Do martial characters really need better things?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Paizo Employee Design Manager

Adam B. 135 wrote:
Malwing wrote:


But I do feel strongly that INT shouldn't govern skills per level as it generates an uneven situation.

Int to skills also leads to funky situations such as a lot of animals only being good at one thing. This is sometimes mitigated in bestiary monsters by giving the animal a massive racial bonus, which honestly feels like lazy game design.

Also a lot of animal companions do not get massive racial bonuses. You are given the choice of having your animal companion being mediocre at a few skills your animal companion should have, or having it hyper specialize in one skill. Either way, your animal companion comes out less than natural.

In fact, most creatures with abysmal intelligence come out seeming completely unnatural.

Or you get the flipside of the equation, where you have pit fiends with max ranks in Appraise and Disguise because they have so many skill points they just started getting shoved wherever. "Pit fiends you say? No pit fiends around here. I'm just Jamaal, your friendly 12 foot tall merchant with an aura of unspeakable fear."

It's not really on the martial/caster issue, but I do find it a little unnecessary that monsters have the same design rules as characters. I like the idea of basic monstrous templates based on the monster's expected role so you don't have this huge, page space consuming clutter of ranks in skills that will never matter since the monster is an extension of the GM anyways. Are you going to send your party out to seek the Solar oracle and then actually have the angel roll a Knowledge check after the party gets there to see if he know what he went to learn, or are you just going to assume that the angel the party assumedly went to great lengths to meet has the information you intended them to learn?

I love the crunchiness of Pathfinder, but there are a few areas where things are the way they are for reasons that aren't really that important, or in some instances, for reasons that aren't even all that accurate or relevant to game play.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Ssalarn wrote:


Or you get the flipside of the equation, where you have pit fiends with max ranks in Appraise and Disguise because they have so many skill points they just started getting shoved wherever. "Pit fiends you say? No pit fiends around here. I'm just Jamaal, your friendly 12 foot tall merchant with an aura of unspeakable fear."

Sir Brian Consumptington is my favorite thing to come out of /tg/.

Paizo Employee Design Manager

RDM42 wrote:
Malwing wrote:

On Wikipedia I see 3rd edition starting in 2000, 4th edition starting in 2008 and 5th edition 2014. (8 years for 3rd, and six years for 4th.) Are we not counting 3.5 and 3.0 as the same edition? Well I guess not because by that logic Pathfinder counts making 3rd edition 15 years old and still active. Although I would argue 3.5's girth more than it's length when it's compared to 4th edition due to the amount of clones and expansion. 4th edition went on pretty hard but is kind of weak and floppy compared to the 3rd edition boom.

****
If you want to call 3 and 3.5 seperate than you have to call fourth edition and essentials as separate as well, and fourth only gets, what, two years?

Kind of random, but I was going to comment on this earlier and got into talking about something else. Essentials was not 4.5, it was perfectly compatible with the core 4E line and designed so you could run a 4E PHB Warlock side-by-side with an Essentials Warlock with no problems. WotC made some very poor marketing decisions in basically forcing people to use their online character builder, and Essentials was a last ditch effort to save their printing viability by presenting some options that didn't require two sheets of power cards and the online character builder to play, with more static class options and fewer of the A/E/D options. They'd already screwed themselves over pretty bad and lost a lot of momentum at that point though, so there was no way to recover. 4E, despite what a few vocal people on the internet will tell you, didn't fail because it was "too much like an MMO", it failed because tabletop RPGs are really too small a market for a company like Hasbro to be playing in, and their attempts to squeeze the amount of money out of the tabletop line that they felt justified their investment nearly tanked the franchise. That's why the actual design team for Dungeons and Dragons 5E has been whittled down to a skeleton crew and most of the work is being done by 3pp companies like Kobold Press and Green Ronin (who are also prominent 3pp designers for Pathfinder).

I've mentioned it before, but the skeleton of 5E is actually almost identical to 4E, just with more of the math hidden, unnecessary limitations removed, and a fresh coat of 2nd edition paint laid over the top to give it a bit more of an old school feel.

The 5E Fighter is actually a really interesting place to look for inspiration on how you could make a Fighter in Pathfinder that satisfies the "gritty", easy to play feel your old school "Grognards" like DrDeth are looking for right alongside the dynamic, anime-esque super slayers that your younger "MMO playing" crowd would like to see balanced with the spellcasters. It has three archetypes built into the class, one (the Champion) that gets essentially nothing but flat static bonuses and improved critical ranges, one (the Battle Master) that is essentially your 4E Fighter or your 3.5 ToB Warblade that uses maneuvers to gain counters, give actions to allies, buff allies, and learn information about enemies, and the you have the last one (the Eldritch Knight), which is essentially your Magus. While I like Pathfinder more than I like 5E, I do think that that much, at least, is something that makes a pretty good example of how PF could grow and still retain their player base by expanding the existing options without abandoning the things that make the current game great.

Really, if there were just a better core line selection of Fighter specific feats that did more than stack static bonuses on top of already sufficient static bonuses, you'd have far fewer complaints. That was something I really spent a lot of time thinking about when I wrote The Genius Guide to Bravery Feats, which has been pretty well received. There's not a single feat in there that is about dealing damage, except in the most tertiary way. Instead, the feats focus on using Bravery as a chassis for increasing bonuses to relevant class skills while adding additional options for ways to use those skills, increasing mobility, giving options for unique and useful ways to use combat maneuvers without having to blow all your feats on prereqs, and providing options for the Fighter to successfully and effectively react to the kinds of threats that he's likely to encounter in a world full of magical monsters and evil spellcasters. Due to the current over valued weighting of feats in the core product line, the Bravery feats are bit more prereq heavy than I would have preferred in order to keep them well balanced to core options, but the real point of the thing is that you can have Fighters who still feel and play like Fighters, but who actually have the tools to succeed against magical enemies in a way that they currently lack.

TarkXT wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:


Or you get the flipside of the equation, where you have pit fiends with max ranks in Appraise and Disguise because they have so many skill points they just started getting shoved wherever. "Pit fiends you say? No pit fiends around here. I'm just Jamaal, your friendly 12 foot tall merchant with an aura of unspeakable fear."
Sir Brian Consumptington is my favorite thing to come out of /tg/.

Hah! Magical.


WoTC made loads of marketing blunders. I actually want to do an article on it about how poor business decisions can murder your game.

Among the biggest blunders was killing PDF sales altogether in an effort to stop piracy.

God only knows how much money was lost out of that since it meant you could only get print copies out of blessedly few stores.

The best part was the moment they did that a bunch of other companies went out and ran big sales on their games.

Got a free copy of 2nd ed. Exalted out of that...


Ssalarn wrote:
Adam B. 135 wrote:
Malwing wrote:


But I do feel strongly that INT shouldn't govern skills per level as it generates an uneven situation.

Int to skills also leads to funky situations such as a lot of animals only being good at one thing. This is sometimes mitigated in bestiary monsters by giving the animal a massive racial bonus, which honestly feels like lazy game design.

Also a lot of animal companions do not get massive racial bonuses. You are given the choice of having your animal companion being mediocre at a few skills your animal companion should have, or having it hyper specialize in one skill. Either way, your animal companion comes out less than natural.

In fact, most creatures with abysmal intelligence come out seeming completely unnatural.

Or you get the flipside of the equation, where you have pit fiends with max ranks in Appraise and Disguise because they have so many skill points they just started getting shoved wherever. "Pit fiends you say? No pit fiends around here. I'm just Jamaal, your friendly 12 foot tall merchant with an aura of unspeakable fear."

It's not really on the martial/caster issue, but I do find it a little unnecessary that monsters have the same design rules as characters. I like the idea of basic monstrous templates based on the monster's expected role so you don't have this huge, page space consuming clutter of ranks in skills that will never matter since the monster is an extension of the GM anyways. Are you going to send your party out to seek the Solar oracle and then actually have the angel roll a Knowledge check after the party gets there to see if he know what he went to learn, or are you just going to assume that the angel the party assumedly went to great lengths to meet has the information you intended them to learn?

I love the crunchiness of Pathfinder, but there are a few areas where things are the way they are for reasons that aren't really that important, or in some instances, for reasons that aren't even all that...

Oh, that totally pushed me to eliminate INT to skills with the consolidated skill list too. Too much exception patches to where it doesn't make sense.

Playing 5th edition also helped. INT doesn't govern how many skills you're proficient in but it still winds up being important due to skills actually being useful compared to spells and INT having a lot of skills attached to it. That and the party wizard still being able to function with proficiency in only 2 skills from it's class.

Overall I don't mind monsters having the same basic engine as PCs but I think things could have been easier and make more sense with more monster only tools like templates that grant monsters abilities, spells and skill bonuses. Class templates and the Advanced Bestiary have been the biggest time saver in regards to customizing monsters.

Paizo Employee Design Manager

TarkXT wrote:
I'm getting ready to start a high magic game with the idea of wiping out all the T1-T2 classes and things like fighter,rogue, monk, and barbarian as player options (still might possibly be npc options) and adding some 3pp material (PoW and SoP specifically) to see how it all works out.

We're doing a campaign set in Kobold Press' Southlands setting where the characters and races are almost exclusively drawn from Spheres of Power, Spheres of Power: Expanded Options, and Akashic Mysteries. We've got an Incanter, a Hedgewitch, a Daevic, a Guru, and a Sphere Oracle with the Life Mystery. It's been fantastic so far.


Ssalarn wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
Malwing wrote:

On Wikipedia I see 3rd edition starting in 2000, 4th edition starting in 2008 and 5th edition 2014. (8 years for 3rd, and six years for 4th.) Are we not counting 3.5 and 3.0 as the same edition? Well I guess not because by that logic Pathfinder counts making 3rd edition 15 years old and still active. Although I would argue 3.5's girth more than it's length when it's compared to 4th edition due to the amount of clones and expansion. 4th edition went on pretty hard but is kind of weak and floppy compared to the 3rd edition boom.

****
Really, if there were just a better core line selection of Fighter specific feats that did more than stack static bonuses on top of already sufficient static bonuses, you'd have far fewer complaints. That was something I really spent a lot of time thinking about when I wrote The Genius Guide to Bravery Feats, which has been pretty well received. There's not a single feat in there that is about dealing damage, except in the most tertiary way. Instead, the feats focus on using Bravery as a chassis for increasing bonuses to relevant class skills while adding additional options for ways to use those skills, increasing mobility, giving options for unique and useful ways to use combat maneuvers without having to blow all your feats on prereqs, and providing options for the Fighter to successfully and effectively react to the kinds of threats that he's likely to encounter in a world full of magical monsters and evil spellcasters. Due to the current over valued weighting of feats in the core product line, the Bravery feats are bit more prereq heavy than I would have preferred in order to keep them well balanced to core options, but the real point of the thing is that you can have Fighters who still feel and play like Fighters, but who actually have the tools to succeed against magical enemies in a way that they currently lack.

That really is a nice product. My only complaint is that I really NEED to consolidate combat feats into scaling feats in order to leave room for feats that actually do something new like Bravery Feats.

I was tickled to see familiar names making third party stuff for 5th ed, but I will say I'm playing a Battlemaster Fighter (Got a session in two hours) and I can't really say that I'm particularly inspired by these maneuvers. I get heavy use out of exactly two and I wish I could trade the 3 others I had for something that's not a maneuver. But it does make me think that Stamina is a viable venue of giving fighters good things.

Paizo Employee Design Manager

TarkXT wrote:

WoTC made loads of marketing blunders. I actually want to do an article on it about how poor business decisions can murder your game.

Among the biggest blunders was killing PDF sales altogether in an effort to stop piracy.

God only knows how much money was lost out of that since it meant you could only get print copies out of blessedly few stores.

The best part was the moment they did that a bunch of other companies went out and ran big sales on their games.

Got a free copy of 2nd ed. Exalted out of that...

Those were the days...

But yeah, 4E's failure had much, much more to do with the fact that Hasbro didn't understand the TTRPG market than it did with anything else. 4E at its peak actually was selling in numbers that Paizo is only just recently starting to match, and was backed by a product name that is almost universally recognizable. If 4E had had a canny leader like Lisa Stevens at the helm and the ability to control and direct their own marketing and production decisions, 4E would probably still be in production today, and it's hard to say what Paizo might look like. Which is not to impugn Loren Greenwood or Greg Leeds (the CEOs of WotC during the 4E run) at all, but WotC has made some very foolish decisions that I'm given to understand were based primarily on Hasbro's unrealistic expectations for profitability.

Malwing wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:

Really, if there were just a better core line selection of Fighter specific feats that did more than stack static bonuses on top of already sufficient static bonuses, you'd have far fewer complaints. That was something I really spent a lot of time thinking about when I wrote The Genius Guide to Bravery Feats, which has been pretty well received.[...]

That really is a nice product. My only complaint is that I really NEED to consolidate combat feats into scaling feats in order to leave room for feats that actually do something new like Bravery Feats.

I was tickled to see familiar names making third party stuff for 5th ed, but I will say I'm playing a Battlemaster Fighter (Got a session in two hours) and I can't really say that I'm particularly inspired by these maneuvers. I get heavy use out of exactly two and I wish I could trade the 3 others I had for something that's not a maneuver. But it does make me think that Stamina is a viable venue of giving fighters good things.

Originally, I'd written the Bravery feats that key off combat maneuvers as actually being available without the associated "Improved" feat, kind of a separate way of accessing those maneuvers. Owen is a pretty canny publisher though, and he's weathered a few storms of people who don't actually understand the math behind the system erroneously calling something overpowered, so he made what I believe was probably a very wise marketing decision to have the Bravery maneuver options step in as alternate capstones. Paizo can get away with a few Sacred Geometry's, but 3pp companies just can't afford to gain a reputation, deserved or otherwise, for producing unbalanced materials. It's actually something I find pretty funny; in my experience any reputable 3pp company (Rogue Genius Games, Dreamscarred Press, Kobold Press, Green Ronin, Amora Games, etc.) probably has a higher percentage of well balanced materials than a parent company like Paizo or WotC, simply because they can't afford too many bad products. Core publishing companies can put out hot garbage like Order of the Flame and Sacred Geometry every other month and not hurt themselves too badly, but you get three or four of those as a 3pp and the security of your day job becomes vitally important, so most 3pps will actually err on the side of caution and put out something that swings just a bit below par, unless the point of the product is for it to be overpowered, like the Genius Guide to Horrifically Overpowered Feats (ironically not as overpowered as you might think compared to many options currently available in the core product line), or if the mission statement involves the material intentionally raising the power bar compared to peer materials, like with Path of War.

I will tell you that in my home games, Fighters are allowed to skip the "Improved X" portion of those prereqs, and generally I like to run a Fighter with Undaunted Assault as his 1st level bonus feat alongside Power Attack, Battlefield Commander as his 2nd level bonus feat, and then whichever combat maneuver Bravery feats fit the character along with a few staples like Stubborn Bravery and either Fearsome Reputation or Combat Engineer, depending on whether I went more intellectual tactician or charismatic warlord for the build.


Cerberus Seven wrote:
I've been wondering recently just what the game would look like and how it would play if you removed 95% of the "add number A to statistic X" feats, traits, spells, and magic items from the game.

D&D 5th edition?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Malwing wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:


I think this explains about 99% of the disagreements you and I have in this field HWalsh.

In my opinion spending an entire feat for +2 damage is absolutely NOT 'really good.'

MAYBE if Weapon Specialization scaled at +1 damage per 2 points of BAB [which is the ratio it has when first available] it might actually be worth a feat. But Fighters already do damage pretty well, what they need is mobility, resilience and flexibility.

To me this is why I say they suck. I need a WHOLE feat to do this? I already have full BAB +4, what do I need more damage for? In Magic: the Gathering there's a concept of 'win-more' cards. This means that an effect is great but shows up when it stops being relevant. Its the equivolent of if you reduce a creature to 0 hp you can coup de grace them as a free action. Yeah its great but you don't need it anymore. If I'm one of the heaviest damage dealers in the game I don't need more damage. I need an ability that actually does something that I can't previously do. Weapon Focus/Specialization, barring Combat Expertise, is the worst kind of feat to me. A numerical bonus that otherwise does nothing but give you an edge that you likely already have in the first place.

Well, if it's weapon spec, remember you won't have that edge.

Remember, Fighters - the only combat class that doesn't get a damage bonus until level 5!

==Aelryinth

Silver Crusade

the secret fire wrote:
This is actually possible. Shooting in this way with any accuracy is highly unlikely, but it can be physically done. Moving people in arbitrary directions with arrows...not so much.

Ok, off topic, I know, but this is bugging me. It makes perfect sense to me that you could move enemies with nonmagical arrows. Seeing as how HP is not only a measure of absolute health, but a measure of combat ability (e.g. losing HP doesn't necessarily mean you've gotten hit by something and injured, it can mean that you're being worn out), using an arrow to force your opponent to move a certain way is totally possible. Sure, if you're looking at the arrow hitting the person and causing them to move forward 5' it's going to seem odd, but if you look at it in terms of using an arrow to force your opponent to move to avoid taking said arrow in the face, it makes way more sense.


kyrt-ryder wrote:

That angle would result in a MASSIVE amount of lost time Atarlost.

Now maybe you want that to spread out the duration of the day. This would certainly produce that result.

Cast four spells last encounter? You're pausing for an hour to recover them and had better hope the enemy isn't sending in reinforcements.

You should reread the spell preparation rules if you're making people take 15 minutes per slot to prepare multiple spells. It's 1 hour for all of your slots, proportionately less time for fewer slots, and a 15 minute minimum.

4 slots isn't very many. A 5th level non-universalist wizard with a slots/level table of nothing but zeros would have that many assuming he had 13 int. Reasonably there should be at least one slot of the highest level he can cast so that expected spells are available on schedule. Add school slots and 17-18 starting int and the wizard will recover from most encounters in fifteen minutes. If the fighter and rogue can't keep wandering monsters away for that long they don't have enough nice things yet.

4 spells is quite a few spells for one encounter, though. Most encounters are expected to take one or two spells. There are only 5 slots in the top two levels for clerics and specialist wizards at odd levels unless their casting stats are high enough to give bonus slots out of an expected 4-5 at CR=APL encounter day. Add 4-5 of the third level down which might be relevant and you aren't casting 4 spells per encounter unless it's one where low level spells like resist energy shine.

You might have to hole up for twenty minutes. It's far better to hope reinforcements haven't arrived in twenty minutes than to teleport out when spells get low and hope reinforcements haven't arrived the next morning.


Isonaroc wrote:
the secret fire wrote:
This is actually possible. Shooting in this way with any accuracy is highly unlikely, but it can be physically done. Moving people in arbitrary directions with arrows...not so much.
Ok, off topic, I know, but this is bugging me. It makes perfect sense to me that you could move enemies with nonmagical arrows. Seeing as how HP is not only a measure of absolute health, but a measure of combat ability (e.g. losing HP doesn't necessarily mean you've gotten hit by something and injured, it can mean that you're being worn out), using an arrow to force your opponent to move a certain way is totally possible. Sure, if you're looking at the arrow hitting the person and causing them to move forward 5' it's going to seem odd, but if you look at it in terms of using an arrow to force your opponent to move to avoid taking said arrow in the face, it makes way more sense.

Wait, what if there's an explanation for this mechanic?

What, she tripped, fell, landed on his arrow?


thejeff wrote:
Of course my problem with a lot of this is that while I agree with it in theory, I have a strong nostalgic attachment to Vancian casting and the D&D spell lists in all their baroque, broken glory. Without that, it's not D&D to me and I'd probably move on to a completely different system.

So how are you defining baroque spell lists? What spells are broken? Does the 1e AD&D PHB have enough of them to qualify as D&D? Does the Rules Cyclopedia or the BECM collection have enough to qualify as D&D?


Bluenose wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Of course my problem with a lot of this is that while I agree with it in theory, I have a strong nostalgic attachment to Vancian casting and the D&D spell lists in all their baroque, broken glory. Without that, it's not D&D to me and I'd probably move on to a completely different system.
So how are you defining baroque spell lists? What spells are broken? Does the 1e AD&D PHB have enough of them to qualify as D&D? Does the Rules Cyclopedia or the BECM collection have enough to qualify as D&D?

Oh yeah, definitely. It's the AD&D list I formed that nostalgia on.

4E didn't. I don't think Spheres of Power scratches the same itch. I don't need supplement after splatbook with more and more spells, I just don't want the basic D&D casting system ripped out and replaced with something else. It's too much of what makes D&D for me.


bookrat wrote:
Reminds me of my wood element wizard. At first level I can magically create short spears and throw them using my inteligence modifier for attack and damage. And that's before I start using spells.

Or the earth wizard with his acid clouds that deal damage and can make opponents sickened.


Ssalarn wrote:
TarkXT wrote:

WoTC made loads of marketing blunders. I actually want to do an article on it about how poor business decisions can murder your game.

Among the biggest blunders was killing PDF sales altogether in an effort to stop piracy.

God only knows how much money was lost out of that since it meant you could only get print copies out of blessedly few stores.

The best part was the moment they did that a bunch of other companies went out and ran big sales on their games.

Got a free copy of 2nd ed. Exalted out of that...

Those were the days...

But yeah, 4E's failure had much, much more to do with the fact that Hasbro didn't understand the TTRPG market than it did with anything else. 4E at its peak actually was selling in numbers that Paizo is only just recently starting to match, and was backed by a product name that is almost universally recognizable. If 4E had had a canny leader like Lisa Stevens at the helm and the ability to control and direct their own marketing and production decisions, 4E would probably still be in production today, and it's hard to say what Paizo might look like. Which is not to impugn Loren Greenwood or Greg Leeds (the CEOs of WotC during the 4E run) at all, but WotC has made some very foolish decisions that I'm given to understand were based primarily on Hasbro's unrealistic expectations for profitability.

Malwing wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:

Really, if there were just a better core line selection of Fighter specific feats that did more than stack static bonuses on top of already sufficient static bonuses, you'd have far fewer complaints. That was something I really spent a lot of time thinking about when I wrote The Genius Guide to Bravery Feats, which has been pretty well received.[...]

That really is a nice product. My only complaint is that I really NEED to consolidate combat feats into scaling feats in order to leave room for feats that actually do something new like Bravery Feats.

I was tickled to see familiar names making
...

Announcing that you are going to make your product obsolete every five years does very little to encourage people to invest in the product. That is the main reason I have not purchased anything for 5th ed.


Aelryinth wrote:
Malwing wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:


I think this explains about 99% of the disagreements you and I have in this field HWalsh.

In my opinion spending an entire feat for +2 damage is absolutely NOT 'really good.'

MAYBE if Weapon Specialization scaled at +1 damage per 2 points of BAB [which is the ratio it has when first available] it might actually be worth a feat. But Fighters already do damage pretty well, what they need is mobility, resilience and flexibility.

To me this is why I say they suck. I need a WHOLE feat to do this? I already have full BAB +4, what do I need more damage for? In Magic: the Gathering there's a concept of 'win-more' cards. This means that an effect is great but shows up when it stops being relevant. Its the equivolent of if you reduce a creature to 0 hp you can coup de grace them as a free action. Yeah its great but you don't need it anymore. If I'm one of the heaviest damage dealers in the game I don't need more damage. I need an ability that actually does something that I can't previously do. Weapon Focus/Specialization, barring Combat Expertise, is the worst kind of feat to me. A numerical bonus that otherwise does nothing but give you an edge that you likely already have in the first place.

Well, if it's weapon spec, remember you won't have that edge.

Remember, Fighters - the only combat class that doesn't get a damage bonus until level 5!

==Aelryinth

Well if we go with stamina they also get an additional +5 to attacks occasionally.

One thing I'm wondering if people will accept (because people don't really use them at my table, is the concept of Rune feats.

Basically using te runes from SSG's Feats of Runic Might (tweaked a bit with house rules) you can spend a full round action to draw a rune, and you can have up to your Con mod runes active. When they are evoked you get a minor magic effect. This means you get a semi-at will minor magic ability, like gaining a immediate action boost against enchantment, a fly speed equal to your movement and so on. But the main question is what do people feel about martials having a few magic tricks instead of being 'purely' martial?

I had toyed around with the design concept for more powerful martial abilities but gave up because effectively taking a feat to gain a PoW maneuver is virtually the same thing.


The concept sounds fairly cool Mal, though I would FAR prefer such a thing be a more in-theme EX ability rather than adding actual magic to the Fighter.


Very cool, Malwing!

Back in old AD&D days I came up with a runic warrior. They were tattooed on and granted bonuses to saves, attack, AC, etc.

I can envision a sort of Viking with blue woad that suddenly glows as it activates, granting temporary perks.

I mean, we have the Tattooed Sorcerer and Wizard. Why not a Tattooed Warrior?


To me I feel like martials live in a world full of magical world so would naturally be capable of dabbling in mundane magic like runes as a defense. In regards to impressive physical prowess I think stamina is the appropriate entry point. Later I'll share what I made so far.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

'Tattooed Warrior" is functionally VERY similar to how The Incarnum rules worked for 3.5. While there were some exceptions with binders, those were actually fairly decent overall.

==Aelryinth


One of the better ideas I've seen for the Fighter class, is to allow them to get additional effects, scaling with level, from weapon and armor properties. At a simple level, it could mean that in a progression of weapon effects, the Fighter treats a lower level/cost property as a higher level/cost property. It would require a more detailed look, but it does provide for some interesting conceptual space for a non-magical character being able to make better use of the tools that are available. I could even see it being expanded to other magical items in some way (more uses, longer duration, etc.)

It also has the effect of making a Fighter's gold stretch further for their personal item/equipment and allow them to be able to purchase all sorts of non-big 6 magical gear to give them other things to do.

It isn't a cure-all, but I think there may be some potentially interesting things that can be done with the design space.

Similarly, rogues used to get the Use Any Item feature at high levels in previous versions of the game (and also Baldur's Gate: Throne of Bhaal). This functionality was rolled into the UMD skill, but I think there could be some really interesting things done with giving some parts of the Use Any Item functionality or scaling UMD bonus to the rogue as they gain levels. Or allow them to use UMD to do things that the skill would normally not allow.


TarkXT wrote:
I'm getting ready to start a high magic game with the idea of wiping out all the T1-T2 classes and things like fighter,rogue, monk, and barbarian as player options (still might possibly be npc options) and adding some 3pp material (PoW and SoP specifically) to see how it all works out.
Ssalarn wrote:
We're doing a campaign set in Kobold Press' Southlands setting where the characters and races are almost exclusively drawn from Spheres of Power, Spheres of Power: Expanded Options, and Akashic Mysteries. We've got an Incanter, a Hedgewitch, a Daevic, a Guru, and a Sphere Oracle with the Life Mystery. It's been fantastic so far.

We're about book 4 into Mummy's Mask and we're thinking hard about doing the same in our next AP. Basically removing the top two and the bottom two tiers, and subbing in Dreamscarred material and Spheres of Power. I'd be very interested in seeing how it goes for you guys. :)


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Malwing wrote:
To me I feel like martials live in a world full of magical world so would naturally be capable of dabbling in mundane magic like runes as a defense.

I agree, and think that this is a very good point.

While I can absolutely understand those who want to play a fighter in the vein of Conan or other pulp-era heroes, those stories tend to take place in worlds that are, compared to baseline Pathfinder, very low-fantasy. Conan can avoid magic because magic is comparatively rare, very dangerous to use, and not at all vital to adventuring.

Even in Lord of the Rings - another fantasy setting where magic lacks the prevalence or power found in Pathfinder - Aragorn might use some magic himself (the jury is still out on this one).

Insofar as worlds made with Pathfinder in mind, though? A significant number (if not a majority) of the PC classes offer some level of spellcasting. Even the ones that don't have spellcasting still have, in many cases, spell-like and supernatural abilities, which are explicitly magical in nature.

I can understand the appeal of playing a character that has no inherent magic whatsoever, but insofar as Pathfinder goes, that strikes me as being similar to playing a character that doesn't use any magic items at all.


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thejeff wrote:
... I just don't want the basic D&D casting system ripped out and replaced with something else. It's too much of what makes D&D for me.

And here lies a key to why this has not been fixed and why any fix will not be simple. The magic system - aka. the heart of the caster side of martial/caster disparity - is a herd of sacred cows (er...sacred cattle).

What's more, I vaguely recall some dev (maybe not even one working for Paizo) stating that designing a spell in this system is more art than science, which I believe translates as: there is no logic behind the magic system, it's just random bits that sounded cool all stuffed together. (Spell groups with logical progressions like the cure and summon spells being odd exceptions)

This mess was once balanced by it being very difficult to actually cast a powerful spell - any damage taken and the spell was lost, and between beginning to cast the spell and it going off, other characters got their actions. 3rd Ed changed all that, and it was not entirely a bad thing. It was a quality of life improvement for casters taking them from crossbow guy who occasionally manages to get off a spell to being magic guy.

Now casters are kings of the action economy, able to rewrite reality in the 6 seconds of their turn, after moving their full movement, and only interruptible by an AoO or someone sacrificing their action in advance to ready an action that they only get to take if the caster tries to cast, with the fighter (and all other martials) limited to a single attack if he moves more than 5 feet.
This right here is the poster child for martial/caster disparity.(for those who don't believe it exists)

Spells completely replace and are better than skills. (anything you can do I can do better) For (pretty much) every mechanical check in the game there is an app spell for that. Not necessarily a bad thing in principle as it remvoes the single fail point of requiring one person in the party to have trained up a specific skill sufficiently or have a specific class feature and allows magic to carry the rest of the team when everyone needs to make the check as opposed to only a single character.

Skills are a spot where fighters were really left out in the cold with only 2 skill points/level. It's just not enough to go around, especiall with must have skills like perception usuall being opposed rolls that must be kept maxed to meet level appropriate challenges.

Feat chains were an interesting idea, but feats not haveing a per day limit was greatly overvalued and as a result feats are individually weak, with the chains becoming a tax on limited feat slots. Worse, they tended to be designed to be level appropriate for the level they first become available, resulting in feats that are fine taken early but almost worthless if taken at later levels. Which combines with long chains to make single feat chain focus the only viable option. non-branching chains should be consolidated to single feats that unlock additional abilities as the prerequisites (be they BAB or Character Level or whatever) are met.

And then we get to the other major issue holding up fixing martial/caster disparity - raising up martials without handing them magic. They need to be able to do superhuman things to compete on the same field as dragons and wizards creating their own demiplanes. Yet there is an insistence that they be limited to what an average human is capable of. I can understand not letting them fly without an item granting them flight even though it is needed to face level appropriate challenges, but the status quo is too conservative.

And while we are looking at all the various facets of this gem of an issue, let's look at the design trap that everyone is caught up in - damn near everything is a +n bonus to a die roll. This has resulted in numbers being pushed off the RNG (random number generator aka d20) and a lack of real creative solutions. If all anything you add gives you is bigger numbers, you aren't adding options, you are just further minimizing the random game elements. But this mustn't lead to the trap of "you can't attempt to do this without x ability (feat, or spell)". It has been said "Don't say "no", say "yes, but...". Too much is gated in the rules behind "you cannot even attempt this without x feat or n spell". Instead of "no you can't without n" we need more "yes, and if you have n then you can also..."

In case you hadn't guessed from that wall of text, I've been following these discussions for a while now and mulling over the points of both sides. This is where I've gotten to from all that has gone before. Once I got started posting I needed to get it all out, so /rant.


Freesword wrote:

with the fighter (and all other martials) limited to a single attack if he moves more than 5 feet.

This right here is the poster child for martial/caster disparity.(for those who don't believe it exists)

Don't speak for all of us.

My martial can move 30 (well 20, he wears heavy armor) feet and 9 out of 10 times get off two attacks per round.

Just because yours can't doesn't mean it can't be done.

Its easy:
Power Attack, which if you are a martial you likely have this + Cornugun Smash, which lets you make an intimidate check against a target if you hit them with a power attack + Hurtful, which lets you spend a swift action to make a melee attack (at full bonus!) against any target that you have intimidated. A Fighter, by level 6, the earliest you can get this, has 6 feats. Power Attack will be one of them, you only need to sack 2 to get this. If a freaking Paladin can do this, then your Fighter can too.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

'Easy' being two feats, skill investment, and whatever Hurtful is.

As opposed to just having that be something all martial character do.


TriOmegaZero wrote:

'Easy' being two feats, skill investment, and whatever Hurtful is.

As opposed to just having that be something all martial character do.

Hurtful

It is a combat feat. Seriously there are a lot of "problems" that Martials complain about that can be alleviated, if not fixed, by using some feats that they may not be aware of.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I do thank you for bringing that up, as I have a few demoralizer characters that could use it.

Edit: Sadly, it is not legal for organized play, but I do have an AP game that allows it.


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"There's a feat for that" can very quickly turn into Schrodinger's Fighter. But unlike Scchrodinger's Wizard, once a fighter makes a choice, it can't be easily changed.


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Hurtful and cornugon smash are actually great martial feats, but if every fighter needs them it defeats the whole point of the whole class.

And still, far away from what EVERY full caster can do for just being a full caster.


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Freesword wrote:

Now casters are kings of the action economy, able to rewrite reality in the 6 seconds of their turn, after moving their full movement, and only interruptible by an AoO or someone sacrificing their action in advance to ready an action that they only get to take if the caster tries to cast, with the fighter (and all other martials) limited to a single attack if he moves more than 5 feet.

This right here is the poster child for martial/caster disparity.(for those who don't believe it exists)

#1 reason why I like the Unchained action economy, is that it helps to ease this action economy disparity a fair amount (any martial can move + 2 attacks, and casters in general are limited to either 1 spell per round or standing in place).


HWalsh wrote:
Freesword wrote:

with the fighter (and all other martials) limited to a single attack if he moves more than 5 feet.

This right here is the poster child for martial/caster disparity.(for those who don't believe it exists)

Don't speak for all of us.

My martial can move 30 (well 20, he wears heavy armor) feet and 9 out of 10 times get off two attacks per round.

Just because yours can't doesn't mean it can't be done.

** spoiler omitted **

Gated behind a multi-feat combo which requires a bit of dumpster diving to find the feats.

Conrugon Smash is from Pathfinder Chronicles - Cheliax: Empire of Devils

Hurtful is from Monster Codex.

A specific obscure combo and still not as good as what a caster gets by default.

Still, kudos to you for your system mastery.

Silver Crusade

Nicos wrote:
Hurtful and cornugon smash are actually great martial feats, but if every fighter needs them it defeats the whole point of the whole class.

This is the disconnect with martials that really bugs me. If there are feats that every fighter should have or needs (power attack, etc.), it should just be part of the class.


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Isonaroc wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Hurtful and cornugon smash are actually great martial feats, but if every fighter needs them it defeats the whole point of the whole class.
This is the disconnect with martials that really bugs me. If there are feats that every fighter should have or needs (power attack, etc.), it should just be part of the class.

Or at least Core.


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HWalsh wrote:

Don't speak for all of us.

My martial can move 30 (well 20, he wears heavy armor) feet and 9 out of 10 times get off two attacks per round.

Just because yours can't doesn't mean it can't be done.

** spoiler omitted **

Why not, it is something you seem to do repeatedly as you try to present yourself as the voice of the old school. Newsflash youngster, you aren't, plenty of us started playing in the 70's and early 80's and plenty of us still see the problems of martial/caster disparity.


Biztak wrote:
yeah a wizard can break the game post lvl 10 but he'd never reach that lvl without the big bad fighter watching his back

I have a 10th level Conjurer from RoTRL whose party members were an Alchemist and two Rogues that would love to have a word with you about that.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:

'Easy' being two feats, skill investment, and whatever Hurtful is.

As opposed to just having that be something all martial character do.

That's pretty much the crux of the situation, a Fighter/Martial character needs to delve into system mastery to do something that, frankly, should be fine with the system already. Has anyone tried just eliminating Full-Attack action altogether? Seems like an easy thing to do and one of the "fixes" I did for our E6 games. Works great IMO.


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Diffan wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:

'Easy' being two feats, skill investment, and whatever Hurtful is.

As opposed to just having that be something all martial character do.

That's pretty much the crux of the situation, a Fighter/Martial character needs to delve into system mastery to do something that, frankly, should be fine with the system already. Has anyone tried just eliminating Full-Attack action altogether? Seems like an easy thing to do and one of the "fixes" I did for our E6 games. Works great IMO.

Yeah, simply allowing one to make their full suite of attacks while moving up to one's movement speed works pretty well to smooth out that particular rules-foible.

Pounce still has a place for doubling the distance one can make a Full Attack against a target, and some people deign to separate 'Natural Attack Routine' from 'BAB Routine' for the purposes of this rule, making pounce the only way to make a Natural Attack Routine and move more than 5 feet. [Which is pretty fair really, because Natural Attack Routines are outright better than BAB routines by virtue of no penalized iterative attacks.]


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Which is pretty fair really, because Natural Attack Routines are outright better than BAB routines by virtue of no penalized iterative attacks.

Not strictly true. Secondary natural attacks are done at -5 to the attack roll (or -2 if the creature in question has the Multiattack feat). Secondary natural attacks also do only 1/2 Str mod to damage (and typically have a smaller weapon damage dice too).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That depends on how many secondary attacks you have. A claw/claw/bite routine is far superior to a single attack, and it only gets worse the more you add on.


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Diffan wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:

'Easy' being two feats, skill investment, and whatever Hurtful is.

As opposed to just having that be something all martial character do.

That's pretty much the crux of the situation, a Fighter/Martial character needs to delve into system mastery to do something that, frankly, should be fine with the system already. Has anyone tried just eliminating Full-Attack action altogether? Seems like an easy thing to do and one of the "fixes" I did for our E6 games. Works great IMO.

This is actually crippling to the game balance.

You are aware that any martial who gets a full attack off with any amount of decent optimization at ant level above 10 will, I don't mean might, but will, obliterate any opponent of even relative CR?

Now imagine if Monsters could do that?

Now. I know you want casters to suffer and pay for the humiliation of the vaunted martials but this would make them virtually unplayable in any sense of the word and it would do even worse to certain other builds.

I've one shotted CR APL+3's before with a Paladin without using any of his magical powers, not even a smite, and that can be done much easier for something like a Fighter who doesn't have to fret over how they are going to get the combat feats in.

The action economy is the only thing that even remotely stops Fighters from ruling the world.

I still don't see why you guys are so up in arms about using Feats, which your class specifically gets more of, to make yourselves better.

Feats aren't simply, "Here is a bonus extra."

They are your class feature. You are intended to use them.

I have said since day 1 that you have to play better to be a martial. I kind of proved it here when I showed a combination that people called, "System Mastery" when it was just simply me and a buddy chatting about different feats.

I just don't get it...

"We can't move and make more than 1 attack!"
"Yes you can. Take this, then this, then this."
"That requires me to spend feats and skills!"

...

And yeah, I agree if you are PFS then some of this might not apply, but also if you are PFS then you aren't going above level 12 so you aren't going to see the big big issues that the complaints are about.

Should I complain that in order to make an efficient Blaster Wizard I have to take a minimum of 2 traits and 4 feats? On top of that if I want to do it by level 5 (when it is set to go off) and the game isn't using traits standard then I have to take Extra Traits as a feat which adds another layer?

Meaning, in order to do it I have to be human or in PFS you can do it (because they (for some silly reason) made it so you don't get scribe scroll and get spell focus instead) with only 3 feats and 2 traits.

Because I can't do it without spending those traits and those feats and on top of that even doing it I lose things that would be incredibly useful.

Fighters are given feats expressely for the purpose of having extra feats.

From the way you guys talk you'd rather lose all of your bonus feats and instead have them replaced by /day or limited use magical spells under the guise of abilities. (Mega Charge: When a Fighter charges they may make a full attack at the end of their charge, but are then fatigued for 1 round.)


HWalsh wrote:
Should I complain that in order to make an efficient Blaster Wizard I have to take a minimum of 2 traits and 4 feats? On top of that if I want to do it by level 5 (when it is set to go off) and the game isn't using traits standard then I have to take Extra Traits as a feat which adds another layer?

I certainly do. It's unfortunate that the iconic mage strategy is buried under significant system mastery.

That being said, the class itself doesn't need a specific build to work, it just works [when played well.]

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What kyrt said. Fireball should stand on its own merits, the same as a fighters attack.


If you think that last post was hyperbole, it wasn't.

It is a legitimate question - I am not a system master, by any stretch, but if my two weapon using martial got to full attack every round after moving the damage would be ungodly.

As in the whole game would need to be re-balanced from the ground up.

(6 attacks per round, 7 attacks with haste) The character rarely misses and doesn't even feel the penalties to be honest. Before even rolling dice, or taking weapon enhancement bonuses into account, we are looking at +20 damage or so per hit, so that is 120-140 damage before taking into account weapon enhancement or the 6-36 to 7-42 damage from the dice itself.

So middle ground average we are looking at around 138-158 damage? At level 12?

A Fighter at that level most likely can't live through that. Letting anyone have that as an always-on would be insane.

Edit: To give full disclosure

Now, I admit, I can get above that as a Wizard/Sorcerer with the right build if I dedicate everything to doing just that and have a lesser rod of maximize.

Wizard 11, Evocation Admixture, Spell Focus, Spell Spec, Mage's Tattoo, Intensify Spell, Empower Spell, + Metamagic Rod of Maximize + Sorcerer 1 Cross-Blooded Orc/Dragon... Its possible to get that level of output (if you decided to take Metamagic Mastery and, for some reason apply it to shocking grasp...)... You *can* get to around 22d6+49 (181 damage)

But we are also talking about building someone specifically to do that one thing and exploiting every single possible advantage vs something that really *isn't* optimized.


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The best way to understand it is to see it in action- ergo to run a game with that rule exactly as I presented [separating out Natural Attack Routines if you see fit] and see how it plays Walsh.

One reminder though [and this is a reminder for ALL pathfinder encounters.] No single enemies that are supposed to matter. Any 'real' combat should have at least two if not three leaders and might do well with a couple handfuls of mooks.

Just a reminder, if the Fighter is killing the bad guys, he's doing his job.


kyrt-ryder wrote:

The best way to understand it is to see it in action- ergo to run a game with that rule exactly as I presented [separating out Natural Attack Routines if you see fit] and see how it plays Walsh.

One reminder though [and this is a reminder for ALL pathfinder encounters.] No single enemies that are supposed to matter. Any 'real' combat should have at least two if not three leaders and might do well with a couple handfuls of mooks.

Just a reminder, if the Fighter is killing the bad guys, he's doing his job.

You ever played through RotRL? More than once you have a 4 on 1 encounter and they can be nasty.


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@HWalsh: I've seen full-attacking meleers like you're describing, they mauled the hell out of the AP. The thing is...not only were they decently optimized, they also didn't do that on their own. They had inspire courage and magical spell support to buff their accuracy and damage. They still missed fairly often (well, one of them did, the other has magic hands when it comes to rolling d20s). The aegis I played before that was able to move + full attack, but he had the aid of psionics to let him do it while ALSO buffing his attack/damage/AC/save numbers to let him do really well. Before THAT, my half-orc crusader with the aid of a word-casting bard to do accelerates on us was decently optimized and quite formidable, but nowhere near a omni-slaughter monster. Obviously YMMV, but it doesn't seem that the game will fall apart for everyone if move + full-attack is the default option.

Also, I'd be VERY interested to hear a play-by-play of how that steam-rolled APL+3 encounter went.

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