|Paizo Pathfinder® Paizo Games|
|About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ|
Technically, the Order of the Dragon ability doesn't modify the bonus that Aid Another grants, it adds to it. I've seen most DM's allow it to work that way, though I can understand concern. I'm currently playing a character built around Aid Another, and I was pointed to the [/url=http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/rings/ring-of-tactical-precision]Ring of Tactical Precision[/url]. That plus Gloves of Arcane Striking is about as good as it gets... unless you can grab the Harrying Partners teamwork feat to share with Tactician, because the only thing better than giving your ally a +8 to hit, is giving him a +8 to hit on ALL of his attacks.
Order of the Star Cavalier. If you don't want the mount, pick up the Daring Champion archetype. Alternatively, go Order of the Star Samurai, and consider the Sword-Saint archetype. It's worth mentioning that Order of the Star STRONGLY benefits from a single-level dip in a class with the ability to channel energy, which will drop your BAB below full-level, but you can take a single level of Oracle (Life Mystery) or a Cleric of whatever CG deity you want and get half-level channeling progression (Charisma-Based), a few 1st level spells (Charisma-Based), a morale bonus to attack rolls based on your Charisma modifer few times per day, and really darn good saving throws against your challenge target.
It's one of my favorite orders/character builds EVER.
Your group has plenty of healing, okay damage, and access to plenty of spells that mean they don't NEED trapfinding. Don't force in your own character just because you think they can't hack it. If you're really concerned with their chances, just throw a few wands their way and maybe scale up the treasure a bit to give them a bit more bite. Don't make combat take longer and be more complicated, and don't be the solution to their problems.
There is, as far as I can tell, only one reasonable argument that could be made against this:
Swarm traits. Now, here's the thing: You're dropping a bunch of fine-sized (or maybe smaller) whatevers from your hand, and typically objects of that small a size don't count as individual entities. You're not dropping 20 rocks in quick succession (abusing free actions, which you could totally do but are limited on by the DM), you're dropping a handful of rocks, and a handful could be reasonably argued as being a single object for most intents and purposes. Once you get above fine, you start being limited by how many of said object you can reasonably hold in a single hand when you cast the spell.
That being said, I'd still allow this little rules abuse to work once. :P
You can use the Handle Animal skill to train them. It's what predominantly governs interaction with animals.
From the SRD:
Handle Animal wrote:
To rear an animal means to raise a wild creature from infancy so that it becomes domesticated. A handler can rear as many as three creatures of the same kind at once. A successfully domesticated animal can be taught tricks at the same time it’s being raised, or it can be taught as a domesticated animal later.
The game assumes animals don't act like robots, but NPC's, and consequently have motivations that would lead them to WANT to continue being with their trainer. For your character, he might have reared them from birth, or possibly gotten enough Wild Empathy checks to make these creatures count as friendly towards him, at which point they would likely be willing to be trained.
Well, it depends.
Splitting your levels between multiple companions hurts. A LOT. At higher levels you get to count your full Ranger level instead of level-4 (which saves you a feat), but even so, having multiple useful companions is challenging. If I were to do it, I'd split my levels to the point that my companion animals became good for utility, and then get them each to the point where they could survive. (Ex: Get a mount that can fly, a small creature that can scout, and maybe a climber/swimmer.)
You cannot do combat with diminished progression companions, though.
Actually, the reach weapon is there because our group is really melee heavy. With my two animal companions, our barbarian, goliath druid, and melee oracle, it's almost TOO melee heavy. To be fair, most of us have ranged options, but the reach weapon is there so that I don't have to be adjacent to my enemies to attack or support attacks against them. It means I can hide behind our beefy guys and companions and still do stuff.
Sorry, but one thing you said is a common misconception. A possible crit is not an automatic hit. A natural 20 is an automatic hit, but if a critical threat would miss that isn't a natural 20, it still misses.
Fun Fact: Alternate Classes like the Samurai still count as the original class for most effects. The description of alternate classes states that they're actually still just archetypes, but just change so many features typically that they kinda need a full, new write-up. It does, however, mean that, as written, the Cavalier can take the Sword Saint archetype, since it's just archetype-ception.
Well, here's the thing: I can add bonuses, and better bonuses than what most spell buffs can, all day long, every day. I keep my party alive against enemies better than the cleric can because I prevent damage entirely, and it happens off my turn so I can still do what martials do best: Bring the Pain.
Also, I think you're underestimating the value of those buffs. A +7 to AC, for many levels, isn't just a "might miss"; that's basically a guaranteed miss (did I mention that it scales as I level to around +10 without any other Aid Another bonuses?). A +7 to hit means that even the most uber-buffed opponent is going to get smacked by our hardest-hitting guy. And I can do all of this while putting out respectable damage with my challenge.
That having been said, building for personal damage is WAY to easy, imo. I'd rather contribute something more interesting to combat other than just dealing lots of damage. But then, you make a good point about this being really useful for Torchbearers and the like.
The other thing to remember is that I'm a gestalt with 2 animal companions, whose combined attacks get my challenge damage bonus & get free combat maneuvers. Helping those attacks hit is actually much more important than what I could do, even if I was optimized for damage.
Edit: Oh, and nice find on the Ring of Tactical Precision! That's FANTASTIC.
Well, I didn't want it to encompass the entirety of the conversation, but I did it because I took the Packmaster Archetype AND the Huntmaster Cavalier archetype. Lots of bonus teamwork feats, and it lets me do some really creative things with my Bird and Dog companions, especially things that will let me land multiple combat maneuvers per round at later levels. He's not just a group aid: He's a 3-man dream team.
What everyone else said. Two-hand it, grab power attack. At this level, you have good to-hit, and power attack two-handed will add an extra +9 damage. That's a good chunk right there.
See if you can retrain toughness. From a logistical perspective, it is strictly worse than Extra LoH for a paladin (the HP from the extra LoH is greater than the HP you get from Toughness).
Okay, so I recently made a character for a campaign designed around martial support of my allies. The purpose of the thread is not only to showcase some cool synergies that I don't see mentioned often, but also to identify whether or not I've missed anything, or need to change things around.
So, the goal of the build is helping my allies. I'm currently playing in a gestalt game, but 99% of what matters in this build is on my Cavalier side. I'm playing a Halfling Cavalier/Hunter, with Order of the Dragon. We're level 4, and I've currently taken the Combat Reflexes and Bodyguard feats. Why?
Well, thanks to the Helpful racial trait for halflings, when I use Aid Another, I grant my ally a total of +7 to their AC against the triggering attack, or +7 to their next attack roll against the Aid Another target. (Side Note: There's a bit of debate about how the order of the dragon ability works, and I've never seen it resolved, but this is how our table rules it.) That's +4 from Helpful, +3 from Order of the Dragon.
My plan is to just completely keep going down this route, wielding a reach weapon to ensure that I can bodyguard anyone near me all the time. The beautiful part comes when I can start passing around Harrying Partners via Tactician.
Now, to the task at hand: What ELSE can I do to pump up these bonuses? I know about the Benevolent weapon enchantment, and I can grab a trait for a spell-like ability (again, controversial, that's my table ruling) to qualify for Arcane Strike which lets me grab the Gloves of Arcane Striking, but is there anything, and I mean ANYTHING else I can pick up to pump up my Aid Another bonuses? Any feats or other suggestions to help the character out?
Channeling is actually a pretty darn good ability for Mummy's Mask. Having played a high-charisma spellcasting-oriented cleric in the first 2 books (at a level disadvantage, I might add), if you focus on pumping it up (namely via the Sun domain), you can end fights with a couple of channels and very little party damage. It's quite possible to make a spellcasting/channeling cleric in Mummy's Mask and have a blast with it. (Hah! Puns!)
Okay, I'm going to give you the low down, as a teacher & musician:
Bard sounds fun, but the truth is that the class is really complicated. You've got way to much to deal with.
If she's new to roleplaying games completely, you should be prepared to introduce her to fundamental mechanics, and keep things at a low level to keep math simple. Whatever you do, don't give her a spellcasting class or a class with summons/animal companions. This is a LOT to process, especially as a new player. New players make good Rogues & Fighters, but they may require help building them in order to make them function well, especially in the case of the Rogue.
Early games should have simple, safe combat, and require relatively little mechanical knowledge. It's for this reason that I suggest Rogue. It has lots of skills to make sure you always feel useful, and Sneak Attack directly implies tactical thinking without forcing you to understand lots of different abilities and power descriptions.
I have a player in my group that doesn't like math, doesn't like prep, and doesn't even like making her own character sheets, but she LOVES roleplaying. I usually end up making and advancing her character, and she plays simply enough that she doesn't need to know mechanics that well (Her characters so far have been "SMITE" and "CHARGE" respectively. They did little else in combat). Keep in mind that social, RP-focused players can be a HUGE boon to the group's fun, but that they also typically require a bit more maintenance on the part of the DM as far as character abilities are concerned.
Again, keep her abilities simple so she has a clear understanding of what she can do, and keep it organized so she can find things easily. If you can do that, you're set. Just let her roleplay, and keep things moving and fun.
So why doesn't masterwork give a shield +1 to attack if it's a weapon?
Because it's a defensive item that can also be used as a weapon. It receives the bonuses armor/shields receive, but also acts as a weapon.
Technically, the game doesn't tell you that you need to have hands available to equip a shield: only that you need to use a move action. As far as I can tell, you can use your teeth to pull the straps if you really need to. Getting it off, however... that would be a different matter.
No. If you're going to sit there and argue about magic shield slots, then you have to explain magic weapon slots, too. If your rationale for not allowing dual shields is "There's only one shield slot!", then you have to defend wielding a weapon without a weapon slot. Now, what those slots DO mean is that you can only benefit from a single magic item that fits into those slots. A shield is both a magic shield and a weapon simultaneously, and so while you could only receive the benefits of a single magical shield, you are free to wield another as a weapon as normal, since you can wield weapons regardless of slots.
As to the question of defensive enchantments on a shield you're wielding as a weapon, that's debatable, but not overly.
By your logic, players can't wield weapons, as there is no weapon slot at all.
Shields work differently. They are simultaneously shields and weapons, and proficiency with them works differently. For example: A bard is proficient with shields, but not with martial weapons. Therefore, while he ignores the shield's ACP on attack rolls, he still takes a non-proficiency penalty when attempting to use it as a weapon, since he lacks the appropriate proficiency. Alternatively, a class with Martial Weapon Proficiency that lacks proficiency with a shield takes the ACP when attempting to use a shield as a weapon, but without the Proficiency penalty.
Actually, since shields start off as defensive implements (under Armor/Shields), I'd say they're more like armor with fancy rules that allow you to use them as a weapon, not unlike Spiked Armor. The only thing stopping you from doing the silly thing above (Dual-Wielding Armor) is that you can't actually, physically, wear two suits of armor. Nothing stops you from wielding one shield in each hand, one as a shield, and the other as a weapon. Since the AC bonus is of a similar type, it doesn't stack anyways.
Well, I'm not a parent, but I am a teacher, and I'll tell you something that I've seen work time and time again:
Just play with your kids. The second you start inserting math problems as a purposeful way to force "education" into the game, you've made it a chore, not a game. Pathfinder, and many RPGs and tabletop games, actually do a great job of teaching kids to want to learn.
Let's look at a simple example: Determining your damage on a critical hit. You have addition as well as multiplication, and your kid WANTS to get it right because he knows his critical hit could save the party, so even if he needs help, he is directly engaged with the situation.
Or reading: I have adults that are perplexed when I use words like "fen" and "miasma". Those are kind of specific examples, but it's a great way to introduce your kids to new vocabulary, and you can even see if they'd like to spell it out themselves. If they get it wrong, that's fine. Just fix it with them and keep going.
Once they get older, and they start wanting to more fully understand the system and optimize their characters, DPR formulas go a long way towards teaching mathematical principles. You need PEMDAS, as well as an understanding of decimal multiplication, to calculate simple DPR, not including things like miss chance, rerolls, etc. which all make things MORE complex.
Basically, if you play the game, let your kids discover the inherent mathematics and language skills involved in playing the game, and set a good example for them to follow yourself.
See, I'm not talking about it from a story perspective. I'm talking about it from a game perspective.
From a gaming perspective, it makes NO sense to make a game where you can show up for a several hour session and be robbed of it because... reasons. I'd be TICKED if I got to my Pathfinder game and had my character get paralyzed in one of our combat sessions. It's really far, and combat has gotten so big that it takes our group about an hour to finish one (for more reasons than one). For me to show up and waste an hour - 2 hours because I failed a Will save? C'mon. I'd RATHER my character was instantly killed. Then at least I could spend that time rolling up a new one instead of stacking dice and sitting on my hands.
Oh good grief. Anyone can one-shot things at level 1. I can make a Halfling Fighter that pulls that off (albeit less frequently). A human fighter, or anything with a strength bonus, can pull that off.
It's not that bad. Don't worry about it, and enjoy the ride. Remember, a high base damage at level 1 doesn't do jack against a couple of bear traps.
Oh, and Natural Armor doesn't apply to touch AC.
I actually think save-or-suck/lose/die spells shouldn't even exist, save for the absolute rarest of circumstances (obscenely powerful monsters). While enchantment spells can make for some interesting roleplay scenarios (I actually fully played my character that got charmed by a div), the fact is that anything that puts players out of the game does nothing but waste time.
Sure, spells like Hold Person are nice when the players use them, but when you take one guy out of a fight, that's quite a long time, possibly even hours depending on the encounter, where they literally showed up for no reason, and if you want to establish a reasonable world where the NPCs and PCs are on a fairly even playing field, you need to remove these kinds of spells as a whole from the table.
But then, I'm a bit of an extremist.
Two-weapon fighters eventually gain the ability to ignore twf penalties, so the warhammer thing isn't bad. I'd advise against it, however, until you can get past that horrid -4 penalty. Just stick with your light weapons, or one-handed/light combo until you get to the requisite level.
If you're worried about DR, I'd rather you just pick a single two-handed weapon to help cover those situations. It's cheaper, and makes it so that you aren't carrying multiple copies of the exact same weapon.
I realized this too late, but fun fact:
If you feel good selecting Half-Orc as your Race (or a Human with Racial Heritage), you can pick up the Skulking Slayer archetype. It lets you make dirty tricks in place of attacks so long as you meet sneak attack requirements. Heck, with that bonus you won't even notice the loss in BAB (since the archetype gives you a bonus to the maneuver equal to the number of sneak attack dice you would get).
It's... actually pretty good, and makes it so that a single level rogue dip becomes EXCEEDINGLY good for almost any maneuver-oriented character. It also means that a rogue actually becomes a pretty decent maneuver-themed character (in regards to dirty tricks), gaining a bonus of +5 by 10th level which compensates for the reduced BAB by a fair bit (even if the delayed access to maneuver feats hurts MASSIVELY).
You could go all Monster Hunter with it and turn it into some thematic weapons/armor. People always make a big stink about harvesting things for alchemical components, but I often find that's more wishful thinking than anything else.
Alternatively, you could ask your DM about turning it into an improved version of a Bear Trap. It'd still be useful, and would let the poor croc keep doing his thing from beyond the grave without actually making him undead.
I've always wanted to play a Paladin, but never gotten around to it. I feel like I could do it really well, and enjoy it, but I don't want to deal with the early eye rolls.
I've felt that the key to playing a good paladin (learned from my players) is to make a character, complete with traits, flaws, goals, etc., who also happens to be a Paladin. Once you have a living, breathing character, you can play the game in such a way that you aren't defined by your mechanical choices, and it becomes more interesting for everyone involved.
Actually, it's kinda the opposite. It really is just a sneaky wizard. You get tons of skill points from the rogue part, and good sneak attack progression, but with that really low BAB you'll struggle to really hit much of anything. You'll get lots of cool rogue-ish tricks and abilities, but at the end of the day you're a wizard that's a full spellcasting level behind in exchange for some skillful & damage-dealing goodies.
Not that that's bad, mind you, but you'll likely be better off playing up the magical side than the rogue side. Buff-wise, stick primarily to things that buff the group as well, so that you can support everyone depending on the situation. Summon spells are excellent because they can give you and your allies flanking buddies, and the invisibility spells are of course fantastic for setting up sneak attacks (and with your naturally high stealth, you should be the best scout ever). Spells like Mage Armor/Shield are a must, but typically can be handled by a wand or two for a while until it becomes more economical just to prep them yourself, or they get outmoded by gear. Enlarge Person can be a handy low-level buff to damage and reach (the big one!), spells like Mirror Image and Displacement will keep you alive while your getting into flanks/setting up Sneak Attacks. Debuff spells like Blindness/Deafness, Daze, and Sleep will help for a little while, until you get access the big guns, and remember that you CAN get sneak attack damage with touch spells, so spells like shocking grasp, scorching ray, etc. get a lot more mileage out of them (assuming you take the Magical Knack trait to up your caster level by 2, which you SHOULD).
But really, that's the big thing to remember: One of the nice things about Arcane Trickster is that you can use your own spells to set up sneak attacks and hit with them reliable. A Shocking grasp at your first level of Arcane Trickster (6th level) will hit for 5d6, plus an extra 2d6 if you can meet the sneak attack progression, and 7d6 lightning damage is nothing to sneeze at, especially on a touch attack. Alternatively, Chill touch at the same level will give you 1d6 damage x5, plus an extra 2d6 on each hit if you can get Sneak dice, for a grand total of 15d6 over the course of several rounds, not including the possible strength damage. That all, of course, pales in comparison to your skill prowess, and your ability to buff yourself with tons of spells that will compound your rogue-ish prowess (who needs ranks in Climb with the Spider Climb spell?).
Overall, remember that as an Arcane Trickster, your most powerful tool is versatility, not your combat prowess. Sometimes you'll be able to solo encounters with careful planning and tactics, and others you'll need to sit in the back and buff other guys. Most importantly, stay flexible.
Thanks for all the input, guys. I hadn't read this part before, but the rule that a rough percentage of the treasure is assumed to go towards consumables (with the listed value as being the total after selling/consumable use) is actually really cool. I never noticed that before.
Keep in mind, I'm also in the camp of "As long as the group is having fun, whatever works works". I'm just also concerned about not having to drastically change how I challenge the group because of WBL, so I just wanted some input.
I'll keep all this info in mind. Thanks for everything, guys. Don't let me keep you from discussing, though, if you want. :P
My post used an extreme example, but let me put it another way.
Let's say the party... oh, druid, springs for a Wand of Cure Light Wounds. Common item to buy, really useful, and at the same level he's down 750 GP for a good item. Fair enough.
However... does that 750 GP deficit follow him for the rest of his career? Is that wand he used for maybe 2-3 levels (at most) part of his character's total WBL for the remainder of his character's life? Basically, how final would you rule the estimated WBL chart is for characters? Yes, character can eventually save up money, but my main question is, in the long term, do consumables take up a permanent spot in a character's final wealth total? Or should they be assumed to be used and not count towards WBL?
I wanted to get the boards opinions on how this should be handled, as I've always wondered how to do it, and do it well.
So, in a sort of adventuring bubble where the adventure and loot are all predetermined by the DM, factoring consumable items into the group's WBL is a relatively simple task. There's simply a limited amount of treasure in the adventure based on the group estimated level, and consumables are simply part of the total wealth available to the characters.
However, assuming we aren't in a totally perfect wealth situation, how do you, as a DM, deal with wealth by level in regards to consumables?
Let's look at this. Simple example:
At 4th level, each character should have roughly 6k GP worth of items and treasure. However, while one character may be spending his wealth on sustainable items (cloaks of resistance, +1 weapons, etc.), let's say another is buying limited use consumables (lots of wands, potions, minor wondrous items, etc.). By the time the next level rolls around, the first character is likely looking at some minor upgrades, and maybe saving up for bigger items.
The second character, assuming he used all those consumables he bought, is now (compared to the first character) significantly behind his WBL if we take his inventory at its current level. He will have been chugging/handing out potions, burning through wand charges, and milking those wondrous items for all they're worth, but now if we look at both their available items, he's losing steam, and out a good bit of money.
How would you handle this situation? On the one hand, it seems unfair to throw gold at people that buy consumables to keep their current level WBL reasonable, but on the other hand it sucks to be way behind everyone gear-wise just because he decided to buy items that would be useful now rather than later.
First off, level 14 PCs, especially wizards, have a LOT of capabilities. Be ready for this. It's a difficult time to start DMing, so be patient.
Now, here's the bad news: A 20th level ninja can move around completely undetectable by the party, and this won't really work as a challenge. If she wanted to, she could likely kill the party at her leisure, because Hidden Master is just freakishly good. Even if the party is prepared for it, they (literally) won't see it coming, and can't even detect her while she's murdering them.
Now, at 14th level, this IS a nuisance, as by this time they likely have the money to regularly afford resurrections. The problem is, if you took her down to, say, 19th level, she's too easy, as the 20th level ultimate ability is just so darn good. Sorry if I don't have any easy solutions: I rarely run games this high level for precisely this reason.
Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:
You can't take fly with Unsanctioned Knowledge. You can only take spells on the Cleric/Oracle, Inquisitor, and Bard spell lists, none of which have Fly.
I don't know if you're interested, but did you know that there's an AMAZING FAMILIAR-THEMED PALADIN ARCHETYPE? It's... it's just fantastic. One of my favorites to date. It's actually just a better version of the normal Paladin that gets a couple of class features a little later, but doesn't change the scaling. If you're really planning on taking Paladin to level 5, take this archetype. It scales your familiar for basically no downside.
Also, don't forget about the Spirit's Gift feat. Giving your Familiar fast healing 1 or DR 5/Adamantine is HUGE in the early game, and pretty darn good any other time. Oh, and once you hit 9th level, take Boon Companion for your Mount if you can, or retrain into the feat. If you can take Monstrous Mount, even better.
The whole point of invisibility is that you don't need good stealth to be stealthy. As to Timely Inspiration, the benefit is that you can use it off your turn. It doesn't interrupt your normal actions in the same way that Touch of Gracelessness does, even if the later is better from a debuff perspective.
I like Displacement more, but that's just me. Anything that risks losing my actions isn't worth it, imo.
Here's the thing: If your group has regular access to haste, then Divine Power isn't that necessary, unless your group has limited access to it. If your group DOESN'T have access to Haste... you could pick it up as a 3rd level spell off the bard spell list, which could be a great choice instead of Displacement, depending on your party makeup.
The spells I mentioned are spells that will be generally useful. Freedom of Movement is a great spell... when you need it. The problem is that it's situational. Something like Timely Inspiration won't miss, and is always there when you need it, and doesn't interrupt your normal turn, but it's really up to you. Invisibility is nice because even if you fail your stealth, you still have total concealment, so it functions like Displacement with added benefits.
Mirror Image. Hands down as your 2nd level spell. It's awesome.
Vanish is good as a 1st level, but I'm not sure. Compel Hostility is a solid choice if you plan on using that defensiveness to "tank" for your group. Timely Inspiration is also a solid choice for when you REALLY need that attack/skill/check/whatever to land.
Improved Invisibility is also a solid choice of a 4th level spell. Otherwise, they're all good choices.
I made a new character for a game that is a reach fighter specializing in trip and dirty tricks. Trip is one of the best combat maneuvers because of the action economy: Substituting an attack means you can use AoOs to prevent enemy movement via knocking their butts prone. Dirty trick is just a BEAST, because with the right combos you can turn them into save or sucks pretty quickly. For example, a character with Dirty Trick Master and a single level (maybe even 2 levels) in Maneuver Master monk can potentially daze or nauseate an opponent in a single turn, with no means by which the effect can be removed other than waiting out the duration (which can be increased as necessary with further dirty tricks). This means that you've taken one guy and completely locked him out of the fight, which is the kind of crap typically reserved for spellcasters, and you can do it all day (much like some kind of martial Witch).