View Poll Results: What do you think of the suggested changes?

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  • Yes, this would be a healthy and good change to the game.

    2 5.13%
  • Yes, but it requires a lot more refinement before anything can be implimented.

    5 12.82%
  • No, this is far to large of a change and can only hurt the game.

    24 61.54%
  • No, there is a better solution to the problems described.

    2 5.13%
  • It's not really important to the game.

    6 15.38%
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  1. #1

    A Plea for Power - Case for high character power ceilings and consolidation of feats

    Greetings Pathfinder: Kingmaker community,
    I'm here today to try and make a case for why Pathfinder Kingmaker should embrace powerful player characters and companions, with the vehicle of this power being derived in the Feat's system particularly.

    Now first, what do I mean by 'derived in the Feat's system'? Well specifically powerful Feat chains as well as those of same category. To give an example lets say you are taking Blind-Fight on our level 1 Fighter, what I propose is instead of having to use all your feats on 1 to 3 'chains' they get consolidated into 1. Now I bet you're saying 'Well that's just overpowered and against the spirit of those feat chains.' You're right, but two things to account for that
    first you must reach the criteria of that improved version, so at level 10 if you put all your ranks into Perception Blind-Fight will upgrade into Blind-Fight, Improved.
    Second is how this seems to effect feat heavy classes such as Fighter and Monk. Making their bonuses 'less' valuable by comparison. I would argue that a Fighter or Monk getting even more feats means they will be even stronger thus helping what I consider two of the lowest utility classes out by improving the range of abilities they can use. Additionally to give another example things like Skill Focus should be 'expanded' to just be every class you have proficiency in, that way you don't feel like you're wasting a feat taking Skill Focus with this kind of change. Also combining of complimentary feats, such as Scribe Scroll, Brew Potion, and Craft Wondrous Items to avoid having what I call the 'Crafting Bitch'.

    Now I get why you might be apprehensive to what can be seen as a gross excess of power in the players hands and potential trivialization of content. I would like to bring a few things to your attention.
    First is how we've weighted this 'power gain', since it only include later versions of Feats this will most likely not effect the first 8 or so levels, so the early game will mostly be the same except for a bit more flexibility with Fighters, Monks, and the like. As we get up in levels where Wizards and other casters become quite powerful the feat centric classes will also see large power spikes, not as large as those aforementioned casters, but it will shrink the gap.
    Second is that feats in Pathfinder already do this, many including the Skill Focus feat improve as you level up your character to have greater impact. It would homogenize a lot of design principals already implemented. We see other table top adaptation games do the same, combining similar skills and feats to make it more palatable to potential new arrivals. Every adaptation from Neverwinter Nights to Shadowrun: Returns work on a similar schema.
    Third is clutter reduction. Level up screen are already going to be a long ordeal with scroll bars and tabs, no way around it. Design and usability should be top concerns for the game. How we accomplish this is clear indication of elements like what section of your character you are currently upgrading and what your options are. Condensing the potentially 100's long feat list and reducing the pressure on new players to make a choice will decrease one of the hardest hurdles of character management in a RPG, the planning of a build. Now with this you can pick what you like and know that your character will always be as good as they can be at that thing so long as you pick the correct skills to focus on. Never worrying about breakpoints or other oddities of gated chains of feats.
    Fourth and finally is it does increase that later game power. It will improve the feeling of progression and lend itself well to such a long story that is Kingmaker. Starting out you will struggle to kill simple forest bears, and you will finish dispatching hordes of hungry trolls with ease. Showcase that growth in one of the best ways, player options. Having more feats available means a character will have more then just 1 'method' of fighting. He won't just be the intimidating Cornugon Smash/ Shattering Defenses character, but instead have that in an arsenal of abilities he can use when a foe would be fearless. This is not a vertical power spike, but a horizontal one. One of diversity and flexibility. This also increases the power one can make a character to fit what kind of 'fantasy' they want.

    Now for the cons.
    First and most obviously the power difference. This breaks down to a change that gives a Fighter a potential 22(!) feats over baseline if done completely optimally and a Wizard 8 feats over that baseline. With all character getting upwards of 12 more total feats. Now these are edge cases and by no means will reflect real world usage as certain feats will have no chain, but are incredibly useful and thus still have a place. We also have to remember that those 22 feats are actually only 11 feats that are just 'improved' ones, so it's more accurate saying that we get 11 feats that are their strongest form. How can we possibly compensate for this, first off we have maybe 250 total feats available on a whole for the game you're saying a character can feasibly have 20% of all feats? Well that's a fair argument, but we also have to consider where we implement this in development, if done early enough we can account for this and only have certain select 'chains' available at any given time. Not to mention consolidation will reduce the feats that are chains by combining multiple chains together like combat maneuvers.
    Second is a piggy back on the previous point, game balance. If we do this how hard will it be to challenge a party if you can optimize and have at least 1 of every feat with a party of 5 by level 20? Well that's fine tuning, I cannot speak for the difficulty they are going for, but the simple solution is just let players decide how hard the game will be. Variable difficulty has been around for ages and offers you the ability to control your experience, if you find the game to easy, bump it up, having a hard time, turn it down. If that's still not enough for the potential 'power user' then offer interesting challenges, like 'no in combat healing' or 'only your main character'. In fact there is a high likelihood that a more robust difficulty system increases the replay-ability of the game. Now I bet you're thinking 'But wait Bill, what does that have to do with feats?' And I say 'fair', but bringing up power is only a matter of tuning on the part of the devs and players. It's a 'season to liking' scenario.
    Third is betraying the source material. How can you say it's a Pathfinder game if you gut an important part of what it is? We cannot allow ourselves to always be shackled to the source material, while it is Pathfinder we also have to understand that this is now its own game. It can make and should make decisions that are in its best interest even if they go against Pathfinder convention. While an honest representation is appreciated we cannot be blind to potential problems when translating it over. Pathfinder is after all a refinement on a refinement on a refinement (3.0 -> 3.5 -> Pathfinder)
    Fourth is the risk of removing player choice. This is the hardest one to argue against, we are objectively turning what is a choice of one of 250 options down to potentially less then 150. I NEVER want to be the voice that says player choice is bad, but in a way I am currently that voice. And if your goal is player choice and freedom of choice then this option limits that potentially more meaningful decision. The reward of a well executed build is not lost on me and I myself strive to ride that high, but despite all that I would prefer a better more refined experience for everyone, not just me. So lets make this the introduction to Pathfinder that it deserves and really allow it to stand on its strengths and help newer players avoid pitfalls and 'trap' feats.

    Having the consolidation of feats makes navigating your character's progression easier and overall stronger to solve some long standing problems of Pathfinder. Particularly that casters generally outstrip martial classes. This helps bring them more in line as time goes on and reduces the clutter people will have to search for when building a character. This however is a balance concern and can drastically change the spirit of Pathfinder. It should be treated as a potential risk to that precarious balance. We also cannot ignore the limited resources of a project like this, and every option we 'remove' might not be regained elsewhere. Reducing overall the total player choice to detrimental effect. Feel free to debunk my shit, and tell me I'm wrong. These are just my ideas, they stand on no pedestal, only their merit.

  2. #2
    Senior Member praguepride's Avatar
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    Jul 2017
    Chicago, IL
    Interesting idea. If nothing else I would look at reducing or consolidating "feat taxes" like Combat Expertise or Dodge. Those are legacies of the 3.0 system and one of the things the Unchained book looked to solve with the Combat Stamina option was to allow fighters to bypass "feat taxes" which are typically suboptimal choices that you have to 'pay for' to level up.

    Overall I support the feat chain but let me give an alternative which is to implement ranger combat styles across all martial classes. Leave the caster classes alone because chances are they'll be pumping feats into non-chains like Combat Casting or Improved Initiative or Metamagic feats but for martial classes (Paladin, Rogue, Fighter, Ranger, Monk) you could implement limited versions of the Ranger combat styles that would do a similar thing as to what you're describing.

    My proposal is that Rangers retain their flexibility in getting to pick specific feats not limited to a single distinct line but at 1st level a Rogue/Fighter/Monk/Paladin etc. can select one "feat chain" that levels up with them. Maybe they get a second at 8th level?

    Basically it's a way to as you describe give martial classes a much needed bump and eliminate feat taxes that nerf non-caster focused characters for no good reason other then "that's what 3.0 did..."

    Some examples might be:
    Two-Weapon Fighting: Two-Weapon Fighting (1st), Double Slice (3rd) Improved 2-weapon fighting (6th), Two-Weapon Defense (9th) Greater Two-Weapon Fighting (12th). As you said these would just auto-level up at those levels and you could consider allowing fighters another boost by allowing them the ranger's ability to ignore prereqs (but for Rogues or Paladin you would still need to meet those reqs to unlock higher levels).

    Another example might be the Archery Chain:
    Point Blank Shot (1st) -> Precise Shot (3rd) -> Rapid Shot (6th) -> Manyshot (9th) -> Deadly Aim (12th)

    Basically you can convert existing Ranger combat styles into a more limited and focused feat chain and give access to other martial classes. This is kind of a hybrid between Bill Nye's feat deluge and the original game.
    I know! Start swinging! Eventually you'll lop off the head of someone important and then the good fights will REALLY start!
    -- Lilarcor

  3. #3
    A further refinement would be *every* character selects a specialization at level 1 to avoid multi-classing problems. That way I don't go Fighter 1 -> Wizard 19 to get a lot of martial power for little overall drawback and without screwing over class splashing with martial classes. We don't want people going Fighter 1, Monk 1, Rogue 1, Paladin 1 for the potential 16 feat gain on top of normal bonuses. This way we just make these specializations more 'martial' focused to only compliment Fighter, Rogue, Monk, and Paladin while giving it uniformly as a player choice. We can restrict which class has access to which specialization, this way you can have a pure caster with the ability to craft across the board, or a gish that makes use of spells and swords. But I don't like the risk of front-loading even MORE choice on a RPG. Not a problem for veterans, but awful for new players.

    Edit 1: What a deluge!
    Last edited by Bill Nye The Bounty Guy; 07-28-2017 at 03:09 AM.

  4. #4
    Member Dr. Dre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    My favorite implementation of this sort of thing in the table top version is the tax exempt homebrew rules. Now obviously not all of it works, is good, or make sense for pathfinder. but the feat consolidation aspect is good base for how to think about the way this could be implemented in the game.

    The real question though and one i still don't know or have not heard much indication is of how much owl cats can change to the core assumption of the rules or how much they want to. Sure they were able to do it with skills but paizo has also made their own version of skills so a different and simpler way to do it does not seem far fetch. Yet feats are a bit more important to how the game is played and besides a bit. And besides part of the benefit of using a preexisting system is so you do not have to worry about making your own rules and only about translating them to a computer game. Changing feats in such a way does change the system in ways you really have to think and account and creates a lot of extra work for a good but maybe not amazing or speculator befits.

    Also I don't how high power charters really make this a more compelling argument since you can already make extremely powerful characters with the system as is. Sure it will make you strong but the incremental differences of power dont really matter to me. what this sort of thing really benefits is taking feats chain that allow you to do some cool niche stuff with out having to worry about the power level of your character. Which I think would be pretty nice.

    All in all I am for the idea of removing feat chains but i do not think it will happen. I do also think the game be too far along in development for this sort of thing but that is pure speculation on my part

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Well, I'm not on board for this idea.
    For me it strays a bit too far from Pathfinder's rules. Don't like it.

  6. #6
    Member Skull-ogk's Avatar
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    Jul 2017
    Stellenbosch, South Africa
    Sounds more like something someone can one day build into a MOD.

    I am happy with a Pathfinder game actually using their feat system :)

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Agreed, I backed this to play a Pathfinder game, not someone else's homebrew game. Although I respect that certain feat chains and taxes can be perceived as a problem (and mostly agree, even!) I feel this would stray too far from the PFRPG rule set. As Skull-ogk said, if there is room for fan-made mods in the future, this would be a hot candidate.

  8. #8
    Member Havoc1911's Avatar
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    Jul 2017
    I'm also against the changes being made to the base game. I don't think that the first 'official' Pathfinder CRPG should default house rules. It should offer an authentic Pathfinder experience.

    That said, I'd be all for an X-com style second-wave option where you could turn these optional rules on and off at the beginning of a game.

  9. #9
    Member Abandoned Arts's Avatar
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    Jul 2017
    Voting "hard no" on this. This is homebrew, houserule territory - definitely not what I backed this project for. Sorry. : /

  10. #10
    Senior Member Stratagemini's Avatar
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    Jul 2017
    If you want to put in the work to mod your game, More power to you. But this is some esoteric homebrew nonsense. I'm not down with it.

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