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    Default Primitive Materials and Balance

    I am considering having my setting be more primitive in technology but was curious about the balance of it. Would removing the options of metallic weapons and armour, thus forcing them to use materials such as stone, viridium, dragonhide, etc., be a major weakening factor to martial characters or just a minor annoyance?
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    Default Re: Primitive Materials and Balance

    Quote Originally Posted by Milo v3 View Post
    I am considering having my setting be more primitive in technology but was curious about the balance of it. Would removing the options of metallic weapons and armour, thus forcing them to use materials such as stone, viridium, dragonhide, etc., be a major weakening factor to martial characters or just a minor annoyance?
    well, for starters weapons are going to suck, whenever you roll a natural one with a stone weapon it shatters so that is a major downside
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    Default Re: Primitive Materials and Balance

    IIRC, there's builds that benefit from using [Fragile] weapons, so expect an upswing in people building their characters to take advantage of the fact that they want their weapons to be [Fragile] or actually to get the Broken condition.

    Spells that can repair damage to weapons and craft skills that take care of that will also see an upsurge in popularity. Mending being limited to 1 pound per CL or something like that will make lighter weight weapons more popular for a while if they have access to Mending.

    Bronze or even Copper equipment will be highly prized if it's available at all, either by trade or by murderhoboing their enemies.
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    Default Re: Primitive Materials and Balance

    Remember that "Masterwork and magical fragile weapons and armor lack these flaws unless otherwise noted in the item description or the special material description." So fragile is less of an issue one you get past the early levels. Though a character might still be constrained by what types of armors and weapons could be manufactured (before stuff like dragonhide come into play).

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    Default Re: Primitive Materials and Balance

    Yeah, I would expect people to carry more backup weapons during early levels before settling on a masterwork weapon at 3rd level or so. They are likely to be restricted to medium armor (heavy with an armored kilt) until 8th or so level.

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    Default Re: Primitive Materials and Balance

    Quote Originally Posted by Milo v3 View Post
    I am considering having my setting be more primitive in technology but was curious about the balance of it. Would removing the options of metallic weapons and armour, thus forcing them to use materials such as stone, viridium, dragonhide, etc., be a major weakening factor to martial characters or just a minor annoyance?
    I think the biggest thing it would do would be to increase the disparity between caster and non/partial-caster characters, even moreso than usual. At least at low levels, that rift is supposed to be narrower (see: Linear Fighter, Quadratic Wizard); this change will hurt non-casters more at low levels, ensuring that disparity remains. Further, it's worth noting that while the exclusion of metal equipment has a minimal impact on casters generally, it has a complete non-impact on Druids - in fact, it probably helps them, as the non-metal gear that they prefer should be more common to compensate.

    At higher levels, masterwork renders it less of an issue, and you can always use more exotic materials, like Bulette hide, Darkleaf cloth, Whipwood, or Wyroot. But at low levels, your non-casters will be hindered quite often. A lot of the non-metal material you can find is either weak, fragile, or expensive, and at low levels that's going hurt a lot - either your martials will be ineffectual in combat, or afraid to engage in combat for fear of breaking their weapons, or they simply won't be able to afford equipment that functions. Ironically, Monks will be the least hindered by this; and admittedly, the PF Monk is superior to his 3.5 cousin; still, that's not saying much.

    I'm not saying it's a bad idea. I just have a strong preference against anything that increases the disparity between casters and non-casters even more than already exists.
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    Default Re: Primitive Materials and Balance

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel View Post
    I think the biggest thing it would do would be to increase the disparity between caster and non/partial-caster characters, even moreso than usual. At least at low levels, that rift is supposed to be narrower (see: Linear Fighter, Quadratic Wizard); this change will hurt non-casters more at low levels, ensuring that disparity remains. Further, it's worth noting that while the exclusion of metal equipment has a minimal impact on casters generally, it has a complete non-impact on Druids - in fact, it probably helps them, as the non-metal gear that they prefer should be more common to compensate.

    At higher levels, masterwork renders it less of an issue, and you can always use more exotic materials, like Bulette hide, Darkleaf cloth, Whipwood, or Wyroot. But at low levels, your non-casters will be hindered quite often. A lot of the non-metal material you can find is either weak, fragile, or expensive, and at low levels that's going hurt a lot - either your martials will be ineffectual in combat, or afraid to engage in combat for fear of breaking their weapons, or they simply won't be able to afford equipment that functions. Ironically, Monks will be the least hindered by this; and admittedly, the PF Monk is superior to his 3.5 cousin; still, that's not saying much.

    I'm not saying it's a bad idea. I just have a strong preference against anything that increases the disparity between casters and non-casters even more than already exists.
    I've lowered the issue of caster/martial disparity abit in this setting through reducing the list of allowed classes, aside from Oracle all the classes are tier 3 or 4, with classes and archetypes from Path of War hopefully helping narrow the gap as well. But still the caster/martial disparity was my primary concern.
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    Default Re: Primitive Materials and Balance

    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    IIRC, there's builds that benefit from using [Fragile] weapons, so expect an upswing in people building their characters to take advantage of the fact that they want their weapons to be [Fragile] or actually to get the Broken condition.
    In a current campaign, I was playing a Soulknife that had the feats: Disposable Weapon and Rapid Draw (from Ultimate Psionics). I had the bladeskill Emulate Melee Weapon and chose a weapon that naturally had the fragile quality. What does this mean? It means that any time I crit-threat, I auto-confirm by breaking my mind blade, I then draw another in the same round.

    Just illustrating the point that builds do exist that benefit from using [Fragile] weapons.

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    Default Re: Primitive Materials and Balance

    Do not forget that the Tepoztipili is probably one of the best spears in the game despite being fragile. Its a 1d10 19-20/x2 martial weapon. Very good.

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    Default Re: Primitive Materials and Balance

    Quote Originally Posted by jaydubs View Post
    Remember that "Masterwork and magical fragile weapons and armor lack these flaws unless otherwise noted in the item description or the special material description." So fragile is less of an issue one you get past the early levels. Though a character might still be constrained by what types of armors and weapons could be manufactured (before stuff like dragonhide come into play).
    Note that hardness/HP is still a little less (and for what little it is worth, an obsidian weapon isn't metal) but nobody uses sunder anyways

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    Default Re: Primitive Materials and Balance

    I think Dark Sun proved pretty definitively that this can be a fantastic way to play... as long as casters are kept in check. Honestly, if you were playing a very low/no-magic campaign, then this makes for just that much more fun. As soon as casters come into the mix, this change is almost meaningless because it does nothing be further emphasize that "anything you can do [the caster] can do better."

    My favorite way to do this is to leave casting exactly as it's written in the books, and then add a whole slew of roleplaying speed bumps for anyone who chooses to play a caster. Everything from social stigma/danger of being mobbed for casting light in public to literally fearing that a god may come down and swallow you whole if you cast too much magic. Of course you can't abuse this to the point where the caster's player isn't having fun, but as long as you keep balance among the team it's a good deal. Then just make sure that once in a while the caster has the opportunity to completely cut loose and do his thing. Then it feels special. Then it's that awesome moment where he was superman for a few rounds.

    Incidentally, I highly recommend Dark Sun as a setting as combining it with the Primitive rules from PF pretty much does all the crunchy work for you. Happy hunting.
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    Default Re: Primitive Materials and Balance

    Quote Originally Posted by Mehangel View Post
    In a current campaign, I was playing a Soulknife that had the feats: Disposable Weapon and Rapid Draw (from Ultimate Psionics). I had the bladeskill Emulate Melee Weapon and chose a weapon that naturally had the fragile quality. What does this mean? It means that any time I crit-threat, I auto-confirm by breaking my mind blade, I then draw another in the same round.

    Just illustrating the point that builds do exist that benefit from using [Fragile] weapons.
    hmm... This has me considering adding Soulknifes to the setting, mainly because it makes me think of the possibilities of people being able to forge weapons in their minds that are mere theories and ideas of weaponry that could potentially made if certain theoretical materials existed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Strormer View Post
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    Should probably look at Dark Sun at some stage. It had ceramic stuff or something didn't it?

    As for roleplaying speed bumps, the main magic users would take shamanistic roles or have to follow their shamans lead or they'd suffer severe stigma for betraying their tribe. But I assume many adventurers in such a setting would end up being classed as betraying their tribe because of how faraway they may travel from the tribe.
    Last edited by Milo v3; 2015-01-23 at 06:52 AM.
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