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Ascalaphus's page

FullStarFullStar Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden. 7,870 posts (7,931 including aliases). 102 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 13 Pathfinder Society characters. 3 aliases.


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Sovereign Court

Yorien wrote:
SlimGauge wrote:
The closest I think you can come is to ready an action to AoE the general vicinity that you hear verbal spell components come from. This doesn't "counter" the spell, but you might disrupt casting by causing damage and a concentration check.

While this might "seem" a legit option, I see several issues here.

1-. You cannot target someone as the effect of a readied action unless you have LoS. That effectively prevents "Distract" and "Counter" readied actions and limits you to area-based readied actions.

Readying has little to do with it; you can't target someone you can't see. But you can certainly fireball the general vicinity where you hear someone speaking a verbal component.

Yorien wrote:
2-. Talking about area-based actions, if you ready an "I cast a spell in response of another spell being cast somewhere around here" action... How do you know a spell is being cast unless you roll a spellcraft check? You might be better with "...I hear sound", but that can lead to other consequences.

Spellcasting doesn't sound like ordinary speech. While an invisible caster could try to trick you into shooting early by Bluffing you with nonsense phrases, he needs special powers to conceal verbal components as something else. Since we're not doing conventional counterspelling we don't care to much about identifying the exact spell.

Yorien wrote:
3-. Talking about sound, readying an action that way doesn't automatically make you become a 360º sonar. You'll still have to roll an oppossed Perception vs stealth check (and invisible creatures have hefty bonuses to stealth).

Casting requires you to speak in a strong voice (which is an easy DC), and I don't think Invisibility bonuses to Stealth are supposed to apply to audio-based Perception checks. After all, Invisibility isn't preventing you from speaking in a strong voice (that would impair your spellcasting like a Silence spell does).

Yorien wrote:
4-. Finally, even if you succeed on the oppossed check or recognize a spell being cast... if the target casts a spell with a cast time of a standard action and you cast a spell with a cast time of a standard action... the target's casting must be already on it's way before you recognize the gibberish and start casting yours. That would lead to a hefty spell economy and casting time discussion. Per RAW you should cast first... but if your target casts fireball and you take half a second to recognize something is being cast and you decide to cast fireball... I'd totally say your target's fireball will pop 1st.

The rules for readied actions are clear: the readied action goes off first. Even though 95% of all readied actions take just as long as the things they're readied against. Them's the rules of the game.

Sovereign Court

There are so many Diplomacy checks written into scenarios that don't mention attitude levels at all, that I'm not convinced of the worth of Silver-Tongued. Particularly given how few skill points clerics have in the first place.

I know you think you're being efficient at consolidating Diplomacy and Bluff into a single skill (and you are), but PFS scenarios are demanding much more skilled PCs than they used to. Consider putting points in Knowledge Planes (knowing just who you're dealing with), Religion (church law), Sense Motive, Perception, and perhaps a few in Survival (to bank on your high Wisdom). Since you get Trickery as a mandatory domain, might as well take points in Stealth as well, your familiar will thank you.

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I vaguely remember there being a design principle that any <= tiny critter should get weapon finesse by default; quite a few but not all tiny animals get it as a bonus feat. So I guess the ones that paid for it got screwed over.

And then they also get it by virtue of being a familiar...

Sovereign Court

Diego Rossi wrote:
PRD wrote:


In cases where the skill restricts who can achieve certain results, such as trying to open a lock using Disable Device, you can't aid another to grant a bonus to a task that your character couldn't achieve alone. The GM might impose further restrictions to aiding another on a case-by-case basis as well.
It don't say: "You could try" or "in wick you have trained", it say "you can't achieve alone". So if you are unable to get a success with a roll of 20 on the dice, you can't help.

It's a matter of where you put the emphasis. The listed example is Disable Device, a trained only skill. If you didn't have ranks in Disable Device, you can't use it. I believe that's what the line means: you can't aid on skills you can't try yourself.

Sovereign Court

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I'm not entirely on board with the proposed action economy here.


  • Ultimate Intrigue outlines which illusions require interaction to trigger a saving throw: figments and glamers. Because phantasms (and by extension, patterns) assault your mind so they are already interacting with you; you don't need a further action.

    Ultimate Intrigue also outlines how much action is required on an interaction: at least a Move action (comparable to spending an action to make an active perception check), but it can be all sorts of actions that involve interacting. Trying to walk through a wall is a move action so it qualifies for example. (The 5ft step is puzzling. Maybe the kind of careful footwork required for a 5ft step isn't possible if the suspicious wall blocks your sight?)

    But keep in mind that spending a move-sized action is only the general case of disbelieving: "Creatures encountering an illusion usually do not receive saving throws to recognize it as illusory until they study it carefully or interact with it in some fashion." Clearly, there are unusual cases where you can disbelieve an illusion without interaction/study.

  • If someone tells you it's an illusion, you don't need to spend actions or interaction. The CRB says "If any viewer successfully disbelieves an illusion and communicates this fact to others, each such viewer gains a saving throw with a +4 bonus."

  • "A character faced with proof that an illusion isn't real needs no saving throw." If you don't need a saving throw to disbelieve, then you also don't need to spend

So what does disbelief mean, really? If there's a silent image of an illusory wall, my ally who I totally trust just told me it was an illusion, but I failed my saving throw regardless, what does that mean?

Silent Image isn't mind-affecting. I'm still free to choose between the advice of my ally who I totally trust, and what I see myself, and I see a convincing wall. It's like some optical illusion picture where your friend can see a face and you squint and squint but just don't see it.

So what happens? I'm skeptical about the wall, but I can't see through it. So I decide to shoot an arrow through it. The caster has the wall react appropriately, by making it look like there's an arrow stuck in the wall. However, he can't make it sound appropriately, because this is silent image. If the environment was otherwise quiet enough that would be good enough to prove to me that the wall was fake. (At minimum, it would trigger a new save because I'm interacting with it.) Now that I got from "skeptical" to "successful disbelief", I can see through the wall: "A successful saving throw against an illusion reveals it to be false, but a figment or phantasm remains as a translucent outline."

---

So there's a difference between disbelief and skepticism. At least with the non-mind-affecting illusions. Just because you don't pass your saving throw doesn't mean you're not suspicious or don't believe your mate who did make his save. It's not metagaming to engage in more rigorous experiments to prove something is real or unreal. But until you disbelieve the illusion, you can't see through it. Just because you think someone is wearing a hat of disguise doesn't mean you can see what he looks like, until you pass the save.

As for the dude drawing chalk lines on the walls. As a dungeon designer, you should bet on two horses at the same time. First build a dungeon with some illusory walls, second replace some of the walls with things you really shouldn't be touching (traps, mold, mimics). Whenever you use one trick that has an obvious counter, also use another one that gets triggered by the obvious counter.

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Teleport wrote:
You must have some clear idea of the location and layout of the destination. The clearer your mental image, the more likely the teleportation works. Areas of strong physical or magical energy may make teleportation more hazardous or even impossible.

You're well within your rights as GM to rule that teleportation is impossible because of the chaos taint. (For example, if it's late, you basically finished the adventure, and want to wrap up.)

On the other hand if you're finishing early, the players are spoiling for another fight, and you're in the mood, then you might let this happen. However, that smartypants wizard had better also know some way to scry his target because otherwise he doesn't even meet the "seen once" criterium of Teleport.

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The back and forth chitchat is fun, but don't be afraid to kick it forward a little, we can "walk and talk".

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The whole "pulling punches" thing is IMO legacy from earlier editions that doesn't have any place in PF. With UI in the mix I think PF has done a lot to make illusion a less wonky school, but it doesn't help if people mix in ancient rules from a different game into their understanding of PF.

In PF, if you hit an insubstantial wall, you might stumble through it because you were expecting resistance. At any rate, you feel that there's no substance, so no saving throw is needed: you have proof that the wall isn't what it seems.

Sovereign Court

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Ultimate Intrigue has a subchapter "Spells of Intrigue" that tries to make things a lot clearer.

UI, p. 158 wrote:

Disbelief and Interaction: All three of the subschools

above tend to have saving throw lines that say “Will
disbelief,” but they differ in how those saving throws apply.
Phantasms directly assail a creature’s mind, so the
creature automatically and immediately receives a saving
throw to disbelieve a phantasm. Figments and glamers,
however, have the more diff icult-to-adjudicate rule that
creatures receive a saving throw to disbelieve only if they
“interact” with the illusion.
But what does it mean to interact with an illusion? It
can’t just mean looking at the illusion, as otherwise there
would be no need to make the distinction, but drawing
the line can be a bit tricky. Fortunately, the rules can
help to def ine that difference. A creature that spends a
move action to carefully study an illusion receives a Will
saving throw to disbelieve that illusion, so that is a good
benchmark from which to work.
Using that as a basis, interacting generally means
spending a move action, standard action, or greater on a
character’s part. For example, if there were a major image
of an ogre, a character who tried to attack the ogre would
receive a saving throw to disbelieve, as would a character
who spent 1 minute attempting a Diplomacy check on
the ogre. A character who just traded witty banter with
the ogre as a free action would not, nor would a character
who simply cast spells on herself or her allies and never
directly confronted the illusory ogre. For a glamer,
interacting generally works the same as for a f igment,
except that the interaction must be limited to something
the glamer affects. For instance, grabbing a creature’s ear
would be an interaction for a human using disguise self
to appear as an elf, but not for someone using a glamer
to change his hair color. Similarly, visually studying
someone would not grant a save against a glamer that
purely changed her voice.

One of the examples given is attacking the figment, which prompts a saving throw. You don't even have to hit the figment; you're interacting with it for long enough (standard+). Also, the AC of a figment is hopelessly bad anyway.

However, where it gets interesting, is if you even need to roll a saving throw. If you hit a major image, which has no tactile components, your swords goes right through it without feeling any resistance. That would count as proof that it's not real, so automatically succeed at disbelief.

But if you made it look as if your illusion was using mirror images, you could pop one of those. Not feeling any resistance while hitting a mirror image is plausible, so no automatic disbelief. It's still interaction however so the attacker still gains a saving throw.

EDIT: so if you attack the illusion but it reacts appropriately, you get a save. If you were just watching without spending actions while your ally attacks the illusion, you don't get a saving throw.

Sovereign Court

There's a lot of legacy language talking about "object hardness or creature DR", from when the only creature with hardness was the Animated Object. I believe the reasonable GM call is to say that things that get through hardness of objects also go through creature hardness. (Stuff that only goes through hardness of specific object types should only go through the hardness of similar creatures of course.)

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Kevin Willis wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Several people in the Pirate Familiar blog remark that because that parrot works like a raven, it can talk. And the designers don't come out and contradict them. Circumstantial but it does pile up.

Actually, that looks pretty solid to me. Not what people say in the thread but what the blog itself says:

Familiar . . . Statistics
Parrot. . . . . . Raven
Toucan . . . . . Raven (cannot speak)

Seems pretty clear that the parrot talks and the toucan doesn't.

d'oh, I completely overlooked that even though this was precisely the reason I went looking for that blog post.

Sovereign Court

1) You don't have to use the same weapon as your deity, there's no such rule.

2) The falchion is a pretty nice weapon because it has a good crit range. The no-dachi is even better but not in the core book (matters to some people). Paladins like crits because they tend to have a lot of bonus damage that gets multiplied (strength, magical/bonded weapon, smite).

3) The fauchard is a polearm with unusually good crit range, but it's an exotic weapon so it takes an additional feat to use it properly.

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Several people in the Pirate Familiar blog remark that because that parrot works like a raven, it can talk. And the designers don't come out and contradict them. Circumstantial but it does pile up.

Sovereign Court

It might make fist-fighting a bit less pointless, but it's only one fist attack during a flurry. So it can't be combined with vital strike (flurry) nor with flying kick (fist/kick). That basically means enemies need to come to you. And you then need to be able to take them out with a single punch. I rather doubt you're going to be punching quite hard enough to do that, so then you're slugging out full attacks with a robot where you only get one really functional one. It's going to hurt a LOT. These things are absolute melee brutes. Lots of HP, AC, Hardness, good to-hit themselves and they hit for a lot of damage.

Let me be clear: you fight a variety of things during the AP, it isn't only robots and technomancers. As a GM I really dig the number of different monsters they put in. But obviously an AP called Iron Gods is going to have serious robot bosses.

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The big question you need to ask before committing to a monk is: how will I handle Hardness? Quite a few of the harder fights in this AP will have foes with Hardness 10-ish. Pummeling Style only helps against DR, and a +4 amulet of mighty fists likewise only helps against DR/Adamantine, not hardness.

I wouldn't recommend going unarmed in this AP for that reason. I think you would be much better served focusing on the temple sword. It's got a decent crit range too (and robots hate that), allows flurry, and you can get it made out of adamantine which will make your life SO much easier.

Evasion is fairly nice to have in this AP, there's quite a few wide-angle explosions happening. Monks could get good Touch AC (against lasers) but that's not super easy with your array.

Sovereign Court

Hobgoblins are also relatively sensible for an evil race; they'd conquer other races and conscript rather than purge them. Which gives you thematic room to spice up encounter with all kinds of other creatures as auxiliary troops while maintaining the hobgoblins as the core race. This way, the enemies won't have to fall back to the same talent set every time.

There's a chapter about them in Distant Realms about their state in Tian Xia. The whole state is a conquest machine, but very well-run. Hobgoblins have good physical stat modifiers and no mental penalties. Which is good if you're going to build a stable empire.

However, compared to drow, mind flayers, aboleths, serpentfolk - they might seem a bit mundane. I recommend adding some exotic touches to them - the way they did in Distant Gods with 1) Asian flavor, including geishas and samurai orders, 2) the churches of the Black Daimyo and the Minister of Blood.

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Well, you could go with rakshasas (high spell resistance) or serpentfolk (immune to mind-affecting, spell resistance). Initially these (near)-immunities will stymie your players. But in a while you'll see them switching to tactics that aren't affected by it (glitterdust or create pit instead of blindness). So what you'd actually be doing is narrowing the range of viable PCs.

It might be more interesting to go with a race with powerful abilities and strong stat bonuses, but that isn't so "locked down". A race of masterminds that tends to draw strength from class levels.

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I think in general it works quite well. I've retrained quite a few feats and class levels on some of my higher level PCs. Honestly, it's not like I was really using the prestige for many other things anyway, since I don't die all that often and the number of really desirable vanities isn't that high.

Archetypes however are the exception. They're so varied in how many features they replace that costs for retraining all over the place. It always costs about the same to replace a feat; an archetype for a class you have two levels in could be anything between 5 and 20 prestige. That amount of variety doesn't seem like fully thought-through design.

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

That feat is pretty new though. It's pretty amazing really.

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Yeah, ghost touch actually allows you to sneak attack incorporeals. And short swords show up on the proficiency lists of most classes that really need this.

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Vitro gets lessons in social norms from Gossip, such as "discuss people behind their back".

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I agree with Nefreet on this. On the one hand it's desirable to "repair" broken rules; on the other hand there's a price to be paid because every sub-rule and clarification people need to learn and that needs to be documented makes the game harder to learn and keep up with.

I also don't think that a caster level bonus on a domain, or descriptor, is entirely equivalent to just about all your class abilities (a kineticist focusing on a single element), so apart from procedural arguments there'd be balance concerns.

Sovereign Court

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I play an illusionist in PFS, and how well it works varies from time to time. But usually I have a good time. Of course in PFS the GM isn't allowed to make up house rules like giving automatic saves to Image illusions.

However, whether the GM is "cooperative" matters a lot in the effectiveness of your illusions. Much of the time, you're using illusions to nude enemies into doing something they weren't normally going to do. For example, chase after your illusion instead of after a real PC, making them waste an attack or spell. This requires the GM to be willing to go off-course. Some GMs are fine with that, others always contrive an excuse why the NPC goes after the real target and doesn't react to the illusion like you hope.

If you have a GM who (consciously or subconsciously) isn't really willing to play along, give up. You won't have a good time playing illusions with that guy. He might be otherwise fun to game with, but illusions won't be. Don't try to change him or confront him with rules. Doesn't help.

Much more fun is the smart GM who's willing to let illusions work, but enemies aren't total idiots either. You can't use the same illusion on everyone, you have to think about what enemies you're facing and what they'd really bite on. This is the best really, because it challenges you as a player.

Using the Image line of spells well requires thinking about what you really want to accomplish. The best use I've found is using them to make enemies make tactically bad decisions. Like chasing after an unreal enemy, or even wasting spells on them. If you do it reasonably well, your illusion will get them to waste at least one action. If you can use a Silent Image of a ninja to get an enemy fighter to move away and attack it "before it gets into flank" and you were outnumbering that fighter, you've achieved action economy advantage. If you pulled that trick on an enemy wizard and he shoots it with a Disintegrate, you've also traded a 1st level spell for a 6th level one.

Another thing is plausible reactions for your illusions when they get hit. Illusions have a really low AC. Enemies are going to hit, and feel nothing there. This would mean automatic disbelief, unless you can explain it away. The best solution for that I've found is to make your illusion look like Mirror Images; every time an enemy hits, make one image disappear. Enemy still gets a saving throw for interacting, but I use Persistent Major Image so it can take a while before they make the save.

If possible, you also want to make your illusions do stuff that doesn't directly touch enemies, because that could provoke saving throws. If your illusory magus with mirror image and shocking grasp keeps missing, at some point enemies are going to catch on, or dismiss him as a real threat. But if he seems to be casting group buffs at your party (that you can convincingly pretend are active) while standing at a tactically exposed position, enemies might be persuaded to attack him.

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Some recent chronicles have been more sensitive to this. For example, during the adventure you find demonbane arrows, but on the chronicles it's listed as demonbane ammunition. Which helps if you prefer bullets, bolt or shuriken.

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I'm trying to nail down his personality as an Earth-wizard insensitive clod with high int but low wisdom. Fortunately I have some RL skills to draw on in that regard :P

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"So does the town have any enemies like that? Someone with occult power and the motivation to use it against the town?

And if so, is this person staying in town, or elsewhere? I'd say using the goblins would require on-site supervision, so the culprit is either there or has a lieutenant."

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Mechanical questions:

1) Are we using Background Skills? (I'm in favor.)

2) If you take both Magical Knack and Lore Seeker, and take two levels of something that don't advance your spellcasting, does MK take you up to [level] and LS to [level]+1?

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It's a third or fourth level spell slot that they're not using in another way. It's meant to do something.

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Not with a bow, but the Lesser Belt of Mighty Hurling allows strength to-hit on thrown weapons.

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Chess Pwn wrote:
Alex Mack wrote:

In a world where Chain Challenge is banned obviously Desna's shooting star had to be banned.

Also you haven't even mentioned the worst offender that caster Oracle with 20 CHA who gets CHA to AC hit and Damage in melee or at range if he's bored of slinging debuffs.

The oracle does get some good use from it too, but if he's not made for combat it's only a small melee buff to the caster oracle. And if made for combat you're missing out on crit range and better base damage plus missing out on 1.5 str.

Like, making good attack rolls isn't always useful, thus it's a nice option for class but not a required game changing option like the cha to saves feat. Because the easiest, simplest, and very effective way of doing combat is using str, so if that's your focus str is still probably the better route to go.

It becomes rather easy to make a 9-level caster that also gets the fighty stuff;

- Sidestep secret revelation: Cha to AC and Reflex
- Noble Scion: Cha to Initiative
- Desna's Shooting Star: Cha to hit and damage
- Oracle: Cha was your casting stat all along

Being able to dump both dexterity and strength and not having any especial need for intelligence, that's rather a lot.

Sovereign Court

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Yes. An opponent making multiple attacks triggers the "when an opponent makes an attack" clause multiple times.

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Given the amount of hoops you have to jump through to get dex to hit and damage on a weapon (2-3 feats, some skills, free hands), getting all that for a single feat for Charisma, wasn't likely to make it into PFS.

And while you're right that it isn't that impressive for this particular archetype, nor for a war priest, that doesn't mean it's not a super-nice feat for a bard. It's also not shabby for a flying blade swashbuckler.

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Sadly (well not really, it was too good to be true) the Desna fighting style won't work in PFS. Starry Grace is still there if you go dex-based though.

I'm still considering ways to use this archetype to do various "barechested badass" bloodrager builds. I'm looking at the Bloody-Knuckled Rowdy in particular. The whole "my pecs are so impressive I don't need armor" thing.

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If you can keep up the wand supply, Kensai with Wand-Wielder is a cute workaround to having fewer spells. Might want to commission an Unseen Servant to retrieve any wands you need to drop to cast other spells.

Then again, exotic weapon access isn't that necessary (but let's not underestimate the swordbreaker dagger), and the kensai pays for int-to-AC by not being so good at casting in armor. It'll depend on whether anyone in your party can cast Mage Armor on you whether it's worth it. Personally I prefer the regular magus with mithral breastplate.

If you're starting at level 8, a +1 dueling weapon should be within the budget as well as casting uninhibited in medium armor, so that's what I'd go for.

I'd go without any archetype at all really, because few of them have anything great to offer. Kensai loses out on armor (and armor enchantments), hexcrafter would be trading spell recall for (probably) the Flight hex. But as a tank the fly speed isn't as important as it would be for a behind-the-lines mage-killer sort of magus. And Bladebound can't get Dueling.

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I'm fond of spell storing armor with frigid touch. Immediately stops anyone trying to full-attack.

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It's possible to build a magus to handle "many" enemies instead of "electrocute a few". Step away from optimizing Shocking Grasp and Snowball for a while and think about conserving your spells.

1) You'll need to use spells that improve your defenses. Spell Combat allows you to cast (defensive) spells while continuing to attack and hold enemies' attention. Spells of interest include Shield, Vanish (especially right after your attack, but before you 5ft step, to maximize enemy paranoia), Mirror Image and Displacement.

2) Maneuvers. Consider the old Dueling enchantment from PFS Field Guide. It adds twice your weapon's enhancement bonus as a luck bonus to combat maneuvers. Which means if you have a +1 dueling sword, you're level 5-8 and use Arcane Pool to add another +2 to your weapon, you get another +6 luck, and suddenly you're staring at a very high maneuver bonus. The magus class is really in the best position to leverage this enchantment because with Arcane Pool you can be ahead of the curve in weapon enchantment. The obvious maneuvers to look at of course will be Trip, Sunder and Disarm, since they can be performed with weapons and as AoOs. Remember using Vanish so enemies don't know for sure how to move without provoking you?

3) Spells that help you block off your fellow PCs.


  • Longarm will increase your threatened area, stop people 5ft stepping or withdrawing out of reach.
  • Bladed Dash moves you 30ft in a straight line, without provoking, and provides a free attack. With Spell Combat you can even follow that up with a full attack.
  • Enlarge Person is difficult to cast (full round) but if you're using a Strength build actually attractive to you. See if any other PCs will use it to buff you. Alternatively, carry a potion. A potion of Enlarge Person can be drawn and drunk inside your turn, preventing enemies from interrupting. Once you're big you have more reach but you also simply block off more space.
  • Sleet Storm makes it hard for enemies to come at you all at once, and protects against enemies trying to stay at range and target you. They'll have to wobble out of the storm, probably only a few per turn, making it easier to handle them.

4) It may be worth it to go for the Dex to damage build, with Dervish Dancer. Just get a commitment from the GM that if it gets nerfed in the future by Paizo that it'll continue to work like the way you took it right now.

5) Serious Constitution. You need HP.

6) Maintain your armor class. Good AC and Mirror Image work in tandem to make it really hard to hit you.

7) Hold enemies' attention. Be dangerous enough that they won't just provoke to move past you. (Trip maneuvers are also good for this.) Have a fair GM whose monsters don't learn from the previous encounter that didn't have any escapees, so every bunch of them has to learn over again that you're hard to hit. Make yourself look like an easy enough target (sleeves of many garments to hide your armor). Verbally taunt enemies (no game effect, but it works if the GM is into RP).

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Well, by level 4-6 a proper investigator's AC will be running ahead of a bloodrager's..

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I'm still getting the hang of PbP a bit. Had an exhausting weekend, but back again now.

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It works fine with Meteor Hammer, but make sure she remembers that Phalanx Formation works on reach weapons only. It wouldn't work if you happen to have natural reach but a non-reach weapon (such as Longarm/Enlarge Person + natural weapon).

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#1 is not in itself crazy, but if you want to do it, you should do it before any player rolls up a character that does rely heavily on the grid - like a polearm warrior focused on controlling the battlefield with AoOs, or a wizard specializing in battlefield positioning/area denial stuff.

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Darrell Impey UK wrote:
Just a quick **bump** for a one-way-or-the-other ruling on how Pyromaniac interacts with classes that have been released since Advanced Race Guide. Specifically Kineticist.

Well, it wouldn't do a lot for them. Just because a new class is released with fire-themed choices (kineticist) doesn't mean old material is adapted to include it. There's racial traits in the ARG that give stuff to sorcerer bloodlines and cleric domains but not to oracle mysteries, too.

Pyromaniac wrote:
Pyromaniac: Gnomes with this racial trait are treated as one level higher when casting spells with the fire descriptor,

This part works for new classes. Though those classes don't have a huge amount of spells with the fire descriptor.

Pyromaniac wrote:
using granted powers of the Fire domain, using the bloodline powers of the fire elemental bloodline or the revelations of the oracle's flame mystery, and determining the damage of alchemist bombs that deal fire damage (this ability does not give gnomes early access to level-based powers; it only affects the powers they could use without this ability).

This part doesn't do anything for that.

Pyromaniac wrote:
Gnomes with Charisma scores of 11 or higher also gain the following spell-like abilities: 1/day—dancing lights, flare, prestidigitation, produce flame. The caster level for these effects is equal to the gnome's level; the DCs are Charisma-based. This racial trait replaces gnome magic and illusion resistance.

Class doesn't matter for this part.

Sovereign Court

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With a studiously innocent face he sniffs the booze to figure out if it's unusually strong. "I spent a few years with a Varisian troupe when I was eighty.. they thought it was fine to give a kid strong liquor so I've had to learn to pace myself."

His ears don't appear to wiggle. Or do they? When you looked away for a second it seemed something moved in the corner of your eye.

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

For example, a module such as City of Golden Death assumes players have gained enough XP to be level 6 by the time you get to the last few encounters. It was quite rough for our 4,5,5,6 party.

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I've (rarely) loaned out my folio to a player while GMing, usually to newer players in dire straits or when a player was trying something that was too cool to let fail. Nobody's cried foul about it. Using the folio reroll mechanic ensures it doesn't happen too often.

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I guess how you react to the Aspis banner matters a lot. One person's genre savvy is another's metagaming.

"Hey, there's Aspis in the city. This captain's giving us a hard time. Wonder if they paid her off to keep the Society from getting a toehold?"

Some people would say that's metagaming. Others would say it's perfectly fair to react to a "Chekhov's Gun" put on display like that, and that genre savvy dictates that you should. The clue wasn't put in the scenario to be studiously ignored.

It's a pretty common trope in scenarios. The Aspis consortium is casually mentioned somewhere early in the scenario, and later on you run into Aspis. Scenarios are only intended for four hours, the chance that any noteworthy detail is a meaningful clue is much bigger than that it's a red herring.

So in this scenario, since you saw "Aspis", you would be looking to see if you can actually find anyone showing signs of allegiance or anything that might be an Aspis plot. Any "unfortunate coincidences" are automatically suspect.

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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I don't have military experience myself, but I would think that a captain telling rookies to arrest a general is going beyond hazing. I mean, if they actually went through with it and ruined the general's evening, it wouldn't be only the rookies getting punished. It's also rather a stretch of "testing because we always have to be on guard against efreet intrigue".

That false description is the clearest clue it's not just hazing. The slicked up beam, the trapped wall - those are easily explained away. The poison during the mock combat is borderline. But embarrassing a general is just beyond.

Sovereign Court

It gets even stupider when you have creatures like the Cerebric Fungus that do bad things to you if you try to read their mind, but why would you, because as plants they're immune to that anyway.

Sovereign Court

DerNils wrote:

@redrobe Sorry for the late answer, we use Fate Core, Some Malmsturm (german fantasy FATE) and a bit of the Pathfinder/FATE page accelerated for inspiration on monster writeups and magic.

My main problem with FATE is honestly interesting conflicts that don't devolve into "I spam my FATE points into my Swordsman Aspect", but that is a FATE thing overall, I guess.
More on topic, I need my players to get my players mre inspiration on the barbarians, and actually some more interaction with the tribes. From just running through I acutally felt a certain absence of the nominally ruling barbarians in the AP.
Any ideas for fun interactions/encounters with barbarians?

I felt the same absence, still want to make a sideplot with that. But for starters, check out the following:

- The Numeria, Land of Fallen Stars setting book. It has a spread on the different tribes.
- The Wardens of Sulfur Gulch adventure, which has a few encounters with Ghost Wolves in it. They're interesting because they're conspicuously magic-friendly barbarians. (They use magic against tech.)

Sovereign Court

I think what they originally meant was "it doesn't matter how many arms you have, you don't get more attacks than normal for your BAB", because a lot of people might think that "2 hands -> 2 weapon fighting; 3 hands -> 3 weapon fighting?". And that wasn't what they wanted.

Next up they didn't want people screwing claws onto the vestigial arms and gaining more attacks that way. Also prevented.

But then you have the situation where someone might make attacks with a non-arm weapon (armor spikes perhaps) followed by claw attacks. If he grows another pair of arms and holds a sword in them, and uses that sword instead of the armor spikes, and then tries to make claw attacks, he hasn't gained extra attacks. The number of attacks he's making remains the same. But the quality might well improve.

Sovereign Court ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I don't think phantoms can use actual weapons. They might look like they're carrying weapons but under the hood those are all slam attacks.

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