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Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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TarkXT wrote:

Which I respect.

I simply don't think that aesthetic is the correct mindset to go in with in a game where a certain level of cooperation is expected.

Being more or less powerful than the characters is a matter of NPC's not a cooperative group expected to band together and defeat these challenges.

That's interesting, because I actually feel the opposite. Because the game is cooperative instead of adversarial those writing and developing it have more freedom to promote flavor and aesthetics at the cost of perfect balance. Conversely, when I'm considering playing a game that's adversarial by design that I place a lot more importance on balance between players and believe aesthetics should properly take a secondary role.


Renata Maclean wrote:
Xexyz wrote:
CWheezy wrote:
So you wouldn't mind this being labelled in the book then, as a warning? It would be less confusing for new players when the book presents each option as reasonably equal
I really don't care one way or another, so if you really feel it's that important, than sure. Though I do find all this concern-trolling of "what about teh poor innocent new players?!?!" to be farcical, as if nearly every new player isn't introduced to the game by more experienced players who will show them the ropes.
It's likely that a new player is going to assume that every class is at least somewhat viable, even if a more experienced player is trying to steer them towards the classes that aren't literally useless

It's also making some rather big assumptions about about the actual experience of the teaching player.


@ Xexyz

kyrt-ryder wrote:
Xexyz wrote:
Either solution, as I can conceive of them, will ruin the flavor and aesthetic of what I want from a (roughly) medieval-themed fantasy RPG. In such a setting, I want wizards and their equivalents (sorcerers, witches, etc.) to be able to count themselves among the most powerful beings in the world. Hell, the homebrew world in which I run my games is pretty much based on this very fact.

Even the level 1 Wizard and Sorcerer that are somewhat vulnerable to murder by housecat? [It's quite strongly in the Wiz/Sorc's favor in Pathfinder unlike 3E, but they could still conceivably lose.]

Even the level 20 Warrior of Legend who stands shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Thor with Mjolnir and Odin with Gungnir?

In my personal opinion the best way to get the feel you're going for is to keep the world's level WAY WAY LOW.

It's what I do in my own campaigns, over 90% of adults are level 1-2, with a scant smattering of level 3-4 people.

Only reknowned heroes and scourges are in the level 5-8 range and basically NOBODY ALIVE is over level 8.


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TarkXT wrote:
Renata Maclean wrote:
Xexyz wrote:
CWheezy wrote:
So you wouldn't mind this being labelled in the book then, as a warning? It would be less confusing for new players when the book presents each option as reasonably equal
I really don't care one way or another, so if you really feel it's that important, than sure. Though I do find all this concern-trolling of "what about teh poor innocent new players?!?!" to be farcical, as if nearly every new player isn't introduced to the game by more experienced players who will show them the ropes.
It's likely that a new player is going to assume that every class is at least somewhat viable, even if a more experienced player is trying to steer them towards the classes that aren't literally useless
It's also making some rather big assumptions about about the actual experience of the teaching player.

Absolutely. I fell into a lot of the traps early in my GMing days, guiding newbies towards things like Fighter when I could have been pointing towards Barbarian or Rangers (which are far easier to build without screwing up and teach players more about the game in the process).


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TarkXT wrote:
Renata Maclean wrote:
Xexyz wrote:
CWheezy wrote:
So you wouldn't mind this being labelled in the book then, as a warning? It would be less confusing for new players when the book presents each option as reasonably equal
I really don't care one way or another, so if you really feel it's that important, than sure. Though I do find all this concern-trolling of "what about teh poor innocent new players?!?!" to be farcical, as if nearly every new player isn't introduced to the game by more experienced players who will show them the ropes.
It's likely that a new player is going to assume that every class is at least somewhat viable, even if a more experienced player is trying to steer them towards the classes that aren't literally useless
It's also making some rather big assumptions about about the actual experience of the teaching player.

Not really. Whether the teaching player has a lot of experience or just a little, the result is mostly the same. It's not about absolute game mastery, but the relative game mastery of the group in question.


I don't know, I think being less powerful than your team members in the same areas as them is a significant problem in a cooperative game. I get that you can carry someone, but maybe I want them to pull their own weight instead of carrying it for them (and a system that supports that). This is why the Paladin is a better Fighter (in fact, I swear someone ran a Paladin through a bunch of unsmiteable, no save-causing monsters and the Paladin did better than the Fighter). Or Barbarian, or Ranger, or probably Slayer (I haven't checked), or pretty much any full BAB class with actual class features besides more feats. If a class' only schtick is fighting, they better be the best. Not "above average" to "mediocre".

"Flavor" doesn't need rules. "Flavor" doesn't need a game designer. "Flavor" is something players can write for themselves. And unless the "flavor" is "worse than these classes", there's no good @#$%^&* reason for that class to be worse than other classes. Again, the Fighter is worse than the Paladin, Barbarian, and Ranger. And yet the flavor on all of them is "kills stuff good". It just only happens to be true for some of them.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Xexyz, is there a reason you keep ignoring my post? I've attempted to engage you in sincere discussion and I continue to receive nothing.

You mean this post:

Quote:

Even the level 1 Wizard and Sorcerer that are somewhat vulnerable to murder by housecat? [It's quite strongly in the Wiz/Sorc's favor in Pathfinder unlike 3E, but they could still conceivably lose.]

Even the level 20 Warrior of Legend who stands shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Thor with Mjolnir and Odin with Gungnir?

In my personal opinion the best way to get the feel you're going for is to keep the world's level WAY WAY LOW.

It's what I do in my own campaigns, over 90% of adults are level 1-2, with a scant smattering of level 3-4 people.

Only reknowned heroes and scourges are in the level 5-8 range and basically NOBODY ALIVE is over level 8.

I haven't responded because I don't understand what it means. All I can get out of it is that you're telling me that I'm playing the game wrong, which doesn't really merit a response.


Yeah. I tone down the levels on things as well, which helps tamp down some of the problems. But then, I enjoy changing the game from what you get in the box as well.

Shadow Lodge

CWheezy wrote:
My mighty wizard is ready btw. you should make a new thread for it though

No ones picked up the fighter gauntlet. I personally dont have enough rules knowledge to do the fighter justice.

I just dont believe that a wizard will win 9 out of 10 fights. Level fights are way more swingy then that.


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Xexyz wrote:
TarkXT wrote:

Which I respect.

I simply don't think that aesthetic is the correct mindset to go in with in a game where a certain level of cooperation is expected.

Being more or less powerful than the characters is a matter of NPC's not a cooperative group expected to band together and defeat these challenges.

Interesting, because I actually feel the opposite. Because the game is cooperative instead of adversarial those writing and developing it have more freedom to promote flavor and aesthetics at the cost of perfect balance. It when I'm considering playing a game that's adversarial by design that I place a lot more importance on balance between players and believe aesthetics should properly take a secondary role.

In a meta sense though it is adversarial.

What you're fighting against is not the GM though or really even enemies.

But relevance.

Why do people get mad about power gamers?

Is it because they break the system? Is it because they only care about dirty filthy math?

No.

They get mad because a power gamer's character steals relevance from the other players. They rip the relevance of the GM's encounters right out of their hands and devour the spotlight whole.

Like, if you made an archer character and I made a better archer character with a near identical story in the same game how would that play out?

That's what, when you get down to it, the argument boils down to.

You see, even in your homebrew the full casters are the most relevant. They're the ones with all the power, all the control, what they do affects the world in earth shattering ways.

As NPC's. That's okay. They're challenges, background noise, they're antagonists and costars in the stories that the PC's write.

As team members it's rubbish. And it feels awful once you come to the realization that despite your best efforts you will only be relevant a little while someone else through class choice alone is relevant the entire time.

Ultimately you either consign yourself to less relevant than the main character either out of apathy or ignorance, willfully ignore it, or struggle harder and often look the buffoon.


Jacob Saltband wrote:
CWheezy wrote:
My mighty wizard is ready btw. you should make a new thread for it though

No ones picked up the fighter gauntlet. I personally dont have enough rules knowledge to do the fighter justice.

I just dont believe that a wizard will win 9 out of 10 fights. Level fights are way more swingy then that.

Yeah, a fighter with a longbow and Improved Initiative should at least have a decent chance of ending the fight before the wizard can get a spell off. Not that the wizard couldn't do the same to the fighter, but it's hardly a foregone conclusion


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Ashiel wrote:
This is what I do, actually. How amazingly super-epic stuff is stems from level. The vast majority of the world is sub CR 6, with common people being more between CR 1/4 and 2. The most powerful people in the world are about CR 10-12 and most of those are living legends. CR 12-20 stuff is pretty much godlike (complete with having cults and worshipers dedicated to them).

I'm reaching the point in my game where I'm having to consider the ramifications of this, as the PCs are now level 10. I can't just keep raising the levels of the NPCs as a matter of course without breaking verisimilitude, so it's making the designing the next chapter of my campaign more challenging.


Course, one of the ways I've used in the past and tend to enjoy bringing back now and again is that magic isn't something that just anyone can do.

Yes, yes, I know, someone will be scandalized that I've taken away player options or whatnot. Still, it has an impact on the game and, along with some restrictions on spell casters, means that they can be very powerful and very limited at the same time. And some of the dipping issues that others have had problems with go away as well.


Ashiel wrote:
This is what I do, actually. How amazingly super-epic stuff is stems from level. The vast majority of the world is sub CR 6, with common people being more between CR 1/4 and 2. The most powerful people in the world are about CR 10-12 and most of those are living legends. CR 12-20 stuff is pretty much godlike (complete with having cults and worshipers dedicated to them).

Interesting. In the ISWG part of the design goal of the setting (and therefore the system) is to represent the gambit of level 1 to 20 throughout the world. Rulers of kingdoms have CRs in the lower teens, for example. World famous/global threats tend to be level 16+. As I said, this is by black and white design by the text of the book. I'm sure it lends a lot to what you're commenting on.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
TarkXT wrote:

In a meta sense though it is adversarial.

What you're fighting against is not the GM though or really even enemies.

But relevance.

Why do people get mad about power gamers?

Is it because they break the system? Is it because they only care about dirty filthy math?

No.

They get mad because a power gamer's character steals relevance from the other players. They rip the relevance of the GM's encounters right out of their hands and devour the spotlight whole.

Like, if you made an archer character and I made a better archer character with a near identical story in the same game how would that play out?

That's what, when you get down to it, the argument boils down to.

You see, even in your homebrew the full casters are the most relevant. They're the ones with all the power, all the control, what they do affects the world in earth shattering ways.

As NPC's. That's okay. They're challenges, background noise, they're antagonists and costars in the stories that the PC's write.

As team members it's rubbish. And it feels awful once you come to the realization that despite your best efforts you will only be relevant a little while someone else through class choice alone is relevant the entire time....

I see where you're coming from and don't disagree; I was merely stating that system mastery within groups tends to level off over time, which makes situations like you're describing mostly inconsequential.

(I do submit that I'm biased by the fact that I've been gaming for the same group for a decade; several members of the group have been gaming with each other for 25+ years.)

In a greater sense, the fundamental issue as I see it is that flavor and aesthetics exist on one side of a continuum, with balance on the other side - you can't increase one without decreasing another. I think, based on a lot of the posts I see here in this thread and on the forums in general, that others don't see things the same way. That's fine, but I do get annoyed with the way they make it seem that achieving perfect balance without sacrificing flavor and aesthetics would be easy as pie but the Paizo development team refuses to give us this utopia because reasons.

Finding the right mix of flavor & balance is incredibly difficult, evidenced by the fact that D&D has been around for near 45 years and we're still trying to figure it out.


...how are flavor and balance in any way related? Flavor is literally just descriptive text you just make up. Balance is rules. Never are the two required to meet. The best example of this is Mutants and Masterminds, where "powers" are a bunch of mechanical choices and the flavor of the powers is "whatever you feel like". There's some minor crossover where you need to include descriptors for the power (basically what type of damage it is, usually) but otherwise "flavor" and "mechanics" are completely separate.


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Bob Bob Bob wrote:
...how are flavor and balance in any way related? Flavor is literally just descriptive text you just make up. Balance is rules. Never are the two required to meet. The best example of this is Mutants and Masterminds, where "powers" are a bunch of mechanical choices and the flavor of the powers is "whatever you feel like". There's some minor crossover where you need to include descriptors for the power (basically what type of damage it is, usually) but otherwise "flavor" and "mechanics" are completely separate.

Hmmm, now that I'm thinking about it, flavor probably isn't the best word to use. Instead of flavor, think playstyle. You have playstyles that consist of various things such as doing damage to monsters to eventually kill them, playstyles that emphasize controlling the battlefield, ones that focus on buffing allies or debuffing enemies, healing, and so on and so forth. Furthermore, those playstyles can be resource-based or not, and the types of resources can vary as well.

Inevitably some playstyles will become better than others for overcoming the typical obstacle, which effectively makes some classes more powerful than others. The problem (the fundamental problem I spoke of earlier) then becomes how do you balance the classes without homogenizing them? Balance inexorably leads toward homogenization as class X gets buffed so it's better at playstyle A, while class Y gets nerfed so it's worse at playstyle A.

I don't want that to happen to Pathfinder. I would rather the current imbalances continue to exist than those balances be fixed at the cost of class homogenization.


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The longer I spend on these boards studying Pathfinder the more extreme my perception of what a martial class should be capable of being/doing becomes.

That being said, no matter how radical my ideas become, you'll never see me fully abandon the idea of a mundane hero who overcomes trials by pure skill [skill in combat and Skills.]

Problem is your average GM/designer would have a heart attack seeing everything that character requires to properly slot in alongside a full caster.

It also either requires a drastically amplified variation on the Unchained Skill Unlocks or a flat out revision of the entire skill system.


TarkXT wrote:
Xexyz wrote:
TarkXT wrote:

Which I respect.

I simply don't think that aesthetic is the correct mindset to go in with in a game where a certain level of cooperation is expected.

Being more or less powerful than the characters is a matter of NPC's not a cooperative group expected to band together and defeat these challenges.

Interesting, because I actually feel the opposite. Because the game is cooperative instead of adversarial those writing and developing it have more freedom to promote flavor and aesthetics at the cost of perfect balance. It when I'm considering playing a game that's adversarial by design that I place a lot more importance on balance between players and believe aesthetics should properly take a secondary role.

In a meta sense though it is adversarial.

What you're fighting against is not the GM though or really even enemies.

But relevance.

Why do people get mad about power gamers?

Is it because they break the system? Is it because they only care about dirty filthy math?

No.

They get mad because a power gamer's character steals relevance from the other players. They rip the relevance of the GM's encounters right out of their hands and devour the spotlight whole.

Like, if you made an archer character and I made a better archer character with a near identical story in the same game how would that play out?

That's what, when you get down to it, the argument boils down to.

You see, even in your homebrew the full casters are the most relevant. They're the ones with all the power, all the control, what they do affects the world in earth shattering ways.

As NPC's. That's okay. They're challenges, background noise, they're antagonists and costars in the stories that the PC's write.

As team members it's rubbish. And it feels awful once you come to the realization that despite your best efforts you will only be relevant a little while someone else through class choice alone is relevant the entire time....

true story...

I had a rogue in one my games get mad because the Sorcerer's FAMILIAR was a better scout than him.. and we was trying to be the scouty rogue...

With invisiblity cast on his Bat Familiar, the Bat was REDICULOUSLY hard to spot AND had Blindsense so he could sense things the rogue just couldnt... and since he flew he didnt need to worry as much about accidentally setting off traps...


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
kyrt-ryder wrote:

What I mean is I feel that 'all powerful spellcasters' don't need to be in a party with 'frail mundanes.' The 'frail mundanes' are the world and the 'all powerful heroes' make the best companions to the 'all powerful spellcasters.'

That's what I meant.

What do you mean by "don't need to be in a party with 'frail mundanes'"? That spellcasters should only be in parties with other spellcasters? Who are the 'frail mundanes'?


Wizards are traditionally far more durable than non-casting classes, after the first few levels.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Aratrok wrote:
Wizards are traditionally far more durable than non-casting classes, after the first few levels.

Heh, for a second I wanted to argue this, but then I remembered playing my sorcerer and went, "yup, I pretty much took the least amount of punishment of everyone in my party".


Xexyz wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:

What I mean is I feel that 'all powerful spellcasters' don't need to be in a party with 'frail mundanes.' The 'frail mundanes' are the world and the 'all powerful heroes' make the best companions to the 'all powerful spellcasters.'

That's what I meant.

What do you mean by "don't need to be in a party with 'frail mundanes'"? That spellcasters should only be in parties with other spellcasters? Who are the 'frail mundanes'?

That was in reference to your comments I've quoted below.

Quote:
the flavor and aesthetic of what I want from a (roughly) medieval-themed fantasy RPG. In such a setting, I want wizards and their equivalents (sorcerers, witches, etc.) to be able to count themselves among the most powerful beings in the world

My method is that the party are all 'the most powerful beings in the world' regardless which path they've taken to power. Whether they're a legendary Hero of Arms or a Slinger of Spells.


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Xexyz wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
This is what I do, actually. How amazingly super-epic stuff is stems from level. The vast majority of the world is sub CR 6, with common people being more between CR 1/4 and 2. The most powerful people in the world are about CR 10-12 and most of those are living legends. CR 12-20 stuff is pretty much godlike (complete with having cults and worshipers dedicated to them).
I'm reaching the point in my game where I'm having to consider the ramifications of this, as the PCs are now level 10. I can't just keep raising the levels of the NPCs as a matter of course without breaking verisimilitude, so it's making the designing the next chapter of my campaign more challenging.

It's a beautiful way to show PC growth as well as set certain realities of the world in your PCs' minds. For example, there's an elite band of crusaders that are around CR 4-6 and their members of such rank are legendary for their ability to single-handedly turn tides of huge battles and take on dozens of soldiers without faltering.

The party's Paladin and Psion around 11th level, are actually cause for the crusader group's council to worry because if they ever went rogue they could level cities. In a sparring match between the Paladin and Psion (who were working out some relationship frustrations) and they nearly collapsed the building they were sparring in.


Ashiel wrote:
Xexyz wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
This is what I do, actually. How amazingly super-epic stuff is stems from level. The vast majority of the world is sub CR 6, with common people being more between CR 1/4 and 2. The most powerful people in the world are about CR 10-12 and most of those are living legends. CR 12-20 stuff is pretty much godlike (complete with having cults and worshipers dedicated to them).
I'm reaching the point in my game where I'm having to consider the ramifications of this, as the PCs are now level 10. I can't just keep raising the levels of the NPCs as a matter of course without breaking verisimilitude, so it's making the designing the next chapter of my campaign more challenging.

It's a beautiful way to show PC growth as well as set certain realities of the world in your PCs' minds. For example, there's an elite band of crusaders that are around CR 4-6 and their members of such rank are legendary for their ability to single-handedly turn tides of huge battles and take on dozens of soldiers without faltering.

The party's Paladin and Psion around 11th level, are actually cause for the crusader group's council to worry because if they ever went rogue they could level cities. In a sparring match between the Paladin and Psion (who were working out some relationship frustrations) and they nearly collapsed the building they were sparring in.

To expand on this, in my own games characters literally become deities at level 17, and all deities in the world are statted up as normal characters between levels 17 and 20.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Ashiel wrote:

It's a beautiful way to show PC growth as well as set certain realities of the world in your PCs' minds. For example, there's an elite band of crusaders that are around CR 4-6 and their members of such rank are legendary for their ability to single-handedly turn tides of huge battles and take on dozens of soldiers without faltering.

The party's Paladin and Psion around 11th level, are actually cause for the crusader group's council to worry because if they ever went rogue they could level cities. In a sparring match between the Paladin and Psion (who were working out some relationship frustrations) and they nearly collapsed the building they were sparring in.

I'm not quite to where you are yet, as the "background level average" I think skews a little higher in my game. For example, the head of one of the major religions in my world is a 20th level cleric, and the leader of one of the countries on the continent in which the campaign takes place is an 18th level caster. Even in the city they were just in the heads of two faiths that aren't very popular were still 9th level.

Where it's beginning to impact my game is that I use random encounters for overland travel. The PCs are at the point where if they travel on a well-traveled road it's very unlikely they'll have a combat encounter worthy of actually playing out. So I've had to modify my encounter tables, but since I can't just put higher CR encounters without breaking verisimilitude, the practical result is that I'm more or less forced to phase them [random encounters] out. It's not such a big deal, since the PCs can teleport (cumbersomely) now, but the players have had a lot of fun with these encounters over the course of the campaign.


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Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:


Except, in combat, the GM SHOULD be trying to kill the PCs to the extent the NPCs.can. unless of course your one of those GMs who have a dragon landing 5ft away from the fighter and.just focusing on melee against the fighter so he can feel like he can do something...

Whooooa... Hold on their partner.

No.

The characters controlled by the GM should be controlled by the GM to act in the way that they would. This does NOT mean to the extend that the NPC can.

Example:

If an enemy animal (low intelligence) is fighting a PC with combat reflexes. In most cases there is no way for that animal to know that that PC has combat reflexes without witnessing it. That NPC shouldn't automatically know to "5 foot step" to avoid AoO's if the NPC wants to reach a different target.

(This is doubly and triply true about most undead.)

This is like the idea that a Red Dragon should never melee with a character.

Yes, tactically it should always remain in flight at all times, it should always use the most effective spells. Save for one simple fact: Pride.

Red Dragons are known to be prideful things of evil... A good GM looks past the tactical and thinks... "Would this dragon, this very prideful thing, consider this human in armor a threat? Would he consider him a big enough threat that he would go all out, in the same manner that he would fight if he faced something that he actually thought was a threat?"

The DM's job is to provide a fun game. He should not make every single enemy a tactical genius. In fact sometimes "stupid tactics" as it were, work out even better against people who are very tactical because someone does something that is stupid in general but due to the nature of the dice gods actually works. Suddenly the PC's plans are totally hosed.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Xexyz wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
This is what I do, actually. How amazingly super-epic stuff is stems from level. The vast majority of the world is sub CR 6, with common people being more between CR 1/4 and 2. The most powerful people in the world are about CR 10-12 and most of those are living legends. CR 12-20 stuff is pretty much godlike (complete with having cults and worshipers dedicated to them).
I'm reaching the point in my game where I'm having to consider the ramifications of this, as the PCs are now level 10. I can't just keep raising the levels of the NPCs as a matter of course without breaking verisimilitude, so it's making the designing the next chapter of my campaign more challenging.

It's a beautiful way to show PC growth as well as set certain realities of the world in your PCs' minds. For example, there's an elite band of crusaders that are around CR 4-6 and their members of such rank are legendary for their ability to single-handedly turn tides of huge battles and take on dozens of soldiers without faltering.

The party's Paladin and Psion around 11th level, are actually cause for the crusader group's council to worry because if they ever went rogue they could level cities. In a sparring match between the Paladin and Psion (who were working out some relationship frustrations) and they nearly collapsed the building they were sparring in.

To expand on this, in my own games characters literally become deities at level 17, and all deities in the world are statted up as normal characters between levels 17 and 20.

This is pretty accurate for my games as well. The most powerful being that the party has come across has been CR 16, a planetar, who is the patron goddess-type thingy of the aforementioned crusader sorts. She is afraid of the CR 17 maralith that by all accounts a literal goddess. The gods who created the world itself are about CR 20.


HWalsh wrote:
Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:


Except, in combat, the GM SHOULD be trying to kill the PCs to the extent the NPCs.can. unless of course your one of those GMs who have a dragon landing 5ft away from the fighter and.just focusing on melee against the fighter so he can feel like he can do something...

Whooooa... Hold on their partner.

No.

The characters controlled by the GM should be controlled by the GM to act in the way that they would. This does NOT mean to the extend that the NPC can.

Example:

If an enemy animal (low intelligence) is fighting a PC with combat reflexes. In most cases there is no way for that animal to know that that PC has combat reflexes without witnessing it. That NPC shouldn't automatically know to "5 foot step" to avoid AoO's if the NPC wants to reach a different target.

(This is doubly and triply true about most undead.)

This is like the idea that a Red Dragon should never melee with a character.

Yes, tactically it should always remain in flight at all times, it should always use the most effective spells. Save for one simple fact: Pride.

Red Dragons are known to be prideful things of evil... A good GM looks past the tactical and thinks... "Would this dragon, this very prideful thing, consider this human in armor a threat? Would he consider him a big enough threat that he would go all out, in the same manner that he would fight if he faced something that he actually thought was a threat?"

The DM's job is to provide a fun game. He should not make every single enemy a tactical genius. In fact sometimes "stupid tactics" as it were, work out even better against people who are very tactical because someone does something that is stupid in general but due to the nature of the dice gods actually works. Suddenly the PC's plans are totally hosed.

Except Dragons are also not stupid. Consider their Intelligence AND wisdom. They know full well that they ARE NOT IMMORTAL. And after that first hit, they will wisen up fast. You don't live to be a few hundred years old being stupid. And that only works with Reds. Blues are patient masterminds. Blacks are vicious and underhanded. Greens are actually rather intelligent... Whites.. well... they are whites xD.

As for animals, they are not as dumb as people seem to make them out to be. If you see animals in the wild, they are quite catious and careful. Give it one good swat and it will learn quick.

Now mindless undead.. that is a different case. They will just attack until destroyed.


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Also, it's worth noting that as PC levels rise they have consistently still encountered lots of low-CR creatures. Now that they're on the backside of the 20 levels, they almost never face anything near their levels. Groups of low level enemies? Sure, absolutely.

This is actually a good thing IMHO, because you actually get to appreciate being a high level. If everything scales with you, it doesn't really show growth. Watching the ogres go from threats to peons has a nice effect on your morale.


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Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:

Except Dragons are also not stupid. Consider their Intelligence AND wisdom. They know full well that they ARE NOT IMMORTAL. And after that first hit, they will wisen up fast. You don't live to be a few hundred years old being stupid. And that only works with Reds. Blues are patient masterminds. Blacks are vicious and underhanded. Greens are actually rather intelligent... Whites.. well... they are whites xD.

As for animals, they are not as dumb as people seem to make them out to be. If you see animals in the wild, they are quite catious and careful. Give it one good swat and it will learn quick.

Now mindless undead.. that is a different case. They will just attack until destroyed.

Natural selection. The dumb dragons aren't the big ones. The dumb ones are mounted in someone's library.


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Ashiel wrote:
This is pretty accurate for my games as well. The most powerful being that the party has come across has been CR 16, a planetar, who is the patron goddess-type thingy of the aforementioned crusader sorts. She is afraid of the CR 17 maralith that by all accounts a literal goddess. The gods who created the world itself are about CR 20.
kyrt-ryder wrote:
To expand on this, in my own games characters literally become deities at level 17, and all deities in the world are statted up as normal characters between levels 17 and 20.

Interesting... I hadn't really thought about the CRs of the deities in my world. Seemed pointless? But as a thought experiment I kind of imagine them to be somewhere in the range of CR 130ish, but that's silly anyway since the CR system only goes up to CR 30 (I think), and even then many people will argue that it breaks down and becomes meaningless many levels below that.


Heh, I do understand the line of logic a GM might use to set the gods way above the potential reach of mortals.

I just disagree with it and instead feel that the level 1-20 of the core game already is pretty much zero to Zeus anyway.

EDIT: I had made a wordplay on zero to hero with Zero to Hera, but lets be honest... her feats don't align with a level 17+character anyway. 'Lesser Gods' in mythology are in the 13-16 level bracket at best.


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Ashiel wrote:

Also, it's worth noting that as PC levels rise they have consistently still encountered lots of low-CR creatures. Now that they're on the backside of the 20 levels, they almost never face anything near their levels. Groups of low level enemies? Sure, absolutely.

This is actually a good thing IMHO, because you actually get to appreciate being a high level. If everything scales with you, it doesn't really show growth. Watching the ogres go from threats to peons has a nice effect on your morale.

I agree with this and pretty much run things the same way. Whereas at low level the PCs might encounter a small group of orcs, now they would encounter an entire warband of orcs, led by chiefs and subordinates that have class levels.

Still, just as higher level characters/creatures are more uncommon than lower level ones, large groups are realistically rarer than small groups. A small group a orcs that challenge a group of level 3 PCs can pretty much be written off without any more thought, but a large warband realistically has to have some thought put into it as to the narrative of its existence.


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Xexyz wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
This is pretty accurate for my games as well. The most powerful being that the party has come across has been CR 16, a planetar, who is the patron goddess-type thingy of the aforementioned crusader sorts. She is afraid of the CR 17 maralith that by all accounts a literal goddess. The gods who created the world itself are about CR 20.
kyrt-ryder wrote:
To expand on this, in my own games characters literally become deities at level 17, and all deities in the world are statted up as normal characters between levels 17 and 20.
Interesting... I hadn't really thought about the CRs of the deities in my world. Seemed pointless? But as a thought experiment I kind of imagine them to be somewhere in the range of CR 130ish, but that's silly anyway since the CR system only goes up to CR 30 (I think), and even then many people will argue that it breaks down and becomes meaningless many levels below that.

A 17th level wizard in 3.5 could replicate every act of god in the christian bible. It's not much different in Pathfinder. I really don't see the need to get more godlike than that, honestly. If we look at it as realistically as possible, a single solar qualifies as a god for all intents and purposes.

Really one can say "it's like this godlike thing except more godlike", but how much farther past "can create worlds from nothing and perform literal miracles" does one have to be before one qualifies as godly?


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Ashiel wrote:

A 17th level wizard in 3.5 could replicate every act of god in the christian bible. It's not much different in Pathfinder. I really don't see the need to get more godlike than that, honestly. If we look at it as realistically as possible, a single solar qualifies as a god for all intents and purposes.

Really one can say "it's like this godlike thing except more godlike", but how much farther past "can create worlds from nothing and perform literal miracles" does one have to be before one qualifies as godly?

Whaaa? Now maybe I don't possess the system mastery of some people, but that seems far fetched. Hell, even the strongest direct damage spell in the game inflicts pitiful damage compared to a mid-level martial.

I mean unless you interpret wish/miracle to literally have no limits, which in that case yeah, 17th/18th level spellcasters are gods.


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Xexyz wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

A 17th level wizard in 3.5 could replicate every act of god in the christian bible. It's not much different in Pathfinder. I really don't see the need to get more godlike than that, honestly. If we look at it as realistically as possible, a single solar qualifies as a god for all intents and purposes.

Really one can say "it's like this godlike thing except more godlike", but how much farther past "can create worlds from nothing and perform literal miracles" does one have to be before one qualifies as godly?

Whaaa? Now maybe I don't possess the system mastery of some people, but that seems far fetched. Hell, even the strongest direct damage spell in the game inflicts pitiful damage compared to a mid-level martial.

I mean unless you interpret wish/miracle to literally have no limits, which in that case yeah, 17th/18th level spellcasters are gods.

Be enlightened my friend

Also damage is BY FAR the least powerful thing a caster can do the vast majority of the time.


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Xexyz wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

A 17th level wizard in 3.5 could replicate every act of god in the christian bible. It's not much different in Pathfinder. I really don't see the need to get more godlike than that, honestly. If we look at it as realistically as possible, a single solar qualifies as a god for all intents and purposes.

Really one can say "it's like this godlike thing except more godlike", but how much farther past "can create worlds from nothing and perform literal miracles" does one have to be before one qualifies as godly?

Whaaa? Now maybe I don't possess the system mastery of some people, but that seems far fetched. Hell, even the strongest direct damage spell in the game inflicts pitiful damage compared to a mid-level martial.

I mean unless you interpret wish/miracle to literally have no limits, which in that case yeah, 17th/18th level spellcasters are gods.

1. Genesis allows the wizard to create an ever-expanding universe.

2. Polymorph any object could be chain-cast to create people out of dirt who go on to propagate humanity (and any other life).
3. Bringing people back from the dead, healing people, curing disease, spreading plagues, conjuring storms, making burning talking bushes, etc. All trivial for a 17th+ level wizard.
4. Parting the ocean is the tricky one but using wish via a SLA to create a CL 1,000,000+ staff of control water can do it (this is strait up rules abuse).
5. Having angelic messengers.
6. Turning people into pillars of minerals.
7. Giving a dude a magic ring to bind some demons into building a temple.
8. Filling pots with oil from nothing.
9. Tilting unfair fights between little shepherd boys and really big dudes unfair in the other direction.
10. Control weather used strategically could keep a downpour of water going for 40 days and 40 nights over a 4 mile-area, and can be copied by some of your minions.

Etc, etc, etc, etc. It's not about damage. The only time god is ever described as doing "damage" is when he nukes Sodom and Gomorrah and even that's pretty trivial for a 17th level wizard (who could just carpet-fireball the low-tech desert cities).


You all should atleast read the 5e free basic rules (basic as in many things are left out not that they changed the rules to make them more basic)

Even if you have no desire to play the game, 5e offers a far more balanced asymmetric game than PF and it's useful to see why.

You can tone down the exploitive nature of casting without making them feel less powerfull. You can make martials fun and powerful without making them wuxia animonguo monks that fart lightning.

5e has "flaws" but they aren't balance related. It has more to do with it's guideline nature instead of explicit rules.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Be enlightened my friend

The difference between what the wizard did in the linked thread and what I imagine the deities in my world are capable of comes down to scale. For example, sure, a wizard can create a demiplane and put life on it. But if a 17th level wizard wanted to create an earth-sized planet with create demiplane? That'll be 1.11975 x 10^16 castings of create greater demiplane, thank you. Oh, don't forget all the permanency spells you'll need. Which, by the way, will cost you 22,500 gp for each of your 11.2 quadrillion CGD spells.

Quote:
Also damage is BY FAR the least powerful thing a caster can do the vast majority of the time.

I agree, but that's only because direct damage spells are so weak in comparison. Suppose there was a spell that did 1000 damage with no save, bypassing spell resistance and all immunities, to 100 targets of your choice within a 1000 foot radius. All of the sudden this becomes the go-to spell for solving your problems. But that's far beyond what even a 20th level spellcaster could do - but such a spell might be trivial for a deity.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ashiel wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Xexyz wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
This is what I do, actually. How amazingly super-epic stuff is stems from level. The vast majority of the world is sub CR 6, with common people being more between CR 1/4 and 2. The most powerful people in the world are about CR 10-12 and most of those are living legends. CR 12-20 stuff is pretty much godlike (complete with having cults and worshipers dedicated to them).
I'm reaching the point in my game where I'm having to consider the ramifications of this, as the PCs are now level 10. I can't just keep raising the levels of the NPCs as a matter of course without breaking verisimilitude, so it's making the designing the next chapter of my campaign more challenging.

It's a beautiful way to show PC growth as well as set certain realities of the world in your PCs' minds. For example, there's an elite band of crusaders that are around CR 4-6 and their members of such rank are legendary for their ability to single-handedly turn tides of huge battles and take on dozens of soldiers without faltering.

The party's Paladin and Psion around 11th level, are actually cause for the crusader group's council to worry because if they ever went rogue they could level cities. In a sparring match between the Paladin and Psion (who were working out some relationship frustrations) and they nearly collapsed the building they were sparring in.

To expand on this, in my own games characters literally become deities at level 17, and all deities in the world are statted up as normal characters between levels 17 and 20.
This is pretty accurate for my games as well. The most powerful being that the party has come across has been CR 16, a planetar, who is the patron goddess-type thingy of the aforementioned crusader sorts. She is afraid of the CR 17 maralith that by all accounts a literal goddess. The gods who created the world itself are about CR 20.

This kind of recalibration of expectations is the kind of quality posting I like.

If the scale of power is 1-20 for characters and the highest CR monsters are 25 on the upper end of the scale you can tell epic stories within the bounds of the game's expectations.

If an Archdevil or Demon Lord is CR 16-18 that's fantastic. When you finish an adventure you tell an epic tale that could shake up the whole setting.


Ashiel wrote:
Xexyz wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

A 17th level wizard in 3.5 could replicate every act of god in the christian bible. It's not much different in Pathfinder. I really don't see the need to get more godlike than that, honestly. If we look at it as realistically as possible, a single solar qualifies as a god for all intents and purposes.

Really one can say "it's like this godlike thing except more godlike", but how much farther past "can create worlds from nothing and perform literal miracles" does one have to be before one qualifies as godly?

Whaaa? Now maybe I don't possess the system mastery of some people, but that seems far fetched. Hell, even the strongest direct damage spell in the game inflicts pitiful damage compared to a mid-level martial.

I mean unless you interpret wish/miracle to literally have no limits, which in that case yeah, 17th/18th level spellcasters are gods.

1. Genesis allows the wizard to create an ever-expanding universe.

2. Polymorph any object could be chain-cast to create people out of dirt who go on to propagate humanity (and any other life).
3. Bringing people back from the dead, healing people, curing disease, spreading plagues, conjuring storms, making burning talking bushes, etc. All trivial for a 17th+ level wizard.
4. Parting the ocean is the tricky one but using wish via a SLA to create a CL 1,000,000+ staff of control water can do it (this is strait up rules abuse).

Sea, not Ocean. And the part of the red sea separating northern Egypt from Sinai [now known as the gulf of suez] is incredibly tiny. CL 17 just might manage [that is 340x85 feet of area and 34 feet of depth.] If absolutely necessary it could be cast more than once, the spell has a healthy duration that's not concentration.

Quote:

5. Having angelic messengers.

6. Turning people into pillars of minerals.
7. Giving a dude a magic ring to bind some demons into building a temple.
8. Filling pots with oil from nothing.
9. Tilting unfair fights between little shepherd boys and really big dudes unfair in the other direction.

Pretty standard stuff.


Xexyz wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Be enlightened my friend
The difference between what the wizard did in the linked thread and what I imagine the deities in my world are capable of comes down to scale. For example, sure, a wizard can create a demiplane and put life on it. But if a 17th level wizard wanted to create an earth-sized planet with create demiplane? That'll be 1.11975 x 10^16 castings of create greater demiplane, thank you. Oh, don't forget all the permanency spells you'll need. Which, by the way, will cost you 22,500 gp for each of your 11.2 quadrillion CGD spells.

Have you seen the movie Men In Black?

The Galaxy is such a demiplane... as is Earth's universe as shown in the end.

Scale is relative my friend.

Quote:
Also damage is BY FAR the least powerful thing a caster can do the vast majority of the time.
I agree, but that's only because direct damage spells are so weak in comparison. Suppose there was a spell that did 1000 damage with no save, bypassing spell resistance and all immunities, to 100 targets of your choice within a 1000 foot radius. All of the sudden this becomes the go-to spell for solving your problems. But that's far beyond what even a 20th level spellcaster could do - but such a spell might be trivial for a deity.

Sure, if you want your deities to be capable of stuff like that go for it. I'd never put that in my setting but how you GM is your choice.

Now, I will say that in my games I do give Evocation magic a bit of a boost. Meteor Swarm is a city-buster in my campaigns, for example.

Aka Sodom and Gomora's destruction.

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