Dear James Jacobs,
About how many magical universities exist in Quantium? The source material seems to indicate several, not just one monolithic "Quantium Arcane University".
Along a similar line of questioning: could Taldanes and other Avistani peoples, for instance, be regularly found as students at Quantium magical universities, or would such mage apprentices in the main be Garundi, Kelishites and Vudrans?
Certainly, we could use a bigger buffet of NEUTRAL outsiders, even TRUE NEUTRAL outsiders. Currently, my neutral conjurer has the option of summoning sugar 'n spice 'n everything nice angels, or fart-stink devil beasts that make the party Paladin look at you a little funny.
I guess I can do elementals.
Evil can play at the same table as good with zero problems. As long as the evil character is into teamwork with all the rest of the players and doesn't break the fun by ruining somebody else's fun, there's nothing wrong when a character's motivation is "rule personal empire with a tyrannical fist" rather than "feed and clothe poor orphans."
When you start sticking your Pathfinder knife into somebody else's PC's back, it stops being fun. Don't do it. That's the GM's prerogative, and you're crossing the line with your gaming group. Instead, stick your character's knife into an NPC gnome. I hear that they make great steaks.
For the other arcane classes, it seems pretty clear: wizards are made, sorcerers are born. Witches are pretty much made, by a pact; magi are made; alchemists are made.
It's not clear how summoners get to become summoners. Let's examine the data that could point us in one direction or another.
1.) They cast spontaneously, using CHA as a major stat. That seems analogous to a sorcerer, who we know are born.
2.) On the other hand, they are very analogous to the Bard class, who study at bardic colleges and such and are therefore made. They also cast spontaneously, using CHA.
Has there been any consensus on how a summoner goes about becoming a summoner? For instance, does one find an arcane ritual in a library and use it to summon an eidolon which then imbues you with arcane power? Or are you born and your eidolon appears to you as a baby?
I'd ask James Jacobs, but he hates summoners and I'd probably get a snarky answer. I like them, so I'm hoping there's some info out there to guide character background.
Dear James Jacobs,
I have a question about inner sea ethnicity and phenotype.
Currently, all described ethnicities in the Inner Sea World Guide are said to have dark hair and dark eyes with the singular exception of the Ulfen (with blond/red hair and blue eyes.) The baseline inner sea inhabitant as described seems overwhelmingly likely to be brown haired with brown eyes.
Does this imply that if a PC were to be described as blond haired, it would follow that they are almost certainly an Ulfen? Or is a broad range of phenotypes possible in the other ethnicities, such that it would be patently unremarkable to find a blond Taldan or a blue eyed Chelaxian?
Thanks for clarification. I have a player who is having a hard time finding the right ethnicity to describe a character who is "Northern European" in conception without channeling a Nordic vibe.
Dear James Jacobs,
In Golarion, does becoming a mythic character always require some sort of external agency or event as portrayed in the material? Or could a character become mythic in the setting by dint of their own volition and efforts?
Seems somewhat personally unsatisfying to at all times require some sort of Deus ex Machina in order to attain mythic ascension.
After all, some characters (e.g. sorcerers, oracles, clerics) seem to fit well with an externalist trope, while others (e.g. wizards, monks) might go well with a sort of self-deterministic origin story, in effect studying or meditating their way to superhuman stature.
Thanks for your take.
I'm not arguing intent, I'm only saying that's how they wrote it. I don't care if it's weird or not. Frankly, both interpretations are quite weird; one's obscenely overpowered, and the other one interacts in strange ways.
I am not. Strictly following wording, there is no clause that reduces casting the spell to swift action, only adding the capability to cast one spell without losing the slot. Read what you yourself quoted. It says, "As a swift action, you can expend one use of mythic power to cast any one arcane spell without expending a prepared spell or spell slot."
Under your interpretation, it should have been worded:
"You can expend one use of mythic power to cast any one arcane spell as a swift action without expending a prepared spell or spell slot."
Then we would have been left wondering what action is used to spend the mythic point.
Seems clear to me.
I should also mention in terms of the spirit of the thing that arguing for an Archmage to be able to sling a spell-slotless, quickened, unprepared spell of maximum castable level every round said Archmage has a mythic point available is busted to the maximals.
I'm only talking about the rules verbiage under the Archmage section. Not trying to imply or infer any parallels when there might not be any intended.
It says you can expend one point of mythic power, using a swift action, to be able to cast the spell without losing the slot. The distinction is crucial. It does not say that the casting time for the spell is shortened to a swift action.
It's pretty clear that you spend the mythic point and swift action to potentiate your ability to cast the spell under the given conditions- nowhere does it say that casting the spell only requires a swift action.
You pay the swift action/mythic point, then the standard action for a standard action spell.
Dear James Jacobs,
As the author of the "Cults of the Dark Tapestry" article in Pathfinder #42, how would you go about mechanically representing cultists/wizards of the Old Cults at your table with regards to the use of Planar Binding/Planar Ally style spells?
For instance, a Cultist of Azathoth casts Planar Ally- I'm having a hard time finding creatures in the Bestiary that are thematically Mythos and yet can meet the mechanical requirements of the spell (Outsider, not Aberration). Similarly for the archetypal wizard who "knows things that man was not meant to know" and his/her Planar Binding spell.
Ditto for cultists and their Summon Monster spell line- it seems odd for the cultists to be summoning Fiends and Demons rather than Mythos entities. Can you recommend a patch-over for this?
Thanks for any advice.
I actually had no preconceived answer to the question. I'm also getting the notion that there are no rules to the situation. Sounds like the answer IS: DM's discretion.
I'm sorry if this questions is answered elsewhere; I couldn't find an answer easily with the search function.
I posit a scenario:
Round 1, my wizard uses a 1-round casting time to cast his Summon Monster (X) spell.
Round 2, my Summon Monster(s) appear and act on the same initiative count as me.
I choose to use my standard action to cast Haste on my Summon Monster(s) during Round 2. According to the text, the Summon Monster(s) are acting simultaneously as me; they (all) choose full-attack actions.
The question is simple:
On Round 2, do the Summon Monster(s) gain the benefit of the Haste spell? Or only Round 3 forward?
Perhaps simply a flat bonus to hit and damage with the existing summon lists to keep them relevant, a certain flat bump per tier using a mythic summon spell. You already have the mythic augment summons feat giving your summon epic dr; now you simply need some additional hit bonus and you're good to go. I'm not thinking you even need any additional damage to maintain relevance.
It's clear that a Summon Monster/Ally mythic spell that adds Mythic Tier in some multiple to the Summons List available is in order, to a max of the SM/SNA IX list. It will cost a mythic point as an action investment, which is fair. Certainly an easy fix to keep summons relevant. Also, let the archmage have a mighty summons path ability along with the hierophant.
Summons seem popular enough that some specific attention might want to be paid to them lest the hordes of summoner gamers not want to play Mythic.
Arcane summoners (conjurer wizards, summoners) exist, are popular, and would benefit topically from the Mighty Summons ability. It doesn't seem to make sense to restrict this ability to Hierophants and divine casters only. Please cross-post this ability to the Archmage path as well.
Question: Does mighty summoning stack with superior summons (i.e. 1d3 beasts of level -1 list, +1 superior summoning, +1 might summons)?
I'm not sure I agree with everything you say, really. In almost all games I've played in, killing monsters and exploring dungeons -is- the game. Sure, there's the hardcore RP game here and there, but I try to avoid THOSE people...=) Wizards are potent battlefield controllers, truth undisputable. However, they have few ways of actually KILLING the monsters efficiently, which is the stripped-out, bare-bones point of the game! I won't argue that they don't soften up the battlefield considerably at times. However, the monsters still have to be made dead and wizards, clerics, sorcerers, oracles... and all these so-called "Tier 1s" do don't do that very well (unless you're a monster summoner, that changes things, in my experience.)
When I played my high-damage alchemist or summoner, I had as much fun as the wizard. I killed the monster quickly, he inconvenienced them mightily. We both felt pretty cool. I didn't feel on a "Tier 3" compared to his "Tier 1". I think the Tiers of Power are advertising that the wizard is just simply -better- in pathfinder play, and that's in my real, at-a-table play experience just not the case.
To speak to the poster below you, I'll buy that argument regarding said interpretation of "Tiers of Utility" or "Tiers of I Wrecked the DMs Inept, Level-Inappropriate Dungeon Building". Full casters can sure ruin a DM's carefully plotted scenario with their massive utility breadbasket of spells. However, that's the DM's burden to address, and therefore counter or complement their versatility in a tactful and fun way. It's not a bug, it's a feature.
In summary - I feel plenty overpowered by 1-round smoking things at equal CR. I certainly don't feel overshadowed by my wizard debuffer buddy. Don't take that to mean that I think the alchemist is better than the wizard, but I think they coexist fine and perform nonoverlapping functions during encounters. It's just this implicit hierarchy of "power" I think is just not at all true.
I have to admit, I simply design a natural-attack based Eidolon strictly adhering to the rules and getting level-appropriate loot and buffs, and I can mow down an equal-CR monster built according to the standard monster building table stats in under 1 round on average levels 1-20 with a full-attack action.
And I'm not even a particularly sophisticated optimizer. The GM will have to throw my Eidolon an even-CR monster every encounter on top of what he already had planned just to keep him occupied for a round eating its guts out.
I also admit I can build an Alchemist that can do the same (albeit with a little more effort) leveraging infusion/bottled ally (preservationist) for monsters to hand out to my friends and my bombs.
One thing I don't understand is this "Tiers of Power" thing. Everybody says full casters are the most powerful characters. They are certainly the most versatile, but in a real dungeon-delving game, you know, around a table with people fighting DM-run monsters...the summoner's standard-issue Eidolon puts the fancy wizard to shame by chipper-shredding the encounter before it starts.
I'd put the high-damage classes such as Summoner, Alchemist, Druid and Magus near Tier I on a REAL Tiers of Power list. They mow encounters before the other PCs can even do a thing.
To the Point: the DM can nullify the Eidolon by increasing the level of difficulty of the encounters enough to give everybody something to do. Simple and straightforward. If I were DMing, I'd add another monster of even-CR just because an Eidolon is with the party.
Hypothetically, pretend I have a wizard, with the Old Cults faction affiliation. One of the faction affiliation benefits is use of the Planar Binding spell to summon up some member of the Dark Tapestry/Mythos-related monsters to interact with. In addition, the wizard himself has access to the planar binding spell.
My conundrum is that there are no available monsters that are both Dark Tapestry-related in the bestiaries and have the requisite outsider status allowing them to be brought forth by a planar binding spell, Old Cults related or not.
Is there an accepted monster list for this concept? Is there a supplement detailing alternative monsters that could be used by the Planar Binding line in this play situation?
This also impacts the Dark Tapestry oracle, which gets access to Planar Binding as a bonus spell, ostensibly to bind some Dark Tapestry horrors, but who has nothing thematic to bind.
I'm not sure whether this is the appropriate forum for this question, if not, I apologize- I considered it Golarion Dark Tapestry Conjurer specific.
Is there going to be support for the alchemist? Given the six mythic archetypes, I'm having trouble seeing where the alchemist actually fits in there.
Kinda a spellcaster, not really an archmage, not a hierophant...but not a warden, champion, trickster or marshal either. Sure, you can probably shoehorn the alchemist into one or more of those paths, but none seem to follow as a natural progression, as does archmage from wizard/sorc, hierophant from cleric/oracle, warden/champion from fighter/ranger/barb, marshal from bard/cavalier, trickster from rogue.
Hard to see where alchemist thematically fits here. Hope it isn't left out.
Put "The Test of the Starstone" in the Mythic Adventures book. Let there be an outlet for Mythic Characters who want to become Gods, Demiurges, and etc.
Beyond that, provide some guidelines/quests for methods of achieving eternal transcendence beyond simply riding the Starstone; e.g. Divine fiat, magical spell (ala Nethys), profane snuggling with the Outer Gods.
Stuff like that.
I could really use some Epic Content (and some Psionics.)
Both those systems are what I enjoy most, and while I really think Paizo's level of intricacy, creative imagination and detail is heads-and-shoulders superior to a nameless market competitor, the lack of epic rules (and psionics) is making it hard for this customer to make the change over to what is obviously a superior designed product.
I'm one of those (apparently rare) gamers that starts the campaign at level 15ish and wants to play into the high-level/epic area. From my perspective, I'm looking at a game that, no matter how cunningly crafted, is simply incomplete. My group just ain't into gritty goblin-whacking and death-by-housecat. The wizard wants to cast that Inflict Volcano spell from the Netheril boxed set and the barbarian wants to eat up an orc horde at Thermopylae.
PLEASE don't make us wait 2 years+ for Epic (and psionic, just throwing it out there) rules!
I'll stop swimming! It's my version of holding my breath!
A lot of folks didn't really like my comparison of the Summoner to the Dread Necromancer, with the thought that the DN is suboptimal. That's fine- I'm just pointing out that they have way, wayyyyy more dudes on the table (even if they suck) than the summoner does.
But sure, let's really compare him to two classes: the druid, who can salad-shoot out as many summons as they have slots, and the sorcerer, who can do the same if they take Summon Monster X in every possible spell known slot.
It's not silly to want to tone down the number of summons on the table at one time- it IS however silly to do such a nerfing unless the entire game, including every other class, is similarly nerfed. After all, if you do this to the Summoner, I'll just go back to my Abyssal Sorcerer, who has all of these capabilities, and only lacks the eido-pet.
From another perspective, you should look at how individually strong these summons from the SM X list are. Most of the time they can't hit diddly squat (bad to-hit bonuses), and can only inflict significant damage in significant numbers. And since the enemy has the option of side-stepping all of these mooks and just sinking savage fangs into the Summoner's jugular...
...I just don't get the hue and cry.
So, in any event, if you were asking my opinion (which many of you weren't =) I would say that you should relegate limitation of summons at a time to a house rule. Some groups will be okay with multi-summoning, and others will be less patient. It's perfect house-rule territory.
As others have said, if you need to get rid of the min/lvl and standard action summoning to bring the class in-line with other similar classes, that's fair.
I feel like the nerf to the summon monster X SLA is overboard. It smacks of the senseless and imbalanced nerf to Astral Constructs for the psion class. This nerf makes no sense in context of the wizard, cleric, and ESPECIALLY druid, all of whom can still spam as many SM-Xs onto the field of battle as they want, so I feel like the summoner should have the same capability, only better.
Take, for example, the Dread Necromancer class. That class can have as many skeletal beasts as it wants on the field, decked out in as much magical swag as you can put on 'em.
So I see this as kind of a knee-jerk reaction to people noticing what lots of summons on the field can do, here. Remember that AoE spells and AoE save or sucks can be just as deadly as multiple summons, if not more so.
Now the changes to the Eidolon, those were utterly justified, so go nuts.