Steve Geddes wrote:
Lol - in other words:
"Seriously guys, as paying customers and the very lifeblood of everything we do here at Paizo, stop asking for things you'd like to buy. "
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
You're free to do as you like but I can tell you that I'm 100% correct on this. The thing being affected always take precedence over the thing doing the affecting.
Think of it as a wants to vs. a can thing - Stalwart 'wants' to stack with Armor Master but Armor says it can't. Case closed.
Armor Master specifically says that it's DR doesn't stack with other sources of DR, so it looks like Stalwart is out. The class feature's language takes precedence.
Combat Expertise will give you -3 to hit with Threatening Defender. Full BAB builds don't need anything to make up for Power Attack as they will hit regardless. As far as your capstone, do you really think you're going to be doing THAT much level 20 play?
At 12th level with the dip and Threatening Defender, Improved Stalwart will give you +8 DR for -3 attack and that DR stacks with Invul Rager. No fighting defensively or standard actions about it.
Its a balancing act sure, but Wiggz does it better than anyone i've seen. Definitely something to think about.
For a two-weapon fighter I always recommend weapon master and the use of two similar light weapons so all your feats universally apply. Weapon dice damage pale in comparison to static bonuses, especially with a high crit weapon like kukri's.
Great link, thanks for that.
I was thinking, for a swift action every round a Dervish of Dawn would effectively get +4 Attack and 4d10+Con fast healing. Pretty nice deal there.
By 13th level Bards can begin a Bardic performance as a swift action and presumably end one as a free action - so what about Inspire Greatness? It grants 2 HD and temporary hit points to go with it. Could a bard end and begin Inspire Greatness every round on his turn to 'refresh' those temporary hit points?
Skull and Shackles, absolutely. So much you can do with it outside the AP if so inclined. Wish we had used a slower progression so we could have enjoyed it even longer.
With regards to Domain, the Madness domain features one of the best buffs/debuffs in the game in Visions of Madness and their Aura is pretty potent too.
The Inquisitor would make sense thematically, with his/her destiny gradually revealed to keep the Shackles from falling under Chellish control and one of the largest regions of piracy eradicated.
Gronk de'Morcaine wrote:
Vision of Madness causes, among other things, a save penalty equal to 1/2 Cleric level. For three rounds a pop.
I've been looking everywhere for an option that would let me use that ability at range but so far no luck.
Some good advice there. A few things to consider - the Vision of Madness power is going to be used with this build a LOT, meaning that 1) I'll have to get within reach range fairly often anyway and 2) at middle to higher levels I won't need the Focus feats since I'll be flooring saves anyway.
Based on the advice above, I'm looking at this feat selection now:
1st Lingering Performance
I'm also considering taking a level of Wizard at perhaps 9th level or so to get access to first level Wizard spells (I can envision this character using a lot of wands), the Scribe Scroll feat and perhaps a Greensting Scorpion (or some theme-appropriate version) familiar. The higher Initiative is going to be particularly valuable for me because in the opening round of combat I would like to be able to get Inspire Courage up and running and perhaps land a Vision of Madness buff or debuff before anyone else moves.
Update: Okay, After a bit of re-education, I've changed the build somewhat. My reduced Channel Energy will be used only for 'maintenance' healing at the end of the day and I won't be taking any feats to modify it. Instead, I'm going to focus more on my spellcasting, in particular increasing the DC's of Necromancy and Enchantment spells as those two schools seem the best suited for spell selection by a mentally unbalanced dwarf convinced of the end of the world. As an Evangelist I'll get enchantment spells that can be cast spontaneously and spells like Doom, Aura of Doom and Blindness/Deafness will all benefit from the boost to necromancy. Combined with Visions of Madness there should be some pretty nice save or suck options in the middle to higher levels.
I also made some choices to give his limited skills at least a niche of usefulness.
Dwarven 20th level Evangelist (Madness Domain)
Attributes: (20 point buy)
Skills: (3 ranks/level)
We just finished the Skull n Shackles AP (best campaign ever) with a four man party - a Human Sea Singer Bard, a Human Barbarian, an Elven Rogue and a Half-Elven Master Summoner. Each fulfilled a valuable role and each had their moments to shine, but the Master summoner was really crucial to our success.
He built his eidolon as a small scout-type with high perception, stealth, the ability to swim and breathe underwater as well as the ability to fly. That let it scout out locations ahead of us in underwater caves, fly off scouting for ships to raid, swim under the boat to keep an eye out for dangerous reefs or other threats - its ability to see in the dark and communicate telepathically back to the Master Summoner (our pilot) was utterly invaluable.
When combat came the eidolon was always quickly dismissed. The MS focused purely on summoning elementals (for RP purposes) and had some truly memorably moments... from being able to summon water elementals during sea and underwater battles (very useful is using standard underwater combat rules) to air elementals used to run down ships and foul rigging & sails to the time he summoned an entire horde of hastened earth elementals to take a keep (at 7th level), having them earthglide through the ground and stone walls to massacre the defenders within while - I kid you not - our captain sat just out of bowshot beneath an umbrella and sipped brandy awaiting their surrender.
A well-built, well-played Master Summoner is a huge boon to any party in my opinion - the reason why you would want to go Half-Elf is more for the favored racial option that gives you bonus evolution points than anything else (though the Eldritch Heritage line is very useful for the class).
As an aside, we tried to avoid things like Gillmen or other exotic races that were too ideally suited to aquatic campaigns... just felt like we would be cheating both the adventure and ourselves by using the RPG version of cheat codes.
Nobody in our group ever plays a Cleric - for some reason the general mechanics and feel of them doesn't appeal to anyone. I've finally decided to throw my hat in the ring and take a break from the usual bad@ss melee types I tend to play.
My vision is a Dwarf who delved too deep in his youth and was captured for a time by the abominations that dwell below... he escaped, his sanity already tweaked by what he had witnessed and fled as long and far as he could from his captors, eventually escaping into the world above witnessing for the first time the night sky - endless, boundless, infinite and filled with stars staring down at him. It broke a part of the agoraphobic dwarf's mind, trapped between the madness below and the infinite above, and he has become convinced of the inevitable end of everything at the hands of this alien presence.
Technically he's a Cleric of Azathoth, though he is less a follower of the Old One and more a herald of his arrival and eventual dominion, devoted to staving off that eventuality but deep down convinced that its inevitable. He's going to be twisted, kind of off-his-rocker and will be played as both tragic and comic at times, given to disturbing mutterings and unerving speeches at the most inopportune times - kind of a 'Rasputin the Mad Dwarf', so to speak.
So I'm going Dwarf, obviously, and Evangelist with the Madness Domain selected. He'll take the Deep Warrior racial option for flavor though I don't view him as a combatant - he just doesn't have the feats to be an effective one I don't think. He'll also take the favored class option to make full use of that excellent Madness Domain 1st level granted power as both a buff and debuff in and out of combat. I think I've got a handle on how I want to distribute his attribute points though I'm not married to it - what I'm trying to figure out is his feat selection.
The character is probably going to play as a pure support type, using Vision of Madness, Aura of Madness, spells and Sermonic Performance to buff/debuff and then his healing ability between battles more often than not. I'm not sure where to go with feats beyond Lingering Performance and Discordant Voice (which fits the concept perfectly) - he's going to have a very high Wisdom but a very low Charisma so I'm thinking about loading up on Channelling feats, particularly Extra Channel... but with the Evangelist's already reduced Channelling ability, I'm wondering if that's an efficient use of the character's relatively few feats.
Here's what I'm thinking, but I'm not sure its the way to go. Any advice would be most welcome (on feat selection or any other aspect of the character).
A better explanation would be how few foes actually rely on artificial weapons, especially at later level. A two- handed fighter is better off spending his actions killing his foes.
I would think it would work with any weapon, but a looking at the build, a Bardiche or a Falchion would definitely be my recommendation... which should be okay since a Bardiche is essentially a giant axe on a long handle and a Falchion is basically a two-handed sword. Your weapon can look like anything thematically but mechanically you'd be better off with the suggested weapons.
Seems like the moral of the story is not to make characters who can not survive without the GM handing out items to cover their weaknesses.
Okay, the DM just said this is going to be a dungeon crawl...so i guess stuff like bluff and disguise won't be that useful.
You might want to steer away from enchanter-type caster altogether then. Some much better options out there for a dungeon crawl. Charm Person loses a lot of its effectiveness when there aren't any... persons... to be charmed.
Here you go. The build is Human rather than Half-Orc but its a very detailed and extremely potent unarmed melee character.
Generally speaking, foes target the biggest threats, not necessarily the softest targets.
Full attack actions = selfish.
Highly, highly recommend an Elven Void Mage with the favored class option.
No one will ever save again.
First off, no - your brain doesn't bother me in the slightest.
Next, I find it helpful if you look at an AP as a stArting off point. As what you could run if you wanted to, but with the pieces there for so much more. Remember when you were a kid and you bought a Legos pack that had a specific thing on the front that you had the pieces to build? It was cool and all and might present a challenge for all of an hour but what really mattered was 1) the ideas it inspired and 2) the fact that you had new peices to add to your collection - or new peices you could add your collection to. That's how I tend to view AP's. As structured inspiration and a wealth of tools.
Spells chosen by the spellbinder usually aren't combat spells but rather useful things you know you're going to need eventually but don't want to burn prepared slots for - like Teleport or Tongues.
Damon Griffin wrote:
Hmmmm... I'm thinking about teaming this girl up with a Master Summoner who specializes in Elementals so that's worth considering. Disinetegrate would be difficult to give up though.
I think it would have been better if all Patron spells had been spells absent from the Witch list - makes the customization seem a little pointless otherwise.
Its pretty rare that I'm on a team that doesn't already have a designated 'Haste-caster', but I suspect I'll make pretty good use of Silence, Teleport, Disentegrate, Expend and Time Stop while Threefold Aspect is flavoricious. I wonder if you can lay Hexes on foes while under the effects of Timestop... probably not, eh?
Alright, so given the advice I've recieved on the board thus far, I'm thinking about re-arranging things as shown below. I'm still really torn about giving up my healing early on - I had visions of roaming a village in ruins or a battlefield sorely won and healing person after person - but ah, well. Best laid plans and all that.
After tweaking my skills a little bit to better reflect my needs, this is what I'm thinking:
Also on the subject of race changes.. Take a look at the Half-Orc Scarred Witch Doctor.. Its prob the best witch archetype out there atm..
Its my understanding that there technically is no 'Half-Orc Scarred Witch Doctor', only the Orc version... but in truth, it doesn't really jive with my concept anyway, but thanks for the suggestion.
There's a lot of good advice here.
I'm currently thinking about dumping the item creation feats - exchanging Craft Wand with Extra Hex: Flight @ 5th, Extra Hex: Cauldron with Threnodic Spell @ 15th (nice fit thematically) and perhaps the Fortune Hex at 16th instead of Witch's Brew.
Damon Griffon - I'm not trying to be the party's primary healer and certainly not a combat healer, but I'd prefer to use hexes in place of spells whenever I can freeing those slots up for actual in-combat effects. From what I can see, taking the healing Hex @ 2nd and the Major Healing Hex @ 10th will result in the following healing benefits:
@ 1st level - 1d8+1 for every party member each day
That's all pretty much free healing that doesn't eat up any spell slots, and collectively seems ideal for a secondary healing role to me.
As far as the Evil Eye Hex, Misfortune seems far superior to me (as does Slumber) in the early going because forcing a re-roll on saves, attack rolls, etc. will likely net you a much greater benefit than -2 and affects more than one stat with a single application. Things get a little closer by 8th when the Evil Eye benefit increases to -4 and I like the fact that you can layer it so I consider it a definite take there.
Since it looks like I'm going to be taking Quicken Spell and Threnodic Spell, I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't try to work Spell Perfection in there, pehaps for Suffocation... a Quickened Suffocate with a +4 DC and +8 against SR would work nicely after applying a -4 save via Evil Eye.
Can someone clarify whether or not Split Hex or Split Major Hex requires you to specify a particular Hex or if it can be used with any hexes you have that target a single foe...?
The player running the Witch is running an illegal, impossible character, plain and simple. He's either doing it because 1) he got sincerely confused regarding the rules or 2) he's choosing to deliberately take advantage of your relative inexperience. Personally I suspect the latter but I don't know the guy so I won't make judgements... the good news is that in either case its the easiest fix in the world - audit his character sheet. Calculate his saves, his hit points and the DC on his spells. Make him show you the rules that say he can do the things he's trying to do (I assure you he won't be able to) and make him write down his spells each day and cross them off when he casts them.
Its your responsibility as a GM to the rest of the group to make sure this guy is playing by the same rules that they and the foes they fight are.
Alright, I finally put together the Witch build I've been working on - its a class I have absolutely zero experience with, but I'm really excited about some of its possibilities.
The concept is a Lawful Neutral or a Neutral Good character, one for whom death is neither a thing to be feared nor evil in and of itself. Rather, it is a part of the natural order top be embraced when the time comes. The character also recognizes the cruel injustice of a life made harder than it should be through suffering inflicted by others or - even worse - cut tragically short before their time. That's a large part of her motivation for adventuring, to alleviate suffering when possible, ease that suffering when its not, and to prevent those whom would end life before its time from doing so by taking the lives they have in forfeit. She has no tolerance for those without respect for life, and just as little tolerance for those who have no respect for death as she finds the undead an abomination of both life AND death.
Mechanically its probably not very groundbreaking - she'll carry a scythe on her back who's literal sole purpose is killing those foes she has rendered helpless, usually through her sleep hex. By my calculations burning a feat on power attack or Arcane Strike would be unnecessary for those purposes, but if someone feels otherwise please let me know. Spell Focus & Greater Spell Focus will be taken in Necromancy to maximize the effectivenss of spells like Blindness, Bestow Curse, Suffocate, etc. She'll play as a battlefield controller and part-time healer with compassion for life but no compunction whatsoever about killing those who's time has come. Her familiar will manifest as a scorpion, and her communion with it will educate her as to the nature of life, death, magic, nature and the harmonious secrets of the universe. I'm trying to decide on a Death or Healing (Life) Patron at the moment, thinking that if I take Death I'll eventually take the Life-Giver Hex and if I go with healing I'll eventually take the Death Hex. The Summon Spirit Hex at higher levels would be used to summon some sort of avatar of death as she and it grow ever-more intimate.
I figure taking Craft Wand will be useful for ubiquitous low-level spells like Cure Light Wounds, Enlarge Person and False Life while the eventual Cauldron/Witch's Brew hexes should keep us well-stocked in potions at the higher levels. Of all my hexes, those potion-brewing ones are the ones I'm most unsure of - we rarely play into the higher levels and even more rarely have access to magic items on-demand. Saves should be solid, as should hit points with a decent Constitution and eventual Toughness, Initiative should be high from the get go... any thoughts are welcome.
Human 20th level Witch (Death or Healing Patron)
Attributes: (20 point buy)
Feats & Hexes:
A Cleric can support a party very well and a Bard can support a party very well - but a Cleric/Bard would suffer.
First off, you're way too MAD with one class casting off of Wisdom while another class casts off of Charisma. If you were going to multi-class, you'd be better off going Bard/Sorcerer or Bard/Oracle (Charisma) instead. Also, there is a fair bit of overlap between the Cleric's spells and the Bard's spells, especially when it comes to healing. The big thing though is that you will severly retard the rate at which you gain higher level spells - you don't want to be spamming Cure Light Wounds when you're fighting high level monsters, after all.
We had a non-combatant Bard once, a Lotus Geisha, who served the roles of healer, buffer and face superbly well, freeing up the other classes to mix it up... another relatively non-combatant Bard we had went Archeologist (think Rogue without the sneak attack) who became the trap-detector extraordinare but we didn't gain the benefit of performance.
From what you're saying, I'd suggest you maybe pick a single Oracle mystery you really like and take a level in Oracle to pick it up along with a few spells and then go all Bard. Along the way, take the Eldritch Heritage feats for the Arcane Bloodline to expand your spell-casting a bit. Go Human to make the most out of your skills via Focused Study and an expanded spell knowledge. Poke around in the archetypes to see what appeals to you - the trick as a Bard, since they don't gain spells in the volume a full caster would - is to figure out what you're doing when you're not casting spells and you're not fighting. There are some good options out there.
You could also make a pretty good healing/buffing/debuffing Witch without engaging in combat as well.
I'd be happy to help you put something together if you like.
j b 200 wrote:
You should look into the Arcane Duelist archetype, since it is a better combatant than the standard bard and you can cast in heavy armor (eventually).
I've got a nice Arcane Duelist build that takes the Eldritch Heritage feats for Arcane Bloodline and two Arcane Bonded items... two extra spells a day and an expanded spell list from the human favored class option makes him both a more effective melee combatant than most Bards AND a more effective caster as well.
I would highly, highly recommend against what's proposed in this post...
P.S. Hi Damocles! I didn't see you at DunDraCon, I was all ready to call you a munchkin.
I ain't no munchkin. I believe in coming up witha great character concept and backstory and then doing everything you can to make your character as effective as possible within the framework of that concept. Can I help it if I'm so good at making builds? :-P
Seriously though, I keep meaning to set up a folio of my favorite builds, just the top couple dozen across all races and classes... maybe via Google docs or something so they can be linked here.
I wish I could have made DunDra Con - any Con, really. Situated here in southern Louisiana I'm really in the armpit, the black hole if you will of RPgaming. I mean really, Arkansas to the north, Mississippi to the East and a vast expane of Texas landscape to the west... so sad.
Kairos Dawnfury wrote:
I heard sword and board pallies tend to get ignored by DMs in combat if your AC is too high. With LoH you can afford a little lower AC and make yourself a bigger threat with a two hander. I took Die Hard and endurance with my pally since we don't have a combat healer so if I get critted, I can stay up and swift action LoH myself.
Consider grabbing a Heroic Defiance or two and freeing up those feat slots - it grants a use of LoH as an immediate action.
Heh - dip a level of Sunmoner. Customizable scout eidolon with dark vision AND the ability to communicate telepathically.
Okay, first off I never said anything about Holy Warrior of Light anywhere in my post. Secondly, Paladins are NOT qualiuty secondary healers on their own as their spells are used otherwise and they don't get enough LoH's to keep themselves alive if tanking AND heal their allies. Sorry, but I'm always going to consider someone with 20+ LoH's to be a better secondary healer than someone with less than a dozen.
As far as 'that much of it' - what are you using Lay on Hands for in this build?
Swift action self-heals in combat
...that's a LOT of uses, a lot of versatility from just a single feat. You're not getting extra uses of Lay on Hands with those feats, you're getting extra uses of an entire host of abilities, some offensive, some defensive and some utilitarian based on what you need from fight to fight and campaign to campaing. That makes it about as efficient and versatile a use of feats as there is in the game if you actually pay attention to everything you can do.
Unsanctioned Knowledge in order to take Haste is a waste in my opinion as I've never been on a party that relied on its Paladin to cast Haste - let one of your actual casters (Wizard, Bard, Sorcerer, Summoner, etc.) do that. Moreover, Unsanctioned Knowledge requires a higher Intelligence score which takes a MAD character and makes him even moreso.
There are far better ways to protect your allies than burning a feat for Antagonize, some of which I've already illuminated - have you ever looked at the feat's inherent limitations?
Radiant Charge is optional and comes at the very end of the build - kind of like a pocket nuke should you ever need it. Lots of options for the 19th level feat out there if you ever even get the character that high - hardly an integral part of the build...
...but then, I thought we were discussing how my build was nothing more than a 'beatstick' and 'one of the worst ways to play a Paladin'... still waiting for an explanation on that considering all of the things I've pointed out.
Three points in Strength to raise it to 14, 2 points in Constitution to raise it to 12.
You'd probably be better off going with two levels of Paladin and then Bard the rest of the way, especially if you're careful about your Archetypes. It could work the other way too, but you should honestly run the character as a 1st level Bard/19th level Paladin or 2nd level Paladin/18th level Bard... an even split would cause each class to neuter the other.
Consider an Oracle/Paladin - I posted a build following that concept here.