Pathfinder RPG Escalation die for Pathfinder




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    Escalation die for Pathfinder

    The latest Kobold Quarterly has rules for using the escalation die in Pathfinder. Basically there's a bonus to all attacks and spellcaster DCs, starting at 0 the first round and increasing by one each round until it hits 6. To compensate, monster ACs (and presumably saves; the article omits that, but it makes sense) get a +1.

    I thought it was interesting, but it seems like an effective -1 will barely be noticed, and this would end up powering up the PCs quite a bit. I thought about giving a +2 to the monsters. That would probably slow down battle a bit. I thought about compensating that by making it go 0 / 1 / 3 / 4 / 6 and making it top out in 5 rounds instead of 7. Thoughts?

 

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    My first thought is to wonder why they would get such a bonus. Does the article provide fluff that provides an in-world explanation for that?

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    I don't have the article but what is this supposed to achieve? If every attack goes up by one and every AC goes up by one, there is no probability change. My understanding of the escalation dice in 13th Age was that it just increases the PCs stats to stop combat grinding- however I could be wrong.
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    Alternatively, maybe the intention was to speed up combat. Increasing all attack rolls and save DCs while leaving everything else unchanged increases the amount of damage taken by all combatants. Increasing those while also increasing ACs and saving throw bonuses would be totally pointless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mach1.9pants View Post
    I don't have the article but what is this supposed to achieve? If every attack goes up by one and every AC goes up by one, there is no probability change.
    The enemy ACs goe up by one, but the PCs' attacks starts at +0, and then go to +1 the second round of combat, and then to +2 the third, and so one. It basically simulates movie dramatics; at the start of the battle, our heroes are always threatened by scary villains who have the upper hand, but as the fight goes on, the tables are turned and increasingly impotent villains are driven back by increasingly successful heroes.

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    So is this a bonus only for the PC's I'm assuming? If so...

    The Wizards just throw down walls of force, the melee all fight defensively (maybe finally making combat expertise useful?), the rogues all hide, and the clerics spam healing spells with every action for the first 6 rounds of combat. Then they all pop out full offensive with a +6 and clean the floor with the opposition after that.

    Smart enemies would utilize hit and run tactics. Engage the PC's for a couple rounds then teleport away. Wait for the "in-combat" counter to reset and then bamf back in for some more. Over and over.

    Seems like a system that would encourage some cheesy play to me. I don't like it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ebony Dragon View Post
    The Wizards just throw down walls of force, the melee all fight defensively (maybe finally making combat expertise useful?), the rogues all hide, and the clerics spam healing spells with every action for the first 6 rounds of combat. Then they all pop out full offensive with a +6 and clean the floor with the opposition after that.
    And then the escalation die doesn't increase. The article said they've never had that problem, but YMMV.

    Wait for the "in-combat" counter to reset and then bamf back in for some more.
    The in-combat counter doesn't roll-over, it saturates.

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    The escalation die bonus (0-6) should apply to NPCs/Monsters as well, not just the PCs iirc. This mechanic simulates battle fatigue making it easier to be hit, learning your foes moves, getting in the "zone", and adrenaline pumping. I rather like this addition. It also has the handy ability of make combat less of a whiff fest as combat goes on and a little more frightening too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liquidsabre View Post
    The escalation die bonus (0-6) should apply to NPCs/Monsters as well, not just the PCs iirc. This mechanic simulates battle fatigue making it easier to be hit, learning your foes moves, getting in the "zone", and adrenaline pumping. I rather like this addition. It also has the handy ability of make combat less of a whiff fest as combat goes on and a little more frightening too.
    Hit Points already cover such fatigue. They are not simply about the ability to take or shrug off a blow. Read the PF or D&D section on them again.

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    I suggest you reference this material as well since the Fatigue Condition also covers fatigue in D&D/PF. So it appears fatigue can certainly have more than one rule to simulate the effects on a character.
    Last edited by Liquidsabre; Wednesday, 18th July, 2012 at 01:16 AM.
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