My top eight things I dislike about Pathfinder


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Shadow Lodge

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Rynjin wrote:
Interestingly, the spell suggests that you must be next to them to read them.

You mean I can look at them and not set them off?


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(Warning. Jokes ahead that are so bad they may make You want to stab your eyes.)

Nope. You just can't look at them unless you're next to them.
now, I would like a definition of "next to".

And feet, for that matter! Who's feet?

Ooh, and dead. Define that.

Along with "lava". Does magma deal damge?

Oh, and I need scalding resistance.

Oh, and what defines "understand"? If you comprehend that something it written, you "understand" it! Or spoken!

And....

(The stupidness continues for a few hours.)


Looked at the OP, and the charm situation came to mind.

Maybe for your game yout GM takes your character and action by action dictates your moves. When I gm my game, I tell my players what they must do, often only as complex as: "Kill Lytha and Gwar, your former teammates, to the best of your knowledge and ability."


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I don't agree with all eight, but the system has ground me down with 1000 cuts so I no longer have any desire to play. The meta game of character optimisation combined with the weight of rules sapped the fun out of my gaming sessions. Too many campaigns sank for me due to game rule issues.

I like Paizo and can appreciate Pathfinder for what it is.


Here's one that I didn't see mentioned. Spell damage. So spells that deal damage, even to an area, are often-touted as the least effective spells to use, even though the 3.0 design team felt that these would be the spells most commonly used.

If you want to make a good blaster, it often involves jumping through flaming hoops of fire.

And this is the issue I have- I can crack open my old 2e PHB and look up a damage-dealing spell...then look at the same spell in Pathfinder, and find that the spell's damage is EXACTLY the same!

I mean, seriously? Monsters in 2e had d8 per HD with no modifiers (usually), and a 20th level Cleric has a maximum of 112 hit points (9d8+40, assuming 16 Con).

In this far-flung future year of 2015, a 20th level Cleric with 16 Con (and really, why isn't it higher?) plus a bog-standard FCB can have almost double that amount of hit points...and yet the spells are pretty much the same.

It's a problem, because many encounters (IMO) seem to assume someone is going to have some good area damage, but that damage is particularly lackluster- fireball is simply not good enough against enemies with CR's approaching your level.

It's a problem I want to fix, but I have no idea how, because the damage dealt by many spells seems to be some arbitrary amount of dice per caster level, and monster hit points increase exponentially (or is that logarithmically? I'm not a maths major).

Of course, I think I know the reason why. If you're going to face a magic user in Pathfinder, it's almost a given that he's going to be at least as high level as you, if not higher. A 5d6 fireball doesn't seem that great at level 5, but it's a lot more terrifying if used by level 3's.


graystone wrote:
OMG... Wall of text... Eyes bleeding... Have mercy... Paragraphs... Please think about the paragraphs...

Hurk, that had me laughing loudly for a while

Scarab Sages

Hello all, the OP here. My, this thread has grown from it's humble origins while I was studying for midterms. I just wanted to throw in some rebuttals from some of the stuff I've been seeing. I'm glad though that there is discussion of this nature.

MOST COMMON COMPLIANT: I just want an easier game, where I, as a PC, always win. This is not true. Note my second post (in response to a now-deleted post). I find most of these annoying from both sides of the GM screen.

Here's an Example:

Me as GM) Oooh! I know, I'll throw in a vampire fanboy for them to fight. Some thrall of a vampire that has a cloak of the bat and he can serve as a clue that there is a Vampire in town. Oh wait, no, Steve's playing his Domination wizard with a skyrocketed DC. IF I don't gave this guy a cloak of resistance, he'll just dominate him like and turn on his master. Even with a +5 bonus to his will saves, he'll still probably fail without some additional help. Plus, no one in the party will wear a cloak of the bat anyway, they all have resist cloaks.

8)Yes, it's fair to have big scary things be scary. It's however NOT fun to 'turn characters off.' Oh, your fighter failed that one will save with an ungodly DC? Well, go to the bathroom or boot up your Nintendo 3ds, because you won't be part of the roleplaying group for the next 15 min as you run screaming into the field.

Have scary things impose the shaken (or even staggered) condition. Have dominate effects make a character attack once and then regain their senses (like in 4th ed.) Don't just 'turn characters off for entire combats (or entire in-game DAYS)

7)Required items. I dunno, maybe I've just played too much PFS, but I've run into swarms at level 1, Demons at level 3, Regenerating oozes at level 4 . . . It FORCES you to metagame, to stock an apothecary even if your character wouldn't normally know about that, or fall to swarms/impossible DR/whatever.

6)I should have put this one as number 8 on my list and bumped the others up. I just find it annoying that my Samurai who doesn't have perception will ALWAYS, ALWAYS fall for EVERY ambush ever conceived. I'm not saying she should be immune to them, far from it, but at least give her half a chance!

5)Keen-eyed readers may have noted that I said that these suck if you CAN'T FIND HELP. I've played with some jerk GMs that have the group wandering around in a dungeon from level 3-5. Nowhere to buy a scroll of remove blindness/deafness down there. And 375 GP can be a lot of money at low levels. Plus, what if your cleric is the one blinded? Who's gonna read that scroll then, even if you find one?

4)I know everyone hates 4th ed. but one thing they did right (IMO) was that EVERY cloak was a cloak of resistance, and others had bonus abilities to boot. I'd like to see stuff like that.

3) Again, I'm not saying that creatures shouldn't have abilities. I'm saying that increasing the number of attacks increases the likelihood of failing once. So full-round attacking for, say, 5 attacks in a round, with a save-or-suck on EACH attack is exponentially worse than a single attack with a save or suck.

2 & 1 ) Many agree with me on this. For the people that say that save-or-die have been 'wimpified,' since 3.5, that is true, but here's my counter-argument.

Finger of death: It is a level 7 spell, meaning you need to be a level 13 wizard to cast it. Let's say our level 13 wizard finger of deaths a level 13 Swashbuckler with 14 con. Average hitpoints for a level 13 swashbuckler with 14 con is 121. Level 13 finger of death deals 130 dmg on a failed save. OH LOOK! It IS save or die (or, save or unconscious, bleeding out on the ground). And THAT's a class with a d10 hit die. So basically, it IS a save or die spell unless you have rolld unusually high hitpoints or are playing a barbarian.

Some brought up that crits and Barbarian Death machines can do this with melee. Now sure, my level 5 samurai has crit and one-shoted someone before, but crits are not something you can just 'activate.' They are happy accidents, something that happens less than 5% of the time (because you need to confirm.) Additionally, there are SO many ways to stop melee death machines (slow down movement, stoneskin, turn incorporeal, DR, etc.) that I don't see it as such a terrible thing. But you are right, it is a problem. If I had to put a 9th thing down, I would have put down 'power creep' which allows melee types (both PC and NPC alike) to do absolutely redonkulous amounts of damage at once.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
VampByDay wrote:


7)Required items. I dunno, maybe I've just played too much PFS, but I've run into swarms at level 1, Demons at level 3, Regenerating oozes at level 4 . . . It FORCES you to metagame, to stock an apothecary even if your character wouldn't normally know about that, or fall to swarms/impossible DR/whatever.

then you probably have a different gaming ethic than your GM.


Bandw2 wrote:
VampByDay wrote:


7)Required items. I dunno, maybe I've just played too much PFS, but I've run into swarms at level 1, Demons at level 3, Regenerating oozes at level 4 . . . It FORCES you to metagame, to stock an apothecary even if your character wouldn't normally know about that, or fall to swarms/impossible DR/whatever.
then you probably have a different gaming ethic than your GM.

Well, it is PFS. There's a lot of variation. Part of the appeal is also part of the drawback - you face a very wide variety of foes. The good is that you get to experience many different aspects of the game. The bad is what VampByDay explains (or at the very least, he explains part of the bad). Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy PFS and would play it more often if I could, but there are metagame problems with it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

8)Taking control of characters away from players.

To me if you remove this from the game, I see it as not about taking away from the players, but from removing a intricate part of the game that affects PC, NPC and Creatures alike. This is part of our game and to remove it because it can affect you negatively just bothers me.

7) "Required items." (Silversheen, Alchemist's Fire, etc.)

I like this part of the game because some creatures are harder to kill then others and this is the mechanic that reflect this. You as a party can always retreat, re-plan then repeat you attack.

6)The perception skill.

I agree with this being the most used skill but with that said you still have the ability to add points to this skill with no negative implications. Yes it is not a class skill (lose 3 ranks) but by being human and having it as favoured class you can gain two so it's all in the choices you make.

5)Stuff you can't fix (at your level)

I do agree with you on this one, for within a day (24hr period) your typical party should have the ability to cure at least partial damage to PC's of whom were injured in previous battles.

4)Required magic items

Does not bother me at all, basically always been there and I want it to stay. It's another choice thing, customize your characters the way you want and let others do the same. Your forcing people to have it removed from their games instead of giving options to those that want them.

3) Monsters with debilitating abilities on every attack.

This can be a problem for sure and for many reasons stated already that I do not need to repeat.
The only answer I can see right now is make it only work for bite attacks with creatures that have this ability and get 3 attacks a round (ghoul)for it is within your groups ability to make it happen as a house rule. I just don't think it is fair to remove options from all peoples games when you have the ability to remove it from yours.

There are mechanics in the game that allow the party to investigate what they will be fighting and prepare themselves for that combat.

2)"Save or suck" & 1) Save or die

This really come down to preference and balance. For why is it not a problem to be able to cast one spell and bring someone back to life yet you reverse this and it becomes a deal breaker. By this time you are high enough level to fix the problem (being dead) and move on.

What our group does, is each party has six characters which allows for an extra PC or two in each session thus taking away the person twiddling there thumbs at the table.


VampByDay wrote:

So, don't let the title fool you. I like pathfinder . . . a lot. I play it a lot and have a great deal of fun, but that doesn't mean it's perfect. I'm not here to moan about a character I've lost or something. I've been thinking about this for a while, and I thought I'd put down some of the more glaring errors I've seen with the system. Like I said it isn't me saying the system's bad, really more like nitpicking.

As a side note, I'm speaking in generalities here. EVERY SINGLE THING I SAY HAS AN EXCEPTION OR TWO. I am not saying these are universals. I'm saying that, more often than not, these problems come up.

8)Taking control of characters away from players.
So, I don't know about you, but when I come to the role-playing table, I am there to role-play my character. That is why I hate it when the GM tells me what my character is doing. That's why I REALLY hate it when confusion/fear/charm/dominate tells me what my character is doing. My samurai bravely charges the dragon. Oh wait, he rolled a 1 on the fear aura, he runs away screaming (even though he was prepared to die to save his country) while the dragon eats the wizard. FUN TIMES! (eye rolls.)

7) "Required items." Okay, so we all know that you need magic weapons to hurt certain creatures. But lately, it seems like the game will assume that every character will have a full apothocary on your back at all times or else they will loose. Sure it makes sense for the cleric to carry holy water, but it has gotten out of hand. You need antiplague and antitoxin for particularly bad infections/poisons, alchemist fire/acid for things with regeneration, an alkali flask for oozes, sunrods or liquid sunlight to counteract deeper darkness, remember to always have a ready supply of oil of bless weapon (for those demons and devils) cold iron, mithril, AND adamantine weapons . . .

Listen, it makes sense for SOME characters to be like that. An alchemist or a ranger who's always prepared for everything, but unless EVERYONE in your party has ALL...

So for eight, did you commit seppuku? I would have rp-ed it that way. "Shamerfur dispray! I must regain my honour, KIIAAAHH HARGGGGGGGGGK! *plop*"


VampByDay wrote:

*snip*/QUOTE]

Short answer, you seem like a lot safer games than I and my groups do. Maybe it's having cut our teeth on BECMI/RC and later 2e (or Kult. in one case), but lots of your complaints seem like wanting to play the game on easy (or at least easier) mode. There's nothing inherently wrong with that and you are certainly welcome to your preferences, but some of us like it a bit more challenging than that. Unpleasant status effects, long-term penalties and having to be effing careful about throwing yourself headlong into combat with things is half the fun. Sure, that stuff is annoying then and there but pulling through and succeeding in spite of stuff like that makes it far more worthwhile afterwards.

Regarding SoD stuff, your assumptions are a bit odd. You assume equal level and frankly rather mediocre Constitution scores for some reason. Back in the day Finger of Death was dangerous even if you had a theoretically infinite amount of hit dice, barring special immunities.
Now some of the balancing factor is that it eventually got hard to fail saves - in some editions high level Fighters could only fail saves on a 1, but in general they've made things a lot safer and nicer and easier in PF than it ever was earlier. The good news is that high-level mundanes can actually take out powerful enemies in a single round unlike pre-3.x days (barring things like vorpal swords).


I think OP has a point with respect to Perception (it's too good and merging Search with Spot/Listen has created some extra logical oddities like, a Tyrannosaurus Rex is an awesome trap finder), but I don't agree on the other 7 points.


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I can't say I'm really getting all the "Well you just want to play pathfinder on easy mode!" insults, when basically none of the points mentioned in the first place have anything to do with difficulty.

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