Yeah, I was thinking of bringing that int back up, maybe at the expense of charisma.
I was originally picturing him as a Johnny Depp type of charismatic pirate. But since I'm going negative channeling for the spontaneous inflict spells, I'm probably not going to bother channeling much, so I can get away with lower charisma from that perspective. This would also free up a feat that I won't be spending on channel smite.
So maybe I could do a more "realistic" historic-style pirate - an ugly bearded guy who always smells like booze, dumping the charisma and boosting int back up to 10, or maybe even 12 at the expense of settling for 12 strength.
With diplomacy and bluff as class skills, I probably don't want to dump his charisma all the way. And I'll use strength to hit with my touch spells, so I don't want to drop that much. But maybe something like this:
Str 13 (3)
Or maybe settle for 10 int to keep the str at 14 for the extra +1 to hit. Being human, I'll get an extra skill rank per level, and the 14 constitution means I can probably spare the favored class bonus on skill ranks at least some of the time, especially since I'm considering taking Toughness.
I also still have to decide on a name this guy. For a background, I got the idea of making him come from the nation of Rahadoum, which is a lawful neutral country where all religions are banned. It's a coastal country, so he became a sailor, and decided he loved the freedom of the open sea, and getting away from the overly-lawful nation that he came from. He heard about various religions for the first time as an adult sailor, and embraced the concept of religion wholeheartedly just to rebel against his upbringing, inevitably settling on Besmara as his patron.
I'm really surprised nobody has mentioned Selective Channeling yet. Every cleric gets the channeling ability, but you're pretty much required to take the feat to make it useful in combat.
And I'm surprised it took so long before anyone mentioned Point Blank Shot. Every archer has to have it, because it's the prerequisite of every single other archery feat, even if the archer's entire mission in life is to never come within 50 feet of an enemy.
You're more likely to get a FAQ response if there is a single, concise question in the post. A long preamble followed by five questions is probably just going to get tossed out of the FAQ queue instead of addressed. I suggest making a new thread with a carefully-worded question.
Probably true. Can we all agree on what question should be asked?
I'm thinking something along the lines of "Does wearing a gauntlet interfere with casting and delivering melee touch spells with that hand, or prevent holding the charge if the initial touch fails to connect with the target?"
I'll disagree on both counts.
First, the AC associated with any particular armor type would seem to be dependent on wearing all of the armor. How could you take off pieces of armor that make up part of your protection and expect the same level of protection?
Second, clerics aren't proficient with shields as weapons, only as armor. There have been previous threads on that, and it was answered decisively by Paizo staff. So shield bash would require burning a feat on a martial weapon proficiency.
And third, who's trying to twist the rules? We all seem to agree that casting spells in gauntlets works fine. The rules state outright that wearing spiked gauntlets counts as being armed. The only issue is what to do about held charges.
And frankly, the clarification that I could take an AoO specifically to try to discharge the spell works fine for me. I'm perfectly happy doing that instead of using the spikes on the gauntlets for AoOs when that situation comes up, since that will usually be the more powerful attack, and easier to hit on touch AC.
I just want to make sure that's all legal, and I have the evidence to back it up if a GM asks, since it's for PFS, where I'll be playing with different GMs every time.
Ok, so related question. Let's say someone without gloves or gauntlets casts a touch spell and misses the touch attack. They're holding the charge. If they have no other weapons, are they considered to be threatening adjacent allies? Can they flank? Take attacks of opportunity to try and deliver the spell?
So I looked and found a few older threads about this, and there seems to be varying opinions. I'm looking for RAW answers for PFS.
I'm not trying to add the spiked gauntlet damage to the touch spell. If I wanted to do stuff like that, I'd play a magus. I'm asking for a "bad touch" cleric who will be walking up to enemies and touching them with various melee touch spells and spell-like abilities.
What I'd like to do is walk around with a heavy shield in one hand and a spiked gauntlet on the other. This would let me get the AC from the best possible shield, while doing all casting with the gauntlet hand. The spiked gauntlet is so I'm still threatening adjacent enemies to help give flanks and deliver AoOs by punching people with a spike to the face. I'm pretty sure that all works, though proof of that in case a GM questions it would be good to have.
The questions come up when I try to deliver a touch spell and miss. Or cast it before approaching an enemy and don't have a chance to even try to deliver it yet.
Core Rulebook wrote:
Touch Spells and Holding the Charge: In most cases, if you don't discharge a touch spell on the round you cast it, you can hold the charge (postpone the discharge of the spell) indefinitely. You can make touch attacks round after round until the spell is discharged. If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates.
Can the charge be held while still threatening with the spiked gauntlet? Apparently, some people say the spell would be discharged by the act of "touching" the gauntlet, which leads me to wonder why that wouldn't happen every time the spell is cast, before ever getting the charge to its target. I disagree with this interpretation, but I'd like RAW proof to back me up on this.
But assuming I can hold the charge, what happens if an adjacent enemy provokes an AoO, and I punch them with the spiked gauntlet? Does that discharge the spell into the person I punched, thus "going magus" with the spiked gauntlet damage and spell effect? Do I only do the spiked gauntlet damage and lose the spell? That doesn't make much sense to me, since the discharge of the spell should go into whoever I touched that caused it to discharge. Or can I take the AoO by trying to make a touch attack to discharge the spell, instead of punching with the gauntlet? If that's an option, I'd probably go with that more often than not, just to target touch AC and hit them with my spell.
Again, I'm looking for definite RAW proof that I can show a GM in PFS when any of these questions come up, even the first few that I already know the answers to:
1. Can I cast spells with a hand wearing a spiked gauntlet?
Given the nature of the character (cleric specializing in melee touch attacks), I would expect these questions to come up regularly, so I want to be prepared in advance.
And again, I think we all agree that torture is evil. The question is "What is torture?"
How many movies, TV shows, comic books, etc have featured "heroes" who are willing to punch bad guys during an interrogation? Is that torture? Is it evil? Batman routinely hangs people upside down over a ledge. He has a personal code that won't let him ever actually let go and let them die, but the fact that the criminals don't know that makes it effective.
In the non-hypothetical scenario that prompted me to start this thread, our group beat up a bunch of bad guys, took one of them alive, tied him up, tapped him with a wand of CLW to wake him from negative HPs, then started asking questions. The captive was clearly evil, and we needed information to prevent more evil activity. None of the PCs in the room had a good alignment, as far as I know, so the question of a paladin or something objecting wasn't an issue.
We're describing how we're intimidating him before rolling the intimidate check and assists, and one of the players describes his character punching the guy while asking him a question. Having seen this sort of thing more times than I can count in PFS sessions, I didn't consider that even remotely abnormal, and I was actually really surprised when the GM objected and said he couldn't do that because it's evil. He was going to stop, roll the intimidate check, and hope for the best without hitting the guy a second time, so that's as far as it ever would have gone.
So is a single slap or punch to an evil captive while trying to prevent more death and destruction of innocent people considered evil? What about shoving someone against a wall? Is the line drawn at any physical contact?
All in all, it's a flavorful option that can provide some damage at low levels, but it'll require some feat investment to keep it useful as you advance. If that's what you want to do, then go for it. Or just use it at low level, and ignore it when you reach higher level and have so many spells that you always have something better to do.
But realize that by taking this, you're giving up the possibility of picking up a domain whose level 1 ability will remain useful through the entire career of your character, without any additional investment. Luck and Chaos come to mind immediately. And that's why it's generally rated low by the optimization guides.
It might not be the most optimized option, but if you like the concept of it, then go for it.
I think the big complaint about this, along with the 1st level domain powers of some other domains that just give a ranged touch attack, is that it's not that much damage. You can't add Power Attack or other feats to it to boost the damage, so even if it's pretty good at low levels, it won't advance well. And unlike the other domain powers that do energy damage on ranged touch attacks, this hits regular AC, not just touch AC.
It's not a terrible ability, but maybe not as good as something like the Luck or Chaos domains that have major non-damaging level 1 domain powers.
One of these days, I want to actually make Roy Greenhilt as a PFS character. I already made a Lore Warden fighter who's pretty similar to what you described, but with a completely different personality.
Is torture always evil, in the context of PFS alignment infraction rules? How violent does it have to be to be considered torture?
In the past, I've played quite a few PFS sessions where neutral aligned PCs have physically harmed bad guys while interrogating them with the intimidation skill, and nobody's had a problem with it.
I probably took it too far the one time my barbarian told a guy he'd chop off his foot if he didn't talk, rolled low on the intimidation check, then followed through on the threat when the guy didn't tell us what we needed. That was an evil aligned, non-humanoid monster who had just ambushed one of my PC's best friends, so he was pretty pissed. I probably should have gotten an alignment warning for that one, but that was before those rules were in the Guide to Organized Play, and our group was pretty much used to the idea of Pathfinders as mostly a bunch of neutral thugs.
But recently, I had a GM who wouldn't let PCs even punch an enemy for non-lethal damage as part of intimidation to try and get information from him, on the basis that torture is evil, and you aren't allowed to play an evil character in Society. Apparently, Batman is a violation of PFS rules by his standards. So some sort of clarification on where to draw the line would be appreciated, since this is actually something that comes up fairly often.
If you're planning to be on the front line, then I guess it could be good. With my one summoning character, I've found one of the biggest advantages is being able to send summoned critters after enemies that are initially out of range of the rest of the party. This is why I frequently summon things that can fly. So staying within 30 feet of the summoned critter could be an issue.
Tim Vincent wrote:
They're fun for flavor. And on that rare occasion that the skill comes up in an adventure, it's awesome. For instance, profession (sailor) comes up more than most profession skills. And I've actually seen two players with profession (librarian) in scenarios where you're searching a book store or records room for something, so the GM let them use that skill for it.
And then there are those that are actual useful skills, like a bard with a perform skill or alchemist with craft (alchemy).
I don't take a day job for every character, especially those that are starved for skill ranks, but I'm definitely glad they're part of the game.
Because I'm prepping Feast of Ravenmoor to GM it soon, I looked at that chronicle sheet recently. It's a level 3 module, and I compared it to a 3-7 scenario from season 3 that I also recently ran. I believe Ravenmoor was slightly less gold than 3 times the scenario's subtier 3-4 reward, but only by about 70 or 80 gold. So definitely better than 2.5 times the gold reward of a scenario.
Most of what I was going to say has already been mentioned, but I'd put different priorities.
If you want to translate stuff in ruins, Azlanti and Thassilonian are common ancient tongues. For regional languages, Tien comes up a lot in season 3, and Varisian comes up a lot in season 4, just due to geography. For monsters, goblin is useful at low levels and I've seen draconic a few times. Aklo is a lot more common than you'd expect. Devils are common enough in higher tier scenarios to make Infernal worth getting. I've seen Abyssal a few times, too, both for demons and evil demon worshiper types.
So if you want to be well rounded in languages known, go with all of those, then start worrying about everything else.
But you may want to factor the personality of your PC into this, as well. I have an intellectual type character who knows the ancient languages, but not so many for talking to people. On the opposite extreme, I have a prankster bard with the gnome gift of tongues, so he gets two languages known for each rank in linguistics. He intentionally keeps linguistics maxed out to learn many languages, so he can mock and insult as many people and monsters as possibl. So he'd never bother learning a dead language like Azlanti or Thassilonian, despite being useful languages for some Pathfinder missions.
Moral of the story: Enlarge Person is awesome for adding reach or increasing damage on a strength based, medium sized melee combatant. It's a debuff on just about anyone else.
Reverse that for Reduce Person. It's a debuff for strength based melee types, but the dex and AC bonuses make it a buff worth having for everyone else.
It's not a swift action, it's a free action. That's actually RAW. The problem is that it's a free action that you can only take on your own turn. So it doesn't work for AoOs.
Given that it's for PFS, this pirate won't spend a lot of time on ships. I'm more worried about concentrating while standing next to enemies.
That's why I said Focused Mind and Combat Casting up front. That's +6 on concentration checks, plus caster level and wisdom modifier, for a total of +11 at level 1. That'll go up pretty quickly as my level and wisdom increase (figure a +2 wisdom headband by the end of level 4, +4 headband by level 8 or 9, boost wisdom every 4 levels), but the DC to cast defensively on higher level spells also increases.
Let's do some math:
Level 1: CL 1 +4 wis +2 trait +4 Combat Casting = +11 (DC 17 to cast level 1 spells defensively)
So there would be at least a 10% chance of losing spells when trying to cast my highest level stuff through most of the character's career, though casting spells one level below my max should be nearly automatic. Picking up the Warrior Priest feat for an extra +2 concentration and +1 to initiative would really help nail those rolls. Or given how uncommon the failed rolls would be, just having a shirt reroll available whenever I play this PC would likely be just as good.
I'm definitely leaning towards the Trickery and Chaos (Protean) domains, and skipping War (Tactics). Tactics is great, but I want to focus more on the touch debuff of Chaos, with Trickery stuff to protect myself.
I'm still not sure on the exact feat progression. Here's what I'm pretty sure of:
1 - Combat Casting
As for other feats, Toughness should be taken at level 1, if at all. Channel Smite should be early, so level 1 or 3, if I'm going to bother with it. Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus (probably Necromancy for the Inflict and Slay Living spells) might be good to have. So maybe Toughness at 1, Channel Smite at 3, Spell Focus at 5.
Just going from memory here since I don't have it in front of me, but the adventure does cover this stuff, just not in as much detail as you'd like.
The vent system is long and winding, with several forks along the way. The puzzle is knowing which way to go at each fork in the path. It's implied (don't remember if it's said outright) that there are plenty of vents leading to other rooms long the way. But the whole thing leads to other wings of the building that aren't mapped, so if they leave the vent system in the wrong area, you pretty much have to wing it. That's when you get into the part at the end about what to do if security is called on them, which will definitely happen if they're some place that party guests and informants shouldn't be, and have them fight overwhelming force until they're subdued and captured.
Likewise, the exit to the records room leads to a different wing, nowhere near where they're supposed to be. If they head out that way, they'll set off the alarm noted on the records room map, and again be surrounded by overwhelming force of security guards until they eventually are forced to surrender.
So far, I've GMed this three times, and played it once, and none of my groups have gone that far off the rails. Or failed in the main mission, for that matter, though it's usually close to make it back in time.
Would you believe an untrained amateur?
Actually, I did take a GM 101 course with a Venture Captain once. Does that count?
This is for PFS, so RAW only, only 12 levels, yada, yada, yada.
So I've had the idea of doing a cleric of Besmara for a while. For those who don't know, she's the pirate queen, chaotic neutral, favored weapon rapier, and all the other pirate stereotypes you'd expect from such a goddess.
I've wanted to try a negative channeler for a while, too, and this seems like a good fit. Not because I would actually channel negative energy very often. That's kinda hard to pull off in combat because you have to worry about positioning and selective channeling to avoid hurting your allies.
I'm thinking more along the lines of spontaneous inflict spells. Pair this with at least one domain that gives a decent melee touch attack, and you've got the basis for a solid "bad touch" cleric. But as long as I'm channeling negative energy, channel smite is probably worth the investment of one feat, though probably not worth investing in the extra feats and stat points to try and make it really effective (extra channel, guided hand, high charisma, etc).
For domains, I'm looking at Trickery, Chaos (Protean), and War (Tactics).
Trickery looks really good, between the copycat ability, invisibility spell, etc. Lots of stuff to help avoid getting hit while standing on the front line in combat, and getting bluff as a class skill just seems appropriate for a pirate. The other added class skills are ignorable, because clerics don't get enough skill ranks to train everything. This domain offers stuff that's useful both in and out of combat, unlike most.
The first level Tactics ability of rolling initiative twice stood out right away, along with the good spell list, and the combat feat thing at level 8.
But then I noticed the Chaos domain, which has a GREAT level 1 melee touch debuff power. But the domain spell list totally sucks unless you know you'll be fighting lawful enemies, which doesn't happen much unless you're dealing with devils. The Protean subdomain of Chaos helps with that, giving a couple of good replacement spells that clerics normally don't get. So I'm tempted to go with this for the level 1 melee touch power, since it plays well with the whole "bad touch" theme that I'm going for.
I'm just assuming I'll go human on this one, because a cleric will need the extra feat, extra skill ranks, and flexible attribute bonus. Speaking of which, stat array will look something like this:
Str 14 (5)
That might get tweaked a little. Wisdom is key for casting, con for survival, and str for hitting in melee, either with a weapon or touch spell. I thought about trying to get the dex higher for armor class, but the Trickery domain should make AC less important than usual for a melee type, so I can settle a little. And charisma is good for social skills and channeling. Like I said, I'll probably pick up channel smite at some point. Though I might consider settling for 10 on dex and cha to get my starting wisdom up to 19, or possibly to get int back up to 10 for an extra skill rank per level.
I dumped int to get the points for everything else. As a human, I'll still get two skill ranks per level. I figure a pirate is less likely to care about stuff like heal or knowledge (religion) than most clerics. I'll probably keep my bluff and diplomacy fairly well trained, along with a rank here and there in perception, sense motive, and profession (sailor).
Since I'll be casting on the front lines, Focused Mind is an essential trait, and Combat Casting has to be my first feat. After that, I'm not sure which feats to take in what order.
Like I said, I could focus on the negative channeling with the rapier by taking Channel Smite, Extra Channel, Guided Hand, and maybe Power Attack and Improved Critical for more extra damage. But that's a pretty big investment to try and be a decent weapon fighter, and it probably won't be worth it unless I rearrange my stats to make charisma my highest and really specialize in it. If I'm not specializing in it, then maybe I can take Channel Smite by itself to use once in a while, and put my focus in the "bad touch" specialization.
So for a casting focus, I could pick up Warrior Priest and/or Uncanny Concentration for an additional +2 each on concentration checks. There's also Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus, probably in Necromancy to increase the odds of doing full damage with the inflict spells. Starting to think about Spell Penetration and Greater Spell Penetration will be necessary by level 7, or maybe 9 at the latest for the first SP feat.
There are also general feats like Toughness, Improved Initiative, Dodge, and Blind Fight that are never bad to have. Or if I put one more point in cha, Selective Channeling becomes an option, but I don't know if I'll ever be able to exclude enough allies to bother with it. If I'm going entirely touch spells/abilities and not bothering with the weapon, then maybe Improved Unarmed Strike and/or Improved Shield Bash are worth considering, as well.
Any other suggestions, or things I should be aware of that I may have missed?
Ahh, ok. Thanks. I was looking in the wrong place in the Core Rulebook. The chapter on magic defines SLAs but doesn't mention the casting defensively for them.
I find it odd that the book treats SLAs as if they're almost always the equivalent of a spell, and it's only rare exceptions that aren't. Right there in the Core Rulebook, just about every cleric domain, wizard school, and sorcerer bloodline has at least one SLA that isn't the equivalent of a spell.
So the moral of the story is that Combat Casting and Focused Mind are absolutely essential right from level 1 for a "bad touch" cleric.
Edit: ninja'd by that last post, so modified mine
Can you concentrate to cast defensively to avoid provoking an AoO when using a spell-like ability? If so, how do you determine the spell level to use in determining the DC?
I'm kinda wondering how the "bad touch" clerics or similar types who use spell-like melee touch attacks can cast them without provoking. I know one option is to cast from a distance, then move closer, then touch the enemy, so the casting takes place before you're in range of the enemy. But what if it's a melee character who stands there and does this stuff round after round, so they can't move around that way to avoid the AoO? For instance, a melee cleric with melee domain abilities that are spell-like.
You've obviously never had Chicago style stuffed pizza. And I'm not talking the fake "deep dish" stuff that you see all over America. I'm talking the real stuff, with 3 inch tall slices.
But when it comes to New York style pizza, I wholeheartedly agree.
Ok, now you've got me craving pizza, even though I'm on a diet. I already know that's the first thing I'm going to eat in June (dieting through the end of May).
Agreed. The GM is supposed to describe the scene to the players. He's the eyes and ears of the characters. Not letting them know that something obvious is walking on their skin is pretty clearly a dick move.
This sort of thing really bugs me. I once had a situation where the GM put some minis on a map, told us to roll initiative, and when I asked "What are those?", I was told to roll a knowledge check. Any non-blind PC with their eyes open should be given a basic description of what they see. We can't ask more specific questions, or even know why we're in a fight, without that information.
Now that I know what I'm doing (as opposed to when I created my first couple of PCs), I start with an idea, then ask the following questions:
1. What's my specialty in combat?
Then optimize my specialties (in and out of combat) as much as I can, while making sure my backup plan and survivability are good enough.
Start with an idea - gnome bard with the Prankster archetype from Advanced Race Guide
1. Combat specialty: Debuffing. Intimidate to cause the shaken condition, debuff spells (Hideous Laughter, Blistering Invective, Pugwumpi's Grace), Mock performance from the archetype.
Now optimize it: 19 charisma after racial bonus, and put all level increases into it. 14 int for skill ranks and bardic knowledge, 14 con for HP, 12 dex for ranged attacks, AC, and reflex. Str and wis aren't that important, so I dumped them down to 8, so I'd have points to put in the other stuff. Bards get good will saves, so I'm hoping that low wisdom doesn't come back to bite me. Also, low wisdom goes with the immature prankster bard personality.
Believe it or not, Skill Focus: Perform (Comedy) was my first feat, to use with Versatile Performance on intimidation. I also took a trait to boost this perform skill. I'm already at +15 to intimidate things to make them shaken at level 3. That's also my bluff and intimidate bonus outside of combat. I'm looking at Spell Focus and Greater to boost my Enchantment spells. Already have a masterwork crossbow, wand of CLW, alch fires, etc.
Per your quote from the PRD, they only get XP for encounters they "overcome", and everyone who participated gets the XP.
So if a PC dies in the 3rd encounter, but the rest of the group manages to win the fight, then they all get the XP, even the dead guy. He participated, even if his participation was just to take the killing shot, and the encounter was overcome. So if he manages to come back from the dead, he'll have learned from the experience.
If they flee the 3rd encounter and end the adventure right there, then nobody gets XP, because the 3rd encounter wasn't overcome.
If they bypass the 3rd encounter, either before or after fleeing from it, then I'd agree that it counts as overcoming it.
Just wondering if you can use a reroll on a day job roll. I'd assume shirt rerolls are good for it, since you can use them on any d20 roll. What about these?
Eternal Hope gnome racial trait wrote:
Gnomes rarely lose hope and are always confident that even hopeless situations will work out. Gnomes with this racial trait receive a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against fear and despair effects. Once per day, after rolling a 1 on a d20, the gnome may reroll and use the second result. This racial trait replaces defensive training and hatred.
Besmara's Blessing trait wrote:
You gain a +1 trait bonus on Perception and Profession (sailor) checks. In addition, once per week you can reroll a Profession (sailor) check and take the higher result (you must announce that you are using this ability before the results of the check are known).
One hidden benefit of being a Large creature is that your Medium friend in the square between you and your target no longer provides cover.
Are you sure? I recently looked this one up, and it says anything up to half the height of the person hiding behind it still gives cover. I don't remember the details off the top of my head, but I think it was in the cover rules in the combat chapter of the Core Rulebook.
You mentioned having looked through the "PDF materials", but I want to make sure you got the most important one: The Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play. It explains all the PFS-specific details you'll need for creating a character (start at level 1, 20 point build, what races are legal, picking a faction, faction traits, etc).
Other than that, it will be best if you register your character in advance here on the web site. Go to the My Pathfinder Society page and click the "Add a new character" button. You just have to fill in a name and faction - the rest is optional.
You can bring your character either as a hard copy or on a tablet. Bring a mini for your PC and dice. Pencil and paper for taking notes about the mission, tracking damage, etc is also usually necessary.
Or you can just show up with no character, no PFS number, no dice, etc and say "I want to try this", and they'll hand you a pregen character and other stuff you need. PFS as a whole is very good about handling new walk ins. But since you have the time in advance and you already know enough about the game to make your own PC, it's better to do it all before hand.
I looked into possibly doing a ninja/cleric mix recently, too. I was thinking a pirate cleric of Besmara. I ended up deciding that for a primary cleric, it just isn't worth giving up the progression on cleric stuff (spells, channeling, domain abilities). A ninja with a level of cleric for some domain powers could be interesting, though.
I wondered the same thing.
Ironically, my first PFS character took up his day job because of the events of a module!
Spoilers for Feast of Ravenmoor:
After being sent to find out what happened to a tax collector, and finding him dead, my barbarian decided that collecting taxes is too dangerous a job for overweight, middle aged types. So he put a rank in Profession (Tax Collector), and that became his day job.
But he didn't have the brains to ever be any good at it, because learning tax codes and stuff was too much work. He just liked intimidating people into paying. In game terms, this was represented by not having high enough intelligence to be able to spare skill ranks to train the profession skill regularly.
I actually tried out Enlarge Person for the first time recently, since my battle oracle gets it as a known spell from his mystery.
I intentionally built this guy as an AC tank, so I was a little worried about the -2 AC. But he has 20 AC at level 2, so going down to 18 in a tier 1-2 adventure is still a very good AC. And he now has enough money to upgrade to full plate, so he'll be 22 AC at level 2, so it'll only drop to 20. Adding +1 magic to his full plate and buckler will be cheap enough that I can probably do both at level 3, so he'll have 24 AC before being enlarged, which only drops to 22.
So as long as I keep my AC up for my level, the enlarge really shouldn't hurt much. Getting reach, and upgrading my long sword damage from 1d8+4 (avg 8.5 per hit) to 2d6+5 (avg 12 per hit) should be worth it. As a one handed weapon fighter, he's never going to be the heaviest hitter around, but I knew that when I decided to make him an AC tank by giving him long sword and shield instead of a two handed weapon.
Exploitive Maneuver isn't a combat maneuver? Are you sure? Does something specifically have to be listed under the heading of "Combat Maneuver (tm)" in the Core Rulebook or Advanced Players Guide to qualify as a combat maneuver? Why? I could see a case for arguing that Exploitive Maneuver is a combat maneuver. I'm not sure if it definitely is, but if you're going to dismiss out of hand, I'd like to know why.
When I started looking at this, I reread the Core Rulebook definition of a combat maneuver, and Exploitive Maneuver seems to qualify. Before doing that reread, I had assumed that a combat maneuver needs to be an attack, but the Core Rulebook specifically says "While many combat maneuvers can be performed as part of an attack action, full-attack action, or attack of opportunity (in place of a melee attack), others require a specific action." So the fact that Exploitive Maneuver is an immediate action rather than an attack doesn't disqualify it like I'd initially assumed.
But besides that, the gauntlets don't say that they give a bonus to a specific combat maneuver. The exact wording is "one type of combat maneuver check". Since Exploitive Maneuver consistently refers to itself using the exact same phrase, "combat maneuver check", the question actually comes down to the game definition of the word "type". If I'm making combat maneuver checks for the same thing over and over, that clearly meets the dictionary definition for a "type" of check, but does it meet the game definition? How do you know?
I have a rabbit named after a comic book superhero. Does that count?
I'm not sure what you guys are reading, but you seem to be misunderstanding the question. I know the gauntlets only help with one type of combat maneuver. I wasn't expecting some sort of generic bonus to CMB in all situations, which happens to include exploitive manuever.
What I want is gauntlets that are built specifically to help exploitive maneuver, since that's the only type of combat maneuver check my character cares about.
And yes, the dusty rose ioun stone slotted into a Wayfinder is already on my shopping list.
So I finally played this PC again a couple of times recently, and I'm just one adventure away from finally hitting level 6 and breaking into the prestige class. Now I'm trying to plan how to get a good CMB for Exploitive Maneuver.
Here's what I have so far:
1. High dex and Agile Maneuvers feat, so I can use my +6 dex bonus in my CMB instead of my +0 str.
What else can I do to boost my CMB to help EM? It doesn't use a weapon, so weapon buffs don't help. I know anything that buffs my attack rolls otherwise will help, which includes my battle dance (Inspire Courage) from my one level dip in Dawnflower Dervish bard. But I don't have any other self buffs.
I don't suppose there's a feat or something that would let me use my level instead of BAB in my CMB, the way Defensive Combat Training does for CMD? Obviously, this is for PFS, so RAW only answers.
Any other CMB boosting items I may have missed? Or items that generally boost attacks without being tied to a weapon? Amulet of Mighty Fists only applies to natural attacks and unarmed strikes, but it doesn't mention unarmed combat maneuvers.
I was going to post this in the rules forum, but I already know I'll get 20 "ask your GM" answers there. It's a corner case that I'd say needs a specific PFS ruling, so I'm posting to the PFS forum instead.
Would Gauntlets of the Skilled Maneuver from Ultimate Equipment work with the Exploitive Maneuver class ability of the Halfling Opportunist prestige class from Halflings of Golarion? They both use the phrase "combat maneuver check", which would seem to indicate they're compatible, but I want to be sure.
The main problem I see with this is that the crafting requirements for the gauntlets includes "creator must have the appropriate Improved combat maneuver feat", and there is not such feat for Exploitive Maneuver. I wish there were! I'd totally take that at level 7 (level 6 is the earliest to get into the prestige class). But in PFS, we don't really care who crafted the item, so I don't know if that matters.
Andrew Christian wrote:
Rope is heavy. I usually don't buy it for my low strength characters until I can afford a handy haversack. As I said, I played this with a level 4 halfling rogue with 10 strength, and I didn't bring rope.
But for those strength based front line types, there's no excuse.