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DeathlessOne's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 417 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 Pathfinder Society character.


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nicholas storm wrote:

The way I read it:

Medium 2d6>PC +2 Sizes 4d6>Impact 6d6

Feat allows vital strike during charge (read it - it doesn't allow improved vital strike or greater vital strike)

So 6d6+6d6 spirited charge +6d6 vital strike = 18d6

Imbicatus wrote

If we are disregarding improved/greater vital strike (which I can agree with, reluctantly), Spirited Charge deals double damage with the weapon. I'm not aware of a FAQ that says otherwise, but Spirited charge does not double the weapon DICE, like Vital Strike. So I am applying the double at the end of the chain, not before Vital Strike.

Medium Greatsword (2d6)
Impact (3d6)
Frightful Aspect (6d6)
Vital Strike (12d6)
Spirited Charge (24d6)

The static damage isn't coming from 'wishes or tomes' but from power attack, studied target, the charge damage itself, and a furious weapon (effectively a +7 weapon)

blashimov wrote:
The point of a spirited charge, I'll also mention, is not to leave it alive to retaliate.

True, but I won't make the mistake of assuming I'll hit every time or that the monster will go down with one blow. There is always a 5% chance I miss. I'd rather have a plan B and plan C in place than put everything into a Hail-Mary attack.

Hmm, that reminds me. Furious Finish .... 36d6+94+4d6 sneak attack maximized is a lot of damage.

Unchained barbarian is GOOD. I know this. (And I caught that issue with Nature's Ally as well, I can just swap two feats around, no biggy. I am pretty familiar with the rules, but we all make slip ups).

Rogues can't take slayer talents, but Combat Trick is a rogue talent that Slayers can pick up with their talents.

The biggest drawn to taking the (Unchained) Rogue class is the Scout's Charge giving me free sneak attacks on a charge AND inflicting a no save debuff. The sheer amount of class features I pick up as an Unchained Rogue seems to me to outweigh the benefits I get with Barbarian.

Sure, all martial weapons, effectively 12 more hp (levels + temp hp), +1 BAB, and earlier rage powers sound great but I don't NEED them. I only need proficiency with one Martial weapon (Swashbuckler archetype gives me this), I'll get 50% more hp (effectively) with a protector familiar that takes half my damage, studied target makes up for the BAB loss (and Im getting certain feats prerequisite free due to ranger combat styles). I will get rage powers later in the character's career, but they are not necessary for the build. Well, Rage itself isn't even necessary for the build, its just nice.

I could just take Bloodrager instead, use primalist for the two rage powers I want and swap out the first power for a familiar. If anything, I'll just drop Rage domain for the Feather domain to get the animal companion I want. The domain was just for flavor anyway.

This character is already going to be a straight up BEAST in combat. We are just going back and forth about the minutia of how effective (in total) he will be.

Dandragon01 wrote:
also deathlessone, why does it have to be unchained rogue and not regular old rogue?

Well, Dave Justus hit the nail on the head. It just is better. You can still do it but ...

Unchained Rogue gets weapon finesse at first level. Rogue does not.
Unchained Rogue gets Dex to damage with one weapon at level 3, as a class feature. Rogue does not.
Unchained Rogue gets no save debuffs to things they hit with sneak attacks (for free). Rogues do not (or have to take talents, but do have saves).
Unchained Rogues get skill unlocks. Rogues do not.

Unchained Rogue is amazing. I don't like anything getting dexterity to damage, especially a class that already gets added sneak dice, but the designers (and other players) wanted it. If you can take it, do it and don't look back.

Dandragon01 wrote:
DeathlessOne wrote:
Dandragon01 wrote:

EDIT:I see. This might mean I have to go for a strength build, even if I am trying to go for a more agile character. Though I suppose I am willing to make that sacrifice if it means I can consistently deal good damage with my weapons.

It is a shame you don't have access to the Unchained book. An unchained Rogue (Eldritch Scoundrel archetype) with the Magus Variant multiclass would be right your alley. Gets magus spell progression, wizard spell access, rogue skills, talents, sneak attack, dex to hit and damage. You'd even get Magus Arcanas (7th level) and spellstrike (11th level). No spell combat though.
How exactly would this work, if you could elaborate on that?

Unchained Rogue (Eldritch Scoundrel) VMC Magus (linked for convenience)

I've been itching to play one myself. Like I said before, it is a shame you don't have the resources for them.

Dandragon01 wrote:

EDIT:I see. This might mean I have to go for a strength build, even if I am trying to go for a more agile character. Though I suppose I am willing to make that sacrifice if it means I can consistently deal good damage with my weapons.

It is a shame you don't have access to the Unchained book. An unchained Rogue (Eldritch Scoundrel archetype) with the Magus Variant multiclass would be right your alley. Gets magus spell progression, wizard spell access, rogue skills, talents, sneak attack, dex to hit and damage. You'd even get Magus Arcanas (7th level) and spellstrike (11th level). No spell combat though.

Grandlounge wrote:

You maybe right about this but I would check the math on this. 2x The risky striker may be more damage then the one extra size increse. But, I'm honestly not sure without seeing the whole build. It also depends on your methode of increasing your size.

Ultimately, Frightful Aspect will be the go=to spell, as it make the character large, regardless of starting size. There are other Druid spells that increase size, or items that I can rely on to get larger.


For advanced slayer talents:

evasion decrease the need for rogue levels

It does, but we are talking about level 12+ game play before that kicks in. I am now considering two levels of Rogue early on in the build just to get that ability quicker. By the time I could pick it as an advanced talent, I might be better off getting a ring of evasion.

- Slowing strike is good for you. Some creatures can move up to 200ft which means they can catch up to you on a ride by attack. even a small chance at cutting that in half is decent for you.

True, but Slowing strike allows for a saving throw while Debilitating Injury (Hampering Strike) allows for no save, just needs to hit with a sneak attack and hits ALL movement types of the creature. I am planning on giving the animal companion the charger archetype for once an hour 10x charge speed, and occasionally casting Cheetah's Sprint on it though our link. Combined with Ride-by-attack, it should prevent a lot of things from following. Hmm, perhaps I will get both and retrain Slowing Strike later.

I am putting together my build and a rough outline is below. I am prioritizing mobility over sheer power at first.


Level 1: Druid 1
Nature Bond: Domain (Rage)
Destructive Smite
Spontaneous Casting (Summon Nature's Ally)
Studied Target +1
Spells (level 1)
Feat: Nature Soul
Level 2: Rogue 1
Sneak Attack +1d6
Finesse Training
Martial Training (Greatsword)
Level 3: Rogue 2
Rogue Talent (Combat Trick 1 [Mounted Combat])
Feat: Animal Ally
Level 4: Druid 2 / Rogue 2
Level 5: Druid 3 / Rogue 2
Trackless Step
Spells (Level 2)
Feat: Ride-by Attack
Level 6: Druid 4 / Rogue 2
Slayer Talent (Ranger Combat Style [Gorum: Power Attack])
Sneak Attack +2d6
Level 7: Druid 5 / Rogue 2
Studied Target +2
Spells (Level 3)
Feat: Divine Fighting Technique (Gorum)
Level 8: Druid 6 / Rogue 2
Slayer Talent (Ranger Combat Style [Vital Strike])
Level 9: Druid 7 / Rogue 2
Spells (Level 4)
Feat: Spirited Charge
Level 10: Druid 8 / Rogue 2
Rage Domain Power (Rage)
Slayer Talent (Combat Trick 1 [Wheeling Charge])
Level 11: Druid 9 / Rogue 2
Spells (level 5)
Feat: Boon Companion (Animal Companion)
Level 12: Druid 10 / Rogue 2
Slayer Talent (Ranger Combat Style [Improved Vital Strike])
Studied Target +3
Level 13: Druid 10 / Rogue 3
Daring +1
Finesse Training (sickle) for the x4 crit?
Sneak Attack +3d6
Rogue Talent (Combat Trick 2 [Shield Focus])
Feat: Unhindering Shield
Level 14: Druid 10 / Rogue 4
Debilitating Injury
Scout's Charge


After that (15th level +), it is just filling in the cracks. Probably want Boon companion eventually, maybe sooner if the game mandates it. I'll pick up Trapfinding early on if we need it.

Louise Bishop wrote:
Somehow I feel your working too hard to accomplish your end goal. How will the character be in actual play going from Level 1.

When I build a character, I always build an outline and plan their progression out. Just like writing a paper. Then I fill in the details and improve as I go. I am running a Melee oriented full (almost) spell caster. I highly doubt I will be lacking in any area.

A regular lancing build or some other Mounted build is good enough damage that all this work seems overkill. And if it turns out to be overkill, how will the rest of the group (DM included) like this character?

Mounted lance is just ... not my style, or is not as much as a challenge. I'm not making a knight, I'm making a raging chaotic neutral warmongering pint sized halfling of Gorum, Iron God Of Battle. I don't want to use an over sized toothpick for a weapon. I want to cleave my opponents in twain (or many smaller parts) with a mighty Greatsword.

As with any table, variation in optimization levels is mutable. I can always tone down the power level of the character, and have done so in the past with others I've played. This issue is irrelevant.

Thanks for the feedback, I do appreciate it.

Grandlounge wrote:
Just remember that 7 damage is equal to the 2d6 sneak attack damage. But it is multiplied on a crit and triggers on every charge attacks (immunities).

This is true. And, I forgot that spirited charge will double it.

Risky Striker - staying small for AC and accuracy is likely better with risky striker in something called giantslayer. I'm going to guess that this will be more than situationally useful. Being medium I would call situationally useful.

Yeah, I am well aware of that. However, without going from Small to Large, I do not reach that lofty 36d6 Vital Strike. Normally, I would jump on taking Risky Striker. I just feel that in this particular niche case, it is not worth what I would give up to make it useful.

This build works best with a flying companion. Many are good but some standout Rocs (start medium), Direbats (Blindsense), and Heron, Yolubilis (starts medium and has good con).

Now THAT is something I completely overlooked. As it is, with Animal Ally, I can't get an animal companion that can fly and hold me. I suppose that I can buff a companion with flight spells, but this is definitely something to pay attention to if I choose to dump rogue for barbarian. I'm not convinced yet, but considering it.

Opportunist is a bit of waste is it not? You have to be beside something when it is not your turn. The whole point of the build is to avoid that.

A waste? Possibly, but there are few other Advanced Slayer talents that appeal to me and I can't take Combat Trick twice as a slayer. There will be times I can't hit and run, and have to flog it out in melee. If you have a better suggestion to replace it, I will listen. I have two other slayer talents to pick and I'm at the 'meh' stage.

I would also consider dropping the whole cleave thing. The positioning is going to be really hard. If you have a lot of large or larger creatures you will have to be able to reach of both of them. They will have reach themsleves so why would they be beside one another? Again if the point of the build is to be charging and riding-by you don't want to be standing still. If you can't charge casting (with full or mostly full caster level) or having both you and your animal take full attacks will be way better than cleave.

Very good points. I suppose the only reason I picked Cleave was so that I could use Weapon Trick for two-handed weapons. Supposing I get into a situation where it is useful, I could deal 4x weapon damage with a standard action (2x weapon damage to two creatures).


I hope some of this helps take or leave as much as you like!

It does help very much. So far, I think we can dump:

Weapon Trick (Two-handed weapon)

And pick up:
Horn of the Criosphinx
Wheeling Charge

I'm still partial to the Unchained Rogue levels at this point, even though dipping barbarian will free up my domain. That Evasion and on-sneak debuff seems very tempting.

blashimov wrote:
Hmm I really don't see the benefit of going scout for 2d6 damage, vs say just a barbarian dip. Then you can take the animal domain (or fur or feather which are great), and I think there's even a barbarian archetype that stacks animal companion.

The main reasons(s) that I chose to take Unchained rogue are:

Greatsword Prof (Swashbuckler)
Bonus Feats (rogue talents) from Swashbuckler archetype
Charging sneak attack from Scout archetype
Evasion & Trapfinding (without using Slayer talents)
Sneak attack +2d6 (to go along with the 1d6 I get from Nature Fang)
Debilitating Injury (debuffs when I hit with sneak attack)

If I can replace (or improve upon) what I will get from the 4 level dip into rogue, I will definitely consider switching to another class.

Going barbarian will get me:
Martial Weapon Prof
Fast Movement (negated by having a mount)
Rage and two (or more with feat) Rage Powers (Frees up domain)
Uncanny Dodge
16 BAB @ level 20 (4th attack, if that matters since Vital Strike)

Grandlounge wrote:

I would drop the rogue levels and grab some or all of these.

-Improved critical
-Horn of the Criosphinx
-Wheeling Charge
-Risky Striker

What would you suggest replacing the Rogue levels with, keeping the above information in mind?

Improved Critical - I hear there is a greatsword that I will be coming across with Keen already on it. I might skip this feat.

Horn of the Criophsinx - Sounds fun, but its only going to be maybe an additional 7 damage in the long run.

Wheeling Charge - Yeah, this one sounds very nice. Not sure if I can squeeze it in or not.

Risky Striker - If I can debuff my enemies with Unchained rogue after a charge sneak, it would be very worth taking this to boost my damage. However, I will eventually be a Large Halfling for most of the battles thanks to druid buffs. It might be situationally useful.

TiwazBlackhand wrote:
But this absurd feature abuse allows me to to use Power Attack with only 6 strength with my Kukri using dex to hit and dex to damage.

Doesn't Piranha Strike do exactly that? It's like power attack but for Dex characters.

Jonathon Wilder wrote:

Much appreciated suggestions DeathlessOne! Calistra sounds all but perfect, and a warp familiar would be interesting.

The only hitch that I can see is that I didn't actually plan for the character to take her charm and allure farther then a certain playfulness, teasing, or manipulativeness and looking up the goddess it appears part of her worship may involve a certain sexual aspect that could be a problem given certain experiences the character had as a slave.

Glad I could be helpful. A good thing to remember is that how devoted the character is to Calistra, and how deep you engage in 'worship', is entirely up to you. There are plenty of worshipers of Calistra that focus on one or two aspects of her portfolio (trickery and revenge) rather than on the 'free love', so to speak. Your character doesn't have to become a priest of Calistra, merely revere her enough to devote herself to the cause.

Because of her backstory, she sounds like she is not above using certain talents (ie, manipulation and false seduction techniques) in order to get what she wants, and to punish those who grossly offend her morals. I really think it is a great match for what you have come up with.

I also agree with the Swamp domain choice, especially if you are going with a spellcasting druid. I tend to favor the animal companion for survivability reasons (and having a familiar and a companion is just awesome). Love the swamp them.

For simplicity sake, yes the mug would cost a extra 3000gp to be made of adamantine, as for cold iron ... I'd just price it at the cost of a cold iron light mace and be done with it.

This sounds like a perfect opportunity for your Druid to worship Calistra and have a Wasp Familiar. It would work well with the feeling she harbors to slavers and help encourage her to take revenge when able. I find the characters with the chaotic neutral alignment often have issues with motivation when nothing is hitting their 'hot points'. Giving the character a tie to the Calistrian church will give her role playing opportunities to link herself, and care about, things that don't directly effect her.

Melkiador wrote:
Taking Druid 1 then rogue 1 will leave you with a rather bad BAB. And level 2-3 of this AP is some of the harshest stuff I've ever played.

I pretty sure we are using fractional BAB and saves from the unchained book, as well as background skills. My to hit should be fairly ok, especially with Studied Target. I've heard the first book was pretty rough.

666bender wrote:
Charge won't work with vital strikes...

Divine Fighting Technique (Gorum / Greatsword Battler) explicitly allows this.

I've determine that Shaman/Sorcerer or Druid/Sorcerer are the two best bets for Theurging. If your DM allows wildblooded and cross blooded to stack (I do) you take it, just do it (Orc will help boost your damage and you can cast divine spells through the sorcerer spells when you have no spells known of that level). If you can get Esoteric Training, just do it.

I rank the Shaman highest because of the hexes. Fluid Magic, Crashing Waves, Evil Eye, Chant, and Protective Luck are some of the best ones, most don't rely (much) on your Shaman level to be effective. Waves looks like the best Spirit (with a no save push back effect on a Melee touch) with Heavens being the best wandering spirit (though needs might change this, it has a no save invisibility negator, that depress attack). You can be a very good debuffer until your spells catch up, you can buff with the spells you have. A half-elf can add range to Chant hex to keep them out of immediate danger, with favored class bonus.

So, Shaman (no archetype) 5 / Empyreal Tattooed Sorcerer 5 / Mystic Theurge 10 (with Esoteric Training = 18th (9th) shaman caster, 16th (8th) sorcerer caster)

If Druid, I'd recommend Empyreal Sorcerer or Crossblooded Orc/Whatever w/ Feyspeaker Druid. Maybe add Reincarnated Druid on top of it for the lulz. It doesn't get nearly as many flashy abilities as the Shaman but it has spell superiority.

On a side note: Cleric is still a good option, especially with Faith magic as an option with Wizards. I just hate the multistat dependencies. Most of the clerics abilities won't progress well, channel is near useless, though you might find something decent under and inquisition. No doubt the rest divine spell list.

For a truly steampunk feel, I'd recommend that the technology be invented in a magic-less or near to magic-less area, so that they designers can't 'cheat' by using elemental so or other magic to make things easier. Once technology gets loose into the rest of the world, shortcuts will multiply like the common cold.

Planned build is:
Druid (Nature Fang, Druid of Gorum) 16 / Unchained Rogue (Scout, Swashbuckler) 4
Fleet of Foot & Underfoot


Progression will probably be Druid 1 -> Rogue 1 -> Druid 11 -> Rogue 3 --> Druid 4
I am aware of the casting loss, and am not worried about it.

Nature Bond (Rage domain) [Allowed by DM]
Ranger Combat Style (Gorum)
-Power Attack
-Vital Strike
-Improved Vital Strike
Combat Trick
-Weapon Trick (Two-handed Weapon) [Specifically Cleaving Smash)
[Need two more slayer talents]
Rage Powers:
Lesser Celestial Totem

Martial Training (Greatsword)
Combat Trick x2
-Unhindering Shield

Accomplished Sneak Attacker
Animal Ally
Boon Companion
Divine Fighting Technique (Gorum)
Furious Focus
Mounted Combat
Nature Soul
Ride-By Attack
Shield Focus
Spirited Charge

The goal is to deal massive damage in a ride-by attack with a Greatsword vital strike while staying out of the reach of the Giants. I will be using Nargrym's Steel Hand in order to use a medium size Greatsword (it isn't armor, so no issues with casting). I think it will be about 36d6+60 at level 20 (+4d6 sneak attack) when Large Size and Impact weapon.

I need help deciding on two slayer talents, two character traits (or three if I take drawback), and possibly getting a familiar without too much change to the build. If I can get a mount easily, Nature Soul, animal ally, and accomplished sneak attacker are feats I could trade away. Will use protector archetype with familiar and charger with animal companion/mount. Rage powers are also up for changing, if something better comes along. Tips on how to build the companion are welcome as well. I'm partial to the wolf, out of my options, because of the free trip attack. Charge -> Bite -> Trip -> Imp Vital Strike Sneak attack vs prone -> Keep on riding out of range.

Thanks in advance!

I've tried playing word casting prepared spell casters (Druid was one, as I love Druids) and I can say that you are better off using words of power with spontaneous spell casters, as Dasrak said. Being able to mix and match your spell targets/effects/saving throws is an incredible boon for spontaneous casters, gaining a different type of versatility than what you lose by using normal casting.

In short, don't do it with a Druid.

vhok wrote:
bumping this instead of starting a new thread. playing a sacred fist in a game and this came up. if I make the fort save on a snowball do I avoid all the damage aswell?

No, you still take the damage. If the spell did less damage if you made the fortitude save (like the spell Ray of Enfeeblement does for ability penalty), you would avoid the damage. Snowball does damage and then allows a save to avoid being staggered. If you became dazed instead of staggered when you make the save, you'd avoid the daze with Blessed Fortitude. Damage still happens

Saraphali wrote:
Honestly the bloodlines don't sell me... perhaps the once per day full recharge is amazing... there's a wizard archetype that gives you exploits aswell, though the arcanists ability to take all wizard spells and choose which few to cast at will is also amazing. Witch hexes and spells like blood money really want me to go witch as well. What divine classes do you think best mesh with which arcane to get the most out of class abilities and spell lists?

If you want to play a wizard with the feel of a witch, you can try the Spirit Whisperer. It will even allow you to still pick up Faith Magic and cheese your way into Mystic Theurge early, if you want to.

As far as I am concerned, Witch and Wizard do not make good pairings with Divine casters because their casting stats aren't the same but if you aren't worried about that, I would recommend Cleric (with archetype to remove Channel Energy as it won't progress). It would help explain, lore wise, why you took Faith Magic. Shaman brings your charisma into play for some of their abilities and may not synergize well with you already focusing on two mental stats.

Daw wrote:

A quibble, I suppose.

Is the eventual gain or not gain of level 9 spells the important thing, or is it the delay of gaining spells of any particular level. Also, any delay in getting to Mystic Theurge not only delays what levels you can cast, but also how many total spells you can cast.

The Mystic Theurge has a heavy and expensive entry price. You will be behind the "power curve" of pure spell casters for a good portion of your career, unless you take steps to minimize the gap. You can only do something about the caster level, not the spell level. Without accepting this, no one is going to like playing a Mystic Theurge. It is not, nor will it ever be, the best choice in playing a spell caster.

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I've been working on a sort of class guide to the mystic Theurge but it hasn't gotten very far due to time constraints on my end. Here is a sample of the Arcanist and Sorcerer information I've compiled:

(Apologies for any spelling or formatting issues. This is still a rough draft)


The most common argument against playing a Mystic Theurge is falling behind on spell progression, and thus being unable to contribute fully in group play. On the surface, this argument appears not only valid; it appears to be common sense. The goal behind this in depth look into the Mystic Theurge (and its component classes) is to show that a Mystic Theurge can, and does, contribute to the party as much as a single classed magic user. They may not get the shiniest spells at the earliest opportunity, but they are the swiss-army-knife of the spellcasting world, complete with the Tony Stark-level know-how to assemble an arc-reactor from junkyard parts.

To build an effective Mystic Theurge, you have to focus on the abilities granted by its parent classes that do not rely heavily, or at all, on the level of that class because you will spend at most four levels in that class. A Mystic Theurge is like a Diesel engine; slow to heat up but able to perform longer than others. We will also speak briefly about the spell list of each class and archetypes available to each class.


So, you want to be a (pokemon master) an arcanist? You are most likely fascinated with the arcanist’s ability to change up his ‘spells known’ on a daily basis and ability to cast them spontaneously with having to dole out individual uses. Well, that’s why I’m attracted to this idea. If you are dying for the flexibility and are willing to sacrifice the extra spells per day a sorcerer would get instead, this class is for you!

Arcane Reservoir: You will have 7 points (max) to use with this ability (up to 11 with favored class bonuses). However, you will have many more spell slots than normal due to your dual progression to fuel this ability. How useful this will be to you will heavily depend on what exploits you choose to learn.

Consume Spell: This ability stays relevant your entire career and should be harnessed to its full extent.

Arcanist Exploits: These abilities are one of the reasons you considered choosing arcanist as your arcane casting class (the other being spontaneous casting with uber flexibility). Avoid any exploits that depend on the arcanist class level for their effects. You will get two exploits. Anymore (or less) you receive will come from archetypes or feats you choose. I will list the exploits below that do not rely on class level:

Altered Shifting (requires Shift Caster)
Consume Magic Item
Counterspell (note that you will rarely have spell slots available that are higher level)
Dimensional Slide (40ft)
Face Thief
Illusion Catcher (requires Face Thief)
Item Crafting
Metamagic Knowledge
Obfuscated Spellcasting
Potent Magic
Quick Study
See Magic
Shadow Veil
Shift Caster
Spell Disruption
Spell Tinkerer
Swift Consume

Blade Adept: Not recommended. You lose both exploits for a blade that never progresses and unless you take 5 levels, you never get an actual exploit. It may be worth it to acquire Spellstrike and select Magus Arcanas, however you will never have the BAB to pull off a gish character as a mystic theurge. Focusing on buffing and using weapons other than your bound blade to target touch AC (such as flame blade and gozreh’s trident) might be a way to squeeze into this niche, but will require extreme focus.

Blood Arcanist: You lose both exploits gaining a bloodline arcana and two bloodline powers. If your GM allows you to pick from wild bloodlines, this can be useful as Empyreal can switch your casting to Wisdom, which allows casting synergy with Cleric, Druid, and Shaman classes. Trade away the powers for bloodline mutations (blood havoc and blood intensity) and/or a bloodline familiar. You will need a 5th level of Arcanist to gain any exploits and qualify for the extra Arcanist exploit feat.

Brown-fur transmuter: You trade away 3rd level exploit for the ability to increase the bonus given by a spell that enhances an ability score. This ability never gets any better with levels but any kind of bonus is increased, not just enhancement. Casting divine spells through Arcanist spellslots gets this effect and divine casters have some great buffing spells. This archetype has merit.

Eldritch Font: You gain an extra spell slot per spell level. That is great! But you have one less spell you can prepare each spell level. That mean that every time you get access to a new spell level, you have three slots you can cast but no spells to cast in them. Normally, this is a huge red stop sign in front of a brick wall. Sure, you can meta magic and consume spells but this is completely irredeemable. Or is it? Once you begin progressing Mystic Theurge, you can start casting your divine spells in those empty slots. You do lose your 3rd level exploit and get the ability to bolster a spell twice per day, though it fatigues and then exhausts you. This archetype has some interesting items to explore. See Magaambyan Initiate below.

Elemental Master: You lose both exploits and gain one that is tied to your class level. While you get to prepare an extra spell, it is not worth the trade off. Skip this one.

Harrowed Society Student: trade away consume spells for an ability to regain Pool point with a harrow reading. Limited once per day and not really dependable. Also, trade 1st exploit for Psychic Sensitivity. Pass on this unless you really want to use Occult skills and have that occult feeling.

Magaambyan Initiate: You trade away 1st level exploit for the ability to learn a Druid spell every level, though you can only casting with your arcane pool (spend ½ spell level in pool points) and expending a spell slot equal to the level of the spell. You must be good aligned and get an aura for it. Note that this archetype can be combined with Eldritch font (no conflicts). Due to your four levels, you won't get very many spells and if you take Druid or shaman as you companion class, your spells will be redundant.

Occultist: This offers an ability tied to your class level in place of an exploit. Pass. Even the spells you get (planar ally) depend on your class level.

School savant: You trade away your two exploits for access to a wizard’s school. If you pick a school that provides powers not tied to class level (look for caster level), this can be at least an even trade off. Taking a 5th level to get an exploit is needed if you are set on getting exploits.

Spell specialist: If you know that you want to cast a particular spell every day, this may be a decent archetype. You get to pick a single spell each time you gain a new spell level and it is automatically prepared (your number of prepared spells decreases by one, effectively). These spells are boosted and you can alter their form by spending arcane pool points. This archetype is front loaded, and you will only lose your 1st exploit. Only the bonus you receive to concentration checks depends on character level. Be sure that the spell you pick is the one you really want for each spell level because after 4th level, you no longer have the option of changing it.

Twilight Sage: you swap out consume spells with the ability to pretty much coup de grace a helpless, living creature and gain up to 2 pool points. Decent trade. However, you have to pick an exploit that uses your class level, though with a neat explosion around you when it goes down. Only pick this option if you want the feel of it.

Unlettered Arcanist: You get a familiar instead of a spell book and are limited to the witch spell list. This stacks with most other archetypes. Use this if you really want to play a spontaneous casting witch with exploits, rather than hexes.

White Mage: you trade 1st exploit for the ability to spontaneously cast cure spells at the cost of a spell slot and 1 arcane point. You will have access to cure spells from your divine casting class. This archetype is redundant to our needs.

Ah, the original spontaneous caster. Phenomenal cosmic power, itty bitty (living space) spells known. You may not have the flexibility of a wizard, but when you have the right spell for the job, you have the ability to cast it as many times as you need it. You are the conduit to the arcane magic of the universe and through you, magic is born. You are not even predictable, since what bloodline you inherit alters the way you interact with that magic.

Bloodline: Let’s be real here, bloodline(s) are the reason you are considering sorcerer for your arcane casting side. The plethora of different effects makes this choice extremely customizable. Being able to cast with Charisma, Wisdom, or Intelligence make this the go-to chassis, not to mention the ability to kick up the damage of each spell by 1 (or more) per die rolled. I won't go into the details of every bloodline as there are guides that do this. I will focus instead on archetypes and specific abilities that fit our focus. I will repeat, steer away from level defendant abilities.

Eschew Materials: Spell component bags are a drag and can be stolen. A sorcerer hasn't the time to obey magic rituals. He makes the magic work.

Bloodline Powers: You get two. Make them count. Use Eldritch heritage for the powers that depend on level, you'll have the charisma to afford them.
Bloodline Spells: You get one. It's first level. Make it a good one but otherwise ignore it.

Wild-blooded: I hardly consider this an archetype but it technically is. However, this archetype is how you get WIS or INT based spell casting.

Cross blooded: You get a -2 will save and know one less spell per level. But you do get two bloodline arcanas and your pick of powers.

Dragon Drinker: alters arcana to deal bleed damage to dragons. Not bad for dragon themed campaign. You also lose claws and get ability to Imbide dragon blood, using your own blood as a catalyst if you don't have actual dragon blood. You get to heal a small amount and get a bonus to two saves for a round, usable 3+ times a day. You must also have the draconian bloodline. There are better options.

Eldritch Scrapper: This is a sorcerer trying to be a Melee character. Normally, dragon disciple and Eldritch knight could benefit from this as they’d get martial flexibility from the lost bloodline powers. For us, it's not worth it. Unless you find a way to get your mystic theurge to excel at combat, steer clear from this archetype.

Mongrel Mage: You get the bloodline power from a bloodline chosen each day, as a 1st level sorcerer. You have to spend resources to activate the full power of the bloodline, for which you get temporary access to the arcana for a few rounds. You get mongrel points (7 max), so you can do this a few times per day. You are allowed access to only basic bloodlines (no wildblooded or other archetype). If you know what you are facing that day, before hand, it could be useful. This is a risky archetype.

Razmiran Priest: You trade away eschew materials for false focus, and swap around some class skills. A bonus to UMD with divine magic items is offset because you will have divine casting levels. You trade away a bloodline power for a spell added to your list, not worth it.

Seeker: trap finding in place of eschew materials is a good trade, especially if you don't have a rogue in group. Seeker lore gives you a decent bonus to checks involving your bloodline. Definitely a niche but useful

Sorcerer of Sleep: you lose arcana, eschew materials, and 1st bloodline power to get a few level dependent abilities. You get to add a few spells to you class lists. Pass

Stone Warder: You must pick bloodline tied to earth and lose ability to cast many other types of elemental spells. This may effect your divine spells too. Pass.

Tattooed Sorcerer: trade away eschew materials for a decent feat, gain a familiar that can hide away in safety, and get a decent boost to caster level for certain spell that can even bridge to you other casting class. Only lose 1st bloodline power. Definite contender.

Wish crafter: Using wishes of others to act as verbal components to your spells is flavorful but I cannot see a purpose this actually serves. Pass.

Remember, we want abilities that do not require increased class levels to be useful. Replace such abilities with Blood havoc or Blood Intensity as needed. You will need to take Spell focus to get much use out of Blood Havoc due to our limited access to bloodline spells. If a bloodline arcana relies on class levels, it is best to avoid that bloodline entirely.

Aberrant: free extend on polymorph spells. Acidic Ray uses class level. Long limbs gives +5ft reach on touch spells.
Warped: random bonus on transmutation spell. 1st power level dependent
Abyssal: arcana and powers rely on class level. +2 know arcana, spellcraft.
Brutal: Damage spells deal 2 more damage.
Accursed: you count as a hag for covens and can boost caster level of nearby coven member. Powers use class level
Aquatic: boost to water spells and water summons. Powers are level dependent but 3rd gets you a swim speed
Seaborn: Floating, +1 caster level. 1st power level dependent
Arcane: free heighten spell at no cost when you metamagic a spell. Arcane bond is good as 1st power. 3rd power is use dependent on level, but once per day meta magic without increased casting time is useful.
Sage: Casting stat is INT,
Boreal: cold spells +1 DC. Powers level dependent but 3rd gets you ice walk/snow walk.
Rime-blooded: cold spells slow target (DC scales with spell level).
Celestial: Arcana and powers are level based. Minor resistances on 3rd power
Empyreal: Casting uses wisdom, +2 heal & know religion.
Daemon: killing things grants bonus caster levels on next spell. 1st power is no save and not level dependent. 3rd power gives minor resists and saving throw bonuses, though level dependent.
Deep Earth: spells underground get +1 dc. Powers are level dependent but 3rd gives stone cunning (as dwarf)
Bedrock: summons get DR, level dependent.
Destined: personal spells boost saves for a round. Powers are level dependent.
Karmic: Enemy provokes when you fail concentration check. 1st power level dependent
Div: dealing damage to multiple creatures with area spell increases spell DCs by 1 for up to 4 rounds. Powers are level dependent though 3rd gives resistance and saving throw bonus.
Djinni: change elemental damage to electricity. Powers level dependent, though 3rd gives good resistance to electricity
Draconic: matching energy spells get bonus damage. Powers are level dependent but 3rd gives minor resist and natural armor
Linnorn: matching elemental spells increases natural armor. 1st power level dependent
Dreamspun: targeting creature gives AC and save bonus for one round. Powers level based, 3rd gives +1 initiative
Visionary: Regain spells after one hour rest (once a day, still need normal rest or fatigued)
Ectoplasm: increased damage vs incorporeal and automatic misfortune on non-damage spells. Powers not level dependent. Tanglefoot bag and reach with touch spells
Efreeti: change elemental damage to fire. Powers level dependent, though 3rd gives good resistance to fire
Elemental: change elemental damage to match chosen attitude. Powers level dependent, though 3rd gives good resistance to chosen element
Primal: spells that match element do +1 damage per die.
Lifewater (water element): cold/water spells grant temp hp.
Fey: compulsion spells +2 DC. Powers not level dependent. Touch to make someone laugh for 1 round. Woodland stride at 3rd.
Dark Fey: Curse spells +2 DC. 1st power level dependent.
Sylvan: Animal Companion. Level dependent.
Ghoul: necromancy spells that deal damage heal you. Powers are level dependent, but 3rd gives resistance and +1 NA
Harrow: Divination spells get better. 1st level power level dependent. 3rd level power +1 to save of choice, better with levels.
Imperious: Harmful spells boost intimidation. 1st, Gain 5 skills as class skills and charisma as bonus to each. 3rd, Moral bonuses boosted by +1.
Impossible: Constructs susceptible to charm (compulsion). 1st, no save sickened touch attack (duration level dependent). 3rd, craft wondrous item (ignore one spell req)
Infernal: Charm spells at +2 DC. 1st, no save shaken touch attack (duration level dependent). 3rd, fire resist 5 and +2 vs poison.
Pit-touched: spells increase intimidate.
Kobold: +2 DC of spells to opponents denied dex. 1st, magic rune trap (level dependent). 3rd, trapsense (level dependent)
Maestro: Verbal only spells get +1 CL. 1st, daze-like ability (level dependent). 3rd, Fascinate-like ability (level dependent)
Marid: Energy spells can be changed to cold. 1st, frost ray (level dependent). 3rd, resist cold 10 (level dependent)
Shahzada: Gain swim speed after casting spell.
Martyrd: Damage in battle increases CL +1 for 1 round. 1st, trade HP for bonus on damage, saving throw, or skill check (always +1). 3rd, 1rd boost to attack/damage for all (level dependent).
Retribution: reduce meta Magic by 1 targeting creature that attacker you.
Nanite: Self-only transmutation +50% duration. 1st, make weapon poisonous (level dependent). 3rd, 1/day +4 on one roll (level dependent)
Oni: 1d4 round boost to bluff, diplomacy, intimidate based on charm/compulsion spell level. 1st, no save non-lethal damage (level dependent). 3rd, Alter self 1 min/lvl (level dependent)
Orc: Orc subtype, darkvision, light sensitivity, +1 damage per die on spells. 1st, touch gives melee bonus 1 round (level dependent boost). 3rd, +4 vs fear, +1 NA (level dependent)
Pestilence: Effecting vermin with mind-effecting abilities is good. Powers are level dependent, 3rd level power gives immune to sickness.
Possessed: Rerolling will saves is good. 1st level power level dependent. 3rd level power gives darkvision, or increases it.
Protean: Transmutation and conjuration(healing) harder to dispel. 1st level power useful (entangle), 3rd resist 5 and save bonuses
Anarchic: random can trip on failed conc check. 3rd power damages caster of dispelled/counter spelled spell.
Psychic: Spells treated as psychic (no spell failure) is great. 1st level power level dependent, 3rd bonus vs mind effecting.
Rakshasa: Spells you cast are harder to identify. 1st level power swift action +5 to bluff, 3rd level power detect thoughts 1/day
Serpentine: Affect certain creatures as if human (mind effecting/language dependent). 1st power level dependent. 3rd level power speak with reptiles and a familiar.
Envenomed: +2 to numerous skills. 3rd power level dependent poison on weapon.
Shadow: Bonus to stealth. 1st level power dazzles without save. 3rd power darkvision.
Umbral: Caster level +1 in shadow or dim light. 1st power level dependent
Shaitan: Change spell damage to acid. 1st power ray of acid. 3rd power acid resist 10
Starsoul: evocation spells highlight targets with faerie fire sparkles. 1st power level dependent. 3rd power, lowlight vision and resist cold and fire 5
Void-touched: evocation spell, pick target, failed save, silenced 1 round.
Storm born: elec & sonic DC +1. 1st power level dependent. 3rd power, resist elec & sonic 5, treat wind less severe.
Arial: Outdoors in precipitation, caster level +2.
Undead: Treat undead as humanoid for mind effecting. 1st power, no save shaken touch. 3rd power, resist cold 5, DR 5/- nonlethal.
Sanguine: Necromancy spells +1 DC. Drain blood to heal and nourish
Verdant: personal spells increase natural armor, 1st power level dependent. 3rd power built in ring of sustenance.
Groveborn: Effects plants with mind effecting. 3rd power buffs summons.

I've always been a fan of the Mystic Theurge prestige class and all the dislike I've seen thrown its way has only made me love it more. I've taken a pretty good, in depth look at the classes that you can mix into the Theurge and determined there are a few things you want to keep in mind.

1) Class abilities: You want class abilities from your parent classes to be useful for your entire career as a Mystic Theurge. Grab ones that do not base themselves on class level, and focus on those rare few that work based off of caster level. Focus on abilities that give bonus feats.

2) Spells: You are very unlikely to get to 9th level spellcasting unless you use prepared casters, and only just. Forget about 9th level spells! No, I am serious. Stop trying to get them and focus on the spells that you will get, and how to get the most of them.

3) Casting Ability: Try above all else to get the same Ability score tied to your spellcasting on both sides. It will help everything you do, as well as save on magical items to boost several stats at once. You will need that gold for buying items to boost your caster level. I recommend Charisma just because I love the idea of using your own force of personality to tell the universe how to work.

Arcanist and Sorcerer work best for combining with Oracle (or Feyspeaker Druid), though Sorcerer can mix with Cleric/Druid/Shaman with Wildblooded and the Empyreal bloodline.

If you'd like, I've done a bit of leg work and identified some of the best Arcanist Exploits/Archetypes and Sorcerer Bloodlines/Archetypes to take to maximize what you get out of their 4 levels.

Nature Fang Goblin - Give up some minor druid abilities and wildshape to get Slayer talents, Studied Target, and sneak attack. You can build the character to fit just about any slot.

avr wrote:
I did see someone plan out a vital striking goblin barbarian with the roll with it feat once. Gorum's divine fighting technique was involved to get vital strike on a charge.

Need 4 levels of Rogue (scout) for sneak attack on a charge.

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Chaotic Neutral Bloodrager (Primalist) Goblin that worships Gorum. Take Gorum's Fighting style, use a greatsword, and vital strike.

You get hit, WHAM! Knocked back at least ten feet. You are staggered. You can still charge up to your movement when staggered. Vital strike them at the end of a charge.

Maybe do Barbarian (Feral Gnasher), 4 levels in Rogue (Scout), so you can sneak attack at the end of the round. Take the Anklebiter feat so if/when you lose the grapple control, you can start getting free bite attacks. Also, once you get improved lockjaw, you are no longer considered grappled with your bite and can swing your great sword around. Furious Finish sounds fun in those situations, as well as improved vital strike.

I assume you are playing Hell's Rebels then? I believe the protest is the intro to that campaign. Then I assume you are also playing a good character, either Neutral Good or Chaotic Good since Lawful Good usually doesn't fit the vibe of the campaign (though they make accommodations for them).

The easiest ways I find to make a good background for a character is to imagine how they gained their powers, and work backwards. What event triggered the awakening of their gifts? What about that experience broadened their view of the world enough to willingly risk their lives in the most dangerous profession in the world? Then, how did they come to that point?

Was it a dare that lead them to it? Was it chance? Curiosity? Was it the thrill of danger and the sense of invulnerability that comes with youth?

How does your character see the world? Is it a wonder to explore and experience? Is it full of people that need help? Or are they tools? Playthings that only exist for your amusement?

How about the character's family? Did they have brothers or sisters that made them more competitive? Were they an only child seeking to impress their parents with their talents?

Try and found how how your character thinks and reacts, then try to reverse engineer events that might have influenced them to turn out that way.

Personally, I don't think it should matter if they want to drink while adventuring. Overcoming mundane problems, like alcoholism, is child's play for actual adventurers with access to magic. But, if you want, you can treat the problem as an Addiction. Penalties are more difficult to remove than damage/drains, after all. You can also simply decide that the god powering the cleric's magic has grown weary of having its power used to relieve the drunkenness of a habitual offender, and when the cleric attempts to cast the spell next, it doesn't work on that character.

The "Driving" magic weapon ability (ranged weapons only, +1) allows you to do an trip or bull rush attack within the first range increment. It is from the weapon masters handbook.

"fill (a receptacle or space) tightly with something."

You could stuff the doll with the hair of several different creatures and it would still satisfy the reading of the ability. This is definitely something you should ask your DM about. For myself, I'd allow you to do so, up to a reasonable limit.

Torbyne wrote:
The buckler rules were not written at the same time as fortified armor training and the exact interaction is not covered but i at least would rule that you can not draw any benefit from a buckler on the same round that you used the shield bearing arm for other actions.

The rules only say that you do not gain the AC BONUS of the buckler if you use a weapon in the same hand. You would still gain any other effect that was not related to the shield AC.

I multi-class when it feels right for the character as they progress through whatever campaign they are in (If you play PFS, your experience may vary). I don't focus on squeezing every last drop of damage from a character, or worry that if they had gone down this path, rather than that path, they would be marginally better at what they do. I've found that most, if not all, of a character's weaknesses or sub-optimal specialties can be improved and enhanced through magic items.

If it comes down to your character becoming completely useless (I haven't see this happen but, whatever), you can simply retire that character and bring in a new one. Or use retraining options.

Well, Death Roll may only do a flat 1d8, but it knocks them prone as well as part of the maneuver. With Strangler, you get to add sneak attack damage to the grapple check.

If we use level 8 as a comparison:
BAB 6 (4 druid, 2 brawler)
Str +4 (18 str assumed)
Studied Target +2
Domain +3 (1/2 druid level)
+15 CMB not counting any feats you take (You get martial flexibility as a strangler)
1d8+4d6 sneak attack

If you take any slayer talents that deal extra conditions on sneak attacks, you increase the potential danger to anything you grapple.

Nature Fang is by no means 'worse' than the base druid. Sure, it gives up some versatility that wild-shape brings in but you get different versatility through the slayer talents. It even makes up for your medium BAB with studied target. It makes your spells DCs HIGHER against your studied target.

You can still use druid spells to take the form of vermin and dragon's later.

I suggest a Nature Fang Druid with the Crocodile domain. Nets you a familiar (slap Protector archetype on it for effectively +50% HP), scaling sneak attack, 'Death Roll" (lets you auto-trip a creature you are grappled with, and deal damage), and decent domain spells.

Also, you could sneak two levels of 'Strangler' Brawler into the mix to up your sneak attack and get sneak attack during a grapple. It is very nice.

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My reaction would have been as simple as this:

The alchemist is an active, unrepentant threat to innocent life. The alchemist needs to die. If this is an evil act, I will seek atonement when the mission is complete.

Besides, a Paladin only 'falls' for committing an evil act. A legitimate execution like this is no where near EVIL enough to instantly change their alignment to Evil. I'd explain that to the DM/GM and then get the game moving again. If he changes the alignment to Evil, that is when you appeal the decision after the game. YOU ARE A PALADIN! DO NOT LET EVIL HOLD YOU HOSTAGE WITH BAD/WORSE ULTIMATUMS!

The Succor Mystery for the Oracle would suit your cohort pretty well. It is from the Healer's Handbook. Gets a revelation (Perfect Aid) that boosts the effects of any Aid Other attempts, and if you combine that with Bodyguard, you get a reliable way to have them deflect attacks aimed at you.

Catharsis wrote:
As for DR vs resistance, I'd expect my party to be mostly physical damage dealers in the early levels, so if I alone suck against an energy-resistant foe, it's probably preferable over everybody sucking against a DR monster...

Your logical conclusion pleases me.

Catharsis wrote:
Thanks for the pointers, though it's getting dangerously close to spoiler territory.

Yeah, I tried to keep that about as vague as possible. If it makes you feel any better, I did not mention whether these were creatures in your direct path, wandering/random monsters, or part of optional sub-quests.

If anything, that speaks in favor of going Earth first and Electric second... but I guess I should just go with what I prefer from the RP perspective (which is Air, I guess) and just be creative about monsters where electric attacks are a bad idea. Maybe I can place timed Kinetic Covers to hinder the monster's retaliation against my teammates... oh wait, that's Earth again. ;o) Hmmm...

You'll get a lot of use from either one of the elements in the beginning, as well as come across types of monsters that will challenge either element. I merely suggest taking Electric Blast early because you can carry around some backups weapons in case the electricity doesn't work well, versus having to scratch your head a bit if your normal attacks have trouble hitting and you don't have a method to target touch AC. Once your second element comes online, you'll have zero reason to keep around normal weapons, because you have both bases covered.

TurquoiseMouse wrote:
DeathlessOne wrote:
Sadly, earth and air don't mix for a composite blast. Water might be your best bet for the physical blast.

Element(s) air and earth; Type composite blast (Sp); Level —; Burn 2

Prerequisite(s) air blast, earth blast
Blast Type: physical; Damage piercing and slashing

You use your air to churn up sand, firing a flensing gust at a foe.

Apologies, I should have clarified. I meant an earth blast and electric blast do not combine to form a composite blast. The OP was talking about fire and/or electricity being useful.

Lady-J wrote:
there may be a few things vulnerable to lightning but there are just as many things that get healed/hasted by it aswell(atleast in my playthrough of it) and if you use metal composite blasts if you carry arround adamantine you could shread through most creatures who have hardness or dr

I must be mis-remembering things then. The vast majority of robots that you encounter are vulnerable to electricity. There are a FEW creature that have immunity/healed by electricity but they tend to be few and far between.

I scanned the first two books briefly to make sure and there are hardly a handful of them. I'd suggest knowledge dungeoneering and religion so that you can spot them easily, because they tend to be some sort of undead (or mechanically enhanced undead), aberrations, or a type of golem. By the time you hit the 3rd book (and 7th level), you should have your second blast and don't have to worry much about being shut down by electricity resistant or immune creatures. The 3rd book is relatively empty of electricity resistant things compared to the first two books.

In a home game, I'd let you do it with a fighter. You are giving up FIVE feats for the VMC anyway.

I'm running an Iron Gods game and we have an android Earth kineticist. Having the ability to bypass certain physical damage reductions (bludgeoning, slashing, piercing) has been very handy to him. There are quite a few monsters with vulnerability to electricity (robots typically are). He just got access to earth glide around level 10 and it's been usual in many places, though completely useless in metal dungeons.

It's really a toss up between electricity and earth, really. Though, your touch AC will come into play much, much more than in usual games. If I had to suggest, start with electricity and use regular ranged weapons when your blasts are useless. When you get your second element, get a physical blast. Sadly, earth and air don't mix for a composite blast. Water might be your best bet for the physical blast. I don't recommend fire blast.

If you have other specific questions, I'd be happy to help, spoiler free.

Culture20 wrote:

I asked this question in the rules forum but didn't recieve a response... since my character build is a multiclass of several of these classes, wearing a phylactery of positive channeling (eventually ending up in Holy Vindicator to boost all the channel pools), I figured this thread might be the best place to ask:

1) When multiclassing with multiple channel pools, and a cleric class has Sun and/or Glory domains, do the domain granted powers function on _all_ channel pools or just the cleric's? (there were answers to that one in other threads, but they were admittedly guesses; they said granted powers work on all pools)

2) Same situation, but now the cleric is one of the new archetypes: Angelfire Acolyte. Does the new "dazzle all affected non-good for one round" ability work for all channel pools, or just the cleric channel pool?

1) I see no reason why the Sun and/or Glory domains would not work on any positive channeling you perform, regardless of what class it came from. Evidence to support my conclusion, the Orc bloodline for a sorcerer. The bonus damage effects ANY spell that character casts, not just sorcerer spells.

2) Can't help you with that one. I can't find it on the online resource and have no idea what book it is in. However, if it simply says 'whenever you channel positive energy' like the domain abilities, it would work on any channel pool.

Davia D wrote:
A terrier, on the flip side, was used to aggressively hunt small prey and another bonus may be fitting.

For a terrier, I'd have them give a bonus similar to Endurance, though only a +2 or so. Possibly a small bonus to intimidate to help 'flush out' the animals.

You are having your animal companion sacrificing attacks of opportunity to boost your AC by +2 for one attack. It really only makes a difference when the attack is only just likely to hit. Now, if you have ways to boost the bonus you get from aid another, this becomes more of an option.

You are also giving up the possibility of flanking with your animal companion because it has to be right next to you to use this feat.

ellindsey wrote:
+perception. Those little yapping lap dogs were bred to be burglar alarms (among other uses). Not guard dogs, but their yapping would wake up the guards and guard dogs that would actually do something about intruders.

You already get alertness for being near your familiar, that's a bonus to perception a lot of people overlook. I'd say just give him a bonus to Sense Motive. Some dogs are inherently perceptive about intentions, after all. Perhaps it growls when it senses something off?

If you must have Paladin as the main class, I'd recommend looking into the variant multi classing rules for filling in some abilities that you may lack. If paladin can be the VMC, any normal class will do.

My favorite Paladin archetype is the Chosen One.

Holy Tactician is a good archetype to grant bonus feats and make it even easier to hit enemies.

You might consider the Nature Fang archetype. Trades away wild shape and other, lesser Druid abilities for studied target, slayer talents, and a single sneak attack dice. Would suit an urban based Druid fairly well. You still get a companion/domain. My favorite is crocodile. Familiar, grapple stuff, and scaling sneak attack.

Trues Strike is my choice. It lacks the somatic component, so is not effected by arcane spell failure chance in your armor.

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