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rubycona
2010-03-08, 10:56 PM
Hey, all.

I'm no master of optimizing, so... I'm the DM of a game that was just switched over to Pathfinder rules, and I'm thinking the changes to the classes are pretty nice. Looks to me like they tried to improve class balance, and while at first glance I think they did a good job, no designer could ever out-class dedicated powergamers :P

So I'm curious what you guys think about class balance in Pathfinder, and especially if there's anything that I, as a DM, should particularly watch out for. I don't know about you all, but I'm not fond of character-sheet curveballs :P

Looking forward to your thoughts :)

Draz74
2010-03-08, 11:02 PM
Obligatory Link. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=136890)

Sinfire Titan
2010-03-08, 11:06 PM
Hey, all.

I'm no master of optimizing, so... I'm the DM of a game that was just switched over to Pathfinder rules, and I'm thinking the changes to the classes are pretty nice. Looks to me like they tried to improve class balance, and while at first glance I think they did a good job, no designer could ever out-class dedicated powergamers :P

So I'm curious what you guys think about class balance in Pathfinder, and especially if there's anything that I, as a DM, should particularly watch out for. I don't know about you all, but I'm not fond of character-sheet curveballs :P

Looking forward to your thoughts :)

Honestly? The only class that got a decent rebalance was the Paladin. Everyone else got nerfed (including the Fighter and Monk, but barely on the latter), but the right nerfs didn't go far enough.

The Wizard is, arguably, the best class there is in Pathfinder Core. The Cleric got slightly nerfed, but it's still relatively on-par with the original. The Druid lost a little, but it's still got class features better than entire classes (Animal Companions are still stronger than Fighters, if only a little).

I think the biggest nerf was the Combat Feats being split up. And then they didn't do the same to Metamagic.

krossbow
2010-03-08, 11:07 PM
Honestly? The only class that got a decent rebalance was the Paladin. Everyone else got nerfed (including the Fighter and Monk, but barely on the latter), but the right nerfs didn't go far enough.

The Wizard is, arguably, the best class there is in Pathfinder Core. The Cleric got slightly nerfed, but it's still relatively on-par with the original. The Druid lost a little, but it's still got class features better than entire classes (Animal Companions are still stronger than Fighters, if only a little).

I think the biggest nerf was the Combat Feats being split up. And then they didn't do the same to Metamagic.


they did try to nerf spells in general however, which is a step in the right direction.

GoatToucher
2010-03-09, 12:08 AM
Really, the wizard class isn't all that great: it's the spells they have access to that makes them so ridiculously powerful. In 3.5 core, the wizard class was even more bland, but the spells are even more ridiculous.

Caphi
2010-03-09, 12:15 AM
Honestly? The only class that got a decent rebalance was the Paladin. Everyone else got nerfed (including the Fighter and Monk, but barely on the latter), but the right nerfs didn't go far enough.

Wait, what? Rogue can sneak attack more things, wizards and sorcerors and clerics all get minor toys, rogues and barbarians get powers/talents, monks got to switch to a ki pool, and even fighters have weapon and armor trainings and 21 feats at 20.

tyckspoon
2010-03-09, 12:38 AM
Wait, what? Rogue can sneak attack more things, wizards and sorcerors and clerics all get minor toys, rogues and barbarians get powers/talents, monks got to switch to a ki pool, and even fighters have weapon and armor trainings and 21 feats at 20.

And the new abilities for wizards and sorcerers are actually pretty good, the Rogue talents and Rage powers mostly aren't, the Ki Pool doesn't let you do anything especially powerful (it does at least give you something to use your Swift actions on to emulate a 3.5-style Greater Flurry, and the expanded reserve pool for Dim. Door and Quivering Palm is nice.) Fighters.. well, they still have the same old problem that I can't find 11 Fighter Bonus Feats (I'm sorry, Combat Feats) in Pathfinder that I care about, let alone 21 (this is admittedly a pretty big boost if you are using Pathfinder base classes+ 3.5 splats). The Weapon Training just papers over the fundamental design flaw of a class built on feats with raw numbers.

Oblivious
2010-03-09, 12:40 AM
Wait, what? Rogue can sneak attack more things, wizards and sorcerors and clerics all get minor toys, rogues and barbarians get powers/talents, monks got to switch to a ki pool, and even fighters have weapon and armor trainings and 21 feats at 20.

But all those classes rely on feats, and feats were nerfed.

Probably the single most effective fix that pathfinder implements is changes to the wealth table. You can craft items for no xp, everyone gets more money, and you can upgrade items without losing half their cost. This gives a distinct advantage to classes that use magic weapons/armor.

Sophismata
2010-03-09, 12:40 AM
Wait, what? Rogue can sneak attack more things, wizards and sorcerors and clerics all get minor toys, rogues and barbarians get powers/talents, monks got to switch to a ki pool, and even fighters have weapon and armor trainings and 21 feats at 20.

But Wizards still cast spells.

Everything else is irrelevant, provided the Wizard knows which spells to cast when.

Bosh
2010-03-09, 01:19 AM
They gave the Wizards a boost in power (assuming that you're good enough as selecting your spells to choose all of the overpowered spells). That should tell you everything you need to know about Pathfinder's balance.

GoodbyeSoberDay
2010-03-09, 02:39 AM
If your players exploited/suffered under 3.5's myriad imbalances, they will exploit/suffer under Pathfinder's myriad imbalances, and if they didn't, they won't.

That is, Pathfinder has interesting changes, but they're mostly cosmetic.

rubycona
2010-03-09, 03:16 AM
Thanks! Especially for that link to the 3.5/Pathfinder handbook.

My players are pretty solid about dealing with imbalance issues (aside from one compulsive powergamer who's new "mission" is to craft an impossible-to-break, yet still effective character. Fighter 2, Rogue 2, Wizard 2 so far, and in a campaign world where scrolls are damned hard to acquire. I'm really glad he's trying to be non-broken, but hilariously, he's still the most effective character XD We have a buffed druid (extra BAB, wings, buffed animal companion), a full rogue with a separate personality that's a gestault character, and the too-many-classes-guy is STILL the most effective, haha)

Erm, yes, sidetracked. All in all, I'm liking PF, it seems just plain more Fun, which is kind of the point. I'll still have to do balance juggling, it seems, but hey, I've been doing that with 3.5 for a while anyway, so there's nothing new there.

Thanks again! :D

Ashiel
2010-03-09, 10:39 AM
It's worth noting that the biggest nerf (IMO) to the warriors is the fact power attack doesn't scale as wildly as it did before. Shock trooper types might actually remember that Shock Trooper has 2 other uses now, since full power attacking isn't all that amazing.

The rage mechanics for the barbarian are definitely a huge improvement over the x/day mechanic of rage. Now you have X rounds worth of rage per day, and you may break your rages up as you see fit; and then you're fatigued 2*X rounds after the rage ends ('till you get tireless rage). Their rage powers are special tricks that occur during their rage and while not amazingly powerful by themselves really stack up to make barbarians really cool (such as being able to make an extra opportunity attack per round, re-roll a failed will save, immunity to shaken and frightened conditions, move double her move as an immediate action towards someone who just used a withdraw action to escape her, heal between 1d8-5d8+con mod hit points, and so on. Most of these effects last until your next rage. At high levels you can literally pop in and out of rage every turn with tireless rage to keep refreshing your abilities.

The fighters have lost their 3.5 power attack and had it replaced with this power attack (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/power-attack-combat---final) which provides static penalties and bonuses; and interestingly provides a solid damage increase for any attack (not just 2 handed). However...

I'm not sure what one poster meant when he/she said that they didn't have any feats their fighter would like to take. Pathfinder is loaded with combat feats (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/feat-tree/combat-feats) which are specifically the types of feats fighters can take; with many of those feats being high-level feats, and the critical feats such as bleeding critical (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/bleeding-critical-combat-critical---final) or blinding critical (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/blinding-critical-combat-critical---final). Coupled with the fact fighters can now sport attack and damage bonuses with entire groups of weapons up to +5hit/+5dmg before counting weapon specialization (another +2 hit/+4 damage), fighters can be some scary individuals in Pathfinder. There's also the Deadly Stroke (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/deadly-stroke-combat---final) feat I love so much; which allows you to inflict double damage and con bleed (-1 con each round) on a flat-footed or stunned opponent.

It's worth noting that fighter types tend to be better at everything thanks to the way combat maneuvers are used. Creatures gain much smaller bonuses and penalties to things like grappling in Pathfinder than they did in 3.x. Most of the size modifiers were overkill anyway (most big creatures come with really big strength modifiers). This means that by virtue of their perfect BAB, a fighter can heroically wrestle his way free from an ogre, or trip a giant, and so forth. To put it into perspective, the size bonuses are +1/+2/+4/+8 (large, huge, gargantuan, colossal); and they help, but they're not as all-crushing as they once were.

Druids got a solid nerf in their wild-shape department. Animal companions still own, but fighters and barbarians will surpass them fairly quickly in their careers.

All spellcasters had some harsh nerfs to a number of very powerful spells. For example, glitterdust still blinds people but they get a save each round to end the blindness. The polymorph line was streamlined and nerfed without being completely unusable (it's even still pretty awesome). Some of the cleric spells got nerfed (a little too hard in some places, IMO).

Also, summoning and such is now good; in relation to the combat maneuver bonus bit, isn't nearly as killer as it once was. Casters who summon big bad monsters to grapple everything into oblivion, for example, may find their creatures doing "fair" rather than "we win". This is also a very balancing factor for the druid's animal companions too.

I won't say that there aren't still balance issues; but they did do a good job of alleviating many of the issues at least. Truthfully, I think they did a lot of system fixes in different spots that helped the game, where 3.5 did a lot of system "fixes" in different spots that hurt the game.

Example: When 3.0 was out, almost no one on the WotC boards complained about how weak the fighter was. When 3.5 came out, they didn't do anything to the fighter class. What they did change was how weapon size rules worked, how critical hit feats and weapon effects stacked, made magic weapons more fragile, and nerfed spells like haste (which was because spell-casters were monstrous with haste, but it also allowed fighter types to move + full attack very easily). They also nerfed feats like Whirlwind Attack because people used to complain about fighters being OP due to theoretical optimization (IE - the bag of rats + whirlwind + great cleave).

In 3.5, a lot of the "bugs" WotC decided to "fix" were things that kept the warrior types viable. For example, if you picked up EWP:Bastard Sword in 3.0, you could wield a large 2d8 bastard sword like a great-sword, or a medium 1d10 as a longsword, or even a 1d8 as a short sword; with a single feat. Melee had more nice things and toys in their splat-books. Their gear was harder to sunder (if you had a +3 longsword, no-one could break that longsword with a sunder unless they were also wielding a +3 or better weapon). Wielding a "small" longspear could net you reach with a d6 damage in 1 hand so you could carry a tower shield with it.

In many cases, you have to look at alterations made throughout the whole system that contributes towards balance. It's rarely ever just one thing.

PinkysBrain
2010-03-09, 11:07 AM
rogues
The CMD for tumble DC is a really painful nerf for melee rogues.

Vampire D
2010-03-09, 11:28 AM
Honestly? The only class that got a decent rebalance was the Paladin. Everyone else got nerfed (including the Fighter and Monk, but barely on the latter), but the right nerfs didn't go far enough.

The Wizard is, arguably, the best class there is in Pathfinder Core. The Cleric got slightly nerfed, but it's still relatively on-par with the original. The Druid lost a little, but it's still got class features better than entire classes (Animal Companions are still stronger than Fighters, if only a little).

I think the biggest nerf was the Combat Feats being split up. And then they didn't do the same to Metamagic.

Hold on i'll let you finish but the fighter got better. He was able to keep everthing for 3.5 and even got new abilities to go along with those.

The wizard has always been the strongest class in 3.5 so not much has changed there.

And yea the feats were split but the mechanics of most of them have been reworked to funtion better(Ex. for re worked feat Tougness).

DragoonWraith
2010-03-09, 11:50 AM
People look at the changes to Fighter and Rogue and think "oh good, they buffed the Fighter and the Rogue", while ignoring the stealth nerfs - the changes to feats, the changes to flat-footed rules, etc - that seriously hamper those characters much more than the little bennies they were given in the class section. Seriously, the Fighter got some numeric bonuses - but all the feats he relied on got nerfed (seriously, all of them). The Rogue can now Sneak Attack more things, but he'll have a much harder time getting Sneak Attack damage on every attack (and he needs to). It's things like these that are really irritating about Pathfinder.

The other annoyance is the fact that they attempted to rebalance spells but only did so haphazardly. They nerfed some of the best known offenders (Glitterdust), but left others exactly the same, so now the Wizard should pick different spells, but still be just as good. And then they gave the Wizard not-inconsequential bonuses on top of their spellcasting.

lsfreak
2010-03-09, 12:00 PM
Put it this way: when some of the best and most known optimizers, those people that spend their time breaking the game for fun and have a better grasp of the rules than probably everyone else anywhere, attempted to help the Pathfinder guys, they were all but told to **** off.

It shows.

Pathfinder changes things. But big-picture, it doesn't rebalance. If that's not what you're after, great! Use it. If you're looking for balance, I'd suggest taking a look at Fax's d20r here on the forums.

Saph
2010-03-09, 12:09 PM
People look at the changes to Fighter and Rogue and think "oh good, they buffed the Fighter and the Rogue", while ignoring the stealth nerfs.

And the critics of Pathfinder tend to ignore the stealth buffs. Here, I'll give you an example. Say you're making a 3.5 rogue. After Int bonuses you have 10 skill points per level. Which skills are you going to max out?

A typical rogue might pick the following ten skills:

Hide, Move Silently, Listen, Spot, Search, Disable Device, Open Lock, Tumble, Bluff, Use Magic Device.

A Pathfinder rogue, with 10 skill points per level, can do far more than that. In 3.5 terms, these are the skills they can afford to max out:

Hide, Move Silently, Listen, Spot, Search, Disable Device, Open Lock, Tumble, Jump, Balance, Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Speak Language, Forgery, Use Magic Device, Sleight of Hand, Climb.

Notice how the 3.5 rogue has to make a choice between physical, social, and stealth/thievery skills. He can't afford all of them and even if he puts extra points into Intelligence and plays a human for the skill bonus, he's going to come up short somewhere. A Pathfinder rogue, on the other hand, can max out stealth, perception, disabling things, and acrobatics, and still have more than half their skill points left over into buying what they want, such as traditional thief skills such as Sleight of Hand.

This isn't covering the extra stuff Rogues got, such as Rogue Talents (roughly as good as feats, and you get lots of them), extra HP, and the ability to sneak attack pretty much anything. And in exchange the main thing they lost was . . . it's harder for them to tumble past enemies. There is no way I would ever take a 3.5 rogue if I could play a PF one instead. The PF one has vastly more options and is much more effective.

Ashiel
2010-03-09, 12:41 PM
Not to mention that now the DC for screwing with people's AoO space scales better. It means you might actually need to invest heavily into acrobatics to weasel your way into the area of a combat specialist. This is actually a good thing IMO and also makes it a bit harder for people to auto-succeed from level 6 and upward (in 3.5, assuming maxed tumble for 9 ranks + 2 dexterity +2 tool and a +1 magic item, or some similar combination).

I'm really uncertain what DragoonWraith means though. I mean, the only things that jumped out at me as "oh wow, nerfed" was Power Attack and Improved Trip (no longer grants you a free attack on a trip). I might be missing a lot somewhere, but I've yet to notice it. A PF-Beta fighter was probably the first fighter I've played that didn't have PA and was still brutally effective (dual wielded + weapon group specialization + weapon specialization + magic weapons just allowed me to stack lots of static damage and retain solid to-hit modifiers). Again, a number of feats were made better. They added a Power Attack for Archery to keep your ranged options dealing solid damage as well.

Really, the thing that I've noticed most of all is - the stuff that everyone said the fighter had going for it, like uber-charging, super-tripping, and so forth hasn't been as needed. They're more well rounded and can handle things better based on their own merit (again with a lot involving how combat maneuvers have changed, and better selection of feats that allow more things - including status effects). There just seems to be, IMO, less "all or nothing" things in PF.

I would like it if you could give me some examples DragoonWraith; since I've not been playing PF for very long (and I'm currently globbering together a homebrew version that hybrids some of PF/3.5 with 3.0). :smallsmile:

PinkysBrain
2010-03-09, 01:22 PM
Not to mention that now the DC for screwing with people's AoO space scales better.
It scales ... does it do so very well? The double dipping of strength and dex in CMD can work out pretty nasty, elementals except the earth elemental are not a good idea to try and tumble past, the size modifier doesn't make a ton of sense either for tumbling.

Mongoose87
2010-03-09, 01:36 PM
It scales ... does it do so very well? The double dipping of strength and dex in CMD can work out pretty nasty, elementals except the earth elemental are not a good idea to try and tumble past, the size modifier doesn't make a ton of sense either for tumbling.

What does CMD have to do with tumbling?

Sinfire Titan
2010-03-09, 01:42 PM
Hold on i'll let you finish but the fighter got better. He was able to keep everthing for 3.5 and even got new abilities to go along with those.

Not really. Power Attack got nerfed hard, every feat worth taking was split into two feats (the problem isn't that the Fighter doesn't have enough feats to choose from, it's that the feats he can chose from usually suck), and two entire combat options are much more tedious to use (Grapple and Trip, and how anyone could have made Grapple require more Book Work is beyond me).


And yea the feats were split but the mechanics of most of them have been reworked to funtion better(Ex. for re worked feat Tougness).

And then they go and turn Improved Trip into two feats, both of which have more prereqs to make sure Fighters can't get it at 1st level (which is the main way they nerfed the Fighter).

PinkysBrain
2010-03-09, 01:44 PM
What does CMD have to do with tumbling?
Because it's the DC.

Harperfan7
2010-03-09, 01:58 PM
I made a pathfinder rogue, and he is by far more powerful than ANY 3.5 rogue I have ever made. None of the feats he chose got nerfed.

When I was done, I showed it to my friends and now we jokingly refer to it as james bond, because it can do so many things so well.

Doc Roc
2010-03-09, 04:37 PM
Wait, what? Rogue can sneak attack more things, wizards and sorcerors and clerics all get minor toys, rogues and barbarians get powers/talents, monks got to switch to a ki pool, and even fighters have weapon and armor trainings and 21 feats at 20.

Yep, this is all true. But all my experience is that Sinfire is right.

I know that most people don't necessarily buy in to my whole spiel, but basically, I think that Pathfinder is not a great rebalance. It's not terrible, but...

Gorbash
2010-03-09, 05:10 PM
Yep, this is all true. But all my experience is that Sinfire is right.

It's not. Rogues can't use sneak attack on anything that they couldn't in 3.5, the rule you are refering to is from beta.

And Monks are hardly useless now. They basically have Fighter's BAB progression when they use most of their things. They got better a bit, but since everyone else did, they're in pretty much the same position as before.

Starbuck_II
2010-03-09, 05:23 PM
It's not. Rogues can't use sneak attack on anything that they couldn't in 3.5, the rule you are refering to is from beta.

And Monks are hardly useless now. They basically have Fighter's BAB progression when they use most of their things. They got better a bit, but since everyone else did, they're in pretty much the same position as before.

No, they did remove undead, Plant, and Construct immunities to sneak attack (Check the PSRD).
They left Oozes and Elemental though I think.

And Heavy Fortification Armor ability only gives 75% instead of 100%.

Sinfire Titan
2010-03-09, 05:23 PM
The real question is why are you paying a group of people who don't know squat about Game Balance to balance your game with house rules when you can go online and talk to the people who actually know what is and what isn't broken?

Ashiel
2010-03-09, 05:25 PM
It's not. Rogues can't use sneak attack on anything that they couldn't in 3.5, the rule you are refering to is from beta.

And Monks are hardly useless now. They basically have Fighter's BAB progression when they use most of their things. They got better a bit, but since everyone else did, they're in pretty much the same position as before.

According to the PF SRD (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/basic-classes/rogue#TOC-Sneak-Attack), sneak applies to everything except incorporeal creatures, oozes, elementals and swarms. This leaves constructs, plants, undead, and similar things viable to my knowledge. :smallconfused:

Also, to further illustrate, the undead type (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/rules-for-monsters/creature-types#TOC-Undead) doesn't have a blanket immunity to sneak attacks either.

Ack, ninja'd. :smalltongue:

Ashiel
2010-03-09, 05:27 PM
Actually, upon further inspection, incorporeal creatures are immune to critical hits and precision based damage unless they're being attacked with ghost touch weapons or similar effects.

DeltaEmil
2010-03-09, 05:29 PM
The real question is why are you paying a group of people who don't know squat about Game Balance to balance your game with house rules when you can go online and talk to the people who actually know what is and what isn't broken?Because the books they sell might have some nice pictures.
But then again, you could easily find them online (like in the vixen-thread in this very forum), or get better pictures...

Yeah, I guess that's it...

Caphi
2010-03-09, 05:41 PM
I'm trying to figure out how anyone can make PF combat maneuvers more "bookwork" than 3.5 bull rush, trip, grapple, and disarm. I've played in several PF games and in every one, combat maneuvers went by like a dream.

Starbuck_II
2010-03-09, 06:18 PM
I'm trying to figure out how anyone can make PF combat maneuvers more "bookwork" than 3.5 bull rush, trip, grapple, and disarm. I've played in several PF games and in every one, combat maneuvers went by like a dream.

No, calculating them is the difficult as is succeeding at them (since feats give less). Characters have it easy, not the players.

Many monsters from 3.5 are better at resisting in Pathfinder.

Caphi
2010-03-09, 06:22 PM
No, calculating them is the difficult as is succeeding at them (since feats give less). Characters have it easy, not the players.

Many monsters from 3.5 are better at resisting in Pathfinder.

Is that theorycraft or practice? CMB and CMD are not difficult at all to compute, certainly no more than your attack bonus with a weapon or spell, and once you do, you can write it down and the one number serves all your maneuvers forever. From there, it's a very simple "d20+bonus>DC" mechanic, just like everything else in the game.

Starbuck_II
2010-03-09, 06:39 PM
Well, remember, anything that adds to Touch AC adds to CMD.

Since everyone wishes to buff their Touch (Deflection, Insight, Dex) that will get buffed.

Look at Trolls: they have great Dex, meaning that are harder to beat than 3.5.

Grapple Resist (3.5): +14
Grapple CMD (Pathfinder): 22

(technically, they lost 2, but since harder to buff CMB: it evens out).
CMB: buffed by BAB and Str + feats (which are lower in bonus).
So assuming Level 4 (possibly to fight CR 5 creatures): that is +4 BAB + 20 Str (if got human, 1/2 Orc, etc) + 2.
So a focused character= 11.

He needs a 11 in Pathfinder and 3.5, but Enlarge Person (spell, potion, etc) is available for 3.5 for a +5 bonus (4 Size + 1 Str Mod) to CMB. This same spell only provides +3 to CMB in Pathfinder.

So it is harder to boost CMB than it used to be in 3.5 equivalent.

Still possible for each, but harder overall in Pathfinder.

Zergrusheddie
2010-03-09, 06:41 PM
Didn't Pathfinder do something incredibly nerfy with Druids? Something like making Wildshape gives bonuses to stats rather than straight substitution? How do Druids compare now to other classes with the changes? :smallconfused:

Starbuck_II
2010-03-09, 06:52 PM
They offer Wild Shape 1 lv earlier than 3.5 (4th level).
You do get Stat bonuses: They are size bonuses to stats so stack with gear/spells (like Bull's Str).

Wild Shape is based off the new Polymorph spells: Beast Shape (and the Elemental ones later).

So you can't dump stats anymore: no using new animals Con stat since you only get Str, Dex, and NA changes from animals (besides stuff like swim speed, scent, etc).

Example, 4th level Druid can become a small or meduim animal: All small give +2 Dex and +1 NA, and all Meduim grant +2 Str and +2 NA.

You also gain Natural Attacks (but you'd need to read the magic section where they describe the new polymorph rules to learn that not the spell)

Constant bonus items continue to function like Necklace of Wis/Con, etc. Except armor bonus items (that melds when you change).

Gametime
2010-03-09, 06:58 PM
Pathfinder isn't balanced from an absolute perspective. It is slightly more balanced than core 3.5, but not by much.

What Pathfinder did do well was adding a bunch of fun abilities to most of the classes. If your group doesn't use a ton of splatbooks and barely optimizes at all, you'll likely find Pathfinder fun. If you're concerned about the balance issues in 3.5, Pathfinder isn't the fix you're looking for.

GoatToucher
2010-03-11, 01:29 PM
The real question is why are you paying a group of people who don't know squat about Game Balance to balance your game with house rules when you can go online and talk to the people who actually know what is and what isn't broken?

You know, I like this forum as a resource and all, but the idea of "Why listen to the published professionals when you can go to the internet and find the -real- experts?" Seems somewhat counterintuitive to me.

Pathfinder tried to make some balance changes, but the main idea was to tap into the market of DnD fans who were disatisfied with 4ed. They couldn't really change the game all that much without making it something decidedly -not- DnD.

As for the expertise, while I am constantly amazed at the nooks and crannies delved by the optimizing urge, many if not most of the broken aspects of the game never occured to me or my other friends with 20+ years of gaming experience. We just don't try that hard to compromize the game. Druids, I would say, are the big one, and they got the heartiest thwack with the nerf hammer by the folks at PF.

Would I rather they have gone further? Sure, but I understand that they need to maintain their fanbase. I think thet outrage that PF -dared- to claim that they were balancing the game is a little overstated, to say the least. They balanced aspects of the game: most of the classes are much more fun and interesting to play, in my opinion, and the simplicity of CMB/CMD makes for more variety in our combat. Are there big balance holes left unplugged? Certainly, but they could only go so far without alienating their target audience.

The long and the short of it is that, if you are not paricularly interested in optimization, Pathfinder does its job just fine. I know that, to alot of folks around here, "not particularly interested in optimization" translates to "not clever enough to play the game the way it was -meant- to be played", but that's they way alot of people play. Similarly, alot of people don't hold internet opinion to be a high watermark for credibility. Good idead are good ideas, no matter where you find them.

tyckspoon
2010-03-11, 01:41 PM
Didn't Pathfinder do something incredibly nerfy with Druids? Something like making Wildshape gives bonuses to stats rather than straight substitution? How do Druids compare now to other classes with the changes? :smallconfused:

If you want to do spellcaster melee Wildshape/Polymorph effects are still the only way to get access to monster special attacks like Pounce and Grab. A Druid can still turn into a Tiger and Pounce a target with 5 natural attacks at a level where the traditional melee class has just gotten his 2nd iterative attack. Which is still wildly unfair to the traditional classes; the Druid just needs to invest a little more in his real Strength to be good at it now. The whole bear-that-shoots-lightning thing is still alive and well.

Caphi
2010-03-11, 01:42 PM
I like Pathfinder.

Just in case no one figured that out, I'm going to put it out there.

I don't think it's the end of balance. It's better than 3.5, but that's separate. The real reason I like Pathfinder is everyone gets neat things.

10 feats instead of 7 is very much part of that. The new skill system is part of that. The combat maneuver rules aren't part of that as such, but they're great anyway. Pathfinder accomplished the feat of making me want to play base classes. Prestiging was automatic in 3.5 because all the base classes had terrible power curves or boring class features. Casting couldn't save one either, when a wizard or sorceror could enter a full casting PrC and never look back.

But suddenly, goodness! I want to play a sorceror and try out the neat bloodline toys. I want to run a rogue and build with the talents to my heart's content. I even want to play a barbarian sometime, limited rage and all.

Well, I still don't want to play a fighter. Bigger numbers to what they already did, and still no skills. But that's just me. I've had my players run fighters and be okay with whatever they were doing.

Point to note: comparisons between PF+extras and 3.5 core+extras are broken. A lot of things no longer work, notably Dodge, which no longer has a target, and most things involving grapple. Core-to-core, though, PF is more balanced and a lot more interesting. If your GM allows you to import something, though, more's the fun.

Finally:


Well, remember, anything that adds to Touch AC adds to CMD.

Can't find that anywhere in the SRD. Can you quote the relevant rule for me?

Sinfire Titan
2010-03-11, 02:06 PM
You know, I like this forum as a resource and all, but the idea of "Why listen to the published professionals when you can go to the internet and find the -real- experts?" Seems somewhat counterintuitive to me.

In gaming, the people who can be considered experts are the players who have a high degree of system mastery. Paizo, WotC, and several other parties show a lack of this (Notable Exceptions: Monte Cook, Frank&K's works).

The people to talk to about what is and what isn't broken are the optimizers, not the game designers. We know where the strengths and weaknesses of every class, feat, spell, item, whatever, are.

They may have the rights to produce new splats, but a majority of them clearly don't know what is and what isn't balanced.

PinkysBrain
2010-03-11, 02:48 PM
Can't find that anywhere in the SRD. Can you quote the relevant rule for me?
"A creature can also add any circumstance, deflection, dodge, insight, morale, profane, and sacred bonuses to AC to its CMD."

Together with the fact that both strength and dexterity add to CMD, and only strength to CMB, makes it hard to keep up with some monsters (actually it makes it hard for some monsters to keep up with themselves, ie. a Balor pretty much can't grapple a Balor).

If you have enhancement bonuses on your unarmed strike or gauntlets you can add those to CMB for grappling though.