Everything you wanted to know about Pathfinder, but were afraid to ask


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Hello friends!

Have you ever fretted over making a rule call, sure you saw the proper passage somewhere, but can't remember where?

Are you hopeless with math and remembering acronyms?

Do adding together the myriad bonus stats and the like make you crazy?

Do you have great concepts for characters/NPCs/Monsters/scenarios but you just can't pull them off due to weak rules fu?

Well, welcome to the club! I have hung around here since Pathfinder was just a twinkle in Jason Bulmahn's eye and I still get crosseyed making a character. So, I am starting this page for all of us who can get confused with the simplest aspects of the game.

This is a no judgement zone. As I have mentioned, I suck at rules. I really do. I've been playing RPGs since 1979, and I do so by the seat of my pants. I am starting this thread to perhaps give myself and other folks with issues a place to post 'dumb' questions and have the more erudite among the Paizomind assist us.

So if you have a question that's bugging you, ask it. If you see a question you know the answer to, answer it. Thus we all help each other out.


I'll start with this: cleric domains. The concept confuses the ever loving snot out of me. Does anyone have a concise way to explain how domains affect a cleric? Sometimes it's extra spells, sometimes extra powers. You can take these spells, you can't take these others. Is there an overarching framework or is it just each domain has its own quirks?


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please explain the caster/martial disparity
can someone elaborate on when a paladin should fall
how do I do grappling
why does the rogue even exist
how do armor spikes work
is charm person an evil act
why are most CN characters complete dumpsters
explain sacred geometry interactions plz
should I rollplay or roleplay
how much can I optimize before I am considered a cheesing powergamer
why do the forums smell like burning tires


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Hmm. Perhaps this will not work :/. I had forgotten the troll factor..

Liberty's Edge

Each domain has its own quirks, but generally the idea is to give clerics some thematic spells, but also make sure they prepare them every day! Just like a wizard gets bonus school spells, clerics get bonus domain spells. The extra little powers are there for fun!


Thanks blash! I have a bad time with wizard schools as well, lol. I guess I'm going to have to work on memorizing them individually. I just didn't know if there was a certain framework/formula I was missing.

Liberty's Edge

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Patrick Curtin wrote:
I'll start with this: cleric domains. The concept confuses the ever loving snot out of me. Does anyone have a concise way to explain how domains affect a cleric? Sometimes it's extra spells, sometimes extra powers. You can take these spells, you can't take these others. Is there an overarching framework or is it just each domain has its own quirks?

There's a framework. You gain an ability at 1st, another at 8th (okay, occasionally at 6th), and one spell at each spell level.

As you have two, you gain all the abilities of both, and can pick between the spells each one grants at each spell level as a bonus spell (as noted, much like Wizard school bonus spells).

Lamontius wrote:
please explain the caster/martial disparity

At high levels, casters have way more options of things to do and ways to solve problems. Especially outside combat. Some people are more inclined to see this as an issue than others are.

Lamontius wrote:
can someone elaborate on when a paladin should fall

When their player and the GM's discussion and agreement about how alignment works says they should.

Lamontius wrote:
how do I do grappling

You make a Tetori Monk.

Lamontius wrote:
why does the rogue even exist

Legacy issues. Also, to serve as a basis for several solid archetypes.

Lamontius wrote:
how do armor spikes work

Like weapons.

Lamontius wrote:
is charm person an evil act

Depends on what you Charm them to do.

Lamontius wrote:
why are most CN characters complete dumpsters

Bad players using CN as an excuse.

Lamontius wrote:
explain sacred geometry interactions plz

No.

Lamontius wrote:
should I rollplay or roleplay

False dichotomy.

Lamontius wrote:
how much can I optimize before I am considered a cheesing powergamer

Varies wildly depending on your group and how much they optimize. Discuss it with them.

Lamontius wrote:
why do the forums smell like burning tires

Magic.


Thank you Deadmanwalking. That clears it up quite a bit :)


So one bonus spell out of two possibles per spell level, if I am understanding that correctly. That is easy enough. Then the abilities are a different thing pegged to 1st and 8th (or 6th). Do you get the abilities of both domains or do you have to choose just one?


Patrick Curtin wrote:
So one bonus spell out of two possibles per spell level, if I am understanding that correctly. That is easy enough. Then the abilities are a different thing pegged to 1st and 8th (or 6th). Do you get the abilities of both domains or do you have to choose just one?

You get the abilities of both domains.

Liberty's Edge

Patrick Curtin wrote:
Thank you Deadmanwalking. That clears it up quite a bit :)

You're quite welcome. Always happy to be of assistance. :)

dragonhunterq wrote:
Patrick Curtin wrote:
So one bonus spell out of two possibles per spell level, if I am understanding that correctly. That is easy enough. Then the abilities are a different thing pegged to 1st and 8th (or 6th). Do you get the abilities of both domains or do you have to choose just one?
You get the abilities of both domains.

Yep. You get both.


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Patrick Curtin wrote:
I'll start with this: cleric domains. The concept confuses the ever loving snot out of me. Does anyone have a concise way to explain how domains affect a cleric? Sometimes it's extra spells, sometimes extra powers. You can take these spells, you can't take these others. Is there an overarching framework or is it just each domain has its own quirks?

Deadmanwalking beat me to this and his answer is most likely better than what I would have given.

Sarcastic responses to Lamontius.

Spoiler:

Lamontius wrote:
please explain the caster/martial disparity

Casters are it. Martials are in despair. I honestly have no idea where the I went and where the y came from, perhaps the same source is responsible.

Lamontius wrote:
can someone elaborate on when a paladin should fall

When the player of the paladin does something that makes the entire table want to hit him over the head with the CRB.

Lamontius wrote:
how do I do grappling

You wrestle with your GM until he says you CAN roll a CMB to pin the flying dragon.

Lamontius wrote:
why does the rogue even exist

Ever heard of trap feats? Here's a whole class.

Lamontius wrote:
how do armor spikes work

They don't on their own. You need a hand to use them. Yes, even on your chest. Yes, I'm aware how that sounds.

Lamontius wrote:
is charm person an evil act

Yes, but only because it's one of those things where if you have to ask...

Lamontius wrote:
why are most CN characters complete dumpsters

What's the statblock of a dumpster? I don't think I've ever seen one in game.

Lamontius wrote:
explain sacred geometry interactions plz

Uh... Math. And charts. And lots of people hitting you in the face for taking an hour per turn. Oddly enough this can cause brain damage, which means next time you'll be slower.

Lamontius wrote:
should I rollplay or roleplay

Only one or the other. These two cannot be mixed whatsoever. If a heathen ever tries to tell you they can, call him a slur of insults using both instances.

Lamontius wrote:
how much can I optimize before I am considered a cheesing powergamer

The general rule of thumb is: Can you explain to me why you took this feat/spell/class ability/etc with at least a 2 page (size 8 font, no double spacing, and don't you dare fudge the margins) story? No? Is it a feat that is actually good? Yes? Then you're a filthy power gamer.

Lamontius wrote:
why do the forums smell like burning tires

That's not burning tires, that's brimstone.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Patrick Curtin wrote:
I'll start with this: cleric domains. The concept confuses the ever loving snot out of me. Does anyone have a concise way to explain how domains affect a cleric? Sometimes it's extra spells, sometimes extra powers. You can take these spells, you can't take these others. Is there an overarching framework or is it just each domain has its own quirks?

There's a framework. You gain an ability at 1st, another at 8th (okay, occasionally at 6th), and one spell at each spell level.

As you have two, you gain all the abilities of both, and can pick between the spells each one grants at each spell level as a bonus spell (as noted, much like Wizard school bonus spells).

Lamontius wrote:
please explain the caster/martial disparity

At high levels, casters have way more options of things to do and ways to solve problems. Especially outside combat. Some people are more inclined to see this as an issue than others are.

Lamontius wrote:
can someone elaborate on when a paladin should fall

When their player and the GM's discussion and agreement about how alignment works says they should.

Lamontius wrote:
how do I do grappling

You make a Tetori Monk.

Lamontius wrote:
why does the rogue even exist

Legacy issues. Also, to serve as a basis for several solid archetypes.

Lamontius wrote:
how do armor spikes work

Like weapons.

Lamontius wrote:
is charm person an evil act

Depends on what you Charm them to do.

Lamontius wrote:
why are most CN characters complete dumpsters

Bad players using CN as an excuse.

Lamontius wrote:
explain sacred geometry interactions plz

No.

Lamontius wrote:
should I rollplay or roleplay

False dichotomy.

Lamontius wrote:
how much can I optimize before I am considered a cheesing powergamer

Varies wildly depending on your group and how much they optimize. Discuss it with them.

Lamontius wrote:
why
...

Best answers I have heard in a long time!


Lamontius wrote:
please explain the caster/martial disparity

Martials have decent at-will damage abilities with moderate to short range, and some limited use self-buffs. Casters have lots of powerful limited-use ultility/damage/control/buffing/healing abilities. Somebody in 3.5 thought this was a good balance.

Lamontius wrote:
can someone elaborate on when a paladin should fall

Any time, as long as it's suitably epic. Or they're behaving like the sort of stuff they're supposed to fight.

Lamontius wrote:
how do I do grappling

With flowcharts. Or not at all.

Lamontius wrote:
why does the rogue even exist

Legacy class imported from 3.5E, from 3E, from the AD&D Thief. Also to make PFS scenarios easier, since the standard party is a Fighter, Wizard, Cleric, and Rogue. And most non-Bard skill classes didn't exist.

Lamontius wrote:
how do armor spikes work

You swing or bash part of your body with the spike on it as if it were a weapon. It's basically a light weapon that you can't be disarmed of. TWFing with it is like with any other light weapon. Oh, and you add spike damage to damage dealt while grappling (see grapple flowchart for where this fits in).

Lamontius wrote:
is charm person an evil act

Only if you don't use it on your GM first.

Lamontius wrote:
why are most CN characters complete dumpsters

Roleplaying can be used as a sort of escapism. Or as a form of being yourself, just more so. Check your player closely to see if the character either really, really resembles them, or is the exact opposite of them.

Lamontius wrote:
explain sacred geometry interactions plz

See this CRB here? It weighs about 4 pounds. F=MA. Want to stick around to see how hard I can chuck a CRB?

Lamontius wrote:
should I rollplay or roleplay

Pathfinder is a hybrid system. Do both.

Though if you're in doubt, set aside the books and roleplay. Good storytelling is a much better use of five minutes than searching for some arcane rule about sundering a stolen item after stomping on a charge.

Lamontius wrote:
how much can I optimize before I am considered a cheesing powergamer

Ask your tablemates.

Lamontius wrote:
why do the forums smell like burning tires

You're confusing the smell of burning tires with the scent of condemned souls being immolated for eternity.


My whole issue, and one reason I started this thread is I am a complete 'role player' rather than a 'rollplayer'. Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with this, and I have had 37 years of very fun gaming. But...

I have made it my vision quest to understand the rules better. I want to turn on the rules-fu, crank up my games, and create epic encounters. Plus I have a long-term goal of getting some stuff published. Lord knows I have had plenty of opportunities to do so. I just can't write coherent rules-savvy stats.


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Amusement mode engaged.

Lamontius wrote:
please explain the caster/martial disparity

Casters rule, martials drool.

Quote:
can someone elaborate on when a paladin should fall

When they stop being Optimus Prime and start being Megatron.

Quote:
how do I do grappling

You don't because if the other guy has a functioning brain he has a ring of freedom of movement.

Quote:
why does the rogue even exist

For people who think "scout ahead and look for traps designed to kill you" is a good idea.

Quote:
how do armor spikes work

By hugging it out.

Quote:
is charm person an evil act

It's an old Jedi mind trick, you peecha chakka no wookiee boonowa tweepi Solo. Ho ho ho.

Quote:
why are most CN characters complete dumpsters

They want to be Ma-Ma.

Ma-Ma is not the law. I am the law.

Quote:
explain sacred geometry interactions plz

Solvable mathematical equations.

Quote:

should I rollplay or roleplay

how much can I optimize before I am considered a cheesing powergamer

Optimising is your left leg, roleplaying is your right leg. Playing RPGs is walking. Some people insist that you must use one leg or the other and hop along like an idiot. These people are weird, and should be avoided.

Quote:
why do the forums smell like burning tires

Because you touch yourself at night.


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Lamontius wrote:
please explain the caster/martial disparity

There isn't one so stop worrying about it and just play the game.

Quote:


can someone elaborate on when a paladin should fall

When they behave more like Lex Luthor and less like Superman.

Quote:
how do I do grappling

See these flowcharts. Here and here.

Quote:


why does the rogue even exist

Because they are an awesome and fun class.

Quote:
how do armor spikes work

See here.

Quote:
is charm person an evil act

No.

Quote:
why are most CN characters complete dumpsters

Define "dumpsters."

Quote:
explain sacred geometry interactions plz

I don't play in Golarion, so I don't know.

Quote:
should I rollplay or roleplay

There is no such word as "rollplay."

Quote:
how much can I optimize before I am considered a cheesing powergamer

When you start asking this question.

Quote:
why do the forums smell like burning tires

Your computer has a cooling fan that is blocked or not working.


Lamontius wrote:

1. please explain the caster/martial disparity

2. can someone elaborate on when a paladin should fall
3. how do I do grappling
4. why does the rogue even exist
5. how do armor spikes work
6. is charm person an evil act
7. why are most CN characters complete dumpsters
8. explain sacred geometry interactions plz
9. should I rollplay or roleplay
10. how much can I optimize before I am considered a cheesing powergamer
11. why do the forums smell like burning tires

1. Martials get to hit people really hard for lots of damage while casters only get to rewrite reality. This upsets some people.

2. Either when he steps onto a pit trap, fails a fly or climb check, gets bullrushed off a cliff or when he is lifted in the air somehow (flight, telekinesis etc.) and whatever is doing the lifting stops.
3. You grab hold of someone, remember to get pictures if it's a succubus.
4. Because someone has to steal your stuff and backstab you and the devs decided not to call the guy who does it a thief anymore.
5. You put them on your armour to impress fellow party members with how badass you are.
6. Of course not, mind control is perfectly neutral, healing people with demon blood however is pure irredeemable evil, as is summoning an evil outsider to save an orphanage.
7. Noone knows
8. You get free metamagic because you like maths.
9. Both
10. You can do it until the GM throws the book at you, literally, careful that things kinda heavy.
11. It was cold and we didn't have any wood.


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Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Patrick Curtin wrote:

My whole issue, and one reason I started this thread is I am a complete 'role player' rather than a 'rollplayer'. Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with this, and I have had 37 years of very fun gaming. But...

I have made it my vision quest to understand the rules better. I want to turn on the rules-fu, crank up my games, and create epic encounters. Plus I have a long-term goal of getting some stuff published. Lord knows I have had plenty of opportunities to do so. I just can't write coherent rules-savvy stats.

36 years for me, I think. Start GMing, that's what I did about a year ago. Suddenly I have a new expensive hobby (well, not compared to some of my previous hobbies) and I'm having more fun with the game than ever. Oh wait, that sounds like what you are doing. Good choice.


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This is sooooo close to becoming a C/MD thread...


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

"when a paladin should fall"

Our dinner last night ran this for a bit, but a new GM popped up an insanely great idea! Rather than an instantaneous fall, start hinting via giving saves when none is normally given, reducing effects or not granting spells. Being about 20, she doesn't know you shouldn't twist rules in game, but her players are even newer and treat her word as law.

Still, it is an interesting mechanism...


taks wrote:
Patrick Curtin wrote:

My whole issue, and one reason I started this thread is I am a complete 'role player' rather than a 'rollplayer'. Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with this, and I have had 37 years of very fun gaming. But...

I have made it my vision quest to understand the rules better. I want to turn on the rules-fu, crank up my games, and create epic encounters. Plus I have a long-term goal of getting some stuff published. Lord knows I have had plenty of opportunities to do so. I just can't write coherent rules-savvy stats.

36 years for me, I think. Start GMing, that's what I did about a year ago. Suddenly I have a new expensive hobby (well, not compared to some of my previous hobbies) and I'm having more fun with the game than ever. Oh wait, that sounds like what you are doing. Good choice.

Lol. I actually love GMing. In previous times (and still now) I have warned all my players that I suck at the rules, and they are entirely in their rights to call me out if I blow a call. Plus, for most of my gaming history I have played 1-2nd edition D&D where the rules framework was simpler and players expected a certain level of DM fiat.

While I simply adore the nigh-infinite choices Pathfinder brings to the gaming table, it also brings with it a lot of rules structure. I can wing it (I have eight-year-old PbPs on this site still going that began when 3.5 was the current rules), but I really want to get proficient with the system. Maybe I won't get to Turin the Mad, or Set level, but that's the benchmark I aspire to.

Liberty's Edge

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Patrick Curtin wrote:

Lol. I actually love GMing. In previous times (and still now) I have warned all my players that I suck at the rules, and they are entirely in their rights to call me out if I blow a call. Plus, for most of my gaming history I have played 1-2nd edition D&D where the rules framework was simpler and players expected a certain level of DM fiat.

While I simply adore the nigh-infinite choices Pathfinder brings to the gaming table, it also brings with it a lot of rules structure. I can wing it (I have eight-year-old PbPs on this site still going that began when 3.5 was the current rules), but I really want to get proficient with the system. Maybe I won't get to Turin the Mad, or Set level, but that's the benchmark I aspire to.

A very worthy goal. Feel free to ask whatever questions you desire. All joking aside, I at least would be happy to help. As, I suspect, would others.

Silver Crusade

Great Thread Monkey

Patrick Curtin wrote:

Hello friends!

Have you ever fretted over making a rule call, sure you saw the proper passage somewhere, but can't remember where?

Nah, we just wing it mostly

Quote:

Are you hopeless with math and remembering acronyms?

Do adding together the myriad bonus stats and the like make you crazy?

I use an electronic dice roller cause yeah I do kind of suck and I'm lazy

Quote:
Do you have great concepts for characters/NPCs/Monsters/scenarios but you just can't pull them off due to weak rules fu?

I am pretty good with building characters I envision but only because I do alot of reading. In other words It takes me about a week to make one

Quote:

Well, welcome to the club! I have hung around here since Pathfinder was just a twinkle in Jason Bulmahn's eye and I still get crosseyed making a character. So, I am starting this page for all of us who can get confused with the simplest aspects of the game.

This is a no judgement zone. As I have mentioned, I suck at rules. I really do. I've been playing RPGs since 1979, and I do so by the seat of my pants. I am starting this thread to perhaps give myself and other folks with issues a place to post 'dumb' questions and have the more erudite among the Paizomind assist us.

So if you have a question that's bugging you, ask it. If you see a question you know the answer to, answer it. Thus we all help each other out.

Do I get bonus points for responding to the OP vs. the second post


Bwang wrote:

"when a paladin should fall"

Our dinner last night ran this for a bit, but a new GM popped up an insanely great idea! Rather than an instantaneous fall, start hinting via giving saves when none is normally given, reducing effects or not granting spells. Being about 20, she doesn't know you shouldn't twist rules in game, but her players are even newer and treat her word as law.

Still, it is an interesting mechanism...

Or borrow something apt like the Dark Side Point mechanic. Adapting it as necessary.


Alright, stop answering Lamontius' questions. It was funny when the first guy replied, by the fourth response I was cringing.

The way the Magus functions still makes me head spin a little bit, If I read the class I understand how it works, but I can never retain it to memory.

Also, I'm at a loss for how shape-shifting works, wildshape, form of the dragon, all of that. I'm not sure what stats change, what stays the same, it's weird to me.


GypsyMischief wrote:
Also, I'm at a loss for how shape-shifting works, wildshape, form of the dragon, all of that. I'm not sure what stats change, what stays the same, it's weird to me.

Go to On Skin Changing is really the best shapeshifting article I know of. It explains it pretty well.

Liberty's Edge

GypsyMischief wrote:
The way the Magus functions still makes me head spin a little bit, If I read the class I understand how it works, but I can never retain it to memory.

It's pretty simple. Magi get to do two really unique things:

1. They can effectively TWF with a weapon and a spell (taking -2 to hit on all attacks, but getting to cast a spell on top of all normal attacks).
2. Whenever they use a Touch spell, they can make a weapon attack instead and do both the effect of the spell and the normal weapon damage to them.

These can be combined.

They have a few other tricks (weapon enhancement, mostly), but those aren't super complex.

GypsyMischief wrote:
Also, I'm at a loss for how shape-shifting works, wildshape, form of the dragon, all of that. I'm not sure what stats change, what stays the same, it's weird to me.

The only stats that change are the ones that the spell says change. Nothing else.

You replace Natural Armor bonus, lose vision stuff, and gain special abilities from the list in the spell, plus the stat mods. You technically also lose a few other things sometimes, but generally not much and not anything too important.

EDIT: The above lined document says it better.


Is sneak attack a rider effect? Or do I get to add my sneak attack damage when trying to overcome Dr?

Does bleed counter fast healing? Bleed says it needs magical healing or a heal check to stop and fast healing is described at accelerated natural healing.

Liberty's Edge

Endency wrote:
Is sneak attack a rider effect? Or do I get to add my sneak attack damage when trying to overcome Dr?

It's not a rider. It adds directly and can help overcome DR.

Endency wrote:
Does bleed counter fast healing? Bleed says it needs magical healing or a heal check to stop and fast healing is described at accelerated natural healing.

RAW is slightly unclear on this point (see here).

That said, James Jacobs (who, while not a rules source, is a pretty experienced GM) strongly advises that it should work for reasons of simplicity. I'd agree with that.

Liberty's Edge

Lamontius wrote:
please explain the caster/martial disparity

Casters are really, really good at doing one thing, as are martials. Problem is, the martials' one thing is "apply sharp end of katana to monster," and the casters' one thing is "bend and/or break the laws of the universe across my face."

Lamontius wrote:
can someone elaborate on when a paladin should fall

Whenever there's no ground beneath his feet, of course.

Lamontius wrote:
how do I do grappling

Don't.

Lamontius wrote:
why does the rogue even exist

If you notice the rogue, she's not really much of a rogue, is she? (Or am I confusing her for the ninja?)

Lamontius wrote:
how do armor spikes work

Armor spikes work like the rules say they work.

Lamontius wrote:
is charm person an evil act

Probably not.

Lamontius wrote:
why are most CN characters complete dumpsters

Because most people get off on annoying people with playing sociopaths who civilized societies like Athas or Faerun would have had executed for doing the things people think Chaotic Neutral characters!

Lamontius wrote:
explain sacred geometry interactions plz

Carry the theta, plus or minus epsilon, then you divide by -i. If you got Planck's Number, your character passes the Test of the Starstone.

Lamontius wrote:
should I rollplay or roleplay

First one, then the other.

Lamontius wrote:
how much can I optimize before I am considered a cheesing powergamer

When "Wizard (Diviner) 20" appears on your character sheet, a cheesing powergamer you are, Grasshopper =p

Lamontius wrote:
why do the forums smell like burning tires

Don't blame me; blame the f+~&ing Taco Bell Steak Quesarito.

...I wonder if Taco Bell will give me free quesaritos if I say "Taco Bell" and "quesarito" enough times in this post.

.....

......Taco Bell. Quesarito.


Has this gone from what was originally intended to a competition to see who can craft the best reply to Lamontius?

Cool. I'm in:

Lamontius wrote:


please explain the caster/martial disparity
can someone elaborate on when a paladin should fall
how do I do grappling
why does the rogue even exist
how do armor spikes work
is charm person an evil act
why are most CN characters complete dumpsters
explain sacred geometry interactions plz
should I rollplay or roleplay
how much can I optimize before I am considered a cheesing powergamer
why do the forums smell like burning tires

Caster martial disparity is a myth. Mythbusters did an episode on it. They failed to find any.

Paladins, much like any other object, should fall when subjected to gravity if they're not standing on anything.

Grappling is a simple 3 step process. Step one: Declare you start a grapple. Step 2: Spend an hour locating all the relevant rules. Step 3: fail the check anyway and stand there uselessly as your local barbarian smashes your foe.

The creation of the rogue is a simple story. Fighters go in the front. Wizards and other squishys go in the middle. This is fine unless you get attacked from the back. So, parties would back themselves against walls. However, if you need to run you want to be able to trample over the walls. So, the rogue was invented to stand in the back and be able to defend itself somewhat, but also get trampled in case of emergency.

Armour spikes are also relatively simple. They're the solid gold sports cars of weaponry. Buy them because they look cool and then never use them to attack things.

You're never going to charm anyone if you think it's an evil act. You have to be suave. Channel your inner Bond.

I don't know where you got your numbers from for this question. Most of the chaotic neutral characters I know are incomplete dumpsters.

Geometry, like all math is sacred. Clever use of trigonometry can get you out of any situation. In general, you should only be using geometry on shapes. It doesn't interact with anything else. Please stop trying.

You should rock n rollplay. With a Mad Max flaming guitar and everything.

As long as you haven't eaten any of the GM's cheese yet, you're not cheesing.

You haven't gotten an air freshener app for your computer yet? How are you still functioning? Quickly! Go download one!


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I think he has been sufficiently answered :P


Is there a straightforward guide to crafting a gunslinger character? I'm currently playing a variant (a spellslinger) but a lot of the class terminology is confusing.

Silver Crusade

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I've written a guide to the gunslinger, if that counts.


Patrick Curtin wrote:
Is there a straightforward guide to crafting a gunslinger character? I'm currently playing a variant (a spellslinger) but a lot of the class terminology is confusing.

I don't normally use guides so I can't refer you, but I might be able to help if you can tell me what parts of the terminology you're having problems with.


Grit comes to mind. I'm not sure I get the concept


It's a small resource that you can spend to do things and certain events allow it to refill during a day.

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

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Lamontius wrote:
please explain the caster/martial disparity

It is a manifestation of confused fantasy expectations in the design of Pathfinder (and certain similar games, to varying degrees). On the one hand, Pathfinder tries to establish a setting in which the only thing that differentiates the "fantastic" from the "realistic" is the addition of magic. That is, if you want to tell stories with fantastical, non-realistic elements, then a certain minimum amount of magic is required. However, Pathfinder simultaneously tries to accommodate familiar tropes of nonmagical character types (such as the warrior and the thief) by presenting them right alongside the magical characters. This creates a fundamental clash of paradigms, in which the game presents itself as having multiple types of "fantasy heroes" you can play, but then gives the currency needed for that "fantasy" into the hands of only a certain subset of those character types.

In short, Pathfinder tries to enable two different broad tropes ("warriors/thieves as fantasy heroes" and "fantasy is reality plus magic") that are fundamentally incompatible and serve different narrative types. This mismatch is called "the caster-martial disparity".

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can someone elaborate on when a paladin should fall

A paladin falls when they violate their code of conduct. This includes a handful of specific things, along with a couple of broader rules ("shift out of lawful-good alignment" and "commit an evil act"). The parts most likely to give you trouble are the alignment-oriented rules, mostly because a great many gamers think of "good and evil" as actually referring to "approved or disapproved by polite society" rather than their real meanings of "being a decent person or not". Everyone should talk to their group to get on the same page before the game starts.

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how do I do grappling

1. Spend a standard action, declaring your intent to grapple a given target in reach. If the target threatens you and you don't have Improved Grapple, the target (and only the target) gets an AoO against you.

2. Make a Combat Maneuver Check, using the normal rules. (If you were struck by the aforementioned AoO, any damage you took is subtracted from your check.) If your check fails, nothing happens. If it succeeds, you and the target now both have the "grappled" condition.
3. The grappled creature can attempt a Combat Maneuver Check or an Acrobatics skill check against your CMD to try and escape the grapple. This costs them a standard action.
4. If the grapple hasn't been ended when it gets to your turn, you can either release them as a free action or maintain the grapple as a standard action. If you choose to maintain, make another Combat Maneuver Check. If you fail, the grapple ends. If you succeed, then you can pick one of the options listed in the Combat chapter of the Core Rulebook to apply to the target (such as damaging them, moving them, or pinning them).

Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the grapple ends.

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why does the rogue even exist

The "fighter/mage/thief" paradigm is a well-established fantasy gaming framework that predates Pathfinder. It proposes three main character types for adventuring: the "fighter", who excels in combat but may struggle in other endeavors; the "mage" who has great power but is fueled by a limited resource and is extremely vulnerable if depleted; and the "thief" who has many non-combat capabilities but suffers in combat ability unless he can find ways to employ ambush tactics.

The rogue is simply Pathfinder's implementation of the "thief" from that paradigm.

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how do armor spikes work

About the same as all other weapons, unfortunately.

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is charm person an evil act

See above about paladins and alignment.

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why are most CN characters complete dumpsters

This often stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of at least the law/chaos axis (if not both axes) of the alignment system. Not surprising, given the baggage of the word "chaos".

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explain sacred geometry interactions plz

Put a calculator into a blender, run it for several seconds, then pour the pieces onto the game table. Then go home.

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should I rollplay or roleplay

You should do whatever you and your group have fun doing, regardless of how much or how little talking, die-rolling, or roleplaying it involves. But get out of the habit of saying "rollplay", as it's a pejorative and violates the Community Guidelines of the forums.

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how much can I optimize before I am considered a cheesing powergamer

It depends on how you do it. In my experience, most folks who complain about "cheese" and "powergaming" are in fact woefully unfit to judge the power/optimization level of any given build; their complaints tend to (unknown to them) be based more on what they're used to and what "looks wrong".

For example, doing X damage per round will get you a different reaction based on whether it's coming from a cliché raging barbarian (which is expected to deal lots of damage) or from a magus who had to spend more feats and expend spell slots to do the same thing (because they're not already used to it, therefore they're able to actually see it).

Similarly, you can drop (non-BBEG) enemies with a single die roll if you're a wizard, but not if you're a weapon-user. You can pile bonuses to people's rolls if you're a bard, but not if you're a fighter. The list goes on.

Basically, if your character operates in a "classic D&D" manner, you can optimize all you want and probably nobody will bat an eye. If you use a non-Core class (or take a Core class in a non-standard direction), then you'll have to make sure you're noticeably less effective than "normal" builds at the same task if you want to avoid running afoul of the Optimization Police.


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Lamontius wrote:
why do the forums smell like burning tires

because the overuse of fireball as an example spell is getting really tiring.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Lamontius wrote:


why do the forums smell like burning tires

That's the smell of frustration over threadcraps and ongoing responses to threadcraps.

Yes, I realize we're in ironic territory here...


Patrick Curtin wrote:
Grit comes to mind. I'm not sure I get the concept
Chess Pwn wrote:
It's a small resource that you can spend to do things and certain events allow it to refill during a day.

Chess Pwn is right, but perhaps that is not the part of the concept that Patrick Curtin did not quite get. Since this thread is titled, "Everything you wanted to know about Pathfinder, but were afraid to ask," let's get to the scary part: grit is a mechanic without an underlying concept. It is named after strength in character, "grit," found in culture of the Old West but the concept was added to the class purely for balance.

Fans of guns in fantasy have expectations about what the guns could do: deadeye shots, trick shots, shots in the nick of time, utility shots, etc. The deeds allow those. But being able to make those specialty shots all the time would make the gunslinger too powerful. So the number of deed-based shots is limited by a small resource, grit.

Other classes have such pools, such as a monk's ki, barbarian's rounds of rage, and a magus's arcane pool. However, legends of monks mention inner ki energy, legends of berserkers base their frenzied rage in emotions, magic in Pathfinder is about burning through limited spell-like resources, so those naturally generalize to limited resource pools. The Old West's grit is a form of determination that does not wear down, so putting it in a limited pool is weird.

Therefore, the Paizo designers decided on a more dynamic pool for the gunslinger: grit is restored by certain actions: critical hits, defeating enemies, and daring acts. Playing a gunslinger who favors these acts could lead to an unending grit pool. This does not match a stubborn strength of character and determination, but it is easier to measure during a game.

The original grit would match up to Will saves, hence, to Wisdom.


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First of all, I got to say I love the thread. I know there's been some concussion over Lamontius answer, however, there is a unanswered question in there that I will try to answer: Grappling, and combat maeuvers in general.

Charge: Not officialy a Combat Maneuver, but let's cover it.
Full round action
Prerequisite: Clear line of sight, clear path, 10 feet (2 squares)
Benefit: Move twice your speed, then attack, gain +2 atk, -2 Ac.
If you move a least a distance equal to your speed and have +1 BAB, can draw a weapon in the process. You can not take a 5 foot step this turn.
Partial charge: Only if restricted to taking one standard action per turn. You only move your speed, and can not draw a weapon unless you have the quick draw feat.

In short: Double move and attack +2atk, -2 ac.

Bull rush: Provokes an attack of opportunity. Make a CMB vs CMD check. Push the enemy up to 5 feet per 5 point over the CMD, minimum of one.
Benefit: Useful to get flanking position on a tough enemy.

Disarm: Provokes an attack of opportunity. Make a CMB vs CMD. If you succeed, the target drops his weapon. If you succeed by 10 or more, drop both weapon.
Benefit: An enemy that drops and weapon must pick it up with a move action that provokes an attack of opportunity. Useful when you have multiple ally close to the enemy.

Grapple: Here comes the big one.
Provokes an attack of opportunity, Make a CMB vs CMD. If you succeed, both you and the target are considered grappled. You can end the grapple as a free action.
Grappled: -4 dex, -2 atk, -2 combat maneuvers not related to the grapple. Can't use action requiring 2 hands.
Next round: Make another grapple check, with a +5 bonus, to maintain the grapple. If you succeed you can: 1. move half your speed, 2. deal damage equal to unarmed or with one handed weapon. 3. Pin the enemy. You lose your dex bonus if you pin the enemy
Pinned: Cannot move, no dex bonus, -4 ac. Does not stack with grappled effect.
Breaking the grapple: Make a CMB or Escape artist check vs CMD
Benefit: Gives control over the enemy's movement, as well as debuffing the AC. Useful when you dont want to kill an enemy, or on the opposite, kill an evasive enemy.

Overun: Provokes an attack of opportunity. The target can let you pass or try to stop you. If he tries to stop you, make a CMB vs CMD. If you succeed, move through the square. If you get 5 points over the CMD, the target is prone. You cannot end your movement in an enemy's square.
Benefit: Can get to the backline of a fight if the path is blocked.

Sunder: Provokes an attack of opportunity. Make a CMB vs CMD. If you succeed, you deal damage to an item held or worn by the target.
Benefit: Can destroy the advantage of a specific item.

Trip: Provokes an attack of opportunity. Make a CMB vs CMD. If you succeed, knock the target prone.
Prone: -4 to melee attacks. No ranged attacks (except crossbows). +4 Ac vs ranged, -4 Ac vs melee. Standing up is a move action.
Benefit. Debuffs the target Ac to hit it better with melee attacks.

In short, all these actions aren't necessarily to most optimized actions. There might be better stuff, and some effects are rather similar aka trip vs disarm. But using these actions add a lot of flavor to a fight. Rule of thumb, CMB vs CMD, get an effect. Cheers


Dotting. I don't have any specific questions, but (assuming people get over Lamontius' post eventually) I bet I learn something here (and it will blow my mind).


Sorry for the long string of questions. Can I channel smite into a touch attack? If so would it be able to get sneak attack on that as well? And again if so what type of damage does the sneak attack deal? If its the energy type is it subject to the will save for half?


Endency wrote:
Sorry for the long string of questions. Can I channel smite into a touch attack? If so would it be able to get sneak attack on that as well? And again if so what type of damage does the sneak attack deal? If its the energy type is it subject to the will save for half?

The feat requires you to use it with a melee attack roll, so a touch attack should work, given you use the swift action required to empower the touch attack. Also, given the chance, you should be allowed to use a sneak attack in a channel smite. Finally, for the matter of the type of damage, I can quote the Core rulebook, p.119, :Your target can make a Will save, as normal, to halve this ADDITIONAL damage. Notice the additional. The sneak would remain plain damage, like a sneak attack, and the target can roll a will save to halve the channel damage. Your damge would then be : Basic damage + Sneak damage + channel damage (will save halves) Hope that helps


Character Concept-
Halfling Swashbuckler with Mouser Archetype. (Because it sounded fun when I read it) Take a level dip into Alchemist for the 1st level self-buffs
(Mutagen, plus Doses of Growth, Shrinking, Healing, Shield, etc every day) Plus daily doses of Bombs. Will never be powerful, but would be like getting a couple of 'free' ALchemist Fire each day? :)

Was thinking of making the Alchemist dip a Vivisectionist for sneak attack damage, but that would take 2 levels, and I don't really see that as helping as much as I was hoping? I really wanted this to be heavy on the 'little guy takes down the big guy' swashbuckler antics PC. Emphasis on the 'little' with Potions of Shrinking. :)

Thoughts? I'm not a rules expert, but it seems Mouser breaks a lot of typical 'rules' involving combat and the creating/avoiding of AoO's when moving in and out of others spaces. Does this work as well as it sounds? And what feats are required to make a mouser work well?

I'm not an uber-optimiser, just looking for ideas and things that work, not the most DPS etc swashbuckler ever. :)


So here's an interesting question: Does a Holy Gun gunslinger's Smiting Shot get affected by Spell Resistance?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Patrick Curtin wrote:
So here's an interesting question: Does a Holy Gun gunslinger's Smiting Shot get affected by Spell Resistance?

Smiting Shot isn't a spell - it's a supernatural ability. So no. Only spells and spell-like abilities are affected by spell resistance.

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