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I'd just want more feats that let fighters do more things rather than making them better at what they've been already doing at first level. Where's the feat that lets me rip a demon's arm off with my bare hands?
The city I'm homebrewing does not hold executions or imprison criminals. Instead, criminals are sent to a large, windowless arcane research facility where the city's patriarch resides. Here, criminals are subject to spells, creatures, traps, and magical substances that the facility has developed or conducted research for. Though surprisingly humane to the test subjects, the facility assigns the most dangerous chambers to the worst criminals, which are not expected to survive. Wards and sigils loaded with spells handle much of the facility's automation and some sigils enable the administrators to scry on the progress of the tests.
Here's a few of my test chambers. Perhaps you can think of some as well?
Weighted Ooze Chamber
Gaseous Form Chamber
Mimic Shape Chamber
Also, I honestly like the idea that a musket sacrifices attacks per round for greater damage per shot and improved range. While I admit that two-handed firearms aren't really viable without deadshot or full-attacking, it annoyed me that Musket Master did away with that dynamic, because a musket that can be reloaded like a pistol is better than a pistol in every way except a slightly increased misfire value. Instead of eliminating the weaknesses of the musket, I felt like Musket Master should amplify the strengths to make the weaknesses worth bearing.
I don't like classes with limited options. I like having a lot of tools at my disposal. As a result, I like gish classes, but tend to avoid martials, except for the monk and a few classes from ACG.
I made a bard that gives a rousing speech when he performs. Rather than talking in the middle of battle, he simply give the speech at the start and the supernatural power of his speech continues to resonate in the hearts of his comrades until he chooses to "end" the "performance." It works pretty well, considering every movie with pre-modern war scenes has a hero give a speech before a climatic battle.
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
I think this is a fairly clever idea. It's also easier to remember bonuses than penalities, in my opinon.
Law/Chaos is poorly named. It's more so about whether you have liberal or conservative mind set. A lawful person prefers structure and discipline whereas a chaotic person see structure as hindering restraints. Having meant many people of different ends of the spectrum, I honestly feel there exists truth to this, though obviously not so polarizing as the game presents it. Even societies and culture can go either way. Some cultures place a high value on tradition and loyalty while others encourage shrugging off tradition in favor of advancing personal ambition.
That being said, I do think there's something to this concept of yours. However, I'm not entirely sure how it fits with Good/Evil. So if I'm EC, it's okay to do good things as long as I have an evil agenda? And if I'm EA, doing evil things is more important than the end result?
D&D's setting makes philosophy literal. The original designers crafted a fantasy setting that makes philosophies regarding the classic elements a reality. This seems evident when you compare old literature regarding the elements with that of D&D and Pathfinder lore. As a result, fire, water, earth, and air exist not merely as matter or chemical processes, but as cosmic forces that gave birth to the Material Plane and everything within it. Energy types function as the raw power of those forces, which proves destructive to creatures with bodies made as result of those elements. This is partially why many outsiders from the outer planes have strong resistances or immunities to energy damage. Needless to say, our modern understanding of physics does not apply in this setting, something I think even the writers of Pathfinder material sometimes forget.
Besides, I see no point in trying to apply our understanding of physics and chemistry to the game. Technically, you could consider physical damage as energy damage since trauma is caused through delivering kinetic energy that rearranges matter in a way we consider destructive the object (or person) as a whole. The game uses "energy types" as a handy way to classify damage not caused by a solid object.
As for substituting sonic, I don't know. Associating a type of damage related to air with that of earth seems weirder than acid.
Rethinking the symbiotes role is probably a good idea. But I highly recommend thinking about the class design in terms of life style and profession. Every class has an identity as a being that exists in the world. The fighter involves a person who lived a life as a knight, a soldier, or a sword for hire. The wizard is an intellectual scholar. The ranger is largely a loner that lives in the wilderness and is skilled at hunting specific targets. The barbarian is an uncivilized, likely tribal warrior driven by bloodlust in battle. There exists subversions of these identities, but they cannot exist without a core identity to subvert.
The regenerator is just some dude with a thing in his head. There's no identity here. Who is he? What does he do for a living? How does he live his life? What niche does he fill in the world or in society? Why would I want to roleplay such a character?
Rage powers are a good place to start because several of them are not magical, but do very interesting things. The monk has many abilities like slow fall. The ranger's animal companion is a really nice class feature that has many consequences for roleplay and combat.
Finding a flavor hook for abilities should be simpler than you think with the regenerator. He's some kind of scientist or physician that mutates his body. Think in terms how this concept would exist outside of a game. Wouldn't he have the ability to apply his research elsewhere than simply boosting his body? Wouldn't he be able to function as a medical doctor? What if he could research a poison that only works on a certain creature? What if he could apply his enhancement serums on his allies? What if he could help cure diseases? How does a regenerator fit in the world and what does he do in the world?
@Gaberlunzie: In the case of the manipulator, natural flight and extendable limbs can help for a number of out of combat scenarios, as does the natural healing (party in an anti-magic field and need a quick escape route from the dragon barreling after you? Power Surge so that you can hold the weight of everyone, Speed Surge to GTFO and Flight Surge to get over that pit that you had to fly over earlier, wrap everyone else in a Protect Surge as you blast...
(Assuming you mean the regenerator? This is a problem when you name your classes based on a specific thing they do rather than conveying who they are)
All of those examples you mention are still largely combat orientated and don't encourage creativity beyond solving a specific problem or solving all problems of a certain type. They just don't feel very inspired, largely because they feel like they're designed with combat in mind rather than as a cool aspect of a character or bolstering the character's development.
Sean K Reynolds's guidelines for 2013 RPG Superstar are a great place to start. I also have this bit of advice:
1) You need to ask yourself what the point of the archetype is. Why should this archetype exist? Why would a player want it? If an archetype doesn't make a player intrigued or excited to try it, then it probably doesn't need to exist.
2) It's often best to swap abilities with similar themes and purposes. For example, if you lose a defensive ability, you should get a defensive ability in return. If you lose an ability that grants you a passive circumstantial bonus, you should get an ability that grants you a passive circumstantial bonus.
3) You need to determine the appropriate scope of the archetype. Will this archetype simply swap a few ability to fit a theme, or will it involve a massive overhaul? You generally want to swap as few abilities as possible so that players can combine archetypes.
4) Consider what kind of archetype it will be. I personally defined the following types. Note that most archetypes fall in more than one category.
b) Specialty Archetype: This allows a player to focus on a particular build of desire, much like most of the fighter archetypes. Because of SKR's rule #1 and #4 and the fact the game favors weapon specialization, specialty archetypes are deceptively more difficult to balance than many think. Pistolero and Musket Master archetypes are examples of deceptively overpowered specialty archetypes. Both of these archetypes are actually better than the vanilla gunslinger, because they grant gun training to an entire class of weapons (one- or two-handed firearms) rather than an individual weapon type. There's also no tradeoff to taking these archetypes because a gunslinger will likely specialize in a particular gun anyway. I personally find that the best specialty archetypes replace inappropriate abilities (TWF doesn't really need heavy because they're primarily a Dex build) or enables a build's viability for a class (clerics don't make good ranged fighters, so a ranged archetype for a cleric is good).
c) Mechanic Archetype: This introduces a new mechanic to the class or changes an existing one in an interesting way. However, it takes more work to do Bladebound magus and hungry ghost monk are excellent examples of this. This is probably one of the more popular types of archetypes and ones I personally enjoy designing.
d) Overhaul Archetype: This overhauls almost the entire class. While the core of the class remains, this archetype changes or replaces almost every ability to create a new or specific experience with the class, turning it into a borderline alternate class. This should only be done when your concept has a grand scope, but not enough to be a full class or alternate class. Zen Archer is an excellent example.
e) Multiclass Archetype: This borrows features from another class, typically when a player has a concept that combines features from multiple classes, but they don't want to multiclass. They might want to play a wizard with a gun or a magus with witch hexes. However, these are deceptively difficult to design well. If poorly designed, the archetype either leaves the character worse off than if they simply multiclassed or steps on the toes of another class. I personally find that the best multiclass archetypes try to combine class features to create unique mechanics and flavor. For example, hexcrafter lets a magus spellstrike with curses. Worthless or clumsily written ones simply copy/paste abilities from other classes, which is a reason I personally avoid the MCA thread.
f) Race Archetype: NO. THIS IS NOT MERELY AN ARCHETYPE THAT REQUIRES A RACE. Classes like the buccaneer and the experimental gunsmith are just theme archetypes with an arbitrary race restriction. A PROPER race archetype is one that interacts with racial traits. The suli elemental knight and the rune magus archetype for my homebrew runari race are the only examples I can think of at the moment.
Content creep isn't the problem. The problem is that the rogue was poorly designed in the first place. Rather than hinder future content to "protect" a poorly made legacy class, they choose to simply move on and make classes and archetypes with a similar feel so players still have tools to make a roguish character concept. Considering that Paizo does not have the means to make complete rewrites of existing classes (like an online video game would), this was not a bad choice. Though I do admit they could have mitigated the issue by simply introducing new rogue talents that weren't book filler.
I agree with the others. This race is too strong. It simply has too many really good abilities.
1) 40 foot speed is REALLY good. I can't think of any race that has this aside from the goblin. Even the race creation guide lists it as an advanced trait. There does not exist any outstanding reason why this elf would run faster than a normal elf. I personally would reduce this to 30 feet as standard.
2) Forest Stride mimics a 2nd level druid ability, a pretty good one in my opinion.
3) Treespeech is deceptively powerful as it makes it trivial to obtain information whenever in an outdoors environment. I think a once per day speak with animals would work, too.
4) They still have many of the standard elf abilities, which gives the impression they're simply better elves.
You should really think clearly what you want the race to be all about and then focus on one or two ways to emulate that. Do you want one strong ability or many weaker ones? For example, you can nix a lot of the abilities in favor of revolving around a more limited speak with plants. You can also take Cap. Darling's suggestion and list some abilities as alternate traits.
You are quoting the amphibious trait text from the universal monster rules, which was written in the context of defining monster statistics. In other words, the amphibious trait assumes it applies to an aquatic creature, which can breathe water but not air. Thus, the entire point of amphibious trait in the monster rules is to enable an aquatic creature to breathe air.
However, the wereshark-kin amphibious trait lies within the context of defining a race that does not possess the aquatic subtype. Since the only benefit amphibious has for an aquatic creature is enabling them to breathe both air and water, likewise the amphibious trait would enable a humanoid to breathe both air and water. The Advanced Race Guide's race creation rules also support this interpretation:
When RAW seems to not make sense or have a contradiction, you have to apply a certain level of common sense and analyze the intent of the rules. A large part of that involves analyzing the context of the written rule. Common sense should tell you that amphibious simply enables a wereshark-kin to breathe underwater, especially considering the above evidence and the fact the developers deliberately listed it and a swim speed as separate options. Thus, amphibious, in itself, does not grant the aquatic subtype.
I'd like to point out that I think the best way to give the magus more options is to have other touch spells that do interesting things, rather than spells that simply do a different type of damage.
If you don't mind, I think I'll review some of the options you guys put here:
I actually had a similar spell made for this, except it did 1d6 and dealt minimum damage to secondary targets, like a melee alchemist bomb. I like it.
I think the slow effect and extra damage on a slowed target are too powerful. In fact, it's arguably more powerful than the 2nd level spell Frigid Touch. I'd personally make it reduce the target's movement speed by half.
I'm not a fan of this. A force touch spell strikes me as too powerful for a 1st level spell. After all, Force Punch does 1d4/level (max 10d4) and it's a 3rd level spell. Sure, the movement allows is much stronger than Force Spike, but it allows save and this does not. Also, there'd be no reason at all to prepare Corrosive Touch. The strength of Corrosive Touch is that while it deals the least amount of damage out of the 1st level elemental touch attacks, it also has the least resisted element.
I like the idea! Utility touch attacks. However, what does it actually do the target? Does it blind them or what?
Nice, but if the bull rush attempt is a static number, wouldn't it be better to explicitly say how far they're pushed? Maybe something like, "The target must succeed on a Reflex save or be pushed 10 feet in a straight line away from you; or 5 feet if the target is one size category larger than you. Targets two size categories larger or more are immune to the push effect."
6. Demonlord Zura, I give you my sincerest apologies for smashing your unholy shrine, but your followers lacked a certain degree of foresight when they planted it behind a door where one could easily crush it. I'm shocked, really! Look at the condition of your temple here! Your head priest really let this place go. If it would please your unholiness, could you tell us the location of his phylactery so we may punish him for this grave insult to your name?
(Yes, I actually did do this)
Since feats not only elevate a character's power level, but also function as the players' biggest way to customize their character outside of their class, this strikes me as a fairly unfun idea.
I did consider replacing feats with "talents," which are stronger, group similar feats together into thematic packages, but characters don't get as many of them.
Take any animal
I'm serious. If you give anything disturbingly human-like features, it makes it much more terrifying. I had a mimic grow tentacles out of its wooden crate disguise, and the players were only mildly afraid. After I described human-like hands creep out of the mimic's crate lid and reach out to grab someone, my players asked if their characters should be taking Wisdom drain from how utterly terrifying that is.
I merged Craft with Profession. Instead of Craft (weapons), you have Profession (weaponsmith). I'd like to do the same with Perform, but that would require changing it from a Charisma-based skill.
I thought 4th Edition condensed the skills way too much. Merging Disguise into Bluff was a smart idea as making Disguises should have been Craft. However, there's a huge difference between Sleight of Hand and Disable Device. Sleight of Hand is a decent skill with many creative uses as long as your campaign isn't nothing but dungeon crawls.
The runari are a humanoid race with the ability to inscribe a spell from a magical text to their bodies and use it as spell-like ability, taking the form of runic tattoos on their skin. They revere contructs as holy artifacts and believe themselves descended from golems given sentience and flesh by their goddess. Their society places an emphasis on finding a personal role in one's life.
You can view the full description here or their basic racial traits below.
I also developed this race as my take on magitech. Runari tend to have advanced technology that uses crude materials, such as stone, due to the scarcity of metal and wood. This contrasts with most magitech, which tends to appear mechanical and almost steampunky.
I will continue to update with feats, class options, artwork, equipment listings for their technology, and a full description of their goddess. I'd like some feedback. Do you find them corny? Do they appear mechanically underpowered/overpowered? Anything about them feel trite or need expanded on? Any suggestions for material?
I never said the summoner should be nerfed. I just said it shouldn't be buffed. I really like summoners and admire how it encourages you to create a backstory for your main class feature. Few other classes do so and none do so in the capacity of the summoner.
I honestly think you'd find more summoners if the class did not require as much micromanagement over multiple characters. Of course, providing more options is welcome, but I've never seen lack of options as a reason for someone not playing a summoner.
What would cause a population of dragons to panic and flee?
LOTS of pugwampis.
Pugwampis as far as the eye can see, marching through the world and multiplying like a plague. They bring forth a blight of misfortune and disgrace that not even dragons can resist. Not even the luckiest of charms can hinder their unstoppable aura of mischance that will tear all civilization asunder.
+1 to DCs and +1 caster level is actually quite powerful. While I would like to see arcane bonded items to get a bit of a buff, the wizard does not need an overall buff. +1 DC/CL would definitely be a buff and make staves bonded items not only better than other items, but possibly better than familiars until the wizard gets Improved Familiar.
I'm working on an RPG/Campaign Setting that I have interests in adapting to Pathfinder in the future. The game takes place in a virtual reality simulation with a scripting system that enables supernatural effects. A tech-savvy character can code their own scripts and execute them. I envisioned that a character would install a system that grants them X number of "slots" that they can allocate to scripts that function as at-will abilities. However, reallocation takes at least an hour to do so.
However, I want to create an elegant system for players to create their own scripts, but I'm torn on how to do that. I've looked at Words of Power and wasn't happy with how they did it. I'm considering having scripts consisting of a list of "functions" that do very simple things. The order of commands is important. For example, if you want a script that sets a chair on fire, you would have it look like this:
What are your thoughts on this? Any suggestions?
Keep in mind that D&D's cosmology revolves around philosophy taking physical form, which is why the Planescape setting is so interesting and often considered the "thinking man's setting." This a multiverse where you can point at a creature from Hell and say "that's evil." You could be completely right because the creature is literally evil on a physical, spiritual, and mental evil. This isn't a bad thing. This makes the multiverse interesting and thought provoking while conveying the classic "good versus evil" archetypal story structure that this game was meant to enable.
I think there's many interesting ways to do resource pools that haven't been done yet. What would you think of a class where its abilities scaled with the amount of points remaining in its pool? Like the more energy it has, the more powerful its abilities. Or the less it has, the stronger it becomes.
Cyrad pulls out his 'patched' Pathfinder document affectionatedly called "Radfinder."
More concrete rules on how long term activities work.
Actual examples of how to run skill checks rather than just a table with DCs.
I personally run Diplomacy/Intimidate very differently. Players have to roleplay it out. I judge mostly on the content of what they say rather than how they say it, so not to punish players for being bad actors. I only call for Diplomacy/Intimidate rolls if the NPC is on the fence about the matter. In most circumstances, the players ask for Diplomacy rolls. I let them do so, but it merely has an influence on the result rather than the decider, which is what the skill was made for in the first place.
I have three approaches to magitech:
1) Magitech with primitive aesthetics
Just because you have magitech in your campaign does not mean it has to be steampunky.
2) Magitech is ancient, mysterious technology
One of the important keys to taking this approach is language. Never describe something using our modern understanding or tropes. Don't describe it as a ray gun. Describe it as a complicated device consisting of brass tubes that emits a ray of fire.
This approach lends very well to Pathfinder lore since Golerion is currently in the dark ages and civilizations prior to Earthfall had advanced technology, like flying cities and machines that could control the weather.
3) Magitech originates from an isolated source
I actually don't want them to rule on this. It's one of those common sense things that answering it may end up creating more problems than it solves, like the mounted combat FAQ. A GM can simply rule when a character is wielding a weapon as situations may vary. Common sense should tell you that you're wielding a weapon if you're capable of making attacks with it.
Basically, anything you want. It's the one thing I like most about the summoner -- it's a class that encourages you to make a story about your main class feature.
Maybe your eidolon is an imaginary friend that turned out to be real.
Maybe your imagination gave birth to the eidolon -- it's a physical representation of your fears and darkest desires.
Maybe the eidolon is your greatest invention that you end up spending a lifetime figuring out how you created it in a night of bitter drunkeness.
Maybe your eidolon is an ancestor from a distance past.
Maybe your eidolon is yourself from the future.
Maybe your eidolon is the spirit of a loved one tied to an item you own.
Maybe your eidolon is the spirit of a haunted deck of cards that lets you materialize the cards into monsters.
Maybe your eidolon is actually your wife! A magical genie you had to marry because you drew The Marriage from the harrow deck of many things.
Maybe you are the eidolon. Your corporeal body is merely a puppet you control.
Has this thread been derailed so much that it degraded into a petty WBL argument?
Kirth Gersen wrote:
You really hit the nail on the head. This mentality and ivory tower design was inherited from 3.5e. I'm tired of lazily made feats that serve no purpose other than pad out books and serve as flavor. A good feat can be both mechanically beneficial and have awesome flavor (see Deadly Dealer). I'm glad Pathfinder has traits to provide the fluff to not muddy up feats.
And I agree we're not asking Pathfinder to be "4th Editioned." 4th Edition divorced his mechanics from its fluff rather than marry the fluff to the mechanics. When narrative was tied to mechanics, it was done rather lazily.
Every time I look at this thread, I see more people complaining about prepared casting, usually over misconceptions on how the flavor works. You're not "forgetting" the spell after you use it. Instead, all preparations have been expended. A wizard cannot cast the spell again for the same reason you can't fire a muzzle-loaded gun after you just made a shot. It doesn't matter how many bullets you have. Unless you have another gun with the same type of bullet ready to fire, you still have to put more gunpowder in and prime the gun if you want to fire another shot.
As for Perception, I think it should be an innate statistic that all creatures have, like Initiative. This would also help fix many problems related to it, like Stealth and the trap system.
I would also like to point out that the witch arguably has the weakest spell list out of the full casters. While she does get some goodies from the cleric list, she loses many staple spells that even a magus has. Most of her good spells target Will. Let's not forget the witch has the largest Achilles heel out of any spellcaster.
My point is that hexes should be strong. A witch sacrifices safety and spell selection for the hex class feature. This is their primary contribution to the party. Yes, slumber is strong. As Tacticslion explained in detail, it's not game breaking either. It's perfectly fine the way it is.
The witch is using a standard action to disable a single foe in close range whereas staple wizard spells can disable multiple enemies at once from medium or even long range. Even if the witch succeeds, it may not be worth the action.
If you're making encounters with a single strong enemy, you're doing it wrong. Even a high level character will get wrecked when he's out numbered.
A good GM doesn't allow a single player to ruin everyone else's fun. You have a bad GM. I strongly discourage you from engaging the issue in-character. Making characters and conspiracies to kill his character will only create a cycle of in-fighting, which is precisely what the troll wants. You come to the table to have 4-6 hours of weekly fun. This drama is not worth your time.
Gather a group of other players that feel the same way and agree to give the GM an ultimatum: kick the troll or we leave to form our own game.
The only way to beat a troll is to not play his game.
"There are no foolish players. Only poor Game Masters."
Here, I see potential fault. Was the player aware the monsters had reach? This is information you shouldn't withhold because his character would clearly see the monsters' size would enable them to reach 10 feet away. The player probably would not have approached the monster if he knew it would provoke an attack of opportunity. If the player did know and choose to provoke an attack of opportunity anyway, then his character's death is on his head.
Before punishing a player for their mistake, make sure your vision of the world is consistent with theirs.
Skullford - Forgive me, I'm nub wrote:
So I was playing with 6 other people and we were having a pretty hard time against a (20AC spellcaster in level 1-2 scenario!)single enemy
A single enemy encounter needs to be fairly strong or have a high AC to offset a significant action economy disadvantage. It's a 1 vs 6 battle -- the enemy gets 1 standard action per round while the party has 6 standard actions per round. Without a high AC, the enemy will die before the end of the round. Also, many enemy spellcasters in modules will cast buffs on themselves before battle if they hear intruders approaching.
Skullford - Forgive me, I'm nub wrote:
so a bard used a wand to resurrect her and I just realized how ridiculous wands are.
Reviving a dying ally is the most optimal way to use healing in combat. However, this is still not a favorable situation. The cleric had to get into touch range and waste a standard action to bring back an ally that will likely get dropped again or have to retreat. Your party is down two members for at least a round.
Skullford - Forgive me, I'm nub wrote:
Bad guys don't get to use wands, if they did the battle would never end,
Enemies with wands are uncommon because:1) Using a wand each turn is a bad way to spend your actions. Enemies only live for about three or four rounds and often have action economy disadvantages. An enemy cannot heal himself and fight at the same time.
2) It doesn't make sense from a design standpoint. If a module designer wants an enemy to cast spells from a wand, why not just make the enemy a spellcaster?
3) The players will get the wand when the enemy dies.
Skullford - Forgive me, I'm nub wrote:
yet pcs can which pretty much removes all threat of death as long as one caster can stay alive.
At best, that caster can only revive one person per round. The caster has touch his buddy to heal them, which means he has to put himself into serious risk to do so. Also keep in mind there's a downward spiral effect. The more people that drop, the more hits the other PCs will take, which can lead to more people dropping.
Skullford - Forgive me, I'm nub wrote:
The biggest problem is the fact you get so many charges. I understand potions because you would go broke buying potions and would use them wisely. The economy of wands seems cheesy.
Wands are best at low levels, but low levels usually don't have the money for them. To buy a wand of CLW, a party has to pool their money together for it. Yes, wands are ultimately cheaper than potions, but that's balanced by the fact you must purchase one with 50 charges. How is that cheesy?
Skullford - Forgive me, I'm nub wrote:
I'm mostly just griping because I am a monk and I went for sponge as opposed to hitter. What good is someone that can't be killed when nobody will ever get killed with wands around. I like the fact there is a limit to spells, which wands completely remove. I understand there use outside of battle, but maybe there should be some loops to jump through during battle.
Pathfinder is not World of Warcraft. You cannot simply min-max defenses at the cost of offense to "tank." Clerics are not healbots. You cannot win a fight by out-sustaining your enemy.
The untold secret to winning combat in D&D is to end fights quickly or not fight at all. Each combat puts lives at risk and takes its toll on valuable resources (hitpoints, wand charges, spells, etc). The less resources you spent on the battle, the better. If your party had to spend precious wand charges, that's bad. Preventing damage is less costly than healing it.
This is why your character does not do well. Being completely defense-oriented does not end the fight faster. If you want to draw attention away from your teammates, you must present yourself as a significant threat
There's not really any "ultimate" magus. It all depends what you want out of your character.
Want to have enough AC to be a consistent combatant in combat? Go Dervish Dance.
Want to have consistent damage output? Go Strength magus.
Want to be spell focused? Be a human, pick up Spell Focus and Spell Specialization so your Shocking Grasp can do 3d6 at first level.
Want to have a bag of tricks to provide debuffing and utility? Go Hexcrafter magus.
Want to be martial focused? Go kensai.
You can be a crit fisher with any of these suggestions. The only prerequisite to crit fishing is getting a high crit weapon and keening it one way or another.
Psionics don't appeal to me. Psychics feel too science fiction for my fantasy tastes. In standard Pathfinder lore, psychic powers are more related with otherworldly monsters -- it's what makes them alien, terrifying, and monstrous. Making it commmonplace with PCs doesn't feel right. It makes the monsters less mysterious and makes the PCs more monstrous.
Still, I'd probably allow psionics, but would refluff it or require a psionic PC to be somehow touched by an otherworldly presence that haunts them.