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Sleepless Detective

Abraham spalding's page

RPG Superstar 2015 Star Voter. Pathfinder Society Member. 10,901 posts (15,712 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. 1 wishlist. 13 aliases.

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Spalding's Guide to Optimizing your GM

There is of course more to follow, and I'm always willing to listen to more ideas on the topic.

So I hope this helps people and as always feel free to leave feedback.

Basically what it says. Grab three levels of Phalanx fighter, use a pole arm one handed with a buckler. Grab some duelist levels (or daring champion cavalier) and slashing grace... use a polearm (May I recommend the fauchard?) with dex to hit and damage and with all the benefits of being a duelist.


I honestly would like to do with this 8 levels in skirnir magus to have spell combat with a polearm while using a shield. The idea being that with a Fauchard you can use wyroot and abuse the heck out of your arcane pool.

So what do you think? Anything else this could work well with?

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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

A 5th level rogue with 16 intelligence has the underground chemist archetype and bomber rogue talent.

He comes up on a situation where his opponent is flat footed and lobs a bomb at the enemy -- it is his first attack of the round.

Does the bomb do:

1. 3d6+3 damage (just the bomb's normal damage)
2. 6d6+3 damage (bomb's damage and precise chemical weapon allowing sneak attack)
3. Something else?

Second question:

Does the chemical weapons ability basically work as fast bombs with the bomber rogue talent, or does it only apply to "mundane" splash weapons?

My thought is the later.

So if I take the shaman class and the Witch Doctor Archetype and I have the life spirit would I be correct in thinking I have two pools of channel energy: The first at full level with 1 +Charisma uses a day and the second starting when I hit level 4 with effective level of class level - 3 and 3 + charisma uses per day?

There is no wrong way.

Except yours -- that's just sick.

So this might someday turn into a guide, but for now I'm simply doing a cliff notes version to gather my thoughts on teamwork feats and how to utilize them effectively. feats worth sharing but not taking independently

First Up: Good Teamwork Feats
Allied Spellcaster -- Useful for the spell penetration help, better when you and your teammate share a spell. // If you have a caster/bodyguard combo in the party then the bodyguard helps with spell penetration simply by being there. However is otherwise a wasted feat for the bodyguard. Better if the spellcaster can share it instead of other way around.

Coordinated Distraction -- Nice in part because you don't have to be adjacent simply threatening. Makes concentration checks harder and scales with the number of people threatening. Must be able to AoO though.

Coordinated Shot -- Situational at best. IF you can flank AND not provide cover THEN it's a +2 bonus. Two conditions makes it harder to like, but for not straight fighter archers it offers bonuses to hit which can be needed.

Enfilading fire -- A much better choice than coordinated shot, but requires more to get. Hurts the melee types you need because they have to spend feats on ranged combat in order to set up the ranged ally. Best if the ranged ally can get it and share it out.

Escape Route -- Probably one of the best teamwork feats out there. Allies can help prevent the need to withdraw and with careful planning can ensure no one eats AoO's from moving. Provides greatly increased tactical options.

Ferociously Loyal -- Free +1 just for your ally being threatened. Great feat for flankers and anyone else in the party. Basically as long as the monster has someone close to it you get a +1. If the ally drops (looking at you rogue) then the bonus increases. Morale bonus so methods of increasing it exist as well.

Lastwall Phalanx -- Situational but good, if adjacent to allies. Sacred bonuses aren't common and it is a bonus to both AC and saves but requires evil opponents. Stacks with the number of allies you can get near you. If you can share it then it is awesome for summoners and conjurers.

Lookout -- plenty of classes and archetypes can be not surprised and this shares it with the party. For parties with more than one capable of doing so expands action economy -- requires surprise rounds however and can cheat you out of initiative though. Situational but great.

Outflank -- good other end to the enfilading fire, as the flankers gain more bonus and is especially good with crit fishers.

pack attack -- good for helping to set up flanking solutions. But requires preplanning so you are adjacent and near the monster at the same time. potentially awkward to use.

Shake it off -- good for casters with valet familiars or if you can share it (summoners and conjurers can use it in such cases). Also useful if the party sticks close together. Untyped stacking bonuses to save throws are nice, and even if only one ally is near it's a +1 to all three save throws.

shield wall -- A good pass off feat if multiple people are using shields. Increases bonus for bigger shields and can provide total cover for multiple allies with a single tower shield expanding defensive options.

shielded caster -- very good choice for martial casters such as the magus, bard or cleric. A minimum of +4 bonus to concentration checks increasing up to +6 with the added booster of helping decrease the effects of concentration DC increasers by half -- but those are still rather rare and require your ally having disruptive. Good for a caster to share out if possible.

spell chain -- great for parties with multiple casters especially ones with witches. Gives double roll on spell pen checks An awesome feat that any party with two casters targeting the enemy should take, best if the first caster uses a multi-target spell to increase target choices for the follow up casters.

swap places/improved swap places -- good if you have a the swift action economy for it and a glass melee combatant like the investigator who wants to hit then fade out of attack range. Combined with escape route can allow you to swap out the front line quickly without burning extra actions. The optional bull rush has potential.

broken wing gambit -- interesting but potentially worth it for every party member.

target of opportunity -- ranged pile on.

Next up options for Parties -- these are ways to spread the teamwork love

Druman Blackjack == Best option for teamwork feats. Everyone takes a single level and one person stays fighter until 4. Gives up 3 feats but allows you to share or more teamwork feats with everyone, without meeting prerequisites and from anyone that has the teamwork feat. Infinite reusability and lasts for hours at a time. At level 8 works with anyone not a blackjack but doesn't last as long and if all are blackjacks a free +1 on skill checks and save throws. At level 12 provides two teamwork feats. Allows each party member to selectively build out to the teamwork feats that are easiest for them to get and then allow everyone to share based on the needs of the party. Also allows iron will and improved iron will (as well as teamwork feats) to be bonus feats. Stacks well with most other archetypes.

Holy Tactican == faster share at lower level and give five bonus teamwork feats. Provides on the theme of shared tactics well.

Tactician fighter / cavalier/ Exemplar/ Vanguard / Divine Commander == shares teamwork feats for less time and more specific on what is shared. Exemplar gains other thematic bonuses and can inspire which is nice.

Next Up: Teamwork for the Solo.

So what do you think? Worth the change up or not? You get +6 to damage with simple weapons over 9 levels but that means you give up +4 to hit over those levels with studied combat.

During times of peace and renaissance a gentleman might earn respect among his peers and a place with a noble order through his wit and drive instead of his steady swordarm. A gentleman Knight nevertheless upholds his code and duties with the same zeal that the cavaliers of old did.

Challenge(Ex): A gentleman Knight may expend a point of inspiration to use the cavalier's challenge ability as a cavalier of his level. This ability replaces trapfinding and all instances of trap sense.
Order(Ex): A gentleman Knight gains an order at second level as a cavalier would. He must adhere to the edicts of his order and gains all the abilities that a cavalier would from the order. This replaces Poison Lore, all instances of poison resistance and poison immunity.

The hound of Baskerville does not have access to the varied extracts of other investigators. Instead he relies on the steadfast services of his faithful animal companion.

Animal Companion(Ex): At level 1 a hound of Baskerville gains an animal companion as a druid equal to his level.
Animal Focus(Su): At level 1 a hound of Baskerville gains the animal focus ability as a hunter equal to his level. This ability includes the second animal focus gained at 8th level.
Hunter Tactics(Ex): At level 3 a hound of Baskerville gains the hunter tactics ability.

A hound of baskerville does not gain the alchemy ability, these abilities replace it completely.

The physician relies on his medical inspiration and more "natural" remedies to cure people in areas where magic has failed or is viewed with suspicion.

Medical Inspiration(Ex): A physician may use his inspiration ability on heal checks for free. A physician may use his intelligence modifier in place of his wisdom modifier on heal checks. In addition when using inspiration on a heal check he gains additional benefits based on what type of heal check he is performing:

First Aid -- The physician heals the patient a number of hit points equal to his inspiration bonus on the skill check.

Long Term Care -- The physician heals each of his patients additional hit points equal to his inspiration roll. He may instead heal an amount of ability damage for one patient equal to his inspiration roll.

Treat wounds from Caltrops, spike growth, or spike stones -- The physician reduces the amount of time required by a number of minutes equal to his inspiration roll.

Treat Deadly Wounds -- The physician heals the patient an additional amount of hp equal to his inspiration check with only a single use of a healing kit. A physician that exceeds the DC by 5 or more may heal an additional amount of hp equal to his intelligence modifier. Finally a physician can spend an additional point of inspiration to be able to treat deadly wounds on a patient a second time during the day. Each time he heals the same patient again in the same day it costs an additional inspiration point.

Treat Poison or Treat Disease -- The patient may use your heal check in place of his save throw against poison or disease.

At level 4 when the physician uses an alchemical item on an ally (including himself) he may spend a point of inspiration to increase the effectiveness of the alchemical item. When the physician uses this ability he makes an inspiration roll. He may increase the duration of the item by an amount equal to this roll in the form of duration the item already has (if the item lasts minutes he increases the duration a number of minutes equal to his roll, if it last rounds he instead increases the duration a number of rounds equal to his roll). He may instead increase the items effectiveness by an amount equal to his inspiration roll (if the item provides energy resistance it increases by an amount equal to his roll, if it provides fast healing it the amount of fast healing is increased by his roll).

At level 7 the when the physician improves an alchemical item for an ally he may also negate any negative side effects that come from using the item. The physician may also attempt to treat ailments other than those normally treatable by the heal skill. He may attempt to remove any of the following conditions from a patient; blindness, deafness, stunned, confused, fatigued, exhausted, nauseated, paralysis, sickened, staggered, or unconscious. The DC for the check is the Caster level of the effect + 10 and takes a full round action.

At level 10 the physician may attempt to treat wounds that would normally be fatal. By expending 5 points of inspiration the physician may attempt to treat someone that has been killed. The DC of the check is 10+the number of rounds the patient has been dead + the amount of negative hit points the patient is currently at. If the physician is successful the patient is revived with 0 hp and one negative level.

At level 13 the physician may attempt to treat permanent negative energy levels or ability drain. The DC for the check is 10 + the caster level of the effect.

This ability replaces Alchemy.

are they charisma or intelligence based, and are they the normal 10 plus half level. my pdf didnot say.

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So a while back we put together the Sorcerer's Aid Project: Sigils and Talents.

I would like to work on a follow up project: The Sorcerer's Aid Project: Mutations.

A mutation replaces the sorcerer's arcana ability with an ability that is always active generally passive and has no effect on the sorcerer's casting. Instead it's more tied into their physical being. Each mutation should generally be limited to bloodlines that would have a tie in to what that mutation does.


Positive Energy Conduit
Available to: Celestial, Fey, Verdant
Benefit: Your body is a raw conduit to the positive energy plane. As such you gain 1 temporary hit point every round to a maximum equal to your level. As a melee touch attack you can deal 1d4+1 per level damage to undead. At level 3 you gain a +1 bonus on saves versus death, ability drain and energy drain increasing by +1 every three class levels.

Savage Form
Available to: Demonic, Draconic, Orc
Benefit: You gain two natural attacks from the following list: Gore, Hoof, Bite, Tail slap, Tentacle, Claw (maybe taken twice). These gain a +1 bonus on damage every 4 class levels you have. At level 3 you gain a +1 bonus to natural armor that increases by +1 every three class levels.

Elemental Nature
Available to: Djinni, Efreet, Shaitan, Elemental, Marid, and Draconci
Benefit: You gain energy resistance to your element equal to your class level that stacks with any other resistance to that element you might have. At level 3 once a day if your resistance to that element is not overcome or you have immunity to that element you are instead healed an amount of damage equal to 1/2 your class level when you are exposed a damaging effect from that element. You can use this ability 1 extra time per day at level 6 and every 3 class levels after that.

The mutations do not have to be limited to a specific number of bloodlines but shouldn't be so generic any sorcerer can take them. More suggestions are of course welcome.

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So I've seen a lot of threads suggesting that if you have a low stat then you should act a certain way, or that you are lacking in said stat in all ways without exception.

One example often cited is charisma. If you have a low charisma you are understandably not a people's person (even though you may be a people person), but does that mean you are ugly, unlikable, shy, off-putting, and a jerk all at the same time -- or could you not be one of those?

If you are lacking in wisdom could it be that you are simply unaware and not strong of will while still having a certain amount of 'folksy wisdom' to you that you simply learn from your grangran?

I would argue that by not allowing such expressions and by forcing people into a strict interpretation of what each stat means people are actually acting in a way that will lead to players being overly concerned with their stats and numbers and correspondingly less concerned with their overall character concept to the point of wanting new numbers for things (including substats) to help make the numbers match what they want their character to be more.

I would suggest that allowing the numbers to be more... fuzzy on what they represent without negating the mechanical penalties involved with them can help people look past the numbers and develop more in depth characters.

I would also suggest allowing characters to invest in improving the flaws with skills, traits and feats is a good thing that can help GMs show improvement is possible even if it comes at cost and helps bring a more realistic bent to the game as a whole.


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So you want to be the all mighty wizard (or not -- sorcerers, oracles, clerics, druids, magi, witches and summoners are welcome too), but the thing is you don't want to be 'that wizard'. We all know the one -- the guy that insists that the only reason the rest of the party is there is to waste time between his turns and how if the whole party was spell casters they could play on super easy mode.

You aren't looking to steal anyone's thunder -- you just want to morph reality at a whim, and there is nothing wrong with that (if you are me at least)!

There are several steps in this and it's a process that is learned and takes practice. But if you are willing to spend the time, effort, and (perhaps most importantly) develop the deviousness then you too can have REAL ULTIMATE POWER, and still walk down the street without a rulebook stuck up your can.

The first thing to do is get on your GM's good side. You want to know his pet peeves, know how he operates his story line and where you can step. Make no mistake -- if you are full on playing a wizard you are very much going to be walking on the GM's toes every now and then. The key is to tread softly and be careful where you step. Have him develop a subtle sign he can give you before you run roughshod over something he wants the party to go through. Generally if the wizard doesn't bring it up, no one else in the party will -- and if they do then it's not your fault it came up. This means that even though you are the guy with the answer, it isn't your answer, so you aren't going to get blamed for it.

The second thing to do is know your party both the characters and the players. A lot of wizards like having high initiative (I am no exception) but the truly masterful take that high initiative and then delay.

By delaying or readying an action you can hit when it matters most with the spell that is needed the most, and you aren't drawing first blood. This can be important as some players greatly desire that, or will see your early actions (even if buffing) as devaluing them. It also tells the GM that you consider him a canny opponent -- not to be taken lightly and that you realize you need to pay attention in order to not be had by his wily ways.

You are going to want to know what your team is about too. IF you have a 'rock of a fighter' that stands solid and trades blows you aren't going to want to be pushing foes away from him or making him unable to sit still and engage. You also don't want to take away from his solid hits with last hit kills or dumping a lot of damage. Clear out the mooks from around him so he can go solid against the large damage source for you.

If you have a bard focus on battlefield control and let him be the major buffer (if he's that sort of bard) -- you both contribute and don't step on each others toes.

And perhaps just as importantly always remember to have mundane means to solve problems with you. Passwall is great! A flask of acid and some magic lockpicks for the rogue is cheaper on your resources though, and keeps other players with skin in the game.

If you find yourself at the end of a turn and you don't know what to cast -- don't cast. Move around and maybe aid other if you feel the need. I have gone entire battles where I cast one spell at the beginning of the fight and did nothing else. I didn't bother with the crossbow I didn't swing my staff I just sat back and out of the way. We have always been able to ignore the concept of 15 minute adventuring day in part because I don't feel the need to cast every single time I have a chance.

This does two things -- it preserves resources and makes you look canny and trusting in your allies. Look if you have a dwarven stalwart defender and you are facing giants you can step back and let her have fun. You don't have to get fancy with the high level spells, just give her a heroism and let her go.

Finally leave some slots open at higher level. You aren't likely to blow through all your spells in a single fight and you rarely need more than a couple utility spells on the spot to save a slot or two of each spell level so you can be versatile in the field.

More suggestions from other players are always welcome.

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So the Soul Forger Magus archetype gets an arcane bond that must be a weapon.

The Familiar Arcana gives you a familiar,not an arcane bond just a familiar.

So if a soul forger magus takes the familiar arcana is there any problem with this?

I know the general rule is you only get one arcane bond type, and a familiar can be an arcane bond, but does a familiar have to be an arcane bond, and does having an arcane bond with an item preclude you from having a familiar?

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So I downloaded and read the playtest material for Advanced Class Guide with a certain amount of glee. Several of my books disappeared in my PCS (permanent change of station) move and this had kind of dampened my spirits when it came to pathfinder lately (I'm just a hardcopy kind of guy).

So I will admit some initial dismay when I opened the document. "51 pages? Too long!" was my initial thought for something labelled 10 hybrid classes. I wanted something I could see and immediately start messing with, not a lot of new rules almost exactly like the old rules but with different names.

Which would currently be my initial complaint -- why are we reinventing the wheel so much? If it's flurry of blows just say it -- calling it a different name and rehashing the ability (in what is my opinion an awkward fashion) isn't helping anyone. If it is a hybrid let it be a hybrid and don't expect us to be surprised if the mechanics are stolen wholesale -- we are expecting it (in some cases looking forward to it)!

And this would bring me to my biggest complaint: Too many new mechanics. I think part of the success of the magus was that it introduced few new mechanics -- we had a resource pool with talent like options and spell combat. Everything else with it was pretty well standard fare.

It is my opinion that if a class is a hybrid then it doesn't really need the abilities of the old class slammed into a new format that doesn't match the old. The bloodrager is a prime example of this: Why reinvent the wheel of bloodlines? Yes they will need some adjusting (such as the bonus spells) but that doesn't mean all the abilities need readjusting. At most change the once per day abilities into a set cost in rage rounds and move on (this makes up for the severally limited spellcasting). Instead of inventing a whole host of new hexes and then railroading the class with specific spirit types add a lot of new hexes to the witch and limit selection of those by spirit type.

So on to the individual classes:

Arcanist -- This class seems a bit wordy to me but nothing too horrible. I think the mechanic for using bloodline abilities should be copied for the bloodrager. My only complaint is how many spells perpared per day the arcanist gets. I do NOT like the fact that it matches the sorcerer's spells known chart. The only other thing I didn't like is the 'fatigued if you spend all your blood focus' throw away -- really? We want people to NOT use a class ability? Instead I would suggest a slight bonus that goes away when the pool is empty. This works for the monk and the gunslinger, why not stick with it on the arcanist? As a suggestion they can only use the bloodline spells from their bloodline while they still have blood focus points.

Bloodrager -- so I love the initial concept, rage and magic. After all emotion and magic have a long and rich history together. So I'm expecting something maybe a bit like a Sith Lord or something. I was instantly disappointed in the general lack of spell casting. The ability to use bloodline powers as part of the rage made sense to me and was a great twist... but the fact that each bloodline had to suddenly be reinvented confused me. A charge mechanic or limited use per hour or something makes more sense to me than wasting the space and time trying to redo each bloodline.

Brawler -- Alright, why can't we just call a monk's spade a monk's spade and simply use the original ability names instead of all these awkward rewrites, in the words of the Tea Party, "Fix old, no New!"

Hunter -- After reading the brawler I was really too mentally tired to give a care about this class. However over all I kind of like it. Feels more like a mix between the ranger and the inquisitor, but whatever.

Investigator -- Alright, this was one I was looking forward too! I like almost everything about this -- it's smooth, a bit subtle and you can easily grasp it. My only two complaints would be I think it might get a bit too much sneak attach, and I would like to see some more of the alchemist discoveries available.

Shaman -- I WANT to like this class. However I feel that like the bloodrager it is too wordy by far. I like the spirits idea, but instead of reinventing the wheel why not list the bonus spells, the familiar bonus (I like), then a collection of revelations and hexes for each ability. It's simple, it keeps the flavor and it saves the word count.

Skald -- Meh, we have an archetype already. Don't get me wrong it's not bad (well spell kenning seems out of place... perhaps I would like it more on the bloodrager -- strike that I would LOVE something like that on the bloodrager), it just doesn't do anything for me.

Slayer -- Peculiar, but I like. Sneak attack is listed twice, I assume that's an editing error. I have to play with it some but it seems well done on first glance. The sneak attack progression might be something to visit for the investigator. This class might work well with the Nature's warden incidentally.

Swashbuckler -- Alright standard fare (I mean that in a good way) my only real disappointment was the utter lack of firearm support and any rogue talents. Sorry I know these are supposed to be two class hybrids but I'm really seeing three play into this one. Also -- come on... just a bit of firearm support... please?

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

So this will probably be one of those 'duh' questions but:

Greater Tenacity wrote:

At 15th level, a bodyguard with fewer than 0 hit points gains a +4 morale bonus on attack rolls, saving throws, and skill checks; immunity to fear effects; and temporary hit points equal to its master's class level (maximum 20). It dies only if its hit points reach a negative total equal to twice its Constitution score + its master's class level.

This ability replaces improved evasion.

How often does an animal companion with the bodyguard archetype gain the temporary hit points? Does he gain them only once each time he goes into the negatives, or do the temporary hit points refresh each round if he is still in the negatives?

Personally I think it's the first, but the second seems really thematic and tasty (even if slightly cheesy).

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So as the title says this is my work in progress page, simply because I don't feel like making a new google account simply to use that at the current time.

Nature Warden:
Animal Companion
Wild Empathy
Favored terrain
Divine Spell casting 2nd level
Good Stuff:
Companion Bond
Natural Empathy
Mystic Harmony (Potentially HUGE!)
Guarded Lands
Companion Soul

Things to consider:
Favored terrain
Spell casting
Wildshape (affects AC)

Methods of Entry
Provides spell casting, AC wild empathy
Consider using rogue for favored terrain due to ability to spend feats to gain more.
Earliest entry: level 6 (druid 3/ rogue 2)
Consider entry at level 7 to pick up wild shape
Can enter PrC straight -- at level 7 -- option sucks
Delayed AC, early wild empathy -- consider for mixing with other classes that need wild empathy.
Favored terrain at level 3 -- later than rogue
Consider skirmisher for mild usage.
Consider Beastmaster and horselord(poor choice likely)
Animal Domain for AC (feather could be best choice)
Possible Evangelist to help buff.
Needs wild empathy and favored terrain
Sylvan Bloodline for AC -- Bad Choice!
Mad Dog True Primitive has potential needs wild empathy and spell casting. Consider druid 4 to mix with barbarian 1. No rage though.
Nature Oracle:
Bonded Mount counts, AC stacks, consider mixing with barbarian.
Nature's whispers nice, consider mixing with noble scion of war to limit need of dexterity.

Other PrC to consider:
Horizon Walker -- capstone is mad useful to Nature warden -- investigate on potential entry methods
Green Faith Acolyte -- gives wild shape which can be used on AC (I think -- needs research).

Consider AC Archetypes.

I finally graduated from basic so I should be available again soon.

So this is an alchemist racial archetype for the ifrit. It combines their love of fire with their skill with poisons along with some love for one of my favorite weapons the battle poi. I want to run this idea by everyone to see the gaps I have missed in it.

Dancer of flame -- Replaces throw anything. You gain Exotic weapon proficiency(Battle Poi). In addition when fighting with two battle poi you take attack penalties as if using a light weapon in your off hand instead of an one handed weapon. Perform(Dance) is a class skill for you.
Inhaled Poison Use -- Replaces poison use. You may put inhaled poisons on your battle poi so that they create a cloud while the battle poi is on fire, doing so is a full round action. Creatures struck by two or more of your battle poi attacks are exposed to the poison on the battle poi. Inhaled poisons applied to a battle poi with this ability last a number of rounds equal to 1/2 your class level.
Smoking Poi -- Replaces swift alchemy. On any round you make a full attack while using two battle poi your square and all adjacent squares are treated as if under the effects of a smoke stick.
Poisonous Cloud -- Replaces swift poison. Those in squares affected by your smoking poi ability are also affected by any poison that is on your battle poi.

I am considering granting the ifrit racial feat that allows you to ignore the concealment granted by smoke but I'm unsure if I should or not. I am aware that this archetype stacks with the vivisectionist and that is on purpose.

What happens to the familiar when the Eidolon is dismissed?

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Right so I haven't actually gotten to the holy vindicator part yet, however I've covered my opinions of your channeling options, traits, and feats as well as where I would put my stats for a channeling primary character:

Abraham Spalding's Guide to the (to be honest) channeling.

As always comments, concerns, criticisms, and the like are welcome and appreciated.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your view) channeling is still one of the more straight forward aspects of the game.

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First off I want to thank A highly regarded expert for his guide and the inspiration to do my own. I do not agree with him on some points but lots of props to him for making one in the first place and for suggesting to me that I should do my own.

Secondly mine is still a work in progress. I intend to continue progressing on it of course but it is currently not complete. If you see something you think I missed, or that you disagree with by all means tell me. You can leave a comment on the document itself or here. If you leave it here I'll probably see it sooner however.

So without further ado, Abraham Spalding's Guide to the Arcane Trickster.

In advance thank you for your time, comments, concerns, and criticisms.

16 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Staff response: no reply required.

At 1st level, a monk gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A monk's attacks may be with fist, elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a monk may make unarmed strikes with his hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed. A monk may thus apply his full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all his unarmed strikes.

Usually a monk's unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but he can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on his attack roll. He has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling.

A monk's unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.

A monk also deals more damage with his unarmed strikes than a normal person would, as shown above on Table: monk. The unarmed damage values listed on Table: monk is for Medium monks. A Small monk deals less damage than the amount given there with his unarmed attacks, while a Large monk deals more damage; see Table: Small or Large monk Unarmed Damage.

That is the specific text from the monk unarmed strike ability.

So lets say I grab a monk archetype that takes away flurry of blows (master of many styles for sake of argument) and then take two weapon fighting.

Can I two weapon fight with unarmed strikes as my only attacks (take unarmed strikes as both my primary and off hand attacks) and what (if any) penalties do I take for doing so?

So what I'm looking at is a Catfolk that uses an Aldori dueling sword.

I would like to use the Sohei monk and possibly have flurry of blows with it. I have considered using the crusader flurry ability with paladin to get long sword flurry since the Aldori can be used as a long sword.

However I'm also looking to go duelist as soon as possible, and would like to completely avoid spell casting.

If the Sohei doesn't work then I would consider ninja next.

So any ideas on how to get this to work as quickly as possible?

3 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Right so get to level eight with say a psuedo-dragon familiar (or imp... or faerie dragon... or silvanshee -- whatever) and get the familiar form... what shapes can you change into?

This. Wouldn't this be price fixing, and all sorts of illegal?

I came across this today and it seemed to me that all political issues comes down to a variant on the very points she makes in the film.


24 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Prerequisite: Exotic Weapon Proficiency (net), base attack bonus +1.

Benefit: You can treat a net as a one-handed melee reach weapon with a 10-foot reach. Further, you take no penalty on melee attack rolls for using an unfolded net, and you can use one full-round action or two move actions to fold a net.

Normal: A net is a ranged weapon that imposes a –4 penalty on ranged attack rolls if it is unfolded. Folding a net takes a proficient user 2 rounds.

So um... why would I take penalties on melee attack rolls anyways -- or rather why would I be using melee attack rolls with a net and just this feat?


What maneuvers can or can't I perform with a net entangling my opponent, and How is the Net Maneuvering feat supposed to work?


Prerequisite: Exotic Weapon Proficiency (net), Net Adept, base attack bonus +3.

Benefit: In melee, you can use a net to trip or disarm opponents instead of entangling them. You gain a +2 bonus on disarm checks made to use a net in this way. Further, if you have an opponent entangled in your net, you can attempt to drag or reposition that opponent as long as he is within your net’s reach or you control the trailing rope on your net.

Again it's a ranged weapon -- you can't entangle an enemy in melee with it.

I'm thinking all these feats need an errata at this point in time.

Building rules:

20 point buy
Core, UC, UM, APG
2 Traits

I'm wanting to do a bounty hunter type that has an animal companion (preferably a dog/wolf but I could survive with a horse if the rest of the build works) that uses a net and short sword. I might be able to be persuaded to go with a whip instead but I'm really feeling the net for this guy. I'm thinking he's a bit of 'jump in the way' for his allies too.

Mechanically I'm currently thinking a mix of the following:

Trapper Guide Ranger (probably just 2 levels to get two weapon fighting)

Honor Guard Emissary Cavalier (I'm thinking between 6~8 levels to use the Horse Master feat and to get bodyguard for free with increased bonuses and free movement in medium armor)

Cad Fighter (I'm not sure how many levels total, however it's one of the feat that gives catch off guard which I intend to use to deal damage to my foes with the net if need be. I also like the bonus to dirty trick attempts)

Feats I'm considering:
Combat reflexes, Lunge,Combat Expertise, Improved/greater trip,Improved/greater Dirty trick, Net Adept, Net and Trident, Net Maneuvering, Net Trickery, Power Attack, Fury's Fall, Enforcer, Pin Down, Swift Aid, Felling Smash

I'm considering Half elf since I'm looking at multiple classes -- the fact that half elf could also take ancestral weapon to get proficiency with the net didn't escape me either. I'm not against going elf or human however (elf would help with bonuses to intelligence and dex for combat reflexes and combat expertise).

Any thoughts on how to go about this, what order to go in, and the like will of course be appreciated.

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So I used the game mastery guide's list of NPCs. On that list we find something a bit odd -- the common farmer is listed as level 2 with a profession(farming) skill that has a +9 bonus on it.

So I sat down and did some math -- first I assumed that he would only be farming 3 out of the 4 seasons, winter being a hard time to grow anything. This gave me 13 weeks of the year he wasn't able to work leaving 39 weeks he could work. Taking an average roll of 10 for his profession check and not assuming masterwork tools we find that on the weeks he can work the farmer will make 351gp. Now assuming he's not just being lazy on the other 13 weeks instead working as unskilled labor he'll make an additional 9.1gp from those weeks making him a total of 360.1gp. He needs 120 to live an average lifestyle for the year which would leave him 240.1gp.

But lets look just a bit farther than just the farmer -- after all he probably has a wife and kids. If the wife also lives an 'average' lifestyle she's going to cost an additional 120gp. The kids probably won't live that well -- after all they have to share rooms, don't have as much spending money and such -- I would put their lifestyle at a cost of 'poor' which is 3gp a month. Assuming there are 3 kids at that price they are going to run the farmer 9gp a month or 108gp a year. Combined with the price of the wife that's going to take 228gp out of his left over each year leaving 12.1gp for anything he needs.

However his wife probably does some work on the side outside of simply keeping house. Lets treat this as unskilled labor since it's probably going to be fairly hit or miss for the most part (even though it's likely skillful work) assuming she does some of this each day she'll bring in 36.5gp a year, putting the bottom line at 38.6gp a year for the farmer as extra spending cash. This will pay for expensive tools, animals, and the like that will be needed throughout the year plus any savings he hopes to put back for a dowry or whatever.

We can plainly see that while the farmer isn't bad off he isn't extremely comfortable either -- he's about one bad accident from having a ruinous year... which probably sits well with most people's idea of where he should be economically.

Now lets look at his village. The village holds about 200 people which means it should have 2 full time guards and 20 militia.

I figured that at the following (in parenthesis will what NPC I used from the GMG for the character):
Mayor (mayor reduced to Aristocrat 3/ Expert 4) -- No family
Sheriff (Guard Officer) -- Wife and Son
Deputy Sheriff (Guard) -- Young man, no family currently
Innkeeper (Barkeep) -- 3 daughters are barmaids, and work as archers, no wife
Priest (cultist) -- no family
Acolytes -- no family
Shopkeeps (3) -- family of 4 each
Village Drunk (Drunkard)
Veteran Farmers (commoner 2/ warrior 1) -- family of 4 each
Butler for Noble's summer home (Noble Scion)
Butler's wife (variant of hedge wizard, Aristocrat 2/Wizard 3)
Guards for Noble's summer home (warrior 1 each) -- family of 3 each

That gives us 39 more people accounted for out of the village, leaving us 128 people -- assuming the families are more or less an average of 5 people gives us 25 more families for a total of 37, and 3 beggars in town (or village idiots, however you like it).

The biggest difference between the experts in town as barkeeps and shopkeeps (the general store, a blacksmith and maybe a form of banker) and the farmers is the fact they can work their jobs all year, higher level and masterwork tools -- this puts them at making about 2gp more a week and with 13 more weeks to work meaning 572gp a year in income for them.

It also means our average level is pretty low -- right around 2~3 with an average CR of about 1/2 per person in the village, highest level caster is the priest at level 4, with the butler's wife being second at level 3... which also means we have 2% of the population as casters, with about 80% of the population being farmers.

Since this is a village it gets two traits, I would suggest racially intolerant for orcs and half orcs (too many raids against the town makes them more alert for spies) and Strategic location (a reason for a noble to have a summer home there even if it isn't the primary trade route to a major city), and of course it's a Autocracy.


An 'interesting' development at least and it leaves me wondering what it will lead to.

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So I started playing around with the optional piece meal armor rules and here is what I have so far:

Scout Armor:
Lamellar Cuirass, Studded leather leggings, leather arms
Light 22 gp +4(armor) +4(max Dex) -0 15%(ASF) 13 Lbs

Warcaster armor:
Ceremonial Silk Robes with wooden apron (legs), padded arms
Light 36gp +3(armor) +3(max Dex) -1 10%(ASF) 13 Lbs

Elite Shock Trooper Armor:
Agile Plate, with Kikko legs and Scale Arms
Heavy 420gp +9(armor) +3(max Dex) -7(-4) 30%(ASF) 35 Lbs

Nomad Cavalry Armor:
Lamellar Cuirass, Studded leather leggings, Horn Lamellar arms
Medium 45gp +5(armor) +4(max Dex) -2 30%(ASF) 16 Lbs

Shock Trooper Armor:
Plate with O-yoroi legs, Tatami-do arms
Heavy 600gp +10(armor) +2(max Dex) -12 40%(ASF) 40 Lbs

Heavy Infantry Armor:
4 mirror chest with scale leggings and arms
Medium 40gp +8(armor) +3(max Dex) -9 35%(ASF) 55 Lbs

Anyone have anything else?

Great idea until you really think about it.

. The idea is for these countries to start from scratch--free from the laws, regulations, and moral codes of any existing place.
"a kind of floating petri dish for implementing policies that libertarians, stymied by indifference at the voting booths, have been unable to advance: no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage, and few restrictions on weapons."

So I can hire anyone I want from anywhere and bring them here to do whatever labor I can get them to do, and have no worries that someone is going to try and stop me.

Which means I'm free to -- as my exercise in entrepreneurial spirit -- take a group of low paid people from poor countries move to his island and start a 'pirating business' where I attack other people's ships take their goods and then sell them for whatever I care too.

While I'm at it I think I'll kidnap this guy and hold him for ransom since it can't be against the law since it's my business model.

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So someone once suggested I should make a thread about all the horrible things corporations do, have done, or are trying to get away with doing.

So here we go:

Starting with Nazi profiteers that are still with us.

Low hanging fruit provided by AIG
Murdoch's little fun in the spotlight recently
LIC yet another company that never seems to realize wrongdoing even with its employee's being arrested
Walmart -- that's an easy one

Have fun adding your own -- and remember people -- corporations exist only for their own profit and gain, the more profit to be gained the more likely they are to forget the rules assuming you can't pick them out in a line up and even if you could "I was just following orders" or "I didn't know what my underlings were doing right under my own nose and supervision".

He's not broken -- he's advanced.

So the arm by itself isn't bad granting you the means to hold an extra item or a shield while two weapon fighting or fighting two handed.

However my question would be does it qualify you for multiweapon fighting -- and if it does do you now gain extra attacks from the third (or fourth) arm?

So I know I want the following:
Monk (drunken master, Sacred Mountain Qing Gong)
Alchemist (chirurgen, Internal Alchemist)

The abilities I'm interested in are:
Preserve organs (up to 3 times)
Spontaneous Healing
Healing Touch
Restoration (2 ki, self only)

I have a 20 point buy, and would prefer a human related race I think -- but I'm not sold on any one race at this point.

Beyond that I'm rather up in the air -- I want enough Wisdom to be able to reliably use stunning fist and Ki based options. Intelligence is something that I want for skill points and access to whatever level of extracts I get too, but isn't prime for anything else (I'm not really looking hard at bombs) -- I'm alright with the idea of the vivisectionist, but not committed to it either yet. Combat maneuvers are something I am rather interested in (grappling and dirty trick primarily).

If that isn't enough (because it never is) I wouldn't mind trying to fit in a level of inquisitor for the conversion inquisition.

What I need help in is figuring a way to make this combat effective (I believe I'll do fine out of combat), and get the abilities I really want early enough that it doesn't feel like I'm chasing them forever.

So this is a bit of my problem with UM:

Human Wizard(generalist)
Arcane Bond(amulet)
B -- Spell Focus(Evocation) -- (PFS variant wizard)
1 -- Spell Focus(Transmutation)
H -- Spell Specialization
3 -- Spell Specialization
B -- Spell Focus(Abjuration)
5 -- Spell Specialization
7 -- Spell Specialization
9 -- Greater Spell Specialization
B -- Quicken Spell
11 -- Spell Specialization
13 -- Spell Specialization
15 -- Spell Specialization
B -- Persistent Spell
17 -- Spell Specialization
19 -- Spell Specialization
B -- (whatever)

Equipment: Amulet of Magecraft (set to conjuration)


The above wizard has 9 spells he can spontaneously cast and an entire school of magic he can do so from and he can change which school of magic every day. Every time he hits and even level he can change all of his spontaneous spells known out at the same time as opposed to the sorcerer's one spell every even level.

In addition he has 6 levels worth of free spontaneous metamagic use per day.

Feats: Spell Focus(necromancy), Varisian Tattoo(necromancy), Reach Spell, Undead Mastery, Thanatopic Spell, Spell Specialization(Create Undead), Intensify Spell, Greater spell focus(necromancy), Spell Perfection(create undead), Bloatmage Initiate(necromancy)

Basically put you'll have a caster level of 36 for create undead at level 20. At level 15 it will simply be 27.

You could instead update to create undead, or create greater undead at your discretion. The dominate person? Yeah Thanatopic spell will make it work.

So here is the basic idea -- I want a melee type that does great buffing his allies with using magic directly. Here is what I have so far in making that happen:

Fighter 3/Cavalier(order of the dragon) 2/Bard 1/Steel Falcon 3/Battle Herald 10

Feats I'm looking at:
Combat Reflexes, Bodyguard, Combat expertise, gang up, power attack, outflank, Iron Will(mandatory), Swift Aid, Lingering Performance

Those are 'fairly' set in stone.

The following are things I am looking at in the "I think I want" catagory:
Leadership(looking at a hospitalar paladin), extra bardic performance, practiced tactician, shield of swings, improved trip, greater trip, improved dirty trick, greater dirty trick, Boon Companion

I'm looking at two different ways to do combat (beyond my buffing abilities): Either a pole arm of some sort, or using a madu and a scorpion whip. If I use the Madu then up through level 12 I won't take a penalty from using combat expertise.

I'm also not set on a race yet. I kind of would like to go with halfling to get a wolf or riding dog for my 'mount' and then simply using it as another flanker. If I did then I might consider the lucky halfling feat too. Another choice would be to go human take the racial heritage feat and get the lucky halfling feat all the same (much more feat intensive... but possibly a lot of fun).

So Where I would like help:
Order of feats
What other feats to grab/not grab
Weapon usage advice (between the pole arm and madu/scorpion whip)
General thoughts on improving effectiveness.

So lets say we want to run all the APs back to back with the same characters without deleveling, or "starting over"

How would you go about making this work?

So Ewan 325 and I were talking about the constitutionality of various practices and actions of both the congress and the president.

To be clear at this point I'm not looking for "Well democrats/liberals/whatever do this and republicans/conservatives/whatever do that!"

This is to be a discussion thread on actions or practices of the bodies of government and if said action is or should be legal according to:
1. The Constitution
2. Our "lesser" laws

and in line with our treaties with any other country involved with the action taken.

So if you want to post here this is my suggestion for how to go about it:

First state the action or practice you wish to discuss.

Second state why you think the action or practice violates our laws or the constitution.

Finally if you can point out any salient points that might be used to prove why it doesn't violate the law -- this isn't to disprove yourself but to help everyone have a place to start on both sides.

It occurred to me that one resource the gunslinger is going to have a lot of and little use for is his attacks of opportunity.

After all he's using ranged weapons, he has a lot of reasons to raise his Dex, but he doesn't gain any benefit from his attack of opportunity or the extra ones he could get with combat reflexes...

So why not change the cost of some (or all) of the deeds to attacks of opportunity?

This would be a refreshing resource, that can be used up to do all sorts of things and would give the gunslinger both something new, and use something everyone is already familiar with.

Examples could be:

Duck for Cover: As an immediate action give up an AoO to move 5 feet as someone is targeting you for a ranged attack. If you get behind cover you gain the benefits of cover for that attack (you do not gain the benefits of total cover though as you are moving as they shoot).

Surprise shot: If you are using a weapon with the scatter property loaded with pellets you may use it to make an AoO against anyone moving within the range of the cone.

Fast Reload: Give up an AoO as a swift action to reload one shot. You may give up extra AoO's to reload extra shots as part of the same swift action, but only to load a gun you already have in your hands.

Snap Shot: As an immediate action you may make one attack on a target within your first range increment at a -5 penalty -- using this ability uses up an AoO.

Pistol Whip: You may make AoOs with a firearm in your hand. Doing so is a melee attack that deals damage as a club for an one handed fire arm and as a heavy mace for a two handed fire arm. You may add any enhancement bonus on the gun to this attack.


I'm sure people could think of more things to add to this list (or other abilities from the current deeds to put on it).

I just feel this would handle the 'refreshing' time of the Grit ability and use up a resource that people already know about and understand.

1. If I "double tap" both barrels at the same target is it two attacks?

2. If I take the penalty can I fire both barrels with Dead shot? If so does the Dead Shot affect both barrels or just one? Please provide and example of how the damage math would work.

3. If I have two double barreled pistols and two weapon fighting(improved and greater), plus a glove of storing, can I make (at level 20) 14 attacks (assuming rapid reload and paper cartridges)?

Bonus question: Can I make advanced versions of the basic firearms?

Okay so this idea will not work for every gunslinger, however I think it will work for the musket using gunslinger at least:

When I was thinking that there was a chance I would make it to round two of superstar I was working on a ranger archetype called the marksman. I think the primary ability I was going for on them could work for here.

Proposed Rule wrote:

Aim: As a full round action the gunslinger may make a single attack. If this attack hits it deals x2 damage. At level 7 the gunslinger the damage is instead increased to x3 damage, and at level 14 the damage increases again to x4.

Basically the gunslinger would get a ranged version of charging with a lance. he takes careful aim and shoots only once but gets an increasing amount of damage to make up for the lack of iterative attacks.

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