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Cleric

Devilkiller's page

1,611 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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I've always wanted to use Magnificent Mansion, but the one time when I played a caster of the right class and sufficient level it was in a game where the DM banned Rope Trick and Magnificent Mansion (though nothing else) since he didn't want people running off into magical spaces to hide from his monsters.

A friend of mine had the good fortune to play a Sorcerer in a game that went to 19th level and found an online program for drafting houses including gardens and such. His Sorcerer's mansion had rooms for each PC along with an atrium in the center with a garden and pond. My Monk/Druid sometimes slept in the pond while wildshaped into a water elemental and could also turn into a tree in the garden. Such defensive maneuvers might seem unnecessary within the confines of a Magnificent Mansion, but the DM running that game ruled that powerful BBEG casters with access to divine powers could potentially invade our Magnificent Mansion.

That was a different DM from the one who banned the spell. The two didn't even know each other, so I guess maybe Magnificent Mansion is a spell which tends to annoy DMs.


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I was once going to make a Gnome Summoner who had an eidolon called the Magic Cock. If you want to ride the cock during battle I'd advise taking Mounted Combat and Trick Riding since this will greatly reduce the chance of your cock getting damaged by monsters. This is especially useful against touch attacks. You wouldn't want to be defenseless when somebody whips out a gun and tries to shoot your cock.

You could also consider investing in the Bodyguard feat as another way to help keep your cock up during tough encounters. Since Bodyguard is a Combat feat your cock would get it too and could return the favor by protecting you as well. If you both wear Benevolent armor you should be able to achieve a significant AC boost.

Since you're getting UMD as a class skill you'll also be able to take advantage of scrolls and wands to help you and your cock. A wand of False Life might not be a terrible investment given the long duration. I suppose that Mirror Image might also be helpful. Even a lowly 1st level spell like Grease could be help prevent enemies from grabbing your cock.


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Grappling quasits and imps has been mentioned a few times. It isn’t a bad idea, but getting them grappled and keeping them that way can be surprisingly tough for level 1-2 PCs. The PC with the highest CMB is also likely to be the one who would be best at beating the imp’s DR5. Moving your damage dice down to 1d3 doesn’t help with that. Keeping the imp from disappearing is probably worth it, but he'll probably have about a 1/4 chance of breaking free anyhow.

When I mentioned this thread to my girlfriend she insisted that I also must post that Quasit Summoners are very nasty. I don’t think that is necessarily true, but I did once use a Quaist with 15 levels of Summoner as a monster, he did surprise the party, and one PC did get killed by summoned fiendish dire tigers. After a barrage of mostly touch attacks from the party that Quasit didn’t last long though.

Regarding wish farming with Planar Binding, I’ve never run or played in a game where it was even attempted. I think there’s a pretty common idea across many groups that the DM will either reject wish farming outright or punish the PCs harshly for attempting it. You can only stack another +2 to +3 on your modifiers via wishes anyhow though, and a lot of PCs would likely pick up this bonus on their favorite ability score anyhow (dare I call it the “prime requisite”?)

As a DM I’ve sometimes equipped monsters with gear according to their NPC WBL or even PC WBL when adding +1 CR. That caused some player complaints, particularly when I had a creature wear armor wich made it tough for folks to hit with Power Attack or had something like an Ogre Mage buy some low level wands for use with UMD. The Ogre Mage in the book has a +14 UMD modifier, and wands of Shield are dirt cheap. Mirror Image or CMW wands can be nice too though they’re a little more expensive. Buffing enemy AC can be fairly effective at frustrating the already frequently frustrated low optimization martials. The more serious killers often have ways to bypass AC though.


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The water balloons comment seems kind of interesting in terms of firearms:
“I want my PC with a bow to bypass armor and do tons of damage like a guy with a gun.” (Guns are so awesome that the conquistadors had them. They had armor too, and that would have been very advantageous since the guys they were fighting didn't have guns. Killing people and taking their stuff wasn't always just something to do in games.)

I guess it could also work for the infamous caster vs martial disparity:
“I want my PC with a sharp stick to be as effective as a Wizard who can alter the very fabric of reality with magic.” (Magic is so awesome that nobody has it, but that just means nobody can say what it can't do. It is pretty easy to come up with some things a guy with just a pointy stick probably can't do.)


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When I read that slings can “cause chaos in games not prepared for them” I wonder if those slings launch their bullets with a hyperbolic trajectory.


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Large mounts can handle 5' hallways pretty easily with the Narrow Frame feat and can often muddle through even without it. Vertical shafts and areas where the PCs have to climb can be tough for many non-flying mounts. My halfling used to lower his "war goat" into dungeons with a block and tackle. He himself planned to carry a "battle ladder" instead of a regular lance since his full plate made him pretty bad at Climb, but the DM deemed that a little too silly.


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I thought Maxwell's last name was Edison...

Anyhow, as far as I know the Bull Rush from Shield Slam uses the result of your attack roll as the number you compare to your opponent's CMD to determine the results of the Bull Rush. In other words, you wouldn't get any bonuses from stuff like Improved Bull Rush though things like Weapon Focus (Heavy Shield) and an enchanted shield would help.

If your opponent still has movement remaining it could use that movement to come towards you again. I'm not 100% sure regarding whether that would count as a new action in terms of triggering an AoO (which is usually limited to one per action). Even if it doesn't you'll probably end up being able to push people away before they get a full attack. You'd also be able to stuff charges and therefore avoid being pounced.

I'm running a PC with Shield Slam in one current campaign, and one of my favorite aspects of the feat so far has been the fact that enemies pushed into a solid obstacle fall prone. This is a great debuff which can create a lot of tactical advantages. I think your Druid might be better positioned to exploit this aspect of the feat than my Viking since you might be able to create walls, trees, etc to bounce foes off of.

If you decide to pursue the knocking folks prone aspect of Shield Slam then the combination of Vicious Stomp + Enforcer would be extremely useful. If you throw on Hurtful too you can really pile a lot of damage onto a prone foe quickly.


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Dragons can be really tough for their CR, especially if you weren't expecting them. I wouldn't say that they "aren't fun for their CR" though since players often really enjoy dragon fights, especially if the DM doesn't make it impossible to find and claim the dragon's treasure hoard afterwards.


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Tendriculos doesn’t seem as bad as it was in 3.5, where it was my go to example of a monster too nasty for its CR.

I find it mildly disturbing that this thread seems almost like a list of monsters my Viking has fought. The Sceaduinar was definitely the worst, and he was in the same fight with a Witchfire, who isn't much fun herself. That was in the same cave where we ended up fighting a Shadow Demon. A Seugathi in another dungeon might have become a TPK if another PC hadn't rolled high on a bunch of Will saves. Earlier in the campaign it had taken that same party member days to recover from Str damage inflicted by Shadows.

Perhaps the most terrifying monsters I’ve run as a DM have been Sea Serpents with the Advanced template. Sure, they can be largely neutralized by Freedom of Movement, but most PCs don’t have the Ring, and by the time you cast the spell it might be too late. With Grab, Constrict, and Swallow Whole all on one monster the Sea Serpent is a super charged damage machine. Fiendish Dire Tigers can also be pretty nasty, especially as summoned monsters. Big air elementals using their Whirlwind ability against folks who can't fly can also create havoc, but

I guess that not being able to fly leaves you vulnerable to a bunch of things though. I'm a little ashamed to say that one party I'm in had a ton of trouble with an Erinyes around level 8. Sure, you should be able to Fly by level 8, and usually we can, but the devil's at will Fear ability made the PC who casts Fly run away.


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It is tough for me get on board with the idea that "slings are amazing" when they require two hands to operate and do less damage than javelins. I'd be more willing to accept a statements like:
- slings are good enough for low levels
- slings are better than javelins if your enemies are really far away
- slings are better than atatls if you don't know about atatls or you're fighting skeletal archers

I mean, slings aren't useless, but they fail to amaze me. Most ranged weapons which aren't bows are pretty depressing when compared to bows though.


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If you decide to go with the gecko mount you might want to check out some old Mage Knight "Dark Rider" minis. Salamander #115 and #116 would work really well for the riding gecko, and there are various minis available which are properly shaped to ride on top of the mounts. I guess the only problem is that the lizard might be a little bigger than Medium. I don't have one handy right now to check.


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I wonder why there seems to be much more variation in the usefulness of ranged weapons than melee weapons and why many folks seem to find it more acceptable. With melee weapons there are mostly small variations with damage die, crit range, and crit multiplier roughly balanced against each other and some other attributes like reach, trip, disarm, etc. With ranged weapons bows are great and everything else kind of sucks. You can overcome some of the drawbacks by investing feats, but even then bows have some unique advantages like Manyshot.

I found the PDF interesting enough that I'd like to see a "Deadliest Warrior" style test of the sling's capabilities. I wonder if this could be the dawn of a new age of "sling fanboys" who challenge katana fantatics to a theoretical weapon duel to determine what's the greatest weapon ever.


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@Uwotm8 - All the DMs we play with roll their dice on the open table for all to see and fear. I find that "before results revealed" abilities are a nuisance anyhow since DMs often call out stuff like, "Does a 26 hit you?" or, "Ooh! That's 3 negative levels!" before players have a chance to figure out what's happening.


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Per Animal Archive the T-Rex can grasp objects. Unlike many companions it has a decent Cha score, so with Skill Focus (Use Magic Device) and some wands there might finally be a use for those tiny little arms.


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@Arachnofiend - Do you feel crafting is broken primarily because it increases WBL or because it allows the PCs to get the specific magic items they want? Also, are cheap potions and wands a problem in your opinion, or is it just the crafting of permanent items which bothers you?


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I don't know, kestral287, some DMs have a special commitment to making sure crafters don't have crafting time which borders on mania. I think it might be better if they let folks craft what they wanted within reason but used the guidelines in Ultimate Campaign to limit the financial benefit a bit. I don't like the idea that saying, "I wish my PC had time to use his feat" would make me a jerk, but maybe that's because I'm a jerk...


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Otyugh


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Dying can be better than failing a Will save sometimes, perhaps especially in games which use Hero Points. A failed Will save can also easily lead to a TPK in a lot of cases. Few Fort or Reflex saves can turn you against your party, and few monsters are as deadly as PCs.

I also think a lot of DMs might tend to hold back on stuff which is absolutely and instantly deadly while they're happy to spam Will saves.

Poor Reflex saves aren't uncommon, but the results of failure are usually just some extra damage. That damage can often be avoided with spells, and the folks who cast those spells tend to have low Reflex saves.

Low touch AC is a very common weakness and can be exploited to deadly effect.


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The fact that the Romans bashed people with their tower shields implies that by Pathfinder rules they'd be heavy shields. That's kind of disappointing since they seem like the prototypical tower shield. I guess it could be argued that such a bash might function more like a Bull Rush, but it would be nice if the tower shield gave a bonus to that.

Any sources I can find seem to indicate that the typical scutum would have weighed 25 pounds or less, far under the listed 45lb weight for Pathfinder's tower shield. Since tower shields are wooden per the description I'm not sure if you can make them out of mithral. You could make one from darkwood though, and it would officially weigh 22.5 lbs.


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I think that the advice to allow retraining might go a long way towards helping the OP get players to follow the "leads" he throws out as a DM. I mean, if you can retrain feats then a PC with Weapon Specialization (longsword) who finds a powerful magic bohemian earspoon which is the hereditary weapon of the emperors of Bazoo might be more likely to embrace the story item. The later on the DM can reveal that the PC is the true heir to the vacant Throne of Bazoo and must use the earspoon in his or her to overthrow the evil Viceroy who has ruled in the Lost Emperor's place for a hundred years. Of course the Imperial line is possessed of strong magic, so the PC might want to awaken his or her true powers by taking some levels in Magus or even Sorcerer and Dragon Disciple.

I suppose that on some level retraining might help turn "Darn, my PC isn't working out as I'd hoped" and "I wish I had prognosticated the right feats to take so I could follow the character development quest the DM thinks my character needs since his creative ideas are apparently better than mine" into, "Wouldn't it be cool if..?" Of course some players would simply plan out how to best use retraining from levels 1-20 to take feats or levels which are useful at the point when they're taken but then get discarded later.


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When some DMs see a PC who takes Weapon Focus (Falchion) and maybe Weapon Specialization (Falchion) their gut reaction is to drop a magic longsword and then get upset if the PC doesn't "grow with the story".

I always have a plan for my PC. Heck, I usually have two or three plans. I also have plans for dozens of PCs I'll probably never play. Some become NPCs. Some just adventure in the realm of theory.

The thought struck me that some similar complaints could be made about real life. Some people plan carefully, focus their efforts, and become specialists. Others are more spontaneous and just kind of "go with the flow".


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The Undersized Mount feat will allow you to ride Medium creatures, but the Cavalier's class feature lists specific animals allowed for Cavaliers of different sizes. In a home game the DM could make an exception, but that won't work in PFS. I guess you could take the Huntmaster archetype if it is PFS legal and start riding your dog at 4th level.

If you're just scared that you won't be able to fit a Large mount into dungeons please check out the Narrow Frame feat LibraryRPGamer suggested. It should let a Large mount fit into most places where a Medium PC would. Dungeon ceilings are also often pretty high. Getting your mount up and down stairs and vertical cliffs/shafts might be the real problem. A flying mount might be nice for that.


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Meet the New Rule!
Same as the Old Rule!
I'll pick up my dice and play
Just like yesterday
And I'll get on my knees and pray
It don't get ruled again! No! No! No!

I've always allowed 10 foot reach to hit diagonals, so I'm pretty happy with the ruling. If some people feel like this gives too much power to reach weapons I guess they could consider using the soft cover rules. We all know they exist, but I wonder how often they get used.


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Since a fire based spell healed somebody maybe fire is the key to healing in the cursed wood. Perhaps you should pour several flasks of oil over one of the human PCs and then set the PC on fire. If it works you'll have solved the DM's riddle. If not then the PC can self-immolate as a protest against the DM's obtuse and possibly frustrating healing mystery.


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Sylvan isn’t a legal option with Eldritch Heritage. Taking Arcane to pick up a familiar is legal, and taking Improved Familiar after that is likely legal too (I don’t think there’s ever been an official ruling). A familiar who uses wands could help you out with buffing and maybe even a little healing. That said, I've had fun with animal companions up to levels 17 and 18. Unless you're in a super high powered game an animal companion should be able to contribute meaningfully.

Option 1: Bodyguard - Picking up the Bodyguard feat and light armor with the Benevolent enchantment would make your animal companion an AC boosting ace. You can easily stack up +7 AC 4-5 times per round this way. If you go with studded leather or lighter armor the animal doesn’t even need to be proficient with the armor. Since you’re starting at a higher level it might make sense to weigh your options between giving the animal the Bodyguard archetype or just increasing Int to 3 with an ability boost and then starting into the Bodyguard feats at 5th level. For my Summoner mounted on an eidolon I found that In Harm’s Way was also a great feat. Of course healing the animal companion could be tougher than healing the eidolon (which the Summoner has spells for), so In Harm’s Way probably deserves more scrutiny in your case. It can definitely be useful for preventing nasty hits and conditions from affecting the PCs though.

Option 2: Flanking Buddy - An animal companion with the Outflank feat and a Menacing amulet of mighty fists can give you (or your summoned monsters) a +6 to hit. That’s a pretty big boost. One easy way to get an animal companion into flank is to use Spring Attack. The animal springs to the front or side of the foe to attack and then moves around behind for flank. I used this tactic frequently with a hyena companion, and it worked pretty well. Boosting the companion’s AC would make sense here since enemies who figure it out might focus attacks on the animal. If you go with an animal which uses combat maneuvers via Trip or Grab the bonus to hit might even allow those to work once in a while.

Option 3: AoO Assistant - Since you seem to be using a fauchard build which fishes for AoOs you might consider adding an animal companion which fishes for AoOs too. The Paired Opportunist feat Magda mentioned would make your AoOs hit more consistently and help the animal companion's AoOs hit too.

Option 4 - Mount - This might be tough to pull off since eidolons are so big, but you can combine a mount and Bodyguard pretty effectively. Having a mount also gives you more mobility options for when you're casting spells. You could also eventually gain a pounce-like ability from Mounted Skirmisher though that's the end of a 3 feat chain.

Bane Amulets - I'm not sure if you've bothered to take Craft Wondrous Items, but if you have it then it is fairly cheap to build up a collection of bane amulets for the common sorts of monsters you face. If you expect a certain type of monster you can put the right amulet on your animal. Even in combat it should only be a move action to put the amulet on something. This can work for summoned monsters too.


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You can debate all you want, but Mind Blank will make Aelryinth immune to being convinced.


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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.


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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.


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In some games I've seen the Wall placed along the lines on the battle map. In such games you can cause damage by placing the Wall diagonally or by placing it down the middle of creatures which take up more than one square. In other games (perhaps more) I've seen the Wall placed along a row of squares and affect anything which is in those squares. I'm really not sure which one is correct though letting the Wall occupy squares makes it a little more useful.

Moving out of WoF doesn't cause damage. In fact, a creature who starts their turn in WoF can move along its entire length without taking any additional damage, a fact that an old DM of mine used repeatedly in his successful bid to make me regret ever casting this spell.


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When I saw players complaining about a Magus it wasn't due to DPR but the number of actions she was able to accomplish in a round along with some combat maneuver antics with True Strike.

Anyhow, I think damage can be overpowering, but this particular damage doesn't sound like more than a very typical Fighter or Barbarian with Haste could hand out around that level. In fact, when I look at 22 Str, Power Attack, and a +2 weapon either one of those classes comes out around 90 damage if we make the flawed assumption that all of the attacks will hit. It sounds like the Magus is making attacks on regular AC without the benefit of True Strike, so there should have a reasonable chance to miss at least against higher AC foes.

AC 29 is pretty good for 9th level though as somebody pointed out the familiar can't cast Shield on the Magus, so it should mostly be AC 25 unless the Magus knows combat is coming and has a chance to pre-buff. Mirror Image is a really strong defensive spell though. I'd expect that it alone might create a perception that the Magus is "invincible", especially since under pressure the Magus could always sacrifice some DPR to get Mirror Image back up with Spell Combat while still making some attacks.


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I played a gnome alchemist once too. He failed a Will save and was compelled to blow up the party's Oracle. I know which PC I'd rather travel with.


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You used a legal standard, move, and swift action all to accomplish something useful. It sounds like you played the PC very nicely. I guess people might have been surprised that you were able to take so many effective actions in one round.

If folks are really concerned that your healer might somehow be "too powerful" then pointing out that quickened channels cost double and you can only use Combat Healer a few times per day might ease their concerns.

I've always felt that channeling is nice for healing AoE damage across multiple PCs, so I'm glad to see another example from real play.


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In 2e we had a Magic-User who rolled just 1 spell known for 1st level, and it was Light. The DM allowed him to blind people, but I couldn't recall if that was "legit" or if the DM just felt bad for the player.


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I think this actually used to work in older editions of the game, but it isn't supposed to work anymore. Anyhow, the target for Light is "object touched", and I don't think that a creature or parts of a creature generally count as objects (at least not as long as the parts are attached)


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There really are some nutty things which can be done with summons, but posts on the message boards tends toward hyperbole sometimes. If summoned monsters have seemed useful but not overpowering in your games then it sounds like you’re using them well. Honestly I do think that summons can “completely replace martial PCs” if needed though. A party of 3 Summoners and a Cleric would probably have an easy time romping through adventures. If you’re in a party with competent martial PCs you shouldn’t need to “replace” them though - unless maybe there’s some new Internet trend like “Fighter Shaming”.

Regarding Weasels:
Back in 3.5 you could summon Dire Weasels. There was also an Alienist class which could add an "Alien" template with a True Strike ability to summoned monsters as well as making them look really funky. My Alienist found a Metamagic Rod of Empower (6th level) and began summoning "Flaming Alien Dire Weasels". Usually around 5 of them would appear, attach, and begin draining 5d4 Con. There were actually more powerful options out there, but it was too much fun saying "Flaming Alien Dire Weasels".


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I think maybe you should take a lesson from the kids and let fun and freedom reign. You've got a couple of "half" healers, and since it sounds like Infernal Healing is legal in PFS wands should be a very affordable way to heal between combat.

A lot of folks will say that if you're healing during combat you're doing it wrong. I wouldn't go that far, but in combat healing in a game where CR is close to APL and the DM isn't a tactics freak should generally be an "emergency" situation. The Paladin and Druid can probably handle such emergencies.

I'm a big fan of using improved familiars as wand jockeys for buffing, and they can team up with the PCs in emergency healing situations. If you're really set on having somebody use Channel Energy for healing during combat I guess Quicken Channel can let the player have a better chance of experiencing some fun on his or her turn.


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@Pendagast - Personally the phrase "mad bomber" makes me think of the old Atari game Kaboom! I like the idea of an explosion crazed gnome flinging bombs everywhere. In practice the damage output was even higher than I expected and Force Bombs seemed like a "one size fits all" solution to kill literally any powerful monster we met. Sometimes I wouldn't even bother to use my bombs, but they were like a get out of jail free card.

@Biztak - Throwing in a couple of grapplers to pin down the PC pretty much works against anybody without Freedom of Movement. The fact that Alchemists can cast Freedom of Movement with Delayed Consumption makes it a little less compelling here. To me the rest of what you're suggesting sounds kind of similar to "Wizards aren't too powerful because their spellbooks might get ruined or stolen and the DM can make sure that they don't have enough material components to cast more than a few spells per adventure". Obviously if you and your group find all that fun it is great. On an objective level TWF+Fast Bombs is really strong though, especially if you add in Force Bombs so that resistances and immunities aren't a problem. I also found that Sticky Bombs helped me conserve my bombs per day a little.

As for the Alchemist's real weaknesses I'd say that the low Will save is a big problem. At one point my Alchemist PC failed a Will save and went crazy for a brief time. Most of the party was wise enough to run away and hide, but the Oracle insisted on fighting and got killed. In fact, the player kept insisting on redoing the combat and got killed over and over. The funniest was when he tried putting up a Wall of Ice so he could buff. It took one or two bombs to blow a hole in the Wall. Then I blew up the Oracle with the remaining bombs.


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@Virellius - You'd kind of left out the fact that you caved in the entrance and thereby trapped the rest of the PCs, dooming them to almost certain death. That seems like a pretty lame move really.

@Adahn_Cielo - While the PC's action seems cowardly I'm not sure if it would shift his alignment to Chaotic Evil if the intent was to save his own life and protect the community from rampaging monsters. Of course the Paladin probably wouldn't know about intent.


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Summoning the KAM is a great idea. I also have fond memories of the Schlitz Malt Liquor Bull.


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Now that the stigma of "overpowered" is somewhat diminished I was actually thinking of taking the new Crane Wing with two of my 3 current PCs. I'll grant that the Crane Wing feat itself is only OK for most PCs, but a lot of feats are only OK. Crane Style seems nice though, much more efficient than Combat Expertise. Crane Riposte improves that efficiency and adds an AoO, so it seems nice too. I'm sure there will be Crane Riposte detractors too, but if you plan to fight defensively most of the time the +1 to hit is pretty similar to Weapon Focus, so the AoO is really just a bonus.

An OK feat sandwiched between two pretty good ones doesn't seem so bad to me. I know I won't change the opinions of the dedicated errata haters, but maybe people with less strongly held opinions read these boards sometimes. If so perhaps they'll give Crane Wing a chance.

I don't find that Combat Expertise has been a very exciting feat for my Dirty Fighter. Improved and Greater Trip and Dirty Trick were essential to the character I wanted to play though, so prereqs were the price I had to pay. The 13 Int prereq for Combat Expertise is a real killer for an Orc. I'd rather complain about that than Crane Wing. Defensive minded PCs with Monk levels are likely to be taking Dodge anyhow.

@Lormyr - I'm not the one who nerfed Crane Wing, so I can't explain why other powerful feats and abilities were left untouched. Maybe the squeakiest wheel got the oil. Anyhow, out of the feats you mentioned the one which really stands to me out is Dazing Spell. I'm a little ashamed to say that I've used it in the past. The DM was very sad, and for all future games I've suggested a house rule that targets get a new save each round to break the dazed effect. Even with that nobody has gone back and used the feat again yet.


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Yeah, more options on the poll would be nice. I'd fall into something like "Didn't use it before but will now". I'd imagine that's a very small group.

Anyhow, people clearly still use Crane Style and even Crane Wing. In fact, the numbers so far show more people using it than not. I also think there's a lot of space between using a feat in builds "as a matter of course" and only using it in "super specialized" builds. I mean, the typical Wizard probably wouldn't invest in Crane Wing, but he probably wouldn't invest in Power Attack either, and most folks think that's a decent feat.


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If you are willing to play a Paladin you could put that 4 in Wisdom. Your Will save could still end up OK due to your Charisma modifier. There are enough ways to boost Perception that you'd eventually get past that penalty. For roleplaying purposes I'd think a Paladin with a 4 Wisdom would tend to charge in where angels fear to tread. Especially at low levels he might be lost in thoughts of holy mysteries and the righteous wrath he'll visit on the undead.

If Paladin isn't your thing maybe you could dump Cha but tie a social skill or two to Int using a trait. I have a Cha 5 orc who intimidates people with his Int of 14 (pretty much a genius in orc terms). You could do something similar with Diplomacy if desired.

It might be nice to avoid 4 Int if you can since it makes your skill points painfully low and you'll likely be subjected to claims that your PC "couldn't think of that". There's another thread on this right now in fact.


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I think that forcing the player to stop participating in the planning part of the game just because he rolled a low Int score sounds like less fun. I guess one could argue that any plan his PC comes up with on his own should be limited to something the PC could reasonably think of, but I don't think that, "If I steal the key I can let my friends out of the jail cell" is something beyond the mental capabilities of a small child or an adult smart enough to mow lawns and maybe do domestic work and simple carpentry.


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@Rudy2 - The complaint about healing being suboptimal is generally focused on in combat healing. If you have access to wands or similar expendables for out of combat healing then the PCs can choose whether or not to bother with in combat healing. If you don't then it seems like it could become almost mandatory for somebody to play a "healer".


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@Rudy2 - I think that forcing somebody to play a Cleric or other "healer" when they don't want to could be a bad idea. That's doubly true if you're going to force the PC to use a lot of his or her daily powers just keeping the party's hit points up. There are probably a thousand threads on how suboptimal healing is. Making it worse and rubbing some player's nose in it doesn't sound like much fun to me.

Wands help set players free. I wish there were more reasonably affordable healing methods available right from 1st level. Scrolls of Infernal Healing aren't bad if they're available, but they often aren't, and some PCs won't want to use them due to the Evil aura.


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Haste is definitely nice, but people can get that effect from an affordable pair of magic boots. A familiar with a wand of Haste is nice though I’d buy a wand of Good Hope first. Fireball is one of the classic spells of D&D though. D&D wouldn’t be D&D without Fireball. Of course Pathfinder technically isn’t D&D, but Fireball is still a big spell low level mages have aspired to for 40 years now. Also, while what’s “best” might seem subjective to some the Fireball spell offers a nice mix of long range, low enough level to be used with metamagic, and a decent dice cap.

Dazing Spell seems a little nuts, especially as a metamagic rod. I used Dazing Spell a few times with one PC in a previous campaign. Folks found it pretty excessive though, so it has been house ruled to allow a new saving throw each round.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional power gamer. The viewpoints expressed here might result in suboptimal power levels, PC death, or even having fun.


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If you want folks to use more SR items and spells you might consider house ruling that spells with the "(harmless)" tag in their SR entry can pass through SR freely unless the creature with the SR intentionally resists them - kind of like how you can willingly fail the save against a beneficial spell

I've seen this rule used before, and it didn't seem to have any profound effects on the game. Nobody bought SR items anyhow since they cost a lot and are often too weak to be effective against enemy casters. Maybe it would also help adoption to use lots of "mook" casters who plink the PCs with low level nuisance spells.

I mean, I'm not sure why you want folks to buy SR items. I'm just trying to think of ways to make it happen.


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The skunk familiar stinks.


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I'd always heard that the DM was "supposed to" build the cohort. Maybe that was a rule in 3.5, but I can't seem to find it in Pathfinder, and based on the links it looks like two members of the design team have said the player should get to design the cohort.

This sounds nice so that players don't get stuck with a cohort htey hate. Unfortunately it brings the fact that Leadership is really powerful even more to the forefront though. Granted, some PCs already have useful pets like animal companions, familiars, and even the dreaded eidolon, but a cohort is potentially an even bigger boost for just a single feat.

Most campaigns I've played in ban or at least highly discourage Leadership due to the power of the cohort and the extra time it takes during play.

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