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You can take the Eldritch Heritage Feat line for Bloodlines you don't have, so doing that with Arcane Bloodline would work. It's two Feats rather than one, but the familiar will level with you, and it opens up the ability to grab some other Arcane Bloodline goodies.
Aberrant Bloodline Sorcerers can also get a Tumor Familiar, but that doesn't help someone with Draconic.
Awesome! That sounds like a lot of fun, actually. :)
I really need to get up to date on that thread...
Yeah, that'll work if you want to go that route. Personally, I'd just stick with Inquisitor. A Full Attack with all your buffs will generally be quite a bit better than a Channel Energy usage in most cases anyway.
David knott 242 wrote:
Well -- let's take a wizard with slightly above average charisma. The bardic knowledge bonus is great for this character, and even the bardic performance feature is a decent feature. If I could stop there, the Bard VMC would be a no-brainer for this character. But then we get to Versatile Performance -- and that feature doesn't look so good.
Yeah it does. It still gives two skills for the price of one. It's not really super, but there are few Wizards with decent Cha who won't get any use out of it, after all they get to be pretty good at two social skills at discount prices.
David knott 242 wrote:
So whether any of the Bard VMD features are "amazing" depends on the character in question. An intelligence based character would find bardic knowledge "amazing" and be gradually less impressed with each feature that follows. A charisma based character, on the other hand, would see this VMC as starting out weak and gradually improving.
I agree in general, that some are certainly better than others for some characters, but frankly, by 11th, Bardic Performance is worth at least two Feats by itself, making Versatile Performance almost superfluous.
I'd probably stick with Inquisitor, those are very good at murdering just about anything, especially once you acquire Bane at 5th level. And I can't think of anything with good stat synergy that'll make it better.
That said, Antipaladins are where it's at for angel murder. Smite Good + Ridiculous Saves + Conductive Weapon and Touch of Corruption make for a very high level of capability in this specific field.
If you have a low CHA you effectively lose the difference between your CHA mod and the other skill's ability mod in skill points. It also effectively lowers your skill point cap, which may or may not be relevant.
Eh. With low Charisma you can always go Comedy or Acting or something that's already two Cha skills.
It's not ideal, but you should've known that going into Bard VMC with low Cha.
Actually the best deep cover agent would.
Desna almost started a potentially universe-destroying war over a Demon Lord possessing her high priestess and stealing their soul. She stormed into the abyss, annihilated the Demon Lord in question, and walked back out with her worshiper's soul.
Assuming she's a deep cover agent, if her goal was to start such a war, she'd have done other, similar, things, and if her goal was anything else, she wouldn't have done so. So she pretty much has to really care.
It's like a deep cover agent almost martyring themselves (with, like, a 90% chance of martyrdom) to save the guy they're spying on's life, and it means you're effectively not a deep cover agent any more. you may have been once, but deep cover agents who risk everything to do what their cover identity would do have gone pretty much completely native.
Now if you want to speculate that something like that is Desna's origin...that's a bit more plausible, but whether that's true or not, she pretty clearly actually cares now.
Blackpowder Witch wrote:
Yeah, she pretty explicitly focuses on them as adversaries. For whatever reason.
Blackpowder Witch wrote:
I'm putting on Tinfoil hat from Occult Adventures early can calling Desna and Black Butterfly are playing the long game. This is all a conspiracy to lull the mortals into a false sense of security till they can implant everybody with brain slugs.
Nah. Desna legitimately cares about her worshipers (maybe too much, what with almost starting the largest war ever over harm to one of them). You can pretty easily make a tinfoil hat case that she was once part of the Dark Tapestry or a Great Old One, or even that she's currently a particularly friendly Great Old One...but a sinister agenda? Nah, not consistent with previous behavior at all. Not even the best deep cover agent would be willing to pull off her flaws as well as her virtues.
Not exactly, there's no evidence she's ever been anything but Good...but it's been explicitly stated that she predates humanity as such and her original form isn't remotely human (the term 'giant space butterfly' has come up).
So...thematically, yeah, she's one of those 'prehuman alien entities' like the Great Old Ones, only friendly. There's no evidence she's actually related to them in any way other than thematically, though. Well, aside from her faith actively combating them, anyway.
This is mostly from the 'Ask James Jacobs' thread, but there are certainly quite a few hints in published material as well.
Nah, Stonelord's solid. You give up a lot of what makes a Paladin a Paladin, but get the equivalent of Barbarian Rage (as well as AC bonuses and DR on par with an Invulnerable Rager, though easier to get through) instead, and with built in Rage Cycling via Lay on Hands. You also lose Cha dependency almost entirely, which is handy for a dwarf.
It basically plays as an entirely different Class (and more like a Barbarian than a Paladin in many ways), but that doesn't inherently make it bad.
I'm interested in the nature of the role change between the two identities. I'd hope for the ability to gain bonuses to, say, social stuff in one and combat stuff in the other, for example. Or social bonuses in one identity and spell-casting in the other.
Speaking of which, I'd also like to see options for spellcasting and non-spellcasting versions of the Class that are actually pretty well balanced. Something that historically hasn't been Paizo's strong suit (I'm looking at you, Sleuth), but I hold out high hopes nonetheless.
David knott 242 wrote:
Versatile Performance is not so amazing if your original class neither requires charisma as your highest stat nor has Perform as a class skill.
Eh. The second of those is easy to get around. And the first is just bad planning: If you're gonna take a Bard VMC, you should have high Charisma to do it with.
That doesn't make it bad, it just means you need certain prerequisites to make it good. Y'know, like most stuff in Pathfinder.
Thing is, none of that is exclusive to Paladinhood. That's just being very Lawful Good. Cap has nothing else in common with Paladins.
Well, he's very charismatic and strong-willed, and indeed has the equivalent of very high Saves, and is certainly pretty much immune to fear. He's also notably more effective fighting truly evil foes, if only because then he doesn't hold back.
He does indeed lack healing powers or spells per se, but those are pretty much the only Paladin things he lacks...and he does heal unusually fast, which works thematically with Lay on Hands if he only takes, say, 4 levels of Paladin. Which is about what I'd peg him as having, for the record.
Milo v3 wrote:
Those rules are more what you might call 'guidelines'...
Hans Gruber's men, or any of the other henchmen in the Die Hard franchise, were just cardboard minions though, so it's not quite applicable in my opinion.
His safecracker and his right-hand man (the one whose brother John McClane kills first) are both significantly more than cardboard minions. They're not his equals, but they give him back talk and are fairly well realized characters for non-main characters in a movie.
In order to demonstrate how four evil PCs of equal standing can work together, you need a situation more analogous to that.
Here, you have a better point. That particular dynamic is rare in characters in media who could actually be considered evil. I can think of several 'villain' teams that have friendships and close relationships (the villains in Season 3 of Legend of Korra leap to mind), but they tend to not be 'Evil' per se. At least not in the 'work with fiends' sense.
All too often, villains in fiction are the boss and minions who will be killed if they don't obey the boss' orders. It's easy to make evil work together in a situation like that because they're afraid for their lives. That sort of dynamic doesn't work for a PC party, necessarily (or it'll be very complicated to make it work).
This is true in some cases, but frankly, not all that many. Fear doesn't inspire nearly as much loyalty as the possibility of gain, and that's borne out in most fiction. Again, for example, Hans Gruber's minions aren't scared he'll kill them, they think he'll make them rich.
That's a more sustainable dynamic for a party, though still perhaps not ideal. A combination of that and actual friendship is probably best.
There's definitely a certain amount of that in media, too. Look at large portions of most TV shows and movies where the protagonists are members of organized crime. There tends to quite a lot of legitimate loyalty among main characters in things like sons of Anarchy or Peaky Blinders. Yeah, something usually happens to break some of those bonds of loyalty in those shows...but that's not inherent to them existing, and usually requires one of them to betray another in some way...they're very loyal up until that point. And, frankly, the same often happens with non 'evil' characters in long-running shows (they're just a bit more likely to reconcile rather than kill each other). The real difference in many cases is simply that 'evil' characters are less forgiving of betrayal.
The 'secret', such as it is, is to just not be the guy who betrays anyone. If nobody does that, there's no need for the bonds of loyalty to break down, and party cohesion can remain really solid.
That build is way too focused on Dex, and lacks sufficient Con. The odd-numbered scores are also useless.
I'd go with something more like:
At 20 point-buy, anyway. With the stat points from being 12th, go +2 Dex, +1 Wis.
I'd also go Slayer 5/Sacred Fist 7. You get very little from Sacred Fist 8 (unless you're going all the way to 20th) while Slayer 5 ups Studied Target quite a bit.
I'd limit players to 6-level casting at most (so, Inquisitors or Bards would be allowed, but no Wizards or Clerics). There's no reason to make deals for power when you have access to Wish and it'll reinforce the 'magic is rare and powerful' dynamic.
I'd also use the Automatic Bonus Progression rules, so as to keep the math right while limiting items as you suggest.
I'd argue those last two groups aren't Evil-aligned.
But a fair selection of villain groups in movies and books have minimal friction as well. Not all, but I don't recall Hans Gruber's men in Die Hard turning on each other, just to list the first example that leaps to mind.
Frankly, it's not all that hard to avoid inter-PC friction in an Evil group. The trick is to remember that Evil characters are people. They usually have friends, and allies, and loved ones, and probably aren't notably more likely to attack or betray such people than a Neutral character is.
There've been more than that, given that he's a legacy hero and has been around for quite a while.
That said, the only one we've ever seen stats for, or are likely to see stats for in the future is
I was looking at the prd and the only entry I found for squirrel was this.
And I sorta assumed the stats for a squirrel would be about those of a flying squirrel. Apparently not.
Looking at those, I'd say the problem there is more with the squirrel stats than those of the cat, personally. Particularly given it's CR as compared to a cat's.
Uh...squirrels and cats both have identical to-hit and AC. So...the squirrel/cat thing? Doesn't actually work like that. If the squirrel is the attacker and uses hit and run tactics it breaks even...but that's all it does.
As for Commoner vs. House Cat, that age old battle misses a couple of important rules: Grappling and Reach.
A cat has CMD 6, even with a +0 CMB, a Commoner is really likely to make that, and then squeeze the cat into unconsciousness pretty quick. Can the cat escape? Sure, in theory, but it'll likely get recaptured before it can attack. Its odds of getting a full attack off before being re-grappled are 1 in 4.
Also, the cat provokes an AoO every time it moves to attack the human. That's not enough to win the fight, but it sure makes things worse for the cat (since one good hit and it's down).
Combine the two, and the cat's odds are less than great, especially if (as noted) most people are 2nd level or higher.
Now, can a cat still kill a human being? Sure. Especially with a coup de grace. But...that's accurate. Almost anything, if directed with malign will and knowledge of our vital spots can kill a human. Cats just aren't temperamentally inclined to do so.
For that matter, lynxes and bobcats in North America, which come in at 20 lbs or so, which is the high end of house cat weight, and are built along similar lines, routinely hunt deer. Successfully. That makes house cats killing us (from surprise anyway) pretty plausible if they were so inclined.
Earl Grey wrote:
And I fail to understand why fighters should be proficient with all the weapons from different cultures from all over the world.
They aren't. Exotic Weapons aren't on their list at all.
And before you call that a false comparison...a lot of the weapons on Opuk0's list are, indeed, Exotic.
John Kretzer wrote:
There's a pretty simple reason for this:
Being able to say to yourself "How difficult is this on a scale of 1 to 10?" is very useful. It lets you peg difficulties pretty intuitively, and do so on the fly.
The game really wanted to use a d20, and doing so is useful for a few reasons...specific effects for high numbers being sufficiently rare, for example, as well as the 'we're used to rolling d20s' factor.
If you want to both have difficulties rated 1-10 (and particularly to have some be impossible without difficulty reducers) and also to roll a d20, some multiplication is necessary.
And really, given that dividing/multiplying by 3, and adding and subtracting one digit numbers (and way fewer of them than, say, Pathfinder) are pretty much all the math the game has...it just doesn't seem like that big a deal.
That's more Charisma than you really need, and too many odd scores (which are, if you recall, useless in and of themselves).
I'd go with:
And might drop Wis to 9 and raise Dex or Int to 12.
Or (as I suggested above something lie a year ago) you could go Stonelord if you're going Paladin for flavor rather than mechanics, and could take significantly less Charisma in that case.
Eh, it's mediocre at 7th when you get it, but even there it's a valid party buff. At 9th, it goes to +2 and is very solid, and way better than a Feat. At 11th when it becomes a Move Action? It's amazing.
And then you get Versatile Performance, which is amazing (and easily worth a couple of Feats) if you're willing to retrain a little.
I'd still go with the level of Oracle rather than VMC for a Barbarian build. It lets you do some really neat stuff.
For example, I still dream of playing my Oracle of Lore 1/Barbarian X with a dumped Dex and maxed Cha, Sidestep Secret, and Focused Trance for any length of time (best done as a Half Orc with Sacred Tattoo and Fate's Favored).
It's a Barbarian build that can actually be the face of a party, and wins at all Knowledge checks forever outside of combat. In short, for one level of Oracle and a little Int investment, you get to be one of the better skill characters in the party on top of Barbarian stuff. Your in-combat stuff suffers a bit (and you can't go the Come and Get Me route), but Divine Favor + Fate's Favored and free Rage Cycling help make up for that to a large degree.
With super-powers beyond the abilities other PCs have? Probably not.
But the whole 'dual identity' thing? Sure.
As others have noted, that can be used for a host of fantasy tropes, from the Zorro-style pulp adventurer, to a Scarlet Pimpernel style secretive freedom-fighter, to a Jack the Ripper style serial killer. All three of those are more 18th-19th century than properly medieval, but what with the guns and all, plus some of the hints about Occult Adventures, Pathfinder is already drawing on those eras for inspiration. And doing a good job of it.
Heck, there's already the 'Mysterious Avenger' Swashbuckler Archetype, which fits this thematic archetype right down to having a 'Secret Identity' Class Feature.
I would like to add a note on the Oracle VMC: Lame curse will grant immunity to fatigue at level 10 (Hello Barbarian and Bloodrager). Many revelations grant multiple feats, such as Skill at Arms and Weapon Mastery, making up for the loss from the first place. The only problem with it is that's a really late-game VMC, as you stay at an effective oracle level of 1 in regards of revelations till level 8 and only progress halv level in regards for curses. Around level 11-15 it really kicks off though.
Several of the Revelations you can grab at 3rd are great, though. All Martial Weapons and Armor for one Feat? Heck yeah. Also...that one allows Wizard 5 and then straight into Eldritch Knight. You admittedly don't get Power Attack until 5th, but that's not the end of the world.
Presumably the one from the Guide to Korvosa and Curse of the Crimson Throne. He's very much a masked vigilante with a secret identity who's unique to Golarion after all.
It's possible to do his stats with existing stuff, but not easy.
And I'd bet we get a new person as the Iconic vigilante, rather than anyone who's been mentioned before.
Blackpowder Witch wrote:
Sorry to dig this up, but was Adowyn's religion and alignment ever brought up?
There's a PFS playable version. It lists her as NG, and a follower of Erastil. So, yeah, that's been mentioned.
Seoni is shown in a wedding dress in that same book. There are a few veiled references from the folks at Paizo that these two things may not be unrelated...
^I guess you have to have a real 5th Edition book to find this? (I searched through the free PDF and couldn't find it.)
Yeah, probably. That's where I got it anyway.
Anyway, I was thinking of Charisma as Force of Personality, so what I listed seemed to make sense.
Oh, it could. I was just being pedantic about how it works in 5E.
Will Saves against Domination (NOT Charm), Possession, and similar effects: Go on Charisma
For the record, this is not what Cha saves are used for in 5E. They're used for Possession, yes, but not Domination. Cha saves are for resisting extra-planar or Alignment based effects. Holy Word or Unholy Blight would involve Charisma Saves, for example.
You could certainly power that up/expand it in order to boost Charisma, but I'm just noting the inaccuracy in your description of 5E.
Lesser Celestial Totem is amazing if you can heal as a Swift. Which Potion Glutton makes you capable of. Celestial Totem is pretty solid as well. Greater Celestial totem isn't worth it, though.
Aside from that, yeah, the Superstition/Witch Hunter/Spell Sunder line is pretty much the Rage Powers you desire.
As for Discoveries, as a melee Alchemist, Infusion is solid, as are Preserve Organs, Spontaneous Healing, and Tumor Familiar. Infuse Mutagen is also very nice as an emergency backup, but too pricey at 2nd to be worth it. At higher levels Combine Extracts and Greater Mtagen are must-haves.
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
As you can see - the DCs of spells such as Glitterdust will be rather low - and why cast them then when you can just stab them through the face with your sword? (COMANDOOOO!!)
This is mostly true, but not for Glitterdust specifically. Glitterdust is handy for blinding people, but the real reason you have it is to counter invisibility, and there's no Save against that part.
Stay in back. Once you have access to them, use additional defensive spells. I'd advise prioritizing Dex ahead of everything but Int, but it seems a bit late for that.
Witch is hard to be specific on, because what defensive spells you have depends somewhat on your Patron. That said, next level you get access to False Life and Ironskin, both of which are immensely helpful in the 'staying alive' game. As does being able to fly, once you get access to that.
Ross Byers wrote:
In contrast, in Secret of the Rose and Glove, Norret's alchemy is a lot more loosely defined, and he is able to do things like cast glitterdust, even though that isn't an alchemist extract.
Actually per his author Norret has Master Craftsman on Craft Alchemy and CWI...which allows him to have used Dust of Appearance (made by himself) in the incident you note.
That's a bit off-topic, I admit. I just wanted to note it for the record that Norret seems to be playing by the rules as much as Alaeron.