Wings of Redemption

Pathfinder RPG?

So, a company named Paizo has been working on an updated version of D&D 3.5 rules, called Pathfinder RPG. They’ve had a well-received public beta going for a while now, and just released a finalized version of the core rules. It’s designed to be as compatible as possible with existing 3.5 supplements, so it would be possible for us to switch to Pathfinder. Is anyone interested?

Looking at the PDF copy of the beta rules I have, it looks like we can expect changes similar to the following:

  • Casters can use 0-level spells at-will
  • Noticeably simpler and only slightly less flexible skill system. Also, cross-class skills are actually usable at higher levels
  • All sorts of interesting bonuses to most base classes, e.g.:
    • Druid: Wild Shape earlier (lv. 4) and more often
    • Fighter: even more bonuses to AC and attack rolls
    • Sorc: assorted bag o’ goodies
    • Favored Soul: Will doesn’t have to learn anything new if he doesn’t want to, but might be able to convince me that he should get bonuses as well
  • Simpler grapple rules! (I really, really hope)
  • Feats every 2 levels instead of every 3
  • See the entry in their FAQ detailing the sorts of changes there are

Anyway, feel free to discuss this. Also, feel free to ask me questions! I’d be willing to use either system, so it’s really a question of whether you guys want to switch over. Comments?

- Ethan


So, let me get this straight. If we were to adopt this now, then asea would get wild shape and a feat next level, and at-will access to 0-level spells? Awesome, she could flood the world using create water!!! Flood flood flood :) also, at-will CMW? (slow) full heals are on the house in every decent pause!

seriously, though, you sold me at more wild shape and feats every two levels. where do I sign? I’ll read the fine print after signing away my soul.

Pathfinder RPG?

They noticed that CMW loophole. There’s no longer CMW. Instead, she gets insta-stabilization at will, which she’ll like. It might break the story slightly, but… retcon, maybe? So, that’s one vote for switching over.

Oh, btw, I should probably mention that switching over would create essentially no extra work for Will, which he might appreciate. Dylan would probably be the one to update all the mechanics data we have, and Nick would ideally help me with the bonus sorc abilities he gets, but Will has to do almost nothing extra, unless he wants to.

Pathfinder RPG?

Is the insta-stabilization a spell? So the healer kit is only for AMFs, then? You still have my vote, just wondering how much retconning is needed :)

Pathfinder RPG?

I’m pretty sure CMW is the only thing that’s both been altered significantly, and has played a role in the story. However, I will point out that there are other uses for Heal, such as treating poison, or increasing the rate at which ability scores recover.

Pathfinder RPG?

Oh, I also noticed that feats are on a 1/3/5/7… progression, NOT 1/2/4/6…. At least, that’s how the beta does things – if people want to switch, I’ll buy the core book, and use that as the (mostly) definitive version.

Pathfinder RPG?

1-3-5-7 makes more sense for fighters (feat every level and 2 at first, rather than 2 at first and every even level). That’s still ok with me. And it doesn’t bork eruanna :)

Pathfinder RPG?

I’d just like to say that we SHOULD try to make a decision soon. It makes far more sense to convert characters at the same time as a level-up (which is basically “tonight” game time) because stuff changes anyway, and conversions at low level are probably easiest (“Oh, ok, 2 extra goodies” versus “oh, ok, 6 new feats, half the skills I have ranks in are gone and need to be re-assigned, and every number in my statline just changed”). That and level 4 wild shape is a boon that must not be squandered! ahem.

Basically, I’d say it is logical to continue this “day” under 3.5 (we don’t really want this), but if we change to path-finder, it’d be nice to start that “tomorrow” to coincide with the new level.

Pathfinder RPG?

Having looked at the rules in more detail, here are some initial thoughts:

Fighters: Kick ass. Period. Aside from feats every level (bonus feats odd, real feats even), every few levels their armor gets better by 1 on all numbers, and every few levels their attacks get a +1.

Sorcerers: Some work needed to keep Miithi the same, but I think Ethan has a plan for that. Looks like you actually gain some stuff! HD is now D6, and assorted other goodies that I think will make him pretty awesome

Druids: Wild Shape more frequent, but severely crippled (it may as well be an Illusion for all you get out of it). Ethan and I may need to work on this, as it stands the changes to wild shape are enough to offset my enthusiasm for more feats and skills. Even if wild shape gets up to at will at level 20, if it is a glorified illusion, no thanks.

Races: Everyone gets a +2 to some stat. Elves go with int, humans get to choose, and ethan gets to decide for raptorians. Also, the Pathfinder rules have elves tall and humans short. I suggest we do NOT adopt that

No skill synergy – this needs to be rectified, synergy was one of those “this is what all games NEED TO HAVE!” things in my book.

Several skills collapsed together in a good way. Spot and listen (and smell and touch and taste) use unified ranks. Hallelujah.

At will level 0 spells: You still can only pick a certain number of different spells each day that looks to be the same as now (that is, you can prepare say 4 or 6 different spells, but each of those may be cast at-will).

More feats to choose, existing feats improved (anything that gives a +2 to skills grows to +4 when you put 10 ranks in the skill). Toughness is now +3 HP and +1 per HD (past, present, and future).

Favored classes: now, you can choose to gain an extra skill point or HP point for favored class levels, and all races have 2 favored classes to choose from (‘cept humans and half elves who still are “choose any one”).

No XP cost for spells. and I think multi-class XP penalties are a thing of the past?

In short, it looks awesome, but pending clarification (at the very least, need attacks of the new form!)/fixes to the new wild shape, I am pulling my vote. I really, really want the new rules, and do not want to pull my vote, but they took wild shape from being fun and useful to being boring, bland, and pointless BUT WITH MORE USES PER DAY! Sorry, that is akin to telling a fighter he can’t get bonus feats. TBH, the new wild shape is probably better than it was before (you get more abilities), but it is too boring and too bland. There is no effective difference between a horse and a bear form, except that the horse has Scent and the bear probably doesn’t!!

Pathfinder RPG?

So, yeah, the only two complaints that I have are synergy and that polymorph and associated abilities are basically just illusions now since you don’t even get attacks or full move speed. Fix both those, and the rules are absolutely awesome.

Synergy should be easy to work back in.

Polymorph…. Ah, how we love thee. I’ve sent some ideas to Ethan. Another idea is to use the CR of a monster for level caps rather than it’s HD. That would likely make things a little more balanced. I can fix poly, it’s just a matter if deciding where you draw the line as to what changes, and then accepting that line with no caveats. Once you add a single specific caveat, the rule is doomed to failure.

Pathfinder RPG?

Wow, seconding this. A combination of the best features of both rule sets would rock. Thing is, with all the brand spanking new imbalance going on, we’d need some really crazy things to happen to the party.

Oh God, someone line up as many res spells as you can.

Pathfinder RPG?

Yeah, if we can hybridize the rules, that’d be best.

Of course, remember, what applies to the party appies to enemies. Any enemies with class levels (read: humanoids) will grag all the leetness we do. I dunno what the Warrior entry looks at, but I would be very scared of an equal level human fighter now. Plus, monsters with more than a couple HD will all get more feats (since they also get feats by ever 2 rather than 3 HD). Since we might be working off the standard 3.5 monster manual, this means Ethan will be able to choose what that feat (or feats) is(are) for many monsters. Also, they will get more skill points (since spot and listen are coalesced into one), which Ethan will also get to distributed as he sees fit.

Oh, another major change: Here is (if i under stand it correctly) how skill ranks work: Max ranks = total HD. You purchase ranks using 1 skill point for either class or cross class skills (that is right, 1 point = 1 rank, period). Further, for class skills from any of your classes, you get a +3 bonus if you have at least 1 rank in the skill.

So, in other words, if you max a class skill, no net change. if you max a cross-class skil, you get double the ranks as before :)

So, I will re-instate my vote as soon as polymorph/wild shape is fixed. As I have said, at a minimum, you need to get the creature’s primary natural attack (ideally all), and that is just to make horses and bears different choices! Ideally, the spells/abilities can be completely fixed, but that is my minimum threshold. The way I read the rules now, you wild shape to a bear and you are stuck using only your standard unarmed attacks (though you get extra attacks for high BAB as normal), and this is WRONG! bears have these things called claws. And horses, they have hooves. Not humanoid hands!

Pathfinder RPG?

Oh, and here is a reason to REALLY fix the polymorph rules. As written, the druid ability A Thousand Faces now works like Alter Self (again). The new Alter Self gives you +2 dex if you become a small humanoid, and +2 str if you become medium.

The obvious druid hack: A Thousand Faces into yourself. Since Asëa is a medium humanoid, this is a transform to a medium humanoid, and thus grants her +2 STR (so +1 to hit and damge with melee weapons, and can use a better composite bow). All this costs is one standard action per minute-per-level, and she doesn’t look any different!

Or if you prefer, transform into a small humanoid (lets say a halfling or gnome). Small creatures get +1 rolls on attacks (which makes sense with melee weapons but totally fails on ranged weapons, but I dislike requesting logic changes to such fundamental formulas!), and +2 dex is +1 on bow shots, for a net +2 to hit just by looking like a gnome or halfling. Fun, cheap, AND TOTALLY WRONG!

Pathfinder RPG?

ANother change Miithi would like – Sorcs get Eschew Materials at level 1, which means he’d re-choose that feat. Still not looking closely at Sorc, as it looks like they changed substantially and I am trusting to Ethan and Nick to work that out between them and then spoon-feed me the character page :)

Pathfinder RPG?

Think of it like FE Snipers, the promoted form of Archers. “How does making the bow as tall as me help me be a better close range archer?” “I dunno, lol, go shoot someone twice.”

Pathfinder RPG?

I’ll think about whether I want to re-add synergy (although, that might have been changed in the official release – I’ll be at my local gaming store tomorr— er, today (Tuesday), and hopefully they’ll have a copy of the rules (i.e. not have it be sold out).

I agree with Dylan that polymorph might still be substantially broken (although in an entirely different way now), and should be re-examined.

Also, I’ll figure out something to solve the balance issue. I’m likely to keep the XP rate, but maybe just throw more monsters at you, and use more above-party’s-ECL monsters than I otherwise would.

Also, sorcs DID change quite a bit (they’re no longer wizard clones). I think what I’ll do is use the Pathfinder rules as written, but create a custom bloodline for Miithi (which nicely emulates/ties in to both Raptoran substitution levels AND maybe his desire for a prestige class – yay!).

Pathfinder RPG?

Just to verify: are Dylan and I the only ones who actually need to know how polymorph spells work? And are we possibly the only two who really care? Miithi might care because he gets a bunch of Transmutations on his spell list, but Nick might just ask the two of us if he’s ever unsure of the mechanics.

Or, the short version: is it okay if Dylan and I discuss polymorph in an entirely separate email conversation, and then I just issue an edict from on high saying how polymorph will work? This question still applies if we stick with 3.5 rules, btw.

Pathfinder RPG?

Confirmation that natural attacks are gained thru poly. Re-issueing my vote (with complaints on the record) and willing to try polymorph/wild shape as written (will start abusing it level 4 so “tomorrow” game time), but I still think we need to work out a backup plan for what to do with poly if/when it fails (which I consider to be the first specific caveat. If they are going to homegenize, then it has to work homogenized.)

Pathfinder RPG?

And I agree, bigger and more challenging fights. It is more fun (to me) when there is some risk involved. I’m looking forward to these undead because, for once, we don’t have at least one character per enemy! Even this fight almost certainly stays under 3.5 rules, it’ll hopefully be fun.

Also, do we wish to continue with the facing rules in pathfinder? I do!

Anyway, I’ll see if I can convert asea and flinns level 4 pages to pathfinder on my flight tomorrow, and make a note of things that need to be re-chosen and such. Will wait for how miithi will work before converting him (ditto for boots)

Pathfinder RPG?

Also, how are we going to convert Miithis HP to D6 HD? His rolls so far (3,4 on d4) are average on a D6, so re-rolling has 6/36 chance of staying the same, and even (15/36) chance if rolling more or less HP (41.7% chance if losing HP on those two dice, 1/6 chance of actually losing HP thanks to the higher maxed roll at level 1 if I did my math right. Any roll of 4 or less on 2D6 will result in less HP overall, and there are 6 ways to roll 4 or less: 1-1, 1-2, 2-1, 1-3, 2-2, 3-1). I suggest multiplying each roll by 6/4. So, his 4(s) become 6 and 3 becomes 4.5 (unknown whether mathematical or always-down rounding applies here)

Pathfinder RPG?

Another fun change for us casters: Concentration has been merged into Spellcraft (much as spot and listen have been merged), which means that we all get some “extra” skill points to spend from Concentration.

Also, I’m curious why Spellcraft is its own skill (in any version of the rules!), and not a sub-skill of Knowledge, like Knowledge (Spellcraft)? I mean, that is basically what it is!

Pathfinder RPG?

I’d support this if anyone would care to elaborate on my “bag o’ goodies”. I’m also not necessarily opposed to re-rolling a char if it gets too complicated too. I like Miithi but then I’m always up to try out different characters too.

Pathfinder RPG?

At the risk of stepping on Ethan’s toes, sorcs do NOT get a familiar, do get eschew and a BLOODLINE. THos grants some power every 4 levels, usually a persistent ability at 1 and then spells. Ethan will write a bloodline for you, probably with a tiny elemental familiar as th level 1, andtgn raptroan replacemnt levels later. You get better HD (D6) and orobablysone oter gooies Ethan can think up.

Although I won’t make it, it prolly won’t be hard ad he has why you want already so the bloodline will probably be pretty damn similar but with mire spells I think.

Pathfinder RPG?

You’ll also get more skills. Concentrate and spellcraft are the same thing now, so you’ll get those ranks back. (plus a rank back from speak language, auran’ll cos you only 1 point). Prolly will want the new “fly” skill. As I said, miithishoumd transition painlessly for you. Ethan has a little work, mostly (I think) rebranding replacement levels as bloodline powers.

Oh, and at will level 0 spells. So, I can loos a room with water, but you can flood it with ACID :)

I think there is something else. Ask Ethan. He actually knows, I just pretend I do :)

Pathfinder RPG?

Oh and Will is up for this, especially since it doesn’t really effect him.

Pathfinder RPG?

New online reference page for sorcerers:

You get at-will cantrips, Eschew Materials as a bonus feat, and a bloodline. My current thought is that a special Raptoran bloodline would work quite well, especially since you do actually use Swii on occasion. In that case, you would still get Swii at 1st level, and would get an additional bloodline power (think sort of like a single level of a prestige class) at levels 3, 9, 15 and 20. Let’s talk about what types of powers you want via email. Also, you get a FREE bloodline-granted spell at every odd level after first, and a bloodline-related bonus feat (you choose from a list) at level 7, 13 and 19.

Oh, and in the finalized version of Pathfinder (i.e. non-beta), concentration checks are actually a caster level check + the ability modifier tied to your spells. So Miithi would add his Cha modifier.

Quite honestly, I’d consider it less work to just convert Miithi – it’s not that much worse than rolling up a new sorcerer, and it doesn’t completely screw up continuity.

Pathfinder RPG?

I agree. I also like Miithi, and our flight theme without anyone actually using the Fly spell! Plus, we make quite the band of misfits.

Ethan and Nick, just make sure I get what you guys iron out in the end so I can deal with character sheets. I mostly updated Asëa today on the plane, i just want to run through it one more time before I post (preferably with official rules for eagles, wood elves), and then I’ll set in on Flinn. These two are easy. Boots may or may not change much (certainly some more skills to play with since he’d be an idiot not to choose favored soul as his favored class), and Miithi is just pending what rules he’ll play.

The conversion for Asëa was fairly pain free. Losing synergy hurt a couple skills, but over all she came out probably with probably a total +10 or 15 over all the skills compared to before. My plan is a straight conversion of Flinn tomorrow, and I’ll post a “Here is what you have to assign or re-assign” thing.

Pathfinder RPG?

Looking at this, does Eruanna lose her massive-massive spot/perception bonus? cries. It looks like everything else advances better, but no massive spot?

Pathfinder RPG?

actually the elemental bloodline (with maybe a tweak or two) would work pretty damn well

Pathfinder RPG?

Just as long as you get Swii. Don’t want to rework the story without him! Maybe not as a familiar, just a friend if all else fails?

Pathfinder RPG?

I’ve got another minor rules concern for us casters to discuss with Ethan. Concentration. It looks like the DCs are almost universally higher now (by a small amount, such as the spell level).

Concentration checks are now D20 + caster level + your magic ability score modifier.

Before, it was D20 + ranks (which is basically caster level +3 for any serious caster) + con score.

This equates to roughly the same thing (figure that your spell ability is probably not much more than 6 higher than your con at moderate levels and therefore cancels the level + 3 you basically had before). So, all the checks are harder, for what amounts to the same modifiers to the dice rolls. Now, I don’t know about you, but I have personally always thought that concentration checks were far too hard (at low level) to begin with, so this is a change that I do not necessarily like.

People with more experience than I, were concentration checks really easy before? I bet they are at high level to be sure, but at our level, they are all pretty risky it seems.

Pathfinder RPG?

s/con score/con mod/

Pathfinder RPG?

At low level they don’t come up quite as much, and when they did it was usually ‘cus you got hit (somehow) during the spell, which meant it was based on the (low level) damage you took. Then again I’m always in favor of easier conc checks lol

Pathfinder RPG?

Someone help me out here. The new animal companion rules bump Eruanna up to 4 HD now, and also give me a choice of, in addition to the normal ability score boost, a +2 to Con and EITHER Str or Dex. I cannot choose.

Before this, she has STR 11 and DEX 17 (+0 and +3 respectively), and her 3 attacks (which are all primary now) are at +8 to hit and do D4 damage. If I pump STR, they’ll be +8 to hit and D4+1 damage, and if I pump dex, they’ll be +9 to hit, D4 damage, and yet another attack of opportunity (YAAOO?).

Looking ahead, by level 20, her scores (without this pump) will be DEX 25 and STR 16, making her base attacks at that point +19 to hit, with +3 damage (she’ll also have the new power attack, which at that point it’ll be a -3 to hit for +6 damage, making her attacks +6 to hit, +9 damage.

So, taking into account the ability score boost, I can get her either to DEX 27 (for attacks that are +20/+17 and +3/+9 damage for with/without power attack and 9 AOOs), or STR 18 (for attacks of +19/+16 and +4/+10 damage for with/without power attack and 8 AOOs)

(Remember of course that I can do a trivial +4 to both/either with Cat’s or Bull’s, and she might have an amulet of some such too).

I just can’t decide. Do I want an extra AOO and +1 to hit, or +1 damage? 9 AOOs is sorta overkill, it would be hard to imagine ever getting that many provocations, but then I don’t want to park her adjacent to that 100-armed monster (which IIRC is described as making 100 attacks and can do so ranged. Now, depending on how you read the rules, either using a full attack does NOT provoke an AOO for ranged fire (strict reading), or each ranged attack provokes an AOO (semi-strict reading but I think the best, and note that this is the party archer saying that), or a full ranged attack provokes just 1 (forgiving/common reading). In the middle case, I don’t want to miss out on an extra AOO!).... And yes, Ethan, clarify the AOO procedure for a full ranged attack! Note that the Full Action specifically does not provoke AOOs and they did not do the Ranged/Melee/Unarmed split like they did for attack!

For now, I am tentatively putting it in DEX, because she has missed far too often, but I just don’t know. Hit more often, or more powerfully? Any comments? (Note that DEX helps the Fly skill and her AC as well)

Pathfinder RPG?

(note: I forgot the +1 to attack for small size for the high level attacks, so increase those all by 1)

Pathfinder RPG?

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