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Ascalaphus's page

FullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 4,676 posts. 18 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 8 Pathfinder Society characters.


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School Understanding wrote:
School Understanding: The arcanist can select one arcane school from any of the schools available to a character with the arcane school wizard class feature, but does not have to select any opposition schools. The arcanist gains one ability of that arcane school as though she were a 1st-level wizard, using her Charisma modifier in place of her Intelligence modifier for this ability. The ability must be one gained at 1st level and is limited in its use per day to 3 + the arcanist's Charisma modifier. As a swift action, the arcanist can expend 1 point from her arcane reservoir to bolster her understanding, allowing her to treat her arcanist level as her wizard level for the purpose of using this ability for a number of rounds equal to her Charisma modifier (minimum 1). During this time, she also gains use of the other ability gained at 1st level for her selected school. She does not gain any other abilities when using this exploit in this way, such as those gained at 8th level.

I think it's pretty clear. You use Reveal Weakness as if you were a level 1 wizard, and a level 1 wizard would have caster level 1.

You use it as a level 1 wizard, so normally that'd make your caster level 1.

Void is loophole-able, but not really in this specific way. (It would work for a wizard going into mystic theurge, for example.)


Adventurer's Armory has the spring-loaded wrist sheath as well as various nice alchemical items.

For alchemists, the Alchemy Manual is extremely nice.

PFS Field Guide has the very nice Lorewarden and Grenadier archetypes. Grenadiers are perfect for PFS ranged alchemists.

Animal Archive is near-mandatory if you have an AC, because it has the Flank and Exclusive tricks.

Dragon Empires Primer has the Quain Martial Artist and Wayang Spellhunter traits. Especially Spellhunter is just busted. It's also got the Void school, which is neat for mystic theurges and arcanists because its Reveal Weakness ability is based on caster level, not wizard level.

Seekers of Secrets has some very good Ioun Stones in it.

As a variant on that: what if some real-world mental disorders are actually different in PF? Someone "hearing voices" might be hearing actual real voices, voices you're not normally supposed to hear.

Alchemist archer works best if you do it as a pure alchemist.

Slayer is worth it if you go at least 6 levels, because then you can gain Improved Precise Shot from using Slayer Talents to pick up the Ranger's Archery Combat Style. Improved Precise Shot normally requires BAB +11, so getting it five levels early is quite nice.

If you want to do weird stuff with arrows, I'd say play a Grenadier alchemist and select a longbow as your weapon of choice. Take the Explosive Missile discovery at level 4. Abuse the heck out of the alchemical archery chapter from Alchemy Manual. I'm doing this to make touch attacks with a range increment of 110ft, that do 2d6+7 fire damage, cause a weak entangled condition, set someone on fire, and deal 1d6+5 acid damage. At level 4, that's pretty nice.


@RocMeAsmodeus: those are all OOC rules. IC nobody's aware of them.

IC, PCs aren't aware which pathfinders are PCs and which ones are NPCs. As far as they can tell, there are pathfinders who craft items, and others who focus on other things. Nothing weird there.

Likewise, there's some evil pathfinders. They happen to be NPCs, but your character doesn't know that.

NPC VCs don't report people for PVP. They might look into a case where two pathfinders get into a fight, because "cooperate" is one of the tenets of the Society.

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Maybe the sidequests feel too random, too insignificant, or just "not our problem"?

If I have the choice between following the main storyline or "obvious random irrelevant sidequest #8", don't be surprised if I ignore the sidequest.

Kobold ears for 10gp? Unless I'm really poor, I'm not really interested in that. Sounds like a job for level 1 characters. Some guy I don't know having trouble with a water elemental? Sounds like someone else's problem. Strange lights on the moor? We'll take a different road, we don't need that trouble. Girl being bullied? Well, I got bullied too, it made me stronger. She should learn to stand up for herself.

Now, if I hear rumors that the kids of the deceased wizard are auctioning off his stuff, that sounds interesting. He might have some useful wands. Oh, they're willing to give us a discount if we can provide some security for the auction? Ah, that sounds like a good sidequest. It's got nothing to do with the kobold king we're after, but it seems the outcome might be of use to us.

So, we're defending the kingdom from kobolds because we're the King's Guard. But then someone comes to us begging us to save his village from bandits. That's annoying because we have a main quest, but as King's Guards, we have a responsibility here too. Side quest that we can't ignore.

It might help if the players/PCs have responsibilities, or a sense of responsibility. If they're commissioned by the king to keep the peace, their main job may be to deal with the kobold king menace, but meanwhile if a street brawl breaks out they have to step in to break it up.

Can I summarize? The/your problem with item crafting isn't caster level, or avoiding prerequisites.

It's that a player crafting for another player to use the 50% discount on crafting, is undermining the WBL system. But this makes total sense IC.

But that's not the topic of this thread.

EgakuDrew wrote:

First of all, reincarnated druid isnt pfs legal. So no worries about that. As far as loot dependency goes, you have a supernatural ability to track your belongings after death, that helps alot if your character has items they can't afford to lose.

Erm, I meant to write PF, not PFS. PF is equipment-dependent.

The archetype writes that you can track "your remains". I think they mean your corpse, not your equipment.

EgakuDrew wrote:

Also, i had thought that smite lets you go through all dr regardless of type, if you could point me to a source that clarifies template smite vs paladin smite, id correct mistakes of course.

Basically, nowhere in the Celestial simple template does it say you get the [good] descriptor, so you don't get it. And it doesn't say "Smite Evil as a paladin", it's a separate ability that just happens to also be called Smite Evil. It doesn't do anything more than it says in the template.

EgakuDrew wrote:

You are quite right about totem dependency being a big draw back. Ive outlined some complicated familiar fixes for such an occassion, if someone can think of a better solution, id listen to it. The solution as to what to do with your important belongings always varies and may be a character decision, making it an important roleplay choice

Sadly I don't have any great solutions. But I do think you should avoid creating any dependencies on unique items, like a Living Monolith's Ka/Ba stone or an Uskwood's totem thingy. Because that's almost as bad as a lich wearing his phylactery into battle.

A poor solution would be to create several hidden caches of equipment to get you started again, including some ready money. It'll split your WBL, which isn't good. But it does reduce risks.

One interesting way to circumvent the trouble with Leadership might be to set up a secret society, where all members are supposed to be masked. He who knows all the secret signs and stuff is the leader of the society (that's you). Basically, since nobody's supposed to see each other's real faces, it'd be easier for you to get going again after switching bodies. And you might even be able to hide just how many minions are dying, thus offsetting the Leadership penalties.

I'd never heard of Ableism before actually. Reading a bit now.

It's a Supernatural ability that's modelled after a spell though. It's a bit iffy. You might get away with it, but also might not. I'd personally avoid it in PF because of that. In a home game you could clear it with the GM.

I think there's some demand for a decent Sanity mod for PF, but so far all the ones I've seen were pretty bad. Many of them are ported from games like Call of Cthulhu, where standards of normal behavior and mindset are quite different from Pathfinder.

To illustrate what happens when these sanity rules are ported directly from CoC to PF:

The PCs are investigating Cliche Adventure Hook #1, and find the corpses of some peasants slain in a gruesome manner. Sanity check. They follow some tracks and find a cultist hideout. There they find an enemy wizard who summons some lemures. Sanity check. They defeat the wizard and kill him. Murder! Sanity check! They proceed into the basement and meet a zombie. Sanity check.

By the end of what we'd consider a fairly mild PFS scenario, most PCs would be raving lunatics.

These kind of houserule mechanics are usually quietly abandoned after two sessions or so, when everyone realizes that this is not going to work.


I'm not saying your idea is bad; I'm just sharing some things that have gone wrong in the past. I'd actually be interested in a good way to handle this.

I'm intrigued by the concept of Innocence Versus Taint, and maybe Mercy Versus Bloodlust. You could spin things so that adventurers have the sad duty to sully their innocence to protect others from having to come face to face with horrible evil.

My point above however is: PF is a lot more brutal than our civilized western world. PCs handle things that would leave most of us shellshocked. And we want that in the game. So the mechanics shouldn't punish it (too much); it should be possible to adventure normally (not depravedly however) without going insane.

First off: interesting guide. Kudos are due.

I like the archetype myself, I have a soft spot for "immortal patron behind the scenes, guiding civilization" kind of characters. That said, I'm worried about how gear-dependent PFS is and how annoying it would be to have to start from scratch if your body's looted beyond recovery.

If your GM is sick of Big Six dependency, maybe you can lobby to reduce WBL and make a lot of the Big Six bonuses built-in as permanent non-gear bonuses.


That said, some nitpicks about your guide:

I don't think Planar Wildshape lets you go through DR/Good. That is not paladin-smite there. And you don't get an alignment subtype. You don't count as [good].

Shade of the Uskwood: if you lose the token you can't cast spells unless you get a new one. That sounds pretty bad if you're expecting to be separated from your gear at the hands of your enemies. I should think this class is trying as hard as possible to avoid specific gear dependency?

Avoron wrote:

Best way I've found to take advantage of extreme reach is the Stalwart Defender. I've made a Unbreakable Fighter 1/Druid 8/Stalwart Defender 4 build. Shaping Focus to turn into a Huge earth elemental and Growth Domain to enlarge. Whenever they hit someone with an attack of opportunity from movement, the target is forced to stop moving. Oh, and they wield a lucerne hammer.

1,000,000 cubic feet of death.

But that wouldn't combine very well with Bloodrager.

I don't think that's entirely legal;

You can only be affected by one polymorph spell at a time. If a new polymorph spell is cast on you (or you activate a polymorph effect, such as wild shape), you can decide whether or not to allow it to affect you, taking the place of the old spell. In addition, other spells that change your size have no effect on you while you are under the effects of a polymorph spell.

Sacred Huntsmaster doesn't lose Bane. And it's Huntsmaster Tactics feature is really just too good to pass up.

Let's start with the classics and work our way down.

Fighters are just sad. They get extra feats, but no way to ignore prerequisites. Other classes get less extra feats but ignore prerequisites, and the end result is the same. Except those other classes also get more class features. The pernicious thing about fighters is that if you want some odd fighting style, a few levels of fighter will get you there faster, but in the long run you lose out on actual neat class features. The Lore Warden is a notable exception, but almost feels like a different class.

Barbarians do pretty much everything the fighter does, and more. Yeah, they can't get Weapon Specialization, but Rage makes up for that. Yeah, they don't get Armor Training to move around in armor, but Fast Movement and some mithral breastplate fixes that nicely. Massive concentrated damage is THE answer to some of the major defense mechanisms (DR, hardness), and barbarians are great at it. Rage powers give you some odd tricks, particularly Superstition (better saves than a Fighter!), Spell Sunder (deal with magic) and Beast Totem (compete with archers for full attack opportunities). Barbarians also get more skills than fighters, and a better set of class skills.

Rangers are a moderately powerful and very flexible class. It should be possible to make a good guess what Favored Enemy to take to get regular use out of it. In PFS, picking Humans, Evil Outsiders and Constructs is pretty solid. Your fighting style puts you almost on par with fighters with regards to feats and options in combat. Since Inner Sea Combat introduced Faithful Combat there are more fighting styles than you can shake a stick at. But in addition to all that, rangers get a very generous helping of class skills and skill points. With maybe a few traits, you can easily be any kind of skill monkey you like. Rangers are only a little behind other full martial classes in raw power (or sharing the top spot, in archery), but they're among the most versatile outside combat.

Paladins are basically Easy Mode. Particularly good saves, various immunities, and the ability to say "screw your special defenses, I'm coming for you". Pick up an adamantine weapon and even neutral monsters present little obstacle, but you might be able to Diplomacize most of them into friendliness anyway. Paladins don't get a lot of feats but then they don't really need them. Pick up Power Attack and maybe Fey Foundling, and you have everything that you absolutely need. The rest is just gravy.

Monks - core monks are meh of course, but the Zen Archer is a different story. That's a tank/machine gun combo. I think the Tetori is also strong, because being grappled will wreck so many enemies' tactics. Apart from that, I think monks are more profitable as a dip than as a straight class.

On to the newer stuff...

Cavaliers are a triumph or fail proposition. If you can pull off mounted combat in your campaign, they're good. But in I dunno, 80% of the campaigns that's not gonna work, and then the cavalier is an exercise in frustration. Smaller cavaliers have better odds, but I think at best you're breaking even with reliable classes like barbarians. Out of combat the cavalier is so-so; your Order gives the potential for some funky class skills, so you can go in several directions here. But you're not spectacularly good at any.

Gunslingers are basically in a straightjacket as builds go, for the first five levels or so. Sad but true. Out of combat, you have some decent class skills, but it's not perfect. For a class with some emphasis on Wisdom, you weirdly lack Sense Motive. For a Dex-driven class with Sleight of Hand, where is Stealth? For a class with Survival, where is Knowledge Nature?

And the newest stuff...

Slayers are, I think, an excellent new addition. You can keep up with fighters by using rogue talents and ranger styles to pick up combat feats as fast as any fighter can (and skipping some absurd prerequisites). But you also have a second good saving throw, and many more skill points and a better list of class skills. I think a slayer is basically what you get when you add the nice parts of the fighter and the rogue.

Swashbuckler I don't like this class. It feels like it's doing all the thinking for you; don't pick any abilities, you just get deeds. Don't think about weapons, there's a few that are so much better than the others that it's pointless. And in the end you're really a very narrow kind of character.

Bloodrager Now we're talking. This is the barbarian's outrageous brother. In some ways, maybe a tad weaker; more MAD, worse HD (by only a little). But some of the bloodline powers are amazing. They've got a few really good spells, including flying by their own power rather than being dependent on a caster in the party. They're not super-skilled, but since they're not dumping Charisma and still get more skills than a fighter, they can do a few things.

Kchaka wrote:
Kchaka wrote:

What takes away the believability here is the wizard making a cure light wounds potion.

Ascalaphus wrote:
He can't, potions are Spell Completion items, you can't skip that prerequisite.
OMFG! Ok, forget the g$@ d##n potion. A Disruption Weapon that has Heal as a prerequisite, ok? A wizard can make one of those completly by himself. Is it clear now that we are talking about an exemple of a mage creating a magic item by himself which would normaly requires a divine healing spell? Do you get the point, that it's weird to see an arcane spellcaster doing something only a divine spellcaster should?

Hey, you're the one who brings up examples of things that are "broken" that aren't actually allowed.

Anyway, no, I don't have a problem with a wizard making a disrupting weapon. It's doable but not super-easy. The wizard had to put some extra effort into boosting Spellcraft to the point where he can meet that DC.

I rather like the idea that magic items will let you do things that you couldn't do with normal spellcasting. It makes them more than just an efficient vehicle for getting more spells/stats per day.

Everyone the same race is a lot easier I think than everyone the same class. Most core races are good for at least five different classes.

I think in general the theme should be more of a setting concept rather than a mechanical concept. The theme might be "courtiers", and under the hood you might see more than one bard.

By the way, the Pathfinder novel "The Dagger of Trust" is about an all-bard party, and it's a lot of fun.

@Petty: that's kinda what I did. I cut loot by half, and you get points with which to purchase built-in bonuses of the Big Six type at the same purchasing power as if you spent 50% of WBL on Big Six.


When I played this I was under the impression that the mummy rose because Umut bungled the funeral rites. While she was an experienced Pharasmin cleric (...), out of respect for Zamira's faith in Sarenrae it was going to be a sort of hybrid ceremony. With disastrous results!

Maybe I'm just naive, but it worked on me. And I'm running it come sunday, I think I'll try it like that. And when they meet Umut in the graveyard I'll have her talk about "it's gone all wrong! I must have made a mistake! those poor people!" and stuff like that.

I've scavenged some artwork from other scenarios so I can have minis and table tents for all the merchants. I'm still afraid the full-body portrait for Shirin will be suspicious, though.

Other than that, I'm really looking forward to this. Time to practice some accents.

The Shadowdancer looks like a worthwhile PrC, but not especially for a ninja. Ironically it actually works best with a paladin, if you can somehow parse that flavour.

It's because the Shadow companion is such an interesting class feature. But it inherits your saves and BAB, and those are underwhelming for the ninja.


By the way, the spell doesn't specify that the animal turns into a red and white ball...


There's the Carry Companion spell. It's legal in PFS.

If it's not on your spell list (like for my inquisitor) you could have it cast by an NPC before the session (2*3*10=50gp). Then, when you need your companion, you can put down the figurine and deploy.

Note though that this spell isn't on the list of things you can carry from session to session, so in between your companion must re-animate, stretch its legs etcetera.


@Kyle: I ran this a while back and had a good time. It's interesting you mention making tough choices. My players were able to do everything just in time, with a group of five. This was pretty tricky though, because you're just in between the scale-up between four and six players. One of the players was rather annoyed about that and felt it wasn't fair.

I do think it's an interesting point; scenarios like this, with a mechanic based around X people doing Y (searching rooms), should maybe also include some scaling for parties of 5 people.

Maybe he spent a lot of time in a faerie realm where there is no ageing, or time just passes at a different rate? Maybe he actually goes there every winter, just because he doesn't like the cold. That'll extend your life by 25% easily, assuming you don't fall afoul of faerie intrigue.

He might be a Reincarnated druid. Reincarnation actually gives you a new young adult body. But it might be of another race. Still, it's one of the few practical ways to become younger.

Maybe he's found a necromancy spell to steal someone else's youth?

He could have a Picture of Dorian Grey style deal going on; someone/something else doing the ageing for him.

Maybe he's got alien technology to use nanoreconstruction to rejuvenate his body?

Maybe he switches to younger clones now and then?

Maybe he's reborn periodically, and as he reaches adulthood he starts to recall past life memories?

Maybe he switches bodies with young people? He could have a "give me your firstborn when he reaches adulthood" kind of deal that he uses to make it somewhat legal, even?

How about like this? You can get an innate shield/armor/weapon bonus, but you actually have to be wielding one to apply the bonus. So that as soon as you pick up any shield, your AC suddenly goes up a lot, because you're really good at using shields.

Then, Sunder becomes a much nicer maneuver. Not as horrible when it's used against you, because the monetary setback isn't as bad. And not so bad to use, because you're not destroying all that much loot. So the "cost"-effectiveness rate of Sunder becomes a lot better.

I think drow were among the first kinds of antagonists to be written as "evil mirror images" to PCs. While orcs and owlbears were just monsters, drow actually had class levels, gear, and so forth. They'd get abilities similar to PCs, but with more poison and evil and spiders on it.

However, this presents a problem: if you encounter multiple drow, at some point the PCs are going to have a lot of pretty nice Stealth-Boots, Scimitars of Ridiculous Dual-Wielding and so forth. Basically, the dilemma any GM faces when he tries to give NPCs gear on the same level as the PCs. You can see the start of the concept of WBL here; the items would go bad after getting looted. And of course it wasn't just to grief the PCs.

Kchaka wrote:

What takes away the believability here is the wizard making a cure light wounds potion. It's not mechanically game breaking, but it didn't have to be this way.

He can't, potions are Spell Completion items, you can't skip that prerequisite.

Kchaka wrote:

Ascalaphus wrote:
The guidelines for designing new magic items are guidelines for the GM, and not rules that the players can force the GM to follow. Making custom magic items is not a "right", it's a privilege.

I Know. I wouldn't try to make these items, but unreasonable DMs do.

First off, no amount of rules will stop a GM who's going to ignore them anyway. The rules work for people who read them and actually use them, including the existing limitations. It's hopeless to design rules for people who don't read them or just ignore them.

Kchaka wrote:

Unfortunally, these creation formulas have to be the way they are so reasonable DMs can create their custom items. I just think that the +5 to DC rule gives even more freedom to something that needed less. It would be better to now allow the skiping of requirements by RAW, and let the reasonable DM that know what they are doing make exceptions.

I see a greater probability of games around the world "crashing" because of the +5 DC rule. Best to make the rules "safe" for the majority and let good and experienced DMs tweak with it.

We would have more to gain then to lose by removing the +5 to DC rule.

I dunno if there are actually a lot of games crashing because of this. The skipping prerequisites bit, I mean. Is that actually happening, or are you just trying to prevent a problem that you think might occur?

I rather like the idea of skipping prerequisites. It means sorcerers and oracles can also craft some items, like tools that let them do more than their limited amount of spells known. Magic items are like technology, enabling people to do more by using tools. I like that.

It's a game element that can be used for good, I'd rather not get rid of it just because of the fear that someone will destroy the game with it - if there's not really any evidence that it's actually doing so.

Kchaka wrote:

But I agree that WBL is the most determinant factor, if he has the gold, he can buy it even if his party can't make it.

As for crafting at higher CL, even if we don't allow it, as long as it costs nothing to raise the CL, there's nothing stopping a low level player from "going to his master" and asking him to do it for him for free. I think, not only it shouldn't be allowed, but we need to charge something for items at higher CL, even if the item's properties remain exactly the same, like a headband of intellect.

Actually, there are downsides to high CL.

Make Whole wrote:
Make whole can fix destroyed magic items (at 0 hit points or less), and restores the magic properties of the item if your caster level is at least twice that of the item.
Spellcraft wrote:
Identify the properties of a magic item using detect magic 15 + item's caster level

They're not huge downsides, but then, neither is a high caster level a really big upside. Trying to dispel magic items is very rarely a good tactic, because the CL of your Dispel Magic tends to be pretty close to the item's CL. So you have a roughly even chance at inflicting a mild debuff. Most SoS spells inflict nastier debuffs and with greater reliability.

kinevon wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
Can the NPC actually use that CL 20 scroll? Doesn't the high caster level make it somewhat unreliable?

Nominally a DC 21 for the scroll.

Of course, a partially charged wand is a different matter...

A DC 21 caster level check, that's a bit chancy isn't it? Significant chance of wasting time in combat (which is deadly), or if you're really unlucky, having a mishap (with results proportional to the hubris of the act).

Can the NPC actually use that CL 20 scroll? Doesn't the high caster level make it somewhat unreliable?

I think Paizo's kinda in denial about Esoteric Training. Like "did we publish that?!"

That said, your question is valid. Multiclassing casters is awkward. If the correct price can be determined, I'd be okay with "buying back" casting for feats. But I don't know how to price it.

There's quite a bit of precedent for feats that reduce the pain of multiclassing. Boon Companion is the most-used, I think.

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I think this is one of those "drow get to use special materials just because" things that have been around since at least 2nd edition. Back when drow-made gear tended to fall apart when looted/exposed to sunlight.

I don't normally see people do a "total skillmonkey", because it's a really suboptimal build. The most-used skills are spread across Dex (Disable Device, Stealth), Int (Knowledges, Spellcraft) and Cha (Diplomacy, UMD, Bluff/Intimidate). Trying to be good at all of them will make you pretty MAD.

And why should you try to cover all of them? It's easy enough to have every PC cover 1-2 facets. Let the wizard, witch or alchemist have Knowledges, because he's got a high Int anyway. The alchemist, ranger or barbarian might have the Dex/Strength knowledges, because he's got decent stats there. The bard doesn't really even have to try to become good at any two skill roles, it just happens.

So I'm not gonna try to make a Knowledge-barbarian, because that's silly. Let's talk Human; Str 18, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8. 5 skill points per level gets us Climb +8, Swim +8, Perception +5, Survival +5 and (with a trait to make it a class skill and get a +1) Stealth +7. Subtract a bit for armor check penalty. After a few levels, get a mithral breastplate so you can bounce around nice and fast, and don't put too much points in Swim and Climb (the DCs don't go up all that far), and at level 5 you could have Climb/Swim +7, Perception +8, Survival +8, Stealth +9, Acrobatics +7, Intimidate +3, K(Nature) +4, Ride +5

That's not a total skill monkey, but he's fairly competent without actually investing a whole lot. He can track, he's not surprised all the time, he doesn't drown, he can get better bonuses on Full Defense, can aid others on skill checks and so forth. If he's gonna be point man on any of these skills, he could buy a +5 skill magic item for 2500gp.

The nice thing about this? You have a decent Will save, your Strength is adequate, your HP and AC and Reflex/Fort saves are adequate. You were probably going to buy the mithral breastplate anyway for the movement speed, but it also helps with ACP on skills. You haven't had to spend any feats on being a skill monkey, and only one trait.

I too play a level 9 paladin (actually 8 with a dip into Emissary Cavalier for movement in armor). I can definitely vouch for the need for an adamantine weapon.

I wouldn't say Holy is required. Nice if you can get it, but not required. Bless Weapon can help you out if you're low on Smites.

I've made a version of this in the past as well.

Kchaka wrote:

Easy crafting DCs are not the problem. The problem is, by intending to make the crafting DCs easy, they have opened the possibility of making cheap magic items of levels above what players should have at their levels. There are alot of post with exemples of exploits, like:

The thing is, crafting DC wasn't meant to be the thing that limits low-level PCs from crafting high-level items. That's what Wealth by Level was meant for.

Kchaka wrote:

- At lvl 3, crafting +1 weapons for 2,300g at CL 20(and also most items).

You need CL 5 to take Craft Magic Arms & Armor. In addition, if you craft it, the price is actually lower; weapon + 300gp MW + (2000/2) +1 enchantment.

Kchaka wrote:

- A wizard can craft a scroll of any spell he wishes to learn.

You can't skip prerequisites on spell completion items.

Kchaka wrote:

- A 3rd lvl wizard could craft a Candle of Raise Dead with DC 24 and 1,125gp.

This is not a canonical item, so it falls under the "has to be specifically allowed by the GM in the first place" clause. It also sounds like a spell completion item so you can't actually skip the prerequisite. Finally, you forgot the 5000gp material component for the spell used.

Kchaka wrote:

- At lvl 3, you can create a +5 Spellcraft Amulet with DC 15 for 1,250g, and with it soon a +10 for 5,000g and +15 for 11,250g.

If he thinks that's a good use of his money, sure. Personally I'd go for the out-of-the-CRB +5 Perception item instead, that's more useful.

Kchaka wrote:

There are some relatively cheap magic items that can solve big problems:

- At lvl 5, a druid could craft a teleportation spoon.

- A cleric could craft a flute of summon natures ally way above his level.

You're ignoring two important points in these examples;

1) The guidelines for designing new magic items are guidelines for the GM, and not rules that the players can force the GM to follow. Making custom magic items is not a "right", it's a privilege.

The guidelines also point out that they're not always right; that some items are more powerful than the formula would suggest and should therefore be more expensive, like the Ring of Invisibility.

If the GM thinks an item would be bad for the game, he doesn't have to allow it. If he thinks it would be very powerful, he can set a higher price tag.

2) The items you mention would consume vast amounts of the PC's WBL, and he'd probably be weaker than if he stuck with normal magic items.

Kchaka wrote:

These are problems, and we all shouldn't have to make the same house rule to prevent these, it should be in RAW, not the other way around as it is.

Sure, a reasonable DM could fix all of this, but it would be much better if these rules didn't depend only on the reasoning of any DM. It would be much better if the rules were more strict, to prevent unreasonable DMs from doing crap, and the reasonable DMs would still be able to allow reasonable exceptions.

Every custom magic item is in effect a tiny houserule.

RAW isn't broken, you're ignoring some of the limits built into it, and then it starts to look broken.

If you say "ignore a level 14 prerequisite" it sounds like it MUST be overpowered, but I think it's actually the prerequisite that's just too ridiculously hard, compared to the power delivered.

N. Jolly wrote:
Honestly while writing the Alchemist guide, I had no idea how good an archery alchemist would be. Like it's intense how much synergy there is between the class and the longbow with alchemical arrows, the Explosive Mystery discovery, and tons of other things. It's slowly become my preferred alchemist design.

I'm on this path, but I'm afraid to miss out on fast bombs.

I'm having the same problem, using Firefox 34.0

Looks like it yeah, now this thread is showing the same phenomenon.

So now we know what's doing it... is there something that can be done about it?

On some pages the "box" containing the posts in a thread runs too wide, not fitting on the screen. To read posts, you have to scroll right-left-right-left all the time, which is very annoying.

It doesn't occur all that often; here's an example of a thread that's doing this, and this is what it looks like.

I've observed the same phenomenon on other websites and other computers now and then. I've tried looking for a client-side solution but I can't find anything that really works.

I suspect it's got something to do with spoiler tags.

Is anyone else experiencing this? Does anyone know for sure what's causing it? Is there something that can be done about it, by me or by


We actually did play it at Halloween. It was awesome.


Rogues are for people who want to play Hard Mode, All Of The Time. If you're that good, and you enjoy it, more power to you.

Sadly, some people pick up the rogue because of the class' name. It's an honest mistake; they want to play "a dashing rogueish sort of guy" and end up with a class that happens to be called Rogue. However, the concept of a rogue doesn't really require the class, and other classes may be more satisfying because they're playing on the normal power level.

I suppose the Nature Fang might deserve a guide of its own, because trading out Wild Shape does change the playstyle of the druid, wildly.

But for a normal druid, the essence of the old guides is still true.

It's probably impossible to create any solution for this problem that's truly "pretty", because you're trying to display a circle on a low-resolution square-grid map. The expression "squaring the circle" exists for a reason.

I think that's something that everyone should keep in mind; no solution involving squares and circles will be truly pretty. There's no perfect solution, but we want one that's the best for the game. It has to be:

  • Easy to understand; intuitive; ideally, the first thing that a new player would think of.
  • Easy to use; doesn't cost a lot of time to use, doesn't cause a lot of mistakes that need correction.
  • Fair enough; it should not be possible to approach a spearman from a magical angle to avoid all attacks.

Although this rule is not a work of mathematical elegance, it does fit all of the criteria neatly.

I think if the Chosen One is going to be a PC, or indeed if any PC is going to be nominally the boss of the party, it's important that the other PCs have abilities and other things to contribute that the Chosen One can't.

That way, everyone becomes important to the final success of The Prophecy. Everyone gets a time to shine. And the Chosen One also has to take the opinions of the other PCs into account more, because he needs them.


A variation could also be the party where all of the PCs are Chosen Ones, but from different origins; one might be the Chosen of the Elves, destined to finally defeat the Drow; and the Chosen of the Gnomes might be the one destined to lead them back to the First World; and the Chosen of Sarenrae might be meant to defeat the Tarrasque; and so on.

And they're in the intriguing position where one PC's destiny-given powers come in very handy to help actually achieve the near-impossible goals of another one. These Chosen Ones stand a much better chance of each succeeding at their own goals if they work together.

Z-K didn't really strike me as being all that Lawful really. There's a hierarchy, but it didn't strike me as being All About The Hierarchy like it's with Asmodeus. I didn't get the vibe that his church is working as a single entity towards collective goals, like Iomedae. It's more like a society of like-minded sickos who compare notes on how to best inflict pain. I suppose you could make a case for them all being "disciplined", kind of like Irori.

It does feel like the "Lawful" part was kind of inherited from 3.x Kytons though, back when those were just another species of devil.


You could refine that even further and require a Hands slot in both its natural and current form, but yeah, I agree with you.

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