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Black_Lantern's page

1,008 posts (1,654 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 3 aliases.


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Calculating challenge rating based upon a linear incrementation of the party's CR is stupid. There's a big difference between a CR 1 party taking on a CR 5 and a CR 15 party taking on a CR 19; this is because of how higher level spells and class features grant more actions to perform that handle different situations. Once players have access to the haste spell is an initial jump in their ability to artificially increase their CR, especially if there are a lot of martial characters. I've seen many times where a CR 13 party takes on a CR 20+ encounter and comes out with only 0-1 casualties; however, I've also seen cases where a CR 1 party struggles against a CR 3 encounter. To give you an idea of an appropriate upper bound on the CR a party can handle you should be more conservative with increasing the CR at lower levels and be more liberal at higher levels, depending on the optimization done by the party.

Absolutely not, it's a class where you can remember all of your stats in your head.

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The nature of feat chains and specialization will always make it so that planning out characters is the best choice to make a mechanically strong character. If you want to put in the effort you could adapt a system that doesn't have a lot of features and feats with prerequisites and reveal different options the character can choose as the game progresses, but that's quite a lot of effort to quell such a minor role playing offense.

There are many character personalities that are unwilling to advance down specific paths which are presented in the campaign because "it's not their schtick." Sometimes a player's unwillingness to diverge from their character's predetermined path is a reflection of the DM's inability to entice the player into choosing something different, which means the DM is at fault as well.

The rogue works just fine in an unoptimized setting, but still seems to fall short of other classes. If you'd like to improve the rogue class I'd suggest giving it full bab.

Is this character starting out as a level one human?

Finding cheap and/or "infinite" ways to cast gate is your best bet to gain infinite wishes; however, you may need to plane shift to an infinite plane to accumulate your infinite wealth.

The shadowdancer prestige class requires you to have a few weak feats and then offers you a lot of redundant and/or weak features while granting no good source of increased damage. The only thing that makes the prestige class worthwhile is the hide in plain sight feature, but that's hardly worth the loss in bab, level progression in another class, and three feat taxes. You're better off playing a caster or a ninja if you want to do things deceptively.

A summoner is a great way to go; since, they have some skills, utility, buffs, and can create bodies that can do all sorts of things. You could also consider a bloodrager for smashing face and buffs, or a telekinesis build for hitting things with other things.

Yes you need to make a concentration check; however, it seems silly to punish a player even more who's already gimping himself by choosing to juggle.

You might want to invest in a +5 sleight of hand item gloves that have storing or are treated like a bag of holding, just so you can access to your wands, scrolls, wine, juggling objects, etc.

Mystic theurge is a weak prestige class because you sacrifice spell progression for the sake of gaining extra spell slots, which in many cases is redundant due the spell overlap in pathfinder. Something somewhat analogous would be a fighter with feats with bows and swords; sure he'd be more versatile, but there's a reason why most people don't invest feats into both melee and ranged feat trees, because it's spreading your resources to gain versatility, but makes you lose potency. There's a big power difference between a character that can cast 9th level spells and a character that can cast 7th lvl spells from the arcane and divine spell lists.

According to WotC and Paizo, all creatures are willing when they're unconscious.

He wants to play a smoking (pipe smoking), destructive, chaotic-neutral, one-eyed, gnome saboteur that has a large stockpile of bombs and can do high DPR. I feel like OP just wants a decent gnome alchemist build is all.

randomwalker wrote:
Black_Lantern wrote:
There are very few people on the pathfinder forums that know how to code, let alone understand perl pseudo code. If you're going to post pseudo code you should probably orient it to look more like C.

if you really needed a translation:

IF(had fun==true) THEN (sufficientDPR=true)

While i'm interrupting: the OP seems to be asking for representative/generic average numbers as a benchmark. Some of you clearly got that, others seem to be answering a different question.

so.. if you guys are saying 15 DPR is representative for lvl 1, do you mean that a party of 5 lvl 1s should be able to consistently kill a (hypothetical level-appropriate) 70 hp monster in one round? If not, what are you saying?

I didn't really need the translation, but I was more so speaking on the behalf of the pathfinder forums.

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Duiker wrote:

There's no need for a comprehensive table when the number can be easily generated for any class and level through the use of a simple pseudo-function that I've written in Perl but could be easily adapted to any programming language:

sub sufficientDPR {

my $sufficient=0;


if ($hadFunLastTime) {

return $sufficent


There are very few people on the pathfinder forums that know how to code, let alone understand perl pseudo code. If you're going to post pseudo code you should probably orient it to look more like C.

Doomed Hero wrote:

I'd allow it because it's awesome. He's ready, he dives on the fireball. He takes full damage. The blast is reduced to his square, and maybe the squares adjacent to him.

The next round the caster would start detonating their fireballs ten feet off the ground (reducing the ground-level total area by 5 feet off the radius, but keeping the grenade diving lunatic from stopping it entirely)

As for a gunslinger shooting the fireball pea, that is also awesome. I'd call it a Diminutive target, and have it detonate at the point where the fireball and the bullet meet, rather than the intended location. I'd use the degree of success of the attack roll as an indicator of where along the trajectory the pea was intercepted. Barely succeed, the fireball goes off fairly near its intended target location. Critical hit, it blows up right in the caster's face.

This is the kind of crazy awesome stuff martial characters should be able to do. This is exactly how we curtail caster/martial disparity.

Assuming that all spells with fluff descriptions using components like projectiles can be intercepted by martial characters simply by using a readied action what stops someone with the spell magic missile from critically intercepting the spell? If we do start treating more spells like projectiles what stops a monk from just using deflect arrows liberally and redirecting fireballs? You're making it seem like the bursting the bead is what causes the fireball to go off, not the caster choosing for the fireball to go off. If you think as such what stops someone from farming fireball spells as fireball beads by using a monk and a wizard?

You should play a summoner, they're the least affected by low point buys and are a strong tier 1-2 class due to their versatility and strength.

How can no one in your party use a control weather scroll without fail at lvl 14? UMD bonuses are easy to come by and the DCs are fairly pathetic for a 14th level party. However, like others have said pyrotechnics is a fairly effective way of creating smoke.

AkaKageWarrior wrote:

Holy water, really? At level 17?

Are there any rules how to handle large amounts of holy water?

A flask of holy water is a pint(bless water) and weighs 1 lb(equipment). If you use a dust of dryness filled with holy water it can hold up to 100 gallons, or 800 pints of the liquid, which is 1600d4 worth of damage assuming your DM allows it; however, the rules seem to be unclear how holy water works in vast quantities, nor does it really clarify what happens when you drop a splash based weapon onto someone instead of making an attack with it; dust of dryness says that it absorbs water, which might not include holy water; your DM may question where the 800 pints of holy water came from, let alone the 4000 lbs of silver used to make it; and many DMs may find it ridiculous that you're spending 20850 gp on a 1600d4 attack.

Even if your DM doesn't allow for such shenanigans in your game having an unseen servant or familiar with a bag of holding drop a few of them on top of an outsider still does a good amount of damage and can make or break a fight.

Summons grant flanking, deal damage, take damage, absorb an opponent's actions, activate traps, and have their own skills and spells that can aid in other situations. While some spells might be more powerful than summons in certain situations it's safer to summon creatures in most situations then it is to cast other spells, especially if your party likes to engage in melee.

Holy Water dropped by magical creatures and/or servants is an excellent way to whittle down evil outsiders in combat.

Talk to him about how "artificially increasing SR, HP, and AC to compensate for your party's stats is going to cause a TPK." If you DM continues to create TPK encounters then ask him to step down as a DM and to be a player instead; since, many people aren't meant to DM and many players lack a DM's perspective on roleplaying games.

If you don't care about the fluff or soul gems then the imp is definitely the mechanically stronger choice by miles.

Ask for their maximum hp, saves, and ACs then figure out what they're best at when it comes to combat by looking at their spells and class features; if they're best at handling multiple targets then throw more creatures that are weaker at them, if they handle a smaller group of targets then throw that at them more. Calculate the CR for all of the encounters that have gotten out of hand and see if they were a lot higher then you expected. Ultimately you need to look at each of your monsters and think how each of your players would be able to handle them.

The players were aware of an assassin following them and decided to split up individually and go into the middle of the night one by one, so I'd say they were being incredibly stupid and deserve to die.

A spellcaster at higher level doesn't have 15 minute days, ever. You have access to so many spell slots which allow you to address situations that most casters are better in most regards than a martial character. You just need to put a small amount of effort into magical resource management and think how much effort to I have to exert to get through this encounter with positive HP.
After all, health is really only relevant in combat at high level play since casters have many items and spells to buy them time to heal themselves and the rest of the party. Though, martials are definitely more consist, which makes having 1-3 in a party of 4-6 useful. The martial characters ensure that the casters can do their s!#* so that the martials can do their s++* better, it's simple. The only real way to stretch a caster's resources at higher levels is to make them participate in five or more combats a day, consistently, which means most of your days just consistent of combat.
I've started to appreciate mid level play more as I've participated in DND and Pathfinder games, simply because it feels like the sweet spot of balance between martials and casters that leads to less conversations about power discrepancies and more fun conversations about the game.

The way your race is built right now is more powerful than the merfolk or the human; therefore, you should revise it. Reduce the stat bonuses, its land movement speed, and remove the bonus feat. There's also the option of playing a undine, even though their outsider type make their overall RP build suffer and makes them an inferior race. Though, if you don't care about that then they're a perfectly fine race to play.

James Risner wrote:
Black_Lantern wrote:
level 5 cleric ... a high-CR, 18 HD creature under his controls such as the Ice Linnorm?

Why did you give him a corpse?

If he killed the CR 18 in his party, then let him. If you dropped a corpse on him, it is the GM's fault.

That's why it's a hypothetical question. I'm wondering how I should handle a character going around grave digging for strong skeleton corpses.

Magda Luckbender wrote:

At first, I was asking if there was any rules that I didn't know about, but now I want to know what would be fair for me to give a necromancer while not being too overpowered. Telling me that there are roleplaying repercussions doesn't help me balance his options and it assumes that every campaign setting will look at necromancers in the same light. I really want this necromancer character to work for him, but I'm not quite sure what I should initially allow him to raise in terms of HD.

What about a skeleton ice linnorm?

Val'bryn2 wrote:

Actually, the hypothetical linnorm would have about 126 hp. 18 racial hd, +10 for being a colossal zombie, multiplied by 4.5 for average HP, which should technically be 5 as it is for PFS, still makes it 126.

Which also means a BAB of 21, and similarly heightened saves.

You'd also add the charisma modifier to it's health as well since it's an undead. Oh, its BAB would be 13 instead of 21.

What type of corpses do you think would be reasonable for me to have him able to raise? I was thinking his CL roughly equal to their HD.

Hypothetically there's a level 5 cleric with desecrate, animate dead, and the feat undead master. This causes the character to have a 36 HD animate dead pool. What stops the character, beyond me saying no, from raising a high-CR, 18 HD creature under his controls such as the Ice Linnorm? What does a skeleton Ice Linnorm lose from a regular Ice Linnorm? I know he won't find high CR HD things, but I'm still concerned this will become a problem in the future.

The person either doesn't give a s&@! if he deals alright damage, feels that to play a rogue his class must be a rogue, and/or doesn't understand the flanking mechanics. I honestly don't see anything wrong with giving him advice to play a ranged "rogue" or suggesting for him to go melee, but the odds are that he won't follow them.

Running diagonally is terribly inefficient in pathfinder/3.5, you lose 10.3" every two squares that you move. What we really should do is keep a running tally of the total squares they've moved diagonally and multiple it by 2^(1/2) to determine how many squares they can actually move. Or you could just say every square is the same and be done with it, I don't know.

Distant Scholar wrote:
"Still use" XP? You make it sound like getting rid of XP is a logical, natural extension of roleplaying, and that if one "still use[s]" it, one is an immature RPGer. I don't particularly like the implications in that statement.

He isn't implying the experience system is outdated, but that he doesn't use experience. I've never really seen a great use for experience in home brew campaigns.

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I haven't been playing with XP for a while in my real life campaign; it really doesn't serve a purpose beyond giving players an idea of when they're going to level up and sometimes creates level discrepancies. We've just resorted to leveling up after X number of sessions, which saves time doing math and dealing with some players having more experience than other players.

CommandoDude wrote:

Any melee character should have a Keen weapon. You increase your chances for crits from 1/20->1/10->1/5->1/4

1/4 chance to crit is pretty powerful, but even going from 20 to 20-19 is huge - especially on x4 weapons or with crit feats (and you save yourself from having to spend a feat on Improved Critical!)

It depends on the melee character, the crit range, the crit multiplier, and the type of campaign. A 20 x2 weapon isn't typically worthwhile to get keen on, granted, most players don't use weapons with low crit ranges and/or multipliers. You could also have a campaign on an elemental plane where a lot of monsters are immune to critical damage.

Divine Hunter Paladin is definitely the way to go.

"An awakened animal can't serve as an animal companion, familiar, or special mount." It will not gain the benefits of being an animal companion and neither will you. You may treat it as what an awakened animal would be from the bestiary/MM.

It really depends on your DM and other players on how viable a character is. You should probably go quadruped for your medium eidolon if you're convinced on making a suboptimal, medium eidolon.

Taku Ooka Nin wrote:
Ughbash wrote:
Zhayne wrote:
You shouldn't allow the item at all. Unlimited healing isn't in the game for a reason.
Ok, I'll bite... what is the reason?

Because it eliminates the role of a healer and the scarcity of healthy that ultimately is what forces PCs to rest.

Let me put it this way: In 3.5 there was "cure minor wounds" which was a cleric orison that cured 1 hp. This was removed in Pathfinder because orisons and cantrips have unlimited uses now.
Infinite healing was removed for a reason as it makes everything else less useful. Why would you EVER brew a potion of cure light wounds if you could just have a cleric/druid/oracle/inquisitor heal you up to full after combat anyway?
Considering that healing should be done out of combat anyway infinite healing makes all other forms of healing obsolete. Basically you move into modern game design where each encounter is not designed around depleting resources but instead to kill the party.

With infinite healing there is no reason to have anything lower than an epic encounter since the PCs are effectively invincible so long as they do not flat out die.

I've never seen a party rest for the night because they've taken too much damage. It's usually because the caster has ran out of spells, they want to wait until morning to do something, or they have something afflicting them beyond HP loss.

Bodhizen wrote:

If you take a look at his build, there huge are problems. I'm looking at the level 20 build, and first off, his 14/14/14/7/17/7 (20 point buy) is invalid. Assuming that as a human, he put his +2 into Wisdom, he only spent 14. If he put his +2 into any one of his physical traits, he'd end up with 17 out of 20 spent.

Redacted Paragraph:Secondly, he can't take both the Qinggong Monk and Zen Archer archetypes together, as they both replace Diamond Body, Still Mind and Tongue of the Sun and Moon.

Thirdly, his feats are all screwed up. As a level 20 qinggong/zen archer (if it were even valid) human monk, he should have 23 feats, not 21 as listed, and... Stunning Fist is not a special attack and is therefore not a valid selection for Ability Focus.

Redacted Paragraph:In his gear, he'd have to have Bracers of Armour +8, not a Vest of Armour +8 (unless it was custom allowed by his GM), he's got a Headband of Inspired Wisdom +6 and a Headband of Vast Intelligence +2 (he cannot wear both, so this must be a custom item), a Ring of Protection +5 (and counterspells; not sure where he got this secondary ability added in) Ring of Evasion (and counterspells; same as before, unless it's custom), and unless the Vest of Armour +8 is allowed by his GM, the Greater Bracers of Archery wouldn't be valid.

His skills and attributes are off, too. His Wisdom only reaches to 32 (not +38), his Fly would only be at +9 (not +17), Heal is +16 (not +17), Perception is +40 (not +41), Sense Motive is +16 (not +17) - he's got all these unaccounted for luck bonuses... And with his +5 hit points every level (choosing skill points so that those line up properly), he's averaging 5.65 hit points per level on a d8 roll. This armour class only reaches to 52 (not 53) with ki, 48 without. That, and his ki pool only goes up to 32, not 33. Plus, no darkvision.

Redacted Paragraph:He only picked 5 of his 11 ki powers so far as I can tell; Ki Arrow, High Jump (bringing his jump to +59, not +71), Perfect Self,...

You can take Qinggong Monk and Zen Archer together, look into the FAQ. "A qinggong monk can select a ki power (see below) for which she qualifies in place of the following monk class abilities" His skills are insignificant to defeating the monsters itself and therefore most of this scrutiny is pointless. There's a reason why he hasn't picked most of his powers, because he either didn't replace the features or felt it was unnecessary for the build itself.

For the company to stay afloat they must publish more content, which is sometimes splat book material.

Chris Self wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
Kobolds get easier to play when you accept the fact that you personally, as the character, should probably never expect to deal real damage with a melee attack, unless there's magic involved.

I pretty strongly disagree. A crit range of 14-20 plus 6d6 sneak attack damage seems like a whole lot of melee damage to me, particularly when I can do that 4-7 times in a round.

At low levels, yes, you are right, the stat penalties on kobolds make them pretty bad in melee. But in higher levels, those stat penalties matter very little, in my experience.

A crit range of 14-20 isn't possible.

Cuup wrote:
Good ideas, guys. I did think of the feint route, but it feels so constricting. A full-round action just to get a sneak attack in is preventing me from doing literally anything else. Disarming, while less consistent in success, could benefit my entire party, while giving me (long-term) better action economy. Not to mention that I absolutely love the idea of sneaking onto the Governor’s estate disguised as a gardener, and when it’s time for action, no need to get my weapon, I already have this spade! I also considered rolling Bard, and that’s still a possibility. However, the campaign we’re playing in has been extremely social, and Rumormongerer will probably be very helpful. I do agree that my disarm rolls will be subpar, though. Are there any items/builds that would help level that roll out?

Rumormongerer is a fluff ability that can be simulated with diplomacy, a bard can do everything your character wants to do as a rogue and he'll be better at it. There's a mundane item that makes disarming a pointless technique. I'm not saying that disarming rogue isn't cool, there's just no mechanically sound reason why your character wouldn't be a bard other than to put rogue at the top of your character sheet.

There are many instances where you could modify swift actions so you can trade down for them and just make a clause in overpowered swift actions that doesn't allow them to be performed multiple times a round. Maybe you might think that's too much work for your campaigns though. -shrug-

It seems to me that instead of modifying the rules for flanking you should introduce rogue talents that alleviate the problem.

Are you looking for poison that's actually functional in combat or are just interesting? It's quite a feat to have either one of those properties for poison, let alone both.

Mirror Mephit.

Use magic device is an excellent thing for rogues to have.

Point buy and here's why:

1)Large attribute discrepancies can make the player who got shafted feel not as useful because attributes influence nearly every aspect of the game. A player with a thirty point buy and a ten point buy can be a huge difference in their ability to contribute to the party. I've seen it happen time and time again where the high-roller(normally myself) has significantly more skills, abilities, and access to feats due to how I rolled than a couple other players solely because my stats were better.

2)Rolling isn't as random and organic as people claim it to be. Every DM I've met will let you reroll if you get terrible rolls, most of them will allow you to place them where ever you'd like. This is hardly random, or organic character generation.

3)People that intend to optimize will always put their lowest points in the stat that means the least to their character, regardless if they use an array, roll stats, or use point buy.

4)I want the players to feel as if they have the same ability to pull off certain builds as anyone else in the group.
It's not fair to player A if he doesn't have high enough stats to make a tripping fighter like Player B does just because he can't afford to spread his stats to strength, dex, etc.

The eidolon stat block you provided would be considered pathetic in most groups, there are builds at first level that can do double that amount of damage per round and still aren't considered overpowered. I'm not talking about optimized builds, I'm talking about builds that are considered to be normal. It's not the eidolon that's overpowered, it's that the majority of the party is exceptionally below the curve. If you honestly feel like the party balance is being threatened then sit down with the group and allocate attribute bonuses to those that you think need it the most to keep up with the summoner, you can just increase the CR a little bit if necessary as well.

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