Each character should carry some form of self healing. I think JJ knows the game pretty damn well. He got caught up in a situation where he couldn't heal. Stay prepared. I highly recommend Ashiel's adventuring guide. You're an adventurer whose friends die all the time. Friendships are relatively short lived compared to normal life and you face death for a living. Act like it!
In fact: for your reading pleasure
Core sets the lower AND upper bound of what the rules do. It is set up to be the bookends of the system. Nothing goes above core in terms of power. You might have some options collectively that are above normal for core, but they never exceed core. How do I know this? Wizards getting wish guaranteed at level 17 is core. The same wizard has a WBL to cast wish over a dozen times according to core. The same wizard can be an elf and get +6 to beat SR in core with only two feats. You can get over 100ft move speeds in core. The luck blade and ring of 3 wishes are core. All the tomes and manuals are core. Gate, powerword kill, immortality, getting ability scores in the 40-50 range, outright immunity to fear/disease/poison, bypassing ALL DR (including epic) of a creature, binding high HD outsiders, hundreds of damage per round... all core.
No other book Paizo has released has singularly had such a plethora of potentially game-breaking abilities. Rather, they simply recombine the above and reflavor them with different mechanics that do similar things. But, they never go above.
As far as DPR goes, they don't outpace a dedicated fighter or barbarian and their HP is roughly equivalent to that of a barbarian. That's the net effect of the synthesist. The casting is very limited. They do get SOME gems earlyish but nothing game breaking. Being capped at level 6 spells, it's also hard to get high save DCs so they make mediocre blasters or battlefield control.
Really, honestly, they look cool and seem OP because they're esoteric to the vast majority of players and that stigma makes people resistant to actually looking at the class for what it is. But, they're not bad. They're no more complex than playing a rogue that has several tricks. There is built in balance.
If you're playing a "broken" build then you likely built it wrong. You can't take assumptions with the evolutions. You have to actually read them as they have little tweaks here and there to keep them balanced so you can't just read titles and apply normal monster rules to them.
Those DCs have nothing to do with how good the simulation is. It only lets you detect it's not "it." Besides:
It appears to be the same as the original, but it has only half of the real creature's levels or HD (and the appropriate hit points, feats, skill ranks, and special abilities for a creature of that level or HD).
Wishes for a 10 HD creature are arguable. Crazy but arguable. For a 5 HD creature, wish's are insane. So, I'll grant you, the check doesn't tie to how well you do. My mistake. However, if you let essentially a level 5 wizard (a class that can guaranteed get wish at level 17) have wish in your games, then you deserve what that brings. It is still incumbent upon the GM to determine what a 5 HD efreeti gets versus a 10 HD one.
In that case it's already there. No where about alignment does it say that alignment is prescriptive of all members of the race.
Alignment, Size, and Type: While a monster's size and type remain constant (unless changed by the application of templates or other unusual modifiers), alignment is far more fluid. The alignments listed for each monster in this book represent the norm for those monsters—they can vary as you require them to in order to serve the needs of your campaign. Only in the case of relatively unintelligent monsters (creatures with an Intelligence of 2 or lower are almost never anything other than neutral) and planar monsters (outsiders with alignments other than those listed are unusual and typically outcasts from their kind) is the listed alignment relatively unchangeable.
It doesn't say it can't happen. Just because most of the members of that race are something it doesn't mean all are.
Honestly OP? Sounds like you typecast yourself in the "healbot" role. Play a cleric for what they are: the eyes, hands, and voice of the divine. Gods don't f!%~ around. Neither do their servants when it comes to getting things done. You speak with absolute authority, act with absolute certainty, and judge absolutely all within the ethos of your god as reflected through your character's societal experience. Do that and you will be playing a cleric.
Sorry if I repeat. Not reading 5 pages.
At level 10, it's reasonable to run against casters that have banishment, dispel and the like available. Use them.
I did see others already called out bonus types not stacking. This is important.
Just as much as buffs help the party, debuffs equally hurt. Use them. You can whittle down someone pretty low with multiple -1/-2 effects.
I saw the target touch AC suggestion with negative levels. This is evil. Definitely use it.
I know you said you audited his evolution spend but take another look. Really scrutinize the wordings of those abilities. Just because they have the same name as most monster abilities, only a few work the same way. The rest (read: most) have odd quirks that are meant to balance them out.
I saw someone mentioned affecting the eidolon but not the synth with something. This is impossible per the rules. They are a single creature. You can't split hairs like this. Put this out of your mind. An effect on the one is an effect on the other but this isn't even accurate. It's a single creature with a single effect.
That's about it.
I gave a well-reasoned suggestion that instead of limiting magic, if he thought it was uniquely unfair to martial classes, then he should extend the same capability to martial classes if that's the kind of game the OP wants to play.
The OP asked:
Banning Certain Spells to Aid in Fixing Caster Disparity???
Supposing that the ability to mimic other classes and bypass encounters is the main issue of the disparity, could you ban certain spells and help the problem?
If the DISPARITY (read: inequality) is due to Martial =/= Caster, assuming Martial = (feats || abilities) + hitpoints - f(magic) and Caster = f(magic) - (feats && abilities) - hitpoints, I gave a way to solve M by simply making M ~ (f || a) + hp + f(m). M becomes roughly equivalent to C, and actually has a leg up on C technically, instead of C = (f(magic) - (f(spell1)-f(spell2)-...f(spellx)) - hp - (f && a) repeating f(spellx) until the GM "feels" everything is balanced again. It even LOOKS cleaner as it has less variables and is therefore less prone to overly burdensome complication.
M ~ (f || a) + hp + f(magic)
C = (f(magic) - (f(spell1)-f(spell2)-...f(spellx)) - hp - (f && a)
It's much easier to fill in gaps than to cherry pick a multitude of spells to try to even things out. What if he misses one that's in a splatbook he didn't know about? "But you said only THESE were banned." And, it prevents the GM from being upset because he didn't realize THAT did THAT. If you plan with the default system as is, things become easier to plan for. Don't want people teleporting to the BBEG lair? Dimensional lock. Repeat for each scenario.
If you solve for the inequality the basis for the question is no longer valid. This was my goal: solve the inequality. It has it's own in-game ramifications and balance as requiring skill points and actions. This is a good thing though. If a martial character wants to be proficient with something his class was not built for that should take investment on the player's part. This is equal even among casters as a wizard using a divine scroll would have to do exactly the same thing a fighter would have to do with a divine scroll. See? No more inequality (read: disparity).
The OP asked if it would HELP the problem. Introducing unknowable complexity as I illustrated above is arguably inherently UNHELPFUL. Instead I provided a way to provide predictable and consistent performance using the same rules.
But oh noes that's not good advice, huh?
It's often touted as a cheap, always successful interrogation tactic. There are several spells dealing with memories yet simulacrum says nothing about them.
Using my profession as an example, it's like giving someone a half-powerful version of your software but the underlying database is empty since nothing in the contract says you get my data.
The entire spell is subject to GM interpretation.
You must make a Disguise check when you cast the spell to determine how good the likeness is.
So if your GM allows you to get free wishes through a simple skill check they get the ramifications of that decision. My point is nothing in the spell itself guarantees these things. Most of the benefits advertised here are very theorycrafty.
Not all choices you make with a character have to be rewarded or recognized. Some choices, even expensive ones, can be made for purely roleplay reasons and those should come from the character's pool of wealth. Not everyone plays to sandbag bonuses or magic items. Nothing should compel the GM to give you more, or the "party" because you're low, just because you make these decisions.
Nothing in disintegrate says you die or are slain. It's not even a death effect to imply such a thing. You're turned into dust. Normally, this would screw a creature over. However, vampires then turn gaseous and go back to their coffin. "Woops, let's try that again in an hour."
Woah woah woah. We're either factoring in gear or we're not. Not some half-assed "heavy is always better than" light bs. If we're talking about high level cross classed characters you best believe armor is being enchanted and so on. The regular eidolon can be a martial power house with the summoner casting along with it as it does its attacks. That's a completely valid scenario. At level 16 the regular summoner can even merge with his eidolon and be more than even a synthesist alone. You lose the action economy but you can absolutely grab up quickened spell-like ability and still cast and full attack same round.
I also NEVER rely on just armor alone for AC. Shield and barkskin are all on the summoner spell list. That's a +9 AC alone that can be done practically at any point in the day. The armor would be putting out way more than mage armor at that point which is why I didn't mention it. Factoring all the other self buffs with magic fang greater and the like the summoner is a sweetly self-contained package without needing to multiclass.
THIS DID NOT HAPPEN. The game was still in planning stages and a few months away. He did NOT just pop in and "expect" to have a seat.
The alignment system makes this easy.
Good - respects life
This was definitely the latter: "we don't have time."
Alignment in pathfinder becomes tricky when you try to superimpose real world morality with a sense of ambiguity. Frankly, in this world, we don't know jack about the afterlife. If one exists of the heaven/hell paradigm we certain have no idea of what kind of individuals go where for sure. Thus, how people live their lives today is very, very, very gray.
The world of Golarion doesn't have this problem. The afterlife is very known. The gods are fact. The places after death are facts. Enough history and precedence exists to know what is what and who goes where. This is the light the pathfinder alignment exists with and these questions become very simple with this perspective instead of the one we deal with in life.
Heaven is a place of enlightened and goodly souls. A person who kills prisoners because his schedule would be otherwise inconvenienced does not belong there. What does that make his alignment?
Probably a mix of generally younger players plus the tendency to roleplay character more true to form of an idealized self. I'd wager d-bag characters are indicative of a d-bag player even if they're outwardly nice. I can see RPGs as a great way for a sociopath to get his thrills out. Could explain why I enjoy good-aligned, altruistic characters.
I love the general perception of rule 0 is actually not what rule 0 is. Rule 0 in its entirety:
The Game Master and players should always discuss any rules changes to make sure that everyone understands how the game will be played. Although the Game Master is the final arbiter of the rules, the Pathfinder RPG is a shared experience, and all of the players should contribute their thoughts when the rules are in doubt.
Even on page 402 it goes on to say how GMs should give rulings that are fair and to even reward players if the ruling was in the wrong. This means that GMs can be wrong!
You might have a certain image in your head but you can only do so much. Summoners are tinkerers by their nature anyway. In the APG every race's summoner is described as someone who likes to control something. As your power grows you fiddle with various powers and, therefore, the result that you get is constantly in flux until you can "get it right," which I would assume to be the last set of evolutions you'd get at level 20 sans uses of transmogrify.
So it's cool if the GM establishes a set of boundaries, you follow them, and upon review he starts picking apart your character? You did your part by working within the rules they set out. They need to make up their mind on what they actually want in their games. Don't waste my time and I won't waste yours. That is basic courtesy as well.
A group that does not adopt the uniqueness that comes from every player is not a group I would want to join. It isn't about just the GM either. It's about the group. If they want to let him play they should consider what he wants. He in no means tried to "dictate." He was given his boundaries and tried to work within them and got his idea torn apart. The GM is fickle in this case. If this were done to me I would ask for them to clarify their rules a bit more and then I would build another character were I still interested after seeing the revised rules.
Don't constrain yourself to just the classes. Most creatures that are outsiders and the like are built with racial HD especially ones that exceed the capabilities of a level 20 creature as each Horseman does individually.
So, my advice would be to consult the bestiary about building your own monsters. For demigods and similarly so-very-far-out-there powerful beings I simply find normal classes way too restrictive.
Even with specialization you're concentrating too much if you even approach half your wealth into a single item. The problem with theorycraft is that it works in theory. For a practical adventuring load out you need an array of gear from offensive, defensive and "other." This is true even for high levels because the threats you face are more diverse.
Not really. The equipment chapter is clear in that each character begin play, not life, with a certain number of gold coins. Then, you are shown a table of starting GP values for level 1 CRB classes. Then, you are referred to the WBL table for characters above first level. You still get a certain number of GP the whole time. Your source of where to derive that number just changes depending if you're first level or not.
A good display how charm person is not just diplomacy is to contrast it with the witch charm hex. The hex works with diplomacy and states this to increase the target's attitude by two steps. Then you can use diplomacy per normal use. Charm does not have this direct tie to diplomacy whatsoever. You can issue orders, even weird ones with a charisma check. If it were meant to be diplomacy+ it would say so like the hex does.
Yeah. Both the spoiler I posted and Jason's quote point to the clear potential and use of charm person to kill someone, even close family and loved ones. However, how you respond to that order is up to you. Sounds like you can either do something to prevent yourself from doing it or carry it out. But, barring the former, you're going to carry it out.
The difference it seems is that in dominate you're explicitly barred from doing anything but your issued command. With charm, you've got some interpretive ability.
If all you want is custom items and have the time to wait there's no reason to take crafting feats if you have to pay full price anyway. Just put in an order for a custom item with a wizard or some such.
Keep in mind the WBL chart states you start with a certain number of gold coins. It's not a representational value of total wealth. You literally have that number of GP to play with. Crafting doesn't double your WBL. It simply lets it stretch further.
My contention has always been that GMs who hate crafting simply hate the idea that PCs can have good things. They want ways to steal from the players and be as unaccountable as possible simply claiming "that's how the system works."
If the non-crafter sells an item he has half that item's value. If he then buys and then resells another item he has even less. The crafter has the potential to keep the amount of wealth they have a constant. If they sell they get half. They can then take that half and get the same item again or another of equal value. There is no real "stealing" from a crafter like there is with non-crafters.
There is a common theme in Pathfinder I like to call the sanctity of choice. The reason you can "just" hit harder is because power attack exists. The reason you can't "just" throw sand in someone's face is to gain a benefit is because the dirty trick maneuver exists. The reason you can't see invis with detect magic is because "see invis" exists. If those line of spells (see invis, true seeing, etc) were completely moot and could be accomplished with detect magic and the like they wouldn't exist.
So, when people are picking and choosing their spells, feats, etc those choices should matter. This is the sanctity of choice and is a good rule of thumb to determine whether something is balanced or not and if something is being used incorrectly.
Per the GMG
Bestow curse can also inflict a single insanity on a foe, although in this case the insanity is also a curse.
If you use that with amnesia you've basically got not only an instant shutdown ability with a permanent duration but you can also potentially use it as the ultimate "forced redemption" tactic.
Using Curse, Major you can even do this at range and impose a -5 penalty to remove it by all.
You're asking this in a rules question forum. If you have a campaign setting question that's best taken to general discussion or the James Jacobs thread. The only advice you'll get here is rules related. Rules wise, what you want doesn't exist. Magic items are derived from magic even if they give abilities that are traditionally non-magical. This is evidenced by the shifting DC if you have scrolls or an appropriate spellcaster to supply magical components. If there is allotment for it in the Golarion setting then so be it. But, then it no longer becomes a rules question.
The base generalization for AoOs is the same. It has to do with your personal defense instead of the presence or absence of someone else. The assumption is that you're generally "on the watch" but there are some actions that divert your attention which lowers this innate defense. If you're intentionally ignoring an entire side of you then yes I would say that invisible enemy gets AoOs on you.
I can't think of anything more reckless than ignoring the fighter chomping away at your back side.
I view my GM-ness as a facilitator of fun within the rules of the system we're given. I also greatly enjoy the Golarion setting. So, naturally, everything is in for me race/class/feat/spell/etc wise. I do draw the line at 3rd party material. The only thing I've been tempted to do that I haven't acted on is to try to sway some players to more core races. It's just strange some times to see a place predominately human, lesser so elf and minisculy so gnome to have a sylph, a tiefling, a dhampir and a halfling walking through town together. It just sounds like a setup to a bad joke.