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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 CR 12
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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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
What sort of stat array would you suggest with a 20 point buy? Right now I'm considering these stats:Str 16
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?
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:
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.
Okay, so now that I've got an actual RP character concept for one of the two characters I was thinking about, I'm hoping that I could get help figuring out the 15 level progression for that character. I'm using a 20 point buy and selected the Dual Talent alternate race feature to give me a pair of +2 bonuses to my stats instead of the extra feat at 1st level and extra skill point. Right now I'm looking at these stats:
Str 15 +2 = 17
For Talents I'm looking at one that gives me a +1 to Will saves and then picking one from the Skull & Shackles AP for campaign flavor.
The only two feats I've planned out so far are Toughness at first level and then Extra Rage at 3rd level. I've seen one build that focused on using natural attacks as well as Monk abilities, but since this character doesn't get them regularly, just as a result of his mutagen, I can't go that build route. I'm hoping someone can recommend feat & discovery progressions that would help make this character a viable melee combatant. As far as total levels, I'll eventually end up as Barbarian 2/Alchemist 10/Master Chymist 3.
The progression I'm thinking about will look like this:
Thematically, that's kind of what I'm looking to represent, I'm just on the fence as to using the actual archetype and giving up fast movement. I'm thinking of a character who is maybe on the smaller side for Ulfen, but is still a warrior. He isn't satisfied with the fighting ability he gets from his rages so in order to outshine his brethren he undertakes study with the local spiritual leader/shaman to study alchemy and brewing of potions to make himself bigger, faster, stronger, etc. Still not satisfied, he allows some fiendish spirit to possess him during his rage, hence the gore attack.
Azaelas Fayth wrote:
True, that probably would be my best bet for a Gunslinger/Ranger as far as feats and stats go. Don't worry, I appreciate all the options presented and don't think of them as people telling me what to play, just as them presenting ideas. As far as the side note, no, I've never heard of that game. Why do you ask?
The more I think about things, the more I'm circling back to a Beastmorph/Vivisectionist Alchemist of some sort. That, or the Gunslinger/Ranger. The Alchemist would give me 3 natural attacks, or 4 when raging if I dipped a couple levels in Barbarian for a gore attack. On top of that I'd eventually get the ability to sneak attack for 5d6 damage. I'd just have to have some sort of ranged option to go along with my melee attacks so I'm not useless in that department. Now on the other hand, I'd have ranged attacks covered with the Gunslinger/Ranger, but have to work harder to merge both melee and ranged into one package as far as feats go.