Do you allow retraining?


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Just starting a new AP (Giantslayer) and one of my players asked about retraining. Hasn't really come up before for me (as a GM or player).

The player is playing a Kineticist and wants to retrain HP, which I understand why he would like to do that with burn.

It doesn't really feel realistic overall (not that PF is realistic), I am hesitant to allow it.

So does anyone else have reservations on this? Or is just me?


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I definitely allow retraining and hesitate strongly when a GM refuses.

Now, the retraining HP is a bit weird, because it's less retraining and more 'up-training.' I might allow a character to roll his HP and- if less than average retrain those lesser rolls up to average.

But retraining feats/skill points/spells-known/racial features? Heck yeah. Traits too, even though RAW doesn't permit retraining of those unless they were purchased by an Extra Traits feat.

Grand Lodge

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I absolutely allow retraining. People spend time hardening their bodies in the real world, so retraining hp fills that goal for me. Most everything else makes sense to me just as well.


I allow it, if you are concerned from a balance/ power point of view you can limit access to it in game by manipulating the pacing of events and how much time is available for it.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

I allow it, it's either that or a sepekku frenzy.


I'd allow it if it's reasonable: mostly time frame, since lately I've only been running APs and they can have tight schedules. None of my players have ever requested it though. Not sure if they know it's a thing... It's good to let 3/4 BAB classes spend resources to catch up a bit in BAB-gated feats, like retraining to Power Attack at level 2.


I allow restraining. Though, I'm not sure what retraining HP is...

If you mean retraining your favored class bonus from a skill rank to HP point, that's fine.

If you mean retraining a die roll, I'm... not sure? If you're using rolled HP, I would suggest allowing retraining only if he's below the threshold of average HP. (d6 = 3.5 per level, d8 = 4.5 per level, etc)


Puna'chong wrote:
I'd allow it if it's reasonable: mostly time frame, since lately I've only been running APs and they can have tight schedules. None of my players have ever requested it though. Not sure if they know it's a thing... It's good to let 3/4 BAB classes spend resources to catch up a bit in BAB-gated feats, like retraining to Power Attack at level 2.

I have a Scrollmaster wizard who I intend to retrain a feat to Quickdraw at level 2.


Knitifine wrote:

I allow restraining. Though, I'm not sure what retraining HP is...

If you mean retraining your favored class bonus from a skill rank to HP point, that's fine.

If you mean retraining a die roll, I'm... not sure? If you're using rolled HP, I would suggest allowing retraining only if he's below the threshold of average HP. (d6 = 3.5 per level, d8 = 4.5 per level, etc)

Retraining wrote:

Hit Points

Sometimes the dice aren't in your favor when you gain a level and the hit points you roll are especially low. Unlike retraining other character abilities, retraining hit points doesn't involve replacing an existing ability with a new one, it just increases your maximum hit points.

Retraining hit points takes 3 days and requires you to spend time at a martial academy, monk monastery, or with some kind of master of combat who is at least one level higher than you. At the end of the training period, increase your hit points by 1. You can retrain hit points only if your maximum hit point total is less than the maximum possible hit point total for your character.

Example: If you are a fighter 5 with Constitution 14 and you haven't allocated any of your favored class bonus to hit points, your maximum possible hit point total is 60: (d10 HD + 2 from Constitution) × 5 levels. If your maximum hit point total is already 60, you can't retrain hit points because you are already at the limit. If you took the Toughness feat, you would gain 5 hit points and your maximum possible hit point total would also increase by 5, which means your ability to retrain hit points would be the same as without the feat.


I give people a free retrain at level 5 so long as they keep their original concept intact. I assume they made the character without knowing how long it would last and may not have made the best long term choices with that in mind. After level 5 I prefer not to but would probably adjust that position if there was a large difference in player choice significance in the party that could be addressed with some retraining.


It's retraining, not ret-conning. Why exactly do you prefer not after level 5?


Retraining (especially HP retraining) is decently realistic.


Yes, I allow people to play the characters they want to play. Which is what Retraining is, when you get down to it.

As for HP, I don't have people roll for HP. They get the average of their HD per level, rounded up.


I love the retraining rules. It lets you rebuild your character in-game without the finger of DM.


Retraining has been central to my Kingmaker game, once the PC's paid to have those gymnasiums and dojos built. In a game with a lot of downtime it gives characters something to do between tomb robbing expeditions. Just remember to charge them for it both in cash (trainers don't work for free and you need find one of appropriate level, something that gets progressively harder to do) and more importantly in time. It helps to have a game world calendar and mark off the days so no one can pull off an impossible number of projects in phantom time: "So, you retrained 4 hit points, crafted two magic items and some potions, and worked 10 days at your business? Sorry, but there was only 12 days between the end of the last adventure and the start of this one, so you are going to have to chose."


We have never used any of the retraining rules, but I'm hoping to convince my GM to allow them.

I like the idea of slowly increasing HP, I really hope he allows it.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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If a player came to me saying there was something about their character they didn't like (maybe a choice didn't pan out as they expected), I'd work out a solution and not even bother with "retraining"; I'd just wave my GM wand and say "Poof! The game is fun for you again!"

As for retraining HP, well, there's a reason I never have my players roll HP in the first place. :/


I am a little curious. If you retrain a class level into one with a different roll on the HP Dice. Say... for an extreme example, a Barbarian into a Wizard. What happens to your health?


I'm not really a fan of it but I can't quite put my finger on it as to why not. I think because it feels too much like retconning and smacks of laziness or powergaming on the part of the player. But since it has never come up in one of my games it hasn't been an issue so far.


But it's not retconning, it's quite literally seeking out a trainer and training yourself into something else.

Where's the power gaming in paying cash and time to change one's self?


I just don't allow as I make sure to let the players know that is a option. I just don't allow HP retraining... 'Cause I always give full HP. :p


There is no ret-con because it takes place in the game. The character is as he/she is and is seeking to make changes. They have to find a trainer, which takes RP, and have to pay for training. Then they have to find the time to fit it in. I always have the actual training take place "off-camera" between adventures (between play sessions when all downtime procs), but it is still an event that takes place within the context of the game. Why would gymnasiums, dojos, and academies even exist in a world if it isn't possible to improve one's health or knowledge without delving into a tomb?


I absolutely allow it and was grateful they put it in the game! The only things I found that kinda break verisimilitude are retraining something like sorcerer bloodlines since they are something innate in the character (even before he decided to become an adventurer) and might have even had story or backstory built around it. Granted you could always change to something similar and it wouldn't cause much of an issue.
Retraining does allow the implementation of new PF materials without making a completely new character. If you're several levels into a campaign with a class that is kinda sorta what you wanted but not quite, and then they release a book with an archetype that gives you exactly what you wanted, you can retrain into that archetype.
Also, PF is a huge game and it's easy to misunderstand or overlook how some options work or interact with other options. If a player chooses a feat or other option that sounded better on paper than in practice, they shouldn't have to be handicapped by that for the rest of their character lives.
And HP training, essentially getting tougher, is probably the least intrusive of the retraining considering it just raises your current max HP by 1. Most of my players found it seldom worth the time and money...unless you just really rolled horrendously for HP.


It's a good thing. Sometimes a player picks out a feat or takes an ability that doesn't really end up working all that well in practice. Or they choose some anti-undead stuff for the early bit (or other creature-type specific thing; happens all the time in APs) and then find out the next three books don't have a single undead encounter. It uses resources, it can have as much or as little roleplaying as you want, and it really can only happen in the confines of downtime. I will admit, though, that I'm a nice DM when it comes to swapping out options that just aren't working out. Nobody wants to sit around for the rest of a campaign with a character that isn't as fun as it could be, and at the end of the day Pathfinder is a game, not a series of business meetings.


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DracoLord wrote:
I am a little curious. If you retrain a class level into one with a different roll on the HP Dice. Say... for an extreme example, a Barbarian into a Wizard. What happens to your health?

If you don't roll hit points, it is an easy matter to calculate how many hit points you get from each hit die -- so you subtract the hit points from the barbarian hit die and add the points from the wizard hit die, for what is most likely a net loss of 3 hit points.

If you do roll hit points, you would need to estimate how many hit points comes from the barbarian level you are training away, subtract that number of hit points, roll the wizard hit die, and add that amount back in. This calculation is easiest if you started out as a single classed barbarian -- in that case, the estimated hit points per level would equal your total hit points divided by your level, rounded to the nearest whole number.


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It has to be allowed? The game developers had led me to believe that it had become an integral part of the game.

Without retraining, a 15th-level fighter can't make his 1st-level Dodge feat into Blinding Critical.


Retraining is a decent way to tip the scales (however subtly) in favor of martials, who can as Ravingdork basically just said swap out their low level feats for higher level ones and generally make their building easier.

Also I don't like to force players to stick with a choice they have come to regret.


I allow retraining constantly during downtime. I also allow downtime regularly.

When building characters, as a one time deal I allow my players to keep track level by level what their HP rolls are and pay to retrain them as that level (if starting past level 2).

Often my players will gladly spend the money on more HP, which means less shenanigans on Magic Items.


Ravingdork wrote:

It has to be allowed? The game developers had led me to believe that it had become an integral part of the game.

Without retraining, a 15th-level fighter can't make his 1st-level Dodge feat into Blinding Critical.

the fighter gets the ability to change his feats as a class ability, I think we are talking about the retraining rules from Ultimate Campaign.


I absolutely do. It's a great addition to the game.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I do not allow for retraining. Let me explain why...

- I don't want anyone to have to play a character they aren't happy with, so I pretty much let anyone switch out feats, character choices, etc. if they talk to me about it at anytime during the game with no downtime or cost involved. This applies as long as the feat has been a mistake that isn't used, doesn't really fit the character, etc. If you take improved initiative and then decide later you don't want it, you are out of luck.

- What I don't allow is players to map out a feat tree that allows them to take advantageous feats and swap them out later because they have outgrown the first ones, but want better ones going forward. This is something that sets the fighter apart, so I feel like I need to keep that special. Usually at worst we are talking one feat, which is something they can live with.

- Retraining hps. I let my players roll, and if they roll below half, they get half. Don't see the need to allow HP retraining because of this house rule.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Not only do I allow retraining, I have let players retrain their entire class for absolutely no cost.

I had a cleric, who decided he wanted to be a sorcerer later, and then decided he actually wanted to be a wizard and now that he's completed a story mission involving him returning to the fold of the church has retrained as a Kobold Press Theurge.

When you play the same thing for over 5 years of real time, newer options might fit your character better, or you might just be bored of the thing you're playing.

As for your kineticist retraining his hp, I'd let him pay the cost and do the thing. Any other character has the same opportunity to do just that.


I should mention that very soon my players are going to have a harder time finding trainers. Up to this point (they are level 11, going on 12) I just assumed if they paid the gold and spent at least a day looking and networking they found someone able and willing to retrain them.
When they reach level 13 (the starting level of module 5 of an adventure path) they will find that 1) characters of higher level are relatively rare and 2) such NPcs tend to be very busy with better things to do than train you. At level 13+ they will have enough renown that NPCs are seeking them out for training more than the other way around.
When they reach level 16 (starting level for Sound of a Thousand Screams) higher level characters will truly be few and far between. They might need to spend considerable resources to find a higher level character who has the right skill set and who is willing to train them. Also, trainers at this level might come with quests or require favors rather than having simple fees.
Even at that, I will never say No to retraining, just that it won't be something that can be assumed. They can, of course, cry me a river since by the teen levels you should have a reasonable handle on how to build your character.


Jiggy wrote:
If a player came to me saying there was something about their character they didn't like (maybe a choice didn't pan out as they expected), I'd work out a solution and not even bother with "retraining"; I'd just wave my GM wand and say "Poof! The game is fun for you again!"

But I have to ask Jiggy, and a few others who replied in similar fashion, is the "fun" of this game so fragile that a single feat is hte difference between fun and not fun?

Is there anybody that looks at a character they built over a period of months or maybe years, with which they've had fun adventures, fun role-play, and generally enjoyed gaming, but yet they say "Well, that one feat here is making this game no fun for me"?

Is our enjoyment of this game teetering on such a razor's edge?

Disclaimer: I allow retraining. It's awesome. It's a perfect way to see your character learn and grow over time. I dislike the break from reality, though: if a doctor retrains to become a lawyer, it doesn't cause him to FORGET how to be a doctor, but Pathfinder retaining means you literally forget something you used to know (and sometimes you literally change who your ancestors are, which seems even worse).

Despite the break from reality, I allow it in most cases with two caveats:
1. If you want to retrain because you took an option that we thought was good but it turns out to be bad, I just let you do swap it out on the spot - no trainers, no fees, no time. Nobody should get stuck with a bad game rule. But first, I offer to let you keep it and house-rule that option to work better than the official rule.
2. If you want to retrain because you took a temporary option to get an temporary advantage at low level, knowing full well that the option would be replaced later with something else that would have sucked at low level but is good at higher level, I feel this is a metagamey exploit and frown heavily upon it. If I know a player is planning such a "build" in advance, I disallow it up front, but if he springs it on me mid-campaign, then I allow it that one time and won't let him do it again on that character or any other. Build for the future is fine, but if your build is "awesome now, then retrain convenient amnesia to forget the early awesome and replace it with future awesome" then I'll object.


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alexd1976 wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

It has to be allowed? The game developers had led me to believe that it had become an integral part of the game.

Without retraining, a 15th-level fighter can't make his 1st-level Dodge feat into Blinding Critical.

the fighter gets the ability to change his feats as a class ability, I think we are talking about the retraining rules from Ultimate Campaign.

As was I.


Ravingdork wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

It has to be allowed? The game developers had led me to believe that it had become an integral part of the game.

Without retraining, a 15th-level fighter can't make his 1st-level Dodge feat into Blinding Critical.

the fighter gets the ability to change his feats as a class ability, I think we are talking about the retraining rules from Ultimate Campaign.
As was I.

I'm confused...

can a fighter not change Dodge to Blinding Critical without using Ultimate Campaign?


alexd1976 wrote:


I'm confused...

can a fighter not change Dodge to Blinding Critical without using Ultimate Campaign?

No, you're right, fighter could do that since core.


DM_Blake wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
If a player came to me saying there was something about their character they didn't like (maybe a choice didn't pan out as they expected), I'd work out a solution and not even bother with "retraining"; I'd just wave my GM wand and say "Poof! The game is fun for you again!"

But I have to ask Jiggy, and a few others who replied in similar fashion, is the "fun" of this game so fragile that a single feat is hte difference between fun and not fun?

Is there anybody that looks at a character they built over a period of months or maybe years, with which they've had fun adventures, fun role-play, and generally enjoyed gaming, but yet they say "Well, that one feat here is making this game no fun for me"?

Is our enjoyment of this game teetering on such a razor's edge?

In my experience, it depends. For example we have an ongoing Pathfinder game that started when Burnt Offerings came out. It was 3.5. I made my Rogue from a 3.5 standpoint. Since then LOADS have changed and going back to that particular campaign (now on The Hook Mt. Massacre) we've converted fully to PF rules. I went from a 3.5 Rogue 6/ Swashbuckler 3/ Swordsage 1 to a Rogue 7/ Stalker 3 and the difference are pretty significant and I'm having more fun with the Stalker and his disciplines than I was with the Swordsage. Not to mention my character is better as an Unchained Rogue than the 3.5 version.

DM_Blake wrote:


Disclaimer: I allow retraining. It's awesome. It's a perfect way to see your character learn and grow over time. I dislike the break from reality, though: if a doctor retrains to become a lawyer, it doesn't cause him to FORGET how to be a doctor, but Pathfinder retaining means you literally forget something you used to know (and sometimes you literally change who your ancestors are, which seems even worse).

Despite the break from reality, I allow it in most cases with two caveats:
1. If you want to retrain because you took an option that we thought was good but it turns out to be bad, I just let you do swap it out on the spot - no trainers, no fees, no time. Nobody should get stuck with a bad game rule. But first, I offer to let you keep it and house-rule that option to work better than the official rule.
2. If you want to retrain because you took a temporary option to get an temporary advantage at low level, knowing full well that the option would be replaced later with something else that would have sucked at low level but is good at higher level, I feel this is a metagamey exploit and frown heavily upon it. If I know a player is planning such a "build" in advance, I disallow it up front, but if he...

The problem is this game is FULL of such stuff. Why can't the character stay good over the course of 20,levels compared to just a few? I mean look at most spellcasters, the lot of them can replace old spells with new and better ones as they level so why penalize other characters further?


I've never used retraining rules, and also played a lot of fighters...

The main thing I like about the 'retraining rules' is bumping up your hitpoints...

Casters spend downtime researching spells (an existing mechanic) and now, new rule for me, I can start getting my fighter more hitpoints.

yes please.

As a fighter-player, this sounds VERY nice. It basically translates into this for my group:

Fighters may now use downtime to gain hitpoints, no other changes are being made.

Yup yup, I'll take it.


Yeah, gaining more HP is definitely a nice perk.


I'm running one AP currently and the only book I banned was Ultimate Campaign. Mainly because of some stupidly OP traits but I felt that retraining is something that would basically allow my players to make their characters stronger with very little effort. I don't run my campaign particularly hard and don't want to crank up the challenge all the time.

That's just my personal preference. Depending on campaign it would make sense to retrain on some occasions. For example: the groups rogue dies and the ranger feels like taking over trap-duty and thus retrains a level or two to rogue.


FranKc wrote:

I'm running one AP currently and the only book I banned was Ultimate Campaign. Mainly because of some stupidly OP traits but I felt that retraining is something that would basically allow my players to make their characters stronger with very little effort. I don't run my campaign particularly hard and don't want to crank up the challenge all the time.

That's just my personal preference. Depending on campaign it would make sense to retrain on some occasions. For example: the groups rogue dies and the ranger feels like taking over trap-duty and thus retrains a level or two to rogue.

Interesting.

My group said that Ultimate Campaign was the ONLY source available for feats, at one point in time...

RPGs are fun, and player groups have very VERY interesting house rules. :D


Diffan wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
If a player came to me saying there was something about their character they didn't like (maybe a choice didn't pan out as they expected), I'd work out a solution and not even bother with "retraining"; I'd just wave my GM wand and say "Poof! The game is fun for you again!"

But I have to ask Jiggy, and a few others who replied in similar fashion, is the "fun" of this game so fragile that a single feat is hte difference between fun and not fun?

Is there anybody that looks at a character they built over a period of months or maybe years, with which they've had fun adventures, fun role-play, and generally enjoyed gaming, but yet they say "Well, that one feat here is making this game no fun for me"?

Is our enjoyment of this game teetering on such a razor's edge?

In my experience, it depends. For example we have an ongoing Pathfinder game that started when Burnt Offerings came out. It was 3.5. I made my Rogue from a 3.5 standpoint. Since then LOADS have changed and going back to that particular campaign (now on The Hook Mt. Massacre) we've converted fully to PF rules. I went from a 3.5 Rogue 6/ Swashbuckler 3/ Swordsage 1 to a Rogue 7/ Stalker 3 and the difference are pretty significant and I'm having more fun with the Stalker and his disciplines than I was with the Swordsage. Not to mention my character is better as an Unchained Rogue than the 3.5 version.

You'll note that Jiggy said "something" not "a bunch of things" and I replied "single feat" and "one feat".

Your example of completely changing 10 character levels including choosing new classes for all 10 levels is not exactly "one feat" and doesn't address the point you wanted to address.

I appreciate that a 6-year old campaign that was only hold for nearly 6 years of that time should be refreshed. I even said I allow that kind of thing without even requiring retraining - this definitely qualifies as "we thought was good but turns out to be bad (6 years later with about 3,417 new books full of bloat)".

Incidentally, did your character actually USE the retraining rules to replace all those class levels and probably a bunch of feats and/or skills too? One at a time, taking lots of time and money and requiring you to find at least an 11th level trainer to teach you this stuff? Or did you just retcon him to his new features?

If you were my player, I wouldn't bankrupt you with retraining all that while sidelining the rest of the group for a few months waiting for you to retrain; I'd just go for the retcon.

The Exchange

I allow retraining with a huuuuuge caveat. I require my players to track where feats came from, either level or class feature, and when they got the feat.

If you want to retrain the feat, it HAS to be one you could have gotten at the level of, or with the class feature at that point in time. So you can't trade Dodge for Blinding Critical, but you can trade Dodge for Toughness.

My players have agreed that this completely makes sense, and it doesn't take much to put a little parenthesis next to the feat saying what level or class feature granted it, and when.

We had some trouble with a new player who came into our group using the RAW form of retraining attempting to powergame instead of following a natural flow of character progression. Eventually, he left amicably with no hard feelings as our play-styles did not match in the slightest, and he realized that when I refused to up challenges for his character.

As far as HP retraining, I actually upped it to 2 hp instead of just 1 because we do roll for HP.


DM_Blake wrote:

You'll note that Jiggy said "something" not "a bunch of things" and I replied "single feat" and "one feat".

Your example of completely changing 10 character levels including choosing new classes for all 10 levels is not exactly "one feat" and doesn't address the point you wanted to address.

I appreciate that a 6-year old campaign that was only hold for nearly 6 years of that time should be refreshed. I even said I allow that kind of thing without even requiring retraining - this definitely qualifies as "we thought was good but turns out to be bad (6 years later with about 3,417 new books full of bloat)".

Incidentally, did your character actually USE the retraining rules to replace all those class levels and probably a bunch of feats and/or skills too? One at a time, taking lots of time and money and requiring you to find at least an 11th level trainer to teach you this stuff? Or did you just retcon him to his new features?

If you were my player, I wouldn't bankrupt you with retraining all that while sidelining the rest of the group for a few months waiting for you to retrain; I'd just go for the retcon.

Fair enough. I'm coming from the angle that because feats are highly prized, choosing one and realizing that it doesn't mesh well or work as well as one thought sort of saddles your character a bit. A Fighter who took Toughness at 1st level, for example, only sees a very marginal gain as they advance so that would be one feat that had some early potential that significantly depreciated over a character's career. Swapping that out, later one, for something that allows them to qualify for a better feat at a later level should be encouraged.

By the by, no my character didn't use the retraining rules to reshape the character. Since we all were basically exchanging a whole new system for another, our DM figured that a re-write was the best solution. And when you look at it my Rogue/Swashbuckler/Swordmage turned Rogue/Stalker pretty much did all the stuff the previous one did except maybe buckle a few less swashes? I never really understood the Swashbuckler (3.x OR PF) flavor in anything outside of a pirate/sea setting, I just grabbed the class because it had a full BAB and added Intelligence to damage rolls. With the Stalker and the Unchained Rogue I get amazing stance (Battle Dragon Stance) and still retain Dex to damage rolls, which is nice.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
alexd1976 wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

It has to be allowed? The game developers had led me to believe that it had become an integral part of the game.

Without retraining, a 15th-level fighter can't make his 1st-level Dodge feat into Blinding Critical.

the fighter gets the ability to change his feats as a class ability, I think we are talking about the retraining rules from Ultimate Campaign.
As was I.

I'm confused...

can a fighter not change Dodge to Blinding Critical without using Ultimate Campaign?

To my knowledge, a fighter absolutely could do that with his class abilities. He (or anyone else) can also do it with retraining.

However, in my initial post, I was referring to retraining specifically.

Sovereign Court

alexd1976 wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

It has to be allowed? The game developers had led me to believe that it had become an integral part of the game.

Without retraining, a 15th-level fighter can't make his 1st-level Dodge feat into Blinding Critical.

the fighter gets the ability to change his feats as a class ability, I think we are talking about the retraining rules from Ultimate Campaign.
As was I.

I'm confused...

can a fighter not change Dodge to Blinding Critical without using Ultimate Campaign?

From my understanding, only his bonus feats can be retrained for free.

For any other options it takes time and cash.


Personally I'm surprised that none of the characters in my Game have requested retrain of at least Hp. It's a Kingmaker game so they have the time and most have almost died already.

Ahh now I see it

Retraining hit points takes 3 days and requires you to spend time at a martial academy, monk monastery, or with some kind of master of combat who is at least one level higher than you. At the end of the training period, increase your hit points by 1. You can retrain hit points only if your maximum hit point total is less than the maximum possible hit point total for your character.

They are the highest level people in their Kingdom. Maybe I should introduce a wandering Marshal Artist.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

DM_Blake wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
If a player came to me saying there was something about their character they didn't like (maybe a choice didn't pan out as they expected), I'd work out a solution and not even bother with "retraining"; I'd just wave my GM wand and say "Poof! The game is fun for you again!"
But I have to ask Jiggy, and a few others who replied in similar fashion, is the "fun" of this game so fragile that a single feat is hte difference between fun and not fun?

Equating "something" with "exactly one feat" is quite an assumption on your part. It could be one feat, it could be a feat tree (which could in turn include stat prereqs and so forth), it could be which of a group of similar classes they thought would enable their concept the best, it could be a fighting style and the various choices made to support it; the list goes on and on. I'd call any of those "something".

Quote:
Is there anybody that looks at a character they built over a period of months or maybe years, with which they've had fun adventures, fun role-play, and generally enjoyed gaming, but yet they say "Well, that one feat here is making this game no fun for me"?

Your statement is literally self-contradictory: a character that they've been having fun with and is simultaneously "no fun".

If someone made a character choice that's draining the fun from the game, then that character is not "a character they built over a period of months or maybe years, with which they've had fun adventures, fun role-play, and generally enjoyed gaming". That's kind of the point.

Then there's also the situation of a character that was fun at first, but didn't stay that way. For instance, I had a fighter that I played from 1st to about 9th over the course of many months. I gave him a 13 INT so I could go for Combat Expertise and Improved Trip/Disarm with a flail.

At 1st-3rd levels, he was pretty fun: he could do things that others couldn't. Others focused on damage, but 2HPA is kind of overkill against things with 10HP, so my slightly lesser damage wasn't an issue.

But then the game changed. Math scaled. Enemies changed. My own understanding of the game improved. Started fighting monsters who didn't use weapons and which flew or had lots of legs (or no legs), leaving me to do nothing but attack for damage, which I wasn't as good at. Against armed humanoids, I started to realize that tripping and disarming didn't actually move the fight toward resolution. I tried to remedy this with Combat Reflexes and Greater Trip, so that with a single expenditure of an attack I could trip and disarm the guy, whack him with my iterative, then whack him with AoOs.

Then I figured out that the net result was the same as if I just 2HPA'd him on my own turn, except it's slower to resolve (more rolls) and is costing me a whole host of extra feats instead of just Power Attack.

And it still didn't feel like I was playing the "smart fighter" that I thought I had created.

So I went into it making a smarter-than-average fighter who could do stuff others couldn't and was generally pretty useful. But then his abilities gradually became irrelevant, and his identity disappeared as his differences from other fighters failed to set him apart.

That (along with some other things) drained the fun out of the experience. Had that been the PC of a player in a campaign I was running, I'd have let them change things up for free, because the game tends not to be fun when your character isn't matching your concept anymore.

Quote:
Is our enjoyment of this game teetering on such a razor's edge?

If by "razor's edge" you mean the ridiculous "single feat means the whole game is simultaneously fun and not fun" oxymoron that you contrived in order to make your point sound better, then the answer to your question is "no". If by "razor's edge" you mean "choices that fail to produce the desired result can make the game less fun", then the answer to your question is yes.


fictionfan wrote:

Personally I'm surprised that none of the characters in my Game have requested retrain of at least Hp. It's a Kingmaker game so they have the time and most have almost died already.

Ahh now I see it

Retraining hit points takes 3 days and requires you to spend time at a martial academy, monk monastery, or with some kind of master of combat who is at least one level higher than you. At the end of the training period, increase your hit points by 1. You can retrain hit points only if your maximum hit point total is less than the maximum possible hit point total for your character.

They are the highest level people in their Kingdom. Maybe I should introduce a wandering Marshal Artist.

If you want to encourage them to use it more, you can point out this section to them.

Quote:
Some retraining options require you to work with a trainer. If no suitable trainer is available, the GM might allow you to retrain yourself by spending twice the normal time. Even if you train yourself, you must still pay the cost for training (though you don't double the cost as you do the time). Any option that requires a trainer also requires some kind of training facility for that activity.

They probably won't be pressed for time in Kingmaker, so the extra training time is only a minor inconvenience. :)

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