If you DM has banned Summoners it might be at least partially because he or she doesn’t like summoned monsters. You might want to let the DM know your plan. That said, Evangelist is a great choice. CG seems like a good alignment since you’ll be able to summon azatas as a standard action. LG would be OK too since Lantern Archons can be quite useful, especially with Superior Summons.
Taking the Heroism subdomain sounds pretty brilliant. Another option you might consider is taking the Animal or Scalykind domains to get an animal companion. This option would work best in a game where you can take the Boon Companion feat. An animal companion like the big cat can be nearly as effective as an eidolon sometimes. If nothing else they can boost your AC a lot with Bodyguard and Benevolent armor. That should help give you time to use a full-round summon when needed. I guess they could also flank with your summoned monsters. With a menacing amulet that would give your critters +4 to hit, as good or better than Heroism.
High Wisdom ensures your higher level summons will be available more often. A metamagic rod of echoing spell could improve on that, and Scribe Scroll might help a bit.
Well, 137ben, your response is pretty much the opposite of what I was hoping for. I'm not too offended by you telling me what to do, but I think the term "auto-sleep" makes it pretty clear what I'm talking about. If you'd prefer to call it "no-save sleep effect" I guess that's fine. Your claim that Gentle Rest is "almost NEVER" useful contradicts what I've seen in play, but rather than just relying on my own anecdotal evidence I'll go ahead and try to refute some of your statements with facts and logic.
First off, while stagger is somewhat less useful at lower levels it isn’t “absolutely no effect” as you’ve repeatedly claimed. Consider the example of a CR2 leopard which attacks with a claw/claw/bite routine. Gentle Rest could be used to reduce the monster to just a bite attack. That’s useful. Staggering a CR1 ghoul to prevent two potentially deadly attacks and make the monster unable to coup de grace seems useful too, and as an added bonus the staggering effect lasts multiple rounds on undead. In fact, about a third of the monsters at CR1 are capable of making multiple attacks per round, and I’m pretty sure that percentage tends to go up with CR1. By CR5 Gentle Rest can prevent a troll from using Rend. That’s useful and might help save a PC’s life.
Your claim that “EVERYTHING” at higher levels has SR is clearly hyperbole and could probably be dismissed as such without further investigation. I’ll take the time to establish some facts regarding SR by consulting the Monster DB from d20pfsrd though. Sorting the 2,473 monsters in the Monster DB shows me that only 689 of them have SR, about 27%. Of the 533 monsters at CRs 8-12 only 189 of them have SR. That’s certainly not everything. In fact, it’s barely over a third (about 35%). Even in the lofty heights of CR 13-17 only about 67% of the monsters have SR (184 of 274). It should be noted that the percentage of foes with meaningful SR in an actual campaign might reasonably be significantly lower since NPCs with class levels are sometimes common foes and often have no or low SR. Even if SR is present it can often be beaten. Sure, it is a defense, but it is a defense which also affects most spells the Cleric might cast. If you have a 60% chance to get through you might as well get through with a no-save sleep effect.
I also don't see why you're putting so little value on sleep effects. A typical party is likely to have at least one PC or pet near an enemy. If the enemy goes to sleep the PC or pet can perform a coup de grace, and considering the Fort save that's almost certain death. Sure, some monsters are immune, but that does nothing at all to help those which aren't. This encourages the sort of limitation on the DM's monster choices which I mentioned earlier.
I’ve seen the auto-sleep combo in play with 2 casters who had Frigid Touch and a Cleric with Gentle Rest. It was absolutely brutal. I wouldn’t say that it “ruined” the campaign, but it probably could have. I think it might have been far worse if I were running an AP and therefore couldn’t easily adjust to use more monsters with a chance to resist the power (OK, a DM running an AP can adjust, but completely overhauling published adventures to deal with overpowered abilities seems like the antithesis of game balance)
It is possible to rationalize just about any power in the game. It is also possible to foil just about any power, especially when people propose stuff like having the DM invent custom magic items which prevent the power from working on certain enemies. “If the DM is arbitrary and unfair then the power won’t work except when he lets it” isn’t really the sort of game balance I want though.
Pointing out some situations in which the Gentle Rest might somehow fail or the sleep combo might not work doesn’t change the fact that Gentle Rest would be a pretty good domain power even if it just staggered foes without a save. In fact, the OP is proposing that function alone is overpowered. I’m not willing to go that far since Frigid Touch and some other abilities provide a no-save stagger and Paizo seems committed both to providing ways to stagger foes and providing something for them to do while staggered (Vital Strike etc).
What I will say again though is that since the sleep effect is just an added bonus on top of an already solid domain power perhaps it would be best to offer a saving throw vs the sleep effect. This wouldn’t make the power “worthless”. It wouldn’t even make it “too risky” since worst case you’re next to a staggered foe. The enemy could still fail the save and likely get killed. Gentle Rest would still be a powerful ability. Maybe “everybody” could be happy. Why does Gentle Rest need to have a no-save sleep power built in? It would be difficult to argue that the Repose Domain would be too weak without it, especially when the 8th level power is also very strong though more situational.
Gentle Rest sleep combos are not difficult to pull off unless every enemy has advance knowledge of the PCs and takes care to stay away from melee. Even if the party can’t get in place to set up CdG in the 1st round they can auto-sleep the enemy and surround it while it is prone. Depending on the initiative count they can probably stagger it again before it gets a chance to stand up. Even a no-save trip effect which causes you to lose a turn would be pretty strong. Once again, why does the Repose domain need this added power? Wouldn’t adding a saving throw to the sleep effect be more fair?
@Ilja - The fact that you have to get into melee range with the enemy is not a powerful limiting factor, especially not on the auto-sleep combo. The worst case there is probably that you end up adjacent to a staggered foe. Clerics can be a viable class to stand in melee unless the DM amps up the monsters...perhaps to compensate for stuff like auto-sleep combos...
@Jiggy & Gluttony - Your sarcasm is amusing but doesn’t change the fact that the auto-sleep combos can be used across a wide range of encounters and CRs throughout a campaign to easily kill many if not most monsters not immune to sleep without much if any real challenge. I don't think the comparison to sneak attack is particularly apt since straw men are immune to sleep effects.
@insaneogeddon - I think you’ve hit upon the idea of: Would this power seem fair if the DM used it? I think the answer for “normal” players would be, “Hell no!”
@Karui Kage - I’m glad to see somebody agrees about offering a saving throw vs the sleep effect. It seems almost like a "no brainer" fix to me. A no-save stagger ability which can also trigger a save vs sleep would still be quite powerful IMO without being a "sure win"
I like the removal of the Fort save since it should cut down the number of mostly useless d20 rolls to confirm that most enemies will make the save on most Words. I'm not sure if I like the 1 Word per target limit. Stacking up 10 Words on one target was probably excessive, but it seems like limiting the number of Words might be better than making the Bard split up the Words between multiple enemies who may or may not be there in a particular combat. That seems more like an AoE ability to me, which is more like what the Thunder Caller does.
Like Trogdar and mplindustries, I was thinking of basing the number of words on BAB. I'd want to carefully spell out that Weird Words doesn't work with Haste, Rapid Shot, or especially TWF though. I also suspect that GMs might really hate it when somebody took 6 levels of Bard "just to get iterative touch attacks". Maybe it would be better to just allow one Weird Word per 4 levels, capped at 3. That way you'd get your Words at about the same speed as Scorching Rays, which are already a known quantity in terms of power level and interactions with various buffs.
I'd say that a 12th level Bard blasting somebody for about 3d8+24 is pretty big damage, but I don't think it is crazy, game breaking damage. I can imagine various ways to increase that, but most of them would apply to other touch attack powers too.
As I mentioned in another thread, perhaps limiting how many times per round Alchemical Cartridges can reduce reload time might have been a cleaner fix. I’m guessing that maybe the design team wanted to suggest guidelines for enforcing an existing rule instead of making a rules change. I suppose that this approach also helps to close off any potential “loopholes” somebody might find in rule like that (perhaps due to new material).
I don’t see any reason why somebody using early firearms should expect to be able to fire them as many times per round as they could use some other weapon or weapons. Other weapons mostly can’t make touch attacks, and if they could they wouldn’t qualify for use with Deadly Aim. Early firearms are different from other weapons in a lot of regards, and in general they take longer to use (both in game terms and in real life). Firearms start out as something you can shoot once per round or maybe once per two rounds. If you can eventually get them up to 3-4 shots per round maybe that's enough considering their other advantages. Sure, they have some disadvantages too, but most of those stop working as effective controls by higher levels.
If a 16th level Gunslinger really wants to make 4 BAB based attacks per round plus one from Rapid Shot and another from Haste he or she is free to pick up a longbow and do so since the class is proficient with all martial weapons. I suspect that very few Gunslingers would frequently make that choice though. Guns and bows are different, and each one has some advantages in game terms. Being limited to 3 reloads per round with pistols isn't really so terrible. You can still do well over 100 DPR with touch attacks. Monsters will still die. Things will be a little better balanced. Maybe the DM will get less grey hair.
@Avh - I've ruled for my games that firing both barrels of the double barreled pistol at once requires a standard action. It can still be nice for firing two shots when you can't make a full attack, and when you can it lets you shoot one more time before reloading. I like the idea that "advanced" revolvers should be superior to "early" double barreled pistols and feel there's a place for early firearms in many games which wouldn't want Wild West style action with 6 shooters.
I’m really glad to see Paizo issue some guidance which tells both GMs and players that it is OK for the GM to impose reasonable limits on the Gunslinger as well as giving some guidelines on what limits might be reasonable. Sure, GMs technically could have imposed some limits before using "Rule 0", but the backlash in this thread (and many others in the past) is a pretty good illustration of the struggles and accusations of unfairness that those GMs might have had to endure. Now GMs can feel that Paizo "has their back" on this issue. That's good to know.
Regarding assertions that this FAQ wasn't needed, I think that guidelines which make it easier for groups to agree on what's reasonable and how things should work seem like a big part of what the rules and official clarifications should ideally be about. Not everything can get an official fix, but I feel like particularly squeaky wheel has been oiled here. Sure, there are probably still other "broken" things in the game, but a plan like "X is broken, so Y should be broken too so it can keep up" wouldn't help lead to a fun game in my opinion.
@FakeHealer - I do still like the idea of requiring a standard action to fire both barrels of the double barreled pistol though I don’t think it fully addresses the game balance concerns with the Pistolero. Something else which might have helped would be changing the rules for Alchemical Cartridges. If they could only be used a certain number of times per round (perhaps based on BAB) that might help neatly address the double double barreled Pistolero issues without causing undue concern about other free actions. Unfortunately it is often more daunting for a GM to outright change a rule than just choose to interpret a vague rule conservatively.
The idea that the Confusion might possibly be addressed by Calm Emotions doesn't change my opinion about Confusion Bombs much since the vast majority of monsters won't have access to Calm Emotions. Similarly, Mirror Image would be a great defense, but unless you're fighting an invading army of Vrocks this probably won't come up in most encounters.
@wraithstrike - The duration of the Confusion from the bombs is 1 round per Alchemist level (the whole fight in most cases). I agree that PCs wouldn't like this trick much if the DM used it.
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
Except the spell, also gotten at 7th level instead of 8th, can wipe out entire encounters with one, versus using about 1/3 of your daily uses. So one spell versus a third of their bombs.
Since an average adventuring day has 3-5 encounters I don't think that using up to 1/3 of your daily Bombs in one of them is a particular harsh disincentive. In fact, I'd surmise that you were likely going to throw Bombs anyhow (since you're an Alchemist built to throw Bombs). You're basically sacrificing 7 average damage per foe (and 2 splash damage) to gain a no save Confusion effect.
Your chance to succeed at hitting a Bestiary monster's Touch AC is much better in almost all cases than your chance for the Bestiary monster to fail a Will Save. Right now I have to go to work, but I'll try to post an analysis of monsters at a couple of given CRs (probably 11 and 16) this evening. My initial work shows that bestowing an effect using a touch attack is much more likely to succeed even if you optimized the Will save.
The chance of success against foes at a particular CR probably averages near 90%, and if you fail you can just expend another use. 20% concealment would help a little, but even 70% is better than your chance for an "average" foe to fail the Will save, and once again you can spam the bombs until you succeed (probably just one extra bomb). Anyhow, I'd better get going.
It struck me that if a Magus can't get an extra attack from Haste while using Spell Combat then maybe a creature with Pounce can't get an extra attack from Haste when pouncing. Pounce says that you can make a "full attack" at the end of a charge, but I'm not sure if that is functionally the same as using the full attack action. I'm not sure, so I figured that I might as well ask...
When pouncing can you get an extra attack from Haste?
Setting aside the debate over archetypes vs bloodlines for a moment, Eldritch Heritage only grants you the 1st level bloodline power, not the bloodline arcana. Animal Companion is a bloodline power which also "counts as your bloodline arcana", so I'm not sure if it would work with Eldritch Heritage even if Wildblooded bloodlines are available via the feat (which seems debatable at best). Basically, you can't give up a bloodline arcana to get Animal Companion when you don't have a bloodline arcana to give up.
That's just my interpretation of the rules. I don't think that a 2 feat chain to get an animal companion at level-4 is overpowered or would lead to any big problems for home games. Actually, there should probably be a feat specifically for gaining an animal companion at level-3. I think there might be one in one of the newer books...not sure of the source and the prereqs though...
What's less clear is if the summoned animals know any "tricks" so that you can control them with Handle Animal. If not then you could only use Handle Animal to "push" them at DC20. Based on the spell descriptions, summoned monsters will attack your foes, but it isn't clear to what extent if any you can direct those attacks without a way to communicate. This can be one advantage of summoning the sometimes seemingly inferior outsiders such as hound archons, azatas, etc
My Summoner is a gnome and sometimes uses Speak with Animals to get summons to do what he wants. Our games are pretty lax about controlling summons, companions, etc. I'd expect that there's a lot of variation from table to table though and wouldn't even be shocked to find out there are DMs who insist on controlling summoned monsters themselves (and perhaps even have them make tactical blunders which hamper the PCs)
Lack of caution has its own punishments, especially when PCs use bad tactics in combat but also when they charge headlong into unexplored areas. The DM sometimes has to pay more attention to punish excessive caution. If the party takes a long time to get through the dungeon there's a better chance that the BBEG will be fully buffed when they arrive. Other enemies might also get a chance to fall back and prepare defenses, ambushes, and other unpleasant surprises for the PCs. That includes enemies who set traps. I've always thought it seems kind of ridiculous how some dungeons have traps in heavily traveled areas where traps would be inconveient and possibly dangerous to the inhabitants. If the trap is one which can be activated and deactivated though we can assume that the monsters leave the trap off most of the time but set it when intruders are around. This can reward both caution and bravery since caution might let you find the trap before it goes off but bravery would help you reach the monster's lair before it gets a chance to set the trap.
In general, both bravery and caution should be rewarded as appropriate. When somebody is bold enough to charge in and do something which really needs to be done that's great. When somebody takes pointless risks with no potential rewards that's a waste of healing resources. If the Rogue or Druid scouts out the next room and gains valuable intelligence on upcoming enemies that's wonderful. If the "bored" Sorcerer wanders around opening random doors and releasing dangerous monsters that's kind of a pain.
If you want to see more "bravery" in your games you might consider using the hero point systems. That way PCs are less likely to get wiped out by a single minor mistake in a room where the module writer decided to pay homage to the game's Gygaxian heritage. I personally prefer traps which debuff the PCs to those which kill them, but you've got to follow up with combat quickly after the trap goes off. Otherwise higher level PCs will just fix the debuff with spells and wands and everybody will wonder why they had to sit through 5 minutes of doing so. Hit point damage, ability damage, and various status effects like sickened can all be great trap effects if you follow up with monsters who can benefit from the party's disadvantage.
I kind of sympathize with how the OP feels though I'm not sure that this really constitutes a "Rules Question". Anyhow, I'd bet that the staff might find many of our threads "incredibly frustrating" (maybe even this one)
I personally think it would be pretty funny if this thread got answered with "Staff Response: no reply required". Maybe it is really Paizo's way of saying, "We love you guys despite your pedantic rules lawyer ways".
It certainly seems like a nicer answer than, "You guys really get on our nerves sometimes with your whining and demands" or "This has been discussed 17 times. Will you just cut it out?"
Referring to the player as "the offender" makes it seem like maybe he'd be better off if you did just make a house rule rather than making him a criminal for following the FAQ. Maybe you could admit to him that he was correct about the FAQ ruling but tell him that you all hate what the FAQ says and want it to work a different way.
If you go that route then offering him a chance to swap out feats or rebuild the PC if desired might be nice.
The only possible cause for misinterpretation I see is where the feat's description says, "You are descended from a long line of sorcerers". It doesn't say that you yourself are a sorcerer though.
If it said, "You are descended from a long line of sushi chefs" that wouldn't necessarily mean that you are a sushi chef, right? Maybe your family is ashamed because you have a mild shellfish allergy and opened a yakitori stand instead, but you still have a right to embrace your heritage and use your grandfather's tuna knife to slay the fish demons plaguing the land, even if it might give you hives (just for an example of how a similar feat might play out)
Pounce is one of the best attack abilities around. I think you need Beast Shape III to get the rakes though. With your gore that's 6 attacks on a pounce from a saber tooth tiger with horns. I suspect that this will do more damage than 10 attacks from a horned octopus since 8 of those are secondary. It isn't very hard to set up charges if the party is cooperative. Later on Air Walk can also help a lot.
Furious Focus only works with two-handed weapons, so I doubt it will help you here. The Boon Companion feat is like Shaping Focus for the animal companion (+4 levels up to your HD), so I'd highly suggest it. If you're taking Barbarian levels and don't like dying you'll also probably want Raging Vitality.
If the idea of aggravating the DM and other players by being a flying octopus really amuses you maybe you could take levels in Rogue instead of Fighter and Barbarian. If you have your animal companion concentrate on flanking you could do a LOT of sneak attack damage. The idea of an octopus sneaking into places and stealing things also seems vaguely amusing to me.
Diego Rossi wrote:
As Varisian in Golarion have been using them for centuries there is no problem there to find a appropriate wagon with the space and comfort to work on most magic items. the only one that would have some problem are those that require a substantial heat source. You don't want a big fire in a wooden wagon.
Actually, classic gypsy vardos usually had a wood burning stove with an external exhaust pipe which goes through the roof. I think it is safe to assume that Varisian wagons would have something similar.
As for Rope Trick, the rules for crafting magic items say, "Any place suitable for preparing spells is suitable for making items."
What sort of place is suitable for preparing spells though? The rules for that say, "To prepare any spell, a wizard must have enough peace, quiet, and comfort to allow for proper concentration. The wizard's surroundings need not be luxurious, but they must be free from distractions. Exposure to inclement weather prevents the necessary concentration, as does any injury or failed saving throw the character might experience while studying."
Whether you should you be able to craft without the half speed penalty for distractions in a Rope Trick, a vardo, or Secure Shelter is for the DM to decide, but if not then maybe you shouldn't be able to prepare spells there either according to the stuff I quoted above. Maybe Wizards aren't such a powerful class after all. It turns out that the world is full of distractions, from undulating extra-dimensional spaces to Bards who put on rings of sustenance and play all night long so the Wizard will be powerless. Play that funky music half-elf!
If it isn't safe then why is it called Secure Shelter? :)
DM: "Sorry, you're not at home, so you're too scared to Craft"
The Greater Hat of Disguise allows you to use Alter Self. If you use Alter Self to turn into a medium humanoid you gain a +2 size bonus to Strength. The item is from the Pathfinder module Curse of the Riven Sky, so it might not be available in a lot of games. I find the idea of disguising myself as myself with +2 Str or Dex pretty amusing though.
I'm currently playing a Paladin4/Bard6 who started with an Int and Wis of 7 and a Charisma of 18. He's managed to get his Int up to 9 with a headband, but his monkey familiar (from Eldritch Heritage) is still smarter than him. He was stolen by kobolds as a baby and later enslaved in Brevoy before escaping to join a Varisian circus, where his hard life and their hard partying encouraged him to become an alcoholic. My story is that he's drunk, uneducated, and perhaps a bit impulsive rather than naturally stupid.
Since the PC is being played in Kingmaker he's become the ruler of a nation (along with his wife the Sorceress, who I think has Int 12). In keeping with his 7 Wisdom, his Edicts include no Taxes at all but 24 Festivals per year. His kingdom is like a big, non-stop party, and he builds Brothels in every city.
The PC is quite good at Diplomacy though he has a comical propensity to misuse and mispronounce big or uncommon words. He's also an expert in Knowledge [Religion], which he has Skill Focus in. He's capable of learning. He'd just prefer to spend most of his time having fun and slaying evil.
After seeing this question I began to think of a mounted archer who rides around on a Roc. Alas, I think the rules limit you specifically to the "bird" animal companion. They say:
"This ability functions like the druid animal companion ability (which is part of the nature bond class feature), but the falconer must take the bird animal companion, and that companion has only half the normal hit points."
I think the intent of the rule is to allow you to change the size of the eidolon when you level up or use an effect like Transmogrify. As far as analyzing the rules as written goes, the Lesser Evolution Surge spell says that it grants the eidolon an evolution, not that it changes the evolution pool. I guess the issue might come down to whether you think the "evolution pool" refers to how your eidolon's evolution points have been spent or whatever evolutions the eidolon has no matter how it got them.
Here's what the rules say about the "Evolution Pool". Note that they specify two times when the Summoner can change the pool. It isn't entirely clear whether this is an exhaustive list, but certainly the text doesn't say "or through the Lesser Evolution spell".
Evolution Pool: The value given in this column is the total number of points in the eidolon's evolution pool. Points from this pool can be spent on a wide variety of modifications and upgrades that add new abilities, attacks, and powers to the eidolon. Whenever the summoner gains a level, the number in this pool increases and the summoner can spend these points to change the abilities of the eidolon. These choices are not set. The summoner can change them whenever he gains a level (and through the transmogrify spell).
Now I have a question for you. Why would you choose to have a small eidolon? I guess it wouldn't be bad as a stealthy "skill monkey" to help out a Master Summoner in non-combat situations. Other than that it sounds like a self-nerf. Maybe there's something I'm missing though.
Can an Alchemist take Ability Focus[Bomb]? If so would one feat cover all bombs, or would you need a separate feat for each type of bomb?
I know that a Witch needs to take Ability Focus for each individual type of Hex (Ability Focus[Slumber], Ability Focus[Evil Eye], etc). The rules for Bombs are written a little differently though, so I'm not sure. Covering all bombs with one feat seems kind of strong. On the other hand, I recall that a 3.5 Warlock could take Ability Focus [Eldritch Blast] and have it apply to any saves generated by various blast shapes or essences. Bombs seem a little like eldritch blast in some ways, so it makes me wonder.
As far as I know, Wall of Thorns doesn't block line of sight. James Jacobs once posted the following about it
The spell itself doesn't come out and say it, but it does describe the effect as "very tough, pliable, tangled brush." Page 426 talks about heavy undergrowth, which is what I would qualify a wall of thorns as. There, heavy undergrowth provides concealment (in fact, heavy undergrowth's concealment creates a 30% miss chance, not the normal 20%). I would therefore say that a wall of thorns provides concealment and interacts with such things as spellcasting and ranged attacks as appropriate.