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Atarlost's page

5,626 posts (5,627 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Das Bier wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
Das Bier wrote:
A sorceror picks his Spells Known like anyone else, and can be guided into the choices like anyone else.
A player picks his spells. A sorcerer no more picks his spells than he picks to have been born a half-orc.

And this is totally incorrect and not by the rules.

Sorcerers pick the spells they want to learn. Bloodline spells are those they have no choice what to learn.

You are intimating that sorcerers have no choices on picking spells known, which is NOT part of the rules. A sorcerer's absolute flexibility in picking what his SPells Known are is as much a part of the class as a wizard's ability to change his spells every day, including NOT having to make a spellcraft check to learn spells beyond his free ones.

If sorcs had no control over picking their spells known, they'd roll randomly for them, not pick them. That is clearly NOT the case.

You're confusing the player with the charachter. Sorcerers have no choice as to what race they're born or to what background they're born into. Do you roll randomly for race and traits? For that matter they have no choice of what bloodline they're born with or even being born with any bloodline at all. Do you randomly roll for class?

Of course you don't. There are loads of choices the player makes that the to the characters inside the story are chance or fate.

Das Bier wrote:
A sorceror picks his Spells Known like anyone else, and can be guided into the choices like anyone else.

A player picks his spells. A sorcerer no more picks his spells than he picks to have been born a half-orc.

Re Magus: Remember that whips are one handed slashing weapons and thus eligible for blackblade status.

This should pretty much work no matter what content you allow in your game.

  • All full arcane casters get no good saves.
  • Anyone who casts more than 4th level spells or 6th level alchemy (no one first party does) gets one good saves. (Organized backgrounds like temple clerics and conservatory trained bards keep will. Self taught backgrounds like itinerant priests and wandering minstrels lose will if they have another save. Classes in this category like Oracle who already only have one save keep it no matter their background.)
  • Anyone with 4th level spells or 6th or less level alchemy (always exactly six in first party content at this time) gets two good saves. (I think they all already do.)
  • Anyone who doesn't cast spells or do alchemy gets all good saves.
  • Anyone with less than 4+int skill points per level gets 4+int skill points per level.
  • Anyone with no spells or alchemy becomes full BAB.
  • Summoners do not exist because turning a pseudo-full caster into an actual full caster would require changing their spell list. (But you don't have to worry about that until you start using non-core content.)

Chemlak wrote:

Bluenose, that's awesome.

And, for ease of use, it's about right to consider a "pace" to be about 3 feet, then round down to the nearest 5 feet, so...

3340 feet to tell the difference between a group of medium humanoids and a group of large quadrupeds.
2640 feet to see an individual medium humanoid.
1845 feet to see a head on an individual medium humanoid. Light coloured items of clothing may be spotted.
1320 feet to see a light-coloured spot for a face, and some fine details - uniform, number of limbs, long weaponry - can be seen.
Between 525 & 660 feet greater details become visible (might be able to spot the difference between a lieutenant and a normal soldier).

And the 2640 feet to see an individual medium humanoid is about right with the calculation from physics for the mark 1 eyeball (about 2,500 feet).

And to really cheer people up, let's use the latest in reductio ad absurdum: The DC to notice an unmoving, affected by a silence spell, visible creature through a 1-foot thick solid stone wall is... 10.

The perception rules unequivocally do not cover every circumstance, and that's why there is a GM.

So they don't cover outdoor encounters and they don't cover dungeon encounters. What circumstances do they cover?

Starbuck_II wrote:

All that insect stuff only works on the small scale. Even a fairy dragon is too big.

Larkos wrote:
Where do people get this notion that guns don't belong in fantasy? Is it Tolkien? 'Cause the Western discovery of gunpowder predates the development of full-plate.

If it's Tolkien they didn't read it very well because there's definitely gunpowder in Middle Earth and some of the fireworks names imply that it's not new.

EvilTwinSkippy wrote:
Selvaxri wrote:
EvilTwinSkippy wrote:
Gisher wrote:
One thing you might want to consider is Accomplished Sneak Attacker once you get Sneak Attack at 5th level.
...and then straight into Arcane Trickster after that!
I do not see how that would be beneficial. Steal Spell is dependant on my Bard level, and I don't think Arcane Trickster counts as a bard.
The point is this is one of the few classes/archetypes that can solo straight the Arcane Trickster prestige class. If you're looking to play a trickster, this is pretty much your best shot.

Why would you ever want to be an arcane trickster off this? Arcane Trickster is a terrible class and particularly bad to enter from bard. You don't have any of the low level touch spells a wizard AT can sneak attack with and you don't have the accuracy to hit with non-touch attacks because you're a mere 1 BAB above a wizard if you enter at level 5 with accomplished sneak attacker. Raising your sneak attack progression is a complete waste of time because by miring yourself in a half BAB PrC you're guaranteeing you'll never hit with it.

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Dug wrote:
I've considered converting the gunslinger into more of a magical class, i.e., guns are enchanted, can only be used by the gunslinger, bullets are magical, have magical properties, do various things, almost like an alchemist. Then it feels more fantasy to me.
I've long wanted go the opposite route -- gunpowder *should* be inert in Fantasy Land, but the gunslinger is outside of that reality and carries the physical laws of another universe with him. As he levels up I'd give him more abilities along that theme. Haven't worked it all out yet, though.

Far better for gunpowder to be completely mundane and widely available. Because gunpowder allows mundanes to pull off some stuff otherwise exclusive to mages.

Cleric: Augury doesn't like going into the mcguffin room through the door.
Wizard: I can stone shape a hole in the wall, but it would use up my bonded object slot.
Fighter: I have a portable hole full of gunpowder and knowledge: engineering.
Rogue: We need to clear up space in the hole for the thousands of comically oversized copper pieces anyways.

In general the more technology you have the less magic makes mundanes pointless. Rather than the fighter having zero ways to contribute and the wizard one the fighter has one way to contribute and the wizard two. Gunpowder is technology that's in period and not allowing it just makes casters relatively stronger.

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Hitdice wrote:
Are people with empathy and imagination allowed to ask their discussion partners for specifics, or is that a sign of irredeemable sociopathy?

That your question implies the assumption that your discussion partner doesn't have them is certainly not a good sign.

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Hitdice wrote:
thejeff wrote:

But when do they apply?

For any thing you might perceive, there is going to be a distance at which it's automatic, you can't possibly miss it and a distance at which you can't perceive it at all. There's also going to be some distance in between at which you might or might not perceive it. That distance is where the skill check applies and according to the rules, regardless of what the target is or how far away it is, the gap between those two is 200 feet - You detect it even if you roll a 1, then 200' farther away you can't see it even with a 20.
Or you ignore the rules and spread the distance penalties out somehow.

theJeff, not to put you on the spot, but why is randomly generated encounter starting distance such an issue for you? Have you been continuously screwed by your GM deciding you weren't aware of the encounter before you were at negative hit points or something?

Some people have these things called empathy and imagination that allow them to recognize problems that they haven't personally suffered.

Cavall wrote:
That being said, any characer that can be invisible and has sneak attack can be a big threat. Also you'll gain massive bonuses to spells against invisible opponents.

No, it really isn't. You'll break invisibility so you'll get one sneak attack at less than half the power of a rogue. A ninja is better at turning invisible and has more than twice the sneak attack dice.

Sneakspell is not adequate to overcome being only a 6 level caster. It puts your DCs where they should be at some levels, but it doesn't give you the spell slots needed to get away with not having any useful non-casting capabilities. Not massive advantages, merely being only bad at your job instead of useless. A sorcerer will out-cast an invisible sandman any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

The slumber ability is trash. You need to fascinate your targets first with all the weaknesses that ability has. And real bards get suggestion, which is more versatile and can even duplicate the effects of slumber. "Take a nap" is a valid suggestion since the targets can't be in a threatening situation or fascinate would have automatically failed.

Selvaxri wrote:

Would this be a worthwhile splash class; or any classes worth splashing into?

I was considering what classes would be good with the steal-spell ability.
Would be interesting with Magus, and steal other spells to use in Spell Combat...

The Spellbreaker [Inquisitor archetype] seems like a interesting tandem class.
With the Foil Casting ability, and after they fail their concentration check, steal their spells to use against them.

I wonder if the Sacred Slayer stacks with the Spellbreaker...

None. Casters don't multiclass well. Medium BAB classes don't multiclass well. Classes with scaling abilities that start weak don't multiclass well. And casters with different casting stats multiclass even worse.

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The fundamental problem is "don't compare new items to old items that are themselves mispriced."

The AMF is still overpriced by a factor of at least 2 (arguably 4 because weapons are slotless and amulets aren't) for unarmed strikes.

Brawling armor's fair price is somewhere between 4k and 8k flat. As a bonus equivalent enchantment a +2 might have been excused, but a +3 is absolutely ridiculous. Even a +1 equivalent bonus becomes overpriced when you start enhancing your armor for the purpose of keeping you from getting killed.

Kobold Cleaver wrote:

I've enjoyed both styles, for the record. It's sort of fun for my monster hunter to just be able to say, "That's a troll! Use the copper dragon snot!", instead of having to ask the GM and let them explain it. Giving players extra roleplaying room is always a plus. But I also like having to really rely on the skills I chose—it allows me to pick out a niche, and saves me from this sort of situation:

GM: A roiling wave of flesh gushes forward. Amid the fatty surge wriggle half-formed limbs and a dripping tumorous face.
Cletus the Barbarian: "Ugh, lemures."
Inexperienced Ranger Player: Okay, stand back, guys. "GM, can I roll to identify this?"
GM: "Sure."
Ranger: *Rolls Knowledge* Okay, everyone, I've hunted one of these before. It's a—
Barbarian: Are lemures. Low-rank in Hell. Insane from torture. Immune fire, acid. Use blessed or silver weapons; also, sonic. Mindless, so mind magic won't work.
Ranger: "Steve, this is the one thing my character's supposed to be better than you at. -_-"
Barbarian: "¯\_(ツ)_/¯"

Sure, but some of that is bloody obvious.

If it's in a context where it's clear that it's demonic you know the resistances and DR because all devils have pretty much the same resistances and DR. Maybe you get some false positives off that because lemures are such a lame devil, but it's not really telling you anything. You can also tell it's mindless, or you would if you were actually in a room with it, because it behaves mindlessly.

So the barbarian may have revealed the type and subtype and spelled out the implications. And a name that does nothing except give the players something to call it.

Now, it probably makes sense for lemures to be obscure. They're native to another plane and don't go out to tempt mortals and get folk tales tole about them. On the other hand if you find yourself fighting someone dressed like a prostitute with bat wings and horns and a barbed tail identifying her as a succubus shouldn't be difficult, nor should figuring out the implications. There would be tons of tales and songs about them because they're the sort of creature that interact with humans and inspire tales and songs. Same for imps and quasits, though I'd be surprised if even a metagamer could tell them apart without some sort of contextual clue like suspecting the alignment of the wizard whose familiar they are.

But what I was strenuously objecting to was malicious reskinning. Monster pictures and descriptions are full of clues as to their nature and properties and mixing them up is both cheating and making the game world feel more arbitrary and less real.

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Arcaian wrote:
Atarlost wrote:

Lots of "metagaming" is actually using common knowledge. Break that common knowledge and your world stops making sense and player immersion is lost. Once player immersion is lost there's nothing left but metagaming.

'Common knowledge' is represented in knowledge checks - DC5 and DC10 are common knowledge. If the DC is above that, you're trying to apply common knowledge to something that isn't common.

Common knowledge is that knowledge that normal people are naturally exposed to in the course of growing up in a society. The fact that the monster knowledge checks are stupidly inflated for legendary monsters is irrelevant to the fact that breaking real common knowledge destroys player immersion and consequently ruins the game.

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Arcaian wrote:
Or just change the skeletons to DR/slash because these ones were made spongy by the necromancers! That type of thing - they can't effectively metagame if they can't predict what will be happening. Talking is still better.

This is an example of exactly what you shouldn't do. Because there's a reason skeletons have DR/bludgeoning. It comes from real differences between the behavior of living and dead bone that any adventurer or farmer or hunter or butcher should be intimately familiar with. And piercing weapons being ineffective is bloody obvious.

Lots of "metagaming" is actually using common knowledge. Break that common knowledge and your world stops making sense and player immersion is lost. Once player immersion is lost there's nothing left but metagaming.

The CR term in the monster knowledge DCs is completely bogus in that knowledge of things that people tend to boast about fighting or write epics about is extremely common. If your players can remember something about a monster without looking it up it's exactly the sort of memorable monster that becomes common knowledge. Any medieval kid would be able to tell you all about the local fey even though not only had they never encountered one, but no one ever had encountered them. Now imagine how well publicized their weaknesses and hunting patterns would be if they actually existed.

And sometimes it's just bloody obvious. That Gelugon has arctic camouflage. Of course it's going to resist cold if not be outright immune. That's not metagaming. That's being vaguely observant.

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The monster target stats table is kind of bogus.

A level 8 orc fighter is CR 7. As a PC classsed NPC (at that CR for an orc he's pretty elite and should have a PC class) he uses the elite array. That gives him base stats of 19 str 13 dex 14 con 8 int 10 wis 6 cha according to CRB table 14-6. He has 8 hit dice and therefore gets 2 stat increases. They obviously go in strength and dex pushing them to 20 and 14 respectively.

By CRB table 15-9 he should have 3k of weapons, 2.5k of protection, 1k of other permanent magic items, and 800 of consumables. That comes to a +1 weapon and some change, a suit of +1 fullplate, a cloak of resistance +1, and some consumables.

He has the most boring feats possible. Stuff like weapon focus, toughness, dodge, weapon specialization, iron will, power attack, furious focus, and greater weapon focus,

His attack is +17. His AC is 23. Two full CR too high by the table. His HP and saves are low for his CR, but are you really going to claim that the most hackneyed zero HD monster race with the most boring class with the most boring feats is not a valid opponent?

I would put forth rather that the orc (or other no HD monster with class levels) is a more valid opponent than any monster with HD because his HD rise at a 1:1 ratio with CR unlike all monstrous HD which aren't even linear, with gamebreaking effects on save DCs and combat maneuvers. And don't even get me started on size modifiers.

It's worse in combat than a CRB rogue and isn't a full caster.

No, it's not worth playing.

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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Lincoln Hills wrote:
To turn the question on its head; Yes, I do feel that magic items provide too high a percentage of a character's power. But more than that, I feel like the relatively low power of the average magic item doesn't reflect classic fantasy tropes very well.

It doesn't fit the tropes YOU feel are classic. Have you considered that Gygax and company were drawing from a different set of tropes, the list of which you'd find in Gygax's original Bibliography in the First Edition books?

Fantasy has never been as monolithic a themeset as some here seem to imagine.

Many seem to think for example that Tolkien was a major part of D+D whereas Gygax denied that aside from lifting a name or two, that it had any significant contribution. Having read quite a few different authors, I'd tend to agree.

Yeah, remember how Corwin of Amber had all those little fiddly magic doodads that added up to impressive power? Oh, that's right. He had one very good magic sword with a fragment of The Pattern. And Merlin had that one ring that made Sauron's look like a paperweight and had his uncle's Pattern sword for a while before giving it to his I think second cousin.

And King Arthur had two artifact grade items (Excalibur and Excalibur's sheath) and nothing else.

I'm not aware of any non-comic fantasies about collecting lots of unimpressive magic items on anywhere near D&D's scale. Tolkien is actually the closest with cloaks of elvenkind for everyone and the rope of untying on command.

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Sorcerer has lots of disadvantages.

The access delay is obvious. For half of all levels between 2nd and 17th the wizard has higher level spells. Two or three spells of a level the sorcerer doesn't have is bigger than a few extra lower level slots for the sorcerer. And the wizard will have the same number of top level slots even when the sorcerer "catches up." And that's in scare quotes for a reason.

The second serious drawback is spells known. I'll just link another post where I compared the free spells known.

Note the 1s in the sorcerer spells known table. The sorcerer isn't very spontaneous with those slots.

Pages of spell knowledge are a lot more expensive than scribing in a spellbook even from scrolls.

Wizards have better action economy using metamagic and bonus feats for it. A sorcerer using metamagic feats is stationary. A sorcerer using metamagic rods needs to draw the rod the round before he casts his spell while the wizard can do so in the same round using the move action that he doesn't need to waste on applying metamagic. The alleged sorcerer metamagic flexibility advantage relies on not planning how you'll use your metamagic. If you don't know what you're going to do with your metamagic you shouldn't have ever taken the feat.

At the high end arcane schools are just better than bloodlines. Bloodlines have lots of abilities, but none of them offer anything like the admixture, teleportation, divination, or void schools.

There are better feats and items for allowing wizards to get the benefits of spontaneous casting than for sorcerers to get the benefits of prepared casting.

I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Frederic wrote:

Breastplate Armor.

Every warrior should be wearing this in some form. There is no way that "a single piece of sculpted metal" should provide 6 points of AC. Don't get me wrong, breastplates are very cool but 6 is too much. It takes out a lot of interesting variation. I cant believe that a Helmet does nothing to protect you but covering your chest makes you nearly invulnerable. Yeah "Fantasy" blah blah but let me believe it is plausible.

Chainmail. With the exception of the expensive Elven variety the unique advantages of which come in no other form, chainmail is, aside from being an ultimately paltry 50 gold cheaper, STRICTLY inferior to the breastplate.

The description is just Paizo being stupid for no reason.

3.5 SRD wrote:

It comes with a helmet and greaves.

And, of course, nobody complains that Splint Mail is strictly inferior to both Banded Mail and Half Plate and all three are strictly inferior to Full Plate. Because that's how armor works in D&D. There's a definite ordering from worst to best within each category. That's not an accident.

I feel that the 3.5 maneuver mechanics are almost always better. They generally involve one more roll, but they avoid the touch AC paradox where at level 1 it's easier to sunder Lem's flute (a diminutive object) than to make a touch attack against all of Lem because he's small and has a negative strength modifier.

Grapple needed some sort of streamlining, but everything else was simplified into sameness (and in some not so edge cases nonsense).

Saldiven wrote:
I like Kitsune for the fluff.

*nods* It's hard to beat foxes for fluff. Sled dogs are also very fluffy as are some rabbits and hamsters, but none of them have humanoid races based on them.

UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Once you get beyond 1st level spells, you can use the Rage spell to fuel your Bloodrage -- this lets you use Rage/Bloodrage Powers.and doesn't Fatigue you (forget about the Concentration part of the duration and consider it to be a 1 round/level spell; when you can, get a Wand of it (and if you have thte right kind of Familiar, potentially your Familiar could extend it with Concentration). Being friends with a Skald is also good, although oddly a Skald can't fuel your Rage/Bloodrage Powers until they hit 20th level (although their Inspired Rage still doesn't Fatigue you, and it's still good for when you can't good use out of the above-mentioned Bloodrage Powers). You could get Extra Rage, but that's another feat, and you're probably better off using a Wand of Rage.

And remember that if you are going with a 9/9 arcane casting class, you really need to go into the Eldritch Knight prestige class, and that requires full martial weapon proficiency, which requires a martial dip.

I miss the pre-Errata Scarred Witch Doctor . . . .

Since when does the rage spell give bloodrage? It's half power and acts like barbrian rage. Bloodrage counts as barbarian rage, but barnarian rage doesn't count as bloodrage. One could interpret that any rage powers you have apply, maybe even if you have primalist bloodrage, but you don't get any off a one level dip and there's no reason to think you'd get the first level bloodline power.

You'd get the same benefits being a fighter and casting rage.

I don't like rage on a dip. The pool is kind of small and you can't use it in short bursts as needed because of the fatigue.

No martial reach weapon is enough better than the longspear to justify giving up a level of casting. Maybe an exotic could be, but you can't get that with a dip.

Wally the Wizard (bold added) wrote:

I'm going to stick with the statement that arcane duelists bards are better reach characters than clerics. Espically over the course of a whole adventure.

The reach cleric is nice in that it gives the cleric some extra action economy but it has some issues. It's MAD and Sacred summons doesn't come online until mid levels and it suffers at higher levels from lack of specialization.

This is definitely false in this context. The cleric needs three physical and one mental stats. The bard needs three physical and one mental stats. The cleric can hard dump charisma with impunity. The bard suffers will save issues from hard dumping wisdom. The cleric has almost nothing to lose by hard dumping int. The bard has a lot to lose. The cleric's minimum acceptable con is dictated solely by HP because clerics will always have acceptable fortitude saves with non-negative con modifiers. The bard's minimum acceptable con is dictated by the worse of con and fortitude save. The actual casting stat requirements are nearly the same. A bard will need a 12 and a cleric a 13 to carry to level 7 before needing a headband.

Wally the Wizard wrote:
Levels 1-5 the cleric is a mediocre fighter with a few buff spells. Since you have to have decent DEx for AOO, Con to survive, Wis for spells and Str for damage you don't excel at anything. unless you are evil there's no sacred summon monsters until SM3 so you're casting a couple low level buffs like the bard

The bard is getting hardly anything from reach at this point either. He'll spend one action activating performance the first round of combat. If that's in a surprise round or the combatants notice each other at a distance he doesn't get any AoOs that round. He may as well be using a longsword.

Wally the Wizard wrote:
The bard is less MAD, he needs less in his casting stat to get all his spells, and arcane strike and inspire courage allow him to get by with a lower STR while still pumping out decent damage. the extra points go in to dex and you get better AC, better init and another AOO over the cleric with combat reflexes Also the performances help stretch his limited spells.

You're repeating yourself about MAD and you're not any more correct. Inspire Courage doesn't help in this comparison, it's equal or less than divine favor except at level 5, and 17+. Arcane Strike doesn't help either because you need strength for accuracy. Whips require a three feat chain to perform AoOs and there aren't any other reach finesse weapons.

Wally the Wizard wrote:


The cleric comes online with sacred summons and will probably be going towards superior summoning using up all his feats.

The bard bets to double buff in the first round now that the performance is a move action, his since he has weapon bond and doesn't need to save to get expensive stat boosts for his casting stat he has more money to get better gear and deals more damage and has better defense. he has open feats to take things liek standstill and control the battle field. 7th level AD bard can use arcane strike with a swift, performance with a move, drink a enlarge person potion with his standard and be in control of the battlefield with reach and stand still, all in 1 round. round 2 he's got options, move towards the spell casters with disruptive and a huge threat area or set up flanks,cast a spell to buff or heal or damage sinec he's spontaneous, use dazzling display to debuff, etc

Double buffing makes a reach build worse comparatively. The whole point of reach builds is to fight with AoOs while using their standard actions for something more useful than full attacking. Buffing faster when you have nothing better than combat to do after you finish just makes you relatively better off not bothering with a reach build. That makes a non-reach AD a better combatant than a non-reach cleric (except for that little fortitude save issue) but it isn't an advantage in a reach build. Weapon Bond is approximately the same savings as Magic Vestment, but can only be applied if there is downtime. And then along comes Greater Magic Weapon. Oh, and stand still cannot be used with a reach weapon. It applies only to adjacent enemies and reach weapons don't threaten adjacent enemies.

Wally the Wizard wrote:


Cleric comes in to his power here and has several summoning options. The bard keeps a steady increase between feats and increase todamage sources but nothing special.

The cleric starts getting no save or reflex save battlefield control spells and monster reflex saves start plummeting on everything but outsiders. Too bad the bard had almost no reflex save spells and none that scale up well.

Wally the Wizard wrote:


The cleric starts to wane, summons only scale to a point, the pit fiend doesn't care if you summon 5 CR8 creatures as a standard action if they can't hit his AC, the cleric's damage is nothing special and has trouble getting past DR and his spells DC can be beat.
The bard still is pumping out decent damage with his DR piercing and making it so other party members can shine with his buffs and debuffs.

The cleric has level 8 spells and the bard doesn't. The reach dynamic is less prominent, but having gotten the cleric to the point where he can cast greater planar ally it matters somewhat less. You also apparently haven't really studied the cleric list. DR for the most part just doesn't concern parties that contain high level clerics. Sanctify Weapons negated DR of outsiders, adamantine weapons are a minor expense at this point, and communal align weapon will go through alignment DR. The bard isn't at an advantage in melee. He has to spend what are for him high level spells to get beyond what divine power offers and the cleric has his own stuff that stacks.

You really need to reduce your skill expectations.

You will not max or even half max all your knowledges. Maybe you'll half max the six used for monster identification.

You will not max three performances. You'll probably try to max two and get a headband or ioun stone to cover the third because it's dead weight until level 10. You might get a headband for the second even.

The reach caster action economy effect only really applies if you have spells or spell grade abilities that you cast as a standard action (or full round as a spontaneous caster with metamagic, though the lack of mobility hurts there) that are good at a poor save DC.

The cleric can do that with sacred summons. A summoner gets standard action summoning. Anyone else needs to have stuff on their spell list that is effective with a low casting stat. The only summoning spell that is naturally a standard is vomit swarm, which helps the witch/EK be a viable reach build in spite of hexes having hopeless DCs.

Wizard EK with a battlefield control conjuration focus has potential to work well.

A bard or skald could find enough buffs to stack to be worth using a reach build, but it might mean using too many resources. It's not a definite no like Oracle

Shamans might be able to manage on the strength of their hexes if it weren't for all the buff hexes having a once per target per day limit and them not having cackle. They're probably not going to justify a reach build on the strength of their spell list either.

Witches may be even worse at hexes than shamans because prestiging will wreck their DCs completely, but there are just enough good, spammable no save spells for them to get by.

Hex Crafter Magus might work on the strength of their hexes. They can get cackle and their hex DCs will be merely lackluster rather than hopeless since all their levels contribute.

I'm with Chess Pwn.

Pure support characters are bad and your multiclass is utterly pointless.

And more first level slots are trash.

You really shouldn't ever build a second level character. You should build at least an eighth level character and then build the best seventh level character that can become him and then the best fifth that can become him and so on. A dip that is good at second level becomes a major liability later.

If trapfinding really is life or death you certainly don't want to dip or use a different trapfinding source. Even with the reasonable interpretation of automatic perception checks trap spotter doubles your checks, and if your GM is a kobold lover he's probably a jerk who doesn't use automatic perception of camouflaged traps so trap spotter is the only check you'll get.

Archeologists get their first rogue talent at level 4 IIRC so with 2 paladin levels you won't have it at elvel 5.

Saldiven wrote:
However, my base point still holds. Four points of damage is a significant difference at 1st level. It's a largely irrelevant difference at 10th level.

It's not irrelevant. It's approximately equal to having weapon training or three fighter only feats. If accuracy is valued at the power attack exchange rate it's 7 damage. That's 2/3 of a level 10 cavalier's challenge or 3/4 of a level 11 unchained barbarian's offensive rage benefits or a level 11 bard's inspire courage.

Even at level 20 it's 1/3 of a cavalier's challenge bonus or around 2/5 of an unchained barbarian's rage or bard's inspire courage.

And that's not even getting into combat maneuvers. The size bonus becomes a penalty giving small characters worse CMB and CMD even with agile maneuvers on a dex build, and a -3 to CMB and -2 to CMD for most small races on a strength build. That's another feat down the drain to not quite keep up for a dex build and a serious liability and loss of options for a strength build.

Dragon78 wrote:
Schrondigger hands "errata"?

A FAQ that changes rules that were never printed. It completely changed the rules of the game like FAQs are explicitly not supposed to, but since nothing was ever printed it can't be an errata.

I usually refer to it as "unwritten hands"

And it is, indeed, the worst FAQ Paizo has ever made. Even if it were merited (it's a nerf that isn't to a full prepared caster or the original summoner so it's not) putting it out the way they did is wrong.

Saldiven wrote:
(but, should be hitting more often because of the +1 size bonus to hit from being small).

This is incorrect in most cases. The strength penalty applies to attack rolls as well as damage rolls, giving all small characters except Wayangs and Kobolds a net -1 to attack rolls compared to any race suited to melee. Even for wayangs the size bonus to accuracy only matches the accuracy lost to the lack of a strength bonus leaving them down typically 4 damage per two handed hit with no compensatory accuracy advantage. Kobolds, of course, are even worse than other small races.

Dex builds won't match strength builds because free dex to damage is systematically prohibited to any build that isn't either an unchained rogue (and even unchained rogues are not good at dealing damage) or using a single weapon one handed. The expense of agile weapons means being down 1 accuracy and another damage, erasing the size bonus for a dex build except on a goblin and making the damage per hit deficit compared to a strength build even worse.

Goblins would be an exception, but if we're accepting at +4 stat races with RP issues orcs provide +4 strength and will still outperform goblin dex builds.

+4 damage +1 attack will always be a substantial difference. It's equivalent to three fighter only feats or max level arcane strike and weapon focus or a +2 higher weapon enhancement and an increase in the amount of accuracy that can be traded with power attack.

Now, small archers aren't hopeless. They do get the accuracy benefit and don't take racial strength bonuses and don't get 1.5x strength so they essentially get their deadly aim conversion reduced by 1 step. They're still usually going to be slightly worse than medium archers because of that, but only slightly and less so against tougher opponents.

The fundamental lesson here is that unifying all combat maneuvers under a single mechanic was a doomed endeavor that should have been abandoned by the time the APG was being written because all combat maneuvers are very much not alike.

The other good school is Foresight. You'll have trouble filling slots, though except at high levels divination isn't as bad as it used to be, but the initiative is very valuable for your intended role.

Obviously it transports the ship to the elemental plane of water.

Captain K. wrote:
No animal companions. They will just die. If your GM allows the companion to gestalt too, you may have a chance. There may be some ridiculous Summoner/Spiritualist mix that's doable.

There are two RAW gestalt animal companion mount options. The Sohei Monk gives twice his level in temporary HP, the monk AC bonus, and most passive monk abilities unless he's traded them for quiggong powers. The Ferocious Mount or Ferocious Beast rage power chains can share rage with its con bonus (or temp HP if unchained) and save bonus and the greater versions can share superstition.

Captain K. wrote:

If you want to go casting, you need one stat and you need to be able to beat saves and SR which will be higher than in a non-gestalt game. Thus:

Sorcerer 20 (whatever you want, but Div is great after level 15)//Oracle 10/ Evangelist of Desna 10. You still need things like an Otherworldy Kimono, but Evangelist of Desna can beat SR.

Buffs don't care about saves unless someone is bringing a superstitious barbarian (the barbarian is also a paladin so probably not and if he is no one is getting through at an acceptable rate) and SR doesn't go higher than spell immune. Soracle is just asking to fail a fort save or die. Oracles have very little offensive casting that isn't on the sorcerer list.

In the specific party composition another pure caster is a liability because there's only one front liner, hence the druid//witch and druid//wizard suggestions. Samsarans are an int/wis race and the point buy is high and wildshape will allow the two squishys to share a space once tiny forms become available at level 6. Wis boosters will be desirable anyways for saving throws.

Wizard//Slayer/Lantern offers no new options in a party that already has a wizard//bard. It just one ups the other wizard creating bad feelings at the table.

You're light on divine casters. I don't favor oracles because they have to really strain to get decent spell access. If you're not a cleric you'll probably have to be Samsaran. Fortunately they have +wis. Unfortunately they have -con, which you'll need to compensate for.

Human Druid//Shaman (Use the shaman human FCB to snag divine favor at level 6 when it starts to be worthwhile, but shaman and druid between them have all the condition removers.)

Cleric//Unmonk (Use more wisdom than a battle cleric normally would because it's your armor.)

Cleric//Ranger or Cleric//Slayer (Archery is probably your best choice of combat style because archery is archery. Weapon and shield is also workable. TWF is borderline. The other styles are either just bad or devalued by your changes to combat maneuver feats.)

Human or Half-Orc Shaman//Unmonk (Make the paladin take the disease mercy and you can cover the remaining condition removal if you take or wander into the life spirit. You'll again want to use the human shaman FCB for divine favor.)

Samsaran Druid//Unmonk (You'll need to pick up some condition removers with Mystic Past Life. Also grab Divine Favor if you have space. Plan to wildshape as elementals once you have the option.)

Samsaran Druid//Wizard (Same deal with Mystic Past Life for condition removers. If your GM will let you split the MPL spells get Ill Omen off the witch list. You should probably go int>wis because you'll reserve some of your druid slots for emergency condition removal and have slightly fewer to start with, but you can probably manage to start with an 18 and a 20. I think druid has better dazing spell carriers but you may be able to cast spells cross list with Greater Spell Specialization or Preferred Spell. You can use wildshape to pretend to be the other wizard's familiar.)

Samsaran Druid//Witch (You could use the healing patron to restoration and not be samsaran, but the samsaran stat array is pretty good and you can take a different patron and possibly snag a bunch of wizard spells. Like the previous, you want to do something like turn into a wren and sit on the wizard's shoulder so you can do your magic without providing an additional target for the paladin to defend.)

Samsaran Druid//Investigator (MPL again for condition removers. Studied Combat will really stack up on natural attacks.)

Grippli Nature Domain Cleric//Sohei Monk (Feather is probably the best nature subdomain. Grippli gets you a wisdom bonus with small size so you can ride a medium mount. The animal domain gets you the mount. Sohei lets you take Mounted Skirmisher as a bonus feat, which means you can bypass prerequisites and get it at level 1. This lets you move and full attack. Monastic Mount is designed to give a bog standard horse acceptable survivability. Applied to an actual animal companion it's probably good enough for a high power game.)

Syrus Terrigan wrote:

Essentially: a mathematical analysis of the value of each ability in the game, weighted by its relation to specific ability score(s).

So, yes -- well-reasoned assignment of relative values across the various class abilities/features.

You're going to need to need to do value relative to other values as well.

Combat feats are basically worthless with a low attack bonus (eg. most sorcerer bloodline feat options). Casting feats are completely worthless for non-casters and have sharply reduced value for less than full casters. Casting feats are also more valuable to some types of casters than others. Lots of metamagic applies usefully to evocations and damaging conjurations. Less apply to abjurations.

The real value damage bonus is approximately proportional to the value of attack bonus and visa versa within the usual domain (more damage loses value when you you kill in one hit and more attack loses value when you only miss on a 1). BAB's value over other attack bonuses is that it lets you qualify for feats.

Actually, BAB is bad for a generalized system. Get rid of BAB gated feats and gate them off of something like the number of combat feats the character has taken. Not making chains, just sticking "any 3 combat feats" in the prerequisite line.

Jiggy wrote:
I'm really curious to hear what it is you think the post you're referencing says.

That the issue of MMOs needs to be addressed preemptively any time the influence of other games is discussed.

Jiggy wrote:
The misconceptions can't be coming from MMOs.

And I never suggested they were. So why are you bringing that up?

Because you brought them up.

Jiggy wrote:
Yes, they have. Heck, they are, right now, in some current games. Maybe not in the handful you've played, but the fantasy gaming genre is HUGE, and has been for a while. (And so help me, if somebody responds something like "MMOs don't count", as though any reference to fantasy gaming outside of D&D/PF is obviously just referring to WoW, I'm gonna scream.)

Jiggy wrote:
Raynulf wrote:
**Addressing Jiggy's point about other systems. Not that I fully understand why that point needed to be made in a Pathfinder thread, where the question of "what game are you playing" is pretty strongly implied.

It's a relevant point to make because—in Pathfinder—the roles capable of being filled (at least, with any kind of efficacy) by a cleric are pretty different from the general trope produced and reinforced by other games that include fantasy classes or related themes. That is, I believe a large portion of the "nobody wants to play a cleric"/"is the cleric who doesn't heal me being a dick?" issue is grounded in the carrying of assumptions about what a "cleric" is from other parts of fantasy gaming into a system (Pathfinder) where those assumptions don't match reality. For some folks, the notion of a given class having vastly different strengths/weaknesses/roles depending on which specific game you're playing is difficult to absorb even when shown the facts, so raising the inter-system distinction as a part of the discussion is very relevant to Pathfinder's clerical dilemma.

I go into a bit more detail about this here.

But are they really clerics? You mentioned the final fantasy white mage, but it's no more reasonable to carry white mage expectations over to a cleric than to knight expectations over to a fighter. No one expects chivalry, romance, or cavalry charges from a fighter.

The misconceptions can't be coming from MMOs. MMOs have solo content, which requires every class to have a robust mid-DPS build, which is what Clerics have always been in the D&D lineage.

Bishop Odo, vampire hunter (with Moses's spell list)

Several simalcra of the previous owner acting as lab assistants.

A couple simalcra efreeti left over from a wishcrafting operation.

A permanent gate to the elemental plane of !!fun!!

Aelryinth wrote:

Yeah, but these are SIZE BONUSES. They stack with enhancement bonuses to Str and such. Sure, melee classes all get bonuses. But Str bonuses and other bonuses are all 'just bonuses'. It doesn't matter if I can do 100% of the melees job...if I can do 90%, and do a whole lot of other stuff, why need a melee?

Because I can fly and teleport and breathe fire and travel the planes and see the future and summon more melee types...
Oh, just picture that Form of the Dragon surrounded in a Fire Shield, too. Wouldn't that just be fun to anyone wanting to hit it?

That +8 to Nat armor stacks with Bracers/Mage Armor, and all the other standard AC buffing stuff. It's like giving the wizard an extra suit of field plate to wear, on top of all his other stuff.

It's a power shift from fighting classes to casting classes. If I can be a spellcaster all the time, and a melee whenever I feel like it, why would I need a melee?


Polymorph spells don't give the standard size bonuses, only what it says in the spell. The polymorph adjustment only applies when someone not small or medium polymorphs. You said polymorphing into a bear (a level 4 or 6 wildshape form depending on species) gave +16 strength. You then claimed falsely that there's a bear that's a valid level 8 wildshape form, which would still only give +6. The +6 strength is listed as a size bonus, but it's not out of line with what a fighter has. +6 strength is +3 damage except on a single attack form with no iteratives. There is no accuracy increase because the size penalty eats it. A level 8 fighter has in addition to his BAB +1 accuracy and +3 damage in weapon training and fighter only feats and another +1 accuracy from a feat that's a prerequisite for him but a bad choice for natural weapon users. The fighter's bonuses are all untyped.

Chess Pwn wrote:

He's talking about DnD 3.0, where yes, the druid could turn into basically anything and got the stats of the creature, not just some little str boost.

Come back when you've learned the applicable rules.

He's also complaining about the increased hit dice size of wizards, sorcerers, rangers, etc. That happened in PF only.

Jiggy wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Others simply can't (at least not without help). Some people can see "cleric", assume all the usual tropes about how clerics work will apply, and never notice that their healing is abysmal and they're better at stabbing the undead than at smiting them with divine fire. Some people can see "rogue", assume all the usual tropes about how rogues work will apply, and never notice that they're no better at XYZ skill than a Commoner of the same level and that they almost always get spotted while sneaking around unless the GM plays favorites. Some people can see "wizard", assume all the usual tropes about how wizards work will apply, and never notice how small an impact their HD size has on their HP or how easy it is to defend themselves without armor or how vastly oversized/over-potent their pool of magical resources is.
But clerics have never been that.

Yes, they have. Heck, they are, right now, in some current games. Maybe not in the handful you've played, but the fantasy gaming genre is HUGE, and has been for a while. (And so help me, if somebody responds something like "MMOs don't count", as though any reference to fantasy gaming outside of D&D/PF is obviously just referring to WoW, I'm gonna scream.) The cleric (sometimes under a different name) in fantasy gaming is quite often presented in the manner I described: bringing the power of holy light to heal the living and destroy the undead, plus maybe some middling combat ability.

Folks who absorb that image and rely too heavily on it often then fail to notice when one particular game (such as Pathfinder) paints a cleric in a similar fashion but fails to deliver on it.

MMOs count if they have clerics, but every MMO class must of necessity be able to go through the solo content to reach raiding level. White Mages and Priests and Shamans don't count, though.

Jiggy wrote:
Others simply can't (at least not without help). Some people can see "cleric", assume all the usual tropes about how clerics work will apply, and never notice that their healing is abysmal and they're better at stabbing the undead than at smiting them with divine fire. Some people can see "rogue", assume all the usual tropes about how rogues work will apply, and never notice that they're no better at XYZ skill than a Commoner of the same level and that they almost always get spotted while sneaking around unless the GM plays favorites. Some people can see "wizard", assume all the usual tropes about how wizards work will apply, and never notice how small an impact their HD size has on their HP or how easy it is to defend themselves without armor or how vastly oversized/over-potent their pool of magical resources is.

But clerics have never been that. They originated in Chainmail as vampire slayers. Or possibly it was lich slayers. Some sort of intelligent undead that was overpowered without clerics as a counter. They are and always have been a cross between Moses and the bishop depicted on the Bayaux Tapestry cracking Saxon skulls.

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graystone wrote:
Atarlost: If spells where SLA, they wouldn't be different categories. Are SU powers spells too? The ability doesn't say magic abilities [spells, SLA and SU] stop bleeding, it says spells and in the game that's something different.

SLAs originated as a hack so spell casting monsters could be simpler. They're meant to act as spells in all ways not given as specific exceptions. That's the basis on which Paizo had SLAs count for prestige class prerequisites until they decided they hate multiclassing more than they like rules consistency.

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graystone wrote:
SLA and SU aren't spells.

SLA are spells.

CRB p 221 wrote:
Usually, a spell-like ability works just like the spell of that name.

It goes on to list some ways in which SLAs don't behave exactly like spells, but not counting as a spell for the purpose of miscellaneous rules that refer to spells is not one of them.

RainyDayNinja wrote:
I'm with Dave on this. If your focus is on melee with a companion rather than spellcasting, you're better off with all the free Teamwork feats from a Hunter.

Hunters don't get pounce at level 6 unless they take an archetype that loses the companion.

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