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


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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I dunno, I guess some people think that having a bunch of crossbows pointed at you should remain threatening to all mortals. But PCs just kind of stop being mortals, and that can be difficult to accept.
/
I know what you mean, the common advice in those topics is "HE PAID FOR HIS HIGH AC USING OTHER RESOURCES, JUST IGNORE HIM AND GET EVERYONE ELSE" but people aren't always happy with that answer.


Well, I wouldn't say completely ignore him. He got that High AC because he wants to be hard to hit.

Attack him according to circumstances, but if he's proving too hard to hit [especially if he's proving fairly non-threatening otherwise] then yeah it's time for those particular enemies to realize they should ignore him.


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Well, look at the beginning of Lord of the Rings. The Movies, at least. Lord Sauron wades through hundreds of men, unscathed by their feeble attacks. It's only when a hero steps up to bat that Sauron goes down. We with Smaug. He is unstoppable until the hero takes on the challenge.

It's part of the classic heroic narrative. Not only is the hero the only one willing, he is the only one that can.


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To me one of the most annoying things is the guy with a ton of AC but can't do squat else. I started making non-magical enemies start 'aiding another' to get past some AC, having them throw splash weapons and take huge advantage of flanking/teamwork feats and suddenly I'm cheating.

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I classify that character type as "The Moon".
You can see them, but you're not going to hit them. However, they pose little to no threat in comparison to their earthbound companions.

I used to play them too, but now it's more of a building exercise. The trick to tanking is to keep your AC low enough that enemies still want to take a swing.
---
Wasn't LotR a world of gods among men? Bilbo and Frodo both had some great adventures, but I don't think they would ever scoff if crossbows were pointed at them (unless they were wearing their super armor). Perhaps they just didn't get enough exp.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I'd like to see a Compel Hostility ki power, now that I think about it. ^_^


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Malwing wrote:
To me one of the most annoying things is the guy with a ton of AC but can't do squat else. I started making non-magical enemies start 'aiding another' to get past some AC, having them throw splash weapons and take huge advantage of flanking/teamwork feats and suddenly I'm cheating.

While you're certainly not cheating... why are you focused on hitting him?

Let whichever bad guys would have targeted him anyway take a couple swings and move on. If they have any information on the group they might ignore him from the start.


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Petty Alchemy wrote:

I classify that character type as "The Moon".

You can see them, but you're not going to hit them. However, they pose little to no threat in comparison to their earthbound companions.

I used to play them too, but now it's more of a building exercise. The trick to tanking is to keep your AC low enough that enemies still want to take a swing.
---
Wasn't LotR a world of gods among men? Bilbo and Frodo both had some great adventures, but I don't think they would ever scoff if crossbows were pointed at them (unless they were wearing their super armor). Perhaps they just didn't get enough exp.

This is a function of level. Bilbo and Frodo started at level 1 and would be lucky if they finished their quest at level 3 [level 2 being more likely.]

Meanwhile Aragorn, Legolas and Gimley wouldn't exactly SCOFF at crossbows being pointed at them, but they wouldn't cower in terror either. They're all in the level 5-7 range and in some danger from those crossbows but capable of dealing with them to some extent.


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Petty Alchemy wrote:


Wasn't LotR a world of gods among men? Bilbo and Frodo both had some great adventures, but I don't think they would ever scoff if crossbows were pointed at them (unless they were wearing their super armor). Perhaps they just didn't get enough exp.

Even then. It would hurt even through the mithril and the shirt didn't cover the full body.

But yeah, mostly they were just lower level.

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Malwing wrote:
To me one of the most annoying things is the guy with a ton of AC but can't do squat else. I started making non-magical enemies start 'aiding another' to get past some AC, having them throw splash weapons and take huge advantage of flanking/teamwork feats and suddenly I'm cheating.

You're breaking the monk honor code, flurry of misses is supposed to go both ways.


Albatoonoe wrote:

Well, look at the beginning of Lord of the Rings. The Movies, at least. Lord Sauron wades through hundreds of men, unscathed by their feeble attacks. It's only when a hero steps up to bat that Sauron goes down. We with Smaug. He is unstoppable until the hero takes on the challenge.

It's part of the classic heroic narrative. Not only is the hero the only one willing, he is the only one that can.

It's a common thing for uber-villains. It's not a common trait for heroes.

It's hard for me to think of heroes in fiction or legend who just ignore the equivalent of crossbows pointed at them, particularly lots of crossbows.

Short of heroes with some specific, usually magical protection. Achilles was invulnerable, except for his heel, for example.
Many others will stall for time and make their move at the right moment, but they won't just stand there and laugh.

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I looked it up to refresh my memory, the wizards and Sauron were Maiar, spirits that took human form. Not mortals with class levels.


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thejeff wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:

Well, look at the beginning of Lord of the Rings. The Movies, at least. Lord Sauron wades through hundreds of men, unscathed by their feeble attacks. It's only when a hero steps up to bat that Sauron goes down. We with Smaug. He is unstoppable until the hero takes on the challenge.

It's part of the classic heroic narrative. Not only is the hero the only one willing, he is the only one that can.

It's a common thing for uber-villains. It's not a common trait for heroes.

It's hard for me to think of heroes in fiction or legend who just ignore the equivalent of crossbows pointed at them, particularly lots of crossbows.

Short of heroes with some specific, usually magical protection. Achilles was invulnerable, except for his heel, for example.
Many others will stall for time and make their move at the right moment, but they won't just stand there and laugh.

"Our arrows will blot out the sun!"

"Then we will fight in the shade"


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thejeff wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:

Well, look at the beginning of Lord of the Rings. The Movies, at least. Lord Sauron wades through hundreds of men, unscathed by their feeble attacks. It's only when a hero steps up to bat that Sauron goes down. We with Smaug. He is unstoppable until the hero takes on the challenge.

It's part of the classic heroic narrative. Not only is the hero the only one willing, he is the only one that can.

It's a common thing for uber-villains. It's not a common trait for heroes.

It's hard for me to think of heroes in fiction or legend who just ignore the equivalent of crossbows pointed at them, particularly lots of crossbows.

Short of heroes with some specific, usually magical protection. Achilles was invulnerable, except for his heel, for example.
Many others will stall for time and make their move at the right moment, but they won't just stand there and laugh.

That's a fair point, but bounding accuracy is a two way street. Bounding accuracy keeps heroes vulnerable, but it *makes* villains and monsters vulnerable.

There are cases of invincible heroes, however. Namely in anime. Kenshiro and Guts are basically nigh unstoppable to any but the strongest foe. I don't have any real point with the comparison. Just stuff to consider


Petty Alchemy wrote:
I looked it up to refresh my memory, the wizards and Sauron were Maiar, spirits that took human form. Not mortals with class levels.

While this is true in terms of lore, there's no reason these characters can't be represented as PCs rather than as monsters.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Petty Alchemy wrote:


Wasn't LotR a world of gods among men? Bilbo and Frodo both had some great adventures, but I don't think they would ever scoff if crossbows were pointed at them (unless they were wearing their super armor). Perhaps they just didn't get enough exp.

This is a function of level. Bilbo and Frodo started at level 1 and would be lucky if they finished their quest at level 3 [level 2 being more likely.]

Meanwhile Aragorn, Legolas and Gimley wouldn't exactly SCOFF at crossbows being pointed at them, but they wouldn't cower in terror either. They're all in the level 5-7 range and in some danger from those crossbows but capable of dealing with them to some extent.

Well, I don't think crossbows existed in LotR, but I don't really recall anything that would support that. Are you just basing it on "They must have been higher level and as such wouldn't be too worried about crossbows"?

Boromir died to a lot of orc archers, while killing many of them, which actually fits very nicely into the exact 5E paradigm we've been talking about.

There's also a big difference between people shooting at you in a fight and people getting the drop on you, ready to shoot if you start something. Flat-footed covers that, but in most cases in PF it's not enough of an advantage if there's a level difference.


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'Ready to shoot if you start something, while being clearly known and visible' Is that how the rules would classify that? I'd think that everybody would roll initiative once combat began, and the crossbows would all go off in the span of six seconds... but some trigger fingers are slower than others.

That being said, yes I am basing it on 'They are higher level and as such wouldn't be overly worried about crossbows.' Note I didn't say they had nothing to worry about, but that they 'could deal with it' to an extent. They would have needed to be higher level still to not care at all.

On the Boromir front, he fought through numerous arrows, much like they could. I'm of a mind he was slightly lower level [4-5ish] and thus more vulnerable but we're nitpicking here.

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True, that is what the difference in lvl 1 vs lvl 20 supports in 3.x/PF.

My point was that LotR doesn't actually support that fantasy. Sauron wasn't a badass mortal, he was a spirit.
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Rakshasa (pretty much evil spirits that take the shape of a man) in 5e are immune (not half damage resistant, straight up immune) to damage from non-magic weapons. I'm sure they're not the only such monsters.


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Petty Alchemy wrote:

True, that is what the difference in lvl 1 vs lvl 20 supports in 3.x/PF.

My point was that LotR doesn't actually support that fantasy. Sauron wasn't a badass mortal, he was a spirit.

So do you consider Elves to be Spirits rather than baddass [im]mortals, or does Elrond actually support that fantasy?


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bugleyman wrote:
Duiker wrote:
Just be a little patient, there's usually a new "I want a new edition" thread on Wednesdays and a new "bloat is killing Pathfinder" thread on Thursday.
Hmmm...I wonder what might be causing those threads to become so commonplace.

Toxic levels of Cheetos, and Mt. Dew?


kyrt-ryder wrote:

'Ready to shoot if you start something, while being clearly known and visible' Is that how the rules would classify that? I'd think that everybody would roll initiative once combat began, and the crossbows would all go off in the span of six seconds... but some trigger fingers are slower than others.

That being said, yes I am basing it on 'They are higher level and as such wouldn't be overly worried about crossbows.' Note I didn't say they had nothing to worry about, but that they 'could deal with it' to an extent. They would have needed to be higher level still to not care at all.

On the Boromir front, he fought through numerous arrows, much like they could. I'm of a mind he was slightly lower level [4-5ish] and thus more vulnerable but we're nitpicking here.

That's exactly how the rules would deal with it, I believe. I don't think that reflects the situation well, even for fairly low level characters. Roll well on initiative and you can cover 30' drawing your sword and start killing them before they can pull a crossbow trigger. Try that in real life (maybe with nerf weapons so it's repeatable) and it's never going to happen.

That's a basic rules problem, as far as I'm concerned.

I suspect, though we have no real evidence, that all three of our Lotr heroes would be very, very careful in such a situation, only starting the fight if they were truly desperate. At least the book versions.
The movie Legolas would probably run up the crossbow bolts to reach the bad guys or something.

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I'm not sure what point you think the elves prove, they died of violence easy as anyone else.


thejeff wrote:

I don't think that reflects the situation well, even for fairly low level characters. Roll well on initiative and you can cover 30' drawing your sword and start killing them before they can pull a crossbow trigger. Try that in real life (maybe with nerf weapons so it's repeatable) and it's never going to happen.

That's a basic rules problem, as far as I'm concerned.

You do raise an interesting point. I've actually been exploring initiative and the division of actions and this brought something new to light in that regard.

Thanks Jeff.


Petty Alchemy wrote:
I'm not sure what point you think the elves prove, they died of violence easy as anyone else.

I'm not sure either, as I'm not very well up on my Tolkien Mythos.

That being said, wasn't Elrond generally considered to be roughly/almost equal to Sauron in raw melee combat?


If crossbowmen are ready to shoot, do they not have readied actions and shoot before the PCs can act?


Albatoonoe wrote:
If crossbowmen are ready to shoot, do they not have readied actions and shoot before the PCs can act?

This requires that they had a Surprise Round in order to do so. Usually this means the PCs had to have been unaware there was a threat until the moment this surprise round happens. Sometimes it works sometimes it won't.


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Archers having shots trained on someone requires a surprise round to happen. The situation is modeled by successful stealth checks letting them get in place and aim before their targets can react.

@Thejeff
The problem you're describing doesn't really exist. If someone actually is ready to shoot and has shots trained on the person approaching them, they either won initiative or got a surprise round. If neither of those happened, they simply weren't ready for the person approaching them.

The traditional crossbowmen on the balconies situation involves crossbowmen appearing from cover for a surprise round (using Stealth checks likely in the realm of +4 or +5) with perception penalties dictated by how far away they are from the party.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
If crossbowmen are ready to shoot, do they not have readied actions and shoot before the PCs can act?
This requires that they had a Surprise Round in order to do so. Usually this means the PCs had to have been unaware there was a threat until the moment this surprise round happens. Sometimes it works sometimes it won't.

Not true. Readied actions do not require surprise. Unless the PCs are ready to throw down the moment this guy sees them, the crossbowmen can take aim.


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Albatoonoe wrote:
Not true. Readied actions do not require surprise. Unless the PCs are ready to throw down the moment this guy sees them, the crossbowmen can take aim.

They require either surprise or winning initiative, seeing as you can't ready an action if you're not in combat.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Albatoonoe wrote:
Not true. Readied actions do not require surprise. Unless the PCs are ready to throw down the moment this guy sees them, the crossbowmen can take aim.

Readied actions are an initiative action, so setting them up outside of combat is a fiat concept. I resolve such things in an initiative order, as sometimes characters can act before the trigger is pulled.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Petty Alchemy wrote:
I'm not sure what point you think the elves prove, they died of violence easy as anyone else.

I'm not sure either, as I'm not very well up on my Tolkien Mythos.

That being said, wasn't Elrond generally considered to be roughly/almost equal to Sauron in raw melee combat?

I don't think there's any reason to think so.

The main text we have for Sauron's only known melee combat after the First Age is
Elrond wrote:
I was the herald of Gil-galad and marched with his host. I was at the Battle of Dagorlad before the Black Gate of Mordor, where we had the mastery: for the Spear of Gil-galad and the Sword of Elendil, Aiglos and Narsil, none could withstand. I beheld the last combat on the slopes of Orodruin, where Gil-galad died, and Elendil fell, and Narsil broke beneath him; but Sauron himself was overthrown, and Isildur cut the Ring from his hand with the hilt-shard of his father’s sword, and took it for his own.

There's some debate about exactly how they were able to beat Sauron, but there's nothing to indicate Elrond actually took part, much less was Sauron's equal.


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Albatoonoe wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
If crossbowmen are ready to shoot, do they not have readied actions and shoot before the PCs can act?
This requires that they had a Surprise Round in order to do so. Usually this means the PCs had to have been unaware there was a threat until the moment this surprise round happens. Sometimes it works sometimes it won't.
Not true. Readied actions do not require surprise. Unless the PCs are ready to throw down the moment this guy sees them, the crossbowmen can take aim.

Readied actions do not require surprise. However in order to ready an action, you need to be ahead of the person you are readying against.

If the PCs win the initiative there can be no readied actions against them until after they act in combat.


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Aratrok wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
Not true. Readied actions do not require surprise. Unless the PCs are ready to throw down the moment this guy sees them, the crossbowmen can take aim.
They require either surprise or winning initiative, seeing as you can't ready an action if you're not in combat.

Well, I guess if you want to shackle yourself to a dichotomy of combat/not-combat, I suppose you would have a problem with this scenario. Do you make players role initiative when they try to break a door?

Grand Lodge

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Albatoonoe wrote:
Do you make players role initiative when they try to break a door?

If they try to do it before someone shoots them, yes.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
If crossbowmen are ready to shoot, do they not have readied actions and shoot before the PCs can act?
This requires that they had a Surprise Round in order to do so. Usually this means the PCs had to have been unaware there was a threat until the moment this surprise round happens. Sometimes it works sometimes it won't.
Not true. Readied actions do not require surprise. Unless the PCs are ready to throw down the moment this guy sees them, the crossbowmen can take aim.

Readied actions do not require surprise. However in order to ready an action, you need to be ahead of the person you are readying against.

If the PCs win the initiative there can be no readied actions against them until after they act in combat.

Unless the players are willing to act first (charge them and/or attack), then absolutely the crossbowmen can aim. If they players act immediately, that scenario is meaningless anyway.


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Albatoonoe wrote:
Aratrok wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
Not true. Readied actions do not require surprise. Unless the PCs are ready to throw down the moment this guy sees them, the crossbowmen can take aim.
They require either surprise or winning initiative, seeing as you can't ready an action if you're not in combat.
Well, I guess if you want to shackle yourself to a dichotomy of combat/not-combat, I suppose you would have a problem with this scenario. Do you make players role initiative when they try to break a door?

Of course not, the door can't fight back.

The point is, aiming a weapon at someone is combat. Whoever takes the initiative acts first. Unless the other combatants are unaware of said taking aim [aka a surprise round]


Albatoonoe wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
If crossbowmen are ready to shoot, do they not have readied actions and shoot before the PCs can act?
This requires that they had a Surprise Round in order to do so. Usually this means the PCs had to have been unaware there was a threat until the moment this surprise round happens. Sometimes it works sometimes it won't.
Not true. Readied actions do not require surprise. Unless the PCs are ready to throw down the moment this guy sees them, the crossbowmen can take aim.

Readied actions do not require surprise. However in order to ready an action, you need to be ahead of the person you are readying against.

If the PCs win the initiative there can be no readied actions against them until after they act in combat.

Unless the players are willing to act first (charge them and/or attack), then absolutely the crossbowmen can aim. If they players act immediately, that scenario is meaningless anyway.

They're rolling initiative because someone is aiming a f%!~ing weapon at them. What they choose to do after that is up to the PCs which is just about the most unpredictable thing there is in this world.


Aratrok wrote:

Archers having shots trained on someone requires a surprise round to happen. The situation is modeled by successful stealth checks letting them get in place and aim before their targets can react.

@Thejeff
The problem you're describing doesn't really exist. If someone actually is ready to shoot and has shots trained on the person approaching them, they either won initiative or got a surprise round. If neither of those happened, they simply weren't ready for the person approaching them.

The traditional crossbowmen on the balconies situation involves crossbowmen appearing from cover for a surprise round (using Stealth checks likely in the realm of +4 or +5) with perception penalties dictated by how far away they are from the party.

So fine. Call it a surprise round. If they don't shoot immediately, which is the traditional "lots of crossbows pointed at the hero" situation, generally accompanied by orders to surrender, things get much more complicated.

Though honestly, even without surprise or readied actions, drawing a sword and running 30' to kill the guy with a loaded crossbow already pointed at you shouldn't work. Barring some superhuman levels of speed and reaction time.

(*As opposed to the traditional surprised by lots of crossbowmen situation, which involves the hero noticing quarrels growing from his body as he slumps to the ground.)


Okay, let me clarify the point. If the players get stopped (or caught) and are immediately ready to throw down, the crossbowmen do not get a readied action. It's already a fight.

However, if there is room for him to announce his crossbowmen having their sights trained, they are either surprised or didn't act immediately, which gives them a readied action. So it's either the readied actions first or the PCs don't fight. The scenario works perfectly fine under the rules.

Shadow Lodge

When are players NOT immediately ready to throw down?


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TOZ wrote:
When are players NOT immediately ready to throw down?

While this is true, I'm just trying to explain how the scenario does indeed work reasonably. Whether they are ready to run potentially not-evil guys through at the drop of a hat is between them and their demon lord.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Your explanation doesn't really convince me, but then I rarely pay much attention to that rules minutia anyway unless I'm discussing what the rules say. It rarely comes up in play. (And I explain to players that readied actions outside of initiative are rarely free in my games, as we still roll initiative and the enemy may spot and react to their character before the action can go off.)


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Your explanation doesn't really convince me, but then I rarely pay much attention to that rules minutia anyway unless I'm discussing what the rules say. It rarely comes up in play.

Well, if you aren't so worried about the rules, then it probably wasn't a problem for you anyway.


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Albatoonoe wrote:
TOZ wrote:
When are players NOT immediately ready to throw down?
While this is true, I'm just trying to explain how the scenario does indeed work reasonably. Whether they are ready to run potentially not-evil guys through at the drop of a hat is between them and their demon lord.

Do you really consider 'pointing weapons at them' at the drop of the hat? In my experience the best time to stab somebody is when they're drawing their firearm.

Grand Lodge

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I have way more problems with players equating ''readied action to attack" with "I get a free hit before combat starts" anyway.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
TOZ wrote:
When are players NOT immediately ready to throw down?
While this is true, I'm just trying to explain how the scenario does indeed work reasonably. Whether they are ready to run potentially not-evil guys through at the drop of a hat is between them and their demon lord.
Do you really consider 'pointing weapons at them' at the drop of the hat? In my experience the best time to stab somebody is when they're drawing their firearm.

In fiction, I've never seen the bad guys announce their intent and give the heroes a chance to give up. They usually just fire. Usually, it's some hapless guardsmen that don't deserve to eat your sword. It's not like I'm saying that the players can't kill these guys immediately. Just that, not doing so does give them a chance to aim at you.

Grand Lodge

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Aiming at someone also doesn't mean you get to shoot at them before they react.


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thejeff wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:

Well, look at the beginning of Lord of the Rings. The Movies, at least. Lord Sauron wades through hundreds of men, unscathed by their feeble attacks. It's only when a hero steps up to bat that Sauron goes down. We with Smaug. He is unstoppable until the hero takes on the challenge.

It's part of the classic heroic narrative. Not only is the hero the only one willing, he is the only one that can.

It's a common thing for uber-villains. It's not a common trait for heroes.

It's hard for me to think of heroes in fiction or legend who just ignore the equivalent of crossbows pointed at them, particularly lots of crossbows.

Short of heroes with some specific, usually magical protection. Achilles was invulnerable, except for his heel, for example.
Many others will stall for time and make their move at the right moment, but they won't just stand there and laugh.

In Pathfinder, high level characters do not ignore crossbows, they have magical items like Full Plate +4 that protects them from crossbow bolts. Makes perfect sense.

Level does not determine AC, it does determine CMD though.

And that Full Plate +4 is not invincible, it can be sundered, and it can be bypassed by ranged touch spells.

Most of the main characters in LOTR are 5th-7th level, and can exist in a Pathfinder game.

High level play is exactly that, and high level characters are not concerned with crossbow bolts and orcs they are dealing with world changing events.

I'm currently playing ROTRL anniversary edition, medium xp track, playing 1/month, it has taken nearly 1 1/2 years to get to 6th level, and when my character gets to a high level do I really want to be fighting orcs and low-level NPCs, whom I have been fighting with the last couple of years.

No.

The shift in game play in Pathfinder from low level to high level has always been a fascinating one.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Aiming at someone also doesn't mean you get to shoot at them before they react.

Hm, I'm not sure I agree. If the other person has their weapon drawn and ready to use, I'd agree, but if you are aiming your crossbow right at this fighter, he doesn't get to charge you and run you through before you get a shot.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
kyrt-ryder wrote:
thaX wrote:


PF has improved the Wizards a lot with Archtypes and the Arcanist is a move toward the mechanic I spoke of. A new edition would, like it or not, change or remove Vancian casting. That is, the spellbook would still be used, but not for forgettable spells. A lot of class abilities can be used in concert with the spells if a combined caster mechanic is used.

What you're suggesting here is making the 'Spellcaster' even more powerful, giving him the spells known of a Wizard in conjunction with Spontaneous Casting. Can't say I'm a fan, and I KNOW this community would never accept the absurd levels of martial badassery required to balance against that....

If the mechanic stays the same throughout, then the casters can be balanced with the other classes instead of having to compare themselves to each other. It would make it easier to reign them in.

A modernized mechanic would go inline with a modernized edition. Spells would be adjusted, abilities would be re-written, and so on.

I also would make the various magic feats that we have currently into class abilities, vetting those out to classes that support their use in the write ups for them.

Changing/doing away with Vancian 1970's casting would not mean the removal of the Wizard. It should be his revival.

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