As an occasional DM, I've always found that the best moments happen when the players and the DM are gelling and bouncing off eachother effectively. I always have the most fun when I put the players in a situation where they need to come up with a creative plan (and give them plenty of time to do it) then throw obstacles in their path that require some fast thinking.
Example: One of the characters had been kidnapped at the start of the game by the evil count, and was being held in the dungeons. I'd put a secret passage into the dungeons for the characters to find and use to sneak in, dropped some hints etc, but instead of that they decided to loot the uniforms of some castle guards they'd killed earlier and bluff their way in.
The resulting completely improvised social encounters (they pretended to be guards escorting the Goblin party member to the dungeons) was some of the best fun I've had DMing. We still talk about that session 2 and a half years later (I've only been playing for about 3-4 years, so that's a long time for me).
So I guess my advice (and I'm no expert) would be to give the players a goal they care about, and plenty of freedom in how to achieve it. With good players they'll give you plenty to bounce off of, and you can ride their creativity to a great adventure.
I don't know what the offerings for iOS are like, but I know there's a great Android app, aptly named Summoner, which has stats for all the Summon Monsters and Summon Nature's Ally. It even has support for Augment summoning.
You can use it to do the rolls as well, but I generally don't as I prefer dice. It would streamline things a lot though. There might be a similar app available, but I'm not sure.
It does depend on how optimized your party is obviously, and how many other encounters they have to face beforehand, but generally speaking as long as they aren't horribly built I'd happily put a party of 4-5 levels 4's up against this encounter.
The Dragon's AC isn't that high and it doesn't have a huge number of hit points, so I can't see it being a huge problem.
I'd probably throw a couple of other equal or +1 encounters against the party first to soften them up (though I do tend to run in a pretty optimized group).
Just in case anybody is interested, I had a quick discussion with my DM about it tonight. Going by the "retains its knowledge of spells for 24 hours" rule, and would be able to teach that knowledge for at least that amount of time, we decided that the familiar would keep its powers for at least that long (the fact that my character's familiar is a scorpion and therefore mindless without his familiar powers makes this a necessity).
After that point the familiar would lose the spells but keep his powers, however he would not automatically be bonded to the witch if she was brought back to life (and would seek out the patron as soon as possible for reassignment). However in most cases it's probably safe to assume that the familiar would prefer to go back to its original Witch.
Hey guys quick question:
I once made a grappling Saurian Shaman Druid, the ability to go up to larger sizes means you're not ruined so much by larger creatures, and I made my AC into a little version of myself. It takes a little while to get started, but by level 10 you're running around with Greater Grapple in Allosaurus form, with Grab, Pounce and Rake. And with full spell-casting you're far from a one trick pony.
In my opinion, it's the player's responsibility to know the rules for their character's abilities. The DM cannot be expected to have a complete and encyclopedic knowledge of the game, and he's doing enough work already without checking out every feat he's not sure about in detail. If a player takes a feat without checking errata/faq on it, he deserves to have it come back to bite him. If I did something like that my DM would laugh at me and certainly not be so kind as to allow a respec unless I begged him (Not because he's mean, but because we enjoy trying to out-lawyer eachother and it's something of a game between us).
So I would say allow a respec if he's going to kick up a stink about it, but it's in no way your fault, as it's something he should've seen when he made the character (and I wonder if he did and just chose not to mention it).
Just as a suggestion, rather than forcing a round robin system, find out if anybody else has any ideas for campaigns they'd like to run. In my group every person has a chance to DM, and we usually got 2-3 weeks with each campaign before changing. It has its challenges, but it gives everyone plenty of time for their sessions. It helps that each campaign is a different system (Vampire, Traveler, Shadowrun and 3 Pathfinder games, two of which are not active). We're not all experienced DMs, but each of us has had that moment of excitement about a story we'd like to tell or a world we'd like to run.
I've mentioned it on the boards before, but I'm playing an Archer Ranger in a campaign perfectly suited to it.
1. We are playing the old Against the Giants modules, so about 70% of what we encounter are giants. There's quite a number of Drow thrown in, and they are usually the bosses, so I've dropped everything into FE drow, and have a +2 vs giants. Anything else I instant enemy.
2. Because we're always fighting giants and drow, we're always underground, which means I can put all my points into one Favoured Terrain, and consistently get to use it (+14 Initiative with no feat/traits to support it? Thankyou!).
3. Because We're up against giants, the environments are suitable for large creatures, which means I can ride my wolf around and turn into a turret of doom. As a bonus, Boon Companion and a bit of cash spent on the wolf gives it one of the best ACs in the party, so he is a very useful tank if I end up a little too close and get charged. With Greater Magic Fang he also has decent attack/damage for when it comes up.
4. Skills. I have a well-rounded set of skills, and great perception/stealth/survival in particular (especially since I'm always in a +6 favoured terrain). With camouflage (One level away from HiPS) I'm also the only member of the party who can scout without relying on invisibility, and we're at a level where enemies consistently have see invisibility or trueseeing up, so this is invaluable.
I'm aware that my experience in this is not typical of most campaigns, but in the right campaign where you're consistently fighting similar enemies in similar settings, they can be extremely powerful.
I had a character build a Magical University as his end goal in a campaign a while back. Since it was after the game finished I mostly left the details up to the DM (He preferred it that way so he could sculpt it for use in a future campaign).
However in my brainstorming for it I found that one powerful solution is Demiplanes. A permanent demiplane can give you access to anywhere on the planet (through use of multiple gates) and can offset a big chunk of the food costs of the university. Temporary demiplanes are great for spell practise, just conjure a new one every few days, and blow them up to your heart's content.
I once had a DM force me to make cards that said "In Character" and "Out of Character" so he'd know when I was joking around and when I was serious about my character's actions. The same DM used to sit a bottle of Vodka on the table and take a swig whenever someone did something crazy/stupid. That was a fun game. I don't necessarily recommend either of those strategies by the way, my point is that sometimes highlighting bad roleplaying goes a long way to fixing the issue, punishment is often unnecessary.
EDIT: I should point out that the drinking was not effective, and I would not recommend it, as all it essentially did was invent a drinking game where only the DM ever had to drink. The signs were effective though.
Back when I was playing with a group that used XP, my GM would award a few extra XP at the end of the night to the best roleplayers. Usually about half the group would get the bonus. I found that personally I roleplayed a lot better when there was a potential reward involved (I do enjoy roleplaying, but I'm normally not motivated enough to bother), and I went from a rollplayer to one of the best roleplayers in the group quite quickly. YMMV of course, but for a certain personality type (mine!) it's a very effective system.
When I GMed (which I admit I only did briefly, as changing schedules pulled that group apart) I found that these moments usually came up during social/skill related situations, so I would grant rerolls or small bonuses to checks if somebody pulled out something that was particularly in character, clutch, or just made everybody at the table laugh.
The group I play in has 3-5 potential GMs in it. We've never come close to a situation where a GM might walk (or since I've been there, a player) but if they did there would be plenty of people happy to step up to the plate. So "there is NO game without a GM" does not always apply, and I personally think it's healthier if they recognize that even though they're in the hot seat, they're not a dictator.
I tried a Saurian Shaman for a level 10 one-off/pvp game we ran a while ago. I focused on an Allosaurus using the Improved Grapple line to pounce on people, lock them down and rip them apart, with a T-Rex companion helping out.
I found him to be great, though he was locked down by a confusion spell after taking out one of the opposition in the first round (where a dodgey ruling didn't even let him get pounce).
He was a powerful character, and a hell of a lot of fun to play.
So we've pretty much decided on a Barbarian/Druid combo. Barbarian rides the animal companion (or the Druid) and we take advantage of the Ferocious Mount rage powers. The Druid will be a combat character too, and use most/all of his spells buffing the three of them. Obviously we want to stay away from the RANGELANCEPOUNCE cheesiness, plus I don't think my DM would let pounce fly with a lance (and I probably wouldn't respect him if he did, truth be told).
I'm trying to come up with ways of maximizing the synergy of the two characters, and was wondering if anybody had thoughts on feats/tactics we could use.
While I'm always against the Banhammer, you do make a good point that Haste does do a lot more than most spells of its level (I can't think of anything more powerful for its level, but that might just be my limited memory). Perhaps rather than banning it outright, you could take a page from the Witch Hexes and make it only able to effect a person once per day? This would mean that it wouldn't be spammed every battle, and it would become a tactical choice to use it. You'd want to discuss it with your players, but I know if my DM laid out such well reasoned points as you have, I would agree to a trial.
Change the Nature Bond to an animal companion (A horse, or if you want to take Boon Companion, a wolf). Ride the companion in and out of cover. I believe attack rolls are made at the halfway point of your movement, so you could move out of cover, shoot, and then move back behind a wall each turn. Much better at negating attacks than deflect arrows.
A friend and I have been discussing making a pair of characters that are designed specifically to work together for a future campaign. The campaign isn't for several months so we have plenty of time to come up with concepts. We tend to play a very combat heavy game, so that's mostly what I'm looking for.
The game will most likely be 25 point buy with CRB, APG, UM and UC available. The game will be running from 1-16 and will be in a Victorian style setting, Guns will be available but I'm assuming Advanced Guns will not.
I'm mostly looking for concepts, maybe classes and a couple of key feats. Full builds are not necessary, and bonus points for anything way outside of the box. Character ideas in a roleplaying sense are of course welcome.
I look forward to seeing what people come up with.
To me the biggest weakness of the wizard is not the spellbook (destroying it is too much of a dick move for a gm to do all that often). It's the spell component pouch. Most wizards I've seen don't take eschew materials. Last time I played a wizard I carried 6 component pouches: 2 on my belt, 2 in my backpack and 2 in a handy haversack.My DM never actually stole/sundered/pickpocketed them, but it pays to be prepared.
There is of the course the sunderable bonded item or the squishy familiar. It's my opinion that improved familiar is more trouble than it's worth. Yes it's powerful, but it also puts the familiar in a position where the DM could target it.
I've never been in this position (I most recently was this person, though I pick up the game pretty quickly), however I just had an idea you could try, though I don't know whether it would work
You could try doing a short (10-20 minute) tutorial at the start of each session, followed up with enemies who use that mechanic heavily during the session. For example: Do a tutorial on grappling, and then during the session itself use creatures that focus heavily on grappling, to help cement it in their minds.
Do a different one each week (say ranged combat, melee, traps etc), and maybe the repetition will help it stick. The advantage of this is depending on how your campaign is set up you may be able to work it in directly without having to change the overall campaign much at all, just the individual encounters.
Other than everything that's been mentioned in this thread already...
That's just my experience with having played a couple of wizards. I found that they are extremely hard to kill other than by another spellcaster.
I think part of the dichotomy stems from the fact that people who care more about roleplaying can get annoyed with people who get carried away with optimizing. An over enthusiastic optimizer might only make (for example) falchion fighters and conjuration wizards, because they're the "best" versions of their respective classes. In reality most optimizers usually come up with their unique concept and then do their best to optimize within those boundaries, but that doesn't stop people from setting up the straw man in their heads.
The group I play in generally handwaves it. I suppose if I were trying to justify how we do it I'd say that a point represented the final step to fluency, and we don't roleplay the learning of the language in the same way we don't roleplay sitting down to eat every day, or studying spells in the morning. If you're playing the egghead type who is likely to be learning a lot of languages, you're probably the type to carry several books with you, and it's safe to assume that some of those are going to be in different languages, so you could say you're learning from them.
The exception of course is restricted languages. If my Wizard were to set out to learn Druidic there would have to be some fairly hefty roleplaying for him to succeed at that.
I find it easiest to write it all down in a space on my sheet. I'll have normal attack, then attack with PA, then attack with Smite, attack with PA and smite etc. It's a bit of extra work but because you're doing everything in steps and writing it all down in between, it prevents it being too difficult to juggle. I actually wrote an app for my phone to handle all the situational bonuses my archer gets, so if you're finding it that much trouble it's worth considering something along those lines.
Mithral Chain shirt has an ACP of -0, which means there's no problem wearing it without proficiency. That's the trick my Ranger's companion uses anyway.
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Oops I quoted the wrong part, I meant to quote the above section. How does riding give a +1 to hit?
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
How does the Horse give +1 to hit sorry? Just in case I'm missing something in my game.
A player in my group recently played an AT in a game that went all the way from 1-20. He wasn't the most powerful member of the group (that was a bard/divine chord/soldier of light, pretty cheesey character) but he held his own quite well. He used the Skirmisher archetype and a Warmage conversion to be quite effective with rays.
he was consistently rolling 20+ d6 against multiple enemies, and with quickened spells he could do a lot of damage. There's nothing that would stop a Sorcerer from doing something similar (though loss of Warmage Edge would sting a little).
While it's not the best damage dealer, at high levels he was doing that with greater invis and mind blank up (courtesy of scrolls and later an item) he had pretty solid defenses as well.
Personally I see leadership as a great feat for smaller parties that need an extra member to cover a vital role. I play in a large group where having a couple of extra PCs to look after slows down combat unnecessarily, we use a homebrewed version of the feat which doesn't provide a cohort, but instead allows party members to build bases in cities and exercise political power. The bases cost 2000g to start with and gradually increase in size (this can be expedited by putting in more gold).
The PC can have their followers source free items, the number and power of which go up depending on the size of a stronghold (so a small stronghold might be able to get a CL1 item once a month, whereas a much larger stronghold could get a CL8 item and multiple CL1-3 items in that same time). We find that's it's a great feat for roleplaying and helps increase the feeling that the PCs are having an impact on their world.
Play a Dwarf! Grown up on the beach because his family is in exile, and the beach is probably one of the two worst locations for a dwarf to live. Having grown up in very different circumstances to your usual dwarf he could be quite an interesting and unique character to play. Plus the idea of a squat dwarf with a big blonde beard and hair surfing in hawaiian board shorts amuses me no end.
I doubt it's cheating simply because it's too obvious (though that may be what he's going for). If you're really serious about cheating in this situation you don't give yourself all 18s, you give yourself (maybe) 2 18s and some 14s or something similar. High enough to be cool but unlikely that the DM will force a reroll.
Personally I would go with the option of letting the rest of the group use the stats if they so choose. It means he's not punished and gets to play whatever awesome character he had in mind if he wants, but at the same time if he cheated he'll get to see that it's not going to give him an advantage at your table.
NOTE: it may look like I've though through cheating a little too much, however my groups exclusively use point buy, and cheating in an RPG is silly anyway, who are you trying to beat?
I'm a relatively new Pathfinder (and D&D in general) player myself, having played my first game around April of this year. When I was starting out my group was extremely helpful with explaining all of the possible options to me, and not getting annoyed when I made mistakes that made the combat unnecessarily difficult.
Of course, I started out with a wizard, which while it is a difficult class to play really well, it's relatively easy in terms of figuring out exactly what each spell does. One thing I would suggest is some sort of "buddy" or "mentor" system. Pair the player up with someone at the board who is very experienced (preferably someone who is very good at working out their own moves quickly, so they have the spare time) and discussing the possible options when it isn't her turn. This will allow the player to ask as many questions as she wants without holding the game up at all, as she'll have plenty of time in between turns (depending on the speed of your group, my group has 8 players plus the DM, and several of us have cohorts, so rounds can run a little long even when we're being efficient).
Ideally the mentor will be whoever is closest to her in the group, or whoever is least likely to consider it a burden. My group did something like this with me, and I've gone from my first game ever in April to running quite a successful game of my own in August, so it doesn't take long to learn.