The owl school revolution begins again. Feb. 21 at Rice University in Houston.
We have much to offer this year:
Adam Daigle returns to give everyone his best Auntie Baltwin voice. Break the Siege of the Diamond City the morning of the 23rd. Prove your worth to be called a Seeker in Eyes of the Ten. And laugh in the face of TPK in Bonekeep's Maze to the Mind Slave.
GM signups are now open on our prototype Openhorn system.
GM two slots for a free badge and a shiny new tee-shirt.
So my local lodge was running the infamously deadly Dalsine Affair today. I decided to turn a blob of GM credit into a playtest Swashbuckler and put it through its paces. It did not survive.
First, the character build:
Rakshasa-Spawn Tiefling Swashbuckler 3
NG Medium outsider (native)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +5
AC 20, touch 14, flat-footed 16 (+4 armor, +1 shield, +3 Dex, +1 natural, +1 dodge)
hp 28 (3d10+6)
Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +0 (+1 vs. fear)
Defensive Abilities bravery +1; Resist fire 5
Speed 30 ft.
Melee masterwork rapier +8 (1d6+1/18-20/×2+3 Precise Strike)
Special Attacks deed: menacing swordplay, deed: opportune parry, deed: precise strike, deed: riposte, panache
. . 1/day—detect thoughts (DC 15)
Str 13, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 16
Base Atk +3; CMB +4; CMD 18 (18 vs. disarm, 18 vs. steal, 18 vs. sunder)
Feats Power Attack, Weapon Focus (rapier)
Traits empyreal cultist (magnimar), reactionary
Skills Acrobatics +9, Diplomacy +9, Disguise +5, Intimidate +9, Knowledge (local) +6, Perception +5, Sense Motive +1; Racial Modifiers deed: derring-do
Languages Celestial, Common, Infernal
SQ deed: recovery, deed: swashbuckler initiative, prehensile tail, swashbuckler finesse
Other Gear Mithral Chain shirt, Masterwork Buckler, Masterwork Rapier, 150 GP
Bravery +1 (Ex) +1 to Will save vs. Fear
Damage Resistance, Fire (5) You have the specified Damage Resistance against Fire attacks.
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white vision only).
Deed: Derring-Do (Ex) Spend 1 panache to add 1d6 when making Escape Artist, Fly, Ride, or Swim check.
Deed: Menacing Swordplay (Ex) While have 1 panache, demoralize struck opponent as swift action.
Deed: Opportune Parry (Ex) Spend 1 panache and 1 AoO to attempt to parry a melee attack.
Deed: Precise Strike +3 (Ex) While have 1 panache, bonus to ak/dmg w/ light/one-hand piercing weaps.
Deed: Recovery (Ex) When attacked, spend 1 panache to step 5 ft. and gain +2 AC vs attack.
Deed: Riposte (Ex) When parrying, spend 1 panache and AoO to atttack your attacker.
Deed: Swashbuckler Initiative (Ex) While have Panache, can use a free hand to draw a light or one-handed piercing weapon as part of the initiative check.
Empyreal Cultist (Magnimar) +1 on Diplomacy checks against good-aligned humanoids.
Panache (Ex) Gain a pool of points that are spent to fuel deeds, regained on light/piercing crit/killing blow.
Power Attack -1/+2 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Prehensile Tail Your tail can retrieve small objects on your person as a swift action.
Swashbuckler Finesse At 2nd level, a swashbuckler gains the benefits of the Weapon Finesse feat with light or one-handed piercing melee weapons, as well as gains a +4 bonus to her CMD on disarm, steal, and sunder attempts made against these weapons.
We get the illegal cultists smuggled away. With no ranks in bluff I'm not very good at delaying the guards. The eidolon takes the forefront here, tripping their captain and staying behind until dismissed to hold the line against them.
Giant spider. I win initiative and do rather weak damage to it. It then counters and due to poor fort I fail my poison save and take Con damage. The remaining party members kill it while i am stagger from the poison.
Faceless stalker. I do weakish damage, and in the process have to block the eidolon's charge lane. I do some weak damage, the ranger then kills it.
Dogs. Nothing much to say. I do weakish damage again, then the ranger and eidolon finish everything off.
Big bad evil magus. The ranger goes first and attacks the illusion. He then takes the spell combat attack but keeps ticking. I move in and can't hit his high AC, but do give the ranger a flank. The eidolon can't hit it either. The only party members dealing damage here are the ranger with humans as favored enemy and the sorcerer who's hitting his touch AC.
After spending a turn attack the eidolon the BBEG turns to attack the ranger who's toe only one injuring him and kills him outright with an empowered shocking grasp. I still can't hit him, especially with my flanking buddy dead.
Fourth round. I'm wearing metal armor, so I get the shocking grasp spellstrike, dropping me to -4. The cleric channels me up to 3 and I try to stand up and grapple the BBEG. He crits on his AOO, dropping me to -18. Dead.
Final round. The eidolon finally gets in a hit, then the sorcerer's acid arrows finish him off. Ranger has enough prestige to get a raise dead. I have no such luxury.
Overall, I was unimpressed by the class. I was seriously outclassed in damage by the halfling ranger power attacking with his greatsword, ad of course, the eidolon. My AC was well below the eidolon's even before it got buffed, and slightly less than the ranger's.
With 3 Panache, I spent one to parry a hit, botching the parry roll. I wasted the second to improve my precise strike damage only to miss on the attack roll. I have to keep the third in reserve to use precise strike. I never finished off an enemy or even threatened a crit to regain Panache.
The class in general fails at its design goal of making an effective Dex-based melee combatant. Maybe it would have evened out with the tho-handed fighter at higher levels, but it has to somehow survive to reach them while the two-handed fighter can do its job starting at level 1.
In short: felt useless, died ignobly.
Don't be silly. Eidolons get pounce at first level and a spellcaster companion.
James McTeague wrote:
I know of at least one Goblin in Houston that exists only as a stack of GM credit and it therefore still alive.
If you cannot tolerate a given class, but still wish you and your players to get PFS credit, then I would suggest running a sanctioned AP in "campaign mode." You are then free to ban classes as you wish.
Just as I am setting up a blissfully summoner-free CoCT campaign.
Another thing which seems like a copy-paste oversight of Precise strike from the duelist: you can't use it if carrying a shield, and yet the class is proficient with bucklers? Should Precise Strike work with a buckler, but not a heavier shield, or is this a deliberate compromise the Swashbuckler must make?
I like the swashbuckler so far, and will probably make it my next PFS character.
However, one thing seems off: The restriction of "living creatures with discernible anatomies." in Precise Strike feels like a copy-paste error from 3.5. There's a reason Paizo removed that restriction from sneak attack in PF.
Mike has stated that the appropriate logo must be worn on a shirt. However, he specified in reply 50 in this thread that it need not be the original shirt. You are free to cut out the logo and sew it onto a shirt in better condition.
Allow me to congratulate Houston's seekers on finishing 'Eyes of the Ten' at Space City Con:
Venture Captain Brenkyn (The Drinkin') - Rogue 13
And don't forget the Warhorn:http://warhorn.net/houston-pfs/
Axe beak is added to the Paladin/Cavalier/Nature Oracle list by a certain scenario's boon. (But make sure the player actually has that boon.)
To the best of my knowledge, the giant chameleon is not a legal mount. (But it is a legal animal companion for Druids and archetypes which may select animal companions as a druid.)
Also, note that creatures purchased are not the same as creatures granted by class features. Purchased creatures do not advance in any way from their printed bestiary stats.
After 'Race for the Runecarved Key', Texas gamers got a chance to ask Mike Brock their questions about the future of Pathfinder Society, and he revealed some interesting bits of information on season 5.
Some changes to factions and how they work:
Number of factions likely to be reduced partially so writers have to spend less time writing for factions which are barely played. There are likely to be scenarios which center around these factions' fall. Mechanics for changing factions for those affected were discussed, but are not set in stone yet. Old faction traits and vanities from those factions will remain in effect, but it will no longer be possible to take them on new characters.
The disconnect between nation-based (Taldor/Qadira/Osirion/Cheliax/Andoran) and ideology-based (Silver Crusade/Lantern Lodge/Grand Lodge/Scarzni/Shadow Lodge) was discussed as something Mike was unhappy with.
These and more details on changes to the faction system to be revealed in the blog soon.
Just as season 4 spent a lot of time in Varisia, season 5 is likely to see a lot of The Worldwound. Future seasons are unlikely to be connected completely to adventure paths, in order to allow the PFS and AP players to experience different parts of Golarion. However, nothing is set in stone.
Mike mentioned wanting to put out a PFS book which would remain in print indefinitely versus the limited-run 'Seekers of Secrets' and 'Field Guide' sometime after that book. However, further internal discussion is needed at Paizo and will be announced when there is more concrete info.
'The Fabric of Reality' will not be the last appearance of the Hao Jin Tapestry.
Mike expressed a desire to setup a GM reward system for every star level, beyond the 4-star exclusive scenarios. This will require a lot of work from Paizo IT team, who are currently tied down to Paizo's virtual tabletop project, as well as several other projects.
Sanctioning of 'Reign of Winter' and future adventure paths was discussed. Mike commented that it was too early into seeing results from 'Shatered Star' and 'Rise of the Runelords' sanctioned to know how expanding this will effect the campaign. He would like to see more reporting data and feedback on sanctioned APs before sanctioning additional APs.
'First Steps' may be retired, as it introduces faction leaders who may longer be present in season 5, and new players are often not interested in committing 12 hours to an intro series.
Finally, Mike teased scenarios for tier 12.
Michael Azzolino wrote:
PFS does not use the randomizing game selection process deployed for the rest of the Con. We use our warhorn page (linked above) to muster tables. DundraCon is a great first Con!
Confirming that Dundracon is indeed a great first con. If you're in town, you should go, because who knows where you'll be and what you'll be doing a few years later.
My evil plan to assault Houston with Pathfinder Society on all fronts takes a step forward in the northwest this month, or shall I say:
Pathfinder Society begins at 8th Dimension Comics and Games, 8475 Highway 6 N, Houston, TX
Games are the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month from 2-7 PM. GM duties are shared. Gain 5 player points every time you GM, spend one every time you play.
Sign-ups are on the Houston Pathfinder Society Warhorn.
We're beginning with the First Steps series. After that, I hope to show just how high the risks can get in The Cyphermage Dilemma.
So sign up if you're coming, and let's show 8th Dimension what Houston can bring.
Do you remember us, from last year? Do you remember stranding us on Ceti Alpha V, leaving us to die in this barren wasteland of gaming? I will... help you remember. Just a moment as I place this tiny creature in your space helmet...
...there. There. Now your mind is more... pliant. You may find yourself more willing to do as you are asked. Now then, listen closely:
You wish to volunteer to run games for OwlCon. Or should I say:
OwlKHAAAAN! is a gaming convention held at Rice University from February 15th through 17th, 2013. Pathfinder society will run the entire weekend, culminating with "Race for the Runecarved Key" on Sunday morning.
Pathfinder Society GM signups are now open. As always, GMing two tables(or an all-day sanctioned module) gets you a free con badge and tee shirt.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
If you're coming from out-of-town, be sure to book your hotel early, as we are competing for hotel space with the NBA all-star game this year.
Halfling Pistolero 1:
Don't go Mysterious Stranger because you're missing out on Gun Training, and more importantly the Quick Clear deed.
Lose the shield. You're not proficient in it, and you can't reload the gun while carrying it.
If AC concerns you, take the halfling favored class bonus that raises the AC gained by the Nimble class feature.
Yes, it has less Dex and less grit, but it also has no major weaknesses. i find Pathfinder, and especially PFS tends to reward balanced cahracters over extreme ones.
The Rats of Round Mountain
Aspis Consortium Demiplane
Wonders in the Weave parts 1 (#3-12) and 2 (#2-14), The Icebound Outpost (#3-19), and to a lesser extent The Temple of Empyreal Enlightenment (#3-21) these make up a large arc concluding the Year of the Ruby Phoenix arc.
And presenting, the Shadow Lodge mega-arc in roughly plot order:
Prologue: The City of Strangers
Scenario #51, The Shadow Gambit
Scenario #52, The Twofold Demise
Season 2 Special: Year of the Shadow Lodge
Scenario #2-04, Shadows Fall on Absalom
The Heresy of Man
Shades of Ice
Scenario #2-08, The Sarkorian Prophecy
Scenario #2-21, The Dalsine Affair
Shadow's Last Stand
Scenario #2-26, The Mantis's Prey
You've been to the Paracountess's parties I see.
Thank you Jon.
I'd also like to thank Painlord and Azmyth and their Bay Area Pathfinder Society crew for introducing me to Pathfinder Society those many years ago. I hope to replicate their success in Houston.
Looking forward, I'm hoping to get better communication between the existing Asgard Games and San Jacinto college groups. I've had a couple people express interest in a game at Fat Ogre, so I hope to help them recruit and get off the ground.
Finally, working for a successful Space City Con with Houston's first run of 3-EX: The Cyphermage Dilemma.
Watch HoustonPFS.com in the next few weeks as I finish building it for more information.
I must say I'm against the idea, as any, even minor obstacle to GM involvement is a bad thing.
I cannot think my players would react well when I asked "can you GM next week? Oh, and you have to buy this extra book as well as the scenario."
Most of them have skipped past APG straight to the Ultimates.
Besides, I'd think newer scenarios would want to show off the latest from Paizo. Therefore, we'd be more likely to see UC classes creeping into scenarios than APG ones.
Ghouls, Violet Fungus, Guard Dogs? I think I know which Society scenario you're talking about.
That scenario is a season 0, all of which tend to be on the easy side because they were designed for 3.5 rules and PF PCs are more powerful, especially at low levels.
Try them against a season 2 or 3 scenario. (Except First Steps, that series was designed to be a cakewalk.)