Teaching Spheres of Power/Might - Page 2 - Myth-Weavers

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Teaching Spheres of Power/Might

Remember: you can stack Basic Attack modifiers, like Vital Strike and Dual-Attack, but only one Special Attack at a time. So you could Barrage Vital Strike Dual-Attack all as one standard action, but not use Snipe as well because both Barrage and Snipe are Special Attack actions.

Incidentally, Vital Strike only applies to the first attack of any multi-attack action used with it. So the first attack of your Barrage Dual-Attack would get the double dice roll, and further attacks would not. It's somewhere in the wiki there, but it's harder to find than it should be.

Originally Posted by Duckerby View Post
By far the most confusing and annoying aspect of Spheres (particularly Might) isn't really their fault: it's the nature of the Standard Action attack called Attack. As in, the one that is specifically called out for things like Vital Strike, and specifically called out as NOT being the attack of a charge, or with Attack On the Run or similar stuff (Yes I realize you guys talked about it above, but I like ranting about it).

Dear Paizo: This hasn't stopped being dumb and confusing for no good reason. You should be able to Vital Strike on a charge, it's not going to break the game more than the Fly spell already does.
The trouble originated in vanilla Pathfinder but SoM haven't helped matters by embracing the dumbness and confusingness of it a lot. I get the impression that they just wanted Vital Strike to be worth taking so designed the whole system about that.

Vital Strike is meant to be an alternative to full-attacking or Charging for when you're forced to move. I don't know why they didn't just say "as a standard action, you make an attack" like basically every other special action. This potentially lets you combine Vital Strike with other things - and certainly this is baked into the design of SoM - but the interactions are weird.

SoM also does stupid things like saying "As an attack action, you can make a trip attempt against everyone you threaten". This makes no sense; the attack action is defined as the standard action which lets you make an attack. Using that action to do something other than making a single attack is as silly as saying "As a "pick up an item" action, you can move up to your speed. Instead of picking up an item, it's just called the "pick up an item" action for maximum confusion and so that other things which augment that action still work, except that most of them won't because most of them will - foolishly - assume that you're actually, you know, picking up an item".

But yeah, Basic Attack is clearer than Attack Action.

Originally Posted by Duckerby View Post
@TheFred - In 3.5 I would agree that SoM needs to put in significant work to match core martial damage from full-attacks. However in Pathfinder I find full-attacks are much harder to come by for melee characters, because Paizo seemed to go out of their way to make Pounce and similar stuff harder to get.
Eh, Pounce is pretty hard to get even in 3.5 bar as few excessively-easy options (*cough* Complete Champion). There are probably more ways of getting free movement, though. You also have Ubercharging methods which can be pretty effective even without Pounce, so you can do big damage on a charge then full-attack next round.

My point is just that if you invest loads into SoM and then you're still only reaping the benefits on the first action when you move-and-attack, you're going to feel a bit underwhelmed. In fairness, full-attacking is pretty good already and what martial characters need more is versatility, and SoM attempts to fix that - it's just that I always find the SoM stuff only seems to synergise with itself and very rarely with other PF options, making it feel like quite an all-or-nothing sort of thing. IMO Tome of Battle did this better by offering some move-and-attack options and some utility but integrating better with the existing systems.

I would agree that Tome of Battle is far better set up than Spheres of Might, but where my players are concerned, it runs into the same problem that Vancian casting does - I can't rely on them to remember maneuvers/spells/whatever.

Honestly, I don't think SoM will be a great success with my group, but I'm more banking on the SoP side of things to promote more spellcasting in the group. At the very least, they'll be able to use the alchemy sphere to heal themselves LOL

That's what Wands of Cure Light are for. =p

Originally Posted by Duckerby View Post
That's what Wands of Cure Light are for. =p
Only if they use them. which they don't. Like I've said - casuals. For the most part, they just want to kill things on graph paper. My wife, on multiple occasions, has requested no - magic Pathfinder...

Man, I've seen groups like this. They can be a challenge even with a lighter system. With a heavier one like d20, it's a GM's nightmare.
At least if you want the players to be doing the mechanical part themselves.

(And I know you said it doesn't work for you, but it seems like Pathfinder is the wrong system for them. Personally, I'd think something like Barbarians of Lemuria might be a better fit, seeing as it allows you to have adventures without magic!
OK, that's what I would do, but maybe you prefer a heavier system. So, now let me actually answer your question!)

First, I've never taught Spheres system. But I've taught systems to players from a similar group, so I have three advices for you:
Presentation, presentation, presentation!
Make a custome character sheet. Add the Spheres next to the attributes, along with the rules text (leave space between the attrributes). Put the relevant parts in bold, like healing for example!
Also, start their turns by asking: do you want to use any of your Spheres? Wait for a while, if they confirm it's not the case, ask them what they're doing.
Good luck teaching them the game!


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