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The Horned Hunter

Damocles Guile's page

384 posts (548 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 aliases.


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Botho Käse wrote:

Can you please provide a follow-up to this? How has the campaign been going? I ask because my party also is caster heavy.

Or, anyone else run this with a suboptimal lineup?

Thx!

The first three volumes have gone superbly well, though the game is on a temporary hold due to real time conflicts right now.

I have to say, the last thing I would consider this party is 'sub-optimal'.

An Eidolon, a high strength Summoner with a long spear and multiple summoned creatures that can be tailored to foes you face make for great front line troops, especially when buffed by the Master Summoner (Haste) and the Arcane Duelist (Inspire Courage, Good Hope). At range the Wizard and the Archer Bard are plenty effective, as are flying summoned creatures. And then of course there's the Wizard's battlefield control.

The Bard has excellent social skills while the Wizard provides knowledge skills and the Master Summoner's eidolon has been built as a small, high stealth, high perception scout with flying. If anything, the party has proven to be a little too optimal.


Darkbridger wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:

To me, magic shouldn't be so commonplace that you find abandoned magic rings in the stumps of trees before a walled inn or under rocks (I'm looking at you, Baldur's Gate).

I don't think a CRPG is a fair comparison to a tabletop RPG in the magic rarity department. While Baldur's Gate may have a "D&D" label on it, it was not created under the same design paradigm as a module or adventure path. Those games don't have loot for one party in them, they have loot for most (if not all) combinations of parties you can feasibly create. You'll be hard pressed to find a "low magic" CRPG out there, and even harder pressed to find a *successful* "low magic" CRPG. PC Gamers love their "loot", so much so that Action RPGs and their item lotteries have long replaced the more standard (and by comparison, restrained) CRPGs.

Also, "loot" has been a large feature of D&D from the very beginning, when you used to get xp for the gp value of what you found. When the xp angle went away, it was replaced with the slot system of magic item dress up. And, indeed, this has made magic items lose some of their "magic". Low magic games can be fun and entertaining. For a while. Unless you replace the magic item bonuses with something else, players get bored eventually, at least in my experience. Golarion itself is not "low magic", so making it such will require a great deal of work above and beyond the work on the system rules themselves that you already mention, like high level monster resistances and abilities.

We're kind of straying from the point of the OP obviously, but for our group its not necessarily about 'low magic' as it is about not making magic generic. A few examples - there are no potions for divine magic and divine wands and scrolls can only be used by followers of the same deity as the wand or scroll was made by - in other words, divine magic can't be bottled up and sold to the highest bidder to put to whatever purpose they might choose. So no, no generic cure potions and wands for everyone.

Our magic items tend to be rarer and more powerful, and usually have a way of growing in power as we advance rather than have us trading in the old one for a new like like a used car. They have names and histories and come to us in ways other than looting it off a random dead body or buying it at the Ye Olde Magic Shoppe down the street. Generally speaking, we have fewer items, but the items we have tend to be a bit more powerful.


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Halfway-Hagan wrote:

I know I am definitely in the minority here but this is an AP I am not looking forward to.

I cringe at the thought of Fantasy characters running around with laser beams and stuff. I didn't like Expedition to the Barrier Peaks and I know I was not alone in this.
But I also understand I have the recourse simply not to play in it or purchase it. :)

I can just see it now, the maximized Zen Archer with Proton Beams, or the maximized Gunslinger with the Plasma Cannon...may the Gods help us all.

Could not be more in agreement. We don't even allow gunslingers in our campaign and now spaceships? When I want a Sci-Fi RPG, I'll play a Sci-Fi RPG. I'm excited about Mummy's Mask but once that ends it might be time for me to spend my money catching up on Companions or World Books or something instead of continuing my AP subscription...

I'm worried that Paizo might be jumping the shark a little, being 'original' simply for the sake of being original and maybe getting caught up in the '1-up'ing death spiral we've seen various entertainment venues fall to before. More and more powerful is not necessarily better and when you start mixing genres you end up with something like Rifts.

Anyone know what a Mythic Laser Gun is going to look like?


I don't see any reason why that wouldn't work...


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Tangent101 wrote:

That would be cool. A Stylized "M" for Rated Mythic. Or maybe Monty Haul? ;)

(Hmm... I wonder if I'm alone in wanting some low-magic campaigns out there. Wouldn't work for Golarion though... but I suppose I could strip out 90% of the magic and 70% of the treasure for one of the APs and rescript it for my own world....)

I am ALL about low-magic campaigns... storylines over cash grabs, characters succeeding due to their play and character design rather than accumulated hoard of magical crutches they gain. Its always seemed ironic to me - the more magic gets into campaigns, the less magical they seem.

Game of Thrones... that's about my speed there. Drama, intrigue, combat with magic on the fringe, touching everything and integral to the realm's history - but not available from every street vendor with magic swords being bought and traded like baseball cards.


Dorian - you have absolutely GOT to check out Serpent's Skull - sounds like an entire AP right up your alley and set in the same region to boot...


DorianGreywalker wrote:

Guys:

I love this path. It has been interesting and I would love to see a second or third set of adventures set into a path here. You can explore more of the islands that weren't along with helping a party to build their own pirating operation. They could attach the Rahadoumi or Chelish navies. Also, the different ports could be explored. I love the whole introduction of pirates into Golarion. It makes for a fun spin on things. Please let me know if there are plans for more paths with these or with Mwangi, Sargava or the Sodden Lands.

Dorian Greywalker real name Ric M.

It seems as if there is a LOT of assumed 'off-screen' sandboxy stuff going on in this AP - the PC's have to build up a ton of infamy and plunder... in our campaign, for instance, Rosie Cuswell played a fairly large NPC roll as Bosun's mate until she was given her own ship to sail independently under the PC's flag... later she contacted them that she needed a bit of help - a cousin (she had a great many it seemed) was a freedom fighter on Bag Island who was leading a clandestine rebellion on bag Island against its patriarch who was secretly selling slaves. That alone went on four three gaming sessions.

We were at one point captured by enemy agents and were held prisoner in the belly fo a slave ship until our cabinboy Mardus Siggs led a daring rescue attempt - which led to oen of the great lines in our campaign. The boy (young man) was completely smitten with the foul-mouthed, quick-tempered and deadly Llira, a rogue in our group. As our chains were being struck from them, the Barbarian, her closest friend, leaned in and grinning said, 'ya know, you're probably going to have to bed him now' to which she grumped 'yea, I know...'.

We also had a great story-line that none of us knew was a deviation from the book until the end... in it, the Master of Gales was secretly working to end the Eye of Abendengo (sp) as had been rumored, but was laboring to do so as a result of Machiavellian manipulations on the part of Chellish agents who were planning the invasion of their fleet the moment that barrier dissipated, hoping to catch the Shackles unawares. He enlisted the aid of the PC's in his efforts and they unwittingly particpated in the ruse, going on 'errands' for him to acquire the necessary information and artifacts. It worked perfectly, and though his magics were only temporary, it allowed the invasion to pass through unscathed. At the time, Aaron Ivey (alive and well in our campaign) had been working for months on a new flagship for our PC's, and it was finished just in time to lead the hastily assembled fleet to face the invading Chellish navy - the Master of Gales showed up unexpectedly and as partial restitution for being tricked in such a fashion, he Hallowed the ship, making it highly resistant to fire as well as the other standard benefits, providing a huge advantage in the battle to come.

There are some good paizo resources out there for the Shackles, and I whole-heartedly reccommend them.


Zhayne wrote:
No alignment restrictions (or alignment period). Because the concept is stupid and creates pointless, arbitrary limitations on character concept.

Heh - that's kind of been an unspoken rule for us since 2nd Ed.


Harliquinn Whiteshadow wrote:
Damocles Guile wrote:

We had a Sea Singer as our captain for the entirety of the AP and she was outstanding. I'd like to direct you to the thread in that forum here.

Keep in mind that your familiar opens up the Improved Familiar feat which is all kinds of nice. Also - and this is obviously my personal opinion - making an aquatic/water-breathing character for an AP like this just reeks of cheese.

I was asking that very question (Using Improved Familiar Feat for Sea Singer) in the Rules Thread. The wording of the Sea Singer's Familiar (and specification of the types) seemed to indicate that it wasn't a given you could use that for Improved Familiar.

john

I could see that argument being made, and with enough RAW/RAI ambiguity that it would fall upon the individual GM to make the call (as it always does anyway).

Also, don't discount the Arcane Bloodline/Eldritch Heritage feats as an option - they suit the Bard characters perfectly and grant you that familiar anyway, one that IS without a doubt suitable for Improved Familiar.


The title line is pretty self-explanatory - what changes to base and core classes have you made to your games, why, and how have those changes worked out?

A couple of ours:

Wizards, in place of Arcane Bond or Familiar can gain as a spell-like ability an energy attack that has a range of 30'and deals 1d6 damage per level of the highest level spell they currently have memorized. This attack deals fire, cold, electricity or acid damage. The Wizard decides which when his charater is created and once this choice is made it never changes. Reflex save for half damage (DC 10 + INT mod + ½ Wizard level).

Clerics much choose between their Channeling ability and 1 Domain.

Summoners don't get the Summon Monster as a SLA (though they do still have access to the spells) while Master Summoners can only access their Eidolons through their spells. Master Summoners progress their uses of the Summon Monster SLA at CHA mod +1 for every 2 class levels. Gate is placed on the Summoner spell list but removed as a class feature and instead at 19th level the class gains 'Perfect Summoning' (Summoned creature or Eidolon has maximum hit points).

Barbarians cannot begin and end a Rage in the same round.

Paladins do not get Detect Evil as an at-will power and they do not deal double damage against select foes when Smiting.


We had a Sea Singer as our captain for the entirety of the AP and she was outstanding. I'd like to direct you to the thread in that forum here.

Keep in mind that your familiar opens up the Improved Familiar feat which is all kinds of nice. Also - and this is obviously my personal opinion - making an aquatic/water-breathing character for an AP like this just reeks of cheese.


We've played an all-Sorcerer party before - twin brothers who were Sorcerers/Dragon Disciples, a Kitsune Fey Sorcerer and (if you can believe it) a Dwarven Primal Elemental Sorcerer. It worked out great and was definitely something interesting and different when it came to the challenges presented.

Having said that, if you're looking at full arcane casters, I have to believe that Sorcerers are much better suited for to make up a party due to their class features.


Iggy Toymaker wrote:

Personally I have no desire to play an evil character at all.. so unless I can figure a way to make it work with a good(ish) character without the GM having to rewrite the AP.. I'll probably bail.

I really wasn't aware when I signed up that it was going to be an evil game.

Sounds like your decision is an easy one then.


brvheart wrote:
I have to admit I don't know that much about Summoners. Our two experiences with them didn't go over very well as both players abused their eidelons to the point the group decided not to allow them at least at present. As a result I have gone back to core classes and slowly introducing non-core to the groups comfort level. In our campaigns now we have a witch, inquisitor and an alchemist that are working out ok.

Yeah, definitely a difference between the way a Master Summoner and a standard Summoner are played. They are both actually two of my favorite character options (ironically the Brood Master and the Synthesist are two of my least favorite, for very different reasons). I get the confusion/abuse associated with Summoners and the occasional hate that results, but a well-made, well-played Summoner is both a joy and a boon to any party.

As an aside, I've definitely seen Alchemists abused as badly ro worse than Summoners in the past...


brvheart wrote:

It was definitely an interesting read, especially the description of the summoner summoning a small hoard of small earth elementals! They would definitely do a number on the opposing crew. Not sure how he got 20+ with only getting 1d3 per casting and getting 3+charasma bonus for his number of castings. They have no DR against arrows that I can see though. It did make for a nice affect! Look forward to further reading when you have the time.

Our group is at day three at Rickety's having just faced the young Naga. They did go boar hunting on day one and cooked it up taking up then rest of the day and part of day two.

5th level Master Summoner can Summon Monster III about 10-12 times a day (5 base for archetype + 3-5 Charisma mod + 2 Extra Summoning feats). Let's just say 10.

A Summon Monster III spell can summon 2-4 small elementals with each casting (assuming Superior Summoning) which would result in an average of 30 augmented small earth elementals once he was done, which would be more than enough to take The Rock I would think. And that number would spike significantly by the time he hit 7th and it became 3-6 per casting. Can't tell you anything about DR though, as I don't think Elementals get any until they are at least Large - maybe it was just dramatic license?

That's one of the great things about Master Summoners in this AP - there are plenty of one-battle days where he can blow his load if he chooses and the ability to summon aquatic creatures makes underwater combat a lot less inhibiting.


Blueluck wrote:
What level is the campaign currently? At low levels, animals and plants are frequent enemies. At higher levels, demons, devils, dragons, aberrations, giants, etc. tend to represent Team Evil more frequently.

This is a good point - also at mid to higher levels, a smart Paladin can find a wealth of usefulness in his spell selections, even when not fighting evil enemies.


Risen Demon wrote:
Hey so I have a friend playing a paladin in his campaign with his other friends. He's getting frustrated because most of the enemies he's been fighting have been neutral, so his smite evil has been absolutely useless. Is there anything he can do with the smite uses he has other than wasting them everyday?

Paladins, by their very nature, seek out evil foes. Is this a case of the GM deliberately 'withholding' evil foes in an effort to negate the Paladin? If so I'd say your friend needs to give his GM the finger and find a group that doesn't actively work against his ability to enjoy play.


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Here's mine. He's as powerful and versatile and especially survivable a build as I've ever put together.
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Human 2nd level Unbreakable Fighter / 18th level Invulnerable Rager & Urban Barbarian
Heart of the Fields alternate racial trait, Human favored class option for Barbarians

Attributes: (20 point buy)
STR - 15 (+2 racial bonus, +1 at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th and 20th level)
DEX - 14
CON - 14
INT - 14
WIS - 12
CHA - 7

Traits:
Threatening Defender (reduce Combat Expertise penalties by 1)
Auspicious Tattoo (+1 Will saves)

Feats & Rage Powers by level:
1st - Combat Expertise
1st - Power Attack
2nd - Superstition
3rd - Combat Reflexes
4th - Lesser Beast Totem
5th - Stalwart
5th - Diehard
5th - Endurance
7th - Deadly Aim
7th - Reckless Abandon
9th - Extra RP: Extra DR
9th - Beast Totem
11th - Improved Stalwart
11th - Greater Beast Totem
13th - Dazing Assault
13th - Come and Get Me
15th - Extra RP: Extra DR
15th - Extra DR
17th - Extra RP: Flesh Wound
17th - Witch Hunter
19th - Extra RP: Eater of Magic
19th - Strength Surge
20th - Improved Initiative

Skills: (6 ranks/level)
Climb* - 1/odd level
Swim* - 1/even level
Ride* - 1/level after 1st
Handle Animal* - 1/1st level
Knowledge: Nature* - 1/level after 1st
Survival* - 1/level
Stealth - 1/level after 1st
Perception* - 1/level after 1st
Craft: Stonemason* - 1/1st level (+1/2 character level)

Damage Resistance 14 at 12th level, 20 at 16th. Pounce, Dazing Assault and Come and Get Me make him devastating in combat. Deadly Aim, Focused Rage and Reckless abandon makes him a solid ranged threat when the situation calls for it. All the 'once per rage' goodies when Rage cycling becomes an option. More skills than most melee types and ridiculous saves, particularly against magic.

The Fighter levels come at 5th and at 20th level.


Nullpunkt wrote:

How long do you think should it take the Thistletop goblins, Nualia and the gang to mount the final attack on Sandpoint, starting on the day of the first assault?

I am pretty sure it doesn't say so explicitly in the Anniversary Edition. It does say however that the overall pacing of the campaign should be rather moderate. Now my group got struck badly by Erylium's poison (twice, actually) and will need a couple of days to recuperate.

How long do you think they have? And how long until Sheriff Hemlock returns from Magnimar?

Seriously, it should take exactly as long as you need it to. Magnimar isn't very far away and our PC's sent a rider to tell the Sheriff what had happened immediately after clearing out the Glassworks and finding Ameiko's father. It wasn't until the next day that we began exploring the catacombs and the Sheriff arrived before we emerged.


lemeres wrote:
Oh, I came into this thinking of entirely different mechanics when someone said that race was broken. I thought this was going to be about how Realisitc Likeness, which could be taken from level one, is basically a quickened alter-self that is at will for the purposes of being disguised. That means that they can round a corner and lose their pursuers instantly.

This is a much-overlooked ability of Kitsune that makes them a lot of fun to play IMO.


As is often the case with these concerns, the Kitsune Sorcerer isn't broken - she's just specialized. She'll be highly effective in some situations and of limited effectiveness in others.

Think about a Fighter dealing ungodly amounts of damage but vulnerable to a Will-targeted spell. Highly effective in some situations and of limited use (possibly even a danger) in others. Same-same. Let's also not forget the need to work around Spell Resistance (which I hate as a mechanic) as well as Saving Throws.

We have one in our group which has just recently kicked off a RothRL reboot and she's working out well... sufering from the usual limitations of low-level casters but still. [Actually, her character name is Llira and another PC is running a Goblin Brawler named 'Stitch' who was charmed in the opening sequence and it never quite wore off. They've got a great 'Llira and Stitch' thing going on right now.

Personally, with the high DC bonuses Kitsune already get, I'd reccomend the Sylvan variant, passing up laughing touch and the +2 Echantment DC's of the Fey Bloodline for an animal companion. Better survivability and more usefulness when facing those resistant or immune to mind-affecting spells.


Kudos to you for not cheesing this build up by going 'Thunder and Thunder' and designing a character who takes Weapon Focus: Klar specifically so that they will never in their lives have to actually use a Klar.

I personally don't think chasing the Witch Hunter/Spell Sunder/Eater of Magic line in this feat-starved build is the optimal way to go, but optimization isn't everything... better by far to have a niche, to have things you're good at and things you aren't and to have fun playing your concept rather than chasing the ever-elusive perfection of a highly optimized build.


I still say Witch with a Fighter kicker. The issue with low level builds is resources and Hexes never run out - moreover, they can be used while in full plate if you wish and the character can easily pass for a Fighter or something similar. Slumber and Misfortune are amongst the most powerful abiities a character 6th level or under can possess.


w01fe01 wrote:

hmm, what if we cant do that...what if we are level 6 and are allowed a free form of retraining on the basis that now we have all the paizo books?

would love to see your build idea tho.

I don't really understand any of that, but this is the build I use...

Human 2nd level Unbreakable Fighter / 18th level Invulnerable Rager & Urban Barbarian
Heart of the Fields alternate racial trait, Human favored class option for Barbarians

Attributes: (20 point buy)
STR - 15 (+2 racial bonus, +1 at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th and 20th level)
DEX - 14
CON - 14
INT - 14
WIS - 12
CHA - 7

Traits:
Threatening Defender (reduce Combat Expertise penalties by 1)
Auspicious Tattoo (+1 Will saves)

Feats & Rage Powers by level:
1st - Combat Expertise
1st - Power Attack
2nd - Superstition
3rd - Combat Reflexes
4th - Lesser Beast Totem
5th - Stalwart
5th - Diehard
5th - Endurance
7th - Deadly Aim
7th - Reckless Abandon
9th - Extra RP: Extra DR
9th - Beast Totem
11th - Improved Stalwart
11th - Greater Beast Totem
13th - Dazing Assault
13th - Come and Get Me
15th - Extra RP: Extra DR
15th - Extra DR
17th - Extra RP: Flesh Wound
17th - Witch Hunter
19th - Extra RP: Strength Surge
19th - Eater of Magic
20th - Improved Initiative

Skills: (6 ranks/level)
Climb* - 1/odd level
Swim* - 1/even level
Ride* - 1/level after 1st
Handle Animal* - 1/1st level
Knowledge: Nature* - 1/level after 1st
Survival* - 1/level
Stealth - 1/level after 1st
Perception* - 1/level after 1st
Craft: Stonemason* - 1/1st level (+1/2 character level)


w01fe01 wrote:

how would you do this? my first thought is this

1-raging vitality
2-guarded life
3-endurance
4-renewed vigor
5-diehard
6-regenerative vigor
7-toughness
8-greater guarded life
9-stalwart
10-renewed vitality
11-improved stalwart

now, is this path just stupid?

ive seen lots of arguments over how invulnerable ragers work with guarded life as well.

if this is a poor way to do it, how would you?

I've posted this build several times as it is one of my favorites, but since I'm in my phone right now, the short answer is take a level of Unbreakable Fighter @ 5th and add the Urban Barbarian archetype. Also Dazing Assault + Come and Get Me.

And I would take almost none of those feats/rage powers in the first dozen levels.


Imbicatus wrote:
Damocles Guile wrote:
TimD wrote:

You've been listening to Sho'nuff haven't you?

Damocles Guile wrote:
The build was inspired by fictitious characters like Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee =/= Fictitious

-TimD

LOL - gotta love someone who quotes The Last Dragon ("Catchin' bullets in his teeth? N$+#& pleaze...")

I once made a City of Heroes Martial Arts scrapper as a tribute to The Last Dragon named Bruce Leeroy Jenkins. :)

Man, do I miss City of Heroes...


TimD wrote:

You've been listening to Sho'nuff haven't you?

Damocles Guile wrote:
The build was inspired by fictitious characters like Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee =/= Fictitious

-TimD

LOL - gotta love someone who quotes The Last Dragon ("Catchin' bullets in his teeth? N$&++ pleaze...")

Yeah, I meant to say 'historical figures like Bruce Lee and ficticious characters like Lady Shiva.


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Samy wrote:
I'm going to be running this tomorrow, as the most likely PC to be Shay's target has been absent the last couple of sessions. I have two elf women (a ranger and a druid), one orc male (bbn), a Cha 4 human male (wiz/rog), and a female halfling (rog), so the remaining Cha 24 human male Sor seems to be somewhat of an obvious target. I think I'll pass on the idea of a f/f liaison because I think the threat of pregnancy will be a strong motivator to flip out the dad. I'll be interested in seeing how this goes tomorrow.

24 Charisma? Aren't the characters only 1st or 2nd level at this point?


Hyler wrote:

I'm going to be playing in a low wealth/10 point buy/p6 campaign (P6 is the E6 of Pathfinder, basically you stop leveling at level 6 and every 5000XP get a new feat). Our characters will start at level 6 with 800 gold pieces+average starting wealth each. The books allowed are the core rulebooks, APG, ARG, UC, and UM. The DM has told me that all spellcasters (besides divine ones) are shunned and feared in the campaign world, (crafting magical armor/weapons/etc is not shunned though) and its pretty much illegal in most areas to be a spellcaster, although we can still play as spellcasters and I believe one of my fellow players is going to play a sorcerer (Not sure about the others, there are 4 of us not counting the GM).

I'm just looking for general optimization advice for this campaign and interesting ideas. I'm also interested about ''cheese'' too, although I'm probably not going to use ''cheese'' (I don't want to be doing 1000 damage a round, although it'll still be interesting to read about it. :P) Thanks so much in advance!

Consider 2 levels of Fighter and 4 levels of Witch - Slumber, Misfortune and Cackle Hexes - they work in full plate if you want them to and you never run out of them. Wield a two handed Scythe with some good Fighter feats and have access to useful 1st and 2nd level spells as well as a Familiar.


Cheapy wrote:

Brawling can't be put on bracers of armor, as they aren't light armor, and they can't be put on clothes either, as those aren't armor.

You can see this due to the text necessary in this spell to allow it to work on clothes. If it was the general case that clothes counted as armor, then that wouldn't be necessary.

So can clothes be enchanted with a standard generic armor enhancement bonus? I was under the impression that they could, that it provided a base +0 AC bonus with no movement, armor check or spell check penalties.

I appreciate the link to the spell above, but that alone doesn't fully put the issue to bed for me - I've seen far too many examples of redundant wording in spells and other abilities in the past. Now, if there was an entry that said something like 'Normal: clothing could not be enchanted with armor bonuses.', that would be a bit more definitive.


Under its entry, it specifies that Brawling can only be applied to 'light armor', and I'm not sure if clothing classifies as light armor. I know that it can recieve enhancements but the rules can be tricky with Brawling - for instance, Bracers of Armor can be enchanted with armor enhancements and provide an armor bonus and actually fit on your arms with which you might do most of your brawling, but can't RAW be enchanted with the Brawling enhancement...


james maissen wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Serious answer, I like the Mobile Fighter for Archer fighters.

I'd suggest Dervish over even mobile fighter. I think it's from Inner Sea Primer (according to d20pfsrd.com).

-James

Dervish of Dawn Bard archetype is the best 'switch hitter' I've ever seen, and that doesn't even take into account spell use. It does lend itself to being more melee heavy though.


For what its worth, I went 2 levels of Urban Barbarian for the Dexterity boost and Reckless Abandon, then 15 levels of Weapon Master for the accelerated Weapon Training class feature. Finished up the build with 3 levels of Wizard (Transmutation) for assorted useful spells and a familiar.

Worked out pretty well for me.


One of the easiest ways I've found to adjust encounters 'on the fly' when they seem too easy or too difficult is to change the number of mooks, either by having a handful flee, allowing the PC's to focus on the BBEG's or by having a second wave arrive a few rounds into combat. Either can effectively tweak an encounter to make it more or less difficult without affecting the versimilitude of your campaign - after all, the PC's have no way of knowing how many bad guys there should have been, eh?


Katz wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
Why are so many posters ignoring the FAQ in the Official Rules forum? Take house rules to the house rules forum.

Nobody is ignoring the FAQ. The lance, which is where that FAQ came from said you can use it in one hand, but it never said to treat it as a one-handed weapon. That is why there was a debate about it. Without language saying to treat it as a one handed weapon or similar language then it is effectively a two-handed weapon used in one hand so it still gets two-handed bonuses.

With this particular question the rules specifically say that is it effectively a one handed weapon. If it is effectively a one handed weapon then it has to be treated like one in all regards, not just certain ones, unless the rules list exceptions. No exceptions have been listed that I saw.

I think that's some pretty extreme rules lawyering. When in doubt on rules questions, always go with simple and easy to understand answer over the one that requires multiple paragraphs of linguistic hair-splitting to show that that two things that essentially the same don't really mean the same thing.

Honestly, the whole thing strikes me as: "We don't like the FAQ, so we'll bend over backwards to find an excuse to ignore it."

Extreme rules lawyering? No, it's reading the text. It's treated as a one-handed weapon. One-handed weapons can be wielded in one hand. Plus, the feat requires two-weapon fighting and is quite explicitely based around wielding an earth breaker in one hand, and a klar in the other.

Sounds like somebody has a pet build they don't want anyone messing with. I've been seeing these 'dual-wielding earthbreaker' builds via Thunder and Fang begin to surface lately, trying to use the technicality of the feat to skip the Fang entirely and go Thunder and Thunder... talk about extreme rules lawyering, especially with the explicit intent of the feat being stated quite clearly.

Taking Weapon Focus in Klar just so that you can make a character who specifically avoids using a Klar? One of the more obvious cases of RAW vs. RAI that I've seen.


Alex Mack wrote:

I think your final build gets pretty awesome but until around level 5 you will be sucking pretty hard as you'll only deal 1d6+2 on an unarmed strike. Then once you get brawler's close weapon training and agile AoMF everything is golden. But before that you're really not pulling your weight in combat. I don't think I'd be wanting to play this char without the AoMF. While your AC is super nice opponents will have no real incentive to actually attack you as your not posing much of a threat.

Goblin would definitely rock. You can get either a primary bite attack via race trait or a +4 bonus to perception via oversized ears. Lamashtu's bite can give you the bite attack albeit only as a secondary attack. Also roll with it and crane style in combination make you sort of invincible.

As I said in the original post, this character wasn't designed as a tank, but rather more as a melee type who was powerful enough to be a deadly threat and survivable enough to free-lance without the need for party protection... I kind of get a chuckle when people talk about there being no incentive to attack a strong melee character, as if RPG's were MMO's - I'm pretty sure no Wizard or King ever told his guards to protect his keep/tower 'unless they seem pretty tough - in that case just avoid them in combat while they beat you down and focus on the guy slinging fire'. To be honest, when it comes to mooks, I'd imagine a serious melee threat would be more likely to be swarmed than ignored.

At 5th level the character will have AoMF, Brawling Armor and his first iteration of Close Combatant which should have him making a couple of attacks every round at about 1d6+10 damage each. Moreover he'll have a huge number of AoO's available to him every time he is attacked and missed, and get up to two counter attacks each time. That's unbelievable for a character of that level - I get that he might seem sub-optimal during his first few levels, but lets be real: how many characters are optimized in levels 1st through 3rd?

I'm working on a Goblin Brawlwer right now and amazingly he's the best version of this character I've seen. The results are so encouraging that I'm working with our GM (who posts regularly on these boards) on a way to work him into a RotRL campaign. But I won't be using a bite attack nor Roll With It as part of the build.


With the character's ancillary role as a scout via high Perception and Stealth skills, I'm seriously considering a Goblin variant of this build. Extra Dex, the benefits of being small and darkvision are more than worth the lost feat in my opinion.


Alex Mack wrote:
Damocles Guile wrote:
Strength may open up Dragon Ferocity, but at the cost of what? Which three feats do you dump to accomodate the handful of extra damage points you're hoping to gain?

Dragon Feocity only requires 2 feats. The last feat in the chain is dragon's breath which is sort of useless... Dragon Style arguably is also fairly decent as it adds some more damage and let's you charge through difficult terrain. Also assuming a 22 Str we're talking +3 damage for every hit and +6 for the first that's nothing to sneeze at. Also the fact that you don't need an Agile AoMF is another +1 to hit and damage right there.

The first feat would obviously be Weapon Finesse. And obviously Crane Style would have to go. So the question is actually which other feats would I like to include?

Anyways I'm not sold on Crane style on a TWF build with all the penalties your raking up from fighting defensively, piranha strike and TWF your to hit bonuses from brawler and brawling get eaten up pretty quickly. Add on to that that additional AoMF bonuses become rather expensive...

Point taken on the skills however.

I've actually dropped Pirahna Strike from the build, both options would get the TWF penalty and my penalty for fighting defensively is only -1 (for a +4 bonus to AC). As it turns out, with standard WBL my last iterative tends to be above my base BAB which means the character hits a LOT. The boost to AC and ability to ignore one otherwise successful hit every round (even a critical) to me is too potent an option to be without.

Hit a lot and don't get hit in return - that's the gist of what I'm putting together. If it means I deal less damage with each hit but hit more often I'm fine with that.

And again, boosting Reflex saves when you have Evasion to fall back on, having a higher AC and acting first in a combat round more often all add in to both survivability and lethality.


Alex Mack wrote:

What are your thoughts behind high dex instead of high strength? I guess you're mainly looking at maxing out Combat Reflexes and meeting TWF prerequisites. However considering the following Point buy and thinking in terms of PFS strength may be the better way to go.

Str 16 (10) (+2 racial)
Dex 15 (7)
Con 14 (5)
Int 12 (2)
Wis 10 (0)
Cha 7 (-4)

Strength opens up Dragon Ferocity which could really add tons of damage. Also you could consider the human alt racial trait to boost both strength and dex for the price of your first level feat if you wanted more wisdom. You'd miss out on GTWF but when only playing to level 12 that's not the end of the world. In any case this point buy would have far more to offer early on. For one you don't have to wait till you can afford AoMF to actually be good in melee and before you can afford a brawling chain shirt you could go for a breastplate if you feel AC is too low.

High Dexterity affects so many things. I get better Initiative. I get better Reflex saves (to go with Evasion via Monk levels). I get Greater TWF. I get better utility out of Combat Reflexes. I get better utility out of skills like Stealth and Acrobatics.

I also have never once played in PFS - there isn't even a decent option in my area as far as I've been able to ascertain - so its important that this build (for me at least) not start running out of juice at 12th level.

Strength may open up Dragon Ferocity, but at the cost of what? Which three feats do you dump to accomodate the handful of extra damage points you're hoping to gain?


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Byrdology wrote:
Keep a sling in your off hand... Not great, but it's a ranged option. I always flavor it as wrapped around my characters forearm.

I'm not overly worried about the lack of a ranged attack - certainly not enough to shoe-horn in an ineffectual one.

I've been reconsidering the Focused Study though - with the addition of the shield and Crane Style, Snake Fang's Sense Motive for AC swap seems much less significant. I'm looking at dropping the various Skill Focus feats for Combat Reflexes, giving me multiple potential AoO's a lot sooner. Probably take Disruptive once more to maximize Menacing Stance. Something like this...

Feats:
1st - Weapon Finesse
1st - Combat Reflexes
1st - Improved Unarmed Strike
1st - Stunning Fist
1st - Snake Style
2nd - Snake Fang
3rd - Weapon Focus: Unarmed Strike
3rd - Two-Weapon Fighting
4th - Dodge
5th - Crane Style
6th - Crane Wing
7th - Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
8th - Disruptive
9th - Crane Riposte
10th - Greater Weapon Focus: Unarmed Strike
11th - Stand Still
12th - Greater Two-Weapon Fighting
13th - Improved Critical: Unarmed Strike
14th - Critical Focus
15th - Sickening Critical
15th - Staggering Critical
16th - Critical Mastery
17th - Weapon Specialization: Unarmed Strike
18th - Scribe Scroll
19th - Greater Weapon Specialization: Unarmed Strike

From 11th level on, if you get adjacent to a spellcaster, he's pretty much dead.


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Well, I made the build with a shield, splitting Crane Style & Snake Style. The results have been pretty spectacular. It must be kept in mind that this character has no ranged ability to speak of, but that seems to be his only real drawback. He even excells in the useful skills of Perception, Stealth, Sense Motive and Acrobatics.

This is the build as I currently have it:

Human 2nd level Monk (Master of Many Styles) / 15th level Fighter (Brawler) / 3rd level Wizard (Transmutation)
Focused Study option, Fighter favored class (hit points)

Attributes: (20 point buy)
STR - 12
DEX - 16 (+2 racial modifier, +1 at 4th, 8th, 12th and 16th level)
CON - 14
INT - 12
WIS - 14
CHA - 7 (+1 at 20th level)

Traits:
Heavy Hitter (+1 damage with unarmed attacks)
Auspicious Tattoo (+1 Will saves)

Feats:
1st - Weapon Finesse
1st - Skill Focus: Sense Motive
1st - Improved Unarmed Strike
1st - Stunning Fist
1st - Snake Style
2nd - Snake Fang
3rd - Weapon Focus: Unarmed Strike
3rd - Two-Weapon Fighting
4th - Dodge
5th - Crane Style
6th - Crane Wing
7th - Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
8th - Skill Focus: Perception
8th - Combat Reflexes
9th - Crane Riposte
10th - Greater Weapon Focus: Unarmed Strike
11th - Stand Still
12th - Greater Two-Weapon Fighting
13th - Improved Critical: Unarmed Strike
14th - Critical Focus
15th - Sickening Critical
15th - Staggering Critical
16th - Skill Focus: Acrobatics or Stealth
16th - Critical Mastery
17th - Weapon Specialization: Unarmed Strike
18th - Scribe Scroll
19th - Greater Weapon Specialization: Unarmed Strike

A few stat blocks by level, using the standard WBL:

5th level

Spoiler:
Armor Class: 23, Sense Motive +15, Snake Fang
10 +4 [Dex] +5 [Chain Shirt] +1 [Ring] +1 [Dodge] +2 [Shield]
Attack: +10/+10
+4 [BAB] +4 [Dex] -2 [TWF] +1 [Focus] +2 [Brawling] +1 [Close]
Damage: 1d6+10
1d6 +4 [Dex] +1 [Hitter] +2 [Brawling] +3 [Close]
Equipment:
Brawling Chain Shirt +1 (4,000), Ring of Protection +1 (2,000), Agile Amulet of Mighty Fists (4,000), Heavy Steel Shield (20)

With Snake Fang the first miss of each round provokes an AoO and then a second attack if the first one hits.

9th level

Spoiler:
Armor Class: 30, Sense Motive +19, Snake Fang, Crane Riposte, Menacing Stance -1
10 +5 [Dex] +5 [Chain Shirt] +1 [Ring] +1 [Dodge] +4 [Shield] +4 [Defensive]
Attack: +16/+16/+11/+11
+8/+3 [BAB] +5 [Dex] -2 [TWF] +1 [Focus] +2 [Brawling] +2 [Close] -1 [Defensive] +1 [Amulet]
Damage: 1d6+13
1d6 +5 [Dex] +1 [Hitter] +2 [Brawling] +4 [Close] +1 [Amulet]
Equipment:
Mithril Brawling Chain Shirt +1 (5,000), Ring of Protection +1 (2,000), Agile Amulet of Mighty Fists +1 (16,000), Mithril Heavy Steel Shield +2 (5,000), Cloak of Resistance +4 (16,000), Handy Haversack (2,000)

Crane Style will negate the one attack each round and provide an AoO in response. After that Snake Style will allow every miss to provoke an AoO and a follow-up attack, up to four times a round.

13th level

Spoiler:
Armor Class: 38, Sense Motive +26, Snake Fang, Crane Riposte, Menacing Stance -2
10 +6 [Dex] +8 [Chain Shirt] +3 [Ring] +1 [Dodge] +6 [Shield] +4 [Defensive]
Attack: +25/+25/+20/+20/+15/+15
+12/+7/+2 [BAB] +7 [Dex] -2 [TWF] +2 [Greater Focus] +2 [Brawling] +3 [Close] -1 [Defensive] +2 [Amulet]
Damage: 1d6+17
1d6 +7 [Dex] +1 [Hitter] +2 [Brawling] +5 [Close] +2 [Amulet]
Equipment:
Mithril Brawling Chain Shirt +4 (25,000), Ring of Protection +3 (18,000), Agile Amulet of Mighty Fists +2 (36,000), Mithril Heavy Steel Shield +4 (17,000), Cloak of Resistance +5 (25,000), Belt of Dexterity +4 (16,000), Handy Haversack (2,000)

Menacing Stance incurs an additional -2 to attack. Crane Style will negate the one attack each round and provide an AoO in response. After that Snake Style will allow every miss to provoke an AoO and a follow-up attack, up to four times a round. With Haste that's a potential 16 attacks per round.

17th level

Spoiler:
Armor Class: 42, Sense Motive +33, Snake Fang, Crane Riposte, Menacing Stance -3
10 +6 [Dex] +9 [Chain Shirt] +4 [Ring] +1 [Dodge] +7 [Shield] +4 [Defensive]
Attack: +34/+34/+29/+29/+24/+24/+19
+16/+11/+6/+1 [BAB] +9 [Dex] -2 [TWF] +2 [Greater Focus] +2 [Brawling] +4 [Close] -1 [Defensive] +4 [Amulet]
Damage: 1d6+24
1d6 +9 [Dex] +1 [Hitter] +2 [Brawling] +6 [Close] +4 [Amulet] +2 [Specialization]
Equipment:
Mithril Brawling Chain Shirt +5 (36,000), Ring of Protection +5 (50,000), Ring of Freedom of Movement (40,000), Agile Amulet of Mighty Fists +4 (100,000), Mithril Heavy Steel Shield +5 (25,000), Cloak of Resistance +5 (25,000), Belt of Dexterity & Constitution +6 (90,000), Headband of Wisdom +6 (36,000), Winged Boots (16,000), Handy Haversack (2,000)

Menacing Stance incurs an additional -3 to attack. Crane Style will negate the one attack each round and provide an AoO in response. After that Snake Style will allow every miss to provoke an AoO and a follow-up attack, up to five times a round. With Haste that's a potential 19 attacks per round. By now you have Critical Mastery which allows you to layer Staggering and Sickening Critical against foes when your crits do go off which should happen at least once a round.


Would using a shield in any way interfere with:

Using a Style feat?

Using unnarmed strikes with TWF (not attacking with the shield)?

Both?


lemeres wrote:
Damocles Guile wrote:
Arguably the most powerful character I ever made was a melee-oriented Summoner. He took one level of Dragoon at 9th right after his Eidolon became Large enough to ride as a mount. Levels 1-8 he fought with a longspear, keeping his eidolon between himself and danger for the most part, and once he reached 9th he used a lance.

Ah...so basically it is a weaker version of RAGELANCEPOUNCE. I suppose you would not even have to optimize much since the style is fairly powerful. I mean, anywhere you could fit the huge eidolons that most summoners use would be about as good a place as any for a mount.

Note to self: gestalt mount build barbarian and summoner-best combo. I would say mounted fury, but that gives you an animal companion....and honestly? A horse? When I could literally build Sleipnir, the eight-legged bastard horse child of Loki? (also...mythology is weird...)

Pfffffffft.

Remember the Shield Ally bonuses, the ability to divert evolution points to yourself to increase your natural armor via Aspect and Greater Aspect, Arcane Strike, the ability to negate 1 attack each round against your Eidolon via Dragoon and of course, spell buffs.

Figure to get to you while mounted most baddies will have to brave reach and combat reflexes from your Eidolon (and your lance), add in the Eldritch Heritage feats for the Orcish Bloodline and you've got yourself a nifty little duo there...


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So if I were to try and mix in the Crane style feats, I think it would look something like this:
.
.
.
.
Feats:
1st - Weapon Finesse
1st - Skill Focus: Sense Motive
1st - Improved Unarmed Strike
1st - Stunning Fist
1st - Snake Style
2nd - Snake Fang
3rd - Dodge
3rd - Two-Weapon Fighting
4th - Weapon Focus: Unarmed Strike
5th - Crane Style
6th - Crane Wing
7th - Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
8th - Skill Focus: Perception
8th - Combat Reflexes
9th - Crane Riposte
10th - Greater Weapon Focus: Unarmed Strike
11th - Stand Still
12th - Greater Two-Weapon Fighting
13th - Improved Critical: Unarmed Strike
14th - Critical Focus
15th - Sickening Critical
15th - Staggering Critical
16th - Skill Focus: Acrobatics or Stealth
16th - Critical Mastery
17th - Weapon Specialization: Unarmed Strike
18th - Scribe Scroll
19th - Greater Weapon Specialization: Unarmed Strike

I'm taking a pretty substantial damage hit, pushing back Specializations til way late and dropping Piranha Strike completely... but the character becomes virtually unhittable.

Think about it - at 12th level he'll gain +3 AC from fighting defensively, +1 from Dodge, +1 from Acrobatics, opponents will suffer -2 to hit from Menacing Stance, he'll be able to completely negate one hit and riposte from Crane, use his Sense Motive instead of AC to negate another and riposte (twice) from Snake... and we haven't even factored in armor and shield, assuming the latter doesn't interfere. Snake Style doesn't have a limit (beyond your allotted number of AoO's) and it gives you two-for-one potential every time. Of course, that's on top of the 6 attacks you're getting at that point in an un-Hastened full attack action.

Seriously considering this.

EDIT: I think I'm going to switch around when I take Snake vs. when I take Crane if I decide to go this route.

EDIT: EDIT: Nevermind - I have to take Crane Wing to make Crane Riposte work, I don't need Snake Sidewind... better to keep it as it is.


wraithstrike wrote:
Damocles Guile wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
What do you expect for your AC to be without armor at various levels?

Without armor? I'd have to sit down and preplan item acquisition to be able to tell you for sure and I kind of hate doing that. Why without armor?

wraithstrike wrote:
I did not even know he was trying to stack them. They are both full attacks so he should not be able to.
No, of course I'm not trying to stack them. Master of Many Styles doesn't even get Flurry of Blows. The additional attacks would theoretically come from missed attacks by opponents provoking AoO's via Snake Fang.
Armor makes monks lose some class abilities. I have not checked the MoMS so I dont know how that is affected, and if you cast a spell while wearing armor there is ASF to deal with. At level 20 if you want full use of a monk and the casting from a wizard you will be better off for those purposes without armor.

No, that really won't be a factor. The idea was to wear a mithril chain shirt, enchanted with the Brawling ability... shouldn't affect any significant Monk abilities (I'll lose the Wisdom bonus to AC) and casting shouldn't be a problem.


Byrdology wrote:
One thing I would add would be a shield. The ac bump and extra item to enchant take absolutely nothing away from your build, while adding something pretty great. Also the ability to say to captain America, "sit back in that chair right there and let me show you how it's done, son."

Hm.

Thats an idea I absolutely never considered - after all, I get the shield profeciency, and you don't need to have one hand free to make multiple unarmed strikes per round. Very interesting idea.

EDIT: Are we 100% sure that I could carry a shield, use the style feats and the TWF feats without any interference? I don't see anything in the rules that would prohibit it...


lemeres wrote:

With 20/x2, how effective would those critical feats be for you? I ask, since there is another set of style feats, the crane style, which synergize well with snake and you might as well use the ability to mix style, eh?

I suggest the crane feats because crane wing provides an excellent defensive power, negating a single melee attack per round. This means that the first hit that a full attacking opponent can use on you will be at their BAB-5. For a full bab opponent, that is like they are 5 levels weaker (or your have +5 AC...whichever). Combined with Snake style, you will very likely be able to get two AoO per round as the later iteratives miss. That ends up being 3 hits due to the trick in snake fang, no? That is almost all the attacks some classes get per round, all at full BAB, and all with those sweet static bonuses from brawler.

The fact that you have to fight defensively is also a boon for you since it adds a lot to your AC. There is the +2 for fighting defensively, +1 from crane style while doing so, and +1 from 3 ranks of acrobatics while doing so. Going with the idea that deflecting blows is like having +5 ac, you will have +9 AC for the cost of -1 to hit once you grab all three feats.

I've seriously considered the Crane Style option and I think I have room to pursue it... maybe. It'll be tight once you take into account pre-req's like Dodge. Might be worthwhile though, even if it means giving up a little damage on the front end. Keep in mind that Menacing Stance reduces your opponent's chance to hit you as well.

As far as the criticals go, 20/x2 doesn't do much for me... but 19-20/x2 with the ability to layer Sickened and Staggering conditions on it when I'm getting anywhere from 7-20 attacks per round and all of a sudden its doing a LOT.


wraithstrike wrote:
What do you expect for your AC to be without armor at various levels?

Without armor? I'd have to sit down and preplan item acquisition to be able to tell you for sure and I kind of hate doing that. Why without armor?

wraithstrike wrote:
I did not even know he was trying to stack them. They are both full attacks so he should not be able to.

No, of course I'm not trying to stack them. Master of Many Styles doesn't even get Flurry of Blows. The additional attacks would theoretically come from missed attacks by opponents provoking AoO's via Snake Fang.


FanaticRat wrote:
Since my PFS alchemist was a trainwreck due to an oversight, I've been looking into summoner, and I think it would be cool to try a melee-oriented character using the eidolon as a flank buddy and smashing everything. I've been looking at Half-Orc so I can wield a greataxe for free, but according to the guides multiclassing into anything for added attack is pointless (as much as I'd really love a dip into barbarian for more smashing) and there isn't much in the way for recommendations for melee. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to do a melee-based summoner halfway decent, or is it completely unfeasible and I should give up now?

Arguably the most powerful character I ever made was a melee-oriented Summoner. He took one level of Dragoon at 9th right after his Eidolon became Large enough to ride as a mount. Levels 1-8 he fought with a longspear, keeping his eidolon between himself and danger for the most part, and once he reached 9th he used a lance.

There are a LOT of benefits to going this route if you know the tricks - if anyone is interested I'd be happy to post the build. The character was an absolute engine of destruction.


Here you go.

Battlesnake

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