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Really, your bard does that much damage while not rolling any d20s and using no resources except one charge from a wand? And his damage is 100% reliable regardless of the enemies AC? Impressive.
You may think I'm exaggerating, but yeah, I actually do. I usually only miss on 1's, and I don't consume ammo with my bow. I do a little bit less on average against enemies with higher ACs, but only marginally so.
My archaeologist bard does basically the same thing with a bow... except he does more damage.
Oh look. THIS thread.
Are you calculating in the auto hit portion?
All auto-hitting does is make DPR calculations simple. DPR calculations typically factor in things like miss chance, critical hit range, etc., to determine the average expected damage dealt on a single, or full, attack given enemy defenses.
So, when you actually have to roll to hit, all this does is make your damage more swingy: sometimes it's way below average, sometimes it's way above average. Auto-hitting, particularly with small dice and lots of flat modifiers (in the case of a smiting magic missile), produces more consistent results, but statistically doesn't account for much variation.
Ah. That makes more sense. Thanks for the correction, btw. I also built a dirty-trick specialist, but he was a Lore Warden Fighter, and I got to use those bonus feats to pick up some alternative options (Trip Feats), as well as getting a bit better natural damage/accuracy with weapon training. Dirty Tricks made really tough fights MUCH easier, but overall you need to have something to add to it, just like pretty much any combat maneuver.
It sounds like you built a one-trick pony, and while Dirty Trick is a nice trick, you can't let it monopolize your character, otherwise you have situations like yours where you feel useless. Make sure you focus on a secondary combat style, like combat reflexes + reach, or power attack. Something that lets you stay viable when your trick doesn't work.
Also, if you really are 8th level at the moment, then you don't have a means by which you can inflict the Dazed condition, which stinks. (It requires Greater Dirty Trick, BAB +11, jonhl).
Diego Rossi wrote:
The spell also doesn't say anything about "a generic model of its type." You still haven't explained what makes a steel sword more like the cold-iron sword I used as a material component than a cold-iron sword, and if they are equally of the same type, then the RAI would indicate that it's intended to duplicate the weapon consumed in the process of casting the spell.
If the spell is using the swords, then I would like to know the spell's bonus to ranged attack rolls, since it is apparently a completely different "you" than that to which the spell itself refers.
Is it a weapon? Yes. Am I making a ranged attack with said weapon? Yes. It doesn't matter if I'm using magic, or a bow, or the broken corpse of a rubber pixie as slingshot, I'm still making the attack, with this weapon, and I get to ignore the penalties for using such a weapon in different way, as is spelled out by the spell.
Diego Rossi wrote:
2-3) So, what makes a material less a part of the weapon? What is the default weapon created? By default, all melee weapons are made primarily of either an unspecified wood or steel. Are the swords created by the spell always made of steel? How can they be if they don't inherit the material properties of the weapon on which they're based?
4) To quote the spell: "You make a ranged attack roll for each sword (with no penalties for range increments or using melee weapons as ranged weapons),..." That's an attack roll with a weapon, which should be affected by feats and abilities normally, mostly because it lacks the clarifying language that would negate it, specifically used in a spell like Spiritual Weapon.
5) That's fair. The argument could be made that the number of swords is a variable numeric effect, but w/e.
6) Why would you say something that's directly contrary to your ruling with question 4?
1) If you use a longsword as the material component, the swords created use the same stats as the longsword used. (i.e., a small size longsword creates small sized longswords, etc.)
2) See 1. Basically, if you use an adamantine longsword, it creates adamantine longswords.
3) See 2.
4) You're still making attacks with weapons, albeit conjured weapons, so any applicable feats should work.
5) It should be able to be empowered, but that's a pretty poor spell to empower, so I don't care much either way.
6) Yes, because they're ranged weapon attacks.
I have one group that I DM that exclusively plays Gestalt games. It works, but gestalt is one of those weird rules that either make characters ridiculously overpowered or just more versatile.
It all depends on classes chosen. If you're considering it (and you should: it's a lot of fun), consider placing mild restrictions, like no double stacking martial classes, casters with the same primary attribute, etc.
I don't say that to ruin roleplaying opportunities, but to say that you don't want to deal with modifying encounters so heavily to get around incredible ability stacking, ESPECIALLY in a premade adventure path. I'm pretty sure that, with the right gestalt, I could solo most APs without any difficulty.
If you don't mind being affiliated with Gorum, the Shield-Trained feat would allow you to treat Heavy shields as light weapons. Combine that with Lethal Grace, Shield of Fury, Signature Weapon, and Mad Rush, and you'd have a pretty solid tanky damage dealer that dual-wields spiked shields, or if you want to stick to the sword/board idea, just go longsword/heavy shield with Shield of Fury to get all the two-weapon fighting feats sans prereqs. Vital Punishment is pretty solid too if you decide to pick up Combat Reflexes/ the Vital Strike chain.
Whaaaaat? Sanity is based of mental resilience? Get outta here...
Maybe in games using the sanity rules martial characters just need to worry a little bit more about their mental attributes? Most casters only focus on a single score, anyways. It's not like it's much less punishing on them, and Paladins just laugh all the way to the bank.
And, as for those characters who are rough-and-tumble without magic, I'm pretty sure there also exist options for bumping up their will saves and mental attributes.
What I would do is what I usually do for my players when they want to play animals: Use the Race Builder.
Sure, my wife playing a penguin kineticist/monk gestalt would be AWFUL using the Awaken rules, but just flavor your velociraptor as awakened, and give it the racial traits you think it should get.
Small Size? Check. +2 Dex and Wis, -2 Int? Check. (I don't think you should be THAT smart. You are a dinosaur, after all)
Natural Weapons? That's where most of your Race Points go. Getting all 5 attacks costs you 5 RP, Low-Light Vision for another point, Jumper, Sprinter, and Fast are another 4, which gets you up to 10. You could probably weasel getting a couple more in there for something like making Acrobatics checks always be a class skill, etc.
You do lose pounce, which hurts a bit from an optimization perspective, but not only is it more balanced at lower levels, it opens up more options for what you want to do with your abilities. Maybe go Eldritch Guardian fighter and get a Compsognathus familiar with the Mauler Archetype, Evolved familar to give it claws, and BOOM you've got a charging, hunting buddy to go along with your mostly fighter levels. Maybe a ranger for the companion, or perhaps going Hunter could work if you want some spellcasting as well as REALLY hammering home the pack-hunter mentality.
I mostly prefer to use the race-builder rules to do this kind of stuff, because CR doesn't translate to levels very well, and it's easier for the DM to balance.
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
No. You don't play a bard to be good at fighting. Bad idea for you and your friends.
I see this notion pop up time and again, and it's so wrong it hurts.
What you get: Medium BAB/HP, decent proficiencies easily shored up by racial bonuses, static bonuses to attack and damage that scale as you level, and save you on action economy as you level, access to a variety of useful and potent buffing spells, and to some solid healing options as well, with variant bards gaining better armor proficiencies, weapon proficiencies, and other assorted goodies.
So I'll ask: Why are bards bad at fighting?
Okay, here's the thing:
When it comes to solo'ing, you need a way to effectively increase your hit points and/or action economy. You need to be able to equal the enemies on the battlefield in some way while surviving.
A Samsaran Arcanist has the option of the Occultist archetype, which lets you use your exploits to basically mimic the summoner's Summon Monster ability (long-duration summons without spells). Druid gets you an animal companion, but you have the worst spell list of the bunch that you want, though you CAN spontaneously convert your spells into summons.
Basically, action economy is where it's at, so you want as many allies as you can muster, as quickly as you can muster.
Personally, if you're limiting yourself to those options, go Druid, grab a Warcat animal companion, specialize yourself for melee, and plan on going Wild Shape. The extra reach/stat bonuses from it are nice, particularly the reach, and many of the forms you'll be able to take have a chance of taking enemies out of the fight via grabs, poisons, etc. Consider (if your DM will allow it) the Season Keeper archetype for the sole purpose of getting extra mileage out of what little healing to which you'll have access.
I'm actually going to recommend the Monster Tactician Inquisitor archetype.
If you can be a Samsaran and are fine with the Con. penalty, the Wisdom bonus suits you really well, AND you can pick some true restoration spells off of the Cleric spell list, or consider grabbing some battlefield control off of druid/shaman. You keep the bane ability, which is all you really NEED to keep your damage up to snuff when you are actually attacking.
Overall, when it comes to a balance of abilities while being a one-man army, I think the Monster Tactician Inquisitor of Chivalry is pretty much the best there is.
Of course, for your race, you'll probably want to go Half-Orc or Human. Half-Orc gets you good melee proficiencies, a racial ability that can save your life at low levels, darkvision, and the Sacred Tattoo trait for extra saving throw bonuses (with Fate's Favored for Divine Favor boosting, too). Human gets you a bonus feat, which finishes off your Summoning feats earlier than normal, allowing you to become more entrenched in your chosen fighting style sooner. Dwarf also gets an honorable mention because of the huge saving throw bonuses you can eventually have with a trait and a feat, though you'll probably want the bonuses the other races provide.
1) What does the party need so far? Often times the people with whom I play don't care about, or understand, solid party composition, so I'll wait and see. Typically, damage-dealing roles get picked up pretty quickly, so I'm usually left with Support or Control.
2) How can I fill my role in a way that fits the setting/campaign? I want my character to have an in-game reason for going on X/Y/Z adventure, or joining this group of ragamuffins, and thematic characters help me do just that.
3) Can I accomplish my role in a way that both fits the setting AND uses frequently unused mechanics by my group? I want to avoid stepping on toes, and also want to showcase the sheer variety that characters can have on a roleplaying AND mechanical level. Trip/Dirty Trick specialist that still does reasonable damage? That's Control out the wazoo. Bodyguard/Aid Another specialist for support? A cleric wishes he could heal the amount of damage I effectively heal/deal. I could even do that AS a cleric if I wished.
4) Can I do all of those things without invalidating other characters? Even if my other group members are quite suboptimal (which happens quite frequently), I want to allow them to do their thing without feeling obsolete. I avoid entirely playing the same class, and mechanically similar characters are avoided as well. It narrows down my options alot, especially when I really want to play a certain concept, but it forces me to think outside the box more, and helps everyone else feel important.
I take it you're looking at the Spirit Summoner archetype for that.
The answer, from an optimization perspective, is absolutely not. It scales really poorly compared to Summon Monster, and Summon Monster can eventually get you creatures that an heal allies and take hits for them in combat.
If, however, you decide to just focus on your eidolon and act as party support via buff spells/healing, using your eidolon for damage primarily, then it should be fine, since you can't have both Summon Monster and your Eidolon up at the same time anyways.
I would like to make a couple of points, addressing issues in order of importance:
1) This ability looks WAY too powerful! Look at how much you can do with it!
A) That's a fair point, but there are a few things you need to understand: First, the summoned creature's maximum hit points are equal to 1/2 those of the caster. Given the need for multiple useful attributes, this total likely won't be that high. Sure, eventually a bloody skeleton is VERY hard to kill, but disabling it won't ever be that difficult, and Mental Focus is a finite resource. Think of it like using a summoning spell, except that it's worse than most summoning spells, even with the longer duration.
2) Isn't animating the dead evil?
A) Well, yes, but as I mentioned, and as other posters have mentioned, and even as the OP mentioned, this spell doesn't animate the dead: It creates what is, essentially, a summoned facsimile of an undead. There are no corpses consumed or lost, and the created being is entirely under your control. Plus, this ability DOESN'T function like Animate Dead, or any other dead-creating spells. Hit points, creature's available for use, etc. are not open-ended. It is expressly limited in its use. Now, does it still create horrid monstrosities? Absolutely. But without the evil descriptor, in the Golarion setting it'd be hard to argue that it's DEFINITELY evil.
Bottom line, the ability isn't as powerful as you're afraid it is, and isn't expressly evil. He should be good to go.
See, I fully support the Fighter/Wizard multi-class. Work it Fighter 1/Wizard 5, then take Eldritch Knight. Pick up the Magical Knack trait that increases caster level by 2 for Wizard, and you don't lose any caster levels, are free to wield good weapons/armor as you see fit, and most importantly, get to pick up a few things:
1) Glory of Old trait. Increases your Dwarven Hardy bonus by 1.
At 3rd level, With 1 Fighter/2 Wizard, your saves against spells will be Fort +9, Ref +7, Will +10, and that's all before stat bonuses (which, as a dwarf, mean that your Fort and Will saves are probably a good bit higher). You'll never have to worry about spells again, and you can save your spells for things like long duration buffs at the mid-levels (stoneskin, heroism, etc.) that will keep your damage/defenses relevant, and after casting them you can crawl back into your armor for free (or cast one of those low-level armor-donning spells).
I say stick with it. It's more interesting than pure magus.
It seems reminiscent to the 5e D&D druid's wild shape, which is EXCEEDINGLY powerful.
Overall, I think you're probably overthinking things, OP. Just let him wild shape as a druid of his level, limited to small or medium animals, possibly only 1 that he can change every 24 hours. Functions as Beast Shape I. Done.
Here's a thought. Just... bear with me.
We play up the divine devotion, and go Sacred Fist Warpriest. Before that, you go full Dexterity/Wisdom investment (dwarf makes this easier). At 9th level, you take Crusader's Flurry, which will let you Flurry of Blows with your Axe. You get access to divine spells, get better at buffing, and your Blessing choices can get you some nifty bonuses. Now, I'm assuming you're using a Handaxe to get the dex-to-damage with it, which should work well enough.
Alternatively, if you want to wear armor and ignore flurry, combine it with base Warpriest and pick up the two-weapon fighting feats yourself. This lets you wear armor, and your Handaxe damage goes up with your Warpriest levels. Plus, you get swift-action buffing.
No, I meant CR appropriate. I've said it before, and I'll say it again (not in this thread, but many different threads): The threshold of viability as far as the baseline assumptions of the system are concerned is much lower than the community makes it. The reason that people complain about the rogue is that other classes are just better than it. That's a fair complaint, but it doesn't make the rogue unviable: It just means that the DM needs to compensate less for a well-built rogue than, say, a well-built ranger, slayer, etc.
That's a statement that I've never heard fully refuted on the Paizo boards, but with as much math as I've seen, it's pretty true. If you assume that a CR=APL encounter is supposed to be an average encounter, go do the math on how much damage a character should be able to put out regularly over the course of several rounds (3-4 at minimum, roughly the expectation of the game). You'll find it's actually REALLY low compared to what most modestly optimized characters can do.
Rogue doesn't need a fix. Pathfinder just needs to be balanced more towards the claims of the base system. Against CR appropriate enemies and challenges, Rogues perform completely viably. They simply don't min/max as hard as other classes.
If the game were more consistent in the way it's optimization is executed, you wouldn't hear complaints about rogues. That's party of why I'm excited for Starfinder. I'm willing to bet the system will, while being backwards compatible, be more consistent throughout.
As was mentioned above, Hunter is basically perfect. Great spellcasting, great proficiencies, lots of skills, and an animal companion for all the combat bonuses that come along with it. If you really want some buff versatility, take the Verminous Hunter archetype and work your companion death into your backstory. You get Fast Healing 1 at 1st level, solid animal focus buffs when needed, and the druid/ranger spell list is a good bit better for out-of-combat utility than Bard and Inquisitor spell lists.
When my next character meets his untimely end, or I start in a new game, I'll probably make one myself.
I mean, you already have everything for what you want to do. Take the Archery combat style for Precise Shot, take Power Attack, and your damage is good pretty much forever. I would recommend Combat Reflexes, as Bodyguard gets better and better when you get to use additional AoOs to bump ally AC.
My only issue is that Bodyguard works rather poorly with Sneak Attack, since you need to be adjacent to the ally with whom you'd probably prefer to be flanking, but really for this kind of character Bodyguarding will be a secondary endeavor. The feat line only really works well when you actively work to make it powerful (halfling helpful trait, armor/weapon enchantments, gloves of arcane striking, etc.), so I wouldn't worry about it too much. You've got really great damage potential, and as far as scouting goes you're pretty much as good as you can get. I would bring along an Elven Branched Spear, and possibly substitute your Curved Blade with one. It's a reach weapon (awesome) that allows weapon finesse (awesome), which means it qualifies for Finesse Training (awesome), and your Attacks of Opportunity are based on your Dexterity bonus (awesome). Against melee enemies, you'd start off with a volley of arrows, then swap to your Spear before they get into melee, provoking AoOs from you as they do so.
Sure, it's a LITTLE less damage than the Elven Curve Blade, but reach is a powerful tool, even for flanking. It's pretty sweet.
To be fair, we have a LOT of crowd control, utility, and support. I picked up Cure Light Wounds (because at 1st level, that's a very useful spell), and between color spray and sleep, little has stood in our way. I can see how a less debuff-oriented group might struggle at times.
Ciaran Barnes wrote:
I recently convinced my group that just started Hell's Rebels that we don't need a cleric/dedicated healer. We had a session recently where our party was Barbarian/Bard (Me)/Wizard/Arcanist. Literally the safest party comp. in which I've ever played. It was amazing.
And yes, I know you're speaking tongue-in-cheek. :P
I did something like this once. I went Barbarian, but the principle was the same.
Basically, pick up tail terror, use that Dexterity to get two-weapon fighting, multiattack, and get yourself a monk's robe + helm of the mammoth lords.
Your attack routine ends up being Kick/Kick/Kick/Kick/Bite/Claw/Claw/Tail/Gore. It's pretty fun. The penalties stink, but w/e. It's fun making all those attacks. Plus, you get to REALLY get some mileage out of that Amulet of Mighty Fists. A Furious one actually becomes almost cost effective. If you have the feats (hint: you won't) you could consider Arcane Strike instead of Power Attack. It boosts your damage without the to-hit penalty.
I'm going to be honest: I LOVE this archetype.
Now, you may be saying to yourself "Davor, that is absolutely CRAZY. Hexes are awesome, the way infusions are handled is TERRIBLE, and if you don't even get patron spells you're losing out on one of the must crucial parts of the Witch class!" You might even be yelling that last bit out loud.
What you DO get, however, is a spellcaster that is more in line with other classes. I feel that the Havocker is just about the ideal balance state around which most spellcasters ought to be balanced. Now, let me be clear: Spellburn is REALLY poorly designed. If the spell slot required was at least 1/2 the level of the infusion, it might ALMOST be worth it as an option (but still clearly isn't). I feel that, if they had given the witch Gather Power (to replace something else they normally get that was given up early, because too much is given up for the blast, imo), and then you needed to sacrifice spell slots of a level equal to the burn taken, it would be a bit more reasonable.
Still, though, it's very well balanced and designed outside of Spellburn. I'd be willing to say it's one of the MOST well designed classes that Paizo has put out.
Dude. Skald. You get Rage, Rage Powers, and you can share them with allies. You know who loves Pounce? EVERYONE IN YOUR PARTY! Pick up Arcane Strike and Two-Weapon Fighting and you'll get to be your own flavor of awesome. Or, just go two-hander and pick up all the damage you can.
Oh, and if your group isn't receptive to raging, pickup the Spell Warrior archetype and turn you AND your group into pouncing blenders with acidic lightning swords!
Kurald Galain wrote:
And all those spells also require saves.
And all those spells are part of a very limited resource, especially at low levels.
Also, ALL of the math in this thread has shown that, when the enemy makes their save, you've had a generally average turn (because something still happens on the save, which isn't the case for most misses & successful saves), and when they fail their save, your contribution for a single standard action becomes quite large, especially given that Evil Eye is reusable throughout the day.
In a large party (between 3 and 6 people other than the witch), being able to drastically increase your party's ability to succeed at the task at hand is a big boon, and while many spells have potent effects, and many hexes do as well, Evil Eye is consistent, reliable support with a direct impact on combat. The ONLY hexes that really compete with it are Slumber (which is effectively a KO if they fail the save), Fortune on an ally (which only affects a SINGLE ally), or Misfortune on the enemy (which requires a save, and only reduces damage effectively, not increasing damage taken).
All of these hexes have their place, but if a majority of your party finds themselves making attack rolls, or if the majority of your party casts spells, there's always a consistent, beneficial use for Evil Eye which CAN outshine other hexes when used well.
Kurald Galain wrote:
So, answer this question: What spells is the witch casting? If your fallback is "The Witch should always be casting spells, or using other hexes than Evil Eye", you need to show some examples, and demonstrate clearly that the other options are better.
The fact is that mathematically (as in, the way most everyone decides on optimal builds & strategies), Evil Eye is a reasonable way to use your action. Yes, hexes like Misfortune and Fortune are nice, but few of them have the widespread impact on your entire party that Evil Eye has. Healing is widely held as being ineffective in combat scenarios, Fly has little point at low levels, and unless you're also burning a hex on Cackle (which, to be fair, most people are), Misfortune and Fortune while awesome, will only last one round on a failed save.
Evil Eye always works, and mathematically is shown to be a valid use of a character's standard action. Most spells have powerful effects, but the overall effects are often mitigated by chances of saving. In addition, most of the spells that would outdo Evil Eye in effectiveness are your higher level spells, of which you often have fewer. This is also subject to build decisions, as patron spells and archetypes can completely change what your character does well. Sure, at higher levels I'd rather be casting Haste for support, but you know what a great follow-up for that is? AC drop via Evil Eye. Black Tentacles for the enemy spellcaster? Well, AC penalties apply to CMD too, so you wanna keep him grappled? Evil Eye. Fighting a single boss enemy with lots of attacks? That Evil Eye automatic penalty to attack rolls is more effective healing than most of your spells can prevent.
So even when you have spells with fantastic effects, Evil Eye can compound those effects after the fact, and when you're testing the waters (i.e., are unsure of enemy capabilities) it's a solid fallback option.
So, we need to stop looking at evil eye as a 10%/20% chance of failure, and instead look at total % contribution.
Against an enemy whose primary combat ability revolves around attacking, Evil Eye is, effectively, a ~10% reduction in total damage, for free (up to 20% at 8th). That is like giving your entire group a +2 to AC against the target, which is solid support for no cost. The AC penalty, in a combat heavy party, increases group damage against the target by 10-20% PER ATTACKER. In a large group at 8th level, in one standard action, you can basically deal 60-100% damage in party contribution with a single, irresistible action. That effective damage keeps rolling over as well if the fail their save, or you cackle.
It's the same with support characters. A +1 bonus to attack rolls to all attack-oriented allies means you have roughly contributed 5% of your share of the damage per relevant ally, and if you can keep it going and apply it to yourself (as a bard,etc.), your contribution is rather easily met.