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Dukai's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Society Member. 129 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character.


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The Exchange

I consider myself relatively familiar with Alchemist's as a class. I'm not familiar with any discovery that increases reflex DC's. He could be thinking of the Ability Focus feat which let's you increase the DC of a specific special ability by +2. I'm not 100% sure bombs would qualify, but I think they would. That's about all I can think of regarding bomb DC boosts.

The Exchange

While I agree with your interpretation, the class designer has stated that in its current form even with no additional action cost, the blast melee forms still provoke or require concentration checks. However, pretty much everyone that has playtested with the melee forms agrees that they should not provoke in the final version.

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Just realized we didn't post much in terms of character generation specifics. We used 20 point buy with average HP (5/lvl for d8s). We used 62k wbl for lvl 10 characters, so our gear was relatively optimized. The kineticist was a halfling, the occultist was an elf, the mesmerist was a gnome, and the psychic was a human (we wanted to stick to core races for playtesting).

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They clarified in the original post updates that you can only create one instance of a blade or whip, so no.

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Some thoughts after playtesting at level 10 (only 2 combats due to time constraints).

Melee kineticists should not be penalized for choosing to go into melee. I realize they gain iterative attacks, but having to make concentration checks or provoking AoO's to use their only form of attack felt unnecessarily negative.

Regarding melee form infusions, with a 3/4 bab class, iterative attacks will at most triple (or quadruple with haste) the blast damage assuming all attacks hit. Since a rogue with sneak attack is likely to do at least that much damage (and is likely TWF, so 6-7 attacks), melee kineticists seem to be paying a much greater penalty than making sure they are flanking.

I read another player's playtest feedback regarding kineticist bab and hp being bumped to full bab and d10 hit die. I strongly agree with these suggestions even if it is limited to an archetype for melee focused kineticists.

One other thought I had was the presented Extra Wild Talent feat seems unnecessarily limiting. Generally speaking, kineticists have a lot of feats to think about, so taking an extra wild talent is going to come at a heavy cost. I think the level limits on what talents can be selected is not needed (not to mention takes up less space on the page). Additionally, the majority of what extra wild talents will add is versatility/utility rather than increased damage.

Reworked Extra Wild Talent feat:
Requirement - Wild Talent class feature
You may select an additional Wild Talent that you meet the prerequisites for. This feat may be selected more than once, each time on a different Wild Talent.

To respond to some of the other comments on the burn mechanic, I feel that the current version of burn seems reasonable. Combined with the reduction in form and substance costs as well as the ability to reduce a blast wild talent cost by 1 with a move action, burn should really only be an issue with the "spell" talents.

I do think that there should be more access to area of effect talents with reasonable scaling (line > cone > burst > selective burst). AoE burst talents being delayed until level 16 seems awfully late (aka never in PFS) to become available. My thought is that AoE talents should all be universal with access to line at level 1, cone at 6, burst at 10, and selective burst at 16. To clarify, when I say selective burst I mean that you may select X number of targets no two of which may be more than 30 ft apart kind of targeting.

Some of the other Wild Talents could be easily combined as well (for the sake of page space). Change the flame jet and greater flame jet (and all of the other versions) to Energy Burst and Greater Energy Burst. The description can clarify that you propel yourself with a burst of flame, telekinesis, or a jet of water (which should be added imo given the water jet packs that exist IRL). Air can keep its talents separate as they are early access (as they should be cuz air...)

Lastly, I think Aether kinetic blast could have a touch option that deals force damage but only rolls d4s instead of d6s (xd4 + 1/2 con). D4s balance the fact that force is not subject to energy resistance.

Sorry I was a little all over the place. I think there was too much randomness for a TL;DR. I like kineticist as a class and hope it can be get the tuning here and there to be a good addition to the game.

The Exchange

I was the other player in this playtest playing the kineticist and occultist. I figured that they were intended to be finessable but thought I'd post to be sure. Regarding iteratives, I thought I read that only the kinetic fist option got iteratives but that sword and whip were one use only (other than AoO's on whip).

Lastly, in terms of concentration, I believe I failed 2 concentration checks between the two combats (with a +2 trait bonus to concentration but no combat casting). The first combat was very short, so I think I only attacked twice and neither time was in melee range. The second combat, I was surrounded by bulettes, so I made 5-6 checks and failed 2.

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On a more random rules note, Mesmerists also have a nice list of Illusion spells on their spell list. Many Illusion spells have concentration. Would the immediate action (and eventually free action) to activate a Trick on an ally interrupt concentration? If so, this causes a (in my opinion) frustrating choice between using one of your main class mechanics or using one of your main class-themed spell types.

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I also think that another option to both boost Stare and make Tricks less clunky would be to allow the Mesmerist to activate Tricks on allies that are targetted by a creature currently affected by Stare even if the Trick was not currently placed on the ally. By targetted, I mean that a creature affected by Stare can be used to trigger Trick requirements in allies even when they haven't been specifically targetted by a trick. Obviously, the Mesmerist has to spend a Trick as well as his immediate action (eventually free action) to activate the Trick. Additionally, this could end the Stare requiring the Mesmerist to reapply the Stare.

Then again, I'm on the bandwagon that preset Tricks are difficult to use in an effective manner. I also realize that I may be the only person on this bandwagon, so it's really just a wagon at the moment.

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This response is based purely on reading through the class and does not include actual gameplay testing.

That being said, I find the Tricks mechanic to be extremely clunky and limiting. Even a high level Mesmerist will struggle to make good use of Tricks in my opinion. The fact that action economy in combat is terrible for reapplying tricks essentially means they need to be preloaded. However, the 1 min/lvl duration means that frequently the trick will go unused since they are very specific in nature and combats are rarely predictable without excessive scouting or divination. Combined with the limited uses per day makes the ability to successfully utilize Tricks very difficult.

In general, I do not like the placement of specific tricks on party members. I would prefer Mesmerists to have the ability to set up a trick which when activated can utilize any of the Mesmerist's known tricks. This allows them to preload tricks onto the party and use them in a more reactionary way rather than speculating that a specific engagement will occur that will make use of a specific trick.

Mesmerists seem to present the idea of strong control options through manipulation and mental prowess. Therefore, the mind-affecting immunity issues seems to come with the cost of playing the class (a similar issues for bards, witches, and any other enchantment focused class). I love that Stare provides at least a partial ability to impact mind-affecting immune creatures.

I think the Stare mechanic could benefit from being fleshed out. It currently feels like a very minor at-will ability that inflicts an equally minor debuff on the enemy. That does not sound like control and manipulation to me. It sounds like a parlor trick. I realize that at-will abilities need to be balanced in their power levels, but Stare in its current form feels very lack-luster. Perhaps fleshing out the additional effects that can be applied while a stare is active or having the debuff scale more effectively. The Evil Eye hex is -4 penalty on ALL saves at level 8 not -2 to will saves at level 12. Evil Eye allows a save, but that's a laughable (pun intended) excuse since Cackle allows you to maintain the debuff regardless of whether or not the save is made. Maybe allow it to only lower saves versus the Mesmerist's spells and abilities but cause it to scale more with level.

Mesmerists seem to be most closely comparable to bard or perhaps some hybrid of a bard/witch. In its current state, I would take a bard or witch over a mesmerist without argument in virtually any group. To be clear, I love the flavor and concept of the mesmerist. It actually fits a character concept I've been developing recently. I just struggle seeing the current iteration being viable to a group. Another comparison to bard and witch is that both classes have healing options while Mesmerists only have condition removal. Additionally, bard buffing and witch debuffing blow mesmerist contribution out the window in my opinion. Other than for sheer RP and flavor reasons, why would I choose to play this class over bard or witch or even an enchantment focused sorc/wiz?

TL;DR Mesmerists reek of flavor and concept, but they currently feel much weaker mechanically than their comparable counterparts in a similar role.

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@DonDuckie I don't see anything in the wizard class ability that says they must learn each new spell. In the spell section, I see "A wizard may know any number of spells." In the spellbook section, I see "[A Wizard] cannot prepare any spell not recorded in his spellbook" which Perfect Preparation specifically negates. Later in the spellbook section, I see "At each new wizard level, he gains two new spells of any spell level or levels that he can cast for his spellbook" which is very different from being required to learn new spells.

After rereading these sections, I can see a strong argument for wizards to prepare spells like clerics. However, as a GM I would most likely require wizard players that select this path abiilty to have a list of spells they have in their "spellbook". I would also rule that upon exposure to the mechanics of a spell (either by reading another wizard's spellbook or finding a scroll...maybe even correctly identifying a spell as it's cast), a wizard need only make a successful spellcraft check to learn the spell without any need to scribe it (as spellbooks are no longer needed).

The Exchange

Natural Attacks are not iterative. You have two claw attacks at level one, and even when you hit BAB 6/1, you'd still only have two claw attacks. The only way I can think of to make additional attacks with natural weapons is haste effects that explicitly state that you get to make an additional attack.

Simply put, at level one a catfolk with the claws feature gets 2 claw attacks as part of a full attack action.

If you're wielding a weapon in one hand, though, you can still make a secondary natural attack with your other claw (the one not wielding a weapon) with a -5 penalty.

The Exchange

I'll be honest, I stopped reading about half way through the posts...

I'll echo other people, with 3 players, just roll up an NPC and have the party share control of him. I wouldn't make two characters per player unless both the GM and players feel very comfortable with the rules. Since you're all fairly new, things are going to be complicated at times as is.

You mentioned Crypt of the Everflame. I don't know if it was intended to be connected, but a friend of mine ran us through that one, then took us through Mask of the Living God and City of Golden Death. They flowed together nicely enough whether or not it was written that way.

Lastly, I would stick to core races for two reasons. Reason number 1: the ap's and modules will likely flow a lot better with standard races. I'm not saying your friend couldn't make it work, but it will definitely complicate things for you as a DM. Reason 2: I'm extremely biased against you shouldn't do it.

The Exchange

1. I never noticed that it doesn't list a range. I think you'd be safe going with 30 ft. Because it's a major hex, you might be able to justify 60, but I would say no one would argue with 30.

2. It's a disease effect, and I'm pretty sure you cannot make a disease worse (aka take double damage from filth fever or something). I don't have documentation to back that up, but I'd say you cannot stack it.

3. Again, no documentation, but a lot of witch hexes like this one use phrases like "the target's wounds become infected" as flavor text. I would say the target does not need to be wounded.

The Exchange

You seemed interested in a gun-toting alchemist. I'd highly recommend going 1 level of gunslinger and the rest in alchemist. You could go gunslinger 5 and the rest alch if you want to be absolutely maxed in damage while still having all the deliciousness of an alchemist.

I'm playing the gunslinger 1/alch x build right now in skulls and shackles. It's a lot of fun so far. I'd recommend the pistolero archetype and picking up the explosive missile discovery.

Then again, there have been lots of other great recommendations. I think the forgemaster or whatever it's called cleric could be a lot of fun. The only thing I'd recommend is taking a race with a bonus to con since you'll be pretty squishy with only 10.

The Exchange

I realize this is slightly off the topic, but if you consider a very difficult challenge for a high level party (I'm talking CR 25ish), the knowledge check DC would likely be 15+25=40 (a CR 25 monster is likely extremely rare and thus justifies a base DC of 15+CR if not higher). Thus a check of around 50 only nets you 3 pieces of information about the creature. Just tossing that out there for consideration since these bonuses are being calculated at max level.

The Exchange

@Slacker I think we're making the same point. I'm just asserting that you won't find metamagic wands, scrolls, etc. out in the world as loot very often (if ever). Players are very much within the rules to craft them tho.

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While you can't technically add agile to a black blade, I think you and your DM could talk about it and make something work. Maybe he/she would let you sub out one of the other options on your ability to enhance your blade using arcane pool. It would need to be a reasonably powerful substitution like Keen or something equitable. Perhaps he/she would allow you to take a magus arcana that adds Agile as a weapon enhancement option like Devoted Blade and Ghost Blade.

For example, you could call it Graceful Blade. Whenever the magus enhances his weapon using his arcane pool, he may spend 1 additional point from his arcane pool to add either the agile, defending, or guardian property to the list of available options. The magus must be at least 6th level before selecting this arcana.

This would give you some nice tanking options as well by giving you access to the defending and guardian weapon properties. Obviously, this is a homebrew magus arcana, so you'd need to talk with your DM about it. I don't think it seems unreasonable tho.

The Exchange

@Eric - I seriously doubt you would find a wand with a metamagic feat already attached, but if you have the craft wand feat, I see no reason you couldn't make a wand of reach (+1) shocking grasp for the price of a 2nd level wand. However, you have to remember caster level limitations of wands if you wanted to do an intensified shocking grasp wand. You'd need to pay 7500 (well...3750 if you're crafting) to make its caster level 10 to get the full benefit of the metamagic feat. I would also argue that you could not use traits such as Magical Lineage or Wayang Spellhunter when crafting, so you'd actually need to pay 15000 (7500 to craft) for a level 10 intensified shocking grasp wand.

The Exchange

The only issue here is that I cannot find the "greatweapon spell combat" feat that you mention. The build is fun and flavorful, but I'm assuming that feat is what is allowing you to still use a 2-handed weapon while keeping your class features. If it's a homebrew feat that your DM created, then by all means, go ahead. However, using a 2-handed weapon removes access to the crane style tree of feats which as some have already suggested is a great feat tree for tanks.

The Exchange

You also have to keep in mind that combat is all happening simultaneously. Every 6 seconds is broken up into individual actions because otherwise combat would be even more complicated than it already is. Conceptually, you're firing your bow for your full attack while someone is coming up to attack you. I realize this falls more into conceptualization than rules adjudication, but I think it's the best way to justify not being able to deflect an attack with crane style while wielding a bow.

The Exchange

@Big Lemon Witch is definitely my favorite class in the game, so I'm biased too. However, I tend to play the arcane support class the vast majority of the time with my group. I realize I'm limiting my capacity as the arcane caster for our group by going Kensai, but I wanted to stray somewhat from the arcane support role. I'll still have access to a lot of arcane spells, and my UMD will be decent for other stuff.

Our whole group is going to be relatively high damage, so I'm okay with having less control in our group. With my rime frostbites, I'll have decent debuffing on the target I'm attacking. I think this will allow me to bring some arcane support while being more of a melee damage class.

You're right tho, hexes are amazing. Witch ftw!!!

The Exchange

@Matt2VK I'm not too fussed about losing spell recall since I'm going black blade (my arcane pool is going to be small, so I'll be almost exclusively using it to enhance my weap).

@Cornielius using quick calculations I'd get 14 flat armor from +5 full plate with a max dex of 3 if I made it mithral for a total armor+dex of 17. I could very reasonably get both my dex and int to 24 and eventually get +8 bracers of armor for a total armor+dex(and int) of 22. So technically going without armor nets me more armor, higher touch ac, better reflex saves, and more mobility than wearing armor. Regarding the staff magus, I'm not a fan of the archetype, but it would combine with hexcrafter.

Currently, I'm leaning more and more heavily on Kensai. I know it's a bit more cookie cutter, but I think I'm liking the flavor better than hexcrafter...for now, lol...

The Exchange

I'm about to start Serpent's Skull. The party is a battle cleric, archer ranger, barb, and rogue. I decided to fill in the arcane slot by playing a magus. I'm playing a half-orc for rp reasons, but I'm trying to decide on my build. I'm currently leaning toward Kensai, but I'm not sure.

If I go hexcrafter, I'd do a str build. However, my ac will be pretty low for a few levels and will never really catch up to the dex build I'm thinking about. However, I will have full spellcasting as well as access to hexes. I love witches, but since I play them in other campaigns, getting access to hexes on this toon isn't essential. It's more just fun flavor.

If I go kensai, I'd do a dervish dance dex build. However, since I'm the only arcane caster, losing a spell per level is a pretty hefty penalty. At the same time, I would have a lot more ac with both int and dex.

I'm also taking Magical Lineage (Frostbite) and Wayang Spellhunter (Shocking Grasp). I plan to pick up both Rime Spell and Intensify Spell. If I grab Rime, I'll also prob grab enforcer for free intimidates when Frostbite is going. Basically, I plan on having a backpack full of lvl 1 pearls of power to fuel these two spells over and over. Frostbite is awesome for debuffing (fatigue, entangle, and shaken with the above combo), but shocking grasp is clearly better burst as well as being useful vs mobs immune to cold or non-lethal damage.

I really like both concepts. I'm leaning toward Kensai, but I'm really torn. Thoughts?

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Grace - cleric 2, pal 1

swift action self only 1 round of movement without provoking. It's situational, but closing the gap on the huge dragon without getting a huge chunk of flesh ripped out of you is pretty nice. Better yet, a low level GTFO spell if you can cast it defensively (which is pretty easy given the spell level).

The Exchange

not that you really want to do this, but you could dip one level of undead bloodline sorcerer. It allows your mind affecting spells to work on undead (doesn't really help out with hexes tho...unless your DM is nice)

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Mythic Shield

This spell grants a +6 shield bonus to AC. In addition the target of the spell may grant himself total cover as if using a tower shield (still requires a standard action)

You may spend an addition use of mythic power to cast this spell onto an actual shield. The shield bonus provided by the spell is treated as an enhancement bonus to the shield. Using the spell in this way also confers all the benefits of the standard shield spell (immunity to magic missile and adding shield bonus to touch AC vs incorporeal touch attacks). Shields affected by this spell add the spells bonus to the shield's hardness and HP for the duration.

The Exchange

Deadly Juggernaut at minimum caster values is a 3rd level spell cast by a 5th level cleric. I would make a comparison to a ring of invisibility for the sake of a use-activated item with unlimited uses as they are both rings with spell effects.

Ring of invisibility 20,000g. Oddly, the calculated price using magic item creation rules would price a ring of invisibility at 24,000g (2x3x2000x2).

Ring of Deadly Juggernaut using strict item creation rules would be 60,000g (3x5x2000x2).

I think 60k gold is very reasonable for such a ring because of the time it takes to stack up the bonuses. Generally speaking, I rarely see combat last more than 1 minute of game time which means this ring would only be at it's peak for about 4 rounds (1st round of combat activating ring, 5 rounds of stacking bonuses to +5). This is assuming you're successfully killing a qualifying opponent every round. Granted if you're aware combat is going to happen, you could activate the ring prior to combat since it lasts 5 minutes per use.

If the ring provided it's effects without ever wearing off, I would agree that 60k might be a bit low. Heck, given that this would have to be a DM fiat anyway, make it automatically activate when you kill an enemy. The effects stack as written in the spell. If you go 5 minutes (the duration of the spell cast by a 5th level cleric) without killing a qualifying enemy, the effects wear off.

The Exchange

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

If you want two spells, both the archmage and heirophant have an ability that allows them to get another spell cast in the round.

I'm trying to figure out what ability allows archmagi and hierophants to cast 2 spells (without quicken). The only abilities I can find are the Archmage Arcana and Divine Surge abilities that talk about casting spells.

My initial reading of those abilities was that you could do that as a standard action. Was my reading wrong? Can you use these abilities as a free action unless otherwise specified? I would love to find out this is the case, but I have a feeling that this is not the intent of these abilities.

The Exchange

Mythic Fly (could also apply to overland flight and moreso fly, mass)

The spell also confers the benefits of the hover, wingover, and flyby attack monster feats as well as the air mastery special ability (see air elementals).

You can spend an additional 2 mythic power causing movement while flying to not provoke attacks of opportunity. Additionally, the target's flight speed increases by 10 feet per mythic tier (too much?).


Mythic Polymorph, Greater

You may make use of any form changing spell of 6th level or lower (including undead anatomy, monstrous physique, etc)

You may expend an additional mythic power to increase the maximum level of form changing spell you may use. 7th level form changing spells cost 1 additional mythic power. 8th level spells cost 2 additional mythic power.

This might be too imbalanced because you're effectively getting an 8th level spell for the price of a 7th. However, this is mythic we're talking about.


Mythic Invisibility, Mass

Creatures affected by this spell are partially incorporeal as long as the effect lasts. They are immune to non-magical damage and only take half damage from magical sources (other than force effects which function normally). Additionally, attacks made while under the effect of the spell are resolved against the target's touch AC. Affected creatures gain no additional benefits of being incorporeal.

You may spend and additional 4 mythic power to cause the spell to function as Greater Invisibility. Using this ability reduces the duration of the spell to 1 round/level.

Perhaps the two effects should be reversed. I don't know which is more powerful. Perhaps both are too powerful.


Mythic Reverse Gravity

The gravitational pull of the spell increases significantly causing ranged attacks to have a 50% miss chance when affected by the spell and forcing flying creatures (magical or natural flight) to make a fortitude save each round they attempt to leave the area or be stuck in place until the start of their next turn.

You may spend an additional 3 mythic points to increase the gravity even further. Affected flying creatures are treated as though they did not have the ability to fly while in the area of the spell. Additionally, creatures in the area take 1d6 non-lethal damage/2 levels (max 10d6) every round they are affected by the spell (fort half) due to the extreme gravitational forces.

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I did the same thing, PDKM, no worries =)

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he's not using a ring of continuation, he's making a custom magic item that allows deadly juggernaut to be a continuous effect.

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Well, apparently you can change the rules as you see fit (size bonuses are size bonuses that you don't get to change because you feel like it). If you're not trolling (which I'm pretty sure you are at this point give the 5 1-phrase posts in a row), you should really have your DM help you rebuild this race according to the rules for player character races.

In response to your last post, I'm not even remotely surprised that your fellow players have higher combined modifiers. you have cumulative -7 penalty to offset the cumulative +15 you have to your primary stats. This is min/max/munchkin to the extreme.

Again, I'm pretty sure you're trolling us at this point, so I'm done. Congratz on getting so many people to respond tho!

The Exchange

Continuous might be a bit silly. I don't think it's outrageous to have a use-activated item tho (more like a ring of invisibility). You still have to activate it every encounter, but the benefits are very very strong.

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side note, your CMB is +11 not +9. 11 = 7(str) + 3(bab) + 1(size)
your CMD should be around 20 (30 vs disarm). 20 = 10 + 7(str) + 3(bab) -1 (dex) +1 (size) +10(vs disarm from locked gauntlet)

edit: wait a sec...are we being trolled? I almost hope so...

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bit of a diversion from the original thread, but yes your character is OP in my opinion. At level 4 it's relatively difficult to get your hands on a +2 stat item, so your strength being 24 already is pretty ridiculous. Even with a +2 stat item, a str of 22 is very, very powerful. Toss in the fast healing, and you make an already imbalanced character full on broken. As a DM, I would never allow a race like that in my campaign unless we were starting at a very high level when the racial bonuses have less impact (even then, I'd be very hesitant with this race). Did you use the race builder? How many points did you spend? Did you roll stats, or did you point buy?

Based on the point buy system, your character would be a 33 point buy with racial modifiers that add 6str, 4int, and -7cha. If on the off chance your cha is 10 and you mistyped, then the build becomes a 37 point buy with no racial negative modifiers. Since most games are played with 15-25 point buys (25 being on the high end), I would say that your stats alone break the game. Oh, and I just saw that your race is large by default. That means that you have natural reach which is extremely powerful especially at lower levels. I have no idea why your DM allowed this race at his table, but unless the rest of your group is playing equally ridiculous races, you should seriously consider using a more standard race.

However, your cha being 0 means your character is comatose, so I guess it's not overpowered.


Back to the original post, paladins are very frustrating to me. They generally trivialize any fight where you have a BBEG. Of course BBEG fights should have minions and whatnot to distract the party, but the BBEG is still the emphasis of the fight. Smite and 1-2 round killing your boss is extremely frustrating as a DM. I understand that throwing non-evil bad guys is a potential solution, but when the theme of the adventure has evil bad guys, that becomes a problem. I've had a fight or two where I've challenged the paladin in my group, but more often than not he decimates the challenges that I throw at him.

To the OP, I made the mistake of playing my campaign a bit too brutal. I had a player lose 2 characters in the same dungeon (one in the 2nd fight he played the new character). His response was to make a much more defensive character. Unfortunately, because of smite, he still deals a LOT of damage. I can't blame him for making a character that won't get killed so easily, but it has made the campaign as a whole much more difficult for me to challenge the party. The biggest mistake I made was allowing players to roll stats instead of using a point buy. I'm a gungho point buy advocate now because rolling stats (while more fun, no questions asked) breaks the game more often than not.

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yeah...I realized. In fact, I said that in the next sentence.

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You're a new DM, and your party is for the most part new players. Let them play what they want. This will be a learning experience for everyone. Be flexible and understand that sometimes characters die. If you play the AP by the book, a group of 5 with a 20-point buy should do fine, though. The whole point of this game is for everyone to have fun.

Since fun is the point, you might want to encourage the rogue to rethink his stats just slightly because a dead rogue isn't a fun rogue. I would avoid a negative strength regardless of whether he goes melee or range. Penalties on damage even if it's just 1 are annoying. 10 con is also really low. I'd suggest trying to bump it up to 12 as 14 is tough to manage with an elf. Bumping his int down to 14 and con up to 12 is a direct exchange, so that's easy (as others have noted, 16 int is a bit excessive unless he's planning on multiclassing into wizard or going arcane trickster which I doubt). Dropping charisma to 13 will allow him to bump his strength back to 10. He is likely planning on dealing his damage with sneak attacks, so he doesn't need a positive bonus to be functional. He can toss a point back into charisma at 4 and spend the rest of his level bonuses on dex as you go. I would guess the paladin will most likely be the party face anyway.

Also, on your list of his skills, he doesn't have his +3 class skill bonus added on most of his skills especially the dex skills. You have some skills listed that I don't think he has skill ranks in, but some I'm pretty sure have ranks and are class skills for rogues. You might want to double check that (maybe with all players).

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I have trouble understanding why adding a template would take away a base bonus granted by a familiar. Again, taking one of the other familiars (imp, lyrakien, etc) would not grant a bonus becuase they are substantially more powerful than the basic familiars even with a fiendish/celestial template.

However, I do have a question. Why not just take improved initiative? Then again, I guess you could have both imp initiative and a scorpion...not to mention reactionary and the elf alternate racial for another +2. Dang...that's like +12 before you even apply your dex!

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cartmanbeck wrote:
mplindustries wrote:
PatientWolf wrote:
The improved familiar feat says that if you choose a familiar from the standard lists they gain either the celestial or fiendish template. That is where that comes from.

I'm not seeing that line in the feat.

Improved Familiar

Is the website wrong? As far as I was aware, you were just choosing from a different chart, not choosing from a different chart or choosing from the original chart and adding a template.

Under the table in the original feat description is says this:

1 Or other celestial animal from the standard familiar list.
2 Or other fiendish animal from the standard familiar list.

This implies that you can substitute any standard familiar animal for the one listed in the table.

Which also implies that you would keep the familiar's bonus (+3 stealth, +2 reflex saves, etc) as long as you're only adding the celestial or fiendish template. If you choose a more exotic familiar, those creatures do not provide an additional bonus as they are usually substantially more powerful than a standard animal familiar.

The Exchange

I thought that when a magic item had the "on command" detail it meant that it costs a standard action unless otherwise specified (see the first set of boots that specifically states a free action). I could be wrong, but if I'm right, then these boots don't really synergize at all. Then again, it does say on command when the wearer takes a 5-foot step. Does that mean that you activate the item as a free action when you take your 5-foot step or that you activate the item as a standard action that allows you to move 15 ft without provoking?

The Exchange

In the context of ship combat remember that the round that you board a ship you are considered flat footed. Since fighting defensively provides a dodge bonus, you cannot benefit from fighting defensively on the round you board a ship. I realize this only helps for the first round of combat when he boards a ship, but you can put down a lot of hurt on a flat footed monk in one round.

In general, though, it sounds like he might be getting away with a few things as people have already stated. He does not have crane riposte yet, so he cannot make AoO's when he deflects with crane wing. If he is going total defense, then he cannot use redirection. Even if he's fighting defensively, he cannot redirect more than once per round (and even moreso only 5 times per day at this level).

One other thing I noticed is that he has both still mind and vow of truth. It states in the vows section that taking a vow replaces still mind. It's a small detail that likely hasn't had an impact on your game, but it's still technically breaking the rules.

Lastly, did your group roll stats? He looks to have somewhere in the 22-25 point buy range. If you did 25 point buy, that's another factor you have to consider. That's 10 more points than the AP is written for, and a MAD character can make excellent use of a high point buy (even without dumping charisma and int).

edit - almost forgot, if the party is having fun, does this really matter all that much? You obviously want to challenge the party from time to time, but sometimes players just want to feel powerful. I would understand if he were outshinging the rest of the party and causing them to have less fun, but it sounds like they love having him around. Having the occasional fight where enemies are aware of his capabilities and ignore him is acceptable, but you should let him be the tank he created more often than not in my opinion.

The Exchange

Thanks for the feedback. Actually the plants work really well for the next module. I'll definitely be using that idea. I may go with the % chance for fast healing to work. It's like the connection is fuzzy, so it goes in and out but no rhyme or reason.

The Exchange

nate lange wrote:
Dukai wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
Unfortunately due to the rules on improvised weapons, by RAW you cannot have a masterwork cat, and thus cannot enchant your +1 cat. I believe they are fixing this in their next book, Cats of Golarion.
What if you bought a set of +1 cat collars or collars with +1 bells on them? You might have to take Cat Mastery tho so that the enhancement bonus from the cat's collar can be treated as an enhancement bonus to your flurry of cats attack and damage rolls.

can you apply magic fang to 50 pieces of natural cat-munition? i suppose, really they're thrown weapons so you'd have to enchant them individually... i've got it! figure out your max cats/round and then get that many AoMF's with +1 returning on them! no, that's gonna be pricey though... wait... the cats are natural weapons... that you're attacking with... so if you just got and AoMF for yourself with +X and returning, it should apply to the natural attacks you make with the cats... right?

can i just say that the very fact that we're having a semi-serious discussion about the viability/optimization of the crazy cat lady build its pretty much the greatest thing in the history of the internet

OR you enchant the collars as +1 dancing returning collars. That way since all of the cats would come flying back to you at the end of the round, they would simply hover around you until the dancing effect wears off. In the mean time, you have access to several reusable throwing cats.

The Exchange

As before, my players please stop reading here.

I suppose I should provide a small amount of explanation as to why healing isn't working very well. The whole concept of the AP is that Sarenrae's tears have been stolen. Her tears symbolize her compassion which is the source of her ability to heal (all of this is made up btw in case you're wondering where I got this information). Having been brought to the material plane, the tears crystalized into 6-7 small artifacts. The first of which has made its way to Alkenstar. Across the world, healing isn't working as well, diseases are spreading, and crops/livestock are dying.

The party will be gathered in Absolom to attend a meeting to decide what to do about the problem as members of the delegation from wherever they choose to be from. An alchemist from Alkenstar will volunteer that since his city is located in the Mana Wastes (an area devoid of magic), his researchers have been working on alternative methods for healing. The work looks promising but is still in the early stages of research. He invites the leaders of the meeting to send a group to Alkenstar to aid him in his research and hopefully proliferate the results throughout the world should they prove successful.

The party will take a TP circle to Nex and travel south to Alkenstar where they will discover an outbreak of an apparently "incurable" disease. Additionally, there is an uproar within the city because signs of magic are returning to the city (due to the presence of the tear). Therefore the party will need to help with the research, get to the bottom of this disease outbreak, and figure out why magic is suddenly working inside the city walls.

That was more than a simple explanation as to why healing is limited, but it gives more context to the first module and the theme of the entire AP. Essentially, the party will be collecting the tears and eventually restore them to Sarenrae (at level 17-18ish...long way down the road). The majority of the campaign will take place in Alkenstar, Nex, and later on Geb with planar travel in the last module or two.

The Exchange

First things first: Ryan, Kari, James, and Mark stop reading now please.

I'm going to be starting a gestalt campaign in the near future with some friends. As both part of the story as well as a balancing factor, I am causing healing to be more or less malfunctioning. Essentially, all healing will always heal the minimum amount. ie - CLW heals 1+1/lvl rather than 1d8+1/lvl.

However, I am going to be including some alchemical "medicine" in the game from time to time which will function like a regular CLW (and CMW, CSW, etc). While the alchemical "medicine" fits very nicely into the first module I'm planning (set in Alkenstar), the later modules will have much less connection to the area. What I'm wanting are some creative ways to provide healing for the party. I don't want it to be easily/readily accessible at all times, but I'm okay with limited use magic items and other ideas people may have.

Another issue I'm trying to figure out is Heal and fast healing effects. Heal is an issue because it is not variable beyond caster level. I'm thinking it might always heal for 5/caster level instead of 10 or that is has a base heal of 1/caster level with a chance to heal for more (likely a % role to see how effective it is). However, I am open to other ideas. Fast healing on the other hand is more complicated because it generally provides only 1hp at a time. I still want it to be viable, but I want to limit its usefulness and am currently at a loss of how to do so. As a side note, I'm allowing temporary HP spells to function as normal as there are generally fewer of them and cannot be stacked.

Any help with any of these concepts, items, or rule adjustments would be most appreciated. Also, I realize this should possibly be in the homebrew forum, but since I'm asking for help I decided to post here.

The Exchange

RumpinRufus wrote:
Unfortunately due to the rules on improvised weapons, by RAW you cannot have a masterwork cat, and thus cannot enchant your +1 cat. I believe they are fixing this in their next book, Cats of Golarion.

What if you bought a set of +1 cat collars or collars with +1 bells on them? You might have to take Cat Mastery tho so that the enhancement bonus from the cat's collar can be treated as an enhancement bonus to your flurry of cats attack and damage rolls.

The Exchange

The group I play with has had a rogue pocket some coin here and there. All of the players at the table are quite aware, and we all usually laugh about it. The bottom line is that if the party is weaker because he is stealing and blowing the money on booze and whores, then there's cause for concern which the party can respond to via RP. However, I don't think it's appropriate for you to keep this a secret from the players. Tell the player that you are okay with him continuing to try to pocket some money, but the other people at the table get to know that you're doing it even if the pc's don't. This could also prove to be an excellent practice at not metagaming! :)

The other side of the coin is that generally speaking, unless he is gambling away hundreds of gold, a few gold here and there will be negligible in the long run and shouldn't directly impact the party's ability to function.

The other OTHER side of the coin is that you already know that he's going to blow all the money. If you're willing, you could just let his successful slight of hand rolls earn him a small amount of money on top of whatever you were going to give to the party anyway.

The Exchange

While clearly the crazy cat lady is the ideal choice, I think a ranged dps class or some kind of support class would be ideal.

Your archer ranger sounds great. It would fit the party nicely I think. As others have suggested, bard is almost always welcome in a group. You could also fit the role of face if the rogue or cleric aren't already doing so. Lastly, I always welcome a witch to my groups. Their debuffing is beyond compare. You just have to be comfortable with letting the rest of the party do most of the damage (which is sounds like they're pretty good at anyway).

Just my 2cp...but again...crazy cat lady ftw...just sayin

The Exchange

core classes are perfectly fine, especially for society play. Prestige classes are pretty rare tbh, but a lot of people do enjoy playing archetypes of the core classes (found in later books like APG, UM, and UC). You might also check out the classes in the advanced players guide. However, if it's your first character ever, I'd say pick a core class and get to know the game a bit before branching out too much.

The Exchange

Taking the familiar away completely would indeed be a dick move imo.

Easy fix tho...her familiar goes insane, too, and becomes a quasit (keep up appearances as an imp, but functions as a quasit in all other regards).

Asmodeus is a LE god who very well might enjoy having a CE minion in his pocket to accomplish his very well-laid out plans. I don't particularly see an issue here. Now if she were a cleric, then you might have issues. A witch however, is just fine. On another note, the witch may *think* her patron is Asmodeus, but how exactly would she know? Unless it would be extremely upsetting to the player, I think you can pretty much decide who the *real* patron is as long as it doesn't change the player's patron spells. It's all really flavor text anyway. It could even be a fun plot twist if you do any freelance DM'ing in the middle of the AP.

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