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@Bluenose - I'm not sure if you're familiar with Mythic Vital Strike, but it basically allows you to pool all of the attacks you might make with a Full Attack into one powerful attack. There's a similar feat for unarmed strikes called Pummeling Style. Restricting the Gunslinger to one big shot per round instead of 4-18 little shots would be mostly a stylistic concern rather than a game balance one though I suppose it might also work to limit some corner case exploits. The ability to burst through DR without needing to take the Clustered Shots feat would be a pretty nice side benefit. I think Clustered Shots is actually a pretty powerful feat.
It would be kind of ironic if Weird Words finally got fixed to work in a reasonable way now that my affected PC is long retired. He never retrained it away, so I guess he'd get a little power boost in whatever theoretical adventures a retired PC might take part in.
@MechE_ - You'd left that first line with "Neither performance can be performed more quickly than a standard action" out of the section with your rewrite, so I thought you'd dropped it. I guess actually you just didn't bother to reprint it again in the lower section of your post since it hadn't changed. I'm sorry for any confusion.
@James Risner - I think nauseated is pretty rough. I wonder if making the targets sickened wouldn't be more than enough. Making one attack against multiple targets also strikes me as odd. Maybe Weird Words could just put a rider ability on Wordstrike (like "Starting at 6th level, targets hit by the Sound Striker's Wordstrike are also sickened for 1 round" - if that seems to strong or weak you could add a Fort save, increase the duration, etc)
Player opinions on how much challenge is fun can vary widely even within a particular group. I think Hero Points can be a good solution for allowing cautious players to have a fair shot at survival even if you crank the difficulty way up. Meanwhile the daredevils can blow their Hero Points on bold and stupid deeds and still achieve the glorious death they seem to crave.
Some might think a game which uses Hero Points is bound to be "too soft", but I'd rather see PCs have a mechanic to legitimately survive rough treatment than have the DM wear kid gloves all the time, fudge things, use glaringly bad tactics after the PCs start losing, etc. We roll our dice outside the screen for all the honest world to fear, and I'd say that without Hero Points very few PCs would have survived most of our recent campaigns. We're not exceptionally daring, and our PCs except for one particular party tend to be pretty effective. With the fudge gloves off the game is very dangerous at times though.
I think there might still be an open question on whether you can use Thunder Call 3 times per round or just once. If you can only use Thunder Call once then it might make sense to have a different sound themed bardic performance attack which can do more damage without the added stun effect.
I think most folks on this thread would agree that allowing a Scorching Ray analogue to be used 3 times per round for 9 attacks would be over the top (else why bother not allowing the 10 attacks per round with the original ability)
Since these abilities are Su I don't think they would offer SR even though Scorching Ray normally does. I'm not saying it should be changed, just pointing it out. I'm not sure if a damaging touch attack ability which ignores SR really needs a save or suck rider effect, but if one is going to be added it should probably be clear if it requires one save per target or one save per "Word".
I think it is also important to know whether a Bard can use the same performance multiple times per round with a swift, move, and standard action. If you can indeed use a performance 3 times per round that way then Weird Words should either have some language preventing that (such as the original version's standard action restriction) or be changed to allow just 1 Word per performance so that you can fire off 3 by using all 3 actions or be a little flexible and possibly fire off 1 or 2 with swift or move actions.
@MechE_ - What you're proposing for Wordstrike isn't terribly far off of what I'd been recommending earlier in the thread and seems pretty much OK to me though I kind of like the 1d8+Cha damage better than the 4d6. I suspect that they'd tend to work out to a similar number anyhow since Charisma in the range of 20 - 30 gives average damage of 9.5 to 14.5 on 1d8+Cha whereas 4d6 average 14.
@James Risner - For months on end I was asserting that allowing 3 Weird Words per round would probably be pretty balanced since it would be a lot like Scorching Ray. As I recall you felt that would be too powerful. Now it appears like you're proposing a solution which pretty much flat out includes a sonic version of Scorching Ray to replace Wordstrike. Has your opinion changed over time, or were we just having some kind of communication problem then or now?
That's true though it seems like WHW still kind of sucks. With the BAB +6 requirement for Greater Grapple and Body Shield a single class Witch has a tough path towards grapple dominance.
I was a big fan of Bride With White Hair when I saw it years ago, and I wish the news on White Haired Witch was better. It just doesn't seem that great though.
I think it is a little unreasonable to complain about giving up two bonus feats to gain a familiar since two feats is what it costs to gain a familiar by other methods such as Skill Focus + Eldritch Heritage or Iron Will + Familiar Bond. Eldritch Heritage requires 13 Charisma and prevents you from taking a different Eldritch Heritage. The familiar from Familiar Bond lacks a lot of abilities and is incompatible with most familiar archetypes. The familiar from Eldritch Guardian seems like a pretty good deal really.
UMD is a great addition to your class skill list, and the fact you get a familiar with all your ranks in it is a big bonus. I think the Eldritch Guardian archetype is also compatible with the Mutation Warrior archetype. If so that means you'll have +4 Str and +2 natural armor practically all dungeon long. Later on you can grow wings if you'd like or even get an extra arm or tentacle to help out with holding items (bucklers/shield, wand, bow, etc)
With Boon Companion or just the right class choices you could multiclass a bit without watering down the familiar. Heck, you could take 4 levels of Cavalier along with the Horse Master feat and have a full power Mauler familiar along with a full power Mount from Cavalier. Alternately you could pick up enough caster levels to craft a bunch of magic items for you and your little buddy as well as sharing some spells.
Of course here comes Ravingdork talking about his Cock again...
@boring7 - Your Gunslinger sounds kind of like Captain Kirk to me. Anyhow, I felt like providing some feedback...
If the DM allows advanced firearms you could actually play a cowboy with a revolver. You'd just be limited to a rate of fire half that of somebody with a double barreled muzzle loading pistol.
I believe that the early paper cartridges which the alchemical cartridges in the game are likely inspired by were generally bitten open before use. That probably doesn't make a difference in game terms, but it might give folks an impression of what early firearm use looked like.
As for guys getting up off the floor to win a fight, I'll link to a video of Chieck Kongo vs Pat Barry
Transformation is definitely on the Witch spell list. If you're 10th level right now it would only be a 1 level wait to pick it up. If your wife wouldn't mind playing an orc she could potentially play a Scarred Witch Doctor with the Prehensile Hair hex and attack people with her Constitution instead. My girlfriend has a PC like that with 2 levels of Barbarian and the Raging Vitality feat, and her hair is starting to get pretty useful.
It is easy to pick up the Constrict ability via a Belt of Anaconda's Coils. The Belt also gives you a +2 bonus on Grapple checks. It might be kind of a DM call whether the Constrict ability from the belt would let you qualify for the Final Embrace feat. If so then you could also gain the Grab ability, which gives you a big +4 boost on Grapple checks.
I think that having the constrict special attack makes you a "creature that has the constrict special attack". That said, the feat is kind of weird since it grants one of its own prereqs and includes some information about Grab which isn't accurate since there's a FAQ which allows you to Grab creatures of up to your own size with Grab unless otherwise specified (as per Bestiary 2)
I think the Scarred Witch Doctor is better for hair grappling not only because you can consolidate into Con and boost that with Rage but because hexes such as Evil Eye can debuff your foes in ways which make them susceptible to your attacks. A -4 to AC is a -4 to CMD, for instance. Barring some crazy ninja trick exploit I haven't thought of I'd say that hexes seem better than the stuff the White Haired Witch gets.
If the players are "openly boasting" it sounds like they're having fun. If they start actually complaining that they're bored I guess that would be a sign to pump up the challenge.
Charging in headfirst is the most enjoyable style of play for a lot of folks. If their style of having fun annoys you I guess you could take some steps to make it more dangerous. Using monsters with reach (possibly via reach weapons) and Combat Reflexes should make aggressive tactics more dangerous. If the PCs like to actually use the charge action you could have enemies carrying weapons which can be braced against a charge for double damage. I'd point out that the enemies are bracing their weapons since that only seems fair (or at least offer a Perception check to notice), but whether you want to mention that they'll do double damage if they hit really seems like a matter of taste to me.
As far as not fighting everything they meet, perhaps you could have a few NPCs talk to the PCs and offer them hidden treasures, quests with rewards, etc. If the PCs are literally killing every NPC before he or she can get a word in edgewise you could try putting an NPC in a somewhat safe area like a room with a door which has only a small opening the PCs can hear the NPC through. Such bloodthirsty PCs might also be in danger of killing good, innocent, and or socially significant NPCs without bothering to listen to who they are first.
Sure, it is unrealistic that dragons can fly. It is unrealistic that Wizards can use magic spells. Some would say it is unrealistic that there are deities who intervene in the world. All of those things are on theme for a swords and sorcery world though.
I think that the super fast reloading of muzzle loaders not only seems a little silly but kind of breaks the traditional theme of early guns being slow but deadly. For good or ill the decision was made to allow faster reloads so that guns could be playable. This isn't terribly different from the faster than expected reloading of crossbows, just more pronounced. I would have rather seen a mechanic for guns more like Mythic Vital Strike to let you pool a lot of damage into one big shot. The Gunslinger's Dead Shot deed seems like an attempt at that, but it is too expensive to use and not effective enough. I don't think that "but there's magic" is a great reason to throw verisimilitude out the window, but I guess that "it has to be playable" must be accepted on some level. I just wish it had been done a little differently.
I'm sure most folks on the boards will disagree with my take on this due to reasons like "but there's magic!", "imagine it is anime!", and "the PCs are superheroes!" Such matters of taste can't easily be solved with debate, so I guess I should move on to the mechanical aspects of the Gunslinger which might make it worth playing. First I'll give the OP a more detailed "excuse" why such fast reloading might seem more in theme if you "re-skinned" it though.
The OP mentioned a Gnome. Imagine that when the Gnome crafts alchemical cartridges he is actually doing something like:
As for the mechanical aspect of the class, with the proper feats and alchemical cartridges you can reload as a free action. This means that you definitely can full attack with a firearm, including stuff like Rapid Shot, Haste, and potentially TWF. With the current rules for double barreled guns you could actually make a full attack with twice the usual number of attacks. I personally think that rule should be changed, but if you're looking for reasons the Gunslinger isn't underpowered I'd say that doubling your attacks is actually very powerful. I'd even call it "overpowered".
Most monsters have a low touch AC. Attacking touch AC is very powerful in a typical game or especially in pre-fab adventures like an AP where the DM isn't as likely to suddenly start running all monsters with Monk levels who live in foggy locations defended by casters with Wind Wall. You also get a free gun at 1st level (significant financial incentive), and at the worst you're a high BAB character with 4 skill points per level who is proficient with all martial weapons. You also get a Dodge bonus to AC when you're wearing light or no armor. Some of the deeds you can get are pretty powerful like the ability to knock a foe prone without any CMB check or saving throw. Sure, it is situational, but when there's a melee goon who can't fly it could be a very nice power to keep him away from you and your allies.
The Pistolero and Musketeer archetypes are probably the best since they eventually get to ignore misfire chance completely. Before you reach that point I'd imagine that there could be some advantages to using Clustered Shots and having Quick Draw available. Even if you stick to single barreled guns you should be able to put plenty of lead in the air.
I find the story of dogs investigating a whistle and eating the PC kind of odd. I guess it is the centipedes which really matter though. Did the centipedes show up due to a random roll for wandering monsters made with the same frequency that such rolls are usually made? If so I guess the dice decided the PCs fate. On the other hand, if the DM simply decided that it would be fun or teach the player a lesson to have giant centipedes show up maybe that's why the DM feels bad.
I'm still a fan of Hero Points, which would have let the DM kill the PC and keep her around too. Spending a couple of points and almost losing the PC permanently might make the player more careful in the future without the DM feeling bad (plus you'd get to have a PC with some links to a local kobold tribe). Sure, Hero Points might save you from some unlucky deaths, but when you run out of points and finally die for real it is also a bigger event.
@Magda - Fools rushing in seems to be pretty much the standard style of play in many groups. I've seen folks low on hit points get killed or nearly killed charging powerful monsters they knew would get an AoO just to try to "kill steal" from other PCs who had the fight well in hand. Then we had to expend magic items, spells, or other resources to heal up the "daring" PC, sometimes depleting my cautious PC's emergency supplies (like a scroll of Last Breath, for instance). A lot of people seem to prefer the "Hah! Kill me if you can!" style of play and view high AC and tactical combat with a mix of boredom and disdain.
I'd think you should be able to buff yourself into a pretty effective Trip machine. If you'd rather go for Brace the biggest concern might be how to convince enemies to charge into double damage.
I can't recall if I've ever seen Brace used successfully by a PC. I guess if nothing else it would be nice against foes with Pounce. If the party likes to stay away and make ranged attacks you could punish any foes who try to close in. Remember that if you've readied an action to attack a foe who moves into your reach you still get an AoO when that foe leaves your threatened square. That's typically 2 attacks. If you have Cornugon Smash and Hurtful you can potentially turn it into 3 attacks.
You just have to convince your party to hold ranks and wait for the enemy to close. Good luck with that!
Getting a weapon attached to your stump is a pretty common trope. I also might have somebody offer her a fiendish graft which may or may not have magical powers and may or may not whisper dark secrets to her. If she'd be interested in a familiar at some point maybe the hand could have a face like Vampire Hunter D's and help her out with skill checks and such.
I find the idea of DMs hiding their rolls strange and archaic. Around here we let our dice roll proudly onto the table for all to see and fear!
If the DM hides the dice I guess your idea could work, but you're giving the players less information to go on, so it could be frustrating. On the other hand, players would never waste a reroll power on an enemy who rolled fairly high but failed anyhow.
I've played RotRL but wouldn't want to get too detailed about the AP's maps. That said, the OP is already at 3rd level, and the areas will contiue to grow with the monsters.
I don't see why giving a mount the Narrow Frame feat would be a big drawback, but honestly even a Large mount doesn't NEED the feat to enter areas large enough to accommodate humans. It just needs it to avoid taking penalties. Overall an AP seems like a better game for a Cavalier than a homebrew where the DM might decide to start putting in lots of ladders, spiral staircases, and itty bitty tunnels to keep mounts and animal companions out.
Metamagic rods can be quite inconvenient for folks who rely on weapons and shields. If you're really determined to use a rod without dropping your weapon you could try the widely despised and previously nerfed weapon cord. That way you can hold the rod in one hand while the weapon dangles from the other. At least per PFS you should be able to cast spells with the hand the weapon dangles from.
You could also try holding the rod in the hand the weapon dangles from, but that might lead to questions about whether the rod in question is a weapon since some rods are. Making sure your rod is a weapon would probably let you benefit from Quick Draw even if the phrase "your rod is a weapon" makes me think of Hanzo the Razor.
Daring Champion or an Inquisitor would probably work out well. A paladin would also be ideal as a party face and all around knight in shining armor. If you go with a Paladin I suggest taking Oath of Vengeance unless your party is absolutely desperate for healing, in which case I suggest buying a wand of CLW and taking Oath of Vengeance anyhow. An AP like RotRL should have plenty of Evil enemies.
Even if you want to stick with a "regular" Cavalier I wouldn't worry too much about not being able to take your mount places though. I've played RotRl in the past, and I don't recall it being especially full of tight, restrictive areas where pets can't fit. If you're really worried and think your DM will constantly say, "You can't bring a horse in here!" I guess you could play as a Halfling who rides a boar or dog. If nothing else you'd get a +2 Charisma.
I also notice that you say you can use "any player race". I wonder if that includes Goblins. They have high Dex and get a +4 bonus on Ride checks, so they make excellent mounted combatants. We've got a goblin Cavalier from the Order of the Cockatrice in one game, and he does plenty of damage with or without his mount (especially when he challenges). Order of the Cockatrice also grants some very nice debuff abilities. There are plenty of goblins in the area of Sandpoint. Perhaps one wants to join the party and see the world outside the Brinestump Marsh. With DM permission or perhaps the Beast Rider archetype you could have some pretty interesting mounts.
When my PC cast Wall of Fire in a house the building started to collapse on the party pretty quickly. I think the DM reasoned it was super hot magical fire. He'd probably kick himself if he read this thread and realized he could have used the Smoke rules to make the PCs choke to death.
Anyhow, regarding the plan to set fire to the enemy village, I wonder if the enemies post any sort of guard. If so the PCs might want to take out the guard before starting the fire so that the guard doesn't raise an alarm and begin waking folks up. Pet such as dogs are another potential problem here since I'd think a dog would be likely to start barking when some strangers show up and set the roof on fire.
Even the act of setting the roof on fire might be problematic. If the alchemist's fire is in ceramic jars it seems like it might land on a thatch roof without breaking or roll off the roof and set a fire next to the house instead of on top of it. Even if the jar does break I'd think that the sound of a breaking jar might wake somebody up.
It could also be important to know when the last time it rained was and whether the enemy village has anybody who can summon water elementals. In general I wouldn't think that setting a village on fire would be likely to kill many of the inhabitants, but it might force them out of their homes in various states of undress and ill-equipped for battle. It also might provide enough of a distraction that the PCs can sneak around a bit, especially if the villagers believe it was a hit and run attack.
As NOLA Chris mentioned, you could consider using something like the troop subtype which combines large numbers of low level foes like goblins into a single monster which can threaten higher level PCs. I used an older 3.5 version of that called mobs in a slightly customized run of The Iron Satyr and found that goblin mobs around CR8 did enough damage (maybe 4d6 or 5d6 per round?) to make mid level PCs pay some attention to them. If I ever finish up that campaign there will probably be some troops of fiendish gnolls too.
If you're really interested in having low level monsters continue to pose a threat even in one-on-one combat you might want to check out the various versions of the "P6" system, where the PCs don't advance beyond around 6th level.
Janka the goblin Witch didn't set off her share of the fireworks the tribe found right away. Such patience seemed out of character for her Chaotic Evil nature until we took a human prisoner and tied him up for her to interrogate. Then she lubed up a "skyrocket" firework, shoved it someplace the prisoner found very uncomfortable, and lit the fuse while asking for better answers. Unfortunately for the prisoner Janka didn't really care about the answers. The rest of the tribe broke into song: ~Skyrocket in tight! Flaming butt delight!"
This inspired Chief Sharky to create a new Goblin Game called Baby Bombs where goblins strap baby gnomes or puppies to skyrockets and fire them at each other. This is a fun game for Sharky since skyrockets allow a Reflex save and he has Evasion. We’re also beginning to take human and gnome captives for a fiendish breeding program based on the Demon Mother's Mask, which allows worshippers of Lamashtu to interbreed with other species. We hope to make a garden of pregnant and possibly limbless fiendish “melons” tended to by our Witch. If we could actually feed them via vines that would be pretty cool. Squealy Nord will give rise to a race of fiendish pig-men, and the goblins themselves plan to interbreed with animals so that one day a horde of animal headed goblins mounted on goblin headed animals can storm Sandpoint.
That's all in a campaign spawned by We Be Goblins. The Goblin Game is fun in a twisted kind of way, but honestly I hope to get back to more heroic adventures at some point. In the meantime we'll do our worst.
Yes, you get a +4 Cover bonus to AC. If the attack misses you then it targets the creature you used as Cover. By my reading of the feat the attack doesn't need to miss by 4 or less to result in it targeting the creature you used as cover. It just needs to miss you (by any amount). I don't think the description of the additional effect which occurs when the attack misses does anything to detract from or change the fact you get Cover against the attack. There's just an additional effect which happens if the attack misses.
I took this feat recently in a home game, reasoning that it might be more fun than Rapid Grappler. So far this has proved true. My PC also has the advantage of being able to use Crane Wing and Riposte to make an AoO against the attacker since his levels in Feral Gnasher mean he can keep his hands free and make AoOs while grappling with his mouth.
Two questions which I'd imagine might come up are whether failing the grapple check for Body Shield releases the grappled foe and whether the grapple check for Body Shield inflicts Constrict damage. I'd say no to the first since creatures which can make multiple grapple attempts per round (typically due to Greater Grapple) only need to succeed on one of them to keep you grappled and the grapple attempt for Body Shield isn't described as maintaining the grapple anyhow. I would (and do) apply the Constrict damage if the grapple check succeeds though.
I think it might be amusing if the Head actually worked but basically just resulted in Vecna coming back to life using the PC's body. In another recent thread I had the idea that somebody might hold a sweepstakes where the prize was the Sword of Kas. I guess some other Evil artifact might work just as well.
In one current campaign the DM keeps presenting the PCs with Evil artifacts and relics, some of which the party has to carry around to keep Evil NPCs from getting them. Some of the items can talk or communicate by telepathy and won't stop telling us about how they could help us. There's a magic demon skull which forces the Barbarian to make Will saves sometimes, and my Viking is wearing a sentient daemon skull as a helmet.
I know that's a bad idea, but we had to take the item with us as part of the quest though, and wearing it just seemed like a cool idea at the time. The funny thing is that the PC's last name of Askettil translates roughly to "God Helmet" whereas at this point little could be further from the truth...
In some cases you might be able to just swap out one set of monster stats for another such as using a young green dragon in the place of an old green dragon or reskinning ogres as giants. In others you might need to basically need to strip things down and build your own custom monster. Doing that sounds like almost as much work as building your own campaign, but I guess if you like the story and dislike high level gaming it might be worth the effort.
I was surprised to see this thread active again. Maybe kinevon felt that since it seems like old FAQs are being changed it might be a good time to bump Weird Words up into PDT's awareness again.
While PDT's intent was evident it might be nice to get an official FAQ answer so that players and DMs seeking guidance on Weird Words will be able to find it in the Ultimate Magic FAQ instead of slogging through this thread for something semi-official.
I think class levels are the best answer here even if you don't like them. It might not make a lot of sense that the PCs gain levels and increase dramatically in power either, and it probably makes even less sense that as they get much more powerful they begin to encounter much more powerful monsters too (but generally not before then)
That said, if you're looking to make every attack in combat a little scary I guess you could use the Critical Hit Deck and use cards for everybody. We generally only use Crit cards for "boss" monsters (aka "card guys"), but if you want every orc with an axe to have a chance of chopping off a PC's head the Crit Deck will do that for you.
If you go this route you could also consider using Hero Points, which are a bit like the old Warhammer FRPG's Fate Points, to let players nullify a "lucky hit" and talk about the time when the 1st level orc almost killed the mighty PC. On the other hand, you could be totally hardcore and let the cards fall where they may. I'd find that a little nerve wracking, but every group has its own style.
If your allies don't actually fall unconscious I'm not sure if the curse aspect of the Linnorm Death Curses would get activated. I suppose that +2 damage on each attack isn't bad, but you could get as much or more damage out of some other powers such as Lesser Fiend Totem and Fiend Totem or the various Spirit Totem powers. I'm also fond of the AC boost from Beast Totem since it doesn't require an action to activate and the next rage power in the chain gives you Pounce.
Since you seem to be planning for 20 levels you also could consider checking out the Arcane Strike feat. The swift action to activate it can be a nuisance, but the extra damage is nice, and if your DM is stingy with magic weapons it might help you beat some DR or hit incorporeal creatures.
I previously hadn't looked at the feat closely enough to notice the list limitations. They're binding though, so if you want to get a mount for a Medium sized PC out of this you should probably either take the Wolf and wait until 7th level or consider the Undersized Mount feat. The small cat isn't a bad companion overall.
If you're OK with a Medium mount I think you could use Eldritch Heritage (Arcane) to get a familiar with the Mauler archetype. If you're very animal companion focused the Eldritch Heritage (Destined) feat can be nice for giving out hefty insight bonuses. Unfortunately you can't take multiple bloodlines with Eldritch Heritage.
The Klar is a bladed shield. The description says it counts as a light shield, so you'd have limited use of your hand. If you got a mithral klar you'd probably be able to cast arcane spells without too much trouble. Some DMs might question whether Improved Shield Bash would work when making a slashing attack with a klar. I'd probably allow it.
For good or ill some players and groups are not happy with "re-skinning", especially if they feel that the player is trying to gain even a slight mechanical advantage. I think it also might be illegal in PFS.
I've been playing for so many years I thought maybe this would be a thread about playing Pathfinder in a nursing home. It seems like folks should have more time to game in those golden years.
I was thinking about whether He-Man and Skeletor might be a Paladin and Anti-Paladin due to their intelligent mounts, but I guess there are a lot of ways to get animal companions. I wonder whether the Masters of the Universe universe uses variant rules for armor and defense bonuses or if the bracers everybody wears are bracers of armor. It looks like most characters have a magic belt of some sort too along with boots and maybe something for the body or shoulders slots.
I've always kind of wondered what some of the monsters under the grate in Castle Greyskull might be like if they got statted up for D&D.
A Broodmaster's eidolons might have a lot of body slots, but he can only fill one at a time. The Summon Monster SLA could also become rather interesting as you gain levels though. A minute per level isn't a long time, but neither is the 6 seconds it would take to use the SLA again. Even if your SLA can no longer be used to qualify for feats and prestige classes it could be used for a quick change of positions.
The absence of Death Ward from the Summoner spell list makes me wonder if a Succubus can turn off her Energy Drain ability. Profane Gift could be a nice buff for the PCs, but you've got to treat your Succubus right, or she'll drain you of 2d6 Charisma later on. Her 27 Charisma and Alter Self ability are sure to make her a hit at parties, but the Erinyes is probably a little safer even though she has Animate Rope and specializes in torture.
I suppose that with Planar Ally and Planar Binding a high level Oracle could squeeze in on some of this summoning action. If he has Civilized Ghoulishness he won't even care if the Succubus can't turn off Energy Drain. In fact, it could make inviting the living to the back room at his big parties even more fun. The band might come to the after party too if the singer was Barry Wight. After that one I should probably take cover behind a tower shield before the rotten fruit starts flying...
The Rakshasa and Night Hag can change shape into humanoids too, as can the Efreet, opening up the possibility of fulfilling certain wishes without the use of the Wish spell. Perhaps it is for the best that Hound Archons don't have any feline counterparts.
There's been a lot of "pouring over books" in this thread. I wonder what the adventurers are pouring over the books. Could it be some potions to help them prepare for a fight with the monsters they've identified by poring over the books? I'm sorry for the petty criticism! Apparently I put ranks in Knowledge(Grammar) and maybe Profession(Jerk) though.
Back onto monster lore, if you use the 5/10/15 rule a lot of details about common monsters might basically become "common knowledge". For instance, anybody without an Int penalty would probably be able to identify a goblin, which is the specific example given for a common monster. I guess something like a rattlesnake or brown bear would probably fall into the common category as well. I'd think skeletons and zombies might too. If so practically everybody would know that you should smash skeletons and chop zombies. If not then nobody without ranks in Knowledge (Religion) would be able to come up with these facts. Since Knowledge checks about monsters are often made in combat you shouldn't have to worry about the PCs passing every check for low CR common monsters just by taking a 10.
How common lore about werewolves and vampires is might depend on the state of media in your fantasy world. In some worlds the gnomes might have invented a magical printing press which makes learning more available to the common people. In others they might have gone on to create panels which combine Silent Image and Ghost Sound to bring even Commoners a variety of entertaining and informative shows including Monster Kingdom. Now I'm thinking about how famous adventurers in such worlds might be able to bring floating camera constructs on adventures to record their exploits (and possibly sell the resulting movies as a way to increase WBL). Maybe low level parties could seek out contracts with adventure promoters who help them out with starting equipment in exchange for a cut of their profits and proceeds from their movies. It could end up as the sort of antagonistic relationship a lot of bands seem to have with the record company. Ok, I'm obviously way off topic now...
If your party is able to make Knowledge checks consistently the chances are that one or more PCs have made a significant investment into that aspect of the game, so you shouldn't feel too bad about them getting some info on the monsters. Inquisitors in particular are superstars when it comes to knowing about monsters, but that's one of the class's featured functions.
I've actually had more trouble lately as a player with being in parties who can't identify practically anything. In yesterday's party the 6 monster ID skills are split between a Fighter and a Ninja because our Scarred Witch Doctor is so dumb she gets 1 skill point per level. Meanwhile the Low Will Save Duo only have 1 or 2 ranks in most of the Knowledge skills by 10th level and are completely missing Knowledge like History which might be important for story purposes rather than just identifying monster. In another game with goblin PCs my Feral Gnasher is probably the best in the party at Knowledge skills (which is kind of scary), but the first question he asks when he exceeds the required DC is usually whether the monster is safe to bite.
Most DMs I play with now use the rule where common creatures have a DC of 5+CR to identify, uncommon ones are 10+CR, and rare ones are 15+CR. You get to know an extra detail for each 5 you exceed the DC by. One DM tells you random things which are sometimes useful, but the other two let you ask questions. The latter method makes it more rewarding to have multiple PCs with overlapping Knowledge skills in the party since you can ask different questions (which might be a little unrealistic but feels rewarding)
The suggestion of using the Tentacle evolution in creative ways reminds me of some anime an old housemate used to watch. It also reminds me of using Tentacle to give a PC's toad-like eidolon a tongue attack with Reach and Grab. More recently another PC took the Tentacle discovery to give himself a prehensile devil tail. Tentacles have all sorts of uses.
Regarding American Pie, I could imagine somebody having a redheaded eidolon who "looks like a girl from band camp". I could also imagine somebody having a serpentine eidolon named Green Snake who uses a Greater Hat of Disguise to look like Maggie Cheung Man Yuk. Unlike Ms. Beauchamp, Ms. Cheung should be fairly safe to look up on the Internet, and I highly recommend the Green Snake film (which is fantasy not porno though if you'd prefer a familiar instead of an eidolon there is another movie where Diana Pang plays a horny shapeshifting rabbit - unfortunately it is not a very good movie though it does have the always entertaining Elvis Tsui). I heard about all this and Ms. Beauchamp "from a friend" of course...
I'm a sasquatch in real life, and actually we're pretty much the same as wookies since they were based on us. In the real world we're the ones with the lightsabers though.
Our race actually has a +12 Str and a +4 Int too. We use super science to dwell not in the spaces you know but between them, coming into your world mostly to play pranks which get blamed on leprechauns. That commercial about us taking the remote control was no joke, and we know where your lost socks and underwear go.
Anyhow, we're obviously way too awesome to be balanced with lesser races, but you could check out some old 3e material like Savage Species for some idea on how to construct balanced "monster classes" where PCs gain the abilities of iconic monsters over a number of levels. Another option is to play a Summoner and use the eidolon to represent the monster the player wants as a PC. Since some folks consider the eidolon better than certain base classes it might even be balanced/fun to just let the PC be an unfettered eidolon (possibly with regular point buy or rolled ability scores)
I'm not sure if there's anything in the RAW to prevent a Small PC or Tiny familiar from hopping on a Medium one and using the Mounted Combat feat to negate hits. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of DMs forbid or discouraged it though. On the other hand, if your familiar is an animal which could reasonably act as a mount for an appropriately sized rider I wouldn't expect any trouble there.
Since Fighters have a ton of feats it might not be completely unreasonable to pick up an animal companion with Animal Ally which both the PC and familiar could use as a mount. Of course that might be assuming you get a familiar which seems like it could reasonably ride another animal into combat. I think this would clearly work with a monkey and possibly work with a bird. A housecat who rides a tiger (or maybe dire wolf) into battle might be a little far out for most games though.
The Linnorm Death Curse doesn't seem that exciting to me unless maybe you're granting it to a bunch of NPC warriors for a big battle or something. Maybe it is a prereq for something else you want or I'm missing something though.
I'm also not sure why you wouldn't want to reverse the order you take Hurtful and Cornugon Smash in. I guess maybe you're concerned about getting off your intimidate on a charge or in other situations where you need to move and attack rather than use intimidating glare as a move action and then get two attacks. This is only a significant decision for 3 levels though, and the PC looks like he should be fun either way. It is nice that intimidating folks will help cut back the bonus you give them to hit you with Come and Get Me.
It is a minor point, but I think that something being clearly RAW legal might actually make it more of a "munchkin-esque scheme". I mean as opposed to doing something in a grey area or normally outside the rules after convincing the DM that "it sure would be cool if..." (permission/agreement from the DM instead of confrontation with the DM wielding a RAW-Hammer)
If the OP has any more questions about Trip or other maneuvers perhaps we can get back on topic. I just have a hard time containing my recent enthusiasm for Intimidate.
Extended Intimidate Derail:
If you can get some Sneak Attack flavored whipped cream on top of your Intimidating Sundae I guess that's great though most sources of Sneak Attack cut into the BAB you need to Trip people in the first place (and you might have already taken a -1 cut multiclassing into Monk for feats or styles). The stuff I was proposing also has a very heavy feat load to deal with already.
Cornugon Smash is certainly another viable way to fit in your intimidate checks. If you're going to have Improved Unarmed Strike anyhow (like as a prereq for Vicious Stomp) I prefer Enforcer since the duration on the demoralize is basically "the rest of the foe's life". I guess there is some stuff out there immune to non-lethal damage but not demoralization, but it doesn't seem like you'd probably run across it all that often in a typical game (unless there's something I'm missing). They both seem like solid feats though.
As an aside, I think the demoralize mechanic is pretty cloogy since DMs never seem to have the DC calculated and sometimes balk at sharing the monster's numbers so you can help calculate it. It might be nice if it used something more universal like a Will save.
I sometimes describe NPCs as looking like actors. For instance, wererat Rogue "Pete the Rat" (name shamelessly borrowed from Infocom) looked like Steve Buscemi. Regarding redhead eidolons, if you describe your eidolon as looking just like Bianca Beauchamp people will probably guess where your mind is at without further RP. I wonder whether latex could count as an eidolon's natural armor. Maybe I should go do some research...
I suspect that changing crafting so that the cost is greater but the time requirements are less might make both sides a little happier.
I figured that folks might agree the slow MT was better than a Rogue. I wonder how slow MT would get rated against a Fighter or even in a general "power tier" scheme though.
Obviously the FAQ is a nerf to the MT, but I wonder how nerfed it really is and how that reflects on the power balance of casters and martials in terms of levels. That gives me the idea of using different XP tracks for different classes kind of like in AD&D. I'm not sure it is a good or even functional idea for Pathfinder, but I do recall that Thieves (the AD&D ancestor of Rogues) used to advance in levels really quickly while Wizards lagged behind.
I think what Lune is pointing out is that while the Monk's bonus feats might be prereq free a lot of feats which come later in feat chains explicitly list the Int 13 prereq. There are some ways to get around that prereq (Daring Champion Cavalier comes to mind), but just taking Int 13 or 14 could be a reasonable way to handle it too, especially if you want to take the Bruising Intellect trait to Intimidate with Intelligence. This could combo well with Vicious Stomp, and that combos well with IUS and Enforcer. Get a Cruel amulet of mighty fists and you'll be a hardcore debuff machine.