Why do Martials need better things?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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This discussion got weird.

To address the first post; Buffing a martial character is more viable than a fireball in terms of dealing damage but in the entirity of the game spells allow characters to be more and more superhuman while martials only get to be partially superhuman to the point. This feels awkward at high levels when you're fighting supernatural things that can do things like create universes and you're expected to threaten it. It becomes as absurd as some regular bank robber threatening Superman. In the macrocosm of the game it makes sense enough and with the aid of a caster you actually can threaten high powered monsters like that but the fact that you cant be great independently really diminishes your actual worth and capability when other classes don't need you as much. A lvl 20 final boss wizard is a scary thing and you probably can't even find him behind minions and defenses that he has before factoring in things like templates, magic items or sometimes even wealth, but if that same final boss is a fighter It's laughably easy to deal with. Sure both together is a nightmare but if its one or the other the wizard is an actual threat by the nature of how they work. That sets the formula for an uneven situation rather than class interdependence.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Malwing wrote:
This discussion got weird.

have you seen the 10 ft pit thread?


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Ssalarn wrote:
Petty Alchemy wrote:
If you're saying martials need to be magical in Pathfinder, I agree. If you're saying magical martials are mundane martials, well, that's just not true.
I think the idea is that "Extraordinary" is currently almost indistinguishable from "Mundane", when that doesn't need to be the case. "Mundane" shouldn't even be a word that comes up when you're talking about a fantasy adventure roleplaying game. There should be Extraordinary abilities readily available for non-spellcasting characters that have some of that wow factor spells get, abilities that may not be in keeping with the laws of physics as we understand them in the real world, but which allow for a world where a guy with a sword can have as big an impact on the narrative as the guy with the spells. Even American folklore, far more recent then the Greek, Roman, Asian, Celtic, and other influences that inform the game, includes stories of men whose skill and strength was beyond what is realistically possible, and who challenged machines with all the power and skill of modern industry behind them and won.

I want to favorite this to the g&%+*+ned moon.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
TheAntiElite wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
Petty Alchemy wrote:
If you're saying martials need to be magical in Pathfinder, I agree. If you're saying magical martials are mundane martials, well, that's just not true.
I think the idea is that "Extraordinary" is currently almost indistinguishable from "Mundane", when that doesn't need to be the case. "Mundane" shouldn't even be a word that comes up when you're talking about a fantasy adventure roleplaying game. There should be Extraordinary abilities readily available for non-spellcasting characters that have some of that wow factor spells get, abilities that may not be in keeping with the laws of physics as we understand them in the real world, but which allow for a world where a guy with a sword can have as big an impact on the narrative as the guy with the spells. Even American folklore, far more recent then the Greek, Roman, Asian, Celtic, and other influences that inform the game, includes stories of men whose skill and strength was beyond what is realistically possible, and who challenged machines with all the power and skill of modern industry behind them and won.
I want to favorite this to the g++~!$ned moon.

but i wouldn't be able to read it if it was on the moon.


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I'd like to change gears from kobolds, stone, and nakedness for a second to address the substance of the comment AntiElite is currently swooning over. Most people who participate in these threads seem to agree, with good reasoning and examples to support their logic, that martial abilities typically pale in comparison to magic ones. These examples given of legendary heroes from folklore in America, ancient Greece or China, etc. are good ideas for what those abilities should look like. My question is, what's the demarcation line between mortal and mythic martials? What should be strictly in the realm of demigods of battle and cunning rather than available to the paragons of mortal skill and strength? I'd like to hear everyone's take on how we avoid going too far to the point the base martial abilities eclipse mythic ones. First person to bring up dragonpeople, fists, or stone columns gets launched to the current favorited location of the comment referenced above.


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The thing is, a level 20 fighter can be stopped by something so simple. Even if you give the fighter armor and a sword, a simple level 1 strix commoner with a Bow could kill you. A level 1 should NEVER be able to stop a level 20. Even a naked level 20 fighter is what, a cr 16-17 encounter? That can be stopped by a level 1?

A level 20 caster is impossible to stop ar at level 1


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Cerberus Seven wrote:
I'd like to change gears from kobolds, stone, and nakedness for a second to address the substance of the comment AntiElite is currently swooning over. Most people who participate in these threads seem to agree, with good reasoning and examples to support their logic, that martial abilities typically pale in comparison to magic ones. These examples given of legendary heroes from folklore in America, ancient Greece or China, etc. are good ideas for what those abilities should look like. My question is, what's the demarcation line between mortal and mythic martials? What should be strictly in the realm of demigods of battle and cunning rather than available to the paragons of mortal skill and strength? I'd like to hear everyone's take on how we avoid going too far to the point the base martial abilities eclipse mythic ones. First person to bring up dragonpeople, fists, or stone columns gets launched to the current favorited location of the comment referenced above.

okay so like overland travel is gain-able at level 9 or so, so martials should gain some ability to travel long distances easier at around that level. Just set a level where X should be something any given class can deal with, and then stick to it, some might be quicker or shorter than others, like a cavalier could easily gain a faster mount at a sooner level or some such.


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Bandw2 wrote:
Cerberus Seven wrote:
I'd like to change gears from kobolds, stone, and nakedness for a second to address the substance of the comment AntiElite is currently swooning over. Most people who participate in these threads seem to agree, with good reasoning and examples to support their logic, that martial abilities typically pale in comparison to magic ones. These examples given of legendary heroes from folklore in America, ancient Greece or China, etc. are good ideas for what those abilities should look like. My question is, what's the demarcation line between mortal and mythic martials? What should be strictly in the realm of demigods of battle and cunning rather than available to the paragons of mortal skill and strength? I'd like to hear everyone's take on how we avoid going too far to the point the base martial abilities eclipse mythic ones. First person to bring up dragonpeople, fists, or stone columns gets launched to the current favorited location of the comment referenced above.

okay so like overland travel is gain-able at level 9 or so, so martials should gain some ability to travel long distances easier at around that level. Just set a level where X should be something any given class can deal with, and then stick to it, some might be quicker or shorter than others, like a cavalier could easily gain a faster mount at a sooner level or some such.

So wizards can teleport instantly with some small (or at times quite large) degree of error and can potentially do so multiple times a day. To kinda match that, fighters or rogues could find a swift mount easily at any time, better mounts with better skill checks. A cavalier's or paladin's mount is not only exemplary in terms of strength and skill, it's also fast as hell, at higher levels maybe reaching top speeds of over a hundred miles an hour as it taps into the primal strength of the Lords of Horses or whatever. These classes aren't moving as fast as teleportation would let them or getting around the obstacles the same way, plus theirs might require skill checks and such, but it's at least something to get them there and back easier. Now the question is, what would the mythic version of this general kind of ability look like?

In addition to that topic, if anyone want to comment on it, how about healing and condition mitigation/removal? We shouldn't be 100% reliant on heal and restoration for getting back into the game. How do we give martials the ability to not be totally crippled by ability damage/drain or level drain and other conditions without completely obviating the utility of these spells or mythic power?


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Cerberus Seven wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Cerberus Seven wrote:
I'd like to change gears from kobolds, stone, and nakedness for a second to address the substance of the comment AntiElite is currently swooning over. Most people who participate in these threads seem to agree, with good reasoning and examples to support their logic, that martial abilities typically pale in comparison to magic ones. These examples given of legendary heroes from folklore in America, ancient Greece or China, etc. are good ideas for what those abilities should look like. My question is, what's the demarcation line between mortal and mythic martials? What should be strictly in the realm of demigods of battle and cunning rather than available to the paragons of mortal skill and strength? I'd like to hear everyone's take on how we avoid going too far to the point the base martial abilities eclipse mythic ones. First person to bring up dragonpeople, fists, or stone columns gets launched to the current favorited location of the comment referenced above.

okay so like overland travel is gain-able at level 9 or so, so martials should gain some ability to travel long distances easier at around that level. Just set a level where X should be something any given class can deal with, and then stick to it, some might be quicker or shorter than others, like a cavalier could easily gain a faster mount at a sooner level or some such.

So wizards can teleport instantly with some small (or at times quite large) degree of error and can potentially do so multiple times a day. To kinda match that, fighters or rogues could find a swift mount easily at any time, better mounts with better skill checks. A cavalier's or paladin's mount is not only exemplary in terms of strength and skill, it's also fast as hell, at higher levels maybe reaching top speeds of over a hundred miles an hour as it taps into the primal strength of the Lords of Horses or whatever. These classes aren't moving as fast as teleportation would let them or getting around the...

Give them a mid to high level ability where they can shed themselves of this weakness within a couple of days. Say, they can restore all ability drain or damage by spending 24-48 in meditation or "sleeping it off" or some such force of will or sheer force of constitutional might.

The Exchange

In the vein of answering the questions posed -

Mythic could be travel by lightning strike (ala Thor).

On the healing note, many classes have to deal with the healing issue. Wizards and divine classes not so much, but fixed spell casters may not be spending slots on summon monster x to bring in some form of healing class.

As for the martial classes - I like the fifth edition mechanic of having HD worth of healing per day. That could be incorporated into fighter barbarian builds easily enough if you think its necessary.

Having said that though, playing in a 12th level game of fifth ed the other day felt like no challenge at all. I believe its because people are still getting used to designing challenges around what parties can do.


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i don't think that giving abilities similar to spells to fighters will help. they need something UNIQUE that no spell can replicate, something to call their own.

because if you just give them something similar to a few spells, then, again, they will be miles behind, given the multitude of spells a caster has access to (which it would be insane to somehow incorporate into a fighter)

given the gadzillion of spells in existance that is kinda tough, because you will be hardpressed to find things that no spell can do to give them.

what i'm currently running and i'm pretty pleased with, i've given to the fighter of the group i'm running a few (lvl dependent) daily "hero points" (replenished at rest). As per hero point rules, this allows him, a precious few times per day (at level 9 he is currently he has 2) to bend the rules into his favor. Do impossible things (with a check).

A few examples so far are:
he intimidated an undead to give them information
he grabbed a sheet and flew off a cliff using it as a parachute, to grab an npc that was thrown off the cliff, grab him, and caught himself on the cliff before they hit the ground (he had to use both of his hero points, one for the fly thing, and the second for the grab)
he fred some commoners from dominate by "shouting them into their senses" (he rerolled their saves using his own modifiers)
he grabbed a flying monster and slammed it into the ground (kncoking prone a flying creature)
he threw himself on a fireball, blocking it with his body before it fully detonated (all other people got a +4 and imp evasion, he had to forfeit his save)
he has simply avoided death a few times (as per deny death)
and a few more amazing feats of prowess that i can't currently remember.

the beauty of this system is that it offers something on the spot, versatile, adds narrative power, doesn't step into anyones toes (he would be hardpressed to somehow teleport a group p.e. using "awesomeness" as a reason) and it is limited enough (1/4fighter level is what i have it set currently) to not be disruptive.


My inclination is to work from both ends. The divinations, teleports, summons, and minion spells that need to be reined in with unwritten rules go away. Fighters shouldn't need to match those because wizards shouldn't have them either.

I'm a fan of technology and skill for martials. In a sense I'd make fighter the new wizard. The wizard re-preps his spells every day even in the wilderness or a dungeon. The fighter has what he prepares in town for the campaign. If you need one fireball you ask the wizard. If you need a dozen fireballs the fighter unpacks a case of alchemical bombs.

Something like a gunslinger/alchemist cross but with the alchemist type stuff using weight and expense limits the way the gunslinger's ammunition does.

I don't think there's really a need for SoD breaking stuff like Cu Chalain. No one needs to cut through a mountain. Cut through a wall maybe, but you don't need silver age Superman super cutting to do that if you can build an only mildly unrealistic bomb, and you can actually use dragons as an excuse if you use them as your saltpeter source.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
ElyasRavenwood wrote:

Anyways, to me it seems the martial characters, Barbarian, fighter etc do far more damage a round consistently then the evocation magic my wizard wields. So why do martial's feel they don't have "nice things"?.

Thoughts?

In broad terms, it's because "do[ing] far more damage a round" is a relatively limited niche.

Spellcasters have tremendous battlefield mobility advantages -- they can climb better, swim better, fly (at all), and teleport (at all) to get to where they need to be for strategic purposes.

Spellcasters have many more resources for defending the party. They can make the party invisible, immune to attack, out-of-reach, untouchably behind a wall, uncatchable, and so forth.

Spellcasters have many more options for dealing with the environment. They can open locks, disable traps, make or seal portals through the dungeon, create safe zones for rest and recovery,...

Spellcasters have many more options for dealing with bad guys. They can put the bad guys in a deep pit, on the other side of a wall, in a cloud of blinding mist, lying on the ground unable to move, or simply dazed, confused, and unable to fight. They can even take direct control of bad guys and turn them into good guys.

Oh and if none of those things work out, they can do direct damage, as a last and much poorer resort.

So, basically, the spellcaster's list of options ends where the martial's list begins.

Yours is the "quantum spellcaster" argument; Not every caster has every utility or buff/debuff or attack/defense, control spell available on every turn. Not every violent conflict needs the wizard to use up spells. Opponents don't always make their saving throws either. For those moments, its good to have a fighter or two around.

But...much of this comes down to a GM having exciting combat scenes (or even just "conflicts") prepared.


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Cerberus Seven wrote:
These examples given of legendary heroes from folklore in America, ancient Greece or China, etc. are good ideas for what those abilities should look like. My question is, what's the demarcation line between mortal and mythic martials? What should be strictly in the realm of demigods of battle and cunning rather than available to the paragons of mortal skill and strength? I'd like to hear everyone's take on how we avoid going too far to the point the base martial abilities eclipse mythic ones. First person to bring up dragonpeople, fists, or stone columns gets launched to the current favorited location of the comment referenced above.

Fighters should graduate into mythical status as they gain levels into the double digits. A 17th level wizard is like unto a god, given the things they can do. I see no reason that a 17th level fighter shouldn't be a demigod.

If you don't want those kinds of abilities, stick to lower levels. If you want fighters to be mortal all the way to level 20, really what you're doing is making each of the lower levels pull double duty -- so do the same for the casters (which means only 1 free spell/level for wizards, and they'd finally get [maximum] 5th level spells at 18th level).


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Owly wrote:
Yours is the "quantum spellcaster" argument; Not every caster has every utility or buff/debuff or attack/defense, control spell available on every turn. Not every violent conflict needs the wizard to use up spells. Opponents don't always make their saving throws either. For those moments, its good to have a fighter or two around.

And this is where the problem arises, why would you bring the fighter when you could bring a cleric or druid or oracle who can all be as good at dealing direct physical damage as the fighter while also bringing so many more options.


PIXIE DUST wrote:

The thing is, a level 20 fighter can be stopped by something so simple. Even if you give the fighter armor and a sword, a simple level 1 strix commoner with a Bow could kill you. A level 1 should NEVER be able to stop a level 20. Even a naked level 20 fighter is what, a cr 16-17 encounter? That can be stopped by a level 1?

A level 20 caster is impossible to stop ar at level 1

This is where the disconnect occurs. You state this as if it's fact and yet I have never seen a properly built fighter stopped by a commoner 1 stric (of any other suitably CR'd creature in order to be relevant). I struggle to believe any fighter except one that was built by someone who had never played the game before would struggle against such an encounter except in the most contrived of situations.

The thing is, you don't need to go to these absurd lengths to prove your point. The problem becomes, while you and I might think there is an issue with a fighter's ability to have a meaningful impact on the story at higher levels, the people you're trying to persuade with these hyperbolic examples see the same thing and yet don't see a problem with it.

Different playstyles will have different problems with any given rule set.


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Cerberus Seven wrote:
Now the question is, what would the mythic version of this general kind of ability look like?

Seven-League Leap

The Exchange

John Lynch, not only do some of us not have problems with the game, some of us have tried the "fixes" implemented by these threads and found the game less enjoyable. Two of my friends and I actually used a bit of Kirthfinder for a while, to test things out. Good system, but we didn't enjoy it as much as Pathfinder.

Some of us have tried other systems where the very issues discussed here were addressed and balanced and found those systems not as fun as Pathfinder.

This is quite literally an issue where if we make changes to keep one group happy, we upset another.

Paizo merely asked which group was the largest group they could keep happy.

Since they haven't made the big changes the posters here keep going on about, I reckon that answers the question.

Also, some people do see a discrepancy in power, but actually like that!


Anarchy_Kanya wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:

A Fighter's Unarmed Strike will damage a stone wall the same way a Wizard's Fireball will.

That's to say, it won't. Sorry.
What are you basing that opinion on?

The part of the rules, already linked above, that states some weapons just don't damage some objects.

There is no reason to treat spells special in this case, and a blast of fire will do nothing to stone (especially considering Fireball lacks concussive force).


alexd1976 wrote:

Naked Fighter is designed to smash things.

If I swapped ONE feat out, the build I posted would do 1D3+26 with a bare-knuckled punch.

He permanently deafens AND blinds people on criticals (which are auto-confirmed, threaten on a 19+ and do x3 damage), DC 30 FORT save (for each effect).

A critical hit from this guy will do at LEAST 81 points of damage, with his bare hands, NAKED. In addition to probably blinding and deafening you.

Tell me this man can't break stone, I dare you.

Stop trying to crap on martials and at least let them do what the rules let them do!

Said "Naked Fighter" is more likely to break his hand than the wall, and any GM that rules so would be well within their rights.

As to "let them do what the rules let them do," we are! The rules specifically state that some weapons simply do not damage some objects if they are not designed to. Human appendages are not designed to tunnel through stone, therefore your damage potential is irrelevant as Naked Fighter's fist do none.
According to the rules.


Neo2151 wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:

Naked Fighter is designed to smash things.

If I swapped ONE feat out, the build I posted would do 1D3+26 with a bare-knuckled punch.

He permanently deafens AND blinds people on criticals (which are auto-confirmed, threaten on a 19+ and do x3 damage), DC 30 FORT save (for each effect).

A critical hit from this guy will do at LEAST 81 points of damage, with his bare hands, NAKED. In addition to probably blinding and deafening you.

Tell me this man can't break stone, I dare you.

Stop trying to crap on martials and at least let them do what the rules let them do!

Said "Naked Fighter" is more likely to break his hand than the wall, and any GM that rules so would be well within their rights.

As to "let them do what the rules let them do," we are! The rules specifically state that some weapons simply do not damage some objects if they are not designed to. Human appendages are not designed to tunnel through stone, therefore your damage potential is irrelevant as Naked Fighter's fist do none.
According to the rules.

Sure, but you're making a judgment call when you say that human appendages are not designed for breaking rocks. It's a pure 100% judgment call either way. I've seen plenty of rocks broken by human hands, which is impossible unless hands are designed for breaking rocks, therefore they are necessarily designed for breaking rocks. Then maybe someone else argues that hands may have evolved to be capable of breaking rocks, but were not specifically designed for it so they cannot actually break rocks.

It's silly because there's no clear standard for what "designed for breaking up stone" means, especially considering that the weapons listed as being "designed for breaking up stone" were in fact actually designed for breaking people just like every other non-improvised weapon. They bear some similarities to tools designed for breaking stone, but so does basically every melee weapon.

So basically any answer is within the rules. Except for that one where the fighter breaks his hand, which is just a making stuff up.

The Exchange

Neo2151 wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:

Naked Fighter is designed to smash things.

If I swapped ONE feat out, the build I posted would do 1D3+26 with a bare-knuckled punch.

He permanently deafens AND blinds people on criticals (which are auto-confirmed, threaten on a 19+ and do x3 damage), DC 30 FORT save (for each effect).

A critical hit from this guy will do at LEAST 81 points of damage, with his bare hands, NAKED. In addition to probably blinding and deafening you.

Tell me this man can't break stone, I dare you.

Stop trying to crap on martials and at least let them do what the rules let them do!

Said "Naked Fighter" is more likely to break his hand than the wall, and any GM that rules so would be well within their rights.

As to "let them do what the rules let them do," we are! The rules specifically state that some weapons simply do not damage some objects if they are not designed to. Human appendages are not designed to tunnel through stone, therefore your damage potential is irrelevant as Naked Fighter's fist do none.
According to the rules.

I've Watched Shao Lin monk demonstrations. They can smash large chunks of concrete with their heads, hands and feet. They can smash large stacks of bricks with heads, hands and feet.

I've seen high level karate and Kung fu masters punch into solid objects and damage them without hurting their hands.

I've witnessed those things in person, not on television.

I myself snapped two inch thick timber with hand and foot when I was training in martial arts. (Wouldn't try it now though, haven't trained it years and you really need to know what your doing for that particular trick).

Human hands are designed to break those materials.

In honesty, I can also see campaigns were level 20 fighters built for fighting unarmed have permanently enchanted their hands into Adamantine fists of martial awesome. Adamantine fists means he can just climb the walls since they ignore hardness. His fingers dig in like he's climbing sand. That's in custom item territory, but perfectly in the realms of possible in this game.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

the thing about bricks and concrete is they're brittle, if it's something that can be polished to be a smooth pillar, than it is more than likely 10 fold stronger than concrete or brick.


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Bandw2 wrote:
the thing about bricks and concrete is they're brittle, if it's something that can be polished to be a smooth pillar, than it is more than likely 10 fold stronger than concrete or brick.

While probably true, in game they both have hardness 8 and 15 HP per inch of thickness.

So a 1 inch stone slab that's broken by a martial artist only requires 25 points of damage, the thicker stone column requires much more to break through it. But we're not trying to break through it, we're just trying to break off enough to get a rock to throw.


Bandw2 wrote:
the thing about bricks and concrete is they're brittle, if it's something that can be polished to be a smooth pillar, than it is more than likely 10 fold stronger than concrete or brick.

Similar to how a level 20 fighter is 10 times stronger and tougher than any real world human, perhaps?


chocobot wrote:
Cerberus Seven wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
can get weapon training natural...
Weapon training (firearms) wouldn't help him shoot down a wall any faster with the non-lethal rounds I mentioned earlier, so why would weapon training (unarmed) help with his fists? Again, this isn't about his skill level, which is what weapon training augments, it's about the delivery mechanism being unsuited to properly distribute enough force in a manner to actually damage the target object. To give another, perhaps more helpful examples, think of if you gave the fighter a wooden bat and had him go to town on the stone wall/pillar. Which do you think breaks first, the bat or the wall? The bones in your hand and arm are NOT as solid as the bat, soooooo...

my arm would be mangled I'm sure. But I'm not a guy who can dive in to lava, swim out 6 seconds later, brush it off, and be just fine if a bit singed. So I don't think the capabilities of real human being are at all a viable estimator of the capabilities of 20th level characters. There's at least an order of magnitude difference. Saying that guy fist isn't an appropriate weapon is the absurd thing. He can punch a hole in a stone golem which is the same exact material. His hands can withstand more damage than literally any weapon he could possibly use against a wall short of an artifact.

And the same goes for a level 20 wizard punching a wall because being only 50% as durable is close enough. If he's strong enough, there's no logical reason he can't do it. It's not a special fighter thing. There's no rule to support that, but every rule in the game supports level 20 characters being superhuman, even when only mundanely so.

Damaging Objects wrote:

Ineffective Weapons

Certain weapons just can't effectively deal damage to certain objects. For example, a bludgeoning weapon cannot be used to damage a rope. Likewise, most melee weapons have little effect on stone walls and doors, unless they are designed for breaking up stone, such as a pick or hammer.

If most melee weapons have little effect on stone walls and doors with no consideration to who is wielding them (barring special abilities), then a level 20 fighter isn't going to do diddly against a wall with their fists. Unless you want to tell me that beating a wall with a greataxe is actually worse than using your fists.

I personally think the rules are kinda stupid, but that's what they are.

Side note: If I was writing the rules, I would make it at worst a decrease to 1/4 weapon damage and an increase in the object's effective hardness by 10 for a really ineffectual weapon, like smacking a rope with a hammer. If you manage to hit a rope for 44 bludgeoning damage before reductions, that should probably be enough to break it, flexibility be damned.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
bookrat wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
the thing about bricks and concrete is they're brittle, if it's something that can be polished to be a smooth pillar, than it is more than likely 10 fold stronger than concrete or brick.

While probably true, in game they both have hardness 8 and 15 HP per inch of thickness.

So a 1 inch stone slab that's broken by a martial artist only requires 25 points of damage, the thicker stone column requires much more to break through it. But we're not trying to break through it, we're just trying to break off enough to get a rock to throw.

i wouldn't really call concrete or brick stone though. :/


Concrete and bricks are not stone. They're a creation designed to be similar to stone, but more easy to shape, which makes them more brittle and easy to break by nature than unworked stone.

Also, in EVERY SINGLE BRICK-BREAKING EVENT EVER, the bricks are stacked with spacers. Do you know why? Because without that space between each brick, the competitor would definitely not be able to break them. (And even for those foolish enough to attempt breaking without spacers, there is ~always~ [guaranteed] to be an open space beneath the bricks. There is a reason for this.)

A wall is not designed to be broken - it is designed to withstand.
There is a world of difference between the two, and to argue otherwise is, simply put, silly.

[Edit - Not to mention, being able to even break a single brick requires significant conditioning. You can't just "do it, just cuz." You never see novice martial arts breaking bricks - only the advanced do that. There's a reason for this.]


Bandw2 wrote:
bookrat wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
the thing about bricks and concrete is they're brittle, if it's something that can be polished to be a smooth pillar, than it is more than likely 10 fold stronger than concrete or brick.

While probably true, in game they both have hardness 8 and 15 HP per inch of thickness.

So a 1 inch stone slab that's broken by a martial artist only requires 25 points of damage, the thicker stone column requires much more to break through it. But we're not trying to break through it, we're just trying to break off enough to get a rock to throw.

i wouldn't really call concrete or brick stone though. :/

Then what would you call it? Here are your options:

Paper/cloth, glass, rope, ice, leather, wood, stone, iron/steel, Mithral, adamantine.

As a note, The CRB lists a mason wall and hewn stone as the same hardness (the hardness of stone).

Dark Archive

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Should a Fighter be able to punch through an architectural pillar with his bare hands? You're damn right he should be able to.

Do the rules, as written, let him? No, not really.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
bookrat wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
bookrat wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
the thing about bricks and concrete is they're brittle, if it's something that can be polished to be a smooth pillar, than it is more than likely 10 fold stronger than concrete or brick.

While probably true, in game they both have hardness 8 and 15 HP per inch of thickness.

So a 1 inch stone slab that's broken by a martial artist only requires 25 points of damage, the thicker stone column requires much more to break through it. But we're not trying to break through it, we're just trying to break off enough to get a rock to throw.

i wouldn't really call concrete or brick stone though. :/

Then what would you call it? Here are your options:

Paper/cloth, glass, rope, ice, leather, wood, stone, iron/steel, Mithral, adamantine.

As a note, The CRB lists a mason wall and hewn stone as the same hardness (the hardness of stone).

probably wood since many bricks of the day involved plant fibers. only the romans really had concrete back then.


Bandw2 wrote:
bookrat wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
bookrat wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
the thing about bricks and concrete is they're brittle, if it's something that can be polished to be a smooth pillar, than it is more than likely 10 fold stronger than concrete or brick.

While probably true, in game they both have hardness 8 and 15 HP per inch of thickness.

So a 1 inch stone slab that's broken by a martial artist only requires 25 points of damage, the thicker stone column requires much more to break through it. But we're not trying to break through it, we're just trying to break off enough to get a rock to throw.

i wouldn't really call concrete or brick stone though. :/

Then what would you call it? Here are your options:

Paper/cloth, glass, rope, ice, leather, wood, stone, iron/steel, Mithral, adamantine.

As a note, The CRB lists a mason wall and hewn stone as the same hardness (the hardness of stone).

probably wood since many bricks of the day involved plant fibers. only the romans really had concrete back then.

That would give the brick a hardness of 5. So you only have to do three more points of damage to overcome the hardness of a stone than you would brick before you start damaging it. Easily doable by a 20th level fighter, as our only fighter example this thread can do 27-30 points of damage per unarmed strike. So really, he's punching/kicking/head butting through an inch of stone per hit, or with a full attack 4 inches of stone a round (every six seconds). It'll take him only 30 rounds to completely punch through that 10' column.


bookrat wrote:
That would give the brick a hardness of 5. So you only have to do three more points of damage to overcome the hardness of a stone than you would brick before you start damaging it. Easily doable by a 20th level fighter, as our only fighter example this thread can do 27-30 points of damage per unarmed strike. So really, he's punching/kicking/head butting through an inch of stone per hit, or with a full attack 4 inches of stone a round (every six seconds). It'll take him only 30 rounds to completely punch through that 10' column.

Except that damage potential isn't the only consideration when it comes to breaking objects.

If you can do 1000 damage with a feather, it still won't break the wall.


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Neo2151 wrote:
bookrat wrote:
That would give the brick a hardness of 5. So you only have to do three more points of damage to overcome the hardness of a stone than you would brick before you start damaging it. Easily doable by a 20th level fighter, as our only fighter example this thread can do 27-30 points of damage per unarmed strike. So really, he's punching/kicking/head butting through an inch of stone per hit, or with a full attack 4 inches of stone a round (every six seconds). It'll take him only 30 rounds to completely punch through that 10' column.

Except that damage potential isn't the only consideration when it comes to breaking objects.

If you can do 1000 damage with a feather, it still won't break the wall.

We're not talking about feathers. We're talking about a bludgeoning weapon. We also know bludgeoning weapons can be used to damage stone, as hammers are used in the example of types of weapons that could possibly be used to damage stone. Additionally, we have evidence that a battering ram can be used to damage stone, and that does less damage (3-18 vs 27-30). A fist is similar to a battering ram at this point.

We could also pick up Snake Style to gain piercing damage to turn our fist into a pick!


Neo2151 wrote:
bookrat wrote:
That would give the brick a hardness of 5. So you only have to do three more points of damage to overcome the hardness of a stone than you would brick before you start damaging it. Easily doable by a 20th level fighter, as our only fighter example this thread can do 27-30 points of damage per unarmed strike. So really, he's punching/kicking/head butting through an inch of stone per hit, or with a full attack 4 inches of stone a round (every six seconds). It'll take him only 30 rounds to completely punch through that 10' column.

Except that damage potential isn't the only consideration when it comes to breaking objects.

If you can do 1000 damage with a feather, it still won't break the wall.

it will if you make any modification whatsoever to the feather with the intent of improving its stone-breaking ability. At that point it will be "designed to break up stone" and therefore deal full damage.


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bookrat wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Wait... it requires a specialized 20th level fighter, built specifically for that purpose, to defeat a kobold?
Well, of course - if you design the scenario to specifically take away all salient class features from the fighter but leave the wizard or sorcerer the use of all of his ...
None of the fighters Class Features have been removed. This has been pointed out to you several times. If you keep using this claim in an attempt to weaken your opponent's arguments, I'm going to start accusing you of deliberately lying. Please stop.

More specifically, this scenario was devised to show that the fighter was more dependent on gear than a caster. Arguing that taking away a fighter's gear takes away his class abilities is confirming the original point.


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Bandw2 wrote:

let's remove all the class features too, two level 1 commoners stand in a room being shot at by a kobold with a light crossbow and 2000 bolts atop a 10x10x30 ft pillar, with no handholds and perfectly smooth.

how do they kill the kobold.

They wait until one of them is dead. The other one hides behind the dead one. As the dead one is now an object he can provide more than soft cover. While hidden and perfectly save the second commoner lives on the first's body. Eventually the kobold with either run out of bolts or he will succumb to hunger/thirst. That way the second commoner wins the challenge.

Just make sure that the bigger commoner dies first. Else the hiding part will be harder.

Edit: Or throw the bolts back as bookrat suggested.
Edit2: ninja'd multiple times but the idea that two level 1 commoners could achieve what a level 20 fighter needs a special build to do is too cool to not repeat.

The Exchange

Man, you give real life examples where this thing happens and still get argument.

The rules do allow this. Saying otherwise is house ruling.

This may also be why some people see an issue with Martials?

Shadow Lodge

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Wrath wrote:

I've Watched Shao Lin monk demonstrations. They can smash large chunks of concrete with their heads, hands and feet. They can smash large stacks of bricks with heads, hands and feet.

I've seen high level karate and Kung fu masters punch into solid objects and damage them without hurting their hands.

I've witnessed those things in person, not on television.

I myself snapped two inch thick timber with hand and foot when I was training in martial arts. (Wouldn't try it now though, haven't trained it years and you really need to know what your doing for that particular trick).

Human hands are designed to break those materials.

I'd say that it's the materials that are designed to be broken. Every demonstration of brick/concrete/wood breaking is done by relying on the weak tensile strength of the item in question. Everything is also done in one motion. The participant doesn't chip away at the block until it breaks. Failing to break the block in one motion also does significant damage to the appendage (proportional to the brittleness of the block).

The Exchange

Absolutely. However in Pathfinder, the rules don't specify that at all.

Plus, most people posting in these threads agree that beyond level 5 a character is probably better than anyone on our planet. So a Shao Lin monk is like level 5 fighter/monk/martial

Imagine what a level 20 can do. He doesn't need materials set just so. He can now do this to everything he can beat the hardness for.

Also, why break the pillar. Punch the outer wall of the room instead. Most walls are single layers over a wooden frame. But even if they're not, level 20 dude just goes smash.

This discussion is about rules as written. The only rule pointed out to limit this is the one that states most martial weapons are ineffective as they're not designed to. In real life, we can show that a human hand can be trained to do just that, break concrete and brick. Ergo, the rules allow level 20 fighter to punch his way out the room.


Breaking bricks/slabs of stone/etc is clearly a "breaking an object" strength check

If we try to apply a strength check to "break a masif wall" it would be hilariously high. Especially for a naked character that could at lvl 20 have something like +9 strength modifier, probably a DC higher than 30, so even if he takes 20, he could still not "break" it.

(I'm not taking a position if it can or can't be done with damage, just pointing out that all those examples of shaolin or whatever breaking bricks is something completely irrelevant since that doesn't depend on damage at all.


I guarentee that you could do the exact same trick someone does with their hands with the majority of weapons. Anything that isn't flimsy, in point of fact, should be able to go through a material at least as well as fists. Those slabs people karate chop through couldn't stand up to a hatchet, let alone a longsword(which could historically cleave through bars of iron) or a frigging greataxe. Greataxes aren't designed to hack through walls and pillars, so you aren't reasonably going to be able to argue that fists are, and thus you can't damage walls by punching. Unless you think that someone should be able to punch through a wall with their fist, but not thrust a steel spear through or hack through with a massive greataxe.

And no, it doesn't matter what level the wielder is. The rules make no allowances for the qualities of the wielder. It's all about the weapon, and the weapon only (barring specific abilities that state otherwise). It's stupid, but it's also the rules.


Snowblind wrote:


And no, it doesn't matter what level the wielder is. The rules make no allowances for the qualities of the wielder. It's all about the weapon, and the weapon only (barring specific abilities that state otherwise). It's stupid, but it's also the rules.

Yes, because if the wielder of the weapon had some impact on it that would be unrealistic and martials are not allowed to be that.


Just a Guess wrote:
Snowblind wrote:


And no, it doesn't matter what level the wielder is. The rules make no allowances for the qualities of the wielder. It's all about the weapon, and the weapon only (barring specific abilities that state otherwise). It's stupid, but it's also the rules.
Yes, because if the wielder of the weapon had some impact on it that would be unrealistic and martials are not allowed to be that.

Exactly.

Of course, if they wanted to boost martial capabilities they could always make a feat that lets someone treat any weapon as appropriate for the purposes of damaging materials. Possibly with a damage reduction, or only with a single weapon and with weapon focus as a prereq, because letting them break a rope with a hammer as easily as with a sword shouldn't be something a martial can do without extensive training with a single weapon. Maybe a feat chain, where the second feat lets them do it with any weapon with no penalty, with a little bit of hardness reduction thrown in(although that could be it's own feat too).

I might be involking Poe's Law a little here


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Snowblind wrote:
Just a Guess wrote:
Snowblind wrote:


And no, it doesn't matter what level the wielder is. The rules make no allowances for the qualities of the wielder. It's all about the weapon, and the weapon only (barring specific abilities that state otherwise). It's stupid, but it's also the rules.
Yes, because if the wielder of the weapon had some impact on it that would be unrealistic and martials are not allowed to be that.

Exactly.

Of course, if they wanted to boost martial capabilities they could always make a feat that lets someone treat any weapon as appropriate for the purposes of damaging materials. Possibly with a damage reduction, or only with a single weapon and with weapon focus as a prereq, because letting them break a rope with a hammer as easily as with a sword shouldn't be something a martial can do without extensive training with a single weapon. Maybe a feat chain, where the second feat lets them do it with any weapon with no penalty, with a little bit of hardness reduction thrown in(although that could be it's own feat too).

I might be involking Poe's Law a little here

Nonono you don't get it. It's not the weapon, it's the target that is important.

So the feat chain should be something like:
Structural knowledge (prereqs know(engi)):
You can harm rope with any weapon
Structural know 2: you can harm wood
Structural know 3: you can harm metal

Since it needs an intelligent fighter, obviously throw combat expertise in the prereqs to be sure he didn't dump his intelligence.

The Exchange

Actually, if you try to break bricks with any sword used in the martial arts, you'll break the blade.

A heavy axe might work, but not on a concrete slab.

And it requires training to hit that hard and cause damage. On bricks at least. Apparently you can train anyone to break timber in about 5 minutes according to a few websites I read a while back.

Man, now I'm defending something fighters can actually do in the rules in a thread about martial caster disparity.

I see we have people here who have no problem with a caster teleporting across the universe, but a fighter can't do something at level 20 that some humans on earth can do right now.


No, the problem is, by rae, fighters CANT do that.
(I doubt though that there is a DM which would say no, raw be damned)


Wrath wrote:

Actually, if you try to break bricks with any sword used in the martial arts, you'll break the blade.

A heavy axe might work, but not on a concrete slab.

And it requires training to hit that hard and cause damage. On bricks at least. Apparently you can train anyone to break timber in about 5 minutes according to a few websites I read a while back.

Man, now I'm defending something fighters can actually do in the rules in a thread about martial caster disparity.

I see we have people here who have no problem with a caster teleporting across the universe, but a fighter can't do something at level 20 that some humans on earth can do right now.

What sort of blade are you talking about? A longsword can be slammed into fullplate repeatedly and come out of it a little blunted at worst. Blades like that can actually flex substantially and return to their original shape, so the brittleness of the stone isn't going to hurt it much. A concrete block isn't going to do any worse to the sword than a piece of fullplate.

FYI, I don't actually have a problem with a fighter punching through a wall. I do have a problem with the rules as written. They needlessly restrict characters(especially martials), and so long as people continue denying that there is a problem with them then the rules shall continue restricting martial characters needlessly. There is a chance that if we draw enough attention to the absurdity of this then the next CRB printing will have the phrase "most weapons" discreetly changed or removed. That way you don't have to try to argue that fists go through stone better than a heavy blade or a massive axe, both of which are designed to cleave through thick metal armor.


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Neo2151 wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:

Naked Fighter is designed to smash things.

If I swapped ONE feat out, the build I posted would do 1D3+26 with a bare-knuckled punch.

He permanently deafens AND blinds people on criticals (which are auto-confirmed, threaten on a 19+ and do x3 damage), DC 30 FORT save (for each effect).

A critical hit from this guy will do at LEAST 81 points of damage, with his bare hands, NAKED. In addition to probably blinding and deafening you.

Tell me this man can't break stone, I dare you.

Stop trying to crap on martials and at least let them do what the rules let them do!

Said "Naked Fighter" is more likely to break his hand than the wall, and any GM that rules so would be well within their rights.

As to "let them do what the rules let them do," we are! The rules specifically state that some weapons simply do not damage some objects if they are not designed to. Human appendages are not designed to tunnel through stone, therefore your damage potential is irrelevant as Naked Fighter's fist do none.
According to the rules.

You actually want to argue the point that someone capable of punching you so hard that your eyes and ears explode (literally blinding and deafening you-PERMANENTLY), while doing enough damage to outright KILL a Cyclops in ONE PUNCH...

Can't bypass hardness 8 on a stone wall because a rule that explicitly allows for interpretation could be read in a way that might imply that maybe his punch can't hurt the wall?

"Hey, Naked Fighter, what did you do today?

"Killed a dozen Cyclops', knocked out a few elephants, swam through lava and jumped off a cliff, how about you?

"Not much, not much... can you break this two inch thick stone wall for us?"

"Absolutely not, that's not possible!"

Repeatedly telling me that 'the rules state you can't damage walls with your fists' is not going to convince me.

The rules DON'T say that. They IMPLY that. I think a level 20 fighter is absolutely at a level high enough to be able to affect it.

Again, the build I posted earlier, if I just swapped out Dodge and gave him Power Attack, would do 81 points of damage (minimum) on a critical hit.

Naked.

With a punch.

No way this guy is breaking his hand on something as flimsy as a hardness 8 stone wall.

He can punch the TARRASQUE and do damage! Sure, it would have to roll a 1 on the DC 30 FORT save (two saves, one for deaf, one for blind), but this crazy level 20 has this ability!

So, addressing the original question, why do Martials need nice things?

Because a)they don't have enough of them and b)it seems a lot of people want to take away or nerf what they DO have.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
PIXIE DUST wrote:

The thing is, a level 20 fighter can be stopped by something so simple. Even if you give the fighter armor and a sword, a simple level 1 strix commoner with a Bow could kill you. A level 1 should NEVER be able to stop a level 20. Even a naked level 20 fighter is what, a cr 16-17 encounter? That can be stopped by a level 1?

A level 20 caster is impossible to stop ar at level 1

This is where the disconnect occurs. You state this as if it's fact and yet I have never seen a properly built fighter stopped by a commoner 1 stric (of any other suitably CR'd creature in order to be relevant). I struggle to believe any fighter except one that was built by someone who had never played the game before would struggle against such an encounter except in the most contrived of situations.

The thing is, you don't need to go to these absurd lengths to prove your point. The problem becomes, while you and I might think there is an issue with a fighter's ability to have a meaningful impact on the story at higher levels, the people you're trying to persuade with these hyperbolic examples see the same thing and yet don't see a problem with it.

Different playstyles will have different problems with any given rule set.

My naked fighter build would just be catching the arrows and firing them back with enough force to blow the level 1 sucker into a cloud of feathers.

Assuming it was in range. And not using rapid shot.

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