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I'm really liking the idea of a one level medium dip focused on Hierophant spirit on a Life Oracle. I know you're doing it primarily for the +2 HP on your healing spells and abilities, but everything else you get from the medium dip works well for an oracle, too, especially the spirit surge on Will saves.
I definitely agree that dungeon crawls are a bad idea. They can drag badly.
I've never done a module in PBP. I think PFS scenarios are a good length for PBP, though there is one module I'd consider trying in PBP: Feast of Ravenmoor. I think it's a little shorter than most modules, and all the social encounters and things should make it a lot of fun. Maybe some day I'll get up the nerve to try GMing it in PBP.
No, the DC 20 strength check, or 2 people working together (no check required), can move the crates 10 feet. One person working alone and failing the strength check can still move the crates 5 feet. And you don't have to move every stack of crates to cover the doors.
Besides, I've never had a group try to cover every door. They usually just cover most of them to force the enemies to come in through one particular entrance (and usually overlook the skylight). That's from 8 times playing/GMing this so far.
That was my first Gen Con. I remember running that adventure there, but I don't remember the specific players. For that matter, Assault on the Kingdom of the Impossible was actually the first adventure I ever GMed in PFS, though that was about a year and a half before I GMed it again for you at Gen Con.
Is anyone here going to be at Gen Con this year? Maybe we could meet in person before this game starts. I'll only be doing 3 PFS sessions as a player, not GMing at all. I'll be busy with friends coming in from all over who I don't see very often, doing other stuff besides just playing PFS. But if anyone here will be there this year, let me know, and maybe we can meet, even if it's just to say hi between games or something.
How easy is it to get magic items in your campaign? I ask because the abjuration resonant power looks useful at first glance, but it's really the same as a Cloak of Resistance. For my own melee occultist, I'm planning to just buy the cloak and not bother investing mental focus to get that power. The main reason I want Abjuration is for Shield and some of the other spells. That lets me use a two handed weapon for offense while still "wearing" a shield for good AC.
For my guy, I'm doing Transmutation, Abjuration, and Divination at levels 1 and 2, followed by illusion at 6. But I also don't need Conjuration for the healing that badly on this PC.
I'd say Illusion is not as important for a melee build as Abjuration or Divination. The real question is which you want to boost more: offense or defense? With Abjuration, you get Shield as a known spell right away, which is nice. With Divination, you get that nice offense boost from the swift action base power. I'd probably lean towards Divination myself, but it depends on the rest of both your build and the rest of the party.
That's actually what we eventually decided at the table, for exactly the same reason. But it would be nice to know if Paizo agrees.
I'm actually kind of surprised that the guy playing the PC with that companion didn't already know this, especially since he had already played with the roc at that size for a couple of levels.
Agreed. By that level, you've already got all your necessary stuff, now you're just adding minor stuff. The fact that those PCs didn't take it sooner is all the proof I need that it's NOT overpowered.
Despite having a couple of characters who use Divine Favor, I have yet to take this trait on any PC. I just always have other traits that are more important, usually things that give +4 or more to a skill (+1 trait bonus and make it a class skill, or else let me use a different stat than usual for that skill) that I really want for that PC.
It's one of the better traits in the game, but I wouldn't call it overpowered or "must have".
I actually like the Foehammer archetype. No, it's not the most powerful option, but it is fun.
I built mine with a dwarven longhammer, and a focus on tripping with reach and bull rushes to provoke from movement with Greater Bull Rush. Tripping should be useful, but I know bull rushing won't be a great option all the time. I use a dwarven boulder helmet against things that get within the reach of the longhammer.
He's still level 2, but here's what I've got so far:
Traits: Suspicious (+1 Sense Motive and it becomes class), Propitiation (+2 on appraise, craft, diplomacy, bluff, or knowledge: local - choose which one at the start of each day)
Other feats I'm considering for the future (not sure on order yet):
6 - Greater Bull Rush
Since my guy is for Pathfinder Society, I'm only looking at stuff up to level 11.
Mike Lindner wrote:
Yeah, I like the concept of the ranger archetype in Blood of the Beast, too. I need to figure out how to make that one mechanically viable. A build that revolves around poison and sneak attacking at range could be tough to pull off effectively.
The water, including the row boat tied off the pier, are 10 feet below the floor of the pier and warehouse.
Feel free to make intelligence or knowledge (engineering) checks, and if anyone rolls well, I'll give you hints about what you've said so far, and how likely it is to work. Or just feel free to keep brainstorming, and let me know when you've decided what you're going to do.
GM Hmm wrote:
I know the scenario very well from GMing it 3 times at Gen Con last year, and it's a favorite of mine, too. I'd say it's a great candidate for PBP specifically because of that. You can do a wide variety of stuff overlapping, so you never end up with half the group sitting around waiting for the other half. And the PBP format should be good for all the social and skill stuff.
William Donald wrote:
Yeah, my group thought we may have fallen behind going for the supply cache and foraging for water. It turns out, we won the race easily.
Oh, awesome, thanks guys! :3 That's all really great to know! Here's another question, though - I'm going with two of my friends who haven't PFS'd before, ever. They've Pathfinder'd with me at home for homebrew mixed in with Curse of the Crimson Throne, but they've never gone to an event or anything. That means the books we have are... pretty split between the lot of us. Can we pool our resources or are we going to be sad when we go? o:
Technically, everyone should own the books they use. However, there are exceptions for family members or people in the same households, if they play at the same PFS tables together. And when it comes to PFS newbies, I can't imagine anyone actually enforcing the rules strictly, even if they find out you aren't family or roommates.
So for now, just make sure you play at the same tables together. If you all start playing PFS regularly, you really should buy the books you use for your PCs.
Glad to see rabbits are acknowledged. I still find it amazing that Paizo introduced them as a legal familiar in Animal Archive, but forgot to define their body type and slots in the same book, and then later forgot they ever existed in every list of available familiars published since then.
I just made an assumption that they'd count as a quadraped of some sort, and gave mine Extra Item Slot: Shoulders so it could get a Cloak of Resistance eventually, in the hopes that nobody would notice or care whether or not it was legal. Glad to see it finally confirmed that I got it right.
I've been wanting to try a Gorumite Evangelist with a twist: Using Inspire Courage, Channel Energy, and other buffs to help enemies and allies indiscriminately, to make the battle more interesting. Mix in thew Destructive Aura Domain power for extra fun. Sadly, it doesn't work well in a cohesive party.
That's hilarious. It doesn't work for a PC, obviously, because the rest of the party would kill you after the first combat. Not your PC. I think they might actually kill the player.
But as an NPC, I could totally see that happening. I just don't know if the NPC should be an "ally" or "enemy" of the party.
Walter Sheppard wrote:
So much for my idea of putting a mithral chain shirt on my druid's monkey familiar. Wand of Mage Armor (and pray there's an arcane caster at the table), here I come.
Mike Lindner wrote:
The character idea that I'm most excited to play is a grippli vigilante (faceless enforcer) who dual-wields kukris. The idea of a very small hellknight whirling around with 4 inch blades amuses me too much.
My grippli character is a Fiend Keeper Medium. I just love the fluff on that archetype. Given the dex bonus, str penalty, and small size, I was originally thinking TWF finesse build, too. But I actually changed my mind and decided to go strength based with a two handed weapon, after doing the math to make sure it would work. But my class gives enough bonuses to make up for only having 14 str. I don't know how (or if) that would work out for a vigilante.
I love the grippli race. I actually have two more grippli boons (I GMed in two local conventions and a PBP game day in the same 3 month period). I was thinking of giving/trading them away, but I think I'll keep at least one of them to make a second grippli for myself.
I just want the inevitable return of Torch to be a Tier 7-11 so my Shadow Lodge paladin can take part in it.
If it's a 12-15, then my level 14 Shadow Lodger will come out of retirement just for that. Of course, then I'd have to actually level him up to 14 - I have no idea where I left off with that one mechanically, since it's been 4 years since I looked at him.
I've had a lot of fun with my pirate cleric of Besmara, the pirate goddess, in PFS. He's a "bad touch" cleric who sits on the front line with the Trickery and Chaos (Protean) domains, using those 1st level domain abilities over and over. Toss in negative channeling for spontaneous inflict spells, and other debuffs like Bestow Curse, Blindness/Deafness, etc, and feats to boost concentration through the roof, and he's very good at holding off the enemies. As long as I'm in a group that can take care of the damage while I hold off the enemies, I'm great.
The typical buff/heal type cleric can be quite effective, as well. As tonyz said, it's easy to build, and lets you focus on playing a religious zealot, which makes it easy to come up with a fun personality. I have a leprechaun wannabe - halfling cleric of Desna with the typical Luck and Travel domains, using the halfling favored class bonus to get extra uses per day of Bit of Luck. His main purpose in life is to spread the luck around.
He said it's a group of level 1s in an area that doesn't do Core much, so I was thinking that it could be an entire group of brand new level 1s with no prestige available to buy a wand.
I have a PFS PC who is an elf from Jinin. She's almost 300 years old, chaotic good, and doesn't really fit in with their orderly culture. That's why she left to go see the rest of the world, and ended up in the Pathfinder Society. (Really, the elves of Jinin "encouraged" her to leave and go share her elderly wisdom with the world, because she's so annoying.)
So I haven't really delved into the details much, other than thinking of it as feudal Japan with elves.
GM Aeon wrote:
What other scenario does Janira appear in? It wasn't Wisp, was it?
She does appear in a third scenario besides The Confirmation and Wounded Wisp, though she really shouldn't be getting into combat even there.
It's 6-98 Serpent's Rise (aka "We Be Aspis 1"). Our party lured her away from the crowd and killed her. I honestly don't even remember why, but it made sense at the time.
As I said, I've never seen a PC death in that one, but I've seen our tour guide die three times. Twice in that fight, and once in a completely different scenario featuring the same NPC.
Interestingly, I've played exactly 200 sessions, that have been reported, anyway. I wouldn't be surprised if a couple are missing. I've GMed 84, 3 of which are modules that count for 2, so I'm at 87 sessions towards GM stars.
For the first year I was playing Pathfinder, I was in a home group that played PFS with a core group of 6 of us, plus occasional others, just playing with whoever could show up that week. The two main GMs from that group are still the two whose tables I've played at the most, at 24 and 18 tables.
Third is the Venture-Agent at the store where I've been playing for almost two years now. He GMs almost every week, and I've apparently been at his tables 14 times. There's another GM at that store whose tables I've been at 9 times.
After those four people, there are no GMs who I've played with more than 5 times. That part actually surprises me, since there's a third GM at that store who I thought I'd played with more than that, but he's only listed as having GMed for me 5 times. I know I've played with him a lot more than that, but I guess that's mostly been with him as a player. It's just that he almost always GMs the last few months, and rarely plays any more, so I thought I was at tables with him GMing more than 5 times.
Favorite archetypes that I'm actually playing on my PFS PCs:
Chosen One Paladin - Instead of training to be a paladin, a familiar is sent by your deity to magically turn you into one. It replaces the normal mount/bonded weapon, can cast Guidance at will, and can "Lay on Paws". Also, the familiar gets knowledge: religion instead of the paladin, which works well for the typical wis-dumped naive paladin. I've had a lot of fun playing mine through level 7 in PFS.
Gnome Prankster Bard - Debuff enemies by mocking them. And unlike many bard archetypes that totally redefine the class, you really don't lose any of the typical defining characteristics of the class. You still get bardic knowledge, inspire courage, inspire competence, and your spells. You just lose some of the minor stuff like fascinate that hardly gets used, anyway.
Grippli Fiend Keeper Medium - I keep saying I love the fluff behind the medium class, but I wish it was better mechanically. This archetype only helps a tiny bit mechanically, but has even better fluff than the original.
Infiltrator Inquisitor - Gives up the normal intimidate and sense motive bonuses for bluff and diplomacy. And how can you not love an archetype that lets you add your level as a bonus on will saves against being forced to tell the truth? Ok, it doesn't come up much, but it's fantastic when it does. Great for an espionage game. Not so much in PFS, though I did have fun playing him in Masks of the Living God.
Archetypes I want to try on future PCs:
Haunt Collector Occultist - Occultist is my mechanical favorite of the occult classes, and this lets them steal some of the best crunch from the underwhelming medium class.
Empiricist Investigator - You know an archetype's too good when it's more common than just playing the base class without an archetype.
Living Grimoire Inquisitor - Literally uses their holy book as a weapon. As in bashing people in the face with it. I haven't looked at it enough to know how it works mechanically, but how can you not love that concept?
I have an elven archer at level 2 in PFS Core. His character class is wizard (transmuter). He just uses his racial dex bonus and longbow proficiency to be good with a bow at low levels, along with Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot as his level 1 and 3 feats. Needless to say, I didn't dump strength like a stereotypical wizard. In fact, it worked out that I started with 11 str, and use the level 1 transmuter bonus to boost it to 12, so I can use a composite longbow with a +1 str rating.
He just uses archery as something to do at low levels, when he doesn't have enough spells per day to get through lots of combats. Sure, I could have done the normal wizard thing of picking up scrolls or a wand of Magic Missile to get me through those levels, but I like playing against type. By level 5, he'll probably never use his bow again, but those archery feats will still help him hit with ray spells.
I'm surprised nobody's mentioned ranger. It's another class that would benefit from the vanara stats.
I expect to get a vanara boon for GMing at a local con in a couple of weeks, and I haven't even started to think of what to do with it. I've done wisdom based divine casters to death, so I don't want another cleric, inquisitor, druid, warpriest, or hunter.
On the other hand, I've never done a monk, ranger, or gunslinger, so those might be possibilities. Actually, ranger and monk are the only Core Rulebook classes I haven't already played in PFS. I really don't want another dedicated archer, though, since I already have a couple of those, so the obvious archery focused ranger or zen archer is out, too.
I actually don't know very much about monks or gunslingers, so this might be a good time to learn more about them. Gunslingers have never really appealed to me, though. So maybe I'll look into monks and see what I think.
I also already have Blood of the Beast, so I'll have to see what's in the vanara section of that. I've mostly focused on the grippli chapter so far.
Agreed on Extra Mental Focus. That'll let you use your Occultist abilities more often.
Don't bother with Combat Casting. If you're focused on combat, then you should be tossing out buffs before wading into battle, so you shouldn't have to cast once you're on the front line. It's not like you'll have life and death healing that you need to cast while next to an enemy.
I designed my own front line occultist for Pathfinder Society, though I haven't had a chance to play him yet. Some of my stuff is different enough that it won't all work the same for you, but I figure I'll tell you what I designed, in case it gives you ideas.
I also went transmutation and abjuration early, along with divination. I didn't go Battle Host archetype, so I was able to pick up three schools by level 2, instead of just two. Since I'll get Shield as a known spell from the Abjuration school, I went with a two handed weapon (elven curve blade - my guy is an elf), and didn't get a physical shield.
I went Toughness for my first feat to make up for the d8 HP on the front line, along with my elven con penalty. I plan on taking Extra Mental Focus at 3. I'll have to see how he plays to decide exact progression, but other feats I'm considering are Extra Focus Power, Power Attack, Weapon Focus, Improved Initiative, Blind Fight, Dodge, Combat Reflexes, and Step Up. So all the typical front liner melee feats.
I'm actually thinking of skipping Power Attack for a while, because buffs from my magic (Lead Blades spell, Size Alteration Focus Power, etc) should let me hit pretty hard without it. Being 3/4 BAB, I want to avoid the penalty to hit.
What Focus Powers are you considering? I was actually thinking of doing almost all Transmutation on my guy, at least until level 7 - Sudden Speed, Size Alteration, Quickness, Mind Over Gravity are all too good to pass up. I was also looking at Danger Sight from Divination and/or Energy Shield from Abjuration. That's why I was looking at Extra Focus Power - there are too many good ones, and I don't need the feats that badly if I keep my fighting style simple.
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