|Paizo Pathfinder® Paizo Games|
|About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ|
As per the title, I'm looking to make a human character with the ability to change into a wolf; only those two shapes, no werewolf hybrid form. Does such a thing exist anywhere already?
Assuming it doesn't, I was looking at how I might do this using the Advanced Race Guide. I figured the easiest way to go about it would be to create a wolf and then simply add the lesser change shape ability to give it a human form. However, I find the point total rather high considering that all the canine bonuses aren't normally usable while in human form. Anyone have a better idea how that might affect the Race Point cost? Here's my preliminary writeup for the race. And suggestions are welcome. Thanks!
Power Attack is one of those feats which I've read is a statistical must-have for melee builds but which I'm always hesitant to make use of since the penalty to hit makes me nervous. How do you properly gauge when to use it? People will say it depends largely on the AC of your target but, for a combat that lasts only 3-4 rounds, spending a round or two trying to determine the exact AC and then running some numbers to figure out whether you've reached a viable Power Attacking opportunity seems too time consuming to be worthwhile. Can someone to whom Power Attacking is second nature help me figure out how I should go about getting the most out of this feat?
For reference, I'm playing a 5th level Synthesist who is large, with 20 Str, and with four claw attacks; dealing approximately 1d8+5 per hit.
I'm looking to have created a crown which allows the wearer to grow in size as if under the effect of an enlarge person spell at will and to remain so as long as the crown is worn. I'd just like confirm the price for such an item. Since it's "Use-activated or continuous" item the cost would be Spell level x caster level x 2,000 gp x 2 since the duration of the spell is normally 1 minute/level. So a 1st level spell x 1st level caster x 2,000 x 2 = 4,000 gp. Is this correct?
Our group just picked up this trinket in the Reign of Winter AP. Just looking to clarify its function.
"Once per day, if used as the focus or divine focus for a summon monster or summon nature’s ally spell, the cauldron automatically conjures 1d3 additional creatures of the same kind from the next lower level list. For example, if a user casts summon monster III to summon 1d3 wolves, he could also summon 1d3 additional wolves (or other creatures from the 2nd-level list)."
Since it only grant "additional creatures of the same kind from the next lower level list" it seems that what's implied, but not outright stated, is that the cauldron has no effect when summoning creatures of the same-level list as that of the spell or when casting the 1st level version of either spell (since there's no lower level list to choose 1d3 creatures from).
I'm also wondering whether the cauldron would work in conjunction with a summoner's Summon Monster spell-like ability seeing as it doesn't require a focus though since, according to the general description of spell-like abilities, it "functions just like a spell. Further, would the Cauldron function in conjunction with appropriate spell-completion or spell-trigger items such as scrolls and wands?
I don't think there's any official ruling on this item, so conjecture is welcome.
I searched but couldn't find an answer. The claws evolution states: "An eidolon has a pair of vicious claws at the end of its limbs, giving it two claw attacks." No problem there; spend a point and you get two claws. But what if you've reached a level where your eidolon is allowed an odd number of attacks and you'd rather add an extra claw rather than say a bite, slam, tentacle or what-have-you? You're free to buy as many pairs of limbs as you can afford, but can you spend 1 evolution point to add claws to one of those limbs or, alternatively, add claws to both limbs but only use one of them in battle to make your odd number of attacks?
Our group is about to start a new Pathfinder Adventure Path at 1st level with four 15-pt buy PCs. The GM encouraged one of the players to try out a gunslinger and, due to an elaborate background, is considering giving him starting access to a modern 5-round capacity rifle rather than a gunslinger's typical firearm options.
I'm not terribly familiar with Pathfinder firearms or the gunslinger class. For those who are; what effect would this modern technology have on the the gunslinger's overall class balance at low and higher levels?
I've searched the rules forum and got bogged down in inconclusive similar-though-not-quite-the-same questions. Hopefully someone can clarify the issue for me.
Say I have a character with the fey bloodline's laughing touch power...
Laughing Touch (Sp): At 1st level, you can cause a creature to burst out laughing for 1 round as a melee touch attack. A laughing creature can only take a move action but can defend itself normally. Once a creature has been affected by laughing touch, it is immune to its effects for 24 hours. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier. This is a mind-affecting effect.
…and multiple natural attacks per round (bite/claw/claw for instance), since touch attack effects can be delivered with successful natural attacks, can I full attack and successfully inflict a laughing touch effect on multiple opponents as a full attack?
As a secondary question, does a failed attack roll on a laughing touch use up one of the daily uses of that power or does the 3 + Cha limit only apply to successful attacks?
Thanks for the help.
A player in our group is looking to play a humanoid woman who can naturally change shape into a wolf as a part of her character concept; though she isn't infected with lycanthropy. Since she's supposedly been doing this since birth, is there any way for a character to effect that transformation at 1st level?
I'm working on a PC fey race called the Meliae; a type of dryad bonded to an ash tree in Greek myth. I started with a half-elf, kept some of its base traits, adopted some of the half-elf's alternate racial traits and swapped out others traits for those from the Race Builder chapter of the Advanced Race Guide to maintain balance.
It ends up being a low-calory PC-friendly version of the dryad which, by my count, maintains the ARG's 10 r.p. guideline for a standard PC race. I'm just looking to get some feedback on it.
• Type: Fey (2 RP)
Perennial: Meliae are creatures of all seasons, and so are as accustomed to harsh winters as they are to easy summers. A melia can move through natural snow and ice at her normal speed and gains a +4 racial bonus on Fortitude saves to avoid nonlethal damage from cold environments.
I'm trying to rough out my Synthesist's feat progression from level one. Although I want to be combat-effective, the GM prefers to focus more on role-playing so there's some room for some non-combat diversity.
Thing is, the more I look at it, the Extra Evolution feat seems to be a better option than most feats. Compare the +3 bonus of Skill Focus vs the +8 racial bonus from the Skilled Evolution. Evolutions are strong, versatile, can be repurposed every level and generally superior to individual feats.
My question is, if available at the current level, isn't the Extra Evolution feat a solid and generally better choice for a synthesist to take?
If my character has natural reach, say of 10-ft, and uses a special ranged ability like the Tanglevine power from the Verdant Sorcerer bloodline; "you can create a 15-foot-long, animated vine that springs from your hand". Does the vine's range remain fixed at 15-ft or, since I can reach my hand out 10-ft from my body and the vine is described as starting from my hand, does that mean the vine actually has a 25-ft range?
It seems that most new playable races introduced by Paizo also have alternate Favoured Class bonuses which are, in some cases, a big draw for prospective players; something that isn't reflected in the Example Races' Race Point Totals of the Advanced Races Guide. It seems something of an oversight to prospective race builders.
I'm wondering whether there's a (semi-) official system for buying/assigning alternate Favoured Class bonuses to new races or if it's simply something that can be added for 0 RP by the race(s) creator.
I'm reposting this to the correct forum. I'm working on a new Summoner build and would like some help developing an Evolution before I pitch it to my GM for consideration. I'd like to know if it makes sense, what works and doesn't work with it and how many points it might be worth. Here it is:
Any damage inflicted on the effigy remains with the eidolon once it is summoned again though the effigy can similarly be healed of damage up to the eidolon's full hit point total through application of the rejuvenate eidolon spell or its equivalents. If the effigy suffers sufficient damage to kill the eidolon, it crumbles apart and the eidolon cannot be summoned again for 24 hours. Due to the presence of the effigy in the material world, summoning the eidolon in its place is easier than normal; requiring only half the usual time, to a minimum of 1 round.
A summoner with the Merge Form power or the Synthesist archetype may remain comfortably encased inside the effigy after dismissing her eidolon for as long as desired, and is free to exit or enter the effigy as a standard action. While inside the effigy, the Synthesist cannot move and is effectively Paralyzed. Although she cannot see outside of the effigy, the Synthesist can make perception checks at a -5 penalty to distinguish sounds.
The notion behind the evolution is to grant an eidolon a permanent presence in the material world instead of disappearing and reappearing at the summoner's whim. An eidolon with an angel or gargoyle theme might appear to transform into a stone statue while the summoner sleeps, a treant eidolon could appear to take root and remain a normal tree while inactive or a beast eidolon might simply curl up and appear to slumber.
As I see it, having an eidolon effigy is as much a liability as it is a benefit. I actually had trouble thinking of any benefit to having it around which would justify spending evolution points on it, which is why I had it reduce the time needed to summon the eidolon. As is the effigy's only use might be as a decent decoy. Summoners able to merge with their eidolons have the added benefit of being able to take shelter inside the effigy; which is about as effective as sealing yourself inside a wooden barrel. It's still a risky proposition though since damage inflicted upon the defenseless effigy is transferred to the absent eidolon and the summoner is limited to purely mental actions.
I'm working on a new Summoner build and would like some help developing an Evolution before I pitch it to my GM for consideration. I'd like to know if it makes sense, what works and doesn't work with it and how many points it might be worth. Here it is:
I'm trying to develop a PC for a friend's tabletop game; a dryad PC who's bonded tree is a treant. This is a bit weird but, if you'll humor me, I'll try to make this make sense.
The notion I have is to use a female half-elf summoner synthesist in the role of the dryad and have her eidolon counterpart be the treant. That is to say that the dryad would appear, act and be a veritable dryad, but she would be using a RAW half-elf's racial makeup to keep the character viable as a PC. In the same vein, her treant counterpart would appear, act and in all ways that matter be a treant, but would be stated from a synthesist's eidolon.
I'd be playing the un-melded dryad and her synthesist-melded treant form as two distinct entities; only one of which could be active at a time. So as not to have the treant simply disappear into the either when un-melded, I'm hoping to have my GM allow the eidolon to remain corporeal even when he's dismissed or "killed"; albeit as an otherwise normal rooted tree stuck in the spot he was where he should have disappeared.
So the dryad would remain a dryad until the moment when she steps into her tree and she herself goes dormant, at which point the treant (i.e. melded-synthesist) awakens and is free to move and act. So when one of the pair is active, the other is automatically asleep. If the melded eidolon were to be killed, the treant would go dormant and immediately root to the spot and the dryad would be forcefully ejected. The dryad is the soft social of the duo, while the treant is the muscle. Make sense?
I'm going to be playing this from level 1 onwards. What I'd like would be some feedback on this concept, as well as roleplaying ideas, suggestions for which base form and evolutions would help make the eidolon as much like a treant as possible. Likewise anything that'd make the half-elf as much like a dryad as possible would be helpful. Thanks!
I may soon be getting back into a Pathfinder campaign and had a notion for finally realizing a character concept I've had in the back of my head for a few decades, but which I never had the game mechanics to pull off: a tinker gnome piloting a clockwork armoured-knight mech which he builds and upgrades as the campaign progresses. The Synthesist, with an appropriate amount of backstory and aesthetic changes seems a good way to pull it off without needing to reinvent the wheel. Summoned creatures could similarly be adapted by describing them as various clockwork creatures the gnome deploys when needed
The only issue I have with the concept is the notion that the eidolon/mech and clockwork creatures appear and disappear regularly. Though it's a super convenient way of acquiring and discarding of the character's mechanical creations as needed, it's rather at odds with the idea that these are big clunky mechanisms that the character builds and maintains in his off hours. In battle, I'd imagine that the slaying of the eidolon would result in the gnome being knocked out of or being forcefully ejected from the non-functional knight-mech. Unfortunately the broken down mech-eidolon wouldn't stick around for the gnome to go about fixing it; it would immediately disappear. In fact, there seems to be no way for the gnome to step out of his eidolon-mech-suit without it immediately disappearing in a puff of smoke.
One notion I had was to imagine the eidolon as an animating spirit that, once it departs, leaves behind a big pile of broken and largely useless machinery; the actual knight-mech body. That seems easy enough, except that I wouldn't want the responsibility of carting around a big mound of scrap metal to become a burden for the party.
I'd like to hear possible solutions to this conundrum. Any ideas?
Following a few years of game-play over fifty-four sessions, our intrepid band of adventurers (the Sihedron) went up against the Runelord of Greed and defeated him after surprising him in the "Eye of Avarice". We began Spires of Xin-Shalast last session, though we only went so far as to perform a successful Harrow reading and discretely reconnoitered the Pinnacle of Avarice.
We started off this session by buffing ourselves to the nines and then circumventing a quintet of lamia harridans to trigger the opening of a portal by touching a Runeforged weapon to a crystal mirror held by a statue of Karzoug. We next appeared inside the Eye of Avarice; surprising Karzoug, a huge blue dragon and another human wizard who I believe was an apprentice named Khalib. During the surprise round, my character cast antimagic field on himself and had his familiar carry him over to the Runelord's side. With all his magical defenses down, our rogue succeeded in hitting Karzoug with a devastating ranged sneak attack, followed by another arrow from our ranger. I was looking forward to the prospect of assaulting Karzoug with a tanglefoot bag (hey, not much else I could do right?) but our monk charged forward and hit the Runelord with a vital strike; ending Varisa's would-be conqueror's life. The Dragon proved a little more time-consuming to defeat while Khalib fell to the same antimagic/monk-attack combo as Karzoug.
And then five lamia harridans and six rune giants crashed our little party in the Eye of Avarice. The Battle of the Pinnacle will continue next session...
I'm reading up on using dispel magic (or greater dispel magic) to counterspell and am having trouble figuring out what the dispel check DC is supposed to be. The spell description says that dispel magic "targets a spellcaster and is cast as a counterspell".
Backtracking to the targeted dispel option of the spell it initially says: "One object, creature, or spell is the target of the dispel magic spell. You make one dispel check (1d20 + your caster level) and compare that to the spell with highest caster level (DC = 11 + the spell's caster level). If successful, that spell ends."
But then, reading ahead a bit, it says: "You can also use a targeted dispel to specifically end one spell affecting the target or one spell affecting an area. You must name the specific spell effect to be targeted in this way. If your caster level check is equal to or higher than the DC of that spell, it ends."
So which of the two applies to counterspelling? Is the check DC (11 + the spell's caster level) or the targeted spell's save DC? It seems to me that the second one makes more sense since it means that it's easier to counterspell lower level than higher level spells.
For that matter, why are two different systems used for setting dispel DCs? Isn't that needlessly confusing?
I was wondering whether using arcane eye to explore outer space was fair game. The spell description says: "You can create the arcane eye at any point you can see, but it can then travel outside your line of sight without hindrance." So, look up during a clear night, pick out a visible celestial body you'd like to explore, cast your spell and "create an invisible magical sensor that sends you visual information" at that location. Granted, you wouldn't be able to explore very far on the planet or moon of your choice since "An arcane eye travels at 30 feet per round" but it's certainly much better than using a telescope and easier than casting interplanatary teleport. Traveling Dream further increases the window of exploration by an order of magnitude (to hours rather than minutes) and even opens up the door to communicating with native extraterrestrials.
Looking at the Estimating Magic Item Gold Piece Values table, I see that an item which enhances an ability score costs "Bonus squared x 1,000 gp" with no mention of any limits. I seem to remember that in 3.X there was a maximum of +6 for any such (non epic) magic items, but I see nothing to that effect in Pathfinder. Is there any RAW reason one couldn't create +8 or +10 items?
My mystic theurge character is currently possessing a Shemhazian demon via a lucky casting of magic jar and I'm trying to figure out what his new attack routine is. On the one hand, Magic Jar's description states "A body with extra limbs does not allow you to make more attacks" yet also says "The body retains its Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, hit points, natural abilities, and automatic abilities." So do I get its full natural attack routine, my own +6/+1 two attacks or some other combination?
Also, in regards to the Shemazian body, what exactly are its "natural and automatic abilities"? Thanks!
I tried searching for an answer and couldn't find a consensus. So, is it feasible to improve similarly themed buildings; for example building a shrine and later improving it into a temple and eventually a cathedral? Would it save on BPs? Or must a building be demolished and a new building be erected for full BP cost?
I'm trying to figure out the price for an item similar to an eversmoking bottle which, instead of opaque smoke, constantly emits a thin mist akin to a mind fog spell except with triple the spell's normal area of effect (60-ft. radius spread),a Caster Level of 15 and save DC of 17.
Seeing as how the mind fog (normally a 5th level spell) has been enlarged twice over, it'd seem equivalent to an 8-9th level spell. When multiplied with its CL and then again by 2,000 gp and adjusted for its duration, it'd seem to be well over 300,000 gp. Is that right?
It comes up often enough that Intelligence boosting items appear in modules in the hands of defeated NPCs. Rarely however to their descriptions detail which skills they enhance as a part of increasing a character's Intelligence. Certainly not every headband of vast intelligence is created the same since their creators have differing goals. And yet, some things are likely common to the majority of these items' creators. Their most likely creators are wizards since they stand to benefit the most from such items. Being wizards, they've certainly an interest in magic-related skills. And yet, having studied wizardry so as to eventually create magic items, they likely already have full ranks in Knowledge (Arcana) & Spellcraft and so wouldn't benefit from placing those skills in the headbands they create.
So my question is: what are the three skills, in order of priority, that are likely to have been incorporated into a Headband of Vast Intelligence during its creation by an unspecified creator?
I'm wondering whether anyone has or knows how to calculate the number of spells to be found inside of a typical NPC wizard's spellbook at various levels. Some modules don't list the full contents of NPC spellbooks in an effort to save space; leaving the matter up to individual GMs to flesh out on their own. Picking extra spells beyond those listed in an NPC's prepared spell list is easy; the only issue is how many is a reasonable number to add.
A simple formula could likely do the trick; say something like 50% or 75% beyond a caster's daily allowance of spells. Any suggestions?
I've always been a little sketchy on the "activate blindly" option of Use Magic Device and which actions, if any, a character *must* perform to activate a magic item.
You do have to perform some equivalent activity in order to make the check. That is, you must speak, wave the item around, or otherwise attempt to get it to activate.
Does that mean that, when attempting to activate blindly, a character can freely choose to babble gibberish or wave the item around or shake it wildly; whichever is most convenient regardless of the item's nature? That is to say, can a character attempt to blindly activate a scroll or wand merely by waving them around?
A follow up question: since constructs are created in the same way as magic items (with item creation feats, raw materials and spells) can a character attempt to command them via the Use Magic Device skill?
I feel it necessary to distinguish between in-game "goodness" and real-world "goodness". Since, I believe, a truly good person would have to adhere to some level of pacifism, I'd hazard to say that few of the characters we play could be considered truly "good" by real-world standards. A big focus of the game and the characters we make is combat-related; which weapons they use, what sort of armor they sport and the battle-tactics they favour. They also don't pursue non-violent careers. On the contrary, they usually go looking for trouble and so draw their (very lethal) weapons in combat regularly. Although some characters might be truly pacifistic, they're the rare exception rather than the norm. The best of adventurers only practice their trade when confronting monsters or truly evil people. But again, their first instinct is usually to beat their opponents to death with sharp pointy things rather than capturing them alive; even if the latter is feasible. When the grisly business is done, they then collect loot for their own personal use or for resale. Again, the best among adventurers may seek to share some measure of their loot with the bad guys' victims, the poor or a church of their choice, but most of the treasure usually remains with the PCs.
In the real world, such adventurers might be hailed as heroes by some people under the right circumstances. But would anyone hold them up examples of "goodness"? To measure up to real-world standards, it seems to me that an entire group (because good people who abide morally-deficient behaviour amongst their buddies aren't really all that good themselves) would strive to take anyone alive whom they consider redeemable, and then also take the subsequent steps to redeem them if possible. Of course abominations (such as undead and evil outsiders) might be exempted since they're considered irredeemable by their very nature and should be destroyed for the sake of goodness. In most campaigns however — with their horde of evil cultists, misguided cohorts and sentient "monsters" — that kind of kid glove treatment would quickly devolve into untenable tedium.
So, for the sake of keeping the game rolling and fun we generally accept a certain amount of bloodlust and self-serving greed in our "good" characters. In the real-world, such characters would, at best, be considered well-intentioned and possibly heroic.
I'm curious to hear whether others disagree with this assessment or if it's widely accepted (even if not discussed overmuch) as being self-evident.
I'm a fan of Paizo's Harrow Deck and am planning on introducing it via the Old Beldame; who would seem a natural pick as a Harrower. As was done in the Curse of the Crimson Throne AP I'm looking to tie the AP's modules into the six ability score suits of the deck. I'm looking for some suggestions to that effect from those more familiar with the AP. Thoughts?
This might have been addressed before; I'm just not sure where to start looking for the topic. Seeing as how item creation cost and final sale price is dependant largely on caster & spell level and that the summoner has many iconic sorcerer/wizard spells on its spell list at lower levels than any other class, it would appear that summoners could produce many iconic items more cheaply than the traditional crafters.
Consequently, it would appear that the summoner is suddenly the best/fastest/cheapest item crafter around. Since an item's sale price is normally equivalent to the lowest creation cost x2, it would appear that the a big part of the magic item market would be skewed toward overall lower prices. Does anyone see this as a problem?
Maybe this has been addressed, but I couldn't find with a search.
When used against an object, the ray simply disintegrates as much as a 10-foot cube of nonliving matter. Thus, the spell disintegrates only part of any very large object or structure targeted.
Bolding mine. I'm wondering whether the caster is limited to disintegrating matter within a 10-ft cube shape, or if he can affect an equivalent amount of matter (1,000 cubic feet) in a different shape; say to tunnel a 40-ft long passage that's 5-ft wide by 5-ft high.
As a secondary question, what occurs when a disintegration ray meets a target that is living matter but not a creature such as a tree? Are plants somehow immune to disintegration?
A Revelation Quill allows its bearer to ask up to 10 questions a week to which the quill writes out responses as per the contact other plane spell. My question is, does the quill's bearer get to choose the plane contacted and does he risk the spell's usual chance of causing Intelligence and Charisma loss via this indirect usage?
...or are they their own mini "planes"? That is, can a creature teleport into our of of an extradimensional space or would plane shift be necessary to traverse its boundaries? Can divination spells detect creatures or objects through the extradimenional space's boundaries? And how about if the extradimensional space has been somehow rendered inaccessible (say by entering an antimagic field); where does the extradimenional space, and everything currently inside it, go?
I'm considering taking a six year pause between the first and second modules for the purpose of forwarding through a child birthing/rearing storyline and am wondering if there are any pitfalls with which I should concern myself in regards to kingdom building. Might it run amok if I allowed my players to play through 70+ months of kingdom building? Might it remain manageable if I retarded the players' acquisition of initial BPs to, say, 10 per year for the first five years? I appeal to those with more familiarity with the kingdom building sub-system.
Back when we started our Kingmaker campaign, I helped flesh out the background of one of my player's half-elf wizard. She's the illegitimate offspring of an elven woman who, along with an entourage of other elves and the financial backing of a minor Brevic noble family (that of another PC), had attempted to reclaim and settle the Forgotten Keep in RRR. The PC, as a young child, had been sent away to live with her human father's household in Brevoy when monstrous attacks on the elven keep grew too dangerous for her to remain. Eventually the keep's forces were overwhelmed and the elves were never heard from again. It's been sixty years since then and our venerable half-elf has joined the expedition into the Green Belt with the goal of finding the lost keep from her childhood and to discover what ever befell her mother.
That's as much as I told the player about the place. Many session later, after speaking with the gnomish explorers, the group has a lead on the keep's location and are en route to it. The PC uses her mother heirloom silver ring, embossed with a stylized tree, as her bonded item. I've hinted that it has some additional powers while in the Narlmarches.
I'd like to somehow incorporate the background we've put together when the party finally explores the elven keep. I'm wondering how I might add some depth to the dancing lady's presence in the keep. Were some or all of the fey amongst the original attackers who overcame the keep's defences? If so, why did they attack in the first place? What were they after? Could this event serve as foreshadowing for later fey encounters in the campaign? What became of the PC's elven mother? Etc. I'm hoping to get some ideas for fleshing out this site since it's so important to the PCs. Thanks for any help.
I'm wondering whether an air-deprived character could breathe the substance of a friendly air elemental. That is to say, could a spellcaster summon one or more air elementals and ask it/them, to encircle his or another creature's head and then breathe normally while underwater? Of course, the elemental's substance would slowly grow stale and eventually poisonous as it is slowly transformed into a carbon-dioxide elemental. ;)
I don't know if it's been suggested (if so I'm all for it!) but I had the simple idea for having advanced and monstrous races available for play at 1st level; tie the acquisition of some of their more powerful abilities to trait and feat expenditures. For example a generic "advanced race" trait available at character creation could grant a character +2 rp; ideal for playing 12 rp races such as aasimar and tieflings.
In turn, further racial advanced and monstrous abilities could be acquired as the character advances in class levels via stackable "improved race" feats; each of which would grant +4 rp worth of enhancements each.
So, as a PC-friendly option, advanced and monstrous races would have some of their more powerful racial abilities listed as being acquired via feats, perhaps with prerequisites for added balance. This could represent, amongst other things, a young member of an advanced or monstrous species slowly maturing.
For example, imagine a dragonkin themed monstrous race with some of its racial traits being listed thus:
Claws: A dragonkin grows claws capable of dealing 1d6 damage each via the improved race feat. Prerequisite: Character level 3.
Wings: A dragonkin's wings finally grow strong enough to allow him to fly at a speed equal to his base speed (average maneuverability) via the improved race feat. Prerequisite: claws, Character level 5.
Breath Weapon: A dragonkin develops the ability to breathe fire for 1d6 damage per character level in a 30-ft. cone once per day. Prerequisite: claws, wings, character level 9. Special: This racial advancement may be selected more than once; each additional feat allows the dragonkin to use his breath weapon 1 additional time per day.
I know that Pathfinder has never included the 3.5 Effective Character Level system for powerful PC races; I'm just wondering why not. To me it seems a simple and clear system that's easy to implement. I'm looking at these new RP tiers (standard, advanced and monstrous) and wondering at what PC level they'd be balanced.
Maybe someone can explain to me how this (in my mind at least) vaguely defined system is superior.
After a few decades of playing I've reached a odd situation of sorts in my current campaign and am curious to know if others ever feel as I do.
Without much planning the PCs in my current group ended up with high-initiative / high-stealth PCs; two of which are front-liners (a paladin & monk) and two archers (a rogue & ranger). Due to there being a lack of spellcasters, I went ahead and made a mystic theurge to cover both divine and arcane casting. Because of our proclivities we generally favour stealth/surprise attacks.
Due to a high level of teamwork (in my experience at least), thorough reconnaissance, having the right magics at hand and decent tactics we've proven to be rather formidable in battle. We usually end up gaining surprise in most every fight, follow it up by winning initiative and then defeat our enemies before they can really mount a defence (if any); even the big boss fights. We've managed to go through half a module without suffering a single PC injury as a consequence.
I'm not complaining; it's certainly gratifying to see one's preparations pay off. But here's the weird part; I often find myself holding back. Certainly I've tailored my character to be versatile and effective but I'm hardly a gaming savant. It's just that, if I were to pull out all the stops, my spellcaster sometimes wouldn't even need the other PCs' help at all. Occasionally, while performing reconnaissance, I envision a means by which I could solo-defeat an enemy and then discard it in favour of going to fetch the party so that the other players won't miss out on the fight. Only twice have I pulled out all the stops to defeat enemies by myself; once when confronted by a high CR creature which I guessed could wipe out some PCs if attacked with conventional tactics and the other to quickly defeat an army which both the players and GM were loathe to battle one-by-one.
The flip side is that I often find myself sitting back, delaying round after round, to watch the martial characters wipe up the bad guys. After having prepared the group with buffs, advantageous tactics and positioning it often seems a superfluous waste of magic to further beleaguer the NPCS. Physically beating NPCs is what the other PCs are designed to do, so why rob the other players of their fun?
As is, I figure that I'm perhaps playing at 80% of my character's potential. Even so, our group dominates most battle to such a degree that I'm considering, perhaps next campaign, easing up even further; perhaps to 60% to 70%. I have to admit though that the notion feels oddly meta to me. Why would PCs purposefully ignore advantageous opportunities or purposefully favour less-effective tactics?
I'm just wondering if others ever find themselves acting similarly. Do you ever find yourself holding back while playing? If so, why?
Warning: Mild Runelords spoiler.
Seeing as how most of the Runelords AP has so few unique magic items that are desirable and usable by PCs, it was with some disappointment that I learnt that the nifty-sounding Robe of Runes we'd discovered would no better than a conventional Int-boosting item for my spontaneous arcane caster.
Not content to merely sell it off I'm looking to retool it so that its spell-recall and associated spell save DC increase ability are useable by a spontaneous caster. I'd be willing to pay the difference in item creation cost, if only I could figure out how much that one aspect of the Robes cost in the first place. The robes are worth 44,000 gp, 8,000 of which is the cost of the +4 Int increase, leaving 36,000 for the spell-recall and spell-save DC increase. Anyone know (or care to guess) how the item was originally priced?