Be sure to point out how useful the Heal skill actual is!
How useful is it? Don't get me wrong, it's great for treating poison and disease, but it doesn't really meet most adventurers' requirements for on-the-job healing. You're either staying up all night boosting folks' healing rates, or you Treat Deadly Wounds: spend one hour and 10 gold to have a chance of healing hit points equal to the character’s level, plus your Wisdom modifier on a good roll, once per patient per day.
I don’t think the shield bonus you grant another character with Saving Shield stacks with whatever shield bonus that character already has. In PFS, you and your friends won’t help each other much with that feat, though you could use it to protect characters without shields, or your animal companion.
I agree 100% on getting Shield Master ASAP, and putting all the wealth by level you’re allowed into the best shield you can enchant. Here’s an alternate feat tree for you with some good feat synergy: crits lead to shield bashes which lead to bull rushes which lead to spiked armor damage.
Note that your main hand weapon will be a heavy shield, and your offhand weapon will be a light weapon, preferably a keen kukri by level 10.
1: Improved Shield Bash
There are immediate spells that can be used after an attack misses, such as Gallant Inspiration. I don’t see any reason why this one shouldn’t be usable after an attack hits or crits or whatever.
It’s a pretty cool spell. It negates a solid amount of damage from one attack a round, at the cost of a 1st level spell slot and a swift action. It combines well with other spells that defend against melee attacks regardless of AC, like Mirror Image. Overpowered, though? Naw.
Just because you disbelieve an illusion, Scott, doesn't mean it disappears. It still blocks vision and provided concealment. Disbelieving an illusiory wall will let you run through it, but it still blocks line of sight.
That’s a specific quality of the Illusory Wall spell. Other figments appear only as translucent outlines to creatures who make their disbelief saves. I suppose a generous GM might grant partial concealment from the translucent outlines.
The whole "grapple at -20" option doesn't make much sense in Pathfinder because it presumably still takes a standard action to do so (at least, there's nothing stating that it's a free action). So there's not much reason to ever do it.
Oh, there’s at least one situation that came up on these boards where taking -20 to not be grappled would be the best option.
Hugo Rune wrote:
Thanks for the advice so far, but unfortunately it's not helping greatly...looking at the far smaller scale of Pathfinder and the PRD, these specialist roles aren't appropriate....[others] conjure the image of a deadly combat turning into something akin to a Bollywood musical, or at best a Monkey Island style sword fight. Again this destroys the mental image.
Have a look at the Skald archetype--that might evoke a bard that blends with your desired mental image of Pathfinder battles. Picture a fierce viking berzerker-poet, chanting songs of war and blood as he wades into battle alongside his companions, spurring them on to greater carnage.
But presumably you have no problem with a cleric praying to Desna the Butterfly goddess (or whoever) in the middle of a fight, so maybe you just need to let your issue with bard fluff go.
For my part, I have a bard who uses Perform (Comedy) to Inspire Courage, making light of the dangerous situations his group encounters and in so doing, keeping morale high. So far I think this has contributed rather than detracted from the mood of our PBP Carrion Crown campaign.
The black raven wrote:
Er, no. More massive creatures have more momentum in a fall than less massive ones do. Granted, magic critters have a fantasy universe exemption from many ramifications of the square-cube law, but suggesting that they should take less damage in a fall the larger they are makes Galileo's ghost cry.
Ranger. Plenty of skills, favored enemy, combat style feats that complement your current abilities. Since your Will save is your real problem, you’ll want to get a +wisdom headband eventually, which will let you cast spells at ranger level 4.
Also, get Improved Iron Will ASAP.
Surrender a lot. Like, at the end of any turn when one of your goody-goody opponents is in melee range of you. Talking’s a free action.
Try something like, “Please don’t kill me, I surrender! They made me do it, made me worship Asmodeus! In the name of God, please, I surrender!”
Then blast the crap out of them when it’s your turn again. Make sure no one survives to tell others about your fake-surrender gambit.
What? You’re evil!
You coat your weapons with the stuff, and it works sort of like poison: the first hit you make with the weapon treats incorporeal creatures like they were corporeal. I like to use it on arrows, bolts, and sling stones, but you could use it on a melee weapon too. Just don’t waste the melee weapon’s coating.
Ten applications cost 200gp normally, about a quarter of the price of ten ghost touch arrows. However, your alchemist should be able to craft it for a third of that price.
...as for the wizards vs Sorcs spells known, I AM comparing apples to apples...the maximum amount of spells known both classes can have at any one time in memory...So, a Ring of Wizardry increases Spells Known for a wizard (he can memorize +4 new spells) AND spell power (he can cast +4 spells). For a sorceror, should it not provide the exact same benefits?
If you trouble yourself to look at the Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells Table in the core rulebook, you will see that it lists “Bonus Spells per Day (by Spell Level)”. A sorceror with a 12 Charisma, for example, gets +1 1st level spell per day. A sorceror with 12 Charisma does not get +1 1st level spell known.
Under Ring of Wizardry, the rules state “The wearer’s arcane spells per day are doubled for one specific spell level.” The same language as above. Clearly it refers only to how many spells can be cast, not to spells known.
You’re free to argue that the same language means something different when talking about rings as when talking about ability modifiers, but I don’t think you’ll find anyone else who will agree with your interpretation.
This is kind of a public service message, as I almost didn't get the word until too late.
Lots of y'all will remember a video game called Planescape: Torment. Those of you who have played it need no reminder about how awesome it was. The rest of you might want to Google a bit to see how many "best games of all time" and "games to play before you die" lists it's ended up on.
A team of game designers are creating a game they intend to be its successor--Torment: Tides of Numenera. Judging by these folks' resumes, they'll do an incredible job.
Best of all, they're going to be hiring Patrick Rothfuss, author of The Name of the Wind, to script some of it. (He talks about it in his blog here.)
Y'all should check out the Kickstarter--they're offering some pretty spectacular deals, essentially for preordering the game.
Hope to talk to you about playing the game sometime!
(Note--crossposted to both games and fiction, to catch fans of Torment and fans of Rothfuss both. Apologies if this seems spammy.)
Beast Shape IV = Catoblepas with a magnificent poisonous breath weapon dealing Con damage and requiring three saves to cure, all at the spell's DC.
At the spell's DC?
Wouldn’t it be the usual DC for breath weapons (DC 10 + 1/2 breathing creature's racial HD + breathing creature's Con modifier)? Or, for the giant mantis animal companion of 12th-level sylvan sorceror without the boon companion feat or any constitution boosts, DC 16?
Don’t blow money on a spellbook that duplicates the one you lost.
Get one with spells you don’t have yet.
Same price, and when you get your old one back, you’re ahead of the game.
A Luckstone could be said to be a +1 magic item--see if you can weasel one of those out of the King.
If not, a Ring of Protection +1 or an Amulet of Natural Armor +1 would be good choices. Honestly, the +1 Cloak of Resistance your wizard picked up is probably the best option, but said cloaks are half as expensive said ring or amulet, so just get one on your own later.
On the other hand, the Full Plate +1 the oracle is getting is around 600g more expensive than the ring or amulet, so that’s a still more economical choice.
My advice for moving forward with the game situation is to roleplay your character having a crisis of conscience. The barbarian, he realizes, was a friend and ally who had saved his life in combat many a time, and he had turned her into a puppet.
Have your character go to her, release the spell, confess what he did to her, and beg her forgiveness. Have him explain he did it with the best intentions, with the stakes being so high, but that he should have tried to work with her instead. That he finally realized that her friendship was too important to him for him to use her so.
From there, the onus to make the game work is on her. Perhaps her character will have some growth, and realize that chaotic neutral doesn’t have to mean sociopath, and practice some self-control when it is in her and her friends’ best interest to do so.
Take the fighter aside. Tell him you'd like him to play the role of Samwise Gamgee in the Frodo/Gollum/Sam menage a trois that you see coming. This might frame things in a way that will make the game palatable for him.
The Shaman wrote:
Actually, given that most undead have a decent will save, how good is a dirge bard against them?
Mind-affecting offensive spells are a pretty big chunk of the bard spell list. They have, like, three spells that target reflex, none of them terribly useful against undead. Everything else is fort or will.
Luckily, the Dirge Bard slaps a penalty on saves vs. their fear effects, so they have a decent chance of nailing undead enemies with a Fear spell or the like.
I agree that Archivist would fit well with what I’ve seen of Carrion Crown so far.
Well, to continue the theme of a bard who buffs himself rather than the whole party, you could go with Arcane Strike, Weapon Focus, Expeditious Retreat and Vanish. And a trait to make Disable Device a class skill, because the “better rogue” Archeologist doesn’t come with that.
Carrion Crown 1st chapter spoilers:
I can’t be sure, but in our game it seemed like my countersong made what was supposed to be a tough fight--the Piper of Illmarsh--into a cakewalk. Makes me feel bad that AD’s getting the impression that in trading bardic performance for luck, he’s only missing out on Inspire Courage.
I’m having a great time playing a Dirge Bard in a Carrion Crown game. The Haunted Eyes class ability (+4 to save vs. fear, energy drain, death effects, and necromantic effects.) is enormously helpful. I wouldn’t bother with Archeologist, Inspire Courage is too good to give up. You will want Disable Device in the group, but I suspect spending a trait to get it as a class skill will be enough.
What is this obscure “Magic Missile” spell you speak of?
The often useful defensive spells Stone Shield and Windy Escape are both immediate actions to cast, making them especially valuable in the window when a caster is high enough level that they don’t tend to use all their 1st-level spells, but don’t have enough resources to cast a Quickened spell every round. (levels 6-12)
Dennis Baker wrote:
...the biggest downside to illusory mist is easy, you have to concentrate on it which means you can't *do* anything other than move.
Which is a huge reason to take Illusion School if you’re a wizard: spells like Silent Image persist a short while after you stop concentrating. Improved invisibility for (your level) rounds a day as swift actions is pretty sweet too.
It seems to me that you would want to pick an illusion that is harder to inadvertantly interact with. An illusion of a wall of stone for example. Most enemies are not going to go running into that.
Walls and fog both have their plusses and minuses. Your allies can dive in a fog bank, or shoot arrows out of it, without raising any suspicion about the possibly illusory qualities of said fog. Illusionary wall, not so much.
Keep in mind that losing Favored Enemy is a pretty big disadvantage at levels 10+. At that point, Instant Enemy gives you that gorgeous +6 against any target as a swift spell. You also lose access to a couple of other handy Ranger spells and Quarry. Given that you can choose “human” as your main Favored Enemy and get huge bonuses in many non-combat situations (to bluff, perception, sense motive, knowledge (local), and survival), you might want to reconsider your dislike for the class feature.
But if it’s just not your cup of tea, Freebooter probably is the best substitute. I’d love to play in a campaign with a freebooter ranger, an evangelist cleric with the flagbearer feat, and an archivist bard stacking their buffs and going to town.
Dr Grecko wrote:
Looking at it from the other perspective, If a pit is nothing but empty space, then Hallucinatory Terrain could never cover or create pit either since empty space is not "Terrain".
Hallucinatory Terrain is a glamor, and so can cause the illusion of absence.
A worked stone pit would not be a natural feature, true--that would require Mirage Arcane. But a canyon, gulley, chasm, fissure, sinkhole or the like would be terrain.
Dr Grecko wrote:
The logical extremity of this is creating an illusory sphere around an enemy’s head that you move with him or her, the inside of which is a perfect 3-D image of the world as you wish them to see it.
A wise GM would draw a line to exclude forced perspective to prevent such abuses.
Dr Grecko wrote:
Nice tip, never noticed that one!
Ever notice that Veil (a glamor) can make the targets--which can include every creature in a 30’ area, even if they’re hostile--look, feel and smell like anything? Like gnats, like dragons, like piles of gold or like your own smiling self?
To the OP:
Clouds of mist are very useful illusions, since unlike illusions of walls, people can pass through them without their illusionary nature becoming obvious. They provide concealment from your foes, and if you inform your allies in advance that any scarlet mist they see is actually one of your illusions, they can disbelieve and see through it with no trouble, which makes this application potentially more powerful than Obscuring Mist and the like, with the disadvantages that you have to concentrate on it and some enemies might pierce the illusion.
Knowing your enemies and the territory helps. If you know an area is infested with giant spiders, you know locals will be less likely to question the sudden appearance of one of them than of, say, a giant bat. It’s also helpful to create illusions of creatures your enemy wouldn’t ever want to touch--a rust monster against a armored knight, for example. This allows you to spook enemies without fearing they’ll ruin the illusion with a panicky blow.
Silent Image can make great bait for drawing out attacks. Send the Silent Image of a chubby, frolicking halfling with a picnic basket full of sausages into a dungeon chamber before the rest of the party shows themselves. Alternately, send a Silent Image illusion of yourself into potential danger while staying concealed.
Ultimately, in-the-moment creativity pays off the most. Learn what amuses your GM--Silent Image applications that entertain tend to be the most successful ones, and also the ones that get talked about later, over beers.
Silent Image, with its many restrictions, is great practice for when you get amazing spells like Persistant Image, which allows intelligible speech. Have fun.
He isn’t just saying “Dem’s da rules”. He’s also quoting the rules. Figments cannot make something appear to be something else. They cannot make a character invisible, for example. Similarly, they cannot make part of a wall or floor invisible. Thus, they cannot make the illusion of a pit.
Your GM may indeed allow you to make an illusion of a pit with Silent Image or another figment spell. Your GM may allow you to use Mount to summon the god Thor and ride him around town. That’s not how the magic works by the rules, however.
In the Order of the Stick, a Paladin’s mount effectively grapples, then pins a halfling by sitting on him. Why not? Might deserve a penalty to the attack roll, and Improved Grapple is probably not a feat they should be allowed to buy.
Assuming you get your level 6 and 10 combat style feats--and I agree that you should not, that replacing the favored enemy ability with extra rage powers twice is likely a typo--then the best rage powers depend on what style you take. Taking the Mounted Combat style meshes nicely with the Ferocious Mount and Ferocious Trample abilities. Ranged style works well with Surprise Accuracy and Reckless Accuracy. Natural Weapons style goes well with either Beast or Fiend totem, plus Animalistic Rage. Two-Handed Weapon style...just go to town, man, just go to town.
Perhaps it’s worth asking if signing a pact with Hell is a significantly better deal for a mortal male than a mortal female. The misogyny and glass ceiling might only be a factor for the .00001% of petitioners that achieve any actual power in Hell. The rest of the damned are at the bottom of an enormous mountain of crap that’s going to be raining down on them for the rest of eternity, whatever their gender.
If a mortal can convince herself she can escape that fate, she can probably convince herself she’s going to break the glass ceiling, too.
I’ve been playing a swtich-hitter ranger with a constrictor companion and cannot recommend them enough: grab + constrict is a dangerous combination. You can mitigate their main disadvantage, their 20’ movement, by casting Longstrider on them.
Whatever companion you take, make sure you take Boon Companion: it turns your faithful sidekick into a formidable partner.
Prestidigitation “cannot duplicate other spell effects”.
The existence of the Wish spell means that Prestidigitation cannot do anything, since a Wish spell could certainly do any of the little things people would want to use Prestidigitation for.
Man, I have got to stop mixing logic and this game.
Mounted Combat: Once per round when your mount is hit in combat, you may attempt a Ride check (as an immediate action) to negate the hit. The hit is negated if your Ride check result is greater than the opponent's attack roll.
Trick Riding:While wearing light or no armor, you do not need to make Ride skill checks for any task listed in the Ride skill with a DC of 15 or lower. You do not take a –5 penalty for riding a mount bareback. You can make a check using Mounted Combat to negate a hit on your mount twice per round instead of just once.
You may only make one immadiate action per round.
Does Trick Riding give you a 1/round free action that works like the immediate action from Mounted combat? Does Trick Riding allow you to spend an immediate action to both make a ride check to avoid an attack, and make another later in the same round? Does Trick Riding allow you make two checks when you use the Mounted Combat action to negate a single hit? Or is Trick Riding actually unusable?
The invisibility spell specifies, "...an attack includes any spell targeting a foe or whose area or effect includes a foe."
At the Heart of It All says, "...the target attempts a Will save."
Is the target a foe?
(Incidentally, the grammar on At the Heart of It All is botched. It should say "Upon completion of this performance". Otherwise it would mean the bard has to make the save.)
My PFS Lavode De'Morcaine wrote:
I am trying to fill a gap I’ve seen at my local PFS tables...no non-combat skills...No one has any social, knowledge, linguistics, appraise...often failing or coming very close to failing the mission or faction mission anyway because they can’t talk to anyone or find out anything...no one could activate the wand of lesser restoration that someone had bought. But not one of the players had it on his list or a single point in UMD....They don’t have anyone who activate magic items, attempt the trained only skills, talk to someone in a friendly manner, remove harmful conditions, etc…
Yeah, bard's the hammer for that nail. But since you're allergic...
Ninja. Lots of skill points, class skills include bluff, diplomacy, appraise, linguistics, use magic device, and knowledge(local). Charisma is a secondary attribute, boosting most of those. Disguise as a class skill plus the sudden disguise trick is ridiculously good for social challenges.
And much more useful at 8th level than a caster with no spells over 2nd level.
Your post suggests that maybe you don't *want* a large animal companion. If that's the case, you don't have to let Fluffy get any bigger. From the SRD:
As you gain levels, your animal companion improves as well, usually at 4th or 7th level, in addition to the standard bonuses noted on Table: Animal Companion Base Statistics. Instead of taking the listed benefit at 4th or 7th level, you can instead choose to increase the companion's Dexterity and Constitution by 2.
Keeping in mind illusion loses it's luster against mindless creatures (a good chunk of undead for example)...
Without more explanation, people might get the impression that mindless creatures and others that are immune to mind effecting spells are immune to all illusions. They aren't.
Only two subschools of illusions are mind effecting: illusion(phantasm) and illusion (pattern). Neither has a lot of spells. The only spell from these schools that gets a lot of play in most games is Color Spray, with Phantasmal Killer a distant second.
The other subschools are not mind effecting, and so effect such creatures as mindless undead: illusion (figment), including Mirror Image and Silent Image and many other powerful spells; illusion (glamor), including invisibility and disguise spells among others; and illusion (shadow), which generally has less effect against immune to mind effecting creatures, but again is a smaller school than the big two.
Mindless undead can actually be more vulnerable to well done illusions than most creatures, since they don't have the brains to puzzle over mysterious appearances and disappearances.