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In my admittedly limited experience the big problem with single classed Fighters is their low Will save. That could be a problem from time to time in the AP you’ve selected, but there should also be a lot of fights it won’t factor into (unlike in a homebrew where the DM finds your weak spot and keeps hitting it over and over).

Other than that a Fighter seems fairly well positioned for the style of “charge everything and full attack until it dies”. If the Fighter PC uses a different weapon from others you could also probably make a pretty big difference by dropping a bane weapon of the appropriate sort (and perhaps metal) which works against some common type of enemy.

Potential Kingmaker Spoiler:
Later on in the AP there could also be a chance for somebody who isn’t a Paladin to have fun with a magic item and “be a star”. Look towards the end of the AP and you should see an item the Paladin is unlikely to meet the alignment requirements for.

Having played a PC with Paladin levels in Kingmaker I can tell you that there are many, many fights where Smite Evil won’t be a factor and the Paladin might struggle a little to do damage. I’d guess that in those encounters the Fighter’s damage output should look pretty good. It also might be nice if the Fighter decides to be more tactical and go for combat maneuvers since the other PCs aren’t likely to have enough feats to do a lot with them. I guess you could suggest that to the player as something which might be fun. Kingmaker seems like a decent AP for maneuvers.

@SiouL - Forcing the Paladin to lose a “fixed” fight against an NPC swordsman so that the Fighter can try to beat him seems kind of wrong to me. The fact that the swordsman “gets” a “girl PC in your party” makes it a little twisted too. I know that “winner gets the girl” has been a common trope in some stories, but it doesn’t seem like the most enlightened idea, and making “the girl” one of the PCs seems unlikely to go over well (unless maybe that PC’s player likes the idea of some oppression for her PC to break free from - perhaps she’d have a Judith and Holofernes moment…)

It is fun to see that a 15th level PC acquiring the powers of a low level Magus was a scary prospect in 2010. True Strike as a way to bypass AC doesn't seem that exciting for classes with direct access to touch attacks. I guess it could be nice for pulling off some tricks with combat maneuvers though. If I were really inclined towards that sort of thing I might consider a build with a combat pet though. A Sylvan Sorcerer could use True Strike to make an animal companion pretty good at Trip or Grapple, for instance. Since True Strike is a first level spell I suppose that various multiclass options could work too (Cavalier 4 + Caster X = My Horse is Amazing)

If you don't mind the complaints maybe you could try using debuffs against the PCs to see if they learn those tactics. A better approach might be to let somebody else run and lead people towards better tactics by your example as a player.

Depending on how you build your PC you might likely have two imps to help you out, a familiar and a companion. If they're both good at UMD you could probably accomplish combos like this with just some wands or scrolls.

Remember that devils can see through Deeper Darkness and you should have a lot of fun. I'd also consider having a decent Stealth score so that enemies can't easily find you in the dark.

It also occurs to me that a decision to ignore AC doesn't need to be a decision to ignore armor or even shields. There are a lot of useful enchantments which can go into those magic item slots. Spell Storing armor filled with Frigid Touch can be a great way to stall full attacks, for instance.

I'd never heard of taking ACP on initiative rolls before, so I thought, "Wow, if ACP applies to initiative rolls that's a huge rule we've been missing for years!". Based on what I see in the RAW I'd say that ACP would only apply if you're not proficient with the armor or shield imposing the ACP though. To quote the PRD (or d20pfsrd actually):


"Armor Check Penalty

Any armor heavier than leather, as well as any shield, hurts a character's ability to use Dex- and Str-based skills. An armor check penalty applies to all Dex- and Strength-based skill checks. A character's encumbrance may also incur an armor check penalty."

Note that the rules for Armor Check Penalty themselves don't include ability checks, just Dex and Str based skill checks. The ability checks are only mentioned later on as part of the "Nonproficient with Armor Worn". Anyhow, using a tower shield without proficiency seems like a pretty bad idea for most PCs. Proficiency is only a single feat or Fighter level away though.

Thanks for the Crane Wing boost. I actually joined the Crane school after the errata since I thought it was too powerful before. I would have preferred being able to retroactively add +4 AC once per round after I’m hit, but the +2 AC vs a specific foe should be handy in a lot of fights. It would have stopped my PC from getting hit twice last session in rounds where I chose to apply the +4 from Crane Wing to the “wrong” attack (I've always just applied it to first one). Beware, gnomes of Golarion, Chief Sharky of the Birdcrunchers has studied the ways of birds and toads, and now he's “unhittable”! (or at least 10% less hittable against one opponent per round…)

I'm glad that the 10' diagonal ruling went the way it did though honestly that's the way I'd always played it and thought it was supposed to be played. I guess it is nice to know that I was "right all along" (even when I was actually wrong)

We had a Mystic Theurge with an AC of around 18 at 15th level in one recent campaign, and I'm not sure if his AC being lower would have really changed things much. Mirror Images were his primary defense, and anything which could see through them stood a chance of devastating him pretty quickly. By the late stages of the game he had Heal though, and that helped a lot. I guess your PC would get it next level.

If the wrecker doesn't wreck wands to the point where they can't be used then a wand of Mirror Image should give you as much chance to be missed against many enemies as all the AC you could buy. A familiar who can use wands and scrolls could also provide a lot of help by using stuff like Dimension Door to get you and party members out of tough spots. If you'd be open to making the character Human instead of Half-Elf the Focused Study racial trait is great for those interested in Eldritch Heritage (Arcane) and pretty good in general.

Having a good initiative and being able to act during surprise rounds might be very useful.

The evangelist cleric always seems like a good option though honestly I haven't played one myself yet. A Summoner of some sort or a summoning focused Wizard could be good too.

Another option and possibly the superior one for the game you're describing would be to just make an "organic" PC who is nothing special and throw him or her to the proverbial wolves. If the DM is really as bloodthirsty as you say maybe it would be fitting to make a sacrifice. At worst you'd probably get another chance to roll better stats.

I don't think I've ever committed PC suicide before, but if you're saddled with a PC you don't like in a game you can barely stand maybe it would be a liberating experience. I could see a Barbarian working well here - Thok charge! Thok kill! Thok die!

Thok not understand "optimization". Thok just like kill stuff.

I wonder what advice from the thread Gulian decided to use. All of the disdain for a tower shield carrying Paladin has me kind of interested in building one even if it is just at a theoretical level. The light shield toting Bard/Paladin I played in a previous campaign was sometimes called "unhittable" though that was clearly hyperbole. I'd think that somebody with a tower shield could probably top his AC or at least come close without devoting so much to Dex and defenses.

To those who feel like a Fighter might be better I have to say from recent in game experience that Divine Grace alone probably makes the Paladin a more effective class. Being an effective attacker is almost a drawback for a Fighter since with a low Will save it is tough to be sure you'll be fighting for the right side instead of turning on your friends or babbling incoherently. I once played a low Will save PC in an AP with great success, but in a homebrew game run by a DM who targets Will saves frequently the Fighter sometimes feels like a counterproductive character. Taking a few levels of Fighter to get some feats and maybe a mutagen would be great, but Paladin seems more well rounded overall.

That's not to say that playing something painfully suboptimal can't be fun sometimes though. In fact, I'd guess that the OP is hoping to "make the most" of a challenging character concept.

@ElementalXX - Maybe it wasn't clear, but I was suggesting making changes to Dead Shot so that it wouldn't be so terrible and might serve as a surrogate for free action reloading. If using your +5/-5 suggestion I'd probably go with the -5 to armor since that wouldn't paradoxically make it easier to hit stuff which has high touch AC. Honestly I think ignoring up to 10 points of combined armor and natural armor might still blunt the DPR pretty well. If you wanted to get really fancy I guess the gun could bypass an amount equal to its maximum base damage so that big guns would be better at blasting through armor. That's a little more complex though and wouldn't help out with other touch attacks (though if folks are only worried about guns maybe that's a bonus)

@Lune - If free action reloads were ruled out it might be difficult to make multiple attacks (though obviously you could just whip out a bunch of pistols Blackbeard style)

The main problem I see with a Paladin using a tower shield is the inability to cast spells or use Lay on Hands if you're holding a weapon in your other hand. Using unarmed strikes or a spiked gauntlet could solve that at a slight cost in damage output.

A level or two as a Monk or Brawler might give you the feats for Enforcer. Intimidating foes to make them shaken would give the affected enemies another -2 to hit you. The Cruel enchantment would make that a -4 to hit along with -2 damage. You'd be kind of a "Debuffadin". I guess if you're feeling extra defensive you could even try to determine whether fighting with an unarmed strike while using a shield in the other qualifies as having "one hand free" for Crane Style. If so you could get your AC up even more. Actually, I guess that's not even necessary for Crane Style itself, just for the much maligned Crane Wing (though it would still be nice to know)

I'd be reluctant to give up Smite Evil since you'll need some help hitting and damaging foes. I might even consider Oath of Vengeance to increase your number of smites per day. Besides helping out on attacks Smite Evil can greatly boost your AC against the foe(s) you're smiting.

Regarding getting rid of free action reloads, the Dead Shot deed gives Gunslingers a way to combine multiple attacks into a single bullet. Unfortunately Dead Shot seems kind of pathetic compared to just making multiple attacks, especially since it costs a grit point. If reloading an early firearm (or barrel thereof) were changed to always cost at least a swift action but Dead Shot were improved to the point where it was worthwhile that might be a pretty sound solution to a lot of Gunslinger complaints and worries.

My "improvements" might include making Dead Shot a deed you can perform whenever you have at least 1 grit point left. I'd also give you the normal bonus damage for each attack roll which hits in addition to the base damage. If folks felt that allowing multiple attacks to be made at full BAB was too powerful I guess that applying a flat or progressive attack penalty for additional attacks wouldn't be too complicated since a similar mechanic already exists for critical hits.

This would give us a situation where the Gunslinger can make as many attacks as his or her BAB would normally allow. I got the impression that's sort of what Paizo's 3 free action per round FAQ was aiming for. This might be a way to achieve something similar without affecting bows. I'd still hope to see "double shots" limited to a standard action to help limit Quick Draw and multiple limb antics. All that together would probably tone things down significantly but leave the Gunslinger capable of producing a decent amount of very consistent DPR.

I think the build I posted earlier was doing around 40 damage per shot. At 15th level the DPR would be around 120. At 16th it would be around 160. I think that getting really hefty damage out of a single shot with a comparatively slow rate of fire seems very thematically appropriate for early firearms.

@Dead Phoenix - The build I posted had Signature Deed (Up Close and Deadly) at 7th level. I guess maybe you're saying that you can only take Signature Deed once. I didn't notice that before, but replacing Signature Deed (Twin Shot Knockdown) with some other feat wouldn't reduce the DPR a bit, and you could always spend a point of grit to knock the foe prone if it was a sound tactical decision. Maybe you'd reuse the feat for Extra Grit.

Weapon Finesse can work pretty well for the succubus. A succubus Anti-Paladin with Shield Slam could also have fun knocking good aligned PCs off of high places.

I wonder what the OP was getting at with the idea of getting outside of people's comfort zones. Are we talking about forcing PCs into actions which might make their players uncomfortable? Most groups have some taboos or sense of decorum, but I'd guess that they probably vary a lot.

I had a PC with Craft Wands a while back, and my most used 1st level wands were Detect Secret Doors, Touch of the Sea, and Feather Step. My most used non-Cure wands overall were Good Hope and Haste. Delay Poison also saved the day a few times though it is situational enough that you might be better off just buying scrolls.

Once you get Speedy Tricks I don't think you'd even need Quick Dirty Trick to pop out two dirty tricks in a row to disable your victim. The Quick Dirty Trick feat might be worth taking as a Fighter bonus feat which you swap out later though. I was going to take it, but I saw the Hurtful feat and suddenly needed to take Power Attack instead.

The Fighter's problem with Will saves can be pretty tough to address. Maybe Fighters would be better off investing in Charisma and trying to become undead somehow (Undead Fighter Fund - "A mind is a terrible thing to have")

It sounds like even some folks who dig the Gunslinger and think inflicting physical damage with ranged touch attacks is just fine are willing to concede that maybe the current rules for double-barreled guns might be ill-advised.

I think that limiting the “double shot” to a standard action would shut down the double-barreled “cheese” which Jeremias doesn’t use and wraithstrike seemed to feel shouldn’t be used to represent the power balance of Gunslingers in general. I think the problems with touch AC might run deeper than that, but since many of the threads complaining about Gunslingers involve double barreled guns maybe toning those down would reduce the number and intensity of the complaints about Gunslingers and guns in general. After a cooling off period and some chances to observe Gunslingers in play folks could consider how they feel about the class as a whole without having their opinions colored by double-barreled TWF Pistoleros of Doom (which seems like what the OP was complaining about really)

@Jodokai - I'm not sure how helpful the Deadshot Vest would be unless it can reduce the cost of using Deadeye to zero when combined with Signature Deed (Deadeye). If possible it might be a pretty cool combo for folks who want to make really sure they're well out of melee range - of course you only get so many feats...

@Dead Phoenix - Unless I've missed something Signature Deed (Twin Shot Knockdown) would allow you to knock opponents prone without spending any grit. Either way it isn't critical for the DPR calculations and could be swapped out to cover anything else which seems more important, useful, or amusing.

Per the rules, "The tentacle can manipulate or hold items as well as the alchemist’s original arms can (for example, allowing the alchemist to use one hand to wield a weapon, the tentacle to hold a potion, and the third hand to throw a bomb)."

I'd say based on that the tentacle should be able to hold a shield just fine. I'm going with a tentacle described as a tail mostly for style reasons, but the tentacle also gives you a natural attack with Grab. That could be a nice backup option even if you don't plan to specialize on grappling.

You can use a lance and shield while mounted. The lance has reach, and thanks to a FAQ from a while back it still counts as a two-handed weapon even though you're wielding it in just one hand. If you're going to take a Fighter level to improve your riding skills you might want to check out the Dragoon archetype since it gives you both Mounted Combat and Skill Focus (Ride) as bonus feats.

The question you'd want to answer is what mount you plan to ride after standard warhorses start to become too wimpy to survive combat around 6th level or so. Picking up an animal companion with the Animal domain could be a good answer to this. Your animal companion would come online at 5th level (Fighter 1/Cleric 4) just around the right time to replace the store bought horse. The Boon Companion feat might be nice if you can afford it.

I'm not sure if the tower shield works well for mounted PCs, but you could have your horse take the Bodyguard archetype and boost your AC that way.

The bonuses to saving throws are a great idea though getting your Will save high enough to matter could still be a challenge. I'm currently playing a PC with the Dirty Fighter and Mutation Warrior archetypes. I multiclassed into Monk for a couple of levels to help me pick up Enforcer and Vicious Stomp. It also helped saving throws a bit (+3 to all)

While delaying your Dirty Trick progression that way might not be appealing to you I'll mention that demoralizing foes with Intimidate has been very helpful. I'm also currently getting great results out of Greater Trip + Vicious Stomp + Enforcer whenever we face foes who don't fly. Next level I'll add Hurtful to add an extra attack to that combo as well as to give my PC a little more to do against flying foes (slap to Intimidate plus a free attack as a swift action)

Another thing worth considering is that a Tentacle or Vestigial Arm could allow you to hold a shield, greatly increasing your AC at higher levels. If you use a light shield or buckler you could also use the extra limb to hold another item such as a potion (nice with the Accelerated Drinker trait) or a wand (potentially fun at higher levels when you get your UMD skill maxed out). My PC is growing a Tentacle which looks like a devil tail next level. Nothing in the rules says that a Tentacle can't be on your butt!

@zza ni - The Intelligence penalty from Mutagen is a "penalty" in game terms and therefore doesn't affect prereqs for feats.

Here’s some double barreled pistol math. I don’t play Gunslingers, so I might have missed something (or even several things). I think this should be reasonably close overall though. The order of the feats could probably be more optimal. I was mostly just trying to make sure they'd all fit...

Pistolero 15
Human - (bonus) Point Blank Shot
1 - Rapid Reload
3 - Weapon Focus (Double Barreled Pistol)
4 - (bonus) Rapid Shot
5 - Gunslinger
7 - Signature Deed (Up Close and Deadly)
8 - (bonus) Improved Crit (Double Barreled Pistol)
9 - Precise Shot
11 - Clustered Shots
12 - (bonus) Deadly Aim
13 - Signature Deed (Twin Shot Knockdown)
15 - Iron Will

This PC uses a +4 distance double barreled pistol. I’ll assume that most shots are taken from a reasonably safe range of about 30 feet away on targets with an “average” touch AC of 12 (which is actually kind of high compared to Bestiary monsters). Actually make the range 35’ since I already did the math and forgot Point Blank Shot. Note that with the Gunslinger feat the PC could get right up in people’s faces and shoot without drawing AoOs though.

Attacks: BAB+15 WeaponFocus+1 Dex+8 Gun+4 Rapid Shot-2 Deadly Aim-4 DoubleShot-4 Haste+1 = +19/+19/+19/+19/+19/+19/+14/+14/+9/+9

Damage would be 1d8+22+4d6 for around 40.5 per hit on average (Dex+8 Pistol Training+2 Deadly Aim+8 Gun+4). Those +9 attacks are 90% likely to hit, so I guess that’s 9.4 hits on average (0.95*8=7.6 and 0.9*2=1.8) for around 380 DPR. With a 10% chance to threaten and 10 attack rolls you’re also over 90% likely to confirm a crit, boosting DPR to around 451. If you decide that Up Close and Deadly would only work on one bullet from each double shot I guess you’d lose 7 average damage per shot (half of 4d6) and end up at around 385 DPR.

If you love the idea of rolling as many dice as possible I suppose you could also buy lots of spare guns (half a dozen at least) to Quick Draw with your off hand for TWF. You'd probably end up suffering AoOs and might have trouble shooting into melee, but with 16 attacks (18 next level) you'd certainly make an impression when you full attacked. I'd guess that you also might boost your DPR by 30-50%, but it would really start to depend on the situation (are you firing into melee? is the foe's touch AC a few points higher or lower than "normal", etc)

Anyhow, while I'd expect the reactions to DPR 400+ to range from "you must have made some errors" to "no amount of weapon based DPR could be overpowered when there are still full casters" I think that the double barreled guns are at the very least unbalanced compared to other guns. I suppose that maybe the 5% increase in misfire chance is supposed to balance it out, but there are several ways to avoid or suppress misfires. You could also just go "Blackbeard Style" and use Quick Draw to pull out another gun until you can fix the main one with Quick Clear. It isn't like you need super enchanted weapons to hit touch AC, and with Clustered Shots DR isn't a big concern.

Limiting the double shot to a standard action would tone things down significantly and make other guns a more interesting option. It would also prevent early muzzle loading pistols from being mechanically superior to modern revolvers (a result which seems very silly to me)

It sounds like you've made your selections long ago and things are going well. I'll add that your half power eidolon could still make a decent wand jockey with an evolution for +8 on the UMD skill. An improved familiar could be nice too if you can afford 3 feats to get it. Depending on whether or not you get downtime Craft Wands could be very nice for a Summoner with low level access to spells like Haste.

If you're going to take all Cavalier levels then Beast Rider offers some interesting stuff. I'd personally go with the Huntmaster archetype though. That way you can get a Medium sized dog with the Trip special attack, and the dog can share your challenges. This can greatly improve the mount's combat abilities.

If you're willing to take the Boon Companion feat a couple of times you could also have a Bird companion though it would be stuck at 8th level unless you're willing to sacrifice some levels from the Dog. With Reduce Person you could use the Bird as a flying mount when needed. It also might be hardy enough to hang around near combat using Aid Another and Bodyguard.

@Grangerer - If my mount had 14 Charisma maybe I'd have it use wands. I've joked about a T-Rex who uses wands before (that's what those little arms are for!)

@TarkXT - If the DM allows Leadership you could have a cohort in addition to the standard mount.

Druids should be able to make unarmed strikes while in wild shape though you might want to check out the Feral Combat Training feat.

I find that grappling is a great style for Druids since they can get a +4 bonus on their CMB checks from the Grab ability. I guess tripping could work reasonably well too though you'll already have a wolf focusing on that. I'd consider having the wolf go for Spring Attack since it makes it very easy to get into flank. Add Outflank and a Menacing Amulet of Mighty Fists and you'd have a very nice flanking buddy.

If you're interested in riding a mount you might want to prioritize a few ranks into Ride instead of other skills. You shouldn't often need a Heal modifier of above +5, for instance. Being able to have the mount move you around while you cast, shoot, etc can also be quite nice. Having slightly lower AC so you can be more successful at riding away from danger while still getting to act on your turn might be a reasonable trade off. If you can hit a DC15 Ride check you can also use the mount as cover for +4 AC when needed.

Somebody already mentioned that the Cleric can get an animal companion by 4th level. This can provide you with a viable mount for higher levels, and with Boon Companion the mount can be a powerful ally in combat. If you're not going with that then I guess investing in Ride might seem like a bit of a waste unless your DM agrees that you can ride summoned animals (expect table variation on that one)

The retraining rules haven't had much effect on the games I play in since the DMs haven't allowed us to use them. I have seen PCs commit "suicide by monster" so their players could get a new and improved PC though. The effect there can be pretty profound though I think the problem comes from the ability to buy just the right gear as much as from being able to disregard feats which would have been useful at lower levels.

A wand of Cure Light Wounds shouldn’t affect the outcome of battles much beyond 2nd level or so. It basically just lets you heal up in between them.

I’d take Shield Slam before ITWF and might even consider making the shield the primary weapon so you can use more slams and push foes around better. That could help you control who they attack as well as put them into compromising situations such as if you slam them against a wall and they fall prone. Actually, while it might seem pretty strange for a Paladin I’d expect that a Trip based build could really shine for making monsters less effective and helping kids beat them up. Improved Trip could also come online a lot earlier than Shield Slam.

I also might consider whether some of the PCs would benefit from Teamwork feats. Maybe they could get folks working together and using tactics.

The Maztica campaign setting was available from WotC as a free download for quite a while. I'm not sure what the legality of sharing copies of it which were legally downloaded for free in the past would be though.

Are you looking for fantasy cultures and settings with a Native American theme, rules for handling arms and equipment for such settings, or both? I guess one thing to consider early on might be how you want to deal with armor or lack thereof for cultures which traditionally didn't use a lot of armor. If your world is high magic maybe having a shaman to bless you with Mage Armor is an expected part of battle. If it is low magic maybe defense bonuses could make sense.

I'd expect that a lot of Paizo's material for Garund could easily be co-opted to represent Native American stuff. Garund has primitive weapons, jungles, tribal societies, etc. I suppose that you could also try rubbing the serial numbers off of Osirion based stuff to use as vaguely Central or South American (I'm thinking pyramids etc). That also reminds me of the classic 1e module "The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan", which could probably provide some inspiration as well as an adventure.

I still like the stuff I posted about back in February. I'll add that if you've got a Viking themed game or PC then Wardruna might lend a cool vibe to it. Amon Amarth could work too depending on your musical tastes.

Since Arkona’s lyrics aren't in English folks might find them less distracting than some of the other stuff on my list. It can also be kind of fun telling folks that the same person is doing both the singing and the demonic growling.

I'll also add Ballad of the Weird Sisters, which I think sounds very appropriate for gaming.

If I’m not mistaken, the OP’s complaint was about a Pistolero using double-barreled pistols. It seems like at least some of us agree that there could be issues with double-barreled guns and or the Pistolero archetype. The player in the OP’s game was probably ignoring a few key rules (like weapon cords being a Move action) and making a few mistakes, but there are rules legal ways around those limitations, and using them can create a touch attack DPR machine that a lot of folks are uncomfortable with.

It could be tough to come up with a standard for how much DPR is too much though I’ve sometimes thought about whether it might be helpful to have a house ruled “damage cap” around 10*Level per round to prevent blow outs and encourage people to focus on things other than DPR. I doubt most groups would be able to embrace something like that as a house rule without player angst when it "ruined" a big round for a PC. I just thought of it as kind of a “failsafe” mechanism to limit power. Obviously SoL spells would need to be policed by some other method.

@ElementalXX - Since Pistoleros, Musket Masters, and anybody with enough gold can ignore misfires it seems like a pretty safe bet that the folks who tweak their PCs to the point where they create in game “problems” will often be ignoring or suppressing the misfire chance.

The "overhealing" effect is part of the monster. It doesn't appear that it causes damage though. It just forces a Fort save to avoid exploding. The table with the saving throw DC appears to be missing from the webpage, but I'd guess it should be DC 19 based on the creature's 10 hit dice and Con of 18.

Spamming save or die sounds pretty annoying, but I'd expect that a lot of monsters you'd see around 15th level would make the save. At that point I guess you'd just be dealing with monsters who have twice as many hit points as usual.

Anyhow, I think that a lot of DMs limit the Summon Monster spells to the 4 "classic" elements. I wouldn't fault your DM for deciding to do the same.

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What's the "Alarm" here? Was that just thrown in to make the title rhyme, or do you have some actual concerns about Disarm? As combat maneuvers go it seems pretty weak.

I've generally seen people disallow the stacking of two similar swarms to generate more damage. If that's how you're playing then I think there's little reason why using different types of swarms would make the damage go up.

I think there might actually be a rule about swarms of the same type not stacking, but I'm not sure if it gives a reason. If you need an explanation of why two swarms aren't better than one maybe it could be that a PC can only be covered by so many biting insects at one time.

However you decide to go with this remember that if you have any PCs who can't fly yet pit traps and spells can be great fun, especially when combined with swarms.

It might not be what you're looking for, but the Archivist archetype Bard can give the party some pretty nice bonuses against monsters which have been identified with a Knowledge check. This might not look much better than a regular Bard's Inspire Courage. The bonuses on attack rolls stack though, so in the right party it could be really great.

If you're interested I'd imagine that a level or two of Monk could really help your style aspirations along.

There are some guidelines in Ultimate Campaign detailing how much financial WBL advantage PCs with crafting feats should be able to gain. I'd assume that DMs would be well advised to use the same guidelines in dealing with crafting cohorts or even mysteriously generous NPC crafters. In general the range is a 25-50% of WBL limit. Any crafting after that should probably be at full cost.

For the OP though, there's really no reason why NPCs should offer to sell stuff to the PCs at a discount unless the PCs do something valuable for the NPC. Maybe the local crafting Wizard could send the PCs on a big quest and promise to make them some cheap items if they succeed. If you adjust the treasure accordingly the WBL should work out OK, and the PCs might get just the items they want rather than whatever random stuff they find in the dungeon (which can itself be a nice boost)

You might get some value out of the trait if you're willing to bring up lighting frequently during the game. One problem with that is that you might also end up making things tougher for other PCs who don't have low light vision. As folks say, it really depends on the DM.

Lighting can be a tough challenge for Stealth based PCs without Darkvision. If you carry a light underground or inside unlit buildings you'll almost certainly give your position away. Low light vision might come in handy outdoors at night, so if your campaign will include a lot of those situations maybe the trait is more worthwhile.

You can also get low light vision for 4,000gp from Eyes of the Owl though depending on the campaign there might not be many enemies without darkvision left by the time you can afford that.

I don't have a lot of experience with other classes using guns, so I can't say for sure that they wouldn't be as over the top as the Pistolero. Heck, some might be even worse. The Gunslinger and especially certain archetypes get a lot of abilities to overcome the built in limitations of firearms though. Up Close and Deadly can also be a big damage multiplier, and with a high enough number of attacks it can inflict significant damage even if you miss.

I tend to agree that touch AC is the root problem and double barreled guns greatly amplify it, especially since the balancing mechanism of attack penalties isn't very effective against attacks with a very high chance to hit. The increased misfire chance is probably a bigger deal, but there are obviously some ways to get around it. The ability to use Deadly Aim with touch attacks is another cheap damage boost. In the oddball fight where enemy touch AC is high enough to make these penalties matter the gun wielder can simply back off a little and still do very good damage.

DMs often react to "high powered" PCs by boosting the challenge. Sometimes that just means slapping on the Advanced template, which increases AC twice as much as it boosts touch AC. Other times it means using higher CR monsters altogether. That tends to scale up SR and saving throw bonuses along with AC while touch AC languishes, further exacerbating the perceived superiority of the touch attack PC. Players also might find it frustrating if the DM sends in touch attack based enemies since many classes find defending against them very tough.

I think ghouls and ghasts are very creepy. Once you're paralyzed they can do all sorts of things to you. I once played a Diabolist who would have his imps effectively paralyze foes with Dex poison and then question them telepathically. A nastier PC could have done nastier things. I guess what I'm saying is that paralysis is creepy. Gelatinous Cubes can inflict it. I think you can get one as a companion with the right archetype or feat. You can also craft them with the Craft Ooze feat. There's also an ooze preservation ability for Alchemists, and there are some ooze related spells.

Maybe a Witch or other debuff focused PC could help make oozes a threat in actual combat instead of just an RP tool. I also wonder how different DMs would rule about oozes with the Split ability. Once a black pudding splits can you heal each half up to full HP? Will they each grow into a full monster? Do they just gloop back together after a while? If some pieces die does one of the surviving ones grow to full size? Etc...

I can understand people’s arguments that misfires can be a problem at lower levels. I don’t like accepting that the wheels must fall off of game balance at higher levels though, especially since 13th level is one I’d expect to see in every AP. Even if there are a million ways to break the game I think that trying to fix as many as possible seems like a better approach than just letting everything slide.

Anyhow, I feel like there’s a problem with guns and perhaps touch attacks in general, especially at higher levels as touch AC fails to increase on pace with other defenses. I think the Gunslinger class gets “singled out” since:
A - Gunslingers almost always use guns, so the intersection between Gunslingers and gun use is very strong (unlike say Fighters or Paladins even if they might be able to inflict a lot of gun based DPR too)
B - Guns include a lot of drawbacks such as misfires and slow reloading, but Gunslingers can overcome many of those restrictions (especially when using certain archetypes)

@wraithstrike - The OP’s complaints about a PC from actual play (and mine for that matter) involve double barreled guns. They also both involve the Pistolero. I’d expect that using those and a little effort you could boost the DPR significantly.

@ElementalXX - I don’t like to compare stuff which works against all foes to Paladins since Smite Evil only works against Evil foes. DMs can and often will make enemies Neutral, and even APs run straight from the book sometimes have a lot of non-Evil foes. I also happen to think Litany of Righteousness might better be called Litany of Ridiculousness since it seems crazy powerful to me. Obviously I'm more impressed by DPR than some folks, but flat out doubling damage seems nuts.

I hope this is just a theoretical build for Internet jollies. Anyhow, there is a rule which says, "Multiple magical effects that increase size do not stack." Improved Natural Attack is a feat rather than a magical effect though, so I'd expect it to work fine with Strong Jaw. I'm not sure if Strong Jaw would stack with the Cloak of Fangs though. I'm also not sure what Bestial Aspect is.

Regarding "monster feats", every feat including those in the Core Rulebook technically requires GM permission. Outside of PFS there's no particular reason why feats from the Bestiary should be considered off limits though. In fact, animal companions in the CRB can explicitly take several "Monster" feats, and so can natural weapon Rangers from the APG. I think that the Leadership feat is much more worthy of a "requires GM permission" warning.

Wrapping scrolls around your forearms doesn't sound that much different from how Ben Roethlisberger and other NFL quarterbacks have sheets with plays on their forearms. You'd still need to unroll the scroll if it had more than a few lines on it. As a house rule maybe that could be a swift action instead of a move action. I don't know if there's anything in RAW for accessing scrolls quickly besides a glove of storing though, and those are quite expensive.

As far as improvised weapons go, I like well aged cheeses and suspect that some of them might make effective if unwieldy weapons. Some of them might do nonlethal damage like the sharp provolone "sap". I think a wheel of parmigiano reggiano could inflict lethal damage though. It also overcomes DR/dairy.

The spell description only mentions creatures, not objects. It also describes the tentacles as "reaching for any creature in the area". That's one reason it always struck me as a little weird. It gives the impression that BT can magically detect any creatures within its area regardless of whatever methods they might being using to hide and possibly regardless of whether BT can actually grapple them (for instance, maybe it would reach for incorporeal creatures - whether it can actually grapple them is sometimes debated)

I've always wondered how Black Tentacles knows which things in the area are creatures and which aren't. Regardless of the answer it seems that they can unfailingly "detect" any creatures in the area and attack them. I think this would apply even if the creatures were under some sort of non-detection effect. I suppose the easiest explanation is that the tentacles writhe around and grab anything they bump into.

Something which I've just begun to wonder about is whether you'd be able to know which square an invisible enemy is in if he is being grappled by Black Tentacles. In other words, would you be able to see that the tentacles are grappling "something"?

There's some good news - At least it isn't a Summoner bringing in Shadow Demons

I’d think that a ____ Shaman Druid might provide some clarity of theme and purpose, especially if it focused strongly on summoning. If the player is uncomfortable with having animals in combat I guess that might not work out though. Maybe the player wouldn’t feel so bad for dinosaurs and reptiles...tough to guess...

Evangelist Clerics seem pretty cool. They’re a little like the Bard but still have the Cleric/Oracle spell list the player is already comfortable with. Focusing on healing might be boring. Focusing on summoning might be great fun or annoying depending on the group. They’re just two things which seem like they’d usually be useful for somebody who wants to memorize the same list of spells every day.

@cnetarian - I’m aware of the post you referred to. After some investigation I felt that the extra d6s from Up Close and Deadly should probably only apply to one barrel of a double shot though some folks disagree. I wasn’t aware that flat bonuses to damage might not apply though. If so that would certainly bring the DPR back down from the clouds but also might make the standard action double shot at -4 to hit kind of a dud. That would be a shame since it seems like a fun option. I actually kind of like the idea of guns especially in regards to use by pirates. I just find the current implementation problematic. Honestly I've come to dislike touch attacks in general as they're too difficult to defend against without concealment, mirror images, etc (and even mirror images don't help much against somebody with 14 attacks per round)

Is using potions with SLWS legal? If so that seems like a nice trick.

I agree that a FAQ is needed to resolve the issue of drawing a "weapon-like" wand as a "weapon" while moving. I still think it seems like a pretty minor issue and hope that might make it easier to reach a decision on.

Drawing improvised weapons while moving (or as weapons in general) seems like a bigger and stranger issue which possibly deserves its own discussion.

Regarding the Magus vs the Fighter, based on my recent experiences attempting to play Fighters I'd say that the Magus is probably much more powerful not because he has high DPR but because he doesn't have a horrible Will save. If the DM is the sort who targets weak spots on the PCs the typical Fighter's path is a pretty tough one.

SKR's point regarding Spell Kenning is interesting. I wonder if there has been any additional developer input on that. The current rules for Spell Kenning say, "Once per day, a skald can cast any spell on the bard, cleric, or sorcerer/wizard spell list as if it were one of his skald spells known"

SKR had previously ruled that multiple spellcasters can cooperate to make magic items including scrolls and wands with one caster supplying the crafting feat and the other casting the requisite spell. You can also supply the spell via a magic item, possibly even using UMD, so it would seem odd to me if being able to cast the spell wouldn't meet the spell prerequisite for item creation. On the other hand, I'd consider a Magus trying to write a spell into a spellbook quite a different matter, especially if that spell wasn't on the class spell list.

@ElementalXX - I'm glad to see somebody admit that the double barreled weapons might be problematic or at least confusing. I think a simple ruling that the "double shot" can only be used as a standard action would be pretty helpful. The double shot would still be a useful trick for situations when you can't full attack, and having an extra barrel you can fire before reloading is a pretty nice feature to begin with.

It is true that the misfire chance doesn't go away until 13th level, but the highly vaunted Barbarian DPR boost from Come and Get Me doesn't come online until 12th level.

@wraithstrike - The OP's complaint was about a PC using multiple double barreled guns, so I think that including them in the discussion along with the Gunslinger class makes sense.

I'm not sure if the Frostbite damage on a spellstrike would count as being inflicted "with" a weapon. The Enforcer feat doesn't say that all of the damage you deal with the weapon needs to be nonlethal though.

Either way, if you're really into the idea of Enforcer + Cruel it seems like unarmed strikes or the Bludgeoner feat might be helpful. Of course you'd probably lose some crit range that way, but prolonging the fight isn't so bad for a debuffer. I think there's an archetype which could let you put Evil Eye on the enemy too.

On the other hand, I guess this is a thread about Magus being allegedly too good and ways to tone it down rather than ways to make it stronger.

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