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.
I had a lot of fun with this one, at the table with Sammy and Redward.
Lots of humorous moments, but I think the most ironic was my halfling being the first to trigger the strength trap, while we were fighting the dire skunks - and it did nothing, because my strength is 10! Sammy said my character sensed some magic or something, so I warned the others to avoid going to that area until after we finished off the dire skunks and had time to investigate. Then someone with 18 str walked into it and fell over from the weight of his equipment.
The other ironic moment was the druid failing his wild empathy with the bears, and ending up having to help kill them. He got taunted relentlessly for being so unfriendly to nature. He has since updated his PC profile on our local game signup web site to say that his character has favored enemy: bears. LOL
Redward's maneuver character made it easy to keep Kalkamedes under control. I rolled surprisingly well to assist, given my low CMB, though I missed the assists a couple of times. Having the Helpful halfling trait, I gave +4 when assisting, which was useful for this and a couple of other things along the way. I definitely think that's one of the best traits in the game. What's ironic is that I'm heading for Halfling Opportunist prestige class with this character, which is CMB intensive, so I'm planning to take the Agile Maneuvers feat next level to get dex instead of str in my CMB. So I would have had an extra +5 at assisting all those grapples if I already had that (20 dex vs 10 str).
All in all, this is a very creative adventure, with a lot of fun encounters, both in combat and the puzzles. Definitely one of the more original adventures I've played. And yes, the dragon scared the pants off us. Of course, I was sitting there with +12 reflex and evasion going "So where's the breath weapon already?" LOL
Actually, your first sentence is not entirely true.
From the cleric section of the Core Rulebook:
Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells: A cleric can't cast spells of an alignment opposed to her own or her deity's (if she has one). Spells associated with particular alignments are indicated by the chaotic, evil, good, and lawful descriptors in their spell descriptions.
So good clerics can't cast evil spells, and evil clerics can't cast good spells.
But your final sentence explains why that doesn't matter for the cure/inflict spells. They aren't good or evil, so any cleric can cast them.
I have a Dawnflower Dervish Bard 1/Rogue 4/Halfling Opportunist 5/Rogue ++ in PFS. At least, that's the plan. He's level 4 now, with 22 dex, which works perfectly with a mithral chain shirt, not to mention all those dex based rogue skills like acrobatics, stealth, disable device, and sleight of hand.
While most rogues have little or no strength bonus on top of their weapon's damage die, he's got a +8 for 11 rounds per day (+6 without the Battle Dance flavored Inspire Courage, which he can start as a move action), and he's still got the sneak attacks on top of that. He's one level behind the normal sneak attack progression, which will become two levels behind once he gets into the prestige class, but it still works out pretty nicely.
He's not the biggest damage dealer in the game, as no other melee classes will ever compare to a standard two handed weapon fighter/barbarian with high strength and power attack. But he's always useful in a fight, even when he can't get sneak attacks, and he's got plenty of skills to be useful outside of combat, too.
Cold Napalm wrote:
How do you have the time to buff so much at the start of battle? It'll take 2-3 rounds of buffing before you're ready to actually start fighting.
I realized when I made my battle oracle with a self-buff focus in his spell picks that I should make a point of only buffing in the first round of combat, and then diving into the melee. I knew if I spent more time than that buffing, I wouldn't be involved in the fight long enough to matter.
The assumption that a slippery object will be slippery isn't a house rule. It's the dictionary definition of the word "slippery".
Lots of spells can do more than just the specific, common examples given in the book. Silent Image specifically says it creates a "visual illusion of an object, creature, or force", yet I've seen discussions on these forums of using it to create an illusion of clouds, fog, walls, bodies of water, fake sections of floor, etc, none of which necessarily meet the game definition of "object, creature, or force". Would you say those illusions aren't allowed because they aren't specifically listed as example uses of the spell in the Core Rulebook?
My question was whether there's any RAW reason this shouldn't work. And no, the fact that it's not specifically listed as a possible usage isn't a valid answer. The book gives some of the possible uses, but the purpose of the spell is to make things slippery, and the exact object to be greased should be whatever the caster can see to target when casting it. It's the results of greasing the exterior of the boots that I'm asking about.
By RAW, the one argument I could maybe see against this usage is that you're only supposed to grease one object, so maybe it only works on one shoe per casting. But in the case of armor and clothing, you're usually going to be hitting multiple pieces, too, so that one's ify.
I'm talking about greasing the outside of the shoes, so they slip and fall, not the inside of the shoes, so their feet slip out of them.
But this is my point: Spells don't always list EVERY possible usage. The ones mentioned in the description are the common ones. But there are other uses for making things slippery.
pH unbalanced wrote:
They get familiar with each other?
I always wondered how that worked. Do they just go over and start sniffing each other's butts, or is there some other method?
So we all know and love Grease as one of the best level 1 spells in the game. You grease a 10 ft by 10 ft patch of floor, and bad guys look like they slipped on a banana peel in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. And that's just one possible use for it.
But what if you don't have a convenient 10x10 area of floor to grease? What if you're fighting one bad guy, your buddies are flanking him, and you only want to hit the square he's in, without hitting the squares your allies are in?
I came up with the idea of greasing the enemy's shoes, as a way of making a single enemy slip and fall, without covering a whole 10x10 area of floor. This has the added advantage of moving with the bad guy, unless they stop to take off their shoes, so they can't just walk out of the greased spot.
This isn't one of the standard uses mentioned in the spell description, so I just have to ask: Does anyone see any reason this shouldn't work?
Kyle Elliott wrote:
Lex Luthor never took down Superman. Batman, on the other hand, managed to knock Supes down more than once...
Not really what you're looking for, but I recently picked up this guy for my kitsune ninja. His weapons even look right for two weapon fighting with wakizashi, like my ninja does.
The biggest problem is that he doesn't have a tail. The second problem is that one of his arms didn't come attached, so I'll have to get some glue.
You definitely came to the right place to ask.
Short answer: Have your group create level 1 characters. Sign up for adventures labeled tier 1, tier 1-5, or tier 1-7. Bear in mind that after 3 adventures, you'll be level 2, so don't sign up for a tier 1 as your 4th session, since those don't allow level 2 characters.
Also, if anyone is having trouble deciding between two different character ideas, have them make both PCs. That way, they have a spare in case one dies. It doesn't happen a lot, but it does happen.
Welcome to Pathfinder Society!
Also, please disregard the side conversation that has nothing to do with your original question.
Welcome to the internet!
I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but my personal belief is that the current system is ok, so don't change it.
But ideally, I'd like to see the current system adjusted so that people who play up only get a percentage of the extra cash from doing so. While those who play down only lose a percentage of the reward. Thus, it'll be like it is now, but with less extreme swings for playing up or down.
This conversation is starting to remind me of this comic.
The PFS scenario "First Steps, part 1: In Service to Lore", which happens to be a free download, has the titles of a few (5, IIRC) specific books that are treated as relatively unique and valuable. Nothing on philosophy and religion that I can recall. I think there was some geography and one book on the anatomy of dragons or something like that.
Lava Child wrote:
Actually, there are kobolds under Absalom. They don't really move around out in the open among the humans on the surface.
In one PFS scenario I know of that involves kobolds in Absalom, the most civilized member of the kobold tribe magically disguises herself as a halfling when she mingles among the humans and other "civilized" races. And even then, she only does it at night and tries to avoid much interaction with others, for fear that they'll see through her disguise.