantage that they have lost. And more often than not, that feat advantage isn't closing the gap but merely mitigating some of the proverbial damage.

3. Non-Fighter martials have virtual feats in the form of rage powers, paladin and/or ranger spells, and a variety of class features that are at least as good or better than most feats. Some of them so much better than feat alternatives that when given the option of trading feats for more of these class features it becomes a trading-up deal.

My personal thoughts on this is I find that sort of argument disappointing. I find it inherently dishonest. I feel it intentionally misinforms people. I feel that the argument relies on fundamentally flawed logic and assertion of opinion without proper evidence and/or smoke and mirrors.

When someone says something like:
"My fighter has 7 skill points / level.
My fighter has all these item creation feats.
My fighter has spellcraft as a class skill.
Fighters are great."

It is as dishonest and malicious as falsely presenting a biased spin on statistical analysis without actually looking at the cause/effect and/or information behind the data. When you actually look beneath the shiny hood, you find that this Fighter is using tons of custom and nonstandard parts and some are illegal in some states.


Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Chaotic Fighter wrote:
Well if we're going on anecdotal evidence then I present this. There's a reason everyone I play with goes by the standard(For us) ruling of "Always power attacking unless we say otherwise." Incidentally in this next campaign we're running we've house ruled that EVERYONE get's power attack for free and can use it as long as they have a BAB of 1.
It sounds like in your campaign I'd jack up my AC and very rarely get hit. :P

And that would be accepted too. I've done it. We're a bunch of heavy optimizing players with a GM we've played with for a very long time. So it's created a game world where we can take on most things pretty easily and then get splattered all over the walls by a wrong move. Like me thinking I could fight the guy that Feared the rest of my party alone...


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Wrath wrote:
<sigh> This really is a pointless argument. We're doing semantics.

At the risk of sounding contrary, you aren't "doing semantics". What you're doing is saying "your maths doesn't count because my experience says it never matters". Semantics is a discussion of the meanings of words.

Which, I'll be honest, is a lot less convincing than having maths and experience agreeing with each other.


Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Also - since power attack is far more useful with single attacks than full attacks - pummeling style (charge) just made it far less useful.

That bit - that bolded bit. That's a claim that needs evidencing.

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