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Halruun

Deadmanwalking's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 6,414 posts (6,607 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 2 aliases.


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Andoran

thejeff wrote:
There's also "Go ahead. Kill them. I'll slaughter you and all your friends, family and associates. Then I'll have mine resurrected."

There is that.

I was sorta assuming that the plan involved some way of stopping that, but I guess with True Resurrection there pretty much isn't such a method available at anything but the highest levels...

Still, they could threaten to torture her or something. Resurrection can't stop that.

Andoran

Nearyn wrote:
I never said there was, and -yes- there is a 'probably' about it. Don't just contradict me to contradict me, I never said both characters used the same build, nor that they were the same class, only that they both tried to optimize for the same goal.

Sorry, that wasn't intended to be directed at you per se, I just like to note that Class doesn't matter that much compared to level for purposes of being a social powerhouse when it comes up in discussions like this.

It was intended more as a pedantic note than a contradiction.

Nearyn wrote:
Yes really, by the rules, yes.

I disagree.

Nearyn wrote:
First off, Circumstance bonuses stack with all other bonuses, including other circumstance bonuses. Secondly if I work my ass off to stage a situation in my favor at your table, and you show me nothing in return, then I'm sorry to say, but I'm not returning to your table. This is one of those cases where I believe we DM in different ways. I believe in rewarding my players for effort. And I'm well entitled to do just that, within both the rules, and the spirit of the system.

Oh, you misunderstand. I totally give such bonuses to PCs. But would I do what amounted to giving them to NPCs during scenes in those NPCs backstories? No, that's the point where it starts feeling masturbatory and deeply unfair. Indeed, by giving the NPC such bonuses in scenes that never even happened, you're cheapening the work the PCs put into it when you give them such things.

And more importantly, because this is about keeping people's immersion going, it feels both unfair and unrealistic to the players, and will be called out as such.

Nearyn wrote:
Now who is not being simulationist about it?

I'm at least as much a narrativist as a simulationist in many ways...so maybe not entirely, but see below.

Nearyn wrote:
You need to do a full minute of talking to her in order to intimidate her, and nothing forces her to give you that long past not simly agreeing to do what she says, before she up and leaves, or simply gives another signal to 'take her life'.

Uh...it takes her a minute to intimidate you, too. You can start your attempt the same round she starts hers. Or a round later at the latest. Pretty readily.

Nearyn wrote:
Even should you attempt to charm her, you'd not only have to have charm memorized (or being spont casting), but you'd have to beat her initiative to not give such a signal(assuming the signal is not simply a word spoken to someone within earshot, in which case you're boned, because she can do that as a free action, out of turn).

People of double your level tend to have better Initiative than you. And a lot of people keep Charm Person memorized, or have it as a spontaneous spell. Besides, it was just one example. All you need is some sort of 'You're my mindslave' spell. Or one of several other tricks. The point is, there's stuff they can do.

Nearyn wrote:
Again, my example works just fine from a simulationist standpoint.

No, it doesn't. Not everyone reacts to threats by caving. Personally, based on my reactions to threats to those I care about, I'd get a bonus to resist Intimidation under those circumstances. So...there's a chance of a penalty to the intimidator there, rather than a bonus. And they have no way of judging which person they're dealing with sans Sense Motive.

And even if the person in question caves...what keeps them from hunting this low-level person who dared to threaten their fiancee down and killing them messily? Oh, right, nothing. Threatening what amount to demigods and rulers of countries like this is basically both stupid and suicidal.

Nearyn wrote:
Speculation and nothing more. Nothing in sense motive allows you to determine even the slightest bit about a person's level, nor their skills. Two people in love who don't believe they have anything to hide, would hardly be difficult to make out, I've witnessed such behavior among my friends, it's quite easy to spot.

No, of course it doesn't. But it can tell you, say, if they're the kind of person to cave if their family is threatened, or the kind to not only not cave but find and kill everyone you've ever loved for daring to contemplate such a thing. Or the kind of person to laugh because they were a con man playing her anyway.

And you're right, it's quite easy to spot people who are in love and not hiding it. But your stated plan counts on it being genuine...which is a lot harder to tell, since people fake caring about other people all the time for a host of reasons, or at least exaggerate how much they care.

Nearyn wrote:
Hirelings (easy to aquire), or they could be followers (requires leadership), or they could be teams (Ultimate campaign). That is, of course, assuming I wanna be simulationist about it.

None of those result in followers higher level than your own. Okay, hirelings does if you have enough money...how'd this erson get all that money?

Nearyn wrote:

Also no, perception checks do not reveal spies, perception checks oppose stealth checks. Not every spy works with stealth as his main stat. Some of them just sit at tables and make perception-checks all day, then return home, write what they heard down on a scroll and passes it on. You are not guaranteed to spot everything wrong, jus because you have the skills to actually do spot that something is wrong. Just like you don't get to see through a disguise, despite your high perception, if you're not looking for someone who is disguised, or have a reason to really look a person over in the first place.

-Nearyn

Secret meetings usually don't take place in public...and when they do, people usually look out for anyone listening too closely or sitting nearby (which would be a similarly easy Sense Motive check vs. the spy's Bluff).

I'm not saying spying will never work, I'm saying if it's required for your plan to work and you're dealing with someone of double your own level or more...your odds of success are really low.

Nearyn wrote:
EDIT: Reading my post over, it comes off as snarky. It is not meant to. Please read it in a positive, conversationalist manner, because that is what it is intended to be.

Noted. Hopefully mine doesn't come off as overly snarky or confrontational. That's not my intent either.

Andoran

On the actual topic:

I'm less than pleased with Fighter and Rogue for power level reasons (and because Fighter fails utterly at anything outside combat).

The Swashbuckler also has power level issues...which upsets me a lot more since there was every chance to fix those.

Andoran

Nearyn wrote:
Surely there is more to the game than what is on your character sheet.

Of course there is. But there aren't usually capabilities that aren't on the character sheet. After all, listing what the character can do is what a character sheet is for.

Nearyn wrote:
Let me take an example from an adventure path I'm presently playing. Me and my group are escaping from prison. Unfortunately the alarm has been raised, and the only escape route we see, that being the gatehouse, is locked down tight with tens of guards inside. If we were to approach it, enter it, and try to kill them, we'd all die. Instead my character started a large fire and smoked them out. With them being in coughing fits and having taken non-lethal damage, we were able to win a fight way above our paygrade and escape.

Indeed! And an excellent plan. But one that won't always work. Ingenuity is great, but over a career, the more you rely on it to get you out of scrapes you can't manage by actual capability the more likely you are to wind up messily dead.

Having an event or three like this where they fought 'above their weight class' is perfectly believable for an NPC...having their entire career made up of such events? Not so much. Having their role in the campaign predicated on them always succeeding at things like this? Definitely doesn't work.

Nearyn wrote:
Now if my character was to be a published NPC, his lore would say something along the lines of "He broke out of maximum security prison". Some people would then say 'this breaks my suspension of disbelief', but those people did not consider the simple fact that a person can overcome trials much greater than himself if circumstances can be made to give the right advantage.

They certainly can, but doing so is (and should be) an event. Something big and impressive in such a character's history that demonstrates their skills...not their day-to-day life. And, in a system with levels, such events should likely gain them one...meaning that simply by having done such things the character would no longer be low level, even if they were when they did them.

Nearyn wrote:
That is not just 'the plot said so', the is 'level 1 character overcoming CR 6 encounter through wit' and is perfectly believable, even from a simulationist perspective.

Oh, it is. As an isolated or rare event. If he does it every week...then it violates suspension of disbelief. Especially if he does so while remaining 1st level.

Nearyn wrote:
I believe I've established that I dislike the arbitrary, but to me it would not make for a bad story, nor a bad character, if White Estrid had won her fight against the Linnorm by dropping a land-slide on it, or one of the other millions of possibilities that we could probably make up if we put our creativity to it. Sure not all rulers need to have a david-vs-goliath story, as I said, I don't object to high-level rulers. I'm just arguing that with a game as open as this, it's really not that hard to imagine a way to simulate how things could have happened.

Sure, if that was the story they wanted to tell. But having that story told too many times gets implausible, and makes it less impressive when people do such things, and steals the thunder from PCs who pull things like that off.

Nearyn wrote:

I find your viewpoint of Jakalyn interesting, and also in line with what Zhangar told us of the organization. I don't agree that she should necessarily be the way you describe, but I don't particularly mind either. What matters to me, in the end, is that we wind up with an interesting character that works in the setting-context. I believe she did when she was level 12, but someone disagreed and made her level 19 (potentially mythic, whatever the + sign in her level description means). I don't believe that was necessary, but I'm not the designer, so bad news for me :(

-Nearyn

It's necessary for her to be one of the highest level members of the Red Mantis, both thematically and in terms of realism. That could be 12th level...but if it is, the Red Mantis is suddenly much less frightening.

Andoran

Nearyn wrote:
@thejeff: Good to see that we agree on the potential difference in social skills. And I'd not dispute that if two characters both optimized for the same result, then the higher level one, would probably have the advantage.

There's no 'probably' about it. And nothing stopping a 16th level Fighter being a social powerhouse. Class skills are easy to get, being a human with decent Int gets you enough of them, and 16 ranks is rather absurd.

Nearyn wrote:
I don't agree with your last assessment though. I'd argue you could easily run a low-level Master Manipulator, even with semi-low social skills. Let us imagine that I do not simply establish that she -is- an influential powerhouse, although, as the designer, I could just do that. I want to make sure that if a player was to recreate the character and play her, the player could do what she did.

Indeed. This is the primary criteria for this working without breaking verisimilitude. Unfortunately, you really need skills (or powerful spells) to pull it off.

Nearyn wrote:
What such a character needs to succeed is not necessarily high social skills, as much as it is an evil mind. The will and patience to make every card in the deck play right into her hand.

Not really, no. Not going by the rules, anyway.

Nearyn wrote:
Work hard enough, and patiently enough, and you can stack circumstance bonuses ludicrously high, even so high that it could obviate a skill check, because the person you'd want to manipulate cannot make himself NOT do as you ask.

Uh...not by the rules. Bonuses of the same type don't actually stack, for one thing, and for another most skills have a pretty explicit list of what gives them bonuses. Anything beyond those is basically GM fiat...as in "The GM gave you a bonus because it was cool." Which rings a little hollow and false if the GM is giving it to their own NPCs for stuff the PCs never even saw happen.

Nearyn wrote:
This could be anywhere from as crude as "I've watched you, and have come to learn that you love your fiancee very dearly. Do as I say and do it now, or I will -not- give the signal, telling the sellswords I hired earlier today, to not brutally murder her"

Which in no way works on anyone, say, 5-10 levels higher than you. Or at least not reliably. There's a non-zero chance that the person in question simply puts a sword to your throat and says "Please give the signal."...with their Intimidate bonus higher than you can resist. Or casts Charm Person and tells you to please give the signal, or a dozen other possibilities.

But you can pick your targets, you say? People who wouldn't risk it? Not without Sense Motive you can't. Anyone with Bluff higher than you can see through you think is whatever kind of person they want you to think. Heck, at low levels, you're likely killing their unwanted fiancee for them, since they never cared about her in the first place!

Nearyn wrote:
to something more elaborate. The point is, if you have the mind for it, you can make alot of very little. A couple of well placed spies, and most bluff checks made against her count for naught, because she -knows- you're lying.

Are these spies higher level than your hypothetical mastermind? And if so, how'd she acquire them? Because Perception checks reveal spies who are much lower level than the people they're spying on basically automatically.

Nearyn wrote:
Or at least you get slapped with a severe penalty. Sure that does not make her immune to a high enough roll, but no character really is. Not even the greatest lords in the realm rose to the height of their power without losing a few encounters in their time(combat, social or otherwise), I'd assume.

Sure...but if a 15th level character loses a social encounter, they've got some ability to bounce back, and can probably avoid getting killed since there's legitimate risk to their enemy in doing so. A 5th level character doing the kind of dirty tactics you're talking about? a 15h level character will just cast Disintegrate or casually behead them...as you've mentioned previously, actually.

The issue you have is that 15th level characters basically don't have to care about little things like laws...and so if you spy on them, or Gods help you threaten their fiancee, they have no reason not to destroy you utterly. Yes, some will have scruples against that...but once again, you can't reliably tell which because of your lack of Sense Motive.

Nearyn wrote:
So I maintain that you can make a master manipulator-villain, without them being social powerhouses.

Not very well, no. Not without powerful magic to take the place of such skills anyway.

Andoran

Nearyn wrote:

I find these differing opinons interesting.

I must admit that I am a bit shocked to see basic story-telling waved off as GM fiat, but I guess we have different opinions on what exactly GM fiat means.

You're running into a narrativist/simulationist disconnect, I think.

From a simulationist perspective, a character as presented must be able to, through the abilities they are presented as having (level, stats, feats, spells, etc.), effect the game world in the manner they are said to have done, or there is a huge problem with verisimilitude. See, from the simulationist perspective of "The rules of the game are the laws of physics for this world." you are actively breaking the laws of physics, and thus game immersion, every time you fudge around them.

This perspective can easily be mixed with a more 'story-telling' kind of game, but it necessitates the world being plausible in its' own right without the intervention of 'Plot says so.', which is in many ways needed to make someone low level the head of the Red Mantis.

Nearyn wrote:
I would like to know, why exactly some people maintain that, as a GM, it is not possible to have certain characters, let us take Blood Mistress Jakalyn, since we're already talking about her, hold their office without being high-level?

Because, for reasons noted above, it breaks verisimilitude. It's implausible on a level that breaks suspension of disbelief and kicks people out of being able to imagine Golarion as a living, breathing, world where stuff goes on outside sight of the PCs in a logical fashion. It screams "This only happened because the plot said so."

Have you ever read a book or seen a movie or TV show where something clearly only happened because it was necessary to the plot, with no real logical explanation? A character making a decision deeply against their previous behavior for instance?

That really throws a lot of people out of being able to think of the fiction as 'real'. It breaks the illusion of plausibility...and that's bad and damages people's ability to enjoy fiction, RPGs included.

Nearyn wrote:

What exactly do you, the people in disagreement, want Jakalyn to be? And why is it necessary to you, that she is that?

-Nearyn

She needs to be someone that has personally killed extremely danagerous (ie: high level) people. Not just planned their deaths, but personally carried them out. She needs to be someone other Red Mantis Assassins (a ruthless, Evil-aligned, backstabbing lot) would both respect and hesitate to cross. She needs to be someone who is very difficult to kill. She needs to be someone who can spot a lie or tell one on par with some of the most skilled liars in the world.

In short, she needs to be a woman of impressive capabilities. Someone who has risen through the ranks to become one of the greatest assassins in existence. The greatest assassins in existence are, pretty definitionally, not low-level. Not in a world that uses levels, anyway.

The same kind of criteria (not the specific ones obviously, but the same general sort of thing) apply to just about anyone who has become a ruler through their own capabilities. Hereditary rulers need not have such things...but then, as I've noted, they tend to be a lot less impressive in Golarion in general (with a few notable exceptions).

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Zolanoteph wrote:

What classes piss you off and why?

I've always been easy to piss off. There are some classes I wish I could just destroy forever:

1) BARDS (non-archaeologist): Singing? Dancing? Speeches? COMEDY? Do you mean to tell me that while the fighter is being torn limb from limb in the front you're standing back singing and telling jokes? F!%@ you.

2) SKALD: Same thing.

Uh...neither of those character classes is built to, or suggested to, do that. They spend one round starting Performances and moving into battle (perhaps less at higher levels) and then either wade into melee, shoot people in the face, or start casting spells.

Think of a brutal warrior singing ancient songs of war while he splits skulls with an axe, or a charming duelist insulting his enemies while he slices them to ribbons, or a drill sergeant barking orders at people while striding into battle herself, or an eerie witch singing a keening song that drives the enemy mad or makes them her eternal slaves. Those are what Bards look like.

A Bard with Perform (Comedy) should be calling Spider Man to mind in how he deals with combat, one with Perorm (Singing) should be calling into mins the war chants of the Vikings or Celts, or the eerie songs of the sirens, one with Perform (Oratory) the St. Crispin's Day speech or the aforementioned drill sergeant.

Really, you just need to think of those classes differently.

Andoran

It's also pretty easy to drop down several points. Drop Spell Resistance, and switch the stat-mods to a more standard +2 Str, -2 Con, +2 Cha, and you've got a 14 RP race, which is well within the normal range.

Andoran

Let the burning continue! Cleansing flame!

Andoran

VM mercenario wrote:


Bard definetly, but I'm not sure about Archaeologist. He did** spoiler omitted **
Also Ronan is an obvious Fighter. He wears full plate, he has a crappy Will save...

Eh, a Bluff check would seem to work for that. :)

Andoran

Mikaze wrote:
Yeah, and Focused Study ate up that human bonus feat. Still, it's something to consider. I'll be able to dig deeper this weekend hopefully.

Oooh, yeah, with that we're probably talking waiting all the way until level 5. And some retraining to swap out Weapon Finesse.

Mikaze wrote:
Thanks for the info!

You're quite welcome. I'm always happy to be of assistance. :)

Andoran

Mikaze wrote:

I still haven't been able to clear out enough time to really sit down with the ACG, but I was wondering if the final version would help this guy live up to his flavor a bit more with either a khopesh, kukri, or handaxe while keeping the armor as minimal as possible.

Well, a one level Swashbuckler dip would let you Dex-wield a Khopesh...but there's little in the way of other helpful options in there, and that'd probably not kick in until level 3, and take all your Feats until then (Slashing Grace + Exotic Weapon Proficiency is pricey, Feat-wise).

Andoran

jasin wrote:
Presumably, it's his best stat, and the investigator's is Int.

Actually...that's a really bad way to build an Investigator. Unlike Wizards, an Investigator's Int doesn't actually, actively, do anything for him. It's great for skills and gives some passive stuff, but doesn't actually apply on to-hit, damage, or doing things to enemies. He should definitely buy a 16 after racials (enough for 3 rounds of Studied Combat, all the Extracts including a bonus one per level with a Headband, and to have a solid amount of skills and solid bonus on them)...but more than that is actually superfluous. At 20 point-buy and higher, your attack stat (Str or Dex) should be higher than that, and even at 15 point-buy it should be equal.

jasin wrote:
That's a fair point, I forgot about the Int-leveraging traits.

Yeah, they're super-neat. :)

jasin wrote:
That's true.

Indeed. :)

jasin wrote:

Well, at low levels, being the best at knowledges isn't all that glamourous unless the DM goes out of their way, as the answer to the most pressing knowledge question is usually "no special powers, no vulnerabilities", and even when it's not, there's little room to leverage the information.

In my experience, the knowledges shine at high level, when you're fighting monsters with weird abilities, and you have enough tricks in your own bag that you can counteract though weird abilities if you know about them on time.

I dunno, I just started a 1st level game, and so far everything we've run into (gremlins and vermin) has had a highly relevant fact or two that helped us out quite a bit (as an all-Bard party, we made all the checks).

jasin wrote:
To sum up my impression: the investigator's skill mastery scales up better than I initially thought, but at low levels he still seems to me like an NPC sage who's adventuring with the PCs for some reason instead giving consultations from the safety of his home.

Not with Str 18 in medium armor they're not. Or several other valid builds. Investigators come across as NPC sages if you build them like one, build them like a standard melee character who just happens to have high Int and they work a lot better.

jasin wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
I'd assume a point in their favor. Dear lord do Investigators get bonuses to hit at higher levels. Doesn't help from level 1-2 (and maybe 3), I admit, but it does help later on.
No argument from me there.

Glad to find things we agree on. :)

Andoran

jasin wrote:
anlashok wrote:
It's strange how much to-hit gets undervalued when discussing stuff like this.
Are you saying that as a point in favour or a point against the investigator? :)

I'd assume a point in their favor. Dear lord do Investigators get bonuses to hit at higher levels. Doesn't help from level 1-2 (and maybe 3), I admit, but it does help later on.

Andoran

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:

If I was the 5th man in a party, rather than the 3rd, Investigator starts looking a lot better (which is also true of the Bard, probably the most directly comparable class.) Likewise with more lenient character generation, like 20-point buy, et cetera.

Firearms are probably a good way to go even if you aren't going Steelhound. Even without the ranged Studied Combat feat you'd still get your damage bonus at range (unless that isn't pending errata and was intentional) and you don't really need the bonus to hit very badly against most enemies.

Bards make decent support+combat as archers when they invest all their feats, and they've got less in-class synergy with that style than Investigators.

I dunno, actually having a skil focused character with some supplementary healing (ie: Investigator or Bard) actually sounds really useful in a 3-person party. You have less people to cover all your bases after all. someone who does a few of them seems handy.

And yeah, Steelhound seems workable.

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
No, it doesn't, although stealthy cdg isn't the sole province of the Investigator. I really don't think they are better enough at it to be noteworthy.

Better than who? Alchemists? they get Inspiration and get Stealth as a class skill, that's +6.5 to the roll at level one (+4.5 if the alchemist is using Dex Mutagen, though they get that option themselves later), and I'd say that's noteworthy.

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:

The inherent benefit of using natural attacks (no need for Beastmorph, just use the Discovery) is a big deal, and so is basing your damage on bonuses that are multiplied on a crit.

+5 damage at level 10 that isn't impacted by anything else is not as good as triple attacking without attack penalty, and applying full strength modifier as early as level 2. You can still be stealthy and you can even sneak attack if you don't want bombs (which you get more of than you do combat inspirations) while still being a hulking brute with high strength.

It's really the +5 to-hit (which you seem to be ignoring) that sells it. Yes, the Vivisectionist will do more damage when he hits if he happens to have Sneak Attack...but barring that, the Investigator can actually do more damage per hit, and by 8th level have only one less attack, which, due to +4 to hit and +4 damage, plus using Power Attack with a two-handed weapon, do more damage and, most importantly, are all at least as likely to hit (and mostly far more so). And that ignores all the Extracts you can use if you happen to want Natural Attacks. Alter Self can give you three by turning into a troglodyte for example, and is pretty commonly available as levels rise.

But seriously, think about a Dawnflower Dervish Bard. Just about everyone says they're a highly scary and effective character because of their doubled Inspire Courage (applied only to them, but still)...Studied Combat is an equivalent buff (it starts a little slower, but is just as good once it gets going).

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
I think you are quite delusional on this front. A +10 to hit and damage for a 3/4 BAB class that doesn't add much else on the combat front besides this ability is quite far behind even at level 20. The Swashbuckler's own precision damage is +20 and they will have no trouble hitting. They also have decent skill points, an archetype that synergizes Int, and many more combat abilities that the Investigator doesn't get. The Slayer and Ranger are the same story.

Uh...first, none of those are 6-level casters, so they've already lost any utility comparisons, by a lot.

Second, let's do some math, shall we? Not counting stuff they get at 20th, so let's call this 18th level, and ignore gear since this is a Class comparison and they can be assumed to have equivalent gear:

An Investigator has, with Mutagen and when Power Attacking with a 2-handed weapon assuming Str 28 (32 w/Mutagen), +29 to hit (+11 Str, +13 BAB, +9 Studied Combat, -4 Power Attack), +37 damage (+16 Str, +12 PA, +9 SC). A Dex-build would instead do +29 to hit with Dex 28, but do only +28 damage. And that ignores Inspiration and an Inspired Weapon entirely.

A Swashbuckler, with Dex 28 added to damage and Power Attack, has +26 to hit (+9 Dex, +4 WT, +18 BAB, -5 PA), +37 damage (+18 level, +9 Dex, +10 PA). He'd probably have higher AC by, oh, +6 due to a buckler...except that the Investigator has Extracts of Shield, Mutagen, and probably heavier armor. He'll probably critical more often than the Str build above, but loses out on a lot of crit damage due to precision, and the Dex-build likely crits as often.

A Slayer, assuming Str 28 and a two-handed weapon, plus Power Attack, manages a +26 to hit as well (+18 BAB, +4 ST, +9 Str, -5 PA), while getting a +32 damage (+13 Str, +15 PA, +4 ST).

A Ranger, again assuming Str 28 and Power Attack, has +22 to hit, +30 if fighting his Favored Enemy or burning a spell on Instant Enemy, and does +28 damage, +36 if Favored Enemy applies. So...one more to hit and one less damage if he's lucky or willing to expend resources.

So...yeah, I'm not seeing where the Investigator isn't doing competitively there. He's got one less attack he can make...but it's the one at -15. And has Extracts, which those examples don't (the Ranger has spells, but not nearly to the same degree). Now, all those get some bonus Feats which they could use to help make up the difference...but that just makes them on par with the Investigator, not notably better.

Let's throw in an Alchemist, since you've been championing them:

With Str 28, Power Attack, Grand Mutagen and Feral Mutagen. he can manage a +21 to hit (+13 BAB, +12 Str, -4 PA) for +20 damage, +51.5 if Sneak Attack applies (which is probably a 50/50 chance or so). That's a lot of damage, and the low attack isn't too bad since he's making four at the full bonus with Haste (while the Investigator is making a+29, +29, +24, +19 Full Attack). But...it's not so much better you'd never do the other, and indeed, is unambiguously worse if you can't get Sneak Attack. Heck, vs. stuff immune to precision damage, the Investigator loses a whole 9 damage...the Vivisectionist loses a lot more.

Or, if doing as you suggest and using a manufacture weapon two-handed, you keep that +21 to hit, but drip to +16 on the bite, and go even lower on the other attacks. Your damage on the bite drops to +10 (though it does go to +41.5 with Sneak Attack), and your weapon attacks jump to +30 (+61.5 with Sneak Attack)...but you're at least -8 to hit under the Investigator.

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
The Inquisitor is another utility/combat oriented class that is not impressed with Studied Combat (and again doesn't wait until 4th level to get its' primary class ability).

Uh...the Inquisitor sure is impressed with Studied Combat at higher levels. All his bonuses amount to a bit more (+7 to hit, +23 damage), but he can only use them a limited number of times...the Investigator lacks that limit, and still gets better to-hit.

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
They have to buy it. The Alchemist doesn't. If you are going for a Mutagen build you've missed out on not playing an Alchemist. It's cheaper to buy up to Improved Studied Combatant as an Alchemist than it is for an Investigator to buy the Mutagen line of Discoveries. Across the board Discoveries seem to be much more powerful than Talents.

Uh...an Investigator can only ever get the first Mutagen, so no it isn't that expensive. And yes, a non-Investigator could grab Improved Studied Combatant, which would help them out...but that only works a few times a day, and it's not like an Investigator can't do a variety of things with the three Feats they don't have to spend on that.

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
AoMF is much more common loot than Inspired weapons. Regardless by mid level you are going to be wanting to be using a manufactured weapon + bite attack and using Alchemical Allocation with a potion of Greater Magic Fang for your bite. You could go AoMF if you were going for full Dex build to grab the Agile property alone. Not my cup of tea though. A cheap potion isn't that specialized.

Okay, noted into my calculations above. Which also don't count an Inspired weapon (though I still think that commissioning one item over the course of an AP is pretty reasonable).

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
Having any one class in a party is an opportunity cost of any other class that could have been. The Investigator doesn't get enough to make it a superior choice, and no it's not a better damage dealer than many other classes that also have decent utility and your builds show that this is in fact the case. The numbers are not impressive.

I hadn't posted any numbers until now. Check 'em out. :)

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
+5 to hit and damage at level 10 could be a lot of other things. It could be an archer ranger, it could be a cracked out Mutagen focused Alchemist (or Fighter now). It could be a buffed battle Cleric or Oracle (that are also full casters). It could be a Magus whose own bonuses to hit and damage embarrass the Investigator. It could be a Bard that is equally as skilled, almost as good in combat, and has better spellcasting.

The archer Ranger doesn't actually do notably better at combat. And we already knew that full casters were better because, frankly, full casters are the best things in the game. And the Bard is certainly also a solid choice, but not notably better, just a few tradeoffs. And Magus bonuses all have costs, they're better in bursts than almost anyone, but not as good round-in round-out. And they seriously lack skills as compared to the Investigator.

My argument is not that Investigators are the best class in the game, it's that they're solidly middle-of-the-road, along with most of the other 6-level casters, and the very best in the game at certain things (Skills, among other things).

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
The Investigator is at the low end of the power curve. At a level where players will be one-rounding monsters with a CR meant to challenge an entire party with their individual characters, an Investigators main claim to fame will be a piddling damage bonus not multiplied on a crit.

No, it'll be doing the same.

Andoran

jasin wrote:
Is the investigator even noticeably better at skills, 1st-3rd? The +1d6 from investigation is matched by the bard's higher Cha for social skills, by the ranger's favoured enemy for perception skills (only against the favoured enemy, to be fair), somewhat matched by the rogue's higher Dex for physical skills...

Who says the rogue has higher Dex? I mean, you can go either Dex-build or Str build, and in both cases you're probably going to have a similar score to a Str or Dex Rogue (okay, maybe a couple points lower...not enough to counteract Inspiration). And, as mentioned, with Empiricist + Student of Philosophy, you've probably got a stat on par with the Bard's on social stuff (okay, for everything but Intimidate anyway...though there's Bruising Intellect to go that way instead of the friendlier route).

And then there's getting more skill ranks than almost anybody...

jasin wrote:

With high Int and +1d6 for free, he will be the best at knowledges, and that's pretty cool, but adventure design is mostly such that lack of knowledges can be worked around anyway, since any given knowledge can't be counted on to be represented in the party.

And eventually, even being best at knowledges is swept up by the bard.

Actually...I'm not sure it is. At least not meaningfully. Any Investigator worth his salt will get Int boosting Items, which a Bard won't, and eventually grab Amazing Inspiration, so with Int 16 to start with (and never raising it except via a Headband), that's a +10.5, slightly higher than Bardic Knowledge even at 20th (though at 20th, the Inspiration bonus actually doubles, getting you to +15). Now, that ignores the Bard's Int-mod, but for most Bards, that's what, +2? That gives them +11 at 18th-19th, and a bit higher, but only +10 and still lower as late as 17th. So...Bards are better at 18th-19th levels only. That's...not meaningfully better.

A Bard can be better, if focusing on Int, but that's a rare situation indeed.

And besides, weren't we talking low levels? At higher ones, the Investigator has tricks other than being the very best at skills.

Andoran

Insain Dragoon wrote:

@Deadmanwalking

Quote:

Mastermind’s Inspiration (Ex): A mastermind can use

inspiration on any Diplomacy, Intimidate, Knowledge, or
skill checks without spending a use of inspiration. This
ability alters inspiration.
Because of the way it is written it doesn't seem to actually replace the list that a base Investigator would. It doesn't say "These skills replace the skills an investigator may inspire" just that it "alters inspiration."

Hmm. Perhaps you're right, though I'm pretty sure replacing the default list was the way that was meant to work. That ability is clearly in need of some serious editing, however (I'm absolutely sure that it isn't intended to apply to all skill checks),which makes it seriously unclear what's up with that. And besides, the rest of my points stand regardless.

Andoran

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:

I've read almost every installment of almost every AP. It is absolutely deeply true (find me 5 examples where the pacifist option rewards you with equivalent loot from the combat encounter you bypassed out of >80 AP installments).

If you don't kill the enemies, you don't get their stuff, and there is no alternative reward for choosing a non-combat route. As far as being over WBL, not really. Paizo makes this claim, but the amount you are over, and when and where you go over is not reliable at all.

This also assumes that every single piece of loot is going to be usable, and isn't going to be hocked for 1/2 price.

Perhaps you're right, though that doesn't invalidate sneaking in to steal things or kill creatures in their sleep, or those encounters that can't readily be solved with violence, or Knowledge skill checks, or a host of other things.

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
Yes, in melee an Alchemist built for melee at any level is better than an Investigator built and played by the same player.

Uh...not really, no. A Beastmorph Alchemist gets Pounce, which is quite an advantage, but barring that, not even a little. +1/2 level to hit and damage vastly outstrips any of the bonuses Alchemists get to melee combat, and can be done all day rather than a few rounds like bombing.

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
Use it in combat twice per day at level 4. This is not a good ability. It does not bring you up to parity with a Mr. Hyde, who is superior in melee, in addition to not being far behind in skills, and having the same extracts. A Mad Bomber is even better in the skills department than the Mr. Hyde, still better at damage than the Investigator and he's a ranged, AoE focused combatant.

Well, sure, it's crap at level 4. With an Inspired weapon or at 9+ it's several times that. And this neglects the point that it's a cherry on top, not the primary draw for melee combatants at level 4+.

And, as noted, I'd casually pit an Investigator built for combat up against a Mr. Hyde Alchemist and expect him to do as well or better at 4th level plus (especially as levels went up), and not too shabbily before that...though I admit, pounce specifically gives me a bit of pause.

The Mad Bomber build is an entirely separate matter, and not really equivalent to Investigator in any direct way, which makes comparisons weird and less than useful.

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
I don't need the ability to add ~d6 to Knowledge checks an infinite number of times per day because I'm simply not going to be making that many knowledge checks. If I wanted to I could make an Alchemist that gets his Int to Knowledge skills twice, and then buff my Int with a Cognatogen which directly impacts my combat effectiveness with bombs. What the Investigator gets for that Int is a few extra Inspiration per day, which is unimpressive without investing at least two talents, and a custom built magic weapon into it. Like an Alchemist you are still taxed for Infusion. You've got 1 'free' Talent between levels 1-9 just to be an effective party member. That will probably be Mutagen anyway.

Uh...you also get rounds of Studied Combat per usage, which is rather vitally important, and to add it to basically all your skills if you take Empiricist, which makes it a very solid choice to increase. And then there's the extra two skill points per level base, and the Extracts...

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
Studied Combat and Inspiration does not make up for Mutagen, and Bombs, which the Alchemist gets for free and at 1st level, in addition to getting their first Discovery a level earlier. The proposed, vague Investigator requires special equipment and doesn't come online until level 9. Either Alchemist comes online at level 1. I can pump resources into jacking skill checks and still be effective with what I get for free out of the class. The Investigator will be chasing after the Alchemist in exchange for their "skillmonkey" role, which really also isn't very good unless you grab Talents for that as well since you'll be burning combat resource to make skill checks. But you aren't getting those skillmonkey talents until level 11.

Investigators can have Mutagen, too. And the proposed Investigator (which I've done full builds for elsewhere) comes online at level 4 as a combat threat on par with a dedicated melee Alchemist...and as a useful party member quite a bit before that. And uses a whole one specialized piece of equipment. If your melee Alchemist build sans an AoMF? Because that's likely even more specialized...

The Investigator isn't quite as good as the alchemist at straight combat from levels 1-2, and probably still not quite on par at level 3 (depending on the Alchemist's Discovery and whether they've gone Vivisectionist), but likely on par at 4 or 5+ and flat-out better in many ways by higher levels.

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
Regardless, this sidesteps the OP which is talking about levels 1-3. You hit level 4 at the end of the first installment of an AP for most of them. Is the Investigator's suite of abilities "fun" at level 1-3? No, because the classes primary combat ability should be available at level 2 at the latest. Inspiration which you can use for 2 rounds per day in combat is really, totally meaningless, and so is infinite small bonuses to Spellcraft checks.

Being the best class in the game at skills (and adding something like +3 to a wide variety of them) is actually most relevant at levels 1-3. That's before any of the spells people keep mentioning that obviate skills come online. Being the very best at basically all of them you care to palls eventually, but at levels 1-3? It's gold. And you're still solid at combat if built properly, just not outstanding.

Andoran

Odraude wrote:
That depends. A higher level character that hasn't put any points into Charisma or Charisma-based skills won't really be all that great at diplomatic abilities. And in a world steeped with magic, people would be VERY watchful over using magic to gain the upper hand in diplomatic abilities. So I could see a higher level character deferring to a lower level character because that lower level NPC has ranks in Diplomacy and Skill Focus.

Charisma isn't the only way to earn people's loyalty either. Deeds of valour or helping people with godlike power could do just as well. As could a number of other things. Heck, just being the guy who conquered a country could cement a fair amount of loyalty out of fear and respect.

Odraude wrote:
It's a lot like why Superman, despite being able to break and bend the president, doesn't do such a thing.

That's sadly not something that really works well in Pathfinder due to the aforementioned "People who are competent at just about anything are, in fact, competent at fighting, too. And to roughly the same degree."

Odraude wrote:
That said, I generally agree that the leader should be a high level, or should have some form protection that is high level. Like a council of high level warriors that protect the young emperor until he comes of age.

Agreed. Obviously.

Drock11 wrote:
For me it's not so much that the leaders of Golarion are powerful, as I think cause and effect is reversed in that they are in leadership positions because they are powerful and not powerful because they just happen to be leaders.

Also agreed. Again, rather obviously. :)

Drock11 wrote:

On the other hand what's starting to bother me about Golarion is it's starting to get the Forgotten Realm's Archmage on Every Street Corner Effect. There are just so many powerful people and other entities floating around out there now, and they aren't just a little powerful, but near the top range of the level scale. I've lost count of them now. I would like to see it where people that are above level 11, where people start to become legendary, are very extremely rare, and it should be even rarer the higher one goes up from that.

One of the best aspects of the Golarion setting when it started is it lacked that, and the players ended up being the heroes. Now, slowly, Golarion is starting to move away from that. They were so willing to add new and exciting things I think they forgot to keep that in check.

Eh, check out my population demographics by level (mentioned earlier). Those synch up pretty well with published work and the published work has never really changed too much. Mostly, high level people have never been either very common or extraordinarily uncommon, and as we get more and more city and area books we just see more and more of them. They're still rare enough for PCs to be seriously unique in a few ways.

Orfamay Quest wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:


In a non-hereditary setup, the leader has to have done something to earn people's loyalty, even if that's just won an election.
Shrug. Pull a sword out of a stone, and be vouched for by a high-level wizard. That seemed to work for Merlin.

Sure, but there aren't a lot of rulers 'picked by the Gods' (or whoever) like that in Golarion either...and those that are literally picked by the Gods are powered by them and thus high level Oracles or Clerics or something.

And it's debatable that, if you were to write up Camelot, you'd list Merlin, not Arthur as the real ruler. At least in his early days.

Andoran

@Orfamay Quest:

You're absolutely right...in a hereditary monarchy. Which Golarion doesn't actually have a lot of. And the rulers of which average significantly lower level.

In a non-hereditary setup, the leader has to have done something to earn people's loyalty, even if that's just won an election. And, frankly, high level characters are just inherently vastly better at that most of the time.

Andoran

Melkiador wrote:
The +5 still doesn't strike me as being too powerful, since that still doesn't give a better attack bonus than a full BAB class of the same level. Sure it's a strong bonus, but you are giving up either 20 hp or 20 skill points to get it, and both of those would be worthwhile to an investigator.

That's on top of the +10 from Studied Combat, bear in mind. And the +1d8 from Inspiration. And any bonus from Extracts. Investigators actually have better combat bonuses than Fighters by quite a bit, even counting the -5 BAB.

+5 to hit and +10 damage is the equivalent of 15 Feats. Even counting it as only 1/5 of that amount due to the conditional nature, that's 3 Feats. Toughness is a single Feat.

Melkiador wrote:
I actually hadn't noticed inspired weapons. I would say the problem lies more with inspired weapons than the half-elf. That bonus is worth a lot more than a mere +1.

Eh. If you have combat Inspiration, for non-Half Elves, it's a conditional +2d6 or +2d8 to damage. You can get +1d6 non-conditionally, so that seems fair enough.

Melkiador wrote:
Something to keep in mind is that the bonus to an attack roll is individual to an attack. So, if you get 3 attacks in a round, you would need to use attack inspiration 3 times as well if you wanted the bonuses on every attack.

This is true, and why I noted it as situational damage, and the Half Elf as not a must-have Race, just a very good one. The bonus to skills can also be all skills every day.

Andoran

jasin wrote:

No, it really isn't. Non-combat utility problem solver is a niche, but skillmonkey is to that niche as simple weapon user is to melee combat: better than nothing for stopping the gap if the real tools aren't available.

And the real tools are, yet again, magic.

Looking at the investigator's selection of rogue "for skill X, roll twice Y/day" talents, it might well be the intent that he should be the ultimate skillmonkey, but as long as he remains shackled to the default skill system, even the ultimate skillmonkey is magic's buttmonkey: compare the effects of rolling twice, or adding inspiration's 1d6 for free, or rolling two inspiration dice, to utility effects like spider climb, or water walk, or invisibility, which go beyond what's achievable even at highest skill DCs.

This would be true if the Investigator didn't have every single magical effect you list on top of excellent skills (okay, they have Touch of the Sea and Fly instead of Water Walk, the point stands).

So...they have basically all the non mind-control magic skill support there is, and awesome skills. And then of course there are all the skills that aren't really duplicatable (Knowledge Skills, Spellcraft, Use Magic Device, social skills to some degree since there are serious problems with mind controlling everyone, Stealth...Invisibility is better than Stealth in many ways, but Invisibility + Stealth is vastly better than even that). And so on and so forth.

Andoran

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
But you don't get the loot, so you are almost always worse off for resolving encounters outside of combat. The benefit is the diminished risk of losing a party member from death. The more encounters you sneak/diplomacy past the further you fall behind WBL and gear is probably overall a more important part of your statblock than class abilities. Especially for classes like the Alchemist and Investigator that are expected to rely on melee combat to some degree.

This is, generally speaking, deeply untrue. You can get all sorts of rewards from talking (and especially sneaking) your way through things. Besides, almost all APs assume you'll miss some treasure and include extra stuff above WBL in case you miss some. And Investigators make you much less likely to miss hidden treasure and similar things...

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
I like the Investigator and seriously considered making one for my upcoming Iron Gods game, but the only reason to play it is flavor, over an Alchemist which is strictly superior.

Not in melee at level 4 and above, it's not. Studied Combat is gold. And certainly not in skills.

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
A Mad Bomber built Alchemist will also likely have more skill points and can pick up an Inspiration pool either through Inspiring Cognatogen or Amateur Investigator.

Inspiration? Maybe, but not the ability to easily use it in combat, an Inspired Weapon, or the ability to use it for free on all skills. An Inspired Alchemist could get that stuff theoretically, but with the Con penalty from Inspired Mutagen, doing so in melee is an awful plan. Heck, even doing so in combat is a bit shaky.

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
The Investigator needs to invest too many resources into being good at anything other than skill checks, and when that investment comes online they'd still be behind other (similar) classes (that aren't the rogue).

What resources? Power Attack, maybe another Feat or two plus some Talents (which you get basically so you can spend them on this)? And a single weapon enhancement if you want it?

That's no more resources than most Classes need to spend.

Andoran

Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:
Confusing strike is also better than crippling strike (auto confused)

Confusing Strike doesn't kick in until 19th level...

Crap. I picked like one of the two.

Well Sickening Offense is pretty good, and blinding strike is a good Debuff, especially with the investigator pumping int (since they don't need to pump dex for to-hit with studied combat, mutagen, and extracts).

Sickening Offense is great. Blinding Strike doesn't kick in until 17th level, though. Indeed, of the 'Strike' Talents only Toppling Strike kicks in before 13th (and even it waits until 9th).

Andoran

wakedown wrote:

ACG p128.

Cult Leader, Weapon and Armor Proficiency wrote:
Cult leaders are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the hand crossbow, rapier, sap, shortbow, and short sword, as well as the favored weapon of their deity. They are proficient with light armor and light shields. The cult leader does not gain Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat as a warpriest normally would.
I'm not aware a warpriest would normally gain Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. :)

They do if their deity has Unarmed Strike as a Favored Weapon. Apparently a Cult Leader of Irori wouldn't.

Or at least that was my immediate interpretation of that.

Andoran

Okay, so, I'm going to do this by chapter. Yes, the whole thing. Since I'm trying to do this methodically, I'm inevitably gonna repeat stuff people have already said (and have noted some of it solely because of such people...I'm not trying to steal credit here), but having it all in one place seems useful nonetheless. Some of these are typos...others are 'What did they mean here?' type questions. According to Mark Seifter some of these might well be officially errataed in the very near future, but listing them still seems useful.

So, without further ado:

Chapter 1:

p. 9: Second paragraph under Spellbook: "an arcanist can also add spells found in other wizards’ spellbooks to her own"

While I think it's clear what this means, by a strict reading, the Arcanist could not prepare from another arcanist's spellbook...also, the Arcanist is not a Wizard, though that sentence seems to say it is. It's really just a weird wording choice.

p. 10: The Bloodline Development Exploit. According to the Familiar Exploit (on p. 11) this Exploit is implied to be able to give you a fully leveled Familiar (via Arcane Bloodline, one assumes). That's deeply unclear in the Exploit itself. Heck, I'm still not sure if it's true.

p. 15: Under Proficiencies, Bloodragers possess shield proficiencies, but do not ignore the Arcane Spell Failure chance for using them. This is, I believe, unique among classes. Is it intentional?

p. 29: Under Master Hunter, the second paragraph refers to preparing spells, but the Hunter is a spontaneous caster. Not hard to figure out what it means, but also not correct.

p. 30: Under the Alchemy class feature, Alchemists can explicitly use spell-trigger but not spell-completion items for formulas on their list. Investigator contains no such note, and thus cannot do this. Is this difference intentional?

p. 33: The Quick Study Talent reads "An investigator can use his studied combat ability as swift action instead of a standard action." Studied combat is normally a move action.

The Tenacious Inspiration Talent's final sentence is "The investigator must at least 13th level to select this talent." there's a word missing there, almost certainly the word 'be'.

p. 39: The top of the second column, there's an extra 't' between 'weapon' and 'that'. Simple typo.

p. 44: Under the 'Friend to Animals' Hex. this Hex grants the ability to spontaneously cast summon nature's ally spells...but doesn't add them to the Shaman's spell list. The intent is clear...the mechanics are not.

p. 49: Under skills, the Skald lacks Perform (Wind) which is necessary to play the horn...an instrument shown as the Iconic's primary one, and which an entire archetype is based on. This problem also extends to p. 51 under Versatile Performance.

p. 53: Under Studied Target, the attack, damage, and ability DCs explicitly increase, but by a strict reading the skill bonuses do not. This has been stated by Mark Seifter to be a mistake that Paizo is already in the process of correcting, but I list it here for the sake of completeness.

Under the 'Rogue Talent' Slayer Talent the example of needing prerequisites uses Minor Magic and Major Magic, which is an odd choice given that those are not available options in the list.

p. 65: The header for the Earth Blessing is not bolded or on a new line, making it easy to miss entirely.

p. 68: Under the 'Double' Trickery Blessing, Mirror Image is referred to as having damage (which the Blessing doesn't stack with). A clear error.

Further chapters to follow, probably more quickly. Slogging through information you've already read looking for errors is much harder and more annoying than going through information you haven't read and noting any errors you find.

Andoran

Torbyne wrote:
House rule Believer's Boon. Or hope for a FAQ that it counts as a domain. Boom, Swashbuckler is down to only needing DEX/CHA... and they are all cookie cutter copies of the same character with the same religion but hey, its a lot more surviveable.

If you're gonna House Rule, just make Charmed Life actually a really good class feature that legitimately boosts saves. That's what I'm doing.

Andoran

Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:

Oh God investigators get mutagen too.

Well no contest then. (mutagen would be better than crippling strike)

They don't get Feral Muagen or any other mutagen enhancers...but yeah.

Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:
Confusing strike is also better than crippling strike (auto confused)

Confusing Strike doesn't kick in until 19th level...

Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:
I guess this isn't a fair comparison. The rogue should be judge by how they handle encounters not how they compare to other classes. In my experience though, the rogue has serious problems handling encounters, even out of combat ones.

I agree. But what we're measuring is whether other classes handle encounters better (which includes combat), not who'd win a straight fight.

Andoran

Undone wrote:
If charmed life was no action it would be really, really good.

Nah. It'd just be okay rather than bad.

Divine Grace is a thing for 2nd level Paladins, who have better Class Features than the Swashbuckler in most other areas, too. Why no Swashbuckler equivalent to that?

Andoran

Melkiador wrote:
It's strong enough to want, but a +1 to inspiration at level 4 isn't that crazy. Nor is a +5 at level 20.

With Combat Inspiration and an Inspired Weapon...that's +5 to hit and +10 damage potentially 15 times a day, or +5 to Saves the same number of times (actually, it's both all day every day at 19th level plus due to Improved Combat Inspiration). And +5 to basically all skills all the time (if you grab Expanded Inspiration and Underworld Inspiration).

Even at a more reasonable level 12 and with no Talents invested but Combat Inspiration, it's +3 to hit and +6 damage when using Inspiration in combat, or +3 to a Save, and +3 to all Knowledge skills all the time, and any other skill when you feel like it.

It's not quite enough to make non-Half Elf Investigators useless or anything, but it's really good, like verging on Human Barbarian Favored Class bonus good.

Andoran

Mark Seifter wrote:
DeusNocturne wrote:
Also another thing of note it sounds like in the blurb here the skill bonuses from studied target are intended to increase with level but in the text it only specifically calls out base attack, damage and DCs is this a mistake or just a very unnecessary and poor change.
This is something that we had found shortly before Gencon. Stay tuned, but we expect to announce a spot erratum for this shortly (and one other element elsewhere that I'm not sure the forums have spotted yet, though I'm also not sure you haven't). I can confirm that the skill bonuses increase, but of course it's not 100% official until we say it in a more official venue than this forum post.

Thank you, and everyone at Paizo, so much! This is wonderful news!

Andoran

Matrix Dragon wrote:

The problem is that this happens with most of Paizo's major options books at this point. Ultimate Magic, Mythic Adventures, and the Advanced Class Guide all had major editing and balancing problems. The only one in recent memory that wasn't like this was the Advaned Race Guide.

I hope that they find some way to give themselves more editing time for these things.

I strongly disagree. The APG, UM, and UC all had a few problems (as any book inevitably does), but none had what I consider truly problematic editing. The ACG is alone in that.

Andoran

jasin wrote:
Right, +3.5 (might be more or might be less, and you're more hurt if it's less than you're helped if it's more) twice or so per day by 3rd level. Seems rather thin compared to the inquisitor's +1 to all attacks in one fight, or the alchemist's 2d6 touch attacks with splash damage 6/day.

Eh, you can use it strategically, which is something of an advantage, and the bonus is bigger than Inquisitor (plus you're better at non-combat stuff). And the Bomb only becomes 2d6 at 3rd level, one level before the Investigator's Studied Combat kicks in (and the same level he geets his first Talent). Before that it's 1d6...and not quite so handy. And given how vastly better the Investigator is out-of-combat than the Alchemist a slight lead in combat prowess on the Alchemist's part seems reasonable.

jasin wrote:
The alchemist is my primary point of comparison here, and they get the exact same extracts.

True. But they don't actually gain a lot else. Bomb 1d6, Mutagen and...nothing else until 3rd level (okay, one Discovery, but nothing as effective in raw combat as Mutagen...though Feral Mutagen is close). When, by the way, an Investigator can grab Mutagen if they want, or something else combative.

jasin wrote:
That's true, the lag is minor, but it really feels the investigator is lacking a signature trick for those first three levels, compared to the other medium BAB/d8 classes. And no, I don't think inspiration is it: the rogue is sneak attacking, the alchemist is bombing, the bard is buffing the whole party... and the investigator is making like an NPC expert, waiting for that one roll he knows he's missed by 1 or 2 so he can spend inspiration and turn it into a hit for NPC expert damage.

Uh..they have better weapons than Experts, for one thing, for another they have Extracts, which drastically improves their ability to do damage, they can get Mutagen or something else impressive at 3rd, and get Poison stuff at 2nd level to boot, if you want to dabble in that.

jasin wrote:
And for a evenly scaling ability like studied combat, 1st-level seems the more obvious choice, so I'm wondering how come they chose to give it out at 4th. Would +1/+1 to attacks/damage overpower the 1st-3rd level investigator?

Probably not, but it might make it too tempting a dip. Or at least I suspect that's the logic.

Andoran

Cerberus Seven wrote:
Brawlers get pounce?!

There's a Style Feat that more or less grants it, so monks and Brawlers get it, yeah.

It'll probably be restricted to unarmed combat at some point, but isn't right now...so anyone can use it if they like (though it requires +12 BAB for those who aren't Brawlers or Monks).

Andoran

James Jacobs wrote:
xavier c wrote:


2)How do arcane casters and Religion interact? as the faiths and philosophies book said arcane casters are mostly atheists?
2) Faiths and philosophies was, in my opinion, wrong when it said arcane casters are mostly atheists, and had I seen that, I would have cut the sentence before it went to print. There are PLENTY of religious arcane spellcasters. There's gods of magic, for crying out loud! There's nothing intrinsic about arcane magic that makes it counter to faith at all.

For the record, this is not what Faiths and Philosophies says. It comments that Sorcerers and Wizards are more likely to be atheists than many other classes (due basically to pride in their own abilities), not that most of them are atheists.

Andoran

You're missing that Studied Combat, while cool, isn't the core ability of the class: Inspiration is. And you can add Inspiration to attacks if you like. Or Saves. And that's +3.5 to hit a couple of times a day if you're willing to burn it on that. And then there's Extracts, which can help out quite a bit.

That's not bad at all. Especially since they're only one BAB behind Full Attack Bonus classes, whose bonuses at 1st-3rd level tend to be situational or limited anyway (heck, Fighter doesn't even have one).

Andoran

thunderbeard wrote:
Sure, but remember with a 2H weapon you're getting half as many attacks. (But I guess the +hit makes up the damage against a lot of enemies). You've also just wasted a few turns setting up buffs if you want mutagens or extracts, but I guess if the fight goes long enough the Investigator will wind up doing more damage.

You can do the TWF thing instead if you want, though that's a less than stellar plan given that two-handing a weapon is better for almost everyone almost all the time..though if comparing the numbers I presented to TWF, you need to add +2 more to-hit and more comparative damage (since you're adding Str x 1.5, which the Rogue isn't). +8 to hit on all attacks more than makes up for only having half as many.

And by those levels Mutagen lasts 3 hours...and is the only buff requiring an action other than Swift involved in that math.

thunderbeard wrote:
What? You've got the skills of a bard,

Yeah, about. Plus a level-based bonus on tracking, Sense Motive, and Intimidate, and can add Wisdom to all your Monster Knowledge checks (which is excellent), and with Archetypes and Inquisitions can add it to a bunch of other stuff, too.

It's a very solid class, skill wise, one of the best in the game, second only to Bards and Investigators. Rogues get more per level, but aren't as good at them since they lack the bonuses to them the classes I mention get.

thunderbeard wrote:
and I guess the spells are slightly more useful,

Uh...Bards have one of the best spell lists among 6-level casters. Good Hope, Haste, Glitterdust, Mirror Image, etc.

thunderbeard wrote:
but as far as I can tell the Inquisitor seems to have the lowest damage output of any martial class, and I have not yet been able to figure out how to build one capable of doing anything coherent in combat.

Uh...take another look at Bane and Judgement. Combined, at 6th level, that's +4 to hit and +2+2d6 damage. Spend one turn buffing with Divine Favor, and you can manage +6 to hit and +4+2d6 damage (and that's with a single round of prep, and not even counting Feats and such). That's significantly more than a Rogue of the same level, and indeed more than almost anybody. They can't do it all day...but they can do it often enough to be very impressive.

They're admittedly slightly less impressive until level 5 when Bane kicks in, but hey, so are a lot of classes.

Andoran

Adam B. 135 wrote:
The Mastermind archetype for the Investigator is the same way. It's mechanics actually make it better at being an investigator (Can use inspiration on more social skills) while not really trading away anything.

There's the fact that it keeps you from taking Empiricist (which is fantastic...and would be my vote for a 'must take' Archetype on Investigator, though even then you only grab it if you don't give a damn about poisons). Plus the losing out on Swift Alchemy actually hurts some concepts (as does losing out on Trapfinding...though that one less so). It also ups the cost in Talents to get almost every skill freely usable with Inspiration (since you can get almost everything Investigators don't start with with only Expanded Inspiration and Underworld Inspiration, but also need Inspired Intelligence to re-grab Spellcraft and Linguistics as a Mastermind).

Antariuk wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Primalist for the Bloodrager yet. Being a Qingong-style "Swap out whatever you want" archetype makes it very powerful.
This. There is no reason not to always be a bloodrager (primalist), the archetype even fits the core theme of the class so it's not even a problem with the fluff.

There's never wanting to ditch any Bloodline stuff. Which is actually gonna be pretty common for some kinds of Bloodragers. Some of those Bloodlines are very nice indeed all the way through.

Andoran

Kill it, kill it with fire.

Andoran

Rynjin wrote:
EltonJ wrote:


My gosh, the movie was fun. :) The whole movie was pretty much D&D in space. Star Lord is your Bard, Groot is a druid, Rocket Raccoon is a tech genius, Gamora is an assassin, and Drax -- BARBARIAN baby! :)

Star Lord is more like a Rogue/Gunslinger. Highly skilled, max ranks in Bluff, and he can shoot a pistol like nobody's bizniss.

Definitely an Archaeologist Bard + one level of Gunslinger (for Dex-to-damage with guns, since it's a high gun setting). Best of both worlds.

Andoran

thunderbeard wrote:
Hmm, some fair points. I realize now that I may also be slightly biased towards the rogue because it feeds into Arcane Trickster, my favorite PrC.

You can get there with Vivisectionist, too!

thunderbeard wrote:
Basically, the Rogue is a class that gets what I consider to be its capstone (Crippling Strike, or equivalent) at level 10 instead of 20, leading to a lot of fun options while fighters just sit there and attack without, in my opinion (or at least my playstyle) sacrificing power.

The thing is...Vivisectionists can also get Crippling Strike. And have most of those options. Plus Mutagen and other stuff. They can do everything in combat Rogues can, while being much more effective at it...while Investigators can be better combatants (in a different way) while simultaneously doing all the stuff that Rogues do out of combat plus more, and doing it all better.

thunderbeard wrote:
On a slightly different note, is there any reason to ever play an Inquisitor? I've thought about this, and really can't figure out how to make them useful without gestalt.

I...what? What reason is there not to play an Inquisitor? Good spell list, awesome skills, great class features...what's not to love?

Andoran

thunderbeard wrote:
This is exactly what I said. Studied Strike, which is what y'all are comparing to Sneak Attack, only lasts one hit. Without Studied Strike, an Investigator's damage output is laughable compared to a rogue's.

No it isn't. +6 to hit +22 damage (doable with Studied Combat and Power Attack plus a Longspear or other two-handed weapon) plus buff spells and other Class features is miles better than +35 damage with nothing to bolster it or let it hit in-class.

I'd personally argue that Studied Strike on it's own probably is better than Sneak Attack (+6 to hit being better than +13 damage on a 3/4 BAB class)...but I don't actually have to do that. I can add in +2 to hit and +3 damage from Mutagen, +1d6 to 1d8 to hit from Inspiration when they need it (and double that to damage from an Inspired Weapon) and all the various things they can do with Extracts as well.

So that totals at +12.5 to hit, +34 damage on average. Oh, and at 19th level, they can do it for free (via Improved Combat Inspiration). And that's not counting Extracts. And not including their capstone doubling Inspiration dice, which makes it +17 to hit, +43 damage at 20th vs. the Rogue's highly conditional +35 damage.

But that's not really a fair comparison, because a lot of it kicks in at 19th to 20th level. Let's do the 18th level version instead (which uses only stuff you can have by 9th level, just scaling numbers).

So, at 18th level, that's +11.5 to hit (+7 when not spending Inspiration),+33 damage (+24 when not spending Inspiration). Vs. the Rogue's +31.5 damage (when he gets Sneak Attack at all). So, unambiguously better when he spends, and trades 7.5 damage for +7 attack (an awesome trade) even when he doesn't spend anything.

Let's drop that to 10th level and skip the Mutagen, shall we? That makes it +7.5 to hit (+3 without Inspiration), +20 damage (+11 without Inspiration) vs. the Rogue's +17.5 damage. So, again, better when spending, and losing 6.5 damage for +3 to hit when not spending (a decent trade). And Mutagen would add another +2 to hit and +3 damage on top of that.

Now, all that is using various Investigator Talents (specifically, Amazing Inspiration, Combat Inspiration, and sometimes Mutagen, along with the obligatory Quick Study). So, like, 4 Talents. Oh, and a +2 equivalent weapon.

So...feel free to add 4 or so Rogue Talents an a +1 enhancement property on top of the Rogue. I can't think of any four that'll make up the difference...and even if they did, that's the Investigator not using any buff Extracts when he's a 6-level caster with a self-buff focused spell list.

Oh, and he has a +6 better Will Save. And, unless he wants poisons, can afford to not focus on Wis and Cha in a way a Rogue can't afford due to the Student of Philosophy Trait and the Empiricist Archetype (which combine to make almost everything based on those Int based)...allowing Int to be jacked high enough for better skills with basically no consequences.

Andoran

Rynjin wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
One thing I like is the Draconic ability to turn into a large dragon at level 16. Seriously considering a Half-Orc Bloodrager for a character at some point; he just gradually takes on a more draconic shape as he gets more powerful until bam! Dragon to the face!
Has anyone tinkered with a Bloodrager/Dragon Disciple yet?

Per the rules...their Bloodlines don't stack. So, you get Bloodrager Bloodline stuff for your Bloodrager levels and Sorcerer Bloodline stuff for your Dragon Disciple levels (just like if you multiclassed Bloodrager and Sorcerer). This makes the mechanics...a bit odd. Add in that it only increases your spellcasting (no other class features), making it a less than ideal choice.

Now, if a GM lets it advance your Bloodrager Bloodline stuff, that'd be different.

Andoran

So...the ACG is out, and GenCon is over. A FAQ on this topic actually seems quite possible (if perhaps not likely) in the near future!

FAQ the first post and we'll hopefully find out. :)

Andoran

Lord Vukodlak wrote:

You are correct it doesn't have a formal definition that being said.

Sneak attack specifics "A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment." One could say, That doesn't make the creature is immune to sneak attack he simply can't be targeted with the ability.

Now if we take the above to be true.

Precise Strike says. "Any creature that is immune to sneak attacks is immune to the additional damage granted by precise strike," and that abilities that protect against critical hits work against precise strike. It never mentions concealment, and concealment never says you're immune to precision damage.

So one could read the rules to say that concealment has no effect on precise strike.

Indeed, the rules are highly unclear on this point. I started a thread requesting a FAQ on this two months ago. Go FAQ the first post for a definitive answer! Hopefully they'll get to it soon now that the ACG is out...

It isn't enough to fix the Swashbuckler's issues, but it sure can't hurt.

Andoran

TarkXT wrote:

Don't think so strictly speaking. But getting it on a longspear is more than enough for me.

One thing I have noted is that it does strack with inspired strike.

Welp time to add half elves as the really really scary damage dealers for investigators.

Yep. Even if not doing this, the Half Elf is officially the optimal combat Investigator now.

TarkXT wrote:
No, no dipping. My thinking is if you dip the build is already failing.

Agreed.

Ooze licker wrote:
Stupid question, how do you get mutagen as an Investigator talent?

It's a listed option under 'Alchemist Discoveries'. So...you just do.

Andoran

The Church of Pharasma is very entrenched in Ustalav, as well as in several places in Garund (especially Osirion) and is basically the official state religion of Thuvia.

The Church of Abadar is also a big deal in Osirion, as well as several other Lawful places, or places that like to think they are (such as Absalom or Taldor).

Nethys's faith is pretty organized in northern Garund, with large formal church hierarchies everywhere from Osirion to Nex.

Sarenrae's church is, as noted, highly organized in the whole area around Qadira.

Those four sorta form an informal pantheon of 'the common deities' in large portions of Northern Garund, actually.

Torag's worship is pretty universal and decently organized in the Five Kings Mountains.

Iomedae's church is formally organized in Mendev, Lastwall, and Cheliax.

Cayden Cailean's worshipers are pretty organized in Kaer Maga, and noted as running orphanages pretty much everywhere his worship isn't illegal.

Gorum's faith is surprisingly organized in the River Kingdoms and points north and west.

Calistria's faith is common everywhere, and usually pretty organized (they run the brothels, do not mess with them).

Urgathoa's and Norgorber's faiths are underground cults basically everywhere, but seem like pretty organized underground cults based on their presentation.

Andoran

Latrecis wrote:
Every fantasy role-playing game (including the one discussed on these forums) is built on an ever changing ruleset/structure that can be summarized in one word: progression. Example from the system in question: a 1st level wizard cannot cast fireball but a 5th level wizard can. A 5th level wizard cannot cast teleport but a 9th level wizard can. The game itself is fundamentally different for characters that are 1st level vs those that are 9th.

Id like to take a moment and note that this isn't true. I've owned and played and run a host of fantasy RPGs where this isn't the case. Pathfinder just isn't one of them.

I absolutely agree with most of the rest of your post, and even this point as it applies to Pathfinder...but it's not universally true of fantasy RPGs at all.

Andoran

ParagonDireRaccoon wrote:
I finally picked up the ACG- it will be a day before I have time to read through all of it, but some of the racial favored class bonuses are ridiculously good. I'm assuming the elf arcanist fcb is a misprint,

I wouldn't. It adds to maximum Arcane Pool, not the amount you start with every day. That's of dubious benefit, since you can just spend and refill most of the time.

ParagonDireRaccoon wrote:
but humans and half-elves can add a spell from the cleric list to their shaman spell list (max one level lower than the highest they can cast). This gives a half-elf or human shaman access to summon monster spells and a lot of great spells that aren't on their spell list.

This is true, and really cool. The Half Elf Investigator bonus is also rather absurd +1/4 to all Inspiration rolls? That's kind of absurd. Is somebody showing some Varian Jeggare love by making Half Elf Investigators the best in the business?

Andoran

I usually GM. I help new people learn the rules. And help them make their characters. They usually get the basics relatively quickly, and then roleplay pretty well (I try and emphasize roleplaying as opposed to combat). Honestly, I don't care too much if I have to help people with the rules on combat, I'm good at that, and it's not the main reason I or, I hope, others are there.

So...that's what I do, and I'm pretty satisfied with it. Dunno whether everyone would be, but it works for me, and seems to work for the rest of my group.

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