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Bakunin's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 87 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 10 Pathfinder Society characters.


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As a minor suggestion, consider removing the critical hit deck. You're concerned about him being overpowered relative to the other players, the deck's game effects just add to that for his character since he's focused on getting as many crits as possible. If you want cool effects, use narrative ones that don't have additional in game consequences for him to capitalize on.

Liz Theis wrote:
They will be in our November release, which we're hoping to get out this week.

Does the Occult Adventures playtest material contain the clarifications and added material from the developers in the threads? I understand the added content isn't PFS legal, for those not playing PFS they would benefit from those additions while PFS play could eliminate those options with that check box.

A question concerning races like the Ifrit, Oread, Sylph, Undine, and even the Gnome via the Pyromaniac alternate racial trait that have an elemental affinity increasing their level by one for spell casting, domain granted abilities, bloodline powers, etc. Does that ability also apply to the appropriate Kineticist elemental focus?

Congratulations, Shadow Stalker!

I'm still stuck between choosing a Conjurer or an Evoker, I just couldn't figure out what sort of character would become a Diviner and go adventuring. I'm still leaning towards an Evoker just for some blasting, but the control elements from Dazing Spell are appealing. The only thing preventing me from going that route is our group might be a little melee light, so a Conjurer would come in handy with their Summon Monster spells.
Here's what I'm thinking about so far for the Conjurer:

Elf Wizard 1
CG Medium Humanoid (elf)
Init +3; Senses Low-Light Vision; Perception +3
AC 13, touch 13, flat-footed 10 (+3 Dex)
hp 10 (1d6+4)
Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +3; +2 vs. enchantments
Immune sleep; Resist Elven Immunities
Speed 30 ft., Shift (5') (7/day)
Melee Dagger +1 (1d4+1/19-20/x2) and
Rapier +1 (1d6+1/18-20/x2)
Ranged Shortbow +3 (1d6/x3)
Wizard Spells Prepared (CL 1, 1 melee touch, 3 ranged touch):
1 (2/day) Color Spray (DC 15), Enlarge Person (DC 15), Grease (DC 15)
0 (at will) Acid Splash, Read Magic, Detect Magic
Str 12, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 18, Wis 12, Cha 7
Base Atk +0; CMB +1; CMD 14
Feats Elven Weapon Proficiencies, Scribe Scroll, Toughness +3, Wizard Weapon Proficiencies
Skills Knowledge (arcana) +8, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +8, Knowledge (history) +8, Knowledge (nature) +8, Knowledge (planes) +8, Perception +3, Spellcraft +8
Languages Celestial, Common, Draconic, Elven, Goblin, Sylvan
SQ +4 bonus on initiative checks, Elven Magic, Empathic Link with Familiar, Enchantment, Necromancy, Share Spells with Familiar, Summoner's Charm (+1 rds), Teleportation
Combat Gear Arrows (40), Dagger, Rapier, Shortbow; Other Gear Backpack (empty), Bedroll, Belt pouch (empty), Blanket, Fishhook, Flint and steel, Sewing needle, Silk rope, Spell component pouch, Spellbook, String or twine, Thread (50 ft.), Trail rations (5), Waterskin, Whetstone
Special Abilities
+4 bonus on initiative checks You gain the Alertness feat while your familiar is within arm's reach.
Elven Immunities +2 save bonus vs Enchantments.
Elven Immunities - Sleep You are immune to magic sleep effects.
Elven Magic +2 to spellcraft checks to determine the properties of a magic item.
Empathic Link with Familiar (Su) You have an empathic link with your Arcane Familiar.
Enchantment You must spend 2 slots to cast spells from the Enchantment school.
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.
Necromancy You must spend 2 slots to cast spells from the Necromancy school.
Share Spells with Familiar The wizard may cast a spell with a target of "You" on his familiar (as a touch spell) instead of on himself. A wizard may cast spells on his familiar even if the spells do not normally affect creatures of the familiar's type (magical beast).
Shift (5') (7/day) (Sp) Short-range teleport
Summoner's Charm (+1 rds) (Su) Increase duration of summoning spells by 1/2 level (permanent at 20).
Teleportation Associated School: Conjuration

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Due to changes in the groups make up, I'm no longer going for the Arcane Trickster route, I'll be playing a pure Wizard. I'm still not sure yet what kind of Wizard I want to play, I'll have to reexamine the advice given as well as the guides to Wizards that are out there. Right now I'm thinking of playing the Evoker still, a Conjurer, or a Diviner for their Foresight abilities.

KaptainKrunch wrote:
Bakunin wrote:

Thanks for the link to the Arcane Trickster Guide, looks like I've got some more reading to do. Losing spell levels is the only thing that was giving me pause about the Arcane Trickster, especially since we're going to be playing Rise of the Runelords and I guess there's a bunch of goodies for Wizards eventually. Not sure if the DM would go for the Pure Vivisectionist route with some way of my getting Mage Hand.

The biggest thing holding the Vivisectionist back is that I haven't found anything that straight up says that Alchemy is considered Arcane Magic for the sake of requirements. So RAW, it's only possible based on DM interpretation.

Skimming over the abilities, the Vivisectionist would be a decent brute fighter with the several polymorph spells he has access too, and that would be his best focus since he doesn't get as many skill points as a rogue would. With that in mind the Gnome requirement for the one feat I found that lets you get mage hand might not put you in the best race. I'm sure there has to be other ways to get Mage Hand though.

Additionally, the Alchemist is kind of a half-caster anyway. You miss out on some cool spells on the Wizard Spell list in general up to at least 7th level and you won't be able to take very good advantage of Surprise Spells. So the biggest advantage of the Vivisectionist is not losing any levels on Sneak Attack.

It kind of depends on what you want to do. From an optimization standpoint I'd say that letting the Vivisectionist get into Arcane Trickster as a single class wouldn't be overpowered and I'd allow it as a DM. In fact, I'm not even sure if it'd be very good without some more comparison.

The main thing holding me back from going the Vivisectionist route, aside from character concept, is the relative lack of skill points and necessary skills for my character. If I wasn't needed right now as the party trapfinder/scout, I'd be a lot more interested in trying to pursue such a vivisectionist build with the DM. I've read a couple threads on the Beastmorph|Vivisectionist Alchemist and have seen a couple examples of just how nasty they can be.

I think the best route for accomplishing what I want for my character is going to be the regular Wizard/Rogue. I'd love to try and go with Ninja for their Vanish trick, but I just don't have the ability points to spare for a decent Charisma to give me more than one use of Vanish. I'm taking Magical Knack for one of my traits so that will at least give me effectively two more caster levels for purposes of spell damage, duration, etc. Won't give me more spells, but at least it's something.

KaptainKrunch wrote:
Bakunin wrote:
KaptainKrunch wrote:

It's not on the sticky, but here is my Complete Wizard Guide.

I include in this guide a discussion about the types of defenses you'll have to target as a Wizard, and I think that could be helpful. I also included an example Evoker Build at the end of the guide you may want to look at.

Thanks for the link to the guide! I'm reading it over now. A lot of good info there. Against common wisdom, I decided to work towards an Arcane Trickster with my Wizard. Not the most optimized choice, I know, but something I think could be fun and fits the character concept I eventually came up with.

Nothing says it's unoptimized, it's just not an optimized build for a "god" Wizard.

Actually, there's a Guide for that too (Not one that I wrote.)

Arcane Trickster Guide

Not to throw a wrench in your character concept (since that's all yours) but I've always been curious about how a Vivisectionist Arcane Trickster would work out. If your DM considers Alchemy to be Arcane Magic, then a Vivisectionist could qualify for Arcane Trickster without multi-classing if you find a way to get yourself Mage Hand through a feat or similar means (the Gnome Trickster feat gives you Mage Hand as one option.)

I haven't read into Arcane Trickster too deeply so I have no idea how good that would be, but I like the idea of not losing spell levels.

Thanks for the link to the Arcane Trickster Guide, looks like I've got some more reading to do. Losing spell levels is the only thing that was giving me pause about the Arcane Trickster, especially since we're going to be playing Rise of the Runelords and I guess there's a bunch of goodies for Wizards eventually. Not sure if the DM would go for the Pure Vivisectionist route with some way of my getting Mage Hand.

KaptainKrunch wrote:

It's not on the sticky, but here is my Complete Wizard Guide.

I include in this guide a discussion about the types of defenses you'll have to target as a Wizard, and I think that could be helpful. I also included an example Evoker Build at the end of the guide you may want to look at.

Thanks for the link to the guide! I'm reading it over now. A lot of good info there. Against common wisdom, I decided to work towards an Arcane Trickster with my Wizard. Not the most optimized choice, I know, but something I think could be fun and fits the character concept I eventually came up with.

Ubercroz wrote:

I am playing a wizard right now. the times i have the most fun are when i am doing something creative and thinking around, rather than blasting thru, an encounter.

That said i am a conjurer (for low level acid darts, higher level dimension step, and summoning) but i use charm person and other mind domination spells as my bread and butter moves. I have spell focus and greater spell focus in those, so against weaker creatures i can charm them in combat.

Unseen servant is your friend, let it do your dirty work. Hideous laughter is an amazing spell as well- I had a wizard use that recently in a 11th level game to great effect.

So creativity is the other side of preperation, use your spells judiciously and consider that damage may not be the best thing you can do.

I think that part is going to be the hardest adjustment for me. I'm used to taking a brute force approach to problems with my fighter or barbarian, or even cleric. It's a whole different way to approach combat for me. I definitely need to spend time looking at the spell options available to me so I can try and discover other options than just blasting everything in sight. I still need a little blasting fun though, to help make the transition a bit easier on me.

Banecrow wrote:
Bakunin wrote:
Good advice, and advice I hope to follow. I've already planned on using my Scribe Scroll feat to as much of an advantage as possible, stocking up on situational spells as well as doing exactly what you did and taking advantage of my enemies weaknesses. I just need to figure out the knowledge skills that I'll need and put points into them as I level up.

Knowledge skills

Arcana of course, this covers a lot of situations.

Local in most modules will give you information about whatever town you are in or even help you find stuff in that town. You can get a LOT of clues with knowledge local.

Religion is good if you are going to be encountering undead.

Planes will give you information on creatures with the outsider subtype.

Those tend to be my standard 4 I always take as a wizard then as I level up I tend to throw in some of the other ones.

Thanks for the advice! I hadn't considered Knowledge: Local that highly. I'd also thought about leaving the Knowledge: Religion to the Cleric, but they get so few skill points and no Int synergy with their class it makes more sense for me to take it as well.

The group is meeting tonight for character creation and I'd like to get some more feedback on the whole Wizard thing before then if possible. Hopefully there are more kind souls out there who can give me advice on my first foray into the Wizarding world.

Malag wrote:


Did you consider Alchemist maybe? He has alchemically created bombs and uses formula list. Trade of is that you can blast, have utility spells, amazing discoveries and even switch to melee/ranged type if you want.

That said, if you want to play Evoker, +1 caster level traits are the way to go with it. It helps against Spell Resistance and increases your damage output high.

The bomb throwing Alchemist is one I hadn't looked at really. I'd been more interested in the Beastmorph/Vivisectionist, but kind of set that off to the side once more players chimed in wanting to play melee characters. I should have just said that's what I was playing in the first place, but I had a few too many ideas running through my mind including the Wizard or a Sorcerer and let the opportunity slip by.

Derfmancher wrote:

I am playing a Wizard in Rappan Athuk. Lets just say the party is rather glad that I am an Earth Elementalist. Pits are great against things with low reflex. However above level 8-10 you need to start looking for spells that don't have SR. Or devote yourself to getting through SR.

Other points, consider carefully if you take bonded object or familiar. I love using my bonded object cast. Additionally to being able to make myself "one ring to rule them all" without ever taking forge ring.

What else... oh! They will always look at you for buff spells. Lots of useful level 2s there for that. But at a lower level its not a bad thing to have a few to cast or at least one. However, they wont need them 90% of the time.

Wands are your friend if you ever have the money to buy one. You can do just about anything with the right wand. My wizards favorite are of course a wand of CLW and Fireball.

Best advice I could ever give a fellow Wizard.. do not under any circumstances allow any of these to happen.
1. Your spellbook to leave your position or be destroyed (make a spare)
2. Yourself to be in front of any of the melee characters for any reason.
3. Your bonded object (if you take it) to ever leave your person.

Thanks for the advice about the Pit line of spells, I'll have to keep those in mind as I level up. As far as SR goes, that was one of the main reasons I chose an Elf. I'm planning on using Scribe Scroll a lot for the buff spells, either that or taking Create Wand, whichever is cheaper for me in the long run.

I've already got plans for a couple spellbooks so that I can have one on me and still have another in a safe location. The closest I plan on being to melee is within close blast range, and that's only if I have to be there. Still not sure on the Bonded Object vs. Familiar, but will definitely guard the item vigorously if I take that option.

Mr. Damage wrote:
Look to Diviner with the Prescience power, Foretell I think, and get the other party members to take the Lookout feat with you. That is a great way to help out from the get go of every encounter. You act in the surprise round and it benefits those with the lookout feat. Load up on Perception, too.

Looking over the Core+ guide, I noticed the subspecialist Diviner and was pretty tempted by their abilities. I just need to figure out what sort of character I'd be to take that specialization and lock myself into Divination spells for my extra spell slots. I'm definitely not adverse to playing a Diviner, I just have to figure out what would make that character tick for me.

Banecrow wrote:

Best advise I can give to you is to just remember as a wizard your biggest advantage is your versatility. Think about this before you pick a school.

A sorcerer may be able to cast more spells per day than you but they are limited on the spells known. Nobody has a magic weapon so cannot attack the incorporeal creatures attacking the party, well you have a spell for that. Creature is vulnerable to fire, you have a spell for that also.

Remember that as a wizard preparation is you're best friend. Research the situation you are going into and be prepared. (when possible) Do this and you will allow your party to get around a lot of hard situations.

Example my group just started playing Carion Crown adventure path. In the first module the party finds out the prison is inhabited by ghosts. Incorporeal undead are immune to normal weapons. None of the players has a magic weapon so the wizard in the party starts creating magic weapon scrolls to use. The fact that he did this is what honestly saved the party.

Wizards are intelligent! Pay attention, plan and prepare and you will be in your element.

Good advice, and advice I hope to follow. I've already planned on using my Scribe Scroll feat to as much of an advantage as possible, stocking up on situational spells as well as doing exactly what you did and taking advantage of my enemies weaknesses. I just need to figure out the knowledge skills that I'll need and put points into them as I level up.

Mysterious Stranger wrote:

If you have access to the ARG consider going with a spellbinder archetype. I would specialize in the Teleport school and use the Bound spells for summon monster. Summoning is one of the most versatile options a Wizard has. This way you memorize your blast spells, but can trade them out for a summon if the blast is not going to work.

I would recommend getting augmented summoning as soon as you can. Also the shift school power is very helpful to a Wizard get away from threats. As an elf you can use your favored class bonus to get extra shifts. Nice thing about the shifts is they get more range as you go up in levels.

That is an interesting option. I didn't even notice that in the ARG before. If I do go with a Summoner, that is definitely something I'd consider for an Archetype.

karkon wrote:

Enchantment and Necromancy are fine opposition schools.

As far as the Admixture Evoker. I don't know. I never liked being a blasty type because you feel like you need to cast a spell every round. I like to conserve spells so I tend to stick to buff and summoning. Don't get me wrong. Blasting feels like hella fun but a sorcerer has more casts per day to do that.

I know Treantmonk is a definite advocate for summoning in his guide, I'm just hesitant to go down that route since the party is pretty large already and I'm not sure if having the extra actions from the summoned creature would be a detriment to the party's enjoyment or not. I suppose that's something I should discuss with the group.

As far as blasting goes, there is another player who may or may not play a blasty sorcerer. I don't want to step on his toes, but I did want some blasting action myself, hence evocation for the additional spell slot for a damage dealing spell. I'm also planning on using one more of my spell slots for damage, and the other(s) for utility and buffs/debuffs as I level up and gain more spell slots.

Let me preface this by saying I've read the two Wizard guides in the Class Guide thread and am still absorbing the info in the guides. I've played D&D in its various incarnations before, but never as a Wizard or a Sorcerer. I'm about to start the Rise of the Runelords campaign and want to be a benefit to the party instead of a detriment while I learn the ropes of being a Wizard.

My current idea for my Wizard is an Elven Admixture Evoker with Enchantment and Necromancy as my opposed schools. I want to be able to have the versatility of the Wizard, but I do want to do some blasting here and there and I thought taking Evocation as my specialty school would let me be able to do that most effectively with the Admixture special ability.

Is there a better way to go about doing what I had in mind, or am I on the right track? Are there better schools to select for my opposition schools? What are some good things to know as a Wizard, low level or otherwise? Are there any good tips and tactics you can share that I can use to make life better for the party? Thanks in advance for any help provided.

Daryl MacLeod wrote:

Furious Focus is great from 1 - 3, even better from 4 to 5 and then it drops off a bit at 6 but still holds value all game long. So I'd prioritize it ahead of Opening Volley which is truly only a boon once per encounter (two I guess if the bad guys flee, you shoot 'me again and then base them down to finish in melee).

So I'd take Furious Focus at 1st and only take OV if you have a free slot later.

So if Toughness & QuickDraw were your 1st level feats I'd probably drop Toughness. Unless you have a hardcore DM that makes you roll HP at 1st. Your CON & favored class should be good enough.

Tough call though...

Definitely something to think about. Normally I wouldn't hesitate to have picked something other than toughness, but I've heard the AP can be pretty vicious at the start in spots plus I'm going to be the only full BAB class in the group so I'm thinking I need as many HP's as I can get, even if that is only 3 more at the start.

Daryl MacLeod wrote:

I haven't reviewed your character in depth but I did notice that you have to switch up 1 of your traits... Take Magical Knack for the +2 Caster level. It ups the duration of your buffs and is pretty much a must have for any Ranger that isn't a Trapper or Skirmisher.

Some other feats that are worth looking at;

Furious Focus - Power attack on every attack with no penalty to hit for 5 full levels? Hell yes!

Opening Volley - I think Paizo read Treantmonk's Guide to the Ranger and then immediately published this feat to show their gratitude.

Thanks for the idea about Magical Knack. Will have to see which trait I can stand to lose. As far as the feats go, what would you suggest losing in favor of Furious Focus and Opening Volley?

VRMH wrote:
If your GM will let you retroactively get the Human alternative racial trait Eye for Talent, you can make Lassie a 3 Int animal and thereby eligible for feats and skillpoints.

We're still in the character building stage so everything's on the table. I'm just trying to plan out my character so I can spend less time trying to figure out what to do as I level up. I just have to figure out if it's worth giving up that bonus feat at first level.

Mojorat wrote:

Did you catch the second edit? Boon companion a dresses the issue of multiple companions. Apparently you apply it to each AC desperately.

My first thought was it Added 4 to your ranger level then that was split. But boon companion seems to; imply it targets the companion.

So by that wording lvl 7 ranger two tigers one assigned l
2 lvls one 1 lvls and boon companion at lvl 5 and 7 gets you a lvl 5 and 6 companion.

I don't know if this interpretation is correct just going off BCs word in.

I sure did miss the second edit. You must have edited your post while I was posting my reply. I'll definitely have to look up some of the rules threads for Boon Companion so I can show them to my DM and see how he interprets the wording.

Mojorat wrote:

Boon companion, I also think when you get the second pet and boost it the lack of a FE wont really matter the.

Edit: harm justvre read it seems you have to slit the effective very druid levels. I'm not sure then how to make use if it. I don't think boon companion would solve that issue.

Yeah, that's the big drawback with Beastmaster's ability to get multiple companions and Boon Companion. Plus I'd be spending extra feats of my own depending on the number of additional companions I had. Regardless, I'm definitely selecting Boon Companion at level 5 when I can first take it, even though I get the same ability as a Beastmaster Ranger at level 12. Just can't wait that long for that ability to kick in, not and have my little buddy have a fighting chance at survival.

After having it pointed out to me that, by RAW, I lose out on the favored enemy bonus for my animal companion in order to gain the Druid's wider animal list to choose from, as well as the ability to have multiple companions, I'm looking for ways I can help boost my little animal buddy's combat capabilities so I can help alleviate the sting of no favored enemy bonus. What are some feats and magic items out there that would help me do this?

Also, what's the best way to help get my animal companion back close to the same level of effectiveness as a regular animal companion that would get my favored enemy bonuses. What sort of feats and magic items are must haves for an animal companion?

What would you say the best class for both surviving combat as well as posing an offensive threat would be? I'm trying to find a good balance of offense and defense for a 5th character in a party with no other full BAB classes.

Is Cheapy's Amy Alchy build the best example I'm going to find for a melee brute type of Alchemist build? I'm looking to try and find some sort of build that can put out good damage and take a hit or two. Would I just be better off looking at a Fighter or a Barbarian instead? I'd like to try and do that with an Alchemist because of their versatility, but understand if there's some things the class just can't do.

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How does the feat selection look? Are there feats I'm missing, feats that are traps? Same question about the feats selected for my animal companion, what are the best feats for my raptor buddy? Should I drop my other stats lower in order to increase my strength to 18 to start? I planned on increasing my strength with all three level boosts I know I'll be getting, plus I wanted to have a higher intelligence for more skill points in order to be more useful outside of combat.

Hrm...looks like that is indeed the case. Not sure if this will change my plans. I could still take a Wolf and have it be as tough as my little raptor buddy, it just won't get all the attacks. I'll have to think over how much I want the raptor versus having the favored enemy bonuses apply to my companion.

Shalafi2412 wrote:
How would an Ulfen get a dino?

He's not an Ulfen from the North in Varisia or the usual Ulfen lands, he's from one of the islands of the Shackles where there's a strong Ulfen presence among the expat community. As far as where to find the dino, here's a link to the wiki write up of the island. Raptor Island

In the same vein as the original question, what sort of Knowledge skills come in most handy, if any, for this AP?

ToxicNecrochris wrote:
Also an often overlooked fact is that in Pathfinder, ranger animal companions gain Favored Enemy and Favored Terrain bonuses.

Good point. I need to talk with the DM and see what favored enemies will be coming up a lot so I can plan out my progression for that better.

Noodlez wrote:

I have no experience with ranged classes but our current group seems to need one. I am not sure if Magic or archer would be better suited for us as we have 4 magic users in a group of 6. Also I do like out of combat skills since I personally like to help with everything that comes at us. I also like to be multi-dimensional and not be stuck with the same attack(s) every combat.

Not sure if that helps or confuses things more lol.

Just from reading that it sounds like Ranger might be up your alley. Either that or a Bard based archer. Both would get you 6+ skill points and other abilities to help with versatility outside of combat.

ToxicNecrochris wrote:

Look into the "Instant Enemy" 3rd level ranger spell from the APG. It is worth the slot, and a few pearls of power.

As far as feats, I'm working on a character that's a "switch tripper" build, with the idea of using my bow against fliers and then focus on tripping in melee. I have no idea how it's going to work out, so I can't tell you whether it is a good idea or not, but the feat investment is such that you have to give up the crit specialty feats.

Oh, I did see that spell, I just somewhat randomly selected spells and focused on my pet for that level. I definitely will want to look into those Pearls of Power after seeing just how limited my spellcasting is for the ranger.

Thanks again for your help, Vikingson, I appreciate it. Your Fighter/Bard was definitely something I'd consider, I'm just afraid of stepping on the other players toes at all right now with my character, no matter what I would call it. That's the same reason I haven't really looked into any Oracle, Cleric, or Magus based builds either right now. I want to let the other players outshine me in their own niche.

I did finally come to a decision on what I wanted to play though. In the end, no matter how alluring the siren song of a Beastmorph/Vivisectionist Alchemist was, I decided to go for a switch hitter Beast Master Ranger. Ever since seeing the Ranger Iconic character in some of the art for the Skull & Shackles AP, that image had just stuck with me. Though the idea of my character alternated between a Ranger or a Fighter/Rogue, the Ranger and his animal companion won out. I figured having a pet along for the AP would help us out with melee damage and not have me needing to worry all the time about positioning for a sneak attack.

After days of deliberation and over thinking, I finally decided to play a Beast Master Ranger for an upcoming Skull & Shackles game. It's been ages since I played 3.x and I'm new to Pathfinder as well so I was hoping to get some constructive criticism about my Ranger build. I decided on a Beast Master Ranger because I'm the only full BAB class in the group, and I figured I could use all the help I can get when fighting our adversaries. The rest of the group consists of a Gnome Bard, a Sylph Magus, A Human Cleric, and a Half-Orc Witch.

The idea behind the Ranger was to try for something similar to Treantmonk's switch hitter version of the Ranger, but slightly modified due to the Beast Master level substitutions. I chose to take Boon Companion at level 5 due to wanting a full level companion as soon as possible instead of waiting to level 12 to get that ability. I chose the raptor not only for their attack capability & relative toughness, but also because there's a whole island in the Shackles where raptors rule the land, so it would be a cool & possibly prestigious thing to have captured and bonded with one of them. As far as equipment goes, I didn't add any since I wasn't sure just where to start with it. I'm hoping for some advice as to what I should be looking for as I level up for both myself and for my companion.

Bob the Ranger CR 14
Male Human (Ulfen) Ranger (Beast Master) 15
CG Medium Humanoid (Human)
Init +2; Senses Perception +20
AC 12, touch 12, flat-footed 10 (+2 Dex)
hp 210 (15d10+45)
Fort +11, Ref +11, Will +7
Defensive Abilities Evasion
Spd 30 ft.
Melee Unarmed Strike +20/+15/+10 (1d3+5/20/x2)
Ranger (Beast Master) Spells Prepared (CL 12, 20 melee touch, 17 ranged touch):
4 (1/day) Aspect of the Wolf (DC 16)
3 (2/day) Strong Jaw (DC 15), Strong Jaw (DC 15)
2 (3/day) Barkskin, Barkskin, Lockjaw (DC 14)
1 (4/day) Lead Blades (DC 13), Lead Blades (DC 13), Gravity Bow (DC 13), Gravity Bow (DC 13)
Str 20, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 7
Base Atk +15; CMB +20; CMD 32
Feats Bleeding Critical, Boon Companion: Ranger (Beast Master), Critical Focus, Deadly Aim -4/+8, Endurance, Improved Critical: Falchion, Improved Precise Shot, Manyshot, Power Attack -4/+8, Precise Strike, Quick Draw, Rapid Shot, Toughness +15
Traits Fast-Talker, Ship Aptitude
Skills Acrobatics +11, Bluff +15, Climb +11, Handle Animal +8, Intimidate +11, Knowledge (Nature) +19, Perception +20, Profession (Sailor) +21, Sense Motive +10, Stealth +15, Survival +20, Swim +11
Languages Common, Polyglot, Skald
SQ Animal Companion Link (Ex), Enemies: Humanoids (Giant) (+2 bonus) (Ex), Enemies: Humanoids (Human) (+8 bonus) (Ex), Enemies: Monstrous Humanoids (+2 bonus) (Ex), Enemies: Undead (+2 bonus) (Ex), Improved Empathic Link (Su), Quarry, Share Spells with Companion (Ex), Swift Tracker (Ex), Terrains: Jungle (+2 bonus) (Ex), Terrains: Urban (+2 bonus) (Ex), Terrains: Water (+6 bonus) (Ex), Track +7, Wild Empathy +13 (Ex), Woodland Stride (Ex)

Animal Companion Link (Ex) You have a link with your Animal Companion.
Bleeding Critical Critical Hits deal 2d6 bleed damage.
Boon Companion: Ranger (Beast Master) +4 levels to calc familiar/animal comp abilities (max of your HD).
Critical Focus +4 to confirm critical hits.
Deadly Aim -4/+8 Trade a penalty to ranged attacks for a bonus to ranged damage.
Endurance +4 to a variety of skill checks. Sleep in L/M armor with no fatigue.
Enemies: Humanoids (Giant) (+2 bonus) (Ex) +2 to rolls vs Humanoids (Giant).
Enemies: Humanoids (Human) (+8 bonus) (Ex) +8 to rolls vs Humanoids (Human).
Enemies: Monstrous Humanoids (+2 bonus) (Ex) +2 to rolls vs Monstrous Humanoids.
Enemies: Undead (+2 bonus) (Ex) +2 to rolls vs Undead.
Evasion (Ex) If you succeed at a Reflex save for half damage, you take none instead.
Improved Empathic Link (Su) You have an empathic link with all your companions.
Improved Precise Shot Ignore certain AC / concealment bonuses.
Manyshot You can shoot two arrows as the first attack of a full attack action.
Power Attack -4/+8 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Precise Strike +1d6 precision damage for melee attacks if you and an ally with this feat flank the same target.
Quarry +2 to hit and other bonuses against your designated quarry.
Quick Draw Draw a weapon as a free action. Throw at full rate of attacks.
Rapid Shot You get an extra attack with ranged weapons. Each attack is at -2.
Share Spells with Companion (Ex) Spells cast on you can also affect your Companion, if it's within 5 feet.
Swift Tracker (Ex) Tracking penalties when moving at normal speed or faster are reduced.
Terrains: Jungle (+2 bonus) (Ex) +2 to rolls vs Jungle.
Terrains: Urban (+2 bonus) (Ex) +2 to rolls vs Urban.
Terrains: Water (+6 bonus) (Ex) +6 to rolls vs Water.
Track +7 +7 to survival checks to track.
Wild Empathy +13 (Ex) Improve the attitude of an animal, as if using Diplomacy.
Woodland Stride (Ex) Move through undergrowth at normal speed.


Male Deinonychus
NN Medium Animal
Init +5; Senses Low-Light Vision, Scent; Perception +10
AC 28, touch 15, flat-footed 23 (+5 Dex, +13 natural)
hp 168 (+72)
Fort +13, Ref +13, Will +7
Defensive Abilities Evasion
Spd 60 ft.
Melee Bite (Deinonychus) +14 (1d6+5/20/x2) and
Claw x2 (Deinonychus) +14 x2 (1d4+5/20/x2) and
Talon x2 (Deinonychus) +14 x2 (2d6+5/20/x2) and
Unarmed Strike +14/+9 (1d3+5/20/x2)
Special Attacks Pounce
Str 20, Dex 20, Con 20, Int 4, Wis 12, Cha 14
Base Atk +9; CMB +14; CMD 29
Feats Improved Natural Attack: Talon x2 (Deinonychus), Iron Will, Multiattack (Multiattack / Extra Attack), Power Attack -3/+6, Precise Strike, Toughness +12
Tricks Attack [Trick], Attack [Trick], Attack Any Target [Trick], Combat Riding [Trick], Come [Trick], Defend [Trick], Down [Trick], Guard [Trick], Heel [Trick], Seek [Trick], Stay [Trick], Track [Trick], Work [Trick]
Skills Acrobatics +9, Climb +9, Perception +10, Stealth +11, Swim +9
SQ Attack Any Target [Trick], Combat Riding [Trick], Devotion +4 (Ex), Improved Evasion (Ex), Multiattack / Extra Attack, Seek [Trick], Stay [Trick], Track [Trick], Work [Trick]

Attack Any Target [Trick] The animal will attack any creature on command.
Combat Riding [Trick] The animal has been trained to bear a rider into combat.
Devotion +4 (Ex) +4 Morale bonus on Will Saves vs. Enchantments.
Evasion (Ex) No damage on successful reflex save.
Improved Evasion (Ex) No damage on successful reflex save; half on failed save.
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.
Multiattack / Extra Attack Multiattack or second attack with primary weapon at a -5 penalty.
Pounce (Ex) You can make a full attack as part of a charge.
Power Attack -3/+6 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Precise Strike +1d6 precision damage for melee attacks if you and an ally with this feat flank the same target.
Scent (Ex) Detect opponents within 15+ feet by sense of smell.
Seek [Trick] The animal moves into an area and looks around for anything that is obviously alive or animate.
Stay [Trick] The animal will stay where it is.
Track [Trick] The animal will track a scent.
Work [Trick] The animal pulls or pushes a medium or heavy load.

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Thanks for the advice on the Fighter/Bard, I appreciate it. Still not quite sure what I'll play, I'm afraid I've got analysis paralysis from thinking about all the different options for a character. Not sure if I'll look at the Fighter/Bard as my starting character since we've got a Bard in the party, but he could be a fun character to introduce in case we have a party death or two. Hopefully I can stop over thinking things and just commit to a character to start out with and go from there.

How well does the Beastmaster archetype go with the Switch hitter Ranger? And what's the best animal companion to go along with that? I'd be looking to get one full level animal companion rather than take multiple ones. Is there another Archetype that would go well with Beastmaster?

vikingson wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
If you use Vikingson's ideas then your best bet is either straight Ranger, or Ranger (Freebooter)

I'd personally refrain from rangers, because many of their powers are so... passive.

My personal take would be on a melee oriented bard/fighter. Morale boosting songs or streams of freaky insults, combined with a somewhat wicked twohanded weapon, power attack and assorted nastiness. Think "warrior poet". With a Falchion...

Personally, I have always loved the ability of bards to vanish for a brainblowing invisible twohanded power attacking charge. Including Furious Focus, Vital Strikes and of course, Cleave^^.

While still being an all around nicely charismatic guy. With skill points. Self healing.... UMD... and other comfort spells... Also possibly useful in social scenes as aid or alternative approach. Just my 2 cent

Alternatively : the group seems slightly underpowered in the ranged magical damage department, unless we are talking an elemental witch here. In that case, consider something with enough INT (skillpoints) and AoE spells. Given the peculiar deadliness of AP-1, this would be... a strong recommendation

A little late with a reply to this, but what kind of build would you suggest for a Fighter/Bard? Our group still hasn't gotten together to finalize our characters and I still haven't managed to come up with an idea that's stuck yet.

One discovery you're missing is Fast Bombs to allow you to throw multiple bombs per round.

kaisc006 wrote:
Bakunin wrote:
That, plus no full BAB class being played by the other players in the group makes me want to try and find someone that can 'tank' for the party, pardon the MMO expression.

A big divergent from talking switch hitter lol but tanking works a little differently in PF due to the inability to force aggro enemies. Your best bet to get their attention would be charging into their faces and dealing large amounts of damage. GMs will most likely target your character because he will be the largest threat. If you build a character completely focused in AC the GM will more than likely just run around you.

For tankiness, I prefer a Ronin Samurai. Resolve coupled with their level 2 ability to re-roll any failed Will save with a duration longer than one round transforms you into an unstoppable DPR machine. 2H your katana and wear heavy armor. Slap on the sword saint archetype to lose the mounted combat abilities. The Samurai can dip fighter (weapon master) four levels and still make out ok. If you really want to deal damage take 2 levels in ninja and burn ki for extra attacks. Your party is without a rogue so perhaps a ninja would be welcome.

Another option would be a Manuever Master monk. This character would use reach weapons to trip foes on AoO and prevent them from reaching your party. Monks have great saves and using a reach weapon would help with your low AC. You could also get disarm and make that BBEG suddenly find his awesome +2 human bane/keen falchion in your hands.

Yeah, I have to get used to 3.x/Pathfinder style 'tanking' as well. I definitely like the sound of being able to reroll failed will saves. I still have memories of my last 3.x fighter being commanded to attack the party. I'll have to look into both of those options my group gets together this weekend to fully create our characters.

Blueluck wrote:
kaisc006 wrote:
I would focus more on the optimization level of your group. If they are optimizers then optimize your character. If not then optimization isn't critical because the GM will need to adjust encounters to meet this.

This is great advice!

I've found that I have a lot more fun when I don't over or under optimize compared to the group I'm in. My way of down-grading optimization to fit a group is to choose a sub-optimal strategy/build and then optimize is as much as I feel like.

I guess I'm just concerned since the other players are coming from 4th edition and aren't going to have spent as much time looking at ways to optimize their characters. That, plus no full BAB class being played by the other players in the group makes me want to try and find someone that can 'tank' for the party, pardon the MMO expression.

Gambit wrote:
Bakunin wrote:

Str 16
Int 12
Wis 14
Dex 14
Con 14
Cha 7
Holy 1st Edition stat order, Batman.

Guilty! No idea why that stat order has stuck with me for so long. Just feels right.

kaisc006 wrote:
Bakunin wrote:
What sort of stat array would you suggest with a 20 point buy?

I would suggest:

Str 18 (+2 race)
Dex 14
Con 14
Int 9
Wis 14
Cha 7

You're not stupid, just haven't recieved a formal education. As for race choose human (feat) or half-orc (darkvision). Elves can work too. For optimization use a falchion or if elf elven curved blade. Remember you are a melee fighter who just happens to be great with his bow as well.

Hrm...will have to think about that. Still gives me 6 skill ranks if Human. On a tangent, would you suggest a different build for being a main fighter type? I'm in a party that consists of a Gnome Bard, Half Orc Witch, Sylph Magus, and more than likely a Human Cleric. I'm just wondering if a switch hitter Ranger would still work as a great fit for the group.

kaisc006 wrote:

In my opinion the Ranger is still the best. The ability to have mediocre Dex (using the archery combat style) and high Str means you'll be pumping out decent damage with your bow and excellent with 2H melee. Plus rangers have tons of other cool abilities and skills to keep you occupied out of combat.

If hungry for something else, you could try an Inquisitor because Bane is powerful and they are fun to play. But feats and MAD won't be as manageable as the classic Ranger switch hitter.

What sort of stat array would you suggest with a 20 point buy? Right now I'm considering these stats:

Str 16
Int 12
Wis 14
Dex 14
Con 14
Cha 7

As I mentioned in another thread looking for help selecting a character, I'm looking to play in the Skull & Shackles AP coming up in the next month or so. I've narrowed it down to a couple builds and some sort of switch hitter combatant was one of the builds I'm considering. My question is what class would be best to create a switch hitter with? Is a Ranger still best, and if so is Treantmonk's guide still the best resource for that build? Is there a Fighter build that is as good or better than a Ranger for a switch hitter? What about multiclassing?

Thanks! I appreciate it!

Azaelas Fayth wrote:
There are a lot of options. Again good luck picking a class. I would drive myself nuts.

I feel like I am driving myself nuts over what character to play! As far as the builds you mentioned go, the second is more like what I envisioned myself playing, popping the mutagen and raging when things get really tough, otherwise just relying on flanking and sneak attacks.

Azaelas Fayth wrote:

Well I can see if I can get you the Barbarian/Alchemist build Edwurd, the AP veteran of my group, used in a Kingmaker campaign though you might need to drop some feats/discoveries. Or his current Skull & Shackles Cavalier(Musketeer)/Undisclosed Prestige Class... and I just noticed Mysterious Strangers(love the name btw) post...

Though he is thinking of talking his GM into killing his Cavalier off for a Slinger/Ranger, Fighter/???, or a spellcaster Though his group only has a Bard(Basic or Songhealer), a Magus(Basic), a Rogue(Swashbuckler).

OK he is saying your Barbarian/Alchemist is a wonderful concept and should work.

He used the Beastmorph archetype on his and looked at vivisectionist but decided the tortuous transformation feature would never be used and alongside how rarely he would even get to use sneak attack in their campaign didn't really equal out to how effective the bombs could be. You might have more chances for the sneak attack than he did though. Though he does make a point on siege engines as having the bombs and the exploding bombs discovery allows you to infuse a piece of siege engine ammo with your bombs power. The fire damage might be brutal to a ship or just cruel and unusual torture...

Great... now I might have to look into S&S... either way best of luck choosing I know I would drive myself nuts...

Can you ask him about any feat suggestions? That's my main issue right now, I just don't know what to take for feats beyond the first couple.

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