I can't believe I'm saying this, but I want a new edition...


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Go home Sarge, the war's over already.

Battles end, son. The war goes on.


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wakedown wrote:

I see that folks still don't fully get the point of bounded accuracy.

It's simple enough that I think almost everyone gets the point. They just dont like how it was done, at least those who prefer PF anyway.


Anzyr wrote:
Morzadian wrote:


Martial characters care about magical items. Spell-casters care about them too but often they can imitate their effects through spells.

Martial characters need magical items for without them the caster/martial divide just gets that much larger.

The whole Pathfinder magic item christmas tree syndrome is purely myth. Looking at a large amount of magic items through a narrative framework rather than adding narrative or historical or philosophical depth to magic items.

For example:

+1 bastard sword

Bloodreaver is a hand and a half sword, 4 feet in length with a triple fullered blade that is 3 feet long from steel cross-guard to sharply tapered tip. The blade is Garuskka steel, razor sharp, serrated along one edge, and is dark as the night’s sky.

There are faint red ripples in the black steel indicating it is spell-forged, a light and astonishingly durable blade tailor made to a fighting style that combines strength with speed.

Inscribed along the length of its blade are Aerdi runes, and the transcription reads: ‘I am Bloodreaver, a cruel sword; I will maim those I cannot destroy, and cause fear in the hearts I cannot maim.’ It is adorned with a grotesque half-gnoll, half-troll-head pommel made of granite stone.

Your first two sentences kind of confuse me since they seem at odds with one another. You are correct that magic items are way more important to martials the casters, who can often replicate their effects and get the +X bonuses from spells. But martials needing to get those effects and +X bonuses from magic items is part of what the Christmas tree effect is talking about.

My proposed solution in for people who want to make magic items "special" is that you make them... well actually special. There is nothing special about a +1 sword. Let's take a look at some examples of what I mean by actually special items:

Maiming Shard - This thin grey stone is very unusually shaped, appearing identical to thin dagger with a larger than normal blade. This...

These are ideas I would use, but some GM's think that by making magic items rare that the player or character is going to become attached to them. It doesn't work like that. Throw in a practical magic item with an effect that can not be purchased in the game(in any book), then the item will be special.


Well, rare and powerful can do the trick. The problem is most of the abilities in the books suck, there are only a few that are truly worthwhile.


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Tacticslion wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:

Ashiel's post puts me in mind of something else I always wondered. I haven't really hunkered down and thought it out, so the answers are probably pretty obvious. ^_^

A lot of people seem to want a system where magic items aren't calculated into PC power level. I always wondered, in a system like that, how can you drop fabulous treasures into the game? Wouldn't it make the PCs slightly and/or wildly overpowered?

Thank you in advance. (So sleepy - will follow up tomorrow)

Well, uh, one idea might look like this...

(Or, if you prefer, in the insomnia thread.)

I mentioned 18% WBL, by the way, but I wouldn't really run it that way myself (and even if I did, I'd take the caps off for 19th and 20th level, because you've already "paid" for what you're getting gold-value wise).

Basically, pull a wraithstrike, and do something like,

wraithstrike wrote:

Not really. If the power, as in +1's and 2's, are built into the character then it gets rid of the need for the magic items. That way things such as slippers of spider climbing, wind fans, wings of flying, or an instant fortress become items people will actually pay for, or keep if they find them.

Since the items won't be needed you can either reduce WBL by at something like 75% or get rid of it altogether since you won't have to worry about choosing the +5 armor to stop you from getting hit as much. Instead you can keep the +1 flying armor of disguise that is cooler thematically, but it wont help your frontliner live as long.

The other alternate option is, as Ashiel pointed out, spells combined with the idea of constant or continual durations. Some of these aren't cost effective, comparatively, while some are.

The only problem with this is that it takes up game resources and real life time to cast all of these spells. I think both solutions can work however. You just have to do what is more immersive for your group as a GM.

One thing I am looking at is reflavoring the +1 bonuses in Unchained to be "you are better at using armor", and it won't stack with any enhancement bonuses, just like keen and improved critical don't stack.


Bill Dunn wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:


Once you've got people bandying around terms like "lying" when what you really have is a different point of view, you've got edition warring. And we have had it in this thread both before and after your post.

Or you know "number porn" or "endless treadmill" or whatever else you wanted to pull out before.

Incidentally, in the follow-up clarification, it was not the edition that was a lie (which was apologized for), but the edition as presented within arguments which is.

I'm going to disagree a bit here. It's not taking shots at an edition of a game that's edition warring. Criticism goes on all the time, always has, always will whether you're talking about QWLF, murder hobos, treadmills, number porn, video-gamey, roll-playing, or less emotion-laden terms.

It's the taking shots at and misrepresenting the people and their motivations that's the real hallmark of edition warring.

And now the goal posts are being moved to edition warring.

Last week it was AD&D 5th level Fighters were scared of orcs (just like in D&D 5e), peasants could kill dragons (in earlier editions) and all Pathfinder characters are demigods.

Just a few misrepresentations, just a few.


@ Wraithstrike: EX Enhancement Bonuses? I could dig it.

Do please include a way for monks to benefit though, making it armor exclusive screws them out of it.


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Morzadian wrote:

Rodney Thompson (WOTC designer) on bounded accuracy:

"The basic premise behind the bounded accuracy system is simple: we make no assumptions on the DM's side of the game that the player's attack and spell accuracy, or their defenses, increase as a result of gaining levels.

Instead, we represent the difference in characters of various levels primarily through their hit points, the amount of damage they deal, and the various new abilities they have gained.

Furthermore, gaining levels grants the characters new capabilities, which go much farther toward making your character feel different than simple numerical increases."

Bounded Accuracy was never about restraining the RNG. Simplified math, story over mechanics, and having a fixed challenge rating system.

In D&D 5e challenges are fixed, no more punching above your weight, because it's impossible to take on more powerful creatures outside your 'challenge rating'

Thanks for this quote.

To me the ability to more easily defeat a skeleton or wolf lets me know how much I have grown, and have far I have come. Sometimes I will throw old enemies at players, that gave them problems before. By defeating the same encounter much more easily they know they are different.

PS: I am not using your post, not saying you agree or disagree with the quoted statement.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Morzadian wrote:

Rodney Thompson (WOTC designer) on bounded accuracy:

"The basic premise behind the bounded accuracy system is simple: we make no assumptions on the DM's side of the game that the player's attack and spell accuracy, or their defenses, increase as a result of gaining levels.

Instead, we represent the difference in characters of various levels primarily through their hit points, the amount of damage they deal, and the various new abilities they have gained.

Furthermore, gaining levels grants the characters new capabilities, which go much farther toward making your character feel different than simple numerical increases."

Bounded Accuracy was never about restraining the RNG. Simplified math, story over mechanics, and having a fixed challenge rating system.

In D&D 5e challenges are fixed, no more punching above your weight, because it's impossible to take on more powerful creatures outside your 'challenge rating'

This. I really like this. I like that a massive group of common villagers armed with nothing but torches and pitch forks can kill a flesh golem. They have a good leader with them (someone like a bard), they can be organized into a serious fighting force.

Its like fighting a dragon in Skyrim. The first dragon you fight, you have a whole bunch of soldiers from Whiterun fighting with you. As you go up in level, you do enough damage to handle it with you and your housecarl and later just you. Your ability to hit it doesn't have to change any, just the amount of damage you can put out compared to the dragon's hp vs the amount of damage the dragon can put out vs your hp.

I want a large group of kobold to be a threat to players 10th level players instead of just, "Ok, lets just hand wave this. What did they all have. We kill them all and we didn't get a scratch on us except for the one guy that got the lucky crit. Either way, a night's rest and I'm fine." I never liked that. I do agree that a group should graduate from kobolds pretty quickly, but if I wanted to throw in a kobold fight in at 10th level just to vary up the adventure and still stick with the theme, that's entirely reasonable instead of:
GM: "A horde of kobolds charge at you."
Player 1: "Ok, they're dead. Now what."

With a bound accuracy, the fighter has extra attacks and can take out 2-3 kobolds in a round while the wizard is slinging fireballs, taking out a good number at once. The rogue ignores the horde and goes after their leader. Even the cleric doesn't have to heal every round since the party has more than enough hit points to survive the encounter. He can instead focus on a few attack spells, spells that reduce the damage or just hitting the kobold with the mace.


Morzadian wrote:
Seerow wrote:

The conversation has moved on the the HP debate thing, so I'm just going to let that drop. I will concede that in Pathfinder at least it seems pretty clear that hp is a very direct correlation to toughness; but stand by my belief that the game would be better off on the whole with a separation between health and wounds so that restoring HP is not restricted to magic only.

Morzadian wrote:


I don't necessarily disagree with you. But I do think how you treat magic items plays a big part in their importance.

Players have limited money and they can make a decision on how they want to upgrade or customise their character. Take that freedom of customisation away and everything becomes very sameish.

** spoiler omitted **

One thing I am experimenting with right now with my group is cutting wealth down dramatically (in practice more limiting the purchasing of custom magic items, encouraging the players to work with what they find and invest extra money into non-magical stuff), but allowing the players to buy the effects of the "big 6" plus some assorted other more low-key effects with their experience.

So players still get choices in how to upgrade (rather than just automatically gaining passive bonuses to all of the major +X categories), just on a track that's separate from magic items. Most of the +X items just cease existing entirely (if they show up on a loot table or on an enemy in an AP, they become the equivalent amount of gold instead), and any remaining magic items tend to be of the more interesting utility variety.

From other posts I think it's becoming common for some experimentation with how and what kind of magical items are introduced into Pathfinder.

I'm currently playing in a campaign that has a ban on ability enhancement magical items. Not sure if that's a good thing, have to wait and see I guess (currently 6th level).

edit: hmm using what magical items they find, interesting. This means something

How is DR being dealt with? Is the GM going back to you needing silver or alignment based weapons?


Zilvar2k11 wrote:
ryric wrote:
I guess I'm not a fan of "I'm not going to give you actual magic items, instead you'll get innate bonuses that duplicate those items in every way just to make the math work." I'd rather fix the math.

Isn't that sort of a strawman? Skimming through this thread, I'm seeing 'I want magic items to be meaningful' and 'I like christmas trees' on either side of the aisle, and nowhere do I see 'I'm not going to give you actual magic items..'.

What I am seeing is a lot of commentary that magic items should be something unique or special or awesome and not Just Another Plus 1. That's a lot of things, but it's not special, and it's not awesome and it doesn't do much for your character's personal narrative when he feels like he's gotta give up SpleenSmasher The Magnificent in order to make room in his WBL to collect the orc chieftan's rather bland and unnamed plus-one-higher-generic-magical-spleensmasher.

What's wrong with 'You find a magical Brutal Spleensmasher', and because it's magical you automatically get +bab/4 to hit and damage, and hey, Brutal does YYY.

Or 'You find The Spleeninator, long lost spleensmasher of the Hill Dworks of OverThereThataway', and it is (insert game terms here).

Sure, you CAN do that today, but 3 rooms later when the miniboss drops a Plus-One-More-Than-Before! Bane Spleensmasher, you're just going to throw away that other one because this one is just much better. If it was just a choice between 'Bane' or 'Flaming' or 'Holy' or whatever, the decision becomes a little more organic and, maybe, meaningful.

The idea is for the "Plus-One-More-Than-Before! Bane Spleensmasher" to never exist. Otherwise it defeats the point of the original one, and it being unique.


kyrt-ryder wrote:

@ Wraithstrike: EX Enhancement Bonuses? I could dig it.

Do please include a way for monks to benefit though, making it armor exclusive screws them out of it.

Monks can wear bracers of armor, and they can get good AC so I would just give it a delayed progression for them. The built in bonuses would also remove the need for the amulet of mighty fist, if they chose to be unarmed, but if they did get one, they could just put on special abilities of their choosing. If I ever took the time to work this out, I think it would go well.


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wraithstrike wrote:
Morzadian wrote:
Seerow wrote:

The conversation has moved on the the HP debate thing, so I'm just going to let that drop. I will concede that in Pathfinder at least it seems pretty clear that hp is a very direct correlation to toughness; but stand by my belief that the game would be better off on the whole with a separation between health and wounds so that restoring HP is not restricted to magic only.

Morzadian wrote:


I don't necessarily disagree with you. But I do think how you treat magic items plays a big part in their importance.

Players have limited money and they can make a decision on how they want to upgrade or customise their character. Take that freedom of customisation away and everything becomes very sameish.

** spoiler omitted **

One thing I am experimenting with right now with my group is cutting wealth down dramatically (in practice more limiting the purchasing of custom magic items, encouraging the players to work with what they find and invest extra money into non-magical stuff), but allowing the players to buy the effects of the "big 6" plus some assorted other more low-key effects with their experience.

So players still get choices in how to upgrade (rather than just automatically gaining passive bonuses to all of the major +X categories), just on a track that's separate from magic items. Most of the +X items just cease existing entirely (if they show up on a loot table or on an enemy in an AP, they become the equivalent amount of gold instead), and any remaining magic items tend to be of the more interesting utility variety.

From other posts I think it's becoming common for some experimentation with how and what kind of magical items are introduced into Pathfinder.

I'm currently playing in a campaign that has a ban on ability enhancement magical items. Not sure if that's a good thing, have to wait and see I guess (currently 6th level).

edit: hmm using what magical items they find, interesting. This means something

How...

We had some trouble fighting some DR 5 monsters (we didn't have a magic weapon at that point) but the bull's strength spell on the party's fighter combined with power attack pushed us over the line.

It railroads character design a bit, ability score increases (at 4th level etc.) are more important and go on primary ability scores because that's all we get.

Changes the Pathfinder game considerably, but we are all still enjoying ourselves looking at alternative solutions to the many challenges we face.


wraithstrike wrote:
The idea is for the "Plus-One-More-Than-Before! Bane Spleensmasher" to never exist. Otherwise it defeats the point of the original one, and it being unique.

Well, of course. That's why I said it can be done in the current rules, just poorly very poorly. A player will eventually find a weapon that's plus-one-better-than-before until they reach the enhancement cap.

Making magical a generic thing that provides a scaling bonus is one way to work around that. Then the Brutal Spleensmasher can have a little bit of a unique writeup and history and maybe does more than just rerollings 1's and 2's.


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Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Morzadian wrote:

Rodney Thompson (WOTC designer) on bounded accuracy:

"The basic premise behind the bounded accuracy system is simple: we make no assumptions on the DM's side of the game that the player's attack and spell accuracy, or their defenses, increase as a result of gaining levels.

Instead, we represent the difference in characters of various levels primarily through their hit points, the amount of damage they deal, and the various new abilities they have gained.

Furthermore, gaining levels grants the characters new capabilities, which go much farther toward making your character feel different than simple numerical increases."

Bounded Accuracy was never about restraining the RNG. Simplified math, story over mechanics, and having a fixed challenge rating system.

In D&D 5e challenges are fixed, no more punching above your weight, because it's impossible to take on more powerful creatures outside your 'challenge rating'

This. I really like this. I like that a massive group of common villagers armed with nothing but torches and pitch forks can kill a flesh golem. They have a good leader with them (someone like a bard), they can be organized into a serious fighting force.

Heh, this is pretty funny. The quote talks about nobody 'punching above their weight...' when that's exactly what is happening in this villager scenario you bring up.

That being said, I'd like to present two counterpoints to your Frankenstein scenario.

First: Frankenstein's Monster was- materially- a Flesh Golem, but there's no way in hell he was a CR 7 creature. More like CR 3-4. This is a problem of the system presenting us with flat monsters instead of monster levels to build creatures from.

Second: in Pathfinder a large group of villagers [especially lead by a bard] will defeat a single flesh golem. Every slam it uses will knock out and potentially kill a villager, but it only has DR 5. Spears [and by extension I will assume Pitchforks] deal 1d8+Strength damage. Most commoners are stated with a +1 strength bonus, so thats 1d8+1. Bardsong [perhaps it's the Mayer using Perform: Oratory?] raises that to 1d8+2.

Flanking and Aid Another and Bardsong raises our villager's attack bonus from +1 to +6, giving them a 30% chance to hit, with a better than 50% chance to deal at least 1 point of damage on a hit.

Lets say your village is too small to handle the losses they would suffer under this setup? The answer is a pitfall trap with a bottom full of fuelwood and alcohol or lamp oil or similar. Lure the golemn into the trap and drop a torch. Golem takes 1d6 fire damage per round until it is nothing but charcoal

Quote:

I want a large group of kobold to be a threat to players 10th level players instead of just, "Ok, lets just hand wave this. What did they all have. We kill them all and we didn't get a scratch on us except for the one guy that got the lucky crit. Either way, a night's rest and I'm fine." I never liked that. I do agree that a group should graduate from kobolds pretty quickly, but if I wanted to throw in a kobold fight in at 10th level just to vary up the adventure and still stick with the theme, that's entirely reasonable instead of:

GM: "A horde of kobolds charge at you."
Player 1: "Ok, they're dead. Now what."

I agree that a large group of kobolds should be a threat to 10th level characters but NEVER in a standup fight.

Tactics and strategy should win the day here. Otherwise the Fighter should be laying waste to half a dozen or more every round, while the Wizard is giggling with glee for actually being able to whipe out hordes with his AoE's for once [if he prepared any. Then again having a wand or two on hand for such occasions might be wise.]


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Stealing ideas from Pillars of Eternity, how about all +X enchantments are made into mundane levels of how well made the weapon is in general?

Base price only gets you something hammered together by the peasant blacksmith. Improperly balanced, dull edge, bad iron. Current masterwork rules are just boring and bad, throw away quality in gear that players meet at very early levels before it is forgotten when the first enchantment levels step in.

Instead of poor magic items, you could remove the magic and just have poor items. If you want the math, you can have it. If you just want to get the bigger number weapon, you can have it. Reducing the amount of magic does not have to mean taking the math away too if people really want that. Just have poor, normal, fine and superb gear. No longer do you need to give NPCs magical items, no longer do lvl 3 orcs have to walk around in masterwork gear to challenge the players.

And magical items are even more magical!

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Zilvar2k11 wrote:
ryric wrote:
I guess I'm not a fan of "I'm not going to give you actual magic items, instead you'll get innate bonuses that duplicate those items in every way just to make the math work." I'd rather fix the math.

Isn't that sort of a strawman? Skimming through this thread, I'm seeing 'I want magic items to be meaningful' and 'I like christmas trees' on either side of the aisle, and nowhere do I see 'I'm not going to give you actual magic items..'.

What I am seeing is a lot of commentary that magic items should be something unique or special or awesome and not Just Another Plus 1. That's a lot of things, but it's not special, and it's not awesome and it doesn't do much for your character's personal narrative when he feels like he's gotta give up SpleenSmasher The Magnificent in order to make room in his WBL to collect the orc chieftan's rather bland and unnamed plus-one-higher-generic-magical-spleensmasher.

What's wrong with 'You find a magical Brutal Spleensmasher', and because it's magical you automatically get +bab/4 to hit and damage, and hey, Brutal does YYY.

Or 'You find The Spleeninator, long lost spleensmasher of the Hill Dworks of OverThereThataway', and it is (insert game terms here).

Sure, you CAN do that today, but 3 rooms later when the miniboss drops a Plus-One-More-Than-Before! Bane Spleensmasher, you're just going to throw away that other one because this one is just much better. If it was just a choice between 'Bane' or 'Flaming' or 'Holy' or whatever, the decision becomes a little more organic and, maybe, meaningful.

Fair enough, I can see how what I wrote can be interpreted that way. Let me rephrase: "I'm not going to give you actual + bonus magic items, instead you'll get innate bonuses that duplicate those items in every way just to make the math work." I'd still rather fix the math. Otherwise you're still "getting" those "boring" items, you've just reflavored it, with the slight power-up that the items can't be taken away or suppressed. Personally I'd rather have the magic item than just have rules that all the numbers arbitrarily go up at certain levels, independent of class.

Dale McCoy Jr wrote:

This. I really like this. I like that a massive group of common villagers armed with nothing but torches and pitch forks can kill a flesh golem. They have a good leader with them (someone like a bard), they can be organized into a serious fighting force.

Its like fighting a dragon in Skyrim. The first dragon you fight, you have a whole bunch of soldiers from Whiterun fighting with you. As you go up in level, you do enough damage to handle it with you and your housecarl and later just you. Your ability to hit it doesn't have to change any, just the amount of damage you can put out compared to the dragon's hp vs the amount of damage the dragon can put out vs your hp.

I want a large group of kobold to be a threat to players 10th level players instead of just, "Ok, lets just hand wave this. What did they all have. We kill them all and we didn't get a scratch on us except for the one guy that got the lucky crit. Either way, a night's rest and I'm fine." I never liked that. I do agree that a group should graduate from kobolds pretty quickly, but if I wanted to throw in a kobold fight in at 10th level just to vary up the adventure and still stick with the theme, that's entirely reasonable instead of:
GM: "A horde of kobolds charge at you."
Player 1: "Ok, they're dead. Now what."

With a bound accuracy, the fighter has extra attacks and can take out 2-3 kobolds in a round while the wizard is slinging fireballs, taking out a good number at once. The rogue ignores the horde and goes after their leader. Even the cleric doesn't have to heal every round since the party has more than enough hit points to survive the encounter. He can instead focus on a few attack spells, spells that reduce the damage or just hitting the kobold with the mace.

But this isn't what I want out of a game like D&D or Pathfinder. It's a fine mechanic, and I love games like Savage Worlds where a random mook can hit your legendary guy for 34 damage occasionally - but I love them for their own things. In D&D/PF I want high levels to be able to mow down standard kobolds and goblins like they were wheat. I want to laugh at the troll that used to be scary as I casually swat it down like Neo at the end of the first Matrix. There is a niche for "zero to hero" gameplay and currently PF fills that niche. Your kobold encounter doesn't have to be boring - sure it may be tactically a foregone conclusion, but at least in my games the players would have great time roleplaying with foes that were so woefully out of their league.

Your Skyrim example reminds me of one of the reasons I can never replay Elder Scrolls games, and in fact tend to have to force myself to finish them - leveling hurts you. I strongly dislike RPGs that scale by having all the foes level with you, because unless you optimize to a certain extent, the game can get nearly impossibly hard at high levels.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

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Since we're on the wish list of think we want in a new edition:

I want masterwork to really mean something. I don't want every Tom, Dick, and Harry that is 3rd level and above to have a masterwork weapon. I want, "Six-fingered man commissioned a special sword. My father slaved a year on it." I want masterwork to be something that no one short of 10th level gets. Sure you have your flaming sword at 4th level, but it is not "masterwork." A masterwork sword can have twice as many magical properties as a regular old sword. The same magical properties are more powerful on a masterwork sword. And there should be a table of quirks and/or backstories stories for masterwork weapons. I want them RARE!


Zilvar2k11 wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
The idea is for the "Plus-One-More-Than-Before! Bane Spleensmasher" to never exist. Otherwise it defeats the point of the original one, and it being unique.

Well, of course. That's why I said it can be done in the current rules, just poorly very poorly. A player will eventually find a weapon that's plus-one-better-than-before until they reach the enhancement cap.

Making magical a generic thing that provides a scaling bonus is one way to work around that. Then the Brutal Spleensmasher can have a little bit of a unique writeup and history and maybe does more than just rerollings 1's and 2's.

It could. It just depends on the weapon.

A +3 smashing face eater may not be replaced by a +5 weapon, if the smashing and face eating special abilities are worth the -2 to attack and damage, but if the weapon is gained at a very low level, then I would have it scale.

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Dale McCoy Jr wrote:

Since we're on the wish list of think we want in a new edition:

I want masterwork to really mean something. I don't want every Tom, Dick, and Harry that is 3rd level and above to have a masterwork weapon. I want, "Six-fingered man commissioned a special sword. My father slaved a year on it." I want masterwork to be something that no one short of 10th level gets. Sure you have your flaming sword at 4th level, but it is not "masterwork." A masterwork sword can have twice as many magical properties as a regular old sword. The same magical properties are more powerful on a masterwork sword. And there should be a table of quirks and/or backstories stories for masterwork weapons. I want them RARE!

This is a change I'd find fun and interesting. There was a class in one of the 3.5 Dragonlance books that let you play a master smith. You could eventually make nonmagical +5 weapons with it. The whole class had interesting ideas, like a sage that could Bluff people with Knowledge skills by throwing technobabble at them. It was pretty pathetic in combat though. Think Expert-with-class-abilities.


Dale McCoy Jr wrote:

Since we're on the wish list of think we want in a new edition:

I want masterwork to really mean something. I don't want every Tom, Dick, and Harry that is 3rd level and above to have a masterwork weapon. I want, "Six-fingered man commissioned a special sword. My father slaved a year on it." I want masterwork to be something that no one short of 10th level gets. Sure you have your flaming sword at 4th level, but it is not "masterwork." A masterwork sword can have twice as many magical properties as a regular old sword. The same magical properties are more powerful on a masterwork sword. And there should be a table of quirks and/or backstories stories for masterwork weapons. I want them RARE!

Now this, this I can dig.


I consider it a bad thing that in PF two characters attempting to fill the same role can easily end up the whole RNG apart in important areas.

Ashiel wrote:
For example, upper limits of AC in the game are probably around 70s or so for really niche corner cases (things like monk/druids w/ wild armor & shield), but anyone that looks at the meta for the game will notice that the practical limits are more like 50-60

The problem here is not that the numbers of a character scales with level. The problem is that in any given party, there will almost always be some characters that live on a completely different RNG in some areas compared to the rest of the party. And this is true for pretty much every type of check in the whole game.

I played a 10th level or so Investigator in a game where another player played a Ninja once, and I had maybe +18 higher than the Ninja in my Will Save. So enter the boss battle, and pretty much in the 1st round the Ninja was screwed over by a Save or Lose vs. Will that allowed a save each round. He needed a natural 20 to save, so he was pretty much stuck doing nothing except being really sad because usually the only spotlight his characters get in PF is as the character who keeps failing, and this caused whole scene to end up as a bad experience.

Just because everyone around the table knows one of the players is "bad" at making characters, doesn't mean we can easily help him making them. Making and playing your own character is an part important part of the experience, being the one player who always has to the GM make the character for him isn't any fun either. And once the character is made it is difficult for the rest of us to spot all the glaring weaknesses and have them corrected before it is too late.

Now the way 5e has implemented bounded accuracy is horrible, because it destroys immersion completely. The problem is that a 20th level character and a 1st level character are on the same RNG, AND damage reduction and other means of effectively shutting down low level effects pretty much do not exist. This means that a company of archers is almost as effective as high level adventurers. After all, why hire a group of 20th level adventurers who possess world altering powers (such as Wish) to slay the ancient red dragon who is terrorizing kingdoms, if a company of a couple of hundred archers using non-magical bows can achieve the same result?

A PF 2.0 should scale characters in such a way that all level appropriate effects always stay on the RNG. The rogue should never be forced to roll a natural 20 or suck in a level appropriate encounter. The mage should never be able to say LOL roll two natural 20s in a row or DIE! to a level appropriate monster. Because this is not fun. It is completely fine, and in fact desirable if characters can easily mow down hordes of mooks and are forced to run away if they run into a threat that is obviously not something they can deal with. Combat options such as All Out Attack, Fighting Defensively, and Power Attack should be real choices where the optimal answer depends upon the situation. Different builds need to be allowed to choose what they want to specialize in. And different classes need to approach the game from different angles.


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wakedown wrote:

In PFS, I've played with a number of barbarian/alchemists, who prior to entering a dungeon (one that will be completed in <1 hour of in-game time), will quaff their mutagen. They'll then proceed to rage as a free action in the first round of every combat. Sometimes they'll be paired with a buddy who is playing a bard who also uses heroism along with a lesser rod of extend.

Around 5th level, they are rocking:

+4 : BAB +4
+5 : 20 Str
+2 : Raging
+2 : Bull's Strength
+2 : Alchemist mutagen
+2 : Heroism
+2 : Bard inspire courage (5th level bard)
+1 : Weapon is +1
+1 : Weapon Focus
-0 : Power Attack (w/Furious Focus)
----
+21 to hit

There are more egregious 5th level characters than this as well.

Let's break this down. He's got...

1. A +4 Strength buff that lasts 10 minutes including a lesser extending rod.
2. Heroism.
3. A bard doing his job.
4. Three feats.
5. An item.
6. Two class features.
7. A very costly base Strength score.
8. Middling combat ability.

So I must wonder, where is the problem exactly? Both alchemist mutagen and rage have certain drawbacks and are features of his classes that are supposed to be primary draws. It's his shtick. The bard in the group is doing his job being the bard (so the idea that he's fighting a foe 1v1 is already a joke because he's getting support from his team as he should). He's invested 3 feats into fighting better, as well as a significant amount of his WBL (about 2/10ths) into his weapon, and spent a lot of his point buy on Strength (in a game where 15 PB is standard).

Seems legit. He's clearly invested much into doing more than being an average hitter.

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Now if we pop open the Bestiary and look at CR6 monsters, which if you pit one of them against the above character, you'd hope it would be a challenge...

No, you really wouldn't. Certain characters and creatures have certain types of strengths and weaknesses and you're looking at the vanilla "naked" versions of the bestiary monsters prior to their own buffs and their own treasures being applied. Most bestiary monsters have low base ACs for their CR but have a lot of AC potential or have lots of hit points or have abilities that rely on them kiting the party.

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However, our 5th level character wading through a dungeon of CR6 monsters only needs to avoid rolling a natural 1 in order to connect with every swing.

Let's have a look at this.

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ankylosaurus AC22

Ankylosaurus has a 15 ft. natural reach with a +14 to hit that deals 3d6+12 damage per hit and forces a DC 23 save or lose your actions for 1 round. The creature can very easily end up stun-locking a single foe until they pound them into paste. 3d6+12 equates to 22.5 average damage (15-30) and a 5th level alchemist's base HP is only 26, which means that even including Con modifiers, two or three hits is probably his end. Unless the alchemist can land enough hits to eat through the dinosaur's 75 HP with his single attack per round, he's probably going to die. Or he's going to resort to ranged weapons where three feats and all his buffs are wasted.

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babau AC19

The babau is a stalking demon, not a front-liner. It's strengths come from its ability to cast darkness as a SLA which it can see through, a +22 Stealth modifier that it can use with the concealment granted by its darkness, at will CL 7th dispel magic, and peerless movement via at-will greater teleport. It carries a reach weapon that it can poke with for 1d8+7+2d6 (18.5 average) before moving and Stealthing again. The monster's weakness is martial characters thanks to its low AC, while it's defenses make it troublesome for spellcasters (resistance 10 to most elements, immunity to poisons and electricity, and SR 17). Of course it also has DR 10/cold iron or good, which means that the alchemist needs to be packing the right sort of stick or else he's eating a lot of lost damage (-10 erases his Power Attack and Rage benefits and then a little more).

The Babau is also one of the worst things that could happen to the alchemist. Thanks to its Stealth and mobility, it's nothing for the babau to simply kite the melee-mist around and strip him of all of his buffs with his dispel magic, which depowers the alchemist for future battles as well unless the buffs are all reapplied which costs resources and/or time. If the alchemist does not have darknvision, the alchemist is just dead.

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bralani AC20

This is a horrible fight for the alchemist and potentially for the alchemist's party. The bralani can negate the entirety of the alchemist's melee potential and ranged potential by simply flying up and casting wind wall, at which point there's basically nothing the alchemist-barbarian can do to hurt it. It also has charm person at will, meaning it can attempt to stall a fight and turn the party against itself. Alternatively, terrain allowing, it can fly to a better location and trade ranged attacks with its foes which is a fight it will win if the foes aren't using cold-iron arrows. It also has blur at will, meaning that in addition to its AC it has a 20% avoidance chance and is immune to sneak attacks due to the concealment. On top of that, it has at-will mirror image for 1d4+2 images, meaning that the 1 hit / round alchemist can very well be murdered in melee before she ever ever takes a hit.

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ettin AC18

An ettin is a damager monster. It has perfect two weapon fighting and 4 attacks per round, each dealing about 13 damage per hit and it has a large natural reach. In this case it's mostly about who can kill the other first, and the Ettin has the advantage since the alchemist has only 1 attack/round and moving in and making his 1 attack opens him up for the full attack.

However, the ettin is a buff-magnet. You've been comparing a very buffed and geared alchemist to a very naked and unbuffed ettin. In a mixed encounter, the ettin is also receiving buffs from his allies and quickly becomes quite formidable. For example, if the Ettin receives a bull's strength and enlarge person spell, the ettin now has a huge reach advantage and will grind anything it full attacks into paste. They are just as valid targets for spells like heroism as anyone else. Just as the barbarian/alchemist is getting lots of support from his team, NPCs can do the same.

Ettins also have "other treasures" not listed in their statblock which is where the GM determines what the ettin has. These may include things like a potion of enlarge person which the ettin can use against enemies even if he's alone.

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girallon AC18

Girallons are found in "warm forests" according to their ecology and they have a 40 ft. climb speed and a +5 Stealth. A garillon that's 40 ft. in the air has an effective +9 Stealth, which means it poses a real threat of getting a surprise round. It can charge down the tree during a surprise round and end up in melee against whomever is unfortunate enough to be at the bottom of the tree. It has a very high Initiative modifier and if it begins its turn in melee with someone, they could very well be in big trouble. Since the garallon is large sized it has a natural reach advantage that makes getting it off of you pretty difficult once it's there (because you cannot simply withdraw away).

Garallons are also buff magnets. If you encounter one outside of the wild it may very well be trained (see Handle Animal) and a sort of guard-dog for a big bad. At which point the garralon might be subject to all sorts of nasty improvements. Especially true if it's in the service of druids.

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half-fiend minotaur

The best matchup for the alchemist so far, like most of the other outsiders this is more of a challenge for the casters (your martials like the alchemist are supposed to come in handy here). The minotaur has flight and some SLAs that you have to worry about. If you're not a dwarf or half-orc or something, the darkness SLA will make the battle very hard for you. Most of its special attacks are only dangerous vs good-aligned foes.

However, the half-fiend minotaur is a good support for certain encounters. Its desecrate SLA makes it ideal for pairing up with necromancers and it makes a solid target for buffs. When allied with other evil-aligned creatures it can fly around and try to drop on VIP targets while dropping darkness spells and a unholy blight spell without fear of harming its allies. Thanks to its resistances and SR, it's also a fairly safe ally to drop AoE effects on to apply pressure to a group.

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kyton AC17

The kyton is a tormentor enemy and I don't merely mean in terms of fluff. I mean that it's just really good at kiting, tormenting, and being a problem for enemies. It can animate chains into full attacking for it as a standard action (and chains are cheap) while it kites enemies around. This is exacerbated by the fact its own chains that it holds are reach weapons making it ideal for it to keep kiting foes about and getting them to waste time trying to break chains or getting wailed on by foes trying to chase him down.

His regeneration isn't super strong but it's really hard to overcome at this level unless you're packing silver weapons. Combined with his natural penchant for drawing out a fight, it's possible for the kyton to milk it very effectively. An encounter with a kyton can be an encounter with the room you're fighting in. He also has a gaze attack that means every round everyone has to make a save or become shaken for 1d3 rounds. There is no limit to how frequently you can be affected and if you fail the save twice in a row you become frightened (because fear effects stack).

The chains also have no reason to not attempt to do things like trip you because you cannot attempt to counter-trip the kyton, so it's very easy for him to do things like pester people who try to rush through the chains to get to him.

The kyton is very thematic. Making you feel most frustrated while you slowly die one tiny cut at a time...

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lamia AC20

The lamia is an annoying monster and potentially very deadly. Her 60 ft. speed means that withdrawing and kiting enemies is really effective. If she happens to be using a ranged weapon (she's proficient with slings and crossbows) she might even try the kiting thing. More often however, she'll use spells like mirror image and major image to make herself difficult to hit and full-attack people who get close to her. Her deep slumber is fortunately only 1/day, which is good because that can lead to her one-shotting someone.

Her wisdom-draining touch is debilitating mostly to divine casters but leaves a hurtful mark on her foes even after she has been defeated. It also makes it harder to see through her illusions and to resist her charm monster SLA, which can turn someone against their party if they fail their opposed Charisma check (is Charisma your prime stat?). It is most troublesome when she combines it with her Spring Attack feat to hit foes with wisdom drain. Against certain foes it's actually a really effective way of shutting down a character since most players will have a 14 Wisdom at best at this level, which means that a few good whacks with the wisdom drain means it's lights out. If the Lamia trades out Great Fortitude for Vital Strike, you might be in big trouble when she surprises you with 2d4 wisdom drain.

For the record, she gets 1d4+3 mirror images which is pretty damn good even if the alchemist can hit her on a 1 when targeting her AC only. She like most monsters is also a really good recipient for buffs or alternative gear. She can use weapons other than daggers (such as a morning star or shortspear or longspear).

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salamander AC18

The salamander is found on the elemental plane of fire but might also be in the services of a wizard that has planar bound the salamander. By itself it's one of the weakest CR 6 creatures that there is. It pales in comparison to pretty much all the other CR 6 enemies on the list and probably should be CR 5. However, it shines its brightest when used in a mixed group with creatures that synergize with it. Its immunity to fire makes it an ideal servant or ally with creatures that have big fire AoEs that they can lay pressure down while the salamander runs interference. This includes things like wizards, red dragons, etc. It also is at an advantage in its natural environments or anywhere where there is a lot of heat and fire (see environment chapter). Salamander is a monster that will never do well on its own but fills out a mixed group or themed encounter nicely.

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shambling mound AC19

The shambling mound is an ambush predator that if encountered in the wild is going to attack you in a marsh where its stealth and swim speed are huge factors. It has a rather massive grapple modifier and grab, so a common tactic is for it to hit with its slam, grapple for free, constrict, release grapple, repeat, which can very quickly rack up some serious pain. Shambling mounts also have an interesting immunity to electricity which serves it little defensively but makes it a potent ally when used in mixed encounters with allies.

Shambling mounds are intelligent and act as such. They are capable of forming alliances, ambushing, and so forth. They live in marshes that range from cool to warm, and the ones in warm marshes you may need to look out for because they share their habitat with an unlikely but potent ally -- the shocker lizard. These creatures are both highly likely to engage in a mutual cohabitation as the shambling mount protects them from larger predators and serves as a regular meal, while the shocker lizards are capable of super-powering a shambling mound. It's very likely that shocker lizards may live in nests of shambling mounts. Some of the more ambitious shambling mounds may even take to raising shocker lizards and training them.

Also...
There's quite a few other CR 6 enemies that you didn't mention that also have interesting challenges and might pretty much wreck Mr. Alchemist, including young white dragons, will o' whisps, wyverns, etc.

But all of these creatures are presented in their vanilla, naked states, because it's easier to add on than it is to remove. Instead of fulling gearing them up in treasures and stuff, a few basic sample items may be involved and the GM can assign what is appropriate for their treasure values and the needs of his or her campaign.

Here you are comparing a very buffed PC using the resources of multiple PCs, wealth, and class features and comparing them to unbuffed creatures. It's like saying "Well my PC with X, Y, and Z buff can destroy that guy who has no buffs". It's kind of a "well duh" moment.

So the "bounded accuracy" basically comes down to "does it matter"? Bounded accuracy means no, it does not matter. If your naked and unbuffed characters are not at a major disadvantage against geared and buffed foes, then there is a problem. At least from where I'm sitting. I want things like the class features, spells, abilities, and tactics to really play big roles in fights and encounters. I don't want it to just be two guys rolling attack rolls against each other until one falls down.

Meanwhile, I also want the advancement of the character to matter, so I don't want it to be where a +2 bonus accounts for 8 levels of a character's total progression.

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Bounded accuracy can set bounds on characters so that they are built out to be more well-rounded versus obviating the hit/AC/damage/HP part of the game.

They already can and those that do tend to be the most successful because they can adapt and deal with a wider range of foes. He's very strong against enemies weak against his main shtick (melee attacks) and his level of specialization should very well mean he does not easily fail at that thing (he's been buffed with like 6 buffs and expended 3 feats just to make him better at hitting in melee and dealing damage). He better damn well be good at it so that he has virtually no chance of failure when compared to the naked unspecced guy next to him who has a 55% chance to hit them.


ryric wrote:
Fair enough, I can see how what I wrote can be interpreted that way. Let me rephrase: "I'm not going to give you actual + bonus magic items, instead you'll get innate bonuses that duplicate those items in every way just to make the math work." I'd still rather fix the math. Otherwise you're still "getting" those "boring" items, you've just reflavored it, with the slight power-up that the items can't be taken away...

OK. Fair enough. It isn't a powerup if you use my idea (since you still need a magic weapon).

Now, so we're talking about fixing the math...what's the effective difference between having a +25 (including a +5 sword, or +5 enhancement bonus from other sources) vs a 50 AC, or having a +20 vs an AC 45.

Since fixing the math requires a lot more work, I'll tend to stick with easy solutions that yield the same results. But I'm lazy like that.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

kyrt-ryder wrote:
Heh, this is pretty funny. The quote talks about nobody 'punching above their weight...' when that's exactly what is happening in this villager scenario you bring up.

Respectfully, I disagree. The first part says.

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The basic premise behind the bounded accuracy system is simple: we make no assumptions on the DM's side of the game that the player's attack and spell accuracy, or their defenses, increase as a result of gaining levels.

Instead, we represent the difference in characters of various levels primarily through their hit points, the amount of damage they deal, and the various new abilities they have gained.

And that is exactly what I talked about. I took the last line about "punch above your weight" as more applicable to Climb check in a hurricane discussion that was going on earlier, about how a 20th level character can climb a rock wall in a hurricane and less about actually fighting higher level monsters. Reason being: in a bounded math game, if you can't defeat a monster yourself (like D&D 5e), get more people to help you defeat it. In a non-bounded math game (like Pathfinder), you can have all the quantities you want and you will never hit a monster, let alone defeat it.

Buffy is a great example of this. When they graduated HS, the entire senior class was needed to take on the final boss. Some high schooler's died. That was their job, to die, so that the rest can live. Sometimes when facing monsters that are much tougher than yourself, you need others to take the hit so the hero can deliver the final punch.

kyrt-ryder wrote:
Lets say your village is too small to handle the losses they would suffer under this setup? The answer is a pitfall trap with a bottom full of fuelwood and alcohol or lamp oil or similar. Lure the golem into the trap and drop a torch. Golem takes 1d6 fire damage per round until it is nothing but charcoal.

Sure, but that is not going to be the first time there. The villagers are going to think, "there's 20 of us and only 1 of it. Grab your pitch forks and let's attack it." Thinking something like, "We can't take it, its too difficult for us" is using out of game knowledge of how the game's mechanics work. So the first fight will be a straight up villagers vs flesh golem. When they lose half their numbers, they'll come up with the pit idea.

And sure, the kobold should use tactics. That's what makes them kobolds. A trap goes off before they spring into action. But remember what I described, this is an encounter that is an adventure that has moved beyond kobolds. The encounter serves several purposes: 1) keeping the theme of the campaign going while still providing variety in the encounters, 2) the lizardfolk and serpentfolk expect they will come out triumphant against the players, but they sent the kobolds out first since there will then be that many less mouths to feed, and 3) providing an actual threat for the adventurers with a goal of softening them up for future combats. Its that last one that you simply cannot do with Pathfinder now, not reliably with Bestiary 1 kobolds anyways. The constant march of BAB/AC means that CR 1 monsters become useless after a certain point. Bound accuracy, by comparison, means that those same monsters can be used much later in the game and still be viable, with some modifications to how they are used.


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I don't know if folks who argue against bounded accuracy are specifically influenced by believing that in order to implement it, you'd need to constrain BAB to going from say +3 at level 1 to +6 at level 20. You end up with a system of bounded accuracy by doing other things... for example, by implementing the mutagen Strength increase and the rage Strength increase as typed bonuses of the same type so they cannot be stacked. You could also implement a "no more than two" rule - that you cannot have more than 2 effects improving a single roll at a given time (and if you do, you simply take the two strongest).

Which is why I said earlier that another problem is either A) your progression gets shat on, or B) your buffs go, or C) you have lots of buffs but they don't mean anything anymore because they are entirely redundant (which is exactly what happens when you've got like 12 different buffs and none of them stack).

Oh, sorry bard, heroism doesn't stack with the cleric's divine power so your value is lessened since you're only buffing the ranger and yourself. Sorry ranger, your favored enemy is cool but it doesn't stack with your bane weapon. Sorry alchemist, your Dr. Jeckle/Mr. Hyde build doesn't work together so your hybrid between Mr. Bombs the Alchemist and Mr. Bash the Barbarian just means you suck rather than being really cool at this one thing that enjoys synergy between your features.


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Further, setting an upper limit doesn't actually change anything because there's already an upper limit for each level range based on what buffs you can bring to the table. There are averages for AC prior to being buffed. Every example of bounded accuracy that has been made for the pro crowd either results in buff/gear choices no longering making much difference or the exact same result.

Your bard provides a major advantage here (using metamagic rods + heroism and bull's strength and such) as well as inspire courage. If we replace the bard with a Ranger, your potency drops. Naturally we're not going to have monsters that assume that every party is going to be buffed to hilt, just like every party doesn't have to assume that every encounter is going to be either. But parties with strong synergy can often take normal encounters with less difficulty. This is called "doing well" and it's not a bad thing.

If your party's cleric makes some burning bloody skeleton meat shields so your wizard can cast fireball at them in the mix, that's good play. It's synergizing their abilities to tilt the odds drastically in their favor.

This bounded accuracy crap breaks everything. It screws up progressions and no matter what it has to ruin buffs and debuffs and tactical play, because it doesn't matter. If the naked unbuffed orc at 1st level still has a solid chance of messing with you through you awesome full plate of epicness and your druid's barkskin, what's the point?


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It also creates a situation where it's harder to design good encounters because lucky rolls can mean way more than they would otherwise. I can throw a dozen orcs into an encounter on the cheap for a party of 11th level characters to serve as aiders, meat walls, and buff-bunnies, and know that the probability of one of them smashing one of the PCs with their greataxe for 3d12+9 damage is really low (they've got a 5% chance to hit and a 5% chance to confirm) which means I can lay it on thick with the mooks and not worry about crazy upsets happening unless it's one of those great climactic surprises that you'll talk about for the next three years.

Right now I can totally do an encounter with a dozen orcs, an orc champion riding a wyvenrn, and his warpriest with lots of burning skeletons and summons running around. Epic stuff. Just beautiful. However if all of those mooks aren't going to just get plowed and are actually going to end up wrecking the party because their defenses aren't much better than they were back at 1st level, I'd be really likely to TPK the group with what should be a fairly average to challenging encounter.


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Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
But remember what I described, this is an encounter that is an adventure that has moved beyond kobolds. The encounter serves several purposes: 1) keeping the theme of the campaign going while still providing variety in the encounters, 2) the lizardfolk and serpentfolk expect they will come out triumphant against the players, but they sent the kobolds out first since there will then be that many less mouths to feed, and 3) providing an actual threat for the adventurers with a goal of softening them up for future combats. Its that last one that you simply cannot do with Pathfinder now, not reliably with Bestiary 1 kobolds anyways. The constant march of BAB/AC means that CR 1 monsters become useless after a certain point. Bound accuracy, by comparison, means that those same monsters can be used much later in the game and still be viable, with some modifications to how they are used.

The game is already like this. Bound accuracy doesn't make this a thing. All it does is keep the monsters used in the exact same way they always were and that can eat a wyvern's tail.

EDIT: For example, at low levels a kobold's regular physical attacks have a solid chance of connecting so their role is "do physical damage to the PCs". However, eventually their role changes because "do physical damage to the PCs" is no longer very viable for them unless they're shooting en mass and fishing for 20s which isn't that effective, so instead they become enablers, disablers, distractions, or plot-fuel*, or they change their attack forms up.

1. The kobolds now exist to scatter caltrops around the field and throw nets at the PCs while the bigger enemies take care of the bruising.

2. They now run around aiding other characters to give them bonuses to hit or AC or whatever, being portable buffs that the party beats down to debuff their masters.

3. They now exist to body-block characters and make players consider using tactics like Overrun and Acrobatics to get to the real threats.

4. They preform specialized tactics like throwing alchemist fire and tanglefoot bags, or acting as medics and applying oils and stuff to more potent enemies who benefit from the increased action economy.

5. They are martyrs to encourage reckless PCs to waste resources to sweep them quickly when those resources may be better used in the next encounter.

6. They are messengers that run to get reinforcements.

7. They are plot-fuel, as they serve as the mooks that go pull the lever to release the rancor unless the party splits their attention to stop the mooks from releasing the kraken or opening the floor or collapsing the ceiling or pushing the red button marked "Do not push except in the case of adventurers".

Bounded accuracy means they're still there to inflict damage. Just there's more of them so they inflict more damage. They're also not simple 1-shot fodder so using them for "whack-a-mole" encounters isn't very effective since there's a fair chance your whackers will just miss them.


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From an immersion point of view, I don't expect anyone who can take on balors, great wyrms, arch dukes, and so on to actually have trouble taking on kobolds, not unless they have class levels anyway.

I would hope the lizardfolk would have better sense than to think those kobolds have a real chance at anything significant with regard to direct combat, and choose to use them in a more intelligent manner. As an example the kobolds can harass a local village, maybe even poison their water supply. That might distract the PC's so they(bad guys) have more time to do ____. However, to directly assault the PC's with such low threat enemies should not be a viable option after a certain point.

Not all enemies are going to be of the same threat level even if one of them has a very large number. If you want the game to have novel based realism where even the greatest heroes can not defeat an army, I still don't think this is the way to do it. I would still expect a single high level hero to be able to take on 10 to 12 kobolds.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

ryric wrote:

But this isn't what I want out of a game like D&D or Pathfinder. It's a fine mechanic, and I love games like Savage Worlds where a random mook can hit your legendary guy for 34 damage occasionally - but I love them for their own things. In D&D/PF I want high levels to be able to mow down standard kobolds and goblins like they were wheat. I want to laugh at the troll that used to be scary as I casually swat it down like Neo at the end of the first Matrix. There is a niche for "zero to hero" gameplay and currently PF fills that niche. Your kobold encounter doesn't have to be boring - sure it may be tactically a foregone conclusion, but at least in my games the players would have great time roleplaying with foes that were so woefully out of their league.

Your Skyrim example reminds me of one of the reasons I can never replay Elder Scrolls games, and in fact tend to have to force myself to finish them - leveling hurts you. I strongly dislike RPGs that scale by having all the foes level with you, because unless you optimize to a certain extent, the game can get nearly impossibly hard at high levels.

But that's not what I'm saying. I'm not saying a single mook should do a serious amount of damage to a higher level PC. I'm saying that 1 kobold in that sea of kobolds attacking you is still going to do his 3-5 damage. He'll be hitting slightly less often since you have bought better armor since the last time you faced off against kobolds, And you are going to hit a little more often since your ability to hit went up some (not alot, but some). You should laugh at the troll that use to be scary because you can deal more damage each round. Lower level it should take the whole team to face off against the troll where at higher level, you're soloing the troll while the rest of the team is trying to press all the buttons in the right order to open up the door in time to get the mcguffin crystal in place before the Great Conjunction.

Bound accuracy is (at the end of the day) about having basic monsters being useful at more levels. Pathfinder, a monster is only good for about 5 levels (2 levels above you and 2 levels below you). It can be a little more each way, but it's really get into territory of being stupid hard or stupid easy. D&D 5e has that number to about 10 level (5 above and below).

Take RotRL for example. What if the hill giants had some goblin servants that were ordered to attack the PCs or die by being squished. Those goblin encounters would vary up the adventure while still having ties to the first adventure. If a GM wants to do that now, he's got to level up the goblins. Do you really think level 5 goblins would be servants? Heck no, they should be running their own goblin tribes. Should the goblins in this encounter be able to do hill giant level damage, heck no. They should do just enough that the players have to use a few lower level cure spells and that's it. Not much, but enough to get them to have to make resource decisions later on.

This is all still zero to hero, still a tactically a foregone conclusion, and you can still have fun roleplaying with the goblins. But they are still more useful at later levels than Pathfinder is.


Dale McCoy Jr wrote:

Since we're on the wish list of think we want in a new edition:

I want masterwork to really mean something. I don't want every Tom, Dick, and Harry that is 3rd level and above to have a masterwork weapon. I want, "Six-fingered man commissioned a special sword. My father slaved a year on it." I want masterwork to be something that no one short of 10th level gets. Sure you have your flaming sword at 4th level, but it is not "masterwork." A masterwork sword can have twice as many magical properties as a regular old sword. The same magical properties are more powerful on a masterwork sword. And there should be a table of quirks and/or backstories stories for masterwork weapons. I want them RARE!

I have a system I use in my homegames that does this. A few things that I've changed that are important to note beforehand:

I have an inherent bonus system, so that at level X you get +Y to attack/damage with weapons.

Named enhancements (Ie, keen, flaming, ghost touch) are available only through "augment crystals" that can be attuned to different weapons with the appropriate (short and free) ritual. They cost the same as their enhancement would indicate. (Keen = 2000gp, Speed = 18000gp, etc)

So, regular weapons cant attune a crystal, and can only benefit +1 from inherent character attack/damage bonuses. They take a craftsman between 1-3 days to make. Cold Iron is the only special material available in regular weapons.

Good weapons is a new category I have added. They can benefit upto +3 from inherent character bonuses to attack/damage. They have the ability to attune 1 augment crystal. They take a craftsman 1-3 months to make. Some special materials like whip wood, silver, and gold, are available in good quality weapons. Good quality costs +3000gp from the base price.

Masterwork weapons are the highest quality goods available and are exceedingly rare. They can benefot upto +5 from inherent character bonuses. They can attune 3 augment crystals. They take a craftsman 18-24 months to make. Any special material may be used in their construction. Good quality costs +30,000gp from the base price.

Armor works the same but the good upgrade is 1500, and the masterwork upgrade is 15,000.


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The Hobbit -

In PF - Smaug burns the town...none of the villagers can really face him. Bard, the 19th level Ranger has an arrow of Dragon slaying and get's a critical (and lucky hit) which slays the dragon.

In 5e - Smaug attacks lake town, 2 rounds later he falls dead as the town people cheer. The town has hardly been damaged, and Smaug is dead.

The LotR -

In PF - The party cannot come close to matching Sauron. They must have a few characters attempt to carry the one ring able to destroy Sauron (by destroying the ring) to Mount Doom...hopefully they survive. Even the Nazgul can take them out in a straight fight to the death...best to avoid them.

In 5e - Send in the Eagles with archers, fly over Sauron's army and shot him dead. End of story.

In Harry Potter

In PF - Massive battles against the Death Eaters and Voldemort. Harry is slowly leveling up but cannot ever truly defeat Voldemort and half the time is running for his life!

In 5e - Send in the Muggles. Arm them with crossbows. Voldemort dies in a hail of bolts!

In SW

In PF - Characters go in to destroy the Death Star but aren't high enough level. Get slaughtered and have to retreat. Half the rebel alliance is slain when Yavin is blown up. Darth Vader schools everyone. Eventually Luke gets the magical light saber that enables him and a party of a high level han and Chewie and Leia to go in and slay Vader, but in the process get slain by the mythic level Palpatine whom they weren't prepared for.

In 5e - A bunch of 30 some odd 1st level (or 0 level) pilots take their fighters and blow up the death star!

So...I guess there's a winner for 5e. Each has it's place and time. However, for epic gaming, I think I prefer PF.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Ashiel wrote:
5. They are martyrs to encourage reckless PCs to waste resources to sweep them quickly when those resources may be better used in the next encounter.

Umm, after having seen this actual play on a very regular basis, no.

Perfect example: my kingmaker game, I brought back the mites for an encounter. And the rest of the party stood back while the fighter killed them all. Not. One. Scratch.

Literally the exchange I had above about "ok, they're did. what's next" happened in that game. So when the mudmen came up in (IIRC) adventure 3 (12 CR 2 monsters), I got rid of that encounter in favor of monsters more CR appropriate. They'd do the exact same thing. I saw them and others do that time and again.

All the rest of your examples can be done with environment. You don't need low level monsters, which eat up XP in the encounter budget, making the actual monsters you want to challenge the adventurers that much less of a challenge.

So no. I disagree. I think a constant increase in BAB is terrible.

Bound accuracy means the monsters are useful at later levels that simply is not possible with Pathfinder today.


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EDIT: Just noticed you're part of one of the groups WotC picked up to write 5e content since their D&D team is about 8 people. I see.


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Dale McCoy Jr wrote:

Since we're on the wish list of think we want in a new edition:

I want masterwork to really mean something. I don't want every Tom, Dick, and Harry that is 3rd level and above to have a masterwork weapon. I want, "Six-fingered man commissioned a special sword. My father slaved a year on it." I want masterwork to be something that no one short of 10th level gets. Sure you have your flaming sword at 4th level, but it is not "masterwork." A masterwork sword can have twice as many magical properties as a regular old sword. The same magical properties are more powerful on a masterwork sword. And there should be a table of quirks and/or backstories stories for masterwork weapons. I want them RARE!

This is something I've been doing for years. I have a homebrew system I originally designed for 3.5, but have used every time I've DMed since. An early version can be found here, to get a general idea, but I really do need to get around to formatting/posting the version I am using today.

If you don't want to read through that whole thing, the basic premise is that instead of just "normal" and "masterwork" you have four qualities (normal, exceptional, superior, masterwork). For each category above normal, you gain an upgrade point that can be used to add extra properties to your weapon. While this can be boring things like "+1 to hit", it can also add properties like "increase threat range", "treat this weapon as a monk weapon", "treat this weapon as a throwing weapon", "make this weapon finessible" and so on.

So masterwork weapons are not just much more rare and expensive (a masterwork weapon is +4300gp instead of +300, not coming online until around 6th-7th level, or later if you are using a magical weapon), but each masterwork weapon is unique, crafted to their intended wielder's specifications and needs. I've had players make their masterwork weapons into some really unique/interesting things that I never would have dreamed of when writing the system, and really love it.

And of course it's super easy to make extensible if you want higher level mundane weapons/armor. I liked it topping off at 6-7,since that lines up well with the implicit E6 = where mundanes level off deal, but it can of course go higher. Every 3 slots is worth slightly less than a +2, so you could scale it upwards to 6 quality categories with the top quality costing somewhere around 25,000-30,000gp.

Also possible to make it scale the other way if you want poor quality weapons/broken equipment, just take away one slot worth of properties or apply the equivalent penalties, and bam, instant poor quality gear. (This would actually probably be good for a quick handling of improvised weapons now that I think about it).

Note: If you do go check out that old thread, ignore the armor system entirely. I wound up scrapping and reworking the whole thing because it was clunky, annoying, and generated convergent results. Most recent version pretty much just gives the choice between +1 AC or +1 Max Dex and reduce ACP by 1 with each quality upgrade. It's not as intricate as what is posted, but has the same net effect but without all of the fiddliness.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Why would you throw vanilla Kobolds at a high-level group when you could throw Kobolds with class levels at them? You can apply class levels (or templates) to any creature in the bestiary if you want it to be a challenge for higher levels, so I honestly don't see why you'd need another system to do the same thing while losing all the flavor and nuance of custom encounters.

Bounded Accuracy just sounds like rubber-banding to me. It has its place I guess, but I don't like it, personally.

Shadow Lodge

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GreyWolfLord wrote:


The LotR -

In PF - The party cannot come close to matching Sauron. They must have a few characters attempt to carry the one ring able to destroy Sauron (by destroying the ring) to Mount Doom...hopefully they survive. Even the Nazgul can take them out in a straight fight to the death...best to avoid them.

In 5e - Send in the Eagles with archers, fly over Sauron's army and shot him dead. End of story.

More like:

Any version of D&D (and PF as well): Moments after Gandalf confirmed that it was The One Ring, he teleported Frodo and himself to Mt. Doom. Frodo tosses in the Ring, Sauron is vanquished, and what was a trilogy becomes a (very) short story.


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Kthulhu wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:


The LotR -

In PF - The party cannot come close to matching Sauron. They must have a few characters attempt to carry the one ring able to destroy Sauron (by destroying the ring) to Mount Doom...hopefully they survive. Even the Nazgul can take them out in a straight fight to the death...best to avoid them.

In 5e - Send in the Eagles with archers, fly over Sauron's army and shot him dead. End of story.

More like:

Any version of D&D (and PF as well): Moments after Gandalf confirmed that it was The One Ring, he teleported Frodo and himself to Mt. Doom. Frodo tosses in the Ring, Sauron is vanquished, and what was a trilogy becomes a (very) short story.

Except that clearly Gandalf doesn't have access to teleport regardless his true power.

IF he's an actual wizard, he's probably banned Conjuration. But really he's more of an Outsider. One that lacks a teleportation SLA


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:


The LotR -

In PF - The party cannot come close to matching Sauron. They must have a few characters attempt to carry the one ring able to destroy Sauron (by destroying the ring) to Mount Doom...hopefully they survive. Even the Nazgul can take them out in a straight fight to the death...best to avoid them.

In 5e - Send in the Eagles with archers, fly over Sauron's army and shot him dead. End of story.

More like:

Any version of D&D (and PF as well): Moments after Gandalf confirmed that it was The One Ring, he teleported Frodo and himself to Mt. Doom. Frodo tosses in the Ring, Sauron is vanquished, and what was a trilogy becomes a (very) short story.

Except that clearly Gandalf doesn't have access to teleport regardless his true power.

IF he's an actual wizard, he's probably banned Conjuration. But really he's more of an Outsider. One that lacks a teleportation SLA

But he can summon freaking eagles.


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seekerofshadowlight wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:


The LotR -

In PF - The party cannot come close to matching Sauron. They must have a few characters attempt to carry the one ring able to destroy Sauron (by destroying the ring) to Mount Doom...hopefully they survive. Even the Nazgul can take them out in a straight fight to the death...best to avoid them.

In 5e - Send in the Eagles with archers, fly over Sauron's army and shot him dead. End of story.

More like:

Any version of D&D (and PF as well): Moments after Gandalf confirmed that it was The One Ring, he teleported Frodo and himself to Mt. Doom. Frodo tosses in the Ring, Sauron is vanquished, and what was a trilogy becomes a (very) short story.

Except that clearly Gandalf doesn't have access to teleport regardless his true power.

IF he's an actual wizard, he's probably banned Conjuration. But really he's more of an Outsider. One that lacks a teleportation SLA

But he can summon freaking eagles.

Summon in the dictionary sense of 'call for.' But he can't magically conjure them up. They live where they live, hunt where they hunt and fly to wherever they're going the manual way.

At most he has a working relationship with them and the Sending spell.


And they could not have hooked a brother up with a slightly longer flight?

Liberty's Edge

seekerofshadowlight wrote:
And they could not have hooked a brother up with a slightly longer flight?

Given that the Eagles are really freaking obvious, and Sauron has plenty of flying minions, and the whole point of the Fellowship in LotR was to go unnoticed, since that was the only way to succeed...they probably could have, but it would've just gotten the eagles in question plus everyone carried by them very dead and given the Ring to Sauron double-quick. So Gandalf, being smart, didn't ask.


eh they could have easily dropped them off far closer, its one of the big plot holes. well that and the fact hobbits exist at all :)


How is the existence of hobbits a plothole?


How do they survive? How have they not keep enslaved or killed? How have wolves or other large animals not mangled them. They have zero military in a dark age world. They should at best be serfs.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

how does this have anything to do whatsoever with a new edition? leave the hobbit hate elsewhere if you don't mind:-)


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seekerofshadowlight wrote:

How do they survive? How have they not keep enslaved or killed? How have wolves or other large animals not mangled them. They have zero military in a dark age world. They should at best be serfs.

Methinks the Shire is such a backwater out of the way place that nobody bothers with them because it's inconvenient to send an army that far. [That's my guess anyway.]


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seekerofshadowlight wrote:

How do they survive? How have they not keep enslaved or killed? How have wolves or other large animals not mangled them. They have zero military in a dark age world. They should at best be serfs.

Well they make pretty sick Cavaliers.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This has absolutely nothing to do with the new edition discussion going on, but the Shire was protected by the Dunedain. Much the same way they protected Breeland.

Now, back to the new edition talk.

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