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Sleepless Detective

Abraham spalding's page

RPG Superstar 2015 Star Voter. Pathfinder Society Member. 10,719 posts (15,529 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. 1 wishlist. 13 aliases.


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For Envy then I suggest a magic item that is in a very difficult trap that if you fail to disarm will destroy the artifact.

For the double down make it something that if multiple people work together on they could do it rather easier, but it will result in a lesser very for each of them instead of the one big version.

An example is a Fountain that if one person drinks from he gets a +X (whatever you are comfortable with) inherent bonus to Con, but if multiple people drink from it they get a +1 inherent bonus to COn. However the trap they have to get past first will drop a big rock into the fountain and destroy it. The trap is one of weight distribution on multiple tiles at the tame time. Thus multiple people can cover all the tiles at once easier rather than one person trying to do so. Make it a one way passage that loops back around so if you are going to try you have to try now.

Ansibelle wrote:
I will definitely check out the rise of the runelords stuff, but this is in an unconnected setting, so I don't want to go too far down the path of dealing with rune magic, etc.

Granted -- the key to it is


My understanding is in the fifth book you go through an arcane college demiplane where your sins and virtues have a definite effect on you. It also talks about how to 'tally it up' to get your 'sin score' for your players.

So even if you don't like/use the setting those specific mechanics might be of interest to you.

There might be more information down in the forum specifically for that adventure path that could help you decide if it's something you want to use or not.

Well Vincent I have seen good GMs go bad over bad players, and I've seen good GMs run out of time, or pick up new systems and not know them, or think they can wing a session or two or a hundred other things.

It really is a case by case thing, just like it can be with some problem players.

I went through a phase where I couldn't have a weak save or low HP or low AC because of a really bad GM. He instilled in me a bad habit of 'turtling' because that was the only way to survive his games. At the time I didn't realize I was picking up the habit either. We had fun, the group dynamic was alright and the other players enjoyed the game and got what they were wanting from it.

Fortunately I have had many more great groups that helped me get past this and other really bad GMs that gave me other bad habits that other people helped fix.

Unfortunately a lot of these are something I have been guilty of at some point or another too. Things happen and I hope that even for those GMs out there that are not bad can look at this and use it to help stop themselves from going down a dark path.

After all if you are a GM and you read this and think, "Gee, I've felt like I haven't had enough time and there is too much going on in combat."

Maybe you'll look into the unprepared and think, "Oh, maybe I can have my group help me get set up with monster index cards and then I'll have my creatures ready before hand, and if Sarah who's a bit of a rules lawyer and looking bored helps track initiative and buffs then I'll have more time to concentrated on the rest of the game."

This way you can be self-correcting as well, to help prevent the problem from developing and pulling your players in deeper by making it more of their game too.

At one time I was defensive about what I saw as my GMing duties. I thought in order to be a good GM I had to be a perfect GM able to run the combat, track the dungeon, know what was going on at all times, and be on top of everything.

Which is insane. No one can really do that all the time. I have found that by allowing my players to help with these things (something learned from watching other GMs do it back in Indiana) I could concentrate more on being a GM and they would have more skin in the game as a whole too.


One of the nice things for RotRL book 4 is that there were also bonuses for acting according to your sin. Instead of being a constant series of tests the dungeon just tracked how you acted throughout it -- if your virtue/vice matched the section you were in you gained a thematic bonus. I think there were penalties for your opposition too.

All in all it did a nice take on the entire sin/virtue magic theme

martinaj wrote:
Given that the solution to every problem is "talk to the GM," I think that a "Why they usually do this" section might be more helpful than "What to do."

Good point. You'll notice that on some there is more of a "what you can do to help the GM" theme too. That's the sort of information that can be helpful.

For example if each player does five index cards for monsters then the GM can quickly have a bank of cards that he can quick reference instead of opening a book. He can then use a paper clip to attach the cards to the section that those monsters appear and be ready just by turning the page.

Having someone in the group be the "information tracker" and have a board on which they keep initiative on as well as when buffs start and when they will end helps the GM not have to track time and all of combat. Seeing as the player had only one character (generally!) to run this makes it easier for the GM without over burdening a player.

If someone else can do buff cards (or has the professional deck that Paizo offers for sell) that can make it easier for everyone to know what exactly they have going on.

I was in charge of group buffs for my party once. I would track what all buffs we had and then if someone needed to know what bonus they had I could simply give them the total for the things they needed.


Something that can help everyone:

When I build a character and I have a 'pre-plan' -- especially if it involves multiple classes I will cut and paste from the class tables the abilities into an excel spreadsheet. Then I'll arraign them in the order I think I will take. In effect I'm making a "custom class" for that character. Then I'll list the abilities in order under the class table. That way when I'm talking to the GM about my plans for the character I can show him an actual road map for how I see the character developing and what abilities will come on line when. If he has a problem with part if it I can adjust that part instead of him not liking the character as a whole.

This also allows me to know what my base numbers will be at any given level since they are added up in the chart.

You should look at book four of the RotRL's adventure path. It has a lot of material that should help you with this.

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137ben wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
rungok wrote:
I made my post not as a complaint about a GM, or saying that the particular type of GM I listed was 'bad'. If anything, the thread could use a better title, such as "Dealing with differences between GMs and Players." or something. Ultimately, since there's quite the opposite published on Paizo material (The Gamemaster's Guide has a large chapter on 'types' of players and how to work with them. I actually think that a similar guide for how players can work with different kinds of GM's would be supremely cool in helping ensure...
Agreed -- I should have titled this thread better.

I'd suggest PMing a mod to ask to change the thread topic. If people use this thread as intended, I think it could be a great resource. Unfortuantely, the thread title may invite people with no interest in contributing to come on this thread and whine about their personal vendettas against internet forums, without including suggestions on what to do.

Also, while this thread could function as a sort of guide (which makes sense in the Advice forum), the thread title doesn't get that across, which lead to it being moved to the Gamer Talk forum, where threads are sent to devolve into un-moderated flame wars.
So yea, ask to have the thread title changed:) Or just restart it in a new thread, with other people's (positive) contributions in the new OP.

Well my long term goal is to collect the best/most accurate/ over arching types and put together a "guide" like the class guides. Again much in the same lines as what is in the GMG as the intention is to help people find ways to do something constructive to improve their gaming groups rather than just be upset about how things go. Something like that "arm, anvil, hammer" guide that was done.

But yeah I'll see about getting the title changed to something better.

However on the positive side, I feel as a whole the thread has gone really well for as contentious of a topic as this is.

I appreciate all the positive contributions people, thank you!

rungok wrote:
I made my post not as a complaint about a GM, or saying that the particular type of GM I listed was 'bad'. If anything, the thread could use a better title, such as "Dealing with differences between GMs and Players." or something. Ultimately, since there's quite the opposite published on Paizo material (The Gamemaster's Guide has a large chapter on 'types' of players and how to work with them. I actually think that a similar guide for how players can work with different kinds of GM's would be supremely cool in helping ensure...

Agreed -- I should have titled this thread better.

Joynt Jezebel wrote:

The Ignoramus.

This GM does not have sufficient knowledge of the game system, the game world or both.

You can talk to these GMs about the problem, but they typically either don't know the game well enough to understand what the problem is.

Talking about the problem can help. Something else that can help is seeing if the GM would like a Co-GM. Someone to simply help him keep the rules straight as they continue to learn. A lot of times when I see this problem the issue is the group and GM are new or new to the system and the GM has stepped up to the plate and is wiffing because of it.


The Competitor

This person uses GMing to compete with players, showing off their superior intellect by ruling things won't work. One of the worst of all.

Sometimes a change of venue will help with this GM. Warhammer 40k can be a fun wargame to play with people like this as it puts everyone on the same level. If nothing else playing a game like Warhammer 40k will help expose if this is just a competitive person or if this is a person with problems that you might not want to play with at all.


The Rules Perfectionist

Wants to get everything correct by the rules to the last detail. This slows play down to a snails pace and leaches drama from the game due to constant looking up of rules.

I know when this happens to me I'm worried about not giving the PCs every bit they are due. It can be useful to remind the GM that the PCs don't expect perfection, just an even shake. As long as the rule stays constant for the session people can work out what should have happened before the next one and run from there.


But we should be more gentle on GMs. It is extremely hard to do well. I think because PCs can do most anything a real person can, so RPGs are potentially infinitely complicated. And the poor GM has to try to keep everything balanced and right at the same time.


KenderKin wrote:

The DM who never gets any better at DMing.

I blame the players!

; )

Actually I agree. GM's have a hard lot, and they can't really tell by themselves what exactly is going on with the players.

Players have a duty to provide feedback to their GM for the following reasons:

1 To keep their spirits up and make them feel appreciated
2 To provide feedback on how to improve their skills
3 To help the entire table keep in touch with how the group dynamic is changing.

Everyone is responsible for a good game.

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Because while talking to the GM is almost always the major solution it's not a solution until you know what to talk to him about.

Also people might not be realizing what the problem is. It's hard to tell someone "Man I'm not digging this game but I can't figure out why" being able to recognize the problem is important to solving it.

Also most people are at least friendly with their GM if not outright friends, and if your GM is say the developer with the unprepared you might be able to do more than just talk about it to fix the problem.

Much like the GMG points out the types of problem players (as I pointed out in the OP) and how you can go about helping them fix their behavior there is little out there to actually help the players when the issue is with the GM.

GM's spend a lot of time and energy in their games (in theory) and telling someone that something they are spending a lot of time and energy in is resulting in a subpar experience can be very hard -- it's much easier if you can focus in on one aspect to help them fix if possible.

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Wraithstrike I call that one The Developer -- and find that to be probably my biggest GM vice. I love developing areas, towns, dungeons, equipment, archetypes, et al. The problem is I'm not so good at the narrative and descriptive bits of GMing and get torn wanting to hit everything.

Another solution is to have rotating games. If you have more than one GM allowing them to switch gives the guy (me) more time to flesh out my new craze and get back into my groove before I have to GM again and gives me somewhere else to vent some of that creative energy (either as a player or running a second campaign).

Another use is to coopt him for the regular GM -- if your normal GM is having trouble developing or building stuff this guy can be extremely useful for putting together things that the GM can then tweak to work for him. Works best if he isn't playing at the same table though...

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12) The Unannounced

Guy seems alright, character creation goes off without any problems, everything seems almost to good to be true... first combat comes up, oh by the way all spells take a full round action to cast. Also there is no concentrate to not lose a spell. Also the Save throw is based on this obscure formula. Finally Spellcasters go last after archery and melee, as we don't use initiative.

The problem? The guy has a million house rules and didn't bother to tell anyone about them.

What to do: At the end of the game get a copy of all his house rules. Come to a gentleman's agreement -- if you don't have a copy of them at least a week before the rules are what the books say. As long as you have that copy before hand, no problems. Again talking is what is going to matter here, explain what you like about what you saw but also unless you know the rules you are supposed to be playing under you might as well be playing calvinball, especially when you thought you were here to play the standard game. House rules happen but you need to know first.

The first two won't work if he's a real 'counter' type GM. He'll simply fudge numbers or keep grabbing bigger monsters until it balances back to where he wants things. DC is always going to be 50/50 -- if your skill is 4 you'll need a 10, if your skill is 34 you are still going to need a 10.

The last one will still run into the above problem -- he'll simply grab bigger things and assume the buffs will be in place to get back to his balance point.

I would argue that he would probably be against irresponsible use of magic too.

It's one thing to use magic for most anything. It's another to use a fireball to cook your bread. A forge that uses heat metal? Alright. A forge that uses seven reverse gravity fields to cause friction in a material to heat it up to the temperature needed? Probably not so much. Polymorph any object/ greater polymorph to satisfy customers at a brothel? Okay. Utilizing Augury and Divination magic to figure out what each customer is going to what before they are born and then setting up a complex turn of events that contingencies the exact creature being available exactly when that customer gets to the brothel to meet the kink? Meh got to say that's probably going too far.

Magic can do things multiple ways, that doesn't mean each way should be used just because it can.

Also just because he's neutral doesn't mean he's going to be really happy about a lot of evil stuff happening just because a lot of good stuff happens too.

The use of Contagion just because you can probably not a great idea.

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5) The Unprepared
You know the GM is generally good. But he just isn't prepared. He has to look up monsters all the time, and he doesn't know what's behind door A and just a minute while he looks in section 47 to see what's in the room.

What to do: Talk to the GM about it. Could be the poor guy just has too much going on. Maybe he's getting burned out and needs a break. If those aren't the cases perhaps you can help him more directly. Perhaps once a month someone else should run a one off to give him more time to prepare. Perhaps you can offer to come over and make up some index cards for the monsters he's going to need for the next week. Have him walk through each area before the game with someone so he has a feel for what's on the map before the game starts, to help with preparation. In general this one tends to come down to time and lack of organizational skills.

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So obviously the first thing to do with any problem between GM's and players is to talk about it in the group and fix it as a group.

That said not every behavior is easily recognizable. So I would suggest that we start categorizing the various types of bad GMs and how to recognize them, as well as suggestions on how to help the GM move off the behavior that is causing the problems.

1) The Counter GM
You get to the game things are going alright and suddenly your major thing no longer works. If you are a fire mage all the enemies are fire-proof, if you are a paladin all the enemies are neutral. If you are ranged there is always fog, wind walls, deeper darkness or some other means that prevents you from attacking at range. Regardless of what you want to do it no longer works. High attack bonus? Everything's AC jumps, high AC? Everything's attack bonus jumps, lots of damage? More HP, SoS/SoD? Nothing fails its saves. So you develop new tactics just to have them closed down too, eventually nothing works because everything is immune to everything.

What to do: Talk to your GM about the problem. It could be he has a weird idea of just how effective things are or he doesn't realize much he's overcompensating for your abilities. Assure your GM you aren't looking to have an easy time, but you would like to be able to do the things you are good at sometimes.

2) The Director
Hey everybody get on the train! You have a part to play and by the gods you are going to play it. This play has a plot and if you side track it everything is going to blow up or just plain not work.

What to do: Talk to the GM about the problem. It could be he's uncomfortable with the system and doesn't understand how to work around various abilities. Maybe he's really only worried about a specific power and he's overcompensating in order to prevent that one type of power from entering the game. Perhaps too much time on the forums has him intimidated about "players taking over my table". Perhaps give him some plot hooks and ideas before the game and early in the planning for future games so he can more directly work in what you would like to see your character develop towards too. Giving him information can help the GM better develop the story to take the actual characters into account instead of having to guess at what everyone is trying to do.

3) The Actor
Oh no! The world needs saved! Fortunately the GM has an NPC for that. Maybe not just one, perhaps he has several. At the end of the day you feel more like you are there to simply witness the NPC's doing everything while you walk around.

What to do: Talk to the GM about the problem. He might miss playing and need someone else to take over so he can get a game or two in from the other side of the table. Maybe he's afraid your PCs can't handle what he is throwing at you so he overcompensates in the other direction. You need to let him know that while it's his world you do want to play in it too. Interact with the NPCs so he gets some acting time in too. If you usually simply say, "We go buy stuff at the store" instead start showing interest in the store and the NPC running it. This allows the GM to get his acting on without having to run all over the PCs to do it.

4) The Tormentor
This GM is a lot like the counter but there is a key exception. All your stuff works, it just takes forever for any fight to end. Literally every fight seems like a three hour slog where whatever you are doing works, but seems to have little to no effect in just ending the fight. Every fight ends with a near TPK, and he swears he's taking it easy on you!

What to do: First consider your party make up. If you are a bunch of intelligence 10 wizards trying to go with a two handed weapon melee build then that might be your problem. However if you have good party balance and your characters are generally well built (your fighter has armor and power attack, your wizard has a good casting stat and so on) then perhaps it really is the GM. He might think that if you don't just barely get by you won't feel like you got your money's worth so to speak. If that's the case assure him that you like a good epic battle every now and then, but not every battle needs to be epic (nor should every battle).

Feel free to add more, and before you get upset realize this is simply to help. Most GMs are alright. I would offer one for GMs with player problems but there are already a lot of things for that out there such as the GMG

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You have the "Counter" type of GM. It doesn't matter what you play he's going to counter your strength. You can't have nice things, and he's going to make sure of it.

As such I suggest:

Talking to your GM about his behavior and how it's ruining people's fun. Find out why he is doing this and see if it's something he is willing to change or at least work on not doing so much.

If not find a new GM.

Mauler is nice, but with the double share I still rather like valet, especially since fighters don't have arcane caster levels and the revised FAQ about spell-likes came out.

Personally I like the goat as a familiar for the fighter, as it is small and starts with strength 12.

Other considerations would be to take some barbarian levels.

Sympathic Rager
Warleader's Rage
Amplified Rage

Are nasty feats to be passing on to a familiar.

A Valet familiar has all your teamwork feats.

LazarX wrote:
Coriat wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

You are at odds with yourself.

You don't want to nuke the enemy soldiers due to some kind-hearted but misplaced ideal of reducing casualties. Fine. I'll grant you that. But then you want to create favorable battle conditions so that your soldiers can kill the enemy soldiers. I'm pretty sure that this will create casualties. Probably on both sides.

This is what the USA did wrong in the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War. They did not commit, and the end result was that the USA lost those wars and a lot of American lives were lost for no reason.

Since when did the US/UN lose the Korean War?
The Korean War has not ended. It's only in a state of an extended armistice.

At the exact spot the US/UN said they would go to, extending no further, and only because the other side won't admit it's done.

It's only an armistice because no one wants to clean up NK, which is to say, we've won a 'war' that wasn't a 'war' in all but name except it again can't be 'won' because we aren't willing to total war it.

Coriat wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
Claxon wrote:

If you take the city in a single day, you don't really need a supply train. You have the city. You have everything you need. All you need is the soldier and their gear.

There is no need for a supply or baggage train. That was to give the soldier a place to sleep and hold their weapons and armor and other supplies while they were on the move. There is no "moving" here.

You are at the battlefield. You either win or die. No need for supplies. And if there is, you will have time after you have taken the city to get the supplies in. It's not as though it needs to be there the moment you invade the city.

... said no general ever.

You need those supplies and they will probably be in use even before the battle starts. Even if you take the town you are going to need those supplies. Most towns/cities don't have a standing pool of supplies to simply start hosting an additional 10k people in them, and even if you do you won't win yourself any friends simply grabbing what you need from the city in this fashion. The only reason you would do this is if you are raiding for the purposes of looting and destroying.

Never leave your supply train unprotected/ without its army

Not the case.

Just a random example from a book on my shelf on the subject, you can see the exact same thing done in a very similar context as the OP's - get the army to the city fast, let the baggage catch up at its own pace:

Logistics of the Roman Army at War wrote:
For example, when Lucius Scipio marched through Thrace to Lysimacheia in 190 B.C., he waited a few days to allow his baggage (impedimenta) to arrive—this is clearly the army train.

(Lysimacheia was the major Seleucid stronghold in Europe during Rome's 192-188 war with Antiochos II the Great).

Moving the army fast to the objective and then allowing the train to slowly catch up was not only possible, it was common and necessary.

And it has more regularly left armies without supplies, possibly surrounded and generally screwed over.

You can quote the few times it has actually worked, but even then it's a gamble at best -- and recognized as an extremely risky move that can easily blow up on you.

So yeah -- don't do it.

Actually it's not as clear cut as people are presenting.

FAQ on a similar situation

Note the FAQ:


"Archetype: If an archetype replaces a class ability with a more specific version of that ability (or one that works similarly to the replaced ability), does the archetype's ability count as the original ability for the purpose of rules that improve the original ability?

It depends on how the archetype's ability is worded. If the archetype ability says it works like the standard ability, it counts as that ability. If the archetype's ability requires you to make a specific choice for the standard ability, it counts as that ability. Otherwise, the archetype ability doesn't count as the standard ability.
Pathfinder Design Team, 07/12/13"

my quote from the other thread:


There was an FAQ that stated that an archetype ability that states it is the original ability is still the original ability. How far does this concept extend? Does it extend to other archetypes?


Question 1: wrote:
If an archetype demands you choose one option of a class ability can you still replace that class ability with another archetype?
For example: If I take a wizard archetype that states I must choose an item for my arcane bond, can I still choose a different wizard archetype that replaces my arcane bond?

Second example: If I take a fighter archetype that states my weapon training 1 must be with a specific weapon can I take another archetype that replaces weapon training 1?


Question 2: wrote:
If an archetype changes an ability and states this change is still the original ability can the altered ability be replaced by another archetype?
First Example: If I take a barbarian archetype that alters rage and states it is rage can I take another barbarian archetype that replaces rage?

Second Example: If I take a bard archetype that alters bardic performance and states it counts as bardic performance may I take another archetype that replaces bardic performance all together?

You can FAQ this or the original post in the other thread.

My only issue with the Qing Gong Monk Archetype is we have the same case with the cross-blood sorcerer, and they can't have nice things.

Sneak attack only applies to attacks, not effects that carry on after attacks.

No attack roll == no sneak attack damage.

The damage after the attack from acid arrow does not have an attack roll, and therefore has no sneak attack damage.

Just like being set on fire by an attack that deal sneak attack doesn't mean the damage you take from the fire on the next round gets sneak attack. Instead you just take the normal burning damage.

Because I want a War Goat to ride forth on...

Mad Magic wrote:

Benefit(s): You can cast spells from any class that grants you spells while in a bloodrage, and you keep your rage benefits when using moment of clarity during a rage.

If you have the greater bloodrage class feature, you also gain a +1 bonus to the save DCs of spells you cast while in a bloodrage.

You can cast in rage with mad magic without needing moment of clarity.

Basically its my opinion that at least a level in bloodrager is worth it if you are using sorcerer or bard because with that one level and a feat (mad magic) you open up your options while raging -- you don't have to drop out of rage in order to cast.

Honestly I would consider:
Barbarian 2 (invulnerable rager)
Bloodrager 2 (spelleater)
Sorcerer/bard 1
DD/EK mix for 15 levels

You get the bit of DR, the better upfront HP, you get better saves, you have more/better spell selection, you can cast in a rage, you have the better stats, and a touch of fast healing. The only thing you lose is actual caster level and lets face it, with as few spells and the crappy list of spells that bloodragers have it's not as impressive as it could be on that front either.

IF what you want is DD.

Jokem wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
In other words -- it would be akin to saying a pool of acid should be able to critically hit you even though no one is attacking with it.
OK, I agree with Barad re game balance reasons, but how would you sneak attack a target with a pool of acid? And a critical hit is not the same (but similar) in game mechanics. How would you stick a pool of acid in a vulnerable spot?

In theory you could get a sneak attack with a pool of acid via telekinesis -- but no, by itself you cannot since a pool of acid is not an attack, just like acid sitting on you burning you is not an attack (though in the case of acid arrow the acid sitting on you and burning you is a result of an earlier attack).

Which is why I said they are akin.

Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:

Barbarain 4 / Sorc-Bard 1 / DD / back to barbarian is rather common for a Martial DD that just does some minor buffing.

You could also just go Bloodrager 5 / DD, but I think I'd rather stay pure Bloodrager.

Yeah - going that route you may as well just be a bloodrager. Not a bad class - but barb 4/ sorc 1/ DD seems like a lot of extra complexity for the same ballpark effect and vibe.

It makes sense though if you want more spells. Even with the above the barb/sorc is going to have more spells than the bloodrager will ever dream of having.

The bard/bard will have lower level spells but his spell usage is different and he still has more slots so it seems to me if you are after those differences and more buffs it still is useful as well.

I'm just trying to see the draw of barbarian over bloodrager for it, as bloodrager will still net you pretty much everything the barbarian has and mad magic to boot.

Imbicatus is there any reason to use barbarian any more instead of bloodrager even if you are going with the /sorc/bard/ route?

With mad magic it seems silly to do anything else to me.

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

The bombs damage is equal to your sneak attack damage. It doesn't increase instead when you use it the ability checks and sets.

Though I do imagine this was non-intentional.

So for FAQ status:

The bomber discovery states it is equal to your sneak attack damage. If a rogue at level 8 uses vital strike with the bomber discovery what would the damage be?

For prestige class consideration if you go with halfling you can take halfling opportunist for 4 levels. You get two good saves out of it, good skill points, it's 3/4 BAB and you increase your save throw twice while still getting 2 sneak attack dice. It's other abilities are alright if you find a way to use them well.

Something else to consider is the various stat boosts increase not just your attack bonus but also your damage, hit points, saves, and skill points too, so once you get all of them you are adding in all those on top (which scale with level instead of class level), making a DD really nice.

EK is awkward because as you get there you switch what you do. At first your a caster, then your a middle tier mix, then you end up a tougher caster.

If I was to use EK right now I would probably go bloodrager 1 caster 5 then EK and take the mad magic feat. Mixed with say the scarred witch doctor witch you have a lot of HP, and the ability to cast off of Con which, oh now you boost with rage while still casting.

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Low level spell I really like is minor creation for dust. Dust explosions in confined spaces are nasty.

Super Optimization is needed because people like deusvult try to play in the big leagues.

It's alright to be average or what not when everyone else is too, but people start bringing substandard (compared to the iconics no less!) and someone else is going to have to pick up the slack.

If I know the other players are bringing decent characters then I just need a good one myself with an ace in the hole for "just in case" -- if people are bringing level 7 characters that can't carry their own weight then I have to have more because we won't survive if I don't.

What character I go to play is hugely impacted at what I can (or can't) expect at a given table.

If you are playing princess dewcup I'm going to need to play larry the lich if we are going to see the other side of things.

And at levels 7+ you aren't "just a guy" any more. You aren't joe smoe from the trailer park. You are a professional, and you should be able to look, and act the part.

Most builds can be salvaged, doing so might be slightly painful, or less able in PFS where you have much more limited choice on what resources are available and when/how you can spend them due to the limited playstyle. But even then something can generally be done to help the player/character/group if people are willing to find a way.

That doesn't mean such should be the norm at the *high* end though.

One of the nice things about the Life oracle is the spirit boost ability.

It helps turn reactive healing into proactive buffing, and if you go "over the top" (so to speak) on hit points it isn't wasted any more like it is for other characters.

It is not perfect though: It doesn't work with channel energy so until you have the cure mass line it will be one at a time in all likelihood and it's only for rounds per level so it isn't an all day buff like say false life could be (if it wasn't personal, et al).

For a different spin on this:

Qing GongdrunkenSensei

It's a wisdom focused build that at level 12 can use wholeness of body on his entire party at one time. He has the bardic inspire courage (wisdom based) and an easy way to regain the Ki he'll need (drinking). The attack rolls and CMB is wisdom based (but not the damage so it makes sense to focus in something like grappling), which also builds his Ki pool, AC, CMD... et al.

I would drop slow fall for barkskin or true strike (depending on party composition) high jump for either the other or feather step (a great buff spell for ground based combatants), and abundant step for restoration (2 ki points to use restoration on the whole party as a standard action is amazing).

This will not outshine any primary caster, but it's fairly ganzo and can still be effective at what it does. Heal skill should be able to take care of any poisons or what not you need covered.

The biggest issue is the amount of time it takes to really blossom. It only really reaches its zenith at 12th level.

In other words -- it would be akin to saying a pool of acid should be able to critically hit you even though no one is attacking with it.

Yeah, Fear in the middle of the night, or waves of exhaustion or what not would be great in my opinion. A couple of symbols or what not could help as well as some antipathy spells.

Honestly it's a great case for a lot of the spells that don't see "normal" use by PCs.

The larger army is already going to be moving much slower than the smaller army, and each time you cause part of the army to run off or take longer or something you are going to slow the entire thing down that much more.

IF the entire point is to hinder the enemy as the OP has stated and do so in a way that does not directly trace back to a wizard then I would suggest again my above list of spells, as most of them can be trace to random oddness.

After all how many times has a commander heard, "I don't know why my men are all exhausted (the horses are tired/not cooperating/got spooked/we lost our way/et al), a wizard must have did it!" after a night of hard partying or just in general? If you space them out hit different parts in different ways and keep moving it would take a while before they realize (if at all) that a wizard is screwing with them since there are already going to be things that slow them down.

Rhedyn don't make me repeat myself.

Thoughts of Actions:

Shadow Conjuration like spells for summon monsters. They'll be weaker and do less damage but will slow the army down.

Antipathy on the road aimed at the horses. Forces the troops to really have to fight to take the easy way.

Sympathy on the more difficult terrain to make them want to take the harder way.

Control weather for rain and such to slow down travel.

Waves of exhaustion/fatigue -- this requires you to be closer but will help slow/stop the army from moving as they are always just so tired.

Scintillating patterns would another nice "trap" spell.

Fear -- if you have a unit or so running away all of a sudden you have to collect them and then get moving again.

Project Image -- again something like another army to slow them down and get them thinking weirdly -- more effective if used on the scouts.

Waves of Ecstasy - basically the same as waves of exhaustion/fatigue

Rampart -- block the road makes them move different than they wanted to.

Move Earth was mentioned before.

Shape of the Dragon 3 -- just fly overhead. Spook them nothing else.

Permanent Image -- As project image

Glyphs and Wards -- fog, lots of fog, and wind, and confusion, and suggestions to turn around

Rock to Mud -- difficult travels.

Stone Call -- not at them just in the way

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Claxon wrote:

If you take the city in a single day, you don't really need a supply train. You have the city. You have everything you need. All you need is the soldier and their gear.

There is no need for a supply or baggage train. That was to give the soldier a place to sleep and hold their weapons and armor and other supplies while they were on the move. There is no "moving" here.

You are at the battlefield. You either win or die. No need for supplies. And if there is, you will have time after you have taken the city to get the supplies in. It's not as though it needs to be there the moment you invade the city.

... said no general ever.

You need those supplies and they will probably be in use even before the battle starts. Even if you take the town you are going to need those supplies. Most towns/cities don't have a standing pool of supplies to simply start hosting an additional 10k people in them, and even if you do you won't win yourself any friends simply grabbing what you need from the city in this fashion. The only reason you would do this is if you are raiding for the purposes of looting and destroying.

Never leave your supply train unprotected/ without its army

For the multiple rounds I agree -- I think it would simplify down into just the single action like it does for the alchemist.


For the stink test:

For what you are spending though would be another point -- not just what the other rogue talents are.

Also it would be completely unfair to compare many of the rogue talents as they simply flat out suck, and even then most other rogue talents we are not taking 2 extra feats to expound on. Which do we choose? The one that in a very limited situation maximizes your sneak attack damage? The always crappy powerful sneak attack? Bleed attack that has the potential for infinite damage (against a regenerating opponent)? The rogue talent that can increase your AC by up to 10 points against a single foe? Or the ones that let you reroll a crap skill check once a day?

And honestly even at say level 10 we would be looking at 5d6 +5d6 for vital strike and maybe +5d6 sneak attack, so either 10d6 or 15d6 at 10th level, coming out to 35~48 points of direct damage on average on a hit (which is a standard action). In almost all cases this is going to be a bad choice, even rogues can get better DPR at level 10 than that.

It would be a decent means of dealing with things you normally couldn't hit at all. It's fire damage too so there is that issue to content with (the most common of resistances and immunities).

For damage I don't feel this is off the charts in any way for the levels we are talking about, it's just not an absolute trap like say powerful sneak attack is. For the average rogue you'll be able to do it 2~3 times a day at most (it's limited by intelligence) and if you invest more into it, well investments are supposed to pay off right?


All that said my main issue question would be by the rules do you see a legitimate argument for the rogue's bomb's base damage being exactly what it says it is (equal to sneak attack)?

As it reads (to me) the base damage is equal to the sneak attack dice. Is that a valid point or am I reading too much (or too little) into it?

rorek55 wrote:

intensified, maximized, quickened delayed fireballs+ time stop. + metor.

"oh, there was an enemy army?"

Doesn't work as well as you would think. A wizard is a bit like a machine gun in the field. Yeah he can work the nastiness but if you leave him on full auto he's out of ammo in under 3 minutes.

threads for thought:

Variable names were chosen at random off the top of my head (but the threads are real and really good reads).


well the considerations is part of why I'm asking.

On the one hand it's a lot of dice.

On the other they can't get fast bombs (while the bomber discovery talent is nice, it's once only and you don't have an alchemist level so you can't get the nicer bombs), and they have much fewer bombs.

Even if they get improved we are looking at a maximum of 30d6+Int mod or 40d6+int mod damage so an average of 140+int mod damage... at level 20 for a standard action we aren't exactly rocking anyone's world with that, at best he's looking at 240 damage.

Criticals would be a bigger consideration I guess but even then if they critical on the improved vital strike we are still only looking at 50d6+2xint mod or an average of 165 and maximum of 300 -- it's certainly no where near what a nova burst of fast bombs from an alchemist can put out or any of the martials.

There are plenty of ways to throw out more damage than that on a regular basis at level 20.

So it passes the stink test for me on total damage. There are a few ways they could raise their sneak attack damage, but the most I'm seeing is 13d6 sneak attack at best (so increase the maximum by 15d6 if they critical on a vital strike with a bomb that also gets sneak attack damage).

Another consideration -- getting a bomb ready is a standard action so for the rogue in question we are looking at 2 rounds before he could do the improved vital strike bomb as he doesn't have enough standard actions in a single round. So action economy makes this a bad choice still too.

The bomb rules don't cover the rogue situation as thoroughly as the situation specifically states the damage for the rogue's situation is different than it is for the alchemist.

Again -- the rogue's specifically states the bomb's damage is equal to your sneak attack damage.

Alchemist's bombs state they are 1d6 + int mod, and then they get an increase which is bonus damage.

The rogue's bombs state that the damage for the bomb is equal to his sneak attack damage. So the base damage in this case is the multiple d6.

Another question:

The damage of the bomb is equal to the rogue's sneak attack damage. This is different than the alchemist's bomb which 1d6 + int bonus and then increases.

My understanding is that if you were to vital strike with an alchemist's bomb only that initial damage would be increased (which is to say you would only get a single extra d6).

How would the rogue's bomb interact with vital strike?

Yeah those were my thoughts too.

Bombs have that whole "standard action to use" it seemed very unlikely to me but figured I would double check.


Warrior and Aristocrat do too.

Plus whatever archetypes you care to find -- all in all I think the lesson is "Know the body before you make a skeleton."

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