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Devilkiller's page

1,789 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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If you don't want to be demoralized by the Intimidate skill you could invest in the Sense Motive skill. I don't find the Intimidate skill unfair, but I do think the mechanics for using it are a little clunky. I'd rather see the results based on a Will save since the monster's bonus to Will saves is a number that the DM is almost certain to have handy whereas very few DMs seem to calculate the DC to Intimidate a monster before somebody attempts it even if the party has a PC who uses Intimidate in most fights.

Sometimes DMs are also reluctant to tell the players a monster's hit dice and Wisdom modifier. This can cause the calculations to take a while since I often have to tell the DM the formula for calculating the DC repeatedly. There are similar problems with using Bluff for feinting (though maybe that would be better opposed with a Reflex save)

I wonder if it isn't better to let this thread slip into history and start a new one with ideas on interesting builds for the "new" Sound Striker.

The distinction between Int 12 and Int 13 has another bad side effect in that it can tempt you into investing in Int 14 to get an extra skill point each level. It is just a -1 on my Will save, you tell yourself, it will only make a difference 5% of the time - then you have to sit through hours upon hours of game time either doing nothing or doing counterproductive things because you failed another Will save...oh, the misery...

As an aside, does anybody know why the Sewer Troll has 10 foot reach with its claws? Does it have really long arms? Can it stretch like Dhalsim?

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I like using the Tentacle evolution and discovery for stuff like a prehensile tail or a Tongue attack with Reach and Grab. The latter wasn't a strong mechanical choice compared to putting those evolutions on the more powerful Bite and Claw attacks, but it really fit the theme for my toad-like eidolon. I could imagine that some groups would have been firmly against having a Tentacle grow out of a creature's mouth and work like a Tongue, but the folks I was playing with were fine with it and seemed to like the giant tongue on the eidolon's customized mini.

I'd say that the "average" campaign for the groups I play in lasts about two years. This seems like enough to complete a Paizo AP with weekly 3 hour sessions or biweekly longer sessions. Sometimes the games last a little longer if we intersperse multiple campaigns in the same group. One game which I've been running off and on since 3.5 is poised to start up again after a long hiatus and will probably have stretched out to at least 7 years. The group I run it for usually has at least two campaigns going at any one time, so when I'm not ready to run other DMs fill in (which is most of the time for the past few years). The other game I was running fell apart around 11th level due partially to one of the players being incarcerated (a long and terrible story not really worth telling). The last game I ran before that ran out of steam at 16th level. If I do another homebrew maybe I'll plan the highest levels first or use a Paizo AP as a starter to sow the seeds of my own high level adventure (or maybe I'll just plan on ending around 15th level like the APs tend to...)

The 3 campaigns I'm currently playing in all started around May of last year. One is theoretically a weekly game but suffers from some occasional scheduling trouble and only averages around 3 hour sessions. Still, we’re about halfway through 10th level on the standard XP track by this point. The biweekly games both started out with standard XP, but one DM later switched to fast XP while the other switched to slow XP. The fast game averages around 5 hour sessions and is at 10th level while the slow game runs for around 6 hours and is currently at 9th level. I think the slow game is keeping up so well mostly because the DM uses a lot of higher CR encounters. That’s mostly balanced out by the fact we have cohorts for 3 of the 4 PCs along with 2 Mythic tiers (soon to be 3)

Two of the three DMs have never run Pathfinder before though one ran a 2e game for some of us many years ago which I think died off around 10th level when he went to med school. The DM of the Mythic game ran a 3.5 game which reached 24th level over around 2-3 years a while back. I'm not sure how far he plans on taking this game, but it is kind of a sandbox which seems to have more adventure hooks than we could ever possibly follow up on, so I expect it might go on for years.

I think Combat Expertise would be an OK feat if it and the subsequent feats in many maneuver feat chains didn't have the 13 Int requirement. The fact that new maneuver focused classes and archetypes often include a way to bypass that restriction makes me think that the designers can see the problems which arise from the Int requirement. I'm not sure why they didn't get rid of it entirely, but now that there are published ways to bypass it I think that's even less likely to ever happen (like before Pathfinder 2.0 or whatever)

If you're rolling stats and happen to get a 13+ Int the feat actually isn't terrible in my opinion. Sure, Crane Style is a more efficient way to generate an AC bonus by taking an attack penalty, but it has its own feat tax in Improved Unarmed Strike, and there's a trait which lowers the attack penalty cost of Combat Expertise by 1. The AC bonus from Combat Expertise can eventually get higher, and I think you can use the two modes of defense together for those times when you really don't want to be hit (call it "Spectre Time")

The 13 Int requirement is particular painful for orcs who use the Dirty Fighter archetype since the Improved and Greater Dirty Trick feats can be very helpful to them but buying a 13 Int when you have a -2 in all mental ability scores makes it really tempting to dump Wisdom. If you give into that temptation your PC will probably give into a lot of other temptations due to his terrible Will save. Mine sure has...

A sai doesn't have a blade, so the manople is really more like a shortsword on a gauntlet. Thus I don't find it surprising that the manople falls into the same category as shortswords rather than the same category as a sai. About the closest things to the manople in the Close or Monk weapon groups are probably the punching dagger and the scizore (which is also in the Light Blades group besides being in the Close weapon group)

As to why the manople isn't in the Close weapons group too I can't be sure. I guess that the designers probably either felt it was too long or was just more like a sword on a gauntlet and less like a bladed gauntlet.

I wonder if a few levels of Titan Mauler would let you use a really big scizore which does 2d8 damage. It might be kind of amusing to flurry with that I guess.

If I gave a monkey a Str based weapon it would probably be something with reach for use with Paired Opportunists. I guess any Mauler could have a natural weapon with reach if you take Evolved Familiar. That makes me think of a giant fiddler crab.

One of the nice things about the new Weird Words is that you wouldn't really need to devote much to it to make it a very useful power. A typical melee build could probably get a lot of benefit out of having a ranged touch attack to fall back on even without any specific feats devoted to it. My Sound Striker used a dueling sword and a light shield, but I also like the idea of a Sound Striker with a reach weapon who uses Weird Words to provoke enemies into closing for melee and triggering an AoO.

Having a monster the PCs can't beat appear in a situation where the PCs can attack it can easily lead to a TPK vs Deus et Machina situation. If the players are especially well behaved or easily cowed the roleplaying dynamics of interacting with a creature more powerful than the party can sometimes be interesting. In a lot of cases it just leads to anguish though, especially if it happens in a homebrew where the players hold the DM directly responsible for the plot rather than in an AP where players probably understand there's a bit of an adventure "railroad" at work and are more likely to do whatever the plot seems to be demanding.

I'd think that the Cavalier concept could be combined with the worshipper of a dead god concept to create kind of a noble knight and guardian of the temple fellow.

I wonder if anybody feels like looking up the weight and value of some historical coins as a point of reference. I began to do so and was struck by the fact that a Diocletian "solidus" gold coin was worth 10 times as much as an "argentius" silver coin which weighed about 1/96th of a (Roman) pound. Those weights and relative values seem very close to what's in the game. The argentius probably could have bought much more in its day than a "silver piece" could in Golarion though.

Long ago I played with a DM who used different coinages for each major city-state in his homebrew campaign world. Each currency had different names for the coins, and I think there were even fluctuating exchange rates. Another DM I play with currently started off his Mystara based campaign specifying different coinages for different areas but seems to have mostly forgotten about it recently.

I can see the appeal of the Retribution Hex but still think Evil Eye might be nice. The -4 debuff to a big foe's attacks or AC could help with your melee plan, and if you decide to fall back on your spells due to melee being ineffective a -4 to the enemy's saving throws might be helpful.

If you decide to try using Cornugon Smash (or Enforcer) with Hurtful be sure to check out the Cruel weapon enchantment to add the Sickened condition to your debuff package. Stack all those debuffs together and you might be able to cut some pretty tough melee foes down to size.

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Orcish Rapunzel - If you try the Scarred Witch Doctor I suggest taking the Prehensile Hair hex. This will let you use Constitution for spells, hex DCs, attack rolls, and damage. Buff up your Con as much as possible and you should do OK. Grappling might be surprisingly viable if you wear a Belt of Anaconda's Coils and take the Final Embrace feat (which grants the Grab ability). Hex Strike can also let you apply the Evil Eye to foes via unarmed strikes or even your hair with Feral Combat Training. If you've got +8 to grapple checks from Improved Grapple, the belt, and Grab and then give your foe -4 AC/CMD via Evil Eye that's a pretty big swing in CMB vs CMD. It seems counterintuitive to grapple with a low BAB PC, but I think it could work. Getting all the right feats in order without multiclassing would be the trick. At worst I guess you could use the reach of the hair to hang back and rely on AoOs for extra damage.

Mounted Sorcerer - A human Sylvan Sorcerer might be able to swing the feats for Mounted Combat. Whether or not you want to be a lady from Niger it wouldn't hurt your combat effectiveness to ride on a tiger. Since you can share True Strike your companion should be able to hit stuff or perform combat maneuvers pretty much as needed. I guess a big bad Wolf who trips enemies to give you +4 to hit against them might not be bad, especially if you took Paired Opportunists so that you both got a +4 bonus on any AoOs which might be triggered by the enemy falling down or standing up. If you feel pretty good about your HP and defenses Broken Wing Gambit with Paired Opportunists could be a nice combo too.

Flank Bonuses - If you'd rather flank with your companion than ride on it then the Outflank feat and Menacing weapons or amulets could be helpful. I'd consider staying adjacent and having the animal defend you with Bodyguard though. At worst you should be viable in melee against mooks, allowing you to save your big spells for big monsters.

I had a PC who rode a Megaloceros in Kingmaker. Since the hooves are secondary attacks you might want to get Improved Natural Attack for the Gore and concentrate on charging (which seems pretty good for a Cavalier anyhow). There's also a Belt of Thunderous Charging which boosts your weapon size while charging and grants a +2 on bull rush and overrun.

Depending on whether your DM believes the damage from Powerful Charge should be based off the weapon being used your stag's Gore during a charge could end up doing 6d6 or even 8d6 damage. That's not enough to match the pouncing damage of a tiger, but it can make the Megaloceros a little more fun.

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I think Torger's point was probably that while Quicken Spell is powerful Spell Perfection can make using Quicken Spell free. That seems more powerful than using Quicken Spell for the normal cost just like using metamagic at reduced cost due to a trait seems more powerful than using metamagic at the normal cost.

Of course you could already use metamagic at no spell slot cost by paying the gold cost for a metamagic rod, which is a CRB item, but back to Torger's way of thinking I guess that a rod can only add one free metamagic whereas using a rod combined with Spell Perfection might add two. I guess one could debate what the gold piece value of a 15th level feat should be and how much of a limiting factor Spell Perfection working with just one particular spell is.

As an aside, I think almost everybody agrees that Leadership is a little crazy. This doesn't stop me from taking it when a DM allows it and I think the party could use a little help. Some campaigns are much tougher than others, and some parties are much less competent than others.

I'm not sure if getting trapfinding as a trait would really be particularly unbalanced. I guess you could say that it gives people even less reason to play a Rogue, but I can't see why it would upset game balance in general.

I'm assuming that the trapfinding trait is offered in Mummy's Mask because the AP is heavy on traps. If so that makes me interested in trying that AP in the hopes of seeing some fun and creative traps, but I'd think that offering trapfinding for a trait in an AP where trapfinding will be very useful would actually impact game balance more than offering trapfinding for a trait in a more "typical" game where traps are likely to play a lesser role.

After checking the rules a bit it turns out that a Donkey uses the same stats as a Pony. Having a Medium sized animal companion can be good if you like to work in tight spaces. The Donkey's base Str of 15 after 4th level seems pretty decent, and his two hoof attacks end up being 3 with Multiattack. Based on all that it seems like the Ass could be just as powerful as the Cock, but what if you put the two together? I could imagine a Halfling or maybe Gnome Cavalier 4 / Eldritch Guardian X with Boon Companion to keep his Cock strong and Horse Master for his Donkey (or should that be Ass Master in this case?)

With a couple of Challenges per day and maybe Bodyguard and Dazzling Display via archetype and order it might be a fun PC even if immature players (or maybe married guys in their 40s) insisted on making jokes about it.

@Wraith235 - DR isn't really an issue for Weird Words now that it has been changed to sonic damage.

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I guess that's as close to an "inside scoop" as we're likely to get. It sounds pretty reassuring to me though.

The recent Weird Words FAQ bolstered my faith in Paizo's commitment to getting things right even if it took quite a while. Like Rogue Eidolon's post just now, it gave the impression that somebody is listening and posting is worthwhile.


I doubt that returning the Bomb to the Alchemist via Snatch Arrows is legal, but I guess you could call it a grey area. Using Snatch Arrows to perform some kind of "alley-oop" Bomb advancement scheme with your Alchemist ally is clearly not possible though since the rules for Snatch Arrows say: "Thrown weapons can immediately be thrown back as an attack against the original attacker (even though it isn't your turn) or kept for later use." At best you might be able to argue that you could use Snatch Arrows to throw the Bomb back AT the Alchemist, but it seems like the Alchemist could have just thrown the Bomb at himself or his square to begin with. If you keep the Bomb for later use it would become inert as per the usual rule.

I'd like to see Snatch Arrows be a little more fun, but it seems doomed to remain an infrequently chosen feat which mostly just causes people to make jokes about Winona Ryder.

I think it is more fun to Disarm a potion than to Sunder it. As an added bonus you get to keep the potion as treasure.

Has Paizo actually revealed any details about the new Summoner, or is the idea that they're limiting the eidolon to a menu of a few choices purely conjecture? The ability to customize the eidolon is definitely my favorite aspect of the Summoner, so I hope they keep that core idea even if there's some sort of nerf.

I'm personally enjoying the newest FAQ version of Crane Style/Wing/Riposte. My Crane PC's big problem isn't the fact that he can only auto-deflect an attack if he uses Total Defense (which is actually still a very useful option) but the fact that you can't use Crane Style before you've had a turn in initiative. Low initiative rolls happen sometimes, and many DMs can get a little obsessed with achieving surprise.

Back to the Summoner, while it seems like "common sense" that Rogues will get boosted and Summoners will get nerfed I wonder if Paizo has actually stated anything like that. I also wonder whether folks think the Barbarian will get a boost, a nerf, or just some changes to make it simpler to play.

The Arcane Healer looks like a nice option though the feat support could get expensive (Extra Channel, Selective Channel, etc). The Dirge Bard archetype also works with Sound Striker, and I found it to be a lot of fun.

Dodge bonuses do indeed add to your CMD. I must try to remember this when my Feral Gnasher uses Crane Wing and Riposte while grappling. He can maintain the grapple as a Move action, and his hands are free and able to perform AoOs due to Improved Lockjaw. Having a little extra CMD to keep foes from escaping could be nice.

I'm guessing that the restrictive language was put into the Bombs ability to prevent the Alchemist from sharing Bombs with other PCs rather than to prevent Monks from rebounding Bombs at the Alchemist, but per RAW I don't think returning a Bomb with Snatch Arrows would work. It seems pretty cool though, and Snatch Arrows seems like it would be a weak feat in most games, so I wouldn't be surprised if many DMs allowed the Bomb return to work.

There's some text in the Bomb (Su) ability which implies to me that the Bombs have a physical casing, usually in the form of a vial:

D20PFSRD wrote:
In order to create a bomb, the alchemist must use a small vial containing an ounce of liquid catalyst—the alchemist can create this liquid catalyst from small amounts of chemicals from an alchemy lab, and these supplies can be readily refilled in the same manner as a spellcaster's component pouch. Most alchemists create a number of catalyst vials at the start of the day equal to the total number of bombs they can create in that day—once created, a catalyst vial remains usable by the alchemist for years.

That text doesn't specify exactly how the vial is used, but assuming it gets infused with the Alchemist's magical reserves and then thrown as the Bomb seems pretty reasonable to me. The idea of catching the Bomb with Snatch Arrows and throwing it back at the Alchemist seems like fun to me, but the rules for Bombs go on to say, "An alchemist's bomb, like an extract, becomes inert if used or carried by anyone else." Oh well!

As an aside, I used to play with a DM who allowed giants to catch Alchemist Bombs with Rock Catching, probably on the basis that they were "projectiles of similar shape".

I've been busy with work and hadn't visited the boards in a while. I'm pleasantly surprised to see that Weird Words has finally received an official fix. If my PC were back in action he'd be able to do around 51 damage on average to a single foe with this new FAQ, much better than the 18 or so he was able to deal with the old one. This makes Weird Words a worthwhile ability again!

The reduction in attack rolls and removal of saving throws will surely be greatly appreciated by players and DMs alike. Eventually gaining 4 and 5 attacks instead of just 3 like Scorching Ray isn't such a big deal since the damage modifiers are limited to once per target. Overall it seems like a good fix to me.

@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

One solution might be to make your weapons for TWF ones which don't need to be held in your hands. You could wear armor spikes or spiked gauntlets. You could even fight with unarmed strikes. Also note that you can carry a rod in the same hand as a light shield (which can itself be used as a weapon)

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.

PRD wrote:

Final Embrace (Combat)
Your coils are particularly deadly, allowing you to constrict opponents of your size or smaller.

Prerequisites: Str 13, Int 3; naga, serpentfolk, or creature that has the constrict special attack; base attack bonus +3.
Benefit: You gain the constrict and grab special attacks. Your constrict attack deals damage equal to your unarmed strike or primary natural weapon melee attack. Further, you can grab and constrict opponents up to your size.
Normal: You can grab and constrict creatures one size smaller than you.

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.

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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.

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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:
- making belted ammunition of some sort
- customizing his gun with special vacuum tubes to suck in the powder and ammo
- crafting little robotic things to assist with rapid reloading

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.

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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.

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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 don't think there's a rule for holding sheathed items. The rules don't say no, but they also don't say yes. I'd expect most DMs to say no though.

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.

Are you just looking for practical help making an effective PC with the Gunslinger class, or do you want a "sensible" explanation of how somebody would load and fire a muzzle loading gun 4-6 times in 6 seconds?

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.

Unfortunately the weapon counts as one-handed when a Phalanx Fighter uses it in one hand (unless it is a Lance being used while mounted, in which case I'd assume you can ignore the special ability to gain the usual benefit if you wish)

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.

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