Discussion: Are builds TOO specialized?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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...flavor? You understand that flavor is mutable right? A monk (especially with archetypes) could just as easily be a bouncer, wrestler, or really any unarmed fighter, right?

Banning a class because you don't like their flavor is ludicrous.


Aratrok wrote:

...flavor? You understand that flavor is mutable right? A monk (especially with archetypes) could just as easily be a bouncer, wrestler, or really any unarmed fighter, right?

Banning a class because you don't like their flavor is ludicrous.

What an interesting comment. Do you actually believe this...that every class/mechanic fits into every setting? Just fyi, all of the unarmed fighting classes are removed from my world, and all for the same reason: it's a corny cinematic trope that I don't much care for.

I threw the samurai out (to go along with the Cavalier and the entire Intimidate skill) because I hate the silly "non-magical buff/debuff" mechanics of stuff like Demanding Challenge and Greater Banner.

The ninja, I guess I just don't have for the sake of completeness, though if someone wanted to play a ninja as a sort of re-skinned thief/mage, I wouldn't have any problem with it.


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the secret fire wrote:
Aratrok wrote:

...flavor? You understand that flavor is mutable right? A monk (especially with archetypes) could just as easily be a bouncer, wrestler, or really any unarmed fighter, right?

Banning a class because you don't like their flavor is ludicrous.

What an interesting comment. Do you actually believe this...that every class/mechanic fits into every setting? Just fyi, all of the unarmed fighting classes are removed from my world, and all for the same reason: it's a corny cinematic trope that I don't much care for.

I threw the samurai out (to go along with the Cavalier and the entire Intimidate skill) because I hate the silly "non-magical buff/debuff" mechanics of stuff like Demanding Challenge and Greater Banner.

The ninja, I guess I just don't have for the sake of completeness, though if someone wanted to play a ninja as a sort of re-skinned thief/mage, I wouldn't have any problem with it.

I'm not sure what to say to that.


Aratrok wrote:

...flavor? You understand that flavor is mutable right? A monk (especially with archetypes) could just as easily be a bouncer, wrestler, or really any unarmed fighter, right?

Banning a class because you don't like their flavor is ludicrous.

Not really. Flavor matters. For our group, it's one of the major points of playing the game. Without the right flavor, it's nothing, and we all would have dumped the game a long time ago.

(With that said, I'm sure many reasonable DMs will allow a class if the player puts in the work of re-flavoring it to an adequate degree - "adequate" being defined as being acceptable and agreed to by both the DM and player.)


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Arnwyn wrote:
Aratrok wrote:

...flavor? You understand that flavor is mutable right? A monk (especially with archetypes) could just as easily be a bouncer, wrestler, or really any unarmed fighter, right?

Banning a class because you don't like their flavor is ludicrous.

Not really. Flavor matters. For our group, it's one of the major points of playing the game. Without the right flavor, it's nothing, and we all would have dumped the game a long time ago.

But banning a class because you don't like their flavor is "ludicrous", precisely because a class is a collection of mechanics, not a flavor.

For example, allow me to introduce Jean-Baptiste Louis Buffon de Saint-Michel, a Marseilles dock-worker and a champion of la boxe savate. Or Patrick Michael Ryan O'Neill, four time champion of Irish stand-down at the Pig and Whistle and part-time bell-ringer at St. Bridget's. Or Mestre Unikwee Washington, who runs a kalenda shop out of Vieux Carre in New Orleans. Or "Scorpion" Williams, the enforcer for the local motorcycle gang Satan's Henchmen, in Santa Seesyouwhenyouresleeping, California.

None of them have been closer to Japan than the local chow mein takeaway, but they're all built on a monk chassis.


the secret fire wrote:
Aratrok wrote:

...flavor? You understand that flavor is mutable right? A monk (especially with archetypes) could just as easily be a bouncer, wrestler, or really any unarmed fighter, right?

Banning a class because you don't like their flavor is ludicrous.

What an interesting comment. Do you actually believe this...that every class/mechanic fits into every setting?

What an interesting comment. Can you name a setting in which one person punching another person doesn't fit?


Orfamay Quest wrote:
But banning a class because you don't like their flavor is "ludicrous", precisely because a class is a collection of mechanics, not a flavor.

I'm not sure how true that is. (Or rather: some have a lot more inherent/built-in flavor than others. PF is especially bad for it, AFAIC.)

I never said re-skinning was impossible. I do believe, however, some classes have flavor built in, and the system as presented isn't just a 'list of abilities' as much as some people think it is.

Quote:
For example, allow me to introduce /snip/

I already covered that in my previous comment.


Arnwyn wrote:
I do believe, however, some classes have flavor built in,

Yes, but the example given was a monk, which is literally the most flavorless class in existence.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
the secret fire wrote:
Aratrok wrote:

...flavor? You understand that flavor is mutable right? A monk (especially with archetypes) could just as easily be a bouncer, wrestler, or really any unarmed fighter, right?

Banning a class because you don't like their flavor is ludicrous.

What an interesting comment. Do you actually believe this...that every class/mechanic fits into every setting?
What an interesting comment. Can you name a setting in which one person punching another person doesn't fit?

I didn't ban punching, you silly man, only the idea that it isn't an inferior option to using an actual weapon.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Arnwyn wrote:
I do believe, however, some classes have flavor built in,
Yes, but the example given was a monk, which is literally the most flavorless class in existence.

Are you seriously of the opinion that powers like Tongue of the Sun and Moon, Purity/Wholeness of Body and Abundant Step are flavorless? The Monk is a supernatural class. The supernatural is never flavorless.


the secret fire wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Arnwyn wrote:
I do believe, however, some classes have flavor built in,
Yes, but the example given was a monk, which is literally the most flavorless class in existence.
Are you seriously of the opinion ...

You keep using that phrase. I don't think you "seriously" know what the word "opinion" means.

In direct answer to your question, I refer you to the four monks I described a few posts upthread.


Really? Savate champions and bikers who are immune to disease and can teleport themselves, eh? Yeah, that fits into every setting.


the secret fire wrote:
Really? Savate champions and bikers who are immune to disease and can teleport themselves, eh? Yeah, that fits into every setting.

Never heard of "archetypes," have you? Despite their being mentioned upthread.

You seem to be the absolute master of Ready-Fire-Aim. You'll happily ban a character based on its stat array or the name of its class, encourage other players to murder ineffective PCs, and then complain about the sameness of the characters that pass this filter.


Heh...you seem upset.

No archetype could change my basic problem with the monk, which is the fact that I don't accept the notion that an unarmed man would ever be at anything other than a serious disadvantage against an armed man of equal training.

There is a reason humans take weapons into battle. The monk is essentially a kung fu trope. There are volumes of legend, myth and fantasy literature that feature nothing resembling a Pathfinder monk.

Apropos nothing, I never said I encourage intra-party violence, but I'm not going to step in and stop it, either.


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the secret fire wrote:


No archetype could change my basic problem with the monk, which is the fact that I don't accept the notion that an unarmed man would ever be at anything other than a serious disadvantage against an armed man of equal training.

Neither could a spellcaster. Or a dragon. Or a vampire.

You obviously are playing the wrong game.


You are fine with exceptional superhumans being able to kill monstrosities and demons with a sharp piece of metal, and exceptional superhumans being able to bend reality with magic, but not exceptional superhumans being able to kill the same foes with fists? What? (Aside, fists remain an inferior weapon. d3/x2 is below the bare minimum a weapon provides, and d6/x2 is below the bare minimum for a martial weapon)

Look, you are fundamentally interested in a different thing from this game than most people. Most players want to play a character they find interesting and fun, and the moment, as a DM, you ban a character based on your own personal preferences, you have failed to provide that. DMing is not a privilege, it does not grant you extra powers or authority beyond those of a moderator and what you need to do your job, it gives you the responsibility of ensuring that everyone that showed up has a good time. And when you're knocking down other people's good times because they're not your good times, you're actively inhibiting that.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Arnwyn wrote:
I do believe, however, some classes have flavor built in,
Yes, but the example given was a monk, which is literally the most flavorless class in existence.

C'mon now, the monk is in the same book as the fighter class, the class defined by it's complete lack of flavor.

Dark Archive

Aratrok wrote:

You are fine with exceptional superhumans being able to kill monstrosities and demons with a sharp piece of metal, and exceptional superhumans being able to bend reality with magic, but not exceptional superhumans being able to kill the same foes with fists? What? (Aside, fists remain an inferior weapon. d3/x2 is below the bare minimum a weapon provides, and d6/x2 is below the bare minimum for a martial weapon)

Look, you are fundamentally interested in a different thing from this game than most people. Most players want to play a character they find interesting and fun, and the moment, as a DM, you ban a character based on your own personal preferences, you have failed to provide that. DMing is not a privilege, it does not grant you extra powers or authority beyond those of a moderator and what you need to do your job, it gives you the responsibility of ensuring that everyone that showed up has a good time. And when you're knocking down other people's good times because they're not your good times, you're actively inhibiting that.

Ok, I'm going to have to stop you right there. It is the DM's prerogative to run whatever game by whatever rules he wants to in a home game (PFS is it's own beast). Full stop. If this guy really wants to ban Monks because they offend his sensibilities, that is his right. The DM is the one who has to enact the labor to build the world, plan the scenarios, and run the game and, therefore, he is the final arbiter. As a player, you have exactly one right: walk away. Now, if he can't attract or keep a group because of his rules, then that is his problem but at the end of the day players are guests in the DM's world.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
the secret fire wrote:


No archetype could change my basic problem with the monk, which is the fact that I don't accept the notion that an unarmed man would ever be at anything other than a serious disadvantage against an armed man of equal training.

Neither could a spellcaster. Or a dragon. Or a vampire.

You obviously are playing the wrong game.

I doubt Paizo would agree with you there. That's the beauty of Pathfinder; it can accommodate a wide variety of tastes.

If you like, I'll offer an explanation. My game world is basically a low magic setting. It's not low magic in the sense that the magic which exists is less potent than standard stuff, but in the sense that magic is, itself, quite rare, and manifests in specific ways when it is present. The particular "special effects" of the monk's supernatural abilities simply don't fit the concept that underlies the setting. It is not an arbitrary omission, nor a matter of pettiness. Lord knows, I didn't ban the class because it is unbalancing.


Aratrok wrote:

You are fine with exceptional superhumans being able to kill monstrosities and demons with a sharp piece of metal, and exceptional superhumans being able to bend reality with magic, but not exceptional superhumans being able to kill the same foes with fists? What? (Aside, fists remain an inferior weapon. d3/x2 is below the bare minimum a weapon provides, and d6/x2 is below the bare minimum for a martial weapon)

Look, you are fundamentally interested in a different thing from this game than most people. Most players want to play a character they find interesting and fun, and the moment, as a DM, you ban a character based on your own personal preferences, you have failed to provide that. DMing is not a privilege, it does not grant you extra powers or authority beyond those of a moderator and what you need to do your job, it gives you the responsibility of ensuring that everyone that showed up has a good time. And when you're knocking down other people's good times because they're not your good times, you're actively inhibiting that.

I'm not a PFS DM, and not every world is Golarion. Too many spices can ruin a soup.


Neither am I. Golarion and PFS are irrelevant to what I'm saying.


the secret fire wrote:
Aratrok wrote:

You are fine with exceptional superhumans being able to kill monstrosities and demons with a sharp piece of metal, and exceptional superhumans being able to bend reality with magic, but not exceptional superhumans being able to kill the same foes with fists? What? (Aside, fists remain an inferior weapon. d3/x2 is below the bare minimum a weapon provides, and d6/x2 is below the bare minimum for a martial weapon)

Look, you are fundamentally interested in a different thing from this game than most people. Most players want to play a character they find interesting and fun, and the moment, as a DM, you ban a character based on your own personal preferences, you have failed to provide that. DMing is not a privilege, it does not grant you extra powers or authority beyond those of a moderator and what you need to do your job, it gives you the responsibility of ensuring that everyone that showed up has a good time. And when you're knocking down other people's good times because they're not your good times, you're actively inhibiting that.

I'm not a PFS DM, and not every world is Golarion. Too many spices can ruin a soup.

Only if the person adding the spices isn't very good at seasoning.


I'm still trying to figure out how a Tetori is a kung fu trope. Every time I picture one I slap on a luchador mask. It also tosses most of the supernatural elements except for the ones it adds to supernaturally stop people from escaping it.

Shadow Lodge

This is why I make up the world as I go. So I don't have to waste my time on stuff that doesn't get used.


Out of (morbid) curiosity then, secret fire: what's your qualm with the Brawler? There's nothing supernatural about it, so it should fit in your setting, yet you (somewhat obliquely) mention banning it too.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Because it can be an unarmed fighter. He doesn't like those.


TOZ wrote:
This is why I make up the world as I go. So I don't have to waste my time on stuff that doesn't get used.

The longer I do this, the less micro-level planning I find myself doing. The meta and macro level stuff is vital, though, if you want a world that has continuity and integrity. It also helps greatly in generating micro-level content on the fly when it comes to that.

I would never say that planning is a bad idea, but yeah, it's not necessary to plan the location of every rock if you know where the hills and mountains stand.


kestral287 wrote:
Out of (morbid) curiosity then, secret fire: what's your qualm with the Brawler? There's nothing supernatural about it, so it should fit in your setting, yet you (somewhat obliquely) mention banning it too.

To be honest, I haven't taken a close look at the class yet. If a player was really interested in one, I would do so.

I have a general prejudice against the unarmed fighting trope, though, so that is part of it. I like a relatively gritty atmosphere and I don't find the idea of a person intentionally going into combat without a weapon or armor gritty, at all, but rather suicidal.

Silver Crusade

the secret fire wrote:
kestral287 wrote:
Out of (morbid) curiosity then, secret fire: what's your qualm with the Brawler? There's nothing supernatural about it, so it should fit in your setting, yet you (somewhat obliquely) mention banning it too.

To be honest, I haven't taken a close look at the class yet. If a player was really interested in one, I would do so.

I have a general prejudice against the unarmed fighting trope, though, so that is part of it. I like a relatively gritty atmosphere and I don't find the idea of a person intentionally going into combat without a weapon or armor gritty, at all, but rather suicidal.

I'm going to burst your bubble a little bit: any martial class can do the unarmed fighting thing. The only penalty pathfinder imposes on it is a crappy damage die and critical rating. Get your attack bonus and base damage modifier high enough and it doesn't matter.

Honestly, for the type of game you want you should probably just stick to E6 or lower. Then, maybe, the disadvantage of unarmed and unarmored might be relevant.


the secret fire wrote:
I have a general prejudice against the unarmed fighting trope, though, so that is part of it. I like a relatively gritty atmosphere and I don't find the idea of a person intentionally going into combat without a weapon or armor gritty, at all, but rather suicidal.

Whereas I find it fantastic. :)


I think someone doesn't understand real world martial arts if they think being unarmed is always a disadvantage to using weapons and heavy plate.

Not to mention PF superhuman high-level martial arts

(But then again secret fire plays a game that barely resembles PF, so maybe in that game monks just don't make sense)

Paizo Glitterati Robot

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Locking. I think this thread has overstayed its welcome and it seems that we can't seem to dial back the grar here.

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