Questions, Comments, Criticisms

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MinusInnocence
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Sounds fine to me.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Talanall
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Okay, I'll mull this over a bit more, just to be sure that I am sure what I want to do. It's not really too late for me to decide that Dalvar will just level up as a wizard after he gets X levels of psion, instead.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Just throwing this out there and I wanted to let you guys know first before I make a more public post in the In-Depth Roleplay section. I'm in talks with multiple prospects who have expressed interest in joining the game and if enough of them are down, it will exceed the cap of 8 I've placed on the number of players at any given time. If that happens, I will likely be opening up a call for players for a separate game, much smaller in scope. It will share a setting with 2EE but will take place about 30 years before, right in the midst of the Mindwar. I'm thinking it will likely be a dungeoncrawl and will conclude when the party either dies or concludes exploration of said dungeon. Tentatively, I'm thinking of running it at around 12th level.

I'll let you know more when I know more. The idea for the game might happen even if we don't get any new players. I know I've suggested multiple times before that new people would be joining soon and they never do but this time it's for reals.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

I would like to play. If it helps I didn't WANT Gideon to become a two faced, evil traitor.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I might be interested, as well, if there's room and the details of the thing look interesting.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Board Rider wrote:

I would like to play. If it helps I didn't WANT Gideon to become a two faced, evil traitor.

Oh,
we know. I fixed him for you. To clarify,
were you expressing interest in rejoining 2EE or jumping into the higher level one-shot, or both?
Talanall wrote:

I might be interested, as well, if there's room and the details of the thing look interesting.

Ok, we'll see how everyone feels about it as it gets closer to happening.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Darker

I could say I at least have interest.

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Both. But 2EE would be my first choice.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

Using line is a good way to summon drumandgight.

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

OK, the new players joining 2EE are dialed in and we have officially reached capacity at 8 players. They will be joining the game as soon as possible.

As I elaborated in a PM with Cronono, the 12th level game will highlight the exploits of a band of private military contractors who, at various points during the Mindwar, fought on either side. This opens the door for as many or as few of the PCs to have prior experience working together as everyone wants, as far as backstory goes. Their current assignment is to locate and secure a fortified location somewhere in the Vast Marsh that is rumored to contain sophisticated new (or rather, very very old) technology that might tip the scales of balance in the civil war currently tearing Damark apart. The game takes place about 30 years before 2EE begins, which means it's still 25+ years before the war's bloody conclusion.

We're talking about a one-shot dungeon crawl that might prove historically relevant and come up later during 2EE. So far I have Cronono, Darker and Talanall down as having expressed tentative interest in playing in such a game. I'm also leaving the door open for three newcomers, one of whom will be joining 2EE as well. That's six. Any other takers based on what I've disclosed so far?

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Darker

Will this be Pathfinder or 3.5?

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Pathfinder.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Darker

Oh yeah... that sounds really good.

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Color me potentially interested. What supplementary material, if any, are you planning on allowing?

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

The list is the same for this game as it is for 2EE: Pathfinder Core Rulebook, Advanced Player's Guide, Advanced Race Guide, Occult Adventures, Ultimate Campaign, Ultimate Combat, Ultimate Equipment and Ultimate Magic. But anything outside of the Core Rulebook is still only allowed or denied on a case by case basis, although with this game the reins are being loosened a little bit. I've already given the green light to one player to run a character adapted from a creature in the Bestiary, and if anyone else is interested in something like that we can try to work something out.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Talanall
Talanall's picture

What's the point buy for this?

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

The 12th level game will be set at 25 points.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Thank you.

I'm not overly concerned with having a "balanced" or "complete" party (the Heroes of Haranshire are doing reasonably well without a dedicated healer or trap-springer, for example), but would it be possible to clarify what classes are already in play?

I have a variety of possible characters in mind, so I don't mind the idea of choosing what I play in terms of either avoiding a duplication of something that's already covered, or filling a support/hybrid role if there're already no real gaps in the roster.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

So, this game takes place during the Mindwar. Technology has progressed a bit since its conclusio but I guess something about playing during an active military conflict makes people think of firearms. They're definitely allowed, just like they technically are in 2EE; we have one player who has confirmed she wants to play a pixie and I think we're leaning toward a combination of ranger archetypes to let her bring a musket to bear in a fairly competitive way. The only other character concept I've heard anything at all about thus far is also leaning toward Gunslinger from Ultimate Combat.

The tech level as it currently pertains to firearms is "Emerging Guns."

Ultimate Combat wrote:
Firearms become more common. They are mass-produced by small guilds, lone gunsmiths, dwarven clans, or maybe even a nation or two—the secret is slipping out, and the occasional rare adventurer uses guns. The baseline gunslinger rules and the prices for ammunition given in this chapter are for this type of campaign. Early firearms are available, but are relatively rare. Adventurers who want to use guns must take the Gunsmithing feat just to make them feasible weapons. Advanced firearms may exist, but only as rare and wondrous items—the stuff of high-level treasure troves.
The chapter referenced above can be found here.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Darker

Can I have my arm cut off and replaced with a cannon?!

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

How soon are you looking to begin? I've got two weeks of hellish work slated to start the day after tomorrow. After that, I have a four day mini-vacation (possibly in Destin Beach), and then my schedule gets as normal as it ever is again.

Darker

Yeah, I'm about to take a mini vacation and some other stuff come up. Things won't calm down until around mid-March.

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

I don't think anyone is ready yet so two more weeks won't sink us.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Darker

I have a character I am considering -- but wanted to know if our characters are going to be more thrown together by circumstance or a tight and close party.

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

It's up to everyone participating whether their characters have been working together for a long time or not. The mercenary nature of their line of work allows for career sellswords and fly-by-night scoundrels alike.

I would imagine when the group is finally assembled we'll probably see a mix of both but that's up to you guys.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I'm willing to collaborate. My crunch is all done, pending Mike's approval of the stat block. I haven't worked out all the fluffy details, but mine's a samsaran oracle. He's set up to be a healer.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

OK. I'm sitting on six character concepts in various stages of completion but want to reserve the last two spots in case some of our new players want to join. I don't think I'm quite ready yet for a dedicated sub-forum to be created, but hopefully that will change before the end of the month.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

I'm 90% done with the crunch and should have a sheet to you tonight or tomorrow.

Darker

So anyone can help me here. I'm playing a Magus, so concentration checks are pretty important. I've never really played a caster that casts in combat, so let me make sure I got this right. If I want to cast in combat, I just need to cast defensively, where I have to make a concentration check vs. DC 15 + twice the level of the spell. In pathfinder, it looks like that gets a bonus of my caster level (12) and caster mod (Intelligence +5). So, I get a +17 on concentration checks. Does that mean I can always cast a first level spell defensively?

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

You're also adding the die roll itself, so even on a 1 you can even cast 2nd level spells defensively (assuming there is not some other kind of penalty being assigned).

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Since your minimal result on a concentration check is 18, you'd be able to cast 1st-level spells or cantrips only. 2nd-level spells would not be an auto-success because the DC is 15 + 2*spell_level, or 19 in this case. However, if you're doing it specifically within the context of a spell combat full attack action, then you get an additional +2 bonus to the check, and can use 2nd-level spells without needing to roll.

The Combat Casting feat would pump your concentration bonus for defensive casting up to +21/+23 (normal/spell combat). The DC to cast a 3rd-level spell defensively is 21, so you'd automatically succeed. The DC for 4th-level spells is 23, which is an auto-success when spell combat applies. So if you want to be sure that you never fail any of these checks, that's an option. But for reasons that I'll get into in a minute, it may not be as attractive as it first seems.

It's not like there are really all that many spells included on the magus's class list that will involve touch attacks; it leans heavily to movement, defense/transformation, and area effect spells. It's true that if you pick up the correct arcana features, you also can convert these spells to melee attacks, and thereby use them with the spellstrike ability. But otherwise, the bulk of your touch spells are going to be first or second level, and it probably won't matter much that you lack Combat Casting.

Likewise, it's true that you could use spell combat to cast other spells as part of a full attack action; the ability only specifies that you have to use a spell with a casting time of 1 standard action. So you could use it to buff yourself, or pump out an area of effect spell in addition to whatever you do with your weapon.

That brings us to the point I mentioned, where Combat Casting may not be a great deal. The major instances in which you provoke AoO by casting spells are when you're a healer (your character can't), and when you're casting some kind of spell with a range of touch (this is one of your common use cases as a magus). Both are examples of circumstances where you are more likely to be forced to stand in a threatened square while you cast. It follows that the easiest way to avoid casting defensively is to avoid standing in a threatened square while you cast a spell.

It's less than clear to me (and Mike will have to chime in on this, since this is very much a DM issue) whether you have to be standing in a threatened square when you begin your full attack action in order to use spell combat. Certainly it's the case that if you want to take a 5-ft step as part of a full attack routine, you can do that in between one melee attack and the next. So I don't know whether you can start in a threatened square, make all your melee attacks, and then step 5 ft. out of the square and finish off with your free spell cast (or cast a spell, then step in and make your melee attacks).

If Mike's ruling is that you CAN cast a spell then take your 5-ft. step and attack, or attack and then step and cast, then no problem. This means that your character can buff himself or use AoE effects with impunity. The only time you care about casting defensively is if you're in bad terrain or surrounded so you can't take a 5-ft step, or on the occasions when you're actually casting a touch spell for offensive purposes. Since we already established that most of your offensive spells with a range of touch are low-leveled, you're good unless you intend to soup them up with a lot of metamagic. The other major way that you might be using offensive touch spells is via the magus class's spell combat and spellstrike abilities, in combination with the "close range" magus arcana. At that point, there's a small chance that you'd fail your concentration checks with the highest couple of spell levels accessible to you.

But that's a really specific set of circumstances that's dependent on what I would characterize as a suboptimal build.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Pathfinder did away with the 3.5 ruling. As in, "You can take a 5-foot step before, during, or after your other actions in the round." And no, I'm not using the close ranged Arcana, I'm going to figure I'm getting all up and personal with most, but I did take the Lunge Feat and using Hexcrafter with the Witch's hair hex, so I'm all over some 10 foot reach for weapon attacks and touch attacks as well.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Darker wrote:

Pathfinder did away with the 3.5 ruling. As in, "You can take a 5-foot step before, during, or after your other actions in the round."

I'm looking at the PRD, and that same language is still in there. Verbatim. See http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/coreRulebook/combat.html#take-5-foot-step, as well as http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/coreRulebook/combat.html#full-attack-action for context regarding how this applies in the specific case of a full attack action. I wouldn't have raised this whole question if not for the presence of this language in the Pathfinder core rules. The magus class isn't core, so obviously Mike's totally at liberty to rule that it doesn't fit squarely within the framework established in the linked passages, but it looks solid to me.

Re: the Prehensile Hair hex, are you going to use it to stack up to deliver touch spells at 15 feet, or something like that?

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Well, the Prehensile Hair seemed good in all kinds of ways. Yes, I can hit a touch attack from 15 feet away. I still am considering taking something that allows for multiple AoO a round, as I plan to use spells like Figid Touch, Frostbite, and Chill Touch that will let me hit with a minor debuff and damage every time until I cast something new, so seems like a good place for a hella large threatening area. So, cast spell with spellstrike, hit at 10 feet, then make iterative attacks via spell combat, take a 5 foot step back. Take the AoO(s), then do iterative attacks again, cast a new spell via spell combat. But yes, hitting with an intensive shocking grasp from 15 feet away might be nice as well.

But the primary reason I'm using it is to use to hold metamagic rods and wands during combat since one hand has to remain empty to use spell combat. But its also great to use the strength to lift and break (with an Intelligence of 20, it's some strong hair). Grapples are a bit easier to deal with and I assume since you can use it for an attack, you can use it for combat maneuvers to disarm or trip as well and since you get a bonus on CMB check as the same as attack rolls, you would also get to use the better intelligence score.

I'm not sure why I would want to do it, but do you think the Arcane Pool could be used to enhance the hair as well? Popular opinion seems to say yes, but I haven't found anything official. Seems like a waste of pool points in most cases (considering the damage that can be done with a weapon), but I'm sure there'd be specific situations I might want to do it.

Cronono
Cronono's picture

I don't have Pathfinder experience outside this game, so I'm interested in trying Pathfinder specific content. In anticipation of this "one-shot" game I started building a Gunslinger. As I continue to put a Gunslinger together, however, I get the impression that they're just very bad. Am I misunderstanding this class?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Darker wrote:

I'm not sure why I would want to do it, but do you think the Arcane Pool could be used to enhance the hair as well? Popular opinion seems to say yes, but I haven't found anything official. Seems like a waste of pool points in most cases (considering the damage that can be done with a weapon), but I'm sure there'd be specific situations I might want to do it.

I'm skeptical of this because the language in Arcane Pool doesn't specifically include natural weapons. I'd want to see an FAQ from Paizo on the general question of whether (and when) natural weapons and manufactured weapons are treated the same for abilities like this.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Yeah, not sure.

And as far as the Gunslinger goes, I've seen a lot of multiclass builds with it. I think a few levels of it can make for some interesting options with the right equipment.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Cronono wrote:

I don't have Pathfinder experience outside this game, so I'm interested in trying Pathfinder specific content. In anticipation of this "one-shot" game I started building a Gunslinger. As I continue to put a Gunslinger together, however, I get the impression that they're just very bad. Am I misunderstanding this class?

My impression is that guns and gunslingers don't really shine until you start using the advanced firearms. If you're putting one together using the early firearms rules, then it's going to be a little more feat-intensive because you have to mitigate for the slow reload times. And since by default they don't fire reliably when you're underwater or in a wet environment, you have to mitigate for that. Both are doable, though; you

I think the big draw of firearms in general is that their attacks resolve as ranged touch within the first range increment, which is a pretty nice deal. They're relatively reliable as a way to put physical damage onto a heavily armored opponent, including nasty critters like dragons. And since they're not magical, firearms have an edge over most other ways of making ranged touch attacks.

I contemplated using one for my character purely for this reason, but my guy isn't primarily a ranged combatant and doesn't have full BAB progression (oracles get 3/4 BAB). So the ranged touch is even more useful to him than it is to someone with a higher BAB, and it's not really that likely that he'd want to make a full attack iteration with a ranged weapon.

For a dedicated firearms user, I think I'd be looking into effects that can add or improve your capabilities to deal bleed damage, status effects, and so forth. Deadly Aim from the Core rules is nice, I think; resolving your attacks as touch attacks means that the penalty from that feat is not a big deal for you, and the additional damage is a boon to any ranged attacker.

From my perspective, the biggest problem with firearms is that they're so loud that combat necessarily is going to draw reinforcements if there are any hostiles that can possibly hear the sounds of gunfire. I don't know how we'd mitigate for that. Maybe put a silence spell on a pebble and make you carry it in your pocket? But that has its own problems, especially if you end up standing next to the party healer when it's time for him to do his job.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

On being able to use spell combat in a scenario where you cast a spell outside an enemy's threatened space then take a 5' step and execute your full attack action - there is no reason to believe this is prohibited according to what I have seen from the rules as written but if anyone stumbles upon a FAQ pertaining to this issue I'm eager to see it. Spell combat says it works similarly to two weapon fighting then goes to describe all of the ways it doesn't, following a model employed in countless other rule definitions. Not being able to take a 5' step between casting a spell and making your attacks each round, or other restrictions on which order you must perform those different activities, isn't mentioned anywhere. So I think you're in the clear there.

Re: whether you can use your Arcane Pool to enhance Prehensile Hair, I'm tentatively going to say no; because the description for Arcane Pool explicitly makes a reference to applying bonuses to "a weapon the magus is holding." That SEEMS to mean it doesn't apply to natural weapons. Again, I haven't seen this addressed elsewhere and unlike the other rules question, this is about someone wanting their character being able to do something that at first blush appears to be illegal. So I'm not really interested in researching the subject but, as always, if a definitive ruling can be found (or even an extremely persuasive lay opinion on the subject) I'm open to changing my mind.

Re: gunslingers, Rapid Reload and other tricks here and there can help mitigate the rate of fire for early firearms, which are what we're using in both campaigns. The big draw for me would be that firearms are extremely potent options for the reason Ed cited - within the first range increment you're only making a touch attack against the target. This isn't universally helpful but it is great in a ton of scenarios. It sort of means you're playing a reverse-archer because the inclination on the part of many ranged combatants is to put as much space between themselves and their target as they can get away with and still contribute meaningfully in the combat. Gunslingers need to get up close and personal to get the most mileage out of their weapons but if they can do so, they ignore many modifiers to AC and are usually doing significantly more damage than they would if armed with, say, a bow or crossbow.

Firearms remain cost-prohibitive, however, compared to those other more mainstream ranged options. Gunslingers don't care so much about these factors because they start play with one gun and can craft others as well as ammunition at a discounted rate. They also have all kinds of feats and class features that let them do cool action movie stuff. Hero Points lend themselves very well to character concepts like this but Grit is kind of sort of a good stand in for them if you're just dying for that extra feat.

It requires that the player think about attacking at range in a fundamentally different way than other character concepts. Maneuverability is key, I think, so something like the Mobility feat would probably come in really handy (because you're going to constantly be jockeying for a new position on the battlefield and will probably be roaming in and out of the threatened spaces of everyone on the grid).

I hope to take a look this weekend at the crunchy bits provided by two players so far.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Darker

MinusInnocence wrote:

Re: whether you can use your Arcane Pool to enhance Prehensile Hair, I'm tentatively going to say no; because the description for Arcane Pool explicitly makes a reference to applying bonuses to "a weapon the magus is holding." That SEEMS to mean it doesn't apply to natural weapons. Again, I haven't seen this addressed elsewhere and unlike the other rules question, this is about someone wanting their character being able to do something that at first blush appears to be illegal. So I'm not really interested in researching the subject but, as always, if a definitive ruling can be found (or even an extremely persuasive lay opinion on the subject) I'm open to changing my mind.


I'm not really wanting to do it per se, but I'd like to know if its an option if a situation comes up where it would be beneficial or necessary to pull off a maneuver.

So I see where it says under Spell Combat: "To use this ability, the magus must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand" and then an FAQ that asks "can the weapon in my other hand be an unarmed strike or a natural weapon?" The official answer is "For example, unarmed strikes, claws, and slams are light melee weapons associated with a hand, and therefore are valid for use with spell combat."

Talanall
Talanall's picture

To stack up another point of consideration on this question, there's also the Wand Wielder arcana, which allows you to activate a staff or wand via Spell Combat. If I were a DM, I would be inclined to interpret this arcana's wording in such a way that it informs what is considered an "empty hand" for the purposes of the Spell Combat ability.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

My crunch is all done, pending Mike's approval of the stat block. He's a goblin ninja, and is built with a heavy emphasis on stealth and getting sneak attack damage. If we have any rogues or battlefield controllers in the party, Narn will probably be grateful for it.

Cronono
Cronono's picture

I submitted a human gunslinger with a ton of Craft(Alchemy). I also bought several of these:

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/wondrous-items/wondrous-items/m-p/oil-of-silence/

Darker

While my Magus isn't a battlefield controller per se, he does threaten the hell out of a good number of squares, so chances for flanking are pretty good.

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

All righty. I have four stat blocks to peruse some time today or this week, in various states of completion between first and final drafts; and two more character concepts that are really just concepts and nothing specific. That puts us at six players and I think it's enough to begin play.

I will be replying to individual PMs re: character creation as I can, and posting back in this thread with every update. I also have to say that just at a glance, it looks like the PCs we're putting together for this one went above and beyond my expectations for what was just supposed to be a goofy hack and slash type of game. So I'm actually expanding the concept to be more like an actual adventure and that will give characters who have non-shooty-or-stabby skill sets a chance to shine, too.

In light of this, if you want to make revisions before we start just let me know, either here or via PM. I recognize some of you might have thought you were making a character for a kick-in-the-door type of environment and now it will span potentially several terrain types and/or other planes of existence, or might even include that dreaded pastime of interacting with NPCs in a way that does not result in their immediate deaths.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Darker

Sometimes NPC's that meet with my shooty-or-stabby PC bleed to death slowly, so their deaths will not be immediate.

I think if anything, I'll want to add a few more spells to my spell book to cover other types of interaction.

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

I'm pretty sure we can arrange for NPC interactions to result in their deaths more often than not. Just sayin'.

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Still chipping away at this. I haven't forgotten about you guys.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

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