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For the purposes of the Raging Throw feat would a Skald count as having the rage class feature? Could he spend a round of raging song for inspired rage instead of a round of rage to activate the feat's ability? I know Skalds can't share rage powers which require spending rounds of rage, but Raging Throw is a feat rather than a rage power and wouldn't be shared.
I think that by RAW it looks like this probably wouldn't work, but I'm not sure if some rulings might have been made about Skalds and rage which might let it work after all.
@taks - You're the one who said my comment made no sense, prompting my further response to explain it. I've never claimed that you aren't entitled to your opinion, just that enforcing the rule doesn't require any rationalization and creating the rule doesn't seem to either. It sounds like you agree with the first point, so I'll apologize for any misunderstanding about that part.
@Orfamay Quest - I think that going from "You need a hand free to use Spell Combat, so I'm ruling that Spell Combat uses that hand" to "You can't wear metal armor, so I'm ruling that leather armor is made of metal" is a pretty big leap.
I guess technically the requirement to threaten an enemy when you want to improve your ally's AC against that enemy wouldn't apply to increasing your ally's saving throw against a spell. I mean, being in position to attack an enemy clearly doesn't apply to using Aid Another to boost an ally's skill check, which is probably the most common use of Aid Another in many games.
As an aside, I always found it odd that the Aid Another action seemed to imply you could help boost an ally's saving throw against a spell (perhaps helping to break the effect of Hold Person, Dominate Person, etc?) but didn't offer any details on how that boost worked. I mean, even for Vanguard Style, do you make an attack roll against AC 10 to boost your ally's Reflex save, or do you make a Reflex save against DC 10? I'd guess the latter, but it doesn't seem clear. I've yet to find a DM who would allow Aid Another for saving throws anyhow, but maybe if I could explain how it works somebody be more likely to allow it.
I wonder if a "happy medium" might have been achieved by a ruling that no matter what happens you can't get more than a +4 total boost on anything from Aid Another no matter how many allies help you or how great their Aid Another abilities are. I'm not sure if only 2 allies being able to assist on a skill check is a house rule or a real rule, but I've seen it as a general assumption at a lot of tables (maybe it is a relic of 3.5?)
Yeah, you "should" be able to get Blinkback Belt on a Belt of Dex for 2500gp more. I guess some DMs might not allow combining enchantments, but I don't think banning it is common practice. Maybe I'd be surprised...
Anyhow, paying 7500gp to basically get Ricochet Toss without spending a feat while bypassing the Martial Focus prerequisite doesn't seem like a bad deal to me.
A Core Monk actually wouldn't be able to pick up Ricochet Toss until 9th level due to the BAB requirement. I'm not sure if Far Strike Monk works with Unchained Monk or not.
That Rhino Charge feat looks pretty great. The fact it requires the sometimes less than useful Improved Bull Rush feat means you're paying a pretty good price for it though. I suspect you also might encounter table variation regarding whether DMs will let you blatantly use it as a way to get around charging restrictions
Player: I circle around the enemy and ready an action to charge him from behind as soon as anybody else does anything at all! (or for caster suppression maybe "if he tries to cast")
Player: I circle around the enemy and ready an action to charge him from behind as soon as anybody else does anything at all!
If a rationalization is a lot like an excuse or cover up I don't see how a DM enforcing the actual rule is a rationalization. I guess you're saying that Paizo making the rule was a rationalization though. It sounds to me more like it was just a ruling you don't like.
I think "rationalization" often carries a negative connotation of illegitimacy, delusion, or dishonesty whereas Paizo's ruling here seems legitimate and fairly reasonable at least to me. I mean, if you need a hand free to use Spell Combat and Paizo rules that means Spell Combat uses that hand I don't see why that's illogical or requires a defense mechanism.
I think that having meaningful differences between races, classes, and other sorts of options is a good thing. I also think DMs should be more open to allowing mounts on adventures. Most dungeons I've seen are big enough for Large mounts if you follow the rules, especially with the Narrow Frame feat.
When it comes to other people's builds I'm not really tired of any builds in particular though I think it would be nice if level 10+ Ninjas had something to do other than turn invisible all the time. I guess there also is a certain "sameness" about many Barbarians. We honestly have been involved in two campaigns in a row (with different groups) which had a Barbarian named Butcher who had Superstition and 300+ HP. The second one doesn't have Beast Totem like the first one, but he's Mythic and has 60+ speed and an ability which allows him to move and still full attack (basically superior to Pounce)
For my own PCs I tend to make the craziest most complicated builds I can, so I never really get bored. For the next campaign cycle I might have to make at least one PC with low AC though since I've probably been relying too much on AC as my primary defense.
I think that the cat kicking Barbarian should really be a Bloodrager with a cat bloodline familiar, perhaps a Figment who he regularly kicks to death each day before it reappears the next day.
The fact you can't ready actions even when you're pretty sure combat will start soon has been a source of frustration and amusement in many games. Sometimes you "just know" that the pile of bones will turn into a skeleton or the statue will attack you when you get near. Somehow that damned statue still gets the drop on you though. It is the same with the animated rugs...alas...
If you just can't wait until 6th or 7th level to be Warrior from Gauntlet maybe you could buy a Blinkback Belt.
I've got a "throwing build" of sorts in a Mythic game and have found that Mythic Vital Strike can make throwing a light hammer at least viable. Full attacking with a bow and Clustered Shots would result in better damage, but I'm ready to switch hit at any time, and I get to keep my shield out, so it isn't all bad - of course this cost me 2 regular feats and a Mythic Feat.
@Qaianna - I thought pilum were usually designed to bend or break when they hit so that they couldn't be thrown back and would be harder to pull out of shields. That didn't stop the Romans from having legends of +1 Animal Bane pilums though. They allegedly threw some at Hannibal's elephants, not realizing that an enemy caster had Awakened them into Magical Beasts.
Getting a couple more players is a good idea.
I've often ended up running a campaign kind of like what you're describing "by mistake" for a few levels when I had to insert published adventures since I didn't have enough material ready for my homebrew game. If you can find any old issues of Dungeon magazine they have a lot of adventures intended for PCs of a certain level, and each one generally includes advice on how to run it for parties a few levels higher or lower. Monster templates can also help a lot with adjusting adventures by a level or two.
Even if you don't have Dungeon I'd consider grouping the adventures into rough categories by level, say 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, etc. Any adventures the party doesn't follow up on by the time they reach the next XP band might "expire". Maybe some other adventurers dealt with the situation or the threat has grown and is now represented by some other adventure.
As for presenting the hooks, maybe there could be different NPCs who offer different adventures.
I agree you can move and then ready an action (or draw a weapon and then ready an action, etc)
What I don't think you're allowed to do is ready an action to charge (since you had more than a standard action available on your turn). If this were allowed it would let you play all sorts of tricks like moving into charging position and readying an action to charge when some likely trigger occurs (when the party's Wizard says, "Charge!")
In the past I've often started out my homebrew adventures with too much focus on a small area like a town and the surrounding countryside. I then tended to let them wander too much until the crisscrossing plot lines and sidequests had thoroughly confused us all. Finally the whole thing would tend to run out of steam as the higher level sessions became too tough to consistently prepare during a week when I might unexpectedly need to work 60+ hours and play in another game or two.
One step I'm considering to remedy that would be to write the high level portion of the adventure first. I could also try to write the entire campaign in advance though I'm concerned that might make my adventure railroad a little too restrictive. Folks don't seem to mind with APs, but when they know it is homebrew I think they like to challenge the DM a little and poke around to see what you are or aren't prepped for. Another way to implement that might be to use an AP for the early part of an adventure and then cap it off with some homebrewed stuff or just bastardize an AP so that worst case you'll always have something to run when game time comes. I've had some experience with "winging it", but while it can sometimes be fun it can also easily go wrong.
We had one DM who would delay our progress with random wilderness encounters and then kind of apologize for it. The funny thing was that we actually enjoyed those mindless battles. Maybe they would have grown dull at some point, but it wasn't a bad way to spend a session once in a while.
@Bwang - I started an online project similar to your notes a while back for a campaign where the DM offered us way too many adventure hooks. The main document has grown to 17 pages and also uses color coding:
When I arrived for the last session the other players had printed out the document and were poring over it to determine which quest the party should go on next. That made me feel like maybe it wasn't a wasted effort!
The fact you have to be threatening the enemy isn't my favorite ruling, but I actually like the clarification that Paired Opportunists won't work since I'd seen some proposed builds of that sort popping up and didn't think "Come and Get Me Plus" should be that easy to achieve.
If there were balance problems with Bodyguard I think they were mostly around bonus boosters such as the Benevolent enchantment for armor, which Paizo nerfed slightly a while back. I guess Paizo could have felt that something which gives you a bonus against melee attacks shouldn't work against ranged attacks too though. That's unfortunate since I think stopping ranged attacks seems very thematic for a "Bodyguard".
My PC with Bodyguard rode an eidolon who had it too, so generally they were both threatening the same stuff. My Viking will be pretty sad that the shieldmaiden he travels with can no longer block ranged attacks for him though. Still, I agree with DM Livgin that it is better to have a firm answer here.
I'm just about like Ravingdork - well - in terms of this survey...
Maybe I deserve 2 stars for 3rd party though since one of our DMs uses Mystara as a setting and I guess TSR is "3rd party" if you're playing Pathfinder. He also uses some 3rd party monsters. The other night we had to fight a "Xxyth", which was so obscure I had to visit Inner Circle's website to find a picture of the darned thing for our adventure log.
Does that make me level 17?
Besides the fact that the Magus can take Weapon Specialization I’ve actually seen Arcane Strike mostly on Bards. I'd imagine that an Arcane Duelist with TWF who uses Arcane Strike with Inspire Courage and Dance of a Hundred Cuts could be pretty effective though I haven't seen such a PC in play yet. Perhaps I'll build an NPC like that for use as a monster.
Besides the Ricochet Shot feat folks there’s also the Blinkback Belt so long as the DM will agree that a chakram could be held with a sheath or strap.
I don’t think that spending one feat for Martial Focus to qualify for Ricochet Shot is that big of a feat tax if you’d rather play another class instead of Fighter, especially since some of those other classes might give you bonus feats too. For instance, the Far Strike Monk gets several useful bonus feats along with a bunch of potentially fun Monk abilities. You’d get EWP(chakram), Quick Draw, and Shot on the Run along with bonus feats at levels 1, 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18. So, a Fighter gets 10 bonus feats which could be used for thrown weapons whereas this Monk gains 9.
That’s not a big difference in feats, plus the Monk is actually more front loaded. The Far Strike Monk’s Far Shot is superior since you can make extra attacks (one at 8th level, two at 15th) . Finally, the Monk also gets Improved Unarmed Strike, which could be useful for style feats and maybe some grappling. Being able to achieve a decent AC without armor also might be well suited to the OP’s character concept.
That’s not to say that the Fighter is bad, just that maybe the Monk could be fun too.
I'll list a few things I think are relevant
It is arguable whether most familiars can speak. Ravens clearly can. Some folks feel that the Speak With Master ability most familiars gain should count too, but others don't. If you're in a home game ask your DM. If you're in PFS you'll need an Improved Familiar. I suspect they made it that way at least partially to prevent such questions from coming up so often.
I thought there was a rule that aquatic creatures could do normal damage with their natural weapons while underwater even if those weapons deal bludgeoning or slashing damage. This seems sensible to me since otherwise a giant octopus might only do half damage with its tentacles. Then again, maybe the fact that you get to do full bludgeoning damage while grappling is why an octopus likes grappling so much.
A lot of aquatic creatures use Bites, and those would do full damage due to the piercing component. It is the tentacles and claws I'm worried about though it was a draugr's slam which made me think of all this. With Improved Natural Attack it does 2d8 base damage, which might still be pretty decent even after it gets halved.
Now it makes me wonder about Water Elementals too though. They only have slam attacks and don't seem to concentrate on grappling, so do they inflict half damage in their native environment? Should creatures with the Water subtype do full damage underwater? Are there rules on any of this anywhere?
I think that the rule against dragging foes into dangerous areas are a major drag (and now the source of a terrible pun). I’m also not sure why Drag and Reposition deserve to be separate maneuvers. Is there a doctrine of “Separate but Useless” in play?
If the Trip weapon property gave you a +2 on Trip attempts that would not only make you less likely to fall down but more likely to succeed. I guess maybe somebody was concerned that Trip was too powerful though. Maybe that's the same reason you can't Trip flying creatures in Pathfinder. Grapple is another combat maneuver that tends towards "Dominant or Useless", but I'm forgetting this is actually a thread about improvised weapons...
@Artfix - The fact that there are a few class abilities which make improvised weapons a bit better doesn’t change my opinion of how they are “in general”. I’m not sure that making improvised weapons as useful as “regular” weapons is something every table would want although Sean K Reynolds’ opinion on water balloon based PCs has apparently changed a bit over the years.
@Fig - I may indeed have seen a movie featuring such a character! My PC was a from an Asian themed nation around Tian Xia and ate with chopsticks but found a use for forks too.
Why is it so difficult to determine what has Lawful and / or Chaotic alignments, but so easy to determine Good and Evil alignments?
I choose "C": Succeed at a Knowledge check. I think that's the way PCs are supposed to know about stuff like a creature's DR. Depending on the situation options B or D might garner the creature's alignment and allow you to guess about DR. As an aside, I've seen a lot of DMs house rule away the ability to overcome metal and alignment based DR using a weapon's enhancement bonus. I'm not sure if that would ameliorate or exacerbate your concerns though.
I do agree that the Law vs Chaos axis seems a little ill defined for roleplaying purposes. I sometimes wonder if being Chaotic is more about not making plans or if making plans is fine but you won't necessarily stick to them if something else strikes your fancy. I've been kind of taking the latter approach lately.
Dark Creepers being wrapped in layers of dirty cloth and smelling like spoiled food makes me think that maybe bugs could live on their person. Besides centipedes I guess another sort of bug known to dislike light is the roach. Dirty little dark creepers infested with roaches could probably make an adventurer sickened if not downright nauseated (perhaps with a swarm-like aura)
If there were baby giant centipedes eating the roaches I guess you could end up with a whole ecosystem in a dark creeper's clothing. Maybe there would be big, fat dark folk be called Filth Wardens or something. They could be infested with maggots and surrounded by clouds of flies, kind of a final Herod-like bloated stage of the dark creeper life cycle which lives for a while in a "royal" state before bursting open to release something nasty - maybe lots of horrible grubs with humanoid faces which slowly grow and molt into new dark creepers?
I guess another pet/mount dark creepers might keep would be giant cave crickets (aka "sprickets" since they look like a cross between spiders and crickets). Somehow that also reminds me of rust monsters though I guess dark folks who want to ally with those would need to use weapons made of bone, stone, etc.
Why is it so difficult to determine what has Lawful and / or Chaotic alignments, but so easy to determine Good and Evil alignments?
I've gained the impression over the years that Michael Moorcock's work probably had a big influence on D&D's concepts of Law and Chaos. For some reason I'd never read the Elric stories up until now, but I'm currently in the process of doing so. Maybe when I'm done I'll better understand what folks were thinking when they made Law basically good and Chaos basically evil in Basic D&D. Obviously alignments were a lot more nuanced and confusing (perhaps even advanced) in AD&D and subsequent editions. I remember when I first saw a copy of the AD&D Monster Manual and was slightly fascinated by the concept of creatures who were Chaotic Good or those noted to have "good tendencies".
I can't help but notice that some of us (me included) have a tendency to put Law before Chaos just as we might tend to put Good before Evil even though that's not how they'd appear in alphabetical order. Maybe this is why Lord Arioch wants our blood and souls.
Back to the actual subject of the thread, I have no idea what the OP is talking about. Is there some special rule which makes it harder to ID a Lawful or Chaotic outsider with Knowledge (Planes) than it is to ID a Good or Evil one?
I agree with the Bard/Skald advice, and it is worth noting the two could combine to buff any Str based melee characters present. That might be nice for the low level sailor types. Another Bard archetype which can stack bonuses is the Archivist, who could help cover even more Knowledge skills.
Also, nobody would expect a Mammoth Rider. If you can get the DM to permit an animal companion with a Swim speed it might be thematic and effective. If not then a Druid could still make a mammoth (or a mammoth sized tiger) Air Walk.
It was interesting to see the artwork though I found the red hair a little unexpected. Older artwork emphasized the Dark Creeper's big nose and bushy eyebrows.
As for pets, centipedes are pretty weird and tend to be blind or have limited vision, which seems like it would fit with dark places.
Flightless crows and ravens that have evolved forearms and claws, like mini-kenku?
Are you aware of Dire Corbies? Whether they're allies or enemies they might fit in pretty well with the areas Dark Folk tend to inhabit.
@Vidmaster7 - If you're using touch attacks you'll hit much more consistently against most enemies. It is pretty easy to do some basic math for this stuff. If you just take your percentage chance to hit and multiply it by your average damage you'll get a reasonable estimate. I guess you could compare that back to the chart JDLPF posted.
I once had a PC who threw silver forks as improvised shuriken, a tactic which was marginally effective against low CR devils.
My Feral Gnasher sometimes throws random objects when he can't get into melee and often attempts to use his grappling hook to "go fishing" for underwater monsters. That has produced some fun moments since the DM got creative with it, but in general the inability to enchant improvised weapons makes them suck in terms of effectiveness, and Catch Off Guard doesn't really fix that.
The concept of making skills more useful during rest periods seems like a good one. It might be nice to expand that beyond Survival though.
-Stealth: While hiding a campsite might rely on Survival I think that hiding the campers themselves should be aided by Stealth.
I think the Lakesidefantasy method sounds kind of interesting though certain players might be more likely to question enemy stats than treasure sourcing, like, "How did that guy have a 28 Str without a magic belt?" It might be pretty nice if the party's treasure scribe didn't have to track dozens of +1 items though.
On the flip side, in our evil aligned Goblin Game the DM warned us that we wouldn't easily be able to buy items in town of from friendly NPCs. As a result we've become quite self-sufficient.
As far as crafting feats reducing an enemy's effectiveness, I don't think that will prove true if you allow the enemy who has the feat to have items of the associated type for half their normal WBL price.
Quicken is good for buffs but also good for blasting and even battlefield control. Unless you're on some kind of marathon adventure it can be helpful to have a way to unload your spell battery faster and get all that power deployed into the encounter (go nova). Of course you might not have enough spell slots to go wild in every fight, but being able to do it when needed is a big plus.
As people have said, Fireball is a classic spell, and I've enjoyed using it with several PCs. A spell I like the idea of and have always hoped to cast is Magnificent Mansion, but the one time I played a Sorcerer able to cast 7th level spells the DM banned Magnificent Mansion and Rope Trick with the comment, "You're not hiding from my monsters!"
Still, the idea of designing a custom extraplanar mansion seems pretty cool. I guess Create Demiplane could be fun in a similar way. Maybe I'll play a Wizard next campaign - probably not though...
If you have multiple similar miniatures or pawns you can number their bases with dots of paint, just like the pips on a standard 6 sided die. If there are 5 ghouls with identical minis I might note them as G1, G2, etc.
One guy I used to play with used plastic "army men" style toys for minis:
It sounded a little silly to say, "I attack the green Indian!", but at least people knew which monster you were going after.
I kind of imagine domed cities and sea caves/tunnels being popular fortifications for underwater settlements. I guess certain domes could also support air breathing races, which reminds me of the Vincent Price film "War Gods of the Deep" (not a great movie but possibly a good inspiration for adventure modules)
I had fun putting 3 levels of Shadowdancer on a caster who mostly hid in the shadows allowing his pets to do the work but a few times per day would come out and make a big impact with a metamagic rod. I'd be willing to try it again on a different sort of PC though I wish the punishment for losing the shadow weren't a month long - it is a great pet but tough to use confidently...
When I saw a Mystic Theurge join a 3.5 game at 18th level he seemed pretty cool. When somebody played one from 1st level in a more recent Pathfinder game it seemed like a tough path to be on during the mid levels though. I think metamagic rods could probably help a lot though (as they did for my PC above)
@UnArcaneElection - Regarding the PrC vs GM problem, I guess the problem with a PrC (or mythic path) which relies heavily on an animal companion is that animal companion is one of the class features which many GMs frequently abridge access to. I guess I thought that with “by the rules” ways to fit the animal into dungeons it would be allowed to come on most adventures, but I was wrong. As for people "getting hosed", there are a few people who took cohorts but no longer bring them on adventures since some new players joined the group and the DM felt the party was getting too big. I guess that some of those folks might consider it unfair if the Druid got to bring her pet along when their cohorts have to stay behind. Honestly the mammoth already was already getting barred from coming on many adventure even when the cohorts were still active though (perhaps due to the idea of a mammoth coming along just clashing with the GM's imagination?)
I suggested Mammoth Rider to my girlfriend for her Viking themed PC (perhaps thinking of the frost giant riding a mammoth D&D mini, something which I might customize for her PC). Unfortunately the DM has very rarely allowed her animal companion to come along on adventures.
I think maybe the mammoth annoyed people by being effective in combat a few times, but either way it seems like there’s always some reason why he can’t come along:
It feels almost like I tricked her into a trap option, especially since it is a Mythic game and she took the Guardian path to help enhance the animal companion rather than the seemingly much more powerful Hierophant path to boost her Druidic spell casting.