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If you think the DM was wrong in your RAW debate I think that getting a FAQ to clarify the RAW situation would be more helpful than making a "revenge" PC to somehow "prove" to the DM that you really aren't a munchkin since you could have done something much worse but clearly RAW (and you might only find that the DM disagrees with your interpretation of RAW again)
I think the OP's story is lacking some details though. What are some of the problematic RAW rulings which the DM has been making? Were they things which made other PCs more powerful than the OP's PC? Were they things which just seemed a little silly? Were they things which made the PCs less powerful?
@TriOmegaZero - That sounds like a two way street to me. Sometimes people just can't get along, but other times they can compromise. I personally doubt that, "Hah! Take that!" is often a good way to initiate that compromise though.
I think that a bullet list of important things to know about the room might be pretty helpful. It would also be nice if the electronic versions of adventures had clickable links to referenced material.
I also miss the way some old school adventures would include a lot of illustrations of rooms, puzzles, monsters, etc. I guess that the expectation levels for artwork have increased a lot since the days of black and white illustrations by Erol Otus, and I understand that adding several pages of full color glossy pictures to a book would probably raise the price. Maybe stuff like this could be available as a web bonus though.
I've seen counterspells from time to time. There was a spell back in 3.5 which made them a lot easier to use...maybe Spell Ward or something...
I think one of the main reason counterspells don't get used a lot is that spellcasters aren't very common enemies in a lot of adventures. A lot of monsters have spell like abilities, but I don't think those can be counterspelled (or at least I haven't seen somebody do it)
@thejeff - Back in 3.5 I made firearms Simple weapons. This seems appropriate to me since one of the advantages of muskets seems to have been that it was easier to train people to use them effectively than it was to train skilled archers. I still think that lowering the rate of fire for PCs to less than once per round would probably create a lack of fun though. There's also the fact that a higher level PC with enough wealth could just go with the "Blackbeard" option and carry multiple loaded pistols for use with Quick Draw, so using load times as the primary balancing factor on firearms could be difficult to pull off well.
@Claxon - I think the touch AC problem has been exacerbated by mid and high BAB classes gaining more access to touch attacks and especially iterative touch attacks. I also think that the OP's problem with firearms might be more thematic than mechanical though.
Creating a speadsheet which calculates encumbrance after you enter the weight of each item is trivial. Making one which includes most common equipment along with weights would be a little more ambitious (and possibly worth sharing with the community)
I guess that the DM maintaining a copy of each PC might matter more in a survival horror themed game. Then you could just call for a d20 roll and apply the appropriate modifier for a Perception check, Will save, etc. Of course you could also just call for pointless d20 rolls and then nod, shake your head, and jot something down.
Oddly enough I've never seen people make their PCs unusually tall. Generally they seem to prefer making them short and light compared to what one might expect based on their race and Str. If somebody makes a taller, heavier character who isn't (and often can't be) any stronger some ridicule of the bigger PC often ensues.
I generally try to just describe my PCs as I think they should appear rather than getting into some sort of "pound for pound" contest, but a lot of folks really like underdogs and the trope of big muscle men getting bested by old men and little girls. Just bringing it up makes me kind of feel like a big bully and oppressor who deserves to get comically upended by spunky little folks.
I was pretty unhappy with Pathfinder's rules for early firearms, but Paizo recently issued an errata for Ultimate Combat. There were some pretty significant changes for early firearms, so you might want to check it out before making any decisions.
I'll grant that the load times for early firearms in Pathfinder do seem unrealistically fast. Then again, the load times for crossbows seem pretty fast too. I'm guessing this was done to allow these weapons to be useful options in Pathfinder's round based combat where you often need multiple hits to take out an enemy. If a character can't make at least one attack per round that's likely to be frustrating for the player, so I wouldn't advise slowing down reloading too much. If you absolutely can't stand seeing early firearms fired more than once per round you could consider changing the Gunslinger's Dead Shot deed to work more like Mythic Vital Strike. The idea of one slow but deadly shot might fit the theme you're looking for better than than the idea of several less damaging shots. I guess it could also be nice for bypassing DR though there's already a feat for that.
@Claxon - I'm not a big fan of the touch attack mechanic in general though I think that the problem there extends beyond guns.
Making some of the food dangerous might be fun, especially if PCs have a chance to figure out which food is safe using their skills. Survival and Knowledge(Nature) would obviously be useful, but other Knowledge skills could help out for more exotic creatures. Profession (Cook) could also assist with safe cooking methods (think about blowfish)
I also suggest watching an old Japanese film called Matango and designing an adventure based on it (though perhaps adapted to a subterranean setting). I've always kind of wanted to run such an adventure, perhaps using Will saves for the PCs to resist eating as they start becoming more and more famished. The film seems to be inspired by "The Voice in the Night" by William Hope Hodgson, which is in the public domain.
Forgetting about food for a moment, I'd think that enhancing and extending the role of ability damage, disease, and poison in the game could lead to a more "survival horror" feel. Eliminating the spells which get rid of these problems completely could be problematic unless you also change drain to damage, but you might consider raising a the levels of some spells or adding expensive material components to encourage the PCs to "tough it out". Of course folks have already warned you that players might not like this sort of game. If folks are up for struggling to survive and working through problems it could be interesting though.
@gamer-printer - I've added the free PDF and will check it out. The premise reminds me a lot of a free adventure called "An Icy Grave" which I downloaded years ago and always wanted to run. I was thinking of increasing the CR of that one a bit to run higher level PCs through it, but I figured that magic might become a problem (the PCs wouldn't need to seek shelter from the storm, the cold weather wouldn't be a threat, etc)
We’ve got an ongoing “Goblin Game” which is currently at 12th level. It included both “We Be Goblins” and “We Be Goblins Too”, but by the time “We Be Goblins Free” came out our PCs had gained too many levels for the DM to feel like ramping the challenge up to our CR range. The DM demanded that all PCs must be goblins and banned Good alignments.
The party is basically a bunch of CE psychopaths with my NE character acting as the “voice of reason” though that pretty much just consists of trying to convince them that we’ll be able to cause even more terror and mayhem in the long run if we have a Plan. With 12 Int my goblins thinks he’s an absolute genius, so the more complicated and ridiculous the Plan is the better. One of my favorites involved using severed giant frog feet to make fake “boggard” footprints around a raided gnome village. It also involved giant frog heads on sticks and actually helped instigate a gnome vs boggard war (weakening both sides as a prelude to a goblin takeover).
Soon we’ll be building siege engines such as zombie throwers and maybe some “skele-bombs” with bloody skeleton shrapnel which reforms into undead monsters behind enemy lines. We're pretty skilled at Craft (Alchemy), and thanks to Background Skills my PC is getting good at Knowledge (Engineering) too.
My girlfriend sometimes uses Reposition or Grapple to get allies out of danger. She even insists that the movement shouldn’t provoke an AoO since it doesn’t do so when the powers are used offensively. DMs generally frown but allow it.
Enforcer + Hurtful can be a nice combo. I have a PC who uses Greater Trip + Vicious Stomp to apply this. Even if he has to move he can Trip as a standard action, AoO with his heavy flail, AoO with a stomp, intimidate as a free action, and then make another heavy flail attack as a swift action. As somebody said though, there are a lot of monsters immune to fear. There are also a lot of monsters immune to Trip (though you can still use the basic Enforcer + Hurtful combo on many of them)
A combo I’m planning to use with an upcoming NPC in a game I run is Spring Attack and Combat Reflexes with Stand Still and an Elven Branched Spear, which has reach and grants a +2 on AoOs provoked by movement.
As I recall, dying at -Con instead of -10 was "just a house rule" for many years.
I guess RAW is law in PFS though. Presumably there are no particularly fat or skinny PCs in PFS given the locked in weight to height ratio.
That reminds me that I want to buy a mini of Visbarontess Delour Aulamaxa, who definitely appears to be "off the chart".
If your PC can train animals some DMs might allow animals to help you in combat. I wouldn't expect it though. From a roleplaying perspective I enjoyed having my PC in Kingmaker train wild animals and even an owlbear to live in our capital city's menagerie and perform in his Varisian uncle's circus.
There are a few ways to get animal companions via feats, and Handle Animal would be useful for PCs with such aspirations. Other than that I think you can use the Handle Animal skill to drive certain vehicles, so I guess it could come in handy during a wagon chase. It is the sort of skill where the player and DM might need to look for times when it can be fun.
One odd situation where a group insisted on rolling was the 3d4 which an old group of mine insisted every male PC must roll during character creation. I always thought that the practice was intensely silly, but I also happened to roll pretty well. One PC who rolled an 11 took Craft Rod later in his career and titled himself “The Lord of Rodly Might”. All of the magic rods he crafted were 11 inches long. Another guy rolled a 3 for his half-orc Barbarian and endured a little ridicule from time to time. The 3d4 roll wasn't my "innovation", but it became somewhat of a tradition for a while. I think Small PCs got 2d4 instead.
On a different note, if a player insists on playing a Human who is small enough to fit into the Small size category I wonder how many DMs would adjust the character's size to Small and how many would say that the PC remains Medium despite the description. I guess the field could be further divided into DMs who would adjust physical ability scores and those who wouldn't.
@blackbloodtroll - Even if you rolled over and over you'd never end up skinny or fat since you always get the same height to weight ratio.
We once assembled an all Bard 9th level party to play a module based on the Gamers movies. I can’t recall if we finished the module, but we each had different archetypes, some of which offered different or stacking bonuses. I forget my PC’s archetype at the moment, but it involved pranks and tricks. He also had Intensified Spell and a trait to apply it to Thundering Drums for free, and the results were pretty impressive (at least in a game full of 9th level Bards)
We’ve got an ongoing “Goblin Game” which is currently at 12th level. It included both “We Be Goblins” and “We Be Goblins Too”, but by the time “We Be Goblins Free” came out our PCs had gained too many levels for the DM to feel like ramping the challenge up to our CR range. We’ve been on various homebrew adventures which have included:
There's a "Troop" subtype for creatures out there somewhere. I'm pretty sure you can find it on d20pfsrd, and there's an older 3.5 version called Mobs or something like that. These might be useful for groups of lower level soldiers.
As for higher level but not terribly significant NPCs, there are a few NPC Galleries online. If you poke around you can probably find something pretty close to what you want and just make a few tweaks. I'm assuming you don't have something like Hero Lab which can allegedly whip up such NPCs quickly with minimal fuss (I should probably get something like that)
@Trogdar - I'd probably still make you choose Wondrous Items or Arms & Armor. Normally the Wondrous Item crafting feat seems a lot better, but crafting Arms & Armor might be more appealing to martial characters who expect to rely heavily on those items than it is to a Wizard who is likely to not use them at all. I guess that another option might be to allow you to use a certain number of Craft skills with the feat though I prefer the idea of a dwarven smith who forges weapons and armor to that of an elven rogue who is a magical tailor as well as crafting rapiers. I suppose that's just a matter of taste though. I think that two associated skills, three associted skills, or even 1 associated skill per 3 or 5 levels would be better than just 1 associated skill though.
Judging from responses I'll guess that other most other people here on the boards or at the very least most other people posting in their thread don't feel that Fighters jumping up hundreds of feet in the air to attack stuff is at all silly or out of theme. Does jumping actually allow you to move faster than your speed though?
I understand that Paizo could make new rules to say that if you're a jumping Fighter you can teleport through solid objects, create multiple “after image” duplicates of yourself which confuse enemies like Mirror Image, or become immune to energy damage because a sheathe of supercharged atomic material surrounds you due to your supersonic speed and heroic nature. Is there already a rule which allows you to move faster than your speed by jumping though, or would that be something new too?
Back to the OP’s question, I think that some martials really do need nicer things. I also think that Paizo has begin to supply some nicer things and options for allowing nicer things though.
- Out of Combat Skills: I’ve found Background Skills pretty nice for rounding out my Viking and my goblin. My orc’s DM isn’t allowing them, and that PCs skill ranks seem painfully tight even though he’s a genius in orc terms.
Speaking of riding, I never assumed that combat training granted armor proficiency to animal companions. Masterwork studded leather already has no armor check penalty though, and even that often boosts an animal's AC to the point where some DMs might start to complain. Being able to ignore the ACP on your Ride checks should also help the Cavalier with Mounted Combat.
There are already some martial classes which are pretty good at leaping such as Ninjas and Rogues. If there's somebody flying hundreds of feet up shooting arrows or Fireballs I'm not sure that jumping up at them makes a lot of sense though. Thematic concerns aside, I'm not sure if jumping allows you to move faster than your speed, so it might take you a while to get there. Some sort of dimensional movement might make more sense, and while there are a few options for that they're generally magical.
There's another thread about making Master Craftsman (or something like it) a single feat magic weapon and armor crafting solution, and I agree that would probably be a good change.
One guy we play with has caused several monsters to fumble and die while attacking his PCs. The effects of this on the PCs aren't as bad since we allow you to bypass the effects of a crit or fumble card for a Hero Point. Often folks keep their hero point and let the fumble play out, especially if it is an inconvenience rather than a disaster. Even when somebody spends a point so that something "doesn't really happen" folks generally get a laugh out of what "almost happened" though.
If you're going to use fumbles and crits they should require confirmation though, especially for fumbles. Otherwise things become farcical as you gain levels, especially for folks using Rapid Shot or TWF.
I'd like to see the PC have and use a Craft skill relevant to the item being made, but I think it makes sense to allow multiple skills to be used with the feat. Spellcasters can already use multiple different Craft skills to make items with Craft Wondrous Items. They just rarely bother since it is easier to consolidate their ranks in Spellcraft.
Creating a magic weapon has a special prerequisite: The creator's caster level must be at least three times the enhancement bonus of the weapon.
I guess the groups I play with always took that at face value as something which you need. If it is just another requirement which can be bypassed for +5 DC that's interesting though it won't help me in the only game where I'm currently crafting since the DM has some house rules involving special materials and secret crafting methods which will limit me to +3 for now anyhow (and require exotic ingredients for anything other than a basic "plus")
Craft Wondrous Items allows you to make a nice variety of items, but finding the downtime to make more than a few expensive items can be tough in many games. WBL inflation and increased magic item availability are issues which exist whether the crafter is a caster or non-caster though.
A lot of people feel that martial classes are often weaker and less versatile than casters. I'm not as worried about that imbalance as some folks, but I do feel that if a martial character spends a feat slot to be able to craft items that's actually a more significant investment than if a caster spends that same feat slot. It isn't like these martial characters would be making caster themed or specific items like wands or staffs, and even Paizo, supposedly great oppressors of the martials, allow them to buy into Craft Wondrous Items for two feats. I don't think that lowering the entry cost to one feat would break anything or steal anybody's thunder.
@Rynjin - Is the limit of 1/3 caster level for the enhancement bonus on crafted weapons and armor not a hard limit? If not that makes Craft Magic A&A more appealing in general.
Having the PCs vote in a democratic manner can help sometimes. If you offer them 3 options and ask them to vote it hopefully shouldn't take them too long to do so.
Maybe you could also have a "backup plan" for what happens to the party if they don't do anything. Like they could go to the trapped dungeon of the gnomish trickster to try to earn a rumored prize, they could investigate a recent string of ritualistic murders in the waterfront district, or they could trek to the distant city of Kabu to explore the nearby jungles and find the Golden Monkey. If they just sit around doing nothing maybe the ritualistic murderers target a PC or an NPC close to the party, or maybe goblins begin raiding local trade caravans and the mayor asks the party to intervene.
There can also probably be such a thing as too many adventure hooks though. In one campaign we rarely finish any quest since the DM generally distracts us with a side quest which leads us away from our goal. Other times the challenge just grows to great and we have to turn back. Either way we have so many hooks and unfinished quests that I have compiled a list of them to help us keep track of the quests and NPCs. It is around 6 pages long printed and includes upwards of 25 adventure hooks, around a third of which we haven't even checked out yet and only around 4 of which we've completed the quest for. The rest are all partially completed.
Is it intended for monsters to grab -> constrict -> release -> grab -> constrict in one attack sequence?
I mostly just recall that Gon could knock people across the screen and that his end credits were pretty funny. Eddie Gordo was a lot easier to use, and the little Chinese girl worked pretty well too as I recall - Xiaoyue maybe? Anyhow, I guess we're getting a little off topic here...
Back on the subject of grappling, I'll paraphrase Jim Morrison by saying, "Where are the FAQs we were promised?" (I don't mean to seem especially impatient, but I do hope to get "official" rulings before my grapple based PC is retired)
Whether you take Craft Magic Arms & Armor directly or have Master Craftsman subsume its function doesn't seem very significant to me. I guess either one could work. The idea of a gruff dwarf who forges great weapons seems iconic to me. I guess a martial arts master who forges his or her own weapon does too.
I'm not sure if many folks would take Master Craftsman just to avoid the +5 DC for not supplying a spell. You could probably get a buddy to supply the spell in a lot of cases, and even if you can't the increased DC is rarely a challenge (at least it hasn't been for my casters who took Craft feats and didn't know the prereq spells for the items they were making). I guess that folks might sign up for something like a +3 increase in their effective caster level so that they could produce weapons and armor with a higher "plus" than usual for their level.
Depending on your dwarf's proclivities and the group's mood the PC might have a secret lust for elven women which turns into angry frustration since they'd never accept a gruff, low Charisma dwarf like him and he's not supposed to admire them anyhow. That could range anywhere from a quirk to a fatal character flaw. Alternately this could be a problem some other dwarves have and your PC could be outraged by their fetish and their "magic elf porn" (perhaps illusion based movies or holograms sold by those dirty little gnomes, peddlers of the silly and perverse)
Stressing the "beardlessness" of Elf men seems like a good idea to me. My orc Fighter believes that:
Obviously those theories would probably fall apart upon even casual inspection by a sane person, but this is a Mutation Warrior with a Wisdom of 5 who believes he can transform himself into a manifestation of Barbatos, the bearded lord of the 1st layer of Hell.
I don't think you'll find your change overpowered. In fact, I think you should grant the ability to enchant both weapons and armor since Craft Magic Arms & Armor isn't the most attractive feat to begin with. You could still require the PC to use a skill appropriate to the item being made.
I also think it would be a shame to eliminate the ability to craft Wondrous Items. The default small town I start PCs out in has a half-orc NPC named Gobar who is a drunk and tardy tailor with terrible fashion sense but the ability to sew magic into his garments. Gobar's Cargo Pants act as the side pockets of a Handy Haversack while helping to answer the question of why PCs bother to wear pants since there's no "pants" magic item slot.
I'm not sure if the game really needs an immediate action to surrender, but if you expect a lot of surrenders in your game (perhaps as part of a pirate theme?) then maybe it is a good house rule.
Good and or Lawful opponents are probably more likely to accept your surrender. Our Chaotic Evil goblins might accept your surrender too, but surrendering to them is a very bad idea.
Mocking failures and bad decisions can be one of the most sublime pleasures of tabletop gaming. People reminisce about success once in a while, but failures become legends which live forever. For instance, if the Ranger fails a save and falls into a pit with acid at the bottom and then we levitate him out and urinate on him "to wash off the acid" that's a classic moment (for some definition of "classic" at least - people still laugh about it years later though)
Whether or not martials need better things I think that casters could stand a few nerfs. For instance, the "encounter-deciding spell" which Casual Viking mentioned is something which I find kind of boring and sometimes dispiriting.
The Witch (or whoever) uses an SoL spell or power. Then the DM rolls a d20 and either the enemy is effectively vanquished or nothing at all happens. The caster either robs me of the fun of fighting the enemy or fails to provide any meaningful support as I fight the enemy with one less PC making a meaningful contribution. Sometimes SoL spam ensues and it is a race to see which competing track (HP Damage vs SoL). I think it would be great if more spells and powers had their results averaged towards the center with successful saves often still imposing some negatives and failed saves not necessarily taking the foe out of the fight (at least not for long)
Obviously that would be a downgrade to the power of casters, and I suppose some people might object that a Fighter who gets off a full attack could still "easily" take an enemy out in one round, but defenses against that are certainly possible, and it isn't like casters don't have damage dealing options too (summoning in particular)
I think I've probably played more levels as a Bard than any other class, but I haven't found my recent excursion into Fighter and Barbarian particularly unrewarding (other than the low Will of one of my 3 PCs getting hit repeatedly). As I recall, Bards don't have a built in method to fly either. My last one rode a Sylvan Sorcerer's animal companion (which often had Overland Flight on it). He was pretty decent with a bow too almost by accident (Inspire Courage + Good Hope helps a lot)
A Fighter is generally expected to have gear. Most of them wouldn't function very well without armor and a weapon. I'm sure there are certain Fighter builds which would work well naked, but I don't think that's the base assumption.
There are at least two Fighter archetypes I can think of which offer options for flight without magical gear, but I think it is for the best that those options are contained within archetypes rather than bundled into the base class where they might force players who don't really want magical or quasi-magical (alchemy, ki powers, etc) flight for their PCs. I think that adulterating the Fighter’s “fighter-ness” with mysterious flying and leaping abilities would be a greater affront than allowing the Fighter to be a physical combatant who might need to use equipment to deal with certain problems.
Deciding that options which exist via feats or equipment aren't valid would limit a lot of characters. I guess those limitations could come into play against a player's will in certain games where the DM is very tightfisted with treasure and the PCs don't work together (or perhaps don't include any casters), but I hope that those games are either few and far between or a mutually agreed upon exercise in "gritty low magic adventuring" (or something along those lines)
I think that a team game could certainly include a conversation like:
Fighter: "Witch, cast Fly on me right now so I can go attack the Erinyes in melee!"
Witch: "Give me 375gp and I'll make you a potion of Fly so I don't have to waste my actions in combat. Why don't you just shoot her with your bow?"
Fighter: "I didn't buy a bow..."
Witch: "You have that bow from the last Erinyes we killed, use that!"
Fighter: "That only does 1d8+6 damage since the devil is immune to the fire. Chances are that I'll do no damage at all."
Witch: "Use Deadly Aim!"
Fighter: "I didn't take it. I had to focus solely on achieving the highest DPR possibly under ideal conditions and therefore have no backup plan."
Witch: "Fine, I'll summon a monster to kill the darned thing. It attacks about as well as you do anyhow. Are you happy? Are you happy that you made me show you how useless you are?"
Fighter: "Can I ride on the summoned monster?"
Witch: "Sure, can you make a Ride check?"
Fighter: "No, I spent all my skill ranks on Knowledge (Dungeoneering) so you wouldn't have to."
Witch: "Oh to Hell with it. Ice Tomb! Haha! I win!"
DM: "Does the ice break when the Erinyes falls to the ground?"
Witch: "Nobody knows..."
@Scavion - I really wish that harpoons worked more like I'd expect them to. The idea that you'd need to score a crit to get your harpoon to stick in a whale seems pretty odd and disappointing to me. I actually wrote up some harpooning house rules for a whaling session a while back where the party had to hunt down a Great White Whale to help a ghostly captain's spirit rest (we aren't fans of whale hunting in real life, but it seemed appropriate to the adventure)
@DrDeth - I basically agree with much of what you said, but I'd honestly like to know more about why people feel martial classes aren't satisfactory outside of combat. It seems to me like anybody can put some ranks into social skills and participate in roleplaying, and that's how most of the out of combat time in my groups is spent. Maybe other people have some different experiences which can help me understand the problem though.
Keep your head up and believe there will be better rolls is one way to play this, but the groups I'm in generally seem to prefer schadenfreude. Perhaps this is why we use a Fumble deck.
I'd guess that my PCs are known as much for their comical failures as anything else. One PC got partially eaten by a shark during a 1st level adventure when I failed to roll 8 or higher on 6 consecutive Swim checks to get over a reef to safety. Only magical healing saved him. The same PC later rolled a nat 1 against Symbol of Death but was brought back to suffer even more low rolls. With another PC I once rolled 7 nat 1's out of 15d20. In a recent campaign my low level PC with Skill Focus in Knowledge (Religion) rolled a 2 and failed to identify a statue of Erastil, instead proclaiming him as "Stag God" and converting to his worship on the spot.
I did have a seemingly "lucky" d20 which was rolling crits for a while, but it rolled away in a basement and was never seen again (possibly having gone down a French drain). On the flip side, when my PCs draw AoOs their DMs often seem to roll nat 20s. The d20 I use for my Feral Gnasher is notorious for going on both low and high streaks (though mostly low)
The Dirty Fighter can theoretically lock foes down pretty easily. My own such PC just got the ability at his most recent level though, and it has only come in handy once so far. My most recent generation of PCs is all martial, and I've found that there's a lot of good stuff to do with the Intimidate skill. The Viking and Feral Gnasher both have Terrifying Howl, and the Monk/Fighter and Feral Gnasher have Hurtful. Vicious Stomp + Enforcer + Hurtful is the Monk/Fighter's workhorse combo. Granted, it actually produces pretty good DPR, but the real point is to leave the enemy debuffed and help the other PCs get AoOs from Greater Trip (one of them even has Vicious Stomp too). He can replace attacks with dirty tricks, so the conditions can pile up quickly.
Grappling is kind of a mix between DPR and control. My FG has the Raging Grappler rage power, so he gets to knock foes prone when he maintains, and that's a pretty nice debuff.
In a more general sense I've found that high AC/defenses with a "slow and steady wins the combat" mentality can sometimes make for a reliable "lynchpin" PC to prevent TPKs.
You know you'll get attacked while you're asleep just like you know that statue will probably come to life. I guess one slightly "taboo" idea for a PC might be one who embodies the values of metagaming and runs around attacking stuff like statues and skeletons "before they can come to life and attack me!" I could imagine this PC setting rugs on fire so they don't roll up and try to smother him as well as constantly prodding the ground ahead of him with a polearm, attempting to disbelieve walls, and searching every door for traps.
A Viking with Beast Totem and Guarded Stance can pretty easily get his AC into the 40s by 12th level. Fully buffed and using Shield Wall my 12th level viking has a 47. With Crane Style and Combat Expertise I guess that could be 55, but I had other plans for that PC's feats. That same PC's AC gets as low as 35 when he's flat footed, so it isn't like he's "invincible", especially since it is a Mythic game.
@Taenia - If you're pushing your AC into the potentially controversial range I think you're probably better off just getting an ally to cast Mage Armor than asking for a custom magic item to boost your AC.
@erik542 - It is a minor point, but I'm not sure if Blood Armor and Mage Armor would stack. The AC is well into the "overkill" range against most foes anyhow. The touch AC is very impressive though, and I wonder what your monstrosity's CMD would be.
Torture is fine in our Goblin Game. While the Witch was giving a human prisoner a skyrocket suppository the other goblins were dismembering some of his buddies and playing practical jokes with the body parts like slapping somebody with his own hand while saying, "Stop hitting yourself!" It is mostly just some of the Lamashtu worship ideas which have made people wince a little.
@lemeres - Some of our DMs detail what's available at the inn or tavern, and many of our PCs actually buy the upscale stuff. Splitting up into separate rooms can be a tough tactical choice when you know the DM loves to attack PCs while they're asleep, but I've also seen that go both ways.
Chemlak has arrived with an Inn on a silver platter! It can be nice when the boards do the work for you. If the profit margin seems too high or too fast I'm sure the DM can think of many expenses for the business to encounter along the way. I think it would be nice if owning the Inn were fun and at least slightly profitable though.
Adventure hooks generated by the Inn needn't always involve "saving" the Inn either. Guests could communicate useful rumors or offers of employment to the PCs directly or through the Inn's employees. Of course there could also be a secret door or hatch in the Inn's basement which leads to sewers, catacombs, a dungeon, etc. Once cleared out the adventure area might serve as a secret hideout, smuggling route, etc.
It looks like Bob Bob Bob has provided a flat cost to buy an Inn. If the players want a bigger Inn increase the cost proportionally. If you think it should cost 30% more (or 10% more, or 120% more) in Absalom that's great though it might be nice to increase the potential profits too.
I think it might be a little unfair to say that the players want something "for free" when they're looking to BUY an Inn (presumably with gold pieces in much the same way as they'd buy most other things). Sure, the Inn might turn a modest profit, but by the time the profits exceed the initial investment I'd imagine that the amount of gold the Inn brings in would likely be insignificant compared to the party's adventuring income.
The Inn could easily become a source of adventure hooks and NPCs. It sounds like a campaign enhancement opportunity to me. Even if the players aren't interested in learning new rules maybe they'd be interested in drawing a map of their Inn or detailing some of the NPCs who work there (or perhaps the DM would prefer to do that stuff or just find some prefab material online - there are even a few Inn generation apps out there)