Besides Life, what other Mysteries would work well for a Buffing/Support Oracle who just stands in the back and casts spells? I'm not opposed to a little ranged debuffing, but I'd like to avoid actual (gasp) violence, leaving that to my minions, err, fellow party members.
Also, the character in question is a gnome with the haunted curse, if that helps.
That isn't going to stop people from playing weak characters up or strong ones down. Who's to say that Rip won't play up because he's clueless about where he stands or because he likes to live dangerously, or Bond play down because he prefers feeling invincible? Aren't you assuming everyone has similar idea of what an 'ideal challenge' is?
Since you are playing a ranger, it shouldn't grow large until 10th level (since "the ranger's effective druid level is equal to his ranger level – 3").
You have another option if you don't want it large:
Instead of taking the listed benefit at 4th or 7th level, you can instead choose to increase the companion's Dexterity and Constitution by 2.
Third : The eidolon is potentially a second character you play, because no DM wants to handle it and provoke conflicts with the summoner player, because you know "it's a feature of my class, not a freakin' NPC !!!", while every character that is not an PC is an NPC, feat, features or whatever.
And animal companions, familiars, and mounts aren't "potentially a second character you play"? (I've never seen any of those NPC'd either.)
The only thing I got out of it was that Atarlost thinks the Broodmaster and Master Summoner were a bad idea for reasons which have little to do with compromising the setting or genre: "And, frankly, Ash Ketchum doesn't belong in Pathfinder either. Unless you inappropriately use pokemon tournament rules limitations when fighting daemons he's really bad for time sharing in a turn based multiplayer game and bad for balance in one where action economy is an important consideration."
Or Power Kill?
You keep all your skills and feats and can use most of them normally. The exceptions are feats tied to manufactured weapons, such as Weapon Focus (longsword) or Furious Focus. Using skills related to talking to people (e.g. Diplomacy) would require you have a way of talking while wild shaped and some GMs might not let you use skills requiring fine motor skills (e.g. Disable Device).
Why do you need to boost your CL?
There's three PFS faction traits that boost caster level for highly specific things:
Spellstrike (Su): At 2nd level, whenever a magus casts a spell with a range of “touch” from the magus spell list, he can deliver the spell through any weapon he is wielding as part of a melee attack. Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make one free melee attack with his weapon (at his highest base attack bonus) as part of casting this spell. If successful, this melee attack deals its normal damage as well as the effects of the spell. If the magus makes this attack in concert with spell combat, this melee attack takes all the penalties accrued by spell combat melee attacks. This attack uses the weapon's critical range (20, 19–20, or 18–20 and modified by the keen weapon property or similar effects), but the spell effect only deals ×2 damage on a successful critical hit, while the weapon damage uses its own critical modifier.
There's your free attack.
Arcane Mark is a cantrip you can Spell Combat/Spellstrike with. The only reason to use it is that you can use the Spell Combat/Spell Strike combo to essentially TWF without having to use limited spells per day. It's pretty much just "I make a concentration check, then hit you twice at a -2".
Here's a guide to Touch Spells, Spellstrike, and Spell Combat.
A MAD class is one that is Multi Ability Dependent, that is to say, the class requires several ability scores to be decently high to function well. Monks are an extreme example, requiring decent scores in Str/Dex/Con/Wis. Melee builds of all kinds seem to tend toward MAD-ness.
The opposite of MAD is SAD, Single Ability Dependent. Any of the pure casters are SAD, since all they need is a high casting stat (and possibly some Dex for ranged touch attacks).
Putting a 'Small' column on the 'Tiny and Large' chart (which I believe is what the OP wants) sounds reasonable to me, since it would make reducing a Small character to Tiny easier (you wouldn't have to first bump it up to Medium before referring to the chart).
There is also the side benefit of making Small to Medium and Medium to Small conversions easier. As it is, only one of the four combinations of Small/Medium and Enlarge/Reduce Person (Enlarge Person on a Medium character) has a nice, simple chart.
Channel Energy (Su) wrote:
The following are changes I'll probably make to boost Zar Hedrroth Throh's AC.
AC 16, touch 14, flat-footed 12 (+2 nat. armor, +3 dex, +1 dodge)
AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 14 (+2 nat. armor, +2 armor, +3 dex, +1 dodge)
If my hobgoblin names don't fit, just tell me. Also, I realize he can't flurry in armor - I'm planning on it being a temporary AC fix until he can find a cheap means of getting mage armor. (I may swap some stuff around for more unarmored AC if it sounds like that isn't going to be the case.)
What's the Martial Way's opinion on magic?
I present Zar Hedrroth Throh, Hobgoblin monk
Starting Wealth: 1d6 ⇒ 6 x10 = 60 gp
As a Zar, or Squad Leader, Hedrroth Throh of the mercenary company "Maltok's Maulers" was only slightly removed from the grunts he commanded. When they said "charge" he charged. It was most unfortunate and surprising for all involved when, in the last battle they fought (a minor skirmish between minor nobles in the Wild Lands), Maltok's Maulers charged right into an ambush and were destroyed almost to the last hobgoblin. Zar Hedrroth Throh found, for the first time in his life, that he was alone. He wandered the land for months, first pursued by the victorious army, then driven by hunger to seek work as a sellsword wherever he could find it.
Zar Hedrroth Throh - Monk (Ironskin, Hungry Ghost) 1
Lawful Neutral Medium Humanoid (goblinoid)
Init +5; Senses Perception +5, Darkvision 30 ft
Load 18 lb (Light, 76 lb)
Fearsome: Some hobgoblins scorn caution and subtlety for swagger and bluster. Hobgoblins with this racial trait gain a +4 racial bonus on Intimidate checks. This racial trait replaces sneaky.
Languages: Hobgoblins begin play speaking Common and Goblin.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Monks are proficient with the club, crossbow (light or heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shortspear, short sword, shuriken, siangham, sling, and spear.
Monks are not proficient with any armor or shields.
When wearing armor, using a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load, a monk loses his AC bonus, as well as his fast movement and flurry of blows abilities.
Flurry of Blows (Ex): Starting at 1st level, a monk can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action. When doing so he may make one additional attack using any combination of unarmed strikes or attacks with a special monk weapon (kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, and siangham) as if using the Two-Weapon Fighting feat (even if the monk does not meet the prerequisites for the feat). For the purpose of these attacks, the monk's base attack bonus from his monk class levels is equal to his monk level. For all other purposes, such as qualifying for a feat or a prestige class, the monk uses his normal base attack bonus.
At 8th level, the monk can make two additional attacks when he uses flurry of blows, as if using Improved Two-Weapon Fighting (even if the monk does not meet the prerequisites for the feat).
At 15th level, the monk can make three additional attacks using flurry of blows, as if using Greater Two-Weapon Fighting (even if the monk does not meet the prerequisites for the feat).
A monk applies his full Strength bonus to his damage rolls for all successful attacks made with flurry of blows, whether the attacks are made with an off-hand or with a weapon wielded in both hands. A monk may substitute disarm, sunder, and trip combat maneuvers for unarmed attacks as part of a flurry of blows. A monk cannot use any weapon other than an unarmed strike or a special monk weapon as part of a flurry of blows. A monk with natural weapons cannot use such weapons as part of a flurry of blows, nor can he make natural attacks in addition to his flurry of blows attacks.
Unarmed Strike: At 1st level, a monk gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A monk's attacks may be with fist, elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a monk may make unarmed strikes with his hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed. A monk may thus apply his full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all his unarmed strikes.
Usually a monk's unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but he can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on his attack roll. He has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling.
A monk's unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.
A monk also deals more damage with his unarmed strikes than a normal person would, as shown above on Table: Monk. The unarmed damage values listed on Table: Monk is for Medium monks.
Iron Skin (Ex): At 1st level, an ironskin monk gains a +1 bonus to his natural armor. This bonus stacks with any existing natural armor the ironskin monk already has. At 4th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, this bonus increases by +1. This ability replaces the monk's AC bonus ability and the ability to add his Wisdom bonus to his AC.
Bonus Feat: At 1st level, 2nd level, and every 4 levels thereafter, a monk may select a bonus feat. These feats must be taken from the following list: Catch Off-Guard, Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Improved Grapple, Scorpion Style, and Throw Anything. At 6th level, the following feats are added to the list: Gorgon's Fist, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Trip, and Mobility. At 10th level, the following feats are added to the list: Improved Critical, Medusa's Wrath, Snatch Arrows, and Spring Attack. A monk need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them.
Bonus Feat: At 1st level, an ironskin monk adds Power Attack to his list of bonus feats. At 6th level, he adds Improved Sunder to the list. At 10th level, he adds Greater Sunder to the list. These bonus feat choices replace Dodge, Mobility, and Spring Attack on his bonus feat list.
Punishing Kick (Ex): At 1st level, a hungry ghost monk gains Punishing Kick as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. At 10th level, and every five levels thereafter, the monk can push the target of his Punishing Kick an additional 5 feet (10 feet at 10th level, 15 feet at 15th level, and 20 feet at 20th level). At 15th level, he can instead choose to push the target 5 feet and knock the target prone with the same attack. The target still gets a saving throw to avoid being knocked prone. This ability replaces Stunning Fist.