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Primal Fury
2009-09-08, 12:25 PM
I've been seeing so many things about Pathfinder, and how it supposedly improves upon the 3.5 rules that many players complained about (which sounds like a good change of pace), but I know nothing about it. So if you magnanimous individuals would be so kind as to fill me in, I'd be very thankful. :smallsmile:

Kurald Galain
2009-09-08, 12:27 PM
Opinions vary on whether Pathfinder fixes, ignores, or aggravates the most commonly complained-about problems of 3.5...

Temet Nosce
2009-09-08, 12:28 PM
Pathfinder is basically a collection of house rules. From my experience I'd say you'll probably agree with some, disagree with some, and be indifferent about some. I.E. I like the fact that they removed EXP costs, but the changes to say power attack (which they nerfed) annoy me.

I wish I could give you a list of changes, but unfortunately they didn't include anything that simple. I'm still trying to figure out everything they did.

BobVosh
2009-09-08, 12:40 PM
http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/

Basically has everything in the book. Check out the spells. They really fixed a lot of em.

I like the currently PA. Paladin is actually really good.

What do you want to know about?

Primal Fury
2009-09-08, 12:42 PM
What I really want to know is what makes Pathfinder different from 3.5. Like... what's been fixed, ignored, or aggravated as Kurald says.

imperialspectre
2009-09-08, 12:56 PM
Fighter feats are systematically nerfed, giving melee characters in general a substantially narrower range of effective options. Combat maneuvers, such as trip and disarm, are horrifically nerfed, along with Power Attack. Rogues are substantially buffed, since sneak attack applies to almost everyone and they get a few "talents" that equate to bonus feats. Clerics and druids are slightly nerfed. Rangers and paladins are very slightly buffed. Barbarians have a different rage mechanic, but aren't more powerful than they were. Bards have a different bardsong mechanic, slightly improved spell acquisition, but are nerfed on the whole. Sorcerers and wizards are substantially buffed.

If you're thinking I must have had an aneurysm to type the last sentence about any system that claims to "fix" 3.5, you're wrong. Paizo seriously buffed both sorcerers and wizards by a substantial margin from where they were in 3.5. A few spells were somewhat nerfed, but there are fight-winning arcane spells at every level even without using 3.5 supplements - and those spells are being cast by classes that are fundamentally better than their 3.5 equivalents, with better HP, better skills, and sometimes free metamagics.

Rixx
2009-09-08, 01:15 PM
I've had nothing but good experiences with Pathfinder so far. It fixes a lot of the stuff in 3.5 that just didn't make a lot of sense. Combat maneuvers are way easier to pull off, the amount of negative hit points you need to die vary from character to character, a lot of classes got a lot of new options, and some feats that didn't make sense make more sense now (Dodge, for example, gives you a +1 dodge bonus to AC, without you having to declare a dodge target). Most of the hate for Pathfinder mostly comes from people who already had their own ideas of how to "fix" 3.5, but it's definitely worth a try.

Dienekes
2009-09-08, 01:19 PM
Pathfinder is a decent system, that makes numerous changes for classes most for the better, but some that make no sense.

The original beta version had numerous problems that imperialspectre lists above. The finalized version here.
http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/

Does do some things right, such as the new Flurry of Blows progression for the monks. It completely nerfed some spells (while ignoring other offenders mind you), gave Sorcerer a reason to stay in the class (sorta, most of the abilities are rather worthless, but at least the entire class isn't empty). I'd argue that it's true successes are that it fills out all the classes so that there are no empty levels, the skill system, and their new Paladin looks good.

I'd suggest you through it yourself as a lot of things can be ripped from it for any campaign you have. For instance Fighter, Barbarian, Monk, and Paladin are stronger than their v3.5 counterparts. Though it does not necessarily fix the most glaring problems with the classes.

I enjoy it, and use many of the changes they make, but not all.

BobVosh
2009-09-08, 01:24 PM
Have you looked at the spells since the beta? They have been nerfed even further.

Ray of enfeeblement has a save now.
Save vs blind every round on glitterdust.
Reflex save on forcecage.
Solid fog only halves movement speed, not 5ft/round.
Can't ever hide the rope on rope trick.
Grease is only an issue if you move, otherwise you don't have to make balance checks.
Protection from arrows is dr/10 magic, so is worthless.
Dispel magic got an incredibly large nerf. (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/spells/dispelMagic.html#dispel-magic)
Protection from X only works againist X. (Protection from Evil only stops evil mind control/etc)


Thats just a few, feel free to look at others. CMD is a generic mechanic for all the grapple/trip/disarm/sunder. Nerfed the feats for it, but at the same time nerfed the size modifiers preventing em. Buffed the damage on PA, but nerfed the amount you could do with it. Added/modified a lot of feats.

Clerics don't turn undead, instead they burst positive energy to heal 1D6/2 levels to all within 30. They lost heavy armor. Some spells have been changed.

Wizards have been buffed. However the other stuff they do isn't nearly as powerful as it sounds from the guy above me. They can reduce a limited amount of metamagics, but it can't be raised above what they can cast. So if they can cast 5th level spells they can't metamagic it to 6th, before the reduction. So its a glorified swift metamagic from Comp Arcane. It is just a class feature not a feat.

Druids have been nerfed in wildshape. Wildshapes add a set bonus to stats so you need to actually have dex/str if thats what you want to do. Animal companions have been become standard amongst the classes. (Paladin mounts, druids AC, and Ranger AC)

Paladins as I said got a lot of love. Read the class, too much to really list. Fighters got a little love, not still nothing interesting. They just fight better. Which I feel is appropriate for a "fighter".

Monks are different, I'm still undecided mainly because I hate monk's flavor.

Rangers got buffed. Haven't really looked at them much yet.

Rogues have become a lot neater. Also the sneak attack works on a lot more things now. They have rogue talents on the off levels from sneak attack. Various effects like 5ft step while prone, when reduced below 0 they gain HP=rogue level 1/day. My 2 favorites are stealth at full speed without penalty and whenever they are within 10ft of a trap they automatically get a perception check to see it.

Skills have been changed, combined, and dropped. Use rope is gone(goes off of CMB), spellcraft can ID magic items, casting defensively is 15+2*spell level, tumble is harder againist fighters than wizards (dc=highest opponents CMD+2*number of opponents) Large amounts of changes here as well.

You really do have to read through to get all of the changes. These are a random few in order of "just thought of it."

Yora
2009-09-08, 01:29 PM
Have you looked at the spells since the beta? They have been nerfed even further.

Ray of enfeeblement has a save now.
Save vs blind every round on glitterdust.
Reflex save on forcecage.
Solid fog only halves movement speed, not 5ft/round.
Can't ever hide the rope on rope trick.
Grease is only an issue if you move, otherwise you don't have to make balance checks.
Protection from arrows is dr/10 magic, so is worthless.
Dispel magic got an incredibly large nerf. (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/spells/dispelMagic.html#dispel-magic)
Protection from X only works againist X. (Protection from Evil only stops evil mind control/etc)
I'd call it fixed.

Except dispel magic.

imperialspectre
2009-09-08, 01:39 PM
I'm not referring to the beta, I'm referring to the final. Fighters are weaker in the final than they were in the beta, because the only good feats Pathfinder introduced in the beta (the Vital Strike chain) were removed in the final. With the nerfs to combat maneuvers and Power Attack, that leaves a Pathfighter fundamentally weaker than a 3.5 fighter (and no, getting WF/WS and Armor Spec for free doesn't count as a meaningful buff).

Monks' flurry progression is nice, but since they still don't have a meaningful damage-dealing mechanism, and the combat maneuvers are nerfed out of existence, they're still a class without a useful party role.

Eliminating empty levels is nice, but if the abilities you get aren't any good then it's not exactly an improvement. The only two classes in the 3.5 PHB that had no empty levels at all were the barbarian and monk. The barbarian was potentially-useful, assuming you had access to Complete Warrior, and was the most effective full-BAB class in the PHB. The monk was the worst class in the 3.5 PHB by a huge margin.

Oh, and even with the barbarian nerf in Pathfinder, and the tiny little buff to monks, all of that is still the case. It's just that casters are even more dominant, because even the slightly-nerfed divine casters still have higher save DCs, more feats, more skills, and plenty of good spells.

Now, all that said: if you want a somewhat more powerful game, you could take Pathfinder's feat progression, skill progression, racial changes and favored class changes, and you'd have a pretty decent baseline. Keep the 3.5 barbarian and bard, replace the fighter, monk, and paladin with ToB, and adopt the Pathfinder rogue. You might even take the cleric and druid nerfs, if you wanted, although making clerics cloistered clerics and making druids aspect druids is probably better, and you could adopt the Pathfinder sorcerer. In the name of kittens, though, don't even think about using the Pathfinder wizard.

EDIT: Regarding the list of nerfed spells: Nerfing Dispel Magic overcomes ALL of the others, because it makes casters far more effective. Also, nerfing a few select spells does not mean that casters are weaker, because as long as there are other equally good spells at that level, the casters are still fine. Finally, giving glitterdust a save every round and making solid fog only halve your move does not effectively nerf either of those spells.

Typewriter
2009-09-08, 01:42 PM
There are changes everywhere, some good some bad as others have said.

I personally like the power attack change, and I also don't think that the combat maneuvers got as much of a nerf as people try to claim.

Power attack is now 'Give up 1 attack bonus plus 1 for every four BAB and gain 2 to damage, or 3 if you're two handing'. At level 20 you have -6 to hit, but get +18 to damage. You don't get the versatility that it used to have where you could choose your penalty, but I like this version a lot more (and it's been working quite well for the party fighter so far).

The maneuver feats were split into two feats each(which is somewhat made up for by feats being ridiculously easy to get(you get a feat every odd level) so they're somewhat nerfed, but if you want to focus on something it's not that hard to do. What does suck is that peoples defense against maneuvers got better. Instead of opposed rolls you aim for their 'combat defense' which starts at 15 and adds a bit to it. As I said, if you want to focus on it, it's not that hard to do, but if you don't plan on focusing on it, stay away completely.

All the classes got some changes, and boosts in power.
Bard - Got some new nifty songs and the like, but overall...what the??? They only get a certain number of rounds per day to sing, one of higher levels songs kills people who listen....the bard is still really weird...

Barbarian - They get to make decisions as they level about what they want to be better at. They got some nifty changes like that, but nothing too awesome.

Cleric - Turning now does positive energy bursts, healing all who live near you, and damagin all who are dead near you. Spells changed a bit. Domains are compltely different, and kind of strange...not a big fan of the domain changes.

Druid - Their change form ability is now just the polymorph subset of schools, and they don't even get access to all of them (and they're normally wizard/sorceror only), but they still have other abilities, including casting, so, power wise, they're brought in a bit.

Fighter - A feat at every even level (combined with your normal feat every odd level for a feat every level!) and they get the ability to add damage to specific weapons, and increase the max dex bonus of their armor. In addition, they get to retrain a feat they chose every four levels. I really like the pathfinder fighter.

Monk - Monks get ki points and a bunch of powers. The power range from the things they already had, or bonuses to things they already had (extra attacks when flurrying/dimension door/etc.) and are overall a whole lot more useful and fun to play.

Paladin - Meh....they got some changes, but I wasn't especially impressed so I kind of skimmed over it

Ranger - Bigger feat selection, favored terrains in addition to favored enemies, choice between animal companion and something else, combat style selections still around but with more feat choices

Rogue - Rogues get fun little abilities they get to pick every few levels, and their sneak attack is more reliable. Good changes overall I'd say.

Wizard/Sorceror - Spell changes have been mentioned as have the 'buffs' to wizards and sorcerors. While it is true that they've been 'buffed' I will throw in my two cents and say that there was never any reason not to prestige class as a wizard or a sorceror into something that gives you just as much, if not more, power than the base class currently gives. Take that for what you will, but I really don't see the problem with adding flavor to a class when the only pre-existing option was to take a prestige class to add flavor, or make up your own.



Other points of interest:
Skill changes - Cross class/class skills are now easier to manage, and the skill list has been slightly reduced. Overall a lot easier to manage and remember how it works at every level.

Feats - More base feats allow for more options with things. Different ways to do damage if you don't get a full round attack so melee types aren't completely hosed, etc. etc.

Combat Maneuvers - The 'aiming for a set number' thing works really well for the most part, except for grapple, which is just as mess as it ever was.

Tiktakkat
2009-09-08, 01:47 PM
I think barbarians got rather thoroughly abused with the change to rage. Barring a cleric ready to save your life, it is auto-death for any "typical" PC barbarian to be hit to -1 hp at 11th level and higher.
I think there are also some issues waiting to surface with the changes to barbarian rage and bard song being rounds per day rather than uses per day. Yes, it does give more flexibility, but only for short combats. One 10+ round slugfest can burn both out for the day, creating a disproportionate effect.

Epinephrine
2009-09-08, 01:48 PM
I disagree with imperialspectre's take on it. All casters have been substantially weakened in the Pathfinder system.

a) Many spells that were problematic are weaker.
b) Casting defensively is much harder
c) Feats can make casting defensively even harder
d) Feats can make a 5' step to cast impossible as well.

Sure, there were some improvements to casting classes, and a few problems (Divniation specialist mages, for example), but largely the changes have restricted caster classes, making them more vulnerable. It's certainly not trivial to cast your big spells while threatened, and concentration is no longer a skill, but instead a level check - so you can't pimp it up the way you could in 3.5.

I also feel that the feat options aren't universally weaker; while Improved Trip no longer generates a free attack, the Greater Trip causes the trip to provoke attacks of opportunity, potentially allowing other teammates to pound on the opponent as he goes down. New feats to move across difficult terrain, improve the damage of your standard action attacks and so on actually make the fighter stronger (at least, that's what my group finds).

I also disagree about the relative class assessments, though I don't have time for an exhaustive list:

Fighters: Substantially buffed - they gain bonuses with weapons (weapon training) and with armour (armour training). The bonuses seem small until you do the damage calculations, the +4/+4 bonus can add +50% to +100% damage depending on how hard the target is to hit. They also have a slightly better skill list: they now have Knowledge dungeoneering and knowledge engineering as class skills, as well as Survival (and Track is no longer required to track foes, merely providing a bonus to tracking).

Paladins: Substantially buffed - Smite is way more powerful (lasting until your foe is dead), self-healing via lay on hands is a swift action, and you can use your ability to do an AoE burst of positive energy. I believe the "mercies" attached to Lay on Hands are an improvement as well. Also they can select a bond with a divine weapon rather than a mount, and gain addition weapon enhancements that way a number of times per day - pretty cool. Oh, and their caster level is better.

Rangers are somewhat buffed - they gain a quarry feature, their caster level imrpoves to level -3 rather than 1/2 level; they gain a few extra feats, and their animal companion is stronger. They can also trade the AC for being able to grant their favoured enemy bonus to their companions, and they have a favoured terrain bonus now as well (though it's pretty minor).

Bards are not nerfed, they are *buffed*. There are issues with bard song, but overall I think they are clearly stronger.
1) Bards can do anything while performing now - cast spells, use wands, fight, etc. Big boost.
2) Bard songs are competence bonuses, which stack with the morale bonuses from many bard spells (like heroism, greater heroism)
3) Bards can start songs as a move action at 8th level, or as a swift action at 13th level. Being able to start a fight with a spell, a quickened spell, and a bard song? Pretty cool.
4) Bards can use Versatile Performance to count their Perform skill for other skills like Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Handle Animal, Acrobatics, Fly, Sense Motive. Each perform skill is tied to 2 other skills, so you get a lot more competence out of your bard.
5) Old Bard songs are stronger. Inspire Competence scales up to +6 to a skill, Inspire Courage has a faster progression.
6) New bard songs. A bard can cause enemies to be Shaken (Dirge of Doom) or Frightened (Frightening Tune), can heal his comrades (Soothing Performance, counts as a Mass Cure Serious Wounds cast at his bard level), and can even kill with a song (Deadly Performance)
7) Better knowledge skills - bardic knowledge is replaced with a bonus to all knolwedges of 1/2 the bard level. Also, bards can take 10 with knowledges, even under stress. They can elect to take 20 on a knowledge skill a number of times per day, essentially digging up some obscure knowledge.
8) More well-rounded. The versatile performance helps, but they also get Jack of All Trades, which allows them to use any skill untrained (10th level), count all skills as class skills (16th level), and take 10 on any skill check, even if not normally allowed (19th level).

Bard cons:
1) rds/day singing. You don't sing non-stop for hours. Oh well, still works ok.
2) Inspire Greatness/Heroics - since you can't sing two songs, and songs no longer linger after you finish singing, there isn't a lot of reason to use Inspire Greatness or Inspire Heroics. Also, since all songs are competence bonuses, they don't stack with Inspire Courage.

Myou
2009-09-08, 01:50 PM
I strongly advise against changing to Pathfinder, because it makes so many small changes, without making any real overall improvement, that it's better to just read the pathfinder site and take the changes you like as houserules.

pres_man
2009-09-08, 02:07 PM
Combat maneuvers are way easier to pull off, ...

Now, the question is by "easier" what do you mean? Do you mean by the player (rules are easier to use) or by the character (the maneuver succeeds more often)? Because if it is the former, then I would agree, but if it is the latter, I and Paizo staff would disagree.


Folks are, I fear, sort of missing the point on when combat maneuvers should normally apply. They aren't the types of things you should probably be doing against tough foes, or honestly even equally matched foes. It SHOULD be tough to disarm your clone, or trip a giant, or bull rush something tougher than you. Combat maneuvers are flashy and more exciting than simply stabbing a foe, and as a result they should be harder to do. Especially since, in most cases, the effects of a successful combat maneuver can be MUCH more advantageous than simply doing a batch of damage to a foe. Better effect = harder to pull off.

Against most foes, you should probably want to simply hack away. The combat maneuvers should come out most often in one of the following situations.

1) When you fight against foes that are weaker than you.

2) When you have a LOT of bonuses stacking up; remember, a CMB roll is an attack roll, so it gets boosted by things like bard performances, bless spells, morale effects, and the like. Likewise, a CMD score can be reduced by things like ability drain and certain curses and the like.

3) When you're desperate.

4) When you have a character who's specifically built to make certain maneuvers. By taking the right feats, fighting with the right weapons, and using the right tactics, you can significantly increase your chances of success with specific stunts.

So if combat maneuvers are only happening in specific cases like the above, that's pretty much the hope and point of the game as designed. The rules are intended to be easy for PLAYERS to use, not necessarily easy for your CHARACTERS to pull of.

Starbuck_II
2009-09-08, 02:12 PM
Bards are not nerfed, they are *buffed*. There are issues with bard song, but overall I think they are clearly stronger.
1) Bards can do anything while performing now - cast spells, use wands, fight, etc. Big boost.
2) Bard songs are competence bonuses, which stack with the morale bonuses from many bard spells (like heroism, greater heroism)
3) Bards can start songs as a move action at 8th level, or as a swift action at 13th level. Being able to start a fight with a spell, a quickened spell, and a bard song? Pretty cool.
4) Bards can use Versatile Performance to count their Perform skill for other skills like Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Handle Animal, Acrobatics, Fly, Sense Motive. Each perform skill is tied to 2 other skills, so you get a lot more competence out of your bard.
5) Old Bard songs are stronger. Inspire Competence scales up to +6 to a skill, Inspire Courage has a faster progression.
6) New bard songs. A bard can cause enemies to be Shaken (Dirge of Doom) or Frightened (Frightening Tune), can heal his comrades (Soothing Performance, counts as a Mass Cure Serious Wounds cast at his bard level), and can even kill with a song (Deadly Performance)
7) Better knowledge skills - bardic knowledge is replaced with a bonus to all knolwedges of 1/2 the bard level. Also, bards can take 10 with knowledges, even under stress. They can elect to take 20 on a knowledge skill a number of times per day, essentially digging up some obscure knowledge.
8) More well-rounded. The versatile performance helps, but they also get Jack of All Trades, which allows them to use any skill untrained (10th level), count all skills as class skills (16th level), and take 10 on any skill check, even if not normally allowed (19th level).

Bard cons:
1) rds/day singing. You don't sing non-stop for hours. Oh well, still works ok.
2) Inspire Greatness/Heroics - since you can't sing two songs, and songs no longer linger after you finish singing, there isn't a lot of reason to use Inspire Greatness or Inspire Heroics. Also, since all songs are competence bonuses, they don't stack with Inspire Courage.

Are we comparing Core Bard to Pathfinder or all 3.5 for Bard
Because Bards can cast while performing in 3.5 Melodic casting or Animate Instrument spell.



Bards can start songs as a move action at 8th level, or as a swift action at 13th level. Being able to start a fight with a spell, a quickened spell, and a bard song? Pretty cool.

You do know swift= Quickened.
So until 13th level you can do that combo. Unless you can trade up in the description of it (most times you can't trade up swift for move action).

imperialspectre
2009-09-08, 03:31 PM
The tl;dr version of this post: People who claim Pathfinder buffs most classes are suffering from selective reading, failing to do basic math, or a combination of the two.


I disagree with imperialspectre's take on it. All casters have been substantially weakened in the Pathfinder system.

a) Many spells that were problematic are weaker.
b) Casting defensively is much harder
c) Feats can make casting defensively even harder
d) Feats can make a 5' step to cast impossible as well.

People keep claiming that "many" spells are weaker. The problem is, "many" spells at each level did not get nerfed, and many of the nerfs don't actually impact the overall utility of the spell. Glitterdust is a great example - there's still an extremely high probability that people who aren't casters or monks will fail their saves, and that probability remains high over the iterative testing of three or four rounds. The spell still retains its full effect in the first round, meaning that you get to deny multiple enemies an entire turn, then have a solid chance of denying them some more turns. This is not a nerf that matters.

Casting defensively is not substantially harder at low levels, because the caster now gets to add their primary ability instead of CON to the check. At high levels (>4), flying makes defensive casting irrelevant and! even though Paizo introduced the incredibly dumb and counterintuitive Fly skill, since no casters spend points on Concentration now they can spend them on Fly instead.

The last two points were true of 3.5 too by the time Pathfinder started being developed, and melee classes were a lot better in 3.5 with Completes + ToB.


Sure, there were some improvements to casting classes, and a few problems (Divniation specialist mages, for example), but largely the changes have restricted caster classes, making them more vulnerable. It's certainly not trivial to cast your big spells while threatened, and concentration is no longer a skill, but instead a level check - so you can't pimp it up the way you could in 3.5.

Casters get a free +1 to DCs now, since everyone can access a +2 to their casting stat. Casters also get more feats, which aren't being spent on nerfed feat chains, meaning that they can get more metamagic, more Spell Foci, etc.

Oh, and see above why being threatened is improbable at high levels.


I also feel that the feat options aren't universally weaker; while Improved Trip no longer generates a free attack, the Greater Trip causes the trip to provoke attacks of opportunity, potentially allowing other teammates to pound on the opponent as he goes down. New feats to move across difficult terrain, improve the damage of your standard action attacks and so on actually make the fighter stronger (at least, that's what my group finds).

Okay, let's get this straight. Hypothetically, I'm playing a fighter. I started out in 3.5, where I used a combination of Martial Stance: Thicket of Blades, Combat Expertise, Improved Trip, and of course a Spiked Chain. By level 10, I could do literally EVERYTHING you're describing as a Paizo novelty that threatens casters. I could also get a potion of Enlarge, which would let me get a substantial bonus to my trips. Oh, and since tripping is a standard action, it was perfectly viable to move, make a touch attack to trip, trip the target, and get a free attack with PA for 4 (since that's how much hit bonus I got from attacking the prone target).

Now, with the above human fighter build, I had 11 feats to spend, and something to spend all of them on. With the Pathfinder version, I get 12 feats to spend, my Power Attack is nerfed, and I have to spend 2 feats to get the tripping - and even then, I have a dramatically LOWER chance to succeed on my trips. In other words, if I simply transfer the fighter straight over to Pathfinder, I get no net feats, a loss of effectiveness, and in exchange, I get +2 to hit and damage with my spiked chain and a couple points of AC. Big frickin' whoop. That's not a buff.

Oh, and at level 10 difficult terrain doesn't even matter, if I have some way to fly (also the only way to threaten casters at that level). But I CAN'T fly in Pathfinder, because I don't have the skill. Thanks a million, Paizo.

Finally, the Pathfinder final removed the feats for inflicting a crit as a standard action, which were actually useful. Vital Strike, in the final, lets me roll my weapon dice twice. That's all. Wow, it's almost like I'd be better off charging and Power Attacking! Oh wait, I would be.


I also disagree about the relative class assessments, though I don't have time for an exhaustive list:

Fighters: Substantially buffed - they gain bonuses with weapons (weapon training) and with armour (armour training). The bonuses seem small until you do the damage calculations, the +4/+4 bonus can add +50% to +100% damage depending on how hard the target is to hit. They also have a slightly better skill list: they now have Knowledge dungeoneering and knowledge engineering as class skills, as well as Survival (and Track is no longer required to track foes, merely providing a bonus to tracking).

The bonuses are small. I get +4/+8 just by successfully tripping, then Power Attacking, along with status effects for making my opponent prone. Of course, Paizo removed that option as a reliable technique.

Great, I get more class skills. Would be nice, except I have 2+Int skill points per level still, and even less incentive to boost intelligence now that maneuvers are intentionally removed as a reliable tactical option.


Paladins: Substantially buffed - Smite is way more powerful (lasting until your foe is dead), self-healing via lay on hands is a swift action, and you can use your ability to do an AoE burst of positive energy. I believe the "mercies" attached to Lay on Hands are an improvement as well. Also they can select a bond with a divine weapon rather than a mount, and gain addition weapon enhancements that way a number of times per day - pretty cool. Oh, and their caster level is better.

Yeah, paladins were buffed. Good for Jason. Yay.


Rangers are somewhat buffed - they gain a quarry feature, their caster level imrpoves to level -3 rather than 1/2 level; they gain a few extra feats, and their animal companion is stronger. They can also trade the AC for being able to grant their favoured enemy bonus to their companions, and they have a favoured terrain bonus now as well (though it's pretty minor).

Yeah, none of these except better feats and the AC improvement even matter, and those still leave the ranger in the dust compared to the druid.


Bards are not nerfed, they are *buffed*. There are issues with bard song, but overall I think they are clearly stronger.
1) Bards can do anything while performing now - cast spells, use wands, fight, etc. Big boost.

Melodic Casting. Available in 3.5.


2) Bard songs are competence bonuses, which stack with the morale bonuses from many bard spells (like heroism, greater heroism)

Sweet!


3) Bards can start songs as a move action at 8th level, or as a swift action at 13th level. Being able to start a fight with a spell, a quickened spell, and a bard song? Pretty cool.

As Starbuck already pointed out, you can't do this after 13th level, which is about the time that you get spell slots to meaningfully quicken spells.


4) Bards can use Versatile Performance to count their Perform skill for other skills like Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Handle Animal, Acrobatics, Fly, Sense Motive. Each perform skill is tied to 2 other skills, so you get a lot more competence out of your bard.

That's actually a fairly meaningful move, and I approve of it. We're going to see that it's not helpful overall, though, in a moment.


5) Old Bard songs are stronger. Inspire Competence scales up to +6 to a skill, Inspire Courage has a faster progression.

The only time Inspire Courage even matters is if you're using tricks to make it scale faster already. Those were easily available in 3.5.


6) New bard songs. A bard can cause enemies to be Shaken (Dirge of Doom) or Frightened (Frightening Tune), can heal his comrades (Soothing Performance, counts as a Mass Cure Serious Wounds cast at his bard level), and can even kill with a song (Deadly Performance)

Okay, here we are at where Pathfinder really starts to fail with the Bard. Some of the bard songs require different Perform skills, meaning that you're spreading skill points further around.

Also, Soothing Performance sucks, because you're spending 4 of your already-scarce singing rounds (thanks, Paizo!) to use a spell that's barely even worth 1 round's actions.

And killing with a mind-affecting effect at 20th level? Riiiiiight.


7) Better knowledge skills - bardic knowledge is replaced with a bonus to all knolwedges of 1/2 the bard level. Also, bards can take 10 with knowledges, even under stress. They can elect to take 20 on a knowledge skill a number of times per day, essentially digging up some obscure knowledge.

No, the Pathfinder bardic knowledge ability is a nerf. The 3.5 version was vague as to what exactly it could be applied to, but statistically it could cover a wide range of things, and was at least as good as having two or three Knowledge skills maxed.

The Pathfinder version gives you a bonus, meaning you have to spend points on any Knowledge skills you want to use. This means that if you want to use all of your bard features, we're now up to 2 different Perform skills and as many Knowledges as you want to be able to use. Still think the bard's better off in terms of skills? If so, you certainly can't defend that conclusion mathematically.


8) More well-rounded. The versatile performance helps, but they also get Jack of All Trades, which allows them to use any skill untrained (10th level), count all skills as class skills (16th level), and take 10 on any skill check, even if not normally allowed (19th level).

That's a total of +13 to your untrained skills at 19th level. That's not even on the RNG compared to someone who actually trained that skill. At 16th level, you're making your untrained skill checks at a +3. At 10th level, you're making untrained skill checks at +0. Still think you're better off?


Bard cons:
1) rds/day singing. You don't sing non-stop for hours. Oh well, still works ok.

Yeah, um, NO. It doesn't still work okay. It doesn't even work. It's completely meaningless to be able to do stuff while you're singing (stuff that you could mostly do in 3.5 anyway) if you can't keep singing for a meaningful amount of time.


2) Inspire Greatness/Heroics - since you can't sing two songs, and songs no longer linger after you finish singing, there isn't a lot of reason to use Inspire Greatness or Inspire Heroics. Also, since all songs are competence bonuses, they don't stack with Inspire Courage.

Yep. And yet in 3.5, Inspire Courage and Inspire Greatness DID stack, and you could even do them together with Lingering Song!

The bottom line: It doesn't matter if bards have specific buffs, if accessing those buffs costs more than the buffs are statistically worth. Many of the abilities you're identifying as buffs aren't worth anything, since you're so vastly inferior when using those abilities that you might as well not be using them. Bards got nerfed in Pathfinder, overall. Fighters and barbarians, too.

Tetsubo 57
2009-09-08, 03:35 PM
I'm currently doing a cover-to-cover read of PF. So far I'm rather happy with what they have done for the 3.5 rules. Every class seems improved in a good way. The Paladin is actually playable now. I would *play* a Paladin now. The skills system is much improved. The races seem better balanced and yet still interesting. Reading this book has energized me in a way nothing has since the release of 3E.

I seriously can't grasp how people can think that PF has made the 3.5 rules system *worse*. Different yes, but *worse*?

Altair_the_Vexed
2009-09-08, 03:50 PM
Thanks to BobVosh for the SRD link - can't get Pathfinder here yet due to rubbish wholesale supplies...

Anyway - I'm always mashing d20-ish systems together, like McWoD, d20 Modern and D&D3.5... anyone tried it with Pathfinder and 3.5? Like, just keep the Arcane Casters as in 3.5, don't change the nerfed combat moves and Power Attack, but adopt the good stuff like simplified skills and stuff?

Temet Nosce
2009-09-08, 03:56 PM
Thanks to BobVosh for the SRD link - can't get Pathfinder here yet due to rubbish wholesale supplies...

Anyway - I'm always mashing d20-ish systems together, like McWoD, d20 Modern and D&D3.5... anyone tried it with Pathfinder and 3.5? Like, just keep the Arcane Casters as in 3.5, don't change the nerfed combat moves and Power Attack, but adopt the good stuff like simplified skills and stuff?

Heh, this is precisely my attitude. Like I said, Pathfinder is just a collection of house rules. Some I like, some I don't... The ones I (or my players) like get used, the rest get chucked. It works perfectly fine using 3.5 as a base and tacking on PF material so far.

Epinephrine
2009-09-08, 04:15 PM
The tl;dr version of this post: People who claim Pathfinder buffs most classes are suffering from selective reading, failing to do basic math, or a combination of the two.

I object to your characterization. I've modeled the bonuses in several spreadsheets, and the mathematics bears out the comments where math is applicable.


Oh, and see above why being threatened is improbable at high levels.
Because melee never fly? Not sure what game you play. Melee with flight is pretty standard. So is grounding opposing casters via spells.


Finally, the Pathfinder final removed the feats for inflicting a crit as a standard action, which were actually useful. Vital Strike, in the final, lets me roll my weapon dice twice. That's all. Wow, it's almost like I'd be better off charging and Power Attacking! Oh wait, I would be.

Cleave and greater Cleave are also standard action attacks, and there are more powerful cousins of Vital strike. So is Deadly Stroke, which can deal double damage and cause Con bleed. These are options that don't exist in 3.5, hence they are an improvement. What 3.5 feat allows you to do equivalent things?


The bonuses are small.

I don't think you understand how bonuses interact with iterative attacks. Try modeling it. It's not an attack, I thought they were small until I started crunching numbers and saw how much a +4/+4 bonus affects damage output for a party. A bard can add between 50% and 100% of a meleer's damage with this ability alone (against a fairly reasonable range of ACs). When a song is dealing the same dmage as each warrior in the party, you're not doing too badly.


I get +4/+8 just by successfully tripping, then Power Attacking, along with status effects for making my opponent prone. Of course, Paizo removed that option as a reliable technique.

Ok, it takes 1 more feat to do it. Conicidentally, you get more feats in Pathfinder. And greater trip means that you get to hit them, as does everybody else who threatens them. That's pretty cool.


Melodic Casting. Available in 3.5.

If you have a splatbook. I thought we were comparing core? Bard class versus bard class, not every 3.5 book published versus a single book by paizo. At the very least, you gain back a feat.


As Starbuck already pointed out, you can't do this after 13th level, which is about the time that you get spell slots to meaningfully quicken spells.

I don't know, it doesn't say that one ability replaces another. At 7th you *can* start bardic music as a move action. At 13th you *can* start bardic music as a swift action. It doesn't state that you lose the ability to start bardic music as a move action. I don't see why you'd lose the other ability.


That's actually a fairly meaningful move, and I approve of it. We're going to see that it's not helpful overall, though, in a moment.[quote]

[quote]Okay, here we are at where Pathfinder really starts to fail with the Bard. Some of the bard songs require different Perform skills, meaning that you're spreading skill points further around.

They actually pretty much removed that in the switch from beta to the final. The only time you need a second type of perform is to use the 1st level ability distraction. Only countersong and distraction have a requirement - countersong requires an audible performance, distraction requires a visual performance. Everything else doesn't matter.


Also, Soothing Performance sucks, because you're spending 4 of your already-scarce singing rounds (thanks, Paizo!) to use a spell that's barely even worth 1 round's actions.

And killing with a mind-affecting effect at 20th level? Riiiiiight.

Fair enough, it's not a combat heal, and you likely have wands for the other. It's more efficient if time is a concern than mass vigors or lesser vigors, but it's not great. I could see it when you barriocade a door and need a few heals across the party before the enemy break in, or something similar, but ti's not a super ability. It's still a plus though. It's an ability that can be situationally useful that you didn't have before.


No, the Pathfinder bardic knowledge ability is a nerf. The 3.5 version was vague as to what exactly it could be applied to, but statistically it could cover a wide range of things, and was at least as good as having two or three Knowledge skills maxed.

The Pathfinder version gives you a bonus, meaning you have to spend points on any Knowledge skills you want to use. This means that if you want to use all of your bard features, we're now up to 2 different Perform skills and as many Knowledges as you want to be able to use. Still think the bard's better off in terms of skills? If so, you certainly can't defend that conclusion mathematically.

Depends - how do you normally spend your points? What does your bard normally have? I've addressed te perform thing, you only need a second perform if you care about countersong/distraction, or if you are taking advantage of versatile performance.

So - assuming that you want diplomacy, bluff, and sense motive, as well as a perform, you'd need 4 skill points per level as a 3.5 bard. Perform (Oratory) grants Diplomacy and Sense Motive (Nice!), and Perform (Act) grants Bluff and Disguise. So 2 skill points per level maxes out 6 skills per level, 4 of which you probably wanted. You've got 2 spare skill points per level now, for knowledges. Other than that, invest in knowledges as you normally would.

The bard in the campaign I am running seems to do fine on knowledge checks, the ability to take 20 on a check is handy when they really want to know something.


That's a total of +13 to your untrained skills at 19th level. That's not even on the RNG compared to someone who actually trained that skill. At 16th level, you're making your untrained skill checks at a +3. At 10th level, you're making untrained skill checks at +0. Still think you're better off?

I think it's not bad for untrained. It's obviously better if you train it, and I think you have the skill points at 6+Int with Versatile Performance to put a few more points into knowledges than you did in 3.5


Yep. And yet in 3.5, Inspire Courage and Inspire Greatness DID stack, and you could even do them together with Lingering Song!

Yes, this is my biggest gripe. It makes those useless - on the plus side you can start a bardic song while also casting Greater Heroism, so you still end up with a pretty big bonus.


The bottom line: It doesn't matter if bards have specific buffs, if accessing those buffs costs more than the buffs are statistically worth. Many of the abilities you're identifying as buffs aren't worth anything, since you're so vastly inferior when using those abilities that you might as well not be using them. Bards got nerfed in Pathfinder, overall. Fighters and barbarians, too.

I must not see things the same way - an ability that wasn't there before, whether only sometimes useful or not, is a buff. It adds to what you can do.

Starbuck_II
2009-09-08, 04:36 PM
Although, a Bard who Prcs out before level 13 can at least start songs as move action.
Now if we ignore the fact that rds/day are low: the Bard can be useful.

So Pathfinder just wanted the Bard to Prc out I think.
Which is weird because they said the opposite about the other classes (make them want to stay through 20).

Oh and one of the designers said maneuvers should fail often on purpose. But I can't remember link.

Crow
2009-09-08, 04:37 PM
What I see is that Pathfinder is suffering from the same problem that 4e did at it's release (and still does to some degree);

You have a lot of "theorists" who read the rules but don't bother to put them into action in an actual game. They either analyze everything in a sort vacuum, or use concepts from one edition as a measuring stick for concepts from the new edition without realizing how they interact differently with each edition. This invaribly effects their final verdict on the material.

My advice to the OP is the same that you see a lot of pro-4e people giving: To try the game out in an actual game setting, with your friends. See how it works for you and your group and go from there. You might like the changes, or you might not. Basically pay as little attention to the opinions of people on this forum as possible, as their game is likely very different from yours.

Best of luck to you. I hope you find a game that is to your group's liking, whether it be 3.5, 4e, or Pathfinder. Whichever you choose though, play the games in an actual game environment with your group when you're determining which is better for you.

DragoonWraith
2009-09-08, 04:38 PM
Oh and one of the designers said maneuvers should fail often on purpose. But I can't remember link.
Someone already quoted it. That particular line made me taste vomit in the back of my throat. "Maneuvers are cooler and more effective than just whacking things, so they should be harder to do and fail regularly."

Wait. He, he just out and said it! "Fighters shouldn't have nice things"

Yes. This is a system I want to use. Definitely... :smalleek:

olentu
2009-09-08, 04:53 PM
Although, a Bard who Prcs out before level 13 can at least start songs as move action.
Now if we ignore the fact that rds/day are low: the Bard can be useful.

So Pathfinder just wanted the Bard to Prc out I think.
Which is weird because they said the opposite about the other classes (make them want to stay through 20).

Oh and one of the designers said maneuvers should fail often on purpose. But I can't remember link.

Well at least the bard has a capstone to try and make people stay in the class.

Kurald Galain
2009-09-08, 04:59 PM
You have a lot of "theorists" who read the rules but don't bother to put them into action in an actual game. They either analyze everything in a sort vacuum, or use concepts from one edition as a measuring stick for concepts from the new edition without realizing how they interact differently with each edition. This invaribly effects their final verdict on the material.
I have one issue with this statement: 4E isn't meant to be played by the same assumptions as 3E. But, because one of its main selling points is compatibility, PF is meant to be played by those assumptions. Or at least, it should be.

Cedrass
2009-09-08, 05:44 PM
I do not have much to add to this thread, but I fell like I need to say this:

I actually, not enjoy, but understand the Dispel magic nerf. In my groups, Greater Dispel Magic was rarely, actually never, used. I think I've seen it used twice in a year. With the Dispel Magic nerf, it gets a lot more useful and you really HAVE to prepare and have scroll of it.

It made our job a bit harder, but I'm pretty sure we'll find a way around this inconvenience.

Also, I suggest you actually test the game. When I got the book, I read it and decided to House Rule a lot of stuff (Critical Feats, some classes, and other tidbits) but having played it for a month now, I feel like I don't need to house rule that much.

Have fun, and I hope you'll join our ranks as Pathfinder aficionado :smallwink:.

imperialspectre
2009-09-08, 05:46 PM
Well at least the bard has a capstone to try and make people stay in the class.

The capstone sucks. Mind-Affecting at level 20 is just useless.


I object to your characterization. I've modeled the bonuses in several spreadsheets, and the mathematics bears out the comments where math is applicable.

I was probably more prickly than I should've been. However, I don't think you've got the math on your side. For example, I just explained how over 10 levels, the increase in number of Fighter feats is exactly 1. That means if you use only a single one of the feats that got nerfed and split, then you got no benefit from the feat increase. I seriously counted that out on my fingers.

The other thing is, you're going to need to decide what exactly you're defending.

If you're defending that Pathfinder is better than 3.5, I get to point out everything outside of 3.5 core that Pathfinder now punishes or makes harder to access.

If you're defending a world where we replace the 3.5 DMG and PHB with Pathfinder, every single claim you make about casters having it tougher goes away. Glitterdust nerfed? Who cares, I can find better L2 spells in Races of the Dragon, the Completes, Spell Compendium, etc. Tough to get out of AoOs? Benign Transposition, Abrupt Jaunt, and many other caster tricks work wonders. And casters are still left with more feats, higher spell save DCs, and more HP and skills (before you even get to class features).


Because melee never fly? Not sure what game you play. Melee with flight is pretty standard. So is grounding opposing casters via spells.

Sure, melee flight was awesome in 3.5. Melee flight got nerfed in Pathfinder because melee classes have fewer skills, don't have Fly as a class skill, and are therefore screwed.

As for grounding opposing casters with spells, remember the dispel nerf? Sure, there are other ways to ground opposing casters. Which of those spells made it into Pathfinder?


Cleave and greater Cleave are also standard action attacks, and there are more powerful cousins of Vital strike. So is Deadly Stroke, which can deal double damage and cause Con bleed. These are options that don't exist in 3.5, hence they are an improvement. What 3.5 feat allows you to do equivalent things?

Cleave and Greater Cleave are both substantial improvements on their 3.5 versions. They're also easily duplicated in ToB as maneuvers. Deadly Stroke is also duplicated in ToB, as a maneuver or three. It's also at the end of a long feat chain - and every single one of those feats is sub-optimal at best (and easily duplicated in CW and/or ToB, for the most part).

Oh, and a wounding weapon + a feat gives you double damage on one attack and EVERY AoO you get the rest of the round, along with a chance of CON bleed, and it's not even situational to reducing your opponent to a condition that pretty much means they already lost anyway.

This is a great example, also, of why the increase in feats doesn't actually help beatsticks all that much. To get any nice things at all, you're spending a larger number of feats than you gained, so it's a net loss.

If you want to make beatsticks better by giving them feats, you have to do two things. First, you have to make each individual feat worth nearly as much as a psionic power, because a psion gets slightly more powers over 20 levels than a non-human fighter gets feats. Second, that means you can't have long feat chains of mostly-garbage abilities. This is very simple reasoning, and Paizo failed on both counts.


I don't think you understand how bonuses interact with iterative attacks. Try modeling it. It's not an attack, I thought they were small until I started crunching numbers and saw how much a +4/+4 bonus affects damage output for a party. A bard can add between 50% and 100% of a meleer's damage with this ability alone (against a fairly reasonable range of ACs). When a song is dealing the same dmage as each warrior in the party, you're not doing too badly.


The problem is, that +4/+4 is at an extremely high level, where AC is largely irrelevant and you should be Power Attacking. At lower levels, where it might still matter, you're getting much smaller bonuses.

A 3.5 bard is giving everyone in the party something like +15d6 [energy type] damage on every hit instead of your +4/+4. Does that give some perspective to where I'm coming from?


Ok, it takes 1 more feat to do it. Conicidentally, you get more feats in Pathfinder. And greater trip means that you get to hit them, as does everybody else who threatens them. That's pretty cool.

Doing the "1 more feat" still leaves the fighter at a worse overall position for tripping AND leaves the Fighter unable to use Power Attack as efficiently. Oh, and as I already pointed out, it's no gain or a net loss in feats because of the long, bad feat chains.


If you have a splatbook. I thought we were comparing core? Bard class versus bard class, not every 3.5 book published versus a single book by paizo. At the very least, you gain back a feat.

See above where I explained this.


I don't know, it doesn't say that one ability replaces another. At 7th you *can* start bardic music as a move action. At 13th you *can* start bardic music as a swift action. It doesn't state that you lose the ability to start bardic music as a move action. I don't see why you'd lose the other ability.

I might be on board with that. At any rate, I do approve of Paizo making quickened spells accessible to spontaneous casters again.


They actually pretty much removed that in the switch from beta to the final. The only time you need a second type of perform is to use the 1st level ability distraction. Only countersong and distraction have a requirement - countersong requires an audible performance, distraction requires a visual performance. Everything else doesn't matter.

Wrong, actually. They removed the specified skills, and instead said that only audible or only visual components worked, for a number of the songs. Inspire Competence is audible-only. Suggestion is audible-only, along with Frightening Tune and Mass Suggestion. Dirge of Doom is audible AND visual, which means you have to have both to use it - ditto for Inspire Greatness, Soothing Performance, Inspire Heroics, and Deadly Performance (I assume you agree that that one sucks, since you didn't mention it).


Fair enough, it's not a combat heal, and you likely have wands for the other. It's more efficient if time is a concern than mass vigors or lesser vigors, but it's not great. I could see it when you barriocade a door and need a few heals across the party before the enemy break in, or something similar, but ti's not a super ability. It's still a plus though. It's an ability that can be situationally useful that you didn't have before.

Yeah, but if it's a costly ability (when you don't have enough performance rounds to begin with), and it's not very good, why is it something to applaud? It clearly wasn't written well.


Depends - how do you normally spend your points? What does your bard normally have? I've addressed te perform thing, you only need a second perform if you care about countersong/distraction, or if you are taking advantage of versatile performance.

So - assuming that you want diplomacy, bluff, and sense motive, as well as a perform, you'd need 4 skill points per level as a 3.5 bard. Perform (Oratory) grants Diplomacy and Sense Motive (Nice!), and Perform (Act) grants Bluff and Disguise. So 2 skill points per level maxes out 6 skills per level, 4 of which you probably wanted. You've got 2 spare skill points per level now, for knowledges. Other than that, invest in knowledges as you normally would.

That's pretty nice, but note that now I have to spend 3 skill points a level (History, Local, and Nobility) on things that I used to be able to cover with Bardic Knowledge (assuming the narrowest possible interpretation of what I can do with 3.5 Bardic Knowledge). That means I'm at a net loss of 1 skill point per level.

It's not the modeling stuff that I'm saying you can't do (you're probably better at it than I am), it's the fact that you're not looking at the opportunity costs of the abilities that you're proclaiming as being awesome.


The bard in the campaign I am running seems to do fine on knowledge checks, the ability to take 20 on a check is handy when they really want to know something.

Once per day, that ability's kinda nice. The rest of the time, you're still behind the game.


I think it's not bad for untrained. It's obviously better if you train it, and I think you have the skill points at 6+Int with Versatile Performance to put a few more points into knowledges than you did in 3.5

Sadly, you don't. This is what I'm talking about when I say that the Pathfinder bard is a net nerf compared to the 3.5 bard. The abilities that help you - and some of them, like Versatile Performance, admittedly do and are kinda cool - just don't stack up compared to the limitations inflicted on you.

Also, getting those bonuses on skill checks at the relevant levels means you're entirely off the RNG compared to someone who actually trained them. That means for the purpose of level-appropriate checks, you might as well not have the ability.


Yes, this is my biggest gripe. It makes those useless - on the plus side you can start a bardic song while also casting Greater Heroism, so you still end up with a pretty big bonus.

Sure. But I could do that already, with a feat, and my bard songs were better, lasted longer, and stacked. Again, net nerf.


I must not see things the same way - an ability that wasn't there before, whether only sometimes useful or not, is a buff. It adds to what you can do.

Discussions of balance and improvements can only ever function if we're comparing the sum total of the abilities from each system. If the things you gain aren't worth enough to outweigh the things that you lost, you're worse off than you were overall. On the other hand, if the things you lost are easily avoided or made irrelevant and the things you gain stick around, you're better off. So, fighters and bards are net-nerfed, sorcerers and wizards are net-buffed, clerics and druids are either static (if they were zillas) or net-buffed (if they were casters).

EDIT: I hope I don't come across as too frustrated. You're a pretty smart dude. If you'd like to see where I'm coming from in terms of class balance and what the game should look like, come on over to the Test of Spite thread, where we're getting set to test some updates to 3.5 that are meant to make beatsticks' lives more worth living. We welcome help and input. :)

Typewriter
2009-09-08, 05:51 PM
I object to your characterization. I've modeled the bonuses in several spreadsheets, and the mathematics bears out the comments where math is applicable.


I'm glad someone else said this. It was a pretty underhanded comment that was made, and I was rather insulted by it.



Pathfinder is a lot of fun for my group, but not for everyone. You could take almost every comment made by imperialspectre and add an 'in my opinion' or 'what I think is' to it and it would make a lot more sense then, because the things he's trying to say are 'bad' or 'not good enough' are things that my group enjoys. And others do too. Don't let other people tell you it's not fun, try it for yourself (or at least give it a thorough read through).

Also:

You cant put points into the fly skill until you have a way to fly reliable, so 5th level at the earliest for a wizard.

Starbuck_II
2009-09-08, 05:53 PM
My advice to the OP is the same that you see a lot of pro-4e people giving: To try the game out in an actual game setting, with your friends. See how it works for you and your group and go from there. You might like the changes, or you might not. Basically pay as little attention to the opinions of people on this forum as possible, as their game is likely very different from yours.

Best of luck to you. I hope you find a game that is to your group's liking, whether it be 3.5, 4e, or Pathfinder. Whichever you choose though, play the games in an actual game environment with your group when you're determining which is better for you.

I agree. Just because Pathfinder is not proven better doesn't mean it can't be fun.
Heck, I can play with an empty box and have fun.

But don't go into it assuming all problems will be fixed (many won't be some are showing), but classes are mostly better (well I think Bard is now debateable).
I thought Beta was better in many ways.
But hey, the main thing is every level you get a prize.

olentu
2009-09-08, 05:54 PM
The capstone sucks. Mind-Affecting at level 20 is just useless.

Sure it sucks but having a capstone at least makes it seem that the designers were trying to follow the stated goal of making it reasonably desirable to take the class to 20. It does not really succeed very well but in the case of the bard there was some attempt.

DragoonWraith
2009-09-08, 06:07 PM
I agree. Just because Pathfinder is not proven better doesn't mean it can't be fun.
Heck, I can play with an empty box and have fun.
Exactly. Yes, it's fun. As you point out, it's not hard to have fun as long as you have a good group of friends and something to do. Is it more or less fun than regular 3.5? I really doubt there's a substantial difference. For people who have played a lot of 3.5 and are looking for something new, Pathfinder might be more fun. For people who have played a lot of 3.5 and are not interested in adapting everything for Pathfinder, 3.5 is going to be more fun.

For someone who has never played either? I strongly doubt they'd very much care.

What is the point of this? Well, A. the "fun" factor is completely subjective and is really not a valid comparison point for the two systems, and B. nothing about the fun factor actually makes Pathfinder worth buying compared to 3.5.

Every argument against Pathfinder has been on the point of balance. Balance is certainly not everything in the game, and is also definitely not a purely objective fact, but it's much less subjective than fun, which comes up to personal preference and in reality is not that large a difference. So I think it's disingenuous to respond to criticisms of Pathfinder's balance with "why don't you just play it, you'll have fun, I assure you!" - someone playing honestly probably would. And so would you playing 3.5. It's not exactly a unique feature.

Aotrs Commander
2009-09-08, 06:31 PM
Personally, I have not overall been impressed with the Pathfinder rules in their beta version, and from the few things I've seen from the final, my opinion is not changing.

They have got, I'll grant you, some very good ideas; I nicked the skill system (though not their actual skills) right off for my 3.5 games. Sacrificing skill synergies (which were always a bugger, even for Rolemaster-schooled muggins to deal with; not hard, just fiddly) and some 'flexibility' at 1st level for very low class skills (e.g. a 3.5 fighter could suck at up to 8 skills, a Pathfinder fighter at only two; though both are equally capable of getting two skills of competance) is a fair exchange for making cross-class skills redundant and making life easier - or at least quicker - for dealing with skills.

(But even 4E had some ideas worth nicking).

But Pathfinder also have some extremely poor ideas (nerfs to Dispel Magic and Power Attack spring immediately to mind). Ultimately, I don't think their house rules are any better than my house rules.

But, to Paizo's credit, they have at least made their own SRD equivilent, which means I can at least have a good look at them; plus it make it easier for those of us sticking with our 3.5 to convert their excellent modules. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of time for Paizo (more so than Certain Other Companies Who Shall Remian Nameless...), overall, but Pathfinder is just not quite up to scratch for me, personally.

(It's still waaaay better than 4E, in my opinion, mind!)

imperialspectre
2009-09-08, 06:37 PM
It's far from impossible to enjoy playing Pathfinder. However, if one is going to evaluate Pathfinder on the basis of balance, it fails, because it went in the wrong direction from where 3.5 needed to go. The disparity between core classes in Pathfinder is greater than the disparity between core classes in 3.5. This is an objective evaluation, based on comparing the published mechanics of the two systems, and therefore is not subject to opinion.

On the other hand, describing aspects of Pathfinder as "good" because one's group finds them enjoyable is both non-testable (and therefore subjective) and completely irrelevant in terms of evaluating the mechanics of a system. And, as previously noted, it's possible to enjoy almost any system, with the right group and attitude. Hell, I enjoy playing nWoD with my group, and it doesn't get much sketchier than that in terms of mechanical design.

Diamondeye
2009-09-08, 06:42 PM
It's far from impossible to enjoy playing Pathfinder. However, if one is going to evaluate Pathfinder on the basis of balance, it fails, because it went in the wrong direction from where 3.5 needed to go. The disparity between core classes in Pathfinder is greater than the disparity between core classes in 3.5. This is an objective evaluation, based on comparing the published mechanics of the two systems, and therefore is not subject to opinion.

No, it's not. The changes listed so far indicate the disparity is less.


On the other hand, describing aspects of Pathfinder as "good" because one's group finds them enjoyable is both non-testable (and therefore subjective) and completely irrelevant in terms of evaluating the mechanics of a system. And, as previously noted, it's possible to enjoy almost any system, with the right group and attitude. Hell, I enjoy playing nWoD with my group, and it doesn't get much sketchier than that in terms of mechanical design.

All you're really doing is proclaiming your own opinions objective and everyone else's subjective with no basis in reality.

Typewriter
2009-09-08, 06:48 PM
It's far from impossible to enjoy playing Pathfinder. However, if one is going to evaluate Pathfinder on the basis of balance, it fails, because it went in the wrong direction from where 3.5 needed to go. The disparity between core classes in Pathfinder is greater than the disparity between core classes in 3.5. This is an objective evaluation, based on comparing the published mechanics of the two systems, and therefore is not subject to opinion.


But what you're saying is an opinion. "It went in the wrong direction from where 3.5 needed to go" is an opinion. Every comment you've made is an opinion that you've tried to state as fact, and I really don't understand what you're trying to do. Are you trying to convince people who like the system that they don't (or that they're wrong for liking it), or are you trying to make your argument sound like the 'only argument'.

Pathfinder is a 'good system', but no one can tell whether it's the best because there is no such thing as an answer to that. It's a roleplaying system, different people like different things. You will never hear anybody say anything about the book that isn't an opinion.

Epinephrine
2009-09-08, 08:33 PM
@imperialspectre

Well, we have very different play styles, I suspect. We don't optimize to the extent of adding +15d6 with inspire courage, for example. Perhaps at lower power levels things seem different.

Thanks for the more thorough discussion, I see your point on a few of those points. Some are easily fixed though.

No fly skill for warriors? No problem, spend 4,000gp on a circlet of Intellect (Fly). When you get an enhancement boost to Int in Pathfinder it comes with a skill attached, and maxes your ranks in that skill. This can also work nicely for the bard, as you simply pay for an extra knowledge skill (and then get your bard bonus on top). One thing I love about Pathfinder is that even if it isn't a class skill (like fly for a warrior) it's not a big deal, it's a 3 point penalty.


I was probably more prickly than I should've been. However, I don't think you've got the math on your side. For example, I just explained how over 10 levels, the increase in number of Fighter feats is exactly 1. That means if you use only a single one of the feats that got nerfed and split, then you got no benefit from the feat increase. I seriously counted that out on my fingers.

Yup, only one on that span. Over 20 levels it's 3 feats, so you do get more. And I think that Improved + Greater Trip is a better feat than 3.5s improved trip, so it's not even a 2 for 1, it's more like 2 for 1.5. But I do see your reasoning, and they did weaken some aspects of combat maneuvers (I don't think Trip is necessarily one of these, as it used to be purely stat based, and now your attack bonuses from ALL sources stack onto it. It's actually pretty easy to trip things - we houseruled it back to a weaker version so that true strike doesn't allow you to trip a freaking dragon).


f you're defending that Pathfinder is better than 3.5, I get to point out everything outside of 3.5 core that Pathfinder now punishes or makes harder to access.

We don't use a ton outside of core, and we often nerf things that seem overpowered. To be fair, I don't think that Pathfinder is necessarily "better" than 3.5*. I was responding to the perceived boost of classes from your earlier post - in playing it (and running it), I've noticed that casters do have a harder time, get melee in their faces and they suffer. Touch spells are harder to use, since you have to cast them and hold them, or actually risk failing your roll when you move in to cast. We houserule Pathfinder, we houserule 3.5. I prefer Pathfinder as a base, it has helped suggest some solutions to issues I had with 3.5 (cross class skills, consolidating skills, more interesting poison system, dropping XP use in crafting and spells, boosts to several melee classes, interesting rage mechanic, new feats that I like, etc.)


The problem is, that +4/+4 is at an extremely high level, where AC is largely irrelevant and you should be Power Attacking. At lower levels, where it might still matter, you're getting much smaller bonuses.

And I'm not sure that's true. Even if it were true (thought excercise here), in 3.5 that would mean that you simply power attack for 4 more than you could otherwise. Since the payoff on your power atatck is probably at least 2:1 (2H fighting) or even 3:1 (Leap Attack), you are converting +N/+N to +3N or +4N damage. Interestingly, this is about on par with Dragonfire Inspiration, which grants +3.5N elemental damage as a separate damage parcel. So at the very least, you can simply convert +/+N to straight damage, and when beneficial (which it sometimes is) take advantage of the bonus from hitting more often. I was surprised at the range over which the attack bonus was more effective than a big damage bonus.

If you allow a bard to hit a +15d6 bonus, he could have a +15/+15 bonus, allowing 15 more power attack (and hence +45 to +60 damage per swing). And since you are welcome to use splatbooks with Pathfinder, there's no reason you can't have the same bonus in Pathfinder. I suspect most people are blown away by the big damage numbers, and don't realise that the bonus to hit can actually be better - perhaps not at the +15 point, where the attack bonus hits the point of irrelevance, but certainly on lower numbers, as a +4/+4 often delivers a lot more damage than a +4d6 does**.



Yes, this is my biggest gripe. It makes those useless - on the plus side you can start a bardic song while also casting Greater Heroism, so you still end up with a pretty big bonus.
Sure. But I could do that already, with a feat, and my bard songs were better, lasted longer, and stacked. Again, net nerf.
I'm not sure I follow - what feat? Is there a way to change bard bonuses in 3.5 to non-morale bonuses? Actually, there probably is,somewhere, I just may not know it.


Wrong, actually. They removed the specified skills, and instead said that only audible or only visual components worked, for a number of the songs. Inspire Competence is audible-only. Suggestion is audible-only, along with Frightening Tune and Mass Suggestion. Dirge of Doom is audible AND visual, which means you have to have both to use it - ditto for Inspire Greatness, Soothing Performance, Inspire Heroics, and Deadly Performance (I assume you agree that that one sucks, since you didn't mention it).

I'm sorry, I'm not sure I see your point here. Yes, it may specify that you need to see and hear the bard, but there is no restriction on what perform skill can be used to trigger the ability, or text to suggest that you need more than one skill; I suspect that your interpretation of the passage may have been influenced by the beta rules, as you may have had the varied requirements from beta in your head at the time?

Text involving seeing and hearing the bard exists in the PHB in 3.5. Fascinate, Inspire Competence, and Suggestion (since you need to Fascinate) all require both seeing and hearing the bard in 3.5, yet nobody played that you needed two perform skills as a result. In fact, in Pathfinder you don't need to see the bard for Inspire Competence to work, an improvement I hadn't even noticed until now.


If you'd like to see where I'm coming from in terms of class balance and what the game should look like, come on over to the Test of Spite thread, where we're getting set to test some updates to 3.5 that are meant to make beatsticks' lives more worth living. We welcome help and input. :)

Thanks, I am not sure whether it would apply for us, but I can take a look. The group I game with are pretty restrained on the power curve. We could optimise***, but we choose not to. We all like a lower power game, and hence we've implemented a few rules to keep power level down - one change we imported from 4E is the 1/5th sale price on treasure - it cuts down on customization, which significatly lowers power levels, and makes found treasure so much more interesting, rather than being viewed as slightly less valuable piles of gold.

*Actually, there are a few balance issues introduced in Pathfinder that I find absurd. I'm certainly not a "fanboi". The critical hit feats make it pointless to use anything but an 18-20 weapon, for example - the whole chain of critical hit feats needs modification to make the bigger critical multipliers matter for something. At least when they had Devastating Chop there was a valid reason to swing a Dire Pick or something, but there is very little point in the current Pathfinder. I'm ntot sure what the correct approach is to balancing the crit feats; one could modify the DCs for abilities (harder DCs for bigger multipliers?), or trigger the abilities only on 20s, like a vorpal weapon, or a variety of other approaches. The trip is silly too - adding your full attack bonus to trip? Adding your full attack bonus to disarm, without the opponent getting the same advantage? And they messed with the nice simple Tumble rule (DC 15+BAB) to make it DC = CMD, which doesn't even begin to make sense - why on earth would a deflection or sacred bonus to AC make it harder to tumble through a threatened square?

**Obviously, bonuses to hit count most when your base damage is big. If your party is TWF rogues, you're better off with DFI's +Nd6 per attack; for more warriorish types (strong, 2H fighting, etc) the +N/+N can bump up the amount of base damage delivered, which can add a lot more.

***I worked in health statistics until recently, and my players include a biostatistician and a guy with a doctorate in mathematics. Given our backgrounds it's funny that we don't care at all about optimising, we're just looking to have fun with fantasy. Besides, it wouldn't be fair to the non-mathies :P

Rixx
2009-09-08, 08:44 PM
Now, the question is by "easier" what do you mean? Do you mean by the player (rules are easier to use) or by the character (the maneuver succeeds more often)? Because if it is the former, then I would agree, but if it is the latter, I and Paizo staff would disagree.

I did mean the former, for the record.

Typewriter
2009-09-08, 08:46 PM
@imperialspectre

No fly skill for warriors? No problem, spend 4,000gp on a circlet of Intellect (Fly). When you get an enhancement boost to Int in Pathfinder it comes with a skill attached, and maxes your ranks in that skill. This can also work nicely for the bard, as you simply pay for an extra knowledge skill (and then get your bard bonus on top). One thing I love about Pathfinder is that even if it isn't a class skill (like fly for a warrior) it's not a big deal, it's a 3 point penalty.


Just pointing out real quick that no one can put ranks into fly unless they have a way to fly, so while the item that gives ranks would work(presumably) the fact that it's 'only a 3 point penalty' won't apply until after you get a reliable means of flight, at which point you'll have to drop all your skill points into it for a level or two(or more) to get it maxed, meaning you will wind up with fewer skills maxed in the end. Not a big deal, just pointing out a rule my group didn't notice until recently.

From the PRD under the 'Fly' skill description:

You cannot take ranks in this skill without a natural means of flight or gliding. Creatures can also take ranks in Fly if they possess a reliable means of flying every day (either through a spell or other special ability).

olentu
2009-09-08, 08:54 PM
Just pointing out real quick that no one can put ranks into fly unless they have a way to fly, so while the item that gives ranks would work(presumably) the fact that it's 'only a 3 point penalty' won't apply until after you get a reliable means of flight, at which point you'll have to drop all your skill points into it for a level or two(or more) to get it maxed, meaning you will wind up with fewer skills maxed in the end. Not a big deal, just pointing out a rule my group didn't notice until recently.

From the PRD under the 'Fly' skill description:

You cannot take ranks in this skill without a natural means of flight or gliding. Creatures can also take ranks in Fly if they possess a reliable means of flying every day (either through a spell or other special ability).

Given that there is a fly skill I would think there should be a ground movement skill and a burrowing skill. Earth glide could probably be included in the burrowing skill.

Hurlbut
2009-09-08, 09:43 PM
Given that there is a fly skill I would think there should be a ground movement skill and a burrowing skill. Earth glide could probably be included in the burrowing skill.Regarding "ground movement" skill I would think acrobatic/tumble skills already take care of that

Epinephrine
2009-09-08, 10:20 PM
Given that there is a fly skill I would think there should be a ground movement skill and a burrowing skill. Earth glide could probably be included in the burrowing skill.

Flight is complicated compared to movement on surfaces. Also, the flight skill is not needed for normal flying.


You generally need only make a Fly check when you are attempting a complex maneuver.

http://sites.google.com/site/pathfinderogc/Home/skills/fly

olentu
2009-09-09, 01:56 AM
Flight is complicated compared to movement on surfaces. Also, the flight skill is not needed for normal flying.



http://sites.google.com/site/pathfinderogc/Home/skills/fly

Well yes but I would need to know what to do when a polymorphed fish is trying to preform tactical walking but if one uses acrobatics then you end up with the situation where people who can can preform tactical movement can also balance, jump, and tumble. I mean the acrobatics modifiers might be of use but I don't want all my polymorphed fish to be better at balancing then the fighter who has been walking all his life.

And that is not accounting for how complicated it must be to burrow. The skill could cover gauging distance traveled so one can determine relative position. And of course what happens when the composition of the soil changes not to mention avoiding tunnel collapse (while this could possibly be substituted for knowledge architecture and engineering I would think doing so would require a reduction in speed as it would not be automatic) and making sufficiently sharp turns without speed reduction.


Though on a different note it seems strange that during one's turn one needs to make a check to turn 180 degrees and use 10 feet of movement while if the round changes one can do a 180 without any extra hassle.

DeathQuaker
2009-09-09, 08:28 AM
To the OP: you might find this page of Pathfinder resources useful:

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/resources

And specifically, if you're coming from 3.5, you might find their conversion guide useful, as it summarizes most of the major changes from 3.5 to Pathfinder:

http://paizo.com/store/byCompany/p/paizoPublishingLLC/pathfinder/pathfinderRPG/v5748btpy89m6

You do have to register to download the conversion guide (you don't need to register to read the reference document, which isn't as conveniently hyperlinked as the version someone else linked to, but is more complete, as the other one is being made by a fan when he has time). Fortunately, since the last time I posted the link to this guide, the servers are no longer having the heart attack they were having due to the game's release a few weeks ago.

Personally, I am switching to Pathfinder and not looking back, as it suits my preferences and play-style perfectly; a lot of the revisions made were similar to my own house rules or were things that I wish had been in place to begin with, and I love having it all in one place (not to mention with all the lovely binding and pretty art).

But of course, as Crow said so brilliantly, the best thing you can do is read over the rules and the conversion summary yourself and decide based on what suits your own preferences.

AllisterH
2009-09-09, 09:02 AM
As others have mentioned, you have to "PLAY" it to see as some things don't jump at you until you actually use them.

Ex: Rogues "on paper", look like they are buffed. Namely they get two major advantages.

1. There aren't as many classes of critters immune to sneak attack. Namely you can actually take a rogue to Ravenloft and not feel small in the pants.

2. You get more beanies - (some of which are widely uneven - Bleeding versus Ledge Walker versus Finesse)

However, Pathfinder ALSO taketh away. Something which many a player I don't think have realized especially since many didn't READ the entire book and have been simply using hybrid version (it doesn't help that most people probably haven't bothered updating the monsters to use CMD)

I'm not sure if it would be wrong to say that the most common way to get sneak attack damage dice was to simply use Tumble and get into position.

To move through a threatened square, in 3.5 was a DC 15 check. Even at 1st level, this wasn't that tough...18 DEX plus 4 skill ranks equalled +8. By 4th or 5th level, many a rogue could have a balance mod total of between 13-15.

Not so easy in PF. You now have to beat the opponent's CMD. A manticore for example, a CR 5 foe, (assuming my math is right) has a CMD of 24.

So while, at first glance, the PF rogue has more opponents to get a sneak attack off, they ALSO are way more likely to get stuffed by trying to get sneak attacks off.

pres_man
2009-09-09, 10:00 AM
Also don't forget they nerfed spells like blink, so that your target no longer is considered flat-footed (thus no sneak attack).

AllisterH
2009-09-09, 10:22 AM
Also don't forget they nerfed spells like blink, so that your target no longer is considered flat-footed (thus no sneak attack).

*say what* ...checks out "blink" n PFsrd...hmm, ok

See what I mean about reading the entire book and not just focusing on specific parts...

I totally didn't think about blink and how it was one of the best spells for a rogue.

Basically, PF has a fair number of changes so don't assume everything works the same.

Ouch...that's kind of serious nerf there...Now I got to check out the ranged rules since if I'm playing PF rogue, ranged certainly looks way more attractive

(they did get rid of the splash/sneak attack cheese from 3.x so I already know I can't do that)

PinkysBrain
2009-09-09, 10:44 AM
(they did get rid of the splash/sneak attack cheese from 3.x so I already know I can't do that)
There are still iterative touch attack spells, for instance produce flame.

Kelpstrand
2009-09-09, 12:55 PM
Basically, There was an example rogue presented that could always get SA with blinking. Pathfinder saw this and straight away set to nerfing every single aspect of the presented Rogue, including flask throwing for extra attacks that hit.

pres_man
2009-09-09, 04:12 PM
Now I got to check out the ranged rules since if I'm playing PF rogue, ranged certainly looks way more attractive

Really? I thought it looked more like they were trying to widdle it down to only being about to get sneak attack through flanking (which is now harder). Sort of like the whole combat maneuvers thing, "just swing your sword dummy!"

Zadus
2009-09-09, 05:04 PM
I've been playing a pathfinder paladin along with a party consisting of a fighter, sorcerer and wizard.

I've found it to be a lot of fun. If your looking to play a fun game, or to derive a level of enjoyment from a roleplaying game, I'd suggest pathfinder.

Fun is why we're here right?

DragoonWraith
2009-09-09, 05:11 PM
I've been playing a pathfinder paladin along with a party consisting of a fighter, sorcerer and wizard.

I've found it to be a lot of fun. If your looking to play a fun game, or to derive a level of enjoyment from a roleplaying game, I'd suggest pathfinder.

Fun is why we're here right?
I've already discussed this point:


I agree. Just because Pathfinder is not proven better doesn't mean it can't be fun.
Heck, I can play with an empty box and have fun.
Exactly. Yes, it's fun. As you point out, it's not hard to have fun as long as you have a good group of friends and something to do. Is it more or less fun than regular 3.5? I really doubt there's a substantial difference. For people who have played a lot of 3.5 and are looking for something new, Pathfinder might be more fun. For people who have played a lot of 3.5 and are not interested in adapting everything for Pathfinder, 3.5 is going to be more fun.

For someone who has never played either? I strongly doubt they'd very much care.

What is the point of this? Well, A. the "fun" factor is completely subjective and is really not a valid comparison point for the two systems, and B. nothing about the fun factor actually makes Pathfinder worth buying compared to 3.5.

Every argument against Pathfinder has been on the point of balance. Balance is certainly not everything in the game, and is also definitely not a purely objective fact, but it's much less subjective than fun, which comes up to personal preference and in reality is not that large a difference. So I think it's disingenuous to respond to criticisms of Pathfinder's balance with "why don't you just play it, you'll have fun, I assure you!" - someone playing honestly probably would. And so would you playing 3.5. It's not exactly a unique feature.
Yes, Pathfinder can be great fun. So can 3.5, or as Starbuck_II points out, so can a box. It's not a feature unique to Pathfinder, and nor is it especially likely to be more fun. It does things a little differently, some of which (it has generally been agreed) are good and some of which are bad. Everyone has their own opinions on which things are good and which things are bad, and most of which are just eh, whatever, doesn't really matter one way or the other. Ultimately Pathfinder seems to fail to justify its own price, when most of the good ideas are easily incorporated houserules into a normal 3.5 game. In fact, just cherry-picking those particular changes you like best but playing an otherwise normal 3.5 game makes for less work for the DM, as there is likely less adaptation to be done.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with my conclusion that it makes more sense to cherry-pick individual rules that you like than to buy the whole thing and run a "Pathfinder" game, however, I hope you'll see my point that this comment adds nothing to the discussion. You are not going to convince anyone with that argument, because it's essentially meaningless.

Kelpstrand
2009-09-09, 05:26 PM
I've been playing a pathfinder paladin along with a party consisting of a fighter, sorcerer and wizard.

I've found it to be a lot of fun. If your looking to play a fun game, or to derive a level of enjoyment from a roleplaying game, I'd suggest pathfinder.

Fun is why we're here right?

I've been playing a 3.5 Rogue along with a party consisting of warblade, cleric, wizard.

I've found it to be a lot of fun. If you're looking to play a fun game, or to derive a level of enjoyment from a roleplaying game, I'd suggest 3.5.

Fun is why we're here right?



On a note actual involving information about the game: "Spell nerfs" are a serious joke, since:

A) They only nerfed some spells.
B) They added their own spells, some of which are powerful enough to put Core spells to shame.

Starbuck_II
2009-09-09, 05:59 PM
Wait, what spells did they add?
I overlooked them I think.

Kelpstrand
2009-09-09, 06:03 PM
Wait, what spells did they add?
I overlooked them I think.

"Pathfinder" supplements have already been released, detailing the campaign setting, and like players guide to FR, they have their own spells.

Gnaeus
2009-09-09, 06:07 PM
Personally, having played about 16 hours of PF, I like more of the changes than I dislike. I will need to see it at higher level and with more groups to be sure that I like it better than 3.5.

I do, however, have a question, which I think can fit into this thread without making a new one.

Does anyone have an opinion on whether any of the classes changed enough to alter their position in JaronK's Tier system? I hate to even ask it at Brilliantgameologists, because many of the more regular posters there have serious pathfinder hate.

My initial guess is that most classes stay just where they are. I don't think that the nerfs to Cleric or Druid are enough to drop them out of Tier 1. I don't think that the rogue buffs are enough to kick them up to tier 3 (Although some people argue that they are there already). I would guess that Paladin is the big winner, going from 5>4. Bard might fall from tier 3 to top of tier 4. Any thoughts?

Starbuck_II
2009-09-09, 06:11 PM
Paladin only improves to 4?

ericgrau
2009-09-09, 06:25 PM
Search for info on it, this topic comes up often. Some people like it, some don't. I don't. Basically it's a matter of whether or not it actually fixes anything or if it just makes things more confusing and worse.

AllisterH
2009-09-09, 06:55 PM
Rogue, I think, might have actually gone down a tier.....Seriously, I got to talk with my friend who is playing a rogue in a PF converted level 9 game and what he says after 6 months.

Right now, it's WAY too earlier to tell I think (remember, the Monk at the 3.0 outset was thought to be REALLY, good but the reason why was that people were comparing the monk more with they were familiar with - namely the AD&D system. As long as the underlying system doesn't change, one can fairly evaluate a class by simply looking at it but PF has way more changes than the 3.0 -> 3.5 system change.

You're pretty much are going to have to evaluate the Pathfinder classes in the context of the Pathfinder system of rules.

Like I said before, they basically only looked at the good points in their favour such as rogues not needing to worry about Ravenloft adventures but as I pointed out,

Flanking is going to be much more dicey a proposition than before. For example, while it's nice that the rogue can now sayattack a VAMPIRE-templated Fire giant, I don't like his chances versus a REGULAR fire giant now

(CMD of 30 versus a rogue's Acrobatics at levels 8-10?...Eh, I'm expecting the rogue to eat AT least one opportunity attack and 3d6+15 dmg is way more than the hp bonus rogues get...).

Then there's the new rules of magic item creation. Magic items are easier to create since they don't cost XP (which admittedly didn't matter in 3.5 thanks to the change of how the XP/ versus CR scale worked) but ALSO in the fact that you can in PF create magic items on the adventure itself. Remember the rule that you had to have a quiet place for every day you worked on a magic item?

No longer valid in Pathfinder.

Similarly, the closure of other "sneak attack" loop holes are ONLY going to come apparent if people faithfully treat PF as a new game and READ everything (again, this is true, since I assume PF isn't going to leave those monsters with those CMD scores...that's kind of a serious kick to the nads there...)

I'll give another example...Artificers no longer work in Pathfinder....The mechanics all work the same but the raison d'etre of the Artificer got swallowed up by PF.


1.) Spellcraft is the universal skill that is used to make magic items. The DC is 5+ caster level. The artificer used use magic device at DC 20 + caster level to accomplish the same trick.

2.) Artificers can emulate pre-reqs (except item creation feats) they don't normally meet with a use magic device check (DC 20+CL) per missed pre-req. So can anyone else by adding +5 per missed pre-req to the spellcraft DC.

3.) Pathfinder artisans can make items while adventuring (only netting 1/2 the benefit of time) thus eliminating the artificer advantage on time.

4.) Artificers gained a craft-reserve of "XP" to spend on items. No longer needed.

5.) 5th level artificers gained retain essence, which let you recycle XP from items. No longer needed.

6.) Artificers get "Artificer knowledge" which let them identify magic items with an special level+int check and one minute. Spellcasters can cast detect magic at-will and identify items with a spellcraft check.

7.) Don't want to be spellcaster but still want to make items? Try Master Craftsman

So what's the artificer left with? Trapfinding, free-item creation feats, his infusions (many of which mimic cleric or wizard spells) meta-magic item use, a slightly higher (level+2) caster level to make magic items, and a hommoculus. Not much of a class left.

PinkysBrain
2009-09-09, 07:20 PM
Artificer's break the universe into tiny pieces, crafting is just a bonus.

Typewriter
2009-09-09, 07:32 PM
(CMD of 30 versus a rogue's Acrobatics at levels 8-10?...Eh, I'm expecting the rogue to eat AT least one opportunity attack and 3d6+15 dmg is way more than the hp bonus rogues get...).


Not really as hard as it sounds at first.
8 ranks at level 8 plus 3 bonus for having it as a class skill. Assuming you're an elf you probably have 22 dex at thi level, so +6 there. Skill focus is pretty useful for important skills like this, so another +3. That's +20 without any items, and only 1 feat(keep in mind feats are easier to get in PF).

But wait, theres more. If you took the rogue talent 'Slow Reactions' once you get a sneak attack off you don't have to worry about tumbling around that guy anymore. It makes it so that they cant make AoO for 1 round. He moves, the fighter moves next to him, you move into flanking position without having to worry about it and SA again, once again removing his ability to make AoO for 1 round.

But wait, that's at level 8. At level 10, with the above build you have +25 to acrobatics without any items and only the one feat? How? Two more ranks, and when you get to 10 ranks in a skill, your bonus from skill focus automatically moves to +6.

At level 10 you get to start taking advanced talents. Skill mastery to always pass that DC 30 acrobatics check (or a 35 for that matter).



Believe me, things have changed, but things that look like they got harder are just things you now have to TRY and get instead of the 3.5 method of getting enough ranks to beat a set DC then never having to worry about it again. Nothing comes for free, but when you focus on something (whether it be making acrobatics checks, or using Combat Maneuvers) just a little bit it's doable.

Starbuck_II
2009-09-09, 07:37 PM
Yrs, but slow reactions is somewhat a learning curve. You don't know instantly what helps. So it seems hard.

Kelpstrand
2009-09-09, 11:17 PM
More importantly, It's flanking, you can only get one attack per round. Fail.

If your rogue only gets one SA attack per round, you aren't contributing your fair share.

As far as I can tell the only way to play a Rogue that doesn't suck is to play a Ranged Rogue in a party with a Wizard who makes it his job to give you SA with Blind/Greater Invis/stuff. And even then you need to build with synergy, and you still don't do it as well as a 3.5 Rogue.

Typewriter
2009-09-09, 11:38 PM
More importantly, It's flanking, you can only get one attack per round. Fail.

If your rogue only gets one SA attack per round, you aren't contributing your fair share.

As far as I can tell the only way to play a Rogue that doesn't suck is to play a Ranged Rogue in a party with a Wizard who makes it his job to give you SA with Blind/Greater Invis/stuff. And even then you need to build with synergy, and you still don't do it as well as a 3.5 Rogue.

You won't normally only get one sneak attack a round. I was explaining how once you get *a* sneak attack off on an enemy you will probably never have to worry about tumbling around them to get into flanking position again regardless of what kind of movements they make to get unflanked.

I don't really know what you mean by that being the only way to play a rogue that doesn't suck. They seem pretty much identical to rogues in 3.5 with some boosts. In theory you can use other 3.5 material with the book, but I'm personally keeping my games Pathfinder core only for now.

pres_man
2009-09-09, 11:50 PM
I wouldn't be surprised to see all PF rogues become spring attack rogues. Acrobatics/Tumble is dead.

I think probably the go to rogue is going to be a fighter 1/rogue 4, in order to hit spring attack by level 5.

PinkysBrain
2009-09-10, 12:00 AM
If you can't get full attacks off with sneak attack you can contribute just as much to the fight with ranged weapons ... taking spring attack doesn't make much sense. At higher levels you are either full attack sneak attacking or you stay out of melee.

pres_man
2009-09-10, 12:08 AM
If you can't get full attacks off with sneak attack you can contribute just as much to the fight with ranged weapons ... taking spring attack doesn't make much sense. At higher levels you are either full attack sneak attacking or you stay out of melee.

I wouldn't classify 5th level as "high".

Also a rogue standing toe-to-toe to do a full attack is insane anyway.

Yeah, they don't really contribute a whole lot in combat, but then again if you wanted to do that you wouldn't be playing a rogue.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-09-10, 12:32 AM
I wouldn't classify 5th level as "high".At 5th level you are looking at 2-3 attacks on a full-attack as a moderately well-built Rogue in 3.5. More if you work at it, but I view that as diminishing returns optimization and likely to start an arms race with the DM(read:not worth it). So, in the case of 2-3 attacks, not full-attacking reduces your damage by 50% or more. The discrepancy grows as you level.
Also a rogue standing toe-to-toe to do a full attack is insane anyway.That was the advantage of Blink. It provided you with decent defenses. And what are your other options? Level 5, for example, you deal 1d6(weapon)+3d6(SA)+1(magic)+1d6(anything), or 19.5 damage per hit. A half-orc Barb deals 8(Str)+2d6(Greatsword)+1(Magic)+1d6(anything)for the same damage with fewer restrictions at a better AB before Power Attack.
Yeah, they don't really contribute a whole lot in combat, but then again if you wanted to do that you wouldn't be playing a rogue.Most players want their characters to be useful in most situations that come up. And given that combat is 'most situations' in D&D, it's not unreasonable to expect all classes to be able to contribute.

Kelpstrand
2009-09-10, 02:35 AM
You won't normally only get one sneak attack a round. I was explaining how once you get *a* sneak attack off on an enemy you will probably never have to worry about tumbling around them to get into flanking position again regardless of what kind of movements they make to get unflanked.

Well you did a terrible job, since all you said was that they didn't get AoOs, which has nothing to do with them being able to 5ft step so that you are no longer flanking them, causing you to burn a move action to get in position. Resulting in another round where you only get one SA attack.


I don't really know what you mean by that being the only way to play a rogue that doesn't suck. They seem pretty much identical to rogues in 3.5 with some boosts.

Except a 3.5 Rogue can be blinking, and thus attack dex denied targets all the time for full attacks of sneak attack. Or can take advantage of grease or glitterdust better.

The point is that flanking was never a good method to get SA, unless you were using versatile flanker with yourself and a spiked chain to always get SA.

Any round that a Rogue does not make a full attack with SA on every attack is a round the Rogue might has well have been emo cutting his wrists.


Yeah, they don't really contribute a whole lot in combat, but then again if you wanted to do that you wouldn't be playing a rogue.

I play Rogues specifically to contribute in combat. This is 3.0/3.5, not 2e. The Rogue class is a combat class that also has skills, not a trap monkey who hides whenever monsters show up.

Epinephrine
2009-09-10, 06:08 AM
I wouldn't be surprised to see all PF rogues become spring attack rogues. Acrobatics/Tumble is dead.

Why is Acrobatics/Tumble dead? You have the base skill ranks, class bonus, dex modifier, skill focus (potentially), magical skill items (boots of elvenkind), etc. It adds up pretty fast.

Assume level 12 or so*, 22 dex (not that high, you could start with a 15 and have a +4 item), skill focus (acrobatics), and simple boots of elvenkind. That's 12+3+6+6+5=+32 to acrobatics. What's the CMD of CR 12 opponents? A Displacer Beast Pack Lord has a DC 36 or so, an 11 headed cryohydra has ~DC 30, and a Frost Worm has ~DC 34. So that's 3 CR 12 foes from the MM that seemed tough (big strengths, decent attack bonuses, etc) that are either trivial or fairly easy to tumble by. Pick up skill mastery and they're all trivial. Other CR 12 foes (kolyarut, roper, etc.) are even easier.

Sure, you have to put some skill points into it, and probably pay a bit for enhancement - but if you want to be able to flawlessly tumble by the most skilled opponents it's not surprising that you'll need to put some effort into it. The one thing you likely can't tumble by is an equivalent level monk.

*I chose this level as there is a monk in the campaign I run who is level 12, flanks all the time, and has perhaps failed one acrobatics check. And Wisdom is his main stat.

Oslecamo
2009-09-10, 06:13 AM
Sure, you have to put some skill points into it, and probably pay a bit for enhancement - but if you want to be able to flawlessly tumble by the most skilled opponents it's not surprising that you'll need to put some effort into it. The one thing you likely can't tumble by is an equivalent level monk.

Didn't you get the truenamer memo? For some strange reason players have a really hard time optimizing skills of nonfullcasters. Maxing out the UMD from the artificer? No problem! Maxing out truespeech? The horror! Oh gods you have to put your skill points on it at every level up! And get skill focus! Argh! The pain is unbearable! And increasing your main stat...So hard...

So, one can only imagine the suffering it would cause for a rogue player to increase his acrobatics skill(sarcasm end).

Starbuck_II
2009-09-10, 06:36 AM
To be fair, Truenamer gives dimishing returns.
In fact, without going cheese you can't even effect monsters after a certain level.

Oslecamo
2009-09-10, 06:48 AM
To be fair, Truenamer gives dimishing returns.
In fact, without going cheese you can't even effect monsters after a certain level.
Pharao's fist built a noncheesy truenamer who can affect enemies of his CR at level 20 with negative rolls. Myth busted.

Grey Paladin
2009-09-10, 06:58 AM
Fantasycraft>Any other 3.5 re-imagining. Pathfinder is just horrible and fails to fix anything.

Kelpstrand
2009-09-10, 07:24 AM
Pharao's fist built a noncheesy truenamer who can affect enemies of his CR at level 20 with negative rolls. Myth busted.

Are you sure about that? I would bet he has Item Familiar, which is certainly cheesy. Not to mention using item guidelines for +30.

Epinephrine
2009-09-10, 07:25 AM
Fantasycraft>Any other 3.5 re-imagining. Pathfinder is just horrible and fails to fix anything.

Finally, somebody presents a rational, well-argumented analysis, rather than simply howling their opinion into the aether.

Typewriter
2009-09-10, 07:46 AM
Well you did a terrible job, since all you said was that they didn't get AoOs, which has nothing to do with them being able to 5ft step so that you are no longer flanking them, causing you to burn a move action to get in position. Resulting in another round where you only get one SA attack.

Well the whole argument that I was responding to was that it's harder to get into flanking position because of tumbles nerf. I was explaining that it wasn't a nerf and in addition to tumble working just fine you have ANOTHER method to avoiding AoO while moving into flank position.



Except a 3.5 Rogue can be blinking, and thus attack dex denied targets all the time for full attacks of sneak attack. Or can take advantage of grease or glitterdust better.

The point is that flanking was never a good method to get SA, unless you were using versatile flanker with yourself and a spiked chain to always get SA.

Any round that a Rogue does not make a full attack with SA on every attack is a round the Rogue might has well have been emo cutting his wrists.



My players tend to focus heavily on flanking to get SA and I never really thought it seemed that bad to only get one SA off a round (as long as you're not in a party with full optimizers), especially when the whole point of occasionally getting one off a round is to get into position to do a whole lot.

Just to confirm, your problem isn't with the changes to rogues, it's with changes to spells that the rogue can no longer abuse?

Grey Paladin
2009-09-10, 08:02 AM
Finally, somebody presents a rational, well-argumented analysis, rather than simply howling their opinion into the aether.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v470/Shdow/delme.jpg
Sometimes you -can- judge a book by the cover.

Starbuck_II
2009-09-10, 08:28 AM
.
My players tend to focus heavily on flanking to get SA and I never really thought it seemed that bad to only get one SA off a round (as long as you're not in a party with full optimizers), especially when the whole point of occasionally getting one off a round is to get into position to do a whole lot.

Just to confirm, your problem isn't with the changes to rogues, it's with changes to spells that the rogue can no longer abuse?

Spells and mechanic changes.

There was alot of ways to deny dex to AC (some Flatfooted/others just deny dex).
Grease (even when not moving denied dex to AC), Glitterdust (blinds), etc.

Pathfinder changed Grease to only denies when moving (so Attack of opportunites only get sneak attack)

Kelpstrand
2009-09-10, 08:32 AM
Well the whole argument that I was responding to was that it's harder to get into flanking position because of tumbles nerf. I was explaining that it wasn't a nerf and in addition to tumble working just fine you have ANOTHER method to avoiding AoO while moving into flank position.

Which is why when I made a completely separate argument about how Flanking is a failed system, you shouldn't have said that your entirely unrelated argument addresses the problem with flanking.


Just to confirm, your problem isn't with the changes to rogues, it's with changes to spells that the rogue can no longer abuse?

Thank you for your loaded words. My problem is that the changes to rogues were explicitly designed to prevent them from ever full attacking with SA. This is a terrible idea, and should never be executed, because full attacking with SA is the only way to actually meaningfully contribute to the party as a Rogue.

I have a problem that they nerfed all the spells Rogues could use to accomplish that feat, and that it being a separate system, Rogues also lose access to the various other methods they could achieve this with, methods which are not going to be duplicated in Pathfinder, because it is a design goal to not ever let there be a Rogue build that full attacks for SA ever.

Epinephrine
2009-09-10, 09:01 AM
... because full attacking with SA is the only way to actually meaningfully contribute to the party damage output as an attacker as a Rogue.

Better? I don't agree with it the other way - rogues contribute to the party in innumerable ways - social skills, trapfinding, stealth, UMD, assisting others, flanking for the warriors, etc. So I assume you are talking purely about the rogue's damage output in combat situations.

I agree that the rogue should be able to get off full attack SA at least sometimes (which they can, I assume?), and probably with regularity in a party that is working together. I am glad to see things like flask-throwing removed from the rogue's repertoire. If a rogue gets off full attack with SA every round, does he eclipse other melee classes? I haven't done the math, but I could see how a TWF rogue with full SA every round could be more damage than the dedicated melee classes who aren't getting 8+Int skills per level and fun bonuses like evasion.

Yora
2009-09-10, 09:08 AM
For some people, the game is only about damage output.

Typewriter
2009-09-10, 09:11 AM
Which is why when I made a completely separate argument about how Flanking is a failed system, you shouldn't have said that your entirely unrelated argument addresses the problem with flanking.


Someone made a point about getting into flanking position being hard.
I made a counter point about how it is, in fact, not hard to do with examples.
You made a point about how flanking is fail, and in that same point mentioned only getting one SA each round was 'not contributing their fair share'.

I look at that, and assumed that comment was made in regards to the conversation that just took place where I was using a rogue who can only get 1 SA off each round, while being able to constantly move to flanking position. If your comment about flanking was a 'separate argument' about the 'same thing' we'd just been talking about then yes, my previous post was unimportant.

If however, your post of 'More importantly, It's flanking, you can only get one attack per round. Fail.' was not just disjointed words, and was in fact geared at my previous post, then I figured you'd like to know that the example I gave was *in response* to a statement someone made, and does not reflect the ONLY things rogues can do.



Thank you for your loaded words.


Not an attempt at loaded words, it sounded like you were attacking rogues, but then listing things that are not part of the rogue class(buffs from elsewhere do not equal rogue clss) was confusing me. I was asking for clarification.



My problem is that the changes to rogues were explicitly designed to prevent them from ever full attacking with SA. This is a terrible idea, and should never be executed, because full attacking with SA is the only way to actually meaningfully contribute to the party as a Rogue.


Everything in that paragraph is opinion, which you are entitled to, but trying to argue that something is 'bad' because it doesn't match your opinion of what a 'good' rogue should be doing is kind of degrading to people who enjoy the system. If you have complaints with the system, then make them, but don't state a bunch of opinions as fact and get all upset when people try to make sense out of your disjointed comments.



I have a problem that they nerfed all the spells Rogues could use to accomplish that feat, and that it being a separate system, Rogues also lose access to the various other methods they could achieve this with, methods which are not going to be duplicated in Pathfinder, because it is a design goal to not ever let there be a Rogue build that full attacks for SA ever.

I was unaware that you knew the designers of the game, and were so familiar with their design methodology. I guess that when the rogue in my party is getting full attacks while SA we must be doing something wrong.

AllisterH
2009-09-10, 10:27 AM
Can I say I really hate resorting to the UMD argument.

It ALWAYS seems to say to me, "well, my own class abilities suck monkey balls. Best duplicate another class"

How is UMD a point in FAVOUR of that class?

Gnaeus
2009-09-10, 10:50 AM
Well, in PF, UMD can be EASIER than casting. At level 7, a Rogue has 7 ranks in UMD, +3 Class bonus, + Cha bonus, + skill focus if desired (So between +10 and about +15) vs DC 20 for a wand of greater invis. A wizard casting defensively has int bonus + caster level (22 int + cl 7=+13) vs DC 23. I am not sure you are emulating another class when you are casting more reliably under combat conditions than they are.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-09-10, 11:12 AM
Well, in PF, UMD can be EASIER than casting. At level 7, a Rogue has 7 ranks in UMD, +3 Class bonus, + Cha bonus, + skill focus if desired (So between +10 and about +15) vs DC 20 for a wand of greater invis. A wizard casting defensively has int bonus + caster level (22 int + cl 7=+13) vs DC 23. I am not sure you are emulating another class when you are casting more reliably under combat conditions than they are.Because a lot of Wizards end up in situations where they have to cast defensively. I don't think I've ever made one without Combat Casting. [/sarcasm]

For those arguing that tumble wasn't nerfed and are using magic items and feats to get a decent score: That's the point! In 3.5, a Rogue hit DC 15 at level 6(+5 dex, +9 skill ranks), with no particular investment. Level 4 if you're willing to invest a bit in jump. You're spending a feat and a magic item to still have a chance of failure at level 12. Rogues don't get enough feats anyways, having to spend one just to be decent at a skill isn't good.

Epinephrine
2009-09-10, 11:23 AM
For those arguing that tumble wasn't nerfed and are using magic items and feats to get a decent score: That's the point!

What strawman is that? Of course it's nerfed. Somebody said "Acrobatics/Tumble is dead" - that's not true. The example was to counter the implication that one can't tumble reliably.


In 3.5, a Rogue hit DC 15 at level 6(+5 dex, +9 skill ranks), with no particular investment. Level 4 if you're willing to invest a bit in jump. You're spending a feat and a magic item to still have a chance of failure at level 12.
(emphasis mine)
Yes, fighting the toughest creatures to tumble by, you have a small chance of failure as an acrobatic character. Of course, I didn't optimise, I gave a pretty wimpy example. Could have started with an 18 dex, put a racial bonus on, etc.

With no particular investment. Is that right? Should it take virtually no work to guarantee safety moving around in combat? I (personally) don't think so.


Rogues don't get enough feats anyways, having to spend one just to be decent at a skill isn't good.

It's not being "decent" to have virtual certainty of tumbling past any opponent. That's beyond "decent". A rogue who wants to tumble through combat can do so, and is virtually untouchable if he invests in it. Anything else is (IMHO) ludicrous - a 4th level rogue that can tumble circles around epic warriors made no sense.

Yes, you need to invest to be mind-blowingly amazing. Less investment is required if you want to deal with most enemies, but have to be cautious against the really tough ones. After all, I used some nasty examples - you can tumble by many tough enemies with a lot less work. The point is that it's still possible, and yes, they made it harder - if you want guaranteed safety while tumbling through a combat, you have to invest. Oh well, not everyone is a ninja who can move through a battlefield without taking a hit - that suits me just fine. We had already been using a similar houserule.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-09-10, 11:26 AM
*snipped*The problem is that Tumble was exceedingly important to melee Rogues in 3.5. Weaken that, and you're weakening Rogues, which is the opposite of what needed to happen for game balance.

Epinephrine
2009-09-10, 11:33 AM
The problem is that Tumble was exceedingly important to melee Rogues in 3.5. Weaken that, and you're weakening Rogues, which is the opposite of what needed to happen for game balance.

Fair enough - the example wasn't to argue whether rogues weren't weakened in combat, it was to point out that tumbling is still very possible. I agree that tumbling is harder, making flanking a bit riskier. I prefer that. While it weakens rogues to some extent, it weakens everyone - including a mage's ability to simply tumble away from the flanking rogue/warrior pair - a skill item and a couple of skill points and anyone could tumble in 3.5. Rogues get several additional feats essentially, and can easily pick up the skill focus if it's important to them.

The investment of skill points would be costly in 3.5, I suppose, but with 8 skill points and fewer skills to spend them on (they've consolidated many that a rogue uses: Listen+Search+Spot=Perception; Hide+Move Silently=Stealth; Tumble+Balance=Acrobatics; Gather Information+Diplomacy=Diplomacy, Disable Device+Open Locks=Disable Device, etc...) I don't see them as stressed by spending one skill point per level on acrobatics, if they'd like to. Really, they have more skills than they did before. Assuming they would benefit by the consolidation of skills somewhere (open locks and disable device, perhaps?) they can easily afford one skill point per level on acrobatics. The rogue talents don't allow a feat excepting a combat feat, but assuming you take a combat feat somewhere, you can replace it with skill focus (acrobatics), or use one of the extra feats you earn in Pathfinder. Bottom line, it's not a big investment - you can likely have the skill focus and the maxed acrobatics to get those tumbles off regularly.

Because it affects everyone, it's a little less cut-and-dry, but I agree that rogues depend more on flanking than most classes. Other classes certainly have strong desires to get away from flanking rogues, which can be harder now. It's very hard to determine how much of an effect it is from a purely theoretical perspective - I notice that (in the games I play and DM) there is much greater suppression of casters by moving up next to them and keeping pressure on them, so at least in my games I have seen a relative increase in the ability of melee types compared to caster types, though I haven't noticed much of a change in the relative damage outputs of rogue types (nobody is playing one, so it's purely as a DM that I'd have noticed it, as I've thrown tumbling/flanking rogues at them a few times - seemed to work ok.*)

Do the buffs to the rogue in terms of rogue abilities compensate for the more difficult tumbling, in your mind? There are some nice rogue abilities (automatic perception checks for traps, nifty sneak attack bonuses (dispelling attacks, strength damage), slow reactions).

* Sorry to edit so much, I was thinking of an example. Doppelgangers (fighter2/rogue3) flanked the caster in one combat; she was positioned on the back corner of a square of defenders (Melee, Melee, Caster, Bard, Doppelgangers)

MMD
BC_
D_D

She had a very hard time; couldn't cast defensively very well (we houserule a +2 DC for each additional threat, so it's a pretty tough roll, but even pathfinder's base 15+2*spell level is tougher than usual), couldn't 5' step, wouldn't succeed in a tumble, and took a pile of damage.

Frerezar
2009-09-10, 11:34 AM
Well as much as i love rogues, they ARE NOT PRIMARY COMBATANTS. So they should not outshine the fighter in a fight. Keep in mind they still can with the right build (thatīs what optimizers are for) but the base class was made to not step in the fighter toes i think.
And on that note i think PF acomplished to make every class interesting enought that any player can choose it for flavor and not feel useless mechanically, everyone contributes and exels in at least some aspect. And the party (not some uber godlike single character) is what the game is all about right?

Kelpstrand
2009-09-10, 12:33 PM
Better? I don't agree with it the other way - rogues contribute to the party in innumerable ways - social skills, trapfinding, stealth, UMD, assisting others, flanking for the warriors, etc. So I assume you are talking purely about the rogue's damage output in combat situations.

You apparently missed the word "meaningfully." Yes level 5 characters can contribute something to level 20 parties, they are not worth 1/4th the XP. Likewise, a Rogue that does 5d6 damage a round at level 7 is not worth 1/4th the XP. Completely regardless of stealth/UMD/providing flanking/social skills/or anything else that can be accomplished by a level 1 character.


If a rogue gets off full attack with SA every round, does he eclipse other melee classes? I haven't done the math, but I could see how a TWF rogue with full SA every round could be more damage than the dedicated melee classes who aren't getting 8+Int skills per level and fun bonuses like evasion.

No, it doesn't. Other classes (why would you think the Rogue is a melee class?) were not eclipsed by Rogue damage in Core 3.5 when a Rogue was getting SA every round, or even in Core + SpC, where 95% of creatures had no protection against SA.


Someone made a point about getting into flanking position being hard.
I made a counter point about how it is, in fact, not hard to do with examples.
You made a point about how flanking is fail, and in that same point mentioned only getting one SA each round was 'not contributing their fair share'.

I look at that, and assumed that comment was made in regards to the conversation that just took place where I was using a rogue who can only get 1 SA off each round, while being able to constantly move to flanking position. If your comment about flanking was a 'separate argument' about the 'same thing' we'd just been talking about then yes, my previous post was unimportant.

If however, your post of 'More importantly, It's flanking, you can only get one attack per round. Fail.' was not just disjointed words, and was in fact geared at my previous post, then I figured you'd like to know that the example I gave was *in response* to a statement someone made, and does not reflect the ONLY things rogues can do.

So in other words, you took my statement "Flanking fails because you can only make one SA per round. A Rogue needs to attack more than once per round to meaningfully contribute." to mean "I am confused, flanking is hard." This is because you... Have trouble with the English language? Didn't think that I might say something worth reading?

Yes, it had to do with the discussion. You claimed that it was okay because Rogues could still flank. I pointed out that Flanking does not make Rogues contribute meaningfully.


Not an attempt at loaded words, it sounded like you were attacking rogues, but then listing things that are not part of the rogue class(buffs from elsewhere do not equal rogue clss) was confusing me. I was asking for clarification.

I am not attacking anything. I was explaining why the Pathfinder changes to various things were specifically designed to make Rogues less capable of full attacking with SA every round, because they don't want Rogues to full attack with SA.

Yes, how they changed various spells that Rogues used to commonly use to get SA to prevent Rogues from getting SA is important to how they nerfed the 'getting SA' part of Rogues.


Everything in that paragraph is opinion, which you are entitled to, but trying to argue that something is 'bad' because it doesn't match your opinion of what a 'good' rogue should be doing is kind of degrading to people who enjoy the system. If you have complaints with the system, then make them, but don't state a bunch of opinions as fact and get all upset when people try to make sense out of your disjointed comments.

The statement "Murder is bad" is opinion. That's not going to stop me from making it if someone is discussing murder. Opinions are not magical vortexes of awesome that derive themselves from nothing. Opinions are based on evidence.

My evidence for the claim that Blink was changed to prevent Rogues from using it to full attack is that:

1) A person presented a Rogue build using a Ring of blinking in the Pathfinder Alpha playtest stage, as an example.
2) Jason Buhlman Contested the use of a Ring of Blinking to get full attacks with SA on each attack.
3) Jason Buhlman was directed to the "attacks as invisible" line, and also to the fact that blinking miss chance is not concealment for the attacker later on.
4) In the Pathfinder Beta, the blinking line "attacks as invisible" was removed.

My Evidence for the claim that Rogues who do not full attack with SA are not contributing on the level of other characters is every single Rogue I've ever seen played in any game.

For an example, take the Test of Spite Monkening. That Rogue has full attacked zero times with SA on the attacks, and is easily the worst performing member of the party, even contributing less than a Monk.

In order to meaningfully contribute. A Rogue must actaully make full attack actions to keep up with the damage output of real characters. They Might be able to keep up with a Core Druids Animal Companion chosen for aspect other than damage, but to actually deserve a share of the XP, they need to full attack.

This is 'my opinion' in the sense that other people might think 10d6 damage per fight at level 7 is worth XP. But it is not my opinion that a Wizard/Barbarian/Archer Ranger/Archer Fighter/Cleric/Druid could all out damage such a character by easily double or triple, while still contributing out of combat to a comparable or (much) greater degree (Except the Archer fighter).


I was unaware that you knew the designers of the game, and were so familiar with their design methodology. I guess that when the rogue in my party is getting full attacks while SA we must be doing something wrong.

Well, since playing monsters like retards is also part of the design methodology, maybe not. But yes, it was an explicit design decision to remove all of the reliable ways for Rogues to generate SA damage on full attacks on a consistent basis.

Epinephrine
2009-09-10, 12:42 PM
You apparently missed the word "meaningfully." Yes level 5 characters can contribute something to level 20 parties, they are not worth 1/4th the XP. Likewise, a Rogue that does 5d6 damage a round at level 7 is not worth 1/4th the XP. Completely regardless of stealth/UMD/providing flanking/social skills/or anything else that can be accomplished by a level 1 character.

You apparently think that trapfinding, social skills, UMD, and stealth can either be provided by a level 1 character, or don't contribute meaningfully to a party.

Since I disagree with both of those options, we have a difference that comes down to choice of axioms. Discussion is impossible if we can't agree on what "meaningfully contributes to a party."

Kelpstrand
2009-09-10, 01:05 PM
You apparently think that trapfinding, social skills, UMD, and stealth can either be provided by a level 1 character, or don't contribute meaningfully to a party.

Since I disagree with both of those options, we have a difference that comes down to choice of axioms. Discussion is impossible if we can't agree on what "meaningfully contributes to a party."

Meaningfully contributes means deserves 1/Xth the XP. Where X is the number of party members.

And yes, a level 1 Wizard follower and a level 1 Cleric follower meet basically all your UMD needs. Trapfinding is accomplished at a pretty decent level by a level 1 Rogue follower who stands in a corner during fights. Social Skills are also the same.

Providing flanking for the fighter is also something level 1 characters can do, but even more than that, it is less helpful than a level 1 Bard Inspiring Courage who adds +2 to attack and +1 to damage.

If everything your level 10 Rogue does for the party is matched by a Rogue 1/Bard 1/Wizard 1/Cleric 1. You are not meaningfully contributing, and you make me sad. Saying you also add 6d6 damage most rounds when the Barbarian sets you up doesn't impress me much more.

The Barbarian is doing 100 damage per round, as far as I'm concerned, I'd prefer to have a Barbarian who does 80 damage per round and spends a fraction of his WBL on a guy to follow us around than you.

Typewriter
2009-09-10, 01:07 PM
You apparently missed the word "meaningfully." Yes level 5 characters can contribute something to level 20 parties, they are not worth 1/4th the XP. Likewise, a Rogue that does 5d6 damage a round at level 7 is not worth 1/4th the XP. Completely regardless of stealth/UMD/providing flanking/social skills/or anything else that can be accomplished by a level 1 character.


A level 5 rogue can sneak past and/or negotiate with CR 20 enemies? And so can a level 1? I don't know how your group plays, but in all groups that I've seen those are important skills to have. Traps might be about to kill someone if it doesn't get destroyed or disabled, party members could be arrested(or have to kill the guards) if someone doesn't talk their way out of trouble. In groups I've played with it's uncommon to have more than 1 combat each session. In my eyes you're greatly diminishing all the aspects of the character that are not combat. If that's how your group plays, that's fine, but trying to say that character X isn't worth the xp he takes away is incredibly biased.




So in other words, you took my statement "Flanking fails because you can only make one SA per round. A Rogue needs to attack more than once per round to meaningfully contribute." to mean "I am confused, flanking is hard." This is because you... Have trouble with the English language? Didn't think that I might say something worth reading?


If you had actually been replying to something specific, or explained what you meant, maybe I wouldn't have been confused by it:

"More importantly, It's flanking, you can only get one attack per round. Fail."

Why can you only get one attack per round while flanking? Do you mean that the round you move into flanking you only get one attack per round? Does every enemy you fight constantly move, and thus you have to move to maintain the flank? I have no idea what your sentence means. I *think* that what you're saying is that in groups you play in the enemies you guys are fighting move constantly, never getting a full attack action, and nobody actually *tries* to maintain flanking with the rogue. I still don't know though, because you have yet to rationalize your hatred against flanking.




Yes, it had to do with the discussion. You claimed that it was okay because Rogues could still flank. I pointed out that Flanking does not make Rogues contribute meaningfully.


Saying something and not explaining yourself is not an argument.




I am not attacking anything. I was explaining why the Pathfinder changes to various things were specifically designed to make Rogues less capable of full attacking with SA every round, because they don't want Rogues to full attack with SA.

Yes, how they changed various spells that Rogues used to commonly use to get SA to prevent Rogues from getting SA is important to how they nerfed the 'getting SA' part of Rogues.


Some spells were changed, some with obvious intent, but that does not mean that they designed the system as "a design goal to not ever let there be a Rogue build that full attacks for SA ever". That is completely unfounded, and it's being stated as a fact.



The statement "Murder is bad" is opinion. That's not going to stop me from making it if someone is discussing murder. Opinions are not magical vortexes of awesome that derive themselves from nothing. Opinions are based on evidence.


And if you were in the middle of a discussion between people with differing opinions who were attempting to have a conversation about the morality of murder, that's all you would say? You wouldn't explain your reasoning, or even your own personal rationale for why it's your opinion? You'd just pop off your opinion as fact?

My favorite roleplaying system is WoD. If I was among friends, or people who are not in the midst of discussion I would make comments like 'WoD is the best RPG there is'. If I was in the middle of a discussion where people were discussing different systems I would NOT make comments like 'WoD is the best RPG there is'. I would say, "I prefer WoD because of XYZ'.




My evidence for the claim that Blink was changed to prevent Rogues from using it to full attack is that:

1) A person presented a Rogue build using a Ring of blinking in the Pathfinder Alpha playtest stage, as an example.
2) Jason Buhlman Contested the use of a Ring of Blinking to get full attacks with SA on each attack.
3) Jason Buhlman was directed to the "attacks as invisible" line, and also to the fact that blinking miss chance is not concealment for the attacker later on.
4) In the Pathfinder Beta, the blinking line "attacks as invisible" was removed.


I had not heard of that before, but it sounds believable. I will say, however, that this incident means that 'some changes were made that eliminated certain ways for rogues to get their SA off'.

That does NOT make either of the following statements true:

"a design goal to not ever let there be a Rogue build that full attacks for SA ever"

or

"But yes, it was an explicit design decision to remove all of the reliable ways for Rogues to generate SA damage on full attacks on a consistent basis."




My Evidence for the claim that Rogues who do not full attack with SA are not contributing on the level of other characters is every single Rogue I've ever seen played in any game.

For an example, take the Test of Spite Monkening. That Rogue has full attacked zero times with SA on the attacks, and is easily the worst performing member of the party, even contributing less than a Monk.

In order to meaningfully contribute. A Rogue must actaully make full attack actions to keep up with the damage output of real characters. They Might be able to keep up with a Core Druids Animal Companion chosen for aspect other than damage, but to actually deserve a share of the XP, they need to full attack.

This is 'my opinion' in the sense that other people might think 10d6 damage per fight at level 7 is worth XP. But it is not my opinion that a Wizard/Barbarian/Archer Ranger/Archer Fighter/Cleric/Druid could all out damage such a character by easily double or triple, while still contributing out of combat to a comparable or (much) greater degree (Except the Archer fighter).


That is all your opinion as in you don't care what others say, you've decided that SA is the only thing that matters for a rogue, and your experiences are all the only things that matters. Rogues get other abilities than SA. Whether you care about them or not doesn't change the fact that they're there. A lot of people do play rogues and focus on those skills, or abilities that you claim make them worthless.




Well, since playing monsters like retards is also part of the design methodology, maybe not. But yes, it was an explicit design decision to remove all of the reliable ways for Rogues to generate SA damage on full attacks on a consistent basis.

I don't really understand the comment you're making about monsters, and I already commented on this supposed 'Explicit design decision to remove all of the reliable ways for Rogues to generate SA damage on full attacks on a consistent basis".

Typewriter
2009-09-10, 01:09 PM
Meaningfully contributes means deserves 1/Xth the XP. Where X is the number of party members.

And yes, a level 1 Wizard follower and a level 1 Cleric follower meet basically all your UMD needs. Trapfinding is accomplished at a pretty decent level by a level 1 Rogue follower who stands in a corner during fights. Social Skills are also the same.

Providing flanking for the fighter is also something level 1 characters can do, but even more than that, it is less helpful than a level 1 Bard Inspiring Courage who adds +2 to attack and +1 to damage.

If everything your level 10 Rogue does for the party is matched by a Rogue 1/Bard 1/Wizard 1/Cleric 1. You are not meaningfully contributing, and you make me sad. Saying you also add 6d6 damage most rounds when the Barbarian sets you up doesn't impress me much more.

The Barbarian is doing 100 damage per round, as far as I'm concerned, I'd prefer to have a Barbarian who does 80 damage per round and spends a fraction of his WBL on a guy to follow us around than you.

D&D does not equal math. You can't break down abilities into the amount of experience they 'deserve'. If that's the way your group plays, then have fun, but I have never seen any group with the kind of mentality your talking about, and I'm fairly certain that some others find it just as odd.

Crow
2009-09-10, 01:15 PM
D&D does not equal math. You can't break down abilities into the amount of experience they 'deserve'. If that's the way your group plays, then have fun, but I have never seen any group with the kind of mentality your talking about, and I'm fairly certain that some others find it just as odd.

Yep. Our group awards experience to the group. Sometimes certain members contribute more in battle, while other members contribute more in moving the storing along. Either way, it's a social game with your friends. Not a competition, and certainly not a dungeon-raiding conglomerate where you have a "contribution quota" you have to make in order to satisfy some tool in the group.

Kelpstrand
2009-09-10, 01:20 PM
D&D does not equal math. You can't break down abilities into the amount of experience they 'deserve'. If that's the way your group plays, then have fun, but I have never seen any group with the kind of mentality your talking about, and I'm fairly certain that some others find it just as odd.

"D&D is not Math, you can't say that my the rock in my pocket didn't contribute as meaningfully as characters!"

Yes I can.

What I cannot do is help you if you do not understand the rules for flanking an five foot steps.

Flanking is a failed system because against any opponent, you will never get a round in which you full attack and are flanking.

See, watch:

_R_
_M_
_F_

Monster turn, 5ft steps:

_R_
___
MF_

Guess who isn't going to full attack next round if the want to full attack.

Let me guess "But Fighter and Rogue can delay" So can Monster. And since Monster is probably one of many, Fighter and Rogue both waiting on Monster is net win for monster.

This ignores the fact that 90% of monsters either "grapple" or "cast spells" And at least grapple used to mean SA for the Rogue if the Monster was stupid enough to do it to the Fighter, but of course, Pathfinder nerfed that way of getting SA too.

Eldariel
2009-09-10, 01:25 PM
"D&D is not Math, you can't say that my the rock in my pocket didn't contribute as meaningfully as characters!"

Yes I can.

What I cannot do is help you if you do not understand the rules for flanking an five foot steps.

Flanking is a failed system because against any opponent, you will never get a round in which you full attack and are flanking.

See, watch:

_R_
_M_
_F_

Monster turn, 5ft steps:

_R_
___
MF_

Guess who isn't going to full attack next round if the want to full attack.

Uhm, they both just 5' step to reflank. The only thing that stops that are walls or similars. I guess the Fighter won't get Flanks, but he doesn't really care as much.

Typewriter
2009-09-10, 01:31 PM
"D&D is not Math, you can't say that my the rock in my pocket didn't contribute as meaningfully as characters!"

Yes I can.


Fair enough, you can, but I'm not sure you can expect anyont to take you seriously. You can give points to whatever, or whoever, you want, and nobody is going to stop you. No one is going to care.....


Uhm, they both just 5' step to reflank. The only thing that stops that are walls or similars.

Exactly:

_R_
_M_
_F_

_R_
___
MF_

_R_
___
M__
F__

___
R__
M__
F__

Hooray for flanking, I'm so glad it's easy! And I didn't need anyone to help me learn the rules for flanking and 5 ft. steps!

Epinephrine
2009-09-10, 01:37 PM
And yes, a level 1 Wizard follower and a level 1 Cleric follower meet basically all your UMD needs.

Hardly - they can't make the level checks to activate higher level scrolls, just for a start. And they'll die the first time there is a fight or an AoE effect.


Trapfinding is accomplished at a pretty decent level by a level 1 Rogue follower who stands in a corner during fights.

No, that rogue dies the first time someone looks at him, or if he messes up on a trap, and can't disarm most higher level traps. Enemies won't ignore him just because he slinks to the side, he could be a threat.


Social Skills are also the same.
No they aren't. The largest part of any skill is the number of ranks in it, this contributes more than the base ability. Since higher level foes will have higher sense motive checks, you have to keep increasing your bluff to account for it.


Providing flanking for the fighter is also something level 1 characters can do,
For approximately one round. If they can even make it into combat, thanks to AoE attacks or spells, fear effects, etc. And good luck for your level 1 rogue trying to tumble into position in PF.


but even more than that, it is less helpful than a level 1 Bard Inspiring Courage who adds +2 to attack and +1 to damage.

Irrelevant. It stacks. And it's on top of whatever else the rogue is doing.


If everything your level 10 Rogue does for the party is matched by a Rogue 1/Bard 1/Wizard 1/Cleric 1. You are not meaningfully contributing, and you make me sad.

Except that you need a veritable horde of these along with you to ensure any of them survive to be useful. You can't replace the rogue with all these level 1 hangers on, since they can't survive, can't get into position, can't reliably use a scroll, and can't reliably convince anyone with any training that they are telling the truth.

Tiktakkat
2009-09-10, 02:20 PM
D&D does not equal math. You can't break down abilities into the amount of experience they 'deserve'. If that's the way your group plays, then have fun, but I have never seen any group with the kind of mentality your talking about, and I'm fairly certain that some others find it just as odd.

D&D does equal math. The entire game is moving equation. Whether it can or should be solved or not is the (rhetorical) question.
As for how groups play, check the history of the game. Way back when how much you did was just as important, if not moreso, then what the group did, and the rules reflected it. 1st edition clearly noted that monsters slain single handed only gained xp for the slayer, not the group, while xp for gold and magic was always individual. 2nd edition added class-based awards, which again heightened the individual aspect. 3E reduced individual awards to just role-playing, along with the xp deductions for item creation, a rather significant reduction in differences between xp awards.
You would thus find that in the old days it was not considered "unusual" to break down characters into the xp they deserved based on what they did.
As for whether that was "fun", I did not find it so, and was glad for the change, but it remains that many do, and so considerations remain that game fun is based predominantly on combat damage output.

Typewriter
2009-09-10, 02:35 PM
D&D does equal math. The entire game is moving equation. Whether it can or should be solved or not is the (rhetorical) question.
As for how groups play, check the history of the game. Way back when how much you did was just as important, if not moreso, then what the group did, and the rules reflected it. 1st edition clearly noted that monsters slain single handed only gained xp for the slayer, not the group, while xp for gold and magic was always individual. 2nd edition added class-based awards, which again heightened the individual aspect. 3E reduced individual awards to just role-playing, along with the xp deductions for item creation, a rather significant reduction in differences between xp awards.
You would thus find that in the old days it was not considered "unusual" to break down characters into the xp they deserved based on what they did.
As for whether that was "fun", I did not find it so, and was glad for the change, but it remains that many do, and so considerations remain that game fun is based predominantly on combat damage output.

I don't disagree that the whole premise of D&D is math based, but what goes on in D&D and how useful people are is hard to impossible to pin down. If a campaign is all combat against undead and constructs then rogues won't be as useful. If a campaign is all roleplay and intrigue the uber-charger who can do nothing else isn't nearly as useful.

I do believe that rewards should be based around what people do, and if someone is completely useless, they need to be told so. But sometimes, even that uber-charger will roll high on a sense motive check, while the rogue rolls low, and sometimes that rogue will critically destroy the enemy mage before the uber-charger gets a chance to smash his face in.

D&D is not math, but it is based off of mathematic principles. You take the characters, the events, and the campaign and apply those to the mathematic principles. And that is where you get the XP.

A class is not inherently worth Y XP, it is all dependant on the situation. If a campaign was purely political and everyone rolled up barbarians, druids, and leprechauns, but one person rolled up an expert high in knowledges, sense motive, etc. then who is going to wind up contributing the most in that campaign? That does not mean that experts are inherently worth Y XP.

DeathQuaker
2009-09-10, 04:17 PM
Just wanted to add in to this whole thing about Rogues having trouble flanking in order to get off a sneak attack...

The other way to help Rogues sneak attack is just do a Feint build. Yes, I realize the "weakness" of that is that he has to make a move-action to Feint, but if you build your Rogue with some neat tricks like Bleeding, etc. you're still doing a nice amount amount of damage and contributing. If you have two Rogues in the party, it's especially nasty because once one of the Rogues qualifies for Greater Feint, the other can benefit from the target being denied his Dex bonus AND indeed do that full attack.

What I love about the Rogue, and especially the Pathfinder Rogue, is how flexible the character is... from acrobat to skillmonkey to magic dabbler to, indeed, a mobile, sneaky, sneak attack machine. And there's no (in my opinion of course :smallsmile:) right way to build one, as there's a lot of ways to be considered "effective" in a party. Of course, this is coming from a player (me) who considers I'm effective if I'm also helping my fellow party members be better at what they're supposed to do, but I'm funny like that.

Acrobatics to avoid AOO is tougher than it was in 3.x but it's still quite doable, as Epinephrine and others' demonstrations show clearly enough. Besides which, in a well-designed D&D campaign, there is never any one tactic that will work well all of the time, every time. The nice thing about the Rogue, especially with all those Rogue talents, is that they're flexible. If melee isn't a good choice for a particular combat, they still have a good chance to pull out other useful tricks, like ranged attacking (most good Rogues have a high dex so they're good at that, and hey, if they're clever they might set up a ranged sneak attack) or magic use or climbing the walls to drop the chandelier on the monster's head or whatever you can think of.

The ability to full attack all the time, every time, is in my personal experience of playing D&D for many, many years, a very limited way to account for a character's usefulness. Sometimes it's the more off the wall tactics that end up being the most effective. At least in my parties, it's creativity and not sheer damage output that makes a given character the king of the hill. *mutters something about Shadowdancers ShadowJumping onto the backs of Rocs and wanders off*

Tiktakkat
2009-09-10, 05:24 PM
I don't disagree that the whole premise of D&D is math based, but what goes on in D&D and how useful people are is hard to impossible to pin down. If a campaign is all combat against undead and constructs then rogues won't be as useful. If a campaign is all roleplay and intrigue the uber-charger who can do nothing else isn't nearly as useful.

. . .

A class is not inherently worth Y XP, it is all dependant on the situation. If a campaign was purely political and everyone rolled up barbarians, druids, and leprechauns, but one person rolled up an expert high in knowledges, sense motive, etc. then who is going to wind up contributing the most in that campaign? That does not mean that experts are inherently worth Y XP.

See, there is the problem.
In general, yes.
But functionally here, no, as a class is inherently worth certain xp in relation to other classes.
Why?
Because an expert, or any NPC class for that matter, is worth Y-1 xp, where Y is the xp of a PC class of that level.
So, in fact, there is a judgement ranking of the classes inherent to the game.
This is expanded on by various fan based supplements (or commentaries, or whatever you want to label them) that rank the various classes in one way or other, establishing what could be described as house-rule variants that classes are inherently worth certain xp within a formula.
Going back to the rules themselves, when you tag in things like kobolds (with effectively a negative LA), drow and other creatures (with a positive LA), and the combination of monster type HD and non-associated class levels (monster type HD are functionally their own form of NPC class, while non-associated class levels is a tacit admission of the non-equality of certain multi-class and pseudo-multi-class combinations), you have hard RAW that, mathematically classes are worth a set value of xp in relationship to each other.

So indeed, you are correct that the overall equation is subject to so many alternative variable and constants that it cannot be "solved" like a simple equation.
You are however not correct in that there is an actual mathematical distinction between class levels.
Of course, as it goes, that proves your basic assertion. :smalltongue:

Gnaeus
2009-09-10, 05:27 PM
But yes, it was an explicit design decision to remove all of the reliable ways for Rogues to generate SA damage on full attacks on a consistent basis.

Is there some nerf on Greater Invisibility of which I am unaware? I mean, its a big book, so there could be, but I always chose GI over Blink, and it still seems to be there.

Starbuck_II
2009-09-10, 06:11 PM
Is there some nerf on Greater Invisibility of which I am unaware? I mean, its a big book, so there could be, but I always chose GI over Blink, and it still seems to be there.

Easir to hurt a G.InVis person than a Blinker.
A +1 Illusion bane weapons ignore G.Invis, but not Blink.

satorian
2009-09-10, 06:48 PM
Easir to hurt a G.InVis person than a Blinker.
A +1 Illusion bane weapons ignore G.Invis, but not Blink.

While technically true, how often have you run across an illusion bane weapon? I mean, really? Seriously, both can be dealt with using greater dispel magic (which is far more common than illusion bane). So? I'd be more worried about see invisibility, glitterdust, true seeing, etc. Then you have the non-detection arms race. Nevertheless, against the aforementioned fire giant, greater invisibility would probably work just fine.

Kelpstrand
2009-09-10, 07:03 PM
Yeah, the real deal is that blink == SA against everything without True Seeing or See Invis (And due to a technical ruling, arguably would work against them to.)

So things that Greater Invis doesn't work against:

Blindsight, Tremorsense, ect. Not to mention that you can have an infinite use Ring of Blinking, so you don't have to worry about wasting resources buffing before every combat. Or you can even get an intelligent Ring and not waste actions.

Now, if your DMs okay with Dust of Disappearance cheese, then that's pretty good too.

Yora
2009-09-10, 11:58 PM
This ignores the fact that 90% of monsters either "grapple" or "cast spells"

I don't think this is true for most, or even many campaigns.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-09-11, 12:07 AM
I don't think this is true for most, or even many campaigns.If the monster is large sized, it can grapple the Rogue. If the monster isn't large-sized, then it's probably a caster or has SLAs to make it dangerous. The number of medium-sized damage-dealers in the MM is small after about level 5.

olentu
2009-09-11, 12:16 AM
I don't think this is true for most, or even many campaigns.

On the subject of grapple I just noticed that going from the glossary page the grappled condition gives a -4 penalty to dex and so this could be a useful strategy to paralyze low dex foes with the use of the entangled condition. Perhaps a bit of dex poison, a polar ray or the like would need to be used first.

Edit: Make that fatigued or exhausted for a total of -10 or -14

Starbuck_II
2009-09-11, 06:30 AM
While technically true, how often have you run across an illusion bane weapon? I mean, really? Seriously, both can be dealt with using greater dispel magic (which is far more common than illusion bane). So? I'd be more worried about see invisibility, glitterdust, true seeing, etc. Then you have the non-detection arms race. Nevertheless, against the aforementioned fire giant, greater invisibility would probably work just fine.

Once, but then Illusion bane was new at the time. You can stop True seeing with Invisible metamagic, but see invisible will be a issue.

Epinephrine
2009-09-11, 06:32 AM
If the monster is large sized, it can grapple the Rogue. If the monster isn't large-sized, then it's probably a caster or has SLAs to make it dangerous. The number of medium-sized damage-dealers in the MM is small after about level 5.

Without improved grapple it will be hard to grapple the rogue. Recall, in PF you can't simply make iterative grapples - it's a standard action, provoking an attack of opportunity. If the grappler takes a hit, the damage dealt adds to the DC. The damage the rogue deals on the AoO will make the DC at least as high as for grappling the fighter.

More than that, everyone I know buys anklets of translocation as soon as they can afford them, so it's only a swift action to get out of grapple anyway. If you are an easy grapple target, invest in ways to avoid it. Later on you want Freedom of Movemnet, which still offers immunity to grapple.

Kelpstrand
2009-09-11, 06:47 AM
Without improved grapple it will be hard to grapple the rogue. Recall, in PF you can't simply make iterative grapples - it's a standard action, provoking an attack of opportunity. If the grappler takes a hit, the damage dealt adds to the DC. The damage the rogue deals on the AoO will make the DC at least as high as for grappling the fighter.

See, "Improved Grab."


More than that, everyone I know buys anklets of translocation as soon as they can afford them, so it's only a swift action to get out of grapple anyway. If you are an easy grapple target, invest in ways to avoid it. Later on you want Freedom of Movemnet, which still offers immunity to grapple.

Oh, so If I only use entirely non Pathfinder material my Pathfinder Rogue can escape grapples. How nice.

lesser_minion
2009-09-11, 07:24 AM
See, "Improved Grab."

Oh, so If I only use entirely non Pathfinder material my Pathfinder Rogue can escape grapples. How nice.

I'm not sure what the Pathfinder team have planned for Improved Grab, as the revised monster rules aren't actually up yet, but it is not going to completely trivialise grappling as you seem to think it will. Rogues will also have a pretty good combat maneuver defense and a decent shot at getting out of the grapple.

And Freedom of Movement is hardly "entirely non-Pathfinder".

There is more to rogues than the ability to sneak attack someone five times in one round, and the fact that it's harder to do so is also mitigated at least partly by the fact that rogues now actually have half a chance of having something to sneak attack in the first place.


Well, since playing monsters like retards is also part of the design methodology, maybe not. But yes, it was an explicit design decision to remove all of the reliable ways for Rogues to generate SA damage on full attacks on a consistent basis.

How exactly does Pathfinder require monsters to be played like retards?

No creature in the game is going to take the absolute most optimal actions available every single round because even when your character's Int score is Graham's number, it is still implausible and unrealistic for them to do so, simply because 'optimal' in the context of the game mechanics does not map to 'optimal' in the sense of what we might expect if the same events transpired in reality.

AllisterH
2009-09-11, 08:04 AM
It should be noted that until we have the Bestiary, we can't evaluate how monsters relate to PCs.

For all we know, Paizo might have changed more things....(e.g., PC class levels now equal CR-1 instead of in 3.x where PC level equalled the CR...

Which interestingly means that a PF fighter 10 or wizard 10 is no longer considered equal to a Fire Giant but a Frost Giant.

Epinephrine
2009-09-11, 08:11 AM
Oh, so If I only use entirely non Pathfinder material my Pathfinder Rogue can escape grapples. How nice.

Pathfinder is compatible with 3.5 books. We have duskblades, favoured souls, warlocks and other fun classes in our Pathfinder games. And if you notice, I pointed out that Freedom of Movement is an option, an entirely core option.

Complaining that the rogue is in trouble if grappled applies to 3.5 as well as Pathfinder, so I fail to see your point (except a general complaint about blink). Without Improved Grab monsters aren't very good grapplers, since they likely won't succeed - though at least in PF they can't attempt to grapple iteratively. And with Imrpoved grab they have exactly the same issue as non-Pathfinder rogues.

Starbuck_II
2009-09-11, 08:15 AM
Pathfinder is compatible with 3.5 books. We have duskblades, favoured souls, warlocks and other fun classes in our Pathfinder games. And if you notice, I pointed out that Freedom of Movement is an option, an entirely core option.

Complaining that the rogue is in trouble if grappled applies to 3.5 as well as Pathfinder, so I fail to see your point (except a general complaint about blink). Without Improved Grab monsters aren't very good grapplers, since they likely won't succeed - though at least in PF they can't attempt to grapple iteratively. And with Imrpoved grab they have exactly the same issue as non-Pathfinder rogues.

Well, rogues can't get +4 grapple bonus from Improve grapple if they do'nt want to be grappled. They only get +2.

Kelpstrand
2009-09-11, 08:41 AM
Pathfinder is compatible with 3.5 books. We have duskblades, favoured souls, warlocks and other fun classes in our Pathfinder games. And if you notice, I pointed out that Freedom of Movement is an option, an entirely core option.

This is frankly a cop out, and a bad one at that.

Spell Nerfs? Entire Spell Compendium untouched, so I guess Fighters are the only ones who get it in the nads.

Fighters? Warblades.

How are you playing a Pathfinder game if you have Wizard 5/Incantatrix 10 using the spell compendium, but with free HP and skill points and more feats in a game with Warblade 15.

Saying, "Oh but Pathfinder is a better game if you actually play 3.5 instead of Pathfinder" does not excuse the flaws of Pathfinder. You might as well just play 3.5.

A Ring of Freedom of Movement costs 40,000gp and cannot even be afforded until level 12 or so, and even then take up to much resources.

Epinephrine
2009-09-11, 08:47 AM
It's not a cop out to say that whatever problems a rogue suffers with grappling apply equally to a 3.5 rogue. Neither is particularly happy to be grappled.


A Ring of Freedom of Movement costs 40,000gp and cannot even be afforded until level 12 or so, and even then take up to much resources.

So why use a ring? A rogue can UMD. Yes, the ring is optimal for later, but a scroll or wand is fine at lower levels. Or one could always argue that parties work together. In my 3.5 games, the caster might well buff the rogue, I assume the same is permitted in PF.

I honestly don't see your point. Yes, grappled rogues suck, but they suck in PF as well as in 3.5.


Spell Nerfs? Entire Spell Compendium untouched, so I guess Fighters are the only ones who get it in the nads.

I didn't say that we don't houserule things. We nerf spells pretty thoroughly if they come from outside sources. Your namesake spell is nerfed in my campaign, for example, as I felt it was overpowered. It was a nerf I used in 3.5, and I carry it over into PF.



Fighters? Warblades.

We don't play with ToB. I don't like it.


How are you playing a Pathfinder game if you have Wizard 5/Incantatrix 10 using the spell compendium, but with free HP and skill points and more feats in a game with Warblade 15.

We don't. As DM, I allow 3.5 content that is balanced with Pathfinder. Classes like Duskblade, that were solid but not overpowered, I port over. I won't allow incantatrices. Much as we removed elements of 3.5 that may have worked RAW, but we didn't agree with, we'll ditch parts of PF that don't work for us (like the divination specialist wizard, an ill-conceived, untested, overpowered ability that should never have seen the light of day).


Saying, "Oh but Pathfinder is a better game if you actually play 3.5 instead of Pathfinder" does not excuse the flaws of Pathfinder. You might as well just play 3.5.

Nice strawman, I never claimed anything of the sort.

Pathfinder has (in my opinion) a better set of base rules than 3.5; being a single book it obviously has fewer options than 3.5 does, so we import options from 3.5. Adding to Pathfinder doesn't change it from being Pathfinder.

lesser_minion
2009-09-11, 09:32 AM
How are you playing a Pathfinder game if you have Wizard 5/Incantatrix 10 using the spell compendium, but with free HP and skill points and more feats in a game with Warblade 15?

Saying, "Oh but Pathfinder is a better game if you actually play 3.5 instead of Pathfinder" does not excuse the flaws of Pathfinder. You might as well just play 3.5.


Right, so despite the fact that Pathfinder was also designed so that it wouldn't take an inordinate amount of work to take, say, a ToB class and use it in the game, using anything found outside of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook instantly means that you are considered to be playing 3.5.

Note that the SpC is untouched because the PF team can't actually touch it. Failing to fix problems from it is not a problem with the Pathfinder system.

A rogue is actually going to have a reasonable CMD, so while a grappled rogue is not completely safe and happy, it is less likely to happen in the first place - especially as size bonuses don't overwhelm basically everything else any more.

I'll accept that Pathfinder isn't much of an improvement on 3.5, and I can certainly accept the conclusion that not enough improvements have been made to make it worth picking up the book, but I don't really see what else you are trying to say, or why your arguments are adopting this kind of tone. Is Pathfinder actually worse than 3.5? Are the people who are reporting the fact that they are having fun playing Pathfinder somehow 'playing incorrectly'? Are they somehow incapable of telling the difference between sensations that are 'fun' and those that are 'not fun'?

pres_man
2009-09-11, 09:48 AM
Is Pathfinder actually worse than 3.5? Are the people who are reporting the fact that they are having fun playing Pathfinder somehow 'playing incorrectly'? Are they somehow incapable of telling the difference between sensations that are 'fun' and those that are 'not fun'?

Playing "Kick the Can" can be fun as well, that doesn't make it a "better" game than 3.5. Someone could have just as "much fun" playing 3.5 as someone else could playing PF. "Fun" is not the issue.

Kurald Galain
2009-09-11, 09:55 AM
Playing "Kick the Can" can be fun as well,

Only if you're using cans from 2005 or earlier; the newer cans just sound awful!

Yora
2009-09-11, 09:57 AM
Playing "Kick the Can" can be fun as well, that doesn't make it a "better" game than 3.5.
But it also has not to be worse. Only different.

That's why it's not too useful to compare if PF is better or not.

pres_man
2009-09-11, 10:09 AM
But it also has not to be worse. Only different.

That's why it's not too useful to compare if PF is better or not.

And yet that is exactly what is being done when people talk about PF as "an improvement" or that it "fixed problems with 3.5".

lesser_minion
2009-09-11, 10:10 AM
Playing "Kick the Can" can be fun as well, that doesn't make it a "better" game than 3.5. Someone could have just as "much fun" playing 3.5 as someone else could playing PF. "Fun" is not the issue.

Is 'taste' a non-issue when deciding whether or not to have bacon in a double cheeseburger?

Yora
2009-09-11, 10:12 AM
And yet that is exactly what is being done when people talk about PF as "an improvement" or that it "fixed problems with 3.5".
Those are equally wrong. :smallbiggrin:

chiasaur11
2009-09-11, 10:28 AM
Only if you're using cans from 2005 or earlier; the newer cans just sound awful!

Well, duh. If you try to use the new cans like the old cans of course they'll fail.

Use the new cans like a new set of cans, though, and you'll forget the old cans in no time.

pres_man
2009-09-11, 10:38 AM
Is 'taste' a non-issue when deciding whether or not to have bacon in a double cheeseburger?

If we are discussing exclusively taste, then it would be issue. If we discussing calories, health concerns, nutrition (game crunch), then taste is not an issue in those discussions.

Epinephrine
2009-09-11, 10:41 AM
If we are discussing exclusively taste, then it would be issue. If we discussing calories, health concerns, nutrition (game crunch), then taste is not an issue in those discussions.

I suspect that the changes from 3.5 to PF are a matter of taste. While the mechanics do change, and one could attempt to discuss the relative power of a rogue (for example) in each system, the fact is that the system and the classes have changed substantially enough that even their roles may have beeen shifted somewhat - and a shift of role is certainly not something that can be compared numerically.

lesser_minion
2009-09-11, 10:52 AM
If we are discussing exclusively taste, then it would be issue. If we discussing calories, health concerns, nutrition (game crunch), then taste is not an issue in those discussions.

OK, I'll accept that maybe it is reasonable for one to have nutrition as a primary concern when deciding on one's favourite burger, which might supersede taste. I still don't think it becomes a non-issue here though.

After all, this thread is all about deciding whether or not to recommend adding bacon, not whether or not the bacon makes it more nutritious.

Personally, I'd recommend the veggie burgers, but I couldn't fit it into the analogy. But seriously, they actually taste quite nice. Try it out next time you have the chance.

Starbuck_II
2009-09-11, 10:59 AM
If we are discussing exclusively taste, then it would be issue. If we discussing calories, health concerns, nutrition (game crunch), then taste is not an issue in those discussions.

Besides that the type of meat used in cheeseburger is important. Omega 3 and Omega 1 acids are not equal. Too much of 1's can be bad for you.

pres_man
2009-09-11, 11:02 AM
OK, I'll accept that maybe it is reasonable for one to have nutrition as a primary concern when deciding on one's favourite burger, which might supersede taste. I still don't think it becomes a non-issue here though.

After all, this thread is all about deciding whether or not to recommend adding bacon, not whether or not the bacon makes it more nutritious.

Personally, I'd recommend the veggie burgers, but I couldn't fit it into the analogy. But seriously, they actually taste quite nice.

Remember you asked, "Is Pathfinder actually worse than 3.5?" You then tried to tie that to "fun". If I asked, "Are bacon double cheeseburgers worse for you than veggie burgers?" And someone responded by saying, "They taste better", that wouldn't really be the point would it?

lesser_minion
2009-09-11, 11:04 AM
Remember you asked, "Is Pathfinder actually worse than 3.5?" You then tried to tie that to "fun". If I asked, "Are bacon double cheeseburgers worse for you than veggie burgers?" And someone responded by saying, "They taste better", that wouldn't really be the point would it?

But the question is not whether bacon double cheeseburgers are worse for you than veggie burgers (firstly because the question is whether to add bacon to a double cheeseburger or not, and secondly because this is an "all things considered, would you recommend it" question rather than a discussion about how healthy things are.)

BTW, it's quite rare for people not to get this sort of thing - you don't need to spell it out.

And veggie burgers actually do taste really nice.

pres_man
2009-09-11, 11:14 AM
But the question is not whether bacon double cheeseburgers are worse for you than veggie burgers (firstly because the question is whether to add bacon to a double cheeseburger or not, and secondly because this is an "all things considered, would you recommend it" question rather than a discussion about how healthy things are.)

BTW, it's quite rare for people not to get this sort of thing - you don't need to spell it out.

And veggie burgers actually do taste really nice.

Then why did you ask, "Is Pathfinder actually worse than 3.5?", if you weren't interested in that? Obviously some recommend 3.5 over PF, others recommend PF over 3.5. What does one of them being "worse" have to do with the recommendation if it is merely an issue of taste?

lesser_minion
2009-09-11, 11:17 AM
Then why did you ask, "Is Pathfinder actually worse than 3.5?", if you weren't interested in that? Obviously some recommend 3.5 over PF, others recommend PF over 3.5. What does one of them being "worse" have to do with the recommendation if it is merely an issue of taste?

I was responding to someone who seemed to be taking the issue too seriously. Note how the post I replied to amounted to "how are you eating a bacon double cheeseburger if you have fries with it?"

Starbuck_II
2009-09-11, 11:22 AM
But the question is not whether bacon double cheeseburgers are worse for you than veggie burgers (firstly because the question is whether to add bacon to a double cheeseburger or not, and secondly because this is an "all things considered, would you recommend it" question rather than a discussion about how healthy things are.)

BTW, it's quite rare for people not to get this sort of thing - you don't need to spell it out.

And veggie burgers actually do taste really nice.

What about adding Bacon to a Veggie Burger?

Yora
2009-09-11, 11:25 AM
I think it's really more than pointless to argue about the logic of a symbolic example, that isn't really supposed to be an accurate equivalent of the situation.
Isn't that the strawman argument? Trying to discredit the original claim by discrediting an only somewhat related other claim?

lesser_minion
2009-09-11, 11:26 AM
What about adding Bacon to a Veggie Burger?

Well, as they are mainly marketed at vegetarians for some reason, it would be quite rare to add bacon to one.

AFAICT, nobody ever seems to add bacon to things like chicken burgers and fish burgers.

In any event, however, I'm sure I said that veggie burgers don't fit here. It's a discussion comparing double cheeseburgers and bacon double cheeseburgers, not veggieburgers and bacon veggieburgers


Isn't that the strawman argument? Trying to discredit the original claim by discrediting an only somewhat related other claim?

Close. A strawman is when the argument is deliberately cast into an inaccurate or ridiculous form in order to make it easier to dismiss. Had I tried to make anything of the claim that Kelpstrand's argument amounted to "how are you eating a bacon double cheeseburger if you have fries with it?", that would have been a strawman argument.

Kelpstrand
2009-09-11, 12:53 PM
Right, so despite the fact that Pathfinder was also designed so that it wouldn't take an inordinate amount of work to take, say, a ToB class and use it in the game, using anything found outside of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook instantly means that you are considered to be playing 3.5.

No, Pathfinder was designed so that they didn't have to make up any rules at all and still get away with claiming to publish a game.

But Pathfinder was also supposedly designed to fix "the problems" of the 3.5. So if the Problem of 3.5 is that SHocktroopers and powerful spells and everything suck and nothing is balanced. How does having Pathfinder Wizards (IE 3.5 Wizards + free stuff) casting 3.5 spells with 3.5 Warblades fix the problems of 3.5? Does it fix anything at all if you aren't even using Pathfinder rules?


I'll accept that Pathfinder isn't much of an improvement on 3.5, and I can certainly accept the conclusion that not enough improvements have been made to make it worth picking up the book, but I don't really see what else you are trying to say, or why your arguments are adopting this kind of tone. Is Pathfinder actually worse than 3.5? Are the people who are reporting the fact that they are having fun playing Pathfinder somehow 'playing incorrectly'? Are they somehow incapable of telling the difference between sensations that are 'fun' and those that are 'not fun'?

No. Pathfinder is not an improvement at all. It is not worth picking up, and it is actually worse. People who have fun playing Pathfinder (There are actually zero people who have ever actually played Pathfinder as far as I can tell, since they all play 3.5 with some minor houserules and ignore 90% of Pathfinder material) could as easily have fun playing 3.5. And almost certainly did for years.


It's not a cop out to say that whatever problems a rogue suffers with grappling apply equally to a 3.5 rogue. Neither is particularly happy to be grappled.

It has relevance because my entire point has remained that flanking rogues are not as good as flat footed rogues. The fact that they removed the three best ways to be a flat footed Rogue is a problem.


So why use a ring? A rogue can UMD. Yes, the ring is optimal for later, but a scroll or wand is fine at lower levels.

A scroll or Wand costs a great deal more money over the long run, and actions in the short run. If you have to FoM yourself in a fight, you are better off just Greater Invising yourself, or something.


I honestly don't see your point. Yes, grappled rogues suck, but they suck in PF as well as in 3.5.

If only my point had been that flanking is a bad way to make a Rogue that would support my argument.

Oh wait.


I didn't say that we don't houserule things. We nerf spells pretty thoroughly if they come from outside sources. Your namesake spell is nerfed in my campaign, for example, as I felt it was overpowered. It was a nerf I used in 3.5, and I carry it over into PF.

So in other words. 4e is a great game because I play 3.5 with my own houserules. If your houserules are the only thing that makes a game playable, then clearly it is not superior to an identical game with more content.


Pathfinder has (in my opinion) a better set of base rules than 3.5; being a single book it obviously has fewer options than 3.5 does, so we import options from 3.5. Adding to Pathfinder doesn't change it from being Pathfinder.

So when you say "better set of baserules" you mean:

Wizards get more HP.
Wizards get more skill points.
Wizards get free class features.
CMD instead of maneuver rules that allow you to actually use them successfully against enemies.
Basic Melee competence takes more feats.
Feat every 2 levels.
Skill point changes.

Because of course, spell nerfs are not part of the base rules, since better spells exist, and class buffs for underperformers are not part of the base rules, because better classes exist.

Typewriter
2009-09-11, 01:28 PM
No, Pathfinder was designed so that they didn't have to make up any rules at all and still get away with claiming to publish a game.

Impossible(for me anyway) to reply to.



No. Pathfinder is not an improvement at all. It is not worth picking up, and it is actually worse. People who have fun playing Pathfinder (There are actually zero people who have ever actually played Pathfinder as far as I can tell, since they all play 3.5 with some minor houserules and ignore 90% of Pathfinder material) could as easily have fun playing 3.5. And almost certainly did for years.


My group is only using the core PF book. Of course, I have to use monsters from 3.5 because the official thing isn't out yet, so....



It has relevance because my entire point has remained that flanking rogues are not as good as flat footed rogues. The fact that they removed the three best ways to be a flat footed Rogue is a problem.


Except for the arguments we made regarding what you said about flanking rogues was disproven, and you're ignoring (from what I've seen) the fact that rogues get to do stuff out of combat that matters to people.



If only my point had been that flanking is a bad way to make a Rogue that would support my argument.

Oh wait.


Yes, you said something without backing it up or even attempting to explain yourself, and when people pointed out the flaw in your argument you waited for a page to pass and are now making your same arguments as before (still without explanation or acknowledgement of posts made directly addressing your complaints about flanking rogues).



So in other words. 4e is a great game because I play 3.5 with my own houserules. If your houserules are the only thing that makes a game playable, then clearly it is not superior to an identical game with more content.


People use houserules when they play 3.5. It stands to reason that if they're going to include things from 3.5 into their Pathfinder games they'll keep the houserules. It doesn't mean that 3.5 is only good because of house rules, or that PF is only good because of house rules. It's just something that some people do (once again, my group is using PF core book only, I'm simply stating what some groups do).



So when you say "better set of baserules" you mean:

Wizards get more HP.
Wizards get more skill points.
Wizards get free class features.
CMD instead of maneuver rules that allow you to actually use them successfully against enemies.
Basic Melee competence takes more feats.
Feat every 2 levels.
Skill point changes.

Because of course, spell nerfs are not part of the base rules, since better spells exist, and class buffs for underperformers are not part of the base rules, because better classes exist.

When someone says 'better set of baserules' it means that they prefer them to the original, regardless of what the original was. This is what they prefer. You are arguing that change happened, we are responding with either:
We like those changes.
or
We don't care that those changes were made.

It's all opinion, people are voicing thoughts in a *mostly* reasonable way on what the changes are that were made to Pathfinder. If you don't like the change then that's fine, but if someone asks what the changes are and we tell them, then you arguing the merits of those changes isn't really the point. I can tell you have something against PF, though I'm still not really certain what they are, but a lot of people like the changes that were made.

Epinephrine
2009-09-11, 01:36 PM
So in other words. 4e is a great game because I play 3.5 with my own houserules. If your houserules are the only thing that makes a game playable, then clearly it is not superior to an identical game with more content.

Again, you beat up on defenseless strawmen. I'm actually tired of making a point and having you argue against something I never said. The fact that one uses houserules doesn't mean the game isn't playable without them - just that one prefers a certain style.


So when you say "better set of baserules" you mean:

No, I mean:
Tumble being a meaningful investment, not a token
Concentration actually being difficult with melee in your face
Feats that actually enable a fighter as opposed to only having Power Attack and Improved Trip
Rogue abilities that flesh out what a rogue can do while simplifying play
Quicken spell actually working for spontaneous casters
Improved rules for smashing weapons/fixing gear, making sunder a valid feat choice
Better crafting rules
Improved polymorph rules and wildshape rules
Paladins that don't suck
Skill consolidation
Rogues not relying on flasks

But I'm done - you hate Pathfinder, I don't really care. Many people like it, I'm one of them. I'm not blind to some of its faults, hence altering it - like I did with 3.5, which was a good game, too.


No. Pathfinder is not an improvement at all. It is not worth picking up, and it is actually worse.
No. Pathfinder is an improvement. It is worth picking up, and it is actually better.

See? We're not going to get anywhere if you just offer opinions or tear apart non-examples.

Kelpstrand
2009-09-11, 02:07 PM
Except for the arguments we made regarding what you said about flanking rogues was disproven, and you're ignoring (from what I've seen) the fact that rogues get to do stuff out of combat that matters to people.

...

Yes, you said something without backing it up or even attempting to explain yourself, and when people pointed out the flaw in your argument you waited for a page to pass and are now making your same arguments as before (still without explanation or acknowledgement of posts made directly addressing your complaints about flanking rogues).

I didn't address them because I preemptively addressed them in the post already that you supposedly disproved. Your argument is that if the Init order is Fighter/Rogue/Monster, then you can move. Nothing stops the Monster from delaying to Fighter/Monster/Rogue, and if you consistently delay backwards over and over, that benefits team monster since team monster has only one monster delaying, and not others.

I also pointed out that monsters with improved grab or that can cast spells completely negate flanking rogues, and that's specifically what we are talking about now: "How 3.5 Rogues unable to flank improved grab monsters doesn't mean that Pathfinder Rogues being unable to is a bad thing." Yes it does.

I'll add to the list. Monsters are faster than PCs, so a single turn of move + attack from a monster equates to multiple turns for the Rogue to set up flanking.


No, I mean:
Tumble being a meaningful investment, not a token
Concentration actually being difficult with melee in your face

Concentration is easier, and requires no investment. Oops.


Feats that actually enable a fighter as opposed to only having Power Attack and Improved Trip

No real helpful feats were added.


Rogue abilities that flesh out what a rogue can do while simplifying play

Rogue abilities make play more complicated. I have no idea what 'flesh out what a rogue can do' means.


Quicken spell actually working for spontaneous casters

Yeah, cause that's a houserule that took a genius to manage, no one thought of that in 3.0.


Better crafting rules

I would argue the crafting rules are actually worse, since they remove any reason to own uncrafted gear. But 3.5s weren't actually very good either, so meh.


Improved polymorph rules and wildshape rules

The rules aren't better. They are non functional in the opposite direction. 4e doesn't have better polymorph rules because they don't actually represent polymorphing, and neither does Pathfinder. At least total replacement could work if they lowered all the spells by a few levels.

And wildshape was fine as is, so I don't know how you think it was improved.


Paladins that don't suck

Actually, they still suck. They just do far too good against a small subsection and just as poorly against most others. Making them at least sort of playable, but not actually a better designed class.


Skill consolidation

So... sixteen seconds of thought that is less of a change than houseruling any given class?


Rogues not relying on flasks

Uh what? Lots of Rogues didn't rely on flasks. Do you mean, "I hated when Rogues got to do a lot of damage because I can't optimize my own character to comparable levels, even though it's really easy."

So you houserule basically every aspect of every class and skill and spell.

How does starting from Pathfinder's rules and then changing all the ones that suck 'better' than starting from 3.5 rules and changing fewer things?

Epinephrine
2009-09-11, 03:10 PM
Concentration is easier, and requires no investment. Oops.
15+twice spell level is tougher than 15 plus spell level, and you can't add to it via skill items. It was trivial to pick up +5 or +10 concentration, which is no longer possible. Yes, you use your casting stat which is likely higher than your Con was, but Con is a caster's second best stat.

You'd need your casting stat to be at least 24 points higher than your constitution just to break even defensively casting a 9th level spell, since you are lacking the 3 point edge skills have over levels, as well as the DC being 9 higher than it was in 3.5. Unlikely. And there's even a feat to counter Combat Casting.


No real helpful feats were added.
Subjective. Many valuable feats were added. If you're just going to put up opinion, so can I.


Yeah, cause that's a houserule that took a genius to manage, no one thought of that in 3.0.
Oh, but to paraphrase you, if you have to houserule to make the game playable, what's the point?


The rules aren't better. They are non functional in the opposite direction.
Subjective. They are better.


4e doesn't have better polymorph rules because they don't actually represent polymorphing, and neither does Pathfinder. At least total replacement could work if they lowered all the spells by a few levels.

Semantic quibbling. Things change form and gain abilities, that's polymorph. You select from many (poly) shapes (morph). Woohoo. If they had only offered individual spells like Aspect of the Wolf, you migh thave a complaint, as that would be monomorph, but the ability to change form and gain appropriate powers certainly would seem to meet the criteria of "many shapes".


And wildshape was fine as is, so I don't know how you think it was improved.
Subjective. Many felt it was too powerful.


Actually, they still suck.
Subjective.


They just do far too good
Subjective, again.


So... sixteen seconds of thought that is less of a change than houseruling any given class?
I thought houserules are bad? After all, "if you have to houserule..."


Do you mean, "I hated when Rogues got to do a lot of damage because I can't optimize my own character to comparable levels, even though it's really easy."

Ooh, zing! Wouldn't have anything to do with finding it a ludicrous artefact of a poorly designed system.


How does starting from Pathfinder's rules and then changing all the ones that suck 'better' than starting from 3.5 rules and changing fewer things?

Because I change fewer things when I use Pathfinder as a base. And they changed a few things that it hadn't occurred to me to change, and I like them better.

pres_man
2009-09-11, 03:17 PM
How does starting from Pathfinder's rules and then changing all the ones that suck 'better' than starting from 3.5 rules and changing fewer things?

My guess, people that disliked 3.5 but disliked 4e as well, probably find PF base rules more to their liking.

Tiki Snakes
2009-09-11, 07:49 PM
What about adding Bacon to a Veggie Burger?

I just want to say that I have done just this on a regular basis and it is truly righteous. Heartily reccomended.

ShadowFighter15
2009-09-11, 08:43 PM
My guess, people that disliked 3.5 but disliked 4e as well, probably find PF base rules more to their liking.

I'm in this boat myself; I don't mind some of the changes Pathfinder's made. The sorcerer for a start; the 3.5 version was just a spontaneous wizard without bonus feats, the PF one's got a lot more going for it; like genuine incentive to take it all the way to level 20.

I read the complaints about Cleave being nerfed and I have to disagree; I see it more as a re purposing; the new cleave works great for an opener where the character has to move in the same turn as his first attack. I would house rule the original Cleave in, though; either as something else entirely or make 3.5's Great Cleave as the next step up from PF's G.Cleave.

With the debate about tumble; I have to side with the people saying you need to invest in it. With the way several skills have been rolled together, it essentially gives characters more skill points to spread around (not really accurate, I know, but you get my point) so it's not that hard to max out some skills. And since characters now get more feats, Skill Focus is a more viable choice (especially when you take into account that the bonus from it doubles once you have ten ranks in the chosen skill).

Navigator
2009-09-11, 11:17 PM
I strongly advise against changing to Pathfinder, because it makes so many small changes, without making any real overall improvement, that it's better to just read the pathfinder site and take the changes you like as houserules.
This is full of win.

jamminjelly
2009-09-12, 01:13 AM
Regardless of what you think about classes, house rules, buffs or nerfs, I've found that Pathfinder just makes a bit more sense than 3.5. From what I've seen so far, it's like the rules are just simpler and more fair all around.

Plus the Pathfinder campaign setting is one of the more interesting settings I've played, but that doesn't have anything to do with systems.

horseboy
2009-09-12, 04:07 AM
My biggest beef with PF is that the PDF for it was like 24 pdfs. Each chapter was it's own file. I have no idea why they did that, the bookmarking was good. But trying to read through the book and you've constantly got to open and close files, and trying to build a character and you've got 10-15 files open, just gets messy. Other than that it's close enough to 3.5 for my hatred of 3.x to be constantly annoyed at it.

Oh, and last week, I had this burger that they put pulled pork BBQ on instead of bacon. Oh man, was it good, but it lacked the crunchiness of bacon. If they had substituted coleslaw for the lettuce on there it would have been the perfect burger.

Epinephrine
2009-09-12, 06:43 AM
My biggest beef with PF is that the PDF for it was like 24 pdfs. Each chapter was it's own file.

There are two downloads - if you buy the PF pdf you have access to both. One is in chapter form, the other is a single file.

http://img38.imageshack.us/img38/3248/30624508.png

Stephen_E
2009-09-12, 07:01 AM
I'm playing Pathfinder currently. The campaign started out Beta and has since gone to Pathfinder Core.
I've played 3.5 since it game out, and all previous editions of DnD.

General opinion of Beta/Pathfinder: - Beta was 2 steps forward and one step back from 3.5. Pathfinder is 1 step forward and 1 step back from Beta.
Pathfinder/Beta is less clunky than 3.5. Not better so much as less unnessacarily fiddly. A good example is Tripping.
3.5 1d20 to hit, 2d20 for the opposed trip roll, 2D20 for the counter opposed trip roll if the 1st failed.
Pathfinder. 1D20 tells you whether you succeeded, failed, got tripped back.
3.5 the special manuvers all used slightly different mods. Pathfinder - 1 set of mods for all.
Pathfinder has also given mechanics to back up the fluff of classes (the shining example been Sorcerors).
The've given some general loving to Core Classes so that players are more likely to stay in them, rather than porting into PrCs as soon as possible, as well as providing a reward for not multiclassing, rather than a penalty for multiclassing.

Pathfinder hasn't "fixed the brokeness" of 3.5. But personally I fon't think you can without removing all the options of character building that 3.5 gives you. In large part "fixing" the problem is a player/GM thing, rather than a system thing.

The most serious problems I have with Pathfinder (and there are a few) is not precisely a problem with the system as it is, but where it may well go in the future if the head designer, Jason, continues with his current philosophic drive. Putting together a smattering of decisions by him, and the reasoning behind them (by his own words) and I'm left with the concern that he is an advocate of Roleplaying over Rollplaying. Thus he nerfed the spiked chain because spending a feat to use a weapon is no reason for the weapon to be eny better, thus we have manuvers made more difficult to suceed at because spending feats on been able to use those manuvers is no reason for those manuvers to be better than simply hitting things.

Jason seems to be off the school that you take options for the sake of fun, rather than to make your character better. I, like most players I know, take options to have more fun AND make our character better.

As I said this isn't a significant problem with current pathfinder, but if it continues I'd consider it a detriment to Pathfinder (it'd still be a perfectly playable game, just not one I wished to play).

Stephen E

lesser_minion
2009-09-12, 07:02 AM
But trying to read through the book and you've constantly got to open and close files, and trying to build a character and you've got 10-15 files open, just gets messy. Other than that it's close enough to 3.5 for my hatred of 3.x to be constantly annoyed at it.


As long as you have a pdf reader plugin of some form installed, Opera will open several .pdf files in tabs with no problem (you can use Open With... Opera). Same goes for Firefox and Internet Explorer, and presumably Safari/Chrome if you ask them nicely.

Most alternative pdf readers also have tabs.

I think that's one reason why they offer individual chapter files.


Jason seems to be off the school that you take options for the sake of fun, rather than to make your character better. I, like most players I know, take options to have more fun AND make our character better.

You've actually hit the nail pretty much on the head there.

Nobody in the Paizo design team, as far as I am aware, is an advocate of theoretical optimisation. They are all people who are quite capable of having fun without having rogues perform full sneak attacks. And they are clearly not observing from their games that rogues need to sneak attack on every single attack they make in order to justify their involvement in the game.

The 3.x issues that the PF team are fixing are mostly rules that they find unintuitive or over-complicated, or obvious game flaws and game-wrecking capabilities (things like at-will healing which are not unbalanced, but still trivialise certain parts of the game and result in a narrowed scope). They've missed a lot of the problems that fall into that remit, but they have at least made some improvements.

As long as you aren't expecting to play a highly optimised game, Pathfinder will probably improve things for you. If you are expecting a game where direct damage must be in excess of 100 points/round in order to be worth anything at all, then Pathfinder is not going to improve things for you.

pres_man
2009-09-12, 08:39 AM
A few random thoughts.

While people have said that they had to have a changed the rules, even above and beyond just to deal with the non-open content (leveling rules and such), in order to sell enough books to justify their printing, within my own groups this meant that PF wasn't going to sell a single book. If the rules had been essentially unchanged*, I could have probably convinced the group to pitch in for books for the two people that never bothered to buy a 3.5 PHB as Christmas/Birthday presents, I can't do that with the PF books. They are useless as a core book in the games I play in because the entire group has no interest in changing systems. They had no interest in changing to 4e and then don't have any interest in changing to PF. So ironicly, the closer they had stayed to 3.5 rules, the more chance they would have been able to sell them to the people I game with (heck as host and DM, I'd probably purchase one for myself just to have another book for use at the table).

*Now I say essentially unchanged, but I don't mean 100% the same. A few minor changes or even more expansive ones that are clearly better might have been acceptable.

Skills, I am now starting to use the way skill points are assigned in PF in my 3.5 game and I think people like it. The actual skill system though, don't use it. Yes, we have combined listen/spot and hide/move silently, but considering I was advocating for that on the WotC boards like 7 years ago, that is no big deal. But some of the skills in PF are just wonky, I mean Fly? Seriously? I think that rule is just going to get ignored because it is lame. We barely used the flying rules in 3.5, we are not going to waste skill points on something like that.

Combat maneuvers? If they had developed a system that was easier to use without sacrificing utility at the same time, I would be all over that. Instead the PF system trades ease of running the maneuvers with the actual functionality to the point where it is usually a stupid thing to do to even try to use it. Anybody remember this video? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyR2L-t87b4&feature=related). Yeah, when WotC told me I was too stupid to understand the grappling rules it was lame, but now that Paizo is saying it it is cool? Sorry, still lame. If you make it so stupid to actually grapple the troll, then nobody grapples the troll.

Then of course there is the game philosphy stuff mentioned above. Nerf the spiked chain, after already nerfing the uses of it (trips, improved) was just lame in my mind. Now it sucks worse than the heavy flail, and yet you still have to waste a feat on it to use. Because as mentioned above, you (a) get "more" feasts (except you now have to spend more just to be less effective) and (b) are suppose to be spending them for flavor reasons instead of functional ones.

There are other things, these are just a few that jump to mind. I would say, in my view, PF is at best a step sideways from 3.5, and in a lot of ways a step down. Does that mean I would never play it? Not at all. If someone wanted to run it, I'd use the PRD to make a character and play it. I am not going to waste any of my money on the system, but I'd support someone else spending their's. This is something that won't happen with me and 4e, due to the lack of an SRD for the system, though not because of any hatred for the system.

FatR
2009-09-13, 01:19 AM
Except for the arguments we made regarding what you said about flanking rogues was disproven, and you're ignoring (from what I've seen) the fact that rogues get to do stuff out of combat that matters to people.
Even assuming that they do, full casters do even more out-of-combat stuff. Yet Pathfinder developers saw fit to buff, not nerf them.


It's all opinion, people are voicing thoughts in a *mostly* reasonable way on what the changes are that were made to Pathfinder.
No, it is not an opinion. Pathfinder system is objectively bad, due to being less balanced and more complicated than 3.X core. Those are observable facts, not matters of opinion. If you, for one reason or another, are willing to put an extra effort into making it work, this still does not make Pathfinder not bad. I, personally, made Exalted work for years, because we like the setting, and my players don't have time to learn new systems, but this does not make Exalted mechanics suck any less balls.

Tetsubo 57
2009-09-13, 01:26 AM
Even assuming that they do, full casters do even more out-of-combat stuff. Yet Pathfinder developers saw fit to buff, not nerf them.


No, it is not an opinion. Pathfinder system is objectively bad, due to being less balanced and more complicated than 3.X core. Those are observable facts, not matters of opinion. If you, for one reason or another, are willing to put an extra effort into making it work, this still does not make Pathfinder not bad. I, personally, made Exalted work for years, because we like the setting, and my players don't have time to learn new systems, but this does not make Exalted mechanics suck any less balls.

I have to ask, how are they less balanced and more complicated? I just finished reading PF yesterday. And I saw neither unbalance nor excess complication. I saw a really solid system that makes me want to play it.

FatR
2009-09-13, 01:39 AM
No, I mean:
Tumble being a meaningful investment, not a token
How this is an improvement? This is just a nerf to the rogue and other characters that ever need tumbe, that makes the superiority of full casters over everything else even more overwhelming.


Concentration actually being difficult with melee in your face
If within the last year of running and GMing 3.X I have seen a PC caster being forced to make a Concentration check due to being in melee, I don't remember it (it happened maybe once or twice with dogpiled monsters). We played at low levels, too. Concentration being more difficult is rather meaningless, because avoiding AoOs in the first place is not hard.


Feats that actually enable a fighter as opposed to only having Power Attack and Improved Trip
That's untrue. Pathfinder feats disable a figher, because two of the three workable builds are nerfed. This is a fact.


Improved rules for smashing weapons/fixing gear, making sunder a valid feat choice
No, they don't. Sunder works off CMB, and is still only useable against a rather limited subset of opponents, this combination of limited applicability and low chane of success makes it useless.


Better crafting rules
Pathfinder crafting rules allow you to directly convert time into power, therefore forcing GMs to eliminate prolonged downtime periods. They are frikkin horrible.


Improved polymorph rules and wildshape rules
How writing, like, 20 different spells, that still aren't remotely balanced, is an improvement? They nerfed away stylistic uses of polymorph, while keeping cheese on the same level.


Paladins that don't suck
This about the only genuine improvement.


Skill consolidation
Done poorly. Also, they have added frikkin Fly skill.


Rogues not relying on flasks
Rogues didn't need to rely on flasks in 3.5. 3.5 rogues also worked, unlike Pathfinder rogues.

FatR
2009-09-13, 01:45 AM
I have to ask, how are they less balanced and more complicated? I just finished reading PF yesterday. And I saw neither unbalance nor excess complication. I saw a really solid system that makes me want to play it.
Buffed (through better class abilities) full casters + nerfed (through systemating nerfing of feats, nerfing of level-dipping, etc.) melees = less balanced. Excessive bean-counting, associated with barbarian's rage or bardic music + large blocks of new abilities, which often are weak enough to be almost meaningless (see barbarian again, as the best example, but applies to almost everyone, except divine casters) + clumsy rules (see monk and wonder why the hell some of his abilities use ki pool, and others aren't) = more complicated.

Tetsubo 57
2009-09-13, 01:48 AM
Buffed (through better class abilities) full casters + nerfed (through systemating nerfing of feats, nerfing of level-dipping, etc.) melees = less balanced. Excessive bean-counting, associated with barbarian's rage or bardic music + large blocks of new abilities, which often are weak enough to be almost meaningless (see barbarian again, as the best example, but applies to almost everyone, except divine casters) + clumsy rules (see monk and wonder why the hell some of his abilities use ki pool, and others aren't) = more complicated.

OK. We will have to agree to disagree on this one. I can't wait to play PF.

Typewriter
2009-09-13, 02:10 AM
No, it is not an opinion. Pathfinder system is objectively bad, due to being less balanced and more complicated than 3.X core. Those are observable facts, not matters of opinion. If you, for one reason or another, are willing to put an extra effort into making it work, this still does not make Pathfinder not bad. I, personally, made Exalted work for years, because we like the setting, and my players don't have time to learn new systems, but this does not make Exalted mechanics suck any less balls.

Taking your opinion and trying to pass it off as fact (observational or not) really doesn't add anything to the conversation beyond the simple statement of opinion that a dozen other people have made.

And as for buffing casters? The base classe have something that make them worthwhile and not just prestiging classing out to get similar, probably better, effects. I'd bet that there are more than one hundred caster builds out there that involve a prestige class and are more effective than a PF 1-20, so while the base class *finally* has some flavor, some reason to follow it all the way to 20, it's not like it even compares to what everyone gets from taking prestige classes anyway.

But apparently that's just my observationally incorrect opinion anyway.

AllisterH
2009-09-13, 02:35 AM
I'm a little hesitant to side with the "PF had to buff the core only classes because of PrC".

The thing is...most PrC weren't that good (it's the same thing with full classes. Most of the ones released by WOTC were weaker than their closest PHB equivalent)

Sure, any wizard/sorceror PrC that had the full level of spellcasting was stronger than a core 3.x wizard/sorceror, but a better method would've been to slap a tag on the mulitlcass section that states

"Any full spellcasting PrC loses a spell level at levels 1 and level 5" Simple solution and right there, you make level 20 wizard more attractive but ALSO make other PrC more attractive.

The changes aren't that hot I guess because the broken PrC are still that much more attractive than the single class wizard anyway and the ones that weren't broken become less attractive.

Powerfamiliar
2009-09-13, 02:42 AM
I don't quite understand the hate on the fly skill. We have swim, fly seems almost identical. Creatures who can do so naturally get a bonus, and no need to roll unless you're trying to perform a difficult maneuver or a maneuver under difficult circumstances.

You can't send ranks on it unless you have a method of natural flight which is a bit different, but most ways for PCs to acquire flight also grant you a sizable bonus to the skill. Overall seems like a somewhat unnecessary skill, but not really a poor one.


On Rogues: They are probably somewhat weaker in pathfinder because of the tumble change, but in the games I've played since beta (which also had harder tumbling) not too much so. The "feinty" rogue one of may players was stronger thanks to the bleed talents. The 2wf ate a few more AoOs thn he would've in 3.5. Also had a player with a dervish, but he invested heavily in his tumbling skills and seemed to do fine.

FatR
2009-09-13, 03:43 AM
Taking your opinion and trying to pass it off as fact (observational or not) really doesn't add anything to the conversation beyond the simple statement of opinion that a dozen other people have made.
So does taking the fact and trying to pass it for opinion.


And as for buffing casters? The base classe have something that make them worthwhile and not just prestiging classing out to get similar, probably better, effects. I'd bet that there are more than one hundred caster builds out there that involve a prestige class and are more effective than a PF 1-20, so while the base class *finally* has some flavor, some reason to follow it all the way to 20, it's not like it even compares to what everyone gets from taking prestige classes anyway.
There are less than 10 prestige classes that significantly improve full casters, as opposed to giving some icing on the cake and you must really comb through supplements to find even this much. Most of them are routinely banned by GMs who know what they are doing, except maybe in deliberately overpowered games. PF gives straight arcane casters d6+1 hit dice and abilities like automatically lowering enemies' saves right in the basic package. Moreover, as 2 HPs/level are not that important at high levels, you still can pick abilities that you need from the base class and PrC out. No matter how you look at it, that's massive boost to the most powerful classes in the game, and you cannot justify it by saying that Incantatrixes are even better, because being less effective that the pinnacle of brokennes does not mean that you're not completely overpowered. Particularly because PF does not forbid you from PrCing into Incantatrix and does nothing to curtail possible abuses of material from 3.X supplements (quite the opposite, as it, for example, gives you more feats, and caster core feats weren't systematically nerfed), despite claiming backwards compatibility.


But apparently that's just my observationally incorrect opinion anyway.
Of course.

Typewriter
2009-09-13, 04:37 AM
I didn't address them because I preemptively addressed them in the post already that you supposedly disproved. Your argument is that if the Init order is Fighter/Rogue/Monster, then you can move. Nothing stops the Monster from delaying to Fighter/Monster/Rogue, and if you consistently delay backwards over and over, that benefits team monster since team monster has only one monster delaying, and not others.

3.5
So the initiative is set up as Fighter/Rogue/Monster in the turn that flanking is enabled, so as of yet there have been no full attack actions.

The monster delays his action so that the first Ďfull attack roundí is: Fighter/Monster/Rogue and moves away from flanking position after the fighter went, so the fighter canít get a five foot adjust in (because he just went). (So as of now itís been Fighter/Monster)

Now the rogue goes, and he delays until after the fighter(who moves into flanking position), making the order Fighter/Rogue/Monster again, and gets a full round of SA off after moving to flank. (So as now itís been Fighter/Monster/Fighter/Rogue)

The monster delays his action so that the Ďfull attack roundí is: Fighter/Monster/Rogue again and moves away from flanking position after the fighter went, so the fighter canít get a five foot adjust in (because he just went). (So as of now itís been Fighter/Monster/Fighter/Rogue/Fighter/Monster)

Now the rogue goes, and he delays until after the fighter(who moves into flanking position), making the order Fighter/Rogue/Monster again, and gets a full round of SA off after moving to flank. (So as now itís been Fighter/Monster/Fighter/Rogue/Fighter/Monster/Fighter/Rogue)

So the fighter has two full round actions for each one that the rogue and the monster get. The monsters buddies are unaffected of course, so overall the rogue is getting one full attack action of SA for every two rounds that everyone else (besides the monster heís fighting).

So, with this strategy I notice two things of interest:
1. The monster is metagaming to an extreme. Apparently he has enough devotion to his cause to give up half his rounds to be able to not get SAed? Or something? Not to mention that the matching flanker(fighter or barbarian) is probably doing a LOT of damage, so getting hit by him two times for every time you defend yourself is really kind of silly. Of course, this scenario proves that if a monster REALLY doesnít want you to get SA every round, then you wonít get SA every round.
2. I never knew that one of the effects of flanking a monster was that you and he both went only half as much as the rest of the party (who is just as unaffected as the monsters buddies). The rogue may not be getting SA every round by flanking, but he and his flanking buddy are cutting down the actions of the monster of their choice by half. Sounds pretty sweet to me.

PF
Iím fairly certain most rogues will have this feat. (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/feats.html#step-up) Most melee type will probably have it as well, because itís a pretty sweet feat (especially in a world where monsters are constantly delaying action and five footing away every round), so the monster does a five foot adjust, and both the rogue and his flanking buddy take immediate actions to get back into flanking position.



I also pointed out that monsters with improved grab or that can cast spells completely negate flanking rogues, and that's specifically what we are talking about now: "How 3.5 Rogues unable to flank improved grab monsters doesn't mean that Pathfinder Rogues being unable to is a bad thing." Yes it does.

Iím not 100% certain what flanking has to do with the fact that grappling denies DEX to AC in 3.5, Iím fairly certain those two things are completely unrelated.

I also seem to remember that there are some spells that make you unflankable, but I have no idea what they are off the top of my head.

I definitely didnít realize that between grappling(a rarely used mechanic that isnít a sure thing) and spells(which are capable of stopping *anyone* if used properly) could be used to negate flanking 90% of the time.

It honestly sounds like you are saying that monsters who are good at disabling opponents or casting spells cause problems with flanking. Yes, I will agree that something that is a problem for everyone is also a problem for rogues who are trying to flank.

Iím not 100% that something that is a problem for everyone can really be pointed to as a problem with flankingÖ.



I'll add to the list. Monsters are faster than PCs, so a single turn of move + attack from a monster equates to multiple turns for the Rogue to set up flanking.

I kind of have to guess, so if Iím wrong correct me, but I think youíre saying that monsters that no one can get a full attack off on, rogues also canít?

Just like above, I suppose I agree with that, but once again I feel the need to point out that youíre pointing at a part of a challenge that applies to everyone, and claiming it to be a fault of flanking.


So does taking the fact and trying to pass it for opinion.

Well, you've certainly made your argument in a way that is impossible to argue with.



There are less than 10 prestige classes that significantly improve full casters, as opposed to giving some icing on the cake and you must really comb through supplements to find even this much. Most of them are routinely banned by GMs who know what they are doing, except maybe in deliberately overpowered games. PF gives straight arcane casters d6+1 hit dice and abilities like automatically lowering enemies' saves right in the basic package. Moreover, as 2 HPs/level are not that important at high levels, you still can pick abilities that you need from the base class and PrC out. No matter how you look at it, that's massive boost to the most powerful classes in the game, and you cannot justify it by saying that Incantatrixes are even better, because being less effective that the pinnacle of brokennes does not mean that you're not completely overpowered. Particularly because PF does not forbid you from PrCing into Incantatrix and does nothing to curtail possible abuses of material from 3.X supplements (quite the opposite, as it, for example, gives you more feats, and caster core feats weren't systematically nerfed), despite claiming backwards compatibility.


Everyone got buffed, including wizards - I'm not denying that. What I'm saying is that the abilities that wizards are now offered on a silver platter will never compare to the things that you could do in 3.5, and will probably also not compare to whatever supplements with caster prestige classes Paizo comes out with on their own. Complaining about a buff to the base class of the most powerful thing in D&D, when the base class was just something that people used to ignore(and probably still will in the long run) seems kind of silly to me.

And as far as 'backwards compatibility', I consider 3.5 and PF being just as compatible as homebrew or 3rd party books, meaning that it does technically work with the system, but you'd be foolish to include most of it (none of it if you aren't going to thoroughly look over it for 'discrepancies').

Navigator
2009-09-13, 06:06 AM
In regards to Paladins...

Holy Champion (Su): At 20th level, a paladin becomes a conduit for the power of her god. Her DR increases to 10/evil. Whenever she uses smite evil and successfully strikes an evil outsider, the outsider is also subject to a banishment, using her paladin level as the caster level (her weapon and holy symbol automatically count as objects that the subject hates). After the banishment effect and the damage from the attack is resolved, the smite immediately ends. In addition, whenever she channels positive energy or uses lay on hands to heal a creature, she heals the maximum possible amount.
It could just be me... but doesn't this make the Paladin's smite worse? I would honestly rather take a level of monk instead of making my smites worthless over a will save that will always be beaten.

Necromancy Specialists...

Power over Undead (Su): You receive Command Undead or Turn Undead as a bonus feat. You can channel energy a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence modifier, but only to use the selected feat. You can take other feats to add to this ability, such as Extra Channel and Improved Channel, but not feats that alter this ability, such as Elemental Channel and Alignment Channel. The DC to save against these feats is equal to 10 + 1/2 your wizard level + your Charisma modifier. At 20th level, undead cannot add their channel resistance to the save against this ability.
I don't have to dip in Sacred Excorcist anymore for DMM cheese? :smallcool:

My personal favorite combo...

Arcane Armor Training (Combat)

You have learned how to cast spells while wearing armor.

Prerequisites: Light Armor Proficiency, caster level 3rd.

Benefit: As a swift action, reduce the arcane spell failure chance due to the armor you are wearing by 10% for any spells you cast this round.


Arcane Strike (Combat)

You draw upon your arcane power to enhance your weapons with magical energy.

Prerequisite: Ability to cast arcane spells.

Benefit: As a swift action, you can imbue your weapons with a fraction of your power. For 1 round, your weapons deal +1 damage and are treated as magic for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. For every five caster levels you possess, this bonus increases by +1, to a maximum of +5 at 20th level.

And finally, the Eldritch Knight capstone ability...

Spell Critical (Su): At 10th level, whenever an eldritch knight successfully confirms a critical hit, he can cast a spell as a swift action. The spell must include the target of the attack as one of its targets or in its area of effect. Casting this spell does not provoke an attack of opportunity. The caster must still meet all of the spell's components and must roll for arcane spell failure if necessary.[/b]
So by using either of the feats that are clearly intended for gishes, I don't get to use my gish capstone ability ever? Sign me up, sounds awesome.

Epinephrine
2009-09-13, 08:15 AM
Re: Tumble

How this is an improvement? This is just a nerf to the rogue and other characters that ever need tumbe, that makes the superiority of full casters over everything else even more overwhelming.

Re: Defensive casting:

If within the last year of running and GMing 3.X I have seen a PC caster being forced to make a Concentration check due to being in melee, I don't remember it (it happened maybe once or twice with dogpiled monsters). We played at low levels, too. Concentration being more difficult is rather meaningless, because avoiding AoOs in the first place is not hard.

So, on the one hand, avoiding AoO's being easy trivialises defensive casting, on the other hand you oppose making avoiding AoOs more difficult?

Anecdotes of your play experience are fine, but they're the opposite of my experience. Casting while threatened is forced by my players frequently, and when possible as DM I ensure to pressure their casters. Touch spells are also limited by tougher defensive casting rules, since you typically either need to cast and hold the charge (costing actions) or attempt the tougher check to cast and deliver.

Tumble being harder doesn't disadvantage rogues much, as they can easily afford the investment and still end up ahead on skill points and feats. It does make it harder for others to get away from the rogue's flanks, however.


That's untrue. Pathfinder feats disable a figher, because two of the three workable builds are nerfed. This is a fact.

No, that's an opinion. The fact is that they introduced MANY new feats, broadening the options available to a fighter. And Improved trip is stronger than before, so if that's one of your two nerfed builds, you are mistaken. 99% of the crying about Pathfinder revolves around power attack, and the fighter has new and more fun options than "I swing hard".


No, they don't. Sunder works off CMB, and is still only useable against a rather limited subset of opponents, this combination of limited applicability and low chane of success makes it useless.

Sunder has always been useful against only some opponents. The chance of success is fine.


Done poorly. Also, they have added frikkin Fly skill.
First, the skill consolidation is largely well done, in my opinion. Yours is likewise only an opinion. You don't like FLy? Ignore it. It's not like you need it to simply fly.


3.5 rogues also worked, unlike Pathfinder rogues.

Pathfinder rogues work fine. Have any evidence to offer?

Changes affect the whole system, unless you play the game how can you appreciate the changes? Complaining that the defensive casting doesn't matter because one can avoid AoOs while simultaneously complaining that it's harder to tumble to avoid AoOs suggests that you are criticising each change in a vacuum.


snipped description of flanking combat

On top of this, Pathfinder has feats to improve the ability to maintain the flank.
The feat Step Up, for example, allows the rogue or fighter (or both) to simply follow the enemy by taking an immediate action 5' step to match the target's adjustment.

Starbuck_II
2009-09-13, 09:01 AM
And finally, the Eldritch Knight capstone ability...

So by using either of the feats that are clearly intended for gishes, I don't get to use my gish capstone ability ever? Sign me up, sounds awesome.

Play a Synad in Complete Psionic: they get 2 Swift actions (as long as the second is purely mental and not casting a spell/power: like those feats).

DeathQuaker
2009-09-13, 09:02 AM
In regards to Paladins...

It could just be me... but doesn't this make the Paladin's smite worse? I would honestly rather take a level of monk instead of making my smites worthless over a will save that will always be beaten.

With the DC being 10+Spell Level 6+Paladin's Charisma (probably scarily high at level 20)+4 for Holy Symbol and Weapon (and if the GM's nice or the Paladin is well prepared, that DC goes up for any other "hated objects"), I wouldn't assume that Evil Outsider would always make the save. Lower level outsiders would probably fail (a great minion killer that way), and even something like a Balor, while having a good chance of saving, would still fail with a low roll.

(And I know if I'M running that combat, that WILL be the time the Balor flops a 1 :smallwink::smallwink:)

Getting a +24 to your CL check to defeat SR is nothing to sneeze at either.

That said, you have a point that if the banishment fails, the smite ending is a bit over the top. It seems like that should only be the case if the Paladin CHOOSES to try to banish the outsider.

OTOH, the DR and the max lay on hands healing is pretty sweet. Paladins have gotten pretty badass overall. At 17th level they're essentially immune to all spells of the Enchantment School. (Which could arguably be TOO powerful, but I think as a whole the class is far from gimped.)



And finally, the Eldritch Knight capstone ability...

So by using either of the feats that are clearly intended for gishes, I don't get to use my gish capstone ability ever? Sign me up, sounds awesome.

By the time you've hit the Capstone level of Eldritch Knight, you're probably equipped in such a way that you don't really need to use Arcane Strike or Arcane Armor Training very often, if at all. In fact, if I built an Eldritch Knight, I probably would have taken 4 fighter levels in there somewhere, and when I hit 4th, I'd use the ability to swap out Arcane Strike for another feat (Fighters can swap out feats every 4 levels). Arcane Strike I see as one of those things that will be used by low-level gishes, and by full spellcasters for the occasions when they decide to fight with weapons to help give them a boost (possibly rare, considering most casters will fall back on their at will 0-level spells if they have no other spells to cast, but OTOH, Arcane Striking with a light crossbow that does 1d8 damage is better--if they're sure they have a good chance to hit--than an Acid Splash that does 1d3 damage).

Really, if there's a problem with that scenario, it's not with the Eldritch Knight capstone ability, it's that the two feats in question have limited utility in a long term or high level campaign--they're both clearly something that could be very helpful at low levels (Cast Magic Weapon as a swift action? Woot!) but get more irrelevant by the high end when you've already got magic weapons and, while the extra boost could be useful, there's other things you can do/use/cast/swiftly act upon and be more than effective. (And if you don't have the Fighter's feat retraining, you have to be careful before deciding to take the feat.)

ETA: I suppose you might still be risking some chance of arcane spell failure at that point, but it's probably low, and if I knew I had a good chance of critting (good crit build?) I might just risk the 10% chance of failure once in awhile. After all, I'd be more likely to use the Arcane Armor Training/Mastery feats when I was going to JUST be casting a spell, not attacking.

pres_man
2009-09-13, 11:29 AM
So, on the one hand, avoiding AoO's being easy trivialises defensive casting, on the other hand you oppose making avoiding AoOs more difficult?

I believe his point is, if you make it harder for non-casters and casters aren't really effected by the change (didn't Gygax say something about casters being in melee), then you are increasing the power differences in favor of the casters.


No, that's an opinion. The fact is that they introduced MANY new feats, broadening the options available to a fighter. And Improved trip is stronger than before, so if that's one of your two nerfed builds, you are mistaken. 99% of the crying about Pathfinder revolves around power attack, and the fighter has new and more fun options than "I swing hard".

Well let's look at some facts.
1) Improved trip (pre: combat expertise) in pathfinder gives you half of the bonuses that it did it 3.5 and you don't get to attack when you trip.
2) Greater trip (pre: combat expertise and improved trip) gives back the other half of the bonuses from the 3.5 improved trip and allows an AoO.
3) Tripping and all combat maneuvers have decreased in reliability, as stated by the actual staff of PF (easy for players, hard for characters).
4) Spiked chain (THE go to trip weapon in 3.5) has been nerfed in PF, no longer gives reach and is functionally worse than the heavy flail.

So what do the above facts mean?
Assuming a diverse group of characters (rogue, wizard, cleric, fighter), then the fighter will be the only one in PF to be able to take this AoO on average. Rogues will be spring attacking so won't be in next to a foe to take advantage of the AoO. Wizards never have been useful gaining AoO. And the cleric is no longer a front line fighter (lack of heavy armor, gimped buffing spells), so also will not be present. So for an extra feat, the fighter can get the same benefit he had in 3.5, but will be less successful with it given no spiked chain reach and tripping is less reliable.

But don't fighters get more feats in PF? Yes, but when you have to use up all of those feats to get the same (actually lesser) result, then there is clearly no net gain. Also it is not until level 9 that the PF character truly gets more feats (as opposed to earlier feats). All most half of the character's career is over before any gain is actually made.

It should be noted that PF staff has said that fighters and such should be swinging their sword instead of trying to do "fancy" combat maneuvers like tripping. They purposefully designed the system to be harder to do maneuvers so as to cause people to swing more and trip less. This is what they have stated.

Epinephrine
2009-09-13, 12:33 PM
Assuming a diverse group of characters (rogue, wizard, cleric, fighter), then the fighter will be the only one in PF to be able to take this AoO on average. Rogues will be spring attacking so won't be in next to a foe to take advantage of the AoO.

The rogue is just as likely to full attack as in 3.5 - it's no more vulnerable than it was, and has an extra HP per die on average (as well as likely choosing the HP bonus for favoured class, since it doesn't need extra skill points). With the flanking discussion above (and having seen rogues at work), the rogue is quite possibly flanking to get full attacks off.


So for an extra feat, the fighter can get the same benefit he had in 3.5, but will be less successful with it given no spiked chain reach and tripping is less reliable.

In that particular party, maybe. In the party I DM for the tripper gets a benefit for himself and for another melee guy. And in many parties (particularly those with more than 4 members) it could be more beneficial. And I don't have the impression that tripping is less reliable.


It should be noted that PF staff has said that fighters and such should be swinging their sword instead of trying to do "fancy" combat maneuvers like tripping. They purposefully designed the system to be harder to do maneuvers so as to cause people to swing more and trip less. This is what they have stated.

Maybe during beta they said that, but the changes made between beta and final have resulted in it being easier to accomplish tripping than in 3.5. I'd need to give you examples, and might be accused of biasing the results by my selection - so I'll just have to ask you to examine the facts. In PF you add every attack bonus you add to your attacks to a combat maneuver, and size modifiers count for less. So while in 3.5 a trip required a contest of abilities (and it's hard to be stronger than many foes), in PF one can use the attack bonuses to overcome a foe, and a size difference is less of a penalty.

So, for example, an Ogre Barbarian (CR 7, monster manual) would be a tough trip for a 3.5 tripper. Large size, pretty strong - you're looking at trying to win an ability contest versus a +12 or so, right? Possible for characters in the level 5-7 range, but not easy - so a 6th level fighter with a solid 18 strength and a +2 Str item, along with Imp. Trip has a +9 - much less than 50%. Enlarged, he's got a slight 2 point edge.

In Pathfinder the same foe has a CMD DC of 10+8+1+7, or 26. The tripper at 6th level will have +6 BAB, +5 Str, and probably a +1 weapon - as well as his +4 from greater trip. Pretty similar chances, really - he's got a 50/50 chance without any difficulty. Enlarging gives a +2 edge, just as in the 3.5 case.

But say you have flanking? That's another +2 for the PF tripper. And a bard is singing for +2, that's another +2. Are you a fighter with weapon training? That adds too! So through the attack bonus, you can boost the PF chance much higher. Heck, you could use True Strike and pretty much guarantee a trip. So I don't buy that the PF trip is harder to get off - I've seen it at work, and it's pretty easy to use - and with a bard in the party it can be very effective. And in the party I DM for (with a monk tripper, a fighter, and a bard) you can get 3 attacks of opportunity on the trip.

pres_man
2009-09-13, 12:41 PM
Maybe during beta they said that, but the changes made between beta and final have resulted in it being easier to accomplish tripping than in 3.5.

I'm sorry, but that statement I am referring to was made on Aug. 20th, 2009, a week after the final system was released.

CMB Vs CMD FIGHT (http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/pathfinder/pathfinderRPG/general/cMBVsCMDFIGHT)



Folks are, I fear, sort of missing the point on when combat maneuvers should normally apply. They aren't the types of things you should probably be doing against tough foes, or honestly even equally matched foes. It SHOULD be tough to disarm your clone, or trip a giant, or bull rush something tougher than you. Combat maneuvers are flashy and more exciting than simply stabbing a foe, and as a result they should be harder to do. Especially since, in most cases, the effects of a successful combat maneuver can be MUCH more advantageous than simply doing a batch of damage to a foe. Better effect = harder to pull off.

Against most foes, you should probably want to simply hack away. The combat maneuvers should come out most often in one of the following situations.

1) When you fight against foes that are weaker than you.

2) When you have a LOT of bonuses stacking up; remember, a CMB roll is an attack roll, so it gets boosted by things like bard performances, bless spells, morale effects, and the like. Likewise, a CMD score can be reduced by things like ability drain and certain curses and the like.

3) When you're desperate.

4) When you have a character who's specifically built to make certain maneuvers. By taking the right feats, fighting with the right weapons, and using the right tactics, you can significantly increase your chances of success with specific stunts.

So if combat maneuvers are only happening in specific cases like the above, that's pretty much the hope and point of the game as designed. The rules are intended to be easy for PLAYERS to use, not necessarily easy for your CHARACTERS to pull of.

Kelpstrand
2009-09-13, 12:46 PM
Now the rogue goes, and he delays until after the fighter(who moves into flanking position), making the order Fighter/Rogue/Monster again, and gets a full round of SA off after moving to flank. (So as now itís been Fighter/Monster/Fighter/Rogue)

You got this part completely wrong. If the order is Fighter/Monster/Rogue, then for the order to be Fighter/Rogue, the Fighter has to give up a turn. There is no space between the Fighter and the Monster for the Rogue to delay into. Fighter goes on Init count 12, Monster also goes on Init count 12, right after fighter (because he's a bruiser with low init mod, the only type you are likely to flank). The Rogue cannot go between the Fighter and Monster unless the Fighter also delays.

In which case, what you actually have is: Fighter/Monster/Rogue (Not flanking), and then the Fighter delays to go after the monster before the Rogue. Then the Monster delays again to go on Init with Fighter, resetting the problem. The only person losing their turn is the Fighter, but the Rogue is also losing out in that he never gets a full attack.

Alternatively, if the Monster chooses not to delay the second time to reset, it still goes: Fighter/Monster/Rogue (not flanking)/Monster/Fighter/Rogue/Monster, so by the time the Rogue has had a real turn, the Monster gets three.

And if you have four or more enemies, then yes, it's good for the monster to take half the party out of the combat at the expense of 1/4th of team monster.

And no, it isn't metagaming for the monster to not want people to flank him.


Iím not 100% certain what flanking has to do with the fact that grappling denies DEX to AC in 3.5, Iím fairly certain those two things are completely unrelated.

You are wrong. The fact that a 3.5 Rogue has other options besides flanking, and that a Pthfinder Rogue does not, have a lot to do with Rogues in Pathfinder.


I definitely didnít realize that between grappling(a rarely used mechanic that isnít a sure thing) and spells(which are capable of stopping *anyone* if used properly) could be used to negate flanking 90% of the time.

Uh, no.

1) Grappling is rarely used by PCs. It is on the other hand, used often by monsters, since a lot of them get free grapple attempts on ever attack, and they almost universally have higher mods.

2) If a Monster uses primarily spells (or SLAs or Supernatural abilities, or any other standard action form of attacking) for attacking, like say these CR 7s:
Aboleth
True Dragon (Black, Bronze, Copper, Gold, Red, Silver)
Animate Object
Hydra (Regular, Cryo, Pyro)
Succubus
Elasmosaurus
Dragonne
Hellcat
Drider
Formian Taskmaster
Lillend
Medusa
Naga
Nymph
Black Pudding
Phasm
Spectre
Sphinx

Then they take a move action to escape the flank, and they never ever take a full attack action from either fighter or rogue. If only the Rogue had some sort of ranged full attack method of getting SA, he could contribute.

And of course, if they grapple the Rogue or Fighter, then they also never get a flank, and monsters that get free grapple attempts on their attacks are not uncommon, like these CR 7s:
Chuul
Hellcat
Direbear
Monstrous Scorpion
Black Pudding
Remorhaz

Now, some other monsters have other methods of attack, or do not gain much from full attacking, but might still want to full attack if they didn't have a Rogue behind them. Or in the Invisible Stalkers case, you can't figure out how to flank him.

So these are some monsters that you might occasionally get a full attack against, after they have used their other forms of attack:
Air Elemental
Water Elemental
Earth Elemental
Chimera
Hill Giant
Invisible Stalker

However, some monsters really do just stand their and trade full attacks, and you could totally full attack them with SA, occasionally:
Bulette
Chaos Beast
Elephant
Fire Elemental
Flesh Golem
Ogre Barbarian

So, yes, when I said 90% I was slightly exaggerating. You can full attack with SA with flanking on 6 out of 43 CR 7 enemies. So in fact, only 86% of monsters are immune to this method.


It honestly sounds like you are saying that monsters who are good at disabling opponents or casting spells cause problems with flanking. Yes, I will agree that something that is a problem for everyone is also a problem for rogues who are trying to flank.

Iím not 100% that something that is a problem for everyone can really be pointed to as a problem with flankingÖ.

No, I'm saying that Monsters that gain no benefit from standing still and being full attacked will not do so. And that is a problem for a character relying on flank.

I am also saying, that of those six monsters, one moves at 20ft, one moves at 30ft, and all the rest are faster than either rogue of fighter.

So if the monster chooses to run away from the Flank, towards another party member, It will take 2-3 turns to get back in flanking position, while the monster can use those 2-3 turns to full attack the Fighter and/or Rogue trying to get in position, or pressure the other characters.


I kind of have to guess, so if Iím wrong correct me, but I think youíre saying that monsters that no one can get a full attack off on, rogues also canít?

I'm saying that monster that no one can get a melee full attack off on make the flanking rogue a worthless choice. Whereas, if Ranged Rogue were an option, like in 3.5, you could totally do that. I am also saying that monsters that are faster than the Rogue can get 2 full attacks on the Fighter for every two full attacks the Fighter gets, while still denying the Rogue a chance to full attack ever.


Just like above, I suppose I agree with that, but once again I feel the need to point out that youíre pointing at a part of a challenge that applies to everyone, and claiming it to be a fault of flanking.

No, a 'part of that challenge' IE, every single fight. Negates the method of attack used by flanking Rogues. Most fights negate the method of attack by a melee fighter, but still fewer than negate melee Rogues. However, ranged Rogues (in 3.5, because Pathfinder negated them) and Ranged Fighters, and Fighters with Pounce, and Druids and Clerics and Wizards and Barbarians with Pounce, they all continue to not be negated by the simple act of a monster casting a spell and then moving away.

Epinephrine
2009-09-13, 12:48 PM
I'm sorry, but that statement I am referring to was made on Aug. 20th, 2009, a week after the final system was released.

There are far more ways to boost CMB compared to CMD. As a result, it can be quite easy to trip your clone.

That's their point #2, and somewhat #4, on your quoted list.

Epinephrine
2009-09-13, 01:02 PM
In which case, what you actually have is: Fighter/Monster/Rogue (Not flanking), and then the Fighter delays to go after the monster before the Rogue. Then the Monster delays again to go on Init with Fighter, resetting the problem. The only person losing their turn is the Fighter, but the Rogue is also losing out in that he never gets a full attack.

What about the feats like Step Up, that can be used to maintain your flanks? Monster steps, as an immediate action you step to match him.

Kelpstrand
2009-09-13, 01:08 PM
There are far more ways to boost CMB compared to CMD. Os a result, it can be quite easy to trip your clone.

That's their point #2, and somewhat #4, on your quoted list.

But monsters often have much higher Str/Dex/BAB than you. So in fact, it is not actually easier.

A level 10 Fighter with both Trip feats has a CMB of +10 BAB +10 Str +4 feats +2 size +2 Combat Training +2 Magic weapon that trips -1 size = +29.

He might need to trip a Animated Object, Colossal: CMD 48.

Compare that to a 3.5 Fighter, who easily takes the size bonus, since he's making touch attacks checks, for +10 str +4 size +4 feat +4 item = +22
vs Object: +16 size, +9 str = +25.

Now obviously, Animated Objects aren't the easiest thing to trip, and you might try other methods, but the fact here is that Mr 3.5 Fighter has a much better chance, because BAB isn't included, since most monster have more BAB than him, and many also have high Dex making that also a problem.

Kelpstrand
2009-09-13, 01:10 PM
What about the feats like Step Up, that can be used to maintain your flanks? Monster steps, as an immediate action you step to match him.

If both the Fighter and Rogue have Step up, and spend their immediate (and by extension swift) actions each round using it to keep the monster in place, then you still have the problem that only 14% of CR 7 monsters (I imagine it gets worse as you level up, but I haven't done the math) are even likely to trade full attacks with you, and even amongst those 6 monsters, only one of them is actually slow enough for you to maintain a flank on him.

Epinephrine
2009-09-13, 01:27 PM
But monsters often have much higher Str/Dex/BAB than you. So in fact, it is not actually easier.

Obviously depends on the campaign. If you face a lot of monsters, yes.


He might need to trip a Animated Object, Colossal: CMD 48.

He'd have to be at least Gargantuan himself to try this... might be more realistic to look at Large size (or possibly Huge size) opponents of the corect CR, but I see your point - there do exist foes with much more BAB than you. It's still the case that one can succeed on many trips that would have been tough in 3.5 using PF rules, thanks to the attack bonuses.

DeathQuaker
2009-09-13, 02:01 PM
The hilarious thing to me about the whole tripping issue is that I seem to recall "back in the day," a number of people complaining adamantly about how the spiked chain was "broken" and that its reach and all you can do with it was often used as an example of how 3.5 rules were unbalanced.

With the Pathfinder revision, suddenly the other side of the argument has crawled out, and lo and behold, apparently it's an absolute travesty the spiked chain was changed, and ergo, that instantly means that ALL of the wonderful fighting fundamentals of 3.5 have been destroyed.

The thing is, neither side is really fundamentally /right/ -- they're just defending what works for them. For the many people who wanted the spiked chain "fixed," Pathfinder addressed that. The difference isn't an issue of "good math/bad math" or "good rules/bad rules"--it's a play style preference, and there is absolutely NO GAME under the sun that can suit everyone's play style preferences.

(For the record, personally, I TOTALLY agree that a weapon should be a reach weapon or NOT; the problem with the spiked chain--as people like me see it--was that it applied to both adjacent and foes 10' away which, I agree, is just too much for one thing to do. The spiked chain is STILL a two-handed finessable weapon with both the disarm and trip advantages--that's three special abilities--is more than enough reason as far as I can see to keep it as an exotic weapon; it has 3 special abilities plus does good damage--that seems consistent with the design philosophy as to what makes a weapon "exotic")

But given Pathfinder's relative success (frex, look at the lines at GenCon for Pathfinder), the changes have made a large number of gamers relatively happy, happier than they were with 3.5 or 4th. That it doesn't make a given individual person happy doesn't make it wrong or bad (and that's a fact :smalltongue:).

And 3.5 and 4th is still out there, amongst a whole other slew of RPGs to suit your various tabletop needs if Pathfinder doesn't make you happy. I don't really get the utter vehemence toward it by some people. You don't have to like it, but a lot of people do, and I'm damned sick of people who don't like it act like it's the freaking end of the world just because the game designers disagreed with them. Again, just because there's a disagreement, doesn't make it wrong.

Now, if you switch from D&D to Pathfinder, you WILL have to adapt. Your build won't work exactly as it would before. This is true. That doesn't automatically mean it's broken or unbroken or gimped.

And you have to take ALL the changes in consideration before you claim something doesn't work. For example, "Improved [Combat Maneuver]" now only adds +2 to your maneuver instead of 4. BUT SIZE BONUSES TO COMBAT MANEUVERS HAVE DROPPED. A Large creature gets +1, not +4 any more. You don't need as big a bonus to deal with combat maneuvers with difficult monsters. The feats weren't "nerfed," they were adapted to work appropriately with the new rules. Not to mention you can still build up to a +4 from feats with the additional "Greater" feats that allow you to do something else cool, like force your target to provoke AOOs.

And for the record, if you want to build a Spiked Chain Fighter with reach, the only real drawback is that you have to wait until your Fighter hits 6th level, so he can take the Lunge feat. Yes, his reach attack will be at a -2. It still isn't as ridiculously powerful as just being able to hit both adjacent targets and 10' away targets at no penalty, but I think that's a fair compromise between those who love the ability and those who think it's unbalanced. (Gaming: sometimes we do have to compromise on rules interpretations. Sorry about that. :smallsmile:)

And by the time he's hit that point, he'll have a good BAB, a bonus from Improved Trip, and a bonus from Weapon Training (which will go up as he levels), and room left over to grab a feat in Weapon Finesse. At next level, he can take Greater Trip for another +2 bonus (not to mention, suddenly the enemy he's tripping will be provoking AOOs).

Don't want it to be a finesse build? Then skip the spiked chain and use the heavy flail instead. Don't care about being able to hit adjacent opponents (maybe pick up that Step Up feat to make a 5' step as an immediate action)? Make a Guisarme build instead.

Or heck, since a single classed fighter is getting a feat every single level (including regular feat gains at leveling up) plus one extra at first, you can probably easily build a fighter who's just good at 2 different weapons good at tripping and disarming, one for reach and one for adjacent.

IF ALL you care about is tripping and disarming at range, I'd probably make a human fighter with Exotic WP in Whip, and then also use all those feats I have to be good with a flail or heavy flail. Throw in Quick Draw in there. Pick my primary Weapon Training in "Flails" which covers both flails and the whip (also the spiked chain). Then I'd trip to my heart's content with my whip, quick draw switch to my flail, and bash the prone guy's head in. With a human character, I have someone who's quite good at this by 5th level (first level, take Exotic WP: Whip, Combat Expertise, Improved Trip, at the next 4 levels take whatever combo you like of Quick Draw, Step Up, Weapon Focus, Finesse (if need be), and/or Specialization if that suits your fancy. Also at 5th you're getting your weapon training in. Then you hit 6th and get Greater Trip. Works fine.

Yes, it will be hard to trip a dragon or high CR giant, let alone a Gargantuan Animated Construct, but it should be (besides which, dragons and high CR giants have a greater reach than 10'). That seems to be logical to me, somehow.

And I agree in total with what James Jacobs said. Things that are difficult to accomplish should in fact be difficult to accomplish. You will have to invest in being good at difficult things. I find that to be a perfectly reasonable expectation. In fact that quote summarizes exactly what I love about Pathfinder: "The rules are intended to be easy for PLAYERS to use, not necessarily easy for your CHARACTERS to pull off." That's exactly what I was looking for in fantasy game design, and Pathfinder provided it.

But again, if that's not what you wanted, yes, you'll have to look elsewhere. It doesn't make their design philosophy wrong, just different from yours.

AllisterH
2009-09-13, 02:07 PM
re: CMB vs CMD

The buffs that apply to CMB pretty much also apply to CMD since it explictly mentions that anything that adds to your AC like morale or sacred bonus ALSO applies to your CMD.

Again, keeping in mind we don't have the Bestiary, our conclusions (both sides) can be wrong.

Playing around with CMD/CMB and the manoeuvers and comparing it with the 3.5 equivalents, certain monsters got improved while others got nerfed.

Giants, for example, kind of got touched in a bad place. What screwed them over is that most of the monsters of the giant type suffered multiple hits.


Lost their size bonus. Frankly, the effect of being a big dude in 3.x was immense and PF kind of nerfed it.
Have cleric BAB (which didn't matter since they had immense STR usually to compensate)
However, they also tend to have REALLY crappy DEX scores (fire giant with a 31 STR yet has a DEX of 9?
Many giants are only melee brutes and don't use magic. Sure, you could have ogres wielding magic spells but frankly, how many of us ever bothered? This kind of plays havoc with them since the sources to boost their CMB/CMD is not available to them.

So the combination of all 4 means that their CMB/CMD score isn't going to be as high as it was before in relation to their success at using many a combat manoeuver.

Conversely, Outsiders look like the did some serious casting couch work.
Many an outsider are only at the medium/large size so they benefit from the size change
Outsiders have Fighter BABs
While they usually didn't have extreme strength like giants, they did tend to have decent STR but also, most importantly, DEX scores around the same value (unlike giants where you can have giant with a STR score in the high 20s/low 30s but with a DEX in the low teens, outsiders tended to have decent str scores high teens to mid 20s in both dex and STR).
Outsiders are perhaps the class of monster most likely to use spells and spell-like abilities. All of those spells that give a profane bonus? Score for the CMB/CMD value of the outsider.


Thus, whereas in 3.x, a frost giant was a true pain in the ass to use combat manoeuvers against and defend from, the PF equivalent makes the frost giant not as scary, however, conversely, the bone devil is now more of a threat.

pres_man
2009-09-13, 02:11 PM
I don't really get the utter vehemence toward it by some people. You don't have to like it, but a lot of people do, and I'm damned sick of people who don't like it act like it's the freaking end of the world just because the game designers disagreed with them. Again, just because there's a disagreement, doesn't make it wrong.

And I don't really get people having orgasms about it, so there you go.

Gnaeus
2009-09-13, 02:16 PM
No. Pathfinder is not an improvement at all. It is not worth picking up, and it is actually worse. People who have fun playing Pathfinder (There are actually zero people who have ever actually played Pathfinder as far as I can tell, since they all play 3.5 with some minor houserules and ignore 90% of Pathfinder material) could as easily have fun playing 3.5. And almost certainly did for years.


I have played Pathfinder Society, and therefore have played pathfinder, with no 3.5 except for the Monster Manual and no houserules. I found the play to be more balanced than 3.5 core, because in the play I observed, the spell nerfs roughly equaled the minor bonuses that most wizards get.

I certainly did play 3.5 for years. I will continue to. If I run a game, I will run Pathfinder with some 3.5 rules. If I play in a game of 3.5, I will attempt to get some of what I consider to be the best Pathfinder rules introduced, such as the melee class revisions and the changes to Polymorph and Wildshape.

Epinephrine
2009-09-13, 02:29 PM
And I don't really get people having orgasms about it, so there you go.

They don't?

Roog
2009-09-13, 02:44 PM
The hilarious thing to me about the whole tripping issue is that I seem to recall "back in the day," a number of people complaining adamantly about how the spiked chain was "broken" and that its reach and all you can do with it was often used as an example of how 3.5 rules were unbalanced.

With the Pathfinder revision, suddenly the other side of the argument has crawled out, and lo and behold, apparently it's an absolute travesty the spiked chain was changed, and ergo, that instantly means that ALL of the wonderful fighting fundamentals of 3.5 have been destroyed.

Yes, people complained about the spiked chain being broken.

Are you claiming that those same people are now complaining about Pathfinder nerfs?

If you take a look at the old threads, I suspect that you will find that there was some difference of opinion over the "brokenness" of the spiked chain.

It would be interesting to see if either
(1) Complaints about the "broken" spiked chain correlates with complaints about Pathfiner.
(2) Belief that the spiked chain was "broken" correlates with support for Pathfiner.

You seem to be saying that (1) is true. I feel that if either is true, then (2) is more likely (as that would be an indicator of consistent preferences).

Starbuck_II
2009-09-13, 02:51 PM
Well, in the Paizo threads, It is split about 35%.
Some active fans are cool with it.
Some are upset. Even show that Heavy flail is better all the way now.
The third never used it so don't care.

pres_man
2009-09-13, 02:56 PM
Well, in the Paizo threads, It is split about 35%.
Some active fans are cool with it.
Some are upset. Even show that Heavy flail is better all the way now.
The third never used it so don't care.

My question about the spiked chain change has been, did it improve it to the point that it will now be more popular. I don't think so.

Group A (people cool with the change): most likely never liked it and will most likely not use it even now
Group B (people who think it is worse than HF): most likely used it, liked it, and now wouldn't bother with it
Group C (never used it so don't care): still don't care, so still won't bother with it.

So has the changed improved the spiked chain? Well if by improved you mean made it so nobody will bother with it at all, then yes. In the 2nd edition of PF, I wouldn't be surprised for it to be gone entirely.

Kurald Galain
2009-09-13, 03:01 PM
So has the changed improved the spiked chain? Well if by improved you mean made it so nobody will bother with it at all, then yes. In the 2nd edition of PF, I wouldn't be surprised for it to be gone entirely.
Considering the spiked chain was a rather silly invention of 3.0 to begin with, I'm not convinced that that would be a loss.

olentu
2009-09-13, 03:36 PM
From the spiked chain discussion I sort of got the implication that paying for your fluff is something the designers are fine with and that is off putting to me.

Tiktakkat
2009-09-13, 04:11 PM
From the spiked chain discussion I sort of got the implication that paying for your fluff is something the designers are fine with and that is off putting to me.

That sums up my feelings.

The game should not be designed to penalize you for wanting to do more than just hack down the monsters hit points.
It should not super-charge and over-enable it, but it equally should not smack it down either.
Designers that cannot or will not find the balance between the two inevitably design their game beyond the range of my interest.

Kelpstrand
2009-09-13, 04:17 PM
re: CMB vs CMD

[Discussion of Giant v Outsiders]

Not quite. Yes, Giants have crappy Dex scores, and are often big.

But Outsiders are often big too, There are many Huge outsiders, and about half of them are huge or large. Nearly every single Giant is Large sized, with only a couple of Huges.

Additionally, it's not BAB per HD that matters, it's per CR. Giants are a good example of what I'm talking about where monsters have more BAB than players, so adding it to trip makes it harder not easier:

Monster-CR-BAB

Ogre-3-3
Troll-5-4
Ettin-6-7
Hill Giant-7-9
Stone-8-10
Frost-9-10
Fire-10-11
Cloud-11-12
Storm-13-14

And if you advance any of them, they get +3 BAB for each one increase in CR.

So it's very easy to deal with high BAB giants.

On the other hand, Outsiders, because they usually swim in stat bonuses and SLAs, and casting, usually end up averaging BAB == CR or less.

Demons are the most combat oriented of the outsiders, and even they average slightly below unadvanced giants.

Babua-6-7
Vrock-9-10
Beblith-10-12
Hezrou-11-10
Glabrezu-13-12
Nalfasheene-14-14
Maralith-17-16
Balor-20-20

pres_man
2009-09-13, 04:40 PM
Considering the spiked chain was a rather silly invention of 3.0 to begin with, I'm not convinced that that would be a loss.

Which is my point. People who disliked the spiked chain for percieved power issues and/or flavor issues, find the change "good". Not because it suddenly makes them want to use the spiked chain, but instead it is one step away from killing it outright.

It is like the combat maneuvers. People who hated dealing with things like grapple and trip find the new CMB/CMD "good". Again, not because it now makes them want to do those things, but instead takes a step into killing them outright so that they don't have to be dealt with.

Epinephrine
2009-09-13, 04:55 PM
re: CMB vs CMD

The buffs that apply to CMB pretty much also apply to CMD since it explictly mentions that anything that adds to your AC like morale or sacred bonus ALSO applies to your CMD.

I find a lot more bonuses to attack abound than bonuses to AC that fall in the right categories (an exception being scintilating scales on a dragon). True Strike jumps to mind, but Herosim, Greater Heroism, Divine Favour, Good Hope, Bless, Aid, bardic music, weapon foci, flanking all would be readily accessible, as is a fighter's weapon training. AC bonuses that count are uncommon, other than deflection bonuses - and the fighter's armour training doesn't count, as it's a boost to the armour's AC.

But yes, there exist effects that can boost CMD - I just find that there are fewer of them in play than there are boosts to attack rolls.

Typewriter
2009-09-13, 07:08 PM
You got this part completely wrong. If the order is Fighter/Monster/Rogue, then for the order to be Fighter/Rogue, the Fighter has to give up a turn. There is no space between the Fighter and the Monster for the Rogue to delay into. Fighter goes on Init count 12, Monster also goes on Init count 12, right after fighter (because he's a bruiser with low init mod, the only type you are likely to flank). The Rogue cannot go between the Fighter and Monster unless the Fighter also delays.

In which case, what you actually have is: Fighter/Monster/Rogue (Not flanking), and then the Fighter delays to go after the monster before the Rogue. Then the Monster delays again to go on Init with Fighter, resetting the problem. The only person losing their turn is the Fighter, but the Rogue is also losing out in that he never gets a full attack.

Alternatively, if the Monster chooses not to delay the second time to reset, it still goes: Fighter/Monster/Rogue (not flanking)/Monster/Fighter/Rogue/Monster, so by the time the Rogue has had a real turn, the Monster gets three.

And if you have four or more enemies, then yes, it's good for the monster to take half the party out of the combat at the expense of 1/4th of team monster.

And also - I'm not saying that this isn't a bad tactic for a DM to use, but that monster must not be that intelligent if he's willing to...not do anything...just for the sake of his buddies tactics. Meta-gaming.


There is no space for the rogue to delay into? What? It doesn't say anything under delay about that. What it does say is that you *can* delay into the next round.

So:
Fighter/Rogue/Monster
Monster delays into the next round and goes after fighter(apparently the monster is able to do this). This moves his initiative count to the new point to which he delayed(which is in the next round).

Now the Rogue goes after the monster, so he delays into the next round(just like the monster) until after the fighter(this is what you're saying he can't do?).

Once the rogue goes(after the fighter in the next round), the monster has had one turn and the rogue has had one turn, while the fighter has had two. But it is the monsters turn again now - Does the monster go at his new initiative count or does he delay to attempt to negate flanking again?

Assuming the monster delays his initiative count to after the fighter again to negate flanking, by the time the monster goes the fighter has gone three times, the monster twice, and the rogue once.

And then the rogue delays until after fighter into the next round. When the rogue goes he will have had two rounds, the monster will have had two rounds, and the fighter will have had four.

Where does it say that he can't do this? And where does it say the monster can, but the rogue cant? And why does the fighter have to delay, when the rogue is delaying to go after the fighter?



And no, it isn't metagaming for the monster to not want people to flank him.


So, the monster gets to pick between having the fighter/barb/whatever is dealing 60-100 damage per swing twice to him for every time he hits back in favor of avoiding being flanked by the rogue who is doing less damage.
So either:
Fighter(2 rounds)+Rogue(2 rounds) vs. Monster(2 rounds)
or
Fighter(2 rounds)+Rogue(1 rounds) vs. Monster(1 round)

The only reason he would choose to dance around is if he was attempting to negate flanking to deny the rogue, and attempting to deny something when you know the result is going to be worse than you is either a bad decision, or meta-gaming.



You are wrong. The fact that a 3.5 Rogue has other options besides flanking, and that a Pathfinder Rogue does not, have a lot to do with Rogues in Pathfinder.


Correct, but what you *said* was:




I also pointed out that monsters with improved grab or that can cast spells completely negate flanking rogues, and that's specifically what we are talking about now: "How 3.5 Rogues unable to flank improved grab monsters doesn't mean that Pathfinder Rogues being unable to is a bad thing." Yes it does.


So when I said:


3.5
Iím not 100% certain what flanking has to do with the fact that grappling denies DEX to AC in 3.5, Iím fairly certain those two things are completely unrelated.


Your argument was not about flanking (even though I bolded the part where you said that was what it was about), it was about rogues in general? If that's the point you want to make, then OK - that is another way that rogues no longer get SA, but don't try to pawn that off as part of the discusssion we're having about flanking.



1) Grappling is rarely used by PCs. It is on the other hand, used often by monsters, since a lot of them get free grapple attempts on ever attack, and they almost universally have higher mods.

2) If a Monster uses primarily spells (or SLAs or Supernatural abilities, or any other standard action form of attacking) for attacking, like say these CR 7s:
Aboleth
True Dragon (Black, Bronze, Copper, Gold, Red, Silver)
Animate Object
Hydra (Regular, Cryo, Pyro)
Succubus
Elasmosaurus
Dragonne
Hellcat
Drider
Formian Taskmaster
Lillend
Medusa
Naga
Nymph
Black Pudding
Phasm
Spectre
Sphinx

Then they take a move action to escape the flank, and they never ever take a full attack action from either fighter or rogue. If only the Rogue had some sort of ranged full attack method of getting SA, he could contribute.


So, everyone is in the same boat, but the fact that Rogues don't have an easy out for that is a flaw with SA/flanking?



And of course, if they grapple the Rogue or Fighter, then they also never get a flank, and monsters that get free grapple attempts on their attacks are not uncommon, like these CR 7s:
Chuul
Hellcat
Direbear
Monstrous Scorpion
Black Pudding
Remorhaz

Now, some other monsters have other methods of attack, or do not gain much from full attacking, but might still want to full attack if they didn't have a Rogue behind them. Or in the Invisible Stalkers case, you can't figure out how to flank him.

So these are some monsters that you might occasionally get a full attack against, after they have used their other forms of attack:
Air Elemental
Water Elemental
Earth Elemental
Chimera
Hill Giant
Invisible Stalker

However, some monsters really do just stand their and trade full attacks, and you could totally full attack them with SA, occasionally:
Bulette
Chaos Beast
Elephant
Fire Elemental
Flesh Golem
Ogre Barbarian

So, yes, when I said 90% I was slightly exaggerating. You can full attack with SA with flanking on 6 out of 43 CR 7 enemies. So in fact, only 86% of monsters are immune to this method.


If your being grappled by a monster then that sucks (3.5 or PF). I'm not sure that I believe, however, that, even in campaigns where people fight nothing but MM enemies, anyone spends 86% of their time in a grapple. I know that the majority of the campaigns I play in we fight against a lot of humanoid races, so flanking works just fine - but that's something tha is dependant on playstyle(IE, it sounds like it would be a bad idea to be a flanking rogue in your group because of the way the DM runs things)



No, I'm saying that Monsters that gain no benefit from standing still and being full attacked will not do so. And that is a problem for a character relying on flank.


That is a problem for every character that likes to get full attack actions.



I am also saying, that of those six monsters, one moves at 20ft, one moves at 30ft, and all the rest are faster than either rogue of fighter.

So if the monster chooses to run away from the Flank, towards another party member, It will take 2-3 turns to get back in flanking position, while the monster can use those 2-3 turns to full attack the Fighter and/or Rogue trying to get in position, or pressure the other characters.


How far away are the other party members that the monster is running to fight? I think I agree with what you're saying, but it seems like a scenario that, not only, wouldn't come up that often, but also is highly dependant upon the party being positioned INCREDIBLY poorly.



I'm saying that monster that no one can get a melee full attack off on make the flanking rogue a worthless choice. Whereas, if Ranged Rogue were an option, like in 3.5, you could totally do that. I am also saying that monsters that are faster than the Rogue can get 2 full attacks on the Fighter for every two full attacks the Fighter gets, while still denying the Rogue a chance to full attack ever.


I don't get how that is happening.



No, a 'part of that challenge' IE, every single fight. Negates the method of attack used by flanking Rogues. Most fights negate the method of attack by a melee fighter, but still fewer than negate melee Rogues. However, ranged Rogues (in 3.5, because Pathfinder negated them) and Ranged Fighters, and Fighters with Pounce, and Druids and Clerics and Wizards and Barbarians with Pounce, they all continue to not be negated by the simple act of a monster casting a spell and then moving away.

Not every single fight in any campaign, and definately not in most campaigns I've played in. If the way your DM runs fights involves using a constant stream of enemies that don't do anything other than try to not get flanked, then yes, playing a flanking rogue is a horrible idea, especially if I'm still mistaken on the rules (I'm fairly certain I'm not). I'm not saying that flanking isn't something that the DM shouldn't try to take away or make hard half the time, but from what I've seen(and I have yet to see disproven) is that a monster who avoids flanking is either a problem for everyone or is receiving a constant face full of sword in exchange for the preservation of his kidney.

ShadowFighter15
2009-09-13, 07:33 PM
That said, you have a point that if the banishment fails, the smite ending is a bit over the top. It seems like that should only be the case if the Paladin CHOOSES to try to banish the outsider.

Agreed; I'd house-rule it that the paladin can prematurely end her smite to make the banishment attempt; fluffing it as her expending all of the divine power she's built up for the smite.

I like what they've done with the smite ability, compared to the 3.5 version. It still has the paladin focussing all of her righteous anger at one person, but isn't mechanically weak anymore. And it fits with the determination that the archetypical paladin is supposed to have.

The code of conduct doesn't seem to have changed at all (although I've only ever skimmed the 3.5 version, so I could be wrong); but it looks like it'd be pretty easy to convert the Paladins of Freedom, Tyranny and Slaughter over; just rebuild them from the PF paladin the same way they were originally built from the 3.5 paladin.

Kelpstrand
2009-09-13, 08:29 PM
There is no space for the rogue to delay into? What? It doesn't say anything under delay about that. What it does say is that you *can* delay into the next round.

You delay to an Initiative count. You do not delay "into the next round" you delay to a specific count, and since the monster is on the same count as the fighter, there is no place for the Rogue to delay to where he will go after the fighter but before the monster.

This renders your entire argument about position mute, since it is based on the faulty premise that it is possible for the Rogue to get a flanking full attack without the Fighter delaying.


So, the monster gets to pick between having the fighter/barb/whatever is dealing 60-100 damage per swing twice to him for every time he hits back in favor of avoiding being flanked by the rogue who is doing less damage.
So either:
Fighter(2 rounds)+Rogue(2 rounds) vs. Monster(2 rounds)
or
Fighter(2 rounds)+Rogue(1 rounds) vs. Monster(1 round)

The Monster chooses to deal with a Fighter doing less damage than the Fighter + Rogue at basically no loss to his own attack.

The actual situation is:

Fighter (1)+Rogue (2 no full attack) vs Monster (2)

Or, alternatively, Fighter (2) + Rogue (2 no full attack) vs Monster (2) if the Fighter and Rogue don't even try to get flanking.


The only reason he would choose to dance around is if he was attempting to negate flanking to deny the rogue, and attempting to deny something when you know the result is going to be worse than you is either a bad decision, or meta-gaming.

The result isn't worse. He's not dancing around, he's intelligently moving to avoid flank at no cost to his own actions.


Correct, but what you *said* was:

So when I said:

Flanking sucks. The fact that monsters don't let you flank, but do let you full attack when not flanking is a part of the reason why. The discussion of flanking only matters because it is the sole and only way for a Pathfinder Rogue to get SA. If you could be a ranged Rogue in Pathfinder, you would just do that, because flanking is bad.


So, everyone is in the same boat, but the fact that Rogues don't have an easy out for that is a flaw with SA/flanking?

Everyone who is a bad character is in the same boat. People who are good characters are not in that boat. Ranged Rogue is a good character. Flanking Rogue is a bad character.


If your being grappled by a monster then that sucks (3.5 or PF). I'm not sure that I believe, however, that, even in campaigns where people fight nothing but MM enemies, anyone spends 86% of their time in a grapple.

You are wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.

86% of monsters are immune to flanking. 15% of those are grapple monsters. 15% are monsters with viable ways of preventing flanking from occurring. And 55% of those are monsters that use standard actions to attack.


That is a problem for every character that likes to get full attack actions.

Except ones who have ranged full attacks, or ones with Pounce. AKA the ones actually worth playing.


but from what I've seen(and I have yet to see disproven) is that a monster who avoids flanking is either a problem for everyone or is receiving a constant face full of sword in exchange for the preservation of his kidney.

The Burden of Proof is not on me to disprove that monsters who avoid flanks are problems for everyone or are gimping themselves.

What I have proven is that amongst CR 7s in the MMI, 86% of them are not subject to flanking.

Only 55% are immune to a full attacking melee Fighter.

And basically zero percent are immune to Archer Fighters or Wizards or Clerics or Druids or Psions or Pounce Barbarians. Probably about 20-30% of them are immune to Ranged Rogues though.

Level 7 may not be a typical level. But if level 7 is a typical level, then I have disproved your statement thoroughly. Not that anyone at all can't see all the characters that are not defeated by monster with a move speed.

Typewriter
2009-09-13, 09:02 PM
You delay to an Initiative count. You do not delay "into the next round" you delay to a specific count, and since the monster is on the same count as the fighter, there is no place for the Rogue to delay to where he will go after the fighter but before the monster.

This renders your entire argument about position mute, since it is based on the faulty premise that it is possible for the Rogue to get a flanking full attack without the Fighter delaying.



The Monster chooses to deal with a Fighter doing less damage than the Fighter + Rogue at basically no loss to his own attack.

The actual situation is:

Fighter (1)+Rogue (2 no full attack) vs Monster (2)

Or, alternatively, Fighter (2) + Rogue (2 no full attack) vs Monster (2) if the Fighter and Rogue don't even try to get flanking.



The result isn't worse. He's not dancing around, he's intelligently moving to avoid flank at no cost to his own actions.



Flanking sucks. The fact that monsters don't let you flank, but do let you full attack when not flanking is a part of the reason why. The discussion of flanking only matters because it is the sole and only way for a Pathfinder Rogue to get SA. If you could be a ranged Rogue in Pathfinder, you would just do that, because flanking is bad.



Everyone who is a bad character is in the same boat. People who are good characters are not in that boat. Ranged Rogue is a good character. Flanking Rogue is a bad character.



You are wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.

86% of monsters are immune to flanking. 15% of those are grapple monsters. 15% are monsters with viable ways of preventing flanking from occurring. And 55% of those are monsters that use standard actions to attack.



Except ones who have ranged full attacks, or ones with Pounce. AKA the ones actually worth playing.



The Burden of Proof is not on me to disprove that monsters who avoid flanks are problems for everyone or are gimping themselves.

What I have proven is that amongst CR 7s in the MMI, 86% of them are not subject to flanking.

Only 55% are immune to a full attacking melee Fighter.

And basically zero percent are immune to Archer Fighters or Wizards or Clerics or Druids or Psions or Pounce Barbarians. Probably about 20-30% of them are immune to Ranged Rogues though.

Level 7 may not be a typical level. But if level 7 is a typical level, then I have disproved your statement thoroughly. Not that anyone at all can't see all the characters that are not defeated by monster with a move speed.

Well, I'm going to say two things, and you can feel free to ignore me, and I'll be done.

First off:

When you delay your initiative you are delaying to a new point in the initiative order. You go *after* someone or something, and can not delay to interrupt someone, so you are not going at the same time as the fighter, but *after* him. If you are going *after* him, that sets your initiative at that location. If the rogue chooses to delay until *after* the fighter, then that becomes his new spot in the initiative. I'm sitting here with the book in my hand, looking at pages 136(initiative) and delay(160) and I have no idea what would make you think that once on person delays to a position nobody else can delay to before them. I really have no idea where that comes from.

And even if it did work the way that you're trying to claim it does wouldn't every party delay to act on the same 'count' during their first round, thereby being able to work with perfect synergy at all times, without any chance of a monster being able to interfere with them?

Secondly:

Besides the fact that your numbers and percentages don't really make a lot of sense, let alone properly portray how they might be used, I'm going to go ahead and ask if you're new argument is now that flanking sucks because everything sucks unless you say so?


All in all, I have to stop partaking in this conversation. I have to say that I find the majority of the comments you've made have been at the very least borderline rude and/or insulting, not to mention the difficulty it actually takes to get you to explain those arguments instead of posting *just* the rude/insulting comments. I am pleased because I know (just as you know I'm wrong) that there is nothing wrong with flanking, and I'm just glad that I don't have to deal with a group where the DM gravitates towards focusing every encounter on nerfing a combat mechanic that wouldn't even be considered overpowered if no one were going out of their way to nerf it.

Kelpstrand
2009-09-13, 09:34 PM
When you delay your initiative you are delaying to a new point in the initiative order. You go *after* someone or something, and can not delay to interrupt someone, so you are not going at the same time as the fighter, but *after* him. If you are going *after* him, that sets your initiative at that location. If the rogue chooses to delay until *after* the fighter, then that becomes his new spot in the initiative. I'm sitting here with the book in my hand, looking at pages 136(initiative) and delay(160) and I have no idea what would make you think that once on person delays to a position nobody else can delay to before them. I really have no idea where that comes from.

And even if it did work the way that you're trying to claim it does wouldn't every party delay to act on the same 'count' during their first round, thereby being able to work with perfect synergy at all times, without any chance of a monster being able to interfere with them?

You delay to Initiative counts. These are actual real numbers. When you delay to act on count 1, you act on count 1, not on a number that is sort of like one, unless someone else want to be on the real one.

If a party all delayed to the same count, they would all act in the order of their initiative modifiers. As such, the Fighter would go after the Rogue, preventing any sort of flanking in the situation described. That is why the would normally delay, if at all, to be on consecutive but not identical counts, but with the fighter acting on the higher one.

If the monster has a lower modifier than the fighter, it can delay to be placed between the Rogue and fighter, with the Rogue having to choose from acting on the same count, and before the Fighter, or on a slightly later count, after the monster.


Besides the fact that your numbers and percentages don't really make a lot of sense, let alone properly portray how they might be used, I'm going to go ahead and ask if you're new argument is now that flanking sucks because everything sucks unless you say so?

My numbers make a great deal of sense if you just go back and look at me actual analysis of the different monsters that I posted in a previous post while thinking about them. I separated the entire quantity of CR 7 monsters into groups based on how they deal with full attacks and full attacks involving flanking.

The categories were 55% avoid all melee full attacks because they attack with a standard action and use move action to leave.

15% are improved Grab monsters that grapple people.

15% are monsters who are willing to trade their full attack for the Rogues full attacks, since they do most of their damage in a standard action.

15% are monsters that stand around trading full attacks with players.

Technically, it's more like 54-14-17-14, but excuse me for rounding.

No my argument is not that things suck unless I say otherwise. My point is that I have proved that 85% (being generous) of all monsters are not ever going to let a flanking rogue full attack them, unless it's using Versatile Flanker + Spiked Chain.

If you are going to make the claim that those 85% also make playing a melee fighter or barbarian pouncer, or archer fighter, archer Rogue, or cleric, or Druid, or Wizard suck, as you have claimed twice now. It is incumbent on you to prove that.

Or you can admit that most monsters are never going to be full attacked by a flanking rogue, but that many other character types are able to perform well against them.



All in all, I have to stop partaking in this conversation. I have to say that I find the majority of the comments you've made have been at the very least borderline rude and/or insulting, not to mention the difficulty it actually takes to get you to explain those arguments instead of posting *just* the rude/insulting comments. I am pleased because I know (just as you know I'm wrong) that there is nothing wrong with flanking, and I'm just glad that I don't have to deal with a group where the DM gravitates towards focusing every encounter on nerfing a combat mechanic that wouldn't even be considered overpowered if no one were going out of their way to nerf it.

I have not been insulting you at all, which has been very hard, since you have repeatedly claimed that I am saying something that is entirely contradictory to what I am actually saying on multiple occasions, and it is difficult to address that without breaking forum rules in one way or another.

Like right here in this paragraph were you claim that I am DMing every encounter to specifically nerf flanking, instead of just playing grapple monsters like grapple monsters, Dragons like Dragons, and spellcasting outsiders like spellcasting outsiders.

FatR
2009-09-14, 05:34 AM
Considering the spiked chain was a rather silly invention of 3.0 to begin with, I'm not convinced that that would be a loss.
Yes, spiked chains are silly. No, nerfing one of the few worthwhile, option-enabling melee weapons in not an improvement for a system where melee is underpowered and lacks options. Just reimagine them as blade+chain weapons.

Stephen_E
2009-09-14, 05:36 AM
When you delay you delay to a set initive count or simply wait until sometime later in the round.
You can't interupt someone elses action with a delayed action.

So-
Everyone delays until the Fighters Init.
Fighter acts - steps 5' and attacks.
Rogue and Monster both declare they're now acting (on the same init count as the Fighter)
Rogue has higher init bonus and acts 1st - takes 5' step and full atacks with sneak attack.
Monster now acts.

They're now all on the same init count.
Next round the Rogue goes 1st, delays until after the Fighter has acted and then acts, not having changed the init count but having gine after the Fighter but before the monster again, as per 1st time.

In short Kelpstand, you're mistaken.

Stephen E.

Gnaeus
2009-09-14, 05:49 AM
Flanking sucks. The fact that monsters don't let you flank, but do let you full attack when not flanking is a part of the reason why. The discussion of flanking only matters because it is the sole and only way for a Pathfinder Rogue to get SA.

What exactly did they remove, other than Blink (which has been nerfed into the PF version in every 3.5 game that I ever played in that allowed it at all). I think blindness and superior invisibility still work fine, and those were always my preferred methods. Frankly, I think the nerfing of Assassin hurt rogues more than all the changes you are complaining about.

FatR
2009-09-14, 06:25 AM
So, on the one hand, avoiding AoO's being easy trivialises defensive casting, on the other hand you oppose making avoiding AoOs more difficult?
Since when full casters avoid AoOs with Tumble, of all things? Had you ever seen that (I certainly hadn't)?


Anecdotes of your play experience are fine, but they're the opposite of my experience. Casting while threatened is forced by my players frequently, and when possible as DM I ensure to pressure their casters. Touch spells are also limited by tougher defensive casting rules, since you typically either need to cast and hold the charge (costing actions) or attempt the tougher check to cast and deliver.
Of course if casters at your table use tactics that do not fit their Intelligence and Wisdom scores, like casting touch spells when threatened by AoOs (it is not like you ever need to cast attack melee touch spells, as few of them are good enough to justify the effort), they are going to suffer. But assuming that combatants are using powers, granted to them by the system, in ineffective ways is pointless for the purpose of disucssing the game balance.


No, that's an opinion. The fact is that they introduced MANY new feats, broadening the options available to a fighter.
Options that totally suck are not options. Period. No matter how MANY feats you add, as long as these feats are not worth taking, the number of actual options added to the system is 0. This is true for PF.

At the same time, PF nerfed into oblivion 2 of 3 main viable fighter builds (tripmonkey and ubercharger). Even counting various exotic builds, that's approximately 50% reduction in options. Moreover, as charging + tripping was about the only way to get some tactical flexibility for your melee character, without totally ruining your damage potential, melee characters have never been more one-dimensional tactically that they are in PF.


And Improved trip is stronger than before, so if that's one of your two nerfed builds, you are mistaken.
You know, it is hard to respond politely to such statements on a DnD-related forum, but I'll try: being split in two feats and stripped of the free followup attack that was at least half of the reason why old Imp.Trip was awesome is not "being stronger".


99% of the crying about Pathfinder revolves around power attack, and the fighter has new and more fun options than "I swing hard".
False.Your percentage is observably wrong, as anyone can confirm by reading this thread, and PF fighter has exactly one option - being an archer and hoping that GM allows 3.X stuff that makes archers good. The developers themselves stealthily admit that more than 50% classes were nerfed, by making monsters weaker. (This also means, that you cannot run PF non-fullcasters, except maybe paladins, through 3.X adventures - another nail in the coffin of backwards compatibility.)


Sunder has always been useful against only some opponents. The chance of success is fine.
CMB vs. CMD has been discussed to death. And the results prove that your statement is false.


First, the skill consolidation is largely well done, in my opinion. Yours is likewise only an opinion.
They haven't merged Climb and Swim, two infamously bad skills. Therefore their skill consolidation is poorly done, and leaves skills as unbalanced as ever, because actually-sometimes-useful Tumble and Jump were merged. This is not a matter of opinion.


You don't like FLy? Ignore it. It's not like you need it to simply fly.
You don't need to simply fly, you need to catch goddamn flyers that ruin your day. Therefore your advice is worse than useless.


Pathfinder rogues work fine. Have any evidence to offer?
You are being offered evidence for approximately several dozens of posts now, so you can, you know, just try to consider it.


Changes affect the whole system, unless you play the game how can you appreciate the changes?
By using the ancient arts of "reading" and "analysis". By the way, advising someone to "play the game and see for yourself" is worse than useless. You would think that people who ask about games on forums do it precisely because they do not want to waste their time on experiments.


On top of this, Pathfinder has feats to improve the ability to maintain the flank.
You still need a minimum of one round to set the flank up, which is debiliating in the game where combats usually last 2-4 rounds. Requiring a feat tax for making an inferior option work at all is a nerf.

Kelpstrand
2009-09-14, 07:11 AM
When you delay you delay to a set initive count or simply wait until sometime later in the round.
You can't interupt someone elses action with a delayed action.

So-
Everyone delays until the Fighters Init.
Fighter acts - steps 5' and attacks.
Rogue and Monster both declare they're now acting (on the same init count as the Fighter)
Rogue has higher init bonus and acts 1st - takes 5' step and full atacks with sneak attack.
Monster now acts.

They're now all on the same init count.
Next round the Rogue goes 1st, delays until after the Fighter has acted and then acts, not having changed the init count but having gine after the Fighter but before the monster again, as per 1st time.

In short Kelpstand, you're mistaken.

No. You are mistaken. If on the first round the Rogue and Fighter delay to the same count, the Rogue cannot go after the Fighter unless the Fighter has higher Init mod. If you have a higher mod, you cannot go after them on the same count. You can only go before them on that count, or after them on the following count.

Therefore, if the Fighter has a mod of +1, the monster or +0, and the Rogue of +8, the Monster can be on count with the Fighter and go after him, but the Rogue can only go before both of them or after both of them.

Starbuck_II
2009-09-14, 08:27 AM
Is there an example in any book you could point out? That would make this so much easier.

Frerezar
2009-09-14, 12:01 PM
And this is all because of blink. At any rate, I donīt know if this will make much of a difference to anyoneīs opinion, but i think that if there is one thing that PF succeded at is making fluff players have better characters (mechanically) than before. And of course make leveling up a bit more rewardin (I hate dead levels).

So my conclusion is this, if you want to run (or play) a game where all viable fighters are tripers or chargers, where all viable roges have rings of blink, and druids still beta the crap out of them with no efford whatsoever stik to 3.5 and youīll be happy.
If you want to run (or play) a game where a player can take a level of sorcerer and then continue as a fighter (without prc) and still feel fulfilled the go for PF and make sure they never run into a 3.5 ®viable® character.

Epinephrine
2009-09-14, 12:45 PM
Options that totally suck are not options.

"Totally suck" is an opinion.


You know, it is hard to respond politely to such statements on a DnD-related forum, but I'll try: being split in two feats and stripped of the free followup attack that was at least half of the reason why old Imp.Trip was awesome is not "being stronger".

The new greater trip gives you and all your allies attacks on a successful trip, and trips can be more easily optimised since it's an attack roll rather than an ability contest. That's solidly better.


They haven't merged Climb and Swim, two infamously bad skills. Therefore their skill consolidation is poorly done, and leaves skills as unbalanced as ever, because actually-sometimes-useful Tumble and Jump were merged. This is not a matter of opinion.

So, your opinion about what skills should be merged is not a matter of opinion?
I think Jump and Balance and Tumble are very sensibly related. It would be hard to get good at tumbling and NOT develop the ability to balance and/or jump.


You don't need to simply fly, you need to catch goddamn flyers that ruin your day. Therefore your advice is worse than useless.

First off, you don't need to make flight checks to fly after someone. You can move and double move without checks.

Two options - fly near enough to hit them with spells/missiles (not hard, takes no fly skill at all, since you simply have to be within range) or fly near enough to hit them in melee (might require some fly skill, if the opponent is a strong flier). 4,000gp fixes the second problem, so I don't see it as a colossal issue. Don't waste any skill points on it; when the time comes to fly after enemies use a small portion of your wealth to buy a circlet of Intellect (Fly). You now have a maxed out Fly skill for your level, which is plenty for chasing after enemies in the air.

See, something added in PF (Fly skill) taken care of by something added in PF (int bonuses from items grant skill ranks). And since wealth by level is higher in PF, you've got the spare money to pick up an item to let you take advantage of your flight items.


You are being offered evidence for approximately several dozens of posts now, so you can, you know, just try to consider it.

Most of these posts I contest. Many are based on opinion (like "those feats suck"). You've been offered evidence for the opposite argument.


By using the ancient arts of "reading" and "analysis". By the way, advising someone to "play the game and see for yourself" is worse than useless.

Ok, what would you recommend?
1.) Ask for advice on a forum.
2.) Receive conflicting opinions, complete with piles of information that may or may not be relevent, and "analysis" that only ever examines points in a vacuum.

My point is that you can't easily analyse changes across an entire system by looking at each point in a vacuum. When doing science one adjusts a small number of variables at a time - or if a large number of variables are changing, huge reams of data are necessary to decipher the interactions of the changes. It certainly isn't done by theory - it's done by actually running experiments, measuring results, and applying statistics. You are suggesting that simply looking at the change to each variable on its own is sufficient, thanks to "reading" and "analysis".


You would think that people who ask about games on forums do it precisely because they do not want to waste their time on experiments.

It's not a waste, it's how one actually analyses things, in the real world. With data. We don't simply say, "well, chronic cerebral ischaemia should result in x, y, and z," we actually test it. And then you sometimes find something out that you weren't expecting - like the fact that rats perform poorly in a certain test may be related to retinal damage from the ischaemia, and that it doesn't in fact relate to spatial memory. Sure, the theory can help design an experiment, but you don't stop there. You test it.

That's all I'm suggesting - there is a conflicting view of the change from 3.5 to PF. Two differing opinions exist. Each says it's supported - why not actually test it - it's not like the Pathfinder SRD isn't available. I don't care whether you do or not, you are entitled to your opinions, but if someone really does want to know how the game plays, I think it's probably better to test how the game plays rather than rely on likely biased reports from two sides of the issue.

Nero24200
2009-09-14, 01:12 PM
The new greater trip gives you and all your allies attacks on a successful trip, and trips can be more easily optimised since it's an attack roll rather than an ability contest. That's solidly better.
Not really, creatures you were unlikely to trip before will still have a solid chance. In fact, one of the complaints floating around the Paizo forums shortly after the release was a complaint that combat manvouers are too hard to pull off.



So, your opinion about what skills should be merged is not a matter of opinion?
I think Jump and Balance and Tumble are very sensibly related. It would be hard to get good at tumbling and NOT develop the ability to balance and/or jump. He's not the only one to complain about the skill consolidation. Alot of people chimmed in on the forums to say that they felt certain skills should be consolidated more, mostly because some skills were still heavily underused and newer skills (like Perception) were too good. I know myself just how many people felt this way, since I myself was part of the topic and voiced my opinion. Paizo still never changed it.




4,000gp fixes the second problem, so I don't see it as a colossal issue. Don't waste any skill points on it; when the time comes to fly after enemies use a small portion of your wealth to buy a circlet of Intellect (Fly). You now have a maxed out Fly skill for your level, which is plenty for chasing after enemies in the air.

See, something added in PF (Fly skill) taken care of by something added in PF (int bonuses from items grant skill ranks). And since wealth by level is higher in PF, you've got the spare money to pick up an item to let you take advantage of your flight items. The "Wealth by level guidlines are higher" doesn't really seem to do much to balance. You don't need to spend $50 on a book just to be able to give out more loot to the party. Also, I consider bonus skill points from item boosters to be a silly idea. What's to stop someone simply casting Fox's cunning when they need skills for the appropraite situation? You might not see alot of inherint problems in it at first, but it opens the door for abuse pretty quickly.




It certainly isn't done by theory - it's done by actually running experiments, measuring results, and applying statistics. You are suggesting that simply looking at the change to each variable on its own is sufficient, thanks to "reading" and "analysis". To be fair, many don't feel Paizo has done this either. Alot of complaints made in the Alpha and Beta stage were left unanswered, and in some cases even went in the opposite direction. That's, if anything, contrary to testing and running experiments.

In fact, Paizo did this to such an extent that some people are even throwing around the theory that the playtest was just marketing and that most of their final stuff was thought out before the playtest even began. I'm not saying that it's true, but if such a theory is floating about they can't exactly take that as a good sign.




That's all I'm suggesting - there is a conflicting view of the change from 3.5 to PF. Two differing opinions exist. Each says it's supported - why not actually test it - it's not like the Pathfinder SRD isn't available. I'll be honest, I don't have a problem with people trying PF and liking it. However, I've seen alot of "Just play test it" comming from the Pazio fans quite heavily, even if the subject in question has been tried by them. If they practised what they preached and tried it before defending it so, I'd be a little less eager to argue against them.

In fact, just a while back on their forums I complained using playtested data, and naturally, the fans there were quick to tell me just how wrong I was playing the game (apparently, I'm being an unimaginative DM if the majority of my monsters aren't good aligned).


I've done my fair share of arguing against Paizo, but please don't act like it's all one-sided, the fanboys also like to throw around statistics and such without actual playtest as well. The difference is that the statistics favour their arguments less, thats why you don't see as much.

Doug Lampert
2009-09-14, 02:06 PM
Yes, people complained about the spiked chain being broken.

IMAO: Spiked chain was clearly broken compared to most other 3.x weapons in that it was clearly BETTER than most other 3.x weapons. With a human fighter getting 19 feats in 20 levels spending a feat for a better weapon is a no-brainer.

Non-broken is multiple options each with both good and bad points. If one weapon is clearly superior I have no trouble with calling that weapon broken. Especially when the best weapon is a clearly silly weapon which should be more of a danger to the wielder than anyone else.

Also IMAO: Having said that, nerfing the spiked chain is BAD. Fighters were underpowered in 3.x and melee fighters were horribly weak. Ergo the way to add options if sticking with the 3.x framework was to IMPROVE all the other fighter toys to be as good as the spiked chain, not to drop the spiked chain back into the giant pool of fail which is melee combat dependence in 3.x.

But the basic rule of 3.x, including the claimed 3.75 which is PF. seems to be that fighters can never have anything nice.

Starbuck_II
2009-09-14, 03:44 PM
Worse, Pathfinder included new exotic weapons (in the previous pathfinder books) that are worth it as much as spiked chain (Meteor knife, etc), but nerfed the spiked chain only (now weaker than Hvy. Flail since costs a feat).

Epinephrine
2009-09-14, 03:46 PM
Not really, creatures you were unlikely to trip before will still have a solid chance. In fact, one of the complaints floating around the Paizo forums shortly after the release was a complaint that combat manvouers are too hard to pull off.

I'll point out that that may have been more general - grapple is harder to pull off, other maneuvers may also be harder. Trip was an ability check before - it's my impression that it has gotten easier to trip things (at least, the tripper in the campaign I run has benefitted from the change from 3.5 to PF).


He's not the only one to complain about the skill consolidation.

Ok, but there will be many versions of skill consolidations that each person may like. You can't please all the people all the time.


The "Wealth by level guidlines are higher" doesn't really seem to do much to balance.

Not implying they do - frankly, I'd ignore it (and plan to - they don't need more loot).


Also, I consider bonus skill points from item boosters to be a silly idea. What's to stop someone simply casting Fox's cunning when they need skills for the appropraite situation? You might not see alot of inherint problems in it at first, but it opens the door for abuse pretty quickly.

Well, you simply make it so that items count, but spells don't - a bit like the 3.5 rules about bonus spells - you can use an item to gain bonus spells, but you can't do so from an Owl's Wisdom.

This is one of the changes I really don't mind - there was very little point for anyone but a wizard (or other Int-based caster) to ever boost their Int via items - and I like the idea of a character picking up an item that provides them with a mystical knowledge of healing, or nature, or an understanding of structures and architecture. I find it a nice idea, putting an actual benefit on +Int items that had been lacking.


To be fair, many don't feel Paizo has done this either.

No, and I don't either. I think they dashed a lot of changes off last minute with very little/no testing. I think some of the changes between beta and the final are downright stupid, poorly tested, and I won't be implementing them.

But that's not relevant to whether actual play will give you a better reading of what a change has done. Just because Paizo did a lousy job of testing some changes doesn't mean that the best way to appreciate the changes is to try to play with them.

I don't hide the fact that I disagree with aspects of PF - I do however feel that it matches myt desired play better, overall. I had a lot of issues with 3.5 as well - I was happy enough playing it, but I houseruled a lot, and found some elements irritating. I find Pathfinder less so, though it still has many issues - and in some places they went the wrong way, or the right way but to the wrong extent.


In fact, Paizo did this to such an extent that some people are even throwing around the theory that the playtest was just marketing and that most of their final stuff was thought out before the playtest even began. I'm not saying that it's true, but if such a theory is floating about they can't exactly take that as a good sign.

I don't care much for anything resembling a conspiracy theory. Maybe I'm not paranoid enough. I do think that the designers did at some points simply close their eyes and ignore feedback because they didn't like the feedback. Their prerogative, I guess. I know that I'll just houserule away the bits I don't like - exactly as I did in 3.5.


I'll be honest, I don't have a problem with people trying PF and liking it. However, I've seen alot of "Just play test it" comming from the Pazio fans quite heavily, even if the subject in question has been tried by them. If they practised what they preached and tried it before defending it so, I'd be a little less eager to argue against them.

...

I've done my fair share of arguing against Paizo, but please don't act like it's all one-sided, the fanboys also like to throw around statistics and such without actual playtest as well. The difference is that the statistics favour their arguments less, thats why you don't see as much.

I'll happily support my statements with stats, where possible - but much of what's stated is opinion. Saying that the new feats "suck" is not objective, even if you think it is, and since many feats are not purely numerical it can be hard to tell how effective they'll be in game - I know that benign transposition can be a powerful spell, but it's not necessarily obvious to everyone that swapping two allies is a huge deal.

As for stats, people will often pick those that benefit their side (even inadvertently), though I try to be fair (hence prefacing my example of tripping an ogre). I'm not sold on everything in PF, but when I see something misrepresented (as I feel the rogue's relative strength and tripping were) I'll pipe up about those issues.

You want to criticise the PF bard's uselessness with Inspiring Competence? I agree! What use is a power that can't even see your party up a cliff face, or that uses a quarter of your daily uses to encourage someone to disarm a single trap? You get roughly Cha+2/level, and a trap takes 2d4 rounds to disarm. Wow! You want to balance across some tricky beams, so you send one person at a time across, while the bard sings for them. Takes 3 rounds each, times the number of people in the party... there goes most of your usefulness. Likewise with Fascinate - seriously, 1 round at a time? "I'll keep them occupied for a few minutes, while you sneak around." Yeah, right.

But I do have trouble when I see elements that I don't think are actually weak spots in the system being attacked as being weak spots. So I'll argue those.

Kelpstrand
2009-09-14, 04:54 PM
I'll point out that that may have been more general - grapple is harder to pull off, other maneuvers may also be harder. Trip was an ability check before - it's my impression that it has gotten easier to trip things (at least, the tripper in the campaign I run has benefitted from the change from 3.5 to PF).

Trip being an ability check is precisely why it was easier in 3.5 than Pathfinder.

Take Generic Outsider X at high levels he's huge, he has the same BAB as you, and a pretty decent Str and Dex. A Tripper on the other hand, specializes in Str, so has a higher Mod, and is usually Large or Huge + feat +other bonuses.

The fact is that when the numbers you are dealing with are ability checks, fewer additions to it exist, and those that do are more specialized. A Trip focused character has +8 in non feat non stat non size mods by level 12, and that does a lot better job of pushing you into the 60-90% chance of success that makes it actually worth your action on an ability check than it does on an attack against an opponent with more BAB than you and high Str and Dex.

Starbuck_II
2009-09-14, 04:56 PM
Agreed, if they just lowered size bonus, but left Trip an ability check: you'd have a better chance instead of lower chance (sense now monsters add BAB).

Epinephrine
2009-09-14, 06:30 PM
While I agree that enemy BABs can grow, my impression is that character attack values can swell very quickly. The monk in our game has benefited from pitting his CMB against CMDs rather than making ability checks. This way he can benefit from a recitation, haste, inspire courage, greater heroism, flanking bonuses, etc, and his roll to trip is absurd.

Stephen_E
2009-09-14, 10:28 PM
No. You are mistaken. If on the first round the Rogue and Fighter delay to the same count, the Rogue cannot go after the Fighter unless the Fighter has higher Init mod. If you have a higher mod, you cannot go after them on the same count. You can only go before them on that count, or after them on the following count.

Therefore, if the Fighter has a mod of +1, the monster or +0, and the Rogue of +8, the Monster can be on count with the Fighter and go after him, but the Rogue can only go before both of them or after both of them.

I repeat, you're mistaken. Read the PF rules.
You can delay to an specific Init check point OR just act in a init count.
You can't interupt someone elses action.

Fighter acts on Init count 1.
Rogue then decides to act on that init count, as is his right. He can't interrupt the Fighters action and go before him, so he must go after him. Since the init point has not passed he is entitled to act in it.

I repeat you're wrong.
I suspect you're trying to cling to this because without it your specific argument against PF Rogues largely fails.

I swear it's hard to workout who gets more silly and obstinate, the "I hate PF and all it stands for, it is completely broken", or the "I love PF and all it stands for, it is perfect".

Stephen E

Crow
2009-09-14, 10:33 PM
{Scrubbed}

Stephen_E
2009-09-14, 10:56 PM
He's not the only one to complain about the skill consolidation. Alot of people chimmed in on the forums to say that they felt certain skills should be consolidated more, mostly because some skills were still heavily underused and newer skills (like Perception) were too good. I know myself just how many people felt this way, since I myself was part of the topic and voiced my opinion. Paizo still never changed it.

Playtesting doesn't mean accepting everything your playtesters say. For one thing they have different views, so yes, while you and others may have disagreed with some of the skill consoldations, others clearly agreed (as shown here). Also keep in mind that you have stated that you were looking at skill consildation from one aspect (amount of use) while the designers may well have been looking at it primarily from another angle (say logic of consiladation - like climbing and swimming have little if any relationship). Playtesting doesn't mean your opinions and findings will get taken into the game. If you can't accept that don't playtest.



The "Wealth by level guidlines are higher" doesn't really seem to do much to balance. You don't need to spend $50 on a book just to be able to give out more loot to the party. Also, I consider bonus skill points from item boosters to be a silly idea. What's to stop someone simply casting Fox's cunning when they need skills for the appropraite situation? You might not see alot of inherint problems in it at first, but it opens the door for abuse pretty quickly.

If you're going to make attacks it'd help if you got the rules right.
Int boost effects only give you extra skill points after 24 hours, if the effect lasts that long. So that Fox's Cunning has 2 last 24+ hours to give you additional skill points. And before you say I'll just metamagic it to 24hrs duration and recast it. Aside from taking a 6th lev slot permanently, it also technically won't works since each spell is a different effect, so each spell lasts 24 hours, at which point you go aha I understand things better, gain "x" skill points, and then promtly lose them as the spell ends.



To be fair, many don't feel Paizo has done this either. Alot of complaints made in the Alpha and Beta stage were left unanswered, and in some cases even went in the opposite direction. That's, if anything, contrary to testing and running experiments.

In fact, Paizo did this to such an extent that some people are even throwing around the theory that the playtest was just marketing and that most of their final stuff was thought out before the playtest even began. I'm not saying that it's true, but if such a theory is floating about they can't exactly take that as a good sign.

Since there is plenty of evidence that some playtesters disagreed with those views then what this is primarily a sign of is that some people don't understand how playtesting works, and are Prima Donnas who get s**tty when they don't get there way.



[/quote] In fact, just a while back on their forums I complained using playtested data, and naturally, the fans there were quick to tell me just how wrong I was playing the game (apparently, I'm being an unimaginative DM if the majority of my monsters aren't good aligned). [/quote]

See this isn't a sign that they weren't serious in their playtesting, but that their philosophy of where they were going didn't match yours. Now I have my own problems with some of PF's game philosophy, but complaining about the philosophy is different from saying they got the playtesting wrong. Without more detail I can't comment on whether I agree with their philosophy or yours on the particular issue you raised.

Stephen E

Stephen_E
2009-09-14, 11:08 PM
*POW*...."FINISH HIM!"

:smallredface: Yeah, well I visit here and the Piazzo boards and the "PF absolutely wrong" and the PF absolutely right" irritate me in exactly the same way, and there argument (rant) styles are just the same. So if I get anoyed enough to bite it's random chance who I'll bite.

Stephen E

Kelpstrand
2009-09-14, 11:25 PM
I repeat, you're mistaken. Read the PF rules.
You can delay to an specific Init check point OR just act in a init count.
You can't interupt someone elses action.

Fighter acts on Init count 1.
Rogue then decides to act on that init count, as is his right. He can't interrupt the Fighters action and go before him, so he must go after him. Since the init point has not passed he is entitled to act in it.

I repeat, you are mistaken.

You can't delay to Init count 1 after init count one ends, you have to delay from before init count 1. So the Rogue delays to init count 1, the Fighter also acts on Init count 1. How do you resolve ties? Higher modifier. Rogue acts then Fighter.

Or the Rogue can delay to Init count 0, in which case, the Monster who is on Init count 1 acts before him.


I suspect you're trying to cling to this because without it your specific argument against PF Rogues largely fails.

No, I am 'clinging' to that argument because it is correct. Even if it weren't correct, the part where the five foot stepping monster only comes up in 15% of all encounters and the other 85% are incapable of being flanked for a full attack proves my point already. But everyone keeps ignoring that because they are wrong.

Optimator
2009-09-15, 04:50 AM
I've done my fair share of arguing against Paizo, but please don't act like it's all one-sided, the fanboys also like to throw around statistics and such without actual playtest as well. The difference is that the statistics favour their arguments less, thats why you don't see as much.

This. Anyway, my next comment isn't immediately applicable to this argument (since none of the people I am alluding to are here) but it sums up my opinion quite well. Please, nobody take it personally. (prefacing an argument with that can't be a good sign, can it? :smallwink:)

In my good amount of experience on this and several other D&D boards, a noticeable amount of people whom I consider real experts at D&D crunch consider PF highly flawed. In my experience, people who tout PF's greatness frequently come off as significantly more "casual" players. This particular forum has a much higher rate of casual players vs. other forums like the old original Char-Op board at Wizards or the BG forums for example.

Why might the BG forums seem like a haven for PF hate? Imagine being a climatologist with a Ph.D trying to convince a group of blue-collar working-types about the realities of global climate change. You bring facts and experience in the field, they bring talk-show talking-points and call you a liar, flat-out disbelieving your evidence--evidence which you have a lot of experience with. Evidence with numbers. "Even a average increase of 2 degrees could have significant effects of ocean currents and insect migration and the ecosystems they support and..." "Global warming? Last winter it was cold as balls! Liar! I don't see any global warming when I look out the window. So what if it gets a few degrees warmer? It would be like I moved south." This is a rough analogy for the debate between a lot of pro- and anti-PF people.

Now I know that these people I personally consider experts do not have the equivalent D&D knowledge of a Ph.D nor are pro-PF people total knuckle-draggers. But some of these guys are truly operating at a higher level of understanding of the fundamentals of this construct we call D&D 3.5. And a lot of them are calling foul on PF.

Stephen_E
2009-09-15, 05:01 AM
I repeat, you are mistaken.

You can't delay to Init count 1 after init count one ends, you have to delay from before init count 1. So the Rogue delays to init count 1, the Fighter also acts on Init count 1. How do you resolve ties? Higher modifier. Rogue acts then Fighter.



Just because the fighter has acted doesn't mean the init count has ended. Therefore the Rogue can now act. When delaying you don't have to set to a specific init count, you can just say "now". Read the PRD.

Stephen E

Stephen_E
2009-09-15, 05:17 AM
In my good amount of experience on this and several other D&D boards, a noticeable amount of people whom I consider real experts at D&D crunch consider PF highly flawed. In my experience, people who tout PF's greatness frequently come off as significantly more "casual" players. This particular forum has a much higher rate of casual players vs. other forums like the old original Char-Op board at Wizards or the BG forums for example.


You don't name names, but having visited the Char Op boards at Wizards a few times, a number of people there seemed to me experts at sounding expert, rather than been experts.

Whether PF is broken depends a lot on what you're looking for. It's a bit like people would tell you all about Batman Wizards been the ubder power ect, with comprehensive arguments, based on their interpretations on how people and GMs played. In 25 years of playing I've never played with GMs who'd allow the stuff they were relying on GMs allowing, or with players who'd put the amount of out-of-game work required for the class.

An awful lot depends on style of play. It's really funny when you get one of those experts admitting they don't even play DnD, but yet they're experts on how it works, including factoring how they think people play it.

I could give you a decent list of things I don't like about PF (including the Head Designers appent game philosophy) but I'm still playing and enjoying it. There are feats I can pull in from 3.5 (remember it is supposed to be compatible) which fix some of the things I don't like, and others I can simply ignore. There is also an awful lot I like about it and prefer over straight 3.5.

Stephen E

Nero24200
2009-09-15, 05:17 AM
Playtesting doesn't mean accepting everything your playtesters say. For one thing they have different views, so yes, while you and others may have disagreed with some of the skill consoldations, others clearly agreed (as shown here). Theres "No taking some views into account" and ignoring 3/4 of the views. The skill consodliation was debatated very hotly, and in most cases they didn't even offer a reason or comment as to why not to change it.


Also keep in mind that you have stated that you were looking at skill consildation from one aspect (amount of use) while the designers may well have been looking at it primarily from another angle (say logic of consiladation - like climbing and swimming have little if any relationship). Which was yet another thing talked about on the forums. The same arguments can be applied to other skills as well. A blind person, by RAW, takes a -4 penalty to hear an invisable foe sneaking up behind him. Every aspect of the current skill consolidation will break down if you analyse them too much, that's not somthing that can really be stopped, so why is it used as an excuse for this? Besides, anyone can look at things from a fluff point, the big selling point of PF was that it was meant to fix problems.




If you're going to make attacks it'd help if you got the rules right.
Int boost effects only give you extra skill points after 24 hours, if the effect lasts that long. So that Fox's Cunning has 2 last 24+ hours to give you additional skill points. And before you say I'll just metamagic it to 24hrs duration and recast it. Aside from taking a 6th lev slot permanently, it also technically won't works since each spell is a different effect, so each spell lasts 24 hours, at which point you go aha I understand things better, gain "x" skill points, and then promtly lose them as the spell ends. Poor example I admit, but the problem is still there. Just switch around magic items until you get the desired result. I wasn't trying to give an example of abuse, only show that it's possible, which it is.




Since there is plenty of evidence that some playtesters disagreed with those views then what this is primarily a sign of is that some people don't understand how playtesting works, and are Prima Donnas who get s**tty when they don't get there way. No no, we understand, we just think how they did it was awful. And FYI, I don't think paizo fans have any right to speak about Prima Donnas. Just plain no. Actually look at their forums. Find any point in which someone surgests somthing contrary to what Pazio has done and the fanboys jump down their throat. I've persoanlly been flammed several times on the forum (to the point that one or two fans arguing against me even felt the need to step in and tell others to calm down).


[QUOTE=Stephen_E;6930891]
See this isn't a sign that they weren't serious in their playtesting, but that their philosophy of where they were going didn't match yours. [/QUTOE] I can understand not taking a single persons veiws into account, but alot of stuff I complained about was brought up by quite alot of other people as well. If it was just me, fair enough, I wouldn't expect them to alter their game for one person, but that wouldn't be the case at all.

Epinephrine
2009-09-15, 06:17 AM
Even if it weren't correct, the part where the five foot stepping monster only comes up in 15% of all encounters and the other 85% are incapable of being flanked for a full attack proves my point already. But everyone keeps ignoring that because they are wrong.

I ignore it because it is incorrect. Having a high movement speed or wanting to grapple doesn't make you immune to flanking. Yes, some use single attacks - but that still doesn't make them unflankable. It may mean that they have a good reason to try to move and attack, but that's not always possible. Many encounters happen in terrain that prevent this - like a hallway or small room, or difficult terrain that prevents 5' steps. Yes, 85% might not wish to trade full attacks, but they may still have to.

And I addressed the idea of your sample elsewhere: Enemies encountered are not selected by random selection from the list of monsters at one's CR - they are not all equally likely. In every campaign I've run and played in over the past 28 years the foes have more often been class leveled humanoids, with monsters certainly playing a role, but generally not makng up the majority of encounters. Moreover, CR7 is a fairly low level - at level 7 a rogue doesn't even have iterative attacks to benefit from. I'm not saying that my experience is universal, but it does at least show that there exist groups for whom your analysis doesn't apply.

Kelpstrand
2009-09-15, 08:56 AM
Just because the fighter has acted doesn't mean the init count has ended. Therefore the Rogue can now act. When delaying you don't have to set to a specific init count, you can just say "now". Read the PRD.

The Rogue cannot delay until "now" he can delay until Init count 1, or Init count 0. If he delays until Init count 1, he goes before the Fighter, if 0 after the fighter.

It's that simple. He can not delay to init count 1.4, and he cannot act after the fighter on the same Init count, because he has a higher modifier.


I ignore it because it is incorrect. Having a high movement speed or wanting to grapple doesn't make you immune to flanking. Yes, some use single attacks - but that still doesn't make them unflankable. It may mean that they have a good reason to try to move and attack, but that's not always possible. Many encounters happen in terrain that prevent this - like a hallway or small room, or difficult terrain that prevents 5' steps. Yes, 85% might not wish to trade full attacks, but they may still have to.

Just no. Yes, being a grapple monster really means you can't be flanked. Yes, having a standard action really means you can use it and move. No the enemies are never ever in a situation were they cannot take a move action. That doesn't ever happen.


And I addressed the idea of your sample elsewhere: Enemies encountered are not selected by random selection from the list of monsters at one's CR - they are not all equally likely. In every campaign I've run and played in over the past 28 years the foes have more often been class leveled humanoids, with monsters certainly playing a role, but generally not makng up the majority of encounters. Moreover, CR7 is a fairly low level - at level 7 a rogue doesn't even have iterative attacks to benefit from. I'm not saying that my experience is universal, but it does at least show that there exist groups for whom your analysis doesn't apply.

So your claim is that even though 85% of all enemies are immune, if you just face nothing but human fighters all the time it works?

So what. And even though Fort saves are generally higher than other saves, if you only face Commoners with Con 8 they are low.

You don't get to declare 85% of the MM to not exist just because you wish it didn't. Playing the game involves facing opponents. It is impossible to say with certainty what opponents you will face. My claim, "You will face enemies approximately in proportion to the MM" makes a lot more sense as a starting point than "You will probably face 90% monsters that are weak, pathetic, and subject to whatever tactic you want." By that logic, Core 3.5 Rogues never didn't get SA, since we all know that 95% of fights are humanoids, and the other 5% are Dragons, and no one ever faces an Elemental/Undead/Ooze/Construct.

And a level 7 Rogue has 3-4 attacks.

Epinephrine
2009-09-15, 09:41 AM
Just no. Yes, being a grapple monster really means you can't be flanked.

You are simply wrong. Grappling foes can be flanked. Place a threat on each side of opponent. Trace a line from the centre of the two player's squares, through the opponent's square. If it crosses opposite sides of the opponent's square (including corners) you have flanking. All that is required is to threaten your opponent and be positioned correctly - unless every grappling foe in your world has all-around vision or improved uncanny dodge.


Yes, having a standard action really means you can use it and move.
Move actions produce AoO. So you either trip the enemy, or get free shots at him.


No the enemies are never ever in a situation were they cannot take a move action. That doesn't ever happen.

Again with your "doesn't ever" type language. Paralyzed, pinned, unconscious, stunned, dazed, fascinated, cowering... so, you're at the very least wrong, since there exist "situation were[sic] they [enemies] cannot take a move action".

Further to this, though, you've never flanked an enemy in a 5' wide hallway? The monster's options are to move through players, which will be tricky because tumble is harder, and because the average opponent can't tumble for beans. The rogue who tumbled through the opponent's square can do it, because he's built to do so, but good luck to the enemy trying to get away.


So your claim is that even though 85% of all enemies are immune, if you just face nothing but human fighters all the time it works?

No, I claim that a) your 85% is wrong, and b) even if it were 85% (which it isn't), you won't face enemies in that proportion in every game - perhaps in yours, but it certainly isn't the rule, in my experience.

I don't have to prove that you NEVER face them in that proportion for flanking to be useful. I just have to show that there exist situations in which it works fine. I don't have to prove that it's not 85% in all games, I just have to show that there are games in which it isn't 85%.

You are trying to make a "for all" argument, I'm arguing that your claim isn't true.


You don't get to declare 85% of the MM to not exist just because you wish it didn't.

Again, not saying that. I'm saying that you are wrong about the 85%.


My claim, "You will face enemies approximately in proportion to the MM" makes a lot more sense as a starting point than "You will probably face 90% monsters that are weak, pathetic, and subject to whatever tactic you want."

Nice strawman. Point to where I said "90% of monsters that are weak, pathetic, and subject to whatever tactic you want," or are you arguing something that I didn't claim? Funny enough, you are using quotation marks.

Please, stick to arguing what is ACTUALLY said. There's no point to my saying "you said that trips can never ever work under any circumstances", as you haven't said that. Why on earth would you bother arguing against things I haven't said? If you misrepresent your opponent's position you aren't actually participating in a discussion with anyone but yourself.

Your claim that you'll face monsters in proportion to the MM isn't logically sound. It is not a sensible starting point - it presumes, for example, the automatic inclusion of beasts from an incredibly diverse array of environments, including many that are exclusively from aquatic areas. It also includes enemies that are aligned with your party. By your logic I should have 10 dragon encounters for each orc encounter I have (or would it be 120 dragon encounters, as I'd encounter them at each age category?), and I should encounter good and evil dragons with equal frequency - despite the fact that evil dragons are more likely to involve themselves in activities that would attract the attention of good-aligned adventurers as opponents (or vice versa for an evil party).

I am not stating that my play experience is universal, but it's such a radical departure from your hypothesized distribution that it is unlikely to be derived from the same base rule.


And a level 7 Rogue has 3-4 attacks.

Umm, no. Unless you are referring to a given example of one. A level 7 rogue could have multiple attacks, true. Haste could grant an extra on full attack, as could TWF. And there are feats like snap kick that one could use, but they are far from being universal truths. Yes, it might be advantageous for some foes to move around, I won't deny that, but they are still flankable. You still get off attacks, and you are getting attacks of opportunity on them when they try to move away.

If by "unflankable" you mean "these foes may move in ways to prevent full attacks on flanks, choosing to instead take some AoO", that's true - they can mitigate some damage at little cost to their offense. But the rogue can still manage a couple of sneak attacks per round against them, and it's a problem that faces all melee types - foes that won't stand still for full attacks - it's not a rogue-specific problem, nor is it unique to PF.

The whole flanking debate seems to come from your issue with the change to blink, but the opponent moving around is as big an obstacle to full sneak attacking with blink or without. It's a problem for all melee. 4E saw this issue, and removed the "full attack" from the game.

I will agree that there are two very large imbalances in 3.5 and PF that have to do with actions:
1) Attackers need to be doing full attacks to be maximally effective, while the difference between a full round action and a standard action is nearly non-existent for csters.
2) Attackers cannot take advantage of their swift actions in a manner similar to a caster's quickened spells.

Those are valid criticisms of both 3.5 and PF, and the source of much of the problem balancing casters and non-casters. Your whole flanking/moving opponents argument boils down roughly to point 1). I don't see it as a PF specific problem, and fail to see why you are making a big deal of it in the PF setting.

Stephen_E
2009-09-15, 10:34 AM
The Rogue cannot delay until "now" he can delay until Init count 1, or Init count 0. If he delays until Init count 1, he goes before the Fighter, if 0 after the fighter.

It's that simple. He can not delay to init count 1.4, and he cannot act after the fighter on the same Init count, because he has a higher modifier.



Well if you get to make up nonexistant PF rules to support your case I guess you will always think yourself right.

Stephen E

Gnaeus
2009-09-15, 11:28 AM
In pathfinder, it looks like a RAI, not a RAW question.

It says (p203, section on Delay) that you can specify your new initiative result, or just wait until some time later in the round and act then, although you specifically cannot interrupt another action in progress. This could be read as saying that you could delay to 1.4.

It does say that your initiative result becomes the count on which you took the delayed action.

P178 has the rules for resolving initiative ties, if 2 creatures got the same initiative result, but it doesn't specify what happens if someone delays in order to move before something with a higher or lower initiative modifier. It doesn't specify what an initiative "count" is or whether it must be a whole number.

I would not say that anyone is making up rules. I would say that you are both right, and both wrong, and it is ambiguous enough to leave to a DM.

Epinephrine
2009-09-15, 12:04 PM
It says (p203, section on Delay) that you can specify your new initiative result, or just wait until some time later in the round and act then, although you specifically cannot interrupt another action in progress. This could be read as saying that you could delay to 1.4.

Indeed, that is the way we play it. You choose the initiative count on which to act. Having chosen that, you may decide to wait until some time later in the round to act, effectively allowing you to act at any point in that round. Unlike readying, it can't interrupt an action. I think that by RAW you could delay your action until initiative count N, and then act - your action could then be to delay until later in that round.

Frerezar
2009-09-15, 12:08 PM
it would seem some are forgetting that roges do more than fight in a party. Right now Iīm running a great PF module and the party roge is stealing the spotlight. He appraises for values on auctions, sneaks in buildings to steal keys, sneaks past legions of guards, etc etc. To the point where i have to tell the fighting characters not to worry that during a fight theyīll do more. My point being that why should a roge shine bothduring fights and social situaitons when other classes donīt?

FatR
2009-09-15, 12:19 PM
Oh, but good classes all do. Most core beatsticks don't, which is one of the main reasons why they suck.

Crow
2009-09-15, 12:20 PM
{Scrubbed}

Starbuck_II
2009-09-15, 12:22 PM
it would seem some are forgetting that roges do more than fight in a party. Right now Iīm running a great PF module and the party roge is stealing the spotlight. He appraises for values on auctions, sneaks in buildings to steal keys, sneaks past legions of guards, etc etc. To the point where i have to tell the fighting characters not to worry that during a fight theyīll do more. My point being that why should a roge shine bothduring fights and social situaitons when other classes donīt?

Because there shouldn't be a no fun times for any class in theory.

Kelpstrand
2009-09-15, 12:38 PM
You are simply wrong. Grappling foes can be flanked. Place a threat on each side of opponent. Trace a line from the centre of the two player's squares, through the opponent's square. If it crosses opposite sides of the opponent's square (including corners) you have flanking. All that is required is to threaten your opponent and be positioned correctly - unless every grappling foe in your world has all-around vision or improved uncanny dodge.

A grappled ally cannot be flanked with, so in less you are using three creatures to flank, then yes, they are immune. At which point, if it takes three of you to deal with 1/4th of the challenge, you have a bigger problem.


Move actions produce AoO. So you either trip the enemy, or get free shots at him.

Yes, Move actions produce AoOs. And yet, if the Monsters choice is two attacks from the Fighter and one from the Rogue, he will take that every time over 2-3 attacks from the fighter. And 3-4 from the Rogue. At zero cost to his own offense.


Again with your "doesn't ever" type language. Paralyzed, pinned, unconscious, stunned, dazed, fascinated, cowering... so, you're at the very least wrong, since there exist "situation were[sic] they [enemies] cannot take a move action".

And a monster under any of those conditions can't take standard actions either, so no one cares. In the mean time, why don't you actually address the actual problem, which is that the monsters cannot be prevented from moving while they are still an actual combatant.


Further to this, though, you've never flanked an enemy in a 5' wide hallway? The monster's options are to move through players, which will be tricky because tumble is harder, and because the average opponent can't tumble for beans. The rogue who tumbled through the opponent's square can do it, because he's built to do so, but good luck to the enemy trying to get away.

No, I have never flanked an enemy in a 5' hallway. This is primarily because I have never seen a 5' hallway. Kobold hallways are usually smaller than that, and for some reason the 43 CR seven monsters, I cannot see how you would perform this feat on the vast majority:

75% of them are Large or Larger, and so would not actually willingly enter such a hallway.
10% are Medium Fliers with Maneuverability such that they are unlikely to enter such a hallway.
Spectres can just move into the wall.
Nymphs are outdoor creatures

I could occasionally see maybe a Succubus/Phasm/Formian/Chaos Beast, being in such a hallway, or maybe a Medusa if you stretch. But that's still only 10% of all monsters of that level. Probably gets worse with level. Even then, I mostly see no reason, two of the monsters can easily escape, one doesn't want to escape.

All that is besides the point of why you even have a 5' hallway anywhere, much less often, seeing as how medium sized creatures often feel claustrophobic in such hallways, and most of D&D land is bigger than that.


No, I claim that a) your 85% is wrong, and b) even if it were 85% (which it isn't), you won't face enemies in that proportion in every game - perhaps in yours, but it certainly isn't the rule, in my experience.

I don't have to prove that you NEVER face them in that proportion for flanking to be useful. I just have to show that there exist situations in which it works fine. I don't have to prove that it's not 85% in all games, I just have to show that there are games in which it isn't 85%.

You are trying to make a "for all" argument, I'm arguing that your claim isn't true.

No, I am not making a "for all" argument, I am making an "in general" argument. Just like you. I say in general that Pathfinders changes are not suitable, you say in general they are. I say that in general, a group that wants to play with a Rogue is not going to want to use a flanking Rogue because in general, a flanking Rogue is less useful. You then try to defend it based on a particular extreme case best suited to flanking rogues (90% of monsters are melee full attacking humanoids).

My argument that in general, in a system meant for a wide audience, the expected outcome is that across all groups using the rules, monsters should be used roughly equally. For every group that plays humanoids only, there is one that plays Outsiders only. For every one that is a good party, their is an evil party. For every one that hates formians, there is a group that faces formians several times in every campaign.

My statement is an in general statement about how the rules apply to the collective group of people playing D&D.

Your argument that some games do not match the average of all games is entirely meaningless.

If you'd like to revoke your claim that the Pathfinder rules are in general an improvement and restate your case as: "For games which feature majority humanoids in small hallways, Pathfinder rules are an improvement." you are welcome to do so. But as long as the claim is that they are in general an improvement, then I can use the entire likely subset of D&D players (based a great deal on extrapolation, and in fact, logical assumptions based on design space, which are almost certainly wrong in one direction or the other, but since they could just as easily be wrong in one direction as another, that is meaningless).


Nice strawman. Point to where I said "90% of monsters that are weak, pathetic, and subject to whatever tactic you want," or are you arguing something that I didn't claim? Funny enough, you are using quotation marks.

I have also not specifically said "You will face enemies approximately in proportion to the MM" before that point. The quotes are used to delineate my summation of arguments from my commentary on the summations.

However, in the discussion of flanking you are claiming that 90% of all monsters are humanoids who full attack, IE, the small subset of monsters that can't do any of the many many many things that invalidate grapples.

I can only assume that if we were discussing some other aspect, like an Undead focused Cleric who dipped in Duskblade to channel his heals into attacks made with a Mace of Disruption, you would resort to claiming that this build is in general an acceptable build, because in games that face undead 90% of the time, it is useful. Just as you have argued that in general flanking rogues are appropriate because extreme cases could exist in which they are useful.


Your claim that you'll face monsters in proportion to the MM isn't logically sound. It is not a sensible starting point - it presumes, for example, the automatic inclusion of beasts from an incredibly diverse array of environments, including many that are exclusively from aquatic areas. It also includes enemies that are aligned with your party. By your logic I should have 10 dragon encounters for each orc encounter I have (or would it be 120 dragon encounters, as I'd encounter them at each age category?), and I should encounter good and evil dragons with equal frequency - despite the fact that evil dragons are more likely to involve themselves in activities that would attract the attention of good-aligned adventurers as opponents (or vice versa for an evil party).

I am not stating that my play experience is universal, but it's such a radical departure from your hypothesized distribution that it is unlikely to be derived from the same base rule.

As I already addressed. In speaking of the generality of rules, we are talking about the entire subset of people who might play the game. In that case, the assumption that every group with a Kobold obsession is balanced by a group with a Yuan-Ti obsession is a pretty good starting point.

The idea that we cannot start from the assumption that each monster in the MM will receive approximately equal play across all possible groups is just an attempt to prevent any discussion of the flaws of the system by claiming that because we cannot have exact knowledge of what monster is slightly more preferred, therefore, no baseline exists, and rules cannot be judged based on any standard at all.

This is a terrible idea that kills any attempt at rational discussion of anything.


Umm, no. Unless you are referring to a given example of one. A level 7 rogue could have multiple attacks, true. Haste could grant an extra on full attack, as could TWF. And there are feats like snap kick that one could use, but they are far from being universal truths. Yes, it might be advantageous for some foes to move around, I won't deny that, but they are still flankable. You still get off attacks, and you are getting attacks of opportunity on them when they try to move away.

Yes, a Rogue could have zero attacks because he is a corpse. None the less, the assumption that a Rogue is sort of kind of competently built is not crazy. The idea that a level 7-9 rogue might have 2-3 attacks is not crazy talk. It is a good starting point for comparison, since most Rogues have 2 attacks at level 1.


If by "unflankable" you mean "these foes may move in ways to prevent full attacks on flanks, choosing to instead take some AoO", that's true - they can mitigate some damage at little cost to their offense. But the rogue can still manage a couple of sneak attacks per round against them, and it's a problem that faces all melee types - foes that won't stand still for full attacks - it's not a rogue-specific problem, nor is it unique to PF.

If by unflankable I mean, "these foes will not ever allow a Rogue to full attack them from a flanking position while able to take a full rounds worth of actions" Then yes, 85% of the CR 7s, and by extrapolation, the rest of the MM are unflankable.

As we have already discussed, the fact that only 55% of these monsters are unmelee-full-attackable means that it is to some degree a flanking specific problem. And because PF removes non Flanking options for Rogues, PF makes it a Rogue specific problem, with the unique fact that it hurts Rogues greatly more in Pathfinder than in non Pathfinder.


The whole flanking debate seems to come from your issue with the change to blink, but the opponent moving around is as big an obstacle to full sneak attacking with blink or without. It's a problem for all melee. 4E saw this issue, and removed the "full attack" from the game.

The whole flanking debate comes from the changes to blink, and grease, and glitterdust, that all reduce the ability of a Rogue to be a ranged character to basically nill. Full attacking is only a problem for melee full attacks that are incapable of getting it on a charge, which as of Complete Champion, was basically nobody. Pathfinder on the other hand, forces Rogues to resort to flanking, something that not only is limited to melee, but is rarely applicable on a charge as well.


I will agree that there are two very large imbalances in 3.5 and PF that have to do with actions:
1) Attackers need to be doing full attacks to be maximally effective, while the difference between a full round action and a standard action is nearly non-existent for csters.
2) Attackers cannot take advantage of their swift actions in a manner similar to a caster's quickened spells.

Those are valid criticisms of both 3.5 and PF, and the source of much of the problem balancing casters and non-casters. Your whole flanking/moving opponents argument boils down roughly to point 1). I don't see it as a PF specific problem, and fail to see why you are making a big deal of it in the PF setting.

The part you keep seeming to magically bypass every time I keep stating it, is that those problems are negated by the vast majority of builds.

Melee in 3.5 learned to be able to be effective without full attacks, and then to get full attacks while moving.

Rogues learned to be ranged characters.

Lots of Ranged builds were made that got their full attacks just fine, and those have always existed.

The action problem was steadily negated, until everyone was playing without a problem. Pathfinder showing up and attempting to force the Rogue and only the Rogue into going back to playing the old game is a problem for Rogues. It may not be insurmountable, it may not be a problem if you play in a group that never learned to be effective in the first place. But it is a problem for the vast majority of Pathfinders intended audience, if we assume that their audience is actually the entire set of 3.5 players, something that seems to be the assumption behind repeated claims that people should play Pathfinder instead of 3.5.

lesser_minion
2009-09-15, 02:47 PM
You can specify this new initiative result or just wait until some time later in the round and act then, thus fixing your new initiative count at that point.

I'm not going to hire a lawyer to confirm this, but this seems to suggest very clearly that there is no problem with delaying to an initiative point in between two different combatants who are acting on the same initiative count.

In further support of this, I would like to point out that your interpretation would make for a great OOTS joke, and the interpretation above actually makes sense.

Given two possible interpretations of the same rule, going with the one that doesn't lead to very strange results is usually a good plan.

Also, just one thing. Explain how a melee character using the PHB and DMG only gets full attacks when moving. I'm not sure whether I'm more confused by that or by the fact that you seem completely happy to compare the Pathfinder rulebook to things which are not one of those two books.

Frerezar
2009-09-15, 03:11 PM
Regarding my previous post, I would like to add that there is a difference between shinning and being part of. Other characters will still act and interact in social social and or sneaky circumstances (but not excel) just like the rogue will participate and colaborate in full front combat. Maybe my appreciation is wrong on the idea that characters should complemente one another in different aspects of a campaign in order to make every player feel that something is their speciality. Some people just donīt find it fun when others are better than them in specific things i guess.

And as a side note one of the things that i resent PF for is not fixing the fact that spellcasters can shine in virtually any kind of situation.

Epinephrine
2009-09-15, 03:21 PM
A grappled ally cannot be flanked with, so in less you are using three creatures to flank, then yes, they are immune.
Ok, so you lose your flanker. You still rip your opponent apart with a full attack sneak attack - which is just as good as flanking, really.

I would also contest that you shouldn't be getting grappled. Between freedom of movement and the plethora of ways to get out of grapples (yes, I use 3.5 splatbooks - there are no pathfinder splatbooks yet) such as anklets of translocations, there is little reason for the rogue (or his buddy) to stay in a grapple. At low level it's anklets, at higher levels it's freedom of movement.


Yes, Move actions produce AoOs. And yet, if the Monsters choice is two attacks from the Fighter and one from the Rogue, he will take that every time over 2-3 attacks from the fighter. And 3-4 from the Rogue. At zero cost to his own offense.

Agreed, it does mitigate incoming damage, and is sensible.

Of course, if the fighter is a tripper, it's less useful. You risk getting tripped (provoking an AoO from both rogue and fighter for the trip) and then being prone while still flanked. I suppose one could crawl out while provoking attacks of opportunity, but it seems a little odd, and leaves the enemy prone (which can be harmful).


You then try to defend it based on a particular extreme case best suited to flanking rogues (90% of monsters are melee full attacking humanoids).

I don't think that's an extreme case. It's my experience.


My argument that in general, in a system meant for a wide audience, the expected outcome is that across all groups using the rules, monsters should be used roughly equally. For every group that plays humanoids only, there is one that plays Outsiders only.

Possibly, but I've been involved in more than one group over the past few decades, and haven't had that impression.


If you'd like to revoke your claim that the Pathfinder rules are in general an improvement and restate your case as: "For games which feature majority humanoids in small hallways, Pathfinder rules are an improvement." you are welcome to do so.

What exactly do you think I am claiming? I started posting in response you your claim that "full attacking with SA is the only way to actually meaningfully contribute to the party as a Rogue," and then got sucked into an argument of whether tumble was better or worse.

I feel tumble is better now.
I feel rogues contribute a great deal in ways other than damage.
I think that they can manage to be effective in combat, at least forcing enemies to avoid standing in flanked positions, and with cooperation from their team can be deadly.
I don't think that they are useless.
I think that rogues have been improved (overall) from 3.5. They have effectively more feats and skill points, as well as having some nice special abilities. They also get to affect some creatures they couldn't before, which can be handy.
I agree that the loss of some ways of dealing sneak attack could hurt them if you were relying on those.


The idea that we cannot start from the assumption that each monster in the MM will receive approximately equal play across all possible groups is just an attempt to prevent any discussion of the flaws of the system by claiming that because we cannot have exact knowledge of what monster is slightly more preferred, therefore, no baseline exists, and rules cannot be judged based on any standard at all.

No, it's not. I felt your starting place was a biased choice (and maybe not, but it seemed that way) meant to reinforce your position, especially as it reflects none of the campaigns I've ever played in or DMed. I was suggesting using actually played campaigns (with mine as a first example, and one that certainly is nowhere close to the MM distribution) as a method of gauging distributions. One could collect the lists of enemies people face and boostrap a sampling distribution of monsters from it. if one were disposed to do so.


This is a terrible idea that kills any attempt at rational discussion of anything.

I'd agree, if such were my intent. It wasn't.


None the less, the assumption that a Rogue is sort of kind of competently built is not crazy. The idea that a level 7-9 rogue might have 2-3 attacks is not crazy talk.

I agree, 2-3 is reasonable. So trading your 2-3 attacks for an attack and an attack of opportunity on a moving foe isn't a big penalty, it's losing 0-1 attacks. And if there is a tripper it could be worse, as you may grant 3 AoO to the rogue and end up prone.


If by unflankable I mean, "these foes will not ever allow a Rogue to full attack them from a flanking position while able to take a full rounds worth of actions" Then yes, 85% of the CR 7s, and by extrapolation, the rest of the MM are unflankable.

Well, it completly discounts the rest of the party, but assuming that nobody tries to prevent foes from doing that, I guess so - but again, you are counting the grapplers in there, which I disagree with. I also think it's a rather low level; at higher levels you're less apt to see foes with only 1 attack.

I tend to play in parties, and since the goal is often to eliminate foes as efficiently as possible, they frequently try to ensure that foes can't get away, or that the rogue succeeds. For example, the bard in a campaign I run has been known to run up to within 5' of flanking an opponent, and use his wand of benign transposition to bring the warrior/rogue into position to 5' step and deliver full attack with SA. This is the same in 3.5 and in PF - the parties tend to work at getting their effective melee guys to stay with foes to harrass/kill them.

Perhaps it's that I object to the term "unflankable", as it's not true. Harder to flank, sure. Flank-avoidant might be more appropriate. But the flanks are possible, and full attack flanks can be delivered on these foes.


As we have already discussed, the fact that only 55% of these monsters are unmelee-full-attackable means that it is to some degree a flanking specific problem. And because PF removes non Flanking options for Rogues, PF makes it a Rogue specific problem, with the unique fact that it hurts Rogues greatly more in Pathfinder than in non Pathfinder.

I suppose I haven't played in many campaigns in which blink was the source of SA for a rogue - invisibility has often been used, and while there exist foes who use means to see invisible, that can often be shut down via dispelling. There are likewise foes with blindsight or similar powers, but invisibility has always seemed a reasonable approach to me, along with Hide in Plain Sight or other ways of evading detection. Rogues with full concealment still get SA in PF. And you can still destroy the dumb enemy that grappled your fighter buddy by full attacking him while he stands there looking dumb.


The whole flanking debate comes from the changes to blink, and grease, and glitterdust, that all reduce the ability of a Rogue to be a ranged character to basically nill.

Ah - and I didn't find we used those, I guess. Invisibility has been much more of a staple.


Full attacking is only a problem for melee full attacks that are incapable of getting it on a charge, which as of Complete Champion, was basically nobody.

A book we don't use. So again, not in my experience.


Pathfinder on the other hand, forces Rogues to resort to flanking, something that not only is limited to melee, but is rarely applicable on a charge as well.

True - if you were using pounce charges to make melee attacks you'd be hard pressed to do so and also flank.


The part you keep seeming to magically bypass every time I keep stating it, is that those problems are negated by the vast majority of builds.

I suppose my groups got around the problem different ways. Rogues may have used invisibility or HiPS to deliver their damage, for example. Full attacks were achieved through teamwork, using dimension door to bring fighters into position rather than the pounce barbarian, or using spells like benign transposition on either summons, animal companions or other allies to bring a PC into an advantageous position. Conjuring creatures or walls into place to box enemies in. Using spells to root enemies in place, to counter their flight, or to slow them down. Using feats like Hamstring to limit a foe's mobility, or spells that negate flight to force combat to be on the ground. In one game the whole party had woodland stride and a druid - nearly every fight involved difficult terrain for the opponents that our side ignored - and they could fly, but that meant that they'd get hammered out of the air by the druid's downdrafts. And when we played with ToB (which we don't anymore, but it's a valid source) there was the flanking from Island of Blades, which made it easy to pretty much always have flanking.

I guess I just don't see the big deal about the blink/grease/glitterdust change. Yes, it weakens the rogue a bit by eliminating some options, but they've introduced some nice things as well - getting SA on more foes, the ability to dispel magic with a sneak attack, and some tasty extra combat feats, which makes the rogue a little more flexible.

satorian
2009-09-15, 05:42 PM
I'm going to evade (teehee) the rogue question, except to say I don't think it's a big deal. But that's because I'm an old schooler, and PF is still tons better than 1-2e backstab. Also, I always thought the idea that undead had no weak spots was silly.

What I will address is those annoyed by the caster remaining more versatile than other folks. Aside from saying "it's magic - it can do lots of stuff" or any other theory thing, I'm just saying it's the spells. The spells are versatile, and that's the only reason spellcasters are. PF had as a design goal to be compatible with all the stuff you already own. Whetehr you agree that they succeeded is another point, but there is no way PF could have remianed compatible with, say, the Spell Compendium, and gotten rid of all the spells. Note, of course, that Paizo does not have rights to rewrite the spells in Spell Compendium. So let's say they had nerfed every spell in the Player's handbook down to nothing. That would just mean that in any game open to some WoTC source, the players would only choose spells from the WoTC source, which were at least nominally balanced with the old PHB spells, not the new ones. If every game banned outside sources for spells, Paizo would have clearly failed in its compatibility design goal. Catch-22. There is no way any company can both maintain compatibility with published materials and severely weaken spells. There is no way of making a spellcaster less versatile without severely gimping spells. So you can complain that spellcasters are still too versatile (or even powerful, but that is a different argument) but blame WoTC, not Paizo. If you want a game heavily based on 3.5 to an extent that you can use your old books, you will have versatile spellcasters.

Kelpstrand
2009-09-15, 09:09 PM
Ok, so you lose your flanker. You still rip your opponent apart with a full attack sneak attack - which is just as good as flanking, really.

No. See, the other Pathfinder nerf to Rogues: "Grappled: A grappled creature is restrained by a creature, trap, or effect. Grappled creatures cannot move and take a Ė4 penalty to Dexterity. A grappled creature takes a Ė2 penalty on all attack rolls and combat maneuver checks, except those made to grapple or escape a grapple. In addition, grappled creatures can take no action that requires two hands to perform. A grappled character who attempts to cast a spell must make a concentration check (DC 10 + grappler's CMB + spell level), or lose the spell. Grappled creatures cannot make attacks of opportunity.

A grappled creature cannot use Stealth to hide from the creature grappling it, even if a special ability, such as hide in plain sight, would normally allow it to do so. If a grappled creature becomes invisible, through a spell or other ability, it gains a +2 circumstance bonus on its CMD to avoid being grappled, but receives no other benefit."

What part of that allows a Rogue to SA? Oh right, none of it. Also, nothing stops the monster from grappling you.


I would also contest that you shouldn't be getting grappled. Between freedom of movement and the plethora of ways to get out of grapples (yes, I use 3.5 splatbooks - there are no pathfinder splatbooks yet) such as anklets of translocations, there is little reason for the rogue (or his buddy) to stay in a grapple. At low level it's anklets, at higher levels it's freedom of movement.

Keep in mind your "I use X splat books" it will be important every time I address your strange assertion that monsters exist in 3.5 that Rogues can't SA.


Of course, if the fighter is a tripper, it's less useful. You risk getting tripped (provoking an AoO from both rogue and fighter for the trip) and then being prone while still flanked. I suppose one could crawl out while provoking attacks of opportunity, but it seems a little odd, and leaves the enemy prone (which can be harmful).

Except of course that trip was made more difficult, and AoOs are mostly a joke, in the sense that there are hundreds of ways to avoid ever provoking them. Every monster with concealment for one. And Cover as well. So at that point, it's just a question of taking a move action and not being tripped.

And again, action dynamics, if you have to take a Withdraw action to move way out of Fighter or Rogues reach, and negate both of their next turns at the cost on one standard action, then that's pretty good.


I don't think that's an extreme case. It's my experience.

You don't think that 90% of enemies being 1/500th of the monster manual and 10% being the other 499 is an extreme case? You aren't willing to accept that you might not be the norm?


Possibly, but I've been involved in more than one group over the past few decades, and haven't had that impression.

You don't think that might be because you are the type of person who doesn't like that, and so other people you like might also be like you?

I've never had a game that didn't use at least 50% outsiders and elementals of various kinds. That doesn't mean that it's the norm. It means the people I choose to play with are people who all like Outsiders and Elementals.


What exactly do you think I am claiming? I started posting in response you your claim that "full attacking with SA is the only way to actually meaningfully contribute to the party as a Rogue," and then got sucked into an argument of whether tumble was better or worse.

So in other words, you started by contradicting my general claim about what constitutes contribution. Then got sucked into an argument about tumble, which has nothing to do with me, because I've never even talked about the changes to tumble being good/bad and then... how did you get back to the part were you started claiming that melee flanking rogues are good again?


I feel tumble is better now.
I feel rogues contribute a great deal in ways other than damage.
I think that they can manage to be effective in combat, at least forcing enemies to avoid standing in flanked positions, and with cooperation from their team can be deadly.
I don't think that they are useless.
I think that rogues have been improved (overall) from 3.5. They have effectively more feats and skill points, as well as having some nice special abilities. They also get to affect some creatures they couldn't before, which can be handy.
I agree that the loss of some ways of dealing sneak attack could hurt them if you were relying on those.

I know tumble is worse now. This is objective. While I assume you mean that tumble being worse is a good thing, I find it to be not.
I feel rogues contribute no more in non damage ways than any other class. Less than many.
I think that forcing enemies to use their move actions and grapples is not sufficiently contributing to the team, and that most of the cooperation was nerfed.
I think they are not just useless, but a net negative. I think they are harmful in that they ask other people to give up their own actions and resources for reduced affect, and don't contribute comparable to their reward taking.
I think that the additional talents don't make up for a lot of the nerfing, and the feat changes don't mean anything, because with every monster getting five more feats, half of them are going to take blind-fight at some point, further hurting rogues. And they can't even effect more enemies, since they could already bypass basically all SA immunity in 3.5.


No, it's not. I felt your starting place was a biased choice (and maybe not, but it seemed that way) meant to reinforce your position, especially as it reflects none of the campaigns I've ever played in or DMed. I was suggesting using actually played campaigns (with mine as a first example, and one that certainly is nowhere close to the MM distribution) as a method of gauging distributions. One could collect the lists of enemies people face and boostrap a sampling distribution of monsters from it. if one were disposed to do so.

My starting place is based on the assumption that people have diverse interests, and that lacking exact percentages, we should assume that most all monsters see play in a great number of games, and that across all possible games, this will average out to an equal number of times played for each monster. I don't know how you can claim that as a biased place to start to prove my point, since it's the assumption I made before I even looked at what the MM actually offers flank rogues.

How do you know that actual played campaigns don't work out to MM distribution. Your campaigns are all humanoids, mine are all outsiders and elementals. I assume someone plays with lots of Dragons. Over time, what evidence do you have that this doesn't work out to equal participation?

I'd agree, if such were my intent. It wasn't.


I agree, 2-3 is reasonable. So trading your 2-3 attacks for an attack and an attack of opportunity on a moving foe isn't a big penalty, it's losing 0-1 attacks. And if there is a tripper it could be worse, as you may grant 3 AoO to the rogue and end up prone.

Except that AoO don't exist for any monster with concealment or cover or greater reach than you (in the sense that they get one right back). Not to mention a withdraw action placed so that the Rogue gets no SA on his AoO effectively negates the need to care if he even hits, and the fighter also gets no AoO on the same withdraw, and the monster is so far away that a move + attack is impossible, and probably a move + move doesn't even reset the situation.


Well, it completly discounts the rest of the party, but assuming that nobody tries to prevent foes from doing that, I guess so - but again, you are counting the grapplers in there, which I disagree with. I also think it's a rather low level; at higher levels you're less apt to see foes with only 1 attack.

I think at a higher level you are likely to see alot more Dragons and Outsiders that cast spells. And so you are less likely to like the other numbers. However, at really high levels, you might like them again since there are only like 5-10 monsters, so even two dumb brutes would be 20% at least. But I also don't think you want to actually attempt to flank the Tarrasque.


I tend to play in parties, and since the goal is often to eliminate foes as efficiently as possible, they frequently try to ensure that foes can't get away, or that the rogue succeeds. For example, the bard in a campaign I run has been known to run up to within 5' of flanking an opponent, and use his wand of benign transposition to bring the warrior/rogue into position to 5' step and deliver full attack with SA. This is the same in 3.5 and in PF - the parties tend to work at getting their effective melee guys to stay with foes to harrass/kill them.

I tend to play in parties, and since the goal is to win the encounter with the fewest deaths, we try to elimate opposition as quickly as possible, this means not wasting peoples standard actions of being move actions for fighters, since fighters can turn swift actions into move actions, or just use ranged attacks.


Perhaps it's that I object to the term "unflankable", as it's not true. Harder to flank, sure. Flank-avoidant might be more appropriate. But the flanks are possible, and full attack flanks can be delivered on these foes.

Not really. I can say that any Dragon who is even remotely a threat is not going to be flanked, unless Versatile Flanker and/or Island of Blades is in play.


I suppose I haven't played in many campaigns in which blink was the source of SA for a rogue - invisibility has often been used, and while there exist foes who use means to see invisible, that can often be shut down via dispelling. There are likewise foes with blindsight or similar powers, but invisibility has always seemed a reasonable approach to me, along with Hide in Plain Sight or other ways of evading detection. Rogues with full concealment still get SA in PF. And you can still destroy the dumb enemy that grappled your fighter buddy by full attacking him while he stands there looking dumb.

And see, here again, I have played in more than a few games where blink was used, and partially that is because of the number of things that negate invisibility, such as blindsight and True Seeing, you know, the kind that cannot be dispelled because it's an Outsider ability. Or the kind from an outsiders SLA, which allows them to spend a single standard action to negate 2-3 of yours spent dispelling.

And no, in Pathfinder you cannot destroy the dumb enemy who grappled your Fighter buddy. In 3.5, monster had a reason to grapple the Rogue and not the fighter, but in Pathfinder a successful grapple on the fighter negates both characters.


True - if you were using pounce charges to make melee attacks you'd be hard pressed to do so and also flank.

Not just pounce charges, also Travel Devotion, and sometimes benign transposition familiars. But even then, running into the middle of a group of enemies was rarely a good idea.


I guess I just don't see the big deal about the blink/grease/glitterdust change. Yes, it weakens the rogue a bit by eliminating some options, but they've introduced some nice things as well - getting SA on more foes, the ability to dispel magic with a sneak attack, and some tasty extra combat feats, which makes the rogue a little more flexible.

Don't forget the grapple nerf. Also the part where, for the third time.

Rogues could already SA everything in 3.5.

Epinephrine
2009-09-15, 09:44 PM
What part of that allows a Rogue to SA? Oh right, none of it. Also, nothing stops the monster from grappling you.

Read table 8-6 in the combat section. Grappling creatures lose their dex bonus against attackers who aren't in the grapple.


Except of course that trip was made more difficult

Except that it can easily be boosted by attack bonuses, which are easy to stack. The 12th level monk in the campaign I run can have a CMB of +44, which is fairly high I'd think, putting many creatures into his trippable range that weren't when he was using only attributes. That's thanks to morale, competence, insight, luck, flanking and some other bonuses that would have applied to normal trips (feat, weapon, attribute). You get some pretty big bonuses when you stack attack bonuses.


You don't think that 90% of enemies being 1/500th of the monster manual and 10% being the other 499 is an extreme case? You aren't willing to accept that you might not be the norm?

Perhaps I exaggerate when I say 90% - it wasn't from tallying them, more a guess, but no, I don't think I am particularly odd. Look at published campaigns like RHoD, Age of Worms, the Shackled City, and count them up?

And even if I am odd, at least I'm a data point - an actual part of the distribution. Your example isn't, it's just a sample of convenience.

I'm not going to bother arguing this any more. You have your opinions, I have mine. We have different starting axioms, so we can't reach an agreement.

pres_man
2009-09-15, 10:20 PM
Of course, if the fighter is a tripper, it's less useful. You risk getting tripped (provoking an AoO from both rogue and fighter for the trip) and then being prone while still flanked. I suppose one could crawl out while provoking attacks of opportunity, but it seems a little odd, and leaves the enemy prone (which can be harmful).

A thought. Since the extra attack (purchased through 3 feats) is an AoO. If a fighter trip someone on an AoO and the fighter didn't have Combat Reflexes ...

lesser_minion
2009-09-16, 03:39 AM
A thought. Since the extra attack (purchased through 3 feats) is an AoO. If a fighter trip someone on an AoO and the fighter didn't have Combat Reflexes ...

They wouldn't get the free attack. I don't see it coming up that often, however.

Note that the third feat is actually "opponent provokes Attacks of Opportunity for falling" however. The feats are a bit more teamwork-orientated now.

As for rogues and flanking - well, if I had the time or inclination, I might actually go back to it. It isn't a big deal either way.

I will reiterate that no conclusions can be drawn about monsters that have not been published, however.

pres_man
2009-09-16, 08:56 AM
They wouldn't get the free attack. I don't see it coming up that often, however.

Note that the third feat is actually "opponent provokes Attacks of Opportunity for falling" however. The feats are a bit more teamwork-orientated now.

Or if the fighter trips more than one target in a round and doesn't have Combat Reflexes ...

Seems like now, tripping fighters have to take combat reflexes (and have a dex high enough for each of their attacks in a round), so now we are up to 2 extra feats and a dex investment, just to get back to the 3.5 level.

Frerezar
2009-09-16, 09:08 AM
I agree that itīs gotta be borderline impossible to find a way to make spellcasters less versatile while keeping the compatibility, but it still naggs me.

On the other hand yesterday i was taking a look at the first Patf°hfinder Companion for PFRPG, Cheliax Empire of Smething, and the feats available left me very very mpressed. Specifically they give interesting boosts to both rogues and spiked chain trippers. So please take a look at those options since after all splat books are the source of most power ups for 3.5.

lesser_minion
2009-09-16, 10:21 AM
I suspect that the best compromise between game balance and backwards compatibility would have been to create eight or nine completely new and balanced character classes that cover the same archetypes as those presented in the PHB, and tweak the combat system so that it makes more sense - while still interacting seamlessly with the existing 3.x material, for those who would like to use it.

Taking T3 as an 'ideal' balance point for all of the replacement classes would lead to a better balanced game, and you wouldn't have to worry about the problems inherent in 3.x unless you wanted to.

The main problem with Pathfinder is that there was no real way to get a better balanced game without any understanding of optimised play, short of simply ignoring the issue and working out new character classes from scratch. I wouldn't have been surprised if the PF design team hadn't even worked out what they meant by "balance". They have managed better 'naturalistic' balance - but I don't think anyone actually wanted that.

satorian
2009-09-16, 11:51 AM
Naturalistic balance? What's that?

Also, having visited paizo's boards a bit, I can tell you that a lot of their vocal fanbase is not very balance-obsessed. Indeed, that's kind of why I spent a lot of time there. Until Jason's strange philosophy of playtesting and the new denatured, dull, unliterary polymorph rules came into effect. at that point, I gave up on Pathfinder as anything but a source from which to steal ideas.

Nevertheless, though I know it's hard for many who don't feel this way to understand, many many gamers JUST DON'T CARE ABOUT CLASS BALANCE. You don't believe us. Nevertheless, I swear to you it's true. Furthermore, some of us even think that class balance as a primary design goal ruins a fantasy game system, making it unfun for us because of the lost magicalness of magic and the lost grittiness of swordplay.

pres_man
2009-09-16, 01:26 PM
Nevertheless, though I know it's hard for many who don't feel this way to understand, many many gamers JUST DON'T CARE ABOUT CLASS BALANCE. You don't believe us. Nevertheless, I swear to you it's true. Furthermore, some of us even think that class balance as a primary design goal ruins a fantasy game system, making it unfun for us because of the lost magicalness of magic and the lost grittiness of swordplay.

And yet how many of those self same gamers whine when the munchkin drops into their game and starts pwning everything in sight? Then its all "that character is broken/unbalanced".

Starbuck_II
2009-09-16, 01:42 PM
Granted, that could be a monk who actually optimizes.
I think those people use social stigma to keep people in line rather than the rules.
Although, I've never met the "unbalance=good" crowd in real life so I'm only theorizing.

satorian
2009-09-16, 02:17 PM
And yet how many of those self same gamers whine when the munchkin drops into their game and starts pwning everything in sight? Then its all "that character is broken/unbalanced".

No, it's "that guy is not a fit for our campaign. perhaps he should play with people who like to play like he does. he seems to get angry when DM fiat doesn't allow his little trick to happen. we old school gamers like DM fiat to preserve everyone's fun. we trust our referee/storyguide."


I think those people use social stigma to keep people in line rather than the rules.
Kinda true, though I prefer a friendly chat followed by DM fiat if necessary.


Although, I've never met the "unbalance=good" crowd in real life so I'm only theorizing.
It's not so much that unbalance=good, but rather unbalance=not necessarily bad and bending over backwards for balance to the detriment of, for instance, the magicalness of magic,=bad.

Crow
2009-09-16, 06:57 PM
Really it is just trusting that any decisions your DM makes, he/she is doing for the enjoyment and fun of the entire group. Everybody is gathered around that table to have fun, afterall.

I've seen a lot more of a DM vs. the Players mentality lately, especially in the ubiquitous balance threads, and I am glad that at least our group doesn't suffer from this at all.

Kelpstrand
2009-09-16, 07:04 PM
Really it is just trusting that any decisions your DM makes, he/she is doing for the enjoyment and fun of the entire group. Everybody is gathered around that table to have fun, afterall.

I've seen a lot more of a DM vs. the Players mentality lately, especially in the ubiquitous balance threads, and I am glad that at least our group doesn't suffer from this at all.

Or maybe your DM should trust your ability to contribute equally to decisions about what is for the fun and enjoyment of the entire group.

Or is your DM smarter and wiser and better than you in every way while simultaneously able to read the minds of the entire party?

In my experience, that is rarely the case.

pres_man
2009-09-16, 07:05 PM
No, it's "that guy is not a fit for our campaign. perhaps he should play with people who like to play like he does. he seems to get angry when DM fiat doesn't allow his little trick to happen. we old school gamers like DM fiat to preserve everyone's fun. we trust our referee/storyguide."

You would ban a player from your game because he was functionally better than the rest, irregardless of his roleplaying ability?

And if you have to gimp the abilities that you consider too good, then I would say that balance is something that is concerning you.


I've seen a lot more of a DM vs. the Players mentality lately, especially in the ubiquitous balance threads, and I am glad that at least our group doesn't suffer from this at all.

If you think DM vs. PCs is a recent thing, then perhaps you're not quite as old school as you believe.